Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

Port Reports -  June 30

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
The LS&I Upper Harbor ore dock was busy on Saturday. Herbert C. Jackson and American Courage loaded ore and H. Lee White arrived to load ore but expected a delay.


Seaway residents concerned about proposed silos

6/30 - A scenic strip of the St. Lawrence Seaway could soon be home to four giant silos. A private company wants to build a grain terminal near Morrisburg to feed the growing demand for corn and soy. The plans are to build the silos along the Seaway on Lakeshore Drive, between Morrisburg and Iroquois. But residents worry the proposal will destroy the historic riverfront.

The grain bins at the Port of Prescott, about 25 minutes down the road, each hold 5,000 tons of grain, with trucks going in and out nonstop. The ones proposed for the Iroquois site would each hold 20,000 tons.

“This is not the place,” says Marianne Coligan, who lives across the road from the proposed grain terminal. She worries about the noise, the pollution and the possibility of an explosion like the one in northwest Indiana on Monday that killed an employee.

"Once again we are being infiltrated by something that is entirely misplaced in this area,” says Coligan. A salt pad currently sits near the site of the proposed terminal.

Coligan and other residents in South Dundas are fighting the private company that plans to build two and possibly four 20,000-ton silos that will store corn, soybean and wheat. Five to eight thousand truckloads each year will carry the grain in and out for loading onto ships and for distribution to the marketplace.

“They're talking about a 24 hour operation,” says Iroquois resident Gerben Schaillee, “year round and the truck traffic would be immense.”

"We're talking about the ruination of a provincial waterfront trail,” says Iroquois resident Chris Roundtree, “and increased hazard and noise to the townships of Morrisburg and Iroquois.”

The mayor for the area is a grain farmer and supports the plan. "It meets the zoning requirements, says Steven Byvelds. “It has the potential to bring something new to South Dundas in the way of new business.”

But it's all about interpretation. The residents argue the zoning does not allow for giant silos. The municipality does not have a full-time planner so it hired a private consultant to interpret its bylaws. That interpretation determined that a silo could be considered a warehouse for storing commodities such as corn, and a warehouse is allowed on the property, currently zoned light industrial.

The owner of the property says the proposed terminal is good news for farmers in Eastern Ontario.

“There’s a benefit for the farming community which is by far the largest portion of the township,” says Tom Kaneb. “It’s an added marketplace for their produce.”

Residents are pushing for a special council meeting to present their concerns.

CTV News


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.

1889 WILLIAM ARMSTRONG, a wooden rail car ferry, sinks in the St. Lawrence off Morristown after being swamped. One life is lost but the ship is refloated and repaired. It was renamed MONS MEG in 1910 and served as a drill barge but was abandoned due to its age and condition in 1938.

1940 The Imperial Oil tanker ACADIALITE cuts too close to shore and strands off Cape Hurd of the Bruce Peninsula. The ship received about $100,000 in damage and is repaired at Collingwood. It later sails as IMPERIAL CORNWALL and GOLDEN SABLE before being scrapped at Louiseville, QC about 1980.

1959 TAXIARHIS, a Lebanese flag visitor to the Great Lakes and the West German freighter CARL JULIUS are in a collision 6 miles west of the Eisenhower Lock. The former is most seriously damaged and goes aground with a V shaped dent in the port bow but both were repaired. The former arrived at Piraeus, Greece, for scrapping as d) TONY C. on March 29, 1972, while CARL JULIUS was scrapped as d) MACHIAVELLI at Savona, Italy in 1982.

1962 The GUIDO DONEGANI gets stuck in the St. Lawrence below the Iroquois Lock due to engine trouble. Part of the cargo of corn is lightered to P.S. BARGE NO. 1 and the Italian freighter is refloated on July 1. It is also a Seaway trader as b) PUNTA MESCA beginning in 1970 and as c) COCLERDUE in 1979. This ship arrived at Savona, Italy, for scrapping on June 1, 1981.

1974 KIMIKAWA MARU began Great Lakes trading in 1962 and the Japanese freighter made a single visit each year through 1965. It went aground as b) WELFARE NO. 2 off Navlakhi, India, on this date. The ship later broke in two and sank in shallow water as a total loss.

1980 VILLE DE MONTREAL was engaged in pre-Seaway service to the Great Lakes. It was sailing as c) CHERRY MAJU, enroute from Bahrain to Colombo, Sri Lanka, when it developed a list and drifted aground off Karwar, India. The ship became partly submerged and was abandoned as a total loss.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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

St. Marys River / Soo Locks
Visitors at Engineers Day at the Soo Locks, despite having to dodge occasional raindrops, enjoyed plenty of vessel traffic. Downbounders included Lee A. Tregurtha (delayed at the locks by early morning fog), John D. Leitch, American Spirit and Radcliffe R. Latimer. Upbound traffic included the Hon. James L. Oberstar, Herbert C. Jackson, Edwin H. Gott, Alpena, Algoma Navigator and American Century. Tugs were underway in Soo Harbor in the evening as a prelude to Saturday’s Great Tugboat Race, and the BoatNerd cruise on the LeVoyageur included an opportunity to view the progress being made on scrapping the Algonorth at the Purvis dock above the locks. So far about half the aft superstructure and stack have been removed. A small bit of the previously scrapped E.M. Ford, including the historic engine, remains. The Purvis tug Reliance was on the company’s drydock.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Kaye E. Barker loaded Friday at the NS coal dock and sailed a few hours later for Detroit. She had arrived shortly after daybreak following the Thursday departure of the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, which sailed for Hamilton. At Marblehead, the Cuyahoga loaded for Windsor. The freighter is due to arrive at the Sandusky coal dock Saturday following CSL Assiniboine, which is scheduled for an early arrival, said an NS spokesman.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
The American Mariner arrived inbound for General Mills around 9:30 p.m.


Great Lakes water levels continue upward trend

6/29 - The water level of all five Great Lakes (and Lake St. Clair) are now higher than one year ago. The level of Lake Michigan/Huron gained another inch in the past week. The level is up 4″ in the last month and it’s now one inch above the level of one year ago. The lake is now 13″ above the record lowest June level of 1964. It’s still 18″ below the 100-year average.

Lake Superior has had the 2nd biggest spring water level rise in recorded (back to 1918) history. It’s also up 4″ in the last month (each inch is 552 billion gallons!) and is now six inches below the long-term average. It’s now 18″ above the lowest June recorded level (in 1926) and 18″ below the highest recorded June level (in 1986). Lake Erie is up 6″ in the last month, 3″ inches higher than at this time last year and just 3″ below the average June level. Lake Ontario has gained a whopping 10” of water in the last month. Ontario is 11″ higher than one year ago and 5″ above the century average.

Wood 8 TV


S. Manitou lighthouse restoration under way

6/29 - Leelanau County, Mich. – Some of South Manitou Island's historic buildings are getting a makeover as volunteers and descendants of the island's former lighthouse keepers gather to restore and preserve them.

Nestled about 90 minutes off of the Northern Michigan coastline near Leland, South Manitou Island is part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and features several historic landmarks as well as ample hiking and camping opportunities.

A few of the island's structures will undergo an extensive restoration at the hands of several volunteers some of whom can trace their ancestry back to the lightkeepers who lived there.

On Wednesday, project coordinator Gwen Glatz, who lives in the Muskegon-area, and a staggered crew of roughly 25 volunteers from across the state began descending upon the island to work on restoring one of the buildings in the lighthouse complex, repainting the island's one-room schoolhouse and potentially working on the visitor's center if time permits. The effort will continue through July 15. The building the group will focus most of their efforts on was built in 1874 and went into operation in 1875, Glatz said. Natural wear and tear and weather damage has taken a toll on the building, she said.

"It sticks out on a point and gets more weather than most of the island, so it's starting to fall apart," she said.

Nine descendants of the island's four former lighthouse keepers are scheduled to volunteer and help with the restoration work, and will be joined by two other descendants who are set to visit the island on July 10.

The descendants, who trace their family heritage back to lighthouse keepers Aaron Sheridan, James Burdick and Ron Rosie, plan to visit the island and talk about their island connections.

The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the lighthouse keepers who served from the 1870s to the 1940s are coming from Saugatuck, Holland, Lansing, Douglas and other locations throughout Michigan. One descendant is coming from Oregon.

They will have informational brochures on their respective lighthouse ties for those interested in learning more about the island's history, Glatz said.

Glatz said the effort volunteers put into keeping the island and its buildings in pristine condition is an ongoing process. From mowing the island's lawns to cleaning out historic homes, volunteers put in substantial work alongside National Park Service rangers each year to maintain the historical integrity of South Manitou Island, she said.

"There's nothing the volunteers wouldn't do," Glatz said."It's a donation we make to preserve the history."

Grand Rapids Press


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. The hull gradually deteriorated and was dismantled in May 1994.

1934: The retired wooden schooner LYMAN M. DAVIS was torched as a spectacle off the Sunnyside Amusement Park at Toronto and it burned to the waterline.

1962: The Swedish freighter AMACITA was beached in sinking condition after hitting a shoal in the St. Lawrence near Brockville. It was refloated and towed to Kingston for hull and rudder repairs. The 10,137 gross tons vessel also visited the Seaway as b) HERVANG in 1965 and arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, as f) MALDIVE PIONEER on January 5, 1984, for scrapping.

1966: Two Canada Steamship Lines ships, LEMOYNE and MARTIAN, were in a collision while passing at Welland and the former struck the Main Street Bridge during rush hour. The ships only received minor damage, but land and Welland Canal traffic were held up.

1994: The tug A.F. FIFIELD was built at Port Dalhousie by Port Weller Dry Docks in 1955 and sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence as c) J. MANIC while towing a barge from Sept Iles to Port Cartier. All on board were rescued.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Mike Nicholls, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


Port Reports -  June 28

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Tug Victory and Barge James L. Kuber loaded ore Thursday morning at the Upper Harbor. The visit was a first of the season for the pair and for the barge in gray.


Boatnerd Freighter Trip Raffle winners announced

6/28 - Our thanks to all who supported us in the raffle and congratulations to the winners.
Trip for two on the Roger Blough or Edwin H. Gott (courtesy Great Lakes Fleet / Key Lakes) - Ticket #2529, Tom Snyder, Indian River, MI.
Trip on Badger - Ticket #4558, Timothy H. Hawkins Pueblo, CO
Night at Inn Lock Seven - Ticket #2375, Mona English Mount Morris, MI
Huron Lady Cruise - Ticket #5207, Caitlin Clyne Two Rivers, WI
Digital Shipyard Print of the Roger Blough - Ticket #1599, Louise Reichert, Marquette, MI
Digital Shipyard Print of the Badger - Ticket #4856, Brandon Kenning Huron, OH
Soo Locks Tour - Ticket #5372, Charles R. Feuer Stamford, CT
Soo Locks Tour - Ticket #4642, Christopher S. Whilden St. Charles, IL


Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie to hold open house

6/28 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - The crew of Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., is scheduled to hold an open house Friday.

The open house will allow the public to tour the sector, Sault Ste. Marie small boat station, aids to navigation team and Coast Guard Cutters Katmai Bay and Buckthorn. The public will be able to speak with members of the units and Coast Guard Auxiliary.

The sector will be open for visitors from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Boatnerds sandwich annual picnic in between rainstorms

6/28 - Although Thursday began with rain, the skies cleared in time for the annual Boatnerd picnic at Mission Point in Sault Ste. Marie. Around 75 people were on hand to enjoy grilled burgers, hot dogs and other treats, as well as traditional carrot cake for desert. Thanks are due Dave Wobser, Lee Rowe and Cathy Kohring for organizing the event, and to Bill Rowe and Herm Klein for their grilling skills. Becky Wirt made the carrot cake. Vessel traffic included the upbound Algoma Montrealais and the downbound Buffalo along with the tug/barge Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder, all of which treated the crowd to salutes. The afternoon was capped, just as the rain returned, by the downbound passage of the Stewart J. Cort, which blew an impressive salute using both bow and stern whistles.


Updates -  June 28

Saltie Gallery updated - New pictures of the Chemtrans Ems, Iryda, Ocean Crescent, Rosaire A Desgagnes, Voorneborg, and Zealand Beatrix


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.

1923 The PHILETUS SAWYER sinks in the Detroit River off Windmill Point after a collision with the HARRY R. JONES.

1960 DIVINA sustained heavy damage to the portside after striking a pier of the Prescott-Ogdensburg Bridge along the St. Lawrence. The Norwegian freighter had been a Great Lakes visitor since 1952 and was scrapped as d) PETROL 20 at Eleusis, Greece, in July 1984.

1970 CASTOR, enroute from Japan to Chicago with automobiles and steel products, sinks in the Pacific after a collision with the ORIENTAL HERO two days out of Yokohama. All 38 on board are saved. The ship dated from 1960 and first came through the Seaway in 1966.

1979 STAR GERANTA, a Seaway visitor in 1966 and a return caller as d) REGAL SWORD in 1977, sinks in the Atlantic off Cape Cod, MA after a collision in fog with the EXXON CHESTER.

1987 The small tanker NADY was built at Rochester, NY as the army tanker Y-86 in 1944 and returned to the Great Lakes as b) NADY in 1953 and again in 1955. It was abandoned, in leaking condition as d) ELENI S. while inbound 12 miles off the Lagos, Nigeria, breakwall. Water is entering the engineroom and the ship settles in shallow water. (One source suggest this may have occurred 2 days earlier) 2005 CSL NIAGARA loses power and goes aground in the American Narrows of the St. Lawrence while upbound with a cargo of coke. The ship is holed in the forepeak but soon released and repaired.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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

St. Marys River
Early arrivals for the Engineers weekend and Boatnerd festivities were treated to sunny skies and slow but steady boat traffic Wednesday. Upbounders included tug Leonard M and barge, the saltie Zealand Beatrix (headed for Thunder Bay), John D. Leitch (which stopped at the Essar Steel Export Dock) and Roger Blough in the late evening. Burns Harbor, Indiana Harbor, Algosar, St. Clair and Arthur M. Anderson were among the downbounders.

Saginaw River
Algorail departed Wednesday night suffering no damage in Tuesday’s grounding. She was delayed by the Liberty Bridge, which was jammed in the down position Wednesday.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was loading Wednesday night at the NS coal dock, having arrived late afternoon from Port Colborne, Ont.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Herbert C. Jackson was towed out Wednesday at 5 p.m.


Steel production rises by 17,000 tons in Great Lakes states

6/27 - Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region was about 682,000 tons in the week ending June 22, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.

Production rose by 17,000 tons from the week prior, an increase of about 2.5 percent. Most of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in Indiana and the Chicago area.

Production in the Southern District was estimated at 651,000 tons last week, down from 653,000 tons a week earlier.

Total domestic raw steel production last week was 1.88 million tons, up from 1.87 million tons the week prior.

U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 78.5 percent last week, which is up slightly from 78.1 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 74.8 percent at the same time last year.

So far this year, domestic steel producers have had a capacity utilization rate of 76.8 percent, which is down 2 percentage points from the same period in 2012.

Domestic mills have produced an estimated 46 tons of steel this year, down 6.2 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 49 million tons of steel by June 22 in 2012.

Through the end of April, U.S. mills had shipped 31.5 million net tons of steel, a 6.3 percent decrease from the same period in 2012. Increases in shipments of cold rolled sheet and hot dipped galvanized sheets and strip contributed to a 0.7 percent overall increase in the amount of steel shipped in April, the most recent month for which data was available.

NW Times


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 vessels ever built and lasted until September 1905, when she sank in Lake Superior.

1916 JAMES J. HILL collided with the wooden steamer PANTHER in fog off Parisienne Island, Lake Superior and held its position so all of the crew could come safely aboard before their ship sank.

1952 WOODFORD, enroute from Quebec City to Europe, received major damage in a collision off Ile Verte, near the mouth of the Saguenay River, with the pulpwood laden canaller JOHN A. FRANCE. The former, a British freighter, was holed and leaking and the crew was taken off to the BIRCHTON. The damaged WOODFORD was towed back to Quebec City and almost sand at the dock but was kept afloat and repaired. It was a Seaway visitor in 1960 and was scrapped at Shanghai, China, in 1978 as d) WOOSUNG.

1954 WILCOX, a former minesweeper that was rebuilt for passenger and freight service down the St. Lawrence from Montreal, was blown ashore at Potato Bay, Anticosti Island, and was a total loss. The remains of the hull are still there.

1982 CLIO, a West German freighter, made 12 trips to the Great Lakes from 1959 to 1965. It arrived at Callao, Colombia, with engine damage as e) SUNLIGHT on this date in 1982 and was abandoned as a total loss. An apparent effort to repair the engine was not completed and the ship was eventually scrapped.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Mike Nicholls, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


Algorail refloated after Saginaw River grounding

6/26 - The tug Gregory J. Busch returned to the Algorail about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday with a barge to off load part of the grounded vessel’s cargo. At 8 p.m. the Algorail was underway after unloading an unknown amount of her salt cargo onto the barge. She arrived in Zilwaukee about 10 p.m. and began unloading.


Port Reports -  June 26

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Kaye E. Barker unloaded stone into the Upper Harbor hopper and loaded ore on Tuesday.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Manistee loaded overnight and Tuesday morning at the Lafarge stone dock at Marblehead. She sailed early afternoon for Cleveland. It was a "two-fer" for the Lower Lakes freighter, which sailed into Sandusky Bay Monday afternoon and deposited a salt cargo at the Gradel dock before moving over to the Marblehead dock.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Herbert C. Jackson arrived Tuesday evening around 8:30 for the ADM Standard Elevator.


Reserve now for Boatnerd cruise on August 3

6/26 - Detroit River/River Rouge Boatnerd Cruise: On Saturday, August 3, we will repeat the popular Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise aboard the Friendship, with Captain Sam Buchanan. This year’s cruise will be four hours and will go up the Detroit River, and hopefully into the Rouge River. Pizza will be delivered by the J. W. Westcott mail boat. Reservations are a must as we are limiting the group to 100 persons. See the Gathering Page for details.


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 raise 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.

1916: The first STORMOUNT, a steel canaller, was wrecked on Gull Ledge, near Marie Joseph, N.S.

1937: Passengers from the SOUTH AMERICAN, stranded on a shoal, were removed with the aid of ALGOMAH II.

1993: The Norwegian tanker BOW ROGN first came through the Seaway in 1970. It was back as b) JO ROGN in 1981 and was leaking sulphuric acid into the pump room on this date as c) BETULA after discharging at Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico. The vessel was towed offshore but later driven aground on a sandy beach north of the port on June 28-29, and then blown over on its side during the passing of Hurricane Calvin on July 7, 1993.

2000: EMIL REITH first came through the Seaway in 1970. It was attacked by Tamil Tiger rebels as h) MERCS UHANA off northern Sri Lanka while carrying foodstuffs from Colombo to Tricomalee. The ship caught fire and five lives were lost. The ship sank the next day about 48 miles off Point Pedro.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Algorail aground in Saginaw River

6/25 - Saginaw River - 4 p.m. update - A tugboat is retrieving a nearby barge to help free a lake freighter that has been stuck on the Saginaw River in downtown Bay City since 5:30 a.m. this morning.

Greg Busch, owner and captain of Carrollton Township-based Busch Marine Inc., said the barge will serve as a platform to unload some the salt being carried by the freighter.

The 650-foot Algorail hit the river bottom in the shipping channel between Bay City's Liberty and Veterans bridges. At 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Busch was at the barge, docked in Carrollton, which was being cleared off to go. He said St. Catharines, Ontario-based Algoma Central Corp., which owns the Algorail, requested the barge.

“They’ll off-load some of their salt onto my barge using their conveyer and that should get the ship high enough in the water that he should be able to get upriver on his own then," Busch said. The barge containing the additional cargo will have to go with it, he said.

Busch said it isn't the first time a boat has hit bottom in Bay City. “This has, historically, always been a problem,” he said. “In 20 years, I’ve probably pulled off five or six ships that have gotten stuck right in this same spot.”

Busch said that section of the river is supposed to be 22-feet-deep, but spots around the stuck ship are only 19-feet-deep.

An official at Sargent Docks & Terminal Inc. on Tuesday morning said the freighter — a medium-sized Great Lakes self-unloading bulk carrier — was on its way to Sargent's dock in Zilwaukee. Sargent also has docks in Essexville, Carrollton and Saginaw.

The Algorail has a capacity of 23,750 tons.

Busch speculates the freighter got stuck because it was overloaded and there is a shallow spot there. The shallow spot, he said, may be caused by a pipe, about 32-inches in diameter and containing fiber-optic cable, which sits in a trench on the bottom of the river. That information could not be confirmed immediately with any government agency or officials from Algoma Central. Jim Pound, vice president of operations for Algoma Central, on Tuesday morning said the company was investigating why the ship got stuck.

Original Report:

Algorail was inbound the Saginaw River Tuesday morning when the vessel grounded about 5:30 a.m. She came to a stop between the Liberty and Veterans Bridge in Bay City on the eastern side of the river at Wenonah Park.

The Saginaw based tug Gregory Busch arrived on scene about 10:15 a.m. to help pull the Algorail free.

The cause of the grounding is unknown and damage is unlikely as the river bottom is clay in the area. The Algorail is loaded with salt for Zilwaukee.

Bert Schaaf and Mlive


Port Reports -  June 25

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Sam Laud arrived Monday morning at the Upper Harbor to load ore on her first visit of the season.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Workers have removed the stern anchor and lifeboats from the Phoenix Star, which is still in the Ironhead drydock. Hazardous material trucks are parked near her stern and several holes have been cut in the side of her hull on the starboard side by welding crews. The radar and ship’s bell have also been removed. This may indicate the vessel will be scrapped where she sits.


EPA research vessel cruises Lake Ontario

6/25 - Bay City, Mich. – The R/V Lake Guardian, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s largest Great Lakes’ research and monitoring vessel, left Wednesday for a four-day research voyage.

A crew of researchers will collect water and sediment samples from Lake Ontario in order to study chemical contaminants found in the lake’s food web. The purpose of the cruise is to collect water, pelagic micro-fauna, benthic invertebrates and ambient aerosol samples for organic chemical analysis.

This survey is part of a Lake Ontario assessment of organics contaminant cycling. The survey will provide dissolved and particulate phase samples as well as atmospheric concentrations.

In 2011, the EPA awarded Clarkson University a $6.5 million five-year grant to continue a partnership with SUNY Fredonia and SUNY Oswego to conduct the Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program. The funding is part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

The EPA has had the Lake Guardian since 1991; prior to that, it was a personnel supply vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship has been modified for science research on the Great Lakes.

Operating from April to September, the Guardian has 13 full time crew members, including a chef, a stewardess, mates, marine techs and engineers. Bob Christensen has been the captain of the Guardian since 1998.

The ship has a maximum capacity of 28 people and has sleeping quarters for those on board. With the ship in operation for 24 hours a day, at any given time, someone is sleeping before their next shift.

The Lake Guardian also has a lounge, a galley offering three meals a day, and a chemistry and biology lab. Researchers on the ship use state-of-the-art data collection techniques and instruments during the biannual spring and summer surveys.

A green lab is used to do chlorophyll analysis. The lab is also used to sort through samples, picking out the different species and freezing them so that Clarkson University can analyze the tissues.

The Lake Guardian is the only self-contained, non-polluting research ship on the Great Lakes. Operated by the EPA’s Chicago-based Great Lakes National Program Office, the ship conducts monitoring programs that sample the water, aquatic life, sediments, and air in order to assess the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Researchers can sample a chunk of the lake bottom by using sediment grabs. The grabs are capable of sampling the deepest spot of Lake Superior.

The Valley News


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.

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.

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.

1903 – JOHN CRAIG was seriously damaged in a grounding on Simmons Rock in the Straits of Mackinac. Once refloated, the wooden steamer was taken to St. Ignace and declared a total loss. It was subsequently rebuilt as PANAMA only to be lost in a storm on November 1, 1906.

1950 – Five lives were lost and another 12 passengers injured aboard the passenger ship CITY OF CLEVELAND III when it was in a collision with the Norwegian freighter RAVNEFJELL in fog on Lake Huron. The former was a total loss while the latter was repaired and returned to service. It became b) RINGSTEIN in 1955 and visited the Great Lakes through 1958. It was wrecked near Achona Point, Ghana, on September 11, 1966.

1959 – The Liberian registered MONROVIA became the first saltwater vessel of the Seaway era to sink on the Great Lakes. It went down in heavy fog on Lake Huron after going off course and colliding with the downbound ROYALTON off Thunder Bay Island. The vessel landed upright on the bottom and some of the cargo of steel was salvaged in the 1970s.

1980 – MONTREALAIS of Upper Lakes Shipping and ALGOBAY of Algoma Central collided head-on in heavy fog on the St. Clair River and both suffered massive bow damage. These vessels were repaired and today both sail in the Algoma fleet with the former as ALGOMA MONTREALAIS and the latter, later rebuilt with a new forebody in China, as RADCLIFFE R. LATIMER.

