Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Port Reports -  August 31

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Saginaw and Lee A. Tregurtha loaded ore Thursday morning at the Upper Harbor.

Munising, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Great Republic arrived and unloaded the second coal cargo of the season for Neenah Paper on a hot, hazy late August Thursday afternoon. Republic opened Munising on May 9.

Huron, Ohio - Dave Beach and Jim Spencer
John G. Munson brought a load of stone to Huron Lime on Thursday, adding another Stoneport load to the aggregate piled on the dock at Huron Lime Co.

Marblehead and Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Manistee loaded Wednesday night and into Thursday at Sandusky's NS coal dock. On the Marblehead Peninsula, Interlake's tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder loaded on Thursday.


Historic tug Reiss set for moving, refurbishment

8/31 - Douglas, Mich. – A second historic ship long stuck in Kalamazoo Lake may be moving. The tugboat Reiss launched in 1913 and brought to Douglas by Tower Marine owner R.J. Peterson in 1969 has been sold to Steve Horn, who plans to haul away and refurbish the 71-foot-long vessel at his Clearwater Marine facility on South Shore Drive in Holland,

Peterson last fall sold the 105-year-old S.S. Keewatin to a Canadian developer, who had the last of the Great Lakes steamships towed from its 45-year home here through a dredged channel May 31 to Lake Michigan. The 357-foot-long Keewatin is now being restored as a tourist attraction in Port McNicoll, Ontario, from where it carried cargo and passengers for the Canadian Pacific Railway from 1912 to 1965.

Though the Reiss is not of that size or stature, the tug has her own import. When Great Lakes Towing was formed in 1899, according to Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation archives, it acquired a large fleet of wood-hull harbor tugs, many nearing the end of their useful lives.

A construction program was put into place at the firm’s Cleveland shipyard to replace the aging fleet with large modern steel hulls, built to a design that has become famous as the G-tugs that still make up most of the Great Lakes harbor tug fleet today.

Hull No. 24, a heavy steel Type 2 tug, was launched and christened Q.A. Gillmore, making use of a 450-IHP steam engine salvaged from the old wood-hull Monarch, in 1913. The Gillmore spent her first 19 years assisting ships in and out of her homeport of Cleveland. In addition to her day-to-day work, she was involved in several daring rescues.

During the Great Storm of 1913, the seven-month-old Gillmore was called out with a sister tug to retrieve three barges which had broken loose from their moorings and run aground on the Cleveland lakefront.

In 1921 the Gillmore was involved in the search for the wrecked wooden tug Cornell, which sank on Lake Erie en route to Buffalo. No survivors were found, but the crew did recover an ice-encrusted lifeboat with the body of one fireman floating in the lake.

Eight years later the Gillmore and another tug were called to assist the sidewheel passenger steamer City of Buffalo, which had lost power in a storm on Lake Erie. Rough water prevented the tugs from getting a line onto the helpless steamer, and after an unsuccessful attempt to bring her into Ashtabula harbor, the City of Buffalo rode out the storm at anchor in the lake, with the tugs standing by to render what assistance they could.

The next day, the passengers and some crew were transferred to the steamer City of Erie, and the tugs escorted the City of Buffalo back to Cleveland. Both tug crews received commendations for their efforts and devotion to duty.

Great Lakes Towing sold the Gillmore in 1932 to Reiss Steamship Co., which renamed her the Reiss. She went into service at Green Bay, Wis., assisting ships into the coal dock, joined two years later by the smaller GLT City-class tug Gary (renamed Green Bay).

The sale to Reiss allowed these tugs to remain unaffected by GLTs 1950s rebuilding program, which transformed its fleet of classic steam tugs with new diesel engines and modernized superstructures. While the Green Bay was later re-powered, the Reiss remained a coal-fired steamer to the end of her career.

By the late 1960s, the tug was declared surplus and offered for sale at Manitowoc, Wis. Peterson and C. Patrick Labadie of the Saugatuck Marine Museum (also owners of the Keewatin) bought her. The Reiss was displayed in Douglas alongside the Keewatin for many years. Her coal-powered steam engine, with 16 and 30 cylinders and a 28 stroke, can still be made operable, Horn said.

In May 2004 Peterson donated the Reiss to the Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation of Duluth, Minn., which since has gone out of business. Horn’s Clearwater Marine was among parties trying to tow her out of Kal Lake when she got stuck in harbor sediment seven years ago.

Horn plans to change that starting as early as this week. Armed with an Aug. 1 Michigan Department of Environmental Quality permit, he plans to dredge roughly 2,660 cubic yards of sediment from a 100x80-foot area by an average nine-feet depth to accommodate moving the tug into the channel used May 31 to tow the Keewatin.

Some silt may be mechanically dredged, loaded onto a barge and offloaded into a temporary disposal area in Kal Lake, from where it will be immediately picked up with a hydraulic dredge and pumped into Tower Marine’s approved spoils disposal facility. If the hydraulic dredge is not operational, no material shall be deposited into the temporary Kal Lake disposal area, according to the permit as amended Aug. 23. The permit was granted under circumstances of emergency or urgency to protect property or general public welfare, as the stranded tugboat has been deemed a navigation hazard.

Horn wants the Reiss out of Kal Lake by fall. “If this plan doesn’t work, well try something else,” he said.

Saugatuck Commercial Record


Badger owners notified NPDES individual permit application accepted

8/31 - Ludington, Mich. – Owners of the SS Badger have announced that they received a formal letter from U.S. EPA Region 5 in Chicago on August 29 stating that their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Individual Permit Application has been accepted as complete.

LMC officials said they are pleased the application has been accepted and view this as being an important step in the right direction.

"We are confident in our position and although several hurdles remain, we are now moving forward with the capital investments on the Badger for our 2013 sailing season," stated Bob Manglitz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lake Michigan Carferry. "We have worked very hard to get our application submitted and accepted, and we will continue to work closely with the EPA to get the 5-year individual permit approved in a timely manner," he adds.

"We will continue to provide the EPA with any additional information they request and consider this notification from the U.S. EPA a positive step forward," stated Manglitz.


Lake Michigan Carferry celebrates 2.5 millionth passenger aboard SS Badger

8/31 - Ludington, Mich. – “Next stop, the casino,” Dean Criter said after he and his family were announced as the 2.5 millionth passenger on the Lake Michigan Carferry SS Badger this morning.

The Criter family, Dean, Cristi, Zach, Ethan, Michael and Emma, received a prize package worth more than $2,000. Prizes include annual SS Badger carferry passes for life, a gift certificate to a luxury resort and spa, Badger Boatique merchandise and other gifts.

The Criters, who until this morning have never ridden a cross-lake ferry, were on their way home to Appelton, Wisconsin, from a week-long camping trip at Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Mears.

Ludington Mayor John Henderson read a proclamation to the family in front of the 410-foot SS Badger before the family boarded the ship.

“In addition to the 2.5 millionth passenger receiving recognition, every passenger on Wednesday will be given the opportunity to win one of 10 round-trip passes for two adults with a vehicle on the Badger for the 2013 season,” said Terri Brown, LMC’s director of marketing and media relations.

“We are so proud to be an important part of the history, tradition and economic value of Ludington,” said Don Clingan, one of the owners of Lake Michigan Carferry.

“To have 2.5 million people come through a small town like Ludington has a huge economic impact. I think the family will have a fond memory of this community and will go home and tell their friends and family about Ludington,” Clingan said.

According to LMC, this milestone would not be possible had it not been for Charles Conrad.

The Ludington native and retired entrepreneur purchased the Badger along with the City of Midland and Spartan out of bankruptcy court and formed Lake Michigan Carferry Service. The previous operator, Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation, had called it quits after the fall of 1990, with its final sailing Nov. 16 from Kewaunee, Wisconsin, to Ludington.

The future of cross-lake carferry service was uncertain until Conrad purchased the boats and reinvented the service as a passenger-centered one. Conrad invested his own money to create the new life for the SS Badger and said he wanted to see the Badger sail for another 100 years. The Badger began sailing again on May 15, 1992.

Ludington Daily News


Help wanted: Crew cook required

8/31 - Looking for full-time crew cook, please forward application to or contact Gerri Lable at 519-754-3751


Updates -  August 31

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 31

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.

On August 31, 1977, the BELLE RIVER entered service, departing Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, for Superior, Wisconsin. Renamed b.) WALTER J. McCARTHY, JR in 1990.

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

In mid-August 1985, the Belgium 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 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.

1975 ALGOCEN stranded on South McNair Shoal in the St. Lawrence off Ogdensburg, N.Y. The ship was released and, after unloading at Port Cartier, sailed to Port Weller Dry Dock to spend from September 14 to October 10 on the shelf while a 600 foot section of the bottom of the hull was repaired.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Al Miller, James Neumiller, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  August 30

Stoneport and Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Tuesday evening the American Mariner finished loading at Stoneport and backed away from the dock. Capt. Henry Jackman was waiting nearby and carefully approached the dock and tied up to begin loading. John G. Munson was at anchor nearby later in the night and will load sometime on Wednesday morning.
Alpena traffic over the past weekend included the Manistee bringing coal to Lafarge on Saturday, along with the Alpena loading cement on the same day. On Monday the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were in port.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
CSL Assiniboine arrived a the Norfolk Southern coal dock Tuesday evening, loaded and sailed downbound on Lake Erie Wednesday night. The Assiniboine passed the inbound Manistee just outside Sandusky Bay. Manistee loaded Tuesday at Marblehead's Lafarge stone dock, sailed to Fairport Harbor, deposited her cargo on the dock and sailed into the bay shortly after dark Wednesday. Meanwhile, Algosoo - having cleared the coal dock Tuesday as the Assiniboine arrived - was leaving the Welland Canal on her way to Hamilton.


Countdown on the Iron Range as strike deadline looms

8/30 - Duluth, Minn. – The United Steelworkers union and five of Minnesota's six taconite plants are scrambling to reach a new labor agreement as they seek to avert a strike that would affect 2,770 workers across the state's Iron Range.

But with contracts expiring Friday at midnight, both sides said they are preparing for the worst. At least one taconite operator is bringing in temporary workers, while union members have been in meetings to discuss how they would endure a strike. Contracts that expire Friday include Hibbing Taconite, United Taconite, ArcelorMittal, USS Keetac and USS Minntac.

Union leaders and mining executives have been negotiating since early August in Pittsburgh, said Joyce Russotto, an assistant at the union's district office in Minneapolis. There are three sets of negotiations, one with each of Minnesota's three key taconite plant owners. Neither the union or the owners of the plants would say which issues were hampering talks.

Cliffs Natural Resources owns Hibbing Taconite and United Taconite operations in Hibbing, Eveleth and Forbes as well as the nonunion Northshore Mining facility in Silver Bay. Cliffs also owns two taconite plants in Michigan, where contracts are also set to expire Friday at midnight.

U.S. Steel owns the Keetac and Minntac plants in Keewatin and Mountain Iron, respectively. ArcelorMittal runs a facility in Virginia, Minn.

Cliffs spokeswoman Sandy Karnowski said her company hopes the negotiations ultimately result in a "fair and equitable labor contract" that both sides can agree on.

However, Cliffs is "making preparations in case an agreement is not reached ... and that includes bringing in temp workers in the event of a strike," she said. "We would work with our salaried workers and the temp workers to make sure that we can provide product to our customers."

A strike would affect 1,090 Cliffs workers in Hibbing, Forbes and Eveleth; 1,330 Cliffs workers in Michigan; 1,350 U.S. Steel workers in Mountain Iron and Keewatin, and 330 workers at ArcelorMittal in Virginia, Minn., according to figures on file with the state's Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB).

IRRRB officials declined to comment on labor talks.

Meanwhile, union members have been meeting and preparing for the possibility of a strike. The Iron Range's last strike occurred at Hibbing Taconite in 1993 and lasted 37 days. Steelworkers at the now-defunct LTV Steel Mining Co. in Hoyt Lakes struck in 1977.

Frank Jenko, president of the United Steelworkers Local 2705 in Chisholm, posted a message on the union's website saying there was nothing substantive to report Wednesday.

"The [Cliffs] company continues with the same strategy they have had from Day One," Jenko wrote. "Simply put, they are attempting to run out the negotiations clock without offering anything of value to the employee."

Jenko went onto complain about Cliffs hiring of temporary workers and the food trucks brought in to feed them. He referred to them as tactics of intimidation.

Karnowski, the Cliffs spokeswoman, called the company's preparation a necessity to ensure that production continues. But she also said that it's not unusual for talks to drag on until very close to the contract expiration.

In 2004, a contract set to expire July 31 won agreement on July 27. In 2008, a tentative agreement wasn't reached until four hours before the midnight expiration.

Officials from U.S. Steel, the IRRRB and the Iron Mining Association declined to comment.

Northeastern Minnesota holds one of the richest iron ore deposits in the country. Mine and plant owners dig up, heat and convert the taconite ore into pellets that are shipped to other states to be processed into steel.

The industry is an economic bellwether for the state, producing about 40 million tons of taconite a year, $1.8 billion in sales, wages and mining fees and more than 17,000 jobs for miners, factory workers and associated vendors.

The cyclical nature of the industry as well as labor disruptions have hurt the stability of the region at times, economists say. The total economic impact to Minnesota from taconite is considered to be $3.1 billion. That includes, wages, taxes, sales, and vendor contracts and equipment purchases.

Star Tribune


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 without 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 Wheeler's 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. Marys 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.

1892 The two-year-old steel bulk carrier WESTERN RESERVE foundered about 60 miles above Whitefish Point with the loss of 26 lives. There was only one survivor.

1903 PITTSBURGH burned at the dock in Sandwich, Ontario. The oak-hulled passenger and freight paddle-wheeler had been built in 1871 as MANITOBA. The hull was towed to Port Dalhousie for scrapping later in 1904.

1942 NEEBING (i), a former bulk canaller that dated from 1903, left the lakes for war service about 1915. It survived the initial conflict and continued in saltwater service into the Second World War. The ship was torpedoed and sunk as c) JAN TOMP in the eastern Black Sea enroute from Poti, Georgia, to Novorossiysk, Russia.

1952 The iron-hulled paddle-wheeler HAMILTONIAN burned at Hamilton. The cause was believed to have been a carelessly discarded cigarette butt in the women’s washroom. The remains were scrapped at Hamilton in 1953.

1975 B.A. CANADA came to the Great Lakes beginning in 1966 after early work for British-American tankers between Venezuela and North America. The ship was sold and returned inland under Liberian registry as b) DIMITRIOS D.M. in 1969 and ran aground in the Panama Canal on this date in 1975. The damaged hull was laid up at Jacksonville, FL and arrived at Panama City, FL. for scrapping on March 10, 1976.

2001 MARLY, a Seaway caller in 1981, began flooding in #2 hold as d) BISMIHITA'LA and developed a severe list. The crew abandoned ship and 25 sailors were picked up by the MURIEL YORK. Three were lost when their lifeboat drifted into the propeller. The ship was 500 miles off Capetown, South Africa. It was taken in tow by the tug SUHAILI but the 25-year old freighter had to be scuttled at sea on September 17, 2001.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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


Phoenix Star underway for first trip under new name

8/29 - Phoenix Star, which sailed as J.W. Shelley until recently, departed Sorel-Tracy on Tuesday evening for Thunder Bay.

Rene Beauchamp


Port Reports -  August 29

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
After unloading limestone at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock during the night, Kaye E. Barker loaded ore Tuesday morning at the Upper Harbor.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Rob Wolcott
Herbert C. Jackson departed ADM at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. By 11 a.m. she was three miles out into the lake.


Obsolete boiler stack coming down at St. Clair Power Plant

8/29 - East China, Mich. - The skyline along the St. Clair River is changing this summer as crews demolish one of the four boiler stacks at DTE Energy's St. Clair Power Plant. The 425-foot stack that's coming down was built to serve a generating unit that has not operated for more than 30 years.

"Removal of this stack will have no impact on plant operations," said Plant Manager Daniel Braker. "That stack served Unit No. 5, which was shut down in the late 1970s. Our six other generating units will continue to operate using the other three stacks."

"The stack is being demolished to reduce maintenance costs and maintain safety at the site," Braker said. "If it's not removed, the stack could deteriorate and present a safety concern."

Demolition is being performed by Pullman Power of Kansas City, Mo. The company has extensive experience in stack construction, maintenance and demolition and has substantially completed demolition of one of the two original 800-foot stacks at DTE Energy's Monroe Power Plant.

Neil Mortensen, DTE Energy project manager, said the demolition began at the top of the stack, with debris being dropped to the ground inside the structure. Pullman's crews are working from a platform that rings the stack and is moved lower as the demolition progresses. The demolition should be complete later this year, with crews working two 10-hour shifts per day.

"Work actually began in April as crews began removing the interior brick liner," said Mortensen. "That work was completed earlier this month and we moved right into demolition of the concrete shell."


Help wanted: Marine engineers needed at Lower Lakes Towing

8/29 - We are looking for competent, practically skilled Marine Engineers with 3rd or 4th Class Motor TCMS certification to join our team. Canadian Great Lakes dry bulk experience or related experience , a good work ethic and the ability to work in a fast paced environment are considered prerequisites for this position . Strong interpersonal and communication skills are a must, as is a leadership style based on mutual respect of all Officers and Crew within a proactive, team oriented work environment. Candidates must be bondable, possess a valid passport and will have all applicable certificates and Transport Canada medical in good order.

If you are a leader or potential leader that is looking for a change, we offer a very competitive wage and benefit package and a positive work environment.

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


Help wanted: Employment opportunity for a First Mate on a MMTL tanker

8/29 - McAsphalt Marine Transportation Limited has an immediate opening for a First Mate holding a Transport Canada Chief Mate or higher certificate of competency. Successful candidates should have either SOTO or Oil Tanker Level 2 in addition to a valid Transport Canada Medical, and eligibility to enter the United States. Great Lakes pilotage experience is an asset.

The potential employee will be posted to one of our two Articulated Tug Barges (ATB's) which trade on the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence and East Coast of Canada and the United States. MMTL offers an attractive year round 6 week on/off leave system, full travel paid at all times, immediate enrolment in the pension plan and a continuous health benefit plan that remains in effect during all leave periods. This position is intended to be for a full year with the possibility an indefinite extension. Please apply to


Updates -  August 29

News Photo Gallery


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 1,000-foot boat on the lakes, the STEWART J. CORT, and the 1,000-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.

1906 The wooden bulk carrier CHARLES A. EDDY caught fire in Lake Huron enroute to Cleveland with iron ore. The ship later arrived at Port Huron, under her own power, with a salvage crew.

1967 LINDE, a Norwegian flag freighter, first entered the Seaway in 1965. Two years later, on this date, it sank the ARISTOS in dense fog in the English Channel 17 miles off Beachy Head. All on board were rescued. LINDE later stranded as d) ZEPHYR outside of Dunkirk, France, on January 13, 1981, after anchoring due to bad weather. The hull was broken up for scrap where she lay.

1979 INDIANA HARBOR began her maiden voyage sailing to Escanaba to load ore for delivery to Inland Steel at the port of Indiana Harbor.

1984 A fire in the cargo hold of NANTICOKE broke out while the ship was unloading in Quebec City and damaged the self-unloading belts and electronic components.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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


Kaministiqua forced out of the channel in Seaway

8/28 - Sunday at 5:50 p.m., the Kaministiqua went aground near lighted buoy 75 in the Seaway to avoid colliding with a sailboat in the main shipping channel. She was upbound in ballast and just slid up onto a mud bank which is Gooseneck Island Shoal. At 7:30 p.m. she backed herself off after checking all tanks and then proceeded up to dock at QE7 below Iroquois Lock. At 6:30 a.m. Monday divers entered the water to inspect the hull. She departed QE7 upbound about 11:30 a.m. Monday.

Ron Beaupre


Port Reports -  August 28

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Monday was a slow day for Twin Ports vessel traffic. Saltie BBC Louisiana was unloading wind turbine parts at the Duluth port terminal. James R. Barker was expected later in the day to fuel and load at Midwest Energy Terminal. USCGC Alder remains in drydock at Fraser Shipyards.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Sunday evening saw the arrival of two commercial vessels on the Saginaw River. Algoway was first, calling on the North Star dock in Essexville to unload. She was followed a few minutes behind by American Century, which called on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville to unload coal. Both vessels were outbound for the lake Monday morning. Inbound on Monday were the Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber, calling on the Bay City Wirt dock to unload early in the afternoon.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
CSL Paul J. Martin arrived at the Norfolk Southen coal dock shortly after midnight Sunday, loaded for Nanticoke, Ont., and sailed downbound on Lake Erie late Monday afternoon. Algosoo replaced her under the coal loader. Mississagi was loading Monday night at the Lafarge stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula for Sarnia.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Herbert C. Jackson came in Monday and was unloading grain at the ADM Standard Elevator that evening.


Fundraising cruise for the Bob-Lo boat SS Columbia

8/28 - Detroit, Mich. – The S.S. Columbia Project will host its fourth annual festive fundraising cruise on the Detroit River on Sunday, September 23 from 2-5 p.m. aboard the MV Friendship. On this cruise down the Detroit River, guests are invited to bring memorabilia, share their fond memories and reminisce about America’s oldest surviving passenger steamer as they view the beloved Bob-Lo boats, Columbia and Ste. Claire.

During the cruise, guests will enjoy complimentary pizza delivered by the J.W. Westcott II mailboat while toasting the slow steady progress in restoring the Columbia to its former glory. The Friendship will depart from the dock behind the Portofino Restaurant at 3455 Biddle Avenue, Wyandotte. Boarding begins at 1:30 p.m. Suggested donation is $40 per person. Additional information about the cruise and the S.S. Columbia can be found at

The nonprofit, S.S. Columbia Project, is committed to restoring and operating the National Historic Landmark Vessel, S.S. Columbia, to educate, enrich and revitalize our culture and communities. This event was made possible by the generosity of the Detroit community.


LCA's 2011 Statistical Annual Report available on website


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 August 28, 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 that 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, when the vessel 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 August 28, 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 August 28, 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.

2002 FRASER, the former SELKIRK SETTLER, went aground in fog at Duluth-Superior and was released without damage with the aid of four tugs. The ship now sails as SPRUCEGLEN of Canada Steamship Lines.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Al Miller, James Neumiller, Jody Aho, Russ Plumb, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


Yorktown resumes cruise, takes wrong channel

8/27 - Detroit, Mich. – Yorktown departed anchorage in Detroit downbound Sunday about 4:40 a.m. after a survey revealed no damage from her grounding in the lower Detroit River Saturday night.

More misadventure awaited her, however. On her trip downbound, she made the turn into the Fighting Island Channel that she missed Saturday night but then took the wrong channel farther down river. Instead of taking the downbound Livingston Channel, she took the upbound Amherstburg Channel, causing some tense moment when she met the Atlantic Erie in the channel. There was enough room for both vessels and they passed without incident at 6 a.m.

Yourktown is downbound with 95 passengers on a cruise to Quebec with a number of stops on the way.

This is the Yorktown’s first season on the great lakes. Despite the navigation issues, passengers have reported an enjoyable experience with both the ship and itineraries that include many ports around the Great Lakes.


Barge breaks free at Detroit

8/27 - Sarnia traffic was reporting Sunday night that a barge had broken free from its moorings near the U.S. Coast Guard base at Belle Isle, had drifted and was aground. No further details are available.


Port Reports -  August 27

Cleveland, Ohio - Dave Beach
Mississagi made a slow trip up the Cuyahoga to deliver stone Sunday morning.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner backed out from General Mills at 8 a.m. Sunday and was headed back up the lake at 9 a.m.


LCA annual report now available Online

8/27 - C - The Lake Carriers’ Association’s 2011 Statistical Annual Report is now available on its website.


BoatNerd Welland Gathering just a few weeks away

8/27 - The annual Welland Canal BoatNerd Gathering is scheduled for September 14-16. Once again, Boatnerds will gather at the Welland Canal for socializing, sharing pictures, slides and videos, plus watching the passing traffic. We will tour International Marine Salvage, on Saturday morning, and be able to see James Norris and Maumee in the scrapyard. Friday and Saturday evenings the group will gather at the Canadian Corps building in Thorold to share pictures, slides and videos. There is no admission charge. There will also be a few vendor tables available. See the Gathering Page for details


Updates -  August 27

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 27

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

On August 27, 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. McKELLAR (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 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 27.

The WILLIAM B. DICKSON (Hull#75) was launched August 27, 1910, at Ecorse, Michigan, by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) MERLE M. McCURDY 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 August 27, 1924, CITY QUEEN (wooden propeller steam tug, 71 foot, 69 gross tons, built in 1900, at Midland, Ontario) burned to a total loss 14 miles east of the Manitou Dock in Georgian Bay.

The keel for the tug CRUSADER was laid on August 27, 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.

1909 PRESCOTT, a wooden sidewheel passenger ship used on the Toronto to Montreal run, was destroyed by a fire at Montreal. It burned to the waterline and sank at Victoria Pier.

1940 BOLIVAR, built at Wyandotte as LAKE FACKLER, had returned to the Great Lakes in 1933. The ship foundered in the Bay of Bengal again known as d) BOLIVAR

1952 Ten tons of sugar aboard the CITY OF KINGSTON burned in a one-hour fire at Montreal.

1965 The Swedish freighter EVA JEANETTE ran up over the stern of of the tug VEGCO in Lock 4 of the Welland Canal, sinking the latter vessel. There were no injuries and the tug was salvaged. EVA JEANETTE arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh, for scrapping as d) SKOPELOS STAR on January 21, 1984. The tug later sailed as d) NORWICH and became e) SEAGULL in 1998.

2008 GERTJE, a Seaway trader in 1991, sent out a distress call as h) LADY F. with water entering the holds. A tug arrived and removed the six crew members. The vessel was towed into Bougas, Bulgaria, the next day. The ship was repaired and became i) SAMER F. in 2010.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Al Miller, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Yorktown grounds in the Detroit River

8/26 - The cruise ship Yorktown grounded in the Detroit River north of Grassy Island about 8 p.m. Saturday night.  The ship was downbound turning into the Fighting Island Channel and appears to have missed the turn, instead continuing straight out of the channel into shallow water less than 5 feet deep. About 10:30 p.m. the tug Patricia Hoey arrived on scene and the Yorktown was free by midnight, heading upbound for Detroit.

No damage was reported in the initial grounding, the area of the river has a soft bottom so damage is unlikely.

If the Yorktown is following the itinerary listed on the Great Lakes Cruise Company’s website, the ship left Detroit Saturday for an eight-day cruise that included stops in Cleveland, Niagara Falls and Quebec City. The unexpected trip back to Detroit early Sunday morning was likely for survey before resuming the cruise.



Port Reports -  August 26

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Lakes Contender and Great Republic loaded ore at the Upper Harbor on Saturday.

Grand Have, Mich. - Dick Fox
Manitowoc delivered a load Saturday morning to Meekhof's D & M dock just up river from the power plant on Harbor Island in Grand Haven.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
CSL Assiniboine sailed late Saturday from Sandusky's Norfolk Southern coal dock for an Ontario port. It was unclear as to why she spent the better part of two days loading. On the Marblehead Peninsula, Frontenac loaded Saturday at the Lafarge stone dock.


CSL Tadoussac has problems in Seaway

8/26 - CSL Tadoussac stopped at the lower approach wall of Lock 3, Beauharnois, at 06:30 a.m. Friday. She stayed there until noon Saturday, and then backed away out into Lake St. Louis and proceeded northeast slowly into the Pointe Forte anchorage. While she was on the wall, upbound ships had to go around her and take the lock on the fly. At this time, the nature of the problem causing this delay is unknown. A radio transmission revealed the delay may be another 48 hours.

Ron Beaupre


Badger’s 2.5 millionth passenger sails on August 29

8/26 - Ludington, Mich. – The 2.5 millionth passenger will be sailing on the S.S. Badger's 9 a.m. crossing from Ludington, Mich., to Manitowoc, Wis., on Wednesday, August 29. Lake Michigan Carferry has been counting those passengers since it went into business in 1992, reviving the SS Badger's cross-lake service. In celebration of the milestone event, the 2.5 millionth passenger will be receiving a prize package worth well over $2,000. Included in the prize package are annual S.S. Badger carferry passes for life, a gift certificate to a luxury resort & spa, Badger Boatique merchandise and many other fun gifts.

“In addition to the 2.5 millionth passenger receiving recognition, every passenger on Wednesday will be given the opportunity to win one of 10 round trip passes for 2 adults with a vehicle on the Badger for the 2013 season,” stated Terri Brown, Director of Marketing and Media Relations.

S.S. Badger Captain Jeffery Curtis, along with Ludington Mayor Henderson and the owners of Lake Michigan Carferry will be present to extend their congratulations to the 2.5 millionth passenger and greet the passengers on this special crossing.

“We’ve been watching the reservation numbers for weeks now knowing this huge milestone would be taking place this season. We had originally thought that it would be mid to late September, but strong travel in August has pushed it up sooner. The identity of this passenger won’t be announced until they arrive at the dock on Wednesday morning for the 9 a.m. crossing to Manitowoc,” Brown added.

This special milestone would not be possible had it not been for Charles Conrad. In 1992, Charles Conrad, Ludington native and retired entrepreneur, purchased the Badger along with the City of Midland and Spartan and formed Lake Michigan Carferry Service. He invested his own money to create a new life for the S.S.Badger and wanted to see her sail for another hundred years.

Ludington Daily News


Body of Wisconsin diver missing since 1999 found

8/26 - The body of a diver who went missing nearly 13 years ago in Lake Michigan has been found off Door County. Divers on Saturday discovered the body of Dirk Kann of Guttenberg, Iowa, still in his wet suit, 225 feet below the surface about one mile east of Whitefish Point.

Kann, 52, disappeared Sept. 4, 1999, while scuba diving with friends near the shipwreck Lakeland, a popular destination for divers, according to the Door County Sheriffs Department. The shipwreck is about 200 feet under water.

“We had known he was missing. In fact we had made numerous attempts (to recover the body),” Vogel said. The divers brought the body to the surface and contacted the U.S. Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard contacted the sheriffs department around 3:15 p.m. Saturday. The body was transported to Green Bay to be positively identified using dental records.

The sheriffs department was assisted at the scene by the medical examiners office, the Sturgeon Bay Police Department and the Coast Guard. The scene was cleared by 7 p.m.

Gannett Wisconsin Media


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 26

In 1791, John Fitch was granted a United States patent for the steamboat.

On August 26,1872, 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 Ramey's Bend in 1980.

The GLENEAGLES (Hull#14) was launched August 26, 1925, at Midland, Ontario, by Midland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. for the Great Lakes Transportation Co. Ltd. (James Playfair, mgr.). Converted to a self-unloader in 1963. Renamed b.) SILVERDALE in 1978. 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 McNAIR was launched at the Lee & Lamoree shipyard in Oswego, New York, on August 26,1857. Her dimensions were 103 foot keel, 24 foot 6 inch beam and 9 foot 6 inch depth.

1911 CITY OF GENOA, downbound in the St. Clair River with 125,000 bushels of corn, collided with the W.H. GILBERT and sank 100 yards offshore. The crew was rescued and the hull salvaged by Reid on September 20, 1911, but was irreparable and a total loss.

