Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News ARCHIVE

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Preque Isle to Dry Dock at Port Weller

The tug Presque Isle is expected at Port Weller Dry Docks today for her five year inspection.

The tug was to drop the barge (also named Presque Isle) at Metro Machining of PA. where the barge will undergo what is being described as small repairs.

Every five years Lake ships are required to undergo a hull and shaft inspection. While in dry dock all parts of the vessel that can not be inspected during the winter (when the vessel is not in dry dock) are inspected. Any hull damage is then repaired.

Reported by: D. Ocean

Port Stanley Report

Monday morning the drill barge Miss Libby owned by Talisman Energy entered Port Stanley Harbor. She arrived for some type of repairs and is expected to stay for several days.

The Lakes Terminals are expecting to receive the Cuyahoga with coal on July 3, 17 and 27th.

Reported by: Richard Hill

Today in Great Lakes History - June 30

On June 30, 1954, the Scott Misener began her maiden voyage.

In 1962 Cliffs Victory made her first trip down the Welland Canal with a load of iron ore for Hamilton, Ont.

The LEON FALK, JR.'s maiden voyage began on June 30, 1961 when she departed Baltimore and loaded 20,748 tons of iron ore at Sept Îles, Que. en route for Cleveland, OH and arrived there on July 8th. The FALK was one of seven T2 tanker conversions for Great Lakes service.

Data from: Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Christening of the Dorothy Ann

With the crack of the traditional bottle of champagne, Interlake's new tug Dorothy Ann was christened at a ceremony in Cleveland yesterday. Susan Tregurtha Marshall, daughter of Paul R. Tregurtha, successfully broke the bottle on the tug's hull with one swing. Shortly after April S. Barker repeated the task for the barge Pathfinder.

The tug and barge completed their first trip together last week carrying a load of taconite from Escanaba, Michigan to Huron, Ohio.

Dorothy Ann is the largest Z-drive tug built to date in North America. Her twin Ulstein Z-drives enable her to turn on her own axis, stop within her own length, and move easily in any direction. Coupled with barge Pathfinder, the pair is the most maneuverable unit on the Great Lakes. Alone, Dorothy Ann can travel at 16 MPH: when pushing the loaded barge, open lake speed is 11.5 MPH. She is fitted with a Great Lakes-specific articulated pin-type connection system for engaging Pathfinder's notched stern. Dorothy Ann's elevated pilot house - outfitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment - has a height of eye of 70 feet, and the vented tower was designed to spoil trailing air drafts. Accommodations include air-conditioned private cabins with semi-private bathroom facilities for 12 crew members, a lounge, and an owner's stateroom.

Namesake of tug Dorothy Ann is Dorothy Ann Tregurtha Croskey of Minneapolis, MN.

We salute the Interlake Steamship Company and welcome the tug Dorothy Ann, may she and the Pathfinder have a long and successful career on the Lakes.

Pere Marquette 41 Ready for Boom

The Pere Marquette 41 is due back in Ludington around the 7th of July to have an unloading boom installed. Installation is just a matter of "driving" the equipment onto the barge via a ramp. The PM 41 will return to Ludington loaded for this purpose. Workers are continuing with the assembly of the boom, which is nearly complete.

The new equipment is a "Conveyor Cat" unloading system which will allow for faster unloading of smaller materials in a conical pile up to 80' from the vessel. The two cranes will still be available for larger materials fitted with buckets or magnets.

The Pere Marquette 41 is expected to be in Ludington for only a short time, then go back into service. The tug/barge has a full schedule during this, her second season.

click here for an image of the boom
view of the back of the Conveyor Cat

Reported by: Max Hanley

Ship Yards Busy

After making a first run this season to Conneaut, the Presque Isle has arrived in Erie Pennsylvania for some type of work. No departure date was given and it is unclear what type of work will be done.

In Toledo, the J.A.W. Iglehart arrived over the weekend and is also in drydock.

Reported by: Rick Logan, David French and Lynn Herman

Captain Remembered

On Sunday morning family members of Captain Gerald Jost placed his ashes in Lake Superior near the site of the s/s Edmund Fitzgerald.

Captain Jost was a former master of the s/s Armco and retired captain from the Oglebay Norton company.

He was a past grand president of the International Ship Masters' Association , a world war two combat veteran (paratroop) and friend of many still sailing.

The s/s Armco, at latitude 47 30' n; longitude 87 30' w commemorated the event by dipping the colors and sounding a standard salute followed by the Morse code letter "J" on the whistle at 0800. The flag was then presented to second assistant engineer Gerald Jost, captain Jost's son.

Reported by: Rik Stern

New question on the Letters to the Editor page.
What vessel do you think was (is) the all time fastest on the Lakes?

Today in Great Lakes History - June 29

The BEECHGLEN was Launched in 1923 as a) CHARLES M. SCHWAB for the Interlake Steamship Co.

On June 29, 1962, the Canadian Hunter began her maiden voyage.

The JOSEPH L. BLOCK was christened on June 29, 1976.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Dorothy Ann Arrives for Christening

Interlake's new tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder arrived in Cleveland yesterday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.

The new tug will be christened in a private ceremony today.

Former Windsor Casino Boat sold

The Northern Belle floating casino has been sold to a Las Vegas based casino company and will operate on the Mississippi. She was purchased for $2.2 Million.

She is currently in Windsor and will be leaving under her own power at the end of July.

Reported by: James H. Neumiller

Detroit Tug Boat Races

The tugs Shannon and Roger Stahl took first and second place overall in the 28th annual International Freedom Festival tug race at Windsor on Saturday, June 26th. Shannon lead the way from the starting gun, with the Roger Stahl working her way through the pack of eighteen tugs to finish second. Bill Cline, captain on the Stahl said "If the race had been another half mile we would have taken it all". The Shannon, captained by six time race winner Capt Bill Hoey Jr. blew the whistle at the crowd along the river bank and just aimed for the Finnish line from the start.

Another tug of interest in the race, finishing third overall was the tug Elmer Dean of Algonac. Many mariners will remember this tug which was under construction next to the Conrail bridge on the Rouge River for over 35 years. The original builder, Captain Elmer Dean, a former captain with the Becker Towing Company in the 50s, and later with Gaelic Tugboat Co. in the 60s and 70s, passed away about two years ago. The tug was sold by his estate to the present owners in Algonac who completed the tug and named it in the honor of the original builder.

Other winners:
18 tugs participated.
First overall - SHANNON
1,301 h.p. & up
first - SHANNON
second - ROGER STAHL
750 h.p. to 1,300 h.p.
first - DOVER
second - STORMONT
401 h.p. to 750 h.p.
first - ELMER DEAN
second - VIDA C
201 h.p. to 400 h.p.
first - JULIE ANNE
second - J W WESTCOTT II
under 200 h.p.
first - BIRMCO
second - ISABELLE

Best dressed tug - ISABELLE
Smallest tug - ISABELLE
Oldest tug - ISABELLE
Tug furthest away - DOVER, Goderich, ON
Most seasoned skipped Capt. William A. Hoey

Reported by: D.J.Tugnut and Mike Nicholls

Today in Great Lakes History - June 28

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. I had the honor of conducting the first public tour aboard the vessel.

The ATLANTIC SUPERIOR arrived at the Algoma Steel Plant, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. 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, with a cargo of coal from Chicago, IL for Green Bay, WI. Six-thousand tons of coal were off-loaded the next day into the NICOLET 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.

Data from: Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Passenger Service opens from Amsterda

The sailing of the 26,600-ton ZIEMIA TARNOWSKA from Amsterdam (IJmuiden) on Monday, June 28, marks the commencement of PZM's new passenger service into the Great Lakes. The first revenue passenger sailing will call at Cleveland and Burns Harbor.

The ZIEMIA class ships feature a double Owners cabin and a single Radio operators cabin, plus two sailors' cabins for passengers.

The first of the new 34,600-tonners from Mitsui, the mv ISA, is scheduled to follow on or about July 12 from Amsterdam (IJmuiden), while the second new ship, the ISADORA, was delivered in Japan last week.

Fares for the new Polish Steamhip Company passenger service are $995 Amsterdam to Cleveland or Detroit and $1,095 Amsterdam to Chicago or Burns Harbor.

As outbound grain destinations can range from Norway to Morocco and Turkey, and are not known until the last minute, passenger service is available only into the lakes, but not outbound.

Bookings can be made through general passenger agents The Cruise People Ltd of London, England.

Saltie Nearly Collides With Barge - Picures

On Thursday the saltie Aleksander Kolmpere nearly rammed one of Luedke Engineering Co. barges and then ran aground.
Max Hanley has sent in pictures of the events:
Image of the saltie as she came out of the fog and nearly rammed the barge.
Tug Virginia working to swing the bow around.
Both tugs working to pull the saltie off the mud.

Today in Great Lakes History - June 27

CANADIAN RANGER was launched in 1967 by Davie Shipbuilding Ltd., Lauzon, Que. as a) CHIMO, C.323030, for the Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Dorothy Ann heading to Huron, Ohio

Interlake's new tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder are heading to Huron, Ohio, with a load of taconite from Escanaba on their first trip together. ETA for Huron is 11 am today.

Dorothy Ann successfully completed sea trials the morning of June 23 running up and down Little Bay De Noc at an impressive 16.5 knots. Upper Lakes Barge tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort disconnected from barge Pathfinder at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23, and headed to the North Reiss Dock in Escanaba. She may push McKee Sons later this season. Both Dorothy Ann and Joyce L. Van Enkevort were docked together at the Reiss Dock for most of the late afternoon and evening on June 23.

Reported by: Rod Burdick

No May Flowers For U.S.-Flag Fleet

Lower water levels and other factors continued to plague U.S.-Flag carriers in May. Cargo movement in U.S. bottoms on the Great Lakes declined nearly 10 percent to 13,150,031 net tons. In comparison, the U.S.-Flag float totaled 14.6 million tons in May of 1998.

Although steel imports to the United States have declined, the Lakes iron ore trade showed continued weakness. The May U.S.-Flag total of 6,353,918 net tons represents a decrease of more than 10 percent compared to the corresponding period last year, and for the season, iron ore cargos in U.S. hulls have slipped by more than 7 percent.

A 10 percent decrease in coal loadings in May pulled down early gains and put the season-to-date total for U.S.-Flag lakers at roughly the same level as a year ago.

Lower steel production, coupled with a slow start to the construction season, produced a 15.8 percent decrease in U.S.-Flag stone cargos in May. For the season, stone loadings in Jones Act lakers have declined by 18 percent.

Visit the Lake Carriers' Association for complete details

May Steel Import Increases Shows Crisis Not Over

Weirton Steel Corp announced Thursday that a 30 percent increase in foreign steel shipments to American markets from April to May discredits last week's claim by the U.S. Commerce Secretary that the steel import crisis is over.

Last week, Commerce Secretary William Daley announced the 1998 steel crisis was over, citing a decrease in steel imports by 5.5 percent over the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year. A government announcement Thursday revealed steel imports are up 30 percent from April to May, however, they decreased when comparing last month to May 1998.

"Even though imports are down slightly when comparing both months or 1999 year-to-date to 1998 year-to-date, the public must remember that 1998 was the record year for steel imports. Therefore, while the government rejoices over decreases, it's comparing them to record level imports in 1998 and in some cases, to 1997, the previous record year. The fact is, imports were at a crisis level both years and the situation is totally unacceptable," said Gregg Warren, Weirton Steel director-corporate communications and government relations.

The largest increases from April to May include: Russia, up 550 percent; Spain, up 395 percent; Brazil, up 81 percent; Turkey, up 65 percent; South Korea, up 50 percent; and Japan, up 39 percent.

Cutter Launch Today

Today Marinette Marine will be launching another "Keeper" class Coast Guard Cutter. The Cutter Harry Claiborne is scheduled for launch and it will then be moored at the Marinette Marine dock until the U.S. Coast Guard accepts it sometime this fall.

Reported by: Scott Best

The Rumors Continue as the Moecca Heads North

The yacht Moecca departed Port Stanley Harbour at 10:15 a.m yesterday headed possibly for Mackinac Island.

The rumors surrounding the private yatch continue to grow. Richard Hill reports that the lastest rumors have her heading to Thunder Bay with Mel Gibson landing by helicopter while it is out on the Lake.

Reported by: Joan Wilton and Richard Hill

Tug race today

The annual Detroit/Windsor Freedom Festival tugboat races take place on the Detroit River today at 1:00. Be sure to get a good seat on the river to view the twenty or more tug boats racing.

Reported by: John Cameron

River Roar in Bay City

River Roar this weekend in Bay City downtown on the Saginaw River. Speed boats and more. Once again this year the tour boat Princess Wenona will be offering free rides at 10:00 A.M. The vessel will be docked at the Horak dock near the Veterans Memorial Bridge. The rides will be offered on a limited schedule until Labor Day, tickets for the cruise are on a first come first served. Please call (517)891-BOAT to make sure the boat is running.

Reported by: Dan Maus

Today in Great Lakes History - June 26

In 1926 the Lemoyne was launched at Midland Shipbuilding Co, Midland Ont. She was 6 feet wider and 4 feet shallower than the largest ship at that time.
1929 the Calcite II was launched at American Shipbuilding Co., Lorain OH
Launched in 1972 was the ALGOWAY (2) at Collingwood

Data from: Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Interlake Steamship Announces Christening of Tug and Barge

Richfield, OH, June 25, 1999: The Interlake Steamship Company and Interlake Transportation, Inc. announce the christening of their new 7,200-horsepower Z-drive tug Dorothy Ann and self-unloading barge conversion Pathfinder at the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority on Monday, June 28, 1999. Speaking at the ceremony is Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).

