Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Today in Great Lakes History - June 30

On this day in 1962, the CLIFFS VICTORY passed down through the Welland Canal to become the first boat in the Cleveland Cliffs Fleet to enter Lake Ontario in 20 years.

The b.) CSL ASSINIBOINE was rechristened at Port Weller Drydocks Ltd., on June 30, 2005. She was the a.) LOUIS R DESMARAIS and the fourth CSL vessel to receive a forebody replacement.

On 30 June 1917, while being towed out of the Milwaukee River by the tugs WELCOME and KNIGHT TEMPLAR, the Goodrich LinesÕ CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS (steel propeller whaleback passenger steamer, 362 foot, 1,511 gross tons, built in 1893, at West Superior, Wisconsin), with 413 passengers onboard, was caught by the current and swung close to shore. The overhang of her snout-bow sheered off two legs of the water tower of the Yahr-Lang Drug Company and the tower fell onto the vessel, destroying the pilothouse and forward decks. The water from the tower rushed down the length of the upper decks. 16 were killed and over 20 were seriously injured. The surviving passengers were taken to Chicago by train. The vessel was repaired and put back into service the following year.

On 30 June 1900, MARIAN TELLER (wooden propeller tug, 52 foot, 33 gross tons, built in 1879, at West Bay City, Michigan) was towing the barge CANTON on Lake St. Clair. The TELLER sprang a leak about one mile from the Lake St. Clair Lightship. The rising water put out her fires. In the scramble to escape, the yawl was swamped and three lives were lost. Only Captain Cornwall and his son were saved when the passing steamer NORWALK picked them up.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Mike Nicholls, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. Marine Historical Society of Detroit. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.

 

Port Reports - June 30

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Canadian Navigator came in to load Wednesday evening, Algoway entered Thursday afternoon with a stiff northwest breeze blowing. Both were picking up loads at Sifto Salt.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The Groupe Ocean tugs were back in port early Wednesday morning to turn the salty Woody at the Redpath slip. She is now facing into the harbor. The passenger vessel Nantucket Clipper arrived around 9 a.m. and berthed at the old fast-ferry terminal. English River arrived around 10 a.m. and backed into the Lafarge slip. The Port Authority workboat Osprey placed the anchor buoys for Metis, which will be towed out to become a fireworks platform for the Festival of Fire, which starts on July 1 The Buffalo fire tug E. M. Cotter departed late Tuesday night.

Milwaukee - John Vogel
About noon on Thursday there were two ships in the outer harbor. One was the Daviken, a 729-footer, at General Cargo Pier 2. It sails under contract to Fednav, Ltd. The Daviken was commissioned at the time of construction as the Malinska, a name under which it sailed form 1987-1997. The second ship was the Federal Maragaree, a very recent addition to the Fednav livery. It was a General Cargo Pier 3. A 606-footer, its registration is in Monrovia.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 made a call at the Verplank dock in Holland in the overnight hours Wednesday/Thursday. It delivered a load of 6AAA stone.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
On Thursday at sunrise, Kaye E. Barker was waiting to load ore at the Upper Harbor ore dock, and Adam E. Cornelius was unloading limestone at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons loaded Tuesday at Sandusky's Norfolk Southern coal dock.
On Wednesday the Canadian Transport, came alongside the dock and loaded. Thursday saw the Atlantic Erie loading at the NS dock, followed at late afternoon by the Arthur M. Anderson.

 

Man Electrocuted On Freighter

6/30 - Cleveland - The Coast Guard Cleveland station got a distress call Thursday morning and sent a boat to evacuating two crewmen from the Calumet about one mile east of their station around 11 a.m.

One crewman on the vessel was electrocuted and a second crewman received a shock when he tried to pull him away from the power source.

A Coast Guard boat transported the two crewmen to the Cleveland moorings, where they were transferred to awaiting emergency medical service.

The first crewman, 21-year-old John Harmen of Canton, was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. The shipmate who tried to save him is expected to be OK.

Reported by WTAM 1100

 

Updates - June 30

News Photo Gallery updated

Tug Boat Race Gallery updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 30

On this day in 1962, the CLIFFS VICTORY passed down through the Welland Canal to become the first boat in the Cleveland Cliffs Fleet to enter Lake Ontario in 20 years.

The b.) CSL ASSINIBOINE was rechristened at Port Weller Drydocks Ltd., on June 30, 2005. She was the a.) Jean Parisien and the fourth CSL vessel to receive a forebody replacement.

On 30 June 1917, while being towed out of the Milwaukee River by the tugs WELCOME and KNIGHT TEMPLAR, the Goodrich LinesÕ CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS (steel propeller whaleback passenger steamer, 362 foot, 1,511 gross tons, built in 1893, at West Superior, Wisconsin), with 413 passengers onboard, was caught by the current and swung close to shore. The overhang of her snout-bow sheered off two legs of the water tower of the Yahr-Lang Drug Company and the tower fell onto the vessel, destroying the pilothouse and forward decks. The water from the tower rushed down the length of the upper decks. 16 were killed and over 20 were seriously injured. The surviving passengers were taken to Chicago by train. The vessel was repaired and put back into service the following year.

On 30 June 1900, MARIAN TELLER (wooden propeller tug, 52 foot, 33 gross tons, built in 1879, at West Bay City, Michigan) was towing the barge CANTON on Lake St. Clair. The TELLER sprang a leak about one mile from the Lake St. Clair Lightship. The rising water put out her fires. In the scramble to escape, the yawl was swamped and three lives were lost. Only Captain Cornwall and his son were saved when the passing steamer NORWALK picked them up.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Mike Nicholls, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. Marine Historical Society of Detroit. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.

 

L. E. Block to be Scrapped

6/29 - Port Colborne - It has been confirmed that the L. E. Block will be scrapped in Port Colborne by International Marine Salvage. The rusting hulk that has been sitting in Escanaba for many years and has been considered an 'eyesore' by Escanaba City officials.

The two is expected to leave Escanaba on July 7th and arrive in Port Colborne on July 11th. The tow will be handled by the tugs Vac, Sea Hound and the IMS tug Charley E.

Plans are to put the Block in the south slip, and move the Everest outside of the Block. Windoc will remain in her present location in Slip #1.

Reported by IMS.

Pictures in the News Photo Gallery

 

Engineer's Day is Tomorrow
Have You Made Your Cruise Reservations?

Engineer's Weekend and Boatnerd Gathering at the Soo

Friday, June 30 - 9:30 a.m. - Boatnerds gather on the steps below the MacArthur Lock for a group picture.
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. - The Corps of Engineers will open the area between the MacArthur and Poe Locks, the Administration Building and the Davis Building to visitors. This is a once-a-year chance to see inside the Corps operation, and see passing freighters from a different angle.
8:00 - 10:00 p.m. - The Soo Locks Visitors Center Association will have a special meeting on Friday, June 30, 2006, from 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm, at the Soo Locks Visitors Center. The doors to the Center will remain open an two extra hours for SLVCA members to meet and greet Boatnerds. Bring your pictures to share, talk about displays, and spend a pleasant 2 hours inside. We will have tables set up for use, the theater is available, and we will have some free snacks available.

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

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

 

Port Reports - June 29

South Chicago -
The Wolverine loaded petroleum coke early Wednesday at Beemsterboer Dock in South Chicago, bound for Alpena.

Marinette - Lee Rowe
Tuesday saw the Algorail arrive in Marinette and tie up behind the William H. Donner. Wednesday the Chios Pride arrived with metal which was off-loaded by the Donner's cranes.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The M.C.M. Marine tug William C. Gaynor was inbound the Saginaw River Wednesday afternoon pulling a crane barge upriver to the LaFarge dock in Carrollton. Equipment continues to arrive for the upcoming dredging project to open up the Sixth Street Turning Basin and about 1 mile of channel below that. The dredging start date keeps getting pushed back and is now scheduled to begin after July 4th. The Gaynor was outbound Wednesday evening.

Also inbound on Wednesday was the tug Cleveland and barge Cleveland Rocks. The pair went upriver to unload at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee. This is the first trip of many scheduled for the Cleveland-Cleveland Rocks between the Saginaw River and Stoneport over the next three weeks. The tug and barge made a number of trips to the Saginaw River in 2004 then in 2005 was absent from the Saginaw.

 

Updates - June 29

News Photo Gallery updated

Tug Boat Race Gallery updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 29

On this day in 1946, the tug DALHOUSIE ROVER, Captain J. R. Mac Lean, capsized in the Welland Canal. There were no survivors among the crew of six.

On 29 June 1910, ALABAMA (steel propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 272 foot, 2,626 gross tons, built in 1909, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) made her first trip in regular service for the Goodrich Line from Chicago to Grand Haven and Muskegon. She ran opposite the VIRGINIA. Cut down to a barge she is being scrapped in La Salle, Ontario in 2006.

On 29 June 1902, GEORGE DUNBAR (wooden propeller freighter, 134 foot, 238 gross tons, built in 1867, at Allegan, Michigan) was loaded with coal when she was damaged by a sudden squall on Lake Erie near Kelley's Island and sank. Seven of the crew elected to stay aboard while the skipper, his wife and daughter made for shore in the lifeboat. Those three were saved but the seven perished on a makeshift raft.

The CHARLES M SCHWAB (Hull#496) was launched in 1923, at Cleveland, Ohio by the American Ship Building Co., for the Interlake Steamship Co. Lengthened with a new midbody and re-powered with the stern section of the tanker GULFPORT in 1961. Sold Canadian in 1975, renamed b.) PIERSON DAUGHTERS and c.) BEECHGLEN in 1982. Scrapped at Port Maitland, Ontario in 1995.

On June 29, 1962, the HAMILTONIAN began her maiden voyage for Eastern Lake Carriers (Papachristidis Co. Ltd.). Renamed b.) PETITE HERMINE in 1967. Purchased by Upper Lakes Shipping in 1972, renamed c.) CANADIAN HUNTER. Scrapped at Alang, India in 1996.

The JOSEPH L BLOCK was christened on June 29, 1976, for Inland Steel Co..

The Canadian schooner DUNSTOWN arrived at Malden, Ontario on 29 June 1875, to be put in place as a lightship. Her sides were painted in large white letters: BAR POINT LIGHTSHIP.

On 29 June 1864, ALVIN CLARK (2-mast wooden schooner, 113 foot, 220 tons, built in 1846, at Truago (Trenton), Michigan) foundered in a terrific squall off Chambers Island on Green Bay. Two of the crew were rescued by the brig DEWITT, but three lost their lives. In 1969, a schooner identified as the CLARK was raised at great expense and put on display for some time at Marinette, Wisconsin, then at Menominee, Michigan, but it only lasted until 1995 when it was destroyed.

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

 

Sand Bar in Ludington

6/28 - Ludington, MI - A sand bar in the Ludington, Michigan channel delayed the Saginaw Monday. The shoal is located on the southern side of the channel near the Coast Guard Station.

Tom O’Bryan of the Grand Haven office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the channel in the area where the Saginaw grounded was only about 19-feet deep, according to the boat’s captain. The boat was running with 23 feet of draft.

“Where it hit was supposed to be 29 feet,” O’Bryan said. “Our survey found there was 23 to 24 feet in most places.”

O’Bryan said a couple of sand shoals had developed recently, including the one the Saginaw found and one between the breakwalls near the entrance to the harbor.

The Corps plans to get a contractor to Ludington to dredge the channel in mid to late July, O’Bryan said. The dredging was announced in late May.

Laman, who unloaded the Saginaw, said it was carrying 19,000 tons of slag that it dropped off at the local aggregate dock. The slag was destined for use in asphalt mix and other products.

“The ship had no problems once it made it (through the sand shoal),” Laman said.

From The Ludington Daily News

 

'Acres and acres' of sewage in river from Sault plant - Mich. official
Ontario Soo Denies Charge

6/28 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., is dumping on Sugar Island, says a Michigan state representative. Democrat Gary McDowell was on the St. Mary's River Monday to inspect for himself long-standing complaints from residents across from the Canadian Sault's east-end sewage treatment plant that discharges are fouling their waters.

He said his nose led him to the plant's discharge pipe. "When you're out there, it's so obvious. Right at the outlet, it's coming out. Even if you didn't see the floaties and the colour (of the water), the smell takes right there," McDowell said Tuesday from Lansing, Mich. "It was absolutely horrible. I was just aghast. It was worse than anything I expected.

"You start to come up to it and you just see acres of sewage. "It's literally sickening what's happening out there."

The Chippewa County Health Department's director of environmental health accompanied McDowell. David Martin, who has taken samples from the river at Sugar Island numerous times, called the level of sewage "unbelievable" Monday.

"It's the worst discharge I've ever seen. Maybe it's going on more than I realized. There were acres and acres and acres of floating sewage, partially untreated sewage," Martin said Tuesday. Like McDowell, he said there's "no question" it's originating from the Ontario Sault.

Sault, Ont., has repeatedly denied raw sewage is being released into the water. Don Elliott, manager of construction and environmental engineering, said earlier this week some speculate what they see is "pollution from years past, from both cities. . . . The water warms, the thought is, and the sludge gasses up and floats to the top."

The 46-year-old plant, which treats the majority of municipal sewage, is in the midst of upgrades that are expected to be completed this summer to get Sault Ste. Marie secondary treatment. The Sault and a handful of other communities were singled out for having just primary treatment in the 2003/04 annual report of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Gord Miller.

By coincidence, Miller was also on the St. Mary's Monday. He described taking a boat out to the discharge pipe and watching dredging work being done, and called it "reassuring" the Sault is joining the rest of the province. "You, Kingston and Thunder Bay were the only ones left. It's good to see that in a short time, they'll all be on line," Miller said in an interview.

From the Sault Ontario Star


Spilled Sewage Fouls St. Marys River

6/28 - Sault Ste. Marie - “There is no question where it is coming from,” said State Rep. Gary McDowell of the raw sewage streaming into the St. Marys River from Canada. “It didn't take a whole lot to put two and two together.”

McDowell was part of a contingent traveling along the waterway at the request of Sugar Island residents Wayne Welch and D. J. Bumstead. Others on the trip included Chippewa County Chairman Earl Kay, along with Dave Martin and Jim German representing the Chippewa County Health Department.

“What we found was the most appalling, sickening thing I think I have ever seen in my life,” said McDowell. “I just couldn't believe how bad the situation was.” McDowell said to see the beautiful St. Marys River awash in raw sewage “makes you sick to your stomach.” This, from a self-described old farm boy who has shoveled manure in bare feet without batting an eye. “You could see it (the raw sewage) floating on top,” he said, adding the filth covered “acres” of waterway.

If this situation was occurring in any other Eastern Upper Peninsula waterway, McDowell speculated it would only be a matter of hours before state officials brought a quick resolution to the problem. With the Canadian sewage going into international waters, however, the solution is not as easy. McDowell said the first thing he did after returning from his Monday afternoon boat ride was contact Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee), seeking additional allies in the effort to get this mess cleaned up.

“We have to work with the federal government and the Canadian government,” he said. “It's not going to be an easy solution.” McDowell also explained that even though the sewage was coming from Canada, he did not blame the people of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario for the discharge. “The Canadian people are good people,” said McDowell. “They have to stand up to their government.”

From the Soo Evening News

 

Engineer's Day Only Two Days Away
Have You Made Your Cruise Reservations?

Engineer's Weekend and Boatnerd Gathering at the Soo
Thursday, June 29 - Lee Murdock Free Concert. 7:00 p.m. Free concert at Bayliss Public Library in Sault Ste Marie. www.uproc.lib.mi.us/bpl/  It's free, and they're excited about having this music for the locals and for early arrivals for Engineers Day.

Friday, June 30 - 9:30 a.m. - Boatnerds gather on the steps below the MacArthur Lock for a group picture. Come early and get a name tag.
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. - The Corps of Engineers will open the area between the MacArthur and Poe Locks, the Administration Building and the Davis Building to visitors. This is a once-a-year chance to see inside the Corps operation, and see passing freighters from a different angle.
8:00 - 10:00 p.m. - The Soo Locks Visitors Center Association will have a special meeting on Friday, June 30, 2006, from 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm, at the Soo Locks Visitors Center. The doors to the Center will remain open an two extra hours to meet and greet Boatnerds. Bring your pictures to share, talk about displays, and spend a pleasant 2 hours inside. We will have tables set up for use, the theater is available, and we will have some free snacks available.

Saturday, July 1 - Daytime
Informal gatherings at Mission Point, weather permitting. Bring your best pix to compare and show. Bring your radio-controlled boats for an informal regatta.

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

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

 

Port Reports - June 28

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Ocean bulk carrier Federal Margaree, which left Milwaukee over the weekend, was back at Municipal terminal 2 in the outer harbor on Tuesday morning, loading PL 480 food aid for overseas.
USCGC Acacia remains at the Coast Guard dock, just west of the cross-lake ferry.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Monday was a busy day on the Saginaw River with a number of vessel passages. The Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. was inbound early Monday morning calling on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville to unload coal. She was outbound later in the morning backing out to Light 12 to turn on head for the lake.
The tug Mary E. Hannah and her tank barge Robert F. Deegan were also inbound Monday morning calling on the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City. This was the second visit in a week for the pair to the Dow dock. They departed the dock and were outbound early Tuesday morning.
The Manistee was inbound on Monday going upriver to the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee to unload. When finished, she backed down to the Airport Turning Basin, turned and was outbound for the lake. She was followed closely by the tug Gregory J. Busch who had assisted her. The Busch was also outbound for the lake.
Finally, the CSL Tadoussac was inbound for the Essroc in Essexville. Once she was secured at the dock, the tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge backed from the Bit-Mat dock across the river and headed outbound for the lake. The Tadoussac also finished her unload and was outbound late in the day.

Green Bay - Wendell Wilke
On Tuesday the Catherine Desgagnes was unloading at the Fox River Dock. The tug Susan W. Hannah and barge St. Marys Conquest was unloading just up river at the St. Marys terminal. This is the first time the Conquest has been in the Port of Green Bay since her days as the tanker Amoco Indiana.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Toronto Harbour was temporarily closed Tuesday evening for an aerial display and water cannon salute between the firetugs Wm. Lyon Mackenzie and visiting Buffalo fire tug E. M. Cotter. The 106 year old Cotter is being retired to become a museum and is on a farewell tour. She arrived in Toronto Monday afternoon.
The Kingston-based brigantine St. Lawrence II arrived Tuesday afternoon enroute to Tall Ships festivals farther up the lakes. The local brigantine Pathfinder will also be joining in the Tall Ship festivities.
The tug Radium Yellowknife arrived Tuesday morning and began hooking up to the cement barge Metis, which will again be used as a floating fireworks platform for Canada Day celebrations off Ontario Place in Humber Bay. The barge will remain in place for the Festival of Fire fireworks displays.
The small tug/workboat Barney Drake has been added to the construction team at the new City Centre Airport passenger terminals. The Drake took construction materials from Pier 52 to the West Gap Tuesday afternoon, aboard the barge Place Gas & Oil Scow No. 2.
Unloading continues on the salty Woody at Redpath. Woody arrived in port on Sunday and was assisted into Redpath by the Groupe Ocean tugs. Algosoo was also in and out on Sunday after unloading a cargo of salt.

Toledo - Bob Vincent
The Herbert C. Jackson was being loaded at the Midwest Terminals of Toledo International dock with I believe coke breeze.
The Canadian Navigator was unloading ore at Torco.
Around 6:00 pm the tanker barge Great Lakes with the tug Michigan headed up river.
The tanker Algosar was seen heading out at 11:00 pm.
The CSL Assiniboine came under the coal loader at 4:30 am for a load of coal for Sault Ste. Marie.
At 7:00 am, the tug Donald C. Hannah with two barges was heading up river.
The next coal boat will the Mississagi (Wednesday) and the Saginaw, CSL Niagara and Arthur M. Anderson all due Friday.
At the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock the Algomarine is due Friday.
Torco's next ore boat will be the Atlantic Erie ( Wednesday) and the Nanticoke and CSL Niagara are due Friday.

 

Updates - June 28

News Photo Gallery updated

Tug Boat Race Gallery updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 28

On this day in 1955, the 456 foot WYCHEM 105, a.) SAMUEL F B MORSE, was loaded with sand at the B&O docks in Lorain and towed to Rocky River, Ohio where she was sunk as a temporary breakwall.

On this day in 1957, the JOSEPH S YOUNG departed Manitowoc, Wisconsin on her maiden voyage. She traveled in ballast to Port Inland, Michigan to load a cargo of stone. The YOUNG was the a.) ARCHERS HOPE, A T2-SE-A1 tanker, converted to Great Lakes service at Maryland Shipbuilding and Drydock, Baltimore, Maryland.

On June 28, 1938, at 8:50 a.m., the WILLIAM A IRVIN departed Duluth with her first cargo of iron ore for Lorain, Ohio. 48 years later, in 1986, almost to the minute, the WILLIAM A IRVIN opened as a museum to the public.

The ATLANTIC SUPERIOR arrived at the Algoma Steel Plant, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario on her maiden voyage in 1982, with a load of taconite but before she was unloaded christening ceremonies were conducted there.

The SAM LAUD ran aground June 28, 1975, on a shoal south of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, with a cargo of coal from Chicago, Illinois for Green Bay, Wisconsin. Six-thousand tons of coal were off-loaded the next day into the NICOLET, a.) WILLIAM G MATHER, before she could proceed to Green Bay along with the NICOLET to discharge cargoes. SAM LAUD entered the dry dock at Sturgeon Bay on July 3rd for repairs. She had suffered extensive bottom damage with leakage into seven double bottom tanks and the forepeak. She returned to service on August 21, 1975.

On 28 June 1893, JAMES AMADEUS (wooden propeller tug, 65 foot, 44 gross tons, built in 1872, at Cleveland, Ohio) sprang a leak and foundered near Cleveland, Ohio. Her crew abandoned her just before she went down.

On 28 June 1909, TEMPEST (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 138 foot, 370 gross tons, built in 1876, at Grand Haven, Michigan) burned to a total loss while unloading coal at the Galnais Dock at Perry Sound, Ontario. She was consumed very quickly and six of her crew were killed.

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

 

Cargo at Port of Toledo is up 3-fold

6/27 - Toledo - 'Aggressive efforts usually show tangible results'. Port of Toledo officials have been unloading some of their financial worries this season because of a marked increase in cargo business and ships.
General cargo loaded and unloaded at the Port of Toledo has increased three-fold through May compared to the same period last year. The increase is due in part to a deal in Brazil to accept bulk sugar and one struck in Quebec for the Port of Toledo to become a distribution center for aluminum used in automobiles.

"If we were in a depressed economy, no matter how aggressive we were, we wouldn't see results. But in a stable economy or a healthy economy, aggressive efforts usually show tangible results," port authority President Jim Hartung said. "We do a lot of calling to businesses and past customers of the Great Lakes."

A major coup came this year when Seaport Director Warren McCrimmon, through contacts, was able to persuade an aluminum manufacturer in Sett Isles, Que., to use the Port of Toledo, rather than rail and truck, to ship the metal to this area. It turned out to be cheaper. "We got one of the companies to do an experiment to see if they could do it faster and cheaper by barge," he said. Another marketing opportunity arose in Brazil. Midwest Terminals, which has run the unloading and loading operation at the port, also known as stevedoring, since October, 2004, traveled to South America to win the contract.

In addition, steel shipping has rebounded on the Great Lakes because of the repeal by President Bush of tariffs on foreign steel he instituted during his first term. "High times for some people [in shipping] was when steel was king [in the 1970s and in the 1990s]. The Port of Toledo made a strategic decision to diversify, and one of the lows came recently, and we were not hurt as badly as others were," Mr. McCrimmon said. "Now, steel has come back a bit, and we've done better than expected. We are very bullish."

Part of the sea change has been due to Midwest Terminals' decision in 2004 to buy Toledo World Industries, or TWI, the former stevedoring company that had the port authority lease to run operations. Over the years, TWI became less aggressive in marketing because its parent company was sold and stevedoring was no longer a core part of the business. The port authority leases terminals to operators, and they pay a base rent plus a fee per ton back to the port authority. "We get a piece of the action," Mr. Hartung said.

From the Toledo Blade

 

Archaeologist Examines Wreck near 40 Mile Point Lighthouse

6/27 - Rogers Township, MI - An archaeologist and some students are examining a shipwreck about 200 feet from the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse to see whether they can confirm it is the Joseph S. Fay.

For years, historical accounts have attached the name to the wreck and there is little doubt that the section of ship on the beach is a portion of the wooden steamer, The Alpena News reported Friday.

"I guess I came into this looking at it as an unknown object," said Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Archaeologist Wayne Lusardi. "Is it a shipwreck? ... Can it be identified as the Fay or another ship?" The Fay, which was built in 1871, broke apart near the lighthouse on Lake Huron in 1905.

About 130 feet of wreckage consisting of weather-worn lumber and large metal fasteners lies on the beach in Presque Isle County. More of the wreckage is located just offshore in about 15 feet of water. "We've been exposing the different layers," said University of Michigan graduate Beth Dykstra, a summer intern with the marine sanctuary.

The dimensions of the ship's hold are consistent with the Fay, Lusardi said. In addition to Dykstra, two current University of Michigan students and a Michigan State University student are assisting. Information from the excavation may be incorporated into the Joseph S. Fay exhibit at the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse.

From the Detroit News
 

 

Port Reports - June 27

St. Lawrence River - Ron Walsh
The D C. Everest, Evans McKeil and Point Vigor passed through Bradford at 3 p.m. and Iroquois Lock at 5:30 p.m. She actually looks quite good for an idle vessel. The tow was making about 6 knots . However, it was quite a task getting the ship into the lock as there was a stiff wind. She had an eta of 11 p.m. for Crossover Island. Radio traffic confirmed she is going to be scrapped in Port Colborne.
The Point Vigor is going to Hamilton to be used for ship docking etc.
The William J. Moore and McLeary's Spirit departed Iroquois eastbound at 4:20 p.m. She was heading for Quebec to load for Hamilton. The tug Salvor with barge and the Algoscotia both gave eastbound eta's of 6 p.m. for Crossover Island.
The Algosteel was loading salt and will then head for Ogdensburg.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The John J. Boland was loading at the NS coal dock Monday morning.

Fairport - Herb Hubbel
On Friday the Algoway was in unloading limestone at the lime company dock.
Monday morning the Calumet was in unloading at the Osborne, Grand River side dock. Monday afternoon she moved downriver and started loading salt at Morton Salt.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Recent visitors to Goderich include the Saginaw who unloaded wheat into the elevator dome in the new harbour last Thursday and the Algosteel and Algorail who both came to load salt on Sunday at Sifto. The tug Margot also stopped in with her barge on the way to the Bruce nuclear plant.

Cleveland - Al Hart
The restored tug Ashtabula burned sometime Sunday at its dock in the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland. The tug was built for Great Lakes Towing in 1915 and was sold Canadian as Tiffin and Jenny T. II. It later came back to the States under her original name. She is privately owned.

Charlevoix - Janet Koch
The USCGC Acacia departed Charlevoix for the last time yesterday at 4 p.m. In spite of a gray day with some rain, hundreds of people showed up. The high school band played from the Weathervane's deck, some guys from the city band played from the bow of a boat, a color guard of some sort stood along the channel and saluted, a fire truck sprayed water, and dozens of boats followed her through Round Lake and out the channel. She went out, turned around and came back for a final salute, then headed south.

Rouge River - Nathan Nietering & Mike Koprowicz
Inbound in the Rouge Shortcut Monday evening around 7 p.m. was Interlake Steamship's Steamer Herbert C. Jackson with a cargo of taconite ore for Severstal Steel. While unloading, they would be fueled by the barge Marysville and tug Carolyn Hoey of the Gaelic Tugboat Company.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The BBC Ontario departed for Oswego at 11 p.m. Sunday night.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Acacia, retiring U.S. Coast Guard buoy tender and last of a generation of WW II-era 180-footers, visited Milwaukee Monday on its last trip southward to Chicago's Navy Pier.
Also Monday, tug Samuel de Champlain and the brand-new barge Innovation turned in the inner harbor and delivered cement to the LaFarge terminal on Jones Island.

 

 

Updates - June 27

News Photo Gallery updated, and more News Photo Gallery updated

Tug Boat Race Gallery updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 27

On 27 June 1892, in rain and fog, the FRED A MORSE (wooden schooner, 182 foot, 592 gross tons, built in 1871, at Vermilion, Ohio) was being towed down bound by the HORACE A TUTTLE (wooden propeller freighter, 250 foot, 1,585 gross tons, built in 1887, at Cleveland, Ohio) about 12 miles southeast of Thunder Bay on Lake Huron, both carrying loads of iron ore. At the same time, JOHN C PRINGLE (wooden propeller freighter, 173 foot, 474 gross tons, built in 1880, at Detroit, Michigan) was sailing upbound in that vicinity with a load of coal and Italian marble with the schooners HARRISON, SWEETHEART and SUNSHINE in tow. At 1:30 a.m., the PRINGLE collided with the schooner MORSE which sank in less than 15 minutes. The crew made it to the TUTTLE in the lifeboat, although one woman was badly injured. The PRINGLE's bow was stove in, her deck planks forward were split and spread, her bulwarks torn away, and her anchors and foremast were lost. She cast off her tow and made for Alpena, Michigan, where she arrived later in the day.

At 4:04 p.m. on 27 June 1890, the Beatty Line's MONARCH (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 240 foot, 2,017 tons) was launched at Sarnia, Ontario. The launching was watched by numerous people on the decks of various steamers and on both sides of the St. Clair River. The MONARCH was built of white oak and braced with iron. She had 62 staterooms

Package freighter CHIMO (Hull#662) was launched in 1967, at Lauzon, Quebec by Davie Shipbuilding Ltd., for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. In 1983, CHIMO's stern was attached to the bow and cargo section of the HILDA MARJANNE to create the CANADIAN RANGER.

WILLIAM EDENBORN (Hull#40) (steel propeller freighter, 478 foot, 5,085 gross tons) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co. for the American Steamship Co., Duluth (A. B. Wolvin, mgr.) on 27 June 1900.

PRETORIA (3-mast schooner-barge, 338 foot, 2,790 gross tons) was launched at J. Davidson's yard (Hull #94) in West Bay City, Michigan on 27 June 1900. Mr. Davidson built her for his own fleet. She was one of the largest wooden vessels ever built and lasted until September 1905, when she sank in Lake Superior.

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

 

Engineer's Day Only Four Days Away
Have You Made Your Cruise Reservations?

Engineer's Weekend and Boatnerd Gathering at the Soo
Thursday, June 29 - Lee Murdock Free Concert. 7:00 p.m. Free concert at Bayliss Public Library in Sault Ste Marie. www.uproc.lib.mi.us/bpl/  It's free, and they're excited about having this music for the locals and for early arrivals for Engineers Day.

Friday, June 30 - 9:30 a.m. - Boatnerds gather on the steps below the MacArthur Lock for a group picture. Come early and get a name tag.
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. - The Corps of Engineers will open the area between the MacArthur and Poe Locks, the Administration Building and the Davis Building to visitors. This is a once-a-year chance to see inside the Corps operation, and see passing freighters from a different angle.
8:00 - 10:00 p.m. - The Soo Locks Visitors Center Association will have a special meeting on Friday, June 30, 2006, from 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm, at the Soo Locks Visitors Center. The doors to the Center will remain open an two extra hours to meet and greet Boatnerds. Bring your pictures to share, talk about displays, and spend a pleasant 2 hours inside. We will have tables set up for use, the theater is available, and we will have some free snacks available.

Saturday, July 1 - Daytime
Informal gatherings at Mission Point, weather permitting. Bring your best pix to compare and show. Bring your radio-controlled boats for an informal regatta.

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

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

 

D. C. Everest to be Scrapped

6/26 - Montreal - The DC Everest left Montreal after several years of lay up.

She is towed by the Evans McKeil with the Point Vigor on the Stern.

They will tow her to Port Colborne where she will be scrapped.

 

Tonawanda Power Plant Scheduled for Upgrade

6/26 - Buffalo - The NRG Huntley power plant in Tonawanda is on the company's list for a $1.5 billion upgrade by 2,012. An entire modern generating station is proposed containing a completely new coal burning technology that will replace the highly polluting units now in operation there.

The process being considered for installation at Huntley is called Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle where coal is heated under pressure to form a combustible gas that is then burned to produce electricity after it has been cleaned of harmful Sulfur and other chemicals. The two existing generation units will stay in operation but will be upgraded with new pollution control equipment.

Improvements will result in drastic reductions to the plant's notorious Sulfur Dioxide, Carbon Dioxide, and Nitrogen Oxide emissions, known across the country as one of the worst at this time. The upgrade hinges on speculation for the price for Natural Gas remaining high, the New York State permit process, and a steady increase that is being projected for future energy needs.

Total plant output could reach nearly 1,000 megawatts with power being sold out of state and across the entire North Eastern USA.

Coal transportation patterns to the plant from Great Lakes shipments via self-unloader vessels and unit coal trains may be affected if the plant switches to a cleaner product to be used in the new process. Grand River Navigation currently holds the contract for ship delivery to the plant while CSX brings in their trainload traffic.

