Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News ARCHIVE

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Steel Imports Increase in July

08/31:
Imports of foreign steel rose in July, the government said last week, in a reversal that suggests the U.S. industry's struggles may continue.

The 6 percent increase, which followed a 9 percent drop in June, was the third expansion in five months. Since November, when the Commerce Department first threatened punitive tariffs on imports of the industry's core product, foreign shipments have decreased by one-fifth.

The Clinton administration and the U.S. steel industry have been closely monitoring the monthly figures for signs of an end to a crisis from low-priced imports, which the industry blames for thousands of layoffs. While imports decline in some months, they often go back up the next.

Despite periodic monthly spikes, the administration has stayed with its policy of relying primarily on imposing tariffs at the industry's request and resisting stronger sanctions that administration officials fear could prompt a trade war.

Each tariff request takes several months to resolve and, because it targets one product and one country at a time, the U.S. industry fears foreign steel companies can shift to making other products and other countries can step in to fill the void.

Foreign steel producers "will play with this until there is a permanent solution," said Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, who supports global steel quotas. "They're doing what I predicted they would do."

The government's July figures indicate that some product shifting may have occurred. The one-month increase reflected jumps primarily in shipments from Mexico, Ukraine and Taiwan -- countries that were not targeted in the early complaints.

In preliminary figures, the Commerce Department said imports totaled 2.9 million metric tons in July. That compares with final figures of 2.8 million in June.

For the first seven months of 1999, imports totaled 18.2 million metric tons. That is a 5 percent increase from the 17.2 million metric tons in the same period of 1997, before the Asian economic crisis reduced demand for steel abroad and forced foreign companies to sell their surplus in the healthy U.S. market.

The 1999 level was 10 percent below the 20.2 million metric tons during the first seven months of 1998.




Seaway Update

08/31:
In July, The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation disposed of its tug LA PRAIRIE based at St.Lambert since 1975 when she was built by Georgetown Shipyards of Georgetown, Prince Edward Island. At 110 gross tons, she was the largest unit operated by the Seaway. On July 21, she arrived at Quebec City for delivery to new owners, Groupe Ocean. After spending over two weeks there for refurbishing, she went to Sorel to be based there. According to a company spokesman, she is not to be renamed.

Aground for about 15 hours off Plum Island on the St. Lawrence River on August 11 was the tug OCEAN INTREPIDE owned by Groupe Ocean. Plum Island is situated opposite the village of Verchères, about 20 miles downstream from Montreal. She was refloated with the help of other tugs in the fleet including the newly acquired LA PRAIRIE which was very useful because of her low draft. Ironically, the grounding occured when passing by another tug in the fleet, the JERRY G. which was towing the barge Basse Côte from Montreal to Contrecoeur.

Amongst the interesting Seaway transits lately was the one of the Cyprus-flag ALBA SIERRA. Arriving from Cuba, she went to Prescott to load soya beans according to the agent. Very few foreign-flag vessels are calling at this port nowadays. This general cargo vessel of the well known SD 14 type completed at least one trip before to the Great Lakes under the name MOUNTAIN AZALEA. The SD 14s, so common in Lakes ports in the seventies and early eighties are fast disapearing from the sea lanes, many of them having been broken up or lost following a casualty.

Reported by: René Beauchamp




Edmund Fitzgerald TV Program

08/31:
The Discovery Channel program "Shipwreck - The Mystery of the Edmund Fitzgerald" will be aired again on September 23rd @ 9:00 PM, Eastern Time. Mark your calendar. Check your local listings.

Reported by: Gary R. Clark




Today in Great Lakes History - August 31

On August 31, 1977, the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. (formerly Belle River) entered service, departing Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, for Superior.

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

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

On 31 August 1906, CAVALIER (3-mast wooden schooner, 134'/268GT, 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.

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

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




Possible Strike Again Threatens Lakes Shipping

08/30:
The labor contracts between many of the shipping companies and Steelworkers Union Local 5000 expired at midnight August 31. A tentative agreement was reached and sent to the union's membership for approval. The agreement was voted down, it is unclear if this was because of the offer made or unclear language in agreement.

If an agreement is not reached there is the possibility of a strike being called by the middle of the week.

Local 5000 represents unlicensed crew members sailing on Great Lakes vessels serve in a variety of positions such as deckhands, cooks, engine room helpers and maintenance workers.

A strike by this group would mean that vessels would likely be unable to sail. To complicate a possible strike, many of the ships officers are represented by a different union and would be unable to honor a Local 5000 strike due to a clause in their contacts.

During the last major strike in 1986, vessels proceeded to various ports after the contract expired and licensed crewmembers laid up the vessels while the unlicensed workers departed.

It is believed that still unsettled are contracts with Interlake, Central Marine Logistics., Oglebay Norton Co. and USS Great Lakes Fleet.

A representative of the Local 5000 in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, could not be reached over the weekend. Please stop back in the coming days for updates.

Reported by: D. H. Adley




Algoway in Port Stanley

08/30:
On Wednesday evening the Algoway was entering the bottle neck of the Port Stanley harbor and hit the south east end of the dock wall. Thirty feet of the wall has been damaged with the rebar showing, no reported damage of the ship.

Reported by: Richard Hill and Joan Wilton




First of Five

08/30:
Isa, the first of five ships built by Polish Steamship Co. for the Seaway trade, begins loading its first Twin Ports cargo on Aug. 30.

The vessel arrived over the weekend at the AGP grain elevator in Duluth. It will load 22,000 tons of spring wheat and feed peas destined for Barcelona. It's expected to depart Aug. 31.

Isa sails under the Cypriot flag but with a Polish crew. It was delivered from a Japanese shipyard in April. Isa and its four sister ships are equipped with deck cranes and bow thrusters. Each ship is 658.8 feet long and 77.4 feet wide.

Reported by: Al Miller
Click here for a new book written by Al.




Quebecois Moved from Dry Dock

08/30:
On Thursday morning the tugs Peninsula & George N. Carleton removed the Quebecois from Pascol's drydock in Thunder Bay. The vessel was moved to the Shearleg dock.

She was on the drydock for her Five Year inspection for 31-days, entering the drydock on July 27 and was taken off on August 26. It is unknown when she will depart Thunder Bay.

Reported by: Ron Konkol




GPS Changes

08/30:
Earlier this month, the 1,024-week time clock in the satellite-based GPS system turned over to zero after nearly 20 years, creating difficulties for some receivers.

Some vessels sailing on the Great Lakes were effected by this change. The Algosar is reported to have lost one of their GPS units. The unit was an Admiral by Micrologic.

At 0000 that night the tanker was in Sarnia loading at the Esso Terminal and the GPS was reported to have "just lost it". The Algosar is equipped with multiple systems onboard, the crew still had one GPS, a Loran C and a DGPS running.

In related news, work is underway for the U.S. tanker Gemini to be sold Canadian in the near future. Look for an announcement in the coming months.

Reported by: R. Kennedy




Hamilton Report

08/30:
August 29 was an unusual day in Hamilton as three CSL boats were in the harbour at the same time.

CSL Niagara was unloading ore and H.M. Griffith was unloading coal, both at Stelco. The Atlantic Erie arrived around 18:00 and proceeded to the JRI (formerly Agrico) dock to load grain. This only lasted until 20:20 when the Niagara departed.

Reported by: Marc and Michelle Ouellette




New Commander for Acacia

08/30:
The Charlevoix based Coast Guard cutter Acacia has received a new captain as the former commander accepts a new post elsewhere. Lt. Commander Michael W. Shomin assumed command of the 180 foot vessel at a ceremony at the city docks with Admiral James D. Hull presiding.

The former captain, Commander Karl L. Schultz has accepted the position of the 9th District Liaison to Washington D.C. Lt. Commander Shomin will serve as Acacia's commander for three years, at which time the ship will most likely be decommissioned.

Reported by: Sean Whelan




Tregurtha Sports World War II Awards

08/30:
The Lee A. Tregurtha was recently spotted with her World War II battle awards freshly painted on the vessel.

The Tregurtha sailed as the Chiwawa class oiler USS Chiwawa in World War II. During her service she was awarded the following medals that are now painted on the pilot house as colored ribbons:
Asiatic-Pacific campaign Medal
European-African-Middle-Eastern Campaign Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
World War II Occupational Medal




Send in Your Best Shots

08/30:
The Interlake Steamship Company would like to announce a photo contest for their upcoming Year 2000 Annual Interlake Calendar. The company is asking that unique photographs of Interlake vessels be submitted to the company.

If picked, the lucky twelve winners will receive a signed Paul LeMarre Pen & Ink Drawing of the respective vessel winning photograph.

All submitted photographs will become the property of Interlake Steamship Company. Deadline for photograph submittal is October 1, 1999. Winners will be published in our Interlake log and on the Boatnerd Website.

Click here for Complete details.




Twin Ports Report

08/30:
Duluth harbor had close to a full house on the afternoon of Aug. 26. Canadian Leader was loading beans at General Mills -- unusual because the elevator has been used lately mostly to received grain from self-unloaders. Next slip over, Gordon C. Leitch was loading at Cargill B1. Next, the saltie Isa was loading at AGP. At the port terminal, the tiny 288-foot saltie Bavaria was unloading general cargo while on the other side of the terminal, Montrealais was unloading at St. Lawrence Cement.

Reported by: Al Miller
Click here for a new book written by Al.




Today in Great Lakes History - August 30

The CHARLES E. WILSON was christened August 30, 1973 at Bay Ship and completed her sea trials on September 6th.

On August 30, 1942, the A. H. Ferbert (2) ran aground in the St. Mary's River, just a day old. The vessel returned to the builder's yard in River Rouge, Michigan for repairs.

On August 30, 1988, the Willowglen made its first visit to Duluth-Superior under that name. She loaded grain at Harvest States in Superior, 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 Joseph X. Robert.

The H.G. DALTON entered service on August 30, 1903.

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'/445T, built in 1868 at Detroit, MI) was bound from Marquette, MI for Cleveland, OH 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.

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

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




Today in Great Lakes History - August 29

On August 29, 1942, the A.H. Ferbert (2) entered service.

On her maiden voyage August 29, 1979 the INDIANA HARBOR sailed for Two Harbors, MN to load iron ore pellets for Indiana Harbor, IN. 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.

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

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




Today in Great Lakes History - August 28

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

On August 28, 1962, the Edward L. Ryerson set a Great Lakes cargo record for iron ore. The Ryerson loaded 25,018 gross tons of iron ore in Superior, Wisconsin, breaking by 14 tons the record held by the Canadian bulk freighter Red Wing which was set in the 1961 season. The Ryerson held this record well into 1965.

The PERE MARQUETTE 22 was repowered with two 2,850 ihp four cylinder Skinner Unaflow steeple compound steam engines, 19 1/2", 43" dia. x 26" stroke, built in 1953 by the Skinner Engine Co., Erie, PA 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 GRT, 1925 NRT, 2450 dwt. A new starboard tail shaft was installed at this time. Her service speed increased to 18 knots (20.7 mph).

The JOHN ANDERSON was outbound through the Duluth Ship Canal on August 28, 1928, the ANDERSON struck the north pier suffering $18,000 in damage.

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

The WILLIAM A. REISS (2) was laid up for the last time on August 28, 1981 at Toledo, OH and remained idle there until July 15, 1994 when she was towed to be scrapped.

On 28 August 1870, CHASKA (wooden scow-schooner, 72'/50T, built in 1869 at Duluth originally as a scow-brig) was wrecked in a northwesterly storm near Duluth. Reportedly she's the first vessel built at Duluth.

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

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




Today in Great Lakes History - August 27

The AGAWA CANYON was launched in 1971 at Collingwood Shipyards Ltd.

The SAMUEL RISLEY arrived at Toronto, Ont. on August 27, 1985 on her way to Thunder Bay, Ont. where she replaced the retired CCGC ALEXANDER HENRY.

