Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

Copyright Boatnerd.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

* Report News

Port Reports -  July 30

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
At 1 p.m. Monday, the USCG's Hollyhock and Neah Bay and the Canadian Coast Guard's Griffon came into port as the Parade of Ships for the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival. They will remain in port until Sunday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Stephen B. Roman departed the Essroc Dock in Essexville on Sunday afternoon, after unloading there overnight. The tug Nickelena and barge BMI 192 arrived at the Consumers Energy dock shortly after the Roman departed the river. Earlier in the week, the Nickelena had arrived with the barge BMI 209.

 

War ships ready for the Seaway

7/30 - Monday evening the USS Dewert, USS Hurricane, & HMCS Ville de Quebec were in Montreal for port visits through August 3. After that they will depart for Milwaukee and transit the Welland Canal some time around August 5. Also in the Montreal area was the gun destroyer USS Edson under tow of the tugs Colonel and Ecosse, bound for Bay City, Michigan. They are moving slowly and an estimated transit of the Welland Canal upbound could be on August 4.

Brian W.

 

Yorktown passenger cruise ship en route to Duluth

7/30 - Duluth, Minn. – The Yorktown made its maiden voyage into the Great Lakes in June of this year and has been entertaining passengers on a series of discovery cruises along this inland waterway ever since. On Wed., Aug. 1, the US-flag cruise ship is scheduled to arrive in the Port of Duluth-Superior and dock behind the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) for the day.

Owned and operated by Travel Dynamics International of New York, the 138-passenger vessel is expected to arrive at 6 a.m. and should complete disembarkation by 9 a.m. Outbound passengers will begin boarding the vessel late that afternoon, with departure set for 11:30 p.m. via the Duluth ship canal. Those outbound passengers will end up in Detroit following an 11-day transit being called Great Lakes Grand Discovery a route with stops in Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron.

The arrival of the Yorktown highlights the commitment of its owner to the Great Lakes. Built in Florida in 1988 specifically for coastal cruising, she measures 257 feet in length and 43 feet wide, allowing her to maneuver in secluded waterways and visit small ports that are inaccessible to larger vessels. Able to accommodate all of its guests in 69 exterior cabins, the Yorktown boasts a large sun deck, spacious lounge for social gatherings and lectures, plus a dining room featuring American cuisine. Approximately 95 passengers are booked on each leg of this voyage. The Yorktown is under the command of Captain Paul Figuenick; Cruise Director is Mr. Temu Nana.

Passengers enjoy lectures by experts, plus excursions to several points of interest along the way, including Manitoulin Island, Sault Ste. Marie, Mackinac Island, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and the Apostle Islands. The company is already planning its inland waterway itineraries for 2013. Rates for the Yorktown’s Great Lakes Grand Discovery cruise range from approximately $5,000 - $9,000. For details: www.traveldynamicsinternational.com.

Duluth Seaway Port Authority

 

TF Warren Group Inc. accepting crew applications for fleet

7/30 - The new owners of the former Vanguard/Vanship fleet of ships are accepting applications for crew employment of various ship positions available of the former Great Lakes bulkers, J.W. Shelley and VSL Centurion, as well as the Ocean Going Bulker/General Cargo Lady Remington III.

The company is seeking applications for crew employment for the following positions:

Masters (Master Local Voyage and Near Coastal with Great Lakes Pilotage Qualifications)
First Mates (Local Voyage and Near Coastal with Great Lakes Pilotage Qualification)
Chief Engineers (First Class Motor/2nd Class Motor)
2nd Engineers (2nd Class Motor/3rd Class Motor)
Non-Officer positions may be available to qualified candidates.

We offer competitive salary/compensation, attractive benefits, a non-union environment, relief system, training opportunities and the chance to help build a new company to service the Great Lakes marine transportation industry. Valid Transport Canada (Marine) Medical, Canadian Passport and unrestricted entry into the U.S. are additional pre-requisites. We are looking for skilled crews with strong traits in leadership, teamwork, communications and dedication for both permanent and relief positions. Interested applicants should contact Gerri.Lable@tfwarren.com 519-754-3751.

 

1962 freighter shipweck drew thousands to river

7/30 - Detroit, Mich. – Fifty years ago Monday you could have elbowed through the crowds by the Ambassador Bridge to gawk at the worst freighter shipwreck on the Detroit River and the best tourist attraction of the time.

“It was a circus attraction. Everybody flocked down there,” former CBC radio reporter Hal Sullivan, 70, said Monday of the first big story he covered.

It was the sinking of the British freighter M. V. Montrose, which ran into a barge being pulled by a tug and sank under the bridge the night of July 30, 1962. All the crew got off safely and The Windsor Star reported about 20,000 spectators in Windsor and Detroit watched “the lumbering ship flop to her side in 30 feet of water.”

It became such an attraction there were boat cruises to see it and an increase in passengers on the Boblo amusement park boats. Parents took their kids to see the wreck and the Ambassador Bridge, which at the time allowed foot traffic, stopped pedestrians from walking on the bridge at night in case they fell off while gawking.

John Polacsek, the former curator of the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle, and others from the Great Lakes Maritime Institute planned to lay wreaths at the site of the wreck at about 9:20 p.m. Monday to mark the historic sinking even though no lives were lost. It’s a part of history, he said.

“A number of boats have gone to the bottom but this is the worst one,” Polacsek said of the freighters sinking in the Detroit River. Polacsek, 61, said it cost $750,000 to raise the ship and then more money to repair it.

The 440-foot vessel was said to be valued at $6 million to $8 million exclusive of cargo and was just 18 months old, The Star reported. There have been tragic shipwrecks and tugboats sinking with lives lost on the river but the only other freighter wreck he could recall was a freighter damaged by ice that got to a Detroit dock in the winter of 1920 and sank.

The Montrose was coming from France to the Great Lakes with fine wine and 200 tons of aluminum, he said. It had docked in Detroit the day before the collision and unloaded cargo from various Mediterranean ports. It was leaving the Detroit Harbor terminal at about 9 p.m. July 30, 1962 when the collision occurred, The Star reported.

The 4,993-ton vessel struck a steel barge being pushed by a tug. The collision ripped a hole in the side of the freighter causing water to flood into the front of the ship. The plan was to try to get the vessel to the Canadian shore but as the propeller rose out of the water the ship could not be controlled.

Early news reports said the Montrose had not signaled with its whistle while leaving the port and witnesses said the tug sounded a distress signal and reversed its engines. Polacsek said with the currents and forward momentum the tug could not stop.

At an inquiry held the following day the captain of the Montrose said that before leaving the terminal he made the regular security call by radio telephone that the Montrose would leave in five minutes. Whistle signals and radar were not used because it would have been useless at night with so many small vessels in the river, the inquiry was told.

There were lawsuits over the collision and Polacsek said the captain of the tug, Frank Becker, was said to have quipped that he was the first American to sink a British ship on the Great Lakes since the War of 1812.

Crew members said they didn’t realize there had been a collision at first. Three people including the captain stayed on the ship for about five hours until it listed to one side. If they had abandoned the ship it and its cargo could have been claimed by anyone. Polacsek said.

The next morning there were crowds at Ambassador park, snow fences to keep cars from being parked on the grass and police trying to control traffic on Riverside Drive.

It took two months to salvage the wreck and get it back afloat so many people remember seeing it. Sullivan recalls his wonderment. “How could this happen and how could everybody have gotten off? And why is it just sitting there on its side?”

Paul Jagenow, was about 14 at the time and now works as a senior dispatcher for the J. W. Westcott Company which had its mail boat go to the Montrose along with the Detroit fire boat to get the crew off the sinking ship. He said the collision and sinking was highly unusual.

“It was quite the tourist attraction,” Jagenow said. “I remember as a youngster my mother took the whole family and we parked on the American side and walked up on the bridge and looked right down on the side of the ship.”

Windsor Star

 

Updates -  July 30

News Photo Gallery

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  July 30

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 McCormack 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, the Liberian vessel ARTADI approached the dock at Trois Rivires, 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.

1910 – The wooden schooner GRACE WHITNEY sank off Bar Point, Lake Erie, following a collision with the OGDENSBURG. Two lives were lost – the captain's wife and their son. The coal-laden barge was the third in a line being pulled by the MAINE when it was run down.

1956 – The British general cargo carrier TEESWOOD was built for service between Newfoundland and the Great Lakes in 1953. It was abandoned and then capsized and sank in heavy seas off Dungeness, Kent, England. One member of the crew was lost.

1965 – C.S. ROBINSON sustained heavy bottom damage in a grounding at Sault Ste. Marie, near the Algoma Steel plant. Following repairs, it returned to service September 20, 1965, as c) UHLMANN BROTHERS (ii).

1979 – MAKARSKA provided regular service to the Great Lakes beginning as a new ship in 1968 until lost in 1979. It sank on this date, enroute from Chicago to Rijeka, Yugoslavia, after a collision with the SYDNEY EXPRESS, south of Spain, two days earlier. Three sailors perished.

1997 – CHIOS PRIDE lost power at the Eisenhower Lock and smashed into a fender, resulting in an estimated $50,000 in damage. The ship first visited the Great Lakes as a) REGENT PALM in 1981 and returned as b) WORLD PALM in 1986, PROTOPOROS III in 1987, d) CRYSTAL B in 1989, e) OCEAN LEADER in 1996, f) CHIOS PRIDE in 1997 and g) HALANDRIANI in 2007. It arrived for scrapping at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, as h) SWIFT STRONG on February 6, 2009.

2003 – OFFSHORE SUPPLIER was working off Preston Bay, Little Cayman Island, when it became disabled due to a towline fouling the propeller. The ship drifted ashore and was flooded aft when her barge struck the stern. The tug was also familiar around the Great Lakes as a) ELMORE M. MISNER.

2010 – The tug JENNY LYNN sank in Cheboygan Bay while moored to the former WILLIAM HOEY.

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

 

Arthur J dredge floating, in transit to maintenance dock

7/30 - Port Huron, Mich. - Weather conditions at the worksite of the dredge Arthur J have improved and allowed for safe salvage operations to continue and the dredge was successfully re-floated Monday at approximately 3 a.m.

The Arthur J, a 100-foot dredge sank approximately two miles off the shore of Lakeport, Mich., in Lake Huron Thursday, July 18.

Salvage crews resumed dive operations Sunday at about 9 a.m. and, following a long day of preparations, successfully re-floated the dredge by using compressors to blow air into watertight compartments.

The calm sea state and calm winds Sunday and Monday were a marked improvement and allowed for the crews to safely work through the night to successfully re-float the dredge and remove it from the site for further cleanup and repairs.

“Safety of the salvage crews, divers and environmental responders has been paramount throughout the incident,” said Cmdr. Gary Koehler, incident commander for the Coast Guard, “Although challenged by adverse weather conditions and sea state throughout the week, everything came together today to execute a safe, technical and organized salvage operation. The professionalism and cooperation from all parties involved was truly impressive and instrumental to eliminating any further threat to this pristine international waterway.”

MCM Marine, Inc., the owner and operator of the dredge Arthur J and Tug Madison, has been proactive from the onset of the response, quickly hiring the necessary environmental and salvage experts to responsibly mitigate environmental impacts and recover the dredge.

 

Port Reports -  July 30

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Sunday afternoon included Paul R. Tregurtha loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal, American Courage outbound in Duluth harbor headed toward the Duluth ship canal, and HHL Congoat the Duluth port terminal.

Green Bay, Wis. - Wendell Wilke
Sunday the Calumet finished unloading salt at Fox River Dock and was headed out into the Bay of Green Bay at 7:30 a.m. Shortly after, the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber were inbound at 9 a.m. with stone for Western Lime arriving at the dock at 9:30 a.m.

Lake Michigan
Joseph L. Block was headed for Gary Sunday evening. Wilfred Sykes was set to load slag at Indiana Harbor for Ferrysburg, Mich., Sunday night. Manistee was outbound on the Calumet River past the docked Edenborg. Cason J. Callaway was at Buffington.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Interlake's tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder loaded Sunday at the LaFarge stone quarry on the Marblehead Peninsula.

 

Officials may examine possibility of “Port of Massena”

7/30 - Massena, N.Y. — Companies in Massena that want to ship goods on the St. Lawrence Seaway must send their product 36 miles west to the Port of Ogdensburg. Those charged with redeveloping the General Motors Powertrain site might use state funds to examine whether part of that property on the St. Lawrence River could host Massena’s own port.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a $360,000 Brownfield Opportunity Area grant for Massena in March. The grant will be used for a 485-acre area, including the 220-acre GM property, state officials said previously. St. Lawrence County and the town of Massena jointly applied for the planning and marketing grant more than a year ago.

The county originally planned to use the funds to create a local development corporation to market and sell the GM site, County Administrator Karen M. St. Hilaire said. But after the county applied, the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust assumed ownership and began marketing the site on its own.

The county doesn’t want to turn down the funds, or duplicate efforts, so Ms. St. Hilaire brainstormed a series of ideas not previously studied or researched for the GM site. The state is allowing the county and town to repurpose the funds.

“If we have a company that needs a port, is (the GM property) accessible for a port?” she asked. “If they need a deepwater port, is it a possibility there?”

Ms. St. Hilaire said the money could be used to determine a port’s feasibility and how it could affect business at the Port of Ogdensburg. She also proposed studying whether the site’s rail infrastructure could become part of a larger recreational trail system if it was no longer used for industrial purposes and building off earlier research indicating which types of businesses and industry would be best for the property.

“There are definitely no firm plans on any of them,” she said.

A subcommittee focused on repurposing the grant has been formed on the North Country Redevelopment Task Force. Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said he also supported studying a port idea because it could be another selling point for companies considering the GM property.

“If you could make a product and dock a ship here, how great would that be?” he said. “I’m open to discussing anything and everything. Let’s look at all scenarios.”

He also wondered whether the GM site could support a business that could purchase aluminum produced at the nearby Alcoa plants and turn it into some type of product.

“I think we as a community have failed to pursue something like that,” he said.

Watertown Daily Times

 

Dredging of Buffalo River sludge is due to finish phase by month's end

7/30 - Buffalo, N.Y. - The current phase of dredging contaminated sludge from the bed of the Buffalo River is expected to be finished by the end of this month, according to the Buffalo District Office of the Army Corps of Engineers.

About 40,000 cubic yards of sediment and shoals are being removed from the authorized limits of the federal navigation channel in the lower section of the river, under a $5.85 million contract with Luedtke Engineering of Frankfort, Mich.

The work is part of the corps' regularly scheduled maintenance program, and is part of a longer-range effort to clean up the river and its shoreline after years of neglect and the use of the river as a dumping ground by heavy industries that left the area long ago.

The dredged sediment is being placed in what the corps calls a "confined disposal facility" off the Lake Erie shoreline and adjacent to the former Bethlehem Steel plant just south of Buffalo. The corps said in a news release that it built the disposal facility as a dumping site for "material that is unsuitable for open-lake placement in Lake Erie."

The present dredging is a continuation of a multiyear environmental dredging project conducted by the Corps of Engineers in partnership with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, the City of Buffalo and Honeywell, one of the industries that the state has identified as being partly responsible for pollution in the river.

Last year, the corps said, those organizations - calling themselves the Buffalo River Restoration Partnership - used $4.6 million from the Great Lakes Restoration Fund and $1.3 million from the corps' budget for operation and maintenance to remove about 508,000 cubic yards of sediment from the Buffalo River.

Besides contaminated sediment containing such chemicals as PCBs, mercury and lead, the dredging has unearthed discarded shopping carts, automobiles, old tires and other debris.

The aim is to clean up the polluted waterway to make it safe for fishing, and maybe even for swimming, and to promote public and private development along the river shore, including public access, parks along the water's edge and the development of small businesses such as restaurants and retail stores.

A century's worth of toxic waste has been discharged into the river by the old grain elevators, abandoned factories, an automobile junkyard and other industrial usage that created chemically polluted hot spots.

Lt. Col. Owen J. Beaudoin, Buffalo District commander of the Corps of Engineers, said the district's budget for operation and maintenance "allows our team to continue to deliver great dividends to the region and to the nation by funding those projects that provide the greatest return on investment and improve the resiliency and safety of navigation-related infrastructure."

Lt. Col. Stephen H. Bales, Beaudoin's immediate predecessor as district commander, said in May that the combination of habitat restoration and efforts to clear out the contaminants means that the Buffalo River will be off the EPA's list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern in three to five years.

"We clear out the toxic materials; Mother Nature will do the rest and clear out what's left there and replenish the river," Bales said.

He has moved on to a new assignment, and Beaudoin became the district director June 21.

The Buffalo River begins at the confluence of Cayuga Creek and Buffalo Creek in West Seneca and flows generally westerly through Buffalo and into Lake Erie. During Buffalo's heyday as an industrial center, the Buffalo River frequently was crowded with barges and Great Lakes vessels carrying bulk cargos to and from cities along the upper lakes.

The Buffalo News

 

Global steel giant ArcelorMittal scales back

7/30 - London, U.K. - Steel is a notoriously volatile industry. But four years ago, Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian-born tycoon, appeared to have mastered the business.

He was still aglow from his 2006 victory in an epic takeover battle for his nearest rival, Arcelor of Luxembourg, which made the merged company, ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel maker by far. With a fast-growing world economy hungry for steel, ArcelorMittal reported operating income of nearly $12 billion for 2008.

Things are different now, with Europe in a deep economic funk and once-roaring construction markets like India and China also slowing. Last year, the company had operating income of $4.9 billion. And on Wednesday, it reported second-quarter operating income of $1.1 billion, on sales of $22.48 billion. While the sales were down 10 percent from a year earlier, income was down more than 50 percent as the cost of the industry’s raw material, iron ore, rose even as steel prices slumped.

“Clearly, this performance is not acceptable at all,” Mr. Mittal said by telephone on Wednesday, while noting that the severity of the various downturns had been unexpected.

The company has already started curtailing production in Europe to match reduced demand. And it is bracing for resistance from unions and governments to other planned cost cuts. Those include the major wage and benefit concessions it is seeking from workers in the United States, where it employs thousands of workers at 12 major facilities in states including Indiana and Pennsylvania.

Back in the boom times, Mr. Mittal’s strategy was to consolidate a fragmenting industry. Putting production into fewer hands would make it easier to adjust output to cushion the cyclical downturns that have always played havoc with steel makers. Among the American companies he bought were Inland Steel and the International Steel Group, which owned plants once operated by companies like LTV and Weirton Steel.

Beginning with the global recession in 2009, though, ArcelorMittal has faced one setback after another.

The latest and perhaps the most serious hazard is the protracted euro zone financial turmoil that has all but killed demand for steel in Western Europe. ArcelorMittal, with headquarters in Luxembourg, produced more than a third of its worldwide crude steel in Europe last year. Nearly 100,000 of the company’s 260,000 employees work in Europe.

ArcelorMittal’s share price has fallen steeply since 2008, reducing the value of the Mittal family’s controlling stake of 40 percent to $9 billion from an estimated $55 billion in 2008.

The benchmark price of European steel in 2008 was about 850 euros ($1,030 at today’s exchange rates) a metric ton. By last month, that price was 573 euros, according to Meps, a consulting firm in Sheffield, England.

And the lower the price drops, the more reluctant buyers are to commit, “because the material they have in stock is worth less as each week passes,” said Peter Fish, the chairman of Meps.

Inexpensive Chinese steel, heavily subsidized by its government, has also been a big drag on global prices. Even as steel production in Western Europe and the United States has declined over the last five years, China’s output has grown about 60 percent, and China now makes 46 percent of the world’s steel.

Mr. Mittal said almost all Chinese companies lost money in the first half of the year. “That is good news in the sense that they will have to work on restructuring the steel industry,” eventually putting profit ahead of volume, he said.

But largely because of China’s ravenous appetite for iron ore, the industry’s main raw material, its price has quadrupled since 2006, to about $134 a metric ton.

“The steel makers like ArcelorMittal are caught in the middle,” said Jeff Largey, an analyst at Macquarie in London. “On the one hand, the end markets are weak and they don’t have any pricing power. On the other hand, they can’t do anything about high raw materials prices driven by demand from China.”

Mr. Mittal started out in the 1970s building and operating a minimill in Indonesia. He built his fortune in the next three decades by buying and fixing a network of gigantic but poorly performing plants in places like Kazakhstan, Romania and Mexico.

But now Mr. Mittal finds himself in a tough fight just to control costs and reduce the company’s $22 billion in debt. In Europe, he has idled nine of his 25 blast furnaces, the huge machines that turn iron ore into liquid metal.

And in contrast to his earlier acquisition spree, he is now selling properties. ArcelorMittal recently sold two North American steel foundation businesses called Skyline Steel and Astralloy to a rival, Nucor, for $605 million — part of $2.7 billion in divestitures since September.

Because of its mergers, ArcelorMittal has “a lot of low-hanging fruit,” said Wen Li, an analyst at Credit Sights in New York.

The company also benefits from its global reach. The mills in the United States are doing better than those in Europe, thanks to demand from heavy-equipment makers like Caterpillar and for steel pipe to feed the North American shale gas boom. And unlike its rivals, ArcelorMittal has its own major iron ore operations, helping buffer high prices.

In Europe, where the company faces its deepest problems, it says it wants to keep its best plants — like those in Ghent, Belgium and Dunkirk, France — running at high rates while sidelining the poor performers. But ArcelorMittal probably needs to close some plants permanently, analysts say. And as the automakers know too well, closing plants in Europe requires months, if not years, of talks.

Labor problems are also looming in the United States. The company and the United Steelworkers union are now in intensive talks in Pittsburgh, trying to reach a new agreement before the current contract covering 12,500 workers expires at the end of August. ArcelorMittal is pushing for lower costs and more flexible work rules that the union says would add up to wage and benefit reductions of $28 an hour.

The company says the workers make an average of $170,855 a year in pay and benefits, of which $82,471 is gross pay. A union spokesman, Anthony Montana, said the company’s figure was “an inflated noncash cost calculation,” but he would not provide a union estimate.

The union says that in addition to upfront compensation cuts, the company also wants the right to cut wages during periods of reduced operation. The company is proposing cuts in retirement benefits, too, seeking to eliminate retiree health care for employees hired after Sept. 1, 2012, and switch those employees to a 401(k) from a pension plan.

Mr. Largey, the Macquarie analyst, said the company might think it was worth enduring a strike if needed to reduce costs.

But an ArcelorMittal spokesman, William C. Steers, said on Wednesday, “We are optimistic we will reach a fair agreement because ultimately the union and the company want the same thing — a successful business throughout the cycle that provides good job security and industry-leading pay for industry-leading performance.”

New York Times

 

Canada's largest schooner to visit, help commemorate War of 1812

7/30 - Buffalo, N.Y. – A 200-foot-long, 740-ton schooner with 11,000 square feet of sail will make a stop at Canalside Aug. 7 and 8 as part of Buffalo's War of 1812 commemoration.

The Empire Sandy, Canada's largest sailing tall ship, will arrive at about 8 p.m. Aug. 6 and anchor until Aug. 8, offering dockside tours to the public and a VIP party to the first couple hundred to purchase tickets.

The ship, a replica of a 19th century, three-masted schooner packing double cannons on deck, was originally a British deep sea tug and is the last of 1,464 "Empire" ships built or acquired for war service during World War II that is still serving with its original name.

"It's the biggest schooner on the Great Lakes," said Marina Woolcock, who heads the Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park's War of 1812 Celebration Committee. "It's a three-masted schooner and it's beautiful."

Empire Sandy will visit Canalside for the first time, Woolcock said.

"This is one of the ships that we're very honored to have," said Woolcock, who will get to ride the Empire Sandy from Port Colborne, Ont., to Canalside on Aug. 6.

Empire Sandy's visit is one of several events planned to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 - a celebration that could draw more than 100,000 people to the area in August and September. The Naval Park recently opened its War of 1812 exhibit and Buffalo Navy Week will be held Sept. 10 to Sept. 17. The week will bring at least a half-dozen vessels from the United States and Canada.

A series of guest speakers for the celebration will also be announced soon after the Empire Sandy's visit, Woolcock said.

Dockside tours will be available from noon to 9 p.m. Aug. 7 and noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 8. Tickets are $5 per person and children age 12 and younger are admitted free.

A VIP party with food, drink and music will be held aboard the ship from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 8. Tickets, at $30 per person and $50 per couple, can be purchased at the Naval Park Gift Shop, by calling 716-847-1773, Ext. 10, or emailing info@buffalonavalpark.org.

Buffalo News

 

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, had 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.

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 icebreaker C.C.G.S. ALEXANDER HENRY entered service July 30, 1959. Since 1985, the HENRY has served 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: Skip Gillham, 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.

 

Port Reports -  July 29

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Stephen B. Roman was inbound the Saginaw River, Saturday evening, bound for the Essroc Cement dock in Essexville to unload. The Roman was expected to be outbound on Sunday.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
The tug Undaunted and barge were departing Lorain harbor at 11:55 a.m. Saturday after unloading in port.

 

Denis Sullivan at 22nd annual Classic & Wooden Boat Festival

7/29 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – The Door County Maritime Museum will again feature dozens of classic wooden boats at its 22nd Annual Classic & Wooden Boat Festival Aug. 4 & 5 at the museum in Sturgeon Bay, but this year features a special guest.

Wisconsin’s own tall ship, the schooner Denis Sullivan, will be docked at the festival and will be offering daily three-hour sailing trips.

The “Boats, Books & Brushes” theme was introduced three years ago as the Festival continues to broaden its appeal beyond the collection of interesting and stunning vessels it attracts each summer. The “Paint the Bay” art exhibition is back while authors Walter and Mary Hirthe will be on the grounds Saturday afternoon to sign their popular re-printed book “Schooner Days in Door County.”

Again, the United States Coast Guard will be well represented with the return appearance of “Coastie,” the remote-controlled boat. Some of the Coast Guard’s most eye-catching equipment will also be on hand.

The Coast Guard will also play a prominent part in the show’s most popular event, the Sikaflex Challenge boat building competition. At least two Coast Guard teams are signed up for a fun “competition within a competition” as they battle for Coast Guard bragging rights. Boat construction will get underway Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with up to 12 two-person teams required to build a boat with limited materials and just four hours to garner points to carry over into Sunday’s in-water race. Always a big draw, the race will begin at 12:45 p.m. with the colorfully decorated vessels hitting the water and racing against the clock. Points are awarded and coupled with Saturday’s construction totals to produce an overall winner. There is voting Sunday morning for a People’s Choice award and a coveted spot on the Palmer Johnson Trophy.

The open-air painting event, “Paint the Bay,” will encompass the entire Sturgeon Bay waterfront. Artists will have Saturday morning to create their art before returning it for a silent auction inside the museum Saturday afternoon and Sunday. A People’s Choice vote will select the work, which will grace the 2013 festival poster. Advance registration for artists can be made online at www.dcmm.org or between 8-9 a.m. Saturday morning on the festival grounds.

The restored 149-foot tug John Purves remains a prominent attraction with deck tours again part of the festival admission this year. The Festival Committee has a single ticket entry structure that permits adults to gain admission to the festival, the museum, tug as well as deck tours of the Sullivan. Also, children’s admission prices have been expanded to encourage more family attendance.

As Wisconsin's flagship and a flagship for the United Nations Environment Program, the USCG certified Sailing School Vessel Denis Sullivan, is an educational sailing vessel connecting learners of all ages to the Great Lakes, oceans and our world of water through experiential learning and technology. Visitors to the festival will get the opportunity to step aboard the world’s only re-creation of a 19th century three-masted Great Lakes schooner. Cruises on the schooner are schedule for 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Aug. 3 & 4) and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Call the museum at 920-743-5958 for more information or to purchase tickets.