Reported by Brian Wroblewski

 

Port Reports - June 26

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The ocean going, heavy lift ship BBC ONTARIO was unloading some type of dimensional cargo at the Gateway Terminal on Sunday morning. She was moored to the East dock face at the extreme North end of the pier head with her stern sticking out into the harbor. The aft deck crane had a huge machine assembly hanging above the cargo hold and there were tractor trailers waiting nearby. Very interesting to see that.
The tug KURT R LEUDKE arrived with two hopper scows at 10AM. She came in the South Entrance and docked her barges at the Cargill Pool Terminal Pier. I also noticed a scow discharge barge tied up to the pump out station at the Stony Point Disposal Pond. They must be gearing up to dredge something, somewhere around town.
The BIDCO tug WESTWIND was also in the area, moored to the Outer Harbor Break wall alongside a spud barge with a derrick crane on deck.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Invincible & barge McKee Sons were inbound the Saginaw River Saturday morning calling on the Sargent Dock in Essexville to unload. Early in the afternoon, the pair turned in the Essexville turning basin and were outbound for the lake.
Sunday morning saw the Onego Merchant, which had arrived on Thursday, headed outbound for the lake after unloading sugar at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. On their outbound trip, numerous salutes were sounded along the way to the people who had gathered along the riverbank.
The tug Rebecca Lynn & her tank barge were inbound the Saginaw River late Sunday night. The pair called on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City to unload. They were expected to be outbound late on Monday.
The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was inbound the Saginaw Bay early Monday morning with coal for the Consumers Power.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Kaye E. Barker arrived in Marquette on a foggy Sunday with a load of coal. The Michipicoten is the next expected vessel.

 

Updates - June 26

News Photo Gallery updated.

USCGC Mackinaw's Last Trip Photo Galleries (2 pages) updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 26

On this day in 1942, the LEON FRASER, Captain Neil Rolfson, completed her maiden voyage and delivered a record cargo of 16,414 tons of ore to Conneaut. The down bound trip only required 67.5 hours and broke the record of 15,218 tons set by the Canadian freighter LEMOYNE 15 days earlier.

On this day in 1969, the new Poe Lock was dedicated and opened to traffic. The first boat to transit the new lock was the PHILIP R CLARKE. Captain Thomas Small, a 95-year old retired Pittsburgh Captain was at the wheel of the CLARKE. Thomas Small was also at the wheel of the COLGATE HOYT Ð the first boat to transit the original Poe Lock on August 4, 1896.

On 26 June 1890, the SKATER (wooden propeller excursion steamer, 85 foot, 65 gross tons, built in 1890, at Detroit, Michigan) burned to the water's edge about 20 miles north of Manistee, Michigan. The crew did not even have time to save their clothes, but they all escaped unharmed. The SKATER had just been fitted out for the season and had started her summer route on Traverse Bay. She was rebuilt in Cleveland and lasted until 1942, when she was abandoned at Michigan City, Indiana.

On 26 June 1895, the GEORGE FARWELL (wooden propeller steam barge, 182 foot, 977 gross tons) was launched by Alexander Anderson at Marine City, Michigan. After leaving the ways, she looked like she would capsize, but she righted herself. About 500 people watched the launch. She was taken to the Atlantic Coast in 1900. She only lasted until 1906, when she stranded on Cape Henry, Virginia and was a total loss.

On 26 June 1867, WATERS W BRAMAN (wooden propeller tug, 89 tons, built in 1858, at Boston, Massachusetts for the U.S.Q.M.C. and named RESCUE) was near Pelee Island in Lake Erie when fire started in her coal bunker and quickly spread. Her crew abandoned her in the yawl and were later picked up by the propeller TRADER. She had been sold by the Quartermaster Corps just the previous year and she had come to the Lakes from the East Coast just five weeks before this accident.

On 26 June 1900, Boynton & Thompson purchased the wreck of the NELLIE TORRENT (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 141 foot, 303 gross tons, built in 1881, at Wyandotte, Michigan) to raised her. She had been destroyed by fire at Lime Island near Detour, Michigan on 22 June 1899.

On 26 June 1882, The Port Huron Times reported that the ARAXES (wooden propeller, 182 foot, 569 gross tons, built in 1856, at Buffalo, New York) sank in the Straits of Mackinac. She was raised on 6 July 1882, and repaired. She was built in 1856, and lasted until the summer of 1894, when she sank 4 miles off Bay City in Saginaw.

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

 

International Tug Boat Race a Success

6/25 - The Detroit River came alive Saturday with roaring diesels and blaring air horns when tug boats of all sizes raced for glory and trophies in the International Tug Boat Race.

22 tugs of all sizes raced in the 30th annual event with the Sarnia based Menasha taking First Place overall.

Visit www.tugrace.com for more information and pictures.

 

Port Reports - June 25

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Manistee backed into port early Saturday morning. It had delivered its load to Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg and just was on her way out bound at 8:30 a.m. At 8:15 p.m. the cement barge St. Mary's Conquest with tug Susan Hannah in the notch passed the pier heads inbound for the St. Mary's Cement Terminal in Ferrysburg. It has a light load and should be gone early on Sunday morning. The Manistee is expected back mid week with a load for Meekhof's.

Milwaukee - Bill Bedell & Paul Erspamer
On Saturday, ocean bulker Federal Margaree (reg. Monrovia, Liberia) was backed into the slip at terminal 2 in Milwaukee's outer harbor, unloading steel. After unloading, Margaree is expected to load PL 480 food aid cargo, the first to do so in this port for years. Also Saturday, steamer St. Mary's Challenger unloaded cement at its Kinnickinnic River silo, departing onto Lake Michigan at about 6:30 p.m. American Mariner also arrived Saturday at about 5 p.m., backing into the inner harbor to deliver coal to the WE Energies dock at Greenfield Avenue.

South Chicago - Tom Milton & Steve B.
Early Saturday morning on the Calumet River found the John D. Leitch loading at Beemsterboer at 106th St. The Algoma Central vessel John B. Aird was at KCBX south dock taking on a load of coal. A salty was at the far east end of Iroquois Landing.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Herbert C. Jackson spent Saturday afternoon unloading western coal at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock. She sailed to the Upper Harbor ore dock before sunset. Kaye E. Barker arrived off the Upper Harbor after sunrise on Sunday. She loaded ore.

 

Updates - June 25

News Photo Gallery updated and more News Photo Gallery

USCGC Mackinaw's Last Trip Photo Galleries (2 pages) updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 25

The whaleback steamer WASHBURN (steel propeller freighter, 320 foot, 2,234 gross tons) was launched by the American Steel Barge Co. (Hull #124) at W. Superior, Wisconsin on 25 June 1892. She lasted until 1936, when she was scrapped at Cleveland, Ohio.

On 25 June 1892, the PILLSBURY (steel propeller whaleback bulk freighter, 320 foot, 2,234 gross tons) was launched by the American Steel Barge Co., at West Superior, Wisconsin. She was rebuilt at Conneaut, Ohio in the winter of 1918-1919 (315.75 feet x 42.25 feet x 24.16 feet; 2,394 gross tons- 1,465 net tons) when she received straight sides and a flattened deck. In 1927, she was converted to crane vessel, with two cranes on deck. In November 1934, she stranded on the north pier at Muskegon, Michigan in a storm and then broke in half. She was scrapped the following year.

In 1927, the B F AFFLECK (Hull#178) was launched at Toledo, Ohio by Toledo Shipbuilding Co., for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

On June 25, 1938, the WILLIAM A. IRVIN began her maiden voyage for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., leaving Lorain, Ohio for Duluth to load iron ore.

INDIANA HARBOR set a record cargo on June 25, 1993, loading 71,369 tons of western low sulfur coal at Superior's Midwest Energy Terminal and transporting it 50 miles to Silver Bay, Minnesota.

The ALGOBAY collided head-on with the steamer MONTREALAIS in foggy conditions on the St. Clair River June 25, 1980, causing extensive bow damage to both vessels. Repairs to the ALGOBAY were made by Herb Fraser & Associates, Port Colborne, Ont. at an estimated cost of $500,000. She returned to service by mid August, 1980.

At 1:00 a.m. on 25 June 1878, the 161 foot, 3-mast wooden schooner PESHTIGO and the 143 foot, 3-mast wooden schooner ST ANDREW collided and sank near Cheboygan, Michigan and the Straits of Mackinac. Newspapers of the time claimed that forest fire smoke hampered visibility. Both vessels sank quickly. Two of the crew of PESHTIGO were lost, but the rest were rescued by the schooner S V R WATSON. The entire crew of ST ANDREW was rescued by the Canadian propeller OCEAN.

On the afternoon of 25 June 1885, the tug NIAGARA had the schooner MOUNT BLANC in tow while coming rounding to pick up the schooner REINDEER near Stag Island on the St. Clair River. The MOUNT BLANC struck the wreck of the tug B B JONES. The JONES had exploded in Port Huron on 25 May 1871, and the wreck was towed to the head of Stag Island where it was abandoned. After striking the wreck of the JONES, the ore laden MOUNT BLANC sank. She was later recovered and repaired and lasted until 1901.

On this day in June 25, 1892, the American Steel Barge Company, West Superior Wisconsin, Captain Alexander Mc Dougall manager, held the first triple launching on the Great Lakes which included the whalebacks PILLSBURY, WASHBURN and the small tug ISLAY. A crowd in excess of 10,000 people witnessed the event. Only the tug ISLAY remains afloat.

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

 

Port Reports - June 24

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Atlantic Huron was inbound for the South Entrance at 2:45 p.m. on Friday. She turned in the Outer Harbor and backed up the Lackawanna Slip for the Gateway Terminal.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey and Gordy Garris
The Cuyahoga was inbound the Saginaw River Friday morning going to the upper river to unload at the Buena Vista dock in Saginaw. She finished unloading by 7 p.m. and headed upstream to turn the Sixth Street turning basin.

The tug Gregory J. Busch followed close behind the vessel, allowing the Cuyahoga take her position in the turning basin before assisting. By 8 p.m. the Busch had finished pushing the Cuyahoga around in the Sixth Street turning basin and the Cuyahoga was outbound for the lake, passing the Onego Merchant under the I-75 bridge in Zilwaukee at the Sargent dock by 8:30 p.m. Friday evening.

The Cuyahoga is the third vessel to turn at the Sixth Street turning basin this spring with the assistance from the tug Gregory J. Busch, the other vessels being her fleet mates Maumee (one turn) and Calumet (two turns).

The Ongeo Merchant continued her unload at the Sargent Dock in Zilwaukee, after arriving Thursday morning, all day Friday as trucks came along side the ship at the dock and had the products loaded off into their truck (via deck crane on ship). The Merchant is the first saltwater vessel to head up the Saginaw River through the Bay City drawbridges and unload or load in Saginaw since 2000. The Merchant is expected to finish unloading and depart for the lake sometime Saturday or Sunday.

Toledo Docks - Bob Vincent
Friday night was a busy night at the Toledo Docks. The barge Great Lakes with the tug Michigan passed by heading out around 6:15 p.m. Next the barge Integrity and tug G L Ostrander headed out the channel. The Algosteel came in to off load stone at the Midwest Stone dock. While backing into the stone dock, the Stefania 1 was heading out under tow of the Great Lakes Towing tugs Louisiana and Idaho. The tow had to check down so that the Algosteel could finish backing into the stone dock slip. The Michipicoten also checked down. The Michipicoten and Stefania 1 made a starboard to starboard passing in the channel.

The next coal boat will be the Algowood Saturday night. The week of June 25, the coal docks could see the Kaye E. Barker, Mississagi, Nanticoke and Saginaw. At Torco Dock, the American Courage unloaded ore from Marquette Thursday night. Next ore boats for next week are Canadian Navigator (Tuesday), Atlantic Erie (Wednesday), and Friday will be the CSL Niagara and Nanticoke. All these boats are coming from Seven Islands. Saturday's ore boat from Port Cartier will be the Frontenac.

Milwaukee - Bill Bedell
The barge Innovation and tug Samuel de Champlain made their first trip to Milwaukee Saturday. She had 3,500 tons of cement to drop off and head back to Alpena. The pair will be back in Milwaukee on Monday.

Alpena/Calcite - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Wednesday morning the Sam Laud was backed into the slip at Lafarge unloading coal. It departed before noon, heading out into the bay bound for Calcite. Later on in the evening the tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity arrived in port to load under the silos.

Around 10 a.m. on Thursday the tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons carefully made its way into Lafarge. It tied up at the dock and positioned its boom into the storage hopper to unload cargo. The pair were outbound before 8 p.m.

On Friday afternoon the Alpena returned from its Lake Superior run, taking on a load for Green Bay, WI. Its smoke trail was disappearing on the horizon by early evening.

At Calcite on a bright and pleasant Friday morning two classic steamers arrived at the port to take on cargo. First in was the Saginaw, which carefully backed in to tie up on one the side of the dock. Not long after, the American Valor came in taking its place on the opposite side.

 

Tall Ships Coming to Cleveland

Watch the majestic “Parade of Sail” of 13 Tall Ships from the deck of the Steamship William G. Mather Museum, on Wednesday, July 12, between 3:00 and 8:00 pm. The “Parade of Sail” is scheduled to pass astern of the Mather at 4:30 pm. The cost is $10.00 person.

Picnic food & beverages will be available to purchase. No coolers permitted. No chairs provided—bring your own lawn chair, blanket or cushion. Parking available in nearby commercial lots—Special Event rates in effect.

For reservations, call 216-574-9053. Limited availability. This is a “Rain or Shine” event to benefit Mather Museum programs.

 

Updates - June 24

News Photo Gallery updated

and more News Photo Gallery updated

USCGC Mackinaw's Last Trip Photo Galleries (2 pages) updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 24

On June 24, 1971, a fire broke out in the engine room of the ROGER BLOUGH at the American Ship Building, Lorain, Ohio yard, killing four yard workers and extensively damaging her Pielstick diesel engines. Extensive repairs, which included replacement of both engines, delayed her delivery for nearly a year.

The b.) RIDGETOWN was launched June 24, 1905, as WILLIAM E COREY (Hull#67), at Chicago, Illinois by Chicago Ship Building Co., the first flagship for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

CANOPUS (2-mast wooden brig, 386 tons, built in 1855, at Huron, Ohio) was carrying 16,500 bushels of wheat when she collided with the bark REPUBLIC between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. on 24 June 1865. The CANOPUS sank in about 20 minutes off Clay banks on Lake Erie. No lives were lost.

The wooden scow MYRA of Ashtabula, Ohio was lost in a terrible squall on Lake Erie off Elk Creek on 24 June 1875. Three lives were lost.

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

 

 

Unusual Visitor for Bay City

6/23 - The Dutch Flagged Onego Merchant was inbound the Saginaw River Thursday morning upbound for the Sargent Dock & Terminal in Zilwaukee. Her cargo consisted of 1 ton poly bags of sugar imported from Mexico.

This is a test run as there is a Dutch company who is interested in exporting Sugar Beet Pellets back to Europe for use as animal feed. The Onego Merchant was inbound loaded light with 5,700 Metric Tons of cargo.

This is the first visit of a saltwater vessel since 2002 when the Jumbo Spirit called on the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City.

Reported by: Todd Shorkey

 

Shipyard Laying Off About 100

6/23 - St. Catharines, Ont. - More than a third of the workers at Port Weller Dry Docks are being given short-term layoff notices because of shifting "work patterns" at the shipyard.

Alan Thoms, president and chief executive officer of parent company Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering, said he didn't know how long the layoffs will last.
Thoms, reached at home Tuesday night, said work at the shipyard is moving from the shops to the ships. "We're changing our work patterns, so we need to change the people and there will be a short-term layoff," he said.

He said about 100 of the 200 to 250 employees at the dry docks are being laid off. "We're actually going through some negotiations at this moment, so it's an issue that will be resolved probably very soon," Thoms said. He would not comment further.
Kevin McKinnon, president of International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 680, wouldn't provide any information about the layoffs when reached at home Tuesday. "At this time, I don't want to jeopardize anything," he said. But several employees of the shipbuilder told The Standard large numbers of workers had been laid off Tuesday.

Gord Campbell, a 48-year-old steel-fitter, said he and dozens of other workers were called into the cafeteria first thing Tuesday morning to be told they were all losing their jobs in "emergency layoffs." Campbell said that a few weeks ago, the company informed the union that it was having cash-flow problems and wanted to renegotiate the collective agreement, which doesn't expire until 2008.

He said that over the weekend, 15 employees were told not to come into work on Monday. And on Monday, about 20 more employees were called into the office one by one to be told they were either laid off or needed to be re-trained.

On Monday night, the union members gathered at the CAW Hall to vote on the company's new contract proposal. Campbell said it centered around scrapping the seniority system, as well as cuts to benefits and holidays. "They asked us to cut our own throats," the St. Catharines man said. Campbell said the contract was voted down 168-3. The next morning, the layoffs were announced.

The shipbuilders at Port Weller Dry Docks are no strangers to the ups and downs of the manufacturing sector. Over the past several years, employees have been temporarily laid off whenever there were no ships to work on. Last year, most of the workers were off the job from July to October. It was in October that a deal with Peters Kampen Shipyards of the Netherlands was announced, calling for two ships and two hulls to be built at Port Weller. In March, three more ships were added to that order, making the total value of the contract $100 million. It was expected to keep the pay cheques flowing until the end of 2007.

Campbell, who has worked at Port Weller for 25 years, said he plans to look for work in Toronto's construction industry. But he is hopeful things will turn around at Port Weller. "It's sad the company's going through a rough time, but we have to work together to overcome this situation," Campbell said.

From the St. Catharines Standard

 

Iron Ore Shipments Up on Great Lakes

6/23 - Cleveland - Iron ore shipments across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway headed for Great Lakes destinations were 12.8 percent higher during the first three months of this year than they were during the same period in 2005. According to figures released this morning by the Cleveland-based Lake Carriers' Association, 5.65 million net tons of iron ore were shipped during the first three months of this year.

Duluth shipped 762,553 tons, a 73 percent increase over last year. Two Harbors shipped 1.4 million tons, a 56 percent increase.

Superior shipped 636,475 tons, a 17 percent decrease from the same period in 2005. And Silver Bay shipped 391,145, a 32 percent decrease.

Lakes Carriers' Association

 

Port Reports - June 23

South Chicago - Steve B.
Wednesday afternoon found a salty at Iroquois Landing in the Calumet River. The St. Marys Challenger was outbound for the lake with assistance from the G tug South Carolina on the stern end.

Toledo -
Federal Maas was loading at ADM Elevators.
Stefania I was loading at The Andersons Kuhlman Facility.
Tug Pioneer was shuttling a hopper barge from dredge filling at the Kuhlman Corp. dock front to the north bank on the upriver side of I-75 Bridge. Severe weather passed through during the night delaying loading activities.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
A replica of Christopher Columbus' sailing ship Nina will be open for tours at the Erie Basin from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday through Sunday.
Buffalo River Fest takes place on Friday and Saturday at Father Conway Park off Ohio Street. There will be games and rides for the kids, a classic car show, a softball tournament, an historic photo exibit with various waterfront views, and of course a beer tent with live music. See: http://celebratethewaterfront.com/

Marquette - Lee Rowe
On Tuesday, Charles M. Beeghly was loading in Marquette and the John J. Boland delivered a load of coal to the Shiras plant.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Wednesday evening Agawa Canyon arrived in Milwaukee's inner harbor at about 8 p.m., bringing a load of salt to Jones Island's bulk cargo dock.
Minutes later ocean bulker Isolda departed with the assistance of tugs Virginia and Arkansas, having brought steel and carried away corn from Nidera.
After 11 p.m. St. Mary's Challenger arrived off the Milwaukee piers and transited upstream to its berth at the Kinnickinnic Avenue cement silo.
Saltwater vessel BBC Ontario continued loading mining equipment at Slip #1 in the outer harbor.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
On Wednesday Holland received two deliveries of coal at the DeYoung power plant. The Wilfred Sykes arrived at about 11 a.m. and departed mid-afternoon. The Maumee arrived about 6 p.m. and departed late in the evening.
On Thursday the first passenger ship of the season, Grand Mariner, tied up at the dock adjacent to the new Boatwerks restaurant. It departed in the evening.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Buffalo was inbound the Saginaw River early Tuesday morning passing the Pump-Out Island at 5:30 a.m. with stone for the Bay Aggregates dock in Essexville. The Buffalo made the Bay Aggregates Slip to unload by 6:00 am, as the tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge A-410 had moved back in the slip to wait. The Buffalo finished unloading by early Tuesday afternoon, backed from the Bay Aggregates slip, turned and was outbound for the lake.
The tug Gregory J. Busch was busy in the upper Saginaw River, Monday morning, moving her deck barge STC 2004 back to its dock in Carrollton after having it docked at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee since last Wednesday along with the deck barge Primary 1, which the Busch turned off the Burroughs dock and departed for the lake with it Tuesday evening after the Bay City based Saginaw River tour boat Princess Wenonah had passed.

Port of Indiana - Sheldon Rody
The Lady Hamilton was unloading steel on Thursday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Inbound Thursday was the tug Gregory J. Busch pushing a deck barge bound for the BMT Terminal in Carrollton.
The tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge were inbound for the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City early Tuesday morning to unload. A few hours later, she had to shift forward in the slip which is also shared by Bay Aggregates as the Buffalo was inbound with a cargo for Bay Agg. The Buffalo finished unloading by early afternoon and was outbound for the lake. The Rebecca Lynn and her barge then shifted back to the end of the dock to resume their unload for Bit-Mat. The pair were outbound for the lake around midnight.
The tug Mary E. Hannah and the barge Robert E. Deegan were also inbound late Tuesday morning with a cargo for the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City. The pair were expected to be outbound Wednesday morning.
The tug Gregory J. Busch and her deck barge were outbound for the lake Tuesday evening after departing the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
On Thursday the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder arrived off the Upper Harbor on a crystal clear summer evening. She was loading taconite at sunset. Mesabi Miner was due with coal early Friday morning.

 

High-Tech Tracking at Lake Superior Marine Museum:

6/23 - Duluth - This week the Lake Superior Marine Museum unveiled a new "Ships-In-Port" exhibit that allows visitors to track the movements of all the Twin Ports' commercial marine traffic in real time. The computerized system harnesses the same satellite technology that shipping companies use to track vessel movements.

"We're trying to get people to take a little deeper look into the port than they may have in the past," said Thom Holden, museum director. He explained that the new exhibit should give visitors a better sense of how the port works and how cargo flows through it to destinations around the globe.

In addition to providing information about marine traffic, the exhibit also serves up profiles of different ships plying the Great Lakes. A touch-screen computer teaches visitors how to identify different saltie flags. Another screen provides a snapshot of weather conditions throughout the St. Lawrence Seaway system. Visitors also can monitor activity at the Duluth Ship Canal and the Soo Locks via live Web cameras.

The exhibit cost about $80,000 to set up. Half that money was raised locally by the volunteer members of the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association. The remainder came from a matching grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

Dennis Medjo, a member of the Lake Superior Marine Museum's board of directors, said the exhibit has been several years in the making. But in retrospect, he's glad the project didn't come together overnight. "It's so much better than we even anticipated it would be," Medjo said. "It took so long to put the money together that in the meantime the technology improved dramatically."

Holden said he's glad to have the exhibit up and running as the museum heads into its peak months -- July and August. During those months, the museum typically welcomes about 3,000 visitors per day. In the course of a year, the museum receives about 350,000 people, making it one of Duluth's top tourist attractions.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Updates - June 23

News Photo Gallery updated

and more News Photo Gallery updated

and more News Photo Gallery updated

USCGC Mackinaw's Last Trip Photo Galleries

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Mackinaw’s Last Trip

6/22 – Mackinaw City, MI – The USCGC Mackinaw (WAGB-83) made her last voyage Wednesday, traveling from her homeport of 62 years in Cheboygan, to her new home in Mackinaw City, where she will become the Icebreaker Museum Mackinaw.

As the Old Mackinaw pulled away from the pier in Cheboygan she received a final salute from her replacement, the New Mackinaw (WLBB-30). In true Coast Guard tradition, the final trip started promptly at 1:00 pm as scheduled.

Some 500 persons were on board for the final trip, including crew, family members, dignitaries, and paying guests who donated $200 to the museum fund. Many of the guests were Mackinaw alumni and USCG Auxiliary members. The gray and hazy weather did not diminish the enthusiasm of those on board.

Many Cheboygan area residents turned out to bid farewell to an old friend. The parking lot at Gordon Turner Park was full and the breakwater pier was lined with people and cameras.

A band on the fantail entertained the passengers during the trip. Food was plentiful and guests were permitted access to most of the vessel during the 5-1/2 trip.

The trip took the Mackinaw up the Inside Passage, between Bois Blanc Island (Bob Lo) and the mainland. The cutter turned east and made a last pass through the Round Island Passage between Round Island and Mackinac Island. She then reversed course and headed west to take a last look at the Mackinaw Bridge. Just west of the bridge, she passed the up bound Edwin H. Gott and the vessels exchanged master salutes.

The former railroad ferry dock in Mackinaw City will serve as her new home, and a welcoming crowd was on hand to greet the venerable vessel. The crowd was entertained by the Mackinaw City Civic Band and the Mackinaw City Fire Department flew the colors from an aerial ladder truck on the adjacent former State Ferry Dock.

The museum committee had a tent set up at the end of the pier, and were doing a brisk business in souvenir shirts, hats and books. Mackinaw Commander Joe MacGinnis was kept busy autographing copies of the books for disembarking passengers and those gathered to welcome the ship to Mackinaw City.

What may have been a sad day for the residents of Cheboygan was a happy occasion for Mackinaw City.

Special Photo Gallery
 

 

International Tug Boat Race this Saturday


6/22 – The normally sedate Detroit River comes alive with roaring diesels and blaring air horns June 24 when tug boats of all sizes race for glory and trophies in the 30th annual International Tug Boat Race.

The race begins at 1 p.m. at the Ambassador Bridge and runs to the finish line off Windsor's Dieppe Park. Trophies are awarded to the first tug to finish the race as well as to each tug that finishes first in its horsepower class.

It is the most unusual tug race anywhere. As many as 30 tugs of all sizes race in a mad dash for the finish line. Tugs ranging in length from 45 to 140 feet compete at the same time, all muscling for the best position. Some of the larger tugs are actual working tugs with more than 2,000 horsepower. The Detroit River boils as the tugs create a huge wake.

The race features tugs from all over the region -- from tugs based in Detroit to others that arrive from Lake Huron ports just to participate in this great tradition.

Tug boat racing on the Detroit River dates back to the 1950's and was originally a loosely organized event. For many years the event was discontinued until 1976 when the International Freedom Festival started the tradition once again. In 2003 the International Freedom Festival declared bankruptcy and the future of the race was in limbo. Local Detroit tug man Brian Williams, with the help of numerous companies, individuals and the Detroit and Windsor Port Authorities was able to organize the event, keeping the long standing tradition alive.

Spectators can watch the race from anywhere along its route. Among the top viewing spots is at the finish line at Windsor's Dieppe Park. Tugs dock in Windsor for the awards ceremony.

The race has the support of W. Steven Olinek, Deputy Director, Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority, and William Marshall, Windsor Harbour Master / Windsor Port Authority.

“The fact is, we’re in favor and support anything that heightens the profile of the river, our maritime heritage and the historic importance of maritime industry in the Port of Detroit,” said Olinek. “The tug boat race does that very eloquently. Our goal is to keep it going and make it bigger and better every year if we can.”

Marshall said he sees the event as “an opportunity to draw the public to the waterfront and an opportunity to foster an international bond."

"For working tugs, the race provides an opportunity to involve family and friends in what they do for a living," he added.

Brian Williams, who owns the Detroit-based tug Acushnet, said there are few things more exciting than watching powerful tug boats racing at full throttle.

“I love tug boat racing,” said Williams. “I’ve been doing it myself for six years. My father has been doing it since the ‘70s.”

He said it’s just as exciting to watch from shore as it is to participate aboard a tug.

“How many tug boats do you ever see in one spot?,” he asked. “There’s no kid out there – and people in general – who doesn’t think a tug is cool. Twenty or so tugs running at full speed is something you don’t see very often.

“When you are on the tug, you’ve got a 3,000-horsepower engine screaming under you. There’s the thrill of actually being on a tug boat, and the waves. It’s a good time,” he said.

A family friendly event, this year’s race coincides with the Windsor Summerfest and World’s Finest Shows Carnival held on Windsor’s waterfront near the finish line.

To learn more about the race please visit www.TugRace.com

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 21

On 21 June 1868, the D&C Line's MORNING STAR (wooden side-wheel steamer, 243 foot, 1,075 tons, built in 1862, at Trenton, Michigan) was late in leaving her dock in Cleveland, Ohio because she was loading some last-minute freight (iron bars and glass). As she sailed on Lake Erie to Detroit during the dark and rainy night, she collided with the heavy-laden bark COURTLAND and sank quickly, 10 miles off Lorain, Ohio. Twenty feet of the steamer's bow had been torn off while the bark was swept into one of the paddle wheels and destroyed. The side-wheel steamer R N RICE arrived on the scene at 3:00 a.m. and picked up the survivors Ð only 44 of them. In September, MORNING STAR was raised, towed to Lorain and re-sunk in 55 feet of water, for possible future rebuilding. Attempts were made to raise her again several times, but in the summer of 1872, she was abandoned because it was determined that the previous attempts had reduced her to rubble.

On 21 June 1878, the small passenger steamer J HOLT which ran between Chatham and Wallaceburg, Ontario, burned on Lake St. Clair. The passengers and crew escaped in the lifeboats.

On June 21, 1942, the LEON FRASER entered service as the largest vessel on the Great Lakes. The Pittsburgh Steamship Co. bulk freighter, originally 639 foot 6 inches long, retained at least a tie for that honor until the WILFRED SYKES entered service in 1949. She was shortened, converted to a self-unloading cement carrier and renamed b.) ALPENA in 1991.

June 21, 1942, the U.S. Steel bulk freighter EUGENE J BUFFINGTON ran hard aground on Boulder Reef in Lake Michigan and broke in two. The vessel was subsequently recovered and, after a long career with U.S. Steel, was finally sold for scrap in 1980.

The m/v RANGER III (Hull#385) was side launched at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Christy Corporation, on Saturday, June 21, 1958. The vessel was custom designed by R. A. Stearns (Bay Engineering) also of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin for the National Park Service, Isle Royale National Park.

On June 21, 1986, during a severe thunderstorm (and unofficial observations of a funnel cloud) in the Duluth area, the JOSHUA A HATFIELD broke loose from Azcon Scrap Dock in Duluth and was blown across the harbor and ended up hard aground on Park Point (Minnesota Point). She remained stuck for nearly 3 weeks when a storm with east winds pushed the HATFIELD free and she blew most of the way back across the harbor back to the scrap dock. Tugs were dispatched in time to safely guide the HATFIELD back to the scrap dock. (June seems to be a bad month for U.S. Steel in accidents, with the June 7, 1977, accident involving the WILLIAM A IRVIN, the June 15, 1943, collision between the D M CLEMSON and the GEORGE M HUMPHREY, and the June 21, 1942, grounding of the EUGENE J BUFFINGTON on Boulder Reef.)

June 21, 1916 - The ANN ARBOR NO 5, after departing the shipyards in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 21, 1916, where 3 buckets (blades) were replaced on her starboard propeller, arrived Manistique, Michigan. While maneuvering around in the harbor she struck the rocky bottom and broke off the same three blades off her starboard propeller.

June 21, 1994 - The Ludington Daily News reported a planned sale of the CITY OF MIDLAND 41, to Contessa Cruise Lines of Minnesota. The deal included an option to sell the SPARTAN and Contessa was prohibited from competing against Lake Michigan Carferry Co., but it fell through.

The 3-mast wooden schooner GEORGE MURRAY was launched in Manitowoc, Wisconsin on 21 June 1873. At the time, she was billed as the largest vessel ever built on Lake Michigan. Her dimensions were 299 foot long x 34 foot beam x 14 foot depth, with the capacity to carry 50,000 bushels of grain. She was built by G. S. Rand for J. R. Slauson of Racine, Wisconsin.

On 21 June 1900, the wooden bulk freighter R C BRITTAIN was raised at Toledo, Ohio. She was then brought to Sarnia where repairs were made and the engine of the tug F A FOLGER was installed in her. She had previously sunk at Toledo and remained there for several years before being raised. She lasted until 1912, when she burned at Sarnia.
 

Today in Great Lakes History : June 22

On 22 June 1959, BAYPORT (steel propeller tug, 72 foot, 65 gross tons, built in 1914, at Cleveland, Ohio, formerly named a.) FAIRPORT) had the steamer MOHAWK DEER in tow when she was hooked by her own tow cable, capsized and sank at Collingwood, Ontario. Three lives were lost. The tug was later raised and converted from steam to diesel. Later renamed c.) TWIN PORT, and d.) ROD MC LEAN in 1974. She is currently owned by Purvis Marine and is at the Purvis West Yard at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

On 22 June 1909, W P THEW (wooden propeller freighter, 133 foot, 207 gross tons, built in 1884, at Lorain, Ohio) was in ballast, creeping through the fog off Alpena, Michigan on Lake Huron when she was rammed by the WILLIAM LIVINGSTONE (steel propeller freighter, 532 foot, 6,634 gross tons, built in 1908, at Ecorse, Michigan). After the collision, the LIVINGSTONE drifted away and lost track of the THEW. The THEW sank in 80 feet of water. Fortunately the steamer MARY C ELPHICKE answered the distress whistle and picked up the THEWÕs crew from the lifeboat. No lives were lost.

The WILLIAM R ROESCH (Hull#901) was launched and christened at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co., on June 22, 1973, for the Union Commerce Bank, Ohio (Trustee) and managed by the Kinsman Marine Transit Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) DAVID Z NORTON in 1995.

June 22, 1957 - W. L. Mercereau, known as the "Father of the Fleet", died. Mercereau developed the Pere Marquette fleet of car ferries into the "largest in the world".

On 22 June 1853, CHALLENGE (wooden propeller freighter, 198 foot, 665 tons, built in 1853, at Newport, Michigan) was bound from Chicago for Buffalo with barreled pork and oats on one of her first trips. However, her boiler exploded off Cheboygan, Michigan. She burned and sank. Five died. The schooner NORTH STAR heard the blast ten miles away and came to the rescue of the rest of the passengers and crew.

On 22 June 1875, The Port Huron Times reported that "the Northern Transportation Company's fleet of 20 propellers, which have been idle all the season owing to difficulties between the Central Vermont and the Ogdensburg & Champlain Railroad Companies, have passed from the control of the Central Vermont Railroad Company and will commence regular trips as soon as they can be fitted out."