ELMGLEN (2) was launched August 27, 1952 as a) JOHN O. McKELLAR (2) for the Colonial Steamship Co. Ltd. (Scott Misener, mgr.), Port Colborne, Ont.

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

MERLE M. McCURDY was launched August 27, 1910 as a) WILLIAM B. DICKSON for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, OH.

The U.S. Coast Guard Buoy Tender (WAGL-305) MESQUITE 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 shoreside 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 Aug. 25, 1923, the Duluth, Missabe & Northern ore dock in Duluth loaded 208,212 tons of ore into 23 ships.

On 27 August 1924, CITY QUEEN (wooden propeller steam tug, 71'/69GT, built in 1900 at Midland, Ontario) burned to a total loss ¼ mile east of the Manitou Dock in Georgian Bay.

Data from: Al Miller, Jody L. Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

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




Atlantic Huron Grounds

08/26:
Tuesday evening the Atlantic Huron lost power while downbound in the St. Marys River and ran aground between Light 26 and Pt Louis.

The upbound Canadian Transport aided in refloating the vessel, as she passed the Huron and made her turn for Light 26 the water level rose enough for the Huron to be refloated under her own power.

The Atlantic Huron was anchored in Whiskey Bay from 6:25 to 9:50 as the USCG inspected the vessel. She suffered no damage, injuries, or pollution and then proceeded downbound for the Locks.

Reported by: Matt Miner




Twin Ports Update

08/26:
More good news on water levels: Much of Northeastern Minnesota is experiencing one of its wettest summers on record. Through Tuesday, Duluth had received 19.87 inches of rain since June 1. That's just 1.19 inches short of the wettest June-July-August on record.

After leaving Fraser Shipyards, Kinsman Independent went to General Mills Elevator S in Superior to load. It was scheduled to shift to Cenex Harvest States to complete the work.

A pair of uncommon visitors to the Twin Ports are waiting for elevator berths. Gordon C. Leitch is at the General Mills layby berth for several days waiting for the Cargill elevator. Windoc is anchored on the lake waiting for Peavey.

Midwest Energy Terminal maintains its busy pace, with boats nicely spaced on a two-a-day basis this week. St. Clair and Canadian Transport are due Aug. 25; Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Oglebay Norton are due Aug. 26; Paul R. Tregurtha and Canadian Enterprise are due Aug. 27; and Halifax is back again on the 28th. Halifax is a new addition to the SMET line-up, having made several trips now this season.

Several GLF boats are making unusual calls this week. Philip R. Clarke was scheduled for Escanaba on Aug. 24; John G. Munson is due to load at Toledo on Aug. 26 with coal for Ontonagon; Calcite II is scheduled for Sarnia sometime after the 25th; and George A. Sloan is due again at Buffalo on Aug. 27.

Correction: H. Lee White was tied up at the Duluth port terminal on Aug. 23 waiting for BNSF ore dock, not Midwest Energy.

Reported by: Al Miller
Click here for a new book written by Al.




Algoway Visits Port Stanley

08/26:
The Algoway tied up at the east dock in Port Stanley yesterday evening. She is carrying 14,000 tonnes of coal and it is going to be tricky finding room on the dock for it all.

The remains of the last 10,000 tonnes the Cuyahoga dropped there last month are taking up a lot of room. The very shallow harbour means she may not be able to back up far enough to put half the load at the back of the present pile. She started to unload onto part of the parking lot.

Reports are that she is only half-loaded and sitting close to the bottom.

Reported by: Joan Wilton




New Life for Tug

08/26:
The Army Corps of Engineers has donated a 70 foot tug to Berrien County, Michigan.

The tug located in Wisconsin, will most likely be used by the County Marine Patrol for operations that could include SAR as well as a patrol vessel for special events. Plans are to tow the tug across the lake in the near future.

Reported by: Mike Schroeder




Clark in Buffalo

08/26:
The U.S. Navy ship USS Clark that is touring the Great Lakes has had good attendance in Buffalo so far. She was averaging 2,500 people every 3 hours. US Navy personnel said larger cities like Cleveland and Chicago were lucky to see 3,000 per day.

The USS Clark will not be departing Buffalo until 7AM on Friday the 27th. She was due in Oswego, NY on the 26th but low water at the docks there will keep her in Buffalo for an extra two days. The ship will be open for tours on the 25th and 26th from 1 PM to 6PM.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




New Features Low Water Levels

08/26:
The Detroit News yesterday ran a special section on the low water levels affecting the Great Lakes. This feature included a look Great Lakes Shipping and the low water.

Click here to view





Today in Great Lakes History - August 26

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 en route to Port Maitland, Ont. for scrapping.

The MICHIPICOTEN (2) was launched August 26, 1905 as a) HENRY C. FRICK.

EMORY L. FORD (b RAYMOND H. REISS) entered service on August 26, 1916 to load iron ore at Marquette, MI.

SILVERDALE was launched August 26, 1925 as the straight decker a) GLENEAGLES

The CHIEF WAWATAM was launched on August 26, 1911. She was built with three large propellers, two in the stern for propulsion and one in the bow for icebreaking.

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

On August 26, 1934, while on a Sunday sightseeing cruise, MIDLAND CITY damaged her bottom on a shoal near Present Island. She settled with her stern under water and her bow high in the air.

On 26 August 1875, COMET (propeller passenger/package freight, 181'/744T, built in 1857 at Cleveland, OH) 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.

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

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




Salty Detained

08/25:
The Cypriot FOC vessel Aghia Markella remains under Port State Control detention in Montreal for the third week. The vessel was found to be in need of hatch cover repairs and several other safety defects such as fire hoses and safety related items.

Several crewmembers are demanding repatriation back to the Philippines because of the condition of the vessel.

Reported by: Jim Given




Twin Ports Update

08/25:
As expected, Kinsman Independent departed Fraser Shipyards during the day Aug. 24.

There was quite a line-up at the Duluth port terminal on the afternoon of the 24th. Mesabi Miner was fueling before heading into DMIR; George A. Stinson was tied up, apparently waiting for the BNSF dock; and H. Lee White was tied up while waiting for Columbia Star to finish loading at Midwest Energy Terminal.

Reported by: Al Miller
Click here for a new book written by Al.




Southdown Challenger Ready to Receive Executives

08/25:
The Southdown Challenger is scheduled to host an open house Thursday for Southdown executives in Charlevoix, MI. The hull and deck have a fresh coat of paint and the pilot house was recarpeting in Milwaukee Tuesday. The ol' girl looks pretty sharp.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde




Oil Removal from Barge

08/25:
Yesterday the USCG Marine Safety Office Detroit completed phase one of the process to remove oil from the abandon barge near Stony Island in the Detroit River.

Approximately 2000 gallons of oil/water mixture has been removed from the abandoned barge number two. Inside the forward rake and side tanks there remains spotted patches of oil and a light sheen as a result of an estimated 500 gallons of clingage located on the bottom of the tanks. All free flowing oil inside the rake and external containment boom has been removed. Two hundred feet of containment boom and 300 feet of sorbent/sweep boom have been placed around the barge as part of a long term remediation plan.

Efforts are now focusing on the potential removal or destruction of the abandoned barge to prevent further unauthorized dumpings. The barge is an open bottom hopper barge with a riveted hull and is breached in numerous areas. In addition, the barge is set hard aground its entire length and is settled in approximately 3 feet of mud.




Today in Great Lakes History - August 25

On August 25, 1984 the hard luck ROGER M. KYES (b ADAM E. CORNELIUS) grounded off McLouth Steel and ended crosswise in the Detroit River's Trenton Channel.

The GEORGE M. STEINBRENNER (2) arrived at Port Colborne, Ont. 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'/1299GT, built 1880 at Gibraltar, MI) went ashore on Main Duck Island in Lake Ontario and split her hull, becoming a constructive loss.

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

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




Independent To Sailing Today

08/24:
Kinsman Independent is now scheduled to leave Fraser Shipyards on Aug. 24 to load at Cenex Harvest States #2 on the 25th.

Reported by: Al Miller
Click here for a new book written by Al.




Possible Oil Spill

08/24:
The USCG Marine Safety Office Detroit is directing oil removal operations from an abandon barge near Stony Island in the Detroit River. The barge is believed to contain about 1,500 gallons of #6 oil.

Over the weekend crews removed approximately 500 gallons of oil using a drum skimmer, heating element, and power washer. Numerous delays occurred through mechanical failures and debris.

The town of River View provided it's public boat ramp as a staging area to reduce transit time of equipment and personnel to scene. After removal operations began, total amount of product on the barge was estimated to be approximately 1,500 gallons down from the original estimate of 4,800 gallons.




Southdown Challenger Unloading Delayed

08/24:
The Southdown Challenger's visit on August 14 into Grand Haven/Ferrysburg was not a typical one. Due to broken shoreside unloading equipment, the Challenger departed port soon after her entry. Her return on the 19th was uneventful and was a normal cargo discharge.

Reported by: David Swain




Wolverine Visits Marquette

08/24:
The Wolverine made a very rare trip to Marquette on Saturday, August 21, loading taconite for Oglebay Norton's Cleveland bulk terminal.

Reported by: Rod Burdick




Today in Great Lakes History - August 24

LEON SIMARD was launched August 24, 1974.

On August 24, 1910 the THOMAS F. COLE ran aground on a shoal in the St. Marys River severely damaging her hull plates.

The C.H. McCULLOUGH, JR was launched on August 24, 1907 as a) WARD AMES .

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 BURLINGTON burned to the water's edge in Mississauga Strait near Manitoulin Island on August 24, 1895.

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

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

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




Busy Weekend in Buffalo

08/23:
The busy weekend in Buffalo was capped by The tug Kurt Leudke assisting a stricken pleasure craft yesterday afternoon. the tug downbound on the Buffalo River pushing a loaded dump scow when the boaters shouted for help. The tug could not stop since she was restricted in her ability to maneuver while pushing through the twin CSX railroad bridges. Instead, her Captain then called the Buffalo Coast Guard Base for help and a private tow boat was dispatched.

Other interesting passages over the weekend were the Agawa Canyon who was seen dumping grain into Kinsman Enterprise at the Buffalo Port Terminal Slip "A" on the afternoon of the 21st.

The Richard Reiss went down the Black Rock Canal to the Huntly Plant with coal at 9PM on the 21st. She departed yesterday and is due back with another coal load for the plant this evening.

Dredging operations using the above mentioned tug Kurt Leudke are on full bore with the dredge all the way up at the Mobil Tanker docks at the upstream limit of navigation on the Buffalo River. The tug is running dump scows up and down the channel every few hours.

Finally, the USS Clark will arrive in Buffalo on the evening of the 23rd. She will come through the South Entrance and dock at the Buffalo Port Terminal "B" building. The Clark will be open for tours on the 24th from late morning until 6PM. Parking is at the Pier restaurant with free shuttle bus to the ship.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




Unusual procedure in Saginaw

08/23:
The Joseph H Frantz as using an unusual and apparently complicated procedure to discharge a load at Valley Asphalt Stone Docks in Saginaw on Sunday evening.

The ship appeared to be holding itself in the channel off the bank, using lines and engine power. Most of the boom was extended over the water with only the tip over the dock. Considerable radio conversation among crew members could be heard over the working frequency during the operation to coordinate the operation.

The dock is located at the end of the stretch of river that can be navigated by the large freighters, and is adjacent to the First Street turning basin in Saginaw.

Reported by: Stephen Hause




Today in Great Lakes History - August 23

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

The wooden-hulled steamer AURORA was launched on August 23, 1887.

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

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

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

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




Toledo Update

08/22:
The J.A.W. Iglehart departed the LaFarge Dock in Toledo Friday and is now back in service.

The Charles M. Beeghly departed the Toledo Shipyard several days ago. Currently there are no vessels in the yard.

Reported by: J.R. Hoffman




New Site for Muskegon Museums

08/22:
Thursday's Muskegon Cronicle reports that an agreement was reached on a plan that would allow the World War II submarine museum USS Silversides and the Navy tank landing ship now known as the Highway 16 to be docked side-by-side near downtown Muskegon within the next three years.

