Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

U.S. Flag Cargo Movement on Lakes Up Slightly in June

7/31 - Cleveland - The U.S.-Flag Great Lakes fleet moved 11.4 million net tons of cargo on the Great Lakes in June, an increase of about 80,000 tons compared to a year ago. The June float was, however, 220,000 tons below the month’s 5-year average.

Higher water levels have helped increase payloads, but the dredging crisis remains real. Vessels transiting the St. Marys River, for example, were able to load another 10-12 inches deeper than a year ago, but were still losing more than a foot of draft compared to 1997, a period of near recordhigh water levels. As a result, while top cargos this June were roughly 2,000 tons greater than a year ago, the month’s largest cargos were still 5,000 tons or more below what vessels were able to carrying during the period of high water.

For the year, U.S.-Flag carriage stands at 39.1 million tons, a slight decrease from a year ago, but more than 700,000 tons off the 5-year average from the first half of the year.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 16 American corporations that operate 63 U.S.-Flag vessels on the Great Lakes. These vessels carry the raw materials that drive the nation’s economy: Iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, limestone, and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation.... Collectively, these vessels can transport more than 115 million tons of cargo a year when high water levels offset lack of adequate dredging.

Reported by: Lake Carrier's Association

 

Port Reports - July 31

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Wednesday evening the Saginaw loaded taconite at the Upper Harbor ore dock.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Tug Samuel De Champlain with the barge Innovation departed from the Lafarge Cement Dock early Wednesday morning bound for Alpena, Michigan. The tug Sea Service with the barge Energy 6506 was at the B-P Dock. The tug Wilf Seymour with her barge was at the Midwest Terminals Dock. The Manistee was at the Midwest Terminals Dock. The Michipicoten was at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock unloading stone. The Philip R. Clarke was at the CSX Docks loading coal. Cuyahoga was inbound the Toledo Ship Channel Wednesday evening and was bound for one of the grain elevators to load grain.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the Philip R. Clarke making a return visit Thursday evening. H. Lee White Friday morning. The Herbert C. Jackson Saturday morning. Algosoo Sunday morning followed by the Lee A. Tregurtha, Calumet and Philip R. Clarke on Tuesday. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Dock has the Capt. Henry Jackman, Atlantic Erie, and Algomarine due in Saturday, followed by the CSL Assiniboine on Tuesday.

Toronto - Frank Hood
Stephen B Roman departed Toronto on Tuesday.

 

Windsor-Detroit commuter ferry

7/31 - The Windsor Port Authority is holding preliminary discussions with the largest commuter ferry operator in the United States that is seeking to begin a commuter service across the Detroit River. WPA chairman Charlie Pingle said the proposed inland marina for Windsor's downtown west side would make a perfect terminus for such a service but that, depending on negotiations, a Windsor-Detroit commuter ferry run could begin a lot sooner.

Reported by: The Windsor Star

 

Updated Local Notice to Mariners

The USCG District Nine Local Notice to Mariners is now available for download at this link

 

Updates - July 31

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 31

On this day in 1948, in a total elapsed time of 19 hours, the JAMES DAVIDSON of the Tomlinson fleet unloaded 13,545 tons of coal at the Berwind Dock in Duluth and loaded 14,826 tons of ore at the Allouez Dock in Superior.

On this day in 1955, Al A. Wolf, the first Chief Engineer of a Great Lakes freighter powered by a 7,000 hp engine, retired as Chief Engineer of the WILFRED SYKES. Chief Wolf started as an oiler on the POLYNESIA in 1911, became Chief Engineer in 1921, and brought out the SYKES in 1948.

Sea trials took place for the JAMES R BARKER this day in 1976. She was to become Interlake's first 1000 footer and the flag ship of the fleet for Moore Mc Cormack Leasing, Inc. (Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio, mgr.). She was built at a cost of more than $43 million under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970. She was the third thousand footer to sail on the Lakes and the first built entirely on the Lakes.

On July 31, 1974, as the Liberian vessel ARTADI approached the dock at Trois RiviŹres, Que. where she damaged the docked GORDON C LEITCH's stern.

The CEDARBRANCH was damaged and sunk by an explosion on July 31, 1965, several miles below Montreal, Quebec resulting in a loss of one life. Repaired and lengthened in 1965, she was renamed b.) SECOLA in 1978, and c.) KITO MARU in 1979, and scrapped at Brownsville, Texas in 1985.

On 31 July 1849, ACORN (wooden schooner, 84 foot, 125 tons, built in 1842, at Black River, Ohio) was struck amidships by the propeller TROY near West Sister Island in Lake Erie. She sank quickly, but no lives were lost since all hands made it to the TROY.

On 31 July 1850, AMERICA (wooden side-wheeler, 240 foot, 1,083 tons, built in 1847, at Port Huron, Michigan) suffered a boiler or steam pipe explosion while sailing on Lake Erie. The explosion immediately killed nine persons and scalded others who died later. The vessel was repaired and sailed for three more seasons.

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

 

Compromise ensures cruise ship will have smooth sailing into Duluth next year

7/30 - Duluth - Concerns that security issues could sink plans to offer a cruise service between Duluth and Toronto before it ever left the dock appear to be quelled.

The Clelia II, a 290-foot cruise ship capable of carrying 100 passengers, should enjoy smooth sailing between Ontario and Minnesota next year, courtesy of a plan to temporarily use part of the Great Lakes Aquarium as a passenger-processing facility.

“We haven’t got a final plan yet, but we’re getting close,” said Ron Johnson, trade development director for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

Jack LaVoy, executive director of the aquarium, said the passenger center could provide some welcome additional revenue for the museum while also opening the door for international cruising to and from the Twin Ports.

“We hope this is the beginning of what could become many cruises,” he said.

Travel Dynamics International, a New York-based cruise provider, aims to make 14 voyages between Duluth and Toronto next year, selling the trip as a one-way seven-day excursion. The per-passenger cost of the cruise will range from $5,600 for standard accommodations to $10,700 for a penthouse.

Concerns about the logistics of the service stem from problems encountered by the MV Columbus last fall. The German-flagged vessel was en route for Chicago but had to change its itinerary when U.S. Homeland Security officials determined the city lacked a marine terminal with appropriate security and screening facilities to receive foreign travelers. Efforts to reroute the ship to Duluth or Milwaukee also were rejected, as neither city met new federal standards, calling for a registered US-VISIT terminal, complete with baggage-screening equipment, biometric controls and other types of security.

Ultimately, passengers aboard the Columbus were forced off the vessel and onto a bus that took them to an established border crossing, where they could clear U.S. Customs before entering the country and reboarding their ship.

As eager as he was to avoid a similar snarl, Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, contends he couldn’t justify spending millions of dollars to build a marine passenger terminal to new federal standards on the basis of a single ship.

“We would need to see multiple callings,” he said, adding that the Great Lakes cruise industry must have a chance to grow.

“An if-you-build-it-they-will-come approach is not going to work,” Johnson said.

Johnson gives much of the credit for a temporary solution to Rep. Jim Oberstar and Sen. Norm Coleman. “We’ve had excellent cooperation from both of their offices, and we’re very appreciative of their efforts,” he said. Jackie Morris, district director for Oberstar, participated in ongoing discussions among officials from the Port Authority, the Coast Guard, the Border Patrol and the aquarium, which led to a tentative agreement that would enable the Clelia II to launch its Toronto-Duluth service next year. “Our office is here to help cut through the red tape in situations like this,” she said.

For his part, Coleman praised the one-year accommodation, saying: “This compromise agreement, providing for a temporary cruise ship facility in Duluth is great news and will allow the city to participate in and benefit from the development of a cruise industry on the Great Lakes.”

U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Michael Lebsack said the temporary plan to use the aquarium as a passenger-processing facility should allow Duluth to test the market as a destination for international cruise ships.

“It would be preferable to eventually have a stand-alone facility, but the downside for Duluth is that it’s really a fledgling in the world of cruising, and it makes more economic sense to use an existing multiple-purpose building right now,” he said.

Reported by: Duluth News Tribune

 

USS Freedom Sea Trials

7/30 - As reported on Monday, a new type of ship is undergoing sea trials on Lake Michigan. The Littoral Combat Ship Freedom put to sea for the first time Monday, allowing the builder to run tests on various systems, initially in Green Bay and then in open waters of Lake Michigan.

After that, the 378-foot ship will return to Marinette Marine to be prepared for acceptance trials to be run by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey.

Plans call for the ship to be commissioned in Milwaukee, delivered to the Navy later this year and based at San Diego as its home port. The ship has been designed and built by an industry team led by Lockheed Martin, with Marinette Marine as one of the builders.

 

Port Reports - July 30

Duluth/ Superior - Al Miller
James R. Barker departed Duluth about 7 a.m. Tuesday after loading at Midwest Energy Terminal with coal destined for the power plant at Presque Isle. St. Clair was due next at the dock on Tuesday to load for Nanticoke. American Mariner was unloading stone at the CLM dock in Superior. After that it was due to load at Midwest Energy Terminal with coal bound for Milwaukee. Although the HSC grain elevator had some railcar traffic earlier in the week, the dearth of salties loading grain continues.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Tuesday afternoon at the Upper Harbor ore dock, Herbert C. Jackson loaded taconite and departed as fleetmate James R. Barker arrived to unload western coal for the WE Presque Isle Power Plant.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Wilfred Sykes delivered another load to Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg Tuesday afternoon. Inbound it passed the U.S. Coast Guard cutters Mackinaw and Biscayne Bay that arrived on Monday and will remain docked at Government Basin for ship tours and festivities as part of the Grand Haven Annual Coast Guard Festival.

Toronto - Frank Hood
Stephen B Roman arrived back in Toronto Sunday night.

Buffalo - Brian W.
Sunday the tug Barbara Andrie and barge A-397 were ready to depart the Noco Product Terminal at 7 p.m..

Rochester, NY - Tom Brewer
The tug Evans McKeil pushed the barge Metis into Rochester, NY about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday with another load of bulk cement from Picton, Ontario.

 

Algoma Central Corporation – Looking For Shipboard Officers

7/30 - Algoma Central Corporation has a proud history as a Canadian Corporation, incorporated in 1899. For 2007 revenues were $581 million with assets of over $534 million. The Corporation has grown steadily and has a modern fleet of 23 vessels with an additional two to be delivered later this year, making it the largest Canadian-flagged ship owner on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway. Our ocean dry-bulk shipping operations include three bulk carriers and two self-unloaders as well an interest in five additional self-unloading vessels through a joint venture. The Corporation operates one ocean product tanker with five more on order. Through Fraser Marine & Industrial the Corporation provides diversified ship repair, diesel engine repair services and fabrication services to ship owners and industrial customers throughout the Great Lakes- St. Lawrence Waterway. The Corporation, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, also owns and manages commercial real estate properties in Sault Ste. Marie, St. Catharines and Waterloo, Ontario. Our workforce consists of approximately 1,400 employees, most of whom are organized under three unions.

Algoma Central is in need of qualified junior and senior deck and engineering officers to work on our domestic dry bulk fleet.

In order to be considered, candidates must possess a minimum certificate of Watchkeeping Mate – Unrestricted for deck positions or 4th Engineer – Motor Certificate for engineering positions.

If you are interested in a seagoing career with Algoma Central, please submit your resume in confidence to:

Human Resources Department
Algoma Central Corporation
63 Church Street, Suite 600
St. Catharines, ON L2R 3C4
Fax: (905) 687-7841
Email: careers@algonet.com

Algoma Central Corporation encourages applications from designated group members identified under the Federal Employment Equity Act.

We wish to thank all applicants in advance, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

 

Updates - July 30

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 30

July 30, 1996 - CSL's self-unloader H M GRIFFITH, which was off Whitefish Bay in Lake Superior, and bound for Nanticoke, Ontario with a load of 22,775 tons of western coal, has a spontaneous combustion fire in her number 2 cargo hold. Water was used to cool the fire and the GRIFFITH used her unloading boom to dump 3,000 tons of coal into Lake Superior. After an inspection by the USCG at the Soo the following day, revealed only minor damage, the vessel was cleared to proceed on her journey. Reconstructed and renamed b.) RT HON PAUL J MARTIN in 2000.

This "News Page" on this site was "launched" in 1996, reporting the coal fire aboard the GRIFFITH.

The GORDON C LEITCH (Hull#36) was launched July 30, 1952, at Midland, Ontario by Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd. for the Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation Co. Ltd., Toronto, Ontario.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ice Breaker C.C.G.S. ALEXANDER HENRY entered service July 30, 1959. Since 1985, the HENRY serves as a museum in Kingston, Ontario.

On 30 July 1871, the 162 foot bark HARVEY BISSELL was carrying lumber from Toledo to Tonawanda, New York. When she was on the Western end of Lake Erie, she sprang a leak. Although the crew worked the hand powered pumps constantly, the water kept gaining at a rate of about a foot an hour. The tug KATE WILLIAMS took her in tow, intending to get her to Detroit to be repaired, but this proved impossible. So the BISSELL was towed close to Point Pelee and allowed to sink in 14 feet of water. The WILLIAMS then left for Detroit to get steam pumps and other salvage equipment. On returning, they pumped out the BISSELL, refloated and repaired her. She lasted until 1905.

On 30 July 1872, the Port Huron Dry Dock launched SANDY, a lighter. Her dimensions were 75 feet x 20 feet x 5 feet.

On 30 July 1873, George Hardison of Detroit announced the beginning of a new shipyard in Port Huron, Michigan. It would be located above the 7th Street Bridge on the Black River on land owned by J. P. Haynes, accessible by River Street. Within 30 days of this announcement, the new yard had orders for two canalers three-and-aft rig for delivery in the Spring of 1874. Their dimensions were to be 146 feet overall, 139 feet keel, 26 foot beam and 11 foot 6 inches depth.

On 30 July 1866, CITY OF BUFFALO (wooden propeller, 340 foot, 2,026 tons, built in 1857, at Buffalo, New York as a side-wheeler) was unloading 72,000 bushels of wheat at the Sturgis Elevator at Buffalo, New York when arsonists set fire to the complex. The fire destroyed the wharf, the elevator, several businesses and the ship. The arsonists were caught. Incidentally, the CITY OF BUFFALO was converted from a passenger side-wheeler to a propeller freighter during the winter of 1863-64. After the conversion, she was dubbed "the slowest steam-craft on the Lakes".

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

 

Speeding freighters fined $3,000

7/29 - Two lake freighters caught traveling above the speed limit in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers were each fined $3,000 in Sarnia court recently.

Lawyers representing their owners entered guilty pleas to the offences, which stemmed from Canadian Coast Guard monitoring of ship traffic. The Federal Maas, managed by a Hong Kong company, was traveling along at 12.ots while upbound on the rivers on June 4, 2007. The speed limit in some river sections is 10.4 knots.

The CSL Laurentien was downbound on April 28, 2007 at a speed of 11 knots, or 0.6 knots (0.7 miles per hour) above the speed limit.  Transport Canada sets speeds limits based on factors like traffic density and potential for wake damage.

Reported by: Sarnia Observer

 

USS Freedom Begins Sea Trials

7/29 - Marinette, WI  -  It was a long wait before the USS Freedom moved away from its dock on Monday. The tugs were in contact with each other beginning at 4:45 a.m. however, they did not head over to the Marinette Marine dock until almost 10 a.m.

After tying up to the ship, they waited another 2-1/2 hours before the Jimmy L finally dropped its tow-line and headed over to KK Integrated Logistics to assist the Marlene Green out of port, as they were told it would be another hour before anything would happen with the USS Freedom.

Once the Jimmy L returned, the USS Freedom gave a security call saying they would depart Marinette Marine for the turning basin in a half hour. At 2 p.m. the tow got underway from Marinette Marine. About 20 minutes later, the ship was turned around and headed for the Ogden Street (Menekaunee) Bridge, which it passed through around 2:30 p.m. The tugs dropped their lines from the ship as they passed the lighthouse about 10 - 15 minutes later.

The ship will be in the bay of Green Bay and Lake Michigan for her Sea Trials, which could last several weeks.

Reported by: Dick Lund

 

Toledo Update

7/29 - On monday the tug Sea Service with the barge Energy 6506 was at the B-P Dock loading cargo. The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the CSL Laurentien and Philip R. Clarke due in Wednesday. The Michipicoten and a return visit of the Philip R. Clarke on Thursday, followed by the Herbert C. Jackson on Friday. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Dock has the CSL Laurentien due in Tuesday followed by the Capt. Henry Jackman and Atlantic Erie on Saturday.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

 

Trio of tall ships will recall bygone era

7/29 -

The Twin Ports will be treated this week to a spectacle not seen in decades — three stately tall ships sailing into harbor.

“You would probably have to go back to the late 1800s or early 1900s before you had a number of tall sailing ships in the harbor at the same time,” said Gene Shaw, director of public relations for Visit Duluth, which is helping sponsor the Duluth Maritime Festival. The three-day festival will feature entertainers, crafts, food and a focus on Duluth’s maritime history. Its centerpiece will be the ships Madeline, Niagara and Pride of Baltimore II.

The Niagara and Pride of Baltimore II are replicas of ships from the War of 1812, while the Madeline represents the type of schooner that was widely used to carry cargo across the Great Lakes during the mid to late-1800s.

Pat Labadie, the former director of the Lake Superior Maritime Visitors Center, has toured all three vessels.

“They are wonderful, wonderful tools to teach us about our past,” he said. “In 1870, there were 2,000 sailing ships on the Great Lakes. There were a consistent stream of them in the 1860s and ’70s.”

Ports such as Chicago and Milwaukee could see 100 sailing ships arrive in a day seeking shelter when storms threatened. Duluth probably never saw those numbers, but Labadie said “it would be safe to say there were days when 20 or 30 arrived at once while there were probably as many as 40 already in the port.”

Advancing technology doomed sailing merchant ships, as clouds of black smoke replaced billowing white sails. In the late 1880s, many Great Lakes sailing ships were ignobly converted into barges — with masts cut down — to be towed by a steamer along with one, two or even three other demasted schooners.

By World War I, Labadie said “it was a newsworthy event when some of the last of them showed up under sail.”

In communities like Duluth, with a strong commercial maritime history, the passing of sailing vessels was an emotional thing, Labadie said.

“People look back on it as the golden era,” he said. “It was romanticized. Niagara, just as much as Madeline, really brings that back to life.”

A romanticized view of the age of sail and a historic connection to working schooners help explain the popularity of tall ships here. Novelty also plays a part. “It isn’t very often — being here in mid-continent — that we get to see actual tall-masted sailing ships,” Ely resident Jeanne Tome said.

Six years ago, Tome and her husband came to watch the Niagara glide under the Lift Bridge and into the Duluth harbor. “We thought that was an extraordinary opportunity and not to be missed,” she said.

Jeanne and her husband were among hundreds of people who ventured out in the rain just to see the Niagara enter port. More than 11,000 people toured the ship during its stay.

“Tall ship visits are always big,” said Dan Russell, executive director of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. “And this festival offers three. This can be an once-in-a-lifetime chance.”

Russell anticipated the DECC would sell a few hundred tickets online for this week’s festival. It sold more than 3,000 before midweek. Charter buses are bringing groups from the Twin Cities to tour the ships.

Tome said she hopes to come to Duluth to see this year’s festival. “I just love the water,” she said. “And sailboats look so enjoyable. I wish I was a good sailor, but I’m not. I just envy the people who can do it.”

Labadie sailed aboard the Pride of Baltimore II after its 1989 visit to Duluth. His most vivid memory of the four-day trip was leaving Isle Royale in a thin fog at dusk. The stars shined above as the ship’s running lights tinted the fog red and green. As the schooner gathered speed, it heeled away from the wind.

“I was the first one to take the wheel,” Labadie said. “We put it on a compass heading for Whitefish Point. We sailed for 21 hours without that angle changing. It was glorious, just beautiful.”

The fascination of a boat moving through the water, propelled only by the wind, draws many people to sailing — even if just vicariously. People touring the Madeline commonly ask if they can sail the ship.

“There is a fascination with that,” said Rod Jones, one of the ship’s volunteer captains. Jones began sailing 35 years ago. He was drawn to the Madeline about 17 years ago.

“Sailing on the Madeline is my vacation, my passion and a lot of my spare time,” said Jones, who — when not volunteering as captain aboard the schooner — builds timber-frame buildings. “It’s not often you get to sail on an old-type schooner. It’s a good sailboat. It’s not fast, but it always gets you there. We always say the boat will take more than our crew will.”

This will be the Madeline’s first visit to Duluth. “We’ll be glad to bring it in,” Jones said. “It’s great fun to come to the festivals and show people what it would have been like 150 years ago on the Great Lakes.”

Reported by: Duluth News Tribune

 

Legal Battle Heats Up Over 300-Year-Old Shipwreck

7/29 - The gray waters of Upper Lake Michigan are deep, cold and treacherous. And lately, they've been contentious.

A three-way court battle is brewing among an explorer who says he's found a 329-year-old shipwreck, the state of Michigan and the U.S. government. Just as precarious as the weather that supposedly sank the Griffon in 1679, the legal battle seems to portend a perfect storm. "This whole area has a lot of wrecks," said Capt. Carl Carlson. "That's why they call it death's door. There's been lives taken in the water everywhere."

The Griffon shipwreck is a legend where Wisconsin meets Michigan. It's a 300-year-old mystery that Carlson and his diving partner, Steve Libert, are determined to solve.

Libert may be a secret agent by day-- he works as a senior defense analyst for the U.S. Navy -- but by night he's a passionate hunter for the old and precious.

His day job actually helps him in his hunt for historic ships, because much of this mission is stealthy and highly competitive.

"I don't think anyone from the state or any interlopers will find this location," said Libert. Libert has enlisted shore-bound allies like Pat Ranguette, who watches with binoculars for other treasure hunters. If anything unfamiliar appears on the horizon, he rings the alarm.

"I'd get ahold of Steve, because that's part of his life he's been fighting for," said Ranguette. Buried underwater somewhere is what's believed to be the scattered remains of the first European ship to ply the Upper Great Lakes, a French vessel built above Niagara Falls and sent west to Lake Michigan. It sank in September 1679, when young America was populated only by Native Americans and just 150,000 settlers. The ship was on its way home filled with 6,000 pounds of fur and other trade items when it caught the tail end of a wicked storm.

"All the waves come from like three different directions, and supposedly that was the demise of the Griffon," said Libert.

The Griffon has been buried for three centuries, but Libert believes he has finally found it. He has underwater pictures of the bow tip and his images show how mussels now coat the mast. It's an exciting discovery as well as a difficult one in water so murky, where visibility is measured in inches.

"On the final last dive, I bumped into this piece," Libert said, pointing to a structure from one of his pictures. "I literally bumped into it swimming in the water. Visibility was about two inches. I was cold."

Libert has dedicated almost three decades to solving the mysteries surrounding the Griffon. He's chasing a dream that was planted in his head as a young boy.

"A history teacher of mine talked about Robert LaSalle and his flagship, the Griffon," said Libert as he headed out, by boat, to the wreck site. "I think it's every kid's dream to go on a sea venture and discover things underwater."

But now that Libert has found his life's goal, he must fight with the state of Michigan over it. The government says it owns anything on the bottom. Libert says he has salvage rights, and until the court dispute is over he won't risk losing his find by telling anyone its exact location. As a rule, the U.S. owns shipwrecks in state waters, except in cases where states can argue that the ship is "abandoned" and "embedded" in the state's submerged land. Libert's dilemma? Once he offers up the location, Michigan may declare the wreck embedded in state land, declare ownership and open the site to exploration by people other than Libert.

Libert sought to limit Michigan's interference with his find by asking a federal district court to "arrest" the wreck, which would establish U.S. jurisdiction over it. But Michigan wants to gain control and has taken Libert to court over the wreck's location.

An appeals court recently overturned a district court decision directing Libert to disclose the Griffon's location, which grants him more time to explore the wreck without Michigan's involvement. But once Libert marks the spot, Michigan and the federal government will have to decide who owns the find.

Now Libert is trying to authenticate the find as the actual Griffon. Earlier this month, he handed over a sliver of wood for testing.

And he enlisted Scott Demel of Chicago's Field Museum to visit the wreck. His first take is that the Griffon has been found.

"I haven't seen anything to disprove that it's not the Griffon," said Demel. "The cannons should have a stamp from the King of France. So that would be the sort of tag."

The Griffon was not carrying a huge treasure. The cold Michigan waters are believed to have kept the ship in good condition, but the furs it was carrying have long ago been washed away. Still, its value is immeasurable to museums and scientists.

Said Demel, "It's a huge find, and if it really turns out to be the Griffon, it's a significant piece for all the Great Lakes and North America, and even for France."

And for Libert, a lifelong mystery hunter … that's enough.

"It's not a treasure ship unless you consider history a treasure, which I do," he said.

Reported by: ABC News

 

Updates - July 29

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 29

The OTTERCLIFFE HALL cleared Lauzon, Quebec July 29, 1969, on her maiden voyage as the last "straight deck" Great Lakes bulk freighter built with a pilot house forward.

While at the Manitowoc Ship Building Co. for general repairs and engine overhaul, the CITY OF SAGINAW 31 caught fire on July 29, 1971, destroying her cabin deck and rendering her useless for further use. The blaze was caused by an acetylene torch, and caused over $1 million in damage.. She was not repaired. The CITY OF SAGINAW 31 was sold to Marine Salvage Ltd., Port Colborne, Ontario for scrapping.

On July 29, 1974, the W W HOLLOWAY grounded in Lake St. Clair off the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club running downbound with stone. Lightering into the J F SCHOELKOPF JR was necessary before she was freed by four tugs on July 31st.

ENDERS M VOORHEES departed Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, Michigan on her maiden voyage July 29, 1942, bound for Duluth, Minnesota to load iron ore. She was the second of five "Supers" for the Pittsburgh fleet to enter service.

July 29, 1974 - The PERE MARQUETTE 21 was towed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to be reduced to a barge.

The steam barge MARY ROBERTSON burned near Mackinac on 29 July 1872. Her crew escaped to a schooner-barge they were towing.

The MATERIAL SERVICE foundered in a heavy summer gale in 1936, off the South Chicago lighthouse. She was a canal motor barge not designed for open-lake use.

The side-wheel river steamer DOMINION burned to the water's edge at her dock in the Thames River near Chatham, Ontario on 29 July 1875. She was built in 1867, at Wallaceburg, Ontario.

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

 

 

Great Lakes to Halifax short sea runs begin

7/28 - Halifax - The Dutch Runner made its inaugural call at the Port of Halifax on Friday, kicking off a long-awaited short sea service between Halifax and the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes Feeder Lines of Burlington, Ont., plans to operate the service between Toronto, Montreal and Halifax, on an eight- to nine-day rotation.

