Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

Port Reports -  June 30

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Saginaw arrived early Tuesday morning at the Upper Harbor to load ore on her first visit of the season.

Menominee, Mich. and Marinette, Wis. - Dick Lund
Wednesday was a very busy day for the twin ports. First, Algoway arrived with Marinette Fuel & Dock's second load of salt for the 2011-2012 season. The ship was closely followed into port by BBC Arizona, which was carrying KK Integrated Logistics' fourth load of wind turbine towers. BBC Arizona had spent over 20 hours out in the bay of Green Bay before entering port, as the winds were too strong yesterday to come into port.

Algoway began unloading at 7:30 a.m. (CDT) and finished around 12:45 p.m. As they backed out of the Menominee River, fleetmate Algoma Transfer, which had been at anchor out in the bay for several hours waiting for the Algoway to depart, began heading into port with Marinette Fuel & Dock's third load of salt for the season. Algoma Transfer began unloading at 2:40 p.m. and finished four hours later. After unloading, they backed out of the river and were turned around and heading out by 7:15 p.m.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation arrived at Lafarge Wednesday morning to load cement. Also in port on Wednesday was the Cuyahoga, which tied up at the Alpena Oil Dock at 2:30pm. It unloaded a cargo of road salt and departed the river around 6pm. The Alpena is expected at Lafarge on Thursday morning.


New cement plant may be built in South Chicago

6/30 - Chicago, Ill. - Ready-mix concrete company Ozinga Bros. is considering building a cement plant on Chicago’s Southeast Side, but it also has been wooed by Indiana officials to locate the plant in that state.

Building the $250 million plant would create almost 100 jobs and secure a more reliable supply of cement for Ozinga, Marty Ozinga IV, executive vice president of the company’s Chicago division, said Wednesday. Construction of the plant could start sometime next year, but Mokena-based Ozinga Bros. is waiting on approval of its plans from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The plant would be off Torrence Avenue at Lake Calumet. The site, which was a former Cargill grain elevator, was bought by Ozinga Bros. in 2004, Ozinga said.

He said worldwide consolidation among cement and concrete producers has made it more difficult for firms such as his family’s to compete. The business was started in Evergreen Park in 1928.

“The trend across the world is vertical integration,” he said, noting that major concrete suppliers are also producing the cement used in their products. “We feel that if we’re not vertically integrated, we won’t be able to compete.”

He said Ozinga Bros.’ major competitor for concrete jobs in the Chicago area, Bridge¬view-based Prairie Materials, is owned by an arm of a Brazilian industrial group, with cement for its ready-mix plants coming from Michigan. Having a dedicated cement supply gives Prairie an advantage in bidding for jobs.

Ozinga Bros. has 20 ready-mix plants in Illinois and seven in Indiana. Before the recession, it had to rely on cement imports from South Korea and Thailand because of an overall shortage in the United States.

Chicago Sun-Times


Updates -  June 30

News Photo Gallery


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 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 Lines’ 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.


Port Reports -  June 29

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick and Luke Archer
On a windy and cool Thursday afternoon at the Upper Harbor, Michipicoten and Kaye E. Barker loaded ore and departed. In the lower harbor, the Army Corps of Engineers had the H.J. Schwartz working on the break wall with the help of the tugs Bill Maier and Hammond Bay. A flat barge is tied up at the old ore dock in the lower harbor.

Muskegon, Mich. - Herm Phillips H. Lee White passed through the Muskegon piers at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday bound for the B.C. Cobb Power plant with a load of coal from Toledo. She departed in the late evening headed up Lake Michigan.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Olive L. Moore and Lewis J. Kuber were back on the Saginaw River Tuesday evening, traveling up to the end of the navigable channel and the Saginaw Lafarge Stone Dock to unload. The pair are expected to be outbound on Wednesday. Tuesday morning saw the tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 depart the Saginaw Wirt dock and head outbound for the lake.


Coast Guard evacuates crewmember off Frontenac

6/29 - Cleveland, Ohio – An aircrew from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit evacuated a 43-year-old crewmember from the Frontenac in Lake Erie about 24 nautical miles north of Fairport, Ohio at about 1 p.m. Monday.

The aircrew involved was refueling their MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter in Erie, Pa., after participating in a search for a person in the water near Geneva State Park, Ohio. The crewmember's name is not being released.

Crewmembers aboard the Frontenac contacted Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton, Ontario, explaining that the crewmember was reportedly experiencing chest pains, numbness and blurred vision.


Two Centennials in one weekend

6/29 - Two centennials will be celebrated aboard the rechristened Col. James M. Schoonmaker this weekend. The first is the 100th anniversary of the ship’s original christening on July 1, 1911. The second “centennial” is the opening of Great Lakes photographer Chris Winters up-dated and expanded exhibit “Centennial: Steaming through the American Century”. Winter’s traveling exhibit is based on his award winning book of the same name that details the life of the steamship William P. Snyder, Shenango fleet mate to the Schoonmaker.

The Centennial exhibit on the Schoonmaker is the Ohio opening of the traveling exhibit. The expanded exhibit explores in large format photographs on canvas the Shenango Furnace Company, the Snyder and its relation to the Col. James M. Schoonmaker. The exhibit is open to the public July 1-3 during normal museum ship hours. More importantly, the museum ship is free to the general public this weekend before it closes again to complete the exterior restoration.



Shipbuilder hopes for contract deadline extension

6/29 - St. Catharines, Ont. - A St. Catharines shipyard is hoping for a delay in handing down the biggest shipbuilding contract in Canadian history.

Two potential bidders for the $35-billion National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy have asked that the deadline for proposals be extended to Sept. 12 from July 7, says Public Works and Government Services Canada. That could be a boon for Port Weller-based Seaway Marine and Industrial, one of four companies still in the running for a piece of the 30-year deal, says a company official.

"It would be in everybody's best interests for them to receive as many compliant bids as possible," said vice-president of strategic services John Dewar. "We would be very happy if an extension were granted."

Dewar would not say if Seaway Marine asked for the extension. But a report in Halifax newspaper The Chronicle-Herald suggests two of the four major bidders — Halifax Shipyards and Vancouver's Seaspan — have denied asking for the extra time.

That would leave Seaway Marine's parent company, Upper Lakes Marine and Industrial Inc., and the struggling Davie Yards in Levis, Que.

Dewar said the shipyard would likely have to be a subcontractor, since the largest ships involved in the deal are too wide to manage the St. Lawrence Seaway.

"We do believe the shipyard can play a significant role in a meaningful amount of the manufacturing work," he said. He said the yard has had success building modules for ships, which are mounted onto ship structures elsewhere.

St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley said the provincial government is all for pushing back the deadline. "We of course in Ontario believe that our shipbuilding capacity is such that we could be part of such a contract," said Bradley. "Ontario would be very supportive of this extension. We wouldn't want to be excluded from it for any particular issue."

Bradley said the contract calls for several types of ships and that Seaway Marine could build those that fall into size ranges able to handle the St. Lawrence Seaway. He said earning the contract could be an economic boon for the province.

"It (would help) to ensure the long-term viability of shipbuilding in Ontario," he said. And it would bring short- and medium-term jobs to the region.

St. Catharines Standard


Lakes visitor Cape May Light will be floating hotel in northern Quebec

6/29 - The 2001 Great Lakes cruise visitor Cape May Light, which was subsequently renamed Clipper Voyager and is now called Sea Voyager, has found a summer home. The ship will be used as a worker accommodation hostel during construction of a new wharf at Deception Bay, in the Nunavik region of Quebec this summer.

Deception Bay is located on the Hudson Strait at approximately 74.5 degrees west, 62 degrees north. It is the port for Xstrata's Raglan mine. Nickel ore from the mine is shipped to Quebec City and on by rail to Falconbridge, Ontario for smelting. Construction of the wharf will allow large ships to dock. Until now they had to be loaded by transshipping from smaller vessels.

Cape May Light, built in 2001 and its sister ship Cape Cod Light (now Sea Discovery) were built for coastal cruising, but the venture failed and the boats remained laid up. Sea Voyager was used for emergency accommodation in Haiti last year following the earthquake there.

Mac Mackay


USCG Neah Bay to dock Friday in Clayton for tours

6/29 - Clayton, N.Y. - Neah Bay, a 140-foot U.S. Coast Guard ice-breaking tug, will dock at Clayton's regional dock at Frink Park, Riverside Drive, and will be available for public tours Friday to Sunday. The tug, which is stationed in Cleveland, Ohio, also performs law enforcement, environmental protection and search and rescue operations and support for navigation activities, according to a news release. Also on Sunday, Clayton will host its annual Fourth of July fireworks display over the St. Lawrence River.

Watertown Daily Times


Updates -  June 29

News Photo Gallery


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 in 1961, she was 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 mid-body and repowered 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.


Port Reports -  June 28

St. Marys River – Dave Wobser
Around 11:30 a.m. Monday, the Hon. James L. Oberstar locked down, made a U-turn in Soo Harbor and tied up at the Carbide Dock. It was rumored that she had lost two cylinders on one of her Rolls Royce engines and would need to replace them. At 10:30 p.m. she was still at the dock.

Green Bay, Wis. – Scott Best
Sunday afternoon the tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes arrived in Green Bay to load cargo at the US Oil facility near the mouth of the Fox River. This is the first trip this season for this combo, which has spent more time in layup than operating the last couple seasons. Ironically the pair delivered a cargo to Green Bay on its last trip under Keystone management in December of 2009.

Holland, Mich. - Bob VandeVusse
After dropping part of her load in Muskegon, Manitowoc made another visit to Holland on Monday, delivering stone to the Verplank dock. She arrived at about 5 a.m., loaded to nearly 21 feet. The unload was complete by late morning and the vessel departed, reportedly for Chicago.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were outbound from the Saginaw River Monday morning, after arriving early on Sunday. The tug Undaunted, with her barge Pere Marquette 41, called on the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw Monday afternoon to unload. The pair was expected to be outbound Tuesday morning. The SCS Greyfox arrived Monday evening, docking in Downtown Bay City for her annual 4th of July weekend visit.

Detroit Mich.
The Detroit River closed down Monday night to allow for Motown’s annual fireworks show, stopping all traffic including commercial. The USCG Bristol Bay and CG 24539 patrolled the area to keep small boat traffic from interfering with the show, which was launched from barges anchored in the river. Jet Express 4 was in town from her usual run to the Lake Erie islands; she departed about 10:30 p.m. downbound.

Toledo, Ohio
The 122-foot square top sail schooner Lynx will sail into the Port of Toledo for the second time Thursday at noon, and will be docking beside the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship. The vessel will be firing a salute from her main battery of six-pounder carronades upon her grand entrance into the port. Lynx will be offering public dockside tours in conjunction with the Schoonmaker rechristening, as well as sailing excursions beginning on July 1, 2011. The boarding location is next to the Schoonmaker in International Park in downtown Toledo.

Montreal – Ron Beaupre
At 06:40 the tugs Herakles and Tony Mackay, with Ocean Intrepid assisting, departed section 44 of Montreal Harbor with the Algontario scrap tow, bound for Aliaga, Turkey.


Updates -  June 28

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


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. She was later raised and taken to Bay Ship Building Co, and became a barge for the Roen Steamship Co. fleet. In the early 1970s, most of the hull was scrapped, except for two sections of the bottom, which were used for scows around Sturgeon Bay until the 1980s.

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. Renamed c.) H. LEE WHITE in 1969, and d.) SHARON in 1974. Scrapped at Brownsville, Texas in 1986.

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.


Port Reports -  June 27

Grand Haven Mich. - Dick Fox
This was a busy week in Grand Haven with a total of six cargos on five boats. Wilfred Sykes and Calumet came in on the 20th, Pere Marquette 41/Undaunted on the 21st. Robert S. Pierson came in on Friday with a cargo for the D & M dock on Harbor Island, followed by the Sykes on Saturday. Completing the list, St. Marys Challenger came in about 3 p.m. Sunday with a load of cement for the St. Marys Terminal in Ferrysburg.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Stephen B. Roman left port Thursday. Mississagi was in port on Saturday unloading salt.

Oshawa, Ont. - Andre Blanchard
CCGS Cape Mercy and Canadian Coast Guard zodiac C07742ON arrived in Oshawa early Sunday afternoon. After a short stop, the Zodiac departed Oshawa. Later Sunday afternoon, CCGS Cape Mercy and COMRA (Oshawa's Coast Guard Auxiliary unit) departed eastbound in the direction of Cobourg, Ont. However, the destination is unknown. Also, the Pickering Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel PARU, departed Pickering and was spotted near Whitby, Ont. After a short visit there, it moved on toward Toronto, Ont.


Schoonmaker Guest Register Donated to Society

6/27 - On June 14, 2011, The Great Lakes Historical Society, represented by James Karpinski, Larry Bettcher and Christopher Gillcrist and accompanied by Paul LaMarre III, accepted the donation of the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Guest Register from William P. Snyder III of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Mr. Snyder was the last President of Shenango Furnance Company and the grandson of the company’s original founder.

Guest registers are logbooks of sorts that document the names, hometowns and comments guests who were lucky enough to receive a trip aboard a particular vessel . Guest registers are particularly rare. The Great Lakes Historical Society owns over 300 pilothouse, engine room or financial logs of vessels but only two other guest registers. The guest register of the Col. James M. Schoonmaker lists guests from 1911 all the way to 1967.

According to Gillcrist, the most interesting aspect of these guest registers are the comments made by guests prior to disembarking from the vessel. “Guests would often compose poetry or limericks describing the wonderful time they had on the boat.” This material represents an important part of the cultural history of the Great Lakes.

The Guest Register of the Col. James M. Schoonmaker will be on display at the museum ship between July 1, 2011 and July 3, 2011 during normal hours. The Schoonmaker will be open free of charge to the general public during Centennial weekend and then will close for up to six weeks to complete the exterior restoration. The general public is invited to the rechristening on July 1 at International Park in Toledo Ohio at 11 a.m.


Updates -  June 27

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Soo Gathering Photo Gallery

Tug Race Gallery Page 2, Page 3, Page 4 (page 4 updated Sunday)
If you have pictures from the tug race please send to

New Video on our YouTube Channel


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 downbound 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 vessel 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.


Tugboat Race held on Detroit River

6/26 - Windsor, Ont. - Blaring horns, billowing smoke and crashing waves there is nothing delicate about a tugboat race.

Fourteen tugboats started churning up the water of the Detroit River at 1:15 p.m. Saturday as vessels from both sides of the border competed in the 35th annual International Tug Boat Race.

They started at the Ambassador Bridge and raced to Dieppe Gardens.

Its just great fun, its great to be part of it and winning is nothing, said Marc Blancke, whose tugboat Sinbad dominated the pack with a first-place finish.

Blancke, owner of Sinbads Restaurant and Marina in Detroit, has participated in the race for 14 years and has finished first in his vessels class for the last six years.

Dick and Mary Cowley try to return to the event every year and said its the noise and the waves that keep them coming back.

Its loud and exciting and its good to see everyone come down, Cowley said. We always hope for a Canadian win but the Americans usually seem to have bigger boats.

The Windsor Star

Race Results:
First overall: Sinbad
Class 1: First Place – Josephine; Second Place – Jesse T
Class 2: First Place – Sheila Kaye; Second Place – Elmer Dean
Class 3: First Place – Sinbad; Second Place – J.W. Westcott II
Class 4: First Place – Junior C. II; Second Place – Joseph J. Hogan; Third Place, Dryden IV
Class 5: First Place – R&R; Second Place – Norma B
Class 6: First Place – Marvin O.; Second Place – Dyker Lass
Best Decorated: Josephine
Judge’s Pick – Dyker Lass


Port Reports -  June 26

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Algosoo and John B. Aird, which haven't visited the Upper Harbor in at least 10 seasons, loaded ore Saturday. The visits follow that of fleetmate Algocape.

St. Marys River
Traffic volumes returned to near normal Sunday, after Friday’s unusually busy day. Downbound passages included Kaye E. Barker, Stewart J. Cort, Richelieu, Cedarglen, Kasteelborg and Australiaborg. Upbounders included the Hon. James L. Oberstar, John D. Leitch, Isolda, Joseph L. Block and Indiana Harbor.

Goderich, Ont. - Dale Baechler
Amstelborg departed Goderich at 7:45 a.m. Saturday, after 10 days in port. No cargo was loaded, and her destination is unknown.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Algoway was inbound the Saginaw River early Friday morning, calling on the Lafarge Stone dock in Saginaw. She remained at the dock early Saturday morning. The tug Krista S. also traveled upriver to just below the I-75 bridge to pick up two barges. The tug and barges were tied up at Essroc in Essexville early Saturday morning. Indiana Harbor called on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville Friday evening, to unload. She was expected to depart Saturday morning.

Cleveland - Jake Kniola
American Steamship Company's Buffalo recently took the place of Sam Laud to do runs from the Cleveland Bulk Terminal to the ArcelorMittal plant in Cleveland.


Updates -  June 26

Tug Race Gallery Page 2, Page 3, Page 4
If you have pictures from the tug race please send to


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 downbound trip only required 67.5 hours and broke the record of 15,218 tons set by the Canadian freighter LEMOYNE 15 days earlier. The FRASER was shortened and converted to a bulk cement carrier in 1991, and sails today as the b.) ALPENA.

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 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.


One of busiest days in recent memory provides plenty of traffic for BoatNerds

6/25 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - Engineer's Day 2011 Friday was the busiest day for vessel traffic in many years, with a total of 24 vessels passing through the locks between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. One lockmaster was overheard commenting to a freighter captain by radio that he had not seen as much traffic on a single day in the 25 years he had worked at the locks.

The fun started overnight Thursday with thick fog that closed the river. At 6:30 a.m. Friday there were four vessels at anchor, or moving slowly downbound between Whitefish Point and the locks. Edwin H. Gott was tied to the pier after leaving the Poe Lock. Below the locks there were four upbound vessels at anchor between Mud Lake and DeTour.

Traffic started moving just before the 9 a.m. opening of the locks area to visitors for Engineers Day, with H. Lee White downbound in the Poe Lock and Quebecois in the MacArthur Lock. A slight cool mist did not deter a large crowd of spectators on the area between the locks. Before the 6 p.m. start of the Boatnerd Cruise, the following boats had gone downbound in addition to the White and Quebecois; Lee A. Tregurtha, Michipicoten, Canadian Enterprise, Algocape, Herbert C. Jackson, Frontenac and American Mariner. Upbound were Algosoo, American Courage, Anglican Lady and barge, Saginaw, Sam Laud, John G. Munson, Algosar, Cason J. Callaway, and Australiaborg. At times Soo Traffic was asking vessels to check back below Mission Point because they were out of space on the piers. On several occasions, four vessels were in view below Mission Point.

Eighty-four Boatnerds boarded the Soo Locks Boat Tours LeVoyageur (with captains Jack Cork and Charlie Lampman in the pilothouse) at 6 p.m. and were treated to up-close photo opportunities of the upbound John B. Aird, Kaministiqua, tug Victory with barge James L. Kuber and Canadian Olympic, plus the Paul R. Tregurtha was downbound. In addition, the saltie Orsula was tied up at the Purvis dock in the Canadian Soo, and the training vessel State of Michigan was moored on the Michigan Soo side.

At 10 p.m., there was more traffic enroute to the locks. American Spirit and CSL Tadoussac were downbound above the locks, and Edgar B. Speer was upbound at Mission Point. Philip R. Clarke was inbound at DeTour. Federal Leda remained at anchor in the lower river above DeTour waiting for dock space at the Soo, Ont. Export Dock. The day ended with the Mesabi Miner rounding White Fish Point downbound shortly before midnight.

Dave Wobser


Port Reports -  June 25

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The saltie Chestnut arrived at Redpath Sugar on Thursday morning, assisted into the slip by Omni Richelieu and LaPrairie, which returned to Hamilton when the job was done.


Halifax scrap tow makes final port in Turkey

6/25 - The tug Sirocco and the former Canada Steamship Lines’ vessel Halifax arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, June 22, where the former laker will be broken up.