Designed by Ocean Tug & Barge engineering, Bellingham, MA, the 124' 6" long Dorothy Ann was constructed in 1998 by Bay Shipbuilding Company, Sturgeon Bay, WI. On September 16, 1998, she was towed to Escanaba, MI, where final outfitting was performed by Bark River Towing of Escanaba, Weld All of Menominee, MI, and Marine Accommodations of Jacksonville, FL. She entered service on June 23, 1999.

John B. Hopkins, Vice President, Marketing at Interlake, said, "The addition of this integrated tug-barge unit to our fleet has enabled us to enter new bulk cargo markets on the Great Lakes."

Dorothy Ann is the largest Z-drive tug built to date in North America. Her twin Ulstein Z-drives enable her to turn on her own axis, stop within her own length, and move easily in any direction. Coupled with barge Pathfinder, the pair is the most maneuverable unit on the Great Lakes. Alone, Dorothy Ann can travel at 16 MPH: when pushing the loaded barge, open lake speed is 11.5 MPH. She is fitted with a Great Lakes-specific articulated pin-type connection system for engaging Pathfinder's notched stern. Dorothy Ann's elevated pilot house - outfitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment - has a height of eye of 70 feet, and the vented tower was designed to spoil trailing air drafts. Accommodations include air-conditioned private cabins with semi-private bathroom facilities for 12 crew members, a lounge, and an owner's stateroom.

Namesake of tug Dorothy Ann is Dorothy Ann Tregurtha Croskey of Minneapolis, MN. Sponsor is Susan Tregurtha Marshall of Chicago, IL. Both are daughters of Paul R. Tregurtha, Interlake Steamship Company's vice-Chairman.

The barge Pathfinder is the former steam-powered Great Lakes bulk carrier J.L. Mauthe. The Mauthe was built by Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, MI, with dimensions of 647' x 70' x 36' and entered service in 1953. After 40 years of service in the Interlake Steamship fleet, she was idled in 1993. In January 1997, the Mauthe was towed to Bay Shipbuilding company for conversion to a self-unloading barge.

Designed by Northeast Technical Services Company, Inc., conversion involved eliminating forward cabins, removing propulsion machinery, replacing the original stern with a notch to accommodate the Dorothy Ann, and installing an automated unloading system utilizing Continental Conveyor & Equipment Company's HAC® belt arrangement and a 260' aft-mounted unloading boom. In the process, the vessel's length was reduced to 604' 6". Intended primarily to serve the bulk stone and aggregate trade, Pathfinder can safely handle a wide variety of bulk cargoes and material sizes.

Pathfinder loaded her first cargo at Escanaba, MI, on March 21, 1998, and has since become the largest tug-barge to transit Cleveland's Cuyahoga River. Her cargo capacity is 21,260 gross tons. Paired with the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort, she delivered 112 cargoes totaling nearly two million tons in 1998, her first season of operation.

Sponsor of the Pathfinder is April S. Barker, of Hudson, OH, wife of Interlake Steamship's Assistant Vice President, James A. Barker.

In addition to the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder, the Interlake Steamship fleet includes eight other self-unloading ships and one straight-deck bulk carrier with capacities ranging from 21,000 to 68,000 gross tons. Interlake Steamship serves bulk iron ore, coal, and stone markets throughout the Great Lakes.

Saltie Nearly Collides With Barge

The saltie Aleksander Kolmpere nearly rammed one of Luedke Engineering Co. barges yesterday evening as both were entering the Ludington harbor. In fact, the Aleksander Kolmpere ran aground to avoid the accident. She was pulled free by the tugs Superior and Virginia, which were already in Ludington to assist the saltie into the harbor.

Reported by: Max Hanley

Badger touches wall

The Lake Michigan Carferrry S.S. Badger grazed the south breakwall at Ludington yesterday morning in heavy fog as she was embarking on her morning trip to Manitowoc.

There was only minor damage to a few plates on the port side of the Badger, but some railing was torn off the channel wall at Crosswinds Condominiums. Only a few scrapes were visible on the Badger as she returned to Ludington yesterday evening.

Reported by: Max Hanley and Bob VandeVusse

Twin Ports Report

Atlantic Huron was scheduled to make a rare appearance in the Twin Ports on June 24 to load grain at the Cenex-Harvest States terminal.

Herbert C. Jackson steamed into Duluth about 5 p.m. June 23 to unload stone at the Cutler-Magner dock. It then shifted to Midwest Energy Terminal about midnight to load coal. It was gone by daybreak on its way to Taconite Harbor. The Cutler docks are suddenly busy. Along with the Jackson's cargo, they're also scheduled to received Courtney Burton and Fred R. White Jr. Both vessels will unload here, then proceed to one of the North Shore ports to load taconite pellets.

Edwin H. Gott backed into the loading berth at the DMIR dock in Duluth about noon June 23. It's making another run to Nanticoke.

Reported by: Al Miller

Today in Great Lakes History - June 25

1927 the B.F. Affleck was launched at Toledo Shipbuilding Co.

On June 25, 1938, the William A. Irvin began her maiden voyage, leaving Lorain, Ohio for Duluth to load iron ore.

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

INDIANA HARBOR set a Great Lakes cargo record on June 25, 1993 loading 71,369 tons of western low sulfur coal at Superior (WI) Midwest Energy Terminal and transporting it 50 miles to Silver Bay, MN.

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Twin Ports Report

A couple of vessels will making rare calls to the Twin Ports this week to load coal at Midwest Energy Terminal. Algobay is scheduled for June 23 and Herbert C. Jackson is due June 24. Also arriving this week are Walter J. McCarthy Jr. on June 24; Oglebay Norton, June 24; Canadian Transport, June 25; and Algolake, June 25.

A few unusual callers also are expected the DMIR ore docks. Indiana Harbor and St. Clair will continue this season's routine of periodic ore cargoes out of Two Harbors. Indiana Harbor is due June 26 and St. Clair on the 27th. In Duluth, Joe Block loaded June 22 and departed amid a tumultuous evening of fog and heavy thunderstorms. The barge Sarah Spencer will take a rare load from the dock on June 25. American Mariner also is due at the dock that day, along with Arthur M. Anderson.

Reported by: Al Miller

New Shipwreck Program

Some of the Great Lakes deepest mysteries will be investigated in a new television series on PBS. Great Lakes Indepth will air throughout Michigan this fall, and the producers believe several Midwest PBS states will pick up the series as well.

Great Lakes Indepth is produced by Airworthy Productions LLC, a company formed by documentary producer Ric Mixter and outdoor journalist Mike Avery. Ric's past documentaries include two programs on the Edmund Fitzgerald, and DEEP SIX, which aired in New York, Michigan and Wisconsin last year.

Great Lakes Indepth will profile at least two shipwrecks in each program, complete with a history and a look underwater to see what the ships look like today. Host Ric Mixter will also showcase a freshwater animal in his 'Creature Close-up'.

Airworthy Productions is also working with International Software Engineering on a follow-up CDROM to the Edmund Fitzgerald Interactive Explorer. The new ROM will feature over 300 shipwrecks and their histories, along with 20 dive destinations which feature full color video. The first of its kind, the Indepth Explorer will be released before the series airs on PBS.

Airworthy Productions is a digital video production company dedicated to historical and outdoor related programming and CDROMs. They also plan on releasing a new shipwreck tape called 'Storms of the Century' this November. Storms of the Century will be Ric's sixth 'dive-u-mentary'. His work includes the Edmund Fitzgerald Investigation, Deep Six, The Best Adventure Yet, Expedition 94 to the Edmund Fitzgerald, and the Great Storm of 1913. Ric's underwater videography has also appeared on ESPN, The Outdoor Channel and television news programs throughout the U.S.

Ric has an extensive background in investigating shipwrecks. He was media coordinator and underwater cameraman on expeditions to the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1994 and the Carl D. Bradley in 1995. He has produced over 50 stories on shipwrecks and underwater adventures for TV since he started diving in 1991. Ric's background includes several years as a volunteer diver/deputy for the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department.

The Outdoor Channel has also expressed interest in airing Indepth, and advertisers are currently being sought to support a commercial venture. Interested advertisers can contact Airworthy Productions at (517) 498-4550

More Rumored Stars

As the yacht Moecca continues on her travels deeper into the Great Lakes so do the rumors of famous guests aboard. She was spotted entering the Welland Canal yesterday enroute to Lake Erie. The rumors first reported that she was carrying actor Mel Gibson, now there is talk that the 147-foot catamaran is carrying pop star Michael Jackson.

The Moecca costs $119,000 a week to charter with a crew of twelve and can accommodate twelve guests. The Australian built yacht also boasts a heli-deck and a main salon with separate lounge areas. This 17 million dollar yacht has a maximum speed of 29 knots and a cruising speed of 25 knots propelled by twin diesel powered water jets.

Joan Wilton reports that this morning she was tied up at the west dock in Port Stanley near the grain elevators. She will be there all day departing sometime Friday, likely in the morning, for the Mackinac area.

The mystery passengers disembarked and took a taxi to parts unknown.

Free Carferry Magazine

The Lake Michigan Carferry recently published a new annual magazine called "Crossings." This magazine features information on the carferries both historic and current, with lots of high quality photos. There are also many ideas on vacations centered around the carferry.

The company is also offering the chance to win a free round trip on the Badger for 2 including your Auto!

If you'd like to receive a free copy of the new magazine and be entered in the trip give away click here act fast, free copies of "Crossings" is limited.

Today in Great Lakes History - June 24

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

The RIDGETOWN was launched June 24, 1905 as a) WILLIAM E. COREY, the first flagship for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, OH.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Algobay in Marquette

Seaway Self-Unloader, Algobay, made an uncommon visit to Marquette on June 21 loading taconite for Algoma Steel at the Soo. It was her first visit in the 1990's and possibly since 1984. Fleetmate, Algosteel, a more regular visitor, was also in port loading.

Reported by: Rod Burdick

Independent Heading to Dry Dock

The Kinsman Independent departed the General Mills elevator in Buffalo yesterday after unloading another cargo of grain. This classic vessel is due to enter the ship yard sometime after her next run for a five year survey. The Independent will spend a few weeks out of service.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

U.S. Senate blocks steel import quota bill

Yesterday the U.S. Senate voted to blocked a bill that would have slapped quotas on foreign imports in violation of international trade laws. On Monday the Clinton administration made an eleventh-hour push to defeat this bill, decrying the threat of a trade war and scurrying to launch several new anti-dumping investigations.

Supporters of the legislation, backed by steelworkers unions who fear job losses due to cheap imports, failed to muster the 60 votes needed to end Senate debate on the bill.

The bill would have restricted steel imports for three years to bring their market share down to levels that existed before financial crises in Asia, Russia and Brazil dried up demand on those regions while the strong U.S. economy began to draw supply from around the world.

Proponents argued that the bill was needed to stem the flood of imports and had predicted a close vote on the move to cut off Senate debate so lawmakers could tackle the merits of the bill.

In the end, lawmakers heeded an eleventh hour appeal by White House officials who argued that existing anti-dumping laws were working and that the steel crisis was over as imports were falling. Opponents also argued that the quota bill would violate international trade rules and invite retaliation against U.S. exports, particularly agriculture exports.

Only 42 Senators voted to cut off debate, while 57 voted against ending debate, which blocked Senate consideration and effectively killed the bill even though a similar version overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives earlier this year.

Those voting to kill the bill were:

    Bayh                     Feingold                 Robb
    Bennett                  Harkin                   Rockefeller
    Biden                    Hatch                    Santorum
    Boxer                    Helms                    Sarbanes
    Burns                    Hollings                 Schumer
    Byrd                     Inhofe                   Sessions
    Campbell                 Johnson                  Shelby
    Conrad                   Leahy                    Smith (NH)
    Daschle                  Levin                    Snowe
    DeWine                   Lincoln                  Specter
    Dodd                     Mikulski                 Stevens
    Dorgan                   Murray                   Thurmond
    Durbin                   Reed                     Torricelli
    Edwards                  Reid                     Wellstone
Click here to contact your representative

In related news, the U.S. Department of Commerce yesterday initiated sixteen antidumping and countervailing duty complaints filed by the domestic steel industry against unfairly traded cold-rolled steel imports from 12 countries. Imports of cold-rolled steel have been traded unfairly and are continuing to disrupt the U.S. market. Antidumping complaints, with alleged margins as high as 122 percent, were filed against Argentina, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Slovakia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela. Countervailing duty complaints, with alleged rates as high as 101 percent, were filed against Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand and Venezuela. Combined antidumping margins and countervailing duty rates for individual countries range from 17% to 223%.

A recent news report states that the U.S. steel market continues to be extremely depressed by dumped and heavily subsidized imports. This has caused prices to plummet, forced continued production cut-backs, cost steelworkers their jobs and shortened the 1998 navigation season for a number of U.S.-Flag lakers.

Click here for a summary of the bill that was blocked

Old Hulls on the Saginaw

The Saginaw River has two floating hulls of vessels over 100 years old. The first and most obvious is the E.M. Ford. Lesser known is the Miss Mud Hen II, former U.S. Lighthouse Tender Marigold launched in 1890. All that remains of the original vessel is the hull which has been modified. She is now a barge/dredge and has a crane on her deck. She is located at a marina across from the Saginaw River USCG Station.

