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* Report News

Tall ships take over Lake Erie

8/31 - It's history that happened in our own backyard, 200 years ago. It was September 10, 1813, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry hoisted the flag with his battle slogan "Don't give up the ship" and led 557 men against the British on Lake Erie. When his ship the U.S. S. Lawrence was crippled, Perry took the flag and the remaining crew through a hail of shots to the Brig Niagara. Amazingly, they reached the ship unscathed. The Niagara broke the British lines, and one by one, the opposing ships surrendered. In the wake of the victory, Perry famously reported to General William Henry Harrison, "We have met the enemy and they are ours." The battle was the first ever US Naval victory over the Royal Navy, a turning point in the war and the reason we are all Americans today.

This weekend thousands have packed into places like Put-In-Bay and Port Clinton for the battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial. The huge celebration has drawn people and tall ships from all over North America. They held an opening ceremony in Port Clinton this morning.

There are 17 different tall ships that have sailed in for the bicentennial. Over the weekend they'll be docked in nine different Canadian and American ports including Port Clinton. Monday they will hit the open waters of Lake Erie to re-enact one of the most critical battles in American history.

The waters of Lake Erie are filled with sailing tributes to American history this weekend. People lined up in Port Clinton to climb aboard two of the tall ships that are here for the bicentennial celebration.

The Brig Niagara is the ship that Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry sailed to victory. A replica of the flagship is docked at Put-In-Bay. It will of course be the focal point of the battle re-enactment on Monday.

The two tall ships docked in Port Clinton for the weekend are Canadian vessels and of course we were fighting against the Canadians in the Battle of Lake Erie, but we've of course come a long way since then. Colin Burt is the Captain of the Toronto based tall ship Pathfinder, "Captain you have a bit of a different take on the outcome of the war of 1812? We won it. You did? Well I guess that depends on who you ask!"

The Pathfinder will play the role of one of the tall ships that was part of the battle. Captain Burt says it's hard to imagine what life was like for the men on board those ships 200 years ago, "We sail with our sistership a lot, so we are constantly chasing one another, but I can't imagine what it would be like if they were trying to shoot us!"

The ships will fire on each other during the re-enactment but they will of course be blanks. The tall ships will all stay docked at the various ports through Sunday. They will be at Put-In-Bay harbor on Monday and that morning they'll sail to the original battle site for the re-enactment.

If you can't get to Put-In-Bay for the festivities, The Toledo Museum of Art is also offering a special exhibition on the historic battle. Now through November 10th, check out prints, sculptures, artifacts, letters and music celebrating the naval victory. The display also features a portrait of Perry done by one of the most famous portrait artists of all time, Gilbert Stuart. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

13 ABC


Port Reports -  August 31

Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Great Lakes Trader was expected to arrive on Friday in the late afternoon. Herbert C. Jackson, making a rare visit, is on the schedule for Saturday. Due in on Labor Day is the Manitowoc, followed by fleetmate Calumet. Wilfred Sykes is also due in on Labor Day in the late evening followed by the Joseph L. Block and Manitowoc on September 3.

Cedarville, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Herbert C. Jackson was expected to arrive on Friday in the late afternoon. Wilfred Sykes is due to arrive in the early morning hours on Saturday. CSL Laurentien, perhaps making her first ever appearance at Cedarville, is expected to arrive on Saturday in the late morning. Philip R. Clarke is due in on Sunday in the late morning. Wrapping up the schedule will be the Joseph L. Block due in September 4 at noon.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Philip R. Clarke loaded on Friday and was expected to depart around 10:30 a.m. Following the Clarke was the Great Republic which arrived early in the morning on Friday and anchored. They were to load following the Clarke. Capt. Henry Jackman arrived late in the morning on Friday and they also went to anchor, waiting to load after the Great Republic. There are three vessels due to load at Stoneport for Saturday, with the Pathfinder and Lakes Contender arriving during the morning followed by the Lewis J. Kuber at noon. Philip R. Clarke will return on Sunday in the early morning. There are no vessels on the schedule for Labor Day.

Alpena, Mich. -  Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were in port Thursday evening loading cement at Lafarge. On Friday, around 11 a.m., the tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity tied up at Lafarge to take on more cargo. The Alpena also came in on Friday, coming in once the Integrity cleared.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
American Mariner loaded on Friday and they was due to depart around 2 p.m. The Labor Day holiday weekend has two boats loading. Due in on Saturday will be the Joseph H. Thompson early in the morning for both the North & South Docks, while the Lewis J. Kuber arrives in the early afternoon for the South Dock. For Sunday the H. Lee White is due in the late afternoon at the North Dock and the Defiance - Ashtabula round out the schedule with a late afternoon arrival on Sunday for the South Dock.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
H. Lee White was expected to arrive at the CSX #4 Coal Loading Dock on Friday in the early evening. Due on Labor Day will be the Algolake in the late afternoon. Scheduled in on Thursday, September 5 in the early morning is the Algoma Enterprise, and the James L. Kuber is due at the CSX on Monday, September 9 during the early morning. Two vessels are due with limestone cargoes for the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock, with the Cuyahoga arriving September 5 in the late evening and the Algowood due in Tuesday, September 10 in the early morning. Vessel arrivals for the Torco Dock include the 1,000-footer James R. Barker on September 3 in the morning followed by CSL Niagara on September 6 in the early morning. Scrapping of the Phoenix Star still continues at Ironhead Marine's large drydock. Three ASC vessels remain in long-term lay-up at Toledo: Adam E. Cornelius at the Old Interlake Iron Co. dock, American Fortitude and American Valor both at the Lakefront docks.


Obituary: Edmund B. Fitzgerald

8/31 - Milwaukee, Wis. – Edmund B. Fitzgerald, who led Cutler-Hammer for 15 years and was a key player in bringing major league baseball back to Milwaukee, died Wednesday of natural causes at his home in Nashville, Tenn., his family said. He was 87.

Fitzgerald was sometimes called "young Ed" to distinguish him from his father, an influential civic leader and former chairman of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.

His name — and his father's — also was synonymous with one of the most famous shipwrecks on the Great Lakes, the 1975 sinking of the iron ore ship Edmund Fitzgerald in a nasty storm on Lake Superior. Commissioned as part of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.'s holdings, the massive carrier bore the name of the company's president. The tale of the storm that took the lives of 29 men was made famous by a Gordon Lightfoot ballad "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" in 1976.

In a 1970 news story, "young Ed" was identified as one of four men who led the long fight to get another baseball franchise for Milwaukee. One of the other four, Bud Selig, was Brewers president.

Fitzgerald was by then Brewers vice president. His Milwaukee roots, the story noted, ran deep: One grandfather was pioneer shipbuilder William E. Fitzgerald; another grandfather, Frank R. Bacon, founded Cutler-Hammer.

Fitzgerald was chairman and chief executive officer of Cutler-Hammer, the electrical products manufacturer, when the firm was purchased by Eaton Corp. in 1979.

A news story a few years later described Fitzgerald as "a casualty of sorts in the great American takeover game." Fitzgerald had fought to keep Cutler-Hammer an independent company, and resigned less than six months after Eaton took over.

After working for a year as a consultant, he was tapped in 1980 to lead Northern Telecom, a Canadian telecommunications company that became a multibillion-dollar global leader in its field. As for the legacy of the shipwreck — it was never far from his mind. The launch of the ship was the happiest day of his father's life, he once said. And the day of the wreck was "probably the worst day of my father's life."

Fitzgerald ran into Lightfoot, the singer, at a dinner hosted by the Canadian prime minister in the 1980s.

"I told him what my name was, and he looked rather surprised," Fitzgerald recalled in 2005, on the 30th anniversary of the wreck. He called the artist's 1976 hit a "fine song."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


U.S. Coast Guard plucks two from burning boat

8/31 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – A Thursday morning fire on the St. Marys River left one boat completely destroyed and triggered a large response from emergency personnel on both sides of the river.

Local fishing guide Al Tipton, owner and operator of River Cove Charters, said he was pre-fishing on the northwest side of Sugar Island just below the ferry dock when another vessel approached.

“I was just in there jigging,” said Tipton, recalling the incident. “This couple comes in from upriver into the bay and their engine explodes.”

Tipton said he immediately called in a “mayday” and contacted the U.S. Coast Guard as the couple fought a losing battle against the flames with their on-board fire extinguisher.

Chief Matthew Henry of the U.S. Coast Guard reports the initial call came in at 9:06 a.m. Thursday and a 25-foot vessel, which was already on the water in the midst of a training exercise, immediately responded to the call. A Response Boat Small — commonly known as an RBS — was also dispatched.

Coast Guard personnel rescued the two people on board, a 78-year-old male and an 83-year-old female.

Firefighters from both sides of the river were also called to the scene with the Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Fire Department, according to Chief Henry, extinguishing the flames.

The 17-foot Lund, believed to be powered by an older-model two-stroke engine, was carrying approximately 15 gallons of fuel at the time of the fire. Coast Guard personnel monitored the area and determined that the burning vessel did not pose a serious pollution hazard as the fire evidently consumed most of the fuel.

The aluminum hull of the badly-burned Lund was towed away once the flames were extinguished after drifting in the river current below Three Mile Road and the Rotary Island complex. There were no injuries associated with the incident.

Soo Evening News


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.

In 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

Escanaba, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Burns Harbor loaded ore at CN on Thursday.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder arrived in Lorain about 5:10 am Thursday morning and departed later that afternoon.


Battle of Lake Erie to be re-enacted on Monday

8/30 - Put-In-Bay, Ohio – Casual boaters who wander into the water off Put-In-Bay on Monday could find themselves floating into a war zone circa 1813.

No worries, though. All those tall ships and folks decked out in 200-year-old soldier’s gear are just re-enactors engaging in an epic reproduction of the Battle of Lake Erie celebrating Oliver Hazard Perry’s defeat of the British during the War of 1812.

The elaborate re-enactment featuring at least 15 ships will take place on Labor Day from noon to 2 p.m. The best way to see the “battle” will be to either be on one of the tall ships or on other watercraft that will be kept at a distance from the action.

The Coast Guard has announced that it will enforce a 500-yard safe zone around the re-enactment area and the tall ships.

The event is one of dozens that are taking place off the lake islands this weekend. Events will be at Put-In-Bay, Kelley’s Island, Port Clinton, and Sandusky.

Among the activities will various band performances, historical speakers, movies, and musical performers, including Grammy-nominated Iris Dement Saturday night at Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial.

For a full list of activities, go to

Toledo Blade


East Chicago, Gary launch competing ports proposals

8/30 - East Chicago is vigorously pursuing its proposal for a new $400 million shipping port on Lake Michigan, just as Gary hopes to get a hearing its own proposal for Buffington Harbor.

The two proposals have raised the stakes for a Sept. 12 hearing by a legislative joint study committee charged with studying the feasibility and economic impact of adding a second Indiana port to serve Lake Michigan.

"It would create jobs, respectable, good-paying jobs," East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland said of his city's proposal. "It gives us an opportunity to work with residents and industry and, bar none, this would be economic development at its highest."

The port would be located on the east side of the peninsula jutting out into Lake Michigan, where many of ArcelorMittal's steel-making facilities are located, Copeland said.

The project has the support of the steelmaker, which provided valuable advice as to its location and use, Copeland said. To eventually move forward, the port also would need the backing of the Ports of Indiana, he said.

Right now, the only Indiana port on Lake Michigan is the Port of Indiana at Burns Harbor. Everyone agrees no lakefront port project of any size could be built without the support of the Ports of Indiana, which also operates ports on the Ohio River.

Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, the chairman of the Joint Study Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is promising a fair hearing for the two port projects, only one of which could be built given the limited funding and shipping traffic that may be available.

The Joint Study Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has invited Gary, East Chicago and representatives of industry to present plans at the committee's hearing Sept. 12 at the headquarters of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, according to Soliday.

Gary officials are expected to testify about a proposal for a port at Buffington Harbor. Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson had a big hand in crafting the legislation calling for the study committee to determine the feasibility of the second port on Lake Michigan.

The Gary mayor's spokeswoman emailed a statement in response to a Times inquiry Tuesday.

"The mayor has indicated that the city of Gary will be an active participant on the State Study Commission for the port. Once that body has met, she will be able to give more of an update," the statement said.

The East Chicago RDA grant request differs from some others already approved for lakefront cities in that it focuses on job creation at major industrial employers to benefit residents, Copeland said. The RDA has previously granted $118.2 million to six lakefront park projects.

East Chicago has sought to get the ball rolling on its port project, with a request for funding submitted to the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority in July.

Funding for a feasibility study for a port is only one part of that $38 million request, according to SEH director of economic development Matt Reardon, who is advising East Chicago on the project. The application also asks for more money to keep the port project moving during following years and includes an ambitious plan to reconnect North Harbor neighborhoods and residents with the lakeshore. If a new port is eventually built in East Chicago, the bulk of the funding would come from private industry, which has a stake in the port because of the proximity of the BP refinery, ArcelorMittal steel mills and other industry, Reardon said.

BP and ArcelorMittal currently use shipping facilities located in the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal for transporting cargo. BP ships asphalt out by barge and ArcelorMittal takes shipment of iron ore and other steel inputs.

Northwest Indiana Times


Muskegon port development could mean a river barge terminal linking farmers to Gulf Coast

8/30 - Muskegon, Mich. – Development of the Port of Muskegon has been all the rage as a West Michigan economic development tool, promoted by public officials, community leaders and business owners.

But until Michigan Agri-Business Association President Jim Byrum stepped forward, all of that talk had been well ... just talk. Byrum puts some meat on the port development bones with a specific idea for Muskegon.

The head of what he calls the “chamber of commerce of Michigan agriculture” says that Muskegon is a perfect location for a river barge terminal, connecting Michigan farm communities to Gulf Coast export opportunities through Chicago and the Mississippi River barge system.

“Muskegon on the west side of Michigan is the only deep-water port,” said Byrum, who has headed the Lansing-based trade association for the past 17 years. “In every other port, there are issues with depths and drafts. Muskegon has railroad and highway connections that are key and so much is happening here. There is so much energy with the people and development.”

Byrum said that some of his 500 members – everyone from large agricultural corporations such as Monsanto to local grain elevator operators – have been exploring a river barge terminal operation on the east end of Muskegon Lake. Muskegon officials working on port development are investigating the idea through organizations such as the Muskegon County Port Committee.

How often the Michigan farm industry would use river barges out of Muskegon to ship corn, soybeans and wheat to the Gulf Coast for export is not known, Byrum said.

“In the last 50 years, interest in moving agricultural products in our state by water has been missing,” he said, but added that the economics of water transport might provide plenty of business for a Muskegon-based river barge terminal. Right now, much of the grain shipped out of the state for export goes by rail, he said.

“That could be a game-changing switch,” Byrum said of water-based transportation. “Moving it that way might all of a sudden allow us to better compete.”

MABA also is looking at potential barge terminals on the east side of Michigan in ports such as the Saginaw River and Port Huron, Byrum said. The proposals become even more economical if outbound barges full of grain could return to Muskegon or other Michigan ports with farm products such as fertilizer, seed or equipment, he added.

Byrum and MABA were introduced to Muskegon through Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center, which hosted a renewable energy seminar sponsored by MABA in late July.

Byrum said besides exploring water-based transportation, his members are interested in alternative energy and global climate change – the later which could add an additional 400,000 acres of productive farmland in Michigan in the next decades as temperatures rise.

But it is the river barge terminal concept that has Muskegon and West Michigan economic developers the most excited. Another long-discussed port development would be a container shipment terminal where cargo containers on rail or the highways would be shipped in bulk from Muskegon to Milwaukee, eliminating the need to pass through congested Chicago on the south end of Lake Michigan.

The river barge development has some Lake Michigan shipping regulatory issues through the U.S. Coast Guard and the American Bureau of Shipping.

“If we can get past the federal issues, I think this is low-hanging fruit for us in developing the port,” said Ed Garner, president of Muskegon Area First, the local economic development agency. “This serves some current needs right now. The container development is probably more long term.”

GVSU energy center Director Arn Boezaart said that Muskegon and West Michigan officials are taking note of the MABA interest in Muskegon’s port.

“People see this as a highly desirable activity for port development that should be pursued,” Boezaart said. “I’d love to see a trial run using assets that are already in Muskegon.”

One company that could help move the project forward is Andrie Inc., the Muskegon-based marine transportation company, Boezaart said. Andrie Specialized President Phil Andrie said his company would be interested in exploring a limited test of the river barge connection in Muskegon.

How to exploit the agricultural and food processing industries in West Michigan for job creation and economic development is on the minds of those who have created the West Michigan Economic Partnership between Muskegon and Kent counties.

The partnership recently had a day-long seminar on developing a regional agricultural and food processing “cluster” that would be interested in Muskegon’s port, according to The Right Place’s Rick Chapla. Grand Rapids-based Right Place has joined with Muskegon Area First, Muskegon County, city of Muskegon and local governments in Kent County to form the partnership to move regional economic development projects forward.

Muskegon’s main asset in the partnership is providing water-based transportation options.

“The logistics opportunities that could result in an active port operation in Muskegon could save millions of dollars for the farmers and food processors in West Michigan,” Chapla said.

The city of Muskegon has established a port development zone on the east end of Muskegon Lake and with the likely closure of the B.C. Cobb plant in 2015 or beyond, a major Muskegon dock used to bring coal to the plant might be available, local officials have pointed out.

“This barge operation could be more port activity as we move forward on redeveloping the east end of the lake from the current Verplank (Trucking Co.) docks to B.C. Cobb,” said Cathy Brubaker-Clarke, the city’s planning and economic development director.

“This area of the lake is privately owned but the port operators have been working together on such ideas,” Brubaker-Clarke said, adding that the city and community leaders will work long-time port operators like the Sand Products Corp. with its Mart Dock operations on the downtown Muskegon Lake shoreline.

Muskegon County Commissioner Terry Sabo – who heads the county’s port development committee – said that a river barge terminal development being suggested by MABA is going to have to be a regional effort to succeed.

“Our goal all along is economic development,” Sabo said. “We have to use the natural resources that we have and this port is unique in West Michigan. We need to do anything we can to create West Michigan jobs.

“But this is going to take time; it won’t happen overnight,” Sabo continued. “We have to keep getting this message out.”



National Museum opens Schoonmaker museum ship for free on Saturday

8/30 - Toledo, Ohio – As the Great Lakes Historical Society prepares to open the new National Museum of the Great Lakes, the Society will open the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship to the general public free of charge on Saturday August 31, from noon to 4 p.m.

Christopher Gillcrist, Executive Director of the new museum stated the Toledo/Lucas County community has been extremely supportive of this project and this is an easy way for our organization to say thank you.

The new museum will also distribute complimentary copies of its award winning journal, Inland Seas, to visitors and provide information on the new museums membership benefit program. Individuals who become a new member of the museum on Saturday will be entered into a drawing for a new iPad. For more information go to


Andrew J not the first tug to sink in Lock 4

8/30 - The recent sinking of the tug Andrew J in Lock 4 west of the Welland Canal was not the first time such an incident happened.

The tug Grand Bank was built for the U.S. Army in New Orleans in 1940 as ST 1923. It came to Canada as for McNamara Construction Company as Grand Bank in 1957 and sank in Toronto in March 1959 after a collision with a dredge

After being re-floated and repaired the tug sank again in Lock 4 of the Welland Canal on July 4th, 1959 while pushing a scow. The 44 gross ton vessel became flooded in the lock and the captain was lost when the tug went down on its starboard side.

Five others jumped to the safety of the scow. Grand Bank was salvaged and later went to the west coast for the Lions Gate Tug and Barge Company. It was later named Nanaimo Clipper in 1988, Salvage Warrior in 1991, Grand Bank again in 1997 and at last report was based in Delta B.C.

Taken from Shipwrecks - West Niagara News,- Dec. 2nd, 2011 - by Skip Gillham courtesy Bill Bird


Updates -  August 30

News Photo Gallery


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


Welland Canal West Flight Locks back in service

8/29 - Late Tuesday afternoon at Lock 4 of the Welland Canal the refloated tug Andrew J was lifted onto a barge. The lock was not drained. Mariners are advised that the incident at Lock 4 west has been resolved and the west side of the flight locks is back in service.

Graham Grattan


Port Reports -  August 29

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
The Greek-flagged bulker Apollon arrived Tuesday evening. The saltie was alongside at Redpath discharging sugar out of the forward holds.

Aliaga, Turkey
Canada Steamship Lines Richelieu arrived Wednesday under her own power for scrapping. The vessel was built in 1980 as Federal Ottawa and sailed later as Lake Erie.


Get ready for the Battle of Lake Erie

8/29 - Sandusky, Ohio – During the War of 1812, when British “Redcoats” invaded Ohio, the British invaders carried guns and were hostile to the new nation and the brand-new state.

Later this week, there will be a new invasion. But officials holding “Battle of Lake Erie” events in Put-in-Bay, Port Clinton and Kelleys Island look forward to a friendly army of tourists who will come carrying “green,” as in tourist dollars.

Months of preparation will culminate in a Labor Day re-enactment in Lake Erie near Put-in-Bay of the Battle of Lake Erie, the American navy’s defeat of the British fleet.

Oliver Hazard Perry led the Americans to victory on Sept. 10, 1813, wiping out a British fleet and sending back his famous message, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the War of 1812 will be celebrated in Put-in-Bay, Port Clinton and Kelleys Island. On Monday, the battle will be re-enacted.

The events will kick off on Thursday, when tall ships re-enacting the battle are scheduled to arrive in various local ports, including Put-in-Bay, Middle Bass Island, Port Clinton, Catawba Island Club, Pelee Island and Kelleys Island. Some of the Put-in-Bay ships are expected to be visible from the three live video feeds offered by Stone Laboratory, from cameras mounted at Cooke Castle on Gibraltar Island, the South Bass Island Lighthouse and the Stone Lab Research Building on South Bass Island.

Put-in-Bay is getting several of the tall ships, including a replica of the Niagara, the ship Perry transferred to in the middle of the battle. There will also be numerous other activities in town, which also offers the Perry Memorial. Day sails and on-board tours will be offered on the ships, while DeRivera Park will feature a variety of historical demonstrations, vendors, and concerts.

The battle re-enactment is Monday afternoon. People on the tall ships, and on boats registered to anchor nearby, can watch the battle unfold.

Officials in Port Clinton and Kelleys Island say they’ll have similar events that’ll be easier for tourists to reach. Port Clinton will have two tall ships, the Pathfinder and Playfair, and its celebration in the downtown area will be in conjunction with the annual Knights of Columbus Peach, Perch, Polka and Pierogi Festival, which will be conveniently nearby in the Knights of Columbus Hall, 109 E. Perry St.

Port Clinton’s “Battle of Lake Erie” celebration will have cannon demonstrations, re-enactors, storytellers and vendors.

Kelleys Island has a tall ship, too, the Appledore IV, and local organizers believe they’ll have events that are just as good as Put-in-Bay’s but easier to get to, said Steve Merkel, the events organizer.

The Kelleys Island Ferry will run constantly from Marblehead. Visitors won’t need transportation once they’re on the island, because a free “Tall Ship Tram” will ferry them to the eight locations offering fun and history tidbits.