Boat building again highlights the children’s activities along with the ever-popular toy tug races. With the museum’s new “Pirates: Ship to Shore” exhibit now showing and included in the admission price, a “Talk Like a Pirate” competition is planned for each day at 2 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Boat registrations are taken up to Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Call the Museum at 920-743-5958 for more information or visit www.dcmm.org to register a boat, see a schedule of events or purchase tickets for a cruise aboard the Denis Sullivan.

 

Visitors get a rare glimpse inside Big Red Lighthouse during Holland Museum fundraiser

7/29 - Holland, Mich. — Cindy Cole and her family are lighthouse buffs, making it a point to travel to numerous Great Lakes lighthouses during the past 10 years along the Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota coasts. So when Cole heard of the chance to take a tour of Holland's Big Red Lighthouse — the closest lighthouse to her Comstock Park home — she jumped at the opportunity.

"Michigan is the state that has the most lighthouses," she said. "We've seen a lot of Michigan that way."

The Holland Museum sponsored the Big Red Lighthouse Dinner Cruise on Thursday evening, with room for up to 120 participants. The event included a historical boat cruise along Lake Macatawa on the Little Princess River Boat, dinner at Piper Restaurant and a tour of Holland's lighthouse landmark. Tickets cost $125 per person.

The Big Red Lighthouse isn't often open to the public, giving participants on the tour a chance to get a glimpse into Holland's history.

"I've lived here all my life, and we've never been inside," said Linda Devisser, a resident of Holland for 70 years.

The structure contains a timeline of important lakeshore events on the lower level. The top floors contain former housing quarters for lighthouse keepers, as well two rooms used in historical times to keep the structure's lanterns lit before it contained an electrified light.

The first lighthouse along Holland's harbor was built in the 1870s as a wooden structure, but it was replaced by a steel lighthouse several years later, said John Gronberg, a member of the Holland Harbor Historical Lighthouse Commission. The lights inside would stay lit for about eight hours at a time.

Lighthouse keepers lived in a nearby house inland from the lakeshore.

The Big Red structure was built to house a coal-powered steam whistle at the site, when mariners realized the need for a loud noise to guide them when fog rolled in. Barges pulled up with coal twice a year to provide enough fuel for the whistle to keep boaters from running aground throughout the year, Gronberg said.

"I heard when they had the steam whistle, it shook houses in Zeeland when it went off," Holland resident Ray Lovett said.

When the Big Red building was electrified in the 1930s, the foundation was reinforced and the new electric light was incorporated into it, becoming the lighthouse structure Holland residents see today, Gronberg said. It was painted a light color originally, but the Coast Guard painted it red in 1956 to satisfy a new navigational requirement — eventually earning the name Big Red.

"It's been in service almost 120 years," said Gronberg, whose father proposed to his mother in front of Big Red in 1923.

The Coast Guard intended to abandon the lighthouse in 1971, but a group of Holland residents, including Gronberg's mother, teamed up to form the Holland Harbor Historical Lighthouse Commission and lease the structure to keep it a part of the community. It remains active today.

As a lover of lighthouses, Cole said she was impressed with the size of the lighthouse's living quarters, although none of the lighthouse keepers actually kept a residence at Big Red. She also liked the structure's yellow interior tiling.

"I haven't seen that in a lighthouse," said Cole, who's visited the Au Sable Point Lakeshore on Lake Superior and Big Sable Point Lighthouse near Ludington, among others. "They're normally very stark."

Gronberg said this summer the commission is experimenting with giving limited tours of the lighthouse on the first Sundays of the summer months. They typically run from noon to 2 p.m.

Money raised from the dinner cruise event will be used to fund the Holland Museum's educational tours and exhibits throughout the year.

MLive

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  July 29

OTTERCLIFFE HALL cleared Lauzon, Quebec, July 29, 1969 on her maiden voyage as the last "straight deck" Great Lakes bulk freighter built with a pilothouse 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 while 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 - 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.

1912 – REPUBLIC stranded at Point Louise in the St. Marys River and sustained bottom damage.

1930 – The sandsucker GEORGE J. WHALEN capsized and sank off Dunkirk, N.Y., in heavy seas and 15 sailors perished. Only 6 were rescued and taken aboard the AMASA STONE.

1942 – The first PRESCODOC was torpedoed and sunk by U-160 off Georgetown, British Guiana, with the loss of 15 lives. The bauxite-laden steamer went down quickly, bow first, while enroute to Trinidad and only 5 were saved.

1943 – LOCKWELL and KEYBELL collided above Bridge 11 of the Welland Canal. The former was repaired at Port Dalhousie with $13,450 in damages.

1946 – TEAKBAY went aground on Featherbed Shoal off Carleton Island in the St. Lawrence while bound for Montreal with a load of coal. This member of the C.S.L. fleet was released, with the aid of tugs, the next day and proceeded to Kingston for repairs.

1971 – While undergoing a major refit at Manitowoc, fire broke out aboard the CITY OF SAGINAW 31 destroying the top deck and accommodation area. The damage was listed as between $450,000 and $700,000 and the vessel became a total loss. It was towed to Castellon, Spain, for scrapping.

1979 – The Cayman Islands registered QUIDNET came through the Seaway in 1978 but sank, in a collision with the SEA TIDE at Mamei Curve in the Panama Canal while enroute from Callao, Peru, to Trinidad. The hull was abandoned as a total loss and had to be cut in two before being towed away to a dumping ground. The ship had also been a Great Lakes visitor as b) LUDMILLA C. in 1968.

1993 – The second FEDERAL SCHELDE to visit the Great Lakes was built in 1977 and came inland that year on its maiden voyage with sugar for Montreal and Toronto. The ship received major bow damage after striking the ARARAT in the Orinoco River of Venezuela. It went to Hamburg, Germany, for repairs and resumed service. It became b) TRIAS in 1994 and continued Seaway service until 1999. The ship arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, for scrapping on December 12, 2000.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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

 

Port Reports -  July 28

Stoneport, Mich. -Denny Dushane
The barge Lakes Contender was scheduled to arrive on Friday, July 27 in the early afternoon to take on a stone cargo. There are no boats due to load at Stoneport for Saturday. For Sunday three vessels are scheduled to load at Stoneport - John G. Munson in the morning followed by both the John J. Boland and Algoma Progress for Noon arrivals. There are no boats scheduled for Monday at Stoneport. Rounding out the Stoneport lineup will be the Manistee arriving on Tuesday in the morning and the John G. Munson is due for a late afternoon arrival on Tuesday to load also.

Cedarville and Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
At Cedarville the American Courage loaded and departed from the dock at Cedarville on Wednesday. The Manitowoc was due next at Cedarville to load in the early afternoon on Friday. Great Republic is due at Cedarville in the morning on Sunday and rounding out the Cedarville vessel lineup is the Joseph H. Thompson for Tuesday, July 31 in the early afternoon hours. Vessel activity for Port Inland included the tug John M. Selvick with a barge due on Friday, July 27 in the evening. The Wilfred Sykes is due at Port Inland in the early morning on Saturday along with the H. Lee White. Joseph H. Thompson is also due at Port Inland during the evening hours on Saturday to load also. The Manitowoc is due to arrive at Port Inland to load on Sunday in the morning and rounding out the Port Inland lineup is the Lewis J. Kuber due on Monday, July 30 in the morning hours to load.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
The Arthur M. Anderson loaded on Friday, July 27 at Calcite's South Dock and was expected to depart at about 1:30 p.m. A very slow weekend is on tap for the Port of Calcite stone docks with only the John J. Boland due in on Sunday, July 29 for the North Dock in the early afternoon to load.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
The Lee A. Tregurtha was due to load coal at the CSX Coal Dock #4 on Friday, July 27 in the morning. Following the Lee A. Tregurtha, the next vessels due to load coal at the CSX Coal Dock is the barge McKee Sons due on Saturday in the late afternoon. Algoma Enterprise is due to load coal at the CSX Coal Dock on Tuesday, July 31 at about noon. The Algolake was due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock in a rare visit during the early morning on Friday, July 27. Also due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock is the Capt. Henry Jackman for Thursday, August 2 in the early afternoon. Three vessels are due for the Torco Dock to unload iron ore cargoes in the next few days - Great Republic in the early morning hours on July 28, followed by Atlantic Huron in the late morning also on July 28 and the John D. Leitch for Tuesday, July 31 in the mid-afternoon hours to unload. Three vessels still remain in layup at Toledo - Adam E. Cornelius along with the American Fortitude and American Valor.

Rochester, NY - Tom Brewer
The tug Evans McKeil with the barge Metis arrived in Rochester Friday evening with bulk cement for Essroc.

 

Toledo Coast Guard station accepts new, more capable response boat

7/28 - Cleveland, Ohio - The crew of Coast Guard Station Toledo, Ohio, took delivery Wednesday of the station’s new 45-foot Response Boat-Medium, built by Marinette Marine, of Manitowoc, Wis.

The RB-M can respond faster than previous boats of similar size with a top speed in excess of 40 knots, has advanced search capability with an installed forward-looking infrared search technology. Additionally, with twin jet propulsion, the vessel is able to respond in shallower water.

The boat has a deep-V, double-chine hull, which provides a balance of performance and stability. The vessel is also self-righting. If it capsizes in rough seas, the boat is designed to right itself. It can handle heavy seas and waves up to 12 feet and carry up to 24 people.

The RB-M is being added to Station Toledo's current craft complement, consisting of one 41-foot Utility Boat, two 25-foot Response Boats-Small, and one 24-foot Special Purpose Craft—Shallow Water. With a top speed of more than 40 knots, the highly capable RB-M allows crews to arrive on scene faster.

 

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 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 vessel 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.

1922 – The wooden passenger and freight carrier CARIBOU went aground in the North Channel of Georgian Bay near Richards Landing.

1923 – The wooden steamer W.J. CARTER, enroute from Oswego to Cobourg with a cargo of coal, began leaking and sank in Lake Ontario 20 miles south of Point Peter. Nine crew members were rescued by the KEYPORT.

1929 – The newly-built canaller C.H. HOUSON was in a collision with the collier WABANA off Cap au Saumon on the St. Lawrence in heavy fog. The investigation of the accident was critical of the operation of both vessels. The former served in the Misener fleet, becoming b) PAUL MANION in 1949, and was scrapped at Deseronto, Ontario, in 1961.

1949 – NORMAN J. KOPMEIER was holed by an underwater obstruction entering Muskegon with a cargo of coal from Chicago. The vessel had to be beached and almost capsized. It was later refloated and repaired. The ship last sailed as e) PINEDALE in 1976 and was scrapped at Hamilton in 1981.

1961 – After loading a cargo of scrap steel for Japan on its first visit to the Great Lakes, the Greek freighter MIHALIS ANGELOS ran aground leaving Toronto harbor. The ship had been one of the “Empire Class” ships of World War Two, being built as a) EMPIRE MASEFIELD. It arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for scrapping as f) GLORIA on December 6, 1967.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.

 

Salvage operations to continue when safer conditions permit

7/27 - Port Huron, Mich. - Weather conditions at the worksite of the Arthur J salvage operations deteriorated Thursday, requiring workers to cease until weather conditions improve. Response crews that were working on the Arthur J plan to restart salvage operations at the earliest and safest time Friday.

Arthur J is the 110-foot dredge barge that completely sunk approximately two miles off the shore of Lakeport, Mich., in Lake Huron.

 

Port Reports -  July 27

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Thursday morning included Herbert C. Jackson loading at CHS berth 1 in Superior and Cedarglen loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal for delivery to Quebec. USCGC Alder remained in drydock at Fraser Shipyards. Michipicoten apparently had a close call Wednesday afternoon when it failed to make the turn into the Duluth ship canal when leaving port. Web cam images show the vessel was able to stop in time, back and then proceed through the canal without further trouble. There was no word on what caused the problem but winds and currents can make that turn troublesome, especially for vessels, such as Michipicoten, that don’t call here frequently and may not be familiar with the turn.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity were loading cement at Lafarge on Wednesday. The Alpena arrived in port during the evening Wednesday. It took on product for Green Bay, Wis. Mississagi came into the river around 6:30am on Thursday, tied up at the Alpena Oil Dock, and unloaded salt from Goderich, Ontario.

Stoneport, Mich. - Dan McNeil
Due to load Friday is the Lakes Contender. No boats are due for Saturday. Due for Sunday is Algoma Progress. Also due are John G. Munson and John J. Boland. No boats are due for Monday.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Wednesday saw the arrival of the Basic Marine tug Nickelena and her deck barge. The pair called on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville with parts and machinery for the power plant. After dropping the barge, the Nickelena departed for the lake. On Thursday, Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber arrived on the river, stopping to unload at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. The pair were expected to be outbound late Thursday or early Friday morning.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algosoo sailed for Hamilton Thursday, after loading at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock.

Kingston, Ont.
The tug Molly M 1 and barge diverted from the Seaway Thursday and proceeded to the Richardson Wharf in Kingston. Apparently they need repair parts for their towing winch.

 

Company confident Algocape wont be next Canadian Miner

7/27 - Sydney, N.S. – Dido Shipping Company of Greece is confident Cape Breton has nothing to fear from a ship called the Algocape, which, like the ill-fated Canadian Miner last year, is travelling through the Cabot Strait on its way to Turkey to be scrapped.

Ayvatoglu said Dido Shipping has 30 years of experience and has taken every precaution in transporting the Algocape, and has full confidence in the expertise of the escorting tug, the V.R. Artico.

“I would say people have to rest assured everything that has to be done has been done and all the regulations have been followed and all the requirements fulfilled,” he said in an interview from the company’s offices in Piraeus, Greece. “We are usually doing more than this because we want to be sure this thing is going to safely reach its destination.

“I am pretty confident everything is going to go well.”

The Algocape is the ninth ship his company purchased in Canada to be taken across the ocean to be scrapped, said Ayvatoglu. The Greek ocean-going tug Hellas was towing the Miner on Sept. 20 when its line broke free and the ship ran aground on the rocks at Scatarie, where it remains to this day. The Miner, also a former Great Lakes bulk carrier, was on its way from Montreal to Turkey, where it was supposed to be scrapped.

New York-based Bennington Group has encountered delays in its original plan to start cutting up the Miner for salvage beginning on July 10.

Dido Shipping took a look at buying the Miner, but had concerns about the safety of having it towed out of Canada, said Ayvatoglu.

Ayvatoglu said the captain of the V.R. Artico will decide exactly which route the Algocape will follow, but it will go through the Cabot Strait. The ship will be far offshore, he said. “Way out, well off the coast.”

Dido Shipping is also insured against all perils, including wreck removal, he said.

Before a vessel is taken across the ocean, Dido Shipping removes all of the oils and lubricants, but not hazardous materials like asbestos, that can’t be extracted without rendering it unseaworthy, until it is being scrapped, he said.

The Greek company is preparing another ship it has purchased in Canada, the Gordon C. Leach, for the same trip to a scrapyard in Turkey, probably next month, he said.

Amanda McDougall, who is on a liaison committee created to voice the community’s concerns about the Miner, said Tuesday she hopes other companies and Canadians have learned to pay attention to whether a vessel is insured if there’s a similar incident.

“And is the company reputable, is it ready to go across the Atlantic, how many tugs are involved, that kind of stuff,” said McDougall.

Cape Breton Post

 

Steel production in Great Lakes states up 13,000 tons

7/27 - Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region was 678,000 tons in the week that ended Saturday, according to estimates from the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Production was up 13,000 tons from the week prior. Raw steel from Indiana and the Chicago area represents the majority of production in the Great Lakes region.

Production in the Southern District was estimated at 646,000 tons during the period that ended Saturday, down from about 663,000 tons a week earlier.

Domestic mills produced more than 1.8 million tons of steel last week, up 0.2 percent from the same period in 2011.

U.S. steel mills operated 74.3 percent of the available production capacity last week, which is down from a 74.6 percent production rate a week earlier.

An estimated 55.8 million tons of steel has been produced so far in 2012 at domestic steel mills, compared to about 52.6 million tons made at the same time last year.

Times of Northwest Indiana

 

Cutters Mobile Bay and Bristol Bay to offer free, public tours during Sturgeon Bay Maritime Week

7/27 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. — Coast Guard Cutters Mobile Bay and Bristol Bay, the only two cutters of their kind in the service's fleet, are scheduled to hold free, public tours Monday in Sturgeon Bay, as part of the city's Maritime Week events.

Cutter Mobile Bay will be moored at Sawyer Park Pier, while Bristol Bay will be moored directly across the Sturgeon Bay Ship Channel at Graham Park Pier. Both vessels will be open to public tours from 10 a.m. to noon and again from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Mobile Bay and Bristol Bay are the only two platforms of their kind in the Coast Guard. While they are two of nine 140-foot ice-breaking tugs in the Coast Guard fleet, they are the only two that feature a 120-foot aids-to-navigation barge, making them the only two aids-to-navigation capable units in the ice-breaking tug fleet. The barges give the cutters' crews the additional resource of the largest buoy decks in the entire Coast Guard.

Mobile Bay is homeported in Sturgeon Bay, while Bristol Bay is homeported in Detroit.

 

Boatnerd cruise August 4

Detroit River/River Rouge Boatnerd Cruise On Saturday, August 4, we will repeat the popular Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise aboard the Friendship, with Captain Sam Buchanan. This year’s cruise will be four hours and will go up the Detroit River, and hopefully into the Rouge River. Pizza will be delivered by the J. W. Westcott mail boat. Reservations are a must as we are limiting the group to 100 persons. See the Gathering Page for details.

 

Updates -  July 27

News Photo Gallery

 

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.

1897 – SELWYN EDDY and MARIPOSA collided head-on in dense fog off Manitou Island, Lake Superior. The damage was light, as both ships were proceeding slowly due to the conditions.

1912 – G. WATSON FRENCH, later the first ALGOWAY, was in a collision with the MATAAFA in Lake St. Clair and the latter was heavily damaged and almost sank.

1931 – The Canada Steamship Lines bulk canaller BARRIE went aground at Les Ecureuils Shoal in the St. Lawrence while enroute to Quebec City.

1944 – The FORT PERROT was damaged by a torpedo in the English Channel south of Hastings, while providing support for the ongoing invasion of Normandy and the liberation of Europe. As c) DORION, this ship made two trips to the Great Lakes in 1959. The vessel was scrapped at Yokohama, Japan, as e) ANTONIOS S. after arriving on June 17, 1963.

1987 – The ANDREW H. went aground off Cornwall Island, in the St. Lawrence, after experiencing steering problems. The ship, loaded with steel for Dofasco in Hamilton, was lightered by MAPLEHEATH and released on August 2. The cargo was reloaded at Valleyfield. The ship first came inland as EKTOR in 1976. It arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping as e) BLUEWEST on January 31, 1998.

1999 – The SPIRIT OF 98 went aground on a rock in the Gulf of Alaska 40 miles southeast of Juneau, forcing the passengers to abandon the ship. Flooding was checked and the ship released and repaired. As c) VICTORIAN EMPRESS, the ship saw passenger service on the St. Lawrence and came into the Great Lakes to Lake Ontario beginning in 1990.

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

 

Dredge Arthur J now at bottom of Lake Huron

7/26 - Lakeport, Mich. – Crews are re-evaluating the salvage plan for the 110-foot commercial dredge Arthur J, which sank Thursday in Lake Huron. The dredge sank to the bottom of the lake about 7 p.m. Tuesday, said U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Justin Westmiller. Initially about the dredge's bow, or 25 percent of the vessel was sticking out of the water, he said.

It's unclear when work to salvage the vessel will begin. The U.S. Coast Guard must approve the salvage plan before work can begin, Westmiller said. Westmiller said the vessel's new position likely will lengthen the salvage process.

"Now that the vessel has changed positions, this will probably end up taking a much longer period of time," he said.

All beaches are open. Crews will be out to monitor the impact and look for non-hazardous material or debris that might have washed up from the wreck.

Port Huron Times Herald

 

Vanguard Shipping, Vanship sells J.W. Shelley and VSL Centurion

7/26 - Vanguard Shipping (Great Lakes) Ltd. has sold substantially all its assets and those of affiliate Vanship Ltd. to an affiliate of debtor-in-possession lender T.F. Warren Group Inc. Judge Geoffrey B. Morawetz of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto on July 18 signed an order approving the sale of the debtors' assets, including two vessels, to 8219222 Canada Inc. – an entity controlled by Terry Warren.

T.F. Warren is a 50 percent shareholder in Meridian Credit Union and Roynat Inc., the postpetition lenders to the St. Catharines, Ont., marine freight shipping companies.

According to a July 18 report from Ernst & Young Inc., monitor in the debtors' Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act proceeding, T.F. Warren purchased substantially all of Vanguard's assets including its vessel, the J.W. Shelley, for a total purchase price of C$11.44 million ($11.22 million). The purchase price includes the assumption of most of the debtor's liabilities, including Vanguard's C$9.6 million debt to Meridian, its C$761,000 debt to T.F. Warren, and other priority and administrative claims.

T.F. Warren deposited C$53,500 toward the purchase. Warren also purchased substantially all of Vanship's assets, including its VSL Centurion vessel, for a total purchase price of C$8.32 million. The purchase price settles the debtor's C$5.77 million debt to Roynat, administrative claims and other liabilities. Warren deposited C$30,000 for the assets.

Both of the debtors' ships transport grain through the St. Lawrence Seaway system but aren't operative during the winter months due to the annual closure of the seaway. Both ships operate under long-term contracts with a single customer.

Justice Peter Cumming of the Toronto court on May 1 approved Vanguard's request to sell its two shipping vessels. According to an April 25 monitor's report outlining the solicitation procedures for the sale of the vessels, qualified offers were due between June 22 and July 9, which the monitor then evaluated based on a series of criteria. The monitor then recommended the most favorable offer or offers, which the debtor then selected between.

E&Y received three offers for Vanguard's assets, two of which the monitor ultimately deemed qualified. The monitor received two offers for Vanship's assets and deemed only Warren's bid qualified.

Vanguard and Vanship filed for CCAA protection on March 21. The companies own and operate marine carriers that transport bulk cargo between ports throughout the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. The company's two vessels required C$1.16 million in repairs.

The J.W. Shelley is a 222-meter (about 728 feet) bulk carrier vessel, while the Centurion is a 176-meter vessel.

The debtors in court papers blamed the CCAA filing on a "substantial and potentially fatal liquidity crisis." Many other shipping companies have filed for bankruptcy protection recently, citing a decrease in freight volume and rates. The company could not pay its debts as they become due, court filings said.

Since filing for CCAA protection, Vanguard has secured two DIP loans from Meridian and Roynat, which total C$2.45 and C$2.6 million. Vanguard listed C$11.4 million in assets and C$10.72 million in liabilities. Vanship listed its assets at C$10.73 million and its liabilities at C$10.87 million.

Vanguard has a range of five to 25 employees, depending on the time of the year, while Vanship's head count ranges from two to 20.

The Deal Pipeline

 

Port Reports -  July 26

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Wednesday morning included Federal Maas at the Duluth port terminal to unload cargo that included several containers carried on deck and Michipicoten loading at CN ore dock. Later arrivals included Innovation and tug Samuel de Champlain to unload cement at LaFarge in Superior, Joe Block to unload stone at the CN ore dock, American Integrity to load coal at Midwest Energy Terminal and Herbert C. Jackson, due to arrive at CHS to load grain for Buffalo.

Grand Haven. Mich. - Dick Fox
The tug Prentiss Brown and barge St. Marys Conquest came in at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday with a load for the St. Marys Cement Terminal in Ferrysburg. They were still unloading at 2:30 p.m.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Algosoo was loading Wednesday at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock.

 

USCG Mackinaw not idle, despite not escorting Straits race

7/26 - Cheboygan, Mich. – For the second consecutive year, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw has missed out on a public relations assignment desired by both the ships crew and the Chicago Yacht Club racing community.

While the cutter Hollyhock again took the job, the Mackinaw was not sitting idle.

“We have been completing Cutter Assessment Readiness Training,” said Cmdr. Mike Davanzo, the Mac’s skipper. “We have had a turnover in one-third of our crew. Once we finished, we had to undergo a lot of training. Everything had to work around our sea trials.”

The training is necessary to keep the ship’s crew at the top of their game.

“We had a group come up from Norfolk, Va., to assist us with our groom,” Davanzo explained. “To be proficient, it takes a lot of training. We try to keep it going year-round and not just seasonal. It always amazes me as to the quality of people we get. We just lost some key players that have been here for a couple of years and then we get new people in that do a tremendous job. That’s a tribute to the type of people the Coast Guard brings to the service.”

In addition to the people portion of the Mackinaw’s changeover, there is always a technical side, too.

“They went through a lot of work,” Davanzo said of the groom crew. “They worked on the azipods and did a lot of annual preventive maintenance. A lot of painting, too; I think everybody in town heard us painting.”

Now that the heavy work is completed, scheduled maintenance is next for the boat, including cleaning of the ship’s stacks and an overhaul of the hydraulic systems.

“The crew is always working on the general stuff but then a dockside crew of private contractors comes in and does stuff like cleaning the fuel tanks, which will be handled locally by Schwartz Boiler Shop,” Davanzo added.

A new executive officer has also reported aboard — Lt. Cmdr. Eric Peace, who has served as the commanding officer of the cutter Neah Bay in Cleveland, Ohio and the executive officer of the Katmai Bay in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

Davanzo said the ship’s annual open house is currently being planned for late summer or early fall.

Cheboygan Daily Tribune

 

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.

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 people lost their lives.

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.

1910 ZENITH CITY went aground at Au Sable Reef, near Marquette, due to fog. The ore-laden steamer sustained damage to 60 planes.

1943 The Canadian tanker BRUCE HUDSON caught fire loading high-octane gasoline at Phillips Petroleum in South Chicago. The Captain, his son and 2 crewmen were killed. The ship was rebuilt and eventually scrapped at Cartagena, Colombia, by 1983 as c) WITCROIX.

1948 ROGN, a Norwegian tanker, went aground in the St. Lawrence at Toussant Island, near Iroquois, after the steering gear failed. The tugs SALVAGE PRINCE and SALVAGE QUEEN pulled the vessel free. It was in ballast and operated on charter to the McColl-Frontenac Oil Company. The ship was scrapped at Piraeus, Greece, as c) PIRAEUS III in 1981.

1965 The Canada Steamship Lines bulk carrier GEORGIAN BAY stood by the small wooden pulpwood carrier PRINCE QUEBEC on Lake Ontario. Cables were strung to the small ship, enroute to Tonawanda, NY with a cargo of pulpwood, to help keep it afloat. PRINCE QUEBEC was later taken to La Petite Riviere, Quebec, beached and never repaired. Apparently the hull was burned by vandals in the 1970s.

1983 PRA RIVER was registered in Ghana when it came to the Great Lakes in 1963. It went aground, enroute from Las Palmas, Canary Islands, to Lagos, Nigeria, as c) MAYON II on this date in 1983 and was abandoned.

2000 HIAWATHA, a ferry dating from 1895, was sunk by vandals at Toronto. It operated between the mainland and a Toronto Island yacht club. The hull was refloated July 28 and taken to Hamilton for restoration, repairs and a return to service.

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

 

Port Reports -  July 25

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Tuesday morning included John G. Munson upbound in St. Louis Bay with stone for the Reiss Inland dock. After unloading, it proceeded to the CN ore dock to load pellets. The Munson steamed past the American Century, which was loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal. Elsewhere, Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce Van Enkevort were unloading stone at the Graymont dock. Philip R. Clarke was expected later in the day to make a rare call at the BNSF ore dock in Superior to load pellets for Ecorse, Mich. Federal Mass also was scheduled to arrive later in the day, marking an increasingly unusual appearance by a Seaway-max saltie.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Lee A. Tregurtha arrived late Tuesday afternoon at the Upper Harbor and loaded ore into the night.

Owen Sound, Ont. - Torben Hawksbridge
The Saginaw was in port Tuesday unloading at the Great Lakes Elevator.

Algonac, Mich. - Don Detloff
Brig Niagara under sail was downbound past Algonac State Park on Tuesday.