Not to many waterways can boast of having two 100-year old floating hulls on them.

Reported by: Dean J. Frazer

Today in Great Lakes History - June 23

In 1926 the Lemoyne was launched at Midland Shipbuilding Co, Midland Ont. She was 6 feet wider and 4 feet shallower than the largest ship at that time.
1929 the Calcite II was launched at American Shipbuilding Co., Lorain OH
Launched in 1972 was the ALGOWAY (2) at Collingwood

Data from: Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Cruise Ship Le Levant Arrives in Saugatuck

The French-owned passenger liner Le Levant arrived in Saugatuck harbor yesterday, docking at Wicks Park. Gun salutes and music welcomed the vessel as it made an impressive turn before docking.

Moments after docking, the French crew sent a diver to get a closer look at a 3-foot-wide log at the bottom of Kalamazoo Lake that could have hit the ship. But after a lengthy and careful inspection, the crew removed the log and ruled out any damage to the ship.

Reported by: Erdean Kelly, Steve Vanden Bosch and Dean J. Frazer

Mariner in Cleveland

The American Mariner made a rare appearance in Cleveland yesterday morning. She arrived about 9:00 a.m. for the lakefront docks.

Reported by: Mike Reindel

Great Lakes Towing in the News

Several recent articles have been published highlighting The Great Lakes Towing Company and its affiliates. The April-June 1999 issue of the Great Lakes Seaway Review highlights the Towing Company's first 100 years of operation in the article titled "The Great Lakes Towing Company Marks 100 Years." The June 1999 Yearbook issue of Workboat Magazine features the Towing Company's affiliate Puerto Rico Towing and Barge Co. in an article titled "Military Work, Technology Heating Up the Tug Industry." A third article in the Professional Mariner, American Tugboat Review 1999, features another Towing Company affiliate, Admiral Towing and Barge Company and its fleet of Z-drive tractor tugs.

Reported by: Brian Schellhase

New question on the Letters to the Editor page.
What do you think is the greatest advancement made in Great Lakes Shipping?

Today in Great Lakes History - June 22

The DAVID Z. NORTON (2) was Launched and christened as the WILLIAM R. ROESCH on June 22, 1973 for the Union Commerce Bank, Ohio (Trustee) and managed by the Kinsman Marine Transit Co., Cleveland, OH.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Marquette Update

Marquette saw a number of vessels over the weekend. The American Mariner arrived at Marquette Lower Harbor with a load of stone to unload and then moved up to the Upper Harbor for a load of ore pellets. Saturday, the Paul Tregurtha arrived at the Upper Harbor to unload coal. The Algomarine was due Sunday morning at the Upper Harbor. Early today the Algosteel is due at the Upper Harbor followed by the Algobay.

Reported by: Art Pickering

Cruise Ship Le Levant To Visit Western Michigan

The Grand Rapids Press reports that the first luxury liner in 35 years returns to west Michigan on Monday when the cruise ship Le Levant, a 328-foot French-owned passenger liner arrives. Her entrance into Saugatuck harbor is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Gun salutes and music will welcome the LeLevant, as will a whistle salute from the S.S. Keewatin.

The ship will be docking at Wicks Park, at the corner of Main and Water streets. Her departure is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Reported by: Dave Swain and Steve Vanden Bosch

Clinton Opposes Duties on Dumped Steel

Imports of Japanese steel were discussed during a Friday meeting on Japanese economic growth between President Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi.

White House economic aide Gene Sperling told reporters that Clinton was pleased by a drop in U.S. imports of Japanese steel (no figures on how much they have dropped were available). This hot political issue in the U.S. has prompted Congressional calls for imposing steel quotas on Japan. Also reported is the fact that the president made it clear that he did not want to see the steel quota bills go through Congress.

The bills are aimed at stopping the dumping (steel that is sold at prices below the cost of production) of Japanese steel in the U.S. This unfair competition by Japan and a number of other Countries cost 10,000 steelworkers their jobs and shortened the 1998 navigation season for a number of U.S.-Flag lakers.

On June 11 a U.S. trade panel found that Japanese dumping of hot-rolled steel in the U.S. market threatened the domestic industry and ordered hefty anti-dumping duties. The U.S. International Trade Commission voted 6-0 in favor of the complaint brought by U.S. steel makers and workers.

The vote means that hefty anti-dumping duties, set by the Commerce Department will be imposed. The duties, ranging from 17.86 percent to 67.14 percent of the imports' value, will be retroactive to February 12.

Today in Great Lakes History - June 21

On June 21, 1942, the Alpena--formerly the Leon Fraser--entered service as the largest vessel on the Great Lakes. The former U.S. Steel bulk freighter, originally 639'6" long, retained at least a tie for that honor until the Wilfred Sykes entered service on April 19, 1950.

Also on 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 was side launched at Christy Ship (Bay Ship), Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on Saturday, June 21st, 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.)

Data from: Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Today in Great Lakes History - June 20

The WILLIAM P. COWAN cleared Lorain on her maiden voyage in 1918

In 1903 the twin screw rail car ferry GRAND HAVEN was launched for the Grand Trunk Carferry Line, Milwaukee, WI.

On June 20, 1953, the Canada Steamship Lines bulk freighter Burlington collided with and sank the Scotiadoc in Lake Superior.

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

Data from: Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Vanenkevort's last trip with the Pathfinder Update

The scheduled switch of the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and tug Dorothy Ann did not take place on Thursday as work continues on the Dorothy Ann at the North Reiss Dock in Escanaba.

Once the change is made the Dorothy Ann will take over duties pushing the barge Pathfinder. The tug will connect with barge on Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

Reported by: Jim Grill and Rod Burdick

Busy Day for U.P. Ports

Thursday, June 17, was a busy day for ports in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. First, in Marquette, the EARL W. OGLEBAY loaded taconite for Ashtabula. It was her first visit since 1995. In Gladstone, JOHN G. MUNSON unloaded coal, and down the bay in Escanaba, JOSEPH L. BLOCK and PATHFINDER, both loaded taconite. Work continues on tug, Dorothy Ann, at the North Reiss Dock in Escanaba. It should connect with barge PATHFINDER on Wednesday, June 23.

Reported by: Rod Burdick

Lake Michigan Rescue

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew Wednesday rescued two men and a boy from Lake Michigan after a squall swamped their power boat off Port Washington, the Associated Press reported.

A radio distress call received by the Coast Guard and Port Washington's harbor master about 5 p.m. Wednesday indicated a boater was in 150 feet of water and sinking. A Coast Guard helicopter from Muskegon located three people clinging to an overturned 20-foot boat, and the three were pulled from the water.

Reported by: Al Miller

First coal of the year for Port Stanley

The Cuyahoga delivered 10,448 tons of coal at the Lakes Terminals east dock, arriving at 12:30am and departing at 07:00 yesterday morning. The next shipment will arrive on July 1. There is talk of the Port Stanley harbor being dredge some time this year.

Reported by: Richard Hill

Twin Ports Report

Montrealais is due back in Superior June 18 for another load of grain from Cenex-Harvest States.

Silver Bay is expecting the best-looking Columbia boats over the weekend. Courtney Burton, Buckeye and Middletown are due there June 18-19.

Superior Midwest Energy Terminal usually has a pretty set line-up of boats, but over the next few days some less-common callers are scheduled. Reserve and St. Clair are due in June 20 and Lee A. Tregurtha is expected June 21.

Reported by: Al Miller

Today in Great Lakes History - June 19

1954 the George M. Humphrey (named for President Eisenhower's Secretary of Treasury) launched at American Shipbuild Co., Lorain, OH

In 1978, the Algobay was launched at Collingwood.

Data from: Jody Aho Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Fire on the River Front

Early yesterday morning crews aboard the Paul H Townsend reported a fire in an old dispatch tower at the N & W Rail yard just above the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit. The report was taken by the J.W. Westcott Co., Westcott personnel quickly alerted the crew of the City of Detroit fire boat Curtis Randolph (the fire boat is docked next to the Westcott's station).

The Randolph arrived on scene to see the tower in flames. The burning tower is about 50-feet from the River's edge. Fire crews worked using two water cannons and had the fire extinguished in 15 minutes, before the city fire trucks arrived.

Reported by: S. Buchanan

Twin Ports Report

Indiana Harbor appears to be hauling a lot of taconite pellets this summer. Its made several trips to the DMIR ore docks in Two Harbors, and it's due at the DMIR in Duluth on June 17. Several GLF boats that come to Duluth only occasionally are due at the DMIR in the next few days: George A. Sloan, June 17; Cason J. Callaway, June 19; and Arthur M. Anderson, June 22.

Mid-season is seeing several GLF boats making some interesting port calls: Anderson was in Wyandotte on June 16; Philip R. Clarke called at Dunkirk June 17; John G. Munson was in Gladstone on June 17; and Myron C. Taylor was due at Buffalo on June 17. As previously mentioned on the news page, George A. Sloan is paying a rare call to Duluth this week. It's scheduled to arrive at Hallett 5 (next to the DMIR ore dock) at 3:30 a.m. June 18, then shift to load at DMIR in Duluth about 9 a.m.

Reported by: Al Miller

Bob-Lo Island Special

Coming to WXYZ Channel 7 in Detroit next week is a special on Bob-Lo Island. The show will air Wednesday, June 23 at 8:30 P.M.

Navy Contract Awarded to Affiliate - Puerto Rico Towing & Barge Co.

Cleveland, Ohio, June 16, 1999 -- Puerto Rico Towing & Barge Co., an affiliate of The Great Lakes Group, has been awarded a Military Sealift Command contract for harbor towing services to commercial and naval vessels, and submarines at the U.S. Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. The contract, which commenced May 24, 1999, could be effective for up to five years and calls for two traditional “G” class conventional tugs to replace three U.S. Navy YTB’s.

Another member of the Group, Admiral Towing and Barge Company, recently was awarded a Military Sealift Command contract and is providing tugboat services to the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, with three new “Z-class” reverse tractor tugs for a period of up to five years. To participate in the tractor tug revolution in the U.S. towing industry, another affiliate called Tugz International L.L.C. has designed and constructed a new fleet of state-of-the-art multipurpose tractor tugs for the Group and its chartering activities. Tugz International also owns several other ocean towing vessels ranging from 55,000 to 162,000 pounds of bollard pull. Two years ago, the Company took delivery of two new “Z-class” reverse tractor tugs from Halter Shipyard, Lockport, Louisiana. Those two tractor tugs are now followed by three additional new Z-class reverse tractor tugs christened in February, 1999 at Marco Shipyard, Seattle, Washington, completing the second phase of the Group’s fleet expansion program which now exceeds $30,000,000. Phase three involves the design and construction of a new, specialized tug design to commence this year.

Reported by: Ronald C. Rasmus

Light House on the Move

Not as far as Puerto Rico, but in Buxton, N.C. the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is being moved 2,900 feet inland by the National Park Service because it sits only about 150 feet from the Atlantic Ocean and there are fears it could be toppled by erosion. When the 128-year-old lighthouse was built, it sat about 1,600 feet away from the ocean.

Click here for the complete story from yesterday's Detroit News

Today in Great Lakes History - June 18

In 1949 the Wilfred Sykes was launched at American Shipbuilding Co., Lorain, OH. 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.

1964 The Saguenay was launced at Davie Ship Building Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec

1968 the Algocen was launched at Collingwood

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

J.W. Westcott II to the Rescue

At about 6:00 a.m. yesterday, Don Carns and Bob Ranusch Jr., who work for the J.W. Westcott II Co., Detroit's floating post office were alerted that a woman was floating in the Detroit River just west of the Ambassador Bridge. The crew reacted immediately launching the 46-foot mail boat J.W. Westcott II. The Westcott II was the first vessel on scene and attempted to assist the woman by passing a life ring and multiple life jackets. The woman refused assistance and swam away from them, the Westcott crew followed the woman ready to help if she would allow it.

The Detroit fire boat Curtis Randolph and a boat from the U.S. Coast Guard joined the rescue effort. Crews from the Coast Guard were able to pull the woman onto their boat only to have her jump back into the river. The US Coast Guard was finally able to rescue the woman who is at Detroit Receiving Hospital in serious condition.

Crews working for the Westcott Company are no stranger to mid-river rescues, just last Fall they saved a passenger that had fallen off a Windsor tour boat.

Reported by: S. Buchanan and P. Jagenow

Tugs Tug One Ship Free But Another Vessel Springs a Fuel Leak

As reported yesterday, the salt water vessel Marilis T that was aground in the St. Lawrence Seaway was refloated Tuesday night. The 585 foot ocean vessel was free about 7:00 P.M. with the assistance of the Seaway Corp's tugboat Robinson Bay and an second tug from Montreal, the Ocean Intrepid.

The Marilis T was allowed to proceed to Wilson Hill Anchorage, Louisville for an underwater inspection. None of the 17,054 metric tons of steel had to be removed before she was refloated. The Wilson Hill inspection revealed no damage according to Rhonda M. Worden, St Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. spokeswoman. The vessel was allowed to proceed to Port Weller, Ontario for further inspection and if no damage is observed there, the vessel will continue its trip to Cleveland, Ohio where the cargo will be offloaded.

Ms. Worden said that the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety unit is still investigating why the vessel went aground, although it has ruled out mechanical failure and malfunction in the vessel's steerage.