Under this agreement, the USS Silversides & Maritime Museum would purchase the MV Highway 16 for restoration and execute a renewable 25-year lease for Muskegon Lake shoreline property owned by the West Michigan Dock & Market Corp. and its president, Max McKee III.

The paper reports that the eventual site for both vessels, plus the former Coast Guard Cutter McLane and the museum itself, would be part of a Navy Memorial on the west side of a bay opposite the Mart Dock.

The World War II submarine USS Silversides, which been berthed at the Muskegon Channel since her arrival in Muskegon 12 years ago this month, would be moved to a new dock on Muskegon Lake east of Heritage Landing. The Highway 16, meanwhile, would begin to undergo restoration and transformation back to LST 393 which is the only World War II-era Navy tank landing ship still in its original wartime configuration. The LST 393 took part in 17 wartime landings, including the invasion of Normandy

Plans are to repaint the hull in familiar Navy haze gray, remount 20- and 40-mm guns and gun tubs, and free up bow doors that were welded shut in 1948 as the ship began a long career in cross-lake transportation of automobiles.

The interior of the ship is said to be in very good condition and its engines are well-preserved. Most of the restoration of the Highway 16 would take place at its current dock, from which it has not moved since it was retired in 1973. It is now at the Mart Dock.

Reported by: R. Kennedy




Ban on Sale of Great Lakes Water

08/22:
On Wednesday a U.S.-Canadian commission recommended on Wednesday banning bulk water exports from the Great Lakes to keep the world's largest supply of fresh water out of the hands of commercial interests.

The International Joint Commission, a Canada-U.S. body that administers waters along their border, recommended in its preliminary report that, "federal, state and provincial governments should not authorize or permit any new bulk sales or removals of surface water or ground water from the Great Lakes Basin." The Great Lakes hold 20 percent of the world's fresh water, said the joint commission.

The report calls for a six-month moratorium on bulk water exports -- anything above 20 liters-- until its final report is completed in February 2000.

It also recommended that as long as water removals did not endanger the integrity of the ecosystem, they could be permitted if there were no more than a 5 percent loss on the amount taken out.

Over the next six months the joint commission will examine legal issues, gather more data and assess the impact of ground water removal.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy applauded the report's conclusion that there is no surplus water in the Great Lakes, and added that amendments to Canada's International Boundary Waters Treaty Act will be introduced in the fall to prohibit bulk removal of boundary water.

Legislation has also been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives asking for a moratorium on bulk water removals from the Great Lakes, said Tom Baldini, the U.S. chairman of the joint commission.

Currently about 1 percent of the water in the Great Lakes is renewed through natural infusions, and only about 2 percent of that is being consumed, said Legal.

"Only 1 percent of the Great Lakes is renewable. We can't think of the lakes as a bottomless reservoir. Once you go past that 1 percent, you are mining," Legal added.

Fear has been growing among some Canadians that if bulk water exports are allowed, little could be done to halt the trade of water and the ensuing effect on the environment.

If, for example, exports were allowed before a ban, making the water a commodity, and then the license was rescinded, a lawsuit could be brought against the federal or provincial governments under the North American Free Trade agreement, NAFTA.

The Council of Canadians, a 100,000-member strong national lobby group, praised the joint commission's call for a ban, and said: "The national treatment and proportional sharing rules of NAFTA would make it virtually impossible for Canada to restrict water exports once under way."

Last spring the issue of bulk water exports made headlines after Ontario gave a license to Nova Group of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, allowing the company to ship water from Lake Superior to Asia. A public outcry persuaded the province to back down.

McCurdy Enterprises, a Newfoundland-based construction company, has applied for a permit to export more than 50 billion liters of water annually from Gisborne Lake on the province's south coast.

Meanwhile, British Columbia is facing a C$220 million compensation claim from Sun Belt Water Inc. of Santa Barbara, California, after the western province banned bulk water exports and squashed Sun Belt Water's and other companies' plans to export water to California.

Tom Baldini, the joint commission chairman, confirmed that an Alaskan company has already shipped water to China, an act he believes would not label bulk water a commodity, but which could theoretically trigger international trade laws.

"You have a right and an obligation to protect your ecosystem so that protects you," Baldini said.




US Coast Guard Warns Of GPS Changes

08/22:
The U.S. Coast Guard Wednesday urged boaters and other civilian users of the Global Positioning System to play it safe over the next few days and make sure alternative navigation methods are available.

In a final appeal to private citizens and businesses to check their equipment, the Coast Guard warned that some initial problems for older GPS receivers could begin Thursday although the weekend loomed as the most likely time for units made more than five years ago to shut down or give wrong information.

Over the weekend, the 1,024-week time clock in the satellite-based GPS system turns over to zero after nearly 20 years, creating difficulties for some receivers.

Complicating the matter is a major update of time and position data that starts being uploaded to the satellites Thursday. That may confuse some older receivers as the time information will assume the weekend clock rollover. Designed for the military, the constellation of 27 satellites orbiting 11,000 miles above the Earth plays an increasingly important role in civilian life.

GPS applications include airline operations, truck fleet tracking and computer maps in cars in addition to allowing boaters to find favorite fishing holes in an otherwise featureless sea.

A less well-known but extremely important use of GPS involves using the precise time signals from the system to coordinate telecommunications networks.

Coast Guard officials told reporters that users needed to be aware of possible problems but not be alarmed. The majority of users were expected to have no problems but the owners of older units were urged to check with manufacturers.

Many makers have developed software patches or new chips to allow older receivers to cope. A list of manufacturers and contacts is available on the Internet at www.navcen.uscg.mil/gps/geninfo/y2k/.




Laker Movie Planned

08/22:
The Friday edition of the Chicago Tribune reports that actor Joe Mantegna will direct his first movie titled "Lake Boat". The film is about college students that lands summer work on a Great Lakes freighter. No release date for the film was mentioned.

Reported by: Gary R. Clark




Today in Great Lakes History - August 22

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

ONTADOC was launched August 22, 1903 as a) R.L. IRELAND.

The ENDERS M. VOORHEES was towed out of Duluth on August 22, 1987 by the tugs AVENGER IV and CHIPPEWA, and was the first of the 'Supers' towed off the Lakes for scrap.

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

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

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

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




Cruise Ship Captain Saves Life

08/21:
A birthday stroll with her cousin on Blockhouse Island in Brockville Monday Aug. 17 ended in tragedy for a 72-year-old woman as their car plunged into the St. Lawrence River, killing the 86-year-old man.

After their stroll along the popular ship-viewing spot, they got into the man's car. Investigators still don't know what happened next, but the car suddenly accelerated, breaking through the railing and plunging into the water believed to be about seven metres deep.

A cruise ship Captain, Stephen Steels of the CANADIAN EMPRESS, docked at the breakwater, saw the accident and immediately dove into the water, helping the 72-year old woman back to safety. Unfortunately, her 86-year old cousin was trapped in the car and drowned.

Reported by: Rose Phillips




Salty Stops for Repairs

08/21:
Yesterday the Thor Eagle stopped while westbound in the Seaway. She went to anchor about 1/4 mile North of Lynda Island Light. She had trouble with an exhaust valve in the number three cylinder and had to make repairs. Approximately two hours later she proceeded westbound for the canal. No inspection was required.

Reported by: Ron Walsh




Unusual Fuel Stop

08/21:
While downbound yesterday in Port Huron, the tug Dorothy Ann and her barge Pathfinder turned around off the Shell fuel dock and went in for bunkers. When she finished the pair proceeded downbound to the Rouge River.

It is not very often that a vessel downbound stops a the fuel dock. Most stop on their way up river.

Reported by: Andrew Severson




Today in Great Lakes History - August 21

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

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

The f) CEDARGLEN arrived under tow at Port Maitland, Ont. on August 21, 1994 where she was scrapped.

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

IMPERIAL QUEBEC was launched August 21, 1957

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

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

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

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

On 21 August 1856, CHARTER (wooden, propeller vessel, 132'/197T, built in 1849 at Huron, OH 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, OH. By the end of August, she had been damaged beyond repair but her machinery was recovered as she lay in relatively shallow water.

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

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




Clarke Makes U-Turn

08/20:
On Monday August 16th, the USS GLF self-unloader Philip R. Clarke was in the Poe Lock headed upbound in ballast when it received orders to turn around and head for Calcite to load limestone.

It is reported that the change in orders was intended to allow the Arthur M. Anderson to stay out of lay-up a bit longer.

The Clarke headed up to the turn just up from the Algoma Steel works to make its "u-turn". In returning to the locks, the crew joked that they were on a "public relations cruise" through the locks.

Reported by: Jim Zeirke




Twin Ports Report

08/20:
The Twin Ports were active early on Aug. 19. Mesabi Miner was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal, Alpena was fueling at the Murphy Oil facility after partially unloading at the Superior cement terminal; Federal Maas was loading at Peavey; Grant Carrier was at Cargill; and Elikon was at Cenex Harvest States.

Reported by: Al Miller
Click here for a new book written by Al.




Silos at Holland coming down

08/20:
Demolition has begun on the former Penn-Dixie cement silos on Lake Macatawa at Holland. Located at the lake shore, between Dock St. and Graham St. adjacent to Morton Park, the structure has been a landmark for many years. The demolition will provide additional dockage space for Verplank, who's Holland facility is just to the west.

Reported by: Bob Vande Vusse




Two Harbors Lighthouse News

08/20:
On August 21 the Lake County Historical Society of Two Harbors will officially take over ownership of the Two Harbors Harbor Lighthouse (not to be confused with the pierhead lighthouse).

The Commander of the 9th Coast Guard District, Rear Admiral James D. Hull will perform the transfer ceremony. Invited guests are Congressman James L. Oberstar and also former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson.

The ownership of the lighthouse allows the Lake County Historical Society to care for and use the lighthouse which has been restored and converted into a bed and breakfast. The event which starts at 1:00 PM is open to the public.

Reported by: Colt Edin




Today in Great Lakes History - August 20

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

The R. BRUCE ANGUS in tandem tow with the ULS steamer GORDON C. LEITCH behind the tug IRVING CEDAR arrived at Setúbal, Portugal August 20, 1985 where they were broken up.

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

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

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

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

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

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




Twin Ports Report

08/19:
Roger Blough's layup at Fraser Shipyards will be an interesting visit. It's the only 105-foot-wide vessel that can fit in the yard (1,000-footers are too long). This is the first time in recent memory (and possibly ever) that the Blough has been in Fraser.

Midwest Energy Terminal is expecting another busy week. The line-up includes: Columbia Star, Canadian Enterprise and Mesabi Miner, Aug. 18; Walter J. McCarthy Jr, Aug. 19; Fred R. White Jr, Oglebay Norton, Halifax and Indiana Harbor, Aug. 20; Paul R. Tregurtha, Aug.21; and Algolake, Aug.23.

Reported by: Al Miller
Click here for a new book written by Al.




Taylor visits Gladstone

08/19:
The Myron C Taylor made a rare visit to Gladstone, Michigan, on Little Bay de Noc on Sunday, August 15. She unloaded a cargo of salt from Cleveland. Heavy south winds made docking difficult. It took two tries to reach the dock.

Reported by: Rod Burdick




Busy Dock in Windsor

08/19:
The USCG Escanaba has left Windsor, Ontario sometime Monday night or Tuesday morning from Dieppe Gardens. The vessel was then replaced by the FFG 11 USS CLARK, which arrived at the same dock around 2:30p.m. Tuesday.

Reported by: James H. Neumiller




Aid Package for Steel

08/19:
President Clinton signed into law Tuesday a $1.5 billion loan program for steel, oil and natural gas companies rocked by depressed prices.

The industry-supported measure was approved as U.S. steel producers announced a challenge to deals the Clinton administration reached last month letting Brazil and Russia avoid punitive tariffs on steel shipments to the United States.

