Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

With freighter approaching, car crashes through Bay City bridge gate

7/31 - Bay City, Mich. Bay City, Mich. – After not making any deliveries along the Saginaw River in 2015, the tug Dorothy Ann and her barge, Pathfinder, have visited us a half dozen times this year. But her visit on Saturday, July 30, was greeted by a little bit of drama.

Before 11 a.m. Saturday, after the Dorothy Ann-Pathfinder made her way through Veterans Memorial Bridge, passing by Wenonah Park in downtown Bay City, a Liberty Bridge tender put down the bridge's gates to stop traffic before lifting the spans. A driver, however, who was heading onto the city's East Side, failed to see the gate and "went right through it," said Jan Bujarski, who was tending Liberty Bridge Saturday.

"It was closed and the next thing I know is that he drove right through it and was on the bridge grate," she said. "Then he got out of the car to check it out, so I had to run out and get him off the grate because we had a freighter coming."

Bujarski said she radioed to the freighter to slow down to ensure she had enough time to lift the bridge spans, which she ultimately did. She said the traffic gate is sagging, but still operates.

The Pathfinder is 606-feet in length, with a capacity of 21,260 tons, according to, which tracks Great Lakes vessel passages.

M Live


Skip Gillham remembered for marine passion

7/31 - St. Catharines, Ont. – The community is mourning the loss of a treasured local historian, marine enthusiast and retired educator. E.B. ‘Skip’ Gillham died Wednesday at the age of 75.

The seasoned Vineland author and longtime teacher at Beamsville District Secondary School is being remembered for his passion for education and sharing knowledge with others.

Gillham had a love of ships, the Great Lakes and the Welland Canal, writing about his favorite topic for a variety of publications over several decades. He wrote close to 60 books in addition to thousands of articles for newspapers, historical journals, newsletters and online websites.

His “Ships That Ply the Lakes” column has been running in the St. Catharines Standard since 1970. Gillham’s final submission was published earlier this month.

In the days since his father’s passing, Doug Gillham has been touched by the wide array of people who have shared stories of how the elder Gillham has had an impact on their lives. “People have been stopping me to say what a difference my dad made to them, how he changed their life or impacted them in a positive way. It’s inspiring, it’s encouraging,” he said, noting he strives to be even “half the person he was.”

“I hope he realized how much he was appreciated. I think he did. That’s just how he lived his life — it was never about him. It was always about others. He would be embarrassed by attention.”

Gillham taught high school for 33 years — 29 of them at BDSS — and worked as a guidance counselor and physical education teacher.

When he retired in 1997, he continued coaching cross-country and track for another decade. Doug said his father made many lasting connections with students, athletes and fellow faculty at the school. “He was a constant source of encouragement,” he said, “always encouraging people to pursue what they loved and were good at.”

Despite Gillham’s heavy community involvement, he always made family — including wife Carol and sons Doug and David — a priority. “I never questioned whether family was most important to my dad,” Doug said. “I watched him growing up give, give, give to the community, but never at the expense of his family.”

Gillham was also a respected member of a community of marine enthusiasts.

He was a regular contributor to Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Online, otherwise known as Tributes began pouring into the online information hub as news of Gillham’s death spread.

“I was lucky enough to have met him on a number of occasions during visits to the Welland Canal,” Roger LeLievre, representing BoatNerd, said. The Michigan man connected with Gillham over their shared passion and formed a friendship that grew over several years.

“He was a pretty unassuming guy. He was sort of out of the spotlight and preferred it that way,” LeLievre said. “Everybody from U.S. to Canada, overseas, knew Skip Gillham and really admired him. He was in the hobby for the pure love of the ships. He wasn’t in it to make money.”

LeLievre credited Gillham for keeping the history of Canadian shipping alive through his many books that detailed even the most obscure companies. “Those stories would have been lost to time if somebody like Skip hadn’t come along who had a passion for it. He made it his work to write them down.”

People respected the abundance of knowledge paired with endless enthusiasm that Gillham provided, LeLievre said. “He knew a lot of people and touched a lot of people’s lives in a positive way, including mine.”

In addition to passing along regular shipping news updates and writing features on ships used as breakwalls and drydocks, Gillham wrote a daily Lookback series for the BoatNerd website, accumulating about 900 articles in recent years.

“He was very proud of how many he had done continuously,” LeLievre said. “He really felt the responsibility to pass this information along and share it with others.”

A private burial is being planned for Vineland Cemetery. Details about a memorial service will be announced at a later date.

St. Catharines Standard


Port Reports -  July 31

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W
American Mariner was unloading at General Mills Saturday after arriving around 3 a.m. Michipicoten left Lackawanna around 4 a.m. westbound. Rebecca Lynn - A-397 departed Saturday around 5 a.m. westbound.


Museum to host nautical flea market and collectible show August 27

7/31 - Toledo, Ohio – On Saturday, August 27, the National Museum of the Great Lakes will hold its semi-annual Nautical Flea Market and Collectible Show at the museum, located at 1701 Front Street Toledo, Ohio.

“For the past several years, the museum has been reviewing its library collection for duplicates and non-essential material” according to Christopher Gillcrist, executive director. “Because this material is already represented in the collection, from time to time we sell this material in support of our mission.”

Gillcrist reported that the museum itself will have over 1,000 Great Lakes books, thousands of photographs and postcards and other collectibles such as passenger steamer schedules, freighter christening invitations, and thanksgiving/Christmas menus and numerous lithographic prints for sale.

The show will open to the public on August 27, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost of the admission to the flea market is included in the price of admission to the museum. Members of the museum are admitted free.

Vendors wishing to participate in the show should contact John McCarty at 419-214-5000 or email at Vendors fees are $25 for an outside table under a tent or $35 for a table inside the air-conditioned community room.

National Museum of the Great Lakes


Today in Great Lakes History -  July 31

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

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

Sea trials took place for the JAMES R. BARKER this day in 1976. She was to become Interlake's first 1000 footer and the flagship 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.

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


Updates -  July 31

News Photo Gallery


Inside the aging lock that is one breakdown away from crippling North America’s economy

7/30 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The dispatch tower above the Soo Locks on a fine July day offers a spectacular view, but there is little time to admire it. There are five telephones and five radios, and at 9 a.m. a radio squawks. “Go ahead, captain,” says Chris Albrough, lockmaster with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Can I have the upper and lower water levels?” asks someone who turns out to be captain of the Burns Harbor, owned by the American Steamship Co.

“Upper is plus 24 inches, lower is plus 31 inches,” Albrough replies, reading from one of five screens. Translation: the water in Lake Superior today is 24 inches above its mean level, whereas the St. Mary’s River is 31 inches above. He watches as the mammoth bulk carrier ship slips from the Poe Lock into Lake Superior.

Few people ever think about locks. But the two U.S.-owned ones here, the MacArthur Lock and the Poe Lock, are linchpins of the Canadian and U.S. economies. More than 4,000 passages of lake vessels each year haul treasure — especially iron ore and wheat — through the Poe, the only lock large enough to fit the big lakers.

In other words, the Poe is the only link from Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean beyond, and it’s living on borrowed time. In two years, the Poe turns 50, and, with Congress reluctant to fund a new lock, concerns are growing about its reliability. The lock broke earlier this week, blowing an O ring on a hydraulic line that feeds the gate activator. Luckily, mechanics fixed it in 45 minutes.

It was not a moment too soon. The North American economy needs this lock. The iron ore that passes through here each year becomes more than US$500 billion worth of cars, trucks, fridges, bridges and other things made of steel. A bigger failure would spell catastrophe and it’s an increasing probability.

Read more, and view photos at this link


Port Reports -  July 30

Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Federal Schelde has sailed – destination listed as Port Colborne. Federal Asahi took her place at the Nidera elevator.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The Rebecca Lynn - A-397 should be departing around 5 a.m. on July 30. Calusa Coast is headed for Hamilton, not Tonawanda. Michipicoten arrived around 5:15 p.m. Friday. This is her first trip back to the port since she was the Elton Hoyt II in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s.


‘Draken’ will make it to Green Bay’s Tall Ships Festival

7/30 - Green Bay, Wis. – The largest Viking ship built in modern times will set sail for Green Bay after all. Thanks to a fundraising effort, the Draken is able to come to the Tall Ships Festival on downtown Green Bay’s riverfront.

The Norwegian Viking ship has been traveling the Great Lakes, but there was concern the crew couldn’t afford to come to Green Bay after finding out they would need a special pilot to navigate the Great Lakes — an unexpected expense.

But the captain says the Draken will be here when the festival starts next Friday, August 5, at Leicht Memorial Park. The Tall Ships Festival then runs through the weekend.



Historic Marquette lighthouse celebrating 150 years

7/30 - Marquette, Mich. – The Marquette Harbor Light is turning 150, and the Marquette Maritime Museum, which maintains and controls the lighthouse, is throwing it a birthday celebration.

On Saturday, July 30, the museum is hosting an event that will include food, music, raffle prizes, and memorabilia auctions. You can also go into and tour the lighthouse for free from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The museum will be open as well, though admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children. The event is all-ages, and there is plenty of fun for the kids.

"We do have what's called our Maritime-asaurus, which is a great little arts and crafts area for them, plus we do have a couple of scavenger hunts for them," said Ryan Dubay of the Marquette Maritime Museum.

The museum will also be selling a commemorative limited edition photograph of the lighthouse as a souvenir at the event. They expect 600 to 700 people to attend the party.



Obituary: Skip Gillham

7/30 - (Editor’s Note: Please see the News Page for July 29 for more details on Skip’s life.)

E.B. “Skip” Gillham passed away on July 27, 2016 at the age of 75. He felt his life had been blessed by his wife Carol, sons David (Betty), Doug (Heather) and grandchildren Sammi, Abby, Riley, Enoch and Tessa. He is survived by step-brothers Nick (Betty) and Digby (Valerie) Sale and step-sister Joanna (Juhan) Lille. Born in Toronto, Skip taught high school in Waterford and Beamsville for 33 years and continued to coach for another 10 years after retiring in 1997. He enjoyed his work as Guidance Counselor and P.E. teacher and developed life long friendships with many of his former students and athletes. Skip sought to live out his Christian faith and served in various capacities in his church, on the Board of the Welland Canal Mission, at Pioneer Camp and Cedar Campus. He wrote numerous books, thousands of articles for a variety of newspapers, historical journals, corporate newsletters and online websites, but perhaps is best known for his “Ships That Ply The Lakes” column in the St. Catharines Standard from 1970 until 2016. Donations in Skip's memory may be made to Ontario Pioneer Camp, Cedar Campus or the Welland Canal Mission. There will be a private burial at Vineland Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

St. Catharines Standard


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 the BoatNerd 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.



Obituary: Historian, author Skip Gillham

7/29 - E.B. “Skip” Gillham, a retired educator and prolific author of more than 60 books about the ships and shipping companies of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, died July 28 after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.

He was a frequent contributor to the BoatNerd site with news items, as well as the ongoing “Lookback” series, which numbered nearly 900. His last entry was in April this year.

Skip Gillham was born in Toronto, Ont., in 1941 and developed an interest in the history of the Great Lakes region early in his life. His interest in research and education led to his careers in teaching and Great Lakes scholarship. Degrees in History from the University of Toronto and Physical Education from McMaster University prepared Gillham for a 33-year career in teaching and guidance counseling at the Beamsville District Secondary School in Beamsville, Ont.

In 1963, Skip signed on as an oiler on the tanker Lubrolake, an experience he wrote about in his book “Summer of ’63 Memories: Working on the Lubrolake.”

In addition to teaching and guidance work, he was a frequent contributor of articles on Great Lakes history to the publications Telescope, Seaports and Shipping World and numerous other periodicals. He was author of the "Niagara to the Sea" news column in the Steamship Historical Society of America's “Steamboat Bill” magazine for many years. Since 1970, his series "Ships that Ply the Lakes" has appeared weekly in the St. Catharines, Ont., Standard and, since 1973, in the Port Huron, Mich., Times Herald.

He was honored in 1994 with the Marine Historical Society of Detroit’s annual Historian of the Year Award, and was a frequent contributor to publication “The Detroit Marine Historian.” He served many years as the president of the Welland Canal Mission to Sailors.

He was also known for authoring, co-authoring and illustrating with photos from his collection many books detailing the histories of many vessel operators that might otherwise have fallen into obscurity.

His early writing included the books “Ships along the Seaway” Vols. 1 (1971) and 2 (1975), “The Best of Ships along the Seaway” (1981), “The Welland Canal Mission” (1981), “Ten Tales of the Great Lakes” (1983), “The Ships of Collingwood” (1992) and “Seaway Era Shipwrecks” (1994).

Later books were “Upper Lakes Shipping: 75 Years of Service,” “The Postwar ships of Canada Steamship Lines,” “The Ships of the Algoma Central Corporation,” “The Ships of the Misener Fleet,” “The Fjell Line: Great Lakes Pioneers,” “The Keystone Fleet,” “Liberties on the Lakes,” “Canadian Liberties on the Lakes,” “Imperial Oil Tankers of the Great Lakes,” “Canadian Fleets Along the Seaway” and “The Changing Seaway” (both with Alfred F. Sagon-King), “Pulp & Paper Fleet: A History of the Quebec and Ontario Transportation Company” (with Al Sykes), “The Carryore, Nipigon and Labrador Fleets” and “The Ships of the Paterson Fleet” (both with Gene Onchulenko), “The Kinsman Lines" (with Dick Wicklund) and more.

He is survived by his wife, Carol, and two sons, David and Douglas. Arrangements are pending.


Port Reports -  July 29

St. Marys River
Edgar B. Speer, which had been anchored in Waiska Bay for possible mechanical issues, resumed her trip downbound Thursday evening. The passenger vessel Pearl Mist was tied up on the Canadian side of the river Thursday. Saginaw was downbound in the late afternoon and, as night fell, John D. Leitch was approaching DeTour upbound.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Grande Mariner arrived around 6:30 a.m. Thursday, according to AIS, mooring near Discovery World. Prentiss Brown and barge (visiting St, Marys Cement in the KK River) plus Samuel de Champlain and barge (at Lafarge) both made short stays in the last couple of days. Federal Asahi has returned to port and is at anchor in Milwaukee Bay. Tug Minnesota has moved from her berth across the harbor close to the Federal Schelde.


Twin Ports navy cadets seeking funds to buy Coast Guard cutter Achushnet

7/29 - Duluth, Minn. – A one-time "Queen of the Fleet" for the U.S. Coast Guard may find a permanent home in the Twin Ports, if a local fundraising effort is successful.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Acushnet was the last remaining World War II-era ship in active duty when it was decommissioned in 2011. The U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps' Twin Ports Division has launched an effort to raise the $250,000 needed to purchase the cutter and bring it to the Duluth-Superior harbor from its current home in Anacortes, Wash.

The Acushnet would serve as a permanent training vessel for Navy Cadets, but it has the potential to be a point of interest for residents and tourists, a scientific research vessel for universities, an assistance vessel for rescues and large events, and a training vessel for the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, said Ltjg. Davan Scott, commanding officer of the Twin Ports Division.

"(The Acushnet) has quite a storied history behind it. Duluth, being that it's the world's largest freshwater harbor, it makes sense to have something like this in the Twin Ports," Scott said.

The Acushnet began its service as the USS Shackle in the U.S. Navy in 1943, when one of its first missions was to help clear the channels of debris left by the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It became the Acushnet in the U.S. Coast Guard beginning in 1946. Its service included rescuing 18 crewmembers on one of two ships broken in half during the 1952 New England storm that found notoriety in the film, "The Finest Hours."

The Acushnet was created to meet the challenges of World War II, at a time when U.S. citizens were coming together rather than dividing, said Steven Lindsey of Keene, N.H., a former Coast Guardsman with an interest in maritime preservation.

"This was our country at its best, I think," Lindsey said. "This ship comes from a time when everyone pulled together and we were one as a people as we ever were. That ship was one of the products of that time. I think it would be cool for the veterans, if we could keep this reminder around for them."

The training and skills learned in the Navy Cadets is "the real deal," Scott said.

With units in 47 states and more than 12,000 members, the Navy Cadets provides training for teenagers between 13 and 18 years old using the Navy's curriculum, including the completion of boot camp at Camp Dodge, Iowa. The Twin Ports Division specializes in medical and firefighting training, Scott said.

Although Scott spent several years in the Twin Ports Division before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 2006, the Navy Cadets is a volunteer organization — joining doesn't mean the child has enlisted in the military, he explained. The Twin Ports Division has existed since 2002 and has 23 cadets — with four new cadets soon to join the unit — and four officers, with a fifth officer also joining soon, he said.

The unit trains at the American Legion in West Duluth during the winter, and on the Sundew, a decommissioned Coast Guard cutter now privately owned in Duluth, during the summers. But changing locations seasonally is difficult, Scott said.

Purchasing the Acushnet would provide the Twin Ports Division with a permanent training location and would provide a location for other Navy Cadet units to train as well. Three boats are in use on other Great Lakes for Navy Cadet training, he said.

"As far as the size of the vessel, the specifics of the vessel, after six years, this was the dream vessel we've been looking for, everything and then some that we would require for our training purposes and additional missions we'd use the vessel for," Scott said.

The price tag on the vessel is $250,000 and Scott said they estimate it would cost a total of $550,000 to purchase the ship and the needed items for it, such as insurance, and get it to the Twin Ports.

After being decommissioned in 2011, the Acushnet was sold into the private sector. After sitting in the shipyard for several years, the shipyard has been trying to sell it, he said. Scott and other staff are planning to travel to the shipyard in a few weeks for an inspection of the Acushnet.

If purchased, the Acushnet will be sailed from Washington to the Twin Ports via the Panama Canal and St. Lawrence Seaway.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we've come across and in six years, this is the first time we've found a vessel in (this) quality, this history and this amount of benefit it can increase not only for our unit, but for Duluth and the region," Scott said.

For more information, visit or


Annual Twin Ports Lighthouse Days Aug. 5-7 at Duluth

7/29 - Duluth, Minn. – The Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center’s “Twin Ports Lighthouse Days” run from Friday, August 5 through Sunday, August 7, featuring lighthouse films, history walks and children’s activities.

Events take place inside the museum and outside in the park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. All programs are free and open to the public. There is no admission charge to the Visitor Center operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Canal Park, Duluth.

“Twin Ports Lighthouse Days” is a celebration of the five distinctive lighthouses of the Twin Ports and the lighthouses of Lake Superior. This annual event is held around the anniversary of August 7, 1789 - the date President George Washington signed the Ninth Act of Congress federalizing our nation’s lighthouses.

The lighthouses in Canal Park are, not open to the public, although they are each available for exterior viewing and photographs. Use caution, particularly at the Superior Entry, where access is on the rubble mound breakwater, and be aware of poison ivy near the Minnesota Point Lighthouse.



Canal Days start Friday at Port Colborne

7/29 - Port Colborne, Ont. – 2016 marks the 38th annual Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival. Vessels gather in Port Colborne for a four-day celebration of history and heritage along the canal. Explore the decks, try your hand at the wheel, or feel the spray as you cruise the Empire Sandy, Tall Ship, the Hamilton Harbour Queen on Lake Erie or the Edward M. Cotter Fire Boat along the canal wall.

Nestled at the juncture of the Welland Canal and the Lake Erie north shore, Port Colborne is a working marine community, with rich nautical history and welcoming hospitality. At the height of summer, the entire city takes time to celebrate the reasons why this picturesque town has grown and prospered –marine heritage and our connection to the St. Lawrence Seaway and the seafaring world at large.

The Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival encompasses the entire community, with activities at a dozen different venues: HH Knoll Lakeview Park hosts Ontario’s Largest outdoor Classic Car and International kite show. The Seaway Park children’s area has games, entertainment and kid’s activities throughout the weekend. At the Port Colborne Marine Museum the history of the Canal is on display, and heritage artisans can be seen working their trade. At the Roselawn Centre Saturday & Sunday offers two days of live entertainment. Festival guests can ride the free Canal Days shuttle to the Vale Centre where the indoor Craft Show is held. Festival food and shopping kiosks fill historic West Street, and the Market Square concert venue features top notch entertainment nightly.

Each year more than 300,000 people visit the festival over four days. Friends, families, and former residents return and reminisce, and Canal Days continues to grow by bounds. An ever-changing roster of activities has redefined Canal Days again and again, and as the festival moves into its fourth decade, that growth will continue as the festival blooms again. 2016 Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival will feature once again feature fireworks that will light the night sky.

A source of community pride, Canal Days is Port Colborne’s signature event, and it is the scores of local volunteers who work tirelessly that make this unique event Niagara’s premier summer festival. The Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival, Port Colborne: July 29-August 1.


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

St. Marys River
Wednesday evening, Federal Kumano, Manitoulin, Kaye E. Barker, Joseph L. Block, American Century and American Mariner were downbound at or above the locks. Tanker Algonova was at the Purvis Dock.

Port Inland, Mich.
Wilfred Sykes was loading stone Wednesday evening.

Escanaba, Mich.
On Wednesday evening, James R. Barker was loading taconite.

Milwaukee, Wis.
The cruise ship Grande Mariner was in port Wednesday.

Toledo, Ohio
Mississagi, Federal Welland, Genesis Victory, G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity were among vessels at docks along the Maumee River on Wednesday.

Erie, Pa – Gene Polaski
H. Lee White arrived in Erie harbor at 7 p.m. Wednesday and went to the old ore dock to unload.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Tug – barge Karen Andrie - Endeavour were expected to arrive around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday for Marathon in Tonawanda.


Coast Guard to enforce safety zones for Tall Ships Challenge at Navy Pier

7/28 - Chicago, Ill. – The Tall Ships Challenge is scheduled to visit Navy Pier from Wednesday through Monday.

The U.S. Coast Guard has established and will enforce a safety zone around each tall ship participating in the Tall Ships Challenge while navigating in the Great Lakes.

Due to the limited maneuverability of the tall ships and to ensure safe steerage, all spectators and commercial vessels are required to maintain a distance of 300 feet from the ships at all times. The safety zone is in effect whether vessels are transiting, anchored or moored.

Boaters shall adhere to all posted no wake zones, especially in the harbor and channel between the Jardine Purification Plant and the north wall of Navy Pier. Be mindful of the long bowsprits on the front of the large sailing vessels.

All recreational and pleasure boats must carry one wearable lifejacket for each person aboard and children under the age of 13 are required to wear a properly fitting life jacket at all times while aboard a boat. However, the Coast Guard highly encourages all boaters regardless of age or experience to wear a lifejacket at all times.



Coast Guard Sector Buffalo to hold change-of-command ceremony Thursday

7/28 - Buffalo, N.Y. – A change-of-command ceremony is scheduled for Coast Guard Sector Buffalo Thursday. During the ceremony Capt. Joseph DuFresne will assume command duties and responsibilities from Capt. Brian Roche.

Rear Adm. June Ryan, commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, will preside over the ceremony. At the conclusion of the ceremony Roche will retire from the Coast Guard after 36 years of service.

DuFresne was previously assigned as the deputy sector commander of Coast Guard Sector North Carolina in Wilmington, North Carolina.



Michigan town rebrands itself as shipwreck capital of the Great Lakes

7/28 - Alpena, Mich. – Wedged between Fletcher Street and the waterfront is a long row of warehouses. They used to be a paper mill, but these days they are home to Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Inside one of the buildings is a little visitor’s center, with art and artifacts and interactive games that broadcast old sailors' songs to kids playing pirates. But the main attraction is offshore. Hundreds of shipwrecks lie at the bottom of this part of Lake Huron.

Down inside the glass bottom charter boat the Lady Michigan, passengers explore shallow wrecks through clear panes lining the hull.

Brandy Kozlowski squints into the sunken, splintered deck of the Shamrock -- a wooden steam barge that sank in 1905. She grew up here, but left Michigan years ago to find a job. Back visiting family, she says the place has changed a lot.

"The marine sanctuary, it’s all brand new, everything on that side of town is new. It’s good for the area. It really needs a boost in the arm."

This area has collected shipwrecks for centuries, with the help of heavy shipping traffic, shallow water, and the storms that give Thunder Bay its name. But tourism has grown since Alpena was designated the first – and so far only – fresh water national marine sanctuary by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

At Thunder Bay Scuba, Joe Sobczak gets most of his business from tourists. But he used to work in the shipping industry, and isn’t sure tourism jobs are enough to keep people, especially young people, from moving away.

"They aren't the same as a blue-collar industrial job. You don't have the benefits; you don't have the pay scale."

Still, Sobczak thinks it’s the best way to move Alpena forward, and not just for dive shops and charter boats. Downtown is full of shops that have adopted the shipwreck theme. Visitors can buy a maritime blend coffee or a sundae named after a wreck, and new businesses are coming in – including the first waterfront hotel on Thunder Bay River.

The success of Alpena’s rebranding has other communities along the Great Lakes applying for similar national marine sanctuary status from the federal government.



Updates -  July 28

News Photo Gallery


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 downbound 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 crewmembers 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, from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


Army Corps says Cuyahoga River shipping channel might not need dredging

7/27 - Cleveland, Ohio – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers argued in a court filing that the money Congress budgeted for the dredging of the Cleveland Harbor and Cuyahoga River shipping channel allows for the Corps to make the ultimate decision on whether to dredge.

And as of now, the Corps has not decided whether dredging is necessary this year.

The document was filed Monday night in response to a request by the state of Ohio to have U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent in Cleveland force the Corps' Buffalo District to fully dredge the six-mile shipping channel and put the sediment in a disposal facility.

Most important is what is known as the "sixth mile" of the channel, which serves ArcelorMittal's steel mill and contains the bulk of the sediment that needs dredging. The state says delays in dredging would harm the business

The Corps, as it did last year, is demanding that a "non-federal sponsor" pay to dump the dredged sediment into a disposal facility. It contends that the sediment is safe to be dumped into Lake Erie. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency says dumping in the sediment in the lake would be harmful to the lake's ecosystem.

Nugent forced the Corps to dredge last year. The Corps' motion, filed by lawyers from the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon's office, argues that the judge was mistaken in several parts of his ruling.

According to the Corps, the statutory language associated with federal money allocated for maintaining the Great Lakes Shipping channels does not specifically say the Corps "shall dredge." Rather, it says that the Army secretary "shall expedite the operation and maintenance, including dredging, of the navigation features of the Great Lakes and Connecting Channels."

The filing also says that the Corps' efforts to reduce its federal budget allocation for the Cleveland dredging project — which the state characterized as "an apparent subterfuge to circumvent this Court's ruling" — is a common occurrence.

"Failure to adjust accordingly would have been inconsistent with the Federal Standard and an inaccurate representation of the Corps' budgetary needs," the filing says.

All of these arguments may be moot as the Corps says that the shipping channel might not need to be dredged. The Corps says it surveyed the lake on July 14 and that the channel's waters are high enough for large watercraft to pass.

The state filed a lawsuit against the Corps last year over the Corps' refusal to dredge.

Jade Davis, the Port of Cleveland's vice president of external affairs, said Tuesday that the Corps is not telling the full story when it says the harbor may not need to be dredged. He said there isn't as much sediment on the bottom as in past years because Cleveland's summer has been relatively dry.

However, the harbor must still be dredged because it could impassible if the city sees a lot of rain, Davis said.

"If we get a few rainy days in a row, which is very possible, we will have ships that can't get up the river that day," Davis said.

Nugent was occasionally scathing when ordering the Corps to dredge the harbor in May 2015. The judge implied that the Corps was trying to blackmail the state into footing the bill of dumping sediment into a facility.

The U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, led by Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, is investigating the actions Army officials took to cut the budget for the Cleveland dredging project.

And an appropriations bill the Senate passed in May included a provision banning the Corps from dumping dredged sediment into Lake Erie.


Port Reports -  July 27

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner is expected on the evening of July 28 with grain for General Mills. Karen Andrie - Endeavour is also expected later this week with asphalt for Tonawanda.


Pride of Baltimore II heads for Chicago, nearly halfway through 4-month expedition

7/27 - Baltimore, Md. – The Pride of Baltimore II departed for Chicago on Monday morning after spending the weekend in Boyne City, Mich., about halfway through a four-month, 8,000-mile journey.

The ship left the Inner Harbor in June and is expected to arrive in Chicago for a five-day tall ships festival at the Navy Pier. Known as the city's "Star-Spangled Ambassador," the Pride II is nearly two months into its first journey outside the Chesapeake Bay since 2013.

July has been a busy month for the topsail schooner, with stops in Toronto, Ohio and Michigan attracting nearly 20,000 visitors to come aboard the Pride II, according to ship officials.

The Pride II also competed in several races with other tall ships. The Baltimore ship took first place on July 3, going through Lake Ontario toward the Welland Canal in the first of five races planned. In the second race on Lake Erie on July 11, the Pride II took third place.

