Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News ARCHIVE

* Report News

Labor Talks Continue

Little news about negotiations with sailors union; contracts expire Saturday; only Interlake has settled

Negotiations continued Friday between Cleveland-Cliffs and the United Steelworkers of America over contracts for employees at Hibbing Taconite in Minnesota and the Empire and Tilden mines in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Largely disregarded by the news media, however, are the unsettled contracts between several Great Lakes fleets and Steelworkers Union Local 5000 Great Lakes Seamen.

The union's contract covering unlicensed workers aboard Great Lakes vessels expires at midnight July 31. The Duluth News-Tribune, using Associated Press reports, reported that only Interlake Steamship Company has settled its contract with the union. Still unsettled are contracts with Inland Lakes Transportation Inc., Bethlehem Steel Corp., Oglebay Norton Co. and USS Great Lakes Fleet.

If the remaining contracts are not settled, it is likely many vessels would be laid up during contract talks, the newspaper reported. During the last major strike in 1986, vessels proceeded to various ports after the contract expired and licensed crew members laid up the vessels while the unlicensed workers departed.

The unlicensed workers serve in a variety of positions such as deckhands, cooks, engine room helpers and maintenance workers.

The status of the contract talks is unclear. A representative of the Local 5000 in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, could not be reached Thursday. Representatives of several fleet operators also did not return phone calls.

Reported by: Al Miller

Last Load of Coal?

Cuyahoga entered Port Stanley's harbor Wednesday afternoon with 11,000 tons of coal and left at 11:30 PM that night. Reports have this load of coal as the last, the government can not find funding to dredge the harbor. That means Port Stanley Harbor will slowly silk in.

Reported by: Richard Hill

Twin Ports Report

The recorded vessel schedule for Great Lakes Fleet contains no hint about whether the fleet will continue operating after the contract expires July 31 for unlicensed crew members. However, the current schedule contains several interesting port calls: Cason J. Callaway is scheduled to make the fleet's second call to Ashland, Wisconsin, this season, arriving there Aug. 3 with coal for the power plant. John G. Munson is due at Ontonagon again Aug. 3, presumably with coal from Toledo. Edwin H. Gott is making another run to Nanticoke, due there Aug. 2. Calcite II is due in Buffalo on July 31.

Indiana Harbor, American Mariner and James R. Barker are all due at the DMIR ore dock in Duluth in the first week of August. It's a refreshing change to see them hauling some ore this season. Twin Ports boatwatchers are more accustomed to seeing these boats hauling coal or stone. Joe Block also is due at DMIR -- it's been scarce this season.

Reported by: Al Miller

St. Lawrence Cruise Ship Runs Aground

On Tuesday the cruise ship Spirit of 98, an ex. St. Lawrence cruise ship ran aground in Tracy arm, about 64 kilometres from Juneau, Alaska. More than 100 people on board had to be evacuated from the ship. The ship was aground and taking on water at a fast rate. Helicopters dropped pumps to help with the flooding and a Coast Guard cutter was en route to the scene. Later she was pumped out and patched up and sailed away for repairs.

Reported by: Ron Konkol

Today in Great Lakes History - July 31

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

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

The CEDARBRANCH (2) was damaged and sunk by an explosion on July 31, 1965 several miles below Montreal, Que. resulting in a loss of one life.

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

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

Agreement Reached

A tentative contract agreement was reached early July 29 between LTV Steel Mining Co. and workers at its taconite mine in Hoyt Lakes, Minn., and processing plant at Taconite Harbor. No details were released.

Negotiations reportedly continue between Cleveland-Cliffs and union employees of Hibbing Taconite. The plant will shut down its concentrator to save energy during the current heat wave, but everything is expected to back on line by Saturday.

Reported by: Al Miller

Schooner Faces Uncertain Future

The 105 foot two masted schooner "Malabar", which has served for 13 years on Grand Traverse Bay, has been deemed unsailable with passangers. The vessel, which is a throw back to the regions shipping history, was brought to West Bay as a cruise vessel, making daily trips from her dock in Greilickville. The Malabar is constructed from ferro-cement, which is applied to a chicken wire mesh in the shape of a hull. The concrete has deteriorated in certain areas, and due to the high costs of repairing this material, the ship may not be worth the effort. No decisions have been made yet, and non will likely be made very soon. Until then, the Malabar's sister ship, "Manitou" which is seen all over the Lakes as a multiple day cruise vessel will fill in for the Malabar's day trips.

Reported by: Elizabeth Whelan

Twin Ports Report

Among the uncommon callers seen in the Twin Ports this week was Elton Hoyt 2nd, which spent the night of July 28-29 unloading stone at the Cutler dock. Meanwhile, American Mariner, which has always been an uncommon caller in the Twin Ports, is becoming a semi-regular this season. It's due to load again at DMIR in Duluth on Saturday.

Reported by: Al Miller

Coast Guard Parade

On August 1, eight ships from the United States and Canada will be part of the second annual Parade of Ships at this year's U.S. Coast Guard Festival. The lead ship in the procession will be the Coast Guard cutter Escanaba, which is based in Boston and is the namesake of Grand Haven's World War II era home-ported vessel. The eight ships will be meeting five miles off of the Grand Haven pierheads and will enter the harbor beginning at 2:00 pm on Sunday.

The order of vessels arriving for the full week is:
Samuel Risley (Canadian cutter)
Anthony Petit (the Coast Guard's newest 175-foot ship)
Biscayne Bay

Reported by: David Swain

And the Winner Is

Below are the winners of International Ship Masters Association Cleveland Lodge #4's KAYE E. BARKER Trip Raffle:

Grand Prize - trip for 4 + $250 Betsy Staeger, Kent, OH
2nd Prize - $100 Norma Mariage, Rapid City, MI
3rd Prize - $50 Port Huron Lodge #2
4th Prize- $50 Marsha Nicoloff, Lorain, OH

The Cleveland Lodge would like to thank all who participated in the raffle.

Meet The Boatnerd

In the current issue of CSL World, Canada Steamship Lines' newsletter, is a story written about me, boatnerd aka Neil Schultheiss. My thanks to CSL for the article and all of their support over the years.
Choose "News" from the main page and browse the CSL World Online July 1999 issue. The site has been updated with pictures from the CSL Niagara's Maiden Voyage.

Today in Great Lakes History - July 30

Two years ago, on July 30, 1996, a portion of a coal cargo aboard the H. M. Griffith caught on fire while the vessel was approaching Whitefish Point. The burning cargo was dumped into Lake Superior after the vessel's unloading boom was swung outward.

The GORDON C. LEITCH (1) was launched July 30, 1952 for the Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation Co. Ltd., Toronto, Ont.

The Ice Breaker ALEXANDER HENRY entered service July 30, 1959

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

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

Talks Continue

LTV Steel Mining Co. expects to decide July 28 whether to begin the 72-hour process of shutting down the furnaces in its taconite plant at Taconite Harbor in the face of a possible strike this weekend. LTV delayed the shutdown decision a day because of signs of progress at contract talks in Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, the Duluth News-Tribune reported that contract talks resumed July 27 in Minneapolis between the Steelworkers Union and Cleveland-Cliffs, which is negotiating a contract for the 700 hourly employees at Hibbing Taconite Co. A Cliffs spokesmen said furnaces at Hibbing Taconite would remain in service up the contract expiration at midnight Saturday.

Cliffs has said it will cut pellet production this year at the five mines it owns or manages. Cutbacks already have begun at Northshore Mining Co. in Silver Bay, and Hibbing Taconite also is slated for a shutdown at some point, a Cliffs spokesman said.

Three tentative five-year contracts have been reached for workers at Minntac (US Steel), National Steel Pellet Co. and Ispat Inland Steel Mining Co. Northshore Mining Co. is a nonunion plant. Talks at EVTAC have been suspended while company directors consider the plant's sale.

Reported by: Al Miller

Ore Processing

An environmental hearing was held July 27 in St. Paul regarding a proposal to add a new kind of ore processing at the Northshore Mining Co. plant in Silver Bay.

Northshore currently produces pellets that are 65 percent iron. The proposed addition to the facility would allow production of 700,000 tons a year of 95 percent iron briquets that could be made directly into steel.

A few people at the hearing expressed concerns, including some townspeople who worried that the plant might produce too much dust. (Somewhat ironic considering the town was built in the '50s solely to serve the plant, but in recent years retirees from the Twin Cities have bought many of the houses there).

A company spokesman said Northshore is working to "dramatically" reduce the plant's dust and other emissions.

Reported by: Al Miller

Twin Ports Report

Twin Ports boatwatchers got a triple treat of unusual callers and old friends on July 28. John G. Munson unloaded stone at the Hallett dock, then loaded ore at DMIR, tug Sarah Spencer and Atlantic Hickory were at General Mills unloading grain and it appeared the Hickory detached itself from the barge to make a quick trip to the Murphy Oil fuel dock, and Middletown nipped into port late in the afternoon to unload stone at the Cutler stone dock before proceeding on to Silver Bay.

Reported by: Al Miller

Algoma Second Report

A net loss of $26.9 million or $0.51 per share was incurred in the second quarter which compares to a first quarter loss of $30.5 million or $0.58 per share and net income of $1.4 million or $0.03 per share in the second quarter of 1998. This improvement from the first quarter reflects the initial cost reduction resulting from the Direct Strip Production Complex, partially offset by lower selling prices for plate products. Announced price increases on sheet products had little effect on second quarter results but should benefit future quarters.

The loss from operations was $15.4 million in the second quarter versus a loss of $19.5 million in the first quarter. The improvement is primarily a result of cost savings being realized from the DSPC. Selling prices for plate remained under pressure due to a combination of low-priced imported steel and increased domestic capacity. Sheet prices were little changed.

Steel shipments increased to 571,000 tons from 522,000 tons in the first quarter with the increase due to higher sheet shipments. Structural shipments declined by 22,000 tons due to the closure of the facility in the quarter. The seamless tubular operations are limited to finishing and shipping activities.

Cash flow from operations before changes in working capital was a deficiency of $15 million, but was an improvement of $5 million from the first quarter. A decrease in working capital of $44 million was due primarily to lower inventory levels. The inventory reductions were associated primarily with the elimination of the structural inventories and further reductions in the inventory of seamless tubes.

The Board of Directors has approved an expenditure of $20 million for the construction of a ladle metallurgy furnace. This project will coincide with the completion of a new oxygen plant being constructed by Praxair and will facilitate higher raw steel production levels by mid-2000 of approximately 200,000 tons per year in addition to other benefits.

Workforce levels at June 30 were 4,500 people versus 5,200 in mid-1998. The exit from structurals and tubes has resulted in lower workforce levels with further reductions to occur in the second half of 1999.

In early July, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal made a material injury finding covering hot rolled sheet and strip originating in or exported from France, Romania, the Russian Federation and the Slovak Republic. Imports from these countries must be at normal values as determined by Revenue Canada, otherwise they will be subject to anti-dumping duty. An injury hearing is currently underway respecting the cold rolled sheet case launched by the Canadian steel industry against seven countries.

In mid-May, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal continued the 1994 injury finding covering carbon steel plate from Italy, the Republic of Korea, Spain and the Ukraine. Algoma, with the co-operation of other Canadian producers, is preparing an anti-dumping complaint against plate imports from several other countries.

The demand for sheet products continues to be strong and higher prices are expected in future quarters while selling prices for plate remain under pressure. The primary operating focus continues to be on improving productivity at the DSPC. The transition to an organization focused solely on flat rolled products should improve future profitability.

Algoma Steel

Bethlehem Steel Announces Second Quarter 1999 Results

Bethlehem Steel Corporation reported yesterday a net loss of $30 million (($.31 per diluted share) for the second quarter of 1999 compared with net income of $38 million ($.23 per diluted share) for the second quarter of 1998. Results for the second quarter of 1999 include about $20 million ($17 million after-tax) of additional operating costs that were incurred in connection with the reline of our blast furnace at Sparrows Point. Results for the second quarter of 1998 include a $35 million ($29 million after tax) restructuring charge related to the closing of our Sparrows Point plate mill. Excluding this item, net income for the second quarter of 1998 would have been $67 million ($.45 per diluted share). Sales for the second quarter of 1999 were $985 million compared with $1.19 billion for the second quarter of 1998.

``We are very disappointed with our second quarter financial results which continued to be adversely affected by unfairly traded steel imports. Our hot rolled, cold rolled, and especially our plate businesses are among those that have been seriously injured,'' said Curtis H. Barnette, Bethlehem's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

``Despite our results, during the second quarter we further reduced our costs in many areas, increased the size of our revolving credit arrangement from $600 million to $660 million, and reached a tentative five-year labor agreement with the USWA.''