 

Weather continues to delay salvage of dredge barge grounded in Lake Huron

7/25 - Port Huron, Mich. — On-scene weather conditions Tuesday continued to delay the on-going salvage operations of the Arthur J, the 110-foot dredge that is grounded and partially sunk two miles off the shore of Lakeport, Mich., in Lake Huron.

This was the second day that weather and sea state caused a delay in the salvage of the vessel that partially sank on Thursday.

Waves measuring 4-6 feet were causing conditions deemed too dangerous for salvage crews to attempt to remove the vessel from the lake. Anticipating a window of favorable weather conditions, responders plan to continue salvage operations Wednesday morning, before more severe weather conditions, predicted later in the day, cause any further delays.

Environmental clean-up operations over the last several days continue to be successful. The substantial threat to the environment has been mitigated through removal of fuel and oil from the wreck.

 

Algoma Central, Georgian College will have simulators at Canal Days

7/25 - Representatives of Algoma Central Corporation and Georgian College will be on hand at the Canal Days celebration at Port Colborne, Ontario from August 3-August 6.

A highlight of the event will be a demonstration of the Transas/Alliance navigation bridge simulator and Kongsberg engine room simulator. The simulators will be open to the public at the St. James St. Brendan Hall at 55 Charlotte Street in Port Colborne, Ont.

An interactive display, the simulators are globally recognized for their technically-advanced training capabilities. The Class-A full mission ship handling simulator, serving as a classroom trainer, offers a 360-degree 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 ocean-going vessels. The engine room simulator provides the capability to take the ships power plant and other systems from a cold layup condition alongside to fully loaded at sea. The instructor can then inject over 2000 different faults during the training.

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 that is expected to create an awareness of the rewarding career potential within the corporation. There will be engineering and navigation cadets from Georgian College on hand to discuss the programs.

Hours for simulator: Friday August 3-Monday August 6: 10 am to 4 pm.

 

Updates -  July 25

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  July 25

In 1991 the 16-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. She sails now as J.W. SHELLEY.

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.

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. 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 in 1875.

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.

1911 Efforts to beach the leaking wooden, coal-laden, freighter RAPPAHANNOCK failed and the ship sank off Jackfish Point, Lake Superior after an unsuccessful battle with 75 mph winds. All on board were saved

1964 SUNNABRIS made 4 trips through the Seaway in 1959 and returned as c) SEA FRIEND in 1961 and d) DEMOKRITOS in 1962. The ship dated from 1929 and it went aground, while inbound at Alexandria, Egypt, on this date and was abandoned as a total loss. The hull was sold to Yugoslavian salvors and cut up for scrap as lies.

1991 YANKCANUCK (ii) went aground in the St. Marys River about 4 miles from DeTour. The ship was carrying a cargo of scrap steel for Chicago and was operating as a barge under tow of the ANGLIAN LADY. The vessel was lightered and released.

1994 GEORGE A. STINSON, downbound with a cargo of iron ore for Detroit, went aground in the St. Clair River but was refloated.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.

 

Algocape scrap tow is underway

7/24 - Algocape, with the new name GOC, was under tow off Contrecoeur, Que., on Monday morning bound for Aliaga, Turkey to be scrapped. The tug VB Artico was handling the tow, assisted by the tug Ecosse as far as Les Escoumins.

Rene Beauchamp

 

Salvage operations of Arthur J stalled due to weather and sea state

7/24 - Port Huron, Mich. – The on-going salvage operations of the Arthur J, the 110-foot dredge that is grounded and partially sunk two miles off the shore of Lakeport, Mich., in Lake Huron, were stalled due to strong winds and a very choppy sea state Monday.

Environmental clean up operations over the last several days continue to be successful. The substantial threat to the environment has been mitigated through removal of fuel and oil from the wreck. Clean-up crews will continue to walk the beaches to ensure they meet a standard approved by the state of Michigan and St. Clair County Health Department officials. The Unified Command has reopened all Lake Huron beaches that were previously closed.

In the event that debris from the sunken vessels washes ashore, the public should call the local hazardous material removal unit so the hazardous material can be safely and properly disposed.

 

New Desgagnes vessel enters service

7/24 - The newest vessel in the Groupe Desgagnes fleet, Claude A. Desgagnes (IMO No. 9488059), was phased into service recently, leaving Quebec City for Becancour, Que., to load for the northern regions. It arrived at Becancour on July 21. Formerly named Elsborg, it was renamed at Quebec City. According to the Transport Canada website, the renaming and change of registry occurred on July 11.

Rene Beauchamp

 

Port Reports -  July 24

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Monday morning included a conga line of Interlake 1,000-footers loading at Midwest Energy Terminal. James R. Barker loaded coal at the terminal on Sunday. On Monday morning, the Paul R. Tregurtha was completing its loading while Mesabi Miner was fueling at the port terminal and awaiting its turn under the loader. All three were bound for St. Clair, Mich., with the Tregurtha and Miner also delivering partial loads to Monroe. Elsewhere in port, Stewart J. Cort was loading at BNSF ore dock while Algoma Progress lay out on the lake waiting for its turn at the dock. American Century was due in later in the day for Midwest Energy Terminal.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Manitowoc came in at about 10 p.m. Sunday with a cargo for the D & M Dock, just upriver from the power plant on Harbor Island in Grand Haven.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Algorail was back on the Saginaw River again Monday morning, headed up to the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload. Once finished, Algorail turned in the Sixth Street basin and was outbound for the lake late Monday afternoon.

 

Coast Guard to participate in War of 1812 Bicentennial commemoration

7/24 - Cleveland, Ohio – The U.S. Coast Guard is scheduled to participate in the events to celebrate the bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812 at various ports throughout the Great Lakes Aug. 8 through Sept. 17. Coast Guard units will participate in events in Milwaukee (Aug. 8-13); Chicago Aug. 14-20); Cleveland (Aug. 27 - Sept. 4); Detroit (Sept. 4-10); Toledo (Aug. 23-27); and Buffalo, N.Y. (Sept. 11-17).

Events will vary at each port, but will include concerts by the Coast Guard Dixieland Band, performances by the Coast Guard Color Guard and Silent Drill Team and public tours of Coast Guard cutters.

In addition, some events will feature the Coast Guard's 1812 Historic Ship's Company re-enactors delivering performances in uniforms exactly like those worn in the early 19th century. The Coast Guard will also host public MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter search and rescue demonstrations in some cities.

 

U.S. Navy to help commemorate War of 1812 with Great Lakes visits

7/24 - The Navy plans to send three ships into the Great Lakes during the late Summer 2012 to commemorate its part in the War of 1812. Assigned to this mission are a frigate, USS De Wert and two Cyclone-class patrol craft, USS Tempest and USS Monsoon. Frigates are about 450 feet long, and carry a crew of about 200 officers and men. Cyclone class patrol ships are about 180 feet long, and carry a crew of about 28. Tempest and Monsoon are specially refitted to support special-forces operations.

On their tour of the Lakes, the three naval vessels will be joined by a Coast Guard cutter, not yet designated, and possibly by the tall ship Niagara. The ports to be visited are Milwaukee and Chicago in mid-August, then Toledo, Cleveland, Detroit, and Buffalo, in that order. The Toledo visit is scheduled for August 23-27, a Thursday through Monday.

Most of the ships visiting Toledo will be moored on the downtown Maumee riverfront, the De Wert in the ship channel off International Park but accessible from shore via a "breasting barge" across which visitors will walk. All ships will be open for public touring.

 

Royal Canadian Navy ships depart for Great Lakes deployment

7/24 - Ottawa, Ont. – Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ville de Quebec has departed Halifax, N.S. for a 10-week tour of 14 Canadian and American cities along the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes.

HMCS Ville de Quebec will sail from Halifax through the St. Lawrence Seaway and into the Great Lakes starting on July 23 and returning to Halifax on October 9. Halifax-based Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels HMCS Moncton and Summerside will participate later on during the deployment.

HMCS Ville de Quebec will visit the following cities: Quebec City, Quebec, July 26 – 30; Montreal, Quebec, July 30 - August 3; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 8 - 13; Thunder Bay, Ontario, August 15 – 20; Toledo, Ohio, August 23 - 27; Toronto, Ontario, August 29 - September 3; Windsor, Ontario, September 5 - 10; Buffalo, New York, September 11 - 17; Hamilton, Ontario, September 18 - 21; Oshawa, Ontario, September 21 - 24; Cornwall, Ontario, September 25 – 27; Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, September 28 - October 1; Sept-Iles, Quebec, October 2 - 5; and Halifax, Nova Scotia, October 9.

HMC Ships Moncton and Summerside will visit the following cities during the deployment: Chicago between August 15 - 20; and Cleveland between August 28 - September 2.

U.S. Navy ships, USS De Wert and USS Hurricane will accompany the HMC ships during designated stops along the deployment.

 

Trip auction rare chance

7/24 - Lower Lakes Towing has donated a trip for two on the motor vessel Saginaw, with proceeds go to support the Port Colborne Historical & Marine Museum. The auction ends at 5 p.m. August 6. Details are posted at www.portcolborne.ca/page/museums_laker_trip_auction

 

Updates -  July 24

News Photo Gallery

 

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’s 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 1,000-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.

WILLIAM G. MATHER left River Rouge, Michigan, on her maiden voyage July 24, 1925, for Ashtabula, Ohio to load coal for 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.

1915 EASTLAND rolled over and sank on her side at Chicago with the loss of 835 lives. It was the worst marine accident in Great Lakes history.

1960 The idle tanker COASTAL CASCADES was being used for occasional storage when she sank at the dock at Montreal. The hull was salvaged in August and dismantled at Montreal in 1961-1962.

1970 The 226-foot, 6-inch long Danish freighter NORDLAND SAGA made one trip through the Seaway in 1965. It was wrecked off Oman as c) ADEL of the Dubai National Shipping Corp., while enroute from Bombay, India, to Dubai with a cargo of steel bars and generals.

1974 The former GRAINMOTOR left the Great Lakes in 1966 for saltwater service. It was lost as c) ANDY enroute from Pensacola, FL to Guayaquil, Ecuador, in the Caribbean on this date off Isla de Providencia.

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

 

Arthur J fuel removal completed; salvage operations continue

7/23 - Port Huron, Mich. – The Arthur J Unified Command's salvage and oil spill cleanup operation made significant progress Sunday, as salvage crews successfully removed the remaining fuel and began raising the dredge Arthur J from its grounded position two miles off the shore of Lakeport, Mich., in Lake Huron.

Fuel cleanup operations over the last several days have been successful, with the majority of the recoverable oil captured. The Unified Command along with the St. Clair County Health Department has reopened all Lake Huron beaches that were previously closed.

The tug Madison was successfully refloated, cleaned and removed from the salvage scene Saturday evening. During Sunday's salvage operations, crews removed approximately 3,400 gallons of oily water mixture and 625 gallons of diesel fuel from the sunken dredge. Following removal of this remaining fuel, the salvage group commenced refloating the dredge by displacing flooded void tanks with air.

As final cleanup of boom and remaining bottom debris from the site are ongoing, there is still a 500-yard safety zone around the salvage site that is being enforced by Coast Guard small boats.

In the unlikely event that debris from the sunken vessels washes ashore, the public should continue to call the public information hotline listed below, so responders can attend to the debris as needed.

Information hotline at (810) 982-3910 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email the Incident Command at arthurjresponse@gmail.com.

Ninth Coast Guard District

 

Port Reports -  July 23

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
The Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were outbound from the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw during the afternoon Sunday headed for the lake. The pair unloaded there overnight.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algoma Olympic arrived late Saturday at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock, acquired a short load, and departed at noon on Sunday for Hamilton.

 

Want to own your own lighthouse? Here's your chance

7/23 - Port Sanilac, Mich. – On a hill overlooking a small marina on Lake Huron, the historic Port Sanilac Lighthouse stands ready for its next owner. This marks the first time in 85 years that the state's last privately owned and operating lighthouse has been up for sale. The asking price is $1.599 million. With many of the state's 124 lighthouses open for public tours, it's not unusual for people to stop outside the wooden gate to ask for a tour. The owners kindly turn them away.

The lighthouse was built in 1886 with a two-story house attached for the lightkeeper. The tower is 58 feet high, and the top is reached by climbing a narrow, steel, spiral staircase that clings to the whitewashed brick walls. The tower has its original Fresnel lens that is visible for 16 miles across Lake Huron.

The lighthouse's base measures 14 feet in diameter and narrows to a 9-foot diameter just below the gallery. The tower is an octagonal column. The property, which includes a three-bedroom guest cottage, has been a summer home for the family of Carl Rosenfield, of Carl's Chop House fame for decades, said Tim Conklin, the husband of Ian Aronsson, Rosenfield's granddaughter.

Rosenfield bought the lighthouse in 1928 from the U.S. Coast Guard for $4,000. That was four years before he opened his popular Detroit restaurant. The lighthouse originally burned kerosene, but was electrified in 1929. The light continues as a navigational aid for boats on Lake Huron.

The Victorian-style brick house has 1,990 square feet with three bedrooms, one full bathroom and a half bath. It features a Florida room with a wall of windows facing the lake that the family added in the 1940s.

Extensively renovated in the mid-1990s, the house features hardwood floors, a fireplace in the living room, a butler's pantry and nautical-themed bedrooms. The guest cottage was built in 1852 and updated about the same time as the main house. It has three bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen, living room, dining room and a screened porch overlooking Lake Huron.

The Coast Guard owned the tower until the 1990s, when it was sold to the family. But it still has access to the tower. The property also includes a brick oil house, where the kerosene was stored, a wooden outhouse and a wooden covered well.

Detroit Free Press

 

Updates -  July 23

News Photo Gallery
 

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  July 23

On this day in 1908, 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. She was sold for further service overseas in 2007.

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.

1918 PETER REISS and the GLENSHEE were in a collision at the #3 ore dock at Duluth. Fog and the current were blamed for the accident, with only limited damage to both ships.

1934 An explosion and fire aboard the tanker barge EN-AR-CO during fit-out at Toronto resulted in the loss of 4 lives. The ship was rebuilt as a coal barge and was finally scrapped at Hamilton in 1969.

1955 The tug HELENA capsized at South Chicago while taking on coal from a scow and two sailors were lost. The vessel was refloated on July 26. It survives today as c) DANIEL McALLISTER, a museum ship on display in the Lachine Canal at Montreal.

1968 The former tanker ORION was operating as a sand barge when it sank in Lake Erie about 1,000 feet off the Lorain lighthouse due to choppy seas. The hull was raised by the Corps of Engineers, beached August 2 and assumed to have been subsequently scrapped.

1985 FOTINI D.E. first came through the Seaway in 1976 and, in 1980, became the first overseas vessel to load grain at the port of Goderich. It ran aground on this date in 1985, enroute from Venezuela to a U.S. Gulf coast port, and was abandoned as a total loss on July 31.

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

 

Salvage operations of Arthur J and Madison begin; most beaches reopen

7/22 - Port Huron, Mich. – Salvage operations for the 110-foot Arthur J and 38-foot tug Madison began early Saturday morning. The first attempts at bringing up the Arthur J failed due to the weight of the sunken barge. However, the tug Madison was lifted out of the water and a large hole was located near the stern of the vessel. Salvage crewmembers welded a steel plate over the hole and have refloated the tug.

The salvage plan was approved Friday afternoon. MCM Marine, of Sault Ste. Marie and owner of the sunken barge and tug, is also a qualified salvage company and will be managing the salvage operations under the coordination of U.S. Coast Guard Marine Inspectors.

The clean-up and salvage crews are working diligently to complete the process and allow residents and visitors to resume normal activities along Lake Huron.

Early Saturday morning a 150-ton crane barge arrived from Sault Ste. Marie as the lead operational resource in salvage efforts. There is no set timeframe to complete the salvage.

As part of the clean-up efforts over the last three days, Marine Pollution Control and Coast Guard personnel have been walking the beaches and cleaning up debris that has washed ashore from the sunken vessels. 

Aircrews from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit and Canadian officials discovered an uncontained oil sheen approximately 500 yards south southeast of the sunken dredge barge Arthur J during several over flight missions Saturday.

After further assessment, the St. Clair County Health Department has reopened all Great Lakes beaches, with the exception of the following which will continue to remain closed as a precaution: Washington Street Beach in Lakeport, Mich.; Lakeport Park - Day Use Recreational Area; Metcalf Road Beach in Burtchville, Mich.; and Fort Gratiot County Park in Fort Gratiot, Mich. Those residents living from Burtch Road to Metcalf Road are also advised to avoid swimming in those areas as a precautionary health measure. Monitoring will continue and further updates will be released when available. No health risks are expected.

Ninth Coast Guard District

 

Port Reports -  July 22

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Great Republic and Michipicoten, two of the most frequent visitors to the Upper Harbor in 2012, loaded ore Saturday evening.

Holland, Mich. - Bob VandeVusse
On Friday evening the tug John M. Selvick, pushing the barge Lake Trader delivered a load of agricultural lime to the Brewer's dock. Then Saturday evening Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 brought a load of stone to the Verplank dock.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Manitowoc was outbound from the GM Dock early Saturday morning, after unloading there overnight. Algoway finished unloading at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee, turned in the Sixth Street Turning Basin later in the morning, then slowly departed for the lake, allowing time for her inbound fleet mate, Algorail, to make it to the Buena Vista dock in Saginaw and tie up, before continuing for the lake. Algorail finished unloading at the Buena Vista dock, turned in the Sixth Street Basin, and was outbound for the lake late Saturday afternoon. The Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were inbound Saturday with a split load. The pair stopped at the Bay City Wirt Stone dock to drop part of their load, then waited for the outbound Algoway to clear, before heading up to Saginaw to finish unloading at the Wirt Stone Dock in Saginaw. The Moore-Kuber were expected to be outbound late Saturday night.

Huron, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Philip R. Clarke delivered a load of stone to the Huron Lime Co. dock Saturday.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Lower Lakes' Cuyahoga sailed Saturday night from the LaFarge stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula. She was bound for Sarnia.

Montreal - Kent Malo
The tug V B Artico, is expected to depart at 4 a.m. Sunday for Aliaga, Turkey, towing the former laker Algocape, dubbed "GOC" for the journey. The vessel was built in Levis, Quebec, at Davie Shipbuilding as Richelieu (3) in 1967, and was renamed Algocape in 1994.

 

Canal Days, at Port Colborne Aug. 3-6, includes tall ships and simulator

7/22 - Port Colborne, Ont. – In two weeks, Canal Days will be sailing into town. Port Colborne’s popular marine heritage festival runs Aug. 3-6.

Canal Days will include visits from a number of vessels, including tall ships Empire Sandy and the U.S. brig Niagara, a replica 1812 warship. Also on site will be the Canadian Coast Guard ship Cove Isle and Buffalo fireboat Edward M. Cotter.

A special presentation will be held Sunday, Aug. 5, at 3 p.m. in market square to celebrate the Coast Guard’s 50th anniversary. There are several last-minute additions to the festival, including the Algoma and Georgian College ship simulator that will be found all four days at Guild Hall.

For a full schedule, visit www.canaldays.ca

Welland Tribune

 

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 HESSER 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.

1965 MARIVIKI dated from 1940 as a) TEMPLE INN and visited the Seaway in 1960. The ship was beached in Colla Bay, near Mormugao, India, after developing leaks on a voyage from Madras, India, to Constanza, Romania. The hull later broke in two and was a total loss.

1967 A small fire erupted in the machine shop of the West German freighter TRANSAMERICA while a crewman was welding in Milwaukee. The blaze was soon brought under control. The ship last operated in 1978 as f) ARISTOTELES before being broken up at Gadani Beach, Pakistan.

1968 The Paterson bulk carrier CANADOC, loading at the Continental Elevator in Chicago, was struck on the starboard side by the Belgian vessel TIELRODE as it passed upsteam under tow. The latter returned through the Seaway as c) GEORGIOS C. in 1977 and was scrapped at Huangpo, China, as e) OPORTO in 1985.

1970 ULYSSES REEFER caught fire in Toronto resulting in an estimated $30,000 in damage. The ship first came inland in 1969 and returned as c) ITHAKI REEFER in 1972 prior to being scrapped at Blyth, Scotland, in 1973.

1989 MAR CATERINA, downbound at the Snell Lock, struck the fender boom and all Seaway navigation was temporarily delayed. The ship began Seaway trading as b) ASTORGA in 1985. As of 2012, the vessel is apparently still operating as e) ASPHALT TRADER.

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

 

Port Reports -  July 21

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Friday afternoon at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock, Herbert C. Jackson unloaded another stone cargo from Meldrum Bay. She moved to the Upper Harbor ore dock in the evening. Other ore loads during the week included Great Republic, Pathfinder and Michipicoten.

Burns Harbor, Ind. - Matt Monahan
At 10 p.m. Thursday, Stewart J. Cort unloaded taconite pellets at Burns Harbor.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Thursday, all three cement carriers were in port at Lafarge. The Alpena was first to arrive, tying up at the dock before 7 a.m. to load cement. The barge Innovation and tug Samuel de Champlain came in once the Alpena departed and took its place under the silos. Late afternoon the tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity were seen making its way into port. They likely ended up waiting for more product, as they didn't leave until Friday morning. Also returning on Thursday was the sailing vessel Niagara, tying up at the NOAA center in the river.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Manitowoc was inbound the Saginaw River on Friday, headed up to the GM Dock in Saginaw to unload coal. Later in the day, Algoway was inbound for the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload salt. Both vessels were expected to be outbound late Friday night or early Saturday morning. The Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were inbound on the Saginaw Bay, nearing the Saginaw River late in the evening on Friday.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Canada Steamship Lines' Rt. Hon Paul J. Martin cleared Friday afternoon, after loading at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock. She was bound for a Canadian port.

Ashtabula, Ohio – L. Duffield Rawlings II
Saguenay pulled into Pinney Dock and was being unloaded Friday.

 

Work on salvaging sunken barge, tugboat in Lake Huron to start Saturday

7/21 - Port Huron, Mich. – The U.S. Coast Guard says a plan has been approved for salvaging a sunken barge and an overturned tugboat in southern Lake Huron, and work will begin "at first light" Saturday morning.

The 110-foot barge and the 38-foot tug were overcome in rough seas early Thursday morning about a mile from the Michigan coast and nearly six miles from the opening to the St. Clair River. No one was hurt. Diesel fuel spilled into the lake, but officials say it's uncertain how much escaped.

Crews from the Coast Guard's Detroit station flew over the scene twice Friday. They saw a small sheen trailing the sunken vessel but said no fuel was seen along the shore, although some did wash onto beaches Thursday.

Rough seas today delayed earlier attempts to begin salvaging the sunken barge, after crews plugged fuel valves and vents to prevent further fuel leakage.

Private contractors were planning the recovery operation with the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies, said Joe McCoy, president of MCM Marine Inc., which owns the stricken vessels. "Hopefully they can get it done within two weeks to a month," McCoy said. "As far as I know, there should be no severe damage" to the barge and tug.

Eleven beaches in the county were reopened Friday while four remained closed, Morris said. A strong diesel odor that had led the Coast Guard to advise shoreline residents and visitors to take precautions has faded, she said. The county's hazardous materials team measured air quality along the waterfront and found no problems.

McCoy told The Associated Press that the 110-foot barge, called the Arthur J, and the 38-foot tug Madison were being pulled with another dredge and tug by the Drummond Islander II, a tow boat. The Arthur J had completed a harbor dredging job in Manistee and was headed for another at Pointe Mouillee on Lake Erie, he said. All six crewmembers were on board the Drummond Islander II.

The Coast Guard was continuing to investigate the sinking. McCoy said the only possible cause he knew of was the weather. "My captain had a fairly decent forecast" before setting out, he said. "Once he got under way, the seas built a little higher than the equipment could handle."

The Arthur J started listing around 2 a.m. Thursday, so the captain steered into shallow water, McCoy said. The barge went down about 4:35 am., while the Madison flipped over. No one was injured. The vessels were partially submerged in 22 feet of water about a mile from the Michigan coast and nearly six miles north of the entrance to the St. Clair River, which links lakes Huron and Erie.

Diving crews plugged all fuel valves and tank vents to prevent more fuel from spilling, the Coast Guard said. Marine Pollution Control, the company hired by MCM Marine to handle the cleanup, was gathering debris that washed up on shore, Morris said. There were no reports of harm to wildlife.

Detroit Free Press

 

U.S. wants Detroit-Windsor ferry service

7/21 - Windsor, Ont. – The Detroit Port Authority wants a ferry up and running to and from Windsor by spring of 2013. The authority told CBC News it already has a new boat terminal waiting to be used by the Renaissance Center, located across the Detroit River from Windsor's downtown core.

Deputy director Steven Olinek said there is even funding lined up from Washington to buy a ferry.

"I think the fact that we've got this endorsement in the form of committed monies is something that others have not had," he said. "We still face the challenges with regard to the clearance of passengers and we're trying to find a creative solution."

Gord Orr with Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island said the idea holds great promise. "The potential of the bicycle tourism part of it is very exciting as we start to look at more trails and routes and see how we can increase more of that healthy lifestyle," Orr said.

CBC News

 

Chicago to Mackinac race begins today

7/21 - Saturday marks the start of the 104th Race to Mackinac, the annual sailing race across Lake Michigan from the Chicago Yacht Club to Mackinac Island, Michigan. The longest freshwater race in the world, the 333-mile course takes multiple days for crews to cross the finish line. Over 350 boats with almost 3,500 sailors aboard will set sail Saturday morning with hopes of crossing the finish line sometime Sunday or Monday.

This year's race will be somewhat bittersweet, as sailors remember the tragedy of last year's race. For the first time in the race's history, sailors perished in an accident when the boat WingNuts capsized in a storm and two of its crew drowned. Following an investigation by U.S. Sailing, the conclusion was that the boat lacked the stability to withstand the weather encountered during the race. WingNuts was the least stable boat entered and was caught in the worst squalls that hit the race, creating a perfect storm that caused the boat to overturn. The lack of knives to cut themselves free resulted in the two crew members getting caught underneath.

Heeding the recommendations resulting from the investigation, the Chicago Yacht Club initiated a number of rules changes to improve safety for this year's race. Boats must have a stability index of 103 in order to compete. (While it had successfully completed the Mac a number of times, WingNuts' stability was measured at 100.7 when the boat actually had a stability index of 74.4.) Additionally, all competitors will be required to carry a knife which they can open with one hand, and all boat must have a GPS locator.

One competitor who has seen it all is Don Glasell, an 85-year-old skipper who will be racing the Mac for the 50th time. "It's just beautiful to be able to be out on the boat, and you're away from land," Glasell said. "Or in the evening looking at a star-filled sky. It's an awe-inspiring experience in many ways."

While sailors like Glasell are more into the experience and camaraderie, other competitors are gunning for the hardware. A handicapped race, the Mackinac Cup and Mackinac Trophy go to the boats with the best adjusted time. For those focused on overall speed, the Royono Trophy goes to the first boat to cross the finish line. Peter Thornton bought il mostro to try and do just that. His Goetz Custom Boats Volvo 70-footer should compete for the fast time this year and even challenge for quickest race ever, depending on wind conditions. With an incredibly experienced crew, Thornton hopes to reclaim the Royono cup that he won in 2005 with a different boat, but has gone to Windquest in four of the past six years.

Chicagoist

 

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.

1910 TRUDE R. WIEHE was destroyed by a fire at Portage Bay, Green Bay.

1911 Thirty plates were damaged when the WACCAMAW went aground in the St. Lawrence. The ship was later repaired at Buffalo.

1959 A collision in western Lake Erie between the CHARLES HUBBARD and the Swedish freighter SIGNEBORG resulted in damage to both ships. Both were repaired and continue in service. The latter is scrapped at La Spezia, Italy, after arriving as d) ALFREDO, on November 10, 1971. The former was sunk as a breakwall at Burns Harbor in 1966 after being idle at Milwaukee for several years. The hull was reported to have been subsequently scrapped there.