The third race took place on Lake Huron on July 18. Pride II officials said the ship was the first to cross the finish line, though formal winners will be announced Sunday night in Chicago. After leaving Chicago, the ship will compete in another contest across Lake Michigan toward Algoma, Wisc.

Pride of Baltimore Inc., the nonprofit that owns the ship, signed a three-year, $1.5 million partnership with the state in January to promote the economic interests of Baltimore and the state.

After Chicago, the vessel plans to make stops in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ontario before returning to Baltimore in late-September.

Baltimore Sun


Great Lakes pilots threatened, harassed over Viking ship fees

7/27 - Chicago, Ill. – Pilots that help guide ships across the Great Lakes have been threatened and harassed over $400 per hour fees they must charge the Viking ship that is on its way to Navy Pier this week.

“We have been informed that the pilot associations have been receiving threats and being harassed by angry individuals,” wrote the Draken in an open letter signed by Captain Bjőrn Ahlander and 17 crew members, published on the expedition’s website on Monday.

“I hope we can come together and take an approach to this that is with kindness, honesty, and integrity. We respect pilots and their profession. The safety of the Great Lakes, and well-being of all living near these beautiful bodies of water, rely on their tireless skills in navigating these huge ships through difficult waterways in all conditions.”

The crew says they welcome the pilots on board the Draken, but also say they “prefer they not have to take valuable time out of their already overly busy schedules for our relatively tiny Viking ship.”

While tiny compared to commercial ships on the Great Lakes, the Draken is still the largest Viking ship built in modern times, 115 feet long by 26 feet wide.

The pilotage fees, required by United States Coast Guard, will add up, explains the crew, because the journey across the Great Lakes will cover “several thousand nautical miles,” take “many months,” and because the ship must travel by sail much of the time.

“We are a sailing ship designed after traditions dating back to before the year 800 A.D. and constant vibrations from the engines can be detrimental for our riveted oaken hull. While motoring ahead full works in calm weather, there lies a risk of damaging Draken if we were to attempt to motor into any significant head seas.”

Sons of Norway, the Draken’s official fundraising partner, has raised more than $70,000 but it is “at the absolute skimming by the skin of our teeth,” says the crew, still about $100,000 short of the estimated cost to travel beyond Chicago, and well below the $430,000 estimated cost to complete the entire trip.

Loop North News


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 six 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.


Great Lakes cargoes down in June

7/26 - Duluth, Minn. – The U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx visited the Duluth port last week and heard local industry leaders talk about the importance of Great Lakes shipping.

Foxx was eager to see the port both from his airplane and up close.

Vanta Coda, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said Great Lakes shipping moves cargoes accounting for 13 percent of the nation’s gross national product. He called on Foxx to help continue new rounds of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery funding, or TIGER grants, that fund port and freight rail projects.

“Those types of programs encourage our community in the transportation industry to do our best work,” Coda said, citing TIGER funds used to help rehabilitate docks C & D in the Duluth harbor. Those docks will open next spring and figure to be put to use right away for wind energy equipment bound for the Midwest interior.

“Duluth is a beautiful city,” Foxx said. “We like to help, and now I know more about how to help Duluth.”

Also last week, monthly domestic shipping numbers were released, showing a Great Lakes chain that enjoyed a busy but less-than-stellar June.

Not accounting for foreign vessels, U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters moved 9.65 million tons of cargo in June, a decrease of 6.4 percent compared to a year ago. The June float was also 5 percent below the month’s five-year average, said the Lake Carriers’ Association in its monthly news release last week.

According to the news release, iron ore cargoes for the steel industry totaled 4.8 million tons, an increase of 8 percent compared to a year ago. Coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.5 million tons, a decrease of nearly 28 percent. Limestone loads for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.9 million tons, a decrease of 4.4 percent compared to a year ago.

Year-to-date U.S.-flag carriage stands at 30.5 million tons, a decrease of 2 percent compared to the same point in 2015. Iron ore cargoes are up 7.2 percent, but coal cargoes have dipped 28 percent. Limestone shipments trail last year by 2.3 percent.

Two Harbors and Superior both shipped just more than 1.3 million tons of iron ore in July, followed locally by Duluth (453,151 tons) and Silver Bay (311,743 tons).

Duluth News Tribune


Marquette Maritime Museum celebrates the Great Lakes

7/26 - Ishpeming, Mich. – While waterways such as the Great Lakes are viewed by modern society as a source of recreation and transportation, it is easy to forget that local history was forged, in large part, by the water that surrounds us.

The Marquette Maritime Museum has chronicled and celebrated life on the Great Lakes for well over a century. The crown jewel of its collection is, without a doubt, the 150-year-old Marquette Harbor Lighthouse.

Museum board member Carolyn Northey said the museum moved into what was the city of Marquette’s Water Works building in 1982. Over the decades, the museum has built a collection of artifacts, including a unique assembly of lighthouse lenses, all procured from lighthouses within a 100-mile radius of the museum.

“I challenge anyone to find a better collection of lenses anywhere on the Great Lakes. Having a 2nd, 3rd, 31/2 and 4th order ‘classical’ Fresnel lenses in the same exhibit hall concurrently is unheard of,” Northey said.

The museum also boasts an enclosed flotation device called a life cart that could transport four to five people stacked on top of one another from a shipwreck until they could get to a rescue ship.

Other exhibits include the Edmund Fitzgerald shipwreck, the Henry B. Smith shipwreck and displays about the Stannard Rock Lighthouse, the Big Bay Point Lighthouse and the McClintock Annex, commemorating the World War II battle of Leyte Gulf involving two submarines, the USS Darter and the USS Dace.

The battle, considered the largest in naval history, marked a pivotal point in the defeat of the Japanese.

Museum visitors can peer through an authentic 40-foot-tall WWII submarine periscope, named for the Marquette native Navy Capt. David McClintock who commanded the Darter during the battle.

Children who come to the museum can take part in a treasure trove of activities including the opportunity to dress up as a pirate, or take part in a scavenger hunt just to name two.

Marquette Mining Journal


New commanding officer takes helm at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Duluth

7/26 - Duluth, Minn. – The crew of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Duluth held a change-of-command ceremony Friday at the Depot - Great Hall in Duluth. During the ceremony, Cmdr. Erin E. Williams relieved Cmdr. Alan H. Moore Jr. as the commanding officer and assumed the positions of captain of the port and officer in charge, marine inspections.

Capt. Marko R. Broz, the commander of Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, presided over the ceremony.

Moore served as commanding officer since June 2013. He has been reassigned to serve in the Office of Vessel Activities at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington. On hand for the ceremony was Moore’s father, retired Capt. Alan Moore, Sr., who had previously served as the commanding officer of MSU Duluth from 1996 through 1999.

Williams arrived from Coast Guard Activities Europe, in Schinnen, Netherlands. Acting as the executive officer, she assisted the commanding officer with ensuring compliance of U.S. and foreign vessels with relevant regulations and international conventions throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored event preserved by the rich heritage of naval tradition. It is a custom that is formal and follows military protocol and is designed to strengthen the respect for the continuity of command that is vital to military organization. The culmination of the ceremony is reached when both officers read their orders, face one another, salute and transfer responsibility for the command. This provides the entire command with the knowledge that the officer, directed by proper authority, is taking command and provides an opportunity to witness this transfer of responsibility.



Lake Ontario Central New York Lighthouse Challenge in its third year

7/26 - Oswego, N.Y. – The third annual Lake Ontario Central New York Lighthouse Challenge will take place this year on August 5, 6 and 7. The challenge is to visit eight unique New York lighthouses within three days. The official Challenge route runs east from Rock Island Light to the west to a new site, 30 Mile Point outside of Rochester.

Participants will collect a lighthouse stamp or token at each lighthouse they visit. Special arrangements have been made to include bonus sites not usually open to the public. The lighthouses are located along the southern end of Lake Ontario and following along the Seaway Trail, a National Scenic Byway.

Those who register to take on the challenge will receive an official Lighthouse Challenge booklet with information about each site and directions to and recommendations for other attractions along the way; local tourist information, and a final award. In addition, the H. Lee White Maritime Museum is offering a special admission price as part of the challenge packet.

Registration packets are available during the event weekend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the museum, located on the West First Street Pier in Oswego; the challenge packets are $25 each. The Charlotte- Genesee Lighthouse and Sodus Bay Lighthouse will also have packets for sale.

Sites to the east of Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse will highlight Rock Island Lighthouse of Clayton, Tibbetts Point Lighthouse in Cape Vincent, Cape Vincent Breakwater Lighthouse of Cape Vincent and Selkirk Light at Salmon River Lighthouse and Marina in Pulaski.

Travelling west of Oswego, visitors can view 30 Mile Point, Braddock Point Light in Hilton, Charlotte-Genesee Light in Rochester, Rochester Harbor West Pierhead Light, Sodus Bay Light and Sodus Outer ‘Light in Sodus, and the Fair Haven Range Lights in Fair Haven.

In addition, although an extensive restoration is underway at the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse, this community icon will be open for public tours by boat for the first time ever in its history.

A new bonus site will be listed in the packet. The Brewerton Rear Range Light located on along the New York State Barge Canal on Oneida Lake will makes its debut on a limited basis during this three-day event.

For more information about the Lake Ontario CNY Lighthouse Challenge, the current restoration process or other museum activities, contact the museum at (315) 342-0480, or through the website

Oswego County Today


Race to Mackinac sailboat sinks, crew rescued

7/26 - Leelanau County, Mich. – Ten crewmembers are safe after their sailboat began to sink during the Race to Mackinac, the Chicago Yacht Club says. The incident happened around 3:50 p.m. Sunday at the Manitou Passage.

According to the Chicago Yacht Club, it was reported to the U.S. Coast Guard that the One Design 48 WhoDo was sinking inside the Manitou Passage after their rudder broke off. The crew of WhoDo located a life raft and all 10 crewmembers boarded safely.

The Chicago Yacht Club says Eric Oesterle’s Heartbreaker came in to help and pulled the entire crew out of the life raft and onto their boat. Mark Bremer’s City Girl also came to help.

Heartbreaker transferred the crew onto the Leelanau County Sheriff Department’s vessel to be taken into Leeland, the Chicago Yacht Club says. No medical attention was requested for the crew of WhoDo.

Up North Live WPBN/WGTU


Updates -  July 26

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  July 26

On July 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

Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
On Sunday, the Evans Spirit unloaded aluminum.


Museum screens documentary “Heroes on Deck” for veterans, for free

7/25 - Toledo, Ohio – More than 100 WWII aircraft rest on the bottom of America’s Lake Michigan. This is the story of how they got there.

The National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, will host the Ohio premiere of the documentary “Heroes on Deck: World War II on Lake Michigan,” by Emmy award-nominated filmmaker John Davies. The screening will take place on August 4, at 7 p.m. at the Valentine Theatre in Toledo. The hour-long film explores the critical role of the USS Wolverine and the USS Sable, two Great Lakes passenger steamers that were converted into aircraft carriers and used to train thousands of pilots to land at sea in WWII. There will be a VIP reception with the director prior to the screening as well as a sneak preview of an upcoming temporary exhibit on the topic.

"We are pleased to announce that up to 400 veterans and active duty military can receive a free ticket to the screening because of the generosity of an anonymous donor, said Christopher Gillcrist, executive director of the museum. Tickets for the screening are $7.50 for NMGL members and $10 for non-members

The VIP director’s reception will begin at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 for National Museum of the Great Lakes members and $35 for non-members and includes the screening.



A harbor for lookouts, online, founded in Summerstown

7/25 - Summerstown, Ont. – "I wish now I had gone into a career in marine," says Brenda Benoit, of her life-long affiliation for boats, big and small.

Now into her 50s, Benoit realizes she won't get a chance to wear a sailor's uniform - but she's got the second best thing going. From position near the St. Lawrence River, Benoit has developed a dogged pursuit monitoring the comings and goings of vessels.

"I've always been interested in ships and even more so because I live on the water," she said. "They provide all kinds of products for our everyday lives."

Now she's found an audience and fellow enthusiasts through the Summerstown LookOut Facebook group. The group, only two years after its creation, is now up to 800-plus members, whose ports of call are throughout North America.

"Just reading about them sparked interest in creating a group for others to share their photos, experiences, fun," Benoit said. "I feel it brings the community of avid ship chasers together in a fun hobby group.

"Some of us I talk to each other by Facebook; we keep in touch through here."

She noted that 40 joined the group when the ship Whitefish Bay recently ran around at Hamilton Island in order to stay more closely informed. Benoit had her frequencies tuned to salvage efforts and was posting regular updates on the group.

Other information routinely shared on the group are photos of the large lake freighters transiting through the St. Lawrence Seaway's locks in the Lake Ontario to Montreal stretch as well as those along the Welland Canal and in Sault Ste. Marie. A daily information summary is also a common post.

"I feel that some people's interests came from that to come over and see what I'm all about," she said.

Her own learning has also prompted her to visit many harbors, including as far away as Istanbul, Turkey. She describes it as ship chasing, much like tornado chasers.

Benoit said it's difficult to get real close to a working ship when they are docked as security is fairly tight. But there are ample opportunities to go and touch ships, which come to visit public wharfs.

Her Facebook page is here:

Cornwall Standard Freeholder


Get your reservations in now for our Detroit River Cruise August 6

7/25 - On Saturday, August 6, we will repeat the popular Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise aboard the Friendship. This year’s cruise will be four hours and will go up the Detroit River, and hopefully into the Rouge River. A pizza lunch will be delivered by the J. W. Westcott mail boat, with a cash bar onboard. Cost is $36 per person and we are coming close to the limit on the boat.  The cruise departs at 10 a.m. from the Portofino Restaurant in Wyandotte, Mich.
Click here for Reservation form.


Updates -  July 25

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 later sailed as J.W. SHELLEY and PHOENIX STAR.

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 where it was.

1991: YANKCANUCK (ii) went aground in the St. Marys River about four 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.


As storms hit, captain fought to keep freighter on course in Duluth ship canal

7/24 - Duluth, Minn. – A 729-foot freighter was making its way through the Duluth ship canal when the winds began to howl early last Thursday.

As the strong straight-line winds from severe storms began to quickly turn the Algoma Guardian sideways in the canal, Capt. Monford Organ's main concern was getting the freighter into the Duluth Harbor Basin without any damage.

"I gave her lots of engine and steered her in the opposite way of the wind and got her in fast enough before she set in too much in the wind," Organ, who has captained the Algoma Guardian for five years, recounted Friday.

With the Aerial Lift Bridge up to allow for the Algoma Guardian's entry at 3:30 a.m. Thursday, bridge operator Mark Nyman realized there was nothing he could do except wait it out at the top of the span while the wind sounded like a freight train around him.

"I kind of wondered if the bridge would actually hold and it did. I'm sure it's designed for severe conditions and the bridge did fine," he said. "But the bridge deck itself was shaking quite a bit, back and forth in an east-to-west motion due to the wind. It was a little spooky and she was shaking really good, more so than I've ever felt it shake."

Organ, who hails from Newfoundland, is a veteran of steering a freighter through the Duluth entry and has experienced a lot of storms in his 24 years as a Great Lakes mariner — but none as extreme as trying to navigate through the ship canal on Thursday.

Three times during the storm, the lift bridge's gauge clocked the wind at 70 knots, or 80 miles per hour — but the gauge is in a place where it's not directly in the wind, Nyman said. The Algoma Guardian's wind gauge measured the gusts at 90 knots, or 103 mph.

Up on the lift bridge, "it was shaking pretty gosh darn good," Nyman said. He knew severe weather was predicted, but the wind accelerated to severe levels within seconds of starting. He said he could hear the wind coming like a freight train and "that's when I knew there was going to be trouble," he said.

Although Nyman has worked in the Duluth harbor and as a mariner for years, he's new to the lift bridge operator job — he began in March of this year. He said he's proud to work for the city and a wild ride on the lift bridge in a windstorm comes with the territory.

Nyman gave Organ credit for his skill in guiding the Algoma Guardian safely into the harbor basin, because the freighter going into the side of the canal was a possibility, he said.

"The captain on the Algoma Guardian did a very good job of straightening the ship out and making it through the canal safely," he said. "He should be commended for that because he did an excellent job."

Heading toward the Duluth entry before the storms hit, Lake Superior's calm water was like a mirror, Organ said. He knew thunderstorms were predicted and was hoping to dock before they hit. The freighter was coming into Duluth with a crew of 23 to pick up a load of grain destined for Quebec.

"As soon as I started to come through the piers, bang, she just hit — 80, 85 knots of wind, rain, couldn't see nothing. The ship started to go sideways. ... We got her in, we got her in OK, but it was quite interesting," he said.

The Algoma Guardian has state-of-the-art equipment on board to help with navigation, but radar isn't very dependable when the freighter is in close quarters with the sides of the canal and the wind is acting up, he explained.

"You just gotta go by good judgment and hope for the best," he said.

Entering the canal was the "the point of no return" and his only option was to give the Algoma Guardian "full engine" to move quickly out of the canal, he said. He then turned the freighter as best he could once inside the Duluth Harbor Basin.

"We weren't expecting it, but with quick thoughts and good judgment, we got her in. No damage to ship or property or crew, that was our goal," he said.

View a video of the entry here: at this link


Muskegon's 'Port Day' to draw 100-plus people, showcase shipping potential

7/24 - Muskegon, Mich. – More than 100 executives and CEOs from organizations throughout West Michigan will be in Muskegon for the city's "Port Day" on July 26.

The event organized by the Muskegon County Port Advisory committee is meant to showcase Muskegon's port in an effort to entice companies to transport their products through the Port of Muskegon.

More than 150 people were invited to the event, which will take place at the Mart Dock in downtown Muskegon at 3:30 p.m. and between 130 and 140 people are expected to attend. The event is invitation only.

"The goal of the day is to show people that we can provide a faster, better service for shipping goods in and out of Muskegon and West Michigan to Asian and European markets," said Ben Cross, chairman of the Muskegon County Port Advisory.

Read more, and view a photo gallery at this link


Canadian registry closed on Melissa Desgagnes

7/24 - The Canadian registry was closed July 21 for Transport Desgagnes’ small cargo vessel Melissa Desgagnes. Information on her new owner is not yet available.

The vessel was launched as the Ontadoc (2) for N.M. Paterson & Sons Ltd., Thunder Bay, Ont., on Jan. 10, 1975, with her first sailing on April 24, 1975. She was built by Collingwood Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Collingwood, Ont. Since she was constructed with deep-sea capabilities, she has carried cargos to Holland and the Canadian Arctic. In 1989, she was equipped with two 15-ton cranes to better serve Arctic communities. The vessel was sold to Desgagnes in June of 1990 and was renamed Melissa Desgagnes at that time.


Port Reports -  July 24

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
No vessels are expected Saturday and Sunday. Due Monday are the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted in the early evening. There are no vessels scheduled Tuesday. Wilfred Sykes is due Wednesday in the early afternoon.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
A busy Friday saw the Buffalo arrive in the early morning. It was followed in the late afternoon by two arrivals, Joseph L. Block and the barge Pathfinder / tug Dorothy Ann, at around 5 p.m. Also expected on Friday was the Kaye E. Barker in the early evening, getting a dock once the Block and the Pathfinder departed. There were no vessels expected Saturday. Wilfred Sykes is expected Sunday evening and H. Lee White is expected to arrive on Monday in the morning.

St. Joseph, Mich. – Mike Harting
On Thursday, Algoway arrived with a split load of salt. She pulled up tight into the dock, with trees brushing against her port side. Her departure was just after dinner, with the tug Ann Marie providing assistance. The Alpena arrived overnight.

Grand Haven, Mich.
Wilfred Sykes arrived Saturday evening with slag. The barge St. Marys Conquest / tug Bradshaw McKee were unloading at the cement terminal, while equipment from the King Company was dredging the channel.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Philip R. Clarke arrived Friday in the early evening and was still loading on Saturday. They were expected to depart around 5 p.m. Also due Saturday in the evening were the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. Two vessels are expected Sunday evening, Joseph H. Thompson followed by Manitowoc. There are no vessels scheduled Monday.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
American Mariner arrived Friday and loaded from the South Dock. They were expected to leave Saturday around 3:30 a.m. Also arriving on Friday were the barge Ashtabula and tug Defiance for the North Dock. They were expected to depart on Saturday morning at around 5 a.m. Expected Saturday in the early morning were the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann for the South Dock, following the American Mariner.

Bruce Mines, Ont.
Algoway was loading on Saturday.

Sarnia, Ont.
Ojibway arrived from Windsor for continued, but temporary, layup at the Government Dock on Friday. She is moored inboard, with the laid-up barge Lewis J. Kuber / tug Olive L. Moore outboard. Manitoulin unloaded potash on Saturday.

Detroit, Mich. – Matt Miner
Federal Nakagawa was in port unloading on a steamy Saturday. Downbound traffic included the tug Victory / barge James L. Kuber in the afternoon, followed by the tanker Intrepid Canada, bound for Montreal. Lee A. Tregurtha left the Rouge upbound in the mid-afternoon, pausing on the way at the Mistersky fuel dock. The tug Calusa Coast and barge were moored up the Rouge River, while H. Lee White was bound for the Rouge in the mid-evening.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
As of 9:50 p.m. Saturday, the Canada Steamship Lines vessel Baie St. Paul was in eastern Lake Erie, with an ETA of early Sunday morning, according to her AIS. The schedule also shows Manitoulin arriving Sunday in the mid-afternoon at the CSX Coal Dock, however it will be Monday before they will load. Also due at CSX will be the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann on July 28 in the morning, and the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory July 30 in the morning. Capt. Henry Jackman is expected at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on Sunday in the early evening. Algoway is due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on Monday in the late morning. At the Torco Dock, the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are due Sunday in the early morning. James R. Barker is due at Torco on July 28 in the early evening. In port were the tug Genesis Victory and a barge.

Hamilton, Ont. – Ted Wilush
Saginaw departed Hamilton Saturday after discharging stone at pier 12W. She is destined for Marblehead, Ohio.

Montreal, Que. – Rene Beauchamp
The Maltese-flagged, Bulgarian-owned bulker Belasitza left for Burns Harbor Sunday on her first trip under this name. She was previously in the Seaway as Magdalena Green.


Captain concludes 19 years on Drummond Island ferry

7/24 - Drummond Island, Mich. – It's 6 p.m. on July 12, 2016, and Rockie Taghon is showing up for his last shift working on the Drummond Islander 4 ferry.

“This is my last night … I'm done, retired and out of here. At 6 o’clock in the morning I'm done, see ya later,” he says.

“The ferry is unique, but it's also what I'd call one of the drawbacks to the island in that you're whole life revolves around the schedule of the ferry. But when you move to Drummond Island you know that, so all you can do is just make the best of it. It's a hurry and wait game,” Taghon observes.

It's a game he's loved for 19 years.

“Pretty much what we’re going to do next is go that direction, and then when we get done over there, we’re going to go that direction over here. Then as soon as were done with that, we’re going to go back over there. It's rather repetitious,” Taghon explains.

With his infectious laugh and humor, he takes care of every passenger like family. With hug after hug, the islanders say happy retirement.

“Everybody that works on the boat cares about the people of Drummond Island. People don't even realize how much we protect Drummond Island working on this boat. If we see something we think is not quite right, that we don't think should be going on in the island, we'll let the authorities know it. We're not to be messed with over here, we're good people we want to keep Drummond Island a nice place to come and visit, and everybody on this boat works on that point,” says Taghon.

Even freighter captains salute him.

It's now 5:40 a.m. July 13. “This is officially my last trip across the river as captain,” he notes. “Sure have done this a lot of times, no question about that.”

A lot has happened in this one-mile stretch of water between De Tour Village and Drummond Island since Taghon decided to carry on a tradition started by another retired captain, Alex Fisher.

Out of respect for 19 years on the Drummond Islander 4, Taghon gives the ship’s bell one last polish. Then it's time for a new chapter in his life.

“I just want to say thank you to the people of Drummond Island for taking me in, taking my wife and I in, when we came here we didn't know very many people. Now we know just about everybody, and thanks Drummond, it's been a real ride,” Taghon concludes.

9 & 10 News


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.

ALGOSOO (Hull#206) was launched July 24, 1974, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Algoma Central Railway, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. 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 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, Fla., 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 the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


Wolfe Islander III crew rescues boaters in distress

7/23 - Kingston, Ont. – A dramatic rescue took place on Lake Ontario Friday between Kingston and Wolfe Island. A man and woman in what was believed to be a rental sailboat were saved from the water by crewmembers of the Wolfe Islander III.

The boat the couple was in had capsized. The ferry crew spotted them as they were returning to the mainland from the island just after 12. A witness says the ferry turned around and two members of the crew got into the vessel’s rescue boat to retrieve the man and woman from the water. The pair was brought back to the ferry and then to the mainland.

They did not appear to have suffered any injuries.



Port Reports -  July 23

Thunder Bay, Ont.
On Friday, CSL St.-Laurent was loading, while John B. Aird departed.

Marquette, Mich.
Sam Laud and Michipicoten were in port Friday.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
John J. Boland arrived to load on Thursday during the early afternoon. Also expected on Thursday was the Joseph L. Block at midnight. There are no vessels scheduled Friday-Sunday. Due in Monday are the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted in the early evening.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
A busy Friday saw four vessels arriving at Cedarville to load stone cargoes. The first was the Buffalo in the early morning. They were followed by the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann, which was expected to arrive at noon. Joseph L. Block was expected in the late afternoon. Also expected was the Kaye E. Barker during the early evening. There were no vessels expected Friday and none are due for Saturday. Wilfred Sykes is expected to arrive on Sunday in the early evening to load.

Escanaba, Mich.
Great Lakes Trader / Joyce L. VanEnkevort was loading on Friday afternoon.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
American Mariner was expected to arrive on Friday during the early afternoon to load at the South Dock. Also expected Friday were the barge Ashtabula and tug Defiance in the late afternoon, loading at the North Dock. Due on Saturday is the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the early morning for the South Dock. After that, there is nothing due until July 29.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Manitowoc was expected Friday in the mid-afternoon to load. Also due on Friday was the Philip R. Clarke in the early evening, following the Manitowoc. There are no vessels due in for Saturday. Two vessels are expected to arrive on Sunday, with the Joseph H. Thompson due first in the late afternoon followed by the Manitowoc in a return visit in the early evening. There are no vessels due in for Monday. Due in on Tuesday will be the Manitowoc, returning in the early afternoon to load. The Great Republic is also expected during the late afternoon. Philip R. Clarke due in on Wednesday, July 27, in the early evening to load.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Manitowoc was inbound on the Saginaw River Thursday evening, calling on the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City. After unloading sugar stone, she turned off the dock and was outbound for the lake.

Sarnia, Ont.
Ojibway was upbound from Windsor to Sarnia Friday afternoon. She headed into the Government Dock for continued lay up, however she is expected to be back out by September.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are expected to arrive at the Torco Dock on Sunday in the early morning. Also due at Torco is the 1,000 footer James R. Barker, making a rare visit. They are due July 28 in the early evening. The James L. Kuber is expected to return to Torco on July 30 in the early morning. Two vessels are expected at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock with stone cargoes. Due in first is the Capt. Henry Jackman on Sunday in the early evening. Algoway is due on Monday in the late morning. Vessels due at the CSX Coal Dock to load include the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory on Sunday, however, they will not load until Monday. The Manitoulin is also expected at CSX to load on Sunday, however they too will not be loaded until Monday. Saginaw is due at CSX on Monday in the early afternoon. The barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann are due at CSX on July 28 in the morning. In port was the tug Genesis Victory with a barge.


Pilot group says Viking ship group was aware of U.S. pilotage requirements, costs

7/23 - Port Huron, Mich. – The Norwegian Viking Ship Draken Harald Harfagre is on its way to Chicago from Bay City, Mich., for the Tall Ships celebration on July 27-31, despite having to pay pilotage fees on the Great Lakes. They have decided to keep participating in the Tall Ships Challenge after a public campaign to collect donations has raised over $65,000.

The organization behind the Viking ship, Draken Expedition America, has claimed that it was caught unaware of U.S. pilotage requirements when they entered the St. Lawrence Seaway in early June after being told by the Canadian Great Lakes Pilotage Authority that they are were exempt because they were less than 35 meters long.

The U.S. pilotage regulations are different and base requirements on whether a foreign-flag vessel is conducting commercial activity on the Great Lakes such as collecting fees to attend events and to provide tours for paying passengers, much like cruise ships. If the Viking ship were not accepting any fees and open to the public for free, they would be exempt from all pilot requirements.