1955 JOHANNA, a West German freighter, went aground at Point Iroquois and received damage to bottom plates. The tugs SALVAGE PRINCE, RIVAL, CAPT. M.B. DONNELLY and lighter COBOURG helped release the vessel on September 3 and it went to Kingston for repairs. JOHANNA was later a Seaway trader and made 18 inland voyages from 1959 to 1965.

1978 The second AVONDALE was damaged by an arson fire in the pilothouse while laid up along the Welland Canal below Lock 8.

1979 QUEBECOIS went aground on a mud bank near the entrance to Lake St. Clair after an electronic malfunction but was released in 9 hours

1988 A challenging fire in the bowthruster tunnel aboard ALGOMARINE at Port Weller Dry Docks in St. Catharines sent two firemen to hospital. Some plates were buckled. The ship was being converted to a self-unloader at the time.

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


New names listed for J.W. Shelley, VSL Centurion

8/25 - According to the Transport Canada website, J.W. Shelley and VSL Centurion have been re-named Phoenix Star and Phoenix Sun respectively. As of Tuesday, the new names had not been painted on the vessels. They have been at Sorel-Tracy since December.

Rene Beauchamp


Port Reports -  August 25

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Friday morning included Lee A. Tregurtha entering port with coal to be unloaded at Hallett Dock in Duluth. Following that, the Tregurtha was expected to load at CN ore dock. Elsewhere, Herbert C. Jackson was at CHS grain terminal waiting to load, Virginiaborg was preparing to depart Hallett Dock, and Peter R. Creswell was loading at CN ore dock, where Joseph L. Block was waiting for its turn to unload stone at the ore docks hopper.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Paul R. Tregurtha arrived at Bayship on Friday for repairs needed after in a grounding near Sault Ste. Marie last week. The length of her stay is unknown, nor are the extent of her damages. She first went to Erie, Pa., for the repairs, and was put on the drydock there, however she left and headed to Sturgeon Bay on Wednesday. The tug Manitou escorted her through the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
The Undaunted and Pere Marquette 41 came in early Thursday evening with a load for Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg. The tug and barge have delivered 10 of the 38 cargos received so far this season.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algosoo arrived at the Norfolk Southern coal dock late Thursday night and began loading. She was joined early Friday morning by CSL Assiniboine, which moved under the coal loader upon the departure of the Algosoo.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
American Mariner arrived in Buffalo around 2 p.m. Friday afternoon for the General Mills Frontier elevator. The Saginaw departed the Lake & Rail elevator on the Buffalo River about 10 a.m. that morning.


Blue Water River Walk needs $50,000 to match grant

8/25 - Port Huron, Mich. – By this time next year, people could be strolling on the Blue Water River Walk trail along Port Huron’s St. Clair River shoreline — if the walk’s supporters can raise $50,000.

Officials from the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, members of the foundation’s subsidiary company, Blue Water Land Fund — which will own and maintain the walk and shoreline — and others associated with the project said Thursday they are $50,000 short of a $200,000 match needed for a $211,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation.

The grant would be from MDOT’s Transportation Enhancement Grant Program.

The River Walk runs along 4,300 feet of shoreline from Vantage Point south to the Seaway Terminal on land donated to the foundation by Acheson Ventures. The plan for the project involves restoring the shoreline and adjacent land on the river’s edge as well as building a walkway that will serve as a connector to the Bridge-to-Bay Trail. The River Walk trail will be 10 feet wide and paved with asphalt.

A $50,000 donation from First Preferred Mortgage Company/Michigan Mutual Inc. moved the project close to its match goal. “We really do view this as an investment for the company and the community,” said Hale Walker, senior vice president of First Preferred. A model of what officials hope the finished River Walk will look like was unveiled Thursday.

The shoreline was donated to the community foundation by Jim Acheson in 2011. “It’s so gratifying to see all of this coming together,” Acheson said. “When I started to clean up the area, I really didn’t know how it was going to end, but it certainly is going in the right direction.”

Randy Maiers, president and chief executive officer of the community foundation, said the project is an example of what can be done when private and public entities team up.

St. Clair County parks and recreation has applied for a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Administration to buy about 2.75 acres of property near the Seaway Terminal from Acheson Ventures for a park at the end of the River Walk.

Mark Brochu, county parks and recreation director, said the grant is contingent on an appraisal of the land, but the county could receive up to $150,000. The county will use $150,000 from the county parks millage fund as match money.

While the trail is expected to be done next year, other components such as restoring an historic railroad ferry dock and building a fishing pier could take a little longer — but most of the project will be done by the end of 2014, Maiers said.

The ferry dock is expected to become a 2,500-square-foot viewing area with lighting and picnic tables.

The group has until the end of the year to raise the remaining $50,000, Maiers said, but he isn’t concerned. “I’m very optimistic we will hit the target,” he said.

The first phase of the project is to begin in September. The work includes clearing out rubble and debris in about 300 feet to 400 feet of shoreline in front of the Blue Water YMCA as well as putting in new plant material.

That work is being paid for with a $250,000 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Coastal Program grant. The River Walk’s entire budget is about $3 million, Maiers said.

Port Huron Times Herald


EPA decision on S.S. Badger's coal-dumping permit application expected soon

8/25 - Ludington, Mich. – A decision from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the future of the S.S. Badger ferry appears to be only weeks away.

The owner of the Badger, Lake Michigan Carferry Co., Ludington businesses impacted by the ferry’s tourism boost and many governmental officials and residents in West Michigan have been anxiously awaiting a ruling from the federal agency concerning the company’s petition for a special discharge permit.

Based on an MLive and Muskegon Chronicle interview with an EPA spokesman and the written documents and requests between Lake Michigan Carferry and the EPA, the long awaited decision is coming relatively soon.

The Badger’s owner is seeking a five-year extension of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Vessel General Permit that contains a provision authorizing the discharge of coal-ash slurry into Lake Michigan. Without an EPA permit for the last coal-fired passenger ferry operating in the United States, the Badger’s cross-lake service between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wis., may end with the scheduled Oct. 14 conclusion to the current season.

Peter Cassell, spokesman for the EPA’s Region 5 that covers six Midwest states including Michigan, said the Badger’s owner has provided the agency with the additional information that was sought for the permit application and EPA officials are reviewing it.

Cassell said a decision on the company’s application is expected in the “coming weeks,” but he declined to be more specific.

Due to the high profile nature of the issue, the EPA set up a special link on its website to update the public about the ongoing correspondence and permit application status. Cassell said the agency will continue to update the site at with information, including its decision on the permit application.

If the agency decides to grant the Badger a permit, the EPA would issue a draft permit to the company and go out for the mandatory public comment period.

If the agency decides to deny the Badger a permit, the company would have an opportunity to appeal that ruling to the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board, the final decision-maker on administrative appeals.

Lake Michigan Carferry likely needs the permit to continue operations next season, because company officials have said and reported to the EPA that alternative powering options for the ferry could not be completed in time or are cost prohibitive. Company officials have said they continue to work on alternatives, including one that would convert the vessel’s power plant from coal to natural gas.

The Badger’s current permit expires Dec. 19. However, the company would actually need a new permit by the start of the 2013 season in the spring.

“Essentially, there is no set timeline,” Cassell said of the EPA’s ruling on the permit application.

The controversial practice of dumping coal ash into Lake Michigan has generated an ongoing debate among residents and governmental officials. Several federal and state lawmakers have taken up sides on the issue.

Congressman Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, has supported the company’s efforts to continue operating as is beyond the current permit’s deadline, while U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill. and majority floor leader in the Senate, has opposed any further coal ash discharges into Lake Michigan. U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., recently told the MLive and Muskegon Chronicle Editorial Board that if solutions are being worked on and there seems to be viable ways to eliminate the discharge, he supports an extension of EPA permit beyond this sailing season.

State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, last week issued a statement urging the EPA to reject the Badger’s request for the federal permit. Jones’ current Senate district includes the Lake Michigan shoreline from Holland to Saugatuck.

“The S.S. Badger can stay in business for another 60 years by either capturing the coal or converting to a cleaner energy source as every other ship in the United States has already done,” Jones said. “What it can’t do is thumb their nose at the rule of law.”

Former Muskegon Mayor Steve Warmington said earlier this year that he opposes the extension of the Badger’s coal-dumping practice. He was reacting to Huizenga’s support of extending the Badger’s permit. Huizenga’s congressional district includes Muskegon and Ludington.

Environmental groups and the company also have debated the alleged impact the material in the coal-ash slurry may have on the environment.

According to the company, the Badger provides about 200 seasonal jobs and an estimated $40 million of annual economic boost to Ludington, Manitowoc and the lakeshore regions on both sides of Lake Michigan.

Ludington has been home to lake ferry service for more than 100 years and the Badger has become an iconic symbol of the community and its tourism industry.

M Live


Lake Express captain to mark 2,500th crossing

8/25 - Milwaukee, Wis. – Amid the high-tech radar and buttons and gauges in the pilothouse of the Lake Express high-speed ferry is a small block of wood.

I hadn't even noticed it until ship Capt. Paul Haley rapped his knuckles on it as he answered "No" to my impudent question of whether the boat had ever collided with any other craft. Sailors are a superstitious bunch, First Mate Joe Wnuk chimed in.

It's an impressive safety record when you consider how many times Haley has traversed Lake Michigan with a ferry full of passengers and their vehicles. Friday marks his 2,500th crossing between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Mich. At 81 miles a pop, that's more than 200,000 miles.

Most of us can count on one hand or less the times we rode that watery shortcut to western Michigan. Years ago, my wife and I took the kids and the minivan on the S.S. Badger from Manitowoc to Ludington. On Wednesday, I made my first trip on the Lake Express, spending most of the day in the pilothouse with Haley and Wnuk.

Out there in the middle of the lake, you can't see land in any direction. You get a sense of why the five lakes' first name is Great. The horizon is a crisp line where the light blue sky meets the dark blue water, which averages nearly 300 feet deep.

The color of Haley's eyes is somewhere between those two blues. He is short, sturdy and self-confident. I asked him if that four-digit number of crossings really seemed possible.

"You know . . . ." He paused. "Yeah, it seems like that. Fortunately, I like what I do. You can't beat a boat job."

Haley, 57, who lives in Oshkosh but has an apartment in Milwaukee, is the only original captain remaining from when the Lake Express first started sailing here in 2004. His experience on the water goes back decades before that. He did torpedo retrieval in the Bahamas, was captain of a pleasure cruise from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta, and worked on research ships in the Pacific. He has worked on tug boats and was captain of a floating casino out of Dubuque.

He operated ferry boats out of San Francisco to Alcatraz and other stops. He personally shuttled actor Sean Connery out there during filming of the 1996 movie, "The Rock." Later, he would send out a photo of him and Connery as a greeting card that said, "Merry Christmas from Paul and Shawn," which is his wife's first name. They have two sons in their 20s, neither of whom is working on the water.

On Friday, a party will be held at midday at the Lake Express terminal near the south end of the Hoan Bridge. A ship-shaped cake will be served, and a proclamation from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett will decree Capt. Paul Haley Day throughout the city.

Haley is modest about his accomplishment and said his job, which involves five or more six-hour round trips a week, is no different from any other job.

Despite the milestone, he is not claiming to hold any record for crossings. The Badger's senior captain, Dean Hobbs, has crossed more than 5,000 times over the past 18 years, the company's spokeswoman says. That ferry next week will honor its 2.5 millionth passenger since it was re-christened in 1992. From 1941 until 1970, the Lake Express' route was served by the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper, which now sits as a museum near where the Lake Express docks in Muskegon.

The Clipper took six to seven hours to cross the lake. The smaller, sleeker Lake Express, a catamaran powered by four jet engines, does it in 2 1/2 between May and October, with three round trips a day in the warmer months. We carried 149 passengers, 41 cars and 15 motorcycles over, and 125 passengers, 46 cars and two motorcycles back, returning about 6:30 p.m.

I was ready to get back on land after back-to-back crossings, but Haley pulled a double shift Wednesday to cover for another captain whose wife just had a baby. He turned right back around at 7 p.m. for another round-trip that wouldn't bring him back to Milwaukee until 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

Not a big deal, he said. What he worries about are windy days, high waves, thick fog, water spouts, storms that chase the ship, debris in the water, and other boats that don't know enough to avoid his path.

"Professional mariners do predictable things. That's our code to live by," Haley said, speaking over the Jimmy Buffett music on the satellite radio in the pilothouse.

You might be surprised how he chooses to relax on the weekend. He gets on his sailboat and glides across Lake Winnebago, not bothering to count how many times.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


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 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.

1917 The wooden tow barge MAGNETIC, downbound and under tow of the steamer EDWARD N. BREITUNG, broke loose when the steering failed and eventually foundered in Lake Erie. The captain and crew of 7 were rescued.

1965 The BLACK BAY was T-boned on the portside by the Liberian freighter EPIC while leaving Sept Iles with ore for Ashtabula. The hull of the C.S.L. bulk carrier was dented, the rail was ripped and there was damage to the 4th hatch. The ship was repaired at Port Arthur.

1974 STEELTON collideed with Bridge 12 of the Welland Canal at Port Robinson, knocking the structure into the water. The accident tied up all navigation through the Welland Canal and the bridge was never replaced. The ship was repaired at Port Colborne and returned to service.

1977 IRISH ALDER, a Great Lakes caller with 4 trips in 1966, was gutted by a fire as c) ATTICAN UNITY while enroute from Antwerp, Belgium, to Durban, South Africa. The ship was beached at Flushing Roads and taken over by the Dutch government. The hull was later refloated, sold to West German shipbreakers and arrived at Bremen on March 22, 1978, for dismantling.

1984 The French freighter MONT LOUIS first came to the Great Lakes in 1975. It sank on this day in 1984 following a collision with the OLAU BRITTANIA while enroute from Le Havre to Riga, Latvia. The hull broke in two due to bad weather on September 11 and it was finally raised and taken to Zeebrugge in sections in September 1985 and broken up

1985 MELA ran aground in the St. Lawrence about 40 miles east of Quebec City after losing power. Two tugs refloated the ship and it received temporary repairs at Thunder Bay. The vessel first came inland as a) PAMELA in 1976, returned as b) MELA in 1983, c) LA FRENAIS in 1990, d) PRAXITELIS in 1995 and e) AXION in 1999. The ship was beached for scrapping at Chittagong, Bangladesh, on March 15, 2006.

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


Port Reports -  August 24

Green Bay, Wis. - Wendell Wilke
Thursday the tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes were loading at the V.T. Venture terminal dock. Great Republic was inbound for Georgia Pacific with coal at 11:30 a.m.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
On Thursday the Saginaw made her first ever trip up to the Lake & Rail elevator at 6 p.m. They arrived off Buffalo around 10 a.m. but waited until the English River departed Lafarge around 6 p.m. before coming in. The Saginaw was towed in stern first by the G-tug Washington and tied up around 7p.m. It was the first Canadian self-unloader to tie up there ever, and it was only the second self-unloader to call at Lake & Rail since the hopper was installed in 2008. This was also the first time in many years that a grain boat got towed up the Lake & Rail stern first. The ship attracted a large crowd of people along the river and also in pleasure craft on the water.


Shipping season holds its own

8/24 - Shipping traffic through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway is best described as steady, or about the same as last year. Seaway officials are calling it a perfect storm of international economic and severe weather conditions to come up with little change in shipping tonnage figures so far.

Seaway Trade Development Director Rebecca Spruill says that is not necessarily bad news.

“I actually believe this is good considering the worldwide economy,” she said. “We’re halfway through the 2012 Seaway season; we’re looking at a carbon copy of a year ago.”

Through the end of July, a little more than 17 million tons of cargo has made its way through the Seaway, with about 1,800 ship trips. Spruill says grain is a big question mark this year because of the U.S. drought. However, she says other countries are having issues there too.

“Russia, Ukraine, they are also having drought problems this year,” she said. “I was looking at Brazil this morning and Brazil is showing a fairly decent season.”

The port of Duluth-Superior is seeing a modest increase in tonnage, up about 7 percent from last year. Duluth Seaway Port Director Adolph Ojard says he will take it.

“Certainly in some of the core items like iron ore, it’s been a very strong year in iron ore,” he said. “Coal was down somewhat, but that was anticipated. Our other cargoes are holding in there strong and are up. All in all, I see it as we approach the mid-season, as a good year.”

At the halfway point, U.S. flagged vessel traffic hauling cargo within the Great Lakes is also up slightly as well.

Superior Telegram


Navy Week officially under way in Toledo

8/24 - Toledo, Ohio – The USS De Wert docked at Maritime Plaza Thursday afternoon, the first in a parade of vessels making port in Toledo as part of Navy Week's salute to the War of 1812.

Toledo Blade transportation writer David Patch traded his Road Warrior status for the day and become an honorary sailor aboard the coastal patrol ship USS Hurricane. You can follow his Tweets at and read updates on

Crowds lined the Maumee River, with adults and children snapping photos and many dressed in American flag shirts. Many area boaters took to the water to get a look at the vessels, but Coast Guard and sheriff department boats kept them from getting too close.

The ships were in a holding formation earlier in the afternoon, waiting on the USS De Wert that got a late start from Detroit.

The vessels were scheduled to make port downtown Thursday afternoon. A gun salute heralded the arrival of the restored Brig Niagara, the flagship of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's fleet that defeated British naval forces in the Battle of Lake Erie on Sept. 10, 1813 – a pivotal turn in the War of 1812.

Toledo Blade


Tugfest pays tribute to industrious little vessels

8/24 - Midland, Ont. – For 2012, Tugfest Georgian Bay returns to Midland after an absence of three years, during which time it was hosted by the communities of Owen Sound and Parry Sound. The event is reflective of Midland’s maritime heritage, but also boasts an interesting history all of its own.

When one thinks of Great Lakes shipping, it’s most often the large steamers – the Edmund Fitzgerald or Port McNicoll’s own SS Keewatin, for example – that come to mind. But just as important, if more obscure today, were the countless hardworking tugs that quietly went about their business and just as quietly shipped into obscurity when their usefulness was at an end.

It’s these little vessels that are celebrated annually at Tugfest Georgian Bay.

“Tugs played an important role in Great Lakes shipping in general, and have an important place in Midland’s past,” said Bob Corrigan, chairman of the Tugfest organizing committee. “Look back at Midland’s history and you can easily see the role played by workboats.”

The log booms out of the French River, bringing logs by the hundreds down to Midland’s sawmills, were all towed by tugs. Tugs were also involved in fisheries, towed barges laden with supplies for building cottages and resorts on the islands of Georgian Bay, and tended navigational aids such as buoys and lighthouses.

In addition, tugs as large as 140 feet in length were commonly seen helping manoeuvre into port the massive passenger and cargo ships that frequented Midland. It was a thankless, inglorious task, but an important one. But for all of the roles tugboats played in the maritime history of the Great Lakes, by the 1980s they were a vanishing breed. Most existed only in the collection of passionate boaters.

Tugfest began in 1987 as the Penetanguishene-Parry Sound Tug Races.

“It was a way of getting tug owners together to share their hobby with one another and bring some attention to their historic vessels,” said Corrigan. “It wasn’t actually a race between Penetanguishene and Parry Sound. It was simply alternated between the two communities.”

The event ran for a number of years, but then took an almost decade-long hiatus following the deaths of several of the original organizers.

Eventually, a number of tuggers began to lament the loss of the event and started tossing around the idea of getting it started once more. Talk turned to action and, in 1995, Tugfest was reborn with Corrigan at the helm.

The resurrected Tugfest ran successfully in Parry Sound for several years, but again began to run out of steam. It was in danger of folding due to waning interest when someone came up with the idea of moving the event to other port communities around Georgian Bay, thereby infusing new enthusiasm into the proceedings and giving it greater exposure.

Paul Gaynor recommended returning to Penetanguishene, a decision that revitalized the event once more. Buoyed by the success of the Penetanguishene event, the Tugfest Georgian Bay board put together a package that was circulated to communities interested in hosting the popular weekend. In 2009, Tugfest Georgian Bay came to Midland for the first time. A better choice would have been difficult to find.

“It seemed a perfect fit due to the town’s historical ties to tugboating,” Corrigan explained. “Midland really came through for us that year. There was an excellent turnout, sponsorship was involved, the media was great and the town offered free docking.”

The event moved to Owen Sound and Parry Sound the following two years, but now returns to southern Georgian Bay, with Midland again serving as host port.

“The event is a passion for those of us who own and love tugboats, but it’s great for the public, as well. People just love these old boats – they’re big, strong, smoky and fun to be around,” said Corrigan. “We started with just seven tugs in 1987, and will have around 25 this year. It’s very exciting.”


Great Lakes groups want more spending from federal harbor maintenance fund

8/24 - Cleveland, Ohio – Commercial interests on the Great Lakes want Congress to stop raiding a billion dollar trust fund set up years ago to pay for the upkeep of ports and harbors. The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition and others want Congress to use the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for its intended use.

The fund takes in about $1.6 billion in user fees yearly but only about half of that is spent on dredging and other forms of maintenance at the country's ports and harbors, states a Aug. 17 letter from the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force to politicians in Washington, D.C.

Ohio's U.S. senators, Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman, are among 25 U.S. senators calling for full use of the harbor fund, which has a surplus approaching $8 billion, for harbor maintenance.

"This is a program that more than pays for itself," said Ed Wolking, director of the Great Lakes Metro Chamber Coalition, which is based in Detroit. "There is ample money available and it comes from fees paid by users to make the harbors more operable."

The trust fund is fed by shippers who pay a .125 percent tax on the value of all inboard cargo.

The federal highway bill passed in June calls for more aggressive use of the harbor maintenance fund, Wolking said, but a stopgap budget bill working its way through Congress doesn't address that intent. The bill would actually cut funding by about 30 percent, he said.

Dredging is crucial to shippers across the Great Lakes. An extra inch of draft can increase a ship's load anywhere from 50 tons to 270 tons depending on its size, said Glen Nekvasil, vice president of the Cleveland-based Lake Carriers' Association.

Great Lakes ports currently face a backlog of dredging equal to 16 million cubic yards, Nekvasil said, with 1.4 million of those cubic yards resting in the navigational channels of Cleveland's port.

Will Friedman, chief executive of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, agrees with the request for more harbor maintenance spending, but said the Port of Cleveland is actually in pretty good shape at the moment.

"We have faired better I would say relatively than some of the harbors in the Great Lakes that have less volume," he said.

The U.S. Corps of Engineers spends $9 million to $10 million yearly on dredging and maintenance of the Port of Cleveland, which is located at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Friedman said. It keeps the navigational channel at a depth of 23 feet, he said, and so far he has not received any complaints.

Friedman said his biggest concern is what to do with the sediment once it is dredged. Disposing of the sediment is a major issue facing the port and he would like a better understanding with the corps on how to spend the harbor maintenance money to meet the port's needs.

Cleveland Plain Dealer


U.S. Steel in Hamilton plans hiring blitz

8/24 - Hamilton, Ont. – U. S. Steel has recalled all of its laid off Hamilton workers and is posting plans to hire another 72 staff for its Canadian operations. The good news, however, doesn’t include restarting the Hamilton blast furnace.

In an e-mail exchange U. S. Steel spokesman Trevor Harris said the jobs are a response to business conditions. “In order to continue to support the needs of our customers and meet demand in the marketplace, we have recalled all remaining eligible workers to Hamilton Works,” he wrote.

In an interview Harris warned the hiring shouldn’t be taken as a sign of coming changes in operations at the former Stelco plant. “Don’t read anything into this about changes in our operations, especially regarding the blast furnace,” he said. “There is nothing on the horizon regarding that.”

Hamilton Spectator


S.S. Badger launches petition

8/24 - Lake Michigan Carferry, the operator of the S.S. Badger, has launched a petition letter on its website so that Badger advocates have an easy way to let their voice be heard by some of the politicians and government agencies who will have an impact on the future of the Badger. This letter provides facts regarding the Badger's ash issues and the plans to convert the Badger to a clean alternative fuel source. Click the link below, then fill in the fields and click the button to have the letter emailed to multiple governors, senators and administrators involved in the decision about the Badger's future.


Updates -  August 24

News Photo Gallery


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 d.) AMARA in 2001 and MENNA in 2008

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. McCULLOUGH 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.

1901 The wooden barge H.A. BARR of the Algoma Central Railway was lost in Lake Erie 30 miles from Port Stanley after breaking the towline in a storm. The vessel was enroute from Michipicoten to Buffalo with a cargo of iron ore. All on board were rescued by the towing steamer THEANO.

1979 The retired steamer KINSMAN ENTERPRISE (i), sold for $145,000, arrived at Port Huron from Toledo, under tow of the tug MALCOLM, for use as the storage barge HULL NO. 1.

1998 CANADIAN LEADER went aground near DeTour, Mich., and had to be lightered. The ship was able to proceed to Montreal for unloading the cargo of grain and then arrived at Port Weller Dry Docks August 31 for repairs.

2005 The Dutch salty VLIEBORG lost power and failed to complete a turn departing Duluth, striking the north pier, toppling a light standard and damaging the steel piling. The vessel had begun Seaway service in 2001. In 2012, it was renamed c) ANTARCTIC SEA and placed under Norwegian registry.

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


Paul R. Tregurtha heads north for repairs

8/23 - The Paul R. Tregurtha, damaged in a recent grounding at the Rock Cut near Sault Ste. Marie, departed Donjon Shipbuilding in Erie, Pa., Wednesday morning, after just two days on the drydock there. Her destination is Bay Shipbuilding at Sturgeon Bay, Wis. The reason for the change in repair facilities in not known. Late Wednesday evening the Tregurtha was stopped off Colchester, Ont., in western Lake Erie, possibly waiting for daylight before transiting up the Detroit and St. Clair rivers. The tug Manitou was nearby, and will likely perform escort duty as the Paul R. moves upbound.

Jeffrey Benson


Port Reports -  August 23

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Arthur M. Anderson arrived Wednesday morning at the Upper Harbor to load taconite. The visit was her second of the season and only her third since late 2008.


Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal dredging delayed until October

8/23 - East Chicago – Dredging of the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal won’t begin next month as planned due to a delay in shipping some equipment, project officials said.

Contractors for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were scheduled to begin removing the first bucketfuls of sediment from the federal channel Sept. 4, but the date now tentatively has been pushed back to the middle of October, said Mike Nguyen, project manager.

The Army Corps plans to remove some 4.6 million cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the waterways and permanently store the material in a 186-acre confined disposal facility built on Indianapolis Boulevard at Riley Road.

Delivery of electric motors to drive the pumps which move dredged material from canal barges into the disposal facility was delayed, Nguyen said, prompting a revised dredging timeline. The harbor and canal, which link industries in East Chicago and Whiting with Lake Michigan, have not been dredged since 1972, limiting the capacity of shipping vessels using the waterways. Dredging was delayed for 40 years due to the need to create a storage area for the dredged material, saturated with 362 toxic and cancer-causing substances and considered the most polluted in the Great Lakes, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Army Corps plans to remove some 400,000 cubic yards of the sediment from the harbor and canal each of the first five years of the $150 million project, and continue “maintenance dredging” for another 25 years. A public meeting to familiarize residents with the project is tentatively planned for mid-September.

NWI Times


U.S. Navy frigate crew enjoys brief stop in Detroit while ship refuels

8/23 - Detroit, Mich. – The USS De Wert made a quick, unofficial stop in Detroit Wednesday night, where the crew enjoyed a picnic of burgers in the parking lot near the old Boblo boat docks. A Marine band played jazz, and portable basketball hoops were being assembled for a pickup game.

The U.S. Navy frigate will be back next month for Detroit’s Navy Week and a celebration of the War of 1812 Bicentennial, Sept. 4-10. Wednesday’s visit was an overnight stop to refuel on the way to Toledo next week and Cleveland the week after for those cities‚ Navy weeks.

Ensign Edward Enberg was looking forward to Detroit. The Bloomfield Hills native wanted to show off the ship to his family.

“I wasn’t expecting to go to the Great Lakes, and I think it’s awesome,” Enberg said.

A frigate such as the De Wert is the largest Navy ship that can get into the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway, said Lt. Commander Ron Flesvig, public information officer for the tour. Much larger lake freighters go through the locks all the time, but the Navy ships draw much deeper under the water than the lake freighters.

The De Wert draws 25 feet, and the locks are only 26 feet deep in some places. The ship carries little fuel to help it ride higher.

The Navy even had to cut 10 feet off the top of the De Wert’s mast to get it under the Great Lakes bridges, Flesvig said.

The De Wert’s missions for the last five years have been counter-piracy operations around the Horn of Africa and counter-narcotics and terrorism in the Caribbean and Pacific, said Commander Joe Thomas. The ship is obviously made for battle, not pleasure; it’s tall, forbidding sides have few windows. There’s a helicopter pad on the stern and the top deck holds the ship’s weapons. The 10-port Great Lakes tour has been a change of pace for the crew.

“We’ve been getting great response,” Thomas said. “When we talk about sailors of 1812, we’re talking about the sailors of today.”

The tour lets the public put a face on the Navy and gives the sailors a boost, Thomas said.

Detroit Free Press


Navy warships to visit Detroit in September

8/23 - The U.S. Navy will sail into Detroit early next month, for the first time in 13 years, with warships from the past and present as part of a special Navy Week celebrating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

From Sept. 4-10, spectators will be able to tour modern Navy vessels, as well as a tall ship replica, Rear Adm. Greg Nosal said at a news conference Tuesday in Detroit. Nosal heads Strike Carrier Group II, which is sending the ships to the Great Lakes for the event.

The bicentennial celebration is especially relevant in Detroit, Nosal said. The War of 1812 was in large part fought over free trade, and free trade is still vitally important to Detroit, with its large import and export industry, Nosal said. He added that 90% of all trade, by volume, travels by ship today.

And Detroit was chosen as a host city because of its direct link to the War of 1812. The city was an important military outpost in the war -- but mainly for the British, who tricked the commander of Fort Detroit into surrendering the city without a shot and occupied it for more than a year.

Detroit is one of 10 cities along the Great Lakes included in the bicentennial tour. Two U.S. Navy ships, the De Wert, a frigate, and the Hurricane, a coastal patrol boat, will make the trek. In addition, there will be the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Katmai Bay and the tall ship Niagara, a replica of the ship Capt. Oliver Hazard Perry used as a relief flagship during the Battle of Lake Erie. The ships will be docked at the Detroit Port Authority pier on the Detroit River. A Canadian Navy vessel will be there, as well, docked across the Detroit River on the Canadian side.

For more information about the Navy Week, War of 1812 Bicentennial tour, see

Detroit Free Press


Chicago canal not the only possible carp invasion route

8/23 - The fight against an Asian carp invasion of the Great Lakes so far has been mostly focused on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, an artificial link between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River basin.

There are 18 other potential connections between the Great Lakes and Asian carp-infested Mississippi River basin stretching from northern Minnesota to western New York, though they are considered medium- to low-risk for a carp invasion because the connections are vastly smaller, farther from existing carp populations or typically occur only when big floods hit.