Steel shipments of about 2.1 million net tons for the second quarter of 1999 were less than the 2.4 million net tons shipped in the second quarter of 1998 as lower shipments at Burns Harbor, Sparrows Point, and Pennsylvania Steel Technologies, Inc. (PST) more than offset additional plate shipments resulting from our acquisition of Lukens in May 1998.

The steel trade crisis continues to adversely affect our performance. Shipments have been reduced and prices depressed. Average domestic steel industry prices for all products in 1999 are down 7% from average 1998 prices. This is the largest aggregate decline in nearly 20 years. Current industry market prices for hot rolled, cold rolled, and plate have declined 10%, 9%, and 15%, respectively, from a year ago.

We will continue to take all appropriate legal actions and have pending hot rolled, cold rolled, and plate cases. Our public affairs activities are advancing with the Stand Up for Steel Campaign in coordination with the USWA, other leading steel companies, and others. Our government affairs actions are centered on working closely with the Administration and the Congress to bring about much needed trade law reform. We believe that all of these actions will in due course help to restore fair trade in steel.

Bethlehem and the USWA have reached a tentative labor agreement which is subject to ratification by the USWA membership. We believe the tentative long-term, five-year, labor agreement is a fair and reasonable contract that provides stability to our customers, suppliers, employees, and stockholders. The new labor agreement will provide Bethlehem with a sound basis to advance our objective of creating partnerships among employees and to improve our productivity and overall competitiveness.

The domestic economy continues on a course of moderate growth and inflation remains relatively low. Competition remains intense in all of our markets due to unfairly traded imports, excess global steel capacity, new domestic supply, and continuing high levels of plate inventories in the marketplace.

Bethlehem Steel

Today in Great Lakes History - July 29

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

While at the Manitowoc Ship Building Co. for general repairs and engine overhaul, the CITY OF SAGINAW caught fire on July 29, 1971 and destroyed her upper deck and forward section. Damages were estimated from $450,000 to $750,000 and were not repaired. The CITY OF SAGINAW 31 was sold to Marine Salvage Ltd., Port Colborne, Ont. for scrap.

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

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

July 29, 1974 - The "PERE MARQUETTE 21" was towed to Milwaukee on July 29, 1974 and reduced to a barge.

July 29, 1971 - A fire broke out on the City of Saginaw 31, 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.

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

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

CSL Niagara Update

The new CSL Niagara was underway in the Welland Canal this morning at as she departed Lock 2 at 05:40 upbound. The crew had no problem maneuvering the new hulls seventy eight-foot beam and cleared Lock 8 at 14:00 hours heading into Lake Erie.

She is now scheduled to arrive in Sandusky, Ohio at 2:00am Thursday morning, this is her first trip. She will load a cargo of coal for delivery to the Stelco steel mill on Lake Ontario. The vessel completed her sea trials early Tuesday morning after departing Port Weller Dry Docks on Monday the 26th.

Reported by: Jeff Cameron's Welland Canal Archive and Mark Harris

Paterson Hits Arrestor

At 06:00 the M.V. Paterson hit the ship arrestor at the St. Lambert lock on his way down. Navigation could be suspended for approximately 10 to 12 hours.

Steelworkers Prepare to Strike

Despite ongoing contract negotiations, Steelworkers at LTV Steel Mining Co. are waiting for permission to take a strike authorization vote, ordering satellite toilets for strikers and putting employee assistance workers to work helping Steelworkers with their finances, Dave Ebnet, vice president of Steelworkers Local 4108, told the Duluth News-Tribune."We're ordering our strike signs and everything. We're preparing for the worst," he said. The company's last strike was in 1977.

LTV is one of three Iron Range mines that do not yet have contracts. Hibbing Taconite is still in talks with Steelworkers while negotiations at EVTAC in Eveleth have been put on hold pending discussions about acquisition by Minnesota Iron & Steel Co.

David Gardner, a spokesman for Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., managing agent for Hibbing Taconite Co., said that contract negotiations are resuming this week after a break. ``We continue to hope that there will be a settlement by the Saturday deadline,'' he said.

The tentative contract agreement reached Saturday between Ispat Inland Inc. and the United Steelworkers of America is a five-year pact that includes the 324 workers at Ispat Inland's Minorce Mine in Virginia, Minn.

According to the July 27 Duluth News-Tribune, the tentative contract is based on an agreement reached in late June between the Steelworkers and USX and Bethlehem Steel Corp. The method is called pattern bargaining. The USX-Bethlehem contract gave Steelworkers an incremental raise of $2 per hour over five years and improved pension benefits for current and retired workers.

Click here for the full story

Reported by: Al Miller

Activity in Holland

After a long mid-summer lull in Holland Michigan, there has been a flurry of activity. Monday afternoon, the Joseph H. Frantz was unloading at the Brewer's dock. Yesterday morning the Earl Ogelbay is delivering coal to the power plant. The Fred R. White was expected in early this morning.

Reported by: Bob Vande Vusse

Twin Ports Report

Several vessels are due this week at Taconite Harbor, where talk has begun of a possible strike this weekend at LTV Steel Mining Co. Reserve was scheduled to load there July 26, and Charles M. Beeghly and Kaye E. Barker were due July 27.

The Twin Ports were busy early on July 27, with six vessels working cargo and another taking fuel before unloading. The line-up included Ziemia Tarnowska loading at Concourse; Canadian Transport loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal; Helena Oldendorff loading at Cenex-Harvest States; Lake Michigan loading at AGP; Algocape finishing its load at Cargill B1; Canadian Olympic at Hallett dock; and Cason J. Callaway fueling at the Murphy Oil dock before shifting to unload stone at DMIR.

Reported by: Al Miller

Oglebay Norton Second Quarter Revenues

Oglebay Norton Company announced results for the second quarter and first six months ended June 30, 1999.

Revenues and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were the highest for any comparable periods in the company's history. Reflecting the addition of the lime and limestone operations, most of which were acquired during the second quarter of 1998, revenues were up 36% for the latest three months and 69% for the first half with EBITDA increases surpassing the revenue gains. Net income increased 8% for the quarter, despite a more than doubling of interest expense; net income, however, is down 45% for the first half due to the increased interest expense and non-cash charges arising from the 1998 acquisitions.

Oglebay Norton Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer John Lauer said, "We are satisfied with the performance of all three of our operating segments and our ability to report an increase in earnings per share for the second quarter. We are also confident that our earnings per share will continue to exceed those of the year earlier periods for the balance of 1999, and our leverage will be significantly reduced after we close the pending sale of our two Global Stone facilities."

He continued, "Our Lime and Limestone segment is doing well despite downward pressure at several locations from the relatively slow steel market. Our announced plans to sell our Ingersoll and Detroit operations, while decreasing revenues and operating profit for the second half, lessens our dependence on the steel industry. We anticipate closing the sale of these two facilities soon and still expect solid gains in total segment operating profit in each remaining quarter as well as for the year as a whole."

"Marine Services, is slightly behind our 1997 and 1998 record levels in revenue and operating profit due to lower water levels and recent increases in fuel costs. We are currently negotiating a new labor agreement with the United Steelworkers covering the unlicensed (non-officer) personnel on our vessels. Both sides continue to negotiate in good faith and we expect a mutually satisfactory resolution." Our capacity remains sold-out for the balance of the year despite the weakness in steel markets and we remain optimistic that we can have a very solid performance for the year."

Bethlehem Steel Conference Call

Bethlehem Steel Corporation will broadcast its quarterly earnings conference call on Wednesday, July 28, 1999 at 2:15 PM EDT.

The events can be accessed through Investor Broadcast Networks' Vcall website, located at Listeners should go to the website at least fifteen minutes before the event to register, download, and install any necessary audio software.

For those unable to attend the live broadcast, a replay will be available beginning approximately one hour after the event. There is no charge to access this event.

USX Corporation - U. S. Steel Group Second Quarter Results

USX-U. S. Steel Group reported second quarter 1999 adjusted net income of $32 million, or 34 cents per diluted share, compared with $108 million, or $1.16 per diluted share in second quarter 1998. U. S. Steel Group recorded second quarter 1999 net income of $55 million, or 59 cents per diluted share. Results included a favorable aftertax effect of $23 million for a pension settlement adjustment primarily related to the early retirement program completed during the quarter. Net income in second quarter 1998 was $136 million, or $1.46 cents per diluted share, including the favorable effects of an insurance litigation settlement and a favorable foreign tax adjustment. The favorable aftertax effect of these special items was $28 million.

U. S. Steel Group revenues in second quarter 1999 were $1.3 billion compared to $1.7 billion in second quarter 1998 reflecting both reduced shipments and lower prices. Second quarter 1999 segment income for U. S. Steel operations was a loss of $9 million, or $4 per ton. This compares with second quarter 1998 segment income for U. S. Steel operations of $154 million, or $54 per ton, which included approximately $30 million, or $10 per ton, for the settlement of litigation against the company's property insurers. This decrease was primarily due to lower average steel prices, lower shipments and lower income from affiliates. Average steel prices were $424 per ton in second quarter 1999, 11 percent lower than the same period of 1998. Second quarter 1999 shipments were 2.5 million net tons, compared with 2.9 million net tons in second quarter 1998. Tubular and plate markets were especially weak during the most recent quarter.

Commenting on the latest quarter's results, USX Board Chairman Thomas J. Usher said, "Despite what some may say, the import crisis is not over; it continues to plague our business. The surge in steel imports, which began a year ago, has helped push our average quarterly price realizations to their lowest levels since the fourth quarter of 1991. Low price realizations will continue until unfairly traded imports are controlled and associated excess inventories are consumed."

Added Usher, "The latest data available provide further alarming evidence that unfairly traded imports continue to flood our domestic steel markets. We are committed to filing trade cases when warranted and pressing for legislation that will strengthen our trade laws.

On June 25, the U. S. Steel Group reached tentative agreement on a new five-year labor contract with the United Steelworkers of America, and the union has since begun its ratification process. The current agreement is scheduled to expire July 31, l999.

Today in Great Lakes History - July 28

ALGOWEST passed Detroit, Mich. downbound on July 28, 1982, she had departed on her maiden voyage July 26 from Thunder Bay, Ont. to Quebec City with a 27,308 tonne load of barley.

b) ADAM E. CORNELIUS was christened July 28, 1973 at AmShip by Mrs. Roger Kyes as the a) ROGER M. KYES

COASTAL CANADA was launched July 28, 1952

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

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

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

CSL Niagara Maiden Voyage

The new CSL Niagara is scheduled to arrive in Sandusky, Ohio late today. It is believed that this is her first trip. The vessel was to undergo sea trials on Sunday or Monday departing Port Weller Dry Docks.

Reported by: Mark Harris

Labor Negotiations

WDIO-TV in Duluth reported July 26 that another steelmaker with an Iron Range taconite plant has reached a tentative contract with its employees. Ispat-Inland Steel, operator of Ispat-Inland Steel Mining Co. in Virginia, Minn., apparently reached the deal last Saturday.

The TV station also reported that talks are continuing between the Steelworkers Union and Hibbing Taconite Co. and LTV Steel Mining Co., but that rumblings have begun that workers at both plants might strike when contracts expire at midnight Saturday. Workers at one of the plants have voted to authorize a strike, the station reported.

LTV Steel Mining Co. ships its pellets through Taconite Harbor on Minnesota's North Shore. It's served largely by vessels from Interlake Steamship Co. and Oglebay Norton Co.

Although negotiations can continue up to and past the contract's expiration, taconite companies often will begin shutting down their processing plant a day or two before a strike deadline so equipment can be properly idled and furnaces allowed to cool.

Reported by: Al Miller

Escanaba on the Lakes

The USCGC Escanaba passed upbound under the Blue Water Bridge on Monday afternoon. Her destination was reported to Sarnia Traffic as Chicago. It is believed that this is the first time she has been on the lakes since 1987.

While making an approach to the Welland Canal, the Escanaba sighted two red flares, smoke and flames coming from a 14ft pleasure craft. The vessel diverted and launched a smaller boat which assisted, ensuring fire was out and stood by until a good samaritan took the vessel in tow to Port Weller.

Reported by: Jamie Kerwin

Twin Ports Report

Canadian Olympic made an unusual call July 25 at Duluth's Hallett 5 dock to load bentonite clay. Fred R. White Jr. is expected to pay on of its occasional calls July 26 to the C. Reiss dock in Duluth.

St. Clair is making back-to-back trips to Two Harbors for taconite pellets. It was there July 22 and is due back July 28.

Jean Parisien is scheduled to make a rare call July 28 at the Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior. The vessel's Twin Ports visits usually are made to the DMIR ore dock. Also loading at the terminal this week are: Columbia Star and Canadian Transport, July 26; Oglebay Norton, July 28; Paul R. Tregurtha and Canadian Enterprise, July 30.