1964 The French freighter MARQUETTE began Great Lakes trading in 1953 and was lengthened in 1959 with the opening of the Seaway. Fire erupted enroute from Chicago to Marseilles, France, and the vessel was abandoned in the Atlantic. The gutted ship was towed to Brest, France, and was sold to French shipbreakers. All on board were saved.

1965 A smoky fire, that could be seen for miles, broke out in the cargo of rubber aboard the ORIENT TRADER at Toronto and the hull was towed into Toronto Bay and beached while firefighters battled the blaze. The Greek flag vessel was sold for scrap but before it departed for overseas, is was used in several episodes of the CBC television series “Seaway.” The hull was towed into Valencia, Spain, on July 11, 1966, for dismantling.

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

 

Divers work to close fuel tank vents after tug and barge sink in lower Lake Huron

7/20 - Port Huron, Mich. - The clean up and salvage efforts resumed at first light this morning. All the fuel valves and vents on the barge Arthur J have been plugged. The Arthur J has ten vents to its fuel tank and responders where able to plug four of them early Thursday afternoon, but six remained open until responders were able to plug them late Thursday night.

The impact to the shoreline has been minimal; however there is a visible sheen along the shores of Lakeport, but there has been no report of a thick product wash ashore. There is still a strong diesel odor in the air, so residents are encouraged to avoid areas where there is an odor in the air. The Captain of the Port located at Coast Guard Sector Detroit has not approved a salvage plan yet and will continue to work with MCM Marine, the responsible party and owners of both sunken vessels, to finalize a salvage plan as soon as possible. The cause of the accident is unknown, and the Coast Guard is investigating.

Original Report - Thursday night divers were in the process of securing two vents connected to the fuel tank of a 110-foot barge that sunk Thursday morning in Lake Huron, according to a news release from St. Clair County. The amount of diesel fuel that leaked into the lake is under assessment.

U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Justin Westmiller said the barge carried an estimated 2,000 to 1,500 gallons of diesel fuel at the time of its sinking. Booms that had been used to try to contain the diesel spill have been ineffective because of the weather. Thursday night the sheen reached the shore near Lakeport State Beach.

Work was suspended overnight and will begin at first light.

The barge Arthur J and small work tug Madison sank about 4:35 a.m. in about 22 feet of water Thursday morning while the pair were under tow of the Drummond Islander II, the Islander did not sink and no crew were injured. The barge carried equipment for dredging including a crane and the tug Madison was tied to the barge as part of the tow. The equipment is out of the shipping lane, so no commercial traffic is affected.

The bow of the barge was sticking out of the water, the tug was upside down with the hull facing up.

 The equipment is owned by MCM Marine Inc. in Sault Ste. Marie and was headed to the St. Clair River.

Detroit Free Press and Port Huron Times Herald

 

Fishermen fear they'll be left out of Miner salvage

7/20 - Cape Breton – Fishermen who had hoped to get some work in the salvage of the former Canadian Miner are facing disappointment. Reclamation work on the wreck off Scaterie Island was set to start last week. The New York-based salvage company Bennington Group said it plans to hire 60 local people to help in the effort. But any boat that takes part in a salvage has to meet Transport Canada standards.

"I think you're looking at upwards of $5,000 or $6,000, just to go under a steamship inspection, and guys wouldn't have money to do it," said Josephine Kennedy, who represents fishermen in the area.

The Miner was being towed to a scrapyard in Turkey when it broke its towline Sept. 29, and ran aground on Cape Breton's Scaterie Island. Fishermen have been worried ever since that the wreck will harm valuable local fishing grounds, as it breaks-up. When Bennington Group received approval to remove the ship in May, that brought hope to local fishermen that they might get some benefit from the wreck.

"I've spoken to some of the fishermen that have said that they started filling out the forms, but they're so in-depth, they just put them aside," said Kennedy.

Ken Wadden has been fishing lobster for 58 years. He agrees that it doesn't look good for salvage work. "No, we're not gonna get it, according to what they told us," he said. "You gotta have, I don't know, a blue, blue card, or what in the name of God it is."

Bennington Group expects to have the ship gone from the area by the middle of next month.

CBC

 

Port Reports -  July 20

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber departed the Lafarge Stone dock in Saginaw early Thursday morning, headed outbound for the lake. The pair arrived on the Saginaw River on Tuesday. Algorail was inbound Thursday morning, once again headed to the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload salt. She completed her unload and was outbound for the lake later in the day.

There have been 61 commercial vessel passages on the Saginaw River this season. Of those, over half, 32, belong to these two boats – 21 for the Moore-Kuber and 11 for the Algorail.

 

Corps of Engineers planning to dredge Saginaw River twice over next two years

7/20 - Saginaw, Mich. – Since 2008, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been regularly dredging the Saginaw River to make it more navigable for ships transporting good to the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Those plans will remain in place for the next two years, according to an official from the Army Corps.

Lynn Rose, the public affairs officer for the Detroit district, said the Army Corps is scheduled to dredge the river in 2012 and 2013. The Army Corps recently issued a press release that said it had contracted to Luedtke Engineering Co. of Frankfort for $1.6 million for the 2012 project.

“The Saginaw River is a major project, there are a lot of major commodities that go in and out of Saginaw,” Rose said.

The 2012 dredge is expected to start in September and dredge 142,000 cubic yards from the river, starting at the Sixth Street Turning Basin and running into the Saginaw Bay.

Material collected along a four-and-a-half mile stretch from the mouth of the bay to just east of Liberty Bridge will be placed at the Saginaw Bay Confined Disposal Facility while the rest of the material will be deposited at the Saginaw River Preservation Project also known as the Dredged Material Disposal Facility, located on the border of Zilwaukee and Frankenlust townships.

Rose said the amount being dredged is “pretty much on par with other years. We look forward to having this project complete in November,” Rose said.

Rose said the Army Corps doesn’t know exact funding it will receive for 2013, but should have an idea in October.

MLive

 

USS Edson gets underway on voyage from Philadelphia to Bay County

7/20 - Philadelphia, Pa – The USS Edson is on its way to Bay County, and tug crewmembers say the voyage is off to a smooth start.

"The two tugs delivered the ship to us about 40 minutes after it left the shipyard," said Joe Elser, able seaman on the tug Colonel, which is leading the destroyer to Bay County. "We have a tugboat following us, and we are on our way."

The trailing tug won't assist during the entire duration of the trip. Elser said that it will follow until they are safely offshore, on hand to help control the destroyer until it reaches water with less heavy boat traffic.

The 418-foot naval destroyer has a voyage that spans 2,436 miles of ocean and freshwater.

The tug-led route of the USS Edson heads north from Philadelphia around Nova Scotia and into the St. Lawrence Bay. From here, the ship travels the St. Lawrence River through Lake Erie, Ontario and Huron before docking in its final destination, the Saginaw River.

"The most difficult part is watching out for other vessels and handling it if the sea gets rough," Elser said. "Once we get to the St. Lawrence Seaway, it can also be challenging when navigating the ship through the locks."

The seven-man crew must work around the clock during the two-week voyage with one engineer, either the captain or a mate, and one deckhand vigilant at all times.

The Colonel will tug the Edson for more than a week without stopping.

"The only time we might have to stop is in Montreal, so the Canadian authorities can inspect the vessel and monitor ballast water to prevent the spead of invasive species," Elser said. "They have to make sure you have the same stuff going in as when you leave."

Communication from the tugboat to shore is limited from Wednesday evening until the ship reaches Canada. Cell phone reception and high-speed internet connectivity are lost, although the ship relies on satellites to report its location through email to the shore.

The USS Edson will be moored near the Independence Bridge Boat Launch, where it will serve as the floating centerpiece of the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum. In April, the Navy announced it was donating the ship to the museum.

USS Edson was launched on Jan. 4, 1958, and its first deployment was to the Western Pacific in January 1960. It served during the Cold War and was deployed to Vietnam three separate times, during which it earned multiple Meritorious Unit Citations.

MLive

 

Possession of Lake Huron lighthouse returned to local ownership

7/20 - Port Austin, Mich. – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced Wednesday the transfer of a historic lighthouse in Michigan to local partners under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act.

The Port Austin Reef Lighthouse Association, a Michigan non-profit organization, will take ownership of the Port Austin Light Station on Lake Huron.

"[The] lighthouse [is] a significant part of the maritime history of Lake Huron," Secretary Salazar said. "I commend the Port Austin Reef Lighthouse Association for their interest and ability to preserve and maintain [the] historic icon for the educational and cultural benefit of future generations."

The NHLPA was enacted in 2000 as a means to transfer historic light stations no longer occupied by the Coast Guard to any federal, state or local agency, nonprofit, or community development organization that can best protect them and guarantee their preservation and continued public use.

New owners must demonstrate that the lighthouse will be used for recreation or educational purposes. A model for inter-agency cooperation, the NHLPA program is a partnership between the Coast Guard, the General Services Administration, and the National Park Service. Since 2000, more than 60 historic light stations have been transferred at no cost to qualified entities, ensuring that the public can continue to enjoy these valued places.

The Port Austin Light Station, constructed in 1899 on top of a reef in Lake Huron, is a sixty foot tall, square, brick tower that sits atop a concrete platform 1.3 miles off of the shoreline. The Port Austin Reef Lighthouse Association's application provided a concise preservation and public use plan for the lighthouse, which has long served as an important aid to navigation in the shipping lanes of Lake Huron. The Port Austin Light Station was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.

WNEM 2012

 

Tall Ships festival to return in 2013

7/20 - Erie, Pa. – Fifteen years passed between the Tall Ships Erie festival in 1995 and the next one in 2010. Awaiting the return of these ships to Erie won't take nearly as long. The Flagship Niagara League announced plans Wednesday for a four-day Tall Ships Erie festival from Sept. 5 to Sept. 8, 2013, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie.

"We were created by the battle of Lake Erie," said William Garvey, president of the Jefferson Education Society. "And every 50 years, every 100 years, we celebrate that."

Eight to 10 ships are expected to sail into Erie, said Shawn Waskiewicz, executive director and chairman of the league. Other than the Brig Niagara, the names of the other ships have yet to be announced. The majority of the ships will be tied up outside the Bayfront Convention Center, with one or two of the ships docking at the Erie Maritime Museum.

Plans of the event are still taking shape, but a re-enactment of the famous battle is among the things being considered, Waskiewicz said.

Erie Times-News

 

Second annual Sturgeon Bay Maritime Week

7/20 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Building on the success of last year’s inaugural celebration, Sturgeon Bay will once again honor its maritime heritage with a collection of events from July 26 to August 5. Officially titled “Sturgeon Bay Maritime Week: A Salute to the U.S. Coast Guard,” the celebration includes many long-standing annual waterfront events along with new activities. In addition to focusing on Sturgeon Bay’s maritime history, the week honors the area’s local Coast Guard personnel, past and present, for their service and many contributions to the community. Details

 

Submissions welcome for Duluth Seaway Port Authority 2013 wall calendar

7/20 - Duluth, Minn. – The Duluth Seaway Port Authority is seeking a striking photo, painting or illustration to feature on its 2013 wall calendar. Editors are looking for captivating images of vessels or vistas that highlight the Port of Duluth-Superior – salties or lakers moving cargo in any season – from unique perspectives that tell a story about this port at a single glance.

The winning image and winner’s name will be featured prominently on over 10,000 calendars, distributed locally and around the world. A prize of $250 will be awarded. A story about the entrant will also be featured in the winter issue of the 2013 North Star Port magazine.

Photographs, paintings and/or illustrations are eligible for consideration. You may submit up to five (5) hi-res images on a CD/DVD or USB flash drive. DEADLINE: Entries must be received by August 25, 2012. Please label your images (and disc or stick) with your name. Due to file sizes, do NOT send images via email; they will not be considered. The winning image will be printed approx. 19” x 14” on a calendar measuring 22”w x 34” h. All photos/artwork must be original in design and execution – taken/created within the past two years and not published elsewhere prior to submission.

The Port Authority asks for exclusive rights to the winning image until Dec. 31, 2013. The winner will be asked to temporarily remove it from his/her portfolio; pull prints from galleries, stores and websites; and not make the image available to other agencies or publications until January 2014.

Submit entries, or direct questions to:
Adele Yorde, PR Manager
Duluth Seaway Port Authority
1200 Port Terminal Drive
Duluth, MN 55802

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  July 20

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.

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 Shipbuilding 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.

1940 The first LACHINEDOC ran aground at Ile-aux-Coudres but was refloated the same day after 600 tons of coal were jettisoned. The vessel becames b) QUEENSTON in 1946 and was sunk as a dock facing at Bob-Lo Park in 1962.

1963 Thick fog prevailed overnight on the St. Lawrence contributing to three accidents. The TRITONICA sank after a collision with the ROONAGH HEAD off Ile d'Orleans with the loss of 33 lives. To the west, the Swiss freighter BARILOCHE ran into the CALGADOC (ii) and then veered into the CANADOC (ii).before all ships on the water went to anchor. BARILOCHE later visited the Seaway as b) ST. CERGUE in 1967 and as c) CALVIN in 1978. It was scrapped at Shanghai, China, in 1985. ROONAGH HEAD received significant bow damage in her collision but was repaired and operated until she arrived at Castellon, Spain, for scrapping on September 14, 1971.

1964 ZENICA went aground in the Straits of Mackinac enroute to Chicago and was lightered by the MARQUIS ROEN and released. She passed downbound at Port Huron under tow. This vessel was beached at Karachi, Pakistan, for scrapping as f) CONSTANZA on June 1, 1980.

1965 The Norwegian freighter LYNGENFJORD sustained stern damage when it backed into the SALMELA while leaving the dock at Montreal. The former made 35 trips to the Great Lakes from 1959 through 1967 and was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, after arriving prior to May 3, 1980, as c) EASTERN VALOUR. The latter, a British vessel, began Great Lakes service in 1965 and arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, for scrapping on April 21, 1985, as c) ELENI.

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

 

Divers work to close fuel tank vents after tug and barge sink in lower Lake Huron

7/19 Port Huron, Mich. - Up to 800 feet of absorbing boom has been placed to collect diesel fuel that spilled when a barge sank in choppy waters this morning in Lake Huron, and an additional 1,200 feet of boom is coming in case it is needed for the shoreline.

The barge Arthur J and small work tug Madison sank about 4:35 a.m. in about 22 feet of water Thursday morning while the pair were under tow of the Drummond Islander II, the Islander did not sink and no crew were injured. The barge carried equipment for dredging including a crane and the tug Madison was tied to the barge as part of the tow. The equipment is out of the shipping lane, so no commercial traffic is affected.

The bow of the barge was sticking out of the water, the tug was upside down with the hull facing up.

 The equipment is owned by MCM Marine Inc. in Sault Ste. Marie and was headed to the St. Clair River.

NOAA ran a spill trajectory and indicated there wouldn't be a significant impact on the area, but the smell of diesel fuel is coming ashore.

The operator said 1,500 to 2,000 gallons were on board, but it is not known how much spilled. A better estimate is expected when the company hired to clean up the fuel arrives on scene, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Justin Westmiller said.

“Our biggest threat is if it starts impacting the beach,” he said.

The St. Clair County Health Department closed a dozen beaches to swimming from Lakeport to the St. Clair River and even in the river, said Lowell Cameron, coordinator for onsite programs for environmental health services.

The sheen in the lake extends about a half-mile wide and 1.5 miles long, officials said.

He said the Drummond Islander II removed twenty-four 1,000-foot-long pieces of dredge pipe and moored in Marysville.

Local officials said they do not expect a Detroit water intake about three miles east of the spill to be impacted, but they notified officials in Detroit nonetheless.

The wind was blowing west toward the shoreline and rain continued to fall.

“At this point, there’s no threat to the drinking water,” said Jeffrey Friedland, emergency management director for St. Clair County.

Westmiller said salvage operations would begin after the fuel was contained.

Detroit Free Press and Port Huron Times Herald

 

VB Artico to tow Algocape to Aliaga, Turkey

7/19 - The Port of Montreal web site indicates the tug V B Artico will leave July 21 at 6 a.m. for in Aliaga, Turkey, towing the  former laker Algocape, dubbed "GOC" for the journey. The vessel was built in Levis, Quebec, at Davie Shipbuilding as Richelieu (3) in 1967, and was renamed Algocape in 1994.

Kent Malo

 

Algonorth scrap tow reaches the Soo

7/19 - The scrap tow of the former Algoma Central Marine bulk carrier Algonorth resumed on Wednesday afternoon. She and the tug Anglian Lady had been anchored in Goulais Bay, several miles above the locks, since Sunday. The tow arrived at the Purvis west dock in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., around 9:30 p.m. with the help of the tug W.J. Scott Purvis. After Algonorth was secured, Anglian Lady locked down through the MacArthur Lock and tied up the Purvis home dock in the lower harbor. It is now generally believed – though not officially confirmed – that the retired laker will be cut up by Purvis in the Soo rather than at the IMS yard in Port Colborne, Ont.

 

Port Reports -  July 19

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Familiar faces have been the norm at the Upper Harbor ore dock in recent days. James L. Kuber and Herbert C. Jackson loaded during the weekend, along with Michipicoten, on almost daily shuttles to Essar Algoma. Hon. James L. Oberstar visited on Monday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber called on the Saginaw River late Tuesday evening, traveling upriver and stopping at the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw. Early Wednesday morning, the pair had moved up to the Lafarge Stone dock in Saginaw and have been tied up there ever since. It is not known the reason or if there is a problem.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Lower Lakes' Manitowoc sailed for Cleveland Wednesday, after loading overnight at the Lafarge stone dock at Marblehead.

Welland Canal
The grain carrier Manitoba has left temporary layup and was observed upbound in the Welland Canal on Wednesday.

 

War of 1812 will be commemorated at Buffalo

7/19 - Buffalo, N.Y. – When warships from two countries converged on the Niagara Frontier 200 years ago, the outcome was bloodshed. This time around, it will be under friendlier circumstances.

At least a half-dozen vessels - frigates as long as 450 feet from the United States and Canada, and tall ships from a bygone era - will anchor on the waterfront in Buffalo and Lackawanna from Sept. 10 to Sept. 17 as part of a War of 1812 commemoration.

The ships will carry a total of 600 sailors, who will lead a week's worth of ship tours, wreath ceremonies, U.S. Navy band concerts and helicopter displays. A U.S. Navy SEALs parachute team also will make appearances at local sporting events. The events could draw 100,000 visitors to the area, if not more.

The two largest ships coming to Buffalo - the Navy's USS DeWert and the Royal Canadian Navy's HMCS Ville de Quebec - aren't quite as long as the 610-foot USS Little Rock docked at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park, but each of the frigates will carry about 200 sailors, who will get involved in the community during their week by visiting hospitals and through organizations such as the Food Bank of Western New York.

"It's a feather in Buffalo's cap," said Col. Patrick Cunningham, the Naval Park's executive director. "It's very appropriate for them to come here, and it will bring attention to the history of the area."

About 20 Navy Weeks are held each year, but this year is different, as 15 cities were chosen to mark the bicentennial of the War of 1812, with Buffalo being the last. "This is more than just a Navy Week," said Lt. Commander Ron Flesvig. "This is a commemoration of the War of 1812, and that's what makes it special."

The last time an event similar to this made its way through the Great Lakes was Fleet Week, in 1999.

"It's been a long time since we have had a Navy ship of this size in the Great Lakes," said Flesvig, adding that the depth of the lakes makes it difficult to have a ship much bigger than a frigate cross lake waters.

The 378-foot warship USS Freedom stopped briefly in the Buffalo harbor in November 2008. Marina Woolcock, who heads the Naval Park's War of 1812 Celebration Committee, said that vessel's visit drew long lines of residents.

But it won't match Buffalo Navy Week. "You can't compare one ship coming to four, five, six or seven ships in the harbor," Woolcock said.

Besides the frigate DeWert, the coastal patrol craft USS Hurricane, a 174-foot ship carrying about 30 sailors, will be among the U.S. Navy ships participating. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Katmai Bay, a 140-foot ice-breaking tug, will also be there. The Canadian frigate Ville de Quebec is 440 feet long.

The DeWert and the Hurricane will be in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee and Toledo before coming to Buffalo.

The historic tall ships participating are the Black Pearl, the Spirit of Buffalo and the Brig Niagara, which is 118 feet high and is a reproduction of the relief flagship of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry from a naval battle in the War of 1812. The Brig Niagara was one of nine ships that defeated a British squadron of six vessels in the Battle of Lake Erie on Sept. 10, 1813.

The Hurricane and the Katmai Bay will moor downtown near the Naval Park; the De-Wert and Ville de Quebec will be moored at the Gateway Industrial Park in Lackawanna.

Buffalo News

 

Reality TV catches up with tug life on ‘Great Lake Warriors’

7/19 - The protagonist of many a children’s book, the tugboat has an almost cute reputation as the maritime world’s little helper, dutifully pushing and pulling barges from port to port. “Most people think it’s a glamorous job; you go out on the water and see the sunset,” said Capt. John Selvick, owner of tugboat company Calumet River Fleeting in Chicago.

“They don’t see the 20- or 30-foot waves,” Selvick added. “They don’t see when the storms pick up. Or when you’re out there in the winter and the tug’s icing up, and you gotta get out there with baseball bats and axes.”

And most people don’t see their 19-year-old brother drown in Lake Michigan, after a tug flips upside down in 30-some-degree water. “I was the only one on deck who survived,” said Selvick, 60, who also lost his grandfather in a separate incident on Lake Michigan.

The harsh, dangerous reality of tugboat life is chronicled in History Channel’s “Great Lake Warriors.” The new docu-series follows Selvick and other tugboat captains and crew as they ply the unpredictable waters of Lake Michigan and her sister seas.

“Everybody thinks of the Great Lakes as these quiet, inland ponds,” said former Chicagoan Jim Campbell, an executive producer on the series. “The early French explorers called them the sweet seas. They discovered very quickly there’s nothing sweet about the Great Lakes. They’re treacherous.”

An estimated 6,000 ill-fated vessels rest at the bottom of the lakes’ collective 94,000 square miles. This freshwater ocean can be the perfect stage for drama, and tugboat workers are the ideal characters.

“We decided we wanted to do a show set in America’s heartland, in the Great Lakes, which nobody had ever tried before,” Campbell said. His interest first was piqued by the massive cargo-carrying lake freighters he saw during family vacations off the northern tip of Michigan, on Lake Huron’s Marquette Island.

He and his partners at Compass Point Productions soon shifted their focus from the relatively plush existence of lake freighters to the wilder, scrappier world of tugboats. While doing their research, they stumbled upon Selvick.

“We heard this guy is the gunslinger of the Great Lakes,” Campbell said. “He had this reputation as a rough-around-the-edges, hard-bitten captain who was willing to take the jobs other captains weren’t. We thought, ‘This is our guy,’ and he didn’t disappoint.”

Like all of the captains featured in “Great Lake Warriors,” Selvick comes from a long line of sailors. “I ran my first tug in Chicago when I was 7 years old,” he said. “I could just see over the wheel.”

In the Great Lakes, tugboats keep commerce moving along this key industrial waterway year-round, even when it means breaking through 3 feet of ice to forge a path for other ships. These diesel-powered workhorses tow and push cargo-laden barges many times their size.

Selvick started building his own tugboat business in 1994. His staff includes Capt. Ted Long, known as “Captain Nice” thanks to his penchant for chewing out deckhands. We learn in the first episode that Long’s bragging rights include being conceived on a tugboat.

The series also follows tug operators in Duluth, Minn., and a Canadian outfit based in Thunder Bay, Ont. That one employs cigarette-puffing Capt. Stan Dawson, who says stuff like, “The lake is not my mistress. It’s just some dirty b---- I gotta work around.” By the way, he also thinks Mother Nature is a “douchebag.”

The exploits of these veteran seamen and their greener counterparts play out against dramatic music, rough-weather footage and narration reminiscent of Discovery channel’s “Deadliest Catch.”

“Except they’re catching crabs and we’re moving barges and ships,” Selvick said. “Ours is a little more dangerous.”

Compass Point Productions initially spent 18 months filming aboard tugboats, including a long, cold trip from Chicago to Buffalo, N.Y., where they used hand-held cameras to document the action as they plowed through ice all the way across Lake Erie.

Armed with that footage and countless hours of research, Campbell enlisted the help of Chicago-based Towers Productions. Together they created a demo that got the green light from History, which has seen a lot of success in the blue-collar docu-series realm with hits like “Ice Road Truckers,” “Swamp People” and “Pawn Stars.”

“We’ve very familiar with the challenges of reality TV,” said “Great Lake Warriors” executive producer Jonathan Towers. “But doing it in the middle of winter on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior with tugboats was something completely new to us.”

Filmed from October to February, the eight-episode series was shot on Lake Michigan at Calumet Harbor, as well as Gary and Burns harbors in Indiana and Milwaukee and Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

The project posed plenty of logistical challenges, from rigging the boats with multiple cameras and keeping the production crew safe, to working around the fickle whims of both the shipping industry and the weather.

“Trying to get them film people to understand they can’t be jumping around and getting in the way — there was some close calls,” said Selvick, who sometimes wondered what he’d gotten himself into. “I wasn’t used to having film guys follow me around, 2 feet from my face. In the beginning, I kinda hated it. But I got used to it.”

It was around the time that Campbell first approached Selvick when the tugboat business took a dive. A bunch of steel mills closed down. Less product needed to be moved on the water.

“Overnight I went from going like gangbusters to doing almost nothing,” Selvick said. His fleet is down to 17 from the 21 tugs he owned in 2009. “It’s been a real struggle for the last three years.”

It’s a struggle that Towers said should resonate with a lot of people, whether they’re based on land or sea.

“Our series captures a true picture of some working-class heroes,” he said. “The dangers they face with nature are almost an expression of the risks they face just trying to run their businesses. The average American can relate to that. We don’t all face a November gale, but we all face that feeling that everything could fall apart.”

Chicago Sun Times

 

Coast Guard plans safety zone for Lake Superior barrel removal

7/19 - Duluth, Minn. – Removal of controversial U.S. Department of Defense barrels from Lake Superior near Duluth will begin in about two weeks. The U.S. Coast Guard will set up an off-limits safety zone beginning July 30.

Almost 1,500 barrels were sunk in three dump sites from 1958 to 1962, about two miles from Duluth’s water intake between the Lester and Knife rivers in Lake Superior.

Federal officials have said the barrels contain concrete and scrap munitions parts that pose no danger to the environment. But environmental and American Indian activists have speculated for decades that the barrels might contain toxic, radioactive materials.

Because these spots are in an area ceded by northern Wisconsin Ojibwe tribes to the U.S. government in the 19th century, the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is overseeing removal of the drums, many of them rusted and brittle.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Officer Judson Coleman said they’re setting up a safety zone as a precaution.

“I know that there is some public interest surrounding this project,” Coleman said. Boaters will be kept away “in order for this project vessel to do its work and recover the barrels and do their testing and that sort of thing without being interrupted.”

Jennifer Thiemann is the barrel removal project manager with environmental engineering firm EMR. In an interview in April at Red Cliff, Thiemann said that although the barrels contain parts of weapons made during the Cold War, she doesn’t think they’ll be dangerous.

“We don’t believe we will find live ammunition, but because the remote possibility exists, we have to take safety precautions and treat them as potentially live,” she said.

In 2006, Red Cliff went through U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Honeywell Munitions records and said chemicals ranging from PCBs to mercury, lead or even uranium could be in the barrels.

Government efforts to find and open several barrels in the 1990s found parts from grenade-like cluster bombs, scrap metal, ash, concrete and garbage. Water inside some of the eight barrels that were recovered contained levels of several hazardous substances such as PCBs that officials said probably leached off the metals and ash.

