Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

Canadian Venture, Canadian Trader Scrap Tows To Depart Today


UPDATE (4:40 p.m.) The departure of the Canadian Venture from Montreal has been delayed until tomorrow (Wednesday) at 5 a.m.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Two more obsolete lakers are scheduled to leave today on the end of a towline with their final destination a scrapyard in India.

Canadian Venture, which is at Montreal, will leave that port at 10 a.m. with Strong Deliverer as lead tug, assisted by the tug Gerry G from Ocean McAllister. Canadian Trader, which is at Trois Rivieres, Que., will leave at 4 p.m. under tow of the tugs Avantage and Andre H.

The two tows are expected to meet up at the Les Escoumins pilot station; the tug Strong Deliverer will then take both vessels overseas. The tow is expected to take 3.5 months, sailing around the Cape of South Africa. The tug Gerry G will  tow the tugs Avantage and Andre H. back to Trois Rivieres after the Canadian Venture and Canadian Trader have been delivered to the Les Escoumins pilot station.

The Canadian Trader was built in 1969 as Ottercliffe Hall. She sailed for the Halco and Misener fleets before being bought by Upper Lakes Group in 1994. The Canadian Venture was built in 1964 as Lawrencecliffe Hall, and also sailed for Misener as David K. Gardiner prior to being bought by ULG.. Most recently, Canadian Venture was owned by International Marine Salvage of Port Colborne, Ont. She was resold to Indian scrappers earlier this year. Both vessels were 730-feet long, built at Davie Shipbuilding at Lauzon, QC, and diesel-powered.

Canadian Venture pictures & history
Canadian Trader pictures & history

Reported by Kent Malo


Port Officials Concerned about Great Lakes Pilotage


Port officials around the Great Lakes are concerned about pilotage issues this season, particularly delays to saltwater ships transiting the lakes, according to a story in Monday's Duluth News Tribune.

As of July, salties transiting the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway already had attributed more than 580 hours of cumulative delays to pilotage problems.

Previous delays and the prospect of future pilotage problems could have serious implications for the Twin Ports, said Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. Duluth-Superior, at the western end of the seaway system, is more vulnerable than other ports to the detrimental effects of even minor pilotage delays, should they multiply, he said.

If foreign ship operators turn stern on the Great Lakes, Ojard said the damage could be widespread. Those facing injury would include farmers, steel fabricators, special cargo handlers, wood products manufacturers and others.

The newspaper said many in the shipping industry believe that pilot dissatisfaction over pay lies behind the delays.

Pilots have received only a 5-percent raise in their rate of pay since 2001. The U.S. Coast Guard sets Great Lakes pilotage rates and had proposed a 26 percent increase in 2003, but the prospective hike caused such an industry uproar that it was stalled. In its place, the Coast Guard implemented a temporary 5-percent rate increase.

Don Willecke, president of the Western Great Lakes Pilots Association, said although seaway pilots hold a captain's rank, they earned on average about the same wages last season as would a third mate working aboard a laker -- about $50,000. The Coast Guard had proposed a rate designed to yield pilots annual wages of somewhere between $122,000 and $173,000.

While Willecke acknowledged that he and fellow pilots are dissatisfied with their current pay, he rejected any suggestion that he or his colleagues are deliberately slowing traffic to express their displeasure. He said most of the pilotage delays so far this season are nothing out of the ordinary, suggesting that some of the early delays had more to do with difficult ice conditions than pilots' service.

However, he noted there are fewer pilots to go around this season as well. The Coast Guard sets the number of pilots authorized to work in each of the seaway's three districts -- eastern, central and western -- when it establishes rates each year.

Ojard said delays force up operating costs for ship owners and could drive away foreign trade. He said that a recent discussion with a representative of Wagenborg Shipping, a Dutch company whose ships regularly call on the Twin Ports, confirmed his fears.

"He told me that Wagenborg was questioning whether it could continue to service the Great Lakes if it continues to see the kinds of delays its ships have encountered lately," Ojard said.

Capt. Ivan Lantz, the Shipping Federation of Canada's director of marine operations, said reliability is a critical concern for all his members. "They need to be assured pilots are available in the Great Lakes, because they need pilots to keep going," Lantz told the News Tribune. "Delays artificially inflate costs, and they could make the Great Lakes an unattractive place to do business. 

Word of growing concern over pilotage has reached all the way to the U.S. Capitol.

On Aug. 25, U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar convened a meeting in Washington, D.C., with pilots' representatives, Coast Guard officials, vessel operators, fellow lawmakers and other concerned parties to discuss the thorny issues of rates and delays.

Ultimately, Ojard believes the pilotage system and rate-setting process need reform. He suggested Congress consider overhauling the current three-district pilotage system. At present, each of these districts operates as an independent business owned and operated by the pilots who work within its boundaries. He believes pilots might be better-served by a single organization that seamlessly coordinates vessel movements through the entire seaway.

Willecke disagreed with the need to restructure the system. "I think the three districts are operating very well and very efficiently," he said.

Ojard said it comes as no surprise to him that the leadership of the pilots associations opposes the idea of consolidation. "Right now, each district has its own little fiefdom of control," he said.

Still, Ojard contends that streamlining the system could put more money into pilots' pockets. Ojard noted that less than half of the pilotage fees foreign ships now shell out winds going to pay the men and women who help ships safely navigate the Great Lakes. Each pilots association foots the bill for its own administrative costs, legal fees and a host of other expenses.

Ojard also said the Coast Guard rate-setting process deserves scrutiny and reform. On that count, Willecke is in agreement.

"The main problem right now is that too many people have too much influence over the Coast Guard," Willecke said. "Our rate increase has been delayed because of politics, and it's leaving money in the shipping companies' pockets that we pilots will never be able to recover."

Ojard said that if the rate-setting process can be made less contentious and the efficiency of the system can be improved, pilots and ship owners both would benefit. "It appears to me that ship owners are already paying enough for pilots to make a good wage, but the money's not getting to them," he said.

Reported by Duluth News Tribune (Peter Passi), Al Miller


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

August 31 (Note photo links) 

On August 31, 1977, the BELLE RIVER (Photo: Roger LeLievre, St. Marys River, 1989) entered service, departing Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, for Superior, Wisconsin.  Renamed b.) WALTER J. McCARTHY JR in 1990.

In mid-August 1987 a peregrine falcon that had disappeared from Regina, Saskatchewan two weeks earlier landed on the deck of a lake freighter on Lake Huron. The bird was captured and taken to a bird sanctuary in Vineland, Ontario. The vessel name is unknown.

In mid-August 1985, the Belgium saltie FEDERAL THAMES loaded 25,400 tons of low-concentrate chrome ore at Duluth's Hallett Dock and was bound for Sweden. This ore dates back to World War II when it was mined in Montana. Other shipments were to have been made later as well. 

On 31 August 1906, CAVALIER (3-mast wooden schooner, 134 foot/268 gross tons, built in 1867 at Quebec City as a bark) was carrying cedar lumber when she struck a reef off Chantry Island in Lake Huron and sank. Her crew was rescued by the Chantry Island Lightkeeper. She was bound from Tobermory for Sarnia, Ontario.

On 31 August 1869, the schooner W. G. KEITH was launched at the Muir & Stewart yard in Port Huron, Michigan. She was named after her skipper/owner. Her dimensions were 126' x 26' x 8'6". She was built for the Lake Michigan lumber trade.

On 31 August 1900 efforts to free the newly launched steel steamer CAPTAIN THOMAS WILSON (Photo: Tom Manse Coll.) from the mud in the Black River at Port Huron, Michigan continued throughout the day. The launch had been watched by thousands the previous day and the vessel's stern stuck in the mud. On this date, the tugs BOYNTON and HAYNES tried to pull her free but were unable to do so. Finally 14 hydraulic jacks were used to lift the vessel and at 6:00 PM she was ready to be pulled by tugs. After a 15 inch hawser was broken in the first attempt, the tug PROTECTOR finally pulled the vessel free.

In 1982 the sandsucker NIAGARA (Photo: Roger LeLievre, 1995, Erie, Pa.) made its last trip through the I-75 Bridge with a cargo of sand for the Chevrolet Saginaw Metal Castings plant.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, Jody L. Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


Lake Express Cancels Trip After Wave Damage


The Lake Express ferry canceled its final round trip of the day Saturday after sustaining damage caused by rough waters on Lake Michigan.

One of the doors to the car deck came off its runners on the afternoon trip from Muskegon, Mich., to Milwaukee, Jeff Fleming, ferry spokesman, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

The door, which operates like a garage door, fell on two cars parked on the deck. None of the passengers, who aren't allowed on the car deck during the trip, was injured.

The door was being repaired late Saturday. Saturday was the third time the ferry was forced to cancel a trip because of rough conditions on the lake.

Reported by Jason Leslie


Capt. Cathy’s Cruise for Kids Sept. 11


Capt. Cathy's Cruise for Kids, a cruise in memory of Capt. Cathy Nasiatka, who was the captain of the Detroit river mailboat J.W. Westcott II when it sank four years ago, will be held Sept. 11 from noon-3 p.m.

This is the third annual running of cruise, on which more than 200 children and their families from Children's Hospital and Helen Field Learning Center in Detroit take a three-hour boat tour on the Detroit River on the Diamond Jack tour boat. There will be clowns, refreshments, food, prizes and entertainment on the cruise.

Reported by: Gary Nasiatka


Port Report


Green Bay

Reported by Jason Leino
The cement carrying tug-barge G.L. Ostrander / Integrity made it's first appearance in Green Bay under its new name. The Integrity arrived in Green Bay around 5:30 p.m. Sunday night and was at the LaFarge terminal within an hour.  The Arthur M. Anderson was also in port earlier in the week with a split load of coal from Sandusky and Toledo for the Fox River Dock.

Integrity heads up the Fox River
Pulling in next to the S.T. Crapo
Close-up of the names


Today in Great Lakes History

August 29 (Note photo links) 

It is not often that a schooner tows a tug, but on 29 August 1882, the tug J. A. CRAWFORD was towing the big schooner JAMES COUCH to Chicago when the wind picked up and the schooner passed the tug.  Captain Gorman of the CRAWFORD cut the engine and allowed the COUCH to tow him until the got close to the harbor.  Then the schooner shortened sail and the tug finished the job of towing her into port.

On August 29, 1942, the A. H. FERBERT (2) (Photo: Tom Manse Coll., Early 1940s, Soo Locks) entered service for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

On her maiden voyage August 29, 1979 the  INDIANA HARBOR (Tom Manse Coll., Rock Cut) sailed for Two Harbors, Minnesota to load iron ore pellets for Indiana Harbor, Indiana. In August, 1982 INDIANA HARBOR became the first U.S. flag laker to receive satellite communication.

On August 29, 1972 the lightship HURON was placed in an earth embankment at Port Huron's Pine Grove Park along the St. Clair River and was opened to visitors on July 13, 1974.

Canada Steamship Lines' ATLANTIC SUPERIOR (Photo: Rod Burdick, Soo Locks, 2004) returned from Europe on August 29, 1985 with a cargo of gypsum for Picton, Ontario.

On 29 August 1871, GEORGE M ABEL (2-mast wooden schooner) broke up on a reef near Port Burwell, Ontario.

On 29 August 1858, CANADA (3-mast wooden bark, 199 foot, 758 tons) was carrying a half million board feet of lumber to Chicago in bad weather when she settled just north of downtown Chicago. The next day during a salvage attempt, she blew southward, struck a bar off the old waterworks, broke her back, then broke up. She had been built in Canada in 1846 as a sidewheeler and was seized by the U.S. in 1849 and rebuilt as a bark in 1852.

August 29, 1998 - The BADGER was designated a spur route on the Lake Michigan Circle Tour.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze, Max Hanley, James Neumiller, 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


Port Report


Saginaw River

Reported by Todd Shorkey
The Saginaw River saw plenty of action Tuesday as a number of vessels transited the system.  The Sam Laud was inbound during the early morning hous with a split load.  She lightered at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City before finishing at the Bay City Wirt Dock.  The Laud then backed down the river to the Essroc dock where she turned and was outbound for the lake during the early evening.
The tug Joe Thompson, Jr. and barge Joseph H. Thompson also delivered a split load, lightering at the Saginaw Wirt dock before moving up to the Valley Asphalt dock to finish.  The pair was outbound later in the day.
The tug Dorothy Ann & barge Pathfinder were also delivering a split load Tuesday, lightering at Bay Aggregates and then going upriver to Saginaw Asphalt to finish unloading.  The pair was outbound during the afternoon.
The James Norris was inbound late in the afternoon going up to Saginaw to unload at the Buena Vista dock.  The Norris was outbound on Wednesday passing through Bay City around 9am.
Also visiting the river was the research vessel Laurentian.  She spent time docked at Wenona Park in Downtown Bay City and at the Essroc dock in Essexville, departing from there Thursday morning headed for Lake Erie.
Thursday evening saw the Wilfred Sykes call on the Wirt dock in Bay City.  She stated her entire cargo would be dropped there and wouldn't be heading upriver.  The Sykes is expected to be outbound early Friday morning.
Pictures in Photo Gallery – see link below


Reported by Al Miller

Numerous vessel arrivals and departures meant a busy Friday in the Twin Ports

The saltie Ostkap was docked at the Duluth port terminal at midday Friday undergoing repairs. G-Tugs were towing the saltie near the mouth of Fraser Shipyards about 7:30 a.m. Friday, but it was unclear whether the vessel had actually been in the yard.

During the morning, Cenex Harvest States was busy with Canadian Progress was loading in berth one and the saltie Pintail was loading in berth two. This was the elevator's second full house in recent weeks, perhaps signaling that the faster pace of fall grain shipments is near.

In other traffic, Cason J. Callaway arrived overnight for an unusual series of moves. The vessel called at the DMIR ore dock to unload limestone. From there, it was to shift to Hallett 6 early Friday afternoon to load a partial cargo of sinter. Then it was to shift back to the DMIR on Saturday to finish its load. The cargo is destined for Gary. As the Callaway was  backing away from the dock about 1 p.m., Friday, the Joe Block was proceeding under the Blatnik Bridge on its way to DMIR to discharge limestone. Nanticoke was scheduled to follow later in the day, with Oglebay Norton scheduled for an unusual visit to the dock on Saturday to load pellets.

Paul R. Tregurtha was loading a Midwest Energy Terminal on Friday morning. The vessel departed at midday, and its place was immediately taken by Walter J. McCarthy Jr.  Canadian Enterprise was scheduled to follow. Columbia Star is due Saturday and James R. Barker is due Sunday. The Tregurtha is largely dedicated to the coal trade these days. It's scheduled to load six cargoes at Midwest Energy Terminal in September.

Alpena was fueling at the Murphy Oil dock at midday. It was then expected to back to the Duluth LaFarge Cement terminal to complete unloading.


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

August 28 (Note photo links) 

Capt. Frank R. West took his 8 year old son Robert and the boy’s friend 8 year old Edward Erickson aboard the new schooner LOUIS MEEKER as guests on a trip carrying 27,000 bushels of oats from Chicago to Buffalo.  There was hardly any wind and it took them four days to creep north as far as Pentwater.  On 28 August 1872, Captain West saw a storm coming and he had the sails taken in as a precaution.  The winds came so suddenly and they hit the vessel so hard that the schooner was knocked over on her beam ends.  Little Robert West, his dad and three sailors were lost when the vessel sank 15 minutes later near Big Sable Point.  Peter Danielson dove and tried to cut away the lifeboat as the schooner was sinking and he almost drowned in that unsuccessful attempt.  The mizzen gaff broke free and seven sailors plus little Edward Erickson clung to it until they were picked up by the schooner WILLIAM O. BROWN six hours later. 

Mr. Edwin H. Gott, 78, of Pittsburgh, died on August 28, 1986. The namesake of the 1,000 footer, he retired as Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Steel in 1973.

On August 28, 1962, the EDWARD L. RYERSON (Photo: Roger LeLievre, Soo Locks, 1997) set a Great Lakes cargo record for iron ore. The RYERSON loaded 25,018 gross tons of iron ore in Superior, Wisconsin, breaking by 14 tons the record held by the Canadian bulk freighter RED WING which was set in the 1961 season. The RYERSON held this record well into 1965.