The Draken organization calculated in June that they will need to raise a sensational $430,000 to continue on. They are now estimating $260,000 because they are traveling at a higher rate of speed, which is still too high by our estimate. In October of 2015, the U.S. pilot companies handling pilotage where the events are scheduled, sent estimates of $192,000 for the Viking ship’s transit costs at the request of Tall Ships America Director, Patricia Lock, for their whole itinerary on the Great Lakes. That figure, based on 6 knots speed, was later revised downward by 15% after the new lower rates were published April 1.

The ship is now making additional stops in Alpena, Beaver Island and Frankfort, Michigan and collecting fees for tours. The vessel is traveling under sail and engine making speeds of 8.5 to 10 knots. The latest total round-trip cost estimate for the Viking ship for all the scheduled ports using the starting and ending point of Massena N.Y., on the St. Lawrence River, is $155,000 at 8.5 knots speed.

In November, the spokesperson of the Draken Expedition, Woodrow Wiest, acknowledged that pilotage was mandatory for the entire Great Lakes in an email circulated to all pilotage districts by the U.S. Coast Guard. In addition, a meeting was held in Cleveland in February attended by Patricia Lock, the U.S. Coast Guard Director of Great Lakes Pilotage Todd Haviland and all three U.S. pilotage district presidents to discuss U.S. pilotage rules and rates. It was made clear that there would be no exceptions to the U.S. regulations for the tall ships. The regulations for Great Lakes pilotage are clearly available under both the U.S. and Canadian pilotage authorities’ websites.

The Viking ship organization had all this information before the voyage started from Norway on April 26. Despite an exemption from Canadian pilotage, they voluntarily hired pilots in the Canadian waters of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Welland Canal for fees of CDN $17,000.

The estimated attendance for the five Tall Ship events on the U.S. side is 1.5 million. The foreign-flag tall ships are the most popular at these events. After paying an entrance fee to each event, another $12 on average is charged per person for a dockside tour of the 10 or so participating ships. When you add up these fees, plus cruise fees of $65 to $150 per person and sponsorships of up to $45,000 per port, the total revenue collected by a foreign-flag tall ship could easily exceed $1.5 million just in the U.S. ports alone. The vessel has already stopped in Brockville and Toronto, Ont.

Pilots are hired to direct ships in every port and congested waterway in the world. The reason is to have a local expert navigator to prevent accidents and environmental catastrophes. The foreign-flag tall ships are manned by very capable captains. Even so, we find that they are very appreciative that they have pilots on board for their 3,000-mile Great Lakes transit.

Over the last 30 years, over 40 tall ships that came into the Great Lakes were required by law to have a pilot. They came and left without any public campaign to avert costs. The Viking ship organization was adequately informed in advance of their US pilotage requirements and costs.

Lakes Pilots Association, Inc.


U.S. Navy ship to be named for Detroit passes trials

7/23 - Marinette, Wis. – A U.S. Navy combat ship has successfully completed its acceptance trials, an important step before it can be commissioned this fall.

The future USS Detroit passed a battery of tests related to its propulsion plant, handling and auxiliary systems during the July 15 trials on Lake Michigan.

The ship is 389 feet long and can travel 40-plus knots using water jet propulsion, said John Torrisi, a spokesman for Lockheed Martin, which built the ship. As what's known as a littoral combat ship, it is able to operate in as little as 14 feet of water.

The story continues, with photos, here:


Canada’s largest icebreaker to set sail for North Pole as part of Arctic claim

7/23 - Halifax, Ont. – Canada’s largest icebreaker is preparing for a critical expedition to the North Pole, marking the country’s final mission in the High Arctic before making an official claim to the barren, but strategically important area at the top of the world.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent is scheduled to leave Halifax harbour on Friday, carrying a team of international — and somewhat excited — scientists and high-tech gear for mapping the ocean floor.

The data collected will be used to define the outer limits of Canada’s continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean. Once the data is analyzed, a submission is expected to be presented to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in 2018.

“This work cannot be overstated — it is fundamental to an exercise in Canadian sovereignty and to establish Canada’s last maritime boundary line,” federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc said Thursday as he stood on a sun-drenched jetty beside the hulking ship.

“This is especially important in the Arctic region, which is facing unprecedented change from both an economic and an ecological perspective.”

For some of the scientists on board, the trek to the pole will provide a rare opportunity to see things that have never been seen before.

“The Arctic Ocean is the smallest ocean in the world but the least studied,” said Mary-Lynn Dickson, a director at the Geological Survey of Canada.

“From a geological perspective, any data that we collect when we’re out on the ship is all new data. It’s all new knowledge that people have never seen before. So the excitement for me and our team ... when we roll out the big maps and we’re looking at it — the excitement is palpable.”

Once at the top of the world, Dickson said she plans to get off the ship — if the ice is stable — and walk around the pole, a stroll that will effectively take her around the world and through every time zone.

When the ship made a similar voyage last year, researchers discovered five underwater volcanoes along the way, said Paola Travaglini of the Canadian Hydrographic Service.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea allows all coastal nations to extend their jurisdiction beyond 200 nautical miles as long as it can prove the boundary is a natural extension.

No less than eight countries surround the North Pole. It is the subject of competing claims, which reflect the area’s growing importance in terms of shipping lanes and potential resource extraction.

“We believe Canada has a very, very strong case that we’re prepared to make under the United Nations Law of the Sea,” LeBlanc said.

“It has to be based on something more than political bluster. It’s got to be based on science and international law. Those two concepts come together beautifully in this mission.”

Canadian Press


Updates -  July 23

News Photo Gallery
Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Beatrix, Belasitza, Federal Churchill, Fortune, Johanna C, Lake Ontario, Marsgracht, Pearl Mist, Sichem Mumbai, Victory I, Whistler and Wicko.


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.


Algoma Central announces favorable outcome in final shipyard arbitration claim

7/22 - St. Catharines, Ont. – Algoma Central Corporation has announced that the London, UK Arbitration Tribunal hearing a contract dispute involving a fourth and final shipbuilding contract between Algoma and Nantong Mingde Heavy Industries Stock Co. Ltd., has found in favor of Algoma.

“With the resolution of the final refund claim against Mingde decided in our favor, we can now devote our full attention to building the vessels that we have ordered to replace the ones that Mingde did not complete,” said Ken Bloch Soerensen, President and CEO of the corporation. “We have begun collection proceedings for this final Mingde refund guarantee and expect to have this matter fully behind us in the near future.”

The company entered into contracts in 2010 to build six Equinox class bulk freighters to replace aging ships in Algoma’s domestic dry-bulk fleet. As a result of the bankruptcy of the shipyard, only two of these vessels have been delivered and the company cancelled the four remaining contracts. Tribunal decisions in Algoma’s favor were received on all four cancellations.

Algoma Central Corporation


Burns Harbor port continues high performance

7/22 - Burns Harbor, Ind. – Despite an overall slow start for ports along the Saint Lawrence Seaway, the Port of Indiana Burns Harbor is reporting near-record volume. Officials say more than 1.1 million tons of cargo has been handled so far in the shipping season, which is the third-highest total on record.

The two previous years were the best on record for the Portage operation. Year-to-date, shipment tonnage is still 14 percent above the previous five-year average and last month's totals were second-highest for any June on record. Ports of Indiana officials say key cargos making it through the port include coal, steel, limestone, fertilizer and oils, as well as some large project cargo.

Port Director Rick Heimann says "new shipments of intermodal cranes helped drive June's maritime port cargo numbers above the same period last year. "We've had multiple large cranes and containers of crane components arrive by ship from Europe that will be used to handle containers in multiple intermodal yards around the Midwest. June cargo volumes were also helped by new outbound shipments of recycled rubber and strong volumes of bulk commodities for use in the steel-making process by ArcelorMittal."

The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. says the shipping season throughout the seaway has been slower than anticipated to this point.

Administrator Betty Sutton says "although the overall cargo numbers remain down when compared to the same time frame last year, in June we were above the five-year average. Imports arriving in the Great Lakes Seaway System kept longshoremen busy during the month of June.

About 45 ships arrived from 19 different countries with high value cargo like windmill components, machinery, aluminum ingots, steel, sugar, and general cargo. Prior to leaving the system, vessels loaded export cargos that consisted of wheat, corn, soybeans, potash and general cargo loaded in containers."

From March 21 to June 30, shipments along the seaway were down nearly 7.7 percent.

Inside Indiana News


Port Reports -  July 22

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Mississagi was expected on Wednesday in the mid-afternoon to load. Wilfred Sykes was expected just after midnight following Mississagi. Joseph L. Block was due Thursday in the early morning, and the John J. Boland was expected on Thursday in the early evening.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Calumet was expected Thursday in the early morning to load. There are three vessels expected Friday, with the Buffalo arriving first in the early morning. Joseph L. Block is due in during the late morning, followed by the barge Pathfinder and the tug Dorothy Ann.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Bradshaw McKee and barge arrived at the cement silos on the Kinnikinic River Wednesday in the late afternoon. The tug G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity arrived in the early evening the same day. Federal Asahi departed just after midnight and was headed for Chicago. All details from AIS.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
All three cement carriers were in port on Monday, taking on cargo at Lafarge. The Manitowoc arrived at Lafarge early Wednesday morning and unloaded coal. The river had an unusual visitor Wednesday evening, the Viking ship Draken Harald. It tied up at the NOAA building near the Lady Michigan tour boat. Many visitors came to view the unique vessel and tours were given on Thursday. Draken Harald departed around 7 p.m. on Thursday and made its way out the river into Lake Huron to continue on its Great Lakes journey. The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were expected in port late Thursday night.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Cason J. Callaway was expected in the early evening Thursday for the South Dock. There are three vessels expected on Friday. The American Mariner is due first in the early morning for the South Dock. Also due are the barge Ashtabula and tug Defiance, expected in the late morning for the North Dock. The barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann are due Friday during the early evening for the South Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading Thursday. Two vessels are due Friday, with the Manitowoc arriving first in the mid-afternoon, followed by the Philip R. Clarke during the late afternoon. There are no vessels scheduled Saturday. Two vessels are due Sunday, with the Joseph H. Thompson due in first in the late afternoon followed by a return visit from the Manitowoc in the late evening.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are expected at the Torco Dock on Sunday in the early morning. Also due at Torco is the 1,000 footer James R. Barker on July 28 during the evening. James L. Kuber returns to Torco on July 30 during the early morning. At the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock, two vessels are due with stone cargoes. The Capt. Henry Jackman is expected on Sunday in the evening. Algoway is expected on Monday in the early morning. Vessels due at the CSX Coal Dock to load include the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory on Sunday during the late morning. Manitoulin makes a rare visit to CSX to load on Sunday in the early afternoon. Saginaw is due at CSX on Monday in the early evening, and the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann are due at CSX on July 28 in the early morning. The tug Sea Eagle II and the barge St. Marys Cement II were in port unloading a cement cargo at the St. Marys Cement Terminal.


Wildfire continues to smolder on Poverty Island

7/22 - Poverty Island, Mich. – The federal government says a historic lighthouse is being protected from a wildfire on an uninhabited island in northern Lake Michigan. Humidity and rain are keeping the fire under control on Poverty Island, but the fire continues to smolder in crevices, roots and old logs.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs says firefighters plan to return when there are drier conditions. A sprinkler system is in place to protect the lighthouse and other buildings, which are made of brick and wood.

The fire, likely started by lightning, was reported on June 30 and had burned 26 acres by Sunday. The 200-acre island is managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Associated Press


Canada predicts bumper grain harvest; railways vow to move it

7/22 - Calgary, Alberta – With prairie farmers poised to harvest a potential monster crop in 2016, Canada’s railways say they are confident they can move the grain to market without a replication of the transportation logjam that plagued producers three years ago.

“Grain is king right now. We’re happy about it,” Canadian Pacific Railway president and chief operating officer Keith Creel said on a conference call with analysts Wednesday.

Creel said strong growing conditions in Western Canada are spurring predictions of a bumper crop — good news for the Calgary-based railway, which saw its earnings decline by a disappointing 16 per cent in the second quarter and is hoping that a massive grain haul will help it improve its revenues later this year.

The Western Grain Elevator Association — which represents the majority of the large grain companies operating in Western Canada — is projecting the size of the 2016 harvest to range between 63 million and 74 million metric tonnes, significantly higher than the five-year average of 61 million metric tonnes.

The biggest crop of all time in Canada was harvested in 2013, when farmers pulled in a record-breaking 76.8 million tonnes. However, that year, a transportation backlog — exacerbated by a brutally cold winter — left billions of dollars of that crop stranded in bins and elevators across the prairies, unable to get to market.

Calgary Herald


Coast Guard saves 2-year-old child who fell from vessel in Chicago

7/22 - Chicago, Ill. – Crewmembers from Coast Guard Station Wilmette Harbor in Chicago saved the life of a 2-year-old girl after responding to a notification that she had fallen off of a vessel and into the water near Navy Pier Thursday afternoon.

The girl was recovered from the water and was on board the vessel when the Coast Guard boat crew arrived on scene, but was unresponsive. The girl's parents report she was wearing a life jacket when she fell off the vessel.

Coast Guard Seaman Amanda Wolf, a crewmember from Station Wilmette Harbor, went aboard the vessel and used her EMT training to assess the condition of the child. She quickly began performing chest compressions and CPR on the child while the vessel made its way back to Navy Pier.

Because of her training and fast action, Wolf was able to resuscitate the child and had her fully responsive by the time the vessel made it back to Navy Pier. Once at Navy Pier, the vessel was met by EMTs from the Chicago Fire Department. The child was then transferred to a local hospital for observation.



Sturgeon Bay Maritime Week salutes U.S. Coast Guard

7/22 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – The City of Sturgeon Bay will again honor its rich maritime heritage with a collection events taking place July 30-Aug. 13.

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.

Maritime Week gets underway Saturday, July 30, with a picnic for all active, reserve, retired and veteran Coast Guard personnel and their families. The picnic is hosted by the City’s Coast Guard Committee and sponsored by the Green Bay Council of the Navy League, local veteran groups, merchants and businesses. Festivities begin at 11 a.m. at Sawyer Park in Sturgeon Bay.

Activities continue Wednesday, August 3, when the tall ships come to Sturgeon Bay for an overnight stay. The ships will arrive in the city and participate in a Tall Ship Review through the ship canal and into the bay before docking downtown. The ships will be departing on Thursday for the Green Bay Tall Ship Festival Aug. 5-7.

The Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club also hosts the Coast Guard Person of the Year and Mariner Award Dinner on Monday, Aug. 8. The award recognizes individuals, living and deceased, who’ve had a significant, positive and lasting impact on the Door County maritime community. Sponsored by the Sturgeon Bay Coast Guard Committee and the Navy League, the Coast Guard Person of the Year award recognizes a local active duty Coast Guardsman who exemplifies the service’s core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty.

The Harmony by the Bay Summer Concert Series continues the Maritime Week festivities on Wednesday, August 10, at Martin Park. Big Mouth and the Power Tool Horns will entertain. The concert begins at 7 p.m. and will open with a salute to veterans from all branches of the armed forces.

Friday, August 12, opens with the first day of the Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival on the grounds of the Door County Maritime Museum. Construction and the decoration phase in the Sikaflex Boat Building competition will begin at 4 p.m., with two-person teams working with the limited lumber materials provided.

Saturday, the boat festival blends with the Maritime on Madison festivities, sponsored by the West Side business community. Plenty of music, store sales and kid’s activities are planned. Meanwhile on the museum grounds, dozens of classic boats will be on display, the Sikaflex Challenge concludes with the in-water sea trials at 3 p.m., and the “Art Mart” art exhibition. Enjoy special deck tours of the immaculately restored tug John Purves as well as the museum’s “Sea Dogs” exhibit and interactive Elba pilothouse which allows aspiring ship captains to “steer” the century-old freighter down the Sturgeon Bay shipping channel.

The Evening on the Bay events Saturday at the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club include kid’s games, live music and the annual “Venetian Night” boat parade, followed by fireworks. All events are open to the public.

Door County Maritime Museum


Get your reservations in now for our Detroit River Cruise August 6

7/22 - On Saturday, August 6, we will repeat the popular Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise aboard the Friendship. This year’s cruise will be four hours and will go up the Detroit River, and hopefully into the Rouge River. A pizza lunch will be delivered by the J. W. Westcott mail boat, with a cash bar onboard. Cost is $36 per person and we are coming close to the limit on the boat.  The cruise departs at 10 a.m. from the Portofino Restaurant in Wyandotte, Mich.
Click here for Reservation form.


Updates -  July 22

News Photo Gallery


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.


America's only floating post office delivers more than mail to Detroit's ships

7/21 - Detroit, Mich. – Beyond the train tracks on the edge of Detroit, in the water that separates the United States from Canada, Captain Sam Buchanan is in a 45-foot tugboat named the J.W. Westcott II, heading towards a freighter to engage in a delicate, centuries-old aquatic dance.

“The James R. Barker,” Buchanan says as he grins and spins the Westcott’s wheel, pointing across the water to a giant ship. “I built a 10-foot model of that one.” When he’s not on this tugboat, he’s at his second job as a captain of a passenger boat a dozen miles down the river. At home, he’s building miniature wooden replicas of Great Lakes vessels. During the winter, he travels from Michigan to Ohio to work on steamships.

Having taken somewhere between 46,000 to 55,000 trips like this (this is the amount of deliveries he’s made to passing ships on the tugboat), there is perhaps no one else who can so elegantly pull up next to this 1,000-foot behemoth, more a giant steel wall emerging from the water than a ship. Almost immediately, the freighter’s crew lowers down a rope into the tugboat as it gently rocks, and a rectangular cardboard package is attached by a Westcott deckhand before being pulled on board.

With their engines running, they have to be quick, taking no more than a few minutes to complete the choreography they know by heart. The crew wave goodbye as Buchanan pulls the Westcott away and sounds its powerful horn. It’s a warm day on the river, and as the tugboat passes underneath the traffic-filled Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit to Canada before it’s docked, it won’t be long before Buchanan is out moving with the rhythm of the water again.

But Buchanan is no ordinary riverboat operator: He’s captain of the world’s only floating post office, one that delivers mail to ships at sea. For over 140 years, this method has not changed.

Read more and view photos at this link


Viking ship sailing to Chicago again

7/21 - Duluth, Minn. – The Norwegian Viking ship that's taking its Great Lakes tour of tall ships festivals one stop at a time as it closely monitors an ability to fund its trip left Bay City, Mich., on Wednesday bound for Chicago.

The Draken Harald Hårfagre (or Fairhair) is scheduled to be in Duluth for the tall ships festival on Aug. 18-21.

The official website for the Draken Harald showed the vessel having left early in the day, traveling up the western shore of Lake Huron on its way to Lake Michigan. The five-day Chicago festival begins July 27 on the Navy Pier. The replica Viking ship is scheduled to stop in Green Bay after that.

Online fundraising efforts have surpassed $60,000 in an effort to support the pilotage costs associated with the ship's months long voyage across the Great Lakes. The Sons of Norway Foundation has raised $57,000, while a quartet of Go Fund Me sites have added more than $5,000 to the mix.

The crew of the ship has been sweating out an uncertain fate since early in the month, when it learned it would be responsible to have a local pilot on board to help guide the ship through the lakes. All commercial vessels entering North American waters require pilots. On the coasts, pilots are required from coastal buoys inward. On the Great Lakes, the U.S. and Canadian governments require a pilot to travel aboard a foreign vessel throughout its journey.

Prior to departing Norway last winter, the crew of the Draken Harald had studied its first voyage to the United States and Canada and believed the ship was a half-meter short of the 35-meter minimum cutoff length for ships that must hire pilots, and therefore exempt from having to pay. But the U.S. Coast Guard disagreed, requiring pilotage of the boat as it reached Lake Ontario. At pilotage rates of roughly $9,100 per day, it's been a difficult proposition for the Draken Harald. The ship's leadership has been committed to completing its schedule provided it can continue to raise money on the fly.

Duluth News Tribune


RNC Lake Erie security has U.S. Coast Guard on additional patrols

7/21 - Cleveland, Ohio – Cleveland's U.S. Coast Guard station has collected additional response boats and more personnel from across the country to accommodate stepped up security patrols for the Republican National Convention.

The Coast Guard is also closing zone four to boat traffic at Collision Bend on the Cuyahoga River during RNC convention, until 1 AM the next morning.

Captain Brian Roche told the Coast Guard is using a central radar station and a temporary command center to coordinate the addition boats that are on 24/7 patrol along the north coast.

"Because of the security for this event we have numerous boats on the water 24/7, we can't handle that with just this station," said Roche.

"We do have one of our 140 foot cutters off shore, and it has a large radar picture to help us track vessels. And if we need do something because somebody won't respond, we'll address that."

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral June Ryan was in Cleveland to check on the stepped-up security effort .

The U.S. Coast Guard is patrolling up to 30 miles off of the Cleveland shoreline, and is working with more than a dozen other enforcement agencies.

Roche said the security plan was more than a year in the making, and includes the addition of more than 100 additional guard members for the RNC.



Flood runoff impacts Lake Superior

7/21 - Duluth, Minn. – Several inches of rain and grounds saturated with water have had an impact on Lake Superior. For the last several days the water near several harbors off the lake has taken on a reddish or brown tone.

Researchers from the Minnesota Sea Grant say that is because of the heavy rainfall, high winds, and sediment runoff that's made it's way from other areas into Lake Superior. Flooding is also causing environmental concerns for Lake Superior.

"With the severe rain we saw sewage overflow and land water runoff," said Hilare Sorensen. "We're getting other stuff along with the clay and sediment in the water that definitely could have harmful impacts to the ecosystem."

Researchers say it will take some time before they will know what exactly those harmful impacts could be. The water on Lake Superior could stay brown several more days, even weeks.

Fox 21 KQDS


Eagle Harbor Lifesaving Station Museum displays latest upgrades

7/21 - Eagle Harbor, Mich. – Renovations are complete at the Eagle Harbor Lifesaving Station Museum. The work includes a fresh paint job, new roof and an excavated boat railway. The museum is one of the latest stations built in the Great Lakes back in 1912.

"The government placed these stations in strategic locations through the early years starting in the late 1800s when they've started establishing these stations through out the Great Lakes," says museum chairman Mark Rowe.

The Eagle Harbor Boat House is the only building remaining from the Eagle Harbor Life-Saving Station, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It's not too late to check out the Eagle Harbor Lifesaving Museum for yourself. The site is free of charge and will remain open until October. Museum hours are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily, and donations are gratefully accepted by the Keweenaw County Historical Society.



Updates -  July 21

News Photo Gallery


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.


U.S. ports see slower beginning to shipping season

7/20 - Washington, D.C. – While U.S. ports have been busy, overall the beginning of the shipping season has been slower than anticipated.

“Although the overall cargo numbers remain down when compared to the same time frame last year, in June we were above the five-year average,” said Betty Sutton, Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

“Imports arriving in the Great Lakes Seaway system kept longshoremen busy during the month of June,” she added. “About 45 ships arrived from 19 different countries with high value cargo like windmill components, machinery, aluminum ingots, steel, sugar, and general cargo. Prior to leaving the system, vessels loaded export cargos that consisted of wheat, corn, soybeans, potash and general cargo loaded in containers.”

“New shipments of intermodal cranes helped drive June’s maritime port cargo numbers above the same period last year,” said Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor Port Director Rick Heimann. “We’ve had multiple large cranes and containers of crane components arrive by ship from Europe that will be used to handle containers in multiple intermodal yards around the Midwest. June cargo volumes were also helped by new outbound shipments of recycled rubber and strong volumes of bulk commodities for use in the steel-making process by ArcelorMittal.”

“Both steel and agricultural products continued to move at a strong pace through the Port of Milwaukee in June,” observed Paul Vornholt, port director of the Port of Milwaukee. “Additionally, the Port has just completed reconstruction and upgrades on two Class 1 rail lines serving port tenants and terminals. In partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Port invested nearly $3 million on this project which will maximize our multi-modal connections and make it easier for our customers to move their products through the Seaway.”

“In June, the Port of Oswego received one shipment of aluminum totaling 10,500 metric tons,” said Zelko Kirincich, executive director and CEO. It was delivered by a McKeil Marine barge bound for the Novelis plant for use in the automotive sector. “We expect to see more activity at the Port in July and August,” added Kirincich.

The St. Lawrence Seaway reported that year-to-date cargo shipments for the period March 21 to June 30 were 9.9 million metric tons, down 7.69 percent over the same period in 2015. The dry bulk category was down nearly 8 percent but cement, potash and scrap metal were in the positive column at 10, 28, and 88 percent respectively. Iron ore was down 18 percent; coal was down almost 17 percent. While the general cargo category was down 8 percent, steel was up 108 percent and other general cargo was up 131 percent.

The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership


Port Reports -  July 20

Great Republic arrived Tuesday afternoon to unload limestone. Ashtabula/Defiance was in port as well. As night fell, American Century was inbound to load at SMET.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Kaministiqua departed downbound with grain for Sorel in the late afternoon, followed by Federal Maas in the evening.

Marquette, Mich.
Kaye E. Barker was in port in Tuesday.

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
Tuesday afternoon traffic included the downbound Joyce L Van Enkevort / Great Lakes Trader and the upbound saltie Elbeborg. Federal Kumano was upbound in the harbor for Thunder Bay in the late evening.

Straits of Mackinac
The passenger ship Victory 1 was eastbound Tuesday evening, headed for Sault Ste. Marie.

Green Bay, Wis. – Scott Best
A sunny and warm Tuesday afternoon saw the arrival of the classic steamer Alpena in Green Bay with a cargo of cement for Lafarge.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Federal Kumano left the port Monday evening and headed for Thunder Bay, Ont. Federal Schelde arrived late Monday evening and appears to have taken the place of Federal Kumano at Pier 2. The cruise ship Grande Mariner arrived just before midday and berthed near Discovery World. She has visited the port on a few occasions before.

Goderich, Ont.
Victoriaborg was at the grain elevator on Tuesday.


St. Lawrence Seaway pilots move to join federal lawsuit over pilotage rates

7/20 - Cape Vincent, N.Y. - The St. Lawrence Seaway Pilots Association Inc. and two other pilot associations have moved to join a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Coast Guard over pay rates for pilots.

Several operators of ports, vessel operating companies and maritime trade associations filed suit in May in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Washington, claiming, among other things, that a proposed 58 percent increase in pilotage fees implemented over 2016 and 2017 was arrived at using flawed data.

While the suit is against the Coast Guard, the pilot associations have filed a motion to intervene in the action because the pilots “have a direct and substantial interest in this case that cannot be adequately represented by any other party.”

“The suit has been filed against the (Coast Guard) and its head as required by the Administrative Procedure Act, but its immediate goal is to take money from the pilotage system and from the pilots and their associations themselves,” the motion states.

Under federal law, all ocean-going vessels operating on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system must hire local pilots to assist with navigation as these pilots are familiar with local conditions. The Coast Guard regulates all aspects of Great Lakes pilotage and sets pilotage rates annually.

This is done through agreements with the three pilots associations, including the St. Lawrence Seaway Pilots Association, which is based in Cape Vincent. In 2015, there were 36 registered pilots available for service, a number the Coast Guard wants to increase to 48 by the start of the 2017 shipping season and to 54 by the close of the season. The Coast Guard maintains that there is a shortage of qualified pilots, which has prompted it to propose an increase in targeted compensation from about $235,000 in 2015 to $326,000 in 2016 in order to attract new pilots. The compensation includes benefits and ancillary costs, in addition to wages.

The coalition of shipping concerns contends that the Coast Guard violated the Administrative Procedures Act by making arbitrary and unsubstantiated decisions during the development of the 2016 pilotage rates.

In its federal lawsuit, the coalition is asking that the new rules be sent back to the Coast Guard for revision. It is also asking, among other things, that the Coast Guard be ordered to reduce 2016 pilotage rates by about 20 percent.

In a memorandum of law accompanying the pilot associations’ motion to intervene, the pilots contend they have “direct and unique interests” in the litigation and meet the requirements to intervene. The pilots’ filings note that, while the pilots would be supporting the Coast Guard’s position in the instant lawsuit, the pilots and the agency have a history of disagreeing over piloting regulations that has included prior litigation.

The pilots contend that their support of the Coast Guard in the lawsuit “does not eliminate this inherent tension” between the two sides.

A judge has not yet ruled on the pilots’ motion. The Coast Guard has also not filed a response to the suit.

Watertown Daily Times


Crews battle wildfire on Poverty Island

7/20 - Fayette, Mich. – The Bureau of Indian Affairs is responding to a wildfire on Poverty Island in Lake Michigan, south of Big Bay de Noc, off the Garden Peninsula.

