Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

Manistee rescues diver in Straits of Mackinac

6/30 - Mackinaw City, Mich. – A scuba diver ascended away from the mooring line at the shipwreck of the Sandusky, five miles west of the Mackinac Bridge and several miles from shore Sunday, and found himself in trouble. The diver drifted away from the dive boat in the strong winds of an approaching storm front. The boat recovered the other divers and slipped the mooring to attempt a recovery, only to suffer an engine shutdown in the building seas. The dive boat anchored and called for Coast Guard assistance for the lost diver. As there were no other small craft nearby, the westbound motor vessel Manistee adjusted course to the south to look for the diver. They quickly located him in the building seas, recovered him with their workboat, and returned him to the anchored dive boat. The dive boat was later towed to Mackinaw City Marina for repairs.

 

Port Reports -  June 30

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
Tug and barge Joyce L. VanEnkevort and Great Lakes Trader waited to load ore Sunday evening on the first visit by the pair to LS&I in 2014.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Daniel Lindner
The 519-foot cement carrier Alpena, which had arrived in Sturgeon Bay via the bay of Green Bay around 4 p.m. on Saturday, departed Bay Shipbuilding in the evening hours on Sunday. It is unknown why she was in port. Earlier on Friday, the 229 foot charter yacht Freedom departed Sturgeon Bay after stopping in port for a few days on her Great Lakes tour. She is next due in Detroit, Mich. The USCG Hollyhock is in one of Bayship's floating drydocks, most likely receiving repairs to damage suffered in January in a collision with Interlake's Mesabi Miner.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber called on the Saginaw River Sunday afternoon. The pair stopped briefly at the Lafarge Cement dock in Essexville as the Saginaw River was closed to vessel traffic between Veteran's Memorial Bridge and Liberty Bridge due to the annual "River Roar" tunnel boat races. Once the river was opened to traffic, the Moore-Kuber traveled upriver to unload at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee.

Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
Tug Tony McKay and barge visited Oswego Harbor to unload aluminum bars Sunday. Harbor dredging continues.

 

Lookback #225 – Acadialite stranded off Cape Hurd on June 30, 1940

6/30 - Acadialite, a tanker in the Imperial Oil fleet, cut the corner of the Bruce Peninsula a little close and stranded at Cape Hurd on June 30, 1940.

The 10-year-old, 1969-gross-ton vessel received considerable damage and it was in some danger until it could be salvaged. The vessel was taken to Collingwood and received close to $100,000 in repairs following the accident of 74 years ago today.

Acadialite was renamed Imperial Cornwall in 1947 and, between the two names, the ship collected a number of “top hats” over the years for being the first ship of the season into a variety of ports. In 1963 alone, the vessel opened Sarnia, Windsor, Bay City, Owen Sound and Britt and, the following year, picked up the honors at Sarnia, Windsor, Owen Sound and Collingwood.

Beginning in 1969, Imperial Cornwall worked in the East Coast bunker trade. The tanker was sold and renamed Golden Sable in 1971 but saw little service. The ship did make one trip from Quebec City to Buffalo but was then laid up at Montreal due to a boiler problem. Golden Sable was towed to Louiseville, QC by the tug R.F. Grant on August 12, 1972, and used as a floating dock. The hull was scrapped at that port about 1980.

Skip Gillham

 

Lookback Bonus – Ontonagon-built ATB Attacked by Pirates on June 30, 2005

6/30 - On June 30, 2005, the U.S.-flagged ATB Thunder/Lightning was attacked by pirates off Umm Qasr, Iraq. Armed pirates boarded the articulated tug and barge while underway, fired shots and held the crew at gunpoint. There were no injuries reported but the pirates did steal cash and some of the crew’s personal belongings before eventually leaving the vessel. The ATB was operated at the time by American Cargo Transport, Inc. and had carried reconstruction material to Iraq for the Military Sealift Command. This attack happened roughly four years prior to the more violent and much greater publicized Maersk Alabama incident.

The tug and barge were fabricated at the Upper Peninsula Shipbuilding Company in Ontonagon, Mich., and were envisioned as part of a fleet of one tug and four integrated barges to replace the aging Ann Arbor Railroad car ferry fleet. After the shipyard went bankrupt, the pair lingered unfinished for years in various Great Lakes ports. They were eventually converted to an articulated connection system and completed by Robert Bludworth in Houston, Texas. They still sail internationally, currently for Foss Maritime.

Tom Hynes

 

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.

 

Algoma Harvester transits Panama Canal

6/29 - Algoma Harvester, the second of eight new Equinox-class ships being built at the Nantong Heavy Industries shipyard in Nantong City, China, for Algoma Central Corp., arrived off the Panama Canal at Balboa on June 27 at 3:50 p.m. and anchored awaiting passage through the canal. By 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, the vessel was underway and heading inbound for the Panama Canal. First up for the vessel would be the Miraflores Locks and possibly an evening or night passage through the lock. After the ship clears the Panama Canal, it is expected that the Algoma Harvester's first official cargo will be a load of iron ore pellets that will be loaded from Port Cartier, Quebec, and eventually delivered to Hamilton, Ontario, for the ArcelorMittal Dofasco Steel Dock.

Denny Dushane

 

Port Reports -  June 29

Duluth, Minn.
United States Steel Minntac operations has been stockpiling iron ore pellets since December of last year resulting in a historic 2 million tons of pellets on the ground at the Mt. Iron, Minn., facility. In the last month CN trains have moved an estimated 250,000 tons of excess pellets to the docks in Duluth and Two Harbors.

St. Marys River
The Poe Lock was out of service for a short time Saturday afternoon for unknown reasons. The upbound Mesabi Miner and the downbound Lakes Contender/Ken Boothe Sr. were delayed in the locks area, while CSL Laurentien reduced speed in the upper river.

Manistee, Mich. – News Advocate
About 8,000 tons of asphalt were unloaded at the Rieth-Riley Construction Company dock in Manistee Lake Thursday, for storage in tanks off 16th Street and later use by purchaser Interstate Asphalt. It was the company’s only scheduled delivery by ship this year. Two Canadian vessels, the tugboat Everlast pushing the barge Norman McLeod, handled the delivery.

St. Clair, Mich. – Bob Markus
Indiana Harbor arrived late Friday at the DTE St. Clair Power Plant with a load of coal. She departed this afternoon.

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Mississagi was inbound 5:30 p.m. Saturday. She departed about 9 p.m.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W
The Rebecca Lynn - A-397 tug-barge were unloading at Noco in Tonawanda all day Saturday. They departed for the Black Rock lock at about 8 p.m.

Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
On Saturday, the tug Cheyenne and barge Witt 2303 transited Oswego harbor for the NYS Barge Canal.

 

Algoma Montrealais, Canada’s last steamer, sails again

6/29 - Montreal, Que. – Algoma Montrealais, the last steam-powered Canadian laker, departed her lay-up berth in Montreal, Que., at Section 56 North during the morning of Saturday, June 28, and was heading upbound in the St. Lawrence Seaway for most of Saturday.

The vessel is heading for Superior, Wisconsin and the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Ore Dock #5 where they will load taconite pellets.

This is the first trip for the Algoma Montrealais for the 2014 season and is also somewhat of a surprise, considering talk that the 2013 shipping season was to be the last season for the classic steamer. However due to the extreme conditions of this past winter and high demand for cargo to be moved on the Great Lakes/Seaway, the Algoma Montrealais has been reactivated.

This classic laker was built in 1962 and launched as the Montrealer, but, was immediately renamed Montrealais. In 1972 the ship was purchased by ULS Group of Toronto from the Papachristidis fleet but still retained her name. In 2011, the ship was sold to Algoma Central Corp. and receiving the Algoma bow and stack logos. It was not until the 2012 season that the ship's name was changed to Algoma Montrealais.

Denny Dushane

 

U.S. targets Canadian ships with proposed inspection fee hike

6/29 - Canadian cargo ships may soon be facing a hefty new bill at American ports on the Great Lakes.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed a significant hike on inspection fees and the elimination of annual inspection caps on Canadian ships sailing the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes.

The Canadian shipping industry is crying foul. The USDA also considered proposing fees for rail passengers, bus passengers, pedestrians, private aircraft and private vessels.

According to the Chamber of Marine Commerce's estimates, increased inspection costs for Canadian ships could more than double under the new rules.

Washington's proposed fee increase could increase a ship's annual cost of doing business by as much as 238 per cent, the chamber said.

“They are unjustified on the grounds of environmental risk and would make Canadian Great Lakes vessels less competitive against U.S. Great Lakes ships carrying the same products in the same waters," the chamber's president, Stephen Brooks, said in a media release.

It has proposed to raise the fees for agricultural quarantine and inspection services of ships from $496 to $825 per inspection.

The agency would also eliminate the annual fee cap of charging a maximum of 15 times per vessel.

"These staggering fee hikes fly in the face of President Obama’s oft-spoken commitment to the efficient flow of goods between our two nations," Brooks added.

The United States Department of Agricultural Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says the increase is needed to recover costs of performing the inspections.

It's also looking at adjusting current fees charged for certain agricultural quarantine and inspection services that are provided in connection with certain commercial trucks, railroad cars and aircraft.

Certain commercial rail cars are also subject to an inspection fee increase should they be approved by the U.S. government in December. (Canadian Press)

"We have determined that revised user fee categories and revised user fees are necessary to recover the costs of the current level of activity, to account for actual and projected increases in the cost of doing business, and to more accurately align fees with the costs associated with each fee service," the agency says in its proposal.

The agency reviews manifests and documentation accompanying incoming cargo. It also looks for contaminants, pests, or invasive species and inspects containers, compliant wood packaging material and packing materials.

The Chamber of Marine Commerce has filed an official complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency behind the proposal.

“It’s clear to us that Canadian Great Lakes-St. Lawrence ships have been caught in a system intended to prevent

international ships from bringing in pests and infestations from foreign ports. This does not apply to us as our vessels carry primarily non-agricultural products including minerals in bulk," Algoma Central Corporation CEO Greg Wright said in a release.

The fee increases were proposed in April. The comment period ended Tuesday. A final ruling is expected in December. The Chamber of Marine Commerce says Canadian ships should be exempt since they never leave the bi-national Great Lakes area.

David Cree, president and CEO of the Windsor Port Authority, says the drastic changes would hamper business in Windsor.

He calls the port one of the Great Lakes' most vital shipping hubs.

"It's one thing to absorb increased costs over a period of time, but to have costs go up that quickly all in one year is very difficult to explain to the shipping industry that wants to use the Great Lakes," Cree said.

Cree says the changes would affect both shippers and consumers.

"Impact on costs can certainly have an impact on end users and cost end users, so we're concerned about an increase of that magnitude and share the Chamber of Marine Commerce's sentiments," he said. "We need to have a careful look at it."

Canadian Great Lakes ships carry more than 33 million tonnes of products across the border. Their cargo includes iron ore for steel production; coal for energy production; salt for winter de-icing; and construction materials.

The bi-national Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway marine industry generates $35 billion in business revenues and supports 227,000 jobs in the U.S. and Canada, the Chamber of Marine Commerce says.

CBC

 

Lookback #224 – Lemoyne and Martian collided at Welland on June 29, 1966

6/29 - Two members of the Canada Steamship Lines fleet got too close for comfort 48 years ago today. The vessels were navigating one of the winding stretches of the Fourth Welland Canal through the heart of the city of Welland when they collided during rush hour. As a result of the collision, Lemoyne also veered into the Main St. Bridge resulting in traffic chaos. That stretch of the canal was eliminated when the Welland By-Pass opened in 1972.

Fortunately, the two ships were not seriously damaged by their meeting and the bridge also remained sound.

Lemoyne, once the biggest and best-known ship on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes, was nearing the end of the line. It operated through the 1968 season before being sold to Spanish shipbreakers. Lemoyne arrived at Santander, Spain, under tow, on June 27, 1969, and the former Great Lakes cargo record holder, now obsolete, was quickly dismantled.

The older and smaller Martian dated from 1901 and appeared to be headed for the scrapyard in 1948, when it was purchased by C.S.L. to help augment fleet capacity after their Emperor had sunk on June 4, 1947. Martian was also repaired following the June 29, 1966, collision and last sailed in 1967. It was sold, through Marine Salvage of Port Colborne, to Italian shipbreakers and arrived at Vado, under tow, on July 18, 1970.

Skip Gillham

 

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.

 

Rail backlog has ripple effect on Great Lakes

6/28 - Duluth, Minn. – With another saltie sitting outside the Duluth harbor waiting to load grain this week, federal pressure continues on ramping up grain shipments by rail across the Midwest.

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken this week praised the efforts of the Surface Transportation Board in demanding that two railroad companies provide weekly reports and plans to get grain shipments moving across the Midwest.

“This is another good step,” Franken said in a news release. “But we still need to help other rail customers in Minnesota who suffer from poor service.”

The rail backlog also has affected coal shipments from Montana and the ability of automobile manufacturers to ship new vehicles.

The Surface Transportation Board ordered the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Canadian Pacific rail companies to provide plans by today on how they plan to ease the backlog.

The rail companies have said a harsh winter slowed shipments and created some of the delays. Customers have complained that rail companies are concentrating too much on filling shipments from the oil fields in North Dakota.

That oil boom continues, while last year’s American corn and soybean crop had some of the largest yields in history.

The Twin Ports has seen the effects of limited grain shipments. Earlier this year one oceangoing vessel, the Federal Mattawa, sat outside the Aerial Lift Bridge for 23 days until there was enough grain at the CHS elevator in Superior. Another foreign ship coming for grain, the Raba, has been anchored all week.

Grain elevator managers in the Twin Ports were reluctant to comment on the availability of grain. Representatives of parent grain companies testified at a Surface Transportation Board hearing in April.

“During the hearing, farmers and representatives of agricultural producers described severe, negative effects resulting from backlogged grain car orders and delayed shipments of loaded grain cars,” the board reported in its decision issued last week.

The crisis then was the availability of fertilizer for spring planting and fears about last fall’s harvest piling up not only in the Midwest but across Canada.

The board said it singled out BNSF and Canadian Pacific because the problems have been “acute” on their lines.

BNSF already had been giving updates on its efforts to add employees, bring on new locomotives and cars, and improve or create track. Canadian Pacific started providing updates after the April talks.

Duluth News Tribune, Al Miller

 

Port Reports -  June 28

St. Marys River
Nearly 100 Boatnerds enjoyed the annual freighter-chasing cruise on the St. Marys River and Engineer’s Day at the locks. The picture-perfect morning started out slow, but traffic quickly picked up with the downbound Ojibway, Capt. Henry Jackman and Tecumseh. Edwin H. Gott and Kaye E. Barker were upbound. On the cruise, aboard the LeVoyageur with Capt. Jack Cork and crew, cameras whirred as the tour boat passed the John D. Leitch, Stewart J. Cort and Pathfinder/Dorothy Ann. The trip also included a close-up view of the former Algonorth, being scrapped above the locks. The harbor rang with salutes, as the annual tugboat parade locked through the same time as the Boatnerds. Many thanks to all who participated.

Oswego, NY - Ned Goebricher
On Friday, Stephen B. Roman unloaded cement.

 

Lookback #223 – Divina struck a pier of the Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge on June 28, 1960

6/28 - The Norwegian cargo ship Divina began Great Lakes trading in 1952, a year after it had been built at Porsgrunn, Norway. Beginning in 1959, when the new Seaway was opened, the 253 foot long, 1596 gross ton carrier continued making regular visits to inland destinations.

On June 28, 1960, Divina rammed the pier of the bridge Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge across the St. Lawrence between Ogdensburg, NY, and Prescott, ON. The saltwater freighter received heavy damage on the port side and a hole was punched in the hull due to the accident of 54 years ago today.

Divina was repaired and lasted until 1984. Its fourth and final name was Petrol 20 and the ship was laid up at Piraeus, Greece on Aug. 7, 1982. With no prospect for future service, it was sold to Greek shipbreakers and dismantled at Eleusis beginning in July 1984.

Skip Gillham

 

Bonus Lookback – Docegulf a frequent St. Lawrence Seaway trader

6/28 - The Liberian freighter Docegulf was a frequent trader through the St. Lawrence Seaway. The 205.52 metre long bulk carrier had been built at Ulsan, South Korea, in 1979 and began Great Lakes service the next year.

Some of the inland visits were newsworthy for the wrong reasons. The ship hit the lower lock gate at the Eisenhower Lock, Massena, NY, on Oct. 25, 1992, delaying shipping until a survey could be completed. Then, two weeks later, the vessel backed into the seawall at Port Huron, MI causing damage to the structure and opening a gash below the waterline of the freighter.

On this occasion, Docegulf had loaded grain at Sarnia and got caught in the current of the St. Clair River while backing away from the dock. Repairs were estimated to cost in the $200,000 range.

On Sept. 11, 1994, Docegulf went aground in the St. Mary’s River at the entrance to the Neebish Cut. Some of the wheat cargo had to be removed to a barge before the ship was refloated on Sept. 13. A hole was punched in the hull at the front of the ship that required repairs.

Ore inbound and export grain were the main Seaway cargoes over the years and this changed somewhat when the vessel was sold and re-registered in Malta as Armonikos in 1998. The ship was back inland in November with pig iron for Green Bay and Marinette before loading at Duluth.

In later years, Armonikos brought sugar to Toronto as well as cement clinker. Grain remained the primary downbound cargo with loading at Duluth, Thunder Bay and Sarnia. The ninth and final Seaway trip as Armonikos was in 2002 and the ship spent its final years on saltwater.

Another sale brought one last name of Svyatoy Andrey in 2004 and the ship operated under the flag of Panama until 2011. Following a sale for scrap, the vessel arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, on May 5, 2011, and was beached for dismantling.

Skip Gillham

 

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.

 

Wi-Fi, not whiskey, the new stock-in-trade of Toronto sailor’s mission

6/27 - Toronto, Ont. – The building on the pier has a haunted look, a ramshackle two-storey cottage marooned in a sea of empty lots, covered in what looks like cobwebs (it’s seasonal cottonwood fluff), and drowning in eerie silence just a five-minute walk from the Gardiner Expressway. It seems to be a sanctuary, or abandoned.

As it turns out, the Mission to Seafarers is a bit of both. Sitting on Pier 51 in Toronto’s docklands, the chapel-cum-clubhouse ministers to the needs of sailors docking in the city’s port.

These days, the building is used lightly — about 1,000 seamen cross the mission’s threshold in a typical year. On Tuesday, the eve of International Day of the Seafarer, its only occupants were Rev. Judith Alltree and the organization’s treasurer.

But for sailors who use the cottage, it can be an oasis. Thirty-three saltwater ships, or “salties”, called at Toronto last year, according to the port authority. (Lake boats rarely dock long enough to use the mission.)

Once they’ve deposited their cargos of sugar from Central America or steel pipe from India — two port staples — the men usually have four to eight days off, depending on the weather. Strangers in the city, their first stop is often the mission where the sea dogs relish solid ground, slump in shabby sofas and avail themselves of anachronistic phone booths.

So rarely seasick, sailors are almost always homesick and when they hit dry land, they usually fire up Skype and call their wives. “ ‘Hi sweetheart, I love you’ — I get that in 12 languages,” Alltree says.

The building and its surrounding courtyard have free Wi-Fi, a strong enticement for ABs (able-bodied seamen) who sometimes make as little as $585 a month.

“One of the most important factors in a seafarer’s life is the ability to communicate with their families,” says Alltree. “That and a bottle of beer.”

This prompts the inevitable question: what about a bottle of rum? “No, my dear,” Alltree answers, “this is an Anglican mission: it’s either Scotch or sherry.”

The polyglot cohort of international seamen may not have a lingua franca, but they all know how to order a drink in any port of call, from Toronto to Tonkin: raising a wrist.

“If you don’t understand that, baby, you’re in trouble,” says Alltree, mimicking the gesture.

(In sober tones, she emphasizes that the mission does not have a liquor licence, except occasionally for special events. “Lots of pop in the fridge,” Alltree says, laughing.)

Once thirst has been quenched and families reassured, priorities become a little more esoteric. First: Best Buy, to stock up on tech supplies and make sure they’re able to call home at will. Second: Victoria’s Secret. Like the lingerie company? That’s right, says Alltree — it’s a way to placate long-suffering wives. “No self-respecting Filipino seafarer would go home without something from Victoria’s Secret.”

Lower down on the priority list is religious observance, the ostensible purpose of the mission, whose closet-sized chapel does not look worn from overuse.

Many of the sailors are Polish or Filipino Catholics, for whom the idea of a female priest like Alltree doesn’t fly. Combine that with the traditional worldliness of seafaring men, and the religious temperature of the mission rarely rises above tepid.

As the reverend herself put it, “They don’t come madly dashing in here saying, ‘Please can we have a prayer service.’ ”

Still, Alltree tends to her floating flock with the available means. Beginning in November, before ice clogs the Toronto waterway, she suits up in a hard hat and steel-toe boots to bring Christmas care packages to the sailors before they’ve disembarked.

While she walks the deck, she keeps an eye out for distraught or disgruntled sailors.

“When there’s a problem, they’re usually pretty reluctant to go to the shipmaster,” Alltree explains. “Listening is a big part of our job. . . . First they want to talk to their wives, then they want to talk to you.”

Life at sea provides plenty of fodder for the confessor’s booth, or the shrink’s couch. Rum, sodomy and the lash may be things of the past but tight quarters, lousy food and long spells of loneliness are unavoidable aboard ship. All of this makes the global network of cheap consumer goods possible: employing 20 crew members for an ocean crossing costs chump change for shipping conglomerates.

“We know the ocean from the shore,” Alltree said. “The main thing is to raise awareness about how so few people are working so hard for so many others.

“It’s called the invisible industry. You just don’t see it.”

Toronto Star

 

Port Reports -  June 27

St. Clair – Bob Markus
Thursday: James R. Barker arrived this morning at the DTE St. Clair Power Plant with a load of coal from Duluth.

 

Lookback #222 – James J. Hill hit wooden ship in fog on June 27, 1916

6/27 - A thick, early summer, fog hung over parts of Lake Superior 98 years ago today. The 497-foot-long ore carrier James J. Hill of the United States Steel fleet plowed into the Panther, a 248-foot-long wooden ship and, in the mismatch, the latter went down.

The accident occurred off Ile Parisienne and the captain of the James J. Hill held his ship against the Panther until all of the crew got off safely. After pulling away, they watched the Panther sink and the loss was listed at $30,000.

James J. Hill had been built at Lorain, Ohio, in 1900 and was an original member of the U.S. Steel fleet after one season under the banner of the American Steamship Co. It operated as a “tin-stacker” through 1957 and was then laid up.