The loan program is designed to help tide over steel, oil and gas companies until prices recover. Oil and gas producers have been struggling from low prices worldwide, while U.S. steel companies blame low-priced imports for thousands of layoffs.

The measure will cost taxpayers an estimated $270 million to back the loans. Opponents say the measure will force U.S. taxpayers to support companies and banks that make bad business decisions.

Reported by: Robert Kennedy




Today in Great Lakes History - August 19

The JOHN E.F. MISENER (2) grounded near Hard Island on the St. Lawrence River August 19, 1966 suffering bow damage.

The ROBERT S. PIERSON was sold to P & H. Shipping Ltd. on August 19, 1982 and renamed e) SPRUCEGLEN.

The ARIZONA was launched on August 19, 1868.

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

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

On 19 August 1909, CITY OF GREENBAY (wooden propeller passenger/package freight, 134'/257GT, built in 1880 at Fort Howard, WI 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.

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

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




Independent to Return to Service

08/18:
The Kinsman Independent is expected to depart Fraser Shipyards on Sunday August 22nd. From there she will go to load in Duluth and is then expected to depart sometime on the 24th.

She had entered short term lay-up on July 7th.

Reported by: David French




Rain Adds Hope For Higher Lake Levels

08/18:
Rainfall in Northeastern Minnesota has been higher than normal this summer, raising the possibility that lake levels make start rising. Since June, rainfallin Duluth is nearly 8 inches above normal.

Reported by: Al Miller
Click here for a new book written by Al.




Diamond Jack's labor day cruise to benefit the soup kitchen

08/18:
A special day long cruise from Detroit to the St. Clair Flats will benefit the Trinity Episcopal Church Soup Kitchen. This day long cruise will cross Lake St. Clair through the Venice of America, the St. Clair Flats to Sans Souci. What is Sans Souci you ask? Well, starting at the turn of the century, and lasting about thirty-eight years, the steamer Tashmoo carried passengers and supplies to the cottages and hotels in the Flats. Many of the docks were too small to accommodate the big steamer so the White Star Line, owner of the steamer Tashmoo and several other side wheel steamers developed Sans Souci into a terminal. Today the little town on Harsens Island has a bakery, gift shops, ice cream shop, and other small town attractions.

The cruise aboard the Diamond belle includes a picnic luncheon on the edge of the St. Clair River at Sans Souci, with ample time to visit Maple Leaf, a group of Victorian Cottages, and old Tashmoo Park, now a marina, all a short walk along the edge of the river.

On the return trip to Detroit we will pass the old Idle Hour Hotel, the Old Club, and many other old hotel sites in the Flats, the delta of the St. Clair River.

Historical narration along the way will be by Professor Gordon Blugbee of Lawrence Technical College, and director of the Soup Kitchen.

Tickets are available by reservation only at $55 each. Ten dollars from every ticket sold will be donated to the Trinity Episcopal Church Soup Kitchen which served over 6,000 free meals to the needy during 1998.

To receive a brochure & reservation form call Diamond Jack's River Tours: 313-843-9376 or visit their web site www.diamondjack.com




Today in Great Lakes History - August 18

CANADIAN ENTERPRISE was float launched on August 18, 1979.

On August 18, 1972, $50,000 in bottom damage occurred when the CHAMPLAIN (3) hit an obstruction in the Trenton Channel, on the lower Detroit River.

The KINSMAN ENTERPRISE (1) was launched August 18, 1906 as a) NORMAN B. REAM for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, OH.

On 18 August 1907, KATE WHITE (wooden propeller steam tug, 62'/28GT, built at Erie, PA in 1885 as a yacht) sank near the harbor entrance at Fairport, OH.

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

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




Toledo Report - Iglehart in Lay-up

08/17:
The J.A.W. Iglehart arrived at the LaFarge Dock in Toledo early last week. It is believed that she will remain in temporary lay-up for three weeks. She is pumped out and high out of the water.

Yesterday the Charles M Beeghly was in the drydock at the Toledo Shipyard, she arrived late on the 11th for repairs. The Beeghly is also being repainted as well.

Reported by: J.R. Hoffman




Algosound lays-up

08/17:
Algoma Central Marine's steamer Algosound arrived Pascol Engineering in Thunder Bay during the late afternoon on August 15 for lay-up. A decline in Summer grain shipments was given as the reason for her lay-up. She is expected to remain in lay-up until the third week of October.

Reported by: Terry Sechen and Ron Konkol




Twin Ports Report

08/17:
The Twin Ports grain trade remains steady, with a fresh wave of vessels arriving Sunday and Monday. Vamand Wave was loading at Cenex-Harvest States berth 1. It's scheduled to leave late on Aug. 16, to be immediately replaced by Elikon. Federal Maas was loading at Peavey Connors Point.

James R. Barker, frequently seen in the Twin Ports this season, was loading at Taconite Harbor on Aug. 16. Joseph H. Thompson is scheduled to load at Midwest Energy Terminal on Aug. 17 and deliver the coal to Taconite Harbor.

Duluth Shipping News reports that Kinsman Independent will leave Fraser Shipyards in Superior sometime Aug. 21.

Reported by: Al Miller
Click here for a new book written by Al.




Taylor Waits on Weather

08/17:
The Myron C Taylor spent most of the day anchored in Hedgehog Harbor in Gills Rock, WI. waiting on weather. She came in at about 3:30 am Monday morning to wait out the 8-9 foot waves in the lake. The vessel had unloaded at Gladstone and was headed for Port Inland, Michigan.

At approximately 6:20 pm the Taylor pulled up anchor and headed north toward Rock Island Passage. Seas were still running high but the wind had starting to let up.

Reported by: Chuck Klima




Maritime Market in September

08/17:
The annual Maritime Market in Toledo will be held Saturday, September 18th, adjacent to the Steamer WILLIS B. BOYER. 10 am - 5 pm. Admission is $3.00 for adults and $1.00 for children under 12. Admission to the ship will be free on Saturday. For more info call 419/936-3070.

In conjunction with the Maritime Market, there will be a Ship Model Builders Show held Saturday and Sunday on board the BOYER. This competition is being sponsored by the Western Lake Erie Historical Society and the Museum Ship SS Willis B. Boyer.

Diamond Jack's River Tours will be offering a special cruise from Detroit to Toledo on Saturday. No better way to travel to Toledo. Call Diamond Jack's for more information: 313/843-9376.

Reported by: Joe Barr,




Largest Decrease in Recent Memory U.S.-Flag Lakes "Float " Falls 1.5 Million Tons in July

08/17:
U.S.-Flag cargo movement on the Great Lakes in July fell by 1.5 million net tons compared to the same period last year, the largest monthly decrease in recent memory. The season-long string of monthly decreases now amounts to a 5-million ton shortfall compared to the same point in 1998.

Iron ore cargoes loaded into U.S. bottoms in July totaled 5.9 million tons, a decrease of 18.2 percent. That decline is not entirely related to the unfairly-traded steel imports mentioned in previously monthly recaps. A major steelmaker began the changeover to a new pellet during July and this resulted in a temporary decrease in shipments. Additionally, two 1,000-foot-long vessels dedicated to the iron ore trade were dry-docked in July for repairs and inspections.

However, the season-to-date tally for iron ore is directly tied to the continued unfair trade in steel. Since the resumption of navigation in early March, U.S.-Flag ore cargoes stand at 27,357,063 net tons, a decrease of 10.5 percent.

Despite record hot weather throughout much of the Great Lakes basin in July, coal shipments in U.S.-Flag lakers declined slightly from a year ago. For the season, U.S.-Flag coal loadings are down by 95,000 tons.

The U.S.-Flag stone trade almost pulled even with a year ago; the July fall-off is perhaps just 5 boatloads, but for the season, loadings in U.S. hulls are down by nearly 2 million tons.

July began with 60 of the 69 U.S.-Flag lakers in service, a decrease of 5 hulls compared to a year ago. August should see the reactivation of a straight-deck vessel engaged in the grain trade, but the ELTON HOYT 2ND, a self-unloader in the dry-bulk trades, has entered short-term lay-up and may be joined by other vessels as the month progresses.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association Click here for more information




Stone Trade Continues Season-Long Slump

08/17:
Shipments of limestone and gypsum from U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes ports totaled 4,632,058 net tons in July, a decrease of 1.7 percent compared to the corresponding period last year. While the July shortfall is the equivalent of perhaps four boatloads, the season-to-date total for the stone trade, 17.4 million tons, tells the real story. The continued high level of steel imports and a seemingly static construction industry have combined to produce a 9 percent decrease in the Lakes stone trade.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association Click here for more information




Blough to Lay-up

08/16:
According to Saturday's USS Great Lakes information tape, the Roger Blough is scheduled to enter temporary lay-up at Fraser Shipyard in Superior, WI. is scheduled in after delivering her next cargo at Conneaut.

Last week saw the temporary lay-up of the Elton Hoyt 2nd as yet another side affect of the flood of cheap steel from overseas. The Hoyt is laid up at Rouge Steel, her temporary lay-up is scheduled to last for 30 days.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre




New I-280 Bridge Over Maimee River

08/16:
In a special section in yesterday's Toledo Blade, the Ohio Department of Transportation announced the beginning of the planning process to construct a new bridge to carry Interstate-280 across the Maumee River in Toledo.

The new, high-level, fixed span bridge will be built just down stream from the present Craig Memorial Bridge which causes headaches for motorists and boat traffic. The project is estimated to cost $200 million and will be the biggest and most expensive project undertaken in the history of ODOT. The planning phase includes public input on the design, color and other aspects of the project. Visit the project website at www.lookuptoledo.org.

Reported by: Dave Wobser




Moecca Continues to Stir Rumors

08/16:
Recent news reports continue to spin rumors about the 17 million dollar yacht Moecca who at last report was spotted passing Detroit downbound on Friday afternoon. The vessel arrived on the Lakes in June and drew much attention for the mystery surrounding who was traveling on board.

It is now reported that the mystery owner of the yacht is the actor Mel Gibson, though the vessel is listed for charter at $119,000 a week.

Among the stops the 147-foot catamaran made was one in Port Stanley. Actor Gibson reportedly stopped there in order to play a couple of rounds of golf at the nearby private and very exclusive golf course, Redtail Golf and Country Club.

Reported by: Joan Wilton




Time to Renew - A Great Time to Join

08/16:
For those Marine Historical Society of Detroit members who have remitted their 1999/00 dues, thank you for your prompt response. For those who have renewed, the society plans to mail their 2000 color calendar with the October 1999 issue of the Historian.

For those of you who are not members now is a great time to join.

The Marine Historical Society of Detroit is a non-profit group has been in existence for over 50 years with a goal of preserving Great Lakes Maritime history. The Society has written 5 books covering over 1000 Great Lakes vessels and their careers. The society also provides a monthly newsletter that combines historical articles as well as the "Log" that covers current events on the Great Lakes shipping scene.

For only $25 a year membership features the monthly newsletter, a full color 12 month calendar, and invitaions to regular meetings. Click here to visit the website for a complete description of their mission, great pictures and a membership application.




New book - New Web Page

08/16:
'TIN STACKERS: The History of the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.' by Al Miller (a frequent contributor to this page), tells the complete story of what was once the largest commercial fleet in the world, set against the backdrop of history that shaped its growth. Drawing on company records and interviews with officials and sailors, Miller tells how the fleet kept organized labor off Great Lakes ships while leading the way in efficient operation, technological advancement and employee safety. He emphasizes the human element in the company's history by relating the personal challenges faced by crews, and he includes many archival photos.

Click here for a Preview including a sample chapter and discussion board.





Today in Great Lakes History - August 16

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

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

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




Twin Ports Report

08/15:
Algocen was loading Aug. 14th at the General Mills elevator in Superior. This is the old Great Northern elevator, built in the last century. This terminal now seems to handle the loading of ships for GM while the company's elevator in Duluth seems to primarily handle inbound ship cargos.

Reported by: Al Miller
Click here for a new book written by Al.