While the woes of the Marilis T appear to have come to an end, a second vessel found itself in difficulty Wednesday morning, at Clayton, New York. The Sea Maid, a 238-foot vessel, registered in Denmark was heading downriver when a break in the fuel line was discovered. The ship turned near Calumet Island and headed upriver to return to the designated anchorage location near Bartlett Point, Clayton. The ship's turnabout occurred shortly before 8 a.m. and appeared to come within 200 yard of the shore. According to Ms. Worden, repairs were made by 9:30 a.m. and Seaway and Coast Guard personnel headed to the site to inspect the ship before it was allowed to continue on its journey. Ms Worden said, "There's no pollution, no damage to the vessel. It's internal."

By 3p.m. she was tied up at the Cape Vincent breakwall awaiting orders. Ron Walsh reports that the orders have changed and she was going back down the river as her Port Weller cargo had fallen through. She was to go to Montreal where she will go to anchor until a cargo is finalized. It is likely she will bunker in Montreal and go to Sorel.

Reported by: Joan Baldwin, Al Miller and Ron Walsh

Today in Great Lakes History - June 17

The SCOTT MISENER (2) was christened on June 17, 1951. She was the first vessel built at Port Weller.

The PATERSON (1) collided with the steamer EDMUND W. MUDGE in 1957 in fog on the St. Clair River opposite Marine City, MI.

The WILLIAM A. IRVIN was towed back to Duluth 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.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Marilis T Refloated

The Marilis T which ran aground Monday in the St. Lawrence Seaway was refloated about 19:00 hrs last night and Seaway traffic resumed.

It is unknown if the vessel required lightering or if tugs were used. Tugs and lightering equipment were enroute to the vessel last night with an ETA of 2100.

CSL Niagara Christened at Port Weller Dry Docks

The largest-ever Canadian ship built for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence was christened today in a colorful ceremony attended by hundreds at Port Weller Dry Docks at the Lake Ontario entrance to the Welland Canal.

The CSL Niagara is the newest member of the Canada Steamship Lines fleet, and the first of three ships to be built by Port Weller as part of a $100 million fleet reinvestment program by CSL. The keel of the second CSL vessel was laid just minutes before the christening ceremony.

At 740 feet in length, 78 feet in width and 48 feet in depth, building the CSL Niagara required more than 6,000 tons of steel. In this unique shipbuilding project, an entirely new hull was constructed, and joined to the engine room portion of the J. W. McGiffin. The Niagara is the first ship to be built to the St. Lawrence Seaway's new maximum-size allowances, and features the most up-to-date self-unloading system available, unloading its cargo at rates up to 6,000 tonnes per hour.

Heralding the arrival of CSL's newest vessel and welcoming it into the fleet, Canada Steamship Lines President and CEO Ray Johnston said, "We can all appreciate the scope of the project today when we see one ship being named and the keel for another being laid. It's a proud and exciting day for CSL, Port Weller Dry Docks, and the Great Lakes shipping industry."

Noting that more than 300 Port Weller shipbuilders constructed the new forebody, Alan Thoms, President and CEO of Port Weller Dry Docks' parent company, Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering, said, "We're proud of the skill and teamwork of the Port Weller shipbuilders. Their expertise ensured that this ambitious project was completed on time and on budget."

The remaining two vessels in the $100 million contract are scheduled for delivery in 2000 and 2001, ensuring work for approximately 300 Port Weller Dry Docks employees on a year-round basis for the duration of the contract. CSL holds options on two other ships with Port Weller Dry Docks for delivery in 2002 and 2003.

Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd. (CSE), one of Canada's premier shipbuilding and repair companies, is the parent company of Port Weller Dry Docks, the only Canadian shipbuilder on the Great Lakes.

Click here for images from the ceremony

Vanenkevort's last trip with the Pathfinder?

On Monday, June 14, the Pathfinder loaded pellets in Escanaba for Indiana Harbor. The trip might be Pathfinder's last with the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort as Interlake's new tug Dorothy Ann is scheduled to take over Pathfinder on Thursday, June 17.

The Dorothy Ann underwent trials on Sunday June 13, she is reported to have passed with flying colors.

According to Upper Lakes Barge, the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort may go to push the McKee Sons.

Reported by: Rod Burdick and Jim Grill

Saltie in Muskegon

On Monday Muskegon received a rare visit from a salt water vessel. The Happy Ranger entered Muskegon at 2000 hours docking at the Muskegon Mart Dock and waiting overnight to unload. The 452 foot ship is run by Mammoet Shipping of Amsterdam, Netherlands, she came from Japan with stops on the way in Houston and Detroit.

The ship was unloading stamping presses and other heavy machinery for the General Motors Plant in Grand Rapids, MI. The machinery was being directly loaded from the ship onto waiting trucks.

The ship with its two heavy lifting cranes is nearly six stories high and towers above all other structures in downtown Muskegon. Cars have been packed in a nearby parking lot all day watching the ship's activities.

With the Muskegon Shoreline Shoot-Out boat races happening just last weekend, many fences are still down allowing ship watchers to get much closer to the ship then they usually could.

As of last night the Happy Ranger was still in Muskegon unloading.

Reported by: Scott Golin

Twin Ports Report

A few signs of life this week in the Twin Ports grain trade. Fosness was loading at AGP in Duluth and Artaki was loading at Cenex-Harvest States.

Midwest Energy Terminal remains the busiest dock in port, with a fairly regular line-up of callers. This week includes Canadian Transport and Paul R. Tregurtha, June 16; Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Mesabi Miner, June 17; Oglebay Norton and Canadian Enterprise, June 19.

Reported by: Al Miller

Star on the Seaway?

The yatch Moecca was spotted in Kingston yesterday and is said to be heading for Toronto. It is rumored to be carrying Mel Gibson but this is unconfirmed. Ron Walsh reports that it is quite an impressive yacht, being about 150' long.

Today in Great Lakes History - June 16

In 1967 the Canadian Leader was launched at Collingwood. She was the last steam powered lake ship.

Upbound in the Welland Canal June 16, 1963 loaded with iron ore for Chicago, U.S. Steel's BENJAMIN FAIRLESS suffered bow damage in collision with Canadian steamer RALPH S. MISENER.

In 1918 the WILLIAM P SNYDER, JR. was in collision with the steamer GEORGE W. PERKINS in Duluth Harbor resulting in damages of $5,000 to both vessels.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Marilis T Aground - Seaway Closed

At 5:55 Monday evening, the 584-foot Cyprus flagged freighter Marilis T ran hard aground off Long Sault Islands near buoy 46A in the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Seaway is closed to navigation indefinitely and the U.S. Coast Guard reports that the vessel may remain aground in her current location for up to 4 days.

The vessel's tanks were sounded and the freighter is not taking on water, there are no reports of pollution. As of this morning plans were to conduct a dive survey to evaluate the hull condition and to review lightering and salvage plans. There are at least 8 ships are waiting to transit the system.

CSL Niagara Floated

The CSL Niagara was floated out of the Port Weller Dry Dock late Sunday and will be dedicated at 1100 today. The keel laying for Hull 78 will take place at 1045 just prior to the dedication.

Reported by: Roger Tottman

More on The Algoeast

Algoma Central Marine has awarded a CAN $5.5 million contract to Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd. to convert a single-hulled tanker to double-hulled construction at their Port Weller Dry Docks facility. It will be the first conversion of this type ever done at a Canadian shipyard, and will create work for 100 shipbuilders at Port Weller through the winter.

"This unique and challenging contract is proof of our confidence in the expertise of Port Weller Dry Docks, and our confidence in the Niagara region as the centre of the marine industry on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence system," said Tim Dool, Vice President, Algoma Central Marine Group. "This conversion demonstrates Algoma's commitment to protecting the environment and to maintaining our tanker fleet at the highest standards," added Dool.

With the acquisition in January 1999 of The Enerchem Group of companies, Algoma doubled the size of its available tanker fleet, and now operates the largest tanker fleet in Canada.

"We've worked hard to build Port Weller into a state-of-the-art shipyard, by investing in people and technology," said Alan Thoms, President of Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd.

Work on the M.V. Algoeast will begin in December 1999, and the ship will be completed in the spring of 2000 to coincide with the beginning of the Great Lakes shipping season. Along with the double-hull, new cargo pumping, heating and piping systems will be installed.

The 131.5-metre Algoeast has a cargo tank capacity of 10,000 cubic meters. The vessel was constructed in Japan in the 1970s, and traded most recently under the name Imperial St. Lawrence. To reduce the risk of environmental pollution, federal legislation requires that all petroleum product tankers must be double-hulled by 2008.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, Algoma Central Marine owns and operates North America's largest fleet on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Waterway with 13 self-unloaders, 9 bulkers, and 9 tankers.

Sloan will Make Rare Run

USSGLF's George A. Sloan a regular on the lower lakes trades will make a rare run to her homeport of Duluth. This will be the first run there since last May. She is expected to arrive with a load of salt on June 17th at 1700. After unloading probably at Hallett she will then leave for Two Harbors arriving there at around Midnight.

Reported by: David French

Lower Water Levels Deflate April Great Lakes Trade

Shipments of iron ore, coal and stone from U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes ports totaled 14.8 million net tons in April, a decrease of 8.6 percent compared to the corresponding period last year. The April downturn largely reflects the significant drop in Great Lakes water levels. Vessels working the Great Lakes forfeit anywhere from 70 to 270 tons of cargo for each 1 inch reduction in loaded draft.

For the season, shipments of the leading dry-bulk commodities stand at 17.8 million tons, a decrease of 13.3 percent compared to the same point in the 1998 navigation season. The season-to-date fall-off also reflects the fact that the winter of 1997/1998 was extremely mild and thus the dry-bulk trades resumed ahead of schedule.

Visit the Lake Carriers' Association for complete details

New tug featured in Magazine

The recently published American Tugboat Review 1999, a special issue of Professional Mariner Magazine, features Interlake's new tug Dorothy Ann. The article titled "Interlake Launches Innovative Z-Drive Push-Boat" offers a detailed article, including photos.

Reported by: John Meyland

Today in Great Lakes History - June 15

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 Captain John Roen, later converted to a self-unloader, and finished her career as the Consumers Power at the end of the 1985 season before being scrapped in 1988.

In 1972, the Roger Blough entered service on her maiden voyage, departing Lorain, Ohio for Two Harbors, Minnesota to load ore. She was nearly a year late because of a fire in her engine room.

1989 Roger M. Kyes rechristened Adam E. Cornelius

Data from: Jody L. Aho, Andy Hering, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Seaway Restricts Draft

Due to low water levels, the Seaway is not accepting vessels drawing more than 26' 3" in the Montreal/Lake Ontario Section. On Saturday the Canadian Provider reported that they had a cargo of wheat for Quebec City and they were only drawing 26' both forward and aft.

Also on Saturday a very large catamaran type ocean yacht was spotted in the Thousand Islands area, near Gananoque. She is well over 100' long and very wide. She has a green hull and white superstructure and is named Meocca. Ron Walsh would like to have any information on this vessel, click here to e-mail

Reported by: Ron Walsh

Twin Ports Report

St. Clair was at the Duluth port terminal June 13, waiting to load at Midwest Energy Terminal after the Oglebay Norton finished its load. Lee A. Tregurtha was due to unload at the Cutler stone dock, then proceed to Taconite Harbor to load. George A. Stinson briefly anchored off Superior, waiting for Burns Harbor to finish loading at the BNSF ore dock.

On June 14, the barge Salty Dog is due to arrive in Duluth for the Hallett dock.

Reported by: Al Miller

Today in Great Lakes History - June 14

Roger Blough departed the shipyard light on her maiden voyage the night of June 14, 1972 for Two Harbors, MN to load 41,608 gross tons of taconite ore pellets.

On June 14, 1988, Consumers Power, with her former fleetmate John T. Hutchinson, departed Lauzon in tow of the Panamanian tug/supply ship Omega 809, bound for Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Port Weller receives contract from Algoma Tankers

The June 11 edition of the Globe and Mail newspaper, reported that Algoma Central Marine has given Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering a contract to convert the tanker ALGOEAST to a double hull. Valued at $5.5 million CDN, the project is slated to begin this December and will provide employment for 100 shipyard workers.

Under current Canadian federal regulations, all tankers with a single-hull must be converted to double-hull or retired from service by 2008.

Reported by: Brian Bernard

Coast Guard Searching for Body

The U.S. Coast Guard was conducting a search for the body of a person that jumped from the Blue Water Bridge overnight. The bridge spans the St. Clair River between Port Huron, MI and Sarnia, ONT. With diver in the water the Coast Guard is requesting commercial vessels to favor the Canadian side of the River.

New Freighter Sailings from Amsterdam to the Great Lakes

The Cruise People Ltd of London have been appointed as passenger agents for a new Europe-Great Lakes service, with immediate effect.

Kevin Griffin, managing director of The Cruise People, this week announced the opening of a new Trans-Atlantic cargo-passenger service on vessels of the PZM Polska Zegluga Morska (Polish Steamship Company), from Amsterdam (Port of IJmuiden) to US ports on the Great Lakes.

Six 26,600-ton bulk carriers are engaged in this service, with a sailing about every two weeks. Each ship features a double owners cabin and a single cabin.

Five new 34.600-ton ships will be added to the service over the next several months, with the maiden voyage of the first, the ISA, expected next month.

The first sailing will be by the POMORZE ZACHODNIE, expected to sail from Amsterdam/IJmuiden June 16-17, and passenger applications are now being accepted.

Bookings will be accepted from Amstredam to (a) either Cleveland or Detroit and (b) either Chicago or Burns Harbor, at the fares as outlined.