Sold to the city of Cleveland in 1961, the vessel was sunk as a breakwall off Gordon Park, along with former fleetmate William Edenborn, the next year. In 1968, the area was covered with landfill creating a recreational area and fishing pier and it remains on location.

The Panther had been built at West Bay City, Mich. in 1890 and had previously sunk near Beaver Island in 1910. There would be no salvage after the 1916 collision as Panther was a total loss.

Skip Gillham

 

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.

 

High Lake Superior level prompts outflow increase at the Soo

6/26 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The brimming water level on Lake Superior has led a Canadian-U.S. regulatory board to increase the outflow through gates on the St. Marys River at Sault Ste. Marie.

The International Lake Superior Board of Control says the flow setting of the control structure at the head of the St. Marys Rapids will increase Wednesday from the equivalent of five gates to the equivalent of seven gates, and it warns anglers to beware of changing flow and water levels.

The board operates under the authority of the International Joint Commission.

It says recent rains have raised Lake Superior 6.3 inches above average. The level on downstream lakes Michigan and Huron is 5.5 inches below average.

International Lake Superior Board of Control

 

Great Tugboat Parade, race raise funds for challenged children in the Twin Saults

6/26 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Powerful and hard-working tugboats will be prominently featured in the Twin Saults on Friday, June 27 and Saturday, June 28 as The Great Tugboat Parade and Race take place on the St. Marys River.

Set up for local workboat owners to strut their boats’ stuff and have a little fun, the Great Tugboat Race and Parade celebrate the local marine industry. The events are fundraisers for programs in the Twin Saults that support local challenged children.

“Each year, we raise approximately $20,000,” said Leanne Marlow, the Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. event coordinator. “With a portion of the money, we sponsor the E.U.P. Special Olympic Bowling Program. More than 70 Special Olympian athletes take part in the program in Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace. The sponsorship includes T-shirts, two games weekly for eight weeks and a tournament — consisting of bowling, lunch and trophy awards.”

In the days before and after the main events, pancake breakfasts will take place in both Sault, Ont. and Sault, Mich. For $7, breakfast-goers will be treated to pancakes served with local maple syrup, breakfast sausage links, orange juice and coffee from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. each day. The all you can eat events will be aboard the “Nostalgia” barge at the Bondar Marina in Canada from June 26-28 and at George Kemp Marina in Sault, Mich. on June 29 and 30.

A “Rendezvous with Family & Friends” parade of tugs will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening. The boats will pilot on both sides of the river, heading both upbound and downbound through the American and Canadian Locks. Spectators will have the chance to view big offshore tugs, harbor tugs, fish tugs, yard boats, “boom boats,” “alligator boats,” buoy tenders and more.

The vessels will also be prominently featured in The Great Tugboat Parade at noon on the St. Marys River on Saturday, just before The Great Tugboat Race begins at 12:30 p.m. Workboats of several power classes line up at the Rock Pile on the Canadian side and MCM Marine on the American side. The finish line is the Civic Center on the Canadian Side and the head of the beginning of the lock on the American side. Racing continues until the largest and tiniest workboat has run the course.

Those seeking refreshments on the Michigan side of the river should head to James A. Alford Park on Saturday. Little Caesar’s Pizza will be on hand with food and drink, with a portion of the proceeds going to the cause.

Soo Evening News

 

Port Reports -  June 26

St. Marys River
Philip R. Clarke, making her first trip of the season upbound, tied up at the Carbide Dock in the early afternoon. Waterfront reports indicate there may have been bowthruster problems. She resumed her trip in the late evening.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Chris Gazaiano
Algomarine arrived late in the afternoon Wednesday with a load of salt for the inner harbor.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
John J. Boland loaded at Port Inland on Tuesday and was due to depart around 4 p.m. Great Lakes Trader was also expected to arrive in the mid-afternoon on Tuesday following the Boland's departure. Also due in on Tuesday was the Wilfred Sykes, taking the dock upon the Great Lakes Trader's departure. Rounding out the schedule was the Joseph L. Block, expected to arrive on Wednesday afternoon.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
On Monday the Manitowoc was at Lafarge unloading coal. The Alpena arrived Tuesday afternoon to load cement for Essexsville, Mich. On Wednesday the tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity loaded cement under the silos at Lafarge.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Duishane
American Courage loaded at the South Dock on Tuesday and was due to depart on Wednesday around 6:30 a.m. Expected to arrive on Wednesday in the morning for the North Dock was the American Spirit, making rare appearance.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Great Republic loaded at Stoneport on Wednesday and was due to depart around 5 p.m. Three vessels are due to load on Thursday with the John G. Munson arriving first in the morning followed later in the evening by the Cason J. Callaway. Algoma Navigator is due late evening on Thursday as well. Friday there are no vessels scheduled. For Saturday the Lewis J. Kuber is expected to arrive in the morning hours to load and the John G. Munson returns in the late afternoon hours.

St. Clair, Mich. – Bob Markus
American Integrity arrived Wednesday morning to unload coal at the DTE St. Clair Power Plant. Paul R. Tregurtha arrived in the afternoon and was anchored below the power plant, waiting for American Integrity to depart.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
H. Lee White loaded at the CSX #4 Coal Dock on Wednesday. Due next at the Coal Dock to load is the John D. Leitch due on Thursday during the morning. Four vessels are scheduled to load at the coal dock on Saturday with the James L. Kuber and American Mariner both arriving in the early morning. Saginaw is due in the late afternoon followed by the Manitowoc in the early evening. The Michipicoten is now on the schedule for the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock and is expected to arrive on Thursday in the late afternoon. At the Torco Dock, James L. Kuber is due on Friday in the early evening. Hon. James L. Oberstar is due there on Saturday in the late morning and due on Monday, June 30 is the Kaye E. Barker in the late afternoon. Three other vessels were in port at the time of this report. The salty Ruddy remains at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock. Avenger IV with a barge also still remains in port. The salty Irma of Cyprus registry recently arrived to load at one of the elevators up the Maumee River.

Oswego, NY – Ned Goebricher Oswego Palladium Times reports that the Oswego Harbor is being dredged for the first time in many years. USACE will be dredging approximately 60,000 cubic yards of the harbor to remove silt so that the harbor can be proper depth for shipping traffic. Port Board Chairman Hammill noted that the dredging should be completed in three weeks without difficulties

 

Join us for our Detroit River Freighter Chasing Cruise

On Saturday, August 2, 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. A pizza lunch will be delivered by the J. W. Westcott mail boat, with a cash bar onboard. Advance Reservation Cost is $36 per person. The cruise departs at 10 a.m. from Portofino's On The River in Wyandotte, Mich. Click here for Advance Reservation form.

 

Lookback #221 – Former Emil Reith attacked by Tamil Tiger rebels on June 26, 2000

6/26 - The West German freighter Emil Reith was two years old when it began Seaway trading in 1970. The small, 290 foot 2 inch long, 1834 gross ton vessel visited the Great Lakes on several occasions through 1977.

In subsequent years, it was sold, resold and had a total of eight names. In addition to the German flag, it had later registry in Singapore, Panama, St. Vincent and Sri Lanka.

The vessel had been sailing as Mercs Uhana since 1987 when it was attacked by Tamil Tiger rebels off northern Sri Lanka 14 years ago today. The ship caught fire and five on board were killed while another 22 were rescued.

Mercs Uhana sank on June 27, while 48 miles off Point Pedro, Sri Lanka. It had been on a voyage from Colombo to Trincomalee, two Sri Lankan ports, with foodstuffs when it became a victim of the war.

Skip Gillham

 

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.

 

Explorer says Griffin shipwreck may be found in Lake Michigan

6/25 - Traverse City, Mich. — A debris field at the bottom of Lake Michigan may be the remains of the long-lost Griffin, a vessel commanded by a 17th-century French explorer, said a shipwreck hunter who has sought the wreckage for decades.

Other Great Lakes divers, historians and underwater archeologists would like the discovery to be true, but say that at this point doubts far outweigh proof.

Steve Libert says his crew found the debris this month about 120 feet from the spot where they removed a wooden slab a year ago that was protruding from the lake bottom.

Libert believes that timber was the bowsprit of Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle’s ship, although scientists who joined the 2013 expedition say the slab more likely was an abandoned fishing net stake.

The Griffin is believed to be the first ship of European design to sail the upper Great Lakes. It disappeared with a crew of six on its maiden voyage in 1679 after La Salle had disembarked near the mouth of Wisconsin’s Green Bay.

“This is definitely the Griffin — I’m 99.9 percent sure it is,” Libert said. “This is the real deal.”

He described the bottom land area as littered with wooden planks that could belong to a ship’s bow, along with nails and pegs that would have fastened the hull to the rest of the vessel and what appeared to be sections of a mast.

He acknowledged his dive team had found no “smoking gun” such as a cannon or other artifacts with markings identifying them as belonging to the Griffin.

But the nails and other implements appeared similar to those from La Belle, another of La Salle’s ships that sank near the Gulf of Mexico, Libert said.

“I wish so much for him to have discovered it ... but there’s so little hard information,” said Rick Mixter, a video producer who has visited 150 shipwrecks in the Great Lakes since he began diving in 1991.

“He has nothing to support that it’s the Griffin other than this board, sticking upright from the bottom of the lake for the past 300 years?” said Mixter, 50. “After he left, his own archeologist said it was a part of a fishing stake, as did the state of Michigan.

Dean Anderson, Michigan’s state archaeologist, said Monday he hadn’t been notified of the most recent find and could not speculate about whether the Griffin had finally been located. Anderson supports the theory that the timber discovered earlier was a fishing apparatus.”

Libert said his organization has sent images of the debris to three French underwater archaeologists who took part in last year’s search, and that he hopes state and federal permits can be obtained to excavate in the area in September.

The French team was led by Michel L’Hour, director of the Department of Underwater Archaeological Research in the French Ministry of Culture and an authority on shipwrecks. L’Hour wrote by email Tuesday that the latest findings were “encouraging” but that more evidence was needed to determine the origin of the items.

“The wooden remains that have been observed could correspond to a wreck,” L’Hour said.

They include tree nails with wedges and square nails that have some similarity with La Belle’s fasteners “and a few other details already observed on wrecks dated in the 17th century,” he said.

But he said the artifacts that have been seen could be dated as late as the 19th century and that items such as ceramic shards are needed to provide more certainty.

“We are always interested in participating to assess the site,” L’Hour said, adding that the U.S. and France would need to approve any new involvement in the project by his team, which comprises civil officers of the French government.”

The discovery area is strewn with debris is roughly the size of a football field, said Brian Abbott of Nautilus Marine Group, who joined Libert’s search this month and took sonar readings of the bottom lands. It is near tiny Poverty Island in northwestern Lake Michigan and about 50 feet below the water’s surface.

According to Mixter, the Great Lakes is the graveyard of anywhere from 5,000 to 8,000 shipwrecks, the vast majority of which have never been found.

“But today’s technology is uncovering shipwrecks at an alarming rate,” Mixter said. “I doubt those newly discovered ships — some of which are entire schooners — are getting the protection that they need. Many of us are nervous that ships might be discovered and then taken apart bit by bit by souvenir hunters.”

Mixter — who has visited a number of well-known wrecks, including ore carriers Carl D. Bradley (sank Nov. 18, 1958), Daniel J. Morrell (Nov. 29, 1966) and Edmund Fitzgerald (Nov. 10, 1975 — added the discovered objects need proper care once they are removed from the lake.

“The problem is compounded once the items are taken out of the water, which has preserved them, sometimes for hundreds of years. If they aren’t store properly in preservative solutions, they’ll just fall apart.”

But Mixter is hoping Libert’s find is genuine.

“I have no ill will and wish him the best,” Mixter said. “As soon as he finds the cannons or the figurehead of the Griffin, I will stand up and cheer this great accomplishment.”

The Detroit News

 

Port Reports -  June 25

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Daniel Lindner
Philip R. Clarke finally departed winter layup in Sturgeon Bay around 8 p.m. on Tuesday. She posted a destination of Cedarville, Mich. The Clarke was the last ship in Sturgeon Bay's winter layup fleet, and now the only ship in port is the PJ 170 motor yacht Bliss.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Great Republic loaded a stone cargo on Monday and departed later in the day. Port Inland was also expected to see arrivals by three vessels on Tuesday. The John J. Boland was due to arrive first in the early morning hours followed by the Wilfred Sykes arriving during the mid-afternoon. Great Lakes Trader was also expected to arrive during the late afternoon/early evening but would have to wait and dock after the Sykes' departure. Another three vessels are expected in at Port Inland on Wednesday, with the Mississagi arriving first during the early morning hours, followed later in the morning by the Joseph L. Block and the Pere Marquette 41.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes was due to arrive at Cedarville on Monday during the evening. Both Manitowoc and the Joseph L. Block were expected to arrive at Cedarville on Tuesday, with the Manitowoc arriving during the early morning followed by the Block in the late afternoon to early evening. The Philip R. Clarke is on the schedule for an arrival on Wednesday in the morning. This would be the Clarke's first trip from lay-up in Sturgeon Bay for the 2014 shipping season.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Saginaw loaded at the South Dock on Tuesday and was expected to depart around 1 p.m. American Courage was also expected to arrive Tuesday in the early evening also for the South Dock. Due on Wednesday and also making a very rare appearance will be the 1,000 footer American Spirit, due to arrive in the morning for the North Dock. There are no vessels scheduled to load Thursday and Friday. Expected to arrive on Saturday is the Great Republic in the mid-afternoon for the North Dock. Rounding out the schedule is the Cason J. Callaway, due on Sunday, June 29 in the late afternoon hours.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Joseph H. Thompson Jr. loaded on Tuesday and was due to depart around 1:30 p.m. Two vessels are due for arrivals on Wednesday, with the Great Republic arriving in the early morning hours followed by the Lewis J. Kuber in the early evening hours. There are three vessels to load on Thursday, with the Cason J. Callaway and John G. Munson arriving in the morning. Rounding out the schedule is the Pathfinder arriving in the early evening hours.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Algoma Progress loaded coal on Tuesday at the CSX Coal Dock #4 Machine. Waiting to load coal at the CSX #2 wall was the H. Lee White, which was expected to load after the Algoma Progress. John D. Leitch is due on Thursday in the morning. There are four vessels due to load at the CSX Coal Dock on Saturday. Due to arrive first is the James L. Kuber and the American Mariner both during the early morning, followed by the Saginaw in the late afternoon. Manitowoc is due in the early evening hours to load on Saturday. American Mariner is expected to load on Sunday in the late morning and the Algoma Progress returns on Monday, June 30 in the early morning at the coal dock. There is nothing due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. At the Torco Dock arriving on Friday in the late afternoon is the James L. Kuber. The Hon. James L. Oberstar is due to arrive on Saturday in the early morning. American Mariner is expected to arrive on Sunday in the early morning, and rounding out the schedule on Monday, June 30 is the Kaye E. Barker in the late afternoon. Two other vessels were also in port Tuesday. The saltie Ruddy remained at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock and the tug Avenger IV and a barge were also in port.

 

Canadian shipping group protests hike in U.S. inspection fees

6/25 - Ottawa, Ont. – Staggering fee hikes being proposed by the U.S. government for inspections of Canadian ships coming from the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence are tantamount to anti-competitive, non-tariff barriers, according to the Chamber of Marine Commerce.

The Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC), a bi-national marine industry association, has filed a submission to the United States Department of Agricultural Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, opposing a proposed federal rulemaking to significantly increase fees for agricultural quarantine and inspection services.

The rule change would increase the fee from $496 to $825 per inspection and eliminate the annual fee cap of charging a maximum of 15 times per vessel. For Canadian Great Lakes - St. Lawrence shipping, the change could increase their annual inspection costs by as much as 238%.

In its submission, the CMC argues that Canadian Great Lakes - St. Lawrence ships should be exempted from these fee increases as they never leave the bi-national waters of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence navigation system, do not cross oceans, and pose very little risk of introducing pests or infestations to the U.S. Additionally, these vessels predominantly carry inert material such as steel, iron ore, limestone and other bulk cargoes that are non-agricultural, inorganic and with no containers or packing materials.

“It’s clear to us that Canadian Great Lakes - St Lawrence ships have been caught in a system intended to prevent international ships from bringing in pests and infestations from foreign ports,” said Greg Wight, CEO, Algoma Central Corporation. “This does not apply to us as our vessels carry primarily non-agricultural products including minerals in bulk.”

Chamber of Marine Commerce

 

Lookback #220 – Monrovia first Seaway era saltie to sink on lakes on June 25, 1959

6/25 - The Liberian freighter Monrovia was making its first trip to the Great Lakes when it was lost, via collision, on June 25, 1959. The St. Lawrence Seaway had been open for two months when the accident occurred off Thunder Bay Island, Lake Huron, 55 years ago today.

Monrovia was upbound with a cargo of steel loaded at Antwerp, Belgium, for Duluth when it encountered heavy fog and the grain carrier Royalton. The deep-sea freighter strayed off course in the fog and wandered into the downbound shipping lane. Royalton struck Monrovia on the port side and left a deep gash in the hull above and below the waterline. The holds and engine room were flooded and all 29 sailors quickly abandoned their doomed vessel.

The 448-foot-long Monrovia dated from 1943 when it was built at Glasgow, Scotland, as Empire Falstaff. It came under French registry in 1945 and had been sailing as Monrovia since 1954. In time, part of the cargo of steel was salvaged but the ship was a total loss.

The 550-foot-long Royalton was part of the Misener fleet. It had been built at Collingwood in 1924 and received bow damage in the collision. This was repaired and the ship operated until it tied up at Hamilton on Sept. 11, 1979. Following a sale to Italian shipbreakers, via Marine Salvage, Royalton was towed to La Spezia and arrived there on June 25, 1980.

Skip Gillham

 

Updates -  June 25

News Photo Gallery
Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Charlotte Theresa, Clipper Lancer, Eemsborg, Federal St Laurent, Federal Yukina, Fritz, HHL Elbe, Larsholmen, Nordic Mari, Reggeborg, Skawa, Sloman Herakles, Songa Challenge, Strandja, Tina Theresa, Torrent, and Virginiaborg
 

 

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.

 

Port Reports -  June 24

St. Marys River
Boatnerds who arrived early for this week’s Engineer’s Day activities were treated to salutes at Mission Point from Algoma Equinox and Lee A. Tregurtha.

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
A busy, foggy Monday at the Upper Harbor had visits by Herbert C. Jackson, Michipicoten and Kaye E. Barker.

Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
Tug Margot and NYS Marine Highway barge Weeks 104 came through Oswego harbor loaded with transformers. Allouette Spirit delivered aluminum to port authority dock.

 

Mining could see comeback: Plans afoot in UP of Michigan, neighboring states

6/24 - White Pine, Mich. – A way of life dating back more than a century appeared over in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula when the last copper mine closed in 1995, idling more than 1,000 employees and turning this once-thriving company town into a forlorn outpost.

Now a Canadian company is planning a new mine at the site a few miles from Lake Superior, where screeching gulls hover over empty buildings and broken glass litter parking lots.

If Highland Copper Co.’s plans go forward, the area will be astir once more as underground ores are blasted, hauled to the surface and crushed at a mill to extract minerals.

White Pine’s impending rebirth is almost miraculous to local residents who have borne the brunt of its demise, but it’s part of something even bigger: a surprising resurgence of a mining industry that once was an economic pillar in three Upper Midwestern states but has been in serious decline.

In the past few years, at least six open-pit or underground mines have been proposed or started in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, the first such ventures in decades.

Additionally, four new Minnesota operations are using refined technology to extract iron from waste rock mined long ago. Other companies are exploring the region’s ample deposits of iron, copper, nickel and other metals, which have become more marketable because of improved technology and rising demand in the U.S. and China.

“I thought there was no way it was ever coming back,” said Dan Kessler, who was 34, married and the father of two young children when the White Pine closure left him jobless. Now, he says, if the project comes through, “I’d like to see the schools open again.”

The developments are causing planners to reconsider their strategies for the region, which had focused on finding a new economy to supplement old land-based industries. Some are concerned about the earlier era’s legacy of toxic waters and denuded forests.

“A potential step backward,” said John Austin, director of the nonprofit Michigan Economic Center. That’s unless, he said, mining operations can be held to rigorous standards.

Some planners want to concentrate on developing a “blue economy” based on clean industry and responsible use of fresh water.

No one expects a return to mining’s heyday, when the Upper Peninsula produced nearly all the nation’s copper and more than 20,000 toiled in Minnesota iron operations alone. Employment at the typical mine likely will be in the hundreds – no panacea in a region where double-digit jobless rates are common. But local economies will benefit from spinoff jobs and tax payments, said Michigan Technological University economist Gary Campbell.

The Eagle Mine, a nickel and copper operation scheduled to begin production this fall, will pump $4 billion into Marquette County over its eight-year lifespan and employ about 300 while generating economic activity that will create 1,200 additional jobs, its managers say.

The mine is “extremely welcome,” said Amy Clickner, director of the Lake Superior Community Partnership in Marquette County. But the enthusiasm is tempered by the boom-and-bust history of the extraction industries. The region still bears the scars.

Of the mines that once dotted the northland, none are left in Wisconsin. Michigan has only two iron operations. The industry is strongest in northeastern Minnesota, where six iron mines supply Great Lakes steel mills, but it employs many fewer than during the boom times.

But now, Highland Copper Co. plans two mines and is conducting exploratory drilling in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, one-time epicenter of the region’s copper industry.

PolyMet Mining has proposed Minnesota’s first copper and nickel mine in modern times. Gogebic Taconite is seeking permits for what would be the world’s largest open-pit iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin. Aquila Resources plans an Upper Peninsula zinc and gold mine.

Environmentalists, tribes and landowners have filed 11 legal challenges to block the Eagle Mine, located in a scenic forest. The other projects also face bitter opposition.

The companies say newer mines will leave considerably smaller footprints than before.

Associated Press

 

Lookback #219 – Silvaplana lightered and refloated on June 24, 1964

6/24 - It was 50 years ago today that the Swiss freighter Silvaplana was towed off a mud bank in the St. Clair River. The 487 foot, 2 inch long vessel was downbound with a mixed cargo of alfalfa pellets, flax seed, powdered milk and some iron ore pellets when it got stuck.

Silvaplana had pulled into the Sun Oil Dock at Sarnia for fuel. The ship got caught by the current while turning to go down bound and was blown backwards on a mud bank off St. Clair, Mich. The salvage barge T.F. Newman lightered some cargo and tugs from McQueen Marine pulled the ship free.

Silvaplana was built at Rijeka, Yugoslavia, in 1956 and began Great Lakes trading, with two trips inland, in 1959. It was back on several occasions and had made ten Seaway calls to the end of 1967. It returned as Capo Miseno in 1969 and into the early 1970s.