Today in Great Lakes History - August 15

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

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

Under threat of a strike on August 15, 1978, the GEORGE A. STINSON was towed out of Lorain before her completion by six tugs and was taken to Detroit's Nicholson's Terminal & Dock to finish her fit-out.

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

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 torch in Spain.

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

On 15 August 1856, WELLAND (sidewheel steamer, wood, passenger & package freight, 145'/300T, built 1853 at St. Catharine's, Ontario) burned to a total loss at her dock. at Port Dalhousie, Ontario. She was owned by Port Dalhousie and Thorold Railroad Co.

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

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

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




Twin Ports Report

08/14:
Duluth-Superior harbor was busy the morning of the 13th with seven vessels working in port. Busiest spot was near the Midwest Energy Terminal, where Halifax was loading while Mesabi Miner backed up the bay to the turning basin to wait for the dock while James R. Barker was tied up at the port terminal waiting to load after the Miner. A short distance from that line-up, Lake Ontario and Concensus Manitou were preparing to start loading at Cenex Harvest States Elevator. In the harbor, Canadian Ranger was loading at the Peavey Connors Point elevator while Algocen was crawling into port to load at General Mills in Duluth.

The line-up at Midwest Energy Terminal was scheduled to get even longer on the 13th, with both American Mariner and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. due later in the day.

Ashland, Wis., is getting its few vessel visits in close proximity this season. Arthur M. Anderson is due to make its third trip there with coal on Aug. 16.

Edwin H. Gott is scheduled to make one of its periodic visits to DMIR Duluth on Aug. 17 to load ore for Nanticoke. Barge Sarah Spencer, which usually brings grain to Duluth, is due at DMIR on the 19th.

Reported by: Al Miller
Click here for a new book written by Al.




Water Levels Rising, But Steel Slump Pushes U.S.-Flag Float Down In June

08/14:
Despite a slight rise in water levels, Great Lakes shipping continues to suffer under the weight of near-record unfairly-traded steel imports. Cargo movement in U.S.-Flag vessels in June fell by 7.3 percent compared to a year ago.

Iron ore cargos in U.S. bottoms in June dropped 10 percent to 6.3 million tons. For the season, the U.S.-Flag iron ore float stands at 21.5 million tons, a decrease of more than 8 percent. With steel imports still commanding a significant share of the domestic market, American steel mills continue to operate at reduced levels. Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., the nation's largest iron ore mining company, will idle 3 of its U.S. mines to cut back production and reduce pellet stockpiles because of depressed market conditions.

Aided by increased demand from utilities due to the hot weather, coal loadings in U.S.-Flag lakers increased slightly in June and pushed the season-to-date total ahead of last year by 85,000 tons.

The slump in stone loadings continued in June. U.S.-Flag stone cargos fell by nearly 13 percent. The season-to-date total, 9.5 million tons, represents a decrease of more than 16 percent. The stone trade has been impacted by the steel crisis; fluxstone is used as a purifying agent in the steelmaking process, but the sluggish pace of the construction industry is also hampering the stone trade.

The U.S.-Flag Lakes fleet began June with 63 of its 69 vessels in service. That total fell to 60 on July 1 and today (August 13) stands at 61. Several cement carriers have been idled for short periods to adjust shipping and production capacity, and the one U.S.-Flag laker dedicated to the grain trade, the KINSMAN INDEPENDENT, was taken out of service on July 7. On August 9, the self-unloader ELTON HOYT 2ND was temporarily withdrawn from service.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association Click here for more information




New Soo Locks Web Cams

08/14:
For those of you who have not visited the web page featuring the Live cams over looking the Soo Locks, the cameras have been updated. Art Pickering notes that it is nice to have a clear view of the locks including the ability to read the names on the vessels as they go through the locks.

As you visit please take the time to e-mail (address is linked on that web page) thanking them for their efforts. Positive feed back can lead to new web cams.




Today in Great Lakes History - August 14

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, OH to Duluth, MN and returned with iron ore to the Ford Rouge Plant at Dearborn.

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

On 14 August 1873, CHESTER B. JONES (3-mast, wooden schooner, 167'/493GT) was launched at E. Saginaw, MI. She was built by Chesley Wheeler. The spars and top hamper ordered for her were broken in a log jam, so the 3-master received her spars at Buffalo, NY on her first trip.

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

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




Beeghly in for Repairs

08/13:
The Charles M. Beeghly arrived at the Toledo Shipyard late on the 11th for repairs to the vessel's stern thruster. It is unknown if the she will require dry docking to complete the repairs. The Beeghly is expected to be in the shipyard no longer than three days.




Cenex Harvest States Busy

08/13:
Cenex Harvest States remains busy this week. After loading the Lake Ontario, the elevator on Aug. 12 is loading Lake Superior in berth 2 and, on the other side of the complex, loading Concensus Manitou in the number 1 berth.

Reported by: Al Miller
Click here for a new book written by Al.




Today in Great Lakes History - August 13

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

On 13 August 1899, H. G. CLEVELAND (wooden schooner, 137'/264T, built in 1867 at Black River, OH) sank with a full load of limestone, 7 miles from the Cleveland harbor entrance.

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

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




Twin Ports Report

08/12:
George A. Sloan was in Sturgeon Bay Aug. 10 undergoing unspecified repairs. It was scheduled to depart Aug. 11 and proceed to Alabaster to load on the 12th.

Cason J. Callaway arrived Duluth Aug. 10, fueled at the port terminal behind the USS Clark, then proceeded to DMIR ore dock to unload stone, then load taconite pellets for Conneaut. It was somewhat unusual because GLF boats that bring stone to Duluth often proceed light to Two Harbors to load pellets.

Duluth's inner harbor was busy Aug. 11 with Algoville loading corn at Cargill B1 and barge Sarah Spencer unloading grain at the nearby General Mills elevator. Tug Atlantic Hickory had again detached from the barge and was fueling at the Murphy Oil facility at the Duluth port terminal.

The Boatwatcher's Hotline at Duluth's Lake Superior Maritime Visitors Center reported late Aug. 10 that problems with raising the span of the Aerial Lift Bridge delayed the Paul R. Tregurtha as it departed the Midwest Energy Terminal. The Tregurtha reportedly tied up at the port terminal waiting for the span to lift.

Armco is scheduled to make a rare call at the Midwest Energy Terminal Aug. 11 to load coal for the power plant at Taconite Harbor. American Mariner also is jumping into the SMET line-up this week on the 12th.

Reported by: Al Miller
Click here for a new book written by Al.




Boatwatchers Dream Home

08/12:
Owner Frank J. Sullivan is auctioning off his dream home on South Bass Island, otherwise known as the forward section of the Benson Ford. The ship/home is to be sold at auction on September 12 at the Island House Inn 102 Madison St. Port Clinton OH. by Dutton Auction and Realty of Navarre. The original captains quarters remain as well as parlors, dining room, galley and sleeping quaters paneled in black walnut. The minimum bid is $235,000. For more information call auctioneer Gordon Greene at (330) 879-5000.

The entire forward superstructure of the vessel was removed at Cleveland, July 2, 1986 for use as the summer home. The cabin was delivered to the Island July 18th by barge.

Reported by: Ed Miller




August 1 Vessel Report

08/12:
The major U.S.-Flag Great Lakes lines had 62 of their 69 vessels in service on August 1, a decrease of three dry-bulk carriers compared to a year ago. The decrease reflects the season-long lay-ups of the EDWARD L. RYERSON and JOHN J.BOLAND and the July 7 idling of the grain carrier KINSMAN INDEPENDENT. Neither the RYERSON nor the BOLAND is expected to operate this season, but the INDEPENDENT will sail when demand for grain warrants.

As was the case a year ago, the cement carrier PAUL H. TOWNSEND was in short-term lay-up as of the survey date.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association Click here for more information




Sailing Vessel Grounds

08/12:
On Saturday (August 7) night around midnight the 55 foot sloop "Thurderhead" out of Larchmont, New York grounded on a rock reef running northwest from Plum Island in Death Door Passage. The crew was removed by the Washington Island station of the Coast Guard. Several attempts were made to salvage the vessel, but she held fast until a tug from Escanaba pulled her off.

The yacht apparently left Fayette, Michigan around 9:00 pm on the 7th. and was trying to make Detroit Harbour on Washington Island when she ran aground. At the time of her grounding the wind was from the north to northeast at about 25 knots, gusting to 35-40 knots.

On Monday she was lying at the old potato dock on Washington Island. The damage to her hull is presently unknown.

Reported by: Lew Clarke




Less Ships Means Less Cargo Loaded At SMET In July

08/12:
With 6 fewer vessels calling on Superior Midwest Energy Terminal this July compared to last, loadings of western coal decreased 9 percent to 1,739,078 net tons. SMET, as do all Great Lakes docks, also continues to feel the impacts of lower water levels. The largest cargo destined for a customer below the Soo Locks this July totaled 64,592 n.t. A year ago, the top Head-of-the-Lakes loading at SMET was 67,939 n.t.

For the season, coal shipments from SMET stand at 7,715,902 n.t., an increase of 103,000 tons.

Also updated on the LCA's home page is the Cuyahoga River Tonnage Report, please click on link below to view.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association Click here for more information




Today in Great Lakes History - August 12

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

The TOM M. GIRDLER was christened August 12, 1951, she was the first of the C4 conversions.

The MAUNALOA II was launched August 12, 1899

The RIDGETOWN (a WILLIAM E. COREY) sailed from Chicago on her maiden voyage August 12, 1905 bound for Duluth, MN to load iron ore.

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

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




Dust in Ludington

08/11:
The Pere Marquette 41 caused a dusty controversy while unloading agricultural lime near the Washington Avenue Bridge in Ludington.

Many of the fishing boats docked nearby had a thick coating of lime dust. The Daily News reported that this was not nearly as bad as when the freighters unloaded there because the crew watered the lime to reduce dust.

Last year when the barge unloaded in the same area boaters complained that the barge blocked the river.

A possible compromise proposed by PM Shipping is to bring the lime in earlier and later in the year when there are fewer fishing boats.

Reported by: Max Hanley




New Old Name

08/11:
Superior's Concourse grain elevator has reverted to its previous name of Peavey-Connors Point. The name change occurred when the marketing agreement governing the elevator expired earlier this year. The elevator was built in 1965 as the Continental elevator.

Reported by: Al Miller




Today in Great Lakes History - August 11

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

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

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

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

On 11 August 1862, B.F. BRUCE (wooden propeller passenger steamer, 110'/169T, built in 1852 at Buffalo 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.

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

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




Wisconsin Congressman asks USCG about LINDA E search

08/10:
In a letter to this reporter dated August 5, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) states "I just wish the U.S. Coast Guard applied at least some of the resources used to find John Kennedy, Jr.'s plane toward the search and rescue of the Linda E." He goes on to say "Therefore, I have inquired to the U.S. Coast Guard for an explanation regarding the Linda E's search and rescue efforts."

Reported by: Jim Zeirke




Last Stone Shipment for Dow

08/10:
The final two shipments of limestone came in to Ludington over the weekend. On Saturday the Pathfinder arrived with a load and on Sunday the Kaye E. Barker brought in the final one.

Dow Chemical is switching from producing their own lime to buying it already manufactured, ready for use and shipped by rail.

The plant has produced lime for use in its products since its beginning in 1942.

Reported by: Max Hanley




Twin Ports Report

08/10:
The DMIR ore dock in Two Harbors is maintaining its steady pace of GLF vessels this season. The line-up includes Presque Isle on the 10th; Edwin H. Gott, Aug. 11, Roger Blough, Aug. 12, and Edgar B. Speer, Aug. 13. Also scheduled is St. Clair, Aug. 12.

Most of the fleet's traffic in Duluth this season consists of vessels unloading stone. Cason J. Callaway is due there Aug. 10 with stone. Also due at the dock this week are Louis R. Desmarais, Aug. 9, and Frontenac, Aug. 11

Reported by: Al Miller




Rare visits for Erie

08/10:
On Monday, Erie Pennsylvania had not one, but two visitors who's trips to Erie have been quite rare the last few years.