"We are pleased to see there is a ship in the service now and the options it gives the users of the port," said Patrick Bohan, Halifax Port Authority’s manager of business development. In addition to containers, he said, the vessel also carries heavy lift cargo, "which is particularly problematic to move inland without a service like this."

"So all in all we see it as a nice complement to our existing offering."

The Dutch Runner has a capacity for about 250 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), can carry conventional cargo and has a ramp for roll-on, roll-off cargo. The ship, Canadian flagged with a Canadian crew, is also equipped with two cranes. The ship unloaded 60 containers and two 70-tonne boilers destined for Singapore.

Elias Hage, spokesman for Great Lakes Feeder Lines Inc., said Friday the shipping line is finalizing some contracts with major ocean carriers that call at Halifax. The plan is to develop the service to handle imports and exports for these carriers destined for Central Canada.

Mr. Hage said the service is in its "testing stage" with a long-range plan for a four-day rotation through Halifax using two vessels. The new short-sea service to the Great Lakes is the third short-sea operation through the port. Oceanex offers a service to Newfoundland and St. Pierre Seatransit provides service to the French islands of St-Pierre-Miquelon. The port had a third short-sea operation that operated between Halifax and New England that was discontinued earlier this year, but Mr. Bohan is hopeful it will be revived. "There is a good market opportunity there that’s currently going unserved through Halifax, and for many people it would be the preferred option if there was a service," he said.

Reported by: The Halifax Herald

 

Coast Guard Festival Parade

7/28 - Grand Haven - The U.S. Coast Guard Cutters Mackinaw and Biscayne Bay will make their official entrance into the Grand River, Monday, marking the beginning of a busy and exciting weekend at the 2008 Coast Guard Festival.

The Parade of Ships will begin at 1 p.m., Monday.  Visiting ships will moor at designated positions along Escanaba Park, adjacent to the Grand Haven Coast Guard Station.

The 240-foot Mackinaw (WLBB-30), arriving from Cheboygan, Mich., is a one-of-a-kind icebreaker and buoy tender that replaced the World War II-era Mackinaw (WAGB-83).  Mackinaw's primary missions are maritime homeland security, ice breaking, maintenance of navigational aids, law enforcement, marine environmental protection and search-and-rescue.

The 140-foot Biscayne Bay (WTGB-104), arriving from St. Ignace, Mich., is an icebreaking tug.  Biscayne Bay keeps the Great Lakes shipping routes open during the winter months.

Each of the ships will be available for public tours, at various times, from Monday through Saturday.  Due to heightened security concerns, additional safety measures will be in effect this year.  The Coast Guard is committed to making the public's experience on board these cutters a pleasant one and asks for cooperation and patience with these requirements:

  1. There will be no open house available.  All tour groups will be escorted.
  2. No purses, backpacks, coolers or bags of any type will be permitted on board.
 

Day

Mackinaw

Biscayne Bay

Mon 28 July 08

6:00-8:00PM

6:00-8:00PM

Tue 29 July 08

6:00-8:00PM

6:00-8:00PM

Wed 30 July 08

6:00-8:00PM

6:00-8:00PM

Thurs 31 July 08

Reunion Breakfast

10:00-12:00PM

 

1:00-3:00PM

1:00-3:00PM

 

6:00-8:00PM

6:00-8:00PM

Fri 01 Aug 08

10:00-12:00PM

10:00-12:00PM

 

1:00-3:00PM

1:00-3:00PM

 

6:00-8:00PM

6:00-8:00PM

Sat 02 Aug 08

10:00-12:00PM

10:00-12:00PM

 

1:00-3:00PM

1:00-3:00PM

 

6:00-8:00PM

6:00-8:00PM

Reported by: USCG

 

Soo Coast Guard busy assisting passing vessels

7/28 - Sault Ste. Marie - Coast Guard Station Sault Ste. Marie 30-foot response boat was busy last week with two medical evacuations from passing vessels. On Friday a 52-year-old crewman suffering from chest pains was evacuated from the Algorail at approximately 8:20 p.m. near Detour. The man was taken to awaiting Emergency Medical Services onshore at Detour Pass (near the bottom of St. Mary's River) and was taken to Detour Village to Sault Ste. Marie War Memorial hospital.

Saturday the station evacuated a 19-year-old female from the Brig Niagara at approximately 12:40 p.m. The woman was suffering symptoms of appendicitis. She was taken to awaiting Emergency Medical Services onshore at Coast Guard Station Sault Ste. Marie, and then she was transported to a local hospital.

Reported by: USCG

 

Port Reports - July 28

Menominee & Marinette - Dick Lund
On Saturday afternoon, the Marlene Green arrived in Menominee with its eighth load of wind turbine parts. Meanwhile, at Marinette Marine, workers have been preparing the USS Freedom (LCS-1) to head out for Sea Trials, which are scheduled to begin early Monday morning. On Sunday, there was smoke coming from its stack and the containment boom, which had been in place almost since it was launched nearly two years ago (Sept. 23, 2006), has been removed.

Milwaukee - Bill Bedell
Saturday was a busy day in Milwaukee, The saltie Isa was loading grain at the Nidera elevator, The Lafarge tug G L Ostrander and barge Integrity was unloading cement at their plant. H Lee White was unloading coal at the Kinder Morgan Greenfield Ave dock.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Grand Mariner was docked in Holland at Boatwerks for the day on Friday. Saturday morning the Manitowoc delivered a load of stone to the Verplank dock, departing at mid-day. She is reportedly having trouble with an engine and operating on only one.

Chicago
The training vessel Manatra was expected to depart Chicago on Sunday for her yearly lake excursion. Aboard this year will be 13 U.S. Naval Sea Cadets for ten days. First port of call will be South Haven at the Maritime Museum dock on Sunday evening to get the vessel ready for tours and showing. After a brief stay she will depart for Grand Haven. Mid-week they will return to the Wisconsin shore with a stop in Manitowoc. By Saturday she will return to Chicago.

Buffalo - Brian W.
Rebecca Lynn came through the North Entrance around 5 p.m. on the 24th heading towards the Black Rock Canal. She departed at 8:25 a.m. on Saturday pushing her barge. The Adam E Cornelius was unloading stone at the Gateway Metroport on Saturday afternoon.

Toronto - Frank Hood and Charlie G.
Algosteel and English River both departed Toronto overnight Friday to Saturday.

 

Updates - July 28

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 28

On July 28, 1973, the ROGER M KYES (Hull#200) was christened at Toledo, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. by Mrs. Roger Kyes for the American Steamship Co. Renamed b.) ADAM E CORNELIUS in 1989.

B A PEERLESS (Hull#148) was launched July 28, 1952, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for British American Transportation Co. Ltd. Renamed b.) GULF CANADA in 1969, and c.) COASTAL CANADA in 1984.

The JOHN T HUTCHINSON was delivered on July 28th to the Buckeye Steamship Co. (Hutchinson & Co., mgr.), Cleveland. The JOHN T HUTCHINSON was part of a government program designed to upgrade and increase the capacity of the U.S. Great Lakes fleet during World War II. In order to help finance the building of new ships, the U.S.M.C. authorized a program that would allow existing fleets to obtain new boats by trading in their older boats to the Government for credit. The JOHN T HUTCHINSON was the ninth Maritimer and fourth of the six L6-S-Al types delivered. "L6" meant the vessel was built for the Great Lakes and was 600 to 699 feet in length. The "S" stood for steam power and "Al" identified specific design features.

On 28 July 1854, BOSTON (wooden propeller, 134 foot, 259 tons, built in 1847, at Ohio City, Ohio) was bound from Chicago for Ogdensburg, New York with pork, corn, whiskey and produce. On Lake Ontario, about 20 miles off Oak Orchard, New York, she collided with the bark PLYMOUTH and sank in about 20 minutes. No lives were lost. The crew and passengers made it to shore in three lifeboats. The boat that the captain was in sailed 50 miles to Charlotte, New York.

In 1900, the freighter PRINCETON (Hull#302) was launched at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

On 28 July 1862, CONVOY (2-mast wooden schooner, 130 foot, 367 tons, built in 1855, at Buffalo, New York) was sailing down bound on a dark night on Lake Erie with 18,000 bushels of wheat when she collided with the empty bark SAM WARD and sank quickly in 12 fathoms of water. Her wreck drifted along the bottom and during the shipping season several vessels collided with her.

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

 

Updates - July 27

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 27

On 27 July 1884, ALBERTA (steel propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 264 foot, 2,282 gross tons, built in 1883, at Whiteinch, Scotland by C. Connell & Co.) collided in fog 6 miles North North West of Whitefish Point on Lake Superior with the JOHN M OSBORNE (wooden propeller "steam barge", 178 foot, 891 tons , built in 1882, at Marine City, Michigan. The OSBORNE had two barges in tow at the time. ALBERTA stayed in the gash until most of OSBORNE's crew scrambled aboard, then pulled out and the OSBORNE sank. ALBERTA sank in shallow water, 3 1/2 miles from shore. 3 or 4 lives were lost from the OSBORNE, one from ALBERTA in brave rescue attempt while trying to get the crewmen off the OSBORNE.

This was ALBERTA's first year of service. She was recovered and repaired soon afterward. She was the sister of the ill fated ALGOMA which was lost in her first year of service. The wreck of the OSBORNE was located in 1984, 100 years after this incident.

On 27 July 1900, the steel freighter RENSSELAER (Hull#402) was launched in Cleveland, Ohio by the American Ship building Co. for the Pittsburgh Steamship Company.

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

 

Port Reports - July 26

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Friday evening at the Upper Harbor ore dock, Herbert C. Jackson was loading taconite and fleetmate Kaye E. Barker was waiting to load after unloading coal.

Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug Gregory J. Busch and barge STC 2004 tied up at the Stoneport dock on warm Friday evening to take on a load of stone.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Manitowoc deliverd a load of stone to Verplank's dock in Ferrysurg on Tuesday. The St. Mary's Challenger came in with a load for the St. Mary's Terminal in Ferrysburg about 1 p.m. on Thursday afternoon and left around midnight.

Owen Sound - Ed Saliwonchyk
Playfair, a 72-foot brigantine is in Owen Sound as part of the Marine/Rail Museum's Heritage Days. Playfair is a sister ship to the St. Lawrence II which was in Owen Sound a several weeks ago while on a Georgian Bay tour.

Toronto - Frank Hood
English River returned to Toronto overnight Friday. Algosteel was still unloading a cargo of sugar at Redpath.

 

Updates - July 26

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 26

On June 26, 2005, the salty ORLA ran aground at Kahnawake, Quebec and the passing rum tanker JO SPIRIT made contact with her. Both vessels were damaged and repaired in Montreal.

The ALGOWEST sailed on her maiden voyage in 1982 from Thunder Bay, Ontario to Quebec City with a 27,308 ton load of barley.

On July 26, 1943 the BRUCE HUDSON caught fire while loading gasoline at East Chicago, Illinois and four persons lost their lives.

The CONALLISON departed Windsor, Ontario on her first trip for Johnstone Shipping Ltd. on July 26, 1981.

WILLIAM A McGONAGLE (Hull#154) sailed light on her maiden voyage from Great Lakes Engineering Works at Ecorse, Michigan on July 26, 1916, to Duluth, Minnesota to load iron ore. Renamed b.) HENRY STEINBRENNER in 1986. She was scrapped at Port Maitland, Ontario in 1994.

On 26 July 1885, ISLE ROYALE (wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 92 foot, 92 gross tons, built in 1879) sprang a leak near Susick Island near Isle Royale on Lake Superior. She sank but her passengers and crew made it to the island. She was owned by Cooley, Lavague & Company of Duluth. She was originally built as the barge AGNES.

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

 

 

Overseas Steel imports slide at Cleveland port, but shipments from Canada rise

The import of foreign steel has hit a 15-year low at Cleveland's port.

At the same time, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority is handling unprecedented levels of steel barged from Canada. And ArcelorMittal is about to double the modest amount of steel it sends to foreign markets through the Cleveland port.

Such are the vagaries of a port tied to steel.
The import-export dynamics, to some degree, reflect our economy. Port officials hope the future holds more business for its underused docks and warehouses, west of Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Port officials say the mini-boom of ArcelorMittal exports show how the port can serve a lot more Northeast Ohio businesses.

ArcelorMittal will send 64,000 tons of steel coil through the port to Brazil and Europe, by year's end. Last year, the steel mill sent just 30,000 tons through. There was none in 2006.

"We believe the [port] can play a growing role . . . in the movement of goods directly from the Northeast Ohio manufacturing sector to overseas markets," port President Adam Wasserman said in a news release announcing the ArcelorMittal shipments. The weak American dollar is one reason foreign companies have a growing interest in American steel.

But ArcelorMittal also sees local steel orders weakening later this year, so the international company is plying its global network of customers, said Stephen Pfeiffer, head of the port authority's maritime services. Meanwhile, American demand is subsiding for foreign steel that's grown more expensive against the weak dollar.

Imports of specialty steel from the Netherlands, Germany and other foreign producers are down by one-third this year at the Cleveland port, at 97,000 tons, Pfeiffer said. Cleveland's not alone. Steel and iron traffic on the St. Lawrence Seaway was down 48 percent through May, officials said.

Offsetting Cleveland's loss in foreign-steel tonnage is new business by barge. An Ontario steel mill has sent 48,000 tons so far by water, rather than rail and truck. Port officials said the port would see even more steel traffic by barge, if only more were available on the Great Lakes.

Activity is also up at the Cleveland Bulk Terminal, which handles iron ore for the busy ArcelorMittal plant. Shipments are at 960,000 tons after six months, an increase of 11 percent.

Reported by: Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

Port Reports - July 25

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
On Thursday the Canadian Transfer was at Andersons "K" Elevator unloading potash. The Saginaw was at the Midwest Terminal Dock unloading oats. The tug Karen Andrie with her barge was at the Hocking Valley Dock. The CSL Niagara was at the Torco Dock unloading ore. The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the John J. Boland due in Friday morning. The CSL Laurentien due in Tuesday evening. The Philip R. Clarke and Lee A. Tregurtha on Wednesday afternoon followed by a return visit by the Philip R. Clarke on Thursday afternoon. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Dock has the John J. Boland following the CSL Niagara early Friday morning. The CSL Laurentien on Tuesday morning followed by the Capt. Henry Jackman on Thursday afternoon.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Gregory J. Busch was outbound from the Saginaw River Thursday evening pushing a deck barge. This marks the first trip out of the Saginaw River for the tug this season.

 

Updates - July 25

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 25

July 25, 1991 - The sixteen-man crew of the ocean-going tug PACIFIC TIDE NO 3 were arrested at Montreal on charges of smuggling drugs. The tug had arrived from the Philippines to tow the damaged Spanish vessel MILANOS to Spain.

Algoma Central Marine's former ALGOCEN departed Montreal on July 25, 2005, under tow of the tugs ATLANTIC OAK and ANDRE H bound for Keasby, New Jersey. She was renamed b.) VALGOCEN and was registered in Panama.

The bow section of the ROGER BLOUGH (Hull#900) was floated into the new American Ship Building Co. Lorain dry dock on July 25, 1970, and was joined with the 421 foot stern section. The launch of the completed hull was scheduled for July, 1971, but a fire broke out in the engine room on June 24, 1971, 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 CANADA MARQUIS was upbound at Detroit, Michigan on July 25, 1983, on her maiden voyage for Misener Holdings Ltd. She sails today as CSL's e.) BIRCHGLEN.

July 25, 1983 - A wedding was held aboard the BADGER during the sailing of "Love Boat II". Chris Gebhart and Pat Sroka of Ludington were married by Rev. John Christensen.

The wooden lumber tug CYGNET, which worked on the Shiawassee and Bad Rivers and Lake Huron, was destroyed when her boiler exploded in "Blow-up Bayou" on the Shiawassee River.

The wooden bulk freighter D C WHITNEY was launched at Langell's shipyard in St. Clair, Michigan on 25 July 1882. Her dimensions were 229 feet x 40 feet x15 feet, 1090 gross tons.

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

 

 

Port Reports - July 24

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Nanticoke finished unloading ore at the Torco Dock and departed Wednesday morning. Herbert C. Jackson finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed early Wednesday afternoon. Algomarine finished unloading stone and departed from the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock late Wednesday afternoon. Tug Sea Service with the barge Energy 6506 was at the B-P Dock loading cargo.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the John J. Boland due in Friday morning.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Dock has the CSL Niagara due in Thursday, John J. Boland early Friday morning followed by the CSL Laurentien on Tuesday.
The Canadian Transfer and Saginaw are due in Toledo the next several days. The Canadian Transfer is bringing in a load of Potash loaded at Thunder Bay, Ontario. The Saginaw is bringing in a load of oats loaded at Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Wednesday evening at the Upper Harbor ore dock, Robert S. Pierson was waiting to load taconite.

South Chicago - Matt Monahan
Around 2 p.m. Wednesday the tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons was loading at the south dock of KCBX terminals.
On the lake, near the Calumet Harbor Coast Guard Station, the Chicago Fire Department, Police Department and the Coast Guard were aiding in the rescue of a stranded wave runner pilot. Apparently his craft capsized and he attempted to swim the several hundred yards to shore when the Fire Department was notified and a helicopter dropped a diver to aid the man back to shore.
At Navy Pier, the Exiderdome is docked along the East Wall.

Toronto - Frank Hood, Charlie Gibbons and Clive Reddin
Algosteel arrived in port Tuesday afternoon, assisted into the Redpath Sugar slip by our old friend Jarrett M. (ex-Atomic), which had departed the Lakes early this spring for the Magdalene Islands.
The Canadian Coast Guard fisheries ship Limnos came into Toronto harbour about 8:30 p.m. hours and docked at the foot of Sherbourne Street.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Calumet was inbound the Saginaw River late Tuesday night headed upriver for the GM dock in Saginaw. She had completed her unload by Wednesday morning and was outbound.
CSL Tadoussac was inbound around the same time, tying up at the Essroc dock in Essexville about five minutes before the Calumet slid by on her trip to the lake. The Tadoussac was outbound, backing for Light 12 to turn and head for the lake around 10pm Wednesday evening.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation was at Lafarge early Wednesday morning. Upon departure it passed the Alpena, which was heading in to load product.
At dusk the Maumee arrived in the mouth of the Thunder Bay River. It tied up and unloaded a cargo of stone at the Alpena Oil Dock. The Maumee had brought the stone a short distance from Stoneport where it had loaded earlier in the day.

 

Updates - July 24

News Photo Gallery updated

New Links on the Links Page

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 24

On July 24, 1980, 34 ships were delayed when the BALTIC SKOU, a 595 foot Danish-flag freighter built in 1977, ran aground after losing power three miles east of the Snell Lock, near Massena, New York. The ship, loaded with sunflower seeds, was headed for Montreal and the Atlantic Ocean when the grounding occurred. No injuries or pollution resulted from the accident and the vessel did not take on any water.

The ALGOSOO (Hull#206) was launched July 24, 1974, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Algoma Central Railway, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

The BURNS HARBOR sea trials were conducted on July 24, 1980, during which she performed an emergency stop in 3,160 feet loaded to a depth of 25/26 feet. She was the third thousand footer built for Bethlehem and the tenth on the Great Lakes.

ST CLAIR (Hull#714) was launched July 24, 1975, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Corp. for the American Steamship Co.

The WILLIAM G MATHER, left River Rouge, Michigan on her maiden voyage July 24, 1925, for Ashtabula, Ohio to load coal for the Canadian Lakehead at Port Arthur/Fort William, Ontario.

The wooden steamer OSCAR TOWNSEND was launched at 2:20 p.m. at E. Fitzgerald's yard in Port Huron on 24 July 1873. The launch went well with a few hundred spectators. She was built for use in the iron ore trade by the Lake Superior Transportation Co. Her dimensions were 210 feet overall, 200 foot keel, 33 foot 10 inches beam and 15 foot depth. She had three masts and was painted deep green.

On 24 July 1847, CONSTITUTION (wooden passenger/package freight side-wheeler, 141 foot, 444 tons, built in 1837, at Charleston, Ohio) struck a pier in Sandusky harbor, stove a large hole in her bow and sank. Her machinery was later recovered and installed in J D MORTON.

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

 

Dredging of Saginaw River set to start late next month

7/23 - Bay City - A project to clear the river's navigational channel from Bay City south to Saginaw is on track to begin in late August, said Jim Koski, Saginaw County public works commissioner.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to bid out the work soon, and award a contract by Aug. 20, said Lynn Duerod, a Corps spokeswoman in Detroit. The work will clear 200,000 cubic yards of silt that has built up while local and federal officials have tried to develop a site for the spoils, a process that has been going on for more than 20 years. A $5 million, 200-acre Dredged Material Disposal Facility has since been built on the Bay-Saginaw county line in Frankenlust and Zilwaukee townships, Koski said. It's designed to accept spoils for 20 years.

"The site is complete and done, so we're ready whenever they're ready," Koski said Monday. Fourteen additional monitoring wells were recently installed at the site, a compromise to address concerns that contaminants in the river mud could leak into groundwater. The Corps also is lining up $3.8 million dredging money for 2009, to clear out a backlog of silt in the lower river, Bay City to the mouth, and in Saginaw Bay, Duerod said. The $3.8 million is included in an Energy and Water Appropriations bill that cleared a U.S. Senate committee on July 11.

"There's a good portion out there that they need to get out," Duerod said of dredging planned for 2009. "This will make it more convenient for the ships to be able to get in and out of that channel area, a little easier to get the products into the harbor." After the upper river is cleared out this year, the Corps plans to skip that portion for a year, and concentrate on the lower river and bay, she explained. The Corps plans to clear the upper river every two years.

Once the contract is awarded, the Corps plans to conduct the dredging throughout the rest of this year, putting in the most contaminated materials first, based on sediment testing. Solids in the dredgings, which will be mostly water, will settle out in three cells of the facility over a number of months. Water will be discharged back to the river once it's been tested and shown to meet state water quality standards.

From the Bay City Times

 

Port Reports - July 23

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Paul R. Tregurtha was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal early Tuesday while Walter J. McCarthy Jr. fueled at the Murphy Oil terminal and waited its turn to load coal.
Elsewhere, Sam Laud was unloading stone at the CLM dock, Joseph H. Thompson was loading taconite pellets at BNSF ore dock after unloading salt at the Cutler-Magner dock in Duluth on Monday, and an unidentified tug and large barge left Duluth about 7:30 a.m.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Tuesday morning, John J. Boland unloaded limestone at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock. She was the first American Steamship Company vessel to visit the Shiras Dock this season. Boland was scheduled to load ore at the Upper Harbor later in the day.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the Herbert C. Jackson due in Wednesday morning, followed by the John J. Boland and Saginaw on Friday morning.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Docks has the Nanticoke due in Wednesday, followed by the CSL Niagara and John J. Boland on Thursday.

Toronto Frank Hood
English River had departed Toronto by 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.

 

Cleveland-Cliffs planning $104 million renovation to Forbes plant

7/23 - Duluth - Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. is proposing to spend approximately $104 million on improvements to its United Taconite facility in Forbes under an initiative called the Green Production Project, the company announced today.

The project will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, mercury and other air pollutants while increasing production of taconite pellets from 5.3 million tons to 6 million tons per year and adding 24 new jobs. The company filed a permit amendment for the project Friday with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Construction work on the project will begin after the permit amendments are finalized – perhaps be the end of the year.

According to the company, the project would:
* Reduce sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions per ton of pellets produced by 37 percent.
* Reduce greenhouse gas emissions per ton of pellets by up to 30 percent.
* Reduce mercury emissions per ton of pellets produced by 14 percent.
* Control more than 99 percent of particulate emissions from Line 1 by replacing existing control equipment with a new wet electrostatic precipitator.

The project includes spending around $35 million to add new emission control equipment and to modify the plant to burn cleaner fuels. UTAC currently uses a combination of fuels that includes natural gas, fuel oil, petroleum coke and Eastern coal. The Green Production Project would allow enhanced fuel blending and the use of lower-emitting fuels, resulting in substantially less use of petroleum coke and natural gas in favor of lower sulfur coal and biomass.

The renovations will also allow UTAC to use Renewafuel, a next-generation, carbon-neutral biofuel with substantially fewer greenhouse gas, sulfur dioxide, and mercury emissions than fossil fuels. Cliffs recently became a 70 percent owner in Renewafuel and hopes to use the renewable fuel in its mining operations.

“The Green Production Project is a win-win proposition – for the environment and for operations at UTAC,” Dana Byrne, vice president of public and environmental affairs, said in a news release. “When all improvements are in place, UTAC expects to have the lowest combined emissions per ton of taconite produced of any facility operating in Minnesota and will have the added potential to reduce emissions further in the future.”

In addition to the environmental improvements, UTAC will upgrade its concentrator and pellet plant equipment to allow for an increase in production of 700,000 tons per year. UTAC employs about 557 employees and has an annual payroll, including benefits, of about $50 million.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Replacement Cutter at Charlevoix

7/23 - Charlevoix Despite efforts from several of Charlevoix’s local, state and federal representatives to retain ice-breaking capabilities in the area, the Lake Michigan port still has no cutter.

More than two years after the United States Coast Guard Cutter Acacia was decommissioned from service, and nearly as long since President Bush signed H.R. 889 which ordered that the Coast Guard maintain, at a minimum, its then current vessel capacity for ice-breaking in the Great Lakes, U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) is still fighting to make that a reality.

“It is important that a new Coast Guard cutter or similar asset be stationed in Charlevoix to replace the Acacia and continue the Coast Guard’s long-standing presence in the northern Great Lakes,” he stated in a July 17 press release. “While the Mackinaw is now stationed in Cheboygan, ice-breaking capacity in the northern Great Lakes has been reduced from two cutters to one, threatening the coast guard’s ability to meet its operational responsibilities on the Great Lakes. The Coast Guard fleet is down one hull, but the scope of its ice-breaking mission is still the same.”

Stupak recently urged House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee members on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation board, via written testimony, to enforce what he called “congressional intent” by demanding an asset be stationed in Charlevoix. Stupak addressed the subcommittee in writing, hoping to sway the board chaired by Elijah Cummings.

“The Acacia provided essential navigational and search and rescue services in the northern Great Lakes. She also tended nearly 200 buoys and lighthouses and kept channels open by breaking ice,” Stupak wrote. “This work is important for safety as well as for businesses and individuals that rely on the Great Lakes. The community has felt great pride in being the home of the Acacia, and I have been proud that the cutter has been stationed in my district.”

Stupak’s main argument for replacing Acacia hinged on the Great Lake’s reputation as a major shipping channel.

“The Great Lakes serve as a main thoroughfare for iron ore to America’s steel mills and other cargos to destinations in the United States, Canada, and overseas. During the winter months, 17 million tons of commerce moves through the Great Lakes. Without sufficient cutter presence, these goods will not reach their destination. Ice-breaking operations in the Great Lakes also play an important role for the local community. The residents of Beaver Island relied upon the coast guard’s ice-breaking assets in Charlevoix to assure their safety and support their economy.”