1980 – JEAN LYKES collided with and sank an 18-foot fishing boat in the St. Clair River, 2 miles north of St. Clair, MI. The American flag saltwater vessel was later beached at Alang, India, for scrapping as b) VELMA LYKES on July 9, 1994

1994 – While departing Bay City, McKEE SONS was swept crossways in the Saginaw River and went aground. Four tugs pulled the ship free without damage save for some shoreline erosion.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Tug and barge ground Saturday in Huron Cut

6/24 - Port Huron, Mich. – The tug Ken Booth Sr. and its barge, Lakes Contender, ran aground Saturday about 9:15 p.m. just above Port Huron. The Great Lakes Towing tugs Idaho and Wyoming were dispatched from their homeport of Detroit to assist in freeing them. They were downbound in the St. Clair River Sunday headed for Detroit River’s Belle Isle anchorage for inspection prior to proceeding on to Toledo. By evening they had been cleared and were downbound off Amherstburg, Ont., at 10:30 p.m.


Port Reports -  June 24

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived Sunday evening at the Upper Harbor ore dock while a line of thunderstorms passed.

Holland, Mich. - Bob VandeVusse
Sunday was busy in Holland. In addition to numerous weekend pleasure craft, the Manitowoc delivered the year's first cargo of coal to the James DeYoung power plant, departing at about noon. Later fleetmate Calumet brought a cargo of stone to the Verplank dock, departing in the evening.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The tug-barge combo Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder loaded Sunday at the Marblehead stone dock of Lafarge Corp.


Canadian navy Great Lakes tour for HMCS Kingston and HMCS Glace Bay

6/24 - Halifax, N.S. – Her Majesty's Canadian (HMC) Ships Glace Bay and Kingston departed Halifax Sunday to conduct a seven-week period of coastal operations and training exercises until the end of July. As part of their deployment, these two Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defense Vessels, and the Naval Reservists who crew them, will visit various ports of call along the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes, providing Canadians with opportunities to tour the warships and interact with their crews.

In between port visits, HMC Ships Glace Bay and Kingston will conduct various coastal operations and training exercises to maintain operational readiness to deploy on joint operations at home and abroad. This tour will also provide opportunities to inform and educate Canadians about how the Naval Reserve contributes to the protection and security of our maritime waters and approaches by working with our allies and other government partners in maritime security.

HMC Ships Glace Bay and Kingston will sail from Halifax through the St. Lawrence Seaway starting today and returning to Halifax at the end of July. During the tour, Glace Bay and Kingston will visit the following ports of call:

- Sydney, Nova Scotia, June 14-17
- Chicoutimi, Quebec, June 20-23
- Toronto, Ontario, June 28 - July 2
- Oshawa, Ontario, July 5-8
- Port Colborne, Ontario, July 12-14 and
- Kingston, Ontario, July 12-15.

HMC Ships Glace Bay and Kingston have participated in a number of exercises and operations including their most recent participation in the campaign against illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean as part of Operation Caribbean in 2012.


One pet-coke mound on Detroit River is gone, and it won't be back

6/24 - Detroit, Mich. – One of the two giant mounds of petroleum coke that sparked an outcry from community activists and environmentalists along both sides of the Detroit River is no more.

Nicholson Terminal and Dock, which manages operations at the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority site southwest of the Ambassador Bridge along the river, has opted to get out of the petroleum coke, or pet coke, business.

Company treasurer Patrick Sutka said the company will focus on its core business: handling aluminum and steel-related products.

Sutka said Nicholson had informed its customer that it would not be accepting any more of the material. The pet coke is a by-product of tar sands oil refining from the Marathon refinery in southwest Detroit. The pet coke is handled by Detroit Bulk Storage and owned by Koch Carbon.

The view from a boat in the Detroit River on Wednesday showed what appeared to be a relatively small amount of the material still at the Nicholson-operated site. Despite the removal of the material from the location near Clark and Jefferson, the larger of the two mounds remains in place northeast of the Ambassador Bridge on property owned by the family of billionaire Manuel (Matty) Moroun and leased to Norfolk Southern railroad. The material is owned and managed by the same companies at both sites.

State Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, said she’s focused on the larger pile, where dust continues to be a problem.

“We’re eager to see those piles trimmed down, and I want them ultimately covered,” she said. “Petroleum coke should not be so close to the waterfront.”

Tlaib has proposed legislation mandating enclosed storage and transportation for pet coke.

The decision by Nicholson comes as the Detroit City Council has directed the city’s Law Department to develop an ordinance addressing the storage of the material. It also followed a hearing last week before the Industrial Review Committee of the city’s Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department, where Nicholson was attempting to get the OK from the city to allow it to store pet coke on the site.

Critics have blasted the location of the material, which is used as a cheap fuel source when blended with coal, without any permitting process ahead of time.

Detroit Bulk Storage has asked for a permit hearing for the remaining mound with the Industrial Review Committee, but Paul Max, an environmental specialist with the department, said the company’s site plans were inadequate. He said the company is now having a survey conducted of the area to provide engineering drawings that show features such as fire hydrants and storm drains.

Detroit Bulk Storage spokesman Daniel Cherrin released a statement Thursday noting that the company has been working in the city for 13 years. “We continue to work with the city in making sure we have what is required to continue to operate in the city,” Cherrin said in the statement.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant met with Canadian officials and representatives of Detroit Bulk Storage at the site northeast of the Ambassador Bridge on Tuesday, according to MDEQ spokesman Brad Wurfel.

Wurfel said residents need not be concerned of an imminent public health threat from the material, which he said is of a very low toxicity, but that it is a nuisance because of the dust that continues to blow from the top of the pile, which Tlaib said is 40 feet high. She said the company has been unable to spray the top of the pile with an encrusting agent designed to control the dust because the pile is so tall.

Detroit Bulk Storage officials understand “they need to do more to control that if they want to keep it there,” Wurfel said.

U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, a Bloomfield Township Democrat, who has proposed legislation calling for a study of the health and environmental effects of pet coke, issued a statement Thursday about the dust, which has been clearly visible in recent days.

“While I appreciate the efforts under way to correct problems with dust and contaminated runoff, these reports raise serious questions about how pet coke dust and runoff has affected our community and the Great Lakes watershed,” Peters said in the statement.

It’s unclear whether the Nicholson decision will affect Detroit Bulk Storage’s operations. The company used the material at the Nicholson-operated site to top off the pet coke loaded onto freighters at the other location, which is hampered by shallower water.

Detroit Free Press


Cliffs sees no flood of iron ore in Great Lakes

6/24 - Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. does not expect a flood of new supply in the Great Lakes iron ore pellet market over the next few years, the company's chief executive said on Wednesday, playing down concerns expressed by some analysts.

Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley both warned earlier this year that a looming pellet surplus in the Great Lakes region could hit Cliffs' earnings, sending the miner's shares down sharply.

But Cliffs' CEO Joseph Carrabba told Reuters on Wednesday that the extension of its supply contract with Essar Steel Algoma announced last week suggests that Essar's greenfield iron ore project in Minnesota could be delayed.

"We see a real tightening," said Carrabba, of the isolated Great Lakes market. "Clearly, Essar's project is not coming in the time frame they said."

The first phase of the Essar project is set to start up in the second quarter of next year, and ramp up to full capacity by the end of the year, according to the company's website.

A spokeswoman for Essar Steel Algoma, a subsidiary of India's Essar Group, was not immediately available for comment. In the release that announced the contract extension, the company said Cliffs' iron ore would supplement material from the Minnesota project.

Both AK Steel and US Steel are working on smaller iron ore projects in the region. Shares of Cliffs closed down 0.75 percent at $18.45 in New York on Wednesday.



Low Great Lakes water levels costing shippers millions

6/24 - Windsor, Ont. – Record low water levels on the Great Lakes are costing the shipping industry and economy millions of dollars each year, say insiders.

Jack Frye, vice president of Southwestern Sales, which operates two shipping terminals in Windsor, Ont., estimates the low levels cost shipping companies $20,000 per freighter, or $500 million a year, in lost revenue.

Ed Dewling, captain of the Algoma Enterprise and a captain for 30 years, just passed through the Detroit River loaded with petroleum coke. His 222-metre freighter, which has a 24,494-tonne capacity cap, was running 907 tonnes light. "We're running light all the time now," Dewling said.

Water levels are down because warmer air and water temperatures accelerate evaporation and the region hasn't been getting as much rain or snow in recent years.

Al Vanagas, senior vice-president of technical operations at Sterling Fuel on the banks of the Detroit River, says the low levels cost everyone, not just shippers. "It drives the cost of buying product up when you're an end user or shipping cargo because you can't ship as much as you used to," he said.

Dewling refused to say how much of the 907 tonnes he couldn't haul this trip cost the company. But he called it "significant." The cost of fuel and number of crewmembers remain constant. So fixed costs never change, he said.

"At some point you're going to have to pass it along to the end receiver of your product," said David Cree, head of the Windsor Port Authority.

Every year, the port authority receives tonnes of aggregate, used in road construction in regions outside Windsor.

"You have to look around the entire province and [at] the costs municipalities are going to be paying for road work if the cost of moving product around by water gets more expensive," Cree said. "That's going to affect the cost of those products."

Vanagas, though, says water levels have to drop several more metres before shipping costs more than ground transportation.

Dewling said his freighter needs only 30 centimetres of clearance to navigate the channels from Lake Huron to Lake Erie. He has to slow down in shallower water to remain safe.

"The deeper the water, the better she handles, though," he said.

Saad Jasim, former director of the International Joint Commission in Windsor, said people should take note of the levels sooner rather than later. "Civilization starts around the water sources. So we have to maintain our water sources," he said. "We need to look at the challenges that are facing us and not wait until it becomes a major problem."

The International Joint Commission, which regulates shared water uses and recommends solutions to problems on shared waterways, is urging both Canada and the U.S. to consider installing water retention structures to boost lake levels. Frye suggested something similar.

"If I was to suggest something, I would suggest strategically located weirs, built out of stone, so it would retard the water from flowing as fast down the Great Lakes, rising the waters. But again, it would have to be strategically placed, and [require] approval of both the Canadian and American governments," he said. "The natural solution, of course, is more rain."


Facelift due for Lorain lighthouse

6/24 - Lorain, Ohio – The Jewel of the Port of Lorain will get some home improvements this year.

New windows, paint, cabinetry and a display case for the lighthouse lens all are in the works this summer. The Port of Lorain Foundation Inc. is in the planning stages for a renovation to be paid for with a $190,000 grant from the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission.

The lighthouse has been renovated in stages with donated time and materials. The Port of Lorain Foundation also has fundraisers including lighthouse tours to raise money.

“Our biggest thing is over the years, we did so much with so little,” said board member Alan Pollock, “with the volunteer board begging and borrowing whatever supplies could help. It’s a labor of love and there’s a hell of a lot of people here in this town that think that way,” Pollock said.

The $190,000 investment will mark the lighthouse’s fourth paint job and the first set of new windows since the early 1990s. The board members said it will be a major step in putting a high shine on the Jewel of the Port.

Replacing 31 windows and adding a fresh coat of exterior paint could be daunting tasks on any honey-do list, and the lighthouse will have additional challenges. There is no way to get workers, tools and replacement materials out to the Lorain light over land, and docking at the lighthouse can be dicey. It’s a factor that landlubbers sometimes forget.

On a recent summer day, the sun was shining and the weather was nice, but for a brisk easterly breeze whipped up Lake Erie, preventing a boat from landing.

When the wind and waves flow between Lorain’s outer breakwalls, the lighthouse foundations boat takes a pounding. Pollock, board President Ed Baker and member Matt Dempsey rode to the outer harbor, but Pollock couldn’t pilot the craft to the lighthouse dock without risk.

In those windy conditions, it is possible to rope up along the seawall on the lee side of the lighthouse, but workers must haul items up a ladder, not steps.

The new windows will be custom built to fit the spaces. The windows look rectangular, but their frames bow in slightly due to reinforcement bars inside the walls corroding and expanding, which pushes against the metal window frames. They also are not interchangeable in size.

The window repairs are estimated to cost $67,000. A new paint job is expected to cost $55,000. The temperature controlled display case for the lens will cost $10,000 and the lens cleaning will be $8,000.

The state grant first was announced in February 2011. But it also takes time to coordinate the work with the groups that have an interest in the building and to find contractors for the jobs.

The state of Ohio owns the lake bottom that the lighthouse crib sits on. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains the breakwall and lighthouse base. The foundation owns the building, but the U.S. Coast Guard sets guidelines for the red navigational marker light on top.

The building also is on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission is supplying the money for this year’s renovations. The Lorain Port Authority coordinates tours and will display the Fresnel lens at its new ferry terminal building at Black River Landing.

Lorain Morning Journal


Updates -  June 24

New Video on our YouTube Channel
Saltie Gallery updated - New pictures of the Federal Saguenay, Ocean Crescent, and Zealand Beatrix.


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.

1938 – REDFERN received minor hull damage when the steering cable broke near Dain City, on the Welland Canal and the vessel hit the west bank. It was taken to Port Colborne for repairs.

1955 – MANZZUTTI was taking water after the cargo of pulpwood shifted in heavy seas near the Straits of Mackinac. The vessel was initially in danger of sinking but reached safety.

1962 – JOHN A. FRANCE (ii) was aground in the upper St. Marys River and some of the cargo of grain was lightered before the ship could be refloated.

June 24 – The recently repaired PARKER EVANS and the ANNA KATRIN FRITZEN collided in heavy fog in Lake Huron with minor damage. The latter, a West German freighter and Seaway trader since 1961, and a return visitor as b) KATRIN in 1974, was scrapped at Bilbao, Spain, due to engine problems, in 1977.

1980 – CARTIERCLIFFE HALL, upbound with a cargo of iron ore, went aground in the Seaway near Cornwall, Ont. due to a steering problem and was released the next day with the aid of three tugs.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Mike Nicholls, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  June 23

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer Buffalo was loading Saturday night amid loud crashes of thunder, spectacular lightning and gusty winds that brought but a smattering of rain to the Marblehead Peninsula. The self-unloader had replaced the Joseph H. Thompson at the Lafarge stone dock, following departure of the latter for Fairport Harbor.


Griffon shipwreck not found, but explorers pressing on

6/23 - Fairport, Mich. — After nearly a week of searching the muddy Lake Michigan bottom, a research team has failed to find the wreckage of a 17th century ship — but leaders said Thursday they weren't giving up.

The mission to locate the Griffin, which was commanded by the French explorer Rene Robert Cavelier de la Salle and disappeared in 1679, was buoyed earlier this week as French underwater archaeologists inspected a wooden beam protruding 10.5 feet from the lakebed. They said it appeared to be a bowsprit — a spur or pole that extends from a vessel's stem — that was hundreds of years old.

But there was no ship below, only hard-packed claylike sediment extending to bedrock 20 feet down. The scientists and divers searched a wider area Thursday near Poverty Island, a few miles offshore of a remote section of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, with equipment that probes beneath the lakebed for signs of buried objects.

Again, no Griffin. With their permit from the state Department of Natural Resources to excavate the lake bottom about to expire and rough weather forecast, they didn't plan to return to the site Friday but said they might next week.

Ken Vrana, the project manager and one of four U.S. archaeologists participating in the expedition, said he expected the group would have no trouble getting a new or extended permit.

Team leader Steve Libert admitted there was growing frustration, but the retired intelligence analyst who has sought the Griffin for nearly three decades remains convinced the ship is there and said he had no intention of abandoning his quest. He discovered the timber — which was loosened from the pit this week — while diving in 2001.

"What other ship out here in the Great Lakes is 300 years old? There's only one that it could be," Libert said. "I'm extremely disappointed that we haven't found it yet ... but it's just a matter of time."

Vrana said the goal wasn't just to find the Griffin, but to determine whether the location was a shipwreck site.

"We have definitely found the component of a shipwreck," Vrana said. "It was not attached to any underlying hull, but that doesn't mean that 100 feet or even several hundred feet away there isn't a shipwreck. So, the search continues."

The team based its search location on both the timber and sub-bottom sound wave scans by an independent contractor that suggested a field of objects covering an area about the estimated size of the Griffin — more than 40 feet long, 18 feet wide — might lie just beneath the lake bed.

Turns out, the sonar readings apparently had picked up a thick layer of invasive quagga mussel shells and distinct layers of sediment, Vrana said.

"This is one time that science is just not working right," said Libert, who spent about $80,000 on the surveys and says he has pumped more than $1 million into the quest. "There's something wrong, either with the machinery or the interpretation or the way it was used."

Michigan's state archaeologist, Dean Anderson, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday he believed the expedition was worthwhile — regardless whether the Griffin is found.

"This is the sort of investigation that really needed to happen ... to get an answer one way or another," Anderson said. "I would say it is leaning toward the indication that a vessel is not there. I just don't see any evidence that makes it look like there's a wreck."

The group submitted a proposal to Anderson on Thursday to remove the wooden beam and take it ashore for further study and eventual public display. It calls for wrapping the nearly 20-foot-long timber in protective cloth and taking it to a secure facility for treatment to prevent deterioration after possibly being submerged for centuries, Vrana said.

Anderson told the AP on Wednesday that recovering it would be "complicated and difficult." But Libert said leaving it could invite vandalism or theft.

"After everything we've been through, to take this piece and rebury it and have even the slightest chance of someone finding it — I just don't want to take that risk," he said.

Vrana said the state archaeologist's office had agreed to take the proposal seriously and provide an answer next week.

The state claims jurisdiction over Michigan's Great Lakes bottomlands, including shipwrecks, although officials have acknowledged that if the Griffin is found, it will belong to France.

Libert, who battled the state in court for years seeking to be designated custodian of the Griffin, disputes its ownership of shipwrecks.



Updates -  June 23

New Video on our YouTube Channel


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 23

Thirty one 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 oncoming 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.

1942 – EUGENE J. BUFFINGTON struck Boulder Reef, Lake Michigan and the hull cracked in two places. The vessel as on the rocks for 25 days until it coould be strapped together and refloated. The ship was towed to Chicago for one of the largest repair jobs in Great Lakes history.

1948 – CRETE and J.P. MORGAN JR. were in a head-on collision, in fog, off the Apostle Islands, Lake Superior. Both ships suffered extensive damage. Two were killed, 3 more injured, aboard the latter steamer. ALTADOC and E.A.S. CLARKE also collided in fog near the Apostle Islands but the damage, while requiring repairs, was less serious.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Baie Comeau Canadian registry opened

6/22 - The CSL Group Inc. registered Baie Comeau in Montreal June 21. The ship was assigned Official Number 837075. Number four in the Trillium class, the ship was built by Changxi Shipyard in China, and comes in at 24,430 gross tons.

Mac Mackay


Port Reports -  June 22

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder loaded Friday at the Lafarge Marblehead stone dock. The Interlake duo was followed to the dock by the Joseph H. Thompson.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Joseph H. Thompson departed Lorain at noon and appeared to be heading back west.


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, c.) DAVID Z in 2007 and d.) CALUMET in 2008.

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

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Joseph H. Thompson loaded overnight at the Lafarge stone dock and sailed Thursday to Lorain.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
The Joseph H. Thompson passed under the Charles Berry bridge at 5 p.m. Thursday, and the John B. Aird radioed at 5:04 from the Jonick Dock with a half-hour pre-call for departure.


Sarnia sub chaser Duc d'Orleans restoration abandoned

6/21 - Sarnia, Ont. – First her hull was stripped down, and then came the wheelhouse, railings and fuel tanks. Now the Q105 Second World War submarine chaser is stripped of any chance of restoration.

The volunteers, who lifted the original Duc d'Orleans boat out of the water nearly six years ago to rebuild her, have declared defeat.

They knew it was a challenging project but believed they could restore her back to her original condition when she was built for the war at Mac Craft in Sarnia in 1942. They believed the Q105 would become the only remaining Second World War Canadian naval vessel still under power.

But their elaborate – and expensive – plan was abandoned six weeks ago, says Paul Woolley of the Friends of Q105.

“Every time we turned around, our ability to raise money fell through,” he said. “There was a pretty large group of people working on it when we started and they got frustrated as we kept getting turned down for grants and fundraising events.”

The 70-year-old ship was lifted from the water on Dec. 9, 2007 at the end of Exmouth Street. About 200 people watched as a 500-ton super crane safely set her down on a triangle of land owned by Central Machine & Marine.

Work began right away and volunteers anticipated it would take three years max.

At least $12,000 was donated toward restoration of the old warship, which was used locally as a cruise boat years later. Woolley estimated another $100,000 was given in kind.

“But we knew we needed more than $1 million,” he said. “We went after government grants but they were all drying up. It was bad economic timing.”

Woolley said most of the money raised was needed to pay for insurance, electricity and taxes at the restoration site. He now believes the Q105 will be destroyed and hauled off to the dump. The engine has already been removed and sold, leaving a gaping hole in the side of the hull.

Former city councillor and mayoral candidate Joe Murray said he's sorry to see “another piece of history go.”

Years ago, he was interested in incorporating the restored Q105 into a historic village project he called Port Sarnia. Both projects are defunct now.

“It breaks my heart,” Murray said. “It's a crime. When all this started, we were as excited as can be.”

Ken Bracewell is the former owner of the Q105 and operated her as the Duc d'Orleans cruise boat out of Sarnia Bay for 26 years. He donated the ship to Friends of Q105 and said he's sad to see the restoration never took off.

“A lot of people were willing to put effort into it,” said Bracewell, who replaced the Q105 with a new cruise boat. “But these guys did themselves in by infighting. I talked to a lot of people who said they weren't getting along.”

Bracewell said he offered a free annual cruise to fundraise for the Friends of Q105 but it never happened. “They just couldn't get it together,” he said.

A spokesman for Central Machine & Marine could not be reached for comment.

Sarnia Observer


Updates -  June 21

Saltie Gallery updated - New pictures of the HR Maria


Final day to win a trip on a Great Lakes Freighter

A raffle is now underway to benefit Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, the non-profit support organization for the BoatNerd.Com web site. If you are the winner, you and a guest will cruise on a voyage aboard the Roger Blough or Edwin H. Gott depending on vessel schedules. While onboard you will rest comfortably in private staterooms and view the scenery from the guest lounge.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and all proceeds from the raffle go to benefit BoatNerd.Com. Drawing will take June 27 in Sault Ste. Marie during Engineer's Weekend.

Tickets are only $10 and the purchase of even one ticket will go a long way to supporting the future operations and expansion of BoatNerd. Your ticket(s) will be promptly mailed to you. Winners need not be present at drawing to win, and will be notified by mail and/or phone.

Click here for complete details and ticket order form


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 a.m. and picked up the survivors - only 44 of them. In September, MORNING STAR was raised, towed to Lorain and re-sunk in 55 feet of water, for possible future rebuilding. Attempts were made to raise her again several times, but in the summer of 1872, she was abandoned because it was determined that the previous attempts had reduced her to rubble.

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

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

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

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

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

June 21, 1916 - The ANN ARBOR NO 5, after departing the shipyards in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 21, 1916, where 3 buckets (blades) were replaced on her starboard propeller, arrived in 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.

1910 – The tug C.W. ELPHICKE sank at Michigan City, Indiana, after a bizarre accident. The steamer UNITED STATES had struck the Franklin Street Bridge, which then collapsed on the tug. The tug was salvaged on July 12.

1941 – BOMMESTAD, a small Norwegian freighter, came to the Great Lakes in the 1920s and 1930s. It was sold and renamed HILDA in 1934 and registered in Finland when it was torpedoed and sunk by U-52 in the Bay of Biscay while enroute from Dunkirk, France, to the U.K. with a cargo of wheat.

1964 – The Norwegian freighter STELLA NOVA ran aground off Alexandria Bay, N.Y., while enroute from Duluth to Bombay, India. It was refloated June 24 with major bottom damage but was repaired. It had been a Seaway trader as a) VITO in 1959 and was scrapped as f) CORALBA after arriving at Split, Yugoslavia, on September 19, 1978.

On 21 June 1900, the wooden bulk freighter R C BRITTAIN was raised at Toledo, Ohio. She was 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, Skip Gillham, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  June 20

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber called on the Saginaw River on Tuesday, with a split cargo for the Bay City and Saginaw Wirt stone docks. The pair backed down to the airport turning basin after unloading, turned and was outbound for the lake late Tuesday night. Undaunted - Pere Marquette 41 made their first visit of the season to the Saginaw River, Tuesday afternoon. The pair also traveled up to the Saginaw Wirt Stone Dock to unload. The Undaunted - Pere Marquette 41 were backing down the River to the Airport Basin early Wednesday morning.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Joseph H. Thompson slid along the wall at the Lafarge stone dock at Marblehead Wednesday evening and began loading. She replaced the Interlake tug-barge combo of Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder, which spent the day under the conveyor loading before setting off eastbound on Lake Erie’s darkness fell.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
John B. Aird arrived at 3:40 p.m. Wednesday.