Kent Malo


Maine wooden lobster boat offering tours on Straits of Mackinac

6/25 - Mackinaw City, Mich. - If you happen to see a wooden lobster boat in Lake Huron or Michigan, don’t think a new species of fresh water lobster had not been discovered.

The Ugly Anne has been relocated from Wells Harbor, Maine to Mackinaw City as northern Michigan’s newest attraction. The ship will be offering tours from June through October highlighting the Straits of Mackinac Underwater Preserve, the Mackinac Bridge and the history of the tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

“The Straits of Mackinac has a rich history to share with visitors and I feel that tours focusing on the maritime history of the area will enhance the vacation experience,” states Chris West, owner of Ugly Anne. “I have lived in the area for the past 16 years and have seen firsthand through my work with the Waugoshance Lighthouse Preservation Society and the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau that visitors to the area want to learn the history of the northern Great Lakes.”

West formed the Waugoshance Lighthouse Preservation Society to preserve one of the oldest lighthouses in the Great Lakes and was an employee for the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau.

For more information visit



International Tugboat Race todayon the Detroit River

6/25 - Detroit River - The annual International Tugboat Race takes place this Saturday on the Detroit River at 1 p.m. The race can be viewed from Windsor or from the river aboard the tour boat Friendship.  Click here for race details



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 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.

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.

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.


Cleveland Rocks new barge in the Port City fleet

6/24 - Muskegon, Mich. - The self-unloading barge Cleveland Rocks is being fit out by its new owners, Michigan-Ohio Barge LLC of Muskegon, Mich. Though it is anticipated that in the future power will be provided by the tug Bradshaw McKee (former Susan W. Hannah), the owners have elected to sail the ATB with its former power, the tug Cleveland, under a charter with Laken Shipping, the barge's prior owner. The ATB will be utilized to move materials for its parent company, Sand Products Corporation, an industrial sand producer with operations throughout the Great Lakes.

"The rebound in steel production has tightened bulk freighter capacity at a time when the demands for our industrial sands have increased as well,” said Chuck Canestraight, president of Sand Products Corporation. “The Cleveland Rocks will allow us to move additional materials while our contractual haul capacities with our current domestic marine freight provider are maxed out. We anticipate that the barge will sail a limited schedule this season in advance of receiving wing extensions to accommodate the Bradshaw McKee's Bludworth attachment system."

Port City Marine Services


Port Reports -  June 24

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick and Luke Archer
On a foggy Thursday morning, Herbert C. Jackson unloaded limestone at the Lower Harbor, and Algocape arrived to load ore at the Upper Harbor. Algocape was last in Marquette during the summer of 2008. The last straight-decker in Marquette was the Canadian Leader on September 9, 2008.

Green Bay, Wis. - Scott Best
Thursday the Manitowoc was in Green Bay unloading coal from Sandusky, Ohio at the Georgia Pacific plant up the Fox River. By 5 p.m. she was departing with assistance from the tug Texas as recent heavy rains have made a very strong current in the Fox River. The Alpena is due in Green Bay Friday afternoon, and Great Republic early Saturday morning.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Algorail docked at the Ninth Street pier, delivering dry cargo into covered domes.


Duluth Ranked top port in North America by railway group

6/24 - Duluth, Minn. - When the Railway Industrial Clearance Association (RICA) handed out its Port Service Awards for North America this year, the Port of Duluth took top honors sitting in first place, along with the Port of Mobile, in the association’s final rankings. In two of the individual categories – those evaluating facilities and overall service – the Port of Duluth ranked at the top of RICA’s leader board. The Clure Public Marine Terminal, Duluth’s only breakbulk (i.e. general cargo) facility, is owned by the Duluth Seaway Port Authority and operated by Lake Superior Warehousing Co., Inc. LSWCI has served as terminal operator since 1991, earning a reputation for safe, efficient handling of dimensional and heavy-lift cargo.

“Being ranked first by RICA is a significant honor for us,” said Jonathan Lamb, LSWCI vice president and general manager, “because it is presented by a group that deals specifically with dimensional cargoes and was awarded by the very people we serve.”

Ballots were cast by representatives of several facets of the cargo-handling/transportation industry including, among others: railroads, ocean carriers, logistics providers, manufacturers, and trucking companies.

This award comes on the heels of yet another milestone in the port’s history, said Adolph Ojard, Port Authority executive director. “Just this month, we passed the one million mark in freight tons of wind turbine components handled through the Port of Duluth. Not only has Duluth become a preferred transshipment hub for the wind energy industry, but with over 360,000 square feet of warehouse capacity, (the port) also become a North American distribution center for dozens of companies and cargoes,” he said.

Duluth Seaway Port Authority


Set sail on Lake Erie with the Appledore IV at Great Lakes Science Center

6/24 - Cleveland, Ohio - This summer, the whole family can enjoy a Great Lakes excursion when the Appledore IV comes to Great Lakes Science Center July 7-10. Take a two-hour sail aboard around the schooner and learn about basic ship functions, knot tying, Lake Erie weather and ecology. Admission to the Steamship William G. Mather museum is included.

Reservations are recommended and space is limited. The cost is $47 for non-members and $34 for members. There are also group rates for 10 or more at $34. Trips depart daily at 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 216-621-2400 (Monday- Friday, 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.).

The Appledore IV trips are part of Great Lakes Adventure Week, a seven-day long celebration. From July 4-10, enjoy all types of lake-themed activities, special programs, guest scientists, microscopic investigations and much more. During Great Lakes Adventure Week, the OMNIMAX Theater will be featuring special screenings of the movie, Mysteries of the Great Lakes. All activities are free with paid admission to the Great Lakes Science Center. For more information, contact the Science Center at (216) 694-2000 or visit


Tall ship Lynx headed to Toledo for Schoonmaker rechristening

6/24 - Toledo, Ohio - The 122-foot square top sail schooner Lynx will be sailing into the Port of Toledo for the second time on Thursday, June 30 at 12 p.m. and will be docking beside the Willis B. Boyer Museum Ship. The vessel will be firing a salute from her main battery of six-pounder carronades upon her grand entrance into the Port of Toledo. Lynx will be offering public dockside tours in conjunction with the Boyer, as well as Sailing Excursions beginning on July 1 through July 4. The boarding location is next to the Boyer in International Park in downtown Toledo.

Port-to-port passages are also available for the voyage between Toledo, Ohio to Duluth, Minnesota. For reservations please call 866-446-5969 (PST) or visit for online ticketing.

The celebrated War of 1812 privateer square top sail schooner has arrived on the East Coast from Hawaii and California and is scheduled for a five-year mission along the East Coast of the United States, the Great Lakes and Canada, where she will be participating in the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the Star-Spangled Banner.


Updates -  June 24

News Photo Gallery


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 WILLIAM E. COREY (Hull#67), was launched at Chicago, Illinois by Chicago Ship Building Co., the first flagship for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Sold to Canadian registry and renamed b.) RIDGETOWN in1963. Sold for use as a breakwall at Nanticoke in 1970, and since 1974, she has been used as a breakwater in Port Credit, Ontario.

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.


Port Reports -  June 23

Marquette, Mich. – Luke Archer
Wednesday saw the Michipicoten and Hon. James L. Oberstar at the ore dock. The Oberstar apparently had some kind of leak or spill as there were crews installing containment booms around the laker and some slick was visible on shore.

Milwaukee, Wis. - Peter Groh
After unloading 3000 tons of Type 1 cement in Chicago, the Steamer St. Marys Challenger proceed to Milwaukee. Arriving in Milwaukee about 2 a.m., the Challenger fought the current up the river to the St. Marys Cement Terminal. After unloading 7000 tons of Type 1 the Challenger prepared to depart the dock at about 1:30 p.m. Challenger back out through the Chicago & NorthWestern railroad bridge and turned in the inner harbor. Once the Challenger left the harbor the Algosteel dock at Port of Milwaukee South Pier No. 1, North Side Open Dock to unload salt.

Muskegon, Mich. - Greg Barber
The Alpena departed from temporary layup Wednesday morning.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Metis was docked in Toronto on Tuesday afternoon and was joined over night by Stephen B. Roman.


Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine and Great Lakes Shipyard sign services agreement

6/23 - Cleveland, Ohio - Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine Inc. has teamed up with Great Lakes Shipyard, a division of The Great Lakes Towing Company, Cleveland, Ohio to create a state-of-the-art marine service center to improve and grow their respective vessel repair and overhaul businesses in the Great Lakes Region.

The long-term agreement, effective June 1, 2011 is the latest stage in the development of a global Marine Service Center network, which brings the expertise of Rolls-Royce engineers to customers around the world. Rolls-Royce has opened seven Marine Service Center in the last two years and the global network now includes facilities in 34 countries. Rolls-Royce is in the business of manufacturing and selling propulsion systems and machinery, deck machinery, electrical systems and controls, diesel engines and gas turbines worldwide, for the commercial marine industry and the government, and with the growth of its installed base in the Great Lakes Region, wishes to provide more immediate service and support to those customers. Rolls-Royce’s repair and overhaul services in the Great Lakes Region will be performed by Rolls-Royce in cooperation with Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland and Rolls-Royce’s equipment will be stored, maintained, serviced, and repaired in the Shipyard.

The Great Lakes Shipyard facility will serve commercial and government vessels operating on the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway. It will be operated in partnership with Rolls-Royce Service Technicians employed on-site, and located within the shipyard’s main fabrication and service shop in the Port of Cleveland.

John Hanzl, Rolls-Royce, Vice President Service Operations – North America, said: “When Rolls-Royce was looking for a strategic partner to establish a new service center for the Great Lakes, Great Lakes Shipyard was the clear choice. Great Lakes Shipyard is the “Go to” facility for all types of commercial and government vessels. They have a flawless record of performance, and have proven themselves again and again, to be a major force in the vessel construction and repair market. Our partnership established by this new Services Agreement will mutually benefit our respective efforts toward further growth.”

“Strategically located in Cleveland, OH, Great Lakes Shipyard is a neighbor to the local American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Office and the U.S. Coast Guard’s 9th District Headquarters. Cleveland is a key port for merchant shipping and is firmly established as a regional hub for ship repair, which makes it an ideal location to provide mission critical support, which will be available to our customers around the clock.”

Great Lakes Shipyard expects to initially create 5 to 10 jobs at the existing facility. In addition to on-site repairs, installations and overhaul services, skilled technicians from Great Lakes Shipyard will also carry out off-site servicing and repairs on board vessels throughout the Great Lakes region.

Concurrent with its signing of this Rolls-Royce Services Agreement, the Shipyard is erecting a 770-ton Mobile Boat Hoist manufactured by Marine Travelift to be operational June 27, 2011 – the Boat Hoist is the second largest boat hoist in the Western Hemisphere, the third largest in the World, and the largest on the U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes; all part of a $25 million expansion and modernization project expected to generate an additional 25 jobs.

The 113-year old Great Lakes Towing Company (of which Great Lakes Shipyard is a division) is the largest U.S.-flagged tugboat company on the Great Lakes, serving more than 40 ports with a fleet of more than 35 tugs.

“Great Lakes Shipyard needed to move beyond its less efficient, time-consuming, one-at-a-time drydockings using it’s existing floating drydock. Now, with its new Marine Travelift, the Shipyard will have a world class solution for lifting vessels out of the water, so that as many as six or more vessels can be accommodated at any one time. Specifically designed to handle a full range of Great Lakes vessels, the mobile hoist will eliminate scheduling conflicts, accommodate emergency lifts and ensure quick turn-around. Most importantly, customers will save time and money thanks to the lift’s capability, reliability, versatility, efficiencies,” said Joseph Starck, the Towing Company and Shipyard’s President.

The future relationship with Rolls-Royce and Great Lakes Shipyard bodes well for both companies and Cleveland.


More new salties expected

6/23 - Two more salties, both of which have never traded in the Great Lakes are due to arrive in Montreal later this month. The BBC Portugal, built in 2002, will be arriving in Montreal on June 28 for Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. She is 280 feet in length with a beam of 42 feet. Also expected in Montreal later this month is the new Wagenborg vessel Elbeborg, she was built in 2011 and is due to arrive in Montreal on June 29. She is loaded with a steel cargo from Oxelosund, Sweden for Chicago, Illinois. Elbeborg is 474 feet long and 52 feet wide.

Denny Dushane


Put-in-Bay & Lake Erie Islands cruise aboard vintage tugboat

6/23 - Put-In-Bay, Ohio - An Ohio island journey becomes a fresh lake adventure, Put-in-Bay Cruises announce new Put-in-Bay and Lake Erie Island harbor and sunset cruises aboard a historic 38 foot tugboat, the Restless.

With a home port at Miller Marina, the 1938 tug Restless offers a one and a half hour tour of the bay, along the cottage-lined west shore of South Bass Island, and past Middle Bass Island.

Owner Scott Market, year round resident of Put-in-Bay, hails from a long history of operating boats on the waters of Lake Erie. In 1978 Market's parents Bill and Mary Ann Market bought Miller Boat Line, a passenger and vehicle ferry service that operates on Lake Erie between Catawba and Put-in-Bay/South Bass and Middle Bass Island, Ohio. A fifth generation islander, he owns the boat line along with brother Bill Market and sister Julene Market, holds a 100 ton Great Lakes Captain license, and owns and operates the Miller Marina, Put-in-Bay.

The tugboat Restless was launched in 1938 by the Palmer Johnson Shipbuilding Company of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, when the Army Corps of Engineers sought a prototype work tug. In hopes of landing a contract to build these tugs, Palmer Johnson built a 38' 2" tug with a 12' 3" beam that drew 5' of water. However, the Corp pursued a different design, leaving the tug without a home. She was taken back to the shipyard where a For Sale sign was displayed in her wheelhouse. A gentleman from Milwaukee bought the tug and added an aft cabin, head and sleeping quarters. A collector of Great Lakes marine artifacts, he also installed an 1800's binnacle, a brass steering helm, and portholes and beveled glass windows salvaged from a Great Lakes freighter. The vessel passed into the hands of Roland Schultz, of Traverse City, Michigan, who further restored the tug and named her Restless. Market found the vessel up for sale, drove from Put-in-Bay to Traverse City and immediately knew she would be perfect fit on the island of Put-in-Bay. Click here for more information


Updates -  June 23

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 23

Thirty years ago this morning, the NEPCO 140, carrying six million gallons of No. 6 bunker oil and being pushed toward Oswego by the tug EILEEN C., grounded on the shore of Wellesley Island in the American Narrows section of the St. Lawrence River, just upstream from Alexandria Bay, N.Y. The grounding occurred about 1:35 a.m. in heavy fog and was followed by a second apparent grounding further up river, just before the barge reached the Seaway anchorage site off Mason's Point, some four miles above the initial grounding site. In all, over 300,000 of the thick crude was spilled into the River, creating the largest slick ever to pollute an inland U.S. waterway to that day.

Seaway traffic was halted immediately, sending at least 20 ships to anchor. Within hours, over 20,000 feet of boom were deployed, but the spill moved steadily down river, coating granite shoreline, trapping waterfowl, forcing boat owners to pull their boats, and oozing into sensitive marshland, particularly Chippewa Bay in New York waters. Some oil eventually reached as far down the river as Lake St. Lawrence and coated shoreline along the Long Sault Parkway on the Canadian side of the lake. Clean-up lasted into the fall and cost in excess U.S. $8 million.

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 overturned 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) transited 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, Fritz Hager, Mike Nicholls, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


Port Reports -  June 22

Soo - Herm Klein
Late Tuesday morning the American Integrity stopped at the Carbide Dock in the Soo for unspecified repairs. She was expected to resume her upbound trip and lock through a few hours later.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
The Calumet brought a load of coal to the Power Plant on Harbor Island in Grand Haven around 9 p.m. Monday night. It unloaded and was gone well before morning. The barge Pere Marquette 41 with tug Undaunted in the notch brought a load in for Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg about 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Mississagi arrived at the Alpena Oil Dock just after midnight on Tuesday morning. It unloaded a cargo of salt from Goderich, Ontario. The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity came into port around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday to load cement at Lafarge.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Monday Algocape departed at 9:30 a.m. from Dofasco. Algosoo also departed from Dofasco at 4 p.m. Sunday the Tug Ecosse departed at 6:30 a.m. for the canal. Algocape arrived at 8:30 a.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco. Tug Omni Richileau arrived at 10 a.m. from Clarkson. Gordon C Leitch departed at 12:30 p.m. from Dofasco. Captain Henry Jackman departed at 2:30 p.m. from Dofasco. CCG Limnos arrived in Burlington at 5:30 p.m. for the Canada Centre for Inland Waters.


Control board to lower lake levels

6/22 - Lake Ontario and St., Lawrence River waterfront property owners and recreational boaters should expect "quite a dramatic" rate of drop in water levels during the next two months or so, according to the international board that regulates water flows.

In a teleconference Monday, Frank Sciremammano Jr., a member of the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control, said the board is maximizing discharge at the Robert H. Moses-Saunders Power Dam in Massena to bring the lake's rather high water levels down to its long-term average.

"We are well above average for this time of the year. The lake's water levels are about 19 inches higher than it was last year at this time," Mr. Sciremammano said.

As of Thursday, water levels on Lake Ontario were at 247.18 feet — 11 inches above average and close to its upper limit for monthly mean levels of 247.3 feet.

While high water benefits recreational boaters, the Board of Control has received a number of complaints from upper St. Lawrence River residents of erosion and dock damage, said David M. Fay, a regulation representative of the Board of Control.

Cargo ships traveling the St. Lawrence Seaway have been told to slow down in certain sections of the shipping channel to reduce wake, he said.

In response, the board announced earlier this month that it will discharge 310,000 cubic feet per second — the most it is allowed to release under a water-regulation plan — until the level of Lake Ontario falls to 247.1 feet, so long as levels downstream are below the flood alert level.

In contrast to the below-average water levels last spring, Mr. Sciremammano said, water levels on Lake Ontario began to rise in March and the increase "accelerated" through April and May because of heavy rains and increased supply from Lake Erie, its primary source of water.

Water levels on the lake seem to have peaked earlier this month, and with the increased outflow, the board is hoping to get the water levels down to the long-term average by late August or early September under "normal weather conditions," he said.

Watertown Daily Times


Maritime program for teachers includes stops in Manitowoc

6/22 - Manitowoc, Wis. - The Great Lakes Maritime Transportation Teacher Institute being held in northeastern Wisconsin this week includes stops at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum and S.S. Badger, according to a news release from the museum.

Nineteen participants from throughout Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio will explore the historic, economic and environmental aspects of Great Lakes shipping.

The goal of the institute is to provide K-12 educators with an understanding of maritime transportation that will help them develop standards-based lessons.

The course is taught by University of Wisconsin faculty, maritime educators, U.S. Coast Guard personnel, shipwreck historians and people working in ship design, construction and maintenance.

The Center for Science & Environmental Outreach at Michigan Tech coordinates the course with funding from the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute at UW-Superior and the University of Minnesota Duluth and from the National Center for Freight & Infrastructure Research & Education at UW-Madison.

Herald Times


Updates -  June 22

News Photo Gallery


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 was scrapped in 2008 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 THEW's 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."

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.


Port Reports -  June 21

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
The Wilfred Sykes backed through the pier heads about 2 p.m. Monday with a load for Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg. The Calumet was due at the Power plant on Harbor Island that evening. The Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted are due at Verplank's at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Clarkson, Ont. - Frank Hood
Nordic Copenhagen and James Norris were both in port Monday.


Tug on the way to Montreal

6/21 - The Maltese flag tug Herakles sailed from Hull, England for Montreal on June 14. The tug is better known for its role as the British Coast Guard tug Anglian Prince. With British government budget cut backs, the tug was sold off and this is its first job under its new name. The tug is expected in Montreal June 23 to tow out the retired laker Algontario.