The recovery effort is being paid for with $2.2 million from a Defense Department fund to clean up ammunition dumps on reservations and on ceded Indian territories.

Meanwhile, Coleman said Red Cliff won’t patrol the area but will monitor it.

“They won’t necessarily be involved with enforcement,” Coleman said, “but they will be there and they could notify us if there is an issue. Really, as far as enforcement is concerned, nine times out of 10 it’s just a matter of ensuring that people are aware that it’s in place.”

In all, Red Cliff hopes to raise 70 barrels between July 30 and Aug. 20, when the safety zone is set to expire.

Red Cliff environmental director Melonee Montano said tribal officials won’t comment on the project until after the barrels are recovered.

Wisconsin Public Radio

 

Columbus replica ships Pinta and Nina to land in Marinette

7/19 - On Thursday, July 19, the Pinta and the Nina, replicas of Christopher Columbus’ ships, will open in Marinette. The ships will be docked at Nestegg Marina, 300 Wells St., until their departure early Tuesday morning, July 24.

The Nina was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools. Archeology magazine called the ship “the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.” The Pinta was recently built in Brazil to accompany the Nina on all of her travels. She is a larger version of the archetypal caravel. Historians consider the caravel the Space Shuttle of the 15th century.

Both ships will be touring together as a new and enhanced sailing museum, for the purpose of educating the public and schoolchildren on the caravel, a Portuguese ship used by Columbus and many early explorers to discover the world.

While in port, the general public is invited to visit the ships for a walk-aboard self-guided tour. The prices are $8 for adults, $7 for senior s and $6 for students age 5 to 16; children 4 and younger are admitted free. The ship will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. No reservations are necessary.

Teachers or organizations who want to schedule a 30-minute guided tour with a crew member should call (787) 672-2152. Minimum group is 15, $4 per person. There is no maximum. Visit the website at www.thenina.com for information or email columfnd@surfbvi.com. The ships arrive on Wednesday, July 18, and there will be a private viewing for the media after docking.

Green Bay Press Gazette

 

USS Edson prepares for departure to Saginaw River

7/19 - Philadelphia, Pa. - The waters are calm in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, and the tugboat crew tasked with delivering the USS Edson destroyer to Bay County hopes this is a good sign for the journey ahead.

"We just killed the shore power, and now we're waiting for the two tugs to arrive," said Joe Elser, able seaman of the tugboat Colonel. "The plan was to leave at 11 a.m., and that is still the plan."

Two tugboats will guide the destroyer about four miles out of the shipyard, where Colonel — the lead tug — plans to wait for ship. Here, the Edson is going to be tied to Colonel, and another tugboat will tail the procession.

Colonel belongs to a fleet of tugboats operated by Dann Ocean Towing out of Tampa, Fla, and it arrived yesterday to the shipyard where the USS Edson is located.

"Once the two tugs bring the destroyer out to us, the deckhands jump on the ship, retrieve the lines and secure them," Elser said. "We'll prepare for sea, hook up the tow and away we'll go — it should be nice and smooth."

Once underway, the estimated two-week voyage spans 2,436 miles of ocean and freshwater. The tugboat-led route of the Edson heads north from Philadelphia around Nova Scotia and into the St. Lawrence Bay. From here, the ship travels the St. Lawrence River through Lake Erie, Ontario and Huron before docking in its final destination, the Saginaw River.

Mike Kegley, president of the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum, said that the Navy Sea Cadet Ship Grayfox is going to escort the USS Edson in the final stretch of the trip from Port Huron to Bangor Township.

Ship enthusiasts have the option to travel onboard the Grayfox to escort the destroyer for $500. Lieutenant Commander of the Grayfox, Bill Barnhardt, said the cost covers fuel and food.

"It's going to be fun, but we have to play the departure by ear — when the Edson gets to the mouth of the Detroit River, then we should know what time she would come to Port Huron," Barnhardt said. "That's about 60 miles, which usually takes eight or nine hours."

The trip from Port Huron to the Saginaw River averages 19 hours when traveling at the speed of the Edson, around seven knots. The Grayfox will have a regular (non-cadet) crew of five for the trip, with a 32-person total capacity.

"People who come onboard will do everything the cadets do," Barnhardt said. "They will run the ship, plot the course, cook the meals and sleep on the ship."

The USS Edson will be moored near the Independence Bridge Boat Launch, where it will serve as the floating centerpiece of the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum. In April, the Navy announced it was donating the ship to the museum.

USS Edson was launched on Jan. 4, 1958, and its first deployment was to the Western Pacific in January 1960. It served during the Cold War and was deployed to Vietnam three separate times, during which it earned multiple Meritorious Unit Citations.

For more information on joining the Grayfox as it escorts the USS Edson, contact the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum at 989-684-3946.

Bay City News

 

Lower Lakes Towing fleet seeks first mates

7/19 - We are looking for competent, practically skilled 1st Mates (or on the threshold of practical capability to function at the 1st Mate level) with a minimum certification of Chief Mate Near Coastal to join our team. Thorough knowledge of the Great Lakes system of harbours, rivers and pilotage requirements west of St. Lambert is preferred. Applicants must possess a good work ethic and the ability to work in a fast paced environment. Strong interpersonal and communication skills are a prerequisite, as is a leadership style based on mutual respect of all Officers and Crew within a proactive, team oriented work environment. Candidates must be bondable, possess a valid passport and will have all applicable certificates and Transport Canada medical in good order. The candidate will demonstrate strong managerial and leadership skills.

If you are a leader that is looking for a change we offer a very competitive wage and benefit package, positive work environment a nd an industry leading leave system . Consideration will also be given to candidates that are looking for part time or training work.

Applicants who meet the job requirements for this position are encouraged to send a resume and cover letter to: Personnel Manager, Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. PO Box 1149 517 Main Street, Port Dover, ON Ph: (519) 583-0982 Fx: (519) 583-1946, email jobs@lowerlakes.com

Lower Lakes Towing

 

Updates -  July 19

News Photo Gallery
 

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  July 19

On this day in 1970, 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 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 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.

1893 LIZZIE A. LAW stranded in the Pelee Passage, Lake Erie, following a collision with the DAVID VANCE. It was refloated September 14.

1921 After losing her way in fog, the BINGHAMPTON strands on Gannet Rock Ledge, near Yarmouth, NS enroute from Boston to Reval, France, and Riga, Latvia, with relief supplies. The vessel is abandoned and later catches fire. The ship had been built at Buffalo as H.J. JEWETT in 1882 and left the lakes, in 2 pieces, in 1915 for saltwater service.

1981 BERGFALCK was registered in Singapore when she first came through the Seaway in 1976. The ship was sailing as b) BERGLIND when in a collision with the CHARM off Cape Breton Island. It was taken in tow but sank July 20. The hull was later refloated and taken out to sea and scuttled in the fall.

1982 FARO, a Norwegian freighter dating from 1960, visited the Seaway in 1970. It was gutted aft from a fire that began in the galley at Ghazawet Roads, Algeria, as b) ARGOLICOS GULF. It was sold for scrap and arrived as Castellon, Spain to be dismantled on October 1, 1982.

1992 ROSARIO, a Greek flag SD 14, visited the Great Lakes in 1978. It began leaking in the Indian Ocean as c) AL RAZIQU on this date in 1992 and was escorted into Mombasa, Tanzania, on July 29. The ship was allowed to sail to Alang, India, for scrapping and, after a resale, to Karachi, Pakistan. However, the vessel was sold again, taken to Dubai for repairs, and resumed trading as d) DELTA III. It developed a heavy list as e) CHALLENGE on August 2, 1993, after leaving New Mangalore, India. Attempts to tow the ship to shallow water fell short when the hull rolled over and sank with the loss of 3 lives.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.

 

Toledo museum ship’s LaMarre takes director job at port of Monroe

7/18 - Toledo, Ohio – Paul C. LaMarre III, the man the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority hired to save the then-S.S. Willis B. Boyer museum ship, has left the agency to become director of the port authority in Monroe, Mich. But Mr. LaMarre, who worked his first day Monday for his new employer, said he will continue to work with the Great Lakes Historical Society and its planned National Museum of the Great Lakes on preserving and managing the historic freighter, rechristened last year as the S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker.

Taking charge at Monroe's port, Mr. LaMarre said Monday, is "a priceless opportunity for me to play a role in maintaining the sustainability of Great Lakes shipping." Monroe's port, he said, has "a very diverse makeup of tenants that all are having significant economic impact."

Mr. LaMarre said the port of Monroe now handles about 1.8 million tons of cargo annually, primarily coal bound for the Detroit Edison power plant as well as stone and petroleum products.

"What made this opportunity so appealing," he said, is that there are prospects for new cargoes, including wind-turbine components, steel-related products, and other shipments that could arise if prime land near the port were developed.

The Monroe port also may have opportunities to collaborate on cargo development with the nearby ports in Toledo and Detroit, Mr. LaMarre said.

"Mr. LaMarre was selected from a slate of highly qualified applicants and has the training, skills, plus maritime and port-operating experiences to provide immediate leadership for both the development and management of the port," Tom Krzyston, chairman of the Commission for the Port of Monroe, said in a statement announcing the appointment.

Along with the Lake Erie port, the port commission oversees Custer Airport and two industrial parks.

In addition to overseeing the museum ship, Mr. LaMarre’s job as the Toledo port authority's manager of maritime affairs involved marketing the port-owned Toledo Shipyard, coordinating training events with the Coast Guard and Toledo police and fire departments, speaking to school and civic groups, and serving as a liaison between the agency and the Great Lakes shipping fleets.

"It was a good opportunity for Paul to advance his career," said Joe Cappel, the port authority's director of cargo development. "We're sad to see him go but happy for him that he has gotten this opportunity."

Mr. LaMarre said he also receives a $500 monthly consultant fee from the Great Lakes Historical Society for his work at the Schoonmaker, but he said he expects that to end after the museum ship is moved to its new slip near the Toledo Maritime Center later this year. He then hopes to join the historical society's board of directors.

Toledo Blade

 

Port Reports -  July 18

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Wilfred Sykes backed in about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday with a load for Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg.

Port Inland and Cedarville, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Joseph L. Block is due at Port Inland early on Wednesday and the Wilfred Sykes is due for a late evening arrival. John J. Boland is due to load in the late afternoon on Thursday. Rounding out the Port Inland lineup is the barge Great Lakes Trader, due to arrive on Saturday morning to load. Three vessels are due at Cedarville, with both Wilfred Sykes and the barge McKee Sons due Wednesday, with the Sykes arriving early in the morning and McKee Sons late in the evening. Cason J. Callaway rounds out the lineup, arriving in the morning.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
John G. Munson was due to arrive and load stone on Tuesday in the late morning. Following the Munson will be two vessels loading on Wednesday, Philip R. Clarke in the early morning followed by the Manistee. Due early Thursday is the Lewis J. Kuber. No vessels are scheduled to load on Friday. For Saturday, Lewis J. Kuber will return in the late afternoon. No vessels are scheduled to load on Sunday. Two vessels are due to load at on July 23: Joseph H. Thompson and Algoway, both early in the morning. Rounding out the lineup are two vessels scheduled July 24: American Mariner for an early morning arrival, followed by Lewis J. Kuber.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
American Mariner is due next at Calcite for the South Dock Wednesday, arriving during the early afternoon. On Thursday, the Hon. James L. Oberstar will be making a rare visit to Calcite, arriving early to load at the South Dock. No vessels are scheduled to load at Calcite Friday and Saturday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Algorail was inbound early Tuesday morning, headed up the Saginaw River to the Sargent Dock in Zilwaukee to unload. Once finished, she turned at Sixth Street in Saginaw and was then outbound for the lake Tuesday evening. A few hours later, the tug Olive L. Moore and her barge, Lewis J. Kuber, were inbound, headed up to Saginaw River to unload at a Saginaw area dock.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
Two vessels are due to load at the CSX Coal Dock on Wednesday – Algowood and Saginaw. Three vessels are due to load at CSX on Thursday: John G. Munson, Manitowoc and John B. Aird. No vessels are scheduled for arrival at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. At the Torco Dock, the barge James L. Kuber was due to arrive Tuesday to unload taconite pellets. Algowood is due to arrive early in the morning on Wednesday. Following the Algowood will be the Great Republic on Thursday in the early afternoon. The 1,000 footer American Century makes a rare visit at the Torco Dock to unload on Friday in the late morning; she will be followed later in the evening on Friday by the barge Lakes Contender. Adam E. Cornelius along with the American Fortitude and American Valor remain in layup at Toledo.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
CSL’s Hon. Paul J. Martin loaded overnight Monday at Sandusky's NorfolkSouthern coal dock and sailed Tuesday for Nanticoke. On the Marblehead Peninsula, Lower Lakes' Manitowoc was loading Tuesday evening. The Interlake tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder - which loaded at the Lafarge dock overnight Monday - sailed Tuesday afternoon. She was upbound in the St. Clair River Tuesday night.

 

Work on R/V Grandon completed by Great Lakes Shipyard

7/18 - Cleveland, Ohio - Great Lakes Shipyard has completed repairs on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources research vessel Grandon. In late June, ODNR awarded Great Lakes Shipyard with the contract to provide repairs to the vessel, including drydocking, blasting, painting, and electrical and lighting replacements.

The R/V Grandon is part of the Fairport Harbor Fisheries Research Station for the ODNR's Division of Wildlife. Its primary focus is assessing and managing fish populations and fisheries by taking samples, monitoring population demographics, and insuring the protection of habitats and resource integrity.

The Great Lakes Towing Company

 

Shipwreck group seeks information about sunken schooner near South Haven

7/18 - South Haven, Mich. – What happened to the two-masted schooner that caused it to sink off the shores of South Haven more than 100 years ago? Which vessel might it be, of the many that sunk during those dangerous times?

Ken Fagerman, vice president of the Southwest Michigan Underwater Preserve, said those are among the questions his group hopes to answer over the coming months as it examines artifacts and remains of the 80-by-20-foot wooden ship found covered in the sands at the bottom of Lake Michigan approximately 5 miles out from South Haven in the protected waters of the preserve.

In 2011, the Michigan Underwater Divers club announced that an 1800’s vintage shipwreck had been located; the preserve has completed an initial inventory and surveyed the wreck site, Fagerman said.

Right now the investigation is focusing on two possibilities -- a vessel that went down in 1863 with seven crewmen lost, or another, earlier, wreck in which all on board were lost, he said.

SWMUP has partnered with the South Haven Maritime Museum in the effort to identify and preserve the wreck, he said.

"Preservation is part of our ethic," Fagerman said. It's also the law.

The Abandoned Shipwreck Act and the state's Aboriginal Records and Antiquities law make abandoned shipwrecks and artifacts the property of the State of Michigan and provide criminal penalties for the removal of artifacts. Looters could lose their boats and equipment, Fagerman said. But at a depth of 70 feet the wreck is unlikely to attract casual visitors.

Fagerman said if funding can be found the ship could be unburied so more of its remains are visible, similar to the long and costly effort that turned the Rockaway into a popular dive destination, he said. That 106-foot-long schooner was lost in a storm off South Haven on Nov. 19, 1891 while sailing from Ludington to Benton Harbor.

The group supports this conservation effort and the development and exploration of newly discovered shipwrecks and will act as a conservator of this site, he added.

MLive

 

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 30-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 installed 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.

1911 The wooden steamer TAMPA sank in the Detroit River after a collision with the JOHN W. GATES of U.S. Steel. The former was raised and moved to Marine City and then, after being partially dismantled, was sunk in 1915 as a breakwall to halt erosion off the Belle River.

1938 ISLET PRINCE (ii), enroute to Owen Sound for a new service, stopped for the night behind Chantry Island, Southampton, and was struck by lightning. The ship caught fire, but all on board were rescued before the vessel sank the next day.

1954 LAKE GADSDEN was built at Manitowoc, in 1919, and lost near Corrubedo Light, off the coast of Spain, as g) SAN NICOLAS after going aground. The vessel slid back into deep water and sank.

1960 IRISH MAPLE, a Great Lakes visitor beginning in 1966, sank the 479 gross ton DENBIGH COAST in the River Mersey after a collision. IRISH MAPLE remained in service until reaching the scrapyard at Karachi, Pakistan, as c) ANNOOR on October 24, 1981.

1967 NEW YORK NEWS (iii) buckled and sank while loading salt at Pugwash, NS. The ship was raised and towed to Halifax in two sections for repairs. It survives in 2012 as e) WOLF RIVER, but has not operated for years.

1984 PANAGIOTIS S., a Seaway trader beginning in 1975, suffered severe fire damage aft in the Gulf of Aden, while on a voyage from Antwerp, Belgium, to Calcutta, India. The ship was a total loss and, while sold and renamed d) OTIS, it was taken to Gadani Beach, Pakistan, for scrapping. PANAGIOTIS S. had also visited the Great Lakes as a) VIZCAYA in 1972 and EMILIA LOVERDOS in 1975.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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 from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.

 

Coast Guard responds to bomb threat to Detroit’s Ambassador Bridge

7/17 - Cleveland, Ohio – The Coast Guard was responding to the report of a bomb Monday night on the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit and Windsor.

A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Belle Isle, in Detroit, along with boat crews from Customs and Border Protection, Detroit Police Department, Canadian Coast Guard and Windsor Police Department were enforcing a 1,000-yard safety zone on both sides of the bridge.

A search-and-rescue coordinator at Coast Guard Sector Detroit received a phone call at 8 p.m. from the Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations reporting that an anonymous caller had contacted them about a bomb on the Ambassador Bridge. The Detroit Police Department and CBP Office of Field Operations worked with the bridge authority to close the bridge to traffic.

Boat crews from Station Belle Isle launched aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small and a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium to enforce a safety zone around the bridge.

This is the second bomb threat in the area in a week, but unlike the previous threat, this anonymous call came into U.S. authorities.

Until the Ambassador Bridge is cleared on both the U.S. and Canadian sides, the Coast Guard will continue to enforce the safety zone and protect the marine infrastructure.

 

Port Reports -  July 17

St. Marys River
Monday started out with fog that closed the river for about to hours in the early morning. In addition, downbound traffic was further delayed when a barge moored in the Rock Cut broke loose and had to be corralled by the Army Corps tug Hammond Bay. Algoma Mariner went to anchor for a short time in the Nine Mile anchorage around 8:30 a.m. until the situation was resolved. Herbert C. Jackson, following the Mariner, did not have to anchor. Other downbound traffic included Cason J. Callaway, Algoma Discovery and Federal Weser. Upbound traffic included Roger Blough, CSL Tadoussac, John D. Leitch, Great Republic, Edgar B. Speer and Sam Laud. The Algonorth scrap tow remained anchored in Goulais Bay.

 

Cruise ship Le Levant is sold

7/17 - The cruise ship LeLevant, a visitor to the Great Lakes in recent years, has been sold to Paul Gauguin Cruises. It will be renamed Mona and will be delivered in December 2012.

Jake Kniola

 

Windquest 1st to finish Port Huron-Mackinac race

7/17 - Port Huron, Mich. - The 86-foot yacht Windquest is the first boat to finish the annual sailboat race from Port Huron to Mackinac Island. The sponsoring Bayview Yacht Club says the boat with its crew of 20 crossed the finish line at 5:31 p.m. Sunday. Doug and Dick DeVos own Windquest.

The race kicked off Saturday at Port Huron under blue skies and a light wind on Lake Huron.

More than 200 boats are participating in the "Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race." The various classes began the race Saturday morning in staggered start times. Winners are determined based on a handicapping system weighting each boat's ability.

Windquest was the only finisher by 6:15 p.m. Sunday.

The race started just north of the Blue Water Bridge, sponsored by Michigan-based Bell's Brewery Inc.

AP

 

USS Edson trip to be documented at Web site

7/17 - - The USS Edson will depart Philadelphia on July 18 and make a two-week journey around Nova Scotia, through the Great Lakes before finally docking in Saginaw Bay where it will become an official museum exhibit. Find details of its voyage here: www.minbcnews.com/ussedson

 

New History Channel show to feature Northland tugs

7/17 - Duluth, Minn. – A reality program that highlights the tugboat industry on the Great Lakes will include a view behind the scenes at a Duluth area family-owned business.

“Great Lake Warriors,” which premieres at 9 p.m. Thursday on the History Channel, features footage filmed with tugboat operators and icebreakers from Heritage Marine. The Duluth-based crew is one of three highlighted in the series. There are scenes shot from four weeks of work between December and the end of January.

“People who live in our area see the tugs working in the harbor, but they’re not on board to see what goes on,” Mike Ojard, owner of Heritage Marine, said. “They’re going to have a bird’s eye view from the deck and the pilot house of what we do.”

The documentary-style program features three crews that work on the Great Lakes: Calumet River Fleeting, run by John “The Legend” Selvick, works on Lake Michigan; Gerry Dawson’s Thunder Bay Tugs is a five-boat operation that includes crusty and talented wild-card captain Stan Dawson; Ojard’s crew of friends and family includes his son, Patrick.

Mike Ojard is shown briefly in the first episode, “The Lethal Season,” delivering blurbs about the dangers of working on Lake Superior. The hour-long episode focuses on the crew from Thunder Bay as it pushes a barge and the guys from Chicago, who must help a freighter in trouble.

The first plot points surface during the premiere: A book-smart-but-inexperienced recent graduate from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, training to be a captain, bumbles when it’s time to go hands-on; Stan Dawson is referred to as the “best in the business” and speaks colorfully when he isn’t being bleeped to mask swear words.

“This lake has been known to eat ships for breakfast,” Stan Dawson said. And: “I can make a boat dance,” he said. “It’s marine slam-dancing.”

The show is produced by Tower Productions for the History Channel and has drawn comparisons to “Ice Road Truckers” — drivers who move cargo through tricky conditions — and the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch,” which chronicles the adventures of Alaskan king crabbing boats.

“What appeals to us about the world of tug boating is that it is a world you don’t know that well,” executive producer Jonathan Towers said. “The world of the Great Lakes is something that is really … America doesn’t quite get what an amazing story the Great Lakes are, how dangerous they are, how important they are.”

The show, which opens with a rock version of Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” explains weather patterns and how ships work. There also are facts about the lakes, including sizes, depths and lives lost.

Though Ojard and company don’t get much screen time in the first episode, Towers said audiences will see more of them as the season progresses. Ojard said the film crews caught standard ice-breaking shots, nothing too out of the ordinary.

“Of course, last season was pretty bad,” he said. “There wasn’t much going on. … It’s good to see Duluth-Superior get ink nationwide.”

There was more activity in the spring, with storms and ship-handling jobs and the debris in the lake from flooding — but by then film crews were gone. Towers said he wasn’t aware of the dangers of working on the Great Lakes when he went into the project.

“This is really a story not just of the dangers, but really also about the relationships between the captain and the crews and how they develop,” he said. “You see a relationship develop between a father and a son, an uncle and a nephew, a brother and a brother.

“It’s very much about that. It’s about training. It’s about someone who starts the season having never faced the risks; the learning. It’s people being given the chance to learn and given the chance to make mistakes.”

“Great Lake Warriors” premieres at 9 p.m. Thursday on the History Channel.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Updates -  July 17

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - New pictures to the Black River and City of Munising galleries

 

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.

The Canada Steamship Line's HAMONIC burned at her pier at Point Edward bear Sarnia, Ont., on July 17, 1945. A warehouse next to the Hamonic's pier burst into flames from a fire which began from a gasoline motor for conveyor equipment which was being repaired by workmen. The flames and smoke were carried by a breeze to the Hamonic. Almost in the matter of minutes the Hamonic was doomed. She was aflame at dockside. The captain and the engineer were able to move the ship down the dock from the raging flames from the warehouse. Many of the passengers were able to get ashore. Some passengers went ashore by climbing into the bucket of a crane, which hoisted them on shore to safety. Every one of the passengers and crew were saved.

1933 SONORA and WILLIAM NELSON were in a collision in the Bar Point Channel, Lake Erie. The two ships were found at equal fault. The former was scrapped at Ashtabula in 1961 while the latter arrived at Bilbao, Spain, for dismantling as c) BEN E. TATE on July 12, 1969.

1989 The SHEILA YEATES, a tall-ship visitor to the Great Lakes, hit an ice pack in fog on the North Atlantic and eventually sank 430 miles south of Greenland after an attempt to tow the leaking ship to safety fails. All on board were saved.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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 from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.

 

Algonorth tow stops in Goulais Bay

7/16 - The Algonorth scrap to dropped anchor Sunday afternoon in Goulais Bay, to the east of Ile Parisienne. It was unknown why she and the Purvis Marine tug Anglian Lady have stopped, nor was there any word on when the trip might resume. Reliable, but not officially confirmed, reports now say her final destination will be the Purvis scrap dock above the locks, rather than the IMS scrapyard at Port Colborne.

 

Port Reports -  July 16

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Sunday afternoon the Alpena came into port to load cement at Lafarge. Alpena departed during the evening for Green Bay, Wisconsin and met the incoming tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity out in the bay. The river is a busy place with many research vessels tied up. Lake Guardian, Grayling, and Sturgeon are in their respective spots. Laurentian is docked near the NOAA building.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Manitowoc turned off the Bay City Wirt Dock early Sunday morning, after unloading there overnight, and headed outbound for the lake. Inbound on Sunday was Stephen B. Roman, which called on the Essroc dock in Essexville to unload. Once finished, the Roman turned in the Essexville Basin and departed for the lake late Sunday afternoon.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Interlake tug and barge Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder loaded Sunday at the Lafarge stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
American Mariner departed General Mills at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

 

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.

1911 ­ MAINE, upbound with a load of coal, catches fire in the St. Clair River and is run aground on the Canadian shore. The crew escapes.

1958 ­ The Swedish freighter ERHOLM and the FRANK ARMSTRONG of the Interlake fleet are in a collision in northern Lake St. Clair with minor damage to both ships. ERHOLM had earlier been a Great Lakes caller as a) ERLAND and later came through the Seaway in 1959-1960. It returned inland again in 1961 and 1962 as c) OTIS. The ship arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, for scrapping as h) DIMITRA K. on August 25, 1980.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.

 

Algonorth scrap tow continues

7/15 - Anglian Lady, towing the breakers-bound Algonorth, was just off the tip of Whitefish Point at 11 p.m. Saturday. Speed had been reduced from 6.7 to 4.0, possibly due to a storm front moving through the area at the time or perhaps due to a desire to transit the river in daylight. It is unknown if the tow will stop in Sault Ste. Marie or proceed directly down the river enroute to Port Colborne, Ont.

 

Gordon C. Leitch, Algocape one step closer to the scrapyard

7/15 - Montreal, Que. – The former Algoma Central lakers Gordon C. Leitch and Algocape have had a name change for their tow overseas. Gordon C. Leitch has become "DON," and Algocape has been dubbed "GOC.” Both vessels are now flagged in Sierra Leone. The deep-sea tug V. B. Artico is due in Montreal Sec. 56 south on July 17 to begin the final voyage of one of the former lakers. The final destination and the date of the tow to the breakers are still unknown.

Kent Malo

 

Port Reports -  July 15

St. Marys River
Upbound Saturday: Keweenaw Star, Herbert C. Jackson, James R. Barker, Algoma Guardian, St. Clair, Stewart J. Cort, Arthur M. Anderson. Downbound: Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, Lee A. Tregurtha, Algoma Quebecois and John G. Munson.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Arthur M. Anderson loaded at Calcite on Saturday and was due to depart at about 1:30 p.m. for Lake Superior. Manitowoc was due in early in the morning for the North Dock to load limestone. No vessels are scheduled for Sunday. On Monday, two vessels are due to load: Mississagi making a rare visit and loading at the North Dock in the late afternoon, and Lee A. Tregurtha, also making a rare call in the early afternoon to load at the South Dock. American Mariner is due on Tuesday in the morning to load at the North Dock. For Wednesday there are no vessels scheduled. Rounding out the lineup is the Hon. James L. Oberstar, making a rare visit on Thursday, loading at the South Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Algorail loaded on Saturday and was expected to depart at about 12:30 p.m. The next vessel due is on Sunday with the John J. Boland arriving early in the morning. For Monday two vessels are scheduled, Joseph H. Thompson and Lewis J. Kuber. John G. Munson is due to arrive on Tuesday. Finally, on Wedneday, four vessels are all scheduled: Manistee and the Philip R. Clarke for early morning arrivals, followed by the Pathfinder for early afternoon and Lewis J. Kuber during the late afternoon.