Many boaters and fishermen have been reporting the flames because it is visible for a considerable distance across the lake, the BIA stated in a press release. The fire covered at least 10 acres of the 200-acre island over the weekend. The responding crew worked through the weekend to combat the blaze.

The fire flared up last Thursday, likely from a fire that was first reported on June 30. A fire crew from the BIA responded to the fire from June 30 through July 4.

The island is entirely federal land, owned by the Bureau of Land Management. The bureau signed a delegation of authority letter permitting the BIA to respond to the wildfire there.

The only structures on the island are a lighthouse that is no longer in operation and the vacant lighthouse keeper's quarters. A BIA spokesman said the fire is thought to have originally ignited from a lightning strike.

Escanaba Daily Press



City of Milwaukee museum group seeks return of painting it accidentally sold

7/20 - Manistee, Mich. – Wanted: the return of an original work of art depicting the historic train ferry S.S. City of Milwaukee.

A commissioned painting of the vessel was recently sold by mistake at the museum ship’s gift shop, and members of the Society for the Preservation of the S.S. City of Milwaukee are hoping the individual who bought the artwork will come forward and return it to the museum.

A novice cashier sold the framed original on June 11, 2016, for $20, the cost of a print. The purchaser, who paid cash, can email if he or she would like to return it.

The 75 year-old City of Milwaukee is permanently moored and open to the public in Manistee, Mich. The mission of the Society for the Preservation of the S.S. City of Milwaukee is to preserve and maintain the railroad car ferry S.S. City of Milwaukee as an educational and historical artifact, and to preserve, collect and maintain objects of educational and historical significance that pertain to the maritime industry of the Great Lakes region and this area.

Mike Modderman


Trio of lighthouses added to National Register

7/20 - Three Great Lakes lighthouses were recently added to the National Register for Historic Places. They include Minnesota’s Duluth Harbor North Pier Light, constructed in 1910, and South Harbor Breakwater Outer Light, constructed in 1901. Both were built to help ships navigate Duluth’s shipping canal, said U.S. Coast Guard historian Daniel Koski-Karell, who applied to get the lighthouses added to the register.

The North Pier Light emits a red light visible every three seconds for up to 16 miles on a clear day, according to the application for the designation. The Breakwater Outer Light emits a fixed green light visible for up to 17 miles in clear weather.

The third newly listed light is Michigan’s Presque Isle Harbor Breakwater Light built in 1941 to assist in shipping out iron ore mined in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Koski-Karell said. Standing in Presque Isle Harbor, the light is still used for this purpose.

The harbor is the ninth busiest in the Great Lakes, according to the National Register application. In addition to shipping iron ore, the harbor receives freighters bearing coal to fuel the Presque Isle Power Plant.

The Presque Isle Light emits a red flash every four seconds that is visible for 11 miles in clear weather, according to the application.

The mostly honorary gesture of historic designation is a step in finding a more permanent solution for maintaining the lights, said National Register historian Alexis Abernathy.

There are now 144 Great Lakes Basin lighthouses on the National Register of Historic Places, said National Park Service maritime historian Anna Holloway.

Advances in navigational technology have taken away the Coast Guard employed lighthouse keepers who handled maintenance, Koski-Karell said. Modern lighthouses are automated and maintenance has been reduced to occasional check ups.

The Presque Isle Light uses an electronic foghorn and relies on solar-powered batteries for energy. Both Duluth Harbor lighthouses had antique beacon lights that were replaced by modern LED lights in 2014. Prior to this improvement, the Duluth Harbor South Breakwater Outer Light used a Parisian-made beacon light from 1877, according to the application.

The Coast Guard still needs the Duluth Harbor and Presque Isle lights operational, Koski-Karell said. Adding the lights to the register helps open the door for them to be donated to a non-profit organization or auctioned to a private owner.

Of the Great Lakes Basin’s 388 lighthouses, 70 percent provide navigational support, according to Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association 2014 statistics.

“One of the major reasons for transferring the properties is that as the lighthouses age, the cost (of maintenance) is very burdensome to the Coast Guard,” Koski-Karell said. The new ownership would take over maintenance duties under Coast Guard supervision.

Getting the Duluth Harbor and Presque Isle lights to that point will take three to five more years, he said. The Coast Guard must first clean the lighthouses and decide whether to give them up. New owners often turn the lighthouses into homes, museums, or lodging for tourists, Holloway said.

The lights would go to auction if the Coast Guard cannot find nonprofit groups willing to maintain and keep them open them for educational use, Holloway said.

All of this is done under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, she said. Since the act’s implementation; 14 of the Great Lakes Basin’s lighthouses have been sold to private owners, 13 have been given to local governments, 16 have been given to nonprofit groups and 2 have been transferred to other federal agencies. The remaining 343 lighthouses in the basin are still owned the by the Coast Guard.

There are 82 lighthouses available for tours in the Great Lakes Basin, according to the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association 2014 statistics.

Preserving them is important, said Lee Radzak, historic site manager at Minnesota’s Split Rock Lighthouse. “They reflect the character of the shipping history and the rich maritime history we have in the Great Lakes.” Great Lakes Echo


Great Lakes ports support ballast reforms

7/20 - Washington, D.C. – Directors of major commercial ports in the Great Lakes region called on Congress to end years of regulatory chaos surrounding ballast water management.

In a joint letter issued late Monday, 14 port directors urged the Senate Armed Services Committee to include ballast regulatory reform in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Known as the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), these regulatory reforms were included in the House-passed NDAA, but not the Senate-passed version. Currently, a House-Senate conference committee is working to hammer-out a final version of the legislation.

When not fully loaded, cargo ships must take on water (ballast) to maintain their stability. Ballast pumped onboard in one port may inadvertently contain aquatic organisms that are then released when the ballast is discharged in another port. In this regard, ships can be a vector for the movement of non-native species. To protect the environment, Great Lakes ports support regulations to require ocean-going vessels to install ballast water treatment systems to filter and clean the water prior to discharge. Because commercial vessels operate between states and nations, a federal approach to this issue makes most sense for the environment and economy.

"In the Great Lakes region, two federal agencies and seven of eight states have their own ballast water discharge regulations. Some of these rules are harmonized and some are not. The resulting chaos has negatively impacted shipping," explained Steve Fisher, Executive Director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association.

"Michigan's ballast water discharge rules are different than both federal rules and those of neighboring states,” added Paul LaMarre, director of the Port of Monroe. “Since their implementation in 2007, they have discouraged commerce at Michigan ports. Not a single vessel operator has attempted to comply, but rather, have avoided doing business in the state. While Michigan's rules intend to protect the Great Lakes, instead they simply push ship discharges to the ports of neighboring states in shared waters."

Will Friedman, Executive Director of the Port of Cleveland, added that "State ballast water rules are up for reissuance in 2018 which raises concern. While Ohio's rules are harmonized with federal rules, our commerce must pass through other states where we have no control. In 2008 New York threatened Ohio's trade by proposing onerous ballast regulations for ships simply passing through New York on the St. Lawrence Seaway."

The regulatory reforms contained in the House-passed defense bill would consolidate all ballast water regulation in the U.S. Coast Guard, while providing for the same level of environmental protection as exists today. The legislation provides for upgrading environmental standards should technology be available in the future.

Watertown Daily Times


Updates -  July 20

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  July 20

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.

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 became 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.


U.S.-flag cargo movement on lakes down 6.4 percent in June

7/19 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters moved 9.65 million tons of cargo in June, a decrease of 6.4 percent compared to a year ago. The June float was also 5 percent below the month’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.8 million tons, an increase of 8 percent compared to a year ago. Coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.5 million tons, a decrease of nearly 28 percent. Limestone loads for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.9 million tons, a decrease of 4.4 percent compared to a year ago.

Year-to-date U.S.-flag carriage stands at 30.5 million tons, a decrease of 2 percent compared to the same point in 2015. Iron ore cargos are up 7.2 percent, but coal cargos have dipped 28 percent. Limestone shipments trail last year by 2.3 percent.

Lake Carriers’ Association


Tugboat engineers accused of polluting Lake Huron

7/19 - Absorbent diapers, a garden hose and a blue bucket were just some of the tools used in a scheme to dump oily bilge water from a Great Lakes tugboat into Lake Huron, causing a slick spotted from the air that was twice the length of a football field.

And now, two engineers from the tug Victory are accused of conspiring to discharge the oil-contaminated water into Lake Huron and other areas of the Great Lakes. They're also accused of releasing the dirty water at night to make it difficult to detect the resulting sheen.

According to a federal grand jury indictment handed up last month, Jeffrey Patrick, chief engineer aboard the Victory, and William Harrigan, first assistant engineer, allegedly released the oily water into Lake Huron from mid-May 2014 through the end of that June. The indictment does not say when or where other discharges occurred.

"The Great Lakes are some of Michigan’s greatest assets, and we need to ensure that we protect them for generations to come,” said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, who is overseeing the prosecution.

The case is pending before U.S. District Judge Thomas Ludington in Bay City.

Harrigan was arrested Tuesday in his hometown of Portland, Maine, and was released Wednesday. His Portland lawyer, Toby Dilworth, declined comment. Patrick was arrested in May in Marquette. His lawyer, John Mitchell of Cleveland, also declined comment.

Read more at this link


Port Reports -  July 19

Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Tug Molly M1 sailed from Milwaukee Monday evening around 6:30 p.m. headed for Hamilton, Ont. Federal Asahi was headed for Milwaukee and should arrive later on July 18.

Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
After over a week with no commercial traffic on the Saginaw River, Sunday was steady with two deliveries. The steamer Alpena arrived early in the morning with a load of cement for the Lafarge Terminal in Essexville. Also inbound on Sunday were the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula. This was their first trip to the Saginaw River since 2014. The pair arrived around 2 p.m. with a load of slag from Sault Ste. Marie for the Bay Aggregates dock. The Defiance/Ashtabula backed out from the Bay Aggregates slip around 8 p.m. Sunday, turned and headed outbound for the lake. The pair were followed closely by the Alpena, which was departing at the same time, directly across the river at the Lafarge Terminal. Alpena turned around at the Essexville turning basin and was back outbound for the lake, passing by the Front Range Light around 9 p.m.

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Barge James L. Kuber with tug Victory came into Lorain Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and left at 10:15 p.m. She was at Dock #3.


KPS nixes Sault steel plant purchase

7/19 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – A potential purchase of Essar Steel Algoma by an American private equity firm is now off the table.

KPS Capital Partners could not reach an agreement with the Ontario government, a source familiar with the situation told The Sault Star. No details were given. That deal was a criteria for the plant purchase. The New York-based firm is also no longer pursuing the purchase of U.S. Steel Canada's operations in Hamilton. KPS planned to merge to the two steel mills into one company.

“They've withdrawn from both processes,” the source, who did not want to be identified, said.

The Ontario government is “prepared to work with any bidder that puts forward a responsible proposal,” said Sault Ste. Marie MPP David Orazietti. “The government did not compel KPS to withdraw from the process. That's a decision made solely by KPS based on whatever factors they based it on.”

Brenda Stenta, manager of corporate communications for Essar Steel Algoma, said the withdrawal by KPS is “simply a pause in the process.”

“Algoma will continue to move forward in an expedient manner to ensure that we achieve the optimal solution that positions Algoma, and all of our stakeholders. for a strong future,” Stenta said in an email.

The Sault Ste. Marie steelmaker went into creditor protection last fall. KPS was announced as a suitor to buy Essar on June 17. The bid included cash and assumption of certain liabilities.

The steel plant learned a consortium agreement between KPS and certain term lenders was terminated. Essar says the term lenders “remain committed” to Essar's continued operation.

“However, they require time to deal with this change in circumstance,” said Stenta. Essar wants an adjournment of the motion for approval of the asset purchase agreement. The request goes to Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Tuesday.

“While it is unfortunate that KPS has withdrawn from the consortium, I am pleased that the term lenders remain committed to closing the transaction,” said Essar Steel Algoma CEO Kalyan Ghosh in a statement. “Algoma will seek to work with its stakeholders to achieve the optimal outcome for the future of Algoma, its employees, pensioners and the customers we serve.”

United Steelworkers Local 2251 wants Ontario Steel Investment Ltd., created by Essar Global, to purchase Essar Steel Algoma.

“Essar Global continues to be more aligned with the best interests of our people, our pensioners and our benefits,” said president Mike Da Prat on Friday.

His union represents about 2,200 hourly workers.

With KPS pulling out, more bidders could come forward, said USW Local 2724 president Lisa Dale.

“The more bidders that are in the process (the) better,” she said. “We're willing to talk and deal with anyone and everyone.” Local 2724, unlike Local 2251, has not signed an agreement with OSI.

The local is concerned with a “grossly underfunded” pension fund, pensions for its approximately 500 retirees and some contract language it wants “cleaned up.” Dale also wants to see a new owner commit to capital investments in the steel mill.

“We realize that in order to restructure a company that there will have to be some sort of concessions, but they shouldn't all be solely on the backs of our workers.”

Local 2724 represents about 500 workers. Orazietti anticipates more companies will be interested in purchasing Essar.

“I believe there are other opportunities through the bid process that will emerge,” he said.

Sault Ste. Marie Construction Association is frustrated some of its members that are unsecured creditors are being “disregarded” during the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act proceedings.

“Regardless of who becomes the new owner of our local steel mill, the term lenders, Ontario Steel Investment, or any others, there has been no indication of money to be paid to our members who are owed millions of dollars,” said executive director Adam Pinder in a statement.

SSMCA members filed paperwork detailing money owed to them by Essar Steel Algoma in time for a Feb. 26 deadline. They have not received any information since then, said Pinder.

“Their only course of action is to monitor the court filings and to read media reports,” he said. “As one can imagine, this creates a lot of anxiety for everyone involved.”

Sault Star


Viking ship faces uncertain fate; will go port-to-port based on ability to pay fees

7/19 - Duluth, Minn. – The crew of a Norwegian Viking ship was sweating out an uncertain fate Friday, unable for now to afford to move on from a tall ships festival this weekend in Bay City, Mich., despite festival commitments in Chicago, Green Bay and Duluth next on the docket.

"In my personal opinion everything should work itself out, but it's not without extreme amounts of stress and headaches," said Woody Wiest, part of the senior leadership aboard the Draken Harald Hårfagre, a one-of-a-kind replica at the center of a week-long controversy involving the U.S. Coast Guard and a heretofore little-known practice called pilotage.

"It's taken a lot of energy for all of us to push through when it's definitely not in the budget to do so," said Wiest, citing pilotage rates of $9,100 per day.

The storm of controversy began to swirl this week when the operators of the Draken Harald said in a news release that the vessel may turn back for home for having to pay the hefty pilotage fees the operators had previously believed they were exempt from paying.

The plight of the Draken Harald hit news outlets across the Great Lakes and became a cause célèbre for social media commentators who appeared outraged that the Coast Guard wouldn't waive the pilotage fees it governs.

The vessel is scheduled to appear at Tall Ships Duluth from Aug. 18-21. For now, Wiest said it will go port-to-port based on its ability to raise money to pay pilotage rates.

"I've talked with the New York Times and Wall Street Journal," said Lorne Thomas, chief of external affairs for the 9th Coast Guard District in Cleveland, as a way of defining the scope of the controversy. "Social media has been very active, too, but this really isn't something new to the Coast Guard."

Pilotage law has been in place since 1960, and requires that foreign vessels welcome aboard local pilots to help guide ships and non-recreational sailing vessels through unfamiliar waters on the Great Lakes.

Before the 3-year-old vessel made its first Great Lakes voyage, Wiest said the operators worked diligently in an effort to understand both the American and Canadian rules regulating the Great Lakes, even flying to Canada before the expedition to gain further understanding.

"If there was miscommunication or misunderstanding," he said, "we worked really hard to make sure there wasn't."

But something changed after the ship entered the St. Lawrence Seaway and the boat was told to take on a pilot somewhere between Quebec City and Toronto.

"You don't argue with the Coast Guard," Wiest said.

The plight of the Draken Harald has cast a spotlight on the practice and cost of piloting foreign vessels through the Great Lakes.

"Probably this will be the last time we sail into the lakes with our replicas until things change," said Eduardo Almagro Blanco, in an email to the News Tribune.

Blanco is the general manager for another foreign tall ship, the Spanish El Galeón Andalucía. While the El Galeón has made multiple voyages across the Great Lakes over the past several years, Blanco said the rising costs associated with pilotage would likely be a future deterrent that keeps the ship from entering the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

"We really respect (the pilots) and appreciate their help for safe sailings and we will fully pay their fees," Blanco said. "However, we think it is an unfair situation for non-commercial foreign tall ships."

Both Blanco and the operators of the Draken Harald argue that their missions are educational in nature and note that they do not leave the lakes with millions of dollars' worth of heavy cargos like the more common sea freighters.

"Tall ships have been coming for a couple decades and they've all been told the same thing and they've all been able to comply," the Coast Guard's Thomas said.

But even freighter operators — long familiar with building pilotage rates into their business models — are taking umbrage with the fees of late. Multiple shipping associations and foreign ship operators filed suit against the Coast Guard in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on May 31.

The suit alleges substantial and unlawful increases in pilotage rates, calling them "the largest single cost items for foreign-flag vessels" that enter the system. The lawsuit asks for the Coast Guard's most recent ruling on pilotage rates, which includes a 58 percent increase by the end of 2017, to be declared unlawful and calls for a rate reduction of at least 21 percent. The Coast Guard has yet to respond to the lawsuit and is being defended by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

For now, the Draken Harald carries the banner for pilotage reform. And it's garnering support to its cause. As of Friday, the charitable foundation for Sons of Norway, a Minneapolis-based financial services and cultural organization, had raised almost $25,000 in a campaign aimed at raising the $430,000 estimated for the Draken Harald to complete its summer-long odyssey through the Great Lakes.

A petition calling for relief for the Draken Harald from the Coast Guard had more than 10,000 signatures on Friday. Festival organizers around the Great Lakes, too, told the News Tribune earlier this week they were open to increasing appearance fees paid to the vessel in an effort to help with the pilotage costs.

"Everybody wants to see the ship," Wiest said.

Wiest explained that the journey from Bay City, Mich., to Draken Harald's next stop in Chicago could be up to a six-day sail. In order to trim costs, the ship's leadership agreed it would run the Draken Harald to Chicago under engine power, a three-day endeavor.

But even with a change in strategy, the ship doesn't yet have enough money to make it to Chicago. "We're going to pay our bills — that's the idea," Wiest said. "We know we can't leave Bay City yet. It's a really hard place to be in."

Duluth News Tribune


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 light on her maiden voyage July 19, 1943, from Ashtabula, Ohio, 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 stranded on Gannet Rock Ledge, near Yarmouth, NS enroute from Boston to Reval, France, and Riga, Latvia, with relief supplies. The vessel was abandoned and later caught 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 from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


Herbert C. Jackson leaves drydock

7/18 - Herbert C. Jackson was removed from the drydock at Fraser Shipyards on Sunday morning, assisted by the G-tugs Arkansas and Kentucky. The 1959-built ship has received new diesel engines, a new controllable-pitch propeller, the hull was sandblasted and painted, and there were other refurbishments. There is still work to be done on the vessel before she can return to service, but that will be done dockside.

Glenn Blaszkiewicz


Scrap tow update: Peter R. Cresswell

7/18 - The ocean-going tug VB Hispania was expected at Aliaga, Turkey, Sunday to drop off the Peter (ex Peter R. Cresswell) at the scrapyard. This is the last of the three former Algoma vessels sold for scrap this year (the other two were Algoma Navigator and Algomarine) to arrive at Aliaga.

John Tokarz‎


Port Reports -  July 18

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Kaministiqua and Federal Maas were loading grain on Sunday. Algowood departed for the lower lakes early in the day.

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick, Luke Archer
Fleet mates and sisters Sam Laud and Buffalo loaded ore at the Upper Harbor on Sunday. The research vessel Lake Guardian is in the Lower Harbor for a couple days. Tours are available.

St. Marys River
The new saltie Federal Churchill was upbound for Duluth in the morning, proceeded by Manitoulin, headed for Essar Steel. The tug Nancy Anne and barge were upbound after dark. Baie Comeau was downbound in the early afternoon, followed by Arthur M. Anderson and, in the evening, by Edwin H. Gott and Cason J. Callaway. As dusk, Stewart J. Cort, James R. Barker and Sam Laud were downbound in the vicinity of Whitefish Point. The tug Spartan and barge Spartan II were upbound in the afternoon, but they tied up at the old Carbide dock for weather, with a departure announced as Monday morning.

Cedarville, Mich.
Great Republic loaded on Sunday.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
English River departed Buffalo around 1 p.m. Sunday, bound to Bath, Ont., for another load of cement.


Updates -  July 18

News Photo Gallery


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.

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.


Port Reports -  July 17

Marquette, Mich.
Sam Laud and Great Lakes Trader were loading on Saturday evening.

St. Marys River
Algoma Discovery was downbound mid-morning Saturday, headed to Port Cartier. Ashtabula / Defiance left the Essar Export Dock downbound around 3 p.m. Solina was downbound with grain in the early evening, while Lee A. Tregurtha and H. Lee White were near Ile Parisienne at 10 p.m. Paul R. Tregurtha headed up in the morning, while Buffalo was upbound around 5 p.m. Kaministiqua, headed for Thunder Bay, followed in the late evening.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben and Chanda McClain
On Friday the tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity loaded cement at Lafarge. The tug Leonard M and barge Huron Spirit unloaded at Lafarge on Saturday. The steamer Alpena was in port as well on Saturday, taking on cement under the silos. The tall ship Inland Seas is tied up in the river at the NOAA building.

Ogdensburg, N.Y.
Marsgracht was unloading in Ogdensburg on Saturday.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The tug Calusa Coast departed the north entrance with the barge Delaware on the push, stopped off the Buffalo piers, switched into towing gear, and headed west with the barge on a wire around 10:30 a.m. Saturday. They passed the inbound English River off Windmill Point, with the cement carrier arriving around noon.


Updates -  July 17

News Photo Gallery


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 rainstorm 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 that began from a gasoline motor for conveyor equipment being repaired by workmen. The flames and smoke were carried by a breeze to the HAMONIC. Almost in a 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: 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 failed. 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.



Port Reports -  July 16

Duluth, Minn.
The James R. Barker was at the Port Terminal Friday for bow thruster repairs. The saltie Stade was at the Riverland Elevator loading grain.

St. Marys River
On Friday, Lee A. Tregurtha, American Spirit, Sam Laud, Algowood and Great Lakes Trader were among the upbounders. Burns Harbor and American Century were downbound. Esta Desgagnes was unloading at the Purvis dock in the Canadian Soo, while the barge Ashtabula / tug Defiance were loading the Essar Export Dock. John J. Boland was loading stone Friday evening at Drummond Island.

Mackinac Island
The cruise ship Victory I tied up to the Arnold dock at 7:20 a.m. Friday. Her next destination is Chicago.

Escanaba, Mich.
Joseph L. Block was loading pellets late on Friday.

Marinette, Mich. – Scott Best
Friday afternoon Algoma Transport arrived with a load of salt for the Fuel & Dock Co. in Marinette.

Toledo, Ohio
At 10 a.m. Friday, Algoma Olympic was docked in the Welland Canal at Port Colborne, Ont. She had unloaded a salt cargo at a Lake Ontario port. Her next destination is Goderich, Ont. She may be loading wheat there. It probably will be Tuesday or later before she arrives at Toledo.

Sandusky, Ohio
Manitoulin was loading on Friday afternoon.


Fundraiser may be the life vest that saves Viking ship's voyage

7/16 - Duluth, Minn. – The fate of the world’s largest Viking ship’s tour to the United States, including Duluth, remained uncertain Thursday as a last-minute fundraising campaign to cover pilotage fees got underway.

With a goal of raising more than $400,000 to cover the unexpected costs of paying for a pilot to guide the Draken Harald Hårfagre through the Great Lakes to its final U.S. destinations, the charitable Sons of Norway Foundation launched a “Help the Draken Sail Again!” campaign to allow the ship to continue its participation in the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2016, which includes a four-day stop in Duluth in August.

“We are certainly keeping our fingers crossed,” said Eivind Heiberg, CEO of the Minneapolis cultural organization. “This is a huge thing for the community. We have 850,000 people in Minnesota who claim Norwegian heritage, and it’s important to bring this to all who have worked for and planned their visit.”

Others have started private efforts on two separate GoFundMe pages.

Minutes after the Sons of Norway campaign went live, one person donated $26. But there is a long road ahead, and time is short.

A spokeswoman for the ship, which features an oak hull and a 3,200-square-foot sail, said it probably will have to turn around and head back to Norway if funds are not secured by Sunday, when the Draken is supposed to depart from Bay City, Mich., where it is part of a Tall Ships event this week. More than a million people are expected to see the ship during its 11 stops at Great Lakes ports.

The Draken’s crew thought it qualified for an exemption to U.S. law that requires a pilot for all foreign vessels. It was following a Canadian law that waives that requirement for ships less than 35 meters long. The Draken is 34.5 meters (115 feet).

When news got out that the ship had to hire a pilot at roughly $400 per hour and could not pay, a number of pilots e-mailed saying they’d do the work for free. Earlier this week, the Coast Guard said it would be OK with that, but the decision to let pilots donate their time largely rested with their associations.

Such a move would put us in “uncharted territory,” said John Swartout, president of the Western Great Lakes Pilots Association, which covers lakes Superior, Huron and Michigan. By law, the association must provide pilots to any vessels that request one and charge the fee set by the Coast Guard, he said. By offering a pass to the Draken, it might open the door to other ships wanting the same treatment.

“Where do you draw the line?” he said.

The fundraising development came as a positive development at a time when things have looked bleak. “We are getting our hopes up to continue this expedition,” said spokeswoman Sarah Blank, who is traveling with the ship.

In another twist, the Draken did its part to foster goodwill. On Wednesday night while sailing Lake Huron, the ship responded to a call from the Canadian equivalent of the Coast Guard to search for a woman who had placed a distress call.

“We searched for three hours with no luck,” Blank said. “We are having all this drama.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune


Deep in Lake Michigan, divers find pristine wreck of John V. Moran, lost in 1899

7/16 - Lake Michigan – It was 3:30 a.m., and Jeff Vos was tired. Vos, a tool and die shop owner when he's not diving on shipwrecks, had been at the wheel since midnight, kept awake by Red Bull and the monotonous duty of keeping the boat on course while simultaneously monitoring the sonar.

Somewhere below, a phantom lay waiting. Vos and his fellow wreck sleuths had been patiently combing a 10-square-mile grid of Lake Michigan off Muskegon for the past three days in a modified 25-foot Bayliner; "mowing the lawn" with side-scan sonar in search of a lost propeller steamer that had slipped gently below the icy lake surface more than 116 years ago.

Vos was about to wake fellow searchers Jack van Heest and David Trotter to hand off the boring job when the sonar picked up a structure. Paydirt.

"All of a sudden — boom. There it was," he said. "The bottom out there is flat, and then this big image shows up on the printout."

Excited, Vos yelled for the others to wake up and record the GPS coordinates of the discovery. Trotter, a 40-year veteran of Great Lakes shipwreck hunting, rubbed the sleep from his eyes as he looked at the sonar image. "Yep," he said. "That's it for sure."

It was June 5, 2015, and the grave of the John V. Moran was a mystery no more.

Read more and view a video at this link


Updates -  July 16

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  July 16

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.

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 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, caught fire in the St. Clair River and was run aground on the Canadian shore. The crew escaped.

1958 ¬ The Swedish freighter ERHOLM and the FRANK ARMSTRONG of the Interlake fleet were 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.


Port Reports -  July 15

St. Marys River
The passenger ship Victory 1 (ex-Saint Laurent) was upbound in the Mac Lock around 8 a.m., did a quick loop above Light 26, then locked back down. She tied up at the old Carbide Dock, where passengers were able to tour local attractions. She was downbound in the evening for Mackinac Island. Additionally, the Saginaw was downbound in the early afternoon, followed by Edgar B. Speer and Hon. James L. Oberstar. Upbound traffic included Baie Comeau, Ashtabula / Defiance, Edwin H. Gott and Stewart J. Cort. The research vessei Kiyi was tired at the U.S. Coast Guard base Thursday. The USCG bouy tender Buckthorn remains in the MCM drydock.

Escanaba, Mich.
Mesabi Miner loaded on Thursday.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Federal Kumano arrived at 6 a.m. CDT Thursday. She tied up at Pier 2. At 3 p.m., the tug Molly M1 arrived with a loaded barge. They are moored at the heavy-lift wharf.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Thursday afternoon the tug Victory/ barge James L. Kuber were towed by the tug Nebraska downriver stern first bound for the Kraft Elevator to unload a grain cargo that was loaded at the ADM elevator. The tow was very slow going. It is unknown how many grain shuttle runs the James L. Kuber has scheduled.