Service Outline
PZM Polska Zegluga Morska, Szczecin (Polish Steamship Company)
Amsterdam/Great Lakes Trans-Atlantic Passenger Service
The PZM Great Lakes service features six 26,600-ton bulk carriers engaged in carrying the products of Dutch steelmaker Hoogovens to US Great Lakes ports, usually Cleveland, Detroit and Burns Harbor or Chicago. Each ship features a double Owners Cabin and a single Radio Operators cabin, each en suite and equipped with radio, plus a large airy mess available to the passengers and a swimming pool. However, it is worth remembering these are working ships.

Five 34,600-ton newbuildings will be added to the service over the next several months. Sailings take place approximately every two weeks, March to November. Fares for 1999, including port tax and deviation insurance, will be as follows: Amsterdam (IJmuiden) to Cleveland US$ 995 per person Amsterdam (IJmuiden) to Detroit US$ 995 per person Amsterdam (IJmuiden) to Chicago US $1,095 per person Amsterdam (IJmuiden) to Burns Harbor US $1,095 per person [Important note: The eastbound trade is grain (wheat, corn, soybeans, peas, etc) with about half the ships load at Thunder Bay, Ontario, and the rest loading at Milwaukee, Toledo or Montreal. Destinations are not known until the last minute and can be any of Morocco, Turkey, Spain, Norway or Russia before returning to IJmuiden to load steel again. The unknown destination port makes it difficult to offer a passenger service from the lakes so the intitial passenger service will be westbound only, from Amsterdam/IJmuiden].

Reported by: The Cruise People Ltd

Former Sailor

Adrian Abbott former member S.I.U, employee of Algoma Steel, Patterson Shipping and central railway has deceased as of June 11, 1999.

Condolences may be forwarded to:
584 Southside Road, St. Johns NFLD, 753-3401

Reported by: Mike Abbott

Today in Great Lakes History - June 13

On June 13, 1983, the John B. Aird began its maiden voyage, a load of coal from Thunder Bay to Nanticoke, Ontario.

The IRVING S. OLDS carried a then-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 S.S. 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 damages totaled $10,000 which included a new anchor and shell plating which was completed at the Craig Shipbuilding Co., Toledo, OH.

Data from: Jody L. Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Algobay Severs Lock Light Poles

According to a story in Wednesday's Sault Evening News, the M/V Algobay was heading downbound leaving the Poe Lock at 2:25 am, when she tried to correct a port list by swinging her boom to starboard. Instead, it was sent to port. The boom swung wide enough to shear off six light poles on the pier exiting the lock.

Algobay was stopped by dragging the anchors. The locks were closed for six hours while the Corps of Engineers dredged the channel bottom to eliminate the rubble piles left by the dragging anchors. After a Coast Guard inspection, Algobay was allowed to continue at checked-down speed.

Reported by: Gregg Beukema

Cleveland-Cliffs to Cutback Taconite Production

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. announced June 10 that a slump in the steel market will reduce its second-quarter earnings and result in "significant" cutbacks in taconite production at most of its mines during the second half of the year.

Cliffs blamed the setback on lower iron ore sales and production as well as the delayed start-up of a hot-briquette iron plant in Trinidad and Tobago.

Cliffs operates three taconite mines in northeastern Minnesota -- LTV Steel Mining Co., Northshore Mining Co. and Hibbing Taconite Co. LTV ships its pellets through Taconite Harbor; Northshore ships through Silver Bay; and Hibbing ships through BNSF in Superior. Fleets that call most frequently at these ports (and therefore are more likely to be affected) include Columbia, Interlake and Bethlehem.

The company also operates the Empire and Tilden mines in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. These mines ship pellets through Marquette and Escanaba. In addition, Cliffs operates the Wabush Mine in Wabush, Newfoundland.

WDIO-TV in Duluth reported June 11 that a Cliffs spokesman said the largest production cutbacks might occur at the company's Michigan mines.

"We plan to end 1999 with no more pellet inventory than we had at the start of the year," the company said in a news release. "Therefore, we intend to adjust our production by at least 2.0 million tons in the second half of 1999 to recognize lower sales expectations. It is premature to make any projection as to which mines might be affected by production curtailments, but given the magnitude of the reduction in our sales outlook, significant curtailments are likely at most locations.

Cliffs' iron ore pellet sales in the second quarter are currently expected to be about 2.2 million tons, significantly below the record high 3.9 million tons in the second quarter of 1998.

Full-year sales are expected to be 9.5 to 10 million tons, the company said in a press release. The company sold 12.1 million tons in 1998.

Reported by: Al Miller

Cleveland's Huletts Saved For Now

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported yesterday that the Landmarks Commission voted 6-3 to give the Huletts a 6 month stay of execution. Plans for the Huletts have not been finalized yet, there are a few different proposals for them.

If a final plan is not enacted at the end of the six months Oglebay Norton, who owns the site, may do with them whatever they please

This could include demolishing all of the Huletts. Currently, there are four Huletts on the site.

Reported by: Mike Reindel

Tour Boat on St. Clair River

The "new" tour boat HURON LADY II is now operating out of Port Huron. She was formerly the LADY LUMINA. Please call 810-984-1500 or 888-873-6726 for more information.

Reported by: Norman Eakins

Oglebay to Sell Stock

On Wednesday Oglebay Norton said it has entered a tentative deal to sell the stock of Global Stone Detroit Lime Co. and Global Stone Ingersoll Ltd. for $62 million to Carfin S.A., a unit of Carmeuse Group.

Oglebay will also receive an option to acquire the Carmeuse/Lafarge lime and limestone operations and assets located in San Antonio, Texas.

The sale, which is subject to certain third-party approvals and regulatory filings, is expected to close by July 31, 1999.

Oglebay Norton Company acquired Global Stone Corp. in the second quarter of 1998. At the time, Global Stone had seven lime and limestone operations, including Global Stone Detroit Lime and Global Stone Ingersoll.

Proceeds to Oglebay Norton will be used to reduce debt incurred from recent acquisitions, the company said. Oglebay Norton will not recognize a gain or loss on the sale.

"This transaction is consistent with our financial goals to decrease leverage and to more than double earnings per share from 1998 to 2002," Chief Financial Officer David Kelsey said.

The price recovers its investment in the two facilities and the deal will reduce interest expenses and goodwill amortization, making the deal modestly add to earnings.

Reported by: John Sarns

Would Have Been A Tough One To Top

Stone shipments from U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes ports totaled 4.6 million net tons in May. While this total represents a decrease of 12 percent compared to a year ago, last May's total of 5,206,859 tons is believed to be an all-time record for the trade, so the fall-off is not quite so severe. Stone loadings are being impacted by the lower water levels and a generally slow start to the construction season.

For the season, stone shipments stand at 8.1 million tons, a decrease of 16.2 percent.

Visit the Lake Carriers' Association for complete details

Today in Great Lakes History - June 12

"STUBBY", The bow and stern sections of the STEWART J. CORT welded together passed Port Colborne, Ont. on June 12, 1970 bound for Erie, PA 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 departed Collingwood in 1980 starting her maiden voyage

In 1959 the BENSON FORD 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. Damages amounted to 41 bottom plates which took 30 days to repair.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Jean Parisien Departs Thunder Bay

The Jean Parisien departed the port of Thunder Bay after spending more than 42 days there. She arrived on April 25 and departed on June-5.

She spent one day at Keefer Terminals, one day at Pascol's Shearleg Dock and then entered the drydock on April 27 where she spent 25 days. On May 22 she moved to Keefer Terminals departing there on June 5 bound for Duluth.

Reported by: Ron Konkol

Refiner Rename

The Enerchem Refiner has been renamed Canal Trader by her new owner, Soham Corp, and now flies the flag of Panama

Reported by: Norman Eakins

One more Wagenborg Visitor

In just the past few years, Wagenborg Shipping Bv, of Delfzijl the Netherlands has established itself as a common name in Great Lakes/Overseas Shipping. It's VEERSEBORG is Due into Cleveland on June 25th with a load of steel. This will be her first Great Lakes transit. The VEERSEBORG is interesting, as it is owned by Frank Dahl of Germany, operates under a German flag, but is Chartered by Wagenborg, and wears the Wagenborg paint scheme. The VEERSEBORG, unlike the other Wagenborg ships is almost specifically designed to carry timber. The VEERSEBORG is of the same design as the VECHTBORG, and VLISTBORG which visited the lakes this and Last year. She came out of the shipyards in Foxhol, the Netherlands last year. The VEERSEBORG is 433 ft. long, 52 ft. wide and 31 ft. deep. We welcome another fine ship to the Great Lakes.

Reported by: Chris Franckowiak

Lake Erie Coal Loadings Down Again In May

Coal loadings at Lake Erie ports in May totaled 2,401,064 net tons, a decrease of 8.3 percent compared to the corresponding period last year. For the season, the trade stands at 4,852,513 tons, a decrease of 14.6 percent. While lower water levels are impacting the trade, the decrease also reflects reduced demand from a Canadian utility, at least as the season begins.

May shipments by port were:
Ashtabula - 577,608
Conneaut - 553,151
Sandusky - 578,546
Toledo - 691,759

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association

New Lake Superior Dive Site

According to an article in the 'Lake County News Chronicle", a 37 foot sailboat will be sunk this Saturday at 1:00 (weather permitting) in Beaver Bay Minnesota as a recreational dive site. The Lake Superior Shipwreck Preservation Society, the Dept. of Natural Resources and the City of Beaver Bay will participate in the placement of the boat.

Governor Jesse Ventura has been invited to participate in the first dive to the boat along with the Lake County Search and Rescue.

Reported by: Gregory Gilbert

New question on the Letters to the Editor page.
Do you think the U.S. Government should continue to use our tax dollars for upkeep of the Rivers and Harbors or pass the cost along to the companies that operate the U.S. ships?

Today in Great Lakes History - June 11

ATLANTIC SUPERIOR was float launched 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 in 1977, the MESABI MINER became the fourth thousand foot bulk carrier on the Great Lakes and Interlake's second.

IRVIN L. CLYMER - a) CARL D. BRADLEY (1) cleared Lorain in her gray and white livery, 1917, on her maiden voyage light bound for Calcite, MI 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.

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

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Hope I Underway

The Maltese flagged bulk freighter HOPE I was underway to Quebec City, Quebec yesterday where she will enter a dry-dock and undergo hull repairs before heading to sea. Approximately 500 tons of her wheat cargo was lightered to a barge on Monday in order for the vessel to meet Seaway draft. Inspectors cleared the vessel Monday evening after conducting propulsion & steering tests.

The vessel went aground on June 3rd in Canadian waters near Morrisburg, Ontario. She sustained holes in her forepeak tank and double-bottom tank. The cause of the grounding is being investigated by Transport Canada Marine Safety and the Canadian Transportation Safety Board.

Paul R. Tregurtha cracks a cylinder head

On June 7th, 1999 while unloading at Detroit Edison's St. Clair power plant the engine room crew on the "Queen of the Lakes" was busy replacing a cylinder head. The number 12 cylinder head on the Tregurtha's starboard main engine had cracked. The skilled engine crew had a spare head, took the old one off and replaced it.

Reported by: Scott B. Tomlinson

Tug Dorothy Ann Nearly Finished

Interlake's new tug DOROTHY ANN is nearing completion. On Tuesday, June 8, workers were observed taking supplies on board and painting. DOROTHY ANN now has Interlake's stack and hull colors. Sea trials are tentatively set for this weekend.

Reported by: Rod Burdick

Crewman Falls into cargo Hold

A crewman on the ADAM E. CORNELIUS fell down a cargo hold and struck his head on Tuesday, he was unconscious for 40 minutes. The USCG flight surgeon recommended that the man be evacuated by a medevac via helicopter. A helicopter from Air Station Traverse City transferred the man to EMS in Traverse City. No update on his condition at this time.

Port Washington gets first ship

Monday, June 7 the DAVID Z. NORTON docked in Port Washington, Wisconsin with the first load of coal for the 1999 shipping season. It marked the latest first ship of the season for the diminutive port since 1987 when the FRED R. WHITE JR. took the honors as late as July 27.

Late season starts were common at Port Washington during the 1980's when the local electric generating plant operated mostly on reserve. However, after completion of a major rebuilding in the early 1990's, the utility had been receiving large quantities of coal over the past seven seasons. Often so much coal was required that ships were still delivering coal in January.

In 1998 the last coal load of the season was delivered on December 31. Large coal stockpiles combined with a mild summer and mild winter may have contributed to the late season start in 1999.

Port Washington is a city of nearly 10,000 residents nestled on the shore of Lake Michigan 25 miles north of Milwaukee. In its heyday in the 1950's, the local utility would get upwards of two million tons of coal annually, with often as many as 150 or more deliveries per year in the era of 400-foot self-unloaders, and 500-foot straight deck carriers. The city also would receive petroleum via tankers twelve months out of the year. In an even earlier era, a local chair factory would receive lumber products via ships, and the local fishing industry flourished.

In 1999, the city's once dominant harbor has been reduced to nothing more than a refuge for small boats. There remain a few charter fishing boats, but commercial fishing out of the city disappeared with the mysterious loss of the fishing tug LINDA E. last December. With the exception of the power utility, all of the waterfront industry that once lined the harbor has been totally eliminated. It has been replaced by barren open spaces that will eventually be the site of luxury condominiums, a large hotel, and lots of finger piers.