In the early 1960s, this ship carried an unwanted “guest” who was without legal status. No country would accept him and after an effort to swim ashore at Liverpool, England, was intercepted by the authorities, he was returned to the vessel. Not sure how the issue was finally resolved.

Silvaplana became Hwa Po in 1977. This ship went aground some 125-150 miles west of Pyongyang, North Korea, on October 25, 1980, and had to be abandoned by the crew. The Singapore flag freighter broke in two as a total loss before it could be refloated.

Skip Gillham

 

Wilfred Sykes’ Capt. Treece asks for vote in Weather Channel photo contest

6/24 - Eric Treece, captain of the Wilfred Sykes and formerly of the Edward L. Ryerson, is asking for Boatnerd votes in a Weather Channel photo contest titled “It’s Amazing Out There.” He is currently just a few votes out of third place. To vote click here

 

45 years later: Cuyahoga River pollution much lower than day the river burned

6/24 - Cleveland, Ohio – Gaze down the Cuyahoga River near where its mouth opens into Lake Erie, and you will see rowers and boaters, people on jet skis and others just fishing.

In other words, you will see a lot of people enjoying the river. Forty-five years ago, that wasn’t the case.

On that date, June 22, 1969, the river caught fire, sparking a national debate about environmental standards and making Cleveland the butt of national jokes.

“We came down, and we saw it burning,” said Angelo Cammarato, who was a teenager at the time. “And we thought it was very unusual for the river to be burning.”

Unfortunately, it wasn’t that unusual.

Thanks to decades of unregulated dumping, the river had a high concentration of industrial waste and raw sewage in it. Between 1949 and 1961, the river had caught fire at least four times.

But it was the 1969 fire on the river that helped spark the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, passage of the Clean Air Act, and in Cleveland, the formation of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.

“Since then, we’ve done a lot to significantly reduce pollution in the Cuyahoga River and on Lake Erie,” said Jeannie Chapman, manager of Community and Media Relations for the district.

Chapman said the proof is in the number and types of fish that are now in the river.

“We have seen fish species we haven’t seen in decades,” she said.

Chapman said the region now dumps only about half the pollution into Lake Erie and its waterways that it did on the day the river burned.

In 20 years, she said that number will be under 10 percent.

Meantime, people are once again enjoying the river that runs through the heart of the city.

“It’s hard for me to grasp (that the river burned),” said Ella Thompson, as she fished. “Now, there are so many fish, and it is so calm.”

And it should only get better in the years to come.

Fox 8

 

Updates -  June 24

News Photo Gallery Today we feature over 100 images. We are now caught up, thanks for your patience, please continue to send in your pictures to news@boatnerd.net.

 

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.

 

Seaway salties scrapped

6/23 - Two familiar saltwater vessels that were regular callers to the Great Lakes/Seaway system have been scrapped. The first, San Teodoro, formerly Yarmouth and Federal Oslo, was beached at Alang on June 18, 2014. This vessel carried the name of Paolo Pittaluga from 1985-1991 and first came inland with that name in 1986. Also scrapped was the Sifnos Mare, more familiar to boatwatchers as Spar Jade and Federal Aalesund. The ship carried the name of Fiona Mary from 1985-1993 and first visited with that name in 1985. Later, the ship came inland as the Federal Aalesund in 1993. It carried that name from 1993-1997 and was named Spar Jade from 1997-2011. The ship last visited with that name during the 2010 season. It was renamed to Sifnos Mare in 2011 and never returned with that name.

 

Port Reports -  June 23

St. Marys River
Sunday morning and early afternoon saw plenty of traffic in the vicinity of the Soo Locks. Downbounders included BBC Chile, Presque Isle, Hon. James L. Oberstar, CSL Assiniboine, Lakes Contender and Strandja. Upbound traffic included Algoway, Herbert C. Jackson, James R. Barker and Manitoba. The training vessel State of Michigan was busy in the lower river Sunday as well.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.  - Daniel Lindner
Philip R. Clarke, which remains the only laker in Sturgeon Bay that is still in winter layup, was expected to depart Sturgeon Bay late Sunday night or early Monday morning. The ship posted a destination of Cedarville, Mich, with an ETA of 2 p.m. on Monday. The Clarke operated late into this past winter, arriving Sturgeon Bay for winter layup on February 16. However, she remained laid up while her fleetmate John G. Munson once again entered service after spending the 2013 season idle at Fraser Shipyards in Superior, Wis. It was unlikely that the Clarke would be sailing this season, but the increase in cargo demand due to the long and harsh winter brought the ship back into the Great Lakes cargo trade.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Chris Gaziano
Both Prentiss Brown with barge St. Marys Conquest and the G.L. Ostrander with barge Integrity came in on a foggy Sunday morning. The G.L. Ostrander departed late in the afternoon for Muskegon Mich.

Port Inland, Mich.
Calumet was expected to arrive at Port Inland during the evening hours on Saturday to load. Great Republic is expected to arrive during the early morning hours on Monday to load. Rounding out the schedule will be the Wilfred Sykes, arriving on Monday just before midnight.

Cedarville, Mich.
Two vessels are on the schedule for arrivals on Monday, with Wilfred Sykes arriving first in the early morning hours to followed by the Manitowoc in the mid-afternoon hours.

Calcite, Mich.
The barge Ashtabula and tug Defiance arrived early in the morning hours on Sunday to load at the South Dock. American Mariner was also expected to arrive in the late afternoon hours on Sunday for the South Dock to load. There are no vessels scheduled for Monday. Two vessels are due in on Tuesday, with the Saginaw arriving in the early morning hours followed by the American Courage in the mid-afternoon hours. Both vessels will be loading at the South Dock.

Stoneport, Mich.
Manistee loaded at Stoneport on Sunday with no departure time listed. Lewis J. Kuber was also expected to arrive at Stoneport on Sunday during the late evening hours to load. The Pathfinder is expected to arrive on Monday in the early afternoon hours. Rounding out the schedule will be the Joseph H. Thompson on Tuesday in the early morning hours.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben and Chanda McClain
The Alpena was in port on Saturday loading cement at Lafarge. On Sunday morning Mississagi arrived at the Alpena Oil Dock to unload salt from Goderich, Ont.

St. Clair Mich. – Bob Markus
Sunday morning Indiana Harbor arrived at the DTE St. Clair Power Plant with a load of coal from Duluth. She was still off loading at 7 p.m.

Toronto, Ont. – Jens Juhl
John D. Leitch departed at 9:30 Sunday morning after delivering a load of salt at Cargill. The Polsteam bulker Irma is in the final stage of discharging sugar out of the aft holds. Discharging stopped Saturday and Sunday and this gave the crew an opportunity to partake in the Wine and Spirits Festival at Sugar Beach adjacent to the Redpath dock.

Toledo, Ohio
Thunder Bay of Canada Steamship Lines was expected to arrive at the Torco Dock in the late morning hours on Sunday to unload. For Monday two vessels are due with iron ore cargoes – Atlantic Huron is due first followed by the Lakes Contender. At the CSX Coal Dock, Algoma Progress is due to load on Monday in the morning, followed by the H. Lee White during the late evening hours. Manitowoc rounds out the coal dock lineup arriving on Wednesday in the late evening hours to load. There is nothing due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Two other vessels were in port at the time of this report. Algoma Progress was unloading cargo at one of the upper river docks on the Maumee River. This cargo was loaded from Trois Rivieres, Quebec. The saltwater vessel Ruddy of Cyprus registry was at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock.

 

Lookback #218 – Altadoc in collision with E.A.S. Clarke on June 23, 1948

6/23 - The second Altadoc was crossing Lake Superior towing the consort barge Kenordoc and headed for the Canadian Lakehead ports when it was in a collision with the E.A.S. Clarke of the Interlake Steamship Co. 66 years ago today.

The accident occurred near the Apostle Islands and both ships, although damaged, remained afloat. Each was repaired and put in more years of service before going for scrap.

Altadoc was built at Chicago as Maricopa in 1896 and joined the Paterson fleet, gaining her fourth name, in 1945. It operated into the Seaway era and then became the grain storage barge D.W. Weldon (i), at Goderich in 1962. It was towed to Thunder Bay for scrapping in August 1974.

E.A.S. Clarke was also the second ship of this name to sail the lakes. Ironically, the original E.A.S. Clarke was also in the Paterson fleet at the time of the collision and was sailing as the first Canadoc.

E.A.S. Clarke (ii) had been built at Superior, Wis., and launched a H.P. Bope on October 19, 1907. It was renamed on joining Interlake in 1913 and became Kinsman Voyager for brief service in the Kinsman fleet in 1970. This ship was towed to Hamburg, West Germany, in 1975 and used for grain storage until resold to Spanish shipbrekaers in 1978. It arrived at Santander, Spain, under tow on August 29, 1978, and was dismantled by Recuperaciones Submarinas S.A.

Skip Gillham

 

Updates -  June 23

News Photo Gallery we were behind by about 10 days, today features close to 120 images with an equal amount for tomorrow's gallery. Thanks for your patience, please continue to send in your pictures to news@boatnerd.net.

 

Join us for our Freighter Chasing Cruises

Soo - June 27
Arrangements have been made for our annual freighter-chasing cruise on the St. Marys River on June 27 as part of the annual Engineer’s Day Gathering in Sault Ste. Marie. The cruise will be three hours and will travel through both the U.S. and Canadian Locks, finding photo opportunities for any vessel traffic in the river. Reservations are a must, as we are limiting the group to 100 persons. See the Gathering Page for details.

Detroit River - August 2
On Saturday, August 2, 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. A pizza lunch will be delivered by the J. W. Westcott mail boat, with a cash bar onboard. Advance Reservation Cost is $36 per person. The cruise departs at 10 a.m. from Portofino's On The River in Wyandotte, Mich. Click here for Advance Reservation form.

 

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.

 

Port Reports -  June 22

Grand Haven, Mich. – Sam Hankinson
Due to strong currents that had delayed her departure earlier in the week, Algoway was assisted out of Grand Haven Saturday by the Great Lakes Towing tugs Wisconsin and Oklahoma.

St. Clair, Mich. – Bob Markus
Saturday the James R. Barker arrived to unload coal at the DTE St. Clair Power Plant. Saturday evening Algorail proceeded down bound on St. Clair River, turned around at Barlum Point, then backed down east of St. Clair Middle Ground to arrive at Mooretown.

 

Seaway-trading tankers renamed

6/22 - Four tankers, all one-time callers to the Great Lakes/Seaway system have been renamed. The tanker Clipper Mari, which first visited and came inland in 2010 and visited as recent as 2014, now sails as the Nordic Mari of the Bahamas flag. She entered the Seaway with her new name on June 20 for Clarkson. Another familiar tanker, the Hellespont Crusader, which first visited and came inland in 2013, is now the Larsholmen of the Marshall Islands flag. This vessel entered the Seaway June 21 for Bay City, Mich. Two other fleetmates / sisterships to the Hellepsont Crusader have also been renamed. Hellespont Charger, which first came inland in 2011 and last visited in 2013, is now the Askholmen of the Marshall Islands flag, after being renamed in May 2014. Hellespont Chieftain, which first visited and came inland in 2011 and which was also her last visit as well, now sails as the Brentholmen of the Marshall Islands flag. One other tanker in the group, the Hellespont Centurion, which recently visited the Great Lakes/Seaway system, has yet to be named.

Denny Dushane

 

2 bodies recovered from Cal-Sag Channel

6/22 - Cleveland, Ohio – Search teams from the Coast Guard, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and local agencies recovered two bodies Saturday afternoon following a vessel collision in the Cal-Sag Channel near Palos Hills, Illinois. At around 1:15 p.m. local time searchers recovered the bodies, one male and one female. They were not wearing life jackets.

The case began about 11 p.m., local time, Friday, when a crewmember onboard the 66-foot uninspected towing vessel Bill Arnold notified watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, in Milwaukee, of a collision with a 19-foot pleasure craft in the Cal-Sag Channel near mile marker 311. The Coast Guard and other emergency responders immediately began searching for occupants of the pleasure craft. Involved response agencies suspended their active search and transitioned to a recovery operation Saturday afternoon.

"The decision to shift from search-and-rescue to recovery is one of the most difficult decisions imaginable," said Capt. Amy Cocanour, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of everyone involved."

Dive operations have been suspended due to weather, but the use of side-scan sonar continues in the search for at least one more person. An aircrew from Coast Guard Air Facility Waukegan, Illinois, aboard a Dolphin helicopter conducted an overflight after fog in the area lifted.

Involved in the response are boat crews from Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor, Illinois, aboard a 25-foot response boat; an aircrew from Coast Guard Air Facility Waukegan, aboard a Dolphin helicopter; inspectors from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago; crews from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources; crews from the Palos Hills and Lockport, Illinois Fire Departments, with dive teams and side-scan sonar aboard; and crews from the Palos Hills and Worth, Illinois, police departments.

A Coast Guard safety zone remains in effect around the area, and the channel is still closed to vessel traffic between mile marker 308 and mile marker 315.

USCG

 

Lake Guardian on patrol this summer to help fight the sliming of Lake Erie

6/22 - Cleveland, Ohio – The season of algal blooms — the green slime that coats the water — and dead zones is upon Lake Erie. This year, though, joining the fight is the Lake Guardian, the U.S. EPA's 180-foot, 850-ton environmental battleship, loaded with scientists and researchers.

The Lake Guardian is on the water at a crucial time: The push is on in Washington, D.C., and Columbus to add millions of dollars to the anti-algae effort, sewage treatment plant upgrades are being put in place and there are indications that this summer's algal bloom may be less severe than recent years.

"This is an intensive year for Lake Erie," said Chief Paul J. Horvatin of the U.S. EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office in Chicago. "We've been here to look at nutrient and phosphorus issues since mid-May and we'll continue our research into the middle of October."

With an 11-man crew and 13 scientists aboard, and more local researchers joining them this summer on Lake Erie, the R/V Lake Guardian is extensively sampling the Ohio waters of Lake Erie from Toledo to Conneaut. The information will be shared with agencies around the lake to find a solution to the phosphorus-fueled harmful algal blooms -- known to the scientists as HABs -- that have coated western Lake Erie with green slime in recent years.

The HABs produce toxins such as microcystin that are dangerous to people, pets and plants, and are collectively costing Ohio's 25 shoreline public water systems along Lake Erie millions of dollars to treat drinking water. Toledo spends as much as $200,000 a month on carbon treatments to eliminate toxins and odor. Tiny Carroll Township just east of Toledo, serves only 2,285 residents, but spent $125,000 last year on ozone treatments.

In addition to blooms so thick they are documented by satellite, the HABs have depleted the oxygen from the deeper waters off Cleveland, creating the so-called "dead zone." As algae dies and sinks to the late bottom, it robs the water of oxygen.

The phosphorous that creates the blooms is also causing an increase in cladophora, a nuisance native green algae, in the eastern basin of Lake Erie. During severe storms, the filamentous native algae are pushed to the shoreline, spoiling beaches and clogging water intake pipes.

"I've seen the bright, green slime on Lake Erie," said Horvatin. "We need to gather the science to find ways to stop it. We're organizing all of the requests for information into shared science plans. That will help maximize research dollars, which are always in short supply."

The U.S. EPA and Environment Canada are coordinating lake wide efforts. Lake Guardian on patrol this summer to help fight the sliming of Lake ErieA sophisticated probe on the U.S. EPA flagship the R/V Lake Guardian is being lowered into Lake Erie off Cleveland to gather water samples at a variety of depths in a demonstration on Monday for Ohio officials and the media. The probe will determine oxygen content and pollutants throughout the water column.

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission met aboard the Lake Guardian on Monday for a bird's-eye view of its sophisticated equipment used to sample Lake Erie from top to bottom for both plankton and oxygen content. Steel traps were lowered to the floor of Lake Erie to capture bottom sediment to check phosphorus content.

While agricultural runoff has been blamed for much of the problem, with fertilizer feeding the blooms, there are other culprits. They range from sewage treatment plants spewing phosphorus into Lake Erie, open lake dumping of phosphorous-laden material and quagga and zebra mussels, invasive species feeding on plankton and emitting phosphorus.

To help deal with phosphorus pollution, Sen. Rob Portman co-sponsored renewal of the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendment Act, heading for President Barack Obama's desk next week. State Sen. Randy Gardner, a Bowling Green Republican, spearheaded taking $10 million from Ohio's capital improvement fund to stop the open lake dumping of harbor dredge material, focusing on the massive amounts of sediment dumped off Toledo and the Maumee River.

"The HAB and Hypoxia Research and Control Act hasn't been re-authorized since 2010, and we want to get its funding back up to $20 million," said Portman. The funding had declined to $13 million in 2013.

"A lot of the focus in the past had been on the Gulf of Mexico and the oceans," said Portman. "This re-authorization changes the focus more toward freshwater and the Great Lakes because of our increasing problems with these blooms. We're talking about Lake Erie, but also Columbus spending more than $1.4 million to fight the algal bloom problems at Hoover Reservoir and Buckeye Lake.

"Grand Lake St. Marys in northwest Ohio has a major algae problem, with expensive dredging needed to remove phosphorus-rich sediment. It's much better to get on the preventative side, saving taxpayers a lot of money."

"The money to stop open lake dumping will help tremendously," said Chief Karl Gebhardt of the Division of Surface Water for the Ohio EPA. "A problem we face is a Congressional mandate for the U.S. Corp of Engineers to look at the lowest cost method of disposing dredge material, which the Corps says is open lake dumping."

If a more costly alternative is used to replace open lake dumping, which is likely, local governments must pay the difference. Cleveland officials have successfully battled to prevent open lake dumping of Cuyahoga River dredge material. Gardner has said he hopes the same can happen in Toledo over the next five years.

The forecast for this year's algal blooms on Lake Erie will be announced on July 10 at Ohio Sea Grant's Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island on Lake Erie. Data on phosphorus runoff collected at stations along the Maumee River is still being crunched at Heidelberg University's National Center for Water Quality Research.

"At the moment, we're seeing a little bit of hope the algal blooms will not be as bad as in 2012 or 2011, which was the worst year for blooms," said Executive Director Jeff Reutter of Ohio Sea Grant. "We're not going to know until we see that last bit of data come through at the end of June.

"Right now, I'd say that if the massive phosphorus load in 2011 that caused a major bloom is rated a 10 on a scale of 10, and 2013 was probably a 6 or 7, this year's bloom might be a 5.

"We're most concerned about all the rain we've experienced (in northwest Ohio) since the middle of May," Reutter said. "Big rain events (washing agricultural phosphorus) into Lake Erie are a major problem. The intensity of rain in a 24-hour period is one of the key drivers.

"It's hard to predict, because some areas might get a modest amount of rain in a single day while other areas experience a real gully-washer. I've driven around northwest Ohio and seen some fields that were pretty dry, while other fields were under water."

A positive note, said Reutter, is that the most recent weekly HAB warnings coming from NOAA show western Lake Erie is clear of algal blooms at the moment. There has also been more action in the agricultural community to stop phosphorus from running into the watersheds.

Sewage treatment plants are being upgraded, said Reutter. That includes the Detroit sewage treatment plant on the Detroit River that is the largest on the Great Lakes. In the first seven months of 2011, helping to prime the pump for the largest algal blooms in recent years, the Detroit plant poured 30 billion gallons of raw sewage into the Detroit River, and subsequently Lake Erie, during major rain events.

"We still have to do a lot more than we've done so far," said Reutter. "Lake Erie is at a critical stage, and it's going to take our best science and efforts to manage these problems."

Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

Expression of interest sought for Port Weller Dry Dock

6/22 - The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) is seeking non-binding Expressions of Interest (EOI) to enter into a lease for the operation of the Port Weller dry docks berthing wall facilities. The facilities are located on the St. Lawrence Seaway south of Lock 1 on the Welland Canal in Niagara, Ont. The facility is 4.4 acres with a berthing wall 155 meters in length. Multipurpose service buildings and storage facilities are located on the site. This facility offers access to the St. Lawrence Seaway (Hwy H2O), a deep draft waterway extending 3,700 km from the Atlantic Ocean to the head of the Great Lakes. This is a unique opportunity for cargo interests and terminal operators.

Following a review of all EOIs, the SLSMC will invite submissions by way of Request For Proposal (RFP), which proposals shall be binding upon the participating applicants in accordance with the terms of the RFP.

Interested parties are encouraged to utilize the EOI process to explain and highlight to the SLSMC their capabilities and expertise by submitting an EOI questionnaire. Written requests for EOI questionnaires should be submitted to portwellereoi@seaway.ca.

Expression of Interest submissions are to be received by July 4, 2014.

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation

 

Lookback #217 – W.P. Thew sank in collision with William Livingstone on June 22, 1909

6/22 - The small wooden steamer W.P. Thew was no match for the big steel freighter William Livingstone when the pair collided in foggy Lake Huron off Thunder Bay Island near Alpena, Mich., on June 22, 1909.

W.P. Thew was built in 1884 and had several owners, considerable rebuilding but no change in name during its 25 years of trading. The crew was rescued 105 years ago today by the Mary C. Elphicke, and the loss of W.P. Thew was valued at $10,000.

The 556-foot, nine-inch-long William Livingstone had been built the previous year and was one of the largest and most modern steamers on the lakes. It became S.B. Way in 1936 and then was renamed as the first Crispin Oglebay in 1948 when it was converted to a self-unloader.

This ship sailed for Columbia Transporation through 1973 and spent that winter tied up at Kingston, Ont. In the spring, Crispin Oglebay was towed to Santander, Spain, in tandem with the Bethlehem, for scrapping and they arrived overseas on June 16, 1974.

The broken hull of the W.P. Thew was located in the summer of 1982. It lies in about 80 feet of water.

Skip Gillham

 

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.

 

Exhibition looks at Detroit River, Great Lakes

6/21 - Detroit, Mich. – A new exhibition explores the ways that people have interacted with and affected the ecosystem of the Detroit River.

"Troubled Waters: Healing our Freshwater Habitats" opens this weekend at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle in Detroit. It looks at changes in the Detroit River over the past 300 years as well as how the river and the larger Great Lakes region are intertwined.

Detroit's role as a major manufacturing and population hub also is explored. The Detroit Historical Society says the exhibit will examine the role of environmentalists and government agencies on the health of Great Lakes waters. And it aims to show what's being done to improve the health of the river as well as the Lake Huron and Lake Erie region.

Associated Press

 

New Polsteam vessel Skawa due in Montreal

6/21 - The Polish Steamship Co. (Polesteam) vessel Skawa, built in 2012 with IMO number 9521863, is expected to arrive in Montreal around June 22. This will be the vessel's first visit to the Great Lakes/Seaway system. She will be arriving from Guatemala and eventually will be heading to Toledo, Ohio.