Ashtabula Ohio - Duff Rawlings
The John Francis is conducting dredging operations from central harbor dumping dredged material northeast of Ashtabula Light in the lake. The Defiance/Ashtabula was unloading west side of Pinney Dock. James L. Kuber arrived at sundown, unloaded at the Conrail slip and departed by sunrise.


Welcoming ceremony held for USCG Morro Bay to new homeport of Cleveland

6/20 - Cleveland, Ohio – The Coast Guard 9th District welcomed a new addition to the service's Great Lakes cutter fleet during a ceremony Wednesday at the Coast Guard's Cleveland Moorings facility.

Rear Adm. Michael Parks, Coast Guard 9th District commander, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, and other local and military agency representatives were on hand to welcome the ship and 17 crewmembers to their new homeport.

"She's pretty unique, but a constant has always been operational excellence, and my crew and I look forward to continuing that tradition in the Great Lakes," said Lt. Cmdr. Ben Keffer, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Morro Bay. "As an Ohio native, there's no better place to be than Cleveland."

Cutter Morro Bay was commissioned in 1981, homeported in Yorktown, Va., and operated mainly on the Chesapeake Bay, until decommissioning in 1998. However, after the 9/11 attacks, the Coast Guard wanted more resources in the Northeast for security operations and brought the ship back to service. The Coast Guard shifted its homeport to New London, where the vessel fell under the operational control of the Coast Guard 1st District.

For the past several winters, the Coast Guard has temporarily assigned one of the 1st District's Bay Class ice-breaking tugs to the Great Lakes to assist the 9th District's crews with domestic ice-breaking operations. However, these seasonal deployments were not ideal due to the high cost, the operational hours lost in transit, and the toll on personal lives of the crewmembers and their families.

The Coast Guard conducted a mission analysis in March 2011 to consider such things as search-and-rescue readiness, distribution of workload on ice-breaking assets, and overall readiness and maintenance of the cutter fleet. That study determined Lake Erie to be the best fit for a homeport. A feasibility study conducted later determined the Coast Guard-owned Cleveland Moorings facility to be the best location for the ship's homeport, where it will join Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay as the eastern-most ice-breaking cutters in the Great Lakes. There are no Coast Guard icebreakers homeported in Lake Ontario.

The crew of cutter Morro Bay will serve across the Great Lakes region, contributing to Operations Taconite and Coal Shovel, the nation's largest domestic ice-breaking operations. During the winter months, the 9th District's fleet of cutters provides ice-breaking services for search and rescue, other emergency operations, flood mitigation, and the facilitation of navigation to meet the reasonable demands of commerce. During the summer months, the cutters are still available to aid in search and rescue and other emergency operations.


Remote Michigan village abuzz over Griffin search

6/20 - Fairport, Mich. – Commercial fisherman Larry Barbeau's comings and goings usually don't create much of a stir in this wind-swept Lake Michigan outpost, but in the past few days, his phone jangles the minute he arrives home.

Barbeau's 46-foot boat is the offshore nerve center for an expedition seeking the underwater grave of the Griffin, the first ship of European design to traverse the upper Great Lakes. Built on orders of legendary French explorer Rene Robert Cavelier de la Salle, it ventured from Niagara Falls to Lake Michigan's Green Bay but disappeared during its return in 1679.

Divers this weekend opened a pit at the base of a wooden beam that juts nearly 11 feet from the lake bottom, believing it could be a section of the vessel, the rest presumably entombed in mud. They picked up the pace Monday with more powerful equipment after a weekend of probing showed that whatever is buried is deeper than sonar readings indicated.

U.S. and French experts insist it is too early to say whether there's a shipwreck let alone the Griffin. But anticipation is building at the prospect of solving a maritime puzzle that's more than three centuries old. "After we get done for the day, everybody calls or comes to the house and they're like, 'What did you find? What did you see? Can you tell me anything?' " Barbeau said in a Sunday interview aboard his ship, the Viking, which holds crucial expedition equipment, including "umbilical" cables that supply oxygen to divers. "People are really interested and they're excited to see what it is."

His neighbors aren't the only curious ones. The roughly 40-member expedition team consists of archaeologists, historians, boat pilots, divers, an underwater salvage crew and assorted helpers. When not on the water, they stay in cottages and tents by the lake in the unincorporated village of Fairport, in one of the most remote corners of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Some are relatives or longtime friends of mission chief Steve Libert, who has sought the ship for three decades. While researching the Griffin long ago, Libert ran across Mike Behrens, a Milwaukee sheet-metal worker whose grandfather had searched the lake for chests of gold that legend says smugglers lost during the Civil War.

"I came up here one year to witness what Steve was doing, and I asked if I could dive with him," said Behrens, 54. "Been doing it ever since. ... I've never met anyone as good at research as him, and he's a very ethical guy. If he says it's the Griffin, I absolutely believe him."

Others have come aboard more recently, including three archaeologists from France who arrived over the weekend.

The hands-on excavation work is being handled by a three-man crew from Great Lakes Diving and Salvage, a Michigan company that ordinarily deals with mundane tasks: repairing pumps or scraping zebra mussels off intake pipes.

"We're basically underwater janitors," said Tom Gouin, vice president of operations. The Griffin, he said, is "like a play job for us. We're loving it."

The team has had to adjust its strategy, as the excavation is proving to be a bigger-than-expected challenge. Sonar scans in years past had suggested that an object similar to the Griffin's reputed size rested about 2 feet beneath the lake floor. But commercial divers on Friday found the bottom caked with a thick layer of invasive, fingernail-size quagga mussel shells.

After tunneling through mussels, the divers began sucking away gravel and sediments, never hitting anything solid. By Sunday night, the hole reached about 8 feet below the lakebed and it wasn't clear how far down the wooden beam extended or what it might be attached to, said Ken Vrana, the project manager.

But as more is exposed, the post appears increasingly likely to be part of a ship, said Michel L'Hour, director of France's Department of Underwater Archaeological Research.

"We never saw a timber standing like this one," he said. "So it's impossible to imagine it otherwise, so one can expect that there is a hull."

Archaeologists Rob Reedy, of Morehead City, N.C., and Misty Jackson, of Leslie, Mich., sit on the Viking and sift through material that was found in the sediment, watching for artifacts, from bronze cannons to axes or knives "anything man-made" that would help identify a ship, Reedy said. Thus far, the only candidate has been a slab of blackened wood about 15 inches long with characteristics suggesting it might have been fashioned by human hands. Its origin remains unknown.

Visitors inspired by the long-lost ship have drifted into the area during the search, including a 9-year-old who wrote a school paper about the Griffin and men in period costumes and handmade canoes who in 1976 re-enacted la Salle's journey across the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi River.

Carl Behrend, a folk singer and self-described "pretty-soon major movie star" who lives 90 minutes north on Lake Superior, performed an impromptu concert outside the food tent Sunday night. He said he's composing a song about the Griffin.

"It's rattling around in my head," he said.



Don’t be left on the dock: Reserve now for Engineer’s Day Soo Cruise

We are hosting the annual freighter-chasing cruise on the St. Marys River, on June 28, as part of the annual Engineer’s Day Gathering in Sault Ste. Marie. The cruise will be three hours long, and we will travel through both the U.S. and Canadian locks, and do our best to find photo opportunities for any vessel traffic in the river. Reservations are a must, as we are limiting the group to 100 persons. A buffet dinner will also be served. Reserve now and save $5. See the Gathering Page for details.


Final week to win a trip on a Great Lakes Freighter

A raffle is now underway to benefit Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, the non-profit support organization for the BoatNerd.Com web site. If you are the winner, you and a guest will cruise on a voyage aboard the Roger Blough or Edwin H. Gott depending on vessel schedules. While onboard you will rest comfortably in private staterooms and view the scenery from the guest lounge.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and all proceeds from the raffle go to benefit BoatNerd.Com. Drawing will take June 27 in Sault Ste. Marie during Engineer's Weekend.

Tickets are only $10 and the purchase of even one ticket will go a long way to supporting the future operations and expansion of BoatNerd. Your ticket(s) will be promptly mailed to you. Winners need not be present at drawing to win, and will be notified by mail and/or phone.

All tickets orders must be received by Friday, June 21, 2013. Click here for complete details and ticket order form


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.

1953 – The Paterson steamer SCOTIADOC sank in Lake Superior near Trowbridge Island after a collision in wind and fog with the BURLINGTON of Canada Steamship Lines. One man was lost when the starboard lifeboat was swamped after being launched

1954 – The bulk carrier PATRIA, built in Canada during World War Two as the tanker MOOSE MOUNTAIN PARK, was declared a total loss after coming ashore 1 mile northwest of East Point, Santa Rosa Island, California. The ship was salvaged, repaired and made one trip through the Seaway in 1961 as PATAPSCO RIVER before being scrapped at Hirao, Japan, in 1963.

1973 – The bulk carrier ATLANTIC TRADER first traded through the Seaway in 1961 and returned on a regular basis as INVEREWE beginning in 1962. It was back again as d) THEOKEETOR in 1972 but sank June 20, 1973, after a collision with MARINA L. in dense fog off the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. All on board were saved.

1978 – A fire broke out in the cargo of coal aboard WILLIS B. BOYER and the ship docked at River Rouge where part of the cargo was unloaded to get at the fire. The vessel was enroute from Toledo to Silver Bay.

1995 – SAULT AU COCHON, built by Port Weller Dry Docks as a pulpwood barge in 1969, buckled and sank at Forestville, QC. The hull was refloated and taken to Hamilton for repairs later in the year.

2007 – KAPITAN RADIONOV first came to the Great Lakes in May 1992 with coal tar for Cleveland. It sank in severe weather on this date in 2007 as i) ALEXANDRA C. after flooding began in the engine room the previous day. The vessel went down 95 miles off Socotra Island, Yemen, while enroute to Australia with ammonium nitrate. All 19 crew on board were rescued.

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 that 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 21 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, Skip Gillham, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.



Great Lakes ore trade down 6.6 percent in May

6/19 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes totaled 6.4 million tons in May, an increase of 15.1 percent compared to April, but a decrease of 6.6 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings also trailed the month’s long-term average by 4.8 percent.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 5.8 million tons, a decrease of 2.9 percent compared to a year ago. The May total included 380,000 tons shipped to Quebec City for loading into oceangoing vessels and delivery overseas.

Shipments from Canadian ports totaled 556,000 tons, a decrease of 33.5 percent compared to a year ago.

Year-to-date, the Lakes ore trade stands at 17.2 million tons, a decrease of 8.6 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings are 3.1 percent below the long-term average for the January-May timeframe.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  June 19

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
A busy Tuesday morning at the harbors in Marquette found Capt. Henry Jackman and Michipicoten at the Upper Harbor ore dock, Kaye E. Barker at anchor off the Upper Harbor, and tug Ken Boothe Sr. and barge Lakes Contender unloading coal at the Lower Harbor for the Shiras Steam Plant. The visit was a first for the pair to the Lower Harbor.

Marblehead and Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Lafarge aggregate dock at Marblehead continued to be busy Monday and Tuesday. Monday saw the Mississagi and Robert S. Pierson load and sail for Windsor. At daylight Tuesday, the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were loading while Algosteel lay at anchor nearby. Sandusky's Norfolk Southern coal dock loaded the Herbert C. Jackson, which sailed for Detroit.

Rochester, N.Y. - Tom Brewer
Stephen B. Roman arrived at the Essroc Dock with a load of bulk cement.


Griffin investigators: Timber found in Lake Michigan centuries old

6/19 - Fairport, Mich. – Scientists say a wooden beam extending from the floor of northern Lake Michigan appears to have been there for centuries, an important finding as they try to determine whether it’s part of the Griffin, the first European-style ship to sail on the upper Great Lakes.

Marine archaeologists from the U.S. and France are studying the timber and digging a pit beneath it. They said Tuesday a probing device has detected what appears to be a solid surface 18 to 20 feet below the lake floor.

They say they’re still not certain they’re dealing with a shipwreck. But Michel L’Hour of Frances Department of Underwater Archaeological Research says the timber appears to be a bowsprit, which is a pole that extends from a vessel’s stem. The Griffin disappeared in 1679.

Rene Robert Cavelier de la Salle ordered the Griffin built near Niagara Falls in 1679 to support his quest for what was widely but erroneously believed to be a passageway to China and Japan. It was the first European-style vessel to traverse the upper Great Lakes, crossing Lake Erie and venturing northward to Lake Huron, then across Lake Michigan to the eastern shore of modern-day Wisconsin.

La Salle ordered the ship to return for more supplies and to deliver a load of furs, while he continued his journey by canoe. The Griffin was never heard from again. There are various theories about its fate, but none that have been proven.

The Detroit News


International Tugboat Race this weekend on the Detroit River

6/19 - Detroit, Mich. – The annual International Tugboat Race will take 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 departing from Wyandotte, Mich.. Click here for race details Click here for Cruise information


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 by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Algoma Central Railway. Renamed b.) ATLANTIC TRADER in 1994, and renamed c.) ALGOBAY in 1996 and d.) RADCLIFFE R. LATIMER in 2012.

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.

1905 – The wooden passenger and freight steamer CITY OF COLLINGWOOD of 1893 vintage was destroyed by a fire at Collingwood and four lives were lost.

1917 – The Canadian bulk carrier NATIRONCO was beached in the Detroit River after a collision with the ASTERN STATES and was deemed a total loss. It was raised and repaired at Toledo and survived until scrapping at Civitavecchia, Italy, as d) SAN CARLO in 1929.

1925 – The wooden freighter MAPLEGLEN (i), is scuttled in Lake Ontario, west of Kingston, near Amherst Island. It had been idle since 1921 and was originally the WYOMING of 1881.

1929 –JOHN HANLAN was torched as a spectacle off the Sunnyside area of Toronto after having failed an inspection to continue service as a Toronto Island ferry.

1933 – MEADCLIFFE HALL sustained rudder damage after being struck by the CALGADOC (i) at Thorold. The grain-laden canaller was towed back to Port Colborne, unloaded, and repaired at Port Dalhousie.

1962 – Hatch cover planks give way at Cleveland aboard FLOWERGATE and a forklift and two men fell into the cargo hold, striking a third man. All were badly injured. The British freighter later returned through the Seaway under Panamanian registry as b) AMENITY and was scrapped at Troon, Scotland, in 1977.

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


U.S.-Flag cargo movement on Lakes Up 3.3 percent in May

6/18 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters carried 10.1 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in May, an increase of 3.3 percent compared to the corresponding period last year. The May float was also largely in line with the month’s long-term average.

U.S.-flag lakers moved 4.9 million tons of iron ore in May, 76 percent of all ore moving on the Lakes/Seaway that month. The 4.9 million tons represent a slight increase compared to a year ago, but a decrease of 3 percent compared to the months long-term average.

Coal shipments in U.S. hulls totaled 1.8 million tons, 69.6 percent of all coal moving on the Lakes/Seaway in May. The fleets May coal total was, however, a decrease of 6.2 percent compared to a year ago.

The 2.8 million tons of limestone hauled by U.S.-flag lakers in May represent both 79.1 percent of the trade that month and an increase of 14.6 percent compared to a year ago.

Through May, the U.S.-flag float stands at 22.6 million tons, a decrease of 7.4 percent compared to a year ago. Iron ore cargos are down by 7.4 percent. Coal loadings trail last year by 13.5 percent. Shipments of limestone are 2.4 percent off last years pace.

Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports -  June 18

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
American Mariner and Capt. Henry Jackman arrived to load ore Monday evening at the Upper Harbor. Jackman's last visit was in the fall of 2011.

Escanaba, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Interlake Steamship's 1,000-footer Mesabi Miner arrived and loaded at the CN Ore Dock in Escanaba on Monday.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Monday brought two vessels to Lafarge. The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity were loading cement for Detroit during the morning. Manitowoc arrived by early evening and tied up to unload coal.

Cedarville & Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
At Cedarville the Cason J. Callaway was expected to arrive in the early morning on Monday to load for Duluth. Following the Callaway will be the Joseph L. Block on Tuesday in the early afternoon and the Wilfred Sykes rounds out the Cedarville schedule arriving on Wednesday in the early afternoon.

At Port Inland, the barge Ashtabula and tug Defiance arrived in the morning on Sunday and was due out in the evening on Sunday. Wilfred Sykes also arrived in the morning on Sunday and was due out either late in the evening on Sunday or early on Monday. Joseph L. Block was expected to arrive at Port Inland during the late evening on Monday to load. Sam Laud rounds is expected to load on Tuesday in the early afternoon.

Stoneport & Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
At Stoneport, the Lewis J. Kuber loaded on Monday and expected to depart at around 5 p.m. Two other vessels, the Joseph H. Thompson along with the Great Republic, were also expected on Monday. The Thompson was due to arrive in the late morning, while the Great Republic was due to arrive in the late afternoon. For Tuesday, the Manitowoc is expected to arrive in the early morning to load. There are three vessels on the schedule for Wednesday with the Lewis J. Kuber returning in the late morning to load, followed by the Great Lakes Trader also late in the morning on Wednesday, and the Manistee arriving at noon.

At Calcite, the James L. Kuber loaded from the North Dock and was due to depart around 9 a.m. There are no vessels scheduled at Calcite's Docks for Tuesday. On Wednesday there are two vessels, American Courage and St. Clair, due to load limestone. American Courage will arrive in the early morning for the North and South Docks, while the St. Clair will make a rare visit in the late evening, loading at the South Dock.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
American Mariner is due to arrive at the Torco Dock to unload a cargo of iron ore pellets on Wednesday in the early afternoon. There are three vessels due to arrive on Thursday with iron ore. Sam Laud is due in first in the late morning, followed by the Lee A. Tregurtha for a noon arrival. Rounding out the lineup is the Lakes Contender in the late afternoon. There is nothing due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock at this time. Vessels scheduled to load coal at the CSX Coal Dock includes American Mariner on Thursday just after midnight along with the Saginaw on Friday during the morning. Algoma Progress is also due on Friday in the early afternoon. Algosoo is due to load coal at the CSX Coal Dock on Sunday, June 23, in the early evening. Finally, the Algoma Enterprise is expected to arrive on Tuesday, June 25, during the early evening to load coal at the CSX Dock.

Ashtabula Ohio - Duff Rawlings
The tug John Francis is conducting dredging operations from up river and dumping dredged material North East of Ashtabula Light in the lake. Federal St Laurent is being unload at the Pinney Dock. The Calumet arrived and turned around inside outer harbor to back into coal dock for loading.

Oswego, N.Y. - Ned Goebricher
The cement carrier Stephen B. Roman and research vessel Lake Guardian were in port Monday.


Great Lakes Towing to receive WIRE-Net award

6/18 - Cleveland, Ohio – WIRE-Net has selected The Great Lakes Towing Company and Great Lakes Shipyard as one of the four local manufacturing companies to receive this year’s Mission Builder Awards. Winners have been chosen for investing in Northeast Ohio, through plant expansion, job creation or new business growth.

The Great Lakes Towing Company, Martindale Electric Co., Soundwich Inc. and Supertrapp are all to be recognized at WIRE-Nets Mission Builder Awards during their 25th Anniversary annual meeting which will be held on June 26, presented by PNC.

WIRE-Net is a Cleveland, Ohio company whose mission is to strengthen manufacturing to create healthy communities and fuel economic growth by providing support for manufacturing improvement and human resource management, training and education.

The Great Lakes Towing Company, which celebrates 115 years of service this year, provides ship assist, logistics and cargo transportation, ice breaking, and emergency services across the Great Lakes. Great Lakes Shipyard is a full-service yard specializing in new construction, fabrication, and repairs of all types of vessels and barges.


Help wanted: Marine officers and engineers

6/18 - Fettes Shipping Inc. is offering full-time employment opportunities for deck officers and engineers for Canadian flag Great Lakes self-unloading tug/barge cement carriers. Needed are candidates with some dry bulk or tug/barge experience. We offer highest salaries and benefits in tug/barge operations including two months onboard with one month off paid vacation, medical coverage and Family Security Plan, all under a Collective Agreement. We expect from candidates strong communication skills and good work ethic. Candidates must be able to travel to the U.S. portions of the Great Lakes area and must have valid Canadian passport, all applicable Transport Canada certificates and valid medical certificate issued by Transport Canada.

Transport Canada Certificates required for following positions are:
Chief Mate Watchkeeping Mate NC or OOW-C, STCW II/2
Watchkeeping Mate Watchkeeping Mate NC or OOW-C, STCW II/1
Second / Third Engineer 3rd / 4th Motor Ship, STCW III/1 or 3

Please send your resume to:
Human Resources
Fettes Shipping Inc.
3385 Harvester Road, Suite 250
Burlington, ON L7N 3N2
Fax: 905-333-6588


Updates -  June 18

Weekly Website Updates
Saltie Gallery updated - New pictures of the Harbour Loyalty, Qamutik, Vancouverborg, and YM Jupiter


Don’t be left on the dock: Reserve now for Engineer’s Day Soo Cruise

We are hosting the annual freighter-chasing cruise on the St. Marys River, on June 28, as part of the annual Engineer’s Day Gathering in Sault Ste. Marie. The cruise will be three hours long, and we will travel through both the U.S. and Canadian locks, and do our best to find photo opportunities for any vessel traffic in the river. Reservations are a must, as we are limiting the group to 100 persons. A buffet dinner will also be served. Reserve now and save $5. See the Gathering Page for details.


Final week to win a trip on a Great Lakes Freighter

A raffle is now underway to benefit Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, the non-profit support organization for the BoatNerd.Com web site. If you are the winner, you and a guest will cruise on a voyage aboard the Roger Blough or Edwin H. Gott depending on vessel schedules. While onboard you will rest comfortably in private staterooms and view the scenery from the guest lounge.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and all proceeds from the raffle go to benefit BoatNerd.Com. Drawing will take June 27 in Sault Ste. Marie during Engineer's Weekend.

Tickets are only $10 and the purchase of even one ticket will go a long way to supporting the future operations and expansion of BoatNerd. Your ticket(s) will be promptly mailed to you. Winners need not be present at drawing to win, and will be notified by mail and/or phone.

All tickets orders must be received no later than Friday, June 21, 2013. Click here for complete details and ticket order form


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. She returned to the lakes in in 2008 as J.W. SHELLEY. Sold and renamed PHOENIX STAR in 2012.

On 18 June 1869, a little less than a week after being launched, the schooner DAVID A. WELLS sailed 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.

1905 –ETRURIA sank after a collision with the AMASA STONE off Passage Island Light, Lake Superior.

1942 – The steamer THOMAS MAYTHAM of 1892 vintage was rebuilt as the New York State Barge Canal tanker DOLOMITE 2 in 1938 and renamed MOTOREX in 1942. It was sunk by gunfire from U-172 near the Colon entrance to the Panama Canal and all on board were rescued.

1944 – ALBERT C. FIELD, a former Great Lakes bulk canaller, was hit by an aerial torpedo from German aircraft and broke in two and sank in minutes. There were 4 lives lost when the ship was hit in the English Channel while carrying munitions and 130 bags of mail in support of the Normandy invasion.

1959 – SPRINGDALE, a Great Lakes trader in the early 1950s and later operated on charter to Reoch Transports, capsized and sank in the Gulf of Bothnia after the cargo of timber shifted in heavy weather.

1960 – GEERTJE BUISMAN came to the Great Lakes in 1960 and ran aground on Vienne Shoal in northern Lake Michigan while outbound from Chicago with a cargo that included new Nash Rambler automobiles for Europe. The Dutch vessel was stuck for 4 days, and had to be lightered. It returned to the Seaway again in later years and was finally scrapped as f) MOUNT at Varna, Bulgaria, in 2003-2004.

1991 – The saltwater trader AKTI was driven aground 14 miles north of Necochea, Argentina, in a storm and sold “as lies” before being refloated as d) AKTO on July 27. Examination determined that the ship was a total loss but it was rebuilt by Chilean interests as e) RIO CIERVOS. The vessel had been through the Seaway as a) ASIA PROSPERITY beginning in 1974, as b) HAN PACIFIC in 1983, and c) AKTI in 1988. It was scrapped at g) AL GIORGIS after arriving at Chittagong, Bangladesh, on November 17, 2005.

1997 – CANADIAN MARINER ran aground in the St. Lawrence near Crossover Shoal after losing power. The vessel had to be lightered to be released and was repaired by Port Weller Dry Docks. The ship was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, in 2007.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Gerry O., Joe Barr, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.