At the top of that list of secondary pathways is an area in northern Indiana called Eagle Marsh, which separates the Mississippi basin's Wabash River from the Maumee River basin that feeds Lake Erie. The two watersheds have a history of merging in extreme rains, so to reduce the threat of carp making the jump into Lake Erie, the federal government has erected a fence between them. But carp trouble might already be lurking in Lake Erie.

Three adult bighead carp were caught in the lake from 1995 to 2000. Asian carp expert Duane Chapman, a biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, says the finds were concerning at the time, but far from a sign that a breeding population had taken hold.

Biologists note that most invasive pioneers fail to start self-sustaining breeding populations in areas they colonize because the fish have to find each other, then they have to find adequate spawning grounds and suitable water conditions. And even if some do successfully reproduce, their offspring may be wiped out by native predators. That's why it typically takes a sustained invasion for all the pieces to fall into place to launch a new colony. Still, Asian carp research from Canada released this summer revealed that as few as 10 females and 10 males could be enough to start a breeding population.

As for the source of the Lake Erie bighead, Chapman says lab tests that revealed the fish's fast growth rate indicate they may have been raised on fish farms and then somehow escaped into the lake.

More bad news arrived Friday, July 13, when University of Notre Dame researchers announced four water samples taken from Lake Erie tested positive for bighead carp and two samples tested positive for silver carp. The bighead positives did not surprise Chapman.

"We know they can live for 25 years or more," he says, "and it would be extremely unlikely that all the fish that were present in the 1990s have been captured."

Chapman calls the silver carp find surprising and disappointing, but said he is far from convinced the fish are successfully breeding in the lake.

"We can't completely rule out the chance that they have been out there reproducing already, but there is no evidence that it is so," he says. "And if it has happened, it has not happened a lot or we would know about it because there would be enough fish that we'd start having them turn up more often."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Toledo Antique & Classic Boat Show this weekend

8/23 - Toledo, Ohio – It’s time again for Toledo’s Antique & Classic Boat Show, which has grown to be one of the region’s premier in-water wooden boat shows. The location for this year’s show is the historic Toledo Yacht Club, 3900 N. Summit St. Dates are Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3p.m. Show extras include live music, antique autos, marine antique and flea market, vendors and artisans. $4 admission, 10 and under free. Parking: free, use Detwiler Golf Course. It is not too late for marine mart vendors to sign up. Please visit to register and for event details.


Updates -  August 23

News Photo Gallery
Lighthouse Gallery updated - New lighthouse page in the Lake Superior gallery - Otter Island


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, Illinois, 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.

1898 The three-year old I. WATSON STEPHENSON, a wooden lumber hooker, went aground in Sturgeon Bay and was hit by her barge and holed. The vessel was repaired and returned to service. It last operated for the Saginaw Lumber Co. perhaps as late as 1933. The hull was sunk as a breakwall for small craft at Cleveland on July 11, 1935, and burned to the waterline in the spring of 1946.

1963 During a tugboat race in Toronto harbor, the TERRY S. sank after being in a collision with the ARGUE MARTIN. The sunken ship belonged to Waterman's Services and had been used as a pilot boat. The hull was salvaged and returned to service. It joined Nadro Marine in 1989 and saw brief work as a pilot boat at Port Weller harbor in 1992 before being sold and going to Bomanville, ON for harbor service in 1993. ARGUE MARTIN, later part of the McKeil fleet, was broken up at Hamilton in 2003.

1984 ROGER M. KYES went aground in the Trenton Channel of the Detroit River and had to be lightered to the RICHARD REISS before being released and going to Sturgeon Bay for extensive repairs.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


Algocape scrap tow arrives at Aliaga

8/22 - Algocape is scheduled to arrive at Aliaga, Turkey, for scrapping early this morning under tow of the tug VB Artico. The tow left Montreal July 16. The voyage will have taken 37 days to complete if it arrives as expected.

The tug Centaurus is also underway with the Gordon C. Leitch, which departed Montreal Aug. 15 and is due at Aliaga in the middle of September, roughly about the same time it took the Algocape tow to complete the voyage.

Kent Malo


Port Reports -  August 22

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda Mcclain
On Monday afternoon the Alpena took on a load of cement at Lafarge. Its next destination will be Superior, Wis. The tug G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity arrived in port late Tuesday night. They tied up under the silos to begin loading.

Stoneport, Mich. - Daniel McNeil
Loading on Tuesday was Joseph H. Thompson followed by Cason J. Callaway. Due in for Wednesday are Pathfinder and Great Lakes Trader. No boats are due at this time for Thursday. Due for Friday are John G. Munson, Great Republic, Joseph H. Thompson and Algorail. Due Saturday are American Courage and Arthur M. Anderson. Due for Sunday is John G. Munson.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Lee A Tregurtha loaded Tuesday at the Norfolk Western coal dock for Detroit.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons arrived at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday for the Sand Supply landing on the Buffalo Ship Canal. They unloaded all day and departed around 3:34 p.m.


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 22

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

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

The 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 August 22, 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 August 22, 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 August 22, 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 a.m. and sank in six 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 September 28. Wreck lies 3.16 miles SE from Pelee Passage light. She was owned by Republic Iron Co. of Cleveland.

1890 The wooden barge TASMANIA, upbound with coal under tow of the steamer CALEDONIA, sank in the Lake George Channel of the St. Marys River after a collision with the J.H. WADE. TASMANIA was later refloated and repaired only to be lost in Lake Erie on October 18, 1905.

1909 NORMAN B. REAM and SENATOR collided in the St. Marys River above Pipe Island and the latter sank with her masts above water. She was later salvaged but was lost in Lake Michigan, off Kenosha, after a collision with the MARQUETTE on October 31, 1929.

1917 The wooden steamer JOHN S. THOM, enroute to Erie with coal, went aground on a shoal 22 miles west of Charlotte, NY. The vessel was later refloated and taken to Ogdensburg, NY for repairs.

1940 The second THOROLD, sent overseas to assist in the war effort, was attacked and sunk by three German aircraft as she was carrying coal from Cardiff to London. There were 9 lives lost while another 3 crew members were injured. The vessel was under attack for 3 hours before it went down and became the third Canadian merchant ship lost in this, the early stages, of the war.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample.


U.S.-Flag Lakes float down 5.1 percent in July

8/21 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters carried 10.5 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in July, an increase of 6.6 percent compared to June, but a decrease of 5.1 percent compared to a year ago. The July float was, however, just marginally below the month’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos for the steel industry in July totaled 4.3 million tons, a decrease of nearly 18 percent compared to a year ago. Coal cargos fell by almost 23 percent. Aggregate and fluxstone for construction and steelmaking rose more than 35 percent to 3,840,596 tons. That is the fleet’s highest monthly total for limestone since August 2008 when the trade totaled 3,497,364 tons.

Through July U.S.-flag cargos stand at 44.9 million tons, a slight increase compared to the same point in 2011, but 2.4 percent ahead of the 5-year average for the January-July timeframe. Iron ore cargos are down by 300,000 tons. Coal has slipped by nearly 18 percent, but limestone cargos are up by 21 percent, or nearly 2,000,000 tons.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  August 21

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
H. Lee White arrived at the Lower Harbor Monday afternoon to unload western coal from Superior at the Shiras Dock. The visit was her second of the month to the Lower Harbor with coal.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
American Century called on the Saginaw River late Sunday afternoon, stopping at the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville to unload coal. She was expected to back from the dock early Monday morning, turn and head for the lake.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder arrived Monday afternoon, and were unloading stone at the Henderson Bridge.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Michipicoten loaded Monday at Sandusky's Norfolk Southern coal dock. On the nearby Marblehead Peninsula, Mississagi loaded at the Lafarge stone dock.

Erie, Pa. - Hugh Gillett
Paul R. Tregurtha moved onto the drydock blocks Monday at the Erie shipyard.

Rochester, N.Y. - Tom Brewer
The Evans McKeil with the barge Metis departed Rochester Monday afternoon.

Rimouski, Q.C. - Andre Blanchard
The new mid-shore patrol vessel CCGS Private Robertson V.C. was passing Rimouski around 12:20 p.m. EST. According to the Canadian Coast Guard website, the vessel is destined to be operating out of Sarnia, Ont. Details on the vessel


Goderich salt miners go on strike

8/21 - Goderich, Ont. – The strike is on. Trucks and cars lined North Harbour Road Monday as salt miners walked in solidarity up to the junction near the mine gates to join their brothers in the picket line.

“Money is not the issue,” said Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union National Rep, Joe Free. “This is about treating employees with dignity and respect in the workplace and having respect for workers.” The union represents 380 employees at the mine.

From a union standpoint, a lengthy negotiation process was all but resolved five weeks ago, Free said. Bargaining that had begun February 2 and involved proposals from both Sifto and the CEP had finally reached mutually agreeable soil – on wages, terms, pensions – “all established issues,” he said.

“I don’t think any of that mattered to them,” Free said Monday morning. “Everything was agreed to Saturday and then (Compass) introduces language that erodes that agreement.”

The lynchpin that has the union on the picket line is addition of a single line, added at the end of the first clause of the mutual agreement between the Local 16-0 and Sifto, effectively negating the rest of their negotiations. The line states that the company has the final say in all matters contained in the agreement. That, said Free, is undermining everything the negotiations were about.

“It is likely the union will file a claim of bargaining in bad faith,” Free said. The strikers agree.

Placards with “This is Canada” and “Families mean more than corporate greed” accompanied those declaring the Local 16-0 On Strike. As the Sifto management bus arrived at 8 a.m., the striking union members took their place in the middle of North Harbour Road, blocking management for 15 minutes before allowing them entry.

Free noted the picket line will not be blocking any community activity at the harbour, expansion work or tug boat access. Trucks bringing loads of stone for pier repairs were allowed through immediately.

Compass Minerals commented through a press release.

“The company’s proposed three-year agreement includes higher wages and attractive benefits and addresses additional jobs associated with the company’s investment in new mining technology,” the press release said. “When negotiations were suspended by the union, we were in agreement on all issues but one management-rights topic.”

The company did not say in the release what the management-rights topic is.

“We’re confident that we can work with union leadership to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement,” said Angelo Brisimitzakis, Compass Minerals’ president and CEO. “We look forward to resuming operations soon, and with our current strong inventory position we expect to have no difficulty serving our highway deicing customers this season.”

The company said it has strong salt inventory following a mild winter and it believes mine management will be able to produce sufficient rock salt to meet its non-seasonal customers needs while negotiations continue.

Goderich Signal Star


Welland Boatnerd Gathering set for Sept. 14-16

8/21 - The annual Welland Canal Boatnerd Gathering is scheduled for Sept. 14-16. Once again, Boatnerds will gather at the Welland Canal for socializing, sharing pictures, slides and videos, plus watching the passing traffic. We will tour International Marine Salvage on Saturday morning and see where the boats go when they die. Friday and Saturday evenings the group will gather at the Canadian Corps building in Thorold to share pictures, slides and videos. There will also be a few vendor tables available.

See the Gathering Page for details


Updates -  August 21

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 21

August 21, 1996 - The former U. S. Army Corps of Engineers tug MARQUETTE was downbound 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 August 21, 1901, the whaleback steamer ALEXANDER McDOUGALL (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 McDOUGALL did not stop.

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

GEORGE A. STINSON was christened at Detroit, Michigan on August 21, 1978.

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.

Cleveland Tankers 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 August 21, 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 August 21, 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.

1954 - The British freighter PERTH, enroute from Toronto to St. John's, N.F., with general cargo, was damaged in a collision with an unidentified vessel off the south coast of Newfoundland. The pre-Seaway trader to the Great Lakes had been built as LOCHEE in 1937 and had also made a total of 3 inland voyages in 1959 and 1960.

1955 A collision between the CASON J. CALLAWAY and the B.F. JONES occurred above Lime Island in the St. Marys River. The latter, upbound and light, was declared a total loss and taken to Superior. Part of the bottom of the hull was saved for use as the shipyard lighter SCC 1, the cabins were transplanted to the SPARKMAN D. FOSTER and the hatches, hatch lifter and funnel become part of the LYMAN C. SMITH. The three-year-old CASON J. CALLAWAY was repaired, outlasts all of the other ships and remains in service in 2012 under the same name.

1973 The first KINSMAN INDEPENDENT lost steering in the Neebish Rock Cut and went aground with heavy bottom damage. After being refloated, the ship was laid up at Lorain and, in 1974, sold to Marine Salvage for scrap. She arrived at Santander, Spain, for dismantling under tow of the Polish tug JANTAR, and in tandem with the JAMES DAVIDSON, on July 21, 1974.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Lake Huron Lore Society, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Western Lake Superior port report

8/20 - Western Lake Superior ports saw a busy second half to the weekend, with steady traffic late Saturday and through Sunday at the Duluth ship canal, and a notable number of ships in the 700-770-foot range in the region.

Algoma Navigator was the sole daytime ship at Duluth on Saturday, loading taconite pellets at the CN dock in Duluth. Traffic picked up after sunset with the John G. Munson arriving for Calumet Fuels before unloading eastern coal on the south dock at the Graymont lime plant in Superior. Later Saturday evening the Philip R. Clarke, American Mariner, and James R. Barker arrived in quick succession. The Clarke followed her fleetmate at Calumet Fuels before heading up St. Louis Bay to deliver limestone to Hallett 5 in Duluth. American Mariner joined the Munson at the Graymont Lime plant in Superior, delivering limestone to the north side of the facility. The Barker loaded coal at Midwest Energy.

Early Sunday morning Algoma Navigator departed, passing two inbound Canadian vessels out on Lake Superior. Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was on her way to the same berth at CN that the Navigator had vacated a few hours before. Algolake was inbound with a delivery for North American Salt in Duluth. The H. Lee White arrived just after sunrise Sunday but had to wait a few hours for the James R. Barker to finish and depart Midwest Energy. The Barker cleared late in the morning heading for the power plant at Taconite Harbor and the White took her place under the coal loader. Meanwhile the two ships that had been at Graymont Superior both shifted to loading berths. The John G. Munson went to the gravity chutes at CN, joining the Paul Martin on the west side of that dock. In an unusual but not unheard of move, American Mariner shifted to CHS 1 in Superior to load spring wheat for Buffalo, NY. The Mariner typically loads wheat for Buffalo next door at General Mills S while similar loads from CHS go out aboard the Herbert C. Jackson.

Ship traffic continued at Duluth Sunday afternoon with the classic Canadian steamer Algoma Quebecois arriving heavily laden with powdered cement for the Holcim terminal. Shortly after Quebecois arrived, fleetmate Algolake finished at North American Salt in Duluth. Algolake elected to depart through the Aerial Bridge stern-first, the simplest way to clear the slip at North American since it is almost perfectly lined up with the Duluth ship canal and the Algolake had tied up bow-in there. Once clear of the piers, Algolake got herself turned around and slow belled up the north shore for Silver Bay, likely cleaning her holds along the way in preparation to load taconite pellets. The H. Lee White followed the Algolake out of Duluth about an hour later, laden with coal for Marquette. Algolake and the White passed two more inbound vessels on Lake Superior. CSL Niagara was headed for Hallett 5 in Duluth to load bentonite clay, likely for a Gulf of St. Lawrence taconite plant. After arriving through the Duluth entry, Niagara held position in the Duluth Harbor basin to wait for the Philip R. Clarke, which was departing Hallett 5 empty on her way to Two Harbors to load taconite pellets.

As the Niagara arrived the small Chinese saltie Han Xin appeared on the horizon, with wind turbine components aboard to be unloaded at Port Terminal 1 in Duluth. The Han Xin is registered in Hong Kong but owned by mainland Chinese interests, a rarity for salties visiting the Great Lakes. With the Niagara already holding in the Duluth Basin waiting for the Clarke to pass outbound, the Han Xin checked down off Duluth's Lakeside neighborhood to wait for the Clarke to clear before heading in. In an attempt to minimize disruption to heavy weekend road traffic, the Aerial Bridge worked with the Clarke and Han Xin to facilitate the passage of both ships on the same bridge lift. Once outside the ship canal the Clarke angled toward the north shore and put the hammer down, swiftly coming up to open lake speed and clearing the approach for the Han Xin. After safely completing her inaugural trip under the Aerial Bridge, the Han Xin proceeded to her berth with Heritage Marine's Nels J. on the stern. As the Clarke and Han Xin passed just oustide the Duluth entry, the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin got underway from CN's shuttle conveyor berth and squeezed past the John G. Munson, loading under CN's gravity chutes. CSL fleetmates and near sisterships passed in the turning basin off the ore docks as the Niagara prepared to back into Hallett 5 and the Martin headed outbound.

John G. Munson was expected to depart from CN later in the evening. The American Mariner was also scheduled to depart either late Sunday night or early Monday morning, indicating a grain loading session that spanned both a Sunday and the late evening hours, an occurrence that's fairly rare among the Canadian and oceangoing visitors to the CHS terminal.

Elsewhere around western Lake Superior on Sunday the Burns Harbor made one of her frequent trips to BNSF #5, just in side the Superior entry, to load taconite pellets. All three north shore port also saw traffic during the afternoon, with St. Clair and later Philip R. Clarke loading at Two Harbors, Algolake loading at Silver Bay, and James R. Barker unloading coal at Minnesota Power in Taconite Harbor. Those ports were expected to remain busy on Monday while things looked to be much quieter at Duluth. Spruceglen is due at Two Harbors on Monday evening while Algomarine, American Courage, and Buffalo are on the lineup at Silver Bay and James R. Barker is expected to continue her unload at Taconite Harbor before returning to Duluth-Superior.


Wilfred Sykes’ Captain Treece captures waterspouts on camera

8/20 - Lake Michigan – The Great Lakes ore carrier Wilfred Sykes was mid-lake headed north from Burns Harbor, Ind., when things began dancing off the port quarter just before noon Eastern time.

Captain Eric Treece, an avid storm chaser when he’s not steering massive lake carriers, grabbed his camera and recorded five separate waterspouts about 45 miles east of Milwaukee on Saturday morning. The spouts were among nine confirmed by the National Weather Service on Saturday, and Treece said he witnessed that number plus a handful of funnel clouds that never quite reached the lake surface. “Being out here, I get a really good view of thunderstorms over the lake,” said Treece, who operates the Web site “Once in a while well get lucky and come across a waterspout outbreak.”

Treece said they formed on the frontal boundary line as the freighter was passing by, about one to two miles off the port stern.

Conditions were right for the waterspouts on Saturday, said meteorologist William Moreno on the Grand Rapids NWS office, with a cool land breeze converging over lake water warmed by the summer heat. Moreno said waterspouts were possible on Sunday as well, by meteorologists said Sunday afternoon that the best conditions for spouts had passed without a known outbreak.

The phenomenon is relatively rare, but Saturday’s batch marks the second outbreak on Lake Michigan this summer. Treece said they sometimes go unreported because they occur too far out into the lake for people on either shoreline to witness.

“This is the first time I’ve seen waterspouts like that since probably 1997,” he said, “but I know some guys on the boat who see them once or twice a year.”

The spouts are technically marine hazards, but Treece said the Sykes, a 680-foot long, 68-foot wide dry bulk carrier with a 20,000 gross tonnage capacity has little to fear from a spout. “We wouldn’t intentionally sail into one, but you could probably take a direct hit and all you’d get is wet,” he said. “The hazard is minor compared to what these ship go through in a November gale.”

Treece said the spouts formed about 11 a.m. and danced around the lake for about 45 minutes as the boat passed them on its way north to Cedarville in the Upper Peninsula, a trip that takes roughly a day.

Treece, a Belleville, Mich., native who graduated in 1990 from the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City, said he’s been storm chasing since 2000 and has seen more than 200 tornadoes.



Names for the first two new Algoma vessels announced

8/20 - The summer edition of Bear Facts, the Algoma Central Corp. newsletter, reports that the new names for the first two of several new Equinox Class vessels for the fleet will be Algoma Equinox and Algoma Harvester.

“Our Equinox Class order from Nantong Mingde Shipyard in China now stands at eight vessels,” the newsletter said, “four gearless bulkers and four self-unloaders, with six to be owned and operated by Algoma and two to be owned by the Canadian Wheat Board and managed by Algoma.

“The steel has been cut for seven of the eight vessels and the keel laying took place for the first two, the Algoma Equinox and Algoma Harvester, on April 21. We expect these first two vessels to be launched from the slipway this September and October and to be delivered in China in the first quarter of 2013.”

The publication also acknowledged the retirement after 30 years of service, of Captain Anders Rasmussen, who retired March 1. Captain Rasmussen sailed onboard many vessels but spent most of his career on board the Algolake and most recently on the Algoma Discovery. Captain Emmanuel Sevor also retired March 1. During his 35 years of service, Captain Sevor served on numerous vessels, but sailed primarily onboard the Algomarine and the Algosoo.

Algoma Central Corp.


Port Reports -  August 20

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Interlake's Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder loaded Saturday night at the Lafarge stone dock at Marblehead for Cleveland. The duo was enroute to the stone dock again late Sunday afternoon to load anew.

Erie, Pa. - Hugh Gillett and Jeff Benson
The grounding-damaged Paul R. Tregurtha arrived in Erie and docked in the slip next to Donjon Shipbuilding. She is ballasted down at the stern, crews were busy at Donjon Saturday night in the graving dock with lights and a crane at work setting blocks.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
Sunday the Arthur M. Anderson arrived in Lackawanna about 5 p.m. with stone for the Gateway Metroport Main Dock.


Updates -  August 20

News Photo Gallery


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 (i) behind the tug IRVING CEDAR arrived at Setœbal, Portugal August 20, 1985, where they were broken up. The a.) IRVING CEDAR is now Purvis Marine's 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.

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.

1874 The CITY OF LONDON, built by Louis Shickluna at St. Catharines in 1865, was destroyed by a fire at Collins Inlet. The engine was later removed for installation in the CITY OF OWEN SOUND.

1900 CAPTAIN THOMAS WILSON was launched at Port Huron for the Wilson Transit Co.

1903 QUEEN OF THE WEST sank in a Lake Erie storm off Fairport, Ohio but the crew was rescued by the CODORUS. One sailor perished in the transfer between the two ships.

1919 MOHEGAN was built as a wooden steam barge at Marine City in 1894. It left the lakes for ocean service in 1917. The ship was anchored at Rio de Janiero, Brazil, on this date in 1919 when an explosion and fire destroyed the vessel. All on board survived.

1964 TEXACO WARRIOR hit bottom and settled in the Welland Canal with a punctured tank at Thorold South near Bridge 10. The ship was refloated and resumed service. It was scrapped at Sorel, QC, in 1978 as LAKE TRANSPORT (i).

1969 PETER ROBERTSON, sold for scrap and anchored in western Lake Ontario, dragged her anchors in a storm and landed on the beach near Jordan Harbour, Ontario. The vessel was released August 24 and headed down the Seaway August 27 between the tugs SALVAGE MONARCH and HELEN M. McALLISTER on the next leg of the journey to Spain for scrapping.

1972 VILLE DE QUEBEC was a pre-Seaway trader to the Great Lakes from 1955 to 1958 and returned inland, for three trips, in 1959. The ship sank off the coast of Albania, due to heavy weather, on this date as c) SUZY in 1972. It was enroute from Durres, Albania, to Patras, Greece. Eleven members of the crew were lost while only 7 survived.

1975 The coastal freighter AIGLE D'OCEAN struck an iceberg off Port Burwell, Labrador, and sank. Only five crew were rescued. The ship had been inland on several occasions.

1977 CAPO MELE first came through the Seaway as a) PIERRE L.D. in 1959 and again, for 3 trips, in 1960. It was sold and renamed b) CAPO MELE in 1961 and made 22 voyages to the Great Lakes from then through 1967. The ship sustained heavy damage from an engine room fire as e) PAULINA at Banjul, Gambia, and was sold for scrap. The vessel arrived at Santander, Spain, on October 17, 1977, for dismantling.

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


Work on wreck of the Canadian Miner to begin next week

8/19 - Cape Breton, N.S. -– Work to dismantle a bulk carrier stranded and breaking up off Cape Breton could finally begin next week, but the finger-pointing about who's responsible for months of delays in salvaging the MV Canadian Miner continues. The Bennington Group of New York was hired in May and the salvage was expected to begin in June, but work has not begun on the wreck. Following meetings in Halifax this week, the province says the salvage company hasn't even submitted a plan yet. That provoked an angry response from the head of the Bennington Group, Abe Shah.

"I don't appreciate being a pawn in a game between provincial and federal governments in Canada, you know I'm not there to make friends or enemies. I'm just tired of it," Shah said. Shah says both levels of government have spent months arguing over jurisdictional issues — and he can't proceed until those are sorted out. In Halifax, Premier Darrell Dexter says the blame lies with the federal government, which has been reluctant to get involved from the beginning.

"There has been very little responsibility by the federal government for it, we'd just like to see the project completed," said Dexter. Shah says it now looks as though the salvage will finally go forward. He says he finally has a commitment from the coast guard to carry out a pre-demolition survey of the ship next week. After the survey, the salvage can then begin. He adds his company has already spent $200,000 on the project and is committed to seeing it through.

It’s been almost a year since the MV Miner broke it's towline and ran aground on Scatarie Island. The waters around the island are an important part of the areas lobster industry. Amanda McDougall, project coordinator at Main–a–Dieu Community Development Association, said with hurricane season already underway, people who fish there can't wait to have the remains of the barge removed.

"People might get the wrong idea and think, 'Oh my goodness, it's not so clean out there any more. Why should we buy those fish?'" "You have delayed and delayed after such a wonderful calm and hot summer," said McDougall, "Why, now, are you still saying to us, 'Don't worry it will be done but we will have to extend our time frame.'" Some fishermen say they have almost given up hope the wreck will ever be removed. They say before anything is done a big storm will finish the ship off and its wreckage will join that of dozens of other ships that have come to their end around Scatarie Island.

CBC News


Port Reports - August 19

St. Marys River
Traffic was back to normal Saturday after three days of river shutdowns and congestion caused by two incidents in the Rock Cut. The last vessel impacted by the closing of the downbound channel was the Kaye E. Barker, which upped anchor and was downbound around noon, following Algocanada and Stewart J. Cort. Paul R. Tregurtha, damaged by her Wednesday morning grounding in the St. Marys River, was in mid-Lake Erie Saturday evening, headed for repairs after offloading her coal cargo at St. Clair and Monroe, Mich.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Saturday morning at the harbors in Marquette, Lee A. Tregurtha loaded ore at the Upper Harbor while fleet mate Herbert C. Jackson arrived at the Lower Harbor to unload stone at Shiras.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Rebecca Lynn - A-397 came in around 2 p.m. Saturday.


Largest dredge ever built in Eastern Canada christened

8/19 - Québec City –Ocean Group christened its trailing suction hopper dredge, the Ocean Traverse Nord, Saturday. It was built this past year at Ocean Industries shipyard at Isle-aux- Coudres. The 25-million-dollar shipbuilding project, the largest ever in Eastern Canada and Ocean's first dredge, created over fifty new jobs at the shipyard while generating major direct and indirect economic benefits for the Québec City region and especially for Charlevoix.

The christening ceremony was held in the presence of President Gordon Bain, First Vice- President and General Manager Jacques Tanguay, and the shipyard's General Manager Manon Lavoie, who is also the vessel's godmother.

“We doubled the number of employees at the shipyard this past year to build this ship”, said Ms. Lavoie. “Thanks to a motivated, driven, innovative, young and dynamic team that looks to surpass themselves and take pride in their accomplishments, we succeeded in building an extraordinary ship.”

The 64-metre dredge, equipped with the latest technology, can dredge up to 30 metres deep with a 5,500 m hourly pumping capacity. It is powered by two Z-Drive omnidirectional propellers and two 1,000-HP motors.

“The expertise of our shipyard and of our employees made it possible for us to build this ship, unique in Eastern Canada, on time and within budget. Once again, Ocean has shown its know-how and asserted its status as a leader in the maritime industry through the use of innovative work methods and cutting-edge equipment”, explained Mr. Tanguay.

Ocean Group, Inc.


Radio operating group staying in lighthouse

8/19 - Lorain, Ohio — For the first time in more than 30 years, the Lorain Lighthouse will be home to overnight guests when the Lorain County Wireless Operators broadcast remotely this weekend.

The LCWO, in conjunction with the Lorain Lighthouse Foundation, Inc., will operate from the lighthouse in support of the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend, which takes place today and Sunday.

The goal of the event is to “promote public awareness of lighthouses and lightships and their need for preservation and restoration.” But there is another goal for amateur radio operators – the goal to collect, said Jeff Evans, founder of the LCWO.

Amateur radio operators collect something called entities, call signs of various locations throughout the world. Some collect places, others railroads and some collect lighthouses.

This will be the first time amateur radio operators have broadcast from the Lorain Lighthouse, so it should be a busy night, Evans said. “This will be a sought after lighthouse because it has never been operated from,” the North Ridgeville native said. Some collectors will stay awake all weekend looking to collect all 480 lighthouses that will be on the airwaves.

In order to collect the “Jewel of the Port,” as the Lorain Lighthouse is known, radio operators will exchange call signs, give a signal report, which describes the strength of the signal, and copy on both sides.

The four-man team from LCWO will begin setting up at 8 p.m. Friday and broadcast continuously Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon. “We will be lucky if we get a couple hours of sleep,” Evans said. But it’s worth it.

“It’s a huge thrill to send out a call from here to Thailand or Bangladesh,” he said. “It’s bragging rights.” And the beauty of amateur radio is that there is never a language barrier because Morse code can be used everywhere.

Evans is hoping that in addition to bolstering awareness of lighthouses that the event also renews interest in amateur radio. The number of operators in Lorain County has dropped drastically over the years from 1,500 to only 800 today, he said. And that is a shame because amateur radio is a useful medium of communication. It’s tagline has always been, “When all else fails, amateur radio,” Evans said. “We are able to provide global communication without telephones, the Internet, or cell phones,” he said.

Ed Baker, president of the Port of Lorain Foundation, will be one of the lighthouse board members spending the night at the lighthouse.

While he’s not looking forward to the accommodations, sleeping bags on the floor, or the lighthouse residents, mainly spiders, big spiders, he does recognize the possibilities this event offers. “Hopefully, they will sit around and talk about the history of the lighthouse and Lorain,” he said.

The lighthouse is still in the process of being restored. Right now, the non-profit is working to restore the kitchen area and add furniture keeping with the era in which it was last updated — the 1950s.

Lorain Chronicle-Telegram


Ballast water cleaning system being tested

8/18 – Halifax, N.S. – Dalhousie University is working on a system to test the cleanliness of ballast water, the only such facility in Canada. The Aquatron laboratory will conduct its first tests at the Halifax school later this month, just as new regulations could be introduced that govern what ships are allowed to discharge at ports around the world.

Aquatron's manager John Batt says the water will be pumped through a control system and a ballast water management system separately. The results will then be compared and the tests repeated with different salt water levels. Batt says the device will fill a huge industry need as the economic cost of invasive aquatic species rises.

The U-N International Marine Organization says ballast water is responsible for transferring an estimated seven-thousand to 10-thousand different species globally everyday. Global business research and consulting firm Frost and Sullivan released an analysis in 2010 on ballast cleaning. It estimated the ballast water cleaning industry would generate total revenues of 34.1 billion dollars between until 2020.