Sandusky Register


Latest Lake Erie U.S. Steel offer not endorsed by union committee

8/29 - Port Dover, Ont. – It's an improvement, but not a great one. That's the verdict Lake Erie steelworkers passed on U.S. Steel's latest offer to end the bitter four month lock out at the Nanticoke plant.

The package, negotiated in Pittsburgh recently under pressure from the international headquarters of the United Steelworkers, was presented to members in a series of meetings Wednesday. It is not being recommended by the union negotiating committee.

"This is still a concessionary package," said Bill Ferguson, president of the Local 8782 of the United Steelworkers. "We're bringing it to the members because we feel it's time for them to tell what they feel."

Union members, who have been locked out since late April, have twice rejected company offers by votes of 70 per cent. Ferguson said the company has made some improvements to previous packages, but changes have not been extensive.

"There have been some moves by the company," he said. "We don't recommend this, but we're taking it to the members because we are not going to make unilateral decisions that affect the lives of 1,000 people."

The chief improvements to this offer over previous company packages include adding strong language protecting workers from having their jobs contracted out, restoring a signing bonus to $2,500 after an earlier offer reduced it to $2,500, dropping demands for increased co-payments for prescription drugs and adding lump sum payments of $500 for each year of a five year term.

On the negative side, the package does not include a base wage hike, it continues to demand changes to the cost of living allowance that trigger payments only when inflation hits three per cent and caps vacation entitlements for current and future employees at five weeks. (Workers who already have more than five weeks vacation keep that entitlement.)

Ferguson said getting the job security language members wanted was an important step, but the economic side of the agreement remains a disappointment.

"We still have all the economic issues so it's still a concessionary contract," he said.

Outside the meeting workers were not excited by the package and predicted a close vote when it is presented for ratification on Friday.

"It's better than the last one, but I'm going to have to think about it some more," said veteran worker Alan Laufs. "I think it will be a close vote."

"Maybe we can do better, but just don't know right now."

Many predict a vote divided by age with veterans like Laufs, who is mortgage free and three years from retirement, tempted to hold out for a better deal while the cadre of younger workers with mortgages and growing families voting for a pay cheque after four months of $200 a week in strike pay.

"There's more at stake here than just having a job, but a lock out like is hard to take," said one worker who refused to give his name. "It takes a long time to recover from something like this."

The Lake Erie plant workers were locked out for eight months in 2009-2010 as the company backed demands for radical changes in its pension plans. U. S. Steel has said repeatedly it needs further changes in the labour agreement to make the plant "competitive."

A ratification vote on the package will be held Friday from 8 am to 8 pm at the union hall in Nanticoke.

Hamilton Spectator


Red Cliff Band will raise more munition barrels from Lake Superior

8/29 - Duluth, Minn. – There are nearly 1,500 barrels in at least three dump sites between Duluth and Knife River, Minnesota. The Army Corp of Engineers was ordered by the Department of Defense to dump the barrels between 1958 and 1962 because they held secret munitions parts.

Last year, contractors for the Red Cliff Band raised 25 barrels. They discovered that 22 of those 55-gallon drums held 15,000 cluster bomb detonators, each about the size of a USB flash drive. Because these still-live explosives could go off, contractors wrapped each barrel in over-packs and returned them to Lake Superior’s bottom.

Now, Red Cliff representatives say, the group will remove those barrels so they can examine their contents. In a news conference last March, Tribal Chairwoman Rose Gurnoe-Soulier said this recovery is part of their mission to protect the ceded territory, including western Lake Superior: “We feel dedicated to do that. Dedicated to the cause of things in those barrels, seeing if it’s harmful to our lake, to the environment, to the wildlife, to our eagles and just to people who recreate on the lake, if they ingest water.”

In a recent email to Wisconsin Public Radio, Red Cliff Band says a preliminary report shows that the three non-hazardous barrels recovered show no threat to the water or fish consumption, but a final report won’t be ready until next May. There is no current plan to remove other barrels, but they say that may change.

So far, the DoD has paid Red Cliff $3.3 million to locate, remove and study the barrels.

Wisconsin Public Radio News


Pet coke piles along Detriot River cleared away

8/29 - Detroit, Mich. – Remaining mounds of petroleum coke have been removed from the Detroit riverfront ahead of a city-imposed deadline, but more time is needed to haul construction materials away from the sites, according to a storage company.

Mayor Dave Bing, citing concerns about the health of people living near the piles, set Tuesday as the deadline for Detroit Bulk to get rid of all the petroleum coke it was storing.

“Detroit Bulk has removed its inventory of petroleum coke at the request of the city,” said company spokesman Daniel Cherrin. “Detroit Bulk has however, not been able to remove all of the other aggregate there and have been in contact with the city regarding their plans for the removal of limestone aggregate.”

Limestone aggregate often is used to help build roads. Cherrin said a construction project using the limestone was to start this week and that the company anticipated having all of the aggregate removed by early next month.

“Detroit Bulk has asked the city for the additional time in ensuring the proper removal of the limestone,” he said.

Petroleum coke, also known as pet coke, is a black, rock-like substance produced by the petroleum industry and used as a fuel.

The piles in Detroit resulted from Marathon Oil’s refining exports from oil sands in Alberta, Canada. Freighters have been taking the piles from the Detroit riverfront to Ohio.

U.S. Rep. Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township has said an open drain allowed runoff from the piles to seep into the Great Lakes watershed during storms.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) in April issued a report stating that the piles themselves don’t pose an immediate threat to human health. Then, in June, Michigan U.S. Rep. Gary Peters called for a further investigation after MDEQ acknowledged that dust from the mounds appeared “to be an issue during the loading of material onto freighters.”

Brad Wurfel, MDEQ spokesperson, said concerns about pet coke “have been exaggerated,” adding that the substance ”is being managed like any other aggregate material.”

The pet coke is now trucked to Toledo and shipped out by freighter.



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.

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


Port Reports -  August 28

St. Marys River
Fog brought traffic to a stop Tuesday morning. Among the vessels delayed were the downbound James R. Barker, Hon. James L. Oberstar, St. Clair and Stewart J. Cort, as well as the upbound American Integrity. The Cort was further delayed by an inspection of an unknown nature; she didn’t lock down until mid-afternoon. In the early afternoon, the new Thunder Bay was upbound. Manistee, an unusual visitor, spent the day unloading at Essar Steel before heading downbound just after dark. Two tugs from Duluth-based Heritage Marine – Edward H and Nels J – were headed upbound mid-day Tuesday, bound back to Duluth after a stint at the MCM Marine drydock.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were just starting to pass under the Charles Berry bridge at 02:10 a.m. Tuesday to head out into Lake Erie after unloading in port.


Coast Guard Station Port Huron begins training on new response boat

8/28 - Port Huron, Mich. – The crew of Coast Guard Station Port Huron, Mich., began training on the station's new 45-foot Response-Boat-Medium, Monday. The crew took possession of the boat Thursday.

The RB-M can respond faster than previous boats of similar size with a top speed in excess of 40 knots, has advanced search capability with an installed forward-looking infrared search technology. Additionally, with twin jet propulsion, the vessel is able to respond in shallower water.

"We are excited to bring a new and improved boat to the Blue Water Area," said Chief Petty Officer Kevin J. Stryker, officer-in-charge of Station Port Huron. "This new 45-foot response boat will replace the aging 41-foot Utility Boat, greatly enhancing the Coast Guard's capabilities and response time and allowing us to better serve the public."

The boat has a deep-V double-chine hull, which provides a balance of performance and stability. The vessel is also self-righting; if it capsizes in rough seas, the boat is designed to roll back over. It can handle heavy seas and waves up to 12 feet and carry up to 24 people.

The RB-M is being added to Station Port Huron's current craft complement, consisting of the 41-foot UTB and one 25-foot Response Boat-Small.

With a top speed of more than 40 knots, the highly capable RB-M allows crews to arrive on scene faster. Station Port Huron's crew will continue to use the UTB as the RB-M becomes fully operational and all crewmembers are qualified. Right now, plans are to continue using the UTB until it is removed from the water for the Great Lakes ice season, at which point it will be divested.

The RB-M was built by Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wis.


Steel production falls by 13,000 tons in Great Lakes states

8/28 - Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region was about 604,000 tons in the week ending Aug. 24, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.

Production fell by 13,000 tons or about 2.1 percent from the week prior, marking the sixth straight week steel production has declined in the Great Lakes region. Most of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in Indiana and the Chicago area.

Production in the Southern District was estimated at 707,000 tons last week, down slightly from 709,000 tons a week earlier.

Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.86 million tons, down from 1.88 million tons the week prior.

U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 77.7 percent last week, which is down from 78.4 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 76.3 percent at the same time last year. So far this year, domestic steel producers have had a capacity utilization rate of 77.1 percent, which is down from 77.8 during the same period in 2012.

Domestic mills have produced an estimated 62.8 million tons of steel this year, down 4.4 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 65.7 million tons of steel by Aug. 24 in 2012. Steel imports inched up in July, but the market remained weaker than last year, according to the American Institute for International Steel. Total steel imports in July were 2.47 million tons, a 0.6 percent increase over June but a 10.9 percent decrease from July 2012.

So far this year, steel imports have decreased by 10.8 percent to 18.2 million tons.

NWI Times


St. Clair County river walk under construction

8/28 - Port Huron, Mich. – The Blue Water River Walk is taking shape along the shoreline of the St. Clair River, and St. Clair County commissioners got a look Thursday at the progress.

Chairman Jeff Bohm asked Randy Maiers, president and chief executive officer of the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, to show the board what has been accomplished so far and talk about what should be done by the end of the year.

“I wanted everybody to get an idea of the magnitude of this project,” Bohm said. “It is one thing to hear about everything that is going on; it is another to see it. I honestly believe this is the next area that we have to keep on our radar for development and so we need to know what is happening.”

The foundation is in the midst of several projects to restore the shoreline to make it more accessible. Maiers said while most of the work will be complete this year, more attractions and features will continue to show up next year.

The cost of the entire project, which involves several community partners, is estimated to be between $5 million and $6 million.

Large limestone blocks are beginning to outline public use spaces, such as the outdoor classroom and fishing piers that will line the nearly 4,300-foot-long paved pedestrian path. The path is expected to be complete this fall.

“Public access is one of the keys,” Maiers said, standing on one of the limestone steps at the outdoor classroom at the north end of the River Walk. “Imagine being here for the Port Huron/Sarnia power boat races and the view you will have, or the fireworks for that matter.”

Maiers said that while the county has an abundance of riverfront access, much of it is boardwalk. The areas where people can walk down to the water are few — but just up the shoreline from the outdoor classroom, the public gets that opportunity.

A 300-foot pebble beach was completed in the beginning of the project last year. On Thursday, about a dozen people lounged on the limestone rocks while kids splashed in the river. A second pebble beach is under construction on the southern end of the River Walk.

Commissioner Howard Heidemann said that interaction with the water is what makes this project stand out. “That is what this is all about,” he said. “That’s just great.”

While the project is increasing public access to the shoreline, it also is making the space habitable for the natural flora and fauna that once thrived there before it became an industrial area.

Crews have installed a snake bed, complete with a number of flexible plastic pipes for them to burrow in and an abundance of rocks to create the cracks and crevices their prey favor for hiding places. River mink have returned to the shoreline. Shallow water spawning beds are being recreated.

The southern-most end of the River Walk will feature 2.75 acres of wetlands recreated by St. Clair County with the help of the Sustain Our Great Lakes program with the Michigan National Resources TrustFund.

“The key to getting big federal dollars is that you have to restore habitat,” Maiers said. “Habitat for critters and bugs and birds and turtles and snakes.”

He said there will be long stretches of the shoreline along the River Walk where public access will be discouraged by planting shrubberies and other natural barriers. A railing of rope and wooden posts also will line the path to direct people into areas that are designed for public access.

Maiers said the contractors the River Walk developers are working with to build an artificial reef also have worked on the Detroit shoreline. This will be the first time a reef also will be used to protecta shoreline from ice floes such as those that build up on the St. Clair River, he said.

Maiers said care has been taken to preserve some of the historic features residents love. One key example is the old railroad ferry dock.

“The River Walk is trying to embrace the heritage of this area,” he said. “It would have been real easy to rip out (the old ferry dock), saying it’s not worth the time and energy. As soon as our donors heard about the project, they came forward and said, ‘We will cover the cost.’”

Crews are resurfacing the deck with Brazilian walnut, a durable wood that costs about twice as much as treated wood, but won’t have to be stained, painted or treated. Maiers said the contractors told him it is the hardest thing they have ever worked with in terms of durability.

A task force also is considering adding a facility to house the D.B. Harrington, a small Porter 2-4-0 locomotive that once worked in the lumberyards of Michigan, as a nod to the area’s history.

Port Huron Times-Herald


Research ship docked in Windsor for Tall Ship Festival

8/28 - Windsor, Ont. – The Sea Dragon has made its way into Windsor for the Tall Ship Festival but the sailing vessel is more than just a crowd attraction. Besides taking people on tours, the crew conducts research on marine life, collecting samples for water quality and pollution testing.

“Here in the Great Lakes we’re looking at two different things. We’re looking at plastic particulate, which is plastic floating in the water. We’ve also been looking at persistent pollutants like fire retardants and PCBs in the water,” said ship captain Eric Loss.

The ship, which is docked at Dieppe Gardens, sailed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans collecting samples before making its way to the Great Lakes.

“The samples still have to go back to the lab and get analyzed, which could take six months to a year before results get published, but we have found just looking at samples as we’ve been going by, things like … lots of small pieces of plastic broken down from bottles and various other items that get washed in and float around in the lakes and become part of the food chain,” Loss said.

The Tall Ships Festival runs from Friday Aug. 30 to Sunday Sep. 1 at Dieppe Gardens and features deck tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday to Sunday. Tours are $5 per ship or $15 for an all access pass. More details visit


Help Wanted: Marine Engineers for Lower Lakes Towing

8/28 - We are looking for competent, practically skilled Marine Engineers with 1st or 2nd Class TC Motorship certification to join our team. Canadian Great Lakes dry bulk or related experience would be considered an asset; however a strong work ethic, attention to detail 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, positive work environment and an industry leading leave system with a Month On, Month Off work rotation on a year round basis.

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:


National Museum in Toledo to recruit volunteers

8/28 - Toledo, Ohio – On Friday August 30 at 5 p.m., the National Museum of the Great Lakes will hold a meeting at its new museum site in Toledo to discuss volunteer opportunities with interested parties. Christopher Gillcrist, Executive Director of the new museum, said “volunteers are the lifeblood of any not-for-profit venture and we counting on volunteers to help make this new museum a great success. “

Gillcrist added not only do volunteers help any organization to control costs, more importantly, volunteers bring unique skills and knowledge that so often improves a visitors experience.

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is looking to match the interest and skills of potential volunteers to the needs of the organization. Docents, administration, fundraising, grounds maintenance, research and museum gift shop activities are all areas that the National Museum hopes people will offer their time and energy to helping.

Gillcrist was motivated to expand the volunteer approach because of the successful use of volunteers aboard the Col. James. M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship, now an integral part of the National Museum experience. “The volunteers on the boat are the reason why this boat is in existence today. Without their efforts over the years, this boat probably would have been scrapped five years ago,” he said.

People interested in volunteering at the new National Museum can simply attend the meeting this Friday at 5 p.m. at 1701 Front Street, Toledo, Ohio. Those who cannot attend but would like more information can contact the museum at


Updates -  August 28

News Photo Gallery


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


Tug capsizes, captain rescued in Welland Canal

8/27 - Thorold, Ont. - The captain of a tugboat had to be rescued from Welland Canal waters after his vessel capsized.

"It's extremely rare," said St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. spokesman Jean Aubry-Morin. "I don't recall the last time this happened." Aubry-Morin said the incident took place shortly before 1 a.m. Monday at Lock 4 in Thorold.

Mariners are advised that due to the incident, the west side of the flight locks will be out of service until further notice

Two tugboats, the Andrew J. and Kimberly Anne, were pushing an upbound barge inside the flight locks. As the lock was filling with water, the smaller tug Andrew J. capsized and sank for unknown reasons.

The captain of the tug — the only occupant — escaped from his vessel, and was immediately rescued from the water by his counterpart in the other tug. There were no injuries, but the rescued man was taken to hospital for observation.

"Obviously, there was some fright as it was a traumatic event," said Aubry-Morin. "There were no other injuries of the crew, or ground crew."

A small amount of diesel spilled into the water. Aubry-Morin said the west lane of the flight locks will be out of operation as the salvage operation continues through the day. A large crane is assisting in the effort.

The Welland Canal is otherwise open to northbound and southbound shipping, though passages will be slower today.

"We hope before the end of the day (Monday), everything will be back to normal," Aubry-Morin said. He said the Seaway would be investigating to find out why the boat sank.

St. Catharines Standard


Port Reports -  August 27

Midland, Ont. - Jens Juhl
Midland, Penetang and Victoria Harbour were the final ports of call for 10 tall ships participating in the Tall Ship 1812 Tour. Having three neighboring ports host the tall ships alleviated a lot of the traffic and crowd congestion that were a feature at some of the previous ports. Fine, sunny summer weather highlighted the three-day weekend event, however on Sunday afternoon the rain clouds moved in but the rain held off until late in the afternoon as the festivities were coming to an end.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder operated by Interlake Shipping, loaded Monday at the Lafarge stone dock.

Kingston, Ont. – Joe Tilley
The tall ship Liana's Ransom, a Nova Scotia schooner, will be at Kingston Sept. 6-7 for a port visit.


Beaver Island Ferry removed from run again

8/27 - Beaver Island, Mich. – A problem with a routine engine oil test result prompted officials with the Beaver Island Boat Company and the Beaver Island Transportation Authority to take the island’s main ferry, the Emerald Isle, out of service Thursday.

Authority executive director Barb Schwartzfisher said the bad test results came back Thursday afternoon when the Emerald Isle was in Charlevoix, and officials took the ferry out of service as a precautionary measure. The ferry returned to the island under its own power without passengers and crews are now working to determine what caused the bad test result.

Schwartzfisher said it's unknown how long the Emerald Isle will be out of service, but she expects it to only be a matter of days – much less time than earlier this summer when the ferry’s port engine failed, leaving the vessel out of commission for about a month.

In the meantime, the island’s secondary ferry, the Beaver Islander, will again be handling the bulk of the islands water-based transportation needs. Schwartzfisher said the switch to the Beaver Islander will cause some changes to the Beaver Island Boat Company’s schedule until the Emerald Isle is back in service. She recommends those with travel plans visit for updates.



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.

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

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.

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 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.


U.S.-Flag Cargo Movement on Lakes Off Slightly in July

8/26 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) carried 10.3 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in July, a slight increase over June, but a decrease of 2.2 percent compared to the corresponding period last year. The July float was also down 6.6 percent from the months long-term average.

U.S.-flag lakers moved 4.6 million tons of iron ore in July, 76.7 percent of all ore moving on the Lakes/Seaway that month. The 4.6 million tons represent a 6.7 increase compared to a year ago, but a drop of 5.7 percent compared to the months long-term average.

Coal shipments in U.S. hulls totaled 2 million tons in July, 70.6 percent of all coal moving on the Lakes that month. The 2 million tons represent an increase of 13.5 percent compared to a year ago, but a decrease of 14.4 percent compared to the months long-term average.

The 3.1 million tons of limestone hauled by U.S.-flag lakers in July represent 87 percent of the Lakes trade in that commodity that month. However, the 3.1 million tons represent a decrease of 20 percent compared to a year ago. The decrease is much more modest 3.3 percent compared to the months long-term average.

Through July, the U.S.-flag float stands at 43.1 million tons, a decrease of 4.1 percent compared to a year ago. Iron ore cargos are down by 3.7 percent. Coal loadings are virtually unchanged from a year ago. Shipments of limestone are 7.8 percent off last years pace.

Lake Carriers Association


Algoma Equinox preparing for sea trials before voyage to Canada

8/26 - The Algoma Equinox, the first in a series of Equinox Class bulk carriers offering significantly-enhanced operating and environmental efficiencies, is in the final stages of preparation at Nantong Mingde Heavy Industries shipyard in China prior to imminent sea trials and the long voyage to Canada to begin service on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Waterway.

"We hope to see her trading on the waterway by mid-fall 2013," Wayne Smith, Vice-President Commercial of Algoma Central Corporation (ACC), told Maritime Magazine.

Algoma Central Corporation of St. Catharines, Ontario, has invested about C$400 million for eight new ships, including six Equinox Class bulk carriers.

The naming ceremony for the Algoma Equinox took place last April at Nantong.

Among special features are fresh water gas scrubbers removing 97% of sulphur dioxide emissions and two-stroke engines that consume 45% less fuel per cargo tonne than the older four-stroke engines. Additional cargo space results from an innovative hull design.

Maritime Magazine


Renames, scrappings in saltwater fleet

8/26 - Several saltwater vessels familiar to boatwatchers have been renamed, and two others have also been scrapped. All vessels at one time traded in the Great Lakes/Seaway system. Among the salties that have been scrapped, the Barbro, of Maltese registry, last visited the Great Lakes/Seaway in 2011. The Barbro was known as the Olympic Dignity from 1985-1992 and as the Alam Sejahtera from 1992-2007. A sistership to the Barbro, the Doxa D of Panamanian registry has also been scrapped. This vessel traded under the name Alberta 1984-93 and as Nea Doxa from 1993-2002.

The list of saltwater vessels being renamed include Stefania I, which visited the Great Lakes/Seaway during 2012. She now sails as Arwad Tower of Belize registry and is also familiar to boatwatchers as the Astral Ocean, a name that she carried from 1985-95 and under which she traded in the Great Lakes/Seaway as well.

Bright Laker, a frequent visitor built in 2001 which last visited during the 2012 season, has also been renamed. She is now the Fearless of Liberian registry.

The MCT Almak, which last visited in 2011, is now the Adeline of Liberian registry. As the MCT Almak, she also had the name Almak from 1999-2003, under which she also saw service in the Great Lakes/Seaway system.

Chemtrans Oste, which last visited in 2011, is now the Oste of Liberian flag, while her sistership Chemtrans Weser, which last visited in 2009, is now the Weser of Liberian flag.

The tanker Pascale Knutsen, which last visited in 2009, has been renamed and is now the Adebomi 1 of Liberian flag. Ruth Theresa, which last made a visit in 2011, is now the Bomar Eris of the Maltese flag.

Denny Dushane


Wooden beam gets CT scan in hope of linking it to Griffin shipwreck

8/26 - Gaylord, Mich. - Technicians at a northern Michigan hospital used a CT scan machine Saturday to take X-rays of a wooden beam that could be part of the Griffin, a ship commanded by the French explorer La Salle that has been missing for more than three centuries.

The procedure was the latest twist in a decades-old quest by diver and history buff Steve Libert to locate the vessel, which disappeared in 1679 after setting sail from an island near Lake Michigan's Green Bay with a crew of six and a cargo of furs. A dive team retrieved the timber in June after discovering to their disappointment that it wasn't attached to buried wreckage.

They hope the CT scan, which produced images of tree rings inside the beam, will help determine whether it was cut down around the time the Griffin was built. A Cornell University expert in dendrochronology -- a scientific technique that uses ring patterns to date trees -- has agreed to analyze the images, which were recorded on compact discs.