Skawa joins five other Polsteam sisterships built at Sanfu Ship Engineering in Taizhou Jiangsu, China. First was the Regalica in 2011, although it did not come inland until 2013. It was followed later that year by the Raba. In 2014 three additional vessels – Ina, Olza and Prosna – all visited for the first time. Two other vessels of the series – Narew and San, built in 2012 – have yet to visit the Great Lakes/Seaway system. The new vessels are all 149.96 meters in length and 23.6 meters in width.

Denny Dushane

 

Port Reports -  June 21

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
The Interlake fleet’s Kaye E. Barker was tied up at the Carbide Dock for most of the day Friday for reasons unknown. She resumed her downbound trip around 7 p.m., passing the upbound Lakes Contender/Ken Boothe Sr. in the harbor.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Chris Gaziano
Algosteel arrived late Thursday night with a load of salt. They were finished up and heading out by early afternoon Friday. The G.L. Ostrander with barge Integrity arrived early Friday morning for LaFarge. They departed in the evening for S. Chicago.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes was expected to arrive at Port Inland on Friday during the early morning. Also expected to arrive on Friday was the Calumet in the early evening. There is no further activity listed until Monday, June 23, when the Wilfred Sykes returns in the late evening.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Lewis J. Kuber was expected to arrive at Cedarville on Friday during the late afternoon hours to load. There is no further activity scheduled until Monday, June 23, with two vessel arrivals. Wilfred Sykes arrives in the early morning hours followed by the Manitowoc in the late morning.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Great Republic loaded on Friday and was expected to depart around noon. Due on Saturday is the Joseph H. Thompson arriving in the early morning hours. There are no vessels scheduled to load on Sunday. Three vessels are scheduled on Monday, with the Great Republic returning in the morning followed by the Pathfinder in the early afternoon. Rounding out the schedule on Monday will be the Philip R. Clarke in the late afternoon. Of note, the Clarke's arrival will be her first trip of 2014 from winter lay-up in Sturgeon Bay.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
John G. Munson loaded on Friday and was expected to depart around 3 p.m. Due on Saturday in the morning is the Arthur M. Anderson for the South Dock. The American Mariner rounds out the schedule on Sunday, arriving in the late morning hours to load at the South Dock.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Saginaw called on her namesake river on Friday, traveling up the Saginaw River to unload at the Buena Vista dock. She completed her unload and was back outbound for the lake later in the day.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
John J. Boland loaded coal from the CSX #4 Coal Dock on Friday and departed in the early afternoon. Due next at the CSX #4 Coal Dock is the Algoma Progress on Monday in the late morning hours, followed by the H. Lee White also on Monday in the evening hours. Manitowoc is due on Wednesday, June 25 in the late evening hours. Two vessels are due to load at the coal dock on Thursday, June 26 with the John D. Leitch arriving in the early morning followed by the James L. Kuber is the early afternoon. There is nothing due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. At the Torco Dock, the James L. Kuber arrived on Friday and unloaded an iron ore cargo. CSL's Thunder Bay is due to arrive at Torco on Sunday during the late morning hours to unload. Lakes Contender is expected to arrive on Monday in the early afternoon followed by the Atlantic Huron in the late evening hours both to unload at Torco. Rounding out the schedule are two vessels for Thursday, June 26 with the Lee A. Tregurtha arriving in the early morning hours followed by a return visit from the James L. Kuber also in the early morning hours. Three ASC vessels still remain in long-term lay-up with no activity aboard them. Adam E. Cornelius is at the Old Interlake Iron Co. Dock while the American Fortitude along with the American Valor remain at the Lakefront Docks. The tug Huron Service was also in Toledo and departed on Friday as well. Expected to arrive in the next few days will be the Algoma Progress making a rare trip. She is carrying a cargo loaded at Trois Rivieres, Quebec, and will be unloading at one of the dock sites in Toledo.

 

Bradley shipwreck survivor Frank Mays to speak July 22

6/21 - Frank Mays, the only living survivor of the SS Carl D. Bradley, will be speaking on Beaver Island, Mich., July 22 at 1:30 p.m. His presentation will be held at the St. James Township Hall. There will be a Beaver Island Ferry (888-446-4095) leaving Charlevoix at 8:30 a.m. for the island and leaving the island to return to Charlevoix at 5:30 p.m. There are also two air transports available – Island Airways ( (800) 524-6895) and Fresh Air Aviation (888-359-7448). This event is part of Museum Week. For additional information you can call the Historical Society (231) 448-2254, or the Chamber at (231) 448-2505.

 

Join us for our Freighter Chasing Cruises

Soo - June 27
Arrangements have been made for our annual freighter-chasing cruise on the St. Marys River on June 27 as part of the annual Engineer’s Day Gathering in Sault Ste. Marie. The cruise will be three hours and will travel through both the U.S. and Canadian Locks, finding 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. See the Gathering Page for details.

Detroit River - August 2
On Saturday, August 2, 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. A pizza lunch will be delivered by the J. W. Westcott mail boat, with a cash bar onboard. Advance Reservation Cost is $36 per person. The cruise departs at 10 a.m. from Portofino's On The River in Wyandotte, Mich. Click here for Advance Reservation form.

 

Lookback #216 – Former Norwegian visitor Bommestad torpedoed on June 21, 1940

6/21 - Bommestad had been built at Trondheim, Norway, and launched on July 15, 1915. It began service as Remus but was renamed Bommestad the following year. The 226 foot long freighter visited the Great Lakes on several occasions in the 1920s and was back in the early 1930s.

The vessel came inland from Copenhagen, Denmark, in April 1931 and, the following year, arrived at Toronto from Swansea, Wales, also in April. During 1934, the ship saw some charter work for the Newfoundland-Canada Steamship Co. At that time, Newfoundland was an independent country and did not become a Canadian province until 1949.

Bommestad was sold and re-registered in Finland as Hilda in 1934. It was attacked by the German submarine U-52 and sunk in the Bay of Biscay 74 years ago today. The vessel had loaded 1000 tons of wheat at Dunkirk and another 492 tons at La Pallice bound for the United Kingdom. Five sailors were lost when the ship was attacked on June 21, 1940.

Skip Gillham

 

Updates -  June 21

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Federal Kushiro, Kwintebank, Larsholmen, and Nordic Mari

 

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.

 

Command changes on USCG cutter Mackinaw

6/20 - Cheboygan, Mich. – The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw has a new commanding officer.

Cmdr. Michael Davanzo transfered the duties and responsibilities of commanding officer to Cmdr. Vasilios Tasikas during a ceremony presided over by Rear Adm. Fred Midgette, commander of the Coast Guard 9th District, on Wednesday.

After three years on the Mackinaw, Davanzo will report to the Afloat Training Group, Atlantic in Norfolk, Va. Tasikas takes command of the cutter after serving in the Office of Military Justice at Coast Guard Headquarters.

Tasikas said he feels the Great Lakes are his home and is truly blessed to be able sail again “on the beautiful freshwater seas.”

Remarks at the ceremony were given by Rear Admiral Fred Midgette, Commander of the U.S. Cost Guard Ninth District, Great Lakes Region, based in Cleveland. He is the senior operation commander in the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Seaway.

He commended Davanzo for his energy and for setting a personal example to all aboard the ship in that he wouldn't ask them to do anything he wouldn't do himself.

“He pushed the crew of the cutter to excel, and they did. He always set the example. He's been serving 37 years and he is still as passionate about the United States Coast Guard as he has ever been. Everything on the ship rises and falls on his leadership.”

Midgette presented Davanzo with a Meritorious Service Medal for his excellent leadership and performance during his tenure with the USCG Cutter Mackinaw.

Cheboygan Daily Tribune

 

Port Reports -  June 20

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
Kaye E. Barker loaded ore Thursday evening at the Upper Harbor as fleet mate Lee A. Tregurtha arrived to load.

Indiana Harbor, Ind. - Sheldon Rody
On Thursday at 4 pm the Burns Harbor was off loading at the Port of Indiana. It was the only ship in the harbor at that time.

Port Colborne, Ont. – Nathan Attard
Peter R. Cresswell was in at the R&P dock loading stone Thursday evening.

 

Lookback #215 – Scotiadoc sank after collision with Burlington on June 20, 1953

6/20 - Last September, the wreck of the Scotiadoc was located in the deep water of Lake Superior off Trowbridge Island. The bow rests at a depth of 850 feet while the stern lies at 870 feet. The ship has been there since June 20, 1953.

The accident of 61 years ago today also involved the Burlington. The two bulk carriers collided in heavy fog with the Scotiadoc, a member of the Paterson fleet, going down with the loss of one life. Twenty-nine other sailors were taken safely aboard the Burlington.

Scotiadoc had been built at Cleveland as Martin Mullen in 1904 and came to Canada for Paterson in 1947. It was downbound with a cargo of 239,000 bushels of grain at the time it met up with the Burlington.

The latter, also a Cleveland built bulk carrier, dated from 1899. It had been sold for scrap but gained a reprieve when it was resold for additional service to Canada Steamship Lines in 1948. The ship was acquired to help replace the tonnage lost when their Emperor had gone down the previous fall.

Burlington was a useful addition to the C.S.L. fleet carrying iron ore and coal to Algoma Steel at Sault Ste. Marie in the early years. The ship also worked in the grain trade to the end of the 1966 season. After unloading its last cargo at Toronto in March 1967, Burlington was towed to Hamilton on March 28, 1967, and broken up at the Steel Company of Canada dock in the months ahead.

Skip Gillham

 

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.

 

Repairing ice damage costs U.S.-flag lakes fleet cargo in May

6/19 - Cleveland, Ohio – With three of the largest U.S.-flag lakers out of service for a combined 65 days in May to repair damage suffered in the heavy ice in March and April, cargo movement in U.S. hulls fell nearly 5 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments totaled 9.6 million tons. Had the three 1,000-footers been in operation the whole month, they would have carried another 600,000 tons and the fleet would have registered a small increase over May 2013.

Iron ore cargos totaled 4.6 million tons, a decrease of 6 percent compared to a year ago. The vessels removed from service to undergo repairs are normally heavily engaged in the movement of iron ore.

Coal shipments in U.S.-flag lakers totaled 1.9 million tons in May, an increase of 4.3 percent. The largest gain came in loadings at Lake Erie ports – 41.7 percent. However, shipments out of Lake Michigan fell by nearly 50 percent.

Limestone cargos totaled 2.6 million tons, a decrease of 7.8 percent.

The fleet’s year-to-date totals dramatically illustrate the impacts of the harshest winter in decades. Iron ore cargos are down by 31.3 percent. Coal trails last year by 18.8 percent. Limestone loadings are off by 22.3 percent.

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Great Lakes iron ore shipments pick back up

6/19 - Iron ore shipments to Midwestern steel mills are down 26 percent so far this year, after an unforgiving winter choked the Great Lakes with the thickest and most extensive ice in decades.

Lake freighters bound for Northwest Indiana mills struggled with icy conditions well into April, but shipments finally returned to a normal level last month, according to the Lake Carriers Association. Iron ore shipments over the Great Lakes reached 6.4 million tons in May, about the same as what it had been in May 2013.

Shipping companies are trying to replenish ore stockpiles at local mills after the worst ice in 35 years, and would have shipped 600,000 additional tons in May if their fleets were at full strength. But three 1,000-foot-long freighters were out of commission because of damage caused by the heavy ice in March and April. So far this year, about 12.7 million tons of iron ore has been shipped from mines in Minnesota and Michigan to Midwestern steel mills, concentrated primarily in Northwest Indiana.

The largest cargo in May was 67,293, a 2,800 ton increase over last year but less than maximum capacity.

Steel shipments are down 26 percent through the end of May because of brutal ice conditions that slowed passage across the Great Lakes through April. Coast Guard cutters, which spent nearly three times as many hours breaking ice this winter, did not even allow unescorted vessels to cross Lake Superior until May 2.

U.S. Steel had to curtail operations at Gary Works, the nation's largest steel mill, in April because the "unprecedented" amount of ice made it impossible to get enough raw materials from Minnesota's Iron Range. The company has already warned investors that the winter weather will dent its bottom line in the second quarter. The seasonal halt to Great Lake shipping is usually 70 days, but it was more than 120 days this year, CEO Mario Longhi said during the most recent conference call with investors. The shipping woes were expected to limit production and reduce income from operations for the quarter.

Northwest Indiana Times

 

Icebreaker Mackinaw museum to host anniversary celebration

6/19 - Mackinaw City, Mich. – The Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum will host a 70th anniversary celebration of the launching of the Mackinaw WAGB83 on Saturday, June 28.

Opening ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. with music provided by members of the Straits Area Concert Band and color guard provided by the United States Coast Guard, followed by a historical perspective presentation and various proclamations. The vessel will be open for tours at 9:30 a.m.

At 11 a.m., Ric Mixter presents “Cutter Rescues” — an incredible tribute to powerful cutters that protect our inland seas featuring stories of the Escanaba, Mackinaw, Hollyhock and the Sundew. This lecture also chronicles the amazing rescues of the shipwrecks Cedarville, Nordmeer, Henry Cort and the Carl D. Bradley.

“USCG Mackinaw — An illustrated History of a Great Lakes Queen” author Mike Fornes will be available for questions, discussion and book signing at 12 p.m. There will be a picnic cookout lunch (by donation) from 12:30-2 p.m.

Michael LeButt will present “The Great Lakes and WWII” at 2 p.m., detailing the involvement of the Mackinaw and effects of WWII on the area.

Don Hermanson was aboard the Mackinaw when she made her last icebreaking mission. He interviewed crew and video-taped the voyage — available as the “Icebreaker Mackinaw” DVD. He will be aboard to discuss that mission and to autograph his DVD.

The USCGC Mackinaw WAGC83 was constructed as part of the war effort during World War II. Her construction was authorized just 10 days after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The heavy demands made on industry for an increase in the production of war materials created a great increase in the tonnage shipment of cargo and raw materials on the Great Lakes.

In the years before the Mackinaw, general navigation on the Great Lakes was closed to shipping due to ice on the average of 4 1/2 months a year. Mackinaw was designed and constructed to reduce this closed season.

The Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum is located at 131 S. Huron Avenue and is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call (231) 436-9825.

Soo Evening News

 

Port Reports -  June 19

Milwaukee, Wis. – Chris Gaziano
Prentiss Brown and barge St. Marys Conquest departed for Manitowoc during the day Wednesday after arriving overnight Tuesday. Algorail made her way in on a foggy evening with a load of salt.

Buffalo, NY – Brian W
The Luedtke dredge rig #16 started working up above the CSX bridges in the reach between CP-Draw & Turning Basin #2 yesterday. The local Marine Information Broadcast stated that the Coast Guard expects them to be actively working until late December.

 

Barge drifts into Ludington shoreline

6/19 - A barge drifted into the Ludington shoreline along M-116 at Ludington State Park on Tuesday. The cables for the barge for a dredging company broke loose in Tuesday morning's high winds and left the platform adrift. The company retrieved it Tuesday afternoon.

MLive

 

Lookback #214 – Hatch cover boards gave way on Flowergate during loading on June 19, 1962

6/19 - The British freighter Flowergate was built at Burntisland, Scotland, for Turnbull Scott Shipping. The 441 foot, 4 inch long vessel was launched on January 28, 1952, and completed on July 9.

The ship began Seaway trading in 1962 and was loading aluminum at Cleveland 52-years ago today when some of the wooden hatch cover boards broke. A forklift, with two stevedores, fell into the cargo hold and struck a third man. All three were badly injured.

Flowergate made two trips inland in 1962. It was sold and re-registered in Panama as Amenity in 1964 and was back on the lakes the next year. It became a fairly frequent Seaway salty in the 1970s coming or going to overseas destinations such as Leghorn, Italy, Piraeus, Greece, Seville, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Safi, Morocco.

In June 1975 the vessel was charged with spilling some fuel into Lake Michigan and the cost of clean-up was reported as close to $200,000.

Following a sale for scrap, Amenity arrived at Troon, Scotland, to be broken up on May 9, 1977.

Skip Gillham

 

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.

 

Port Reports -  June 18

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
On Tuesday at the Upper Harbor, James R. Barker unloaded coal and John J. Boland loaded ore.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben and Chanda McClain
Manitowoc unloaded coal at Lafarge on Monday. The tug Wendy Anne came into port and was tied up in the river on Monday. Also making a stop in the river on Monday was the yacht Pepper XIII. The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation loaded cement at Lafarge on Tuesday followed by fleetmate G.L Ostrander with barge Integrity. The Alpena is expected to return on Wednesday morning.

Oswego, NY – Ned Goebricher
On Tuesday, the English River unloaded cement.

 

Deer rescued from Welland Canal

6/18 - St. Catharines, Ont. – A young deer was frightened and wet but no worse for wear after it was pulled from the Welland Canal in Thorold Monday. Thorold firefighters and St. Lawrence Seaway personnel were able to lure the young doe close enough to shore to the slip the cable from an animal rescue catch pole around its neck and haul it to safety.

“It was pretty stressed out, but it’s not the first time or the last time a deer gets into the canal,” Todd Menard, inspector with the Lincoln County Humane Society, said. “I’m not sure how long the deer was in the water, but there is no way that animal would have survived.

“At this location at Lock 7, the walls are very steep. The deer, once it is trapped in here, needs assistance to get out. All it can do is swim around.”

The deer’s legs were tied, and it was loaded onto a Seaway authority John Deere Gator utility vehicle and taken into the woods on the east side of the canal and released.

“When we untied her, she looked at us and tried to figure out where she was — and then just took off,” said Kurt Wilkinson, acting captain with the Thorold Fire Department.

Wilkinson said it took the firefighters and Seaway personnel about 30 minutes to rescue the deer from the water.

St. Catharines Standard

 

Lookback #213 – Albert C. Field sunk by aerial torpedo in English Channel on June 18, 1944

6/18 - The Albert C. Field was built in 1923 by the Furness Shipbuilding Co. of Middlesborough, England. The steamer crossed the Atlantic for Great Lakes trading under the Eastern Steamship Co.

Built for the old canals, Albert C. Field hauled tons of coal and grain and this continued after joining the Upper Lakes and St. Lawrence Transportation Co. in 1936. The steamer operated on their behalf until being requisitioned for war service under the British Ministry of War Transport in 1940.

While overseas, the Albert C. Field usually worked in the coastal coal run. Service was not without incident. The ship grounded off Flamborough Head, in the northeast part of Great Britain, in February 1941 but was released. Then, on March 26, 1941, it was attacked and bombed en route to Hartlepool, England, but the explosive missed the target.

On June 18, 1944, following up on the Normandy Invasion, the vessel was struck on the starboard side by an aerial torpedo. On board was a cargo of ammunition to support the liberation armies but, after being hit, the vessel sank in minutes. The crew of 33, including 10 army and navy gunners, abandoned the Albert C. Field 70 years ago today. The captain and three other sailors perished.

Skip Gillham

 

Updates -  June 18

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Irma, Juno, Raba, Reggeborg, Shoveler, Songa Challenge, Strandja, and Zealand Beatrix

 

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.

 

U.S. Coast Guard rescues 2 women stranded on Lake Huron

6/17 - The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued two Canadian women stranded on a raft on Lake Huron, near Sarnia, Ont., on Sunday evening.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it sent an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter to assist in the rescue of two women who got stranded on a raft on Lake Huron, near Sarnia, Ont., on Sunday evening.

A call came in at 6:30 p.m. ET from authorities on the Canadian side of the border, seeking assistance in locating the two women. According to a news release, the women had been pushed away from shore by winds and were unable to make their way back.

A helicopter was sent from Detroit and a rescue boat was launched from Port Huron, Michigan. The women were located by the rescue boat and taken to a Canadian Coast Guard ship.

Dave Elit, a marine controller at the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Trenton, Ont., told CBC News that the women who were stranded made the initial call for help from a cellphone. That call allowed authorities to get a basic track on their location. From there, the U.S. Coast Guard was called in to assist their Canadian counterparts.

Elit said that the women were rescued about 50 minutes after their initial call. Information on the identity of the women was not immediately available. However, they were believed to be approximately 20 years of age. A U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson told CBC News they were Canadians.

USCG, CBC

 

Avoid late fee: Reserve now for Engineer’s Day Soo Cruise

6/17 - Arrangements have been made for the annual freighter-chasing cruise on the St. Marys River, on Friday, June 27, as part of the annual Engineer’s Day Gathering in Sault Ste. Marie. The cruise will be three hours and we expect to travel through 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. See the Gathering Page for details.

 

Lookback #212 – Jay Gould began to leak and then sank on June 17, 1918

6/17 - The Jay Gould changed owners and changed duties but retained her same name from 1869 until the ship was lost 96 years ago today.

The wooden-hulled vessel was designed to carry freight and passengers and proved to be the first ship of the 1884 navigation season to arrive at Duluth when it docked on May 9. Jay Gould was modified in 1906 and then rebuilt as a bulk carrier/sandsucker at Detroit in 1916. It was owned by the Rochester Sand & Gravel Co. at the time of her loss.

The 235-foot-long Gould had taken on a cargo of coal at Cleveland for delivery to Sandwich, Ontario, when it began leaking about 8 miles southeast of Southeast Shoal. With no way to save their ship, the crew abandoned the vessel and was picked by the ore carrier Midvale.

On June 18, 1918, the Jay Gould sank in Lake Erie to a depth of about 40 feet of water. The hull was later dynamited as it was a hazard to navigation.

Skip Gillham

 

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.

 

Atlantic Erie undergoing repairs, inspection at Port Colborne

6/16 - Port Colborne, Ont. – With Nadro Marine’s tug Vac pushing against the port bow, the Atlantic Erie made its way into the Welland Canal at Port Colborne Sunday, three days after it ran aground on Lake Erie.

The vessel docked on the east side of the canal, at the Snider Dock, where it will wait to be inspected by officials. Late in the day, a diver was doing some underwater welding; several small steel plates about 12 inches by 18 inches were been taken into the water.

The CSL-owned self-unloading bulk carrier was headed toward the entrance of the canal when ran aground for a reason yet to be determined east of the Port Colborne piers Thursday morning.

On Friday plans were made to refloat the ship by unloading some of the Atlantic Erie’s cargo of petroleum coke into another vessel.

There were no reports of pollution or injuries, despite the vessel taking on water in the bow area. Pumps were being used to control the water coming into the vessel.

On Saturday the Robert S. Pierson was along the starboard side of the Atlantic Erie. The CSL ship had its self-unloading cargo boom over the holds of the Robert S. Pierson, transferring some of the petroleum coke to the Lower Lakes ship.