He added, “This year’s cold winter showed the need for a cutter presence when Beaver Island again had to make an emergency call to the Coast Guard to break the ice to facilitate a fuel shipment. This is a common occurrence during cold winters.” According to Stupak, the Coast Guard’s workload is being taxed because of the decommissioning of two Canadian ice-breakers.

Stupak has accused the Coast Guard of ignoring congressional intent. “I have written the Coast Guard multiple times requesting that they follow Congressional intent. Unfortunately, the Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen continues to insist that the Coast Guard will not follow the requirements within the Fiscal Year 2006 Coast Guard Authorization Bill (HR 889), leaving Northern Michigan without a replacement for the Acacia.”

So far, a paid lobbyist, a mayor, Charlevoix citizens and state and federal representatives to name a few have toiled with no avail for a replacement of the cutter Acacia which was decommissioned on June 7, 2006, after more than 60 years of service. Neither a Coast Guard spokesman or Stupak returned calls by press time.

From the Petoskey News

 

Seawall a go with Young’s $50,000 grant

7/23 - Dunkirk, NY - The Dunkirk Lighthouse will soon be getting some much-needed protection from Mother Nature due to additional grant funding announced Monday at a ground-breaking ceremony at the Dunkirk Lighthouse & Veterans Park Museum.

About half of a 300-foot seawall guarding the lighthouse and park's north side needs to be replaced after falling into Lake Erie a few years ago. A $50,000 grant secured through State Sen. Catharine Young's office was the final piece of the puzzle to fund the immediately-needed seawall work. The Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation (CHRIC) and its Executive Director John Murphy played a key role in securing the necessary funds.

"I am particularly pleased to be here today because it's truly a celebration. This work needed to be done and I want to thank John Murphy and CHRIC for your leadership in securing the funds that are necessary to make sure that our landmark, our historical treasure here at the Dunkirk Lighthouse, is preserved," Young said during the ceremony. "I know that it was a main cause of concern when we had the collapse a couple of years ago, so John reached out to me and said, 'we need to do something,'" she added.

"I especially want to thank Congressman (Brian) Higgins for your leadership. I know you have been very helpful for this project as has Assemblyman Bill Parment. I'm joining them today to announce that I've been able to secure $50,000 for this project so that we can rebuild the wall and we can improve the security here. We always have the threat of vandals. People being here when they're not supposed to be. "We need to make sure that this place is protected, so I'm glad to be a part of that. I'm glad that you can be here today so we can celebrate the Dunkirk Lighthouse."

Prior to the short ceremony Murphy explained the process and the cause for the ceremony. "It's a culmination of a lot of preliminary work we had to go through, all the permitting. We had to clear the state Historic Preservation Office reviews, we did archeological studies, we did topography studies," he said. "The contracts are out to bid now and they'll be opened up later this week, so this hopefully is the beginning of construction now on phase one of hopefully, a two-phase project to restore the Lighthouse."

According to Murphy, that construction will come quickly. "We're hoping that it gets done this summer. It's a relatively simple design. It's a retaining wall ... it's sort of an L-shaped thing. It will involve some excavation and forming up and pouring it and putting a railing along the top and kind of restoring what was lost," he said. "Then we have two other grant applications in to build a retaining wall on the East shore and one to restore the architectural details on the Lighthouse building itself."

The city's contribution was also appreciated by Murphy. "Common Council agreed to waive the fee for the building permit, which was very generous and we're pleased that the Common Council is involved in the project," he said.

Higgins was asked if the latest grant would be enough to complete the funding. "Well, bids will have to go out so you don't want to prejudice the bids and how they come back," Higgins said. "We're accumulating monies toward the goal of getting all the work that needs to be done financed here and I think we're well on our way. I think everybody here has done a great, great job and we just have to keep working together in a non-partisan way toward the goal of returning this historic site in its full capacity back to the people of Chautauqua County and the city of Dunkirk."

Perhaps the happiest person about the project's go-ahead was Harold "Dick" Lawson, one of the main driving forces behind the success of turning the lighthouse and its grounds into a tourist destination. "We're very ecstatic. We're getting in all this money, grants and everything to keep this historic lighthouse going," Lawson said. "It's not mine, I'm just doing my volunteer job of taking care of it and trying to raise funds for it. The seawall is very important to replace because probably 300 feet of it has to be replaced within the next 10 years. Right now we're going to do maybe 150 feet of it and if we don't control the erosion now we'll lose the lighthouse with the undermining, the waves and everything. So we're quite thrilled about the whole thing being here. We think this is the jewel of Dunkirk. A lot of people don't think it is but our gang does."

According to Lawson, the site gets about 15-16,000 visitors between April 1 and the end of October each year, barring disruptions due to construction or detours. The 7th Annual Lighthouse Festival, featuring a WWII battle reenactment and military encampment, draws about 5,000 people and will run Aug. 16-17 - rain or shine.

There is also another addition at the lighthouse. "We have five young tour girls who volunteered this summer and they're giving tours, they really know what they're doing when they're in there," Lawson said. "I have to give them credit."

"It's a great opportunity for what CHRIC is called, a rural preservation company under New York state Department of Housing and Community Renewal. They fund us so that we can bring resources into the community. ... I'm very pleased that the state supports us and it allows us to do these kinds of projects. "I thank all of these folks for their financial support and of course acknowledge Dick and Barb Lawson, who work as tirelessly as volunteers and have for 20 years preserved this structure on the National Historic Register."

From the Dunkirk Observer

 

Updates - July 23

News Photo Gallery updated

New Links on the Links Page

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 23

On this day in 1906, the 556 foot ELBERT H GARY arrived to a 21-gun salute to deliver the first cargo of Minnesota ore at the new United States Steel mill in Gary, Indiana.

The keel for the TEXACO CHIEF (Hull#193) was laid July 23, 1968, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., for Texaco Canada Ltd. Renamed b.) A G FARQUHARSON in 1986, and c.) ALGONOVA In 1998.

CANADOC sailed on her maiden voyage July 23, 1961.

Upper Lakes Shipping Co. Ltd.'s, RED WING was christened on July 23, 1960, as the first all-welded vessel to emerge from Port Weller Dry Docks.

On 23 July 1878, H R PRESTON (wooden quarter-deck canal boat built in 1877, at Oneida Lake, New York) was carrying 250 tons of ashes from Picton, Ontario to Oswego, New York in tow of the tug ALANSON SUMNER along with three other canal boats when they encountered a storm on Lake Ontario. About 15 miles from Oswego, the PRESTON broke her towline and was taken alongside the SUMNER with some difficulty. About a mile out of port she lost her hold tarps and began to sink quickly. She was cut loose from the tug and her two crewmen were saved by the Oswego tug WM AVERY. Though she was lying heavily on the bottom in 50 feet of water, her wreckage came ashore near 4 Mile Point in early September.

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

 

Port Reports - July 22

Toronto - Frank Hood
English River arrived back in Toronto on Monday. At 6 a.m. she was sitting low in the water, and by 11 a.m. she sitting high in the water and unloaded.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
The Algowood was loading Monday morning at KCBX Terminals on the Calumet River.
The Maumee was inbound shortly after midnight destined to load at Chicago Fuels Terminal. After her loading, the Maumee was outbound at noon, headed for Manistee, MI.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug G. L Ostrander and barge Integrity was at Lafarge early Monday morning.
Also calling at Lafarge on Monday was the Manistee. It unloaded a cargo of coal and was seen backing out into the bay after 3 p.m. to head for its next destination.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
During the early hours Saturday morning Maumee backed downriver, then turned and departed after unloading salt at Milwaukee's inner harbor bulk cargo dock.
John J. Boland backed into the inner harbor in fog and delivered coal to the Greenfield Avenue yard of WE Energies on Saturday afternoon.
St. Marys Challenger arrived on Sunday morning with the assistance of one tug at the stern, proceeding upriver to its Kinnickinnic Avenue terminal.
Sunday afternoon, Algoway backed upriver, bringing a load of salt to the bulk cargo dock in the inner harbor.
Lake Erie was berthed at Terminal 2 in the municipal docks along the outer harbor on Monday, carrying steel.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
On Thursday, the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber were inbound with a split load for the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City and the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw. The Algoway was also inbound, calling on the Sargent dock in Saginaw to unload salt.
On Friday, the Indiana Harbor was inbound, calling on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville to unload coal. and was then outbound later in the day. The tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber were inbound for the Bay City Wirt dock to lighter before heading upbound to finish unloading at the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw.
On Saturday, the American Republic was inbound for the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City.
On Monday, the USCG Cutter Hollyhock was working Aids to Navigation in the Saginaw River Entrance Channel before departing late in the afternoon.

 

American Steamship Company - Employment Opportunity

7/22 - American Steamship Company has an immediate opening for a Vessel Scheduler at the Company's headquarters in Williamsville, New York.

Interested individuals are directed to the Company's website for more information or to apply for this position:

Click here for more information

 

Book Documents History of S.S. St. Marys Challenger

7/22 - The history of the Great Lakes’ oldest operating steamship, the St. Marys Challenger, has been documented in book form by author and marine photographer Chris Winters.

“Centennial: Steaming Through the American Century” is now available from the author by mail or at several signings scheduled around the lakes this summer.

Winters will be on hand to sell and sign copies of the book at the Aug. 3 marine mart at the Willis B. Boyer museum in Toledo. Other signings are scheduled in Hessel, Mich., Aug. 9; at Milwaukee’s Discovery World artisan fair Aug. 25; and at the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History conference Sept. 4-6 in Muskegon. Other book signings are planned for fall.

Winters spent five years creating a vivid record of life aboard the venerable St. Marys Challenger as she approached the centennial anniversary of her maiden voyage in 2006. By all accounts the oldest operational freight ship in the world, the Challenger began her remarkable fresh water career on the Great Lakes on April 28, 1906 – six years before the launch of the R.M.S. Titanic.

Granted unprecedented access to the vessel by her owners, Winters set off on a personal quest to record an old way of life in a new way by focusing revolutionary digital cameras on this revolutionary machine from another century. On April 28, 2006, the centennial anniversary of her maiden voyage from the Great Lakes Engineering Works, the Challenger became the first vessel on the Great Lakes – and quite possibly in the history of seafaring – to eclipse 100 years while still in commercial service.

“Centennial: Steaming Through the American Century” is a 240-page hardcover that contains over 300 contemporary and archival images from the boat’s hardworking 100-year history. Copies are $50 plus $10 S&H, and can be ordered by visiting RunningLightPress.com  or by calling (414) 688-9782.

 

Updates - July 22

News Photo Gallery updated

New Links on the Links Page

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 22

On this day in 1961, the barge CLEVECO, originally lost with a crew of 22 during a December 02, 1942, storm on Lake Erie, was floated by salvagers, towed outside the shipping lanes, and intentionally sunk.

PERE MARQUETTE 22 (Hull#210) was launched on July 22, 1924, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. for the Pere Marquette Railway Co.

One hundred years ago on 22 July 1900, the tug MATT H ESSER was launched at Lorain, Ohio by H. D. Root for Captain Burke of Erie.

The M I MILLS (wooden propeller tug, 122 foot, 152 tons, built in 1867, at Marine City, Michigan), which sank in a collision with the bark UNADILLA on 9 May 1873, was found on 22 July 1873, in 90 feet of water in Lake Huron off Sand Beach, Michigan. Plans were made to raise her at the cost of $5,000. This effort was unsuccessful as was another abortive attempt in 1895.

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

 

Port Reports - July 21

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Sunday afternoon at the Upper Harbor, Algocape arrived to load ore and was secured on the north side of the ore dock waiting for the Mesabi Miner to finish unloading coal on the south side. Algocape last visited Marquette in October of 2007. Her visit followed Canadian Leader on Friday.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
The Arthur M. Anderson was loading coal early Sunday morning at KCBX Terminals, destined for Escanaba, MI. Algoma Central's Algowood was scheduled to follow the Anderson, taking a cargo of 30,000 tons of green delayed petroleum coke.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Maumee delivered a load of coal to Holland on Sunday, arriving early in the morning and departing mid-afternoon.

 

Willis B. Boyer Marine Memorabilia Flea Market August 3
Ride the Diamond Belle to Toledo from Wyandotte

Sunday, August 3, is the date for the Willis B. Boyer Marine Memorabilia Flea Market and Ship Model Display.

Co-sponsored by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Boyer/Riverfront Inc., Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping (www.BoatNerd.com) and Diamond Jack's River Tours, the event will take place in shoreside tents next to the museum ship Willis B. Boyer in Toledo. The show will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is only $6.00 and includes a tour of the Boyer.

In addition to many vendors with marine items for sale, there will be a pond with a model boat display. BBQ and refreshments will be available on the grounds.

To make the day even more complete, BoatNerd.com and Diamond Jack's are sponsoring a trip to Toledo on the Diamond Belle. Departing from Wyandotte at 8:00 a.m., the Belle is expected to arrive at the Boyer around 1:15. The trip cross open water on the western end of Lake Erie and travel up the Maumee River passing through several draw bridges.

Passengers will be allowed two hours of free time to shop the marine mart, tour the Boyer and enjoy the model ships display before boarding for the return trip to Wyandotte. The ticket price of $90.00 per person, includes three meals on board the Belle and admission to the mart and Boyer tour. Reservations are required.

Click here for Diamond Jack's Reservation form.

Vendors click here for details and registration form.

 

Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise planned for August 16

A 4-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan. Cruise leaves the Portofino's On The River restaurant, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am. We'll go where the boats are. Hopefully, up the Rouge River, maybe down the Detroit River. Bring your camera.

To make the trip even more interesting, a pizza buffet will be delivered by the mail boat J. W. Westcott. Cash bar on board. Plenty of free, safe parking at Portofino's. Click here for directions. All this for only $30.00 per person. Limited to the first 100 reservations.

 Mail your check today to: Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc., 1110 South Main Street, Findlay, OH 45840-2239. Checks will not be cashed until the week before the cruise. No physical tickets will be issued. Your name will be on the Boarding List. Check in before boarding.

Click here for Reservations Form.

 

Updates - July 21

News Photo Gallery updated

New Links on the Links Page

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 21

The JAMES DAVIDSON and KINSMAN INDEPENDENT arrived under tow at Santander, Spain on July 21, 1974, for scrapping.

On July 21, 1975, the GEORGE D GOBLE arrived at Lorain, Ohio with an unusual deck cargo loaded at American Ship Building Company's yard at South Chicago, Illinois. She was carrying the deckhouses for two Interlake Steamship Company thousand-foot self-unloaders being built at AmShip's Lorain yard. These vessels were completed as the JAMES R BARKER and MESABI MINER.

On 21 July 1875, the schooner ELVA, which was built in Port Huron, Michigan in 1861, for Capt. Sinclair, was sailing from Holland, Michigan for Milwaukee, Wisconsin loaded with stove bolts. She capsized 12 miles from Milwaukee. Her crew took to the boats and made a landing in Kenosha and then rowed to Milwaukee. A tug was sent for the schooner and she was recovered.

In 1900, R J GORDON (wooden propeller passenger-package freighter, 104 foot, 187 gross tons, built in 1881, at Marine City, Michigan) was placed back in service carrying freight and passengers between Chicago and Grand Haven. She had burned in September 1899 at Chicago but was rebuilt during the winter.

On 21 July 1875, the old barge HURON, which had been in use for a number of years as a car ferry for the Grand Trunk Railroad at Port Huron/Sarnia, was sold to Sandie and Archie Stewart. They planned to convert her to a dry-dock by adding three feet to her sides and removing her arches. The sale price was $1,500 in gold.

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

 

Submarine Onondaga is off the Town of Perce

7/20 - Rimouski - The second leg of the voyage with submarine Onondaga under tow is proceeding faster than previously planned. At 8 a.m. Thursday morning, the tug boat Jerry Newberry and the submarine were about 30 miles off the town of Percé. If the weather conditions continue to be favorable, it was expected that the convoy would arrive at Rimouski on Thursday afternoon.

Departure from Halifax was initially scheduled for the 9th of July but the tug boat was delayed on two occasions. First it was unfavorable weather conditions in Halifax, and then it was a mechanical failure which delayed the departure. The tug boat and submarine finally departed Halifax at 16:00 on the 11th of July for a trip estimated to last 5 days. The first leg of the voyage from Halifax to the Strait of Canso went well, but high winds forced the convoy to remain tied up for nearly 48 hours at the Strait of Canso as a prevention until the wind died down.

Upon arrival at Rimouski, the Onondaga will be tied up at the Rimouski-Est wharf where she will undergo final preparations before being installed at Pointe-au-Pčre. Final towing maneuvers will begin at 3:23 a.m., during the night of August 1 to August 2, when high tide is expected reach a height of 4.6 M.

The submarine Onondaga is a relic of the cold war and roamed the oceans during 33 years, from 1967 to 2000. Interpretation activities will target the sharing with visitors of life onboard a submarine and the daily challenges facing a submariner, as well as the many technological innovations being experienced onboard submarines.

Source: Serge Guay via Gerry Ouderkirk

 

Port Reports - July 20

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons came in at 2 p.m. today with a load of coal for the Grand Haven Board of Light and Power Plant on Harbor Island

Toronto - Frank Hood
Olympic Merit departed Toronto on Saturday.

South Chicago - Matt Monahan
Around 10:30 a.m. Saturday, the Maumee, after backing unassisted, stern-first down the Calumet River, arrived at the South Dock of the KCBX terminal.
Soon after the Maumee tied up, Lafarge's tug G. L. Ostrander and barge Integrity passed on their way out to the lake.
Sometime in the late morning, the Mackinaw left her berth along the south side of Navy Pier and took up station a few miles out on Lake Michigan for the Mac Race.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Saturday afternoon the CSL Tadoussac departed US Steel at 1:30 p.m. The tug Anglian Lady and barge PML 2501 also departed at 1:30 p.m. Canadian Coast Guard Ship Cape Lambton arrived at 5 p.m. for the Canada Centre for Inland Waters. The Ocean Groupe tugs Omni Richelieu and LaPrairie arrived at 5:30 p.m. The CSL Laurentian departed at 8 p.m. from Pier 26 with slag for Sept. Ile Quebec after a lengthy delay due to electrical problems on the Burlington Lift Bridge.

Alpena and Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Friday the Alpena was in port at Lafarge.
The Canadian Transfer tied up at the Stoneport dock Saturday afternoon and was taking on cargo from the shiploader.
The Cason J. Calloway is scheduled to arrive Sunday morning.

 

Cleveland-built tug bound for Honduras

7/20 - Cleveland - The first Cleveland-built tugboat ever to be sold abroad will head to Honduras before fall.

Great Lakes Towing Co. sold the tugboat, built from steel keel to wheelhouse at the company's West Side Cleveland lakeshore shipyard, to a customer in Central America. It will go into operation in September. "We're especially proud that our buyer for this boat is in Honduras, because we know that this customer could buy a tug from anywhere in the world," said Ronald Rasmus, the tug company's president. "It tells us that we're competitive with the whole world."

The craft is a harbor tug that will operate in Puerto Cortes on the north coast of Honduras. It gets its power from two 1,400-horsepower diesel engines and, Rasmus said, "is just the right size (74-feet long and 28-feet wide), just the right power, environmentally sound, fuel-efficient and versatile enough to accomplish most tug jobs at the lowest operating cost."

Rasmus acknowledges that the buyer benefited in part from the lower value of the U.S. dollar, a circumstance that makes American-made products cheaper in many nations than they were in previous years. Great Lakes Towing has been in the tug-building business only since late 2006, when Rasmus established a shipbuilding facility at his more than 100-year-old business. The tug headed for Honduras is the second the company has built. "There's a big worldwide market need for tugs of this size, smaller tugs that a two-man crew can handle," he said.

He referred to studies that show that just in the United States, more than 1,500 tugs in this size class - between 2,000 and 3,000 horsepower - will probably need to be replaced in the next few years. The first craft, similar to tug No. 2, came out of the shipyard in April, and Rasmus quickly shipped it to its new owner on the West Coast. That earlier craft was the first tug built in Cleveland since 1931, and Rasmus said he expects his 68-member team to build many more in the coming years. Tug No. 3 is already under way and drawing interest from another buyer in Latin America.

While shipbuilding has not had any role in Greater Cleveland for many years - George Steinbrenner closed American Ship Building in Lorain in the 1970s - Great Lakes Towing recovered a brownfield on the Lake Erie shore just west of downtown and hired welders who, for the most part, had no experience in nautical construction.

Rasmus also forged a relationship with the welding, diesel mechanics and industrial arts programs at nearby Max Hayes High School, hiring tradesmen who graduated from the institution. He said he has a $3 million to $4 million payroll and expects to expand the company's site. While building the two tugboats, Great Lakes also has constructed and sold 27 metal barges that buyers have put to use in hauling cargo, as floating docks and, linked together, as temporary bridges.

Rasmus and his team designed the barges so they can be hauled on trucks and any number of them can be connected as platforms or much larger hauling surfaces. "We're shipping them all over the country and expect to be exporting the barges, too," he said. Depending upon the array of options that end up on tug No. 2, its Honduran buyer will pay between $3.2 million and $4 million.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

Updates - July 20

News Photo Gallery updated

New Links on the Links Page

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 20

The CANADOC suffered severe bow damage on July 20, 1963, in a collision with the Swiss-flagged freighter BARILOCHE in dense fog off Ile de Orleans, near Quebec City.

The LEON FALK JR was christened at Cleveland, July 20, 1961, after one trip to Duluth, Minnesota for ore.

HORACE JOHNSON (Hull#805) was launched July 20, 1929, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

The JAY C MORSE (Hull#438) was launched on July 20, 1907, at Cleveland, Ohio by American Ship building Co. for the Mesaba Steamship Co. (Pickands & Mather & Co., mgr.) Sold Canadian in 1965, renamed b.) SHELTER BAY, used as a storage barge at Goderich, renamed c.) D B WELDON in 1979. In 1982, her pilothouse was removed and is used as a museum in Goderich Harbor. The WELDON was scrapped at Thunder Bay in 1984.

At the end of June, 1877, the ferry MYRTLE began running between Port Huron and Sarnia. However, on 20 July 1877, The Port Huron Times reported that "The ferry MYRTLE has been taken off the route on account of the extreme dullness of the times."

The scow DIXIE burned during the night of 20 July 1875, while lying at Kenyon's dock in East China Township on the St. Clair River.

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

 

Lakes Limestone trade up in June by slimmest of margins

7/19 - Cleveland—Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes from U.S. and Canadian ports totaled 4.4 million net tons in June. The increase – 11,558 tons – represents one cargo in a 600-foot-long vessel.

The dredging crisis continued to impact the trade. A large tug/barge unit that has carried more than 35,000 tons of limestone in a trip twice saw its load fall below 30,000 tons in June. The vessel’s top load in June was only 34,036 tons.

For the year, the Lakes limestone trade stands at 11.8 million net tons, a decrease of 4.2 percent compared to the same point in 2007. Shipments are more than 10 percent behind the 5-year average for the first half of the year.

Source: Lake Carriers Association

 

Port Reports - July 19

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
English River was still unloading at LaFarge around 3 p.m. on Friday

Marquette - Rod Burdick and Lee Rowe
Canadian Leader arrived at the Upper Harbor ore dock just before sunrise on Friday and loaded taconite later in the morning. She was the first straight decker to load ore this season and last visited Marquette in October of 2007.
On a foggy Friday evening at the Upper Harbor, John G. Munson departed after loading ore, and Michipicoten was waiting to load ore. Munson's visit was her third of the season to the ore dock.

Toronto - Frank Hood and Charlie Gibbons
The new Great Lakes Feeder Line's Dutch Runner made its first stop in Toronto, arriving at Pier 52 early Friday morning. Stephen B. Roman departed Toronto Friday morning.
Hamilton Energy was refueling Olympic Merit at Redpath sugar just before the noon hour.

Manistee - Steve Harold
On Friday the Calumet arrived shortly after noon with a cargo of coal. As it made its way up the Manistee River and through the US 31 bridge a driver with health issues drove through the gates and hit the bridge. The car received considerable front end damage and the driver was taken to the hospital. Neither the bridge nor the Calumet were damaged.

 

It's Plan B for Red Green's big King B

7/19 - Hamilton - Steve Smith -- you can call him Red Green -- bought a 46-foot houseboat a dozen years ago and parked it on Hamilton Harbour. He never went anywhere. "Easier on gas," Smith says.

He and wife Morag and friends would drift over to the far shore of the West Bay, drop anchor off Carrolls Point for a few hours and slip home as darkness fell, loving the twinkle of the Hamilton skyline. Last summer was especially fine aboard the Queen B. But the boat was mainly for entertaining. With a grandchild on the scene, Smith thought it would be nice to have something bigger, with proper bedrooms for the family. He got something bigger all right. And that is why he has been stranded for weeks in a corner of Kentucky, trying to get his new boat home.

The Mississippi has been at its mightiest this year due to heavy rains across the Midwest. That rampaging river has been full of debris flying by -- 60-foot trees, pieces of buildings, refrigerators. Some say it could be months before Smith can put that boat on the big river. Others say he should never have tried. "I love problem solving," he says. "I love it when things go wrong." Exactly what you'd expect from the man inside Red Green.

His new houseboat, tied up in Grand Rivers, population 300, just east of the Mississippi. The mayor has just come over to shake his hand. Thanks to Kentucky Educational Television, Red Green is known here. Marine mechanics pull out their duct tape and smile. The new boat is 79 feet long. They're hard to find in Canada, Smith explains, because they're not good for the Great Lakes -- unless you're going to sit in Hamilton Harbour for months on end.

Down where he is now, there are lots of man-made lakes. On Lake Cumberland, for instance, are 2,400 houseboats, including some very big ones. Smith bought one of those. He's not saying what it cost, "but it's not nearly what you'd think. Half the price of a cottage." It's nine years old, has four bedrooms, a salon, an office, its own sewage treatment plant and water purification system -- though Smith isn't sure he's ready to try that in Hamilton. The boat was christened the Bacardi Breeze, but that will be changing to the King B.

The plan was to sail over to the Mississippi, coming in south of St. Louis. They expected the current against them to be no more than three knots an hour. As the King B moves comfortably on still water at eight knots, there would be a net forward speed of five knots. On July 2, they set out for the Mississippi. From one of the e-mails he has been sending to dozens of fascinated friends: "Had an easy 23 miles up the Cumberland River, past the Kentucky State Prison, home of 160 executions with two more on deck, and arrived in Grand Rivers.

"After getting gas we went to our slip but one of our engines locked in reverse at full throttle which had us spinning backwards out of control in the midst of several million-dollar yachts, many of which had the owners sitting on them." They averted disaster but came to realize that true disaster awaited the King B on the swollen Mississippi. The current was seven knots, which meant the boat would be nearly standing still. Smith looked into having the boat towed as far as Chicago, gateway to the Great Lakes. But that would cost $100,000.