"It's very important," Libert said. "Now this comes down to science."

He said the timber could be the Griffin's bowsprit -- a spur or pole that extends from a vessel's stem. Michigan's state archaeologist, Dean Anderson, has said he isn't convinced the beam is part of a ship and contends it could be a stake from a "pound net," a type of fishing gear used in past centuries.

A small crowd watched, many snapping photos, as crewmen with Libert's Great Lakes Exploration Group unloaded the nearly 20-foot-long timber from a trailer at Otsego Memorial Hospital in Gaylord, about 225 miles northwest of Detroit. The hospital is near the timber's storage spot-- a location Libert is keeping secret to prevent theft or vandalism.

The oak beam has been submerged in water and preservative chemicals. One end is split, and three peg-like pieces of wood protrude from the side. Libert said they are "tree nails" and provide further evidence the beam was fashioned by humans.

For the scan, it was wrapped in a permeable fabric and placed inside a cradle made of PVC pipe. Eight men lowered the slab, which weighs about 400 pounds, onto dollies and wheeled it down a hallway to the hospital's radiology section, manoeuvring carefully around corners and through doorways. Then they donned rubber gloves and hefted it into the room with the scanning machine.

There, it was placed on an examining table usually occupied by patients being X-rayed to detect cancerous tumors, blockages in blood vessels or other internal ailments. The mechanical table eased one end of the timber -- a nearly five-foot-long section -- into the doughnut-shaped scanning machine, where a spinning X-ray camera recorded cross-section images of the interior. Readings were taken about an inch apart for 10 minutes.

The crew then lugged the timber into the hallway, turned it around and took it back for a scan of the other end.

A computer read the images and projected them onto screens in an adjacent room. Tree rings were clearly visible, and radiology director Andy Lanway said technicians counted at least 29. Carol Griggs, the Cornell specialist, has said 50 or more might be needed to determine when the tree was felled by matching ring patterns with those of other trees in the university's archive.

"I'm not sure it's going to be enough," Libert acknowledged. But he added, "There might be more rings. They might be so tight that we couldn't see them with the naked eye."

The rings weren't as clear as those of treated lumber that the hospital scanned earlier as a test, Lanway said. "That may be due to the age, or its being in the water for so long," he said.

Regardless of the outcome, Lanway said the hospital was glad to have taken part in the experiment.

"If this is what they think it is, it's of great historical significance," he said.

Griggs has said it could take up to a year to complete her study and write a report. If it's inconclusive, Libert said the next step might be extracting a core sample for a carbon 14 test, another dating method.

In the meantime, he said he intends to keep searching the floor of northern Lake Michigan near uninhabited Poverty Island for other signs of the Griffin, which he's convinced is nearby. He found the possible bowsprit there during a 2001 dive. But because of a legal dispute with the state over ownership of the timber, it took until this year to get permits to excavate the lakebed.

"Most of us think this is the Griffin," said Tom Gouin, vice-president of operations for Great Lakes Diving and Salvage, the Gaylord company that provided the dive crew. "We're all excited to get back out there and find the rest of it."

CTV News


Obituary: Alfred Sagon-King

8/26 - Welland Canal ship photographer and historian Alfred Sagon-King of Thorold, Ont., died Aug. 23. Well-known to ship fans along the Welland Canal, he was co-author of several books, including “The Changing Seaway” and “Canadian Fleets Along the Seaway,” written with Skip Gillham. Funeral arrangements will be private.


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


Port Reports -  August 25

St. Marys River
Hon. James L. Oberstar, Sam Laud, Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Joseph H. Thompson Jr. and American Spirit were upbound Saturday. Mesabi Miner was the only downbound vessel on a very slow traffic day. South of the Soo, Cuyahoga was loading stone at Cedarville.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Saturday morning found the Buffalo unloading coal at the Lower Harbor and Michipicoten loading ore at the Upper Harbor.

Stoneport, Mich.- Denny Dushane
Great Republic loaded at Stoneport on Saturday and was expected to depart between 3-3:30 p.m. Three vessels are due to load Sunday, with Manitowoc arriving first followed by Lewis J. Kuber at around suppertime. Also due in on Sunday is the Arthur M. Anderson in the late evening. Great Republic returns on Monday in the late evening hours. Manistee is due in on Tuesday around lunchtime to load.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Lewis J. Kuber loaded Saturday and was expected to depart around 10 p.m. There are no incoming vessels scheduled for Sunday. Three vessels are due Monday, with the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula arriving first early in the morning at the South Dock. H. Lee White is due in the late morning on Monday, with American Courage due in the late afternoon. All three vessels will be loading at the South Dock.

Cedarville, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Philip R. Clarke arrived in the morning on Thursday and loaded. They were expected to depart sometime on Thursday during the evening. On Friday, Lewis J. Kuber arrived to load in the early afternoon. Cuyahoga arrived at Cedarville in the early morning on Saturday to load. Following the Cuyahoga was the tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41. They were due in also on Saturday in the morning and would not get a dock until after the Cuyahoga's departure.

Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Cason J. Callaway loaded in the afternoon on Friday. Following the Callaway, the Undaunted & Pere Marquette 41 were listed on the schedule for a morning arrival on Saturday. Also due in on Saturday was the Wilfred Sykes in the late morning and Joseph L. Block in the early afternoon.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
Calumet loaded at the CSX Coal Dock Saturday. Following the Calumet, the next vessel due at CSX will be the John B. Aird on Tuesday late in the evening. Next, H. Lee White is due to load on Thursday in the early morning. Both Calumet and H. Lee White will return on Friday morning to load coal again. Algoma Progress is the only vessel scheduled to arrive with limestone at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. They are due to arrive on Thursday at around suppertime. Vessels due to arrive at the Torco Dock with iron ore include the Buffalo on Monday in the early afternoon, followed by the 1,000 footer James R. Barker on September 3 early in the morning and the CSL Niagara on Thursday, September 5 in the late morning to unload. Scrapping of the Phoenix Star still continues at the Ironhead Shipyard's large drydock. Three ASC vessels still remain in long-term lay-up in Toledo – the Adam E. Cornelius at the Old Interlake Iron Company Dock along with the American Fortitude and American Valor at the Lakefront Docks.


$100 million Welland Canal project gets underway

8/25 - St. Catharines, Ont. – The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. is taking the first steps in a four-year, $100-million project to rebuild a series of ship tie-up walls along the banks of the Welland Canal.

Tie-up walls are exactly what they sound like. Operational services manager Alvina Ghirardi said they are above and below the locks where ships tie up to go into the lock.

Currently, the area near Lock 2 where trees have been cut is undergoing construction of a temporary access road for heavy machinery, allowing crews to access the tie-up wall.

Ghirardi said there's a lot of preliminary work involved to carry out the work this fall and in the winter.

Next year, the tie-up wall at upper Lock 1 will be done, followed by the Lock 3 upper wall and Lock 3 lower wall in coming years. Similar work will be done with tree cutting, access road construction, demolition of the old tie-up walls and reconstruction of new walls.

"It's just necessary improvements to the canal infrastructure," she said.

Ghirardi said the access roads will be removed and the seaway will ensure plants and trees are put back. There will be future landscaping along the canal, mulch, plants, shrubs and vegetation. There will be a tree replacement strategy with each area -- the seaway has to be careful that tree roots don't impact the structural integrity of a dike.

The seaway circulated pamphlets to residents near the construction so they would be aware of what was happening. The project will continue until April 2017.

St. Catharines Standard


St. Clair Historical Commission offers Tashmoo program Sept. 12

St. Clair Historical Commission will present the program "Tashmoo Park & The Steamer Tashmoo" with Historian Arthur M. Woodford Thursday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. at the St. Clair Historical Museum, 308 S. Fourth St., in St. Clair, Mich. Cost is $5 (donation); students free.


Updates -  August 25

News Photo Gallery
Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Intrepid Republic


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, 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.

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: BLACK BAY was T-boned on the port side 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

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
A slow week at the LS&I Upper Harbor ore dock saw only Lee A. Tregurtha load on Monday and Herbert C. Jackson on Friday.

Muskegon, Mich. - Tyler Fairfield
The G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity came into Muskegon at around 1 p.m. Friday to unload cement. She was still unloading at 11:30 p.m.

Collingwood, Ont. - Jens Juhl
Last weekend’s Tall Ships 1812 Tour was a success. Over 7,000 people crowded into Harbourlands Park to view the sailing vessels Lynx, Madeline and Friends Good Will. The police eventually closed the Heritage Drive entrance to the park as there simply wasn't enough room for both vehicles and people. This weekend the folks in Collingwood have another tall ship visitor. This past Wednesday the three-master Sorlandet tied up at the old Collingwood Terminals pier. The Norwegian squarerigger is under charter to Lunenberg-based West Indian College International Class Afloat and is here to embark a new class of freshman students for its fall semester sailing program. Sorlandet departs this Monday for stops at Windsor and Montreal.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Greenwing departed Toronto during evening of August 21.


Great Lakes Shipyard to fabricate new floating breakwater for Whiskey Island

8/24 - Cleveland, Ohio – Great Lakes Shipyard has been awarded a contract by Whiskey Island Marina to fabricate a new floating breakwater. The shipyard will build two 150-foot-long steel cylindrical modules that will be bolted together and anchored in the lake bottom in front of the marina. The project is to be completed by mid-November.

The 10-foot diameter breakwater is used for wake attenuation to protect the boats and docks in the marina basin from heavy weather and is ballasted to the 6.5 waterline.

The shipyard built a similar floating breakwater for Perry’s Landing Marina in Erie, Pa., in 2010. That project involved the assembly of five 40 x 5 wide x 8 sections, ballasted to the 4.5 waterline.

To learn more, visit


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 the 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 her 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.


Port Reports -  August 23

Muskegon, Mich. - Tyler Fairfield
The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 came in to Muskegon to load fly ash at B.C. Cobb plant for Charlevoix. They came in at around 1 p.m. and departed about 6:30 p.m.

South Chicago, Ill. - Matt M.
Thursday was a busy day on the Calumet River. Around 10 a.m., Algoma Navigator was loading at Iroquois Landing while CSL Niagara headed toward the lake with a load of petroleum coke. Not far behind, Michipicoten snaked upriver after unloading south of 106th Street.

Oswego NY - Ned Goebricher
The tug Everlast and barge Norman McLeod unload fuel oil at the power plant Wednesday afternoon.


National Transportation Safety Board releases report on Patrice McAllister

8/23 - Several crewmen were injured and the chief engineer lost his life in a fire, which occurred on Lake Ontario on March 27, 2012 as the tug, which formerly sailed the lakes as the Cleveland, was being delivered to new, East Coast owners. Read the full report here


Coast Guard pursues, assists in apprehension of boater suspected of felony evasion of law enforcement officer

8/23 - Cleveland, Ohio – Coast Guard crews pursued and assisted in the apprehension of a boater who is suspected of felony evading of a law enforcement officer Monday night on Lake Erie.

At about 9:15 p.m., a Coast Guard Station Marblehead, Ohio, boatcrew aboard a 47-foot Motor Life Boat reported to the Coast Guard Sector Detroit command center that, while they were conducting hoist training with an aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Detroit, they witnessed a 30-foot high performance vessel cross within 100 yards of the MLBs bow at a high rate of speed with no navigation lights on.

Sector Detroit diverted the MLB and helicopter crews from training to pursue the vessel. A second Station Marblehead boatcrew aboard a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement was launched to assist. The vessel operator failed to stop, even after the MLB crew energized its law enforcement lights.

The helicopter crew followed the vessel to the Willow Cove Marina in Sandusky, Ohio, where the vessel moored. Sector Detroit contacted the Sandusky Police Department and Customs and Border Protection who dispatched officers as well.

Once on scene, the Sandusky PD charged the operator with felony evading a law enforcement officer and took him into custody.


Littoral combat ship program under scrutiny

8/23 - Milwaukee, Wis. – A federal watchdog agency and at least two key lawmakers are questioning the wisdom of the U.S. Navy's $40 billion littoral combat ship program, which is supporting thousands of jobs and has already injected hundreds of millions of dollars into Wisconsin's economy.

A recent report from the Government Accountability Office says the warships — which cost up to $480 million each and are under construction in Marinette and in Mobile, Ala. — might not perform as expected. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is among the lawmakers expressing serious reservations about the program.

"LCS must not be allowed to become yet another failed program in an already unacceptably long list of amorphous acronyms that, after squandering literally billions of taxpayer dollars, have long since lost meaning," McCain said.

So far, two of the ships have been built by Wisconsin's Marinette Marine under a contract with Lockheed Martin Corp. Four more are under construction in Marinette, and two more are under contract for construction there in 2015.

The littoral program has been dogged by problems, including early cost overruns. The completed ships have suffered from mechanical problems as well as from delays in producing switchable mission modules aimed at making the ships adaptable to varied types of warfare.

Testing has revealed deficiencies with "core ship systems," according to the July 25 GAO report, which says Congress should consider restricting funding for additional littoral combat ships until the Navy completes technical and design studies.

Littoral combat ships are meant to be fast and capable of operating in shallow waters close to shore in places such as the Persian Gulf.

"We continue to believe that the acquisition approach for this program, with large quantities of ships and modules being bought ahead of key test events, is risky, especially for a new class of ship like LCS," Paul Francis, a GAO official, said in recent testimony before a House of Representatives subcommittee looking into the program.

"The current LCS program is not the program envisioned over a decade ago," Francis said, adding the Navy still doesn't know how well the ships will perform their missions, how well the unique crew and maintenance concepts will work, or how much it will cost to equip and support the ships.

Further, the Navy is still considering changes to the ships and determining whether there are advantages to having two radically different designs — one built by Lockheed and Marinette, and the other by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala.

"These are things the Navy and Congress should know before contracting for more than half of the ships," Francis said.

The Navy wants to buy 52 of the high-speed warships over 15 years at a cost of more than $40 billion, including the expense of add-on mission modules.

For the initial 20 ships, the work is being divided between Marinette and Austal, creating thousands of jobs at the shipyards and their suppliers and pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the surrounding communities.

Initially, the program experienced cost overruns that doubled the cost per vessel. USS Freedom, the first littoral ship built by Marinette, suffered several setbacks, including a 6-inch crack in the hull, a failed gas turbine, problems with the jet propulsion system and a leak in the port-shaft seal that caused flooding inside the vessel.

In late July, USS Freedom took another hit when it was forced back to its base in Singapore for maintenance while participating in international training exercises.

The ship briefly lost propulsion but never lost complete power, according to the Navy, which later said the problem resulted from the diesel generators' overheating and shutting down.

McCain took aim at the program in July 30 remarks on the Senate floor. The Navy plans to purchase many, if not most, of the ships before knowing whether they will work as advertised, he said.

"The decision to deploy USS Freedom prior to the completion of critical developmental and operational testing may be good salesmanship on the part of the Navy. But the current plan to buy more than half of the total LCS fleet prior to the completion of operational testing plainly contradicts defense acquisition guidelines and best procurement practices — and amounts to a case of 'buy before you fly,' to borrow a phrase from aircraft acquisitions," McCain said.

"In terms of actual cost and cost to our national security, we simply cannot afford to continue committing our limited resources to an unproven program that may eventually account for more than a third of the surface-combatant fleet," McCain said.

Another key lawmaker, U.S. Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the House Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, also questioned the program, noting that concerns have been raised about the "survivability" of the ships in combat.

The Navy, however, says it's not backing away from the littoral combat ship and its plug-and-play mission modules, which are to be loaded on the vessels for specific missions such as sweeping for mines, hunting submarines and defeating fast attack boats in coastal waters.

Even if the modules can't be switched out in several days, as originally anticipated, the ships will be adaptable to new tactics and technologies, according to Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden, who has defended the program.

Some of the cost overruns and mechanical problems with USS Freedom were to be expected for a ship that's the first of its kind, Marinette Marine says.

About 80% of the improvements the Navy wanted after early reviews of the Freedom were included in the construction of the next ship, USS Fort Worth, said Joe North, vice president of the LCS program at Lockheed Martin.

The Fort Worth was delivered two months ahead of schedule in June 2012 and was on budget at a price of $360 million, according to North.

The shipbuilding program has resulted in thousands of jobs at Marinette and 700 suppliers in 43 states, including more than 120 Wisconsin companies. At its peak in 2014, the program is expected to support up to 13, 000 jobs.

About 90% of the 1,400 Marinette Marine shipyard employees are working on the littoral combat ships, according to the company, which has only one other ship, an Alaskan fisheries research vessel, under construction.

"We are basically focused on giving the Navy what we promised. I can't speculate on what Congress might decide to do or not do, but we are going to deliver ships as promised and continue to make improvements and increase efficiencies," North said.

The GAO report is the latest red flag that's been raised about the program.

A confidential Navy report completed last year, and obtained by Bloomberg News, warned that the ships may not be able to perform their missions because they're too lightly staffed and armed. The Navy has since increased staffing levels on the ship by 25%, to 50 crew members.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) says the Navy has told him the LCS program is a high priority even as the Department of Defense faces billions of dollars in sequestration-related budget cuts.

"They acknowledged there were problems with the first ships built, but they're still very supportive of the mission," Johnson said.

It would take a lot to sink the program at this point, given that the Navy has already committed billions of dollars and years worth of work, according to some Washington insiders.

"Everyone agrees there are important issues that need to be worked out. But I think the Navy is confident they can remedy them over time," said John Rogers, a former high-ranking Department of Defense official and now president of Capstone National Partners, a Milwaukee-based consulting firm. Slowing down the program would be the worst mistake the Navy could make, said Robert Work, former undersecretary of the Navy from 2009 to 2013.

"Everything about this ship is different. So we shouldn't be surprised that we are learning as we go, because it's such a different kettle of fish," Work said.

But some other experts disagree, including Norman Polmar, who has been an adviser or consultant to three U.S. secretaries of the Navy and two chiefs of Naval Operations.

The littoral combat ship was a great concept that's been poorly executed, according to Polmar, who says that nine years into the program, none of the original three mission modules is ready for production.

"I am really opposed to this project because of the way it has been managed. We should stop producing the ships right now, put the program on hold, and immediately convene an objective Navy and civilian review group to look at the whole program and decide what to do," Polmar said.

Canceling the program, or putting it on hold, could result in heavy job losses at the shipyards and their suppliers. It would have a significant impact throughout northeast Wisconsin, said Jim Golembeski, executive director of the Bay Area Workforce Development Board in Green Bay.

Gov. Scott Walker, in a recent letter to Wisconsin's congressional delegation, underscored the importance of the program and urged that it not be canceled.

"Some in Congress are considering amending the National Defense Authorization Act to stop or disrupt production of the littoral combat ships. I respectfully request that you oppose those efforts," Walker wrote.

But it doesn't make sense to continue pouring billions of dollars into a flawed program just because the Navy is already deep into it, according to Polmar.

"The basic concept is flawed," he said. "And when you add to that the costs, the delays, and the fact that the Navy is buying two designs of these ships ... I am far from impressed."

For now, the program continues: On Friday, the Navy announced that the next littoral ship to be built in Marinette — contingent on congressional approval — will be named USS Indianapolis, after the World War II ship famous for escorting convoys and attacking submarines.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Updates -  August 23

News Photo Gallery
Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Apollon, Harbour Legend, and Intrepid Republic


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.

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 - 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


Port Reports -  August 22

Suttons Bay, Mich.
The tug and barge Leonard M and Huron Spirit were seeking shelter from strong SW winds on Lake Michigan Wednesday. The barge is loaded with steel coils for Chicago.

Muskegon, Mich. - Tyler Fairfield
Early Thursday afternoon the American Mariner came into Muskegon for B.C. Cobb to unload coal. About 7 p.m. the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader anchored off Muskegon to wait for the Mariner to depart so she could unload stone. The Mariner was still at Cobb around 11 p.m. and the Great Lakes Trader was still anchored.


Salt mine under Lake Erie shut down as precaution

8/22 - Cleveland, Ohio – A potentially dangerous situation has shut down production at the Cargill Salt Mine located on and under Lake Erie. The more than 50-year-old mine rests 1,800 feet below the waters of Lake Erie and 4 miles from the shore.

As part of the Great Eastern Salt Basin, the mine is an engineering marvel and the only mine in the United States that’s located in a city, not far from downtown Cleveland.

Thousands of tons of salt is extracted from the 300 million year old salt basin and then brought to the surface on conveyor belts. The majority of the rock salt is then used as a deicing agent for roads across Ohio and many other Midwest states.

But operations suddenly shut down Monday, and workers were sent home after a sensor in a “mined” tunnel detected a geological shift.

Mark Klein, Cargill Director of Communications said, “We just thought it was the prudent thing to do, to check out what this is about.”

According to Mr. Klein, about 100 miners who work three different shifts under the lake were told to stay home this week with pay.

He said the movement is small and would be undetectable by the human eye. But in a mine, even 1/100 of an inch shift is taken seriously. The mine is closed so that they can get equipment down to the area, ”to see what the movement’s all about.”

Seismic monitoring devices, video cameras and fiber optic cables are being installed so that the mine can be closely surveyed from the surface. They need to ensure that the earth isn’t giving way to the crushing power of Lake Erie. Experts are also being consulted.

“We’re drawing on mining engineer consultants as well as geology consultants and we’ll get to the answers,” said Klein.

This isn’t the first time a geological shift has taken place at the mine. In the mine’s 50 + year history a shift has occurred at least a couple of times.

However, given the nature of their business, Cargill is not taking any chances.

“We’re not looking at anything catastrophic, but then again, it’s better to be prudent and not have any mining going on below the surface,” said Klein.

The Cargill mine has enough salt to remain open for 100 years, but the earthen tunnels must be secure. There are possible fixes, but it’s too early to say what might happen next. If the mine is closed for more than a couple of weeks it could affect salt prices this winter, but at this point the company’s main concern is safety.

Fox 8 Cleveland


Lower Lakes Towing’s Scott Bravener to be inducted to Hall of Fame

8/22 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The 2013 Great Lakes Mariner Hall of Fame Dinner will be held on Friday, September 20 at Kewadin Casinos Hotel & Convention Center in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. This year’s inductee to the Hall of Fame is Capt. Scott F. Bravener of Lower Lakes Towing Ltd.

Tickets are $38.50 per guest  and are available by contacting Sault Historic Sites at Reservation deadline is Friday, September 13.


Updates -  August 22

News Photo Gallery


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.

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.

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 10 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.


Port Reports -  August 21

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Herbert C. Jackson moved cautiously along the inbound channel as darkness fell Tuesday evening before arriving at the NS coal dock to begin loading.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Federal Satsuki departed Redpath over the weekend and Greenwing arrived, with unloading underway on Monday.


Coast Guard recovers stolen vessel in western Lake Michigan, apprehends suspect

8/21 - Cleveland, Ohio – A Coast Guard boatcrew recovered a stolen boat near Sea Gull Marina in Two Rivers, Wis., on Tuesday. Just before 9 a.m. CDT, the communications watchstander at Coast Guard Station Two Rivers notified search-and-rescue controllers at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan in Milwaukee that they had received a report of a stolen vessel near Sea Gull Marina in Two Rivers.