The Canadian Press


Updates -  August 19

News Photo Gallery


This Day in 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 ROBERT S. PIERSON (i) 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.

1906 – GOVERNOR SMITH, a wooden package freight carrier, sank in Lake Huron, about 8 miles off Pointe aux Barques, after a collision with the URANUS. All 20 on board were rescued.

1915 – The wooden passenger and freight carrier HENRY PEDWELL burned at Wiarton, ON but was salvaged and rebuilt at Owen Sound in 1916

1960 – BELLE ISLE II caught fire and sank after a collision with the HOLMSIDE on Lac St. Pierre in the St. Lawrence near Trois Rivieres. The ship had originally been the “Castle Class” corvette H.M.S. WOLVESEY CASTLE and later H.M.C.S. HUNTSVILLE for the Canadian Navy. It was rebuilt for cargo service as c) WELLINGTON KENT in 1947 becoming d) BELLE ISLE II in 1951. The hull was salvaged and towed up the Seaway to Portsmouth, ON on November 2, 1960, and broken up at Whitby, ON during the winter of 1965-1966. HOLMSIDE was later a casualty as b) CABINDA after hitting a jetty while inbound at Casablanca on December 28, 1980, with the loss of 9 lives.

1966 – JOHN E.F. MISENER went aground on Hard Island in the St. Lawrence and had to be lightered before being released on August 21.

1967 – The retired Paterson steamer SASKADOC, which last operated in 1966, was downbound today at the Iroquois Lock under tow of GRAEME STEWART and SALVAGE MONARCH enroute to the the scrapyard. It arrived at Santander, Spain, on September 24, 1967, along with the AUGUSTUS B. WOLVIN, behind the Polish tug JANTAR.

1988 – The Greek owned, Cypriot flag, freighter BLUESTONE arrived at Halifax to load flour but the crew reported “hull cracks” and the Coast Guard said repairs must be made. The vessel first visited the Great Lakes as a) ASIA SWALLOW in 1980 and returned as b) BLUESTONE for the first time in 1985. The work was carried out. The ship finally cleared September 13 and operated until arriving at Chittagong, Bangladesh, for scrapping as e) VRITA N. about August 31, 1998.

Data from: Joe Barr, Skip Gillham, David Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Channel reopens after Algosoo hits Rock Cut wall

8:30 a.m. Update: The St. Marys River was reopened early Saturday morning and downbound traffic was once again on the move. Algosoo was moving down river to anchor in the Pipe Island area.

8-18 – Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. , Original report – Just before 10 p.m. Friday the downbound Algosoo reported losing power while transiting the Rock Cut. The vessel made contact with the Rock Cut’s cut stone wall before regaining power on one engine.

Soo Traffic immediately closed the channel to downbound traffic and directed downbound vessels to go to anchor or tie up at the locks. A bottom survey team was being dispatched to the area to check for any rocks from the narrow waterway’s wall that might have been knocked loose and into the channel by the Algosoo.


Tregurtha freed, traffic jam at the Soo Locks slowly clearing up

8-18 – Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The downbound West Neebish channel at the Rock Cut was reopened just after noon Friday, with mariners urged to use caution in the area, as some shoaling still exists. Corps of Engineers vessels remained on site Friday, with dredging continuing as the first vessels moved slowly past.

At least 12 lakers were delayed by the channel closure, caused by the grounding early Wednesday of the 1,014-foot Paul R. Tregurtha. When the river was reopened, the Tecumseh was first to pass downbound, followed by American Integrity. Vessel movement was coordinated by Soo Traffic and the U.S. Lockmaster.

The grounding and subsequent releasing of the Tregurtha created a significant shoal extending into the navigation channel from the east side. The material was churned up with the powerful force of the engines as the ship swung around.

The Tregurtha, according to U.S. Coast Guard reports, was freed at approximately 5:30 a.m. Thursday when the Great Lakes Towing Co. tugs Florida and Missouri – with a combined 4,000 horsepower – pulled the freighter back into the channel. Salvage experts, the published report continued, successfully raised the ship’s bow by filling stern voids. This reduced the amount of forward weight on the rocks, facilitating the extrication process.

Great Lakes Towing Co. Captain Mike Patterson, celebrating his 25th year of career employment, lead the assist efforts aboard the Missouri.

The Tregurtha was cleared to proceed to anchorage near DeTour, according to the Coast

Tregurtha got underway about 6 p.m. Thursday headed for St. Clair and Monroe, Mich., to unload her coal cargo. She will then go to a Lake Erie shipyard – likely Donjon Marine – for repairs to her bow. Guard, where the owners – the Ohio-based Interlake Steamship Co. – conferred with Coast Guard marine inspectors, ABS surveyors and divers determining the vessel could move on into Lake Huron. In sustaining a fracture to the forepeak, the Tregurtha was believed to be taking on some water, but the pumps were able to keep up with inflow.

Corps of Engineers assets at the Rock Cut included the Harvey, Billmaier, Schwartz and Nicolet as well as the survey vessel B.W. Bufe. A crewmember on one of the Corps’ vessels was evacuated by ambulance Thursday when he began having medical issues.

The list of downbounders finally on the move, or waiting for the traffic to clear, on Friday included Tecumseh, American Integrity, Joseph L. Block, American Century, Presque Isle, Hon. James M. Oberstar, American Spirit, Cason J. Callaway, Michipicoten, Edwin H. Gott, Sam Laud, Stewart J. Cort, Algosoo, Algoma Spirit and Roger Blough.

In addition, the Purvis Marine barge PML 9000 / tug Wilfred M. Cohen started out downbound from the Purvis Dock in the Soo Harbor, but only made it to just above Six Mile Point. The tug W.I. Scott Purvis came down and hooked on to the PML’s bow, towing the pair slowly to Soo Harbor with the Cohen at the PML’s stern.

Upbound traffic remained unaffected by the grounding, as vessels destined for Lake Superior take the alternate channel on the east side of Neebish Island. An unusually large number of upbound vessels were in the river Friday, leading to a traffic jam at the locks once movement resumed. Upbound boats included John G. Munson, St. Clair, Tim S. Dool, Philip R. Clarke, Herbert C. Jackson, Lee A. Tregurtha, H. Lee White and the Hon. Paul J. Martin.

With strong northwest winds on Lake Superior, several vessels were sheltering in the lee of Whitefish Point Friday evening, among them American Mariner, John G. Munson and Herbert C. Jackson.

Sault Evening News, Great Lakes Towing Co., BoatNerd staff

New owners announced for J.W. Shelley, VSL Centurion

8-18 – The T. F. Warren Group Inc. has confirmed purchase of the motor vessels J. W. Shelley and VSL Centurion from Vanguard (Great Lakes) Shipping Ltd. and Vanship Ltd.

Phoenix Star Shipping (8219222 Canada Inc.) and Phoenix Sun Shipping Inc., will be operated out of TF Warren Group Inc. of Brantford, Ontario corporate offices.

“Our goal is to return these vessels to service in an expeditious manner to provide bulk cargo services to their former and potentially new customers in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway marine transportation system,” wrote T. F. Warren, president and CEO of the T. F. Warren Group Inc., in a press release. “We have been working diligently to form a new ship management group within our company, complete any required surveys, maintenance and inspections of the ships, and prepare the vessels for operation in September 2012 and onwards.”

According to the press release, the T. F. Warren Group Inc. is a Canadian based private company operating in Canada, the United States and internationally.  The company’s core business started over 30 years ago and has grown into a multi-faceted corporation promoting value, synergies, and technology with skilled and dedicated employees.

“We take pride in our historical service to the marine industry in steel protection and coating systems and our more recent financial investments in shipping which has now led to ownership and operation of a fleet. We are looking forward to establishing a well-respected, reliable, safe and efficient shipping operation for sustainability into the future,” Warren added.

New names for the vessels have not been announced. Recent photos from Sorel-Tracy indicated that the Shelley’s name has been painted out.


Port Report - August 18

Toronto – Dave Robinson
The charter mega-yacht Tribu sailed into port on Wednesday evening and tied up at Harbor front.
Also tied up at Harbor front on Friday was the USCG icebreaker Hollyhock.


Tour Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center by cell phone

8/18 - Duluth, Minn. – The Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center at Canal Park is now offers a new tour option by using a visitor’s cell phones. The tour can be accessed at any time of the day.  The cell phone tour’s highlighted stops include the tug Bayfield, the Duluth Ship Canal, Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge, local lighthouses and the shoreline anchor display. 

To access the cell phone tour, visitors can dial 218 213-9069.  Callers will listen to a short welcome message followed by instructions on how to receive information about each featured attraction.  The cell phone tour is free.  (However, usual cell service provider usage rates do apply.)

Lake Superior Marine Museum Association


Normac restaurant repairs underway

8/18 – Port Dalhousie, Ont. – The former ferry Normac, which has for many years served as a restaurant, has been partially cleaned up from a Dec. 28, 2011 fire at Port Dalhousie. All of the exterior smoke damage on the hull has been removed and, perhaps, painted over. However, all of the smashed windows remain unrepaired.

Skip Gillham


Mayor welcomes students, says tall ships to visit Cleveland in July 2013

8/18 - Cleveland, Ohio – In a ceremony at Voinovich Park Wednesday afternoon, Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson and other dignitaries welcomed home 16 Cleveland students who have spent the past week sailing on Lake Erie as a working crew on the US Brig Niagara.

The Niagara is the 200-year-old relief flagship that served in the Battle of 1812 on Lake Erie. The students are members of the Cleveland Rotary Club’s Project YESS (Youth Empowered to Succeed through Sailing), a leadership development program that develops courage and confidence through five land-based curriculum sessions followed by a week-long voyage on a tall ship.

Mayor Jackson and Cleveland Rotary officials also announced that a fleet of tall ships from around the world will return to Cleveland next summer as part of the Tall Ships Challenge® Great Lakes 2013 race series.

Beginning on Wednesday, July 3, with the Parade of Sail, the Port of Cleveland 2013 Tall Ships Festival will run until Sunday, July 7, at the Port of Cleveland. Organized and presented by the Rotary Club of Cleveland in cooperation with the title sponsor, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga Port Authority, the event will feature four days of family-oriented activities.

Cleveland Rotary Club


Updates -  August 18

News Photo Gallery


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 was picked up by passing steamers.

1919 – The former wooden bulk carrier NEOSHO was sold for off lakes service in 1917 and was operating as a barge, under tow of the tug NORFOLK, when she broke loose in a storm on Delaware Bay, got caught in the trough, struck a reef and broke up.

1927 – The first HENNEPIN foundered in Lake Michigan, 18 miles west of South Haven, enroute to Grand Haven to load. The hull was discovered in 2006 and is upright in 230 feet of water.

1966 – BAYGEORGE knocked off a lock fender in the downbound section of the Welland Canal Flight Locks and delayed navigation. Only the upbound side remained in use to handle traffic pending repairs.

1972 – The ocean going general cargo carrier FELTO caught fire at Bata, Equatorial Guinea, while discharging cement. The blaze broke out in the engineroom and spread to the accommodation area before the ship settled on the bottom as a total loss. The vessel had been a Great Lakes trader in 1968 and had previously come inland as a) FERDIA in 1953 and b) FAIRWAY in 1963.

1985 – CHI-CHEEMAUN went aground due to fog while departing South Baymouth and was released the following day. The Georgian Bay ferry went to Collingwood for repairs.

1996 – HERCEG NOVI, a Yugoslavian freighter dating from 1981, first came through the Seaway in 1989 bringing a cargo of newsprint to Detroit. It sank following a collision with the containership MING GALAXY off Singapore on this date in 1996. Local officials ordered the removal of the hull and this was done, in pieces, later in the year.

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


Rock Cut cleared, downbound vessels on the move

8/17 - Noon Update - The downbound channel at the Rock Cut was reopened just after noon Friday, with mariners being urged to use caution in the area as some shoaling still exists. Soo Traffic was advising vessels closest to the Rock Cut to warm up their engines. Tecumseh will be first to pass down, followed by American Integrity. Both are in the Nine Mile Anchorage. A total of 15 vessels have been delayed by the channel closure. They will be allowed to move down in the order in which they arrived in the river system. With several upbounders in the system, it should be a very busy period at the locks.

8/17 – Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Crews from the Soo and Duluth area offices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were still working Friday morning to clear the West Neebish Rock Cut channel where the 1,014-foot Paul R. Tregurtha ran aground Wednesday morning.

According the Corps of Engineers Detroit District, movement of the Tregurtha created a significant shoal that extends into the navigation channel from the east side. The material was churned up with the powerful force of the engines as the ship swung around.

After being freed around 6 a.m. Thursday by the tugs Missouri and Florida, the Tregurtha spent most of the day at anchor in the lower river. She got underway about 6 p.m. headed for St. Clair, Mich, to unload her coal cargo. An article in the Sault Ste. Marie newspaper Thursday said the damaged Tregurtha will likely head to a Lake Erie shipyard for repairs to her bow.

An ambulance was called to the Rock Cut late in the afternoon on Thursday to evacuate one of the tug crew who was experiencing medical problems.

The list of delayed downbounders continued to grow Thursday night. American Integrity is at anchor in Lake Nicolet, Joseph L. Block remains on the MacArthur Lock lower pier, American Century is tied on the upper Poe Lock west pier. Presque Isle and Hon. James M. Oberstar are on the hook above the locks in the Waiska Bay anchorage. Anchored further up river in Whitefish Bay are American Spirit, Cason J. Callaway, Michipicoten, Edwin H. Gott, Sam Laud, American Mariner and Stewart J. Cort, while Algosoo is in Goulais Bay. Headed for Whitefish Bay and expected to arrive sometime Friday morning are Algoma Spirit, Tecumseh and James R. Barker.

Upbound traffic, which uses a different channel around Neebish Island, is not affected. Two downbounders in ballast – Robert S. Pierson and Saginaw – were allowed to proceed down the upbound channel Thursday.

Soo Traffic reported nine vessels either upbound in the St. Marys River or headed for the system as of 8 a.m. Friday. Should the downbound channel be cleared and the traffic start to move, it could make for some serious congestion at the locks.


Gordon C. Leitch scrap tow headed for Turkey

8/17 – Montreal, Quebec – Gordon C. Leitch, her name shortened to DON for the trip overseas to a Turkish scrapyard, left Montreal Wednesday with the tug Centaurus on the bow and Florence M. on the stern. The Leitch was built as Ralph Misener in 1968, and received the name Gordon C. Leitch in 1994 when her operation was taken over by Upper Lakes Shipping.

Meanwhile, at Port Colborne, Ont., the pilothouse and unloading boom from the Leitch’s former fleetmate James Norris have been removed at the IMS scrapyard.


Port Reports

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Zeus and her tank barge, Robert F. Deegan, called on the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City to unload on Tuesday. The pair were outbound for the lake early Wednesday morning.

Calumet was inbound Wednesday morning to unload sugar stone at the Bay City Wirt Stone dock. She completed her unload, turned off the dock in the Wirt turning basin and was outbound for the lake Wednesday evening

Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber arrived at the Bay City Wirt dock a short time later, unloading a partial cargo there, then the pair proceeded upriver to finish unloading at the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw. They were expected to be outbound early Thursday morning.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Thursday evening at the Upper Harbor, Kaye E. Barker unloaded stone in the WE hopper.

Holland - Bob Bob VandeVusse
The Manistee arrived at the Verplank in Holland late Thursday afternoon and began unloading a cargo of stone at about 5:30. It completed the unload in about three hours and headed back to Lake Michigan. Reports are that she will head to Chicago to load coal and return to Holland.

Calcite - Denny Dushane
A very busy Thursday in Calcite saw the American Mariner loading and was due to depart Calcite at about noon. Also due in at Calcite on Thursday was the Philip R. Clarke in the late morning for the South Dock and the John J. Boland was due during the evening for the North Dock. There are no vessels scheduled for Friday. Due on Saturday is a return visit by the Philip R. Clarke and also due is the Calumet both vessels loading at the North Dock.

Port Inland - Denny Dushane
A very busy Port Inland saw the Kaye E. Barker load on Wednesday however, they had delays in pumping water and did not finish and depart until the early afternoon. The Manistee arrived on Tuesday however, they waited for the Barker to load and depart before taking the dock in the afternoon on Wednesday. Both the Wilfred Sykes and the Buffalo were due to arrive and load in Port Inland on Thursday. The Sykes loading in the morning, while the Buffalo was due in the early afternoon. Joseph L. Block is due in on Sunday at Port Inland in the early morning along with the Wilfred Sykes during the late evening on Sunday. Wrapping up the very busy lineup at Port Inland is the Manitowoc on Monday during the early morning to load.

Cedarville - Denny Dushane
The Lewis J. Kuber was due to arrive and load at Cedarville on Thursday during the late evening hours. Following the Kuber is the Wilfred Sykes due on Sunday in the early morning hours. The Lewis J. Kuber returns on Sunday during the early afternoon to load at Cedarville.

Toledo - Denny Dushane
A very busy couple of weeks are on tap for the docks in Toledo with both the CSX Coal Dock and the Torco Dock again seeing the bulk of the action. Due at the CSX Coal Dock is the Kaye E. Barker on Sunday in the morning followed by the Saginaw and the Calumet on August 21 in the afternoon. The Algosoo is due on August 22 in the afternoon and following her will be the James L. Kuber on August 24 in the late afternoon. Great Republic rounds out the CSX Coal Dock lineup arriving August 25 in the morning. There is nothing due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock.
At Torco Dock the CSL Laurentien is due on Sunday in the early morning. After her will be the CSL Assiniboine on Tuesday, August 21 in the late evening and the H. Lee White is due on August 23 in the late morning. Atlantic Erie is due at the Torco Dock on Saturday, August 25 at noon and also due in on August 25 will be the Arthur M. Anderson for a late evening arrival. Rounding out the Torco Dock lineup is the CSL Tadoussac which is due in on Monday, August 27 in the early morning.

Stoneport - Denny Dushane
Thursday was a busy day at Stoneport with the Calumet arriving during the early morning to load. Following the Calumet is the Arthur M. Anderson due in the late evening also on Thursday. The Herbert C. Jackson is also on the Stoneport lineup for Thursday with no time given. There are no vessels scheduled for both Friday and Saturday. For Sunday there are two vessels due at Stoneport the Cason J. Callaway and the Arthur M. Anderson both due early in the morning. There are no vessels scheduled for Monday.


New $4.5 million loader arrives at salt mine

8/17 - Goderich, ON - A new conveyor system for Sifto Canada Corporation arrived in Goderich Aug. 13 to a small crowd of onlookers.

The $4.5 million blue box, weighing more than 360,000 pounds (164,000 kilograms), replaces a conveyor destroyed during last year’s tornado.

The conveyor will eventually handle up to 4,000 tonnes of salt per hour, said Rowland Howe, Canada Country executive for Compass Minerals. “It still needs to be connected and that will take about four weeks,” Howe told the Goderich Signal Star.

The company was using temporary loaders and that practice will continue until the new conveyor system is hooked up. Howe said there, “Should not be” a break in operations while the new conveyor system is installed.

The conveyor system destroyed during the Aug. 21, 2011 F3 tornado was operated by employee Normand Laberge, 61. He died while working on the machine. It was the only fatality related to the storm. Some 37 people were reported injured.

The blue box structure was built in Sarnia over 11 weeks and guided through that city by police escort. It was loaded on a barge after leaving Sarnia and arrived pier-side in the early morning.

Goderich Signal-Star


Fednav invests in six new vessels
Bulk carriers will reduce carbon emissions by 20%

8/17 - Montreal, ON - Fednav Limited, the largest international maritime bulk carrier in Canada, today announced the addition of six new vessels to its fleet. In partnership with Sumitomo Corporation and Oshima Shipyard, the environmentally advanced vessels will be built in Japan and are destined to become the flagships of Fednav's fleet of over 80 ships.

Located near Nagasaki, Japan, Oshima Shipyard will build the 35,000-ton bulk carriers, which are specially equipped for navigating in ice. As highly flexible vessels well suited to international trade, their size is adapted to the dimensions of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Environmental Benefits
The new vessels represent a major step forward in terms of environmental improvements. With their advanced design and more efficient engines, they will consume 20% less fuel and produce 20% less emissions than vessels built by Oshima Shipyard for Fednav 10 years ago, ships already among the most efficient of their time. This will contribute significantly to Fednav's objectives of reducing GHG emissions in its fleet on a continuous basis. The fuel-efficient engines will also reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by approximately 20%. All of the vessels will receive the CLEAN-DESIGN notation from the DNV classification society.

"The environment is one of our top priorities when we consider the design of a new vessel," explained Paul Pathy, Fednav President and Co-CEO, upon signing of the contract. "It is very important to us and also to our customers that our vessels not only respect but exceed environmental regulations in Canada and worldwide."

The six additional vessels will be delivered between 2015 and 2016, as part of a series of 21 new ships added to Fednav's fleet since January 1, 2012. Fednav has the largest fleet of ice-class vessels in the world—vessels capable of navigating demanding winter conditions along the St. Lawrence Seaway, in the Baltic Sea, and even in the Arctic.

Fednav Ltd.


Updates -  August 17

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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.

1905 – The wooden steamer CALEDONIA sank in Lake Superior while towing the barge JOHN M. HUTCHINSON. It was later refloated and returned to service.

1913 – The whaleback steamer ATIKOKAN went ashore in a spectacular grounding at Marine City but was released and returned to service.

1994 – INDIANA HARBOR went to Sturgeon Bay for repairs after going aground at Muskegon

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


Paul R. Tregurtha released over night; traffic still stopped

8/16 - 7 p.m. Update – Downbound traffic is still not moving as the Army Corps of Engineers continues its sweep and removal of sediment in the Rock Cut. An ambulance was called late in the afternoon to evacuate one of the tug crew who was experiencing medical problems. The number of downbound vessels delayed has jumped to 11 with the arrival of Stewart J. Cort and Sam Laud, which are now at anchor in Whitefish Bay. The Paul R. Tregurtha got underway from her anchorage in the lower river about 6 p.m., headed for an undisclosed port. An article in the Sault Ste. Marie newspaper Thursday said the damaged Tregurtha will head eventually to the shipyard in Erie, Pa., for repairs to her bow.

8/16 - 2:20 p.m. Update - Crews from the Soo and Duluth area offices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are working to clear the channel at the Rock Cut where the Paul R. Tregurtha ran aground yesterday morning. According to a Corps post of the Detroit District's Facebook page, movement of the Tregurtha created a significant shoal that extends into the navigation channel from the east side. The material was churned up with the powerful force of the engines as the ship swung around. The Tregurtha has gone to anchor in the lower river behind Pipe Island. At 2:20 p.m. the tug Drummond Islander II was nearing her location.

American Integrity is at anchor in Lake Nicolet, Joseph L. Block remains on the MacArthur Lock lower pier, American Century is tied on the upper Poe Lock west pier. Saginaw is downbound in Soo Harbor, waiting for the upbound Algoma Navigator to clear Nine Mile before proceeding down the upbound channel. Presque Isle and Hon. James M. Oberstar are on the hook above the locks in the Waiska Bay anchorage. Further up river in Whitefish Bay are American Spirit, Cason J. Callaway, Michipicoten and Edwin H. Gott, while Algosoo is in Goulais Bay.

8/16 - 8:00 a.m. Update: The grounded Paul R. Tregurtha was freed sometime during the early morning on Thursday. She was underway shortly after 6 a.m. downbound and was expected to go to anchor in the lower river north of DeTour. The tugs Missouri and Florida were spotted returning to their home base at Sault Ste. Marie shortly thereafter. As of 7:30 a.m., downbound vessel traffic had not yet resumed, with the exception of the Robert S. Pierson, which was able to transit down the upbound channel due to her light draft. The Army Corps of Engineers vessels Nicolet and Schwartz were reportedly headed for the location where the Tregurtha ran aground

Original story - 8/15 – Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The 1,014-foot Paul R. Tregurtha remained hard aground Wednesday night, completely blocking the downbound St. Marys River channel just above the Rock Cut. The vessel is aground at its bow and stern, and the ship spans the width of the narrow shipping channel.

At 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard reported there had been no progress in freeing the vessel, which went aground around 3 a.m. Wednesday.

The bottom on both sides of the river is rocky. A Coast Guard press released issued Wednesday said the vessel had sustained unspecified damage. Local, but unconfirmed, reports point to bow and possible stern damage.

The Great Lakes Towing Co. tugs Missouri and Florida, as well as a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers survey boat and several small U.S. Coast Guard craft responded immediately and were still on scene Wednesday night. It was not immediately known if the tugs have yet to try and free the vessel. The MCM Marine tug Drummond Islander II and a small spud barge were also downbound for the scene Wednesday late afternoon.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard has closed the area to downbound traffic. American Integrity was on the hook at the Nine Mile Anchorage, Joseph L. Block and American Century were tied up at the locks. Approaching downbound traffic –Presque Isle, Hon. James L. Oberstar, Cason J. Callaway and American Spirit – are being directed to go to anchor above the locks. Upbound traffic is not affected.

No information is available on what caused the accident.  The vessel – owned by the Interlake Steamship Co. and the largest ship on the Great Lakes – is carrying approximately 62,000 tons of coal destined for a lower lakes port.

Reports indicate there was no pollution and no injuries to crew. The freighter’s stability is unaffected, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The initial grounding occurred at the vessel’s bow, but the ship pivoted and the stern became grounded as well. Coast Guard Station Sault Ste. Marie transported responding personnel to the freighter at approximately 6 a.m. Wednesday to assess the situation and determine the extent of any structural damage to the vessel.

Coordinators at the Sector Sault Ste. Marie Command Center have been working with the vessel’s owner representatives and the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center, and the Salvage Engineering Response Team to determine the safest approach to re-floating the vessel.

Tregurtha fleetmate Herbert C. Jackson was anchored in the lower river north of DeTour Wednesday evening, and her services may be engaged if the plan calls for lightering the grounded vessel. A swift downstream current in the area is expected to complicate any salvage plans. Another fleetmate, Kaye E. Barker, was also upbound in the river late Wednesday, however she is loaded and so could not be used for any lightering operation.

Check  News Photo Gallery for photos.


Harsens Island stunned as owner of only ferry service says he’s retiring

8/16 - Harsens Island, Mich. – For the 1,200 full-time residents of Harsens Island, the car ferry run by Champion’s Auto Service is their only year-round link to the mainland.

They use it to get to work, travel to doctor appointments and go shopping. Children depend on it to get to school.

So residents of the island at the mouth of the St. Clair River were shocked Tuesday when news began to trickle out that Champions' owner wants to retire and shut down the ferry service.

David Byson didn't give the Michigan Public Service Commission a date for when he would end the ferry service.

"That's awful. We have to have a way to get across," said Adele Raska, a 25-year island resident. "Everybody has to go across, whether you want to or not. We have to go to shop, we have to go to doctors, we have to go for everything."

Although many residents have small boats and there is a tiny airstrip on the island, the ferry service is the only public transportation to the mainland, operating even in the midst of winter.

There is only a scattering of restaurants and small businesses on the 16-square-mile island, which is part of St. Clair County's Clay Township. The island's marshy interior is ringed by both year-round and vacation homes, with its population swelling to about 5,000 in the summer.

Byson, who couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday, notified the MPSC in a July 28 letter that he intends to retire.

On Tuesday, the MPSC announced it was launching an investigation into transportation to the island. The MPSC wants to ensure a smooth transition from the current service to whatever service may replace it, said spokeswoman Judy Palnau.

The commission gave Champions Ferry 120 days to submit a proposal for transportation to and from the island, Palnau said. After that is submitted, the agency's staff will write a report with recommendations by March 1.

Even the township wasn't notified of Champions' intent until the MPSC posted its notice. It took us by surprise to us here at the township. We didn't know anything about it," said Clay Township Supervisor Tom Krueger. "The only information we have is on the MPSC website."

There have been threats to close the ferry in the past, Krueger said. Champions also sought a rate hike in May from the MPSC, but was denied.

Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun has talked about building a bridge between the island and mainland, but Krueger said that idea seems to have died as Moroun fights to stop a second bridge to Canada.

"Even though he's a private business, I do believe he's an essential service, and I don't believe the MPSC would let him just shut down," Krueger said of the ferry service

Detroit Free Pres


St. Ignace Coast Guard station accepts new, more capable response boat

8/16 – St. Ignace, Mich. — The crew of Coast Guard Station St. Ignace, Mich., took delivery Monday of the station’s new 45-foot Response Boat-Medium. The station crew will be running tests on the new boat out of the St. Ignace Harbor within Lake Huron, experiencing its advanced capabilities.

With 825 boiler horsepower, the RB-M can respond faster than previous boats of similar size and has a top speed in excess of 40 knots. It has advanced search capability with an installed forward-looking infrared search technology.

Additionally, with twin jet propulsion, the vessel is extremely maneuverable and is better suited to respond to mariners in distress in shallow water. The boat has a deep-V, double-chine hull, which provides a balance of performance and stability. It can handle heavy seas and waves up to 12 feet and carry up to 24 people. If it capsizes due to rough weather, the boat is designed to right itself.

"Our crew is eager to start training with the new platform and utilizing its advanced systems to prevent loss of life," said Senior Chief Michael Beatty, officer-in-charge of Station St. Ignace.

The RB-M is being added to Station St. Ignace's current asset complement, consisting of two 25-foot Response Boats-Small, one 26-foot Trailerable Aids-to-Navigation Boat and will be replacing the station's 47-foot Motor Life Boat.

Something noteworthy is the fact that Station St. Ignace's RB-M marks the 100th off the production line, out of a planned 166 RB-Ms built for the service through the Coast Guard's Acquisition Directorate.

 Ninth Coast Guard District.


‘Super-sized’ Seaway cargoes come to U.S ports

8/16 - Washington, D.C. — Economic conditions and severe weather conditions have formed the perfect storm to slow some traditional trade at U.S. ports along the St. Lawrence Seaway System. The St. Lawrence Seaway reported that year-to-date total cargo shipments for the period March 22 to July 31 was 17.1 million metric tons, virtually flat over the same period in 2011.

While July is usually a slow month on the System, not all the news was negative. “The Great Lakes Seaway system is an attractive market for break bulk cargoes, and offers one of the most promising areas for growth,” said Craig H. Middlebrook, Acting Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

“The Midwest is home to some of the world’s largest manufacturers of heavy equipment, which is in increasing demand around the globe. As the North American automobile industry continues its rebound, the demand for imported steel products is also rising. Moreover, the continued development of varied North American energy resources is translating into increased demand for waterborne imports of the oversized equipment needed to support this development.”

The Port of Duluth is taking full advantage of this increase this shipping season. “The Port Authority’s break bulk terminal in the Port of Duluth-Superior has seen a surge in project cargoes this summer,” notes Adolph Ojard, executive director.

“We’ve handled nearly a dozen shipments of wind turbine components (nacelles, hubs and blades), plus multiple shiploads of domestically manufactured blades being exported to Brazil. The surge, while partly attributable to the rush to finish wind projects before production tax credits expire, has also brought to Duluth a variety of other break bulk cargoes – including huge steam/gas turbines and generators, mining machinery, and other heavy-lift equipment for projects across the Midwest and Canada.