St. Lawrence Seaway facing uncharted waters over Europe, domestic shipping

7/15 - Cornwall, Ont. – The head of the St. Lawrence Seaway says the upcoming season will be questionable given the political developments in Europe and an already tough domestic shipping year.

“As you know, we continue to see a lot of volatility,” CEO Terence Bowles told the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation’s annual general meeting recently.

“Now we’ve got the Brexit (British referendum to leave the European Union) that’s just come on. Something we didn’t expect but nonetheless, affects our European customers which are very important to the seaway, so we need to see where that is going,” President Terence Bowles told the senior staff and stakeholders.

Bowles said the year started a little bit slow but he’s hopeful the U.S. economy and other economies will continue to improve. “But definitely depends a lot on the state of those economies.”

In an interview with Cornwall Newswatch, Bowles said Europe is a big market in terms of carriers bringing material to North America.

“What happens in Europe for us is very important and the Europeans have been coming out of quite a bad period , very little growth. Now they’re getting up to two per cent growth. We were starting to be optimistic but with what’s happened now (Brexit), I don’t know more than anybody else but what’s going to happen,” he said.”There’s certainly more uncertainty, when there’s uncertainly, definitely not good for business.”

“Will that slow down things in Europe, I certainly hope not,” the CEO said. “We’re going to keep a close eye on it.”

Bowles said domestic shipping is being challenged this year. “Our domestic shipping is having a very hard year this year. The CSLs and the Algomas et cetera. Ocean shipping is doing quite well but 80 per cent of our business is domestic. Overall it’s the economy, so the economy has to improve – Canada, U.S., Europe are the big key ones for us,” he said.

The seaway finished the 2015 navigation season with a little over 36 million tons of cargo moved through the waterway. That’s a drop compared to the nearly 40 million tons that was shipped in 2014-15. The volume drop is primarily due to fewer coal shipments.

“That was down some nine per cent versus the year and it certainly reflects the very difficult economic conditions that prevail over the year,” Bowles said.

But the so-called “grain boom” continued, with volumes well-above the five year average. “We would remember that grain was at record levels the previous year so even though we had a very good result it was slightly lower but all in all a very good result on grain,” Bowles remarked.

The CEO also spoke of “very sweeping changes” in the iron ore and steel industry and with China increasing steel volumes has hurt and put “stress” on the domestic industry.

Bowles said the seaway has made “significant inroads” on modernizing the locks with hands-free mooring systems, in order to keep their costs down and make the seaway more competitive. The modernization also led to reductions in staff – mostly through attrition and retirement.

The seaway cut 19 full-time equivalent positions, not entirely through the mooring project but other areas of the corporation.

Seaway revenue was down nearly eight per cent to $71.9 million (compared to $77.9 million in the previous year). Easing the strain the on bottom line was the fact that operating expenses were also down four per cent to $63.1 million (compared $65.8 million in the previous fiscal year).

The seaway had a larger operating deficit of $107.5 million ($91.8 million last year). But a transfer from the federal government (through the Capital Fund Trust) of $130.5 million, leaving an actual surplus of $23.1 million.

Cornwall Newswatch


Ports receive Pacesetter Award from Seaway

7/15 - Washington, D.C. – Several Great Lakes Ports received the Seaway's Pacesetter Award Thursday, the Pacesetter Award was instituted to honor the achievements of Great Lakes ports

aggressively marketing international exports and imports.

Port of Monroe
The Port of Monroe has been awarded its 2nd Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award from the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC), an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

SLSDC Administrator, Betty Sutton presented the award to Paul C. LaMarre III, executive director of the port, during the semi-annual American Great Lakes Ports Association meeting held in Chicago.

During the 2015 navigation season, the port handled nearly 855 metric tons of freight through the Seaway, representing a 100 percent jump in tonnage over 2014 figures. In addition to gypsum cargoes, the port handled steel pipes and windmill blades from Germany. It also received 127 sections of 40-foot long pipes for the Ohio gas line and windmill blades for VenTower Industries.

“It was a milestone year for the Port of Monroe,” said Administrator Sutton. “The port proved to the shipping community that it can support their needs when it comes to moving large amounts of cargo safely and efficiently. Not only did this year mark the first time that the port has handled containers, but this year also brought the arrival of international cargo for the first time in more than 50 years. Hard work and perseverance definitely paid off for the Port of Monroe team.”

“The 2015 shipping season was indeed a record setter with exponential tonnage increases in the number of synthetic gypsum cargoes booked for both international and domestic customers,” LaMarre said. “Additionally, our first European vessel since the 1960s and first container shipment signal continued growth for the port and its impact on the local and regional economy.”

Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority
The Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority was awarded its 8th Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award Betty Sutton, presented the award to John Loftus, Executive Director of the Port.

During the 2015 navigation season, the Port handled 523,000 metric tons of freight through the Seaway, representing a 47 percent jump in tonnage over 2014 figures. The majority of the shipments were steel and project cargo for the General Motors Lansing assembly plant. Other cargoes included sugar from Mexico, and aluminum and asphalt from Canada.

In presenting the Award, Administrator Sutton said, “The increase in international breakbulk and general cargo tonnage earned the Port of Detroit its 8th Pacesetter Award. The traffic mix of high value cargo like machinery, presses, aluminum ingots, sugar and steel all benefitted local manufacturers. This award symbolizes the hard work, commitment and innovation by the port authority to acquire and handle the cargo in a safe and efficient manner.”

In accepting the Award, Loftus said, “This increase in cargo over the last year represents the importance of the Port of Detroit to the revitalization of the Michigan economy and resurgence of the U.S. auto industry.”

Port of Ogdensburg
The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority was yesterday awarded its 8th Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award as it was presented to Wade A. Davis, Executive Director of the Port.

During the 2015 navigation season, the Port handled nearly 90, 000 metric tons of freight through the Seaway, representing a 118 percent jump in tonnage over 2014 figures. The port handled one shipment of imported fertilizer from Trinidad and Tobago, and one shipment of outbound grain bound for the Netherlands.

In presenting the Award, Administrator Sutton said, “Gaining new business and bringing old business back is how the Port of Ogdensburg earned its 8th Pacesetter Award. The Port Authority had the highest international tonnage increase of all U.S. Great Lakes ports in 2015. This award reflects the importance of the port as a vital component of the area’s In accepting the Award, Davis said, “The Port of Ogdensburg had a banner year in 2015 with shipments of agricultural products and road salt. With our upcoming capital expansion program creating a new berth and deepening, the port looks forward to continuing to stimulate the regional economy and increasing our marketing efforts to European customers.”

Port of Oswego
The Port of Oswego was awarded its 14th Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award with Zelko Kirincich, Executive Director and CEO of the Port accepting the award.

The Pacesetter Award was instituted to honor the achievements of Great Lakes ports aggressively marketing international exports and imports. During the 2015 navigation season, the Port handled 185,472 metric tons of freight through the Seaway, representing a 2 percent jump in tonnage over 2014 figures. Imported cargoes consisted of aluminum, agriculture grains, salt, cement and fuels. The port had an increase in aluminum, grains and salt shipments. The partnership with Novelis (Ford) continued to be a major factor in the increase of aluminum imports.

In presenting the Award, Administrator Sutton said, “The Port of Oswego had another great year. Earning 14 Pacesetter Awards does not happen by luck – it happens because of the hard work, dedication and vision of the committed team of professionals at the port authority. It is a true honor to present the Port of Oswego this prestigious award.” In accepting the Award, Kirincich said, “The Port continues to expand its reach into the New York region’s economy. The 2015 shipping season saw our first export of soybeans to Asia and we expect major grain export/import activity to continue. Our ongoing relationship with Novelis is another indication of the Port’s value to industrial growth in

In 2015, U.S. ports in the Great Lakes Seaway System recorded increased international shipments of high-value cargoes including windmill components, refinery equipment, generators, machinery, and containerized goods.

The Pacesetter Award is the Seaway’s flagship award and is presented to those U.S. ports that achieve year-on-year improvements in cargo tonnage moved through the Montreal- Lake Ontario locks. This marks the 24th year that SLSDC has presented the award.

The other 2015 Pacesetter winners are: the Port of Green Bay and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation


Reserve your space for our Detroit River cruise - August 6

7/15 - On Saturday, August 6, we will repeat the popular Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise aboard the Friendship. This year’s cruise will be four hours and will go up the Detroit River, and hopefully into the Rouge River. A pizza lunch will be delivered by the J. W. Westcott mail boat, with a cash bar onboard. Advance Reservation Cost is $36 per person. The cruise departs at 10 a.m. from the Portofino restaurant in Wyandotte, Mich. 
Click here for details


Updates -  July 15

News Photo Gallery
Auction for a Trip on a Great Lakes Freighter


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 hit 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 was 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 Detroi


Whitefish Bay freed, being checked for damage

7/14 - Summerstown, Ont. 9:30 update – Nearly two days after it ran aground, the Canada Steamship Lines Whitefish Bay is on its way. The company announced Thursday morning that the cargo ship had been safely refloated as of 7:50 a.m.

Three tug boats had been on the scene since yesterday to dislodge the vessel from the rocks and river bottom after the carrier experienced a power failure Tuesday afternoon.

“The ship is back in the Seaway channel and is proceeding to safe anchorage for further inspections by various authorities. Once cleared, she will proceed on her normal transit,” said Brigitte Hebert, director of communications for CSL.

The ship was destined for Bathurst, N.B. when she ran into trouble.

Original report:

A spokesman for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans says a power failure on board the Whitefish Bay caused it to run aground in the St. Lawrence River Tuesday night.

Rachelle Smith said the ship was carrying 28,000 tons of coal, 480 tons of heavy fuel oil and 53 tons of diesel fuel when it ran aground 12 kilometers downstream from Cornwall, Ont. near Hamilton Island.

The crash was heard by nearby cottagers and the boat scraped against the rock and the river bottom around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

There were no injuries, structural damage, or reported pollution and the ship didn’t take on any water, Smith wrote. The vessel operator and owner, Canada Steamship Lines, is now working on towing and refloating the ship.

Seaway traffic is getting through on the north side of the channel and no ships are allowed to meet or pass. The tugboat Ocean Georgie Bain tried to release the ship Wednesday afternoon but was not successful. Other tugs are expected Friday.

Cornwall Newswatch


Viking vessel hits snag on way to Duluth

7/14 - Duluth, Minn. – Caught in a storm of controversy, the pilots who ride aboard and guide foreign ships and sailing vessels through unfamiliar waters on Lake Superior say not to blame them if a Norwegian Viking ship fails to make it into Tall Ships Duluth in August.

The Draken Harald Hårfagre was scheduled to make its stateside debut this summer and be among the highlights of the festival in Duluth and other port festivals throughout the Great Lakes beginning this weekend.

But the widely anticipated replica, one of two foreign vessels on tall ships dockets along with the Spanish El Galeón Andalucía, will stop in Bay City, Mich., this week before possibly turning around for home if it can't raise some $400,000 in pilotage fees.

"We have nothing to do with deciding whether a ship or boat does or doesn't require pilots — that's up for government to decide," said John Swartout, current president of the Western Great Lakes Pilot Association based in Superior on Tower Avenue. "Any non-United States or non-Canadian vessel that is not strictly recreational and that is over 35 meters in length is required by U.S. law to retain a U.S. or Canadian pilot. The (U.S.) Coast Guard determined those two vessels fit that description."

The local pilots make up the westernmost of three U.S. districts chartered by the Coast Guard to provide pilotage service.

Swartout said they reached out to the leadership of the Draken Harald Hårfagre last fall with a price quote for its services. How the vessel then came to believe it didn't qualify for pilotage fees is a matter for debate.

A news release from the ship company Monday said it believed it had been exempted from the requirement of pilotage for being just less than 35 meters in overall length. The $400-per-hour rates and $400,000 estimated price tag for passage throughout a months-long journey culminating in New York City in September "are not within reason for a nonprofit sail training vessel," the ship's news release said. "It blocks the opportunity for any foreign tall ship to enter the Great Lakes and visit the ports."

The news sent ripples throughout the community of tall-ships enthusiasts, who took to social media to express their displeasure. More than 800 comments were recorded on the vessel's Facebook page Tuesday related to the controversy.

"The people who are advocating for this are people who are aficionados, have historical interests or are fans who laid down money based on the lineup for tall-ships festivals," said retiree Jack Turbes of Denver, who started a petition on requesting the Coast Guard rescind the pilotage requirement. More than 7,000 people had signed as of Tuesday evening. A crowdfunding effort was also underway online, attempting to raise $100,000.

Pilotage regulations were established by U.S. Congress in 1960 and are part of the cost of doing business for foreign freighters carrying tons of cargo worth millions of dollars.

"This is the law," said Tall Ships Duluth executive producer Craig Samborski. "There's no doubt it's compulsory to have a pilot aboard."

While acknowledging the Viking ship probably wasn't considered when drafting the 1960 legislation, Swartout said it would take an act of Congress for the Coast Guard to waive the fee.

"They're getting paid a spartan fee and doing it out of a nonprofit and educational mission," Samborski said. "It's kind of a devastating thing to see unfold."

In Green Bay, where the Draken Harald Hårfagre is scheduled to be the weekend before its expected arrival in Duluth August 18-21, event spokesman Terry Charles said his group would be willing to pitch in more money to defray pilotage costs — but only if other ports along the way did the same.

"It's disappointing," he said. "It's been something people have been excited about. It's unlike anything we've had before when you've got somebody rowing here with oars."

Turbas cited the Viking Leif Erikson and his banishment from Iceland in discussing the ordeal. His enthusiasm for the ship was purely academic.

"I'm landlocked," Turbas said. "I'm not going to be anywhere near the boat. But there's a nice big fat number we've got to reach to get somebody's attention."

Whether that number is 7,000 signatures or $400,000, nobody could yet say for sure.

Duluth News Tribune


Lake Huron continues to post above average water levels despite poor rain

7/14 - Lake Huron – Despite the dry conditions Manitoulin Island has experienced so far this summer, Lake Huron is holding its own in the water levels department, posting above-average levels for July.

“There are interesting things going on with Lakes Huron and Michigan,” said Derrick Beach, editor of Environment Canada’s LEVELNews.

Beach explained that in November and December, the period that would normally see a seasonal decline, Lake Huron saw a small rise – a first in a century of record-keeping. Beach said there are two reasons for this: warmer temperatures that saw precipitation falling as rain directly into the lake, rather than snow or ice, and the fact that there were no major temperature spikes, the kind that cause evaporation.

March added to the mix of conditions that lent itself to keeping the levels high, as Lake Huron saw double the average levels of precipitation fall that month which made up for the lack of spring runoff.

“This set us up for April to June,” Beach continued. These three months saw well below the average precipitation numbers, but the beginning of July levels are still above average, by 28 centimetres, and 12 centimetres above last year’s levels for the same time—the highest levels since 1998.

“So we’re doing well,” he said. “It’s the sum of all the different parts.”

Lake Superior, however, has seen record breaking precipitation recently, which has also helped keep Lake Huron’s numbers high; that and the fact that the beginning of July precipitation figures for Lakes Huron and Michigan are actually higher than average for the watershed, this thanks to rains in Michigan.

Beach said that should Lake Huron see extremely dry conditions for the rest of the summer, the Great Lake will still see above average levels until November. “There’s enough water in the system to provide a buffer,” he added. “We’re predicting that we’ll stay well above average.”

Manitoulin Expositor


Port Reports -  July 14

Thunder Bay, Ont.
The saltie Solina and Algoma Discovery were loading grain on Thursday.

St. Marys River
Presque Isle, Buffalo, Algoma Equinox and Philip R. Clarke were downbound on a sunny but very windy Wednesday. Tanker Algonova heded downriver at dusk after unloading cargo at the Purvis dock. Esta Desgagnes was upbound for Thunder Bay in the early morning, while CSL’s Thunder Bay was upbound in the evening for her namesake port. James R. Barker was on a precall to DeTour at 10:30 p.m.

Grand Haven, Mich.
Algoway came in early Thursday morning and unloaded salt at Verplanks. She left around 2 p.m.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Manitowoc was expected to load at midnight on Wednesday. Wilfred Sykes is expected Thursday during the late morning. Joseph H. Thompson is due Friday during the late afternoon. Two vessels are expected Saturday, both in the early morning. The barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted are due first, followed by Manitowoc.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Michipicoten arrived on Wednesday during the late morning. Also due Wednesday was the Wilfred Sykes in the late afternoon. There are no vessels scheduled until July 17, when the Great Republic is expected in the early morning.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Arthur M. Anderson loaded at the South Dock on Wednesday and was expected to depart around 3:30 p.m. Expected Thursday is the Great Republic in the late afternoon loading at the North Dock. There are no vessels scheduled Friday and Saturday. Due in Sunday is the John J. Boland in the early morning for the South Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Cason J. Callaway loaded on Wednesday and was expected to depart around 4 p.m. There are no vessels scheduled for Thursday and Friday. Due in Saturday is the Philip R. Clarke in the mid-afternoon. Kaye E. Barker is due Sunday in the early morning. Due in July 18 are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann during the early afternoon. Philip R. Clarke is due in on July 19 in the early evening.

Little Current, Ont.
The cruise ship Victory I was in port on Thursday. Her next destination is Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

Goderich, Ont.
Algoma Transport was loading salt Wednesday afternoon.

Monroe, Mich.
John J. Boland was unloading Wednesday afternoon.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
At 11:25 a.m. Wednesday, the tug Victory/barge James L. Kuber were heading up the Maumee River bound for the ADM Elevator to load grain. American Mariner is expected to arrive at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Friday in the early afternoon. Also due at CSX to load on Saturday is the Hon. James L. Oberstar in the early morning. CSL Laurentien is also due at CSX on Saturday in the morning, and is scheduled to return to CSX again on July 19 in the early morning. There is no activity scheduled for the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. At the Torco Dock, the Mesabi Miner is due July 17 in the early morning. Also due at Torco is the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory on July 22 during the early evening hours. The James R. Barker rounds out the schedule and they are expected to arrive July 28 in the evening. Vessels in port included the saltie Isolda. The G tug Nebraska was in port along with the tug George Gradel.

Sandusky, Ohio
John B. Aird and the McKeil tug Sharon M. were on port on Wednesday.

Marblehead, Ohio
On Wednesday, Calumet was loading stone.


Guide to the 12 boats headed for the Bay City Tall Ship Celebration

7/14 - Bay City, Mich. – Nautical nerds rejoice. The 2016 Bay City Tall Ship Celebration is nearly here. The festival, expected to draw more than 100,000 people to the community, is the sixth time Bay City has hosted the event in the last 15 years. The celebration, which features a dozen tall ships that are on their way to Bay City, will run from July 14-17. In addition to ships that would be familiar to visitors of the 2013 Tall Ship Celebration, this year's event features new ships, including a Viking longship, a schooner built for Gen. George S. Patton and a replica 16th-17th century Spanish galleon. The ships were expected to sail up the Saginaw River and dock in Bay City on Thursday, kicking off the four-day festival. Read the rest of the story and view an interactive map here: at this link


Updates -  July 14

News Photo Gallery
We are working on the AIS system and some features may not be available.


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 cutter’s 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.

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.


Whitefish Bay runs aground near Hamilton Island

7/13 - Summerstown, Ont. – A large cargo ship has run aground east of Cornwall, Ont., in the St. Lawrence Seaway, according to witnesses.

Area residents, who were at their cottage, recall noticing the Canada Steamship Lines Whitefish Bay was off course before it dropped all its anchors around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

According to eyewitness accounts, the ship hit the rocks and the river bottom and then the captain tried unsuccessfully to turn the ship around. The CSL bulk carrier carries 24,430 metric tons of cargo.

Traffic is passing, but no meeting is allowed.

According to, the Whitefish Bay had left St. Catharines Monday and was supposed to arrive in Bathurst, N.B. on Thursday. The Whitefish Bay’s homeport is Montreal. The ship is 24 meters (79 feet) wide and 225 meters (738 feet) long.

A spokesperson for the Transportation Safety Board told Cornwall Newswatch it has been notified of the grounding and they are gathering information. As of 9:20 p.m. Tuesday, the TSB had not made a decision on whether to deploy a team to the area.

Cornwall Newswatch


World's largest Viking ship still coming to Bay City, despite fees

7/13 - Bay City, Mich. – The world's largest Viking ship is reversing course on its decision to pull out of the 2016 Bay City Tall Ship Celebration.

On Tuesday, July 12, officials with BaySail, the Bay City port organizer, said the Draken Harald Hårfagre still plans to sail into Bay City beginning Thursday, July 14, when the event kicks off. Officials from the Viking ship this week said they were canceling the ship's appearance after representatives said they could not cover $400,000 in unexpected waterway fees.

"The fees are not within reason for a nonprofit sail training vessel, it blocks the opportunity for any foreign tall ship to enter the Great Lakes and visit the ports," officials wrote on the vessel's webpage.

The Draken ship captain Björn Ahlander issued a statement Tuesday morning: "Despite the struggle with the pilotage fees Draken Harald Hårfagre and her crew has taken the decision to go through with the Tall Ships Celebration in Bay City.

"There is not room in our budget to go further west into the Great Lakes, but we can not let the people in Bay City down. The Tall Ships Celebration in Bay City is just days away and the planning is in its final stages, it would be great disappointment for us and more importantly to the people we already committed to."

Sarah Blank, spokeswoman for the Draken, said the ship is footing the bill for the pilotage fees to Bay City. She estimates it will take the ship about 24 hours to travel from Fairport Harbor, Ohio to Bay City. At $400 per hour, that could mean nearly $10,000 in fees for the ship.

Shirley Roberts, executive director for BaySail, confirmed the Draken is still coming to Bay City, "but currently has no plans to go any further."

The Draken is scheduled to sail to Chicago following the Bay City celebration and then make stops in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Duluth, Minnesota, and Erie, Pennsylvania. The ship is expected to leave the port in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, Tuesday evening, Blank said.

Blank said the crew will evaluate whether the ship can afford to sail to Chicago following the Bay City festival.

Read more, and view a photo gallery at this link


Port Reports -  July 13

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a hot, windy Tuesday included Saginaw (to Essar) in the morning, followed by Algoma Harvester. The salties Solina and Stade were upbound in the mid-afternoon, while Algoma Discovery was upbound in the late evening. Downbound traffic, all late in the day, included Tecumseh, Michipicoten, Alpena, Paul R. Tregurtha and Lee A. Tregurtha. As night fell, Kaye E. Barker, Hon. James L. Oberstar and Algonova were upbound near the DeTour area. Paul R. Tregurtha was delayed in Waiska Bay in the late afternoon due to fluctuating water levels.

Escanaba, Mich.
Joseph L. Block was loading on Tuesday night.

Port Huron, Mich.
The tall ships Pride of Baltimore and U.S. brig Niagara were upbound in the late afternoon with a destination of Bay City, Mich.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Karen Andrie and barge Endeavour departed Buffalo around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning.


Updates -  July 13

News Photo Gallery
Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Ardita, Arklow Willow, Bluewing, Elbeborg, Erria Swan, Federal Baltic, Federal Champlain, Federal Churchill, Federal Ems, Federal Kushiro, Federal Maas, Federal Schelde, Federal Weser, Flevoborg, Florence Spirit, Hanse Gate, Intrepid Canada, Kwintebank, Mona Swan, Morgenstond II, SCT Stockhorn, Sjard, Solina, Stade and Victory I.


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.


Lakes limestone trade down nearly 8 percent in June

7/12 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3.7 million tons in June, a decrease of 7.8 percent compared to a year ago. June’s loadings were, however, just slightly below the month’s 5-year average.

Loadings out of U.S. quarries totaled 2,948,189 tons, a decrease of 10 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian quarries totaled 780,907 tons, an increase of 16,770 tons, or roughly one load in a river-class laker.

Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 9.8 million tons, a decrease of 1 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings out of Michigan and Ohio quarries have slipped 4 percent to 7,842,580 tons. Shipments from Ontario quarries total 1,950,646 tons, an increase of 233,000 tons.

Lake Carriers’ Association


Tug tows museum ship Alexander Henry out of Kingston

7/12 - The tug Radium Yellowknife arrived at Kingston, Ont., on Monday to tow the now-former museum ship Alexander Henry out of her long-time home at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes to a storage dock in Picton, Ont.

About a dozen people showed up to watch as crews from Doornekamp Construction removed the ship. It is being towed to Picton at a cost of about $100,000. That’s where it will remain until a study is complete on the options for the vessel.

Museum officials hope it can be relocated, but there are two other possibilities being explored. The study will look at whether the ship should be sunk as an artificial dive reef in Lake Ontario, or sold for scrap.

Alexander Henry served her entire Canadian Coast Guard career on the Great Lakes. She was launched in 1958, commissioned in 1959, and retired from service in 1984 after CCGS Samuel Risley entered service. She has been operated as a museum by the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes, however the museum is being displaced this year after a new owner bought the property.

Ron Walsh, CKWS


Port Reports -  July 12

St. Marys River
At 10 p.m. Monday there were no large commercial vessels transiting the river system. Earlier in the day, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Buffalo were upbound. Baie St. Paul was downbound from Essar Steel for Burns Harbor in the late morning. At 10 p.m., American Century and American Integrity were an hour outside of DeTour.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
H. Lee White arrived Sunday. There are no vessels scheduled until Thursday, when Manitowoc is expected in the early morning. Wilfred Sykes is also due Thursday in the late afternoon.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Calumet was expected Sunday during the late afternoon. There were no vessels expected Monday. Due in Tuesday is the H. Lee White in the mid-afternoon. Michipicoten is due in Wednesday in the early morning. Rounding out the schedule is the Wilfred Sykes, also due Wednesday during the late afternoon.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
G.L. Ostrander tug and barge Integrity arrived at the Lafarge quay just after 5 a.m. CDT on Monday.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. loaded and were expected to depart on Monday around 3 p.m. Due Tuesday is the Arthur M. Anderson in the late evening for the South Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Cason J. Callaway loaded Sunday and was due to depart around 8:30 p.m. Expected Monday in the late afternoon was the Manitowoc. Kaye E. Barker was also expected during the evening on Monday. Due in Tuesday are the barge Pathfinder / tug Dorothy Ann in the early morning. Joseph H. Thompson is also due on Tuesday in the early morning. Cason J. Callaway returns on Tuesday in the early evening.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Algoma Enterprise loaded at the CSX Coal Dock on Monday. Also due at CSX is the CSL Laurentien on Tuesday in the early morning. Due at CSX on Thursday is the American Mariner in the early morning. James L. Kuber is due at CSX on Thursday in the late evening. Expected at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock is the Mississagi on Tuesday in the late afternoon. At the Torco Dock, the James L. Kuber is expected Tuesday in the late afternoon. Mesabi Miner is also due at Torco on July 16 in the late afternoon, and the James L. Kuber is due to return to Torco on July 20 in the morning. Vessels in port included the saltie Isolda upriver loading a grain cargo. The Manitoulin arrived from Buffalo after unloading a grain cargo there.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The tug/barge Karen Andrie - Endeavour were on the way in at the north entrance Monday afternoon, with the American Mariner about two hours behind her carrying grain for General Mills.


Familiar saltie Federal Polaris goes to scrap

7/12 - The saltwater vessel Federal Kasser (IMO 8321929) of Belize registry, perhaps more familiar Fednav Ltd.’s Federal Polaris, arrived at Alang, India on July 3 and was beached there for scrapping.

Federal Polaris (1985-2014) first came inland as such in 1985 and last visited during the 2013 season. On or about April 17, 2014 the ship was sold and renamed Federal Kasser of Belize registry. The vessel never returned inland and carried the name Federal Kasser from 2014 until the time that it arrived at Alang. The vessel also has two other near-sisterships still in operation, the former Federal Agno and Federal Fuji, now the True Brothers and Federal Adi. Neither has returned inland as such.

Denny Dushane


Michigan security firm lands contract to guard Soo Locks

7/12 - Grand Rapids, Mich. – DK Security announced it has been awarded a one-year federal contract to provide armed security guard services at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie

The Grand Rapids-based firm has hired 25 officers to provide an estimated 650 hours of security services per week at the Soo Locks site, the company said in a news release on Friday, July 8.

The one-year contract includes the option for renewal for up to three years. The news release did not specify the amount involved in the contract.

Read more, and view a photo gallery at this link.

 M Live


Upgrade brings historically accurate lens to Buffalo Lighthouse

7/12 - Buffalo, N.Y. – Ever since a year after Buffalo was incorporated as a city in 1832, the Buffalo Lighthouse has illuminated the way for and welcomed millions of immigrants coming in through the Erie Canal.