Three ships were loading grain in the Twin Ports on July 26 and three more were anchored off shore. Lake Michigan was at AGP, Algocape at Cargill and Helenda Oldendorff at Cenex-Harvest States. Anchored on the lake were familiar visitors Ziemia Tarnowska, Agamemnon and Lake Erie. Due in later this week are Daviken, Kapitonas Domeika and Lake Champlain.

Reported by: Al Miller

USS Great Lakes Fleet Takes Over Presque Isle

Effective on June 30, USS Great Lakes Fleet, Inc. assumed full ownership of Great Lakes Corp. (Litton) principal asset which is the 1000-foot tug/barge PRESQUE ISLE. The vessel was on long term charter (25 year) to US Steel Corp. since it was built for Litton Great Lakes Corp. in 1973.

On July 1, the PRESQUE ISLE entered Port Weller Dry Docks to undergo a five-year survey plus any necessary repairs, with its return to service about the end of July. For more than 20 years the PRESQUE ISLE has been regularly maintained at Port Weller with its last 5-year survey in 1993 at this yard, which is one of the few Great Lakes dry docks that can accommodate a vessel with a draft as deep as the 25-foot PRESQUE ISLE.
From Skilling Mining Review 7/17/99

Reported by: Dave Wobser

Repairs in Sarnia

The Algosar was docked in Sarnia yesterday, it is reported that the main engine suffered some kind of mechanical failure and was under repair. She was expected to depart sometime early afternoon today.

GATX Announces Quarterly Dividend

The board of directors of GATX Corporation, parent company of American Steamship Company, announced last week a quarterly dividend of $0.275 per common share, payable September 30, 1999, to shareholders of record September 15, 1999.

The board also declared a quarterly dividend of $0.625 per share on the $2.50 preferred stock, payable September 1, 1999, to shareholders of record August 16, 1999.

The common and preferred dividends declared today are unchanged from the previous quarter.

Please visit for more information

Oglebay Norton Invites You to Join Its Second Quarter Conference Call on the Web

In conjunction with Oglebay Norton's Second Quarter earnings release, you are invited to listen to its conference call that will be broadcast live over the Internet today, July 27 at 11:00 a.m. EST with John N. Lauer, President and CEO, David H. Kelsey, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and Rochelle Walk, Director, Corporate Affairs and Secretary of Oglebay Norton.

The webcast will also be archived on Oglebay Norton's web site

Dofasco Posts its Highest Quarterly Operating Earnings of the 1990's

Last week Dofasco Inc. reported results for the second quarter of 1999 which reflect the highest quarterly earnings per share that the Company has posted during the 1990's, excluding the impact of unusual items in prior years. For the three months ended June 30, 1999, consolidated net income attributable to common shares was $65.7 million, or $.78 per common share.

These earnings are 82% higher than in the first quarter of 1999 when consolidated net income was $36.1 million, or $.43 per common share and 16% higher than the net income of $56.8 million, or $.66 per common share reported in the second quarter of 1998.

Dofasco's earnings growth from the first quarter is due to a continuing excellent performance at the Company's Steel Operations, which includes the Hamilton operations, and to improved results at Gallatin Steel and Quebec Cartier Mining Company.

John Mayberry, Dofasco's President and Chief Executive Officer commented, ``These results continue to reinforce Dofasco's position as one of the most profitable North American steelmakers. They provide continuing validation of our strategy to anticipate and target emerging markets for high value products.''

Consolidated sales revenue in the quarter was $784.4 million on steel shipments of 1,141,000 tons, compared to consolidated sales revenue of $741.3 million and steel shipments of 1,006,000 tons reported in the second quarter of 1998.

The Company's Steel Operations segment reported income before income taxes of $95.3 million, compared to $81.7 million in the second quarter of 1998. Shipments during the second quarter included the first tons produced by DoSol Galva, Dofasco's 80% owned joint venture galvanizing line in Hamilton. At full capacity, the Company expects to ship approximately 450,000 tons of product annually from the DSG facility, increasing galvanizing capacity by more than 30%.

Mr. Mayberry continued, ``Dofasco has outpaced much of our competition through on-going innovation and technological leadership. Many people would be surprised to learn that Dofasco is one of Canada's most technology intensive companies - but that is where steel's future lies.''

Dofasco is a leading North American steel producer. Product lines include hot rolled, cold rolled, galvanized and tinplate flat rolled steels, as well as tubular products. Dofasco's wide range of steel products is sold to customers in the automotive, construction, steel distribution, packaging, pipe and tube, manufacturing and appliance industries.

LTV Announces Second Quarter 1999 Results

Also announcing quarterly results last week was the LTV Corporation with a net loss for the second quarter of $19 million, or $0.19 per share before $39 million ($0.39 per share) of special charges. LTV reported a net loss of $58 million ($0.58 per share), reflecting the special charges, lower average steel selling prices and shipments. In the second quarter of 1998, LTV reported net income of $4 million, or $0.03per share, which included costs of $0.19 per share related to the H-4 blast furnace reline.

Consolidated sales for the second quarter and six months ended June 30, 1999 declined from comparable periods in the prior year because of lower Integrated Steel shipments and lower average steel selling prices caused by high levels of unfairly traded imported steel. Integrated Steel selling prices in the spot market have begun improving, but have not attained levels consistent with the prior year periods. Operating results were also reduced by approximately $8 million due to railroad transportation difficulties related to the split-up of Conrail by CSX and Norfolk Southern as well as unscheduled equipment outages.

During the second quarter of 1999, LTV suspended implementation of a pilot business systems project at its Hennepin, Illinois plant after discovering a number of system shortcomings resulting in the Company recording a special charge of $37 million. The suspension does not affect the implementation of LTV's other new business systems that are expected to provide higher levels of performance in materials management, plant maintenance, purchasing, human resources and financial management. These new systems are currently in use throughout the Company. LTV also recognized a special charge of $2 million related to a salaried workforce reduction already implemented.

"We are disappointed by the second quarter results which were seriously affected by the unusual and nonrecurring unscheduled outages and transportation problems. However, Integrated Steel orders remain strong and we are having some success in implementing the announced price increases for shipments in the second and third quarters of 1999. Prices still remain significantly below the levels of a year ago due to the continuing effect of unfairly traded imports," said Peter Kelly, LTV's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Today in Great Lakes History - July 27

In heavy fog on 27 July 1884, ALBERTA (a steel, propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 264"/2282GT, built in 1883 at Glasgow, Scotland) collided with the JOHN M. OSBORNE (propeller, wooden steambarge, 178'/891GT, built in 1882 at Marine City) which had two barges in tow. The ALBERTA stayed in the gash until most of OSBORNE's crew scrambled aboard. 3 or 4 lives lost from the OSBORNE, and one from ALBERTA in a brave rescue attempt. This accident occurred about 6 miles NNW of Whitefish Point in Lake Superior. The wreck of the OSBORNE was located in 1984, 100 years after she sank.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

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

Passing in Saginaw

The David Z. Norton was inbound at the Saginaw front range yesterday, for the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City. At 1655 she departed for the Wirt Dock at Saginaw. It was interesting to see the outbound H. Lee White and inbound Norton pass each other off of Gull Island by the pump out station just north of the front range lights. This does happen occassionally, but not usually with two larger freighters.

Reported by: Lon Morgan

Canadian Explorer Spotted

The bow section of the former Canadian Explorer, the stern is now Canadian Transfer, is tied up in Hamilton harbour easily visible from the Queen Elizabeth Way. The name is still clearly painted on the bow.

Reported by: Ron Walsh

Job Opening

DIRECTOR: The Berrien County Historical Association seeks administrator skilled in all areas of museum management. Responsibility includes supervision and operation of departments and the training, evaluation and disciplining of all department personnel; contracts and professional services; purchasing; exhibitions, educational programs, services; collateral materials; staffing schedules; fundraising; museum store management; regular internal and external communications; and, capital improvements. Responsible for a site and facility listed on State and National Registers of Historic Places. $30,000 to $40,000 plus benefits.

Prefer MA and 3-5 years of administrative experience.
Resume, three current professional references and salary expectation to:
Larry Nielsen, Personnel Committee Chairman
P.O. Box 261, Berrien Springs, and MI 49103.
Deadline September 10, 1999.

Today in Great Lakes History - July 26

The William A. McGonagle departed Ecorse, MI on her maiden voyage on July 26, 1916 bound for Duluth, MN to load iron ore. In 1986 she would become the Henry Steinbrenner (4)- see historic photo gallery. Retired from service in 1989, she was scrapped in Port Maitland in 1994.

ALGOWEST sailed on her maiden voyage in 1982 from Thunder Bay, Ont. to Quebec City with a 27,308 tonne load of barley. She was the first straight deck bulker built for Algoma since the 1968 launch of ALGOCEN (2), as well as the last ship built for this fleet. The ALGOWEST has set several cargo records, including a 27,517 tonne load of grain down the Seaway October 16, 1982 to Port Cartier, Que.

On July 26, 1943 the COASTAL CLIFF under the name a) BRUCE HUDSON caught fire while loading gasoline at East Chicago, IL and four persons lost their lives. She proceeded under her own power on August 10, 1943 to Muir Bros. at Port Dalhousie, Ont. for repairs.

The WILLIAM A. McGONAGLE (2) sailed light on her maiden voyage from the shipyard on July 26, 1916 to Duluth, MN to load iron ore.

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

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

Charlevoix Fireworks Troubles

The first year the Charlevoix Venetian Festival made an attempt to return the fireworks display did not go as hoped. As the lit boat parade ended, the fireworks began, but did not last long. About 15 shells where shot off, and then stopped. The Coast Guard and the City Fire Marshall halted the display because falling embers were getting to close to appartments that line the shores of Round Lake. The crowd was greatly dissapointed, but were assured that the display would go on Sunday night, weather permitting.

Reported by: Sean Whelan

Today in Great Lakes History - July 25

The bow section of the ROGER BLOUGH was floated into the new Lorain dry dock on July 25, 1970 and was joined with the 421 foot stern section. The launch of the completed hull was scheduled for July, 1971 but a fire broke out in the engine room on June 24, 1971 killing four yard workers and extensively damaging her Pielstick diesel engines. Extensive repairs, which included replacement of both engines, delayed the launch for nearly a year.

The CANADA MARQUIS (c) FEDERAL MACKENZIE) was upbound at Detroit, Mich. on July 25, 1983 on her maiden voyage.

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

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

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

Tug Kristin Lee Hannah to Nicholsons Drydock

After arriving at Michigan Marine Terminal Thursday morning with the empty barge 5101 it was found that the controllable pitch wheel on the Kristin Lee Hannah was leaking oil into the Rouge River. To repair the problem the tug must be drydocked, however the tug is too deep to enter the drydock at a draft of 16 feet.

The drydock at Nicholsons has a maximum draft of 12' 6 ". To lighten the tug, 60,000 gallons of fuel must be removed from the tug at Sterling Fuels in Windsor. Since the Coast Guard would not allow the Hannah to operate, Gaelic's tug Patricia Hoey was dispatched, and towed the Hannah to Sterling, waited while the fuel was pumped off and then towed the tug to Nicholsons to be put on the drydock Friday Morning.

The Patricia Hoey then towed the barge Hannah 5101 from Michigan Marine Terminal to Marathon Asphalt dock, about three miles up the Rouge River. Gaelic's tug Roger Stahl picked up the barge Friday Morning and towed it to Nicholsons where it will wait for the tug James Hannah which has been dispatched to take over the towing while the Kristin Lee Hannah is out of service.

Reported by: DJ Tugnut

Labor Negotiations

National Steel Corp. and the United Steelworkers of American have reached a tentative 5-year contract agreement that includes about 450 National Steel Pellet Co. In Keewatin, Minn. Details of the pact were not released. It must still be ratified by National's 6,900 employees nationwide.

National Steel owns two integrated steel mills and a finishing plant. National Steel Pellet Co. ships its pellets through the BNSF ore dock in Superior.

U.S. Steel and Bethlehem Steel Corp. reached tentative agreements with the union in June, and terms were finalized last week. That contract still must be ratified by union members. U.S. Steel's Minntac plant ships pellets through the DMIR ore dock in Two Harbors.

According to the Duluth News-Tribune, contract negotiations continue that affect four Iron Range taconite companies. Contracts expire at midnight July 31.

-Talks continue between the union and LTV Steel, which operates LTV Steel Mining Co. in Hoyt Lakes, Minn. LTV ships pellets through its plant at Taconite Harbor

-Talks also continue between the union and Ispat-Inland Steel, which operates the Ispat-Inland Steel Mining Co. near Virginia, Minn. Local issues at mine have already been settled. Ispat-Inland ships pellets through the DMIR ore dock in Duluth.

-Cleveland-Cliffs, which is manager and part owner of Hibbing Taconite, this week resumed negotiations with the Steelworkers. Talks are described as "constructive."