The reporting source told the station watchstander that he witnessed a 16-year-old male climb into the vessel that was moored next to his. He stated that because he did not recognize the boy as being the owner, he questioned him. The boy started the engine and departed the marina toward the Two Rivers pierheads.

A Station Two Rivers boatcrew responded aboard a 41-foot Utility Boat and located the vessel and its operator near the entrance of the pierheads. They took the boy into custody, took the vessel in side-tow, and transported both to the station.

The vessel owner’s wife arrived at the station and verified ownership. She also confirmed that she did not know the boy. The Two Rivers Police Department took the boy into custody and transported him to the Two Rivers Police Department Headquarters. The Station Two Rivers boarding officer issued a civil penalty for theft of a vessel.


Lake Superior is sending some help to Lake Michigan-Huron's low water levels

8/21 - Detroit, Mich. – Lake Superior's water level has increased rapidly the last few months. Now Lake Superior will outflow more water into Lake Michigan-Huron.

In fact, all of the Great Lakes water levels have risen dramatically this year. Only Lake Michigan-Huron remains significantly below the long-term average. Most of the lakes have come close to or surpassed the long term water level average. Lake Superior is now only five inches below its long-term average. Lake St. Clair is two inches below the long-term average. Lake Erie is two inches above and Lake Ontario is five inches above the long-term average water level. But Lake Michigan-Huron is still significantly below its long-term average, being 18 inches below the long-term average.

Jim Lewis, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hydraulic engineer, says Lake Michigan has risen sharply. It just had the longest way to go to rise to near the long-term average water level. He says Lake Michigan-Huron and Lake Superior have had their fifth largest January to June water level rise in 96 years of records.

Lake Michigan has risen 20 inches since January, while Lake Superior is 19 inches higher since March. Lake St. Clair is up 23 inches. Lake Erie is up 22 inches. Lake Ontario's water level has increased 32 inches.

Have the lake levels turned to corner?

The next few seasons will determine whether the rise in the lake levels continues. If you want to see higher lake levels, you'll have to hope for a cool, wet fall, followed be a snowy winter, and a rainy spring. If we have an instant replay of the last 12 months, Lake Michigan-Huron will only be 4 to 10 inches below the long-term average water level by this time next year. So summer lovers, and boaters - you may want to embrace it when old man winter returns to Michigan this year.

Mlive, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Detroit


Learn Great Lakes Seaway Trail maritime history at Blue Byway Seminar

8/21 - Oswego, N.Y. – Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 and Revolutionary War shipwrecks, rum runners, a National Weather Service forensic meteorologist, and the new Great Lakes-wide Boaters Forecast are all on the October 5 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway seminar agenda at SUNY Oswego, Oswego, N.Y.

Presenters at the 9:00 am-1 pm program co-sponsored by the Great Lakes Seaway Trail and New York Sea Grant include:

• Christopher Nicholson, who designed, built and piloted the RPV (remotely-piloted vehicle) for the National Geographic Society film of the schooners Hamilton and Scourge that sank in Lake Ontario during the War of 1812. Nicholson, President of Deep Sea Systems International, Cataumet, MA, has provided technical assistance and engineering services for the exploration of the WWII battleship Arizona, the H.M.S. Breadalbane, and famed freighter Edmund Fitzgerald.

• National Weather Service Forecaster and forensic meteorologist Robert Hamilton speaking on historic weather conditions on Lake Ontario that influenced the wreck of the 22-gun British warship HMS Ontario during the Revolutionary War.

• New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White will provide an update on the Great Lakes Observing System Boaters Forecasting tool that is now available throughout the Great Lakes region

• A guest describing Two Tank Tips for great diving destinations on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, and

• A speaker on Prohibition-era rum running.

Preregistration by October 1 is $10 at; late registration and admission at the door is $15 as space allows. For more information, call 315-646-1000 x203.

The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is a 518-mile National Scenic Byway that offers unique land and water travel opportunities along Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River. Learn more at


Badger announces Bed & Breakfast $69 Sept. 3- Oct. 12

8/21 - This fall the Lake Michigan carferry is featuring an overnight stay aboard the historic S.S. Badger.

Includes overnight lodging, use of stateroom and buffet meal for one or two people during their crossing (price does not include passenger or vehicle fare). Staterooms include 2 single beds, private restroom (no shower) and outside window

Available September 3 - October 12, 2013 in Ludington. Movies and limited food and bar service at night. Check-in 8 pm to 10 pm. Check-out 7:30 am (for passengers disembarking in Ludington)

For details visit


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.

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, 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 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.


Port Reports -  August 20

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber called on the Saginaw River Monday morning, delivering a split cargo. The pair stopped first at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City for a partial unload, then continued upriver to finish at the Buena Vista Dock in Saginaw to finish. The Moore-Kuber were outbound Monday evening.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Cuyahoga loaded Monday at the Lafarge stone dock, she departed at mid-afternoon.

Huron, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Philip R. Clarke was in Huron Monday, discharging a cargo of Michigan limestone. The stone is pulverized by Huron Lime Co., and utilized as agricultural lime.


1.5M river project allows ship to dock again at Port of Rochester

8/20 - Rochester, N.Y. – A large cement-carrying ship motored into the Genesee River Monday, a sign that the river is again open for a company that has used the waterway for delivery for nearly 50 years.

The company, Essroc Italcementi Group, has been unable to bring its largest cargo vessel, the Stephen B. Roman, in through the Port of Rochester for nearly three years because the federal government halted dredging at the port.

However, Essroc agreed to pay the bulk of the nearly $1.5 million for the dredging, joining a partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the city and the county.

“We didn’t give up on it,” said Stephen Murch, the company’s marine logistics senior manager. “It’s an important market for us.”

During the years when the large Essroc vessel could not enter the harbor, the company relied on smaller vessels which could not carry as much weight. That increased the company’s cost, and the product cost, said Murch. The Stephen B. Roman has a capacity of 7,400 metric tons.

U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, worked to bring the “stakeholders” together to craft a stopgap dredging plan, Murch said. Slaughter has also helped secure federal funding for another round of dredging in 2014.

Essroc has been using the river to transport cement from Canada for about 50 years. The federal government typically was responsible for dredging, but stopped during cost-cutting after determining the port was a low priority.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contributed about $130,000 worth of analysis to help the company with dredging plans. The federal government previously dredged the waterway about every two years. The City of Rochester and the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency agreed to contribute up to $50,000 each to the project.

Slaughter said at a news conference Monday that she is working to restore the federal funding for a regular dredging cycle. “It’s vital that future federal funding is allocated,” she said.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle


Ohio man sentenced for making false distress call

8/20 - Cleveland, Ohio – In coordination with the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, the Coast Guard 9th District announced that a 21-year-old Sandusky man was sentenced Friday to three months in federal custody and was also ordered to pay restitutions of $489,007.70, the cost of the search in Lake Erie that began after he knowingly made a false distress call in March 2012.

Danik Shiv Kumar pleaded guilty earlier this year of one count of making a false distress call.


Submariners from across Canada visit HMCS Ojibwa

8/20 - Port Burwell, Ont. - Port Burwell was full of submariners this past weekend as members of the Submariners Association of Canada came from all over to attend their Annual Meeting and BBQ. The weekend started Friday evening with a Meet and Greet" at Schooners Galley Restaurant in Port Burwell overlooking the submarine that most of them had crewed. For many it was their first opportunity to see Ojibwa since she was rescued from a date with the scrap yard.

“I’ve waited for this for a long time,” said Fred Schatz who was on Ojibwa in the late sixties and early seventies. “It means a lot to see her restored. She is an important part of Canadian history.”

On Saturday the documentary “Project Ojibwa: Saving a Cold War Warrior” was screened for them by the Elgin Military Museum. The documentary is the first of two being produced by Eastlink TV to tell the story of the history, move and restoration of HMCS Ojibwa and her transition into the Museum of Naval History. Ojibwa opened for public tours on the July 1st weekend and since that time over 12,000 visitors have taken the hour-long guided tours.

Perhaps the highlight of the weekend came when close to 50 submariners crowded into the forward torpedo bay for the official photo. “I jumped onto my old bunk as soon as I got aboard,” related Shawn Preston. “It wasn’t quite as comfortable as it used to be!”

Visitors to Ojibwa are surprised to learn that the bunks located on top of and between the torpedoes were among the most coveted on the boat. According to Preston they are the only bunks where you can stretch out your legs. He went on to lead four public groups for special tours through the eyes of a submariner.

In the evening the museum turned Ojibwa over to the association so the submariners could nose around their old home and show it off to families. The stories just kept flowing, reported Catherine Raven, Webmaster for the Elgin Military Museum. “The stories are incredible. We had no idea of what our submarine service was doing or of how dangerous it was. The Museum will be collecting all the stories we can to help Canadians understand the major role played by the Canadian submarine service and just how perilous the Cold War really was.”

Port Burwell is located on the north shore of Lake Erie about two hours west of Toronto. The hour-long tours of HMCS Ojibwa begin daily at 9 am with the final tour of the day starting at 8 pm. The museum recommends people come between 9 and 11 am or after 4 in the afternoon to avoid significant waits. Tour times can be pre-booked by calling the Elgin Military Museum at 519-633-7641. For more information, visit the web site at


Updates -  August 20

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - New pictures in the  Mohawk Deer & Valley Camp galleries
Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Lyulin


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.

INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORT arrived at Toronto, Ontario, August 20, 1969, on her maiden voyage, with fuel oil.

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, upbound 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.


Port Reports -  August 19

Superior, Wis. - Chris Jackson
The barge Lakes Contender was in the Fraser shipyard dry dock Sunday undergoing repairs to its bow, which may have been damaged while docking in Stoneport, Mich. The tug is detached from the barge.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Joseph L. Block arrived Sunday evening at the Upper Harbor to unload stone into the hopper. Her last visit was October 21, 2012.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Manitowoc delivered a load of stone to Meekhof's D & M dock just upriver from the power plant on Harbor Island early Sunday morning.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Friday saw the Manitowoc inbound on the Saginaw River, calling on the Burroughs North dock in Essexville to unload. She was outbound later in the day. The G.L. Ostrander - Integrity were inbound late Saturday night, stopping at the Lafarge Cement dock in Essexville to unload. The pair was expected to be outbound late Sunday or early Monday morning. The tug Gregory J. Busch and her deck barge were inbound Sunday afternoon, calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Manistee loaded Sunday at the Lafarge aggregate dock. She was scheduled for Cleveland.


From Duluth harbor muck, a new habitat emerges

8/19 - Duluth, Minn. – A project using dredged materials from Twin Ports shipping channels to help create shallow-water wetland areas in the harbor got underway this week.

Over the next three years the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use about 300,000 cubic yards of dredged material to create new wildlife habitat off 21st Avenue West in Duluth.

The pilot project, which the Corps and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will monitor, will place the dredged material into 18-20 acres of the bay in front of the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District wastewater treatment plant and the mouth of Miller Creek.

That bay now ranges from 3 feet to 24 feet deep. The goal is to make it much shallower — ranging from 1 foot to 10 feet — to allow plants to take root and thrive. That will create habitat for fish to spawn and little fish to live, as well as habitat for waterfowl and other birds.

“A big part of it will be to watch and see what Mother Nature does with it once we put it in there,” said Jeff Gulan of the Corps in Duluth.

Material from the shipping channels, dredged each year to maintain proper depths for lakers and salties, usually goes to the port’s Erie Pier disposal site. But that site is running out of room, and both port and conservation supporters are pushing a novel idea to instead use the materials to create underwater islands and wetlands to replace vital fish and wildlife habitat lost a century ago when the harbor was developed.

“Everybody is hoping this will work because it really helps solve two issues,” Gulan said.

In coming days, a contractor will mechanically dredge the stuff out of shipping channels, move it by barge into the bay off 21st Avenue West and then unload it into a small temporary hopper now under construction.

The dredged material then will be pumped out to sites in the bay where designers hope to create man-made habitat. A temporary “curtain” will be placed in the water to wall the area off from the rest of the bay and keep any silt from leaving the habitat site as the material is pumped in.

Boaters are being asked to stay away from the project area, and signs will be posted near the curtain.

Habitat loss is one of several problems mentioned in the harbor’s listing as one of the Great Lakes’ hotspots for pollution and degradation. Restoring habitat is a prime goal of efforts to have the harbor delisted in coming years.

The long-awaited harbor project received the go-ahead in June without having to undergo a full-blown environmental impact statement.

Each year the Corps dredges about 100,000 cubic yards of sediment from the harbor to keep channels deep enough for freighters. The Duluth Seaway Port Authority has little problem finding markets for the 20,000 to 50,000 yards of sand that’s dredged in the mix. But there are about 2 million yards of “fines” — which contain clay and organic material — in the dredged muck now stockpiled at Erie Pier, which has been used since 1979.

The $1.4 million contract for this year’s work was awarded to Roen Salvage Co., of Sturgeon Bay, Wis. The firm will dredge 114,000 cubic yards of material from the harbor this year and deposit the dredged material in the bay. The dredging should be complete by mid-November.

“The Corps of Engineers is pleased to award this contract, which will keep Duluth-Superior Harbor open to commercial shipping traffic and provide dredged material for beneficial use in the restoration of” habitat, Lt. Col. Robert Ells, district engineer for the Corps, said in a news release.

Duluth News Tribune


BoatNerd Welland Gathering Sept. 13-15

8/19 - The annual Welland Canal BoatNerd Gathering is scheduled for Sept. 13-15. 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 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


Miller adds Put-in-Bay trips, parking for Lake Erie Bicentennial Celebration/ Labor Day weekend

8/19 -  Put-In-Bay, Ohio – Miller Ferries will add Put-in-Bay trips and satellite parking for Lake Erie Bicentennial Celebration/ Labor Day weekend. Details are as follows:

• On Sunday, September 1: additional Miller ferries leaving Put-in-Bay (Lime Kiln Dock) to Catawba: 9 PM, 10:00 PM, 10:30 PM. These added trips will allow visitors time to enjoy The Ohio State University Marching Band Performance and Fireworks on Put-in-Bay.

Visitors can take Public Transport to Miller Dock, Put-in-Bay: Cabs, Golf Carts (Return time/ policy per the Rental Company) and Island Transportation Buses will run between Village Depot and Miller Ferry Lime Kiln Dock.

• Monday, September 2 - additional Miller Ferry to Put-in-Bay Leaving Catawba 7 AM

Above trips are in addition to regular Put-in-Bay Miller Ferry schedule

Miller Ferry Special Event Parking is outsourced & available at Winke's Boat Storage lot, GPS: 3072 NE Catawba Rd, Port Clinton, OH 43452, located on Rt.53 Catawba, 1.25 miles south of the Miller Ferry Catawba Dock. This Special Event Parking open with shuttle service during these dates/ hours: Saturday, Aug. 31 - 8 am to 8:30 pm; Sunday, Sept. 1 – 8 am to 11 pm; Monday, Sept. 2 - 6 am to 8:30 pm

Please note the following: Miller Ferries does not take reservations for passengers or vehicles to Put-in-Bay; it is first come-first served. However, vehicles to and from Middle Bass Island must be reserved through our office 800-500-2421 and reservations will be taken up to two weeks in advance

Save time by pre-purchasing your Put-in-Bay passenger round trip tickets. Buy at The Lake Erie Shores and Islands Welcome Center, 770 SE Catawba Rd., Port Clinton (Welcome Center, on Rt. 53, about 6.5 miles south of Miller Catawba Ferry Dock


Updates -  August 19

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 19

On this day in 1865, the PEWABIC, Captain George P. McKay, 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.

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 at the Iroquois Lock under tow of GRAEME STEWART and SALVAGE MONARCH enroute to 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.


St. Lawrence Seaway has a new chief

8/18 - Washington, D.C. – The new Administrator for the U.S. side of the St. Lawrence Seaway was officially sworn in at a ceremony in Washington Thursday. Betty Sutton becomes the tenth person to hold the post and the second woman.

Betty Sutton is a former Congresswoman from Ohio. She served a district that included Akron and a slice of Lake Erie. She spearheaded the “Cash for Clunkers” program that shored up the auto industry there during her term from 2007 to 2012. The Democrat lost her seat after redistricting forced her into a new district.

According to a press release, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx administered the oath of office. Sutton said in the release she appreciated the importance of the Seaway to the “economic vitality of the Great Lakes area.”

Sutton succeeds interim Administrator Craig Middlebrooks, who has been filling in since last year, when George W. Bush appointee Terry Johnson was unexpectedly fired from the post.

The Administrator position carries a seven-year term. Seaway officials say Sutton plans to make her first trip to the St. Lawrence River and Seaway operations in Massena “in the very near future.”

North Country Public Radio


Lighthouse reopens at Old Fort Niagara

8/18 - Youngstown, NY – Repairs have been completed at the iconic Old Fort Niagara Lighthouse at the entrance of the garrison, and the tower in the historic lighthouse, which had been closed to tours this summer, has reopened.

“It’s important to preserve it because it reminds people of the importance of maritime history to this region,” said Old Fort Niagara Executive Director Robert Emerson.

The octagonal-towered, limestone lighthouse, is one of 28 historic lighthouses that serve as landmarks on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail.

It is normally open for daily tours in July and August, but this year’s opening was delayed for restoration work on the tower’s windows, according to Emerson.

The lighthouse is open from 1 to 4 p.m. daily through Labor Day. The gift shop, which had formerly been housed in the Lighthouse, moved across the parking lot to the Visitors Center. There visitors can see the Fort Niagara Lighthouse’s original Fresnel lens, which was used to magnify the light in historic lighthouses.

The restoration work included the rebuilding of several tower windows. Masonry repairs were also needed due to the leaking windows.

The $10,000 restoration project was funded by a donation from the East Hill Foundation of Western New York, located in North Tonawanda.

The first Fort Niagara Lighthouse was established on the roof of the Fort’s French Castle in 1781 and was the earliest unofficial lighthouse on the Great Lakes. It was used to help vessels find the mouth of the Niagara River, according to Emerson.

The U.S. Army moved the Fort Niagara Lighthouse to a separate building just outside of the fort, in 1871 and it was opened the following year, Emerson said.

The tower was raised 11 feet in 1900 and could cast a beam visible for 15 miles. The lighthouse was deactivated in the 1990s and replaced by an automatic beacon at the U.S. Coast Guard Station Niagara, which sits adjacent to Old Fort Niagara, at the mouth of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario.

News Niagara Reporter


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


Port Reports -  August 17

Port Huron, Mich.
Afternoon traffic included the downbound Brant, Algoway and Joseph H. Thompson. Baie St. Paul and Saginaw were upbound.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Herbert C. Jackson sailed for Detroit Friday from the NS coal dock, having loaded overnight.

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
At Redpath the Federal Satsuki is in the final stage of discharging sugar out of holds 4, 5 and 6. Launched last year by the Oshima shipyard in Japan, it is the handy-size bulkers' first call at Toronto. The 35,500-ton vessel is powered by a state of the art, fuel-efficient Tier II diesel. Annual fuel savings are estimated to be over 700 tons with a relevant reduction in CO2 and NOx emissions. Satsuki is the month of May in Japanese.


‘Perry’s Victory’: Exhibit celebrates 200th anniversary of Battle of Lake Erie

8/17 - Toledo, Ohio – Toledo Museum of Art’s (TMA) newest exhibit combines artwork, historical artifacts and multimedia displays to help visitors mark the 200th anniversary of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s famous War of 1812 naval victory.

“Perry’s Victory: The Battle of Lake Erie” runs through Nov. 10. Admission is free.

Highlights include “Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie,” a 5-foot-by-8-foot oil painting by noted maritime artist Thomas Birch; a portrait of Perry by Gilbert Stuart from TMA’s collection; and one of six known copies of the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war, said curator Edward Hill, special projects assistant with the chief curator’s office.

“We have historical items as well as art, so it’s kind of a mixture of history and art,” Hill said.

Also on display are Perry’s Naval commission signed by President James Madison, sketches of the Treaty of Ghent signers, commemorative items and more. Birch started his painting within weeks of the battle, Hill said.

“News of the battle had traveled to the East Coast and people were excited to understand what had happened,” Hill said. “It’s really one of the most monumental paintings of the battle that exists. It’s a very accurate depiction of a particular moment of the battle.”

Many artists, including Birch, wrote to Perry for help with accuracy. Perry answered some requests, but it’s unclear if he wrote back to Birch, Hill said.

Perry himself owned a copy of one set of prints on display in the exhibit, Hill said.

“After his death and after his wife’s death, it was noted that they were in their own collection, so that’s pretty exciting to see a pair of prints he actually owned of the battle,” Hill said.

In the decades following the war, artistic focus shifted from accuracy to heroism and patriotism, Hill said.

“More toward the latter part of the 19th century, the 1870s, 1880s, that idea of accuracy almost disappears,” Hill said. “Now they are more concerned with patriotism, the idea of heroes, the idea of a republic having lasted over 100 years. So you see kind of an interesting shift in the depiction of the battle.”

Although some aspects became less accurate, depictions of sailors started to become more accurate, Hill said. Fifteen to 20 percent of the battle’s participants were African-American, but earlier paintings show few if any black faces, he said.

“I don’t know if it’s because it’s post-Civil War, but it’s only after you get to the later part of the 19th century that you see that happening,” Hill said. “It’s interesting. They changed the image from being less accurate in some respects … but now they show African-Americans so they are correct in that way.”

Kelly Fritz Garrow, TMA’s director of communications, said people are looking forward to the exhibit.

“This show has generated a lot of buzz and excitement because obviously we’re so close to the place where the battle took place,” Garrow said.

TMA hosted a similar anniversary exhibit in 1913 to mark the 100th anniversary of the battle. Several of the pieces in the current exhibit were also at that exhibition, including “Battle of Lake Erie,” a painting by Toledo artist Carlton T. Chapman. The Stuart portrait was also there, although not owned by TMA at the time.

The Birch painting, on loan from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, is in Toledo for the first time.

“That was the one major painting the museum did not get in 1913,” Hill said.

Other pieces in the show were borrowed from the University of Michigan’s William L. Clements Library, the Library of Congress, private collections and more.

At the Battle of Lake Erie, which took place Sept. 10, 1813, Perry’s men captured a fleet of British vessels, gaining control of Lake Erie’s transportation routes to the United States.

Upcoming related events include: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sept. 10: Perry’s Victory Party. Nautical attire encouraged. Featuring music, photo booth, light snacks and cash bar. Museum members free; nonmembers $20.

7:30 p.m. Sept. 13: “Native Americans in the War of 1812,” presented by Jamie Oxendine of the Black Swamp Intertribal Foundation. Free.

7:30 p.m. Oct. 11: “Consequences of the Battle of Lake Erie,” presented by David Skaggs, Bowling Green State University professor emeritus of history and retired U.S. Army Reserve officer. Free.

7:30 p.m. Nov. 8: Nineteenth-century music commemorating war heroes, performed by Christopher Scholl, associate professor of voice at Bowling Green State University, and accompanied by TMA’s piano dating from around 1840. Free.

The museum is located at 2445 Monroe St. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday and closed Mondays.

For more information, visit

Toledo Free Press


Updates -  August 17

News Photo Gallery


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 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, Mich.

