Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

Wagenborg Called Best for Cleveland-Port Stanley Ferry Service


A Dutch company has been chosen as the best candidate to revive ferry service in Cleveland, according to a Wednesday story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

 Seven companies submitted proposals for a Lake Erie ferry between Cleveland and Port Stanley, Ontario. On Monday, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority announced Royal Wagenborg as its first choice.

The 106-year-old company is based in the Netherlands, employs 2,200 people and operates more than 160 vessels, from ferries to freighters. Many of the freighters, with names mostly ending in “borg,” have been familiar sights on the Great Lakes the last few years.

The Port Authority picked the company for its financial stability, experience and customer service, said Rose Ann DeLeon, the port's director of strategic development.

Other companies focused more on the leisure traveler than on commercial freight traffic, she said. "Wagenborg came in seeing the potential of doing both."

The goal is to begin service in the spring of 2006. The company still needs to negotiate details of terminal construction, customs, immigration and ship capacity with both Cleveland and Port Stanley. Wagenborg's proposal envisions two vessels, one based in Cleveland and the other in Canada. The company would initially lease ferries before building its own.

Reported by Cleveland Plain Dealer, Jason Leslie


Rotterdam’s Halifax-bound 'Cruise From Hell' Terrifies Passengers


Passengers from a cruise ship that docked in Halifax Tuesday told a harrowing tale of furniture flying and people breaking bones when the ship lost power near the edges of hurricane Karl.

The Atlantic Ocean was rough, with swells reaching 10 to 15 metres, when all four engines aboard M/S Rotterdam failed at about 6 p.m. Friday, passengers told the CBC.

The loss of the Holland America Line ship's electrical systems and stabilizers sent the 237-metre-long vessel tilting sharply from side to side, 900 kilometres east of Newfoundland.

"It was more or less the cruise from hell," said passenger Herman Veder of Boca Raton, Fla. "Furniture was flying all over the place. Pianos were not bolted down. In the gym, which is an extensive gym, all the weights came loose and started rolling around."

In one onboard restaurant that had 1,000 plates on hand, 800 came loose and crashed to the floor, he said. "In the cabins, refrigerators came loose, TV sets were flying through the rooms."

Passengers grew more terrified as a message came over the intercom that stretcher teams were needed. An unknown number of people suffered broken collarbones, gashes and bruises. None of the injuries was life-threatening, the cruise line said. A Holland America spokesperson said the ship is structurally sound, and promised an investigation into what caused the engines to quit.

"Lots of people thought that it would be their end. This would be it," said Veder. "If you tilt a little bit more, you won't be able to come up any more and that's the end of a ship."

"Some of us were concerned that the boat was going to tip over because it was rocking and swaying so hard that things were flying across the cabins," said Rachel Youngman, a California resident making the trip with her husband Richard.

"And the captain – it took him about an hour to come on and say, 'This is very uncomfortable but the ship is in no danger.' And at that point I think we all relaxed a little bit."

Reported by Canadian Press, Jason Leslie


Port Huron Marine Mart Oct. 23


The Lake Huron Lore Marine Society, The Port Huron Museum and Acheson Ventures will be hosting a Marine Flea Market on Saturday, October 23, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Port Huron Seaway Terminal, 2336 Military Street in Port Huron. Vendors will be on hand to sell items that include photos, books and artifacts, all with a Great Lakes theme. Watch the News Page for more information is the date gets closer.

Reported by Dave Wobser


Port Report



Reported by Andy LaBorde
Strong northeast winds kept the Lake Express ferry at its Milwaukee dock  Tuesday.

The cruise ship C. Columbus arrived at sunrise Wednesday and proceeded to the Port of Milwaukee's Heavy Lift dock. The C. Columbus had previously used dock space now taken by the Lake Express.

The C. Columbus at the Heavy Lift dock Wednesday noon.
Another view, taken late Wednesday afternoon.