-Negotiations involving the union and EVTAC have been postponed while the directors of Minnesota Iron and Steel discuss whether to buy the EVTAC pelletizing plant near Eveleth, Minn.

Reported by: Al Miller

The Highlander

Passing upbound Friday through the Blue Water area was the yacht THE HIGHLANDER. She is owned by the Forbes Corporation and was on her way to Milwaukee and then on to Chicago. She will be coming back this way sometime in September on her way back to New York City.

Reported by: Andrew Severson

Duluth-Superior Tonnage

Total tonnage shipped from Duluth-Superior through June totaled about 13 million metric tons, putting the port 2 percent ahead of last year's pace and about 5 percent ahead of its five-year average.

Iron ore shipments totaled 5.5 million metric tons through June. Low-sulfure coal shipments were close behind at 5.4 million metric tons. Despite a soft world market, grain exports were up through June, totaling 1.04 million metric tons. Port officials said the grain trade was sparked by delays and high shipping rates on the Mississippi River, the Twin Ports' chief competitor for grain.

Low-sulfur coal shipped to Superior from Montana started moving through the port in 1976. Five years ago Midwest Energy Terminal broke a coal-handling record set in 1923,when all coal was shipped to Duluth. The terminal has broken records every year since then and is on pace to set another record this season. Midwest Energy now moves more tonnage annually than any other dock in the Twin Ports.

Reported by: Al Miller

Today in Great Lakes History - July 24

The ALGOSOO (2) was Launched July 24, 1974 for Algoma Central Railway, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

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

ST.CLAIR (2) was launched July 24, 1975

The WILLIAM G. MATHER (2) left the River Rouge on her maiden voyage July 24, 1925 for Ashtabula, OH to load coal for the Canadian lakehead at Port Arthur/Fort William, Ont.

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

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

Undaunted Helps Pleasure Craft

The tug Undaunted assisted a stricken pleasure craft off Buffalo on the night of the 22nd. The tug was in the notch of the barge Pere Marquette 41 and inbound for Buffalo when she picked up faint radio transmissions out on the open lake.

She then relayed the messages to the Buffalo Coast Guard Base since the pleasure craft's transmission was too weak to be heard in Buffalo. The Undaunted and barge then proceeded into Buffalo with gypsum for TDX at 11PM.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

Port Stanley Traffic

The Cuyahoga Returned to Port Stanley Thursday afternoon and unloaded another 10 thousand metric tons of coal on the east dock in front of the load she deposited there on July 4th. She left the harbour at 7:15 pm the same day.

The tall ship Playfair was in Port this morning, she had left by the time the Cuyahoga arrived.

Reported by: Joan Wilton

Twin Ports Report

St. Clair was scheduled to make one of its occasional visits to the DMIR ore dock in Two Harbors on July 22. Making a rare call at Two Harbors is Elton Hoyt II, due there July 28.

Edwin H. Gott is due to load at DMIR Duluth on July 29. This is usually where it loads pellets for delivery to Nanticoke, Ontario.

Reported by: Al Miller

Naticoke Spotted in New York

On Wednesday, 21 July the CSL Nanticoke sailed into New York Harbor. The vessel sailed up the Buttermilk Channel past Governor's Island and entered the East River at 4 PM.

Reported by: Kevin M. McGrath

Today in Great Lakes History - July 23

The Keel for the TEXACO CHIEF (2) was laid July 23, 1968

CANADOC (2) sailed on her maiden voyage July 23rd.

The RED WING (2) was christened on July 23, 1960 as the first all-welded vessel to emerge from Port Weller Dry Docks.

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

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

Rare Run for the Anderson

The Arthur M. Anderson is set to start a rare run today the 22nd. She is due in South Chicago after unloading in Gary to load for Ashland WI. She due to arrive in Ashland on the 25th at approximately 2 PM.

Reported by: David French and Al Miller

Twin Ports Report

The Twin Ports hosted a number of Algoma boats July 21. Algoville was loading the Cenex elevator in Superior, Algocape was due at the St. Lawrence Cement terminal in Duluth, and Algomarine departed BNSF ore dock in Superior. And some of Oglebay Norton's best boats were calling along the North Shore: Courtney Burton at DMIR in Duluth, Buckeye at Silver Bay and Reserve at Taconite Harbor.

Loading at the AGP grain elevator is Lake Carling, a member of that increasingly rare species -- the U.S.-flag saltie.

Alpena was unloading July 21 at the cement plant in Duluth. This boat has almost completely replaced the once-common JAW Iglehart on the Twin Ports cement run.

Great Lakes Fleet vessels in interesting places: George A. Sloan will arrive in Green Bay July 23 and Calcite II is scheduled to pay another call at Milwaukee on July 24.

Reported by: Al Miller

Charlevoix Update

The tourist season is in full swing in Charlevoix. The 69th annual Venetian festival got underway this past Sunday and continues for one week.

One notable vessel arrived in the port of Charlevoix this past week. The USCG cutter Frank Drew sailed in from Manistee on July 14th. The vessel is making a good will tour of the lakes, before she heads to her home port, Portsmouth Virginia.

She tied up next to USCG Acacia. The Frank Drew is similar in design to what the Acacia's replacement will be like. Charlevoix recently rebuilt the city docks to allow a larger vessel to be stationed upon Acacia's departure.

The tug American Girl called to port with a barge that is 100' by 32'. It will be used for fireworks launching.

The Beaver Island ferries continue their summer routine, with Emerald Isle making two trips per day from Charlevoix, while the smaller Beaver Islander operates two days of the week as a back up out of the Island.

Erie Sand's Richard Reiss paid a visit to Southdown's docks, and delivered a load of gypsum. The vessel is due to return sometime in September.

Reported by: Sean Whelan

Commerce rules six countries dump products in U.S.

On Tuesday the U.S. Commerce Department reported that steel producers in six countries showed signs of engaging in illegal pricing practices and could face punitive tariffs.

The was the third favorable ruling in two days for the U.S. steel industry, which blames low-priced steel shipments for massive layoffs. The cases cover two steel products that together accounted for 15 percent of all imports in the first five months of 1999.

Tuesday's preliminary decision centered on shipments of cut-to-length plates, a type of steel thicker than the more widely used hot-rolled and cold-rolled varieties. The Commerce Department said it had evidence that companies in France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan and South Korea illegally "dumped" cut-to-length plates in the United States -- that is, selling the product at prices below production costs or home-market prices.

Domestic producers and their workers' unions have blamed low-priced imports for thousands of layoffs and have charged more than a dozen foreign countries and their steel producers with unlawful pricing practices.

The department proposed tariffs ranging from 4 percent to 59 percent against the six countries involved in the cut-to-length case, although one company in South Korea was tentatively exempted.

The tariffs would come on top of the 1 percent to 23 percent tariffs proposed Monday against all of those countries except Japan, which was not targeted in a companion complaint filed by the industry. The Commerce Department ruled that those five countries may have given subsidies that artificially lowered prices.

Reported by: Robert Kennedy

Cleveland-Cliffs Reports Second Quarter 1999 Earnings

Yesterday Cleveland-Cliffs Inc reported 1999 second quarter earnings of $7.8 million, or $.70 per diluted share, and 1999 first-half earnings of $10.5 million, or $.94 per diluted share. Comparable earnings in 1998 were $16.9 million, or $1.48 per diluted share in the second quarter, and $17.4 million, or $1.52 per diluted share in the first half.

The $9.1 million decrease in second quarter earnings and $6.9 million decrease in first-half earnings were mainly due to lower sales volume and price realization, increased costs of ferrous metallics activities, and higher interest expense. Partly offsetting were higher royalties and management fees, lower mine operating costs and lower administrative costs. Cliffs' iron ore pellet sales in the second quarter of 1999 were 2.4 million tons, compared to the record high 3.9 million tons sold in the second quarter of 1998. Pellet sales were 2.7 million tons in the first half, a 1.9 million ton decrease from 1998 first-half sales of 4.6 million tons.

John S. Brinzo, Cliffs' president and chief executive officer said, "We currently expect pellet sales in the second half of 1999 to be about 6.3 million tons, a 1.2 million ton decrease from the 7.5 million tons sold in the second-half of 1998. This is lower than our previous forecast and will reduce full year 1999 sales to about 9.0 million tons versus record sales of 12.1 million tons in 1998. Second-half results will be adversely affected by significant production curtailments that are expected to take place over the last five months of 1999. Although we are working aggressively to increase volume and reduce costs in order to mitigate the effects of the shutdowns, we anticipate second-half earnings to be below expectations."

With the high levels of steel pouring in from offshore, North American steelmakers operated at a sluggish 80 percent of capacity in the first half of 1999. Iron ore consumption by integrated steel producers was significantly below the first half of 1998 due to the outage of several blast furnaces. Rouge Industries, a major customer of Cliffs, incurred an extended shutdown of its blast furnaces due to an explosion on February 1st at the power generating facility that supplies Rouge. Cliffs is pursuing a business interruption claim under its property insurance program, which would partially mitigate the earnings impact of losing pellet sales to Rouge. Cliffs' reduced sales expectations in the second half of 1999 reflect the continuation of lower hot metal production at the steel plants of certain customers primarily due to unfairly traded semi-finished steel slab imports. Steelmakers using slabs in their finishing operations are displacing raw steel production from blast furnaces that consume iron ore pellets.

Iron ore pellet production at Cliffs-managed mines increased to 10.5 million tons in the second quarter of 1999 from 10.0 million tons in the second quarter of 1998. First-half production was 20.1 million tons, up from 19.4 million tons in 1998. The increases in 1999 are mainly due to higher production at the Tilden Mine, which experienced an equipment outage in 1998.

The increase in Cliffs' share of production, along with the 1.9 million ton decrease in first-half sales, combined to push Cliffs' June 30, 1999 pellet inventory to 5.1 million tons, a 2.6 million ton increase from the middle of 1998. Given the high inventory level and the sales forecast for the second half of 1999, Cliffs intends to substantially reduce its share of production in the second half of 1999. The exact schedule of production curtailments is dependent on the outcome of labor contract negotiations underway at the United Steelworkers Union represented mines. Cliffs' wholly-owned Northshore Mine will take down its smallest pelletizing furnace between July 22 and November 24, and tentatively plans to shut down the remainder of the operation from October 30 through November 24.

Labor contract negotiations are currently in progress at several steel company partners and customers and at four of the mines managed by Cliffs. The steel company contracts, and contracts at the Empire, Hibbing, LTV Steel Company, and Tilden Mines, expire on August 1. Talks to date have been constructive, and the Company is hopeful of a settlement prior to the contract deadline. A new five-year contract covering the bargaining unit employees of the Wabush Mine was ratified by the membership earlier this month.

Cleveland-Cliffs is the largest supplier of iron ore products to the North American steel industry and is developing a significant ferrous metallics business. Subsidiaries of the Company manage six iron ore mines in North America and hold equity interests in five of the mines. Cliffs has a major iron ore reserve position in the United States, is a substantial iron ore merchant, and is beginning production of hot briquetted iron at a joint venture plant in Trinidad and Tobago.

For more information please visit the Cleveland-Cliffs Inc web site

Today in Great Lakes History - July 22

PERE MARQUETTE 22 was launched in 1924 by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, WI as Hull #210 she was Christened by Muriel Badger, daughter of A.E. Badger. First Master Esten Bayle.

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

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

Twin Ports Report

Duluth's DMIR ore dock is expecting an interesting mix of vessels over the next week. Jean Parisien loaded overnight July 19-20; Indiana Harbor is due July 20; Philip R. Clarke and Courtney Burton, due July 21; Cason J. Callaway due July 23; and Mesabi Miner is due July 24. Indiana Harbor and Mesabi Miner usually load at the North Shore ports, but they've been making occasional trips to DMIR Duluth this season.

Here's the line-up for Midwest Energy Terminal: Columbia Star, July 20; James R. Barker, July 22; Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Paul R. Tregurtha, July 24; Canadian Transport and Columbia Star, July 26.

Reported by: Al Miller

Busy in Buffalo

The George A. Sloan and the tug Undaunted with barge Pere Marquette 41 were both unloading one behind the other at the TDX gypsum dock on the afternoon of the 20th. This would be the first time in many years that two self-unloaders were in the City Ship Canal, let alone at the same dock.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

Today in Great Lakes History - July 21

The SPRUCEGLEN, then named c) GEORGE D. GOBLE , was used to transport two pilot houses built at American Ship Building's South Chicago yard to the AmShip yard at Lorain, OH on July 21, 1975 where Interlake Steamship's thousand foot Lake freighters JAMES R. BARKER and MESABI MINER were being completed.

July 21, 1998 the Pere Marquette 41 departed Ludington bound for Manitowoc for a load of stone for the new marina in Ludington. She arrived Ludington with her first load of cargo on July 26.