The tugs Vac and Ecosse were on the port side of the CSL ship during the unloading. At 3 p.m. Saturday, Atlantic Erie had been lightened and refloated and moved away from where it was grounded. It moved to the Port Colborne anchorage and sat there until it came into the canal just after 4 p.m. Sunday.

Dave Johnson, Nathan Attard

 

Port Reports -  June 16

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Great Lakes Trader unloaded Sunday and was outbound at 2 p.m.

 

Lookback #211 – Algocen and Phrygia collided in the Detroit River on June 16, 1964

6/16 - It was 50 years ago today that the first Algocen and the British freighter Phrygia collided in the Fighting Island Channel of the Detroit River.

The Great Lakes bulk carrier had just unloaded at McLouth Steel and was bound for Lorain, Ohio, and a load of coal when the accident occurred. The 524-foot-long, 9,800-ton capacity Algocen received some scrapes and dents and the cost of repairs was reported at $17,000.

The nine-year-old Phrygia, which had not been through the Seaway until earlier in 1964, received a large hole in the port side both above and below the waterline. It was able to make Detroit and eventually received about $75,000 in repairs. Both ships shared blame for the accident.

Algocen dated from 1909 and became part of the Algoma fleet in 1935. It operated through 1967 and made one trip, down bound with salt, in 1968 before going to Santander, Spain, under tow, for scrap. The ship arrived there for dismantling, along with the Hillsdale, on July 8, 1968.

Phrygia returned to the Great Lakes on several occasions. It was sold and re-registered in Greece as Dimitiris N. late in 1965 and was a Seaway trader again in 1968.

This 348-foot-long vessel received a fourth name of Fong Chi in 1974 and was under the flag of Panama when it capsized at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on Feb. 19, 1975. After being refloated, the vessel was sold for scrap and broken up at Kaohsiung by Lung Fa Steel Co. Ltd. beginning on July 16, 1976.

Skip Gillham

 

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.

 

Atlantic Erie refloated

6/15 - Port Colborne, Ont. – Shortly before 3 p.m.  Saturday the Atlantic Erie was able to back off the area where it ground on Thursday after unloading part of her cargo into the Robert S. Pierson. She moved to the anchorage area off the Port Colborne entrance to the Welland Canal where she will reload the cargo and eventually resume her trip.

 

Port Reports -  June 15

Milwaukee, Wis. - Chris Gaziano
Isadora departed during the overnight hours Saturday for Thunder Bay. The Algomarine departed in the early afternoon and made her way north on the lake. The Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation arrived in the early evening for the LaFarge terminal.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner arrived Saturday morning for General Mills.

 

Lookback #210 – Coudres de L'ile sank after collision with Algowest on June 15, 1988

6/15 - The small Canadian coastal freighter Coudres de L'ile was no match for the big laker Algowest when they collided in the foggy St. Lawrence 26 years ago today. One life, that of the cook on the small ship, was lost.

Coudres de L'ile dated from 1954 and originally sailed under the Dutch flag. The 200-foot-long vessel came to Canada in 1972 and provided service between Montreal and the lower St. Lawrence until it was lost off Point au Boisvert, while carrying a cargo of scrap, on June 15, 1988.

The straight deck bulk carrier Algowest was Hull 226 from the Collingwood shipyard and had entered service for Algoma Central on July 21, 1982. It set several cargo records in the early years including 27,308.21 metric tonnes of barley at Thunder Bay for Baie Comeau, Quebec, on the first trip.

Following the collision, Algowest was repaired at the Welland Dock. It was taken to Port Weller Dry Docks for conversion to a self-unloader in December 1997 and resumed trading on July 13, 1998.

The name was changed to Peter R. Cresswell, in a ceremony at Wharf 2 of the Welland Canal, on October 14, 2001. As such, it honors the retired long-time President of Algoma Central and his contribution to the growth and development of the company. The ship is still an active member of the Algoma fleet.

Skip Gillham

 

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.

 

Atlantic Erie refloated

6/14 - Port Colborne, Ont. – 3 p.m. - Shortly before 3 p.m.  the Atlantic Erie was able to back off the area where it ground on Thursday after unloading part of her cargo into the Robert S. Pierson. She moved to the anchorage area off the Port Colborne entrance to the Welland Canal where she will reload the cargo and eventually resume her trip.

Original report - While Transport Canada is monitoring a grounded laker off Port Colborne, the company managing the CSL-owned self-unloading bulk carrier said a plan to refloat it is being developed.

In a release, V. Ships Canada said the Atlantic Erie, built in 1985, ran aground Thursday near Port Colborne. Transport Canada said the Canada Steamship Lines vessel grounded at approximately 10:45 a.m., east of the Welland Canal.

The vessel, filled with petroleum coke, ran aground in water 15- 20 feet deep, her draft at the bow read 26-feet.

V.Ships Canada said there were no reports of pollution or injuries, and the vessel remains aground with two tugs, the Ecosse and Salvor, in attendance.

“Emergency notifications have been made and response resources have been activated including divers to survey the vessels hull. A plan to re-float the vessel is being developed and a second vessel is en-route should it be necessary to remove a portion of the cargo,” the company said, adding the main focus is to re-float the vessel safely.

Transport Canada said in a release that the vessel sustained damage to the hull.

“While it is taking on water, pumps are able to control the ingress. There is an action plan in place to remove some of the cargo from the vessel to lighten it. A tugboat, which is already on scene, will assist in moving the vessel to deeper waters,” it said, adding the ship will berth at Port Colborne and undergo further inspection once refloated.

V.Ships Canada said as manager of the vessel it is working closely with the appropriate authorities to determine the cause of the grounding.

“Transport Canada’s role is to protect the safety of life and the environment and to verify compliance with marine safety regulations. The department is monitoring the situation closely,” the agency said.

When berthed, it will inspect the Atlantic Erie to gather further information on the incident and determine that it is cleared to proceed on its voyage.

The Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the incident, as it the lead agency responsible for investigating transportation incidents for cause and contributing factors.

Dave Johnson , Erie Media

 

USCG investigating Bois Blanc Island ferry collision

6/14 - Cheboygan, Mich. – The Coast Guard is investigating a collision between an island ferry and a tugboat pushing a barge.

Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie said the accident happened around 8:55 Thursday morning. The Bois Blanc Island ferry Kristen D and an as-yet-unnamed tug sideswiped each other.

No one was hurt, and neither vessel received any major damage. How the collision happened is still under investigation.

9 & 10 News

 

Port Reports -  June 14

Green Bay, Wis. - Jeff Ruckert
Algosteel was expected to arrive from Goderih with a load of salt for the Fox River Dock Terminal on Friday. Lewis J Kuber was also due, with a load of limestone for Graymont Western Lime Terminal.

Milwaukee, Wis. - Chris Gaziano
Isadora made its way in after sunrise Friday morning for Terminal 1. Algomarine also came in and backed in to the inner harbor with a load of salt.

Oswego, N.Y. - Ned Goebricher
Stephen B. Roman unloaded cement Friday.

 

Lookback #209 – Tug Ohio crushed at Buffalo on June 14, 1954

6/14 - The tug Ohio, of the Great Lakes Towing Co., was working with the steamer W.F. White at Buffalo when it was crushed against a pier 60 years ago today. The accident made the tug a total loss and it was taken to Cleveland and scrapped in 1955.

Ohio had been built by and for the Great Lakes Towing Co. in 1910. The 81-foot-long harbor tug was a very useful member of the fleet for almost half a century. It was originally based at Toledo to assist vessels in and out of the port, but was later moved to Buffalo.

The original high-pressure steam engine was already second hand in 1910 and had been replaced with a 1250 bhp General Motors Corp. diesel in 1950. The latter was still serviceable after the accident and was removed for installation in the hull of company running mate Nebraska. This latter tug, while still in operation, was repowered again in 1980 when the old engine from Ohio was removed.

A second Ohio, formerly a fire boat at Milwaukee and later the tug Laurence C. Turner, has been active on the Great Lakes for the Great Lakes Towing Co. as Ohio since 1973.

The W.F. White, a self-unloader for Bradley Limestone Division of U.S. Steel at the time of the 1954 accident, was sold and renamed Erindale in 1976. It was scrapped at Port Colborne in 1984-1985.

Skip Gillham

 

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.

 

Investigators to look into Atlantic Erie grounding

6/13 - Port Colborne, Ont. – Atlantic Erie was aground Thursday morning off Port Colborne. About 10 a.m. the vessel was on a normal course for the Port Colborne piers when the vessel turned for unknown reasons, stopping about two miles to the South East. Thursday afternoon the tug Seahound was along side. She is aground in water from 15-20 feet deep with flooding reported in her forepeak, her forward draft was 26-feet.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is deploying a team of investigators to Port Colborne to assess the grounding of the Atlantic Erie. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Nathan Attard, CBC

 

Great Lakes are ice-free at last

6/13 - For the first time since November, the Great Lakes are ice-free as of Thursday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The last holdout was Lake Superior, where ice remained near Marquette, Mich., as recently as late last week.

Over Memorial Day weekend, ice chunks on Lake Superior were large enough to provide dramatic backdrops for sunbathers on a warm May day.

The U.S. Coast Guard put in over 2,000 hours of ice-breaking operations this winter, the agency reported today. At one point in early March, more than 92% of the lakes were ice-covered, the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory reported, the second-highest percentage on record.

Though the good news is that summer will begin in 11 days, the "less good" news is that the amount of daylight each day will begin to shrink a few days later, signaling the slow crawl toward the winter of 2014-15.

USA Today

 

Support sought for Badger landmark designation

6/13 - On May 22, The National Parks System Advisory Board (NPSAB) voted to recommend to Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell to recognize the SS Badger for National Historic Landmark status.

Please lend your support in obtaining this important designation for the S.S. Badger. Your email will be forwarded to Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior, who has the final approval of this designation.

To lend support for the SS Badger, follow this Link

Dave Wobser

 

Annual St. Clair Marine Mart set for Saturday

6/13 - The 33rd Annual Marine Memorabilia Market will be held this Saturday 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. The 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. Admission is free.

 

Lookback #208 – Grounded Yakima caught fire on June 13, 1905

6/13 - The wooden freighter Yakima ran aground in Lake St. Clair on June 10, 1905. The 292-foot, 6-inch-long vessel was waiting to be salvaged when it caught fire and burned 109 years ago today.

Yakima had been built at Cleveland in 1887 and served the Wilson Transit Co. The ship had twin smoke stacks as well as four masts and became the first laker with electric lights.

The vessel joined the Gilchrist Transportation Co. in 1901 and suffered another grounding in Sept. 1902, while trying to come to the aid of the City of Rome. Yakima was released with rudder damage.

The fire of June 13, 1905, ended the career of Yakima. The hull was refloated and taken to Sarnia for lay-up. It sat idle there, with most of the machinery removed, until the remains of the vessel were taken out into Lake Huron and scuttled about 1928.

Divers came across the hull in 77 feet of water in June 1993. They reported that is upright but all the machinery, except for the crankshaft, were gone.

Skip Gillham

 

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.

 

Atlantic Erie aground

6/12 - Port Colborne - Atlantic Erie was reported aground Thursday morning off Port Colborne. About 10 a.m. the vessel was on a normal course for the Port Colborne Piers when the vessel turned for unknown reasons stopping about two miles to the South East. Thursday afternoon the tug Seahound was along side. Early reports say she is aground in water from 15 - 20 feet deep with flooding in her forepeak.

Nathan Attard

 

23 days at anchor on Lake Superior, ship finally arrives in Twin Ports

6/12 - Duluth, Minn. – After 23 days of hanging around outside the Aerial Lift Bridge, the Federal Mattawa came in early Tuesday evening. The grain carrier was given the go-ahead to ply its way to the CHS dock in Superior, where it was deemed there was enough grain to fill the ship.

Crew members on the ship have seen ice come and go. They’ve seen dozens of other ships come and go.

And they’ve seen more than three weeks pass since they anchored outside of the Duluth Harbor Basin on May 19. A series of events had the saltie bobbing endlessly in the corner of Lake Superior, much to the puzzlement of avid shipwatchers in Duluth.

Adele Yorde, spokeswoman for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said the long wait for the Federal Mattawa has been “unusual,” much like the season so far, as ice conditions on Lake Superior slowed shipping into May.

The ship started on the St. Lawrence Seaway in late April and, after dropping cargo in Hamilton, Ont., made its way to Thunder Bay by May 8. It was “repositioned” to Duluth because of backups in the Canadian port, Yorde said, and then has had to wait out other salties loading grain, and then a grain shortage.

She suspects the shortage culprit is the preference for oil trains over grain on lines from the Dakotas.

Steve Sydow, operations manager at Daniel’s Shipping Services, has been assigned to the ship. He said because it hadn’t cleared customs, the crew wasn’t able to come ashore. The crew is well stocked from its stop in Montreal a month ago.

“They’re not laying around,” Sydow said earlier Tuesday, before he knew the ship could come in. They were catching up on sleep lost with the intense navigating through the seaway locks and the ice, he said. They were also doing routine maintenance and housekeeping.

“It’s time they normally wouldn’t get,” Sydow said of the international crew members. “They’re not out on the hatches sunning themselves.”

Sydow’s job has been to handle communications with the ship regarding grain availability. He had been waiting to hear from CHS early Tuesday and then the call came in. The wait was over.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports -  June 12

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Federal Mattawa, which has been at anchor off Duluth since May 19, finally arrived under the Aerial Lift Bridge at 6:30 on Tuesday evening. She went to CHS 1, where she is now loading grain. Also, the BBC Chile arrived on her first visit at 10 Tuesday night. She is discharging wind turbine parts at Port Terminal, and will be shifting to Riverland Ag to load grain. In other traffic, St. Clair departed from CN just after midnight Wednesday, and Mesabi Miner left with coal a few hours later. Cason J. Callaway arrived at 2:15 p.m. with limestone for C. Reiss Terminal, and will also be loading iron ore pellets at CN. CSL's Baie St. Paul finished up Wednesday's traffic, arriving at 3:50 p.m. for Midwest Energy. For Thursday, Baie St. Paul is due to depart early in the morning, followed by the arrival of Ashtabula/tug Defiance, due in the morning to load an unusual cargo of iron nuggets at Hallett #5. Cason J. Callaway is expected to depart from CN in the late afternoon, and finally, Baie Comeau is due in the early evening to load coal at Midwest Energy.

Cleveland, Ohio – Great Lakes Towing Co.
On Wednesday morning, June 11, the luxury yacht Freedom docked at Great Lakes Shipyard for dockside repairs before continuing to Chicago, Ill., later that evening.

 

U.S., Canadian vessel operators announce joint ballast water principles

6/12 - Cleveland, Ohio – Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) and Canadian Shipowners Association (CSA), the trade associations representing U.S.- and Canadian-flag vessel operators on the Great Lakes, Wednesday released the five principles they believe should guide the U.S. and Canadian governments as they regulate the ballast water on their vessels. The principles should govern their vessels operating in the Great Lakes, St Lawrence River, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canadian eastern and Arctic waters to the limit of the Canadian exclusive economic zone (Operating Area).

Agreed Principles of the LCA/CSA
1. Single Ballast Water Rule for all Canadian and US flag domestic vessels in the Operating Area (Domestic Vessels).

There are a multitude of jurisdictions that exercise authority over the bi-national waterway within the Operating Area. Domestic Vessels should operate under a uniform single standard or compatible set of national rules that are fair and rationally based, that result in requirements that are technically and operationally achievable, considering vessel age, type, and operating characteristics, and are economically feasible resulting in a positive benefit to cost ratio. Since treatment systems do not currently exist and are not expected to exist in the near future, Domestic Vessels operating exclusively within the Operating Area should continue implementing Best Management Practices as they have since 1993, and not be required to install ballast water treatment systems.

2. Any Rule must recognize the unique operating requirements and diversity of environmental conditions faced by Domestic Vessels.

The IMO rule should not be the basis for governing a ballast water treatment rule for Domestic Vessels. The IMO rule does not recognize the unique operating requirements and diversity of environmental conditions faced by Domestic Vessels within the Operating Area. The cost of compliance given these challenges and constraints could impose substantial economic harm. Furthermore the IMO rule does not recognize the difference between the risk of AIS transfer versus the risk of AIS introduction by foreign vessels.

3. The U.S. Coast Guard’s Alternative Management System cannot be endorsed as a solution for domestic Vessels.

The AMS program was only intended to be as protective as salt-water exchange/flushing for foreign flag vessels and therefore must not be viewed as an endorsement of any foreign type-approved ballast water treatment system for use by Domestic Vessels.

4. LCA and CSA Members have a common interest to advocate for a single rule in the Operating Area to Governments and Regulators.

LCA and CSA Members agree to jointly and severally advocate for Canadian Ballast Water regulations for Domestic Vessels that incorporate the principles espoused herein and advocate for recognition of such Canadian regulations by the U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency.

5. LCA and CSA Members have a common interest to promote ballast water research and technological evaluation aimed at the unique requirements of Domestic Vessels operating in a unique environment

Participation in shared research and evaluation is a priority of both the LCA and CSA. These efforts shall be aimed at determining the potential risk of AIS transfer from the ballasting operations of Domestic Vessels within the operating area and to assess ballast water treatment technologies for the development of best management practices and to assess the feasibility of such technologies for domestic vessels.

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

St. Catharines street may be named after friend of marine industry

6/12 - The St. Catharines, ON city council has approved a request to name a street in honor of Lou Cahill, a Canadian public relations pioneer. Lou was a leader in his field and a long time friend of the marine industry as well as marine historians around the Great Lakes.

Before it becomes official, the plan must go to St. Catharines city staff for approval and then a public meeting but it is hoped that everything will be in order for the official naming on July 10, which had been Lou's birthday.

Lou organized activities such as the Top-Hat Ceremony at the start of the Welland Canal Navigation season, Merritt Day, to coincide with the anniversary of the 1828 opening of the First Welland Canal, and various events and celebrations up and down the Welland Canal corridor. He was instrumental in having Canada Post issue a commemorative postage stamp in 1978 recognizing the 150th Anniversary of the opening of the canal. He was also very supportive for what has become the Welland Canal Boatnerd weekend each fall.

A street north of King St. in the city of St. Catharines will become known as Lou Cahill Way once the final approval has been acquired.

Lou Cahill passed away in 2008 but left a significant impact on the public relations industry, the marine scene and many individuals whose lives he touched during his career.

Skip Gillham

 

Don’t be left on the dock: Reserve now for Boatnerd gatherings

6/12 - Soo - June 27
Arrangements have been made for our annual freighter-chasing cruise on the St. Marys River on June 27 as part of the annual Engineer’s Day Gathering in Sault Ste. Marie. The cruise will be three hours and will travel through both the U.S. and Canadian Locks, finding 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. See the Gathering Page for details.

Detroit River - August 2
On Saturday, August 2, 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. A pizza lunch will be delivered by the J. W. Westcott mail boat, with a cash bar onboard. Advance Reservation Cost is $36 per person. The cruise departs at 10 a.m. from Portofino's On The River in Wyandotte, Mich. Click here for Advance Reservation form.

 

Dossin Museum in Detroit adds summer hours

6/12 - Detroit, Mich. - Starting Friday, June 13, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum will add Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to its normal Saturday and Sunday hours. The expanded hours will continue through Labor Day weekend on Belle Isle, with the exception of Friday, July 4.

In the year since the museum’s $2 million renovation was completed in May 2013, attendance at this Belle Isle jewel has increased by more than 60 percent compared to pre-renovation levels.

The Dossin Great Lakes Museum, located at 100 Strand Drive on Belle Isle. Admission is free. Permanent exhibits include Built by the River in the John A. and Marlene L. Boll Foundation Gallery, the Miss Pepsi vintage 1950s championship hydroplane, the Gothic Room from the City of Detroit III, a bow anchor from the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald and the pilothouse from the Great Lakes freighter S.S. William Clay Ford in the Wayne and Joan Webber Gallery.

Dossin Museum

 

Lookback #207 – Yellowstone in fatal collision on June 12, 1978

6/12 - Yellowstone was a former C-4 class troop ship from World War Two. The 523-foot-long vessel was launched at Richmond, Calif., on June 28, 1945, and completed as Marine Perch in October after the war had ended.

The ship was used to bring troops home from the Pacific war zones, carry Italian Prisoners of War back to Naples, Italy, and ferry soldiers back from Europe to America.

It also saw some passenger service on charter before being laid up in the Reserve Fleet. The ship was sold to Rio Grande Transport Inc. in 1965 and converted to the bulk carrier Yellowstone at Tampa, FL that year.

Yellowstone made its first transit of the Seaway in May 1978 and loaded grain at Duluth for Algeria and Tunisia. This cargo was topped off to saltwater draft at Baie Comeau.

Thick fog proved to be a menace as the ship neared the Mediterranean 36 years ago today. Yellowstone was southeast of Gibraltar when the Ibn Batouta, an Algerian freighter, struck the vessel just off the engine room inflicting significant damage. Yellowstone was taken in tow but sank the next day, June 13, 1978. The casualty list read two sailors dead and three more missing.

Ibn Batouta was never a Seaway trader but it too was a collision victim. It sank in the Red Sea, with the loss of 12 lives, on March 9, 2009, following a collision with the OXL Sultan

Skip Gillham

 

Help wanted: City of Toronto: Marine Engineer 2

Job Classification Title: Marine Engineer 2 Requisition # 1977276X
Work Location: Jack Layton Ferry Terminal Toronto
Job Type: Seasonal, Full-Time
Temporary Duration: 19 Weeks
Salary/Rate: $28.91 / Hour
Number of Positions Open: 2
Interested applicants are requested to send their resume and cover letter to the City of Toronto's website. Please visit www.toronto.ca/jobs, by June 19 to view entire job postings referenced above.

 

Updates -  June 12

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the BBC Chile, Eemsborg, Federal Hudson, Federal Oshima, Fritz, Sichem Beijing, and YM Saturn.
 

 

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.

 

Port Reports -  June 11

Milwaukee, Wis. – Chris Gaziano
Bradshaw McKee and barge St. Marys Challenger departed Tuesday morning for Charlevoix. G.L. Ostrander with barge Integrity arrived in the early morning Tuesday. They were finished up and heading for St. Joseph, Mich. (Benton Harbor) by mid morning. The tug Dorothy Ann with barge Pathfinder also made their way in during the early morning with a load of stone. They were outbound for the lake by early afternoon.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
The saltwater tanker Harbour Feature arrived on the Saginaw River Monday morning, calling on the Port Fisher Fertilizer dock to unload. She had finished by Tuesday morning and, with the assistance of the tug Manitou, turned in the Essexville turning basin and headed outbound for the lake. This is the second visit by a saltwater vessel to the Saginaw River in the past week. Manitou returned to the Lafarge Cement dock in Essexville and tied up there.