Port Reports -  June 17

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Algolake arrived Sunday morning at the Upper Harbor to load ore. The visit was her first in over 10 seasons and follows visits this year by fleetmates Algowood, Algosteel and Peter R. Cresswell.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
St. Marys Challenger made its first visit of the season. It delivered a load of cement to the St. Marys Cement Terminal in Ferrysburg early Sunday morning.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Wednesday the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula unloaded at Lafarge throughout a day that was very foggy at times. The Alpena was also in port on Wednesday to load cement for Green Bay, Wis. The Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation arrived in port early Thursday morning. The research vessel Sturgeon was tied up in the river.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Defiance - Ashtabula departed the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City, late Saturday morning, after unloading there overnight. Inbound late Saturday night was the Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber, carrying a split cargo. The pair stopped first at the Bay Aggregates dock, then continued upriver to finish unloading at the Buena Vista dock in Saginaw. The Moore-Kuber were back outbound for the lake late Sunday morning.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Gusty SSW breezes and rain opened Father’s Day as the freighter Sam Laud loaded at Sandusky's NS coal dock for Detroit's Zug Island. A short time later, the Laud was joined at the dock by the Herbert C. Jackson, which began loading once the Laud slipped her lines and sailed. Less than five miles away, at the Lafarge aggregate dock, which faces the South Passage through the Erie Islands at Marblehead, the Calumet loaded Sunday. As the skies brightened and sunshine played over Lake Erie's south shore at mid-day, the Robert S. Pierson dropped anchor nearby, awaiting its turn at the dock.

Welland Canal – Bill Bird
Over the weekend the Dutch saltie Qamutik passed upbound through the Welland Canal bound for Sturgeon Bay, Wis. On deck was an unusual cargo – the unfinished carbon fibre hull of a yacht said to be worth $55 million when seaworthy. Built overseas and reportedly owned by a Russian billionaire, the yacht will be finished at Sturgeon Bay.


Brockville’s Tall Ships 1812 Tour makes a successful noise

6/17 - Brockville, Ont. – The Friday afternoon parade of tall ships could be considered a huge success. A capacity crowd of spectators lined the Brockville shore from Blockhouse Island over to Centeen Park as the fleet of tall ships sailed past up river under a clear sunny sky. As each vessel passed the park, it received a traditional welcome salute fired from a muzzle-loading six-pounder field gun manned by Prescott's Fort Wellington-based Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles. Each vessel answered in reply by firing shipboard muzzle-loaders of various calibers. The best and biggest blast was delivered by the Pride of Baltimore II's formidable bronze six-pound long gun, and the blast also created a huge ball of white smoke that rolled over the water away from the vessel. The best multi-shot carronade was delivered by the smallest vessel in the fleet, the traditional wooden “Pinky” schooner La Revenante. The entire event, led by the brigantine Fair Jeanne, lasted well over two hours.

Public interest in the tall ships was strong, and by mid Saturday afternoon event organizers had sold 12,000 boarding passports. The schooners Empire Sandy and Liana's Ransom were loaded to capacity for the afternoon sail outs and the dinner cruises were sold out. However Saturday’s sunny skies displayed some wispy cloud formations of herring bones and mares’ tails. At about seven Sunday morning, the skies clouded over and a couple of hours later the rains came.

Jens Juhl


Divers, archaeologists work to find out if wreck is La Salle’s Griffin

6/17 - On Lake Michigan Near Poverty Island, Mich. – Divers began opening an underwater pit Saturday at a remote site in northern Lake Michigan that they say could be the resting place of the Griffin, a ship commanded by the 17th century French explorer La Salle.

U.S. and French archaeologists examined sediment removed from a hole dug near a timber slab that expedition leader Steve Libert discovered wedged in the lakebed in 2001. They found a 15-inch slab of blackened wood that might have been a human-fashioned "cultural artifact," although more analysis will be required to determine whether it was part of a vessel, project manager Ken Vrana said.

Libert, who has spent about three decades searching for the Griffin (also known by its French equivalent Le Griffon), said he hoped that by Sunday, the excavation would reach what sonar readings indicate is a distinct shape beneath several feet of sediment. The object is over 40 feet long and about 18 feet wide dimensions similar to those the Griffin is believed to have had, Vrana said.

But he said it was too early to declare the site a shipwreck, let alone the object of their quest.

"Soon we will find out whether our assumption is correct or not," Vrana said aboard the Proud Maid, a 45-foot commercial fishing boat that ferried journalists and crew members to the search area near Poverty Island in Michigan waters north of the entrance to Green Bay. "We've got to get those test pits dug and hit (the) structure, because anything else is pure speculation."

After meeting with team members Saturday night, he told reporters that "within a couple of days we should know" whether a ship graveyard lies beneath the surface.

Although Libert and his associates have dived at the site numerous times and conducted several surveys with remote sensing equipment, they hadn't conducted archaeological excavations until receiving a permit from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources this month after years of legal squabbles. The agency claims ownership over all Great Lakes shipwrecks in the state's waters, although it acknowledges France would have rights to the Griffin because it was sailing under the authority of King Louis XIV.

Taking part in the dive Saturday were Michel L'Hour, director of the Department of Underwater Archaeological Research in the French Ministry of Culture and a noted authority on shipwrecks, and associate Olivia Hulot. The U.S. leaders said they hoped the visitors, with their knowledge of design and construction features of French ships from the 17th and 18th century, could help confirm whether the Griffin had been found.

"The Griffin is very important to the early history of America," L'Hour said in an interview before taking his first look at the site. "If this is the Griffin, it will teach us many things."

Rene Robert Cavelier de la Salle ordered the Griffin built near Niagara Falls in 1679 to support his quest for what was widely but erroneously believed to be a passageway to China and Japan. It was the first European-style vessel to traverse the upper Great Lakes, crossing Lake Erie and venturing northward to Lake Huron, then across Lake Michigan to the eastern shore of modern-day Wisconsin.

La Salle ordered the ship to return for more supplies and to deliver a load of furs, while he continued his journey by canoe. The Griffin was never heard from again. There are various theories about its fate, but none that have been proven. Libert, who spent years studying the writings of La Salle and a companion, believes it sank in a fierce storm only a few miles after setting sail.

Libert said Saturday the recovery of the slab of wood and prospects for reaching what may be the ship's hull shortly were promising signs.

"Right now I'm pretty excited, from what I know so far," he said, but added: "Scientific (proof) is 100 percent. It's not 99.9 percent."

Associated Press


Updates -  June 17

News Photo Gallery
We are still about a week behind on updates, please continue to send pictures and updates. We hope to get back on a daily schedule.


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.

1909 – The iron hulled passenger and freight steamer CAMPANA had been cut in two to leave the Great Lakes in 1895, but the hull broke in 1909 where the sections had been rejoined and sank in the St. Lawrence at Point St. Michael a few miles below Quebec City.

1918 – JAY GOULD was loaded with coal and towing the barge COMMODORE when it began leaking and then sank eight miles southeast of Southeast Shoal, Lake Erie. The hull was later dynamited as a hazard to navigation. The barge was overwhelmed by the seas and rolled in the trough for about two hours before it also sank. All on board both ships were saved.

1941 – The Lake Ontario passenger steamer KINGSTON ran aground on a shoal in the St. Lawrence 15 miles SW of Ogdensburg, NY after losing her way in thick fog. The passengers were transferred to RAPIDS PRINCE and the ship was released with the aid of pontoons and repaired at Kingston.

1998 – MOUNTAIN BLOSSOM was downbound in the Seaway when it struck the approach wall at the Eisenhower Lock, opening a crack in the hull that allowed about 50 gallons of xylene to escape. The immediate area was evacuated but the problem was quickly cleaned up. The ship was a regular Great Lakes trader from 1986 to 2007 and was scrapped at Xinhui, China, after arriving on January 10, 2010.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Port Reports -  June 16

Ashtabula, Ohio - Duff Rawlings
On Saturday, the Hon. James L. Oberstar was loading coal, Capt Henry Jackman was unloading on west side of the Pinney Dock and the Federal St. Laurent was being unloaded in Pinney Dock slip. The tug John Francis is conducting dredging operations from upriver doing lake dumping.

Rochester, NY - Tom Brewer
After two seasons, the Genesee River has been dredged enough so the Stephen B. Roman could make it up the river to the Essroc dock with a load of bulk cement. She arrived Saturday afternoon.


Sherwin propeller arrives at Toledo museum

6/16 - Toledo, Ohio – The National Museum of the Great Lakes is taking shape on the banks of the Maumee River in Toledo, Ohio. The 20+ ton, 23-foot (blade to blade) John Sherwin cast propeller made its way back to its home port on Saturday, June 15, to become a hallmark artifact for Toledo’s newest cultural attraction.

The propeller, cast as one piece in 1958 by American Propeller, which would later become part of the American Ship Building empire, was, at the time of its casting, the largest single piece propeller in the world. It will soon be installed on the museum property.

The propeller will become just one of dozens of artifacts that make up the Toledo Trail, a special tribute throughout the new museum that will highlight the tremendous contributions local individuals and corporations have made to the shipping and trading industry on the Great Lakes.

The propeller and its transport from Sturgeon Bay, Michigan, is a gift from Interlake Steamship Company.

The National Museum of the Great Lakes, owned and operated by the Great Lakes Historical Society, is comprised of three components: an interactive and artifact-based historical museum, a 3.5 acre maritime themed park and the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship. The museum experience is slated to open in the spring of 2014. The National Museum of the Great Lakes is a $12,000,000 project that, when completed, will be the most significant investment in Great Lakes history ever.


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 16

On 16 June 1891, Alexander McDougall himself took his brand-new whaleback steamer JOSEPH L. COLBY (steel propeller whaleback freighter, 265 foot, 1,245 gross tons, built in 1890 at West 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 McDougall 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 smokestack 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 as b.) CANADIAN LEADER and scrapped in 2012.

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.


Port Reports -  June 15

Milwaukee, Wis. - Chris Gaziano
The saltie Drawsko made her way in just after sunrise Friday morning. It was finished unloading and heading out by the early evening. St. Marys Challenger also departed early in the afternoon.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula made their first ever visit to the Saginaw River on Friday, calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. The pair were unloading there during the evening and were expected to be outbound early Saturday morning.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Lee A. Tregurtha loaded Friday at the Norfolk Southern coal dock for Severstal’s Rouge River steel mill. Algowood was astern of the Detroit bound freighter at the Sandusky dock. The Canadian vessel was to load for a north-of-the-border port. While the NS dock crew was busy, so too was the Lafarge Corp.’s aggregate dock crew at Marblehead. Calumet loaded following her arrival early Friday morning and was downbound on Lake Erie by mid-afternoon. She was quickly replaced at the stone dock by her Lower Lakes’ fleetmate, tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber. The tug and barge unit was listing Ashtabula as its next port of call.


USCG Hollyhock gets a new commander

6/15 - Port Huron, Mich. – Waves from a passing freighter in the St. Clair River lightly rocked the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock on Friday as a new commander took over the ship.

“The crew has been amazing, the community has been amazing,” said Cmdr. Tim Brown, after a ceremony relieving him of command. “The Blue Water Area is a beautiful place to live.”

Lt. Cmdr. Justin Kimura took over command from Brown during a ceremony attended by Port Huron officials, Coast Guard members and dozens of friends and family of the commanders.

Kimura previously was assigned as the executive assistant to the Director of Law Enforcement, Maritime Security and Defense Operations Policy at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington D.C.

Kimura was born in Hawaii, but the assignment to Port Huron is a bit of a homecoming. His wife, Sharon, is from Grand Rapids.

Kimura’s posting on the Hollyhock won’t be his first on freshwater. He had served as the executive officer of the USCGC Mackinaw in Cheboygan for two years. Relatives came from across the country to witness the change of command. Kimura’s mother, Susan, came from Hilo, Hawaii, bringing flower leis for her son and Brown.

Jean Kimura, the new commander’s aunt, traveled to Port Huron from Oregon for the ceremony. She said the family was excited for his new assignment and impressed with the size of Port Huron. “It’s bigger than we thought and it’s very windy,” she said.

The day was bittersweet for Brown, who has served as commander of the Hollyhock since June 2010.

The U.S. Coast Guard rotates assignments depending on the position. The Hollyhock commander is assigned to the ship for three-year stints. Brown has been assigned to become the Coast Guard Academy planning officer in New London, Conn.

The $29 million, 225-foot cutter is responsible for tending buoys and other Coast Guard missions. The ship also is capable of breaking ice. The ship was launched in 2003.

Brown took time to thank his family, the crew and community for their support during his command.

“This is a crew that overcomes adversity and finds solutions where there appear to be none,” he said. “Those are dedicated American heroes that I serve with.”

Port Huron Times Herald


Contract awarded to dredge three west Michigan harbors

6/15 - Detroit, Mich. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, has awarded a $454,400 contract to MCM Marine Inc., of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., for dredging three southwest Michigan harbors: New Buffalo, Saugatuck and South Haven.

“We are pleased to award this contract, which will keep these Harbors of Refuge functional for recreational boaters and anglers, who are important to the economic vitality of communities and small businesses in southwest Michigan,” said Lt. Col. Robert Ells, district engineer. “The dredging will also aid the work of the U.S. Coast Guard, which has a station in South Haven.”

About 11,500 cubic yards of dredged material will be removed from New Buffalo Harbor; 22,000 cubic yards from Saugatuck Harbor; and 28,000 cubic yards from South Haven Harbor. At each of the harbors, dredged materials will be placed near the shoreline for beach nourishment.

Dredging in New Buffalo Harbor will begin in mid-June, and dredging in Saugatuck and South Haven is expected to begin in mid-July.

In late October 2012, sustained high winds out of the northwest caused by Hurricane Sandy produced heavy wave action that mobilized sand to form shoals at the entrances to these Lake Michigan harbors. The dredging to be performed under this contract will address the shoaling caused by Hurricane Sandy. This contract was awarded under the Corps’ Multiple Award Task Order Contract, MATOC, which the Detroit District established with 10 companies capable of dredging in the Great Lakes. The MATOC is designed to provide greater flexibility and expedite the bid solicitation-award process for dredging in Great Lakes commercial shipping channels and harbors.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, maintains a navigation system of 91 harbors and four connecting channels, including the channels joining lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie.

To see the most recent condition surveys for these three harbors, visit


Updates -  June 15

Saltie Gallery - New pictures - Ayane, Federal Kivalina, Federal Oshima, and Federal St Laurent


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 15

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

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

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

1933 – BRENTWOOD ran aground in the St. Marys River and was released on June 19 with about $60,000 in damage. The CSL vessel soon tied up at Midland and was scrapped there in 1937.

1943 – WILLIAM BREWSTER was on her maiden voyage when she collided with the W.D. CALVERLEY JR. and sank on her side in the St. Clair River off Algonac. The ship was not refloated until November and, after repairs, finally left the lakes in June 1944. It operated on saltwater routes until scrapping at Calcutta, India, as e) RAY MAYABUNDAR in 1967.

1962 – NYON, a Seaway visitor in 1961 and 1962, sank in the English Channel, 5 miles south of Beachy Head, after a collision in heavy fog with the Indian freighter JALAZAD. The latter came to the Great Lakes in 1969 and was eventually scuttled off Tema, Ghana, as b) JYOTI VINOD in September 1983.

1965 – BREIM, a Great Lakes visitor from Norway, got stuck in the mud below the Snell Lock at Massena, NY was released the next day after some cargo was lightered. The ship arrived at Visakhapatnam, India, for scrapping as c) CHRISTINA C. on October 24, 1983.

1988 – ALGOWEST and COUDRES D'ILE collided in fog on the St. Lawrence and the small coastal freighter sank with the loss of one life. The former now sails for Algoma as PETER R. CRESSWELL.

2001 – Fire broke out in the engine room of the Cypriot freighter FELIX 60 miles off Las Palmas, Canary Islands and the 21-member crew was removed. The ship first came to the Great Lakes as a) BEGONIA in 1978 and returned as b) TIMUR SWALLOW in 1983 and c) JENNIFER JANE in 1985. The burning vessel was anchored and the fire extinguished June 16. A total loss, the ship arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, under tow as f) ELI on December 1, 2001, and was broken up.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


St. Lawrence Seaway cargo shipments see a slow start to the season

6/14 - Washington, D.C. – The St. Lawrence Seaway reported that year-to-date total cargo shipments for the period March 22 to May 31 were 8.1 million metric tons, down 12 percent over the same period in 2012.

“U.S. grain tonnage shipped through Seaway locks more than doubled (132 percent) compared to last year’s figures through May 31, and there was a solid increase (7 percent) in liquid bulk products totaling almost a million metric tons. These two commodities are the bright spots in the navigation season so far,” said Rebecca Spruill, Director of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation’s Office of Trade Development.

Iron ore and coal, traditionally top producers for Seaway shipments, showed downturns of 17 percent and 7 percent respectively. Coal shipments in the Great Lakes have been dropping due to electric utility plants converting to natural gas operations. However, U.S. ports have seen an increase of exports of low sulfur coal to Europe.

General cargo was down 19 percent to 389,000 metric tons. In the liquid bulk category, petroleum products showed a 24 percent year-to-date increase to 642,000 metric tons. The dry bulk category was down 27 percent to 1.7 million metric tons. However, scrap metal and pig iron posted upturns of 69 percent and 16 percent respectively.

While the season has had a rather slow start, U.S. ports are taking the long view.

“We’re excited to dive deeper into the 2013 shipping season to see which of our many initiatives to pursue new cargo at the Port will come to fruition,” said Joe Cappel, Director of Cargo Development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. “Already we are experiencing increased international grain shipments and are fielding many inquiries for project cargo and break bulk shipments.”

“We have also been targeting cargos related to the energy sector and feel there is a real opportunity for our terminals to participate in the supply chains for domestic oil and gas production. At the same time, we’re busy overseeing the construction activity at our new 180-acre Ironville dock terminal and can’t wait to welcome our first vessel to the facility this fall. This dock and the adjacent area present a perfect opportunity for a large scale industrial user dependent on marine transportation to establish a new operation.”

“Our tonnage is down slightly from last year’s fast start, but we are 15 percent ahead of our previous five-year average,” said Rick Heimann, port director for the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. “We have seen significant increases in bulk commodities and project cargoes, and had the added bonus of being able to handle the world’s largest crawler crane for the second time in two years as it was shipped back to Germany from the BP Refinery Expansion in Whiting, Ind. Looking ahead, we expect to see an increase in barge traffic coming up through the inland water system in June but the outlook for Seaway shipments is more uncertain at this point.”

Through May, the Port of Indiana handled 30-times more project cargo than 2012 YTD as well as significant increases in shipments of fertilizer (+37%), soybeans (+15%) and various dry bulk cargoes, including slag shipments which were up nearly five times more than the previous year’s five-month total.


Grain trade bright spot in slow start to Seaway shipping season

6/14 - Ottawa, Ont. – Grain shipments through the St. Lawrence Seaway started to rebound in May and were a reason for optimism after a slow start for the shipping season.

According to the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, total cargo shipments on the waterway were just over 8 million tonnes from March 22 until May 31, down 11.68 per cent compared to the same period last year. An icy spring slowed trade of stone and other construction materials through system channels like St. Marys River, which had a knock-on effect on the Seaway, while iron ore and coal shipments decreased due to lower steel production.

Total grain shipments, however, began to rebound in May bringing the year-to-date shipments to 1.8 million tonnes, up 7.67 per cent over the same period in 2012.

“After a slow start, Canadian grain shipments started trending in a more positive direction in May and American grain has returned to its normal levels after a disappointing 2012. We are seeing demand from North Africa markets for both products,” said Bruce Hodgson, market development director for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation. “Both countries had delayed plantings this year, so we are optimistic that there will be a strong surge towards the end of the year when the new crops are in the system.”

Hodgson added that recent deals between agri-businesses over grain assets at the Port of Thunder Bay showed that the major players still view the Great Lakes-Seaway System as a valued route to ship their products to the Atlantic Ocean and to overseas markets.

According to Tim Heney, CEO of the Thunder Bay Port Authority, “The Glencore merger has closed and the former Viterra C elevator has been acquired by Richardson effectively doubling their capacity in the port. Parrish & Heimbecker has entered into a joint venture with Cargill at the port and ADM has purchased Canada Malting. We remain confident that Thunder Bay and the Seaway will remain a competitive route for grain shipments for many years to come.”

Separately, the Port of Windsor has had a strong start to its season with total shipments of 1.6 million tonnes from March 22 until May 31, up 28 per cent compared to last year. Increased shipments of construction aggregates, liquid asphalt and canola all contributed to the rise.

“Activity at the Port of Windsor has been brisk with stone, sand and other construction aggregates from Ohio flowing across Lake Erie for the major infrastructure projects underway in the region, particularly the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway,” said David Cree, CEO of the Windsor Port Authority. “We are also very encouraged by the volume of liquid asphalt and canola, which have both recorded strong starts to the season. Liquid asphalt is shipped through the recently enlarged Sterling Fuels Marine terminal and reflects the increased demand generated by local road construction.”


Port Reports -  June 14

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Herbert C. Jackson loaded ore at the Upper Harbor Thursday evening after unloading a split cargo of stone to the Upper and Lower Harbors during the day.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Wendell Wilke
Bay Shipbuilding was busy on Thursday. Both the new research vessel Sikuliao (built at Fincanteri's sister yard in Marinette and to be based in Alaska) and the St. Marys Cement barge St. Marys Conquest were assisted into drydock. Still in the forward end of the drydock is the Tidewater Marine hull Bay Shipbuilding 772 under construction. Also in the yard is the Tidewater’s hull 771, at the fitout wall. The name Dean Edward Taylor is evident on the hull. Also dockside is the tug Prentiss Brown, which mates up with the St. Marys Conquest. The tug Barbara Andrie remains in the small graving dock.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
American Mariner was at the traffic buoy, inbound for Lackawanna, at 11:30 a.m. Thursday.


Wind causes captain to steer Badger into PM Lake

6/14 - Ludington, Mich. – The actions of a skilled captain and crew prevented what could have been a serious situation for the S.S. Badger Thursday. As the Badger was leaving dock, a wind gust caused it to go off course. Instead of taking the ship on its usual course through the harbor channel, Capt. Jeff Curtiss compensated by heading south into Pere Marquette Lake and then turning the ship around. Within 15 minutes it was underway back through the channel, at about 11 a.m.

This morning’s winds were reported at 17 mph out of the north. As the Badger left the channel, the ship could be seen listing slightly to port.

Lake Michigan Carferry spokeswoman Terri Brown said the Badger has been running slightly behind schedule due to some mechanical problems it encountered in Manitowoc early Thursday morning.

“The crew was able to get the problem fixed within a couple hours,” she said, “but it has caused a slight delay. We expect to make up for the delays in the next few sailings.” Instead of its usual departure time of 9 a.m., the Badger left at 10:45 a.m. Thursday.

Brown said ticket sales for this season have increased compared recent previous years. The Badger also has seen an increase in commercial traffic, especially in the transport of wind turbine parts.

Mason County Press


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.

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.

1954 – W.F. WHITE crushed the tug OHIO against a pier in Buffalo and the latter was a total loss. The tug was refloated and scrapped at Cleveland in 1955.

1977 – ALMAR came to the Great Lakes under Greek registry in 1964. It caught fire in the engine room as c) IJESHA LION at Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and sustained major damage. The hull was abandoned by the owners, towed out to sea and scuttled in 1978

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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

St. Marys River
The St. Marys River was closed to navigation from about 1 a.m. Wednesday until about 10 a.m. due to heavy fog. Once it cleared, it was a busy day at the locks, with the Kaye E. Barker, American Courage, Herbert C. Jackson and Emilie waiting at anchor in the river and the Philip R. Clarke, American Spirit, Burns Harbor and American Century headed towards the river. Lee A. Tregurtha and Joseph L. Block were tied at the lower Poe Lock pier for the duration.

Cedarville and Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
At Cedarville, Herbert C. Jackson loaded and departed in the morning on Tuesday, followed by Michipicoten, which was due Tuesday morning. Philip R. Clarke was also expected at Cedarville in the evening Tuesday. Two vessels were due in on Wednesday, with Joseph H. Thompson and Wilfred Sykes scheduled for evening arrivals. Lewis J. Kuber is scheduled to arrive on Friday in the early morning and Mississagi is also due in on Friday in the evening.

At Port Inland, Herbert C. Jackson was expected to arrive and dock during the mid-afternoon on Tuesday, fog permitting. Following the Jackson, the barge Ashtabula and tug Defiance were expected to arrive on Tuesday in the late evening. The Lakes Contender is due on Saturday morning and the Ashtabula is due back on Saturday during the morning. The Sykes rounds out the Port Inland lineup, arriving back on Sunday during the late afternoon.

Stoneport and Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Lewis J. Kuber loaded at Stoneport on Wednesday and was expected to depart around noon. Following the Lewis J. Kuber, Great Republic was also expected to arrive at Stoneport on Wednesday in the late afternoon. Due on Thursday is the Manitowoc in the early morning, followed by the Pathfinder also on Thursday in the early afternoon. Expected on Friday is the Kaye E. Barker at around 6 p.m. to load. There are no vessels scheduled for Saturday so far.