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

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

Sunny Blossom Refloated

After its second grounding in the St Lawrence Seaway this navigational season, the Bahamian-registered ship carrying the hazardous material caustic lye was refloated at 6:16 P.M. Sunday according to Rhonda M. Worden, spokeswoman for the St Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. She said the SUNNY BLOSSOM is double hulled and appeared to have suffered no damage when it went aground about noon on Friday just off Cornwall Island in Canadian waters. Pending an investigation into the incident by the Canadian Transport Safety Board, the ship will be allowed to resume its trip to Sarnia, Ontario. Ms. Worden said the cause of the grounding was likely human error. "I don't believe it was mechanical problems with the vessel itself. I believe it was human error," she said.

The SUNNY BLOSSOM had two incidents earlier this year in which it was found to have a defective echo depth sounding device. The first occurred in San Juan, Puerto Rico on January 5th. The U.S.Coast Guard required that the repairs be made at that time. On January 14th, the vessel was granted permission by the Coast Guard to enter the Port of New Orleans with an inoperative echo depth sounding device.

According to Ms. Worden, the Seaway Corporation inspects all vessels before they enter the Seaway system. The inspection program has received the highest international quality recognition available in either the public or private sector, the International Organization for Standards 9000 certification. Worden said once a vessel has corrected any problems that may cause navigational concerns and has passed the Seaway's vessel inspection, it is allowed to pass through the Seaway system. She said as no mechanical problems were noted on the SUNNY BLOSSOM, the ship was allowed to enter the system.

Reported by: Joan Baldwin

Twin Ports Report

The Twin Ports grain trade continues its modest mid-summer pace. On July 19, Algoville was loading at the Concourse elevator, Olga was at Cargill B1, Canadian Leader was at Cenex Harvest States #2 and Trias was anchored out on the lake.

Reported by: Al Miller

Today in Great Lakes History - July 20

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

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

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

Freighters Second Grounding in St Lawrence Seaway

The ocean going freighter, SUNNY BLOSSOM, ran aground just off Cornwall Island near Ogdensburg, New York at about noon on Friday. The 528 foot ship carrying caustic lye from Saint John, New Brunswick to Sarnia, Ontario was determined not to be seriously damaged and no pollution was reported in the incident. The Canadian Coast Guard was working to refloat the ship and it is felt it can continue once it is refloated. It grounded outside the navigational channel so is not blocking traffic according to Rhonda M. Worden spokeswoman for the St. Lawrence Seaway. Ms. Worden also said that it is not known what caused the ship to leave the channel.

This is the same ship that on April 24th this year traveled outside a buoy and grounded on the Allan Otty shoal which is about 8 miles from the eastern end of Lake Ontario and the beginning of the St Lawrence River at Cape Vincent. At that time, it was refloated a week later after its cargo of caustic lye had been lighten. As in the case of the present grounding no cause has been established or made public.

Reported by: Joan Baldwin

Northern Belle Casino

The casino boat, Northern Belle, after brief "sea trials", performed between the Ambassador Bridge and the lower end of Belle Isle on Sunday afternoon July 18, departed the Ojibway Slip at 21:40 giving her destination as Biloxi, Mississippi. She gave Sarnia traffic a midnight e.t.a. for Long Point and an 05:00 e.t.a. Tuesday for C.I.P. 16, and the Welland Canal.

The vessel had served as a temporary casino docked along the Windsor waterfront before laying up after the permanent casino had opened.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls

ULS Boats Load

Cenex Harvest States elevator in Superior briefly hosted a pair of ULS straight-deckers this weekend. Canadian Leader was in the No. 2 berth waiting to load soybeans on Monday. Montrealais finished its load the afternoon of July 18 and departed with the aid of tug North Dakota on the stern.

Click here for video of the Montrealais and tug.
Image - Montrealais departing.
Image - tug working with the Montrealais.
Image - Canadian Leader at Cenex Harvest States elevator.

Reported by: Al Miller

Townsend Delayed in Buffalo

The Paul H. Townsend was sitting near the Buffalo breakwall waiting for a tug at 12 noon yesterday. She was inbound for the Buffalo River when she was told by the Ohio St. bridge tender that she would not be allowed to pass without a tug due to city charter and Coast Guard regulations.

There was no word on how long she would have to wait.

The Harbormaster may allow the ship to leave with only one tug as opposed to the required two when operating stern first. Reports are that the vessel's crew were not happy by the delay and were attempting to contact Great Lakes Towing on the radio.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

Mariner Loads

The Canadian Mariner, a bulk carrier owned by Upper Lakes Shipping arrived in Port Stanley Sunday evening. She was loading grain at the Top Notch Elevators. The harbour has not been dredged yet so she will likely not be taking on a full load. That being the case, she will probably not take the usual 12-14 hours to complete this visit. The next ship is due on the 26th of July.

Reported by: Joan Wilton

Sailing Ship on the Lakes

The sailing sloop PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II was upbound in the St. Clair River early yesterday afternoon enroute to Mackinaw City, MI. The replica of an 1812-era topsail schooner is making a tour of the Great Lakes.

The vessel's web site describes her as the Goodwill Ambassador of the State of Maryland and the Port of Baltimore.

Also noted was a pontoon equipped helicopter taking photos of the PRIDE as she moved through the river.
Below is a schedule of her Lakes tour.
Port Arrival Departure
Mackinaw City, MI July 22 July 26
Chicago, IL July 29 August 4
Racine, WI August 5 August 6
Milwaukee, WI August 6 August 9
Cleveland, OH August 14 August 18
Erie, PA August 19 August 20
Toronto, CANADA August 21 August 25

Reported by: John Meyland

Events in Buffalo

The Fleet Waterfest will feature free tours of the fireboat Edward M Cotter and the U.S. Brig Niagara. The vessels will be moored at the Erie Basin in Buffalo. The Buffalo Coast Guard Base will also be open and will feature tours of the Buffalo Main Lighthouse and a helicopter water rescue. These events will take place August 7th and 8th from 1 to 4 PM. The Col. F Ward pumping station and it's 5 triple expansion steam engines will also be open for free tours but only on the 7th.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

Today in Great Lakes History - July 19

The first cargo of low sulfur Western coal in Great Lakes history was loaded in Superior, Wisconsin on July 19, 1971 aboard the Samuel Mather for delivery to Taconite Harbor, Minnesota. The 5,040 ton cargo was a test cargo to see how this type of coal would perform in power plants. This particular cargo was loaded at the Burlington Northern ore docks in Superior, which also makes this one of the few (if not the only) times that an ore dock has loaded some cargo other than some form of iron ore.

The EDWIN H. GOTT was float launched July 19, 1978

CONSUMERS POWER (3) had her last five-year inspection at Port Weller on July 19, 1985.

In 1957 JOSEPH S. YOUNG (1) was christened at Buffalo, NY. The JOSEPH S. YOUNG (1) was the first of seven T2 tanker conversions for Great Lakes service.

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

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

Possible Sale of EVTAC

Minnesota Iron & Steel Co. is considering acquiring some or all of troubled EVTAC Mining's facilities near Eveleth, Minn., as part of a proposed $1.2 billion steelmaking operation.

According to a grant agreement with the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, Minnesota Iron & Steel is studying using EVTAC's concentrator, pellet plant and possibly its ore body to supply direct-reduced iron-grade pellets for MIS' planned direct-reduced iron and steelmaking plant.

Peter Kakela, a Michigan State University industry analyst, told the Duluth News-Tribune that such a deal has the potential to benefit both EVTAC and MIS.

By operating and making taconite pellets at EVTAC, MIS could save money in developing the proposed $1.2 billion taconite, DRI and steelmaking plant at the Nashwauk site of the former Butler Taconite. It would also mean MIS ownership for EVTAC, which earlier this year came close to filing for bankruptcy. The company in June laid off 144 employees, leaving 470.

Evtac is jointly owned by Rouge Steel, Stelco and AK Steel. It ships its pellets through the DMIR ore dock in Duluth. Earlier reports have seemed to indicate that the MIS plant would ship little or no product by water, so its acquisition of Evtac could mean the loss of those pellet shipments to the various Great Lakes fleets.

Reported by: Al Miller

Fitzgerald Memorial

The irony was not lost on some unusually well-informed observers at the Soo Locks viewing complex Saturday evening as the USCG icebreaker Mackinaw locked downbound in the MacArthur Lock. As the Mighty Mac, loaded with guests returning from a memorial ceremony marking the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald, entered the lock, the U.S. Steel steamer Arthur M. Anderson was passing upbound out of the Poe Lock. The Anderson is the vessel that followed the ill-fated Fitzgerald down Lake Superior the night she sank in 1975. At the request of the Coast Guard, the Anderson left shelter and returned to the stormy lake to search for survivors.

The memorial ceremony included the families of those lost on the Fitzgerald, mariners and guests. Reverend Richard Ingalls presided over the ceremony, a ceremony that was the equivalent to a graveside service after a funeral.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre

New Salty Heads for Lakes

The brand new ship Mathilde Oldendorff departed Montreal three days ago bound for the Lakes. She just came out of the shipyard at Wuhu, China this year. The vessel is of the same design as the Elise Oldendorff that came into the Lakes last year.

Reported by: Chris Franckowiak

Barge Arrives

The tug American Girl arrived in Charlevoix, MI Saturday afternoon towing a barge recently purchased by the city. The barge which formerly served as part of the Gillespie Dock on Beaver Island, was purchased by Charlevoix to be used as a platform to launch fireworks for the city's Venetian Festival. In 1997 a firework went astray killing one person, severely injuring 15 others and causing extensive damage to the ferry Beaver Islander. The fireworks display is set for July 24th in the center of Round Lake.

Reported by: Sean Whelan

Today in Great Lakes History - July 18

The AGAWA CANYON struck an abutment at Welland Canal's Bridge 11 at Allanburg, Ont. on July 18, 1977 while downbound with salt for Kingston, Ont. and sustained a thirty foot gash just above the waterline at the port bow. Her cargo of salt was unloaded at Toronto, Ont. and she returned to the Port Weller Dry Docks on the Welland Canal for repairs.

The BENSON FORD's (then renamed b) JOHN DYKSTRA (2) cabin was delivered to South Bass Island July 18th on the barge THOR 101 towed by the tug GREGORY J. BUSCH. The entire forward superstructure of the DYKSTRA (2), including the forecastle deck, had been removed at Cleveland, July 2, 1986 for use as a summer home on Lake Erie's South Bass Island where it remains.

The WILLIAM G. MATHER (2) completed her sea trials today in 1925.

On 18 July 1858, ANDROMEDA (2-mast, wooden schooner, 112'/568T, built in 1848 at Madison Dock, OH) was sailing from Oswego, NY to Chicago with 800 barrels of salt. 20 miles from Sheboygan, WI in Lake Michigan, she sprang a leak and quickly foundered. The crew, some still in their underwear, escaped in the life boat and arrived in Manitowoc, WI the next day.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

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

Buffalo Receives Tanker

The tanker Gemini has finally returned on the gas run to Buffalo. She was inbound for the Black Rock Canal at 9PM on the 16th. She will unload overnight at the Noco Energy Terminal in Tonawannda and depart on the evening of the 17th.

Dredging in the Buffalo River in August may finally attract tanker traffic to Mobil. There has been some shoaling up to 17 feet from a 23 foot control depth. The last tanker cargo was back in January.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

Passing of a Sailor

On July 3 Donald W. Blaine passed away. He was a Great Lakes sailor for 47 years sailing for Columbia Transportation aboard the Fred White Jr. when he retired in 1991. He was a Wheelsman and crane operator.

Reported by: Therese Marocco

Steel Agreement

U.S. and Russian trade negotiators struck a last-minute deal on Tuesday in which Russia agreed to limit steel shipments to the United States for five years to avoid punitive tariffs.

The Clinton administration on Tuesday hailed the agreement as a good compromise that will protect the U.S. industry from unfair import surges while not shutting off America's market to economically troubled countries such as Russia.

But a coalition of steel companies protested the pact, which will avert punitive tariffs of as much as 184 percent on Russian hot-rolled steel. The Russian agreement followed a similar deal the administration reached last week with Brazil.

"The steel crisis is not over," the five steel companies, including LTV Steel of Cleveland, Bethlehem Steel and U.S. Steel, said in a joint statement. "Suspending trade cases in instances where unfair trade has caused serious injury directly undermines the effectiveness and credibility of U.S. trade laws."

LTV Steel spokesman Mark Tomasch said Russian steel will now be sold at a price "that amounts to dumping" and the deal "essentially is deeding them part of the U.S. steel market, so we think that sends the wrong message to the world."

Commerce Secretary William Daley told reporters, "These agreements deliver on the administration's commitment to guarantee that surging imports do not threaten the livelihoods of communities and workers around the nation."