The lighthouse’s beacon has served as a navigational tool for immigration and commerce, and its edifice is even depicted on Buffalo’s official seal.

But on June 24, the lighthouse’s beam began glowing even brighter after its smaller light was replaced with a larger one that is even more visible to mariners.

The project involved removing the fourth-order Fresnel lens, the glass beehive of concentric prisms that bend light into a narrow beam that makes it more visible. The fourth-order lens was replaced with a larger, third-order Fresnel lens, named for French physicist Augustin Fresnel, who invented it in 1822.

The smaller lens lit the tower from 1987 to 2014, but it was deteriorating and in danger of fracturing. The old lens “way expended its useful life,” said Stasia Vogel, the Buffalo Lighthouse Association’s director of special events and tours.

The new lens is made of acrylic and brass and is modeled to be more historically accurate. Its design replicates the 1865 lens that was housed in lighthouse until 1905.

Ever since a year after Buffalo was incorporated as a city in 1832, the Buffalo Lighthouse has illuminated the way for and welcomed millions of immigrants coming in through the Erie Canal.

The lighthouse’s beacon has served as a navigational tool for immigration and commerce, and its edifice is even depicted on Buffalo’s official seal.

But on June 24, the lighthouse’s beam began glowing even brighter after its smaller light was replaced with a larger one that is even more visible to mariners.

The project involved removing the fourth-order Fresnel lens, the glass beehive of concentric prisms that bend light into a narrow beam that makes it more visible. The fourth-order lens was replaced with a larger, third-order Fresnel lens, named for French physicist Augustin Fresnel, who invented it in 1822.

The smaller lens lit the tower from 1987 to 2014, but it was deteriorating and in danger of fracturing.

The old lens “way expended its useful life,” said Stasia Vogel, the Buffalo Lighthouse Association’s director of special events and tours.

The new lens is made of acrylic and brass and is modeled to be more historically accurate. Its design replicates the 1865 lens that was housed in lighthouse until 1905. The new design projects light up to 15 miles out into Lake Erie.

In late June, the nonprofit Lighthouse Association celebrated the completion of the project with a gala dinner, festival and relighting. The entire lens project cost about $120,000 and was made possible by grants from the East Hill Foundation and the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation.

The old 1987 lens is now displayed in the Heritage Discovery Center on Lee Street.

For association founding members Mike and Stasia Vogel, the re-lit lighthouse is about preserving not only history, but the city’s identity. “It’s our way of giving back to the community, which is what, we think, is the outstanding history of Buffalo,” said Stasia Vogel, also speaking on behalf of her husband.

The Vogels have spent about 30 years working to preserve the historical significance of lighthouses, not only in Buffalo, but across the country.

Now, the nonprofit is working to restore the South Buffalo Light Station, which is the site of the first Marconi radio transmission tower on the Great Lakes and houses the former Great Lakes fog signal testing station. That restoration is estimated to cost about $850,000.

Buffalo News


Updates -  July 12

News Photo Gallery


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.

190:9 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

St. Marys River
Tim S. Dool was upbound early Sunday morning. Presque Isle followed in mid-afternoon. Edwin H. Gott, Evans Spirit, Hon. James L. Oberstar, Stewart J. Cort, Flevoborg and James R. Barker were downbound.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Federal Schelde arrived just before 9 a.m. Sunday and moored at Nidera elevators.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W
Manitoulin departed Buffalo on Sunday afternoon bound for Toledo with a rough ETA of 8 a.m. Monday. It is not known which dock she is bound for.


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 MacArthur Lock was formally opened to traffic. The first boat to lock through during the ceremonies was the upbound CARL D. BRADLEY, Captain F. F. Pearse. There were 250 dignitaries and passengers aboard the Bradley during the lockage. The first downbound 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: CHOCTAW, enroute from Cleveland to Duluth with a cargo of coal, sank following a collision with the WAHCONDAH in foggy Lake Huron. All on board were saved.

1940: WILLIAM F. STIFEL ran aground in the St. Clair River near Port Lambton and was struck by the ALBERT E. HEEKIN. 1964: CHEMBARGE NO. 4, formerly a) JUDGE KENEFICK and b) H.J. McMANUS was 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 lost power and went aground in mud off Courtright and six tugs were 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.


Cruise ship Victory 1 back in Seaway

7/10 - The cruise ship Victory 1 was westbound at Montreal Friday night on her first trip inland under that name. Last year she sailed as Saint Laurent for the new, but now defunct Haimark Line.

As Saint Laurent, she suffered damage after hitting a wall in the Eisenhower Lock in Massena, N.Y., on June 2015. Haimark blamed the accident for its bankruptcy filing last fall.

She was built in 2001 for American Classic Voyages as the Cape May Light. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks caused a slump in the cruise industry, American Classic Voyages filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Her current operator is Miami-based Victory Cruise Lines. The ship is scheduled to sail the Great Lakes through the summer and early fall of 2016 and 2017.


Port Reports -  July 10

St. Marys River
Joseph L. Block and Kaye E. Barker were downbound in the late afternoon/early evening Saturday, followed by American Mariner. Alpena, Paul R. Tregurtha and Federal Maas were upbound. Baie St. Paul was at the Essar Export Dock.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Mississagi arrived Saturday in the early morning. Also due Saturday was the barge Pere Marquette 41 / tug Undaunted in the late morning. Due in Sunday are the H. Lee White during the early morning, as well as the Wilfred Sykes.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading Saturday. Due Sunday is the Wilfred Sykes at noon, followed by the Cason J. Callaway on Sunday in the early evening. There are no vessels scheduled Monday. Due in Tuesday is the H. Lee White in the morning.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Polsteam vessel Isolda departed Milwaukee Saturday morning, headed for Toledo according to AIS.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading Saturday. Two vessels are expected on Sunday, with the Joseph H. Thompson due in the early morning for the North Dock followed by the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. in the early evening, also for the North Dock. There are no vessels due Monday. Due to arrive Tuesday is the Arthur M. Anderson in the early afternoon, loading at the South Dock. No vessels are scheduled for Wednesday. Great Republic is due on Thursday in the morning, loading at the North Dock.

Stoneport. Mich. – Denny Dushane
Great Republic loaded Saturday and was expected to depart around 8 p.m. Also due in Saturday was the Arthur M. Anderson in the early afternoon. Due in Sunday is the Cason J. Callaway in the morning. Two vessels are expected on Monday, with the barge Lewis J. Kuber / tug Olive L. Moore due during the lunch hour, followed during the early evening by the Kaye E. Barker. Another two vessels are expected Tuesday, with the Joseph H. Thompson arriving in the early morning and the Cason J. Callaway returning in the late afternoon.

Owen Sound, Ont. Algoma Olympic is fitting out and expected to leave Sunday for Goderich to load salt.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane Algoma Enterprise is expected to arrive at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Sunday in the late morning, however they will not begin to load until Monday morning. Also due at CSX is the CSL Laurentien on Tuesday during the early morning. American Mariner is due at CSX on July 14 during the early morning, and the barge James L. Kuber / tug Victory are due at CSX on July 14 in the early evening. At the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock, Mississagi is expected on Tuesday during the late afternoon. For the Torco Dock, the barge James L. Kuber and the tug Victory are expected on Tuesday at noon. Mesabi Miner is due at Torco on July 16 in the early evening, while the James L. Kuber and Victory are due to return to Torco on July 20 in the early morning.


Familiar saltie Olympic Miracle goes to scrap

7/10 - The saltwater vessel Mallia (IMO 8307662) of Sierra Leone registry, more familiar to many as the onetime Greek saltie Olympic Miracle, arrived at Alang, India, on June 29, and was beached for scrapping. Olympic Miracle (1984-2011) was part of the Onassis Shipping Group of Athens, Greece. She first came inland as such in 1986 and last visited in 2010. The ship was sold in May 2011 and renamed Cleanthes of Panama. It carried that name from 2011, and was sold and renamed again in August 2014. As the Cleanthes, the vessel never returned inland. After being sold and renamed in 2014, the vessel became the Mallia, and never came inland with that name. Olympic Miracle had four other sisterships, all of which have been scrapped – Calliroe Patronicola, Olympic Melody, Olympic Merit and the Olympic Mentor. All were familiar sights on the Great Lakes and Seaway system.

Denny Dushane


Updates -  July 10

News Photo Gallery


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.


Peter R. Cresswell scrap tow update

7/9 - The tug VB Hispania, with the ex-laker Peter R. Cresswell in tow, passed through the Strait of Gibraltar on July 7 Gibraltar time on her way to Aliaga, Turkey, where the Cresswell will join other former fleetmates at the scrapyard there.

John Tokarz


Great Lakes iron ore trade down 7 percent in June

7/9 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 5.8 million tons in June, a decrease of 7.3 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments also trailed the month’s 5-year average by 8.4 percent.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 5.2 million tons in June, a decrease of 5.5 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings at Canadian terminals dipped 19 percent to 564,000 tons.

Year-to-date the iron ore trade stands at 21.2 million tons, an increase of just 126,041 tons compared to the same point in 2015. Loadings at U.S. ports are up 3.7 percent, but shipments from Canadian ports in the St. Lawrence Seaway are down nearly 21 percent.

Lake Carriers’ Association


Essar Steel Minnesota files for bankruptcy after Dayton pulls mineral leases

7/9 - Essar Steel Minnesota, which once promised the state’s first new taconite plant in decades and the state’s first direct-reduced iron plant, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday after falling short of both of those promises.

The company filed in federal court in Delaware on the same day that Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton refused to extend a deadline to terminate Essar’s state mineral leases that gave the company access to the iron ore at the proposed mine site outside Nashwauk.

Dayton said he took back the leases because it’s clear the company doesn't have the financial ability to finish the job or pay its contractors.

Dayton in May had set a July 1 deadline for Essar, which has been out of cash since 2015, to come up with a financing plan to pay its creditors and contractors and complete the $1.9 billion project that sits half built and idle.

The company could not meet the deadline and asked for another extension. Dayton said no.

“This morning I instructed the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to terminate Essar Steel Minnesota’s lease agreements with the state,” Dayton said in a statement. “The company has been told for the past nine months that the state would not extend those leases beyond July 1, 2016, unless it paid the full amounts it owed to Minnesota contractors and showed that it had the ability to carry its current construction project through to completion. The company has not done so, and has provided no reliable assurances that it will be able to do so in the foreseeable future.”

Essar has been looking for either more bank credit or new partners in the site, but its creditors — the company owes more than $1 billion on the project — also have been shopping the project around with Essar out of the picture.

It’s not clear how Essar’s assets at Nashwauk will be handled by the bankruptcy court. But on Friday, Dayton threw his support to Cliffs Natural Resources to take on the project, saying he recently met with Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves. Goncalves has made several public comments about his interest in the Nashwauk site if Cliffs can get the state mineral leases.

“The state of Minnesota will continue those negotiations with Cliffs and obtain a firm commitment to execute those plans, before the leases are re-assigned. Mr. Goncalves and I will travel to the Range on Tuesday to discuss his plans in greater detail,” Dayton said. "I remain dedicated to assuring that these state leases are utilized by a responsible entity to mine and process their resources, and to create more jobs and further economic growth on the Iron Range.”

The Tuesday meeting, details of which have not been announced, will be open to the public, Dayton said, and to contractors owed millions of dollars by Essar. He told reported Friday that some of the businesses Essar owes "are in dire financial straits,” and that Essar showed “no willingness to make whole the vendors and produce the product."

Dayton said that if Cliffs buys the Essar assets, it “would be in the long-term best interest of the economy up there.”

Goncalves said he’s eager to get involved in the Essar project, especially working toward creating a direct-reduced iron plant at the site. That product is used in electric steel mills that can’t use traditional taconite iron ore from Minnesota.

The state owns the mineral rights under about 50 percent of the land where Essar wants to dig for taconite iron ore in what's considered one of the richest deposits on the Iron Range, said Tom Landwehr, Department of Natural Resources commissioner.

The DNR awarded the leases to Essar, as it does to many mining companies, in exchange for a lease fee ($194,000 annually in this case) and a royalty on any ore mined from those parcels in the future.

Several private trusts also own mineral leases where the Essar mine would be located, and Essar had purchased rights for those, but it is unlikely Essar could proceed without the state leases.

Landwehr said Minnesota gave Essar an extra seven days after the July 1 deadline because company said it was close to finding new investors. “They attempted to bring some investors in at the last minute. Obviously, that didn’t happen,’’ Landwehr said. “They ran out of chances”

An Essar spokesman did not return a request for comment Friday.

Both Essar Steel Minnesota and a holding company ESM Holding Inc. filed for bankruptcy Friday, listing more than $1 billion in debt. According to the legal news website, the filing came just weeks after Essar’s insurer sued the company for allegedly violating an indemnity agreement related to bonds issued by the company.

The governor’s decision to pull the leases was just the last hit in what has been a very bad year leading up to Essar’s bankruptcy. In January the company said it had laid off almost all of its employees and sent home all construction workers at its half-built plant in Nashwauk, out of cash and unable to finish the $1.9 billion job.

In February, a lawsuit filed in State District Court in Itasca County claimed Essar owed New York-based Axis Capital Funding more than $27.6 million for the giant haul trucks and shovels delivered to the mine last year but apparently not paid for. It’s one of several suits and claims against the company for unpaid bills, including $66 million Essar owes the state of Minnesota for unfulfilled economic development promises. Landwehr said Friday that Essar owes $49 million to Minnesota-based vendors alone.

In March, Reuters reported that Essar had hired investment bank Guggenheim Partners LLC and law firm White & Case LLP as debt restructuring advisers.

Then in May, in what may be the most devastating blow yet, Essar lost its only major customer for the taconite that was supposed to be produced at the Nashwauk plant when ArcelorMittal signed a 10-year agreement with Cliffs Natural Resources for taconite. That contact had been Essar’s, but with no Essar plant producing ore, ArcelorMittal needed a ready supplier, and Cliffs was ready to oblige.

The Nashwauk facility was to be one of the state’s largest private construction jobs and the first all-new major taconite operation on the Iron Range in 40 years. It was supposed to be employing 350 people by 2014 producing some 7 million tons of taconite iron ore pellets each year. Plans originally called for an iron and steel plant on the site, creating even more jobs, although Essar scrapped those years ago.

Ground was broken in 2008 on the taconite project, but work occurred in fits and starts. Essar said it obtained $850 million in financing in 2014 and indeed restarted work in earnest last year. The company as recently as October appeared poised to finish the project and begin making taconite pellets late this year. But that promise was dashed last winter when 700 construction workers and even most of Essar's own newly hired employees were pulled off the project and sent home before the first pellet was produced.

And Essar is in financial trouble in other nations, too.

In Canada, the company has had to declare bankruptcy and reorganize its Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., steel mill. The website reports that Essar Steel Algoma has saddled 125 local creditors with more than $38 million in debt. The largest local creditor is the city of Sault Ste. Marie, which is owed $14 million by the troubled steelmaker.

Last month Reuters reported that Essar Global — the Mumbai, India-based parent company of the Essar empire — was looking to sell its giant 405,000 barrel-per-day oil refinery in Gujarat, India, to help pay off ballooning debt. Essar, which is controlled by the billionaire Ruia brothers and has assets in the oil and gas, steel, ports and power sectors, has faced pressure from creditors to reduce borrowing that some analysts estimate at more than $14 billion.

Essar also has been under pressure from banks in India to find a new owner for its India-based Essar Steel India LLC. If the company doesn’t find a new equity buyer, published reports noted, the banks will find a buyer themselves and force the sale.

Duluth News Tribune


Port Reports -  July 9

St. Marys River
USCG cutter Mackinaw was downbound during the mid-morning on Friday. John B. Aird and Lee A. Tregurtha were downbound later in the day.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory arrived on Friday during the lunch hour to load. There are three vessels scheduled Saturday, with Mississagi due first in the early morning, followed later by the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted. H. Lee White is also expected Saturday at noon. There are no vessels due Sunday. Rounding out the schedule is the Wilfred Sykes, due on Monday in the early morning.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Philip R. Clarke was expected in the early evening to load. There are no vessels due for Saturday. Two vessels are scheduled on Sunday, with Wilfred Sykes due at noon, followed by the Calumet in the early evening. H. Lee White is due on Monday in the early evening.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann were expected during the early afternoon on Friday at the South Dock to load. No vessels are scheduled for Saturday. Due in Sunday is the Joseph H. Thompson during the early morning for the North Dock. The barge Lakes Contender and the tug Ken Boothe Sr. are also due in for Sunday in the early afternoon for the North Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Manitowoc was expected on Friday in the early evening. Due on Saturday are Great Republic in the early morning and the Arthur M. Anderson in the early afternoon. Expected Sunday is the Cason J. Callaway in the early morning. Another two vessels are due Monday, with the Kaye E. Barker arriving in the early morning and the barge Lewis J. Kuber and tug Olive L. Moore due in during the lunch hour.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
The revised schedule has Algoma Enterprise due at the CSX Coal Dock on Sunday during the morning, however, they will not begin loading until Monday morning. Also due at CSX is the CSL Laurentien on Tuesday in the early morning. Due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock is the Mississagi on Tuesday during the late afternoon. Expected arrivals at the Torco Dock include the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory on Tuesday at noon, followed by the 1,000 footer Mesabi Miner on July 16 in the early evening.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Manitoulin was downbound on the St. Clair River Friday and due here Saturday.


Saturday's Round Island Lighthouse open house canceled

7/9 - Due to unforeseen circumstances, the 8th annual Round Island Lighthouse open house today has been canceled. The group received a call Thursday afternoon from the forest service stating it is not allowed to allow visitors inside the lighthouse.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconveniences this may have caused. Please share this message and help us get the word out

Round Island Lighthouse Preservation Society


Fednav's new Federal Churchill due in Montreal

7/9 - Federal Churchill (IMO 9671060), owned by Fednav Ltd. of Montreal and built in 2016 at the Oshima Shipbuilding Co. in Japan, is due in Montreal, Que., on July 11. The vessel is coming from Baie Comeau, where it arrived on July 6. After Montreal, the vessel will begin its first inland voyage with a destination of Duluth, Minn., where it will most likely load a grain cargo.

Federal Churchill is one of 10 new vessels built for Fednav Ltd. at the Oshima shipyard. The B series, all built in 2015, consists of Federal Baltic, Federal Barents, Federal Beaufort, Federal Bering, Federal Biscay and Federal Bristol, all of which have made inland voyages. The C-series currently consists of four vessels, Federal Caribou, Federal Cedar, Federal Champlain and Federal Churchill. Each of the new ships have four deck cranes, whereas some of their fleetmates are equipped with only three deck cranes.

Denny Dushane


Lake levels continue running high, trend causes erosion concerns

7/9 - Holland, Mich. – A pair of staircases at an Ottawa County park were recent victims of collateral damage related to Lake Michigan's high water level. “There was no way to walk down them without going in the water,” Coordinator of Park Maintenance and Operations Jason Boerger said.

Lakes Michigan and Huron, which share measurements due to their connection at the Straits of Mackinac, are currently at the highest level they have been at since the late 1990s. Following a decade and a half of low water, the two lakes have rebounded in a big way — a trend that has continued this summer.

“They are at the highest levels we have seen since the late 1990s,” said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District.

Lake Michigan-Huron’s average water level in June was just more than 580 feet — six inches higher than last year and nearly a foot more than the body of water’s long-term average.

After hitting a record low in early 2013, water levels have sprung back in the last few years. That’s thanks to heavy snows in winters 2013 and 2014, Kompoltowicz said, and subsequent wet springs.

“(Lakes Michigan and Huron) rose in the course of two calendar years more than we’ve seen in our period of record,” Kompoltowicz said. Lake-wide average records go back to 1918.

Put into historical context, however, the recently high levels look less impressive: Lake Michigan and Huron circa the mid-1980s recorded levels nearly 20 inches higher than June 2016's figure.

Still, the water is high. But while it has been a boon for boaters, more Lake Michigan has caused some complications for local beaches. Aside from smothering sandy shoreline, high water levels also raises concern about erosion — although not quite in the way you might expect.

Jim Selegean, hydraulic engineer with the Corps, said that waves, rather than the water’s general height, are the major mover as far as lakeshore erosion is concerned. While high levels are more likely to erode beaches and dunes, even low levels will chip away at sand bars and other unseen features of the lake.

But because Lake Michigan’s water level has been so low for so long, this higher-lake trend is manifesting itself in a particularly damaging way. The past 15 years worth of low lake-level erosion has removed many of the natural barriers between shore and the traditionally deeper, larger waves.

Holland Sentinel


St. Joseph Lighthouse open for tours

7/9 - For the first time ever, the St. Joseph North Breakwater Lighthouse is being opened for tours on selected dates. On July 9, 15 and 23, plus August 6, 12, 20 and 26, then again on September 3 and 4.

Tickets for the tours cost $10 for adults and $5 for children under 18. There is an additional charge of $5 to park in the adjacent Tiscornia Park where the tours will begin near the covered pavilion.

The rear range light was built in 1898 and rebuilt 1907. A 26-foot square steel-framed fog signal building encased in 3/8" cast iron plates with an octagonal light tower on a hip roof. The helical bar lantern room contains a Fourth-Order fixed Fresnel lens with a brass reflector manufactured by Sautter & Company of Paris. The building is white with a red roof, and the lantern room is painted black.

Tour information is available at at this link


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 was 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.


No injuries reported after freighter hits sailboat

7/8 - Port Huron, Mich. – No one was injured on a sailboat after it was hit by a freighter in the St. Clair River near the Blue Water Bridge about 11:15 a.m. Port Huron Fire Capt. Corey Nicholson said the sailboat was towed to a Canadian harbor. Unofficial reports indicate the freighter involved was the saltwater vessel Lubie.

Port Huron Times Herald


Workers injured when Burlington Lift Bridge cable snaps; span closed to large ships

7/8 - Hamilton, Ont. – Two workers have been injured — one critically — after an electrical cable snapped on the Burlington Lift Bridge. Halton Regional Police said three workers were on bridge scaffolding when the incident occurred around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. The bridge is being refurbished.

One was rushed to hospital in with life-threatening injuries, while another suffered minor injuries and has also been hospitalized. Police said it wasn’t yet clear how the workers were injured. They said the cable broke loose, falling into the water.

Traffic in the area has resumed but the bridge is closed to large ships.

The Ministry of Labour has been called in. Work began earlier this week to replace the bridge’s controls, drives and cables. The replacement of key components of the lift system is designed to extend the serviceable life of the bridge, which opened in 1962.

Global News


Wind turbine parts arrive in Ogdensburg by ship and rail

7/8 - Ogdensburg, N.Y. – The Port of Ogdensburg has seen increased activity in recent days as the main components of a new wind turbine project roll into the facility by both ship and rail.

On Wednesday, the 143- meter, 9,000-ton general cargo ship Morgenstond II, sailing under the flag of the Netherlands, made port in Ogdensburg. The ship’s main cargo included stacks of white tower sections that will be used to construct a new wind farm near the hamlet of Churubusco in Clinton County.

The huge blades for the turbines will also be arriving at the Port of Ogdensburg, but instead of coming by ship, are arriving at the port by train.

Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority Executive Director Wade A. Davis said the turbine blades are so large that one propeller fills two flat bed rail cars. He said once the blades arrive at the Port of Ogdensburg, they will be placed in storage until they can be transported to Clinton County project site by tractor trailer truck.

Davis said the influx of new turbine parts both by ship and by rail is another example of the important economic roll that the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority plays across the north country region.

“This is a great example of the Port of Ogdensburg contributing to the economic vitality of the region,” Davis said. “The public will soon see increased activity at the port and at the rail yard as the blades and towers continue to arrive by both boat and train.”

The Journal


Port Reports -  July 8

Marquette, Mich.
The USCG cutter Mackinaw was secured at Mattson Lower Harbor Park on Thursday morning. By evening she was on Lake Superior, making her way to the St. Marys River. Kaye E. Barker and Lee A. Tregurtha were also in port Thursday.

St. Marys River
Upbound vessels Thursday included Flevoborg, Edwin H. Gott, Evans Spirit (on her first visit to the system and headed for Thunder Bay) and James R. Barker. Mesabi Miner was head up in the lower river near Lime Island at dusk. Downbound traffic included Sjard, Presque Isle, Federal Kushiro, Walter J. McCarthy Jr., G3 Marquis, tug Victory and barge, Leonard M and barge Huron Spirit, and Edgar B. Speer in the late evening.

Escanaba, Mich.
Buffalo was loading Thursday evening,

Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Saltie Isolda arrived late Wednesday evening, and moored at Pier 2.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Inbound on the Saginaw River Wednesday morning, the tug Undaunted, and her self-unloading barge, Pere Marquette 41, called on the Port Fisher - Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. The pair finished unloading later in the day and were back outbound for the lake.

Detroit, Mich.
Philip R. Clarke unloaded stone for Detroit Bulk Storage Thursday afternoon.

Les Méchins, Que.
CSL Niagara arrived at Les Méchins drydock July 6.


Homeland security on Great Lakes starts with Jones Act

7/8 - Cleveland, Ohio – The Jones Act’s requirement that cargo moving between U.S. ports be carried in vessels that are U.S.-owned, U.S.-built and U.S.-crewed is the Great Lakes region’s “best line of maritime homeland security defense” James H.I. Weakley, President of Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA), told a Congressional hearing yesterday.

“If you ask me what the single most important thing you [Congress] can do to encourage maritime homeland security, I would say support the Jones Act.”

Weakley, testifying before a joint hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee and the House Homeland Security Committee’s Maritime and Border Protection Subcommittee, explained that vessels owned and crewed by Americans under the Jones Act have a very different risk profile than foreign vessels.

“For example, our Jones Act mariners have all gone through extensive checks in order to receive their licenses, credentials and Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) cards. Many have been trained at our maritime schools and universities. They live here. They work here. In fact, many of these mariners and companies are full partners with our American law enforcement agencies through a series of programs and partnerships that encourage American seafarers to report suspicious activities.”

While the exact security measures employed on Jones Act lakers are considered “sensitive security information” under U.S. regulations, Weakley noted crews practice access control, perimeter expansion, personnel screening, vessel security sweeps, and inspection of cargo and ship stores.

“We not only adjust our security profile based on the prescribed threat level but also on the vessel operations and operational area. For example, if the vessel is moored at a facility that is not required to comply with facility security regulations, undergoing winter maintenance, in long-term storage or operating in restricted waters, we may also adjust our security profile.”

Weakley further noted that several LCA members are cooperating with a vendor on a project that could benefit both law enforcement and search and rescue responders.

“The program records vessel radar pictures with automatic identification system (AIS) data and allows shore based operators to remotely access the information. We believe the system, if proven successful, could be used to identify patterns of suspicious activity. Radars can monitor “uncooperative” aircraft and vessels that are not required to or choose not to transmit AIS data. Having the ability to look at a series of historical radar screens in an area can reveal suspicious trends and having real time access to remotely look at a radar picture from a vessel underway vastly expands the ability of shore based monitoring systems.”

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Eyes on the Water program is another way Great Lakes Jones Act mariners help keep the waterway safe.

“In the wake of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York, the Coast Guard has formalized a program that encourages professional mariners to report suspicious activity on the water,” Weakley explained. “Through (the program), the Coast Guard recognized that the more eyes looking, the better, and who could be more qualified to recognize that something is afoul than the professionals who routinely sail the trade routes.

“All of our members participate and report unusual or suspicious activity (e.g., when an unmanned aerial vehicle buzzes a vessel or a critical piece of infrastructure). These are low cost, common sense programs that make our homeland more secure, and we are proud to be full partners.”

Other respected voices support the Jones Act and its role in homeland security. Former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton, a former Washington State attorney general and member of the 911 Commission, recently wrote that “helping to plug a porous border is a benefit of the Jones Act that is far too often overlooked.”

Dr. Daniel Goure of the Lexington Institute, a prominent think tank, has prepared two studies recently, including one titled “Venerable Jones Act Provides an Important Barrier to Terrorist Infiltration of the Homeland.” He wrote that “Since 911, the Jones Act has taken on new significance in a way no one … could have imagined. It now plays an important role in securing the homeland from the threat of international terrorism.”

Dr. Goure also stressed that “the task of securing U.S. seaports and foreign cargoes is daunting by itself. It makes no sense to add to the burden facing domestic security agencies by allowing foreign-owned ships operated by foreign crews to move freely throughout America’s inland lakes, rivers and waterways. The requirement that all the officers and fully 75 percent of the crews of vessels engaged in cabotage be U.S. citizens goes a long way to reducing the risk that terrorists could get onboard or execute an attack on a U.S. target. In effect, there is a system of self-policing that reduces the requirement for law enforcement and homeland security organizations to expend time and effort to ensure that these vessels and crews are safe to traverse U.S. waters.