At Calcite, the next two vessels scheduled to arrive will be Arthur M. Anderson and Joseph H. Thompson. Anderson is due on Saturday in the early morning for the South Dock to load and Joseph H. Thompson is expected on Sunday in the morning at the North Dock to load.

Sarnia, Ont. - Barry Hiscocks, George Lee
The former Massport Boston fireboat Howard W. Fitzpatrick was moored on the east wall at the Government Dock in Sarnia Tuesday morning, carrying her last red and white livery and Boston as her home port, although any other markings to show her heritage as a fire boat had been painted over. Reports indicate the 1972-built vessel has been purchased by Willy's Contracting Co. of Southampton, Ont., which intends to use it as a work platform for construction jobs.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
John D. Leitch was expected to arrive at the CSX Coal Dock and load on Wednesday in the late evening. Following the Leitch will be the American Mariner on Friday during the early afternoon. Both Algoma Progress and Saginaw are due in on Thursday, June 20, Algoma Progress in the late afternoon and the Saginaw in the evening. Lakes Contender and Algosoo are both due in on Saturday, June 22. The Saginaw is due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock with limestone on Friday during the early morning. At the Torco Dock, incoming vessels expected with iron ore cargoes include the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on Thursday during the early morning, Atlantic Erie due on Friday in the afternoon and Mesabi Miner, making her second visit of the season, in the late evening. The H. Lee White is due on Saturday at about 6 p.m., and rounding out the schedule is the Sam Laud for Tuesday, June 18.


Book, songs launch commemorations for Great Storm of 1913’s 100th year anniversary

6/13 - Goderich, Ont. – The GLS1913 Planning Committee has announced the official book launch for the commemorative book “A Centennial Tribute to the Great Lakes Storm: 1913” by Paul Carroll. This volume is a testimonial to mariners and ships lost in the White Hurricane of November 1913. The book, published by the Great Lakes Storm of 1913 Remembrance Committee, includes a comprehensive, illustrated history of the storm, the most devastating marine tragedy in the modern history of the Great Lakes. More than 40 vessels affected by this storm are reviewed in detail. The book includes more than 150 images, including color plates, maps and tables.

The 181-page book has been produced with financial assistance from the County of Huron Heritage Fund. Proceeds from book sales will support the creation of a permanent memorial for the centenary remembrance of the Great Storm, 1913. The memorial will be placed in the Cobourg Street parkette, overlooking the harbor at the site of the Ontario Historic Sites Board plaque for the Great Storm.

At the same time, a number of original songs, composed by Capt. David MacAdam will be introduced. He has written these songs as his personal tribute to the lost souls and ships in the Great Storm. Proceeds from the sale of CDs will support the centennial remembrance undertakings of the committee. An official launch for the full CD will be scheduled at a later date.

The event will be hosted by the Huron County Museum, 110 North St., Goderich, on Friday, June 28, with a Meet and Greet at 7 p.m., followed by remarks from officials at 7:45 p.m. and the program presentation at 8 p.m. The book launch and preview of the musical ballads will be presented in a multi-media format. Admission is free – refreshments will be available. Guests will be able to visit the marine gallery and the museum will be open.


First glimpse of Marquette shipwreck Henry B. Smith

6/13 - Marquette, Mich. – It's been almost 100 years since the freighter Henry B. Smith sank in Lake Superior. Now a team of shipwreck hunters from Wisconsin and Minnesota believe they have found her not too far from Marquette.

Thirty miles north of Marquette and 500 feet under Lake Superior lies what is believed to be the Henry B. Smith. News of the discovery has excited people, including 80-year-old Joan Hansen, whose grandfather was the chief engineer of the carrier.

"I know if my dad were alive, he'd have every TV he could find on," said Joan Hansen.

The Henry B. Smith, loaded with ore, headed to Cleveland and sailed into a massive storm on November 9, 1913. The storm produced 30-foot waves and 70-mile-per-hour winds, sinking or grounding 17 ships and claiming the lives of 250 sailors.

Only one body was recovered after the Smith sank. "My grandmother's brother identified him by his wedding ring, which was engraved with his name," Hansen explained.

After 20 minutes of looking this Memorial Day weekend, searchers discovered wreckage in the area where the Smith went down.

"(It’s) more or less upright, meaning it's not quite level, but the pilot house is up, the keel is down. It seems to be pointing north as it would be heading to the Keweenaw for shelter," explained Daniel Fountain, shipwreck hunter.

However, the question remains: How did she sink? Historians hope with more research, the damage could lead to a concrete answer.

"Damage to the mid-ship that could lead you to believe that perhaps she broke in two at the surface. Perhaps she was pushed into a trough in the waves and simply rolled over and sank," said Frederick Stonehouse, shipwreck historian.

There are plans to continue exploring the ship and analyzing the video over the summer.

Upper Michigan’s Source


Wind tower manufacturer sending regular shipments aboard Badger

6/13 - Ludington, Mich. – Vacationers taking the SS Badger across Lake Michigan this summer will be accompanied by oversize trailers carrying massive pieces of steel. The ship is carrying wind towers produced in Wisconsin and headed to wind farms under construction in Michigan.

The Badger is carrying the huge towers under an arrangement that extended its shipping season last year.

This year, after operators of the Badger reached an agreement over coal ash dumping into the lake, the sailing season resumed two weeks earlier than usual, in early May, to accommodate shipment of the towers, manufactured by Broadwind Energy in Manitowoc.

The Badger was allowed to keep sailing after the federal Environmental Protection Agency reached an agreement, filed in federal court in Michigan, under which the ship will stop dumping coal ash into Lake Michigan after next year.

Carrying oversize freight isn't new for the Badger, says spokeswoman Terri Brown."The S.S. Badger is 410 feet long and was built to carry 30 railway cars," she said. nThe ship carried more than 500 tower sections from Broadwind last year.

The Broadwind factory is busy because of orders received last year as well as the decision in Congress for an extension of the wind energy tax credit and on tariffs the U.S. government imposed on wind towers produced in China and Vietnam.

Following that move, in the company's fiscal first quarter, "our tower orders were the highest we've seen since 2009," Broadwind chief executive Peter Duprey said during an investor conference call last month. Through early May, the company had received nearly $130 million in tower orders.

As a result, the company has enough business to keep its Manitowoc and Texas wind tower factories busy through the end of 2013 and into 2014, he said.

Broadwind expects to produce 500 wind towers in 2014, which would put both factories at full capacity. "We see 2014 being a record year in our tower business, and we are very focused on expanding our production capacity in our existing footprint through some of our continuous improvement initiatives," he said.

Broadwind makes towers that rise 80 to 100 meters, or at least 262 feet. Each one consists of three to five sections.

And shipping them is a big job. Trailers hauling the towers onto the Badger in Manitowoc use special crews to load and unload the sections. The trailers themselves are so long that the back end of each has its own motor and steering system.

By using the ferry, wind project developers avoid having to haul the towers through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and across the Mackinac Bridge. Hundreds of shipments of wind components are expected to travel aboard the Badger this year.

In 2012, the ferry said its wind shipments totaled 25,000 tons and ended up saving wind project developers 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel, or roughly $120,000 in fuel costs.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Great Lakes ships forced to sail lighter through shallow waters

6/13 - Lakers continue to steam toward Cleveland laden with iron ore and limestone, but a practiced eye might notice the mighty ships riding a bit higher than normal on the horizon.

With water levels on the Great Lakes at record lows, captains are taking on less cargo and running light, trying to make sure they don't run aground.

Anxious shippers, meanwhile, are tallying the losses in tons and dollars, fearful that a $34 billion Great Lakes maritime trade is in trouble.

"We have to keep going because our customers rely on us," said Mark Barker, president of Cleveland-based Interlake Steamship Company, which supplies steel mills and power plants throughout the Great Lakes region. "At some point, you run out of water. At what point do you stop sailing?"

He worries that point is approaching.

Due to recent dry summers and the mild winter of 2011-2012, lake levels are at some of their lowest levels in known history. The conditions are most extreme in the northern lakes, especially Michigan and Huron, but the freshwater flows south and precious little of it has been reaching Lake Erie.

Water levels on the shallowest of the Great Lakes dropped two feet from January 2012 to January 2013. And while lakefront property owners may be enjoying larger beaches, the people who rely upon the lakes for commerce are seeing too much new land.

The new shallows result from a one-two punch: a long-term drought and an unprecedented 2012. A lake level that typically fluctuates with the seasons saw its water level fall every month for 12 straight months last year.

"That never happened before, going back to 1918, when record-keeping began,” said Keith Kompoltowicz, the chief of watershed hydrology at the Detroit office of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Spring rains have helped replenish Erie but the lake is expected to remain six to eight inches below average levels for at least another six months, Kompoltowicz said.

More concerning are water levels on the upper lakes, which reached their lowest levels on record in January. The Great Lakes comprise one big nautical highway, and shallow harbors on Lake Superior or Lake Michigan affect shipping to Lorain, Cleveland, Ashtabula and beyond.

Barker, whose family has run the steamship company for 100 years, said his nine ships are forced to load less ore at docks on the Superior iron ranges because of shallow harbors and channels they must traverse en route to Lake Erie customers.

With vessels that stretch up to 1,000 feet in length, shipping is a game of inches.

Barker said his lakers typically enjoy a 28- to 29-foot draft. The draft is how deep a ship is submerged in water. This spring, his ships have been forced to draft at about 25 feet to slip into harbors without scraping bottom. He must shed 250 tons of cargo for every lost inch of draft.

"If you do the math, that's 6,000 tons per trip," he said. "That's 300,000 tons over the course of a season. That's 20 percent of my cargo carrying capacity."

He's not the only one wasting space and losing money. "Any ship coming into the Cleveland Bulk Terminal is lighter than it could be," he noted.

Glen Nekvasil, vice president of the Rocky River-based Lake Carrier's Association, which represents the 57-ship U.S. fleet on the Great Lakes, said the economic cost of the lost cargo ripples from shipper to customer to consumer.

"Our largest ships are losing 10,000 tons of cargo each trip," he said. "This is very, very much a crisis."

It's not a crisis that's easily addressed. Shippers blame their troubles on inadequate dredging of shipping channels by the Army Corps of Engineers. But the Corps is restricted in what it can do by Congressional mandates and a budget that puts a priority on servicing the busiest harbors, like Cleveland's.

"We typically don't have enough money to dredge all the harbors we'd like," said Mike Asquith, the dredging program manager for the Corps' Buffalo office.

Relief may come from the Water Resources Development Act, which would provide more funding for dredging on the Great Lakes. It recently passed the U.S. Senate and is under consideration in the House.

Meanwhile, Mother Nature has a big role to play. The "biggest drivers" of water levels on the lakes are rain, evaporation and runoff, Kompoltowicz said. A mild winter means little snowmelt in the watershed to run off into lakes and streams.

Add a dry summer and shippers, like farmers, are praying for rain.

Cleveland Plain Dealer


Buoy camera catches waves and sunsets on Lake Michigan

6/13 - Holland, Mich. – Want to catch a sunset in Lake Michigan with no land in sight? Or feel what it’s like to bob in the waves during a storm?

A weather buoy that got its start thanks to Holland area businesses and groups is now broadcasting video at regular intervals three miles offshore of Port Sheldon in about 85 feet of water.

“This webcam is the first of its kind in the Great Lakes and is capable of transmitting high-resolution images and video clips over the Internet on a regular basis,” said Ed Verhamme, project engineer of LimnoTech, an Ann Arbor environmental engineering company.

Video clips and images are updated every two hours between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.

Images are available at

For a sample, catch a sunset on May 31:

The camera is experimental. There is one in Lake Michigan and another in Lake Erie, Verhamme said. The images will be used by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters to verify current conditions and to estimate visibility on the water.

The buoy was first put in the water last year two miles off Tunnel Park. It sends back wind speed and direction, air temperature, relative humidity, pressure, wave height and period and surface water temperature. The program was started by the Holland Board of Public Works, Holland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Louis Padnos Iron and Metal and LimnoTech. Supporters also included the Holland Area Sailing Council, Holland Steelheaders, the Community Foundation of the Holland Zeeland Area, Anchorage Marina and the Surfrider Foundation of Lake Michigan.

This year, charter boat groups from Holland and Grand Haven and the Grand Haven Steelheaders paid for a device that measures temperature of the lake from the surface to the bottom, Verhamme added.

A $100,000 grant from the Great Lakes Observing System is funding a large part of the purchase, deployment, maintenance and retrieval of the buoy for the next three years, though supporters are needed for the camera.

“We’re trying to see if it’s useful and bring it back next year,” Verhamme said.

The buoy was put in Lake Michigan on May 22 with the help from NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab in Muskegon. It’s halfway between the Grand Haven and Holland areas, two of the busiest boating and beach communities on the Great Lakes, Verhamme said.

The Holland Sentinel


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 gallstones.

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.

1905 – The wooden steamer YAKIMA had stranded in Lake St. Clair on June 10, 1905, but caught fire and burned on this date while waiting to be salvaged. The remains were later towed into Lake Huron and scuttled.

1906 – The newly-built J. PIERPONT MORGAN carried a record 13, 294 tons of iron ore out of Escanaba for Chicago.

1944 – CANADIAN OTTER was built at Welland in 1920 but, in 1944, was sailing as f) FUKOKU MARU as a Japanese army cargo ship. It was sunk by aircraft from U.S.S. ESSEX while in a convoy from Philippines to Japan in the overnight hours of June 13-14, 1944.

1959 – A fire in the crew quarters of the FEDERAL PIONEER, docked at Section 51 in Montreal, was quickly controlled with only minor damage and sailing was delayed by three hours. The ship was a frequent Seaway trader for Federal Commerce and Navigation, now known as FedNav, and arrived at Hsinkiang, China, for scrapping on January 21, 1971.

1978 – Seven men were lost aboard the ANCO DUKE while cleaning tanks out in the Pacific. They were likely overcome by fumes. The ship later came to the Great Lakes as c) LAKE ANETTE in 1980, as d) SATU MAR in 1984 and as e) TOVE COB in 1987. It was scrapped in Bangladesh in 1993.

1978 – The bulk carrier ARCTIC hit the Cherry Street Bridge at Toledo on its first trip and had to return to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs.

1980 – TROYAN first came through the Seaway in 1972. The ship began leaking in heavy weather as c) SUNRISE and foundered June 13, 1980, in the outer anchorage at Bombay, India, while enroute from Japan to Damman, Saudi Arabia, with bagged cement.

2004 – The SINGAPORE STAR first came to the Great Lakes in 1982. It caught fire in the accommodation area while on the Black Sea as c) BARBADOS OKTAY on June 13, 2004. The ship was carrying scrap steel from Novorossiysk, Russia, to Eregli, Turkey. The blaze was put out with tug assistance but the ship was sold for scrap and arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, to be broken up on July 19, 2004.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Lakes Coal Trade Down 11.3 Percent in May

6/12 - Cleveland, Ohio - Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes totaled 2.6 million tons in May, a decrease of 11.3 percent compared to a year ago.

Shipments from Lake Superior ports totaled 1.6 million tons, just slightly below the level of a year ago. Included in that total were 250,000 tons loaded in Superior, Wisconsin, and transshipped to Quebec City for loading into oceangoing ships. Exports to Europe from Superior total 536,000 tons through May.

Loadings in Chicago totaled 300,000 tons, a decrease of approximately 75,000 tons compared to a year ago.

Shipments from Lake Erie ports totaled 650,000 tons, a decrease of 25 percent compared to a year ago.

Year-to-date the Lakes coal trade stands at 5.4 million tons, a decrease of 13.5 percent compared to a year ago.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  June 12

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Interlake fleet mates Kaye E. Barker, Lee A. Tregurtha and Hon. James L. Oberstar loaded ore at the Upper Harbor on a foggy Tuesday. Tregurtha's load was her first of the season from the LS&I dock.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tug Demolen and crane barge Veler were loading stone at the Bay City Wirt Stone dock during the afternoon Tuesday. Once loaded, the pair turned off the dock and transited back down the river to the area of the Essexville turning basin. It is not known what work they were performing at this time.

Windsor, Ont.
Tecumseh departed temporary layup on June 10 and headed upbound, presumably to load grain at a Lake Superior port.

Toronto, Ont.
The tugs Molly M. 1 and Ecosse towed the Algoma Central steamer Algoma Quebecois from Hamilton to Toronto on Tuesday and docked her at Berth 35. It is not immediately known why she was towed to Toronto. The 1963-built vessel has not sailed this year, and her future as an active vessel is in doubt.


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.

1897 – I.W. NICHOLAS (ii) stranded at Point Aux Pins in fog and was released two days later. The ship needed drydocking for repairs.

1904 – The sidewheel passenger ship CANADA sank on her side off Sorel after a collision with the CAPE BRETON. Five of the 110 on board perished. The ship was refloated and rebuilt at Sorel in 1905 as ST. IRENEE which later became part of the C.S.L. Fleet.

1919 – GERMAN was cut in two to leave the Great Lakes in 1918 and renamed b) YANKEE. It sank after a collision with the Italian steamer ARGENTIA off Fire Island, NY, while enroute from Norfolk, VA to Boston MA with coal. The hull has been found and is in two pieces on the ocean floor.

1977 – The VERA CRUZ first came to the Great Lakes in 1964 as a 10-year old Liberian flag freighter. It foundered in the Arabian Sea as c) BUKOM ISLAND on June 12, 1974, during a cyclone. The ship was enroute from Umm Said, Qatar, to Singapore with a cargo of bagged fertilizer and seven lives were lost.

1978 – YELLOWSTONE had been built as the C-4 troop carrier MARINE PERCH in 1944. After being laid up in the Reserve Fleet, it was rebuilt as a bulk carrier and renamed at Tampa in 1965. The ship was downbound in the Seaway with grain from Duluth to North Africa in May 1978 and sank after a collision in fog with the IBN BATOUTA on June 12, 1978. YELLOWSTONE was taken in tow but went down June 13 about 14 miles south of Gibraltar. Five lives were lost.

1993 – The deep-sea tug VORTICE was abandoned after fire broke out near the Canary Islands, while on a voyage from Bari, Italy, to Veracruz, Mexico. The vessel was laid up, unrepaired, and then towed to Canada for McKeil Marine. It received partial repairs but was sold and left the lakes for additional work. It returned inland as e) NORFOLK in 2005 and now serves Lafarge North America Inc. as f) SAMUEL DE CHAMPLAIN.

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


Lakes stone trade up 5.8 percent in May

6/11 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3.5 million tons in May, an increase of 5.8 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments were also in line with Mays total in recent years.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 3 million tons, an increase of 11.5 percent compared to a year ago. However, loadings at Canadian quarries dipped by nearly 20 percent 510,000 tons.

Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 5.7 million tons, a decrease of 6.9 percent compared to a year ago, and 7.8 percent below the average for the January-May timeframe in recent years.


Port Reports -  June 11

Cedarville & Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
At Cedarville the barge Lewis J. Kuber and tug Olive L. Moore loaded and departed on Sunday. The Saginaw was expected to arrive at Cedarville in the early morning on Monday along with her Lower Lakes fleetmate Michipicoten in the late evening. Rounding out the Cedarville lineup is the Philip R. Clarke due in on Tuesday in the early afternoon.

At Port Inland, the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted was due in on Monday in the morning. Wilfred Sykes is expected to arrive on Tuesday in the early morning. Rounding out the lineup is a visit by the barge Ashtabula and tug Defiance. They are expected to arrive on Wednesday in the early morning.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
The barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann was expected to arrive and load at Stoneport on Monday at around 5:45 p.m. Algoway was expected also during the evening on Monday however, she will be going to anchor waiting for the Pathfinder's departure. Incoming vessels scheduled for the rest of the week at Stoneport includes the Lewis J. Kuber on Tuesday during the mid-afternoon. There are no boats scheduled to load Wednesday. For Thursday there are four boats scheduled to load. Due in first will be the Great Republic in the early morning followed later in the morning by the Kaye E. Barker and the Manitowoc. Rounding out the schedule is the Joseph H. Thompson with no time listed.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Both Calumet and Cason J. Callaway loaded limestone cargoes Monday at the loading docks in Calcite. Calumet was expected to depart at about 3 p.m. while the Callaway was expected to depart around 6 p.m. Due in for Tuesday is the James L. Kuber in the early morning for the North and South Docks and the American Mariner also in the early morning on Tuesday for the North Dock.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
CSL Laurentien loaded Monday at the NS coal dock and sailed downbound.

At Marblehead the Manistee completed loading Monday afternoon and sailed from the Lafarge stone dock.


Lawmakers ask Army Corps to rush Saginaw River emergency dredging project

6/11 - Saginaw, Mich. – A group of federal lawmakers want the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to approve $1.2 million in emergency dredging to re-open the Saginaw River to shipping. The lawmakers say this year's heavy spring rains sent sediment down the river and restricted shipping to and from businesses in the Saginaw area.

Both of Michigan's U.S. senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, joined U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, in sending a letter on May 30 to Jo-Ellen Darcy, the assistant secretary of the Army overseeing civil works operations and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"Specifically, the storms resulted in shoaling of the Saginaw River turning basin, reducing its depth from 20 feet to 12-13 feet," they wrote. "This change means that larger vessels cannot get up to businesses in Saginaw, and smaller vessels have to back up the river, making for dangerous navigation."

Using a $1.2 million estimate from the Corps of Engineers on the cost of emergency dredging of the turning basin, the federal lawmakers asked for funds to be allocated to the Saginaw River project as quickly as possible.

"Your prompt attention to this serious situation is essential," the lawmakers wrote. "It is imperative that the Saginaw River navigation channel is restored to its required depths."

The study would aim at determining whether or not the Corps of Engineers should re-dredge the shipping channel that runs from the Saginaw Bay to the turning basin, located near the northern border of Saginaw. That study is expected to cost about $594,000, and the county would be asked to pay about half of the up-front cost if the study were funded on the federal level.

The Board of Commissioner's County Services Committee recommended the county move forward with the study. County attorneys were asked to look over the 15-page agreement before the matter returned to the full board for consideration at its June 18 meeting.



Updates -  June 11

Saltie Gallery updated Chamtrans Alster, Drawsko, Federal Danube, and Jette Theresa
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - New pictures in the  Ben W Calvin, Champlain, Meaford, and Scott Misener galleries


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.

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.

1872 – Fire broke out aboard the passenger steamer KINGSTON about 18 miles upstream after the ship had left Brockville for Toronto. The ship was beached and the superstructure was destroyed but there were only two casualties. The hull was rebuilt at Montreal and later sailed as BAVARIAN, ALGERIAN and CORNWALL before being scuttled in Lake Ontario about 1929.

1936 – AYCLIFFE HALL sank in fog shrouded off Long Point, Lake Erie after a collision with the EDWARD J. BERWIND. All 19 on board were rescued. After salvage efforts failed, the rigging was blown clear by explosives. The EDWARD J. BERWIND was repaired and last sailed as LAC STE. ANNE in 1982.

1942 – HAVTOR, a Norwegian freighter, first came to the Great Lakes in 1932 and returned as late as 1939. It was sunk by a German submarine enroute from Reykjavik, Iceland, to Pictou, Nova Scotia, and 6 of the crew were lost.

1950 – The Italian freighter MARIA PAOLINA G. had been built in Canada as FORT ISLAND in 1944. It was downbound from the Saguenay River when it struck the Canada Steamship Lines passenger steamer ST. LAWRENCE, which had turned to dock at Tadoussac. Injuries were reported by 25 people and 30 cabins were damaged aboard the CSL ship.

1978 – The hull of the former passenger steamer RAPIDS QUEEN arrived at Toronto under tow from Kingston to be sunk as a breakwall off for the Queen City Yacht Club. It is still there.

1993 – PITRIA SKY first visited the Great Lakes in 1978. It departed Singapore for Shantou in southeast China, as h) HAI HONG 3 on June 11, 1993, but went back out to sea on arrival to ride out a pending typhoon. The ship was never seen again and it disappeared with all hands.

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


Algoma Provider scrap tow departs for Turkey

6/10 - With the tug VB Artico on the bow, the former Algoma Provider – its name shortened to OVI for her last voyage, stack markings painted over and a homeport of Freetown (Sierra Leone) lettered on the stern – was towed from Montreal early Sunday morning bound for a Turkish scrapyard. The 730-foot vessel was built at Collingwood, Ont., for Canada Steamship Lines in 1963 as Murray Bay and also sailed for the Upper Lakes fleet as Canadian Provider. She made only a few trips last fall under Algoma Central colors and the Algoma Provider name. With the departure of the Provider, there are only two steam-powered vessels left in the Canadian lakes and Seaway fleet, Algoma Montrealais and Algoma Quebecois. The former is sailing this year, but the later remains laid up.


Port Reports -  June 10

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Peter R. Cresswell loaded ore at the Upper Harbor on Saturday. The visit was her first since the summer of 2002.