Oswego N.Y. - Ned Goebricher
Saturday the English River was in unloading cement.

Port Inland and Cedarville, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Lewis J. Kuber loaded and departed from Port Inland on Friday and was to be followed by the Wilfred Sykes, due to arrive at Port Inland during the early afternoon on Saturday. The Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted are due at Port Inland on Sunday evening, followed by the Calumet, also due Sunday evening to load. Joseph L. Block is due to load at Port Inland on Wednesday in the early morning. At Cedarville, the Wilfred Sykes loaded at the dock in Cedarville on Friday. The Buffalo was due to load stone on Saturday morning. The Sykes will return on Wednesday to load in the early morning.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
The American Mariner arrived overnight for General Mills.

 

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 ship’s owners, decided it would be cheaper to tow 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 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.

1885 The rail car ferry LANSDOWNE and the CLARION were in a collision on the Detroit River.

1895 CIBOLA caught fire and burned at the dock at Lewiston, NY, with the loss of one life. The hull was towed to Toronto and used in a fill project.

1943 GEORGE M. HUMPHREY sank off Old Point Mackinac Light following a collision with the D.M. CLEMSON. The ship was salvaged in 1944 and rebuilt at Sturgeon Bay as b) CAPTAIN JOHN ROEN in 1945 and became c) ADAM E. CORNELIUS in 1948 and d) CONSUMERS POWER in 1958.

1977 The ore laden CADILLAC went aground in the St. Marys River after missing a turn in fog. It was released the next day with the help of 3 tugs.

1986 The C.S.L. self-unloader MANITOULIN went aground at Sandusky, off Cedar Point, after losing power. The ship was released with the help of tugs.

1998 LITA hits the knuckle at the Eisenhower Lock and sustained damage to the starboard side. The vessel later hit bottom of the channel near the Snell Lock but there was no additional damage. The ship was enroute from Toledo to Algeria. The 11,121 gross ton saltwater vessel is still in service as of 2012.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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 from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.

 

Algonorth scrap tow leaves Thunder Bay

7/14 - The Purvis Marine tug Anglian Lady left Thunder Bay, Ont., around 2:30 p.m. Friday with the former Algoma Central Marine bulk carrier Algonorth in tow. At 10 p.m., the tow was off the tip of Isle Royale. Algonorth is now listed as being owned by Marine Recycling, Port Colborne, Ont., and it is anticipated that is the ultimate destination of the tow. Algonorth was built in 1971 in Scotland and previously sailed as Lake Nipigon (Carryore fleet) and Laketon (Misener).

 

Port Reports -  July 14

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Around 3:45 pm on Friday a thunderous boom was heard across the Upper Harbor in Marquette as Brig Niagara fired a canon to salute Cliffs’ LS&I ore dock for 100 years of service. Former Cliffs’ steamer Walter A. Sterling (now motor vessel Lee A. Tregurtha) waited off the Upper Harbor during the tribute. Brig Niagara will be docked inside the Lower Harbor at Mattson Park during the weekend.

Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Lewis J. Kuber was due to load at Port Inland early on Friday. Following the Lewis J. Kuber will be the Wilfred Sykes, due early on Saturday. The barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted are due to load at Port Inland on Sunday in the late afternoon. Rounding out the Port Inland lineup is the Calumet, due to arrive on July 16 early in the morning to load.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane and Dan McNeil
Manitowoc loaded limestone at Calcite's South Dock on Friday and did not give a departure time. Also due to load Friday was the H. Lee White for the South Dock. There are two vessels scheduled for arrival on Saturday - Arthur M. Anderson for the South Dock early in the morning followed by a return visit by the Manitowoc in the early afternoon for the North Dock.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
The barge Lakes Contender is due to load at the CSX Coal Dock in Toledo on Sunday. Next at the coal dock will be the Algowood on Tuesday, Saginaw and Manitowoc on Wednesday. The Algomarine is the only vessel scheduled for the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock, and she is due to arrive on Saturday. At the Torco Ore Dock, the Great Republic is due to arrive on Sunday. Algowood and James L. Kuber are both due to arrive at Torco on Tuesday, July 17. Great Republic will return on Thursday, July 19, and rounding out the Torco lineup is a return visit by the barge Lakes Contender on Friday, July 20. There are still three vessels in layup at Toledo: Adam E. Cornelius. American Fortitude and American Valor.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Cuyahoga loaded Friday at the Lafarge stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula. She was underway for Sarnia, Ont., Friday evening.

 

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. She was renamed b) GREAT REPUBLIC in 2011.

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.

1891 ATHABASCA and PONTIAC collided head-on in the Sugar Island Channel of the St. Marys River and the latter settled on the bottom. The former arrived at Sault Ste. Marie, with wreckage draped across her bow. Both ships were repaired and returned to service.

1931 The bulk canaller TEAKBAY hit a rock in the Brockville Narrows of the St. Lawrence and went aground while enroute from Sandusky to Quebec City with coal. It was refloated but was listing and in need of repairs.

1964 DANIEL PIERCE, a former Great Lakes tanker, ran aground at Guanica, Puerto Rico. The ship was leaking sulphuric acid into the bilges mixing with salt water. The town was evacuated due to the potential for an explosion. The hull was condemned and eventually scrapped.

1966 The Israeli freighter ELAT, on her second trip to the Great Lakes, and LEMOYNE were in a collision near Lock 2 of the Welland Canal, with only minor damage. ELAT arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for scrapping by September 7, 1982, while LEMOYNE was broken up at Santander, Spain, in 1969.

1970 EASTCLIFFE HALL sank in the St. Lawrence, with the loss of 9 lives, after it hit a sunken abutment, out of the channel, near Crysler Shoal. The masts remained above water. The ship had been upbound with pig iron from Sorel, QC for Saginaw, MI

1993 CALCITE II lost steering and ran aground in the Amherstburg Channel of the Detroit River. The ship was lightered, released with the help of the tugs PATRICIA HOEY, OREGON and STORMONT and, after unloading at Ecorse, headed for Toledo to be repaired.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Dave Wobser, Mike Nicholls, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. Marine Historical Society of Detroit.

 

Groupe Desgagnes adds to fleet with Claude A. Desgagnes

7/13 - Quebec, Que. – Quebec based Groupe Desgagnes has purchased the General Cargo vessel Elsborg (IMO# 9488059) from Danish owner Nordana Line in early July. She will be named Claude A. Desgagnes in honor of the brother of Rosaire and Zelada Desgagnes.

The vessel arrived at the Port of Quebec late last week at section #29 which is seldom used for cargo operations. A brief visit Thursday showed maintenance crews from Desgagnes’ technical services buzzing around the vessel and stages set up for welding the new name on the bow. With the arctic sealift well underway, the preparation of the vessel will be probably be going on around the clock.

She is of the same type as sister-ships Sedna and Zelada Desgagnes with twin 180 Mt capacity cranes, The Rosaire Desgagnies has twin 120 Mt cranes. She was built by Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering Co Ltd - Taizhou, China and delivered in July 2011.

Bruno Boissonneault

 

Lakes limestone trade up more than 7 percent in June

7/13 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3,853,467 net tons in June, an increase of 14.8 percent over May, and 7.2 percent better than a year ago. Loadings were a mirror image of the month’s 5-year average.

Shipments from U.S. ports rose 11 percent to 3.2 million tons, but Canadian quarry total of 625,000 tons represented a dip of two or three boatloads. Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 9,962,256 tons, an increase of 14.9 percent compared to a year ago, but a few boatloads shy of the 5-year average for the first half of the year.

U.S. ports: Calcite, MI, Cedarville, Mich., Drummond Island, Mich., Kellys Island, Ohio, Marblehead, Ohio, Port Inland, Mich. and Presque Isle, Mich. Kellys Island ceased shipping in fall 2009. Canadian ports: Bruce Mines, Manitoulin Island and Smelter Bay (all Ontario).

Lake Carriers' Association

 

Cargo shipments along St. Lawrence Seaway see modest rise in June

7/13 - Washington, D.C. - The St. Lawrence Seaway reported that year-to-date total cargo shipments for the period March 22 to June 30 were 13.2 million metric tons, up 1.3 percent over the same period in 2011.

Iron ore and coal used in the steel and construction industries remained the dominant story in tonnage numbers along the St. Lawrence Seaway System. Iron ore shipments through the Seaway rose 34 percent to 1.4 million metric tons in June. Year-t o-date figures for iron ore were up 27 percent to 3.8 million metric tons.

Coal shipments for power generation and steel production rose to 1.8 million metric tons a 30 percent hike over 2011.

Grain shipments were down for the second straight month due to drought conditions in the U.S. June saw a 16 percent downturn for all grain in 2012 versus the same time last year.

General cargo such as wind turbine components posted a 163 percent jump in June compared to the same month last year. “The Seaway continues to show its global relevance as a vital marine route moving high value wind components worldwide,” said Rebecca Spruill, director of trade development for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. “We anticipate that trend to continue, especially in light of the pending tax credit deadline set to expire at the end of the year.”

The construction industry was the main story at the Port of Green Bay. Year-to-date cement tonnage at the port was up 62 percent over last year.

“The reconstruction of Highway 41, renovations at Lambeau Field, and other road construction projects pushed up the quantities of cement and liquid asphalt that moved through the port,” said Dean Haen, port manager. “In addition, one of our largest port tenants, US Venture, continues to grow its petroleum products import and export business, and is already 18 percent ahead of last year.”

Marine Delivers

 

New technology may improve safety, productivity on Seaway

7/13 - New technology can enhance safety on the St. Lawrence Seaway by giving mariners real time information on current and projected distances between a vessel’s keel and river bottoms, according to the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

Known as the Draft Information System (DIS), the new on-board technology will reduce the potential for groundings and allow ships to carry more cargo by better taking advantage of the available water levels.

“This is an important improvement in maritime safety,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This new technology will increase the safety of vessels traveling through the St. Lawrence Seaway while increasing their productivity.”

DIS is an optional requirement, said USDOT. But they emphasize that ships with DIS can travel the Seaway more safely with more cargo, at a draft of up to three inches more than the published maximum. Depending on the commodity carried, an additional three inches of draft could mean transporting as much as 360 additional metric tons per voyage.

The Seaway has long required a minimum safety margin between the ship‚s keel and river bottom, or under-keel clearance, that vessels must maintain while transiting the waterway. The new DIS technology provides a more precise way of measuring that clearance, and accurate data on river bottom contours and water levels along with the vessel‚s speed and heading. As a result, mariners will have a greater ability to implement effective course changes or other required reactions in transit.

North Country Now

 

Port Reports -  July 13

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Hon. James L. Oberstar was back at the Upper Harbor Thursday morning loading ore.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
The Lewis J. Kuber and Olive L. Moore came in early Thursday morning with a load of coal for the Board of Light and Power Plant on Harbor Island in Grand Haven. St. Marys Conquest and Prentiss Brown came in with a load for the St. Marys Terminal in Ferrysburg. Finally, Wilfred Sykes came in about 3:30 with a load for Meekhof's D & M Dock, just upriver from the power plant on Harbor Island.

Stoneport, Mich. - Dan McNeil
Joseph H. Thompson was due to load on Thursday. Due for Friday are Herbert C. Jackson and Arthur M. Anderson. Algorail is due in Saturday. Nothing is scheduled at this time for Sunday. Due in on Monday is Lewis J. Kuber.

South Chicago, Ill.
Lower Lakes’ Calumet arrived early morning Thursday at Chicago Fuels Terminal to load coal for Holland, Mich. She is expected back in South Chicago Friday night to load coal for Green Bay.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder came into Lorain about 4:10 p.m. Thursday.

 

Tall ship passes through Sturgeon Bay

7/13 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – A bit of history reflecting two centuries ago passed through Sturgeon Bay on Wednesday. The tall ship Friends Good Will, usually based at the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven, Mich., docked at Graham Park during a sail to the Upper Peninsula, flying a U.S. flag with 15 stars and 15 stripes.

"We’re on our way to the Escanaba Maritime Festival on Friday,” chief mate Megan Blough said. “Then we’re stopping in Fayette, and on to Mackinac Island to re-enact the capture of this boat by the British during the War of 1812.”

The original sloop was built in 1810 and served as a Great Lakes merchant vessel. On July 17, 1812, unaware that President James Madison had declared war on Great Britain a month earlier, the Friends Good Will arrived at Fort Mackinac from Detroit.

Unbeknownst to the sloop’s crew, the British had captured the fort but were still flying the U.S. flag to lure unsuspecting ships. The ruse worked, and the Friends Good Will spent the rest of the war outfitted with guns and renamed HMS Little Belt.

For more information about the replica Friends Good Will and the museum, visit www.michiganmaritimemuseum.org.

Green Bay Press Gazette

 

New Port Colborne skateboard and BMX park to be named Algoport

7/13 - Port Colborne, Ont. – Canada’s largest dry-bulk shipping company on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Waterway, Algoma Central Corporation, through its local division Fraser Ship Repairs, in Port Colborne, has earned naming rights for Port Colborne’s new skateboard and BMX park.

The company plans to provide a major sponsorship for construction of the new facility, which will be located next to Lock 8. Greg Wight, President and CEO of Algoma Central Corporation and Fraser Ship Repairs confirmed his company’s community sponsorship to acquire the naming rights of the skateboard/BMX facility depicted as a ship passing under a lift bridge. The sponsorship is being formalized in an agreement to be presented at the next Port Colborne council meeting.

“As the largest Canada-flag shipping company on the Great Lakes, we are committed to a strong economy and vibrant marine industry,” Wright said. “Our support of the skateboard and BMX ‘ship’ in Port Colborne is one way of demonstrating our commitment to the community where many of our employees live and work.”

Under construction now, the facility will boast large, medium and small bowls for skateboard and BMX challenges, stairs with coasting rails, large tabletop ship’s compass and lifeboat ramp all beneath a lift bridge facsimile which is elevated and contoured to challenge even the best enthusiasts.

The skateboard/BMX ‘ship’ will be constructed incorporating the colour scheme of the Algoma fleet of ships.

The new skateboard/BMX facility will bear the name Algoport and will proudly display the Algoma Central Corporation Logo. Algoport, as many mariners will recall, was once a member of the large Algoma Central fleet.

 

July Marine News

7/13 - Marine News, the monthly journal of the World Ship Society, reported the following Seaway Salties going for scrap in the July 2012 issue.

AVRORA was a Great Lakes visitor as b) DIAMANTE in 1983. The ship had been built at Gijon, Spain, the previous year. It arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, as f) AVRORA on May 5, 2012, for scrapping.

CAPITAL SKY was built in 1978 and came to through the Seaway as a) AKRITAS in 1983. It returned as c) MAGIC SWAN in 2000. The ship arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, as d) CAPITAL SKY on May 28, 2012, for dismantling. The vessel survived an engineroom fire in the Pacific on February 20, 1993, when it was declared a total loss only to be rebuilt as b ) AKRAGAS.

LITTLE PRINCESS traded through the Seaway as a) ANITA SMITS beginning in 1984 and as b) ANITA I in 1996. The ship was sold to Pakistani shipbreakers and arrived at Gadani Beach as d) LITTLE PRINCESS on May 23, 2012, for dismantling.

MAYA LAND arrived off Alang, India, on May 5, 2012, and was beached on May 24. The ship first came through the Seaway as b) KAPITONAS DUBININ taking steel to Cleveland in 1995. It returned inland as c) KAPITONAS SEVCENKO in September 1996 and appears to have made 12 Great Lakes visits under this name.

The tanker THERESA BLOSSOM was built at Shimonoseka, Japan, in 1981 and joined the Liberian flag Welland Shipping Co. for service between Rotterdam and Sarnia for Sunoco as a) NORDIC SUN. The ship was a regular Seaway traveller until becoming b) NORDIC in 1989 and resumed inland service that fall. It was the first saltwater ship of the 1990 season heading upbound at the St. Lambert Lock on March 28. The vessel was renamed c) NORDIC BLOSSOM at Montreal in April 1994 and was again a regular Seaway trader. It has not been back inland since becoming d) THERESA BLOSSOM in 2007 and, following a sale to Indian shipbreakers, it arrived at Alang on May 21, 2012, for scrapping.

Two tugs with Great Lakes connections were also reported in Demolitions for July 2012.

The deep-sea salvage tug PANORMITIS was built in Japan as a) SIROCCO and completed in 1977. The vessel towed at least two retired lakers, M.A.C. GAGNE, the former SAGUENAY (ii), and CANADIAN PROSPECTOR overseas for scrapping. Its turn came for being dismantled as b) PANORMITIS when the ship arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, on April 29, 2012.

RIVER PRINCESS was built at Owen Sound by Russel Brothers in 1962. It was based at Port Cartier to help move ore carriers to and from the dock as a) FEDERAL BEAVER and as b) MANICOUAGAN. It went to Canada's west coast as c) OCEAN PRINCE II in 1974 and saw additional service as d) RIVTOW PRINCESS, e) SMIT PRINCESS and f) RIVER PRINCESS. Following a sale to Chinese shipbreakers the tug arrived at Tianjin, China, on May 15, 2012, aboard the barge STRAITS LOGGER for dismantling.

Casualties:

Work on removing the wreck of the CANADIAN MINER was expected to start June 20, 2012, by the Bennington Group. The hull will be dismantled and the sections will be taken to Port Hawkesbury by barge. The work is expected to take two to three months.

We acknowledge the annual publication Seaway Salties, compiled by Rene Beauchamp, as an excellent resource and his book 50 Years of Seaway Salties has provided us with the years that the above ocean ships first came to the Great Lakes.

Submitted by: Barry Andersen and Skip Gillham

 

Updates -  July 13

News Photo Gallery
 

 

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 Marine Transport in 2006, she now sails as KAMINISTIQUA.

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, . . ."

1941 The first COLLINGDOC was inbound with coal for the Thames River when it struck a mine off Southend, England, and sank. There were at least two casualties. The hull was later refloated and sunk along with another ship, believed to be the PONTO, as part of the Churchill Barriers off Scapa Flow, in the northern United Kingdom. In time, sand has blown in and covered much of the hull with only the cement=encased pilothouse visible at last report.

1978 OLAU GORM, best remembered as one of 4 freighters that had to spend the winter of 1964-1965 on the Great Lakes due to ice closing the Seaway, ran aground as f) FAST BREEZE in the Red Sea. The ship was enroute to from Piraeus, Greece, to Gizan, Saudi Arabia, and was refloated, with severe damage, on July 16. It was soon sold to Pakistani shipbreakers and was broken up at Gadani Beach in 1979.

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

 

Port Reports -  July 12

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic Wednesday included Algocanada, Stewart J. Cort, CSL Assiniboine, Sjard, CSL Laurentien, Salarium and Algoway. Upbounders included John G. Munson, Hon. James L. Oberstar and Presque Isle. As night fell, Joseph L. Block and Vancouverborg were upbound below the Mud Lake junction light.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Calumet came in about 10:30 a.m. with a load of stone for Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg. Wilfred Sykes was expected overnight at the D & M dock on Harbor Island in Grand Haven.

Cedarville, Mich. - Dan McNeil
Joseph L. Block loaded Wednesday for Duluth. Also due to load Wednesday was the Phillip R. Clarke. Due to load on Thursday is the Wilfred Sykes.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons tied up at Lafarge Tuesday morning and unloaded coal. The Alpena came in not far behind the McKee Sons and docked under the silos to load cement for Superior, Wis.

Marblehead and Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Manistee loaded overnight at Marblehead's Lafarge stone dock for Cleveland. She was replaced Wednesday at the dock by the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann. At Sandusky's NorfolkSouthern coal dock, the Herbert C. Jackson was loading early Thursday for Detroit.

 

Water levels update

7/12 - The water level of Lake Michigan stayed the same over the past month, but is now 8″ below the level of one year ago. It’s 20″ below the long-term average for July and 11″ above the low-water mark of 1964. Lake Superior has gained water after heavy rain fell in the Duluth area (9″ in 2 days). Superior is up 6″ in the last month (over 3 trillion gallons of water added to the lake in just a month) and is now 3″ above the level of one year ago.

Both Lake Ontario and Lake Erie have dropped with the dry conditions this early summer. Erie has lost 3″ in the last month and is now 5″ below the century average. Ontario is down 2″ in the last month and is 6″ below the century average. The water level of the Eastern two lakes can vary significantly over a relatively short period of time of several months, while the other three Great Lakes are slower to change. Since 70 percent of the equation for the water level of Michigan/Huron is the water coming down the St. Marys River from Lake Superior, the gain in water to the north should keep Lake Michigan from getting too low if drought conditions persist through the summer.

Wood TV 8

 

Algoma Central Corporation places fifth in 2011 marine money rankings

7/12 - Toronto, Ont. – Algoma Central Corporation, the largest Canadian shipowner and operator of domestic Great Lakes vessels, announced today that it placed fifth in Marine Money Magazine's 2011 Rankings of Publicly Traded Shipping Companies.

The 2011 list includes 84 companies engaged in all aspects of marine shipping. The annual Marine Money Rankings, which are designed to measure companies' ability to improve operating efficiency and to create shareholder value, are based on an average of measures including total return to shareholders, return on equity, return on assets, total asset turnover, and price to book ratio. Algoma placed 32nd on this list for 2010.

"Algoma had an outstanding and game-changing year in 2011," says Greg Wight, President and CEO, of Algoma Central Corporation. "Moving up 27 spots in the prestigious Marine Money rankings and our inclusion in their top 10 list is reflective of the hard work of all of our shipboard and shoreside employees."

A photo of the award and a copy of the Marine Money article can be found on the company's newly designed website at www.algonet.com.

 

 

Marysville shore work could start in August

7/12 - Marysville, Mich. – The Marysville City Council has approved a contract of more than $1.4 million to restore the shoreline of the St. Clair River. Four bids were submitted for work on the project that will replace 1,885 feet of seawall with a naturalized shoreline, add a 10-foot boardwalk and create fish habitat along a stretch of the river about 2,000 feet north of Cuttle Creek.

Members of the Marysville City Council voted 6-0 Monday to award Raymond Excavating Co. of Marysville the contract to begin work on the project. Councilman Paul Wessel was not at the meeting.

The project will be paid for with a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and no more than $300,000 from the city. The city’s portion was allocated in last year’s budget and has carried over. It will come from the capital improvement fund, said Randy Fernandez, assistant city manager and community development director.

Some of the city’s contribution can be used with services from the Department of Public Works and the city engineer, Fernandez said, which is why the contribution will be less than $300,000.

In addition to the seawall restoration, the project will establish about 5,700 square feet of emergent wetland and about 1,100 square feet of submergent wetland. Plans call for the installation of an acre of native seed, 10,000 native plant plugs and 3,000 live stakes. Workers will build about 2.7 acres of living shoreline.

“We’re pretty excited,” said Michelle LaRose, water resource engineer for Cardno JFNew, an Ann Arbor environmental consulting firm. “It’s a very nice project. It will be a unique shoreline for the city and St. Clair River in general.”

The city received the grant about a year and a half ago, Fernandez said. He said officials are excited to see things moving forward.

“Our citizens like to walk freely along that boardwalk and along the beach, and basically, we’ve had yellow tape for the last year and a half where the seawall has bowed in and people don’t have access to walk or fish or bicycle down that seawall,” he said.

LaRose said the project is waiting for a permit from the state Department of Environmental Quality, but it should receive that in the next few weeks. She said the project should start in August. Most of it should be done by the end of the year, with some additional planting needed in the spring.

Fernandez said the city hopes to use this project as a starting point for others along the waterway. The city should find out at the end of the month if it received a $500,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency for Chrysler Beach storm water and dock improvements.

Port Huron Times Herald

 

Cruise to Pottawatomie Lighthouse on Rock Island

7/12 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – This year’s Door County Maritime Museum’s summer cruise visits the historic Pottawatomie Lighthouse on Rock Island. The trip departs Gills Rock at noon on Sunday, July 22 aboard the excursion boat Island Clipper. Boarding begins at 11:30 a.m. A buffet lunch will be served. Once on Rock Island, passengers will undertake the one-mile uphill hike to reach Wisconsin’s oldest lighthouse.

Museum member ticket cost is $70 for adults and $40 for children. Guest tickets cost $85 for adults and $50 for children. Reservations are available by calling the museum at (920) 743-5958.

The Pottawatomie Light protects the passage between Wisconsin’s Rock Island and Michigan’s St. Martins Island to the north. This passage acted as the early gateway to Green Bay from Lake Michigan. dcmm.org

 

Updates -  July 12

Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - Trip summaries were added to the following: Black River, Canadoc, Cliffs Victory, E B Barber, Fort Henry, George M Carl, Heron Bay, J B Ford, Kinsman Voyager, Pinedale, Red Wing, Reiss Brothers, Scott Misener, Sir James Dunn, Sylvania, Thomas Wilson, W E Fitzgerald and H C Heimbecker.

 

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, when 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.

1909 The ore laden JOHN B. COWLE (i) was struck amidships by the ISAAC M. SCOTT off Whitefish Point, Lake Superior, and sank with the reported loss of 11 lives.

1917 GEORGE N. ORR was wrecked at Savage Point in the Strait of Northumberland, Prince Edward Island, on her way to New York City and wartime saltwater service. The vessel had been cut in two and towed from the lakes to be rejoined at Montreal.

1969 The deep-sea tug MISSISSIPPI arrived at Bilbao, Spain, with the lakers DONNACONA (ii) and BEN E. TATE, for scrapping.

1977 The stern section of the former canaller BIRCHTON was raised at Halifax after the two parts, which had been created for use as pontoons in the construction of offshore drilling platforms, sank at the dock.

1985 MONTY PYTHON first visited the Great Lakes as a) MONTE ZALAMA in 1970. It returned as b) MONTY PYTHON after being renamed in 1985. The ship drifted aground in the St. Lawrence off La Ronde while loading scrap at Montreal and had to be lightered to P.S. BARGE NO. 1 before floating free on July 18. This saltwater vessel was sold for scrap before the year was out and arrived at Dalian, China, on November 3, 1985, to be dismantled

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

 

Port Reports -  July 11

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Tuesday morning included Edgar B. Speer tied up at Garfield Dock in Duluth, ballasted down by the bow apparently undergoing repairs at its stern. Algoma Quebecois was unloading at the Holcim cement terminal, American Mariner was loading at the General Mills elevator in Superior and CSL Laurentien was loading at the CN ore dock. A Coast Guard cutter was in drydock at Fraser Shipyards. Atlanticborg was loading wind turbine blades made in North Dakota for export to Brazil.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic included the tall ship Niagara, Saginaw, Roger Blough and American Courage. Downbounders included Lee A. Tregurtha, Pineglen, Virginiaborg and Indiana Harbor. Elbeborg remained at the Essar Steel Export Dock. Unspecified repairs put the Poe Lock out of commission for a few hours in the afternoon, delaying the Indiana Harbor. Later in the evening, Yorktown was in the MacArthur Lock downbound and the Alpena was upbound on a pre-call to DeTour.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Michipicoten began loading Tuesday afternoon at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock for Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The US Coast Guard Ice Breaking tug Biscayne Bay was tied up at the Visiting Ship's Dock (North Pier) Monday evening. The dredge operation is now located in the Watson Basin, just off the Connecting Terminal Elevator.