Were the Jones Act not in existence, the Department of Homeland Security would be confronted by the difficult and very costly requirement of monitoring, regulating and overseeing foreign-controlled, foreign-crewed vessels in coastal and internal U.S. waters.

Although the Jones Act was passed by Congress in 1920, the United States has reserved its domestic waterborne commerce to vessels owned, built and crewed by Americans since 1817. The level playing field the law ensures has allowed the U.S.-flag Great Lakes fleet to evolve into the world’s largest assemblage of self-unloading vessels. In fact, the self-unloading vessel was invented to serve the Great Lakes dry-bulk trades. So efficient are these vessels that the largest can discharge 70,000 tons of cargo in 10-12 hours without any assistance from shoreside personnel or equipment.

The requirement that Jones Act vessels be crewed with mariners licensed and credentialed by the U.S. Coast Guard means they are held to the world’s highest standards.

Lake Carriers’ Association


Chicago native to take command of local Coast Guard unit Friday

7/8 - Chicago, Ill. – The crew of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago is scheduled to hold a change-of-command ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday at the Bolingbrook Golf Club in Bolingbrook, Ill.

Cmdr. Zeita Merchant will relieve Capt. Ryan Manning as the commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Chicago Friday morning. A native of Chicago, Merchant will be the first African American female commanding officer in history to command a Coast Guard marine safety unit and the first female officer to command Marine Safety Unit Chicago.

Merchant’s most recent tours include serving as the special assistant to the vice commandant of the Coast Guard; the executive officer of Marine Safety Unit Texas City, Texas; and a congressional fellow on two committees in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Manning took command of Marine Safety Unit Chicago in July 2014 and has been selected to serve as the chief of the Coast Guard Office of Port and Facility Compliance at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.



Tall Ships arrive at Fairport Harbor

7/8 - Fairport, Ohio – The Tall Ships sailed into Fairport Harbor Thursday. The lakeside port east of Cleveland is one of only a handful of locations hosting the Tall Ships Challenge this summer. The event, which runs from Thursday, July 7, to Sunday, July 10, will feature daily ship tours, day sails, educational programming, food and entertainment.

The Tall Ships have been a highlight of Cleveland summers since 2001, but had to move east this year because of scheduling conflicts with the Republican National Convention.

Nine Tall Ships have been invited to the event, hosted every three years in the Great Lakes area. They include the U.S. Brig Niagara from Erie, Pennsylvania, and the Pride of Baltimore II.

The 2013 festival in Cleveland drew an estimated 100,000 people.

Tickets for Tall Ships Fairport Harbor are on sale at See the website for more information.

Cleveland Plain Dealer


This summer, Lake Superior goes under the microscope

7/8 - Duluth, Minn. – Lake Superior is the world’s largest freshwater lake by surface area. Because it is so vast, it takes a special effort to know more about it. We need more than “what you see is what you get.”

That’s why a team of scientists is plying the big lake’s waters this summer to discover hidden reaches and untold stories. The scientists want to answer, in effect, what lies below when it comes to things like zooplankton, mud and mercury levels. Even the air above the lake won’t escape scrutiny.

This effort represents a chance to measure many aspects of the whole lake rather than single, geographically isolated parts or perhaps only one set of biological, physical or chemical properties. It’s also a chance to involve both the U.S. and Canadian sides of the lake.

From now until October, if you gaze out onto the lake, you may be able to catch sight of the 180-foot U.S. Environmental Protection Agency research vessel, or RV, Lake Guardian. The vessel will be navigating from one predetermined research spot to the next. These are known as research stations, which are not physical structures but are instead sampling sites used in previous in-depth studies.

In addition to that ship, which is leading the way with a year of intensive research in something called a Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative, others will join the fact-finding fleet. There’s the U.S. Geological Survey’s research vessel Kiyi and the EPA’s research vessel Lake Explorer II.

In addition, multiple autonomous underwater gliders — yellow, torpedo-shaped samplers — will be swimming around the lake, guided by satellites and onboard computers. One of these zippy instruments hails from the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Large Lakes Observatory. EPA and UMD researchers and other federal and state agency scientists will be studying the lower food web, contaminants, the near-shore environment, deep-water organisms, aquatic invasive species and what factors might make certain areas of the lake prone to nutrient or algae problems. Results will help scientists and natural resource managers note what’s improved compared to previous lake studies.

In addition to scientists, 15 educators from around the Great Lakes basin will climb aboard the RV Lake Guardian ship. The group includes Deanna Erickson from the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve and Lori Danz from the Superior school district. Duluthians are Krystal Reil Maas, who teaches advanced chemistry and environmental science at Marshall School, and Samantha Smingler, school programs coordinator with the Great Lakes Aquarium.

Wisconsin Sea Grant, along with Minnesota Sea Grant, jointly selected these teachers to participate in a weeklong cruise starting Saturday. They will assist in some of the research projects and will, importantly, bring their experiences back to classrooms to inspire student wonder in the Great Lakes. Their participation is supported by the Center for Great Lakes Literacy and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Each year, a different lake within the world’s largest freshwater system goes under the microscope for this kind of intensive look-see. Last year it was Lake Michigan’s turn, so for two summers in a row, this area’s Great Lakes benefits from a thorough check-up.

That’s important because we have a lot riding on our lakes. Not just along the shores of Lake Superior but beyond. The lakes support a $62 billion economy and 1.5 million jobs in the tourism, commercial fisheries, shipping and manufacturing industries.

Duluth News Tribune


Saginaw River Rear Range Lighthouse open to public July 15-17

7/8 - Bay City, Mich. – The Saginaw River Marine Historical Society is offering three days of lighthouse tours, a lighthouse keeper re-enactor, the oldest known boat built by Defoe Shipbuilding Company, paintings depicting the history of Wheeler Ship Building Company, model lighthouses for kids and more.

During Tall Ship Celebration: Bay City (which runs from July 15-17), the Saginaw River Marine Historical Society of Bay City, Mich., will be offering three days of public tours of the Saginaw River Rear Range Lighthouse. This will be only the fourth time the lighthouse has ever been open to the public.

The hours the buses will run and tours at Saginaw River Rear Range Lighthouse will be given are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, July 15, Saturday, July 16, and Sunday, July 17.

The bus stop (for pick up and drop off of passengers) will be at Veterans Memorial Park near the intersection of John F. Kennedy Dr. and the entrance to Liberty Harbor Marina, on Bay City’s West side. The cost is $7 for adults, $3 for children, and free for children not yet attending kindergarten and younger. The cost is for the round trip bus ride and there is no charge for tours of the lighthouse. During the bus ride, for no additional cost, riders will have an opportunity to get a coupon for a $2 discount for admission to the "Antique Toy and Firehouse Museum" and a $2 discount for admission to the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum, home of the USS Edson DD-946.

Carl Jahn, a 64-year-old truck driver from Smiths Creek, Mich., was the lighthouse's keeper at the tours of the lighthouse during Tall Ship Celebration: Bay City in 2010 and Tall Ship Celebration: Bay City in 2013, and he will be making his third trip to the Bay City area to be the lighthouse's keeper for tours for all three days during this year's event. For the past 13 years, Jahn has been a lighthouse keeper re-enactor. The lighthouse keeper uniform he wears is about 130 years old.

More details at

Saginaw River Marine Historical Society


Port Huron Times Herald: Editorial and response

7/8 - Editor’s note: Although we don’t usually reprint editorials and letters of rebuttal, we though that this editorial, from the Port Huron Times Herald, and the response from the Lakes Pilots Association, was worth considering.

Editorial: Time to take a new look at lakes pilots

For those of us who have followed our GPS receiver or smart phone’s instructions to the best coffee shop in some faraway town we had never seen before, it may be a bit difficult to understand the shipping industry and its argument with the U.S. Coast Guard over pilot fees.

Federal laws, both in the United States and Canada, require foreign vessels on the Great Lakes to use a local pilot. Local pilots are experienced, expert navigators who have intimate, long-earned knowledge of local geography, weather, currents and sailing conditions.

Pilots are not unique to the Great Lakes. A foreign vessel approaching a seaside port must also engage a pilot to navigate local waters and to communicate with port officials.

On the Great Lakes, there are five companies that provide the pilots, including the Lakes Pilots Association based in Port Huron. Each of the companies enjoys a local monopoly within the area it serves, so the government regulates rates. The U.S. Coast Guard sets rates for the three American pilot companies, and the Canadian government regulates the two that operate out of its waters.

It is a system that has been in place essentially since the St. Lawrence Seaway opened the Great Lakes to international shipping in 1959. Prompted by what they call outrageous increases in U.S. pilotage rates, shipping companies, port operators and other groups have sued the U.S. Coast Guard to roll back rates that will rise 58 percent this year and next.

Their arithmetic can be compelling. A foreign vessel steaming across Lake Huron may pay more — up to $10,000 a day — for its pilot than it pays for its entire crew and to lease the ship itself.

The groups behind the lawsuit argue the high fee discourages international shippers from using the Great Lakes and puts the livelihoods of everyone from dockworkers to manufactures at risk. Without the increase, existing rates compare to those elsewhere.

Beyond the rates, they also argue that it is probably time to reconsider the 56-year-old system. We see some logic in that. We are all navigating a radically different world today than we were in 1960, and you have the large skim-milk latte in your cup holder to prove it.

Other international travelers find their way to our shores every day without a pilot to hold their hands.

Port Huron Times Herald

Pilot group responds

Dear Editor:

Your news story and editorial about Great Lakes pilotage was an attack on one of Port Huron’s unique, long standing and appreciated organizations. Everyone who lives here in the Bluewater area loves to watch the pilot boat and freighters going under the bridge. Your assessment sounds personal and vindictive.

First, your news story presented a one-sided update on the pending lawsuit over pilotage rates. (“Ship companies sue over ‘runaway’ pilot rates,” July 5) Nowhere in the article did it mention the U.S. Coast Guard’s primary reason for setting the 2016 rate levels – a finding that the Great Lakes pilotage system had been underfunded by $20 million over the last decade. The Coast Guard, the nation’s lead agency for maritime and navigation safety, found that the shortfall led directly to pilot shortages and traffic delays, and left the pilots to “carry an excessive workload and forego needed rest and training.” This was a clearly untenable situation.

That finding should be a concern to every individual who cares about the environmental protection of the Great Lakes. And who received the financial windfall from that underfunding for the last decade – the foreign shipping companies, of course, the very same companies that are now complaining about the current rate?

Your story also did not mention that local government officials, a coalition of 100 Great Lakes environmental groups, and other leading Great Lakes officials supported the 2016 rate proposal because the Great Lakes, the world’s largest freshwater body, deserves an adequately funded, environmentally-protective pilotage system. The Coast Guard said the 2016 rate increase was necessary because the Great Lakes pilotage system had degraded because of the decade-long underfunding.

And just how important are pilots to the safety of the maritime transportation system? You don’t need to take my word for it. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Brian Salerno – the then senior U.S. Coast Guard official in charge of navigation safety and environmental protection – described the important work of pilots like this:

“Each day, pilots are asked to take all sizes and types of vessels through narrow channels in congested waters where one miscalculation could mean disaster. They are trained, highly professional individuals, whose judgments must be spot-on for the hundreds of decisions they must make at every turn to bring a vessel safely to its berth or out to sea.”

You followed that story one day later with a scathing editorial (“Time to take a new look at lakes pilots,” July 6, 2016). Your editorial seems to be premised on the idea that the Great Lakes pilotage system has been stagnant. Nothing could be further from the truth. The U.S. Coast Guard has conducted numerous studies (as recently as 2013) on the pilotage system and has implemented changes based on these studies’ recommendations. In addition, the Lakes Pilots, like most other pilot groups in the U.S., are committed to continual improvement. We are constantly reviewing our practices, our training and our equipment so that we can provide the most modern, efficient, and SAFE pilotage. We take our responsibilities to protect the Lakes VERY SERIOUSLY.

Your editorial also suggests that the use of pilots should be reconsidered apparently because “other international travelers find their way to our shores every day without a pilot to hold their hands.” Of course, “other international travelers” are not on the deck of massive international vessels carrying thousands of gallons of fuel oil that, with a single accident, could devastate the waters of our region and cause long-lasting damage to the Great Lakes. You point to GPS as a reason to consider dispensing with the decades of shiphandling experience and in depth local knowledge pilots bring, clearly unaware that each year numerous major ship accidents around the world are caused by faulty GPS information or overreliance on GPS by ships’ crews.

Had you performed proper and balanced research as good reporters do, you would have understood why we have pilotage here on the Lakes, U.S. coastal waters, and throughout the world: highly skilled mariners with in depth local knowledge, experience and expertise can help to dramatically reduce the chance of those accidents. Even if the ship’s navigation equipment fails or is giving inaccurate positioning information (which happens much more frequently than the public realizes), pilots have the skills to get the ship safely through its transit. Remember that some of these foreign captains have never even been to the Lakes.

Here’s what that coalition of more than 100 Great Lakes environmental groups wrote: “There is no reason why the Great Lakes, one of the largest and most important freshwater bodies in the world, should have an inadequately funded American pilotage system.”

You also describe the foreign shipping companies’ cost concerns as “compelling.” Here’s some additional information you should consider. U.S. pilotage costs account for only 2 percent of the total voyage costs of shipping into the Great Lakes. Canadian government-imposed fees assessed on foreign shipping companies on the Great Lakes are nearly 15 times greater than comparable American shipping fees. American pilotage fees are a tiny fraction of the overall fees these foreign shipping companies pay. Foreign shipping companies are putting up a smoke screen that business will suffer and you took the bait.

By the sounds of your editorial, you would welcome another “Exxon Valdez”-type incident in our backyard by allowing foreign ships to go without pilots. Lakes Pilots Association has been a good community citizen in Port Huron for 56 years and has an admirable record for safety on the waterways of the Bluewater region. We work for the American people of the Great Lakes to protect our waterways and environment. Foreign shipping companies only care about the money they can make off of our trade.

You should be ashamed of attacking us without getting the full story.

Capt. Dan Gallagher
President, Lakes Pilots Association
Port Huron, Mich.


Updates -  July 8

News Photo Gallery


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,was is caught in a wild Lake Erie storm and is cut loose. The vessel was blown ashore west of Ashtabula and declared a total loss only to be salvaged July 24, 1899, and repaired.

1923: EDWARD L. STRONG and GLENDOCHART collided 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) ran 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 were lightered and the ship is refloated on July 9.

1973: The former BROMALM, a Swedish flag Seaway trader in 1963 and 1964, hit bottom, began leaking and was beached off Kuantan, Western Malaysia, as c) ARISAIOS. On a voyage to Osaka, Japan, with 9,700 tons of iron ore it was completely flooded and a total loss.

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

1992: COMEAUDOC lost power and struck the seawall at Port Huron while upbound, resulting in significant damage to the wall.

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 from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


Cornelia owners hit with $1 million pollution fine

7/7 - Duluth, Minn. – A German shipping company whose vessel was detained offshore from Duluth for six weeks late last year has been slapped with $1 million in penalties after its owners pleaded guilty to dumping oily wastewater into the Great Lakes.

Officials of the company, MST of Schnaittenbach, Germany, pleaded guilty on Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Joan N. Ericksen in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Minnesota district.

The Coast Guard held MST’s oceangoing freighter Cornelia in the harbor from early November until Dec. 18, when it finally was allowed to depart.

According to the news release, the Cornelia’s crew discharged oily wastewater overboard at least 10 times from February to October 2015, and its chief engineer intentionally failed to record the discharges in its record book. That included at least one incident while the vessel was in the Great Lakes.

The guilty plea was to violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.

MST will be required to pay a $800,000 criminal fine to the United States in addition to a $200,000 community service payment to support the protection and preservation of Lake Superior and its watershed, according to the news release.

The company also will serve a three-year probationary period during which it must commit no further violations and implement an environmental compliance plan for all of its vessels that call on ports or places in the U.S.

Duluth News Tribune


Governor requests federal funding for portions of Soo Locks reconstruction

7/7 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is requesting the federal government to fully fund reconstruction of portions of the Soo Locks. Gov. Snyder sent a letter Tuesday to Michigan's members of Congress.

"The Soo Locks are a crucial shipping link for some of our nation's biggest industries," Gov. Snyder said. "The increase in outages from maintenance, redundancy and capacity issues poses significant economic consequences for both Michigan and the nation. That's why I'm calling on the federal government to fund the much needed construction of this aging infrastructure."

In the letter, Gov. Snyder is asking the 'federal government to fund the replacement of the Davis and Sabin Locks with a larger, single lock to make waterway traffic and shipping more reliable and prevent potential economic collapse.'

"As we continue to address infrastructure needs across the state, the Soo Locks must be a priority." Gov. Snyder said. "Only by mitigating these risks now can we ensure future public safety and economic stability."

9 & 10 News


Renaissance of Cuyahoga riverfront means commercial, recreational interests must co-exist

7/7 - Cleveland, Ohio – The stately Sam Laud, a 636-foot, 7,000-horsepower Great Lakes freighter owned and operated by the American Steamship Company, is unloading 7,500 tons of iron ore at the Cleveland Bulk Terminal, just west of Whiskey Island and the mouth of the Cuyahoga. That's less than a third of its total cargo. The vessel has to reduce its tonnage before a precarious journey down the Cuyahoga River, or else risk damaging its hull or getting stuck in the mud of the undredged riverbed.

It's an oil-on-canvas Tuesday morning. On board the boat, Capt. Daniel Franklin is dressed comfortably in straight-leg jeans, a green polo and a ball cap. He says that commercial shipping on this particular river is a game of inches. The VP of the Lake Carriers Association, Glen Nekvasil, co-signs the sentiment by making a claw with his thumb and forefinger.

"This much," Nekvasil says.

Read the rest of the story and a photo gallery here


Port Reports -  July 7

St. Marys River
Algowood arrived at the Essar Export Dock Wednesday morning late. Whitefish Bay was upbound in the morning, while USEPA Lake Guardian was up in the late afternoon, headed for Duluth. Radcliffe R. Latimer was downbound in the early evening, while Paul R. Tregurtha was downbound in the upper river in the late evening. The passenger ship Pearl Mist was in port on the Canadian side Wednesday, and departed downbound around 10 p.m. Stewart J. Cort and Kaye E. Barker were inbound at DeTour at 7:30 p.m.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes was expected to arrive Wednesday in the late evening. There are no vessels scheduled Thursday. Due on Friday are the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory during the lunch hour. Expected to arrive on Friday is the Mississagi in the early morning.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes arrived Wednesday in the early morning to load, and was back westbound in late afternoon. Due Thursday are the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted in the late morning. Two vessels are expected Friday morning, with the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann due first followed by Philip R. Clarke.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Arthur M. Anderson was expected on Wednesday in the early afternoon. There are no vessels scheduled for Thursday. Due in for Friday is the Manitowoc in the morning, followed during the late evening by Great Republic. Arthur M. Anderson returns on Saturday at noon. Due Sunday is the Cason J. Callaway in the early morning.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort loaded on Wednesday and were expected to depart around 9 p.m. Also due in Wednesday was the Great Republic in the early evening for the North Dock. There are no vessels scheduled for Thursday. Due to arrive Friday are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the late morning for the South Dock.

Escanaba, Mich.
John J. Boland was loading Wednesday night.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Three departures Tuesday were Samuel de Champlain from the Lafarge wharf at around 5 p.m. CDT with destination (AIS) as St. Joseph, Mich., the saltie Lubie around 8 p.m. CDT with destination Montreal and USEPA Lake Guardian around 1 pm. CDT with a destination (AIS) as Duluth, Minn.

Burns Harbor, Ind.
The salties Stade and Federal Mayumi were in port unloading on Wednesday.

Indiana Harbor, Ind.
American Century was unloading Wednesday evening.

Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
The tug Undaunted and the barge Pere Marquette 41 paid a visit to the Saginaw River on Wednesday with a cargo from Port Inland. The pair arrived early in the morning and unloaded at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 were back outbound for the lake around 4 p.m. headed for Cedarville to take on their next load.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Capt. Henry Jackman is expected to arrive at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock to unload Thursday in the late afternoon. Due at the CSX Coal Dock is the Algoma Enterprise on July 10 in the late morning. CSL Laurentien is due at CSX on July 12 during the lunch hour. At the Torco Dock, the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are due on July 12 at noon. The 1,000 footer Mesabi Miner is due at Torco in a rare visit on July 16 in the early morning. Vessels in port included the H. Lee White at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock and the Cuyahoga unloading a grain cargo at the Nibisco Elevator.

Marblehead, Ohio
Manitowoc was loading Wednesday evening, while the Joseph H. Thompson was waiting her turn.


New Duluth-Superior fireboat to improve port security and safety

7/7 - Duluth, Minn. – A $447,750 grant to fund a new emergency response boat for the port of Duluth-Superior was approved by the Port Security Grant program this week.

The Duluth and Superior fire departments will use the boat to improve their response along the 49 miles of shoreline that make up the Duluth-Superior port area, a Duluth Fire Department news release states.

The "all-hazard quick response vessel" will be 31 feet long and 10 1/2 feet at its widest point with twin 300-horsepower outboard engines. According to the news release, the boat will provide "additional fire suppression, environmental response, search/rescue, medevac and emergency medical capabilities to the region."

The fire departments hope to begin using the boat by spring 2017, the news release states. The Duluth Fire Department will host a press conference at 2 p.m. today at Pier B Resort.

The fire departments plan to equip the boat with a thermal-imaging night-vision camera; side-scan sonar, radar and GPS navigation; a 2,000-gallon-per-minute fire pump; a roof-mounted 1,500-gallon-per-minute monitor; shallow draft for better accessibility; a firefighting foam injection system; and a large-diameter water discharge.

The boat, which will dock at Pier B Resort, also will have the ability to travel at high speeds and hold eight people.

Duluth News Tribune


Rand Logistics launches Marine Miracle Month program

7/7 - Jersey City, N.J. – Rand Logistics, a leading provider of bulk freight shipping services throughout the Great Lakes region, has announced the launch of Marine Miracle Month, a new program to benefit children’s charities.

Rand will donate $0.05 for every ton of cargo carried by its fleet during August 2016 to non-profit organizations with a primary focus on the health and well-being of children. The company will provide its customers the opportunity to select the children’s charity of their choice and will make the donations in each customer’s honor. The donation amount will be based upon the total tons each customer ships during the program month. Total donations could amount to in excess of $100,000 based on historical August tonnage.

Rand expects to distribute funds to designated charities in September 2016.

Rand Logistics


Reserve your space for our Detroit River cruise- August 6

7/7 - On Saturday, August 6, we will repeat the popular Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise aboard the Friendship, with Captain Sam Buchanan. This year’s cruise will be four hours and will go up the Detroit River, and hopefully into the Rouge River. A pizza lunch will be delivered by the J. W. Westcott mail boat, with a cash bar onboard. Advance Reservation Cost is $36 per person. The cruise departs at 10 a.m. from the Portofino restaurant in Wyandotte, Mich. 
Click here for details


Updates -  July 7

News Photo Gallery  Work and work-related travel have prevented full updates for the past week.  We intend to get caught up within the next few days.


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 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 from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


Safety group investigates grounding of Anna Desgagnés in St. Lawrence River

7/6 - Montreal, Que. – The sealift ship Anna Desgagnés suffered "not much damage," after running aground Sunday in the St. Lawrence River, says Groupe Desgagnés.

The cargo vessel was quickly brought to port and the vessel is expected to be released by late afternoon, said Benoit Chassé, a vice president with the company. "The vessel will be released shortly and there should be no further impact because there's no damage to the hull. There's no other damage to the vessel that were sustained by this incident," he added.

Chassé says the vessel ran into problems because of an issue with a hydraulic steering pump, which has now been sent for testing and replaced.

The Anna Desgagnés is set to deliver goods to Northern Quebec and Nunavut later this month and the company is optimistic that the vessel will make up the lost time.

"At this moment we expect to be able to catch up by steaming faster along the Labrador coast... weather and ice permitting."

Eric Collard, a spokesperson with the Transportation Safety Board, said the incident is being investigated.

"We've arrived on site. We've been on board since this morning," he said Monday. "We started collecting some information and we will be conducting some interviews this afternoon. We're looking to get as much information as possible."

Collard said the TSB will try and get as much data as it can on the incident, including downloading electronic data from the vessel if it's available and speaking with witnesses or crew.

The Desgagnés is set to arrive in Iqaluit on July 23.



Lake Michigan levels affect more than shoreline

7/6 - Oconto County, Wis. – If you've been to Lake Michigan lately, you may have noticed a change along the shoreline The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports lake levels are on the rise.

In many areas, the comeback is a stark difference from just a few short years ago.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake has risen four feet in the last three years. It's a sharp increase from a historic low. The National Weather Service has been monitoring the change.

"We've seen quite a bit of precipitation over the Lake Michigan basin, which of course covers the state of Michigan, Wisconsin, and nearby areas, that we've had colder winters. Ice from on the lake, which reduces the amount of evaporation during the winter time, so those two things caused the lake levels to rise," said Jeff Last, National Weather Service Meteorologist.

Last says high water levels coupled with high winds, can be dangerous.

"For this part of the state, the Northeast winds causes the lake levels to rise even more. With the wave action, and the piling up of the water," he said.

But there is another view. Many in shipping say the high water levels are good for business.

"The ships can carry more product, which means that it's coming in at a lower cost. Because all things being equal, the ship has a certain cost, the fuel has a certain cost, the crew has a certain cost, and they're able to carry more," said Dean Haen, Port of Green Bay Director.

Haen says ships can carry about 20 percent more cargo during times of high water. The Port of Green Bay handles about two million tons of goods each year.

Weather experts say the lake levels fluctuate on about a 10-year basis. We are still about two feet short of the record high, set back in 1986.

FOX 11 News


Port Reports -  July 6

St. Marys River
On an extremely slow Tuesday, American Spirit was downbound and Joseph L. Block was upbound. Michipicoten was at Essar Steel, but left in the late evening. The tug Leonard M and barge Huron Spirit were also at Essar Tuesday.

Midland, Ont.
Baie Comeau was unloading at Midland Tuesday.


Pilots say industry users of American pilots not concerned about public safety, opinion

7/6 - Port Huron, Mich. – Foreign shipping companies that have sued the U.S. Coast Guard over the 2016 Great Lakes pilotage rates would undermine safety and environmental protection of the Great Lakes, a group of American ship pilots said Tuesday.

Every foreign ship that enters the Great Lakes must secure the services of an American (or Canadian) ship pilot to help navigate the vessel, ensure safety, and avoid environmental incidents. American pilots are among the most highly skilled mariners in the world and often have decades of expertise and local knowledge in Great Lakes navigation. By contrast, foreign ship captains operating large tankers and cargo ships may never have navigated on the Great Lakes.

Foreign shipping companies pay fees to cover the cost of pilot services at levels established by the Coast Guard after a transparent public comment process. The Coast Guard’s 2016 rate levels are based on recommendations from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, the Great Lakes Pilotage Advisory Committee (GLPAC), public comments and a ratemaking structure set out in federal law.

In establishing the new rate, the Coast Guard said the American pilotage system has been underfunded by $20 million from 2004 - 2015. “As a result,” the agency said, “the pilotage associations could not provide sufficient compensation to attract and retain qualified pilots, leading to pilot shortages and associated traffic delays. In turn, these shortages meant that each pilot had to carry an excessive workload and forego needed rest and training.”

A large coalition of Great Lakes environmental groups, local government officials, other leading Great Lakes officials, and private citizens who live in the Great Lakes region supported the Coast Guard’s 2016 rate proposal, in many cases because of the environmental protection benefits provided by pilots.

However, on May 31 a group of foreign corporations that own fleets of ships filed a lawsuit to overturn the final rate and, which, if successful, would slash needed funding.

“The Coast Guard made clear that the 2016 pilotage ratemaking was designed to address previous deficiencies and build a dependable pilotage system that, first and foremost, protects the Great Lakes,” wrote Capt. Dan Gallagher, president of the Lakes Pilots Association, Inc. (based in Port Huron, MI); Capt. John Swartout, president of the Western Great Lakes Pilots Association (Superior, WI/Duluth MI); and Capt. John Boyce, St. Lawrence Seaway Pilots Association (Cape Vincent, NY), members of the three American pilotage associations, in a statement.