Now, however, Plan B is in place. Yesterday was a long drive home to Hamilton. Smith will head back to Kentucky in 10 days. Down there, crews will strip off the boat's upper deck so the King B fits under highway bridges. Then the boat will be loaded onto a tractor-trailer for a 1,000-kilometre road trip. The boat will be hanging about six feet over the shoulder of the road. "Better warn the hitchhikers," Smith says. The convoy will include two escort vehicles, plus a motor home towing a trailer carrying the boat's roof.

There will be a layover in Erie, Pa., for reassembly, and then a retired navy guy named Captain Fred will pilot the King B across Lake Erie, up the Welland Canal and home. The whole exercise will cost about $25,000. That triumphant return should take place by Labour Day weekend. If luck changes for Hamilton's most famous handyman, it will be a summery September on our handsome harbour.

From the Hamilton Spectator

 

Willis B. Boyer Marine Memorabilia Flea Market August 3
Ride the Diamond Belle to Toledo from Wyandotte

Sunday, August 3, is the date for the Willis B. Boyer Marine Memorabilia Flea Market and Ship Model Display.

Co-sponsored by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Boyer/Riverfront Inc., Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping (www.BoatNerd.com) and Diamond Jack's River Tours, the event will take place in shoreside tents next to the museum ship Willis B. Boyer in Toledo. The show will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is only $6.00 and includes a tour of the Boyer.

In addition to many vendors with marine items for sale, there will be a pond with a model boat display. BBQ and refreshments will be available on the grounds.

To make the day even more complete, BoatNerd.com and Diamond Jack's are sponsoring a trip to Toledo on the Diamond Belle. Departing from Wyandotte at 8:00 a.m., the Belle is expected to arrive at the Boyer around 1:15. The trip cross open water on the western end of Lake Erie and travel up the Maumee River passing through several draw bridges.

Passengers will be allowed two hours of free time to shop the marine mart, tour the Boyer and enjoy the model ships display before boarding for the return trip to Wyandotte. The ticket price of $90.00 per person, includes three meals on board the Belle and admission to the mart and Boyer tour. Reservations are required.

Click here for Diamond Jack's Reservation form.

Vendors click here for details and registration form.

 

Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise planned for August 16

A 4-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan. Cruise leaves the Portofino's On The River restaurant, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am. We'll go where the boats are. Hopefully, up the Rouge River, maybe down the Detroit River. Bring your camera.

To make the trip even more interesting, a pizza buffet will be delivered by the mail boat J. W. Westcott. Cash bar on board. Plenty of free, safe parking at Portofino's. Click here for directions. All this for only $30.00 per person. Limited to the first 100 reservations.

 Mail your check today to: Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc., 1110 South Main Street, Findlay, OH 45840-2239. Checks will not be cashed until the week before the cruise. No physical tickets will be issued. Your name will be on the Boarding List. Check in before boarding.

Click here for Reservations Form.

 

Updates - July 19

News Photo Gallery updated

New Links on the Links Page

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 19

July 19, 1991 - P & H's BEECHGLEN returned to service clearing Port Weller Drydocks. Her hull had buckled on April 30, while loading a cargo of corn at Cardinal, Ontario. She arrived in Thunder Bay to unload her first cargo on July 23.

On this day in 1970, the ARTHUR B HOMER established a new Great Lakes loading record when she loaded 27,530 tons of ore at Escanaba. This eclipsed the previous record of 27,402 tons set by the EDMUND FITZGERALD.

EDWIN H GOTT (Hull#718) was float launched July 19, 1978, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Co. for U. S. Steel Corp.

CLARENCE B RANDALL sailed on her maiden voyage July 19, 1943, from Ashtabula, Ohio, light bound for Two Harbors, Minnesota. She was renamed b.) ASHLAND in 1962. The ASHLAND was scrapped at Mamonel, Columbia in 1988.

N. M. Paterson & Sons, CANADOC (Hull#627) was christened on July 19, 1961.

The registry of the GORDON C LEITCH, of 1954, was closed on July 19, 1985, as 'sold foreign'. She was scrapped at Setubal, Portugal in 1985.

JOHN P REISS in tandem tow with the carferry CITY OF SAGINAW 31 arrived at Castellon, Spain prior to July 19, 1973, for scrapping.

JOSEPH S YOUNG, a.) ARCHERS HOPE, was christened at Buffalo, New York on July 19, 1957. The JOSEPH S YOUNG was the first of seven T2 tanker conversions for Great Lakes service.

On 19 July 1831, the wooden schooner HENRY CLAY was carrying 800 barrels of salt and passengers from Oswego, New York to the Welland Canal on her maiden voyage when she capsized in a squall and sank about 10 miles off Port Dalhousie, Ontario on Lake Ontario. About 11 persons were aboard and at least 6 of them lost their lives. Three were saved by the steamer CANADA.

On 19 July 1900, the name of the Toledo tug A ANDREWS JR was changed to PALLISTER.

On 19 July 1871, J BARBER (wooden propeller steamer, 125 foot, 306 tons, built in 1856, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying fruit from St. Joseph, Michigan to Chicago when she caught fire and sank 14 miles off Michigan City, Indiana. Five lives were lost.

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

 

Port Reports - July 18

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Catherine Desgagnes was at the Nidera elevator in Milwaukee's inner harbor on Thursday, with loading chutes in place.
Ocean bulker Bluewing was at Terminal 2 in the outer harbor, unloading steel.
Cement carrier Integrity with its tug G. L. Ostrander delivered cement to the LaFarge silo in the inner harbor basin.

Chicago Navy Pier -
USCGC Mackinaw was inbound Chicago Harbor Light at 7 p.m. Wednesday. She went on to moor starboard-side-to on the south side of Navy Pier. Looks like she's in town for the Chicago-Mackinaw race on Saturday. The Kings Point racing yacht is making preparations for the race. She was moored just near the mouth of the Chicago river.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
For Thursday, American Century was loading coal at the CSX Dock.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the American Mariner and Robert S. Pierson due in Saturday, Algolake and Herbert C. Jackson on Monday, followed by the Calumet on Tuesday.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Docks has the Nanticoke on Tuesday, followed by the CSL Niagara and John J. Boland on Thursday. The Capt. Henry Jackman is due into the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on Saturday.

Toronto - Frank Hood
Stephen B. Roman arrived back in Toronto on Thursday.

 

Hannah Marine touring ExiderDome No. 1

7/18 - Seimens ExiderDOME No. 1 sailed Wednesday morning from Ironhead Marine in Toledo, Oh.

The exhibition barge was towed by the Mary E. Hannah, with the Donald C. Hannah being the tail tug out past the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron.

Marine operations for the Great Lakes tour of the vessel are under the management of Hannah Marine Corp.

Hannah Marine Corp. News Release

 

Updates - July 18

News Photo Gallery updated

Gatherings page updated

Calendar of Events updated

New Links on the Links Page

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 18

On this day in 1974, Interlake Steamship decommissioned the COLONEL JAMES PICKANDS after 48 years of service due to continuing problems with her boilers and engines.

The AGAWA CANYON struck an abutment at Welland Canal's Bridge 11, at Allanburg, Ontario on July 18, 1977, while downbound with salt for Kingston, Ontario and sustained a thirty-foot gash just above the waterline at the port bow.

The canal tanker COMET (Hull#705) of the American Ship Building Co., at Lorain, Ohio, entered service on July 18, 1913, for ocean service. Sold Mexican and renamed b.) COMETA in 1928. She returned to the lakes in 1936, renamed c.) COMET for Cleveland Tankers. She was lengthened in 1940. She was scrapped at Ashtabula, Ohio in 1973.

The WILLIAM J FILBERT was in collision with the KINSMAN INDEPENDENT, of 1907, at the Burlington Northern Dock on July 18, 1970, when the Steel Trust steamer lost control in the current entering the slip.

The entire forward superstructure of the b.) JOHN DYKSTRA, a.) BENSON FORD of 1924, including the forecastle deck, was delivered to South Bass Island in Lake Erie on July 18, 1986, on the barge THOR 101 towed by the tug GREGORY J BUSCH. The superstructure was moved for use as a summer home where it remains. The hull of the DYKSTRA was sold to Marine Salvage, Port Colborne, Ontario and was towed from Cleveland, Ohio July 10th by the tugs ARGUE MARTIN and GLENBROOK to Ramey's Bend arriving there on July 12, 1986, where she was scrapped.

WILLIAM A REISS was launched July 18, 1925, as a.) JOHN A TOPPING (Hull#251) at River Rouge, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Columbia Steamship Co..

WILLIAM G MATHER completed her sea trials on July 18, 1925.

On 18 July 1858, ANDROMEDA (2-mast wooden schooner, 112 foot, 568 tons, built in 1848, at Madison Dock, Ohio) was carrying 800 barrels of salt from Oswego to Chicago. She sprang a leak suddenly and foundered 20 miles from Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The crew escaped in her boat, many just in their underwear. They arrived at Manitowoc the next day.

On 18 July 1872, the schooner D L COUCH of Detroit (formerly AVCORN) sank about 10 miles from Long Point on Lake Erie. Two lives were lost.

The wooden propeller freigjhter N K FAIRBANK (205 foot, 980 gross tons) was launched in Marine City, Michigan by W. B. Morley on 18 July 1874. She was then towed to Detroit where her engines were in stalled by William Cowie. She had two direct acting condensing engines 34 foot x 32 inches on one shaft and her boiler was installed on her main deck. She only lasted until 1895, when she stranded and burned near Port Colborne, Ontario. The remains of the hull were sold to Carter Brothers of Port Colborne and it was rebuilt and enrolled as a new vessel with the name ELIZA H STRONG. The STRONG lasted until she burned in 1904.

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

 

Cleveland-Cliffs announces merger with Appalachian coal company in $10 billion deal

7/17 - Duluth - Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. is merging with Alpha Natural Resources in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $10 billion.

Cliffs is the largest producer of iron ore pellets in North America. Alpha is a major supplier of Appalachian coal to the steel industry, electric utilities and other industries. Cliffs announced the merger this morning. Under the deal, which each company’s board of directors has approved, Cliffs will acquire all outstanding shares of Alpha. Alpha stockholders will receive 0.95 Cleveland-Cliffs common shares and $22.23 in cash for each share of Alpha common stock.

The transaction is subject to approval by Cleveland-Cliffs and Alpha shareholders, as well as regulatory approvals. The merger is expected to close by the end of 2008.

The combined company, which will be renamed Cliffs Natural Resources, will become one of the largest U.S. mining companies. Cliffs Natural Resources’ facilities will include nine iron ore facilities and more than 60 coal mines located across North America, South America and Australia. Upon the transaction's close, Cliffs Natural Resources will have esti-mated revenue of nearly $6.5 billion for 2008. The company's estimated 2009 revenue could reach $10 billion.

Cliffs Natural Resources' world headquarters will be located in Cleveland. The iron ore business will operate from Cleve-land and the coal business from Abingdon, Va. The company will have separate operating divisions for iron ore and coal. Kevin Crutchfield, currently president of Alpha Natural Resources, will become president of the combined company's coal businesses. Donald Gallagher, currently Cleveland-Cliffs' president, North American Business Unit, will become president of the combined company's iron ore businesses. Cleveland-Cliffs' executive vice president and chief financial officer, Laurie Brlas, will remain chief financial officer of the combined company.

“Today's announcement represents a significant strategic milestone for both companies,” said Joseph A. Carrabba, Cleve-land-Cliffs' chairman, president and chief executive officer in the news release announcing the merger. “Cliffs Natural Resources will be positioned as a diversified natural resources company with significant holdings in a variety of important minerals. By combining our companies' complementary operations and management capabilities, we will be well positioned to meet the world's increasing demand for raw materials. Since its inception in 2002, Alpha has been highly respected for its industry leading expertise around both the operation and acquisition/integration of coal properties, and we are confident our two management teams and more than 8,900 employees will achieve great things together.”

On Monday, Cliffs announced that it had become the sole owner of United Taconite in Eveleth – buying United Mining Co. Ltd.’s 30 percent interest for $100 million in cash and more than 1.5 million Cleveland-Cliffs common shares.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports - July 17

Detroit - Angie Williams and Dave Cozens
On Wednesday, tug Mary E. Hannah towed barge Exiderdome No. 1 past Detroit from Toledo on her way to Chicago. Tug Donald C. Hannah was on the stern. Malcolm Marine tug Manitou was on her way down to assist the tow by setting up in the notch & pushing.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The tug M. R. Kane will be busy for the next nine days moving and tending the barge Radium 610, which has been turned into a floating golf green. In the days leading up to the 2008 RBC Canadian Open, the floating golf green will be moored off Polson Pier for a $1,000,000 Shootout - finals to be held Wednesday, July 23rd.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The USCGC Mackinaw was in port over night and observed outside the pierheads heading south mid morning Wednesday.
The Manitowoc crossed the pierheads about 4 p.m. heading for Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg and was still unloading Wednesday evening.

 

Sailor overboard

7/17 - Oswego, NY - A Dutch man who spent nine hours floating in Lake Ontario after falling off his sailboat was hospitalized in stable condition Wednesday, authorities said.

Dick Slettenhar, 58, was pulled from the lake about 15 miles north of Oswego about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter. Slettenhar was taken to Oswego Hospital with mild hypothermia. Slettenhar and his wife, Ellen Kupers, 57, were sailing a 50-foot catamaran when Slettenhar fell in the water at about 2:30 p.m. while trying to fix a sail, said Petty Officer William Mitchell. Authorities could not immediately provide the couple's hometown.

The couple left Prince Edward Bay in Canada and camped Monday night at Main Duck Island, part of the St. Lawrence Islands National Park of Canada, Mitchell said.

Oswego County 911 dispatchers received a panicked phone call from Kupers about 3:35 p.m. saying her husband had fallen off the boat and disappeared. Coast Guard rescuers found Kupers on the catamaran near Main Duck Island about 4:30 p.m., he said. Mitchell said the search was initially difficult because the wife didn't know how to sail the catamaran and was unsure how to inform rescuers of the boat's exact location. Searchers were optimistic about finding Slettenhar alive because he wore a life preserver and was in good health, Mitchell said.

Searchers in helicopters, boats and planes from Coast Guard stations in Oswego and Detroit and the Canadian Coast Guard took part in the search.

From The Associated Press.

 

Updates - July 17

News Photo Gallery updated

Gatherings page updated

Calendar of Events updated

New Links on the Links Page

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 17

On this day in 1902, the JAMES H HOYT, the first boat with hatches constructed at 12 foot centers, loaded 5,250 tons of iron ore in 30.5 minutes on her maiden voyage. Several days later, the cargo was unloaded at Conneaut in three hours and 52 minutes.

On this day in 1961, the C&P dock in Cleveland set a new unloading record when they removed more than 15,000 tons of ore from the holds of the E G GRACE in 3 hours and 20 minutes.

The ASHCROFT was towed out of Quebec City on July 17, 1969, in tandem with the steamer SIR THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY by the Polish tug JANTAR for scrapping at Castellon, Spain.

The BROOKDALE, of 1909, lost her self-unloading boom overboard in the Detroit River during a wind and rain storm on July 17, 1980, while loading salt at the Canadian Rock Salt Dock at Ojibway, Ontario.

The Cleveland Tanker's COMET was towed from Toledo to Ashtabula, Ohio on July 17, 1973, where she was broken up during the summer and fall of 1973.

WILLIAM J FILBERT was launched in 1907, as a.) WILLIAM M MILLS (Hull#348) at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Weston Transit Co. (William M. Mills, mgr.) .

On her last trip the COLONEL JAMES PICKANDS arrived at Cleveland, Ohio on July 17, 1974, with a load of iron ore.

Mohawk Navigation's GOLDEN HIND loaded her first dry bulk cargo on July 17, 1954. She had been rebuilt from the Imperial Oil Ltd.'s tanker a.) IMPERIAL WOODBEND.

On 17 July 1856, TINTO (wooden propeller, 135 foot, built in 1855-56, at Sorel, Quebec) caught fire and burned to a total loss only 2 miles from shore. She was between Snake Island and Nine Mile Point on Lake Ontario. 18 lives were lost. The survivors jumped into the water and were picked up by a boat from shore. A newspaper article stated that she had no lifeboat aboard. Her machinery was later recovered and installed in the AVON.

On 17 July 1883, B PARSONS (2-mast wooden schooner, 218 tons, built in 1856, at Vermilion, Ohio) struck the north pier while entering the harbor at Charlevoix, Michigan during a gale. She sank crosswise in the channel and blocked passage into the harbor for two weeks until she broke up enough to allow vessels to pass. In December, the steam tug S S COE towed the hulk a half mile down the beach and abandoned it.

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

 

Port Reports - July 16

Menominee - Dick Lund
Sunday night, the BBC Elbe finally arrived at KK Integrated Logistics East Dock with more wind turbine parts after waiting at anchor for over 12 hours for the weather to abate. It was assisted into port by Selvick Marine's tug, Jacquelyn Nicole. By Monday night they appeared to be unloaded, but the ship was backed up-river to the KK West Dock in anticipation of the Marlene Green's arrival. The Green arrived Tuesday morning, also with wind turbine parts, and both ships were still in port at mid-afternoon. This is the first time this year that both of the ships carrying wind turbine parts to Menominee have been in port at the same time. This is the seventh trip to Menominee for the Marlene Green and the sixth for the BBC Elbe in 2008.

Calcite - Angela McCartney
Calumet made its way into Calcite Tuesday morning at around 11 a.m. estimated time of departure from Calcite 6 p.m.

Toronto - Frank Hood
Olympic Merit arrived at Redpath Sugar Tuesday morning.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Tuesday morning at the Upper Harbor ore dock, Charles M. Beeghly loaded taconite.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
St. Clair remained in Fraser Shipyards on Tuesday morning, with its unloading boom raised and a large crane alongside the dock. The vessel entered the yard Monday for what was expected to be a short stay.
Elsewhere in port Tuesday morning, saltie Hans Lehmann was unloading wind turbines at the Duluth port terminal, Indiana Harbor was loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal and a ULS vessel that appeared to be Canadian Olympic was unloading at Hallett 8.

St. Lawrence Seaway - Ron Beaupre
The heavy lift saltwater ship Dutch Runner is heading up Lake Ontario Tuesday morning on her way to Port Weller to load boilers. She is owned by Great Lakes Feeder Lines and registered in Quebec City. She has cabins forward and smokestack aft with two large cranes on the spar deck. Built by J.J. Sietas at Hamburg in 1988, she came out as North King and became Dutch Runner in 2000, P&O Nedlloyd Douala in 2001, and back to Dutch Runner again in 2002. She was registered in Canada on 22 April, 2008.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Grande Mariner was back on the inside wall of the basin Tuesday evening.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
On Tuesday, Frontenac was unloading ore at the Torco Ore Dock.
Michipicoten was unloading stone at the Midwest Terminal Dock and was expected to leave Tuesday evening.
The tugs Mary E. Hannah and Donald C. Hannah are at the Ironhead Shipyard late Tuesday afternoon. As of Tuesday evening, the barge Exiderdome No. 1 still remains in drydock at the shipyard. It appears that both the Hannah tugs will be involved with the barge Exiderdome No. 1 tow to Chicago. The barge looks quite impressive in her new livery.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. due in Thursday, American Mariner on Friday, Robert S. Pierson and Manitowoc due in Saturday, followed by the Algolake and Herbert C. Jackson on Monday.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco dock has the Nanticoke due in Monday.

Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
Tuesday afternoon around 4 p.m, the Algosoo arrived at the Stoneport dock. The Algosoo is a rare visitor to the area. A severe thunderstorm passed through with hail and heavy rain not long after it tied up. Loading was expected to begin later in the evening.
Buffalo is scheduled to load next on Wednesday morning.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Tuesday evening, American Mariner loaded taconite at the Upper Harbor ore dock for the third time in July.

 

Algoma Central and Georgian College to display
Marine Navigation Simulator at Canal Days

7/16 - St. Catharines – Algoma Central Corporation and Georgian College will attend the Canal Days celebration at Port Colborne, Ontario from August 1st to August 4th.

A highlight of the Event will be a demonstration of the Transas/Alliance navigation bridge simulator. The simulator will be open to the public at the L.R. Wilson Heritage Archives building on the grounds of the Port Colborne Historical Marine Museum.

An interactive display, the simulator is globally recognized for its technically advanced training capabilities. The Class A full mission ship handling simulator, serving as a classroom trainer, offers a 360degree view around the horizon, with the latest graphic generation and projection technologies. The virtual ship’s bridge allows a configuration of a variety of vessel types, including lakers and oceangoing vessels. Navigation equipment simulated includes the integration of ARPA/Radar, Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS), Automatic Identification System (AIS), Gyrocompass System, GMDSS and Autopilot/Steering Controls. Navigation is simulated on Canadian waters and global shipping routes.

Algoma Central Corporation is actively seeking officer candidates for training/employment positions on their domestic bridge and engine room teams. The demonstration of the Transas/Alliance simulator is an initiative which is expected to create an awareness of the rewarding career potential within the Corporation. Algoma Central Corporation is the largest Canadianflag ship owner on the Great LakesSt. Lawrence Waterway.

The Corporation owns 19 Canadianflag drybulk vessels (with two on order), plus four Canadianflag tanker vessels (with two in final stages of construction), a foreignflag tanker vessel (with five under construction), three oceangoing bulkers and two oceangoing selfunloaders through whollyowned subsidiaries. The Corporation also has an interest through a jointventure in an oceangoing fleet of five selfunloaders which are part of the largest commercial arrangement of its type in the world.

Hours for simulator: Friday, August 1st: 1pm to 4pm/Saturday August 2nd: 11am to 5pm/Sunday August 3rd: 11am to 5pm/Monday August 4th: 1pm to 4pm.

Port Colborne News Release

 

Updates - July 16

News Photo Gallery updated

Gatherings page updated

Calendar of Events updated

New Links on the Links Page

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 16

The DETROIT EDISON, of 1955, departed Quebec City July 16th 1986, along with former fleet mate SHARON, in tow of the U.S. tug PRUDENT to Brownsville, Texas for scrapping.

The SAGINAW BAY departed Quebec City on July 16, 1985, in tandem with the E B BARBER, towed by the Polish tug KORAL for scrapping at Vigo, Spain.

The NORTHERN VENTURE, a.) VERENDRYE of 1944, entered Great Lakes service July 16, 1961, upbound light for the Canadian lake head to load grain.

On July 16, 1935, the BRUCE HUDSON capsized on Lake Ontario off Cobourg, Ontario, while in tow of the wooden-hulled tug MUSCALLONGE.

Keel laying of the CHI-CHEEMAUN (Hull#205) was on July 16, 1973, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Ontario Northland Transport Commission.

CATARACT (wooden propeller, 15 foot', 352 tons, built in 1852, at Buffalo) caught fire on 16 July 1861, 5 miles off Erie, Pennsylvania. She became an inferno astern in just a few minutes and this prevented her boats from being launched. Four died. Some were saved by clinging to floating wreckage and some others were rescued by a small fishing boat. The schooner ST PAUL picked up some survivors, Among those picked up by Captain Mosher of the ST PAUL, were Captain McNally and the CATARACT's carpenter. Capt. Mosher had rescued these same two men in 1858, when the propeller INDIANA was lost in Lake Superior.

On 16 July 1873, the new barge MINNEAPOLIS was towed to Detroit for outfitting. She had just been launched four days earlier at Marine City, Michigan. While on the way to Detroit, a Canadian man named Sinclair fell overboard and drowned.

On 16 July 1874, The Port Huron Times reported that "the old steamer REINDEER has been rebuilt to a barge by L. C. Rogers at H. C. Schnoor's shipyard at Fair Haven, [Michigan]. Her beautiful horns have been taken down, [she carried a set of large antlers], her machinery and cumbersome side-wheels removed, and she has been fully refitted with center arch and deck frame complex."

July 16, 1961, the PIONEER CHALLENGER (now AMERICAN VICTORY) entered service. Built in 1943, as a T-3 tanker a.) MARQUETTE, renamed b.) U.S.S. NESCHANIC (AO-71) in 1943, c.) GULFOIL in 1947, d.) PIONEER CHALLENGER in 1961, e.) MIDDLETOWN in 1962, and f.) AMERICAN VICTORY in 2006.

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

 

Cleveland-Cliffs becomes sole owner of United Taconite

7/15 - Duluth - Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. has acquired United Mining Co. Ltd.'s 30 percent interest in United Taconite, an iron ore mining and pelletizing operation located in Eveleth. The purchase gives Cliffs 100 percent ownership of the operation.

The purchase price included $100 million in cash and more than 1.5 million Cleveland-Cliffs common shares. In addition, the transaction includes a provision to supply 1.2 million tons of iron ore pellets over the next five quarters at no cost.

“Strategically, the consolidation of the UTAC minority interest strengthens our core North American Iron Ore business, and together with our Northshore property, gives Cliffs two wholly-owned iron ore assets in North America,” Joseph Carrabba, Cliffs' chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a news release announcing the purchase. “Moreover, as Cliffs currently manages the operation, there is no integration risk associated with the transaction.”

The acquisition does not require regulatory approval and has an effective close date of June 30, 2008, Cliffs said. United Taconite is expected to produce 5.2 million tons in 2008. It had proven reserves of 133 million tons on Dec. 31. As a result of this transaction, as well as the recently announced expansion project at the company's Michigan mines, Cliffs' total North American iron ore equity pellet production will increase to 23 million tons in 2008 and more than 24 million tons in 2009.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports - July 15

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons & Frank Hood
Algontario went out just after 6:30 a.m. Monday.
Olympic Miracle departed Redpath with Groupe Ocean tug assistance at 11:30 a.m.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The tug/barge Karen Andrie /A397 departed the North Entrance at 7 a.m. Monday. She was still in the push mode out in the lake.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Monday saw the Calumet was back again with a split load this time for the Bay City and Saginaw Wirt Stone docks. Also in on Monday was the Olive L. Moore & Lewis J. Kuber who called on the Bay Aggregates Dock in Bay City

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
On Saturday, in a driving rain, the Saginaw delivered a load of stone to Meekhof's D & M dock on Harbor Island.
Monday morning, the St. Mary's Challenger delivered a short load to the St. Mary's Cement terminal in Ferrysburg.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
Overnight in the early morning hours of Saturday, the Mississagi brought its second load salt to the Alpena Oil Dock.
Sunday morning the Alpena was under the silos at Lafarge loading for Superior, WI.
The Samuel de Champlain/barge Innovation arrived in port Monday morning.