 

Seaway traffic up in May thanks to grain backlog

6/11 - Montreal, QC – Shipping traffic through the St. Lawrence Seaway spiked in May as more than twice the normal number of ocean-going vessels passed through the system mainly to clear Canada's grain backlog.

The Port of Thunder Bay had its busiest month in 16 years as more than 1.5 million tonnes of cargo, mostly grain, were moved. The number of vessels passing through the northwestern Ontario port increased by 35 per cent from last May and included 26 ocean-going vessels – the most for any month since 2000 – and 44 domestic ships.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. said Tuesday that Canadian domestic ships were busy transporting grain to Quebec ports to be loaded onto ocean carriers.

The heightened activity came as the seaway's 56th shipping season got off to its latest start in five years in late March as harsh winter weather created some of the worst ice conditions in decades.

Canadian grain shipments from March 25 to May 31 were 1.4 million tonnes, up 2.4 per cent from the prior year. Shipments of stone, salt and general cargo were also strong during May, but total shipments year-to-date were down 20 per cent, largely due to lower shipments of iron ore.

The Canadian Press

 

President signs Great Lakes legislation

6/11 - Legislation that combines the five Great Lakes into one entity for federal funding was signed into law Tuesday by President Barack Obama.

The Water Resources Reform and Development Act includes a provision establishing the Great Lakes Navigation System. It will enable Great Lakes communities to advocate jointly for funding instead of competing among themselves, Rep. Louise Slaughter said.

“The establishment of the Great Lakes Navigation System is a long-awaited, historic step in joining our region’s ports and waterways to ensure they are adequately maintained through unified funding,” Slaughter said in a statement.

The Great Lakes supports 130,000 jobs and generates $18 billion in annual revenue, Slaughter said.

Rochester Business Journal

 

Canada escapes proposed tax on U.S. cargos

6/11 - Washington, D.C. – Canada's shipping industry appears to have steered clear of a threatened U.S. cargo tax.

The push for a tax on cargo from Canada and Mexico was excluded from the new Water Resources Reform and Development Act, signed into law Tuesday.

"(This) would have been a massive tax grab and a massive congestion problem," a pleased Canadian ambassador Gary Doer said in an interview before the bill was signed. "This would have been a real blow to Canadian ports, and real congestion points at our borders."

The final legislation doesn't include the proposed 0.125 per cent tax, which would have been collected by U.S. Customs on all cargo carried into the U.S. via Canadian ports.

The bill negotiated between the two houses of Congress does address some of the complaints from Washington state lawmakers, who say their ports are currently disadvantaged by the American tax system.

They say it's unfair that certain ports have been forced to put disproportionately high sums into a national harbor maintenance fund, making them less competitive against Canadian ones.

The new law offers $25 million to certain ports, like those in Seattle and Tacoma, that are net contributors to the fund. Other provisions include authorizing 34 new Army Corps of Engineers projects.

The Canadian government had feared that the sweeping, 10-year funding plan would incorporate the tax idea. Washington state Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives had proposed such a levy in similar bills.

The Canadian Press

 

Lookback #206 – Former Pitria Sky left Singapore for China on June 11, 1993

6/11 - The 348-foot long by 45-foot wide Pitria Sky was a Seaway trader in 1978 under the flag of Cyprus. The ship had been built at Galatz, Romania, in 1972 and was initially registered in Greece. The general cargo carrier spent parts of 1977-1978 as Highland Prince before reverting to her original name and a new flag on the stern in 1978.

The ship subsequently moved around in its 21-year career and was sailing under the eighth name of Hai Hong 3 when tragedy struck. The last date I can find is exactly 21 years ago today when the vessel departed Singapore for Shantou, China, and was reported to have arrived safely.

However, with the approach of Typhoon Koryn, the first super typhoon of the 1993 season, the vessel's captain elected to put out to sea to ride out the storm rather than risk being pounded against a dock, torn loose from its moorings or otherwise damaged. Instead, after leaving port, the former Seaway trader was never seen again and disappeared with all hands during in the storm.

In total, Typhoon Koryn caused an estimated 57 deaths and about $14 million (US-1993 dollars) in damage as it smashed its way from the Philippines into China.

Skip Gillham

 

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.

 

Impacts of ice still felt on lakes in May

6/10 - Cleveland, Ohio – Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 6.4 million tons in May, a virtual repeat of a year ago. The total would have been about 600,000 tons more, but three 1,000-foot-long U.S.-flag lakers were out of service for a combined 65 days in May to repair damage suffered in the heavy ice that covered the Lakes in March and April.

Shipments from U.S. ports total 5.8 million tons, again virtually unchanged from a year ago. Loadings at Canadian terminals in the St. Lawrence Seaway increased marginally to 588,000 tons.

Rising water levels did allow for bigger loads than a year ago, but dredging remains very much needed. The largest iron ore cargo to move in May totaled 67,293 tons, an increase of 2,800 tons compared to a year ago. However, in May of 1997, a time when water levels were approaching near record highs and allowing vessels to load to almost their full draft, the top ore cargo totaled 69,961 tons, and before the season was out, some loads would top 72,000 tons.

Year-to-date the ore trade stands at 12.7 million tons, a decrease of 26 percent compared to a year ago. The decrease reflects the brutal ice conditions that prevailed well into April. It was not until May 2 that the U.S. Coast Guard allowed vessels to transit Lake Superior unescorted.

Lake Carriers' Association

 

Port Reports -  June 10

Milwaukee, Wis. - Chris Gaziano
The tug Bradshaw McKee and barge St. Marys Challenger made their way into Milwaukee for the St. Marys Terminal late Monday morning. This is the pair’s first visit in since the St. Marys Challenger was converted to a barge.

 

Lookback #205 – Former Fro abandoned in sinking condition on June 10, 1967

6/10 - The Norwegian freighter Fro made a total of 10 trips through the Seaway from 1961 to the end of 1965. It had adventures on fresh as well as salt water during a 28-year-career before being abandoned by the crew on June 10, 1967.

World War II had just broken out when this vessel was launched at Sunderland, England, on Oct. 30, 1939. The 439 foot long general cargo carrier joined the Carlton Steamship Co. as Scorton in December and spent the war years under the British flag.

On March 10, 1943, Scorton rammed and sunk the German submarine U-633 in the North Atlantic and the enemy ship went down with all hands. Later that year, Scorton collided with the Canadian corvette H.M.C.S. Matapedia without the same consequences.

Scorton was sold to Norwegian interests in 1955 and renamed Fro. While inland on June 6, 1964, the 20th Anniversary of D-Day, Fro grounded at Milwaukee while headed for France with 7,500 tons of scrap. The newly-built Yankcanuck lightered about 1,000 tons of cargo before Fro could float free on June 9.

Another sale in 1965 led to a final name of Winsome and two more years of service under the flag of Panama. Fire broke out 47 years ago today as the ship was crossing the South China Sea in ballast on a voyage, from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to Da Nang, Vietnam. The blaze spread throughout the ship, and it was abandoned by the crew. All on board were saved but it is believed that the Winsome sank the next day.

Skip Gillham

 

Updates -  June 10

News Photo Gallery

 

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, 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.

 

Port Reports -  June 9

Keweenaw Waterway - Mike Kumpula
The USCG cutter Buckthorn was picking up buoys in the Upper Keweenaw Waterway at Lily Pond Sunday. She came in from Isle Royale, picked up buoys and headed back, the crew worked very fast and efficiently.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Olive L. Moore, and her barge, Lewis J. Kuber, called on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City early Friday morning. While the pair were unloading, the tug Leonard M. and barge Huron Spirit arrived, carrying a cargo for the same dock. The Leonard M.- Huron Spirit put a few lines out at the Lafarge Cement dock across the river from Bay Aggregates to both wait for the Moore-Kuber to depart and to allow the YM Saturn to proceed outbound from the Port Fisher Fertilizer dock, where she had unloaded overnight. The YM Saturn had no difficulty turning in the Essexville basin, plus the tug Manitou was standing by to assist if needed. The YM Saturn, Olive L. Moore and Manitou were all outbound from the Saginaw River and headed for the lake on Friday. The Leonard M. - Huron Spirit was outbound early Saturday morning. Sunday morning saw the return of the Moore-Kuber, this time with a split cargo for the Bay City and Saginaw Wirt Stone Docks. The pair were outbound later in the day.

 

Lookback #204 Assiniboia swept through Canadian Soo Lock on June 9, 1909

6/9 - In a very bizarre accident, the Canadian Pacific Railway Co. passenger and freight steamer Assiniboia was washed through the Canadian Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, on June 9, 1909. Three ships were involved and all sustained damage of some kind.

Assiniboia was headed down bound for a tandem lockage with the Crescent City 105 years ago today. The up bound American bulk carrier Perry G. Walker did not stop in time below the lock and broke down the lower gates. The surge of water was unchecked and Assiniboia and Crescent City were swept through the lock and all three ships suffered hull damage and went aground.

In time the flow of water was controlled, the ships were refloated and all returned to service. Assiniboia lasted the longest and remained in service through the end of the 1967 season. It was sold for use as a restaurant on the Delaware River across from Philadelphia but burned there on Nov. 9, 1969, without serving a meal. The remains were scrapped at Bordentown, NJ in 1970.

Perry G. Walker was part of the Gilchrist Transportation Co.. It joined the Interlake Steamship Co. as Taurus in 1913 and was the first to be broken up. This ship arrived at Hamilton under tow in 1946 and was dismantled by the Steel Co. of Canada.

Crescent City, then part of the U.S. Steel fleet, was sold on several occasions becoming Carl W. Meyers in 1950. It was also scrapped by Stelco at Hamilton in 1959-1960 after some service at Buffalo as a grain storage barge.

Skip Gillham

 

Updates -  June 9

News Photo Gallery - we hope to get caught up tonight
 

 

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

 

CSL unveils names for two newest bulk carriers

6/8 - In a naming ceremony held at Yangfan shipyard in Zhoushan, China on April 24, 2014, CSL unveiled the names of its two new Trillium Class bulk carriers.

The first to be revealed was the CSL St-Laurent, named in honor of the St. Lawrence Seaway on which CSL vessels have sailed for over 100 years. The second bulker, the CSL Welland, was named as a tribute to the Welland Canal, the intricate system of eight locks that enables ships to navigate to and from North America’s heartland.

The 36,100-DWT, seaway size gearless bulkers are part of CSL’s ambitious fleet renewal program which oversaw the delivery of four new Trillium Class self-unloading Lakers and three Panamax self-unloaders in 2012-2013.

The two new vessels are scheduled to enter the Canada Steamship Lines fleet later this year and will operate in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system.

Featuring IMO Tier II compliant main engines and the latest environmental and safety technologies, the state-of-the art new bulkers will be consistent with the high standards set by the Trillium Class of operational efficiency, reliability and environmental sustainability.

CSL

 

Port Reports -  June 8

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Daniel Lindner
Philip R. Clarke was moved into Bayship's large graving dock on Saturday. It is unknown what kind of work is to be done. The USCGC Hollyhock remains docked, and the motor yacht Bliss stayed at her dock during the day Saturday.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Chris Gaziano
Alpena departed Saturday in the morning for Chicago after arriving late Friday afternoon for the Lafarge terminal. Algorail made its way in during the early afternoon with salt. They were finished up and heading out for Chicago by early evening.

Oswego, N.Y. - Ned Goebricher
Stephen B. Roman unloaded cement on Saturday.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W
John J. Boland is on her way to Lackawanna Saturday with stone out of Calcite, Mich. At 10:38 Saturday morning she was approaching Point Pelee with a speed of 12 knots and an ETA of around 2 a.m. Sunday.

 

Businessmen to revive ex-Canadian Coast Guard ship Isle Rouge

6/8 - St. Catharines, Ont. – The proud owner of a decommissioned Canadian Coast Guard vessel can hardly believe his luck.

“I feel great we made it back alive,” laughed Nino Donatelli, soon after arriving Friday afternoon at Port Dalhousie Pier Marina- a facility he also owns. “We had absolutely no issues, the weather was nice.”

He took 17 hours to sail back from Trenton with a crew to pick up the boat, which he says was originally worth $4 million. Developer Donatelli and Ralph Terrio are business partners in the ship venture whose outcome is not yet clear.

The former mid-shore patrol vessel Isle Rouge was purchased through government auction. Donatelli and Terrio are considering using it as a tour boat for perhaps 50-60 people and note a refitting and a raft of permits would be needed.

If it sees that new life, it could tour areas around Niagara or Toronto, and be in service by next summer.

Donatelli said the idea was sparked in part by the numbers phoning his Port Dalhousie marina looking for tours.

“People are calling us all the time saying ‘how do we get out into the water without renting or buying a boat, so there’s obviously a demand,’” he said. “Ralph and I thought we’d buy it and decide what to do with it … we’re not sure if we’re going to use it ourselves, or as a (tour) service,” Donatelli said. “This is the perfect size to move people around without it costing a fortune. We’ll find out all the red tape needed, and if we can get through it, we’ll use it to move people around.”

Terrio said “it was interesting to buy this.

“I do think tours would be nice … another idea is if we don’t do the service here we’re going to sail it down to Nova Scotia and bring it down to Cape Breton,” Terrio said.

St. Catharines Standard

 

Lookback #203 – Edward C. Whalen stranded in Lake Superior on June 8, 1954

6/8 - The steam tug Edward C. Whalen was built by the Western Drydock and Shipbuilding Co. at Port Arthur, Ontario, in 1913. The ship operated much of the time on Lake Superior and was on a voyage from Midland to Fort William when it stranded while seeking shelter off the Batchawana River 60-years ago today.

The 80-foot, three-inch-long vessel was refloated on June 13, 1954, only to founder that day off Corbeil Point, a few miles from its original stranding. Located in shallow water, the hull was declared a navigational hazard. The tug was salvaged on July 5, 1957, and taken to the Lakehead, the original destination of the trip, but three years late in arriving.

The ship was sold to A.B. McLean & Sons and towed to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., by Miseford in 1958, where it was gradually repowered and rebuilt. The tug finally returned to service in the spring of 1966 as John McLean, working in harbor towing, ice breaking and handling of rafts of pulpwood. It also saw duty working with company barges in salvage operations for the Christine and Frank Purnell.

The vessel joined the Purvis Marine Ltd. fleet in 1994 and was renamed Adanac (Canada spelled backwards) the next year. It was repowered again over the winter of 1995-1996 but sank, off the Essar Steel, Algoma Dock, on Feb. 18, 2010. Adanac was again refloated and remains part of the Purvis fleet.

Skip Gillham

 

Reserve now for upcoming Boatnerd Gatherings

Soo - June 27
Arrangements have been made for our annual freighter-chasing cruise on the St. Marys River, on June 27 as part of the annual Engineer’s Day Gathering in Sault Ste. Marie. The cruise will be three hours and will travel through both the U.S. and Canadian Locks, finding 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. See the Gathering Page for details

Detroit River - August 2
On Saturday, August 2, 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. A pizza lunch will be delivered by the J. W. Westcott mail boat, with a cash bar onboard. Advance Reservation Cost is $36 per person. The cruise departs at 10 a.m. from Portofino's On The River in Wyandotte, Mich.

Click here for Advance Reservation form.

 

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

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Fleetmates James L. Kuber and Michipicoten loaded ore at the Upper Harbor on Friday.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Daniel Lindner
ASC's American Integrity, which was removed from drydock on Thursday, departed Sturgeon Bay very early on Friday morning. The ship passed through the Soo Locks upbound around 6:30 p.m. on Friday night. She was headed for the Midwest Energy dock in Duluth to load coal. Also on Friday, the Marinette-built RV Sikuliaq departed Sturgeon Bay, crossed the Bay of Green Bay, and arrived in Menominee, Mich., on Friday afternoon. She should be leaving the Lakes soon for Massachusetts. The 225-foot United States Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock also arrived Sturgeon Bay on Friday, and moored where the Sikuliaq had been docked until her departure. Also, the new PJ 170-class yacht Bliss departed Sturgeon Bay on Friday evening and, after entering the Bay of Green Bay, she began conducting sea trials. The Russian-owned yacht should be continuing trials for a few days. Also of note, according to AIS around 8:30 on Friday night, Bliss reached a speed of 29.7 knots - equal to 34.2 miles per hour. The ship is rated with a top speed of 31 knots, or 35.6 miles per hour.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The English River was westbound on Lake Ontario at 8:43 p.m. Friday on her way to the Welland Canal, bound for Buffalo. She will probably show up late Saturday afternoon. The tug Kurt Leudtke arrived Friday morning at the Cargill Pool Terminal Pier on the Outer Harbor with the #16 dredge rig. That makes for three of their tugs, two dredges and other assorted work barges in town getting ready to resume their work on the Buffalo River.

Kingston Area - Ron Walsh
Baie Comeau arrived in Picton at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

 

Soo picnic details changed

6/7 - The times of the Thursday Engineer’s Weekend picnic have been condensed. All food will be served at 1 pm, hopefully done by 3 so clean up can be done. Coffee and Trenary toast will be available all morning, possibly all day.

 

Lookback #202 – Former Hermes Scan sank in Indian Ocean on June 7, 1991

6/7 - Hermes Scan was a German-built heavy lift vessel that dated from 1976. It began trading into the Great Lakes the next year under the flag of Denmark.

It was back inland during 1980 unloading 425 pieces of a British paper mill at Thorold for reassembly and later loaded a 1,400-ton project cargo for the construction of a nuclear power plant in South Korea. Another trip in 1982 took the 310-foot-long Hermes Scan to Montreal where it loaded 30 diesel railway locomotives for delivery to Egypt.

The ship became Annegret in 1984, Houston in 1988 and Braut Team in 1990. The vessel was lost as such on June 7, 1991. On board when the ship went down, 23 years ago today, was a Chinese steam locomotive destined for New York and use as an attraction by the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad.

The ship began leaking in the Indian Ocean, east of Sri Lanka, on June 6, 1991, and was abandoned by the crew. The former lakes trader slipped beneath the surface the following day.

Skip Gillham

 

Updates -  June 7

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Apollon, BBC Chile, Eeborg, Federal Schelde, Ina, MCT Breithorn, Pilica, Orsula, and Tufty
 

 

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, 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.

 

Great Lakes limestone trade down 8 percent in May

6/6 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3.3 million tons in May, a decrease of 8 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments were also 3 percent below the month’s long-term average.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 2.8 million tons, a decrease of 9 percent compared to a year ago. However, loadings at Canadian quarries were a virtual carbon copy of a year ago.

Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 4.2 million tons, a decrease of 25.3 percent compared to a year ago. That decrease largely reflects how severely the trade was impacted by the heavy ice formations in March and April. No stone moved in March, and Aprils total was down nearly 50 percent from a year ago.

Lake Carriers Association

 

Port Reports -  June 6

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Daniel Lindner
Joseph L. Block departed Sturgeon Bay at 7 p.m. on Thursday after spending only a little over a day in port for unknown reasons. The ship posted a destination of Port Inland. Also on Thursday, American Integrity was pulled out of drydock and then moored next to it, where the "Footers Row" usually is during winter layup. She should be departing in the next few days for Two Harbors, Minn. Philip R. Clarke, Sikuliaq and the motor yacht Bliss all remain docked.

Cedarville, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Joseph L. Block is expected to arrive on Friday during the early evening. Wilfred Sykes is due to arrive on Saturday in the morning. Rounding out the schedule will be the Mississagi on Sunday in the late afternoon.

Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Manitowoc arrived on Wednesday in the early afternoon to load. Wilfred Sykes was also expected to arrive on Wednesday during the early evening. Joseph L. Block and John G. Munson round out the schedule on Friday, with the Block arriving during the early morning, while the John G. Munson is due in the late evening.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Joseph H. Thompson Jr. was expected to arrive during the early afternoon on Thursday to load. Expected to arrive on Friday in the late afternoon is the Lewis J. Kuber. No vessels are scheduled for Saturday. Four vessel are due in for Sunday, with the Pathfinder due first in the morning to load, followed by the Great Republic in the late afternoon. John G. Munson is due in the early evening followed by a return visit from the Joseph H. Thompson in the late evening on Sunday.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Lewis J. Kuber loaded and was expected to depart at around 6:30 a.m. on Thursday. John J. Boland was also expected to arrive on Thursday in the early evening for the North Dock. Arthur M. Anderson is expected to arrive on Friday in the morning for the South Dock to load. There are no vessels scheduled for Saturday. For Sunday due in the early morning will be the Lakes Contender for the South Dock to load. No vessels are scheduled on Monday. For Tuesday, due to arrive in the early morning will be the Hon. James L. Oberstar for the South Dock. Rounding out the schedule on Wednesday, June 11 is the Great Republic in the late morning followed by the John J. Boland.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Sam Laud called on the Saginaw River on Wednesday, unloading at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. The Laud was outbound for the lake later in the morning. Thursday morning saw the arrival of the YM Saturn. Assisted by the tug Manitou, the Saturn tied up at the Port Fisher Fertilizer dock in Bay City to unload. Manitou remained in the area, tying up at the Lafarge Cement dock, standing by to assist the YM Saturn from the dock when finished unloading. Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
H. Lee White unloaded iron ore at the Torco Dock and departed in the morning on Thursday. Due next at Torco is Lakes Contender on Friday in the late afternoon. Hon. James L. Oberstar is due to arrive on Sunday in the late afternoon, followed by the James L. Kuber in the early evening. Frontenac is due to arrive at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on Sunday evening. At the CSX Coal Dock, the John J. Boland is expected to load on Monday in the late evening, followed by the H. Lee White on Wednesday, June 11 during the morning. Algoma Olympic is also due on Wednesday, June 11 in the early evening. Both H. Lee White and Ashtabula are due to load coal at the CSX Coal Dock on Wednesday, June 18 with the White due in the early morning followed by the Ashtabula in the late afternoon. Three vessels were in port at the time of this report. Federal Oshima continued to load grain at the Anderson's "K" Elevator while two tugs, the Wilf Seymour and barge Alouette Spirit and the Huron Service with a barge, were also in port. There has been no activity thus far aboard either the Adam E. Cornelius, American Fortitude or the American Valor.

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
The 30,803 DWT bulker Tufty arrived late Wednesday night and has commenced discharging sugar at Redpath. Wednesday Billy Bishop Airport ferry service was slowed for a couple of hours early in the morning when a construction worker discovered a large dog had become trapped under the city side vehicle ramp. Airport Fire Services, using the jaws of life, managed to move one of the heavy ramp steel slider plates and rescue the young bull mastiff.