“This uptick in project cargoes serves as a noteworthy reminder of the important role the Seaway plays in sustaining the economic vitality of our port and region. Anchoring the western tip of this inland waterway enables us to serve customers expediently here in the heartland of North America and around the world,” added Ojard.

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor has handled significant increases in YTD shipments of coke (+118%), fertilizer (+94%), minerals (+54%), steel (+29%) and grain (+26%).

“Overall shipments have remained relatively steady in 2012 coming off last year’s highest annual volume in recent history,” said Anthony Kuk, port director for the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. “Our biggest increases have been driven by growth in local steel manufacturing, but we also saw continued shipments of mega project cargoes in July, and the August shipping schedule looks busy as well.”

Recent project cargo shipments included wind turbines and the world’s largest crawler. The first of its kind, the crane weighs 1.65 million pounds, has a lifting capacity of 3,000 tons and stands 473 feet tall with its boom fully extended. Built by Liebherr-Werk Ehingen GmbH in Ehingen, Germany, it was shipped in 190 pieces from Westdorpe, Netherlands on the MV Elandsgracht. The project cargo was unloaded by the Port’s terminal operator, Federal Marine Terminals, a subsidiary of Fednav Ltd. The crane is being transported from the port to Whiting, Indiana by truck over the next several weeks for use in a major expansion of the BP Whiting Refinery.

Iron ore and coal used in the steel and construction industries were the positive cargoes in terms of tonnage numbers along the St. Lawrence Seaway System for the month of July. Iron ore shipments through the Seaway rose 30 percent to 1.4 million metric tons in July. Year-to-date figures for iron ore were up 28 percent to 5.2 million metric tons. Coal shipments for power generation and steel production rose to 2.2 million metric tons – a 28 percent hike over 2011.

Cement shipments also posted a 25 percent increase in July due to ongoing construction work throughout the Great Lakes states.

Grain shipments were down for the third straight month due to extreme drought conditions in the U.S. July was the hottest month on record, beating the worst month of the Dust Bowl era in 1936. Small U.S. crops can carry a global wallop since the United States is the world’s largest farm exporter. It grows 40 percent of the corn and soybeans as well as a fifth of the wheat sold on the world market.

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway maritime industry supports 227,000 jobs in the U.S. and Canada, and annually generates $14.1 billion in salary and wages, $33.5 billion in business revenue, and $4.6 billion in federal, state/provincial and local taxes. North American farmers, steel producers, construction firms, food manufacturers, and power generators depend on the 164 million metric tons of essential raw materials and finished products that are moved annually on the system. This vital trade corridor saves companies $3.6 billion per year in transportation costs compared to the next least-costly land-based alternative.


Updates -  August 16

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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 WM. 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 towline 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.

1921 – The wooden steamer H.N. JEX foundered off Long Point, Lake Ontario, while carrying coal between Sodus and Kingston. All on board were rescued.

1927 – NORTHERN LIGHT, a steel package freighter, left the Great Lakes for saltwater service in two sections in 1917. The vessel was ravaged by a fire that began in the coal bunker, at Mobile, AL. on this date in 1927. The engine was removed in 1928 and the hull converted to a barge. It foundered off the Florida Keys on November 8, 1930.

1966 – The PEAVEY PIONEER, laid up with damage from a May 31, 1966, grounding at Ashland, was traded to the U.S. Maritime Administration by Sea-Land Services for the C-4 transport GENERAL H.G. FREEMAN.

1967 – The third GEORGE HINDMAN went aground and sustained heavy damage in the St. Lawrence off Clayton, N.Y. The ship was inspected at Collingwood and considered beyond economical repair. It was sold to Marine Salvage for scrap and resold to Hyman-Michaels for dismantling at Duluth arriving there on October 13, 1967.

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


Coast Guard responding to grounded 1,000-foot freighter in St. Mary's River

8/15 - 2:30 PM - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The Coast Guard is responding Wednesday to a 1,000-foot freighter that is hard aground in the downbound channel of the St. Marys River.

Initial reports indicate there is no resultant pollution and no injuries were reported, but there is some damage to the ship. The freighter’s stability is currently unaffected.

At 3:10 a.m., response coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie received notice that the motor vessel Paul R. Tregurtha, owned by Interlake Shipping Company of Ohio, grounded on the west side of Neebish Island in the vicinity of what is commonly known as the “Rock Cut.” The vessel is carrying approximately 62,000 tons of coal.

The initial grounding occurred in way of the vessel’s bow but the ship pivoted and the stern became grounded as well. Currently, the vessel is hard aground at its bow and stern and the ship spans the width of the shipping channel. Coast Guard Station Sault Ste. Marie transported responding personnel to the grounded freighter at approximately 6 a.m. to assess the situation and determine the extent of any structural damage to the vessel.

Coordinators at the Sector Sault Ste. Marie Command Center are in constant communication with the vessel’s crew and with responders aboard the ship. The Sector Sault Ste. Marie Vessel Traffic Service has limited vessel traffic to portions of the St. Marys River. Sector personnel are working closely with the vessel’s owner representatives and the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center, and the Salvage Engineering Response Team to determine the safest approach to re-floating the vessel.

US Coast Guard release

Original article - 8/15 - 10:00 AM - Soo - The 1,014-foot Paul R. Tregurtha went aground just north of the Rock Cut / Neebish Island ferry dock on the St. Marys River around 6:00 AM today. Originally, her stern was on the Neebish Island side of the river and her bow was pointing toward in mainland side. However by 9 a.m. she appeared to have been moved so as to no longer block the channel. The "G" tugs Missouri and Florida are headed to the scene. The Roen Salvage Co. tug Stephan M. Asher is also on scene.

11:45 AM Update - Paul R. Tregurtha is still stuck east to west blocking all but small craft from going downbound in the St. Marys River. The Coast Guard is on hand along with the "G" tugs Missouri and Florida and the survey boat. Haven't seen any pushing by tugs yet, but they are stationed at the stern which is aground on the Neebish side (east). The bow is hard aground on the west side of channel, which is very rocky according to fisherman who fish there.

Joseph L. Block is tied up below the MacArthur Lock and American Integrity is anchored of 7 Mile Road. Herbert C. Jackson is anchored off the southern tip of St. Joseph's Island.

Check back for updates as they become available.

Check  News Photo Gallery for photos.

Anne Earle, Terry Snook


Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay arrives in Chicago to commemorate bicentennial of War of 1812

8/15 - Chicago, Ill. – The Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay arrived at Navy Pier in Chicago Tuesday to help kick off events commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812.The Coast Guard cutter was joined by the USS Hurricane and USS De Wert. Ships from the Royal Canadian Navy will arrive Thursday.

The modern Coast Guard was established in 1915, when the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the United States Life-Saving Service. The Revenue Cutter Service, originally named the Revenue-Marine, was established in 1790 and played a significant role in the War of 1812.

Chicago represents the second stop in the Great Lakes for the Coast Guard, Navy, Marines and the Royal Canadian Navy in commemorating the War of 1812. The Biscayne Bay will be open to the public beginning 8:45 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, and from 8:45 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday through Sunday. The ship will close for one hour from 11 a.m. until noon each day.

Ninth U.S. Coast Guard District


Port Reports – August 15

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Vessel traffic Tuesday morning included Algosoo proceeding under the Blatnik Bridge en route to the CN ore dock, American Century loading at Midwest Energy Terminal, Cason J. Callaway unloading stone at Reiss Inland Terminal, and Gargeney anchored out waiting to enter port to load at CHS grain terminal.


Familiar salties sold for scrap

8/15 - Marine News, the monthly journal of the World Ship Society, reported the following Seaway salties going for scrap in the August 2012 issue.

DA LONG came to the Great Lakes as b) BALSA 9 in 1981 and arrived at Ningde, China, for scrapping on December 12, 2011.

JUNIOR came through the Seaway as a) EFDIM JUNIOR in 1986 and had only recently been renamed prior to arriving at Alang, India, on June 21, 2012.

MOHAVE MAIDEN had been a Great Lakes caller as a) RICH ALLIANCE first in 1984, b) MONTE BONITA in 1989, and e) TECAM SEA beginning in 1998. The ship arrived at Alang, India, as g) MOHAVE MAIDEN on June 12, 2012, and was beached June 14.

OCEAN BREEZE was 4 years old when it came through the Seaway as b) SWEE LEAN in 1979. It returned as c) MARC THEIL in 1987 and arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, for scrapping as i) OCEAN BREEZE on June 12, 2012.

OLE MARE was not a Great Lakes trader but had come through the Seaway under all three previous names. She first appeared in 1984 as a) NOBLE RIVER and was a frequent inland caller as b) HELENA OLDENDORFF beginning in 1987 and returned as c) STARLIGHT for two trips in 2006 and a final visit in 2008. The vessel arrived at Alang, India, on June 7, 2012, and was beached 10 days later.

SIDER PROCIDA was built in 1976 and came to the Great Lakes that year as a) KUURTANES. She returned as b) MADZY in August 1983 and was beached at Aliaga, Turkey as c) SIDER PROCIDA on May 30, 2012.

TURHAN BEY came through the Seaway as b) THEKOS in 1983, again as JOHN M. in 1988 and fas c) STAHOLM in 1989. The vessel was beached at Aliaga, Turkey, as f) TURHAN BEY on June 25, 2012.

YONG AN MEN came to Hamilton as h) LYKES RAIDER in 2001-2002. It arrived at Alang as j) YONG AN MEN on June 27, 2012, for scrapping.

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

Barry Andersen and Skip Gillham


Deck barge Milwaukee for sale

8/15 – Cleveland, Ohio – The Great Lakes Towing Company now accepting offers for the deck barge Milwaukee. New ABS loadline August 2012. Bottom blasted and painted August 2012. Sold as-is-where-is, Cleveland, Ohio. Barge is in excess of our fleet needs and is being replaced by a new barge. Delivery arrangements can also be made. Length: 172 feet; Breadth: 40 feet; Depth: 11 feet, 6 inches; Gross tons: 670; Cargo capacity: 1,160 short tons.  

Direct all inquires to or 216-621-4854 X 133.


First summer at Fort Gratiot Light Station going well

8/15 – Port Huron, Mich. – Thousands of people have made the climb at the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse this summer. “It’s going better than we ever would have anticipated,” said Susan Bennett, executive director of the Port Huron Museum. “We’re seeing about 100 people a day, and of that, about two-thirds of them take the tour.”

The lighthouse opened May 19 after being closed to the public since August 2008. The park has had nearly 9,000 visitors since it opened, with more than 5,500 of them taking a tour. Entering the light station grounds is free, but a tour and climb to the top of the lighthouse costs $5. “It’s really bringing a lot of people from a lot of places, which is exactly what the county and we had hoped for,” Bennett said.

The county acquired the deed for the property from the federal government in September 2010. Some restoration work was done between last summer and the opening. It was paid for with grants and money raised by the Friends of the Fort Gratiot Light.

Money from the county parks and recreation millage is used to maintain the grounds, but any work needed for the buildings is paid for with grants and donations, said Dennis Delor, special events, marketing and volunteer coordinator for St. Clair County Parks and Recreation. “We are very happy with the type of turnout that we’re getting here in the first year, and I think it’s only going to get better,” Delor said.

On Monday, a group of 30 high school students from Qidong, China, and some college students from Shanghai University took in the views from the top of the lighthouse as part of a two-week tour through the Macomb Cultural and Economic Partnership. Ed Bruley, secretary of the partnership, said this was the first trip out of China for nearly all of the participants, and they were trying to show them exactly what the Great Lakes State is about.

The plan was working, at least if Qian Hongda’s reaction was any indication. The principal of the high school said the trip to the lighthouse left quite the impression. “This has left the deepest impression on the trip so far,” he said through an interpreter after coming down the lighthouse steps. “I would like to come back again.”

The county maintains the park, and the museum provides tourism programming. Money from tour fees goes back to the site and no other museum site. Bennett said the lighthouse is a separate business from other museum properties. “It’s free for you to come here to the grounds and admire the historic buildings and the view of the lake because it is a park,” Delor said. “If you’re willing to spend a few extra dollars, then you can go to the top of the tower, and those funds are going back to the site.”

Despite the success, Bennett said she expects the site will show a slight loss on the books because match money used to secure a grant will come out of expenses but won’t show as income because it was earned previously. “I wouldn’t say we’re making money. I would say we’re doing very well,” she said.

Other improvements are planned, including cameras, pathways and informational panels. The cameras would be installed at the top of the lighthouse and would feed images to monitors in the dog-house structure at the bottom of the tower and the gift shop. Bennett said she hopes they are in place by Labor Day.

With a coastal management grant for $30,000, accessible pathways will be built, and some of the original pathways will be repaired, Delor said. The county is contributing a $30,000 match with money from the countywide parks tax, he said. The new paths will lead from the gift shop to the tower or to a plaza near the beach. The plaza will feature benches where people can sit and look at the lake or the historic buildings. Information panels will explain the light station’s natural and maritime history.

Bids for work on the panels and concrete pathways are due by Aug. 28, Delor said. He hopes the project will be complete by November. He said the county has a 25-year plan to restore the site to its 1930s appearance, which will give people an incentive to come back every year and see what’s new. Other projects in the works include a new roof on the 1874 duplex and fixes to the Coast Guard building, which includes barracks from 1932.

“When we inherited the site from the federal government, a lot of the buildings were in a state of disrepair, so now we have to, as an advocate for the site, we have to make sure those buildings are maintained and kept up,” Delor said. He emphasized that building work will be done with donations and grants, not tax dollars.

“We need to do this in a financially responsible way,” Delor said. “Preservation is not a cheap process. It’s something that you have to have funds for. That’s why we’re being very aggressive with grants.”

Port Huron Times-Herald


Updates -  August 15

News Photo Gallery


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.

In 1991, ALGOSTEEL was outbound at Superior when a small, smoky fire broke out in the electrical panel. The ship went to anchor and then returned to port for repairs. The trip resumed on August 24.

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 cutter’s torch in Spain.

J.P. MORGAN JR arrived in tow of Hannah Marine's tug DARYL C. HANNAH at Buffalo, New York on August 15th where she was delayed until she could obtain clearance to transit the Welland Canal. Permission to pass down the Canal was refused because of the MORGAN JR's improper condition. 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. Catharines, 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, Skip Gillham, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Gordon C. Leitch tow to depart on Wednesday

8/14 - The tow of the former laker Gordon C. Leitch is now expected to depart on Wednesday about 4 a.m. The tug Centaurus will tow the Leitch to Turkey for scrapping.

Kent Malo


Great Lakes coal trade down more than 12 percent in July

8/14 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes totaled 2.7 million tons in July, a slight increase 63,000 tons compared to June, but a drop of 12.4 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings fell even more when compared to the month’s 5-year average: 30.5 percent.

Only one port range, Lake Michigan, registered an increase over last year: 37.7 percent. Loadings at Lake Superior docks fell 13.3 percent and shipments from Lake Erie terminals were down more than 28 percent. Overseas shipments continued in July. Coal shipped to Quebec City for reloading into oceangoing vessels totaled 116,759 tons.

Year-to-date the Lakes coal trade stands at 11.6 million tons, a decrease of 8.7 percent compared to a year ago. However, loadings are more than 28 percent behind their 5-year average for the January-July timeframe.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  August 14

- Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Monday morning included Hon. James L. Oberstar fueling at the port terminal, Birchglen departing Midwest Energy Terminal with Paul R. Tregurtha moving into the dock immediately after the Birchglen pulled away, and Burns Harbor loading at BNSF ore dock. Joe Block arrived Sunday to unload stone at CN ore dock. Monday morning it was loading at Hallett 5.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
John J. Boland and Michipicoten loaded ore Monday morning at the Upper Harbor.

Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
The barge McKee Sons arrived in the morning on Sunday. They had a breakdown and did not begin to load until the late afternoon. Following the McKee Sons was the barge Pere Marquette 41 which was due on Monday in the late afternoon. Three vessels are due to load at Port Inland during the day on Tuesday. Both Calumet and Manitowoc are due to arrive in the early morning, followed by Manistee in the late afternoon.

Cedarville, Mich. - Denny Dushane
The Wilfred Sykes is due to arrive during the late evening on Monday. Following the Sykes will be the Robert S. Pierson, due on Thursday in the early morning. Wrapping up the lineup is the Joseph L. Block, due on Saturday in the early morning to load.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
There are no vessels scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. Three vessels are due to load on Wednesday… Philip R. Clarke in the early morning for the South Dock, Calumet in the late morning for the North Dock and American Mariner in the mid-afternoon for the South Dock. H. Lee White is due to load on Thursday in the late afternoon at the South Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
John G. Munson was due to arrive at Stoneport during the late morning on Monday to load. Following the Munson will be two vessels due to arrive on Tuesday: Algoway in the early morning and the American Courage due in at noon. For Wednesday there are three vessels due to load: Herbert C. Jackson in the morning, John J. Boland arriving in the late morning and the Cason J. Callaway in the late afternoon. There are no boats scheduled for Thursday, and for Friday only one vessel, the Arthur M. Anderson, will be arriving to load.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
Both Robert S. Pierson and the American Mariner were due to load at the CSX Coal Dock in Toledo on Monday during the late evening. The next vessel due is Catherine Desgagnes on Tuesday in the morning, followed by Kaye E. Barker on Saturday during the morning. There is nothing due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Vessels due at the Torco Dock to unload iron ore cargoes will be the John J. Boland, due on Wednesday in the late morning, followed by the CSL Laurentien on Sunday, August 19 in the late morning. CSL Assiniboine is due on Tuesday, August 21 in the early afternoon. Wrapping up the dock lineup at Torco is the CSL Tadoussac, which is due to arrive on Wednesday, August 22 in the early morning. Adam E. Cornelius, American Fortitude and American Valor still remain in layup.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
The tug Rebecca Lynn departed Monday afternoon for Detroit. Robert S. Pierson unloaded at the ADM Standard Elevator overnight and had departed by 6 a.m. Monday. She brought in a partial load out of Hamilton, with the balance of the cargo going to Toledo.


Navy set to dock in Chicago

8/14 - Chicago, Ill. – Navy warships, on their first scheduled cruise in the Great Lakes since 1999, will pull in along Chicago's lakefront Tuesday as sailors celebrate Navy Week and the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

The ships will be on display at Navy Pier, part of a weeklong celebration in which Chicagoans can tour boats and meet sailors. A Navy frigate and patrol coastal ship, a Coast Guard cutter and two Royal Canadian Navy vessels will be on hand. Also, the annual Air and Water Show will be held this weekend.

With North Chicago's Naval Station Great Lakes serving as the branch's only boot camp, the metro area is better acquainted with the Navy than most Midwestern cities. But military officials say this week — in which Navy divers plunge into the water at Shedd Aquarium and sailors do volunteer work — offers the public a rare chance to interact with members of the Navy.

"We've been a nation at war for the last 12 years," said Rear Adm. Gregory M. Nosal. "Everybody knows the Army is at war. Everyone knows about the Marine Corps. No one knows about the Navy because we've been forward deployed for the last 12 years."

Navy frigates used to cruise the Great Lakes each summer. But budget and security concerns put that program on hold after 1999, a Navy spokesman said, and9/11created different priorities.

Nosal, who commands the Navy's Carrier Strike Group Two, said the bicentennial of the War of 1812 is a logical time to bring warships back to the Midwest. That war, fought in part on the Great Lakes, helped establish free sea trade and shape the role of the modern Navy. The War of 1812 also led to the treaty in which the U.S. and Canada agreed to demilitarize the Great Lakes.

Beyond the history, Nosal hopes Chicagoans and sailors connect on a more personal level next week. "To be able to walk in your own country," Nosal said, "and wear your uniform and to have local American citizens come up and say, 'Thank you for your service,' there's no better feeling."

Chicago Tribune


Restoration to begin on Apostle Islands lighthouses

8/14 - Bayfield, Wis. – Work is expected to begin this fall and last through 2014 on all five of the light stations in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on Lake Superior.

It will be the largest restoration project in the history of the Apostle Islands, involving work on the 19th century lighthouses dating back to the days of wooden ore carriers that depended on the steady beams to help them navigate and stay off rocky shoals. Park Superintendent Bob Krumanaker says they will do major work at some light stations and just shore up others to prevent deterioration.

“Hopefully we don’t have to close multiple lights for two summers but we can phase things in and still have some public access at some of the sites for some of the time,” Krumanaker said. “We’ve been talking a lot just on the logistics. I mean, to work on five lighthouses on Lake Superior all at once, it’s going to be very confusing around here. I know that.”

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore was given $7 million from Congress, most of it in 2009. Now they’re about to do the heavy lifting.

Krumanaker says the most extensive work will be at the Michigan Island station built in 1856.

“It’s a cute little building but it’s been closed up for the most part, rather moldy in there. All the interior plaster has been cracked and peeling and the paint had lead in it. It just wasn’t a very hospitable place.” Some work has already been done including emergency stabilization of the 111-year old brass and glass beehive-shaped Fresnel lens and lens room on Devil’s Island.

Superior Telegram


Historic weather, shipwrecks, scuba and paddlers program Sept. 8

8/14 - On Saturday, September 8, the Great Lakes Seaway Trail and New York Sea Grant will present Great Lakes Underwater at the Clayton Opera House, Clayton, N.Y. The 12 pm-5 pm program, co-sponsored by the NOAA National Weather Service, features four speakers focused on history, shipwrecks and innovative technology for boaters.

The Sept. 8 program includes the following presentations:
Historic Weather Patterns Impact on Lake Ontario Shipwrecks with National Weather Service Forecaster Robert Hamilton
Between Two Nations: The British on Carleton Island (Fort Haldimand) from the American Revolution to the War of 1812 with Douglas J. Pippin, Ph.D., historical archaeology professor at SUNY Oswego
Underwater explorer Jim Kennard on his Discovery of the HMS Ontario using deepwater sonar scanning to find the 80-foot-long, 22-gun sloop-of-war that sunk in 1780 in Lake Ontario on her way to Fort Haldimand
The Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blueway Water Trail & Innovations in Technology for Boaters, Canoeists and Kayakers with New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White. Learn how new and future tools and apps based on the Great Lakes Observing System will benefit water trail users.

This Great Lakes Underwater theme program makes the start of a new Great Lakes Seaway Trail Byway-Blueway Seminar Series. Pre-registration is requested by Sept. 3. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors age 62 or older and retired military with ID, $5 for children under 14, and free Blue Star admission for active military with ID. Day of the event seating is $15 for any remaining seats. This is a Yellow Ribbon event. For more information and to register, visit or call 315-646-1000 x203.

The 518-mile-long Great Lakes Seaway Trail is noted for its maritime history, shipwrecks and 30 lighthouses. Travel themes for this National Scenic Byway also include the War of 1812, natural history and birdwatching, coastal recreation, agricultural bounty, cultural heritage and quilting, architecture, and four seasons of fun. Learn more at


Updates -  August 14

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 14

On this day in 1962, the ARTHUR M. ANDERSON departed Conneaut and headed downbound 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.

After 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 logjam, 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.

1936 Registration for the wooden steamer MARY H. BOYCE was closed. The ship, which had burned at Fort William in 1928, was scuttled in deep water off Isle Royale in 1936.The vessel had been an early member of the Paterson fleet.

1950 The Canada Steamship Lines passenger carrier QUEBEC caught fire near Tadoussac, Quebec, and was able to reach the dock. Of the 426 passengers on board, only 3 lives were lost. The blaze was considered suspicious as it began in a linen closet. The vessel was a total loss.

1961 The wooden diesel-powered tug NORTH STAR IV had visited the Great Lakes as b) ROCKY RIVER and had been used to handle the barges BLACK RIVER and PIC RIVER for the Quebec & Ontario Transportation Co. The vessel was serving under her fourth name when she stranded on a rock in James Bay while doing hydrographic survey work. The crew was rescued but the vessel was a total loss. The rocky area is now called North Star Shoal.

1986 GABRIELLA came through the Seaway in 1975 when only a year old. The ship capsized at Port Kembla, Australia, while discharging a 227-ton heavy lift on this date. The vessel was turned upside down, refloated in November 1986 and towed 30 miles out to sea and scuttled on December 9, 1986.

2004 FEDERAL MAAS was damaged at the Iroquois Lock when the wing of the pilothouse struck the edge of the bascule bridge.

2005 The Cypriot freighter ULLA visited the Seaway in September 1995 with cocoa beans for Valleyfield, QC and returned, in ballast, in November 1996 for Port Robinson. It was in a collision as f) REEF PEMBA with the GAS VISION and sank off Oman on this date in 2005. The crew was saved.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  August 13

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Michipicoten and Herbert C. Jackson loaded ore Sunday morning at the Upper Harbor. Jackson arrived late Saturday evening with western coal from Superior for the WE hopper.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 came in with a load for Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg about 2 p.m. Sunday.

Rouge River - Ken Borg
Kaye E. Barker was inbound the Rouge River Sunday with her first load for Severstal Steel since her conversion to diesel power.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Manistee loaded Saturday for Cleveland at the Lafarge stone dock on the Marblehead peninsula. At Sandusky, the CSL Niagara loaded for Nanticoke on Saturday at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
Sunday night Robert S. Pierson tied up at the ADM Standard Elevator and the American Mariner was backing out of the City Ship Canal from General Mills.


Blog entry: Keewatin could open to public by Labor Day

8/13 - Port McNicoll, Ont. – “It has been another busy week at Keewatin as volunteers gather to get her ready for an anxious public to visit. It is amazing that every day 300 to 500 people come and visit just to take pictures and talk to the volunteer workers coming on and off the ship. All the ballast water has now been removed and Keewatin is floating well. We have not had to adjust her lines in over 10 days.

“This week a massive digger showed up and dug a trench for the wire to connect Keewatin to the city hydro service. Tay Hydro installed the post and transformer a week ago. Within two days the job was done and the lights work (and everything else electrical) The new glass door was installed into the cargo deck and the one in the Purser’s Office has been reinstalled.

“Our resident brassman and retired Kee sailor Norm Swales finished his task of polishing the binnacle that will eventually go back on the top deck. He has worked on this piece for two weeks straight and it looks amazing.

“Volunteers of all ages got into cleaning the ship as it hasn’t been cleaned in years. The rugs and carpets have been vacuumed several times, all the windows and port holes cleaned. Loose paint has been removed, dust and spider webs eliminated.

“All the brass fittings in every public room have been polished and the walls of the dinning saloon polished along with the buffets. All of the rooms that we set up with artifacts from the Zimmermans are done and the Dining Saloon has had the tablecloths washed and ironed and many set up with dishes and silver. Flowers abound on every table!

“A special crew has undertaken checking the inventory and a cleaning crew discovered a treasure-trove of hidden dishes, soup bowls, side dishes, silver, porcelain and teapots to mention some of the items that had been carefully concealed in a laundry cupboard and covered with curtains.

“The information Centre now has its own home and magical Marvin and his crew installed air conditioning, painted and refined an old garage into a perfect spot so we could move out of the Skyline sales office that we had been kindly allowed to use. Our inventory looks slightly sparse in such big quarters.

“A Fire Safety Committee has been working at putting together all the information an engineer will need to complete a life study report for Tay Fire Department. We need this document before we can apply for an occupancy permit which will allow us to open to the public. There will be a number of standards Keewatin will have to meet but we are confident we can do this. The goal is to try to be open for limited tours by Labor Day. This would give Keewatin the fall to generate some income from special guided tours we are calling “sneak a peeks” until the cold shuts us down.

“Next week we will be installing the new gangplank and the old one goes to be reengineered so it can be used by the Purser’s entrance. We still have a challenge with leaks in the new Storm Deck. This is the flat roof on the top of the ship. If anyone knows anything about flat roofing and how to find leaks we need to talk to you!

“Sales of steak in a drawer are going well as are the T-shirts and other branded souvenirs. Presentations for public speaking on Keewatin are also proving popular. We are also doing well on donations which when combined with store sales we are able to fund the projects we have started.

Eric Conroy - SS Keewatin blog


Ship drawings donated to BGSU Great Lakes collection

8/13 - The Vincent D. Nickerson Collection of ship drawings for the period of 1850 to 1910 has been donated to the Great Lakes Historical Collection at Bowling Green State University. It consists of 308 scaled ship drawings and colored in pastel. The collection was given by Ellen Drouillard Boruff, who had inherited it from her grandfather, William Rearick, a friend of Nickerson and also an artist in pastels of ships and landscapes.

The collection required a great deal of conservation that Ellen Boruff did in a period of over 10 years. It also took research about Nickerson, because so little information was known about him. The drawings are really blueprints of their time. A knowledgable shipwright could build a boat from them. The collection will be added to the website of the Great Lakes Historical Collection


Updates -  August 13

News Photo Gallery


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 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 27-30, 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.

1986 INDIANA HARBOR set a Toledo and Lake Erie record, loading 55,047 tons of coal at Toledo for Marquette.

1917 The barge MIDDLESEX of the Ontario Transportation and Pulp Company broke loose and stranded at Rapide Plat in the St. Lawrence. The ship was abandoned to the insurers but salvaged and returned to service as b) WOODLANDS in 1918.

1979 IRISH OAK first came to the Great Lakes in 1960 for Irish Shipping Ltd. The vessel went aground near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as c) VEGAS on this date in 1979, while enroute from Piraeus, Greece, to Vietnam. The hull was refloated on October 28, 1979, and reached Jeddah on November 16, 1979. It was sold for scrapping at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, and arrived there on January 29, 1980.

1982 EUTHALIA visited the Seaway for the first time in 1972. It caught fire in the engine room as d) FORUM SPIRIT enroute from Port Said, Egypt, to Piraeus, Greece, and was abandoned by most of the crew. While it was towed into Piraeus on August 14, the vessel was declared a total loss. The ship arrived at Split, Yugoslavia, again under tow, for scrapping on March 6, 1984.

1993 The second CORFU ISLAND to visit the Great Lakes came inland in 1970. This SD14 cargo carrier had been built the previous year and returned as b) LOYALTY in 1980. Later that fall, the ship arrived at Basrah, Iraq, from Duluth with severe missile damage resulting from the Iraq-Iran War. The ship was declared a total loss but remained idle there until being towed away on August 13, 1993. LOYALTY arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, for scrapping on September 22, 1993.

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


Gordon C. Leitch scrap tow tug due at Montreal today

8/12 - The tug Centaurus is due to arrive in Montreal Sunday night about 9:30 p.m. Her mission is to tow the "Don” former Gordon C. Leitch. to the scrapyard in Aliaga, Turkey. Built by Canadian Vickers, Montreal, in 1968 as a self-unloader named Ralph Misener for Misener Transportation, she was converted from a self-unloader to a bulk carrier in 1977. The vessel was sold to Upper Lakes Shipping in 1994 and renamed Gordon C. Leitch. She laid up in 2011 and was sold for scrap earlier this year.

Kent Malo


Port Reports -  August 12

Cedarville, Mich. - Denny Dushane
The barge Pere Marquette 41 loaded stone on Friday. Following was the Wilfred Sykes. The Sykes will return to load at Cedarville Monday during the evening. Following the Sykes will be Robert S. Pierson, due Wednesday in the early morning. Wrapping up the lineup is the Joseph L. Block due to arrive Saturday to load.

Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
The barge Great Lakes Trader loaded on Friday and was due to depart during the late afternoon. Two vessels were due to load at Port Inland on Saturday – Wilfred Sykes in the late morning followed by the barge McKee Sons in the early evening. The barge Pere Marquette 41 will return to Port Inland on Monday morning, followed by the Manitowoc in the late afternoon.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Three vessels were due to load on Sunday ¬– the barge Lakes Contender early in the morning for the North Dock; the barge Pathfinder, also arriving in the morning for the South Dock; and John J. Boland, loading at the North Dock. There are no vessels scheduled to load for Monday and Tuesday.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Joseph H. Thompson was due to load during Saturday afternoon. Cason J. Callaway was also due to arrive in the late afternoon. There are two vessels due for Sunday - Philip R. Clarke arriving in the early afternoon, followed by her fleetmate John G. Munson, slated for a late evening arrival. Due Monday are two more vessels, the Calumet very early in the morning, followed by the Algoway in the evening. Due to arrive Tuesday at noon is the American Courage.

Oshawa, Kingston and Rockport, Ont. – Andre Blanchard
CCGS Griffon arrived in the port of Oshawa Saturday. Ontario Waterway Cruise's vessel Kawartha Voyageur arrived in Kingston Saturday, coming from Ottawa. The Kawartha Voyageur is due to arrive in Peterborough, Ont., around Aug 15, via the Trent-Severn Waterway. The Great Lakes Cruise Company's Canadian Empress was docked in Rockport, Ont. It is on a cruise between Kingston and Montreal. It is due to arrive in Montreal August 15.


Owner of Fairport Harbor West Breakwater Lighthouse gets to work

8/12 - Fairport, Ohio – Unfortunately for Sheila Consaul, there is no way to leave the light on when it comes to visiting her new summer home. About once a month Consaul travels from her Reston, Va., residence to Lake County, a 61⁄2-hour drive.

She then boards a small, old boat for a five-minute putt-putt ride to the Fairport Harbor West Breakwater Lighthouse, a structure that Consaul now owns, minus the foghorn and searchlight. Last August, Consaul paid $71,010 for the lighthouse during an online auction conducted by the federal government.

Vanquished as an important manned marine station, the lighthouse long ago outlived its usefulness except as a perch for a foghorn and rotating navigation light. Both of these marine navigational aids will continue to be maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.

As a result of its mothball status, the iconic lighthouse was put up for auction by the federal government's General Services Administration. It is this agency that handles the disposal of surplus federal government property. Eager to buy the lighthouse and now just as raring to go refurbishing the 42-foot tall structure, Consaul makes the monthly drive to see how renovations are proceeding.

"I really don't mind it all," Consaul said. "Pittsburgh is about the only major city I have to go through."

To access the lighthouse from shore, Consaul bought a 22-year-old boat that she calls her "pickup boat." With it, Consaul is able to haul construction equipment and supplies. Later, she'll use it to truck in furniture as well as return with any waste, since there is no trash pickup at the lighthouse.

The other method of reaching the lighthouse is to walk across the breakwater's rocks which Consaul said she has done "five or six times."

"My contractor has placed a gate and a ladder there so all we have to do to access the lighthouse is through a locked gate," Consaul said. "I have to say too that when I first met with the contractor, I explained the challenges to him and how the lighthouse is an important community asset, that we weren't just working on my summer home."

As for lighthouse's condition, the structure's interior is "actually in much better shape than I had expected," Consaul said. "I had seen the outside but not the inside; the layout and size was better than I first thought. It was rough, but it is responding extremely well to the renovations."

The plan of attack in performing renovations began first with opening all of the external steel shutters, which had rusted. Next came renovating the windows, stripping them of many years of accumulated paint and crud, and repairing the ropes on the windows' puling mechanisms, Consaul said.

"Those were the first priority so we could get in some fresh air and light since there is no electricity," Consaul said. "There are 18 windows and this part of the project is very labor intensive — stripping off years of paint from the wood, which is yellow pine and Douglas fir."

One of the more unpleasant surprises came with the discovery that the electrical cable once used to power most of the lighthouse was severed. For this reason, Consaul said she anticipates having electricity supplied by a generator, solar power or wind power.

Consaul also said she has several must-do projects before the lighthouse is battened down for the winter. Besides finishing with the windows, other tasks include replastering the walls and scrubbing the floors. And that activity led to a piece of good news.

In working on the lighthouse's interior, neither Consaul nor her contractor has found any asbestos, a cancer-causing agent that was feared to be prevalent in the building. Also apparently absent is any lead-based paint, likewise first feared to cover the walls.

"We're very lucky," Consaul said. "There are some advantages to the lighthouse having been an industrial-type building. They used only the best, top-notch materials, which is indicative of the 1920s."

When the flowers bloom and the ice is off Lake Erie next spring, Consaul said she intends to deal with the lack of plumbing. "We're working on an experiment right now with a composting toilet," she said.

And since the lighthouse is on federal property, no building permits are required, though Consaul said she is working with the county on water and sanitation issues. Asked if it will prove expensive to spruce up the lighthouse, Consaul said she does not know because the work is still in its earliest stages.

"Some things will cost more than anticipated and other things will cost less," Consaul said. "For example, I was expecting to replace the windows but now all I have to do is replace the glass."

Then queried when the work will be done so that she can enjoy watching the sun set over Lake Erie, Consaul eagerly said "next summer."

"I hope that it will be functional enough by then to at least make it livable," Consaul said. "I intend to use it a lot from May to September, and also for tours and community activities."



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.

1941 The first EAGLESCLIFFE HALL was attacked by a German bomber from the Luftwaffe and was struck aft. The vessel was two miles east of Sunderland, England, at the time and one member of the crew was killed. The ship reached Sunderland for repairs and, at the end of the war, resumed Great Lakes service for the Hall Corporation. It later joined the Misener fleet as DAVID BARCLAY.

1960 A collision on the Detroit River between the Finnish freighter MARIA and the ALEXANDER T. WOOD damaged both vessels and put the latter aground in the Ballard Reef Channel. After being lightered of some grain by MAITLAND NO. 1, the vessel was released with the aid of the tug JOHN PURVES. MARIA, a pre-Seaway caller to the Great Lakes as BISCAYA and TAMMERFORS, was towed to the Great Lakes Engineering Works at Ecorse for repairs. It was eventually scrapped in Yugoslavia in 1968. ALEXANDER T. WOOD sank as VAINQUER after an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico on March 15, 1969.

1980 An explosion in the crankcase of the bulk carrier RALPH MISENER left one crewmember killed and another four injured. One of the injured later died. The ship was loaded with coke and on the Saguenay River bound for Port Alfred. Repairs were carried out at Montreal.

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


Port Reports -  August 11

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Kaye E. Barker arrived Friday evening at the Upper Harbor to load ore on her first trip after repowering.

Stoneport, Mich. - Dan McNeil
Due to load Saturday is Lewis J. Kuber followed by Joseph H. Thompson. Due in for Sunday is John G. Munson followed by Phillip R. Clarke. Due in Monday is the Calumet followed by Algoway. No boats are due in for Tuesday. Due in for Wednesday is Herbert C. Jackson followed by Cason J. Callaway and American Courage.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber called on the Saginaw River early Friday morning, traveling upriver to unload at the Lafarge Stone dock in Saginaw. When finished, the pair turned at Sixth Street and proceeded outbound, stopping at the Wirt Stone Dock n Bay City to wait for weather. Moore - Kuber departed for the lake later in the evening when the winds subsided. At the peak of the blow, sustained winds of 39 knots and gusts of 44.1 knots out of the northeast were recorded.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Mississagi departed the Lafarge stone dock at Marblehead for Windsor Friday night.


USS Fort Worth

8/11 - The USS Fort Worth LCS-3 arrived in the Welland Canal from Lake Erie early Friday morning. She tied up at Wharf 16 (the old Canada Furnace Dock) for Seaway inspection before heading downbound on the canal around 5:30 p.m.

Brian W.


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 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 1,000- 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 BRUCE (wooden propeller passenger steamer, 110 foot, 169 tons, built in 1852, at Buffalo, New York as a tug) was carrying staves when she caught fire a few miles off Port Stanley, Ontario in Lake Erie. She was run to the beach, where she burned to a total loss with no loss of life. Arson was suspected. She had been rebuilt from a tug to this small passenger steamer the winter before her loss.

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

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

1865 A fire broke out at Sault Ste. Marie in the cargo of lime aboard the wooden passenger and freight carrier METEOR that was involved in the sinking of the PEWABIC on August 9. METEOR was scuttled in 30 feet of water to prevent its loss. The hull was pumped out and salvaged four days later and repaired.

1919 MURIEL W. hit a sunken crib off Port Weller and was partially sunk. An August 15, 1919, storm broke up the hull.

1928 W.H. SAWYER stranded off Harbor Beach Light in a storm. Her barges, A.B. KING and PESHTIGO, were blown aground and broken up by the waves. The trip had run for shelter but the effort ended 100 yards short of safety. The cook was a casualty.

1944 The Norwegian freighter ERLING LINDOE was built in 1917 and came to the Great Lakes for the first time in 1923. The ship struck a mine in the Kattegat Strait, off Varberg, Sweden, and sank with its cargo of pyrites. The number of casualties varies with one report noting the loss at 19 members of the crew, another at 17 and, yet another, had the death toll at 13. There were 6 survivors.

1976 The Panamanian freighter WOKAN was beached off Oman with a fractured hull enroute from the Ulsan, South Korea, to Kuwait. It was declared a total loss and abandoned. The 1952-built vessel first came through the Seaway as b) DAUPHINE in 1968 and returned as d) SPACE KING in 1975.

2001 Bridge 11 of the Welland Canal was lowered prematurely striking the downbound bulk carrier WINDOC taking the top off the pilothouse, toppling the stack and igniting a fire. The massive damage to the ship was never repaired and efforts for find work for the vessel as a barge was not a success. The hull arrived at Port Colborne for dismantling on November 9, 2010.

2004 ONEGO MERCHANT came through the Seaway for the first time in May 2004. Later that summer, the vessel sustained bow damage in a grounding near Larvik, Norway, but was refloated within hours. It returned to the Great Lakes in 2005 and 2006 and has sailed as b) VRIESENDIEP since 2009.

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


Seaway reopened Thursday night

8/10 - Vessel traffic resumed on the Seaway Thursday night after a problem with a ship arrestor at Beauharnois Lock. At 6:35 p.m. the Algoma Transport departed Lock 3 and traffic through the lock resumed. There will be 12 vessels passing through the Beauharnois Canal overnight.

A ship arrestor was struck at Beauharnois Lock 3 Wednesday evening. It would appear that Algoma Transport hit the arrestor. Waiting below the lock was Capt. Henry Jackman. Pineglen was anchored in Lake St. Louis, CSL Laurentien was anchored at St. Zotique and Edenborg, Salvor with Lambert Spirit were at the wall above Lock 4.


Great Lakes iron ore trade off 2.2 percent in July

8/10 - Cleveland, Ohio – Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 6.9 million tons in July, an increase of 6.3 percent compared to June, but a decrease of 2.2 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments were, however, more than 12 percent ahead of July’s 5-year average.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 5.9 million tons, a decrease of 6 percent compared to a year ago. Included in that total were 570,000 tons shipped to Quebec City for final delivery overseas. Loadings at Canadian ports rose almost 30 percent.

Through July the iron ore trade stands at 32.1 million tons, an increase of 6.5 percent compared to a year ago and 19 percent better than the 5-year average for the January-July timeframe.

Shipments from U.S. ports are up 5.3 percent compared to a year ago and 20.5 percent ahead of their 5-year average. Loadings at Canadian ports are up nearly 17 percent compared to a year ago and 9 percent ahead of their 5-year average.

Lake Carriers Association


HMCS Ojibwa arrival date temporarily postponed

8/10 - Port Burwell, Ont. – The Elgin Military Museum is temporarily postponing the arrival of the HMCS Ojibwa in Port Burwell.

The original offload date of September 8 is being pushed back for a number of reasons, not the least of which is to ensure minimal disruption to the extremely busy and profitable season for businesses that depend on tourism in Bayham. The postponement will also ensure that every detail will be addressed so the off-load will run like clockwork.

“This is a huge and complex project and our aim, with our partners, is to minimize any potential risk,” Dan McNeil, Project Coordinator, said. “In reality what is happening is that we are taking a submarine and turning it into a building which means that we have to ensure that it complies with the Ontario Building Code. The delay is not going to be a long one.”

The new date will be announced shortly. As plans progress, the museum will keep everyone informed through the web site at


Port Reports -  August 10

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Philip R. Clarke arrived early Thursday morning at the Upper Harbor to load ore for Toledo.

Milwaukee, Wis. - Jason Heindel
Canadian naval vessel Ville de Quebec arrived in Milwaukee this morning with her two US Navy escorts. Also performing escort duty were USCG Cutter 102 Bristol Bay as well as small boats from Station Milwaukee. HMCS Ville de Quebec was being assisted in to port by two G tugs with new white bow bumper protectors. Sailors in white lined her rails and a large Canadian flag was flying from the mast.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algoma Olympic loaded early Wednesday at Sandusky's NorfolkSouthern coal dock for Hamilton. She was followed at the dock by the CSL Niagara, which loaded for Nanticoke. On the Marblehead Peninsula, the tug-barge combo Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder loaded limestone Wednesday. Thursday, the Mississagi was loading at the Lafarge stone dock for Windsor.

Oswego, N.Y. - Ned Goebricher
Thursday Stephen B. Roman was unloading cement.


U.S. and Canadian warships tour the Great Lakes

8/10 - U.S. and Canadian warships are touring the Great Lakes to demonstrate unity on the bicentennial of the War of 1812. The U.S. and British Canada were on opposing sides of that war, sometimes called the Second War of Independence.

Canadian vessels are also demonstrating their power and role in protecting the region. HMCS ships Ville de Québec, Moncton and Summerside will be joined by the American vessels USS Hurricane and USS De Wert, according to a news release by the Royal Canadian Navy.

Events include band concerts, Blue Angels air shows, cook-offs, demonstrations of the U.S. Marine Corps, and other activities. Destination schedule and featured ships:

Milwaukee, Wis., Aug. 10 – 13: HMCS Ville de Québec, USS Hurricane and USS De Wert.
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Aug. 15 – 20: HMCS Ville de Québec.
Chicago, Aug. 15 – 20: USS Hurricane, USS De Wert, HMCS Moncton and HMCS Summerside.
Toledo, Ohio, Aug. 23 – 27: HMCS Ville de Québec, USS Hurricane and USS De Wert.
Toronto, Aug. 29 – Sept. 3: HMCS Ville de Québec.
Cleveland, Aug. 28 – Sept. 2: USS Hurricane, USS De Wert, HMCS Moncton and HMCS Summerside.
Windsor, Ontario, Sept. 5 – 10: HMCS Ville de Québec.
Detroit, Sept. 5-10: USS Hurricane and USS De Wert.
Buffalo, Sept. 11 – 17: HMCS Ville de Québec, USS Hurricane and USS De Wert.
Hamilton, Ontario, Sept. 18 – 21: HMCS Ville de Québec.
Oshawa, Ontario, Sept. 21 – 24: HMCS Ville de Québec.

Great Lakes Echo


Groundbreaking for marine security hub in Niagara-on-the-Lake

8/10 - Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ont. – Organized crime, smuggling and national security will be on the radar at the Canadian government’s new marine security hub being built in Niagara-on-the-Lake. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday at the York Road site of the Great Lakes Marine Security Operations Centre (MSOC).

The centre will “monitor the marine environment, detect suspicious activity and provide actionable intelligence for response and investigations,” said RCMP assistant commissioner Todd Shean.

The goal of the centre — which is a partnership between a number of agencies including police, the Canadian Coast Guard, Canada Border Services Agency, Transport Canada and the Department of National Defence — is to ensure early detection of possible security threats in Canada’s marine environment, he said.

He said that degree of partnership under one roof will ensure the agencies have the best, most up-to-date information to enhance security of the marine transportation system and maritime borders. “This new facility will undoubtedly contribute to the RCMP’s role in Canadian marine security,” he said.

Canadian Coast Guard director of maritime security Marc Mes said the expertise of the organization is utilized daily at the MSOCs in Nova Scotia and British Columbia.

“The Canadian Coast Guard’s mission is to contribute to the safety, access and security of Canadian waterways,” he said. “(It) has long been the eyes and ears of the waterways.”

The state-of-the-art facility, being built at 630 York Rd., will be approximately 38,000 square feet. It is slated to be completed by early 2014 and operational by April 1, 2014.

Zulq Malik of BECC Construction Group said overall the construction process will employee about 250 workers. Local subcontractors have been hired, including a local site superintendent, he said. A temporary site has been operating out of the Niagara Region RCMP site.

There are currently about 40 people working at the temporary site and once the new facility is built, there will be up to 80 employees, Shean said.

St. Catharines Standard


$7 million lighthouse restoration to begin in Apostle Islands

8/10 - Superior, Wis. – Work is expected to begin this fall and last through 2014 on all five of the light stations in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on Lake Superior.

This would be the largest restoration project in the history of the Apostle Islands. It involves work on the 19th century lighthouses, which date back to the days of wooden ore carriers that depended on the steady beams to help them navigate and stay off rocky shoals. Park Superintendent Bob Krumanaker says they will do lots of work at some light stations and just shore up others to prevent deterioration.

“So we step back from the ‘Here’s what it was in its peak’ to the ‘What’s the desired condition realistically to preserve them into the future and provide good public experiences?’ and then the third level is, how much money do we have? And what are the highest priorities within that?” he said.

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore was given $7 million from Congress, most of it in 2009. Now they're about to do the heavy lifting.

“Hopefully we don’t have to close multiple lights for two summers, but we can phase things in and still have some public access at some of the sites for some of the time,” Krumanaker said. “We’ve been talking a lot just on the logistics. I mean, to work on five lighthouses on Lake Superior all at once, it’s going to be very confusing around here. I know that.”

Krumanaker says the most extensive work will be at the Michigan Island station, built in 1856.

“It’s a cute little building but it’s been closed up for the most part, rather moldy in there,” he said. “All the interior plaster has been cracked and peeling and the paint had lead in it. It just wasn’t a very hospitable place.”

Some work has already been done including emergency stabilization of the 111 year old brass and glass shaped Fresnel lens and lens room on Devil’s Island.

Superior Telegram


SS City of Milwaukee/USCG Acacia crew reunion this weekend

8/10 - This Saturday will be the annual SS City of Milwaukee/USCG Acacia crew reunion weekend. Open to the public, noted Great Lakes authors and historians Chris Winters and Art Chavez will be among the guest speakers between 11 a.m. -2 p.m. A concert by Lee Murdock will follow at 4 p.m. A free-will donation by attendees will be appreciated. Info is available at The City of Milwaukee/Acacia museum ships are located in Manistee Mich.


Help wanted

8/10 - Great Lakes Shipyard is located in Cleveland, Ohio, and operates a full-service shipyard specializing in all types of marine construction and repairs for vessels, barges, and topside work of every kind. The shipyard is currently hiring for the following positions: First Class Level Fitters/Welders, Pipe Fitters, Outside Machinists, Mechanics, Electricians and Laborers.

We offer an excellent benefits package that includes healthcare, dental, vision, short-term and long term disability insurance, employee assistance program, 401(k) profit sharing plan, vacation time, sick time, company paid holidays and a friendly working environment. Candidates must be able to pass a background check and chemical testing and have e-Verify authorization. If you meet the above minimum work environment and essential requirements, call our Human Resources Department at 216-621-4854 or send your resume to or fax it to 216-621-7616. Feel free to visit the website at AAP/EOE Employer


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 ship's cat, which was with them in the yawl.

On August 10, 1952, the ARTHUR M. ANDERSON entered service for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. Exactly 14 years later, on August 10, 1966, the vessel's namesake, Arthur Marvin Anderson, passed away.

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

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

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, Mich. Her lines were burned through and she then drifted three miles down the St. Clair River before beaching near Port Lambton, Ont. and burning out.

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

1899 The whaleback steamer JOHN B. TREVOR was rammed and sunk by her barge #131 in the St. Clair River. The accident was caused by CRESCENT CITY crossing the towline. The sunken ship was refloated and, in 1912, became the ATIKOKAN.

1967 PAUL L. TIETJEN and FORT WILLIAM were in a head-on collision on Lake Huron about 25 miles north of Port Huron. Both ships were damaged but were repaired and returned to service.

1975 CIMBRIA came through the Seaway for the first time in 1965 under West German registry. The ship was sailing as c) KOTA MENANG when it stranded on Nyali Reef, off Mombasa, Tanzania, due to a steering failure on August 10, 1975. The vessel received severe hull damage and was deemed a total loss.

1979 The Indian freighter JALARAJAN and the British flag LAURENTIC sustained minor damage in a collision at Kenosha, Wis. The former was dismantled at Calcutta, India, in 1988 while the latter was scrapped at Karachi, Pakistan, in 1984.

1992 MENASHA was set adrift and then sank in the St. Lawrence off Ogdensburg, NY. The former U.S. Navy tug was refloated and repaired. After some later service at Sarnia, the tug was resold and moved for Montreal for work as c) ESCORTE.

2007 NORDSTRAND came to the Great Lakes in 1990 and sank at the stern, alongside the Adriatica Shipyard at Bijela, Montenegro, as c) MEXICA, when the engine room flooded on this date. The ship was refloated on September 1, 2007, and arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, for scrapping on May 5, 2010.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Jody L. Aho, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Seaway reopened

8/9 - 6:35 p.m. update - At 6:35 p.m. the Algoma Transport departed Lock 3 and traffic through the lock resumed. There will be 12 vessels passing through the Beauharnois Canal overnight.

A ship arrestor was struck at Beauharnois Lock 3 Wednesday evening. It would appear that Canadian Transport hit the arrestor as she is in the Lock 3 chamber. Waiting below the lock is Capt. Henry Jackman. Pineglen is anchored in Lake St. Louis, CSL Laurentien is anchored at St. Zotique and Edenborg, Salvor with Lambert Spirit are at the wall above Lock 4.


Lakes limestone trade up almost 12 Percent in July

8/9 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 4.1 million net tons in July, an increase of 6 percent over June, and 11.9 percent better than a year ago. Loadings were also more than 8 percent ahead of the month’s 5-year average.

Shipments from U.S. ports rose 12.3 percent to 3,347,818 tons. Canadian quarries’ total of 735,935 tons represented an increase of roughly three boatloads.

Year-to-date, the Lakes limestone trade stands at 14 million tons, an increase of 14 percent compared to a year ago, and a slight increase compared to the 5-year average for the January-July timeframe.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  August 9

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Two vessels were in port Tuesday night. The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were at Lafarge loading cement. Cuyahoga arrived at the Alpena Oil Dock around 11 p.m. to unload a cargo of road salt from Goderich. On Wednesday, the barge Integrity and tug G.L Ostrander loaded product for Detroit.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Calumet completed her unload at the Lafarge Stone Dock in Essexville, late Wednesday morning, backed from the dock and into the Bay Aggregates slip, then turned for the lake. The Dann Marine tug, Colonel, departed the Saginaw River on Tuesday, after safely delivering the USS Edson from the Navy yard in Philadelphia to her new home in Bay City, a long journey and a job well done.

Detroit, Mich. - Ken Borg
USS Fort Worth, a new Freedom-Class Littoral Combat Ship on delivery to the U.S. Navy, was tied-up at the Detroit Marine Terminal on Wednesday.


Rand Logistics reports earnings for first quarter

8/9 - New York, N.Y. – Rand Logistics Wednesday announced financial and operational results for its fiscal year 2013 first quarter ended June 30, 2012.

Versus Quarter Ended June 30, 2011
• Marine freight revenue (excluding fuel and other surcharges, and outside charter revenue) increased by $5.6 million, or 18.4%, to $36.3 million from $30.7 million. This increase was attributable to 109 additional Sailing Days and contractual price increases.

• Marine freight revenue per Sailing Day increased by $2,122, or 7.4%, to $30,943 per Sailing Day compared to $28,821 per Sailing Day. This increase was somewhat offset by slightly reduced backhauls and a weaker Canadian dollar.

• Vessel operating expenses per Sailing Day increased by $1,411, or 5.3%, to $28,243 per Sailing Day from $26,832 per Sailing Day. This increase was attributable in part to higher fuel costs.

• Operating income increased by $1.8 million, or 30.3%, to $7.6 million compared to $5.8 million.

• Operating income plus depreciation and amortization increased by $2.6 million, or 26.8%, to $12.3 million from $9.7 million.

Management Comments
“Overall, we are pleased with our first quarter results,” said Scott Bravener, President of Lower Lakes. “Our improvement was driven in part by a full quarter of operation from the vessel that was repowered last year that we only operated for 30 days in the first quarter of fiscal year 2012. Overall, our fleet, with the exception of one vessel, performed close to or surpassed expectations for the quarter. We expect that the vessel that performed below expectations will return to budgeted contribution levels by mid-August. Our business visibility remains solid and demand for our services in our markets continues to be strong. Based on current market conditions, we do not believe that the tonnage that we carry in the 2012 sailing season will deviate materially from the levels that our earnings guidance was predicated on.”

Laurence S. Levy, Chairman and CEO of Rand, commented, “Our operating income plus depreciation and amortization continues to benefit from increased scheduling efficiencies due to the growth of the fleet. This improvement validates the assumptions upon which our recent acquisitions were predicated. Our results for the quarter exclude any benefit from the self-unloading ATB unit we acquired in December 2011, which we expect to introduce into service later this quarter. Based on customer contracts in hand, we expect that this vessel will be fully utilized as soon as it commences sailing.”

“We continue to believe that we are well positioned to accelerate stockholder value creation given our non-duplicatable asset portfolio, the long-term nature of our customer contracts, attractive market supply/demand dynamics, and our favorable cost structure.”

Rand Logistics


Updates -  August 9

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 9

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

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 p.m. As the two approached, somehow METOER sheered and struck her sister, sinking the PEWABIC within minutes in 180 feet of water. About 125 people went down with her, and 86 others were saved.

On 9 August 1850, CHAUTAUQUE (wooden sidewheel 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 that 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.

1968 Labrador Steamships agreed to sell POINTE NOIRE to Upper Lakes Shipping. The vessel was operated by U.L.S. on charter until the sale was approved.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.



USS Edson's Bay County arrival draws visitors from near and far

8/8 - Essexville, Mich. – The 15-year wait to bring a Navy destroyer to the area has been long for members of the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum. For Darrel Carlson, the wait to once again step aboard the USS Edson has been even longer — 43 years to be exact.

"People will really appreciate her when she has all her lights and flags on," said Carlson, who served aboard the USS Edson from 1965 to 1969. "But that's still how I see her; she's a little more than just a ship to me."

Carlson made the trip from Minnesota to Bay City with his 13-year-old grandson, Scott Braun. He has kept up with the Edson throughout the years, and wanted to introduce his grandson to the gun he used to man, which he called "Mary Ann."

"Every sailor had a name for the guns; one was Big Bertha," Carlson said. "I have missed this ship, and now the midwest finally has a Navy destroyer — we finally have the Edson."

Tom Shea, who has been a member of the museum for seven years, watched as the USS Edson approached the shore. "There are no more delays now," Shea said. "The Edson's arrival is an accomplishment realized."

Another museum member, Mike Foley, arrived at the Wirt Stone Dock with three flashlights in hand. Foley is tasked with performing the first watch of the ship this evening. "There's no power," Foley said. "I am going to sleep up in the bridge where there are windows to let a little light in."

Shortly after 10 a.m., Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum President Mike Kegley stepped aboard the USS Edson with Doug Wirt, who owns Wirt Stone Dock. Both men raised the U.S. flag on the stern of the ship to salute those who have served in the military.

Ship enthusiasts young and old began to tour the USS Edson's main deck and bridge around noon. Kegley said that access to the vessel costs $10 and will continue until 4 p.m.

After today, the public has to wait until the destroyer relocates to its permanent location for tours, pending installation of the site's mooring. "People are working on it this minute," Kegley said. "But, it is a long process."

Future tours will allow access below deck, but first the U.S. Evironmental Protection Agency must perform tests to ensure that the ship is not a safety hazard.

The USS Edson arrived at Wirt Stone Dock a few minutes ahead of schedule around 9 a.m. The 418-foot retired Navy destroyer was followed by an armada of personal boaters and greeted by hundreds of spectators along the shore.

The tugboat Colonel's seven-man crew towed the USS Edson on an almost three-week international voyage that spanned sea and freshwater.

The destroyer got under way from Philadelphia on Wednesday July 18. The ship's departure marked the beginning of a journey across 2,436 miles of ocean and freshwater from the East Coast to Bay City.

The Forrest Sherman Class destroyer will ultimately moor near the Independence Bridge Boat Launch, and will serve as the floating centerpiece of the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum. In April, the Navy announced it was donating the ship to the museum.

M Live


Port Reports -  August 8

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Tuesday included American Mariner loading at General Mills S in Superior, American Integrity backing up St. Louis Bay to load at CN ore dock in Duluth, Paul R. Tregurtha arriving in mid-afternoon for Midwest Energy Terminal, and Alpena arriving in late afternoon for the Lafarge Cement terminal in Superior.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Tug Ken Boothe Sr. and barge Lakes Contender arrived at the Upper Harbor Tuesday morning to load ore. Traffic in Marquette has slowed in recent weeks.

Marinette Marine - John Garniss
The Fort Worth, LCS 3, left Marinette Marine about 5:20 p.m. on Monday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The USS Edson, with the tugs Colonel and Manitou, arrived on the Saginaw River on Tuesday, arriving at the Essexville Wirt Sand and Stone dock around 8:45 a.m. The Edson will be moored here temporarily until her permanent moorings near the Independence Bridge are complete. Calumet was inbound late Tuesday night, calling on the Lafarge Stone dock in Essexville.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Herbert C. Jackson loaded for Detroit Tuesday at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock in Sandusky. Fleetmates Manitowoc and Manistee kept loaders at the Marblehead Lafarge stone dock busy Monday and into the night.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The tall ship Empire Sandy was inbound Monday at the Buffalo Fairway Buoy & headed for the North Entrance. She tied up at the Central Wharf and will be open for tours Wednesday.

Rochester, N.Y. - Tom Brewer
The Evans McKeil with the barge Metis arrived Tuesday morning and went up the river with a load of bulk cement for Essroc.


Clash between 2 families led to shooting that injured 7, says Detroit Princess operator

8/8 - Detroit, Mich. – An evening of dining and dancing aboard a riverboat cruise ended in a hail of gunfire Monday when a woman disembarked and shot several rounds into a crowd of passengers on the dock, wounding seven people, according to police and witnesses.

The incident, which was reportedly sparked by an argument between two families, happened shortly after 1 a.m. Monday as 500 passengers departed the Detroit Princess following the Hot 107.5 FM "On Deck Sunday" Moonlight Cruise.

"We were walking off the boat at about 1:15, and I'm hearing women arguing outside (on the dock)," said Keith Gillespie, 45, assistant promotions director for Radio One Detroit, which coordinated the cruise. "I heard what I thought was a firecracker then I realized it was gunfire. I'm backing up into the boat people are running; women are hollering. I saw women laying in the grass, yelling that they'd been shot.