The PERE MARQUETTE 22 was repowered with two 2,850 ihp four cylinder Skinner Uniflow steeple compound steam engines, 19 1/2", 43" dia. x 26" stroke, built in 1953 by the Skinner Engine Co., Erie, Pennsylvania and four coal-fired Foster-Wheeler water tube boilers with a total heating surface of 25,032 sq. ft. built in 1953. The repowering work was completed on August 28, 1954. Her 1954 tonnage was 3551 gross tons, 1925 net tons, 2450 deadweight tons. A new starboard tail shaft was installed at this time. Her service speed increased to 18 knots (20.7 mph).

The JOHN ANDERSON, a.) LUZON of 1902, was outbound through the Duluth Ship Canal on August 28, 1928, the ANDERSON struck the north pier suffering $18,000 in damage.  Renamed c.) G. G. POST in 1935.  The POST (Photo: Tom Manse, 1967, St. Marys River) was scrapped at Istanbul, Turkey in 1972.

The REGENT entered service on August 28, 1934. She was built for low clearances on the New York State Barge Canal and was equipped with five cargo tanks and one dry cargo hold.

The WILLIAM A. REISS (2) was laid up for the last time on August 28, 1981 at Toledo, Ohio and remained idle there until July 15, 1994 when she was towed to be scrapped. (Photo, Tom Manse, Mission Point, in the 1960s.)

On 28 August 1870, CHASKA (wooden scow-schooner, 72 foot, 50 tons, built in 1869 at Duluth, Minnesota originally as a scow-brig) was wrecked in a northwesterly storm near Duluth. Reportedly she's the first vessel built at Duluth.

On 28 August 1763, BEAVER, an armed wooden British sloop built the previous year, was carrying provisions to Detroit to relieve the fort there which was under siege by the Indians led by Pontiac, however the vessel foundered in a storm at Cat Fish Creek, 14 miles from the site of Buffalo. 185 barrels of her cargo were salvaged and went on to Detroit on the schooner GLADWIN.

Data from: Joe Barr, James Neumiller, Jody L. Aho, Al Miller, 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


Second Fast Ferry In Works for Lake Ontario?


A Rochester, New York-area television station is reporting that CATS, the company that operated the fast ferry Spirit of Ontario 1 across Lake Ontario may be in the market for a second vessel.

Last week CATS confirmed it wants a $100 million loan from the federal government for a second ship.

CATS president Cornel Martin said such a vessel could be built at Austal, USA’s facilities in Mobile, Ala. Austal U.S.A. officials could not confirm talks for a second ferry, however the report said a request for proposals went out worldwide in March. Another sign Austal U.S.A. is a top contender is that it can now build an 86-meter ship just like Spirit of Ontario, thanks to expanded facilities.

Building in the U.S. means the ship could fly under the American flag and could sail from Rochester to places like Oswego, Niagara or Toronto, or perhaps a combination.

Earlier this month  CATS said it would seek a federal loan to help it build the business.

Reported by Bill Edwards


Former Badger, Spartan Skipper Dies in Manitowoc


Capt. Edward Aschenbrenner, 86, passed away on Tues 8/24/04 in Manitowoc, Wis. He was a chief quartermaster in WWII and a survivor of the USS Lexington which sunk during the battle of Coral Sea in WWII. He was a former captain of the Badger and Spartan and retired in 1975.


Port Report



Reported by Lee Rowe
The HMS Bounty arrived in Marquette on Thursday to the applause of a crowd of appreciative watchers. She gave a couple salutes from her cannons. Once tied up the crew readied her for the next couple days of  tours.

HMS Bounty arrives on a windy day.
Cannon shot
Crowd watches
Workers ready the ship


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

August 27 (Note photo links) 

The new Poe Lock at the Soo was first flooded on 27 August 1968.

On 27 August 1886, the Detroit Evening News reported that a fireman on the tug J. H. HACKLEY of 1874, was sent to watch for a leak in the boiler, which was being filled with cold water at a dock in Chicago. He fell asleep and the boiler overflowed, very nearly sinking the vessel before another tug could pump her dry.

The AGAWA CANYON (Hull#195) was launched in 1971 at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Algoma Central Railway Ltd.

The C.C.G.S. SAMUEL RISLEY arrived at Toronto, Ont. on August 27, 1985 on her way to Thunder Bay, Ontario where she replaced the retired C.C.G.C. ALEXANDER HENRY (Photo: Roger LeLievre, 1998, at Kingston, Ont.).

JOHN O. McKELLAR (2) (Hull#12) was launched August 27, 1952 at St. Catharines, Ontario by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd.for the Colonial Steamship Co. Ltd. (Scott Misener, mgr.), Port Colborne, Ontario.  Renamed ELMGLEN (2) (Photo: Tom Manse, Soo Locks) in 1984.

The WILLIAM CLAY FORD (1) (Photo: Roger LeLievre, 1974) then renamed b.) U.S.266029 departed her lay-up berth at the Rouge slip on August 20, 1986 in tow of Gaelic tugs and she was taken to Detroit Marine Terminals on the Rouge River, where her pilothouse was removed to be displayed at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Detroit's Belle Isle. The hull was moved to Nicholson's River Rouge dock on August 27th.

The WILLIAM B. DICKSON (Hull#75) was launched August 27, 1910 at Ecorse, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio.  Renamed b.) MERLE M McCURDY (Photo: Roger LeLievre, around 1972) in 1969.

The U.S. Coast Guard Buoy Tender MESQUITE (WAGL-305) was commissioned on August 27, 1943 and served on the Pacific Ocean in the 7th Fleet in 1944 and 1945.

On August 27, 1940, the WILLIAM A. IRVIN set the Great Lakes record for the fastest unloading of an iron ore cargo using shore side equipment. The IRVIN unloaded 13,856 gross tons of iron ore in 2 hours, 55 minutes (including the time to arrive and depart the dock) in Conneaut, Ohio. This record still stands, and consequently the IRVIN is one of the few Great Lakes vessels to be retired while still holding a Great Lakes cargo record.

On August 27, 1929, the MYRON C. TAYLOR (Photo: Roger LeLievre, Mission Point, 1971) entered service.

On 27 August 1924, CITY QUEEN (wooden propeller steam tug, 71 foot/69 gross tons, built in 1900 at Midland, Ontario) burned to a total loss 1⁄4 mile east of the Manitou Dock in Georgian Bay.

The keel for the tug CRUSADER was laid on 27 August 1873 at the Leighton & Dunford yard in Port Huron, Michigan. The tug's dimensions were 100' keel, 132' overall, and 23' beam. She was built for George E. Brockway.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Al Miller, 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


Star Line to Replace Mackinac Island Ferry Marquette


Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry has announced the sale of its 65-foot hydro-jet ferry Marquette. She will be replaced by a new ferry, Marquette II. Marquette was sold to Davis Park Marine of New York who will run the ferry between Long Island and Fire Island. She is ideal for this route, because she draws little water and the depth of the water on her new route is under 10 feet.

Marquette is the second Star Line vessel to hold that name. The original one operated for the company when it was called Argosy Boat Lines. She was decommissioned years ago. Star Line purchased a replacement ship from Gulf Craft Incorporated (which has made all its ships). Marquette II will be similar to the largest Star Line ship, Radisson. She will measure 80 feet long by 24 feet long with a draft of 6.5 feet. Marquette II will be able to handle 330 passengers.

The new vessel will make the journey up the Mississippi River to the Illinois River, move into the Calumet-Sag Canal and finally into Lake Michigan bound for St. Ignace. The old Marquette has made the runs since 1979. She was the first Star Line boat built after the company was renamed.

Reported by: Jeffrey G.

Marquette at St. Ignace May 26, 2004 (Photo: Roger LeLievre)


Chicago River Passengers Get Doused; Dave Matthews Band Sued


The state of Illinois sued the Dave Matthews Band on Tuesday for allegedly dumping up to 800 pounds of liquid human waste from a bus into the Chicago River, dousing a tour boat filled with passengers.

The lawsuit accuses the band and one of its bus drivers of violating state water pollution and public nuisance laws. It seeks $70,000 in civil penalties.

According to the lawsuit, on Aug. 8 a bus leased by the band was heading to a downtown hotel where members were staying. As the bus crossed the Kinzie Street Bridge, the driver allegedly emptied the contents of the septic tank through the bridge's metal grating into the river below.

More than 100 people on an architecture tour were showered with foul-smelling waste. The attorney general's office said no one was seriously injured.

After the incident, the boat's captain turned the vessel around and took passengers back to the dock. Everyone received refunds, and the boat was cleaned with disinfectant.

Reported by: Jayson Plowman


Port Report



Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain
The steamer Alpena arrived in port Tuesday evening among strong winds to load cement for Superior, WI. The Algoway also came in on Tuesday, around 9:30 p.m. to deliver the first cargo of salt for the year. It unloaded during the night at the Alpena Oil Dock and departed Wednesday morning.  

The Paul H. Townsend is expected to be back in port on Thursday. The J.A.W. Iglehart is on the lower lakes run and the G.L. Ostrander/ Integrity is delivering on Lake Michigan.

Loading at Stoneport on Wednesday was the tug/barge Joseph H. Thompson and H. Lee White. The Wilfred Sykes was expected to load early Thursday morning.
Algoway Wednesday morning


Reported by Lee Rowe
Wednesday was a busy day for shipping in Marquette with the arrival, first, of the Middletown for ore, followed in by the Michipicoten. The Herbert C. Jackson arrived at dusk with a load of coal for the Shiras power plant in the lower harbor.  She will take on ore on  Thursday morning. The H. Lee White, Charles M. Beeghly, and Reserve are expected in Marquette during the next few days, along with the return of the Michipicoten.

The HMS Bounty will be arriving in Marquette on Thursday and will be open for guided tours Friday from noon to 8 p.m., and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.  She will be moored at Mattson Park in Marquette's lower harbor. The cost of the tours will be $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under.

Middletown at the dock


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

August 26 (Note photo links)

On 26 August 1872, wooden propeller steamer LAKE BREEZE of 1868, was steaming from Saginaw to Mackinaw City with freight and about 40 passengers when fire broke out in the kitchen while off Au Sable Michigan.  Captain M. S. Lathrop ordered the engines shut down and the steam pumps activated.  The crew battled the blaze with fire hoses and put the flames out.  When the LAKE BREEZE pulled into Mackinaw City that night, the partially burned vessel was still smoking. 

The EDGAR B. SPEER's sea trials were successfully completed on August 26, 1980.

The BEECHGLEN (Photo: Roger LeLievre, St. Marys River) was towed out of Owen Sound by the McKeil tug KAY COLE on August 26, 1994 in route to Port Maitland, Ontario for scrapping.

The HENRY C. FRICK (Hull#615) (Photo: Soo Locks, Tom Manse Coll.) was launched August 26, 1905 at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co. for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.  Renamed b.) MICHIPICOTEN (2) in 1964 (Photo: Roger LeLievre, 1971).

EMORY L FORD entered service on August 26, 1916 to load iron ore at Marquette, Michigan.  Renamed b.) RAYMOND H REISS in 1965 (Photo: Roger LeLievre, 1974).

The GLENEAGLES (Hull#14) (Photo: Roger LeLievre, 1973, St. Marys River) was launched August 26, 1925 at Midland, Ontario by Midland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. for the Great Lakes Transportation Co. Ltd. (James Playfair, mgr.).  Converted to a self-unloader in 1963.  Renamed b.) SILVERDALE in 1978. 

The CHIEF WAWATAM (Hull#119) was launched on August 26, 1911 at Toledo, Ohio by Toledo Ship Building Co. for the Mackinaw Transportation Co.. She was built with three large propellers, two in the stern for propulsion and one in the bow for icebreaking.

The passenger-cargo ship FEDERAL PALM was christened August 26, 1961. She was built on the Great Lakes, but never served their ports.

On August 26, 1934, while on a Sunday sightseeing cruise, MIDLAND CITY of 1871, a.) MAUD 153.2 foot, 521 gross tons, damaged her bottom on a shoal near Present Island in Georgian Bay. She settled with her stern under water and her bow high in the air.

On 26 August 1875, COMET (propeller passenger/package freight, 181 foot, 744 tons, built in 1857 at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying ore and pig iron in Lake Superior on a foggy night. While trying to pass the Beatty Line steamer MANITOBA, 7 miles SE of Whitefish Point, signals were misunderstood and COMET veered into the path of MANITOBA. COMET was rammed amidships and sank in ten minutes. 11 of the 21 aboard lost their lives. This wasn't the first such accident for COMET. In October 1869, she suffered a similar mishap with the propeller HUNTER and that time both vessels sank.

The schooner MATTHEW MC NAIR was launched at the Lee & Lamoree shipyard in Oswego, New York on 26 August 1857. Her dimensions were 103 foot keel, 24 foot 6 inch beam and 9 foot 6 inch depth.

Data from: Father Dowling Collection, Joe Barr, David Swayze, 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



HMS Bounty on Lake Superior


The HMS Bounty made its first trip through the Soo Locks Tuesday. The replica ship was built in 1960 for the movie “Mutiny on the Bounty” starring Marlon Brando. It is headed to Marquette where it will be open for tours this coming weekend.  Plans to stop in the Sault fell through when it was decided the newly implemented port security fees to dock at the city-owned Carbide Dock were too high.  Any vessel using that dock has to pay for a special police detail to maintain security. The Bounty had hoped to dock at the privately owned Valley Camp pier earlier this week, but that spot was being used by the yacht Mystic.  After Marquette, the Bounty will be headed back through the Sault and on to Chicago.

Reported by Bonnie Barnes

Entering the Mac lock
Upper pool
Heading into Lake Superior



Sixth Annual Tugboat Party at Waterford, N.Y


The annual "Tugboat RoundUp" will take place at Waterford, N.Y. on the eastern end of the Erie Canal, on the weekend of Sept. 10th.

Over 20 tugs are expected to attend.  Some of the big ones include the URGER, BENJAMIN ELLIOT, CROW, HERBERT P. BRAKE, GRAND ERIE, CLEVELAND, HUDSON and the FRANCES TURECAMO.

The "tug of the year" will be the 78-foot 1938, Bushey-built canaller CHANCELLOR.  This exciting event has activities scheduled for three full days and it is likely to be the biggest RoundUp yet. Tug parades, open tours, competitions, exhibits, boat rides, and live music are all part of the event.  

RoundUp Website

Reported by Franz VonRiedel



Today in Great Lakes History

August 25

On 25 August 1892, H. D. COFFINBERRY (wooden propeller freighter, 191 foot, 649 gross tons, built in 1874 at East Saginaw, Michigan) was carrying iron ore from Escanaba to Ashtabula in a fierce NW gale when she grounded on the rocks near Port Hope on Lake Huron.  The crew was rescued by the San Beach Lifesaving crew and the tug ANAPING.  The COFFINBERRY was released five days later and put back in service.

On Aug. 25, 1923, the Duluth, Missabe & Northern Ore Dock in Duluth loaded 208,212 tons of ore into 23 ships.

On August 25, 1984 the hard luck ROGER M. KYES (Photo: Tom Manse, Soo Locks, 1974) grounded off McLouth Steel and ended crosswise in the Detroit River's Trenton Channel.  Renamed b.). ADAM E, CORNELIUS in 1989.

The GEORGE M. STEINBRENNER (2) arrived at Port Colborne, Ontario on August 25, 1978 in tow of the tug WILFRED M COHEN for scrapping.

On 25 August 1919, CABOTIA (formerly HIAWATHA, wooden propeller freighter, 235 foot, 1299 gross tons, built 1880 at Gibraltar, Michigan) went ashore on Main Duck Island in Lake Ontario and split her hull, becoming a constructive loss.

August 25, 1981 - The first of the famous "Love Boat" cruises was made. The BADGER carried 520 passengers, the largest number of passengers for a carferry up to that time. It was sponsored by the Ludington Area Ambassadors.

On 25 August 1873, JOURNEYMAN (wooden schooner, 129 foot, 235 gross tons, built in 1873 at Wenona, Michigan) was put in service. Her first cargo was 225,770 feet of lumber. She was built for Whitehead & Webster of Bay City and lasted until 1896.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, 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


Jean Parisien to Receive $30 Million Forebody Replacement at Port Weller Dry Docks


Canada Steamship Lines is proud to announce the signing of a building agreement with Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering for the forebody replacement and steel renewal of the Jean Parisien.