Today in Great Lakes History


On 30 September 1896, SUMATRA (wooden schooner-barge, 204 foot, 845 gross tons, built in 1874 at Black River, Ohio) was loaded with rail road rails in tow of the steamer B. W. ARNOLD in a storm on Lake Huron.  The SUMATRA was "blown down" and foundered off the Government Pier at Milwaukee.  Three of the crew were lost.  The four survivors were rescued by the ARNOLD and the Lifesaving Service.  The SUMATRA was owned by the Mills Transportation Company.

The 660 foot forward section of the BELLE RIVER (Hull#716) was side launched on September 30, 1976 at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Co. Renamed b.) WALTER J. McCARTHY JR in 1977.

The ARTHUR SIMARD entered service on September 30, 1973 sailing to Montreal, Quebec to load gasoline.

The GOVERNOR MILLER was towed down the Welland Canal on September 30, 1980 in tow of TUG MALCOLM, STORMONT and ARGUE MARTIN on her way to Quebec City.

The ROBERT C. STANLEY departed light on her maiden voyage from River Rouge, Michigan on September 30, 1943 bound for Two Harbors, Minnesota to load iron ore.

On September 30, 1986 the Canadian Coast Guard vessel CARIBOU ISLE struck a rock in Lake Huron's North Channel and began taking on water. CCG SAMUEL RISLEY arrived and helped patch the ship. The pair the departed for Parry Sound, Ontario.

On 30 September 1888, AUSTRALIA (wooden schooner, 109 foot, 159 gross tons, built in 1862 at Vermilion, Ohio) was carrying cedar posts from Beaver Island to Chicago when she encountered a gale. She was laid on beam ends and sprung a leak. She headed for shelter at Holland, Michigan, but struck a bar and foundered in the mouth of the harbor. The wreck blocked the harbor until it was removed on 5 October. Her crew was rescued by the U.S. Lifesaving Service.

On 30 September 1875, AMERICAN CHAMPION (wooden scow-schooner, 156 tons, built in 1866 at Trenton, Michigan) dropped anchor to ride out a gale near Leamington, Ontario on Lake Erie. The chains gave way and she struck a bar and sank to the gunwales. The crew of 8 spent the night in the rigging and the next day a local woman and her two sons heroically rescued each one.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II, Father Dowling Collection,  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


Judge Impounds Spirit of Ontario for Unpaid Fuel Bills


A federal judge Tuesday impounded the high-speed ferry Spirit of Ontario after a fuel supplier sued the ship owners for what it claims are more than $370,000 in unpaid bills.

U.S. District Judge Michael Telesca ordered that the ferry be locked down so it could not leave the jurisdiction until the litigation is resolved. Telesca ordered the U.S. Marshals Service to take steps to ensure that the ferry does not leave the Port of Rochester.

The decision was news to Canadian American Transportation Systems, the private ferry operator. “That’s one we had not heard,” CATS President Cornel Martin said, adding that he would investigate the issue.

Amerada Hess Corp., which supplied fuel for Rochester’s high-speed ferry, filed suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court against Canadian American Transportation Systems, the private ferry operator.

Amerada Hess says the ferry company owes $372,868 in unpaid fuel bills. The fuel supplier, which is headquartered in New York City, “has a maritime lien against the vessel,” according to the suit. Amerada Hess has demanded to be paid, “but payment has been refused and no part thereof has been paid,” according to the suit, which also asks that the “Spirit of Ontario, her rigging, tackle, apparel, furniture, engines, etc. may be condemned and sold to pay such judgment.”

CATS suspended the ferry service three weeks ago, saying it had financial problems and couldn’t continue operating. The shutdown occurred after only 80 days in operation and after carrying about 140,000 passengers. Since then, CATS and its financial backers have been discussing how to resume service. It’s unclear how Telesca’s decision will affect those discussions.

The Amerada Hess suit is the second filed against CATS in the last week. Corporate 800, a Tampa-based telecommunications company, filed suit last week in state Supreme Court, alleging that the ferry company has paid only $38,043 of a $55,022 bill.

Many other creditors, including landscapers and travel agents, also have said they haven’t been paid.

Reported by Bob VandeVusse, Rochester Democrat-Chronicle


Port Report



Reported by Lee Rowe

The H. Lee White made another stone/ore run to Marquette on Tuesday. The James R. Barker brought a load of coal to the Presque Isle power  plant. David Z. Norton and Lee A. Tregurtha are expected on Wednesday. 