 

New salties due in Montreal

6/6 - Two new saltwater vessels are expected to arrive in Montreal and eventually enter the Great Lakes/Seaway system for the first time. Due on Thursday is the Liberian flagged Fritz, built in 2010, IMO number 9415155. She is 190 meters in length and 23 meters in width. The vessel is a sister ship to three other vessels that have made visits to the Seaway system: Hermann Schoening, Luebbert and Jan S. The Fritz is coming from Gibraltar and will be heading to Oshawa, Ont. Another new saltwater visitor is due to arrive in Montreal on June 12. Reggeborg, a new Wagenborg vessel built in 2014 with IMO number 9592575, is travelling from Russia and will eventually head to Cleveland, Ohio. The Reggeborg, at 169.75 meters in length and 20.4 meters in width, is the largest vessel ever owned by Royal Wagenborg Shipping. She he has two additional sisterships, Reestborg, launched and delivered in 2013, and Roerborg, which is still under construction but expected to be launched in September 2014.

Denny Dushane

 

Great Lakes levels finally spring back

6/6 - Water levels on the Great Lakes, which have been below their historic averages for more than a decade, have come back dramatically in the past 18 months.

As the summer season begins in earnest, three of the lakes — Superior, St. Clair, Erie and Ontario — as well as Lake St. Clair, are at or above their long-term averages; only Michigan and Huron remain below that mark, according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The higher waters, generated by the harsh winter and rainy spring, are a boost to shipping and recreation in the region. And they’ve been a long time coming.

“Lake Superior’s mean average for the month of May was five inches above the long-term average,” said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “April of 1998 was the last time that happened.”

Each lake registered a double-digit increase in inches for its water level in May compared with the year before:

■ Lake Superior was 601.94 feet — more than 14 inches above May 2013 and 5 inches above the long-term average for the month. ■ Lakes Michigan and Huron were 578.31 feet — 13.3 inches above last year and about 8 inches below the long-term average. ■ Lake St. Clair was 574.57 feet — more than 11 inches above last year and practically right on the long-term average. ■ Lake Erie was 572.01 — about 10 inches above last year and 2 inches above the long-term average. ■ Lake Ontario was 246.56 feet — a little more than 10 inches above last year and 5 inches above the long-term average.

Low water levels have hurt the shipping industry in recent years, forcing freighters to lighten their payloads to reach shallower ports. Rising waters, while a definite help, have not completely solved the problem.

Each year, industry officials have pushed for dredging to be given a higher priority in federal spending policy. They and members of Michigan’s congressional delegation have been fighting to stop the practice of using the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for projects other than dredging.

Glen Nekvasil, vice president of the Ohio-based Lake Carriers Association, said freighters are carrying bigger loads this year, “but we’re still not back up to full loads.

“It’s important we understand that the dredging issue remains the driving force for the long-term future of the Great Lakes,” he said. “Mother Nature is not going to bail us out of this.”

Some dredging relief appears to be on the horizon.

Under legislation approved by Congress in May, the Great Lakes would receive dedicated Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund money because they are now defined as a “unified system” of water. About 10 percent of the trust funds in excess of 2012 levels would be set aside for Great Lakes harbor projects and help reduce the dredging backlog.

The legislation is awaiting the signature of President Barack Obama.

The ice has almost disappeared, but cold surface temperatures have remained throughout the lakes, making many think twice about taking that first dip of the summer.

At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, researchers track surface temperatures around the region. As of June 1, only Lake Erie was warmer than its long-term average.

George Leshkevich, a physical scientist at the NOAA lab, said a string of warm days could bring things back into line.

“Those surface temperatures are very susceptible to solar input,” he said. “They can change very quickly.”

Detroit News

 

Lookback #201 – Frankcliffe Hall stranded off Hare Island on June 6, 1967

6/6 - The second Frankcliffe Hall stranded in Lake Superior, off Hare Island, 47 years ago today. The ship lost its way in dense fog about 12 miles from Fort William (now Thunder Bay) and had to be lightered before being released.

The 730-foot-long bulk carrier was refloated on June 9, 1967, and able to proceed to the St. Lawrence to unload. It then sailed to the Davie shipyard at Lauzon for repairs to 60 bottom hull plates. Frankcliffe Hall had been built by Davie as their Hull 638 and entered service on May 26, 1963, after being commissioned the previous day. It was a member of the Hall Corporation of Canada fleet and they had the ship converted to a self-unloader in 1979 – 1980. It returned to service in July 1980 and loaded potash for Montreal.

Hall sold the vessel to Canada Steamship Lines in 1988 and it was renamed Halifax. It operated on their behalf until December 2009 before tying up at Montreal. Following a sale to shipbreakers in Turkey, the Halifax departed for overseas under tow on May 25, 2011, and arrived at Aliaga on June 22 for dismantling.

Her sale for scrap meant Halifax was the last steamship to operate for Canada Steamship Lines in the history of that company.

Skip Gillham

 

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.

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

In 1953, 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, 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.

 

BBC Chile refloated

6/5 - 8 a.m. update - Overnight the Groupe Ocean tugs were successful in pulling the BBC Chile off her strand. The ship is now upbound in the Seaway and the tugs have gone back down the river.

Original report - The saltwater vessel BBC Chile has gone hard aground in the St. Lawrence River a few miles above the entrance of the South Shore Canal. She went out of the channel as she was entering Lake St. Louis and she is in foul ground on the south side of the channel. Her location is due north of Ile Saint Bernard. Only a small portion of her stern is extending out into the channel, which allows one-way traffic. Some ships have been delayed for a few hours. Le Groupe Ocean tugs Ocean Ross Gaudreault and Ocean Intrepide are on their way to the site and should arrive soon.

Ron Beaupre

 

Coast Guard conducts medevac from freighter

6/5 -  Cleveland, Ohio – A Coast Guard aircrew conducted a medical evacuation of a man from a freighter in Lake Huron after he lost consciousness Wednesday morning. The man's name was not released.

Just after 10 a.m., watch standers at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, received a report from the motor vessel American Century that one of its crewmembers was unconscious and had a previous history of heart problems. The duty flight surgeon recommended an immediate medevac, and an aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Michigan, was launched aboard a Dolphin helicopter.

The aircrew arrived on-scene, hoisted the man off the freighter and took him to Coast Guard Station St. Ignace, Mich., where they were met by awaiting emergency medical services. At the time of transfer, the man was breathing with a weak pulse, but remained unconscious. He was taken by EMS to Mackinac Straits Hospital in St. Ignace, Mich.

USCG

 

Port Reports -  June 5

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Daniel Lindner
Central Marine Logistics' 728-foot self-unloader Joseph L. Block arrived Sturgeon Bay at 7 a.m. on Wednesday for unknown reasons. She joined the other ships already in Sturgeon Bay, including 1,000 footer American Integrity in the large graving dock. However, the Integrity should be departing soon and heading to Two Harbors, Minn, to load iron ore. Great Lakes Fleet's Philip R. Clarke remains in long-term layup, with no impending departure date. The new research vessel Sikuliaq also remains docked, and should be departing soon for Woods Hole, Mass. The Russian-owned PJ 170 motor yacht Bliss also remains docked at the CenterPointe Yacht Service dock. St. Marys Challenger/Bradshaw McKee, which departed Sturgeon Bay early on Tuesday and loaded cement in Charlevoix, Mich., was passing near Muskegon, Mich., on Wednesday evening. The tug has not yet updated her destination, but it appears that the tug/barge combo is headed for Chicago.

Daniel Lindner Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Chris Gaziano
Solina made its way in Wednesday morning for Terminal 1. Samuel de Champlain departed in the afternoon for Muskegon.

Lorain, Ohio
Joseph H. Thompson departed at 3:10 p.m. Thursday. She arrived Wednesday morning and unloaded at the Lafarge Dock.

Oswego, N.Y. - Ned Goebricher
Wednesday the tug Everlast and tank barge Norman McLeod offloaded load fuel oil at the Oswego steam station.

 

Grants will improve shipyards at Superior, Sturgeon Bay

6/5 - Madison, Wis. – Governor Scott Walker approved grants totaliing $6.5 million for four harbor maintenance and improvements projects in Wisconsin Monday. The Harbor Assistance Program (HAP) funds will be used to dredge waterways and build a sea wall in Two Rivers, reconstruct dock walls in Superior, and build a new dock wall in Sturgeon Bay.

Improvements will help the commercial fishing and shipbuilding industries in Wisconsin and assist economic development in the communities where they're located.

City of Two Rivers
• $878,868 for dredging the Two Rivers Harbor entrance to serve commercial fisheries.
• $400,000 for the reconstruction of a seawall in Two Rivers harbor that will allow commercial fishermen to more easily navigate, serve as a mooring site and provide a safe refuge.
• City of Superior / Fraser Shipyard: $2,912,110 for the final phase of a three-phase site improvement project that extends the existing sheet pile dock wall to maintain a safe berth and lengthen shipyard life.
• Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay (Door County) $2,309,022 for construction of a new dock wall to allow for the docking of large vessels for maintenance and construction.

Created in 1979, Wisconsin's Harbor Assistance Program helps harbor communities maintain and improve waterborne commerce. Since the program began, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has administered over $114 million in matching funds for more than 89 port preservation and improvement projects along the Great Lakes and Mississippi River.

 

Yes, there was Lake Superior ice in June

6/5 - Duluth, Minn. – It’s official, Lake Superior had ice in June, just not in the Duluth area. While the pack that remained here during the Memorial Day weekend created a lot of memorable beach images with air temperatures nearing or at 80 degrees, the ice was pushed out or melted before June came on Sunday. But points east still had ice this week.

Ron Williams, a Great Lakes port meteorological officer for the National Weather Service, confirmed the rare occurrence. “We definitely had plenty of ice on the first of June near Marquette (Mich.) and around the Apostle Islands,” he said. “Strong southerly winds pushed it out from the shore on Monday.”

The last time Marquette had ice in June was 1996, and Brianne Horton has proof. She and her father had been talking this spring about recreating a photo he took of her on June 1, 1996. There’s Horton, age 9, sitting next to a lakeshore packed with ice.

“I don’t remember much about it then,” she said from her office in Marquette on Tuesday. But when Sunday dawned a new month, she got the anticipated ring on her phone from her dad. “He called me up and said let’s go re-enact that picture,” she said. The locations aren’t exact, she said. They are about 800 feet and 18 years apart.

It was a fleeting moment Sunday, Horton said. The ice blew out later that day and by Monday there wasn’t any left in the area. The National Weather Service in Michigan posted the June ice spotting on Monday.

“The lingering ice scattered in south central Lake Superior has survived to June, making this the eighth month in a row that ice has been observed on some part of Lake Superior,” the service noted. “Some ice remains, including a large ‘iceberg’ in the lower (Marquette) harbor that has portions extending to at least 10 feet under the water surface.”

That was likely a draw for those taking photos of people on ice floes. The weather service spoils the fun for a reason. The water is cold and it can kill. “It is extremely dangerous to climb onto any of the lingering large masses of ice,” it warned.

Neil Howk avoided them last month. The assistant chief of interpretation and education for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore was guiding the annual bird and nature festival in the islands, but his boat could only go so far. There were “icebergs” everywhere in May, he said. He saw ice Friday and was sure there were chunks of ice remaining on Sunday, especially to the southeast near Madeline Island.

Howk has worked in the area since 1983 and said he’s never seen such ice conditions in the Apostles. He said it’s likely that decades ago ice this time of year was normal and not an anomaly. “This was just a real winter,” he said.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Moran Iron Works Awarded Contract to Build Barges for Durocher Marine

6/5 - Onaway, Mich. – Moran Iron Works was recently awarded a contract to build two ocean-going deck barges for Durocher Marine, a division of Kokosing Construction Co., based in Cheboygan, Michigan.

The two deck barges will be 180’ x 54’ x 12’ with 2,500 lb/ft 2-deck strength and 2,400 short-ton cargo capacity. They will be built in accordance with International Maritime Organization (IMO), American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), and United States Coast Guard (USCG) regulations and classifications. The barges will follow ABS rules for building and classing steel barges for offshore service. MIW is working with Netsco, a marine engineering, naval architecture and design firm based in Cleveland, Ohio, on the design and engineering of the barges.

The keels will be laid mid-summer at MIW’s fabrication facility in Onaway, Mich. The first barge will be named Kokosing III and has a scheduled completion of September 2014; the second barge will be named Kokosing IV and has a scheduled completion of October 2014. Both barges will be launched at MIW’s deep water, Port Calcite Collaborative in Rogers City, Mich.

 

Visit the BoatNerd world headquarters at Port Huron this weekend

6/5 - Be a Tourist in Your Own Town, June 7, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is a chance for visitors and area residents to discover and rediscover the attractions and history that make Port Huron the Maritime Capital of the Great Lakes.

The event will feature many signature attractions of Port Huron. Drive or board the free trolleys and buses that will run continuously between points of interest, get on and off as you wish. Explore the River Walk, tour Michigan’s oldest working lighthouse, see how a Sea Cadet training ship operates, and learn the history of ice harvesting. Visit the original depot Thomas Edison worked in as a young inventor and dig for fossil at the science museum. There is something for everyone to enjoy. Port Huron has a variety of downtown restaurants and a new collection of outdoor art sculptures located throughout the city. Most attractions are free or discounted for the day, prices are noted.

Tour stops include • Blue Water River Walk – Grand Opening Celebration 10 am -2pm, Official Ceremony 11 am
• Vantage Point / Great Lakes Maritime Center: Flower Market and Entertainment, Great Lakes Nautical Society – ship models, Antique Outboard Motor Club – display, River Day - Kids free fishing clinic.
• Huron Lady II -The Huron Lady II will have six special one hour cruises at 10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. for a discounted rate of $5 / person. Tickets can be purchased at the Huron Lady Dock the day of while supplies last, docked on Water Street next to Desmond Marine.
• Gray Fox Sea Cadet Training Ship – Docked on the Black River next to Zebra Bar on Quay Street. See how a training ship operates.
• Huron Lightship Museum - Only remaining Lightship on the Great Lakes served as a floating lighthouse. For 36 years it guided mariners into the narrow channel of lower Lake Huron.
• Thomas Edison Depot Museum – Edison conducted his first electrical and scientific experiments in Port Huron. View a film of young Tom Edison’s boyhood.
• Fort Gratiot Light Station Grounds - Lighthouse climb and tour $5.00

 

Former Fednav salties renamed

6/5 - Five former Fednav salties have been renamed. Each one made at least one visit to the Great Lakes/Seaway system in their careers.

Federal Patriot first visited in 2008. She has been renamed the HAL Patriot of Cyprus registry. This vessel has had a long history – it was originally named Atlantic Progress in 2003 and was renamed BBC Russia of Cyprus later that year.

Federal Pendant, which also visited for the first time in 2008, is now Atlantic Pendant of Cyprus. This vessel started out as the Atlantic Pendant when built in 2003. In 2005 she became BBC Korea of Cyprus. In 2008, the ship was renamed Federal Pendant of Cyprus. In 2010, the ship was renamed the HAL Pendant of Cyprus and carried this name before being renamed in June 2013 back to Atlantic Pendant.

Federal Pioneer, which first came inland in 2007, is now the Atlantic Pioneer of Cyprus. This is also the original name that this vessel carried from the time it was built in 1999 until 2001. In 2001, the ship was renamed Seaboard Pioneer and carried this name until being renamed in 2007. In 2011, the ship was renamed CCNI Tumbes of Cyprus and renamed in 2013 to Atlantic Pioneer. Of all the names the Atlantic Pioneer has carried in its history, it has only visited with the names of Federal Pioneer.

Federal Patroller, which first came inland in 2007 with that name, now sails as Oslo Wave of the Marshall Islands flag. This vessel started out with the name Atlantic Patroller from 2000 until 2001. In 2001, the ship was renamed Forest Patroller and carried this name until being renamed in 2003 to the Atlantic Patroller once again. In 2005, the ship was renamed the African Patroller and held that name until being renamed in 2006 to the Federal Patroller of Cyprus. In 2011, the ship was renamed the Green Wave and carried this name until April 2013 before becoming the Oslo Wave. This vessel came inland with only the name of Federal Patroller.

Finally, the Federal Pride, which first visited the Great Lakes/Seaway system in 2007 with that name, now sails as the Atlantic Progress of Cyprus registry. This vessel started out as Atlantic Pride from 2000 until 2001. In 2001, the ship was renamed Seaboard Rover and carried this name until being renamed in 2002 back to Atlantic Pride. In 2003 the ship was renamed the Seaboard Rover again and carried this name very briefly, being renamed in March 2003, only 10 days after the name of Atlantic Pride was applied. It became Atlantic Pride again in March 2003 and held onto that name before being renamed in May 2005 to Seaboard Chile II. In 2007, the vessel was renamed the Federal Pride of Cyprus. In 2010 it was renamed the HAL Pride of Cyprus and carried this name before being renamed in 2013 to Atlantic Progress.

Denny Dushane

 

Lookback #200 – Frank Armstrong in first collision on June 5, 1943

6/5 - The Maritime-class bulk carrier Frank Armstrong was only two days into her maiden voyage when the ship collided with the Canada Steamship Lines bulk carrier Goderich on June 5, 1943. The accident occurred in the St. Marys River 71 years ago today and both vessels required repairs.

A second collision involving the Frank Armstrong occurred in Lake Erie on Nov. 2, 1948. This one resulted in heavy damage to the ship and to the John J. Boland. One member of the latter's crew was killed. A third collision in the St. Clair River on July 6, 1958, was the least severe and included the Swedish freighter Erholm.

Frank Armstrong sailed for the Interlake Steamship Co. and became the sixth Samuel Mather in 1976. The last cargo proved to be 14,981 tons of iron ore pellets and, after unloading at South Chicago, the vessel tied up at DeTour, Mich., on Nov. 22, 1981.

Following a sale to Marine Salvage of Port Colborne, the ship departed DeTour under tow on Sept. 15, 1987. It arrived at Sydney, NS on Dec. 9 and, after spending the winter, left for overseas on May 21, 1988. Samuel Mather had been resold to Turkish shipbreakers and reached Aliaga for dismantling on June 20. The last of the hull was gone by October 1.

Skip Gillham

 

Updates -  June 5

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - New pictures in the Updated the Amasa Stone, Charles Dick, Mohawk Deer, Normac, and Valley Camp (1) galleries

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  June 5

Over the winter of 1960 - 1961, 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 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, ROGER BLOUGH (Hull#900) was christened at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for U.S. Steel Corp.

Also in 1972, 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.

 

St. Marys Challenger departs Sturgeon Bay

6/4 - St. Marys Challenger and her new tug Bradshaw McKee departed Sturgeon Bay early Tuesday after a long conversion process. At 5 on Tuesday evening, the pair was passing Grand Traverse Bay in Michigan, and had arrived Charlevoix, Mich., by 8:30 p.m. The ship is presumed to be loading her first cargo of cement as a barge. The cement will likely be delivered to Chicago, like all of the ship’s previous cargoes were. St. Marys Challenger arrived Sturgeon Bay on November 11, 2013, and the conversion work began immediately. The conversion took up the entire winter, as well as the beginning of the 2014 shipping season.

Daniel Lindner and Tom Hynes

 

Federal Kivalina resumes trip

6/4 - Monday evening, Federal Kivalina, which went aground in the Seaway last Tuesday and was released last Thursday, called Seaway Sodus. She had departed the anchorage at Bath. Destination is Montreal for bunkers. She then plans to go on to Vera Cruz, Mexico with her cargo of canola.

Ron Walsh

 

Port Reports -  June 4

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were inbound on the Saginaw River on Tuesday, traveling upriver to unload at the Buena Vista dock in Saginaw. The pair finished unloading and was back outbound for the lake later in the evening. The tug Manitou also arrived overnight, tying up at the Lafarge Cement dock in Essexville. Manitou is on hand to assist the YM Saturn, who is scheduled to arrive in the next few days to unload at the Port Fisher Fertilizer Dock.

The slow start to the Great Lakes shipping season was also evident on the Saginaw River. For the month of May, there were nine commercial vessel passages on the Saginaw River. That is only half of the total from last season, when there were 18 during the same period. It is also below the five-year average of 12. For total passages, year to date, there were 11. That is 10 less then last season and 12 less than the five-year average of 23.

 

Annual St. Clair Marine Mart coming up June 14

6/4 - The 33rd Annual Marine Memorabilia Market will be held Saturday, June 14, 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. The 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. Admission is free.

 

Lookback #199 – C.A. Bennett aground in the Seaway on June 4, 1961

6/4 - The Scott Misener Steamship Co. bulk carrier C.A. Bennett ran aground in the Wiley-Dondero Channel of the St. Lawrence Seaway on June 4, 1961. The ship was trying to avoid the Redfern when it strayed from the channel and got stuck 53 years ago today. Fortunately, it was not a serious accident, and the vessel was able to get off under her own power and resume the voyage.

Originally an American bulk carrier, C.A. Bennett had been built at Lorain, Ohio, and delivered on June 4, 1908, to the Fremont Steamship Co. The 500-foot-long vessel first sailed as B.F. Berry and brought ore down the lakes to Cleveland, Ashtabula and Buffalo. It usually returned upbound with coal for the Willis Creek Coal Co. owned by the Berry Bros.

The ship was sold for $400,000 in 1922 and joined the Mathews Steamship Co. as Berryton. It concentrated in the grain trade on the Canadian side of the lakes, with occasional backhauls of coal, until Mathews went into receivership during the Depression.

The ship became part of the Misener fleet in 1933, under the banner of the Colonial Steamship Co. They changed the name to Viscount Bennett in 1942 and then to C.A. Bennett in 1954.

C.A. Bennett operated through the end of the 1968 season and tied up at Contrecoeur, Quebec. It was sold to Marine Salvage of Port Colborne and resold to Spanish shipbreakers for a tow overseas in June 1969.

Skip Gillham

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  June 4

In 1955, 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, 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 Lines 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 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.

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, 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

Two Harbors, Minn. - Daniel Lindner
American Spirit, which departed Sturgeon Bay on Saturday, arrived Two Harbors at 10 Monday morning and loaded iron ore pellets throughout the day. She departed at 6:30 that evening. Presque Isle also arrived at 4:15 on Monday afternoon, and was expected to depart in the early morning on Tuesday. Roger Blough is also due for an ore load in the early morning hours on Tuesday. For Wednesday, Edwin H. Gott and Algoma Olympic are expected to arrive in the morning to load iron ore pellets.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Baie Comeau was at the Midwest Terminals Overseas Dock loading pet coke. The tug Huron Service with her barge was at the B-P Dock loading cargo. Michipicoten was at the new Ironville Dock unloading stone. Federal Oshima was loading grain at Anderson's K Elevator. There is no activity aboard the American Fortitude or the Adam E. Cornelius at the present time. The next scheduled vessels due at the CSX Coal Docks will be the tug Victory/barge James L. Kuber on Tuesday afternoon, followed by John J. Boland on Wednesday afternoon. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the tug Victory/barge James L. Kuber on Tuesday morning followed by John J. Boland and H. Lee White on Wednesday morning.