“The Jean Parisien is the fourth vessel of our Canadian fleet to receive an entirely new Canadian built hull in addition to state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly automated self-unloading equipment,” said Mr. Gerry Carter, President of Canada Steamship Lines. “ This $30 million investment will strengthen our core Canadian competencies and will offer our customers performance and innovation, safety and reliability. At Canada Steamship Lines we have the responsibility to serve our customers to the best of our abilities but we are also responsible for our Canadian workforce and their job security.”

Canada Steamship Lines awarded the contract to Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering, thus recognizing the shipyard’s ability to meet difficult technical requirements and to provide superior construction. “We are proud to support our Canadian shipyards. Port Weller Dry Docks has demonstrated outstanding capability and has proven through three similar projects for our domestic operations that they are world-class shipbuilders,” continued Mr. Carter.

After a self-financed fleet renewal program of more than $225 million, Canada Steamship Lines is positioned as the market leader in the transportation of dry-bulk cargoes. The Montreal based company has 15 Canadian flagged vessels. This is considered to be the youngest, and most technically and environmentally efficient fleet navigating on the Great Lakes and St-Lawrence Seaway.

The Jean Parisien is a 33,300 DWT self-unloading bulk carrier built in Canada in 1977. The new forebody will extend the life of the 740’ (225.5 m.) Jean Parisien by 25 years and will secure employment for many Canadian seafarers.

History of the Jean Parisien

Reported by Canada Steamship Lines


Ex-Mississippi Riverboat To Ply Detroit River


A former Mississippi riverboat is headed for the Detroit area, according to a story aired Monday on Detroit TV station WDIV.

The vessel, which will be renamed the Detroit Princess, is a converted casino boat purchased by Detroit businessman John Chamberlain. It seats 2,000 for lunch or dinner on four levels and is expected to employ 400 people.

The vessel, which is scheduled to take up residence in September behind the Renaissance Center, will bring nightly jazz, big band, murder mysteries and comedy acts to patrons. It is currently on its way up the East Coast, headed for the Great Lakes.

Detroit Princess web site

Reported by Gail Treece


HMS Bounty Heads for Lake Superior


The Tall Ship HMS Bounty is touring the Great Lakes. Originally scheduled to dock in Petoskey, Mich., last weekend, it had to change plans when the water levels at the dock there were too low.

At St. Ignace, Mich., it docked at one of the Arnold Mackinac Island ferry docks for one day, allowing tours by the public. But when the Arnold Line needed the dock back, Bounty was forced to move to the old railroad dock. The U.S. Coast Guard could not guarantee that dock was safe for pedestrian traffic, so no more tours were allowed.  

The Bounty will be headed up the St. Marys River today and is scheduled to dock in Marquette August 27-28.

Reported by Bonnie Barnes

Bounty at St. Ignace
Hanging out in the bay
Another view in the bay
Under way


Port Report



Reported by Dick Lund
The saltie Voorneborg made her first appearance in Menominee since September 2002. She arrived at a local warehouse with a load of pulp on Aug. 21 at mid-afternoon, and departed Menominee at daybreak on Monday.

(Pictures in Photo Gallery)


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

August 24 (Note photo links)

At 2 a.m. on 24 August 1892, the GEORGE N BRADY (wooden propeller tug, 102 foot, 165 gross tons, built in 1865 at Detroit or Marine City, Michigan) was engaged in pulling a raft of logs across Lake St. Clair along with the tug SUMNER.  Fire was discovered around the BRADY’s smokestack and he flames quickly spread.  The crew was taken off of the stricken vessel by the SUMNER and the BRADY was cut free of the raft.  The blazing vessel drifted to the American shore where she sank about three miles north of Grosse Pointe, Michigan.  No lives were lost.

LEON SIMARD (Hull#413) was launched August 24, 1974 at Sorel, Quebec by Marine Industries Ltd. for Branch Lines Ltd..

On August 24, 1910 the THOMAS F. COLE (Photo: Soo Locks, maybe 1940s, Tom Manse Coll.) ran aground on a shoal in the St. Marys River severely damaging her hull plates.

The WARD AMES (Hull#518) was launched on August 24, 1907 at West Superior, Wisconsin by Superior Ship Building Co. for the Acme Steamship Co. (Augustus B. Wolvin, mgr.).  Renamed b.) C. H.  MC CULLOUGH JR in 1916.

On August 24, 1985, PAUL H. CARNAHAN (Photo: Mission Point, early 1960s, Tom Manse) arrived for her final lay up at Nicholson's in Ecorse, Michigan. Ironically, only a few hours later, her near sister  LEON FALK JR (Photo: St. Marys River, 1972, Tom Manse) departed the same slip on her final trip bound for Quebec City and overseas scrapping.

The steam barge BURLINGTON of 1857, 137 foot, 276 gross tons ex-package freighter, burned to the water's edge in the Straits of Mackinac  on August 24, 1895.

On 24 August 1885, IOSCO (wooden schooner-barge, 124 foot, 230 gross tons, built at Alabaster, Michigan in 1873) was heavily damaged by fire. She was rebuilt as an unrigged barge and lasted until 1912.

On 24 August 1882, the Port Huron Times reported that "the long looked for launch of the Stave Company's new river steamer MARY took place this afternoon between 4 and 5 o'clock and was witnessed by hundreds of spectators. The last support being knocked away, she slid very gracefully as far as the ways reached and then landed anything but gracefully in the mud where she now lies." She remained stuck in the mud until she was pulled free five days later.

Data from: Father Dowling Collection, Joe Barr, David 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


St. Joseph-Chicago Ferry Talk Heats Up Again


Plans for a high-speed ferry service across Lake Michigan from St. Joseph are still afloat. There was talk of starting a service between St. Joseph and Chicago last year, but investors jumped ship.

A new group is taking the idea full-speed ahead and has hired a consulting firm, The Mariport Group Ltd. of Ontario, Canada, to do a feasibility study, according to a story in Friday’s South Bend Tribune.

If results show it will take off, the ferry could speed into port next year.

The proposed passenger ferry could carry 149 passengers and make three round trips a day. It would take two hours to get from St. Joseph to Chicago. The proposed cost per person is $25 one way and $45 for a round-trip ticket.

Several possible port locations in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor are being considered.



U.S. Steel Seeks to Boost Pellet Production at Keewatin Plant


U.S. Steel is seeking the state environmental permits needed to boost pellet production by 500,000 tons a year, modify the plant to burn coal and petroleum coke for fuel, and install a wet scrubber to meet federal air standards.

Under the proposal, pellet production at 38-year-old Keewatin Taconite would increase from 5.5 million tons per year to 6 million tons per year. To increase capacity, the plant must add a secondary pellet cooler to transfer pellets from the main cooler to a finished pellet-screening facility.

Installation of a $25 million wet scrubber and a $10 million alternative fuel conversion would precede a capacity increase, Jim McConnell, U.S. Steel Minnesota Ore Operations general manager, told the Duluth News Tribune.

"The addition of the scrubber would result in a very significant decrease in particulates (dust)," McConnell said. "It not only makes sense for us but is also an opportunity to be able to burn alternate fuels."

Burning coal or petroleum coke along with natural gas would help the plant at times when gas prices rise.

The company has filed a permit amendment with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for the changes.

Reported by Al Miller


Port Report


Reported by Al Miller

Late-afternoon action in Duluth on Sunday included James R. Barker docked at the port terminal undergoing repairs. A large crane was positioned near the vessel's stern. Montrealais was unloading at the St. Lawrence Cement Terminal and American Spirit was outbound at the lift bridge in the face of a stiff breeze.

Montrealais unloading (Photo by Glenn Blaskiewicz)


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

August 23
On 23 August  1887, GESINE (wooden schooner, 99 gross tons, built in 1853 at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan.  She was shoved up against the breakwater at Michigan City, Indiana and pounded to pieces.  The crew and Capt. C. Anderson jumped overboard and clung to the breakwater pilings until rescued.

The GEMINI sailed on her maiden voyage August 23, 1978 from the shipyard to load fuel oil at Baytown, Texas, for delivery at Detroit, Michigan.

The wooden-hulled steamer AURORA was launched on August 23, 1887 at Cleveland, Ohio by Murphy & Miller Shipyard for J.J. Corrigan of Cleveland, Ohio.

On August 23, 1979, KINSMAN ENTERPRISE (1) was towed out of the Frog Pond in Toledo, Ohio, having escaped the scrapper's torch, and sold to the Port Huron Seaway Terminal to be used as a storage barge.

On 23 AUG 1887, CLARA (2-mast, wooden scow-schooner) was carrying a load of hardwood lumber bound from Manistee, Michigan for Chicago, Ilinois when she was caught in a storm and capsized. Her hull later washed ashore upside-down near Miller's Station, Indiana.

August 23, 1901 - The PERE MARQUETTE 17 arrived Ludington, Michigan on her maiden voyage with Captain Peter Kilty in command.

On 23 August 1875, PERSIAN (wooden propeller freighter, 1630 tons, built in 1874 at Cleveland, Ohio) caught fire off Long Point on Lake Erie. The propeller EMPIRE STATE came alongside and tried to put out the fire with streams of water from her hose, but when this failed, she took PERSIAN in tow in an attempt to get her to shore. This too failed when the tow line burned through. PERSIAN burned to the waterline and sank 10 miles from land in about 30 fathoms of water. No lives were lost.

On 23 August 1900, one hundred years ago, ARGONAUT (wooden propeller freighter, 213 foot, 1119 gross tons, built in 1873 at Detroit, Michigan) was raised by an expensive salvage operation at the Escanaba ore dock where she had previously sunk. She lasted another six years.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, 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.



Three More Canadian Tankers Sold, Two Headed for Scrap


The Canadian tankers Algocatalyst (Algoma Tankers) and Capt. Ralph Tucker (McKeil Marine) have been reported as sold for scrap and the Algosar (Algoma Tankers) has been reported as having been sold to undisclosed buyers.

Algosar was built in 1973/’74 by Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catharines, Ont. The vessel was launched as the Imperial St. Clair for Imperial Oil Ltd., and was acquired by Algoma in 1997.

Algocatalyst was built by Robb Caledon Shipbuilding Ltd., Dundee, Scotland and was launched Oct.19, 1971 as the Jon Ramsoy. Halco Inc., Montreal, PQ, bought the vessel in 1974 and renamed her Doan Transport. Upon the liquidation of the Halco tanker fleet in 1986, the Doan Transport and five other tankers were acquired by Enerchem Transport Inc., Montreal, PQ when she was renamed Enerchem Catalyst. Algoma Tankers Ltd. acquired the Enerchem fleet prior to the commencement of the 1999 navigation season. After being overhauled at Verrault Shipyards, she re-entered service as the Algocatalyst.

The Tucker was built in 1966 for Imperial Oil as Imperial Acadia. In 1998 she was sold to Algoma Tankers and renamed Algoscotia. She was acquired by McKeil Marine in 2001 and given her current name. Most recently she’s been active carrying calcium chloride cargos from General Chemical, Manistee, Mich. to Amherstburg, Ont. Although she received drydock work as recently as 2002, she spent much of this season in and out of lay up, with many of the cargoes between Courtright, Amherstburg, and Manistee being handled by McKeil Marine's tug and barge combinations.

The Algoma tanker Algofax was also sold for scrap recently.

Reported by George Wharton (revised 8/24)

Capt. Ralph Tucker in layup at Hamilton Aug. 21. The Quebecois is ahead of her. (Photo by Bill Lloyd)

Photos by Roger LeLievre
Tucker upbound in the St. Marys River in 2002.
Alcocatalyst in the Welland Canal in 1999.
Enerchem Catalyst in the St. Marys River in 1993.
Algosar unloads at Sault Ste. Marie, Ont, in 1999.
Imperial St. Clair in the Welland Canal in 1996.


Buffalo Fire Department Assists in Rescue on Kinsman Enterprise


More details have emerged about Friday’s emergency rescue effort in Port Colborne (see News Page, Aug. 20).

The man hurt in the accident was working in the forward chain locker of the Kinsman Enterprise, which is being scrapped at Port Colborne, Ont. He stepped on an anchor chain link and the shifting weight caused 300 feet worth of chain to slip from a pile nearly 9 feet high and pin him up to his neck. Port Colborne rescue crews called for assistance from the Buffalo Fire Department Heavy Rescue Team around 11 a.m. Thursday morning. The Buffalo crew worked for five hours before freeing him around 4 p.m. when he was taken by helicopter to Hamilton General Hospital. His injuries appear to be nonlife-threatening at this time and he should make a full recovery.

This was the first time in 41 years that a BFD crew crossed into Canada to help in an emergency. The last time occurred on the night of Oct. 7, 1960 when the firetug Edward M. Cotter steamed under Coast Guard escort to the Maple Leaf Mills in Port Colborne to help fight a fire. The Cotter saved the mill from total destruction after pumping at full blast for 4 hours that night.

Reported by Brian Wroblewski



Port Report



Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain
Friday was an active day in port with three vessels coming in.  The American Republic arrived in the morning to unload coal for the DPI plant located on the Thunder Bay River. The Republic departed around noon.  The Steamer Alpena was also taking on cement at Lafarge Friday morning.  Waiting at anchor out in the bay was the Paul H. Townsend, returning from temporary lay-up in Muskegon. The Townsend came in to load once the Alpena cleared.

The J.A.W Iglehart and the G.L  Ostrander/barge Integrity were in Detroit on Friday.

The Kaye E. Barker and Sam Laud were loading at Stoneport on Friday.
Republic unloading
Republic departing



Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery 


Today in Great Lakes History

August 22
On 22 August 1898, the schooner FANNY CAMPBELL (wooden schooner, 404 tons, built in 1868 at St. Catherines, Ontario) ran ashore near Johnston’s harbor in Georgian Bay.  She was sailing light on her way for a load of cordwood.

The ALGOPORT left Collingwood Ontario, August 22, 1979 on her maiden voyage for Calcite, Michigan to load limestone bound for Spragge, Ontario.

The ROBERT L. IRELAND (Hull#62) was launched August 22, 1903 at Chicago, illinois by Chicago Ship Building Co. for the Gilchrist Transportation Co. Renamed  b.) SIRIUS in 1913 and c.) ONTADOC in 1926.

The ENDERS M VOORHEES (Photo: Roger LeLievre, late 1970s, Mission Point) was towed out of Duluth, Minnesota on August 22, 1987 by the tugs AVENGER IV and CHIPPEWA, and was the first of the 'Supers' towed off the Lakes for scrap.

The a.) ROGER M. KYES sailed on her maiden voyage on August 22,1973 from Toledo, Ohio to load iron ore at Escanaba, Michigan. She was built under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970. This program allowed U.S. shipping companies to construct new vessels or to modernize their existing fleet by government guaranteed financing and tax deferred benefits. The KYES was the second of ten ships launched for American Steamship but the first to enter service under this arrangement. The total cost of the ten ships was more than $250 million.  Renamed b.) ADAM E CORNELIUS in 1989.

On 22 August 1863, WILLIAM S BULL (wooden propeller steam tug, 16 tons, built in 1861 at Buffalo, New York) waterlogged and went down in a storm 40 miles east of Erie, Pennsylvania. She was in company of the tug G W GARDNER and the canal boat M E PAINE, who saved her crew.

On 22 August 1876, the Canadian schooner LAUREL sank off Big Sandy Creek on Lake Ontario. The crew made it to shore in the yawl. The LAUREL was bound from Kingston, Ontario to Charlotte, New York with iron ore.

On 22 August 1900, one hundred years ago, SPECULAR (wooden propeller freighter, 264 foot, 1742 gross tons, built in 1882 at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying iron ore when she was a "hit & run" victim by the steamer DENVER at 2:00 AM and sank in 6 minutes in the Pelee Passage on Lake Erie. Fifteen of her crew abandoned in her yawl and were saved. The remaining five scrambled up into the rigging and clung there until they were rescued four hours later by the steamer MARITANA and brought to Detroit. Salvagers worked on the wreck continuously until they gave up on 28 September. Wreck lies 3.16 miles SE from Pelee Passage light. She was owned by Republic Iron Co. of Cleveland.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


Cost to Restore S.S. Columbia May Be Known Soon


The steamer Columbia, the elder of the two steamers that sailed for decades from Detroit to the now-closed amusement park on Boblo Island, is nearing the end of a feasibility study to assess whether it's possible to restore the 102-year-old boat.

If it's salvageable, then what?

"We need lots of money," a half-joking Bill Graham of the Nicholson Terminal & Dock Co., where the Columbia is drydocked near the Detroit River, told the Detroit Free Press in a story published Friday. The vessel was towed to the drydock Aug. 9 by tugs from the Gaelic Towing Co. The boat is owned by the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, which is working to transform a 3-mile stretch of the city's riverfront.

Graham said the study will determine whether the boat could again be seaworthy and how much a renovation might cost.

The hull, though covered in zebra mussels, is in good shape, he said. But the wooden, three-tiered deck is a rotting mess. The boilers need work, but the steam engine seems sound.

He said corporate donors already are lined up, pending the study's outcome.

The Columbia worked alongside the Ste. Clair, built in 1910. The latter boat is privately owned in Ohio and in the midst of its own renovation.

Reported by Jason Leslie, Nick Durst, Detroit Free Press

Columbia at the drydock Aug. 9 (Photo by Capt. William Hoey)



Today in Great Lakes History

August 21 (Note photo links)

At 7:10 PM on 21 August 1901, the whaleback steamer ALEXANDER McDOUGALL (steel propeller modified whaleback freighter, 413 foot, 3686 gross tons, built in 1898 at W. Superior, Wisconsin) ran into and cut in two the tug GEORGE STAUBER (wooden propeller tug, 55 foot, 43 gross tons, built in 1883 at Buffalo, New York) in the rapids at the mouth of the St. Clair River.  The STAUBER sank immediately in about 60 feet of water.  No lives were lost.  The steam barge IDA assisted in retrieving people in the water.  The McDougall did not stop. (Photo: Tom Manse Coll.)

The BUFFALO's sea trials were conducted from August 21 through August 24, 1978.

The GEORGE A. STINSON (Photo: Roger LeLievre, 1997) was christened at Detroit, Michigan on August 21, 1978.

The CEDARGLEN a.) WILLIAM C ATWATER arrived under tow at Port Maitland, Ontario on August 21, 1994 where she was scrapped. (Photo: St. Marys River, Roger LeLievre, around 1991)

THE HARVESTER cleared Lorain, Ohio, August 21, 1911 on her maiden voyage loaded with coal for Duluth, Minnesota. (Photo, date unknown, Tom Manse Coll.)

IMPERIAL QUEBEC (Hull#161) was launched August 21, 1957 at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Imperial Oil Ltd.

The KINSMAN INDEPENDENT (1) a.) WILLIAM B KERR encountered steering problems downbound at the Rock Cut in the St. Marys River on August 21, 1973. She avoided hitting the stone embankments but ran aground after clearing the cut. The damage sustained in this grounding ended her career.

The VENUS was sold to Acme Metals Inc. and was towed to Ashtabula, Ohio on August 21, 1975 where she was broken up in 1976.

On August 21, 1971 the CHARLES DICK severed two underwater cables in the Maumee River, cutting off power to east Toledo and the Cherry Street Bridge. Massive traffic jams developed on Toledo's streets.

The graceful schooner HUNTER SAVIDGE was launched on August 21, 1879 by the Grand Haven Ship Building Company.

On 21 August 1856, CHARTER (wooden, propeller vessel, 132 foot, 197 tons, built in 1849 at Huron, Ohio as a sidewheeler), was bound from Cleveland for Buffalo with flour, oats and rye. She swamped and sank in a storm 6 miles above Fairport, Ohio. By the end of August, she had been damaged beyond repair but her machinery was recovered as she lay in relatively shallow water.

On 21 August 1861, BANSHEE (wooden propeller freighter, 119 foot, 166 tons, built in 1852 at Portsmouth, Ontario, named HERO in 1860-61) was carrying wheat, flour and butter to Montreal when her engine failed (broken shaft) and she was helpless in a storm on Lake Ontario. She foundered near Timber Island on Lake Ontario. One passenger died, but the crew of 10 made it to Timber Island. She was owned by Howard & Rowe of Quebec.

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

Canadian Leader Back in Service


The ULS Group bulker Canadian Leader, which had been laid up at Hamilton, has returned to service. She passed upbound in the Welland Canal on Thursday afternoon headed for Thunder Bay on her first trip of the season.

Her fleetmate Canadian Provider remains laid up at Toronto.

Reported by Alex Howard, Barry Hiscocks

Canadian Leader heads into Lock 2
Stern view, exiting Lock 1
(More photos in the Photo Gallery)


IMS Employee Injured on Kinsman Enterprise


A 21-year-old employee at the IMS Salvage Yard in Port Colborne was injured Thursday evening while working inside the hulk of the Kinsman Enterprise, which is being scrapped. He was in the bow section when he became pinned underneath steel debris that fell on him. Port Colborne’s emergency crews responded but determined that the situation was beyond their control. The Buffalo Fire Department's Heavy Rescue Team was called in and after nearly 4 hours of cutting, the man was air lifted by helicopter to a local hospital where he is recovering at this time. Details remain sketchy and there was no word on the man's injuries at 11 p.m.

Reported by Brian Wroblewski


Port Report



Reported by Rod Burdick
Oglebay Norton’s Wolverine delivered a cargo of stone to Marquette's Lower Harbor on Aug. 14.

Wolverine unloading


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery 


Today in Great Lakes History

August 20 (Note the photo links on some items)
On 20 August 1881, MICHIGAN (Hull#48), (iron propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 215 foot, 1183 tons) was launched by the Detroit Dry Dock Company at Wyandotte, Michigan for the Goodrich Transportation Company.  She was then taken to Milwaukee for fitting out and completion.  She cost $159,212.  She was designed by Frank E. Kirby especially for cross-Lake winter service.

The INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORT (Photo: Tom Manse) arrived at Toronto, Ontario, August 20, 1969 on her maiden voyage with fuel oil.

The R. BRUCE ANGUS (Soo Locks, 1974, Tom Manse) in tandem tow with the ULS steamer GORDON C LEITCH (1) behind the tug IRVING CEDAR arrived at Setúbal, Portugal August 20, 1985 where they were broken up.  The IRVING CEDAR is now Purvis Marine’s c.) RELIANCE

August 20, 1920 the WILLIS L. KING (1940s, Tom Manse Coll.), upbound light in Whitefish Bay, was in collision with and sank the downbound Steel Trust steamer SUPERIOR CITY. The SUPERIOR CITY was struck nearly amidships and when the cold water reached her engine room, her boilers exploded. She sank immediately with 29 of her 33 crew members aboard.

The 266029 a.) WILLIAM CLAY FORD (1) departed her lay-up berth at the Rouge slip on August 20, 1986 in tow of Gaelic tugs and she was taken to Detroit Marine Terminals on the Rouge River, where her pilothouse was removed to be displayed at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Detroit's Belle Isle.

The TEXACO WARRIOR (1) punctured her tank in a grounding accident in the Welland Canal near Bridge 10 on August 20, 1964.

On 20 August 1899 the HUNTER SAVIDGE (2-mast, wooden schooner, 117 foot, 152 gross tons, built in 1879 at Grand Haven, Michigan) capsized in a squall or tornado in Lake Huron. 5 survivors, including Capt. Fred Sharpstein, were rescued from the overturned schooner by the steamer ALEX McVITTIE. However, 5 lost their lives, including the captain's wife and their son, the ship's owner's wife and daughter, and the Mate. Capt. Sharpstein patrolled the beaches looking for the bodies of his wife and son for months but they were never found. The wreck was found in 1987 near Grindstone City, Michigan.

On 20 August 1852, ATLANTIC (wooden sidewheeler, 267 foot, 1155 tons, built in 1849 at Detroit, Michigan) was loaded with immigrants when she collided with the propeller freighter OGDENSBURG and quickly sank south of Long Point on Lake Erie at about 2:30 a.m. Of the 600 on board, estimates of death range from 150 to 250. Numerous salvage attempts have been made through the years up through 1989 since there were supposed to be valuables on board when she went down.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze, Randy Johnson, 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


Port Report


Green Bay

Reported by Jason Leino
The Alpena arrived in Green Bay this morning with a load of cement for the LaFarge dock. They were due to depart early Thursday morning for Alpena, MI.

Alpena and S.T. Crapo at LaFarge
Close up of the Alpena unloading
Stern View at LaFarge
Another view from across the river



Reported by Lee Rowe
The H. Lee White loaded ore at Marquette on Wednesday after bringing stone to the lower harbor.  The Herbert C. Jackson arrived at dusk after a storm moved through the area.   High gusty winds didn't slow down the arrival of the Jackson.

H. Lee White at the dock
Bow view, loading
Herbert C. Jackson arriving


Today in Great Lakes History

August 19 (Please note the photo links for some items)
On 19 August 1902, OMAR D. CONGER (wooden propeller ferry, 92 foot, 200 gross tons, built in 1887 at Port Huron, Michigan) burned at Port Huron, Michigan.  The entire upper works burned and the lower deck was also badly burned.  She had burned on 20 June 1901 and had been rebuilt over the winter.  She was again rebuilt and lasted until 1922.

The JOHN E. F. MISENER (2) (Photo: Tom Manse, early 1960s, at Mission Point) grounded near Hard Island on the St. Lawrence River August 19, 1966 suffering bow damage.

The ROBERT S. PIERSON (Photo: Roger LeLievre, 1981) was sold to P & H. Shipping Ltd. on August 19, 1982 and renamed e) SPRUCEGLEN.

The package freighter ARIZONA was launched on August 19, 1868 at Cleveland, Ohio by Quayle & Martin for E.T. & J.C. Evans of Buffalo, New York.

On August 19, 1915, the HENRY PEDWELL burned at Wiarton.

CARDINAL (3) was towed to the Strathearne Terminal in Hamilton, Ontario on August 19, 1974 for scrapping.

On 19 August 1909, CITY OF GREEN BAY (wooden propeller passenger-package freight, 134 foot, 257 gross tons, built in 1880 at Fort Howard, Wisconsin as the sidewheeler M. C. HAWLEY) caught fire while crossing Saginaw Bay, burned to the waterline and sank.. This wasn't her first experience with this type of accident since on 17 November 1887, she had burned to a "total loss" in Lake Michigan.

August 19, 1930 - The ANN ARBOR NO. 7 towed the disabled tug GREILING from Frankfort, Michigan to Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co..

The propeller QUEBEC was launched at the Chisholm & Simpson yard at Chatham, Ontario on 19 August 1874. She was built for the Beatty Line and designed to run between Sarnia and Duluth.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze,Father Dowling Collection, 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


Security Concerns Mean End of Newspaper's Vessel Passage Column


Ship watchers who regularly check The Port Huron Times Herald for the list of vessel passages it has printed for years will now find it missing, the latest casualty of stepped up security.

Citing national security concerns, the Canadian Coast Guard Marine Communications and Traffic Service in Sarnia (Sarnia Traffic) no longer will provide the newspaper with a list of what ships have passed the Black River buoy in the St. Clair River. The Canadian Coast Guard is the agency that monitors commercial vessel traffic on the river, which is a border between the United States and Canada.

The Times Herald has printed the vessel passage reports daily, allowing recreational freighter fans to read what ships passed the city throughout the day.

"We've just had a change in security procedures," John North, watch supervisor with the traffic control center, told the Times Herald. "I would say it's a permanent thing."

North didn't know the exact reason for the change in security. Pierre Papineau, officer in charge of the Sarnia river traffic service, is on vacation and unavailable for comment.

"Heightened security through the marine industry is something that's being looked at and shared by American and Canadian coast guards," North said of the changes.

Reported by Frank Frisk, Port Huron Times Herald


Milwaukee Clipper Named 2004 Ship of the Year


The Steamship Historical Society of America has named the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper of Muskegon, Mich., its 2004 Ship of the Year.

Awarded annually by the SSHSA, the Ship of the Year award is given to a vessel which has been nominated by the society’s membership and, of those, is most closely aligned with the Society’s charter of “recording, preserving and disseminating the history of engine powered vessels.”

The award is to be given aboard ship in Muskegon on Aug. 28.

This year’s choice also comes on the heels of two momentous occasions for the Clipper, namely her 100th birthday, and the decision by the Muskegon City Commission to grant the historic ship a permanent dock site at the city’s Hartshorn Marina. According to Dr. Raymond Hilt, President of the S.S .Milwaukee Clipper Preservation Inc., “a permanent docksite has been an elusive goal since the Clipper returned to Muskegon seven years ago. Even though the ship is a National Historic Landmark, grant funding therefore was not an option until now.”

All work on the preservation and restoration of the Clipper has been funded and completed solely by volunteers. This project is not only preserving a magnificent steamship, but is also a boost to tourism, and the economy, in Muskegon.

Dr. Hilt and the volunteers of SS Milwaukee Clipper Preservation, Inc., will be presented the award by Society Director and awards committee chair Christopher D. Dougherty of Rhinebeck, NY, Society Secretary Barry W. Eager of Berlin Mass., and society members Mr. & Mrs. Charles Crawford of Highland, NY.

Reported by Chuck Truscott

Milwaukee Clipper in the fall of 2003.


Edward L. Ryerson Towed to Bayship Dock


The laid-up steamer Edward L. Ryerson was moved Tuesday morning from Sturgeon Bay's east dock to Bay Shipbuilding by the tugs Jimmy L., Carla Anne Selvick, Escort II and Sharon M. Selvick.

Construction crews will be rebuilding the dock where she has been sitting idle the past few years, making the move necessary. The Ryerson last sailed in 1998.

Reported by Wendell Wilke

Ryerson at her lay-up dock on July 19, 2002. (Photo by Roger LeLievre)


Port Report



Reported by Lee Rowe

Arthur M. Anderson brought coal to Escanaba on Tuesday, and left after a brief rainstorm which left a rainbow. The Charles M. Beeghly arrived during the rainstorm  The former Chicago fire boat Joseph Medill still sits at Basic Marine.   

Arthur M. Anderson unloading coal in  Escanaba
Under the rainbow
Charles M. Beeghly approaching the Escanaba ore dock
Second man over
At the dock
Joseph Medill


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

August 18 (Please note the photo links for some items)
On 18 August 1871, GEN. WINFIELD SCOTT (wooden schooner, 114 foot, 213 tons, built in 1852 at Black River, Ohio) was carrying lumber `from Menominee to Chicago when she sprang a leak during a gale and capsized off Spider Island near Death’s Door on Lake Michigan.  The crew clung to her for 13 hours until rescued by the passing schooner ETHAN ALLEN.

CANADIAN ENTERPRISE (Hull#65) was float launched on August 18, 1979 at St. Catharines, Ontario by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd. for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd.

On August 18, 1972, $50,000 in bottom damage occurred when the CHAMPLAIN (3) (Photo: early 1970s, by Roger LeLievre) hit an obstruction in the Trenton Channel, on the lower Detroit River.

The NORMAN B. REAM (Hull #70) was launched August 18, 1906 at Chicago, Illinois by the Chicago Ship Building Co.for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, OH.  Renamed b.) KINSMAN ENTERPRISE (1)  (Photo above the Soo Locks by Tom Manse, early 1970s) in 1965.

On 18 August 1907, KATE WHITE (wooden propeller steam tug, 62 foot, 28 gross tons, built at Erie, Pennyslvania in 1885 as a yacht) sank near the harbor entrance at Fairport, Ohio.

On 18 August 1878, JAVA (iron twin propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 232 foot, 1525 gross tons, built in 1873 at Buffalo, New York) was sailing from Bay City, Michigan for Chicago and Milwaukee with mixed merchandise, including 300 tons of fine household goods, parlor stoves, salt, etc. She was a twin-screw and the main theory of her loss in good weather was that her starboard shaft coupling came loose and the shaft slid out the stern, allowing water to flood through the sleeve. nevertheless, she sank quickly, 15 miles off Big Sable Point on Lake Michigan in over 300 feet of water. The crew escaped in lifeboats and were picked up by passing steamers.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze,Father Dowling Collection, 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.


Spirit of Ontario Firm To Seek  Federal Loan


Canadian American Transportation Systems has experienced some “financial strain” since starting its high-speed ferry service on Lake Ontario and will seek a federal loan to help it build the business, according to a story in Monday's Rochester Democrat-Chronicle.

The private company, which began service between Rochester and Toronto in late June, has been weighed down by some unexpected costs early on, including customs fees and high fuel prices. Also, the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection hasn't allowed commercial trucks on the ship yet, depriving CATS of a much-needed source of revenue.

CATS will seek a loan through the U.S. Department of Transportation's TIFIA program, which provides money for transportation projects. The amount hasn't been determined.

The ferry is expected to carry its 100,000th passenger this month. About 45,000 passengers rode the ship in July and 55,000 have booked voyages so far this month, according to a company spokesman. The ferry is now carrying about 2,200 to 2,400 passengers on weekends and 1,400 to 1,500 on weekdays. Some of that boost can be attributed to the company slashing ticket prices in half for travel on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August.

CATS has been dogged by its inability to carry commercial trucks. The company is losing out on nearly $20,000 a day in revenue – the maximum amount if the ship were filled each time it sailed. A customs spokeswoman said the federal agency is still working on the trucking issue.

CATS also has been unhappy about having to pay customs fees in Canada, and extra fees to have a U.S. or Canadian pilot on board each trip because the ship is registered with the Bahamas Maritime Authority and not in the United States or Canada.

To help pay for some of those extra costs, the company has added surcharges to tickets – $4 northbound and $3 southbound. It also is seeking to register the vessel with the U.S. government to eliminate the piloting and docking charges, estimated at $1.8 million annually.

Reported by Jayson Leslie, Rochester Democrat-Chronicle


Federal Maas Resumes Trip After Hitting Bridge


Sunday afternoon the saltie Federal Maas swiped the bascule bridge at Iroquois Lock. The bridge  was not completely raised at the time. The ship, which suffered damage to her bridge wing, has since departed for an overseas destination.

Damage to Federal Maas (Photo by Peter Carter).


Seaway Traffic at Five-Year High


Seaway traffic results for the year to date have risen to levels not seen since the late 1990s, according to Richard Corfe, president of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.

"Traffic has been brisk since the beginning of the year," said Corfe. "Results are  better than last year's and better than our forecasts, and we expect to  maintain high traffic levels until the end of the year, pushing up our  revenues substantially."

 A sluggish economy and competition from other modes combined to reduce Seaway traffic and revenue in recent years. The corporation responded with a new strategic plan focused on market development and innovation to take maximum advantage of the opportunities available for the Seaway system.

 "We can't claim responsibility for the upturn in the economy, which is certainly driving most of the traffic increase this year," admitted Corfe. "But our commitment to making the system more efficient and effective for customers - for example, with AIS, Web-based customer service and the recent draft increase - does have an impact. By the end of July, we had handled 374 more commercial transits than at this time last year - 128 more in the Montreal-Lake Ontario (MLO) section and 246 more on the Welland Canal."

Total cargo moving through the Seaway is up by 11.5 percent over last year's July figures, with Welland Canal traffic up by about 1.6 million tonnes and the MLO section showing an increase of 1.3 million tonnes. "Most of the increase came from bulk cargo carried by the inland fleet, although a recent surge of ocean traffic has now pushed those numbers up higher than the last two years as well," adds Corfe.

Grain traffic is up by 15.5 percent, with Canadian grain shipments from last year's good harvest accounting for the entire increase and covering a 2 percent decline in U.S. traffic. While U.S. grain figures will likely remain low, the Seaway expects Canadian grain movements for the year to exceed the budget forecast of 6.2 million tonnes and probably reach 6.7 million tonnes, for an increase over 2003 of 16 percent in the MLO section and 21 percent on the Welland Canal.

Other highlights include an important increase in iron ore cargoes (550,000 tonnes or 18 percent to date) through the Welland Canal, a 53 percent increase in coke shipments, and a 46 percent increase in stone. In general, other bulk commodity movements to date have increased by 17 percent or 524,000 tonnes and 19 percent or 796,000 tonnes in the MLO section and Welland respectively, compared to the budget forecast. With higher figures for petroleum, potash, scrap metal, chemicals and gypsum, other bulk in the MLO is now expected to reach 8.43 million tonnes by the end of the year, an increase of 10 percent over 2003. On the Welland Canal, increases for petroleum, stone, potash, scrap and chemicals result in forecasted other bulk shipments for 2004 of 11.17 million tonnes, an 11 percent increase over 2003.

 "This growth in traffic is a return to the levels we experienced in the late 1990s," said Corfe. "We still have lots of capacity to handle new cargoes and different shipping methods. Bringing those in is the main thrust of our market development activities, which moved into high gear early in the season. Our high-profile billboard campaign, together with other promotional and lobbying initiatives, are getting the message through: the Seaway/Great Lakes System is the cleaner, safer and more energy-efficient alternative for a wide range of cargoes."

Reported by The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation


Port Report



Reported by Charlie Gibbons
The salty Bluebill arrived at Pier 52 Friday night and continued unloading Sunday. The pro surfer salty trawler Indies Trader did not leave Saturday as expected and remains at Pier 4.


Green Bay

Reported by Jason  Leino
The Sam Laud arrived in Green Bay Monday night with a load of 18,000 tons of limestone for Western Lime. They are due in Port Inland after unloading in Green Bay, the Petite Forte is due in later this week.  Weekend traffic included the Barbara Andrie with a load of liquid asphalt for Construction Resource Management, and the American Republic with a load of coal for Georgia Pacific.

Laud inbound Green Bay
Passing Wisconsin Public Service
Stern view
Approaching Western Lime


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

August 17
On August 17, 1987, CADILLAC (Photo: 1960, by Tom Manse) was towed by the tugs GLENADA and ELMORE M MISNER, from Toledo's Frog Pond on the first leg of her journey to be scrapped.

At 4:00 PM on 17 August 1869, the schooner CARLINGFORD was launched at the Fitzgerald and Leighton yard in Port Huron, Michigan with plenty of spectators on hand. Robert Montgomery of Buffalo, the owner, built the vessel for the grain trade. her capacity was 30,000 bushels of grain. After launching, she still had to have her masts (96 foot, 98 foot and 94 foot) and rigging installed. At the time, she was the largest sailing vessel built in Port Huron. her dimensions were 155 foot keel, 165 foot overall, 31 foot 6 inch beam and 12 foot 8 inch depth. 50 men worked on her and she cost $35,000.

Data from: Joe Barr, 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.


Federal Maas Hits Bridge at Iroquois Lock


Sunday afternoon the saltie Federal Maas reportedly swiped the bascule bridge at Iroquois Lock. The bridge was not completely raised at the time. A local resident, who lives in a home overlooking the lock, was sitting on a bench in front of his home watching the ship come down through the lock. He could see that the bridge was not completely open and then heard the ship blow to let go the lines. The resident, a former linesman at Iroquois Lock, ran to the phone and called the lockmaster, but could not reach him soon enough. The Federal Maas then hit the bridge with her bridge wing. The ship has suffered damage to an extent yet unknown. She was tied up at the south-east tie wall Sunday evening and the Seaway was open for traffic.

Reported by Ron Beaupre

Federal Maas in the Detroit River last week (Photo by Mike Nicholls)



Jean Parisien Contract Could be Near For Port Weller


A recent story in the St. Catharines (Ont.) Standard said that Canada Steamship Lines is close to signing a $30-million ship-repair contract for the construction of a new forebody on the Jean Parisien, which has been moored on the fitting wall at the dry docks since December.

The contract would put many laid-off Port Weller Dry Docks workers back on the job for up to nine months. 

The deal would breathe life into the shipyard over the winter, which laid off 30 non-union administrative staff last month because contracts were drying up and there was no word on when CSL would authorize work to begin on the Jean Parisien.

Alan Thoms, president and chief executive officer of Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd., the parent company of the dry docks, declined comment on the contract Friday.  There is no immediate word on when the shipbuilder’s 160 workers could be called back from temporary layoff.

Last month, Thoms was confident the contract would be awarded and said most of the workers would be required to return.

CSL spokeswoman Martine Malka said the company expects to have the contract signed within about a week. Malka said CSL wants to have the ship ready by the beginning of next year’s shipping season.

When the dry docks’ last layoff took place in July, Thoms said the CSL contract had been stalled because there wasn’t enough work for the company to put the ship into service.

Malka said CSL has been taking time to study the feasibility of developing the ship for a different kind of service. She said a new design for the self-unloader will better allow it to carry “non-free-flowing” cargoes such as coal, instead of grains and iron ore.

A new forebody is estimated to increase the life of a vessel by 20 years, she said.

Reported by Jimmy Sprunt

Jean Parisien, seen during the 2002 Boatnerd Cruise at the Soo. (Photo by Roger LeLievre)



Port Report



Reported by Chanda McClain
H.M.S Bounty arrived in Alpena Friday morning and tied up at the riverfront for a weekend of tours which attracted many visitors.

Friday afternoon was also busy at Lafarge with the Buffalo unloading coal and the J.A.W.  Iglehart taking on cement.  The steamer Alpena returned to port Sunday morning to load cargo after delivering to Heron Bay, ON.

The G.L Ostrander/ barge Integrity is expected to make stops at Chicago & Muskegon before it returns sometime on Wednesday. The American Republic and H. Lee White are scheduled to load at Stoneport on Monday.

Bounty Friday evening



Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

August 16
On 16 August, 1890 the ANNIE WATT (wooden propeller, passenger and package freight "packet", 75 foot, 62 gross ton, built in 1884 at Lion's Head, Ontario) collided with the ship ALDERSON and sank. off of Gunn Point, Ontario. Just the previous year (8 November 1889), ANNIE WATT had burned and been declared total loss, but she was rebuilt.

The captain of the 2 year old, 125' wooden schooner-barge JOHN F RITCHIE brought his wife, two other women and several small children as guests on a voyage from Bay City, Michigan to Buffalo, New York. The RITCHIE was one of a string of four barges loaded with lumber in tow of the tug ZOUAVE. As the tow entered Lake Erie, they were struck by a terrifying storm. The RITCHIE broke her tow line and was cast adrift. The deck load of lumber broke loose and everyone was in danger. The women and children were brought out of the cabin since it was considered to be a death trap and they were lashed on deck for safety. Soon the vessel was waterlogged and the cabin was actually washed away. On 17 August, a passing steamer took everyone aboard and towed the RITCHIE in to Cleveland, Ohio where she was repaired. Amazingly, no lives were lost.

August 16, 1902 - The PERE MARQUETTE 18 (I) (Hull#412) launched at Cleveland, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Pere Marquette Railway.

Data from: Joe Barr, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series - compiled by Mike Nicholls. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history



Port Report



Reported by Mac Mackay
On Thursday, Algofax moved from her anchorage and tied up at Pier 31. Her name, port of registry and funnel markings have been painted over. The ship was also taking on stores in preparation for her trip to an overseas scrapyard. The ship has been registered in the Republic of Georgia, and was scheduled to sail from Halifax on Saturday.

On Friday, the new Algoscotia arrived in Halifax (in thick fog) and tied up at Pier 26. The tanker was built in China.



Reported by Al Miller

In a season with lagging grain shipments, it was unusual to see a "two-fer" Friday at Cenex Harvest States. Polydefkis P was loading in the #1 berth while Algonorth was in the No. 2 berth.  CHS has handled most of the season's grain shipments, with lesser actvity at General Mills in Superior and AGP in Duluth. Peavey, General Mills in Duluth and Cargill have seen few vessels this summer.

A light surface fog covered parts of the Duluth-Superior harbor on Friday morning, creating hazy conditions for the Nanticoke as it winded in the turning basin off the DMIR ore dock about 7:30 a.m. Also in port was Paul R. Tregurtha, loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal for delivery to Presque Isle near Marquette, Mich. Also due Friday were Burns Harbor and the Hon. Paul Martin, both for the BNSF ore dock.

CN's purchase of the DMIR raised concerns about the future of the Duluth ore dock. But the reopening of EVTAC as United Taconite and the recent news that Cleveland-Cliffs will increase production there may grant the dock a reprieve. In recent years, most EVTAC/United Taconite tonnage has moved through the Duluth dock. It's certainly been busy this season. In recent days, Halifax loaded Aug. 12; Nanticoke, Aug. 13. Arthur M. Anderson is due Aug. 15 with stone along with American Spirit for pellets and Cason J. Callaway for fines.



Reported by Rod Burdick
Oglebay Norton's Wolverine made a rare trip to Marquette's Lower Harbor and unloaded stone from Drummond Island on Saturday, August 14.  The flexibility of ASC/ON's merger is evident with this move as ASC vessels normally deliver stone to Marquette.  Wolverine was scheduled to load ore at the Upper Harbor after unloading stone.  Also in port Saturday was the Paul R. Tregurtha unloading western coal from Superior at the Upper Harbor.


Saginaw River

Reported by Todd Shorkey
The Joyce L. VanEnkevort & Great Lakes Trader have been frequent visitors to the Saginaw River lately.  The pair delivered a split cargo to the Bay City & Saginaw Wirt docks on Tuesday and were back again on Thursday with another unload at both docks. They were outbound Friday morning.

Also moving on the river Thursday was the Joe Thompson, Jr. & Joseph H. Thompson. The pair was outbound during the evening after unloading at the Saginaw Rock Products dock.
The tug Donald C. Hannah and her tank barge Robert F. Deegan were outbound from the Dow Chemical dock in Bangor Township Thursday afternoon after unloading there overnight.
Also outbound was the tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge. They had unloaded at the Bit-Mat dock and were outbound Thursday morning.
On Friday, the Adam E. Cornelius was outbound from Saginaw after unloading at an unspecified dock.
On Saturday, the American Mariner departed the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City after unloading there overnight.


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Boatnerd Gathering in Rogers City Sept. 24-25


Rogers City, Mich., will host its first-ever Boatnerd Gathering Sept. 24-25. Included will be a rare opportunity to tour the Michigan Limestone Calcite plant.

The gathering also includes a slide show and a presentation by marine artist Robert McGreevy ( on Friday night, followed by a slide show (those attending should bring a tray of their best slides).

This gathering is co-sponsored by the Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum (, which will be open for tours. The Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum is a unique collection of artifacts and memorials honoring the men and women who sailed the Great Lakes.

For more information, visit, click on the What’s New button, and scroll down to the Boatnerd Gatherings icon.

Reported by: Dave Wobser



Today in Great Lakes History


August 14

At 11:00 PM, 14 August 1882, the steam barge CHICAGO 206 foot, 935 gross tons of 1855, was carrying coal on Lake Michigan while towing the barge MANITOWOC 210.5 feet, 569 gross tons of 1868.  In mid-lake, near Fox Island , CHICAGO was discovered to be on fire.  Within 15 minutes, she was ablaze.  Her crew escaped to her barge-consort MANITOWOC.  The CHICAGO burned to the water’s edge and sank the following day.

Sea trials for the HENRY FORD II took place on August 14, 1924 and shortly after she left on her maiden voyage with coal from Toledo, Ohio to Duluth, Minnesota and returned with iron ore to the Ford Rouge Plant at Dearborn.

Having been sold for scrap, the GOVERNOR MILLER was towed down the Soo Locks on August 14, 1980 for Milwaukee, Wisconsin to load scrap.

On 14 August 1873, CHESTER B JONES (3-mast, wooden schooner, 167 foot, 493 gross tons) was launched at East Saginaw, Michigan. She was built by Chesley Wheeler. The spars and top hamper ordered for her were broken in a log jam, so the 3-master received her spars at Buffalo, New York on her first trip.

The 149 foot bark MARY E PEREW was found floating west of the Manitou Islands by the propeller MONTGOMERY on 14 August 1871. The PEREW had been sailing to Milwaukee with a load of coal when a storm came upon her so quickly on 8 August (nearly a week before MONGOMERY found her) that the crew did not have time to trim the sails. All three masts were snapped and the mizzen mast fell on the yawl, smashing it. So the crew was stuck on the ship, unable to navigate. The MONTGOMERY towed her to Milwaukee where she was rebuilt and she lasted until 1905. .

On 14 August 1900 the tug WILLIAM D of the Great Lakes Towing Company got under the bow of the steamer WAWATAM at Ashtabula, Ohio and was rolled over and sank. One drowned.

August 14, 1899 - W.L. Mercereau, known as the "Father of the Fleet", became Superintendent of Steamships for the Pere Marquette Railway.

August 15
The whaleback barge number 107 (steel whaleback barge, 276 foot, 1295 gross tons) was launched by the American Steel Barge Co. at W. Superior, Wisconsin.  She only lasted eight years.  In 1898, she broke free from the tug ALVA B in rough weather and stranded near Cleveland, Ohio and was wrecked.

The JOSEPH L BLOCK sailed light on her maiden voyage from the Bay Ship Building Co., Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin to load 32,600 long tons of taconite ore pellets at Escanaba, Michigan for delivery to Indiana Harbor, Indiana on August 15, 1976.

The OTTERCLIFFE HALL, the last "straight deck" Great Lakes bulk freighter built with a pilot house forward was bare boat chartered to Misener Transportation Ltd. on August 15, 1983, renamed b.) ROYALTON.

Under threat of a strike on August 15, 1978, the uncompleted GEORGE A STINSON was towed out of Lorain, Ohio by six tugs to River Rouge’s  Nicholson's Terminal & Dock Co. to finish her fit-out.

The LEON FALK JR was laid up for the last time August 15, 1980 at the Great Lakes Engineering Work's old slip at River Rouge, Michigan.

On August 15, 1985 the MENIHEK LAKE sailed under her own power to Quebec City (from there by tug), the first leg of her journey to the cutter's torch in Spain 

J P MORGAN JR arrived in tow of Hannah Marine's tug DARYL C HANNAH at Buffalo, New York on August 15th where she was delayed until she could obtain clearance to transit the Welland Canal. Permission to pass down the Canal was refused because of the MORGAN JR's improper condition after a collision with the 480 foot Interlake steamer CRETE on June 23, 1948 in dense fog off Devils Island, in the Apostle Islands, on Lake Superior.

On 15 August 1856, the WELLAND (sidewheel steamer, wood, passenger & package freight, 145 foot, 300 ton, built 1853 at St. Catharine's, Ontario) burned to a total loss at her Port Dalhousie, Ontario. She was owned by Port Dalhousie and Thorold Railroad Co.

On 15 August 1873, Thomas Dunford and Frank Leighton announced a co-partnership in the shipbuilding business in Port Huron, Michigan. Their plans included operating from Dunford's yard. When they made their announcement, they already had an order for a large tug from Mr. George E. Brockway. This tug was the CRUSADER with the dimensions of 132' overall, 100 foot keel, and 23 foot beam.

In 1914 the Panama Canal was officially opened to maritime traffic.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze,Father Dowling Collection, Jim Olsson, 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



Staten Island Ferry Reaches the Welland Canal


The new Staten Island Ferry Guy V. Molinari reached the Welland Canal early Friday morning and stopped at the Port Colborne Fuel Dock, this dock is commonly used for vessel inspection before transiting the canal.

At 10:30 a.m. the Molinari was passing through Lock 8, the ferry was expected to reach Lock 3  viewing center mid afternoon Saturday.

Please send pictures of the passage to:

Reported by: Dave Wobser


Ahoy, Newspage Reporters


Thanks to all of you who are sending in news for this page in a timely fashion. With the movement of the routine pictures to the Photo Gallery, I have been trying to update the News Page daily and I will do my best to continue to do so. To make sure the items arrive in time for me to process them, please send to by 10 p.m. daily.



Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery



Staten Island Ferry Passes Port Huron, Detroit


6 p.m. Friday update: The new Staten Island Ferry Guy V. Molinari passed under the Blue Water Bridges at 10:20 on a cloudy Friday morning. Running at a good rate of speed, she made the trip from Harbor Beach to the Black River in just 3 hours. Normal travel times for freighters is 4 to 4.5 hours.

Only a few boat watchers were on hand for one-time trip down the river, but she managed to blow salutes to anyone who waved. At least four salutes were blown between the bridge and Marysville.

Just after passing the Black River in Port Huron, Sarnia Traffic reminded the Molinari of the 10 mph speed limit in the river. By the time she reached Marysville, there was a noticeable reduction in speed.

An interesting addition to the ferry is a temporary stern anchor on the vehicle deck. A stern anchor is required for commercial vessels using the Seaway. The temporary anchor rig will have to be removed, before the ferry goes into service, to allow vehicles to be loaded.

She gave her destination to Sarnia Traffic as Tonawanda, N.Y.

The Molinari passed under the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit at 1525 Friday afternoon.

Reported by Dave Wobser, Ann Ihde, Andrew Severson

Photos by Dave Wobser
Guy V. Molinari
Stack marking
Stern view
Special anchor

9 a.m. Friday upate: The Guy V. Molinari passed Harbor Beach at 0730 this morning, which should put her at Port Huron just before 11:30 a.m.

Original report: The often-delayed delivery trip of the new Staten Island Ferry Guy V. Molinari began when the vessel left Marinette Thursday around noon. That should put her in the St. Clair River during daylight hours Friday, should no further delays arise.

Reported by: Dick Lund, Dave Wobser


Minnesota Taconite Plant Aims to Boost Production


United Taconite near Eveleth, Minn., plans to make plant upgrades that will enable it to increase pellet production by 40 percent -- the first major expansion of a Minnesota taconite plant in decades, part-owner Cleveland-Cliffs reported.

Cliffs said it plans to increase the plant's production by 800,000 tons in 2005 and by another 900,000 tons in 2006. The information was included in a Cleveland-Cliffs quarterly report filed with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission and reported in the Duluth News Tribune.

The expansions depend on market conditions and other financial factors, the company stated in its report.

The expansion would push capacity at the plant to 6 million tons from its current 4.3 million tons per year. Union officials predicted the expansion would add 60 jobs to a regional industry more accustomed to job cuts than additions.

The production increase also should come as welcome news to Great Lakes vessel operators. United Taconite, formerly known as Eveleth Mines and EVTAC, ships its pellets by CN (formerly the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway) to ore docks in Duluth and Two Harbors.

To increase production at the plant, Cliffs would restart its idle Line 1 pelletizing production line. A union official told the News Tribune that Cliffs has been ordering parts needed for equipment on the line.

"It's a great time to do it," Peter Kakela, a Michigan State University taconite industry analyst, told the newspaper. "Especially if the (labor) contract is ratified. They've got four years (of a new labor agreement) and demand is very, very strong."

Cliffs bought the taconite plant in U.S. Bankruptcy Court last November for $3 million cash and about $40 million in liabilities. Cliffs owns 70 percent of the plant while Chinese steelmaker Laiwu Steel owns the rest. United Taconite includes a processing plant in Forbes and an iron ore mine in Eveleth. The plant employs about 430.

Reported by: Al Miller


Port Report



Reported by Kent Malo
The tug Menasha with the barge Charles XX departed sec-56 Port of Montreal Thursday at 1300 bound for Sarnia. The Menasha came to Montreal after the Canadian Coast Guard  gave Menasha's owners a special permit for a round trip to Montreal after McKeil with all their recent problems could not pick up the barge. Menasha's ticket only allows them to work in a specified area.


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

August 12
The C&O carferry SPARTAN, in a heavy fog while inbound from Kewaunee on the morning of August 12, 1976, struck rocks at the entrance to the Ludington harbor. She suffered severe damage to about 120 feet of her bottom plating. She was taken to Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay on August 18th for repairs. There were no injuries as a result of this incident.

The TOM M GIRDLER was christened August 12, 1951, she was the first of the C-4 conversions.

The b.) MAUNALOA II (Hull#37) was launched August 12, 1899 at Chicago, Illinois by Chicago Shipbuilding Co. for Minnesota Steamship Co. as a.) MAUNALOA.

The WILLIAM E COREY sailed from Chicago on her maiden voyage August 12, 1905 bound for Duluth, Minnesota to load iron ore.  She later became b.) RIDGETOWN in 1963.  Used as a breakwater in Port Credit, Ontario in 1974.

On 12 August 1882, FLORIDA (3-mast wooden schooner, 352 tons, built in 1875 at Batiscan, Ontario) was carrying 662 tons of coal from Black River to Toronto when she sprang a leak and sank 12 miles from Port Maitland, Ontario. She hailed from Quebec and was constructed mostly of pine and tamarack.  

August 13
On 13 August 1869, just above the Fort Gratiot Light on Lake Huron, the Green Bay & Buffalo Line’s COMET (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 181 foot, 621 gross tons, built in 1857 at Cleveland, Ohio) collided with the SILVER SPRAY (wooden side-wheel passenger-package freight steamer, 134 foot, 401 gross tons, built in 1864 at Port Dalhousie, Ontario).  SILVER SPRAY sank in deep water and her crew  and 50 passengers were taken aboard COMET which sustained minimal damage.  There were no injuries and no lives lost.  SILVER SPRAY was recovered and lasted until 1878 when she burned while being prepared for the coming season.

Operated by a crew of retired Hanna captains, chief engineers and executives, the GEORGE M HUMPHREY departed River Rouge’s Nicholson Slip under her own power on August 13, 1986 for Lauzon, Quebec.  The GEORGE M HUMPHREY cleared Lauzon September 3rd with the former Hanna steamer PAUL H CARNAHAN in tow of the Dutch tug SMIT LLOYD 109. The tow locked through the Panama Canal, September 27th through 30th, and arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan December 10, 1986 completing a trip of over 14,000 miles. The HUMPHREY was scrapped in 1987 by Shiong Yek Steel Corp.

On 13 August 1899, H G CLEVELAND (wooden schooner, 137 foot 264 tons, built in 1867 at Black River, Ohio) sank with a full load of limestone, 7 miles from the Cleveland harbor entrance.

August 13, 1980 - The ARTHUR K ATKINSON returned to service after repairing a broken crankshaft suffered in 1973. She brought 18 railcars from Manitowoc, Wisconsin to Frankfort, Michigan.

The 272 foot 1740 gross ton, wooden propeller freighter SITKA was launched by F. W. Wheeler (Hull # 32) at West Bay City, Michigan on 13 August 1887.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze, 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



Sailboat, Cargo Ship Collide Near Quebec City


Provincial police divers found the body of a man in the St. Lawrence River and were searching for another after a sailboat collided with the cargo ship Canada Senator and sank early Wednesday.

Police spokeswoman Ann Mathieu said divers had located the sailboat's hull and were continuing their search in a narrow channel near Quebec City. Investigators believe the sailboat captain may have been asleep or incapacitated prior to the collision, which occurred just before 6 a.m. in the pre-dawn darkness.

"It's possible that the person at the helm (of the sailboat) was asleep or had fallen ill," said Mathieu.

Two people, a man and a woman, were rescued from the St. Lawrence River by the Coast Guard when they were found hanging on to debris from their boat, police said. They were taken to hospital and treated for shock.

Mathieu said two witnesses who were onshore at the time of the collision told police the sailboat was moving erratically in the water prior to impact. "They told us the sailboat had been sailing around in circles for some time," she said. "The commercial vessel made warning sounds to indicate its presence, without success, and the collision took place."

The Canada Senator had earlier set out from Montreal and was apparently on its way to Italy.

Reported by: Jason Leslie, Canadian Press



St. Lawrence Seaway Traffic Up for First Half of 2004


According to a report issued Wednesday by the St Lawrence Seaway Authority, 1,884 vessels had transited the Seaway up to July 31, compared to 1,621 last year. The figures represent combined transit of the Welland Canal and the Montreal to Lake Ontario section.

Total cargo carried for the period this year (in thousands of tones) is 18,984, compared to 17,040 last year.

Reported by: St. Lawrence Seaway Authority



Great Lakes Levels Rise 14 Inches From Last Year


Lake Huron water levels are reaching their seasonal peak and are up 14 inches from a year ago.

 The 14-inch climb is the largest on the Great Lakes, and bodes well for the near future, forecasters say. Lakes Michigan and Huron are considered one lake by forecasters.

The latest U.S. Army Corps of Engineers forecast says all five Great Lakes are up since July 2003. Lakes Erie and Superior are up 5 inches, and Lake Ontario is up 2 inches.

The 14-inch rise on Lakes Michigan-Huron is still 9 inches below average for this time of year, but 2 feet above a low point in 1964, the corps says. Lake Erie is at its long-term monthly average, and Lake Ontario is 2 inches above average.

Cynthia E. Sellinger, a hydrologist at the Great Lakes Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, said the 14-inch increase on Lake Huron is significant because it was driven by heavy rain in May.

"What normally raises water levels is in the spring, when we have really nice spring runoff from snow melt," Sellinger said. But the spring runoff was below average this year, she said. The bay area saw 8 inches of rain in May.

Sellinger said boaters should enjoy the water while they can, because Lake Huron will begin its seasonal decline in coming months.

A six-month forecast shows a drop of 6 to 8 inches, Sellinger said. Still, the lake will likely remain about 14 inches above what it was last winter, she said.

Sellinger said it's too early to say if Lake Huron will keep edging up in coming years. Forecasters are able to accurately predict only six months of levels now. She said lake levels started declining in 1998 and reached their low point in 2003, but that doesn't mean the lakes are on a five-year cycle.

She said one good sign is that Lake Superior has risen 5 inches from a year ago and is projected to increase another inch by next month. "Michigan and Huron receive water from Lake Superior, so if Superior is higher, it's good for lakes Michigan and Huron," she said.

Reported by: Jason Leslie, The Saginaw News



Port Report



Reported by Andy LaBorde
Saturday, August 7 was an unusually busy day in the port of Milwaukee. The Canadian Navigator had previously arrived on Thursday to load corn. The G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity departed around noon allowing the Algosteel to  complete their unload of salt. (Both vessels share part of the same dock.) Once unloaded the Algosteel shifted to slip #1 in the outter harbor to take on a load  of sand.

The real surprise occurred later in the afternoon when the Joseph H. Frantz arrived. They took their place at the Nidera elevator once the Navigator departed. The Frantz, in Columbia colors, has made infrequent visits to  Milwaukee in the past with stone but a Kinsman boat in Milwaukee is a rare site.  The Frantz loaded corn for Port Stanley, Ont.

Canadian Navigator at the Nideria Elevator
A sign of the times
The Joe Frantz backs into the inner mooring basin
Frantz at the Nidera elevator Sunday morning


Reported by Brian Wroblewski
Herbert C. Jackson is downbound for Buffalo, with a tentative ETA of Friday night.
The Joseph H. Frantz is heading to Port Stanley to load grain and should be in Buffalo over the weekend.

Green Bay

Reported by Wendell Wilke/Tim Kroeff
The James Norris was unloading at the Fox River Dock on Wednesday. This  is the first time she has ever been in the port. The Richard Reiss was due in Wedensday night.


Reported by Kent Malo
The Sarnia, Ont.-based tug Menasha was spotted this week in the Port of Montreal Sec. 56 East, secured to a barge who's previous owners allegedly went into receivership. Menasha was suppose to leave Wednesday with the barge. Her final destination is unknown at the moment.

Menasha at Montreal. Note the bow of the Windoc in the background



Algofax Sold For Scrapping In India


The weekly newsletter of Optima Shipbrokers reveals that Algoma Tankers’ 1969-built Algofax has been sold for scrapping in India. Laid up at Halifax, she was sold on an “as is” basis for $250 (US) per ton. Before joining the Algoma fleet, she sailed for Imperial Oil as Imperial Bedford.

During a rare visit to the upper lakes in June the vessel suffered serious mechanical difficulties and it was widely rumored at the time her career was at an end.

Algofax in the Detroit River on June 18 (Photo by Mike Nicholls)

Reported by: Brian Bernard



Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

August 9
On 09 August 1910, the Eastland Navigation Company placed a half-page advertisement in both the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Cleveland Leader offering $5,000 to anyone who could substantiate rumors that the excursion steamer EASTLAND was unsafe.  No one claimed the reward.

August 10
On 10 August 1890, TWO FANNIES (3-mast wooden bark, 152 foot, 492 gross tons, built in 1862 at Peshtigo, Wisconsin) was carrying 800 tons of iron ore on Lake Erie when a seam opened in rough weather.  The crew kept at the pumps but to no avail.  They all made it off of the vessel into the yawl just as the bark sank north of Bay Village Ohio.  The CITY OF DETROIT tried to rescue the crew but the weather made the rescue attempt too dangerous and only two men were able to get to the steamer.  The tug JAMES AMADEUS came out and got the rest of the crew, including the ship’s cat which was with them in the yawl.

On August 10, 1952, the ARTHUR M ANDERSON entered service for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. Exactly fourteen years later, on August 10, 1966, the vessel's namesake, Arthur Marvin Anderson, passed away.

In 1969 the EDMUND FITZGERALD set the last of many cargo records it set during the 1960s. The FITZGERALD loaded 27,402 gross tons of taconite pellets at Silver Bay on this date. This record was broken by the FITZGERALD's sister ship, the ARTHUR B HOMER, during the 1970 shipping season.

On 10 August 1937, BH BECKER (steel tug, 19 tons, built in 1932 at Marine City, Michigan) foundered in heavy seas, 9 miles north of Oscoda, Michigan.

In 1906, JOHN H PAULEY (formerly THOMPSON KINSFORD, wooden propeller steam barge, 116 foot, 185 gross tons, built in 1880 at Oswego, New York) caught fire at Marine City, Michigan. Her lines were burned through and she then drifted three miles down the St. Clair River before beaching near Port Lambton, Ontario and burning out.

On 10 August 1922, ANNIE LAURA (wooden propeller sandsucker, 133 foot, 244 gross tons, built in 1871 at Marine City, Michigan) beached near Algonac, Michigan, caught fire and burned to the waterline. 

August 11
On 11 August 1899, the SIMON LANGELL (wooden propeller freighter, 195 foot, 845 gross tons, built in 1886 at St. Clair, Michigan) was towing the wooden schooner W K MOORE off Lakeport, Michigan on Lake Huron when they were struck by a squall.  The schooner was thrown over on her beam ends and filled with water.  The local Life Saving crew went to the rescue and took off two women passengers from the stricken vessel.  The MOORE was the towed to Port Huron, Michigan by the tug HAYNES and placed in dry dock for inspection and repairs.

The night of August 11, 2001 the WINDOC was damaged and caught fire when the Allenburg Bridge was lowered onto the vessel. The accident stopped traffic in the canal until August 13. The WINDOC was later towed to Hamilton, Ontario to await her fate.

The H M GRIFFITH was the first self-unloader to unload grain at Robin Hood's new hopper unloading facility at Port Colborne, Ontario on August 11, 1987.

On August 11, 1977 the THOMAS W LAMONT was the first vessel to take on fuel at Shell's new fuel dock at Corunna, Ontario The dock's fueling rate was 60 to 70,000 gallons per hour and was built to accommodate one-thousand footers.

Opening ceremonies for the METEOR (2) museum ship were held on August 11, 1973 with the President of Cleveland Tankers present whose company had donated the ship. This historically unique ship was enshrined into the National Maritime Hall of Fame.

The T W ROBINSON departed Quebec City on August 11, 1987 along with 265808 (former BENSON FORD (2) in tow of the Polish tug JANTAR bound for Recife, Brazil where they arrived on September 22, 1987. Scrapping began the next month.

On 11 August 1862, B F BRUCE (wooden propeller passenger steamer, 110 foot, 169 tons, built in 1852 at Buffalo, New York as a tug) was carrying staves when she caught fire a few miles off Port Stanley, Ontario in Lake Erie. She was run to the beach, where she burned to a total loss with no loss of life. Arson was suspected. She had been rebuilt from a tug to this small passenger steamer the winter before her loss.

On 11 August 1908, TITANIA (iron propeller packet/tug/yacht, 98 foot, 73 gross tons, built in 1875 at Buffalo, New York) was rammed and sunk by the Canadian sidewheeler KINGSTON near the harbor entrance at Charlotte, New York on Lake Ontario. All 26 on board were rescued.

The wooden scow-schooner SCOTTISH CHIEF had been battling a storm on Lake Michigan since Tuesday, 8 August 1871. By late afternoon of Friday, 11 August 1871, she was waterlogged. The galley was flooded and the food ruined. The crew stayed with the vessel until that night when they left in the lifeboat. They arrived in Chicago on Sunday morning, 13 August.

Data from: Father Dowling Collection, Joe Barr, David Swayze, 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



102-Year-Old Columbia Moved to Drydock at Detroit


Monday morning, Gaelic Tugboat Company tugs moved the former Bob-Lo boat Columbia from its resting place at the U.S.S. dock in River Rouge.  The tugs Patricia Hoey and Carolyn Hoey, under the command of Rich Sibbersen and Dave Jones, carefully eased the vessel about 1,000 feet from the U.S.S. dock to the Nicholson Drydock.  The Columbia will enter the drydock on Tuesday for inspection.

There is no word whether ownership of the vessel has been been transferred to a new party, or what her future may be after drydocking.

Reported by: Capt. William Hoey

Columbia under tow to the drydock
another view
another view
another view



Boatnerd Gathering in Rogers City Sept. 24-25


Rogers City, Mich., will host its first-ever Boatnerd Gathering Sept. 24-25. Included will be a rare opportunity to tour the Michigan Limestone Calcite plant.

The gathering also includes a slide show and a presentation by marine artist Robert McGreevy ( on Friday night, followed by a slide show (those attending should bring a tray of their best slides).

This gathering is co-sponsored by the Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum (, which will be open for tours. The Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum is a unique collection of artifacts and memorials honoring the men and women who sailed the Great Lakes.

For more information, visit, click on the What’s New button, and scoll down to the Boatnerd Gatherings icon.

Reported by: Dave Wobser


Port Report



Reported by Ben and Chanda McClain
The J.A.W Iglehart arrived at Lafarge in the early morning hours on Sunday to load cement for Muskegon. The Alpena was in port Saturday morning taking on cargo bound for Superior, Wis.

Paul H. Townsend went to temporary lay-up in Muskegon this past week.    

The G.L Ostrander / barge Integrity has been delivering to ports on Lake Michigan such as Waukegan, South Chicago and St. Joseph. The Sam Laud unloaded at the coal dock at Lafarge around 8 p.m. last Thursday.

Sunday and Monday saw tug/ barge combos loading at Stoneport such as the McKee Sons, Pathfinder and Great Lakes Trader.

On Sunday the Halifax and Philip R. Clarke were loading at Calcite.

Philip R. Clarke, bow view
Halifax and Clarke, elevated view
Halifax and Clarke, elevated view (second shot)
Halifax at Calcite
Halifax and Clarke, stern shot



Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

Aug, 1-8

August 1
On 01 August 1862, UNION (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 163’, 434 t, built in 1861 at Manitowoc, WI) was sold by the Goodrich Line to James H. Mead and J. F. Kirkland for $28,000.  This was $9,000 more than Goodrich had paid to have the vessel built just the previous year.

August 2
On the morning of 02 August 1869, Deputy U. S. Marshall Insley sold at auction the scow AGNES HEAD to pay for debts incurred when she was repaired that Spring by Mr. Muir and Mr. Stewart.  Bidding started at $500 and ran very lively.  Mr. John Stewart of Detroit purchased the vessel for $1,050.

August 3 (no report submitted)

August 4

On the clear, almost perfect night of 04 August 1902, the SEGUIN (steel propeller freighter, 207’ 818 gt, built in 1890 at Owen Sound, Ont.) collided with the CITY OF VENICE (wooden propeller freighter, 301’, 2108 gt, built in 1892 at W. Bay City, MI) abreast of Rondeau, Ontario on Lake Erie.  The CITY OF VENICE, which was loaded with iron ore, sank and three of her crew were drowned.  The U. S. Marshall impounded the SEGUIN for damages.

August 5
On 05 August 1958, the tug GARY D. (steel propeller tug, 18 tons) was destroyed by an explosion and fire near Strawberry Island Light on Lake Huron.

August 6

Early in the morning of 06 August 1899, the WILLIAM B. MORLEY (steel propeller freighter, 277’, 1846 gt, built in 1888 at Marine City, MI) and the LANSDOWNE (iron side-wheel carferry, 294’, 1571 gt, built in 1884 at Wyandotte, MI) collided head on in the Detroit River.  Both vessels sank.  The LANSDOWNE settled on the bottom in her slip at Windsor, Ontario and was raised four days later and repaired.  The MORLEY was also repaired and lasted until 1918 when she stranded on Lake Superior.

August 7
On 07 August 1890, the schooner CHARGER (wooden schooner, 136’, 277 gt, built in 1868 at Sodus, NY) was struck by the CITY OF CLEVELAND (wooden propeller freighter, 255’, 1528 gt, built in 1882 at Cleveland, OH) near Bar Point near the mouth of the Detroit River on Lake Erie.  The schooner sank, but her crew was saved.

August 8
On 08 August 1878, the BUFFALO (wooden propeller package freighter, 258’, 1762 gt) was launched at the yard of Thomas Quayle & Sons in Cleveland, Ohio for the Western Transportation Company.  Her engine was a double Berry & Laig compound engine constructed by the Globe Iron Works in Buffalo, NY.  She lasted until 1911 when she was abandoned at Marine City, Michigan.


Leitch Arrives At Port Weller For Repairs


The Gordon C. Leitch, which grounded last week in the St. Lawrence Seaway, arrived at Port Weller Drydocks for inspection and repair on Sunday. The photos were taken by Lock 1.

Linesman swings out to tie up ship
Swinging in the rear of vessel

Reported by: Alex Howard


Mechanical Trouble Scuttles Molinari Delivery Trip


Saturday afternoon the new Staten Island Ferry Guy V. Molinari departed the Marinette Marine Co. Dock at 3:35 p.m. local time on what was to be her delivery trip to New York City. However not long after departing the mouth of the Menominee River the Molinari developed some type of mechanical trouble. The Molinari's crew tried to correct the problem but was unable to and by 10:30 p.m. the decision was made that Sunday morning the Molinari would have to return to the shipyard for repairs.

Early Sunday morning, the tugs Erika Kobasic and Escort assisted the Molinari back to Marinette Marine. The Molinari advised the tugs of a tentative Tuesday departure date. The Molinari's delivery to New York has already been delayed several times due to various problems.

By 9 a.m. Sunday, the Erika Kobasic departed for Escanaba, MI with her barge BMI-105 that was used Saturday evening for the Menominee Waterfront Festival Fireworks display.

Reported by: Scott Best

Heading up river having just departed Marinette Marine Dock.
Old meets new as Molinari approaches Viking 1 at K&K Warehousing.
Approaching Ogden St. Bridge
Close up with Erika Kobasic on the stern.
Through the bridge passing Pere Marquette unloading at MF&D.
Past the lighthouse turning on the power.


Capt. Harvey C. Almstedt Passes Away


Capt. Harvey C. Almstedt, 92, of Brownsville, Texas, and South Range, Wis., died July 31 in Superior, Wis.

Capt. Almstedt was a highly respected master for the Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Co., commanding the Joliet, William G. Mather and Cliffs Victory. He retired as master of the fleet's flagship, Edward B. Greene.

Among his sailing exploits, Capt. Almstedt was credited with rescuing two sailors from a dismasted sailboat and rescuing a couple whose houseboat had become disabled on Lake Erie.

According to his obituary, Capt. Almstedt was recognized as the first master in the Cliffs fleet to use a bowthruster to maneuver his vessel up the Cuyahoga River

Reported by: Al Miller



Saginaw Shipping Threatened by Silt


If dredging does not take place in the silt-clogged Saginaw River, some Great Lakes shippers and dock owners are estimating that, depending on lake level and weather conditions, the waterway likely will cease as a port in less than five years.

"There is a clear sense of urgency for this project," said JoAnn Crary, president of Saginaw Future Inc., Saginaw County's economic development organization, told the Saginaw News recently. "Dock owners are coping with the increasingly shallow navigation channel by limiting their shipments to smaller freighters and barges, utilizing only a portion of their capacity."

That is costing the Saginaw Valley businesses – and those within a 250-mile radius of the river – money. Sooner or later, residents also will have to dig deeper into their pockets to get a new concrete driveway, fertilize their crops or put sugar in their coffee.

Saginaw River shipping facts to consider include:

Eighteen businesses, contributing more than $388,000 in yearly property tax revenue, use Saginaw River docks for worldwide importing and exporting of goods. There are 280 jobs directly associated with the upper Saginaw River.

At least five companies will add jobs – a total of 49 – over the next two to five years if a dredging agreement is put in place.

"The upper river channel, for the last five years, hasn't had any maintenance, increasing the amount of sediment," said John Glynn, vice president of Wirt Stone Dock.

"Right now, we've been coming in at 20 foot and 20.6 inches (the distance from the water level to the bottom of the ship) and pushing mud all the way," he said. "Here's the problem that we have. The vessels currently plying the Great Lakes are of a size that require 22-foot (river depth) to economically operate. If the depth is not there in the channel, if they've got to lighten up the loads too much, the market will switch to somewhere else."

For now the river sediment remains loose, but "the other problems is that there are areas that are starting to harden," Glynn said. "This impacts us by virtue that we bring in less tonnage per cargo because we can't put volume on the boat. If you bring in fewer tons, it costs more per ton, which in the end gets passed on to the consumer."

"I can't imagine how many hundreds of tons of material that we use comes off the docks," said James N. Lehman, engineer-manager of the Saginaw County Road Commission. "Losing the docks would be a loss to the community."

By trucking in a product, "you're beating up the highways that you want to preserve getting the material you need to repair them," he said.

A clear shipping channel could open up new markets for agricultural businesses on the river, said Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association, based in Lansing.

Grain elevators along the river last loaded freight for overseas in 1993 onto a Lithuanian ship, he said. Because large steamers cannot carry a full load out of the river, it's not economical.

"What a great thing if we could resume shipping," Byrum said. "If the river was dredged, I guarantee they would take advantage of it."

Reported by: The Saginaw News,



Port Report



Reported by Lee Rowe
The Herbert C. Jackson brought coal to Marquette's Shiras dock on Wednesday, then moved to the ore dock on a bright and sunny Thursday.

The Charles M. Beeghly came to Marquette Saturday for a load of ore. While loading there appeared to be some problem with the winches as she pulled away from the dock briefly. The Paul R. Tregurtha brought aload of coal.

Charles M. Beeghly away from dock
Beeghly backing out
Paul R. Tregurtha with a boatwatcher.



Reported by Charlie Gibbons
Canadian Provider remains in lay-up. The ferry Windmill Point is sitting in slings under the Atlas crane at Pier 35. Algoisle came in Friday with sugar for Redpath.

The fire tug Wm. Lyon Mackenzie, police units and C. & C. Marine's tug Patrica D. 1 responded to a sinking 32-foor Chris Craft at Pier 4 Marine Saturday morning. The vessel was owned by Pier 4 dockmaster Helmut Dressler who was sleeping on the boat at the time with his Great Dane "Tiger,” Sadly, Tiger drowned. He was a habor fixture.

The tugs Kenteau and Diver III have been shuffling Priestly demolition dump trucks to and from Muggs Island on the spud barge Y & F No. 1. They are still cleaning up the mess left by the Island Yacht Club fire last month.



Reported by Brian Wroblewski
Richard Reiss returned to Buffalo at 9 Sunday  morning for the first time since her days with Erie Sand Steamship. She went up the City Ship Canal for the first time in  many years to unload a cargo of sand from Breveport at the Sand Supply Landing. The ship spent the morning unloading at the lower apron before shifting Southward to finish off her cargo at the extreme end of navigation on the City Ship Canal above the dryer building. She backed out and departed at 6 p.m.



Reported by Todd Shorkey

Wednesday was an active day on the Saginaw River with five vessels calling on various docks along its banks, all being tug/barge combos.  The tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge were outbound from the Triple Clean Liquifuels dock in Essexville early in the morning hours.
The tug Joe Thompson, Jr. and barge Joseph H. Thompson were also outbound from the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw after unloading overnight.  
The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader were inbound Wednesday morning stopping briefly at the Bay City Wirt dock to allow the downbound Thompson to pass.  Once clear, the pair continued upriver to the Burroughs dock where they unloaded.  The VanEnkevort & Trader were outbound for the lake late in the evening.
The tug Donald C. Hannah and her barge unloaded Wednesday afternoon at the Dow Chemical dock in Bangor Township.  They were outbound early Thursday.
Finally, the tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons called on the Essexville Sand & Stone dock to unload.  She had a problem with the current in the river while trying to make the dock, swinging her stern out into the river.  The tug Donald C. Hannah, which was almost directly across the river at Dow Chemical, uncoupled from her barge and assisted in pushing the pair back to the dock.
Friday saw both the J.A.W. Iglehart and the tug Invincible & barge McKee Sons bringing cargos to the river.  The Iglehart went up to the LaFarge Terminal in Carrollton to unload.  She was outbound Saturday morning.  
The Invincilbe/McKee Sons also unloaded on Friday, but it is not known where.  It was most likely the Bay City & Saginaw Wirt Docks.  She was also outbound Saturday morning.



Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Halifax Aground In St. Clair River


9 p.m. Update:: The tug Wyoming freed the Halifax Friday night. She is unloading at the stone dock on the mainland near Fawn Island and will proceed to Sarnia for inspection.

Original Report: Sarnia Traffic reported late Friday afternoon that the Canada Steamship Lines' self-unloader  Halifax was aground at Fawn Island in the St. Clair River. Two unidentified tugs were enroute to assist. The Halifax was downbound at the time of the grounding. No other details were immediately available.

Fawn Island is located just south of the Marine City, Mich.-Sombra, Ont. ferry docks.


Horizon Freed After Containers Offloaded


The saltwater container ship Horizon, which had been stranded near Ste. Anne-de-Sorel since July 24 as a result of grounding, was freed Wednesday by the concerted efforts of six tugs at about 1500 hours. The ship was then towed to a Sorel anchorage for a hull inspection and if her hull is sound, she will then proceed to Sorel berth 19 to retrieve her containers which had been offloaded during the salvage operations to lighten ship.

Reported by: Marc Piché, André Guévremeont, Kent Malo



Wallaceburg Busy Port This Weekend


The 16th annual WAMBO (Wallaceburg Antique Motor & Boat Outing) will take place Saturday in this historic port. The Sydenham River downtown dockages where freighters once tied up will see antique boats of all descriptions. On land will be hundreds of antique autos, trucks, firetrucks and motorcycles with vintage airplanes flying overhead during the afternoon.

The Detroit-based Diamond Belle excursion vessel which arrived at WAMBO in previous years will not be coming, however the Hammond Bay, popular St.Clair River excursion vessel, will arrive with passengers. Admission is free with additional events, including lawn tractor races held on Sunday.

Wallaceburg (Ontario) in south-western Ontario was known for years as Canada's Inland Deep Water Port.

Reported by: Alan Mann



Spirit of Ontario 1 Offers Half-off Special


If you haven't taken a trip on the fast ferry yet, you can travel at a bargain price this month. CATS is offering a special promotion throughout the month of August.

You can get a ticket for half price if you travel on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Children age 17 and younger travel free on those days.

Reservations can only be booked through The Breeze website or travel agents.

The promotion ends August 31.

Reported by: Michael Melich


More Fast Ferries In Lake Michigan’s Future?


Owners of Lake Express LLC, which started cross-lake ferry service between Muskegon and Milwaukee this summer with the Lake Express, are thinking about when and where they will add ships and routes to their new business.

John Waggoner, president and CEO of Hornblower Marine Services predicts that within three years passenger demand on the Muskegon-Milwaukee route will warrant a second ship.

Of the six routes across the nation where Hornblower has started ferry operations, Muskegon-to-Milwaukee by far had the most reservations at the time of the maiden voyage, Waggoner told the Muskegon Chronicle recently.

He said the factors that make the route so desirable are the population centers of West Michigan and Milwaukee, the connection of I-96 in Michigan and I-94 in Wisconsin and the time saved and convenience of not driving through Chicago.

"This is the future," Waggoner said of high-speed ferry transportation. "There is 20 years of growth in this industry segment. The Great Lakes will be a hub of ferry activity."

Reported by: Jason Leslie, Muskegon Chronicle


Air Show Deck Party Benefits Mather Museum


You simply cannot have a more exciting view of the Cleveland National Air Show than from the deck of the Steamship William G. Mather Museum moored at  the East Ninth Street Pier.

Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 4-6 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., the Mather's annual Air Show Deck Party literally takes you as close to the flying planes as legally possible. Parts of the deck have to be off-limits during certain parts of the Air Show because they’re right in line with the flight path of  the performing jets. You can see the pilots fly by and hear commentary from onboard aviation historians broadcasting from the Mather’s Texas Deck.

This is a special event benefiting the Mather‚s education and restoration programs. Pre-sale tickets for members and volunteers are $12.  Public tickets and any remaining tickets the day of the show are $15. Food and beverages will be. See the Air Show schedule at

Call 216-574-9053 to reserve tickets with a Visa or Mastercard.

Reported by: Rob Catalano, William G. Mather Museum



New Photo Gallery On-Line at


In order to strengthen the focus of the News page, we have started a separate Photo Gallery to display many of the non-news photos which are sent to us.  We will let readers know whenever the Photo Gallery is updated on the News page. Our thanks to George Wharton, who has volunteered to take on this task.

Photo Gallery

Contributions may be sent to Please follow the guidelines listed there for submitting photos. Following the guidelines helps guarantee that your pictures appear in a timely fashion and that you get proper credit for them. Photos that are not properly submitted may not be used.


Gordon C. Leitch Heads for Quebec City


The tugs Ocean Intrepide and the Ocean Jupiter successfully refloated the stranded Gordon C. Leitch Tuesday night. The vessel ran aground earlier in the day just above the Cote St. Catherine lock.

After inspection, she was found to have a two-foot gash in her hull. Temporary repairs were underway on Wednesday and the Leitch got underway Wednesday evening at roughly 2045. Her destination is still Quebec City where she will unload her cargo of wheat.

The grounding was reportedly caused by a power failure. 

Ocean Intrepide and Ocean Jupiter on their way to free the grounded Leitch
Ocean Intrepide, stern view
Ocean Jupiter
Diver's suit hangs out to dry
Bow view Gordon C. Leitch at Cote Ste. Catherine wharf

Reported by: Kent Malo


HMS Bounty Bound for Marquette


The HMS Bounty, a replica of the British naval vessel whose crew mutinied in 1788, will make a visit to Marquette to coincide with the Seafood Festival Aug. 27-29. She will be open for tours on Friday, noon to 8 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Mattson Park in Marquette's lower harbor. This is a fund-raiser for the Marquette Maritime Museum, and is also sponsored by the Marquette County History Museum, Marquette Country Visitors and Convention Bureau, Lake Superior Community Partnership Tourism Committee, City of Marquette, and NMU History Department. Tickets will be sold for the tours which will be conducted by the crew. The charge will be $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Gordon C. Leitch Aground in Seaway

The Gordon C. Leitch was released at 2200 Tuesday and towed to Cote Ste. Catherine wharf for inspection. TV reports in the area say the grounding may have been due to loss of engine power.


Information recieved late Tuesday indicate that the tugs Ocean Jupiter and Ocean Intrepide were en route to St. Nicholas Island just above Cote St. Catherine Lock to assist the Gordon C. Leitch, which is aground. She is bound for Quebec City with wheat from Thunder Bay..

Reported by: Kent Malo


Spirit of Ontario Searched After Bomb Threat


The Spirit of Ontario was shut down for more than a hour Sunday after theU.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection ordered a security sweep of the high-speed ferry and a bomb threat was discovered.

The threat was a note found on the ship by a ferry worker, and it turned out to be a hoax, customs spokeswoman Janet Rapaport told the Rochester Democrat-Chronicle on Monday. Local customs officials ordered the detailed inspection of the vessel after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Sunday raised the nation's terrorism alert level in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Newark, N.J.

The alert wasn't increased across the country, but customs decided to conduct the sweep here anyway, Rapaport said. The inspection took place while the ship was docked at the Port of Rochester and before the 4 p.m. voyage to Toronto. The trip was delayed about an hour and a half.

Reported by: Rochester Democrat-Chronicle, Jason Leslie



Work Continues on Grounded Horizon


The grounded salty Horizon has been offloaded of some containers to try and lighten her so the six tugs can pull her free, as of 0700 Aug. 3, tugs were trying with no success.

On July 29, it was reported that the vessel went aground after losing power. Apparently that was not the case, and the cause of the incident remains unknown.

Reported by: Kent Malo, Marc Piche

Photos by St. Lawrence  River pilot Claude Marcil, who was on board the Stena Foreteller as she sailed by the stranded Horizon near Sorel. They depict the unloading of boxes from the stern holds by the Seaway floating crane Hercules onto barges to lighten the ship. The tugs in attendance are the Sorel-based Ocean Hercule and Ocean Golf. These photos were provided to Marc Piche by Sorel resident André Guévremont.

Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4
Photo 5



New Photo Gallery On-Line at


In order to strengthen the focus of the News page, we have started a separate Photo Gallery to display many of the non-news photos which are sent to us.  We will let readers know whenever the Photo Gallery is updated on the News page. Our thanks to George Wharton, who has volunteered to take on this task.

Today's gallery

Contributions may be sent to Please follow the guidelines listed there for submitting photos. Following the guidelines helps guarantee that your pictures appear in a timely fashion and that you get proper credit for them. Photos that are not properly submitted may not be used.


Plans Move Ahead for Oglebay Norton Reorganization


Oglebay Norton Co. has gotten conditional approval from a bankruptcy court in Delaware to seek creditors' endorsement of its reorganization plan.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Joel Rosenthal said last week that Oglebay must add information to its disclosure statement - its plan for reorganization - before he'll OK sending the plan to creditors for a vote.

The judge said he wants more information on purchase offers for Oglebay assets.

The leader of an association of sailors trying to buy Oglebay's marine services division cheered the development. The employees hope to execute an employee stock ownership buyout of the marine unit once the company emerges from bankruptcy when it could be contemplating the sale of assets to raise money to pay down debt.

"We look forward to continuing our negotiations toward purchase of the fleet to help restore this great company to financial health," First Mate Robert Woodman said in a call from the David Z. Norton just after it cleared the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

Rosenthal set a Sept. 29 hearing to consider final approval of Oglebay's reorganization. The 150-year-old minerals, mining and shipping company expects to emerge from bankruptcy largely intact on Oct. 25.

The plan calls for:
Holders of $104 million in debt would receive 100 percent of their claims.
Unsecured creditors with claims of $26.9 million would get 100 percent.
Payment for the claim of Michigan Limestone Operations has not been finalized.
Holders of $105.6 million in senior subordinated notes would get 2.9 million shares of the reorganized company, an estimated recovery of 24 cents on the dollar.

Current shareholders would receive warrants to buy almost 524,000 shares in the reorganized company. Existing company stock would be canceled.

Oglebay filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February after rapidly diversifying in a bid to ease dependence on the iron ore and steel industries. It listed $561.2 million in debt in its bankruptcy filing.

Reported by: The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Jason Leslie



Algoma Steel Workers Agree On Wage Increase


About 3,000 workers at Algoma Steel have ratified new three-year labor contracts with the northern Ontario steelmaker, the United Steelworkers union said late last week in a Canadian Press story.

The unionized workers, 2,500 members of Steelworkers locals 2251 and another 500 at local 2724, voted yes to a settlement reached earlier that week with Algoma that sets out wage increases totalling seven per cent, along with cost of living adjustments and $10,000 in advance profit sharing.

Workers will also be able to access renewed pension windows and will enjoy better pensions once they do retire, the Steelworkers said.

The company emerged from bankruptcy protection in early 2002. But a hot steel market has Algoma (TSX: AGA) anticipating operating profits in the $350-million range this year.

Reported by: Canadian Press


Port Report



Reported by: Lee Rowe
Earl W. Oglebay made a rare trip to Marquette's Shiras dock on Saturday with a load of stone. She then moved to the ore dock.

Earl W. Oglebay unloading stone
Another view

Saginaw River

Reported by Todd Shorkey
Algorail was inbound late Tuesday night, bound to the Sargent Dock in Zilwaukee to unload.  She was back outbound Wednesday morning passing through Bay City around 10 a.m.

The Paul H. Townsend arrived at the LaFarge Terminal in Carrollton early Thursday morning to unload cement.  She turned and was outbound for the lake passing through Bay City around 9 p.m. Thursday night.
The Algoway was inbound the Saginaw River Friday morning headed to the upper river to unload at the Sargent Dock.  She finished by mid-evening and proceeded to turn in the Sixth Street basin before heading downbound for the lake.  The Algoway called on the Sargent Dock again on Sunday morning, arriving at the dock around 11 a.m., and departing early Sunday evening heading outboud for the lake.
The Canadian Transfer was inbound late Sunday evening passing the Pump-Out Island around 11:45 p.m.  Her security call indicated she was headed up to the Sargent Dock in Zilwaukee.
Algorail downbound at Cass Ave. in Bay City
Stern view
Algoway upbound at Veteran's Park in Saginaw
Stern view
Oswego, NY

Photo by Eric R. Bechtold
Thalassa Desgagnes entering the Port of Oswego, N.Y. on Tuesday, July 27, 5:30 p.m.


Manitoulin Island

Reported by Wendell Wilke
The new fish tug The Purvis was delivered to Purvis Brothers Fisheries, Burnt Island, Manitoulin Island, Ont. on June 12th. She was built at Wheatley and named after their first boat, built in 1887 at Detroit Dry Dock Co. (where Henry Ford worked). This new The Purvis is 75'x24', 500hp and built of steel. She was ordered to replace their present Chas R., which has been in service since the 1960s. Once totally refitted at the dock, she will operate out of South Baymouth.

The Purvis at her Burnt Island dock 7/14/2004 (Photo by Wendell Wilke)

Also at Southampton, Ont., the fish tug Emerald L. is being rebuilt into a tow tug by Willy's Towing and Fisheries. As of 7/12/2004 she was up on the dock being reconstructed. She is the former Lake Michigan fish tug Pride out of Racine, Wis.



Reported by Stephen Ash
On Monday, Aug. 2, the Agawa Canyon was in Goderich, Ont., loading salt.

View from front of ship
View from back of ship
Distance shot shows the Sifto Salt operation at Goderich, with the tug Annie M. Dean in the foreground
Storage vessels Willowglen and Teakglen sit in the graveyard beside the Goderich Grain Elevators


St. Clair River

Reported by Frank Frisk
New USCG station Port Huron
Border Patrol chopper checks out cruise liner Orion recently
Helicopter above Herbert C. Jackson


Efforts Continue to Release Stuck Horizon


The St. Lawrence Seaway mobile crane Hercules was busy off-loading containers from the stranded vessel Horizon at Sorel on Sunday. The Horizon went aground a week ago Saturday at 4 a.m.

Meanwhile, the  Stena Foreteller RO/RO vessel was upbound Sunday at Vercheres, Quebec with Montreal as its destination. The Stena Foreteller, registered in Sweden, departed St. John's, Newfoundland July 30. Stena Foreteller is replacing the Oceanex vessel Cicero for 3-4 trips on the St. John's, Montreal, St. John's schedule. There is no word on why the Cicero is not operating at the moment.

Reported by: Kent Malo

Horizon, with the SLS mobile crane Hercules off-loading containers at Sorel
Stena Foreteller at Vercheres



Ex-U.S.C.G. Shohomish Acquired by  Historical Foundation


The former U.S.C.G. Shohomish (WYTM-98) has been saved from her proposed watery grave on an artificial reef off the South Carolina coast.  
Northeastern Maritime (NMHF) had pursued the vessel - most recently named Sarah Rose - earlier in the year, and with the help of Richards Marine Services of Charleston, another tugboat was found to take its place, for the sinking. Santoro Oil Company then donated the vessel to NMHF.
After working a 40+ year career in Maine, she was decommissioned in the 1980's and sold for civilian use in the towing trade.  She is certified with an ABS Ocean Loadline and is fully intact and operational.  Together, NMHF and the WYTM Association will use her for educational programs around the Lakes and to pay tribute to this class of now-decommissioned Coast Guard icebreakers and the men and women who served on them during daring search and rescue missions and maintaining the navigable waterways.  
Northeastern Maritime and the WYTM Association are seeking donations to cover the costly 2,750 mile trip from Charleston to her museum home on the Lakes.  The group is offering sponsorship levels for various legs of the journey. Sponsors will receive special benefits and are invited to ride along during portions of this once in a lifetime journey.  
More information can be found at  Northeastern Maritime Organization or at: WYTM Association

Sarah Rose at Charleston, S.C. this past February

Reported by: Jason Leslie

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