Today in Great Lakes History - June 23

On 23 June 1903, the tug O W CHENEY steamed out of Buffalo harbor in heavy fog to tow the steamer CHEMUNG into the harbor. The tug ran too close to the on-coming steamer, was struck by the bow, and the CHENEY oveturned and sank. Three crewmen were killed; two survivors were picked up by the tug FRANK S BUTLER.

On 23 June 1969, RALPH MISENER (steel propeller bulk freighter, 730 foot, 19,160 gross tons, built in 1968, at Montreal, Quebec) transitted the Soo Locks upbound for the first time. She had an innovative self-unloading system with twin booms. The movable crane was equipped with a chain of buckets so it could discharge cargo from either side. This unloading system only lasted until 1976, when it was severely damaged in a squall on Lake Michigan. The vessel was then converted from a combination self-unloader/bulk carrier to a bulk carrier. She was renamed b.) GORDON C LEITCH in 1994.

In 1926, the GLENMHOR (Hull#16), the name was soon corrected to GLENMOHR, was launched at Midland Ontario by Midland Shipbuilding Co., for Great Lakes Transportation Co., (James Playfair). She was 6 feet wider and 4 feet shallower than the largest ship at that time. Purchased by Canada Steamship Lines in 1926, renamed b.) LEMOYNE. Scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1969.

In 1929, the WILLIAM G CLYDE (Hull#804) was launched at Lorain, Ohio by American Shipbuilding Co., for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. Converted to a self-unloader and renamed b.) CALCITE II in 1961. Renamed c.) MAUMEE in 2001.

Launched in 1972, was the ALGOWAY (Hull#200) at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., for Algoma Central Railway.

The first whaleback barge, 101, was launched along the shore of St. Louis Bay near Duluth, Minnesota on 23 June 1888. Captain Alexander Mc Dougall, the inventor and designer, was there along with his wife, her sister-in-law and several hundred spectators. As the vessel splashed in to the bay, Mrs. Mc Dougall is supposed to have muttered, "There goes our last dollar!"

On 23 June 1900, the 450 foot steel steamer SIMON J MURPHY (Hull#135) was launched at Wyandotte, Michigan by the Detroit Ship Building Co., for the Eddy - Shaw Transportation Co. of Bay City, Michigan.

On 23 June 1873, B F BRUCE was launched at Crosthwaite's yard in East Saginaw, Michigan. She is not properly a schooner, but what is known as a "three-and-after" in nautical terms. Her capacity was 50,000 bushels of grain (800 tons) and the building cost was $50,000.

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

 

Port Reports - June 21

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The American Fortitude gave her Security Call departing the General Mills Frontier Elevator at 8 p.m. Tuesday night..

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Early Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. the Algocape departed JRI Elevators at Pier 25 heading to Port Cartier.
The tug Omni Richileau arrived at 6:30 p.m.
The Canadian Miner arrived at 8:30 p.m. going to Dofasco with iron ore pellets from Port Cartier. Her next port will be Thunder Bay.
The tug John Spence and barge McAshpalt 401 arrived at 9 p.m. going to Pier 24 Provmar Fuels with bunker from Sarnia . Next port will be Detroit. The Michipicoten arrived at 10 p.m. with iron ore from Superior.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The past few days have been active with six vessels making stops at local ports. On Sunday evening the Steamer Alpena arrived at Lafarge to load cement for Superior, WI.
In the early morning hours on Monday, the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were under the silos taking on cargo.
Also on Monday the Earl W. Oglebay brought a load of coal to Lafarge.
Late evening brought the Cuyahoga into the Thunder Bay River. The Cuyahoga unloaded a cargo of sand for L&S Concrete Mix Co.at the Alpena Oil Dock.
At Stoneport on Monday the John J. Boland was loading summer blend (stone by-product) for Marquette. It departed around 8 p.m. with winds kicking up a bit. Waiting nearby was the Pathfinder, which backed in to tie up at the dock once the Boland cleared.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
On Sunday the H. Lee White loaded coal at the Norfolk Southern dock for delivery to Detroit.
Monday evening the Atlantic Huron moved into Sandusky Bay and loaded at the coal dock. She was loading early Tuesday afternoon and will depart Tuesday evening.
Tuesday morning the Herbert C. Jackson was taking on a cargo of coal at the NS dock.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports boatwatchers saw a lot of early morning action Tuesday. Shortly after 7 a.m., Algowood was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal, Roger Blough was fueling at the Murphy Oil terminal before heading upriver to load taconite pellets at CN (DMIR).
Indiana Harbor was motoring into the Duluth harbor to await its turn at Midwest Energy Terminal.
Goldeneye and Kapitonas Serafinas were ready to load at CHS in Superior and Royal Pescadores was at General Mills in Duluth.
Great Lakes Trader remained in drydock at Fraser Shipyards while tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort was docked in the yard just ahead of the John Sherwin.

 

Low Water Makes Navigating, Fishing More Challenging

6/20 - Detroit - Lake St. Clair water levels are up since April and should remain steady for the rest of the month, which is good news for boaters and other lake users. But officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said levels are expected to be 7 to 9 inches below the long-term average through October.

"For the boating season through October we can expect to be 1 to 3 inches below where we were last year, and we're expecting it to be 7 to 9 inches below long-term average through October," said Tim Calappi, a hydraulic engineer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Office in Detroit. Calappi said overall levels the past five years "have been lower than it is now." "It depends on the month," Calappi said. "One month we might be 3 inches less than last year, and another month might be 1 inch. So much depends on the weather."

Calappi said since January 2005 the Lake St. Clair basin has experienced 3 inches below-average precipitation. "That's helping levels keep lower for the last 16 months," he said. "The biggest supplier of water to the lower Great Lakes (Lake St. Clair, Erie and Ontario) basin is precipitation running off the land and into the rivers and eventually into the Great Lakes. "The flow of water that comes out of the St. Mary's River up north and into Lake Huron is only about 25 to 30 percent of the entire supply of water that will flow into Lake St. Clair each month," he said. "It's really driven by precipitation, evaporation."

According to long range predictions by meteorologists with the National Weather Service in White Lake Township, the southeast Michigan region has a chance for above- or below-average rainfall and temperatures this summer. "Unfortunately, in the Great Lakes basin there's an equal chance of anything happening," Calappi said. "The weather service will have a strong indication of something being different every now and then, but the most recent report said there is an equal chance of anything happening."

This month, water levels on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake St. Clair, are 2 to 3 inches below levels of a year ago. Lake Ontario is 6 inches below last year's level. Levels in Superior, Michigan and Huron are expected to rise 2 inches the next month.

Over the next two months, levels on all the Great Lakes are expected to remain similar to or slightly lower than those measured in 2005, said Calappi, noting a lack of ice cover on Lake St. Clair last winter "increased evaporation rates." "You have more evaporation when there's no ice," Calappi said. "Lake St. Clair is a little different than the big Great Lakes. The bigger lakes' peak evaporation is in the fall, but with Lake St. Clair it's much smaller and it tends to evaporate a little bit more."

Jim Krause of Belle Maer Harbor in Harrison Township said his water level indicator Friday showed a 6-inch increase in levels since April 11, 2006. "It's down over the long-term average, but right now the water's up since spring," Krause said.

Alan Rominske, 64, a fisherman from Roseville, said he prefers pike fishing, which needs deep water. "The higher the water the better," Rominske said. "It seems like the pike are done with the lower water we're getting. They need deep water and now they're harder to find. I'm also not seeing the trophy bluegill anymore -- the 8-9 inch kind." Carl Pisarski, 26, of Mount Clemens, was fishing along the shoreline at Metro Beach Metropark in Harrison Township. "I'd rather the water levels be higher for shoreline fishing," he said. "The lines get caught up on the seaweed and algae on the shoreline. Low water's not good for fishing from the banks."

Boater Therese Kopacz of Rochester Hills was heading near Harsens Island over the weekend and said the water levels have been "pretty good." "The water levels seem lower by the islands in the channels," Kopacz said. "It's normally way up. But it's been OK. I thought it would be higher this year."

From the Macomb Daily

 

Dredging Set to Clear Saginaw River
Project has been controversial

6/20 - Saginaw -- Dredging of the Saginaw River is set to begin Monday to ease shipping, which has been hampered by a buildup in silt. A federal judge declined to halt the dredging last month after concerns about toxic dioxins in the silt.

U.S. District Judge Bernard A. Friedman refused May 9 to block the Army Corps of Engineers from beginning work on a disposal site for river muck in Bay County's Frankenlust Township and Saginaw County's Zilwaukee Township. The judge ruled that the project would not cause "irreparable harm" to human health or the environment, despite claims to the contrary by the Lone Tree Council and Environment Michigan.

Last week, the corps awarded a $2-million contract to Muskegon-based Great Lakes Dock and Materials to dredge a basin north of the I-675 Henry G. Marsh Bridge and a mile-long stretch of the river's channel downstream. The company is to begin work Monday and expects to have the shipping channel clear within 60 days, the Saginaw News reported. William Webber, spokesman for the Saginaw River Alliance, a dock owners' group, said the river's commerce and about 280 jobs depend on the dredging project.

Last week, he said, a 580-foot barge ran aground in the Saginaw River, destroying one rudder and damaging another. Corps of Engineers official Wayne Schloop said the dredging should keep freighters afloat until further dredging is done. The corps plans to deepen the Saginaw turning basin to 20 feet. It now has patches as shallow as 13 feet.

A June 27 hearing in U.S. District Court in Bay City will consider environmentalists' complaints about the project and what they say is a failure to do an adequate environmental safety review. They say the dioxins, if not handled properly, could have far-reaching effects on the people and animals that live around the proposed dredge disposal site.

From the Detroit Free Press

 

Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Logo Stickers Available

Show your colors when you go boat watching this season. Put a Boatnerd Bumper Sticker or Window Clinger on your car, truck, van or boat.

These colorful 4" x 4" logos identify you to others who enjoy the same passion, and all proceeds go to support this website.

Click here for details and order form.

 

Light Loading Plagues Industry
Increase In May Coal Cargos Still Falls Short Of Fleet’s Capacity

6/20- Cleveland - Vessels’ inability to carry full loads again hampered the coal trade on the Great Lakes. While May shipments totaled 4.6 million tons, an increase of 5.5 percent compared to a year ago, tens of thousands of tons of coal were not carried because decades of inadequate funding for dredging ports and waterways are often forcing vessels to light load.

The port of Green Bay, Wisconsin is a case in point. Vessels serving one of the coal-receiving docks on the Fox River were leaving behind approximately 2,500 tons of coal because of draft limitations. For the vessels in question, 2,500 tons is about 15 percent of their designed carrying capacity when hauling coal.

Wyandotte, Michigan is another port where draft restrictions are reducing coal deliveries. A vessel that has a rated capacity of 19,500 tons of coal per trip could only carry 15,490 tons on a recent delivery to Wyandotte. In this instance, lack of dredging negated nearly 21 percent of the vessel’s carrying capacity.

For the year, the Lakes coal trade stands at 12.3 million tons, an increase of 7.5 percent compared to the same point in 2005. The trade is 13.8 percent ahead of its 5-year average for the January-May time frame.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 18 American corporations that operate 62 U.S.-Flag vessels on the Great Lakes. These vessels carry the raw materials that drive the nation’s economy: Iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, limestone and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation.... Collectively, these vessels can transport as much as 125 million tons of cargo a year when high water levels offset the lack of adequate dredging of Great Lakes ports and waterways.

Lake Carriers' Association News Release

 

Port Reports - June 20

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Monday was a busy day in the Twin Ports grain trade. Maritime Trader made a rare call in Superior to load at HSC berth 1, while the saltie Royal Pescadores was loading at General Mills in Duluth. Anchored on the lake early in the morning were Kapitan Serafinas and Goldeneye.
Elsewhere, the John G. Munson was scheduled to load coal at Midwest Energy Terminal while St. Clair was due to load taconite pellets at DMIR.
A barge, that appeared to be Great Lakes Trader, was in the Fraser Shipyards drydock on Monday afternoon with its tug waiting outside the dock. There was no word yet on why the barge was drydocked.
Monday was a busy day in the Twin Ports grain trade. Maritime Trader made a rare call in Superior to load at HSC berth 1 while the saltie Royal Pescadores was loading at General Mills in Duluth. Anchored on the lake early in the morning were Kapitan Serafinas and Goldeneye. Elsewhere, the John G. Munson was scheduled to load coal at Midwest Energy Terminal while St. Clair was due to load taconite pellets at DMIR.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
Grand Haven has received two cargos since our last report. On Saturday the barge St. Mary’s Conquest with tug Susan Hannah delivered a load of cement to the St. Mary’s Ferrysburg terminal. It had departed by 4:30 p.m. The Wilfred Sykes pulled into Verplank’s later Saturday night and was gone early on Sunday morning.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Monday saltwater vessel BBC Ontario (reg. St. John's, Antigua) was at open slip 1 in the municipal docks in Milwaukee's outer harbor, loading crane & mining equipment from P & H for a South American port.
Cruise vessel Niagara Prince was in port Saturday, discharged passengers near the Summerfest grounds, and docked near the Lake Express ferry. Niagara Prince departed Sunday, but is scheduled to return on June 26.
Saltie Isolda continues loading corn at Nidera, and mega-yacht Blue Moon remains just outboard of the Lake Express ferry.
Looking ahead, saltwater vessels Federal Margaree and Daviken are anticipated in port this week, both carrying steel, and Margaree anticipated to load PL 480 food aid cargo while here.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Calumet was inbound the Saginaw River Sunday evening with a split load. She stopped to lighter at the Wirt Essexville Sand & Stone dock before continuing upriver to finish at the Buena Vista Dock in Saginaw. Calumet was outbound passing through Bay City Monday morning around 7am.
The American Courage was inbound for the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City late in the morning Monday to unload. This was her first visit to the Saginaw River since being renamed and first since 2005 when she was the Fred R. White, Jr. The American Courage was expected to be outbound later in the day Monday.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Rebecca Lynn with her barge (A-410) were down bound the Niagara River going by the Buffalo Yacht Club about 9:45 a.m.
The Adam E Cornelius was unloading at 10:30 a.m. at the steel mill. The stone was being loaded in to open top railroad hopper cars as they were unloading.
About 4:45 p.m. Monday, the American Fortitude came straight into General Mills without assistance.

 

11 days until Engineers Day at the Soo Locks June 30

Do you have your Boatnerd Gathering Cruise reservations?

 

Updates - June 20

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 20

On this day in 1943, the IRVING S OLDS departed Two Harbors with 20,543 tons of ore and the BENJAMIN F FAIRLESS departed Two Harbors with 20,386 tons of ore. It was the first time that two lakers departed the same harbor on the same day with cargos in excess of 20,000 tons.

The SENATOR (steel propeller freighter, 410 foot, 4,048 gross tons) was launched by the Detroit Dry Dock Company (Hull #122) at Wyandotte, Michigan on 20 June 1896, for the Wolverine Steamship Company. She lasted until 31 October 1929, when she collided with the steamer MARQUETTE in fog off Port Washington, Wisconsin and sank with her cargo of 241 automobiles.

On 20 June 1893, GEORGE STONE (wooden propeller freighter, 270 foot, 1,841 gross tons) was launched by F. W. Wheeler & Co. (Hull #98) at West Bay CIty, Michigan. She lasted until 1909, when she stranded and burned on Lake Erie.

The WILLIAM P COWAN (Hull#724) cleared Lorain, Ohio on her maiden voyage in 1918. Renamed b.) AMOCO ILLINOIS in 1962. Scrapped at Windsor, Ontario by M & M Steel Co., in 1987.

In 1903, the twin screw rail car ferry GRAND HAVEN (Hull#92) was launched at Toledo, Ohio by the Craig Ship Building Co., for the Grand Trunk Carferry Line, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

On June 20, 1953, the Canada Steamship Lines bulk freighter BURLINGTON collided with and sank the Paterson steamer SCOTIADOC in Lake Superior.

On June 20, 1959, the SEAWAY QUEEN began her maiden voyage. The vessel was appropriately named, as at the time she was the largest Canadian vessel on the Great Lakes, the 2nd largest on the Great Lakes overall (behind the EDMUND FITZGERALD), and she entered service the same week that Queen Elizabeth II and President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicated the St. Lawrence Seaway. She was one of the more popular and classic looking vessels on the Great Lakes.

June 20, 1936 - The PERE MARQUETTE 21 was blocked in Manitowoc following an accident which disabled the Manitowoc Tenth Street Bridge, making it impossible to raise the structure.

June 20, 1993 - The BADGER struck the Ludington breakwall while arriving Ludington. She was sent to Sturgeon Bay for repairs. Ten operating days and twenty-one sailings were lost.

The 230 foot wooden freighter JAMES DAVIDSON (Hull#4) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan for James Davidson at his shipyard on 20 June 1874. JAMES DAVIDSON was wrecked in Lake Huron in 1883.

The MINNEHAHA, a wooden "clipper" schooner, was launched at James A. Baker's shipyard in Oswego, New York on 20 June 1857. Her dimensions were 110 foot keel, 125 foot overall, x 25 foot 6 inches x 10 foot 6 inches. She could carry 13,000 bushels of grain. Mr. James Navagh, her master builder, received a gold watch and chain worth $200 in appreciation of his fine work on this vessel.

On Wednesday night, 20 June 1877, the schooner EVELINE (wooden schooner, 118 foot, 236 gross tons, built in 1861, at Litchfield, Michigan) was struck by lightning about sixty miles out from Alpena, Michigan. The bolt shattered the mainmast, throwing three large pieces over the vessel's sides. The large spar was split perpendicularly in two and the lightning bolt followed the grain of the wood in a circular manner until it reached the main boom jaw, which is enclosed in a band of iron fastened by a large bolt. This bolt was literally cut in two. The mate, George Mayom, had the left side of his body blistered and the skin burned off from the shoulder to the foot. His right leg, hands and arm were also severely burned, and he suffered internal injuries and bled freely. The vessel made it to port and she was repaired. She lasted until September 1895, when she sank off Kewaunee, Wisconsin.

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

 

Port Reports - June 19

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
American Fortitude is due to arrive with grain from Duluth for the General Mills Frontier Elevator some time on Monday morning.
Adam E. Cornelius is headed for the Gateway Terminal in Lackawanna with stone out of Calcite, Michigan.

The House of Representatives passed a bill containing funds for the design of a new lift bridge over the Buffalo River. $500,000 has been earmarked to plan the structure that will be located between the Inner and Outer Harbors near the Erie Basin. The bridge may require two lift spans to cross the shipping channels of the river and the City Ship Canal. The exact location has not been determined at this time but preliminary plans suggest a jumping off point somewhere near the foot of Main St., crossing the river to the North tip of Kelly Island, and then across the City Ship Canal towards Fuhrman Blvd. This span is seen as a necessary catalyst for future Outer Harbor development and as a replacement for the current Skyway, high-level bridge. Several obstacles including the Metro Rail tracks at the foot of Main St., along with the bridge abutments for the Skyway, and the old Connecting Terminal grain elevator present challenges to any span crossing that area. If the bill passes the Senate and gets past the President, Rep. Brian Higgins may request that $1,000,000 be set aside from an already appropriated $23,000,000 waterfront road improvement bill so that final design work can be completed on the bridge.

Muskegon - Herm Phillips
After unloading at the LaFarge Dock in Muskegon. Inland Lakes Managements steamer J.A.W. Iglehart arrived at the West Michigan Mart Dock to begin a three week lay-up on June 17th. She joins fleetmate Paul H. Townsend which still has no sail date for this year.

Milwaukee Paul Erspamer
On Sunday saltie Isolda shifted over from general cargo terminal 2 in Milwaukee's outer harbor (where it had unloaded steel) to a berth under the chutes at the Nidera grain elevator in the inner harbor, where it awaited a cargo of corn.

 

Updates - June 19

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : June 19

On 19 June 1889, NORTH STAR (steel propeller freighter, 299 foot, 2,476 gross tons, built in 1889, at Cleveland, Ohio) collided with CHARLES J SHEFFIELD (steel propeller freighter, 260 foot, 1,699 gross tons, built in 1887, at Cleveland, Ohio) about sixty miles west of Whitefish Point on Lake Superior in heavy fog. The NORTH STAR kept her bow in the SHEFFIELDÕs side after the impact, giving the crew time to board. The SHEFFIELD then sank in 8 minutes. Her loss was valued at $160,000. The courts found both vessels to be equally at fault after years of litigation.

In 1954, the GEORGE M HUMPHREY (Hull#871) (named for President Eisenhower's Secretary of Treasury) was launched at Lorain, Ohio by American Shipbuilding Co, for National Steel Co., M.A. Hanna, mgr.

In 1978, the ALGOBAY (Hull#215) was launched at Collingwood by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Algoma Central Railway. Renamed b.) ATLANTIC TRADER in 1994, and renamed c.) ALGOBAY in 1996. She has been idle at Toronto since December 25, 2002.

On 19 June 1836, DELAWARE (wooden passenger/package freight side wheeler, 105 foot, 178 tons, built in 1833, at Huron, Ohio) was carrying general merchandise and passengers in a storm on Lake Michigan when she was thrown ashore off Niles, Illinois. She broke in two and was wrecked. No lives were lost.

On 19 June 1900, the wooden schooner THOMAS L HOWLAND was raised and towed to Buffalo, New York for repairs. She had been sunk by the ice off Windmill Point in the Detroit River early in the season.

At 5:30 p.m., on 19 June 1872, the wooden package freight/passenger propeller MONTANA (236 foot, 1,535 gross tons) was finally afloat at Port Huron, Michigan. She was successfully launched at the Port Huron Dry Dock Company on Saturday, 15 June, but she got stuck in the mud. The tugs VULCAN, PRINDEVILLE, BROCKWAY and BURNSIDE were all employed to free her and the MONTANA's engines were also going. It took four days of pulling, hoisting and dredging to free her. The effort to get her free and afloat cost Alexander Muir, her builder, over $3,000 (in 1872 dollars). She lasted until 1914, when she burned near Alpena, Michigan.

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, David 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.

 

President Address at Marine Academy to Be Simulcast

6/18 - Chantilly, VA - TV Worldwide, a web-based global TV network, announced today that in cooperation with the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, its Maritime TV Internet TV channel (www.MaritimeTV.com) would produce a free live simulcast (via satellite and the Internet), of President Bush's commencement address to the Academy's class of 2006 at Kings Point, N.Y.

Maritime TV coverage of the event will begin at 9:30 am ET on Monday, June 19, 2006 with a pre-ceremony program featuring representatives from the academy and the maritime industry in preparation for the ceremony which begins at 10 am. The 202 members of the class of 2006, who have been trained as Merchant Marine and Naval Reserve officers, represent 34 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The class also includes six students from the Republic of Panama.

Viewers will be able to see the event live on-line at TV Worldwide's Maritime Industry Internet TV Channel, www.MaritimeTV.com  where it will be archived for one year within 24 hours after the event. TV networks and local affiliates will be able to obtain the live feed via satellite at the coordinates listed below. The simulcast will also be featured at several overflow locations on the academy grounds.

During the graduation ceremony, the academy superintendent, Vice Admiral Joseph D. Stewart, will present third mate licenses to 116 members of the class. Third assistant engineer licenses will go to 86 midshipmen. All graduates receive bachelor of science degrees.

Thirty-nine members of the 2006 class are expected to be commissioned for active duty in the Armed Services: 18 in the U.S. Navy: nine in the Marine Corps; seven in the Coast Guard; three in the Air Force; and two in the Army. Twenty-eight women are part of this year's class, bringing the total number of academy female graduates to 552.

Commencement marks the end of a demanding academic and regimental training process for the class of 2006. Each midshipman, in addition to classroom studies, has spent a year at sea in a work-study program aboard various U.S.-flag merchant vessels.

The academy, which is operated by the Maritime Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation, was dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1943. Its college level, four-year program is fully accredited. More than 20,000 academy graduates have served the maritime industry and the Armed Forces both at sea and ashore.

People around the world can participate online through the Internet simulcast, accessible through www.tvworldwide.com and www.maritimetv.com . Viewers should tune in online at 9:30 AM (ET) on June 19th and have the free Windows Media Player installed and tested prior to the event. Technical questions during the event can be directed to 703-961-9250, ext 223. Satellite Transponder Coordinates are as follows: SBS 6 / K15 Analog @ 74 degrees Downlink Freq: 12072 MHz (H).

 

Port Reports - June 18

Goderich - Dale Baechler
After encountering some mechanical problems in the river or lower Lake Huron, Birchglen was towed up to Goderich by the tug Menasha. An attempt was made Friday afternoon to enter the harbour but was aborted. Saturday afternoon saw the Menasha, Dover and Debbie Lynn make another attempt at bringing her in. This time it was successful and she was on the new harbour dock at 5:30 p.m. Birchglen is expected to be in port a couple of days.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Saturday ocean vessel Isolda (reg. Limassol, Cyprus) from the Polsteam line was backed into the slip at terminal 2 in Milwaukee's outer harbor, unloading steel.
Blue Moon, a strikingly large private yacht, was docked near the Coast Guard station, just outboard of the Lake Express ferry.
Tug/barge G. L. Ostrander and Integrity were at the LaFarge silo on Jones Island in the inner harbor, unloading powdered cement.

River Rouge - Nathan Nietering
Friday, St. Mary's Cement II with tug Sea Eagle II finished unloading at the St. Mary's Cement elevator between the Conrail and NS drawbridges, and departed in the early afternoon with no cargo for Bowmanville.
Great Lakes Fleet's steamer John G. Munson arrived Friday morning and stayed through the mid afternoon at the Karmooth/Marblehead stone dock unloading a cargo of stone, just below the Jefferson Ave. drawbridge. They departed the Rouge River shortly before 5 p.m. and then headed up bound in the Detroit River.
Saturday morning found American Steamship Company's John J. Boland unloading a cargo of coal at the Shortcut/Great Lakes Steel dock. They remained at the dock unloading until the early evening, and were preparing to depart around 7 p.m.
Barge A-397 was loading a cargo at the Marathon-Ashland Rouge Terminal throughout the day. During part of the morning, A-397's tug Karen Andrie was fueling at Michigan Marine Terminals.
One of Oglebay Norton's last three boats, the David Z. Norton, brought a stone cargo into the Brennan Street dock in the Rouge today, arriving in the early afternoon. They spent the afternoon and evening unloading at Brennan St., with their stern practically on top of the Jefferson St. Bridge.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Sunrise Saturday found Steamer Saginaw departing the Upper Harbor and Steamer Herbert C. Jackson loading ore.

Fairport Harbor - Bob Hunter
The Upper Lakes Shipping boat, James Norris arrived in Fairport Harbor early Saturday morning to load salt at the Morton dock. This operation would almost entail a full 24 hour operation.

 

Seaway Shut Down

6/18 - At 8:45 p.m. Saturday the radio operator at Seaway Clayton, actually located at Eisenhower lock, told the Algoscotia that the Seaway was shut down at the American locks.

He said they had lost a piece of equipment above Snell Lock, at least they believed it was above Snell. They were putting stop logs in place.

The William J. Moore and barge would probably go to the wall at Eisenhower and the Algoscotia would likely have to anchor at Wilson Hill anchorage.

Reported by Ron Walsh

 

Updates - June 18

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 18

The steamer ILLINOIS was the first vessel to pass through the newly opened Soo locks in 1855. To help commemorate the 100th anniversary of this event, an open house was held aboard the J L MAUTHE. While tied up at the Cleveland Lakefront dock, an estimated 1700 persons toured the MAUTHE.

During a moonlight charter on 18 June 1936, the TASHMOO (steel side-wheel excursion steamer, 308 foot, 1,344 gross tons, built in 1900, at Wyandotte, Michigan) struck a boulder in the Sugar Island channel in the Detroit River. The vessel docked at Amherstburg, Ontario where her passengers disembarked as the vessel settled to the bottom in 14 feet of water. Although the damage was not fatal, the salvage crew botched the job. The TASHMOO had one end raised too quickly and her keel broke. This ended this well-loved vessel's too short career.

The Soo Locks opened for their first season on 18 June 1855. The first vessel through the locks was the steamer ILLINOIS of 1853.

In 1949, the WILFRED SYKES (Hull#866) was launched at American Shipbuilding Co., Lorain, Ohio, for Inland Steel Co. At the time she was the largest and most powerful vessel on the lakes. The SYKES was also the first boat to have a poop deck. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1975.

In 1964, the bulk freighter SAGUENAY (Hull#647) was launched at Lauzon, Quebec by Davie Ship Building Ltd., for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.

In 1968, the ALGOCEN (Hull#191) was launched at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd, for Algoma Central Railway. Renamed b.) VALGOCEN in 2005, she is in use as a spoils barge in Keasby, New Jersey.

On 18 June 1869, a little less than a week after being launched, Capt. Luce sailed the schooner DAVID A WELLS on her maiden voyage from Port Huron for Menominee, Michigan.

On 18 June 1858, the steamship CANADA left the Lakes via the St. Lawrence rapids since she was too large for the existing locks. She had been built by Louis Shickluna at the Niagara Drydock Company in 1853, at a cost of $63,000. She was sold for ocean service after the Depression of 1857. Her hull was rebuilt and she was renamed MISSISSIPPI. She foundered in a gale in the South Atlantic on 12 August 1862.

The venerable side-wheel passenger ferry TRILLIUM (Hull#94) was launched June 18, 1910, at Toronto, Ontario by Polson Iron Works., for the Toronto Ferry Co.

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

 

U.S.-Flag Lakes Cargos Slip in April

6/17 - Cleveland---The continued inability to carry full loads again limited the amount of cargo U.S.-Flag vessels carried on the Great Lakes in April. The U.S.-Flag float in April totaled 10.3 million tons, a decrease of 1.6 percent compared to a year ago.

Examples of light loading, or carrying less than the vessel’s designed capacity, were evident in all major trades. The table below illustrates the effects of light loading on the iron ore, coal and limestone trades in April. In each instance, the largest cargo carried in April was significantly below the record cargo. While record cargos generally are set in late summer, when the Lakes have reached their seasonal peak, the tonnages recorded in April do reflect inadequate dredging of ports and waterways.

Iron Ore (Soo Locks) - Largest April Cargo -63,122 compared to the Record Cargo - 72,300 net tons.
Coal (Soo Locks) - Largest April Cargo - 64,218 compared to the Record Cargo - 70,903 net tons.
Limestone* - Largest April Cargo - 32,888, compared to the Record Cargo - 34,557 net tons.
* The top limestone cargo is 59,078 net tons, but that was carried in a 1,000-foot-long vessel and vessels of that size rarely participate in the trade. The vessel used to benchmark limestone, the self-unloading barge Great Lakes Trader, was built in 2000 to serve the Lakes limestone trade.

Increased dredging of Great Lakes ports and waterways is the only long-term solution for full utilization of vessel carrying capacity. Vessel speed cannot be increased significantly, so there is little possibility of carrying additional cargos to offset the effects of light loading. If the coming winter proves harsh, vessel transits will be slowed, further reducing the amount of cargo that can be carried.

For the year, the U.S.-Flag Lakes fleet has hauled 18.1 million tons of cargo, an increase of 3 percent compared to the same point in 2005.

Lake Carriers' Association News Release

 

Port Reports - June 17

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Just before noon on Friday, Calumet from Grand River/Lower Lakes lined to enter Milwaukee's main gap while steamer Alpena was right behind and with the cross-lake ferry Lake Express nearby (but approaching the south entrance). Calumet brought salt to terminal 1 in the outer harbor. Alpena turned and backed into the River to deliver cement at LaFarge on Jones Island.
Coming up, salties Isolda and Daviken are scheduled to deliver steel, and cruise vessel Niagara Prince is also expected, all over the coming weekend.

Marquette - Rod Burdick & Lee Rowe
Burns Harbor took a break from her normal Lake Superior ore runs and loaded ore in Escanaba on Friday evening. She is the first ship to arrive after a belt replacement, and the only one on the schedule at this time.
Sunrise Saturday found Steamer Saginaw departing the Upper Harbor and Steamer Herbert C. Jackson loading ore.

 

Updates - June 17

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : June 17

On 17 June 1878, the Canadian schooner JAME SCOTT of Port Burwell capsized and sank in Lake Erie. The captain's wife, their child and two seamen were drowned.

The wooden schooner MONTEREY which stranded on Sleeping Bear Point on Lake Michigan in early December 1890, was released on 17 June 1891.

The SCOTT MISENER (Hull#11) was christened on June 17, 1951, for Colonial Steamships Ltd. She was the first vessel built at Port Weller Drydocks Ltd. Renamed b.) JOHN E F MISENER in 1954. She was scrapped at Cartagena, Columbia in 1986.

The PATERSON of 1954, collided with the steamer EDMUND W MUDGE in 1957, in fog on the St. Clair River opposite Marine City, Michigan.

The WILLIAM A IRVIN was towed to the Duluth Convention Center on June 17, 1986, by the tugs SIOUX and DAKOTA to be on station as a museum ship at the new $3 million convention facility.

June 17, 1998 - The tug/barge PERE MARQUETTE 41/UNDAUNTED arrived Ludington, Michigan from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin after the remainder of the conversion there.

The propeller OWEN SOUND was launched at Collingwood, Ontario on 17 June 1875. She measured 900 tons and could carry 30,000 bushels of grain.

Data from: Max Hanley, 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.

 

Ice Breaker Mackinaw Cruise Sold Out

6/16 - The final cruise of the Ice Breaker Mackinaw (WAGB-83), from Cheboygan to Mackinaw City, is sold out.

More than 500 lucky people have signed up to make this historic trip, with a donation of $200.00

The trip will deliver the Mighty Mac to her final destination at the former railroad ferry dock in Mackinaw City where she will become a museum.

The Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum sponsored the trip in conjunction with the Mackinaw Area Visitors Bureau.