Mac Mackay


New Wagenborg Vessel Expected

6/21 - A new Wagenborg vessel is expected to arrive in Montreal this week. The Adriaticborg is due in Montreal June 23 from Aarhus, Denmark with a cargo of wind turbine parts for Thunder Bay, Ontario. She was built in 2011 and is one of several sisterships all owned by Wagenborg which have visited the lakes in the last few shipping seasons. The Adriaticborg is 143 meters in length with a beam or width of 21.5. Her Wagenborg sisterships all of which have visited the lakes include Alaskaborg, Amstelborg, Aragonborg, Australiaborg, Avonborg, Africaborg and Amazoneborg.

Denny Dushane


Hijacked former Lakes visitor catches fire

6/21 - A once-frequent visitor to the Great Lakes, hijacked by pirates last winter, has caught fire while being held in Somalia. The 585-foot, 28,000 ton deadweight bulker Orna was on a voyage From Durban, South Africa to Okha, India in late December 2010 when she was hijacked by pirates off the Seychelles. The vessel and her crew of 19 were taken to a pirate haven along the coast of Somalia, where they were still being held on June 16, 2011 when a fire broke out in the vessel's accommodations block. The pirates reportedly evacuated all of the hostages to another nearby seized vessel and made an unsuccessful attempt to fight the fire. The vessel's accommodations block was destroyed but apparently her her engine and cargo did not suffer major damage. The cause of the fire is unknown.

The Orna was a frequent visitor to the Lakes, both under her current name and as the Moor Laker, Handy Laker, and Asian Erie. Her last trip into the Lakes / Seaway system appears to have been in 2008.


S.S. Milwaukee Clipper Tours Resume

6/21 - After two years of not being available for public tours, the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper in Muskegon will again be open to the public. She will be open weekends from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. through Labor Day. Tours are $7.00, Students $5.00 and under 5 free. The ship was launched in 1904, and retired in 1970. The S.S. Milwaukee Clipper is another fine example of the ships which once sailed our Great Lakes. Click here for more information


Coast Guard to take part in Detroit River Days Festival

6/21 - Detroit - Detroit-area Coast Guard units are scheduled to take part in this weekend’s Detroit River Days Celebration along the international waterfront from Thursday through Sunday.

During the weekend, Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock will be moored at the GM Plaza and will be available for tours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26.

There will also be a search and rescue demonstration by a Coast Guard helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit and a smallboat crew from Coast Guard Station Belle Isle on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The Coast Guard Auxiliary will also be on-hand to provide boating safety information during the weekend.

More information on the weekend’s events can be found at


Updates -  June 21

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


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 - only 44 of them. In September, MORNING STAR was raised, towed to Lorain and resunk 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.

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


Great Lakes limestone trade down 20 percent in May

6/20 - Cleveland, Ohio - Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 2.9 million tons in May, an increase of 36.4 percent over April, but a decrease of 20 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments trailed the month’s 5-year average by 28 percent

Shipments from U.S. quarries fell 14 percent compared to a year ago and are 26 percent off Mays 5-year average. Loadings at Canadian quarries slipped by nearly 40 percent compared to both a year ago and the month’s 5-year average.

Through May the limestone trade stands at 5.1 million tons, a decrease of 17 percent compared to the same point in 2010, and a drop of 28 percent compared to the 5-year average for the January-May timeframe.

Lake Carriers' Association


Great Lakes Shipyard awarded contract to build Milwaukee work boat

6/20 - Cleveland, Ohio - Great Lakes Shipyard, Cleveland, OH, has been awarded a contract for the construction of a 60-foot work boat for the Port of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The vessel will be specifically designed for operation in ice, with stem and hull shape strengthened to optimize performance in ice.

To be designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants, Seattle, WA, the new vessel will have a maximum speed of 10 knots and will be powered by a single 405 HP Cummins QSK11 Tier II diesel engine. Other general specifications include:

Intended to be used as a “day boat,” the vessel’s capabilities will include general harbor work, icebreaking, salvage and dive operations. Construction is slated to be finished by the end of this year. Outfitting will include a Telescopic Boom Marine Crane by DMW Marine with a capacity of approximately 9-metric tons.

The design includes an extended steel main deck house to be used for a diver's changing room. Bench seating and gear lockers will be installed. The design will also include a diver’s platform recessed into the stern from the main deck. Stairs will lead from the main deck to the diver platform where a hinged ladder will be installed that can be stowed in or out of the water.


Port Reports -  June 20

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Great Republic was back at the Upper Harbor Sunday afternoon on her fourth straight trip to load ore. Her stacks are now in Great Lakes Fleet colors.

Green Bay, Wis. - Matt Ludvigson
The cement barge Integrity and tug G.L. Ostrander arrived in Green Bay Sunday around 5 p.m.

Charlevoix, Mich. - Alex Fleet
Sunday afternoon the St. Mary's Challenger arrived to load. In gusty winds they slid along the breakwall up to the silos, were the loading spouts were lowered as the last lines were tightened to the dock.

Port Inland and Cedarville
Saturday the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted loaded at Port Inland taking on a cargo of Agg. Lime. Expected to load at Port Inland Monday is the American Courage followed by the Robert S. Pierson on June 23. H. Lee White loaded at Cedarville Saturday with the Wilfred Sykes due to load on Tuesday.

Stone Port, Mich.
The Joseph H. Thompson and barge were loading at the dock in Stoneport on Sunday. Vessels expected to load in the week ahead are: John G. Munson Monday, Algoway Tuesday. Scheduled Wednesday is the Manistee and a return visit by the Joseph H. Thompson. Friday three ships are due, Lewis J. Kuber, Great Lakes Trader and John G. Munson.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Saturday morning the Manitowoc arrived at Lafarge to unload coal. The G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity came into port also on Saturday to load cement. Sunday evening the Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation tied up at Lafarge. The research vessel Sturgeon and the training vessel Pride of Michigan were tied up in the river Sunday.

Toledo, Ohio
The CSX Coal Dock will have a busy week with several vessels scheduled to load. The McKee Sons is due to load early Monday followed by Herbert C. Jackson. Tuesday the James L. Kuber and Kaye E. Barker are both scheduled to load followed by the Buffalo Wednesday, H. Lee White and Pathfinder Thursday.
American Mariner and Algolake both will load at CSX Coal Dock on Friday. At Midwest Terminal Stone Dock, Algosteel is due in on Saturday to unload. McKee Sons was due late on Sunday at the Torco Dock with the Kaye E. Barker, Great Republic and CSL Assiniboine all due in Tuesday. Atlantic Erie rounds out the Torco Dock schedule on Saturday to unload ore.

Huron, Ohio - Dennis Green
The Arthur M. Anderson arrived Sunday afternoon to unload slag.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Saturday Algobay departed Hamilton at 1 p.m. for Sydney Nova Scotia. John D Leitch departed at 7 p.m. from Dofasco for the canal. Rt.Hon.Paul J Martin arrived in ballast at 8:00 p.m. for US Steel. Friday the Algobay arrived at 1:30 p.m. from Bowmanville. Thursday the tug Jarrett M departed at 5:30 a.m. to help the tug Robinson Bay and work barge off the Burlington Piers. Tug Robinson Bay, Jarrett M and work barge arrived at 8 a.m. Rt. Hon. Paul J Martin departed at noon from US Steel. John D. Leitch arrived at 9 p.m. after cleaning holds in Lake Ontario.


Fednav adding three ships to Great Lakes fleet

6/20 - Montreal, Que. - Montreal’s Fednav Ltd., Canada’s largest ocean-going dry-bulk ship-owning and chartering firm, is investing about $100 million in three new vessels designed to trade on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system.

The first, the Japanese-built Federal Yukina delivered in 2010, arrived via Montreal and the seaway in Hamilton recently with a cargo of steelmaking materials. It adds capacity to Fednav’s fleet of seaway-sized bulk carriers. The second and third vessels in the series will be delivered in 2012 and 2013.

Family-owned Fednav is boosting the capacity of its Great Lakes fleet “because we’re very positive about the seaway’s long-term significance,” said Paul Pathy, co-CEO. “It’s the most economic and environmentally friendly way to move bulk cargo to and from the American heartland.”

The Yukina and sister-ships are state of the art and will be 12 per cent more fuel-efficient than Fednav’s existing fleet. The new high-tech engines will reduce emissions significantly.

All three vessels will have ballast water-treatment systems. The equipment will be installed once the U.S. Coast Guard gives type approval. Fednav is testing a treatment system on one of its ships on the Great Lakes later this year – the objective is to reduce the risk of introducing invasive species to the lakes.

The Yukina is now part of Fednav’s fleet of seaway-sized bulk carriers that regularly transport specialized cargo to the Great Lakes region and take Canadian and U.S. grain and other bulk materials out to foreign markets. It can carry up to 35,000 tonnes.

The vessel flies a Hong Kong flag and has a crew of 22. The two other ships will be similar.

The seaway this week reported that, from the season’s opening on March 22 to May 31, total cargo moved was 7.6 million tonnes, up 3.7 per cent from a year earlier. Grain was up and iron ore down.

Fednav’s primary business is transportation of bulk and breakbulk cargo worldwide. Besides the U.S. and Canada, it has offices in Antwerp, Hamburg, London, Brisbane, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore and Tokyo. It handles cargo through its own terminals and agencies and owns Federal Marine Terminals at the Port of Hamilton.

The Montreal Gazette


Updates -  June 20

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new pictures in the George M. Carl gallery


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 - 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 - 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.


Port Reports -  June 19

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Olive L. Moore and Lewis J. Kuber were back yet again early Saturday morning, traveling upriver to the GM dock in Saginaw to unload. Finished by early afternoon, the Moore-Kuber turned and were outbound through Bay City mid-afternoon Saturday.

Hamilton, Ont. - Ted Wilush
John D. Leitch departed Hamilton Saturday evening with blast furnace trim from Dofasco. She now carries the Algoma Bear on her stack, additionally the ULS billboard on her unloading boom has been painted over.


Search ends for missing Alaskaborg crewman

6/19 - The search has been called of for a man reported missing from the Dutch cargo ship Alaskaborg, south of Newfoundland. The ship, which visited the Great Lakes in May and June, was en route from Baie Comeau to Tilbury, UK on Saturday when the 20 year old did not report for duty. A search by ships and aircraft over a wide area was called off at dark when no trace of the crew member was found. Coast Guard authorities said that survival time in the waters 120 kilometers south of Cape Race would be no more than four hours. The search was also hampered by fog. The ship was upbound in the Seaway May 17 and unloaded in Thunder Bay from May 21 to 26. It then moved to load in Duluth and sailed from there June 4. It passed down the Seaway again on June 9 bound for Montreal.

Mac Mackay


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 SHEFFIELD's 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, 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, 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.

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.


Great Lakes coal trade down 7.5 percent in May

6/18 - Cleveland, Ohio - Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes totaled 2.9 million tons in May, an increase of 28 percent over April, but a decrease of 7.5 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings fell even further 26.2 percent when compared to May’s 5-year average.

Loadings at Lake Superior and Lake Erie ports fell 12.4 and 13.2 percent respectively. Shipments from Lake Michigan terminals increased 45.4 percent. Year-to-date, the coal trade stands at 6.5 million tons, a decrease of 3.2 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments are nearly 20 percent off the 5-year average for the January-May timeframe.

Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports -  June 18

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Robert S. Pierson arrived Friday morning at the Upper Harbor to load ore. James R. Barker finished unloading coal into the hopper and departed for western Lake Superior.

Munising, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Tug Invincible and Barge McKee Sons arrived early Friday morning at the Neenah Paper Mill Power Plant dock to unload the first coal cargo of the season. The pair was expected at the Marquette Upper Harbor ore dock later in the day.

Stoneport, Mich. - Daniel McNeil
Father’s Day weekend loadings for Stoneport goes as follows: Due Friday was Lewis J. Kuber. Due for Saturday is the Arthur M. Anderson. Due on Sunday is the Joseph H. Thompson.


Great Lakes Shipyard completes upgrades on USCGC Thunder Bay

6/18 - Cleveland, Ohio - Under its 5-year IDIQ Contract with the USCG’s Engineering Logistics Center, Baltimore, MD, Great Lakes Shipyard has completed the 8-week, on-site replacement of the main propulsion control system on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Bay, in Rockland, ME. This was the fourth work order for installation of the new system under the contract, which includes the entire fleet of nine WTGB ice breaking tugs.

Previously, Great Lakes Shipyard completed the same upgrade to the electric propulsion system on the USCGC Neah Bay in Cleveland; the Bristol Bay in Detroit; and the Penobscot Bay in Bayonne, N.J. Next on the schedule is the USCGC Biscayne Bay, stationed in St. Ignace, MI. That work will begin in August.

The old main propulsion control systems were obsolete, not supported, and at the end of their service life. The outdated controls were replaced with USCG-furnished Avtron Model ADD-32 DMG electric drive propulsion system, manufactured by Avtron Industrial Automation, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.


Twin Ports shipping season off to strong start

6/18 - Duluth, Minn. - The Twin Ports is experiencing another solid start for the Great Lakes shipping season, but one of last year’s booms — wheat exports — might bust.

So far, the numbers are strong: St. Lawrence Seaway cargo connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic is up 10 percent, including a 31 percent increase in grain heading overseas. Grain traffic has more than doubled among U.S.-flagged ships.

But last year Russia and the Ukraine — two of the biggest world growers of wheat — had to stop exports because of fire and drought. This year, the International Grain Council says both countries are rebounding while flooding in the western U.S. could reverse this strong start.

Duluth Seaway Port Authority Director Adolph Ojard says this will be a different year than last year when grain shipments were up 68 percent.

“And that’s primarily due to the fact too that the Russians and Ukrainians are going to be back exporting based on their predicted crops and that Black Sea area serves an area closer which means freight rates are cheaper and so there’s a lot of competition out there.”

Steven Sydow of Daniel’s Shipping Services in Duluth handles grain orders. He says the steady start is good but he’s not going to look into his crystal ball.

“It’s a big matrix of decision variables that cause shipping to go up or down. One thing you would think makes shipping go up, makes it go down. It’s really complicated. If I knew the answer, I’d live in a big castle, put it that way.”

World food prices rose to a record high in February adding to world inflation and food riots in northern Africa, but the strong wheat crops in the Ukraine and Russia could drive down those prices.

Superior Telegram


St. Clair River cruise offers historic views

6/18 - Port Huron, Mich. - Anyone with an interest in Great Lakes nautical history will enjoy a two-hour cruise on the St. Clair River that includes narration by a familiar voice — Jenny Olsen, the long-time co-host of the Michigan Out-of-Doors television show on public television.

Olsen is one of four partners who own the Huron Lady II, a 65-foot cruise boat that makes two-hour cruises up and down the St. Clair River that marks the international boundary between Michigan and Ontario and the cities of Port Huron and Sarnia.

Olsen, who has been the on-and-off co-host of the outdoor show since 1999, lives in Goodrich. She said she was asked to become the managing owner of the cruise boat by three businessmen who also own cruise lines in Munising, Frankfort and Alpena.

“I have done promotional videos for these same people, and they asked me to join them in the Port Huron purchase,” she said, who aside from her managerial duties, also narrates live or on tape most of the cruises along the riverfront.

Olsen’s partners own cruise boats that offer Great Lakes tours of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore and the Thunder Bay National Shipwreck Preserve.

The new Port Huron line takes over an existing business that was started in 1995 by Capt. John and Camille Rigney. Those two are still involved in the business during the transition period, Olsen said.

Olsen and the St. Clair River cruises offer substantial maritime history on both sides of the international river, including detailed information about each Great Lakes freighter that passes by.

There is also considerable history shared about other marine sights, including the oldest lighthouse on the Great Lakes, the 1829 Fort Gratiot light that is currently being restored.

Other highlights include information about the Huron lightship that marked the entrance to the St. Clair River for many years. That lightship, which was the last lightship on the Great Lakes when it was retired in 1970, is now on permanent display along the river just north of downtown Port Huron.

The cruise boat also passes by the 1858 railroad depot where Thomas Edison boarded south-bound trains as a boy selling candy and newspapers to passengers headed to Detroit.

Another sight along the river is the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Hollyhock, which is capable of going through three feet of ice.

Olsen also points out that the river boat passes over two railroad tunnels 15 feet below the riverbed. The oldest one dates back to 1891, when it was regarded as one of the man-made wonders of the world.

The cruise boat also runs by the Black River in downtown Port Huron, which is the site of public and private marinas that house hundreds of pleasure boats. In the 19th century, however, it was used for floating logs to sawmills. Lumber from here was used to build the city of Milwaukee more than 150 years ago.

Olsen, who also works as a deckhand, ticket agent and business manager, said she will be onboard most cruises, but sometimes her narration will be courtesy of previous recording.

Olsen said many people who don’t know about her recent interest in the cruise line eventually recognize her voice and comment about it.

The Huron Lady II offers cruises along the St. Clair River and a few miles out into Lake Huron from May until mid-October. The cruises are offered daily starting Father’s Day weekend.

The boat has at least two cruises every day at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., along with dinner cruises to the River Crab restaurant in St. Clair on Monday and Tuesday evenings departing at 6 p.m. Sunset cruises are also offered at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

The regular cruises cost $16 for adults, with kids 5 to 12 costing $8. Seniors get a $1 discount. The dinner cruises cost $43 apiece, which includes the dinner.

Groups can also charter the Huron Lady II for special private cruises.

More information or ticket reservations are available at the cruise line’s website at or by calling (810) 984-1500.

Flint Journal


Soo hydro plant open house on Friday

6/18 - Cloverland Electric Cooperative will open the doors to its historic hydroelectric plant in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., on Friday, June 24 in celebration of the Soo Locks Engineer’s Day. Visitors can enjoy a self-guided tour throughout the facility between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Activities include hotline safety demonstrations, tours of the Lake Superior State University aquatic lab, prize drawings, giveaways, video presentation, tools of the trade exhibit and great deals on energy efficient smart power strips and CFL bulbs. Admission is free. For more information call 800-562-4953 or visit

Soo Today


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 1,700 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 was used as a spoils barge in Keasby, New Jersey, until her return to the lakes last year. She now sails as J.W. SHELLEY.

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.


Port Reports -  June 17

Holland, Mich. - Bob VandeVusse
The Manitowoc arrived at the James DeYoung power plant in Holland late Wednesday night to make the season's first coal delivery. The load originated at the DTE dock in Chicago.

South Chicago - Steve B and Lou Gerard
Thursday was a very busy day on the Calumet River. St. Marys Challenger left her dock in Lake Calumet just after 10 a.m. She passed Samuel de Champlain / Innovation, at the Lafarge dock unloading. H. Lee White departed KCBX about 10:30 followed shortly by CSL Niagara from DTE with G tugs Massachusetts and Colorado accompanying her. Things got sticky at NS 5 bridges as CSL Niagara and tugs had a lengthy wait for passing rail traffic and were soon joined by the Challenger. After NS 5 went up, the Challenger followed the Niagara out to the lake where Manitowoc was waiting in Calumet Harbor to head up to KCBX. She also had to wait for rail traffic at NS 5 and was soon joined by the Pere Marquette 41/Undaunted, which waited it out under the old EJ&E bridge. Rail traffic finally cleared and they got under way.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Cuyahoga arrived at Lafarge about 2 p.m. on Thursday. It unloaded slag into the storage hopper throughout the day, and departed the dock before nightfall.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were inbound the Saginaw River on Wednesday night, carrying a split cargo. The pair stopped at the Bay City Wirt stone dock to drop a partial load before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Wirt dock. Moore-Kuber were outbound early Thursday morning. This was the first cargo delivered to the Bay City and Saginaw Wirt dock of the 2011 season.

Toledo, Ohio – Mark Keller
The Buffalo departed winter lay-up in Toledo Thursday night about 10 p.m. She headed east across Lake Erie arriving in Cleveland about 5:30 a.m.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
English River was in port overnight and departed just after 11:30 a.m. The local charter boat Klancy II has been sold to Mariposa Cruise Lines, as a replacement for Torontonian, which suffered an engine room fire last year.