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


Great Lakes iron ore trade down 8-plus percent in July

8/16 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes totaled 6.4 million tons in July, an increase of 7 percent compared to June, but a drop of 8.2 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings also trailed the month’s long-term average by 6.5 percent.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 5.7 million tons, a decrease of 5.2 percent compared to a year ago. The July total included 490,000 tons shipped to Quebec City for loading into oceangoing vessels and delivery overseas. Year-to-date overseas exports total 1,550,000 tons.

Shipments from Canadian ports to Great Lakes destinations totaled 775,000 tons, a decrease of 20.1 percent compared to a year ago.

Year-to-date, the Lakes iron ore trade stands at 29.6 million tons, a decrease of 8.1 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings are 4.1 percent below the long-term average for the January-July timeframe.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  August 16

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Kaye E. Barker sailed early Thursday for Duluth, after loading at the NS dock. The 767-footer was replaced under the loader a short time later by the Saginaw. At the stroke of midnight Thursday, the Herbert C. Jackson put her lines on the bollards at the coal dock. She was tucked in astern of the Saginaw.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Following a week shuttling between the Lafarge stone dock and Cleveland and Lorain, crew on the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann shifted their eyes northward Thursday. The Interlake vessels were upbound on the St.Clair River late in the afternoon.


Tall ships sailing toward Green Bay for weekend festival

8/16 - Green Bay, Wis. – While lake freighters are a common sight transiting Green Bay much of the year, large sailing ships are much less common. But this week, nine will be a fixture on the Fox River in Green Bay as part of the Baylake Bank Tall Ship Festival, which runs Friday through Sunday.

“These ships, you see them in the movies ... but you don’t actually see these ships up close,” Sara Klemme, director of shows and events with PMI, said about the appeal of the vessels. “To meet these people, and see this really is a way of life, I think that’s the appeal.”

Five ships will be open for tours, while the other four will offer sailing excursions.

The event — which became a larger production starting in 2006 — will see a number of changes this year aimed at expanding the appeal of the vessels, and the event itself, to a wider group of potential visitors.

“One of the things we’re doing differently this year is making it more about a festival than just about the ships,” said Klemme, who is directing the festival. “We wanted to make it an atmosphere where even if you weren’t interested in seeing the ships you could still have a really good day with your family or friends.”

Organizers have expanded food and beverage options, beefed up the live music selection and added evening concerts, as well as adding additional merchandise vendors.

The festival is seen as a boon for downtown Green Bay — both in terms of economic traffic and exposure for the city.

“There’s an immeasurable economic impact, but I also really see a local, cultural and educational impact,” said Jeff Mirkes, executive director of Downtown Green Bay Inc. “We’re looking at 50,000-plus people over the course of the weekend who are going to be experiencing downtown.”

Organizers expect about 60,000 visitors over the course of the three-day event, which happens every three years as part of a race series run by Tall Ships America.

Green Bay Press Gazette


Coast Guard medevacs sick diver

8/16 - Cleveland, Ohio – The Coast Guard conducted an emergency medical evacuation of a sick diver from a vessel operating in Northern Lake Huron, late Thursday morning.

At about 11:45 a.m., a Coast Guard boarding team from Coast Guard Station Alpena, Mich., aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small started a boarding and safety inspection of the vessel Black Dog, a documented commercial dive vessel in the vicinity of Thunder Bay, near Alpena. The master of the vessel reported he had sick diver, a 54-year-old man, aboard and requested the medevac. The diver had just resurfaced from a 230-foot dive in Lake Huron and was vomiting, and experiencing tingling of his extremities and blockage of the ear.

Search-and-rescue controllers at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste Marie, Mich., held a conference call with SAR controllers in command center at the Coast Guard 9th District in Cleveland, and an on-call flight surgeon concerning the requested medevac. The flight surgeon recommended the medevac, so the boarding team assisted the ill man aboard the 25-foot RB-S and transported him to awaiting emergency medical technicians at Presque Isle Marina.

The EMS transferred the man to the Alpena Regional Medical Center, since it has a hyperbaric chamber. The Divers Alert Network was also contacted to report the diving incident. The condition of the man is unknown at this time.

"The boarding team seamlessly transitioned from law enforcement operations to rescue duties, when they unexpectedly came across a stricken diver during a boarding," said Cmdr. Marko Broz, deputy commander, Sector Sault Ste Marie. "This case also highlights the excellent coordination the Coast Guard had with local EMS, who were already waiting on shore, to ensure the diver was transported to advanced medical care as fast as possible."



Tall Ship Pride of Baltimore makes unexpected stop in Muskegon

8/16 - Muskegon, Mich. – The Tall Ship Pride of Baltimore made a return trip into the Port of Muskegon Tuesday, Aug. 13, albeit an unexpected visit. The 157-foot topsail schooner was last in Muskegon more than a decade ago for the Tall Ships Challenge Muskegon in 2001 and the Huntington Tall Ship Challenge in 2003.

The majestic wooden reproduction of the a 1812-era Baltimore ship made a brief appearance on Muskegon Lake, anchoring about 300 yards off of the sand dunes of Muskegon State Park, just north of the Muskegon Channel.

The Pride of Baltimore apparently was riding out some rough weather Tuesday on Lake Michigan. The winds peaked at more than 26 mph and waves reached 6.5 feet on Lake Michigan as strong winds from the northwest gave the lake a fall feel.

When it decided to take a layover in Muskegon, the two-masted vessel was heading north on Lake Michigan from an event in Chicago, making its way back home through the eastern Great Lakes.

The Pride of Baltimore was one of 14 Tall Ships in the Tall Ships Chicago 2013 event at Navy Pier this past weekend. The Aug. 7-11 maritime event included many ships familiar to sailors on Lake Michigan including the Denis Sullivan from Milwaukee, Appledore IV from Bay City, Friends Good Will from South Haven, Madeline from Traverse City and Chicago’s own Windy.

Besides the Great Lakes, the Baltimore vessel historically has sailed the waters of the East Coast, Gulf Coast, Canada and Europe. It is operated as a good-will ambassador for Baltimore and the state of Maryland, presenting the maritime history of that seaport community and its importance in the War of 1812 and the defense of the country from historic Fort McHenry, where the Star-Spangled Banner was written.



Safety zone established for Float down

8/16 - Port Huron, Mich. – The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on the St. Clair River, Port Huron, Mich. This zone is intended to restrict vessels from a portion of the St. Clair River during the Port Huron Float-Down on Snnday. Though this is an unsanctioned, non-permitted event, this temporary safety zone is necessary to protect spectators and vessels from the hazards associated with river tubing and Float-Down events.


Updates -  August 16

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 16

On 16 August 1890, the ANNIE WATT (wooden propeller, passenger and package freight "packet,” 75 foot, 62 gross ton, built in 1884, at Lion's Head, Ontario) collided with the ship 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.


Port Reports -  August 15

Marquette, Mich. - Heather Arpoika
American Courage, Herbert C. Jackson, and Mesabi Miner all were in port on Tuesday. Those out on the breakwall heard an impressive salute between the Mesabi Miner and Herbert C. Jackson.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Wilfred Sykes delivered a load of slag to Meekhof's D & M dock just north of the power plant on Harbor Island in Grand Haven. It tied up about 12:30pm and was seen still unloading about 2:30 p.m.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation came in late Tuesday night to load cement at Lafarge. The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw has been in the area the past few days, possibly doing some training out in the bay.
The cruise ship Yorktown arrived Wednesday morning and tied up in the river on its third stop to Alpena. Passengers were able to explore Alpena and return for departure time which was early afternoon.

Toledo, Ohio - Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority
The pilothouse of the Phoenix Star, now being scrapped at the Ironhead drydock in Toledo, collapsed during the project on Tuesday. Reports indicate the collapse was intentional. Most of the midsection of the vessel appears to be gone.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Kaye E. Barker began loading Wednesday evening at the NS coal dock. She arrived late in the afternoon following the delayed departure of CSL Assiniboine. It was not clear why the Canada Steamship Lines vessel remained at the Sandusky dock for more than 24-hours after loading was completed.
Assiniboine was downbound on Lake Erie Wednesday night, off Cleveland.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The crew of Interlake's tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder was hunkered down at the Lafarge stone dock again Wednesday night, as the quarry anchored conveyor spewed still another cargo of aggregate into the hold. It has become an almost daily ritual. The pair arrived from Cleveland shortly before noon Wednesday.

Huron, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Cason J. Callaway was discharging a Stoneport cargo of Limestone Wednesday evening at the Huron Lime dock.


Port of Cleveland activity up 77 percent in July

8/15 - Cleveland, Ohio – Business is booming at the Port of Cleveland, which saw cargo from international ships jump 77 percent in July, thanks largely to freighters unloading European steel.

Overall, business is on track to increase by about 5 percent this year at the second busiest port on the Great Lakes.

David Gutheil, vice president of maritime and logistics at the Port of Cleveland, said business was boosted in July by specialty steel from the Netherlands and England and by a couple of special orders from Germany. But that's not all. He said he expects port activity to remain strong, partly because of a new, on-dock rail system that allows the port to ship heavy cargo deeper into the country.

The new capability emerged last September, when the port completed its largest improvement project in a decade, a $4.5 million rail loop. Contractors laid a little more than a mile of track through the 80-acre port complex, connecting dockside rail lines to main lines that speed trains through Cleveland dozens of times daily.

Previously, Norfolk Southern and CSX--the two dominant railroads east of the Mississippi-- had only limited access to the port, and most of the port's cargo moved out by truck.

Now, the port can move heavy cargo from ships to long-haul rail cars, and that allows the port to compete for new orders, Gutheil said. Soon, Cleveland longshoreman will unload cargo destined for Kentucky in a line of 40 rail cars.

"We would never have gotten a shipment like that before," Gutheil said. "That's exactly why we added this rail link."

Gutheil added that he expects port business to be strong in August and up by four to five percent overall this year, despite a weaker than normal shipping season on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Seaway tonnage was down 12 percent in July, the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. reported Tuesday, noting that lower steel production in the Great Lakes region continues to reduce the need for iron ore and coal moved by lakers.

The corporation, which represents the American side of the Seaway, added that new cargoes and new vessels point to brighter days ahead.

In December, Cleveland welcomed the Federal Satsuki, a new class of ocean-going lakers, called salties, built to fit the Seaway locks. Montreal's Fednav Group, the busiest international shipper on the Great Lakes, commissioned 9 of the $25 million Seaway-class freighters to meet what it expects to be a rising tide of exports from Ohio and the industrial Midwest.

Between 2012 and 2016, more than 30 new ships are expected to have joined the Seaway fleet.

The Seaway garnered some attention in Washington D.C. Tuesday, as former Ohio Congresswoman Betty Sutton was sworn in as the 10th administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.

The Seaway connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence River. In a prepared statement, Sutton described a vital economic link.

"Coming from the Great Lakes region," she said, "I fully appreciate the importance of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System, not only to international commerce and to our national transportation system, but to the economic vitality of the Great Lakes area."

Cleveland Plain Dealer


Group seeks to scuttle sailing ship

8/15 - Traverse City, Mich. – A dilapidated replica of a centuries-old British sailing ship could be sitting on the bottom of Grand Traverse Bay next year should no better options arise.

The Maritime Heritage Alliance board is seeking a state permit to sink the deteriorating 55-foot-long ship, the Welcome, in the bay. The group also asked the Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve Council to find a place for it on the bay floor, said Rod Jones, Maritime Heritage Alliance president.

Sinking the ship would serve as a "dignified" burial for the deteriorating ship and as a diving attraction should state officials approve of the scuttling.

The lengthy permit request won’t be ready to file until winter and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources probably won’t make a decision until spring. Meanwhile, MHA will continue exploring other options, Jones added.

The 1970s-built replica measures 16 feet across its beam. It was built by the Mackinac Island State Park Commission at Fort Michilimackinac for the U.S Bicentennial celebration in 1976.

The MHA has owned and maintained the vessel for 22 years and spent 15 of those years trying to rebuild and repair rotting sections.

“We’re ready to part ways with it and we’re looking for options,” Jones said. “Putting it on display onshore won’t work. It’s rotting beyond repair, the engine leaks, and its prop shaft is bent. Our last option is to sink it so that it can be used as a dive attraction. It’s not a favorite option.”

Discussions about the Welcome’s fate have been an emotional topic for the MHA’s members, Jones said.

“I was there when we began rebuilding it,” said Laura Quackenbush, a local historian and long-time member of the group. “I have an emotional investment in wooden boat preservation, but I also know that wooden boats have a lifetime. Maybe sinking her is the best option. It will give her a new life and keep her story alive.”

Other boat preservation groups also are not interested in the Welcome because the cost of extensive repairs it needs.

One glimmer of hope for the replica may be an email sent to MHA last week by Steven Brisson, deputy director of Mackinac State Historic Parks. Brisson asked about the boat’s plight but said nothing about rescuing it or funding repairs, Jones said.

The Mackinac Island Commission, which oversees the historic parks group, has said in the past that it doesn’t want the boat back.

Sinking the Welcome appears to be the most fitting option for Jones to preserve the sloop for the longest time and also give it a “dignified end.”

“It’s better than cutting her up and taking her to the landfill,” he said.

The Welcome was built and rigged only for dockside display and was never meant to sail anywhere, he said. Nonetheless, MHA has spent a lot of money trying to make the ship seaworthy.

“It was in Cheboygan with a big hole in it when we got it,” Jones said. “It had a bad deck, which was causing it to deteriorate more. Personally, I think it’s better to build a new boat. Once they go so far, you’re only chasing your tail.”

The original Welcome was constructed as a private trading vessel in 1774 at Fort Michilimackinac by British Highlands Regiment member John Askins.

Traverse City Record-Eagle


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 sank. 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.

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.


Port Reports -  August 14

Marblehead and Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Frequent visitors at the Lafarge stone dock at Marblehead, the tug-barge Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder, loaded again on Tuesday. The pair sailed to Cleveland. At Sandusky's NorfolkSouthern coal dock, CSL Assiniboine loaded throughout the day. It was not clear which Canadian port she would sail for, but Hamilton was a possibility.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
The Joseph H. Thompson was in Lorain and on her way to the Charles Berry Bridge at 5:21 p.m. Tuesday.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Rebecca Lynn - A-397 departed the Black Rock Canal with the tug in push mode around 2 p.m. Monday.

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
Stephen B. Roman delivered another cargo of cement at Essroc. The tug Sea Eagle II and barge St.Marys Cement II are presently alongside at Terminal 51. The Group Ocean tugs Omni Richelieu and Ocean Golf are on standby alongside at Sugarbeach. The tugs assisted the bulker Bluebill when it made the end-for-end turnaround Monday night. Bluebill was scheduled to depart late Tuesday evening and the tugs will remain to assist docking the Federal Satsuki when it arrives from the Port Weller anchorage.


New cargoes boost St. Lawrence Seaway commerce

8/14 - Washington, D.C. – Despite a downturn in overall cargo movements through the St. Lawrence Seaway in July (down 12.5 percent over 2012), new cargoes and new vessels signaled continued confidence in the future of the navigation system.

Several U.S. ports welcomed a variety of heavy lift cargoes destined for projects throughout the region. Twice during July, McKeil Marine Ltd. has called at the Port of Monroe to deliver heavy-lift industrial components, said Monroe port director Paul C. LaMarre III. These project pieces were manufactured by Cherubini Metal Workers Ltd in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and will be installed in the last of four Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) Units at DTE Energys Monroe Power Plant. These shipments represent the first Seaway cargo to come to the Port of Monroe in quite some time an event we look forward to repeating.

Delivering the cargo to the Port of Monroe realized efficiencies for the customer in utilizing water to get as close as possible to final destination, said McKeil marketing manager Brent Kinnaird. Our versatile fleet lends itself well to carrying oversized pieces and we expect to further leverage these capabilities with additional ports throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.

At the Port of Cleveland, international cargo volume jumped 77 percent in July compared to the same time last year. Year-to-date, the port is up nearly 4 percent compared to 2012.

We continue to see strong demand for steel from manufacturers in our region, said David Gutheil, vice president of maritime and logistics. We also handled two new types of cargo that both originated in Germany steel beams destined for western Pennsylvania, and manufacturing presses that were sent to Wooster, Ohio.

Gutheil added that the port continues to benefit from last years expansion of its on-dock rail system and expects to see more new types of cargo this year.

In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a $100 million grid upgrade came a step closer to completion after an ocean-going vessel transported three transformers to the site. The sophisticated electrical equipment made in Sweden by Swiss power giant ABB moved through the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Port of Milwaukee and from there was transshipped by barge to St. Ignace, said Rebecca Spruill, SLSDC Director of the Office of Trade Development.

Spruill added: This shipment is just one of several this month involving over-sized high value cargoes, clearly demonstrating that the Seaway is recognized by the shipping industry as the most reliable and cost efficient route for cargo destined for the heartland of North America.

New business ventures and unique cargoes were not the only highlights last month. U.S. ports also welcomed new, environmentally advanced vessels from Canada Steamship Lines (CSL). The Port of Duluth-Superior welcomed the Whitefish Bay, the second of CSLs four Trillium Class vessels, to Midwest Energy Resources Co. (MERC). She loaded 32,500 short tons of low-sulfur Western coal on its way to Quebec City for transshipment to Rotterdam, Netherlands. MERC president Fred Shusterich welcomed the ship: The high caliber of these state-of-the-art vessels equates to increased efficiency and lower costs for our customers, all of which bodes well for continued export business.

The Thunder Bay, CSLs third new Trillium Class vessel, traveled from Escanaba, Michigan where she loaded iron ore pellets that will be delivered to the Port of Quebec for markets overseas. At a maiden voyage celebration in Port Colborne, Ontario, Louis Martel, President of CSL stated: All Trillium Class vessels were built to meet the high environmental standards expected by the communities in which we operate. They use 15 percent less fuel, release fewer emissions and dust, and provide outstanding operational efficiency.

Between 2012-2016, more than 30 new ships from CSL and other Canadian shipowners, and valued at over $1 billion, will ply the Great Lakes, not only representing a strong commitment to meeting future environmental standards, but also signaling an extremely positive outlook for the future of the shipping industry in the Great Lakes-Seaway System.

As reported by the St. Lawrence Seaway, year-to-date cargo shipments for the period March 22 to July 31 were 15.3 million metric tons. Overall, cargo categories were mixed. U.S. grain continued to be the dominant cargo shipment in July with a 35 percent jump over the same period in 2012. Lower steel production throughout most of the Great Lakes region continues to reduce the need for iron ore and coal. Both commodities were down in July by 16 and 3 percent respectively. Within the dry bulk category, however, scrap metal was up 40 percent as well as pig iron at 7 percent. Additionally, liquid bulk shipments showed a slight increase of 1.5 percent to 1.7 million metric tons.

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.

Marine Delivers


Minnesota delays ballast rule for lakers

8/14 - Minnesota will give the owners of Great Lakes vessels an extra two years to install ballast treatment technology, but the state remains the only government moving to regulate the freshwater boats.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Monday unveiled its new five-year water quality permit regulations for ships that enter Minnesota waters of Lake Superior, giving supporters and opponents until Sept. 11 to comment.

The draft rules delay the previous requirement that existing lakers install ballast treatment technology on Jan. 1, 2016, for at least two years and likely until each vessel goes in for major service dry dock after Jan. 1, 2018.

“It’s acknowledging that we don’t think the technology yet exists for (lakers) to meet the ballast treatment guidelines, but that we think it will” by 2018, Jeff Udd, the PCA’s director of industrial water quality permits, told the News Tribune on Monday.

In 2008 Minnesota became one of the first states to issue its own ballast water regulations, and the only one to target lakers as well as saltwater ships. The permits must be renewed every five years. Each ship that enters state waters must have a ballast plan on file under the rules.

The new permit also makes changes in how saltwater ships will be regulated by the state, essentially deferring to the newly developed federal Environmental Protection Agency guidelines. The change pushes it back from a mandatory Jan. 1, 2016, deadline to the vessels’ first major dry dock after Jan. 1, 2016, which could be several years in some cases.

Udd said the state essentially is allowing the federal rules to govern saltwater ships while the state focuses on lakers.

“We didn’t want to duplicate what the EPA is doing on saltwater ships. We wanted to focus our attention on what we think are gaps in the federal rules,” Udd said, referring to the fact Great Lakes vessels are exempt from the federal ballast guidelines.

The ballast rules are part of a broader effort to reduce the amount of invasive species that hitchhike in ballast water — such as zebra mussels, ruffe and goby — both from foreign ports to U.S. ports and also those spread between Great Lakes ports.

Officials of the Great Lakes shipping industry vehemently oppose the Minnesota regulations, saying their freighters are not responsible for any new species coming into U.S. waters. They also contend that because lakers move so much ballast water in and out so fast at each port, no technology may be possible to meet guidelines for killing nearly all aquatic organisms in their tanks. Opponents are expected to contest the new rules at an upcoming PCA board hearing this autumn and could ask the state Court of

Meanwhile, environmental and conservation groups have called for even stricter guidelines and quicker deadlines, saying invasive species are wreaking havoc with native ecosystems and costing millions of dollars to combat each year.

The state regulations will affect up to 275 oceangoing ships that could visit the Twin Ports, as the federal rules do. But Minnesota’s rules also include up to 130 U.S.- and Canadian-flagged freighters that never leave the Great Lakes.

“Lake Superior is not only valuable as a natural resource but also directly supports the entire region’s economy,” said John Linc Stine, PCA commissioner, in a statement. “This permit continues to make meaningful progress towards reducing the threat of aquatic invasive species while supporting a viable shipping industry.”

In March the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled its ballast rules requiring owners of most all freight-carrying ocean vessels to adopt International Maritime Organization standards for killing living organisms in the on-board ballast tanks. Potential on-board systems include those using chemicals, ultraviolet light, filters, crushing or other technology to kill critters in the tanks.

A copy of the draft permit, fact sheet, and public notice are available for review at the PCA offices in St. Paul and Duluth and online on the Public Notices section of the PCA’s website. To comment contact Beth Gawrys at

Duluth News Tribune


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 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, 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.


Lakes limestone trade down 13-plus percent in July

8/13 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3.5 million tons in July, a decrease of 2.9 percent compared to June, and 13.6 percent off the pace of a year ago.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 3 million tons, a decrease of 9.7 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings at Canadian quarries dipped by more than 30 percent.

Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 12.85 million tons, a decrease of 8.5 percent compared to a year ago, and 23 percent below the average for the January-July timeframe in recent years.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  August 13

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Kaye E. Barker arrived and loaded ore Sunday evening at the Upper Harbor.

Muskegon, Mich. - Tyler Fairfield and Mark Taylor
Early Monday morning the tug Samuel De Champlain and her barge Innovation came in to Lafarge to unload cement. They were leaving at around 7 p.m. A rare visitor, the Indiana Harbor, also made her way in to unload coal for B.C. Cobb at around 2:45 p.m. She was still unloading as of 10 p.m. Monday and was the first 1,000-foot boat of the year.

South Chicago - Lou Gerard
The Cuyahoga was in South Chicago Monday at Morton Salt. 