 

Bob-Lo Boat Columbia Purchased

6/16 -New York - The non-profit SS Columbia Project, based in New York, has acquired the former Bob-Lo vessel from the Steamer Columbia Foundation with the purpose of fully restoring her to steam for service on the Hudson River.

The Columbia Project is working towards restoring, operating, and interpreting the historic steamship S.S. Columbia on a non-profit basis. As a floating mobile museum the ship will revitalize communities of the Hudson Valley through responsible tourism while reviving the region’s 200 year old steamboating tradition. The restored Columbia will carry students and tourists up the Hudson River on day trips allowing them to enjoy the cultural, and environmental resources of the Hudson Valley.

Richard Anderson, President SS Columbia Project, commented "We in New York are well aware that the Columbia is a beloved icon in her hometown and can assure you that she will be treated with the love and respect she deserves. We are counting on your help and support as we plan for the vessel’s restoration."

The SS Columbia Project operates as a not for profit corporation under the 501 C 3 umbrella of the National Maritime Historical Society and is subject to the supervision of the New York State Board of Regents as a non profit museum organization. All donations to the SS Columbia project are fully tax-deductible.
More information is available at http://sscolumbia.org

News Release from the SS Columbia Project

 

Port Reports - June 16

Detroit - Ken Borg
The CSL Assiniboine was at Severstal Steel in Dearborn on Wednesday. She had finished unloading coke at 9 a.m. and departed at noon.
At 3 p.m. the St. Marys Cement II was at St, Marys Cement in Detroit and the Saginaw loading mill scale at Zug Island.

Detroit/Rouge River - Nathan Nietering
Thursday, Tug Sea Eagle II and barge St. Mary's Cement II were unloading at the St. Mary's Rouge dock throughout the day, having arrived Wednesday afternoon.

Algoma Central's Algowood was unloading stone at the Brennan St. dock throughout the morning and afternoon. Upon preparing for their departure, they realized that their bow thruster was not responding and immediately began searching for the problem, delaying them by at least 2 hours. They were finally assisted out of the river beginning around 6:00 pm by the Great Lakes Towing tugs Wyoming and Vermont, as the Algowood was towed out stern first.

Meanwhile, Lakes Shipping Company's beautiful steamer Kaye E. Barker was down bound during the mid afternoon in the Detroit River with a load of taconite ore for Severstal Steel. Upon hearing of Algowood's thruster problem, they slowed down in the river and waited until the Algowood and her tugs cleared before entering the Rouge Shortcut. Kaye E. Barker was proceeded into the Rouge by the M/V Diamond Queen, who was then forced to tie up just above Jefferson Street for an hour and a half waiting for a broken down train on the Conrail Bridge. The Kaye E. Barker would come alongside the Diamond Queen between Jefferson and Conrail for over a half hour before the train cleared the bridge and both boats were able to head up the River.

One of the Gaelic Tugs was up bound the Rouge around 8:30 pm with a fuel barge, and then would stand by to fuel the Kaye E. as she unloaded at Severstal.

It was nice to see the American Courage (formerly the Fred R. White Jr.) up bound Thursday. They stopped for about an hour and a half during the afternoon to fuel at Sterling in Windsor. The Maritime Trader was also being unloaded at Windsor ADM throughout the day.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Canada Steamship Lines Steamer Halifax was loading at Sandusky's NS coal dock Thursday evening.
Expected to follow the Halifax are the John J. Boland, American Steamship, and the Phillip R. Clarke of the Great Lakes Fleet. The Clarke - posted for an 0500 arrival from Conneaut - will be loading early Friday for Gladstone, Michigan. The Boland off-loaded taconite in Lorain.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was inbound the Saginaw River late Wednesday morning, pulling over at the mouth of the Saginaw River to unload coal at the Consumers Power plant in Essexville. The McCarthy finished her unload Wednesday evening, backed out to Light 12 of the Saginaw Bay Entrance Channel to turn and head out bound for the lake.
The tug Gregory J. Busch and her deck barges STC 2004 and the Primary 1 were also moving in the Saginaw River late Wednesday morning, delivering stone products to the Burroughs dock in Zilwuakee.
The tug G.L. Ostrander and the cement barge Integrity finished their unload at the LaFarge Cement Terminal in Carrollton by 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night, turned at the Sixth Street turning basin, and were outbound for the lake.
The Manistee returned to the Saginaw River Thursday morning for her second visit since Tuesday. This time, the Manistee headed all the way up the river to the GM dock in Saginaw to unload. The Manistee finished unloading at the GM dock in Saginaw by 8:00pm, and contacted the tug Gregory J. Busch, who was still at the Burroughs dock, with her deck barges STC 2004 and Primary 1 unloading stone products. The tug Gregory J. Busch detached from her deck barges and headed upriver to the Manistee. The Busch and the Manistee talked about weather they would turn at the Sixth Street turning basin. The barge McKee Sons, fleetmate of the Manistee went aground last week next to the turning basin, so it was decided that the Manistee would be backing to the Airport.
The Manistee then tied her stern lines to the tug Gregory J. Busch for the tow downriver to the Airport turning basin to turn around. She finished the turn at the Airport turning basin and was outbound for the lake by 10:30pm Thursday night.
The tug Gregory J. Busch and her deck barges STC 2004 and Primary 1 were still unloading stone products Thursday at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee. The pair are expected to finish unloading their cargo Friday or Saturday.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Thursday saltwater vessel Global Carrier was at the south side of Terminal 2 in Milwaukee's outer harbor, awaiting a cargo.
Thursday evening veteran cement steamer St. Mary's Challenger approached the Milwaukee main harbor entrance at about 9:30 for the second time this week, this time from the south. Challenger docked at its usual berth in the Kinnickinnic River.
Also Thursday, tug Barbara Andrie and its tanker barge A-390 unloaded fuel at the Jacobus liquid cargo terminal in the outer harbor.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Wilfred Sykes backed in through the pier heads at 11:50 a.m. Thursday morning. The vessel was delivering a split load of stone to Meekhof's lower dock by the Power Plant on Harbor Island in Grand Haven and to their upper dock by the railroad swing bridge in Ferrysburg.

Rouge River - Heads Up - Al Dopane
There is a good possibility of a BBC ocean ship arriving in River Rouge to load on itself a very heavy large crawler crane that will be destined for Australia. This ETA of this BBC vessel is to be Friday of this week.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The heavy-lift salty Stellanova got underway early Thursday morning from Pier 51. Around 2 p.m. the tugs Omni Richelieu and Omni St. Laurent came in from Hamilton to assist the Greek salty Goldeneye out of the Redpath slip. All three vessels departed.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Late Thursday afternoon saw the Ocean Group tugs Omni Richileau and Omni St. Laurent arrive at 3:30 p.m. The James Norris departed at 8:00 p.m. and the Federal Margaree arrived at 9:30 p.m. going to the anchorage. Eventually she will go to Pier 14 to unload steel. Her next port is Detroit.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder loaded ore in Marquette on Thursday.
 

 

Updates - June 16

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : June 16

The steamer UNIQUE (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 163 foot, 381 gross tons) was built by Alexander Anderson at Marine City, Michigan. She was launched stern first at 3:00 p.m. on 16 June 1894. There was quite a crowd assembled to watch the launch. While waiting for the launch, Engineer Merrill of the steamer MARY composed the following verse:"The new steamer Unique Made a beautiful suique On a direction oblique Into a big crique,So to spique. The vessel was painted a bright yellow up to the promenade deck with white cabins and upper works. In 1901, she left the upper Lakes and was chartered for the Thousand Islands cruise trade. Later that year, she was sold to Philadelphia buyers for Delaware River service. Her upper cabins were removed in 1904, when she was rebuilt as a yacht. She lasted until 20 November 1915, when she burned to a total loss in New York harbor.

On 16 June 1891, Alexander Mc Dougall himself took his brand-new whaleback steamer JOSEPH L COLBY (steel propeller whaleback freighter, 265 foot, 1,245 gross tons, built in 1890, at W. Superior, Wisconsin) down the St. Lawrence River to the sea. The double hulled COLBY left Prescott, Ontario at 3:00 p.m., drawing six feet nine inches aft and five feet six inches forward and started on her wild ride through the rapids. The whaleback freighter plowed through the Galops , Iroquois , Long Sault, Coteau, Cedar, Split Rock and Cascade Rapids. She grated the bottom a number of times and had a number of close calls. Captain Mc Dougall stood immobile throughout the trip but great beads of perspiration broke out on his forehead. When the vessel finally made it through the Cascades and was safe on Lake St. Louis, the French Canadian pilot left and the crew let out shouts of joy with the whistle blowing. The COLBY was the first screw steamer to attempt running the rapids.

On 16 June 1892, GENERAL BURNSIDE (3-mast wooden schooner, 138 foot, 308 gross tons, built in 1862, at Wolfe Island, Ontario) foundered in a powerful northwest gale on Lake Erie near Southeast Shoal Light. Her crew was rescued by the tug GREGORY.

On 16 June 1905, at 2:00 a.m., a fire was discovered around the smoke stack of the North Shore Navigation Company's CITY OF COLLINGWOOD (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 213 foot, 1,387 gross tons, built in 1893, at Owen Sound, Ontario) burned at the Grand Trunk Railway docks at Collingwood, Ontario and was destroyed along with the dock and nearby sheds. Four died, but most of crew jumped overboard. Captain Wright had gone to his home on Pine St. about an hour before and was preparing for bed when he heard four whistles sounded by the steamer BRITTANIC which was laying alongside. He ran to the dock, went aboard and woke the 1st mate J. D. Montgomery and a wheelsman. They had to jump to the dock to escape the flames. James Meade, Lyman Finch, A. McClellan, and another unidentified crewmember who had just joined the vessel at the Soo were all sleeping in the forecastle and lost their lives.

In 1967, the FEUX FOLLETS (Hull#188) was launched at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., for Papachristidis Co. Ltd. She was the last steam powered lake ship. Renamed in 1972, she sails today as the b.) CANADIAN LEADER.

Upbound in the Welland Canal on June 16, 1963, loaded with iron ore for Chicago, U.S. Steel's BENJAMIN FAIRLESS suffered bow damage in collision with Canadian steamer RALPH S MISENER.
In 1918, the WILLIAM P SNYDER JR was in collision with the steamer GEORGE W PERKINS in Duluth Harbor resulting in damage of $5,000 to both vessels.

On 16 June 1861, ANDOVER (2-mast wooden schooner, 98 foot, 190 tons, built in 1844, at Black River, Ohio) was carrying lumber in a storm and ground on Pointe aux Barques reef on Lake Huron. Though not thought to be seriously damaged, she resisted all efforts by the tug ZOUAVE to release her. She was finally stripped and abandoned.

On 16 June 1887, CHAMPLAIN (wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 135 foot, 438 gross tons, built in 1870, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying passengers, merchandise and horses on Lake Michigan when an engine room lamp exploded. The fire spread so quickly that the pumps could not be started. She headed for Fisherman's Island, Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan, but struck a bar and sank a mile short of the beach. 22 of the 57 persons aboard died, most from drowning. Although initially declared a total loss, the hull was towed into Harbor Springs, Michigan, then taken to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and rebuilt as CITY OF CHARLEVOIX. She was also lengthened to 165 foot. She lasted until 1924, when she burned at her lay-up dock in Manistee, Michigan. At that time, she was named KANSAS.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II, the Fr. Dowling Collection 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.

 

Voyageur Independent Strikes Bridge

6/15 - Update -  The Voyageur Independent struck the St Louis de Gonzaque bridge at around noon Tuesday.

The vessel lost steering just before going through the narrow channel leading under the raised bridge. The vessel took a sheer to the right brushed an abutment. These are round, steel caissons which could to be filled with boulders and or cement and are designed to protect the bridge support piers.

Independent was traveling at 4.8 knots when she hit the bridge. The bridge suffered a fair amount of damage and had to be closed to vehicular traffic.

The St Louis bridge is the least used vehicle traffic bridge in that area but the people using it will now have a 6 mile detour in order to reach the other side. Ships will still be able to get by with little or no problems at all.

Voyageur Independent, after hitting the bridge, went to anchor. Sometime later, she went through the channel and the raised bridge and went to anchor above St Lois bridge on the right side on the channel in the St Louis emergency anchorage area. She is still there Thursday morning.

Original Report - 6/14- Around noon Tuesday, the Voyageur Independent struck a cement abutment of the St. Louis Bridge in the St Lawrence River.

Voyageur Independent immediately went to emergency anchorage. Damage to the ship and bridge abutment is unknown at this time.

The Voyageur Independent was following the Windoc tow when this happened, the weather was clear at the time of the mishap, what type of damage was done is not known at this time.

A Seaway inspector is aboard assessing the damages to the ship. She was still at anchor as of 4:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Reported by Kent Malo

 

Ships to Get More Room in Saginaw River

6/15 - The Saginaw River is about to get a little deeper. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will cut into the Saginaw River bottom next week to remove the silt that threatens to strangle shipping in Saginaw County.

Corps officials awarded a $2 million contract this week to the Muskegon-based Great Lakes Dock and Materials to dredge the turning basin north of the Interstate 675 Henry G. Marsh Bridge and a mile-long stretch of the river channel downstream. The company will begin work Monday and have the shipping channel clear within 60 days. William Webber, spokesman for a coalition of dock owners known as the Saginaw River Alliance, said the survival of the river's commerce and about 280 related jobs depend on dredging.

Just last week, the 580-foot McKee Sons barge ran aground in the upper Saginaw River, destroying a rudder and damaging another, Webber said. The shipping company Lower Lakes Towing now has informed Webber that its vessels no longer will venture that far upstream. "We hope that policy will change when the dredging is done," Webber said.

While the corps' emergency dredging of the Saginaw River won't provide a permanent fix, Chief of Operations Wayne Schloop said it should keep freighters afloat until officials can dredge the river deeper. "It is basically what would meet their minimum needs," Schloop said.

The corps plans to remove at least 5 feet from the shallows of Saginaw's only turning basin. The basin now measures about 15 feet deep with patches as shallow as 13 feet. Contractors plan to deepen that channel to 20 feet. Dredging then will continue for a mile downstream, dropping the river bottom to 20 feet from 18 feet. Ultimately, officials want to create a 22-foot-deep shipping channel, Schloop said. But that will have to wait until the agency finishes a 281-acre dump site for dredge spoils in Zilwaukee and Frankenlust townships. The site, now under construction, will hold up to 3.1 million cubic yards of dredge spoils.

The storage basin remains a lightning rod of litigation. Frankenlust Township and the environmental watchdog group Lone Tree Council filed separate lawsuits this spring to keep the corps from breaking ground, but both attempts failed. Lone Tree Council members now await an appearance in U.S. District Court in Bay City on Tuesday, June 27, to contest the corps' decision not to prepare an environmental impact statement on the site. Corps officials conducted a less rigorous environment assessment instead and said the site lacked the "significant" impacts to warrant further analysis.

Corps officials now plan to remove about 103,000 cubic yards of silt from the shipping channel to provide emergency relief for dock owners. With the Saginaw dump site not yet complete, contractors plan to ferry the material downstream to a disposal island at the mouth of the Saginaw River.

Federal lawmakers soon could sink more money into the shipping problems along the Saginaw River. The U.S. House of Representatives recently approved $3.6 million for additional dredging in the Saginaw River. The request, which represents a 50 percent increase over last year, now goes before the Senate for a vote. Funding for the Saginaw River would go into effect in October, the start of the 2007 fiscal year.

From the Saginaw News

 

Boatnerd Cruises Coming Soon

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

Saturday, July 15 - St. Clair River Boatnerd Cruise aboard the Hammond Bay
A 3-hour narrated St. Clair River cruise passing Algonac, Harsens Island, Walpole Island, Seaway Island and the St. Clair Flats. Departure at 11:00. Cost: $30.00 Can., $25.00 US. including lunch. Free parking at dock. Alcohol not permitted on board or in dock area. Maximum 40 persons. Reservations and payment by mail to Hammond Bay River Cruises, RR 1, Port Lambton, Ontario N0P 2B0, or Hammond Bay River Cruises, P.O. Box 502, Marine City, MI 48039. Email, Phone: 519-892-3973, Website. ISA, MasterCard accepted.

August 12 - Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise
A 3-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan. Cruise leaves the Portofino's On The River restaurant, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am. We'll go where the boats are. Maybe up the Rouge River, maybe down the Detroit River. Bring your camera. To make the trip even more interesting, a pizza buffet will be delivered by the mail boat J. W. Westcott. Cash bar on board. Plenty of free, safe parking at Portofino's. All this for only $25.00. Limited to the first 100 reservations.

Don't be left out of these fun Boatnerd events. Make your reservations today. Details and reservation information on all Boatnerd Events on the Gathering Page.
 

 

Port Reports - June 15

Toledo -
Federal St. Laurent was on-loading at ADM Elevators. Virginiaborg was alongside idle at Midwest Terminals of Toledo. The Wagenborg vessels usually bring bunks of lumber to Toledo. American Courage was off-loading coal pellets at the Midwest docks.. The coal pellets are then conveyor fed to furnaces such as Bayshore Edison power plant in Oregon, Ohio.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
Interlake Steamships' sturdy Herbert C. Jackson loaded at the NS coal dock Wednesday. She was outbound later in the day, her next port of call being the Canadian Soo.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Tuesday morning the G. L Ostrander/barge Integrity was in port loading at Lafarge.
Tuesday evening the David Z. Norton was taking on cargo over calm waters at Stoneport.
Wednesday was an active day with three vessels calling at Lafarge. The J.A.W Iglehart arrived around 2:00 am to load under the silos.
The Iglehart was outbound at 7:00 am, heading for Green Bay, WI.
Come evening time, the Earl W. Oglebay was unloading coal, and the Samuel de Champlain/barge Innovation made its way into port, tying up around 9:30 pm.
The Steamer Alpena will be waited out in the bay overnight until there is dock space sometime on Thursday morning.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Algomarine was in port Wednesday afternoon. After unloading stone she departed down the lake early this morning.
The new charter vessel Yankee Lady IV did it's trial run on the harbor Wednesday afternoon.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Wednesday night American Mariner from ASC was backed up to the WE Energies dock at Greenfield Avenue in Milwaukee's inner harbor, unloading coal for that company's power plants.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The self unloading barge McKee Sons with tug Invincible in the notch brought a load of coal into Grand Haven for the Board of Light and Power's Sims #3 plant on Harbor Island overnight Tuesday. It was still unloading at 9 a.m.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The long awaited site remediation of major parts of the former Bethlehem Steel Plant in Lackawanna came into clear focus during early June. Tecumseh Redevelopment has been analyzing the 1,100-acre property for new owners Mittal Steel and has come to some conclusions on cost and established a rough time frame for work to be completed. Proposed land use includes several business parks along the Rt. 5 area along with green space closer to the lakefront. The price tag for hazardous waste clean up will top $50 million and may take many years to complete. The most contaminated area is to the West of the property where samples of acids, coal tar, and other toxic chemicals have been found. Demolition of the Coke Oven complex may proceed in the Fall after asbestos removal operations are completed. Tecumseh is currently involved in talks with the DEC over a clean up agreement and may have a deal signed by the end of the year. Mittal Steel currently operates a Galvanizing Line and Hot Strip Mill on the property along with Republic's 13" Bar Mill, and Sweeny Specialty Steel's finishing operations. Other tenants also include the Gateway Metroport Terminal, South Buffalo Railway, the Oneida Cement Plant, and other small manufacturers and warehouses. The majority of the land has been cleared of the old mill buildings but heavy foundations remain buried below ground and will require major excavation unless redevelopment is kept to surface construction or other land use.

 

Updates - June 15

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : June 15

On this day in 1967, the new $6 million Allouez taconite pellet handling facility in Superior, Wisconsin was dedicated. The first cargo of 18,145 tons of pellets was loaded into the holds of the Hanna Mining Company freighter JOSEPH H THOMPSON.

At midnight, on Saturday, 15 June 1901, OMAR D CONGER (wooden propeller ferry, 92 foot, 199 gross tons, built in 1882, at Port Huron, Michigan) burned at her dock on the Black River in Port Huron, Michigan. Her upper works were destroyed, but she was repaired and put back in service. She lasted until 1922, when her boiler exploded, killing four people and destroying the vessel.

On June 15, 1943, the D M CLEMSON collided with and sank the GEORGE M HUMPHREY in the Straits of Mackinac. Both of these 600-footers recovered for long careers. The D M CLEMSON was sold for scrap in 1980. The GEORGE M HUMPHREY was recovered over a year later, renamed the b.) CAPTAIN JOHN ROEN, later converted to a self-unloader, and finished her career as the d.) CONSUMERS POWER at the end of the 1985, season before being scrapped in 1988.

In 1989, the ROGER M KYES was rechristened b.) ADAM E CORNELIUS by American Steamship Co.

The wooden 180 foot schooner JOHN A FRANCOMB was launched at West Bay City, Michigan on 15 June 1889. She was built by F. W. Wheeler & Co. (Hull #61). She lasted until she was abandoned at Bay City in 1934.

GRECIAN (steel propeller freighter, 296 foot, 2,348 gross tons, built in 1891, at Cleveland, Ohio by Globe Iron Works (Hull#40) had struck a rock near Detour, Michigan on 7 June 1906, but made dock at Detour before settling on bottom. After her cargo was removed, she was raised, and towed by her fleet mate SIR HENRY BESSEMER, bound for Detroit Shipbuilding Co. in Wyandotte, Michigan for repairs, relying on air pressure in her sealed holds to keep her afloat. However, on 15 June 1906, her holds began to fill with water and she sank in Lake Huron off Thunder Bay. Her crew was rescued by SIR HENRY BESSEMER.

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

 

Port Reports - June 14

Detroit - Mike Koprowicz
The American Victory (former Middletown) was down bound Tuesday at the Ambassador Bridge adjacent to the Westcott Co. Dock at 9:30 a.m. Closely behind was the Herbert C. Jackson.
The Saginaw refueled at Sterling and the proceeded to load coke at Zug Island.
The tug Magnetic was moving barges in the Rouge River between Harrison and Dix Street.

Kingston - Ron Walsh
A large , approximately 60-foot, sailing yacht arrived in Portsmouth Olympic Harbour (Kingston) Tuesday. She has a large dent in the starboard side of the steel hull. Apparently, she had a glancing blow with the Atlantic Huron, during a night trip.
English River had a 9 p.m. eta for Bath. Etd is 6 a.m. Wednesday for Oswego.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
After a visit by American Courage (ex-Fred R. White Jr.) on Sunday, all of the "River Class" vessels have loaded ore in Marquette this spring: David Z. Norton, Earl W. Oglebay, Wolverine, American Republic, Buffalo, and Sam Laud.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The American Republic was loading at the NS coal dock late Tuesday.

Toledo -
Pioneerland's crew secured crane barge Crow at a Kuhlman Corp. pier head Tuesday and headed downriver back to Gradel's docks.
Blue Star, the newer Toledo Police Harbor Patrol Boat headed down the river after a trip up by the Grayfox.
USNS Grayfox got underway Tuesday afternoon after a weekend stay here. There were tours Monday. The sea cadet crew had a cookout with recruit deps before departure.
The museum ship S.S. Willis B. Boyer had tourists on her decks Tuesday.
Federal St. Laurent showed up Tuesday afternoon at ADM Elevators.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Capt. Henry Jackman was in overnight with salt; departing down the lake early Tuesday morning. The Greek salty Goldeneye was still unloading at Redpath Sugar. Stephen B. Roman is still at Essroc, but should be gone by Wednesday morning. The salty Stellanova arrived early Tuesday evening.
Canadian Ranger was inspected Monday - it may come out this season as a straight-decker, but its future is still uncertain.
The tour boat Yankee Lady was sold earlier this season and has been renamed Sea Voyager. The new owner is Walter Pennell, who previously owned the tug Deer Lake and the workboat Samuel De Champlain, both of which saw time in Toronto Harbour before going off-lakes.
Radium Yellowknife, which departed with the tugs Salvage Monarch and Doc Morin for Ramey's Bend a couple of days ago, is rumored to have a new contract hauling corn from Sarnia, with the Big barges she brought up from Prescott last week, to an American port for ethanol production.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Rt. Hon. Paul Martin arrived late on Tuesday for the Gateway Terminal. Her unloading rig was raised high above the deck and she was under the loading spouts while taking on coal at 7 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Manistee was in bound the Saginaw River early Tuesday afternoon headed all the way up river to the Burroughs dock in Zilwuakee to unload her entire cargo. The Manistee finished her unload at the Burroughs dock by 7:00pm and tied her stern lines to the tug Gregory J. Busch for the tow down river to the Airport turning basin to turn around and head out bound for the lake. She finished her turn and was out bound for the lake by 9:30pm Tuesday night.
The tug G.L Ostrander and the cement barge Integrity were in bound the Saginaw River late Tuesday evening with cement for the Carrollton LaFarge Terminal. The pair stayed in contact with the Manistee who at the time was backing down river to the Airport turning basin from Saginaw. The Manistee and the tug Gregory J. Busch talked about if there would be enough room for the G.L. Ostrander/Integrity to pass by while the Manistee occupied the turning basin. The two decided to go ahead and back down river to the Airport turning basin and pull into the basin. The G.L. Ostrander/Integrity successfully passed the Manistee while she occupied the Airport turning basin. Once Manistee was turned, the tug Gregory J. Busch followed the GL. Ostrander/Integrity upriver to her dock in Saginaw. The G.L. Ostrander/Integrity are expected to be outbound Wednesday night from the LaFarge Terminal in Carrollton, using the Sixth Street turning basin to turn
Next week, the Great Lakes Dock and Material tug Duluth and her two deck barges will head upriver from Essexville, after arriving in the Saginaw River last Monday, to begin dredging on the Sixth Street turning basin north of the Henry Marsh bridge in Saginaw with the Corp of Engineers, making trips between the turning basin in Saginaw and the pump-out Island at the mouth of the Saginaw River to dispose of the dredging spoils, until the dumping site at Crow Island is ready for use.

 

Updates - June 14

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 14

The ROGER BLOUGH departed the shipyard in ballast on her maiden voyage for U.S. Steel Corp. the night of June 14, 1972, for Two Harbors, Minnesota to load 41,608 gross tons of taconite ore pellets. She was nearly a year late because of a fire in her engine room.

On June 14, 1988, the CONSUMERS POWER of 1927, with her former fleet mate JOHN T HUTCHINSON, departed Lauzon, Quebec in tow of the Panamanian tug/supply ship OMEGA 809, bound for a scrap yard in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The steamer PRINCESS was sold to Little and Fitzgerald on 14 June 1873. She was built in 1858, at Algonac, Michigan by Z. Pangborn.

The wooden scow TINKER was launched at Leighton & Dunford's yard in Port Huron, Michigan on 14 June 1876.

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

 

Ryerson Preparing to Go Back to Work

6/13 - Sturgeon Bay, WI - The steamer Edward L. Ryerson, a straight-deck freighter, is fitting out in the dry dock at Bay Shipbuilding Co. to go back into the ore trade in early July. The Ryerson has been out of work for the last eight years because she has no self-unloading equipment. Many plans to refit her were rejected due to the high cost of conversion, but because of a brisk steel trade, she is needed to help fill orders.

"She will load at the Allouez ore dock in Superior and unload at Indiana Harbor, where they stll have equipment to unload a straight decker" that is not equipped with unloading equipment, said Lee Barr, vice president of Central Logistics, Inc. Central Logistics, which manages the Ryerson, hired back some of its retirees to put the vessel back in working order after the long lay up.

The Ryerson was built by the Manitowoc Company, parent company of Bay Ship, in 1960, and was named after the past president of Joseph T. Ryerson and Sons, Inc. After the merger with Inland Steel in 1935, Ryerson was named chairman of the board of Inland Ryerson.

The Ryerson was built as a new and improved model of her sister ship, the Wilfred Sykes. She is 730-feet long with a beam of 75 feet and a depth of 39 feet. She weighs in at 12,170 gross tons with a cargo capacity of 27,500 tons. The Ryerson is powered by a General Electric cross-compound steam turbine engine and two Westinghouse steam turbine generators. She has 18 hatches, four cargo holds and eight ballast tanks.

Her forward pilothouse and beautiful lines gave her the nickname of "Queen of the Lakes".

Submitted by C. Hamilton Rutledge from the Door County Advocate by Jon Paul.

 

Windoc Going to Port Colborne

6/13- Port Colborne - The hull of the former freighter Windoc is scheduled to be moved to Port Colborne, arriving on June 18.

International Marine Salvage will remove the fire-damaged stern section.

It is undecided if Seaway Marine Transport will notch the hull and push Windoc as a barge, or to attach a new stern section to provide power and accommodations.

 

Mackinaw (WAGB-83) to Embark on Gala Cruise to Mackinaw City

6/13 - Mackinaw City, MI – Following its decommissioning on June 10, the Icebreaker Mackinaw, WAGB 83, will set a course for its new home in Mackinaw City. From its permanent mooring site at the historic Chief Wawatam dock owned by Sheplers Ferry, the ship will open as a museum telling the story of its 61 year career breaking ice on the upper Great Lakes and serving as a goodwill ambassador throughout the region.

The Mackinaw will take its final voyage on June 21. Up to 500 Mackinaw fans and supporters will have one last chance to sail aboard the vessel with Commander Joseph McGuiness and his capable crew at the helm.  For a suggested donation of $200 or more (per person) to the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum, Inc. passengers will enjoy a four hour cruise through the Straits of Mackinac, refreshments and music. Donations can be made online at www.mackinawcity.com under Special Events. All donations are tax deductible.

All proceeds from the cruise will be used to develop the ship into an innovative, educational museum that will promote the role of the Coast Guard and the ship in the Great Lakes Region. Originally a Cheboygan based group, IMMM has evolved to reflect a partnership between the communities of Cheboygan and Mackinaw City in the continuing effort to preserve and interpret the ship.

Additional information about the gala cruise, and instructions on how to make a donation to participate, can be found through the Mackinaw Area Visitor’s Bureau website, www.mackinawcity.com or by calling Marilyn McFarland, 231-436-5664.

News Release from the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum, Inc.

 

Boatnerd Tops 9 Million

6/13 - Monday evening over 9,000,000 visits had been recorded to the main page of the Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping home page. The counter was started as the page was launched in 1995.

The nine millionth visitor passed without noticing the counter, the closest visitor to report was 9,000,002 - Bob Kasischke.

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

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

 

Port Reports - June 13

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Monday morning the Alpena was at the LaFarge silo on Jones Island in Milwaukee's inner harbor, unloading powdered cement.
During the noon hour, steamer St. Mary's Challenger slowly worked its way up the meandering Kinnickinnic River with its officers navigating from the port bridge wing, before docking at the St. Mary's cement terminal just east of the Kinnickinnic Avenue bridge.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbon
The four smokestacks at the Lakeview Generating Station in Port Credit, commonly known to Lake Ontario sailors as the "Four Sisters", were demolished by explosion Monday morning just after 7 a.m.
The cement carrier Stephen B. Roman came into port around 11:30 a.m. that morning, just as the tug Radium Yellowknife was preparing to depart with the tugs Salvage Monarch and Doc Morin in tow. McKeil's tug Glenevis departed port around 12:30 p.m.
The tug Diver III and barge Place Gas & Oil Scow No. 2 are working in the West Gap assisting with building the new Port Authority ferry terminals on both sides of the West Gap. The Port Authority tug Wm. Rest has been hauling dredged material from the Don River/Keating Channel out to the spoils ground off the Leslie Street spit. The tug M. R. Kane is still on Toronto Drydock. Unloading continues on the Greek salty Goldeneye at the Redpath slip.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Rt. Hon. Paul Martin was East bound on the lake for Buffalo at 8 p.m. Monday night.
The American Fortitude arrived for General Mills at 12:45 a.m. Monday morning. She was looking interesting wearing her newly painted smokestack in American Steamship colors but with the Oglebay Norton hull and cabin colors. The stern will probably look a lot like the John J Boland (Saginaw) did with the smoke stack resembling that of the McKee Sons or the Reiss Brothers since it's so large in diameter.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
The Maria Desgagnes departed Hamilton at 7 p.m. heading 5 miles down the lake to the Petro Canada Pier in Oakville ( Bronte ).
The Quebecois arrived at 9:30 p.m. with iron ore for Dofasco from Port Cartier. Her next stop will be Clarkson some 10 miles down the lake.
The Olympic Miracle decided to wait for the Quebecois to enter the harbour before departing. In the mean time the tug Vigilant has arrived on the scene and is waiting for the Quebecois to enter the harbour.
The Algowood continues to load slag at Pier 26 .

Cape Vincent - Ron Walsh
The Algoscotia was westbound at Cape Vincent at 10:30 a.m.
The Evans McKeil, 2 other tugs and the Windoc have entered the Seaway , westbound for Port Colborne. The tow was at the St. Lambert lock at 8:00 p.m.
The Georgian Clipper has been operating in the area. They were eastbound in the Seaway channel at 8:30 a.m. going to Rockport.

Fairport Harbor - Herb Hubbel
Monday evening the Calumet was loading salt at Morton Salt. The Cuyahoga was taking on a load of a fine screened product at the Osborne dock on the east side of the Grand River.

St. Joseph - Jim Lindholm
Monday morning the tug Samuel De Champlain and barge Innovation were at the St. Joseph Michigan cement terminal.

Toledo -
USNS TWR-825 Grayfox was in Toledo today at International Park for tours. The crew was in their dress whites (Cracker Jacks).

Montreal - René Beauchamp
Windoc departed Montreal about 4 p.m. Monday. The destination given is now Port Weller. Leading tug is Evans McKeil assisted by Progress and Lac Como according to the Seaway website.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Earl W. Oglebay was in Holland Monday morning, delivering stone to the Brewer dock. It departed at about 1:00 p.m.