"It was very chaotic. You can be the strongest man in the world and say you're not going to run, but the minute you hear guns going off, your mind will change."

The shooting left one man in critical condition with a back wound, and six others with minor injuries to arms, legs and feet, investigators said. Police did not identify the victims. John Chamberlain, chief executive of CJC Cruises Inc., which owns the Detroit Princess, said the incident started when two families began arguing aboard the boat.

"One woman called her boyfriend and told him to bring a gun down to the dock," Chamberlain said. "She got off the boat, got the gun from the boyfriend and started shooting at the other family as they got off the boat. She really went kind of crazy and pulled the trigger a lot of times."

Chamberlain said a member of the family being shot at retrieved a gun from a car and fired at the woman and her boyfriend as they fled the scene.

"They hit the boyfriend, and apparently, he's the one who was seriously injured," Chamberlain said. "The other six people were only slightly injured; mostly nicked. This was really an ugly incident."

Police have interviewed the wounded boyfriend and have obtained the identity of the woman who started the shooting spree, Chamberlain said. Police have neither the woman who allegedly was the original shooter, nor those who fired back, in custody.

Detroit Police Sgt. Alan Quinn said "some sort of altercation" aboard the boat culminated with a female recovering a weapon from a car and shooting wildly before fleeing.

Monday's incident isn't the first time a Detroit Princess jaunt was marred by violence. In November, the cruise line cut short a weekend outing to Ohio because of a brawl onboard between a contingent from Toledo and other passengers and staff. Passengers on that cruise were offered refunds or admission to a future dinner cruise.

Chamberlain said he takes precautions to ensure his cruises are safe. "I've been doing this for 35 years, and I've had millions of passengers on my boat," Chamberlain said. "We're just like the airlines; we check every person for weapons who comes on board. And we do our best to stop problems right away."

Chamberlain said he's already had groups cancel their cruises because of the incident.

"I feel terrible about this, but it could happen to any business," Chamberlain said. "You can take all the precautions in the world, but someone could wait outside your business and do the same thing. There were 500 passengers on that cruise; 499 good people and one bad one."

The Detroit News


Help wanted

8/8 - Central Marine Logistics has an immediate opening for a shore-based DDE in Chicago. Interested applicants should send resume and documents to


Updates -  August 8

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - New picture in the Daniel J. Morrell gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 8

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 sidewheel 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 its 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.

1941 An explosion aboard the Canadian tanker TRANSITER at River Rouge resulted in the loss of 2 lives. The ship was towed to Port Dalhousie for repairs and returned to work as b) TRANSTREAM in 1942. It was sold for off-lakes service as c) WITSUPPLY in 1969 and sank in heavy weather off Cabo de la Vela, Colombia, while apparently enroute to Cartagena, Colombia, for scrap, on February 23, 1981.

1964 ELLEN KLAUTSCHE suffered an engine failure while berthing at Toronto and rammed the docked NORDIA after just missing the tugs TERRY S. and WILLIAM LYON MACKENZIE. The West German freighter was towed to Port Weller for repairs by the GRAEME STEWART. Later, as b) VARUNA YAN, it was detained in the Shatt-Al-Arab waterway and then, on April 3, 1984, was shelled becoming a CTL.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


USS Edson tow arrives

8/7 - 8:15 a.m. update - The USS Edson tow reached the Saginaw River shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Original report - USS Edson tow continued on Lake Huron Monday and was expected reach Saginaw Bay sometime around midnight. This would put the arrival in Bay City sometime after 5 a.m.

When the ship arrives in the Saginaw River, it will temporarily moor at Wirt Stone Dock while mooring installation is completed at its permanent location near the Independence Park Boat Launch.

Wirt Stone Dock has not reported any updates regarding public access of the site to view the Edson's arrival. As of now, public access has not been granted.

The destroyer got under way from Philadelphia on Wednesday July 18. The ship's departure marked the beginning of a journey across 2,436 miles of ocean and freshwater from the East Coast to Bay City.



Deep-sea tug expected in Montreal, possibly for Leitch scrap tow

8/7 - Expected in Montreal on Sunday morning is the deep-sea tug Centaurus. There is speculation she is coming to Montreal to tow away the former Gordon C. Leitch, her name now shortened to Don.

Rene Beauchamp


Port Reports -  August 7

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Reports from Bay Shipbuilding ¬indicate the newly-repowered Kaye E. Barker is scheduled to undergo sea trials today.

Port Sanilac, Mich. - Don Wheatley
USS Edson passed Port Sanilac in tow at 10 a.m. Monday. The dredge Arthur J, being pushed the ex-Drummond Island ferry Drummond Islander, ducked into Port Sanilac harbor late on Saturday and left Monday. They are headed for Sault Ste. Marie for a rebuild of the water-logged diesels and generators.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The G-tug Ohio called on the Saginaw River early Sunday morning with two barges bound for the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville. The barges are carrying lime slurry tanks and storage silos, built by the Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
Rebecca Lynn and barge arrived Monday and were headed for the Black Rock Canal.


Marine grads know what they're getting into

8/7 - Owen Sound, Ont. – It’s pretty much guaranteed: three years studying marine navigation or engineering gets you a good job on a ship.

There’s a growing shortage of Great Lakes ship officers and power engineers. Students who graduate from Georgian College’s marine programs — usually two of every three who enter — have already worked aboard ships for months at a stretch as cadets. They know the sailing life, both the advantages and the challenges.

That co-op or cadet training program is part of a long-standing partnership between marine shipping companies and the Great Lakes International Marine Training Centre at Georgian, and just four similar marine training college programs across Canada.

“We need schools like Georgian to help us attract students into the industry,” said Greg Wight, president and CEO of Algoma Central Corporation. “They train them, we provide the co-op berths and then we provide the future employment. That’s an important partnership.”

With more than 2,000 employees, Algoma’s is the largest Canadian-flag fleet operating on the Great Lakes. The company’s 28 bulk carrier vessels and several product tankers provide co-op cadet training for as many as 100 students each year, half of them from Georgian College. About half of the officers Algoma hires have been Georgian cadets.

With strong confidence in shipping’s future and new industry optimism and anticipation surrounding eight new freighters now on order for Algoma from China, Wight lists hiring and keeping qualified sailors among shipping’s major challenges.

Georgian trains both navigation officers, whose skills get the boats from place to place, and engineers, who run the engines and mechanical aspects of the vessel. To get work as a ship’s officer in Canada now requires a college diploma. Engineers can still work their way up through the Hawse pipe, in sailor parlance, training during the off-season to eventually qualify as chief engineer. But that’s less and less common and Transport Canada is phasing out that career pathway in favour of college training, Georgian’s marine program coordinator Colin McNeil said recently.

The industry’s more pressing need is for engineers, McNeil said. But enrolling the engineering program’s target of 32 students is always difficult. Between 20 and 34 signed on in each of the last three years, despite the virtual guarantee of a well-paid job at the end of the program, and many who finish don’t end up working at sea.

Georgian engineering cadet Evgeny Zhelinskiy has watched his first-year classmates disappear from the difficult program, while vowing he’ll be back at Georgian for a second year in September. He’s one of three Georgian co-op cadets aboard Algoma Spirit this summer.

With a father as chief engineer on Algoma Discovery, Zhelinskiy “knew what I was getting into.” The Russian student, now 23, came to Canada with his family four years ago. Twenty marine engineering students started in September and just 14 finished year one, he said.

“I’m pretty sure when I get back there’s going to be around seven or eight, 10 maybe,” Zhelinskiy said, while tracing his father’s ship’s route across Lake Superior on a computer screen during his lunch break in the Algoma Spirit’s engine room. “Many people don’t know what they’re getting into and they just drop out” once they work on the ship, he said.

His job is mainly to shadow second engineer Eric Wilson, a Georgian grad, and learn every task and as much as he can about the ship. With a business diploma also under his belt, Zhelinskiy said he’s unclear how long he may sail, but sees clear opportunities in the industry.

“I’m pretty sure when you finish, you’ll be hired just like that. The day you get your ticket, next day you can go sail.”

Wilson is “one step away” from his goal of making chief engineer, he said aboard the Algoma Spirit recently. Now second engineer, he graduated from Georgian’s marine engineering program in 2002, and has worked since then for Algoma Central Marine.

Wilson’s main focus is the huge, 10,800 horsepower, six cylinder engine driving the 730 ft. bulk carrier with it’s cargo of iron ore or grain. Georgian prepared him to eventually become a chief engineer, he said, although there are studies and exams still ahead to get that licence.

“It’s like anything, when you take the program, you want to be at the top of your field,” Wilson said in the engine control room. “I like it. I get to use my brain all the time. I like working.”

In 2002, Wilson was one of eight Georgian marine engineering graduates. Three still work on ships, while their skills have found work for the others at Bruce Power or elsewhere.

“I guess they didn’t want to sail,” Wilson said. “They want to be home every night. For me, I like this. This is more hands-on for me. If something breaks, I fix it.”

Chief engineer Vatsec Janda trained in communist Poland almost 40 years ago, studying five years for a university masters degree in marine engineering. He worked for 10 years on Polish ships, then for a Singapore company. In 1999, pirates boarded his ocean freighter near Java, held a machete to his throat and robbed all the ship’s officers, taking from him about $2,000. Janda made up his mind that day to come to Canada.

Two years later he took work on B.C. tugboats, and when the U.S construction industry crashed and softwood lumber disputes disrupted B.C. tugboating, he took a job four years ago with Algoma. Janda sees great opportunities for young people aboard Great Lakes ships, but said finding people to work them is a huge challenge, despite the college programs.

“Regarding qualified crew, I think we are slowly, slowly going down,” Janda said. “It’s no secret, many don’t enter this industry. They are not interested. They go to shore power businesses or power plants and they make money right away like second engineer.”

Extra fourth engineer Mathieu Boivin Villeneuve was one of only five graduates a year ago to complete training at L’Institut maritime du Québec, among an initial class of 30. Just two now work in the shipping industry, Villeneuve said during a supper break in the galley aboard Algoma Spirit. He said the job is ideal for him, with plenty of time off.

“It’s simple. When you’re on the ship you have only to think about your job. You don’t have to cope with anything else. It’s a simple life. The job’s not that simple, but that’s the only thing you have to take care of,” he said.

Villeneuve’s first cadet assignment was on a cruise ship, where he met his future wife, a Mexican. He now lives in Cancun during the six months of the year when he’s not on board working.

At Georgian College, news of the first fleet renewal in 30 years adds program appeal, along with the “big shiny lure” of new, $7.6-million state-of-the-art marine navigation simulators installed at Georgian’s Great Lakes International Marine Training Centre in 2008, Georgian’s marine programs coordinator Colin McNeil said.

The Russian-designed bank of more than 200 computers simulates the view from the wheel house of a Great Lakes freighter, with detailed views of ports around the world on a realistic, life-sized, 360 degree display.

Now “the best simulation facilities on the planet” attract at least 36 first-year navigation students, the target for first year enrolment, McNeil said.

“It’s been able to help us raise an awareness that there is a marine industry in Canada and the Great Lakes and that there are very challenging, and highly-skilled and high-tech careers available that pay really, really well,” McNeil said.

Between 68 and 70% of the students who enter Georgian’s marine programs graduate. That’s higher than the Ontario grad rate for technology programs, McNeil said. Those who don’t complete the program either find it too difficult or get turned off once they spend time aboard a laker for up to four months as cadets, with just Sundays off, still aboard ship.

Algoma Spirit Captain Seann O’Donoughue takes particular interest in cadets on his ship. He’s a 1992 Georgian marine navigation grad who also spent his high school summers as an officer with the Toronto Brigantine tall ships sailing program, training cadets.

He sees older crew set to retire from the Great Lakes fleet, taking with them years of experience. “Especially nowadays, part of our craft has to be taking apprentices and teaching what we know,” O’Donoughue said. We’ve got a lot of people retiring and it’s a big goal of mine to get that knowledge out of those old guys before they’re gone.”

Although destined eventually for officer roles, cadets work on the deck or engine room, as well as the wheelhouse, and learn directly from the working sailors. Algoma has cadet partnerships also with marine schools in Quebec, Nova Scotia and B.C., but recruits about half the company’s cadets from Georgian College. In 2011, Algoma hired 70 cadets, 60 per cent in the engine department, 40 as deck hands.

“These are young sailors who want to be part of our industry,” Wight said. “We support them by giving them work terms and in the end, we hope they will come back and work for Algoma.”

Owen Sound Sun Times


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 7

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 in now "National Lighthouse Day".

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 1,000 footer and the flagship of the fleet for Moore McCormack Leasing, Inc. (Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio, mgr.). She was built at a cost of more than $43 million under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970. She was the third 1,000-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.

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.

1912 – A collision in heavy fog with the RENSSELAER sank the JAMES GAYLEY 43 miles east of Manitou Light, Lake Superior. The upbound coal-laden vessel was hit on the starboard side, about 65 feet from the bow, and went down in about 16 minutes. The two ships were held together long enough for the crew to cross over to RENSSELAER.

1921 – RUSSELL SAGE caught fire and burned on Lake Ontario while downbound with a load of wire. The ship sank off South Bay Point, about 30 miles west of Kingston. The crew took to the lifeboat and were saved. About 600 tons of wire were later salvaged. The hull has been found and is upright in 43 feet of water and numerous coils of wire remain on the bottom.

1958 – HURLBUT W. SMITH hit bottom off Picnic Island, near Little Current, Manitoulin Island, while outbound. The ship was inspected at Silver Bay and condemned. It was sold to Knudsen SB & DD of Superior and scrapped in 1958-1959.

1958 – The T-3 tanker GULFOIL caught fire following a collision with the S.E. GRAHAM off Newport, Rhode Island while carrying about 5 million gallons of gasoline. Both ships were a total loss and 17 lives were lost with another 36 sailors injured. The GULFOIL was rebuilt with a new mid-body and came to the Great Lakes as c) PIONEER CHALLENGER in 1961 and was renamed MIDDLETOWN in 1962 and e) AMERICAN VICTORY in 2006.

1964 – CARL LEVERS, a pre-Seaway visitor as a) HARPEFJELL and b) PRINS MAURITS, had come to the Great Lakes in 1957-1958. It had been an early Great Lakes trader for both the Fjell Line from Norway and the Dutch flag Oranje Lijn. The ship was cast adrift in a cyclone at Bombay, India, going aground on a pylon carrying electric wires off Mahul Creek and caught fire on August 24, 1964. The vessel was released and scrapped at Bombay later in the year.

1970 – ORIENT TRANSPORTER first came through the Seaway in 1966. It arrived at Beaumont, Texas, on this day in 1970, following an engine breakdown. The 1949 vintage ship was not considered worth repairing and was broken up at Darica, Turkey, in 1971.

1972 – The small Canadian tanker barge TRANSBAY, loaded with liquid asphalt and under tow of the JAMES WHALEN for Sept Iles, sank in a storm on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. There were no casualties.

1989 – CLARENVILLE, a former East Coast wooden passenger and freight carrier, came to the Great Lakes in 1981 for conversion to a floating restaurant at Owen Sound. The restaurant declared bankruptcy in May 1989 and a fire, of suspicious origin, broke out on this date. It was a long and difficult blaze to control and the ship sank. It broke apart during salvage in September 1989. The bow was clammed out in December 1989 and the stern removed in April 1990 and taken to the city dump.

1991 – FINNPOLARIS first came through the Seaway in 1985. It struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic off Greenland and sank in deep water the next day. All 17 on board were saved.

1994 – GUNDULIC came inland under Yugoslavian registry for the first time in 1971. The ship caught fire as c) PAVLINA ONE while loading at Mongla, Bangladesh, on this date and was abandoned by the crew on August 8. The blaze was extinguished August 9 but the gutted and listing freighter was beached and settled in shallow water. The hull was auctioned to a local demolition contractor in 1996 but was still listed as a hazard to navigation in 1999.

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


Port Reports -  August 6

St. Marys River
Traffic over the weekend included the tug Meredith Ashton, recently acquired by the Andrie fleet, upbound Saturday to the Carbide Dock to lay over for weather. She resumed her trip to Ashland, Wis., Sunday night. The Ashton, built in 1981, was previously named Alpha. The tanker Algosea was an unusual visitor Sunday evening, headed upbound to Thunder Bay. Strong NW winds sent H. Lee White to anchor in the lower river during the day; she was underway in the late evening after the winds subsided.

Welland Canal – Brian W.
The warships USS Dewert, USS Hurricane and Ville De Quebec arrived at the Lake Ontario entrance to the Welland Canal Sunday morning. The Ville De Quebec came in first and transited upbound through Lock 1 around 7 a.m. Dewert and Hurricane came in behind her and docked along the lower tie up wall at Wharf 2. Ville De Quebec experienced a slight mishap upbound in the reach between Locks 1 and 2. The swirling wind caught her and pushed her bow to starboard, blocking the channel the entire length of the vessel. The motor lifeboat was launched to take a spring line to shore on the west side of the canal. The crew used the bow-mounted capstan to center her, with the motor lifeboat pushing on the port bow as a tug would. Within about a half hour she was secured at the tie up wall below Lock 2. All three warships remained tied up overnight due to the windy conditions and an approaching storm front.

Oswego, N.Y. - Ned Goebricher and Richard Palmer
Algoma Progress arrived at the Oswego Port Authority east side dock Sunday to discharge 25,000 tons of rock salt from Goderich, Ont. The 730-foot self-unloader is the largest ship that has ever entered Oswego harbor, according to Port Executive Director Jonathan Daniels. Due to mechanical problems experienced in the Welland Canal Friday and Saturday, the ship was about a day late arriving at Oswego. Unloading was well underway when one of the worst lake storms of the summer hit Oswego Sunday afternoon.


USS Edson tow should reach Bay City on Tuesday

8/6 - USS Edson tow reached Detroit Sunday evening on its journey to her new home in Bay City, Mich. Bay City Boat Lines will offer a cruise celebrating the Edson’s arrival into Bay City with light lunch and cash bar for $30 per person. A donation to the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum will be made from the ticket proceeds. Tickets are on sale at Bay City Antiques Center, 1020 N. Water Street in downtown Bay City. Tickets can be purchased by cash or check payable to Bay City Boat Lines. No tickets will be sold online for this event.

The tow cleared Port Huron about 5 a.m. Monday morning and is expected to reach Bay City Tuesday morning.


Updates -  August 6

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 6

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 MC CARTHY 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.

1907 – A building fire at the Toronto Island ferry terminal spread to the ferry SHAMROCK and it was badly burned and sank. Running mate MAYFLOWER also caught fire but was pulled from the dock by TURBINIA and this blaze was extinguished. SHAMROCK, however, was a total loss and was towed to Hanlan's Point. The latter ship was replaced by the still-active TRILLIUM in 1910.

1924 – The Lake Ontario rail car ferry ONTARIO NO. 2 went aground in fog on the beach at Cobourg, Ont., but was refloated the next day.

1928 – HURONIC went aground at Lucille Island and needed hull repairs after being released.

1985 – VANDOC, enroute from Quebec to Burns Harbor, went aground in the St. Lawrence outside the channel near St. Zotique, but was released the following day.

1994 – CATHERINE DESGAGNES, outbound at Lorain, struck about 30 pleasure boats when a bridge failed to open.

2000 – ANANGEL ENDEAVOUR was in a collision with the IVAN SUSANIN in the South-West Pass and was holed in the #2 cargo hold and began listing. The ship was anchored for examination, then docked at Violet, La., and declared a total loss. It was subsequently repaired as b) BOLMAR I and was operating as c) DORSET when it arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, for scrapping on April 24, 2009. The ship first came through the Seaway in 1983

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


USS Edson tow

8/5 - 3 p.m. update - The tow reached the Detroit River Light at 3 p.m. and should reach Grassy Island about 5 p.m. and Port Huron around 3:30 a.m.

9 a.m. update - The tow reached South East Shoal in Western Lake Erie about 9 a.m. Sunday morning. At their current speed they are expected to reach Grassy Island in the Detroit River about 6 p.m. Sunday evening, the lower St. Clair River about 1 a.m. and Port Huron after 4 a.m.

Original Report - The tow reached Lake Erie Saturday morning and reportedly stopped in the Long Point Anchorage for a time. They were westbound about noon and were mid-lake off Cleveland late Saturday night making 6 knots. They are expected to reach the Detroit River Sunday afternoon. The Edson is under tow of the tug Colonel and is enroute to the Bay City where she will be on display as a museum ship. Check back for updates.


Barge heads back to lake

8/5 - Saturday afternoon the recently sunk and refloated dredge Arthur J was in tow behind the upbound Drummond Islander II passing Port Huron heading for the Soo.

Kevin Majewski


Marinette Marine gets Senate committee OK to build 2 warships

8/5 - Milwaukee, Wis. – The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved spending $1.8 billion for four new warships from shipbuilders in Marinette and Alabama. Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl says the Senate Defense Appropriations Bill for the next fiscal year contains $1.8 billion for the construction of four littoral combat ships. The committee approved the bill Thursday.

Kohl’s office says two of the ships would be built by Marinette Marine and the other two by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. The funding follows the U.S. Navy’s commitment to buy 20 of the advanced combat ships, 10 from each company.

Littoral combat ships can be used to defend ground troops and hunt submarines. They’re also designed for quick modification. For example, a ship’s anti-submarine package could be quickly swapped out for a mine-warfare package.

Green Bay Press Gazette


Great Lakes coal shipments are down

8/5 - Duluth, Minn. – Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes have gone down recently after a storm near Duluth, Minn. temporarily shut down one of the busiest energy terminals in the region.

“The shut down had a major impact,” said Glen Nekvasil, vice president of the Lake Carriers’ Association, an organization that represents American operators of multiple Great Lakes cargo ships. “The coal trade in June was 2.6 million tons, a decrease of almost 10 percent compared to May and a 13 percent decrease compared to a year ago,” The Superior Midwest Energy Terminal shut down on June 19, and did not resume loading until July 8., Nekvasil said. The nearly three-week shut down was a result of severe flooding from the storm, which damaged a lot of the loading equipment. Superior Midwest Energy is the largest energy terminal on the Great Lakes, Nekvasil said. Of the 2.6 million tons of coal traded in June, 1.2 million tons went through the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal, according to a report by the Lake Carriers’ Association. A number of other factors also contributed to this year’s decrease in coal shipments on the Great Lakes, Nekvasil said.

Ontario is moving toward banning the use of coal for power generation, Nekvasil said. “So we’ve been seeing a decrease in the coal trade as Canadians are switching to other fuel services,” he said.

Nekvasil also attributes the decrease in coal shipments to the lack of dredging Great Lakes harbors. Dredging helps maintain the depths of waterways so cargo ships can successfully pass through.Shallow passages means ships cannot be loaded as heavily. “Our largest ships are designed to carry more then 70,000 tons each trip, but the Great Lakes ports and waterways have not been dredged adequately for a number of years, and as a result they are not carrying full loads.” Nekvasil said. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers oversees dredging. The Army Corp needs about $200 million to get the Great Lakes’ ports and waterways back to where they need to be, Nekvasil said. Although the agency has sufficient money for dredging in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, Nekvasil said most of it goes elsewhere to balance the federal budget. “The problem is the government only spends about one of every two dollars they collect for dredging,” Nekvasil said. Members of the Lake Carriers’ Association are working to pass legislation that would allocate that money back to dredging. Total coal shipments on the Great Lakes have decreased every year since 2007, according to a report from the Lake Carriers’ Association. Year-to-date coal shipments for 2012 totaled 8.9 million tons. For 2011, coal shipments totaled 9.6 million tons. The association will most likely release the coal shipment report for July in mid-August.

Great Lakes Echo


Updates -  August 5

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 5

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

The RICHARD M. MARSHALL, later b.) JOSEPH S. WOOD, c.) JOHN DYKSTRA, d.) BENSON FORD, and finally e.) US265808, 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 (sidewheel 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.

1954 – A sudden blanket of fog descended on a section of the St. Lawrence near Waddington, N.Y., resulting in the two ships SELKIRK and DUNDEE losing their way and going aground. The former, a C.S.L. package freighter, was turned part way around by the current and was stuck until September 2. The latter was a British ship and was also spun by the current. The proximity of the rapids made salvage a challenge. The newly-built DUNDEE continued Great Lakes visits to the end of 1962. It foundered in the Mediterranean as g) VLYHO on September 15, 1978, following an engine room explosion.

1955 – FALCO, a pre-Seaway trader, hit a bridge at Montreal. The vessel later visited the Great Lakes as c) LABRADOR and was scrapped at Piraeus, Greece, as f) BONANZA in 1978

1972 – MANCHESTER VENTURE was built in 1956 and was a regular Great Lakes trader from 1956 to 1961. An explosion in the cargo hold as c) BAT TIRAN on this date in 1972 resulted in a major fire. The damaged hull was refloated in September and scrapped in Turkey in 1973.

1980 – The Liberian freighter BERTIE MICHAELS had been a Seaway trader in 1971 and had returned as the Greek flag c) DIMITRIS A. in 1976. It departed Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on August 4, 1980, for Belize City and reported her position on August 5. The vessel was never heard from again and was believed to have been a victim of Hurricane Allen that was in the area at the time. All 27 on board were lost.

1994 – The recently completed French freighter PENHIR began Great Lakes trading in 1971 and returned as b) MENHIR under Liberian registry in 1979. It arrived off Tolognaro, Madagascar, on this date in 1994 with hull cracks as d) WELLBORN and abandoned as a total loss.

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


Port Reports -  August 4

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic for Friday morning included John G. Munson departing light after unloading stone overnight at the Reiss Inland dock and Kaministiqua loading at Midwest Energy Terminal with coal destined for Quebec. Several vessels were expected later in the day, including Algoma Transport for CN ore dock, Philip R. Clarke to unload stone and then load at CN ore dock, Indiana Harbor and CSL Laurentian to load at Midwest Energy Terminal, and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. to load at BNSF ore dock.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
On Friday at the harbors in Marquette, Herbert C. Jackson loaded ore at the Upper Harbor in the morning, and H. Lee White arrived at sunset to unload western coal from Superior at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Work continues on the tug Beverly Anderson and barge Mary Turner, which arrived on the lakes in April and entered Bayship for fitout for Grand River Navigation. Thursday the barge was on the dry dock sporting the fleet’s familiar gray paint scheme, with the name Ashtabula on the bow. The tug is expected to be renamed Defiance.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Friday afternoon the Manitowoc backed into Lafarge stern first, and tied up at the dock. It unloaded coal throughout the day and departed around 7 p.m. Also in port on Friday was the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation. It was loading cement under the silos at Lafarge. The G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity is expected in on Saturday evening.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder called on the Saginaw River on Friday, traveling up to the Bay Aggregates Dock to unload. The pair completed their unload and were outbound for the lake later in the afternoon.

For the month of July, there were 19 commercial vessel passages on the Saginaw River. This is up by three, from the sixteen recorded in July of last year. For the season to date, there have been 70 vessel passages, also up for the same period last year by eighteen passages.


Great Lakes Shipyard, Great Lakes Towing complete Pittsburgh tank contract

8/4 - Cleveland, Ohio – Pittsburgh Tank Corporation of Monongahela, Pa., awarded the Great Lakes Shipyard a contract in May 2012 to construct multiple lime slurry tanks and storage silos. The project was completed by the shipyard in late July.

The Great Lakes Towing Company was then awarded a towing contract by Pittsburgh Tank Corporation to transport the constructed tanks to a project location in Essexville, Michigan. The towing company’s tug Ohio is currently underway transporting the tanks by barges from Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland, Ohio to Essexville.


Coast Guard to support War of 1812 Bicentennial events in Milwaukee

8/4 - Milwaukee, Wis. - The U.S. Coast Guard is scheduled to participate in events to celebrate the commemoration of the War of 1812 at various venues in Milwaukee Aug. 8-12, as well as in other cities across the Great Lakes region, through August and September.

The Milwaukee commemoration will include performances by War of 1812 reenactors in the Coast Guard Historic Ship’s Company, performances by the Coast Guard’s silent drill team, tours aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay, and special events recognizing the Coast Guard, America’s premier maritime first responder for more than 200 years.

Some events will feature the Coast Guard's 1812 Historic Ship's Company reenactors delivering performances in uniforms exactly like those worn in the early 19th century.

U.S. Navy crews aboard the USS De Wert and USS Hurricane are also scheduled to transit the Great Lakes to take part in bicentennial commemoration events as well.


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 4

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 ringleaders, 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 boatwatchers entered service on August 4 – WILLIAM CLAY FORD on August 4, 1953, and EDWARD L. RYERSON 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, Ont., where she was dismantled.

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, 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, POINTE NOIRE was released on August 6. She was reloaded in Hay Lake and continued her downbound 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 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.

1985 – REGENT TAMPOPO, enroute from Japan to the Great Lakes with steel, was heavily damaged in the Pacific after a collision with the MING UNIVERSE. The vessel, which first came through the Seaway in 1982, was towed to Los Angeles but declared a total loss. It recrossed the Pacific under tow in 1986 and arrived at Hong Kong for scrapping on October 26, 1986.

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


Grounded Buffalo released Thursday morning

8/3 - Port Huron, Mich. – At 11:15 a.m. Thursday, the grounded motor vessel Buffalo was pulled free with assistance from the tugs Idaho and Wyoming. The downbound ship ran aground Wednesday about 9 p.m. in the Lake Huron cut below Buoys 1 & 2.

There was no damage reported to the Buffalo, and it is unknown what caused the grounding. The incident remains under investigation by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and U.S. Coast Guard.

From initial observations, the vessel appeared to have lost control, with the stern swinging around to the west and her bow facing east about 400 feet off the Canadian shore. The Coast Guard advised the Buffalo not to maneuver due to a 10- to 15-foot list on the port side of the vessel.

The Buffalo was carrying iron ore pellets bound for Cleveland, There were no reports of injuries, pollution or flooding.

Thursday morning, tug crews waited until the Atlantic Huron passed, hoping the wake from the passage would help free the vessel. After she was freed by tugs, Buffalo passed upbound and underwent testing above Lights 11 & 12 in Lake Huron. The vessel made a number of stops followed by backing up before resuming the forward motion.

At 1 p.m. the Buffalo had completed testing and returned downbound, escorted by the tug Wyoming, which had stopped to wait for her at the Bean Dock in Port Huron. They continued to Detroit, where they underwent a U.S. Coast Guard inspection in the Belle Isle Anchorage. They cleared Detroit Thursday night downbound for Celveland.

Shipping traffic was not disrupted.


Plan to come soon for Canadian Miner removal

8/3 - Halifax, N.S. – The Nova Scotia government says it expects a revised work plan within the next couple of days for the dismantling of a ship that ran aground off Cape Breton more than 10 months ago. The Canadian Miner ran aground off Cape Breton on Sept. 20, 2011, while being towed to a scrapyard in Turkey. Since then, the 230-metre bulk carrier has been sitting on Scatarie Island where it is becoming increasingly damaged by rough waters.

New York-based Bennington Group was hired to remove the derelict ship, which was supposed to start in July and be completed before the traditional onset of hurricane season in September. Energy Minister Charlie Parker says he expects the Bennington Group to provide a revised plan on how it intends to remove the ship within the next two days. A lawyer representing the Bennington Group did not return messages seeking comment.