 

Updates - July 15

News Photo Gallery updated

Gatherings page updated

Calendar of Events updated

New Links on the Links Page

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 15

July 15, 1991 - The Spanish, 1975-built, 7,311 gross ton, ocean motor bulk carrier MILANOS anchored in the Detroit River since July 2, began the long slow trip home. Auxiliar de Transporte Maritimos, the ships owners, decided it would be cheaper to the crippled ship home for repairs rather than have the repairs performed locally. The ship's engine seized after the crankshaft broke. She departed Detroit, bound for Montreal under tow of Malcolm Marine's TUG MALCOLM and McKeil's tug ARGUE MARTIN. The tow passed down the Seaway on July 19.

On July 15, 1961, the d.) WALTER A STERLING, now f.) LEE A TREGURTHA), entered service on the Great Lakes for Cleveland Cliffs Steamship Co., after conversion from a T-3 tanker. The next day, on July 16, 1961, the d.) PIONEER CHALLENGER, now f.) AMERICAN VICTORY, entered service for the Pioneer Steamship Co (Hutchinson & Co., mgr.).

The CHICAGO TRADER was launched as a.) THE HARVESTER (Hull#391) at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. in 1911, for the Wisconsin Steel Co.

In 1946, the NORISLE (Hull#136) was launched at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for the Dominion & Owen Sound Transportation Co. Ltd.

In 1934, the ANN ARBOR NO 4 collided with the steamer N F LEOPOLD in a heavy fog.

On Saturday, 15 July 1871, an argument between Captain James Bradley and Mate John Reed started while the schooner ROBERT EMMETT was docked at Erie, Pennsylvania unloading iron ore. They were still shouting at each other as the ship sailed out of the harbor. In short order, the ship turned around and anchored in the harbor. At 3:00 a.m. the following morning, Reed rowed ashore, went directly to the police station and charged that Capt. Bradley had assaulted him with a knife. At dawn, as the police were on their way to question Capt. Bradley, they found him stepping ashore from the deck of a tug, fuming that Reed had stolen the ship's only small boat. Bradley and Reed were at each other again and the police arrested both men. Bradley then filed charges against Reed for mutiny, assault and theft of the ship's boat. The case went to court the very next day. Justice of the Peace Foster saw his courtroom packed with curious sailors and skippers. Reed and Bradley were both still fuming and after listening to just a little testimony, Foster found both men guilty, fined them both and ordered both to pay court costs. The matter didn't end there since Reed later had to get a court order to get his personal belongings off the EMMETT. There is no record of what the disagreement was that started this whole mess.

The iron side-wheel steamer DARIUS COLE (201 foot, 538 gross tons) was launched at the Globe Iron Works (Hull #10) in Cleveland, Ohio on 15 July 1885. During her career, she had two other names b.) HURON 1906 - 1921, and c.) COLONIAL 1921 - 1925. She burned off Barcelona, New York on Lake Erie on 1 September 1925, while on an excursion. The hull was beached and later towed to Dunkirk, New York for scrapping.

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

 

Change of command set for Coast Guard Buffalo sector

7/14 - Buffalo - A change-of-command ceremony will take place at 11 a. m. Monday at the U. S. Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, located on 1 Fuhrmann Blvd.

The ceremony will transfer the command of Sector Buffalo from Capt. Scott Ferguson to Capt. Robert Burchell, the deputy director of the U. S. Coast Guard Leadership and Development Center in New London, Conn. The sector’s area of responsibility extends from Massena to Vermilion, Ohio.

Ferguson will be leaving to serve as the chief of prevention at the Seventh Coast Guard District in Miami. Under his command, the sector conducted more than 2,000 search-and-rescue cases and investigated more than 150 marine casualties and pollution incidents.

From the Buffalo News

 

Port Reports - July 14

Erie, PA - Jeff Benson
The Presque Isle was in Erie for some kind of repairs as of Sunday afternoon. There is a repair barge near the stern and a large crane has been swung out over the stern.

Goderich - Jacob Smith
On a hot, muggey Sunday, Upper lakes Canadian Transfer came into port and loaded salt.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
Saturday saw the Herbert C. Jackson in at the ore dock with an unusual load for the hopper. She brought sand loaded at Drummond Island. She was to take on ore after her unload. The Michipicoten arrived and dropped her starboard bow anchor before reaching the ore dock. She brought the anchor up after tying up at the dock.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Stephan B. Roman departed early Sunday morning and English River arrived Sunday afternoon. Algontario is tied up at Pier 35 West.
Olympic Miracle remains unloading at Redpath.

St. Clair River - Frank Frisk
A family reunion so to speak in the St Clair River Sunday evening. The James R. Barker, Kaye E. Barker, Lee A Tregurtha and Paul R. Tregurtha all within a five mile range of each other.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Late Sunday afternoon the Montrealais arrived at 5 p.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco. Canadian Leader arrived an hour later also with iron ore pellets for Dofasco. Tug Anglian Lady and barge PML 2501 departed Pier 23 at 7:30 p.m. The saltie Annalisa departed at 8 p.m.

Stoneport - Angela McCartney
The Calumet made its way into Stoneport around 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon to load and headed out around 9:45 p.m. Sunday evening downbound for Saginaw.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Mississagi was inbound Sunday morning calling on the Buena Vista dock in Saginaw. She completed her unload and was outbound for the lake Sunday evening.
The tug Ivory Coast and her tank barge were outbound from the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City late Sunday night after arriving to unload on Saturday

 

Willis B. Boyer Marine Memorabilia Flea Market August 3
Ride the Diamond Belle to Toledo from Wyandotte

Sunday, August 3, is the date for the Willis B. Boyer Marine Memorabilia Flea Market and Ship Model Display.

Co-sponsored by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Boyer/Riverfront Inc., Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping (www.BoatNerd.com) and Diamond Jack's River Tours, the event will take place in shoreside tents next to the museum ship Willis B. Boyer in Toledo. The show will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is only $6.00 and includes a tour of the Boyer.

In addition to many vendors with marine items for sale, there will be a pond with a model boat display. BBQ and refreshments will be available on the grounds.

To make the day even more complete, BoatNerd.com and Diamond Jack's are sponsoring a trip to Toledo on the Diamond Belle. Departing from Wyandotte at 8:00 a.m., the Belle is expected to arrive at the Boyer around 1:15. The trip cross open water on the western end of Lake Erie and travel up the Maumee River passing through several draw bridges.

Passengers will be allowed two hours of free time to shop the marine mart, tour the Boyer and enjoy the model ships display before boarding for the return trip to Wyandotte. The ticket price of $90.00 per person, includes three meals on board the Belle and admission to the mart and Boyer tour. Reservations are required.

Click here for Diamond Jack's Reservation form.

Vendors click here for details and registration form.

 

Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise planned for August 16

A 4-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan. Cruise leaves the Portofino's On The River restaurant, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am. We'll go where the boats are. Hopefully, up the Rouge River, maybe down the Detroit River. Bring your camera.

To make the trip even more interesting, a pizza buffet will be delivered by the mail boat J. W. Westcott. Cash bar on board. Plenty of free, safe parking at Portofino's. Click here for directions. All this for only $30.00 per person. Limited to the first 100 reservations.

 Mail your check today to: Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc., 1110 South Main Street, Findlay, OH 45840-2239. Checks will not be cashed until the week before the cruise. No physical tickets will be issued. Your name will be on the Boarding List. Check in before boarding.

Click here for Reservations Form.

 

Updates - July 14

News Photo Gallery updated

Gatherings page updated

Calendar of Events updated

New Links on the Links Page

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 14

The AMERICAN REPUBLIC (Hull#724) was launched July 14, 1980, by the Bay Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin for the American Steamship Co.

While upbound in the St. Lawrence River on July 14, 1970, for Saginaw, Michigan with a load of pig iron from Sorel, Quebec, the EASTCLIFFE HALL, of 1954, grounded in mud near Chrysler Shoal six miles above Massena, New York at 03:00 hours but was able to free herself. A few hours later, approaching Cornwall, Ontario she struck a submerged object and sank within a few minutes in 70 feet of water only 650 feet from the point of impact. The submerged object was believed to be an old aid to navigation light stand. Nine lives were lost. Divers determined that her back was broken in two places. After salvaging part of the cargo, her cabins were leveled and her hull was filled.

In 1988, the JOHN T HUTCHINSON and "tow mate" CONSUMERS POWER passed through the Panama Canal heading for the cutters torch in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

On 14 July 1908, MENTOR (wooden propeller tug, 53 foot, 23 gross tons, built in 1882, at Saugatuck, Michigan) burned south of Chicago, Illinois. No lives lost. Her original name was HATTIE A FOX.

On 14 July 1891, T H ORTON (wooden barge, 262 gross tons, built in 1873, at Buffalo, New York) anchored off Marblehead, Ohio on Lake Erie to ride out a storm. She dragged her anchors and was driven ashore where she was declared a total wreck. She may have been recovered though. Just two years earlier, this vessel went through a similar incident at the same spot!

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

 

Exiderdome' outfitted in Toledo

7/13 - Toledo - From the outside, it looks familiar - a 350-foot-long oil barge, with shipping containers stacked on its deck like building blocks. But in fact the "Exiderdome," resting in the Toledo shipyard dry-dock, is unlike any other boat in the country.

A "floating trade exhibition," the containers will house glass exhibits displaying electronic products from Siemens Energy & Automation Inc., according to the company. Rather than busing their exhibits in piecemeal to individual trade shows, Siemens will ship the full exposition from city to city.

Officials from the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, as well as Ironhead Marine Inc., which operates the shipyard, hope that the port will be seeing more of this type of work in the future. "We have the two dry-docks, we have an operator who's capable of this kind of work, and we have a great central location," said Joe Cappel of the Port Authority. Dozens of workers from Siemens, Ironhead, and German public relations firm OSK Marketing & Communications Inc. are working to complete the project by Tuesday, when the barge will begin its journey west to open in Chicago.

From there, it will travel the Great Lakes and both coasts to display Siemens products throughout America.

The oil ship is owned by Chicago-based Hannah Marine Corp., but has been leased to OSK to be used in trade shows for Siemens. "This is a unique, one-of-a-kind project," said Tony LaMantia, president of Ironhead. "It's basically a floating theater." When it is finished, 55 cargo containers will display electronics for Siemens commercial and industrial customers - "anything that would have wire," according to Kimberly Campvell-Djuric, an account manager at Siemens.

Aside from the displays, the exhibition will include a multi-media theater, according to releases from Siemens.

Although this type of project isn't likely to return to the Toledo port, Mr. LaMantia said he hoped his company would see more conversion projects in the future. Ironhead, which took control of the Toledo Shipyard in 2006, is embarking on a four-year, "ship- yard modernization project" to offer more services at the Toledo port, according to a release from the company.

With aging fleets in most shipping companies, "conversions" of vessels will be increasing in the Great Lakes, Mr. LaMantia said. "We plant to capture some of that," he said.

For the project, which has taken about three weeks, about 40 workers from OSK joined 45 Ironhead employees and 25 subcontractors with Ironhead to refurbish the vessel. "It's been a significant bump to the economy," Mr. LaMantia said.

From the Toledo Blade

 

Port Reports - July 13

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
American Fortitude arrived after 9 p.m. Friday and travel up the creek to unload at General Mills.

Port of Indiana - Brian Z.
On a rainy Saturday morning, the barge James L. Kuber was discharging stone at the port. Also, the Burns Harbor was docking at Arcelor-Mittal to unload her cargo of taconite pellets for the mill.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
On Friday, Olympic Miracle was followed in by English River which backed in to the slip. The Olympic Miracle was refueled by Hamilton Energy which came in around 11 a.m.
English River departed on Saturday.
Stephen B. Roman arrived on Saturday and Algontario arrived early Sunday morning.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Early Friday evening the CSL Laurentian arrived at 5:30 p.m. for US Steel. Hamilton Energy arrived at 7 p.m. after bunkering in Toronto. The saltie Bluewing departed at 7 p.m. for the Welland Canal. Garganey departed at 7:15 p.m. heading down the lake.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Calumet was inbound early Saturday morning calling on the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee to unload. She was followed by her fleetmate, Manistee, who was carrying a split load for the Bay City and Saginaw Wirt docks. Manistee finished first and was outbound Saturday afternoon. Calumet was delayed by mechanical issues and was finally outbound Saturday evening.
The tug Ivory Coast was inbound Saturday night with her tank barge, bound for the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City. They were expected to be outbound later on Sunday.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Saturday had the Quebecois arriving at 7 a.m. through heavy fog. She is discharging a cargo of iron ore pellets at Dofasco.
The Maritime Trader departed at 12 noon from Pier 25 with a load of soya beans and corn for Sorel.
The Federal Power departed at 5:30 p.m. with a part load of steel for Cleveland.
The Atlantic Huron arrived at 7 p.m. with coal for US Steel.
Next the John B Aird arrived at 8 p.m. with coal for Dofasco.
The tug Anglian Lady and barge PML 2501 arrived at 10 p.m. with tar for Pier 23.

 

Updates - July 13

News Photo Gallery updated

Gatherings page updated

Calendar of Events updated

New Links on the Links Page

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 13

Algoma's straight-deck bulk freighter ALGOWEST was christened at Collingwood on July 13, 1982. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1998, and renamed b.) PETER R CRESSWELL in 2001.

SASKATCHEWAN PIONEER (Hull#258) was launched July 13, 1983, at Govan, Scotland by Govan Shipbuilders Ltd. for Pioneer Shipping Ltd. (Misener Transportation Ltd., mgr.). Renamed b.) LADY HAMILTON in 1995. Purchased by Voyageur Transportation in 2006.

The LIGHTSHIP 103 was opened to visitors on July 13, 1974, at the city's Pine Grove Park along the St. Clair River.

The rebuilt BOSCOBEL was launched at the Peshtigo Company yard at Algonac, Michigan on 13 July 1876. Originally built in 1867, as a passenger/package freight propeller vessel, she burned and sank near Ft. Gratiot in 1869. The wreck was raised, but no work was done until January 1876, when she was completely rebuilt as a schooner-barge at Algonac. She sank again in the ice on Lake Erie in 1895, and was again raised and rebuilt. She lasted until 1909, when she sank in the middle of Lake Huron during a storm.

On 13 July 1876, the Port Huron Weekly Times listed the following vessels as being idle at Marine City, Michigan: Steam Barges BAY CITY, D W POWERS and GERMANIA; steamer GLADYS; schooners TAILOR and C SPADEMAN; and barges MARINE CITY and ST JOSEPH.

On 13 July 1876, The Detroit Tribune reported that "the captain of a well-known Oswego vessel, on his last trip to Oswego, found that the receipts of the trip exceeded the expenses in the neighborhood of $250, and stowed $210 of the amount away in a drawer of his desk on the schooner. The money remained there some days before the captain felt the necessity of using a portion of it, and when he opened the drawer to take out the required amount he found that a family of mice had file a pre-emption claim and domiciled themselves within the recess, using the greenbacks with the utmost freedom to render their newly chosen quarters absolutely comfortable. A package containing $60 was gnawed into scraps the size of the tip of the little finger, while only enough of the larger package containing $150 remained to enable the astonished seaman to determine the numbers of the bills, so that the money can be refunded to him by the United States Treasury Department. The captain made an affidavit of the facts, and forwarded it and the remnants of the greenbacks to Washington, with the view of recovering the full value of the money destroyed. He is now on the way to Oswego with his vessel, and no doubt frequently ruminates over the adage, "The best laid schemes of mice and men, . . ."

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

 

Surge in Western Coal Offsets Drop at Lake Erie Ports
And Keeps Great Lakes Coal Trade Steady in June

7/12 - Cleveland—Coal shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 4,284,810 net tons in June, a virtual tie with a year ago, but 3.8 percent below the month’s 5-year average. Although the June total was essentially unchanged from a year ago, shipments of western coal from Lake Superior ports rose 21 percent, while loadings of eastern coal at Lake Erie ports fell 25 percent.

The 2.5 million tons loaded at Superior, Wisconsin, represent one of the strongest months ever for Superior Midwest Energy Terminal. However, the dredging crisis still deflated the total. The largest coal cargo shipped on the Lakes in June, 66,066 tons out of Superior Midwest Energy Terminal, was still nearly 5,000 tons below the record cargo for the Head-of-the-Lakes trade set in 1997, a period of high water that offset the lack of adequate dredging.

Overseas exports figured into the month’s total. Thunder Bay, Ontario, loaded two cargos for England and one for Brazil.

For the year, the Lakes coal trade stands at 15.4 million tons, an increase of 4.1 percent compared to a year ago. Compared to the 5-year average for the January-June time frame, the trade is a few cargos ahead of the pace.

More information is available at www.lcaships.com

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Port Reports - July 12

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Friday afternoon at the Upper Harbor ore dock, Michipicoten loaded taconite and departed for Algoma Steel at the Soo.

Toronto - Frank Hood
Olympic Miracle docked at Redpath sugar sometime on Thursday. Around noon hour on Friday she was being refueled.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
On Friday, the CSL Niagara finished unloading ore at the Torco Dock and departed Friday afternoon.
The tug Sea Service with the barge Energy 6506 arrived back at the Midwest Terminal Dock. The Catherine Desgagnes was inbound Toledo Ship Channel late Friday evening and was bound for the Midwest Terminal Dock to unload cargo on Saturday.
The revised schedule for coal boats due in at the CSX Docks has the Kaye E. Barker due in Monday, American Mariner and Walter J. McCarthy due in Wednesday, followed by the Robert S. Pierson on Monday.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Dock has the Algosteel due in Saturday, Kaye E. Barker on Monday, followed by the Frontenac on Tuesday.

South Chicago - Steve Bauer
The Arthur M. Anderson arrived in Calumet Harbor at 9 a.m. Friday. She spun and then backed down the Calumet River unassisted, arriving at the KCBX south dock at around 1040am.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Olive L. Moore and Lewis J. Kuber were inbound Friday afternoon with a split load. The pair dropped part of their cargo at the Bay City Wirt dock before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Wirt dock. They are expected to be outbound Saturday morning.
Calumet was out in the Saginaw Bay headed inbound late Friday night and is expected to reach the river early Saturday morning.

Alpena & Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
Thursday morning the Buffalo backed into the slip at Lafarge to tie up and unload coal. It departed around noon.
The G. L Ostrander/barge Integrity was in port Friday evening.
Manistee returned to Stoneport Friday morning to take on another load.
The Joseph H. Thompson/JT Jr followed later in the afternoon.

 

Toledo delegation explores opportunity
for relationship with Canadian project

7/12 - Toledo - A delegation of Toledo leaders recently met with officials from Melford International Terminal Inc. (MITI) in Nova Scotia to discuss the Atlantic Gateway Initiative, a faster and better alternative for North American origin-destination containerized cargo. The potential to create a Toledo-based inland distribution hub was the specific focus of the Toledo delegation, according to a news release.

The delegation from Toledo included: U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority President James H. Hartung, St. Lawrence Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson, port authority chairman William Carroll, UT President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, Midwest Terminals of Toledo Inc. CEO Alex Johnson, international vice president of the International Longshoreman's Association (ILA) John Baker; ILA Canadian vice president Pat Murphy and Hannah Marine Marketing Director Trent Clark.

The Atlantic Gateway Initiative is a privately funded deep-water container terminal and logistics park on the Strait of Canso, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. The location is linked to Toledo via rail, road and waterways, and the Toledo delegation hopes to benefit from the Atlantic Gateway through cargo shipments into the Great Lakes and Toledo via the St. Lawrence Seaway and railway systems, the release said.

A Toledo-based inland distribution hub, located near the Port of Toledo, would create an area where inbound goods are quickly offloaded from ships and moved to inland distribution centers for subsequent handling and redistribution within the country. Because the inland port would be in close proximity to the Port of Toledo, the cargo will have efficient access to logistics services and transportation systems such as rail and roadway, the release said. The Foreign Trade Zone in the Port of Toledo will also be advantageous for shippers.

“Toledo is ideally equipped and geographically positioned to access freight coming out of Melford. We have the necessary intermodal infrastructure of rail, road and waterways all located within one site managed by Midwest Terminals of Toledo,” Hartung said in a statement.” “We must take advantage of our strategic assets, and intermodal transportation offers just such an opportunity for Toledo,” Kaptur said in a statement.

From the Toledo Free Press

 

Plan to add more wind turbines OK’d

7/12 - Buffalo - The Lackawanna Planning Board Thursday approved site plans for the second phase of the Steel Winds turbine project along Route 5.

The approval paves the way for 13 additional turbines to be erected on the property, on which 11 of the turbines would be located further inland, roughly midway between the Lake Erie shoreline and Route 5 on the old Bethlehem Steel site. The developer, Clipper Windpower, first broke ground in 2005 on the $40 million wind-energy project, erecting eight turbines along the lake shore after agreeing to pay the city $100,000 annually over the next 15 years.

The Planning Board’s approval on Thursday actually covers 11 additional turbines. The board had previously, in 2005, approved two turbines north of the existing eight that were never constructed. “So when we first came in with concept of Steel Winds, we had applied for site plan approval of 10 turbines,” Paul F. Curran, managing director of BQ Energy, explained after the meeting. “We only built eight, though the approval [for 10 turbines] remained valid,” Curran added.

In all, 26 windmills are planned for the site. In addition to the existing eight and the 13 others that will be erected in Lackawanna, BQ Energy has already received approval from Hamburg officials to build another five turbines along the lake shore in Hamburg.

Even though, by state law, renewable energy projects like the Steel Winds farm are tax-exempt, the Lackawanna City Council last October unanimously adopted a law that would allow the city to collect property taxes on the second phase of the Steel Winds turbine project. Instead, city officials worked out an agreement with the company in which it will pay the city $10,000 per megawatt for the power capacity generated by the turbines.

Each of the existing eight turbines in Lackawanna generates 2.5 megawatts of power, Curran said. If the additional 13 turbines each generates the same amount of power, that would be 32.5 megawatts and Lackawanna would receive $325,000 annually in taxes. However, Curran said it has not yet been decided whether or not BQ Energy will use the same kind of turbines in the second phase of the Steel Winds project. “We have to get all of our [other] approvals from the city and then we can go about the business of financing and ordering equipment,” said Curran. “The ones we have out there now are as big as they come. Our survey of the market is that they would either be [2.5 megawatts each] or a little bit less.”

He added that a firm date for when construction is to begin has not yet been set. “We really have to get the equipment ordered now. Wind turbines are in popular demand. So it can take as much as two years to get the equipment on site. It might be 2010 that we get it. We’re still hopeful that we can get the equipment in by 2009 but likely it’s 2010,” Curran said.

From the Buffalo News

 

Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise planned for August 16

A 4-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan. Cruise leaves the Portofino's On The River restaurant, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am. We'll go where the boats are. Hopefully, up the Rouge River, maybe down the Detroit River. Bring your camera.

To make the trip even more interesting, a pizza buffet will be delivered by the mail boat J. W. Westcott. Cash bar on board. Plenty of free, safe parking at Portofino's. Click here for directions. All this for only $30.00 per person. Limited to the first 100 reservations.

 Mail your check today to: Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc., 1110 South Main Street, Findlay, OH 45840-2239. Checks will not be cashed until the week before the cruise. No physical tickets will be issued. Your name will be on the Boarding List. Check in before boarding.

Click here for Reservations Form.

 

Updates - July 12

News Photo Gallery updated

Soo Gathering Gallery updated

Calendar of Events updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 12

On this day in 1978, the keel for Hull#909 was laid at Toledo, Ohio after Interlake Steamship and Republic Steel signed a 25 year haulage contract. Hull#909 was to be named WILLIAM J DE LANCEY and renamed PAUL R TREGURTHA in 1990.

On July 12, 2005, the DAY PECKINPAUGH, under tow of the tug BENJAMIN ELLIOT departed the lakes through the New York State Barge Canal to Lockport, New York for a new life as a traveling history museum.

The BELLE RIVER, renamed b.) WALTER J McCARTHY JR in 1990, was christened on July 12, 1977, as American Steamship's first thousand-footer and the first thousand-footer built at Bay Shipbuilding.

The H M GRIFFITH (Hull#203) was launched July 12, 1973, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards for Canada Steamship Lines. Rebuilt with a new cargo section in 2000, renamed b.) RT. HON. PAUL J MARTIN.

In 1986, the ENDERS M VOORHEES was chained together with her sisters, A H FERBERT and IRVING S OLDS, a severe thunderstorm struck Duluth, Minnesota pushing the trio across St. Louis Bay eventually grounding them near Superior, Wisconsin. It was discovered that the force of the storm had pulled the bollards out of the Hallett Dock No. 5, thus releasing the ships.

On July 12, 1958, Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd.'s, FRANK A SHERMAN entered service, departing Port Weller Dry Docks, for Duluth and a load of iron ore on its maiden voyage.

On 12 July 1871, ADVANCE (wooden scow-schooner, 49 tons, built in 1847, at Fairport, Ohio), was bound for Detroit from Cleveland with a load of coal. She and the steamer U S GRANT collided near South Bass Island (Put-in-Bay) in Lake Erie and ADVANCE sank. Her crew escaped in the yawl.

On 12 July 1852, CITY OF OSWEGO (wooden propeller passenger-package freight vessel, 138 foot, 357 tons, built in 1852, at Buffalo, New York) collided with the steamer AMERICA and sank off Willoughby, Ohio, a few miles east of Cleveland. 15 lives were lost. This was CITY OF OSWEGO's first season of operation.

On 12 July 1889, T H ORTON (wooden barge, 262 gross tons, built in 1873, at Buffalo, New York) anchored off Marblehead, Ohio on Lake Erie to ride out a storm. She dragged her anchors and was driven ashore where she was declared a total wreck. She was recovered and just two years later, at the same place, this incident was repeated.

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

 

Port Reports - July 11

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Wilfred Sykes came in early Thursday morning with a load for Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg. It was backing out in the river at 11:20 a.m.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Thursday morning, the K-Sea Canada Corp's barge McCleary's Spirit entered the inner harbor pushed by her escort tug, William J. Moore. The pair passed the Erie Basin Marina and continued down the canal to The NOCO Product Terminal. This may be the first time this pair has been here.

Kingsville - Erich Zuschlag
The Mississagi came into Kingsville harbour Thursday around 2 p.m. to unload gravel from Marblehead Ohio. After unloading she backed out and headed West to the Detroit River then on to Goderich to load for Alpena.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Manistee was inbound Thursday morning calling on the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee. She completed her unload and was outbound for the lake during the afternoon. The Algoway also completed her unload late in the day Thursday and was also outbound.

Goderich - Jacob Smith
On Thursday, upper lakes John D. Leitch came into Goderich and loaded salt at the Sifto salt mine.

 

Updates - July 11

News Photo Gallery updated

Soo Gathering Gallery updated

Calendar of Events updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 11

On this day in 1962, the EDWARD L RYERSON carried a record cargo of 24,445 tons of iron ore through the newly opened Rock Cut Channel. The new channel increased allowable depths by 26 inches to 25 feet 7 inches.