Port Colborne

Reported by Jimmy Sprunt
Upbound today was Atlantic Huron, slated for the Canada Starch Dock at Port Colborne, W11. This is a very unusual port of call for a CSL boat.

Saginaw River

Reported by Todd Shorkey
The Agawa Canyon called on the Saginaw River Monday, travelling up to the Sargent Dock in Zilwaukee to unload.  She then turned in the Sixth Street Basin late in the morning and was outbound through Bay City later in the afternoon on her way to the lake.



Photo Gallery Updated
(2 pages today!!)


Photo Galleries


Jean Parisien Refit Begins With Port Weller Drydocking

The Canada Steamship Lines’ self-unloader Jean Parisien, her name and other markings painted out, was placed on the Port Weller Drydock Monday by the  tugs Glenevis, Progress and Vigilant 1.

The vessel’s hull will be severed just forward of the superstructure and the forebody will be towed to the International Marine Salvage scrapyard at Port Colborne late in October to be cut up.

A new forebody will be fabricated and attached to the after section over the winter as past of CSL’s multi-million fleet renewal program. Cost of the forebody replacement has been pegged at $30 million (Can.).

The Parisien was built in Canada in 1977. The new forebody is expected to extend the life of the 740’ (225.5 m.) Parisien by 25 years.

Reported by Alex Howard, Jimmy Sprunt

Tug Glenevis on the Parisien’s bow
Preparing to place the Parisien on the drydock
Another view
Another view

More photos in Wednesday's galleries


Boatnerd Gathering at Rogers City a Hit


Some 45 Boatnerds gathered in Rogers City on Friday at the Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum. After touring the unique museum, everyone boarded a Rogers City Area school bus, driven by Jackie Quaine, for a tour of the Michigan Limestone Operations quarry and ship loading facility.
MLO Director of Safety and Security Steve Truran met us at the main gate and narrated the tour. The first stop was the active loading area in the quarry. Recently-blasted rock was being loaded by a giant shovel loader into an even bigger quarry haul truck, which hauls the stone to the primary crusher. The quarry is the world's largest limestone quarry and the area being worked is about 16 feet below the level of Lake Huron. Even lower areas have been worked from time to time. MLO owns 6,000 acres of land and the limestone is estimated to last another 100 years. Hopes are that up to 9,000,000 tons of stone will be shipped this season.
After driving past the various crusher and screening buildings, we arrived at the ship loader and found the Roger Blough loading. The Blough only makes one or two trips into Calcite per year, so this was a rare opportunity. Lots of up-close pictures were taken. The loading slip can handle two vessels side-by-side, except for the 105-foot wide boats such as the Blough and the 1000-footers. Algoway had left Saginaw during the night and intended to load at Calcite, but went on to Drummond Island due to the Blough's presence.
The group reloaded into the bus and drove around to the other side of the loading slip for more pictures. A final group picture was taken outside the main gate around the MLO sign.
During the afternoon, some of the assembled 'nerds drove to Cheboygan to the tour the USCG Mackinac which was in port.
Friday evening, most of the group reassembled at the Lighthouse Restaurant, next to the Lore Museum for a slide show. Rogers City Mayor Beach Hall was on hand to extend a warm welcome the Boatnerds. Museum Director had arranged for noted marine artist Robert McGreevy to present his DVD program "Lost Legends of The Lakes". Following McGreevy's program, Boatnerds showed their personal slides including vessels in the Saginaw River, Straits of Mackinac car ferries before the Mac Bridge was built, and older boats in the Detroit River.
Various area lighthouses and the Mackinac were on the agenda for Saturday. A good time was had by all, we hope to make the Roger City Gathering an annual event.

Reported by Dave Wobser

Rogers City Gathering Photos


Magazine Chronicles Oglebay Norton Troubles


Cleveland's free entertainment weekly, the Scene, in its latest issue, has a cover story under the above title about the recent troubles at Oglebay Norton. Although too long to reprint here, the story may be found at

Reported by Al Hart


Sunken Toronto Cruise Boat to be Raised


A 50-year-old excursion boat that sank in Toronto Harbor will likely be raised soon, a salvage firm manager said yesterday. The Galactica sank last Wednesday in a Lower Jarvis St. berth. 