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Monday morning the tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity were in port taking on cement at Lafarge. The tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula was waiting out in the bay for the departure of the Integrity. Once the dock was clear the Defiance tied up and unloaded coal. The Alpena is expected to return late Monday night.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were inbound on the Saginaw River on Saturday, carrying a split cargo. The pair backed into the Bay Aggregates slip in Bay City for a partial unload, then continued upriver to finish at the Buena Vista Dock in Saginaw. The Moore-Kuber were outbound early Sunday morning. Manitowoc was inbound early Sunday, unloading at the GM dock in Saginaw. She was outbound early Sunday evening.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Dorothy Ann-Pathfinder at 5 p.m. Monday was about two miles out on her way into Lorain, headed to Jonick's dock No. 3.

Marblehead, Ohio -  Jim Spencer
The Interlake tug Dorothy Ann and the barge Pathfinder were back at the Lafarge stone dock Monday, following another trip to Cleveland to off load aggregate.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The Rebecca Lynn - A-397 shifted docks from Noco to Marathon on the Niagara River about 6 a.m. Monday morning.

Panama Canal – Denny Dushane
Baie Comeau, Canada Steamship Lines newest addition to its fleet, along with its last Trillium-class self-unloading bulk carrier, arrived at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal during the morning of Sunday, Aug. 11. Baie Comeau is the last of four new similar vessels CSL has ordered from China. The first of the series, the award-winning Baie St. Paul, arrived late during the 2012 shipping season, while Whitefish Bay and Thunder Bay both arrived in late July. All three vessels are sisterships to the Baie Comeau. The Baie Comeau, after passing through the Panama Canal, is expected to arrive in Montreal sometime either in late August or early September. Upon her arrival, she will have special re-enforcements in her hull removed before she commences Great Lakes/Seaway service. Once the Baie Comeau departs from Montreal, her first stop will be Windsor, Ont., where it will offload ballast stone used to stabilize the ship on her journey across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The arrival of Baie Comeau at the Panama Canal completes the Trillium-class self-unloader additions to the CSL fleet. In 2014 however, CSL will be adding four new Trillium-class straight-deckers to its fleet. These will be built though at the Yangfan Shipyard located in China, and it is expected the new straight deckers will begin service sometime in 2014.


Project complete: Crisp Point Lighthouse to host Aug. 15 celebration

8/13 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The Department of Natural Resources will celebrate the completion of the Crisp Point Project, an acquisition that includes 3,810 acres of forest land and more than 2 miles of Lake Superior shoreline, at a closing ceremony 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15, at the Crisp Point Lighthouse in Newberry. The event is open to the public.

The acquisition of the property was made possible by a $4.5 million federal grant through the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program and a $1.5 million donation from a private donor.

Speakers at the event will include DNR Deputy Director Bill Moritz, Forest Legacy Program representative Dennis McDougall, and Little Traverse Conservancy Executive Director Tom Bailey. Moritz will also sign a ceremonial deed, signifying the acquisition and protection of the property.

“This outstanding acquisition on behalf of the public will guarantee the protection and sustainable management of one of Michigan’s natural resource treasures, while also serving to support tourism, recreation and forest products industry jobs,” DNR Director Keith Creagh said. “I would like to thank the Forest Legacy Program and our private donor for their significant investments on behalf of the state of Michigan, without which this project could not have been possible.”

In addition to the stretch of Lake Superior shoreline, the property is comprised of extensive forests, steep bluffs, streams, an inland lake and sand dunes. It contains approximately 2.5 miles of “snowmobile trail No. 8,” a major trail connector across the northern Upper Peninsula, and offers numerous public outdoor recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, wildlife viewing and kayaking.

The completion of the Crisp Point project not only ensures the protection of wildlife habitat, sustainable forest management, and opportunities for public outdoor recreation, but it will also preserve a portion of Lake Superior shoreline.

The Crisp Point Lighthouse is located on County Road 412 east of Little Lake Harbor. The lighthouse can be reached by following M-123 to County Road 500 and taking County Road 500 to County Road 412 at Little Lake Harbor. County Road 412 ends at the lighthouse.

Soo Evening News


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


Richelieu headed to Turkey for likely scrapping

8/12 - Montreal, QC - The CSL bulker Richelieu has departed Montreal on her own power and her destination is Aliaga, Turkey. Checking Montreal Harbour's website reveals she was in the harbour on Friday and not listed Saturday. Sunday morning she was moving at 6.2 knots in the lower St. Lawrence and passed the entrance to the Saguenay River about 10 a.m. Richelieu first came to the Great Lakes as Federal Ottawa in 1981, having been launched at Temse, Belgium, the previous year. In 1995 she was renamed Lake Erie and in 2009, after being sold to CSL, she became Richelieu. There is no word on the future of her fleetmates Mapleglen, Saguenay and Oakglen.

Ron Beaupre


Port Reports - August 12

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Kaye E. Barker arrived and loaded ore Sunday evening at the Upper Harbor.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic included Saginaw, Federal Rhine, Algoma Enterprise and Yorktown. Upbounders included Roger Blough, Algonova and Cedarglen.

Muskegon - Tyler Fairfield
In the early evening Saturday, the tug Undaunted and her barge Pere Marquette 41 came in to load fly ash for Charlevoix. The pair was observed empty early Sunday morning and leaving early Sunday evening.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
Calumet loaded Sunday at the Norfolk-Southern coal dock and departed about 6 p.m. for Green Bay.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Rebecca Lynn - A-397 was unloading at Noco Sunday evening.


Updates -  August 12

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 12

The C&O carferry SPARTAN, in a heavy fog while inbound from Kewaunee on the morning of August 12, 1976, struck rocks at the entrance to 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.

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

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.

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, and is still there.

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 crew member 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

St. Marys River
Saltwater vessel traffic picked up Saturday, with Rusko, Federal Mackinac and Mississippiborg all upbound. As night fell, Kwintebank was in the Straits, headed for Duluth.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
Pere Marquette 41, with tug Undaunted in the notch, brought in a load for Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg Saturday morning.

Sandusky and Marblehead - Jim Spencer
H. Lee White loaded overnight Friday at the NS coal dock and sailed Saturday for Detroit. Taking her slot at the Sandusky dock was the CSL Niagara, which loaded throughout the day and into the evening for Hamilton. The Lafarge aggregate dock at Marblehead saw the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder loading again. No next port has been posted, but the Interlake pair has been running from the stone dock to and from Cleveland, often on a daily basis.

Rochester - Tom Brewer
Stephen B. Roman was unloading bulk cement on Saturday.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Rebecca Lynn - A-397 tug-barge departed Cleveland and should be arriving for Tonawanda around noon Sunday. American Mariner was still at General Mills Saturday evening.

Canada Steamship Lines’ Richelieu, which has not sailed this season, appeared on AIS Saturday with a destination of Alaiga,Turkey. The may mean the vessel has been sold for scrap.


Lakeland shipwreck revisited: Documentation will help to put ship on National Register

8/11 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – New clues are being discovered by marine archeologists this week who are currently compiling video of the shipwrecked Lakeland about six miles off the Sturgeon Bay canal in Lake Michigan.

The freighter sank in 200 feet of water in December 1924 with brand-new, Wisconsin-built Nash and Kissel automobiles aboard. A team of archaeologists from the Wisconsin Historical Society's Maritime Preservation and Archaeology Program are in Sturgeon Bay with expert divers and underwater videographers John Janzen and John Scoles from the Minneapolis area for a one-week recording project.

Tamara Thomsen, maritime archaeologist with the Wisconsin Historical Society, said the crew arrived Aug. 2 and will finish filming Saturday. Thomsen, who has seen the Lakeland up close while diving, said they are looking into every hole to get full video documentation and help provide a full history of the ship.

The Lakeland had a capacity to carry 250 cars but was carrying a light load when it sank. About 19 cars are still on the wreck but it’s hard to tell what any of these cars are, she said. The footage will be shown to car experts.

“We are using high-definition video,” she said. “This is the same equipment used by National Geographic and the History Channel, which is important because this wreck is so deep.”

The Lakeland left Kenosha, where the Nash was built, bound for Detroit, but storm warnings forced the crew to spend the night in Sturgeon Bay. It left the canal early the next morning in calm weather then sprung a leak soon after. Captain John McNeely turned the ship around, but it sank where it remains today.

The crew of 27 was rescued. Foul play and insurance fraud were suspected and common on the Great Lakes at the time, but it was never proven and owners recovered part of the loss.

Remains of the cars are visible in underwater footage taken by divers and can be seen in a display at the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay. Thomsen said she is excited that so much more is now being discovered from filming this week.

“We are able to see a lot of artifacts and personal items from the crew,” she said of this week’s dive. “For example next to a drinking fountain there is a sign and you can read it.”

Thomsen is completing the video documentation of the site to write a National Register of Historic Places nomination for the vessel. Another six days of collecting measurements on the vessel will follow later this month and in September. The video will help augment the description of the shipwreck’s current state of preservation and serve as a baseline for measuring deterioration in years to come.

Door County Advocate


Museum tug Edna G. getting some repairs

8/11 - Two Harbors, Minn. – A big year is in store for Two Harbors’ historic tugboat, the Edna G. Some repairs, such as the replacement of rotting wood and hull welding, already have been done — but there’s more to come.

This week, Sea Service, a Superior-based company, installed new mooring lines on the Edna G. According to Ed Montgomery of Sea Service, the tug will have 600 feet of new 2-inch nylon line, which he said is “durable with a little bit of stretch.” Marlinspikes, used by sailors for many years, are used to install the lines.

The rigging had not been redone for about 25 years, but the replacement recently was recommended by the Edna G. Commission. Mel Sando, executive director of the Lake County Historical Society, said that the new mooring lines and installation will cost more than $5,000, which represents just a portion of the expected cost of repairs and updates. “We have new life awakened in us,” Sando said.

He projected that the Edna G. Commission will spend about $50,000 this year on boat assessment and maintenance projects. The most expensive single cost is a hull survey, which took place Wednesday. Divers came and examined the underside of the boat using sonar. “The hull survey will tell us whether or not we need to be concerned about pulling the boat out of the water,” Sando said. “It will tell us how to best preserve the boat.”

Pulling the boat out of the water and making a place for it on land could result in tug tours turning a profit in years to come, he said. “We could triple the volume of visitors,” Sando said. “It’s very difficult to get people to get down to the dock.”
Currently, Sando added, the Edna G. loses money, and the city reimburses the Historical Society through a fund for the boat. The fund, which has been financed through a lodging tax passed by the Minnesota Legislature, doesn’t rely on local taxpayers but on those who stay at motels and inns in the city.

According to Sando, the gap between the costs associated with maintaining the boat and revenues generated by selling boat tours would close considerably with the boat on land. More visitors and locals would be more likely to go on a tour. “It’s surprising how many local people haven’t been on the G.,” Sando said.

The Edna G. is open seven days a week, weather permitting, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Duluth News Tribune


Updates -  August 11

News Photo Gallery

New vessels in the Salties Gallery - BBC Queensland, Bluebill, Chemtrans Elbe, Federal Satsuki, and Greenwing


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 were 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.


Port Reports - August 10

St. Marys River
Traffic Friday included the downbound Whitefish Bay in the late afternoon. Upbound in the afternoon was Lee A. Tregurtha, with fleetmate Paul R. Tregurtha following close astern.

 Marquette - Rod Burdick
Herbert C. Jackson and Michipicoten loaded ore Friday evening at the Upper Harbor.

Oswego - Ned Gobricher
Stephen B. Roman was unloading cement at Oswego on Friday.

Toronto - Frank Hood
Thursday saw Resko depart Redpath Sugar for Duluth. New fencing at the Redpath berth allows closer access to the ships and also provides for better picture-taking.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
American Mariner arrived for General Mills around 12 midnight or so Friday morning. 


Amateur radio special event aboard SS Badger

8/10 - Ludington, Mich. – Lake Michigan Carferry will be hosting an Amateur Radio Special Event onboard the SS Badger September 14-15 to celebrate 60 years of service on Lake Michigan.

Come be a part of a unique opportunity to talk to fellow radio enthusiasts around the country and across the globe. Even if you are not a radio enthusiast, under the observation of a licensed operator, you can operate the sea going radio stations.

The special event call sign of W8S is authorized. Participants will receive a special event QSL card confirming their contacts.

 A special Ham Radio Cruise rate of $180 (possible group discount if over 15 reservations) will allow you to board the vessel on Saturday, September 14 in Manitowoc, Wis., about 1200 CDT, and sail to Ludington, Mich., arriving there about 1800 EDT. Eat dinner on either the vessel or go on shore. Then spend the night sleeping on the vessel, or operating one of the numerous on board ham stations.

 During the morning of Sunday, September 15, you can savor an all-you-can-eat breakfast on the vessel as it sails back to Manitowoc.

 Contact the SS Badger reservations (with your call sign) directly at: 1-800-841-4243 to secure your passage and sailing into this history-making voyage. Licensed radio operators please bring a copy of your license.

 For the brochure and a picture of the special event QSL card please visit

 Stephen Grima- KJ4UEV


Great Lakes coal trade up 7.3 percent in July

8/10 – Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes totaled 2.9 million tons in July, an increase of 2.5 percent over June, and an increase of 7.3 percent compared to a year ago.

Shipments from Lake Superior ports totaled 1.8 million tons, an increase of 16.1 percent compared to a year ago. Included in that total were 215,000 tons loaded in Superior, Wisconsin, and transshipped to Quebec City for loading into oceangoing colliers. Exports to Europe from Superior totaled 844,000 tons through July.

Loadings in Chicago totaled 319,000 tons, a decrease of 33 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Lake Erie ports totaled 758,000 tons, an increase of 15.2 percent compared to a year ago.

Year-to-date the Lakes coal trade stands at 11.1 million tons, a decrease of 3 percent compared to a year ago.

Lake Carriers' Association


Updates -  August 10

News Photo Gallery


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, N.Y. 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.


Port Reports – August 9

Grand Haven, Mich. – Dick Fox
St. Marys Conquest with tug Prentiss Brown in the notch came in Wednesday night and was still unloading at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. 

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
Atlantic Huron unloaded iron ore pellets at Torco Dock on Thursday. Upcoming visitors include Lakes Contender on Friday in the morning, followed by the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on Sunday in the early morning. James R. Barker is due to arrive at Torco with iron ore Wednesday, August 14, in the late morning, American Courage is due on Thursday, August 15, in the early morning and Algolake is due in the afternoon. Vessels due to load coal at the CSX Coal Dock include the James L. Kuber on Friday in the early morning and Manitowoc on Friday evening. H. Lee White is due on Saturday in the late evening. Catherine Desgagnes is due Sunday mid-afternoon and the Algoma Olympic rounds out the CSX Coal Dock lineup, arriving on Saturday, August 17 in the early morning. Only one vessel is due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock, CSL Niagara, expected on Friday, August 16 in the late morning.

Cedarville & Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
At Cedarville, the Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted were due to arrive in the late evening on Thursday. Lewis J. Kuber was also expected to arrive in the late evening, also on Thursday. Nothing else is due at Cedarville until next Tuesday, when Mississagi is scheduled to arrive.

At Port Inland, Wilfred Sykes is due during the evening on Saturday. Manistee is due on Sunday in the mid-afternoon, followed by the Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted on Monday during the morning. Great Lakes Trader rounds out the Port Inland lineup with an arrival Monday in the early afternoon.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Mississagi was inbound on the Saginaw River Thursday afternoon, traveling up to the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload.  She was expected to be outbound late Thursday night or early Friday morning.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Joseph H. Thompson was expected to arrive in Calcite in the evening on Thursday, loading at the South Dock. For Friday and Saturday there are no vessels scheduled. Due in on Sunday in the late evening is the James L. Kuber, loading at the North Dock.

Burns Harbor– Danny Ocean
Unloading facilities have reopened after being out of service for several days to a breakdown. Stewart J. Cort, which had been anchored off Burns Harbor since the weekend waiting for the dock to come back on line, was unloading Thursday night.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Manistee sailed from the NS coal dock early Thursday for Green Bay. At Marblehead, the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann loaded and sailed for Cleveland. Thursday evening, Cuyahoga was loading at the Lafarge stone dock


Captain of the new Thunder Bay is interviewed


Toledo Antique and Classic Boat Show planned for Aug. 24-25

8/9 - Toledo, Ohio – The 2013 Toledo Antique and Classic Boat Show will be held Aug. 24-25 at the Toledo Skyway Marina at 1701 Front Street. The event is an extravaganza of antique, classic, and historical watercraft through the ages, and includes local maritime vendors and artisans. Details at


Help wanted: Marine Superintendent for Fettes Shipping Inc.

8/9 – Burlington, Ont. –Successful candidate should have at least 5-7 years of experience preferably 2nd Class Marine Engineer Certification. We expect the candidate to be able to travel between various ports on the Great Lakes including the United States to oversee our tug and barge operations.  Proficient computer skills, the ability to perform office as well as field duties, good communication skills combined with general marine knowledge are a must. Competitive wages and benefits package.

Please send your resume to:
Fettes Shipping Inc.
3385 Harvester Road Suite 250
Burlington, ON
L7N 3N2
Fax 905-333-6588


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.


Port Reports - August 8

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Alpena was in port Tuesday night loading cement for Green Bay,WI.
On Wednesday the tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity were under the silos at Lafarge taking on cargo. Fleetmate Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation was expected to dock before 11pm on Wednesday.

Toronto - Jens Juhl
Polsteams bulker Resko did the end for end turn around at Redpath this afternoon. Omni Richelieu and Ocean Golf provided tug assist. The ship channel lift bridge at the foot of Cherry St. is still closed to both marine and vehicle traffic. The bridge is undergoing a thorough upgrading of its structural, mechanical, and electrical systems. and the project was scheduled to be completed this past June. According to an article in the Toronto Star delays have been caused by unexpected serious problems that came to light as work progressed. Work has also been slowed by the on going tiff between the Toronto Port Authority and the City of Toronto as to who is going to pay what part of a hefty multimillion dollar repair bill. The bridge is now tentavily scheduled to open sometime in September

Marblehead - Jim Spencer
The Manistee continued to load late Wednesday night at the LaFarge stone dock. Laying at anchor in the South Passage was the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder.

Milwaukee - Chris Gaziano
The Algoma Progress departed Wednesday morning after arriving tuesday night with a load of salt

Saginaw River -Todd Shorkey
The Samuel de Champlain - Innovation departed the Lafarge Cement dock in Essexville, Wednesday afternoon, after unloading there overnight. Calumet was inbound early Wednesday morning, calling on the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City, to unload sugar stone. She turned off the dock Wednesday evening and was outbound for the lake.

Superior -
Algomarine was reported to have had a brush allision with the north pier of the Superior Entry on the morning of August 5 while dearting after loading ore atBNSF in Superior. Some of the concrete pier blocks were jostled out of position, but no word of any damage to the Algomarie. Strong current has been suggested as a possible contributing factor.  


Thunder Bay moves through Niagara

8/8 - St. Catharines, Ont. – Canada Steamship Lines’ newest vessel, Thunder Bay, fits snugly in the locks of the St. Lawrence Seaway with just centimetres to spare — and it was designed that way, according to company president Louis Martel.

“It’s called a Seaway max vessel. It’s 740 feet (225.5 metres) long and 78 (23.76 metres) wide,” Martel said at a Wednesday morning ceremony at the Snider Docks on the east side of the Welland Canal in Port Colborne.

Locks in the St. Lawrence Seaway system, which stretches from the St. Lawrence River to Lake Superior, are 233.5 metres long, and 24.4 metres wide.

Martel said Thunder Bay, making its maiden voyage Wednesday transiting the Welland Canal and seaway with a full load onboard, is the third of four double-hulled vessels built for Canada Steamship Lines, part of The CSL Group, and is a Trillium Class ship. The other two vessels in the fleet are Baie St. Paul and Whitefish Bay.

“It was designed and built with all of the latest technology on the market … and designed with the environment in mind. It has the latest engines and is very fuel-efficient.”

It’s expected that the vessel will save about 750 tonnes of fuel a year, amounting to yearly carbon emissions reductions of 2,400 tonnes. Martel said it will be less costly to operate.

“The Thunder Bay is the first ship in the Great Lakes not only to have a bow thruster, but a stern thruster as well. It increases maneuverability.”

It also has a dynamic positioning system, which uses satellites, along with the ship’s propulsion system to keep the ship in position with no assistance from the crew or captain. Martel said Thunder Bay also makes its own fresh water.

Before making it to the fresh waters of the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes, Thunder Bay spent two months travelling the salt waters of the Pacific, Caribbean and Atlantic oceans as it made its way from the Chengxi Shipyard in Jiangyin, China.

Asked why the ships were built in China — a job that takes between 18 and 24 months — Martel said at the time CSL decided to build them, there were no shipyards in Canada capable of building them.

The Canadian government removing a 25% duty imposed on foreign-built vessels also factored into the decision. “The government realized the ships couldn’t be built here.”

Martel said in addition to four Trillium Class self-unloaders, CSL, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, will also take delivery of two bulk carriers sometime next year as part of its fleet replacement program.

After the ceremony, which saw St. Catharines Conservative MP Rick Dykstra, Port Colborne Mayor Vance Badawey and Martel speak — and all greeted by blasts of Thunder Bay’s horn, the vessel was headed to Quebec City to discharge its load of iron ore pellets that were loaded in Escanaba, Mich.

Welland Tribune


Power switch by Cliffs could affect Midwest Energy

8/8 - Duluth, Minn. – A decision by Cliffs Natural Resources to stop buying electricity from a Michigan power plant could affect the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal.

The terminal ships more than 1 million tons of coal a year to the Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette via Great Lakes vessels.

“If that plant is shut down it would definitely affect us,” Midwest Energy Resources Co. President Fred Shusterich said.

Midwest Energy shipped about 14.4 million tons during the 2012 shipping season, according to Duluth Seaway Port Authority numbers.

About 80 percent of the power generated at Presque Isle goes to Cliffs’ Tilden and Empire mines. Starting Sept. 1, Cliffs will get electricity from Chicago-based Integrys Energy Services. The change will save Cliffs tens of millions of dollars annually.

“It was really one of economics,” Cliffs Natural Resources Director of Public Affairs Dale Hemmila said of the decision to switch. “In the last five years with We Energies our rates have gone up 110 percent.”

Cliffs’ bill with We Energies totaled $120 million last year, Hemmila said. Going with Integrys will save Cliffs between 17 and 26 percent on electrical costs. The savings will support the viability of Cliffs’ U.P. operations.

Cliffs — which also owns all or part of United Taconite, Northshore and Hibbing Taconite operations in Minnesota — has about 1,600 employees in Michigan, including about 340 who were recalled to the Empire Mine last week. While that mine is slated for closure next year, the future is brighter for Tilden.

“We have an ore reserve at Tilden in the neighborhood of 25 to 30 years,” Hemmila said.

Cliffs believes that its decision to switch power providers “should have no impact on the (Presque Isle) plant whatsoever,” Hemmila said. They believe We Energies will keep the plant operating, feeding its electricity into the multi-state, bi-national Midwest region power grid.

“That’s not necessarily the case,” We Energies spokesman Barry McNulty said. Losing 70 to 80 percent of the plant’s demand is significant.