On this day in 1943, the new McArthur Lock was formally opened to traffic. The first boat to lock through during the ceremonies was the up bound CARL D BRADLEY, Captain F. F. Pearse. There were 250 dignitaries and passengers aboard the Bradley during the lockage. The first down bound vessel was the new Leon Fraser of the Pittsburgh Steamship fleet.

On July 11, the STEWART J CORT was upbound in the St. Marys River on her first trip under the colors of the Interlake Steamship Co.

The INDIANA HARBOR was christened July 11, 1979.

On July 11, 1943, the ENDERS M VOORHEES became the first downbound vessel to transit the newly built MacArthur Lock at the Soo.

On 11 July 1888, the 2-mast wooden schooner JOHN TIBBETS was carrying coal on Lake Erie when she foundered in the shallows near Clear Creek, 7 miles west of Port Rowan, Ontario and then broke up in the storm waves. Her crew made it to shore in the yawl. She was built in 1863, at Clayton, New York on the hull of the Canadian schooner PERSEVERANCE which was originally built in 1855.

The PERSIA, a 150 foot passenger/package freight vessel, was launched at Melancthon Simpson's shipyard at St. Catharines, Ontario on 11 July 1873. She was built at a cost of $37,000. She lasted until the 1920's when she was converted to a barge and then abandoned.

MONTEZUMA (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 341 feet, 2,722 gross tons) was launched at the John Davidson shipyard (Hull #102) in West Bay City, Michigan on 11 July 1903. She was one of the largest wooden vessels ever built. It was later stated in the press that the reason Davidson's last large vessels took so long to build was the difficulty in obtaining the required large oak timbers and their expense. As steel went down in price, wood went up, and Davidson's last hulls cost as much as comparably-sized steel ones. At the time of launching this vessel the Davidson shipyard announced that it would not build any more wooden freight vessels.

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

 

Another Algoma vessel has been renamed

7/10 - According to the Fednav website and schedule, the Sandviken is now sailing as Algoma Spirit. She along with her sister ships Algoma Discovery (Ex-Daviken) and Algoma Guardian (Ex-Goviken) "were purchased in a sale in March to Algoma Central Corporation from Fednav."

So far only the Algoma Discovery has ventured near the St. Lawrence Seaway arriving in Sorel-Tracy on May 29. None of the former Viken ships have made any appearances so far on the Great Lakes.

According to the Fednav website and schedule that will soon change with the pending arrival of Algoma Spirit which is scheduled to load in Antwerp, Belgium on July 25. The ship will be making ports of call in both Milwaukee around August 19-20 and also Burns Harbor around August 21-22. Nothing is scheduled at this time for the Algoma Discovery or Algoma Guardian to visit the lakes yet.

 

Lakes Iron Ore Trade Stays Robust in June

7/10 - Cleveland---Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes remained strong in June. Loadings totaled 6.4 million net tons, an increase of 2.6 percent compared to both a year ago and the month’s 5-year average.

The trade was down from May’s total of 7.3 million tons, but that month was a period of stockpile replenishment as well as meeting current production demands.

Although there has been some recovery in water levels, the dredging crisis remained a millstone around Great Lakes shipping’s neck in June. Only three iron ore cargos topped 65,000 tons during the month, so even the best cargos represented only 91 percent of vessels’ rated carrying capacity. The worst case was when a vessel left the loading dock only 81 percent full because the receiving port is so in need of dredging.

For the year, the Lakes iron ore trade stands at 25 million tons, an increase of 9 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments are 8 percent ahead of the 5-year average for the first half of the year.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 16 American corporations that operate 63 U.S.-Flag vessels on the Great Lakes. These vessels carry the raw materials that drive the nation’s economy: Iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, limestone and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation.... Collectively, these vessels can transport more than 115 million tons of cargo a year when high water levels offset the lack of adequate dredging of Great Lakes ports and waterways.

More information is available at www.lcaships.com

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Port Reports - July 10

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Wednesday morning at the Upper Harbor ore dock, Saginaw loaded taconite and departed.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
For Wednesday, the revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the American Mariner due in Thursday, Kaye E. Barker on Monday, followed by the American Mariner and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. on Tuesday.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Dock has the American Mariner due in late Wednesday evening, followed by the Herbert C. Jackson on Thursday.

Alpena/Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Ryba Marine tug Tenacious along with a barge tied up at Lafarge overnight. The pair departed Wednesday morning.
Manistee arrived at Stoneport Wednesday morning to take on cargo. It departed the dock around 1:30pm.
John G. Munson was nearby and made a turn to approach the dock and tie up once the Manistee cleared.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Karen Andrie was east bound on the lake for Buffalo and passing Long Point at 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday night.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Olive L. Moore/Lewis J. Kuber were inbound late Tuesday night with a split load. The pair lightered at the Sargent dock in Essexville before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw. By early Wednesday afternoon, the Moore & Kuber were outbound for the lake passing through Bay City.

 

Seaway's bid to diversify its cargo base gaining traction

7/10 - Cornwall, Ontario - The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) announced today that cargo incentives introduced at the beginning of the 2008 navigation season are bringing about a rise in new cargo movements. As of June 30th, over 295,000 tonnes of new cargoes have transited the Seaway, generating $610,045 in new revenues.

“We are finding new pockets of opportunity” noted Richard Corfe, President and CEO of the SLSMC. “The marine mode continues to be the transportation mode of choice for project cargoes. In addition, we are seeking to establish our foothold in new industries as they begin to move product volume. Among the new cargoes transiting the Seaway are bio-fuels from recently established processing facilities bordering our waterway, and a bevy of project cargoes including wind turbines destined for sites throughout North America.”

The Seaway’s total tonnage volume as of June 30th stood at 13.7 million tonnes, compared with 14.1 million recorded in the previous year. “We continue to face headwinds in certain sectors” explained Richard Corfe “most notably imported steel due to the decline in the value of the U.S. dollar, the slowing economy, and the high price paid for steel in overseas markets”.

With domestic steel mills at full capacity, the demand for iron ore, coal and coke has increased markedly, including new export opportunities for these commodities. Coupled with stronger flows of road salt to replenish stocks depleted by a cold winter, bulk tonnage is strong, resulting in a Canadian laker fleet that is running at full capacity. However, the lack of vessels coming into the system laden with imported steel has curtailed the amount of grain tonnage transiting the Seaway.

To encourage shippers to utilize the Seaway, the SLSMC has frozen toll rates, with the present 2008 tariffs remaining in effect until the close of the 2010 season. In addition, specific toll discounts are applicable to cargoes meeting a variety of criteria. More information concerning the incentive programs can be found on the Seaway’s www.greatlakes-seaway.com website.

SLSMC News Release

 

Luedtke Engineering gets dredging contract for Buffalo River

7/10 - Buffalo - The Army Corps of Engineers has approved a $742,000 contract with Luedtke Engineering Co. to dredge the Buffalo River.

It’s part of a routine, biannual maintenance program of the federal navigation channel to dredge the Buffalo River’s portion of the channel to a desired depth of 22 feet. The month-long dredging is expected to begin Aug. 11 and remove about 75 cubic yards.

From the Buffalo News

 

Fairchild Memorial Bench thank you

7/10 – On Engineer’s Day, I attended the luncheon and the dedication of the memorial bench for my brother, Doug, along with his wife, Nancy and my parents Don and Betty Fairchild. Having never been to Mission Point previously, I now understand why Doug enjoyed being here with you.

Thank you for your friendship and for providing a seat where those close to Doug and many others will be able to share this experience.

From Ginny Fairchild Yaklyvich (Doug's sister)

 

Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise planned for August 16

A 4-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan. Cruise leaves the Portofino's On The River restaurant, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am. We'll go where the boats are. Hopefully, up the Rouge River, maybe down the Detroit River. Bring your camera.

To make the trip even more interesting, a pizza buffet will be delivered by the mail boat J. W. Westcott. Cash bar on board. Plenty of free, safe parking at Portofino's. Click here for directions. All this for only $30.00 per person. Limited to the first 100 reservations.

 Mail your check today to: Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc., 1110 South Main Street, Findlay, OH 45840-2239. Checks will not be cashed until the week before the cruise. No physical tickets will be issued. Your name will be on the Boarding List. Check in before boarding.

Click here for Reservations Form.

 

Updates - July 10

News Photo Gallery updated

Calendar of Events updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 10

On this day in 1979, Captain Thomas Small had his license for Master of Steam and Motor Vessel of any gross tonnage renewed at the St. Ignace Coast Guard Station. Captain Small, a retired Pittsburgh Steamship employee and 106 years of age, is the oldest person to be licensed and the issue number of his license is the highest ever issued by the Coast Guard -- 14-17 (fourteenth Masters license and seventeenth license as a pilot, mate, or Master).

On July 10, 2005, noted marine photographer Paul Wiening passed away at his residence in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

G A TOMLINSON (Hull#370) was launched at the American Ship Building Co., Lorain, Ohio on July 10, 1909, for the Douglas Steamship Co (J.J.H. Brown, mgr.), renamed b.) HENRY R PLATT JR in 1959. The hull was used as a breakwater in Burlington Bay, Ontario in 1971.

In 1998, the ALGOWEST was re-dedicated at Port Weller Dry Docks. The $20 million conversion of the ship to a self-unloader from a bulk-carrier was completed by 400 shipbuilders at Port Weller Dry Docks during the previous eight months. Renamed in 2001, he sails for Algoma today as b.) PETER R CRESSWELL.

On 10 July 1866, COQUETTE (1-mast wooden scow-sloop, 90 foot, 140 tons, built in 1858, at Perry, Ohio as a schooner) capsized in a storm on Lake Michigan and was lost with her crew of four. She had originally been built for the U.S. Government.

On 10 July 1911, JOHN MITCHELL (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 420 foot, 4,468 gross tons, built in 1907, at St. Clair, Michigan) was carrying wheat off Whitefish Point on Lake Superior when she was rammed broadside by the coal-laden steel steamer WILLIAM HENRY MACK (steel propeller bulk freighter, 354 foot, 3781 gross tons, built in 1903, at Cleveland, Ohio). The MACK tried to keep her bow in the hole, but the MITCHELL still sank in 7 minutes. Quick work saved most of her crew and all 7 passengers. Three of the 34 onboard were lost. The MACK got most of the blame for the accident. The MITCHELL's wreck was discovered upside-down on the bottom in 1972. (Note: Bowling Green's database gives the date of this accident as 19 July 1911 and Dave Swayze's Shipwreck database gives the date as 10 July 1911.)

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

 

Port Reports - July 9

Owen Sound - Ed. Saliwonchyk
Ojibway departed Owen Sound shortly after 6:00 p.m. Tuesday after unloading grain at the Great Lakes Elevators.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Alpena was headed out of Buffalo on Monday for Bath, Ontario, to load again for Cleveland.

Duluth-Superior - Al Miller
Edward L. Ryerson was docked in Fraser Shipyards on Wednesday morning. The vessel arrived through Duluth entry about 5 p.m. Tuesday. It’s due to load at BNSF ore dock.
Elsewhere Wednesday morning, Algorail was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal with coal destined for Nanticoke.
Mesabi Miner was fueling at the Murphy Oil dock and awaiting its turn at Midwest Energy Terminal.
Down the harbor, Burns Harbor was loading taconite pellets at BNSF ore dock.

 

Updates - July 9

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 9

WILLIAM R ROESCH, renamed b.) DAVID Z NORTON in 1995, loaded her first cargo in 1973, at Superior, Wisconsin where she took on 18,828 tons of iron ore bound for Jones & Laughlin's, Cuyahoga River plant at Cleveland.

The BENJAMIN F FAIRLESS and her fleet mate IRVING S OLDS passed through the Panama Canal on July 9, 1988, under tow by the German tug OSA RAVENSTURM. The pair was on a 14,000 mile journey to Kaohsiung, Taiwan arriving there on November 8, 1988, for scrapping by Sing Cheng Yung Iron & Steel Co. Ltd.

On 9 July 1876, ST CLAIR (wooden propeller freighter with some passenger accommodations, 127 foot, 326 gross tons, built in 1867, at Algonac, Michigan) had 14 crew and 18 passengers aboard along with cargo of flour, feed and deck loads of cattle as she sailed on Lake Superior. At 2:00 a.m., she caught fire about five miles off shore from 14 Mile Point. She was a wood burner and had a history of shipboard fires. The fire spread so quickly that only one boat could be launched and being overloaded, it capsized. The cries of those left on the vessel, along with the bellowing of the cattle, were heart rending. Only six survived in the one lifeboat since the cold water took its toll on those who clung to it. Eventually they righted the boat and paddled to shore, leaving the ST CLAIR burned to the waterline.

On 9 July 1891, W A MOORE (wood propeller tug, 119 foot, 212 gross tons, built in 1865, at Detroit, Michigan) burned to a total loss at Cleveland, Ohio.

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

 

Lake Superior continues rapid rise

7/8 - Duluth - Lake Superior rose by six inches in June, double the usual increase for the month, and now sits 15 inches above its July level last year. The International Lake Superior Board of Control reports that Superior sits just five inches below its average level for July.

Rainfall during June, especially the first half of the month, was well above normal, helping fill Superior’s tributaries and eventually the big lake itself. Duluth received 5.21 inches of rain in June, an inch more than usual. Except for a few, dry winter months, Lake Superior has been on a rapid rise toward levels normal since September after setting new monthly low water level records and brushing with the 80-year-old all time low water record.

Lakes Michigan and Huron rose six inches in June, when they on average rise two inches, and now sit six inches higher than July, 2007 but still 14 inches below their long-term average.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports - July 8

Buffalo - Jim Torgeson and Rob Wolcott
The Alpena made a rare appearance in Buffalo Monday morning, arriving at about 9:30 a.m. with a load from Detroit. She made her way up the Buffalo River to the Lafarge dock unassisted (bow-first), but was shadowed by the G-tug Washington. Once in proximity of Lafarge, the Washington then helped the Alpena into her berth. The classic steamer was secured to the dock by 11 a.m., at which time the cement unloading processed began.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
On Monday the tug Mary E. Hannah with her barge was at the Hocking Valley Dock. Tug Sea Service with the barge Energy 6506 was at the Midwest Terminal Dock.
It appears the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin may have had a change of orders from the CSX Coal Docks as she is now at the Midwest Terminal Dock loading cargo.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the American Mariner due in Thursday, Kaye E. Barker due in Monday, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. on Tuesday, followed by the American Mariner on Wednesday.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Dock has the American Mariner due in Wednesday, Herbert C. Jackson on Thursday, CSL Niagara on Friday, Algosteel on Saturday, followed by the Frontenac on Tuesday.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The tug McKee Sons and barge Invincible arrived at 10 a.m. with a load of stone for Meekhof's D & M dock on Harbor Island just upriver from the Board of Light and Power Plant

Twin Ports - Al Miller
The Twin Ports were busy Monday morning with Mesabi Miner completing its load at Midwest Energy Terminal while St. Clair lay about 800 fee away waiting to move into the dock as soon as the Miner departed. Algolake was anchored out on Lake Superior waiting to take the dock after St. Clair. At the same time, Arthur M. Anderson was proceeding into St. Louis Bay bound for the CN/DMIR ore dock to unload limestone. From there it will proceed to Two Harbors to load taconite pellets. American Spirit was fueling at the Murphy Oil dock while waiting from Stewart J. Cort to clear the BNSF ore dock. American Republic remained in Fraser Shipyards (it is not in drydock, as was first reported) while USCG Alder remained in drydock.

Alpena/Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Mississagi was unloading salt at the Alpena Oil Dock Monday morning, and backed out of the river once it finished.
At Stoneport on Monday, the John G. Munson took on cargo at the dock followed by fleetmate Philip R. Clarke in the evening.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Calumet was inbound Monday morning with a split load for the Sargent docks in Essexville and Zilwaukee. After lightering in Essexville, she traveled upriver and took the place of the Agawa Canyon at Sargent Zilwaukee. Agawa Canyon had arrived on Sunday to unload salt and was outbound for the lake Monday morning just before the Calumet made the dock. Calumet was outbound Monday afternoon.

 

Canada gets Iraq's uranium

7/8 - Toronto - Canada is the new home to a massive stockpile of concentrated natural uranium from Iraq, the last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program.

The 550 tonnes of “yellowcake,” the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment, was sold to Canadian uranium producer Cameco Corp. in a transaction the official described as worth “tens of millions of dollars.” A ship carrying the cargo arrived Saturday in Montreal and Cameco spokesman Lyle Krahn said the yellowcake will be processed at facilities in Ontario for use in energy-producing reactors. “We are pleased ... that we have taken [the yellowcake] from a volatile region into a stable area to produce clean electricity,” he said.

However, there was no confirmation from the Port of Montreal. Robert Desjardins, co-ordinator of the port, said “we don't have any information” on such a shipment arriving there. He said no ships under U.S. flags were listed as being in the port Saturday, or as being expected.

The deal culminated more than a year of intense diplomatic and military initiatives kept hushed in fear of ambushes or attacks once the convoys were under way. It was a significant step toward closing the books on Mr. Hussein's nuclear legacy. But it also raises serious security concerns, an environmental activist said Saturday.

“Cameco has made it clear that this uranium will simply be integrated into their commercial processing stream at its refinery in Port Hope and I assume that this uranium still needs to be shipped from Montreal to Port Hope if it hasn't already been sent, not clear whether that's going by land or by sea, could be either, or by air,” said Dave Martin, the energy coordinator for Greenpeace Canada. “I think Cameco and the Canadian government owe the Canadian public some disclosure on that front.”

What's now left is the final and complicated push to clean up the remaining radioactive debris at the former Tuwaitha nuclear complex about 20 kilometres south of Baghdad. While yellowcake alone is not considered potent enough for a so-called “dirty bomb” a conventional explosive that disperses radioactive material it could stir widespread panic if incorporated in a blast.

Moving the yellowcake faced numerous hurdles. Diplomats and military leaders first weighed the idea of shipping the yellowcake overland to Kuwait's port on the Persian Gulf. Such a route, however, would pass through Iraq's Shia heartland and be within easy range of extremists. The ship also would need to clear the narrow Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf, where U.S. and Iranian ships often come in close contact. Kuwaiti authorities, too, were reluctant to open their borders to the shipment despite top-level lobbying from Washington.

The yellowcake still needed a final destination. Iraqi government officials sought buyers on the commercial market, where uranium prices spiked at about $120 per pound last year. It's currently selling for about half that. The Cameco deal was reached earlier this year, the official said. At that point, U.S.-led crews began removing the yellowcake from the Saddam-era containers, some leaking or weakened by corrosion, and reloading the material into about 3,500 secure barrels.

In April, truck convoys started moving the yellowcake from Tuwaitha to Baghdad's international airport. Then, for two weeks in May, it was ferried on 37 flights to Diego Garcia, a speck of British territory in the Indian Ocean where the U.S. military maintains a base. On June 3, an American ship left the island for Montreal.

Yellowcake can also be enriched for use in reactors and, at higher levels, nuclear weapons using sophisticated equipment. Yellowcake is obtained by using various solutions to leach out uranium from raw ore and can have a corn meal-like colour and consistency. It poses no severe risk if stored and sealed properly. However, exposure can carry well-documented health concerns associated with heavy metals such as damage to internal organs, experts say. “The big problem comes with any inhalation of any of the yellowcake dust,” said Doug Brugge, a professor of public health issues at the Tufts University School of Medicine.

The yellowcake wasn't the only dangerous item removed from Tuwaitha. Earlier this year, the military withdrew four devices for controlled radiation exposure from the former nuclear complex. The lead-enclosed irradiation units, used to decontaminate food and other items, contain elements of high radioactivity that could potentially be used in a weapon. Their Ottawa-based manufacturer, MDS Nordion, took them back for free, an official said.

The yellowcake was the last major stockpile from Saddam's nuclear efforts, but years of final cleanup is ahead for Tuwaitha and other smaller sites. The yellowcake issue is one of the many troubling footnotes of the war for Washington.

From the Toronto Globe and Mail

 

Software streamlines inspections for ferry

7/8 - Duluth - With the help of software developed in Duluth, the Madeline Island Ferry Line is charting new waters as the first commercial carrier in the nation to electronically file the documentation it needs to operate in the good graces of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Lt. Kevin Broyles said the ferry service’s MV Nichevo II recently made history when federal officials signed off on the vessel’s use of a system developed in Duluth by Sinex Solutions to electronically submit all the information needed to comply with the Coast Guard’s Streamlined Inspection Program, commonly referred to as SIP in maritime circles. Broyles explained that SIP allows fleet operators to perform their own vessel inspections and report their own efforts to maintain the safety, security and structural integrity of watercraft. Where the program is successful, Broyles said a ship’s entire crew collaborates to ensure compliance with Coast Guard standards.

“We’re training our employees to look at our equipment and operations with the eyes of a Coast Guard inspector,” said Mike Radtke, marine operations manager for the Madeline Island Ferry Line. The ferry line has considered participation in the Coast Guard’s SIP system for the past few years, but Radtke said the daunting paperwork load associated with the program gave him pause. “Sometimes, the Coast Guard’s use of the term ‘streamlined’ seemed like a bit of a misnomer,” he said.

John Groundwater, executive director of the Passenger Vessel Association, a trade group representing about 400 North American carriers, said his organization has supported the SIP program for years, as a means to elevate safety in the industry. But he said the paperwork involved serves as “an impediment to many small operators entering the program.” Broyles acknowledged that SIP’s burden of reports and documentation is often considerable. “It can be a pain in the butt,” he said.

Radtke said software developed by Barry Sinex of Duluth vastly simplifies the process. For the past few years, the Madeline Island Ferry Line has used Sinex’s programs to manage the upkeep of its four-vessel fleet. Now, the same software also will be used to communicate with the Coast Guard and keep the operation in compliance with SIP. “We’ve been involved with Barry from day one, and the product he developed has been a great tool for us,” Radtke said. “It has made a whole lot of our maintenance functions more manageable.”

The Sinex Solutions software package already is in use by about 70 fleets, ranging in size from two vessels to more than 100. But Barry Sinex said having the Coast Guard’s acceptance of the platform as a means of filing SIP documentation could broaden his company’s market. “This is a huge step for us,” said Sinex, who initially developed maintenance software for the airline industry before branching into maritime operations.

The Passenger Vessel Association apparently sees potential in Sinex’s latest software package, as well. “We’re working with Sinex Solutions to fashion an agreement so we could offer this product to our members on an endorsed basis. We think it may make the SIP program more attractive for some operators to enter,” Groundwater said. He said the program also helps passenger lines manage routine maintenance duties.

Broyles said the program promises to help not only its users but the Coast Guard, too. He said the Madeline Island Ferry Service has granted his agency access to much of its database, providing a useful window into its operations. Sinex said this window can be made wide or narrow, according to the wishes of clients.

“I think this is the future for the SIP program,” Broyles said. “It’s a lot easier for us and for vessel operators, too.”

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Grant aids historical search in Lake Erie
Pivotal War of 1812 battle items sought

7/8 - Toledo - Beneath the waters of Lake Erie lie tangible pieces of history - and archaeologists and divers are hoping to find some from the War of 1812. The National Parks Service American Battlefield Protection Program announced Monday an $18,000 grant to the Vermilion-based Great Lakes Historical Society to fund an underwater survey of the Battle of Lake Erie site. The grant was one of 32 awarded nationwide.

The society, working together with the Cleveland Underwater Explorers, will use sonar and magnetic wave surveying equipment to take a "picture" of the bottom of the lake, explained Carrie Sowden, archaeological director for the historical society. "If there is a large cannon ball that is four or five feet down, this will find it," she said, explaining that the equipment can find anything on the lake floor made of iron, even if it is buried in silt.

The society hopes to complete the sonar portion of the survey this summer, analyze the results over the winter months, and return next summer to dive down and investigate their finds. The goal is to have a map of where everything is. "Hopefully we can map out who was where and what happened," Ms. Sowden said.

The battle, which took place Sept. 10, 1813, during the War of 1812, was considered pivotal to the United States, which was still a young nation. An American fleet of nine small ships, under Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, defeated a British squadron of six ships near Put-in-Bay.

Battle sites from the War of 1812 and the Revolutionary War don't always get as much attention as Civil War sites, but are important to preserve, said Shannon Davis, a historic preservation specialist with American Battlefield Protection Program. This site is considered a nationally significant battlefield, and was recently mentioned in a report to Congress as a site needing further study, Ms. Davis said.

What might remain in the lake from the battle today? Possibly cannonballs or ammunition from the battle, or debris from the ships that fell in or was dumped overboard, Ms. Sowden said.

No ships sank in the battle, she said. Although at one point, sailors thought the flagship Lawrence was going to sink, so they began heaving things overboard to lighten the load. Possibly powder kegs or even a cannon could have gone over the side of the ship and come to rest on the bottom of the lake, she said.

"We're open to finding almost anything," Ms. Sowden said. "You never know. You have to keep an open mind about what could or couldn't be there."

The group does not plan to retrieve any of the artifacts. "It's going to stay where it is. There is no purpose to bring it up at this point," she said. Battlefield protection is about gathering information, she added. "It's our history," she said. "It's where we came from."

The American Battlefield Protection Program promotes the preservation of significant historic battlefields associated with wars on American soil, according to the Web site of the National Park Service. The program strives to protect sites associated with armed conflicts that influenced the course of U.S. history and to raise awareness of the importance of preserving battlefields and related sites for future generations, the Web site states.

For more information about the battlefield protection program, go online at Click Here

From the Toledo Blade

 

Updates - July 8

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 8

An apparent steering gear or engine failure caused the salty ORLA, built in 1999, to ground off Marysville on the St. Clair River on July 8, 2005. She was able to dislodge herself.

LOUIS R DESMARAIS (Hull#212) was launched July 8,1977, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. Cargo hold replaced at Port Weller Drydocks Ltd., and renamed b.) CSL LAURENTIEN in 2001.

In 1918, a slip joint on the main steam line of the ANN ARBOR NO 5 let go, killing four men and badly scalding one other. The dead were: Lon Boyd, W.T. Archie Gailbraith, 1st assistant engineer Arthur R. Gilbert, coal passer William Herbert Freeman, 2nd engineer.

In 1984, the Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Company (MWT) resumed service to Milwaukee with disappointing results.

On 8 July 1908, JAMES G BLAINE (formerly PENSAUKEE, wooden schooner-barge, 177 foot 555 gross tons, built in 1867, at Little Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin) was being towed in Lake Ontario by the tug WILLIAM G PROCTOR. Her towline broke in a storm and she was driven ashore near Oswego, New York where the waves broke her up. No lives were lost. At the time of her loss, even though she was over 40 years old, she was still fully rigged as a 3-mast schooner.