Investigators won't know what caused the Galactica to sink until the white-hulled, 200-passenger ship is lifted, C&C Marine salvage firm manager Kevin Topping said.

A team from Oakville Divers sealed the ship's exhaust and fuel tanks to prevent more leaks. Firefighters poured Absorbal, a fibrous material, into the berth next to Redpath Sugar off Queen's Quay, but a second containment boom and white absorbent mats had to be laid as diesel and debris seeped towards the harbor. 

Reported by Craig Ritchie


Guy V. Molinari Arrives in Manhattan


The Guy V. Molinari sounded its horn five times at 4:48 p.m. Sunday as it entered New York harbor from the mouth of the East River, near Whitehall Hall Terminal in Manhattan. Four minutes later, sailing into the slanting, late-afternoon sun, the Molinari's horn sounded again to acknowledge the first passing ferryboat it encountered on its maiden cross-harbor voyage – the Andrew J. Barberi.

The arrival marked the end of the Molinari's six-week journey from Wisconsin through the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway and along the East Coast.
The Molinari's arrival was made official at a ceremony attended by the boat's namesake – a former borough president – and presided over by Mayor Michael Bloomberg..

The boat will not enter service until January.

Reported by The Staten Island Advance


Port Report


Green Bay

Reported by Jason Leino
Michiganborg made her first appearance in the port of Green Bay this morning to unload wood products at the K&K Warehousing dock. The Michiganborg arrived Sunday but had to wait out in the bay for the M/V Menominee to finish loading.  Other traffic over the weekend included the Alpena with cement for LaFarge, Menominee with wood products for K&K, John G. Munson with coal for C. Riess coal dock.  The Buffalo is due in Tuesday night with a load of coal for Georgia Pacific.

Michiganborg unloading at K&K


Reported by Mac Mackay
Player’s Riverboat Casino II (soon to be known as Detroit Princess) sailed from Halifax Saturday. Her next stop will be the Canso Canal, then she will go on to Summerside, Prince Edward Island,  as she hopscothches her way to the Lakes.Her departure from Halifax coincided with the arrival of Queen Mary 2 - quite a contrast.


Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain
The steamer Alpena departed Lafarge Monday afternoon to head for Superior, Wis. The Alpena had been in port since Sunday, possibly waiting for enough cement so it could be completely loaded.  The J.A.W Iglehart and the G.L. Ostrander/ barge Integrity are delivering to ports on Lake Michigan such as St. Joseph and Milwaukee.

Last week the tall ship Denis Sullivan was in port, tied up in the Thunder Bay river. It was taking kids from local schools out in the bay for educational purposes.

The John G. Munson was expected to load at Stoneport late Monday night. Fleetmates Michipicoten and Calumet were loading side by side at Calcite on Monday.  


Photo Gallery Updated
(2 pages today!!)


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - September 28

On September 28, 1980, the BURNS HARBOR entered service, departing Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin bound for Superior, Wisconsin to load pellets.

THOMAS WILSON left Toledo on September 28, 1987 in tow of the tug TUSKER for overseas scrapping. WILSON has been laid up since December 16, 1979.

On 28 September 1891, THOMAS PARSONS (2 mast wooden schooner, 135 foot, 350 tons, built in 1868 at Charlotte, New York) was carrying coal out of Ashtabula, Ohio when she foundered in a storm a few miles off Fairport in Lake Erie.