Port Dalhousie, Ont. - David Bull
On Tuesday, the mega-yacht Luna achored off Port Dalhousie. There were a few helicopter take offs and landings during the day. Another large yacht, Antares, secured in the Dalhousie Pier Marina, dwarfing all the other pleasure boats. Also in the anchorage was the Turkish tanker Elevit, which has been waiting orders for some time.

 

$2.77 million awarded for Duluth-Superior harbor dredging

7/11 - Detroit, Mich. - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, has awarded a $2,765,000 contract for dredging and site improvements at Duluth-Superior Harbor. Roen Salvage Co. of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., will dredge 143,500cubic yards of sediment and deposit the shoaled material in the Erie Pier Confined Disposal Facility, CDF, in Duluth, Minn.

Dredging is expected to begin in mid-July and wrap up by late November. Additionally, the contractor will perform work in the Erie Pier to facilitate offloading and distribution of dredged materials from scows into the CDF.

"Duluth-Superior is the busiest harbor in the Great Lakes, with about $2 billion worth of cargo shipped annually, supporting thousands of jobs in the region," said Lt. Col. Mike Derosier, district engineer. "This project is necessary to keep commercial shipping operating smoothly in the Twin Ports, ensuring the transport of crucial commodities in a clean and economical manner."

Northland's NewsCenter

 

Bicentennial Cruise highlights the grave of a British gunboat in the Rouge River

7/11 - Detroit, Mich. – A special cruise by the Great Lakes Maritime Institute on Sunday, July 8 paid homage to the first American victory of the War of 1812 on the western frontier. On board were a number of historians who sailed from Wyandotte, Mich., on a four-hour tour of the Detroit River. The tour boat Friendship departed the Portofino Restaurant dock and proceeded to the riverfront town of Sandwich, Ont., where the open ground gently sloped to the river road. 200 years ago American artillery bombarded these grounds across the mile-wide Detroit River, and the forces under General Hull crossed the Detroit River to plant the American flag in Canada.

The Detroit River was the highway by which the commerce of the United States and Canada moved on sailing vessels 200 years ago. While diaries and historical documents chronicled the past events, the riverbank shows little of the past military encounters. Nature areas with waterfowl exist, while grain silos, salt loading conveyors and other commercial facilities line both sides of the Detroit River. A windmill still stands on the Sandwich skyline as testament to the pioneer commercial ventures along the riverfront. Grain was brought to this small port by sailing vessels, turned into flour, and then re- shipped across the Great Lakes.

The cruise was to honor the first American victory of the War of 1812 on the frontier. In early July 1812, spies reported that a British gunboat had entered the River Rouge. This armed vessel was attempting to transit the narrow winding river to the American shipyard where the American warship Brig Adams lay. It was Captain Antoine Dequindre who rushed from the fort at Detroit down the river road with troops and artillery to thwart the British invasion.

An eyewitness to the event, Mr. A. D. Bodeneau, was interviewed in 1877 and reported that Captain Dequindre’s 60 men and artillery were hidden in a wooded ravine. When the gunboat was sheering to make a turn in the winding river, the report of a cannon was heard. It was soon followed by three or four more shots, which punched in the gunboat’s hull near the water line. The surprise was complete and the gunboat was not able to return fire from any of her four cannon on board. A few musket shots were fired by those on board, and the crew quickly rushed to the lifeboats. They rowed back down the Rouge and then crossed the Detroit River to the Canadian shore.

At the approximate spot where the British gunboat was fired upon and sunk some 200 years ago, a salute was fired by Ralph Naveaux with a flintlock musket. Mr. Naveaux is a member of the War of 1812 reenactors group from Monroe, Mich. Then Mr. Ross Ward stepped forward to chronicle the work of his great Uncle Eber Ward, who salvaged the vessel in the 1820s. At that time the vessel was partially raised while two cannons and anything else of value was recovered from the wreck.

After the short ceremony, the cruise transited the River Rouge to where the American shipyard was located. The shipyard was part of a 114-acre military reservation that built the Brig Adams in 1800, where Baby Creek enters the River Rouge. Unfortunately only an outfall and retaining wall exists at the riverfront, and the shipyard is located in what is now Woodmere Cemetery. The British gunboat tried to capture the Brig Adams, which was being repaired at the shipyard. The Brig was put in service but was turned over to the British forces when General Hull surrendered Detroit on August 16. The Brig Adams became the British vessel HMS Detroit and was lost near Buffalo, New York at the end of 1812.

The Great Lakes Maritime Institute is hosting another War of 1812 cruise on August 5 at noon. This three-hour cruise will go down the Detroit River around Bob-Lo Island and then sail past Amherstburg, Ont., where the Schooner Cuyahoga was captured on July 2, 1812. Tickets for the August 5 cruise are $60 and include a lunch, beverages and a cash bar. Reservations should be sent in by August 2, and the order form is located at the website www.glmi.org.

Great Lakes Maritime Institute

 

New maritime magazine for Great Lakes launched

7/11 - Marine Matters has launched the new digital Maritime Magazine. The state-of-the-art technology allows for embedded video, audio, and slide shows. The magazine has professional writers and journalists familiar with the Great Lakes and its editor is former Canadian Sailings Editor Brent Frederick. Marine Matters is published monthly with weekly pertinent updates. Click here to view

 

Updates -  July 11

News Photo Gallery
 

 

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.

The INDIANA HARBOR was christened July 11, 1979.

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.

1915 The CHOCTAW, enroute from Cleveland to Duluth with a cargo of coal, sinks following a collision with the WAHCONDAH in foggy Lake Huron. All on board are saved.

1940 WILLIAM F. STIFEL runs aground in the St. Clair River near Port Lambton and is struck by the ALBERT E. HEEKIN.

1964 CHEMBARGE NO. 4, formerly a) JUDGE KENEFICK and b) H.J. McMANUS is towed out into Lake Huron by ATOMIC and ABURG and scuttled in deep water about 16 miles off Goderich after sulphuric acid began leaking into the bilges of the recently converted tanker barge.

2007 CANADIAN NAVIGATOR loses power and goes aground in mud off Courtright and 6 tugs are needed to pull the ship free.

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

 

Lakes coal trade impacted by weather in June

7/10 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes totaled 2.6 million tons in June, a decrease of 9.7 percent compared to May, and a drop of nearly 13 percent compared to a year ago. Some of the decrease was the result of a lengthy outage at the Lakes’ largest coal-shipping operation, Superior Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior, Wis. Flooding after a torrential storm forced shipments to cease on June 19. The dock resumed loading on July 8.

Overseas shipments continued in June. Coal shipped to Quebec City for reloading into oceangoing vessels totaled 246,000 tons.

Year-to-date the Lakes coal trade stands at 8.9 million tons, a decrease of 7.6 percent compared to a year ago. However, for the first half of the year, loadings are nearly 28 percent behind their 5-year average.

Lake Carriers' Association

 

Port Reports -  July 10

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Fleetmates Herbert C. Jackson and Lee A. Tregurtha loaded ore at the Upper Harbor on Monday. Jackson unloaded stone from Meldrum Bay at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock before loading ore. Limestone shipped to Marquette is usually from Stoneport or Drummond.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Monday was an active day, with several vessels in port. Manitowoc arrived at Lafarge in the morning to unload coal. It was outbound in the bay at 4:30 p.m. The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation came into port during the afternoon and tied up under the silos to load cement. Waiting out in the bay for a clear dock was fleetmate G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity, which will come in as soon as the Innovation departs. The brigantine Niagara made its way into the river and through the open Second Avenue bridge Monday afternoon to tie up at the NOAA Maritime Center. The Alpena is due in on Tuesday morning to load at Lafarge.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Manistee arrived around 4 p.m. Monday and was unloading sand on the Buffalo Ship Canal.

 

Quick turnaround in the Twin Ports for turbine shipper

7/10 - Duluth, Minn. – An unusual circumstance will occur this week on the 469-foot-long Atlanticborg, which arrived Sunday in Duluth to unload wind turbine components for projects in Montana and North Dakota.

Before leaving the Twin Ports, it will load 60 wind turbine blades made in North Dakota for export to Brazil.

“In order to reload you have to have perfect timing,” Duluth Seaway Port Authority Executive Director Adolph Ojard said. “This could not have worked out better, for a ship unloading equipment for projects in the region to then turn around and reload with materials being manufactured in the region for export.”

This will be the second shipment of blades manufactured at LM Wind Power in Grand Forks, N.D., to the CEARA II project in Brazil this year. Last month, the Alamosborg left Duluth with 60 blades. When completed, CEARA II’s 141 turbine generators will produce more than 200 megawatts of energy.

“We are hoping there will be additional cargos in the future,” Ojard said. “Maybe more of this (export) business will develop in 2013.”

Duluth is scheduled to handle nearly 20 energy-related cargos this year, said Jonathan Lamb, vice president and general manager at Lake Superior Warehousing Co.

With more wind energy components being made in the U.S., the port has seen fewer shipments of wind turbines components in recent years. But shipments of European components are up this year in the face of the uncertainty over the future of the federal Production Tax Credit for renewable energy facilities. The credits will expire at year’s end if Congress doesn’t renew them.

To take advantage of the tax credits, Minnesota Power wants to finish its Bison wind farm project in North Dakota project well ahead of schedule, by December. Four shipments of hub generators from Denmark for the Bison II and III projects are among the energy-related cargoes Lake Superior Warehousing is handling this year.

Duluth received its first shipments of turbine components in 2005. Since then, the port has handled more than 1 million freight-tons of such components. Most of the components have been inbound from European suppliers for wind farm projects as far away as Montana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Ontario.

But as illustrated by this week’s shipment of blades to Brazil, not all the wind-related cargo is coming into Duluth. Turbine blades manufactured in North Dakota and trucked to Duluth have been shipped to Spain, Brazil and Chile.

“North Dakota is fortunate to have an international seaport close to our state,” said Andy Peterson, president and CEO of the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce.

“The activity is really about strategic location of Duluth,” Ojard said. “We have excellent truck and rail service, which allows us to reach deep into the heartland.”

Duluth News Tribune

 

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, was the oldest person to be licensed and the issue number of his license is the highest ever issued by the Coast Guard – 14-17 (14th masters license and 17th 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, she 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.)

1930 YORKTON was beached with only the top of the pilothouse above water after a head-on collision in fog on Whitefish Bay with the MANTADOC. The ship was later salvaged and repaired at Collingwood.

1938 RAHANE ran aground on a shoal in the American Narrows of the St. Lawrence while downbound with steel, package freight and grain. Some cargo was removed by the lighter COBOURG and the ship was refloated with major bottom damage. The vessel last sailed on the lakes as A.A. HUDSON before departing for saltwater service in the fall of 1965.

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

 

Algonorth now owned by scrapping firm

7/9 - Transport Canada's web site now lists Marine Recycling Corp. of Port Colborne, Ont., as the owner of the former Algoma Central Marine bulk carrier Algonorth. The vessel last sailed in 2009 and is laid up at Thunder Bay, Ont. There is no information about when Algonorth may be moved to the scrapyard, which is just finishing off Canadian Leader, and has Maumee and James Norris waiting for the torch.

 

Great Lakes iron ore trade up 3 percent in June

7/9 - Cleveland, Ohio - Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 6.5 million tons in June, a decrease of 5 percent compared to May, but an increase of 3 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments were, however, almost 16 percent ahead of June’s 5-year average.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 5.6 million tons, a slight increase compared to a year ago. Included in that total were 627,000 tons shipped to Quebec City for final delivery overseas.

Loadings at Canadian ports rose 15.7 percent.

Through June the iron ore trade stands at 25.2 million tons, an increase of 9.2 percent compared to a year ago and 21 percent better than the 5-year average for the first half of the year.

Shipments from U.S. ports are up 8.8 percent compared to a year ago and 23 percent ahead of their 5-year average. Loadings at Canadian ports are up 12.9 percent compared to a year ago and 7.4 percent ahead of their 5-year average.

Lake Carriers Association

 

Port Reports -  July 9

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a busy Sunday included Herbert C. Jackson, CSL Assiniboine, Edgar B. Speer, American Mariner, St. Clair, CSL Niagara and CSL Laurentien. Headed downbound were Keweenaw Star, Walter J. McCarthy, Presque Isle, Algolake, Sam Laud, Wilfred M. Cohen, Philip R. Clarke, John B. Aird and Birchglen.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Sunday morning at the Upper Harbor, Hon. James L. Oberstar loaded ore and Cason J. Callaway also arrived to load.

Burns Harbor, Ind.
Algoma Olympic was loading coke breeze over the weekend at the Port of Indiana. She arrived early Saturday morning and loading was completed early afternoon on Sunday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Saturday saw American Mariner calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload. She was back outbound for the lake Saturday evening. The tug Barbara Andrie and tank barge A-390 called on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City early Sunday morning to unload. The pair were outbound late Sunday afternoon. The Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were inbound the Saginaw River on Wednesday, carrying a split load for the Essexville and Saginaw Lafarge Stone Docks. They completed their unload and were outbound for the lake, but stopped at the Bay City Wirt stone dock for repairs to the bow thruster. They departed Wirt and were once again back outbound Friday evening. Inbound Friday evening were the Dorothy Ann - Pathfinder with a cargo for the Bay Aggregates Dock in Bay City. The pair were expected to be outbound Saturday morning.

 

John P. Clancy sailed on Texaco tankers

7/9 - Chief Engineer John P. Clancy passed away July 5, 2012. A long-serving and amiable chief with the former Texaco Canada fleet, he sailed last aboard the Texaco Brave (now Algoeast) and served for over 50 years in the marine industry. Visitation will be at Smith's Funeral Home, 1167 Guelph Line, Burlington Ont. (905) 632-3333) Tuesday, July 10, 3-5 pm and 7-9pm. Services will be Wednesday July 11, 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home.

 

Updates -  July 9

News Photo Gallery

 

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 of 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.

1917 The bulk carrier WILLIAM S. MACK collided with the passenger freighter MANITOBA in fog off Whitefish Point and had to be beached. It is subsequently refloated and repaired. The ship was renamed HOME SMITH on October 10, 1917, and last sailed as ALGORAIL in 1963 before being scrapped at Toronto.

1967 The NEW YORK NEWS (iii) and the saltwater ship NORDGLIMT collided off Escoumins, QC, with only minor damage.

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

 

Port Reports -  July 8

St. Marys River -
Saturday was a heavy traffic day, with classic vessels well-represented. Upbounders included Federal Weser, Elbeborg (to the Essar Export Dock), Arthur M. Anderson and Cason J. Callaway. Heading downbound were Atlantic Huron, Frontenac, Saginaw, Joseph L. Block, Ken Boothe Sr./Lakes Contender, Michipicoten, Algocanada and American Century.

Stoneport and Calcite, Mich. – Dan McNeil
Loading at Stoneport Friday was the Algorail, she departed in the early evening hours. Scheduled Saturday was the Pathfinder, Sunday the John G. Munson and the Algorail, Lakes Contender on Tuesday. Loading at Calcite Friday was the American Mariner at the North dock. Due Saturday for the north dock Mississagi and for the south dock Great Republic followed by John J. Boland. Due Sunday the Algorail for the north dock followed on Monday by the Manitowoc.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Saturday the Cuyahoga was unloading at the Jonick Docks just past the railroad bridge.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The tug Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland Rocks loaded Saturday evening at the Lafarge stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula.

Ashtabula, Ohio – L. Duffield Rawlings II
Saturday the Federal Mattawa was unloading at the Penny Dock. American Spirit backed into Conrail slip unloading stone on the west side.

 

Halifax maritime community mourns loss of Capt. Claude Ball

7/8 - Halifax, N.S. - Schooner racers on the South Shore are mourning the loss of Captain Claude Ball, who died last week at 77. The captain, who founded the Cornwallis Cup competition, was a devoted racer and one of their own.

At the same time, volunteers from various charities were writing letters about Ball to his daughters, and so were people from the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and other organizations across the province. Ball, who was harbourmaster of Halifax from 1984 to 1989, worked for so many disparate causes that his family and former colleagues say they barely knew the extent of all he accomplished.

The captain, who died early Wednesday in Halifax, was president of the Halifax Rotary Club and was deeply involved with Pier 21 and the Maritime Museum.

He was once the driving force behind the Theodore Tugboat safety campaign, raising money to keep Theodore in Halifax. Ball was also a volunteer for the Lung Association of Nova Scotia, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society. He was nominated for the Order of Nova Scotia.

He just got up every morning at the crack of dawn and went out to help other people, said his daughter, Joanne Ball.

She said she has been shocked by the number of emails and letters shes received this week.

When John Hennigar-Shuh was hired as general manager at the Maritime Museum in 2003, it didnt take long for Ball to find him, he said.

I soon discovered that Claude Ball was involved across so many dimensions of the shipping industry, the life of the port he knew everybody in the port, and I guess what stood out for me was his incredible generosity, Hennigar-Shuh said.

Ball left his home in Rencontre, N.L., at about 16 and soon became a very young master mariner. After working for the coast guard, he later studied administration and was hired as Halifax harbourmaster, then went on to be a senior manager at the Port of Halifax.

Ball maintained a captain-like stubbornness, but he shared his love of the water with everyone around him, said his great-niece, Sarah Ball, who was with him in 2000 when the family was victorious at Chester Race Week.

He could get along with anyone, and just coming from the captains side of things, he could take charge in any situation, the 25-year-old said. Being around him, watching him, just his knowledge on the schooner, was something that never left me.

Herald News

 

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 L. 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.

1899 The schooner SOPHIA MINCH, under tow of the JOHN N. GLIDDEN, is caught in a wild Lake Erie storm and is cut loose. The vessel is blown ashore west of Ashtabula and is declared a total loss only to be salvaged July 24, 1899, and repaired.

1923 EDWARD L. STRONG and GLENDOCHART collide between Locks 17 and 18 of the Cornwall Canal with minor damage. The former was scrapped at Port Dalhousie as e) WELLANDOC (ii) in 1963 while the latter was broken up at Hamilton as f) MANCOX in 1970-1971.

1949 NEW YORK NEWS (ii) runs aground on a shoal at the east entrance to Little Current, Manitoulin Island, due to low water and misplaced channel markers. About 800 tons of coal are lightered and the ship is refloated on July 9.

1973 The former BROMALM, a Swedish flag Seaway trader in 1963 and 1964, hits bottom, begins leaking and is beached off Kuantan, Western Malaysia, as c) ARISAIOS. It is on a voyage to Osaka, Japan, with 9,700 tons of iron ore and is completely flooded and a total loss.

1977 AGAWA CANYON hits the abutment to Bridge 12 of the Welland Canal after losing power while downbound with salt for Kingston. The gash in the port bow is repaired by Port Weller Dry Docks.

1992 COMEAUDOC loses power and strikes the seawall at Port Huron while upbound resulting in significant damage to the wall.

2005 A mechanical problem aboard ORLA results in the Maltese flag freighter going aground off Marysville. The vessel was able to back free after shifting ballast and proceeds to Duluth to load grain.

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

 

Port Reports -  July 7

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Lakes Contender was back at the Upper Harbor Friday evening loading ore for the second time in a week. Her first three ore loads have been lengthy since her capacity requires an extra run of cars.

Holland, Mich. - Bob VandeVusse
The Manitowoc made another visit to the Verplank dock in Holland Friday evening, arriving shortly after 9 p.m. with a load of stone from Port Inland.

Huron, Ohio - Jim Spencer
John G. Munson was expected into Huron early Saturday morning to unload a limestone cargo from Stoneport.

 

Toronto Islands ferry passenger limits eased

7/7 - Toronto, Ont. – Months after forcing two Toronto Islands ferries to cut their passenger loads nearly in half, Transport Canada rolled back its capacity restrictions Thursday following pressure from city staff.

The Thomas Rennie and Sam McBride had their capacities cut to 524 passengers each from 974 passengers to meet federal marine safety standards. They may now carry 736 people each.

“It’s progress,” said James Dann, manager of the city’s waterfront parks, who has been a key figure in trying to return the boats to their traditional capacity.

The bureaucratic nightmare has slowed ferry service and left passengers waiting on the docks in frustration.

Although the new passenger limits kicked in this spring, the trouble with Toronto’s aging ferry fleet began in 2008 when Transport Canada ordered the city to upgrade three boats — the William Inglis and Sam McBride, both built in the 1930s, and the Thomas Rennie, built in 1951.

The city scrounged together $5 million at the height of the recession in 2009 to pay for new engines and bulkheads for all three boats, said Dann. The vessels were upgraded in 2011.

But what Transport Canada failed to tell parks staff, he said, was that the upgrades could cause the boats to lose their grandfathered status, which exempts the aging vessels from current marine safety standards.

It wasn’t until Transport Canada returned to Toronto’s docks to inspect the boats earlier this year that staff were told two of the three had lost their grandfathered status as a result of the upgrades. (A previous Star report misstated that all three were involved.)

That forced the two ferries to cut their capacities by nearly 50 per cent to comply with the marine safety rules, which align with international standards.

Transport Canada spokeswoman Kelly James said the city parks department consulted with the federal agency “on numerous occasions” before they decided to upgrade the ferries.

But Dann said Transport Canada failed to inform them about the risks of losing their status.

“It was a terrible shock,” said Dann.

The parks department applied for an exemption from current safety standards in early June, noting that the ferry fleet has run without incident for decades and faces few environmental threats in the sheltered Toronto harbour.

The application remained under review with Transport Canada on Thursday, but Dann said federal officials accepted the offer to slightly increase capacity.

They suggested one compromise — a barricade for the ferries’ top decks to limit the number of people allowed there. Parks staff rebuffed calls for a barricade (citing concerns over passenger views from the decks) but hope to find a compromise, Dann said.

As both parties continued talks Thursday, Councillor Pam McConnell, whose ward includes the islands, questioned how city staff overlooked the grandfathered clause when they were considering the multi-million-dollar upgrades several years ago.

“Where was Transport Canada in that discussion and where were we in that discussion?” she asked. “When we thought we were being efficient with money, we were actually in the long run being very short-sighted.”

McConnell said the city has long neglected its ferries, an attitude that has resulted in an inefficient water transit system that hurts tourism opportunities on the islands.

“We needed several new ferries yesterday,” she said. “We need to invest.”

Bill Beasley, president of the islands’ Centreville amusement park, said his company has raised concerns over ferry capacity with the parks department “numerous times.” The current fleet simply can’t manage the crush of passengers wanting to visit on summer weekends and holidays, he said.

“The city should invest in new boats with bigger capacity, no question,” said Beasley. “That’s what governments do, take care of the public.”

But at an estimated $8 million per vessel, Dann said the parks department is far from able to purchase new ferries in the near future. The department established a fleet replacement strategy earlier this year to begin collecting funds, but “it’s hard to find $8 million.”

Toronto Star

 

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. She now sails as d.) CALUMET.

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, Mich.) 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 Mich. The wreck drifted to a point about 10 miles SSE of Manitowoc, where it sank.

1963 The Canadian coastal tanker SEEKONK first came to the Great Lakes in 1951 on charter to the British-American Oil Co. It was later part of the Irving fleet and caught fire in the galley at Charlottetown, PEI. The ship was pulled from the pier by CCG TUPPER and beached at Governor's Island. The blaze burned itself out but the SEEKONK was a total loss and was towed to Buctouche, NB, and scrapped in 1964.

1970 PRINSES EMILIA made 3 trips through the Seaway for the Oranje Lijn in 1967. It sank as c) BOULGARIA on this date 25 miles off Cherbourg, France, after a collision with the HAGEN in dense fog. The vessel was enroute from Hamburg to Istanbul and 17 on board were lost.

1978 The British freighter BEECHMORE began Great Lakes service in 1959 and returned as c) MANDRAKI in 1971 and d) NAFTILOS in 1973. It was sailing as f) MARI when fire broke out on a voyage from Rijeka, Yugoslavia, to Alexandria, Egypt, on July 7. The ship was beached near Dugi Otok Islands the next day and eventually abandoned. The hull was refloated in 1979 and taken to Split with scrapping getting underway on July 19, 1979

1981 CONDARRELL, upbound below Lock 2 of the Welland Canal, lost power and hit the wall resulting in bow damage. The ship returned to Toronto for repairs but only finished the season before tying up. The vessel, built in 1953 as D.C. EVEREST, has been unofficially renamed K.R. ELLIOTT by International Marine Salvage.

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

 

Port Reports -  July 6

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin sailed from the NorfolkSouthern coal dock early Thursday, bound for Hamilton, Ont.

Buffalo, N.Y - Brian W.
Rebecca Lynn and barge A-397 came in Wednesday around 11:30 p.m. for Tonanwanda. They departed Thursday afternoon.

 

New marine safety standards force Toronto ferries to carry fewer people

7/6 - Toronto, Ont. – For more than 60 years, the mighty Thomas Rennie brimmed with life on sweltering summer weekends, shuttling tourists and city-weary residents to and from the Toronto Islands.

This year, however, new federal marine safety standards have forced the ferry and two of its aging sister boats to cross Toronto harbour with about half the number of passengers, transforming a once-idyllic getaway into an exercise in patience as people crowd the docks.

Transport Canada clamped down on the city’s ferry fleet earlier this year, forcing the three oldest boats — the William Inglis and Sam McBride, both built in the 1930s, and the Thomas Rennie, built in 1951 — to cut their passenger loads by up to 50 per cent in order to comply with current safety regulations, according to a source familiar with the situation.

The clampdown comes after the City of Toronto planned to spend $5 million starting in 2009 to retrofit the three ferries with new bulkheads and engines, according to city budget documents.

Prior to the upgrades, the ferries were protected under a grandfather clause, a regulatory provision that exempts some older ships from current regulations and allows them to run on older standards, said Christopher Giaschi, president of the Canadian Maritime Law Association.

But under Transport Canada regulations, any aging vessel that receives a major capital investment, such as an engine replacement, loses its grandfathered status.

Earlier this year, the federal agency reportedly told the city the three aging ferries were considered “new” as a result of the upgrades and ordered them to comply with current international marine safety standards.

Though each city vessel must adapt differently to meet current safety standards, one of the major issues faced by all three is damage stability criteria — a boat’s ability to stay afloat and right itself and withstand a certain amount of damage.

In 2008, Transport Canada adopted new damage stability criteria for passenger vessels to meet international requirements. The criteria — based on a mathematical calculation that looks at boat weight and passenger weight, among other things — have changed significantly since the three ferries were constructed decades ago. For example, average passenger weight has been increased to 165 pounds to align with “current demographic trends.”

To meet current stability criteria, Toronto’s ferry operators have been forced to limit capacity aboard the boats.

The city has applied for an exemption from Transport Canada’s imposed regulations and seeks a return to the previous maximum capacities, said city spokesman Graham Mitchell. It argues, among other things, that the vessels operate in a sheltered harbour in favourable weather conditions and have a decades-long safety record. As well, they sustain no major wear and tear.

Transport Canada is reviewing the city’s application, said spokeswoman Kelly James, adding no decision has been made.

Toronto Star

 

Sault sees spike in summer tourist traffic

7/6 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – If the streets seem a little more crowded, the restaurants and bars a little busier, and its harder to find a vacancy sign on area motels, you’re not imagining it.

“For the last week and a half it’s been unbelievable,” said Executive Director Linda Hoath of the Sault Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Hard numbers were difficult to come by at this point, but Hoath backed her assessment with one solid figure – the Engineer’s Day tally compiled at the Soo Locks. In 2011 there were 5,362 people in attendance, while the 2012 version saw nearly 11,000 people getting up close and personal with the Great Lakes shipping fleet.

“I attribute it to marketing,” said Hoath. “This is the first time we have had the money to do the Detroit area.”

A special assessment, which won overwhelming approval, increased Hoath’s war chest from $150,000 per year to $480,000 and she believes it is paying big dividends. With various radio ads in the Detroit area and some paper marketing, she has continued to build on the success of the Pure Michigan campaign.