Reported by: Paul G. Wiening

Today in Great Lakes History - June 10

The OGLEBAY NORTON (a LEWIS WILSON FOY) loaded her first cargo June 10, 1978 at Burlington Northern #5, Superior, WI with 57,952 tons of Hibbing taconite pellets for Burns Harbor, IN. In 1991.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Crew Member Evacuated from Middletown

As the Middletown was underway in the Detroit River Monday a crewman onboard began to experience chest pains and trouble breathing. The 41-foot utility boat from Station Belle Isle responded, once along side the 730-foot freighter, U.S. Coast Guard EMT BM2 Richard Cole boarded the vessel and evacuated a 43 year-old male. The crewman was transported to an ambulance waiting onshore and then admitted to St. Johns Riverview Hospital for observation.

Twin Ports Report

St.Clair, American Mariner and Frontenac are becoming regulars at the DMIR ore dock in Duluth. St. Clair was there again June 7, American Mariner is due back June 11 and Frontenac on the 12th. Also calling at the dock this week are John G. Munson on June 8 and Philip R. Clarke on the 10th.

Although the DMIR ore dock in Two Harbors handles mostly boats from USS Great Lakes Fleet, Indiana Harbor is scheduled to take another load there on June 11.

Fred R. White Jr. -- another vessel seldom seen in he Twin Ports -- is making another trip to the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal on June 10. That will be a busy day because other vessels scheduled to call at the dock that day are Paul R. Tregurtha, Canadian Enterprise and Walter J. McCarthy Jr.

The Cenex-Harvest States elevator in Superior was the busiest grain terminal in the Twin Ports on June 8. Canadian Ranger cleared the elevator shortly after noon with a cargo of corn. The loading berth was immediately claimed by Kinsman Independent to load wheat for Buffalo. Following the Kinsman boat's departure, Bulgarian saltie Milin Kamak is due to call the elevator.

Reported by: Al Miller

Paul H. Townsend at Medusa Dock

Late yesterday afternoon the Paul H Townsend was seen departing the Southdown (Medusa) Cement Dock in Detroit and moving a few hundred feet to the Belle Isle Anchorage. The vessel reported she would be at anchor until sometime after mid-night when the English River was due at the LaFarge Dock (just west of the Southdown Dock). The Townsend was to move to the LaFarge dock and tie up behind the English River.

Slow Stone Trade Produces U.S.-Flag Deficit In April

A 17 percent decrease in stone cargos loaded in U.S. bottoms in April offset par performances in the iron ore and coal trades and produced a 3.5 percent decrease in total U.S.-Flag commerce. This downturn follows a similar decrease in March, so for the season, U.S.-Flag carriage on the Great Lakes has slipped by 6.3 percent to 14,756,701 net tons.

The early-season results are not unexpected. The winter of 1997/1998 was one of the mildest on record and the lack of ice allowed for an early and brisk resumption of the dry-bulk trades. While the winter of 1998/1999 was not extreme, ice conditions were more typical and shipping resumed at more normal dates.

The U.S.-Flag fleet also continues to be affected by the uncertainty that follows 1998's record level of steel imports. While some countries have reduced their steel shipments to the United States, the situation remains troubling. If dumped foreign steel continues to capture a large share of the U.S. market, there will be a season-long impact on Lakes shipping, as it takes approximately 1.3 tons of iron ore (plus quantities of fluxstone and met coal) to produce a ton of steel.

The major U.S.-Flag Lakes lines began April with 51 of their 69 vessels in service, a decrease of nine hulls compared to a year earlier. 12 more vessels were activated during the month, but as of this writing, four U.S.-Flag lakers have yet to see service this year.

Click here for complete details

Brazil curbs steel to avoid tariffs

A story in Tuesday's Detroit News reported that Brazil will tentatively agreed to curb steel exports to the United States to avoid punitive tariffs. Brazil will limit its hot-rolled steel exports to 295,000 metric tons for five years in exchange for a U.S. agreement to end an investigation into allegedly unfair subsidies of its steel industry. U.S. steelmakers, who have opposed such preliminary agreements, had moved to limit the import of hot-rolled steel, which is used to make cars, appliances and other durable goods, from Brazil's Cia. Siderurgica Nacional and Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA earlier this year. Last week, U.S. steelmakers also asked their government to impose duties of as much as 223 percent on steel imports from Brazil, Japan, China and nine other countries as part of an effort to drive cheap foreign steel from the U.S. market.

Tonnage Up In May As More Ships Load At SMET

Loadings of western, low-sulfur coal at Superior Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior, Wisconsin, totaled 1,866,851 net tons in May, an increase of 8.6 percent compared to a year ago. However, water levels continue impact loadings at virtually every Great Lakes dock. In the case of SMET, the dock loaded 40 vessels this May for an average cargo of 46,671 net tons. Last May, SMET loaded 31 ships for an average cargo of 55,469 net tons.

Futher illustrating the impact of low water levels is loadings in 1,000-foot-long vessels. This May the largest cargo loaded at SMET in a 1,000-footer for delivery to a lower Lakes port was 64,035 net tons (but the others were less than 63,500). Last May, the top Head-of-the-Lakes coal cargo at SMET was 67,797 net tons.

For the season, coal loadings at SMET stand at 3,971,385 net tons, an increase of 210,000 tons.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association

Trip for two

This is the third year that, thanks to Algoma Central and Upper Lakes Group, the Children's Aid Society of Huron County is able to raffle off two trips for two on one of their freighters. The money raised goes to send needy children to summer camp through the Sifto Summer Camp for Kids program.

Last year one of the lucky couples took an eight-day trip through the locks and up the St. Lawrence to Quebec. The other couple took a seven-day trip that took them over to Lake Michigan.

The cost of the tickets are $5 (Cnd.) each and the drawing is June 14.

Lakes Freighter Trip
Children's Aid Society of Huron County
R.R. 4 Goderich, Ontario N7A 3Y1
Phone 519-524-7356 or in Ontario 800-265-5198
Click here for more information

Today in Great Lakes History - June 9

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

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

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 break water at Frankfort 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.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Andy Hering, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Hope I to Quebec for Repairs

The Maltese flagged bulk freighter HOPE I was anchored at Morrisburg anchorage yesterday after being refloated Saturday. The vessel reportedly suffered a power loss and grounded Thursday afternoon in Canadian waters just off the town of Morrisburg, Ontario.

The forepeak and No. 1 port double bottom are holed. The vessel was to lighter her cargo of wheat on yesterday in order to meet Seaway draft. Once cleared, she will proceed to dry-dock in Quebec City, Quebec for repairs.

Commerce on Seaway Trails Compared to '98

Commerce is trailing slightly on the St.Lawrence Seaway following last years record season, Seaway Corp Administrator Albert S. Jacquez said on Friday,June 4th in an interview on the eve of his first international trade mission as Seaway Administrator. The Seaway will have a hard time breaking last season's record of 1,476 ocean vessel transits on the system, he said. This year's figures are about 7% off last year's record pace and while Mr Jacquez did not blame any one aspect of the Seaway business for the decline,he said that the numbers could turn around in the remaining 5 months of the shipping season.

Aside from the decline in fee collections that comes with fewer ships, the agency faces another potential financial fallout. Citing the drop in traffic, Mr. Jacquez said a Senate subcommittee trimmed the Seaway Corp's $12.4 million budget request for fiscal 2000 by a million dollars. House budget-writers made no cuts, and the Senate trim is not drastic but if the Senate version prevails,the agency may have to delay some work on its facilities, Mr Jacquez said. Seaway Corp.budgets are normally tied to the amount of business the system handles but vessel traffic alone does not reflect the agency's needs. "Whether it's a thousand ships transitting or 5 hundred, the maintenance still has to be done," Mr Jacquez said.

The Seaway's prosperity relies on iron ore, steel and grains, which account for close to 80% of cargo on the system. Grain alone accounted for a third last year, said spokesman Dennis Deuschl.Steel imports for the automobile industry fueled last year's record, and the system also saw the most grain exports ever. But the steel bubble may burst because U.S.steelworkers and some lawmakers have called for tight new restrictions on imports.

Mr Jacquez said the Seaway is bound to be affected by such restrictions, especially if imports from Russia evaporate. Steel imports from Russia generally arrive through the Seaway, while imports from the other big supplier, Japan,arrive on the West Coast.

Despite the overall decline in ocean vessels, the number of loaded transits--ships that head out of the Seaway fully stocked after delivering goods to the Midwest---is growing. Thanks to Midwest farmers who produced a bumper crop last year. "When you've got full silos, it moves," Mr Jacquez said.

Northern New York ports do not deal much in steel or wheat. The goods they handle, such as crushed stone, zinc and road salt, are generating about as much business as a year ago said Danny L.Duprey, director of the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority.The port of Ogdensburg may even see a business boost this year as shippers discover the harbor is not suffering from the low water levels most of its neighbours see. Water builds up in the port's protected location, Mr.Duprey said.

However this year turns out, Mr Jacquez said, he hopes to generate new business through an eight day trade mission which he began Sunday. He will lead a delegation of U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes executives heading to Norway and Germany. The main point of the trip is to generate interest in building ships for the Great Lakes or in refurbishing old ones. Twelve ships are already in various stages of construction and more than 100 are being refurbished. "I hope we'll be able to say the new builds and things started in the past are still on track," Mr Jacquez said.

Despite years of such trade missions, officials in other countries still have an unclear idea about shipping on the Seaway and the Great Lakes, he said. Some are unaware that the shipping season lasts as long as it does, or that the U.S. and Canada cooperate on inspections, saving time. Others, Mr Jacquez said,"view the Seaway as a black hole, where ships come in, but they don't come out."
Daily Times newspaper Watertown, N.Y.

Reported by: Joan Baldwin

Twin Ports Report

A weekend-long collison of warm, moist air from the south and cold Lake Superior water resulted in several periods of heavy fog. Duluth-Superior harbor was fogbound on the morning of June 7, but tug/barge Atlantic Hickory and Sarah Spencer were visible unloading at the General Mills elevator in Duluth. Also reported at elevators were Canadian Ranger at Cenex and Kinsman Independent at Concourse. The latter two elevators remain the busiest in port this season.

St. Clair was in port, unloading first at Hallett 5 and then shifting to load at the DMIR ore dock in Duluth.

Both George A. Sloan and Calcite II are taking cargoes from Fairport to Buffalo. Sloan is due at Buffalo on June 7, Calcite II on the 9th.

Reported by: Al Miller

New Vessel Passage Page

The Vessel Passage section will now offer information on Foreign Vessels due on the Great Lakes.
Click here to view

Today in Great Lakes History - June 8

1978 the Lewis Wilson Foy ( b) OGLEBAY NORTON ) was christened for the Bethlehem Steel Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1938, the Governor Miller, sistership to the William A. Irvin, began her maiden voyage, leaving Lorain, Ohio. The Governor Miller was only the 2nd Great Lakes vessel to be powered by a steam turbine with a direct drive to the propeller shaft via reduction gear.

1976 - the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal loaded its first cargo of low-sulfur coal. The John J. Boland took the honors as the first vessel to load at this dock.

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

Data from: Jody L. Aho, Andy Hering, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Ship Aground in Seaway May Make It to Montreal

Hope is rising that the ocean going bulk carrier HOPE 1 will be able to complete its journey to Montreal after running aground Thursday afternoon in the St. Lawrence Seaway. The vessel was refloated at 1:45 Saturday afternoon and guided to an anchorage in Morrisburg, Ontario according to Rhonda M. Worden, spokeswoman for the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. The operation went off fairly easily, she said.

The vessel, loaded with wheat, went aground near Morrisburg and sustained holes in its forepeak tank and double-bottom tank. Ms Worden said no cargo was lost from the 617 foot vessel and divers will examine the damage at the anchorage to determine whether the ship can make it to Montreal or whether repairs are needed.

Reported by: Joan Baldwin

New Tax Threatens Lakes Shipping

The Clinton Administration has proposed a Harbor Services User Fee (HSUF) which would replace and expand the existing Harbor Maintenance Tax to not only fund Operation and Maintenance dredging (O&M) of the nation's deepdraft ports and waterways, but also the Federal government's share of new construction projects. This new tax represents an unwarranted increase in the cost of moving cargo . Even with the Supreme Court’s decision to repeal the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) as applied to exports, tax revenue generated by imports and domestic cargos adequately funds the nation’s annual Operation and Maintenance (O&M) dredging requirements. There is no urgent need to institute a new tax. In fact, the problems inherent in developing an alternative to the HMT that meets Constitutional standards and will not distort trade patterns are so gargantuan that the Federal Government must abandon this failed scheme and again fund O&M dredging from General Revenues.

The Administration has proposed a Harbor Services User Fee (HSUF) to replace the existing Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT). The HMT was instituted in 1987 to recover a portion of the cost of Operation and Maintenance (O&M) dredging of the nation’s deep-draft ports and waterways. Prior to 1987, the nation funded O&M dredging and new construction projects from General Revenues.

The HMT originally recovered approximately 40 percent of O&M costs, but the tax was tripled in 1991, ostensibly to fully fund O&M dredging, but revenues raised exceeded expenditures and the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund began to amass a significant surplus.

Following a legal challenge to the HMT, the Supreme Court repealed the tax as applied to exports in 1997. The Administration quickly proposed a Harbor Services User Fee to replace the HMT, but this first proposal was so roundly criticized by shippers, carriers, port authorities, and Congress that it was never formally introduced.