Great Lakes Shipyard primes research vessel Grayling for scientific studies

6/17 - Cleveland, Ohio - Great Lakes Shipyard, Cleveland, Ohio, has finished the 5-year overhaul work on the U.S. Geological Survey research vessel Grayling. Under a fleet maintenance contract with the Great Lakes Science Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., of the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior, the Grayling was drydocked and given a detailed inspection, cleaning, tune up, repair and modifications. Some of the major work items included overhauling the generators and engines, painting the hull, and repairing exhaust and propulsion systems. The 75-foot-long Grayling was built in 1977 and is home-ported in Cheboygan, Mich.


Coast Guard, other law-enforcement agencies work together to locate missing man

6/17 -  Cleveland, Ohio - The U.S. Coast Guard worked closely with local, state and federal law-enforcement personnel to locate a man who was reported as entering the water and not seen re-surfacing about 50 yards off Sugar Island in the St. Marys River near Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Thursday morning.

A woman called 911 at about 4 a.m. to report a man had just left the island in her rowboat, seemingly attempting to steal the vessel, and when she yelled to him she heard a splash and lost sight of him. The Coast Guard immediately launched search crews aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from Station Sault Ste. Marie and an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station Traverse City, Mich.

“Regardless of the circumstances leading up to the report, our primary concerns were the safety of the missing man and finding him as quickly as we could,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Bradley Johnson, a search and rescue coordinator at the Sector Sault Ste. Marie command center.

Personnel with U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol Station Sault Ste. Marie, two Michigan State Police K-9 units and the Chippewa County Sheriff's Department also began searching. The Coast Guard helicopter crew spotted a lone man emerging from the bushes on a small, uninhabited island nearby at about 9:30 a.m. and passed his location to the other responders before leaving to refuel.

The Chippewa County Sheriff's Department apprehended the man a short time later with the help of the Michigan State Police K-9 units.


Union applies for representation vote at Algoma Central Marine

6/17 - Toronto, Ont. - CAW Local 4401 has applied to the Canada Industrial Relations Board to conduct a union representation vote for unlicensed seafarers at Algoma Central Marine following the purchase of 13 vessels from Upper Lakes Shipping (ULS).

A representation vote will offer more than 800 Algoma workers sailing the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system a choice to be represented by one union, either Local 4401 or the Seafarers International Union (SIU).

Algoma, which operates the largest Canadian flagged fleet of vessels on the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway system now employs 350 CAW Local 4401 members, operating the 13 former ULS vessels. Algoma also employs 450 workers who are members of the SIU, operating their original Laker fleet of 17 vessels.

CAW represents 49,000 members in the overall transportation sector across Canada including thousands in marine transportation, passenger & freight industries and ship building.

In April 2011, Algoma purchased 13 ULS vessels where workers are represented by CAW-Canada and its Local 4401. CAW-Canada and the SIU will continue to represent their respective members working for Algoma subject to any rulings by the CIRB.

Canada NewsWire


Updates -  June 17

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 17

On June 17, 1895, the J. W. Westcott Co., inaugurated its unique mail delivery service. On 17 June 1878, the Canadian schooner JAMES 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 barge PERE MARQUETTE 41 and tug 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, Detroit Marine Historian, Marine Historical Society's Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


U.S.-Flag lakers' cargo down 3.4 percent in May

6/16 - Cleveland, Ohio - U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters carried 9.5 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in May, an increase of 15.6 percent compared to April, but a decrease of 3.4 percent compared to a year ago. The fleet’s May float was also 9 percent below the month’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos for the steel industry decreased 3.7 percent compared to a year ago. Coal for power generation and steel production was essentially unchanged from a year ago 2.1 million tons. Aggregate and fluxstone for the construction and steel industries slipped by 8 percent.

Through May U.S.-flag cargos stand at 23.6 million tons, an increase of 5 percent compared to the same point in 2010. Iron ore and coal have increased 6 and 10.3 percent respectively compared to a year ago, but limestone is 3.3 percent off last year’s pace.

Compared to the 5-year average for the January-May timeframe, U.S.-flag cargos are down 3.3 percent.

Lake Carriers' Association


Great Lakes iron ore trade down 2.6 percent in May

6/16 - Cleveland, Ohio - Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 6.1 million tons in May, an increase of 6.5 percent over April, but a decrease of 2.6 percent compared to a year ago. May loadings were, however, up slightly compared to May’s 5-year average.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 5,449,808 tons, a decrease of 2.9 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings at Canadian ports were virtually unchanged from last May.

Through May the iron ore trade stands at 16.8 million tons, an increase of 6.6 percent compared to a year ago, and 7.8 percent better than the 5-year average for the January-May timeframe.

Shipments from U.S. ports are up 6 percent compared to a year ago and 11.1 percent ahead of their 5-year average. Loadings at Canadian ports are 12.5 percent ahead of last year’s pace, but 15 percent below the 5-year average for the first five months of the year.

Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports -  June 16

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Kaye E. Barker and Great Republic loaded ore at the Upper Harbor late Tuesday evening into Wednesday.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Manistee arrived at Lafarge before 7 a.m. on Wednesday. It unloaded a cargo of coal and then headed for Calcite. Both of the Lafarge tug/barges were in port taking on cement this week also. The G.L Ostrander/barge Integrity was in on Monday followed by the Samuel de Champlain/ barge Innovation on Tuesday.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Algoway arrived early Wednesday afternoon. She was seen unloading at the Jonick docks at 6:35 p.m.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Wednesday, Omni Richelieu departed at 7:30 a.m. for Clarkson. Panagia departed at 8 a.m. John D Leitch arrived at 11:30 a.m. with coal for Dofasco. Federal Kivalina arrived at 3:45 p.m. Algowood departed at 4:00 p.m. from Dofasco. Hamilton Energy departed at 4:15.p.m.and returned to port at 10 p.m.


Wisconsin’s Schooner Coast hosts Denis Sullivan voyage

6/16 - Manitowoc, Wis. - Manitowoc and Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin’s Schooner Coast, a new tourist destination that offers 60 miles of maritime experiences, natural waters and little-known Wisconsin gems, is hosting a two-week voyage of the S/V Denis Sullivan, the world's only re-creation of a 19th century three-masted Great Lakes schooner. Throughout the two weeks, the historic vessel will offer deck tours, hours-long Lake Michigan cruises and a three-day sail along the Schooner Coast.

Wisconsin’s Schooner Coast begins at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, continues to Two Rivers, Kewaunee and Algoma, and finishes at the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay. Along the way, visitors will discover white sand beaches, towering lighthouses, schooner shipwrecks, quaint harbor towns, fishing spots and many opportunities to experience Lake Michigan and the coasts unique maritime history.

The Denis Sullivan will begin its Schooner Coast voyage at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc this Saturday and Sunday as part of the museum’s annual River Rendezvous event. Throughout the two days, visitors can step aboard the ship for deck tours or book a two-hour Lake Michigan cruise.

Deck tours will run each day 10 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 3:30, 5:30 p.m. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children (children two and under are free). In addition, each day 1-3 p.m. the Denis Sullivan will host a two-hour Lake Michigan cruise. The cost is $45 for adults and $35 for children. Reservations are required. The Wisconsin Maritime Museums is also offering a special package that includes museum admission, a guided tour of USS Cobia (the museum’s fully restored WWII sub) and a deck tour of the Denis Sullivan for $15 for adults and $12 for children.

River Rendezvous will be held along the Manitowoc River at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, 75 Maritime Drive For more information or to make a Lake Michigan cruise reservation, call 1-866-724-2356, e-mail or visit


Use for river, bay dredgings to be forum topic in Toledo

6/16 - The public is invited to a free, four-hour session Thursday about potential markets for millions of pounds of muck the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers digs up each year so that large cargo ships can continue to ply through Toledo-area water.

For years, the corps has spent roughly $20 million a year to dredge 4 million cubic yards of sediment from Great Lakes harbors and channels, the equivalent of 400,000 truckloads of soil.

Nearly a quarter of that comes from the Toledo shipping channel in the Maumee River and western Lake Erie's Maumee Bay, the shallowest and most heavily dredged part of the Great Lakes.

From 1 to 5 p.m., officials will seek ideas from the public on how best to keep the shipping channel from filling in so quickly with more sediment runoff. Most of it comes from northwest Ohio and northeastern Indiana farms.

Officials also are looking for markets for the dirt, such as product manufacturing, fishing reefs, or strip-mine reclamation. The majority of it gets dumped into Lake Erie's North Maumee Bay, one of the region's most productive fish nurseries. Biologists claim the turbidity it creates hurts the region's $7 billion fishery.

The session will be at the Toledo Maritime Center, 1701 Front St. in Toledo's Marina District. It is being presented by the Great Lakes Commission, the Ohio Lake Erie Commission, and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For more information, contact the Ohio Lake Erie Commission at 419-245-2514.

Toledo Blade


Updates -  June 16

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 16

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 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.

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 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 is now the b.) CANADIAN LEADER

Upbound in the Welland Canal on June 16, 1963, loaded with iron ore for Chicago, U.S. Steel's BENJAMIN F. 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.


St. Lawrence Seaway reports strong start to 2011 season

6/15 - Washington, D.C. - The St. Lawrence Seaway has reported a strong start to the 2011 shipping season. Generally viewed as a bellwether for the regional economy, initial indicators show signs of a continued rebound over last season with significant increases in grain, steel slabs, and general cargo during the first two months of activity.

Year-to-date total cargo shipments for the period March 22 to May 31 were 7.6 million metric tons, up 4 percent over the same period in 2010. Total grain shipments increased by 31 percent to 1.8 million metric tons, while coal increased by 14 percent to 850,000 metric tons.

Coke shipments were up 70 percent to 456,000 metric tons and steel slab rose 102 percent over the same time last year. However, iron ore shipments were down 39 percent to 1.6 million tons.

Grain exports were the story in the United States with an increase of 126 percent over the same period last year, but whether that trend will continue is unknown. “This first shipment of the 2011 season represents about 25,000 acres of wheat produced by farmers in North Dakota,” said Adolph Ojard, Duluth Seaway Port Authority executive director.

Ojard also noted that the next few months will be critical in world wheat markets and here on the Great Lakes with regard to grain shipments. “There’s no way to accurately forecast tonnages this far ahead because of fluctuations in currency values, anticipated worldwide harvests and the availability of backhaul cargo.”

“While our early grain totals were up over 80% from the same time last year, the full scene won’t unfold until grain harvests are assessed this summer in Europe, Australia, and North and South America. The lifting of the Russian ban on wheat shipments will also impact international shipments. We are definitely going to have to ‘wait and see’ if this robust start continues well into the 2011 season.”

General cargo shipments showed an impressive 177 percent uptick in early season activity as international vessels delivered wind turbine components to the Port of Cleveland and the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor.

In April a shipment of wind turbine blades – each 164 feet long and weighing more than 24,000 pounds – traveled by ship from Germany through the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Port of Cleveland. Destined to generate energy at Lincoln Electric’s headquarters in a Cleveland suburb, the wind turbine will be one of the largest in Ohio and symbolizes Greater Cleveland’s commitment to wind energy as well as the Port’s international connections and economic benefit to the local community. “Without the St. Lawrence Seaway system connecting the Great Lakes to the global economy this project cargo couldn’t have been transported to Cleveland as efficiently and cost effectively – or with a lower carbon footprint,” said Will Friedman, the Port’s President and CEO. “This delivery shows once again that we have the workers, infrastructure and deep-water capabilities to safely and efficiently handle heavy lifts coming from overseas.”

“Last year, we had a record 15 shipments of wind cargoes at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, including our first exports of U.S.-made turbines being moved from Iowa to New Brunswick,” said Rich Cooper, CEO for the Ports of Indiana. “That momentum has continued in 2011, as we’ve had three ships from Denmark carrying some of the largest turbine blades in North America. The Seaway provides a perfect connection for European manufacturers to ship large components right to the doorstep of the rapidly growing wind markets here in the Midwest and Great Plains. The recent increase in wind shipments through the Seaway has spurred more investments by ports into specialized handling equipment and facilities, which further enhances the value of this unique shipping connection.”

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway waterway is responsible for approximately 75,000 direct and indirect jobs in Canada and 150,000 in the U.S. and annually generates more than $4.3 billion in personal income, $3.4 billion in transportation-related business revenue, and $1.3 billion in federal, state and local taxes. This vital trade corridor delivers approximately $3.6 billion in annual cost savings compared to the next least expensive mode of commercial transportation. This provides a competitive advantage for the North American manufacturing, construction, energy and agri-food sectors.

Marine Delivers


Joint Canada-U.S. Great Lakes ballast water program proven effective

6/15 - Burlington, Ont. - A new study completed by researchers at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Transport Canada and the Canadian Aquatic Invasive Species Network has determined that current ballast water policies for the Great Lakes are highly effective in protecting ecosystems from aquatic invasive species. The report was recently published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, and provides strong support for Canadian policies to be adopted around the world.

Ballast water, required for the safe navigation of ships, can inadvertently transport non-indigenous species into new areas. In 2006, Canada and the U.S. implemented the Great Lakes Ballast Water Program to help prevent new invasions. This program verifies that each and every vessel crossing the ocean exchanges its ballast water, or flushes its tanks, with mid-oceanic saltwater before entering the Great Lakes. Before this study, the effectiveness of the program was largely untested.

Between 1959 and 2006, an estimated 56 aquatic non-indigenous species were reported in the Great Lakes, of which 55-to-70 percent was attributed to transoceanic shipping. Since 2006, when the program was implemented, no new invasive species attributed to ballast water have been recorded.

The study demonstrated the effectiveness of the program, both in the laboratory and onboard transatlantic ships. It concludes that similar programs could protect fresh water ecosystems around the world from invasive species transported by ballast water.

The Canadian Aquatic Invasive Species Network is a national network consisting of some of the world’s leading researchers, explorers and innovators in the field of aquatic invasive species.


Port Reports -  June 15

Marquette , Mich. – Rod Burdick
Fleetmates Herbert C. Jackson and Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder loaded ore Tuesday morning at the Upper Harbor.

Grand Haven, Mich. – Dick Fox
Manitowoc came in at 10 a.m. Tuesday with a load of coal for the Grand Haven Board of Light and Power Plant on Harbor Island.

Stoneport, Mich. – Dan McNeil
Lewis J. Kuber was loading at Stoneport on Tuesday. Due in on the 15th was Great Lakes Trader followed by the Manistee. Due the 16th is Joseph H. Thompson followed by a return trip for more stone for Lewis J. Kuber

Calcite, Mich. – Dan McNeil
Loading at Calcite on Tuesday was the Sam Laud. Michipicoten is due in Wednesday. No other vessels are due until either Saturday or Sunday, when fleetmates James L. Kuber and Lewis J. Kuber are due.

Hamilton, Ont. – Eric Holmes
Tuesday the tug William J. Moore and barge McLeary's Spirit arrived at 07:30 a.m. and departed at 3:30 p.m. Tug Ecosse arrived at 9:30 a.m. Cuyahoga departed at 10:30 a.m. from Pier 26 with slag for Alpena. Songa Diamond arrived at 5:30 p.m. Canadian Provider arrived at 6 p.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco. Montrealais departed at 6:30 p.m. in ballast for the canal.


City supports Essar bid for Sault port

6/15 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. - City Council has endorsed a bid by Essar Shipping Ports & Logistics Limited for federal funding for a port in the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Applications for funding under the federal government P3 Canada Fund are due June 30.

If the application is successful, up to 25 percent of eligible costs for the estimated $170 million project will be covered. That still leaves a lot of cash to raise, some Sault Ste. Marie City councillors pointed out Monday night.

"That's a startling amount of money," said Ward 1 Councillor Steve Butland. "Not that we're opposed, since it's our top priority."

Bill Theriault, the City's transportation infrastructure initiative co-ordinator updated councillors on the status of the initiative to create a local port. Theriault said that the $170 million estimated cost could turn out to be even more startling because that estimate was done in 2009. Theriault also said the P3 Canada Fund doesn't cover some of the costs associated with creating a port - like, say, dredging.

But a port is vital for any significant growth for Sault Ste. Marie industries like Essar Steel Algoma and Tenaris Algoma Tubes, he said. "This is not just an Essar project," added Theriault. "There are a lot of other potential users of this port."

He said the port would spur new industrial development in the area. There's even a possibility the port could be operating year-round sometime down the road, Theriault said, especially with the upgrades to the commercial lock on the United States side of the St. Marys River.

Mayor Debbie Amaroso believes there could be some money coming from the province for the project.

"This initiative is part of the Northern Growth Plan's multi-modal transportation pillar and that's where we would be looking as this develops," the mayor said. "I spoke with Sault MPP David Orazietti today and he agrees that we would sit down with our MP and have some dialogue about this and any other initiatives that may deal with all levels of government, as soon as Mr. Hayes returns."

But Council's action last night didn't cost the City any money, Theriault said. Council reiterated its support of Essar's application for P3 Canada Funding for a Sault port. It also gave permission for Mayor Amaroso to provide a letter of support to accompany the Essar Ports and Terminals P3 Canada Fund application.

The letter will emphasize the benefits of the port initiative to Sault Ste. Marie and the economy of Northern Ontario and will encourage the federal government to look favourably upon Essar Ports and Terminals' application.

Soo Today


Updates -  June 15

News Photo Gallery


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.

GRECIAN (steel propeller freighter, 296 foot, 2,348 gross tons, built in 1891, at Cleveland, Ohio) was being towed by the steamer SIR HENRY BESSEMER from Detour to Detroit. The GRECIAN had sunk on 07 June 1906, when she struck a rock and she was being towed with a temporary patch over the hole. The patch did not hold and on 15 June 1906, the GRECIAN sank off Alpena, Michigan. The crew abandoned ship and were picked up by the BESSEMER.

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.


Port Reports -  June 14

St. Marys River - Herm Klein
Monday morning CSL’s Salarium was upbound at the Soo. She has been an infrequent visitor to the upper Great Lakes.

Muskegon, Mich. - Tyler Fairfield
Algoway was in Muskegon Sunday around 6:30 a.m.

South Chicago - Steve B.
Monday saw three Lower Lakes fleet mates on the Calumet River. The recently acquired tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber were backing out of the Calumet River around 11 a.m. with assistance from the G Tug Colorado. She met the Manitowoc in Calumet Harbor, who was headed up river to the 122nd St turning basin to turn and come back down to either CFT or DTE. The Manitowoc passed the Manistee at KCBX where she was loading coal.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Indiana Harbor called on the Saginaw River early Monday morning, stopping at the Consumers Energy dock to unload coal. She backed from the dock and turned around near Light 12, before heading for the lake later in the morning. The tug Krista S. was outbound from the Essroc dock Monday morning, pulling two mud barges, headed for the lake.

Detroit River - Robert Steele
Sunday the Frontenac made a rare trip heading to the aggregate dock behind Peche Island near the mouth of the Detroit River, just beyond the eastern tip of Peche Island

Oswego N.Y. - Ned Goebricher
Monday the Flinterstream was offloading windmill parts at the port of Oswego.


Great Lakes Shipyard overhauls research vessel Sturgeon

6/14 - Cleveland, Ohio – Great Lakes Shipyard, Cleveland, Ohio, has completed five-year overhaul work on the U.S. Geological Survey research vessel Sturgeon. Under a Fleet Maintenance Contract with the Great Lakes Science Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., of the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior, the Sturgeon was drydocked and given a thorough cleaning, painting, inspection, repair and tune up. Some of the major work items included redesigning the hydraulic system, shaft and propulsion repairs, generator overhauls and steering system repairs. The 105 foot-long Sturgeon was built in 1974 and is home-ported in Cheboygan, Mich. The Great Lakes Shipyard’s order book now includes orders for construction of two new 70-foot all-aluminum research vessels for U.S. Geological Survey’s Great Lakes Science Center, a 60-foot workboat for The Port of Milwaukee and a new 3,200 h.p. HandySize tugboat.