The deals, which were signed after marathon negotiations in Paris, will set annual quotas for Russian steel over the next five years. For 1999, total shipments will be 64 percent below the highs reached last year when the global financial crisis caused foreign steel shipments to the United States to soar.

The Russian quotas will gradually rise over the next four years, climbing to 725,000 metric tons for hot rolled steel in 2003, the department said. That would still represent an 80 percent reduction from the 1998 record level of imports of Russian hot rolled steel, U.S. officials said.

Last month, the Senate killed a House-passed bill that would have imposed global quotas on steel imports, a measure the administration had pledged to veto, saying it would put the United States in violation of WTO rules.

The administration is considering a package of proposals to provide greater assistance to the U.S. steel industry, which has been forced to lay off thousands of workers.

New Conveyor in Use

The barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted arrived back in Ludington yesterday with another load of stone for Layman's Asphalt. This time, the new Conveyor Cat was driven up a ramp and used to unload her cargo. It appears that with the aid of the conveyor, they are able to unload much faster than before.

Conveyor Cat unloading barge
Close up
view of the front of the Conveyor Cat
view of the back of the Conveyor Cat

Reported by: Max Hanley

Twin Ports Report

Montrealais has become a regular in the Twin Ports this summer, perioodically hauling cement cargoes to St. Lawrence Cement at the Duluth port terminal. The vessel was there again July 13-14.

Exhaust was coming out of the Kinsman Independents's stack about midday July 14. No word on whether the vessel has completed its five-year inspection.

Paterson boats pay only a few visits a year to the Twin Ports, so boatwatchers get a treat July 15 when Cartierdoc is scheduled to arrive at Cenex-Harvest States 2.

Taconite Harbor has an interesting vessel line-up over the next few days: Charles M. Beeghly, Joe Thompson and Lee A. Tregurtha.

Reported by: Al Miller

New USCG Vessel Visits Manistee

The new USCG "keeper" class buoy tender FRANK DREW (WLM-557) visited Manistee on July 14th. The Drew was commissioned on June 17th, and has been conducting tours of the lakes since then. The cutter is 175 ft. long, 36 ft. wide, and is powered by twin Ulstein Z-drives. She is crewed by 18 people.

The cutter arrived in Manistee at 1700, and docked at the Elks passenger dock. She arrived from Grand Haven, and once departing Manistee at 0800 on the 15th will head to Charlevoix, Michigan. Her final destination is Portsmouth, Virginia where she will assist in tending navigational aids, and icebreaking the Chesapeake bay, and the Potomac, James, and York Rivers.

Reported by: Chris Franckowiak

Major reforms to government shipping policy needed

(Port Colborne, Ont.) -- July 14, 1999 -- Canada's Great Lakes' shipping industry needs government policymakers to create a level playing field for all forms of bulk cargo transportation. This was the message delivered today by Wayne Smith, Vice President and General Manager of Seaway Self Unloaders, St. Catharines, to an audience of businesspeople in Port Colborne.

In a speech during a luncheon hosted by Port Colborne Mayor Vance Badawey, Smith emphasized the economic advantages of water transportation, and called for a comprehensive government strategy to maximize the opportunities offered by the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence waterway. "We need a single coherent strategic plan for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence that recognizes and treats it like the essential component of Canada's transportation infrastructure that it is," said Smith.

Smith also emphasized the environmental and safety advantages of marine transportation over rail and trucking. "In Europe, where studies on sustainable transportation are more advanced, several countries have made a conscious shift from over-land to water transportation," said Smith. "Canada also needs such a comprehensive strategy."

Mayor Badawey announced that between 70,000 and 100,000 people are expected to attend the annual Canal Days festivities in Port Colborne July 30th through August 2nd. He also announced that an Algoma Central Marine bulk carrier will be a feature of Canal Days, and will be open for tours by the public Saturday, July 31st. Tall ships will also be on display for the festival. For information about Canal Days, the public is invited to call 1-888-Port Fun (888-767-8386).

Seaway Self Unloaders is a partnership of Algoma Central Corporation and Upper Lakes Group Inc. Last year, Seaway Self Unloaders transported more than 35 million tonnes of cargo on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence. Established in 1979 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the first Welland Canal, the Welland Canals Foundation is a registered non-profit association devoted to broadening awareness of the on-going importance of the Welland Canals.

Port Huron to Mackinac Race this Weekend

On Saturday, July 17 the 75th Annual Bacardi Bayview Mackinac Race will begin with over 250 entries and 3,000 sailors racing from Port Huron up to Mackinac Island. Due to low water levels the race starting line has been moved from the Black River to lower Lake Huron on the west side of the shipping channel, about 2.4 nautical miles north of the head of the St. Clair River. The finale is an awards ceremony Tuesday on Mackinac Island.

There are five divisions and nineteen classes feature yachts from 26 feet to 80 feet in length, and the largest boat may exhibit a crew of over 25 members. The classes showcase every type of sailing vessel, from the laid back cruising class to the full power racing boats to the advanced, high tech quick multi hulls.

Two courses are available to this year's sailors. The 259 nautical mile Cove Island course travels up Lake Huron to a buoy located off Cove Island and then back to Mackinac Island. This is the course expected to be chosen by the majority of participants. The ``traditional'' course is the 204 nautical mile Shoreline course that runs up Michigan's eastern coast. Each course has its own stories and presents its own challenges to the crews and ships.

The Cove Island elapsed time record of 26 hours, 41 minutes, and 1 second set in 1993 by Doug DeVos' WINDQUEST could be challenged if the wind develops some strength and weather conditions are favorable. On the Shore course, the longest held Mackinac record set by Wendall Anderson's ESCAPADE in 1950 of 27 hours, 47 minutes, 19 seconds will be the goal.

Reported by: Bacardi Bayview Mackinac Race

Protection for Lamb, not Steel

On July 7th President Clinton imposed import limits of lamb mainly imported from Australia and New Zealand, subject to a nine percent tariff for the first year, beginning July 22.

The new tariffs were announced in an effort to protect U.S. producers, who had complained their livelihoods were threatened by cheaper lamb shipped from New Zealand and Australia. Clinton also offered A $100 million in aid to U.S. lamb producers over the next three years.

Last Month the the Senate killed a House-passed bill that would have slapped quotas on imports of foreign steel in violation of international trade laws. At that time the Clinton administration made an eleventh-hour push to defeat this bill, a bill Clinton had pledged to veto.

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

Today in Great Lakes History - July 15

On July 15, 1961, the Walter A. Sterling (now Lee A. Tregurtha) entered service on the Great Lakes after conversion from a tanker. The next day, on July 16, 1961, the Pioneer Challenger (now Middletown) entered service.

The CHICAGO TRADER was launched (as THE HARVESTER) in 1911 by the American Ship Building Co., Lorain, OH.

In 1946 the NORISLE was launched for the Dominion & Owen Sound Transportation Co. Ltd

In 1934 the Ann Arbor #4 collided with the steamer N.F. Leopold in a heavy fog.

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

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

Pathfinder Visits Saginaw

The tug/barge Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder arrived in the Saginaw River yesterday for the tug's first ever appearance in the River. The pair were headed to a dock in Saginaw and they passed through Bay City about 7:30 in the morning.

Local boatwatchers were impressed by the vessel.

Reported by: Dan Maus

Delay in Cleveland

On Monday afternoon the American Republic was heading upriver and had to turn around in Collision Bend on the Cuyahoga River. She then docked at the cement silos where the Southdown Conquest had been docked to wait for the Conrail Bridge to open. The vessel was delayed by the bridge which was out of service for 2-5 hours.

Reported by: Laura Price

Survey Underway

The Kinsman Independent arrived at Fraser shipyards sometime around July 5 for her Five Year Survey.

Click here for a picture of the vessel in dry dock (taken yesterday)

Reported by: Al Miller

Task Force Seeks Input On Cultural Tourism

Area citizens will have a chance to speak their minds on the subjects of tourism and cultural history at 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday at the Comfort Inn, 1675 Sherman. A special legislative group examining the potential of Michigan's cultural tourism begins a statewide series of public hearings in Muskegon. State Rep. Gerald Van Woerkom and other members of the House Task Force on Cultural Tourism and Heritage will tour historic sites in the area and listen to local opinion.

"We are seeking public input," said Van Woerkom, R-Norton Shores. The task force is examining policies at the state and local level. After completing its research and hearings, the group will submit a report to the Legislature. "Muskegon County is a showcase of heritage," said Van Woerkom, who plans to show his colleagues the Hackley and Hume Historic Site, the Frauenthal Theatre and the White River Lighthouse Museum. "This important legacy must be preserved. The task force is determined to make that happen."

Reported by: George P. Micka

USS Clark on the Great Lakes

This year's U.S. Navy Great Lakes Cruise ship is the guided missile frigate USS Clark (FFG 11), homeported in Norfolk, Va. The vessel is on a recruiting tour and the ships sailing schedule can be found here.

Today in Great Lakes History - July 14

The AMERICAN REPUBLIC was launched July 14, 1980 by the Bay Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

While upbound in the St. Lawrence River on July 14, 1970 for Saginaw, MI with a load of pig iron from Sorel, Que., the EASTCLIFFE HALL grounded in mud near Chrysler Shoal six miles above Massena, NY at 0300 hours but was able to free herself. A few hours later, approaching Cornwall, she struck a submerged object and sank within a few minutes in 70 feet of water only 650 feet from the point of impact. The submerged object was believed to be an old aid to navigation light stand. Nine lives were lost. Divers determined that her back was broken in two places. After salvaging part of the cargo, her cabins were leveled and her hull was filled.

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

From Skillings Mining Review - 40 Years Ago
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 ar River Rouge, Michigan on Wednesday morning June 25. Now known as Hull 302, the ship will be 689 ft. long, 75 ft. beam and 37-1/2 ft. 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. Interlake's other new ship, the 710-ft. flagship JOHN SHERWIN, joined the Great Lakes bulk cargo fleet in May of this year.
Hull 302 was eventually named HERBERT C. JACKSON.

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

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

Update on the Stinson

The George A. Stinson arrived at Bay Shipbuilding on July 3rd with what was reported as a shaft and coupling problem. As work progressed, several other problems were found. She is scheduled to depart on Wednesday, July 14.

Reported by: Chuck Klima

Hope I set to Depart

After about four weeks spent at the Industries Davie drydock in Lévis Quebec , the Hope I was scheduled to depart yesterday afternoon.

The Maltese flagged bulk freighter was undergoing hull repairs to damaged suffered when the vessel ran aground June 3rd in near Morrisburg, Ontario. She had sustained holes in her forepeak tank and double-bottom tank.

Reported by: J.F. Boutin

Twin Ports Report

Saltie traffic in Duluth-Superior continues its mid-summer revival. Four salties were in port the morning of July 12: Olympic Melody was loading at Cargill in Duluth; Federal Saguenay was loading at AGP in Duluth; Olympic Melody was unloading at the port terminal before shifting to Cenex-Harvest States 1; and Pomoroze Zachodnie was loading at Concourse in Superior. Moor Laker was due in later in the day for Harvest States 2, and Trident Mariner was due to arrive July 13.

Other callers include two vessels seldom seen in the Twin Ports. Charles E. Wilson was departing DMIR ore dock about 7:30 a.m. July 12, and H. Lee White is scheduled for the BNSF ore dock on July 13.

Reported by: Al Miller

Shipping season opens in Ashland

The 1999 shipping season began in Ashland, Wisconsin on Monday July 12 with the arrival of the Fred R. White Jr. at the Reiss Coal Dock at 0715 hours CDT. "Fast Freddy" brought in a load of limestone, which was unloaded onto the Reiss Coal Dock's outer end. The Fred White finished unloading and departed at 1340 hours CDT bound lightship for Silver Bay.

During a normal season, Ashland's Reiss Dock receives 6-8 boatloads, with all the loads received being coal, except for one stone cargo each year.

Reported by: Terry Sechen

Algocen to drydock for five-year survey

The Algocen is reported due to visit the drydock at Les Mechins, Quebec after unloading at Port Cartier. She is due for her five-year survey. It is nice to see the 31 year old Canadian straight decker going in for some work.

Vessel to be Converted

The former coaster freighter Kajama stopped in Kingston for a few hours earlier this week. A radio conversation with the ship revealed she was originally a three masted schooner and will go to Toronto to be converted back to the sailing ship configuration.

Reported by: Ron Walsh

Today in Great Lakes History - July 13

The ALGOWEST was christened at Collingwood on July 13, 1982 .

SASKATCHEWAN PIONEER was launched July 13, 1983.