Milwaukee, Wis. - Chris Gaziano
The Algoway departed the inner harbor early Sunday morning after unloading a partial load of salt overnight. They would head east for Muskegon and finish unloading. The Algorail came in during the late afternoon and unloaded salt into terminal building #4.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Mississagi was inbound on the Saginaw River Saturday morning, heading up river to Saginaw to unload at the Buena Vista Dock. Once finished, she backed down to the airport turning basin, turned and was then outbound for the lake Saturday evening. Sam Laud was inbound Sunday morning, backing into the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. The Laud was outbound for the lake during the late afternoon. The tug Samuel de Champlain and cement barge Innovation were inbound Sunday evening, calling on the Lafarge Cement dock in Essexville. The pair was expected to be outbound on Monday.

Marblehead and Huron, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The tug Leonard M. and barge loaded Sunday at the Lafarge Marblehead stone dock for Detroit. Several hours after the pair departed, the Manistee put her lines on the dock and began loading. At Huron, Philip R. Clarke was due at midnight to begin unloading a cargo of Northern Michigan limestone at the riverfront dock of Huron Lime Co.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner backed out and departed from General Mills at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
The scene at Terminal 52 was reminiscent of a bygone era this weekend: two salties unloading cargo using their own stevedore-operated cargo cranes. The Panamanian-flag Emilie was unloading bundled steel pipe and copious amounts of wood dunnage using choke steel wire slings. Around the corner on the west wall, the Hong Kong-registered Eider was discharging a cargo of sugar using deck cranes and clam buckets. The sugar has been stockpiled on the dock and will eventually be trucked to the Redpath sugar refinery. The sugar storage shed at Redpath is apparently full, and this caused delays in unloading the previous bulker. Andean spent nine days unloading. The normal turn-around time for a handy-size bulker is four-five days. As a result, Eider spent a week at anchor in Port Weller incurring demurrage charges.


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.

1940 – PAIPOONGE was cut in two and left the Great Lakes for saltwater service in 1919. It was registered in Latvia as d) KAUPO when it was sunk as a blockship at Dieppe, France, on this date in 1940. The hull was reported as refloated and scrapped in 1946-1947.

1942 – CONTINENT came to the Great Lakes in 1939-1940. The Newfoundland owned freighter was on a bareboat charter to the U.S. Army when it sank, following a collision with the American tanker BYRON D. BENSON, while enroute from New York to Bermuda.

1967 – The former Norwegian Seaway salty FRO was abandoned in sinking condition as c) WINSOME after a fire broke out in the cargo holds and spread throughout the ship on June 10, 1967. The vessel was enroute to Bangkok, Thailand, when it sank in the South China Sea.

1968 – JOHN T. HUTCHINSON suffered damage above the waterline when it was in a collision with the SUSANNE REITH at the head of Lake St. Clair. The latter, a West German salty, was on her first trip to the Great Lakes. This ship was eventually scrapped after arriving at Alang, India, as m) ALFA I on October 18, 2000.

1977 – RUTHIE MICHAELS came inland in 1970 and last reported in as d) EUROBULKER on June 10, 1977. The ship was enroute from Djibouti, to Bandar Shahpoir, Iran when it disappeared with the entire crew of 29. The ship is believed to have sunk off the coast of Oman perhaps as late as June 12.

1998 – The Greek flag bulk carrier OLYNTHIA first traveled the Seaway in 1978. It ran aground off Veraval, India, as d) OCEAN CRUISER in a tropical cyclone while bound for the United Arab Emirates. While released, it appears that the 26-year-old ship never sailed again and was broken up at Bharnvar, India, due to the damage.

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


Searchers locate Henry B. Smith, victim of 1913 storm

6/9 - Duluth, Minn. – Just a few months shy of 100 years after it sank with all hands in a monstrous November storm, it appears that the freighter Henry B. Smith — one of the most sought-after lost wrecks of Lake Superior — has been found.

A group of shipwreck hunters has found a previously undiscovered wreck sitting largely intact amid a spilled load of iron ore in about 535 feet of water offshore from Marquette, Mich., and all evidence points to it being the Smith. Until last month, the 525-foot vessel had not been seen since it and its crew of 25 inadvertently sailed into the brunt of the Great Lakes Storm of 1913.

“It’s the most satisfying find of my shipwreck-hunting career,” said Jerry Eliason of Cloquet, part of the group that has located a number of lost ships in recent years, though perhaps none as significant as the Smith.

“It’s a fantastic find,” said maritime historian Frederick Stonehouse of Marquette, who has written about the long-lost ship. “I’m excited at the opportunity to look at the video and see if we can learn the cause of the wreck, to write the final chapter of the ship.”

The Henry B. Smith was launched in 1906; its christening in Lorain, Ohio, on May 2 was reported in the next day’s Duluth News Tribune.

By 1913, “she had the reputation of being one of the staunchest steel ships on the lakes, and relatively new,” Stonehouse said.

That November brought one of the biggest storms recorded on the Great Lakes — one that would end up being by far the most destructive in terms of ships and lives lost, Stonehouse said. More than a dozen ships sank, and about 250 sailors died.

But as the storm picked up steam on Nov. 7 and 8, the Henry B. Smith was safe in the harbor at Marquette, taking on a load of iron ore. On the evening of Nov. 9, with loading complete, Captain James Owen decided to leave port, bound for Cleveland — even as other ships remained in the safety of the harbor.

“The lake was still rolling, but there seemed to be a lull in the wind, the velocity having dropped to 32 mph,” Duluth native, shipwreck expert and longtime University of Minnesota Duluth professor Julius Wolff wrote in “Lake Superior Shipwrecks.” “The gale already had hit the Soo with winds more than 50 mph for 36 hours and should have blown itself out. But, this was no conventional storm. In taking his vessel out of the safety of Marquette Harbor, Captain James Owen sailed into eternity.”

Sailors on other boats reported seeing deckhands on the Smith still battening down hatches as it went onto the open lake, Stonehouse recounts in his book “Went Missing.” Other witnesses watched the ship make a turn to port, as if Captain Owen had found the storm too strong and decided to head for the lee of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Then the Smith and its crew of 25 vanished into the maelstrom, and entered Great Lakes lore as a “ghost ship.” With many other ships sunk or in peril, and communications still primitive by today’s standards, it was several days before the Smith’s absence drew widespread concern.

Unidentified wreckage started washing ashore in the Marquette area, Stonehouse writes in “Went Missing,” and on Nov. 14 a local man reported finding an oar marked “Henry B. Smith” and other debris along the beaches east of Marquette. Over the following days, more debris traced to the Smith turned up farther east, toward Munising.

Then on Nov. 21, a passing steamer recovered the body of the Smith’s second cook wearing a life belt, 50 miles west of Whitefish Point. It was one of only two bodies recovered of the crew of 25, Stonehouse reports. The second, that of the ship’s third engineer, was found on Michipicoten Island the following May.

In June 1914, papers around Lake Superior — including the News Tribune — carried news of a sensational find: A message in a bottle, purportedly from the lost Smith, describing the ship breaking in two 12 miles east of Marquette.

“However, as the note was dated November 12 and the Smith had sailed on the 9th, presumably sinking that night, the authenticity of the find was doubted,” Wolff wrote. Lake Superior would reveal no more clues to the ship’s fate.

So how did the hunters find the Henry B. Smith with few clues amid the vast waters of Lake Superior?

Eliason is cagey about that, because he hopes to locate other lost wrecks using the same method and doesn’t want to tip his hand just yet. But it wasn’t a case of just taking a sonar unit out on the lake and spending days “mowing the lawn” — running a grid pattern over a large search area, hoping to turn up something. This time, the group pinpointed a very specific area to search, Eliason said, and in fact located the Smith just 20 minutes after dropping the sonar unit into the water.

It was the culmination of years of hunches, research and repeated information requests to obscure government agencies and archives — work that finally paid off with the acquisition of a veritable mountain of raw data.

Eliason’s wife, Karen, a software engineer, played a key role in interpreting that information.

“My son says I’m a shipwreck savant and my wife is a computer savant,” Jerry Eliason said. “It was a matter of processing the data, writing the formulas.”

“It was fun because we were doing something together, and the topic was very interesting,” Karen Eliason said. “This was a really sweet one.”

The data-processing pointed them toward a possible wreck about 30 miles north of Marquette.

“I thought, ‘That’s kind of in the same part of the world where the Henry Smith went down,” Jerry Eliason said.

So on May 24 he, along with fellow shipwreck hunters Kraig Smith of Rice Lake, Wis., and Ken Merryman of Minneapolis, headed out on the lake. Using a sonar unit developed by Eliason’s son, Jarrod, they quickly pinpointed the target wreck and dropped down an underwater camera.

That day and the next, with wreck-hunter Dan Fountain of Marquette joining in to help muscle the camera and its 500-foot tether, the photos and video captured enough details to convince the group that the ship is the Smith — though it did not capture the name on the side of the ship, something the group plans to try for on a return trip later this summer.

But the wreck’s location, its size, the iron ore cargo and details they were able to spot on camera — such as a unique “flying bridge” atop the pilothouse — leave no doubt in the minds of the wreck hunters and Stonehouse that it’s the Henry B. Smith.

“While we still don’t have absolute proof it’s the Henry B. Smith, it’s the only (lost) ship in the area of that size that had iron ore,” said Merryman, who like the others in the group has decades of experience searching for Lake Superior wrecks. Stonehouse also said the Smith is the only missing wreck that would match the location and other evidence.

While a lot of work went into identifying the search location, the relative ease in locating the wreck once out on the lake was a big departure from past finds.

“A number of wrecks we’ve found have been over the span of 20 years searching, multiple times a year,” Kraig Smith said. “Going and finding a wreck 20-some miles offshore in the span of a couple hours is extraordinary.”

What now?

Now that the Smith has been found, there is work to be done. Finding the wreck “asks more questions than it answers,” Stonehouse said. “(The shipwreck hunters) climbed Mount Everest” in finding the wreck, he said. “Now you have to see what you can see from there.”

First up is returning to the site this summer to further document the wreck with underwater cameras on long cables from the surface; the ship’s depth puts it out of reach of divers without extremely specialized — and expensive — technology.

It appears that the ship is broken in the middle, Merryman said, with the forward part listing a bit but very intact.

“It’s a beautiful wreck” with great visibility, he said. “No zebra mussels; clean.”

The stern has more damage, Merryman said. Perhaps a boiler exploded, or pressure built up during the sinking burst out.

More time at the wreck should answer many questions, but the shipwreck hunters are starting to piece together possible scenarios for the Smith’s demise.

“It’s very clear to me that this one appeared to have broken on the surface, spilled its iron ore contents over the bottom, and then landed on the iron ore,” Eliason said.

The group already appears to have firmly debunked that dubious message in a bottle, which placed the Smith in a very different location.

Eliason said he’d been considering retiring from wreck hunting, given the enormous time and effort it requires. He wasn’t expecting to come up with more significant finds on Lake Superior. “This was a gift from the lake gods,” Eliason said.

Merryman said that as the group left port last month, he had a feeling something special was in the making.

“When things need to happen, they happen,” he said. “It’s the 100th anniversary. This would be a great memorial, a commemoration of all the people who died in the storm.”

Duluth News Tribune


Port Reports -  June 9

Port Huron, Mich.
Traffic was slow during the day Saturday, with upbounders including tug Victory and her barge, the new Baie St. Paul, the barge Innovation and Cedarglen. Algoma Guardian was downbound. CSL Tadoussac, Frontenac, Manitoba, Algoeast and Algosar remain in seasonal layup at Sarnia.

Milwaukee - Chris Gaziano
Calumet arrived late in the morning Friday with a load of salt. They were finished unloading and heading out by late evening.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner arrived at 2:30 p.m. Friday

Navigation was suspended at Beauharnois Lock 3 in the St. Lawrence Seaway Friday when Radcliffe R. Latimer struck the ship arrester around 7 p.m. Approximately eight ships were waiting to transit.


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.

1909 ASSINIBOIA and CRESCENT CITY were washed through the Canadian Lock at Sault Ste. Marie when the upbound PERRY WALKER struck the lower gate. All three ships were damaged but were repaired and returned to service.

1963 The newly built SILVER ISLE of Mohawk Navigation and the PRINS ALEXANDER of the Oranje Line, collided in fog and rain on the St. Lawrence near Kingston. Both ships required repairs. The former was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, in 2010 as ALGOISLE while the latter struck a reef and sank in the Red Sea as f) POLIAIGOS on December 28, 1980.

1979 The French freighter MELUSINE first came to the Great Lakes in 1962 and returned as b) LENA in 1978. It sank the French fishing vessel ANTIOCHE III in the English Channel with the loss of 4 lives on this day in 1979. LENA was scrapped at Ferrol, Spain, in 1982, after suffering engine damage on a voyage from Bilbao, Spain, to Detroit.

1998 COMMON VENTURE began Great Lakes trading in 1980. It broke loose of its moorings in a cyclone as f) PEARL OF DAMMAN and grounded at Kandla, India, on this date in 1998. The ship was loaded with sulphur and sustained considerable damage. Following a sale for scrap, the 27 year old carrier arrived at Alang, India, September 12, 1998, for dismantling.

1998 TOKAI MARU was a first time Seaway caller in 1977 and a return visitor as b) EASTERN HERO in 1993. This ship was also blown aground off Kandla, India, by the same cyclone. It was now d) SURPRISE and became a total loss. This ship arrived at Alang October 8, 1998, and was broken up.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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


Lake Michigan, Lake Huron levels will gain almost two feet this season

6/8 - Lake Michigan and Lake Huron should climb almost two feet from the low water level this past February. The Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit is forecasting a total rise of 20 inches from this past February to this coming July.

The normal water level cycle has water levels bottoming around March 1, and then rising to the high water mark in July. So, the water level is still going up, and should top out sometime in July.

The water level on Lake Michigan and Lake Huron is expected to go up another six inches between now and the high water time.

May rainfall across the Lake Michigan- Lake Huron drainage basin was above normal, but only by a small margin. The Lake Michigan-Lake Huron drainage basin averaged 3.36" of rain, which is .31" above normal. Lake Superior had 4.35" of precipitation in May on its entire drainage basin. That amount of precipitation was 1.59", representing much above normal precipitation.

The heavy rain in April and the above normal rainfall in May continues to make a sharp rise in lake levels. Lake Michigan-Lake Huron rose seven inches in May. Lake Superior also rose seven inches in May.

If the lakes rise another six inches, as expected, the 20 inch seasonal rise would be eight inches more than normal. This is a big rise compared to last year, when Lake Michigan-Lake Huron only rose four inches.

Because of the rise in the water level on Lake Superior, the outflow of water into Lake Huron through the St. Marys River has been increased by 500 cubic feet per second.

This means more water is also being put into Lake Michigan-Lake Huron from Lake Superior. One inch of water on Lake Michigan-Lake Huron or Lake Superior is 800 billion gallons of water.

So the gain of water in Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Lake Huron during May represents over 11 trillion gallons of water. That's a lot of water.

However Lake Michigan-Lake Huron is still 19 inches below the long term water level average.

What would it take to bring it back to normal levels? The Army Corps of Engineers says that it would take several seasons with a wet, cool weather pattern like the one we've been in since January. So we would need a cool, wet summer. We would also need to have a cool, wet fall and a snowy winter next winter.

If that happens, a lot of boating concerns would be eased.



Busy night for Canadian Coast Guard in Niagara

6/8 - St. Catharines, Ont. - It was a stormy night for Harry Duerksen. The St. Catharines man is heartbroken, but otherwise OK after a harrowing couple of hours Wednesday night that saw his sailboat destroyed in rough water near Jordan.

The 30-foot boat he just bought in Georgia over the winter is now on its side up against the rocks below the bridge leading into Jordan Harbour.

The mast, which was resting against the bridge when Duerksen and a friend abandoned ship Wednesday night, has now snapped off the deck and is laying across the rocks.

From the bridge, you can look down into the boat's galley at pieces of wood and other debris floating in the water that came pouring in when jagged rocks pierced the hull.

“My pride is a little bit injured thinking what I could have done differently, but there's not too much you can do,” said Duerksen, 54. “The wave action was pretty powerful. The main thing is we were both safe.”

Duerksen and his friend left the Beacon Harbourside Yacht Club marina around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in what was only his fifth trip on the sailboat named Clairvoyant.

The two sailed out toward Hamilton and were returning to the marina around 7:30 p.m. Boats have to enter the marina under engine power, so Duerksen lowered the sail and fired up the small engine used to navigate. But as the 34-year-old sailboat neared the marina entrance, the engine stopped and the boat started moving toward the shoreline under the power of the waves.

As the boat's keel hit the ground, Duerksen was able to get the engine running again, but it wasn't powerful enough to overpower the waves.

“Once it was hitting on the ground, it couldn't plow through. It just got too rough,” he said. “I knew we were in trouble and I called in a mayday.”

The waves continued to batter the sailboat and pushed it into the rocks below the QEW and north service road bridge.

Duerksen said it was like riding a “bucking bronco” until the two could safely climb off the deck and onto the rocks.

The man said the $8,000 boat was a complete write-off and that his insurance company was arranging its removal from the rocks.

He said Wednesday night's adventure won't stop him from sailing in the future.

“I enjoy sailing so much I can't see myself giving it up just because of this,” said Duerksen, who still has an older 27-foot sailboat he now plans to restore and use. “Maybe if it had have been different and it was in the middle of the ocean where we were stuck in the water for 24 hours. But here, we could just walk off the boat.”

The mayday call was the third of four Wednesday night for the Canadian Coast Guard Search and Rescue station at Port Weller.

Captain Larry Trudell said the four calls came in between 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“It's early in the season. There's not a lot happening and people are testing their skills a little bit. It's not uncommon for minor accidents like this,” he said.

The first call was for a report of a crew member on a sailboat about three kilometres off of Port Dalhousie who was injured. Trudell said the mast aboard the 25-foot sailboat Undercover broke while the sailboat was making a turn during a race on Lake Ontario. The 250-pound section of mast hit a man in the back when it fell. The boat returned to Port Dalhousie and the man was taken to St. Catharines hospital with minor injuries.

At 7:21 p.m., the Coast Guard was called back out to Lake Ontario to evacuate a man on a ship who had unintentionally ingested bleach. He was brought back to the Port Weller station, where Niagara EMS workers took him to St. Catharines hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

As the Coast Guard rescue vessel Cape Storm was en route to Duerksen's mayday, another call came in for a possible missing kayaker near Burlington. The Coast Guard boat headed there while a police boat responded to Jordan.

The missing person report in Burlington turned out to be an act of vandalism, with someone untying the kayak and setting it free in Lake Ontario.

Busy Wednesday night for Canadian Coast Guard
6:45 p.m. – Sailboat loses its mast near Port Dalhousie. Man on board with minor injuries.
7:21 p.m. - Crewman on-board salt water vessel Shimanto 7 km from Port Weller accidentally ingests bleach, has to be evacuated to hospital.
7:56 p.m. - Sailboat near Jordan calls in a mayday after losing power and hitting rocks.
8:00 p.m. - Empty kayak washes ashore in Burlington. Initially thought to be a missing person, but turned out to be vandalism.

St. Catharines Standard


Port proposes repainting its cranes

6/8 - Toledo, Ohio - Two industrial cranes that have carried the nicknames “Big Lucas” and “Little Lucas” for decades are in line for repainting if the project does not run afoul of the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority’s minority contracting goals.

Saying that rusty cranes send the wrong message for a port trying to compete internationally, the port authority board of directors agreed Thursday to have the two heavy lifters on the city’s waterfront repainted under an Ohio Department of Transportation painting contract that would save the port authority money.

“They’re just part of our history and they’ve been reliable and it’s time for a facelift,” said Joe Cappel, the board’s director of cargo development.

The board authorized port President Paul Toth to look into consolidating the crane painting with ODOT’s project to repaint the Craig Memorial Bridge this summer. He said ODOT estimated the project cost at about $300,000.

“These two pieces of equipment are very antiquated in their look,” board member James Tuschman said.

Board Chairman Bill Carroll said the board will do the project if ODOT has minority subcontracting goals that are comparable to the port board’s goal of awarding at least 14 percent of each project to minority contractors and subcontractors.

According to Steve Faulkner, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation, ODOT’s minority contracting goals vary, but the basic statewide goal is 9.1 percent.

“If it is a major change from our bidding contracts then we’re going to have to reconsider,” Mr. Carroll said.

Mr. Toth said the two cranes were last repainted in 1985-86, and it was more of a surface treatment than the down-to-the-metal repainting now being proposed. He said the next paint job should last at least 20 to 25 years.

Mr. Cappel said the cranes will be painted safety yellow for the bottom six feet, and the port’s brand colors of blue and gray elsewhere, including the cab and the boom.

Big Lucas was named by 9-year-old John Larimer of what was then Adams Township in a 1962 contest.

“I am naming the crane Big Lucas because it is the largest crane in Lucas County,” the boy wrote to promote his entry. Little Lucas was added to the docks six years later.

“They do need to be painted,” said Terry Leach, Midwest Terminals’ director of operations. “We need to put our best foot forward. It’s all about regional growth.”

The cranes back up two newer cranes acquired three years ago for ship unloading. The newer cranes, named “Muddy” and “Spike,” are faster and use less fuel than Big Lucas, but can't lift as much weight. Big and Little Lucas roll back and forth on tracks while the newer cranes ride rubber tires.

Toledo Blade


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 second 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.

1933: WILHELMINE, dated from 1888 and was one of the world's earliest tankers, ran aground off Morgan Point, west of Port Colborne, while enroute from Chicago to Liverpool with 2,700,000 lbs of lard. The crew were removed and the ship abandoned. The hull was refloated June 3 but was not repaired and may have been dismantled at Ashtabula.

1954: The tug EDWARD C. WHALEN sank in Lake Superior near Corbeil Point. It was salvaged in 1955 and rebuilt a decade later as b) JOHN McLEAN. It survives in the Purvis Marine fleet as c) ADANAC.

1977: CYDONIA first came through the Seaway in 1962 and returned as b) VERMONT I in 1969. It was under tow due to rudder damage as e) JOY when a fire broke out in the engineroom near the mouth of the Mississippi River. The vessel was rocked by three explosions and sank in the Gulf of Mexico.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Wednesday saw Cuyahoga make her first visit of the season to the Saginaw River, as she traveled all of the up to the Sixth Street Basin and unloaded at the Lafarge Stone dock in Saginaw. She departed the dock late in the evening, and was backing down the Saginaw River.


Part of historic Detroit Dry Dock complex being demolished

6/7 - Detroit, Mich. – The main part of the historic 1892 Detroit Shipbuilding Company building, also known as the Dry Dock Complex, on Atwater Street is being demolished. The biggest part of this iconic Detroit structure is coming down, reports TV station Local 4.

The building has been home to the Detroit Dry Dock Company, Dry Dock Engine Works and the Detroit Shipbuilding Company. At one point it was owned by Detroit Edison Company and the Globe Trading Company, but has sat abandoned for more than a decade.

It's not clear how much of the building will be taken down. An outdoor adventure and discovery center will be built in its place.

Local 4 Detroit


Monroe’s Paul C. LaMarre III to represent Great Lakes on freight committee

6/7 - Washington, D.C. – Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced the members of the National Freight Advisory Committee, a diverse group of professionals that will provide advice and recommendations aimed at improving the national freight transportation system.

Among those named is Paul C. LaMarre III, Director at the Port of Monroe in Monroe, Michigan, who will represent the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway system. LaMarre joins other members representing freight customers and providers, labor representatives, safety experts and government entities. The first NFAC meeting is Tuesday, June 25 at the Department of Transportation and is open to the public. Information regarding the meeting will be available on the Federal Register.


Lakes seek parity for dredging and infrastructure needs

6/7 - Toledo, Ohio – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be required to treat the Great Lakes equally when it comes to prioritizing the nations dredging needs under legislation introduced in the House of Representatives on June 6. H.R. 2273, the Great Lakes Navigation System Sustainability Act, sponsored by Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-MI), would direct the Corps to aggregate the cargo tonnage of all 60 Federally-maintained ports for purposes of prioritizing annual operations and maintenance funding nationwide.

The Corps has taken a system approach to the Mississippi, Ohio, and Illinois rivers, but to date treated the Lakes as a collection of individual ports and pitted them against one another rather than acknowledge the economic benefits resulting from their interdependence.

“The Great Lakes have suffered greatly from the inequities inherent with treating some waterways as systems and others as individual ports,” said Donald N. Cree, President of Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, the leading coalition promoting shipping on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. “In some years the Ohio River System would get more than $1 of maintenance funding per ton of cargo handled while the Lakes, whose commerce is every bit as important to the nation, would get about $0.50 per ton of cargo moved. H.R. 2273 finally puts the Lakes on an even footing with the rest of the nation’s waterways.”

Original co-sponsors of the bill are Representatives Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Dan Benishek (R-MI), Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Brian Higgins (D-NY).