“We have to look at all our options,” he said. “That’s where we are right now. They just notified at the end of the month of their intent. It goes to reason that we will have to look at the alternatives for us.”

This is not the first time the future of the Presque Isle plant, which employs 160 to 170 workers, was in question. In recent years We Energies was debating whether to close the plant in 2017 or refit it to be fueled by natural gas to meet federal pollution regulations. Late last year We Energies and Wolverine Power Cooperative announced that Wolverine would acquire a minority interest in the facility by funding and building $140 million in required air quality control additions.

The past uncertainties over Presque Isle and the decision by Ontario Power Generation to move away from coal helped spur efforts by Midwest Energy to develop new markets. In 2011 it exported 350,000 metric tons of coal to Europe. That year it signed a three-year deal to export about 1.5 million metric tons annually to Rotterdam.

“We are looking to grow that business, but the economy nationally and the world is kind of flat,” Shusterich said.

Midwest Energy’s Superior terminal has an annual capacity of 25 million tons. It shipped more than 18 million tons a year for several seasons running ending with the 2010 season. It shipped 14.3 million tons in 2011 and 14.4 million tons in 2012.

“Our business this year is probably a half million tons up over last year,” Shusterich said.

Duluth News Tribune


The Love Boat sails on final voyage to Aliaga shipbreakers

8/8 - The MS Pacific, a cruise ship made famous by its appearance in the popular U.S. 1970s television show “The Love Boat,” has sailed its final voyage to a ship-breaking yard on Turkey’s Aegean Sea coast, a shipping group said on Wednesday.

Called the Pacific Princess when it was on the long-running comedy, the iconic 13,500 tonne, 171-m-long (561-foot-) vessel will be stripped for its metal and parts, said Ersin Ceviker of the Ship Recyclers’ Association of Turkey.

Aaron Spelling’s “The Love Boat,” starring Gavin MacLeod as the ship’s captain, ran on the U.S. television network ABC from 1977 to 1986. The show was set on board the Pacific Princess, which mainly sailed from California to the Mexican Riveria.

“This ship has undergone several modifications over its lifespan. It had been decommissioned for five years, and renovation now would have been too costly,” Ceviker said.

Turkey’s Izmir Ship Recycling Co. acquired the 42-year-old Pacific for 2.5 million euros ($3.3 million).

The vintage cruise liner arrived from Genoa, Italy, at the breakers in the seaside town of Aliaga in Turkey late on Tuesday after a difficult trip in a violent storm, Ceviker said.

The Pacific began taking on water and required the help of additional tugboats to make it to Aliaga. It was now listing on its starboard side at Aliaga. ($1 = 0.7513 euros)

Reuters via gCaptain


Tug-turned-tall ship sails into town

8/8 - Buffalo - The usual fleet of retired warships docked at Canalside is playing host to another vessel with World War II credentials early this week – but the newcomer looks nothing like the hulking battleships visitors to Buffalo’s waterfront are accustomed to.

The Empire Sandy, a former British deep-sea tugboat given new life as a replica 19th century tall ship, arrived Tuesday at Canalside for a two-day visit sponsored by the Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park through a grant from the Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council.

The tug-turned-tall ship’s backstory is an interesting one. Equipped with anti-aircraft guns and a thick steel hull designed to withstand light shelling, the 200-foot-long tug moved British military equipment as far north as Iceland and as far south as Sierra Leone during World War II.

After the war, the ship was sold, renamed and repurposed several times until it wound up in the hands of Toronto entrepreneur Norm Rogers, who traded its steam engine for sails and converted the ship into the commercial tour vessel it is today. The transformation took five years.

Viewed from Main Street on approach to Canalside, the ship cuts an impressive figure, its three 116-foot steel masts seeming to graze the Skyway overhead. On a sunny Tuesday afternoon, the ship’s many flags fluttered in a light breeze as curious visitors came aboard to tour Canada’s largest tall ship.

Though the Empire Sandy’s seven sails will remain furled and the vessel stationary for the duration of its visit, crew members said the ship moves well for a craft its size.

When its 11,000 square feet of sail catch a strong enough wind, the ship can reach top speeds of 16 knots – “which, for a 338-ton vessel, is flying,” said crew member Ian Clarke.

Deputy Director Bob Pecoraro said proceeds from the ship’s visit will benefit the park’s annual landscaping efforts.

Public tours continue today. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in the park’s gift shop from 9 a.m. to noon or dockside after noon.

In addition, tickets are still available for the second of two parties aboard the Empire Sandy, which starts at 6 tonight and will be co-hosted by the park and a number of local nonprofits.

Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased at the door – or gangplank, as it may be.

Buffalo News


Updates -  August 8

News Photo 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.


Three charged for riding Welland Canal's Allanburg Bridge

8/7 - Port Colborne, Ont. – Police have charged three males after the Seaway was closed for about three hours early Tuesday, when a ship crew member noticed them on the Allanburg Bridge while it was in the raised position.
At around 1:30 a.m., Niagara Regional Police received the report from a ship passing through the Welland Canal in Thorold.

Media officer Derek Watson said the three males decided to stay on the bridge as it was being raised. "They rode the bridge up," he said.

The Seaway was immediately closed as several agencies responded, including police, the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Thorold fire department and the Niagara Falls high angle rescue team, which climbed up the bridge and ensured the males were secured as the bridge was lowered.

"We didn't want to put the kids in anymore danger," Watson said.

The three males, all from Thorold, were charged with mischief over $5,000, which Watson said is related to the estimate by the Seaway of the financial impact of having to close down the canal four about three hours.

Police are reminding people that signs are put up to alert people of dangers and that disobeying such signs puts lives at risk.

Niagara This Week


Port Report - August 7

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
On August 4th, the duo of Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber called on the Saginaw river with a split cargo. The pair unloaded at the Burroughs North dock in Essexville and the Lafarge Stone dock in Saginaw. On Monday the 5th, the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula called on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload. The tug Gregory J. Busch, pushing a deck barge, was outbound from the river on Monday. Tuesday the 6th saw the arrival of the Samuel de Champlain - Innovation, which unloaded at the Lafarge Cement dock in Essexville and Indiana Harbor, which unloaded at the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville.


Union rejects final contract offer from U.S. Steel

8/7 - U.S. Steel workers in Nanticoke have again rejected a final contract offer from the company.

The 1,000 members of the United Steelworkers voted 71 per cent against the deal Wednesday. The final offer vote was requested by the company and supervised by the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

Bill Ferguson, president of Local 8782 of the United Steelworkers, said the rejection is a percentage point higher than the 70 per cent negative vote an earlier version of the offer received in April, just before the gates of the Nanticoke plant were locked.

The plant is served by Great Lakes vessels such as Frontenac and CSL Tadoussac, which have been laid up in Sarnia since the labour dispute began.

With the company's latest offer rejected, Ferguson said new efforts will be made to get the union and company bargaining teams together for real negotiations.

"We're going to get our negotiating team together now and try to form a response," he said Wednesday evening after the vote results were announced. "We're going to sit down and work it all out." "We will contact the provincial mediator and see if we can get together with the company as soon as possible," he added.

In an emailed statement, U.S. Steel Canada spokesperson Trevor Harris said "Unfortunately, the employees of Lake Erie Works have made the choice to reject our final contract offer. Obviously the results are disappointing.

"Over the past few weeks, we have been very clear that the choice in front of our employees was black and white — end this labour dispute and return to work, or face the likelihood of a prolonged lockout and an uncertain future.

"In the coming days, we will take the opportunity to reflect on all of the options available to us as a company. As has always been the case, we seek nothing more than a fair and balanced contract that will protect the long-term competitiveness of Lake Erie Works."

The Lake Erie Works production workers were locked out of the plant late in April to back company demands for contract changes. U.S. Steel has said the Nanticoke plant is a money-losing drag on its operations and contract changes are needed to make it competitive with other U.S. Steel plants.

Hamilton Spectator


Women’s shipping conference coming to Montreal

8/7 - Montreal, Que. – Leading women executives and other experts from the international maritime shipping community will be meeting in Montreal this October to discuss economic, environmental and political challenges facing the industry as part of the 33rd annual Women's International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) conference.

Speakers and presenters from the private sector, governing bodies and academia will provide insight from both the North American and global perspective during the three-day event, expected to attract more than 200 delegates from around the world.

“Shipping is seeing more and more women in management and leadership positions, and the popularity of the conference is a reflection of our growing role,” said Andrea Sterling, President of WISTA Canada. “It’s also a great opportunity to bring some of the best and brightest in the industry together to discuss issues that affect us all, and to offer solutions to the problems that we face.”

Dubbed Navigating the Seas of Change, the conference will include business sessions, workshops and networking events. It will be hosted at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in downtown Montreal, October 2-4.

Founded in London, UK, in 1974, WISTA pursues and supports the creation of both national and international business relationships among 1,875 members in 33 countries. WISTA Canada was first formed in 1998.

For more information, please visit:


Volunteers wanted for Boatnerd

As many have noted, we have been short of staff this summer and having trouble keeping up with updates, including the photo galleries. We thank everyone for being patient.

We are looking for volunteers in several areas:

1. Help with weekly updates. This one is pretty straightforward – just pick the pictures of the week and send the links and descriptions by e-mail. We usually try to match pictures of the week with current or historic events or themes.

2. Content update/organization. Help is needed updating our fleet gallery of written vessel histories and pictures. All that is needed is someone to send updated text for the written portion of the vessel history. Images can be sent using the links and descriptions.

3. Web site redesign. We have had a long-stalled project on which we need design help. For the past several years we have been working to update the look and organization of Boatnerd. We are inviting users to send mockups of a redesigned Boatnerd site that would modernize the interface and reorganize the way data is accessed.

If you are part of a web company, this could lead to long-term paid work. Part of this redesign will be an updated content management system that would allow us to expand our pool of volunteers to non-technical users who could help update content.

Thanks for your help and support. Please e-mail if you would like to help.


Updates -  August 7

News Photo Gallery


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.


Coast Guard rescues man from sinking boat in Saginaw Bay

8/6 – Cleveland, Ohio – The Coast Guard rescued a man off of a sinking boat in Saginaw Bay Monday after attempts to dewater the boat were unsuccessful.

At 9:40 a.m., a watch stander at Coast Guard Station Saginaw River, in Essexville, Mich., was contacted with a report of a man aboard an 18-foot boat sinking in the Saginaw Bay while it was being towed by another boat. The caller was concerned that both boats might sink.

A rescue boat crew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium launched from Station Saginaw River. Once scene, a member of the RB-M crew boarded the sinking boat with a portable dewatering pump and attempted to dewater the boat.

The man said his boat began taking on water and his bilge pumps kept turning off, so he had a friend attempt to tow it to safety but could not keep up with the flooding. The man was transferred onto the RB-M.

Once the dewatering pump appeared to control the rate of flooding, the RB-M crew took the boat in tow and began making way to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources boat ramp.
Twenty minutes into the tow, the 18-foot boat began taking on more water than could be maintained by the pump, and the rescue boat crew had to cut it loose. The boater was transferred aboard his friend’s boat.

 A commercial salvor arrived on scene and pulled the boat from the bay and transported it to shore.

Ninth Coast Guard District


Port Reports - August 6

St. Marys River
It was an unusual day Monday, with three passenger vessels in the harbor. In the morning, Yorktown and Grande Mariner were at the Carbide Dock. Grande Mariner headed downbound in the afternoon, and Keweenaw Star came upbound and tied at the Valley Camp dock just before 6 p.m. Other vessel traffic included the downbound Kaye E. Barker and Edgar B. Speer at mid-day, as well as the upbound Hon. James L. Oberstar in the evening. Federal Shimanto spent the day at the Essar Export Dock in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Kaministiqua was downbound in the locks at 7 p.m., and the Yorktown locked up at 8:30 p.m., headed for Duluth.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The St. Mary's Challenger made a rare visit to Alpena to load cement. It arrived at Lafarge around midnight on Monday and departed before 7am.
Also visiting port on Monday afternoon was the Calumet. It tied up at Lafarge and unloaded cargo into the storage hopper. The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation pulled in behind the Calumet to load cement under the silos.


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.


Cargo ship collides with tugboat in Port of Montreal

8/5 - Montreal, Que. – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has sent a team of investigators to Montreal after an incident Saturday night where a cargo carrier ship, the M/V Heloise, collided with a tugboat, the Ocean Georgie Bain, in the Port of Montreal.

The collision happened at 9 p.m. and there were no injuries and no spills, said a spokesperson with the TSB. The investigators will “gather information and assess the occurrence,” the spokesperson said.

The Heloise is a 186-metre cargo ship built in 2010, it flies the Panamanian flag.
There was no word on injures but emergency services were not required.

Montreal Gazette


Stamp commemorates Battle of Lake Erie

8/5 - Washington, D.C.- The U.S. Postal Service continues its commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 with the issuance of a Battle of Lake Erie stamp.

The battle produced an American naval hero, Oliver Hazard Perry, and helped the United States take back territory lost to British forces in the opening months of the war. It also introduced two familiar sayings, “Don’t give up the ship” and “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”

The War of 1812: Battle of Lake Erie stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp, meaning it is always equal in value to the current first-class mail one-ounce rate.

For the stamp art, the Postal Service selected William Henry Powell’s famous painting, “Battle of Lake Erie.” The oil-on-canvas painting, completed in 1873, was commissioned by the U.S. Congress and placed at the head of the east stairway in the Senate wing of the Capitol. It depicts Oliver Hazard Perry in the small boat he used to transfer from his ruined flagship, the Lawrence, to the Niagara. A 19th-century engraving of Perry by William G. Jackman (after John Wesley Jarvis) is shown on the reverse of the stamp pane.

Greg Breeding served as art director and designer for the stamp.

Fremont News-Messenger


Port Reports - August 5

Sandusky and Marblehead - Jim Spencer
Crews at two of Western Lake Erie's busiest docks spent their shifts loading freighters, cleaning up and getting ready for the next boat. At Marblehead, the Lafarge stone dock on Saturday loaded the Buffalo and Manistee as periodic rains pelted the area. Overnight, the tug Leonard M and a barge were handled and Sunday afternoon the Manistee was enroute to the dock from Cleveland for a second round of loading.

At the Sandusky NS coal dock, the John B. Aird loaded Saturday into Sunday, before sailing for Hamilton. Late in the afternoon, the Saginaw steamed into Sandusky Bay. She'll be loading overnight and on Monday.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
Mississagi came in very early Sunday morning with a load for Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg. It was last seen out in the lake heading north about 11:30 a.m.

Port Inland - Denny Dushane
The tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula loaded at Port Inland on Sunday and departed around 9 p.m. Wilfred Sykes took her spot, loading for Indiana Harbor. Following the Sykes will be the Manitowoc on Monday during the morning. Rounding out the Port Inland lineup is the James L. Kuber, due also on Monday in the early afternoon.

Stoneport - Denny Dushane
The tug Dorothy Ann & barge Pathfinder loaded Sunday and were expected to depart around 3 p.m. Two vessels are due on Monday, with the Joseph H. Thompson arriving first at 3 p.m., followed by the Lewis J. Kuber at 5 p.m. For Tuesday two vessels are scheduled, with the Calumet arriving at 12 a.m., followed by Algosoo during the evening hours. Rounding out the Stoneport lineup are three vessels due on Thursday. Herbert C. Jackson arrives in the morning, followed by Great Republic in the early evening. Kaye E. Barker arrives in the late evening.

Cedarville - Denny Dushane
A Busch Marine barge is tentatively scheduled to load at Cedarville on Monday during the morning, however, a confirmed update and time on that vessel is not certain. Three vessels that are confirmed for loading include Buffalo, due on Monday in the late morning, Philip R. Clarke due on Tuesday in the mid-afternoon and Lewis J. Kuber in the morning.

Calcite - Denny Dushane
A busy week is on tap for the loading docks in Calcite. On Sunday the Hon. James L. Oberstar was scheduled to make a rare appearance during the late evening for the South Dock. Two vessels are due in on Monday, both for the South Dock, with Cason J. Callaway arriving early in the morning followed by fleetmate Arthur M. Anderson arriving in the late afternoon. For Tuesday the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula are due to arrive for the North Dock in the late morning. No vessels are scheduled on Wednesday. Rounding out the Calcite docks lineup will be three vessels due on Thursday. The Sam Laud will be arriving at noon for the South Dock, fleetmate H. Lee White will arrive at suppertime loading at the North Dock and the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula return to load at the South Dock during the late evening.

Escanaba - Denny Dushane and Wendell Wilke
CSL's new Trillium-class self-unloading vessel Thunder Bay arrived Sunday morning on her first-ever visit to that city's port, and her first port on the Great Lakes. She departed in the afternoon after loading a cargo of iron ore pellets at the CN Ore Dock for delivery to Quebec City, Quebec.

Green Bay - Wendell Wilke
Algoma Olympic departed Fox River Dock in Green Bay at 8:00 a.m. after unloading salt. This was her first time into Green Bay.

Toledo - Denny Dushane
A busy period is on tap for the docks in Toledo, with many vessel arrivals, mostly for the CSX Coal Dock and the Torco Dock. American Courage was expected to arrive at Torco on Sunday during the late evening to unload. Following the American Courage will be Atlantic Huron due in Thursday in the early morning. Lakes Contender is due on Friday in the early morning. Following te Lakes Contender will be Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on Sunday, August 11, in the morning. Rounding out the Torco Dock lineup will be the James R. Barker, due in on Wednesday, August 14 in the morning.

Vessels scheduled to load coal at the CSX Coal Dock include Manitowoc and John B. Aird on Wednesday in the morning. James L. Kuber is due to load coal on Friday at suppertime. Three vessels are scheduled to load coal on Saturday, August 10, with Catherine Desgagnes due at noon followed by H. Lee White at suppertime and the Saginaw in the evening.

Only one vessel is scheduled for the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock, with the CSL Niagara due to arrive on Friday, August 16 in the early morning. Scrapping continues at the Ironhead Shipyard's large drydock on the Phoenix Star.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Kaye E. Barker finished unloading stone into the Upper Harbor hopper and started loading ore before sunset on Sunday.


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.


Low water level causes deep problem for Great Lakes shipping industry

8/4 - Cleveland, Ohio – Great Lakes shipping industry executive Jim Weakley isn't waiting anymore for water levels to come back.

"I've stopped using the word cyclical, because cyclical implies it's going to return to where it was," said Weakley, a retired U.S. Coast Guard commander who is now president of the Lake Carriers Association. "If you're 14 years below the long-term average, that's not cyclical."

Weakley's group represents the U.S. freighters that move bulk materials between Great Lakes ports — things like iron ore for steel production, coal to sustain the Midwest's electrical grid as well as the cement that is a foundation of the construction industry.

The low water, coupled with a harbor dredging backlog, has drastically affected the big boats' ability to float these materials. The official depth of the deep-draft navigation system is supposed to be 27.5 feet. The actual depth in some shallower harbors, rivers and channels this spring was closer to 25 feet.

This is big trouble for the shipping industry; for every inch that a 1,000 foot ship has to sail light, it must shed about 270 tons of cargo or risk running aground.

Weakley arrived in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., for the March 25 opening of the shipping season to lobby a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers general and regional politicians to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to restore depth to the lakes' navigation channels.

The group climbed aboard the first ship of the season to sail through the Soo Locks — the 1,013-foot-long Paul R. Tregurtha. It is longer than three football fields and can tote nearly 70,000 tons of coal — enough, Weakley says, to power the entire Detroit region for a day.

But the Tregurtha and other large freighters in the U.S. fleet started the shipping season sailing about 10% under capacity.

Weakley wants the Army Corps to bring its muscle into the Great Lakes and tackle a $200 million dredging backlog greatly exacerbated by the shrinking lakes.

Channels and harbors naturally fill in with sediment and the Army Corps is supposed to conduct regular maintenance dredging using revenue generated by taxes on the value of shipped cargo.

The federal government in recent years has collected about $1.6 billion annually in these fees nationwide but is spending only about half that, according to the Great Lakes Commission.

Weakley sees the low water problem on the lakes as more political than natural — the money is there to do the dredging to ensure ships can sail with full loads; Congress just needs to spend it.

"People talk about lake levels," Weakley said. "I talk about navigation depth."

Roger Gauthier, a retired Army Corps hydrologist, said the problem of low water is deeper than shallow shipping channels. He agrees more dredging is necessary, but says it won't solve the problems long-term.

Due to low water, he said, ports across the Great Lakes are suffering from crumbling and rotting navigation infrastructure such as breakwalls, piers and jetties that are in some cases more than a century old.

"Almost every one of the harbors has wood structures that are now exposed to aerobic decomposition, and they are starting to fail," he said.

"I'd argue those losses are in the billions of dollars, but nobody has ever quantified them."

David Wright, chief of operations for the Army Corps' Detroit district, said he has no idea how much money it would take to maintain or restore the more than 104 miles of navigation structures the agency is responsible for in the 139 federally maintained commercial and recreational harbors in the Great Lakes. But he agreed the aged timber that is the foundation for so many of those structures is suffering from the low water.

"As water drops, wood that's been preserved underwater for a long time is now is being exposed to decay," he said. "And if you get a failure of foundations, you get a failure of structures."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Sunken warbird emerges from Lake Michigan in time for EAA AirVenture

8/4 - Oshkosh, Wis. – William Forbes didn't like cold water. An unexpected swim in Lake Michigan in late December will do that to a guy. Especially a 20-year-old who grew up in sunny California.

But on Dec. 28, 1944, Forbes powered up the engine of a Grumman FM-2 Wildcat and took off along the deck of a ship converted into an aircraft carrier for naval pilots to practice carrier takeoffs and landings. Just as he reached the end of the deck, the engine quit. And the Wildcat, with Forbes strapped inside, plunged off the ship.

Forbes survived; the Wildcat did not. The aircraft sank in 200 feet of water — where it stayed, slowly becoming encrusted with rust, algae and zebra and quagga mussels until December when it was hauled from the depths of Lake Michigan.

Among the gleaming, lovingly restored World War II planes on display at EAA AirVenture this week is Forbes' Wildcat, its wings and tail dismantled and lying behind the fuselage on a flatbed trailer. Despite the fabulous old warbirds nearby, the rusted Wildcat hulk is drawing large crowds entranced by the exposed mechanical gear and the story of the resurrected flying workhorse.

Just how the Wildcat ended up in Lake Michigan is due partly to the nearby training facility. With the Navy's aircraft carriers on war duty, officials came up with an ingenious idea to train the 17,000 naval pilots who passed through Glenview Naval Air Station in Glenview, Ill., by turning a couple of former passenger liners in southern Lake Michigan into floating flattops.

Taras Lyssenko and his Michigan-based company A&T Recovery have pulled up from the depths dozens of World II planes over the years.

The Wildcat on display at AirVenture is mostly intact with a ripped-off tail that had settled near the plane's wreckage.

"I don't know how the pilot survived. It was about 15 degrees outside. It looks like the ship ripped the tail off as the plane went into the water," said Lyssenko, who has never displayed a plane he recovered at AirVenture before. "He probably went down with the aircraft knowing the ship was running over him, and he probably held his breath and then popped out in the freezing water.

"He was either the luckiest pilot that day or the most calm, composed pilot that day," Lyssenko said.