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

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

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

Busy weekend for Marquette

Marquette's harbors have both been busy with traffic. On Wednesday, July 7th, the Algosteel visited the Upper Harbor followed closely by the Algomarine. Both vessels made a return trip to Marquette's Upper Harbor on Friday, July 8th followed by the Buckeye. The Algosteel made yet another trip to the Upper Harbor on Saturday, July 9th followed by the Adam E. Cornelius. Also arriving Saturday at the Lower Harbor was the Charles Wilson. yesterday, the only vessel visiting either harbor was the Canadian Century which made its first visit to Marquette during this shipping season.

Reported by: Art Pickering

Today in Great Lakes History - July 12

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

The H.M. GRIFFITH was launched July 12, 1973 for the Canada Steamship Lines.

In 1986 The ENDERS M. VOORHEES was chained together with her sisters, A.H. FERBERT (2) and IRVING S. OLDS, a severe thunder storm struck Duluth pushing the trio across St. Louis Bay eventually grounding them near Superior, WI. 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, the Frank A. Sherman entered service, departing Port Weller, Ontario, for Duluth and a load of iron ore on its maiden voyage.

On 12 July 1871, ADVANCE (wooden scow-schooner, 49T, built in 1847 at Fairport, OH), 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.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

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

Clipper touring Lakes

The 207 foot passenger vessel Nantucket Clipper was spotted dock in Windsor Ontario yesterday. She is on a 15 Day/14 Night cruise of the Great lakes that began in Quebec City on July 3.

The Clipper departed Windsor later that evening and was headed for her next stop Mackinac Island. This cruise will end in Chicago when a new load of passengers will board and make the tour in reverse order.
Click here for a picture of the Clipper exiting Lock 1 in the Welland Canal last week.

Today in Great Lakes History - July 11

The INDIANA HARBOR was christened July 11, 1979.

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

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

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

Seaway News

The HOPE I which arrived at the Davie Shipyard on June 18 following her grounding off Morrisburg previously that month, was still there as of July 7.

According to "Marine News", published by the World Ship Society, the pusher-tug ITA JAMIE BAXTER was renamed BARBARA KESSEL by her owners, Gulfcoast Transit Co. of Tampa. She was built as JAMIE A. BAXTER in 1977 by Peterson Builders Inc. of Sturgeon Bay for C.F. Industries.

Arriving at section 52 of the Port of Montreal on June 28 was the Singapore-flag THOR I which is expected to leave for Hamilton according to the Canadian Coast Guard. It is probably her last trip as along with her sister-ship THORSCAPE, she will be replaced in the CCAL fleet (Christensen Canadian African Line) by two new vessels of the Astrakhan class to be renamed THORSLAKE and THORSHOPE, sisters to THORSRIVER acquired in 1997 and renamed in Montreal. She had arrived with the name ELAN VITAL then. THORSRIVER did not travel up the Seaway yet but she and her two new fleetmates will be altered to be able to transit the locks.

Another Astrakhan class vessel was in the news lately, the ANNA DESGAGNÉS. At Quebec City, she was altered by Desgagnés to also be able to travel up the Seaway which she did on June 29 going as far as Côte Ste. Catherine to load a part cargo for the Arctic. At Quebec City, she was also reflagged from the Barbados flag to the Canadian one, Quebec becoming her new port of registry. On July 7, she was at Sept-Iles loading extra cargo for the Arctic. The Canadian Coast Guard was not advised of her change of registry and she is still listed as being registered in the Barbados by them on their daily bulletin obtainable by fax.

On July 7, a vintage vessel built as long ago as 1930 entered the Seaway bound for Toronto, her new port of registry since a few weeks. KAJAMA was on her way to Toronto to be converted into a sailing ship. She was considered as a yacht by the Seaway, not anymore as a coaster so had to pay only $600.00 to transit the locks. She was previously on the Danish flag under the same name. Her only previous name was WILFRIED under the West German flag, name she kept until 1964. According to one of the crewman, she had left Plymouth, England on or about June 12 and stopped in the Açores for bunkers arriving in Montreal on July 6 and undergoing a Seaway inspection early on July 7 before proceeding up the Seaway.

René Beauchamp

Stinson in for Repairs

The George A. Stinson has been running on one engine due to some type of mechanical failure in her second engine. This forced the vessel to use a tug when transiting the Rivers. As of last night the Stinson was still in the drydock at Bay Ship. It is unknown when she arrived or how long she will stay.

Reported by: Chuck Klima

Busy day in Cleveland

On Thursday afternoon the Cuyahoga River was full of activity. The Fred R. White Jr. was upbound near LTV to unload. The barge McKee Sons was finishing unloading stone at the Osborne dock. The Southdown Conquest has remained at its river dock for 2 weeks now. The Kellstone was downbound at the Columbus bridge. The American Republic was downbound at the Center Street bridge. The George Sloan was waiting at the mouth of the river for traffic and later entered to load at Cargill.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy

Tugs Assist the U.S.S Clark in Port Huron

The tugs Wisconsin and Wyoming were assisting the USS Clark in Port Huron, MI this morning as she departed the Seaway Bean Dock up bound for the Soo. The Clark, a guided missile frigate, is doing a recruiting tour around the Great Lakes this summer.

SPCM Fourth of July Event

Approximately 200 people attended the Society for the Preservation of the S.S. City of Milwaukee's Fourth of July fireworks at Elberta, Michigan this year. Guests traveled from as far away as California to attend the event.

The carferry tours which are being held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are proving to be quite popular as well. Anywhere from 70 to 150 have toured the ship each day. The tours will continue through the month of August.

Max Hanley

Great Lakes Maritime Memorabilia Show

Keep next Saturday free for a Maritime Memorabilia show at the Royal Oak Elks Hall, 4th St. and I-75 Service Rd. on July 17th, 9am to 3pm. Please call 248-544-3373 for more information.

Tall Ship's Pathfinder and Playfair To Visit Goderich

The tall ship's PATHFINDER and PLAYFAIR will visit Goderich, Ontario July 24th and 25th as part of the MICKEY MOUSE parade festivities. The town of Goderich was selected by Disney to host the parade.

The ships were originally planning to load supplies and exchange student crews. One of the ships will now be available for free public tours from noon till 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 24th. Disney's production people will put on the parade, which starts at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday. The town is expecting 30,000 visitors to view the parade. Both ships are 72 feet in length and are square rigged. The ships provide tall ship adventures to youths 14 to 18 years old.

Philip Nash

Today in Great Lakes History - July 10

HENRY R. PLATT, JR. (2) was launched as a) G.A. TOMLINSON (1) at the American Ship Building Co., Lorain, OH - July 10, 1909.

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.

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

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

Twin Ports Report

Lee A. Tregurtha paid another visit to the Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior on July 9. The vessel is an unusual sight there because most U.S. vessels loading there are 1,000-footers.

Grain traffic in the Twin Ports has been slow lately (cruel fact of economics: fewer salties bringing in steel means fewer salties leaving with grain). But traffic has increased in the past few days. On July 8, Mikhail Strekalovskiy was loading at Cargill, Brunto was loading wheat at AGP, and Olympic Melody was anchored out on the lake waiting for Cargill. For the first time this season, the Cenex-Harvest States terminal has been quiet for several days.

Reported by: Al Miller

Port Weller Dry Docks wins CAN $500,000 international contract

As reported on this page last week, the tug Presque Isle is undergoing her Five Year survey. Below is the official press release.

(St. Catharines, Ont.) - July 8, 1999 - Port Weller Dry Docks has been awarded a contract valued at approximately CAN$500,000 to conduct a five-year survey on the U.S.-flag tug the M.V. Presque Isle, and undertake any necessary repairs to the vessel. The contract will ensure work for 40 shipbuilders at Port Weller. The survey will begin today, and the vessel is expected to return to service in 3 weeks.

All Great Lakes vessels must undergo a survey every five years to ensure they are seaworthy. For more than twenty years, the Presque Isle has been regularly maintained at Port Weller Dry Docks , and had her last 5-year survey there in 1993. "Port Weller is one of the only dry docks on the Great Lakes that can accommodate a vessel with a draft as deep as the Presque Isle," said John McWhirter, Repair Manager, Port Weller Dry Docks. "Our repair facility gives us a distinct advantage in competing for a contract such as this."

Unlike traditional bulk carriers, the tug Presque Isle sits more than 25 feet in the water. The tug acts as an engine, fitting into a groove in the stern to push a self-unloading barge from the rear, and can be detached from the barge as required. The M.V. Presque Isle is 155 feet (47 metres) long, and 55 feet (17 metres) wide. The Los Angeles-registered vessel was built in the early-1970s, and is owned by U.S.S. Great Lakes Fleet Inc. of Duluth, Minn.

Port Weller Dry Docks is the only Canadian shipyard on the Great Lakes. A division of Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering, the yard was established in 1946, and received ISO 9002 certification in 1997. In June, the M.V. CSL Niagara, the largest-ever ship built for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence, was christened at Port Weller Dry Docks.
Contact: John McWhirter - Repair Manager, Port Weller Dry Docks (905) 934-2581.

Pictures of the tug in Dry Dock Wednesday by Trish Atwood:
Bow View
Stern View

Close Call for Boater

On Wednesday evening, a disabled boat called the U.S. Coast Guard Station Buffalo via a cell phone to say that they were disabled in the upper Niagara River and drifting toward the danger zone above Niagara Falls. The disabled boat grounded on a shoal above the falls. A 25' Coast Guard boat was dispatched to rescue the pleasure craft but was unable to get close enough to free the vessel. The NY State Park Police launched a jet boat and was able to free the vessel after the New York power authority raised the water level of the river by slowing down its rate of intake. The Park police then towed it to safe moorings.

Today in Great Lakes History - July 9

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

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

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

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

Possible Boom in the Ryerson's Future

For years it has been rumored that the Edward L. Ryerson will be converted to a self-unloader. Central Marine Logistics, the company that manages the fleet, has recently explored the possibility of converting the vessel and has reviewed bids placed on the project from local shipyards.

The $13 to $15 million dollar aft boom conversion was drawn up and presented to Central Marine Logistics. This multi-million dollar project continues under review by the company.

The Edward L. Ryerson, a favorite among the boatwatchers, has not sailed in 1999.

Reported by: Stephen Sostaric

Diver Loses Life on Wreck - Update

The diver that died while diving on a wreck in the western Straits of Mackinac Sunday was believed to be diving on the Eber Ward. The Ward was a 1888 built wooden bulk freighter that sank April 9, 1909 in an area just West of where the South pier of Mackinac Bridge stands. The vessel struck a growler (floating ice cake) and sank in less than ten minutes with a loss of 5 to 16 lives.

Information from the Great Lakes Shipwreck File

Taconite Production Cut

Northshore Mining Co. in Silver Bay, Minn., is reducing its 1999 taconite pellet production by 300,000 tons and might shut down for a month this fall as owner Cleveland Cliffs begins to cut 2 million tons of production at the mines it owns and manages.

Northshore, one of the country's most efficient pellet producers, will idle its No. 6 furnace from July 22 to Nov. 24. The furnace, the plant's smallest, was refurbished at a cost of $6.1 million and restarted in 1995.

None of the plant's full-time workers will be affected by the furnace shutdown. Instead, part-time summer workers at the mine and processing plant will be laid off.

Unless market conditions improve, however, Cliffs says the plant in Silver Bay and its mine in Babbitt, will be idles from Oct. 30 through Nov. 24. That would result in a monthlong layoff of many employees.

Northshore had planned to produced 4.3 million tons of pellets this year. Shutting down No. 6 furnace will reduce that output by 300,000 tons. The monthlong plant and mine shutdown would bring that reduction to 600,000 tons.

Northshore Mining Co. ships pellets from its processing plant's shiploading facility at Silver Bay. Oglebay Norton Co. vessels handle much of Northshore's cargoes.

Reported by: Al Miller

Today in Great Lakes History - July 8

LOUIS R. DESMARAIS was launched July 8,1977.

In 1918 a slip joint on the main steam line of the Ann Arbor #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'/555GT, built in 1867 at Little Sturgeon Bay, WI) was being towed in Lake Ontario by the tug WILLIAM G. PROCTOR. Her towline broke in a storm and she was driven ashore near Oswego, NY 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.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

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

Diver Loses Life on Wreck

Sunday morning the U.S. Coast Guard was notified of a missing diver who had not come up after diving on a wreck in the western Straits of Mackinac. Rescuers from Station St. Ignace searched on the water while State and County divers searched under water.

A helicopter from the USCG Air Station in Traverse City was launched in case the diver needed to be flown to a hyperbaric chamber.

The diver was located underwater and brought to the surface. He was then transported to the St. Ignace Coast Guard station where an ambulance crew pronounced him deceased.

Ford Rouge Plant Accepting Ore Cargoes Again

The Rouge Steel Plant is once again accepting ore cargoes. The Kaye E. Barker and the Elton Hoyt 2nd have both delivered cargoes of ore to the Rouge in the last couple of days.