The Administration has now formally introduced the HSUF. The HSUF will not only fund 100 percent of O&M dredging for large commercial ports (and for small harbors whose users are exempt from paying into the HSF), but also, the Federal Government’s share of new dredging projects. (Since 1986, the Federal Government paid 50 to 65 percent of the cost of most new deep-draft dredging projects, with a "local sponsor" funding the remainder.) The tax is projected to raise $950 million annually. The President’s budget for FY2000 proposes to then spend $693 million for O&M dredging ($513 million deep-draft port O&M; $80 million shallow-draft O&M; $100 million offset for ports not needing dredging) and $300 million for new construction projects.

The HSUF fee also represents a complete abdication of the Federal Government’s role in building and maintaining the system of ports and waterways that is so vital to the nation’s economic well-being and national defense capabilities. By volume, more than 95 percent of the nation’s imports and exports move in vessels. Domestic waterborne commerce has grown to more than 1 billion tons a year. There is hardly an American business or citizen who does not benefit from efficient waterborne commerce. In fact, the importance of waterborne commerce to our society was long the rationale for full Federal funding of O&M dredging and new construction projects, and today even more justifies a return to that policy.

The Harbor Services User Fee will significantly increase the cost of moving cargo on the Great Lakes. Since the tax is based on a vessel’s net registered tonnage (n.r.t.) and n.r.t varies even with vessel classes, it is difficult to develop an across-the-board tax for the various commodities, but initial analysis indicates that the HSUF will equate to roughly $0.06 per ton on the iron ore, coal, and stone - the primary commodities moving on the Great Lakes.

The Harbor Maintenance Tax was based on the value of the cargo. With iron ore and coal valued at roughly $30 - $35 a ton, those commodities were taxed at the rate of $0.04 ton. The cost of moving these commodities under the proposed HSF could increase by 50 percent.

The HMT was paid by the shipper (owner or purchaser of the cargo); the HSUF would be paid by the carrier (the vessel owner or operator). The competition among vessel operators and with the railroads has produced low freight rates, but also, extremely thin margins. No vessel operator can completely absorb these additional costs. Yet, while the HSUF should be passed along in the form of higher freight rates, given the depressed state of the primary customer, the steel industry (competing with dumped foreign steel that has depressed prices), it is unlikely that these new taxes can be fully passed along. A major portion of the loss will be borne by the carriers. The balance will lead to increased freight rates and the possibilty that vessels lay-up or are sent to the scrap yard.

The outcome of these higher freight rates is not difficult to determine. It is reported that in at least some trades, the difference between vessel and rail freight rates is just pennies a ton. Those steelmakers and utilities with rail access could well switch to unit train delivery of their raw materials. The environment would bear the brunt of this modal shift. It takes 6-plus 100-car unit trains to deliver one boatload of iron ore or coal carried in a 1,000-foot-long U.S.-Flag laker. The powerplants on locomotives are much less environmentally-friendly than vessels, so emissions into the atmosphere will increase dramatically. [ A study performed by the Great Lakes Commission documents the environmental disadvantages of cargo shifting from water to land. For example, vessels delivering iron ore from Duluth/Superior to Lorain, Ohio use 9.6 million gallons of fuel to deliver 8 million tons in a typical year. Were these cargos to switch to rail, locomotives would burn more than 14 million gallons of fuel.]

Not all consumers have rail access (this is particularly true for steel), so ultimately the final result is higher delivered costs for raw materials. For steelmakers battling dumped foreign steel, these additional costs will only further weaken their ability to maintain marketshare. [ Steel imports to the United States set an all-time record in 1998 - 42 million tons. Much of this steel was dumped (sold below the cost of production). The unfair competition cost 10,000 steelworkers their jobs and shortened the 1998 navigation season for a number of U.S.-Flag lakers.]

The impacts on limestone are even more dramatic. With a value of approximately $6 a ton, limestone is currently taxed at the rate of $0.0075 a ton. The increased costs under the HSUF could rise as much as 500 percent!

Limestone is one of the most widely-consumed raw materials. National Stone Association calculates that, on average, each American uses 8,000 pounds a year. The HSUF will raise the cost of steel (fluxstone is used a purifying agent in the steelmaking process); construction projects such as highways, parking lots..., chemicals, and even commercial grade paper (limestone is used to create the glossy finish on paper).

From our nation’s earliest days until 1987, the United States funded O&M dredging from General Revenues in recognition of the vital role of waterborne commerce. To a degree, we still recognize this principle - Congress appropriates funds to dredge the Inland Waterway System, Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, and Puerto Rico without imposing any tax to recover these expenditures. It is time to level the playing field and return to full Federal funding for O&M on all U.S. waterways. We sould all write our representitives in Washington and ask them to support the Borski/Oberstar bill (H.R. 1260).

Write Your Representative
Write Your Senators

You may also leave your comments on this new tax on the Letters to the Editor page.

For more information visit the Lake Carriers' Association

Special passenger trip to Bob-Lo Island

The Steamer Columbia Foundation has joined with the Great Lakes Maritime Institute to sponsor a special trip to Bob-Lo Island on Saturday, June 19. This special trip aboard the M/V Diamond Belle will Depart Detroit at 9:00 am and includes a steak luncheon on the Island, returning via the old channel passing LaSalle Canada, arriving at Detroit at 4:00 pm.

Tickets are available from the Institute at $75 per person by telephone: 313-852-4051

Today in Great Lakes History - June 7

1958 the Edmund Fitzgerald was launched at Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, MI.

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

Also on June 7, 1977 the MESABI MINER departed the shipyard on her maiden voyage to load ore at Duluth, MN.

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

Data from: Jody L. Aho, Andy Hering, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

More on CSL Web Addess

It seems that Canada Steamship Lines is going to outfit all of their boats with the web address The Manitoulin was at Conneaut, OH Friday afternoon loading coal. The vessel has the web address at the stern, parallel to the stacks.

Reported by: Tony DiLuzio

Today in Great Lakes History - June 6

1944 Joseph H. Thompson participated in the D-Day invasion at Normandy

The E.B. BARBER entered service on June 6, 1953.

In 1953, the Armco began her maiden voyage from Lorain, Ohio bound for Superior, Wisconsin to load iron ore.

On June 6, 1959, the Sarah Spencer (formerly Adam E. Cornelius, Edmund V. Smith, and Sea Barge One) began her maiden voyage from Manitowoc, Wisconsin. This was the last Great Lakes vessel constructed with telescoping hatch covers.

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

CLIFFS VICTORY loaded her first cargo after conversion, she loaded 13,089 gross tons of iron ore at Marquette, MI on June 6th 1951. Her downbound delivery trip to Cleveland, OH took only 38 hours, normally a 55 to 60 hour run for other lakers, and averaged over 13.9 knots (16 mph).

Data from: Jody L. Aho, Andy Hering, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Hope 1 Aground

Divers were back in the St. Lawrence River yesterday trying to discover what caused a 617 foot ocean vessel to go aground. Rhonda M. Worden, spokeswoman for the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., said the bulk carrier Hope 1 went aground Thursday afternoon in Canadian waters near Morrisburg, Ontario which is just across the St. Lawrence from the New York villages of Waddington and Massina.

The vessel was carrying a load of wheat when it grounded causing holes in its forepeak tank and double-bottom tank. The vessel is out of the shipping channel and poses no threat to the environment, Ms Worden said.

Underwater inspectors were expected to be on the scene yesterday morning to determine the extent of the damage. The cause of the grounding is not yet known. "It was probably something mechanical. We just know the vessel reported losing power," Ms. Worden said. The cause of a previous grounding of the tanker Sunny Blossom, carrying caustic soda, just as it was leaving the St Lawrence River and entering Lake Ontario April 24th has also not been released to the public.

Reported by: Joan Baldwin

Twin Ports Report

Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw remains in drydock at Fraser Shipyards, tentatively due out on July 1. Large, blue tarpaulins have been stretched out from the ship's stern quarters like skirts, presumably so workers can continue working during the rain.

Lee A. Tregurtha is due at Taconite Harbor on June 5 and Armco is expected at Silver Bay the same day.

American Mariner is scheduled to make another trip to Duluth to load taconite pellets on June 10.

Reported by: Al Miller

Bridge Closure Delays Shipping

Early Wednesday evening the Conrail #5 Bridge over Calumet River in Illinois was stuck in the closed position due to a mechanical failure. Vessels affected by closure were the Joseph H Frantz, Southdown Challenger and the Lee A. Tregurtha. Delays to local tug traffic are not known.

Thursday afternoon temporary repairs were made allowing one span to open and vessel traffic to resume. Estimates called for a permanent repair to be completed by today.

Damaged Gate Slows Traffic

This page reported in March that cracks discovered in the reinforced structure around MacArthur Lock's outer gates at the Soo would force restrictions in its use through out the season.

Ross Ruehle reports how those restrictions are affecting traffic. They are now using only the inner gates, this is creating a problem for downbound vessels in the 730' x 75' range. Vessels now must stop before the boom, raise the boom and then winch the vessel in very close to the inner gates. Getting them positioned just right appears to be a real trick. Many captains are requesting to use the Poe Lock due to the delays this procedure causing. The Lock cannot be repaired until the end of the shipping season.

Future of Tug unknown

The tug Argue Martin has had a long and storied career, but that career may soon be coming to an end. The 104 year old tug riveted hull tug is tentatively slated for decommissioning this winter.

She started life in 1895 as the Ethel, built in Sorel Qc by Sincennes McNaughton Line of Montreal. She was sold to Russell Construction in 1926 and her name was changed to R.C. Co. Tug No. 1. In 1939 her name was again changed by the same owner to R.C.L. Tug No. 1, under this name she was converted from diesel to steam in 1956. Russell sold her to the Hamilton Harbour Commissioners in 1962 and her name was again changed, this time she was to known as the Argue Martin. The new name was for a famous Hamilton Citizen, who was variously a; Harbour Commissioner, a Lawyer and a renowned Amateur Athlete. In 1967 she was sold to Evans McKeil Work Boats Limited, whom maintained this illustrious (if unusual) name. This is likely to be her last name for although the company that owns her is now known as McKeil Marine Limited, the Argue Martin is sadly approaching the end of her career.

I am hoping that through the web this historic tug can be saved from scrapping. If you know of an organization that may be interested in the tug please e-mail, we may be able to convince McKeil Marine Limited to save the vessel.

Reported by: N. Schultheiss

Today in Great Lakes History - June 5

1972 the ROGER BLOUGH was christened

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

On June 5, 1979, the Cartiercliffe Hall (later Winnipeg and now Algontario) caught fire on Lake Superior off the Keweenaw Peninsula just before 4:00 a.m. Six crewmembers died in the fire, and the U.S. Steel bulk freighter Thomas W. Lamont was able to rescue others from the Cartiercliffe Hall.

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

LIGHTSHIP 103 (HURON) had her keel laid June 5, 1918. In 1971 the lightship was acquired by the City of Port Huron for use as a museum.

Data from: Jody L. Aho,Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Twin Ports Report

Fred R. White Jr. made a rare appearance in the Twin Ports on June 2 when it loaded at Midwest Energy Terminal. Fred R. White Jr. was scheduled to takes its coal cargo to Taconite Harbor, unload it at the power plant and then load pellets bound for Lorain.

It was followed by Canadian Enterprise. Also due in this week are Walter J.McCarthy Jr. and Paul R. Tregurtha, both on June 4, and Canadian Transport and Oglebay Norton, both on the sixth.

The DMIR ore docks are getting a few interesting callers. Indiana Harbor is due at Two Harbors on June 4 to load after the Edgar B. Speer. DMIR in Duluth is expecting James R. Barker on June 4, St. Clair on June 6 and Frontenac on June 12. St. Clair has made several trips to Duluth and Superior for taconite pellets this season.

Arthur M. Anderson made an unusual call in Silver Bay on June 2 to load pellets for Ashtabula. John G. Munson is on a Green Bay shuttle this week. It unloads there June 3, then loads at Port Inland the same day and returns to Green Bay on the fourth. George A. Sloan loads at Alabaster June 3 with cargo for Buffalo on June 5. Myron C. Taylor was due back at Carrollton on June 3.

The saltie Lijnbaansgracht arrived at the Duluth port terminal June 3 to unload machinery.

Reported by: Al Miller

Coal in Milwaukee

The parade of Interlake boats delivering coal to Milwaukee continued June 2 when the Elton Hoyt 2nd arrived Tuesday afternoon.

Traffic patterns since the early 1980's had Ogelbay Norton vessels bringing coal from Ashtabula to Milwaukee for Wisconsin Electric. The primary carrier being the Middletown. Interlake now back hauls the coal up from Chicago.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

Port Stanley Coal Boat Soon to arrive

The Cuyahoga is scheduled to arrive with 10,500 net tons of coal on June 11 for Lakes terminals and Warehousing on the East pier. This will be the first shipment of coal this year do to the low water levels. Lakes Terminals has not been loading coal for the last 6 months,and are looking forward on seeing the first shipment out of seven that well be coming.

Reported by: Richard Hill

Web Adress Afloat

The Atlantic Huron is also sporting the CSL web address ( in a similar position as the CSL Niagra is going to sport. A white placard just below the pilothouse advertising CSL's web site.

Reported by: Dan Sweeley and Jody L. Aho

Alex Meakin

Dr. Alexander Meakin, former president of the Great Lakes Historical Society and author of several books, including a history of the Great Lakes Towing Co. and also a history of the Wilson fleet, died Wednesday, June 2nd. Services will be at Old Stone Church in Cleveland at 11:00 or 11:30 on Monday, June 7th.