Canadian Press


Port Reports -  August 3

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons came in about 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon with a load for Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg.

Kingston, Ont. - Ron Walsh
Two of the Big grain barges have been tied up at the Richardson Wharf in Kingston. The Big 549 and another Big barge were there at 8 a.m. Thursday morning.

USS Edson tow
The tow is expected to reach Lock 1 of the Welland Canal Friday about 4 p.m.


Drought slows grain movement through Seaway

8/3 - There isn't much grain moving through the St. Lawrence Seaway system these days, and that could be a sign of things to come. That's because severe drought in the Midwest has hit farmers hard, resulting in Seaway grain shipments being down for the third straight month.

"The period of recovery could be over," said the Seaway's Sal Pisani. "Now, you basically have to brace for the best that you can come up with and hopefully the bottom line isn't as bad as they think it could be."

But, Seaway officials say, there has been a modest increase in ship traffic and cargo passing through the Massena locks this summer. Bolstered by wind turbine shipments like the ones to the Port of Ogdensburg, overall cargo shipments are up slightly over this same period last year.

"There's a lot of discussion going on with all the ports for handling wind turbines," Pisani said. "This is the wave of the future."

Seaway officials are also keeping a close eye on low water levels on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, which can increase the risk of a ship grounding. "They're low, okay, and adjustments have been made," Pisani said. Seaway officials say low water levels haven't reached the critical stage.

When water levels get too low, they say, ships can't carry as much cargo and that ends up costing the shipping industry millions of dollars in lost profits.

TV 7 News


Coast Guard ships open for tours during the Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven

8/3 - Grand Haven, Mich. – Coast Guard personnel gave civilians a rare look inside American and Canadian Coast Guard vessels during guided tours Tuesday at the Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven. The three ships, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay and Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon, were open from 6 to 8 p.m.

Tour attendees were shown aspects of the ships ranging from navigation equipment to kitchen set-ups. Electrician's Mate Petty Officer Third Class Dylan Gill led part of an evening tour aboard the Neah Bay, showing festival-goers the inner workings of engineer control room of the multipurpose ship.

More tours will be given from 10 a.m. to noon, 1 to 3 p.m., and 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The tours are free, but children must be accompanied by adults at all times.



Navy ships depart for Great Lakes deployment

8/3 - HMCS Ville de Québec is currently on a 10-week tour of 14 Canadian and American cities as part of the Great Lakes Deployment and to commemorate the War of 1812. The ship, which departed Halifax, N.S., on July 23, will travel along the St. Lawrence Seaway and into the Great Lakes, stopping at various ports along the way.

HMC ships Moncton and Summerside will also participate in the tour later on. From the United States, Navy ships USS Hurricane and USS De Wert will sail alongside the HMC ships through designated locations. The purpose of the tour is to inform people about the role of Canada’s navy, which includes safeguarding Canadian waters and contributing to worldwide peace and security.

“This deployment allows our sailors to interact with Canadians who are not regularly exposed to the Royal Canadian Navy, and I know that the public will be extremely proud and impressed by the dedication and professionalism of our people,” Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison, Commander Royal Canadian Navy, said in a release.

This year marks the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812, which allows Canada to “celebrate 200 years of peace and prosperity between our nation and our closest ally, the United States of America,” Defense Minister Peter MacKay said in the release.

“The events of that historic conflict so long ago serve to remind us all that the link between sea power and our nation’s security and prosperity is as relevant today than ever before.”

The Ville de Québec has already visited Québec City and Montréal. It will carry on to Milwaukee, Thunder Bay, Toledo, Toronto, Windsor, Buffalo, Hamilton, Oshawa, Cornwall, Trois-Rivières, Sept-Îles, and finally, back to Halifax.

The Moncton and Summerside will visit Chicago and Cleveland.

The Epoch Times


Take a peek inside Great Lakes cruise ship Yorktown

8/3 - Duluth, Min. – For the first time, the U.S.-flagged cruise ship M/V Yorktown arrived in Duluth early Wednesday. After a hectic day of saying goodbye to one group of passengers, cleaning and restocking the ship, and greeting a second group of passengers, the ship left for an 11-day educational cruise to Detroit. The passengers will pay about $5,000 to $9,000 for the voyage.

Amidst preparations for departure, cruise director Temu Nana showed a group of visitors some of what passengers will receive in exchange.

The tour started on the ship’s lounge deck, named for the deck’s observation lounge, near the bow. Windows on three sides give passengers settled in comfortable chairs clear views of passing scenery. A bar takes up a back corner; a piano sits in a prominent place in the front.

The room is a center for much of the shipboard activity. Travel Dynamics International, the ship’s owner/operator, specializes in education cruises, and the lounge is the site of programs on the history, geology, biology and culture of the area the ship is cruising. It is where, as Nana put it, passengers can learn about the War of 1812 from a world expert while sipping drinks.

Built in 1988 specifically for coastal cruising, the 2,354-ton Yorktown is 257 feet long, 43 feet wide, and draws only 9 feet of water. “We can get into really small ports,” Nana said.

Destinations along the ship’s cruise from Detroit to Duluth included Mackinac Island, Whitefish Point, Houghton and the Apostle Islands. Where there are no docks it can reach, the Yorktown is equipped to transfer its passengers to shore via small boats, boarding them from a boat platform at the stern.

The ship can carry 138 passengers in 69 cabins on four decks — the main, located near the waterline; the lounge above that; the promenade above that; and the sun deck on top.

The main deck is home to a second center of shipboard activity — the dining room. As wide as the ship, the room’s two exterior walls are as much glass as steel, again providing excellent views of passing scenery or sunsets.

For people who need to feel the sea or lake breeze, the ship has exterior seating on three levels. The promenade deck is named for the wooden walkway wrapping all the way around the ship – “15 times around for a mile,” Nana said.

This fall, the Yorktown will leave the Great Lakes for cruises in New England, on Chesapeake Bay, Central America and from New Orleans. But Travel Dynamics is planning additional Great Lakes cruises between June and September next year.

“The Great Lakes are an amazing area undiscovered in many ways,” Nana said.


Duluth New Tribune


USS Edson to receive cannon salute from Detroit's Historic Fort Wayne

8/3 - Detroit, Mich. - Thomas Berlucchi doesn't want the crew towing the USS Edson to be alarmed when they hear the cannon fire as they cruise by Historic Fort Wayne on the Detroit River.

"They aren’t being shot at, and it's not an attack," said Berlucchi, chairman of the Historic Fort Wayne Coalition. "It is a salute when they hear the cannon fire."

Historic Fort Wayne is honoring the retired Navy destroyer making its way to Bay City by flying the Navy's flag and firing a salute from a Civil War-era cannon as the ship passes. The fort will play "Anchors Aweigh,” the fight song of the U.S. Naval Academy, from its public address system.

Berlucchi said that it was customary to fire a salute to naval ships that sailed by the fort when it was an active Army base, from 1851 to 1971.

"Today, Historic Fort Wayne is a decommissioned fort and the USS Edson is decommissioned destroyer. We will fire a salute no matter what time she passes," Berlucchi said. "We are going to do it up and do it right."

The ship's current estimated time of arrival in Bay City is noon Monday, which means it could pass by Historic Fort Wayne during the night.

The USS Edson left Montreal Wednesday morning and crossed through Canadian and U.S. locks along the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The destroyer got under way from Philadelphia on Wednesday July 18. The ship's departure marked the beginning of a journey across 2,436 miles of ocean and freshwater from the East Coast to Bay City.

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

Berlucchi, a Navy veteran, served from 1979 through 1983 aboard two Forrest Sherman Class destroyers — sister ships of the USS Edson.

"As a former tin-can soldier, seeing the Edson go by will bring back a lot of memories," Berlucchi said. "It will be a pleasure to watch the USS Edson sail by so I can show her to my family as the kind of ship I sailed on for almost two years on the Pacific Ocean."

The destroyers that Berlucchi served on were active at the same time as the Edson: USS Morton DD-948 and USS Richard S. Edwards DD-950, out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The USS Edson, hull number DD-946, is another of the 18 Forrest Sherman Class destroyers.

"I will have many members of my organization along with the public who will sit along the shoreline and enjoy the sight of Bay City's new museum go by," Berlucchi said. "We would be honored if after we fire the cannon, they blow their ship's horn to us."

The fort's planned salute to the Edson is the only known military ceremony the ship can expect to see. The honors are expected around Sunday, depending on the speed of the destroyer during its voyage. Berlucchi said that it will get easier to plan on a time once the Edson gets to Lake Erie.

Historic Fort Wayne is located one mile south of the Ambassador Bridge on the Detroit River. It was built in 1851, and was used as an active army base for more than a century.

As Detroit's third fort, it served as an infantry training station, was the primary procurement location for vehicles and weapons manufactured in Detroit during both World Wars and housed prisoners of war from Italy during World War II.



Amherstburg Boots to Roots festival - August 3 - 5

8/3 - Step back in time as Amherstburg transforms into an 1812 setting with a modern twist. Military Heritage Days, Contemporary Concerts, First Nations presentations, Genealogy & Ancestry, Children’s Pavilion, Period costumed re enactors on every corner. Catch a glimpse of Chief Tecumseh, General Brock or a one of the gallant women who cooked up a storm for the soldiers on an open hearth. St. Lawrence II - Tall Ship program Sponsored by the Windsor Star. Free Public Tours Open until 5 p.m. at Kings Navy Yard Park.


Updates -  August 3

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 3

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.

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.

On 3 August 1915, ALEXANDRIA (wooden sidewheel passenger/package freight, 174 foot 863 gross tons, built in 1866, at Hull, Quebec, formerly a.) CONSORT, was carrying foodstuffs 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. GARDEN CITY was caught in the same storm as ALEXANDRIA. This ship sustained smashed windows and a hole in the hull but was able to reach safety

1920 – The wooden steamer MAPLEGROVE sank in the Welland Canal. The vessel was salvaged and sold for further service as JED. It had been built at Marine City in 1889 as CHEROKEE.

1927 – The bulk canaller CASCO of the Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation Co. went aground at Pipe Island in the lower St. Marys River and required lightering before floating free and proceeding for repairs.

1962 – MEDINA PRINCESS, a former “Empire ship,” first came to the Great Lakes under British registry in 1959. It made 5 trips through the Seaway but went aground on a reef near Djibouti while enroute from Bremen, Germany, to China. The hull was refloated August 31 but was laid up at Djibouti. It remained idle until breaking loose and going aground on September 4, 1964. The hull was a total loss and, at last report, the wreck was partially submerged.

1978 – The French freighter JEAN L.D. made 37 trips to the Great Lakes from 1959 to 1967. It was sailing as c) CAVO STARAS when the engine room become flooded during a voyage from Port Harcourt, Nigeria, to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the overnight hours of August 3-4, 1978. The vessel was towed to Dakar, Sierra Leone, on August 14 and sold to Spanish shipbreakers, via auction, on May 8, 1979. It arrived at Barcelona, under tow, on June 18, 1978, and scrapping began July 5 of that year.

2010 – SIDSEL KNUTSEN lost power due to a fire in the engine room and went aground off St. Clair, Mich. It remained stuck until August 9 and was then refloated and cleared to proceed to Montreal. It was operating in Canadian service at the time under a special waiver.

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


Buffalo refloated

8/2 - Point Edward - 1 p.m. update - At 11:15 a.m. the Buffalo was pulled free with assistance from the tugs Idaho and Wyoming. They waited until the Atlantic Huron passed hoping the wake from the passage would help free the vessel.  Buffalo passed upbound and underwent testing above Lights 11 & 12 in Lake Huron. The vessel made a number of stops followed by backing up before resuming the forward motion. At 1 p.m. the Buffalo had completed testing and returned downbound, she was escorted by the tug Wyoming who had stopped to wait for her at the Bean Dock in Port Huron. They will continue to Detroit where the vessel will undergo a U.S. Coast Guard inspection, likely in the Belle Isle Anchorage.

There was no damage reported to the Buffalo, it is unknown what caused the vessel to ground. The incident remains under investigation by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and U.S. Coast Guard.

8 a.m. update - The U.S. Coast Guard is assisting Thursday morning with the response to Buffalo that ran aground Wednesday night on the Canadian side of southern Lake Huron, about 400 feet from shore.

The Buffalo is carrying iron ore pellets, and there have been no reports of injuries, pollution or flooding.

Coast Guard Sector Detroit received a report from the Buffalo's captain at 10 p.m. stating the vessel ran aground while transiting south to Cleveland.

A rescue boatcrew from Station Port Huron, Mich., launched aboard a 41-foot Utility Boat. Sector Detroit began broadcasting a safety marine information broadcast over VHF-FM marine radio, alerting mariners to the hazard, and will continue to do so until the vessel is moved.

The Coast Guard advised the Buffalo not to maneuver due to a 10- to 15-foot list on the port side of the vessel.

A refloat plan must be approved through Transport Canada and the Coast Guard before attempts are made to move the vessel.

Shipping lanes have not been disrupted.

The cause of the grounding is under investigation, and inspectors from the Coast Guard and Transport Canada are working with the captain of the freight ship to establish a refloat plan.

Original Report - Wednesday night about 9 p.m. the Buffalo was downbound in the Lake Huron cut below Buoys 1 & 2. She appears to have lost control, the stern swung around to the west, her bow facing east about 400 feet off the Canadian shore. The vessel is reported aground, on AIS her stern appears to be in deep water just inside the channel while the bow looks to be in 25-feet of water. Pictures on scene show the vessel listing to the port side.

The Buffalo's position is not delaying traffic, the Herbert C. Jackson passed upbound shortly after mid night.

Pictures in today's News Gallery

Marc Dease


Port Reports -  August 2

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Wednesday morning included Paul R. Tregurtha backing up St. Louis Bay to dock at Midwest Energy Terminal. American Integrity departed overnight after loading iron ore pellets at CN ore dock. Passenger ship Yorktown was docked for the day at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Edwin H. Gott was expected to arrive during the day for BNSF ore dock.

USS Edson tow
The tow is expected to reach the Eisenhower Lock around 5 a.m. this morning. They are expected at the Welland Canal early on Friday.


Lakers sailing into uncharted waters

8/2 - Owen Sound, Ont. – With some $300 million invested in six new Chinese-built cargo ships, the head of Canada’s largest Great Lakes shipping company sees opportunity ahead. But Algoma Central Corporation CEO Greg Wight also predicts challenges and isn’t expecting enormous industry growth.

“We have a strong belief in the future of the industry, although it’s not the same industry it used to be,” Wight said recently. “It’s a mature industry. The cargoes are for the most part cargoes that have been around for a long time.”

Great Lakes shippers have already adjusted to losing some business transporting coal as Ontario shifts to other sources of energy. Stricter ballast water regulations loom and it’s unclear, Wight said recently, if the end of the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly means more or less opportunity for Algoma as that business landscape shifts to accommodate new players.

Grain and iron ore are stable cargoes, as are salt, potash, aggregates and petroleum products. As long as the North American economy remains relatively stable, so will the shipping business, Wight said. But “exponential growth” is unlikely. “We have a core business that we believe will be there for the long term and we’ve invested against that,” he said.

Much has changed in the shipping industry in a few short years.

Not long ago, a 25% federal duty in place for 30 years made buying new ships from abroad too expensive. At the same time, there was no place in Canada equipped to build the modern cargo vessels the industry required to replace aging fleets.

“We couldn’t get them built in Canada, yet the 25% tax made the economics not work,” Wight said. “The tax was hindering our ability to continue as an industry.” Lobbying finally convinced the federal government to lift the duty last fall. Knowing that was coming, and with new designs ready, Algoma was the first to order new ships, followed by Canada Steamship Lines.

The first two of Algoma’s six new identical Equinox-class vessels are expected to arrive in Panama from China later this year and be working on the Great Lakes early in the 2013 shipping season. Algoma will also operate and manage two vessels on order for the Canadian Wheat Board.

With that news, there’s new optimism among people who work on the Great Lakes, the captain and some crew aboard Algoma Spirit said recently. The company has posted job notices for crews to bring the new ships from China two at a time as they are completed between now and 2014, and for crews to bring them from Panama to the lakes.

Algoma Spirit Capt. Seann O’Donoughue, of Owen Sound, who two years ago brought his ship from Mexico after a major refit in China, hopes to eventually be among those to captain an Equinox vessel. Instead of refitting older vessels for the Great Lakes, Algoma’s new vessels will meet the strictest emission requirements, will be cost-efficient and will last a long time, O’Donoughue said. With all ships identical, maintenance and repairs will be easier, he added.

The new ships are “long overdue,” said Clifford Taylor, first mate on the Algoma Spirit. “All of our ships are getting pretty ripe.” Taylor, in charge of the Algoma Spirit’s cargo operations, said the shipping industry is stable and growth is likely to be slow and tied to the economy.

“I could see this industry going on for years, but it’s not going to get much Amherstburg Boots to Roots festival - August 3, 4, & 5s going to be demand for ships and their cargoes, but I can’t see it getting bigger,” Taylor said. But the new vessels are good news for an industry plagued with chronic staffing shortages, he said. “There’s going to be jobs, definitely.”

Inevitably, the new vessels mean retiring some of Algoma’s fleet of close to 30 ships, 19 of them bulk carriers, Wight said.

O’Donoughue, Wight and Colin McNeil, who co-ordinates the Georgian College marine programs, all said news of the new vessels is helping the industry face its biggest challenge — finding and retaining an able workforce on the ships. More than half of Algoma’s employees aboard the Great Lakes fleet will retire within 10 years.

Wight said the advanced technology and new designs of the Equinox ships now make a career on the lakes more appealing.

“It’s a 30-year-old, aging fleet that needs a lot of maintenance and that’s certainly not been that attractive to a young person,” agreed McNeil.

“Now we can say we’ve got the best technology for training and you’re going to go on the most high-tech vessels on earth and you’re going to spend the rest of your career working on nice, high-tech, Canadian-flagged, Canadian-owned vessels,” he said.

Adding new ships is among changes that have made Algoma Central Corporation “a much different company than it was 18 months ago,” Wight told shareholders in his annual report in April. Algoma acquired assets from Upper Lakes Shipping, its former partner, in April, adding to its fleet 11 vessels, five owned in partnership and one Equinox class vessel, all rebranded with the Algoma name. In addition to Algoma’s $300 million investment in the new Chinese-built ships, Wight said the company has also spent $100 million recently for two product tankers, Algonova and AlgoCanada, and another $100 million for a complete refit of the Algobay and to purchase Algoma Mariner, the first completely new Canadian flagged dry bulk cargo vessel to join the Great Lakes fleet in more than 25 years.

“It’s a very exciting time,” Wight said recently.

Sun Times, Owen Sound


New technology improves ship safety on Seaway

8/2 - Washington, D.C. - The St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. (SLSDC) has unveiled an innovative technology that will enhance safety on the St. Lawrence Seaway by giving mariners real-time information on current and projected distances between a vessel’s keel and river bottoms.

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

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

Given its cutting-edge technology, use of the DIS is optional. However, ships with DIS can travel the Seaway more safely with more cargo, at a draft of up to three inches more than the published maximum. Depending on the commodity carried, an additional three inches of draft could mean transporting as much as 360 additional metric tons per voyage. This new technology will benefit Seaway users and corporations along the waterway by improving productivity and competitiveness.

The Seaway has long required a minimum safety margin between the ship’s keel and river bottom, or “underkeel clearance,” that vessels must maintain while transiting the waterway.


Trip auction rare chance

8/2 - Lower Lakes Towing has donated a trip for two on the motor vessel Saginaw, with proceeds go to support the Port Colborne Historical & Marine Museum. The auction ends at 5 p.m. August 6. Details are posted at


Updates -  August 2

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 2

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 staterooms 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 watertight 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.

1909 – GLENELLAH of Inland Navigation struck the east breakwall at Port Colborne, damaging both the ship and the structure. The vessel joined Canada Steamship Lines in 1913 becoming b) CALGARIAN (ii) in 1926. It was broken up at Hamilton in 1960.

1915 – KENORA went aground off Flat Point, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, enroute from Montreal to Sydney. The C.S.L. canal ship was operating on saltwater due to the demands of World War One and was soon refloated.

1931 – The RAPIDS KING took out the gates of Lock 2 of the St. Lawrence Canal at Montreal and SASKATOON was one of 7 ships left on the bottom of the channel.

1967 – The West German freighter JOHANN SCHULTE and the new Canadian self-unloader CANADIAN CENTURY brushed each other in the Welland Canal near Thorold. The former hit the bank and was holed but made it to the tie-up wall before settling on the bottom. The ship was travelling from Duluth-Superior to Poland with wheat. The 4-year old vessel was refloated August 5 and went to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs. It was scrapped in China as d) SINGAPORE CAR in 1984-1985.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw rescues three, salvages vessel from Whitefish Bay

8/1 - Cleveland, Ohio – The U.S. Coast Guard rescued three people who were aboard a disabled and adrift boat in Whitefish Bay, Mich., Monday afternoon. The names of the boaters are not being released.

At about 3 p.m., the crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw received a report of a disabled and adrift boat in the vicinity of Rivermouth Campground. The Mackinaw, a 240-foot heavy ice-breaking cutter homeported in Cheboygan, Mich., launched a rescue crew aboard the cutter's deployable small boat to get on scene faster. The people aboard the disabled boat waved down the rescue crew as they approached.

The boaters were about two hours from their launching position, in the vicinity of Tahquamenon River, Mich. The cutter’s small boat started towing the disabled boat back to its original launching point, but was unable to get all the way to the docks due to shallow water.

As the rescue was taking place, a storm quickly approached, and the crew of the Mackinaw did not believe the boaters could make it to shore due to the shallow water and dead battery aboard the boat. The rescue crew brought the three people aboard Mackinaw and decided to use the cutter’s crane to lift the disabled boat onto the cutter’s deck.

Once aboard the Mackinaw, the cutter’s corpsman checked out the rescued people and found them to be in good health and good spirits. The crew of the Mackinaw also provided dinner and warmer clothing for the individuals. The individuals were safely dropped off at the southwest pier of the Soo Locks at 10:30 p.m. Monday and the boaters returned Tuesday morning with a boat trailer and the Mackinaw's crew lowered the boat down to it at 9 a.m.

It is Coast Guard policy to defer non-emergency assists to commercial companies, so as to not take work away from local businesses. However, due to the unfavorable weather conditions approaching, and the difficulty for surface craft to reach the vessel in the shallow water, the crew decided it would be best to remove the boat on the spot.

“With no time to call in a commercial assist company, the captain and crew of the Mackinaw exhibited tremendous on-scene initiative,” said Capt. Darryl Verfaillie, chief of the 9th Coast Guard District Prevention Division, which has oversight over all Great Lakes Coast Guard cutters.

“If they had left the vessel, it could have become a hazard to navigation or a potential source of pollution.”


U.S.S. Edson tow to depart for lakes today

8/1 - The Edson tow is to leave Montreal early on Wednesday morning for the Seaway and her final destination of Bay City, Mich.

Rene Beauchamp


Port Reports -  August 1

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Interlake's Herbert C. Jackson loaded at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock Monday and was underway for Detroit at mid-evening.


Badger finds ‘nice market’ transporting wind tower components

8/1 - Ludington, Mich. – The 410-foot S.S. Badger has been shipping wind tower parts across Lake Michigan for most of the 2012 sailing season, according to Pat McCarthy, vice president of shore operations for Lake Michigan Carferry.

Although the carferry has not brought across parts for the Lake Winds Energy Park, it has shipped turbine parks headed for Ontario, Canada and the Harbor Beach project in Michigan’s Thumb region.

“This has been a nice market for us,” Pat McCarthy, vice president of shore operations for Lake Michigan Carferry, said.

Wind turbine parts are expected to continue to be shipped across Lake Michigan via the S.S. Badger into September and possibility the last couple of weeks of the 2012 sailing season, McCarthy added.

Ludington Daily News


Manistee harbor dredging complete, U.S. Corps of Engineers reports

8/1 - Manistee, Mich. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, has completed dredging of Manistee Harbor in west Michigan, a deep draft harbor that used for transport of such commodities as coal, sand and salt.

In April a vessel ran aground in the harbor entrance due to the presence of up to six feet of shoaling within a portion of the federal navigation channel. Completion of this dredging will now allow cargo-carrying vessels to safely enter the harbor.

MCM Marine of Sault Ste. Marie dredged 72,698 cubic yards from the harbor, placing the dredged materials near the shoreline just south of the harbor. Dredging began June 24 and concluded on July 12. The total project cost was $406,753.

“We are pleased to complete the dredging of Manistee Harbor as part of our oversight of the Great Lakes Navigation System,” said Lt. Col. Robert Ells, district engineer. “Keeping the shipping channels open helps protect local jobs and permits transport of products in the most economical and environmentally friendly manner.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, maintains a navigation system that includes 95 harbors and the Great Lakes Connecting Channels that join lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie.

Ludington Daily News


Recovery starts on Lake Superior mystery barrels

8/1 - Duluth, Minn. – An ambitious effort to raise 70 Department of Defense barrels dumped into Lake Superior 50 years ago got under way Monday.

Almost 1,500 of the 55-gallon drums were unloaded in three sites a couple of miles east of Duluth from 1958 to 1962, which is about two miles from Duluth’s water intake between the Lester and Knife rivers in Lake Superior.

For years there has been a debate about what’s actually in the barrels. Federal officials say they contain concrete and scrap munitions parts that pose no danger to people or the environment. But environmental and American Indian activists believe the barrels might contain toxic, radioactive materials.

In an April interview, project manager Jennifer Thiemann of EMR in Duluth, which is overseeing the project, said her company has two big challenges in raising the barrels. First, they’re dealing with potentially explosive material.

“We’ll have a team of munitions experts on the barge, and we have explosive site plans to help with the handling of that,” she said. “It includes keeping all nonessential personnel off the barge when munitions are potentially present.”

In addition to dealing with potentially explosive materials, recovery workers will face the challenge of raising rusted steel drums without having them disintegrate.

“Before we touch any barrels, we’ll be getting a visual confirmation through the remote-operated vehicle, which is like an underwater robot,” Thiemann said. “That’ll have a camera on it, and it’ll be operated from the barge. If the barrel is showing any signs of degradation, which could be holes or rust that could compromise the integrity of the barrel, we’ll have a set of tools on board that can be deployed to help gather that barrel up.”

The U.S. Coast Guard established a safety zone around the tug Champion/barge Kokosing. The zone went into effect Monday and will be enforced until recovery operations are completed. While it is in effect, boaters are not to come within 700 feet of the Champion/Kokosing.

The Coast Guard established the exclusion zone for two reasons, Lt. Judson Coleman, chief of waterways management at the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Unit Duluth.

“In the event they recover something that is a threat of any kind, we want to make sure there is a protected area around them,” he said. “And two, so they can continue the progress of the project we don’t want any curious people to get too close.”

The Coast Guard occasionally will patrol the area.

In addition to publishing the order in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard is notifying boaters of the exclusion zone via announcements on marine-band radio. Boaters who do not know of the safety zone and enter it will be notified of the requirement to stay at least 700 feet away, Coleman said.

“If they were to continue to enter (the zone) they could be subject to penalties,” Coleman said. “If anything, you might have a few curious people out there and once they were notified of what is happening they will clear out of there.”

According to the Federal Register, the Champion/Kokosing will operate approximately between Stoney Point and Brighton Beach. “They are looking to operate for 15 days, but it is weather dependent” and could take longer, Coleman said.

In 2006, Red Cliff went through U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Honeywell Munitions records and said chemicals ranging from PCBs to mercury, lead or even uranium could be in the barrels. Government efforts to find and open several barrels in the 1990s found parts from grenade-like cluster bombs, scrap metal, ash, concrete and garbage. Water inside some of the eight barrels that were recovered contained levels of several hazardous substances such as PCBs that officials said probably leached off the metals and ash.

Red Cliff tribal officials say they won’t comment on the barrel recovery project until it’s finished, which is expected in about two weeks, depending on the weather.

The Department of Defense is paying the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa about $2.2 million to recover the barrels as part of a federal program to clean up dump sites near or on reservation lands.

Duluth News Tribune


Crisp Point fundraising campaign seeks to restore lighthouse’s light

8/1 - Crisp Point Light to return. That’s the theme of a new campaign from the Crisp Point Lighthouse Historical Society (CPLHS) as it embarks on a fundraising campaign to once again assist boat traffic along the far reaches of Lake Superior.

“A lighthouse without a light in it is just a lighthouse,” said President Rick Brockway of CPLHS. “This has been one of our goals for a long, long time.”

Figuring they will need approximately $4,000 to restore the light, Brockway and company have already raised approximately 25 percent of the needed funds since the project was approved in June.

“The plan is to put it in the spring of 2013,” said Brockway. “On May 1, we’re hoping to flip the switch.” While there is no electricity at the isolated outpost, Brockway said there is plenty of sunlight to fuel the L.E.D. light through a solar power system.

“The guy told me if we had no charging from the sun, the battery would run the light for 39 days,” said Brockway after his consultation with the experts.

Calling it a private aid to navigation, Brockway explained the device will flash 10 blinks per minute, providing 360 degrees of light visible for 5-7 miles. He added the original plans called for a more powerful light, but the U.S. Coast Guard requested the limited range to ensure that shipping traffic on Lake Superior did not mistake the beacon for the Whitefish Point Lighthouse.

Upon activation, the light will be operational from May 1 to Nov. 1 each year, according to Brockway, with a daylight sensor designed to shut the system down when the sun is up to conserve battery power.

Donations are currently being accepted for the project, and anyone giving $20 or more will have their names engraved on a plaque at the Crisp Point Lighthouse.

The Crisp Point Lighthouse became operational on May 5, 1904 and ended its service as an aid to navigation on Nov. 8, 1992, according to the Crisp Point Lighthouse Historical Society.

For more information or to make a donation, visit the organization’s Website at

Sault Ste. Marie Evening News


Updates -  August 1

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Today in Great Lakes History -  August 1

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 L’ERABLE NO 1 entered service. Renamed b.) HUBERT GAUCHER in 1982. Sold foreign in 1996, renamed c.) RODIN and d.) OLYMPIC PRIDE in 2000.

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 sue 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.

1911 – Seven lives were lost when the wooden passenger ship SIRIUS capsized and sank in the St. Lawrence 8 miles from Massena, N.Y. There were 75 passengers on board headed for a picnic when the accident occurred. Apparently, many passengers had rushed to one side of the ship to see a woodchuck as the ship was turning in the current and this led to the ship going over.

1951 – The first SAGUENAY to sail for Canada Steamship Lines was built at Govan, Scotland, in 1913 for service between Quebec City and Saguenay River ports. It left Canada for the Far East as b) KIANG YONG in 1946 and became c) YANGTSE PHOENIX in 1949. The vessel dragged her anchors while riding out a typhoon near Tai Po, Hong Kong, on this date in 1951, went aground and was wrecked.

1969 – The British freighter HOPERIDGE made two trips to the Great Lakes in 1959. It sank on this date in 1969 as b) BETHLEHEM due to a collision with the SHOWA MARU while about 30 miles from Singapore. The ship was enroute from Tokyo to Aden and 7 of the crew were lost.

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


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