 

Updates - June 13

News Photo Gallery updated

News Photos of the Mackinaw Commissioning and Decommissioning.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today In Great Lakes History - June 13

On 13 June 2003, after completing her conversion from American to Canadian registry, Lower Lakes Towing's newly acquired MICHIPICOTEN departed the Government dock at Sarnia, Ontario. First she went to the Shell Oil dock in Corunna, Ontario to fuel, then she departed for Marquette, Michigan to load ore for Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

On 13 June 1902, METROPOLIS (wooden side-wheel steamer, 168 foot, 425 tons, built in 1868, at Detroit, Michigan) caught fire and burned to a total loss at her dock in Toledo, Ohio. She was only used occasionally for excursions and spent most of her time tied up to the dock.

On June 13, 1983, the JOHN B AIRD began its maiden voyage for Algoma Central Railway, a load of coal from Thunder Bay to Nanticoke, Ontario.

The IRVING S OLDS carried a record 17,817 gross tons of iron ore on June 13, 1943, from Lake Superior and transported a total of 736,800 short tons of various bulk cargoes the next year.

On the morning of June 13, 1905, running down bound on Lake Superior, the heavily laden SYLVANIA encountered heavy fog as she approached the Soo. Confused whistle signals resulted in the SYLVANIA glancing off the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., steamer SIR HENRY BESSEMER which sustained a 175 foot port side gash from the SYLVANIA's anchor. The BESSEMER required $40,000 in repairs and the SYLVANIA's damage totaled $10,000 which included a new anchor and shell plating which was completed at the Craig Shipbuilding Co., Toledo, Ohio.

June 13, 1930 - Shortly after leaving Menominee, Michigan, fireman Walter O'Leary of the ANN ARBOR NO 7 became ill. The carferry proceeded at full speed to the nearest doctor at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, where surgery was performed to remove gall stones.

June 13, 1974 - The b.) CITY OF GREEN BAY, formerly WABASH was sold to Marine Salvage Company to be scrapped. She was scrapped at Castellon, Spain in 1974.

On 13 June 1903, CHARLES H DAVIS (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 145 foot, 391 gross tons, built in 1881, at Saginaw, Michigan) was carrying limestone on Lake Erie off Cleveland when she developed a leak which quickly got worse and admitted water faster than her pumps capacity. She sank near the Cleveland breakwater. She was an unusual vessel, reportedly built of pine and pointed at both ends with her planking set diagonally.

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

 

A Great Day for Two Ships
Crowd bids farewell to 62-year-old cutter,
Welcomes commissioning of new vessel

6/12 - Cheboygan - Never have any two Coast Guard icebreakers enjoyed a better day together in the sunshine. “In all the world, there's no place like this,” quipped outgoing Mackinaw skipper Cmdr. Joseph C. McGuiness of the city that has hosted his vessel for 62 years. “This is a great day as we set the watch and the first log entries of this new ship,” echoed Cmdr. John Little of the $110 million icebreaker he will take into the next chapter of Great Lakes maritime lore.

Saturday's decommissioning of the original U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw, followed by the commissioning ceremony for the new icebreaker that carries the same name, was everything it was expected to be. Whether you were a boat-watcher, a fan of the two Mackinaws, a history buff, a sun worshiper or just an enthusiastic resident of the Northern Michigan communities that have long marveled at the old cutter's legacy and the new one's potential, it was a day not to be missed.

Buses from Cheboygan Area Schools did a timely job of shuttling visitors back and forth from the Kmart shopping plaza to the Millard D. Olds Memorial Moorings, closed to traffic along with Coast Guard Drive. Police reported no logistic difficulties as an audience of more than 3,000 made its way safely to the proceedings and back to their vehicles.

With crewmembers of both ships dressed in tropical dress blues and officers in dress whites, the uniformed look of those who belonged blended with those who used to serve and those who wished they did. Shirts, hats, posters, books, commemorative coins and all else relating to the two ships were in high demand Saturday and proudly displayed by all at the dock.

The special Coast Guard Honor Guard detail brought the rigid flag-handling skills appropriate for a ceremony that demanded respect for the old and new vessels alike. After the arrival of the official party that included politicians, captains from past and present, admiralty from the 9th District and the top commandant of the Coast Guard, the day officially began shortly after 1 p.m. with a stunning rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” sung by Coast Guard vocalist Lisa Taylor and accompanied by the U.S. Coast Guard Band.

Lt. Commander Herbert Griffin, U.S. Navy Chaplain, followed with a brief invocation, and a 19-gun salute from a small cannon onboard the new Mackinaw started the program. The decommissioning ceremony for the original Mackinaw was handled smoothly by Cmdr. Lisa Mack, the executive officer of the ship since early last fall. She began by introducing Rear Adm. John Crowley, Jr., the new commander of the 9th Coast Guard District.

Cmdr. Joseph C. McGuiness stole the show with his heartfelt comments about the ship he has skippered for the last three years. The day really belonged to his ship, though it was a celebration for both old and new. “The Mackinaw was the heavyweight champion of icebreaking - and still is,” he proclaimed. More apparent was the love he felt for his crew, referring several times to the loyalty and dedication it displayed.

“The ship is the crew, and what a crew I've been honored to serve with,” he said, beaming with pride. “These men and women and the long line that came before them have brought the Mighty Mac to retirement today in as fine a form as ever. This crew moved ships when nobody else could. This crew held themselves to the highest degrees of honor, respect and devotion to duty. This crew worked unfailingly to keep their old ship ‘Semper Paratus.' All the while they continually worked to keep the ship in the condition you see today - museum ready.”

McGuiness recognized the veterans who attended the event, including Frank Hillus, a member of the original commissioning crew from 1944. Hillus received the second biggest ovation of the day, next to the old Mac's crew. “Sixty-two years from now, that's going to be you,” McGuiness joked to the new Mackinaw's crew.
Eight bells were then tolled, a perfect verse of “Taps” was played by bugler Senior Chief Carroll Potts, the pennant was lowered and 62 years of Great Lakes service drew to a close. McGuiness wasn't the only one with misty eyes.

Next came the passing of the long glass from old Mackinaw's Lt. David Schuler to Cmdr. John Little of the new Mackinaw. Then it was the presentation of the final commissioning pennant by Senior Chief Petty Officer David Sparkenbaugh, crewmember with the longest term of service, to McGuiness along with the national ensign and Union Jack from the Honor Guard to Mackinaw's Lt. Douglas Wyatt.

Remarks were then heard from Admiral Thad Allen, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. He was followed by Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert, R-Batavia, Ill., and U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Menominee. Jean Hastert, the new ship's sponsor, told of watching the ship grow from pieces of steel to the beautiful and capable vessel she saw at the Cheboygan dock.

The commissioning of new Mackinaw was capably directed by Lt. Nathan Podoll, executive officer of the vessel, who served as master of ceremonies. A 19-gun salute was fired from three small cannons near the new Mackinaw. It was then time for Cmdr. John Little to read his orders and start a new era of icebreaking under the name, “Mackinaw.” Little's gentle and polite demeanor won the audience, many of whom toured the ship following the ceremony, as they did the retiring “Queen of the Great Lakes.”

Cake and ice cream were enjoyed by all after the two-hour ceremony, and many marveled at the enormous decorative cake baked by the original Mackinaw's food service crew - a task that took nearly two weeks to complete. The decorative cake, saved for crewmembers from both ships, was almost the size of the cafeteria table that held it up for display.


‘Plankowner,' other Dignitaries Attend Mackinaw Ceremonies

6/12 - Cheboygan - You just knew it was going to be a big day at the Millard D. Olds Memorial Moorings when Frank Hillus showed up. A “plankowner,” or original crewmember of the 62-year-old U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw, Hillus was the lone member of the original crew able to travel to Cheboygan on Saturday for the decommissioning ceremonies that took place here along with the commissioning ceremonies of the new Mackinaw that will carry on the original ship's legacy.

Only a few plankowners of the old Mackinaw survive, and the others are in nursing homes. “This is really awesome, I thought I'd never see this ship again - or Cheboygan,” said Hillus, now in his 80s. He also returned in 2004 for the 60th anniversary reunion. “I've never been to anything like this. It's a different Coast Guard today. It's hard to get used to seeing all the officers in these white uniforms.” The ceremonies drew perhaps 100 former crewmembers from the original Mackinaw and seven former commanding officers.

The U.S. Coast Guard Band performed brilliantly for the crowd, and a special color guard detail carried out the handling of the flags with precision-like accuracy in their movements.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert's presence necessitated a Secret Service unit that accompanied him and his wife, Jean, the new Mackinaw's sponsor. A Cheboygan County Sheriff's Marine Patrol boat stood guard in the Cheboygan River during the proceedings, accompanied by two U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat that carried small arms. U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Menominee, was seated on the stage as the Michigan congressman who has championed the cause of both icebreakers and the city of Cheboygan as their home.

Representatives for Stupak, U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow also attended and joined Cheboygan Mayor James Muschell at the front of the audience.

It was also a special day for the husband and son of Storekeeper 1st Class Annette Horton, a plankowner of the new Mackinaw killed in a 2005 Wisconsin auto accident before the ship was launched. “This is wonderful - a real tribute to her memory,” said Kevin Horton, here with the couple's son, Ian, after being presented a copy of a plaque dedicated by the new Mackinaw's crew. The 1st Class Lounge on the ship was dedicated Saturday in Annette Horton's memory after the commissioning ceremonies.


Mackinaw's Skippers were Highly Successful Commanders

6/12 - Cheboygan - The list of commanding officers who skippered the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw comprises a roster of truly remarkable men. Several went on to become admirals in the Coast Guard. Many were successful businessmen in civilian life and great family men. Others retired from their service and enjoyed restful days that were well deserved. All share a distinguished place in a chapter of Coast Guard history on the Great Lakes.

Cmdr. Edwin Roland set a fabulous example for captains to follow with his immediate acceptance of the Cheboygan community, his contagious enthusiasm for building crew morale, and his ascent in a Coast Guard career that saw him reach the rank of admiral. He no doubt inspired his own son, Lt. Edwin J. Roland, who served as a student engineer on the ship and quipped, “It's a fine ship to learn on. You come up against things you wouldn't find elsewhere.” Others who followed added their own distinctive marks to the Mackinaw's command.

Capt. Dwight Dexter was in command from 1950 to 1952, and also served as the secretary/manager of the Cheboygan Chamber of Commerce for a time. While he assisted the Chamber, Dexter developed the Mackinaw Loan Fund for Coast Guardsmen or their families needing financial help. During the winter of 1959-1960, a drive under the general chairmanship of Bill Ripley, Richard Hess, Harold Lorton, Art Baker and Mrs. Clarence Land raised a total of $1,347.44 as a “friendly helping hand” to ease the temporary emergencies that can arise for a serviceman. Ripley was the mayor of Cheboygan when the Mackinaw came to town in 1944.

Many Cheboygan businesses, civic groups and private citizens contributed to the fund, available to the men of the Mackinaw.

By 1962, Dexter was an admiral, and reported that 111 loans had been made in the aggregate amount of $2,032. The fund continued to grow, and at the time $1,263 remained for loans. Dexter's foresight saw to a need that helped boost Mackinaw crewmen in the community.

It is very clear when talking to former crewmembers that opinions differ as to what makes a particular captain liked or unliked by the crew. One man's favorite captain was the next man's nemesis on board the ship. “There are two types of captains,” recalled Frank Umbrino, who sailed on the Mackinaw in the late 1960s. “There's an officers' captain and there's a crew's captain. The first type stayed in his office or his wardroom all day and didn't mingle with the crew or ever visit the guys in the engine room. The second type did the opposite and didn't require all the formalities. Just call him captain and you didn't need to worry about the salute, that type of thing.”

“I can remember some things being a little too loose for my liking, but I was an old-school type of guy,” said John Sawicki, who served as a go-between as a master chief of the boat. Chiefs were bound to think that way, he added, as they found a disciplined crew much easier to deal with.

Captain Robert Parsons took command in 1992 and achieved a distinction for the Mackinaw that makes it even more unique. He learned that a Coast Guard ship that is home-ported at the same place the longest time has the privilege of having the name of the port painted on the vessel. He invoked this tradition, and naturally Gordon Turner of the Cheboygan Daily Tribune got behind the cause. U.S. Rep. Bob Davis, D-Mich., also pushed for the addition and as a result the name, “Cheboygan, Mi.” was painted on the stern of the Mackinaw. It's an honor seen nowhere else in the Coast Guard fleet.

Some captains were known for their ability to get the crew out in the community and pitch in on fund-raisers, projects and worthy causes. Others helped to organize morale-building events and enlisted the crew in local competitions like bowling leagues, softball or basketball leagues. For a time the Mackinaw had its own bowling league, formed entirely of crewmembers from the ship.

Still other captains worked hard for the families of crewmembers, often through the efforts of their own wives, to organize the wives into a group that would welcome newcomers, take on service projects and see new families through the crew's long absences from home. Each captain had his own distinctive style in leading the ship's crew through icebreaking season, cruising season, maintenance work or even shipyard re-fits. The topic of how the captains handled their ships and their crews is one that will surface without fail during any reunion of Mackinaw alumni.


Mackinaw was Built in Toledo Shipyard After Onset of World War II

6/12 - Cheboygan - In the spring of 1943 the Toledo Shipbuilding Co. began work on the Mackinaw, under the direction of J.W. Massenburg, the yard's superintendent who had charge of the construction. The design of the ship was undertaken by Gibbs and Cox, naval architects, in a special icebreaker design section set up specifically for the new Great Lakes crusher and her semi-sister ships to be constructed in a classification known as the Wind Class.

Under the guidance of Cmdr. E.H. Thiele, who later retired as a rear admiral, all known worthwhile icebreaker design features were examined. All the best components possible were incorporated into the new ship's design. In addition, other modern shipbuilding techniques and designs were utilized as well as other equipment developed specifically for the new vessel, which would become the world's most powerful icebreaker and eventually hold that title for almost 30 years.

Completion bonds and penalty clauses are routinely written into shipbuilding contracts of this sort, and the Mackinaw was no exception. Hull No. 188 underwent some major delays and soon construction began to fall seriously behind schedule. Despite the introduction of women into the workforce, wartime personnel numbers were often low at factory or construction jobs requiring highly-skilled, heavy-duty equipment operators and plain old-fashioned grunt- work laborers. Both are required when moving around tons of steel plating and machinery to build large ships. However, many women worked on various phases of the ship's construction.

In addition, America's scrap iron drives and emphasis on moving iron ore to port had become a standard way of life for industrial concerns by 1943, but many of the Mackinaw's systems and equipment were so revolutionary and unique that the vessel's ever-changing specifications slowed the building process even more. This was going to be a bigger icebreaker than had ever been built by anyone in the Toledo yard or anywhere else, incorporating many new and untried designs. The frequent delays mounted up massive costs when deadline after deadline was not met.

Soon, the job of building the Mackinaw proved to be too much for the Toledo Shipbuilding Co., and the firm declared bankruptcy. Now the unfinished hull sat in the yard, waiting for an answer as to whether it would ever be completed to sail one day on the Great Lakes.

To the rescue came the American Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., which agreed to complete the mammoth project. An understanding was reached with the government that the work would be performed on a no-penalty, cost-plus-zero basis. The ship was badly needed and neither the Coast Guard, the U.S. government nor the factories along the shores of the Great Lakes were in a position to haggle over completion date details. The job would be done right, as soon as possible and the new company could start right away.

When stepping the mast, to a height that would be 105 feet above the waterline, workmen in the yard followed a shipbuilder's custom of placing a silver dollar under the base of the mast. Legend has it that contributions that day amounted to more than $70 in silver dollars, pre-1944 currency, that is still to this day under the mast of the ship.

The final cost of the Mackinaw was $10 million, and as launch day approached after a couple of surprisingly mild winters, skeptics and naysayers began touting the new crusher as a “white elephant.” Some even referred to the Mackinaw as the “Coast Guard's Folly.” The day would come when the critics would eat their words.

The above articles were written by Mike Fornes for the Cheboygan Daily Tribune

Special Photo Section at Boatnerd News Photo Gallery

 

Coast Guard Says ‘Good-Bye' to USCGC Acacia

6/12 - Charlevoix - She was loyal. She returned her men to safety. She was a presence on the Great Lakes for 62 years.

Several generations of Coast Guard members gathered to pay homage to their lady - the Acacia Coast Guard Cutter- the last of the 180 foot buoy tenders. The Acacia and her crew were honored during the decommissioning ceremony Wednesday, at the Coast Guard Station in Charlevoix. “I refer to the Acacia as “she” or “her” and sailors understand why we refer to ships as ladies,” Commander, Keith Bills said. “... she has a beauty and grace about her befitting to an elegant lady.”

Commissioned during the World War II era, she gracefully sailed the Great Lakes since. “Besides my mother who couldn't be here today, Becky (Bills' wife) tolerated another lady,” Bills said, as crew members knowingly laughed.
Bills shared how her steel frames, like a mother's arms, protected the men, returning them home to their families for 62 years. He praised her service while clutching a Kleenex, what he called “CEO cry rags,” to dry his eyes.

The sky was overcast, setting the tone for an emotionally charged ceremony. A couple hundred people, several old crew members, Coast Guard families and citizens gathered to bid farewell to the great dame. “It's a celebration of ages and transitions,” Rear Admiral, John Crowley, the commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, said. “Today is a day to celebrate all the hard work a sailor does.”

The Acacia was commissioned in 1944, the year “Casablanca” was the best picture and the Army football team won the championship, Crowley said. He spoke of her lasting impact and adaptability to the times. The Acacia was a familiar site on the Great Lakes for those 62 years. More than 12,000 crew members left the ship with leadership skills, as more seasoned sailors and with bonds that last a lifetime, Bills said. “The 180 footer is the epitome of the multi-mission cutter. She did everything the Coast Guard asked for, but go fast,” Bills said.

Bills shared stories about daily Coast Guard life, the non glamorous, but important, work. “Do you ever see buoy deck operations in a Coast Guard commercial?” Bills said. “What would that look like? A seaman handling a bug covered buoy in sub zero degree temperatures?”

As a navigational aid and ice breaking ship, the Acacia had many notable missions. The Acacia assisted the Mackinaw in the opening of the port of Buffalo, N.Y., from ice in 1948. In 1987-1988, the ship conducted patrols in the Caribbean. In March of 1988, the Acacia intercepted a 50-foot boat carrying Haitian immigrants. The Acacia did “her” missions without fanfare.

And much like the Acacia is known for its quiet service, Bills followed the same suit. “Bills is trying to slip out of here quietly in a retirement,” Crowley said. “We have a man who has been tremendously committed to the service, his family. He is very calm, he is gentle, he is modest and reluctant to talk about these things. He is going off in quiet retirement.” Bills, who retired with the Acacia, will make his home in Charlevoix.

In a touching moment, the crew unveiled a gift to its port city, a 6,000 pound anchor that will be fitted with a plaque. “With deep affection and gratitude this anchor represents the enduring hearts of the cuttermen and their families,” Bills said. For more than 100 years, the Coast Guard has been assigned to Charlevoix to tend to buoys and lighthouses. The Acacia represents an end of an era - for the Coast Guard and Charlevoix.

Charlevoix Mayor Norm Carlson spoke of the connection between the Acacia and Charlevoix. “The Coast Guard will always be welcome to come back home to Charlevoix,” Carlson said. “You will never leave someone behind. You take a part of them with you and leave a part of yourself behind,” Carlson said. “I hope you take a part of Charlevoix with you.” Carlson said the Acacia's departure leaves a hole in the city. “There will also be a hole in our heart and our community,” Carlson said.

Wayne Verry, a former commander of the Acacia from 1984-1987, reminisced about the good times and the role “she” played on the Great Lakes. After six decades, bidding farewell is difficult. “It's always hard to say good-bye to an old girl,” Verry said.


Former Acacia Crew Members Share Their Memories of the “Ace of the Lakes”

6/12 - Charlevoix - In 1946, Joseph Etienne, was a young executive officer, leading navigational journeys aboard the Ace of the Great Lakes. The ship was a stunner, leading a fleet with the technology of the World War II era, Etienne said.
More than 60 years later, Etienne, like his ship- the U.S.Coast Guard Cutter Acacia - has aged gracefully. A Coast Guard hat sat prominently above his brow, sharing a youthful glimmer, whenever he spoke of his “Coastie” days. “I'm 91-years of age and the good Lord allowed me to be here to be part of the (decommissioning) ceremony today,” Etienne, of Charlevoix, said. “Once a Coast Guard member, you're always a Coast Guardsmen. You always remember the good service.”

Etienne, was one of several crew members representing the six generations the Acacia Coast Guard Cutter sailed the Great Lakes. John J. Sawacki, 65, was dressed in his formal uniform, with black shiny patent leather shoes. His eyes danced and a smile shined as he met with old friends. The crew members quickly caught up on 30 or more years by exchanging hugs and posing for pictures. Soon the stories flowed about life aboard the ship.

Sawacki joked about the initiations for chiefs - swimming in the lake or wearing parts of his uniform backwards. He also shared stories of the famous cook, Wally Mikolajczak who served twice on the Acacia. Hugging his old friend, Wally was pleased with his infamy. “The cook was always the most popular guy,” Mikolajczak said, “Well, second to the pay master.”

But, not all the stories centered on good times. The men remembered Nov. 29, 1966 - a fateful day. The ship was called to aid in the search and rescue missions when the Daniel J. Morrell, a Great Lakes bulk freighter, broke in half. The Morrell sailed into lower Lake Huron when winds reached 65 mph. There was one survivor among the 29 member crew. “We were 20 miles from the ship when it went down,” Mikolajczak said, “We didn't find (any more) survivors.”

Jerry Johnston, who served on the Acacia in the 1960s recalls the long hours and smaller crews of the Vietnam Era. During his journeys, Charlevoix was his favorite port. “I met my wife in Charlevoix,” Johnston, of Knoxville, Tenn., said. But, Wednesday he came to bid good-bye to his first lady - the Acacia. “As an old “Coastie” you hate to see her go,” Johnston said.

Johnston swapped stories with Louis Webber who served in the 1960s. “It was a heck of a darn good crew,” Webber, a retired deck safety officer said. “For me personally, it's hard to see her go. She's served the Coast Guard and the public well. But she's old. I'm sure she will still serve the people as a museum,” Webber, of Panama City, Fla. said.

Looking back, Wayne Verry, a retired commander of the Acacia, said what he remembers most is his crew “who did the job and did it well.” He came back to pay homage to the ship. “The ship has life to it. It's the crew that gives it life,” Verry said. “But the ship provides that spark.”

Both articles by Kristina Hughes for the Petoskey News-Review

 

Port Stanley Talks Scuttled

6/12 - Port Stanley, Ontario - The bid to get local control of the harbour at Port Stanley appears to be dead in the water -- at least for now. So says a federal bureaucrat with Transport Canada, creating concern for local officials who felt they were close to a deal to take over the Lake Erie harbour after years of negotiation.

Meanwhile, Elgin-Middlesex-London MP Joe Preston said yesterday he's seeking a meeting with Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon as quickly as possible to clarify the situation and push to close the deal.

In Ottawa, Transport Canada spokesperson Robin Browne said the federal government's "port divestiture" program ended in March and is now being reviewed. "Pending completion of that review, the department will not engage in negotiations," including those with Port Stanley, he said. Browne said regional Transport Canada officials in Ontario have had "informal discussions (with local officials) to clarify previously exchanged information. But there are no formal negotiations and there is little chance of that happening anytime soon." He couldn't predict when the review will be completed.

In 1996, the federal government announced it was disposing of 549 ports administered by Transport Canada. The idea was to save money and by 2004, savings of $146 million were claimed. The program was to have run for six years, but was extended twice, most recently until March. Aside from Port Stanley, 82 ports still remain under Transport Canada's control.

Negotiations with Central Elgin, where Port Stanley is located, have been on for two years, said Mayor Dave Rock.
"I'm getting all kinds of surprises," Rock said of Browne's assertion. "That's news to me. As far as I understand it, we are still talking." He said it's "discouraging" if a deal can't be finalized within the next few weeks or months as expected. "We will continue to pursue it," Rock said of a pact with his community of 13,000, which he's determined not to burden with costly new infrastructure. "From time to time there will be bumps in the road," Rock said philosophically. "I'm going to remain optimistic we can get this resolved."

Preston said he was under the impression "the deal is almost done" and he'd been reluctant to interfere in the complicated talks between the two levels of government. But word of negotiations being suspended caught him by surprise. "I'll obviously need to have a conversation with the minister as soon as possible," said the MP. "Why would we be negotiating with the community if it wasn't possible for negotiations to come to fruition? I think a lot of work has been put into the project and I'd hate to see any of it wasted."

Preston said he understands the divestiture program ended in March, but he can't understand why ongoing talks would automatically be scuttled. He hopes to meet Cannon early next week.

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, Ohio, port officials are blaming the protracted harbour talks in Canada for delaying the launch of a ferry service to Port Stanley. Rose Ann DeLeon, vice-president of the local port authority, told the Plain Dealer newspaper a new Canadian government and minister meant further delay and the service which had been planned to start this year won't start until 2008 at the earliest.

From the London Free Press

 

Port Reports - June 12

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Sunday saw the tug Salvor and barge Lambert's Spirit depart at 8:00 a.m. heading to the Welland Canal.
The Ocean Group tug Omni Richileau departed at 12 noon.
The Algowood arrived at 1:30 p.m. going to the Dofasco with coal from Sandusky .After discharging her cargo she will shift to Pier 26 to load slag for Detroit.
The CCGC Thunder Cape arrived at 5:00 p.m. going to the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington.
Finally the 2 Ocean Group tugs Omni Richileau and Omni St. Laurent arrived at 8:00 p.m.

Marquette - Lee Rowe & Rod Burdick
Sunday was a busy day in Marquette with the arrival of the "new" American Courage and the Michipicoten at the ore dock and the John J. Boland bringing stone to the Shiras dock.
Newly renamed American Valor cancelled on Saturday.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Saturday afternoon, a saltwater vessel arrived and was anchored overnight on Lake Michigan off Milwaukee's main light. Sunday at first light, the vessel (Erikousa, reg. Valletta, Malta) entered the inner harbor, assisted by Great Lakes Towing tugs, and backed under the chutes at Nidera Grain where it waited to load.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Cuyahoga was in Sunday morning with salt and out again in mid-afternoon.
Algosteel finished unloading at Redpath Sugar and departed at 1 p.m.
The tugs Omni Richelieu and Omni St. Laurent arrived about an hour later and assisted the salty Goldeneye into the Redpath slip. The tugs departed for Hamilton afterwards.
The tall ship Empire Sandy returned to port during the night from it's Welland Canal and Niagara River excursions.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Buffalo called on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City early Sunday morning to unload. She was back outbound for the lake around sunrise.

 

Updates - June 12

News Photos of the Mackinaw Decommissioning and Decommissioning.

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 12

On 12 June 1898, SAKIE SHEPHERD (wooden propeller freighter, 100 foot, 189 gross tons, built in 1883, at Huron, Ohio) burned while at the dock in Courtright, Ontario. The fire was discovered at 1:00 a.m. and the crew just had time to escape. The schooner YOUNG AMERICA also caught fire and had damage done to her stern. The SHEPHERD was towed to Detroit where she was rebuilt and lasted until 1903, when she sank in Lake Huron.

On 12 June 1900, the UNIQUE (wooden propeller, 163 foot, 381 gross tons, built in 1894, at Marine City, Michigan) was sold at public auction at St. Clair, Michigan to satisfy a mortgage. W. J. Laidlaw of Ogdensburg, New York purchased her for $20,000 for the Rapid Transit Co. to run between Ogdensburg and Kingston, Ontario. In 1904, her upper cabins were removed and she was rebuilt as a yacht. She lasted until 1915, when she burned in New York City harbor.

"STUBBY", The bow and stern sections of the STEWART J CORT welded together, passed Port Colborne, Ontario on June 12, 1970, bound for Erie, Pennsylvania under her own power. STUBBY's bow and stern sections were later separated at Erie Marine, Inc., a Div. of Litton, and joined to the 816 foot hull mid-body.

The NANTICOKE (Hull#218) departed Collingwood, Ontario in 1980, beginning her maiden voyage for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.

In 1959, the BENSON FORD of 1924, ran aground in the Amherstburg Channel on her upbound trip with coal for the Rouge Plant. After five days of lightering and with tug assistance, she was freed. Damage amounted to 41 bottom plates which took 30 days to repair.

On 12 June 1832, the wooden schooner GUERRIER was sailing from Oswego, New York for Detroit when she capsized in a squall off Bar Point on Lake Erie. Captain Pember and the crew and most of the passengers made it to the Canadian shore, but one family was trapped in the cabin. The husband was able to keep his head above water in the upside down cabin, but through the night, one by one, his four children and then his wife slipped from his grasp and perished. The following day, Capt. Stanard took his steamer NIAGARA to the wreck and rescued the man.

On 12 June 1900, the steel tow barge BRYN MAWR (Hull#41) was launched at South Chicago, Illinois by the Chicago Ship Building Co., for the Pittsburgh Steamship Company.

The wooden propeller freighter MILWAUKEE (264 foot, 1,770 gross tons) was launched at Quayle & Sons yard in Cleveland, Ohio on 12 June 1879, for the Western Transportation Company of Buffalo, New York. She had supporting arches above decks. In 1902, she was renamed YONKERS and rebuilt as a barge in 1911. She lasted until 1917-1918 when she stranded, then burned.

Data from: Max Hanley, 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.

 

Algoscotia Headed to Nanticoke, Windoc to Port Colborne

6/11 - Algoscotia transited the Seaway for the first time Sunday. She had been built two years ago in China. Until now, she had ventured only as far as Quebec City. Her destination is Nanticoke.

Expected to leave Montreal later on this week will be the Windoc bound for Port Colborne under tow of Evans McKeil and Progress. A third tug may assist the tow.

Reported by René Beauchamp

 

Christening of the Cape Discovery

6/11 - Sarnia - The Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Cape Discovery was christened at Sarnia on Saturday. Among those in attendance were members of the Canadian Coast Guard, the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Coast Guard.

The Cape Discovery is the last of ten 47 foot motor lifeboats to be christened which have been placed into service over the past couple of years on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes. The Cape Discovery is currently assigned to Canadian Coast Guard Search and Rescue Station Goderich on Lake Huron.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley was on hand for the ceremony at anchor in the St. Clair River, providing a wonderful backdrop for the ceremony.

Reported by Leslie Reading of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, Central and Arctic Region.

 

Ferry sale closes soon; buyer to help pay upkeep

6/11 - Rochester - The high-speed ferry sale should close within 10 business days, but a formal departure date remains uncertain, city officials said Thursday.

British buyer Euroferries Ltd. also has agreed to begin reimbursing the city for the accumulating $6,000-per-day expense of maintaining the ship. City spokesman Gary Walker said Euroferries would reimburse the city for daily expenses dating from June 1 until the ship departs for the English Channel, plus fuel and other costs. The bill has tallied more than $200,000 since Mayor Robert Duffy announced the $29.8 million ferry sale last month.

Complexities with transferring the ship's engine warranty, securing berthing slots at ports in England and France and finalizing other agreements delayed the closing.

Duffy announced Jan. 10 that the city was shutting down the Rochester-to-Toronto service and selling the ship, citing $10 million in losses in 10 months. "I don't see this venture as a failure," said city Councilman Benjamin Douglas, who served as ferry board president. "I see it as a step forward." He said it created relationships with Toronto and spurred port development.

 Euroferries has hired former ferry manager Bay Ferries to deliver the ship. The delivery crew will arrive this weekend.

Reported by Joseph Woytta from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

 

New Sarnia Excursion Vessel

6/11 - Sarnia - On Tuesday, Capt. Ken Bracewell sailed into Sarnia with his new cruise vessel, Spirit of Newport which will be renamed Duc D'Orleans II.

The 70 ft. vessel from Newport, Rhode Island will replace the 1944-built Duc D'Orleans(1) which has been operating from Sarnia since 1978. The familiar Duc D'Orleans was built by Mac-Craft Corp. in Sarnia as Q 105 and served during the second war as a coastal surveillance vessel. Her fate is speculative.

The new vessel is powered by twin 210 hp Detroit diesels, licensed for about 250 passengers and will be put into service once Dept. of Transport approval is certified.

Reported by Al Mann

 

Port Reports - June 11

Fairport Harbor - Herb Hubbel
Mid morning Friday found the Algorail backing out the Grand River. It is unknown where she unloaded.

River Rouge - Nathan Nietering
On Friday, the Calumet was in bound the Rouge River around 9 a.m. with a cargo of stone bound for one of the docks near the Conrail Bridge. They later departed and headed down bound in the Detroit River around 5 p.m.
John J. Boland, after unloading coal through the night in the Shortcut coal dock, shifted over to Sterling Fuels during the late morning and then proceeded up bound in Ballast.
Tug Sea Eagle II and barge St. Mary's Cement II were unloading at the St. Mary's Cement Terminal just above the Conrail Bridge throughout the day.
Tug John Spence and barge McAsphalt 401 were in bound the Rouge around 3 p.m. with assistance from the G tug Wyoming, bound for the Ashland-Marathon terminal to load.
Tug Magnetic was also shifting barges around the Rouge at various times throughout the day on Friday.

Saturday was another busy day in the Rouge River, the  Tug Barbara Andrie and barge A-390 spent the morning and early afternoon at Warner's Waterfront Petroleum above Fort St.
The tug Sea Eagle II and barge St. Mary's Cement continued to unload throughout the day at the St. Mary's Cement terminal just above the Conrail Bridge.
Kaye E. Barker was inbound the Rouge around 1:30 p.m. with a cargo of stone for the Levy Stone Dock between Jefferson St. and the Conrail Bridge. They went into the river stern first.
The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were turning into the Rouge just past 6 p.m. Saturday evening, with a cargo of taconite for Severstal Steel.
Charles M. Beeghly was expected into Severstal sometime Sunday.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Algosoo took on a cargo of coal at the NS docks Thursday afternoon.
Later in the day, the Maumee loaded at the coal docks for Detroit.
Friday afternoon, the Algowood was loading at the NS dock and was expected to be followed by the H. Lee White.
H. Lee White eased into Sandusky Bay Saturday afternoon and was loading at the NS coal dock.