New owner sought for Milwaukee lighthouse

6/14 - Milwaukee, Wis. - If the federal government took out a want ad, it would probably say this: Free to a good home, Milwaukee's breakwater lighthouse. The Coast Guard has been shedding lighthouses for several years, and now it's time for the light that has stood sentinel over the Milwaukee harbor to get the heave-ho.

It could be a museum or the ultimate man cave. And not just anybody can snap it up. First dibs go to local governments or nonprofit groups willing to pay to maintain it under federal guidance. If none step forward, the lighthouse will be auctioned to the highest private bidder.

Yes, it would be way cool to own a lighthouse, but there are some downsides, like actually getting there - it requires a boat or a very long swim. According to accounts of Coast Guard members assigned to spend multiday shifts in four-man crews at the lighthouse before it became fully automated in 1966, landing a boat at the breakwater can be a bit treacherous since there's no pier or jetty.

When the foghorn is blowing forget about sleep. When the weather is stormy, it's really rough, which is why the windows and portholes are fitted with half-inch thick glass.

Still - it's a lighthouse.

While it's not as beautiful or iconic as other lighthouses, the Milwaukee Breakwater Light has a lot of room with a two-story art deco keeper's quarters. The fourth-order Fresnel lens is no longer there; it's on loan to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc. The tower is centered above the living quarters with a round cast-iron lantern room and a balcony. So as a bonus, it would be a great place to watch fireworks on the lakefront.

The Coast Guard will continue to maintain the light beacon and foghorn, but the lighthouse has outlived its usefulness, said Arthur Ullenberg, realty specialist for the U.S. General Services Administration.

"They're trying to get out of the lighthouse business," Ullenberg said of the Coast Guard.

Built in 1926, the Milwaukee Breakwater Light was one of the last lighthouses constructed on the Great Lakes. It's what's known as a crib light because it was built away from land on a timber crib making it easier to be seen by passing ships. Several lighthouses built during the 1920s around the Great Lakes are similar - constructed using the technology of the day, concrete and steel I-beams - but none exactly like Milwaukee's, said Terry Pepper, executive director of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association.

"Lighthouses are still necessary but not as necessary as they used to be. Probably if the Coast Guard would build a light now it would be a pole with a light on it," Pepper said. "Hopefully, Milwaukee is a large enough city and there's enough historical interest and people with deep pockets that will take ownership."

Under the 2000 National Lighthouse Historic Preservation Act, the Coast Guard turns over the buildings to the U.S. National Park Service, which publishes their availability. Though most are acquired by nonprofit groups for free in return for restoring and maintaining them for public use such as tours and museums, those that get no interest are eventually auctioned. If the Milwaukee Breakwater Light gets no takers by the Aug. 1 deadline for local governments and nonprofits, it will immediately be put up for auction.

Last year, no groups stepped forward to acquire lighthouses in Manitowoc and Kenosha. A New York man paid $30,000 for the Manitowoc lighthouse, which is a similar construction to Milwaukee though it's on the shore. The Kenosha North Pierhead Light will again be placed on the auction block this year after no one bid on it last fall. Ullenberg said the minimum bid for the Kenosha light, which is not livable since it's simply a round tower with a circular staircase inside, will likely be $5,000.

Between six and 10 lighthouses are either given away or sold each year in the United States with some ending up as bed-and-breakfasts or weekend getaways while others are turned into museums. The prices range from $2,000 to as much as half a million dollars. Some require extensive renovation.

"There are some individuals who have successfully restored them," said Kraig Anderson, operator of "Then the public no longer has access, but it's a good thing someone is putting money into the lights."

Local governments or nonprofits must submit a letter of interest to the U.S. General Services Administration by Aug. 1 and then an inspection tour is arranged. After the inspection, a lengthy application is required. If everything goes well, the keys are turned over within several months.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse Heritage Day is Aug. 6

6/14 - Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse Society will hold a Heritage Day on Aug. 6 at Lighthouse Park, Port Hope, Mich., from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Enjoy a cafe, corn roast, homemade ice cream, entertainment (The George Schwedler Trio, Matt Watroba), historic displays and a tower climb. The antique quilts and clothing will be back for a second year. Please e-mail for more information.


Updates -  June 14

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 14

On this day in 1985, Captain Edward Rogowski passed away. Captain Rogowski started sailing as a deckhand on the 514 foot JOHN SHERWIN in 1936. He retired in 1982 as the first Captain of the largest freighter on the Great Lakes, the 1,013 foot PAUL R TREGURTHA.

On this day in 1957, the Interlake Steamship Company freighter HARVEY H. BROWN, Captain Percy E. Mc Ginness, delivered the first cargo of coal to the new taconite loading port of Taconite Harbor, Minnesota.

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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  June 13

Holland, Mich. - Bob VandeVusse
The Manistee paid a visit to the Verplank dock in Holland early Sunday, delivering a cargo of stone from Port Inland. It tied up at 1p.m. and departed at 5:30 p.m.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
Capt. Henry Jackman arrived in port just after 11 a.m. to unload sugar at Redpath Saturday. The cement barge Metis was in at Essroc unloading. Sea Eagle II and her barge remain idled at Pier 35.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Friday the Cuyahoga departed Hamilton at 6:30 p.m. followed by the Rt. Hon. Paul J Martin at 6:45 p.m. and the tug William J Moore and barge McLeary's Spirit at 7:15 p.m. Algoma Navigator arrived at 7:45 p.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco. Saturday Algoma Spirit arrived at 7:30 a.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco. Algoma Navigator departed Hamilton at 7:30 a.m. for the canal. Federal Yukina departed at 10 a.m. from US Steel with coke. Algowood arrived at 11 a.m. for Dofasco with coal. The tug LaPrairie arrived 6 p.m. Sunday Quebecois arrived at 7:30 a.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco. Michipicoten arrived 5 p.m. The saltie Panagia arrived at 8:30 p.m.


BoatNerd’s Engineer’s Weekend St. Marys River Cruise set for June 24

6/13 - Plans are complete for the annual Boatnerd Freighter Chasing Cruise on the St. Marys River as part of the annual Engineer’s Day Gathering in Sault Ste. Marie.

The cruise will be aboard one of the American Soo Locks Tours boats departing from Dock #2 (next to the Valley Camp) at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 24. Boarding begins at 5:40 p.m. The cruise will be three hours and we will travel through both the U.S. and Canadian locks, and will do our best to find photo opportunities for any traffic in the river.

A buffet dinner is included in the $35 per-person cost. Dinner will consist of pasta with meatballs, baked chicken, cheesy potatoes, mixed veggies, tossed salad and dessert. There will be a cash bar on board.

Reservations are a must we are limiting the group to 100 persons. This will afford everyone enough space to take photos and enjoy themselves. Mail-in reservations must be received no later than Friday, June 17. Click here for reservation form


Updates -  June 13

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - George M Carl 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, a.) ELTON HOYT 2ND, 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, JOHN B. AIRD began its maiden voyage for Algoma Central Railway, a load of coal from Thunder Bay to Nanticoke, Ontario.

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 downbound 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 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.


Port Reports -  June 12

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Algorail was inbound the Saginaw River on Thursday afternoon, headed up to the GM Dock in Saginaw. Once unloaded, she turned in the Sixth Street turning basin and was outbound for the lake early Friday morning. The tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber were inbound Friday evening, calling on the Lafarge Stone dock in Saginaw. After unloading, they were expected to be outbound Saturday morning.

St. Clair River
Traffic passing Port Huron Saturday afternoon included the downbound Federal Margaree, John G. Munson, Philip R. Clarke and Great Republic.


Updates -  June 12

News Photo Gallery


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.


Union protesters clear lift bridge after court order

6/11 - Hamilton, Ont. - Union protesters have left the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge after a court order issued late Friday.

The injunction, which ended a blockade of the bridge that started Thursday morning, was sought by Port Dover-based Lower Lakes Towing. The shipping company has a ship, loaded with industrial slag owned by ArcelorMittal Dofasco and bound for Cleveland, stuck in Hamilton Harbour as well as another ship due Sunday carrying canola for Hamilton’s Bunge plant.

Delayed in the protest were the Cuyahoga, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, tug Salvor and barge, Federal Yukina and the tug William J. Moore and her barge all inside the harbor waiting to leave. Vessels waiting to enter included the Algoma Navigator, Jarrett M., LaPrairie, Omni Richelieu and a number of pleasure craft.

In granting the injunction, Justice J. A. Ramsay said it was unfair of the union to impose its dispute with U.S. Steel on innocent bystanders.

A second injunction was granted to Great Lakes Stevedoring prohibiting Local 100 members from delaying its employees entering and leaving the U. S. Steel plant for more than 30 minutes going in and 15 minutes coming out. The Hamilton Police Service and RCMP were also ordered to enforce the injunctions.

Union president Rolf Gerstenberger said protesters left the bridge immediately while leaders plot their next moves. “The bridge is now cleared and we’ll discuss how to challenge this legally,” he said.

Members of Local 1005 of the United Steelworkers have been occupying the bridge since 6:30 am Thursday, preventing any ships or even large recreational craft from leaving Burlington Bay. The protest was an intensification of a seven-month-old dispute with U.S. Steel over the future of pension plans.

The workers have been locked out of the plant since November. They have occupied the bridge on previous occasions to delay cargo ships carrying metallurgical coke from U.S. Steel’s Hamilton plant to other facilities. On those protests the union left after delaying ships, but this time they vowed to stay around the clock.

In a news release port authority president Bruce Wood said the protest has already cost port users more than $1 million and could not be allowed to continue.

Hamilton Port Authority said as of Friday afternoon there were two vessels in the harbour to take U.S. Steel coke out – Canada Steamship Lines Rt. Hon. Paul Martin and Fednav’s Federal Yukina, but the protest had also stopped shipping by ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Ocean Group, Provmar Fuels and Seaway Marine Transport from moving cargo.

In addition to the vessels in the harbour, two ships and two tugs were anchored on the lake side of the bridge waiting to come into the port. Another seven vessels are expected to arrive over the weekend. Stoney Creek MPP Paul Miller, who spent more than three decades working in the steel mill when it was still known as Stelco, visited the protesters Friday afternoon and said expanding the confrontation to the bridge is an expression of the workers’ frustration with a company that wants to dictate the terms under which it will negotiate.

“Blocking an entrance to a port is probably not legal, but these people are angry,” he said. “One frustration after another has built up with these guys and they’ve got to the point where they don’t know where to turn.”

Miller had praise for the workers themselves, and sharp criticism for both the federal and provincial governments.

“They’re conducting themselves very well in the circumstances, they’re not confronting anyone, they’re just trying to get their message out,” he said. “The lack of effort by (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper to help these workers is just pathetic.”

One unintended victim of the dispute has been recreational boaters. Operators of small power boats can still get under the bridge, but sailboats can’t. That has been a real disappointment for Hugh McCully, of Burlington. He’s been planning a sailing vacation through the Rideau Canal for the last two years – but had to lower his 42 foot tall mast Friday in order to get out of the harbour.

“There’s a lot of good sailing between here and there that we’re going to miss out on because of this,” he said. “Right now every other sailboat in the harbour is a captive.” Lowering his mast took five hours and a special crane.

Despite the trouble and disappointment, however, McCully said he understands the frustration of the workers and doesn’t blame them. “They’re pulling the only lever they have,” he said. “That’s understandable.”

Hamilton Spectator


Port Reports -  June 11

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Manitowoc came in Thursday night with a load of stone for Meekhof's D & M Dock next to the powere plant on Harbor Island. It came in about 10:30 and left about 4 a.m.


St. Clair River repairs will restore lake levels, and come with costs, report says

6/11 - Port Huron, Mich. - Lakes Michigan and Huron have been well below their long-term average for about a decade, and it isn't just nature to blame.

A series of shipping channels carved into the St. Clair River has permanently lowered the lakes' long-term average by about 16 inches. Unexpected erosion after the last major dredging project in the 1960s further lowered the lakes about another five inches, meaning if you walk down to Milwaukee's McKinley Marina today the lake is nearly two feet lower than it would otherwise be.

Now a new study released by the U.S. and Canadian governments says repair work can be done in the St. Clair River to restore Lakes Michigan and Huron to more closely match their historic levels, but it will come with costs, both economic and environmental.

The St. Clair River is the main outflow for Lakes Michigan and Huron, which are actually one body of water connected at the Straits of Mackinac.

The price of installing water-slowing sills in the St. Clair range from $71 million to more than $200 million. The report also looks at installing an adjustable gate that would allow the government to manipulate water levels. Its price ranges from $134 million to $171.1 million. These structures could raise the lakes by as much as 10 inches. That could prove beneficial to some on Lakes Michigan and Huron, including property owners and the navigation industry, but it could also cause harm to the river systems below Lake Huron and the downstream Lakes Ontario and Erie, the report says.

The report also looks at the feasibility of installing electricity-producing turbines in the river to slow the flows and raise lake levels.

Any such project likely would take decades due to its bi-national nature, required environmental permits and the amount of work it would take to engineer, design and build, the report states.

The report is part of an ongoing controversial $17 million study commissioned by the International Joint Commission, a bi-national board that oversees U.S. and Canadian boundary waters issues. The study was prompted in part by a group of Canadian shorefront property owners who hired their own engineer to explore what was happening on the St. Clair River.

In 2004 the group released an alarming report that essentially alleged uncontrollable and ongoing erosion had drained about a foot of water from the lakes since the 1962 dredging, and the problem was getting worse.

The Joint Commission study, released in 2009, concluded that erosion had indeed occurred in the river bottom since the 1962 dredging project but had cost the lakes only 3 to 5 inches from their long-term average, and that it was not as severe as the Canadian group alleged and that it was not ongoing. It recommended not exploring any fix on the river at the time it released its study, but it was overruled by the Joint Commission and told to produce the report released Friday.

Also released Friday was a report prepared by some of the same Canadian property owners behind the 2004 St. Clair study.

It contends that a fresh analysis of "revised" hydraulic data obtained from the study board itself shows an increase in the amount of water flowing down the St. Clair is well above the study board's 2009 estimate.

The science behind the conclusions reached by the study board is exceedingly complicated, but one member of the study board's own citizens' advisory council said the engineer who did the new calculations is competent and his findings should be considered.

"I don't have the scientific (background) to judge who is right, but I do have enough confidence in his technical skills to know that his numbers have to be taken seriously" said John Jackson, who works for the conservation group Great Lakes United.

Roger Gauthier, a retired Army Corps of Engineers hydrologist, said he believes this new report, released by Sierra Club Canada, is "onto something," noting that Michigan and Huron have now been below their long-term average for a longer period of time than even during the dry dust bowl years of the 1930s.

"We've grown used to the fact that the lakes are so low, and they're low because of climate change and because of the outflow of (water) from Lakes Michigan and Huron has increased," he said.

The study board will be holding public hearings on its water restoration report throughout the summer and will then forward its findings to the Joint Commission in the spring.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Toledo museum ship rides waves of history, generosity

6/11 - Toledo, Ohio - Renovating the world’s largest bulk freighter for a new 100-year life takes battalions of painters, materials and equipment suppliers, sheet-metal workers and others generous with their time and materials.

Happily, the Col. James M. Schoonmaker has hundreds of friends, from PPG to Harsco to retired painters, who have chipped in some $750,000 in time and materials to give the century-old Great Lakes vessel a new life as a museum at Toledo’s International Park, where she loaded her first cargo in 1911. At 11:30 a.m. July 1, 100 years to the minute after his mother swung a bottle of cold champagne against the warm steel vessel, James M. Schoonmaker II will rechristen the record-setting Queen of the Lakes named for his grandfather.

The event will usher in the ship’s new life as a museum and herald the return of its original name. Since 1969, the Schoonmaker has been known as the Willis B. Boyer. The ship’s exterior has been repainted from the waterline up in the original fleet colors.

For Schoonmaker executive director Paul LaMarre II, 30, the date will mark a milestone in a journey that began five and a half years ago, when the former Navy officer took some friends to visit the Boyer and found it closed and destined for the scrapyard.

An old timer at the site urged LaMarre away. He said, “You don’t want to get into this. You don’t want any part of this,” he recalled.

LaMarre didn’t listen. This was, after all, a guy who grew up in a home with a model of the Schoonmaker and its original 1911 plaque on the fireplace mantel. His father is renowned Great Lakes ship artist Paul LaMarre Jr. Great Lakes shipping infuses his DNA.

“When I was a kid,” the son recalled, “my dad would take me to visit the freighters and say it was like going to church, to pay your respects to Great Lakes shipping. Every vacation, while others went to Florida, we’d go to a different Great Lakes freighter.”

LaMarre II immediately embraced the new mission and ran with it, with a zeal that drew in donor after donor for the project. His first benefactor: Schoonmaker II, who donated $100,000 to the effort. From there, LaMarre gained commitments from all over.

PPG Protective & Marine Coatings donated a large portion of the coatings to be used and gave many materials at cost, to recoat the ship in its original fleet colors. Harsco Minerals donated 130 tons of Black Beauty blast media for the prep.

P&W Painting Contractors, the region’s largest industrial painting contractor, is essentially doing everything related to the project for the cost of labor, LaMarre said.

“The IUPAT painters Local 7 has offered any labor that we can possibly need, pulling painters from all over Ohio, even some in retirement, to assist,” he said. “Sheetworker’s Local 33 did all steel fabrication repair for free, using materials donated by local steel suppliers that work with the union’s apprenticeship program.”

Seaway Scaffold & Equipment Co., of Toledo, supplied and erected all staging and access equipment. The Geo. Gradel Company, a prominent, century-old marine construction and dredging contractor, donated containment booms, man lifts, barges to stage scaffolding, and tug boats for transportation.

Warner Petroleum, the largest fueling company for Great Lake freighters, donated all fuel to power the project’s equipment. The Environmental Protection Agency awarded the project a $200,000 grant to remediate asbestos.

Renovation of the freighter has been a challenge on every front. The work began April 4, with a self-imposed deadline of June 1 to allow a month of wiggle room before christening. The area then was hit with rain on 44 out of the next 55 days, wiping out the wiggle room and then some. (A few tasks will have to be completed after christening.)

The project included blasting and painting the ship’s entire exterior, from the waterline up. The ship was abrasive-blasted to bare metal, taking off at least a dozen layers of paint that had accumulated over 100 years. More than a dozen layers of paint, dating back 100 years, were removed before repainting.

“They [painters] said this hull was in better shape than any vessel they’d ever done,” said LaMarre. “There was very little pitting.”

Painting crews then applied two coats of PPG primer (both Amercoat 370 and Amercoat 240 are being used) and one topcoat of PPG's PSX 700. Stripping the paint to bare metal brought outstanding definition of the ship’s features, LaMarre said. “The way the rivets stand out and gleam in the sun it’s really something to see.”

The weekend-long christening ceremonies will include attendance by the grandsons of the ship’s builder and namesake, fireworks and more. The Schoonmaker will be the only Great Lakes freighter to be on the National Register of Historic Places at a national level of significance.

“This is the single largest restoration effort of a single vessel in Great Lakes history,” said LaMarre. “It’s amazing how a piece of history like this has the ability to bring people together.”

PaintSquare News


Updates -  June 10

News Photo Gallery


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.

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.

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, 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.


S.S. Badger explores natural gas fuel option

6/10 - Ludington, Mich. – The Lake Michigan Carferry Service is researching many options for a successful future for the company including a new fuel source, natural gas. LMC was contacted by DTE Energy suggesting the possibility of converting the coal-fired steam engines to natural gas, which would make the S.S. Badger the greenest commercial vessel operating on the Great Lakes.

There are many reasons why LMC is pursuing natural gas as a fuel source. It would allow the 58-year-old S.S. Badger to maintain her historical significance by preserving her nationally recognized steam engines. It is also a safe fuel source that is commonly used in homes and businesses, as well as being economically viable and environmentally sound.