The Rouge had not been accepting cargoes due to a shut down caused by a power plant explosion this past winter, as well as allowing stockpiles to be reduced for tax assessment reasons.

Drunk boater Collides with Tug/Barge

The tug and barge A.N.J. and an unlit 19-foot pleasure craft with seven people onboard collided in the Calumet Sag Channel. The pleasure craft sustained only minor damage, however four of the people onboard jumped overboard and made it to shore, while the two who remained tied the pleasure craft to the barge and told the master they had one person missing.

The personnel from the pleasure craft were described as "very drunk". A search by teams from the U.S. Coast Guard and the local fire department dive team turned up negative results.

The body of the missing person was located the next day and recovered by the Blue Island Fire Department. The incident is under investigation by the Marine Safety Office in Chicago.

Coal for Port Stanley

The Cuyahoga entered Port Stanley Harbor at 4:30 PM Sunday. The vessel was able to get close to the East Dock and unload 9,702.350 metric tons of coal. She departed at 11:00 PM that night.

Richard Hill reports that there is a difference in unloading times between the Algoma ships that unload 20,000 metric tons in five hours compared to Cuyahoga with a time of seven hours to unload 10,000 metric tons.

Silos Demolished

The remaining silos of the former Cargill C grain elevator in Duluth were mostly demolished with explosives during the past week. The entire former Cargill C and D elevators have now been razed, although several partially destroyed individual silos remain standing. The concrete on the site now must be crushed by the contractor and the site leveled. The Duluth Seaway Port Authority hopes to use the dock or sell it for use as a bulk cargo facility.

Reported by: Al Miller

New Shipping Related Column

Great Lakes author Roger LeLievre, publisher of the annual boatwatching guide "Know Your Ships," is now the author of a monthly column of the same name appearing in Great Lakes Cruiser magazine. The column, which debuts in the July edition, profiles well-known lake vessels (starting with the motor vessel Stewart J. Cort), and will also offer glimpses into the history of the Great Lakes and the vessels that ply them. For information, contact

Today in Great Lakes History - July 7

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

JEAN PARISIEN was launched July 7, 1977.

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

In 1971 the City of Saginaw 31 went to Manitowoc for a thorough overhall. 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'/20GT, built 1884 at Charlevoix, MI) was carrying gravel when her cargo shifted in heavy weather. She capsized and later drifted to the beach near Michigan City, IN. Her crew was rescued by the U.S. Lifesavers.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

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

Algowest Rescues Four

On Tuesday June 29, the Algowest assisted in the rescue of four people from Lake Ontario. Two men along with a wife and daughter were diving on the Olive Branch wreck. The line holding the boat to the wreck parted allowing the zodiac carrying the mother and daughter (11yrs.) to drift. They could not start the motor and were helpless to assist the divers who were in the water at approximately 1745.

Their truck and trailer was noticed on shore and the people reported over due.

The Coast guard Cutter Bittern and auxiliary vessels began a search. At 2217, the Algowest noticed two people waving from a zodiac and turned to rescue them. The mother and daughter were rescued. The Algowest could not assist further so they proceeded to Port Weller. The Bittern went to search the area from PSyche Shoal to Main Duck Island. Around 0215, on June 30, the Bittern and a helicopter from Trenton found the divers holding on to the wreck buoy.

Reported by: Ron Walsh

Busy weekend for Marquette

Marquette's Upper Harbor had a very busy holiday weekend. The Agawa Canyon arrived very early morning hours of Friday and departed after first light. Then the Agawa Canyon made a return visit early Saturday and departed again about mid-day followed by the Mesabi Miner which unloaded coal at theWisconsin Electric Power Plant. The Mesabi Miner then departed early Sunday. The Aagwa Canyon then returned for a third visit is as many days.

Meanwhile the U.S.C.G vessel Bramble was still in the Lower Harbor yesterday morning but expected to depart some time during the day.

Reported by: Art Pickering

Today in Great Lakes History - July 6

The CACOUNA's bow was damaged in a collision with the Greek tanker CAPTAIN JOHN on the fog-shrouded St. Lawrence River July 6, 1971. The CACOUNA was repaired by replacing her bow with that of her near sistership the SILLERY which was being scrapped.

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, Ont. for Kingston, Ont., was the largest vessel to traverse the canal to date.

The keel was laid for the GOVERNOR MILLER in 1937.

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

On 6 July 1836, YOUNG LION (2-mast, wooden schooner, 73"/83T, built in 1830 at buffalo, NY) was carrying railroad iron and lumber. About 12 miles from Erie, PA, 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.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II

Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Fireworks in Milwaukee

The MV Algoway was delayed approximately 3 hours off Milwaukee on Saturday night, July 3. The harbor was jammed with pleasure craft for Milwaukee's annual lakefront fireworks display. Rather then try to navigate through a sea of amateurs the Captain decided to wait until the show was completed. Of course the Algoway then had one of the best seats in the house to watch the display.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

More Trip Raffels

Of special interest to all ship buffs. Lower Lakes Towing Ltd has once again donated a 7 day, trip for 2 aboard the S.S. Cuyahoga to the Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum. The draw will be held August 1st during their annual Canal Days celebration, July 31st and Aug 1st.
Click here for more details

The Two Harbors Lighthouse Historical Society is offering the chance win a cruise of a lifetime, aboard a USS Great Lake Fleet 1000-foot vessel (either the Edwin H. Gott or the Edgar B.speer). Funds go for the preservation of the Two Harbors Lighthouse
Click here for more details

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 Fuel Tanker, for U.S. Maritime Commission.

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

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

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

A rare visit in Washburn, WI

The H. Lee White was due into Duluth at around 6:30 p.m. yesterday to unload stone at Hallett #5 in West Duluth. After a partial unload, she is then scheduled to complete her unload in Washburn, WI, on Chequamegon Bay north of Ashland.

This would be the first vessel into Washburn since the Fred R. White made a trip in there in the late 1980s and only the second vessel since 1969.

Reported by: Jody Aho

Pere Marquette 41 Visits Milwaukee

The tug Undaunted with the barge Pere Marquette 41 made their second trip to Milwaukee on Saturday July 3. They delivered stone to the LaFarge/Tews dock up the Menomonee River. Past cargos of stone to this dock have been delivered by the Myron C. Taylor and Calcite II.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

Today in Great Lakes History - July 4

The WILLIS B. BOYER museum ship was opened to the public in 1987.

In 1976 the SAM LAUD grounded entering Buffalo, NY. She was dry docked at Lorain, OH 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 damages to her stern amounting to $108,000 at the repair yard of Sturgeon Bay.

The JOSEPH S. YOUNG (1) was commissioned July 4, 1957. She was the first of seven T2 tanker conversions for Great Lakes service.

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 (II) was laid up due to railroad strike. She was never to operate again.

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

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

From one boat to the Next

Fraser shipyards will have little time empty before they start on yet another project. The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is set to depart Duluth sometime this weekend. The Kinsman Independent is due in the Twin Ports on Monday for Fraser where she will undergo her Five Year Survey.

Reported by: David French

Wolverine headed to Lake Superior

Oglebay Norton's Wolverine is scheduled to make a rare appearance on Lake Superior. She is due to arrive in Silver Bay sometime today to load pellets for Ashtabula.

Reported by: Andy Hering

Service for the Fitzgerald

A special service to bid a final farewell to the 29 crewmen of the Edmund Fitzgerald will be held on July 17th. The service will take place on board the Icebreaker Mackinaw over the wreck site. 200 people are expected to attend including the families, mariners and guests. Reverend Richard Ingalls will preside over the ceremony and special guests include the Master of William Clay Ford on that night: Donald Erickson and also Commanding Officer of the Cutter Woodrush that night: Jimmie Hobaugh. The ceremony is being quoted as an equivalent to a graveside service after a funeral.

Reported by: David French

Today in Great Lakes History - July 3

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

The ROGER BLOUGH was moved out of the dry dock on June 3, 1972.

In 1954 the CLIFFS VICTORY successfully completing her sea trials.

The FRANK ARMSTRONG departed light from Ashtabula, OH on her maiden voyage in command of Captain H. Chesley Inches June 3, 1943 bound for Superior, WI to load iron ore.

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

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

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

Canadian Transfer delivers first load of slag to Saginaw River

The Canadian Transfer delivered a load of slag from a Lake Superior port yesterday, the cargo was unloaded at two docks on the Saginaw River. Slag is produced during the steel making process, it is the waste that is skimmed from the molten pool of iron. The slag is ground and used on roads mixed with a tar/asphalt like substance.

Reported by: Dan Maus

Marquette Report

Scheduled to make her first trip into Marquette's Upper Harbor for this season was the Agawa Canyon, she was due sometime yesterday. Yesterday morning, the Charles Wilson arrived at the BLP Power Plant in Marquette's Lower Harbor to unload stone. She was then to move to the Upper Harbor for a load of ore.

Reported by: Art Pickering

More on the Jet Express II

The Sandusky Register reports 15 people were taken to a local hospital after a 10-foot wave shattered a window on the vessel.

Bert Fall, an 18-year-old Port Clinton resident who was riding the 10 a.m. ferry to work on Put-in-Bay, said his initial reaction was fear. "My back was facing the bow of the boat. We hit a wave and the next thing I know is water came crashing in and everybody was soaked," Fall said. "I didn't quite know what had happened. The guy who was sitting on the other side had blood running down the side of his face."

The paper reports that three of the injured passengers underwent surgery for lacerations caused by the glass, according to Michael Long, executive vice president of the hospital. A 17-year-old boy and an older man were kept overnight for observation. Both were in fair condition Tuesday evening but their names were not released pending notification of family. Long said the others treated were a mix of locals and tourists, with some coming from Fremont and the Columbus area.

Many of the 203 passengers on board either called off from work on the island, or canceled sightseeing trips.

Port Clinton Police Chief Walter Bahnsen praised the efforts of the Jet Express II crew and bystanders for not making the accident worse. Police, fire and ambulance units were waiting on the North Jefferson Street docks when the boat returned.

Crews repaired the two-by-three-foot window Tuesday afternoon, but the Coast Guard kept the boat out of service while it conducted an investigation. Bill Blumensaadt, vice president of the Put-in-Bay Boat Line Co., said there were no hold-ups in traffic trying to get to the island, and the accident will not affect the busy July 4 weekend.

Coast Guard officials said the boat was traveling at about 30 mph at the time of the impact, about 10:30 a.m. They are studying the strength of the glass in the window and the design of the boat to determine what happened.

Lt. Commander Tim Cherry of the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Office in Toledo said it appears that the wave was a freak accident. He said only seven passengers on commercial vessels have been injured in the last three years in an area of Lake Erie from Monroe, Mich., to Vermilion. It is the first such accident in the 11-year history of the Jet Express service.

Reported by: R. Kennedy

Today in Great Lakes History - July 02

On July 2, 1966, the Simcoe (later Algostream) entered service. Another Canadian straight decker retired before its time.

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

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

Preque Isle Arrives at Port Weller

The tug Presque Isle arrived at Port Weller Dry Docks yesterday at 3:00pm. She will undergo her Five Year drydock inspection.

Reported by: David French

News from the Soo

The George A. Stinson was downbound at the Soo June 28 running on just one engine. The tug Missouri assisted her from Gros Cap to DeTour.

The Canadian Transfer was delayed a few hours Wednesday when minor mechanical problems forced her to anchor in the lower St. Mary's River. She was underway again by 3 p.m.

Rumors have ULS Corp anticipating a busy grain season this fall and will bring out all boats, including Seaway Queen and Canadian Trader, in September.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre

Stolt Kent Delayed by Steering Failure

The Stolt Kent was upbound heading to Hamilton, Ontario with a load of hydrocracker bottoms when a number two steering pump failed shortly after exiting the Eisenhower Lock.

The vessel was forced to anchor at the Wilson Hill Anchorage where she was to remain until permanent repairs can be made. She will then perform a full steering gear test in all operating modes in the presence of the Coast Guard and the Seaway representatives.

Ferry Damaged by Wave

The Jet Express II encountered a 8-10 foot wave that shattered a window in the main passenger cabin while enroute to Put-in-Bay, Ohio from Port Clinton, Ohio. The vessel returned to its dock in Port Clinton. Fourteen passengers were injured and required medical treatment for lacerations. One was admitted to a local hospital.

Today in Great Lakes History - July 01

On July 1, 1940, the Harry Coulby (now Kinsman Enterprise) 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.

On 1 July 1927, ROBERT C. WENTE (wooden, propeller, bulk freighter, 141'/336 GT, built in 1888 at Gibralter, MI) 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 it's remaining 3 carferries to Glen Bowden and George Towns. They begin operating cross-lake service between Ludingon and Kewaunee under the name Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Co. (MWT)

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

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

Return to the News Archive

Return to Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping

Comments, news, and suggestions to: