Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Port Buys Land for Cross-lake Truck Ferry

8/31 - Hamilton, ON - Forget those congested highways. Hamilton is poised to become the better, faster and more efficient way to bring truckloads of goods from Europe and China into southern Ontario.

The Hamilton Port Authority announced yesterday it bought up the last vacant property on the harbour front to push forward plans for a long-awaited cross-lake truck ferry to sail between Hamilton and Oswego, N.Y. "We're fairly confident that this is a matter of when, not if we're going to do it," Port Authority chief executive officer Keith Robson said. "We're getting a lot of support for this from trucking companies who see it as a way of relieving their driver shortage."

The $17.5-million deal will buy 42 hectares (103 acres) of land at Pier 22, including Stelco's now-closed rod mill. Robson said the port authority's immediate plan is to use the new parcel for storage of slag and salt that's currently stashed at Pier 26, directly across the harbour on Eastport Drive. That pier, with ready access to the QEW, will then become the terminal for the cross-lake truck ferry.

A company for that project has been formed and backers are currently studying whether they will buy an appropriate ferry or will have to have one specially built. The ship is expected to hold up to 100 trailers. The containers will come into the Port of New York and then will be shipped up the Hudson River to Albany, then to Oswego and across the lake to Hamilton.

Neil Everson, the city's executive director of economic development, said efforts to bring new jobs to Hamilton have been repeatedly stymied by a lack of available land, a problem the port authority has solved for the short term. "They're getting their solution faster than we are, and it's going to pay big dividends for the city. "This will allow them to go after some big users," he added. "This is a big parcel so I think this is a really significant development."

Chamber of Commerce president Len Falco agreed the deal clears the way for key transportation plans. "This is going to open up a lot of opportunity, it's a major development," Falco said. "It ties right in with the whole concept of Hamilton being a transportation hub."

Hamilton Port Authority currently owns 195 hectares (482 acres) of bay front land, with about 96 per cent of it under industrial uses. When the new parcel is fully developed, Robson estimated it could support up to 200 jobs. Robson said the purchase finishes a project started before Stelco filed for bankruptcy protection in 2004. Then the authority was seeking only the 26 hectares (65 acres) behind the rod mill -- the rest of the parcel became available as Stelco began shedding operations. Stelco will use the proceeds of the sale to reduce its debt. Yesterday's deal includes the closed rod mill and all of its equipment. The machinery will likely be sold for scrap and the building torn down, Robson said.

By 2008, Robson said the port authority plans to transform the brown field into a spot where ships can unload truck trailers full of containers to be driven to locations across Southern Ontario and the northern U.S. Having the trailers transported by ship to the port means avoiding the traffic on the roadways surrounding the Great Lakes and the lengthy wait at the border crossing at Buffalo and Fort Erie, Robson said.

In a press release, the port authority said "significant capital investment will be made on the property" including construction of a new wharf and expanded cargo handling facilities.

From the Hamilton Spectator

 

Mackinac Bridge Walk in 49th Year

8/31 - Mackinaw City, MI - More than 40,000 people are expected to make the five-mile trek across the Mackinac Bridge Monday during the 49th annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk. The event began in 1958 as a dedication to the bridge and continues still, bringing people from around the country to make the hike from St. Ignace to Mackinaw City. This is the only day that pedestrian traffic is allowed on the bridge.

The first walkers will begin crossing the Mighty Mac at 7:00 a.m. as the sun rises over Lake Huron. Just before pedestrian foot traffic is allowed on the bridge, Gov. Jennifer Granholm and 300 pre-selected runners will depart in a jog across the bridge. This is the only time that jogging or running is permitted during the bridge walk. Once pedestrian traffic begins at 7:00 a.m., all participants will be required to walk.

Bicycles, roller skates, skateboards, wagons and similar types of devices are also prohibited during the bridge walk, but baby strollers, wheel chairs and seeing-eye dogs will be permitted. Buses to transport participants to the start of the event from Mackinaw City will begin loading walkers as early as 5:30 a.m. in Conkling Heritage Park and at the State Dock, but some walkers will show up even earlier than this. “We have droves of people in line, ready for the walk at 4:30 a.m.,” said Dawn Edwards, director of the Mackinaw Area Chamber of Commerce. “People really get into this.”

Buses will also be available to take people back and forth between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace through the duration of the walk. No walkers will be permitted on the bridge after 11 a.m., requiring last-minute walkers to be on the bus by 10:30 a.m. en route to St. Ignace.

This event gives people the chance to do something that is only allowed once a year, the opportunity to step foot on the Mackinac Bridge. The rarity of the opportunity has made this one of the signature events in Mackinaw City, and annually draws one of the largest crowds of the tourism season.

“As far as bringing in crowds of people in one fell swoop, this is the biggest event of the summer,” Edwards said. “It's not only the large crowds that make this event so special though, it's the family tradition, people pass this down from generation to generation.”

No fee is required to participate in the walk, but bus riders will be charged $2 per person. Additional information, including that on restrictions, guidelines and statistics, is available at www.mackinawcity.com or www.mackinacbridge.org

From the Cheboygan Daily Tribune
 

 

Port Reports - August 31

Cleveland - Bill Kloss
The Cleveland Plain Dealer has confirmed that Great Lakes Towing will be moving from their offices in the Terminal Tower (since 1929) to a new location on the Cuyahoga River. Actually, this is where their drydock is located, as well as where they dock the tugs. Planned opening is for 2006, with the creation of 25 new jobs.

Menominee/Marinette - Scott Best & Stephen P. Neal
The Calumet paid a visit to Menominee this evening with a load of coal from Sandusky Ohio for the Menominee Paper Co. The Calumet was delayed by about 10 hours because of weather. This is the first load of coal all season in Menominee. Earlier this morning the tug Jimmy L assisted the Catherine Desgagnes departing, and early Thursday morning the Chios Pride is due in Marinette with pig iron from Brazil.

Toledo -
Mississagi left Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. after loading at ADM Elevators. She unloaded sand just across the turning basin at Kuhlman Corp. prior to loading. Federal Asahi came in Thursday morning to ADM Elevators to load.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The USCG buoy tender Katmai Bay came into port Tuesday for a visit.
The salty Scoter, which arrived late Sunday night with Groupe Ocean tug assistance, remains in port unloading at Redpath Sugar.
The tall ship Picton Castle, which arrived late Saturday, departed early Tuesday morning.
Stephen B. Roman was in Sunday morning for Essroc and departed early Monday.
Toronto Drydock Co.'s tug M. R. Kane, which went on the drydock for a refit in early June, was refloated Friday to make way for the tour boat Ste. Marie 1, which went on Toronto Drydock for inspection. Ste. Marie 1 was refloated Tuesday afternoon.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Tug/barge G. L. Ostrander and Integrity were docked at the LaFarge facility on Jones Island in Milwaukee's inner harbor on Wednesday, unloading powdered cement.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
On Wednesday evening, American Mariner unloaded limestone at the Upper Harbor hopper. Most limestone is delivered to the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock.

 

Updates - August 31

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 31

On August 31, 1977, the BELLE RIVER entered service, departing Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, for Superior, Wisconsin. Renamed b.) WALTER J MC CARTHY JR in 1977.

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 salty 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 foot X 26 foot X 8 foot 6 inches. She was built for the Lake Michigan lumber trade.

On 31 August 1900, efforts to free the newly launched steel steamer CAPTAIN THOMAS WILSON 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 p.m. 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, made its last trip through the I-75 Bridge with a cargo of sand for the Chevrolet Saginaw Metal Castings plant.

On August 31, 1852, The U. S. Congress passed an act requiring the president to appoint three officers from the Navy, three engineers from the Army and two civilian scientists to constitute the new Lighthouse Board. The Bureau of Lighthouses succeeded the Lighthouse Board in 1910.


Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze, Al Miller, James Neumiller, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.

 

Port Reports - August 30

Marinette - Stephen Neal
The Catherine Desgagnes arrived at Marinette Fuel and Dock with a load of iron around noon Tuesday.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
The Samuel de Champlain and its barge Innovation were discharging cement at the LaFarge silo about 5:00pm on Tuesday.

Pigeon Bay - Erich Zuschlag
The Pere Marquette 41 had anchored herself in Pigeon Bay just off Point Pelee Monday night as a massive storm had blow through the area causing power outages ashore and 2 meter (6-foot) waves on Lake Erie.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Sunday the J.A.W Iglehart was in port taking on cargo. By early afternoon the Iglehart departed to make another delivery to Green Bay, WI.
Monday night the G. L. Ostrander/barge Integrity made its way into Lafarge to tie up under the silos.
The American Republic brought a load of coal to Lafarge on Tuesday morning. It had backed into the slip and unloaded throughout the day. By 3:00pm the Republic finished and headed out into the bay.
At Stoneport, on a beautiful Tuesday evening, the John G. Munson was loading. The American Republic is expected on Wednesday morning.

Owen Sound - Peter Bowers
The Voyager Enterprise arrived in Owen Sound for grain loading at 6:00pm on Monday and left at 10:45 on Tuesday. This is first of the Voyager ships to make a visit here.

 

Updates - August 30

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 30

On this day in 1964, the retired Bradley Transportation steamer CALCITE was awarded the National Safety Council Award of Merit. The CALCITE accumulated a total of 1,394,613 man-hours of continuous operation over 17 years with out a disabling, lost time injury. The CALCITE was the first Great Lakes vessel to ever receive this honor.

On 30 August 1893, CENTURION (steel propeller freighter, 350 foot, 3,401 gross tons) was launched by F. W. Wheeler (Hull#100) at W. Bay City, Michigan. The name was a pun to celebrate the ship as Frank WheelerÕs 100th hull.

The CHARLES E WILSON was christened August 30, 1973, at Bay Shipbuilding Co., for the American Steamship Co., and completed her sea trials on September 6th. She was renamed b.) JOHN J BOLAND in 2000.

On August 30, 1942, the A H FERBERT ran aground in the St. Mary's River, just a day old. The vessel returned to the builder's yard in River Rouge, Michigan for repairs.

On August 30, 1988, the WILLOWGLEN, a.) MESABI, made its first visit to Duluth-Superior under that name. She loaded grain at Harvest States in Superior, Wisconsin, arriving early in the morning and departing in the ,early evening the same day. Her last visit to Duluth before this was in 1981 under the name c.) JOSEPH X ROBERT.

The H G DALTON entered service on August 30, 1903, for Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation Co. Later b.) COURSEULLES in 1916, c.) GLENDOCHART in 1922, d.) CHATSWORTH in 1927, e.) BAYLEAF in 1942 and f.) MANCOX in 1951.

On August 30, 1985, the tug CAPTAIN IOANNIS S departed Quebec City with MENIHEK LAKE and LEON FALK JR in tow, bound for Spain to be scrapped.

On 30 August 1873, CAMBRIDGE (3-mast, wooden schooner, 162 foot, 445 tons, built in 1868, at Detroit, Michigan) was bound from Marquette, Michigan for Cleveland, Ohio with a load of iron ore. In rough seas, she was thrown onto the rocky shore near Marquette where she broke up. No lives were lost.

On 30 August 1900, thousands of people gathered at the Jenks Shipbuilding Company near the Grand Trunk Bridge on the Black River in Port Huron, Michigan to watch the launching of the large steel steamer CAPTAIN THOMAS WILSON. Superintendent Andrews gave the word and the blows were struck simultaneously at the bow and stern. Slowly the vessel started quivering slightly from deck to keel and then with a mighty rush, slid sideways into the river. Her stern stuck in the mud. Mrs. Thomas Wilson christened the ship.

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

 

Family Survives Vicious Storm

8/29 - St. Catharines, ON - An American family survived one of Lake Eries notorious storms after their luxury yacht started taking on water early Saturday. The familys refusal to follow coast guard instructions set off some concern but may have saved their lives, said officials.

The Sassy, a 97-foot pleasure cruiser sailing out of Detroit, was about 24 miles southwest of Long Point at about 4 a.m. Saturday when howling 25-knot winds and three-metre waves helped blast off the vessels deck hatches at the bow. The ship started taking on water and issued a mayday call, said a spokesperson for the Niagara Regional Police. The cruiser had 11 people on board, including three children, and was intending to travel through the Welland Canal system on its way to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The U.S. Coast Guard was unable to reach the vessel,and it was ordered to head into port at Erie, Pa. The Sassys skipper refused, fearing a turn would result in the boat being overwhelmed by the waves and wind, said family spokesman Mark Bolle, of Mount Pleasant, Mich., who spoke to Osprey News Network Sunday.

We would have been fine if the hatches hadnt blown off, said Bolle. But we couldnt trim to go to Erie, not with those 10-foot waves, he said.

The vessels refusal to follow instructions set off some alarms. The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Cape Lambton was dispatched from Port Dover and kept a visual watch over the Sassy. The American skipper was correct when he decided it would be safer to follow the sea and head for Port Colborne, said Rob Rittner of the Niagara Regional Police marine unit.

"If you don't do that, you've got waves hitting you abreast and that could have turned out very badly", said Rittner. "The skipper made a really good decision. You can drop pretty quickly on the downside of waves that size, and that could result in you keeling over, especially when you're taking on water. The craft was bound for Port Colborne anyway, and it was a closer destination", said Rittner.

The Sassy, traveling in excess of 16 knots, was kept under visual surveillance by the Cape Lambton, which couldnt catch up with the quicker cruiser, said Rittner. The coast guard thought we were running away from them, said Bolle. The Sassy pulled into Port Colborne at 8:13 a.m. after a harrowing four hours and tied up by the harbour masters house on West Street. The boat was met by officials from Canada Customs, Transport Canada and police.

Bolle said the family returned safely home to the U.S. Saturday afternoon to rest and await repairs to the boat, which he estimated could take as long as two weeks. Once the repairs are completed, the family will resume its voyage to Florida, said Bolle.

Reported by Bill Bird from the St. Catharines Standard

 

Port Reports - August 29

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Calumet was under the loading chute at the NS coal dock Monday.
Calumet was preceded to the dock late Sunday by the Herbert C. Jackson, which loaded for Detroit and Monday was reported enroute to Stoneport.
Also visiting Sandusky Sunday was the Adam E. Cornelius, which loaded for Ontonagon.
Scheduled for a late afternoon arrival at the NS dock on Monday was the CSL Assiniboine, whose last port of call was Hamilton.

Hamilton & Bonte - Eric Holmes
Monday afternoon had the Hamilton Energy refueling the Emerald Star just off the Petro Canada Pier in Oakville (Bronte) at 3:30 pm. The Hamilton Energy arrived back in Hamilton at 6:00 pm. going to its home base at Pier 24 (Provmar Terminals). The Jade Star had departed Hamilton at 5:00 pm. and replaced the Emerald Star at the Petro Canada Pier at 6:30 pm.
The Algolake departed Hamilton at 3:30 pm. heading to the Welland Canal. The CCGC Simmons arrived in Burlington at 4:30 pm. heading to The Canada Centre for Inland Waters.
The Maritime Trader departed Pier 25 ( JRI Elevators ) at 7:30 pm. with grain for Sorel Quebec.

Gary -
The Philip R. Clarke unloaded a cargo of roll scale early Sunday at USX Steel and departed the Gary piers at 6:50 a.m.
American Spirit arrived with a cargo of flux pellets at 10:00am. Algowood was also loading a cargo of coke breeze on Sunday.
Next in line was the Capt. Henry Jackman with a split cargo of ore.
The parade continued with the arrival of the David Z. Norton early Monday to unload iron ore pellet fines. After unloading, the Norton held the dock for weather conditions. High winds and large swells also held the Algowood at the dock. Both vessels should depart late Monday or early Tuesday.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Maumee arrived at Holland Monday morning and delivered a cargo of coal to the DeYoung power plant.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Manistee was inbound the Saginaw River early Monday morning with a split load for the Sargent dock in Essexville and the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee. The Manistee was in the process of repairing pins on the boom cable and told the tug Robin Lynn that the repair was expected to be an "all nighter". The Manistee's last trip to the Saginaw River also saw her repairing her unloading equipment, where she was docked at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee for more than a week.
The Buffalo was inbound the Saginaw River passing the Front Range Light shortly after 2:00pm Monday afternoon headed for the Bay Aggregates dock in Essexville to unload. The Buffalo was expected to be outbound the Saginaw River late Monday night.

 

Updates - August 29

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 29

August 29, 1996 - The NICOLET, which had been sold for scrap, left Toledo under tow of the McKeil tug OTIS WACK, arriving in Port Maitland, Ontario during the early hours of the 30th. Last operated in 1990, the NICOLET was built in 1905 by Great Lakes Engineering Work at Ecorse, Michigan as the a.) WILLIAM G MATHER (25), b) J. H. SHEADLE (55), c) H. L. GOBEILLE. The vessel spent the first 60 years of her life in service for the Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Company. After 1965, her ownership was transferred to the Gartland Steamship Company and eventually American Steamship Company.

On this day in 1974, unsuccessful negotiations on a major shipbuilding contract resulting in Litton Industries terminating operations at its Erie yard. The Litton yard had built the first thousand foot boat on the lakes, the STEWART J CORT, and the thousand foot tug-barge PRESQUE ISLE.

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 entered service for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co..

On her maiden voyage August 29, 1979, the INDIANA HARBOR 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 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, Al Miller, James Neumiller, Jody Aho, Russ Plumb, Lake Huron Lore Society, 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.

 

Salt Demand Leads to Sifto Expansion

8/28 - Goderich - In response to increasing demand for highway de-icing salt in the Great Lakes region of North America, Compass Minerals has announced a two-phased plan to increase its rock salt production capacity.
8/28 - Goderich - In response to increasing demand for highway de-icing salt in the Great Lakes region of North America, Compass Minerals (NYSE: CMP) has announced a two-phased plan to increase its rock salt production capacity.

In the initial phase of the expansion, which will commence immediately, the company will open a new mining panel at its Goderich, Ontario mine. This will increase the annual capacity of the mine by approximately 750,000 tons, resulting in total mine capacity of 7.25 million tons by 2008. This phase of the expansion is expected to cost approximately $11 million, primarily for new equipment. Approximately $3 million of the capital expenditures are expected to occur in 2006.

“We are redeploying a portion of the proceeds from the sale of our general trade evaporated-salt plant in the U.K. into a higher-return, internal-growth opportunity,” explained Angelo Brisimitzakis, president and CEO of Compass Minerals. “This strategic expansion will allow us to better meet the needs of communities in the Great Lakes region.” Compass Minerals expects to add an additional 1,000,000 tons of capacity in the Great Lakes region upon completion of the first phase and as market conditions warrant. The company is continuing to evaluate several strategies for this expansion.

Compass Minerals currently has the capacity to produce more 6.5 million tons of rock salt at the Goderich, Ontario mine, 2.8 million tons of rock salt at its Cote Blanche, Louisiana mine and 2 million tons at its mine in Cheshire, U.K. Based in the Kansas City metropolitan area, Compass Minerals is the second-leading salt producer in North America and the largest in the United Kingdom. The company operates 10 production and packaging facilities, including the largest rock salt mine in the world in Goderich, Ontario.

The company’s product lines include salt for highway deicing, consumer deicing, water conditioning, consumer and industrial food preparation. In addition, Compass Minerals is North America’s leading producer of sulfate of potash, which is used in the production of specialty fertilizers for high-value crops and turf, and magnesium chloride, which is a premium deicing and dust control agent.

From the Goderich Signal-Star

 

New Ethanol Plant proposed at the Former ConAgra Mill on the Buffalo River

8/28 - Buffalo - Some facts, and some rumors, surround the proposed new ethanol plant to be built on the site of the former ConAgra Mill on the Buffalo River.

The known facts are that the conveyors inside the Lake & Rail elevator have been restored to operational status, and the the basement has been pumped out of flood water from the river.

Most of the Burrow's Lot rail yard has been cleared of overgrown brush except the switches. CSX has inspected the yard and performed some light repair work to get it ready to go. It's in mostly decent condition. The center cab switcher formerly used at the site is almost back to running status. The railcar unloading facilities are nearly operational.

Other rumored events are that the Lake & Rail elevator will start storing corn as soon as September, and that ADM may contract with the new owners for storage of wheat at the former ConAgra facilities.

The Ethanol Plant may be located in the open fields off Childs Street to the West of the Burrow's Lot rail yards. It is thought that the Marine "A" Elevator was also purchased in the deal, but is completely stripped inside of any useful materials and is only along for the ride as part of possible future storage needs pending a steady business cranking up at the plant.

Any self unloader lake boat hopper facilities would be located somewhere on the river dock face across from the ADM Standard Elevator so ships would not have to make the turn around the Lake & Rail. Time will tell if the proposed plant proves to provide a need for more freighter shipments or grain.

Reported by Brian Wroblewski

 

Vessel Idled For 8 Years Put Back In Service
Mills Hungry For Ore, So Lakes Float Soars

8/28 - Cleveland---With the nation’s steel mills operating at more than 87 percent of capacity, demand for iron ore was strong in July. As a result, shipments on the Great Lakes in July reached their highest level yet this year: 6.8 million tons.

So strong is demand for iron ore that the steamer Edward L. Ryerson returned to service on July 22. The ship had been idle since the end of 1998, primarily because it is a straight-decker that requires shoreside equipment to be unloaded. However, with no excess capacity in the fleet, the 730-foot long Ryerson was fit-out at Bay Shipbuilding Company in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

The vessel’s first iron ore cargo was loaded at Escanaba, Michigan, and delivered to Indiana Harbor, Indiana. The Ryerson is under the command of Captain Eric Treece and Chief Engineer Peter Ilacqua.

For the year, the Lakes/Seaway iron ore trade stands at 30.6 million tons, an increase of 5.6 percent compared to both the same point in 2005 and the 5-year average for the January-July timeframe.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 18 American corporations that operate 62 U.S.-Flag vessels on the Great Lakes. These vessels carry the raw materials that drive the nation’s economy: Iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, limestone and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation....

Collectively, these vessels can transport as much as 125 million tons of cargo a year when high water levels offset the lack of adequate dredging of Great Lakes ports and waterways. More information is available at www.lcaships.com

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Port Reports - August 28

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Alpena came in for LaFarge Saturday night around 10:00pm, quickly followed by the American Fortitude for General Mills Frontier Elevator at 11:00pm. The Alpena was due to depart around 5:00am Sunday morning.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Charles M. Beeghly arrived on a sunny Sunday in Marquette for a load of ore. She seems to be making regular runs from Marquette to the Rouge plant and back again.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
About noon on Sunday, Polish Steamship's Isolda remained in the outer harbor at Terminal 2. Otherwise, all was quiet.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
CSL Algolake loaded early Saturday at the NS coal dock. She is bound for Hamilton, Ont.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The American Republic was outbound the Saginaw River on Thursday after unloading at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. This was the first trip of 2006 to the Saginaw River for the Republic.
Inbound Thursday afternoon was the tug Cleveland and barge Cleveland Rocks. The pair went up to the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload. This is their second consecutive trip to this dock.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Algoway was inbound the Saginaw River late Sunday afternoon headed for the Buena Vista Stone dock in Zilwaukee to unload. The Algoway passed under the I-75 bridge at Zilwaukee at 7:00pm and continued a short distance upriver to unload at the Buena Vista Stone dock. She is expected to be outbound for the lake early Monday morning.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Sunday turned out to be a foggy day. The Canadian Provider arrived at 10:00 am heading to Dofasco with iron ore pellets from Port Cartier and after unloading will head to Thunder Bay.
The CSL Assiniboine departed at 10:00 am after the Provider entered the harbor.
The Emerald Star arrived at the Petro Canada Pier in Oakville (Bronte) at 2:00 pm.
The Canadian Transport arrived at 7:00 pm going to Dofasco and the Maritime Trader arrived at 9:00 pm going to Pier 25 ( JRI Elevators ).

 

Updates - August 28

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 28

On this day in 1939, the RICHARD J REISS collided with the YOSEMITE on the St. Clair River. There were no casualties but damage to the Reiss amounted to $26,593.80 and damage to the YOSEMITE amounted to $23,443.09. The REISS was built in 1901, as the a.) GEORGE W PEAVEY. Renamed b.) RICHARD J REISS in 1917, c.) SUPERIOR in 1943. She was scrapped at Hamilton, Ontario in 1947. The YOSEMITE carried her name throughout her career, built in 1901, and scrapped at Buffalo, New York in 1954.

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, Michigan. 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 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 was scrapped at Istanbul, Turkey in 1972.

Gulf Oil Corp., tanker 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, a.) JOHN A TOPPING, 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.

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, David Swayze, Al Miller, James Neumiller, Jody Aho, Russ Plumb, 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 Reports - August 27

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Thursday night ocean bulker Ypermachos (reg. Nassau, Bahamas) arrived in Milwaukee's inner harbor and docked at the Nidera grain elevator, awaiting a cargo of yellow corn. Ypermachos remained at Nidera Saturday afternoon.
Saturday, saltie Toro (reg. Piraeus, Greece) was docked and unloading at the south side of terminal 2 in the outer harbor.
Also Saturday, saltwater bulker Isolda from the Polsteam line (reg. Limassol, Cyprus) unloaded steel products at the north side of terminal 2.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Saturday had the tug Michigan and barge departing at 8:00 am. On the way out into Lake Ontario they passed the tug Salvor and barge Lambert's Spirit arriving at 10:00 am. The Halifax arrived in port at 3:00 pm going to Stelco Dock 2. The CSL Assiniboine then arrived at 6:00pm also going to Stelco with coal.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Saturday afternoon and evening, H. Lee White unloaded limestone at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock and moved to the Upper Harbor ore dock at sunset.

 

Updates - August 27

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 27

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, Ontario on August 27, 1985, on her way to Thunder Bay, Ontario where she replaced the retired C.C.G.C. ALEXANDER HENRY.

JOHN O MC KELLAR (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 b.) ELMGLEN in 1984.

The WILLIAM CLAY FORD then renamed b.) US266029 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 MC CURDY in 1969. She was scrapped at Port Colborne, Ontario in 1989.

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 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 1Ú4 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 foot keel, 132 foot overall, and 23 foot beam. She was built for George E. Brockway.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze, Al Miller, Jody Aho, 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.

 

Company with Muskegon Ties Buys Three Freighters

8/26 - Muskegon - The company that once operated such locally well-known vessels as the SS Milwaukee Clipper, the SS Aquarama and the carferry Highway 16 has purchased three large Great Lakes freighters that also visit Muskegon from time to time.

The Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Co. bought the three virtually identical 630-foot ships from Oglebay Norton Marine Services Co. LLC in an $18.7 million sale completed Aug. 1.

The Muskegon connection comes through West Michigan Dock & Market Corp. on Muskegon Lake. The Mart Dock and Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Co. have the same parent company -- Sand Products Corp. of Detroit.

The David Z. Norton, the Earl W. Oglebay and the Wolverine are self-unloading "River Class" freighters designed to maneuver in large rivers and Great Lakes ports too small to handle the largest ships operating on the lakes. They will be operated by Lower Lakes Transportation Co., though under what names and stack logos is not known.

Richard Snyder, a local photographer and ship-watcher, said the three ships have stopped in Muskegon to deliver aggregate materials in the past.

Oglebay Norton has divested itself of two 1,000-foot ships, the Oglebay Norton and the Columbia Star, which have made regular stops to deliver coal to the B.C. Cobb electrical generating plant. The ships have been renamed American Integrity and American Century, respectively, by their new owner, American Steamship Co. of Williamsville, N.Y.

The sale of those and other vessels totaled $148.9 million, and will enable Cleveland-based Oglebay Norton to refinance bank debt, while developing current and new shipping markets, primarily in sand and limestone. The company emerged from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization early this year.

A spokesman for Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Co., based near Cleveland in Lakewood, Ohio, said the ships would continue to fulfill their current shipping contracts.

From the Muskegon Chronicle

 

Shipbuilder CSE to Seek Funding, Cut Labour Costs
Key contract at stake in talks
Monitor delays sales decision

8/26 - St. Catharines - Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd. will seek government money, cut labour costs and restructure before resorting to a sales process if necessary, the monitor overseeing its bankruptcy protection said in court documents.

CSE was formed 20 years ago by the merger of the shipbuilding and repair divisions of two of Canada's biggest private shipping companies, Canada Steamship Lines and what is now called Upper Lakes Group Inc. The CSL Group — owned by former Prime Minister Paul Martin until 2003 — sold its remaining interest in Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering in November. Upper Lakes Group Inc. now owns more than two-thirds of CSE, which had 420 employees when all its operations were running.

Peter Cairns, president of the Shipbuilding Association of Canada, said CSE illustrates the struggles of a Canadian industry that is competing with low wages and government subsidies abroad. "We have a tremendous amount of work that we know is coming down the pipeline," he said, adding that without better policies or tax treatment there will soon be no shipbuilding industry in Canada.

CSE sought bankruptcy protection earlier this month and is asking an Ontario judge to extend it until Oct. 13. It suspended operations at its shipbuilding and repair facility, known as Port Weller Dry Docks, in St. Catharines. CSE also has a division called Canal Marine in St. Catharines and a plant in Thunder Bay.

In recent weeks, CSE — which has a history of receiving government funding — has been seeking financing from the federal and Ontario governments, and has been in discussions with Export Development Canada, which is likely to be the shipbuilder's biggest creditor in its restructuring.

According to documents filed by RSM Richter, the court monitor in the case, CSE's real troubles began in early 2005 when it signed contracts to build two vessel hulls for Hoekman Cargoships BV — for 4 million euros each — and five short sea ships for Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd., for $10.4 million euros each.

The problem was that CSE "did not have experience building short sea ships and hulls of this nature," according to the documents. CSE realized it would lose money on the first few projects, but hoped it would pay off once it learned how to profitably build the ships. But it "substantially" underestimated the costs of the first hull, which it delivered last month. It took more labour than expected and CSE decided it likely wouldn't make any money on the remaining projects. Management estimated that CSE would need new funding of about $16 million to finish the rest of the ships.

Now Carisbrooke wants to make claims and cancel three of its shipbuilding contracts. CSE officials flew to London earlier this month to meet with Carisbrooke and the two sides are still trying to reach an agreement. CSE is "concerned that the relief sought by Carisbrooke may adversely impact certain critical stakeholders, including (Export Development Canada), and possibly several hundred employees," court documents state.

Meanwhile, CSE has asked the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers union for changes to its contract, and warned "there will also be a material downsizing of the (Port Weller Dry Docks) hourly workforce," according to court documents.

The court monitor has not yet started to market the company because it is still trying to restructure. "If these efforts are successful, there may not be a need for a marketing process," the monitor said.

There was controversy over $9 million in government funds given to CSE in 1992, when CSL owned a quarter of the company and Martin was president of CSL and an Opposition MP.

From the Toronto Star

 

Trio Survives Lake Ontario Plane Crash
Men suffer minor injuries; police credit pilot's skill with averting tragedy

8/26 - Toronto - The pilot of a small plane saved the lives of his father and a family friend yesterday afternoon, police said, when he put down his stricken plane in Lake Ontario off Toronto. "He did an excellent job," Staff Sergeant John Badowski of the Toronto police marine unit said of the unidentified pilot. "There are three people here because of his skills."

Staff Sgt. Badowski said his colleagues pulled the passengers out of the water less than seven minutes after his unit received a distress call from the island airport. He refused to disclose further information about the three men, whose single-engine Cessna 172 went down two kilometres southwest of City Centre Airport and about two km south of Ontario Place.

The men suffered minor injuries, police said. The pilot accompanied his 53-year-old father to St. Michael's Hospital where he underwent a routine check. The third man was seen walking outside the marine station unit about two hours after the plane ditched in the lake, but he refused to answer any questions from reporters. He climbed into the front passenger seat of a black SUV and was driven away.

The plane was flying from London, Ont., to the airport in Buttonville, north of Toronto, police said. The men were in no hurry to reach their destination, so they decided to spend some time over Lake Ontario to observe downtown Toronto. "They were doing a coastal run -- sweeping over Toronto to see the sights," Staff Sgt. Badowski said. It was not known last night what happened aboard the plane, but the aircraft went down shortly after 3:30 p.m., police said.

The City Centre Airport control tower sent a distress call to the marine unit, which responded immediately. A witness at the island airport said one police boat went barrelling through the nearby channel at top speed, catching everyone's attention and sparking speculation as to what could have happened. About a half-dozen boats from the marine unit and lifeguards from nearby Sunnyside Beach were dispatched to the scene, police said.

"There were three people bobbing in the water, no wreckage," Staff Sgt. Badowski said. "The plane had decided to sink." The men were not wearing life jackets. Head lifeguard Caitlin Kirby said by the time she arrived at the scene, the survivors were already on their way to the hospital.

The plane is believed to have sunk in more than 75 feet of water and may be difficult to find because of a lack of debris on the surface. The incident had no effect on flights departing from or arriving at the island airport, said an employee at the airport fire hall. But harbour master Angus Armstrong said that the airport is able to continue functioning through such an emergency. Transport Canada is investigating the crash, while the Toronto Port Authority is keeping watch for any residual environmental damage.

The Cessna 172 aircraft, also dubbed Skyhawk, is one of the most popular planes for flight training. More than 35,000 of this model have been manufactured since the late 1950s.

Reported by Bill Bird from the Toronto Globe & Mail

 

Port Report - August 26

Marquette - Rod Burdick
On a rainy Friday evening, Herbert C. Jackson unloaded western coal at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock.

 

Ryerson Update

8/25 - Noon - Update - The Ryerson tied up at the Carbide Dock in Sault Ste. Marie for repairs to her septic system. The repairs were estimated to take two hours.

The vessel was back under way and cleared the MacArthur Lock up bound around 5:00p.

Pictures in the Special Ryerson Gallery.

 

Updates - August 26

News Photo Gallery updated

Ryerson Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 26

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 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) 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 in 1964, she foundered off Anticosti Island on November 17, 1972, while being towed overseas for scrapping..

EMORY L FORD entered service on August 26, 1916, to load iron ore at Marquette, Michigan. Renamed b.) RAYMOND H REISS in 1965. She was scrapped at RameyÕs Bend in 1980.

The GLENEAGLES (Hull#14) was launched August 26, 1925, at Midland, Ontario by Midland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. for the Great Lakes Tramsportation Co. Ltd. (James Playfair, mgr.). Converted to a self-unloader in 1963. Renamed b.) SILVERDALE in 1978. She was scrapped at Windsor, Ontario in 1984.

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. She was sold to Purvis Marine Ltd., of Sault Ste, Marie, Ontario in 1988, and cut down to a barge.

The Port Weller Drydocks Ltd., built, passenger-cargo ship FEDERAL PALM (Hull#29) was christened August 26, 1961, for the West Indies Shipping Corp., Ltd. She was built on the Great Lakes, but never served their ports. Renamed b.) CENPAC ROUNDER in 1975, she was scrapped in 1979.

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: 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.

 

Ryerson Update

8/25 - Noon - Update - The Ryerson was tied up at the Carbide Dock in Sault Ste. Marie for repairs to her septic system. The repairs were estimated to take two hours. Pictures in the Special Ryerson Gallery.

8/24 - The Edward L. Ryerson passed Marine City around 1:00 pm on Thursday, with 43 on lookers, and went to Shell for fuel. She departed up bound at 4:30 pm.

Ryerson cleared buoys 11 & 12 before 5:30 and estimated Harbor Beach in four hours. That should put her in the Soo before dark on Friday.

 

Man Injured in Fall From Ladder on Ship

8/24 - A Milwaukee man suffered injuries after falling anywhere between 20 and 80 feet from a ladder into a ship's hold on the city's lakefront, where he was rescued by a special team of firefighters.

The nine members of the Milwaukee Fire Department's Heavy Urban Rescue Team responded to the scene about 9:00 p.m. Wednesday in the 1300 block of S. Lincoln Memorial Drive.

The team helped to remove the man from the hold and onto dry land for paramedic care. He was taken to Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Wauwatosa with pain to his shoulders and neck and possible broken ribs, according to fire and police officials.

The fire department's HURT team deals with specialized situations, such as rope rescues, high angle rescues, building collapses and construction sites, as a few examples, according to fire Lt. Brian O'Connor.

Reported by Jim Zeirke from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Port Reports - August 25

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
Holland has seen a flurry of activity in the past few days. On Sunday the Sam Laud brought a load of stone to the Brewer dock. Tuesday afternoon Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 delivered mill scale to Padnos Iron & Metal, then took on a load of scrap and departed Wednesday morning. Thursday morning the Manistee arrived with coal for the James DeYoung power plant.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Recent news reports indicate that the wind turbine project for the Lackawanna lake front has been cleared by the EPA and will move towards the construction phase shortly. The new wind turbines are planned to replace the highly visible Coke Works. The eight turbines will be nearly 400 foot tall windmills if plans work out.
The Grand Mariner came in around 6:30am Thursday and berthed on the wall in the basin just down from the gas dock.
At 3:00pm, Thursday, the Cuyahoga entered the north entrance, and came stern first into the crick without assistance.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
On it's first visit to Toronto, the naval cadet training vessel Greyfox came in Wednesday night and is scheduled for departure Friday morning.
Stephen B. Roman departed late Wednesday night, and Algosteel departed Redpath in the wee hours of Thursday morning, bound for the Welland Canal and Goderich for a load of salt.
CCG Griffon is still conducting exercises off Toronto Island. It was out for a few hours Thursday afternoon and returned to Pier 29.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
After a lull in activity, all the cement carriers were in port on Thursday. First in to was the J.A.W Iglehart, which had left temporary lay-up in Muskegon yesterday. The Iglehart took on cargo for Green Bay, WI and was seen heading out into the lake after 3:00pm. The Alpena was tied up at the coal dock, but orders were for her to wait until after the G. L. Ostrander/barge Integrity loaded, which came in after the Iglehart. Also due late Thursday night was the Samuel de Champlain/barge Innovation.
Stoneport has been quiet lately, the Great Lakes Trader and Cleveland Rocks are on the schedule for Friday.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Kaye E. Barker arrived in Marquette Thursday morning for ore, followed by the Michipicoten.

 

Updates - August 25

News Photo Gallery updated

Ryerson Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

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 grounded off Mc Louth Steel and ended crosswise in the Detroit River's Trenton Channel. It required lightering into the RICHARD REISS a.) ADIRONDACK and the assistance of nine tugs to refloat her. Renamed b.) ADAM E CORNELIUS in 1989.

The GEORGE M STEINBRENNER, a.) ARTHUR H HAWGOOD 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, 1,299 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.

 

Perry Memorial to Reopen
Studies give green light for visits starting Saturday

8/24 - Put-In-Bay, Ohio - Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial, closed since late June when a 500-pound chunk of granite fell 317 feet, will reopen Saturday, the park superintendent said yesterday. The National Park Service has conducted two engineering studies that determined the 13 fascia stones on the observation deck above the north entrance are secure, Superintendent Andy Ferguson said. The reopening is scheduled for 10 a.m.

The cause of the June 22 failure is attributed to water seeping into cracks, coupled with the freeze-thaw cycles and the affects on earlier repairs to the southwest corner. The upper plaza is cordoned off with a chain-link security fence, and a protected walkway was built to the column.

The fence will remain and sandbags will be placed on the upper plaza to "catch" any other pieces that might fall, Mr. Ferguson said. This measure should protect the upper plaza from additional damage. A comprehensive study of the entire monument is planned and the results will be used to determine the costs and best way to repoint and repair the Perry memorial.

Although events around the monument have been well attended, visitation is down 44 percent for July. In addition, Perry's Victory lost $500 to $1,500 a day, mostly from the $3-a-person fee for visitors to go to the top, he said.

The memorial is billed as the tallest monument with an open-air observation deck in the United States. On a clear day, visitors can see mainland Canada and Cleveland as well as the surrounding islands and coastline of Lake Erie's western basin. The monument commemorates Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's naval victory in 1813 against a superior British fleet.

From the Toledo Blade

 

Edward L. Ryerson Headed Back to Superior

8/24 - 9:00 am Update - Ryerson is due at the St. Clair Crib Light at 10:00 am. This would put her at the Salt Dock at Noon, and Stag Island Upper at 1:20. Plans are to stop at Shell for fuel.

8/24 - Lorain - The Edward L. Ryerson departed Lorain a little after midnight Wednesday. She backed down the river and out to the lake.

This would put her in Port Huron around noon-1:00 pm Thursday.

Her ETA for DeTour looks to be very early Friday morning, meaning a dawn transit of the Soo Locks.

Her next cargo of taconite is consigned to Indiana Harbor.

 

Port Reports - August 24

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Wednesday noon ocean bulker Daviken (reg. Nassau, Bahamas) from Viken Shipping, Ltd. entered the Milwaukee breakwater and, with the assistance of two tugs, backed into the northern slip at terminal 2 (usually used for steel deliveries).
Cross-lake ferry Lake Express was back to its usual schedule of three crossings per day.
Yacht Blue Moon remains at the wall, just outboard of the ferry.
Cruise Nantucket Clipper remains at the heavy lift dock in the inner harbor.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Mississagi came in to port Wednesday morning about 10:30am with a light load for Meekhof's upper dock by the railroad swing bridge. It unloaded and backed out about 2:00pm heading north in the Lake.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Karen Andrie was due to depart the Noco dock in Tonawanda around 4:00pm Wednesday evening.
The CSL Assiniboine departed Lackawanna on the coal shuttle to Nanticoke Wednesday morning.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The CSL Tadoussac backed from the Essroc Cement Terminal in Essexville at 12:45pm Wednesday afternoon out of the Saginaw River and onto the bay, turned around at Light 12 and was headed outbound for the lake. Radio Traffic indicated that the Tadoussac is bound for Superior to load.
The tug Rebecca Lynn and the tank barge A-410 were inbound the Saginaw River passing the Front Range Light at midnight Thursday morning headed for the Bit-Mat dock in Essexville to unload. The pair are expected to be outbound the Saginaw River late Thursday night.

Toledo - Bob Vincent
H. Lee White finished loading coal at 6:00pm Wednesday. The next coal vessel will be the CSL Assiniboine from Nanticoke due Thursday around 11:00pm.
Canadian Transport is schedule to arrive Friday in the morning and the Kaye E. Barker due Saturday early evening.
The King's Company dredge Buxton ll is dredging around the coal slip entrance.
Torco Dock has the Nanticoke unloading ore early Wednesday evening follow by the Atlantic Erie. Both vessels are from Seven Islands.
The next ore boat will the Atlantic Huron on Saturday.
The tug barge combination Michigan and Great Laker was seen heading out of Toledo around 8:00pm.

 

Updates - August 24

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 24

At 2:00 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. Renamed b.) L'ORME NO 1 in 1982. Sold off the lakes in 1997, renamed c.) TRADEWIND OCEAN and d.) AMARA in 2001.

On August 24, 1910, the THOMAS F COLE 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. She was scrapped at Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1980.

On August 24, 1985, PAUL H CARNAHAN arrived for her final lay up at Nicholson's in Ecorse, Michigan. Ironically, only a few hours later, her near sister LEON FALK JR 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.

 

Captain Hurt in Ship Mishap
Port rescue requires several steps

8/23 - Port Washington - A ship's captain whose ocean freighter brought equipment from Indonesia to Port Washington for the We Energies power plant conversion was seriously injured in a shipboard accident Tuesday afternoon.

A broken cable swung and knocked down the captain, Helmut Muller, 59, on the freighter's deck at about 12:15 p.m., Port Washington Fire Chief Mark Mitchell said. The accident badly fractured the captain's left ankle and possibly left him in shock. "He was hurt bad, but it was not life-threatening," the chief said.

The firefighters had to find a way to get the captain to a Flight for Life helicopter, which landed near the old coal dock, Mitchell said. The rescue required a crane to lift the captain from one end of his 450-foot-long ship, the Recognition, onto a barge docked next to the ship. "These ships aren't designed to get people off on stretchers," the chief said.

Three emergency medical technicians put a splint on the fracture, secured the captain's leg and his neck and then strapped him to a backboard. He was given oxygen and hooked to an IV. The captain was then placed in a rescue basket with a special harness. A crane was used to lift him up and set him down on the barge.

From the barge, Mitchell said it took six firefighters to carry the captain on a stretcher down a gangplank to the ambulance. The captain arrived at the helicopter at about 1:20 p.m.

Muller was reported in satisfactory condition at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Wauwatosa late Tuesday.

Original Report - Tuesday, 8/22 - 1:08 pm. - Port Washington Fire Department crews are on the scene of a shipboard rescue in the city's harbor.

According to emergency radio traffic, a worker on a large ship anchored in the Port Washington harbor was struck and injured by a 3-inch cable. The injured worker is in a rescue basket and now must be lowered from the vessel to a barge and then carried across a gang plank to shore.

Paramedics from Thiensville are at the scene and a Flight for Life helicopter from McHenry, Ill., is about 4 minutes away from landing at the scene. The extent of the worker's injuries wasn't immediately available.

 

Special MSRA Shipwreck Show in Holland Thursday

8/23 - Holland - Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates will present the results of their 2006 search season to the public in a show in Holland, Michigan on Thursday, August 24 at 7:00 p.m. The event will be held at the Winants Auditorium in Graves Hall, on the campus of Hope College. Graves Hall is located at 263 College Avenue, just south of downtown Holland.

The 2006 season was extremely productive for MSRA, as they discovered three previously undocumented wreck sites. One is a modern construction barge located off Port Sheldon. The second is an as yet unidentified 19th Century sailing vessel off Saugatuck. The third and final find is the Hennepin, of great historical significance because it was the first vessel equipped with self unloading equipment. Built in 1888 as the George H. Dyer, it sank on August 18, 1927, while being towed from Chicago to Grand Haven. It is currently located in 230 feet of water, off of South Haven.

Photos and video footage of all of the wrecks will be shown and members of the search and dive teams of MSRA will describe their experiences and answer questions.

Admission will be $10.00, with all proceeds going to support the documentation of the wrecks.

Reported by Bob VandeVusse

 

140-Year-Old Bell Recovered From Lake Erie

8/23 - Lorain, Ohio -- Divers have recovered a bell that failed to prevent a ship from a fateful Lake Erie collision almost 140 years ago.

The bell from the Cortland was brought up Tuesday at the shipwreck site off Lorain. A crewman had rung it in 1868 to try to warn an approaching ship to change course. But he was not successful, and the Cortland went down. Thirty-eight people died.

The wreck of the Cortland was found last summer, and divers decided to retrieve the bell to preserve it and keep it from being stolen.

The bell, which weighs less than 100 pounds, will be cleaned and then put on display at a museum (Great Lakes Historical Society) in Vermilion, west of Lorain along the lake.

From NewsNet5.com

 

Tall Ships in Lorain

8/23 - Lorain - The Lorain Morning Journal reports today that two tall ships will be entering the Port of Lorain Wednesday between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm.

The tall ships, Pride of Baltimore II and the U.S. Brig Niagara will be moored at the Black River Landing upstream of the Charles Berry Bascule Bridge on the Black River.

The ships will be open for tours this Thursday and Friday from noon to 8 pm each day.

For additional information contact the Lorain Port Authority at 440-244-2269.

Reported by James F. Reagan

 

Port Huron Coast Guard Days This Weekend

8/23 - Port Huron - Port Huron will be the place to be this weekend as the town celebrates Coast Guard Days on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The event is a way to pay tribute to current and former Coast Guard members, and recognize those serving locally. Many interactive family-oriented events will happen throughout the weekend, giving the public a glimpse at life as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard.

A list of the events planned includes on Friday - At 6:30 p.m. a memorial ceremony at the International Flag Plaza near the Blue Water Bridge. At 8:00 p.m., Coast Guard personnel will perform a live river rescue demonstration in the St. Clair River.

On Saturday, an opening flag ceremony at 10:00 a.m. at the Great Lakes Maritime Center in downtown Port Huron. Open houses and tours will be available from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. of the cutters Hollyhock and Bramble, the Coast Guard Station, and many other Port Huron maritime locations. The day also includes live U.S. Coast Guard rescue demonstrations, a boat parade, music, and a dinner for active duty Coast Guard personnel and families.

On Sunday, all churches in the Port Huron area have been asked to dedicate their worship services to the U.S. Coast Guard. Between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. are charity softball games between the U.S. Coast Guard and Port Huron police and firefighters at Pine Grove Park.

Events are free except for public tickets to the Saturday dinner. Cost is $20 per adult and $5 for children up to age 10.

For full details, times and locations, visit www.porthuron.org

 

Port Reports - August 23

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
The Samuel de Champlain and its barge Innovation were discharging cement at the LaFarge silo about 10:00am on Tuesday. Otherwise, the harbor was quiet.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Earl W. Oglebay arrived on the Saginaw River Tuesday morning carrying a split load. She stopped to lighter at the Wirt Sand & Stone dock in Essexville before continuing upriver to finish at the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw. A frequent visitor in the past under Oglebay Norton ownership, this is the Earl W. Oglebay's first visit to the Saginaw River under the ownership of the Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Company.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Wilfred Sykes came thru the pier heads about 4:30 pm headed for Verplank's dock. Also in the river and on Lake Michigan today was the Grand Valley State University, Annis Water Research Institute vessel D. J. Angus. Sponsored by the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation it took 26 members of the public on a short water quality testing cruise out on Lake Michigan. Four of these trips were scheduled and they are booked to capacity.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Karen Andrie is on her way in with a split load for Noco & Marathon - Tonawanda at 9:00pm Tuesday. No ETD since boat will be shifting docks half way through the day Wednesday.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The tug Cleveland & the barge Cleveland Rocks turned around off the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee at 9:00pm Monday night and began unloading at the Sargent dock facing outbound. The pair were outbound the Saginaw River around 4:00am Wednesday morning. Radio Traffic indicated that the Cleveland will be headed up to Stoneport to load stone for Zilwaukee.
Earl W. Oglebay was inbound the Saginaw River Tuesday morning with a split load for the Wirt Stone dock in Essexville and the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw. She passed under the I-75 bridge at Zilwaukee at 3:00pm and gave two salutes to the assembled group of boatnerds photographing the ship. The Oglebay arrived at the Saginaw Wirt dock and began unloading at 3:30pm. They finished unloading at the Saginaw Wirt dock at 8:15pm Tuesday evening and headed upstream to the Sixth Street turning basin to turn around with assistance from the tug Robin Lynn. While outbound, the Oglebay kept in contact with the inbound tug Duluth and her scows and planned to meet just above the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee around 10:00pm Tuesday night. This was the Earl W. Oglebay's first trip to the Saginaw River to unload in as many as three years and her first trip upriver to Saginaw to unload since 2002. This marks the second time that a Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship vessel came up the river to Saginaw to unload in the past 4 days.
The CSL Tadoussac was inbound the Saginaw River early Wednesday morning passing the Front Range Light around 2:45am, headed for the Essroc Cement terminal in Essexville to unload. Tadoussac is expected to finish unloading and be outbound for the lake late Wednesday afternoon.

Toronto -Charlie Gibbons
Cuyahoga was in port with a load of salt, departing early Tuesday morning. CCG Griffon departed in mid-afternoon and returned to Pier 29 later Tuesday evening. Algosteel continues unloading operations at Redpath. The tug Konisberg is still anchored off Toronto Island.

Fairport Harbor - Herb Hubbel
Tuesday morning the barge McKee Sons was in unloading at the Osborne - Fairport Dock. Wednesday morning found the Canadian Olympic loading salt at the Morton Salt mine.

 

Updates - August 23

News Photo Gallery updated

Ryerson Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 23

On this day in 1818, the first steamer above Niagara Falls, the WALK-IN-THE-WATER, Captain Job Fish, departed Buffalo on her maiden voyage. The 29 passengers paid a fare of $24 and arrived at Detroit in 44 hours and 10 minutes.

On August 23, 1955, as part of the year-long centennial celebration of the opening of the Soo locks in 1855, an open house was held aboard the Pittsburgh steamer JOHN G MUNSON. A total of 10,563 individuals toured the MUNSON while she was tied up at Detroit.

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. Sold Canadian and renamed b.) ALGOSAR in 2005.

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, a.) NORMAN B REAM 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 August 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, 1,630 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, ARGONAUT (wooden propeller freighter, 213 foot, 1,119 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember seriesThis is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.

 

2nd Annual Port Huron Transportation memorabilia Show Announced

8/22 - The Port Huron Museum will host this annual event, in conjunction with Acheson Ventures and the Lake Huron Lore Society. The show will take place at the Port Huron Seaway Terminal on Saturday, October 21, 2006, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

The show will feature artifacts, pictures, books, postcards, art, timetables, lanterns and license plates. There will be no toys, model trains or diecast cars.

Persons interested in exhibition space, or additional information, should contact T. J. Gaffney at the Port Huron Museum 810-982-0891, ext. 16, or by email at tjgaffney@phmuseum.org

 

Port Reports - August 22

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Wisconsin and Michigan Steamship Company owned, Lower Lakes Towing operated, David Z. Norton came in bow first mid-afternoon Monday with a load of coal for the BLP Sims #3 plant on Harbor Island. It was still unloading at 5:30pm.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The tug Cleveland & the barge Cleveland Rocks were inbound the Saginaw River early Monday evening, headed upriver to unload at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. The pair are expected to turn around off the Sargent dock and be outbound for the lake around 4:00am Tuesday morning. The pair told the tug Duluth that they will be making runs from Stoneport to Zilwaukee for the next 3 weeks.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The tug Kenteau and spud barge Pitts Carillon, which have been in port for some time, departed early Monday morning. English River departed around 3:00 pm. Algosteel continues unloading at Redpath. CCG Griffon remained at Pier 28 Monday.

 

Updates - August 22

News Photo Gallery updated

Ryerson Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 22

On 22 August 1898, the schooner FANNY CAMPBELL (wooden schooner, 404 tons, built in 1868, at St. Catharines, 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 R 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 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 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, SPECULAR (wooden propeller freighter, 264 foot, 1,742 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 a.m. 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. This is a small sample. The books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.

 

Port Reports - August 21

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Friday afternoon had the Federal Kushiro departing at 2:30 pm. followed by the Halifax at 4:00 pm.
Saturday, the CSL Tadoussac departed Stelco at 7:00 am bound for Picton Ontario in ballast. The Spruceglen arrived at 2:00 pm with gypsum from Point Tupper Nova Scotia.
The saltie BBC England departed from Pier 26 at 4:00 pm.and the CSL Niagara arrived at 6:00 pm.
Sunday had the Canadian Miner arriving at 10:00 am with iron ore pellets for Dofasco from Port Cartier. The CSL Niagara departed at 10:00 am. The tug Avenger IV and barge PML 9000 arrived at 11:00am.The tug Salvor and barge Lambert's Spirit arrived at 7:30 pm.

Lorain - Dave Wobser
Edward L. Ryerson arrived at the Lorain piers at 11:15 am Sunday and moved up the Black River to the Jonick Dock. She was safely secured and unloading was beginning by 2:00 pm. Three Manitowoc track cranes are doing the unloading with clamshell buckets. Unloading is estimated to take 50 hours.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Wolverine was outbound the Saginaw River late Friday night.
The tug Rebecca Lynn and the tank barge A-410 were also outbound late Friday night, departing from the Bit-Mat dock in Essexville, bound for Indiana Harbor
The Calumet was inbound the Saginaw River early Sunday morning calling on the Saginaw Wirt dock to unload. This was the Calumet's second trip to the Saginaw River in the past two days. The Calumet finished unloading at the Saginaw Wirt dock at 12:45pm Sunday afternoon and headed upriver to turn at the Sixth Street turning basin. With assistance from the tug Robin Lynn, the Calumet made the turn around in the Sixth Street turning basin and was outbound for the lake by 2:00pm Sunday afternoon.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Sunday ocean bulker Federal Sakura was at anchor in Milwaukee's outer harbor, on the hook not far from the municipal docks on Jones Island.
American Mariner delivered coal to the Greenfield Avenue dock run by WE Energies, departing about 9:30 PM.
Cruise vessel Nantucket Clipper continued at the heavy lift dock in the inner harbor, apparently remaining until the conclusion of Irish Fest.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The Coast Guard buoy tender Griffon arrived in port Sunday, followed shortly thereafter by Algosteel arriving with a cargo of sugar for Redpath.
English River arrived in port later in the afternoon.
The vessel Konisberg has been anchored off Toronto since last Friday.

 

Updates - August 21

News Photo Gallery updated

New Ryerson Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 21

August 21, 1996 - The former U. S. Corps of Engineers tug MARQUETTE was down bound past Detroit on her delivery trip to her new owners based in Key West, Florida. Renamed MONA LARUE in 1997, she is no longer in documentation.

At 7:10 p.m. on 21 August 1901, the whaleback steamer ALEXANDER MC DOUGALL (steel propeller modified whaleback freighter, 413 foot, 3,686 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 MC DOUGALL did not stop.

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

The GEORGE A STINSON 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.

THE HARVESTER cleared Lorain, Ohio, August 21, 1911, on her maiden voyage loaded with coal for Duluth, Minnesota.

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

The KINSMAN INDEPENDENT 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.

Cleveland Tanlers 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, Lake Huron Lore Society, 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.

 

Edward L. Ryerson Heads for Lorain

8/20 - Shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday night the Edward L. Ryerson entered the St. Clair River downbound. This trip marks the first time the Ryerson has visited the lower lakes since 1998.

The Ryerson is downbound loaded with Taconite from Superior, WI. for Lorain, Oh. It is expected to arrive in Lorain shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday morning and reach the dock around noon.

 

Michigan Shipwreck Group Says It Has Found the Hennepin

8/20 - Holland, Mich. - A group dedicated to finding and documenting shipwrecks in Michigan's waters said Friday it found the well-preserved remains of the historic vessel Hennepin and two other ships at the bottom of Lake Michigan. The 208-foot-long Hennepin was a steamer built in Milwaukee in 1888. It was later transformed into the Great Lakes' first self-unloader, a transport ship with an A-shaped crane and a series of conveyors that make it faster and easier to unload cargo.

"This is the prototype for about all of the Great Lakes freighters in use today," said Bob Vande Vusse, a member of Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates.

After being in service for nearly 40 years, the Hennepin was in poor condition and being used as a tow barge when, during a voyage from Chicago to Grand Haven, it sank during a storm on Aug. 18, 1927. The captain and his 13-member crew worked for about four hours to save the vessel but ended up having to abandon ship and board the tugboat that had been towing it. Everyone safely escaped the Hennepin.

Members of the Holland-based shipwreck group said they located the ship upright in 230 feet of water off South Haven earlier this year. Before it was found, the vessel had been on the group's "most wanted" list of its six most-sought-after shipwrecks. The group also found a modern barge in 200 feet of water off Port Sheldon in Ottawa County and an unidentified, intact, wooden schooner in more than 250 feet of water off Saugatuck.

Co-founder Valerie van Heest said her group will try to get the Hennepin shipwreck added to the National Register of Historic Places. Only 10 of the many known wrecks in Michigan waters now have that distinction, she said during a news conference at City Hall. Even though it has a wooden hull, the Hennepin is in "pristine condition," said group member Craig Rich. The cold, fresh water of the Great Lakes helps preserve shipwrecks much longer than wrecks found in warm and salty ocean water.

The all-volunteer group uses research materials to select the most likely locations for wrecks, then employs sonar equipment to scan the lake bottoms. Divers confirm the finds. When wrecks are located, members promote the locations to divers who might be interested in checking them out. They say the state's west coast is becoming increasingly popular with divers because of the growing number of wrecks just off the coast. "West Michigan is beginning to become a burgeoning sport diving and technical (deep-water) diving area," van Heest said.

To date, the organization, which was founded in 2001, has covered about 230 square miles of Lake Michigan looking for evidence of wrecks. Other discoveries include the luxury passenger steamer H.C. Akeley, the passenger steamer SS Michigan and the car ferry Ann Arbor No. 5.

From the Michigan Newspaper Network

 

Port Reports - August 20

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
On Saturday, the Federal Sakura was just docking at one of the municipal piers in the outer harbor. The Sakura is a 624-foot bulk carrier that is a new addition to the FedNav fleet. It was "on order" in 2005.

Owen Sound - Ed. Saliwonchyk
Canadian Leader arrived shortly after noon, on Saturday, in Owen Sound from Hamilton. She is currently moored on the east wall waiting for the Saginaw to finish unloading at the Great Lakes Grain Elevators. Canadian Leader will then move over to load grain for Quebec City. This is Canadian Leader's first trip into Owen Sound. Also in the harbour today is the Canadian Coast Guard's Providence Bay.

 

Updates - August 20

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 20

On 20 August 1881, MICHIGAN (Hull#48), (iron propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 215 foot, 1,183 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 arrived at Toronto, Ontario, August 20, 1969, on her maiden voyage with fuel oil.

The R BRUCE ANGUS in tandem tow with the ULS steamer GORDON C LEITCH behind the tug IRVING CEDAR arrived at Setœbal, Portugal August 20, 1985, where they were broken up. The a.) IRVING CEDAR is now Purvis MarineÕs c.) RELIANCE.

August 20, 1920, the WILLIS L KING, up bound light in Whitefish Bay, was in collision with and sank the down bound 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 US266029, a.) WILLIAM CLAY FORD 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 of 1930, 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 MC VITTIE. 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, 1,155 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.

 

Roger Blough Update

8/19 - GLF is reporting that the Roger Blough is scheduled to leave Sturgeon Bay late Sunday or early Monday, and will head for Duluth to load.

 

Port Reports - August 19

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
CSL Niagara was unloading coal at the Gateway Terminal on Friday morning.
Karen Andrie was headed for the Black Rock Canal at 9:00 pm Friday
American Fortitude arrived about 7:45 pm headed for General Mills.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
After a short visit to unload into the elevators, Saginaw departed early Friday afternoon for Owen Sound. Algorail backed into the Sifto Salt dock at 3:00 pm to load.

Detroit - Angie Williams
The tug Olive L. Moore passed Detroit headed for Erie PA on Friday. Radio traffic inidicated that she will be bringing out the barge (Lewis J. Kuber, Ex-Buckeye) and loading at Marblehead for Marine City.


Marquette - Rod Burdick

On a humid Friday, Tug/Barge Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader unloaded limestone at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Wolverine departed from the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City at 1:00am Thursday morning, turned around off the dock and was outbound to Lake Huron. Radio Traffic indicated that the she was bound for Stoneport to load for Saginaw. She loaded at Stoneport on Thursday and was headed back up to the Saginaw Bay by Thursday night.
The Calumet was inbound the Saginaw River late Thursday night with a split load for the Burroughs dock and the Buena Vista Stone dock in Zilwaukee. The Calumet finished unloading at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee at 10:30am Friday morning and continued upriver to finish unloading her cargo. The Calumet finished unloading at the Buena Vista Stone dock in Zilwaukee around 12:30pm Friday afternoon and headed upstream to the Sixth Street turning basin to turn around with assistance from the tug Robin Lynn. She was headed outbound for the lake by 2:15pm. The Calumet found a high spot in the channel just past the Sixth Street turning basin and was assisted off of the high spot by the tug Robin Lynn and was able to continue outbound by 2:30pm. The Calumet was held above the Veteran's Memorial bridge for Bay City "Bridge Hours" and was allowed to continue outbound at 5:30pm Friday afternoon. Radio Traffic indicated that the Calumet is bound for Stoneport to load for Saginaw.
The Wolverine was back again Friday morning, inbound passing the Airport turning basin around 10:45am headed for the Saginaw Wirt dock to unload. This was the Wolverine's third straight trip to the Saginaw River in the past 5 days. The Wolverine arrived at the Saginaw Wirt dock just before noon on Friday and began unloading a few hundred yards ahead of the Calumet which was unloading at the Buena Vista Stone dock. The Wolverine finished unloading at the Saginaw Wirt dock around 5:30pm Friday afternoon and headed upstream to turn around in the Sixth Street turning basin. With assistance from the tug Robin Lynn, the Wolverine made the turn around in the Sixth Street turning basin and was outbound for the lake by 7:45pm Friday evening. The Wolverine kept in contact with the inbound tug Duluth and her barges and they decided to pass each other at the Airport turning basin, Friday night. This was the Wolverine's first trip up to Saginaw since 2002.
The tug Duluth was inbound the Saginaw River early Friday afternoon with the barges 120 & 121 bound for the Sixth Street turning basin in Saginaw. She dropped off the barges 120 & 121 with the Dredge Sue and headed back outbound to the Pump-Out Island (Light Tug) around 3:00pm Friday afternoon. The tug Duluth was back inbound from the Pump-Out Island Friday night with two scows bound for Saginaw. The Duluth stopped at the Airport turning basin for about an hour to let the outbound Wolverine clear before continuing upriver, at 9:30pm Friday night.

 

Updates - August 19

News Photo Gallery updated

and more News Photo Gallery updates

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 19

On this day in 1865, the PEWABIC, Captain George P. Mc Kay, was down bound on Lake Huron when she was rammed by her sister ship, METEOR. The PEWABIC sank with an estimated loss of 125 lives and a cargo of copper ingots, ore and hides valued at $500,000.

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 of 1951, grounded near Hard Island on the St. Lawrence River August 19, 1966, suffering bow damage.

The ROBERT S PIERSON 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, Ontario.

The CARDINAL, a.) WINDSOLITE, 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 FRED C 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, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

Reward Offered in Theft of Bell from the City of Detroit

8/18 - Lansing - Michigan Department of Natural Resources law enforcement officials today announced a $500 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the removal of the ship's bell from the City of Detroit shipwreck located in Lake Huron.

On July 30, local divers informed Conservation Officer Scott Brown that they had returned from diving on the shipwreck City of Detroit and wanted to report the bell missing.

Built in 1866, the wooden steamship worked the Great Lakes for only seven years, hauling mostly flour and wheat from Wisconsin to Ontario. In December 1873, a late-season storm sent the City of Detroit to the bottom of Lake Huron near Saginaw Bay.

After resting on the bottom unknown for 125 years, the shipwreck was discovered in June 1999 by David Trotter and his crew aboard the Obsession II. Since then, the City of Detroit has been a popular recreational dive site. Clearly visible on one side of her bell is the name, "NOVELTY WORKS," and the other side states "NEW YORK 1844."

Taking of artifacts from the bottomlands of the state without permit is a violation of state law. Under the Aboriginal Records and Antiquities Part 761, punishment of up to $2,000 or imprisonment of one year can be ordered by the courts.

The bell has enormous historical value and shipwreck antiquity thefts are difficult criminal cases to develop and prosecute, and most begin with tips from the public. Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the DNR's Report All Poaching hotline at (800) 292-7800 or Sgt. Jann E. Gallagher at the Law Enforcement Bay City District Office at (989) 684-9141.

From Michigan DNR Newswire

 

A Floating Museum:
Milwaukee Clipper's makeover project adds big ship models

8/18 - Muskegon - The volunteers toiling long hours restoring the former car ferry Milwaukee Clipper have always looked upon their effort as more than preserving a historic ship. What they have envisioned from the beginning is creating a Muskegon-based Great Lakes shipping museum aboard a historic ship that would be financially supported by events, receptions and conventions held on board.

While the days the Clipper can be used as a floating banquet hall and convention center are probably still years off, the SS Milwaukee Clipper Preservation Inc. has made progress in establishing a maritime museum within the 102-year-old hull. While the Clipper always has had a small museum on board, volunteers this year have created a new exhibition hall now being used to display eight detailed Great Lakes ship models that are on loan. And plans are progressing to create a resource center filled with Great Lakes shipping artifacts and documents.

"We're now getting into the areas we've always wanted to do," said Clipper President Ray Hilt. "Our long-term goal always has been to have a museum ship, but a museum ship that can support itself. The first opportunity we get, we would like to host wedding receptions, class reunions, group meetings. That way the Clipper can support itself while the rest of the ship can focus on history."

The newly created exhibition hall inside the ship, located adjacent to the current museum, opened this spring and can be viewed for free by the general public. Volunteers painted the hall in the colors of the 678-foot-long Wilfred Sykes, a freighter that makes frequent visits to Muskegon and is one of Hilt's favorites. The hall's display features eight ship models created by Ken Jilbert of Manistee, including famed Great Lakes freighters, a 19th century warship and two ships involved in lake tragedies, the Eastland and the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Hilt is particularly excited about the Clipper's planned Maritime Resource Center. The center is being created in the bow area of the ship in front of the new display hall. The center is in the process of receiving an extensive collection of maritime books and artifacts on Great Lakes maritime history. The collection recently was donated to the Clipper group by Bob Radunz of Phoenix and was shipped in more than 45 large boxes. Officials also have been in contact with another Great Lakes enthusiast who is considering donating his collection to the Clipper.

"Our maritime center is a start and if we can get that second collection, then we will have a tremendous resource," Hilt said. "This part of our dream to transform the ship into a first-class maritime museum."

Since the ship was brought back to Muskegon in late 1997, most of the work by volunteers has been to restore a rust-streaked ship that had been neglected for years. Nine years later, the Clipper is beginning to look like its old self when it ferried cars and passengers between Muskegon and Milwaukee. With the exception of the "fantail" on the stern, most of the port and starboard sides and much of the superstructure have been repainted, including its trademark "dummy stack." Volunteers also have stripped and repainted the rusting sport deck. Inside, staterooms have been repainted, as well as the main lounge areas.

Over the winter, the lounge dance floor was sanded and refinished and the bar restored. Work is progressing on restoring the on-board movie theater. Volunteers are also tackling the ship's lifeboats. But converting the Clipper into a seasonal attraction that goes beyond guided tours is still years away.

Because access to the ship at the current McCracken Street site is restricted to fire and emergency trucks and water pressure is inadequate to fully charge the on-board sprinkling system, regulations continue to restrict the size of groups aboard the ship and activities. Events aboard the ship this summer once again are being restricted to guided tours.

In the meantime, Clipper officials are continuing to work with the city to move the ship to Hartshorn Marina for a permanent berth. Although the city and Clipper officials have reached an agreement, a long-term lease has not been signed pending improvements that must be done to the berthing site. Moving the ship to a permanent site at Hartshorn Marina and making it fully accessible could cost about $1 million.

Volunteers say all the work is worth it. The hull of the Clipper predates the Titantic by eight years and they proudly point to the Clipper as the last of the U.S. cruise ships that traveled the Great Lakes. It still has its original 3,000-horsepower quadruple expansion steam-driven engine, one of only seven built for the Great Lakes passenger trade. And its all-steel superstructure and fireproof construction was a technological marvel in the 1940s.

The ship has been listed on the National Register of Historic Sites since 1983 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989.

The Milwaukee Clipper's roots trace back to the turn of the 20th century and the Erie & Western Transportation Corp., a steamship company owned and operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad that launched the steamship Juniata in December 1904. The ship that was to become the Clipper, the Juniata was launched in December 1904 and began regular service in May 1905.

The ship sailed as the Juniata for 31 years, mostly between Buffalo, N.Y. to Duluth, Minn., before it was mothballed in 1937 because of its fire-prone wooden superstructure. In 1940, the Muskegon-based Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Co. purchased the Juniata and converted it to the Milwaukee Clipper in 1940. The Clipper shuttled passengers and cargo from Muskegon to Milwaukee for 39 years before it was retired in 1970.

The Clipper remained berthed in Muskegon for eight years before it was sold and towed to Chicago's Navy Pier as a floating attraction. In 1990, the ship was purchased by the Hammond, Ind., Port Authority, which attempted to make it into a centerpiece attraction for its large Lake Michigan marina.

The Clipper was towed to Muskegon in late 1997 after being purchased by a nonprofit group now known as the SS Milwaukee Clipper Preservation Inc.

From the Muskegon Chronicle

 

Marquette Maritime Legacy Events on Tap This Month

8/18 - Marquette - Marquette has a long, intimate history with Lake Superior, from its very beginnings as a city through its days as a working waterfront to its current role as a recreation and tourism destination. All the more reason to dedicate August as Maritime Month in Marquette, according to Fred Stonehouse.

“To paraphrase ol’ Bill Clinton, ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’ Well, in Marquette, it’s the water, stupid,” said Stonehouse, president of the Marquette Maritime Museum board. “It truly is our greatest natural asset.”

The museum, in conjunction with the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum, the Marquette County Historical Society, Peter White Public Library, the DeVos Art Museum and the Lake Superior Theater, has scheduled numerous maritime-related events throughout the month, from lectures and concerts to tours of the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse.

“The entire reason this city exists is because of the harbor, and the ability to ship iron ore,” Stonehouse said. “It remains a very vibrant and important part of our economy.”

The museum was recently awarded a $12,000 grant from the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs to organize the events that comprise Maritime Month.
As for key events and attractions, Stonehouse cited two remaining maritime-related concerts that will be held at Peter White Public Library — Wanda Degen and Pete Wittig on Friday and Bill Jammerson on Aug. 22.

In conjunction with the annual Seafood Fest, the 110-foot, 149-passenger Keweenaw Star cruiser will be moored in the Lower Harbor and offering harbor cruises from Aug. 25-27. A jazz band will be onboard playing throughout the weekend.

Throughout the month, the Michigan State University traveling exhibit “Marlinespikes and Monkey’s Fists: Traditional Arts and Knot-Tying Skills of Maritime Workers” will be on display at the library. Also, every Saturday at 5 p.m., museum workers will be firing off a Lyle gun — a short-barreled cannon used for shooting a rescue buoy — before giving in-depth tours of the lighthouse.

For more information, visit the Web site www.marquettemaritimemonth.org

From the Marquette Mining Journal

 

Lure Cruise Ships to Charlotte?
There might be a use for those costly fuel pumps after all

8/18 - Rochester, NY - Stephen Burnett, executive director of the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition, has said that the fuel tank system at Charlotte Harbor would be an attractive selling point if Rochester decided to try to attract cruise ships to dock here.

This comes as good news to city taxpayers, who were understandably less than pleased to learn that they had paid more than $200,000 to install these fuel pumps, as the Johnson administration was quietly trying to prop up CATS' faltering ferry service.

Though high-speed ferry service to Toronto failed, the city should find a way to make use of the extensive port improvements it inspired. Attracting cruise ships is one idea that deserves investigation.

There are at least seven cruise ships that carry leisure travelers throughout the Great Lakes. Some make stops in places such as Duluth, Minn., and Thunder Bay and Windsor, Ontario, on their way from Toronto to Chicago. Others come down through the St. Lawrence Seaway and pass right by Rochester on their way to Detroit.

Burnett has approached Rochester about joining his organization, a cooperative effort involving Great Lakes ports, towns, regions and the St. Lawrence Seaway, which is dedicated to attracting and supporting passenger ship travel on the Great Lakes.

There is reason to believe that Great Lakes cruise ship tour organizers might want to arrange shore excursions in this area. From the recently reopened Strong — National Museum of Play, to the Susan B. Anthony House, to George Eastman House, to the Finger Lakes wineries, there are plenty of attractions. And visitors who get a taste of the Rochester area during a cruise stopover might return for a longer stay. The ferry is scheduled to sail away, but the infrastructure it's leaving behind has made it much more attractive for other big boats to visit Rochester.

From the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

 

Port Reports - August 18

Muskegon - Ed Schipper
Indiana Harbor was in Muskegon this afternoon, Thursday, with coal for BC Cobb plant.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Manistee came into port late Thursday afternoon with a load for Verplank's Dock. If all goes according to plan this vessel will back down the river to the Construction Aggregates Dock and take on a load of sand.

Alpena & Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Tuesday evening the David Z. Norton returned to Alpena to unload another cargo of coal, but this time it was for Lafarge.
Also arriving Tuesday night at Lafarge was the Samuel de Champlain/barge Innovation.
Wednesday morning the G.L Ostrander/barge Integrity took on carge under the silos, followed by the Steamer Alpena later in the day.
The Wolverine and Arthur M. Anderson were loading at Stoneport on Thursday.

Detroit River - Kenneth Borg
Voyageur Independent was loading at ADM in Ojibway most of the day Thursday.
Algoisle was up bound before 9:00 am, followed by Canadian Transfer at 11:05 am.
CSL Tadoussac was down bound at 12:20 pm. followed by Earl W. Oglebay at 12:38 pm. The Earl still has no stack logo.
H. Lee White was up bound at 1:10 pm.

 

Tall Ships in Port Huron

8/18 - Acheson Ventures and Highlander Sea will host a Maritime Festival, Sail Port Huron this weekend. You will be able to view the sailing vessels at the Port Huron Terminal Company located at 2336 Military Street and the Desmond Marine dock located at 207 Water Street. Boats scheduled to appear at the Terminal are Niagara, Picton Castle, Pride of Baltimore II and Port Huron's own Highlander Sea. Providence and Unicorn will be at Desmond Marine Dock.

Charge for admission is one non-perishable food item per person or a cash donation to Mid-City Nutrition. All proceeds will go to the Mid-City Nutrition Kitchen.

Hours for the event are 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Please come down and enjoy a tour of these magnificent sailing vessels. There will be a special appearance by the Sarnia Pipe and Drum Corp from Noon - 1:30 on Sunday. Make the BoatNerd.Com headquarters and the Great Lakes Maritime Center, both located on Vantage Point, part of your visit to the Port Huron area.

 

Updates - August 18

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 18

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, of 1943, 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, Ohio. Renamed b.) KINSMAN ENTERPRISE in 1965. She served as a storage barge in Port Huron from 1979 to 1989. She was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey in 1989.

On 18 August 1907, KATE WHITE (wooden propeller steam tug, 62 foot, 28 gross tons, built at Erie, Pennsylvania 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, 1,525 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.

 

Tug John Purves to Come Out of Dry Dock

8/17 - Sturgeon Bay - The Tug John Purves will be moved out of dry dock at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay and will be towed through the Michigan Street bridge between 12:30 pm and 1:00 pm today.

The Purves has been in dry dock for the past several months undergoing major restoration of the hull including permanently sealing of the seacocks, pulling the twin screws, sandblasting, and painting to name but a few.

The Purves, an artifact of the Door County Maritime Museum headquartered in Sturgeon Bay, will eventually return to the Roen Salvage yard as she awaits her permanent home in front of the Museum as part of their plan to have a floating exhibit. For more information contact the Museum at 920.743.5958.

Reported by Brian Kelsey

 

Port Reports - August 17

Lorain - James F. Reagan
The Port of Lorain continues to be a very busy port on the Great Lakes. On a seasonal basis it receives cargoes of iron ore, coke, limestone, stone for construction, gypsum, scrap steel and potash. It exports some mill scale. The steel mills of US Steel and Republic Technologies are active; Jonick Co. and Falbo Const. receive stone for the construction industry; US Gypsum receives gypsum for the wall board industry and Amcor receives potash on a regular schedule.

Monday of this week the Canadian self unloader James R. Norris was observed outbound mid morning through the Charles Berry Bascule Bridge after discharging a load of potash. The tug and barge of South Shore Dredge and Dock followed the Norris out. In mid afternoon the American Mariner was observed in bound believed to be carrying a load of iron ore. The Mariner was followed by the American Republic approx. fifteen minutes behind, both boats were upbound on the Black River through the bascule bridge. The bridge tenders were kept busy that afternoon raising and lowering the bridge for the two boats. As the American Republic passed through the bascule bridge it was followed by South Shore's tug and barge returning to port. The American Republic was thought to be carrying stone.

Wednesday the Buffalo was observed inbound possibly with gypsum. The King Co. completed dredging of the Black River (hydraulically) and was assembling their equipment for the long tow to the next job reportedly on the Mississipi River.

Huron - Dave Wobser
The Corps of Engineers tug Cheraw and crane barge McCauley are working in Huron shoring up the west pier with rip-rap. The stone is being lifted out of a cargo barge and being deposited on the lake side of the pier. The crew boat Palmetto was assisting.

Toledo -
Olympic Merit departed ADM Elevators early this evening after on loading. Ziemia Gnieznienska was being off loaded via bucket cranes at Midwest Terminals of Toledo.
The crew of USCG UTB (utility boat) 41480 was busy waxing the vessel to a high gloss.
Sandpiper made a sunset excursion up and down the Maumee River.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Wednesday the small cruise vessel Nantucket Clipper was at the heavy lift dock on Jones Island in Milwaukee's inner harbor, having arrived Tuesday morning.
Also Wednesday, cross-lake ferry Lake Express remained at its pier in the outer harbor, idled from its busy three-crossings-a-day schedule while (reportedly) components are replaced in a gearbox serving one of its four diesel engines.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Wolverine finished her unload at the Bay City Wirt dock Tuesday morning, turned in the basin at the west end of the dock and was outbound for the lake around 6:15am. Following close behind the Wolverine was the Cuyahoga who had unloaded overnight at the Buena Vista dock. Both vessels passed downbound through the Independence Bridge with the same lift.
Inbound early Wednesday was the Algosar who called on the Ashland-Marathon dock in Bay City. A frequent visitor in past years as the Gemini, this is the second visit of the year for the Algosar.
Also inbound Wednesday was the Wolverine, back again for her second visit in three days. She called on the Essroc dock to lighter before continuing upriver to finish at the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City.

 

Updates - August 17

News Photo Gallery updated

A second News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 17

On August 17, 1987, the CADILLAC 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 p.m., 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.

 

Port Reports - August 16

Escanaba - Lee Rowe
The Burns Harbor loaded ore in Escanaba on Tuesday.
The Joseph L. Block may arrive Wednesday.

Toronto- - Charlie Gibbons
The salty Flinterspirit arrived in port Tuesday morning at the Atlas crane on Pier 35 and departed around 9:30 pm with two Voshkod hydrofoils (from the failed cross-lake ferry service) on deck, bound for Russia.
The heavy lift Beluga Recognition, which has been loading railway cars at Pier 51 for a few days, departed Tuesday morning around 10 am.

 

Updates - August 16

News Photo Gallery updated

Special Detroit River Boatnerd Cruise Gallery

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

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 foot 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 (Hull#412) was 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. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.

 

John Sherwin Tow

8/15 - The John Sherwin tow from Superior, Wisconsin was reported to begin Monday morning but has been rescheduled for Wednesday morning.

G-Tugs are contracted for the tow.

The tow is to stop in Milwaukee and then on to Chicago where it will be used as a grain storage hull.

Reported by Frank Frisk

 

Wreck of the Cedarville Claims Life of DeWitt Diver

8/15 - Straits of Mackinac - The wreck of the Cedarville claimed another life on Saturday, more than four decades after sinking more than 100 feet into the waters of northern Lake Huron.

According to the Cheboygan County Sheriff Department, three divers had entered the water at approximately 11:30 a.m. Saturday to explore the wreckage, when one of the members broke away from the group and re-surfaced. He called out to those on the nearby boat and began to float away.

By the time the boat got to the man's location, he reportedly was no longer breathing and his head was underwater.

Efforts to revive the DeWitt man started immediately and continued until the man was delivered to Mackinac Straits Hospital in St. Ignace. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful, however, and he was pronounced dead at the medical facility.

The Cheboygan County Sheriff Department was not releasing the name of the deceased individual pending the notification of relatives, according to a press release.

The 588-foot self-unloading freighter, Cedarville was carrying more than 14,000 tons of limestone when it collided with the Norwegian freighter Topdalsfjord on May 7, 1965, according to information provided by Executive Director Tom Farnquist of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society. Nearly a third of the 35-man crew perished when the Cedarville went down with 10 sailors losing their lives.

Michigan State Police from the St. Ignace Post speculated that more people have died diving on the Cedarville over the last 41 years, than perished on the day it went down. No official numbers were available related to this claim.

Additional information provided by Farnquist indicates the wreck of the Cedarville has much to offer for the diving community. The upper portion of the hull is only 35 feet below the surface with the superstructure and cabin accessible at approximately 75 feet. The vessel's deepest point is somewhere around the 105-foot mark.

From the Soo Evening News

 

Mackinac Bridge Traffic Normal Despite Caro Arrests

8/15 - St. Ignace - Traffic was reportedly moving normally on the Mackinac Bridge for a rainy summer Monday after the weekend arrest of three Texas men who some suspect of terrorist intent on the bridge.

State police Lt. Curt Robertson at the St. Ignace Post today said extensive video surveillance of the bridge and frequent state police bridge patrols are standard procedure every day. He did not indicate any special precautions are bring taken by state police, who are charged with patrolling the Mackinac Bridge.

Robertson said any information suggesting a terror plot targeting the Mackinac Bridge has been “... sketchy at best,” in reports from the scene of a weekend arrest of three Texas men facing multiple state charges. The three reportedly purchased some 80 prepaid cell phones at a Wal-Mart store in rural Caro, Mich., before a clerk became suspicious and called police. Police there said the three men of Palestinian-American heritage had 1,000 cell phones in their van when arrested on terror-related charges.

In reports from Caro, Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene said investigators believe the three men were targeting the Mackinac Bridge. The men had video and still photos of the bridge in their possession at the time of their arrest in Caro.

Details of police suspicions were not announced but one local police officer in Caro noted that cell phones have been used as bomb detonators. A similar case involving dozens of cell phones was uncovered in Ohio.

Meanwhile in St. Ignace, Lt. Robertson said people intending to use the Mackinac Bridge should not be alarmed by the possible connection with the Caro arrest. He noted that the state police routinely patrol the bridge deck and view video images of many points on the structure. In the waters below the bridge, the U.S. Coast Guard announced stepped up patrols around the bridge, its massive piers and causeways.

Robertson said bridge customers have not been slowed by the same type of intense security that airline passengers endured recently after British police apparently broke up a cadre of plotters targeting trans-Atlantic airliners.

Robertson said bridge users need not be overly concerned by the events in Caro. “I cross it every day to work,” he said from his office adjacent to the bridge.

Mackinac Bridge Authority Secretary Bob Sweeney could not be reached for comment early today. However, over the weekend, Sweeney indicated in interviews that the state Transportation Department did not order an extraordinary security clampdown on the bridge following the Caro arrests.

From the Soo Evening News

 

Damaged Gear to Temporarily Idle Lake Express

8/15 - Milwaukee - The Lake Express high-speed ferry will be out of service for three days this week due to unexpected damage to a large gear.

The ferry will not run any Tuesday through Thursday while workers replace a gearbox shipped from Europe, operators said Monday. Installation will begin Monday evening.

Lake Express will offer refunds to passengers who booked trips during those days and will help customers find alternative travel options.

Lake Express said experts examining the gear speculate that the damage is the result of an unusual manufacturing defect, and that it does not reflect an ongoing problem with the ship's equipment. The damage was discovered late last week, said Lake Express spokesman Jeff Fleming.

The damage affects only one of the ship's four engines. It continues to operate Monday on the three remaining engines, Fleming said, but the third of three daily roundtrips it takes between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Mich., has been cancelled.

From bizjournals.com

 

Port Reports - August 15

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Monday, self-unloader Agawa Canyon unloaded salt at the bulk cargo dock on Jones Island in Milwaukee's inner harbor.
Just to the north, steamer Alpena was docked at the LaFarge silo. Rafted to Alpena was LaFarge's tug/barge Samuel de Champlain and Innovation.
In the outer harbor, saltwater vessel BBC Asia remained at terminal 2, unloading wind turbine components.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Friday, at about 7:30am the David Z. Norton made its way into the Thunder Bay River and tied up at the DPI plant. The Norton then proceeded to unload a cargo of coal. By 2:00pm the Norton was finished and backed out of the river to head to Stoneport.
On Saturday the Steamer Alpena was at Lafarge loading for Milwaukee.
The J.A.W Iglehart was tied up at the Soo at West Pier Sunday evening, waiting for its turn to lock through. The Iglehart arrived back in Alpena on Monday and took on cargo under the silos.
The G.L Ostrander/barge Integrity and Samuel de Champlain/barge Innovation are both expected back in port Tuesday evening.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Mesabi Miner unloaded coal at Marquette on Monday. The Charles M. Beeghly came in for ore and tied up on the north side of the dock to wait for the M. Miner to finish her unload on the south side.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
Monday was a busy day on the Saginaw River with three vessels moving through the river. First was the inbound tug Undaunted and the barge Pere Marquette 41 calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Essexville to unload. The pair should finish unloading their cargo of stone and be outbound for the lake early Tuesday morning.
The Cuyahoga was inbound the Saginaw River passing the Front Range Light at 8:30pm Monday evening headed upriver to the Buena Vista Stone dock in Zilwaukee to unload. The Cuyahoga passed the outbound tug Duluth and her barges above the Lake State Railroad bridge on her upbound transit. The Cuyahoga is expected to finish unloading at the Buena Vista Stone dock in Zilwaukee, turn at the Sixth Street turning basin and be back outbound for the lake Tuesday morning.
The Wolverine, a rare visitor to the Saginaw River was inbound passing the Front Range Light at 9:00pm Monday evening headed upriver to unload at the Sargent dock in Essexville. The Wolverine kept in contact with the tug Duluth and her barges which would be working the Essroc dock directly behind her and the Pere Marquette 41 and the tug Undaunted which would be unloading at the Bay Aggregates Slip across the river from the her. This was the Wolverine's first visit to the Saginaw River under the ownership of Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Company. The Wolverine should be outbound for the lake early Tuesday morning.
The tug Duluth was inbound from the Pump-Out Island around 1:00pm Monday afternoon pushing the empty barges 120 & 121 upriver to the Sixth Street turning basin and the tug Sarah B. was moored at Bay Harbor Marina. The tug Duluth arrived in Saginaw, dropped off the barges 120 & 121 for the Dredge Sue and was back outbound from the Sixth Street turning basin by 6:00pm Monday evening pushing two loaded scows outbound to the Essroc Dock in Essexville. The outbound tug Duluth kept in contact with the inbound Cuyahoga and the inbound Wolverine.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge departed the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City on Saturday and was outbound for the lake after unloading.
On Monday, three vessel passages were noted. The tug undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 called on the Bay Aggregates dock to unload. They backed from the slip around 7:30pm and were outbound for the lake. The outbound tug and barge passed the inbound Cuyahoga and about a half hour later, the Wolverine.
The Cuyahoga headed to the upper river to unload at the Buena Vista dock. She expected a three hour unload, then was turn and be outbound early Tuesday morning.
The Wolverine, making her first visit under new ownership, called on the Sargent dock in Essexville where she lightered three holds before continuing upriver to the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City to finish the last hold. Wolverine was also expected to be outbound early Tuesday.

 

Boatnerd News Photo Gallery Marks 300 Pages

8/15 - Today the Boatnerd News staff posted the 300th and 301st News Photo Gallery page.

The News Gallery was started on August 1, 2004 to post photos that coordinated with News articles.

At an average of 40 photos per page, the total photos posted is well over 12,000, including special pages for assorted special events.

Thanks to all who have submitted photos for consideration. If you would like to submit News photos, please see the Guide Lines at the bottom of each News Photo Gallery.

 

Updates - August 15

News Photo Gallery updated

Another News Photo Gallery updated

Special Detroit River Boatnerd Cruise Gallery

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 15

On this day in 1899, a major blockage of the St. Marys River occurred. The steamer MATOA was towing the barge MAIDA past Sailors Encampment when the steering chain of the MAIDA parted. The MAIDA ran ashore but the current swung her around to completely block the channel, and she sunk. The lower St. Marys River was closed for several days and 80 - 90 boats were delayed.

The whaleback barge 107 (steel whaleback barge, 276 foot, 1,295 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. In 1985, renamed c.) OTTERCLIFFE HALL, d.) PETER MISENER in 1988, and e.) CANADIAN TRADER in 1994. She was scrapped at Alang, India in 2004.

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. She was renamed b.) AMERICAN SPIRIT in 2004.

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 cutters 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. By September 5, 1980, the situation was rectified and she was towed down the Welland Canal by the tugs BARBARA ANN, STORMONT and ARGUE MARTIN bound for Quebec City.

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 dock at 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 feet 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,Russ Plumb, 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.

 

Terrorism Worries Strike Home
Arrest of trio surprises Caro residents

8/14 - Caro, MI — As federal authorities questioned a trio pulled over with nearly a thousand pre-paid cell phones in their van, some residents wondered how the possibility of a terrorism link could reach their village. Responding to a 911 call Friday from a graveyard shift Wal-Mart cashier who considered the cash purchase of 80 phones suspicious, authorities pulled over a navy blue mini-van with Texas license plates shortly after 2 a.m. near the store’s parking lot.

FBI agents questioned the men of Palestinian descent — who range in age from 18 to 23 — for nearly seven hours Friday. Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark E. Reene is seeking state charges of soliciting and providing material support for terrorism and obtaining information of a vulnerable target for terrorism.

The men, whom police said are from metropolitan Dallas, were in the Tuscola County Jail awaiting arraignment, which likely will happen today. The felony charges each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Village and state police found one of the men discarding the packaging and battery chargers for the phones. The men apparently had separated the batteries from the other phones in the van. The men told police that they were buying the phones to resell them at a profit, buying the phones for $20 in Michigan then reselling them for $38 in Texas.

Donald Duggar, 70, who was Caro village manager for 23 years and now works as a grant writer for the Human Development Commission there, says the incident “concerns me a lot.” “You always hear that small communities are targeted for violence or robbery,” he said. “On behalf of myself and my community, I’d like to know what’s behind this. I’m just surprised that it came to a small town like Caro, a town off the beaten path.”

Robert J. Klenk, the 911 director for Tuscola County, said people are more alert to suspicious activity than they were before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “I don’t know if people are more willing to call 911 if they see something out of the ordinary, but they are certainly more educated because of everything in the news,” he said.

Rex K. Ellsworth, 75, who owns the Gambles Hardware store in Caro, said the news gave him pause. “The police should be chasing this,” he said. “It makes me suspicious. Not scared, but I’m going to keep my eyes open now.” The nation remains on heightened alert in the wake of a foiled plot to blow up airliners headed to the United States from London.

John Cecil, FBI resident agent in charge for mid-Michigan, did not immediately return phones calls from The Saginaw News. Caro police refused to release information on the site the three men are accused of scouting. Wal-Mart management directed calls to the corporate offices in Bentonville, Ark. Officials there did not return phone calls.

In a case that has grabbed headlines, two Dearborn 20-year-olds are facing terrorism-related charges after authorities found large amounts of cash and a dozen cell phones in their vehicle in Marietta, Ohio. Family members have said the men are victims of profiling.

Counterterrorism experts have linked previous wholesale purchases of pre-paid cell phones to plots by terrorists, who often use the devices as detonators in attacks and make it difficult to track international calls. The cell phones are popular with terrorists, authorities say, because people don’t need identification to buy them.

Reene requests anyone who witnesses a purchase of a large quantity of cell phones to contact the Caro Police at (989) 673-2402.

From the Saginaw News

 

USCG Responds to Possible Mac Bridge Threat

8/14 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI - U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie increased patrols across the Straits of Mackinac in response to a possible terrorist threat to the Mackinaw Bridge Sunday.

After learning of a possible threat to the Mackinaw Bridge, the U.S. Coast Guard increased the number of patrols in the vicinity of the bridge. The additional patrols are being conducted to deter, detect and allow for a more timely response to any possible threats made to the bridge.

The general threat level in which the Coast Guard operates under has not increased. The Coast Guard will work with local law enforcement authorities and other DHS agencies to assist as needed.

We would like to remind the public to contact local authorities if any suspicious activity is observed in the vicinity of the bridge.

Further inquiries can be made by phone to Sault Vessel Traffic Service at (906) 635-3232 or via email at SOOTFC@USCG.MIL

USCG News Release

 

Cell Phone Buyer Turned Away in Ithaca

8/14 - Ithaca, MI — No sooner were residents in this Gratiot County community digesting reports of cell phone purchases with possible terrorist ties in Caro that they learned an unidentified man attempted a suspicious purchase of his own here.

Sometime early Friday afternoon, authorities said a suspect driving a silver car stopped at a local Dollar General outlet and attempted to buy prepaid cell phones.

A sales clerk turned the man away because he attempted to purchase more than the store’s limit. Television reports said the man became upset and left with at least one other man. Earlier that day, three men tried to purchase 80 cell phones at the Wal-Mart store in Caro.

Federal authorities believe the trio planned to use the gadgets for some form of explosives. The suspects may face state charges of soliciting and providing material support for terrorism and obtaining information of a vulnerable target for terrorism. In Ithaca, however, no suspects were apprehended.

From the Saginaw News

 

Bridge Patrols Up

8/14 - Sault Ste. Marie - The U.S. Coast Guard has increased the number of patrols across the straits of Mackinac in response to a potential terrorist threat to the Mackinac Bridge.

Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark E. Reene has charged three Dallas men with two counts each of supporting terrorist acts and surveillance of a vulnerable target. The men, arrested Friday after a clerk at Caro’s Wal-Mart store alerted police that their purchase of about 80 pre-paid cell phones seemed suspicious.

Reene has yet to confirm what evidence led him to believe the men were targeting the iconic bridge, which links the state’s upper and lower peninsulas.

The general threat level in which the Coast Guard operates under has not increased, officials said.

From the Saginaw News

 

Roger Blough Update

8/14 - Washington Island, WI - The Roger Blough passed through "Death's Door", connecting Lake Michigan and Green Bay at 9:00 am EDT Monday.

She was headed to Sturgeon Bay for replacement of her lost rudder.

There was an unidentified tug pulling and another trailing tug.

Reported by Ham Rutledge

 

Shipwreck Explorer Hires Help
State warned him not to disturb site

8/14 - An amateur underwater explorer who believes he has found the Holy Grail of Great Lakes shipwrecks has enlisted a Michigan maritime research group to plan the next phase of his exploration efforts -- despite a stern warning from state officials. Steve Libert, who thinks he found the 17th-Century wreck of the Griffon in Lake Michigan, has recruited the St. Johns-based Center for Maritime and Underwater Resource Management (CMURM).

"We don't know if it is the Griffon or not," said Ken Vrana, president of the nonprofit group, who is to unveil a research plan for the site at a news conference today in Charlevoix. "The main thing is, we're putting together the highly trained professionals and resources needed for a first step in this process."

The Griffon, which sank in 1679 on its maiden voyage in northern Lake Michigan, was loaded with furs sent by French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. It's historically important because it was the first sailing ship to sink on the upper Great Lakes, and it is a time capsule of the period.

Both the State of Michigan and Libert agree that if the wreckage is indeed the Griffon, it should be preserved. And they agree that additional research should be done to determine whether it is in fact La Salle's famous ship. But that's where the agreements end. The two are locked in a federal court battle, each claiming rights to study the wreckage. The State of Michigan claims all wrecks within its portion of the Great Lakes, and would like to handle the research, but it doesn't know where the Griffon is. Libert has kept that bit of info a secret, fearing that if the state steps in, he'll be edged out of the studies.

Because the Griffon sailed under the French flag, Libert and his attorney, Rick Robel, say that the matter is one of international law, which would give the nod to the French and Libert, France's designated explorer for the site. He plans to put off further research and wrangle in court rather than fill out permits demanded by the state that require him to reveal the wreck's location. Libert wants to use his work for documentaries or books, and would like assurance that he will continue to be part of the research if the state gets involved.

In the meantime, state officials say that if Libert so much as brings up samples from the wreck for testing or further study, it could be considered a criminal act punishable by a wide range of penalties, from a minor misdemeanor to a 10-year felony. Even so, Vrana of CMURM said the group will start raising money to pay for additional research on the site.

The state notified CMURM last month that it was not legally registered to raise money to explore the site, and that it would have to apply for a permit. The group was asked to respond to the state's notification by Friday. CMURM did not meet the deadline, said Nate Bailey, spokesman for the state Attorney General's Office. Bailey wouldn't say what would happen if the group tried to register to legally raise money later.

"The state will do whatever is necessary to protect the historical value of what may or may not be the Griffon," Bailey said. Vrana, however, said CMURM has worked with the state in the past and expects to be able to do so in this case. He said the first step would be to do more research this winter into both the history of the Griffon and the work Libert has done. From there, his group will develop a plan for more research.

A less famous boat probably wouldn't generate the same level of controversy, Vrana said. "The title to the shipwreck is kind of a sideshow to the real issue -- is this or is this not the Griffon?" Vrana said.

From the Detroit Free Press

 

Port Reports - August 14

Grand Haven & Muskegon - Greg Barber
The David Z. Norton was in Grand Haven, on Sunday Morning, at both Meekhof Docks, departing at 10:30 am by backing through the piers.
Canadian Transfer arrived in Muskegon at noon with salt for Verplank's.

Hamilton and Oakville - Eric Holmes
Friday afternoon saw the Algoscotia arrive at the Petro Canada Piers in Oakville ( Bronte ). She departed at 4:30 pm on Saturday.
Saturday had the Lady Hamilton arriving in Hamilton at 1:30 pm going to Pier 14.
The tug Omni Richileau departed Hamilton at 4:30 pm.
The Montrealais arrived at 5:30 pm going to Dofasco. She departed at 10:00 am on Sunday.
Sunday saw the Maritime Trader arrive at 8:30 am going to Pier 25, JRI Elevators.
Next the Canadian Enterprise arrived at 12:00 noon.
The Algosea departed the Petro Canada Piers in Oakville at 7:00 pm.
The Lady Hamilton departed Hamilton's Pier 14 at 7:15 pm.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Nantucket Clipper was in port all day Saturday, departing at 7:00pm bound for Chicago. Early Sunday morning the David Z. Norton came in and unloaded stone at Meekhof's D & M dock on Harbor Island and their dock in Ferrysburg. At noon it was out in the lake headed southwest. It still carried Oglebay Norton Colors but no O/N emblem on the stack.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
Tourists and locals visiting Sandusky's Jackson Street Pier on Sundays bright and sunny afternoon witnessed an uncommon sight: The Canadian Transport departed the NS coal dock via the Upper Bay Channel at the same time as the CSL Assiniboine moved along the inbound Dock Channel.
The Jackson Street Pier is located adjacent to the Dock Channel in the heart of Sandusky's Bay Front Corridor and is the dock from which the excursion boat Goodtime III and the Canadian ferry Pelee Islander depart. It is the best location on the waterfront from which to observe the comings and goings of commercial traffic and from which to glimpse the meanderings of the numerous pleasure craft which dot Sandusky Bay.

Toledo -
Olympic Merit was loading at ADM. Mary E. Hannah was idle with tanker barges Hannah 2902 and 2903 alongside the Toledo Shipyard docks.
Anglian Lady and tank barge PML 2501 departed after loading at BP Riverfront Terminal. The excursion boat Arawanna II made several trips between Harrison Marina and the new I-280 High Level Bridge project today.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The John J Boland arrived with stone for the Gateway Trade Center at 2:00 pm Sunday afternoon and she departed around 9:00 pm Sunday night.
Maumee is currently east bound in Lake Erie and due to arrive in Buffalo late Sunday or early Monday morning.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Sunday morning ocean vessel BBC Asia (reg. St. John's, Antigua) was anchored in Milwaukee's outer harbor. By noon it had docked on the south side of municipal terminal 2 on the outer harbor, preparing to unload a cargo of wind turbine components.

 

Updates - August 14

News Photo Gallery updated

Another News Photo Gallery updated

Special Detroit River Boatnerd Cruise Gallery

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 14

On this day in 1962, the ARTHUR M ANDERSON departed Conneaut and headed down bound to become the first Pittsburgh boat to transit the Welland Canal and St. Lawrence Seaway.

At 11:00 p.m., 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 MONTGOMERY 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 Co. 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.

Data from: Joe Barr, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

Big Waves on Lake Michigan Stop Ferry Service

8/13 - Muskegon - High waves on Lake Michigan caused the Lake Express ferry to halt all its trips Friday. Company spokesman Jeff Fleming said 9-foot waves on Lake Michigan would have made the crossing difficult for passengers and that services are expected to resume today.

"The Lake Express can handle the rough weather and the high seas, but it makes for a very uncomfortable ride when the waves are as high as they were today," Fleming said. "Our customers have been very understanding as we have notified them and we are working to make alternative transportation arrangements for those who need them." Fleming said Lake Express is giving refunds or rebooking canceled reservations for a later date.

The Lake Express, which has been running on only three of its four engines, also will skip its third round trip today to fix a gear box associated with the downed engine. "It is not a safety issue, the boat runs very well on three engines," Fleming said. While Fleming admits that the cross-lake ferry service has had several cancellations this year for both weather and mechanical reasons, "the vast majority of trips have run as scheduled."

By 3 a.m. Friday, a steady 26 mph east wind was pushing waves to 7 feet high near the Wisconsin shore of Lake Michigan, said Walt Felver, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids. Early Friday, the National Weather Service office in Milwaukee issued a small craft advisory for waves up to 6 feet along the Wisconsin shore through Friday afternoon. Waves were expected to subside to 1-3 feet by this morning.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration buoy located 43 miles south-southeast of Milwaukee recorded wave heights over 6 feet high early Friday morning. Waves at the NOAA buoy barely were above 2 feet high at 8 p.m. on Thursday. However, waves began building when the 20 mph northeast wind shifted to the east and freshened to over 26 mph. Conditions were much less severe along the Michigan coastline Friday morning. Felver said waves were 1 to 3 feet within five miles of the Michigan shore.

Lynda Daughtery, media relations director for the S.S. Badger in Ludington, said the reservation office for Michigan's only other cross-lake ferry has received calls about Lake Express' missed trips. "We had numerous calls both yesterday and today when they found out that Lake Express had to cancel," Daughtery said. Several of those customers booked tickets on the Badger, she said.

The Badger is a 410-foot steel ship designed to run on the Great Lakes year-round despite the weather, Daughtery said. The Badger has canceled only once in the past five years because of weather.

From the Muskegon Chronicle

 

Roger Blough Update

8/13 - On Friday, GLF was reporting that Roger Blough was anchored off Gary waiting for the Edgar B. Speer to unload.

On Saturday, the Blough was unloading at Gary.

Her next destination is Sturgeon Bay for repairs, but no Estimate Time of Departure (ETD) was given.

Original Article - 8/9 - DeTour Village - Tuesday evening the Edgar B. Speer was reported to tie along side the Roger Blough. The pair are expected to depart Wednesday morning with the Blough along side the Speer. The Speer was down bound at Gros Cap at 2:40 pm on Tuesday. Both boats are headed to Gary.

The Roger Blough lost its rudder Saturday night in the lower St. Marys River. It has been at anchor near Raber Bay off of Lime Island.

 

 

Port Reports - August 13

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Luedtke dredge operations are wrapping up today and the equipment will soon be moved to Sandusky, OH, and then on to Gary, Indiana.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
A busy Saturday at the Goderich harbour saw Algosteel finish loading at the Sifto Salt dock.
Agawa Canyon was waiting on the new harbour dock and shifted over when the Steel departed.
Late afternoon, Amanda was inbound, turned in the outer harbour, then backed into the elevator dome dock in the new harbour.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
On Friday, Mesabi Miner unloaded eastern coal at the Upper Harbor hopper on a crystal clear summer evening.
On Saturday, Michipicoten loaded ore and departed late in the afternoon for the Soo. Herbert C. Jackson arrived at sunset for a load of ore.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
After a quiet stretch of days, commercial traffic resumed on the Saginaw River when the Sam Laud called on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City Friday evening. She was inbound at the Front Range around 9:00pm and was expected to be outbound early Saturday morning.
The tug Duluth was moving mud barges from the Essroc dock in Essexville over to the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City Friday night in order to clear the dock at Essroc for a vessel that was scheduled to unload there.
The Indiana Harbor was also due to unload at Consumer Energy on Saturday.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Sam Laud finished unloading at the Bay Aggregates dock in Essexville around 3:00am Saturday morning and waited briefly at the dock for the CSL Tadoussac to arrive at the Essroc dock directly across the river. Once the Tadoussac was docked, the Sam Laud backed from the Bay Aggregates slip, turned around, and was out bound the Saginaw River for the lake early Saturday morning.
The CSL Tadoussac was in bound in the Saginaw River early Saturday morning, calling on the Essroc Cement Terminal in Essexville to unload. She finished her unload the Essroc Terminal in Essexville around 3:00pm and backed from the dock out of the river and onto the Saginaw Bay, turned around at Light 12 and was outbound for the lake Saturday afternoon. Radio traffic indicated that the Tadoussac is bound for Superior to load taconite.
The Indiana Harbor was inbound the Saginaw River early Saturday afternoon, passing the Front Range around 1:30pm, calling on the Consumers Power Plant in Essexville. She finished unloading coal at the Consumers Power Plant in Essexville by 7:30pm Saturday evening and backed out of the river and onto the Saginaw Bay, turned around at Light 12 and was outbound for the lake at 8:30pm Saturday evening. Radio Traffic indicated that the Indiana Harbor is bound for Duluth to load coal.
The tug Rebecca Lynn and the tank barge A-410 were inbound the Saginaw River late Saturday morning calling on the Bit-Mat dock in Essexville to unload. The pair finished unloading at the Bit-Mat dock and were outbound for the lake just after midnight Sunday morning.
The Great Lakes Dock & Materials tug Duluth was moving 2 barges between the Dow Chemical dock and the Pump-Out Island around noon on Saturday and was later moving 2 loaded barges from the Sixth Street turning basin in Saginaw bound for the Pump-Out Island Saturday night.

 

Freighter Cruise Auction Ends Tonight

8/13 - The Trip Auction for a cruise aboard the Saginaw ends tonight at 11:59 p.m. This is likely going to be one of the last auctions for some time.

Boat trips are rare, auctions are even rarer. Most trips are made available to the public only through raffles. This is a rare chance to guarantee a cruise on a working freighter.

Current Bid: $6,000

Click here for more information

 

Updates - August 13

News Photo Gallery updated

Special Detroit River Boatnerd Cruise Gallery

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 13

Operated by a crew of retired Hanna captains, chief engineers and executives, the GEORGE M HUMPHREY departed the old Great Lakes Engineering Works yard in Ecorse, Michigan 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 to Frankfort.

The 272 foot, 1,740 gross ton, wooden propeller freighter SITKA was launched by F. W. Wheeler (Hull#32) at W. 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.

 

High Inventories Stall Lakes Coal Trade In July

8/12 - Cleveland---With coal inventories at electric utilities reportedly at their highest level since mid-2003, shipments of coal on the Great Lakes slumped significantly in July. Loadings totaled only 3.8 million net tons, a decrease of 23 percent compared to a year ago, and a drop of 19 percent compared to the month’s 5-year average.

While light loading as a result of inadequate dredging at many ports was not the overriding factor in the July decline, the problem persisted. The impact of silted-up channels is well illustrated by comparing two cargos carried by a 768-foot-long U.S.-Flag Laker. Early in the month, the vessel loaded coal at Sandusky, Ohio, for delivery to Green Bay, Wisconsin. The cargo totaled 19,508 net tons. Two weeks later, the same ship again took on coal in Sandusky, but this time its destination was Ontonagon, Michigan, and the cargo totaled only 14,621 net tons.

While there is no draft restriction in Sandusky, differing available drafts at the two discharge ports dramatically affected the amount of cargo the vessel could carry.

Year-to-date, the Lakes coal trade totals 20.4 million net tons, a decrease of 1 million net tons compared to the same point in 2005. However, the trade is 400,000 net tons ahead of the 5-year average for the January-July timeframe.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 18 American corporations that operate 62 U.S.-Flag vessels on the Great Lakes. These vessels carry the raw materials that drive the nation’s economy: Iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, limestone and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation....

Collectively, these vessels can transport as much as 125 million tons of cargo a year when high water levels offset the lack of adequate dredging of Great Lakes ports and waterways. More information is available at www.lcaships.com

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Rochester's 2006 Ferry Bill: $1.3 Million So Far
Docked ship's expenses exceed what buyer agreed to reimburse

8/12 - Rochester, NY — In the first six months of this year, Rochester's high-speed ferry lost $1.3 million as it remained docked and out of service at the Port of Rochester. The ship is in the process of being sold to the British firm Euroferries Ltd., which has agreed to offset expenses from June 1 until the ship departs for service on the English Channel.

But even after Euroferries' promised contribution of $6,000 a day, due at closing, the city will pay $1.1 million. That's the same amount the ferry lost in the month of November alone while the ferry was in service, according to recent earnings reports of the Rochester Ferry Co.

June expenses were nearly $60,000 above what the overseas company will pay, according to the reports, which the Democrat and Chronicle obtained from the city. In January 2005, the city created Rochester Ferry Co., a limited liability company, to operate the ferry after its original owners shut down in September 2004. "I imagine there are some things that are rightfully the city's responsibility," city spokesman Gary Walker said about such ongoing expenses as insurance and management fees. Meanwhile, the city's next interest-only payment on the $40 million borrowed to buy and operate the ferry last year is due Tuesday, totaling $1.2 million.

On Jan. 10, days after taking office, Mayor Robert Duffy announced that the city was shutting down the ferry service and selling the ship because the debt burden was too great.

The earnings reports, particularly the final statement for last season — which ran June 30 through Dec. 12, 2005 — provide a glimpse into the ferry's final months. Two-thirds of that season's revenue had been generated by the second month of service, the reports show.

Reports show $2.8 million in total revenue through Aug. 31, 2005, but the ferry struggled to generate another $1.3 million before the season ended. Manager Bay Ferries Great Lakes LLC cut expenses as it reduced the number of crossings to Toronto. Comparing post-Aug. 31 expenses with pre-Aug. 31 expenses, fuel expenses fell by $900,000, reducing total expenses to $5 million over the final 122 days. Nevertheless, net operating losses hit $7.4 million.

"When you look at it in total, the million-dollar loss (in November) would certainly reflect ridership," said City Councilman and ferry board president Benjamin Douglas. "It's all linked to one another, it's not simply looking at the loss and saying, 'It's time to shut down.' It's looking at that loss and saying, 'What does that loss mean?'"

Douglas said the loss reflected market conditions, pricing and the need for better and different marketing, which shaped board members' plans for another year. But Duffy saw things differently. The mayor announced in May that Euroferries was buying the ship for $29.8 million. The deal has yet to close. "I don't think anybody is comfortable," Douglas said of the current circumstances. "Nobody is comfortable until the ship sails."

From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

 

Port Reports - August 12

Kingsville - Eric Zuschlag
The Algoway anchored in Pigeon Bay Friday at 4:45 pm while the Jiimaan entered the harbour. Once the Jiimaan had entered, the   Algoway entered the tiny fishing town's harbour to unload her cargo of stone.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The H. Lee White loaded overnight Thursday at the NS coal dock.
Posted for a late afternoon Friday arrival at the Sandusky dock is the Canadian Enterprise.
On Saturday, both the Canadian Transport and the Atlantic Huron are slated to load at the NS dock.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
About noon on Friday, the Algoma Central's Algorail was unloading salt, while Polish Steamship's Ziema Gornoslaska (built 1990, 591 feet) was loading corn at the Nidera Elevator.

 

Updates - August 12

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

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 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 Maunaloa (Hull#37) was launched August 12, 1899 at Chicago, Illinois by Chicago Shipbuilding Co. for the Minnesota Steamship Co. Sold Canadian and renamed b.) MAUNALOA II in 1945. She was scrapped at Toronto in 1971.

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.

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

 

Edward L. Ryerson Update

8/11 - The Ryerson departed Superior, WI early Friday morning.

Normal sailing time should put her at the Soo Locks at 8:00 am EDT Saturday.

 

Roger Blough Update

8/11 - GLF is reporting that the Roger Blough is due in Gary Indiana today at 8:00 pm. The same report indicates Edgar B. Speer was scheduled to arrive at Gary at 6:00 am this morning.

It would appear that the Speer is going to leave the Blough at anchor while the Speer unloads. Both vessels use the same hopper to unload with their short chutes.

The Blough is scheduled to proceed to Sturgeon Bay for repairs after unloading. The Speer is due in Two Harbors on Monday.

 

Fire Damages S.S. Badger Dock

8/11 - Manitowoc - A fire reported on the dock near the S.S. Badger was likely started by a discarded cigarette, according to a spokesperson for the ship.

Lynda Daugherty, spokesperson for the car ferry, said wall abutting the ship caught fire, and was extinguished by the Badger’s crew. The Manitowoc Fire Department responded at about 12:20 p.m. and also hosed down the back end of the ship.

Daugherty said the ship never caught on fire, and that paint was stripped from the heat of the nearby flames. Daugherty said that portion of the ship will be repainted.

Daugherty said the majority of the passengers for the 1:15 p.m. departure were aboard, but because the fire was not on the ship, they weren’t evacuated. The ship left Manitowoc about five minutes late, Daugherty said.

Beth Caven and her family, were the next car to be boarded on the ship when she and her husband, Jon, noticed the fire. "We both looked at each other and said, ‘that’s not right,’" she said. "I asked the attendant, ‘please don’t put my car on a flaming boat.’" Beth and Jon Caven, and son Joshua, 6, and Kelsie, 4, from Minneapolis, have ridden the Badger about 12 times, Jon Caven said.

Beth Caven said the fire didn’t shake her confidence in the Badger, but she and Jon had to calm the children. "We had to reassure them that the firemen made it safe again," she said.

From the Manitowoc Herald Times

 

U.S. Coast Guard Turns 216

8/11 - Washington D.C. - Coast Guard members stationed around the globe will celebrate as America’s oldest, continuous sea-going service observes its 216th birthday Friday.

“I’m incredibly proud of our dedicated Coast Guard men and women,” said Adm. Thad W. Allen, commandant of the Coast Guard. “As a multi-mission, maritime, and military service, we continue to grow and evolve to help guarantee the maritime safety, security and stewardship of our oceans and waterways. Whether it’s saving lives, supporting the global war on terrorism, preserving our maritime environment and its resources, or protecting our vital waters for trade and commerce, Coast Guard men and women perform their duties every day with relentless courage, commitment and ingenuity.”

The Coast Guard is one of America’s five armed forces and traces it roots to Aug. 4, 1790, when the first Congress authorized the construction of a fleet of "revenue marine" cutters to enforce the fledgling nation's tariff and trade laws and protect the collection of federal revenue. The service expanded in size and responsibilities as the nation grew and today is responsible for many diverse missions, including maritime homeland security, national defense, enforcing maritime law, aiding mariners in distress, maintaining maritime navigation aids, protecting the marine environment, licensing merchant mariners and ensuring merchant vessel safety. The Coast Guard transferred into the newly created Department of Homeland Security in 2003.

The service received its present name in 1915 under an act of Congress when the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the Life-Saving Service.

The Coast Guard is one of the oldest organizations of the federal government and, until the Navy Department was established in 1798, served as the nation’s only armed force afloat. The Coast Guard has continued to protect the nation throughout its long history – both at home and abroad – and Coast Guardsmen have proudly served in every one of the nation’s major conflicts, including Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Around the clock and around the globe, the Coast Guard protects America’s interests and keeps its citizens and resources safe and secure. Each day the dedicated men and women of the Coast Guard will:
Save 15 lives, Assist 114 people in distress,
Conduct 82 search-and-rescue cases,
Protect $4.9 million in property,
Enforce 103 security zones, Interdict and rescue 26 illegal migrants at sea,
Board four high interest vessels,
Enforce 115 security zones,
Board 202 vessels of law enforcement interest,
Board 122 large vessels for port safety/security checks,
Seize 27 pounds of marijuana and 927 pounds of cocaine with a street value of $12.4 million,
Conduct 311 vessel safety checks and teach 57 boating safety courses,
Conduct 19 commercial fishing vessel safety exams and issue seven fishing vessel compliance decals,
Respond to 11 oil, chemical, or hazardous material environmental pollution incidents totaling 2,181 gallons,
Process 280 mariner licenses and documents,
Service 140 aids to navigation,
Monitor the transit of 2,557 commercial ships through U.S. ports,
Track 3,004 vessels in the Automated Merchant Vessel Reporting system, and
Investigate 27 activities for marine violation of federal statutes.

From Military.com

 

USCG Change of Command in Grand Haven
Wannamaker turns over command of GH office

8/11 - Grand Haven - Wednesday's weather was a far cry from the 50-degree, windy July day two years ago when Lt. Cmdr. Tracy Wannamaker took command of Coast Guard Group Grand Haven. Despite much better weather, Wednesday was a bittersweet day for Wannamaker, 43, who was relieved of the command here in a formal ceremony at Escanaba Park.

"With this community, the officers in charge and the crew members you see here today, I know that I've been deeply blessed and fortunate to have been here," she said. "Because, as we all know ... there's no place else in the Coast Guard like Grand Haven." Wannamaker has been ordered to the other side of the lake for a promotion as chief of response for Sector Lake Michigan. She will oversee the search-and-rescue operations for all 18 of the Coast Guard's Lake Michigan stations.

Taking over the Grand Haven command is Lt. Cmdr. Steven Lowe, 45, who last worked as chief of prevention for Sector Lake Michigan in Milwaukee.

Wannamaker was Group Grand Haven's first woman commander and its last commander. She oversaw last year's group reorganization that renamed the Grand Haven headquarters as a sector field office under the command of Sector Lake Michigan, based in Milwaukee. Capt. Bruce Jones, the commander of Sector Lake Michigan, said "it's places like Grand Haven that make military transfers so bittersweet."

Jones said the gathering at Wednesday's ceremony of colleagues and local leaders, including Grand Haven Mayor Roger Bergman and U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland, indicated an appreciation for Wannamaker's two-year command.

"Over and over again last week, I heard leading members of this community express to me what an incredible impact she's had on this community, and how much she'll be missed," Jones said. "The officers in charge of our Coast Guard stations tell me they received consistently superb support from her sector field office. And long before I had even met Tracy myself, when I first received orders to Sector Lake Michigan, I had friends at the Ninth District, the headquarters and around the Coast Guard tell me, 'You're lucky — you're going to be having Tracy Wannamaker work for you, and she's terrific.'"

Jones said Wannamaker was the main reason Grand Haven's transition from group status to a sector field office went smoothly. "Tracy didn't miss a beat adapting to the major Coast Guard organizational changes that came, resulting in the disestablishment of the group and establishment of the sector field office and Sector Lake Michigan," he explained. "Her leadership ensured that there was no break in the outstanding mission support given to the citizens of this community and Michigan.

"In short, Lt. Cmdr. Wannamaker is the perfect candidate to assume the role of chief of response for all of Lake Michigan, and I'm thrilled to have her join me in her office right next to my office in Milwaukee," Jones added. Wannamaker said previously that she plans to return with her three children to Grand Haven when she retires from the Coast Guard in two years. Prior to the official change in command, the Coast Guard presented Wannamaker with a citation for "outstanding achievement" as Grand Haven commander, which noted that she oversaw the saving of 312 people from immediate danger, assisted in bringing another 2,888 people to safety from Lake Michigan and removing 88 intoxicated boaters from the waterways during her two-year command.

Wannamaker recalled the day 24 years ago this fall that her father escorted her to the Coast Guard recruitment station in Newark, N.J., to sign up as a recruit. "I don't think either one of us thought that things would turn out this well at that point," she said. "From what started out as the best way to get me out of the house became a great career. It's been a blast just about every day. I wouldn't change any of it."

Lt. Mike Adams, executive officer for Sector Field Office Grand Haven, explained that the change of command is a time-honored tradition, deeply rooted in Coast Guard and naval history. "It signifies the total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability for the command, while marking the end of a segment of the unit's history," he said. "And most importantly, it signals a new beginning, a new opportunity for even greater achievement in the future."

Other than calling an assignment in Grand Haven "a Coastie's dream," Lowe declined to make more than brief remarks so he would not take away from what he called "Tracy's day." "I guarantee this assignment will end far too quickly for you, so enjoy it," Jones told Lowe.

Lowe is a native of Virginia Beach, Va., and he's been in the Coast Guard since 1987. He and his wife, Susan, have two children: Eliza, 7, and Bennett, 5. They will live in Grand Haven Township.

From the Grand Haven Tribune

 

Cleveland Port Authority Selects Dutch Operator
 for Passenger/Freight Ferry

8/11 - Cleveland – The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority has announced the selection of Dutch ferry operator Royal Wagenborg for a passenger and freight service between Cleveland and Canada.

Seven ferry operators submitted proposals for the trans-Erie service targeted for the spring of 2006. The Port Authority determined Wagenborg was the most suitable candidate because of its financial capacity, experience and willingness to develop a freight service component along with the passenger service. “Wagenborg exhibited a clear understanding of our desire to pursue the freight market because of its potential to produce a significantly greater economic benefit to the Northeast Ohio region,” said Sterling E. Glover, Port Authority board chairman. “Our research shows a combined passenger and freight service will also enhance the ferry’s longevity and profitability.”

Among the other criteria evaluated were the operators’ financial stability, experience, track record, number of vessels proposed for the service, ability to commit resources, level of commitment and customer service, including safety and quality of service. “This is a very exciting venture for Wagenborg, and we are pleased the Port Authority recognizes our ability to develop a successful ferry service and our company’s history of dedication to safety and excellent customer satisfaction,” said Ger van Langen, managing director of passenger services for Wagenborg. “We will immediately begin the necessary steps to bring a ferry service to the Port of Cleveland in 2006.”

Wagenborg has proposed a service using conventional speed vessels that could transport 250,000 passengers, 42,000 vehicles and 25,000 trucks between Cleveland and Port Stanley, as identified in the Ferry Feasibility Study. The service envisions two vessels, one based in Cleveland and one in Canada. Wagenborg would initially lease the vessels before building its own. The Port Authority will build a terminal and lease it to the operator.

Based in Delfzijl, The Netherlands, Royal Wagenborg was founded in 1898 and is one of the largest ship owners in Europe with a fleet of more than 160 vessels. In addition, the company operates ship owner, trucking and logistics services worldwide. The company operates five ferries and is experienced in navigating the Great Lakes through its cargo service to U.S. and Canadian ports. It operates ferry services in
the Netherlands, which has weather and sea conditions similar to the Great Lakes.

The Port Authority decided to pursue a ferry service after a study commissioned last year found great demand for a ferry and determined such a venture could be profitable for an operator. The analysis was a follow-up to a 1999 study and reviewed the financial and operational feasibility of a ferry service for tourism and commercial cargo purposes.

“We received tremendous support for the ferry from Senators Mike DeWine and George Voinovich, Congressman Steven LaTourette and the Ohio Department of Transportation, all of whom were instrumental in helping us secure the funding for our feasibility studies,” Glover said. “They have been great partners in this endeavor.”

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority helps the regional economy grow and keeps local industries connected to the world by supporting thousands of jobs and providing area businesses a competitive advantage through maritime and development finance partnerships. Since 1998, the port has moved an average of 13.1 million tons of cargo per year, while generating more than $572 million in personal incomes through the 11,000 jobs supported by port activities. Since 1993, the Development Finance Group has assisted in providing more than $530 million in financing for nearly $1 billion worth of community projects.

Port Authority news release

 

Lakes Limestone Trade Posts Solid Gain In July
Shipments 7 Percent Better Than A Year Ago

8/11 - Cleveland---Shipments of limestone from U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes ports rose 7 percent in July compared to a
year ago. The 4.8 million net tons loaded in July also represent an increase of 3 percent compared to the month’s 5-
year average.

Lack of adequate dredging in many ports continued to negate the efficiencies of Great Lakes shipping in July. The Ohio ports of Fairport Harbor and Ashtabula, just some 30 miles apart, dramatically illustrate the problem. Both harbors received deliveries of limestone from Port Inland, Michigan, in the same vessel during the month. The 635-foot-long ship was able to load to 25’ 00” when calling on Ashtabula Harbor, so it carried 22,631 net tons of limestone. The same vessel had to limit its loaded draft to 22’ 09” when serving Fairport Harbor. As a result, the vessel’s payload was reduced to 19,657 net tons.

For the year, the Lakes limestone trade stands at 18.8 million net tons, a slight decrease from the same point in 2005.

The trade is, however, up 6.7 percent over the 5-year average for the January-July timeframe.

From the Lake Carriers Association

 

Superior Waterfront Lime Plant Plans Expansion

8/11 - Superior - CLM Corp., which operates a waterfront lime plant in Superior, said Thursday that it plans to invest $36 million to add a fifth lime kiln to its operation.

The CLM plant, located near Fraser Shipyards, receives numerous boats throughout the year, which unload limestone at its dock. The stone is moved by the only remaining bridge crane in the Twin Ports -- a waterfront that once had a number of large bridge cranes. Adding a kiln to the operation would increase the plant's use of stone and likely result in more vessels calling at the dock.

CLM's plant produces lime products used in paper production, ore processing, steelmaking, water treatment and other processes. Limestone and other materials are processed through rotary kilns to make the lime.

Company officials said adding the kiln and performing other modernization depends on receiving the necessary state permits.

Reported by Al Miller

 

Port Reports - August 11

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Wednesday evening, Quebecois completed loading at Nidera grain and departed. Shortly thereafter, Ziemia Gornoslaska was assisted by tugs into Milwaukee's inner harbor and berthed at Nidera to load corn.
Thursday, Polsteam fleet-mate Ziemia Cieszynska (reg. Monrovia, Liberia) docked bow-in at terminal 2 in the general cargo facilities in the outer harbor with a load of steel.

Toledo - Bob Vincent
At 6:00 pm Thursday, Earl W. Oglebay was loading coal for the Canadian Soo. She left around 11:00pm. The next coal boat will be the Saginaw due late Friday night and the Cason J. Callaway is due early Saturday morning. Around 6:00 pm Sunday, the Kaye E. Barker is due follow by the Catherine Desgagnes who is due late Sunday night.
The next stone boat will be the Saginaw from Windsor on Friday around 4:00pm.
On the ore dock side, the Atlantic Huron is due Friday at 6:00 pm. The CSl Niagara is due Saturday around 1:00 pm.
The Federal St. Laurent was loading grain at the ADM terminal.

 

Updates - August 11

News Photo Gallery updated

New Ryerson Photo Gallery - Arrival at Superior

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - 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. She was renamed b.) RT HON PAUL J MARTIN in 2000.

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 whaleback tanker METEOR a.) FRANK ROCKEFELLER, 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 US265808 (former BENSON FORD 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 BZRUCE (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.

 

Edward L. Ryerson Update
Mechanical Troubles Force Ryerson to Turn Back to Twin Ports

8/10 - Duluth/Superior -  The Edward L. Ryerson, just a little over two hours out of Superior, Wis., experienced mechanical trouble and had to turn around and head back to port Wednesday afternoon. It is not known the extent of the difficulties, but she is expected to head for Fraser Shipyard upon her arrival at Superior.

She had left the Superior entrance at 2 p.m. down bound with a load of taconite from the BNSF facility at Allouez.

This will delay her arrival at the Soo Locks.

Reported by John Gaertner

Duluth Shipping News is reporting that the Ryerson was expected back in Superior at 6:30 pm, Wednesday, to have a water line repaired by Fraser Shipyard.

 

Edgar B. Speer Towing Roger Blough

8/10 - Update - Speer and Blough are estimated to arrive at Gary on Friday at 8:00 pm.
At 2:00 am on Thursday, the pair were 14 miles NNW of Point Betsie Light.
Speer is scheduled to proceed to Two Harbors to load after Gary.
Blough is scheduled to proceed to Sturgeon Bay for repairs.

Original Article - 8/9 - DeTour Village - Tuesday evening the Edgar B. Speer was reported to tie along side the Roger Blough. The pair are expected to depart Wednesday morning with the Blough along side the Speer. The Speer was down bound at Gros Cap at 2:40 pm on Tuesday. Both boats are headed to Gary.

The Roger Blough lost its rudder Saturday night in the lower St. Marys River. It has been at anchor near Raber Bay off of Lime Island.

 

U.S. Funds Bid to Clear Ammo from Lake Erie

8/10 - Port Clinton, OH - An uncounted number of artillery shells - some unexploded - litter the bottom of Lake Erie off Ottawa County.

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) announced yesterday $1.4 million was made available through the U.S. Department of Defense to begin a massive cleanup effort. The Defense Department will use recently developed sensing and mapping technology to identify munitions on both land and water. "We're trying very hard to do what we can to get this major cleanup started," Miss Kaptur said.

Nationwide, Ottawa County will be the second place the state-of-the-art equipment is used. It was first used in the outer banks of North Carolina to identify unexploded ordnance, similar to what will be done in Ottawa County. "We're not talking about little bullets. We're talking about huge weapons," Miss Kaptur said. She said the shells could be as large as 3 feet long and 12 inches in diameter, and are a result of Camp Perry target practice from World War II through 1967.

The Toussaint, which flows into Lake Erie near the area, is no longer navigable by boats, and is listed as a high priority of the cleanup effort. Sand and clay, often referred to as silt, has built up at the mouth of the river and cannot be dredged. "They don't want to hit a live piece of ordnance. If you go down there with a dredging machine, you could blow up your equipment," Miss Kaptur said.

A helicopter and Marine transportation vessel are to begin mapping 50,000 acres of both land and water Monday. The cleanup is expected to take several years. Miss Kaptur hopes that once it's finished, the river will be fully navigable.

Steve Arndt, president of the Ottawa County commissioners, said the Toussaint River was a valuable asset to the community years ago. Many people operated marinas but had to close their businesses when boats could no longer travel through the channel. Mr. Arndt said if the river's condition is improved, "it will add more opportunity and viability for the commercial aspect of marinas."

From the Toledo Blade

 

Port Reports - August 10

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The John G. Munson loaded for Detroit early Wednesday at the NS coal dock in Sandusky. Posted for a Thursday arrival at the dock is the H. Lee White.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
On a beautiful Tuesday night the Herbert C. Jackson was loading at Stoneport with an almost full moon rising up into the sky.
Wednesday afternoon brought the return of fleet mates Alpena and J.A.W Iglehart to Lafarge. The Alpena arrived in port first, with the Iglehart not far behind, tying up at the coal dock. The Alpena departed before 5 p.m., bound for Green Bay, WI and the Iglehart was expected to leave before 10 p.m.

Burns Harbor - Kent Armstrong
On Wednesday the Stuart J. Cort (#1) was unloading at Mittal Steel USA's Burns Harbor plant. The Cort's self unloader was designed to discharge into a hopper at the Burns Harbor dock, thereby making it unable to unload anywhere else.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Edward L. Ryerson arrived at the Superior Entry about 7:00 p.m. Wednesday to load at the BNSF ore dock. The boat's stainless steel stack shown brilliantly in the bright evening sunlight and was clearly visible from the Duluth piers, about five miles away. As it passed the Superior Entry lighthouse, the Ryerson sounded a stately whistle salute. The Ryerson had arrived in the Twin Ports earlier in the day but had undergone repairs and then went out on the lake for testing. Taken together, the arrivals marked the Ryerson's first visit to the Twin Ports since 1998.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The salty Olympic Merit arrived Wednesday afternoon and was assisted in Pier 51 north by two McKeil tugs, Glenevis and Paul E. No. 1. This is the first time McKeil has done a Toronto berthing job since Groupe Ocean stationed tugs on Lake Ontario. Olympic Merit is scheduled to depart this afternoon.
The salty Starlight, which arrived at Redpath a week ago with Groupe Ocean tug assistance, remains at Redpath unloading.
Stephen B. Roman was in port Wednesday.

 

Updates - August 10

News Photo Gallery updated - Speer/Blough tow at the Mackinaw Bridge

Another News Photo Gallery updated

New Ryerson Photo Gallery - Arrival at Superior

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - 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 shipÕs 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 1960's. 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, B H 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.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze, Jody L. Aho, 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.

 

Edgar B. Speer Towing Roger Blough

8/9 - 4:00 pm Update - The pair were reported west bound under the Mac Bridge at 2:00 pm.

8/9 - 8:20 am Update- The Roger Blough tow passed Drummond Island at 8:20 a.m. Wednesday morning. The Blough is lashed along side the Edgar B. Speer. The tow was followed by a tug.

Reported by R. Stewart

8/9 - 11:00 am Update - The Edgar B. Speer with Roger Blough was westbound near Martin Reef Light about 11:00 a.m. Wednesday in the Straits of Mackinac traveling at 7.8 knots. At this speed they should pass under the Mackinac Bridge about 1:30 p.m.

Reported by Fred Stone

Original Article - 8/9 - DeTour Village - Tuesday evening the Edgar B. Speer was reported to tie along side the Roger Blough. The pair are expected to depart Wednesday morning with the Blough along side the Speer. The Speer was down bound at Gros Cap at 2:40 pm on Tuesday. Both boats are headed to Gary.

The Roger Blough lost its rudder Saturday night in the lower St. Marys River. It has been at anchor near Raber Bay off of Lime Island.

The Blough is then scheduled to arrive in Sturgeon Bay on August 15 for repairs.

 

Edward L. Ryerson Update

8/9 - 7:00 pm Update - Mechanical Troubles Force Ryerson to Turn Back to Twin Ports

The Edward L. Ryerson, just a little over two hours out of Superior, Wis., experienced mechanical trouble and had to turn around and head back to port Wednesday afternoon. It is not known the extent of the difficulties, but she is expected to head for Fraser Shipyard upon her arrival at Superior. She had left the Superior entrance at 2 p.m. down bound with a load of taconite from the BNSF facility at Allouez.

This will delay her arrival at the Soo Locks.

Reported by John Gaertner


8/9 - 4:00 pm Update -
Capt. Treece reported the Ryerson cleared Superior about 3:00 pm CDT (4:00 pm EDT) headed for the Soo. Normal sailing time would give an ETA for the Soo Locks of 2:00 pm CDT (3:00 pm EDT) on Thursday.

8/9 - 9:00 am - The Edward L. Ryerson arrived at the Burlington-Northern #5 Dock in Superior, WI at 7:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. They expected to start loading around 8:00 a.m. with the cargo taking four to six hours to load.

The Ryerson should be down bound at the Soo Thursday afternoon, check back for updates.

The Ryerson will unload in Indiana Harbor then head back to Superior to load for a lower lakes port.

Reported by Capt. Eric Treece

 

Andy LaBorde Memorial Bench Installed

8/9 - Sault Ste. Marie - A memorial bench in memory of long-time Marine Photographer Andy LaBorde from Milwaukee has been placed at Rotary Park in Sault Ste. Marie, utilizing contributions from his family, Great Lakes sailors, and fellow boat watchers.

It is only fitting that folks will be able to sit and enjoy the freighters passing Mission Point in a location where Andy took many of his pictures over the years.

Many thanks to all who donated to this worthwhile cause and to the City of Sault Marie, particularly Dan Wyers from the Parks and Recreation Department, for seeing this project through to completion.

All are urged to "try out" the bench on their next boat watching visit to the Soo and to enjoy watching and photographing the boats as much as Andy did. 3 Long/2 Short to our friend.

Reported by Jim Bearman

 

Coast Guard Investigates Cause of Dredge Barge Sinking

8/9 - Milwaukee - U.S. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan will conduct a marine casualty investigation into the sinking of the 130-foot dredge-barge Courtney.

On August 6, 2006, the unmanned dredge-barge sank in approximately 800 feet of water, 21 miles west of Frankfurt, Mich.
Originally under tow, on August 4, from Ludington, Mich., to Escanaba, Mich., Courtney experienced difficulties and capsized approximately 20 miles east of Sturgeon Bay, WI. The dredge-barge was under tow by the tug Carol Ann.

The barge remained afloat and proceeded under tow back to Ludington on August 5, where salvage operations were to be conducted. Deteriorating weather presented a safety hazard and did not allow for the tug to complete the tow. The barge was anchored overnight 21 miles west of Frankfurt.

On August 6, a Coast Guard helicopter overflight confirmed the barge did not remain afloat and sank. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan responded by coordinating efforts with agencies from both Wisconsin and Michigan to develop a salvage plan and recover the barge. The Coast Guard conducted several overflights with USCG Marine Safety Detachment personnel onboard, as well as surveying the barge on scene when it was reported to be capsized. Additionally, the Coast Guard's Salvage Engineering Response Team of the Marine Safety Center in Washington, D.C. was utilized in determining a safe recovery plan.

The barge Courtney is 130 feet in length, 28 ft in width, and is owned by King Co. in Holland, Mich. Courtney has the capacity to carry 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel, but the exact amount of fuel onboard, at the time of the sinking, is unknown.

NOAA's Scientific Support Coordinator to the Coast Guard has determined that if in fact the barge contained the maximum amount of diesel fuel onboard that it could hold, it is highly unlikely that any fuel would make landfall based on the depth of water and type of diesel fuel onboard. Due to the location of the sunken barge, there are no feasible recovery operations that would allow the barge to be salvaged or the fuel to be removed.

The Coast Guard is currently conducting a marine casualty investigation to determine the cause of the sinking.

Reported by John Hancock from U.S.C.G.

 

Port Reports - August 9

Toledo -
Mississagi on-loaded and departed ADM Elevators.
Mary E. Hannah was along side the Precast Facility docks with tanker barges 2902 and 2903. Tradewinds Service and her tanker barge left BP Riverfront Terminal at 1420 hrs.
Tug Michigan and her tanker barge Great Lakes came in right after with an assist from the "G" tugs; Nebraska and Idaho. Catherine Desgagnes took on metal ingots at Midwest Terminals of Toledo.
Toledo Police Harbor patrol boat Blue Star was out on the river today as well.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The James Norris was inbound the Saginaw River early Tuesday morning headed up river to unload at the Buena Vista Stone dock in Zilwaukee. She departed the Buena Vista Stone dock just before noon Tuesday and headed up stream to the Sixth Street turning basin and was closely followed by the tug Robin Lynn. The Norris pulled into the Sixth Street turning basin by 1:15pm and began turning around. About half way through her turn the James Norris became stuck and the tug Robin Lynn began assisting, and to further help make the turn, the Norris pumped-out most of her ballast water. With assistance from the tug Robin Lynn the Norris made the turn at the Sixth Street turning basin and was outbound for the lake by 2:00pm Tuesday afternoon. The Norris called the Lafayette bridge and asked about "Bridge Hours" for Down bound Traffic which are used to help ease traffic in Downtown Bay City by stopping down bound ships from passing through the drawbridges during 7:30-8:30am and 4:30-5:30pm Rush Hour automobile traffic. The Norris waited above the Lafayette bridge in Bay City for about 15 minutes before proceeding down bound. The Norris was down bound clear of the Bay City drawbridges and outbound for the lake by 6:00pm Tuesday afternoon.
The Great Lakes Dock & Materials tug Duluth was outbound the Saginaw River from the Sixth Street turning basin in Saginaw at 12:45am Tuesday morning with the barges 120 & 121, headed for the Pump-Out Island after dropping off and empty barge for the Dredge Sue earlier. The outbound tug Duluth kept in contact with the James Norris who was inbound in the Saginaw Bay Entrance Channel at that time.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Tuesday morning American Mariner visited Milwaukee's inner harbor with coal for the WE Energies dock at Greenfield Avenue. Mariner left at nightfall.
Quebecois continued loading corn at Nidera, and Ziemia Gornoslaska remained anchored outside the breakwater, waiting for dock availability.
Monday, self-unloader Algoway (Algoma Central) departed after delivering salt at Jones Island.

 

Updates - August 9

News Photo Gallery updated

New Ryerson Photo Gallery - Unloading at Indiana Harbor

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 09

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.

The keel was laid for the INDIANA HARBOR (Hull#719) on August 9, 1978, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Co. for Connecticut Bank & Trust Co. (American Steamship Co., mgr.).

The HAMILDOC (Hull#642) was christened on August 9, 1963.

The G A TOMLINSON (Hull#370) entered service August 9, 1909. Renamed b.) HENRY R PLATT JR in 1959. Hull used as a breakwall at Burlington Bay, Ontario in 1971.

The SIR THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY with the former CSL steamer ASHCROFT in tow of the Polish tug JANTAR arrived in Castellon, Spain for scrapping in 1969.

On August 9, 1989, the tug FAIRPLAY IX departed Sorel with the FORT CHAMBLY and NIPIGON BAY in tandem tow bound for Aliaga, Turkey for scrapping.

On the night of August 9, 1865, METEOR met her running mate, the propeller PEWABIC, off Thunder Bay on Lake Huron around 9:00 p.m. As the two approached, some how METOER sheered and struck her sister, sinking the PEWABIC within minutes in 180 feet of water. About one hundred twenty-five people went down with her, and 86 others were saved.

On 9 August 1850, CHAUTAUQUE (wooden side wheel steamer, 124 foot 162 tons, built in 1839, at Buffalo, New York) caught fire in the St. Clair River and burned to a total loss. In previous years she had been driven ashore 1844, and sank twice - once in 1846, and again in 1848. In September 1846, she made the newspaper by purposely ramming a schooner which blocked her path while she was attempting to leave the harbor at Monroe, Michigan.

On 9 August 1856, BRUNSWICK (wooden propeller, 164 foot, 512 tons, built in 1853, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying corn, scrap iron and lard from Chicago when she sprang a leak in a storm and was abandoned by the crew and passengers. One passenger drowned when one of the boats capsized, but the rest made it to shore near Sleeping Bear in the three other boats. BRUNSWICK went down in 50 fathoms of water, 6 miles south of South Manitou Island on Lake Michigan.

On 9 August 1875, The Port Huron Times reported that the schooner HERO, while attempting to enter the piers at Holland, Michigan, was driven two miles to leeward and went to pieces. Her crew took to the boats, but the boats capsized. Luckily all made it safely to shore.

August 9, 1938 - The Pere Marquette car ferries 17 and 18 left Milwaukee for Grand Haven carrying 600 United States Army Troops, bound for Army war maneuvers near Allegan and at Camp Custer.

On 9 August 1870, ONTONAGON (wooden propeller bulk freight, 176 foot, 377 tons, built in 1856, at Buffalo, New York by Bidwell & Banta) sank after striking a rock near the Soo. She was initially abandoned but later that same year she was recovered, repaired and put back in service. In 1880, she stranded near Fairborn, Ohio and then three years later she finally met her demise when she was run ashore on Stag Island in the St. Clair River and succumbed to fire.

The 204 foot wooden side-wheeler CUMBERLAND was launched at Melancthon Simpson's yard in Port Robinson, Ontario on 9 August 1871. She cost $101,000. Too large for the Welland Canal, she was towed up the Welland River to Chippewa and then up the Niagara River to Lake Erie. She operated on the Upper Lakes and carried soldiers to put down the Red River Rebellion. She survived being frozen in for the winter near Sault Ste. Marie in 1872, grounding in 1873, sinking in 1874, and another grounding in 1876. But she finally sank near Isle Royale on Lake Superior in 1877.

In 1942, the sea-going tug POINT SUR was launched at Globe Shipbuilding Co. in Superior, Wisconsin and the Walter Butler Shipbuilders, in Superior, launched the coastal freighter WILLIAM BURSLEY.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Jody L. Aho, 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.

 

Lower Lakes enters Time Charter

8/8 - Rand Logistics announced Tuesday that its wholly owned subsidiary, Lower Lakes Transportation Company, entered into a time charter agreement for three self unloading bulk carriers that Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Co. recently acquired from Oglebay Norton Company. Under the time charter agreement, Lower Lakes will control the commercial operations of the vessels.

The three vessels are US flagged, Jones Act qualified River Class ships. They increase Lower Lakes' existing daily shipping capacity by approximately 44%. The vessels were built in 1973 and 1974 and have been well maintained. There are long-term contracts in place covering the full capacity of the boats, which Lower Lakes will fulfill as the vessels are fully integrated into Lower Lakes' existing fleet. Rand expects the vessels to be accretive to EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization).

In order to facilitate this transaction, Rand placed 2,402,957 shares of its common stock at $5.41 per share with institutional investors led by Wellington Management, which purchased 770,300 shares or 9.6% of Rand's total outstanding shares after this financing. Rand is utilizing the $13 million in private placement proceeds to close this transaction, and to fund working capital, debt support, capital expenditures and general corporate purposes.

Scott Bravener, President and CEO of Lower Lakes Transportation, commented, "We have been successful at growing the Company's fleet over the past 11 years, and this transaction represents an important further expansion of our capacity. Additionally, these vessels significantly enhance our scheduling flexibility and our ability to service our customers. We look forward to fulfilling the contracts in place, and continuing to grow our Company for the benefit of our customers, our employees and our stockholders."

Laurence S. Levy, Chairman and CEO of Rand Logistics, stated, "We are extremely enthusiastic about this transaction, which enhances the Company's position in the River Class segment and considerably increases our capacity. We are optimistic about this next growth phase for Rand, as well as the Company's long-term prospects."

The basic charter period under the Time Charter Agreement expires on December 31, 2008 and LLT has the option to extend the charter period through December 31, 2013. The Time Charter Agreement also provides LLT the option of purchasing the Vessels at any time during the charter

Under the Time Charter Agreement, Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Co. (WMS) is responsible for insuring the Vessels as well as for crewing and maintaining the Vessels. WMS is wholly-owned by Sand Products Corporation, a long-term customer of LLT. The self-unloader Manistee and barge McKee Sons currently used in LLT's shipping operations are leased from a subsidiary of Sand Products Corporation.

The former Oglebay Norton vessel are expected to be painted in the familiar LLT grey paint colors. No mention was made as to renaming of the vessels.

About Rand Logistics Rand Logistics, Inc. is a leading provider of bulk freight shipping services throughout the Great Lakes region. Through its subsidiaries, the Company operates a fleet of ten River Class self-unloading carriers and one integrated self-unloading tug/barge unit. The Company is the only carrier able to offer significant domestic port-to-port services in both Canada and the U.S. on the Great Lakes. The Company's vessels operate under the U.S. Jones Act - which dictates that only ships that are built, crewed and owned by U.S. citizens can operate between U.S. ports - and the Canada Marine Act - which requires Canadian commissioned ships to operate between Canadian ports.

Reported by: George Wharton

 

U.S.-Flag Cargos on Lakes Slip 1.5 Percent In June
Rising Water Levels Can’t Offset Dredging Shortfall

8/9 - Cleveland—U.S-Flag “Lakers” moved 11.9 million net tons of dry-bulk cargo on the Great Lakes in June, a decrease of 1.5 percent compared to a year ago. Compared to the month’s 5-year average, the June float was essentially on par.

High demand for iron ore pushed shipments of that commodity to nearly 5 million net tons, an increase of 6.5 percent compared to a year ago, and only a cargo or two below the month’s 5-year average.

High inventories of coal dropped shipments of that cargo to 2.8 million net tons in June, a decrease of nearly 15 percent compared to a year ago, but some 7 percent ahead of the month’s 5-year average.

Water levels on the Lakes continued their seasonal rise in June and the additional depth did slightly ease the problems related to chronic underfunding of dredging ports and waterways. The largest iron ore cargo cargos topped 65,000 net tons for the first time this year. A few coal cargos in excess of 65,000 net tons were also recorded.

Nonetheless, even the month’s top loads fell short of the vessels’ designed carrying capacity. For the year, the U.S.-Flag float totals 42.1 million net tons, an increase of roughly 500,000 tons compared to the same point in 2005. The fleet is 10 percent ahead of the 5-year average for the first half of the year.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 18 American corporations that operate 62 U.S.-Flag vessels on the Great Lakes. These vessels carry the raw materials that drive the nation’s economy: Iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, limestone and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation.... Collectively, these vessels transport as much as 125 million tons of cargo a year. More information is available at www.lcaship.com

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Port of Toledo Gains Agreement to Handle New Cargo
1st shipload of pipe anticipated in September

8/8 - Toledo - Steel pipe imported from Germany for a pipeline expected to cross parts of eight states soon will become the next new cargo to cross the Port of Toledo's docks. The first of an expected 11 ships carrying 10,000 tons each of coated pipe for the project is likely to call in Toledo next month, with most of the deliveries expected next year, said Matt Duty, marketing director for Midwest Terminals, stevedore at the port authority-owned general cargo docks near the Maumee River's mouth.

Mr. Duty credited the cargo to marketing efforts his company and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority have directed at both potential shippers and the ship lines that serve them. In this case, he said, it was the vessel operator, Canfornav, that inquired about Toledo's ability to handle the pipe business. "It was our relations with the vessel companies that got us the call," he said.

Warren McCrimmon, the port authority's seaport director since mid-2002, said that as far as he knows, this will be the first cargo of its type in the port's history. "It certainly demonstrates how the marketing effort can deliver results quickly," Mr. McCrimmon said. When Midwest Terminals took over in October, 2004, as the general cargo docks stevedore, the seaport director voiced confidence that the firm would aggressively market the port, but cautioned that it might take years to rebuild business that had been in a long-term slump.

But since then, Midwest has captured the pipe shipment as well as several shiploads of Brazilian sugar and waterborne deliveries of aluminum from Quebec, and has overseen growth in steel, lumber, and other products. Through June, general cargo volume at the local port reached 77,958 tons this year, more than double the tonnage reported during the first half of 2005.

Joseph Cappel, the port authority's seaport marketing representative, said the pipeline cargoes represent another potential opportunity to promote Toledo's port to new customers. "Any time we can get a new commodity and handle it successfully, that's something we can use for more marketing," Mr. Cappel said. Mr. Duty said Toledo's climate appears to have played a role in landing the pipe shipments. Canfornav's primary alternative was New Orleans, he said, and the damage there last year from Hurricane Katrina cast doubt on that port's reliability for the initial shipments.

The pipe is for a 1,663-mile Rockies Express Pipeline, a project proposed to ship natural gas produced in Colorado and Wyoming to distribution points in eastern Illinois and southern Ohio. The 42-inch-diameter underground pipeline would be designed to move between 1.5 billion and 2 billion cubic feet of gas daily.

Construction in Wyoming and Colorado has begun, and pending regulatory approvals, a section reaching into eastern Missouri is to be built next year. The eastern portion, planned for construction in 2008, would cross the Indiana-Ohio border west of Hamilton, Ohio, and cross 14 southern Ohio counties to reach its eastern terminus in Monroe County, Ohio, near the Ohio River village of Clarington. The pipe is to be transported either by truck or rail to the pipeline construction sites.

Mr. Duty said the pipeline cargo will generate millions of dollars in revenue to Midwest. As dock operator, the stevedore pays 8 percent of its gross revenues to the port authority. Overall, cargo tonnage through all Toledo docks was up by 3.2 percent through June, according to port authority statistics.

Along with the general cargo business, solid gains in grain and liquid-bulk cargoes boosted the port enough to overcome a 20 percent decline in coal traffic.

From the Toledo Blade

 

Grand Parade at Coast Guard Festival

8/8 - Grand Haven - More than 100,000 people packed downtown Grand Haven streets Saturday afternoon to honor the men and women of the United States Coast Guard during the annual Grand Parade. Families hailing from Grand Haven, the state of Michigan and around the country reveled in the sights and sounds of the procession, celebrating the 216th birthday of the national organization.

"I thought the heat might keep people back, but we're expecting a record turnout today," said Don Rempinski, chairman of the Coast Guard Festival.

About 120 entries marched during the event, led by this year's Grand Marshall Adm. Thad W. Allen, the newly appointed Commandant of the Coast Guard. Adm. Allen was joined by all but five dignitaries of the Coast Guard from across the nation, including the 9th District patrolling the Great Lakes.

Coast Guard officials sat above the route on a stage in front of City Hall on Washington Street, while WOOD-TV 8 from Grand Rapids broadcast the event from a block west. Throughout the event, the local Coast Guard rescue helicopter hovered above the streets, saluting the citizens below.

Entries ranged from educational groups, elected officials, local businesses and special interest clubs, who each saluted the Coast Guard as part of entry requirements. Parade Chairman Don Rempinski said the parade welcomes 25 percent new entries every year, while returning entries are automatically sent invitations.

The parade was coordinated with local law enforcement and EMS officials, as well as with the help of 70 volunteers, with Bill Herbst and Jim Query joining Rempinski as co-producers. Meijer, Inc. was the primary sponsor of the parade, along with several other West Michigan companies. While not all applicants were accepted to be in the procession, Rempinski said floats should be unique, visually engaging and appealing to the audience, as well as honoring the Coast Guard in some way.

The parade route returned to its original street course from Sheldon to Franklin, Franklin to 3rd, turning from 3rd to Washington, and then Washington to 7th. Rempinski said the route was changed to better accommodate staging of the entries.

Christine Reiss, a lifetime resident of Grand Haven, along with her husband Mark, a police officer, said she was up until 1:30 a.m. before the parade preparing her home on Sheldon street for the festivities. "My kids are hoping for candy, and love dancing to the bands," Reiss explained. "I just enjoy spending the occasion with family and friends." The Reiss' had moved into their home seven weeks earlier, but the home itself was built in 1835, originally owned by the founding fathers of Grand Haven, she said. Reiss invited about 100 friends and family members to watch the parade from their home.

Cheryl Diephouse, also from Grand Haven, marked off the corner of 5th and Franklin streets on Thursday to ensure that she and 30 relatives would have prime seating at one of the turns on the route. She added her family has set up space at the intersection for the past 15 years. "I love getting together and seeing all the people that come out," Diephouse said.

The Scottville Clown Band was one of 17 bands to march in tune this year. The clown band raised $7,600 for the Unity Auction, which supports Catholic education for students at St. Mary's school in Spring Lake. Kevin and Kathy Gagnon, volunteers from the school, provided dinner for 11 band members at their home at the intersection of Slayton and Sheldon.

"They supported our cause, so we asked them to eat, sit and drink," Gagnon said. Gagnon added he likes being near the front of the parade route. In return, the wacky group performed in their backyard before the start of the parade. Later on, they concluded the procession, with their charter bus — driven by Santa Claus — following close behind.

Mark Reinenk, a paramedic for Ottawa County Health and Human Services, said there were no serious injuries among the crowd during the parade.

From the Grand Haven Tribune

 

Port Reports - August 8

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Karen Andrie with barge A-397 came out of the Black Rock Canal at 1:50pm and headed into the Outer Harbor, apparently to switch to the pull mode.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin waited outside the piers for Peter R. Cresswell to depart the Sifto Salt dock late Sunday night. Following the Cresswell's departure, the Martin came in early Monday morning to load at the elevator dock. Algorail arrived about 4:00 am and took a position on the salt dock.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Friday evening the Cuyahoga departed Pier 26 at 5:30 pm. The tug Tradewind Service and barge arrived at 6:00 pm. The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arrived at 9:00 pm going to the Stelco ore dock.
Saturday saw the Michipicoten depart at 6:00 am.
The Tradewind Service and barge departed at 1:00 pm for Toledo.
Monday had the Petrolia Desgagnes departing at 6:00 am from Pier 26. The Maritime Trader arrived at 10:00 am followed by the saltie Kastor P at 11:00 am.
The Canadian Miner arrived at 11:30 am with iron ore for Dofasco from Port Cartier.
The CSL Tadoussac arrived at 2:30 pm with iron ore for Stelco.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Monday, ULS straight-decker Quebecois in a rare visit was at Nidera grain in Milwaukee's inner harbor, loading yellow corn.
At anchor on Lake Michigan, Ziemia Gornoslaska from the Polsteam line awaited a berth.
Also Monday, Agawa Canyon from Algoma Central unloaded salt at the bulk cargo dock on Jones Island.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The MV Canadian Navigator loaded Monday at the Sandusky NS coal dock.

Huron - Dave Wobser
Great Lakes Trader/Joyce L. VanEnkevort arrived early Monday with a load of taconite for the Wheeling & Lake Erie RR dock.
A little later, Reserve arrived with a load of limestone from Stoneport for the agricultural lime plant.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Earl W. Oglebay delivered stone to the Brewer dock in Holland Monday, arriving at about 10:00 a.m. The familiar O-N stars were noticeably from the stacks.

Toledo - Bob Vincent
A tentative schedule for CSX Toledo Docks has the Algomarine due early Wednesday morning and the Earl Oglebay and Saginaw both due Thursday afternoon. The Cason J. Callaway is due early Saturday morning. The Kaye E. Barker and the Catherine Desgagnes are both due on Sunday.
The Torco Docks has the Algosteel due early morning Thursday. The Atlantic Huron and the CSL Niagara are both due Saturday.

 

Updates - August 8

News Photo Gallery updated

New Ryerson Photo Gallery - Unloading at Indiana Harbor

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 08

August 8, 1991 - The excursion ferry AMERICANA has been sold and passed down the Welland Canal bound for the Caribbean with registry in Panama. She was the former East Coast ferry BLOCK ISLAND that arrived in Buffalo just three years ago

On 08 August 1878, the Buffalo (wooden propeller package freighter, 258 foot, 1,762 gross tons) 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, New York. She lasted until 1911, when she was abandoned at Marine City, Michigan.

The JAMES R BARKER became the longest vessel on the Great Lakes when it entered service on August 8, 1976. It held at least a tie for this honor until the WILLIAM J DELANCEY entered service on May 10, 1981. The BARKER's deckhouse had been built at AmShip's Chicago yard and was transported in sections to Lorain on the deck of the steamer GEORGE D GOBLE.

The BUFFALO was christened August 8, 1978, for the Connecticut Bank & Trust Co. (American Steamship Co., mgr.)

The E B BARBER along with the motor vessel SAGINAW BAY, a.) FRANK H GOODYEAR of 1917, arrived August 8, 1985, under tow in Vigo, Spain. Demolition began on August 9, 1985, by Miguel Martins Periera at Guixar-Vigo.

The Soo River Company was forced into receivership on August 8, 1982.

On 8 August 1887, CITY OF ASHLAND (wooden side wheel tug, 90 feet long 85 gross tons, built in 1883, at Ashland, Wisconsin) was towing a log raft near Washburn, Wisconsin in Lake Superior. Fire broke out near the boilers and quickly cut off the crew from the lifeboat. They jumped overboard and all but 1 or 2 were picked up by local tugs. The burned hull sank soon afterward.

The wooden tug J E EAGLE was destroyed by fire at about 4:00 p.m. on 8 August 1869, while towing a raft of logs on Saginaw Bay to Bay City. Her loss was valued at $10,000, but she was insured for only $7,000.

August 8, 1981 - The Ann Arbor carferry VIKING took part in a ceremony christening a body of water between Manitowoc and Two Rivers as "Maritime Bay".

August 8, 1999 - The KAYE E BARKER delivered the last shipment of limestone for Dow Chemical, Ludington. The plant later closed it's lime plant and began lime deliveries by rail.

On 8 August 1813, the U. S. Navy schooner HAMILTON (wooden 10-gun schooner, 112 foot, 76 tons, built in 1809, at Oswego, New York as a.) DIANA, was lying at anchor off the mouth of the Niagara River on Lake Ontario with her armed fleet-mate SCOURGE awaiting dawn when they planned to attack the British fleet. However, a quick rising storm swamped and sank both vessels. Since they were both built as commercial vessels, it has been suggested that their cannons may have made them top-heavy. The HAMILTON was found by sonar in 1975, sitting upright almost completely intact at the bottom of Lake Ontario. The Cousteau organization has dived to her and she was the subject of a live television dive by Robert Ballard in 1990.

August 8, 1882 - an August snowstorm was reported by a ship on Lake Michigan, dumping 6 inches of snow and slush on the deck. Snow showers were reported at shore points that day.

In 1942, the seven shipyards at Duluth-Superior were in full production and announced three launchings in two days. The submarine chaser SC-671 was launched on August 8, at Inland Waterways, Inc. on Park Point.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze, Lake Huron Lore Society, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Jody L. Aho, Brian Bernard , 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.

 

Ryerson Departs

8/7 - The Ryerson departed Sturgeon Bay at 8:40 a.m. Monday morning. They Ryerson was expected to reach DeTour in the lower St. Marys River around 11 p.m. CDT. The Ryerson should reach Superior between 4 a.m. - 6 a.m. CDT the following day. They plan to  proceed straight into BN through the Superior Breakwall, since it should be night arrival they will not be taking fuel. The down bound trip through the Soo should be in daylight the entire transit if the schedule holds.

The Ryerson's next trip is scheduled back to load in Superior for a lower lakes port. 

Reported by Eric Treece

 

Roger Blough Loses Rudder

8/7 - DeTour Village - The Roger Blough lost its rudder sometime late Saturday night and went to anchor near Raber Bay off of Lime Island in the lower St. Marys River. It is unknown when the vessel will be underway or what efforts are being made to retrieve the rudder.

The Blough is the third boat to lose a rudder in the same area of the St. Marys River.  The other two were the Edgar B. Speer and the Mississagi.

Afternoon update - The USCGC Alder passed the Blough and asked if they had lost their rudder. The Blough answered in the affirmative. The Alder then asked the dimensions of the rudder and approx location where they actually lost it. Blough replied that it was right there in the channel off of Lime Island.

Reported by Cathy Kohring

 

Dredge Barge Sinks

8/7 - The Coast Guard is investigating why a 130 foot dredge barge sank overnight in Lake Michigan.

The Coast Guard says the barge, which capsized Friday, was anchored about 21 miles west of Frankfort. It's now in about 800 feet of water. The Coast Guard says it was being towed by the tug Carol Ann.

It remained afloat after it capsized Friday, and was being towed back to Ludington, when weather forced the tug to anchor it. It originally was to be towed from Ludington to Escanaba.

The barge is owned by the King Company of Holland, Michigan. It can carry up to 10 thousand gallons of diesel fuel, but the exact amount of fuel on board is not yet known.

NOAA's Scientific Support Coordinator to the Coast Guard has determined that if in fact the barge contained the maximum amount of diesel fuel onboard that it could hold, it is highly unlikely that any fuel would make landfall based on the depth of water and type of diesel fuel onboard. Due to the location of the sunken barge, there are no feasible recovery operations that would allow the barge to be salvaged or the fuel to be removed. The Coast Guard is currently conducting a marine casualty investigation to determine the cause of the sinking.

From USCG

 

Port Reports - August 7

Marquette - Rod Burdick
On Sunday, Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder loaded ore at the Upper Harbor, and H. Lee White unloaded limestone at the Lower Harbor. Kaye E. Barker was due with coal at the Upper Harbor late in the evening.

Alpena/Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Friday, mid-morning, the Steamer Alpena arrived at Lafarge and tied up under the silos to load cement.
The J.A.W Iglehart made its way into port not long after and decided to tie up at the coal dock to wait the departure of its fleetmate. The Alpena was outbound in the bay for Muskegon by 4:00pm and the Iglehart shifted over to the loading dock.
Overnight late Saturday/early Sunday the Sam Laud brought a load of coal to Lafarge.
Around noon on Sunday the J.A.W Iglehart returned after delivering to Whitefish, ON. The Iglehart left by early evening and is headed to another Canadian port, Heron Bay.
Also Inbound late Sunday night was the Cuyahoga, which arrived at the coal dock after 10:00pm and unloaded product into the storage hopper.
The G. L. Ostrander/ barge Integrity is expected on Monday.
The Samuel de Champlain/barge Innovation remains in Muskegon getting repairs.
The Reserve, Calumet and Philip R. Clarke took on cargo at Stoneport on Sunday. The Reserve was headed to Huron, Ohio late Sunday evening.

 

Updates - August 7

News Photo Gallery updated

New Ryerson Photo Gallery - Unloading at Indiana Harbor

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 07

On 07 August 1890, the schooner CHARGER (wooden schooner, 136 foot, 277 gross tons, built in 1868, at Sodus, New York) was struck by the CITY OF CLEVELAND (wooden propeller freighter, 255 foot, 1,528 gross tons, built in 1882, at Cleveland, Ohio) near Bar Point near the mouth of the Detroit River on Lake Erie. The schooner sank, but her crew was saved.

The JAMES R BARKER was christened August 7, 1976. She was to become Interlake's first 1000 footer and the flag ship of the fleet for Moore McCormack Leasing, Inc. (Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio, mgr.). She was built at a cost of more than $43 million under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970. She was the third thousand footer to sail on the Lakes and the first built entirely on the Lakes.

On 7 August 1844, DANIEL WHITNEY, a wooden schooner, was found floating upside-down, with her crew of 4 missing and presumed dead.. She was six miles off mouth of the Kalamazoo River in Lake Michigan.

August 7, 1948 - Edward L. Ryerson, chairman of Inland Steel Company announced that the new ore boat under construction for Inland will be named the WILFRED SYKES in honor of the president of the company. Mr. Sykes had been associated with Inland since 1923, when he was employed to take charge of engineering and construction work. From 1927, to 1930, he served as assistant general superintendent and from 1930, to 1941, as assistant to the president in charge of operations. He became president of Inland in May, 1941. He had been a director of the company since 1935. The new ship was to be the largest and fastest on the Great Lakes, having a carrying capacity in intermediate depth of 20,000 gross tons. The ship will be 678 feet long, 70 feet wide and 37 feet deep, and will run at 16 miles per hour when loaded.

On August 7, 1789, President George Washington signed the ninth act of the first United States Congress placing management of the lighthouses under the Department of the Treasury. August 7 is now "National Lighthouse Day".

While lying at the dock at the C & L. H. Railroad Yard in Port Huron on 7 August 1879, the scow MORNING LARK sank after the scow MAGRUDER ran into her at 4:00 a.m., MORNING LARK was raised and repaired at the Wolverine dry dock and was back in service on 20 September 1879.

Data from: Dave Wobser, 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.

 

Coast Guard Rule would Establish Safety Zones on Great Lakes

8/6 - The Coast Guard is proposing the establishment of safety zones throughout the Great Lakes. These zones are intended to restrict vessels from portions of the Great Lakes during live-fire gun exercises, which will be conducted by Coast Guard cutters and small boats. These safety zones are necessary to protect the public from the hazards associated with the firing of weapons, according to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard is accepting comments on this rule through Aug. 31, 2006. Please include your name and address, identify the docket number for this rulemaking [CGD09-06-123], indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies and give the reason for each comment. The Coast Guard requests that comments be submitted in an unbound format, no larger than 8.5 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you would like confirmation of receipt of your comments, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.

Comments and related material can be mailed to:
Commander (dre), Ninth Coast Guard District, 1240 E. 9th St., Room 2069, Cleveland, OH 44199
According to the Coast Guard, all comments and material received during the comment period will be considered and may result in a modification to the rule.

Under the Coast Guard rule, 26 zones will be located throughout the Great Lakes in order to accommodate 57 separate Coast Guard units. The proposed safety zones are all located at least three nautical miles from the shoreline.

The proposed safety zones will be enforced only upon notice by the cognizant Captain of the Port for the area in which the exercise will be held. The cognizant Captain of the Port will make notice of the enforcement of a live-fire exercise safety zone by all appropriate means to attain widest publicity among the affected segments of the public, including publication in the Federal Register as practicable. Such means of notification may also include but are not limited to broadcast notice to mariners or local notice to mariners. The cognizant Captain of the Port will issue a broadcast notice to mariners and local notice to mariners notifying the public when enforcement of a live-fire exercise safety zone is suspended.

The Ninth Coast Guard District Planning and Development Section maintains the public docket for this rulemaking. Comments and material received from the public will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection or copying between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (local time) Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For further information contact: Commander Gustav Wulfkuhle, Enforcement Branch, Response Division, Ninth Coast Guard District, Cleveland, OH at (216) 902-6091.

 

Port Reports - August 6

Marquette - Rod Burdick
On Saturday Herbert C. Jackson loaded ore during the afternoon for the Rouge and Saginaw took on ore into the late evening for Algoma Steel at the Soo.

Muskegon - Greg Barber
The Alpena was in bound at 6:30 p.m. with a load of cement for the LaFarge dock. Alpena was followed one hour later by Indiana Harbor with a load of coal for the Cobb Power Plant.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Calumet was inbound Saturday morning carrying a split load for the upper river. She stopped to lighter at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee before continuing upriver to finish at the Saginaw rock Products dock in Saginaw. After an assist from the tug Robin Lynn in the Sixth Street Turning Basin, the Calumet was outbound for the lake Saturday night. Calumet has been the only inbound commercial traffic since Wednesday and has three consecutive visits in that four day period.

The Manistee, who had arrived on July 28th and had been unloading at the Saginaw Wirt dock before suffering a mechanical problem, was back in service on Saturday and finished her unload. She was also assisted in turning by the tug Robin Lynn and was out bound for the lake about an hour behind her fleetmate.

For the month of July vessel passages were up from a year ago with 43 verses 35 in 2005. Overall for the year however, passages are still down from 2005 by 30 with 143 this year verses 173 last year.

South Chicago - Steve B.
The tug Ostrander and barge Integrity was at LaFarge at 130th St. on Saturday and departed for the lake around 1 p.m. Around 3:30 p.m. the Polsteam salty Isa departed Nidera Grain on the Calumet River and made a tug assisted run for the lake. She was assisted by the G tugs Colorado and South Carolina.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Adam E Cornelius came in around noon Saturday with stone for the Gateway Terminal in Lackawanna.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Calumet was in bound the Saginaw River Saturday morning headed up river to unload at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee. The Calumet slowed upon reaching the Burroughs dock to let her fleetmate Manistee clear the dock up river. The Calumet docked and began unloading at the Burroughs dock around noon Saturday. The Calumet finished lightering at the Burroughs dock around 3:30pm and headed up river to the Saginaw Rock Products dock to finish unloading. The Calumet departed the Saginaw Rock Products dock around 6:30pm and turned around off the dock in the Sixth Street turning basin with assistance from the tug Robin Lynn and was out bound for the lake by 7:15pm Saturday evening. Radio Traffic indicated that the Calumet was headed up to Stoneport to load.
The Manistee departed the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee at 11:30am Saturday morning after undergoing repairs at the dock and headed upriver to finish unloading her cargo at the Saginaw Wirt dock. The Manistee was unable to complete unloading her cargo at the Saginaw Wirt dock on July 28 and backed downriver to the Burroughs dock for repairs to be made to her unloading equipment. The Manistee finished unloading at the Saginaw Wirt dock by 6:30pm Saturday evening and waited at the dock for about 50 minutes to let the Calumet turn in the Sixth Street turning basin and clear outbound before proceeding upriver. With assistance from the tug Robin Lynn, the Manistee turned at the Sixth Street turning basin and was outbound for the lake by 9:00pm Saturday night. Radio Traffic indicated that the Manistee was headed for Calcite to load for Cleveland.
The Great Lakes Dock & Materials tug Duluth was in bound the Saginaw River Saturday evening with an empty barge from the Pump-Out Island. The Duluth pulled over at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee to allow the out bound Manistee to clear before continuing up river to the LaFarge dock. The Dredge Sue with the barges 120 & 121 finished dredging operations in the Sixth Street turning basin for Saturday around 8:00pm. The MCM Marine tug Beaver State was moving between the Sixth Street turning basin and the LaFarge dock in Saginaw Wednesday evening.

 

Updates - August 6

News Photo Gallery updated

New Ryerson Photo Gallery - Unloading at Indiana Harbor

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 06

On this day in 1953, a record 176 vessels passed through the Soo locks.

Early in the morning of 06 August 1899, the WILLIAM B MORLEY (steel propeller freighter, 277 foot, 1,846 gross tons, built in 1888, at Marine City, Michigan) and the LANSDOWNE (iron side-wheel carferry, 294 foot, 1,571 gross tons, built in 1884, at Wyandotte, Michigan) 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.

The BELLE RIVER's bottom was damaged at the fit-out dock and required dry docking on August 6, 1977, for repairs prior to her maiden voyage. Renamed b.) WALTER J McCARTHY JR in 1990.

On 6 August 1871, the 3-mast wooden schooner GOLDEN FLEECE was down bound on Lake Huron laden with iron ore. The crew mistook the light at Port Austin for the light at Pointe Aux Barques and steered directly for the Port Austin Reef where the vessel grounded. After 200 tons of ore were removed, GOLDEN FLEECE was pulled off the reef then towed to Detroit by the tug GEORGE B MC CLELLAN and repaired.

On 6 August 1900, the Mc Morran Wrecking Company secured the contract for raising the 203-foot 3-mast wooden schooner H W SAGE which sank at Harsen's Island on 29 July 1900. The SAGE had been rammed by the steel steamer CHICAGO. Two lives had been lost; they were crushed in her forecastle.

August 6, 1929 - The CITY OF SAGINAW 31 (Hull#246) was launched at Manitowoc, Wisconsin by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. for the Pere Marquette Railway. She was christened by Miss Ann Bur Townsend, daughter of the mayor of Saginaw.

On 6 August 1870, the wooden propeller tug TORNADO had her boiler explode without warning four miles northwest of Oswego, New York. The tug sank quickly in deep water. Three of the six onboard lost their lives. Apparently the tug had a new boiler and it had been allowed to run almost dry. When cold water was let in to replenish the supply, the boiler exploded.

Data from: Max Hanley, Jody L. Aho, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, 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 of Milwaukee Receives "Pacesetter" Award from Seaway

8/5 - The Port of Milwaukee, in recognition for a 17% increase in the volume of cargo it handled in 2005, received a Pacesetter award from the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., the Port announced Friday.

Gains were led by international trade, even though international shipments are dwarfed by the larger volume of commodity goods shipped within the Great Lakes.

Overall, the port shipped 3.4 million tons of dry bulk, general cargo and bulk freight in 2005. Of the 2005 total, 300,725 metric tons were shipped through the seaway, and connecting to Atlantic-born traffic, reflecting a 61% increase over the previous year, the Port said.

The Port's award, in recognition of "increasing its international tonnage levels," is the seventh to go to the Port of Milwaukee since the Seaway Development Corp. began giving them out in 1992.

Reported by Paul Erspamer from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

 

Cheboygan Home to New Research Ship
State-of-the-art Spencer F. Baird will focus on the well-being of lake trout

8/5 - Cheboygan - The lines of another new ship are gracing the Cheboygan River these days, complete with a new crew, state-of-the-art technology and multi-mission capability. The M/V Spencer F. Baird, eight years in the making, has arrived at the Great Lakes Science Center docks just north of the State Street Bridge for use by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The Cheboygan vessel base is shared with the U.S. Geological Survey.

The $8 million ship was designed in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., by Tim Graul and Associates and built by Conrad Industries of Morgan City, La. It was delivered to its new homeport of Cheboygan via the Atlantic Ocean, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes. The vessel's 40-foot height made it too high to pass beneath a bridge on the Mississippi River route, which would have been shorter.

“It's the first boat of this magnitude built for the Fish & Wildlife Service since the mid-1980s,” said Gerry Jackson, assistant regional director of the agency's fisheries division in Fort Snelling, Minn., who toured the ship Wednesday with a half-dozen other officials. “The last one built like this went to Alaska. The Baird is our largest construction project in the last 20 years, if not in our history.”

At 95 feet long and 30 feet wide, the Baird is larger than other vessels moored at the base and will replace the M/V Togue. It is powered by a 1,600 horsepower engine that drives twin screws. The ship has twin trawling winches capable of lifting 12 tons each, plus a main crane that folds out to place cargo 25 feet beyond the decks. Accommodations exist aboard for eight people, although normal operations call for a crew of four. A stainless-steel galley, laundry center and communications suite will make life at sea comfortable for employees, who normally work a season from April through October and travel more than 3,000 miles in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

“Usually we'll run day trips and tie up at night in different ports,” said Capt. Mike Perry. “This ship has very unique missions - fish restoration and the capability of assessment.” Perry said that means the Baird can plant fish - usually lake trout - but also capture fish and safely inspect them for a variety of items important to their well-being. The fish can then be released if possible, although certain procedures preclude that.

“Lake trout is our main focus at this time,” Perry said. “This vessel produces its own oxygen for the 10 removable fish tanks on deck. It's just like a home aquarium, really. But we could check fish and tell you what they weigh, what they've been eating. All that data is logged.” Perry and Jackson pointed to tubes running from the tanks and said that a gravity-feed system is far preferable to pumping the fish out, as was done in the past. “It's a lot less stressful on the fish,” Jackson said. “They just swim out.”

The water in the 10,000-gallon tanks can also be cooled to 42 degrees like the deep lake conditions from which the fish came. The agency plants four million lake trout per season, or 90 percent of the Great Lakes stock. “Fishing is a $4 billion to $5 billion industry each year,” Jackson explained. “Therefore, sea lamprey control is also a mission of ours. We're tops in the world in that department.”

The Great Lakes Science Center employs 10 people in Cheboygan between the Fish & Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey, Jackson said, with engineer Bob Bergstrom kept on for winter maintenance work on the Baird. “Many others travel here to use the three boats,” Jackson continued, “but all the Cheboygan employees live in this area. “We purchase 40,000 gallons of fuel per year locally, plus much of our supplies and maintenance needs.”

Jackson said the agency also leases some dock space from Ryba Marine. Other vessels in use here are the Grayling and the Sturgeon.

A formal dedication of the Spencer F. Baird is planned for Sept. 7 in Traverse City at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy's Haggerty Center.

By Mike Fornes for the Cheboygan Tribune

 

Port Reports - August 5

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The CSL Assiniboine completed loading coal at the Gateway Terminal on the early Friday afternoon. She back away down the Lackawanna slip, headed straight out the South Entrance, and then turned to head up the lake for Stelco Steel in Nanticoke at 1:00pm. The Adam E Cornelius is due to take her place at the Gateway Dock on Saturday morning to unload limestone.
The Luedtke dredge rig is currently positioned on the crick off the old Buffalo Creek RR roundhouse between the Cargil 'S' Elevator, and the Marine 'A' Elevator. The tug Kurt Luedtke was south bound in the Outer Harbor with a loaded scow at about the same time the Assiniboine was departing. She gave an ETA of 7:00 pm Friday for Nanticoke.
There is a Grain Elevator District tour this Sunday and also on the 19th aboard the Miss Buffalo cruise boat.
Port Colborne is having a Tall Ship Celebration this weekend. There's also a carnival and tours of the Firetug Edward M Cotter.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
The ore loading chutes, quiet since Monday, loaded the Charles M. Beeghly on Friday evening.

Toledo -
Ziemia Gornoslaska (the earth of Gornoslaska-a city in Poland) is off-loading steel at Midwest Terminals of Toledo. Tugs; Nebraska and Idaho brought Pintail in at 4:00 pm to The Andersons Kuhlman Facility. Olympic Miracle was on-loading at ADM Elevators.

 

August 12 - Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise
Space Still Available
Mail Your Reservations Today

A 3-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan, plus pizza delivered by the J. W. Westcott mailboat. Cruise leaves the Portofino's On The River restaurant, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am.

All this for only $25.00. Limited to the first 100 reservations. Mail your check today to: Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc., 1110 South Main Street, Findlay, OH 45840-2239.

Click here for Reservations Form. Checks will not be cashed until the week before the cruise. No physical tickets will be issued. You name will be on the Boarding List.

 

Updates - August 5

News Photo Gallery updated

New Ryerson Photo Gallery - Unloading at Indiana Harbor

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 05

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.

The RICHARD M MARSHALL, later b.) JOSEPH S WOOD, c.) JOHN DYKSTRA, d.) BENSON FORD, and finally e.) 265808, entered service on August 5, 1953. From 1966, until it was retired at the end of 1984, this vessel and the WILLIAM CLAY FORD were fleet mates. There is only one other instance of two boats being owned by the same company at some point in their careers with as close or closer age difference. The CHARLES M BEEGHLY (originally SHENANGO II) and the HERBERT C JACKSON.

The aft section of the BELLE RIVER (Hull#716), was float launched August 5, 1976. She was American Steamship's first thousand-footer and the first thousand-footer built at Bay Shipbuilding Co. She was renamed b.) WALTER J MC CARTHY in 1990.

The G A TOMLINSON, a.) D O MILLS of 1907, was sold outright to Columbia Transportation Div. (Oglebay Norton Co.), on August 5, 1971, along with the last two Tomlinson vessels, the SYLVANIA and the JAMES DAVIDSON.

On 5 August 1850, ST CLAIR (side wheel steamer, passenger & package freight, 140 foot 210 tons, built in 1843, at Detroit, Michigan) was reported as lost with no details given whatsoever. The report of her loss was published 3 days BEFORE she was enrolled at Detroit by J. Watkin.

The motor vessel BEAVER ISLANDER completed her maiden voyage to Charlevoix in 1962. At the time, she was the largest, fastest, and most advanced ship built for the run. She served as the flagship for 37 years, a record, until the EMERALD ISLE arrived in 1997.

August 5, 1907 - A female passenger dived off the deck of the PERE MARQUETTE 18 of 1902, on a dare. Two of the 18's officers leapt over to rescue her. One of the officers nearly drowned and was rescued by the passenger.

On 5 August 1866, AUTOCRAT (2-mast, wooden schooner, 345 tons, built in 1854, at Caltaraugus, New York) was carrying 15,000 bushels of corn and was lying off Chicago, waiting for a storm to die down. Just before dawn, the schooner J S NEWHOUSE was also seeking shelter when she ran into AUTOCRAT, sinking her in 7 fathoms of water. The crew was rescued by the tug UNION.

On 5 August 1869, LAURA E CALVIN (3-mast wooden schooner, 130 foot, 216 tons, built in 1863, at Garden Island, Ontario as a bark) sprang a leak during a storm and foundered 10 miles off Braddock's Point on Lake Ontario. No lives were lost.

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

 

Port Reports - August 4

Sturgeon Bay - Greg Jackson
On Thursday the Edward L. Ryerson remained at Bayship Building in Sturgeon Bay. There appeared to be a good deal of activity on board with her bow ballasted down and propeller partially out of the water. She has been in the ship yard for a number of days and it is not expected to depart until some time early next week.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The John J. Boland was nestled under the loading chute at the NS coal dock Thursday afternoon. She was expected to clear Sandusky Bay overnight.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Calumet was inbound the Saginaw River passing the Pump-Out Island around 9:00 pm. She headed upriver to unload at the Sargent dock in Essexville.

 

American Valor Gets a new Paint

8/4 - Detroit River - The American Valor, formerly Oglebay Norton's Armco, was getting a facelift Thursday morning. They were upbound in the Detroit River around 9:30 a.m. pulling in for fuel at Sterling in Windsor.

Aside from the American Steamship stack colors and new name, the pilot house is now sporting a coat of white covering over the trademark cabin cream of Columbia Steamship. Only the pilot house itself was painted so far - the lower decks of the forward accommodations remain cabin cream, for now.

At the same time the American Valor was pulling into Sterling Fuels, former fleetmate and sister ship steamer Reserve was downbound passing in the Detroit River. The Reserve remains unchanged from ONCO days except for painted over Oglebay logos and a solid maroon stack.

The extend of this current painting is unknown, but perhaps it would be a good idea to catch the former Oglebay boats now owned by ASC before cabin cream disappears forever.

Reported by Nathan Nietering

 

Lake Erie Study predicts shoreline shrinkage

8/4 - Gibraltar, MI -- Lake Erie has mostly been spared from concerns about the Great Lakes' receding shorelines, but a new government report predicts there's plenty of reason to worry. Lake Erie's surface area is expected to shrink as much as 15 percent over the next six decades, according to the latest annual update of a Lake Erie management plan prepared by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its Canadian equivalent.

The reason: Global warming, according to the report.

That could cause the Detroit River shoreline to drop as much as 18 inches -- at a cost of tens of millions of dollars to communities and businesses for channel dredging, marina relocations and other projects, said John Hartig, manager of the Detroit International Wildlife Refuge that spans along 48 miles of the river and west Lake Erie. The good news, he said: Waters would recede from the levees, steel pilings and seawalls that mar most of the Detroit River coastline, exposing the natural shoreline and adjoining marshes and forests.

"There's going to be big costs associated with this," Hartig said. "Freighters unload at the Port of Detroit. If you take away 18 inches, they can't hold as much because they hit the bottom."

In June, Lake Erie water levels were 3 inches below the historical average, while Lakes Huron and Michigan were 16-17 inches lower, said Scott Thieme, chief of Great Lakes hydrology for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "Erie has not been too bad for the last few years," Thieme said. "It seems to be getting more rain from storms that skirt the bottom of the state and miss the other lakes."

Still, Sharon Smith, 60, who lives on the edge of a canal across from Lake Erie Metropark, said the water level is much lower than it was nine years ago. "I tell everyone we moved to the water, and the water moved away," Smith said.

From the Detroit News

 

U.S. Coast Guard Celebrates 216th Birthday

8/4 - Cleveland - U.S. Coast Guard men and women, stationed around the world will celebrate the service's 216th Birthday on Friday, August 4, 2006.

"I am incredibly proud of our dedicated Coast Guard men and women," said Adm. Thad Allen, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. "As a multi-mission, maritime, military service, we continue to grow and evolve to help guarantee the maritime safety, security and stewardship of our oceans and waterways. Whether it's saving lives, supporting the global war on terrorism, preserving our maritime environment and its resources, or protecting our vital waters for trade and commerce, Coast Guard men and women perform their duties every day with relentless courage, commitment and ingenuity."

The U.S. Coast Guard, one of America's five Armed Services, was created in 1790 when the first U.S. Congress authorized the construction of a fleet of "revenue marine" cutters. It received its present name in 1915 when the revenue Cutter Service merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service. The service expanded in size and responsibilities as the nation grew and today is responsible for many diverse missions.

The U.S. Coast Guard, one of the oldest organizations in the federal government, continues to protect the nation throughout its long history. Coast Guardsmen have served proudly in every one of the nation's conflicts including providing waterborne security in the ongoing actions in Iraq.

Maritime homeland defense remains one of the Coast Guard's most important functions and has a renewed emphasis since September 11, 2001. The men and women of the Ninth Coast Guard District remain ‘Always Ready' to guard those who work, live and play on the U.S. Great Lakes and protect the waters they enjoy.

The Ninth Coast Guard District employs more than 7,700 active duty, reserve, auxiliary, and civilian members. The Ninth District includes four (4) Sector Offices, four (4) Marine Safety Units, two (2) Air Stations, two (2) Air Facilities, nine (9) cutters, and 46 small boat Stations.

The Ninth Coast Guard District units are responsible for more than 1,500 miles of international border and 6,700 miles of U.S. shoreline, spanning eight states and all five Great Lakes.

 

Nautical Festival Begins with Memorial to Sailors

8/4 - Rogers City - A week of Nautical City festivities began on a solemn note Tuesday evening as residents gathered at Lakeside Park in Rogers City to honor those who lost their lives on the Great Lakes. “This is an event that plays into, and is a part of, the nautical heritage of Rogers City,” said Art Ross, master of ceremonies for the sailors memorial, one of the kick-off events of the Nautical City Festival.

Ross said the purpose of the event is to commemorate the sailors who lost their lives on the Cedarville and the Carl D. Bradley, two Rogers City ships that sank in the Great Lakes. The sailors memorial also serves to remind residents of their maritime heritage, he said.

Rogers City Mayor Beach Hall, who made a few brief remarks during the ceremony, said he wasn’t aware of Rogers City’s nautical heritage until he moved to the city. “Each year since then that heritage has grown in my consciousness,” he said. The shipping industry has played a large role in the history of the community, Hall said, adding the city’s connection with shipping had largely been positive. “Tonight we commemorate the bad,” he said.

Following Hall’s address, Ross introduced the Brittney Hoffman, Miss Rogers City 2006, and her court. Ross also read the names of the retired ship captains and chiefs. The names of the sailors on the Cedarville and Bradley who perished either when the ships went down or in the years following were read by Dick Peacock. Cedarville survivor Dave Erickson rang the bell for those who were lost on the Cedarville, and Bradley survivor Frank Mayes rang the bell for those who died on the Bradley.

A sermon and prayer by Pastor Paul Hopkins and a song by the Kiwanis Club was followed by the procession of captains and chiefs to a memorial commemorating those who lost their lives on the Cedarville and the Bradley. Captains and Chiefs were escorted by VFW Post 607 Commander Leonard LaTulip and by Officer of the Day Richard Wright. The placing of a wreath on the memorial was followed by a four-gun salute by members of VFW Post 607 and by the playing of Taps by Chief Robert Centala.

From the Alpena News

 

St. Marys River Fest Scheduled at Soo

8/4 - Sault Ste. Marie - In keeping with the Soo Locks Sesquicentennial, the St. Mary’s River Fest celebrates the area’s greatest resource, the St. Mary’s River. The weekend event will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 18, 19, and 20, 2006.

The weekend’s events begin with the Mariners’ Banquet and Hall of Fame induction on Friday evening. The banquet, catered by Karl’s Cuisine, will be held on the floating museum ship Valley Camp. George J. Ryan, past-president of the Lake Carriers’ Association, is this year’s Mariner of the Year. He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the conclusion of the banquet. Tickets are $30 and available at the Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Saturday the tall ship Pathfinder will be available for deck tours at the Kemp Marina. This ship is a brigantine training vessel from Toronto.

The Le Sault de Sainte Marie Canot Classique (professional canoe race) will launch from Mission Point both Saturday and Sunday for a marathon race with a purse of $4000.Also Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard Base will be open for guided tours and vessel deck tours from 1-4 p.m.

Maritime merchants, local craftsmen, and other vendors will be downtown from 10-4 on Saturday. The Soo Locks Visitors Center Association will set up shop alongside the vendors with satellite displays and a place to talk and swap pics. The Canadian Naval League Cadets will perform their precision drill at 10:30 and 2 in the Locks’ Park. On the north porch of the Soo Locks Visitors Center, Ron Paquin, local artisan of Native American crafts, will be building a canoe.

Sunday’s activities begin with a Mariners’ Breakfast at the Elks’ Lodge on Portage St. Cost is $6.00. At 1 p.m. the traditional “Blessing of the Fleet” will be held on the St. Mary’s River next to the Valley Camp. Vocal music will be by the Singers’ United and Sean Ley will play the bagpipes.

For more information visit www.saultstemarie.com

 

Fort Gratiot Lighthouse Open for Tours

8/4 - Port Huron - The Port Huron Museum has announced that the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse is now open, free, and without an appointment on the following days of the week from now into October: Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays of each week from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm.

The Port Huron Museum needs volunteers to give tours at the gate for the public on these days.

Note, that tours of the lighthouse are by appointment on the other days of the week, as it has been recently. On these days, contact T. J. Gaffney, at the Port Huron Museum.

Reported by Dick Wicklund, Lake Huron Lore Society

 

Cougar Ace Situation Update

8/4 - U.S. Coast Guard, Anchorage, AK. - The Unified Command is continuing to monitor the condition of the Cougar Ace, evaluate options for improving the vessel's list and plan for a movement of the vessel. Using information obtained from the initial vessel survey, which took place on Sunday evening, the decision was made to take advantage of a favorable weather window and rig a tow from the tug Emma Foss to the Cougar Ace as a test of the towing arrangement and to gain some additional control of the vessel.

The Emma Foss is maintaining the tow at minimum speeds to ensure a safe towing configuration on a northeast heading. The tow will shift to the tug Sea Victory when it arrives on scene later today.

The Unified Command is considering three primary options for the vessel.
(1)Towing the vessel to a port of refuge and righting it in port, (2) Righting the vessel on scene and then towing the vessel to a port for further assessment and repair, or (3) Partially righting the vessel to improve its condition for towing it to a port of refuge for righting.

One of the major factors being considered is the extreme angle of the vessel and the difficulty for crews to work on board. The angle also affects what equipment might be needed to effectively right and tow the ship. A final decision is dependent on several variables including weather, approved ports, stability, safety and expected degree of success. Port assessments continue.

A scientific team including the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, NOAA, Polaris Applied Sciences, Alaska Department of Natural Resources and Alaska Department of Fish and Game is part of the incident command structure in Anchorage and is keeping the Unified Command apprised of the natural resources and environmental issues in the port areas being considered.

Additional salvage and dive personnel are en route to assist as needed and conduct more survey work to determine the best options for righting and moving the vessel. An analysis of the vessel's fuel and ballast tanks has been undertaken to determine what weights would need to be shifted to right the vessel.

USCG News Release

 

August 12 - Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise
Space Still Available
Mail Your Reservations Today

A 3-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan, plus pizza delivered by the J. W. Westcott mailboat. Cruise leaves the Portofino's On The River restaurant, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am.

All this for only $25.00. Limited to the first 100 reservations. Mail your check today to: Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc., 1110 South Main Street, Findlay, OH 45840-2239.

Click here for Reservations Form. Checks will not be cashed until the week before the cruise. No physical tickets will be issued. You name will be on the Boarding List.

 

Updates - August 4

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 04

On this day in 1896, the whaleback COLGATE HOYT became the first boat to transport a load of iron ore through the new Poe lock. The man at the wheel of the HOYT, Thomas Small, was also at the wheel of the PHILIP R CLARKE when the second Poe lock was opened to traffic 73 years later.

On this day in 1910, a mutiny occurred aboard the Pittsburgh steamer DOUGLAS HOUGHTON when a deckhand was confined for peeping into the cabin window of 5 female passengers (relatives of officers of the United States Steel Corporation). It required one hour for Captain John Parke, loaded revolver in hand, to quell the mutiny, confine the ring leaders, and clear away the broken furniture.

On the clear, almost perfect night of 4 August 1902, the SEGUIN (steel propeller freighter, 207 foot, 818 gross tons, built in 1890, at Owen Sound, Ontario) collided with the CITY OF VENICE (wooden propeller freighter, 301 foot, 2,108 gross tons, built in 1892, at W. Bay City, Michigan) 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

Two favorites of many boat watchers, entered service on August 4. The WILLIAM CLAY FORD entered service on August 4, 1953, and the EDWARD L RYERSON entered service on August 4, 1960.

Paterson's ONTADOC, built in 1975, sailed to the Netherlands with a load of bentonite from Chicago on August 4, 1979. Renamed b.) MELISSA DESGAGNES in 1990.

The E J BLOCK was laid up for the last time at Indiana Harbor, Indiana on August 4 1984, the E J BLOCK was sold for scrap in late May, 1987.

The D M CLEMSON left Superior on August 4, 1980, in tow of Malcolm Marine's TUG MALCOLM for Thunder Bay, Ontario where she was dismantled.

The HOCHELAGA (Hull#144) was launched August 4, 1949, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., Montreal, Quebec.

On a foggy August 4, 1977, the POINTE NOIRE went hard aground near the entrance to the Rock Cut in the St. Marys River and blocked the channel. After her grain cargo was lightered by Columbia Transportation's crane steamer BUCKEYE, the POINTE NOIRE was released on August 6th. She was reloaded in Hay Lake and continued her down bound trip. Repairs to her bottom damage were completed at Thunder Bay. Ontario..

August 4, 1935 - The only time the ANN ARBOR NO 7 had the full limit of passengers when she ran an excursion from Frankfort, Michigan around the Manitou Island and back with 375 passengers on board.

LYCOMING (wooden propeller, 251 foot, 1,610 gross tons) was launched on 4 August 1880, at West Bay City, Michigan by F. W. Wheeler (Hull #7) as a 2-deck package freighter. She was rebuilt as a single deck bulk freighter after she burned in 1905. She was one of the few bulk freighters that still carried her arched hog-braces visible above deck.

HIRAM W SIBLEY (wooden propeller freighter, 221 foot, 1,419 gross tons) was launched at East Saginaw, Michigan on 4 August 1890. She only lasted eight years. While carrying 70,000 bushels of corn from Chicago for Detroit, she stranded on the northwest corner of South Manitou Island in Lake Michigan during blizzard on 26 November 1898. The tugs PROTECTOR and SWEEPSTAKES were dispatched for assistance but the SIBLEY re-floated herself during high water the following night, then was stranded on the southwest side of North Fox Island to prevent sinking. She broke in half; then completely broke up during a gale on 7 December 1898.

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

 

Freighter Cruise Auction

8/3 - Just listed, a Trip Auction for a cruise aboard the Saginaw. Auction ends August 13, this is likely going to be one of the last auctions for some time.

Boat trips are rare, auctions are even rarer. Most trips are made available to the public only through raffles. This is a rare chance to guarantee a cruise on a working freighter.

Current Bid: $3,000

Click here for more information

 

Port Reports - August 3

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Tuesday the Polsteam line's Isa (reg. Limassol, Cyprus) was once again backed into the slip at terminal 2 in Milwaukee outer harbor, unloading rolled steel.
On Wednesday, small ocean bulker Celine (reg. Basel) was backed to the slip at Nidera grain in Milwaukee's inner harbor, awaiting a cargo of corn.
Also Wednesday, Algorail was at the bulk cargo dock on Jones Island, delivering salt.

Toledo -
USCGC Hollyhock came into Toledo for school Tuesday at 2:30 pm. Yucatan was loading at The Andersons Kuhlman Facility.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Adam E. Cornelius called on the Bay Aggregates dock early Wednesday morning to unload. Once finished, she backed from the slip and headed outbound for the bay.
On her way out, the Cornelius passed the inbound Calumet, who was bound for the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City. When she finished her unload, she turned in the turning basin on the west end of the dock and headed outbound for the lake.
The research vessel Laurentian was at the Essroc dock early Wednesday morning before heading out onto the Saginaw Bay for sampling. She was back in at Essroc later in the evening.
The Great Lakes Dock & Materials tug Sarah B was also at Essroc early Wednesday morning for what appeared to be a crew change before heading back out to the disposal island in the bay.

Grand Haven -
Dangerous currents spurred the Grand Haven Public Safety Department to close the Grand Haven pier Wednesday afternoon.
The Coast Guard Festival is in progress, but the Coast Guard assisted moving people off the beach who were near the shoreline. Caution tape is posted to keep people off the pier.

 

August 12 - Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise
Space Still Available
Mail Your Reservations Today

A 3-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan. Cruise leaves the Portofino's On The River restaurant, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am.

All this for only $25.00. Limited to the first 100 reservations. Mail your check today to: Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc., 1110 South Main Street, Findlay, OH 45840-2239.

Click here for Reservations Form. Checks will not be cashed until the week before the cruise. No physical tickets will be issued. You name will be on the Boarding List.

 

Updates - August 3

News Photo Gallery updated and more News Photo Gallery updates

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 03

On this day in 1960, the EDWARD L RYERSON, new flagship of the Inland Steel fleet, successfully completed her sea trials.

Under tow, the AVONDALE, a.) ADAM E CORNELIUS of 1908, in tandem with former fleet mate FERNDALE. a.) LOUIS R DAVIDSON of 1912, arrived at Castellon, Spain for scrapping in 1979.

The CANADOC left the St. Lawrence River on August 3, 1991, in tow bound for Mamonal, Colombia for scrapping.

On 3 August 1915, ALEXANDRIA (wooden side-wheel passenger/package freight, 174 foot 863 gross tons, built in 1866, at Hull, Quebec, formerly a.) CONSORT, was carrying food stuffs in Lake Ontario when she was blown on a bar in a storm and fog. She broke up by wave action under the Scarborough Bluffs, east of Toronto. Lifesavers worked for hours and rescued the entire crew.

August 3, 1946 - The third officer of the ANN ARBOR NO 6, drowned while painting her draft marks. He had apparently leaned too far and fell out of the rowboat.

On 3 August 1900, FONTANA (wooden 2-mast schooner-barge, 231 foot, 1,164 gross tons, built in 1888, at St Clair, Michigan as a 4-mast schooner-barge) was carrying iron ore in tow of the steamer KALIYUGA. The FONTANA sheared off and collided with the big schooner-barge SANTIAGO and settled in the mouth of St. Clair River in the St. Clair Flats, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. After salvage was given up months later, she was dynamited several times to flatten and reduce her wreckage. Although officially no loss of life was reported, local newspaper reported that one crewman was drowned. The FONTANA was owned by Cleveland Cliffs Iron Co.

On 3 Aug 1857, R H RAE (3-mast wooden bark, 136 foot, 344 tons, built in 1857, at St. Catharines, Ontario) capsized and sank in a "white squall" off Duck's Creek on Lake Ontario. She went down slowly enough for her people to abandon in her small boat. They were later picked up by the propeller COLONIST. There was a big effort to salvage her the next summer, but to no avail. She was a total loss of $20,000. She was reportedly built for the trans-Atlantic trade and looked more like a seagoing schooner. Some sources give the date of the loss as 4 August 1857. The wreck is in very good condition. The Cousteau organization lost a diver on her in 1980.

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

 

Oglebay Announces Sale of Vessels to Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Company

8/2 - Oglebay Norton Company announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Oglebay Norton Marine Services Company, LLC, has completed the sale of its three remaining self-unloading freighters for $18.7 million to Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Company. Divested were the David Z. Norton, Wolverine and the Earl W. Oglebay. In a separate agreement but coincidental with the sale of the vessels, the Company secured carriage for limestone from its quarries through a favorable long-term contract of affreightment with Lower Lakes Transportation Company. All remaining company customer obligations for bulk carriage on the Great Lakes were assumed by Lower Lakes Transportation Company as well. The cash proceeds from this transaction will be used to pay down debt and buy out an operating lease.

Michael D. Lundin, President and Chief Executive Officer commented, "This transaction completes the final step in our long-term strategy to transition away from marine shipping in order to focus on those businesses that we believe offer the most attractive long-term prospects for growth and profitability.

"We also are pleased that Wisconsin & Michigan has agreed to hire our vessel employees to continue to work on the boats and Lower Lakes Transportation Company assumed certain customer contracts. Our marine employees have been hard-working, loyal and dedicated, and for that, I thank them. We also thank our customers and vendors for their support of Oglebay Norton Marine Services over many years."

Combined with the previously announced vessel transactions, the Company received $148.9 million of proceeds for its fleet, plus reimbursement for winter work that was done prior to this sailing season. Over the past three years, gross sales, operating income and EBITDA for the Marine Services group have averaged $81 million, $8 million and $14 million, respectively. Proforma for the transactions, the Company has approximately $140 million of debt outstanding.

Lundin stated, "By finalizing the sale of the fleet and refinancing our bank debt, management is now able to more fully focus its attention on executing our stated strategy of expanding current markets and developing new markets for our limestone and limestone fillers businesses, while maximizing the profitability of our sand and lime businesses."

From Oglebay Norton

 

Port Reports - August 2

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
Virtually silent in recent weeks, the Norfolk Southern coal dock on the west side of Sandusky will apparently be humming for the next day or so.
No less than five Great Lakes freighters were scheduled to arrive at the dock within a less than 24-hour period Tuesday night and Wednesday, according to dock personnel. The schedule, subject to last minute alteration, had the John G. Munson arriving at late afternoon Tuesday from the Rouge to be followed by the American Courage.
Wednesdays announced arrivals were: American Enterprise at 7 a.m.; Herbert C. Jackson at 7:30 a.m., from the Rouge, and the H. Lee White at noon.
It is unusual to see so many vessels entering Sandusky Bay and departing in such a short period of time.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The tug Rebecca Lynn and barge A-410 and the tug Karen Andrie barge A 497 were coming in Tuesday and headed for the Black Rock Canal. This is first time in a long time that there were two tankers in Tonawanda at the same time.

Rouge River - Wade Streeter
A routine transit of the Rouge River by the Herbert C. Jackson ended up not so routine earlier Tuesday. As they approached the Dix Avenue Bridge, it was discovered that the extreme heat had caused the bridge to expand and it was unable to open more than a crack. Unfortunately for the rush hour traffic waiting, it was also unable to close. It was suggested by an observer on shore to pull the Jackson right up to the bridge and use the forward fire hose in attempt to cool the expanded locking pins. With skillful maneuvering, this was done and after about 20 minutes, the bridge was able to open and the Jackson was on its way to unload another cargo of taconite at Severstal Steel. (Pictures in the News Photo Gallery).

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The tug Mary E. Hannah with the tank barge Robert F. Deegan departed from the Dow Chemical dock in Essexville and headed outbound for the lake Tuesday afternoon.
The tug Barbara Andrie with the tank barge A-390 were inbound the Saginaw River early on Tuesday. The pair are expected to be outbound for the lake Wednesday morning.
The Manistee continued to undergo repairs at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee on Tuesday. Repairs on the Manistee should be completed on Wednesday, and then the Manistee will head upriver and finish discharging their cargo at the Saginaw Wirt dock and then will be headed back up to Stoneport to get another load for the Saginaw River.
The schedule for Wednesday on the Saginaw River calls for the Adam E. Cornelius visiting Essexville, and the Calumet visiting Saginaw.

Twin Ports - Chris Mazzella
Monday the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was loading at Burlington Northern, Federal Saguenay was loading grain at Harvest States 1 and the American Century was at Midwest Energy and departed at around 1:45. The Reserve was scheduled to load at Burlington Northern and she unloaded at Cutler Stone.

 

Viewing the Parade from Five Stories High

8/2 - Grand Haven - The Mackinaw can be quite an intimidating presence when you get up close to it at the dock. Try inching toward it and climbing on board about three miles off the Grand Haven shoreline. A lot more thought goes in to climbing on board via a ladder hanging off the side of the 240-foot icebreaker than simply walking up a metal staircase as the ship is securely tied to the dock. Foot placement is everything, and you search for something to grab onto so you can pull yourself up.

A handful of local dignitaries and media personnel got an up-close and personal look at the new icebreaker Monday, as they got a different view of the Coast Guard Festival's Parade of Ships than those watching from the Grand Haven boardwalk — from on board the new United States Coast Guard cutter.

There is no question that this ship is meant for the 21st century. Technology abounds on board, with features including a simulator for new officers and touch screens that allow engineers to monitor the inner workings of the ship. Ensign Jeannette Killen used that technology — and information from the approximately 10 other people on the bridge, including ship captain, Cmdr. John Little — to guide the ship alongside the seawall with incredible precision. "It's awesome," Killen said of bringing the ship, which is eight stories tall from hull to bridge, into port.

The bridge — or pilot house — looks more like a complex video game than the steering center for the ship. Large monitors show where the ship is in relation to the channel and the wall. There is no steering wheel. Rather, the ship can be maneuvered by a joystick or knobs. It's like a kid's dream.

As the ship made its way through the Grand Haven pier heads, it was greeted by thousands of people of all ages waving to those on board. Some waved flags, while others held signs welcoming the ships to Coast Guard City USA. The activity on the shoreline was easy to see out of the bridge, which has windows nearly all the way around. But, sitting four stories above the main deck, even seeing the horizon is not a difficult task.

After the Mackinaw docked, Little explained one of his jobs is to give the ship's officers a chance to move toward their own future commands. That was obvious by the way he let Killen bring in the ship, offering her advice and direction as needed. Killen said having the ship's captain behind her is calming, not intimidating. "It's not like driving with your mom in the car when you're first learning," she said. "He's just a soothing presence to be there."

Grand Haven Mayor Roger Bergman said the city has a connection with the Mackinaw. "The people in this community, I'm sure, are going to embrace this new one just as they did the old one," Bergman said. "They're going to visit this one and appreciate the new technology, the newness of this ship, and recognize that the other ship served its time in the very graceful way."

The Mackinaw, along with the Alder, will be open for tours throughout the course of the week. The Katmai Bay was also slated to be part of Monday's parade, but engine problems delayed its arrival until this morning. "We're quite proud of her," Little said of the Mackinaw. "We want the crew to show her off to the community." There's really no question as to why.

From the Grand Haven Tribune

 

Steam-Powered Boat Among Dozens Washed Ashore

8/2 - Fairport Harbor, OH - Moonfleet, a classic steam-powered tender, was among dozens of boats beached and banged up on Lake Erie's rocky shores Saturday after being washed away in Friday's torrent flood waters. "Got some big gaping holes in her," said Chan Bleil, co-owner of the 22-foot wooden craft that resembles the African Queen in the classic Hepburn/Bogart movie. "We're going to try to get her back together."

Moonfleet, built in 1972 as a replica of a classic turn-of-the-century steamer, was docked at Douglass & McLeod Marina on the Grand River when the powerful flooding river ripped away clusters of docks and flushed them out into Lake Erie. The boat, powered by a 1905 steam engine, was found crunched among rocks on the shore in Perry Township, about seven miles east of where the river empties into Lake Erie. It was among a dozen other boats banged up on the shore. By Saturday afternoon, it was on a trailer heading to a garage in Mentor for major repairs.

"We only lost a whistle, a compass and some pipe fittings," said Bleil.

Bleil and his boat partner, Tom Meakin, removed the engine and strapped plastic floats to the wreck. Eight of their friends, fully clothed and wading neck-deep in Lake Erie's choppy waters, towed the boat by hand to a nearby boat launch. It was a four-hour job.

Meanwhile, Bud Greene of Parkman, and his girlfriend, Deanna Leo, scoured the shore Saturday looking for their lost 21-foot runabout, named Ultra Escape. It too had been washed away by the Grand River floodwaters and they finally found it perched on rocks not far from where Moonfleet ran aground. "I can't believe I found it," said a happy Greene. "Damn! There it is. Grab my cigarettes, De, I'm a nervous wreck."

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

August 12 - Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise
Space Still Available
Mail Your Reservations Today

A 3-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan. Cruise leaves the Portofino's On The River restaurant, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am.

All this for only $25.00. Limited to the first 100 reservations. Mail your check today to: Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc., 1110 South Main Street, Findlay, OH 45840-2239.

Click here for Reservations Form. Checks will not be cashed until the week before the cruise. No physical tickets will be issued. You name will be on the Boarding List.

 

Updates - August 2

News Photo Gallery updated

Special Ryerson Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 02

On August 2, 1991, Paterson' 1961-built lake bulk carrier CANADOC, which had been in lay-up in Montreal since April 6, 1990, and sold for scrapping, cleared the port in tow of the Netherlands Antilles tug DALMAR SPIRIT, bound for Mamonal, Columbia, arriving there on August 26, 1991.

On this day in 1880, the new Goodrich propeller CITY OF LUDINGTON was launched at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The CITY OF LUDINGTON was 170 feet loa x 35 feet x 11 feet, had 44 state rooms and a salon. She was built at a cost of $90,000. The CITY OF LUDINGTON was partially dismantled at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1930-1931, and the hull was towed to Big Summer Island, Lake Michigan in 1933, for use as a breakwall.

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.

The AMERICAN MARINER (Hull#723) was launched on August 2, 1979, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Co. for the Connecticut Bank & Trust Co., (American Steamship Co., Buffalo, New York, mgr.). She was to be named CHICAGO, but that name was removed before launch.

The U.S. Coast Guard's report on the sinking of the EDMUND FITZGERALD was released on August 2, 1977. It cited faulty hatch covers, lack of water tight cargo hold bulkheads and damage caused from an undetermined source as the cause of her loss.

The BENSON FORD's maiden voyage was on August 2, 1924, with coal from Toledo, Ohio to Duluth, Minnesota and returned with iron ore to the Ford Rouge Plant at Dearborn.

On August 2, 1990, the Lightship HURON was dedicated as a National Historic Landmark. LIGHTSHIP 103 had been almost completely restored and was opened to the public in 1974, for tours and remains so at this time.

August 2, 1862 - John C. Ackerman was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin. At the time of his death in 1916, he was commodore of the Pere Marquette carferry fleet based in Ludington.

On 2 August 1877, GRACE A CHANNON (wooden schooner, 141 foot, 266 gross tons, built in 1873, at East Saginaw, Michigan) was bound from Chicago for Buffalo when she collided with the propeller tug FAVORITE and sank 12 miles south of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The young son of the owner of the CHANNON lost his life in this accident.

In 1858, the wooden side-wheeler TELEGRAPH collided with the schooner MARQUETTE and sank 40 miles north of Cleveland.

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

 

Edward L. Ryerson Update

8/1 - Edward L. Ryerson arrived at Bay Ship at sunset Monday night. Many boat watchers turned out along the Ship Canal to greet the vessel, and Capt. Eric Treece obliged them with several salutes as the vessel proceeded through the bridges and up to the shipyard.

Departure time from Sturgeon Bay has not been posted, but when she leaves it is expected Superior will be her next port of call.

 

Erie Sand & Gravel Company Name Change

8/1 - From a letter to vendors: Effective August 1, 2006, Erie Sand & Gravel Company will be changing its name to O-N Minerals (Erie) Co. Erie Sand & Gravel is a part of Oglebay Norton's O-N Minerals operations. Thus, this change is being made in order to represent our operations as an integrated portfolio of assets that can serve markets and customers across the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions.

We believe this move to a single name will help increase market awareness of our collective strategic focus.

The name change would mean that Oglebay Norton will continue to own one vessel, the J. S. St. John.

 

Scientists say Erie mirage could be real

8/1 - Cleveland - Scientists say it's a mirage, but others swear that when the weather is right, Clevelanders can see across Lake Erie and spot Canadian trees and buildings 50 miles away. Eyewitness accounts have long been part of the city's history.

"The whole sweep of the Canadian shore stood out as if less than three miles away," a story in The Plain Dealer proclaimed in 1906. "The distant points across the lake stood out for nearly an hour and then faded away." "I can see how this could be possible," said Lawrence Krauss, chairman of the Physics Department at Case Western Reserve University.

Krauss and Joe Prahl, chairman of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at Case, said mirages can occur during an atmospheric inversion, in which a layer of cold air blankets the lake, topped by layers of increasingly warm air. When this happens, it can cause the light that filters through these layers from across the lake to bend, forming a lens that can create the illusion of distant objects. The scientists said the air has to be extremely calm for the mirage to appear. If the wind blows, it distorts or dissolves the image.

Prahl and Krauss said such a mirage is rare. But Tom Schmidlin, a meteorologist in the Geography Department at Kent State University, said it's hardly unheard-of. "It's not terribly unusual. Sailors are always exposed to this kind of thing," he said. Prahl, who regularly sails his 30-foot sloop Seabird from Cleveland to Canada, has never seen it. But Bob Boughner, a reporter for the Chatham Daily News in Ontario, said he's seen Cleveland from across Lake Erie twice, the first time four summers ago while driving along a road near the lake. He saw it again two summer ago while driving along the same road.

All of a sudden, there was Cleveland, just off the Canadian shore, as if it were just across a river, he said. "I happened to look across the lake and, geez, I couldn't believe the sight," he said. "I could see the cars and the stoplights. I could even make out the different colors of the vehicles. It lasted a good two or three minutes."
Boughner said he remembers his aunt Melba Bates, who lived all her life on Lake Erie and recently died in her late 90s, talking about being able to see Cleveland, but he didn't believe her. "I thought she was making up stories," he said. "But sure enough, I could see the same damned thing. When it shows up, it looks like you can touch it."

From the Port Clinton News Herald

 

Port Reports - August 1

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Flinterspirit is in at Pier 51 with what appears to be windmill parts on board. The Dutch salty arrived on Saturday. Stephen B. Roman was also in port with another cargo of cement. Algosteel was in last week at Redpath with a load of sugar. It went back down the Seaway on Thursday.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Saturday evening the J.A.W Iglehart arrived in port to load cement for Green Bay, WI. It departed later in the night and was followed by the G. L. Ostrander/Integrity which came into Lafarge in the early morning hours of Sunday. Around 2:00pm on Sunday the Steamer Alpena headed in to load under silos. The Alpena was outbound in the bay by 7:00pm, bound for Superior, WI.
The Algoway was inbound into the Thunder Bay River on a hot Monday morning. It delivered the 4th cargo of road salt at the Alpena Oil Dock. The Algoway departed the dock around 1:00pm.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival is underway. Monday was the Parade of Ships featuring the new USCGC Mackinaw coming in from Cheboygan and the USCGC Alder coming in from Duluth. The USCGC Katmai Bay was expected but is delayed at Sault Ste. Marie. This reporter was fortunate enough to ride the Mackinaw in the last three miles. We have also toured and ridden the old Mackinaw. The new ship is really a marvel of Technology and quite a contrast to the old.

Kingsville - Erich Zuschlag
Pelee Island ferry service will now run from Kingsville On. The MV Jiimaan made it's annual crossing from Leamington to Kingsville, Monday at 8:45pm and will run from Kingsville to Pelee Island alongside the veteran ferry, MV Pelee Islander, which will run Kingsville to Pelee Island and also to Sandusky, Ohio. The Jiimann will run until the end of November and the Islander until the end of December.

 

Push on for New Life at Old Erie Canal Lock 52

8/1 - Port Byron — Thousands of motorists headed east at high speed toward Syracuse on the New York state Thruway pass Lock 52, a relic from the old Erie Canal, with little reason to slow down except for a quick glance in wonder at a roadside oddity.

The Canal Society of New York State, a nonprofit organization, is planning a multimillion-dollar project designed to turn the site into an interpretive center and museum that would have direct access from eastbound Interstate 90. By itself, the site is a rare historic gem. But with direct access from the Thruway, it would be the first museum to which motorists could pull directly off the federal highway for a visit. "I think with the uniqueness of this, it really could be the most visited historic, living history site in all of New York state," said Thomas Grasso of Rochester, president of the Canal Society.

Time capsule
What makes the site a historical rarity is what motorists cannot see from the Thruway. Just on the other side of the lock, overgrown in weeds, is the bed of the Erie Canal. Still perched on the bank above are the original buildings that housed a boardinghouse, a mule stable and a blacksmith shop to serve canal workers and travelers.

The boardinghouse, called the Erie House, was built in 1894 by immigrant brothers Peter and Salvatore VanDitto (also spelled VanDetto). Peter's daughters, who were local schoolteachers, lived in the house before their deaths in the mid-1990s and changed little in the old barroom in the front of the house or the rooms upstairs. The boardinghouse closed a few years before Lock 52 was abandoned in 1918 when the state finished a rerouting of the canal, according to the Canal Society. "The sisters lived in an addition to the house and really didn't go into these areas of the house," said Michele Beilman, the Canal Society's executive director.

The boarding rooms that housed canal travelers still look much as they did in 1915. The furnishings, the beds and the battered wainscoting, or wood paneling, are still in place. A piano used in the bar still sits in the front room of the house. A large section of the bar rests on the plank floor. The Canal Society also has beer mugs from the bar, an ice chest, a cash register and the sign that hung on the front of the building. Even the original windows are in place. In the barn, stalls that separated canal mules still stand under a sagging roof.

The Canal Society took control of the property about 10 years ago and has stored many of the items for safekeeping. The buildings are in need of repair and renovation. "This is like a time capsule," Beilman said. "We have a lot to work with here."

Unique access
Lock 52 is owned by the state Thruway Authority and is on the Interstate 90 right-of-way just south of the eastbound lanes. Tourists currently cannot stop at the lock along the highway. The nearest exit is Weedsport, five miles to the east. But those who venture off the highway will find no access to the lock from the nearby community of Port Byron.

The Canal Society is working with the Thruway Authority and the Federal Highway Administration to create separate access to the lock and the adjacent buildings both from the Thruway and from Port Byron. The plans call for the construction of two separate parking lots with access to the historical site regulated by a system that would prohibit Thruway travelers from leaving the grounds except by returning to the highway. The site would be accessible only from the eastbound lanes of the Thruway.

Grasso said the ability to regulate access to and from the site was key to state and federal highway officials. "When you are on the Thruway or on an interstate, you're in a playpen and you're not getting out until you get to an interchange," he said. Solving that problem makes the project the only one of its kind in the nation with direct access to a federal highway, according to Betsy Graham, a spokeswoman for the Thruway Authority.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service is planning to build a scenic parking area in 2010 for the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge off the Thruway in Seneca County. But the area will not have any facilities. "The federal Highway Administration says this would be the first location in the nation where a facility of this type has direct access to an interstate," Graham said. "It is very unique."

Development plan
The Canal Society was founded in Buffalo in 1956 and currently has about 400 members. It was created to promote education, interpretation and preservation of the state canal system. It also supports projects that improve public accessibility to historic canal sites. Grasso and the society are also proponents of restoring the canal aqueduct in downtown Rochester.

Plans for the Port Byron Old Erie Canal Heritage Park have been on the table for about 10 years, but it is only in the past few years that the project has gained momentum. The site will be developed in stages as funds become available. Restoration of the Erie House, the mule barn and the blacksmith shop are included in the first phase. Plans also include construction of a Thruway rest area that would provide parking and access to the site.

A canal museum and research center would be constructed in the second phase. Plans in phase three call for the restoration of Lock 52 and the addition of a full-size replica of a canalboat. That phase also includes restoration of a dry dock on the site. The estimated cost of the entire project is about $12.6 million. Grasso said the society has enough money to start construction of the first phase, but not enough to complete it. "We have enough money to begin construction in the fall, but it won't be the greatest," he said. "We can't wait any longer. People think we are dying on the vine."

The Canal Society has secured $4.4 million in state and federal grants as well as $800,000 from the organization's coffers.It still needs about $2.6 million to complete the first phase and is turning to state officials for help with the cost of building the rest stop. "It is not a Thruway Authority project, but the Canal Society has approached us to construct that facility on our property," Graham said. "We do support the Canal Society in wanting to enable tourists to go to the canal from the highway."

Local leaders also back the project. Village of Port Byron Mayor Ronald Wilson said the project has his support and could place the rural canal town back on the map. "If they can get the money they wanted, it will be a pretty neat situation, I guess," he said. Grasso said he recently met with representatives of state Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette, Seneca County. Nozzolio, whose district includes the Port Byron area, said he is working with the Thruway Authority to identify possible sources of state money for the project.

"We have a win-win opportunity here, an opportunity to create a great place where people will stop, visit and spend some money in the regional economy," he said. "We have an opportunity to get literally hundreds of thousands of federal assistance (dollars) if we make a state investment."

From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

 

August 12 - Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise
Space Still Available
Mail Your Reservations Today

A 3-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan. Cruise leaves the Portofino's On The River restaurant, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am.

All this for only $25.00. Limited to the first 100 reservations. Mail your check today to: Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc., 1110 South Main Street, Findlay, OH 45840-2239.

Click here for Reservations Form. Checks will not be cashed until the week before the cruise. No physical tickets will be issued. You name will be on the Boarding List.

 

Updates - August 1

News Photo Gallery updated

Special Ryerson Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - August 01

On 01 August 1862, UNION (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 163 foot, 434 ton, built in 1861, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) 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.

On August 1, 1982, the Canadian tanker HUBERT GAUCHER entered service.

August 1957 - The PERE MARQUETTE 18 of 1911, was sold to Luria Brothers, Chicago scrap merchants, along with the PERE MARQUETTE 14.

On 1 August 1871, the construction of the canal through the St. Clair Flats was finished at a cost of $365,000. It was the first real channel built to help ships through the shallow waters where the St. Clair River empties into Lake St. Clair and where there are seven mouths or passes. It took the Canadian contractor John Brown three years to dig the channel that measures 300 feet wide and 8,421 feet long. The water was 18 feet deep. It was protected on most of its sides by piers and dikes. The new channel was considered too small even as it was being dug. At only 300 feet wide, tows of log rafts were encouraged to use the old shallower channels. Within 20 years, plans were made to deepen the channel to 20 feet.

On 1 August 1849, CHICAGO (wooden passenger/package freight vessel, 95 foot, 151 tons, built in 1842, at Oswego, New York) burned in Buffalo harbor. No lives were lost.

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

 



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