Toledo -
The tug Pioneerland headed upriver through the Cherry St. Bridge. All of the former Oglebay Norton Ships (Oglebay Norton, Armco, Fred R. White Jr.) have departed Toledo with new names and American Steamship stack colors. Hull and superstructures remain as they were. The old 1983 Toledo Harbor Patrol boat was out for the Latino fest at Promenade Park.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Saginaw backed into the inner harbour Friday morning and was on the dock at 7:30 a.m. On a cool, breezy morning, she was discharging her cargo into the elevators.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Friday afternoon had the tug Anglian Lady and barge arriving at 4:30 p.m. going to Pier 23 with coal tar from the Soo.
The Petrolia Desgagnes departed the Petro Canada Pier in Oakville ( Bronte ) at 6:30 p.m.
The car ferry Holiday Island departed Hamilton's Pier 14 at 7 p.m. heading down the lake. It runs between Caribou Island Nova Scotia and Wood Island Prince Edward Island.
Saturday had the Olympic Miracle arriving at 12:30 p.m. The refueling ship Hamilton Energy departed Provmar Terminals Pier 24 for Toronto. The Algosoo arrived at 6 p.m. going to Dofasco Dock 2. The Anglian Lady and barge PML2501 departed Pier 23 at 6:30 p.m. and the Birchglen arrived at 7:30 p.m.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Charles M Beeghly arrived in Marquette on a sunny but blustery Friday for a load of ore.
The next ship due is the Michipicoten. Newly- named American Courage and American Valor are expected during the weekend.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Traffic has been heavy on the Saginaw River the past few days. On Thursday, the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. unloaded coal at the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville. Her fleetmate, Adam E. Cornelius, made her first visit of the season to the Saginaw River unloading a short distance away at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. Both vessels were outbound on Thursday. Also outbound was the tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons who had arrived on Wednesday. The pair were outbound for the Saginaw Rock Products dock. Finally, the tug Rebecca Lynn and barge A-410 were inbound to unload at the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City.
Friday saw more traffic as the Manistee was in bound with a split load. She stopped first at the Wirt dock in Bay City to lighter and then continued upriver to finish her unload at the Wirt Saginaw dock. Once the Manistee cleared the Bit-Mat dock, the Rebecca Lynn and her barge backed from the slip and went upriver to turn at the Dow Chemical dock and rig for a barge tow out to the lake. The pair would usually do this at the Essroc dock, but that dock was occupied by the Great Lakes Dock and Materials tug Duluth and two deck barges.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The American Mariner finished her unload at the Bay Aggregates dock in Essexville by 12 a.m., backed out of the slip, turned and was outbound for the lake, passing the Consumers Power plant in Essexville by 12:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
The tug Invincible and the barge McKee Sons finished their 12 hour unload at the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw by 5 p.m. and tied their stern lines to the tug Gregory J. Busch for the tow downriver to turn at the Airport turning basin. The pair finished their turn at the Airport turning basin and were outbound for the lake by 8 p.m. Thursday evening.
The Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. was in bound the Saginaw River at the Front Range early Thursday afternoon, pulling over at the mouth of the Saginaw River to unload coal at the Consumers Power plant in Essexville. The McCarty had finished her unload by 8 p.m. Thursday evening, but waited for the outbound Invincible/McKee Sons to clear. Once the pair had cleared by 10 p.m., the McCarty backed out to Light 12 of the Saginaw Bay Entrance Channel to turn and head outbound for the lake.
The Manistee was in bound the Saginaw River early Friday afternoon with a split load for the Wirt Stone docks in Bay City and Saginaw. She arrived at the Saginaw Wirt dock to unload by 9 p.m., Friday night. The Manistee is expected to finish her unload early Saturday morning, and back downriver with the assistance from the tug Gregory J. Busch to turn at the Airport turning basin, and head outbound for the lake.

 

Four Chimneys Explosion Scheduled

6/11 - The 4 stacks at the Lakeview Generating Station in Port Credit on Lake Ontario will be demolished by explosion on June 12, between 7 and 7:30 am.

Boats will be kept 1 kilometer south of the site.

Reported by Hans Nita

 

Boatnerd Heading for 9 Million

6/11 - The counter on the main page is expected to top 9,000,000 visitors sometime late this week. (the counter is located at the bottom of the main page at www.BoatNerd.Com)

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

Please email moderator@boatnerd.net if you are the 9 millionth visitor. Please do not reload the page repeatedly, server logs will be used to confirm who the visitor was.

 

Updates - June 11

News Photos of the Mackinaw Decommissioning and Decommissioning.

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 10

On 10 June 1891, the tug AMERICAN EAGLE (wooden propeller tug, 46 gross tons, built in 1865, at Buffalo, New York) collided with the tug ALVA B (wooden propeller tug, 73 foot, 83 gross tons, built in 1890, at Buffalo, New York) which was not in motion, about 2.5 miles west of the Cleveland breakwater. The ALVA B hooked up a line and started towing the AMERICAN EAGLE in, but she sank a half mile from the harbor entrance.

On 10 June 1891, the CHARLES W WETMORE (steel propeller whaleback freighter, 265 foot, 1,399 gross tons) left the shipyard at West Superior, Wisconsin on her maiden voyage, bound for Liverpool, England with a cargo of grain. During her trip to the Atlantic Ocean, she shot the St. Lawrence River rapids. In Liverpool, she loaded machinery for Puget Sound. She only lasted until September 1892, when she stranded one mile north of Coos Bay, Oregon in fog. Bad weather stopped salvage attempts and the vessel was abandoned.

Bethlehem's LEWIS WILSON FOY, loaded her first cargo June 10, 1978, at Burlington Northern #5, Superior, Wisconsin with 57,952 tons of Hibbing taconite pellets for Burns Harbor, Indiana. Renamed b.) OGLEBAY NORTON in 1991.

In 1892, the keel for the ANN ARBOR NO 1 (Hull#55) was laid at Toledo, Ohio by Craig Shipbuilding Co.

The ANN ARBOR NO 4 was sold to the Michigan State Ferries in 1937, and renamed b.) CITY OF CHEBOYGAN.

On 10 June 1877, while lying at her dock at Detroit, the wooden side-wheeler R N RICE burned. The damage was estimated at $30,000. After this fire, she was rebuilt as a barge.

The propeller MONTGOMERY burned in the early morning hours of 10 June 1878. The fire started while she was laying at the dock in Point Edward, Ontario. The carferry INTERNATIONAL towed her out into the St. Clair River and cast her off to drift. Fortunately there were no injuries. She finally was beached opposite Batchelor's Mill on the Canadian side by the tugs CRUSADER and J H MARTIN. At 10:00 a.m., she was still burning. The MONTGOMERY was a steam barge of 1,104 tons, built in 1856, and owned by Capt. John Pridgeon. She was fully loaded with 29,000 bushels of corn, 320 barrels of flour, 540 barrels of corn meal, 200 bags of timothy seed and 111 bales of broom corn, besides other freight. The local papers claimed that the spectacle presented by the burning vessel as she drifted down the river was "grand and beautiful". The light was so brilliant that the entire city of Port Huron was illuminated and many people came out to watch. The following day, the wreck was towed to the American side of the river just below Avery's Mill. Whatever was left of her cargo was taken off and sold. Her engines and boiler were so badly warped and twisted from the intense heat that they were worthless except as scrap.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineer dredge MARKHAM (Hull#904) was launched in 1959, at Avondale, Louisiana by Avondale Marine Ways Inc.

 

Today In Great Lakes History - June 11

TASHMOO (steel side-wheel excursion steamer, 308 foot, 1,344 gross tons, built in 1900, at Wyandotte, Michigan) entered regular service for the White Star Line at Detroit, Michigan on 11 June 1900.

On 11 June 1903, HORACE H BADGER (wooden 3-mast schooner, 129 foot, 263 gross tons, built in 1867, at Conneaut, Ohio as a 2-mast schooner, formerly KATE GILLETT) was carrying coal in a storm on Lake Erie. She was driven onto the breakwater at Cleveland, Ohio and broke up in the storm waves. The crew of seven was rescued by the Life Saving Service. This vessel had been wrecked twice before; once at Cross Village, Michigan in 1895, and again near Alpena, Michigan in 1896.

The ATLANTIC SUPERIOR (Hull#222) was float launched at Thunder Bay, Ontario by Port Arthur Ship Building Co. Ltd.. in 1982, for Federal Commerce & Navigation Ltd., Montreal, Quebec (Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., mgr.), built for the Caribbean trade.

The MESABI MINER was christened at Duluth, Minnesota in 1977, she became the fourth thousand-foot bulk carrier on the Great Lakes and Interlake Steamship Co.'s second.

CARL D BRADLEY (Hull#718) cleared Lorain, Ohio in her gray and white livery in 1917, on her maiden voyage light bound for Calcite, Michigan to load limestone. She was the first Great Lakes commercial ship equipped with both Morse code telegraphy as well as ship-to-shore radio in 1922, which was standard on only 20 vessels by 1924. Renamed b.) JOHN G MUNSON in 1927, c.) IRVIN L CLYMER in 1951. She was scrapped at Duluth, Minnesota in 1994-5.

On June 11, 1936, the EDWARD J BERWIND collided with the AYCLIFFE HALL 16 miles West of Long Point on Lake Erie. The Hall Corp. steamer went to the bottom and was not salvaged.

June 11, 1981 - The BADGER steamed out of Ludington en route to Milwaukee under an MDOT subsidy that was approved earlier in March.

The propeller E B HALE was launched at Cleveland, Ohio at the yard of Quayle & Sons on 11 June 1874. Her length was 217 foot keel, 227 foot overall. She was owned by Capt. Bradley, Mr. Thomas Quayle and Mr. Loomis and she cost $100,000.

The wooden rabbit J S RUBY was launched at Fair Haven, Michigan on 11 June 1881. Her dimensions were 106 feet 6 inches x 21 feet x 7 feet. She was towed to Port Huron for the installation of her boiler and engine that were built by the Phoenix Iron Works. She lasted until burned to a total loss off Stag Island in the St. Clair River on November 9, 1891.

Data from: Max Hanley, 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.

 

Mackinaw Museum Ship Group Shifted Gears for Permanent Dock

6/9 - Mackinaw City - It's not like the Michigan Department of Natural Resources or the Waterways Commission are the bad guys in the placement saga of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw. The Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum, Inc., hopes to place the giant icebreaker in Mackinaw City at the Railroad Dock owned by Shepler's, Inc. The move is supported by the Mackinaw Area Visitors Bureau, which certainly has a stake in the potential the museum has to draw tourist dollars to the community.

But just two weeks ago, the focus was on another location next door at the State Dock. That spot has been part of a plan for some time now to develop a port for visiting cruise ships. While the Mackinaw needed a home, and the state agencies were working to help find a suitable docking location in Cheboygan, the State Dock site in Mackinaw City really couldn't be ready in time to become a temporary home and isn't part of the long-term plan for the existing dock space there.

“The Waterways Commission was prepared to offer the museum short-term storage of the boat for three to five years until a permanent home could be found,” said Mary Dettloff, press secretary for the DNR. “Where the museum wanted to moor the boat at Mackinaw City (the State Dock) is on dock space we are still constructing and developing for cruise ship use, which will be a great economic boon to the region. The museum turned down our offer, saying they preferred to find a permanent home immediately, which they have done with the Shepler dock space. We are two to three years away from completing construction on the Mackinaw City harbor and do not want to enter into any permanent arrangements for dock space yet.”

The concept of a cruise ship port is perceived by tourism industry enthusiasts as being a perfect match for communities that can support it. Mackinac Island has had modern Great Lakes cruise ships stopping there for years, and was always a port of call when passenger vessels sailed regularly in another era. Travelers today can cruise from Montreal to Chicago and stop in various communities where shopping, dining and shoreside entertainment await.

Traverse City has had some cruise ship business, but lacks a suitable docking facility for large vessels. The cruise ships have to anchor out and ferry passengers to shore on inflatable boats. The Mackinaw City project would avoid that scenario and provide a proper dock in the heart of town.

A terminal for cruise ships has been on the drawing board in Toledo, Ohio for nine years and will feature shops and a restaurant when completed - construction is set to begin this summer. The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority's board of directors approved spending the $611,000 required to match federal grants worth $2.45 million. The city will pay $3 million for a 180-slip marina as part of the project, with help from a $226,500 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Port Authority's vice-president for projects, Jim Mettler, said the Great Lakes cruise ship industry is still growing and has potential with Americans who have yet to discover it. “It's very popular with Europeans for similar reasons Americans like the Caribbean cruises,” Mettler told the Associated Press. “You can see a lot on one vacation without having to pack or unpack your bags.”

The thought of six to eight cruise ships stopping in Mackinaw City during the summer months could provide a much-needed lift to tourism - regardless of the gasoline prices travelers are paying for their vehicles. Plus, travelers could walk to the dock next door and see the Mackinaw when it is on display. The combination of cruise ships and a Coast Guard museum could work towards a magnificent waterfront in Mackinaw City - something the DNR and Waterways Commission want to ensure.

From the Cheboygan Daily Tribune

 

Port Reports - June 9

Fairport Harbor - Herb Hubbel
Thursday morning the Canadian Progress was in loading salt

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Wolverine delivered a load of stone to the Brewer dock in Holland Thursday morning. It departed at about 2 p.m.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Mark Hannah and barge entered the new harbour early Thursday morning and started discharging her cargo of calcium.
A vote was held on the tentative agreement reached between Sifto Salt and the union Thursday morning and was ratified, ending a eight week strike.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Around 10:30 a.m. the CCG Cape Hurd came into Buffalo and went toward Black Rock.
The Calumet came in with coal for the NRG Huntly Plant at 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday. She unloaded and departed around 9:30 p.m. that night.

Toledo -
The former Fred R. White Jr. (American Courage) got underway early Thursday after having her stack and name repainted while astern of her sister ship Armco.
Armco now bears the stack colors of American Steamship as well as the name of American Valor. Her boilers are stoked to get underway.
Oglebay Norton bears no name yet. Her starboard stack repainted and port stack not yet done.
Erikousa is high in the water at Midwest Terminals of Toledo. Smoke from her funnel signals her impending departure.
USCG WLB-214 Hollyhock remains just upstream of Oglebay Norton (to-be American Integrity).
There was cannon fire at the Toledo Yacht Club Thursday signaling the returning of each vessel there for the Mills Race.

Sturgeon Bay - Dick Lund
On Thursday morning the following ships were at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay: Edward L. Ryerson in graving dock, Lee A. Tregurtha still undergoing engine work and painting, and the American Century (ex-Columbia Star). The American Victory (ex-Middletown) had already departed early in the morning.

Rouge River - Nathan Nietering
Thursday was a busy day in the Rouge. The Kaye E. Barker arrived at Severstal Steel just before sunrise and spent the morning and early afternoon unloading a cargo of taconite ore there. The Barker was outbound the Rouge and then heading up bound in the Detroit River, passing J. W. Westcott shortly before 3 p.m.

The Philip R. Clarke was downbound in the Detroit River at 1 p.m. following closely behind by the Voyageur Independent. The Clarke was met at the Rouge Entry by the tugs Patricia Hoey and Carolyn Hoey, and towed stern first up the river to the Karmooth stone dock, near Marblehead. The tow began once the Barker had cleared the Shortcut.

American Steamship Company's John J. Boland arrived during the afternoon from Toledo with a load of coal, where it unloaded in the National Steel Shortcut dock through the afternoon and evening.

St. Mary's Cement tug Sea Eagle II and barge Saint Mary's Cement II arrived later in the evening at the St. Mary's Cement above the Conrail Bridge. They would be assisted into the Rouge by tugs from the Great Lakes Towing Company.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
A busy day in the harbor as Stephen B. Roman departed early.
The tug Radium Yellowknife arrived during the night from the Welland Canal, and Algoport arrived during the night and discharged stone, departing around 2 p.m.
Algosteel arrived in port around 8 a.m. with a cargo of sugar, and went to anchor in the inner harbor.
The tug Mary E. Hannah and barge arrived in the early morning and went down the Turning Basin to discharge cargo. The salty Starlight was assisted out of the Redpath Sugar slip around 4:30 p.m. by Omni St. Laurent and the McKeil tug Glenevis. Algosteel then backed into the slip with tug assistance.
Cuyahoga was back in port with another load of salt on Wednesday, departing around 5:30 p.m.
Omni St. Laurent was in port to turn the salty Starlight at the Redpath dock. Stephen B. Roman came in with cement around 10 p.m.
Niagara College is again offered a Welland Canal lock tour and a Niagara River cruise aboard the tall ship Empire Sandy, which departs Friday night for Port Weller.  Click here for details
The steam side wheel ferry Trillium turns 96 on Sunday, June 18. To celebrate the event The Toronto Parks & Recreation Dept. is offering a one and half hour cruise, starting at 1 p.m. from the Ferry Docks at the foot of Bay Street. Regular fares apply. At the conclusion of the tour, the ferry will dock at Centre Island where passengers can disembark and return to the city on any of the regular boats.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The David Z. Norton arrived at Lafarge before 7 p.m. on Wednesday. It tied up at the coal dock and proceeded to reach out its boom to unload taconite tailings into the storage hopper. The Norton left early Thursday morning to head up to Calcite.
The silos at Lafarge will be busy with all the cement vessels coming into port on Thursday & Friday. The Samuel de Champlain/barge Innovation made its way in around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday. Lurking off in the distance was the G. L. Ostrander/ barge Integrity. It was expected to anchor for the night and let the Alpena load after the Innovation departs. Also due Friday morning is the J.A.W Iglehart.
At Stoneport on Thursday the Great Lakes Trader took on cargo, followed by the Herbert C. Jackson. The temperatures were nice but a strong breeze persisted while the Jackson loaded during the evening.

Toledo - Bob Vincent
The American Courage (Ex-Fred R. White Jr.) headed out of Toledo this Thursday afternoon followed by the American Valor (Ex-Armco) later in the evening (9:30 pm). When the American Valor came abreast to the American Integrity (Ex-Oglebay Norton), each boat gave a whistle salute to the other.

 

Updates - June 9

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 9

TASHMOO (steel side-wheel excursion steamer, 308 foot, 1,344 gross tons, built in 1900, at Wyandotte, Michigan) hosted Admiral George Dewey on her inaugural trip from Cleveland, Ohio to Detroit, Michigan on 09 June 1900. Admiral Dewey had just returned from his conquest of the Philippines during the Spanish American War and was a national hero. TASHMOO entered regular service for the White Star Line two days later.

The Lubeck, Germany built, 305 foot Greek freighter CASTALIA of 1953, struck the north tower pier of the Mackinac Bridge at 7:00 p.m. on 09 June 1968, in dense fog. The bridge was not damaged and the ship took on water, but was able to proceed to Chicago without assistance.

LIGHTSHIP 103 was delivered to the 12th District Headquarters at Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 9, 1921, to begin her Great Lakes career.

June 9, 1983, ALGOWEST loaded a record 1,047,758 bushels of wheat at Thunder Bay, Ontario.

ROGER BLOUGH began sea trials in 1972.

June 9, 1911, The ANN ARBOR NO 1 was raised by Smith Wrecking Company of Muskegon after being considered a menace to navigation by the Coast Guard (she had been sunk by the south breakwater at Frankfort, Michigan after burning on March 8th). She was taken to Muskegon, and repaired sufficiently to become a sand scow for the Love Construction Company. The cost of raising her was $8,000.

On 9 June 1884, ANNAPEE (2-mast wooden scow-schooner, 71 foot, 118 gross tons, built in 1867, at Ahnapee (Wolf River), Wisconsin) was bound from Torch Lake, Michigan for Milwaukee with a load of railroad ties and cordwood when she stranded in fog on North Point in Lake Michigan, 2 1/2 miles from Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Later a strong wind blew her into the rocks and she broke up. No lives were lost and part of her cargo was saved.

On 9 June 1882, the LIZZIE A LAW (wooden schooner, 196 foot, 747 gross tons, built in 1875, at Port Huron, Michigan) collided with the R B HAYES (wooden schooner, 147 foot, 668 gross tons, built in 1877, at Gibraltar, Michigan) near the foot of Lake Huron. Although the LAW suffered severe damage, she completed her trip to Buffalo and was repaired there. The LAW lasted until 1908, when she was lost in a storm.

Data from: Jody L. 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.

 

New ASC Boats Appear on Schedule

6/8 - The newly re-named, former Oglebay Norton boats, have appeared on the American Steamship schedule.
American Courage is schedule to be in Toledo at TWT, Thursday at 2:00 pm.
American Century (Ex-Columbia Star) is due to load at SMET on Saturday at 6:00 am.
American Integrity (Ex-Oglebay Norton) will follow into SMET on Sunday at 2:00 pm.
American Valor is scheduled to load in Marquette at 6:00 pm on Sunday.
American Victory (Ex-Middletown) should arrive at Port Inland today at 3:00 pm.
American Fortitude (Ex-Courtney Burton) should be at General Mills in Superior, today, at 10:00 am.
 

 

Cost of Lock 7 Security Upgrades Lower Than Expected: Seaway

6/8 - Security upgrades to Lock 7 will be much less onerous and costly than the City of Thorold once feared, council was told Tuesday.

In 2005, it was reported that the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. planned to install fencing at various locations along the canal. The Seaway also planned to increase the height of existing fencing and add barbed wire as a new security measure. "I'm pleased to say we have come a long ways since then," said Mike Weir, Thorold's chief administrative officer, who addressed council.

He said a plan had been reached to meet the new security requirements and provide "further aesthetic improvements and an enhanced tourism experience at the same time in and around the Lock 7 area." Those enhancements include improving the appearance and security at the foot of Peter Street, installing new security features like gates and concrete posts and establishing a new secure parking area, while preserving the existing trail system.

Cost of the project is now pegged at $69,500, he said. The original proposal carried a $219,000 price tag. The primary reason for the savings is the fact the Seaway doesn't need to have fencing along the road south of Peter Street, adjacent to the canal, said Weir. There is also federal funding available, up to 75 per cent, he said, contingent on all work being completed by November 2007.

"That provides ample time for us to deal with this and make sure sufficient funds are provided for in the 2007 budget," said Weir. "We're still working out the details and negotiating the specifics of the plan."

Reported by Bill Bird from the St. Catharines Standard

 

Man Charged in Ferry Threat

6/8 -Port Clinton - Federal authorities charged a man with making a bomb threat to a Lake Erie ferry line that caused it to shut down its boats for two hours last weekend.

Michael Allen, 23, of Oak Harbor, was charged with making the threat and he faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He appeared in U.S. District Court in Toledo on Tuesday. Authorities said Allen called Jet Express on Saturday morning and said there was a bomb onboard.

All three Jet Express boats returned to the dock and passengers and baggage were inspected by law-enforcement officials and bomb-sniffing dogs. Nothing was found.

Telephone records led authorities to Allen, said FBI agent Scott Wilson.

Reported by Kermit Ball from the Columbus Dispatch

 

Retiring Mackinaw May Have Found a Home
Shepler's ferry service may offer vacant dock

6/8 - Mackinaw City — The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw may now have a permanent home in northern Michigan. A vacant dock in Mackinaw City owned by Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry Service may be available to the retiring ship, scheduled for decommission Saturday in Cheboygan. That city has been the ship's home port for more than six decades.

"We needed to find a home for that ship," said Stephenie Jacobson, secretary of a group intent on transforming the icebreaker into a nonprofit educational museum. The Icebreaker Mackinaw Museum initially hoped to permanently moor the ship in Cheboygan, but fundraising shortfalls undercut hopes for that $3 million effort.

Museum officials then turned to a state-owned dock in Mackinaw City, a former car ferry site used before the Mackinac Bridge was opened to traffic. Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials would not allow immediate and permanent access to that site because of ongoing harbor renovations. That's when Bill Shepler stepped up.

A dock in Mackinaw City is immediately available and is large enough to moor the 290-foot ice-breaker. It's the old Chief Wawatam railroad ferry dock, where cruise ships sometimes moor, Shepler said. A rental agreement is being worked out with the museum, he said Monday. "Whatever remuneration is charged will be put back into the dock," where cruise ships will continue to moor on the opposite side, he said.

Shepler said the historic ship will be moored at a historic dock. The existing tourism base ought to help launch the museum, he said.

The Mackinaw was the most powerful and technologically-advanced icebreaker in the Great Lakes when it was launched in 1944. Thirty captains worked the ship with their crews in the Straits of Mackinac and elsewhere, keeping navigational pathways free of ice for commercial shipping through winter months. The ship was at risk of being sold for scrap or even sunk in Lake Superior as a destination for scuba divers, Jacobson said.

A decommissioning ceremony is planned for Saturday, when the new U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw will assume the duties and longtime mooring site of the older ship.

From the Traverse City Record-Eagle

 

Port Reports - June 8

Goderich - Dale Baechler
The Oceans and Fisheries research vessel Limnos entered the inner harbour shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday morning and took a position on the north wall.
A vote is scheduled for Thursday morning after a tentative agreement was reached between Sifto Salt and the union, which will hopefully end an eight week strike and get a normal shipping schedule back in place.

Grand Haven Dick Fox
Grand River Navigation/Lower Lakes Towing’s self unloading motor vessel Manistee came in with a load for Verplank’s very early Wednesday morning and was gone by 9:00 am.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The MV John J. Boland, American Steamship, loaded and departed Sandusky on Wednesday.
She was followed under the loading chute at the NS coal dock by her fleet-mate, the MV Buffalo, which crept out of Sandusky Bay later in the day.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Wilfred Sykes made its 5th visit to Holland of the year Wednesday morning, delivering coal to the DeYoung power plant. It departed at 7:00 a.m.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The lower Saginaw River was busy on Wednesday with three vessels all clustered together at three neighboring docks. The CSL Tadoussac was inbound early Wednesday morning calling on the Essroc dock in Essexville.
A short time later the tug Invincible & barge McKee Sons were inbound for the Sargent dock in Essexville which is located directly in front of where the Tadoussac was unloading. The pair was able to work in toward the dock to unload part of their cargo, but then needed to wait a number of hours until the CSL Tadoussac departed and made room to shift back on the dock to a different pile.
The American Mariner was inbound late Wednesday afternoon calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City, which is located directly across the river from where the other two boats were unloading.
Once the Mariner was safely into the Bay Aggregates slip, the Tadoussac departed the Essroc dock and backed out to Light 12 of the Entrance Channel to turn and head for the lake.
After lightering at the Sargent dock in Essexville, the Invincible & McKee Sons traveled upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw. Both the American Mariner and Invincible-McKee Sons were expected to be outbound late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

Welland Canal - Michel Gosselin
The Tugboat Radium Yellowknife was tied up below lock 1 waiting to enter the canal. Her destinatio is the dry dock at Ramey`s Bend in Port Colborne.
Algoma Tanker's Algosea is tied up at the sand dock to receive new equipment. The equipment is something to do with the high speed internet. She was expected to stay for about 5 hours.

Milwaukee - Bill Bedell
The barge Integrity/tug G. L. Ostrander were in at the Lafarge plant Wednesday with another load of cement.

 

Updates - June 8

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 8

On 08 June 1854, J YOUNG SCAMMON (2-mast wooden brig, built in 1845, at Chicago, Illinois) was sheltering from a storm at S. Manitou Island on Lake Michigan when she dragged her anchors, stranded and broke in three pieces. She was driven in so close to the shore that the crew was able to use a broken spar to climb to the beach. No lives lost.

On 08 June 1897, RITA MC DONALD (wooden propeller tug, 72 foot, 69 gross tons) was launched by J. Davidson (Hull #84) at West Bay City, Michigan. She lasted until 1920, when she was abandoned in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1978, the LEWIS WILSON FOY was christened for the Bethlehem Steel Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) OGLEBAY NORTON in 1991.

In 1938, the GOVERNOR MILLER (Hull#810) a sister ship to the WILLIAM A IRVIN, began her maiden voyage, leaving Lorain, Ohio. The GOVERNOR MILLER was only the 2nd Great Lakes vessel to be powered by a steam turbine with a direct drive to the propeller shaft via reduction gear.

In 1976 - The Midwest Energy Terminal at Superior, Wisconsin, loaded its first cargo of low-sulfur coal. The steamer JOHN J BOLAND of 1953, took the honors as the first vessel to load at this dock. She was sold Canadian and renamed b.) SAGINAW in 1999.

On this date in 1977, the HARRY L ALLEN was the first freighter to load at Burlington Northern's Dock #5 in Superior, Wisconsin.

On 8 June 1847, CHESAPEAKE (wooden side-wheeler, 172 foot, 412 tons, built in 1838, at Maumee, Ohio) was fully laden and had 97 aboard when she rammed the schooner JOHN F PORTER on a dark night off Conneaut, Ohio. As she started to sink, she was run to shore in an effort to save her, but she sank a mile short of the beach. Lake Erie was fairly calm and the crew and passengers tried to get to shore in boats and makeshift rafts. Most made it and many were also picked up by the steamer HARRISON. Estimates of the number of dead vary from 7 to 13.

The wooden side-wheel tug and upriver packet TRAFFIC (75 foot, 50 tons, built in 1853, at St. Clair, Michigan) sank near Sebewaing, Michigan on 8 June 1868. She was recovered and repaired, but only lasted a little longer than a year since she burned in Saginaw in October 1869.

Data from: Jody L. 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.

 

Edward L. Ryerson Fitting Out ­ May Sail By End of June

6/7 - Word from Sturgeon Bay has the fit-out of the steamer Edward L. Ryerson well underway.

The engine room crew has been called to report next week, with the deck crew arriving near the end of June and an end of the month sailing date planned.

Bottom painting is planned while she is in the BayShip drydock. This could be accomplished this week and she may be refloated and placed at the fitout wall as early as this Saturday. It is not known what other cosmetic changes are planned, however it is likely she will carry the Mittal Steel stack herald adopted by fleetmtes Wilfred Sykes and Joseph L. Block earlier this season.

When she returns to service, after an eight-year hiatus, the vessel is expected to run taconite from Escanaba and Duluth/Superior to Mittal Steel's works at Indiana Harbor, Ind.

 

Port Reports - June 7

Cape Vincent - Ron Walsh
The Commodore Straits was eastbound today but spent some time anchored, west of Cape Vincent, cleaning her fuel filters. She did ask the Seaway to proceed at reduced speed on one engine but got the other fired up before a reply was received.
Stephen B. Roman is eastbound headed for Picton.

Escanaba - Lee Rowe
The Joseph L. Block made one of her many trips to Escanaba on a rainy Tuesday. She first went to the Reiss dock to unload stone before moving to the ore dock to load.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
At first light on Monday, American Mariner arrived at Milwaukee, turned and backed upriver to the inner harbor, where it unloaded coal from Superior at the WE Energies Greenfield Avenue dock. Mariner left about 4:00 pm.
Tuesday evening small ocean vessel Xenia was docked, bow-in, at terminal 2 at the general cargo piers in Milwaukee's outer harbor, waiting to unload steel.
The tug/barge Susan W. Hannah and St. Mary's Challenger, having delivered Tuesday to the St. Mary's Cement silo on the Kinnickinnic River, departed onto Lake Michigan just after 8:00 PM.

South Chicago - Steve B.
Tuesday morning found no fewer than six vessels in the Calumet River. The Ostrander/Integrity was seen unloading at LaFarge at 130th St. A few minutes later the St. Marys Challenger was seen just west of the Torrence Ave bridge inbound for Lake Calumet, and was stopped waiting for the NS bridge to lift. The David Z. Norton was headed up the river outbound for the lake after departing from somewhere south of 106th St. She had to maneuver between the Great Lakes Trader/Joyce L. Van Enkevort at Marblehead Stone north of 106th, and the Wilfred Sykes which was tied up at the KCBX south dock loading coal.
Shortly after the David Z cleared 95th St., the Great Lakes Trader departed Marblehead Stone after unloading there. Not long after that, the Undaunted/Pere Marquette was heard making a security call while getting ready to depart Lake Calumet for Lake Michigan. All in all a busy morning.

Toledo - Bob Vincent
The Agawa Canyon came in to unload stone at the Midwest Terminal at 6:00 pm and finished around 1:00 am on Wednesday. The next stone boat will be the Captain Henry Jackman due Friday at 7:00 pm.
The John G. Munson loaded coal for Marysville, MI and departed around 7:00 pm. The Charles M. Beeghly started to load for the Canadian Soo at 8:30 pm and finished around 2:00 pm. The next coal boat will be Thursday the Kaye E. Barker.
On the ore side the Atlantic Huron arrived early Tuesday and had some unknown unloading problem but finished around 7:30 pm. The CSL Niagara arrived at 8:30 pm from Seven Islands. Next ore boats will be the RT. Hon. Paul J. Martin due Wednesday at 1:00 am. and the Frontenac due Friday at 4:00 am.