"Finding a safe, feasible and environmentally-friendly option with natural gas is important to our company. We employ nearly 250 people and affect an additional 450 jobs," said Lynda Matson, Vice President of Customer Service and Marketing. "We also have an economic impact of nearly $35 million annually on our port cities, Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin."

In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was ordered to regulate vessel discharges under the Clean Water Act. Nearly 70,000 vessels were suddenly required to obtain a Vessel General Permit (VGP) for any type of discharge. The Badger was included under the VGP to discharge ash from her coal-fired boilers until December 19, 2012. The permit doesn't authorize ash discharge after that date, requiring LMC to research, invent, and design new technology to allow the Badger to continue to operate. To date, LMC has invested over a quarter of a million dollars on this VGP issue.

Ludington Daily News


‘Green’ ship makes first Great Lakes stop in Hamilton

6/10 - Hamilton, Ont. - The Federal Yukina may look like any other ship as she slices through the water of the Great Lakes or the Pacific Ocean. She just burns a lot less fuel in the effort. As much as 15 per cent less. That, combined with the much smaller cloud of carbon dioxide coming out of her stacks, means the ship’s contribution to a cleaner environment is the equivalent of planting 5,000 new trees.

The vessel, barely seven months old, made her first call to a Great Lakes port in Hamilton Thursday, bringing a load of industrial slag. When she leaves, her holds will be filled with steel-making coke bound for Mobile, Alabama.

Owned and operated by Montreal-based Fednav Limited, Federal Yukina is being touted as the next generation of ocean-going ship to ply the Great Lakes — a vessel tricked out with the latest technology and ideas for reducing the environmental wake of shipping.

“The thing about this new generation of ships is the fact they’re built to be more fuel efficient,” explained Paul Pathy, president and co-CEO of Fednav. “She’s brand spanking new, built from scratch in Japan seven months ago.”

The Fednav Group includes Federal Marine Terminals, the largest terminal operator in the Port of Hamilton. Privately owned Fednav Group is the largest ocean-going user of the St. Lawrence Seaway, with an average of 100 trips each year. That means Federal Yukina could be a frequent visitor to the port.

In the cutthroat world of modern shipping, Pathy said companies that can reduce their costs through technology and other methods will be the ones with the advantage — an advantage he wants to keep for Fednav. One of the Federal Yukina’s advantages is her hull design.

“Essentially she glides through the water better so you burn less fuel and less gas comes out of the stack,” Pathy said, adding the ship’s engine is also the latest design, emitting far less acid rain-causing nitrogen oxide. But the industry is reaching the limits of the efficiency gains that can be made from current technology.

“The basic engine of a ship has gone as far as it can. You can do some minor tweaking, but until we move to alternative fuels … we’re getting to the limits of what an internal combustion engine can do,” he said. “There’s really two ways to do it, limit the amount of fuel you burn or the type of fuel. We’re not there on the type of fuel, so we’re just doing our best to burn as little fuel as possible.”

Federal Yukina is the first of three new ships commissioned by Fednav, part of a $100-million investment to equipment the company with the most efficient vessels possible.

Like other bulk carriers, Federal Yukina will handle dry goods such as wheat, corn, grain, sugar and steel. In the Great Lakes, where the draught of ships is limited, she’ll carry 25,000 tons. For ocean voyages she’ll be able to carry up to 35,000 tons.

The ship flies the flag of Hong Kong while its crew of 22 are all from India. That’s a common twist in the marine business — by registering the ship in another country the owners don’t have to pay Canadian wages and benefits. The relatively small crew is another advantage brought to the company through technology.

“That would generally be the full complement for a ship like this. That’s the modern computerized ship. Everyone has a job to do and we get things done with the right amount of people,” he said.

Trips like Thursday’s port of call, loaded with one product and leaving with another, are a good example of what the ship will do over its average 25 year life span, says Pathy.

“We’ll bring a wide variety of industrial cargos from all over the world into the Great Lakes and Seaway,” he said. “She will carry out grains and wheat products mostly to every corner of the world.”

Hamilton Port Authority president Bruce Wood said the ship’s arrival in Hamilton is an important event for a facility that is becoming a real driver of the local economy.

“It’s very important for us to have new assets coming in that are more efficient, cost less and burn less fuel. That just helps the economic model for sure,” he said. “This is a very important event, no question about that.”

Drawing efficient ships like the Federal Yukina to handle grain from Hamilton, he added, is all part of a strategy to make Hamilton Canada’s top grain port.

“We are going to be the largest grain port on the Great Lakes, period, end of story,” he said. “It’s a good news story. We are happening like we haven’t been happening in the last 25 years.”

Hamilton Spectator


Port Reports -  June 10

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick and Lee Rowe
Thursday was a busy day at the harbors in Marquette. In the morning at the Upper Harbor, James R. Barker unloaded coal as fleet mate Herbert C. Jackson loaded ore. In the evening, Great Republic arrived at the Upper Harbor to load ore while Joyce L. VanEnkevort and Great Lakes Trader visited the Lower Harbor to unload stone.

Stoneport and Cedarville, Mich. - Dan McNeil
Loading at Stoneport on Thursday was the Lee A. Tregurtha followed by Lewis J. Kuber. Due Friday is the Philip R. Clarke. Due the 12th is the return of the Lewis J. Kuber followed on the 13th by the Clarke. Due into Cedarville is the Arthur M. Anderson Friday and the Wilfred Sykes Sunday.

Goderich - Peter Luney
Canadian Transfer has been renamed Algoma Transfer while still in lay-up in Goderich on June 9.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Wednesday the English River arrived and Algoway departed.


New barge MM Newfoundland to operate for McKeil, Mammoet

6/10 - A new company called Mammoet-McKeil has a new barge called MM Newfoundland. The 2165 gross ton barge was built by Signal International LLC of Pascagoula, Mississippi and was registered in St. John's, Newfoundland June 9. Mammoet, a Dutch crane and heavy lift specialist, has operations across Canada and internationally. They have also recently become involved in marine salvage and wreck removal. They have offices in Ayr, Ont. McKeil Marine of Hamilton, Ont., is listed as the owner's representatives for the barge.

Mac Mackay


Union threatened over bridge blockades

6/10 - Hamilton, Ont. - Steelworker blockades of the beach strip lift bridge have drawn a sharp threat from the federal government.

Through most of Wednesday members of Local 1005 and supporters from other unions occupied the Hamilton harbour lift bridge to protest another shipment of coke from the former Stelco plant to another U.S. Steel facility.

Several times in the last two months U.S. Steel workers and their supporters have lined the pedestrian portion of the lift bridge for hours, preventing it from being raised to allow a ship to pass through the canal. The tactic is a response to U.S. Steel hiring ships to move tons of the valuable steel making material from its locked out Hamilton plant to the Lake Erie Works in Nanticoke.

Now, however, the federal Justice Department has ordered the blockades end “forthwith” under the threat of “a more formal response to this unlawful strike activity” – likely a court injunction banning further occupations.

Union president Rolf Gerstenberger said the letter shows government officials simply don’t understand the true nature of the Hamilton confrontation – his members aren’t on strike, they’ve been locked out until they agree to company demands for radical changes in their pension plan.

“They allege that we’re doing this to cause economic harm to U.S. Steel, but what we want is for the coke to stay here so we can make steel,” he said. “That would be to benefit Hamilton and Canada.”

The Justice Department letter cites court rulings that prohibit pickets from blocking movement in and out of strike-bound plants other than brief delays to provide information about the issues in a confrontation. Since information can’t be passed from the bridge to the captain of a ship, the letter’s author concludes, blocking the movement of traffic through the canal is illegal. The only action workers are permitted, the letter concludes, is to picket roadside entrances to the bridge, provided they don’t obstruct vehicle traffic.

Local 1005 picketers were joined Wednesday by members of the Hamilton-Wentworth local of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario and the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

“We’re here because we obviously support their struggle and understand it’s not just about U.S. Steel,” said teachers’ president Lisa Hammond. “We’re concerned about eroding the standard of living that we deserve as Canadians.

The government’s threat was sparked partly by complaints from the Hamilton Port Authority about the way the repeated bridge occupations interfere with its operations.

“It certainly interferes with our operations and its does have a cost impact,” said authority vice president Ian Hamilton. “It also creates a real risk to the reputation of the port and of Hamilton as a place to invest and do business.

Hamilton said it’s ironic the extra costs that result from the blockades hit shippers and their customers, but not U.S. Steel. “We hope this letter serves as a warning,” he said. “We’ll continue to try our best to maintain cargo flow through the harbour.”

The Hamilton workers have been locked out since November for refusing to accept company demands that the current defined benefit pension plan be closed to new members in favour or an RRSP-like defined contribution scheme. The company is also demanding the end of pension indexing for 9,000 current retirees.

Hamilton Spectator


Essar Group to ramp up capacity at U.S. pellet plant to 7 million tonnes

6/10 - The Essar group has decided to increase the capacity of its proposed iron ore pellet plant due to come up in the U.S by 2012 from 4 million tonnes to 7 million tonnes. While the group invested in the $1.65-billion project coming up under Essar Minnesota to ensure captive supply of raw material to Algoma, Essar's steel plant in Canada, the hike in capacity will give Essar the option to sell pellets in the open market. With a rated capacity of 4 MT, Essar Algoma would require some 6 MT of pellets annually, leaving a potentially lucrative surplus of 1 MT for merchant sales.

"The new pellet plant will secure Algoma's raw material needs. Expanded capacity will leave a surplus which can be sold in the market. The pellet plant is expected to be ready towards the end of 2012 and would ideally provide Algoma volume security," a senior Essar official told ET.

At full capacity, Essar Steel Algoma would require some 6 MT of pellet for its blast furnace. While Algoma's existing agreement with Cliffs is valid till 2016, the Minnesota unit will act as a second line of defence. The public has time till Wednesday (June 8), to provide feedback to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on the draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS). Essar, whose site has more than one billion tonnes of iron-ore reserves, also wants to decrease mining operations from 20 years to 15 years.

Essar Steel Algoma, based in Sault Ste Marie, has more than six years remaining on a long-term supply agreement with Cliffs Natural Resources till 2017 for delivery of a minimum 2.5 MT of pellets annually. It recently entered into a 10-year agreement with its sister mill, Essar Minnesota, for a minimum 4 MT of pellets annually, once its current contract expires with Cliffs.

Essar Algoma, which consumes significant amounts of ore pellets, expects considerable freight savings through its relationship with Essar Minnesota since its essential input will only need to be transported about 200 km across Lake Superior from Duluth, Minnesota to Sault Ste. Marie across the border in Canada.

The pellet project came to life after Essar Steel Holdings , announced within days of a takeover offer for Algoma Steel Inc, in April 2007, that it also had a conditional deal on Minnesota Steel Industries , whose assets included one billion tonnes of iron ore reserves.

The Economic Times


New fisheries vessel christened at Kingston

6/10 - Kingston, Ont. - A tradition that was once synonymous with Kingston's waterfront was played out June 8, when a new fisheries vessel was christened at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour.

The Ontario Explorer, a vessel built in Wheatley by the Government of Ontario for Lake Ontario fisheries assessment and ecosystem monitoring, was christened with a bottle of sparkling wine, June 8, at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour.

Dawn Walsh, a representative from the Ministry of Natural Resources large vessel build team, engaged in a time-honoured maritime tradition, smashed a bottle of wine (enveloped in a sock) against the front hull of the boat for good luck.

The Town Crier Chris Whyman, standing high on the ship's deck, let out three "hip-hip hoorays" as he rang out his bell over the crowd.

The all-steel, 20-metre $2.5-million vessel is the first to be built to the specifications of the Lake Ontario Management Unit. Until now, they have used converted commercial fishing tugs, some 50 years of age.

The Ontario Explorer not only looks better, but will provide better safety and working conditions for the crew, including a washroom, galley, up-to-date navigation equipment and digital/wireless technology for operating fishing gear.

"It's long overdue," says Time Dale, a Great Lakes Fisheries technician of the Lake Ontario Management Union. "It's a lot bigger and more comfortable than the others. We don't have to go over the side for a bathroom break."

Completed in August 2010, the vessel has been in use since last year. It will be based at MNR's Lake Ontario Management Unit in Glenora and can fit up to eight crew members on its outings.

"I was just lucky I guess," says a proud Captain Jon Chicoine, who considers himself fortunate to land the position of vessel master on the Ontario Explorer. "It's already working beyond our expectations."

The commissioned vessel will travel longer distances, staying on the lake for extended periods. It will be able to conduct gill netting, trawling and night-time hydroacoustic work.

According to Chicoine, the other vessels in use were restricted to the Bay of Quinte because they failed to meet new regulations.

On its excursions, the Ontario Explorer will conduct assessment work on various species of fish including salmon, lake trout, walleye and whitefish for ecosystem monitoring and commercial and sport fish fisheries management.

Kingston This Week


Great Lakes Maritime Market Saturday in St. Clair

6/10 - The Lake Huron Lore Marine Historical Society is sponsoring its annual Great Lakes Marine Mart at the Riverview Plaza Mall in St. Clair on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is in a new location this year, having been previously in Port Huron for many years. The mall is just across the street from the picturesque boardwalk in downtown St. Clair.

There will be more that 50 vendors offering various items relating specifically to the ships and shipping industry of this region. Among the items that will be available for sale are historical artifacts, books, photographs, artwork, shipwrecks, memorabilia, advertising and more. It is a great way to learn more about the fascinating history of the Great Lakes shipping for the beginner or the advanced historian.

Lake Huron Lore Marie Historical Society


Updates -  June 10

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - George M Carl 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.

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


Port Reports -  June 9

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Calumet made her first visit of 2011 to the Saginaw River on Tuesday, traveling up to the GM Dock in Saginaw to unload. On her way upriver, the Lafayette Bridge failed to open, causing the Calumet to stop in the middle of the channel as quickly as she could to avoid striking the bridge. After a lengthy delay while MDOT mechanics worked to get the bridge open, Calumet was finally able to continue her trip up to Saginaw without incident. She was back outbound for the lake early Wednesday morning.

The Calumet River Fleeting tug Krista S. arrived overnight and was tied up at the Essroc dock in Essexville on Wednesday morning. Wednesday evening saw the arrival of the Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber, which called on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload. The pair were expected to be outbound Thursday morning.

Erie, Pa. - Mike Jackson
The tug and barge Presque Isle arrived in Erie Wednesday where it dropped its barge and headed across Lake Erie for the Welland Canal. It will be dry docked for 5 year survey at the former Port Weller Dry Docks.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Algoway was unloading salt in Toronto on Tuesday.


Maritime Trader bid deadline set for June 24

6/9 - The bid deadline for the sale of Maritime Trader has been set at 5 p.m. June 24. The original deadline of May 9 was extended, but the new date has only now been announced. The federal court appointed Marcon International of Coupeville, Wash., to arrange the sale to satisfy creditors.

Mac Mackay


Updates -  June 8

Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new pictures in the George M Carl gallery


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 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


Port Reports -  June 8

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Michipicoten arrived Tuesday morning at the Upper Harbor to load ore on her second visit after repowering.

Soo - Herm Klein
Tuesday afternoon the newly-named Algoma Navigator mad her first trip downbound under the Algoma flag with a load of taconite pellets for Hamilton.

South Chicago - Matt Monahan
Tuesday evening, Heloise was unloading at Iroquois Landing, Invincible and McKee Sons were heading up river out to the lake, and the Oberstar was loading at KCBX.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Alpena was at Lafarge on Monday morning, loading cement. The Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation arrived in port Tuesday morning to load product for South Chicago, Ill.

Toledo, Ohio - Mac Mackay
Shipbrokers Marcon International report the sale of the barge Cleveland Rocks by Laken Shipping to undisclosed buyers. The report states that the barge will continue to be used on the lakes.


History will repeat itself at Col. James M. Schoonmaker rechristening July 1

6/8 - Toledo, Ohio - On July 1st, 1911, a teenaged Gretchen V. Schoonmaker stood ready to christen an iron leviathan on the ways at the Great Lakes Engineering Works of Ecorse, Mich.

The vessel, owned and operated by the Shenango Furnace Co., was named by company President William P. Snyder to honor his closest friend and the girl’s father, Civil War hero and railroad industry innovator Col. James M. Schoonmaker. At 11:30 a.m., young Miss Schoonmaker broke a bottle of champagne across the ships bow, thus christening the Worlds Largest Bulk Freighter in her father’s name.

Just months later, on Oct. 9, the Schoonmaker made her maiden voyage into the port of Toledo to load a record cargo of coal at the exact location she rests today as the museum ship S.S. Willis B. Boyer.

The Boyer has served as a floating testament to Toledo’s maritime heritage for nearly 25 years. Now, after weathering years of deterioration and an uncertain future, the vessel is undergoing the most comprehensive restoration and subsequent transformation ever to occur in the annals of Great Lakes shipping history.

In what can only be described as a complete fit-out, every aspect of the vessels structure (except for her propelling machinery) is being repaired and refurbished as if making ready for sea. The work culminates in a July 1-3 Centennial Celebration that will bring the ship’s historic career full circle.

Beginning on Friday, July 1 at 11 a.m., history will repeat itself as friends and benefactors who comprise the vessels past, present, and future will stand in the shadow of a newly-restored steamship bearing the original fleet livery of the Shenango Furnace Co. At 11:30 a.m., at the exact moment that his mother broke a bottle of champagne across the bow of the same vessel 100 years prior, James M. Schoonmaker II and his wife Treecie will do the same, rechristening it in his grandfather’s name.

Also in attendance will be William P. Snyder III, grandson of the Shenango Furnace Co. founder, a man who loved nothing more than his Great Lakes vessels.

Following the rechristening, the ship will be open for tours and private reception will be held in the Centennial Room of the Toledo Club.

Festivities will continue both on and off the ship on Saturday and Sunday.

For the duration of the weekend, guests will not only be able to tour the Schoonmaker, but will also be able to experience more maritime history while touring and sailing aboard the War of 1812 privateer schooner Lynx, which will be visiting for the weekends festivities. In addition, visitors will also have the opportunity to hear the voices of historic ships that have long since met their demise, saluting the Schoonmaker during a live steam-whistle event held on the grounds next to the ship over the course of the weekend.

On the evening of Sunday, July 3, the Toledo Club and Toledo Blade will host the annual fireworks in Toledo to conclude the weekend.

After the weekend-long festivities, the Schoonmaker will close to the public so that restoration work behind schedule due to this springs rainy weather can be completed on deck. The Schoonmaker will reopen for the remainder of the season Aug. 1 and will eventually take her place up river as the centerpiece of the National Great Lakes Maritime Museum to be established in Toledo in conjunction with the Great Lakes Historical Society and scheduled to open May 1, 2013.

Current financial sponsors include the James M. Schoonmaker Foundation and the Great Lakes Historical Society while material and in-kind service sponsors include P&W Painting Contractors, PPG Marine Coatings, Harsco Minerals, Warner Petroleum Corporation, Precision Environmental Co., Seaway Scaffolding, Geo. Gradel Co., Samsel Supply Co., Toledo Shredding, Painters Local 7, Sheet Metal Workers Local 33 and Boilermakers Local 85.

Schedule of events
Friday, July 1
10 a.m. – Vessel open to invited guests only.
11 a.m.-12 p.m. – Rechristening
11:30 a.m. – Breaking of the bottle (open to the public)
12:30 p.m. – Formal reception (invitation only)
1 p.m. – Vessel open for public tours (Admission fees apply, $7 adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for students age 16 and under, free for children 10 and under accompanied by an adult. Last admission at 4 p.m.) Tour the War of 1812 privateer schooner Lynx from 4- 5 p.m. (The vessel will be firing a salute from her main battery of six-pounder carronades at 3 p.m.; All public cruises are sold out)
Steam whistle blow (ongoing throughout the day)

Saturday, July 2
Vessel open for public tours (Admission fees apply, see above for hours)
Tour the War of 1812 privateer schooner Lynx from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Steam whistle blow (ongoing throughout the day)

Sunday, July 3
Vessel open for public tours (Admission fees apply, see above for hours). Tour the War of 1812 privateer schooner Lynx from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Steam whistle blow (ongoing throughout the day)
10 p.m. Watch the fireworks from the shores of the Maumee River


30th annual Great Lakes Maritime Market Saturday in St. Clair

6/8 - The Lake Huron Lore Marine Historical Society is sponsoring its annual Great Lakes Marine Mart at the Riverview Plaza Mall in St. Clair on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is in a new location this year, having been previously in Port Huron for many years. The mall is just across the street from the picturesque boardwalk in downtown St. Clair.