“The 2016 rate level was developed to ensure adequate pilot numbers, infrastructure, training, navigation equipment, safety gear, pilot rest, facilities, and other expenses, including pilot costs that are essential to a system that protects the world’s largest freshwater body. It was extremely disappointing that these foreign corporations have decided to challenge it, knowing that the changes they have demanded would save them money but undermine safety and environmental protection.”

U.S. Great Lakes pilots have been the lowest paid pilots in the country considering the difficulty of routes and conditions. At a recent GLPAC meeting in Detroit on June 14th, Steve Fisher, Executive Director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association and a lobbyist for Fednav Ltd., suggested that many U.S. coastal ports have more robust economic activity than the Great Lakes and that is the reason for their higher costs of pilotage. American Great Lakes pilots declare that the safety and protection of the Great Lakes is just as important to the people of the Great Lakes as it is to the people of the coasts, regardless of economic activity.

“Because we not only work, but also live and raise our families on the shores of these waters, it is shocking to us that those foreign shipping companies, which benefit immensely from the use of these waters and who have benefited from being undercharged by $20 million over the last decade, would oppose a program to make sure the Great Lakes are adequately protected,” the pilot presidents stated.

Also at the GLPAC meeting, Paul Gourdeau, Executive Vice-President of Fednav International Ltd. stated that the Coast Guard doesn’t need to consider public opinion when setting pilotage rates.

The pilot presidents said they found the lawsuit particularly troubling given that government-imposed Canadian shipping fees assessed on foreign shipping companies on the Great Lakes are nearly 15 times greater than comparable American shipping fees.

Foreign shipping companies that have filed include Brochart KB (Sweden), Canfornav, Inc. (Canada), Fednav International Ltd. (Canada), Polish Steamship Co. (Poland) and Wagonborg Shipping BV. (Netherlands). Other ports and associations with ties to the foreign shipping companies also joined the lawsuit.

Lakes Pilots Association, Inc. – Port Huron


Know Your Ships book signing and program this weekend

7/6 - Paradise, Mich. – Roger LeLievre, editor and publisher of the annual Great Lakes and Seaway shipping field guide “Know Your Ships,” will offer a program Friday and a book signing Saturday in Paradise and at Whitefish Point.

On Friday he will be at the Whitefish Township Community Center, Paradise, at 7 p.m. to talk about the making of this book through the years and share numerous Great Lakes shipping images. On Saturday he will be at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Shipwreck Coast Museum Store, Whitefish Point from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. for a book signing.

His Friday program will focus on what it takes to put “Know Your Ships” – founded in 1959 in Sault Ste. Marie by the late Thomas Manse – together every year. He is essentially a one-man show, editing, designing, publishing and distributing the book himself. It will include a presentation highlighting many of the beautiful pictures of Great Lakes vessels the book has published in it’s 57-year-history. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and may be autographed on request.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum


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 were 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

Marquette, Mich. – Luke Archer
The Hon. James L. Oberstar and Michipicoten were at the LS&I Ore Dock on a beautiful Independence Day.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic July 4 included Kaye E. Barker, Edwin H. Gott, Kaministiqua, James R. Barker, Mesabi Miner and American Century. On the upbound side were Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Presque Isle, G3 Marquis (for Thunder Bay), Radcliffe R. Latimer (for Thunder Bay), Leonard M / barge Huron Spirit and Burns Harbor.

Cedarville, Mich.
Joseph L. Block was loading on Sunday afternoon.

Toledo, Ohio – Mike Koprowicz
The steamer Alpena called on Toledo July 4th with a split cement cargo from Alpena for Detroit and Toledo.

Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
Luedtke Engineering is dredging Oswego Harbor this month. Their rig was decorated with lights for the Fourth of July fireworks ceremonies at the port.

Port Weller, Ont.
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was assisted into the former Port Weller Drydocks facility Monday by the tugs Jarrett M and Ecosse for her five-year-survey. She is to the south of Algoma Spirit.


Help wanted: Fettes Shipping Inc.

7/5 - Fettes Shipping Inc. is looking for a relief Chief Engineer with 2nd class motor ticket for 2 months this season, with the possibility to start in the next 7 days. We expect from candidates strong communication skills and good work ethic. Candidates must be able to travel to the U.S. portions of the Great Lakes area and must have a valid Canadian passport, all applicable Transport Canada certificates and valid medical certificate issued by Transport Canada.

Please send your resume to Human Resources, Fettes Shipping Inc., 3385 Harvester Rd. - #250, Burlington, ON L7N 3N2. Fax 905 333-6588 or email


Updates -  July 5

News Photo Gallery


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.


Anna Desgagnés sealift already off schedule, stuck near Montreal

7/4 - Montreal, Que. – A sealift ship that's scheduled to arrive in Nunavut later this month is stuck in the St. Lawrence River. The motor vessel Anna Desgagnés was on its way to L'Îles-aux-Coudres, Que., 116 kilometres from Quebec City, when it went aground in the St. Lawrence River near Montreal Sunday morning.

The Transportation Safety Board has sent a team to Montreal to investigate exactly what happened.

The cargo vessel has scheduled stops in northern Quebec and Nunavut; its first is L'Îles-aux-Coudres. The vessel is supposed to arrive in Iqaluit by July 23. Many people in Nunavut communities are depending on the arrival of the Anna Desgagnés for various items. With no roads into Nunavut, goods can only be sent in by air or ship.

There’s no word on how quickly the Anna Desgagnés will get moving again.

Meanwhile the first icebreaker into Iqaluit, the CCGS Pierre Radisson, is set to arrive Monday. It was originally supposed to arrive this weekend, according to the Canadian Coast Guard, but arrival dates can change quickly along with the ice conditions in Frobisher Bay, the body of water that leads to Iqaluit.

As its name suggests, icebreakers break the ice that's still formed in the Arctic sea, so vessels like the Anna Desgagnés can make their way into the communities.

CBC, Rene´ Beauchamp


Port Reports -  July 4

Duluth, Minn.
USCG cutter Mackinaw arrived Sunday morning and docked near the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.

Munising, Mich. – Luke Archer
American Mariner departed Munising Bay Sunday after unloading coal. She headed for Marquette.

St. Marys River
Lee A. Tregurtha and Stewart J. Cort were downbound Sunday during the day, and Thunder Bay locked down in the late evening. Cason J. Callaway, Hon. James L. Oberstar and Paul R. Tregurtha were upbound. The tanker Esta Desgagnes spent the day at the Purvis dock in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., departing in the early evening, while Michipicoten arrived at Essar Steel in the afternoon from Marquette.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes was expected Sunday in the early afternoon. Also due Sunday was the Joseph L. Block during the early evening. They would get the dock upon the Sykes' departure. There are no vessels scheduled for Monday, July 4. Expected to arrive on Wednesday in the early morning are the tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Calumet loaded Sunday. Mississagi was expected to get the dock following the Calumet's departure. Due in Monday, July 4, is the Joseph L. Block in the late morning. There are no vessels scheduled for Tuesday, July 5th. Wilfred Sykes is expected to arrive on Wednesday in the early morning.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
H. Lee White loaded at the North Dock on Sunday and was due to depart around 10 p.m. Also due in for Sunday in the early evening were the barge Ashtabula and tug Defiance for the South Dock. Due in for Monday, July 4, is the Presque Isle, making a rare visit at the South Dock in the early morning. John J. Boland is due on Tuesday in the early morning for the North Dock. Due in for Wednesday is the Great Republic in the late morning loading at the North Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Great Republic loaded on Sunday and was expected to depart at around noon. Also due Sunday were the barge Pathfinder and the tug Dorothy Ann in the late afternoon followed by the Arthur M. Anderson, expected to arrive in the early evening. There are no vessels scheduled for both Monday and Tuesday. Due in Wednesday, July 6 is the Arthur M. Anderson during the early morning, followed by Kaye E. Barker in the mid-afternoon.

Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
The tug Dorothy Ann and the barge Pathfinder were back outbound for the lake early Sunday morning after unloading overnight at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. The two are headed for Stoneport to take on their next load.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The cruise ship Grande Mariner departed the Welland Canal and was headed for Buffalo Sunday night.


Updated list of new Seaway salties for 2016

7/4 - As of July 4 there were 20 new saltwater vessels making their first voyage to the Great Lakes/Seaway system at the Eisenhower Lock in Massena, N.Y. The list includes Ardita, BBC Haren, Bro Agnes, Cape (ex-Heloise), Fearless (ex-Bright Laker), Federal Biscay, Federal Caribou, Federal Cedar, Federal Champlain, Floretgracht, Jan Van Gent, Minervagracht, Mona Swan, Ocean Castle (ex-Federal Mattawa), SCT Matterhorn, SCT Monte Rosa, SCT Stockhorn, Stade, Tradewind Adventure and Vectis Castle. Vectis Castle was chartered to Groupe Desgagnes Inc. and re-flagged Canadian on April 13.

Denny Dushane


Updates -  July 4

News Photo Gallery


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.

July 4, 1995 - While the United States celebrated its Independence Day, a small fleet gathered 20 miles off of Whitefish Point in Lake Superior as the bell from the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was raised and taken aboard the Purvis Marine Tug Anglian Lady. The bell would later be taken to Michigan State University in Lansing where it would be cleaned with the name EDMUND FITZGERALD applied on the bell once again. The bell was later to taken to the museum at Whitefish Point and put on display as a memorial to remember the 29 men crew. The next day divers placed a new bell inscribed with the names of the 29 men lost in the sinking.

1973: The Liberian flag bulk carrier Florence 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 San Esteban de Pravia, Spain, in 1976 and St.Spyridon at Vigo, Spain, as f) Globe Maritima in 1982.

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


Port Reports -  July 3

St. Marys River
Upbounders early Saturday afternoon included Michipicoten and American Mariner (headed to Munising). Kaye E. Barker, Manitoulin (with salt for Duluth) and Federal Kushiro (light for Thunder Bay) were upbound in the evening. Baie Comeau was downbound, also in the evening, for Midland, Ont. The tanker Algonova spent the day unloading at the Purvis dock in Soo harbor and was downbound for Sarnia around 7:45 p.m. As night fell, Lakes Contender / Ken Boothe Sr. were upbound in the lower river while Kwintebank and Great Lakes Trader were downbound in Whitefish Bay. Esta Desgagnes was on pre-call to Whitefish.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Manitowoc was expected Saturday in the early afternoon. Due Sunday is the Wilfred Sykes in the late morning, followed by Joseph L. Block in the early evening. There are no vessels due for Monday, July 4. Due Tuesday are the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted in the early morning.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Calumet was expected Saturday in the late evening. Due Sunday is the Mississagi in the early morning. Due Monday, July 4, is the Joseph L. Block in the morning.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Kaye E. Barker loaded on Saturday and was expected to depart around 10 a.m. Two vessels are expected Sunday, with Great Republic due in first in the early morning, followed by Arthur M. Anderson in the early evening.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. loaded at the South Dock on Saturday and were expected to depart around 3 p.m. At the North Dock was the Cason J. Callaway. They were waiting for the Lakes Contender to clear and then would be shifting over to the South Dock to load. Due Sunday is the H. Lee White in the morning for the North Dock. Due in Monday, July 4, are the barge Ashtabula and tug Defiance for the South Dock. Presque Isle will make a rare visit on July 4, loading at the South Dock. Due Tuesday is the John J. Boland, arriving in the early morning for the North Dock. Great Republic is due Wednesday in the late morning for the North Dock.

Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
Calumet was back outbound for the lake early Saturday morning after unloading overnight at the Lafarge Stone dock in Saginaw. After clearing the Saginaw Bay, the Calumet passed by the inbound tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder. Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder are expected to arrive late Saturday night with a load from Cedarville for Bay City.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are expected to arrive at the Torco Dock on Monday, July 4, in the early morning. They are due to return to Torco on July 13 in the early evening. Also due at Torco is the 1,000 footer Mesabi Miner, making a rare visit on July 15 during the late evening. Capt. Henry Jackman is expected to arrive at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on July 7 in the late evening. Due at the CSX Coal Dock are the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory, expected on Monday, July 4 in the early evening. They will not be loaded until July 5 in the early morning due to Independence Day. Also due at CSX is the Algoma Enterprise on July 9 in the late morning, followed by the CSL Laurentien on July 12 in the early afternoon. American Mariner is due at CSX on July 13 in the late evening.


Marine News Demolitions: May, June and July 2016

7/3 - Marine News, the monthly journal of the World Ship Society, reports the following ships with Great Lakes connections as going for scrap in the May, June and July 2016 issues.

Arriving at Alang, India, on January 23 was the bulk carrier Agios Nikolas. All together, this ship had six names in her life and she transited the Seaway under all of them. First time passage was in 1985 as High Light, a year after she went into service. She came back in subsequent years as Scan Trader, then Asia Trader, NST Challenge, Woody and Agios Nikolas. 16,985 grt.

The general cargo ship BHJ Express arrived at Aliaga, Turkey on January 2. She was in the Seaway under the name Macado in 2000. Previous to that, she was seen frequently on the St. Lawrence River below Montreal as Abitibi Macado. Built as such in 1985. 6,996 grt.

The bulk carrier Dona Maria arrived at Alang, India, on February 2. In the Seaway/Lakes system as Peonia and then as Scoter. 17,186 grt. Built in 1983. First trip as Peonia in 1985 and as Scoter in 2004.

One of the smallest vessels to ply the Seaway was the general cargo ship Borg at 494 grt. She arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, on March 21 under the delivery voyage as Gelos. Her gross tonnage was listed then as 1,295 t. Built in 1966, she sailed under 10 different names during her lifespan. As Borg, her first Seaway transit occurred in 1985 from June 15 to June 21. She was at Cleveland on June 19.

The bulker AK Abba arrived at Alang, India, on March 16. Transited under her first name of Olympic Merit in 1985 when she was built. Owned by Onassis interests, her gross tonnage was 17,879 t. Her first foray on the Lakes was from Sept. 27 to Nov. 11, 1985.

Compiled by Barry Andersen and Rene Beauchamp, and also by Skip Gillham for the May report.


RNC security plans for the Great Lakes may affect boaters

7/3 - Cleveland, Ohio – When the Republican National Convention opens in Cleveland in two weeks, security measures may cause problems for boaters on Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River.

There are four security zones that could restrict recreational boating during the convention, from Burke Lakefront Airport to the Cuyahoga River that winds its way through the city. The restrictions won’t be in place for the whole convention, but one – the part of the Cuyahoga that runs near Quicken Loans Arena – will only be open to shipping vessels for the whole four-day event.

The Coast Guard has also designated two safety zones for protesters. Lt. Commander Mickey Dougherty helped create the RNC plan. He says the safety zones are there so protesters have a place to be seen and heard by their intended audience.

"It helps to specifically outline an area where people can go and demonstrate. We’ll be in the area, so if there were something to occur, somebody falls overboard, we’re right there to help," Dougherty said.

The safety zones are on Lake Erie, far from Quicken Loans Arena where the convention will be held. Dougherty says the Coast Guard has not received any requests to demonstrate on the water.

Great Lakes Today


Updates -  July 3

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Today in Great Lakes History -  July 3

On this day in 1943, the J. H. HILLMAN JR (Hull#524), the 14th of 16 Maritime-class 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 still exists 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.

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

In 1954, CLIFFS VICTORY successfully completed her sea trials.

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.

PATERSON (i) 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.


Damaged Roger Blough enters drydock

7/2 - Roger Blough entered the graving dock at Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, Wis., Friday for examination and repair of the damage suffered from her May 27 grounding on Gros Cap Reef. The Blough has been in Sturgeon Bay since June 14, but was unable to enter the drydock until a barge that’s being built in the chamber was floated out.

John Weitermann


Green Bay imports ease impact of gas pipeline shutdown

7/2 - Green Bay, Wis. – The Port of Green Bay’s sole petroleum distributor has reversed course in order to help ease a void created by a pipeline shutdown.

Port Director Dean Haen said Kimberly-based U.S. Venture Inc. has started to import gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products into the region in the wake of the March shutdown of the gas pipeline between Milwaukee and Green Bay.

Illinois-based West Shore Pipe Line Co. has said the pipeline is closed indefinitely as the company considers whether to rebuild it.

“Normally, they (U.S. Venture) export petroleum products to Canada or the East Coast because it’s cheaper here than there,” Haen said. “Now, they’re shipping it here because our fuel costs are higher. The whole market has flipped.”

West Shore Pipe Line said it continues to study how to supply the Green Bay area with gasoline and diesel in the interim. Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency on May 6, waiving state and federal limits on the number of hours fuel drivers can drive each week, to help alleviate potential gasoline and diesel shortages.

Port tonnage figures for May show 5,135 metric tons of petroleum products arrived in Green Bay. Total petroleum product imports for all of 2015 totalled 8,466 metric tons. Haen said the pipeline’s problems will give the port tonnage figures for this year a boost at a time when total tonnage for all commodities has declined nearly 20 percent.

Each shipment of petroleum products into the port delivers 35,000 to 100,000 barrels to the Green Bay area and Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The deliveries come at a time when the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline has stayed near $2.50 in Green Bay, while average prices across the state have declined from their early June peaks.

U.S. Venture officials were not available for comment Thursday. Green Bay relied on shipping and port traffic for its fuel until 1960 when the first pipeline from Milwaukee came online. But Haen said it’s unlikely that other petroleum shippers would invest in new port facilities.

“The future of that pipeline needs to be determined. If it’s not going to be operated, then someone might evaluate installing another pipeline. If (another pipeline’s) not feasible, then I think you’d see other people evaluate other transportation efforts,” Haen said. “That infrastructure takes time to design, engineer, permit and construct. It all takes time.”

Green Bay Press Gazette


Port Reports -  July 2

The saltie Kwintebank left Duluth Friday evening after loading at the Gavilon elevator in Superior. Stewart J. Cort spent the evening loading taconite in Superior. Philip R. Clarke was taking on taconite at CN Dock 6. At dusk, Tim S. Dool was headed in with Superior listed as her destination.

Taconite Harbor, Minn.
James R. Barker unloaded coal on Friday.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on Friday included the USCG cutter Mackinaw, CSL Assiniboine, Mesabi Miner and, after dark, American Century and Federal Biscay. Lee A. Tregurtha was inbound at DeTour at dusk. The only downbounders were Edgar B. Speer and American Integrity after dark. The tanker Algonova was anchor all day in Waiska Bay, most likely waiting for the Canada Day fireworks in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., to end. She’s headed for the Purvis dock.

Goderich, Ont.
Manitoulin was loading on Friday.

Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
The saltie Sjard was back outbound for the lake on Thursday morning after arriving to unload at the Port Fisher Fertilizer dock last Saturday. She waited for the inbound Algoway to pass before departing the dock. Sjard is bound for Duluth to take on their next cargo. Algoway arrived with a split load for the Buena Vista dock and the Lafarge Stone dock in Saginaw. Algoway began unloading around 4 p.m. on Thursday. Algoway completed unloading in Saginaw, turned around at the Sixth Street basin and was back outbound for the lake early Friday morning. Algoway is bound for Meldrum Bay to take on their next load. After clearing the Saginaw Bay, Algoway met the inbound Calumet. Calumet passed by the Front Range at 8:30 p.m. with a load from Stoneport for Saginaw. Calumet passed through the drawbridges in Downtown Bay City at 10 p.m. just before the Coast Guard closed the river off for the fireworks display. This is Calumet's first visit of the 2016 shipping season.

Huron, Ohio
Great Republic was unloading limestone on Friday.

Cleveland, Ohio
Sam Laud was inbound in the Cuyahoga River Friday evening. John J. Boland was also in port.


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.


Kingston council votes to aid marine museum

7/1 - Kingston, Ont. – Opening up a special meeting of City Council on Wednesday night, Christopher West addressed the room with a simple statement: “in an ideal world, we would not be here tonight.”

A lot would be true in an ideal world. For West — chairman of the board of directors for the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes — that world would never have seen the museum property sold in January. Furthermore, in an ideal world, the museum wouldn’t be facing eviction in August.

“But, we are not in an ideal world,” he clarified. “You are politicians, and politics as often noted, is the art of the possible.”

Sitting around the council chambers, members of staff, council, and a packed audience of community members were in attendance to the meeting, called on Tuesday by Mayor Bryan Paterson to deal with a new and time-sensitive proposal for the museum.

The proposal was two-fold: first, to move the museum temporarily to Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, and second, to relocate the historic ship Alexander Henry to the dock of Picton Terminals. The second item caused the hasty call to a meeting, needing to be done before water levels lower.

Within 10 months, a report will be given to council on the feasibility, costs, and financing of turning the ship into an artificial dive reef in Lake Ontario. For West, the proposal was the result of “intense and extremely productive discussion” between the museum and the city.

“I fully endorse the report before you. Your staff’s recommendations represent the possible. An opportunity to save the museum that I urge you to seize immediately,” he said.

For members of council, the discussion was quick and succinct.

“We can agree I think that the people of Kingston are all speaking in one voice, which is that something needs to be done to help the marine museum,” Councillor Peter Stroud said. He was happy with the work done on such a “tight timeline.” However, he did caution that council would need to think about what happens at the end of the temporary arrangements.

A major concern came from how the city could ensure the marine museum kept up with their end of the costs in the shared financing for the project.

Deputy Mayor Richard Allen raised concern about what happens if the Alexander Henry was unable to be moved, to which Hurdle replied that they could only go with what the experts had said, which was that they have the “ability and capacity” to move it.

Mayor Paterson then raised questions of his own, beginning with requesting more information on the “range of possibility” for what the dive reef option might cost compared to disposal.

Hurdle was unsure of the costs of “cleaning the ship and sinking it,” but indicated that it would likely be a significant investment. An assessment would be done to report back.

“I’ve always advocated for joint responsibility,” Paterson said. “The city is willing to partner. We can’t cover all the costs, but we can help.” He smiled when adding that he was “cheering” for the dive reef option. “I think that would be really cool,” he said. Shortly following, council went to a vote — with two absences — and in a unanimous outcome, the decision was made.

The marine museum is now set to relocate, before the water level drops.

The Whig


New tanker Damia Desgagnés successfully launched

7/1 - Quebec City, Que. – The motor tanker Damia Desgagnés was successfully launched on Saturday, June 11, at the Turkish shipyard Besiktas. This next-generation asphalt-bitumen-chemical tanker is the first of four tankers to be built for the renewal and expansion of the Groupe Desgagnés’s fleet.

Expected for fall 2016, the Damia Desgagnés will have a deadweight of 15,100 tons and be able carry 13,350 tons of asphalt at a draft of 7.8 meters; its tanks will offer a carrying capacity of 14,950 m3 at 98 percent. It will be equipped with a Wärtsila 5RT-flex 50DF propulsion engine with a power output of 5,540 kW, and have a POLAR 7 certification, allowing it to navigate in ice-laden waters. It will hold a Cleanship Super notation, meaning that the ship has equipment meeting strict environmental standards including ballast and grey water treatment systems, as well as being able to operate at least seven consecutive days with no discharge of effluents or residues.

Damia Desgagnés will also hold a Green Passport notation, certifying that certain specific materials used during the construction of the ship were identified and noted in a record updated annually and re-certified every 5 years, to ensure safe manipulation and disposal of those materials during the vessel’s maintenance and repair, as well as during its dismantlement upon the end of its useful life.

Louis-Marie Beaulieu, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Desgagnés, says that Desgagnés demonstrates its vision and environmental leadership in the Canadian marine industry, as all the vessels on order will be powered by dual-fuel engines allowing the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG), marine diesel oil (MDO) and heavy fuel oil (HFO) – a first for merchant vessels in Canada.

When using natural gas as its primary source of energy, the Damia Desgagnés will achieve several environmental objectives, including: the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by approximately 25 percent due to a lower carbon content in natural gas compared to liquid fuels; the reduction of nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions by over 85 percent due to the lean-burn combustion process achieved by the ship’s engine; the near-complete elimination of sulphur oxide (SOX) emissions since natural gas contains very little sulphur; and air particle emissions will be practically non-existent due to the efficient combustion of natural gas.

“The Damia Desgagnés is part of an extensive investment program for the renewal and expansion of the Desgagnés fleet with vessels fitted with cutting-edge technology, which demonstrates Desgagnés’s commitment and confidence in its future,” Beaulieu said.

Groupe Desgagnés Inc.


Port Reports -  July 1

Marquette, Mich. – Luke Archer
The Buffalo loaded taconite at LS&I on a rainy and foggy Thursday afternoon.

St. Marys River
There were four upbounders Thursday morning – Thunder Bay, Baie Comeau, Stewart J. Cort and Tim S. Dool. John J. Boland and CSL Laurentien were downbound in the morning, while Federal Baltic and Arthur M. Anderson locked down in the early afternoon. Burns Harbor and the tug Stephan M. Asher (with two barges) were downbound in the evening. Esta Desgagnés was upbound headed for Thunder Bay around 9 p.m., followed by Kaministiqua.

Cedarville, Mich.
Wilfred Sykes was loading stone on Thursday.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
On Monday the tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 brought cargo into Lafarge. All three cement carriers were in port throughout the week loading. Calumet unloaded coal at Lafarge on Thursday.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
The saltie Lubie, which arrived last Monday, is still in port but moved from one of the outer piers to the Nidera elevator berth. Federal Biscay arrived 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, and unloaded at the heavy lift dock. She is now at Pier 2, presumably taking on a cargo.

Grand Haven, Mich.
Tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were in port on Thursday.

Holland, Mich. – Al Walters
Barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted tied up at Verplank’s at about 11 a.m. Thursday.

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Great Lakes Trader left Lorain Wednesday about 7:40 p.m.


Senate committee passes plan for Delta Queen to steam again on the Mississippi

7/1 - Washington, D.C. – The possibility of the historic Delta Queen again cruising the Mississippi River and its tributaries took one step closer to reality when the Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday approved a plan to allow that.

The measure now goes to the Senate for full approval and would need House of Representatives concurrence and a presidential signature to become law.

Introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio and supported by Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., the bill would reinstate a decades-long exemption to allow the boat to operate from its new home port of Kimmswick, in Jefferson County.

It's not a foregone conclusion. Brown and others previously tried unsuccessfully to exempt the 88-room privately owned steamboat from the 1966 safety laws barring wooden vessels from carrying more than 50 passengers overnight. Opponents of the exemption worry that the Delta Queen and other older wooden boats are potential firetraps that could put passengers at risk.

McCaskill and Blunt said the 1920s-era wooden steamboat would operate cruises out of about 80 ports. According to a joint statement by McCaskill and Blunt, the St. Louis region would get 170 new jobs and more than $36 million in annual economic impact if the plan goes through.

The Delta Queen carried three U.S. presidents, various other dignitaries, and thousands of other passengers through the tributaries of the Mississippi River for a good part of the last century. It also served as a naval ship during World War II, and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

The Delta Queen was exempted from federal regulations of passenger ships carrying 50 or more passengers overnight on domestic U.S. waters, but that exemption expired in 2008. The new bill would restore the exemption but also require at least 10 percent of the wooden parts of the ship to annually be modified to adhere to federal safety standards.

Blunt called the Delta Queen a “national treasure” and McCaskill said the potential economic benefits would “allow the Delta Queen to serve as far more than an historic landmark and tourist attraction.”

St. Louis Post Dispatch


Maritime museum issues call for boat festival entries

7/1 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – The Door County Classic & Wooden Boat Festival is making its annual call for entries for the various events associated with the festival, August 12 & 13. The call includes boats to be exhibited, teams to compete in the Sikaflex Challenge boat building competition and artwork for the new Art Mart Sale. The festival is scheduled for Friday evening, Aug. 12, and Saturday, Aug. 13, to be held in conjunction with Saturday’s Maritime on Madison festival being conducted along Madison Avenue on Sturgeon Bay’s Westside.

The Door County Classic & Wooden Boat Festival annually features a remarkable assortment of vessels that will compete for People’s Choice honors. Boats will be displayed either trailered, in-water or on the grass. Registration materials and information are available at the museum, 120 N. Madison Ave., Sturgeon Bay, online at or contact boat registration coordinator Bill Freyman at

The Sikaflex Challenge boatbuilding competition returns with construction on Friday evening and the race on Saturday. The field is limited to 12 two-person teams. Again, participants are restricted in the amount of wood and tools being provided with an ample supply of Sikaflex marine sealant available for use during construction. Visit the museum’s website or contact the museum at (920) 743-5958 for rules and registration materials. Entry is $20 per team. The event is being locally sponsored and is being conducted in the memory of Robert Peterson, a respected shipbuilder in the community.

Art Mart is new for 2016, replacing the “Paint the Bay” plein air event. Area artists will be providing their works for sale with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Door County Maritime Museum. Artists interested in presenting their art for sale should contact Art Mart coordinator Jerry Richter at (920)746-0516 or the Maritime Museum (920)743-5958.



Updates -  July 1

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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.


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