“We sponsor traffic in the morning,” said Hoath, explaining that while Detroit commuters are stuck in traffic jams, the advertisements are telling those folks what our traffic jams are like.

And it appears to be working.

“In the 10 years I’ve been here (with the convention and visitors bureau) this is the most positive summer I have seen,” said Hoath.

Noting there are many other events that will continue to draw people to Sault Ste. Marie — including the upcoming American Legion Bike Rally in mid-July and August’s Sault Ships and Sailabration followed by another big walleye tournament — Hoath sees no sign of the traffic slowing down.

“It’s going to be a great summer,” she concluded.

Sault Ste. Marie Evening News

 

Great Lakes Towing, shipyard, win economic development award

7/6 - Cleveland, Ohio – Coincident with the celebration of its 114th anniversary as a Cleveland-based business, The Great Lakes Towing Company and its shipyard were awarded the 2012 Team NEO Economic Development Plus Award for Asset Creation in recognition of their achievements with their $11 million multiphase Shipyard Expansion Project.

Team NEO (Northeast Ohio) is the regional office in Northeast Ohio for the state's JobsOhio business development program and stimulates job growth and economic development in the region. Team NEO offers marketing materials and tools to Northeast Ohio economic development organizations, communities, and businesses to increase regional opportunities. The annual event was sponsored by PNC, Humana, First Merit Bank, Timken, Sherwin Williams, Squire Sanders, Huntington, Lorain County Community College, Roetzel & Andress, First Energy, and many other businesses, community organizations, and educational institutions.

The Shipyard Expansion Project is a four-phase project, of which phases I through III have been completed at a total cost to date of $11.345 million. The Expansion Project has included land acquisition, environmental remediation, installation of bulkheading and a concrete reinforced slip, ground stabilization, construction of a new headquarters building and state-of-the-art indoor shipyard facility, installation of a 770-ton Travelift (the third largest in the world), and construction of a 68 foot-high temporary Shipyard facility. So far, the Expansion Project has increased company revenue by 54%, increased its workforce from 37 to 101 employees (a 273% increase), and raised the average payroll by 141%.

For more information on the Company, visit their website at www.thegreatlakesgroup.com

 

Sturgeon Bay exhibit explores War Of 1812

7/6 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – A new exhibit exploring the War of 1812 opened this week at the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay. The War of 1812 is perhaps one of the nation’s least understood conflicts. Wedged between the Revolution and the Civil War its causes, battles and consequences are familiar to few Americans.

Two hundred years ago, a small coastal nation, experiencing the growing pains of its recent independence, found itself at war with its former colonial master—the most powerful nation in the world. The United States, independent for less than 30 years, went to war with Great Britain again in 1812 to preserve its economy, its way of life and its independence. This new exhibit highlights the essential roll the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard played in America’s surprising victory in this sometimes forgotten war.

The Maritime Museum is also extending its popular “Titanic’s Wake” exhibit through November. This exhibit explores the facts and circumstances surrounding that awful night in April a century ago and the lasting impact that Titanic’s demise continues to have on the maritime world. The highlight of the exhibit is an impressive 9-foot long model of this magnificent “unsinkable” luxury liner.

The Door County Maritime Museum is located at 120 N. Madison Ave. between the downtown bridges on Sturgeon Bay’s historic waterfront. The museum is open from 9-5 daily. Admission is $12.50 for adults; $9 for youth ages 5-17. Children 4 and under are free. Admission includes the new feature exhibit “Pirates – Ship to Shore” as well as guided tours of the immaculately restored historic tugboat John Purves.

 

Boatnerd cruise August 4

Detroit River/River Rouge Boatnerd Cruise On Saturday, August 4, we will repeat the popular Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise aboard the Friendship, with Captain Sam Buchanan. This year’s cruise will be four hours and will go up the Detroit River, and hopefully into the Rouge River. Pizza will be delivered by the J. W. Westcott mail boat. Reservations are a must as we are limiting the group to 100 persons. See the Gathering Page for details.

 

Updates -  July 6

News Photo Gallery

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  July 6

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.

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 crewmembers perished. 1893 ROSEDALE, upbound and light, ran aground off Knife River, Lake Superior, in dense fog and was almost on dry land. The vessel was released July 10 and went to Superior for repairs. It combined Great Lakes and ocean service until sunk in the Bristol Channel, via collision, on April 8, 1919.

1941 RAPIDS PRINCE, enroute from Prescott to Montreal, went aground in an awkward position in the Lachine Rapids and was stuck for 2 months. The 218 passengers were removed in motorboats.

1965 LAKE TRAVERSE, built at Duluth in 1918, sank off Tortuga Island, in the Caribbean after hull plates are sprung.

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

 

Port Reports -  July 5

St. Marys River
July 4 was a busy holiday on the St. Marys River. Algolake, Burns Harbor and John B. Aird were upbound in the morning, with Robert S. Pierson, Frontenac and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. up later in the day. Downbound traffic included Stewart J. Cort, James R. Barker, Hon. James L. Oberstar, Edgar B. Speer and American Courage. Essar Steel had a full house, with Saginaw, McKee Sons and Michipicoten unloading, and the Pierson anchored waiting for dock space. The passenger ship Yorktown was also downbound in the evening.

Alpena, Mich.
The Alpena arrived Lafarge Alpena at about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday to load for Toledo and Detroit.

South Chicago - Dan F.
The St. Marys Challenger came in overnight and departed her dock in mid-afternoon. The high temperature of 102 in Chicago played havoc with the bridges at 100th Street and 92nd Street, and both had to have a hose down by the Chicago Fire Department in order to open. The city finally managed to get the 92nd Street bridge open at about 5:45 p.m. and the Challenger slipped under and out into the lake just before 6 p.m.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin spent July 4 at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock in Sandusky. She remained at the dock Wednesday night.

 

Hyde Marine supplies Great Lakes’ first ballast water treatment system

7/5 - Hyde Marine, Inc. has supplied the first ballast water treatment system on a dedicated Great Lakes vessel. The Hyde Guardian has been installed on the Ranger III, a 128-passenger ferry providing service to Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. Built in 1958, the 165-foot long Ranger III is the largest piece of moving equipment owned and operated by the National Park Service.

NPS is currently exempt from having to install a ballast treatment system on this vessel because it operates in one captain-of-the-port zone under USCG rules and has the freshwater fleet exemption from the EPA. The NPS conducted a review of available type approved treatment systems and voluntarily installed the Hyde Guardian to meet multiple objectives, including:

• Protection of park waters from accidental aquatic invasive species transfers during ballast discharges from the Ranger III
• Prevention of zebra mussel introduction via the Ranger III from park waters to the Houghton Shipping canal where none are currently detected
• Producing a report on IMO ballast technologies available for small ships
• Support of research and testing to enhance the ability for small ships to implement BWT and provide a test platform for compliance test development

According to Phyllis Green, superintendent, this milestone in Great Lakes protection is a result of support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). Ongoing support from the GRLI is expected to help NPS and other agencies continue to find treatment solutions for the larger ships of the Great Lakes freshwater fleet.

Treatment system selection was based on IMO type approval, ability to operate in the fresh water and cold conditions of Lake Superior, as well as a number of technical and ship specific details. UV based treatment was found most suitable because the short route between the mainland and the Park would provide insufficient treatment holding time for many biocides. The Hyde Guardian System was successfully installed with minimal disruption to the ship’s schedule and without having to dry-dock.

The chemical-free Hyde Guardian is comprised of automatic backwashing depth filtration and powerful UV disinfection. The filter and UV are used during ballasting, and the water receives a second dose of UV prior to discharge. The Hyde Guardian system offers a compact, modular design with low power consumption, low-pressure drop, and simple, fully automatic operation, making it a technically attractive solution for any type and size of vessel.

Hyde Guardian received IMO Type Approval in April 2009 and was the first BWT System accepted into the U.S. Coast Guard’s Shipboard Technology Evaluation Program (STEP). Calgon Carbon’s UV Technology Division and Hyde Marine received ISO 9001:2008 accreditation from the registrar Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and the ANAB National Accreditation Board in 2010.

Hyde Marine joined the Isle Royale National Park and the Great Lakes shipping community in a ceremony on June 28, 2012, at the Isle Royale National Park Headquarters in Houghton, Michigan, to dedicate the installation of the Hyde Guardian unit.

Maritime Executive

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  July 5

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 East Saginaw. In 1858, her rig was changed to that of a 2-masted schooner. She lasted until abandoned at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, in 1928.

1940 MAGOG, part of convoy HX-52, was hit by gunfire from U-99, torpedoed and sank stern first. The crew was eventually rescued by the Finnish freighter FIDRA. There are conflicting dates for this event but many sources agree on this date for the loss of the former C.S.L. canaller.

1969 The crew of the W.F. WHITE rescued eight from a foundering pleasure boat off Southeast Shoal, Lake Erie.

1973 The British freighter TRELEVAN visited the Seaway in 1961. It caught fire while pumping oil bilge in the engineroom at Halifax as d) BAFFIN BAY and was a total loss. The ship was sold for scrap to Marine Salvage of Port Colborne but resold to Spanish shipbreakers and arrived at Valencia, Spain, under tow for dismantling, on October 4, 1973.

1975 The T-2 tanker NASSAU CAY, formerly the IMPERIAL TORONTO, visited the Seaway in 1960. It was converted to a dry bulk carrier in 1961 and was abandoned by the crew, in sinking condition, as f) NICHOLAS C. some 200 miles off Beira, Somalia, and was not seen again. The ship was enroute from Sorel to Basrah, Iraq, when it ran out of fresh boiler water and had been drifting.

1979 The Swedish freighter MONICA SMITH was built in 1952 and came to the Great Lakes that year. It returned on a regular basis through 1966 and again, as b) MONICA S. in 1967. It sank in the Mediterranean soon after leaving Cartagena, Spain, for Port Said, Egypt, as c) MESSINA II.

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

 

Port Reports -  July 4

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived Tuesday afternoon at the Upper Harbor and loaded ore into the night.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Manistee loaded Tuesday at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock in Sandusky Bay. She sailed for Green Bay Tuesday evening. The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was warped alongside the coal dock several hours later and began loading. On the Marblehead Peninsula, the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann occupied the Lafarge stone dock most of the day, with the Calumet moving alongside upon departure of the Interlake duo.

 

Storm caused significant damage to Superior's largest port terminal

7/4 - Superior, Wis. - Superiors largest port terminal suffered significant damage during recent floods as the result of water damage.

Midwest Energy Resources Co. (MERC) receives its coal shipments via rail, and the cars unload onto conveyor belts that run underground, according to Adele Yorde, spokeswoman for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. That electrical infrastructure was submerged by the massive inflow of storm water.

“We were decimated by the amount of water that came in. We are six inches above lake level, and the water just overcame us,” said MERC President Fred Shusterich.

MERC had to cut power, then dry its electrical equipment. On the administrative side, the first floor of the company's office was covered by three feet of water, dousing computers, meters and diagnostic equipment.

“We had great response from all the area vendors,” Shusterich said. “We’ve brought trailers in to serve as auxiliary offices, showers and to provide lockers our first responsibility is to take care of our employees. These things happen, and hopefully it was a 100-year flood.”

The MERC terminal, which is owned by Detroit Energy, was expected to resume unloading trains late last week. It will resume loading coal into bulk cargo vessels sometime between July 4 and July 6. MERC has shipped small amounts of coal via truck.

Railroads that serve other Twin Ports terminals suffered track damage, forcing some cargo to be temporarily moved by truck, including limestone used at Iron Range taconite pellet plants. “I don’t think they missed a beat in the mining industry, but they kept a lot of trucks busy,” Yorde said.

Vessels that were scheduled to haul MERC coal were rerouted to handle other cargoes, she said. Shusterich anticipates the terminal will recover its business later in the year and remains on track to transship 15 million tons of coal this season.

Business North

 

New series “Great Lake Warriors” headed to History Channel

7/4 - A new show, “Great Lake Warriors,” is set to premiere on July 19 on the History Channel. The program will follow captains and other tugboat operators as they chug around Lake Superior and Lake Michigan in the months nearing winter. The premiere of the eight-part series airs on History July 19 at 10 p.m. ET.

 

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.

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 and COL. JAMES M. SCHOONMAKER in 2011.

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 scrapped 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 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. 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 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 that year.

1959 The tug GRAND BANK, pushing a barge, sank in Lock 4 of the Welland Canal and the Captain was lost. The vessel, built at New Orleans in 1940 as SST-123, was salvaged and, as of 1997, was operating out of Delta, BC.

1973 The Liberian flag bulk carrier FLORENCE, built as a T-2 tanker and converted in 1962, visited the Great Lakes in June 1973. The ship was outbound when it collided, in fog, with the tanker ST. SPYRIDON, inbound from Venezuela with 32,500 tons of Bunker C oil, off Les Escoumins, QC. Both ships were damaged. All on board were rescued and the two vessels were ultimately repaired. FLORENCE was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in 1977 and ST. SPYRIDON at Vigo, Spain, as f) GLOBE MARITIMA in 1982.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.

 

Annual report: Seaway gained $3.6 million in new businesses in 2011

7/3 - The St. Lawrence Seaway gained $3.6 million in new business last year, a “good, solid performance given economic headwinds,” according to officials.

In the Seaway’s annual report, Terence F. Bowles, president of the Canadian Seaway Management Corp., said the combined volume of cargo that crossed the “marine highway” in 2011 totaled 37.5 million tons — an increase of 2.7 percent, or a million tons, over the 2010 navigation season. The total number of vessel transits increased by 7.7 percent, to 4,227 trips.

“Total revenues increased to $68.2 million, while operating expenses amounted to $73.6 million,” Mr. Bowles said in the report. “We have not covered our operating expenses since the ‘great recession’ of 2009, which heavily impacted our iron ore and steel cargo volumes, but we are making good progress in rebuilding our business.”

Shipment has increased in part because of new and emerging export markets for iron ore and coal and trade of petroleum products.

In its annual report, the Seaway mentions the “minor pollution incident” that occurred on Oct. 24, when the 130-foot tugboat Commodore Straits, traveling with two barges, ran aground on Comfort Shoal, near Keewaydin State Park. The Seaway said approximately eight or nine gallons of steering pump oil leaked into the river.

The Seaway estimates that the shipping channel helped create $34.6 billion in economic activity for the surrounding region and generated $14.5 billion in wages through the 227,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs it supports.

Federal, state and provincial and local governments additionally collected $4.7 billion in taxes through shipping activity, it said.

Watertown Daily Times

 

Port Reports -  July 3

St. Marys River
After spending more than a day anchored in Waiska Bay, Algowood departed for the Soo, with the tug Missouri attending, Monday evening and tied up at the Soo Locks west approach for inspection. Unspecified mechanical trouble was believed to be the cause of her delay. Algowood continued her downbownd trip around 10 p.m. Elsewhere in the Soo, the Mackinac Island ferry Chippewa is in the MCM Marine drydock and the tug Gregory J. Busch remains tucked in a slip at the old Carbide Dock.

Cedarville & Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Saginaw arrived early on July 1 to load limestone at Cedarville. Two other vessels followed – American Mariner and Joseph L. Block. Manitowoc was due to arrive in the early on Monday. Rounding out the Cedarville list is the Philip R. Clarke, due to arrive late on Tuesday. For Port Inland, Manitowoc and Cuyahoga are due in early Wednesday, and the barge James L. Kuber is due to arrive the same day.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
The Lewis J. Kuber loaded at Stoneport and departed late on Sunday. Joseph H. Thompson loaded limestone at Stoneport Monday. The next vessel scheduled to load at Stoneport, Algorail, is due on Tuesday. For Independence Day, both St. Clair and John G. Munson are slated for morning arrivals, and on Thursday, Joseph H. Thompson and Pathfinder are scheduled to load.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algosoo loaded into the evening Monday at Sandusky's NorfolkSouthern coal dock. She was due to sail for Hamilton. Waiting to load was the Robert S. Pierson. On the nearby Marblehead Peninsula, the Frontenac continued loading at the Lafarge stone dock as darkness fell.

 

Lake Superior water level up in June

7/3 - A lot of rain across the Lake Superior watershed pushed the lake up 5 inches in June, more than double the usual 2-inch rise for the month. The International Lake Superior Board of Control reports the lake now sits 9 inches below its long-term average but 2 inches above the July 1 level for 2011. Many areas saw large rainfall totals for the month, including 10 inches in Duluth.

Meanwhile, a drier month for the Lakes Michigan and Huron watersheds saw the lakes go up only a half-inch in June, a month when they usually rise 2 inches. Huron and Michigan now sit 19 inches below normal for July 1 and 8 inches below last year’s level at this time.

Duluth News Tribune

 

2012 list of new Seaway saltie passages

7/3 - As of July 1 there were 44 saltwater vessels passing through the Eisenhower Lock in Massena, New York, that were either first-time visitors or their first visits under a new name. They are Alamosborg, Apollogracht, Arneborg, Arubaborg, Atlantic Steamer, Atlanticborg, BBC Hawaii, Catherine Scan, Charlotte Theresa, Clipper Aki, Clipper Gemini, Colorado Star, Ebroborg, Elevit, Elisalex Schulte, Fairchem Steed, Flintersun, Harbour Kira, Harbour Leader, Harbour Legend, Harbour Loyalty, HHL Amazon, HHL Congo, Hr Resolution, Marietje Deborah, Marietje Marsilla, Marselisborg (renamed Clipper Anne on May 26), Maersk Illinois, Mehmet A, Miramis, MSM Douro, Muntgracht, Nordisle, North Contender, Purple Gem, Sapphire, Shamrock Jupiter, Sichem Contester, Sichem Dubai, Sichem Hiroshima, Sichem Hong Kong, Sloman Dispatcher, Stella Polaris and Vitosha.

Denny Dushane and Matt Miner

 

Celebrate Lake Superior Days July 12-15

7/3 - Duluth, Minn. – The Lake Superior Marine Museum Association joining with Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, will take part in the regional celebration of Lake Superior Days on Thursday, July 12 through Sunday, July 15. A variety of interactive exhibits, presentations and free history pier walking tours (weather permitting) will be featured from 10 a.m, to 4 p.m. daily.

Exhibits with experts from Lake Superior Magazine, MN DNR, MN Environmental Partnership, MN Lake Superior Coastal Program, MN Pollution Control Agency, MN Sea Grant, Save Lake Superior Association and St. Louis River Alliance will be available at the Visitor Center. Presentations from US Army Corps of Engineers, Duluth Seaway Port Authority, MN Environmental Partnership, MN Sea Grant, as well as hikers and authors Mike Link and Kate Crowley will be held Thursday through Sunday in the Visitor Centers lower level lecture hall. (Specific presentation times found at www.lsmma.com.)

 

Updates -  July 3

News Photo Gallery

 

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 ALGOMA 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 completed 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.

1964 The A. & J. FAITH, idle at Cleveland and under arrest, was struck by the MIKAGESAN MARU when the latter was caught by a wind gust. The former sustained $5,000 in damage. This ship was sold and renamed c) SANTA SOFIA at Cleveland in August 1964. It arrived for scrapping at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, as d) COSMOS MARINER in August 1970. The latter, a Japanese freighter that made 6 trips to the Great Lakes from 1962 to 1966, was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, as b) UNION SINGAPORE in 1979.

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

 

Port Reports -  July 2

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Lakes Contender and Michipicoten loaded ore Sunday morning at the Upper Harbor. Lee A. Tregurtha arrived and went to anchor.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
The tug Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland Rocks backed in about 8 a.m. Sunday with a load for Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg. This was its first visit following an aborted attempt earlier in the season.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
The 1,000 footer American Spirit arrived in Calcite on its first-ever visit during the Saturday evening. She loaded overnight and was due to depart Calcite at about noon on Sunday. Also due to load at Calcite is the John J. Boland on Monday for both the north and south docks. For Tuesday, the H. Lee White is due arrive for the north dock. On Wednesday the barge Pathfinder is due to arrive at Calcite to load at the north dock. The American Spirit is scheduled to return to Calcite at about suppertime on Wednesday to load at the south dock. Rounding out the Calcite boat lineup will be three vessels due to load on Thursday – Calumet very early in the morning for the north dock, the McKee Sons for the north and south docks, also in the early morning, and American Mariner early afternoon Thursday for the north dock.

Marblehead and Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder loaded Sunday at Marblehead. The Manistee, which also loaded on Saturday at the Lafarge stone dock on the Peninsula, replaced the Interlake fleet duo Sunday evening, and next due at the dock was the Frontenac She was anchored and waiting in Lake Erie's South Passage. At Sandusky, the Algosoo was loading at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock.

St. Clair, Mich. - Denny Dushane
As of July 1 the total number of coal shipments to the St. Clair Power Plant for the 2012-13 Great Lakes shipping season totaled 49. Of the 49 shipments of coal by vessel, there were 18 shipments or "split" cargoes delivered to the Monroe Power Plant and another 4 shipments, or "split" loads, delivered to the Consumers Energy Dock in Essexville, Mich. Leading the way as usual with the most visits to the St. Clair Power Plant was the Paul R. Tregurtha with 15 shipments and of that total, 6 loads were "split" loads to the Monroe Power Plant. Following the Tregurtha was the American Integrity with 11 shipments and 5 "split" loads with 4 to Monroe and 1 to Essexville. The American Century followed the Integrity with 9 shipments and 3 split loads with 1 to Monroe and also 3 to Essexville. Next was the James R. Barker with 5 shipments to St. Clair and 2 split loads for Monroe. The Mesabi Miner was next with 4 shipments and 2 split loads for Monroe. Following the Miner was the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. with 4 shipments and 2 split loads for the Monroe Power Plant. The Indiana Harbor rounds out the list with only one visit and it was also a split load for the Monroe Power Plant. Absent from the list was the St. Clair, which has not made any coal deliveries to the St. Clair Power Plant since 2010, and the American Spirit, which made one trip to the power plant in 2011. The Mesabi Miner was the first vessel for the 2012 season to deliver coal for the St. Clair Power Plant and she followed her fleetmate Paul R. Tregurtha which delivered the first shipment in 2011 and also the James R. Barker which delivered the first load of coal to the St. Clair Power Plant in 2010. The St. Clair Power Plant has not received any coal shipments by vessel since June 20 when the Tregurtha delivered the last coal cargo there.

Courtright, Ont. - Denny Dushane
As of July 1 there has only been one shipment of coal delivered by vessel to the Ontario Power Generation's Lambton Generating Station, made on June 12 by the Algoma Olympic. In 2011 the total number of coal deliveries by ship totaled only eight shipments. Algolake was the first ship to deliver to the Lambton Generating Station during the 2011 season. Of the one lone shipment of coal in 2012 and the eight shipments in 2011, this number has dropped considerably through the years as Canadian power plants and facilities are trying to find alternatives was to operate. The Canadian government is wants all coal-fired power plants to either shut down or switched to natural gas or other alternative fuels by the end of 2014.

 

Updates -  July 2

News Photo Gallery
 

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  July 2

In 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 p.m. when the vessel moved about 100 feet but still was not launched. The tug VULCAN arrived at 8 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 p.m. a second effort only moved the barge about four 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.

1990 ­ CUNARD CAVALIER first visited the Great Lakes in 1978 and returned later that year as b) OLYMPIC HARMONY. The ship went aground off Port Muhammad Bin Asimov, Pakistan, on this date in 1990 as d) VILLA while en route to West Africa. It was abandoned July 13. The hull was refloated November 30, 1990, and arrived at Singapore, under tow, on May 16, 1991. The ship was declared a total loss and reached Alang, India, for scrapping on February 2, 1992.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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

St. Marys River
Saturday’s downbound traffic included the Hon. James L. Oberstar, Algoma Guardian, Burns Harbor, Marieje Deborah and Alamosborg. Passing up were Lakes Contender, Cedarglen, Edgar B. Speer, Lee A. Tregurtha and Stewart J. Cort.

Chicago, Ill.
The training Ship Manatra departed Chicago on her first summer cruise on Saturday. Her ports of call will include Grand Haven and Muskegon, Mich., and Manitowoc, Wis. She is manned by 12 young adults from across the country as well as a professional crew. The young adults are members of the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps. While underway, the cadets stand bridge, engine room and deck watches. Manatra is a not for profit organization founded at the end of World War II. Members of the organization maintain and operate the vessel throughout the sailing season.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Cuyahoga finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed Saturday afternoon. The salt water vessels Federal Hunter and Apollon were at the Midwest Overseas Dock.
Calumet arrived several days ago to unload salt near the A.R.M.S. Dock just north of the Craig Bridge. When finished she proceeded out to western Lake Erie to clean out her cargo holds. When this was done the Calumet headed back to Toledo bound for the Andersons K Elevator to load grain. When finished loading grain she headed outbound Maumee River late Friday evening and turned around in Maumee Bay and headed upbound Maumee River bound for the Kraft Foods Elevator to unload the grain cargo. She was still at the Kraft Foods Elevator unloading grain Saturday evening. Usually the Kraft Foods Elevator recieves their grain cargoes from Canada.
The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the McKee Sons on Monday, Algoma Progress on Wednesday, John J. Boland on Thursday followed by the Algoma Progress on Saturday.
Due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the John J. Boland on Sunday. The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and the Lakes Contender on Tuesday. Salarium has a tentative eta for the Torco Dock on Saturday 7 July. The next scheduled stone boats due into the Midwest Dock will be the Algosteel on Wednesday followed by the Algomarine on Saturday.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Herbert C. Jackson was under the coal loader Friday night at Sandusky’s NorfolkSouthern dock, less than 24 hours after loading and sailing for Detroit. She was expected to depart for Detroit again Saturday morning. At the Lafarge stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula, the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were also loading Friday night.

Kingsville, Ont. - Jim Spencer
Cuyahoga was discharging cargo Friday night at Kingsville, one of the smaller Canadian ports on Lake Erie's north shore.

Rochester, N.Y. - Tom Brewer
The tug Evans McKeil with the barge Metis arrived at Rochester Saturday afternoon and went up the river to Essroc's dock with a load of bulk cement from Picton, Ontario.

 

Updates -  July 1

News Photo Gallery
 

 

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.

In 1876, a 25-square-mile ice field was still floating at the head of Lake Superior in northwest Wisconsin.

1918 The wooden steam barge CREAM CITY stranded on Wheeler Reef in upper Lake Huron due to fog while towing the barge GRACE HOLLAND. All were rescued but the ship was abandoned. The hull caught fire and was destroyed in 1925.

1939 ALGOSOO (i) arrived at Collingwood for hull repairs after hitting bottom, in fog, near Cape Smith, Georgian Bay.

1964 WHITEFISH BAY went aground off in the St. Lawrence off Whisky Island while bound for Montreal with a cargo of grain. Six tugs pulled the ship free on July 3.

1975 VALETTA first came to the Great Lakes in 1962 and returned as c) ORIENT EXPORTER in 1966 and d) IONIC in 1972. The leaking ship was beached at Cheddar, Saudi Arabia, with hull cracks. It slipped off the reef July 11, 1975, and sank.

1972 H.M.C.S. COBOURG was built at Midland as a World War Two corvette and rebuilt as a merchant ship about 1947. It caught fire and burned as d) PUERTO DEL SOL at New Orleans while undergoing repairs and the upper works were gutted. The ship was sold for scrapping at Brownsville, TX, later in the year.

1980 The Swedish flag freighter MALTESHOLM first came through the Seaway in 1963. It began leaking in the engine room as c) LITO on this date while bound from Kalamata, Greece, to Vietnam with bagged flour. It was abandoned by the crew and then sank in the eastern Mediterranean. The ship had been sold to Taiwan ship breakers and was likely bound for Kaohsiung after unloading in the Far East.

Data from: Skip GIllham, 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.

 



News Archive - August 1996 to present


Return to Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping

Comments, news, and suggestions to: moderator@boatnerd.net

Copyright Boatnerd.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Due to frequent updates, this page will automatically reload every half hour