If you have an interest in the huge ships that ply the Great Lakes, present or past, you will want to attend this event. There will be more that 50 vendors offering various items relating specifically to the ships and shipping industry of this region. Among the items that will be available for sale are historical artifacts, books, photographs, artwork, shipwrecks, memorabilia, advertising and more. It is a great way to learn more about the fascinating history of the Great Lakes shipping for the beginner or the advanced historian.

This is one of only a very few of its type to be held during the year bring buyers and sellers together from all around the Great Lakes. It is the only one you will find in this immediate area. This is your best opportunity to find that rare book or photograph of your favorite ship.

The sponsor, Lake Huron Lore, was organized in 1963 to further the collection and preservation of maritime history in our region for future generations. It has numerous activities throughout the year for its membership and the public to further their understanding and enjoyment of this subject. The Marine Gallery at the Port Huron Museum of Arts and History is the repository of its extensive artifact collection. Its newsletter and journal, The Lightship, is published six times per year.

Lake Huron Lore Marie Historical Society


Seaway Marine and Industrial shipyard still hopes for piece of record federal procurement

6/8 - St. Catharines, Ont. – A local company still hopes to get a slice of Canada's largest-ever federal procurement. The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy will see $35 billion worth of new ships purchased from Canadian shipyards over the next 30 years.

Seaway Marine and Industrial of Port Weller is one of four shipbuilders still in the running, after the drop-out of Newfoundland and Labrador's Kiewit Offshore Services. July 7 marks the deadline for proposals to build more than 30 new ships for the navy and coast guard.

"We are one of the shortlisted companies," said John Dewar, a vice-president of Upper Lakes Marine and Industrial Inc., which owns the Seaway Marine and Industrial Inc. dry docks in Port Weller. "And we're looking at all of our options into bringing work to St. Catharines."

There are some serious hitches in the process for Seaway Marine, however. There are three parts to the federal strategy — large ship construction, small ship construction and repair, refit and maintenance projects.

For the large ships, the federal government will accept bids with two Canadian shipyards — one for combat and the other non-combat. Separate competitions will determine which Canadian shipyards win contracts to build the smaller ships and for the refit, repair and maintenance jobs.

Seaway Marine remains shortlisted for the large vessels. However, military oriented construction is likely too complex and costly for the local company. Meanwhile, the heaviest non-combat ships are too wide to navigate through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The small-ship program is for vessels under 1,000 tonnes and will be done through open competition, with shipyards selected for the larger ships ineligible. But many are marine search-and-rescue boats and likely too small-scale for a shipyard like Port Weller's that is designed to make larger vessels.

In an interview last October, Dewar said the process needs to be more fair for St. Catharines.

Other shipyards in the running are Halifax Shipyards, North Vancouver-based Seaspan, and the struggling Davie Yards in Levis, Quebec, which is being financially restructured. Dewar has suggested changing the threshold for open competitions on non-combat ships to any vessel 5,000 tonnes or less and which could navigate the Seaway.

Another suggestion is any yard that wins the large-ship contract would then be ineligible for refit, repair and maintenance work. On Tuesday, Dewar said the bidding parameters haven't changed. "I can't say anything more specific at this point, because we're still in negotiations," he said.

Meanwhile, the local shipyard recently completed a $6-million contract to refit the Canadian Coast Guard ship Cape Roger. That work was among at least six ships that underwent repair or maintenance work in Port Weller over the winter.

At its height, more than 200 people were employed on the projects, Dewar said. While there are no projects currently underway — and the yard is down to a skeleton crew — he's confident more contracts will be coming soon.

St Catharines Standard


Updates -  June 8

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new pictures in the George M Carl gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 8

June 8 1951, CLIFFS VICTORY entered Cleveland with a load of iron ore from Marquette. The VICTORY completed the one-way trip in 37 hours - 20 hours faster than the best previous time.

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. She now sails as AMERICAN INTEGRITY.

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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  June 7

Holland, Mich. - Bob VandeVusse
The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 tied up at the Verplank dock in Holland at 8:15 Monday evening. They brought a load of slag from Burns Harbor.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Stephen B. Roman called on the Essroc Dock in Essexville early Sunday morning to unload. She finished up by early Sunday afternoon and was outbound for the lake. On Monday morning, the tug Olive L. Moore, with the Lewis J. Kuber, traveled to the upper river to unload at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee. The pair finished by late afternoon and were outbound for the lake, passing through downtown Bay City by 7:30 Monday evening.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Sam Laud was inbound Lorain, about 5 miles out, at 11:50 a.m. Monday.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
Canadian Enterprise was in port on Sunday. After unloading, she departed the turning basin just after 6 p.m. and headed down the lake.


U.S. Coast Guard rescues 7 boaters near Sandusky

6/7 - Sandusky, Ohio – U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and boat crews were in the vicinity of Sandusky, Ohio, late Sunday night when the helicopter crew came upon a 20-foot recreational boat carrying seven people, who were waving their arms to attract the aircrew’s attention. The air and boat crews were nearly finished with a search due to an unrelated call and weren’t previously aware of the disabled Bayliner until they discovered it at 11:55 p.m., Sunday about five miles east of Cedar Point in Sandusky.

The MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Air Station Detroit directed the Coast Guard boat crew, on a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft–Law Enforcement boat from Station Marblehead, Ohio, to the scene. The boaters stated the vessel had a dead battery, which prevented the boat’s radio, navigation lights, engine and other electronics from working. They said they tried using two cell phones to call for help but were apparently too far from any towers for the phones to work. The Coast Guardsmen instructed all seven people to don lifejackets, then took the Bayliner in tow and transported it to a dock in Huron, Ohio. There were no reported injuries.


Coast Guard rescues 3 near Saugatuck, Mich.

6/7 - Holland, Mich. – A U.S. Coast Guard boat crew saved three people from drowning Saturday night after their boat capsized near Saugatuck, Mich., sending all three people into the water. A 25-foot Response Boat–Small crew from Coast Guard Station Holland, Mich., arrived on scene about three and a half miles northwest of the Saugatuck pierhead to find the mariners clinging to the hull of their 24-foot recreational boat. Two of the three were wearing lifejackets. The RB-S crew brought the three people aboard and transported them to awaiting emergency medical technicians on shore. The RB-S crew reported the mariners might have mild hypothermia. No other injuries were reported.

“This rescue illustrates how important it is for boaters to have VHF-FM marine radios,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Branden Shevchook, of the Sector Lake Michigan command center. “Using their radio, they were able to notify us quickly that they were in distress and pass critical information, including their location, moments before their boat capsized."


Coast Guard rescues 3 Rochester natives near Sodus Point

6/7 - Sodus Point, N.Y. – A U.S. Coast Guard boat crew rescued three Rochester, N.Y., natives after the mariners abandoned their boat due to rough weather in Lake Ontario near Sodus Point, N.Y., Saturday afternoon. Coast Guardsmen at Station Sodus Point were outside on the station grounds when they noticed the wind and swells pick up in Sodus Bay and then saw the three boaters abandon their roughly 16-foot jon boat to swim toward a nearby breakwall at 2:22 p.m. The Coast Guardsmen immediately launched a rescue crew aboard a 25-foot Response Boat–Small, which arrived on scene with the boaters within approximately five minutes and brought them to shore.


Coast Guard ends search for man reported missing in Green Bay area

6/7 - Green Bay, Wis. – U.S. Coast Guard crews ended their search Saturday evening for the owner of a 12-foot white and blue day sailer that was found capsized Saturday morning after the man’s girlfriend reported him missing Friday. Coast Guardsmen searched a total of 450 square miles using an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Traverse City, Mich., a Canadian Coast Guard C-130 plane, a 25-foot Response Boat–Small from Station Green Bay, Wisc., and a 41-foot Utility Boat from Station Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.


Three bodies retrieved after Leamington boat crash

6/7 - Leamington, Ont. – Provincial police say they have retrieved the bodies of three boaters who have been missing since a boating accident on Lake Erie late Sunday. The bodies of the 32-year-old woman and two men, aged 31 and 33, were sent to hospital to be autopsied. All three were residents of Leamington. Provincial police say they were called just before 11 p.m. as a result of screams for help coming from the break wall outside the Leamington Marina. Officers found a crashed vessel along the break wall, about 500 metres off shore from the marina. They commandeered two civilian vessels and found two women with non-life threatening injuries. Police, fire department and Coast Guard continued the search for the three missing Leamington residents through Monday morning. Tonial said Monday morning that the search was still proceeding as a rescue as opposed to a recovery mission. Police are investigating and have not yet released the names of the deceased.

Toronto Star


July 6 Escanaba Maritime Festival on course

6/7 - Escanaba, Mich. - Two tall ships, one Coast Guard Cutter, one icebreaker, and up to three rescue patrol boats will all be in Escanaba's Ludington Park on July 6 as a part of the new maritime festival. Organizers said they are excited about how the first maritime festival is coming together.

"We are trying to have representation of Escanaba's maritime history with tall ships, the Coast Guard and with the commercial shipping that has long been a part of our port," said organizer Mollie Larsen. The tall ships will include the two-masted teaching ship Inland Seas. Tours will be available before and after its afternoon sail. The second ship is the official state schooner. An 1845 replica, the schooner Madeline is a 92-foot vessel with two masts, and will have tours available all day. Both ships have volunteer crews who sail the Great Lakes working as floating classrooms. They will be moored in the marina for the day of the festival, with the Madeline leaving the next day.

Maria Maniachi, one of the organizers, has crewed several ships in the Great Lakes and knows crew members on both ships. "Having two ships in our marina will be really impressive and to be able to tour them will be a great experience for young and old alike," she said.

There will be one Coast Guard cutter available for viewing at the Municipal Dock. Of the three cutters that work the area, one will be in drydock. The others are the Mobile Bay and the Biscayne Bay, both based in Traverse City.

Basic Marine will also dock the Erica Kobasic at the municipal dock. The vessel is a working tug and ice breaker. Additionally, two Coast Guard rescue patrol boats will be here. One is moored in Escanaba, but the other will come from Sturgeon Bay.

Many other activities besides the ships and boats will be available Wednesday, July 6, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some evening events are also being planned. This is a free event in Escanaba's Ludington Park.

Escanaba Daily Press


Updates -  June 7

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
New Video on our YouTube Channel


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 7

1958, the largest freighter ever built on the Great Lakes slid down the ways at River Rouge, Michigan. The new freighter was christened by Mrs. Edmund Fitzgerald and named EDMUND FITZGERALD. The 729 foot FITZGERALD was owned by Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company and operated by Columbia Transportation under a 25 year bare boat charter.

1977, tugs refused to tow the new MESABI MINER out of the harbor due to high winds. Captain William Mc Sweeney brought the MESABI MINER out under her own power to begin her maiden trip.

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 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").

On June 7, 1991, the 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, Russ Plumb, 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.


Port Reports -  June 6

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Great Republic arrived to load ore at the Upper Harbor Sunday morning on her first trip with new name and ownership.

Green Bay, Wis. - Wendell Wilke
John G. Munson was inbound Green Bay at noon Sunday, going to Fox River dock with coal.

Manitowoc, Wis. - Peter Groh
St. Marys Challenger was back in Manitowoc Sunday afternoon, unloading another cargo of Type 1 cement at St. Marys Cement.

Muskegon, Mich. - Greg Barber
On a sunny Sunday afternoon, H Lee White came through the Muskegon piers at 1:30 with a load of coal for the B C Cobb Power Plant

Holland, Mich. - Bob VandeVusse
Grande Mariner made its first call at Holland for the 2011 season on Sunday, docking at the Boatwerks restaurant.

South Chicago, Ill. - Matt Monahan
9 a.m. Sunday morning, Wilfred Sykes and Michiganborg were both in Calumet Harbor preparing to head up the river, Michiganborg for Iroquois Landing and the Sykes for KCBX.


S.O.S. Badger: Supporters rally to keep the car ferry sailing

6/6 - Ludington, Mich. — The S.S. Badger is considered a cultural icon by many in Ludington, a link between the city’s tourism-driven economy and its industrial past. But some residents and civic leaders here fear that a federal rule, which takes effect during the Badger’s 2013 season and would prohibit the coal-powered ship from dumping coal ash in Lake Michigan, could end the Badger’s 58-year history in Ludington.

“The Badger is synonymous with Ludington,” said Mayor John Henderson. “To be able to see that piece of history” remain here is a must, he said.

The 410-foot Badger was built by the Christy Corp. of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., as a rail car ferry and put into service March 21, 1953. The ship carried railroad cars, passengers and their autos between Wisconsin and Michigan.

In 1983, the Badger, its sister ship S.S. Spartan and City of Midland 41 were sold to Glen F. Bowden of Ludington, who organized the Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Co. By 1988, the Badger was the only car ferry running and in 1990, facing bankruptcy, the ship tied up in Ludington, ending ferry service that had been in operation since the late 19th century.

A year later, the Badger was purchased by Charles F. Conrad, a Holland businessman and Ludington native, who refit and refurbished the Badger to handle passengers and autos. It returned to service on May 16, 1992, between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wis.

Business and civic leaders say the Badger, which employees 250 people, is a powerhouse for Ludington’s tourism industry, contributing millions of dollars to the local economy. In an attempt to raise awareness about its plight, they’ve kicked off a campaign called the S.O.S Badger.

Through fundraising and contacting elected officials, they’re attempting to drum up support for the ship. T-shirts and pins bearing the S.O.S. Badger logo are being sold. And a local brewery has brewed a beer in honor of the vessel, Badger Brown.

“It’s probably our No. 1 driving economic force in our town,” said Brad Reed, a member of the S.O.S Badger campaign, who along with his father, Todd, owns a photo studio in downtown Ludington. “It brings in millions of dollars into our community. If it stopped running, it would be devastating.”

For the Badger to continue to operate in 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said the ship must stop dumping coal ash in Lake Michigan by December 2012, a move that could prove costly, company officials said. The EPA regulates vessel discharges.

A representative of the Badger, who met with EPA officials this week, said a “solution is feasible,” an EPA official said.

“We’re investigating a number of solutions,” said Lynda Matson, vice president of customer service and marketing for Lake Michigan Carferry, the company that owns the Badger. “Each alternative is expensive, but we’re confident we will find a solution.”

One solution is to replace the Badger’s coal-fired engine with an engine powered by diesel fuel, a move that would cost as much as $15 million, she said.

Another option, Matson said, is to keep the coal ash onboard, deposit it onshore, and truck it to a dumping area. Estimates on the cost and feasibility of that project are not yet available.

Businesses like the Jamesport Brewing Co. hope the Badger finds a solution. Located near the shore of Pere Marquette Lake, the brewpub gets lots of customers each day around time the Badger pulls into port, said Julie McDonald, manager of the brewery. Some sit down for a meal, she said, and others just unwind with a pint.

“It’s huge,” McDonald said of the Badger’s importance to Ludington. “It scares me thinking it might not be here because it does so much for the whole community.”

To help the campaign, the brewery created a beer, Badger Brown, named after the ship, and hosted an event where $1 from every Badger Brown sold went to the S.O.S. Badger campaign.

According to a statement by the EPA, “coal ash does negatively impact aquatic life,” and “it can affect water quality."

But the EPA’s assessment of the environmental impact of the Badger’s coal ash discharges into Lake Michigan have been disputed by the company’s attorney. Barry Hartman, an attorney who has represented Lake Michigan Carferry, said in 2008 that the coal ash discharge does not harm Lake Michigan.

“At most, there are four (elements) of concern, and none are at levels that approach any danger to human health or environment,” Hartman has said in his 2008 response to concerns raised by the EPA.

Andy Buchsbaum, head of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes office in Ann Arbor, said he doesn’t know the specifics of what the Badger is dumping into Lake Michigan, but dumping any type of waste into Lake Michigan is discouraged in nearly every case.

“Lake Michigan is an incredible resource for everyone in Michigan and everyone in the Great Lakes region,” Buchsbaum said. “It’s under attack by a whole host of issues. We certainly don’t need another one.”

Henderson, Ludington’s mayor, said the S.O.S. Badger group is not taking a position on the ship’s practice of dumping coal ash.

But while the group’s goal is to keep the Badger operating, he said he would like the ship’s management and the EPA to reach a deal that keeps the ship sailing and limits environmental contamination.

“It’s a very important economic impact to Ludington, Mason County, and the state of Michigan,” Henderson said. “People use the Badger as a gateway to Michigan.”

The campaign to raise awareness of the Badger isn’t just focused in Ludington. Business and civic leaders in Manitowoc, Wis., also are looking to get the word out about the Badger’s impact on their community.

Besides selling S.O.S. Badger T-shirts and pins, they’re putting up booths about the Badger at Manitowoc’s weekly farmers market and its county fair, said Justin Nickels, Manitowoc’s mayor.

“We treat it as a business. It’s a multimillion dollar economic impact to our community,” Nickels said. “If it were to end, it would be like losing a business of a hundred-plus employees.”

The Muskegon Chronicle


Updates -  June 6

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
New Video on our YouTube Channel


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. EDWARD 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 upbound 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.


Port Reports -  June 5

Soo – Herm Klein
Saturday night the Great Republic made her first trip up the St. Marys River under her new name.

Kewaunee, Wis. - Wendell Wilke
The Lake Express is on a Public Relations visit to both Kewaunee, Wis. and Frankfort, Mich. At 8 a.m. Saturday the Lake Express entered the Port of Kewaunee where she gave shoreline cruises of approximately an hour at 9:30am and 1:30pm which took passenger's up the shoreline to Algoma and then back. Between the cruises the vessel was open for free tour's. Frankfort was scheduled for the same Public Relations tour's on Sunday.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
English River arrived in Toronto on Friday and had departed by 4 a.m. Saturday.

Chengxi , China - Andy Torrence
Algoma Mariner has departed Chengxi Shipyard on her maiden voyage. At 8:15 a.m. Saturday morning she was outbound Yangzte River, passing Shanghai Pudong International Airport moving at 14.1 knots.


Updates -  June 5

Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new feature for June - the George M. Carl
New pictures in the Amasa Stone gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 5

Over the Winter of 1960 - 1961, the CHARLES M. SCHWAB was rebuilt by joining the forward end of the original SCHWAB with the after end of the former oil tanker GULFPORT. On this date in 1961, Captain Raphael "Dewey" Marsden conducted sea trials with the "new vessel" on Lake Erie between Lorain and Cleveland.

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 upbound 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, Russ Plumb, 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.


Port Reports -  June 4

Green Bay - Wendell Wilke
Chemtrans Havel returned to Green Bay Thursday calling at U.S. Venture to load. She was outbound early Friday afternoon.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Robert S. Pierson arrived off Lorain about 8:30 p.m. Friday night. By 9:45 p.m. she was at the Jonick Dock unloading.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Mandarin left Toronto overnight Wednesday. Empire Sandy is out of the dry dock and back at the foot of Spadina Avenue.

Oshawa, Ont. - Andre Blanchard
The saltie Heloise departed Oshawa Friday and was reported to be heading to Duluth. It had been in port since May 30. Thursday Heloise was preparing itself for departure. Some welding work was seen begin done on the port side near the stern of the ship. Hamilton Energy bunkered the Heloise Thursday in the evening, separated, and departed for Hamilton around 9 p.m.
Other vessels in port included the barge Big 543, tugs Jerry G and Omni-Richelieu, and spud barge McNally Jack Up No. 1.

Kingsville, Ont. - Tom Hess
The Mississagi arrived in port at 9:45 Friday morning.