The M/V Buffalo unloaded stone at the Old Ore Dock and departed at approximately 2:15 pm. Then about an hour after the Buffalo left, the M/V Charles E. Wilson arrived at the outer buoys at approximately 3:30 and went into the Old Ore Dock.

Two boats in one day in Erie is rare, but two from the same fleet is almost unheard of.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson




New Boiler Control Systems

08/10:
Cali-Tech, Inc., (a Harvey, LA based automation and controls company) has been selected to provide Boiler Control and Burner Management Systems by Interlake Steamship Company.

The first of the three ships will be in operation in January 2000. The schedule calls for one ship per year thereafter. The ships are the Lee A. Tregurtha, the Charles M. Beeghly and the Kaye E. Barker.

Cali-Tech’s selection was based on the successful completion of a similar project for Interlake Management Co. in 1999. That project was for the Alpena.

Cali-Tech will provide systems design, project management, systems staging and checkout, installation and commissioning of the systems. Cali-Tech is a 10-year-old company employing 15 people at the Harvey facility.

For more information please contact Wayne Dowdle at Cali-Tech, Inc. (504) 366-4842.




Today in Great Lakes History - August 10

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

On August 10, 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, 19T, built in 1932 at Marine City, MI) foundered in heavy seas, 9 miles north of Oscoda, MI.

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

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




New Fednav Names

08/09:
FedNav currently has several ships that are being built in Japan. The company had placed an order for five ships with an option for two more. They have released the first three names and they are as follows: FEDERAL OSHIMA, FEDERAL ASAHI and FEDERAL RIDEAU.

Reported by: Al Jackman




Coast Guard Festival

08/09:
The Coast Guard Festival has ended and most of the vessels have departed Grand Haven. The Escanaba was due to depart at 2100 last night if the crew could repair a broken engine head. The Escanaba will be heading to the Soo, then reportedly to Windsor, Buffalo, and at least one St. Lawrence River port before returning to Boston.

The Buckthorn is rumored to leave on Tuesday, while the Anthony Petit conducts exercises in Lake Michigan Monday and Tuesday before leaving Grand Haven on Thursday.

Reported by: David Swain




Armco Snags Dredge Pipeline

08/09:
The Steamer Armco caused a long afternoon for the King Company dredge crew working in Toledo Harbor when she snagged the dredge pipe crossing the channel near buoy 42 with her stern anchor. In the process buoy 42 was temporarily sunk.

The Armco stopped short of her TORCO berth to raise her anchor while the King Co. crew looked on. The anchor came up without the pipe or buoy and the Armco continued up the dock while the dredge crew retrieved their pipe. This is the second time in two years that the Armco has snagged a dredge pipe in this location.

Reported by: W. Kenwood




New Web Site

08/09:
The Inn at Lock Seven now has a web site: www.innatlock7.com.

For those of you not familiar with the Inn, it is a favorite place to stay among boat watchers visiting the Welland Canal. Be sure to stop by and sign the guest book.




New Shipping Books and Video

08/09:
The summer has seen the release of two new books and one video of interest to Great Lakes enthusiasts.

'TIN STACKERS: The History of the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.' by Al Miller (a frequent contributor to this page), tells the complete story of what was once the largest commercial fleet in the world, set against the backdrop of history that shaped its growth. Drawing on company records and interviews with officials and sailors, Miller tells how the fleet kept organized labor off Great Lakes ships while leading the way in efficient operation, technological advancement and employee safety. He emphasizes the human element in the company's history by relating the personal challenges faced by crews, and he includes many archival photos.

Mark Thompson, known for his excellent 'Queen of the Lakes,' has released 'A SAILOR'S LOGBOOK: A Season Aboard Great Lakes Freighters,' a journal began after he reported for duty aboard the Calcite II for the 1996 shipping season. This volume is the first to chronicle a sailor's life at the end of the 20th century. Not just a detailing of weather, cargo and crew relations, "A Sailor's Logbook" is also an account of the daily lives of a diverse group of crewmembers as they share their sailing knowledge, "sea stories" and the many memories that accompany the pictures. If you want to know what life is really like aboard the lakers, this is a must-read.

Finally, from Out of the Blue Productions, which previously released the video "Deep Six" comes 'S.S. CARL D. BRADLEY REMEMBERED,' a videotape of a Nov. 28, 1998, 40th anniversary remembrance of the sinking held in Port Huron. Captured that night, and included on this video, were the reminisces of survivor Frank Mays, along with his rescuer, Capt. Harold Muth. Also included is singer Dan Hall performing his song tribute "When the Bradley Was Torn and Then Gone."

These items (and many more) are available from Marine Publishing Co., or from many booksellers in the Great Lakes region.




Today in Great Lakes History - August 09

The keel was laid for the INDIANA HARBOR on August 9, 1978.

The HAMILDOC (3) was christened on August 9, 1963.

The G.A. TOMLINSON (1) entered service August 9, 1909.

The 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 propellor PEWABIC, off Thunder Bay on Lake Huron around 9:00 p.m. As the two approached, somehow METEOR sheered and struck her sister, sinking the PEWABIC within minutes in 180 feet of water. About one hundred twenty-five people went down with her, and 86 others were saved.

On 9 August 1850, CHAUTAUQUE (wooden sidewheel steamer, 124'/162T, built in 1839 at Buffalo, NY) caught fire in the St. Clair River and burned to a total loss. In previous years she had been driven ashore (1844) and sank twice - once in 1846 and again in 1848. In September 1846, she made the newspaper by purposely ramming a schooner which blocked her path while she was attempting to leave the harbor at Monroe, MI.

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

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




Elton Hoyt 2nd to Lay-Up

08/08:
Yet another side affect of the flood of cheep steel from overseas. Interlake's Elton Hoyt 2nd is scheduled to lay up at Rouge Steel on Monday the 9th.

The lay-up is scheduled to last for 30 days.

Reported by: Scott B. Tomlinson and Jim Mihalek




Today in Great Lakes History - August 08

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 Paul R. Tregurtha 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

The E.B. BARBER along with the motor vessel SAGINAW BAY 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'/85GT, built in 1883 at Ashland, WI) was towing a log raft near Washburn, WI 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.

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

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




Cornelius visits Escanaba

08/07:
The Adam E. Cornelius called at Escanaba for the first time since going back to American Steamship Company and their colors on August 4. She unloaded a cargo of coal from Toledo at Reiss Dock #2.

Reported by: Rod Burdick




Twin Ports Report

08/07:
Canadian Miner was loading at the General Mills elevator (formerly Great Northern) in Superior on Aug. 6. The venerable elevator has received only a handful of vessels this season.

Also on the 6th, DMIR in Duluth was expecting a busy day. Fred R. White Jr., Arthur M. Anderson and Buckeye were all due in the afternoon and evening.

John B. Aird is scheduled to make a rare call Aug. 8 at the Midwest Energy Terminal.

Boats from ULS seem to be everywhere in the Twin Ports this week. Montrealais is unloading at St. Lawrence Cement; Canadian Miner, as previously mentioned, is loading at General Mills; Canadian Enterprise is due Aug. 7 at Midwest Energy Terminal; and Canadian Leader is due at the Concourse grain elevator in Superior on Aug. 7.

Reported by: Al Miller




Today in Great Lakes History - August 07

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

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

From "Skilling Mining Review- 50 Years Ago"
August 7, 1948 - Edward L. Ryerson, chairman of Inland Steel Company has 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 has 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 assistenat to the president in charge of operations. He became president of Inland in May, 1941. He has been a director of the company since 1935. The new ship will 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 ft. long, 70 ft. wide and 37 ft. deep, and will run at 16 miles per hour when loaded.

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

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




Reduced Pellet Production

08/06:
Hibbing Taconite Co. will shut down for five weeks beginning Saturday afternoon to help reduce Cleveland-Cliffs' inventory of taconite pellets.

The shutdown, which will be one week shorter than originally anticipated, will idle 605 of the company's 650 employees at the mine and processing plant.

Cleveland-Cliffs manages and owns 15 percent of Hibbing Taconite. Cliffs also owns and manages Northshore Mining Co. in Babbitt and Silver Bay and manages and holds ownership in the Empire and Tilden mines in Upper Michigan. LTV Steel Mining Co. in Hoyt Lakes is managed by Cliffs.

The Tilden Mine, already idled because of pellet furnace problems, will remain down for roughly 10 weeks. Shutdown dates for the Empire Mine, to be closed for six weeks, hasn't been set, said Gardner.

Roughly 2,650 employees are affected by the three shutdowns. Another 500 employees at Northshore Mining Co. may be out of work from Oct. 30 to Nov. 24 if Cliffs moves to idle that facility as expected.

To cope with rising inventories and slow sales, Cliffs will reduce its overall 1999 pellet production by 2.7 million tons, to 9 million tons. It produced a record 12.1 million tons in 1998.

Cliffs officials attribute the shutdowns to high levels of unfairly traded steel imports.

Reported by: Al Miller




Linda E Story in the News

08/06:
Yesterday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says that the upcoming report on the December 1998 sinking of the fishing tug LINDA E will create more questions than it will answer.

The newspaper's article also gives the first glimpse at how the families of the three missing crewmen feel about the massive effort to find the wreckage of the Kennedy's airplane and recover the bodies versus the effort put forth to find the wreckage and bodies of their loved ones.

Click here for the full story

Reported by: Jim Zeirke




Twin Ports Report

08/06:
Twin Ports boatwatchers were greeted with a busy port the morning of Aug. 5. Joe Block was loading at DMIR, Canadian Transport was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal, Montrealais was unloading at St. Lawrence Cement, Pintail was loading grain at Cargill B1 and Cenex-Harvest States was hosting its second double-header of the week, loading both Great Laker and Lake Champlain. Alpena was in Duluth during the night but slipped out of port early in the morning.

Reported by: Al Miller




Last Stone Shipments for Ludington

08/06:
On August 2 the Kaye E. Barker arrived at Dow Chemical with a load of limestone. This is one of the last shipments as Dow switches from producing their own lime to buying it already manufactured, ready for use.

The plant has produced lime for use in its products since its beginning in 1942.

The final two shipments are due to start arriving today, with one as late as Saturday.

Reported by: Max Hanley




Lighthouse Shines as U.S. Landmark

08/06:
Evanston, Illinois - July 1999:
The 125-year-old Grosse Point Light Station became the first lighthouse on the Great Lakes - and the first one west of the Atlantic Coast - to be designated a National Historic Landmark.

Since 1976, the lighthouse has been listed on the National Register, which carries the names of about 1,300 historic places in Illinois.

National historic status is the federal government’s way of recognizing buildings of national importance. Officials credit Don Terras, lighthouse keeper since 1984, for pulling together the information necessary to win the lighthouse historic landmark status.

“He is really a person who not only has a job as keeper of the lighthouse, but he’s a preservationist at heart,” observed Evanston's Mayor Morton. “We were able to get that (designation) because we had a person with that responsibility who saw the significance of preserving the lighthouse.”

Terras served as assistant curator for eight years for the Evanston Historical Society when the Dawes House was accorded national historic status. He began investigating the idea seriously during the summer 1991 not long after he had completed an exhibit on the history of lighthouses for the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

During that time, he grew more familiar with the lighthouses’ global importance and the role they played in the development of shipping and transportation in the United States, he said.

Terras, author of a detailed and attractive history on the Evanston lighthouse, said the structure qualifies for historic landmark status from a number of perspectives - including both architecturally and historically.

He said “what really carried the day,” though, was the record showing the lighthouse’s relation to transportation routes. The Grosse Point Light Station stood at the axis of shipping routes connecting the Atlantic Coast to the Great Lakes through the Erie Canal, and then the lakes to the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico by way of the Illinois-Michigan Canal, he said.

“Ships using these water routes would be dependent on the beacon of light coming from Grosse Point’s light tower for safe passage in and out of shipping lanes in this highly valuable transportation corridor with Chicago as its hub,” he wrote.