 

Great Lakes water levels are on the rise

6/3 - Escanaba, Mich. – Lake-lovers may have a little bit more to love this year as water levels rise from the record-setting lows seen in 2013.

"There was actually some legislation and money put towards dredging boat launches on the Great Lakes just to allow people to recreate with the low water levels," said Jessica Mistak, fisheries unit supervisor stationed at the Department of Natural Resources Escanaba Post, noting that boaters were particularly hard hit by the low lake levels.

This year water levels are significantly higher. In January, levels were recorded at just two inches below the chart datum, and by mid-April lake levels were more than two inches above the chart datum - a full foot above the water level at the same time in 2013.

By April Lake Superior water levels had already risen a foot over the levels from the same time last year and were slightly higher than the lake's long-term averages.

As the 2014 season progresses, lake levels are expected to continue rising for lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron. Lake Superior is projected to remain consistent with or slightly above long-term averages, and Lake Michigan and Huron are expected to remain below or just at long-term averages through October.

The rise in water levels may be partially due to this winter's deep freeze that left the Great Lakes nearly covered with ice. Lake Michigan was nearly 95 percent frozen over and Lake Superior was more than 95 percent frozen over, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

The majority of evaporation on each of the Great Lakes occurs before the onset of ice each year. According to NOAA-GLERL, the extreme ice cover and cold water run off from the melting of this winter's above average snow pack could lower water temperatures through the fall of 2014, which would reduce the amount of evaporation and bring next summer's lake levels in all of the Great Lakes closer to long-term averages.

For boaters the impacts of low lake levels range from reduced access to harbors and stranded docks to exposing boats to navigational hazards like shoals, but for wildlife the lake levels present different challenges.

"In general what it affects is fish spawning," said Mistak, explaining fish that spawn in shallow water can suffer habitat loss during the crucial spawning period if the water levels are too low.

In addition to maintaining habitat for native species, the higher lake levels expected this season could prevent the expansion of unwanted species into newly exposed bottomlands.

"Some of those shorelines can be colonized by (invasive) species," said Mistak, noting phragmites are a particular risk when additional shoreline is created by low lake levels.

Escanaba Daily Press

 

SS Badger again recommended for nomination as historic landmark

6/3 - The SS Badger has once again been recommended for designation as a National Historic Landmark, according to Patty Henry of the National Historic Landmarks Program. This time the recommendation is on its way to the office of Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, who has final say.

That could be months coming, if further checks the nomination must go through don’t stall or thwart the nomination.

The historic Lake Michigan Carferry steamship was recommended in 2011 for NHL designation by the national historic landmarks committee. The recommendation then went to and was tabled by the National Park System Advisory Board while it awaited a resolution to the issue of the Badger’s coal ash discharge, according to Henry.

The SS Badger discharges about 509 tons of coal ash each year under a permit from the EPA that ends this year according to a consent decree agreed to in 2013 by LMC and the EPA and approved by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The consent decree calls for the Badger to reduce the amount of ash discharged this season and bans any discharge as of Jan. 1, 2015.

“After the Landmarks Committee voted to recommend Badger for NHL designation, a decision was made by the Director of the NPS to wait a little before sending it forward to the National Park System Advisory Board for their review and recommendation to the Secretary of the Interior,” Henry told the Daily News Friday.

After learning of the consent decree, the nomination of the SS Badger on was placed on the agenda for the May 21-22 meeting of the advisory board. "At that meeting last week the advisory board voted to recommend the secretary designate Badger as an NHL,” Henry said.

During the winter, LMC spent more than $1 million designing and installing new combustion controls to allow it to more efficiently burn coal in the hopes of reducing the amount of ash produced beginning this season. Next winter, LMC plans to install the coal ash retention system. LMC President and CEO Bob Manglitz has told the Daily News that adding the combustion controls was the more difficult of the two-year process to be completed before next spring.

“We appreciate being considered by the Department of Interior and being recommended to the Department of the Secretary of the Interior,” Donald Clingan, vice president in charge of marketing for LMC said Friday afternoon. He attended the meeting last week in Colorado to explain all that has been done on the historic ship to resolve the coal ash discharge issue.

You can help by writing a letter recommending the Badger to be made a National Historic Landmark Address is below:

Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Ludington Daily News

 

Lake Superior's water temperature expected to be abnormally cold this summer

6/3 - Ann Arbor, Mich. – North America's largest lake is still reverberating from one of the coldest winters in recent history, and it is likely to have its coldest summer in more than 35 years.

Scientists predict that Lake Superior will be at least 6 degrees Fahrenheit colder than normal by August, according to the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center, a federally funded collaboration between University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

The cold temperature of the lake will have a few chilling effects. Water levels will rise faster than usual, as the cold temperatures will delay the onset of the evaporation season. The cold water, combined with hot air temperatures, will produce a lot of fog. And swimmers, boaters and anglers will have to be extra careful in the water, as it can be unsafe to be in abnormally cold water for extended periods of times.

Scientists believe Lake Superior hasn't had such cold temperatures since perhaps as far back as 1979.

Water-level gains are expected in other Great Lakes, following a frigid winter in which ice covered more than 90 percent of the lakes' surface and seasonal snowfall records were broken in the Detroit area.

Spectators from across the region flooded the Upper Peninsula's most populous town during the Memorial Day holiday to capture the views from an ironic scene: Chunks of ice on the lake with temperatures soaring into the 80s.

Scientists from the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center developed a map-based water-temperature forecasting tool called SLATE, which stands for Seasonal Lake Temperature Energetics model, which they used to predicted Lake Superior's temperature this summer.

Lake Superior surface-water temperatures averaged 1 or 2 degrees Fahrenheit below their long-term average at the end of May. According to the new forecast, surface temperatures over the deepest parts of the lake between 1,000 and 1,300 feet will be at least 6 degrees below normal by August and will still be in the 40s.

Ann Arbor News

 

Obituary: Ralph K. Roberts

6/3 - Great Lakes marine historian and author Ralph K. Roberts died Sunday, June 1, in Saginaw, Mich. He was 88. A consultant at the Institute for Great Lakes Research at Bowling Green University, he was a member of Great Lakes Historical Society, Marine Historical Society of Detroit, Toronto Marine Historical Society, Great Lakes Maritime Institute, Manitowoc Marine Historical Society, Steamship Historical Society of America, U.S. Naval Institute, Lake Huron Lore Society, Saginaw River Marine Historical Society and International Association of Great Lakes Historians. He enjoyed collecting photographs of Great Lakes Shipping and collected and built 1/72nd model aircraft.

In 1993 he was named the Marine Historical Society of Detroit's Historian of the Year. He was a co-author of "Shipwreck: A Comprehensive Directory of over 3700 Shipwrecks on the Great Lakes" and "Vessels Built on the Saginaw River (Vol 1).”

Funeral Service will take place 1 p.m. Thursday, June 5 at The Snow Funeral Home, 3775 N. Center Rd. (between Shattuck and McCarty), in Saginaw, Mich. Friends may call at the funeral home where the family will be present on Thursday from 10 a.m. until time of service.

 

Lookback #198 – Ore carrier William B. Schiller was almost lost on June 3, 1923

6/3 - William B. Schiller was one of the fine ore carriers in the United States Steel fleet. The 601-foot-long steamer had been built at Lorain, Ohio, in 1910, and went to work for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. fleet hauling iron ore from the Lake Superior iron range docks to lower lakes ports.

On June 3, 1923, 91 years ago today, the William B. Schiller was riding at anchor in the southeast corner of Whitefish Bay when it was rammed on the port side, at #5 hatch, by the Horace S. Wilkinson.

The quick thinking captain of the William B. Schiller immediately pulled up anchor and ran for shore to save his badly-damaged ship. He got to a shallower area before the vessel settled on the bottom in about 40 feet of water.

The effort made salvage much easier and, despite about $135,000 in damage, the William B. Schiller was refloated, went to Cleveland to unload her ore cargo and then proceeded to Toledo for repairs.

The ship operated without incident for many more years. It was idle at Duluth from June 16, 1960, until a return to service in the mid-1960s. It continued to haul ore, with occasional coal and stone, until the final lay-up at Duluth on Nov. 24, 1974. While sold for scrap in 1978, work proceeded slowly and the last of the old steamer was cut up in 1985.

Skip Gillham

 

Updates -  June 3

News Photo Gallery
Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Blacky, Federal Sakura, Fionia Swan, Isadora, Kowie, Sloman Hermes, and YM Saturn
 

 

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.

 

Port Reports -  June 2

Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Chris Gaziano
Algorail arrived in the early morning Sunday with a load of salt. They were finished and heading out by early afternoon. Alpena departed during the early morning and made its way north on the lake. Federal Yukon departed late Saturday night. Federal Kumano came in mid afternoon and was assisted into Terminal One by G-tug Oklahoma.

Suttons Bay, Mich. – Al Miller
Facing a night of thunderstorms rolling across Lake Michigan, the Ludington-bound tug Spartan and barge ducked into Suttons Bay for shelter Sunday night.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes was expected to arrive at Port Inland on Sunday during the morning. Mississagi was also expected to arrive on Sunday in the early evening. Rounding out the schedule will be the Calumet due on Monday during the early morning.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Arthur M. Anderson loaded at Cedarville on Saturday and was expected to depart around 1 in the afternoon. There was nothing scheduled for Sunday. Herbert C. Jackson is expected to arrive on Monday in the early afternoon and the Wilfred Sykes rounds out the lineup on Wednesday arriving in the early morning.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Both American Courage and the tug Defiance / barge Ashtabula loaded stone cargoes on Sunday. Each vessel was expected to depart at about noon, with the American Courage departing from the North Dock, while the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula were expected to depart from the South Dock. Cason J. Callaway is expected to arrive on Monday in the early evening for the South Dock. There are no vessels scheduled for Tuesday. On Wednesday, American Courage returns in the early morning for the North Dock and the Lewis J. Kuber is also due in on Wednesday in the late morning for the North Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Two vessels are due to load on Monday, with Algoway arriving during the early morning, followed by the Great Republic also due Monday in the late morning.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Baie Comeau was unloading iron ore at the Torco Dock on Sunday and Algosoo was loading coal at the CSX Coal Dock. Due in next at Torco are James L. Kuber, due in on Monday during the morning. John J. Boland follows that up on Tuesday in the early evening. H. Lee White is due to arrive on Wednesday in the late afternoon and the American Mariner rounds out the Torco Dock lineup arriving on Thursday in the late evening. Three vessels so far are due to load coal at the CSX Coal Dock. The James L. Kuber is due in on Monday in the early afternoon. John J. Boland is due to load at the CSX Coal Dock on Wednesday in the early morning and rounding out the Coal Dock lineup is the H. Lee White due on Tuesday, June 10 during the late evening. The Michipicoten thus far is the only vessel due in at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock arriving on Tuesday, June 3 during the late morning.

Kingston Area - Ron Walsh
At 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Atlantic Erie was westbound at Cape Vincent and gave an ETA of 1:30 p.m. for Picton. The recently-grounded Federal Kivalina was still anchored off Bath at 7:20 p.m. A local boat has been ferrying people to and from the ship. Canadian Empress left Ivy Lea this morning and proceeded to Prescott and Upper Canada Village. Her ultimate destination is Ottawa with stops in Coteau Landing, Lachine and Montebello.

 

2014 new saltwater vessel update

6/2 - As of June 1 the total number of saltwater vessels or salties making their first visit for the 2014 season to the Great Lakes/Seaway system totaled 11 vessels. The list includes Adfines Sea, BBC Xingang, Beatrix, Diana, Duzgit Endeavour, Fionia Swan, Fortunagracht, MCT Breithorn, Olza, Prosna and Songa Peace. Two more vessels are expected in June: BBC Chile, formerly S. Pacific, and Wagenborg’s new Reggeborg.

As of June 1 there were 99 vessels that made 102 transits at the Eisenhower Lock in Massena, New York. A breakdown of the monthly transits for the 2014 shipping season shows April with 55 transits and May with 47 transits. It is interesting to note that in prior years there were transits by vessel in March. However, due to the extreme ice conditions, the Seaway locks were delayed in opening until March 31. Of the 102 transits thus far for the 2014 season by vessel, this number and total is up 11 transits from the same period during the 2013 season. The 102 transits for 2014 by vessel so far is up 17 transits from the five-year average from 2009-2013 and is also the second highest total for a two-month interval since the 2011 season which saw 105 transits by vessels in the March/April and May timeframe.

Denny Dushane

 

Seaway salties renamed

6/2 - The following saltwater vessels, each of which made at least one visit to the Great Lakes/Seaway system in their career, have been renamed. The list includes Anke, which made its only visit in 2012, which is now the Industrial Kelly of Antigua/Barbuda flag. Baltic Carrier, which made its only visit in 2011, is the NBP Carrier also of Antigua/Barbuda flag. The tanker Clipper Aya, which made its only visit in 2009, is now the Chemical Luna of Panama. The Clipper Golfito, a tanker from Singapore, made it's first visit in 2006 and second in 2007 now sails as Oriental Clematis of Singapore.

Fairchem Vanguard, a tanker from Panama that first visited in 2000, has been twice renamed. She is now the Global Vika of Malta, however she was also known as the Samho Heron. Kent Sunrise, which made its only visit in 2010, has also been renamed twice. She is now the Clipper Athena of the Netherlands, however prior to that name she was also known as Morgenstond I from the Netherlands.

The tanker Weserstern of Isle of Man and formerly of the Rigel tanker fleet, is now Svyatoy Pavel of Russia. The tanker MCT Arcturus, which first came inland in 2003 and last visited as recently as 2013, is now the Maestro of Liberia. Transeagle, which first came inland in 2010, is now the Transund of Latvian registry. She also held the name Nordon from 2002-2009.

Team Bremen, which visited in 2011, is now Team Spirit of Malta. OSC Vlistdiep, which first came inland in 2007 and last visited in 2010, is now Vlistdiep of the Netherlands, while the tanker Oriental Orchid, which visited in 2009, is now the Dl Ace of Sou.

Denny Dushane

 

Seaway salties scrapped

6/2 - Two saltwater vessels, both one-time callers to the Great Lakes/Seaway system, have been scrapped. Pan Voyager first came inland under the South Korean flag in 1998. It was renamed in April 2011 as Kate from Barbados. The vessel also had the name Trudy from 1985 to 1994.

Another vessel familiar to boatwatchers that had a long history is the Antikeri, which arrived at Chittagong on May 19. Many will remember this vessel as LT Argosy of Indian registry from 1984 to 1998. Later it was renamed the Millenium Hawk of the Cayman Islands, and held this name from 1998 to 2002. The ship was renamed to Cashin of Hong Kong and carried this name from 2002 to 2004 and also came inland with this name. In 2004, the vessel was renamed Oneida and carried this name from 2004 to 2005, however it never came inland. In 2005 the ship returned as Antikeri and carried this name from 2005 until her final visit in 2010. That year the ship was renamed for a final time as the Ariadne of Barbados registry. It never came inland with that name.

Denny Dushane

 

Lookback #197 – Northumberland burned on June 2, 1949

6/2 - The passenger and freight steamer Northumberland was fitting out for the 1949 season when it caught fire on June 2. The blaze apparently began in a washroom and spread quickly destroying the vessel at its dock in Port Dalhousie. All on board escaped with only one person sustaining a minor injury.

The vessel, along with running mate Dalhousie City, operated across the western end of Lake Ontario connecting Niagara and Toronto. Northumberland had been on this run since 1920.

Northumberland had been built at Newcastle, England, in 1891. It was operated by the Charlottetown Steam Navigation Co. connecting Pictou, Nova Scotia, with Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island. During the winter of 1916, the ship went south for service, on charter, between Palm Beach, FL and Nassau, Bahamas.

The 232-foot-long vessel was purchased by the Canadian government in 1916 and was sold for Great Lakes service in 1920. Damage from blaze of 65 years ago today was listed at $250,000 and the vessel was considered beyond repair. It was broken up for scrap at Port Weller later in the year.

Running mate Dalhousie City carried on alone for one more year before it was sold for service in the Montreal area as Island King II. It also became a victim of a fire.

Skip Gillham

 

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.

 

Port Reports -  June 1

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Saturday morning at the Lower Harbor, John J. Boland unloaded coal at the Shiras Dock. The visit was her first to Marquette since being idle in 2013.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Daniel Lindner
American Steamship Co.’s 1,004-foot American Spirit departed Sturgeon Bay at 11:30 Saturday morning after spending over a month in port. The ship left Gary, Ind., in late April after unloading an iron ore cargo, bound for Sturgeon Bay for mechanical work. The ship arrived in Sturgeon Bay on April 27, and work began immediately. However, it turned out that a lot more work was needed than originally thought. The ship's forward ballast tanks were filled and her stern was high out of the water. Some of the work done included replacement of an estimated 20 feet of her port propeller shaft, including the propeller hub. New blades were shipped in, and attached to the new hub. The ship's port rudder was removed to allow workers easier access to the propeller and shaft. Similar work was done on Great Lakes Fleet's 1,004-foot Edgar B. Speer. The Speer departed Sturgeon Bay this past Wednesday and headed up to Two Harbors on Lake Superior for a load of ore. She had arrived Sturgeon Bay around the same time as American Spirit, but had also spent the past winter in port. While there for winter layup, the ship received a new coat of paint. American Integrity remains in Bayship's large graving dock. She is the only 1,000-footer on the Lakes not in operation now that American Spirit departed. The new RV Sikuliaq remains docked, but should be departing Sturgeon Bay and the lakes soon for Woods Hole, Mass., where she will undergo shakedown tests in the Atlantic Ocean. Philip R. Clarke remains docked across the slip from St. Marys Challenger and her tug, Bradshaw McKee. The pair is expected to depart Sturgeon Bay soon to begin their first season on the Great Lakes as a tug/barge combination.

Milwaukee, Wis. - Chris Gaziano
G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity departed in the early morning for South Chicago. The Federal Yukon also came in during the morning and was assisted into terminal 1 by G-Tug Oklahoma. The Alpena came in during the late evening for the Lafarge terminal.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
John G. Munson loaded on Saturday and was expected to depart around 3:30 in the afternoon. Two more vessels were expected to arrive at Calcite on Saturday both in the very late evening to load. American Courage was due for the North Dock at around 10 p.m., followed by the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula for the South Dock at 10:30 p.m.

Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
The next vessel due will be the Wilfred Sykes, Sunday in the morning hours. Mississagi is also due on Sunday in the early evening. Rounding out the schedule on Tuesday will be the Herbert C. Jackson in the early morning.

Cedarville, Mich. - Denny Dushane
The tug Leonard M. and barge Huron Spirit were expected to arrive in the early afternoon on Friday to load. Following them on Friday in the late evening was the Arthur M. Anderson. There is nothing else due at Cedarville until Monday, with the Herbert C. Jackson arriving in the late afternoon hours.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
Both Kaye E. Barker and CSL's Baie Comeau were expected to arrive in Toledo on Saturday in the early evening to unload iron ore at the Torco Dock. James L. Kuber is expected to arrive at Torco on Tuesday in the morning and the John J. Boland is expected on Tuesday in the early evening. At the CSX Coal Dock, Algosoo was expected to arrive on Saturday in the early evening to load. James L. Kuber is due at the CSX Coal Dock on Tuesday in the early afternoon. John J. Boland is due on Wednesday in the early morning, with Algoma Olympic and H. Lee White due Tuesday, June 10. Two vessels are scheduled for arrivals with stone cargoes for the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Michipicoten is due to arrive on Tuesday in the late morning followed by the Frontenac on Sunday, June 8, in the morning.

Kingston, Ont. - Ron Walsh
Algoma Progress departed Bath Friday evening. English River departed Bath, after loading cement, Saturday morning. Federal Kivalina was still at anchor Saturday evening.

 

Coast Guard proposes replacement of lenses from 2 Duluth lighthouses

6/1 - Cleveland, Ohio – The Coast Guard announced Wednesday a proposal to remove the Fresnel lenses from two lighthouses in Duluth, Minnesota, this fall in partnership with the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office.

The two lighthouses affected are the Duluth Harbor South Breakwater Outer Light and Duluth Harbor North Pier Light. The Fresnel lenses would be replaced with modern light-emitting diode lanterns which are more dependable and energy efficient.

Replacing the lenses will reduce the range of the lights slightly. The Duluth Harbor South Breakwater Outer Light would be reduced from about 16 nautical miles to 13 nautical miles, and the Duluth Harbor North Pier Light would be reduced from 14 nautical miles to 10.5 nautical miles.

The lenses would be removed in order to preserve them. Due to the harsh environmental conditions, including temperature fluctuations and ultraviolet rays, the lenses slowly deteriorate. Once removed, the lenses would be loaned to a local museum so they can be displayed to the public and maintained in a controlled environment.

Public comments on the lens removal can be made to: wayne.e.kean@uscg.mil. The public will have 30 days to comment.

 

Lookback #196 - Renvoyle retired after collision on June 1, 1967

6/1 - It was 47 years ago today that a collision at Port Huron ended the sailing career of the Canada Steamship Lines package freight and grain carrier Renvoyle. The vessel had been discharging at Point Edward, on the Canadian side, and departed turning to head down the St. Clair River. The 42-year-old vessel got caught in the current and struck the Sylvania unloading at Port Huron. The latter sank at the dock.

Renvoyle went to anchor with bow damage and then was cleared to proceed. The vessel was soon tied up at Kingston, to the west of the grain elevator, and never sailed again. It was awarded to the Tomlinson Corp. in legal action, resold for scrap and dismantled at Ashtabula. Part of the hull survived briefly as a salvage and diving barge but it too was broken up in the mid-1970s.

Built to the dimensions of the old canal system, Renvoyle sailed from Wallsend, England, on July 31, 1925, as Glenledi and proceeded to Collingwood where the cargo of steel was used to lengthen the ship to 390'6” overall. This handsome steamer joined C.S.L. in 1926 and became Renvoyle in 1927. It connected company freight depots, first on the upper four Great Lakes and then east to Lake Ontario ports once the Fourth Welland Canal opened.

On two occasions Renvoyle came to the aid of other C.S.L. ships picking up the rudderless Emperor on Lake Superior in 1936 and standing by the listing Weyburn on Lake Ontario in November 1950.

Skip Gillham

 

Updates -  June 1

News Photo Gallery

 

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.

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, 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.

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 - 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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