Reported by: Al Hart

Today in Great Lakes History - June 4

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

Cliffs Victory sailed on her maiden voyage light from South Chicago in 1951


The EDGAR B. SPEER was christened June 4th 1980 at Lorain for the Connecticut Bank & Trust Co., Hartford, CT, managed by the Great Lakes Fleet of the United States Steel Corp., Duluth, MN.

In 1988, the Irving S. Olds departed Duluth under tow, headed for scrap.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

New Dredge New York under tow

The new dredge New York departed its builders yard at Bay Ship on Thursday May 27 under tow of the 2,000 hp tug Holly Ann under the command of Capt. Jim Ryerse of Holly Marine. The 37 million dollar dredge is equipped with three 120 foot, 8 foot square walking spuds, a 30 ton service crane, and a 3,000 hp Liebherr 996 backhoe with a 27 yard bucket. There is a large galley, but no living quarters on the dredge which is designed to operate with a crew of four. The tow arrived at the Lake Huron Cut about 1000 on Monday May 31 where the tow was assisted by the 2,000 hp Gaelic Tug Patricia Hoey under the command of Capt. Bill Cline down the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, and the Detroit River. The Patricia Hoey was released early Tuesday morning below Detroit River Light with the Holly Ann Towing. The tug Caribe Challenger is waiting at Buffalo to take over the tow through the Seaway System to New York City, where the dredge is assigned to an over 200 million dollar dredging job for Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co.

Reported by: D.J.Tugnut

June 1 Vessel Report

The major U.S.-Flag Lakes lines had 63 of their 69 vessels in service on June 1, in total, the same as a year before. However, the dry-bulk fleet was down by two hulls (EDWARD L. RYERSON and JOHN J. BOLAND).

In addition to the previously-mentioned vessels, also inactive so far this season are the cement carrier E. M. FORD and the straight-decker KINSMAN ENTERPRISE.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association

Lijnbaansgracht Clears St. Clair River

The LIJNBAANSGRACHT cleared the St. Clair river upbound at about 11a.m. on June 1 carrying a deck cargo looking much like the large fermenting tanks that she unloaded at Port Stanley. She is an identical twin to the LOOIERSGRACHT that paid her first visits to the Lakes last year.

George Wharton reports that the 8 fermenting tanks were delivered to the Labatt brewery in London, ON yesterday. The trip from Port Stanley to London made the TV newscasts and caused the expected traffic disruptions. Each tank was reported to be 24 feet in diameter, 68 feet long, weighing approx. 100,000 lbs.

The vessel is due in Duluth sometime June 3 for loading limestone.

Reported by: Norman Eakins and George Wharton.

CSL Niagara sports web address

The CSL Niagara, under construction at Port Weller Dry Docks now has the Canada Steamship Lines web address ( painted on a large white placard. The placard appears to be attached to the handrails behind the wheelhouse near the stacks. It is unknown if she will have the web address painted on the sides of her hull like fleet mate Atlantic Erie.

As of Tuesday the hull's paint job is nearly complete, the self unloading boom is on deck but not connected to the cabins.

Reported by: Tony DiLuzio

U of M flag at the Soo

Seen upbound at the Soo Locks Wednesday was the steamer Buckeye proudly flying a University of Michigan Wolverines flag from a staff to the port side of her pilothouse. It would be too much to hope for that the M/V Wolverine is flying an Ohio State Buckeyes flag.

Reported by: Roger LeLevre

SS City of Milwaukee opens for tours

The former Grand Trunk Western/Ann Arbor railroad ferry SS City of Milwaukee opened for public tours on Memorial Day. 32 people toured the ferry, now berthed at Elberta, Michigan. The SPCM recently received a $5,000 grant for using the ship as a "floating classroom". Additional grants are being sought for the $621,000 restoration project. For more information check out or call (616) 882-9688.

Hulett Theme Park?

Last Sunday's "The Plain Dealer" (Cleveland) outlined a preliminary proposal for a new Canal Basin Park. The park, which would be located near the Carter Road Bridge over the Cuyahoga, would feature two of the four Whiskey Island Hullet unloaders. It would also contain a re-constructed lock and canal basin replicating the north end of former Ohio and Erie Canal, which once ran from Cleveland to the Ohio River.

At this point, only a concept has been developed. No funding or City approvals have been secured. The preliminary cost estimate is $30 Million with $10 million allocated for moving and restoring the Huletts.

Noticably absent from the article was any mention of the museum ship William G. Mather.

Reported by: Tom Hynes

Bridge Walking Events

The Celebrating International Friendship Weekend at the Soo:
2 July - Tug Boat Parade through the Soo Locks.
3 July - Walk the International Bridge.
Starts at 8:00 am at the Lake Superior State University Norris Center on the Michigan side and ends at Bondar Park in Ontario. 3.5 miles. Buses carry walkers back to the starting line. For more details, call the Sault CVB at 800/MI-SAULT or visit its website at

Blue Water Bridge Walk. August 7 (9:00 am - 3:00 pm). Walkers enter and exit from the U.S. side and can walk the entire span - 1.5 miles. August 8 (8:00 am - 5:00 pm) the walk starts and ends on the Canadian side. For more information, contact the Blue Water Area CVB at 800/852-4242 or the Sarnia Lambton CVB at 800/265-0316.

The 42nd annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk. September 6. This is a 5 mile hike. Starts at 7:00 am in St. Ignace. Cutoff time for leaving is 11:00 am. Buses transport walkers back to the starting line. For more info, contact the St. Ignace Area CVB at 800/338-6660,, or Mackinaw Area Tourist Bureau at 800/666/0160,

Bring your camera and you may have the chance to take a photo as ships pass underneath.

Reported by: Joe Barr

Laker Graces New Jones Act Brochure

The Maritime Cabotage Task Force, the national coalition promoting the Jones Act and other U.S. cabotage laws, recently published a brochure highlighting the many benefits of a U.S.-Flag fleet in domestic commerce. (Lake Carriers' Association is a founding member of MCTF and LCA President George J. Ryan serves on MCTF's Board of Directors.) The new brochure is titled America's Jones Act Fleet: Always The Pacesetter For Waterborne Commerce. To represent the Lakes Jones Act fleet, the brochure uses a beautiful evening shot of the BUCKEYE unloading at Ashtabula, Ohio. To see the new brochure and learn more about U.S.-Flag shipping throughout the nation, click here.

Today in Great Lakes History - June 3

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

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

The PATERSON (1) entered service on June 3, 1954 with 440,000 bushels of wheat from Port Arthur.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Salty Garbage

Port officials and people who work with the salties in Duluth are looking for a new way to handle the vessels' garbage, according to the June 1 Duluth News-Tribune.

Under federal law, all garbage discarded by foreign ships must be incinerated or saturated with steam to kill any pests or diseases it might contain. For many years, garbage from ships calling in the Twin Ports was sent to the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District, which burned or steamed the garbage. At the end of June, however, the sanitary district will shut down its big incinerators, eliminating this service.

Port officials and others are looking at several possible alternatives, primarily using steam from Duluth's downtown steam district generating plant or with a local industry that uses steam.

Because of the strict regulations, many Great Lakes ports cannot allow salties to unload their trash. Duluth officials say it's vital to continue garbage-removal service here because of the Twin Ports' long-standing tradition as a full-service port and to eliminate the possibility that some garbage may get dumped into the lakes.

Reported by: Al Miller

CSL President optimistic about future of Great Lakes shipping

(Hamilton, Ont.) - June 1, 1999 - In a speech yesterday to the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Canada Steamship Lines President Ray Johnston emphasized that the shipping industry in Canada has embraced new technology and responded to changing trade patterns, but it continues to be hampered by the slow pace of change at the government level.

"As users of the Seaway, our primary goal is to remain competitive by making the system more effective than it has ever been," said Johnston. "We need government to work quickly to remove barriers to achieving this goal and to act with the same vision for this great waterway that existed 40 years ago when it first opened."

"Our customers have been forced to make enormous changes in the way that they run their operations in order to compete in the global economy," said Johnston. "Our challenge has been to also adapt to this global competition by operating more efficiently right here in our own backyard."

Johnston told the audience of business leaders that extensive high-tech innovations have been incorporated aboard CSL ships. He cited new global satellite positioning systems as just one example. "Thanks to these incredibly precise aids, our Captains can make more informed navigational decisions and have more time to devote to other essential ship-management tasks," said Johnston.

The development of Hamilton's steel industry is closely tied to shipping, said Johnston. CSL ships deliver more than 4 million tons of raw material each year to Stelco, its biggest customer, at their Hilton Works site. CSL ships make 160 trips into Hamilton Harbour each year, and CSL spends approximately $15 million annually on goods and services from Hamilton-area businesses.

CSL controls the largest fleet of self-unloading vessels in the world and handles annual bulk cargo movements totaling 30 million tonnes.

Visit the Canada Steamship Lines home page for complete information

April Lake Erie Coal Trade Down 175,000 Tons

Revised April Coal report
Coal loadings at Lake Erie ports totaled 2,144,132 net tons in April, a decrease of roughly 175,000 tons compared to the corresponding period last year. For the season, the Lake Erie coal trade stands at 2,451,449 net tons, a decrease of 615,000 tons.

April shipments by port were:
Ashtabula - 515,088
Conneaut - 529,828
Sandusky - 488,137
Toledo - 611,079

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association

Marine Mart

This Saturday, June 5 is the annual Lake Huron Lore Marine Society Flea Market held at the Port Huron Museum from 10am - 3pm. Please call (810) 982-0891 for more information.

Today in Great Lakes History - June 2

In 1973 the SYLVANIA, downbound light in fog, collided with the FRANK PURNELL just north of the Detroit River Light at 0523 hours. The SYLVANIA suffered minor bow damage and went to Toledo for repairs.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Cargo for Labatts

The Netherlands registered vessel Lijnbaansgracht arrived in Port Stanley late Sunday or yesterday morning to unload deck cargo of large fermenting tanks from Europe directly onto extended drop-deck trailers for furtherance by truck convoy to Labatt Breweries in London, ON.

It is reported that the cost to transport the cargo to London, ON. from Port Stanley will be more than the cost to ship them from Europe. The operation will require a police escort and power lines to be lifted, it is 27 miles from Port Stanley to London.

The vessel is due in Duluth sometime June 3 for loading limestone.

Reported by: George Wharton and Richard Hill

Agawa Canyon Visits Manistee

On Sunday the Agawa Canyon made the first tug-assisted entry and departure of a laker into Manistee ever. She arrived and departed with the Selvick Marine tug JIMMY L at her stern acting as a second rudder. There was no explanation why a tug was needed but it is reported that due to some special circumstances it was necessary. The CANYON was drawing about 22 feet at the stern and the Manistee river is only 23 feet deep, minus the low water. Chris Franckowiak reports that she touched bottom in between Manistee's two bridges, and there was no damage. The AGAWA CANYON arrived with a load of slag from Nanticoke, Ontario for the Seng dock.

Reported by: Chris Franckowiak

Tight turn in Goderich

The tugs Dover & Debbie Lyn were magnificent in escorting the Capt. Henry Jackman into Goderich dock Saturday afternoon. There is not enough room for the 730' vessel to turn inside the harbor. She had to be turned outside the break walls in front of at least 200 shipwatchers. It was also the Salmon Derby of Kincardine and there were many fishermen and pleasure craft.

Reported by: Larry Leverenz

Ferry to Georgian Bay

The ferry Sandy Graham passed up past Detroit Sunday on her way to her new home in Georgian Bay. The ferry spent the winter in Port Maitland, she came to Lakes in December from North Carolina.

Diamond Jack opens 9th Season

Detroit's own riverboat tour begins its regular scheduled sailing's on June 1. The historic 1955 built Diamond Jack sails every day except Mondays three times per day from Hart Plaza at 2:00, 4:00, and 6:00 PM during the summer months. Tickets for these tours can be bought right on the boat for $12 for adults, with discounts for senior citizens and children. The "Jack" has been sailing on special student field trips of the Detroit River since May 1 with her sister vessels Diamond Belle and Diamond Queen. A good way for ship fans to see what's going on.

Click here to visit the Diamond Jack web site

Today in Great Lakes History - June 1

In 1943 the IRVING S. OLDS collided with the 524 foot steamer CHARLES O. JENKINS in heavy fog 28 miles northeast of Cleveland on Lake Erie and was holed eight feet above the water line. The OLDS was able to help the badly damaged JENKINS back to Cleveland by lashing the two vessels together. After a grueling seven hours the JENKINS was beached in the outer harbor to prevent her from sinking further. The OLDS was repaired in time to carry a then-record 17,817 gross tons of iron ore on June 13, 1943

In 1952 the J.L. Mauthe was launched at Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, MI.

The WHITEFISH BAY, loaded with 950,000 bushels of spring wheat, was cited as she carried the billionth metric ton of cargo through the Eisenhower Lock in 1983.

JOSEPH S. YOUNG (2) Launched June 1, 1907 as a) WILPEN for the Shenango Steamship Co., a subsidiary of Shenango Furnace Co., Cleveland, OH.

The H. LEE WHITE departed Sturgeon Bay light on her maiden voyage June 1, 1974 to load iron ore at Escanaba, MI for Indiana Harbor, IN.

June, 1958 The Ann Arbor #6 was taken out of service for extensive refitting. she was renamed Arthur K. Atkinson.

June 1, 1902 While northbound for Manistque, AA No. 1 went aground in a heavy fog about noon on South Manitou Island, but was able to free herself and proceeded undamaged.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
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