As a kid growing up in Fresno, Calif., Forbes was fascinated by aviation. And when he enlisted in the Navy, he trained to fly fighter planes like the Wildcat that was integral early in the war, especially at the Battle of Midway.

"He didn't talk a whole lot about the war, but we heard many stories regarding that incident," his daughter, Chris Smith, said of the Lake Michigan crash. "The few words all of us kids remember was that he had never been so cold."

All of the sunken World War II aircraft are still owned by the Navy and permits to retrieve the planes are issued by the Naval History and Heritage Command.

Though Lake Michigan's cold, dark water is a great storage facility, the quagga mussels that have invaded the Great Lakes are slowly degrading the World War II planes. In a race for time, Lyssenko estimates he has eight to 10 years to retrieve more warbirds until they disintegrate.

Forbes died of cancer in 2008 at the age of 85. After the war, he returned to Fresno, earned a law degree, worked as a lawyer handling adoptions and contracts, got married and raised three children.

He never piloted a plane again, telling his family that after the excitement and danger of war, flying a private plane just wouldn't have provided the same thrill.

Had he lived to see the plane that landed him into the icy cold water of Lake Michigan pop back up like a wayward cork, Forbes would have been shocked.

"I could just see the smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye," said Smith. "He would have been flabbergasted. And so proud."

The World War II FM-2 Wildcat recovered from Lake Michigan will be displayed in the Warbirds area of EAA AirVenture through Sunday.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Rare chance to tour two Port Colborne lighthouses

8/4 - Two lighthouse can be yours for the price of one. Where? From Sugarloaf Harbour Marina in Port Colborne, Ontario at the source of the Welland Canal on Lake Erie.

These two lighthouses have been closed for the past 33 years and are now open to the public for the first time in 110 years.

The Save Our Lighthouses group will conduct daily tours from Sugarloaf Harbour Marina by boat between 11 am and 5 p.m. during Canal Days celebrations in Port Colborne, through Aug. 5 and by reservation until Sept. 3.

Study the large bird colonies, plus the close passage of ships that carry our goods around the world. Bring a picnic lunch and relax.

The first lighthouse sits on the northeast wall of the breakwall, which stretches north to south and east to west in Gravelly Bay, and the second one sits at the southeast end. A small beacon sits on the far west wall. The first lighthouse used to have a lighthouse keepers home attached to it, but that was torn down decades ago, said Rossi. The lighthouse has been automated since that time.


SS City of Milwaukee Annual Meeting

8/4 - Car ferry and coast guard enthusiasts will join for the Annual Car Ferry Reunion Weekend aboard the SS City of Milwaukee at Manistee, Michigan on Saturday, August 10, 2013. The day starts with a 10 a.m. meeting of the Michigan Association of Rail Passengers. Lunch is available at noon, followed at 1 by presentations on the history of the cutter Acacia; the Grand Trunk carferry history; and a slide show by Art Chavez featuring rarely seen glimpses of carferry interiors. A Silent Auction will run Noon - 5 p.m. Click here for details


Volunteers wanted for Boatnerd

As many have noted, we have been short of staff this summer and having trouble keeping up with updates, including the photo galleries. We thank everyone for being patient.

We are looking for volunteers in several areas.

1. Help with weekly updates. This one is pretty straightforward – just pick the pictures of the week and send the links and descriptions by e-mail. We usually try to match pictures of the week with current or historic events or themes.

2. Content update/organization. Help is needed updating our fleet gallery of written vessel histories and pictures. All that is needed is someone to send updated text for the written portion of the vessel history. Images can be sent using the links and descriptions.

3. Web site redesign. We have had a long-stalled project on which we need design help. For the past several years we have been working to update the look and organization of Boatnerd. We are inviting users to send mockups of a redesigned Boatnerd site that would modernize the interface and reorganize the way data is accessed.

If you are part of a web company, this could lead to long-term paid work.

Part of this redesign will be an updated content management system that would allow us to expand our pool of volunteers to non-technical users who could help update content.

Thanks for your help and support. Please e-mail if you would like to help.


Updates -  August 4

News Photo Gallery we are caught up, please continue to send in your pictures. If we have enough pictures we will return to a daily format.


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.


Port Reports -  August 3

Port Inland, Mich.
Wilfred Sykes loaded and departed for the south end of Lake Michigan Friday morning.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Yorktown made its second visit to Alpena on Friday. It tied up in the Thunder Bay River around noon. Passengers were welcomed by the city and taken by bus to various places in the area. The Yorktown departed the river by 6:30 p.m. to head to its next destination. The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity is expected in port on Saturday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were outbound from the Saginaw River Friday afternoon after arriving early Friday morning. The pair stopped at the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City to deliver a partial cargo, then continued upriver to finish at the Wirt Stone Dock in Saginaw.

For the month of July, there were 18 commercial vessel passages on the Saginaw River. This is one less than in 2012 and right on par with the 5-year average for the month of July. For the year to date, there have been 63 commercial vessel passages. This is seven less than in 2012 and fifteen below the five year average for the Saginaw River.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Tug Victory and barge James Kuber loaded Friday at the NS coal dock. The duo departed the dock around 7 p.m.

Oswego, N.Y. - Ned Goebricher
On Friday the tugs Margot and Francis were in port with the grain barges Big 546 & Big 548 and Lockwood Bros. flat barge with cement vaults.


Uncertain future for Presque Isle Power Plant

8/3 - Marquette, Mich. – Will it soon be lights out for the Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette? It's a possibility according to We Energies after their largest customer, Cliffs Natural Resources, decided to purchase power from a new source.

Starting September 1, Cliffs will begin buying electricity from Integrys Energy Services out of Chicago. A switch, their spokesperson says, will save them tens of millions of dollars annually.

Around 170 jobs hang in the balance at the Presque Isle power plant after Cliffs Natural Resources announced it is enrolling in Michigan's electric choice program, allowing the company to purchase deregulated power for the Tilden and Empire Mines. Under Michigan's Utility Choice Law, customers using more then 10 percent of a utility's sales weren't able to switch suppliers. But a change in 2008 exempted mines from the cap.

We Energies says it's unsure why the decision came five years after the change, but losing its largest customer will result in an uncertain fate of the plant and its employees.

"We're mitigating our options for this loss of load for 2014 and beyond," said Gale Kappa, We Energies CEO. "We simply have to look at the future of the Presque Isle Power Plant."

A Cliffs spokesperson says the decision comes after three rate hikes in five years, an increase of 110 percent.

"What we're looking at now, using deregulated power, being able to reduce the cost to the mines in the magnitude of tens of millions of dollars annually. Roughly 17 to 26 percent," said Dale Hemmila, Director of Public Affairs for Cliffs.

Rates for WE Energies are regulated by the Michigan Civil Service Commission. The MCSC says the energy company has filed three rate increase applications since 2008. The rate increases are to recover costs for newer power generating facilities in addition to environmental compliance costs with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Cliffs says the savings will support the viability of both mines and their 1,600 employees.

"That allows us to keep our costs lower and maintain the employment levels that we have and the production," Hemmila added.

We Energies has approximately 21,000 customers in the Upper Peninsula, but 80 percent of the power produced is for the Tilden and Empire mines. Cliffs argues they will still produce power for a grid that supplies 15 states and a Canadian province and should not impact the power plant.

We Energies says prices for its existing customers will remain the same for 2013, but they are uncertain what will happen for 2014 and 2015.

Upper Michigan’s Source


Canal boat replica stops in Lockport before a three-day stay at Canalside

8/3 - Buffalo, N.Y. – The history of Buffalo is written on its waterways, from the expanse of Lake Erie where world powers once vied for control of nascent America during the War of 1812, to the long stretches of the Erie Canal – some intact, some buried, some en route to restoration – along which mule-drawn barges transported every commodity imaginable to the city in its heyday.

A piece of Buffalo’s nautical past will come to life this weekend as the Lois McClure, a replica canal schooner from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Basin Harbor, Vt., arrives at Canalside for three days of public tours, part of a four-month, 1,000-mile voyage commemorating the War of 1812 Bicentennial and the age of water-born commerce it ushered in.

“The City of Buffalo grew out of the interface of the canal and the Great Lakes,” said Art Cohn, museum co-founder and one of the dozen-odd historians, sailors, and volunteers living aboard the Lois McClure or its tugboat escort as the schooner winds it way from Lake Champlain to Lake Erie and back again. The ship set sail in May and is scheduled to return home in mid-October.

As the crew prepared for a public showing at Upson Park in Lockport on Friday evening, one of dozens of scheduled stops the ship is making in Vermont, parts of Canada and across New York, Cohn explained why vessels of this kind had such a big impact on the growth of Buffalo and other settlements along the canal.

In a pre-railroad era, Cohn said, canals enabled goods to travel farther and faster than ever before, linking existing commercial centers in new ways and creating entirely new ones along their lengths. “These guys revolutionized the world they lived in,” he said, calling them “the Internet of their age.”

Case in point: in 1823, there were two houses in the area now known as Lockport. By 1825, the year the Erie Canal officially opened, there were 500, Cohn said.

With its flat-bottomed oak hull and its 88-by-14½-foot dimensions, the Lois McClure is “typical of hundreds of boats that would have gone right by here,” Cohn said. The schooner’s sails made it uniquely suited to traverse the integrated system of lakes and canals that linked the Northeast from Buffalo to as far as Quebec City.

But Cohn explained that vessels of this type never actually sailed on the canal. Like the barges tugged by Sal the Mule in the canal-era classic “Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal,” they relied on animal power to navigate the narrow waterway and pass under its many bridges.

The schooner’s masts are kept on wooden racks above deck when not in use, and will be lowered while at Canalside.

The green and white-striped schooner, which is behind schedule after flooding in the Mohawk Valley closed the canal for a time, is tugged along at five miles per hour – a sluggish pace by modern standards, but still twice as fast as mules could have dragged the craft. To pass the time, Cohn said the crew read, talk and enjoy the scenery.

Cohn, who has been on every one of the McClure’s nine voyages since it set sail in 2004, said he doesn’t mind the slow pace. “I find personally that watching the world go by at 5 miles per hour is very relaxing,” he said, adding that driving a car afterwards takes some getting used to.

The Lois McClure is modeled after two shipwrecks the museum spent decades studying on the bottom of Lake Champlain. Built in 1862 and sunk by storms, the vessels were subject to hundreds of photographs and thousands of measurements as divers from the museum prepared for their recreation. Cohn said the museum instructed its hired shipwrights to stay as true to the original design as possible in order to capture the original character of the crafts, said to be examples of a forgotten class of canal boat. The Lois McClure was named in honor of a museum donor.

Like the families – moms, dads and kids – who Cohn said operated the crafts back in the day, the crew of the McClure lives, sleeps and eats on board the ship. Some crew members sleep in small beds tucked into alcoves in the cramped family quarters, which includes such period-appropriate amenities as a cast-iron stove and a chamber pot – for display purposes only, thankfully. Daily chores include swabbing the decks with canal water hauled up in a bucket.

In addition to making for a reunion of 19th century replicas, the McClure’s arrival at Canalside marks another remarkable historical convergence. Captaining the ship is Roger Taylor, a distant descendent of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, whose role in the War of 1812 earned him the nickname “Hero of Lake Erie.” Taylor, 81, called it a “thrill to come to Buffalo” and commemorate his ancestor’s victory on Lake Erie, 200 years after the fact.

The schooner, which was in Buffalo once before in 2007, can be toured free of charge from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and from 3 to 6 p.m. on Monday after the crew hosts local youth groups.

The goal, Cohn said, is to “invite the public to come on board, step back in time, and experience history.”

The Buffalo News


Night boats once plied Lake Ontario's water and beyond

8/3 - During the 19th century and well into the first half of the 20th century, night boats traversed the waters of the East and West coasts of the United States, as well as the major rivers, bays and the Great Lakes.

So popular was this form of travel that Tin Pan Alley soon introduced “On the Old Fall River Line” and “The Girl on the Night Boat,” only two of a number of songs of the era mentioning night boat travel. A musical comedy from 1920 called The Night Boat (on the Hudson River), with music by Jerome Kern, enjoyed great success.

Lake Ontario had several night boat lines at various times. The first night boat, built in 1899 for the Richelieu and Ontario Navigation Company (1870s to 1913) by the Bertram Engine Works Company of Toronto, was christened the Toronto and had 330 berths. It ran the Toronto-Prescott route on Lake Ontario, stopping at Rochester and Alexandria Bay in the Thousand Islands.

A larger, twin stack boat followed in 1901, built by the same company. Named the Kingston, it was a side-wheeler, as was the Toronto. The added size allowed for 400 passengers and 365 berths. Both of the handsome boats carried their names painted across the side wheel guard covers.

The Toronto or the Kingston made twice-weekly runs from Toronto. Leaving in late afternoon, they docked at the Genesee River in the early evening. On boarding, the passengers would find a salon fore and aft, with grand stairs leading to the upper deck. Cabins ran along the outer perimeter on both of the salon’s two levels. The interior was lavishly decorated. Lounge chairs, tables and potted foliage plants filled the ample salons. A dining room with linen tablecloths, crystal glassware and fine china was provided. The boat departed at sunset, heading east.

After retiring to your reserved cabin, the rhythmic swish of the two paddlewheels and the low throb of the steam engines could waft you off to slumberland. Early morning found you awakening to a short stop at Kingston, Ontario. Quickly, it was off for a leisure cruise through the Thousand Islands, stopping at Alexandria Bay. Then it was on to Prescott and Brockville, Ontario. Connections there could be made with the steamers Rapids King or Queen, and a trip through the Lachine Rapids, west of Montreal.

At Montreal, additional boats traveled to Québec City or farther east to the Atlantic coast. Connections were available at many of the stops for return passage back to Kingston, Rochester or Toronto on other boats of the Richelieu and Ontario Navigation line. This boat line merged to become part of the huge Canadian Steamship Lines in 1913. At its height, the CSL owned 155 boats on the Great Lakes.

After World War I and the rise of automobile ownership, travel on all boat lines suffered somewhat. But the Kingston and Toronto were still very popular into the late 1920s. The Depression and new laws concerning aging steamboats hampered ridership in the 1930s. The Toronto was taken out of service in 1938 due to its wooden decks and aging steam boilers. The slightly younger Kingston continued on until the late 1940s, but its regular schedule and special tours were greatly reduced.

It might have continued on for short while longer, had it not been for a tragic fire on the steamship Noronic, moored at its dock in Toronto Harbour. Fire broke out during the night of Sept. 17, 1949, and within minutes engulfed the entire boat. It was on its final run from the upper Great Lakes for the season. On board were 512 passengers and a crew of 170. The final tally of loss of life was 119.

As a result, more stringent fire codes were implemented by both the Canadian and U.S. governments. The outcome was that the Canadian Steamship Line ended all passenger service on Lake Ontario. The proud Kingston side-wheeler was scrapped in 1951, one of the last vestiges of an outmoded way to travel.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle


Tickets still available for the Detroit River Boatnerd cruise today

Detroit River/River Rouge Boatnerd Cruise: On Saturday, August 3, we will repeat the popular Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise aboard the Friendship, with Captain Sam Buchanan. This year’s cruise will be four hours and will go up the Detroit River, and hopefully into the Rouge River. Pizza will be delivered by the J. W. Westcott II mailboat.

Cost is $30.00 per person. Departing at 10:00 a.m. sharp from the Portofino restaurant in Wyandotte, Mich. There are still a few tickets available and you may pay as you board, please contact the trip coordinator by e-mail to reserve your spot.

The weather forecast is calling for mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid 70's. 


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 3

On this day in 1960, 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.

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.


Lake Superior water level surges in July

8/2 - Lake Superior posted its third-straight month of above-normal water-level increases, rising 5.5 inches in July compared to the usual 1.5-inch increase for the month.

The International Lake Superior Board of Control reported Wednesday that the big lake is 2.3 inches below its long-term normal and is 6 inches above the level of Aug. 1, 2012.

Lake Superior had its second-highest monthly increase in May and rose more than usual in June, thanks to well-above-normal precipitation across much of its watershed. The big lake continues its trend back to normal water levels after several years of below-normal levels.

Meanwhile, the levels of Lakes Huron and Michigan also are moving back toward normal. The level of those lakes was stable in July, as usual, and is 2 inches above the level on Aug. 1 last year. They remain about 19 inches below the long-term normal, although that gap has been cut in half in recent months.

Duluth News Tribune


Lake Express out of operation due to engine repair, should be back running by Aug. 3

8/2 - Muskegon, Mich. – The Lake Express high-speed ferry service between Muskegon and Milwaukee has been out of operation since Monday, July 29, due to mechanical issues, ferry officials said.

The Lake Express is anticipated to be back in service by Friday or Saturday, according to marketing and sales Director Aaron Schultz. The ferry service has been in contact with customers who have booked reservations for this week, keeping them up to date on progress in making repairs to one of the four jet-boat’s diesel engines, he said.

“We realize that our situation and decisions unfortunately affect a lot of people and we do not take that lightly,” Schultz said. “But we want to make sure that the fixes are done right and with safety in mind so that we can continue for the balance of our season.”

Schultz said that persistent engine problems shut the Lake Express down for about two days the week of July 22. Those problems caused the ship to be docked beginning on the third crossing of Monday, July 29. The fixes are being made with spare equipment on Lake Express docks in Milwaukee, company officials indicated.

As to when the Lake Express will be back in operation, Schultz said the company cannot say exactly but it would probably be Friday or Saturday, Aug. 2 or 3. The exact return to service will depend upon various inspections and sea trials and those with reservations will be informed of the progress, Schultz said.

The Lake Express website has shut down reservations through Friday, so as not to give any false information to the sailing public, Schultz said.

Before the engine problems that plagued the Lake Express the past two weeks, the overall season has been strong, Schultz said. He said Lake Express officials expect to continue its solid ridership when the ship returns to service.

The Lake Express provides three round-trips a day between Muskegon and Milwaukee on a 192-foot catamaran ferry that carries 46 vehicles, motorcycles and 250 passengers. The 80-mile trip across Lake Michigan takes two and half hours dock-to-dock.

The Lake Express carries more than 100,000 passengers each year but the company does not give exact numbers for competitive reasons. The ferry service is celebrating its 10th anniversary year.



Port Reports -  August 2

St. Marys River
Traffic Thursday included the downbound Roger Blough, CSL Laurentien and Great Lakes Trader. Upbounders included Algolake and Algoma Discovery. Several of the tall ships were downbound in the river.

Cedarville, Mich.
Wilfred Sykes loaded most of the day for Port Inland and Indiana Harbor.

Manitowoc, Wis.
The training vessel Manatra, out of Chicago, visited Manitowoc Thursday morning after sailing from Mackinac Island. The vessel is a US Naval Sea Cadet training platform on its 2nd seven-day sail of the season. There are 12 Sea Cadets aboard from across the country. Underway the cadets will steer, navigate and supervise during life-saving drills and are given instruction throughout the cruise by the professional crew and staff of Manatra. Many of these young adult, high school-aged cadets have applied for the available slots aboard the vessel with the hope of furthering their education of sea-going life and an eventual maritime or naval career. They moored just east of the museum vessel Cobia The vessel will depart on Friday morning.

Muskegon, Mich. - Tyler Fairfield
The American Mariner came in early Thursday morning and unloaded coal at the B.C. Cobb Plant. The tug Samuel De Champlain and barge Innovation remained at the Mart Dock and are expected to depart in the coming days.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
American Steamship's American Mariner loaded coal at KCBX in Chicago on Wednesday for Muskegon Michigan.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Interlake Steamship's barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann continued to load Thursday evening at the Lafarge aggregate dock. The pair arrived early in the day. Waiting its turn, the Manistee lay quietly at anchor in South Passage amid periodic rain showers under leaden skies.


Watch for pleasure craft in the locks on Saturday

8/2 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – Saturday will mark the start of the 23rd biennial running of the Trans Superior International Yacht Race. The 326-nautical-mile race from Sault Ste. Marie to Duluth, Minnesota, is organized by the Duluth Yacht Club in conjunction with the Algoma Sailing Club.

Both crewed and single-handed boats are registered for this year’s race. Bondar Marina will house the majority of the fleet with some of the boats also on the Michigan side of the border.

The boats will be arriving to the Sault over the next few days in anticipation of Saturday morning’s start to the race. The Trans Superior has been held every odd year since 1969. The race is also part of the Lake Superior Yachting Association off-shore series and is the longest point to point fresh water race held biennially.

The race was first organized by Duluth sailor Jack Soetebier and Dr. John Pierpoint from White Pine, Michigan. The two men set up the race as a challenge to themselves and other Lake Superior sailors.

Race festivities will begin with a skipper’s meeting on Friday, August 2 at the Algoma Sailing Club with the race starting at 1 p.m. from Gros Cap on Saturday, August 3.

Prior to the start, on Saturday morning, the fleet of yachts will lock thru the Soo Locks on their way to the start line. The event ends with an awards dinner in Duluth on Thursday, August 11.

Presently there are 27 yachts registered for the event. The fleet also includes entries from Minnesota, Thunder Bay, Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and even the United Kingdom.

Soo Today


Marine-themed fun starts Friday at Port Colborne

8/2 - Port Colborne, Ont. – When the iconic Empire Sandy sails into Port Colborne it signals the start of the lakeside city’s most booming weekend.

The Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival doesn’t officially start until Friday morning, but for residents, businesses and nautical fanatics, Sandy’s sails are like racing flags rising.

“The economic benefit and impact is something we strive to see,” the city’s event co-ordinator, Allaina Kane, said. “We hear from merchants about the increase in their business and it makes it easier for them to handle some of our slower down times.”

Kane said the city prepares to accept more than 350,000 visitors from across the province and it takes more than 500 volunteers to keep it together.Canal Days is expected to generate more than $3 million for the city’s economy.

Empire Sandy leaves Port Dalhousie at 9 a.m. Friday for a sold out cruise from the beginning of the Welland Canal to the shores of Lake Erie. About 150 guests will see all eight locks before catching a shuttle bus back to St. Catharines.

“I think it celebrates not only our marine heritage it also celebrates what’s vital to our economy — the shipping route and Welland Canal. It takes a strong commitment from volunteers which clearly shows they have a lot of pride in community and want to share it with visitors,” Kane said.

The festival really gets underway Friday morning, starting with the farmers’ market at 7 a.m. while the vendors and midway get prepared to go from noon to 10 p.m.

Tall ships will give cruises as many as five times daily beginning about 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum will offer free admission throughout the festival with tons of activities Saturday and Sunday including musical performances and a scavenger hunt.

“I think one of the highlights of Canal Days is that there’s truly something for everyone. You can come and not spend a lot of money, if that’s the goal,” Kane said.

Click here for details

 Welland Tribune


Today in Great Lakes History -  August 2

On August 2, 1991, Paterson's 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.



Port Reports -  August 1

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The tug Ken Boothe Sr and Great Lakes Contender were unloading stone from Calcite, Michigan at the Gateway Metroport Main Dock in Lackawanna Wednesday morning.

Seaway - Ron Beaupre and Jim Scrimger
Thunder Bay was on her maiden voyage Wednesday passing through the Iroquois Lock upbound.


Updates -  August 1

Saltie Gallery updated - New pictures of the Vikingbank


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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