In addition, the lighthouse has unique characteristics in architecture and engineering that “have not been compromised” for more than 125 years, he said.

Terras noted that there are no other lighthouses on the Great Lakes that have received landmark status.

Further, despite the country’s rich maritime history, he noted that there are only six lighthouses listed as landmarks throughout the country, and all are located on the Atlantic Coast.

Article from the Pioneer Press's Evanston Review, July 1999.

Reported by: Alice Magos




Today in Great Lakes History - August 06

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

The IMPERIAL BEDFORD was delivered to Imperial Oil Co. Ltd., Toronto, Ont. on August 6,1969.

The fourth Welland Canal was officially opened with much ceremony on August 6, 1932 when the steamer LEMOYNE, then the largest bulk carrier on the Lakes, locked down the Flight Locks.

On August 6, 1982 the Pierson fleet was placed in receivership and eventually the entire fleet was purchased by Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd. (P&H Shipping Ltd.,), Mississauga, Ont.

The CITY OF SAGINAW 31 was launched August 6, 1929.

The WILLIAM CLAY loaded her first cargo of iron ore on August 6, 1953 to be delivered to her home port at the Ford Rouge Plant south of Detroit, MI.

On August 6, 1965 the JOHN T. HUTCHINSON, upbound in the Trenton Channel of the Detroit River after having unloaded taconite ore at McLouth Steel, lost steering control and struck a stationary section of the Grosse Ile toll bridge. This caused the bridge section and two cars to drop into the river. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt, but the bridge was closed for several months. The HUTCHINSON sailed to AmShip's South Chicago yard for repairs.

The KINGDOC (2) was launched August 6, 1963 for N.M. Paterson & Sons Ltd.

The POINTE NOIRE was released on August 6, 1977 after running aground two days prior in the Rock Cut in the St. Marys River blocking the channel.

On 6 August 1890, MICHIGAN (Steel sidewheel carferry, 296'/1730GT) was launched at W. Bay City, MI. She was built by F. W. Wheeler (hull # 76) for the Canadian pacific Railway for use on the Detroit River and had a capacity of 16 railroad cars. She was retired in 1916 and converted to an unrigged pulpwood barge.

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

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




Grant Carrier Boarding Update

08/05: The motor vessel Grant Carrier arrived at St. Lawrence Seaway's Snell Lock on Tuesday morning and was boarded by the combined U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Massena, NY and Station Alexandria Bay boarding team. The vessel's ties to Yugoslavia made the boarding necessary.

After an Initial Safety Inspection was conducted, the vessel transited the locks and anchored in the Wilson Hill anchorage where a full Port State Control inspection was conducted. Seventeen minor deficiencies were found and the vessel was cleared to continue her transit to Toledo, OH, via Oshawa, ONT.




Twin Ports Report

08/05:
Twin Ports boatwatchers got to see the St. Clair backing into Midwest Energy Terminal about 7:30 a.m. Aug. 4. Fifteen years ago, St. Clair and Belle River (now Walter J. McCarthy Jr) were about the only boats calling at the terminal, making the run on a weekly basis. Now, St. Clair is a rare visitor there, making only a few trips a season.

Reported by: Al Miller




Today in Great Lakes History - August 05

The Richard M. Marshall (later Joseph S. Wood, John Dykstra, Benson Ford, and, finally, 265808) entered service on August 5, 1953. From 1966 until it was retired at the end of 1984, this vessel and the William Clay Ford (1) were fleetmates. 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, fleetmates since 1967, both entered service on May 14, 1959.

The aft section of the WALTER J. McCARTHY JR.was float launched August 5, 1976. She was American Steamship's first thousand-footer and the first thousand-footer built at Bay Ship.

The G.A. TOMLINSON (2). was sold outright to Columbia Transportation Co. (an 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'/210T, built in 1843 at Detroit, MI) 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 II arrived in 1997.

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

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




H. Lee White Grounds

08/04:
Monday morning the H. Lee White grounded while departing Stoneport, MI loaded with stone. The grounding caused a 12" - 16" fracture in a hull plating weld in the forepeak. The Coast Guard issued the vessel a permit to proceed allowing the vessel to offload her cargo in the Rouge River, Detroit and then sail to the Toledo shipyard for repairs.




Grant Carrier Boarding

08/04: The motor vessel Grant Carrier was scheduled to arrive at St. Lawrence Seaway's Snell Lock at 0800 EST yesterday. She was to be boarded by the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard in a joint operation.

The vessel crewmembers will be verified against the crew list and an initial safety inspection conducted prior to allowing the vessel to lock through. Once cleared the vessel will transit to Wilson Hill Anchorage for a full Port State Control exam and crew drills.




Beaver Islander in the Straits

08/04:
On Sunday August 1, the Beaver Islander departed St. James at 7:00 am. Her destination, the Straits of Mackinac.

The 100 foot ferry was packed as she took Islanders on a day trip to Mackinaw City. The trip took three hours and ended at the old State Ferry Dock. From Mackinaw, the passengers were free to do as they pleased.

The Islander departed the City at 6pm that evening. She ran into some rough seas, all in all, the trip was a success. With the arrival of the Emerald Isle ferry two years ago, the Beaver Islander has had the luxury of taking Island residents to various ports of call including the upper peninsula town of Manistique.

Reported by: Sean Whelan




Algoma Central Marine Centennial Website

08/04:
Celebrating one hundred years of Great Lakes shipping this year is Algoma Central Marine. Their web site now offers a condensed history with a RealVideo presentation.

Click here to view.




The Great Lakes Towing Company Unvails Its New Website

08/04:
Cleveland, Ohio - The Great Lakes Towing Company, as it moves into its second century of operation, has recently unveiled its new Web site. The site contains information about The Great Lakes Towing Company as well as its affiliate and subsidiary company's Puerto Rico Towing & Barge Co., Admiral Towing and Barge Company, Tugz International, and Soo Linehandling Services, Inc., together known as The Great Lakes Group.

Visitors to the site will find detailed and specific information on each company including fleet, safety, areas and scope of service, rate, and contact information. Also found on the sight are a wide array of pictures of the "Group's" fleet of tugs, including the Z-TUGS in action.

Click here to view




Today in Great Lakes History - August 04

Two favorites of many boatwatchers, entered service on August 4. The William Clay Ford (1) entered service on August 4, 1953, and the Edward L. Ryerson entered service on August 4, 1960.

The MELISSA DESGAGNES sailed to Holland under her 'a' name ONTADOC (2) with a load of Bentonite from Chicago on August 4, 1979.

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

The D.M. CLEMSON (2) left Superior on August 4, 1980 in tow of Malcolm Marine's tug TUG MALCOLM for Thunder Bay where she was dismantled.

The HOCHELAGA (2) was launched August 4, 1949 at the Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., Collingwood, Ont. for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., Montreal, Que

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

On 4 August 1902, CITY OF VENICE (wooden propeller freighter, 301'/2108GT, built in 1892 at W. Bay City, MI). was sailing in perfect weather in Lake Erie abreast of Rondeau, Ontario with a load of iron ore. The steamer SEGUIN collided with the CITY OF VENICE, sinking her. U.S. marshals later impounded the SEGUIN for damages.

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

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




CSL Niagara Delivers First Cargo

08/03:
The most technologically advanced ship in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Waterway system delivered her first cargo on Saturday as the CSL Niagara discharged 32,355 tons of coal at Stelco's Hilton Works facility in Hamilton, Ont.

The CSL Niagara is equipped with a self-unloading system that features automated cargo-handling and load-sensing technology, among other innovations. A SeawayMax self-unloader, she is the only vessel in the world that takes advantage of the Seaway's new size allowances.

"We're very excited to see the CSL Niagara putting her impressive dimensions and technology to work for our customers," said Tom Brodeur, CSL's Vice-President, Marketing and Customer Service. "She is the ship of the future at work today."

The Niagara is the first of three ships in CSL's $100-million hull-replacement program. The second hull is currently under construction at Port Weller Dry Docks in St. Catharines, Ont. and is expected in the spring of next year. The newbuilding program creates work for approximately 300 employees on a year-round basis at the shipyard until 2001.

CSL controls the largest fleet of self-unloading vessels in the world and handles annual bulk cargo movements totaling 30 million tons.

Click here for pictures from her first trip.




Oglebay Norton and Local 5000 Reach Tentative Agreement

08/03:
Oglebay Norton announced yesterday that a tentative labor agreement had been reached over the weekend with local 5000 of the United Steelworkers of America, which represents the unlicensed personnel. The agreement is subject to ratification. Other details were not disclosed.

Reported by: Oglebay Norton




Stone Shipments to end in Ludington

08/03:
A story in yesterday's Ludington Daily News reports that the ending of an era will come sometime this week when a stone boat drops off dolomitic limestone at the Dow Ludington plant. Three such shipments are expected this week. The third will be the last as Dow switches from producing lime to buying it already manufactured, ready for use.

The plant has produced lime for use in its products since its beginning in 1942. The change will mean about 20 less of the large boats visiting the Ludington harbor each year.

"Buying puts us in a more competitive position," Dave Masten, communications specialist for the plant said this morning. "We will keep the lime plant mothballed and maintained. If necessary, we could reactivate the plant, at least for a couple of years," he said.

Dow will buy the lime from a company in Ohio which will ship it to Ludington by rail car.

Masten said the boats will be missed at Dow. "It's always an event when a ship arrives," he explained. Last year 18 stone boats delivered to Dow, a couple less than the 20 that is typical.

Dow's deep water dock will still be available for use by others, including Harbison Walker. Dow will also continue shipping product by barge year-round.

The change affects only the stone boats, which are among the most widely watched by ship watchers.

One was due in yesterday morning. Then two more boats are expected in the coming days. Masten said the final shipment could arrive as early as Tuesday or not until late in the week.

"Then that's it for the lime plant. It will give us the stock we need," he said. Employees working in that portion of the plant will be reassigned to other areas of the plant.

Reported by: John Derler




Cleveland-Cliffs Announces Production Cutbacks

08/03:
Cleveland-Cliffs announced yesterday it will shut down three of its managed mines for varying lengths of time as a result of the continuing depressed market conditions for iron ore pellets.

Current plans call for the Empire Mine in Michigan and Hibbing Taconite in Minnesota to be closed for six weeks, while the Tilden Mine in Michigan is scheduled for an approximate 10-week shutdown. Subsidiaries of Cleveland-Cliffs are minority owners and managers of the three mines. Cliffs-managed Wabush Mine in eastern Canada is currently in a five-week shutdown.

The shutdown at the Tilden Mine in Michigan will begin this week due to mechanical problems that have developed in both of the mine's pelletizing furnaces, which have already been shutdown. Summer employees of the mine are being laid off, beginning on night shift today. The remainder of the mine will be closed by Friday. Approximately 775 employees will be affected by the closure.

The specific schedules for the six-week shutdowns at Hibbing Taconite and Empire Mine will be announced soon. Approximately 1675 employees will be affected by shutdowns at these two mines.

John S. Brinzo, Cliffs' president and chief executive officer, said, "We have mentioned publicly on several occasions since the beginning of this year that low iron ore consumption levels by our steel company customers were causing a huge upsurge in iron ore pellet inventories at our mines. Unfortunately, the slight improvement in the North American steel business in recent weeks has done little to correct the inventory problem. Therefore, we have no alternative but to cut back production and reduce pellet stockpiles."

Brinzo said further that steelmakers face the continuing challenge of competing against high levels of unfairly traded steel imports. "The latest import levels in June demonstrate that the steel crisis is far from over," he said.

In addition to finished steel imports, the Company said a blast furnace outage at one major customer resulting from a tragic explosion [Rouge Steel], and increasing levels of unfairly traded semi-finished steel slab imports have also contributed to reductions in pellet demand. Slab use by steelmakers is particularly troubling to iron ore producers since it has a direct impact on pellet consumption, the Company said.