Montreal - Kent Malo
Tug Pantodynamos was due in Montreal Friday for Sec 56, where the former Canadian Ranger will dock when she arrives undertow. The latter was due in Montreal Friday but encountered heavy winds near the Iroquois lock which delayed her arrival. Canadian Ranger built with sections of two different vessels, the forward section of the Grande Ronde, built in 1943. The stern section came from the coastal package freighter Chimo, 1967, built at Davie Shipbuilding Co, Ltd. Lauzon, Quebec. Tony MacKay, Vigilant 1, and Seahound are now underway with the scrap tow in the Seaway. A deep sea tug will tow it to Aliaga, Turkey, when it leaves Montreal.


Lake Express ferry visits Kewaunee on Saturday

6/4 - Kewaunee — The Lake Express ferry will visit the port of Kewaunee on Saturday and allow visitors to tour the ship and take short cruises along the Lake Michigan coast.

The Milwaukee-based Lake Express will arrive at about 8 a.m. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the public will be able to take free tours of the ship.  Lake Express will be offering two, reservation-only tours and excursions. For $10, riders will be taken on a full-speed run on Lake Michigan. 

Tickets are limited with proceeds from ticket sales benefitting Kewaunee-area community groups. Advanced purchase of excursion tickets are available by visiting  Lake Express has provided vehicle and passenger service between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Mich., since 2004, a trip that takes 2½ hours.

Green Bay Press Gazette


High water in Seaway

6/4 - If water levels on the St. Lawrence River were any higher, areas like Pointe Claire and LaSalle would be flooded. But don’t worry – hydrologists in Cornwall. Ont. are in control. On Wednesday, the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control, the Canada/U.S. Agency that manages water levels in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence, decided to release water previously stored and overflowing from Lake Ontario, in anticipation of drier times ahead. Unlike in the Richelieu Valley, however, the ISRBC can always slow the flow should levels become too high. The level in the Port of Montreal is 1.8 metres higher than at the same time last year – good news for sailors, though commercial shippers have been told to reduce their speed to avoid creating giant waves.

The Montreal Gazette


Icebreaker Mackinaw Open House Sunday

6/4 - The Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum in Mackinaw City is pleased to announce its Second Annual Welcome Aboard Open House scheduled for Sunday, June 5. The museum will be open from 9 am to 5 pm and admission will be free. Special activities will include knot tying and signal flag demonstrations; as well as presentations about life aboard the ship, navigation and seamanship. In 2010, 726 visitors boarded the Mackinaw for the First Annual Welcome Aboard Open House and a great time was had by all.

Decommissioned in 2006, the Icebreaker Mackinaw was docked in Mackinaw City and, now, the museum ship has more than 20,000 visitors annually. Aboard the ship, guests visit the Bridge, Captains Quarters, Mess Deck, Engine Room, Ward Room and more. The Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum is located at 131 South Huron Avenue in Mackinaw City and the museum and gift shop is open every day from May 20st to October 9th.

For more information, visit 


BoatNerd’s Engineer’s Weekend St. Marys River Cruise set for June 24

6/4 - Plans are complete for the annual Boatnerd Freighter Chasing Cruise on the St. Marys River as part of the annual Engineer’s Day Gathering in Sault Ste. Marie.

The cruise will be aboard one of the American Soo Locks Tours boats departing from Dock #2 (next to the Valley Camp) at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 24. Boarding begins at 5:40 p.m. The cruise will be three hours and we will travel through both the U.S. and Canadian locks, and will do our best to find photo opportunities for any traffic in the river.

A buffet dinner is included in the $35 per-person cost. Dinner will consist of pasta with meatballs, baked chicken, cheesy potatoes, mixed veggies, tossed salad and dessert. There will be a cash bar on board.

Reservations are a must we are limiting the group to 100 persons. This will afford everyone enough space to take photos and enjoy themselves. Mail-in reservations must be received no later than Friday, June 17. Click here for reservation form


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 4

1955, the J. L. MAUTHE established a new Great Lakes cargo record for a coal cargo delivered to an upper lakes port. She loaded 18392 tons of coal at the Toledo C&O dock.

1943, the BENJAMIN F. FAIRLESS, Captain Harry Ashby, delivered a record cargo of 19343.5 net tons of iron ore at Cleveland. The ore was loaded at Two Harbors, Minnesota.

In 1947, the Canada Steamship line steamer EMPEROR, loaded with ore and bound for Ashtabula, hit the rocks off Isle Royale at 4:10 a.m. The vessel sank within minutes but the crew was able to launch 2 lifeboats. Captain Eldon Walkinshaw, First Mate D. Moray, and 10 other crew members drowned when one of the lifeboats overturned. Twenty-one other survivors were rescued by the U.S.C.G. cutter KIMBALL.

In 1980, the second 1000- foot boat to join the United States Steel Great Lakes Fleet, the EDGAR B. SPEER, was christened at the Lorain yard of American Shipbuilding Company.

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.

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 "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 is the 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, Russ Plumb, 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.


Port Reports -  June 3

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Lee A. Tregurtha backed out of the drydock at Fraser Shipyards late Wednesday afternoon and departed the yard overnight. Thursday morning, American Spirit was loading iron ore pellets at BNSF ore dock. Alaskaborg had changed sides at the CHS grain terminal, shifting from berth 2 to berth 1. SCL Leman came into port to begin loading at CHS berth 2.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Kaye E. Barker arrived at the Upper Harbor early Thursday evening and loaded ore into the night.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
The Invincible-McKee Sons completed unloading and departed the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City, ealry Thursday morning. The pair was assisted by the tug Gregory J. Busch in making the turn coming out of the slip and getting headed downriver. The tug Kurt Luedtke was busy on Thursday moving barges from the lower river, through the Bay City bridges, and staging them upriver in Zilwaukee.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Cason J. Callaway finished unloading ore at the Torco Dock and departed Tuesday afternoon. CSL Assiniboine arrived at the Torco Dock a short time later to unload ore. Atlantic Erie was anchored off the Toledo Ship Channel in western Lake Erie and will follow the Assiniboine at the Torco Dock to unload. The tug Huron Service and barge Energy 6506 were at the B-P Dock getting ready to load cargo. The Great Republic at the former Interlake Iron Dock had her new name painted on the hull Tuesday. She should be sailing in the next several days. The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the H Lee White and John G. Munson on Friday morning, the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder on Saturday evening, the Philip R. Clarke and American Courage on Sunday followed by the Catherine Desgagnes, Saginaw, and the tug Victory / barge Lewis J. Kuber on Tuesday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be the Great Republic on Tuesday, CSL Niagara on Friday followed by the Great Republic and Canadian Progress on Saturday. The next stone boat due in at the Midwest Stone Dock will be the Algomarine on Saturday. At the Ironhead Shipyard are the barge Cleveland Rocks and the tug Cleveland.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Algolake and Stephen B. Roman left Toronto on Wednesday. Mandarin was turned around and backed into Redpath on Wednesday.


National Park Service barges built in Cleveland

6/3 - Cleveland, Ohio – Great Lakes Shipyard has built and delivered four public-use restroom barges for the National Park Service. The barges were delivered in Stillwater, Minn., near Minneapolis, and will be used on the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway for boater and camper use. The 20 ft. long by 10 ft. wide barges, each with five restrooms, are able to connect in sets or floated independently for optimal utilization. Each set is equipped with an ADA-compliant restroom, gangway and lift. The lift will be used to transport a disabled person from their boat to the barge to use the restroom and back to their boat.

The shipyard incorporated renewable energy into this project by utilizing solar panels to power the ADA lift and mooring lights. These features will allow them to be utilized anywhere on the river without the need for shore power. The restroom barges were deployed for their first use this Memorial Day weekend.

The Great Lakes Shipyard’s order book now includes orders for construction of two new 70-foot all- aluminum research vessels for U.S. Geological Survey’s Great Lakes Science Center, a 60 foot workboat for the Port of Milwaukee and a new, 3,200 h.p. HandySize tugboat.


Detroit man pleads guilty to making hoax distress call causing 2010 Lake Erie search

6/3 - Detroit, Mich. - A 32-year-old Detroit man pleaded guilty Thursday to communicating a false distress message in March 2010 that resulted in a search on Lake Erie that cost taxpayers more than $50,000.

Rear Adm. Michael N. Parks, commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, and Barbara McQuade, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, said Craig C. Sanders could be ordered to pay about $53,000 in restitution for knowingly and willfully causing the Coast Guard to attempt to save lives and property when no help was needed, which is a violation of Title 14, U.S. Code, section 88(c)


Sanders could also face up to six years in prison and a $5,000 civil fine when sentenced. Sanders telephoned the Coast Guard on March 11, 2010, and said his boat had capsized in Lake Erie. He told the Coast Guard he was the only member of his family who made it to shore and said he had been wearing a life jacket while other members of his family had not. He added that he was unable to find a buddy, but hung up before the Coast Guard was able to gather additional information.

Coast Guard boat crews from stations Toledo and Marblehead, Ohio, joined an MH-65C rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Detroit in an eight-hour search on Lake Erie. Ultimately, the call was revealed as a hoax.

"We hope that prosecutions like this one will deter others from making false reports to the Coast Guard so that the Coast Guard can instead focus on real emergencies," McQuade said.

The case was investigated by the Coast Guard Investigative Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary M. Felder and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ted Fowles of the Coast Guard.

“Hoax calls cost taxpayers a great deal of money and pull our critical resources from actual operations and emergencies,” said Parks. “These charges send a clear message that hoax calls will not be taken lightly and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”


Updates -  June 3

News Photo Gallery


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 feet x 30 feet x 11 feet, and she cost $20,000.

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

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, Ont. 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.

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


Canadian Ranger scrap tow runs into trouble

6/2 - On Wednesday afternoon, just as the Tony Mackay, towing Canadian Ranger, reached the upper approach wall above Iroquois Lock, the wind gusted to 30 knots. The tugs Vigilant I and Seahound could not prevent the Ranger's stern from swinging around away from the wall. The bow of the Ranger hit the wall and she spun 180 degrees. One of the tow lines became fouled in the propeller of the Seahound and divers had to be called in to clear it. The tow got under way again downbound, stern first, at about 21:00. Vigilant I towed the Ranger backwards through the lock with Tony Mackay also going backwards with Seahound guiding the big tug. The tow secured below Iroquois Lock on the southeast emergency tie wall. There is much traffic to clear the system over the next 12 hours and the tow will also have to wait for better weather. They will have to find a good place to swing the ship around again.

Ron Beaupre, Dave Bessant and Murray Blancher


Port Reports -  June 2

Twin Ports – Al Miller
An apparent change in orders sent Roger Blough to the CN ore dock on Tuesday afternoon instead of its scheduled arrival at BNSF. On Wednesday morning, James R. Barker was loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal, Isa continued loading at Duluth Storage (formerly Cargill B1), Alaskaborg was loading at CHS berth 2, and Lee A. Tregurtha remained in drydock at Fraser Shipyards.

Sturgeon Bay – Manitowoc - Peter Groh
Bay Shipbuilding was full of ships and tugs on Wednesday. The tug Leslie Foss was tied up at the wall just west of the floating drydock. The tug Bradshaw McKee was in the floating drydock. The St. Clair and St. Marys Conquest with tug Prentiss Brown were in the next slip over. John J. Boland was in the far east slip getting ready for its season to begin. In Manitowoc, the steamer St. Marys Challenger was unloading at the St. Marys Terminal. The Challenger has made many trips in to Manitowoc this year. In past years she was lucky to get one or two. Also in Manitowoc, Neeskay was outbound for the lake.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Indiana Harbor called on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville early Wednesday morning to unload coal. She was still at the dock just before 9 p.m. Arriving Wednesday afternoon was the tug Invincible, with her barge McKee Sons. The pair called on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload. They were also still at the dock just before 9 p.m. Wednesday.

May on the Saginaw River continued the same downward trend the port has been seeing for the past five years. May 2011 stood at eight commercial vessel passages for the month and for the year to date, 17 commercial vessel passages. This is compared to 17 for May 2010 and a total of 31 for the year to date.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Stephen B. Roman arrived in Toronto Tuesday night. Algolake was passing through the Cherry Street lift bridge at 2:45 a.m. Wednesday.


Seaway Notice – High Water Levels

6/2 - Mariners are advised that high water levels exist in the Morrisburg, Ont., area. For this reason, the speed limits indicated in Column IV of the Seaway Handbook are in effect immediately between Eisenhower and Iroquois Lock. The Traffic Control personnel will monitor the water levels. Mariners are also advised to watch their wakes as higher water level are also present throughout sector 3 (Bradford Island to Cross Over Island). Mariners will be advised once the levels have receded.


Coast Guard evacuates injured woman from Beaver Island, Mich.

6/2 - Cleveland, Ohio - A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew medically evacuated an injured 88-year-old woman from Beaver Island, Mich., in Lake Michigan Tuesday evening.

An MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., launched after personnel at the Beaver Island Rural Health Center requested a medevac for the woman, who reportedly fainted and hit her head after falling.The aircrew transported the woman to Charlevoix Airport, and EMS transported her to a local hospital.

The Coast Guard maintains great working relationships with medical personnel at emergency facilities in remote Great Lakes locations, including northern Lake Michigan's Beaver Island.


St. Lawrence water levels to rise

6/2 - In order to manage this year’s historically-high water levels in Lake Ontario, Canadian and United States officials agreed Wednesday to release hundreds of thousands of additional cubic metres of water through the dam at Cornwall, Ont.

For the next several weeks, water levels on the St. Lawrence will be maintained at their highest permissible levels in order to allow Lake Ontario to be drawn down, said former Dorval mayor Peter Yeomans. The decision, which was taken by the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control, the Canada-U.S. agency that manages water levels in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence, goes into effect at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Montrealers will likely see water levels begin to rise in the 12 hours after the flow is increased at Cornwall, said Yeomans, a Canadian member of the board. "We will be running a balancing act," Yeomans said, adding the risk of flooding can be managed so long as the next four weeks are not as wet as the past four weeks.

Over the next several weeks, Yeomans said, the water in Lake St. Louis will be maintained at 22.10 metres above sea level, as measured at a federal government station at the foot of Cartier Ave. in Pointe Claire. That is highest allowable level before an alarm is triggered along the Seaway.

"What a difference a year makes," said Yeomans, noting the high-water levels will be great news for sailors, some of whom ran aground in last summer’s historically-low water levels in the St. Lawrence.

The West Island Gazette


Updates -  June 2

News Photo Gallery


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, was later patched and proceeded to Ashtabula, Ohio.

In 1973, the SYLVANIA, downbound 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.



Port Reports -  June 1

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Tuesday morning included Lee A. Tregurtha in drydock in Superior, Kurt Paul at CHS elevator in Superior to load grain, Isa loading at Duluth Storage (formerly Cargill B1), and Roger Blough due later in the day to load at BNSF ore dock. Salties Alaskaborg and SCL Leman were anchored on Lake Superior waiting for elevator berths.

Sarnia, Ont. – Frank Frisk
Michipicoten departed Sarnia upbound at 8:55 a.m. Tuesday, her repowering complete.

Oshawa, Ont. - Andre Blanchard
The Panamanian bulk carrier Heloise arrived in Oshawa early Monday evening. Also present were tugs Omni-Richelieu and Jerry G.


Low water levels mean greater costs for Great Lakes ships

6/1 - Low water levels in the Upper Great Lakes are keeping ships riding higher than usual and less cargo means more trips and more expenses. Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron are all down one inch from last year. That’s not a lot, except last year was also low.

With Lake Superior down a foot from long-term averages and Lake Michigan down 15 inches, Lake Carriers Association vice president Glen Neckvasil says lakers are forced to carry smaller cargoes. “We’re light-loadingsomething awful here,” says Neckvasil.

“We’ve got ships that back in 1997 were carrying 71,000 tons in a trip. Their first trip of this season they only had 59,000 on board. So between the dredging crisis and the low water levels, we’re getting creamed.”

Duluth-Superior Port Authority spokeswoman Adele Yorde says their port is busy this spring, but ships are having to light-load. “Some of those huge lakers, those thousand footers that would load 68,000 to 70,000 tons, they’re loading lighter. They have to be careful in some of the channels.”

The Army Corp of Engineers says water levels should rise three to four inches in the next month on Lakes Superior and Michigan.

Fox 21 News


Pelee ferries need $18M in upgrades, study says

6/1 - The ferry system that serves Pelee Island needs an $18-million upgrade to the Jiimaan ferry and an estimated $45-million replacement for the 52-year-old Pelee Islander, a Ministry of Transportation study recommends.

"This is our highway," Pelee Island Mayor Rick Masse said of the importance of the ferry link.

Masse said it's the first time a study has looked at every angle of transportation issues for the Lake Erie island. He said he doesn't want to give his opinion yet on specific recommendations because the public has until June 30 to respond and he doesn't want to influence those comments.

The study lists problems that include lack of reliability, inconvenience and the inability of the ferries to accommodate enough vehicles, especially tractor-trailers. The study said trips are cancelled because the Jiimaan can't manoeuvre under high winds and it has a history of breaking down.

To address the problem, the study suggests extending the Jiimaan's hull and vehicle deck. The estimated $18-million proposal would provide an additional bow thruster so the ship can manoeuvre in cross winds, it would replace the boat's two engines with four so the vessel could still run if one of the engines broke down and it would hold 42 cars, or four transport trucks plus 26 cars.

The study recommends replacing the Pelee Islander, which will likely be removed from service in 2016, with a combined passenger, car and truck ferry that could hold two transport trucks and 12 cars or 20 cars. The 42-metre Pelee Islander can carry 196 passengers and 10 cars.

A high-speed ferry alternative was not recommended because of the higher fuel cost and because it would reduce the vehicle capacity, the study said.

Thom Brown, owner of Wavecrest Bed and Breakfast on Pelee Island, gave credit to the consultants for trying to identify and address problems. Brown said he's pleased the study recommends measures for improving communications such as adding more phones and staff for the spring startup, and recorded messages to tell passengers of rescheduling. He's called visitors himself to warn them when the ferry isn't running.

The Windsor Star


Coast Guard begins operation at seasonal air facilities

6/1 - Traverse City, Mich. – U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., opened its seasonal air facility in Waukegan, Ill., Friday, in order to provide increased search and rescue capabilities and faster response times throughout the Lake Michigan area during the summer months.

Like the Air Station Detroit-operated AIRFAC Muskegon, which also opened Friday, AIRFAC Waukegan is a seasonal air facility that operates annually from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. It is located at Waukegan Regional Airport.

Forward-deployed to AIRFAC Waukegan, two crews and one MH-65C rescue helicopter from Air Station Traverse City stand ready to provide search and rescue services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Air Station Traverse City is a year-round Coast Guard facility, established in 1946 and located on the southern end of Grand Traverse Bay in northern Michigan. Both Air Station Traverse City and AIRFAC Waukegan are maintained under the Ninth Coast Guard District to provide multi-mission capabilities in the Great Lakes region.

Detroit, Mich. – U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, Mich., opened its seasonal air facility in Muskegon, Mich., Friday, in order to provide increased search and rescue capabilities and faster response times throughout the Lake Michigan area.

The seasonal air facility located at Muskegon County Airport operates annually from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Two crews and one MH-65C rescue helicopter from Air Station Detroit stand ready to provide search and rescue services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Air Facility Muskegon’s opening coincided with National Safe Boating Week, and the theme this year is ‘always wear your life jacket,’” said Cmdr. Michael Platt, commanding officer of Air Station Detroit. “This applies to both boaters and weak swimmers.”

Air Station Detroit is a year-round Coast Guard facility that has a staff of 115 personnel and five MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopters. Both Air Station Detroit and Air Facility Muskegon are maintained under the Ninth Coast Guard District to provide multi-mission capabilities in the Great Lakes region.


Updates -  June 1

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Today in Great Lakes History -  June 1

On 01 June 1903, ISAAC 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 Manistque, 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: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


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