On 8 July 1863, ALMIRA (2-mast wooden scow-schooner, 85 foot, 80 tons, built in 1849, at Black River, Ohio) was dismasted and capsized in a violent squall on Lake Ontario. All hands were lost. On 27 July, the cargo of barreled fish was found by the schooner M L COLLINS. The ALMIRA was found still afloat by the schooner PETREL on 30 July. She was rebuilt and sailed until December 1871, when she foundered in the ice.

On 8 July 1920, MARY WOOLSON (3-mast wooden schooner, 179 foot, 709 gross tons, built in 1888, at Bay City, Michigan) was being towed by the wooden steamer CHARLES D BRADLEY along with the schooner-barge MIZTEC, when the BRADLEY slowed in mid-lake, causing both tows to ram her. The WOOLSON's bow was heavily damaged and she quickly sank 8 miles northeast of Sturgeon Point on Lake Huron. No lives were lost.

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

 

Sailboat reported hit by Algowood

7/7 Sarnia - Friday evening, around 5:30 p.m., Algowood left the Shell Oil fuel dock and headed up bound.

Shortly after departing, Algowood reported to Sarnia Traffic that a sailboat "on a suicide mission" across from the Seaway Terminal. She shortly after reported that she had collided with a 30 foot sailboat who was crossing the river after the Algowood had tried to swing around it.

Algowood reported that the collision apparently broke the mast rod of the sailboat, but it then started the engines and continued on towards Canada. The U.S. Coast Guard and the St. Clair authorities soon after tracked the vessel down over on the Canadian side.

The sheriff and Coast Guard were summoned and reported to the scene, but it was determined that the collision took place in Canadian waters, so the RCMP Marine people were called onto the site. Apparently the sailboat operator was highly intoxicated and taken into Sarnia harbor. There was no damage to the freighter but the sailboat was damaged.

 

Port Reports - July 7

Owen Sound - Ed. Saliwonchyk
Ojibway arrived Saturday night and was unloading at the Great Lakes Elevators in Owen Sound on a bright Sunday morning. This is Ojibway's third trip into Owen Sound this year and it appears as though she has taken over the Thunder Bay to Owen Sound run from the Saginaw.

Stoneport - Angela McCartney
The McKee Sons made her way into Stone Port around 11:30 p.m. Saturday evening.

Green Bay - Matt Ludvigson
The Manitowoc departed Green Bay Sunday after delivering a load of coal to the Georgia Pacific dock on the Fox River.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The English River arrived around 7 p.m. on the Saturday evening. She departed at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Maumee arrived for the Sand Supply Landing at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. She departed at 6:15 a.m. on Sunday.
The Karen Andrie and barge A-397 arrived at 3 p.m. on Friday. She was upbound in the Tonawanda Channel at 5 p.m. on Saturday and clear of the harbor by 7 p.m. Alpena was due to arrive around 7 a.m. on Monday.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
American Republic was in one of the dry docks at Fraser Shipyards in Superior on Sunday. USCG Alder remains in the other drydock.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Frontenac finished loading cargo at the Midwest Terminal Dock and departed around noon Sunday. The salt water vessel Garganey was at the Midwest Terminal dock unloading cargo and was expected to depart Sunday evening.
The tug Sea Service with the barge Energy 6506 was at the Midwest Terminal Dock. Tug Samuel De Champlain with the barge Innovation was at the Lafarge Dock unloading cement.  Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was at the Torco Dock unloading ore.
The schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin due in on Monday, an un-named vessel due in on Thursday, followed by the Kaye E. Barker due in on Monday 14 July.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Dock has the Herbert C. Jackson on Monday John J. Boland on Wednesday, followed by the CSL Niagara on Friday.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
CSL's Assiniboine was loading a cargo of petroleum coke on Saturday, destined for Picton, Ontario. The Cason J. Calloway was waiting at the breakwall and was scheduled to load for Green Bay upon completion of loading of the Assiniboine.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
Over the holiday weekend all three cement carriers were in and out of port taking on cement at Lafarge for various destinations.
Also docking in the Thunder Bay River was the Naval training vessel Pride of Michigan, tall ships Highlander Sea and Pride of Baltimore II. Both tall ships came to be a part of the maritime festival held near the NOAA building.

Green Bay - Matt Ludvigson
The Manitowoc departed Green Bay Sunday after delivering a load of coal to the Georgia Pacific dock on the Fox River.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Wilfred Sykes delivered stone to the Verplank dock on Sunday afternoon, arriving at about 3 p.m. and departing at about 9.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber were inbound the Saginaw River Sunday morning carrying a split load. The pair dropped part of their load at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City then headed upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Asphalt Paving dock in Carrollton. The Moore-Kuber were outbound passing through Bay City around 8 p.m. Sunday night.
The Agawa Canyon was inbound around the same time headed upriver to unload salt at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee and was expected to be back outbound Monday morning.
The Calumet was also inbound and expected to reach the Saginaw River early Monday morning.

 

Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise planned for August 16

A 4-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan. Cruise leaves the Portofino's On The River restaurant, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am. We'll go where the boats are. Hopefully, up the Rouge River, maybe down the Detroit River. Bring your camera.

To make the trip even more interesting, a pizza buffet will be delivered by the mail boat J. W. Westcott. Cash bar on board. Plenty of free, safe parking at Portofino's. Click here for directions. All this for only $30.00 per person. Limited to the first 100 reservations.

 Mail your check today to: Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc., 1110 South Main Street, Findlay, OH 45840-2239. Checks will not be cashed until the week before the cruise. No physical tickets will be issued. Your name will be on the Boarding List. Check in before boarding.

Click here for Reservations Form.

 

Willis B. Boyer Marine Memorabilia Flea Market announced

Sunday, August 3, is the date for the Willis B. Boyer Marine Memorabilia Flea Market and Ship Model Display.

Co-sponsored by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Boyer/Riverfront Inc., Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping (www.BoatNerd.com) and Diamond Jack's River Tours, the event will take place in shoreside tents next to the museum ship Willis B. Boyer in Toledo. The show will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is only $6.00 and includes a tour of the Boyer.

In addition to many vendors with marine items for sale, there will be a pond with a model boat display. BBQ and refreshments will be available on the grounds.

To make the day even more complete, BoatNerd.com and Diamond Jack's are sponsoring a trip to Toledo on the Diamond Belle. Departing from Wyandotte at 8:00 a.m., the Belle is expected to arrive at the Boyer around 1:15. The trip cross open water on the western end of Lake Erie, passing the Detroit River Light and Toledo Harbor Light, then travel up the Maumee River passing through several draw bridges.

Passengers will be allowed two hours of free time to shop the marine mart, tour the Boyer and enjoy the model ships display before boarding for the return trip to Wyandotte. The ticket price of $90.00 per person, includes three meals on board the Belle and admission to the mart and Boyer tour. Reservations are required.

Click here for Diamond Jack's Reservation form.

Vendors click here for details and registration form.

 

Updates - July 7

News Photo Gallery updated

Special Soo Gathering Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 7

July 7, 1939 - The Bureau of Lighthouses was merged into the U. S. Coast Guard.

The BURNS HARBOR's sea trials were conducted on July 7, 1980.

JEAN PARISIEN (Hull#684) was launched July 7, 1977, at Lauzon, Quebec by Davie Shipbuilding Company Ltd. for Canada Steamship Lines. Port Weller Drydocks replaced her entire forward section and she was renamed b.) CSL ASSINIBOINE in 2005.

The DAVID Z NORTON sailed on her maiden voyage July 7, 1973, as the a.) WILLIAM R ROESCH. She sailed light from Lorain to Superior, Wisconsin where she loaded 18,828 tons of iron ore on July 9th bound for Jones & Laughlin's Cuyahoga River plant at Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1971, the CITY OF SAGINAW 31, went to Manitowoc for a thorough overhaul. While there, a fire broke out July 29, destroying her cabin deck and rendering her useless for further use. The blaze was caused by an acetylene torch, and caused over $1 million in damage.

On 7 July 1895, IDA MAY BROWN (wooden schooner, 53 foot, 20 gross tons, built 1884, at Charlevoix, Michigan) was carrying gravel when her cargo shifted in heavy weather. She capsized and later drifted to the beach near Michigan City, Indiana. Her crew was rescued by the U.S. Lifesavers.

On 7 July 1851, GALLINIPPER (wooden schooner, 95 foot, 145 tons, built in 1846, at Milwaukee on the hull of NANCY DOUSMAN) capsized and foundered in a white squall in Lake Michigan. The wreck drifted to a point about 10 miles South South East of Manitowoc where it sank.

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

 

Ports Reports - July 6

Goderich - James Davidson
Canadian Navigator was in Goderich Harbour for a load of Salt on Saturday.
Agawa Canyon arrived at 2:00 p.m. to other dock waiting to load when Canadian Navigator Clears the Dock. Navigator was getting a coat of paint at the time by crew members.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Algoway came in with a load of salt for Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg in the morning on the Friday and the ATB Susan W. Hannah/St, Mary's Conquest came in early Saturday morning with a load of cement for the St. Mary's Terminal in Ferrysburg.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Maumee was due with sand for the City Ship Canal Saturday morning.

 

Updates - July 6

News Photo Gallery updated

Special Soo Gathering Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 6

The CACOUNA's bow was damaged in a collision with the Greek tanker CAPTAIN JOHN on the fog-shrouded St. Lawrence River July 6, 1971. The CACOUNA of 1964, was repaired by replacing her bow with that of her near sistership the SILLERY which was being scrapped. Later renamed b.) LORNA P and c.) JENNIFER, she foundered 20 miles Northeast of Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 1, 1974.

Canada Steamship Lines, ASHCROFT was used to haul ore, grain and coal only on the upper Great Lakes until July 6, 1932, when she was able to enter Lake Ontario through the newly expanded Welland Canal. On that trip ASHCROFT, loaded with grain from Fort William for Kingston, Ontario, was the largest vessel to traverse the canal to date.

The keel was laid for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.'s, GOVERNOR MILLER (Hull#810) in 1937, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Company.

The COLUMBIA STAR set a record for the Head-Of-The-Lakes coal trade. The vessel loaded 70,903 net tons of low-sulfur coal at Superior Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior, Wisconsin, on July 6, 1997. She was renamed b.) AMERICAN CENTURY in 2006.

On 6 July 1836, YOUNG LION (2-mast, wooden schooner, 73 foot, 83 tons, built in 1830, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying railroad iron and lumber. About 12 miles from Erie, Pennsylvania, in rough weather, her seams opened and she quickly sank with just her topmasts left above the water. 3 died, but 5 managed to clamber up the masts and hold on until the schooner NEW YORK rescued them.

On 6 July 1871, CASTALIA (2-mast wooden schooner, 119 foot, 242 gross tons, built in 1847, as a brig at Sandusky, Ohio) was on her way to pick up lumber at the camp at Bying Inlet, Georgian Bay, when she came too close to Cove Island Reef and stranded in 3 feet of water. Although not badly damaged, she was about a mile from deep water. Tugs could not get to her and she was sailing light, so there was no cargo to lighten. She was stripped and abandoned. She finally broke up in a storm on 12 July 1871.

On 6 July 1871, the Detroit newspapers (Detroit Free Press and Detroit Daily Post) both published articles stating that there were rumors on the docks regarding the tug TAWAS having her boiler explode on Saginaw Bay. The rumors originated with sailors from Port Huron and proved to be unfounded. However, in a sense this rumor turned into a prediction since TAWAS did blow her boiler about three years later (14 May 1874) on Lake Huron off Rock Falls, Michigan. At that time 6 crew members perished.

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

 

Charges will not be laid after freighter accident

7/5 - Sarnia - Charges won't be laid in last month's crash of a freighter into the Shell fuel dock near Corunna. Transport Canada has concluded its query into the June 20 crash involving the CSL Spruceglen. Investigators have determined that fog was a factor in the morning collision, said Transport Canada's Debra Baxter. "We have not laid any charges and unless some new information comes forward, at this point we're satisfied," she said.

The freighter struck the dock around 9:30 a.m. while navigating through dense fog to refuel at the dock. The collision caused substantial damage to the north portion of the dock, located adjacent to the Shell refinery on St. Clair Parkway. The north portion of the dock remains closed.

John Cottreau, of the Transportation Safety Board, said the federal body that investigates transportation accidents has reviewed the incident and will not be conducting a formal investigation. He said the cause of the collision and the contributing factors are well-known and any further investigation would serve no purpose.

The June 20 incident marked the second time in two years that a ship had struck the fueling station.

From the Sarnia Observer

 

Port Reports - July 5

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
For Friday the John G. Munson finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed mid afternoon. Kaye E. Barker followed the Munson to load coal. John J. Boland is at the CSX #2 Dock waiting and will follow the Barker to load coal. The tug Sea Service and barge 6506 were at the Midwest Terminal Dock.
Canadian Navigator was at the Torco Dock unloading ore and is expected to depart Friday evening.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the American Mariner due in Saturday afternoon followed by the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on Sunday evening.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Docks has the American Mariner due in Saturday morning, The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on Sunday afternoon, followed by the Herbert C. Jackson on Monday evening.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The CSL Tadoussac was inbound the Saginaw River Thursday evening calling on the Essroc dock in Essexville. She completed her unload and was outbound for the lake Friday morning.

 

Buyer finally found for coastal cruisers

7/5 - Seven years after being tied up for bankruptcy, the Cape May Light and Cape Cod Light have finally been sold.

The two 224-passenger 300-foot coastal cruisers, which were built with $78.3 million in Title XI loan guarantees, were sold in late May for about $200 million to the Clipper Group of the Bahamas. The vessels are expected to remain under the U.S. flag for at least three years.

Several parties were interested in the vessels, said Peter Shaef, managing director of AMA Capital Partners, New York, which was marketing the vessels for the Maritime Administration, but "Clipper is the one buyer who mitigated the execution risk for government". They paid cash.

The cruisers, built by Atlantic Marine in Jacksonville, FL, are estimated to need at least $10 million in improvements. The vessels will be chartered out, possibly to a U.S.-based tour operator.

From WorkBoat magazine

Note: Cape May Light made at least one trip into the Great Lakes in August, 2001. Photos in the News Photo Gallery

 

Historical Commission gets deed to Big Red

7/5 - Holland - The Holland Harbor Historical Lighthouse Commissioned, which has maintained the Big Red lighthouse since the 1970's, now has control of the local landmark.

The commission obtained the deed from the federal government during a recent conference for the Michigan Lighthouse Alliance. The non-profit preservation commissioned, funded by private donations, had leased the lighthouse for $1 a year from the U. S. Coast Guard.

John Gronberg, secretary of the lighthouse commission, said the deal would keep the lighthouse in the hands of those intent on preserving the lakeshore icon. The organization dealt with various state and federal agencies in recent years as part of the process to obtain a quit-claim deed from the government. The agreement was reached more than a year ago, but finalized last Friday.

The federal government began releasing lighthouses several years ago after the Coast Guard said it could not afford to operate them. Advances in navigation technology also reduced the need for functioning lighthouses.

From the Grand Rapids Press

 

Updates - July 5

News Photo Gallery updated

Special Soo Gathering Photo Gallery updated and more Special Soo Gathering Photo Gallery

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 5

The PAUL H CARNAHAN was launched in 1945, as a.) HONEY HILL, a T2-SE-Al World War II Tanker, for U.S. Maritime Commission.

July 5, 1991 - Charles Conrad announced he had formed a corporation to purchase the Ludington, Michigan carferry operation from Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Company.

JUSTIN R WHITING was launched on 5 July 1874, at Langell's yard at the mouth of the Pine River in St. Clair, Michigan. Her dimensions were 144 feet X 26 feet 2 inches X 11 feet 6 inches. Although built to be a self-powered steam barge, she was towed as a regular barge during her first season of operation.

IDA CORNING (2-mast wooden barge, 168 foot, 444 gross tons) was launched in East Saginaw, Michigan on 5 July 1881. She was built for L. P. Mason & Company of E. Saginaw. In 1858, her rig was changed to that of a 2-mast schooner. She lasted until abandoned at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1928.

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

 

Cleanup of ordnance along Lake Erie finished

7/4 - Port Clinton — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last week finished a cleanup of unexploded ordnance found along Lake Erie at the former Erie Army Depot.

The Corps detonated 1,323 munitions, explosives, and other items of concern. Of those, only two live items were detonated and removed — high-explosive 90mm rounds that did not have fuses and never were fired. About 15,000 pounds of scrap metal were removed. The purpose of the operation was to reduce the risk from unexploded ordnance that washes up on the beach, Corps officials said.

From the 1940s into the 1960s, ordnance tests were conducted at the Army depot by firing into Lake Erie. Since 1966, the privately owned Erie Industrial Park as well as Camp Perry have occupied the property. A similar cleanup took place in May, 2002.

From the Toledo Blade

 

Port Reports - July 4

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
John J Boland was in bound for the Gateway Metroport at 6:05 p.m. Thursday.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Thursday morning, American Mariner departed the Upper Harbor after loading ore.

Ludington -
Within an hour of the Badger's morning departure the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis Kuber arrived at the Laman dock and unloaded a split cargo. The pair departed around 3 p.m.
The tug Ivory Coast and barge Deegan were loading calcium chloride at the Dow Chemical dock throughout the day.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Peter R. Cresswell arrived in port Thursday morning and went down the Turning Basin to unload stone at the Lafarge dock. The Cresswell departed just after 4 p. m. Also departing Thursday morning were the yacht Blue Moon and the Stephen B. Roman. English River remained in port unloading.

 

Corps Update on Lake Superior outflow

7/4 - Detroit - The International Lake Superior Board of Control, under authority granted to it by the International Joint Commission, has set the Lake Superior outflow to 2,250 cubic metres per second (m3/s) (79.5 thousand cubic feet per second (tcfs)) for the month of July. This is the outflow recommended by the regulation plan for the month of July and is an increase from the June outflow, which was 2,080 m3/s (73.5 tcfs).

The July outflow will be released by discharging about 2,120 m3/s (74.9 tcfs) through the three hydropower plants and passing most of the remaining flow through the control structure at the head of the St. Marys rapids. The gate setting of the control structure will be maintained at the existing setting equivalent to one-half gate open (four gates open 20 cm, or about 8 inches each). There will be no change to the setting of Gate #1 that supplies the Fishery Remedial Works.

This past month the water supplies to the lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron basins were well above their long-term averages for June. Lake Superior is currently 16 cm (6 inches) above its chart datum level. The level of Lake Superior is expected to rise in July. Currently, the Lake Superior level is about 13 cm (5 inches) below its long-term average beginning-of-July level, but is 38 cm (15 inches) above the level recorded a year ago.

This past month the level of Lake Superior rose 14 cm (6 inches), while on average the level rises by 7 cm (3 inches) in May. The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron rose by 14 cm (6 inches) this June, while on average it rises by 5 cm (2 inches) in June. The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron is now about 36 cm (14 inches) below its long-term average beginning-of-July level, and is 16 cm (6 inches) higher than it was a year ago, and 22 cm (9 inches) above chart datum. The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron is also expected to rise in July.

The Board continues to monitor conditions both on Lake Superior and downstream and will advise the International Joint Commission accordingly on those conditions.

Additional information can be found at this link

USACE News Release

 

Updates - July 4

News Photo Gallery updated

Special Soo Gathering Photo Gallery updated and more Special Soo Gathering Photo Gallery

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 4

July 4, 1996 - The veteran Buffalo fireboat EDWARD M COTTER, built in 1900, was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U. S. National Parks Service. She was decommissioned as a fireboat in 1992.

The WILLIS B BOYER museum ship was opened to the public at Toledo, Ohio in 1987. She was built by Great Lakes Engineering Works (Hull#82) in 1912 as a.) COL JAMES M SCHOONMAKER. Renamed b.) WILLIS B BOYER in 1969.

In 1976, the SAM LAUD grounded entering Buffalo, New York. She was dry docked at Lorain, Ohio for repairs to bottom plates of No. 1, 2 and 3 port and starboard tanks.

Also on this day in 1976, the H LEE WHITE struck the Algoma Steel plant dock at the Canadian Soo resulting in damage to her stern amounting to $108,000 at the repair yard of Sturgeon Bay.

The JOSEPH S YOUNG, a.) ARCHERS HOPE of 1945, was commissioned July 4, 1957. She was the first of seven T-2 tanker conversions for Great Lakes service. The YOUNG was renamed c.) H LEE WHITE in 1969 and d.) SHARON in 1974. She was crapped at Brownsville, Texas in 1986.

On July 4, 1953, the JOHN G MUNSON set a Great Lakes record for limestone by loading 21,011 tons of limestone at Calcite, Michigan. This record for limestone stood until being broken by the Canada Steamship Lines self-unloader MANITOULIN late in the 1966 season.

July 4, 1952 - The PERE MARQUETTE 18 of 1911, was laid up due to railroad strike. She was never to operate again and was scrapped at Hamilton, Ontario in 1957.

The wooden propeller freighter MAINE, owned by Northern Transportation Co., had sailed from Chicago and was on Lake Ontario on 4 July 1871, when Fireman Orsebius Kelley stoked the fire at 8:00 p.m. and went to the porter's room to get a lamp. When he returned, the boiler exploded with such force that Kelley was mortally wounded and died later. The blast also killed Engineer M. H. Downer, deckhand Joshua Kelley (the fireman's brother), Halbert Butterfield (a 13 year old passenger) and his mother. The MAINE still floated after the blast. She was repaired and put back in service. Including this boiler explosion, she had four major mishaps in her career. She sank in 1872, burned in 1898, and finally burned again in 1911.

On 4 July 1900, during her maiden voyage from St. Clair, Michigan to Cleveland, Ohio, the wooden steam barge ALFRED MITCHELL ran aground at Bar Point Light. It was claimed that the steering gear broke which rendered the boat unmanageable. Later that same day the MITCHELL was released by the wrecker SAGINAW.

About 9:00 p.m. on 4 July 1874, the steam barge W H BARNUM, with the schooner THOMAS W FERRY in tow, collided with the bark S V R WATSON near Point Pelee on Lake Erie. The WATSON sank in 28 feet of water. She was raised about two weeks later by the Coast Wrecking Company.

July 4, 1958 - The keel for the second of two new bulk freighters for Interlake Steamship Co. was laid at Great Lakes Engineering Works shipyard at River Rouge, Michigan on Wednesday morning June 25. Assigned Hull 302, the ship will be 689 feet long, 75 feet beam and 37-1/2 feet molded depth with a designed maximum cargo capacity of about 24,000 tons. H. C. Downer & Associates of Cleveland did the design work. The ship will be powered by a 6,000 shp steam turbine main engine with coal-fired boilers. Hull 302 was eventually named HERBERT C JACKSON. Interlake's other new ship, the 710-ft. flagship JOHN SHERWIN (Hull#192) at Toledo, Ohio, joined the Great Lakes bulk cargo fleet in May of this year

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

 

Canal Closed after Driver attempts to jump Bridge

7/3 - St. Catharines - A St. Catharines driver tried to jump the Homer Bridge Tuesday while it was being raised, police say.

When the driver realized the attempt was failing, he escaped from the car before it plunged into the Welland Canal. The canal was closed for several hours so the Buick LeSabre could be fished from the shipping lane. Police said the driver was not injured, but “unhelpful with respect to how his vehicle ended up in the water.”

Officers were called to the bridge just after 7 a.m. by a witness who saw the car fall into the water between Locks 2 and 3. After interviewing witnesses, police said they believe the driver was speeding east on Queenston Street towards the Homer Bridge. At the same time, the bridge was being raised to allow a freighter to travel through the canal.

Police said witnesses saw the Buick accelerate rapidly, despite a warning siren, red warning lights and the raising bridge. It crashed through the warning gate and sped up on the bridge.

As the bridge continued to rise, police said “gravity took over” and the vehicle stopped, then started to slide backwards. The driver jumped out of the car as it rolled down the bridge, through a gap in the canal wall and into the water. The retrieved car had a smashed front window and its back end was dented.

Police said the closure of the canal was a significant expense for the Seaway and maritime traffic.

Phillip Boucher, 45, of St. Catharines has been charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. He’s scheduled to make his first court appearance Aug. 29.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. said it will cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to replace a bridge warning gate that a driver crashed through on Canada Day.

But it says the real cost was to the Queenston Street drivers trying to cross the Homer Bridge, which was closed for hours Tuesday. “The greatest inconvenience was to the general public,” said Seaway spokesperson Andrew Bogora

From the St. Catharines Standard

 

Port Reports - July 3

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The the tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 delivered a load to Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg this morning about 8 a.m. At 11 a.m. the Mississagi delivered a load to Meekhof's D & M dock on Harbor Island in Grand Haven.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
HMCS Shawinigan, Glace Bay and Summerside bid farewell to The Big Smoke just before 9 a.m.
An hour later Stephen B. Roman made her way into port for the Essroc dock.
The D. C. Everest, which is still listed on the Transport Canada database as Condarrell and has unofficially been renamed K. R. Elliott, remains anchored in Humber Bay for the "Canada Dry Festival of Fire".

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons were inbound the Saginaw River Wednesday afternoon headed to the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City to unload. The pair finished up early in the evening and backed downriver to the Essexville turning basin, turned, and was outbound for the lake.
For the month of June, the Saginaw River saw 28 commercial vessel passages. This is in contrast with 35 during June 2007. The four year average for June is 38 vessel passages. For the current year, there have been 73 commercial vessel passages. Compared to 93 for the same time period in 2007 and you can see shipping is down again for the third consecutive year. The four year average from January 1 through June 30 is 101.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Michipicoten is the most common visitor to the Upper Harbor ore dock, but on Tuesday evening, she made an uncommon visit to the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock and unloaded limestone.

South Chicago - Steve Bauer
Lower Lakes had two vessels in town Wednesday. After discharging stone, the Manitowoc made her way to KCBX about 10 a.m. to load. On the way, she passed her fleet mate, the Calumet, which was taking on a load of coke at Beemsterboer at 106th St.

 

New vessel for Arctic service

7/3 - Halifax - The Dutch cargo ship Edisongracht officially became the Canadian Qamutik on Wednesday at Valleyfield.

She is owned by Transport Qamutik of Iqaluit, and is the third former Spleithof ship to be acquired for northern supply work.

Reported by Mac Mackay

 

Hope of Restoring Goderich Lighthouse

7/3 - Goderich - The oldest lighthouse on the Ontario side of lake Huron needs a facelift.

The lighthouse at the top of the bluff that was built in 1847, is the second Goderich lighthouse. The first, built in the early 1830s, was a log structure, located further East along Cobourg Street.

Goderich Councilor Heather Lyons says Marine and Heritage Goderich have recognized the significance of the lighthouse and hope to restore it. She says they are hoping the lighthouse can be designated as a "heritage site" under provincial legislation. A committee has been put together to document the history of the lighthouse and to keep track of any changes that will be made to it in the future.