The Company has revised its sales forecast for the year down to 9 million tons versus record sales of 12.1 million tons in 1998. That will be the lowest level of sales since the company acquired its newest mine, Northshore, in 1994.

Cutbacks in production at Cliffs-managed mines will reduce output for the year by approximately 2.7 million tons, including reductions at Cliffs' wholly owned Northshore Mine. Northshore has taken down a small pellet furnace between July 22 and November 24 and tentatively plans to shutter the entire plant from October 30 to November 24.

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

Reported by: Cleveland-Cliffs and Brandon Snyder




Twin Ports Report

08/03:
Vessel schedules appeared to be normal in the Twin Ports. The line-up at Midwest Energy Terminal is Oglebay Norton, Aug. 2; St. Clair, Paul R. Tregurtha and Canadian Transport, Aug. 4; Halifax, Aug. 5; Walter J. McCarthy jr., Aug. 6, Canadian Enterprise, Aug. 7.

Reported by: Al Miller




Galloo Island to be Sold

08/03:
Galloo Island, known for its bassfishing shoals and its prominence in Lake Ontario's western basin off Henderson Harbor Bay, will be sold August 26th at auction. All of the 1,965-acre island will be sold except about 28 acres owned in various parcels by the State of New York and the U.S. Coast Guard. The 4 Switzerland-based sellers, known as Galloo Island Corp. will include in the sale a Cessna 185 amphibious plane, 29 and 34 foot cruisers, a 40-foot steel workboat, 2 pickups, 2 all-terrain vehicles, 3 tractors and a 1992 Suzuki Sidekick convertible automobile, along with maintenance equipment. The private land also includes a 4-bedroom home, an 8-bedroom guest lodge, a large clubhouse, manager's residence, 3 storage buildings,2 generator buildings and an aircraft hanger which serves the Island's 2 grass airstrips. Assessors of the town of Houndsfield have rated the Corporation's real property on Galloo at a market value of $1.98 million. The Island--about 4.5 miles long and 1.5 miles wide is 12 miles from Sackets Harbor and 6 miles from the Canadian border and offers a box-seat view of the shipping traffic which makes its way across the Great Lakes to and from the St Lawrence Seaway. The auction will be on the Island site August 26th starting at noon. Bidders can participate via the Internet but must certify they have $100,000 cash and promise to pay 10% of the sale price that day if they make the winning bid. According to the auctioneer, the sale will be executed no matter what price is offered.

State and Federal officials say they will keep their parcels on the Island. Government property includes the old lighthouse at Galloo's south end as well as the unused Coast Guard station at the Island's deepest harbor at the north part of the eastern shore. The lighthouse was the first free-standing lighthouse on the U.S. side of Lake Ontario, completed in 1820 and greatly repaired in 1867. It is listed in the National Register for Historic Places. About 40% of Galloo Island is forested with species including maple, oak, spruce, and cedar. About 400 deer share the Island with pheasants, wild turkeys and other game birds.

Tour of the Galloo Island for prospective bidders will begin August 8th. People wanting information can call the National Auction Group at [800]473-2292.

Reported by: Joan Baldwin




Tug Washington Receives Theodore Tugboat’s Floating Friend Award

08/03:
Cleveland - August 2, 1999 - With Settlers Landing on the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, Ohio, and the port’s annual Parade of Lights Celebration as a backdrop, the PBS television program Theodore Tugboat, based in Halifax Novia Scotia, presented The Great Lakes Towing Company’s tug WASHINGTON with the Floating Friend award. In accepting the award, with the tug WASHINGTON docked nearby for the presentation, Brian Schellhase, Director of Marketing stated that The Great Lakes Towing Company was especially honored to receive this award as the Company recently celebrated its 100th year in the tug business on the Great Lakes. The award, a blue and yellow pennant, is given to select tugboats throughout North America that represent the spirit of the harbor tug as represented by Theodore Tugboat. Tugboats chosen for this award, like the tug WASHINGTON, must be “friendly, helpful, have a solid safety record, and greet each new ship with a smile” according to the program. The Theodore Tugboat Floating Friend distinction is a way of saying, “job well done” to all the hard working tugs and tugboat captains who are an essential part of every port, said the PBS program representatives.

Reported by: Great Lakes Towing




More on the Presque Isle

08/03:
The Presque Isle departed Port Weller mid-afternoon on Saturday, but didn't get beyond Lock 3 for some time because of severe weather. The storm knocked out power to Bridge 6 and the railroad bridge at Lock 4. Power was restored to 4 west initially which allowed the Presque Isle to continue. She cleared Lock 7 mid-evening.

Also in the canal was the CSL Niagara, she looks great but already has some battle scars from getting through the locks.

Reported by: Ross Ruehle




Another Winner

08/03:
The Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum would like to congratulate Paul Kviring of Port Colborne, for winning the trip raffle featuring a trip on the Cuyahoga.

Thanks for everyone who showed interest and bought tickets.

Reported by: Karen Walker




Today in Great Lakes History - August 03

Under tow, the AVONDALE (2) in tandem with former fleetmate FERNDALE (2) arrived at Castellon, Spain for scrapping in 1979.

The CANADOC (2) left the St. Lawrence River on August 3, 1991 in tow bound for Mamonal, Colombia for scrapping.

On 3 August 1915, ALEXANDRIA (wooden sidewheel passenger/package freight, 174'/863GT, built in 1866 at Hull, Quebec, formerly CONSORT) was carrying food stuff 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.

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

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




Labor Talks

08/02:
Vessels of USS Great Lakes Fleet continued to sail August 1 even though contracts for unlicensed crew members expired at midnight July 31. The GLF vessel hotline reported normal vessel schedules.

Meanwhile, Cleveland-Cliffs reached a contract settlement about 11 p.m. July 31 with the Steelworkers union representing employees of Hibbing Taconite. No word on how the settlement might affect workers at Cliffs mines in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The only Minnesota taconite plant without a contract now is EVTAC. Talks there were suspended while Minnesota Iron & Steel Co. considers whether to buy the operation.

Reported by: Al Miller




Unusual Unloadings in the Rouge

08/02:
Two unusual cargo unloadings took place at the Inland Stone dock on the Rouge River in Detroit Thursday and Saturday. On Thursday the Algowood lightened some of her cargo at the Atwater dock prior to being assisted by the Gaelic tug Patricia Hoey about 2100 into the Oglebay Norton owned Inland Stone dock.

Just after midnight the tugs Patricia Hoey and Susan Hoey skillfully assisted the vessel back out into the Detroit River, passing the 560-foot combination of the Sea Eagle II and her barge St. Marys Cement II at Blue Circle Cement. On Saturday the John B. Aird did it all over again.

Reported by: D.J. Tugnut




Twin Ports Report

08/02:
Grain traffic remains brisk in the Twin Ports. Lake Erie was at Cargill B1 on Aug. 1 and Lake Ontario, Lake Champlain and Great Laker were all anchored on the lake. Mallard is due in later this week.

GLF's vessel hotline reported Myron C. Taylor suffered a mechanical problem and was in Cleveland for repairs. It's due to depart Aug. 2. George A. Sloan was making a rare call at Marine City on Aug. 1 and then was due to make an even rarer call at Harsens Island later in the day before proceeding to Cedarville.

Reported by: Al Miller




Presque Isle Returns to Service

08/02:
The Presque Isle departed Erie Pensilvania yesterday evening. She entered at 10:00 in the morning, she and the Algowood made an interesting duo to watch. The Algowood had a load of stone for the Mounfort Terminal. She came into the bay to turn around and the tug Presque Isle had to creep around her.

When the Presque Isle got around the Algowood, they tied the tug in front of Metro Machine shipyard to prepare the barge for hook-up. The Presque Isle would spending five or six hours to connect the tug and barge and preparing for sailing. When the combination left, they backed out of the West Slip, turned in the bay and came out bow first.

Erie sure looks empty without the barge that was built here that has been sitting in the West slip for a month.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson




Armco visits Marquette

08/02:
Armco took a break from her normal Minnesota Northshore loadings and loaded taconite in Marquette on July 30. Fierce storms passed through the area during her visit. Algosteel, a more frequent visitor, was due in on Sunday morning, August 1.

Reported by: Rod Burdick




Coast Guard On the move

08/02:
It was a meeting of the new and the old Friday in the city of Charlevoix. The 'Ace of the Lakes', CG tender Acacia was joined in Round Lake by the Keeper Class tender Anthony Petit. After the Petit visited St. Ignace, she joined the Acacia for a celebration. Many coasties in Full Dress Uniforms were found in the park, enjoying a dinner. Both vessels will be setting a course for Grand Haven to participate in the Coast Guard Festival. The Keeper Class tender is very similar to the vessels slated to replace the Balsam class Acacia in early 2000. The Anthony Petit was scheduled to leave Charlevoix Saturday morning.

Reported by: Sean Whelan




Today in Great Lakes History - August 02

The AMERICAN MARINER was launched on August 2, 1979 for the Connecticut Bank & Trust Co., (American Steamship Co., Buffalo, NY, mgr.). She was to be named CHICAGO (3), but that name was removed before launch.

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

The BENSON FORD's maiden voyage was on August 2, 1924 with coal from Toledo, OH to Duluth, MN 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 for tours and remains so at this time.

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

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

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




Local 5000

08/01:
The labor contracts between many of the shipping companies and Steelworkers Union Local 5000 were set to expire at midnight last night with only Interlake having settled with the union. The Steelworkers Union Local 5000 represents unlicensed crew members sailing on Great Lakes vessels serve in a variety of positions such as deckhands, cooks, engine room helpers and maintenance workers.

A strike by this group would mean that vessels would be unable to sail. Calls to the various fleet movement tapes paints a picture of business as usual; no other information is available at this time.

During the last major strike in 1986, vessels proceeded to various ports after the contract expired and licensed crewmembers laid up the vessels while the unlicensed workers departed.




Presque Isle to Departs Dry Dock

08/01
The tug Presque Isle was scheduled to clear Port Weller Dry Docks yesterday afternoon heading to Erie Pennsylvania to pick up her barge. She is due in Two Harbors to load on August 4th.

The vessel arrived at the dry docks on June 30th and spent the past month undergoing her Five Year survey. All Great Lakes vessels must undergo a survey every five years to ensure they are seaworthy.

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

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





CSL Niagara Update

08/01:
The CSL Niagara entered Hamilton Harbour at 00:40 Saturday and proceeded to the Stelco steel mill where she unloaded a cargo of coal. The Vessel departed Hamilton Harbour at 02:40 Sunday Morning.

Marc Ouellette also reports that while transiting the Welland Canal the Niagara made full use of the lock approach walls. The new vessel is 10 feet longer than before and follows a different procedure to lock through. Once stopped in a lock the arrestor cable is lifted and she moves deeper into the lock usings her winches.

Reported by: Marc and Michelle




More on the Spirit of 98

08/01:
The Spirit of 98 that grounded Tuesday in Alaska's Inside Passage, which is a long, narrow stretch of islands that extend Southeastward from the State, is one of 7 operated by the Seattle-based Alaskan Sightseeing Cruise West, It was carrying 96 passengers and 22 crew members, all were evacuated and no injuries reported. The ship had left Anchorage and was headed to Juneau when the accident occurred.

The Spirit of 98 had been used for tours in the St Lawrence River before purchase by the Seattle cruise line company. At that time it was called the Victorian Empress and was owned by the St Lawrence Cruise Lines and permanently docked in Kingston, Ontario. It was built in 1984 and had 49 passenger cabins. It is 192 ft. long and 40 ft. wide. Because of its size, it can get into places that larger cruise ships cannot.

Reported by: Joan Baldwin




Today in Great Lakes History - August 01

On August 1, 1982, the Canadian tanker Hubert Gaucher entered service

August 1957 - The Pere Marquette 18 (II) was sold to Luria Brothers, Chicago scrap merchants, along with the PM 14.

On 1 August 1849, CHICAGO (wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 951/151T, built in 1842 at Oswego, NY) burned to a total loss in Buffalo harbor. No lives were lost.

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

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





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