Toledo -
A very busy today for ship traffic. Federal Rideau was still loading at ADM Elevators. She was very low in the water.
Vamand Wave continued to on-load at The Andersons Kuhlman Facility. Her two aft most hatches were open. The forward hatches are secured to get underway.
Cement barge Innovation and tug Samuel de Champlain arrived to unload at Lafarge Corp. after turning about nearby.
A Hannah tug/barge combo were on-loading at Sunoco Riverfront Terminal.
Armco and Fred R. White Jr. were moored along the Precast Facility just below the Toledo Shipyard. Fred R. White had all of her hull identification painted over and her nameplates removed. The Oglebay Norton quasar removed from her funnel. Armco was having her stack painted black and grinding and painting were busily going on to remove her name markings. The work going on was in full swing aboard both ships.
The Midwest Terminal dock front was busy. Most upriver was USCG WLB-214 Hollyhock, Oglebay Norton was moored in with no painting going on as yet. Astern of her is Erikousa standing idle.
John G. Munson was under the coal loader as Charles M. Beeghly was standing by to take on coal as well.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The tug Radium Yellowknife returned to port this afternoon, from Prescott, with the tug Doc Morin in tow. The Yellowknife then picked up the two big grain barges that she brought in a couple of days ago, and they departed around 3:30 p.m.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Algorail was in bound the Saginaw River early Tuesday afternoon with a split load for the Buena Vista Stone dock and the Valley Asphalt dock. She finished at Valley Asphalt by 8:15 pm Tuesday and tied her stern lines to the tug Gregory J. Busch for the tow down river to the Airport turning basin to turn. The Algorail finished the turn at the Airport turning basin by 11:00 pm Tuesday night and was out bound for the lake. This was the Algorail's first appearance of the 2006 season on the Saginaw River.
The Mississagi was in bound the Saginaw River early Tuesday evening with a split load for the Wirt Stone docks in Bay City and Saginaw. She waited at the Bay City Wirt dock until the out bound Algorail had passed before continuing upriver to finish her cargo at the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw. The Mississagi finished her unload at the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw by 5:45 am Wednesday morning and tied her stern lines to the tug Gregory J. Busch for the tow down river to the Airport turning basin to turn. The Mississagi finished the turn at the Airport turning basin by 8:20 am Wednesday morning, headed out bound for the lake.

 

Oglebay Norton Announces Sale of Six Vessels
Negotiations Progress for Sale of Remaining Vessels

6/6 - Oglebay Norton Company announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Oglebay Norton Marine Services Company, has completed the sale of six of its nine remaining self-unloading freighters for $120 million to American Steamship Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GATX Corporation. Acquired were: Oglebay Norton, Columbia Star, Armco, Middletown, Courtney Burton, and Fred R. White Jr. The Company is also progressing with its negotiations for the sale of the David Z. Norton and Wolverine and the transfer of the its leasehold interest in the Earl W. Oglebay to an unidentified purchaser.

Michael D. Lundin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oglebay Norton Company commented, "This transaction represents a major step in our stated long-term strategy to transition away from marine shipping in order to focus on those businesses that we believe offer the most attractive long-term prospects for growth and profitability: our limestone, limestone fillers and industrial sands operations.

"The cash proceeds from this transaction will be used to pay down debt and should enhance our ability to refinance the Company's remaining debt on more favorable terms. Meanwhile, we continue to work to complete the sale of the remaining vessels. The sale of these assets, combined with the recently initiated redemption of our Convertible Preferred Stock, will substantially strengthen our balance sheet and simplify our capital structure.

"We also are pleased that American Steamship agreed to hire our vessel employees to continue to work on the boats and assumed certain customer contracts. Our marine employees have been hard-working, loyal and dedicated, and for that, I thank them. We also thank our customers and vendors for their support of Oglebay Norton Marine Services over many years."

Although the details of the transaction were not disclosed, the Company confirmed that as part of the transaction it has secured carriage for limestone from its quarries to its own and third party docks around the Great Lakes through a favorable, long-term contract of affreightment.

Reported by: Oglebay Norton Company


American Steamship Company Acquires Vessels from Oglebay Norton

6/6 - Williamsville, N.Y. - American Steamship Company announced Tuesday that it has acquired the majority of the vessels from the fleet of Oglebay Norton Marine Services Company.

ASC has been operating on the Great Lakes since 1907 and was purchased by GATX in 1973. ASC transports a variety of dry bulk commodities including iron ore pellets, coal, and limestone aggregates. Following this acquisition of these six vessels, ASC will operate a fleet of 18 vessels, the largest U.S.-flag fleet on the Great Lakes.

Jerome K. Welsch, president and CEO of ASC, said "This is an excellent opportunity to expand and diversify our fleet, enabling ASC to continue to provide the reliable and flexible service that our customers have come to expect from us for nearly 100 years."

Brian A. Kenney, chairman and CEO of GATX Corporation, said, "This transaction represents continued execution of our strategy to acquire long-lived, widely-used assets at an attractive price, wrapping valuable services around those assets."

The six vessels acquired by ASC, for a purchase price of $120 million, are the Oglebay Norton, Columbia Star, Armco, Middletown, Courtney Burton, and Fred R. White.

American Steamship Company (ASC), one of the leading Great Lakes shipping companies, is a unit of GATX Corporation. ASC provides waterborne transportation of dry-bulk commodities on the Great Lakes with a fleet of modern, self-unloading vessels. ASC has been operating on the Great Lakes since 1907, joining the GATX family in 1973. For further information, visit ASC's website at www.americansteamship.com

GATX News Release

 

Glitches in Canada Delay Lake Erie Ferry

6/7 - Cleveland - The launch estimate for a Lake Erie ferry to Canada has been delayed again. Cleveland port officials now say the service won't begin before 2008. The uncertain future of the harbor at Port Stanley, Ontario - the ferry's proposed northern terminus - is the main source of delay. The Canadian government plans to rid itself of the harbor. But the local government, which wants to take ownership, hasn't been able to seal the deal yet.

Canada's elections earlier this year introduced new players, including a minister of transport, and slowed the process, said Rose Ann DeLeon, vice president of strategic development for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. She hopes to see progress toward a resolution in the next four to six months.

In the meantime, the port's board approved a six-month, $40,000 contract Friday for a customs consultant. John Regan, who retired as director of Cleveland's U.S. Customs Office last year, will investigate the possibility of locating Customs service on board the ferry for quicker cargo movement. He will also research details on staffing and terminal setup, as well as costs and the possibility of getting federal money to help with security.

Regan also plans to meet with border officials to see how Free and Secure Trade lane technology used at the Buffalo/Niagara and Detroit/Windsor crossings could apply to commercial traffic on the ferry. Shippers use the technology, part of the FAST program, to register their drivers, cargo and trucks with Customs in advance.

The port authority began its most recent million-dollar push to revive a trans-lake ferry three years ago and originally hoped to start the service this year. It chose the Dutch company Royal Wagenborg as its preferred operator in September 2004. The company is still actively involved, but won't invest in chartering or building ferries until the service is a sure thing. Likewise, the port won't spend money to build a terminal until it's sure. Once all the approvals are in hand, it will take 14 to 16 months to design and build a terminal, port President Gary Failor said.

The port's hands are tied because the proposed ferry service isn't a one-sided venture, he said. "There's a different form of government in Canada that we have to live with."

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

Clock Ticks on Chicago Harbor Lock

6/7 - Chicago - Just south of Navy Pier, where the Chicago River meets Lake Michigan, a little-noticed but vital piece of Chicago's infrastructure has eroded past the point of repair.

The 68-year-old Chicago Harbor lock is 18 years beyond its life expectancy and needs to be replaced. Despite years of expensive temporary fixes, the lock still malfunctions periodically. Its deterioration creates a host of potential consequences: disruption of recreational and commercial boating, a costly long-term squeeze on the region's water supply and the remote but real threat of a downtown flood.

"The day of reckoning will come; it's just a question of when," says Daniel Injerd, chief of Lake Michigan management for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. "You want to replace structures like that before they fail." New gates for the lock, and the machinery to operate them, would cost at least $20 million in federal funding. But recent efforts to win a $4-million down payment to get the project started so far have gone nowhere with the Bush administration or Congress.

Even though it's the nation's second-busiest lock, opening and closing more than 11,000 times last year to accommodate upward of 40,000 vessels, it doesn't see enough commercial tonnage to make the very short list of new construction projects by the Army Corps of Engineers, which owns the lock.

But a 1999 Corps study says continuing to make repairs as needed is not a viable option. Problems "rarely progress through an unsuccessful performance phase prior to a breakdown," the study says. "Forced lock closures tend to be sudden, and by nature are at unscheduled times." The lock has needed urgent large-scale repairs three times since 1992 to keep it functioning, and there have been 10 significant gate breakdowns requiring repairs since 1991.

Short of total failure, the lock's gates lose their ability to close completely in between major repairs. That causes an excessive amount of water to flow out of Lake Michigan, which is higher than the river. A $17-million overhaul of the lock's four steel gates in 1998 and 1999 was supposed to last at least 10 to 20 years, but the lock needed urgent repairs again two years ago when six of the eight rollers that move the 133-ton gates broke down. "Every year we delay, we are more concerned that the gates could fail," says Roy Deda, deputy of project management for the Army Corps of Engineers in Chicago.

The lock was built between 1936 and 1938 to help Illinois comply with a 1930 U.S. Supreme Court decision that strictly limits how much water the state can divert from Lake Michigan, since the Chicago River was reversed at the turn of the century to keep polluted river water out of the lake. Any significant leakage at the lock reduces the amount of lake water area communities can use to supply drinking water to growing suburbs and new industrial uses, creating a long-term drag on the local economy.

Recreational and commercial boating could be disrupted for weeks or even months if the lock can't open or close properly. The tour boat industry alone generates $10 million in revenues annually, according to the 1999 Corps study. About 111,000 tons of commercial cargo also passed through on barges last year.

And outright failure at the wrong time could prove catastrophic for downtown Chicago if the lock can't open during a heavy rainstorm, a last-resort safety valve that's been used five times since 1996 to keep the Chicago River from overflowing its banks. Though the river normally is about a foot lower than Lake Michigan, the narrow channel rises much faster during downpours. Under the right conditions, less than 3 inches of rain over 12 to 24 hours can cause the river to rise 5½ feet. At that level, engineers with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago open the lock to prevent flooding.

By the time the river rises about 5 feet, downtown building managers "will call and say, 'We're getting seepage; are you going to open the locks?' " says Jack Farnan, a 29-year district engineer and general superintendent until his retirement a few weeks ago. If the lock failed to open under such conditions, hundreds of millions of gallons of river water could spill into Union Station, Lower Wacker Drive and basements of buildings along the river. That's far more than the roughly 250 million gallons that poured into downtown Chicago during the Loop Flood in April 1992, when a freight tunnel under the river was punctured. "That's what everybody's concerned about," says Steven Hungness, the Corps' chief of operations technical support. "It's a very small probability, but a very large consequence if that were to happen."

This year, for the first time, Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Mayor Richard M. Daley are urging the Illinois congressional delegation to make the lock replacement a priority. "Now is the time to seek this funding, before there are major issues," says a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation. U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, a Democrat whose district includes the lock area, tried unsuccessfully to get funding in this year's House energy and water appropriations bill. A spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, says he supports the lock project, but it's too early to know whether funding is possible this year.

From Crains Chicago Business

 

Updates - June 7

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 7

On 07 June 1890, EMILY P WEED (steel propeller freighter, 300 foot, 2,362 gross tons) was launched by F. W. Wheeler (Hull #69) at W. Bay City, Michigan for the Hollister Transportation Co. She lasted until 02 September 1905, when she stranded on Sand Island Reef, Apostle Islands on Lake Superior and broke in two.

On 07 June 1862, MORNING STAR (wooden side-wheel steamer, 248 foot, 1,265 gross tons) was launched by A. A. Turner at Trenton, Michigan. She only lasted until 1868, when she sank in Lake Erie in a collision with the bark COURTLAND.

In 1958, the EDMUND FITZGERALD (Hull#301) was launched at River Rouge, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., Columbia Transportation Div., mgr.

In 1977, the WILLIAM A IRVIN ran into the side of the Rock Cut after a power failure on board. The vessel received only slight damage. (For a more detailed account, read Jody Aho's book "The Steamer William A Irvin: Queen of the Silver Stackers").

Also on June 7, 1977, the MESABI MINER (Hull#906) departed Lorain, Ohio on her maiden voyage to load ore at Duluth, Minnesota.

On June 7, 1991, the b.) ALPENA, the former LEON FRASER) began her maiden voyage as a cement carrier, departing Superior, Wisconsin, for her namesake port. Fraser Shipyards, who performed the conversion, took out a full-page ad in the Superior Evening Telegram proclaiming "INLAND LAKES MANAGEMENT, YOUR SHIP IS READY" and a picture of the vessel.

On 7 June 1859, COLUMBIA (2-mast wooden brig, 92 foot, 177 gross tons, built in 1842, at Sandusky, Ohio) broke up in a storm near Sherwood Point, Green Bay (Death's Door). She was famous for bringing the first load of copper ore from the Keweenaw Peninsula to through the Soo. She also brought the first locomotive to Marquette.

The METEOR (wooden steam barge, 201 foot, 729 gross tons, built in 1863, at Cleveland, Ohio) burned at Buckley's dock at the foot of 2nd Street in Detroit, Michigan on 7 June 1873. The fire supposedly started in her hold at 1:30 a.m. and was not discovered until it was too late. The ship burned to the waterline and sank. Some docks and warehouses also burned in this catastrophe. The wreck was raised in early September 1875, and towed to the foot of Belle Isle where the machinery and hull were sold at the U.S. Marshall's sale on 24 April 1876. Although originally thought to be the end of this vessel, the hull was purchased by Stephen B. Grummond of Detroit for $480. It was rebuilt as the schooner-barge NELSON BLOOM in 1882 and lasted until abandoned in 1925.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit 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.

 

Changing of the Guard

6/6 - Cheboygan, Mich. – On Saturday, June 10, 2006, the distinguished career of the Coast Guard’s largest domestic icebreaker, USCGC Mackinaw (WAGB 83) will come to an end in a ceremony also marking the commissioning of the vessel which will carry on her namesake and legacy, USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB-30). The decommissioning/commissioning ceremony will be held on June 10 at 1 p.m. at the Coast Guard Olds Memorial Moorings in Cheboygan.

“As I remember it, it was cold, snowy at times, and wind from the northeast which had blown the water back up the Maumee River high enough to flood the dry docks.” This is an excerpt from a letter written by Minerva Halbert, then Minerva Youngs, who was at the launching of the Mackinaw. She was one of eight women welders who helped build the Mackinaw (WAGB-83). That was 62 years ago; Mackinaw was later commissioned on December 20, 1944 for the sole purpose of keeping the shipping lanes open during the ice season.

During her first winter of service Mackinaw made 17 passes through the Straits of Mackinac and escorted eight combat vessels. If not for the Mackinaw the vessels would have been ice bound until spring. Over Mackinaw’s 62-year career, she has accumulated many stories. In 1948, she assisted 12 ice-locked ships in Buffalo, N.Y. In 1965, Mackinaw assisted after the collision between the U.S. Cedarville and the Norwegian Topdalsfojord by receiving both survivors and casualties. In 1984, Mackinaw played a major role during the St. Clair River Ice Jam by directly assisting 13 vessels stuck in the ice and helping to open a passage for 75 other freighters and ore carriers that awaited at both ends of the river.

This is how it has been year in and year out between December and April, Mackinaw broke ice to maintain the flow of commerce through shipping channels of the Great Lakes and connecting rivers. She lived her motto “We move ships when no one else can” During the non-ice breaking season Mackinaw’s missions included search and rescue, aids to navigation, law enforcement, and public relations.

Mackinaw (WLBB-30) will not only carry on the traditions and missions of WAGB-83, but will also be responsible for maintaining some of the aids to navigation of USCGC ACACIA, a 180-foot buoy tender that is also being decommissioned in June 2006. Built in 1944, ACACIA has also served the Great Lakes well in her distinguished career.

Mackinaw (WLBB-30) is a one of a kind 240-foot icebreaker and buoy tender, built at Marinette Marine Corporation, in Marinette, WI. She was launched on April 2, 2005, and the Coast Guard took possession of the ship on November 17, 2005. Subsequently, the new cutter has undergone rigorous operational testing, training and area familiarization patrols. The command and crew of Mackinaw (WLBB-30) are eager to continue the proud legacy of Great Lakes icebreaking, upholding her motto, “Forging a Path with Strength and Honor.”

This unique event is open to the public, though early arrival is encouraged due to a large expected attendance.

USCG News Release

Note: Saturday's event is open to the public, though early arrival is encouraged due to a large expected attendance. Vehicular traffic will not be permitted in the area of the Coast Guard station, and plans are underway to shuttle visitors from the parking area of the former Carter's Food Center next to the Cheboygan Kmart.

 

End of an Era
Cutter Acacia's Decommissioning

6/6 - Charlevoix, Mich. - On Wednesday, the Coast Guard's final 180-foot WLB-class sea-going buoy tender, USCGC Acacia (WLB 406), will be decommissioned in an official ceremony at Station Charlevoix at 10:00 a.m.
The Acacia is one of 39 180-foot seagoing buoy tenders built for the United States Coast Guard between 1942 and 1944. Acacia was commissioned on September 1st, 1944 in Duluth, Minn., and was one of the latter tenders built during the Second World War. The cutter is named after the original Coast Guard Cutter ACACIA that was sunk by a German U-boat off the British West Indies on March 17, 1942, and has been stationed in Charlevoix, Mich., since 1990.

Acacia's area of operation extends from Chicago on the southern shores of Lake Michigan to Alpena on Lake Huron, where the ship and crew perform aids to navigation duties, search and rescue of lost or disabled vessels, and icebreaking assistance during the cold winter months. Acacia assisted innumerable ice-bound commercial vessels and maintained the vital waterways of the Great Lakes for over six decades, and now, after 62 years of distinguished Great Lakes service, her final crew will walk down the gangway one last time and the cutter's commissioning pennant will be lowered. Acacia will sail to Chicago at the end of the month, and will remain on the Great Lakes as a museum in the Chicago area.

USCG News Release

 

Light Loading Limits Limestone Trade in May
Month’s Largest Cargo Represents Only 95 Percent of Vessel’s Capability

6/6 - Cleveland---Shipments of limestone from U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes ports totaled 5.1 million tons in May, virtually unchanged from a year ago, and an increase of 11 percent compared to the month’s 5-year average.

However, chronic underfunding for dredging Great Lakes ports and waterways again slashed at vessels’ carrying capacity and left tens of thousands of tons of limestone undelivered. The largest limestone cargo carried by a U.S.-Flag Laker in May totaled 32,888 tons. The vessel, the self-unloading barge Great Lakes Trader, has hauled as much as 34,557 tons of limestone in a single trip, so lack of adequate dredging has effectively reduced the vessel’s carrying capacity by 5 percent.

“The Great Lakes Trader was built in 2000 expressly to serve the Lakes limestone trade,” said Dirk VanEnkevort, President of VanEnkevort Tug & Barge, Inc. in Bark River, Michigan. “What people have to understand is that once a vessel pulls away from the loading dock, any unused carrying capacity is lost forever. Inadequate dredging is negating the efficiencies of Great Lakes shipping. If water levels rise, there will be some momentary relief, but the only viable, long-term solution is increased funding for dredging harbors and channels.”

Through May, the Lakes limestone trade stands at 9.5 million tons, a slight decrease from the same point in 2005. Compared to the 5-year average for the January-May timeframe, the trade is up by 14 percent. However, the 5-year comparison is somewhat distorted by heavy ice that slowed shipments in the spring of 2003.

Lake Carriers' Association News Release

 

Port Reports - June 6

Saginaw River - Correction to Report of 6/5
The Mississagi sent her workboat early as the only seawall ladder was astern of the vessels required unloading position. The workboat delivered deckhands to the shore without lines. Then one crew member remained in the workboat and hauled one line at a time to the crewmen on shore. This was done for safety and proficiency, as the sheet piling was an unsafe height to traverse where the vessels location was required (150' upriver of the last bollard). By handling one wire's line at a time it is safer for one man who is also running the workboat motor.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The Liberian salty Starlight arrived in port Sunday afternoon, assisted by the Groupe Ocean tugs Omni Richelieu and Omni St. Laurent. The tugs departed for Hamilton when they were finished. The tug Iroquios was a late night visitor to port.
The tug M. R. Kane is now on Toronto Drydock. The excursion vessel Yankee Lady III was refloated there on Friday.
Tug Radium Yellowknife departed Thursday afternoon for Prescott and brought the barges Big 543 and Big 547 to Toronto. They are now rafted off at Pier 35 north, across the slip from the cement storage barge Metis.  Radium Yellowknife departed down the lake again.
Cement boats Stephen B. Roman and English River were in on Thursday and gone the following day.

Sturgeon Bay - Wendell Wilke
The steamer Middletown arrived at Bay Shipbuilding Monday morning. By Tuesday morning her name and stack logo's were removed. The Columbia Star arrived at the yard late afternoon Monday.

Toledo -
On Monday, Federal Rideau was loading at ADM Elevators.
Vamand Wave was loading at The Andersons Kuhlman Facility on the other side of the upper turning basin of the Maumee River.
USCG WLB-214 Hollyhock was alongside the upriver dock front of Midwest Terminal of Toledo.

South Chicago - Steve B.
Late afternoon Monday saw the Manistee heading stern first down the Calumet River from Lake Michigan. The Sam Laud was tied up at the KCBX south dock loading coal.

 

Updates - June

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 6

On 06 June 1891, BAY CITY (wooden propeller freighter, 152 foot, 372 gross tons, built in 1867, at Marine City, Michigan) burned to a total loss while being repaired at the foot of Rivard Street in Detroit, Michigan. She was loaded with 300,000 feet of white pine lumber at the time. Her watchman reported the fire during the night and firemen thought they had it out, but it re-ignited and the vessel burned to a total loss. This ship had previously burned 20 years before on 10 April 1871, when she was on her first trip of the season after being rebuilt over the winter. Then she caught fire and burned nearly to the waterline but was rebuilt again and lasted until this last fire in 1891.

On 06 June 1917, ISABELLA J BOYCE (wooden propeller sandsucker, 138 foot, 368 gross tons, built in 1889, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin as a freighter) grounded on Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie and then was destroyed by fire. No lives were lost.

In 1944, the C-4 bulk carrier MARINE ROBIN participated in the D-Day invasion at Normandy. In 1952, after conversion into a bulk freighter she began service in the lakes for M.A. Hanna Co., as b.) JOSEPH H THOMPSON. She serves today as a tug barge combination created from the sections of the original vessel.

The E B BARBER (Hull#111) of the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co., entered service on June 6, 1953, for Algoma Central Railway Ltd.

In 1953, the ARMCO (Hull#870) began her maiden voyage from Lorain, Ohio for the Columbia Transportation Div., bound for Superior, Wisconsin to load iron ore.

On June 6, 1959, the ADAM E CORNELIUS (Hull#) 424) began her maiden voyage for the American Steamship Co., from Manitowoc, Wisconsin. This was the last Great Lakes vessel constructed with telescoping hatch covers. Sold Canadian and converted to a barge she was renamed b.) CAPT EDMUND V SMITH in 1988, and c.) SEA BARGE ONE in 1991 and d.) SARAH SPENCER in 1996. Currently in service being pushed by the tug JANE ANN IV.

Upper Lakes Shipping's POINTE NOIRE was in collision with Cleveland Tanker's SATURN on June 6, 1977, near Fighting Island in the Detroit River.

On 6 June 1869, ASA COVELL (wooden propeller tug, 20 gross tons, built in 1852, at Buffalo, New York) was towing the brig IROQUOIS up the Cuyahoga River at Cleveland when her boiler exploded and she sank. Her captain was killed when the pilothouse was blown into the river.

On 6 June 1883, HERCULES (wooden schooner-barge, 139 foot, 195 tons, built in 1867, at Algonac, Michigan) was up bound in the south bend of the St. Clair River near Algonac, Michigan when the CLARION (iron propeller package freighter, 240 foot, 1,711 gross tons, built in 1881, at Wyandotte, Michigan) overtook her and collided with her in broad daylight. HERCULES drifted to the bank, capsized and sank. No lives were lost.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit 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 - June 5

Saginaw River - Capt. Gregory Busch
Correction to the previous story about the tug Gregory J. Busch and Primary 1 from June 4. The barge Primary 1 is a new 7,000 ton deck barge being operated by Busch Marine, it is not STC2004. The tug Gregory J. Busch and Primary 1 left the river on June 1 and returned on June 3 with a load of stone. The tug is accommodating both the bulk river traffic and barge customers by scheduling the barge runs between ship visits. The tug Gregory J. Busch will be servicing the ships in the river until the dredging takes place.

Welland Canal - David Bull
Chain link fence now surrounds the old sand dock below Lock One. Canadian Navigator was at the north end of the dock discharging what looked like brown sand. A prime photo spot is gone but there might be more activity as cargoes are unloaded. There hasn't been much activity here in years since General Motors stopped importing foundry sand.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The cruise ship Nantucket Clipper will be in Buffalo on June 22 and 30, July 8 and July 16. Cruises through the St. Lawrence Seaway with stops in Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, and Toronto on the way from Quebec City to Buffalo cost $2,200 per person. See: www.cruisewest.com for more info.

Cleveland - Rex Cassidy
The Innovation Champlain combo were docked at dock 20 at the mouth of the river Sunday. They were still loaded and possibly waiting for their dock as the Iglehart was at LaFarge unloading.

Milwaukee - Bill Bedell

Sunday morning the barge Integrity and tug the G. L. Ostrander were unloading cement at their Lafarge plant. The salty Kapitonas Stulpinas was still at the transient pier (1) unloading pumice.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Late Saturday night the tug Barbara Andrie and barge arrived at 10 p.m.
Sunday morning the Algowood departed at 6 a.m. The tug Barbara Andrie and barge departed at 1:30 p.m. for Port Weller escorted by the McKeil tug McGrath .The tug McGrath arrived back in the harbour at 7 p.m. The refueling ship Hamilton Energy departed at 1:30 p.m. for Port Weller and arrived back at 10 p.m. going to the Provmar Terminal at Pier 24. The Ocean Groupe tugs Omni St. Laurent and Omni Richelieu arrived at 9 p.m.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Mississagi was inbound the Saginaw River late Sunday afternoon with a cargo for the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. Once the ship arrived at the dock, work boat #1 kept losing the lines from the ship, into the water. After around 30 minutes, the Mississagi had successfully tied up at the Sargent dock and swung the boom out and began unloading. The Mississagi is expected to finish her unload, turn at the Sixth Street turning basin, and be outbound for the lake early Monday morning.

 

Updates - June 5

News Photo Gallery updated

More News Photo Gallery updates

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 5

On 05 June 1884, the wooden 3-mast 139 foot schooner GUIDING STAR, which went ashore 12 miles north of Milwaukee on 06 November 1883, was finally abandoned when all efforts to release her had failed. About two-thirds of her cargo of coal was salvaged.

On 05 June 1888, the wreck of the tug FRANK MOFFAT was removed from the St. Clair River at Sombra, Ontario by the Canadian Government. The tug was wrecked when her boiler exploded in November 1885.

In 1972, the ROGER BLOUGH (Hull#900) was christened at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for U.S. Steel Corp.

Also in 1972, the PARKER EVANS was in collision with the up bound Erie Sand steamer SIDNEY E SMITH JR just below the Blue Water Bridge, at Port Huron, Michigan. The SMITH sank in twenty minutes with no loss of life. The EVANS, with bow damage, proceeded to Port Weller Dry Docks for extensive repairs. As a result of this accident, on October 4, 1972, alternate one-way traffic between the Black River Buoy and Buoys One and Two in Lake Huron was agreed upon by the shipping companies. Also a call-in system was initiated to monitor traffic between the Detroit River Light and Buoys 7 and 8 in Lake Huron by the newly established Sarnia Traffic.

On 05 June 1979, while carrying corn on Lake Superior, CARTIERCLIFFE HALL (steel propeller bulk freighter, 730 foot, 18,531 gross tons, built in 1960, in Germany as a.) RUHR ORE) caught fire 10 miles north of Copper Harbor, Michigan. Her crew abandoned ship in two life rafts and one lifeboat. Six died in this tragedy while five were injured; four (including Captain Raymond Boudreault) were injured seriously enough to be flown to the University of Michigan Burn Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. U. S. Steel's THOMAS W LAMONT rescued 17 at 4:52 a.m. while CSL's LOUIS R DESMARAIS rescued two more. The CARTIERCLIFFE HALL was towed to Thunder Bay by the tug PENNSYLVANIA the following day.

June 5, 1947, the Pere Marquette Railway was acquired by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.

LIGHTSHIP 103, (HURON) had her keel laid June 5, 1918, at Morris Heights, New York by Consolidated Shipbuilding Corp. Upon her retirement in 1971, the lightship was acquired by the City of Port Huron for use as a museum.

On 5 June 1864, COL A B WILLIAMS (2 mast wooden schooner, 110 foot, 150 tons, built in 1856, at Big Sodus, New York) was carrying coal on Lake Huron when she collided with the big ore-laden bark TWILIGHT. The WILLIAMS sank in 85 feet of water, 3 miles below Port Sanilac. Her crew was rescued by the TWILIGHT.

Shortly before midnight, Sunday, 5 June 1870, the WABASH and EMPIRE STATE collided in Lake Huron about 10 miles above Fort Gratiot Light. The WABASH sank and the EMPIRE STATE was damaged. The steamer JAY GOULD took the passengers off both vessels.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit 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.

 

Ryerson Moved into Dry Dock

6/4 - Sturgeon Bay - Tugs moved the long-idle steamer Edward L. Ryerson into the drydock at Sturgeon Bay Saturday morning, ending several days of waterfront speculation that the vessel would be examined for a return to service this season.

BayShip crews will now evaluate the 1960-built vessel, laid up since the end of the 1998 shipping season. If the hull and machinery are found to be in good shape, fit out will most likely proceed, with sources pointing to a sailing date early in July.

The vessel would rejoin her former Inland Steel fleetmates Wilfred Sykes and Joseph L. Block, hauling pellets to owner Mittal Steel's Indiana Harbor blast furnaces.

Because of her lack of self-unloading equipment, among other reasons, it has been widely believed the Ryerson would never sail again.

Please send any pictures of the move to news@boatnerd.net

 

Oglebay Norton Fleet Heading for Second Fit Out and New Owners

6/4 - On Tuesday six vessels in the Oglebay Norton Fleet will enter a short period of lay-up that is being called a second fit out. The Oglebay Norton, Columbia Star, Armco, Middletown, Courtney Burton and Fred R.
White Jr. will stop at various docks around the lakes as their ownership changes to Liberty Steamship (or Liberty Marine) a subsidiary of American Steamship Company.

Crew assignments will be arranged and the vessel's are expected to receive name changes at this time. Rumored names include: Courney Burton -- American Fortitude; Armco -- American Valor; Oglebay Norton -- American Integrity; Columbia Star -- American Century; and Fred R. White, Jr. -- American Courage.

Oglebay Norton will continue to operate their River Class vessels: the Earl. W. Oglebay, David Z. Norton and Wolverine.

 

BigMailBox Shutting Down

6/4 - BigMailBox, the 3rd party free hosting service that supports the free Boatnerd E-mail service is shutting down. This means any e-mail ending with the @boatnerd.com address will not work once the service shuts down.

This was a 3rd party company that provided free e-mail for thousands of web sites including the free Boatnerd.com e-mail addresses. This shutdown does not affect any address ending in @boatnerd.net.

So there is no confusion: this is a shut down of the free Boatnerd e-mail system that allowed users to create their own @boatnerd.com address.

This is completely separate from the normal content provided by the BoatNerd.Com web site, all content and features of the BoatNerd.Com will continue as they usually do.

 

Davie Shipyard Sold to Norwegian Concern

6/4 - QUEBEC (CP) - The bankruptcy trustee that manages the Davie Industries announced Thursday the sale of the shipyard to Norway's Teco Management. Thibalult, Van Houtte and Associates said the transaction will be completed the end of June "even though certain conditions are still the object of negotiations." The company wouldn't reveal the conditions.

Recent media reports said the sale is contingent on the renewal of the workers' contracts and resolving the pension plan issue. The Norwegian buyers don't want to assume pension obligations totaling about $15 million. The shipyard near Quebec City employed more than 3,000 in the early 1990s. Its future has been uncertain since Dominion Bridge put it into bankruptcy in 2001.

The latest, involving negotiations with Montreal-based ship repair company Navamar were aborted last February. Four other companies had proposed to reopen the shipyard, including the maritime group Verreault.

The shipyard was founded in 1825 by George Taylor and Allison Davie. It was later owned by Canada Steamship Lines (1920-1968), Power Corporation (1968-1976), Soconav (1976-1981), Dome and Versatile (1981-1987), and MIL-Davie (1987-1996) before going into the hands of Dominion Bridge.

The shipyard built oil tankers, cargo ships, trawlers, ferries, warships and oil drilling stations.

From the Canadian Press

 

Feds: It's All a Misunderstanding
GSA says it wants to give away Oswego's historical lighthouse

6/3 - Oswego, NY - The Oswego lighthouse is not up for sale. At least, not yet. It was just presented that way on a U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Web site. And it's definitely not up for demolition. A notice on the GSA Web site appears to offer the lighthouse for sale.

“It was poorly worded,” GSA realty specialist Meta Cushing admitted Thursday. She said the GSA will reword the notice. The lighthouse is actually being offered by the GSA under the national Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, to federal, state and local agencies and non-profit, educational and community development organizations. The selected agency would become the steward of the lighthouse, acquiring it at no cost but assuming responsibility for its upkeep.

Although there is 60-day deadline for agencies to send a letter of interest to the GSA, Cushing said letters went out to city and state leaders, not-for-profits and agencies Thursday after The Palladium-Times reported the errant Web posting. If no one expresses an interest, according to the GSA, the lighthouse will be put up for sale.

The lighthouse issue went public Wednesday night, after H. Lee White Marine Museum associate director Mercedes Niess announced at a children's award ceremony at the museum that the lighthouse is on a federal demolition list. Her announcement was based on a telephone message her assistant took from a representative of the N.Y. State Historic Preservation Office. When she checked a U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Web address the representative had left, there was no mention of demolition. “My assistant heard the word ‘disposal' and took it to mean ‘demolition,'” Niess said Thursday.

Still, even though the lighthouse will remain standing, there is cause for concern, Niess said. “Sixty days is not a lot of time,” she said. She said the museum will probably be willing to “partner with an entity like the city or the Port Authority.” Would the city be willing to partner with a local non-profit agency? “Absolutely,” said acting mayor Randy Bateman Thursday. “This is an opportunity for the community to band together,” said Port Authority director of operations Jim Cloonan.