Lyons says council fully supports the restoration project and has set aside some money in a recent budget. Not only will the lighthouse be restored, Lyons says they are looking to add a few new features. She says they are interested in erecting a large sign on the lawn that outlines Goderich's marine history as well as an information kiosk.

Another possible feature will the option of going inside the lighthouse and climbing stairs to the top for a birds eye view of the harbour. Another idea being thrown around is to install a weather station, including a webcam with a view of the beach.

A preservation works study has been done on the lighthouse and council now has an outline of reasons as to why the lighthouse should be protected under provincial legislation

Reported by Kristylee Varley from 104.9 FM The Beach

 

Pilot boat Captain Helga Schmalz passes

7/3 - Port Colborne - Helga Schmalz, Captain of the Port Colborne Pilot Boat died unexpectedly on Monday.

She is survived by her loving fiancé and best friend of Jon Finnie. Helga is the cherished daughter of Adele (Lloyd) Hatt. She is also survived by a brother Ben (Carrie Hannigan) Schmalz, sister Francie (Jon) Davidson, sister Monica (Dave Holmes) Schmalz, brother Barry (Electra) Devereux and sister Kristin (Werner) Duever. She was predeceased by her father Helmut Schmalz.

Helga will always be remembered by her fellow employees of Cooper Marine, the members of the Great Lakes Pilots Association and her many, many friends for her wonderful smile and zest for life.

Benner Funeral Services 1105 Benner Ave. Fort Erie entrusted with arrangements. The family will receive friends on Friday July 4th from 2-4 and 7-9. Funeral Services will be held in the Chapel on Saturday morning at 11 o’clock. Cremation to follow. If so desired, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated by the family.

 

Updates - July 3

News Photo Gallery updated

Special Soo Gathering Photo Gallery

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 3

On this day in 1943, the J H HILLMAN JR (Hull#524), the 14th of 16 Maritime ships being built for Great Lakes Service, was launched at the Great Lakes Engineering yard at Ashtabula, Ohio. After having the stern of the CANADIAN EXPLORER, ex CABOT of 1965, attached, her forward section sails today as the CANADIAN TRANSFER.

The JOHN B AIRD was christened June 3, 1983, at Thunder Bay, Ontario for Algoma Central Marine, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

The U.S. Steel's ROGER BLOUGH was moved out of the dry dock at Lorain, Ohio, on June 3, 1972.

In 1954, the CLIFFS VICTORY successfully completing her sea trials. The FRANK ARMSTRONG departed light from Ashtabula, Ohio on her maiden voyage in command of Captain H. Chesley Inches June 3, 1943, bound for Superior, Wisconsin to load iron ore.

The PATERSON entered service on June 3, 1954, with 440,000 bushels of wheat from Port Arthur, Ontario. She was scrapped at Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1985.

On 3 July 1872, the wooden steam barge MARY MILLS was launched at P. Lester's yard at Marysville, Michigan.

On 3 July 1872, GRACE DORMER (wooden propeller passenger & package freight ferry, 71 foot, 66 gross tons, built in 1868, at Buffalo, New York) had just finished loading a cargo of fish at St. James, Beaver Island, when she caught fire and burned. One life was lost. The vessel was rebuilt and lasted until she burned at the bone-yard at Grand Island, New York in 1925.

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

 

Power Authority seeks home for Niagara River ice boom

7/2 - Buffalo - The 1.7-mile-long Niagara River ice boom might have a new off-season home on the banks of the Buffalo River. The New York Power Authority, the keeper of the massive ice blocker, is targeting an industrial site just off the Buffalo River, along Hamburg Street, as the boom’s new dry land home.

Power authority representatives recently conducted soil borings on a parcel owned by Killian Bulk Transfer, a trucking firm, located near the corner of Hamburg and South streets. Owner Jack Killian confirmed the authority has expressed interest in a portion of his property, but said no deal has been struck. “So far they’re just looking around and checking it out,” Killian said.

Power authority spokesman Michael Salzman echoed that statement. “We are committed to relocating the ice boom storage site, but no final destination has been reached at this point,” Salzman said.

The power authority pledged to relocate the current storage site — a 13- acre parcel on the city’s outer harbor, off Fuhrmann Boulevard — as part of its 2007 federal relicensing agreement, which was agreed to in 2005. The power agency had targeted a property on Ganson Street with Buffalo River frontage, but a purchase deal failed to gel.

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., which is overseeing redevelopment of the city’s waterfront, has been urging the authority to pick up the pace of its site search to insure the boom doesn’t return to the outer harbor site next spring. As soon as the power authority finds a new off-season home for the massive boom, the harbor agency will gain ownership of the land.

Long-term, the land is a strategic piece in the nearly 200- acre puzzle the state-sanctioned agency will oversee on the outer harbor. It abuts a 13-acre site the New York Power Authority has agreed to turn over to the development corporation as soon as it finds an alternative off-season storage place for the Niagara River ice boom. The parcel is also adjacent to more than 100 acres of land controlled by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority which will be leased to the harbor corporation in the next few months.

The boom, which is composed of 22 500-foot-long pontoons, is strung across the entrance to the Niagara River each winter season to prevent pieces of the Lake Erie ice pack from damaging Niagara Power Project water intakes located downstream.

From the Buffalo News

 

Port Reports - July 2

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
For Tuesday the Algosoo was at the CSX Docks loading coal.
The tug Sea Service with the barge Energy 6506 was at the Midwest Terminal Dock.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the Arthur M. Anderson, Herbert C. Jackson, and Kaye E. Barker due in Wednesday, and John G. Munson and John J. Boland due in Friday. American Mariner due in Saturday, followed by the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin due in on Sunday.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has the tug Dorothy Ann with the barge Pathfinder due in Thursday.
Canadian Navigator due in Friday, American Mariner due in Saturday, followed by the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on Sunday.

Toronto - Clive Reddin
Algomarine arrived in Toronto Harbour at 5:30PM and is off loading a cargo of salt.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber came in at dusk on the 30th with a partial load for Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg after lightering at their dock in Muskegon. Wilfred Sykes came in early on the first, also with a load for Verplank's.
Calumet delivered a load of western coal to the Board of Light and Power Plant on Harbor Island in Grand Haven at 10 am.
The Mississagi and the Invincible and barge McKee Sons were expected on the 2nd at Meekhof's D & M dock just upriver from the Power Plant

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Tuesday morning, American Valor made her third visit to the Upper Harbor ore dock this season and loaded taconite.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Tuesday the Algonorth arrived at 10 a.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco. The Thalassa Desgagnes departed from Pier 26 at 10 a.m. The tug Annie M Dean and barge Canadian Jubilee departed at 10:15 a.m.
The tug Omni Richelieu arrived at 4:30 p.m. The tug Lac Manitoba and a barge loaded with fireworks for the Canada Day celebrations in Bronte departed at 7 p.m. Tug Karen Andrie and barge A-397 departed in ballast for Cleveland. Tug Salvor and barge Lambert's Spirit departed at 8 p.m. for Lorain. Maritime Trader departed JRI Elevators with a cargo of soya beans for Port Cartier at 9 p.m.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Halifax and the Capt. Henry Jackman tied up in the Lackawanna Ship Canal Tuesday morning. The Jackman departed west bound on the lake around 11 a.m. At 8 p.m., the Halifax was still there taking on coal.

 

Kaptur, others will tour Nova Scotia site that may become link for Toledo freight shipments


7/2 - Toledo
- U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) will lead a nine-person Toledo delegation to Nova Scotia to tour the site of a proposed deepwater container terminal that could become a link for international freight shipments to and from Toledo.

Aides to Miss Kaptur said the trip, started Monday, will be a follow-up to discussions she, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, and representatives of the Melford International Terminal project held in Columbus in April. "The Melford-to-Toledo intermodal concept has great potential for economic development in our region," Miss Kaptur said. "I hope to learn more about the project and offer suggestions about how to realize Toledo's potential as a key production and distribution center."

Melford is a proposed port along the Strait of Canso in eastern Nova Scotia that has water depths exceeding 70 feet, giving it the ability to dock massive new container ships.

While most oceangoing cargo is expected to transfer to and from trains at the port, Toledo officials have promoted the idea of shipping some of it on smaller vessels over the St. Lawrence Seaway system to Great Lakes ports. Toledo also would be well-situated to become a Midwestern rail hub for Melford cargo, since it has service from the Canadian National Railway, which also has the only continuous rail line into Nova Scotia.

Other members of the delegation include James Hartung, president of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, and Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, president of the University of Toledo. The nine are to fly to Halifax today, then meet with project officials and tour the Melford site by air and boat tomorrow. They are to return Thursday.

From the Toledo Blade

 

Developer looking to harness lake's wind, bring jobs to Lorain

7/2 - Lorain - John James Sekulic wants to harness the wind and bring thousands of jobs to the area.

The president and owner of St. George's Renewable Energies LLC has a vision to not only put wind turbines throughout the region and in Lake Erie, but also to create 12,000 to 13,000 new first-tier jobs by drawing one of the top three wind turbine manufacturers to Lorain County and specifically Lorain. The area is a prime location for advancing alternative energy, he said. ''I don't see why we can't do this here,'' Sekulic said.

Sekulic has asked Lorain Councilman Dennis Flores, D-2, to sponsor legislation that would give his company the ability to put 13 wind turbines off the Lorain shoreline when the time comes. The turbines would all be more than 1,000 yards off shore and would start at the western end of the city and move east, Sekulic said. ''That's an excellent location,'' he said, adding that area along the lake is mostly commercial. Putting wind turbines in the lake, however, is still five to seven years away, he explained.

Getting City Council's permission would be necessary, he explained, since the wind turbines would be located within the municipal limits of the city. It is not the only step in the process though, as work would also have to be done with the Lorain Port Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, among others. Sekulic does not currently have plans to put up the turbines on land in Lorain, but added, ''I'd like to see these up like trees.'' Possible locations for them include near the Jackalope Bar and Rotisserie or the slag yard at the steel mills, he added.

Sekulic doesn't just want to put wind turbines along the Lorain shoreline, he said. He wants to put them up in the northwestern portion of the state, including Bellevue and North Fairfield.
After that, he has a vision to put them in the middle of Lake Erie near the Canadian boarder, he said. Those would not be visible from shore. The turbines on land would come first, Sekulic said, followed by the ones in the water. The ones on land could only be two to three years away. Sekulic thinks all those wind turbines could give the region enough ''buying power'' to attract one of the top three wind turbine manufacturers in the world. The fourth, fifth and sixth largest are already in America.

Besides the potential need for many wind turbines, the area can also offer the manufacturers a supplier base, fresh water, shipping ability and a skilled workforce. The currency exchange rate between the dollar and the Euro would be in the manufacturer's favor to move here. ''We want to create jobs is what we want to do,'' he said.

The turbines would also be cheaper to manufacture here than overseas, Sekulic said. They are large structures that are difficult to ship. ''This is nothing easy logistically to move around,'' he said. ''It's only natural that they would want to manufacture here"

From the Lorain Morning Journal

 

Updates - July 2

News Photo Gallery updated

Special Soo Gathering Photo Gallery

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 2

On July 2, 1966, the SIMCOE entered service for Canada Steamship Lines. Renamed b.) ALGOSTREAM in 1994, she was scrapped at Alang, India in 1996, as c.) SIMCOE.

The railroad carferry TRANSIT was launched at Walkerville, Ontario on 2 July 1872, at the Jenkins Brothers shipyard.

Before noon, Saturday, 2 July 1870, several attempts were made to launch the barge AGNES L POTTER at Simon Langell's yard at St. Clair, Michigan. Nothing happened until 3:00 p.m. when the vessel moved about 100 feet but still was not launched. The tug VULCAN arrived at 8:00 a.m. the following day and broke the line on the first attempt to pull the vessel off the ways. A 10 inch line was obtained in Port Huron and at 2:00 p.m. a second effort only moved the barge about 4 feet. Finally , on the third attempt, the VULCAN pulled her into the water. The POTTER's dimensions were 133 feet X 27 feet X 9 feet, 279 gross tons and she was built for the iron ore trade. She was named for the daughter of the general superintendent of Ward's Iron Works of Chicago. She lasted until 1906.

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

 

Port Reports - July 1

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
The tug William J Moore and barge McLeary's Spirit arrived at 8:30 a.m. from Quebec City. Halifax departed at 12:30 p.m. from US Steel for Buffalo. 
The Thalassa Desgagnes arrived at 1:30 p.m. for Pier 26. Maritime Trader arrived at 3:30 pm. in ballast from Quebec City and went to JRI Elevators at Pier 25 to load soya beans for Port Cartier. Saltie Yellowknife arrived at 4:30 p.m. and went to the anchorage to wait for the Maritime Trader to load. She will load a cargo of wheat for Algeria. Birchglen arrived at 6:30 p.m. from Point Tupper Nova Scotia with a cargo of gypsum for Pier 12. After discharging her cargo she will head to Thunder Bay in ballast.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Kaye E. Barker finished loading taconite and departed the Upper Harbor just after sunrise on Monday.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The English River left Buffalo at 9 p.m. on Monday.

South Chicago - Steve Bauer
The Calumet was inbound on the Calumet River at mid morning Monday, backing in stern first with assistance from the G Tug Colorado. Destination was believed to be DTE since it went beyond 106th St.
The salty Victoria was unloading at the North American dock at Iroquois Landing at the entrance to the Calumet River. She made her security call to depart around 1:15 p.m.

 

Dock project to add wharf, $4M addition would help during low water

7/1 - Detroit - Detroit's $15 million effort to build a new public passenger ship terminal and dock will also see an additional $4 million to $5 million spent to construct an offshore wharf in the Detroit River.
Such a wharf would offer access to deeper water in times of low water levels, said John Kerr, economic development director for the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority, the agency building the new facility and dock.

State and federal approvals are in hand, along with the money, to build a 21,000-square-foot terminal and dock on 1.3 acres southwest of the Renaissance Center and near Hart Plaza off Atwater Street. The site currently is fenced and is home to overflow parking for Detroit police cars. The deep-water wharf still needs funding allocated, and would be built some time after the terminal and dock, Kerr said. The timeline is 12-18 months to build the terminal and dock, and work could start later this summer or in the fall. The authority is waiting on city permits.

The authority's project is aimed at turning the city into a port of call for cruise ships, naval vessels, tall ships, day tours and other craft that ply the Great Lakes. A ferry service to Windsor and water taxi are also possibilities. “There's demand for more waterfront traffic, recreational or tourism,” Kerr said, adding that a group of tour operators from the U.S. and Europe visited the city last week and was interested in the terminal and dock project. The two-story terminal will house a processing area for tourists, ticket counters, the authority's headquarters and a public plaza. Space will be set aside for future use by U.S.

Decades ago, Detroit was a regular stop for cruise ships, but that dropped off in the 1960s before picking up somewhat elsewhere on the lakes in the 1990s. A visit by the 423-passenger Columbus in 1998 was the first significant Detroit visit in recent memory, Kerr said, and the stop sparked what became the plan to revive the city as a port of call.

The current vision of the terminal and dock was unveiled as part of the nonprofit Detroit Riverfront Conservancy's 2004 project to revamp the city's land along the river. “They're a critical part of our vision — an active and engaged riverfront,” said Faye Alexander Nelson, the conservancy's president and CEO. “Once this port is in play, it will be an opportunity to showcase the riverfront to a broader group.”
The Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority not only plans to attract cruise ships to the city with its new terminal and dock, but it wants to provide hydrokinetic energy to generate cheap electricity. The authority is partnering with Ann Arbor-based Vortex Hydro Energy L.L.C. to test technology that uses oscillations from water current-induced vortexes to create electricity or to pump water in an environmentally safe manner. The DTE Energy Foundation awarded the authority a $50,000 grant to pay for a feasibility study on the technology's use in the Detroit River near the new terminal. The authority is in charge of the test project.

Vortex Hydro Energy, which said it will spend $2 million to develop and test its technology, predicts it will create 600 jobs by 2015, mainly in Michigan, and expects annual revenue of at least $190 million by then. The company also plans to target military uses for its technology, called Vortex Induced Vibration for Aquatic Clean Energy, to supply power for troops in the field as well as direct water pumping and power for coastal naval bases and ships.

The technology was developed at the University of Michigan's School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Others contributing to the project include Detroit-based NextEnergy, the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Department of Energy. First, however, much work needs to be done on the site.

More than $6 million will be spent to replace wood pilings dating from the 19th century and upgrade an early 20th century seawall, Kerr said. The rest of the $15 million will be spent on infrastructure and construction of the terminal and dock. For proof of Great Lakes tourism viability, the city is looking north where Port Huron has been capitalizing on a similar plan.

Port Huron philanthropist James Acheson, an heir to the Acheson Colloids Co. industrial lubricants fortune, has invested millions since 2003 in a 77-acre redevelopment of land along the St. Clair River. The project includes a high-tech facility for ship watchers and a renovated seaway terminal where Great Lakes tour vessels, historic ships and other craft visit. Future plans include parks, a marina, upscale housing and shopping. A three-day tall ships festival featuring six historic vessels took place this past weekend at the Port Huron site, where cruise ships regularly stop at the terminal, which also is home to a tall ship and a retired U.S. Coast Guard cutter that's now part of a museum tour stop. Visitors to Port Huron can take a variety of tours of local sights or visit the Point Edward Charity Casino across the river in Ontario.

In Detroit, the new terminal and dock will be marketed to tour operators, and the city will be sold as a cruise stop, Kerr said. A marketing and advertising plan will involve a number of agencies, such as the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, to let the world know Detroit is a place to visit on Great Lakes cruises. “Once the new port is built and we help host shore excursions, we hope to eventually lengthen these shore excursions that would include attractions, shopping and other activities ... like other Great Lakes cities where guests would stay overnight,” Jennifer Petrous, manager of tour and travel sales for the convention and visitors bureau, said in an e-mail to Crain's. The bureau has not yet worked up an economic-impact estimate for the new terminal.

An economic-impact study by the Kingston, Ontario-based Great Lakes Cruising Coalition in 2003 estimated that Great Lakes port cities stood to gain $36.8 million from tourism, docking fees, fuel and garbage disposal. That was based on nine cruise ships on the lakes, but this summer only three vessels will be cruising, said Stephen Barnett, executive director of the coalition, a lakes tourism advocacy group representing cities on the lakes, including Detroit. Three of the largest lakes cruisers — the Columbus, Le Levant and Orion — are elsewhere this year or no longer plying the lakes. “We're back into the build mode. We're still in a fragile state,” Barnett said of the lakes cruising industry. He's hopeful coming years will see a major boost, noting that the coalition is in talks with several ship owners.

The 290-foot Clelia II was recently bought by New York-based Travel Dynamics International Inc. for use as a Great Lakes cruise ship during the summer and fall starting in 2009, he said. Barnett predicts up to 10 ships will be touring lakes ports over the next couple of years.

Detroit as a port of call will boost efforts to revive Great Lakes cruising, he said. The new terminal and dock have caught the industry's interest. “It doesn't need to be Miami-style razzmatazz,” he said. “(Detroit is) one of the foundations that Great Lakes cruising needs to be taken seriously.”

From Crain's Detroit Business

 

Lake Erie shipwreck turns lake into research lab

7/1 - Vermilion, Oh - Loaded with passengers and a cargo of liquor and wine, the Anthony Wayne had not traveled far on its voyage from the docks of Toledo to a port in Buffalo, when an inexplicable explosion occurred - one that sent it to the depths of Lake Erie. Now, more than 150 years later and two years after it was first discovered deep beneath the Lake Erie waves, underwater archaeologists are studying the sidewheel steamboat in its final resting place.

Believed to be the oldest steamboat shipwreck in the lake, the Anthony Wayne is broken up and buried in the lake's muck. It's cold down there - hovering at about 50 degrees - and the murky water makes visibility tough. Despite the less-than-ideal research environment, archaeologists are working to preserve Great Lakes history by measuring and recording every detail of the vessel to re-create how it was built.

"This is part of the heritage of the lakes," said Texas A&M University graduate student Brad Krueger, who initiated the project. "You can learn a lot from these wrecks. They shouldn't be salvaged. … By showing the actual value of underwater archaeology, it gives us a better understanding of our Great Lakes history." With hopes of "bridging the gap in maritime history," Mr. Krueger said his project will result in the re-creation of "architectural elements that we just don't have."

What is known about the Anthony Wayne has been learned through newspaper articles and maritime records. There are no blueprints or photographs of the steamboat, only a lithograph created before the vessel was built in a Perrysburg shipyard in 1837. The boat was 155 feet long and 27 feet wide. On each side, a 27-foot paddle wheel loomed, powered by steam generated in four onboard boilers. It was the boilers on the ship's starboard side that exploded just after midnight on April 28, 1850, about six miles north of Vermilion, Ohio.

"We're doing an intense recording of the site," said Mr. Krueger, 25, who is originally from Ann Arbor. "We're trying to put it into a larger context of what this ship is."

Captain Tom Kowalczk, a retired auto worker and longtime diver, has spent much of his free time trolling Lake Erie. Moving at speeds hardly fast enough to produce a wake, he maneuvers his boat, the Dragonfly, up and down portions of the Lake Erie shoreline. He searches for shipwrecks. And in 2006, as in years past, his patience paid off. Using a sidescan sonar system attached to his boat, Mr. Kowalczk found what he believed to be the Anthony Wayne - a longtime goal on his list of ships to find. The following year, a scuba dive beneath the waves to the ship confirmed it.

Mr. Kowalczk admitted that there was no name printed across the wooden remains of the vessel to make identification exact. But research of the area and of the ships that sank pointed to only one possibility, he said. "It has paddle wheels, it has all the right dimensions, and it's in the right place," he said while his recreational boat floated above the site. "It's the only sidewheel steamboat out here. What else could it be?" Only a few have viewed the remains of the Anthony Wayne.

Although its location has been made public, its exact location in Lake Erie is still not widely known. Those who have seen it readily admit its historical significance and acknowledge that it is not among the most visibly impressive of Lake Erie's shipwreck dives. The top portions of the paddle wheels are missing, yet their shapes are distinguishable. Gearing used to push the paddle wheels through the water is still visible, although hidden beneath a light layer of zebra mussels and other marine growth. A short swim away is the recognizable shape of the bow, its pointed end rising up about four feet out of the Lake Erie muck.

"It was one of the notable shipwrecks in history because it was a passenger ship and a lot of people were killed," Mr. Kowalczk said. "There was lore attached." Because passenger lists were kept on the vessels themselves, it is unknown how many people perished when the Anthony Wayne sank, Mr. Krueger said. What is known is that the steamboat sank very quickly.

"We know that in April, 1850, the vessel departed Toledo to Sandusky. Shortly after midnight, after leaving Sandusky, the starboard side boiler exploded inexplicably. It's unclear as to why it happened," Mr. Krueger said. "There were survivors," he added. "From what I remember, there were about 33 people reported killed or missing, leaving about 50 or 60 people surviving."

The Anthony Wayne is just one of the thousands of shipwrecks scattered within the Great Lakes' graveyard. In Lake Erie, hundreds of ships have been found in ruins. Hundreds more have yet to be discovered. Recording the history and current conditions of Lake Erie shipwrecks is among the goals taken on by the Great Lakes Historical Society, a nonprofit organization that operates the Vermilion-based Inland Seas Maritime Museum as well as the Peachman Lake Erie Shipwreck Research Center.

The group is dedicated to preserving Lake Erie maritime history, said Carrie Sowden, archaeological director for the historical society. To further that goal, the Great Lakes Historical Society is sponsoring the Anthony Wayne project, she added. "This is the biggest project that we've ever been a part of. It's a long-term in-depth study," Ms. Sowden said. "This is new for us but I hope not the only time we do it."

The Great Lakes Historical Society works to get out word on what shipwrecks Lake Erie has to offer, she added. That's why the group participated in a project in August, 2006, to raise the bell on another of the lake's shipwrecks, the Cortland. The 173-foot wooden ship sank in 1863 after colliding with a steamer off Lorain, Ohio. Its bell can now be seen among other Lake Erie artifacts in the maritime museum.

"We're trying to cover a lot of Ohio's Lake Erie coastline," Ms. Sowden said.

From the Toledo Blade

 

Updates - July 1

News Photo Gallery updated

Special Soo Gathering Photo Gallery

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History : July 1

July 1, 1991 - The automobile/passenger ferry DALDEAN celebrated its 40th year in operation between Sombra, Ontario and Marine City, Michigan. She was built by Erieau Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, Erieau, Ontario for Bluewater Ferry Ltd. Service started between the two communities on July 1, 1951.

On this day in 1943, the nine loading docks on Lake Superior loaded a combined 567,000 tons of iron ore into the holds of waiting freighters.

At 16:00 hours on July 1, 2005, an explosion hit the Cargill elevator in Toledo, Ohio, which collapsed on one of the silos and fire was found in five of the silos.

On July 1, 1940, the HARRY COULBY became the first Great Lakes vessel to load in excess of 16,000 tons of iron ore when it loaded 16,067 tons of iron ore in Ashland, Wisconsin. Renamed b.) KINSMAN ENTERPRISE in 1989. She was scrapped at Port Colborne, Ontario in 2002.

On 1 July 1927, ROBERT C WENTE (wooden, propeller, bulk freighter, 141 foot, 336 gross tons, built in 1888, at Gibraltar, Michigan) burned to a total loss in the St. Clair River. In 1911, she sank in Lake Michigan, but was raised and refurbished.

July, 1983 - The C&O sold its remaining 3 car ferries to Glen Bowden and George Towns. They begin operating cross-lake service between Ludington and Kewaunee under the name Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Co. (MWT)

On 1 July 1852, CASPIAN (wooden side-wheeler, 252 foot, 921 tons, built in 1851, at Newport, Michigan) foundered a short distance off Cleveland's piers. Some of her gear and structural material were salvaged in the Spring of 1853, and the wreck was then flattened with dynamite.

July 1, 1900, the new wooden steam barge ALFRED MITCHELL started her maiden voyage from St. Clair, Michigan for Cleveland, Ohio, to load coal. She was owned by Langell & Sons.

On 1 July 1869, the wooden schooner GARROWEN was carrying coal from Cleveland to Toronto when she sprang a leak and sank in 60 feet of water about 10 miles from shore off Geneva, Ohio. The crew escaped in the yawl. She was only 19 years old and some of the crew claimed that she was scuttled as an insurance scam. However, a number of divers visited the wreck on the bottom of the Lake at the time and that claim was refuted.

On 1 July 1875, the iron carferry HURON (238 foot, 1052 gross tons, built at Point Edward, Ontario with iron plates prefabricated in Scotland) made her trial voyage between Fort Gratiot, Michigan and Point Edward, Ontario across the St. Clair River. This vessel served the Grand Trunk Railway and ran between Windsor and Detroit for over a century.

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

 



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