Help wanted: Pere Marquette Shipping seeking applicants

6/7 - Pere Marquette Shipping is seeking applicants for mates positions aboard the Tug Undaunted/Barge Pere Marquette 41. Pere Marquette Shipping offers very competitive wages and benefits as well as a 28 day on / 14 day off work rotation. Applicants must have at minimum, a valid USCG license as 1600- ton mate with a towing endorsement or equivalent. Please send resume/letter and copies of MMC and TWIC by fax to 231-843-4558. They may also be mailed to Pere Marquette Shipping at P.O. Box 708 Ludington, MI 49431. Interested parties may also call (231) 845-7846 with any questions.


Updates -  June 7

Saltie Gallery updated - BBC Maine, Drawsko, Lady Doris, Raba, and Yulia


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.

In 1977, tugs refused to tow the new MESABI MINER out of the harbor due to high winds. Captain William McSweeney 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, which 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.

1894: The wooden steamer OCEAN received a massive hole in the bow after a collision with the barge KENT at Alexandria Bay on the St. Lawrence.

1902: The whaleback steamer THOMAS WILSON sank after a collision with the GEORGE G. HADLEY a mile off the Duluth piers while outbound with iron ore and nine lives were lost.

1915: JAMES B. EADS and the CHICAGO collided in the St. Clair River.

1941: The fish tug FINGLO caught fire and burned at Toronto. It was rebuilt for harbor duty as the steam tug H.J.D. NO. 1. In 1956-1957, the ship was unofficially renamed Salamander to star in the Canadian television series Tugboat Annie.

1971: SILVER CREST visited the Seaway in 1971 after previous calls as a) VIGRID in 1959 and 1963. It also returned as b) ROSTO in 1963 before becoming d) SILVER CREST in 1968. The ship stranded on Sisal Reef, in the Gulf of Mexico while enroute from Veracruz to Progresso, Mexico, but was refloated on June 12. The vessel arrived at Whampoa, China, for scrapping in July 1973.

1991: HERMES SCAN, a first time Seaway trader in 1977, sank in the Bay of Bengal as d) BRAUT TEAM after developing leaks the previous day. The heavy-lift vessel was reportedly carrying a Chinese steam locomotive for delivery to New York for the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad. All on board were saved.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Eemsborg backed out of the Lackawanna Slip at 5 p.m. Tuesday afternoon and headed up the lake for Duluth. English River departed Buffalo at 4:20 a.m. Tuesday.


Exploration of historic Sturgeon Bay shipwreck planned

6/6 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – The wreck of the schooner Adriatic is sitting in only 14 inches of water, but it contains more than 120 years of history. This week, the uncovering begins.

Meet the exploration team at an open house hosted by the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay on June 13 from 7-9 p.m. The divers from the Wisconsin Historical Society and Eastern Carolina University will be on hand to share their experiences exploring and documenting this unusual and historic shipwreck. The divers will share their work on the site plan, show pictures and video of the wreck and answer questions about the vessel and her history.

Backed by funding from the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, a pair of maritime archaeologists with the Wisconsin Historical Society leads a team of divers surveying the wreck of the Adriatic, a 202-foot wooden schooner retired and abandoned off the piers of the Bay Shipbuilding Company in Sturgeon Bay. The Adriatic is one of several ships built by the legendary timber magnate James Davidson, who continued to build and sail massive wooden vessels during the late 1800s, when others had moved on to iron and steel.

For the next two weeks, the team, led by Tamara Thomsen and Chad Gulseth, will spend their days measuring, sketching, photographing and mapping the Adriatic, a three-masted schooner barge built in 1889 and eventually converted to a self-unloading barge in 1914. The team includes 30 Maritime Studies graduate students from East Carolina University, including Caitlyn Zant, whose participation in the survey project is being funded by UW Sea Grant.

The Adriatic is one of eight Davidson vessels whose wrecks lay in Wisconsin waters. Four of them are currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Australasia, the wooden bulk carrier the dive team surveyed in the waters near Whitefish Dunes State Park last year. Of the Davidson wrecks, the Adriatic is the most accessible.

Ending up abandoned at a pier may not be as sexy as the storm-swept waters and sailors lost featured in the stories of other shipwrecks, but the Adriatic still has a strong historical significance.

“What’s interesting is that it’s the first self-unloading schooner barge to sail the Great Lakes,” says Gulseth, referring to the gigantic boom on the ship that made removing massive stone cargo simpler for sailors. “Some of that equipment is still on the site.”

The ship’s boom ended up killing the Adriatic’s captain when it fell on him in 1920. Ten years later, the ship was officially retired and abandoned. It remained where it rotted and sank, between the pilings where a floating dry dock is stored during the winter.

“A lot of wrecks we see in Sturgeon Bay are hulks, put in place as a breakwater,” explained Thomsen. “The Adriatic offered protection for the shipyard, preventing shoreline erosion and wave damage during storms.”

The fact that the Adriatic lies in shallow waters--some parts are in as little as one foot-- offers several advantages to the dive team. They’ll have warmer water in which to dive and greater light penetration to aid visibility. The team will also be able to communicate more easily with team members on the dive boats.

“This may be one of the few advantages of lower water levels in the Great Lakes,” quipped Thomsen.

Because the survey site is on private property and not easily accessible, the dive team has asked that interested members of the public join them at a meet-and-greet session scheduled for 7-9 p.m. on June 13 at the Door County Maritime Museum. “We are thrilled to join the team in sharing their fascinating work on this historic local shipwreck”, said museum director Bob Desh.

The event is free to the public. For more information visit or by call 920-743-5958.


18 tall ships from around the world converge at Put-in-Bay

6/6 - Put-in-Bay, Ohio – On August 29, a total of 18 tall ships from around the world will navigate their way into the Western Basin of Lake Erie for The Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial.

From Norway to Duluth, the tall ships of the past now call ports from all over the world home. With large crews, constant upkeep and a host of other responsibilities, unveiling these pristine wooden vessels is a massive undertaking.

Floating on the horizon with what looks like a scene out of the film “Master and Commander,” these historical work horses only make special, precisely timed appearances. Lucky for the residents and visitors of Put-in-Bay, Ohio, Miller Boat Line is sponsoring a visit by one of the most famous of them all, the U.S. Brig Niagara.

With The Battle of Lake Erie taking place just a few miles from Put-in-Bay and Oliver Hazard Perry’s headquarters on the island, the area was pivotal for its role in the battle. The Niagara also receives its numerous accolades from being Oliver Hazard Perry’s last-ditch effort in a decisive battle that eventually propelled him to an American victory over the British ensuring naval supremacy over the Great Lakes.

Thanks to Miller’s sponsorship of this amazing recreation of early 1800s engineering, visitors will get the chance to either witness the U.S. Niagara in battle from afar or take part in the skirmish up close.

For more information on The Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial or the island of Put-in-Bay, please visit


Wisconsin Maritime Museum looking for cardboard boat building teams

6/6 - Manitowoc, Wis. – As part of the city’s Fourth on the Shore July 4th celebration, the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, is looking for teams to participate in its cardboard boat building event. Teams can pre-build a cardboard boat or build it on July 4th between noon and 3 p.m. at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. The entry fee is $15. All teams will be supplied with a large starter piece of cardboard. Building on the day of the event will be limited to six teams but anyone can pre-build and bring a boat. Complete registration information is at

To help anyone who’s interested in participating, the museum is also hosting a Cardboard Boat Building School on June 12 at 6 p.m. at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.

The Cardboard Boat-A-Float challenge is an opportunity for anyone who would like to test their creative skill. Participants use large pieces of cardboard, waterproof glue and paint to create their own float. It’s a great opportunity for families to work together and there’s no need to use a hammer or saw to build a boat.

Once all the cardboard floats have been created on July 4th, they’ll be launched at 3:30 p.m. for a paddling competition. All teams are required to bring their own life jackets and paddles. This year, the build a boat competition changed from actual wooden boat construction to cardboard to allow more non builders to participate.


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.

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.

1956: NEWBRUNDOC ran aground at Densmore Bay on the southeast side of Wellesley Island in the St. Lawrence after straying out of the channel in fog. The ore-laden vessel, enroute from Contrecoeur to Buffalo, was released the next day.

1964: The Norwegian freighter FRO made 10 trips through the Seaway from 1961 to 1965. It ran aground at Milwaukee after loading 7500 tons of scrap for France on June 6, 1964, and was lightered to the YANKCANUCK before being refloated June 9.

1967: FRANKCLIFFE HALL ran aground off Hare Island, Lake Superior in dense fog and received heavy damage to bottom plates. The ship was lightered and released June 9 and went to the Davie shipyard for repairs. This vessel was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, as HALIFAX in 2011.

1967: AUGUSTUS B. WOLVIN struck the bank of the Welland Canal and grounded. A subsequent survey of the damage at Port Weller Dry Docks revealed it was not worth the cost of repairs and the ship was laid up and sold for scrap.

1982: ALGOSEA (i) rammed the west pier at Port Weller entering the Welland Canal in fog turning the bulbous bow by 90 degrees. The damaged ship was allowed to go to Thunder Bay for repairs. It became c) SAUNIERE later in 1982 and was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, in 2011.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Annual St. Clair Marine Mart this Saturday

6/5 - The 32nd Annual Marine Memorabilia Market will be held this coming Saturday, June 8th, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Riverview Plaza Mall in downtown St. Clair, Mich. Nearly 30 vendors will be offering items that are related exclusively to Great Lakes shipping. A Boatnerd's dream, this market will have available for sale historical artifacts, artwork, books, photographs, advertising, memorabilia and more. It is one of only a few such annual events in the region.


Permits approved for Le Griffon shipwreck expedition

6/5 - Lansing, Mich. – Permits have been approved for the Great Lakes Exploration Group to perform underwater test excavations to identify the shipwreck that is believed to be the Le Griffon.

Le Griffon, which was built by Robert de Le Salle, is considered to be the first decked sailing ship on the upper Great Lakes. It vanished in 1679.

In 2001, the Great Lakes Exploration Group found what it believes to be the Griffon's wreckage underwater in northern Lake Michigan. The exact location of the wreck has not been disclosed.

The exploration will end a nearly decade long fight between the state of Michigan and the government of France over the ownership of the ship. The state claims federal law gives Michigan ownership of vessels embedded in the Great Lakes bottomlands if they are abandoned. French officials disagreed and filed a claim in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids.

"Le Griffon has tremendous historical and cultural significance for the entire region, and I'm delighted we may finally get an answer as to whether we have, in fact, found the 'Holy Grail' of Great Lakes shipwrecks," said Rep. Greg MacMaster, who has been instrumental in helping the group get approval for the expedition. "It has been a lengthy process to be sure, but it was important to get everyone on board with this expedition, including the governments of Michigan and France."

The permit, issued by the Department of Natural Resources, will allow the team to conduct three small text excavations into the bottomlands.

Several Michigan lawmakers, including Rep. MacMaster and Gov. Rick Snyder, signed a special tribute that publicly supported GLX's intention to identify the shipwreck.

"I was excited to see the governor take an active role on asserting Michigan's right to its bottomlands and seeing this project through," MacMaster said. "If this vessel does turn out to be the fabled Le Griffon, it could be an incredible tool for education, help increase tourism and add to the 'Pure Michigan' experience."

The expedition is expected to take place in mid-June and will involve help from French experts including world-renowned underwater archaeologist Michel L'Hour. This marks the first official visit to the shipwreck site by the French team.

"It's exciting to collaborate with colleagues across the ocean," said Ken Vrana, project manager. "It sets a foundation for further exploration of our underwater French heritage here in Michigan."

Vrana said whether the site proves to be the fabled ship or not, it is important to advance the practice of underwater archeology in Michigan.

UP North Live


Port Reports -  June 5

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Monday morning at the harbors in Marquette, Algosteel loaded ore at the Upper Harbor and Kaye E. Barker unloaded stone at the Lower Harbor. Algosteel's visit was her first since the early 2000s.

Marblehead, Ohio Jim Spencer
The new McKeil tug Leonard M. (ex Point Halifax) and an unknown barge loaded Tuesday at the Lafarge Marblehead stone dock.

Hamilton, Ont. – Eric Holmes
Tuesday the tug Rebecca Lynn and barge A397 arrived at 11 a.m. Tug Gerry G departed at 4 p.m. for Toronto. Federal Leda departed at 4:15 p.m. for Sandusky. Algoma Montrealais arrived at 7 p.m. with iron ore pellets from Superior for Dofasco. Vega Desgagnes departed at 7:30 p.m. The tug Salvor and barge Lambert's Spirit departed at 8 p.m. from Pier 14.


Lighthouse lens dispute ends with artifact getting new home

6/5 - Harbor Beach, Mich. – The third order Fresnel lens built in 1872 for the Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse that’s been the center of a lawsuit filed by the federal government against Huron City Museums is now in the possession of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The lens was removed Saturday from the Huron City Museums grounds, following a ruling from a federal judge on Friday that approved a settlement between the museum foundation and U.S. Coast Guard.

The federal government filed a lawsuit last October, claiming the museum was not in lawful possession of the 900-pound lens, nor was it properly conserving, protecting or securing the artifact that the government claims is irreplaceable.

Museum officials previously argued the museum was properly caring for the lens, and that the U.S. Coast Guard failed to accurately prove its ownership of the lens, which was transferred to the museum from the Grice Museum in Harbor Beach in 1987. Charles Parcells, of Huron City Museums, previously said the museum also was concerned that the lens would be removed and displayed in an area outside of the Thumb.

Under the settlement approved Friday by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas L. Ludington, the lens is expected to remain in the area. The settlement states the U.S. Coast Guard intends to eventually display the lens at the Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse Museum.

The settlement states the foundation agrees that the lens is the property of the U.S., and the federal government is entitled to immediate possession of the lens. Ludington approved the removal of the lens from Huron City Museums on Saturday, and the U.S. Coast Guard agreed to pay for any costs associated with the repair, restoration or maintenance of the lens. The settlement states the foundation will not be liable for the dismantling, removing or transporting of the lens from the museum.

Bill Bonner, of the Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse Society, said the lens was successfully removed from Huron City Museums with the assistance of volunteers from the Harbor Beach Coast Guard Station.

“The lens is being stored in the Harbor Beach Coast Guard Station until restoration, cleaning and repair can be completed in August,” he stated. “The Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse Society is optimistic the restored lens will be on display in the Lighthouse Museum by Labor Day weekend.”

As for the lawsuit between the federal government and Huron City Museums, Ludington ordered Friday that the case be dismissed, and each party is responsible for its own costs and attorney fees.

Huron Daily Tribune


Coast Guard rescues 3 on boat taking on water near Toledo Harbor Lighthouse

6/5 - Cleveland, Ohio – The Coast Guard rescued three people who were on a boat taking on water in the vicinity of Toledo Harbor Lighthouse in Lake Erie Tuesday morning.

At about 8:50 a.m., a watchstander at Coast Guard Station Toledo, Ohio, overheard a call for assistance from someone on a boat taking on water to a local towing company on VHF-FM radio channel 69. As the watchstander overheard the call while scanning radio calls, he switched to channel 69 and listened for details to determine if there was a need for Coast Guard assistance. Upon hearing the boat was taking on water and the towing company was assisting a different boat near Marblehead, Ohio, the watch team directed the launch of a rescue boatcrew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium.

The rescue boatcrew arrived on scene at 9:15 a.m. and immediately brought the three people aboard the RB-M and used the boats P-6 dewatering pump to dewater the 26-foot boat.

“The exemplary reaction by our watchstander to hear, switch channels and listen to the complete call for help, and the initiative of the boaters to put on life jackets and head to shore lead to this successful rescue,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class DeAndre Burks, the coxswain of the RB-M. “At the time of the original call for assistance, the boat was around four miles offshore, but the boaters absolutely did the right thing by heading to shore. By the time we arrived on scene, they were only one mile offshore and very close to capsizing.”

The rescue boatcrew identified a leak coming from the raw water suction tube below the main engine.

The boatcrew transported the three people to Station Toledo, and South Shore Towing towed their vessel to Meinke Marina in Curtice, Ohio.



Tall ships coming to Green Bay

6/5 - Green Bay, Wis. – Nine tall ships will be making their way to Green Bay this summer. Green Bay is the only Wisconsin port at which the ships are stopping on their Great Lakes tour.

The ships include the S/V Denis Sullivan, a 137-foot three-masted schooner based in Milwaukee, and the STV Unicorn, which is the only all-female crewed tall ship in the world. The largest ship at the festival is the 210-foot Sorlandet, which is a square-rigged ship built in Norway in 1927.

The Baylake Bank Tall Ship Festival will be Aug. 16-18 at Leicht Memorial Park in downtown Green Bay. Organizers expect the festival to draw an estimated 60,000 people.

Marquette Mining Journal


Obituary: Kent Malo

6/5 - Funeral services for Montreal-area boatwatcher Kent Malo will be held today (Wednesday) at 1 p.m. after a noon visitation at the Chapel of La Maison Darche funeral home, 7679 Boul Taschereau, Brossard, Que.

Kent, aged 74 and a strong supporter of the BoatNerd site from the very beginning, died May 31, after suffering a heart attack in April. He was well known to boatwatchers all around the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway for his wit and his willingness to share information, photographs and especially his time with other ship fans. He and his wife Brenda, who survives, often opened their home to marine enthusiasts, and Kent was always the man to call for a tour of Montreal and neighboring waterfronts, or just the right connection to get aboard a boat in the harbor waiting to go to the shipbreakers.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to The Welcome Hall Mission, 606 De Courcelle St., Montreal, QC H4C 3L5.


Updates -  June 5

Weekly Website Updates


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 20 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.

1943 FRANK ARMSTRONG, upbound on her maiden voyage, collided with the C.S.L. bulk carrier GODERICH in the St. Mary's River. Both sustained significant damage.

1991 OLYMPIC POWER was a year old when it first came through the Seaway in 1969. The vessel was sailing as c) FREE POWER when a fire broke out in the engine room off Oman on this date in 1991 and the ship had to be abandoned by the crew. One sailor was lost. The hull was a CTL and it reached Alang, India, for scrapping on February 8, 1993.

1998 The small Danish flag freighter, SEA STAR came to the Great Lakes with steel for Cleveland in April 1998. The vessel returned to the sea and sank in the Caribbean two months later on this date after a collision with the tuna boat MASA YOSHI MARU. SEA STAR was traveling from Colombia to Haiti with 2000 tonnes of bagged cement. Two members of the crew were lost.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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

Milwaukee Wis. - Chris Gaziano
G.L. Ostrander and Integrity came in during the morning. They were outbound during the evening. The Algorail arrived late in the afternoon with a load of salt.

Sarnia, Ont.
Manitoba has gone into seasonal lay-up.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Great Republic came into Lorain about 10:24 a.m. Monday and went to the Lafarge dock down by the Henderson bridge. She left the mouth of the harbor at 17:00.

Ashtabula, Ohio - Duff Rawlings
Federal Shimanto arrived Friday at 7:33 a.m. pulled into Pinney dock East side of slip. On Monday still at Pinney dock. American Spirit arrived Monday at 1:50 p.m. and pulled into the Conrail slip to unload.


Dog nearly swims to Michigan

6/4 - Point Edward, Ont. – Lifelong Point Edward resident Carolyn Luciani knows how strong the currents and eddies are in the St. Clair River and how lucky her dog Hunter was to escape them.

The six-year-old chocolate lab was out for a 6 a.m. walk with Luciani on Friday when some geese caught Hunter's attention. She ran after them and entered the water just north of Lambton's waterworks where Lake Huron meets the river.

Luciani who was walking another dog as well, ran along the shoreline, desperately calling to Hunter and watching her dog swim out into the lake toward the geese. “She was out about 50 feet and she's chasing the geese and swimming away from me,” said Luciani. “I'm bawling my eyes out, screaming from the shore.”

Hunter soon entered the St. Clair River, followed the geese into the shipping lane and under the Blue Water Bridge, which spans the river between Point Edward and Port Huron. The dog kept chasing the birds until she was almost at the American seawall.

“All I could see was a little dot in the water,” said Luciani. “I didn't want to take my eyes off of her because I wanted to be see where she went under. I was sure she was going to drop and sink.”

To make matters worse, Hunter is a diabetic and Luciani feared her dog's blood sugar would plummet and she'd lose all her strength.

Finally, the geese flew away and Hunter turned back toward Point Edward where Luciani was frantically calling her. By that time, she'd been in the water fighting a strong current nearly 20 minutes. nA fisherman on the shoreline offered Luciani a cell phone and she called her father and sister who live nearby. Meanwhile a woman drove by on a bicycle, realized what was happening and immediately headed to Purdy's Fisheries, several hundred metres south of the bridge.

At Purdy's, Captain Tim Purdy was just getting ready for the day when the cyclist drove up and told him about the dog in the water.

“Hunter was so far out, I couldn't see her at first,” said Purdy. nBut soon the dog came into view, heading toward the red buoy anchored near the Point Edward casino.

Just then, Luciani's father and sister Sasha Gladwish pulled into the fishery and Gladwish jumped into a fishing boat with Purdy and a few crew members. The boat headed toward Hunter in the water, but the frightened dog turned away initially.

“About 40 yards the other side of the buoy, we caught up to her and she recognized Sasha's voice,” said Purdy. “She was scared, wet and tired.”

It took several people to hoist 80-pound Hunter into the fishing boat. When they got her in, she surprised everyone by having enough energy left to run around.

“She was in the water for half an hour. I couldn't believe it. If a ship had come along, she wouldn't have made it,” said Luciani who watched the rescue from shore. “I just want to say a great big thank you to the fisherman who loaned me his phone, to Purdy's and to the woman on the bicycle.

“It was her idea to go get help from Purdy's. I haven't been able to find her and I really owe her a thank you.”

Sarnia Observer


Updates -  June 4

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Saltie Gallery updated - Flevoborg, HR Maria, and Yulia


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.

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 waterlogged. 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 60 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, 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.

1961: C.A. BENNETT went aground in the Wiley-Dondero Channel of the Seaway while trying to avoid the REDFERN and was released with her own power.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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

South Chicago and Burns Harbor - Matt M.
Over the weekend, the St. Marys Challenger unloaded at the St. Mary's terminal in Lake Calumet, and Algomarine came in with a load of salt for 100th St. At the Port of Indiana, Burns Harbor, Stewart J. Cort, and Wilfred Sykes all unloaded at Arcelor Mittal on Saturday and Sunday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The big tug, Olive L. Moore, uncoupled from the Lewis J. Kuber Sunday morning, and headed downriver from the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee, bound for the Wirt dock in Bay City. There, she met up the the tug Manitou, who had recently arrived on the Saginaw River, and together they assisted in turning the Manitowoc in the Wirt basin. The Moore and Manitou made quick work of the turn and Manitowoc was outbound from the river late Sunday morning. After escorting Manitowoc out of the river, the Manitou traveled upriver to where the Moore-Kuber have been tied up at Burroughs since early on the 29th of May. With still too much current to turn around, Manitou tied off to the Moore with plans of trying again tomorrow if conditions cooperate. The tug Champion arrived on the Saginaw River late Sunday afternoon with two barges of equipment for the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville. She remained there Sunday night.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Sam Laud was loading Sunday night at the NS coal dock.

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
The Panamanian bulker Emilie is currently unloading steel pipe at the terminal 52 north wall. The tug W.N. Twolan and the spud barge Rock Prince are moored at the terminal 35 north wall. The tug Radium Yellowknife is in Toronto Drydock for maintenance and repairs.


Wind towers headed for Michigan project

6/3 - Manitowoc, Wis. – A wind farm development in Munger, Mich., is helping keep workers busy at Broadwind Towers & Heavy Industries’ manufacturing plant on the Manitowoc River peninsula. It also is providing a nice boost of commercial traffic for the car ferry S.S. Badger, supplementing fare revenue from tourists and other business-related Lake Michigan crossings of the 410-foot vessel.

Pat McCarthy, shore operations vice president for Lake Michigan Carferry Service, said about 280 oversized truckloads have started going 60 miles east to Ludington, Mich., for Phase II of a wind farm development.

With four tower sections for each 330-foot industrial turbine monopile, some 70 towers are part of the project. The sections are bolted together in the field, oftentimes with the aid of Manitowoc Company cranes using special attachments to lift them into place.

“We’ve estimated probably about 300 highway miles is saved by the Badger,” McCarthy said of the road travel that would be necessary to get the tower sections from Manitowoc to Munger, northeast of Saginaw.

He said the trucks transporting the tower sections get about 5 miles per gallon. That means about 16,400 gallons of diesel fuel is not burned with exhaust into the atmosphere for just the Munger wind farm project. Shipments via the Badger are expected to continue into late July or early August.

Terri Brown, LMC spokeswoman, said in 2012 the Badger transported 25,000 tons of wind tower sections, saving some 150,000 miles of driving and 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

McCarthy said up to four wind tower section shipments can be accommodated on each crossing, departing Manitowoc daily at either 2 p.m. or 1 a.m. While each section weighs several hundred tons, the Badger can transport 4 million pounds of cargo — or 2,000 tons — on each voyage.