Reported by Bill Edwards from the Oswego Palladium Times

 

Port Reports - June 4

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey & Gordy Garris
With the month of May now history, here is how shipping on the Saginaw River fared compared to last season.
The month of May had 33 vessel passages as compared to 52 passages in 2005. Overall, shipping on the Saginaw River in 2006 is down by 36 trips as compared to 2005.
On Friday, the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. was in bound for the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville to unload coal. She completed her unload and was ready to depart just after 11pm, but after talking with the Captain of the inbound Saginaw, decided to wait until she passed the Front Range before backing out to Light 12 to turn and head for the lake.
The Steamer Saginaw was inbound at Light 1 of the Saginaw Bay Entrance Channel at 11:30pm, Friday night, headed for the Bay Aggrates dock in Essexville to unload. She passed the Walter J. McCarty JR upriver by 2:30am, Saturday morning. This was the Saginaw's first appearance of the 2006 season. The Saginaw finished her unload by 9:30am, backed from the slip, turned, and was outbound past the Consumers Power plant in Essexville by 10:00am, Saturday morning, headed outbound for the lake.
The tug Gregory J. Busch and the her deck barge Primary 1 were outbound for the lake from her berth at the BMT dock in Carrollton Thursday afternoon.

Toledo -
A quiet day in Toledo Saturday. Cuyahoga loaded at ADM Elevators.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
An otherwise quiet day was highlighted Friday when the Canada Steamship Lines' Nanticoke crept slowly over the calm waters of Sandusky Bay as intermittent showers drizzled from leaden skies.
The 730-footer glided up to the Norfolk Southern dock, lines were looped over the bollards and she began taking aboard a cargo of coal, which is believed to be bound for a Canadian Lake Ontario port.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Karen Andrie & barge A-390 were unloading at the Noco Product Terminal in Tonawanda on Friday afternoon.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Tuesday ASC's Buffalo brought a load of coal to Lafarge. The Buffalo was seen departing around 1:30 pm, backing out of the channel and then turning around to head straight out into the bay. On Friday the G.L Ostrander/barge Integrity arrived in port around 1:00 pm. Later in the evening, while the Integrity was disappearing over the horizon, the Fred R. White Jr. approached and turned around to back into Lafarge. The White Jr then proceeded to unload coal by 8:00 pm.
The new tug Samuel de Champlain/barge Innovation, using its spotlights, carefully made its way into Alpena Friday night for its first trip to load cement here. It tied up around 11:00 pm, and looks to be sporting the same colors as the Integrity.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
On a dull and rainy Saturday the Utviken departed at 6:15 a.m. heading to Sorel Quebec. She was followed out by the CSL Tadoussac at 6:30 a.m. from the Stelco ore dock. The Michipicoten arrived with iron ore pellets for Stelco from Superior at 12:30 p.m. and then departed at 5 p.m. heading to the Welland Canal. The CCGC Thunder Cape arrived at 5:30 p.m. and went to the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington. The Algowood arrived at 9:30 p.m. with coal from Sandusky for Dofasco.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
On a sunny Friday evening, American Republic arrived to load ore. In an unusual move, she backed into the ore dock.
Sunrise on Saturday found the steamer Armco loading ore on the north side of the ore dock. It was her second visit of the week. Steamer Charles M. Beeghly was due with coal later in the day.

Cleveland - Bill Kloss
Something not seen in a very long time in Cleveland was the sight of 4 vessels in Lake Erie outside of the breakwall on Friday. The Earl W. Oglebay and the Algorail were inbound as the Manistee and (a rare visitor), the Great Lakes Trader were outbound, all at the same time. A first time visitor on Thursday was the John D. Leitch unloading at Cleveland Bulk Terminal.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
At about noon on Sunday, LaFarge Corporation's G.L. Ostrander and its barge Integrity were unloading cement in the inner harbor. At the same time, the Kapitonas Stulpinas (Lithuanian Shipping Co., Klaipeda, Lithuania) was at one of the general cargo piers in the outer harbor. It appears that the bulk carrier brought in a load of salt that was being off-loaded manually (that is to say, no self-unloader).

 

Updates - June 4

News Photo Gallery updated                                 and more News Photo Gallery updates

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 3

On 03 June 1882, the schooner C BELL was launched at the yard of Mason, Corning & Company in East Saginaw, Michigan. Her dimensions were 185 foot x 30 foot x 11 foot and she cost $20,000.

The JOHN B AIRD was christened in 1983, at Thunder Bay for Algoma Central Marine, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

After successfully completing her sea trials on June 3, 1951, the CLIFFS VICTORY entered service for Cleveland Cliffs Steamship Co., a little under six months from the time she was purchased from the U.S.M.C.

The PATERSON (Hull#113) of the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., entered service for N.M. Paterson & Sons Ltd., on June 3, 1954, by carrying 440,000 bushels of wheat from Port Arthur, Ontario. She was scrapped at Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1985.

On 3 June 1870, T F PARK (wooden side-wheeler, 170 foot, 450 tons, built in 1851, at Chatham, Ontario) caught fire and burned to the waterline at the dock near the Detroit & Milwaukee Grain Elevator at Detroit, Michigan. The hull was later removed after being struck by several vessels.

On 3 June 1875, the iron carferry HURON (238 foot, 1,052 gross tons) was launched at Point Edward, Ontario for the Grand Trunk Railway. Miss Jessie S. Hughes of Toronto christened the vessel with a bottle of wine. The hull's iron plates were manufactured in Scotland and shipped to Point Edward where they were assembled. Work began on 12 August 1874. Her engine and boiler were built by Mr. Wilson at Dundas, Ontario. This vessel ran between Windsor and Detroit for over a century. Her hull is still in existence, submerged in the old Great Lakes Engineering Works slip in River Rouge, Michigan.

Today in Great Lakes History - June 4

On 04 June 1872, while carrying wooden barrel staves from Bay City, Michigan to Buffalo, New York, the bark AMERICAN GIANT encountered rough weather off Port Stanley, Ontario on Lake Erie. Heavy seas carried off her deck cargo of 25,000 staves and the vessel became water-logged. As the crew considered abandoning, the steamer MENDOTA saw their plight and took the GIANT in tow for Buffalo where they arrived the following day. For days afterward, other vessels reported the litter of barrel staves floating in the middle of Lake Erie.

At 2:00 a,m., 04 June 1891, in heavy fog, the NORTHERN QUEEN (steel propeller freighter, 299 foot, 2,476 gross tons, built in 1889, at Cleveland, Ohio) struck the schooner FAYETTE BROWN (wooden schooner, 178 foot, 553 gross tons, built in 1868, at Cleveland, Ohio) about ten miles off Dummy Light on Lake Erie. The BROWN which was loaded with stone blocks quickly sank in over sixty feet of water. One of the schooner's crewmen climbed aboard the QUEEN while the others barely had time to scramble up the schooner's masts. Accounts of the accident differ. The schooner's skipper claimed that the NORTHERN QUEEN continued on her journey while the schooner's crew clung to the masts while the skipper of the NORTHERN QUEEN claimed that he tried to find survivors, but lost the wreck in the fog and reluctantly continued on his journey, figuring that there were no survivors. Nevertheless, about an hour after the disaster, the steamer ROBERT MILLS (wooden propeller freighter, 256 foot, 1,790 gross tons, built in 1888, at Buffalo, New York) came along, heard the cries of the unfortunate seamen clinging to the masts and rescued them. No lives were lost.

On 04 June 1881, the OGEMAW (wooden propeller freighter, 167 foot, 624 gross tons) was launched at Simon Langell's yard in St. Clair, Michigan for Mr. Wood & Company of Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1947, the 525-foot Canada Steamship Lines bulk freighter EMPEROR stranded on Canoe Rocks on Lake Superior and sank with a loss of 12 lives.

CLIFFS VICTORY sailed on her maiden voyage in ballast from South Chicago, Illinois in 1951

On June 4, 1968, the keel for the OTTERCLIFFE HALL (Hull#667) was laid at Lauzon, Quebec by Davie Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., for the Hall Corporation of Canada. Renamed b.) ROYALTON in 1983, c.) OTTERCLIFFE HALL in 1985, d.) PETER MISENER in 1988 and e.) CANADIAN TRADER in 1994. She arrived at Alang, India for scrapping on January 7, 2005.

The EDGAR B SPEER (Hull#908) was christened on June 4th 1980, at Lorain, Ohio for the Connecticut Bank & Trust Co., Hartford, Connecticut, managed by the Great Lakes Fleet of the United States Steel Corp., Duluth, Minnesota.

In 1988, the IRVING S OLDS departed Duluth under tow of tug SALVAGE MONARCH, headed for overseas scrapping. She was scrapped by Sing Cheng Yung Iron & Steel Co., in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, scrapping began on November 24, 1988.

June 4, 1940 - Oiler George Riemersma (age 50) died of a heart attack while at work on the PERE MARQUETTE 21.

June 4, 1942 - John A. Clancey, 58, general manager of the Grand Trunk Western Railway and president of the Grand Trunk Milwaukee Carferry Co. died suddenly of a heart attack while at his desk in Detroit.

The Port Huron Times reported that "The new trim and tidy tug, the P L JOHNSON, built for Capt. Sol Rummage, passed up last night with her first tow. She is of medium size and wears the national colors on her smokestack for which some of the boys call her a floating barber shop."

On 4 June 1859, GENERAL HOUSTON (2-mast wooden schooner, 83 foot, 123 tons, built in 1844, at French Creek, New York) was bound from Port Huron for Buffalo with a load of lumber. During a terrific gale, she missed the mouth of the Grand River near Fairport, Ohio and went on the pier where she broke up. Fortunately no lives were lost. The lighthouse keeper on the pier where she broke up later refused to light the lantern while the wreck was in place for fear of drawing other vessels into it. The U. S. Government quickly contracted to remove the hulk from the channel, but a month later, a storm did the job for free, obliterating the wreck so completely that it was reported to have just "disappeared."

June 4th, 2001, marks the 100th anniversary of the famous race between the TASHMOO and the CITY OF ERIE, an exciting race that included many thousands of dollars in wagers, great advance publicity, and the use of many other boats to watch the action along the way. The drama was such that carrier pigeons were released at various times to take the latest updates to waiting newspaper reporters. The CITY OF ERIE won the race in a very close match, and the story has been retold in several books about the Great Lakes.

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

 

State Rejects Cutter's Move
Proposal to place ship in Mackinaw City's State Dock gets thumbs down

6/2 - Cheboygan, MI - The “Big Mac” won't be docking in Mackinaw City. Yet another turn in the final fate of the original U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw has occurred with the decision by the Waterways Commission of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to deny use of the State Dock at Mackinaw City as a mooring site - even temporarily - for the giant icebreaker to serve as a museum.

The Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum, Inc., said two weeks ago it had sought the location after fund-raising difficulties made the purchase of a Cheboygan River property impractical. “The Waterways Commission does not want the cutter to go to Mackinaw City and will not support the ship going to the State Dock,” an exasperated James Muschell, mayor of Cheboygan, told members of the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum, Inc., earlier this week. “That dock is presently undergoing work and will not be ready until 2008. I think you already knew that.”

Muschell said that the DNR agency would prefer that the Mackinaw, just one week away from its decommissioning day, stay in Cheboygan. But where? The Committee has neither funding nor a site that could immediately hold the 290-foot vessel safely, let alone a permanent plan to moor the Mackinaw. “Unfortunately, we have to have a benefactor to meet the time schedule,” Muschell said. “I've been looking for a benefactor, but so far I haven't lucked out. I'm trying to help with this on behalf of the city because I know it could be a huge success and really benefit our community. What a shame if it leaves us.”

Waterways Commission Boating Unit official Bill Boik confirmed the decision Wednesday. “The ship needs a place to go right now, and I mean right now,” Boik said from his Lansing office. “It is my understanding that the Mackinaw's skipper and some representatives of the local group have visited the various options in the area and none of them are sufficient to hold the ship. The Mackinaw's crew will only be onboard to move the ship through June - they'll be leaving for other assignments after that.”

The immediate need is for a place to put the ship locally, and plenty of cash to develop it before the order is executed to sail the cutter to a Baltimore, Md., scrap yard. Equally frustrating to local organizers is the delay in getting legislation passed to convey the ship to the Cheboygan group before the end of the current term. “Every time we think we're on to a funding source or a permanent place to keep the ship, it comes up that we don't officially have it yet,” said Committee Treasurer Joanne Harrison. “We've been in limbo and that hasn't helped us.”


Mac's Options Few, Costly

6/2 - Cheboygan, MI - Options are dwindling for the original U.S. Coast Guard Mackinaw after the state denied it a spot in Mackinaw City. And now a local committee formed nearly two years ago to try and save the Mackinaw as a museum ship for Cheboygan is down to the wire with its efforts. The Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum, Inc., needs a benefactor to pull off a last-minute miracle - one that would fund a location to hold the ship until tourist dollars can generate income to finance a permanent home.

The Mackinaw will be decommissioned June 10 in ceremonies at Cheboygan, also to include the commissioning of the new U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw. The museum group met this week and found little consolation in its possibilities after a proposed site at the State Dock in Mackinaw City was denied by the DNR's Waterways Commission.

“Is there any possibility of a bond issue?” Treasurer Joanne Harrison wondered aloud. “If the citizens want the ship here, they would have their chance.” “There is, but it couldn't go through the city alone and I think the County has made it pretty clear that they wouldn't support it,” Cheboygan Mayor James Muschell said. “They won't even consider it.”

The best possibility still alive at this point involves the Coast Guard granting permission to keep the Big Mac right where it is for an interim period - at the secondary dock site in the turning basin - at the Millard D. Olds Memorial Moorings. The dock was recently renovated to service buoy tenders who will deliver and pick up buoys and aids to navigation being painted and repaired at the new Cheboygan facility built for the new Mackinaw and other smaller cutters.

It is possible that the Coast Guard would be against the idea, but political clout could order the approval of the temporary parking spot until a permanent home is developed. Meanwhile, legislation to actually convey the ship to the Cheboygan group waits for passage in Washington.

Some funding has been obtained by the museum group, which has a list of in-kind services that have been pledged by businesses to accompany thousands of dollars in pledges and a cash balance of $19,262.03 reported at Tuesday's meeting. The big corporate donors, Harrison said, seem to be holding off until the deal is real. “It's hard to sell what we don't actually own,” she summarized. Muschell still believes it can happen - with some major funding help.

“It could succeed,” he emphasized. “We went through the same thing with the County Marina. They (Cheboygan County officials) didn't think it could go and it's been a tremendous success. I think it turned a $100,000 profit the first year on fuel sales alone. Keeping this ship here could be the thing that really helps our tourism industry here, or it could be something we look back on with great sadness if we lose it.”

The Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum Inc., group has applied to the General Services Administration to receive the ship through its surplus property disposal process if legislative efforts fail.

From the Cheboygan Daily Tribune

 

Oswego Lighthouse's Future Suddenly an Uncertainty

6/2 - Oswego, NY - H. Lee White Marine Museum associate director Mercedes Niess dropped a bombshell on the audience, and the residents of the Port City, at the museum's “Write On!” and “Art & History Rule!” awards ceremony Wednesday evening.

“I received a call today from the New York State Historic Preservation Office. Our lighthouse is on the list for demolition,” she said. The audience gasped. “If we're going to save our lighthouse we're going to need a grassroots effort,” she said. “We need to put our thinking caps on.”

After the ceremony, Niess said that she'd based her announcement on a 4:30 p.m. phone call from a representative of the N.Y. State Historic Preservation Office who she knows to be reliable. Her assistant, she said, took the message. He (the representative) was definite about the word ‘demolition,'” she said. The representative left the Web address of the U.S. General Services Administration with Niess' assistant. Niess said she had not been able to check the site before making the announcement at the ceremony.

A search of the site indicates that the Oswego lighthouse is offered, apparently for sale, “as is” and “where is,” as of today. “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will issue a Park and Recreation lease to the successful applicant for use of the abutting breakwater to allow access from land. The New York State Office of General Services will issue a license to the successful applicant for the submerged lands underneath the lighthouse,” a notice on the Web site says.

Niess said she will look into the discrepancy - demolition or sale? - today. “I'm very concerned anyway. We thought that it's being on the National Register of Historic Places would protect it. It doesn't look like that's the case,” she said. According to Lighthouse Digest Magazine, the current lighthouse was built in 1934. It is the fourth lighthouse for the city, which has had a lighthouse for almost 200 years.

Oswego's acting mayor Randy Bateman said, when contacted by The Palladium-Times Wednesday evening, that he had not heard anything about a prospective demolition. His first reaction to the idea was: “We have to do everything we can to save the lighthouse! It's our landmark - our beacon to people coming into the Oswego harbor.” Niess said the only way to save the lighthouse from demolition would be for the city of Oswego to take it over.
“This certainly is a shocker,” she said. By the end of the ceremony she had collected 30 signatures. “I have a full sheet of names of people who are up in arms,” she said.

Reported by Bill Edwards from the Oswego Palladium Times

 

Lake Superior Stamp Issued

6/2 - Marquette — A stamp dedicated to Lake Superior was released last Friday at Presque Isle as part of a new stamp series featuring “40 Wonders of America: Land of Superlatives.” “It’s unique to the area,” Marquette Postmaster Mike Canadeo said. “The last time we did this was about ten years ago. It was a Christmas stamp that was issued in Christmas, Michigan.”

Members of the U.S. Postal Service will issue and sell the stamps at Presque Isle that not only feature Lake Superior as the largest lake, but many other wonders such as the largest reptile, the American alligator; or the tallest waterfall, Yosemite Falls.

Other festivities included speeches by Great Lakes shipping historian Fred Stonehouse and Mayor Tony Tollefson, as well as music by Jim and Ray. The first 200 guests received a free Lake Superior commemorative stamp lapel pin.

 

Port Reports - June 2

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports boatwatchers Thursday were greeted by the sight of the Middletown steaming up the Superior front channel bound for the CN/DMIR ore dock. The vessel was still sporting its Oglebay Norton stack marking. The rest of the harbor was quiet except for Canadian Transport loading at Midwest Energy Terminal. Due at the terminal later in the day were Columbia Star, loading for Nanticoke, and American Mariner, loading for Milwaukee.
Walter J. McCarthy, Paul R. Tregurtha and Columbia Star remain the season’s heavy haulers at Midwest Energy Terminal. The McCarthy and Columbia Star both have five loads scheduled for June and the PRT has six.

Cleveland - Al Hart
For the last week or so MCM Marine has been using the ferry Drummond Islander II as a tug, pushing barges up and down the Cuyahoga River. Seems to work well.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Earl W. Oglebay was in bound for the South Entrance on her way to the Gateway Metroport Terminal in Lackawanna with stone at 7:00 pm Thursday.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
Algoma Central's Algowood loaded overnight and departed the NS coal dock early Thursday.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
At about 3:00 am Thursday morning, the steamer Alpena backed slowly upriver into Milwaukee's inner harbor, docking at LaFarge Cement on Jones Island to unload. During a calm evening, Alpena departed amidst sailboats at about 7:00 PM.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Maumee was inbound early Thursday morning calling on the Wirt Essexville Sand & Stone dock. She unloaded and then turned from the dock and was outbound for the lake late in the morning.
Also outbound from her home in Carrollton was the tug Gregory J. Busch and the deck barge Primary 1. The pair was outbound through Lafayette Bridge in Bay City around 12:30 Thursday afternoon.

 

Updates - June 2

News Photo Gallery updated                                

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 2

On 02 June 1958, the Liberian-flagged freighter MOUNT DELPHI sank enroute to Karachi, Pakistan. She was built by the British American Shipbuilding Company at Welland, Ontario during the final years of World War I. She had 12 different owners during her career and had been seized by Vichy interests at Casablanca, Morocco in 1940, and then by the Italian government in 1942.

On 02 June 1893, CORSICAN (wooden schooner, 112 foot, 210 gross tons, built in 1862, at Olcott, New York) was carrying coal from Cleveland, Ohio to St. Ignace, Michigan on a foggy night on Lake Huron. She collided with the iron steamer CORSICA and sank quickly off Thunder Bay Island. All six onboard went down with her. The wounded CORSICA was beached near Ossineke, Michigan and was later patched and proceeded to Ashtabula, Ohio.

In 1973, the SYLVANIA, down bound light in fog, collided with the FRANK PURNELL just north of the Detroit River Light at 05:23 hours. The SYLVANIA suffered minor bow damage and went to Toledo for repairs.

On 2 June 1855, J W BLAKE (wooden scow-schooner, 68 foot, 33 tons, built in 1853, at Dover, Ohio) was carrying lumber in a storm four miles off Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin when she capsized. Her crew escaped in her yawl, but it was a very close call for one who was asleep below decks when she capsized. The vessel was later recovered and put back in service.

June 2, 1988 - The CITY OF MIDLAND 41 took on 17 truck loads of lake trout, which were planted off Beaver Island.

On 2 June 1882, INDUSTRY (wooden schooner, 63 foot, 30 tons, built in 1847, at Michigan City, Indiana) capsized and sank just a half mile from South Haven, Michigan. The three crewmen clung to the wreck for a while as rescue attempts were made from shore, but they all perished. The wreck later drifted to the beach about five miles south of town and went to pieces.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit 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.

 

General Cargo Booming at Port, but Dredging Concerns Growing

6/1 - Toledo - General cargo business at the Port of Toledo continues to boom, more than tripling during the start of this year’s Great Lakes shipping season.

But it’s a boom that the port director says is at risk because of inadequate channel dredging by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Dredging has been a real concern since I got here, and it has not been alleviated,” said Warren McCrimmon, seaport director for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority for nearly four years. “Once a ship touches bottom, word goes out all over the world and the ships stop coming.”

So far, Mr. McCrimmon said, a reported dredging backlog of between 3 million and 4 million cubic yards of sediment in the Maumee River and Maumee Bay shipping channels has not created the same degree of trouble that the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, a coalition of lakes shipping interests, is reporting in other ports, including Cleveland and Lorain. “When ships are in, we’ve had no depth problems, but that’s been strictly a coincidence,” the seaport director said, observing that wind direction affects water levels on Lake Erie and its tributary rivers. Shallow channels could become “a real problem in the future,” he said.

“We have a relatively large backlog in there,” agreed Mike Asquith, the dredging program manager at the Corps of Engineers’ district office in Buffalo. “We’ve been able to keep the harbor operating sufficiently with what we’ve done, but it’s not as wide as it should be.” At 25 miles, the dredged channel leading into Toledo’s port is one of the longest on the Great Lakes. The Maumee Bay portion is intended to be 28 feet deep and 500 feet wide.

A rebound in steel shipments, plus early lumber and aluminum shipments, are the main reason general cargo at the Port of Toledo increased to 22,194 tons for the season through April 30 from 6,984 during the same period last year. While it’s too soon to know if 200-plus percent growth will be sustained all season, it’s possible, Mr. McCrimmon said. The Toledo port’s overall cargo was up by a modest 1.65 percent for the period, held back by a 15 percent decline in coal tonnage. But general cargo, while representing a small part of the port’s volume by weight, is considered much more valuable per ton because of its impact on port jobs and revenue.

In a statement issued earlier this month, James Weakley, the maritime coalition’s president, said the Great Lakes dredging budget “has been inadequate for years” and that shallow rivers and channels are forcing vessels to carry less than full-capacity loads. The task force calculated that an ocean vessel of suitable size for the St. Lawrence Seaway loses 115 tons of cargo capacity for each inch of draft it must sacrifice to shallower channels. The 1,000-foot U.S.-flag superfreighters that dominate domestic coal and iron ore shipments sacrifice 270 tons per inch lost, according to the report.

Glen Nekvasil, the task force’s secretary and spokesman, said that while Toledo’s harbor has not yet had depth problems, ships delivering iron ore here from Marquette, Mich., this year have had to reduce their loads by about 1,500 tons per trip because of inadequate dredging in the St. Mary’s River between lakes Superior and Huron.

While the Corps of Engineers has budgeted $86 million for channel maintenance for fiscal 2007, “to get the problem solved systemwide would exceed $200 million,” Mr. Nekvasil said. Mr. Asquith said the corps’ plan for this year includes dredging about 700,000 cubic yards of silt from the Toledo Harbor channel, all from areas beyond the Maumee’s mouth where shoaling is worst.

From the Toledo Blade

 

Coast Guard Moves Into New Air Facility

6/1 - Muskegon, Mich.- Coast Guard Air Station Detroit moved into the newest Air Facility at Muskegon Airport at 4:00 p.m. last Friday.

The Coast Guard forward deploys its rescue helicopters to this strategic location to increase the coverage area over the Great Lakes during the busy boating season from Memorial day to Labor day.

USCG News Release

 

Port Reports - June 1

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The cement barge St. Mary's Conquest with tug Susan Hannah in the notch made its 3rd visit of the season on Tuesday morning the 30th. It was still unloading when last seen at 10:30am.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Kaye E. Barker arrived in Marquette Wednesday morning and had not commenced loading by 4:00 pm in the afternoon. Not known what the delay was, but she had pumped out ballast so that her bow thruster tunnel was becoming visible. The Herbert C. Jackson is expected, along with the Fred White and the Armco.

Detroit/Windsor - Nathan Nietering
J.A.W. Iglehart after arriving on Tuesday to unload a partial cargo of cement at the LaFarge Springwells terminal, just upriver from Zug Island in Detroit, departed around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, down bound for Buffalo with the remainder of their cement cargo.
Adam E. Cornelius was unloading a cargo of coal at the dock between LaFarge Springwells and the entry to the old Rouge Riverbed on Wednesday. They would depart around 2:30 p.m. heading up bound in the river.
David Z. Norton was unloading a cargo of stone at Windsor just below Sterling Marine Fuels through the morning Wednesday, and departed up bound during the 1 o'clock hour.
Maritime Trader was tied up at Windsor's Morterm slip, perhaps undergoing some sort of maintenance or just waiting to service the large ADM elevator near there.
Voyageur Independent, the Maritime Trader's fleetmate, was tied up just steps downriver from Morterm at the Windsor ADM silos. Both look fantastic in their blue and white paint.
Canadian Olympic arrived in ballast around 2:00 p.m. up bound to Windsor's Ojibway Salt Terminal to load a cargo of salt.
Arthur M. Anderson arrived Tuesday evening at the Marblehead terminal in the Rouge with the assistance of Gaelic tugs Patricia Hoey and Carolyn Hoey to unload stone. The Anderson departed early on Wednesday.
Tug Karen Andrie and Barge A-397 spent the day Wednesday loading at the Ashland-Marathon terminal in the Rouge.
Saltie Spar Opal was unloading at Nicholson's Detroit, while the saltie Dana was unloading steel coils at Nicholson's Ecorse.

Toledo - Bob Vincent
Wednesday saw the John J. Boland loading coal at the CSX Dock and Armco unloading ore from Marquette at Torco. Tentatively on the coal side due the during first week of June are the Kaye E. Barker and Mississagi on Saturday and on Tuesday the John G. Munson, Michipicoten and Charles M. Beeghly.
During first week in June due at Torco are CSL Niagara, Atlantic Huron and the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, all coming from Seven Islands, CA.

 

Updates - June 1

News Photo Gallery updated                                

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 1

On 01 June 1903, ISAAC L ELLWOOD (steel propeller freighter, 478 foot, 5,085 gross tons, built in 1900, at W. Bay City, Michigan) broke the record for ore when she carried a cargo of 8,579 tons of ore out of Duluth harbor. This broke the record held by JOHN SMEATON (steel barge, 458 foot, 5,049 gross tons, built in 1899, at Superior, Wisconsin) which was 8,571 tons of ore.

The ASA CHILDS (wooden scow schooner, 125 foot, 204 gross tons, built in 1866, at Mentor, Ohio) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan when she was driven ashore at Highland Park just north of Chicago, Illinois on 01 June 1879, and was a total loss. The crew escaped in the lifeboat.

On 01 June 1914, the St. Joseph-Chicago Steamship Company bought the EASTLAND (steel propeller passenger steamer, 265 foot, 1,961 gross tons, built in 1903, at Port Huron, Michigan) from the Eastland Navigation Company for $150,000.

In 1943, the IRVING S OLDS collided with the 524 foot steamer CHARLES O JENKINS in heavy fog 28 miles northeast of Cleveland on Lake Erie and was holed eight feet above the water line. The OLDS was able to help the badly damaged JENKINS back to Cleveland by lashing the two vessels together. After a grueling seven hours the JENKINS was beached in the outer harbor to prevent her from sinking. The OLDS was repaired in time to carry a new record of 17,817 gross tons of iron ore on June 13, 1943.

In 1952, the steamer J L MAUTHE (Hull#298) was launched at Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, Michigan for the Interlake Steamship Co.

The WHITEFISH BAY, loaded with 950,000 bushels of spring wheat, was honored as she carried the billionth metric ton of cargo through the Eisenhower Lock in 1983.

On June 1, 1907, the Great Lakes Engineering Works launched the bulk steamer WILPEN (Hull#28) at Ecorse, Michigan for the Shenango Steamship Co., a subsidiary of Shenango Furnace Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) DAVID P THOMPSON in 1926, and converted to a self-unloader in 1957, at Superior, Wisconsin. She was renamed c.) JOSEPH S YOUNG in 1969, and scrapped at La Spezia, Italy in 1979.

The H LEE WHITE departed Sturgeon Bay in ballast on her maiden voyage for the American Steamship Co., on June 1, 1974, to load iron ore at Escanaba, Michigan for Indiana Harbor.

June 1, 1902 - While northbound for Manistique, Michigan, the ANN ARBOR NO 1 went aground in a heavy fog about noon on South Manitou Island, but was able to free herself and to proceed undamaged.

June 1, 1938 - The PERE MARQUETTE 21, under the command of Captain Arthur Altschwager, was released from a sand bar in the outer harbor at Manitowoc at 1:06 p.m today after being aground for six hours. Her sister ship, the PERE MARQUETTE 22, commanded by J.F. Johnson, freed the ferry after taking a line and pulling the big ship back off the bar.

June, 1958, The ANN ARBOR NO 6 was taken out of service for extensive refitting. she was renamed b.) ARTHUR K ATKINSON.

On 1 June 1887, LUCINDA VAN VALKENBURG (wooden schooner, 129 foot, 302 gross tons, built in 1862, at Tonawanda, New York) collided with the iron steamer LEHIGH in fog and sank near Thunder Bay Island on Lake Huron. The crew was safely taken aboard the LEHIGH and brought to Port Huron.

On 1 June 1892, the steel bulk freighter CHOCTAW was launched at the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company (Hull #17) in Cleveland, Ohio for the Lake Superior Iron Company. Her dimensions were 207 feet x 38 feet x 18 feet and she had a triple expansion steam engine 17 feet, 29 inches, 47 inches x 36 inch stroke. She was built as "monitor" type vessel based on whaleback design with all her cabins aft. She lasted until sunk in a collision in 1915.

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

 

Boatnerd Cruises Coming Soon

Saturday, June 3 - Special Boatnerd Cruise - .
A special 2-hour tour of the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II, beginning at 4:00 p.m. Cost is $12.00. Pay as you board with cash or check, but you must make reservations by calling 810-984-1500 or 888-873-6726.

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

Saturday, July 15 - St. Clair River Boatnerd Cruise aboard the Hammond Bay
A 3-hour narrated St. Clair River cruise passing Algonac, Harsens Island, Walpole Island, Seaway Island and the St. Clair Flats. Departure at 11:00. Cost: $30.00 Can., $25.00 US. including lunch. Free parking at dock. Alcohol not permitted on board or in dock area. Maximum 40 persons. Reservations and payment by mail to Hammond Bay River Cruises, RR 1, Port Lambton, Ontario N0P 2B0, or Hammond Bay River Cruises, P.O. Box 502, Marine City, MI 48039. Email, Phone: 519-892-3973, Website.  ISA, MasterCard accepted.

August 12 - Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise
A 3-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan. Cruise leaves the Portofino's On The River restaurant, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am. We'll go where the boats are. Maybe up the Rouge River, maybe down the Detroit River. Bring your camera. To make the trip even more interesting, a pizza buffet will be delivered by the mail boat J. W. Westcott. Cash bar on board. Plenty of free, safe parking at Portofino's. All this for only $25.00. Limited to the first 100 reservations.

Don't be left out of these fun Boatnerd events. Make your reservations today. Details and reservation information on all Boatnerd Events on the Gathering Page.

 

Welland Canal Traffic is More Than Ship-Shape

5/31 - Buffalo - If the statistics from the first six weeks are any indication, then this could be one of the busiest seasons in recent memory for the Welland Canal.

According to information compiled by the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., the Canadian-agency that oversees operations of the busy inland port, freighter traffic is up 132 vessels through the end of April.
The canal opened on March 21, two days ahead of schedule thanks to ice-free Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The opening was the earliest in the canal's 74-year history, said John Chalmers, St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. senior coordinator.

"The winter was very good to us and we got a jump on the season," Chalmers said.
Barring any unforeseen cataclysmic weather conditions, Chalmers thinks the Welland Canal could set a record for freighter traffic this season.

The canal, a major economic development engine in Port Colborne, Ont., handles between 3,200 and 3,400 freighters annually. Through April 30, 654 freighters traveled through one of the eight lift locks along the canal's network. Chalmers said that figure is 132 more than the same period in 2005.

If that pace continues, the locks could potentially handle more than 4,300 freighters this year.
The locks handle only commercial freighters, either those that are ocean-bound or those in-bound for one of the Great Lakes.

"It's been a busy year, so far," Chalmers said. "People are doing more shipping by boat." Chalmers noted grain shipments through the canal are up 300,000 tons through the end of April while iron ore shipments are up 150,000 tons and coal is up 160,000 tons.

"We hope the trend continues throughout the season," Chalmers said.

From the Buffalo Business First

 



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