Even with four tower shipments, McCarthy said the Badger can hold about 100 cars, including some that are driven on to an upper vehicle deck in the hold.

“We’ve done many types of oversize load transport, including big boats from manufacturers in Wisconsin,” McCarthy said. The broadest beamed boats are about 15 feet, he said, though the car ferry can accommodate transports up to 22 feet wide.

Green Bay Press-Gazette


Son of Edna G. captain lauded for service to Duluth's port

6/3 - Duluth, Minn. – With a head of gray hair and a full beard, Adolph Ojard has the look of a sea captain.

It’s perhaps a fitting look for the 63-year-old Duluth Seaway Port Authority executive director, who is planning to retire later this year. Ojard, a native of Knife River, has been on the Great Lakes in a variety of roles since his youth.

His father, Adolph Ojard Sr., was the last master of the Edna G. tugboat, once the oldest operating tug in the United States, which now serves as a floating museum in Two Harbors.

Ojard grew up working on his dad’s commercial fishing boat and the Two Harbors ore docks. He went on to work in the shipping and railroad industries across the Great Lakes before taking over Duluth’s top port position 10 years ago.

“It was kind of a natural progression,” Ojard said. “It was a nice transition from the private sector to the public sector, and it’s nice to be able to end my career here in my home port, in this industry I have been involved in for so many years.”

Ojard recently announced that he will be retiring from the Port Authority later this year after a successor is found, likely around September. He plans to spend more time with his children and grandchildren, who live in Pennsylvania and Georgia.

As port director, it has been Ojard’s job to promote and advocate for Great Lakes shipping and local economic development. He has testified before Congress about issues related to the Great Lakes, serves as president of the American Great Lakes Ports Association and chairs the U.S. delegation of the American Association of Port Authorities, an organization that represents and lobbies for ports throughout North and South America.

“There’s an old adage: ‘A rising tide lifts all boats,’” he said. “When I think of a ship entering the Great Lakes, I think of it as one harbor. There are docks in Cleveland and Detroit, and of course Duluth-Superior. Once here, the ship needs to maximize its voyage. The Great Lakes is just one big harbor with a number of docks.”

Ojard, a 1971 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth, spent more than 30 years working around the country with U.S. Steel in rail, inland barging and shipping executive positions. He served as president of the Warrior Gulf Navigation Company in Alabama and later became general manager of both the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway and the Great Lakes Fleet in Duluth, a position he held until taking over as port director in April 2003.

As Ojard prepares to retire, civic leaders and those in the shipping industry say his successor will have big shoes to fill. Steve Rauker, president of the Port Authority board and a St. Louis County commissioner, said Ojard has filled the big shoes left by his predecessor, Davis Helberg, who served in the same position for 24 years.

“If there is one thing I would point to that set Adolph apart, it was his work ethic and can-do spirit,” said Raukar, who was appointed to the board in 1998. “As is generally the case from a policy vantage, managers are more often than not either workhorses or show horses, and I would classify Adolph as a workhorse who preferred to get things accomplished versus taking the bows.”

A national search will take place to find candidates for the position. Ojard said he feels that the Port Authority will be in a good position for his successor.

“The shipping industry is going to be with us for a long time,” he said. “Things are in good shape. Now its time for me to move on and do something else.”

Lake County News Chronicle


Senate bill would get shovels digging in Great Lakes

6/3 - A $200 million backlog in Great Lakes dredging made worse by record low lake levels will get some help. A bill that passed the U.S. Senate last week would end that backlog.

There is a lot at stake economically when ships have to load light, carry less cargo, or risk running aground in the Great Lakes. U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin says this bill will allow the Great Lakes to catch up on digging projects over the next six to seven years in harbors and channels. She says that puts the Great Lakes in better position to compete with ocean ports.

“It’s an uneven playing field and we have made some headway in refocusing some of the funding to the Great Lakes region,” Baldwin said.

Unlike small, secondary ports, the Great Lakes larger ports have been able to get the dredging they need. But Duluth Port Director Adolph Ojard says the St. Marys River, which connects Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes, needs work.

He says this is a double-whammy with record low lake levels. He says this bill fixes that.

“Boy, I think it’s significant. What it further recognizes is in these low water conditions those authorized depths would be reflective of lake levels,” Ojard said. “So we would hopefully return to historical drafts for our vessels even in some low water level conditions.”

Baldwin and Ojard are keeping their fingers crossed it makes it through the U.S. House. The Water Resources Development Act also has money to prevent exotic species from entering the Great Lakes.

Superior Telegram


Reserve now for Engineer’s Day Soo Cruise

6/3 - Arrangements have been made for the annual freighter-chasing cruise on the St. Marys River, on June 28, 2013, as part of the annual Engineer’s Day Gathering in Sault Ste. Marie. The cruise will be three (3) hours and we will travel thru both the U.S. and Canadian Locks, and do our best to find photo opportunities for any vessel traffic in the river. Reservations are a must as we are limiting the group to 100 persons. Reserve now and save $5.00. See the Gathering Page for details.


Win a trip on the Roger Blough or Edwin H. Gott

6/3 - A raffle is now underway to benefit Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, the non-profit support organization for the BoatNerd.Com web site. If you are the winner, you and a guest will cruise on a voyage aboard the Roger Blough or Edwin H. Gott depending on vessel schedules. While onboard you will rest comfortably in private staterooms and view the scenery from the guest lounge.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and all proceeds from the raffle go to benefit BoatNerd.Com. The proceeds will provide the funding to maintain this free website.

Drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 27, 2013 at the Mission Point in Sault Ste. Marie during Engineer's Weekend. Your ticket(s) will be promptly mailed to you. Winners need not be present at drawing to win, and will be notified by mail and/or phone. All tickets orders must be received no later than Friday, June 21, 2013. Click here for complete details and ticket order form


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.

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, 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.

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 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.

1911 The passenger steamer NORTH WEST was gutted by a fire while fitting out at Buffalo. The hull remained idle until it was cut in two in 1918 for a tow to saltwater, but the bow section sank in Lake Ontario. The stern was rebuilt on the St. Lawrence as MAPLECOURT and returned to the lakes, again in two sections, in 1922.

1923 WILLIAM B. SCHILLER and HORACE S. WILKINSON collided in Whitefish Bay. The former was anchored when hit on the port side at #5 hatch. The SCHILLER’s captain pulled up the hook and raced for shore so as to sink in shallow water. It went down in about 40 feet and was salvaged on July 2.

1940 JOHN J. RAMMACHER and WILLIAM A. REISS (ii) collided just after midnight beneath the Blue Water Bridge at Sarnia-Port Huron and both ships were damaged.

1999 HOPE I lost power in the Seaway while downbound with wheat and stranded above Morrisburg. The hull was holed and the ship was released with the aid of tugs on June 5. The ship first came inland as a) NOSIRA MADELEINE in 1983 and returned as c) HOPE I for the first time in 1993. and then as d) HOPE in 2004. It was last reported as f) H. PIONEER in 2011.

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


Lake Superior water level rises 9 inches in May

6/2 - Duluth, Minn. – The level of Lake Superior jumped 9 inches in May, more than twice the normal monthly increase and the second most for any month since 1918.

The lake usually rises only about 4 inches each May. But thanks to late snow and a cold spring that held back runoff until ice and snow melted, May more than made up for the difference.

The big lake now sits just 7 inches below its long-term average for June 1 but is now a full 3 inches above its level at this time last year, the International Lake Superior Board of Control reported Friday.

Meanwhile, Lakes Huron and Michigan continued their meteoric rise from near record lows in late winter. The lakes rose another 5 inches in May, compared to the usual 3 inches for the month. The lakes remain 20 inches below the long-term average and two inches below the May 1 level of 2012. But Huron and Michigan are recovering from seasonal, winter lows at among their fastest pace ever.

The improving lake level conditions are good news not just for recreational boaters but also for Great Lakes shipping industry. Many of the lakes' largest freighters have had to transit the lakes with less than full loads, increasing prices and energy use and raising costs for raw material shippers such as taconite plants.

Duluth News Tribune


Port Reports -  June 2

Milwaukee Wis. - Chris Gaziano
The Alpena arrived in the early morning with a partial load for Milwaukee. They were outbound and heading east across the lake by late afternoon. The Algoway made its way into the inner harbor during the evening hours.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
The 1,000-footer American Spirit was expected to make a rare appearance in Calcite, arriving on Saturday early to load limestone at the North & South docks. Incoming vessels scheduled for the remainder of the week include Cason J. Callaway on Sunday, arriving very late in the evening for the North Dock. James L. Kuber is expected on Monday in the morning for the North Dock. For Tuesday, two vessels are expected, with the Hon. James L. Oberstar making a rare visit during the morning for the South Dock. The Great Republic is also due on Tuesday at about noon for the South Dock. Rounding out the schedule is the Arthur M. Anderson on Wednesday during the evening for the South Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Both Great Republic and the tug Defiance with barge Ashtabula were expected to arrive at Stoneport on Saturday. The Great Republic was due in during the dinner hour, while the Defiance / Ashtabula were expected to arrive during the evening. For Sunday, the Arthur M. Anderson is expected around suppertime to load limestone.

Port Inland & Cedarville, Mich. - Denny Dushane
At Port Inland, Wilfred Sykes loaded limestone and was expected to depart by about 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, weather permitting, due to very heavy fog. Kaye E. Barker was waiting for the Sykes to depart, and she was expected also to load at Port Inland on Saturday, weather permitting. H. Lee White was also expected to arrive late in the evening Saturday to load. Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted are due to arrive on Sunday during the evening and the Sykes is due back on Tuesday in the late afternoon.

At Cedarville, Kaye E. Barker was delayed at Port Inland due to weather and fog and was expected to arrive around 11 p.m. on Saturday. Calumet was also delayed coming from Green Bay due to weather and is expected now to arrive in Cedarville on Sunday between 1-2 a.m. Also due on Sunday is the Philip R. Clarke, arriving sometime around noon to load. The Cuyahoga is due Tuesday morning.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Both the Manitowoc and the Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber remained on the Saginaw River as of Saturday night, with Manitowoc at the Bay City Wirt dock and the Moore-Kuber at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee. The Moore-Kuber arrived on the 28th of May with a split cargo for Bay City and Saginaw Wirt and Manitowoc arrived on the 29th and unloaded at Bay City Wirt. Very strong currents in the Saginaw River are preventing the vessels from safely turning around and heading out for the lake.

Commercial Vessel Passages for the month of May totaled 18. This is three less than the same period in 2012, but is actually one more than the five year average. For total vessel passages for the year, there have been 21, which is 14 passages less than the same period in 2012.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
Lakes Contender and Ken Boothe Sr. were expected to arrive during the early afternoon on Saturday to unload iron ore pellets at the Torco Dock. Incoming vessels due at Torco for the remainder of the week include Algoma Progress on Monday during the morning, followed by Lee A. Tregurtha on Wednesday at noon. Also due on Wednesday is CSL Laurentien in the late afternoon. Vessels loading coal at the CSX Dock include Manitowoc on Sunday in the late evening, and James L. Kuber / Victory, due to load coal on Thursday in the early morning. Both Algolake and Catherine Desgagnes are expected to arrive on Sunday, June 9 to load coal at CSX. At the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock, CSL Laurentien is expected to make a rare appearance, arriving with limestone on June 8 in the evening.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Tug Defiance and barge departed Lorain Saturday morning at 12:40 and headed back west.


Canadian Coast Guard Ship Amundsen ready for service in the Arctic

6/2 - St. Catharines, Ont. – Rick Dykstra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, on behalf of the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today announced the completion of major work on the CCGS Amundsen. The Amundsen is back in the water and heading up to the Arctic.

Repairs to the CCGS Amundsen are being carried out over several years, starting with significant engine repairs and the installation of new generators. Work began last October in St. Catharines at Seaway Marine and Industrial Inc. These repairs are now complete, in time to have the vessel back in full service for the 2013 summer Arctic season. This work represents a $6 million contract for Seaway Marine and Industrial Inc.

The CCGS Amundsen is a medium Icebreaker. Through an agreement with Université Laval, the CCGS Amundsen has been converted into an Arctic science vessel and made available to the ArcticNet program for groundbreaking scientific research.

The repairs to the CCGS Amundsen are part of the unprecedented investment to the Canadian Coast Guard’s fleet renewal program from Economic Action Plan 2012. Through this investment, the government will extend the lives of 16 Coast Guard vessels and complete mid-life modernizations on an additional two existing hovercraft over the next 10 years.


Tougher Michigan ballast rules sought

6/2 - Lansing, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder planned to push this weekend for strengthening ballast water disposal requirements for ocean-going freighters that travel the Great Lakes during a summit of regional leaders on Mackinac Island.

In 2007, Michigan lawmakers created the region's toughest requirements for shipping vessels to unload excess water that can carry invasive species, such as zebra and quagga mussels that often litter Great Lakes beaches.

But surrounding states and Canadian provinces have not followed suit, so Michigan officials hope to kick-start a dialogue about the issue during the Council of Great Lakes Governors summit Snyder is hosting at the Grand Hotel. "I would like to see at some point that we get a common standard," Snyder said Friday after kicking off the summit.

Ships are circumventing Michigan's law by "moving out of Michigan waters and dumping ballast water," said Dan Wyant, director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Creating consistent guidelines throughout the region for ocean-going ships and their handling of ballast water needs attention, said James Clift, policy director for the Michigan Environmental Council.

Joel Brammeier, president of the Chicago-based Alliance for the Great Lakes, said his group is interested in the region's governments collaborating on an early detection and rapid response for invasive species.

The invasive aquatic species threat is a prime opportunity for teamwork, Brammeier said, since "when a new invader shows up eventually it's a problem for everybody."

Some Michigan lawmakers want to roll back the ballast water requirements because of opposition from shipping companies.

In addition to water quality, top elected officials from the Great Lakes states and provinces are expected to discuss economic, ecological and transportation issues facing the region during the weekend gathering.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne are scheduled to attend the summit, said Jon Allan, director of the DEQ's Office of the Great Lakes. Quebec, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and Minnesota are sending representatives, he said.

"These things are very good incubators for thinking about what collaboration in the region needs to look like," Allan said.

The governors and their representatives are expected to announce resolutions and agreements on new policy directives for Great Lakes issues on the environment, trade, transportation and water quality and levels.

"I think it's a great opportunity to say the Great Lakes are really important," Snyder said in an interview with The Detroit News. "I don't think we're going to solve all of the issues because there are differences of view between the states."

Snyder said he's pushing the region's governors and Canadian officials to forge stronger economic ties.

"We can do a better job marketing kind of the whole basin in terms of saying we're a big economy," Snyder said. "If you draw that circle (from) Montreal to Chicago, it's a third of the North American economy."

The Great Lakes face myriad threats such as falling lake levels and potential water diversions that could create precedents for future withdrawals.

The Michigan Environmental Council is monitoring the status of a requested water diversion from Lake Michigan by the Wisconsin town of Waukesha. The state of Wisconsin is reviewing the request after Waukesha's aquifer became contaminated with radium, and the way officials handle the application could set a precedent for the region.

Detroit News


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 truckloads 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.

1943: The W.W. HOLLOWAY and HARRY WM. HOSFORD collided in foggy lower Whitefish Bay and the latter steamer had to be beached at Point Iroquois to avoid sinking.

1958: WAR RACCOON was built at Welland in 1919. It was sailing under Liberian registry as l) MOUNT DELPHI when it hit a rock and was beached at Grand Island, near Mormugao, India, on a voyage from Mouimein, Burma, to Karachi, Pakistan. The ship was a total loss.

1968: CASTALIA, a Greek flag freighter, struck the north pier of the Mackinac Bridge, in dense fog and made a small gouge in the structure. The ship was holed and leaking but cleared to proceed to Chicago. It was on its first trip through the Seaway and was later scrapped as c) NEW ENGLANDER after arriving at Bilbao, Spain, on July 4, 1973.

1978: The bulk carrier ARCTIC was christened in a ceremony at Port Weller Dry Docks in St. Catharines.

1981: The sidewheel Toronto Island ferry TRILLIUM was unable to stop in time at the mainland dock. It struck the restaurant ship NORMAC and the latter sank two weeks later.

2000: ALGOWOOD buckled amidships while loading stone at Bruce Mines. The hull was patched, strengthened, refloated and towed to Port Weller Dry Docks to be lengthened and repaired.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Obituary: Kent Malo

6/1 - Kent Malo, Candiac, Que., a long-time friend of this site as well as an avid Montreal area boatwatcher and maritime photographer, passed away at 8 p.m. Friday. He had suffered a heart attack in mid-April. Details will be published when they become available.


Port Reports -  June 1

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber were loading Friday evening at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Tug Defiance and the barge Ashtabula came into Lorain around 8 a.m. Friday.

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
The Pineglen was moored at terminal 35 Friday next to the Atlas crane for a midsummer lay-up. The Stephen B. Roman was discharging cement at Essroc with the cement barge Metis laid up in the adjacent slip.

At Redpath the bulker Andean is in the final stage of unloading out of the forward holds and will be doing an overnight turn around to complete discharging of the aft holds.

This past Wednesday's torrential downpour caused the Don River to burst its banks and flood the Don Valley Parkway. It also flushed tons of dead trees, logs, limbs and other nefarious flotsam and jetsam into the harbor. For the past two days south west winds have pushed the debris into the slips at the north east side of the harbor where Port Authority workers have boomed it off for eventual removal.


Dangerous debris still lurks in Grand Haven, Holland channels, Coast Guard says

6/1 - Ottawa County, Mich. — The late April deluge that sent the Grand River and other waterways surging, sweeping up trees, picnic tables and Dumpsters, appears to still be plaguing boaters. The U.S. Coast Guard office in Grand Haven this week confirmed large trees, logs and other debris still are floating through Ottawa County river channels that feed Lake Michigan.

That presents a potentially dangerous situation for unsuspecting boaters who cast off in Holland or Grand Haven, where debris buildup has been, at times, staggering. The potentially hull-piercing flotsam and jetsam have officials cautioning boaters to remain vigilant after casting off.

"We have seen and we still continue to see trees and logs of a significant size floating down, and we do get a lot of reeds and grass and things of that nature that come down," First Class Petty Officer Kent Sypniewski said Wednesday. Still, "we haven't seen a whole lot of it here over the last few days," he added.

That does not downplay the hazards that await boaters, particularly with predictions of heavy rain this weekend and, by extension, rising river levels.

It was not entirely clear whether April's flooding was responsible for the debris, Sypniewski said, but reports certainly harken back to a month ago. "It's highly recommended that (boaters) stay highly alert," Sypniewski said.

Now, as then, what's more alarming than seeing whole trees floating toward Lake Michigan is what boaters don't see, Sypniewski added.

"Every time there's someone on the water, they should be keeping an eye out because they never know what's floating just beneath the surface," he said. "If it is something that you're not sure about, just avoid it completely."

Apart from large debris, Sypniewski said there are some areas along riverbanks and shorelines where smaller debris has built up because of April's flooding.

The litter has prompted a "Grand River GreenUp" Saturday, June 1, hosted by the Grand Haven Jaycees and West Michigan Environmental Action Council. Some 20 miles of the Grand River, adjacent tributaries and the Lake Michigan shoreline will be combed for trash under the event, which is in its third year.

The GreenUp initially had been scheduled for before April's flooding, but was postponed because of safety and other concerns.

“It’s a very timely event this year,” event chair Brock Rodgers said in a release. “Had we cleaned up before the flood, a lot of work might have been literally washed away. New trash would have been deposited there from upstream.

"We didn’t have this in mind necessarily when we made the decision to postpone, but it’s definitely working out to fill the greatest community need.”



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 out of Duluth harbor. This broke the record held by JOHN SMEATON (steel barge, 458 foot, 5,049 gross tons, built in 1899, at Superior, Wisconsin), which was 8,571 tons of ore.

The ASA CHILDS (wooden scow schooner, 125 foot, 204 gross tons, built in 1866, at Mentor, Ohio) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan when she was driven ashore at Highland Park just north of Chicago, Illinois on 01 June 1879, and was a total loss. The crew escaped in the lifeboat.

On 01 June 1914, the St. Joseph-Chicago Steamship Company bought the EASTLAND (steel propeller passenger steamer, 265 foot, 1,961 gross tons, built in 1903, at Port Huron, Michigan) from the Eastland Navigation Company for $150,000.

In 1943, the IRVING S OLDS collided with the 524 foot steamer CHARLES O. JENKINS in heavy fog 28 miles northeast of Cleveland on Lake Erie and was holed eight feet above the water line. The OLDS was able to help the badly damaged JENKINS back to Cleveland by lashing the two vessels together. After a grueling seven hours the JENKINS was beached in the outer harbor to prevent her from sinking. The OLDS was repaired in time to carry a new record of 17,817 gross tons of iron ore on June 13, 1943. In 1952, the steamer J.L. MAUTHE (Hull#298) was launched at Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, Michigan, for the Interlake Steamship Co.

The WHITEFISH BAY, loaded with 950,000 bushels of spring wheat, was honored as she carried the billionth metric ton of cargo through the Eisenhower Lock in 1983.

On June 1, 1907, the Great Lakes Engineering Works launched the bulk steamer WILPEN (Hull#28) at Ecorse, Michigan, for the Shenango Steamship Co., a subsidiary of Shenango Furnace Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) DAVID P. THOMPSON in 1926, and converted to a self-unloader in 1957, at Superior, Wisconsin. She was renamed c.) JOSEPH S. YOUNG in 1969, and scrapped at La Spezia, Italy in 1979.

The H. LEE WHITE departed Sturgeon Bay in ballast on her maiden voyage for the American Steamship Co., on June 1, 1974, to load iron ore at Escanaba, Michigan for Indiana Harbor.

June 1, 1902 - While northbound for Manistique, Michigan, the ANN ARBOR NO 1 went aground in a heavy fog about noon on South Manitou Island, but was able to free herself and to proceed undamaged.

June 1, 1938 - The PERE MARQUETTE 21, under the command of Captain Arthur Altschwager, was released from a sand bar in the outer harbor at Manitowoc at 1:06 p.m. today after being aground for six hours. Her sister ship, the PERE MARQUETTE 22, commanded by J.F. Johnson, freed the ferry after taking a line and pulling the big ship back off the bar.

June, 1958, The ANN ARBOR NO 6 was taken out of service for extensive refitting. She was renamed b.) ARTHUR K. ATKINSON.

On 1 June 1887, LUCINDA VAN VALKENBURG (wooden schooner, 129 foot, 302 gross tons, built in 1862, at Tonawanda, New York) collided with the iron steamer LEHIGH in fog and sank near Thunder Bay Island on Lake Huron. The crew was safely taken aboard the LEHIGH and brought to Port Huron.

On 1 June 1892, the steel bulk freighter CHOCTAW was launched at the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company (Hull #17) in Cleveland, Ohio for the Lake Superior Iron Company. Her dimensions were 207 feet x 38 feet x 18 feet and she had a triple expansion steam engine 17 feet, 29 inches, 47 inches x 36 inch stroke. She was built as "monitor" type vessel based on whaleback design with all her cabins aft. She lasted until sunk in a collision in 1915.

1923: The barge BROOKDALE of Canada Steamship Lines was sunk near Montreal after a collision with MAPLEDAWN. The wooden hulled vessel, originally the schooner MORAVIA, was refloated and scrapped.

1943: A collision on foggy Lake Superior between BATTLEFORD and PRINDOC sank the latter off Passage Island. All on board were saved from the downbound, wheat-laden bulk carrier of the Paterson fleet.

1944: The first NEWBRUNDOC had been built at Toronto in 1921 and had previously sailed as CANADIAN ENGINEER and b) DONALD E.McKAY. The ship became f) SAVLATORE in 1934 and, with the outbreak of war, was now the enemy. It was bombed and sunk by British aircraft as part of a German convoy in the Aegean Sea and all hands were lost.

1966: RIO ALTO, a Liberty ship, came to the Great Lakes under Liberian registry in 1963. It developed leaks on the Pacific while enroute from Manati, Puerto Rico, to China as d) AKTOR and sank on this date 860 miles SSW of San Diego, CA in 1966.

1967: RENVOYLE struck the docked SYLVANIA while turning at Port Huron and the latter sank against the dock. The former, a C.S.L. package freighter, received bow damage and was laid up and then sold for scrap. SYLVANIA was refloated, repaired and returned to service.

1979: GEORGES HERBERT, a wooden goelette that occasionally came to the Great Lakes, sank in the Gulf of Mexico while carrying a cargo of corn.

2011: CANADIAN RANGER, under tow on the St. Lawrence, got spun around 180 degrees by a wind gust above the Iroquois Lock and had to be towed through the lock stern first before being realigned below the lock. It reached the scrap yard at Aliaga, Turkey, on July 13, 2011.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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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