On 28 September 1849, W G BUCKNER (wooden schooner, 75 foot, 107 tons, built in 1837 at Irving, New york) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan when she sprang a leak, then capsized. The man to whom the cargo belonged was aboard with his wife and five children. One child was washed overboard while the wife and three children died of exposure. The schooner ERWIN took off the survivors plus the bodies.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Mike Nicholls, 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


Today in Great Lakes History - September 27

On 27 September 1877, the HIPPOGRIFFE (wooden schooner, 295 tons, built in 1864 at Buffalo, New York) had just left Chicago for Buffalo, loaded with oats, on a fine day with clear weather. The crew saw EMMA A COYNE (wooden schooner, 155 foot, 497 tons, built in 1867 at Detroit, Michigan) approaching from a long way off loaded with lumber. The two vessels’ skippers were brothers. The two schooners collided about 20 miles off Kenosha, Wisconsin. The COYNE came along side and picked up the HIPPOGRIFFE’s crew a few minutes before that vessel rolled over and dove for the bottom.

The CITY OF GENOA arrived with the first cargo of iron ore for the new factory at Zug Island. Reported in the Detroit Free Press 09/28/1903.

The H M GRIFFITH experienced a smoky conveyor belt fire at Port Colborne, Ontario on September 27, 1989. Repairs were completed there.

The ROGER M KYES proceeded to Chicago for dry-docking, survey and repairs on September 27, 1976. She had struck bottom in Buffalo Harbor September 22, 1976 sustaining holes in two double bottom tanks and damage to three others.

The GEORGE M. HUMPHREY (2) under tow, locked through the Panama Canal from September 27, 1986 to the 30th on her way to the cutters torch at Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The tanker IMPERIAL COLLINGWOOD (Hull#137) was launched September 27, 1947 at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Imperial Oil Ltd., Toronto, Ontario. Renamed b.) SEAWAY TRADER 1979, sold off the Lakes in 1984, renamed c.) PATRICIA II, d.) BALBOA TRADER in 1992.

September 27, 1909 - The ANN ARBOR NO 4 entered service after being repaired from her capsizing at Manistique, Michigan the previous May.

On 27 September 1884, WALDO A AVERY (wooden propeller, 204 foot, 1294 gross tons) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan. Her construction had been subcontracted by F.W. Wheeler & Thomas F. Murphy.

On 27-29 September 1872, a big storm swept the lower Lakes. Here are the Lake Huron tragedies. The barges HUNTER and DETROIT were destroyed. The tug SANDUSKY rescued the 21 survivors for them. The schooner CORSAIR foundered off Sturgeon Point on Saginaw Bay at 4 PM on Sunday the 29th and only 2 of the crew survived. The barge A LINCON was ashore one mile below Au Sable with no loss of life. The barge TABLE ROCK went ashore off Tawas Point and went to pieces. All but one of her crew was lost. The schooner WHITE SQUALL was sunk ten miles off Fish Point -- only one crewman was saved. The schooner SUMMIT went ashore at Fish Point, 7 miles north of Tawas with two lives lost.

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


Port Report


Saginaw River

Reported by Todd Shorkey

 On Friday, a pair of vessels paid a visit to the Saginaw River.  The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 were inbound early Friday morning calling on the Bay Aggregates Dock to unload.  The pair was outbound later in the day.

 Also outbound on Friday was the tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons.  They had delivered a split load to the Wirt Stone docks in Bay City and Saginaw, and were outbound early in the afternoon.


Reported by Lee Rowe (pictures in the Photo Gallery)

The Fred R. White, Jr. made a rare trip into Marquette on Friday for ore while the Herbert C. Jackson brought coal to Marquette's Shiras Steam Plant, and then moved to the upper harbor for ore.



Reported by Brian Wroblewski

The John J Boland was crossing Long Point and bound for Buffalo at 9:37PM Friday evening.  The Karen Andrie was spotted switching her tow around inside the Buffalo Outer Harbor at about 9AM Friday morning.



Reported by Andy LaBorde (pictures in the Photo Gallery) 

Milwaukee based Midwest Maritime's new tug, the Leona B (the former Mary Page Hanna II) has taken on a new red, white & blue color scheme. The Lake Express car ferry departed for Muskegon, MI Saturday morning right on schedule with a full car deck. A half hour later the USCG Alder departed the Group Milwaukee CG base. The Alder spent the past week doing training off Milwaukee. The cruise ship C. Columbus is due here next week.



Reported by Luke Archer

The Sarah Spencer was at the Anderson elevator this morning and departed between 12:00 and 1:00pm.  The Algosteel was expected around 2pm or late afternoon for the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock.



Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - September 26

On 26 September 1892, JOHN BURT (3-mast wooden schooner, 138 foot, 348 gross tons, built in 1871 at Detroit, Michigan) was carrying grain in a strong northwest gale. Her rudder broke and she was blown past the mouth of Oswego harbor and was driven hard aground. Two died when the vessel struck. The Lifesaving Service rescued the remaining five crew members. The vessel quickly broke up in the waves.

The CHI-CHEEMAUN cleared the shipyard on September 26, 1974.

The H M GRIFFITH was christened on September 26, 1973 at Collingwood for Canada Steamship Lines.

The C.C.G.S. GRIFFON (Hull#664) was launched September 26, 1969 by Davie Shipbuilding Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec for the Canadian Coast Guard.

ROGER M. KYES b.) ADAM E. CORNELIUS -1989 returned to service on September 26, 1984, she had grounded off McLouth Steel and ended crosswise in the Detroit River's Trenton Channel a month before.

The BELLE RIVER was side swiped by the Liberian FEDERAL RHINE at Duluth on September 26, 1985. Both vessels received minor damage.

On 26 September 1914, MARY N BOURKE (wooden schooner-barge, 219 foot, 920 gross tons, built in 1889 at Baraga, Michigan) was docked at Peter’s Lumber Dock in St. Mary’s Bay, 15 miles north of St. Ignace, Michigan. The crew was awakened at 9:30-10:00 p.m. by smoke coming from her hold and they escapes. The BOURKE burned to the waterline and the fire spread ashore, destroying the dock and a pile of lumber.

At 3:00 AM, 26 September 1876, the steam barge LADY FRANKLIN burned while moored near Clark's dock, about three miles from Amherstburg, Ontario in the Detroit River. One life was lost. This vessel had been built in 1861 as a passenger steamer and ran between Cleveland, Ohio and Port Stanley, Ontario. In 1874, she was converted into a lumber freighter, running primarily between Saginaw, Michigan and Cleveland. The burned hull was rebuilt in 1882.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Mike Nicholls, Ahoy & Farewell II, Father Dowling Collection, 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


Ferry Gets Restricted OK To Carry Trucks


The CATS fast ferry on Lake Ontario may get limited approval to carry commercial trucks, but the company isn't happy with the terms.

Canadian American Transportation Systems cited the inability to carry commercial trucks as one of the reasons it couldn't continue operating its ferry between Rochester and Toronto. The service was abruptly suspended two weeks ago after only 80 days in operation.

A newly released memo from the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection indicates the agency is willing to allow commercial trucks on the ferry under certain conditions.

Trucks certified through FAST and C-TPAT, two programs that speed border inspections by investigating applicants ahead of time, will be allowed on the ferry, according to a customs memo released this week by Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport.

Customs and Border Protection also is ready to accept commercial trucks not pre-cleared through those programs. But those trucks would be directed to an examination site at the Greater Rochester International Airport and be subject to additional fees. Those costs could be $700 to $800.

CATS President Cornel Martin said that few, if any, trucking companies are approved through C-TPAT and that Customs should let trucks use the ferry without restrictions.

"Trucks should be able to use the ferry and be inspected and cross the border," he said. "That's a service that Customs should provide not for CATS but the trucking industry. If they provide it at the bridge, they should provide it at the port."



Port Report


Saginaw River

The G.L. Ostrander/Integrity was in bound the Saginaw River in the late morning with a load of cement for the Carrollton Lafarge Terminal.  This was the G.L. Ostrander/Integrity's first visit under the tug's new name.  The pair are expected be out bound late Friday morning.

Fleetmates Algorail and Algoway were in the Saginaw River today.  The Algoway unloaded for the 5th time of the year for Saginaw Asphalt Paving.  The Algoway was back out bound from Saginaw shortly after 5pm.  The Algoway also unloaded in Saginaw on Tuesday.

The Algorail was in bound the Saginaw River in the late evening. The Algorail was headed up river to an undisclosed Saginaw Dock.  The Algorail is expected to be out bound the Saginaw River Friday Morning.


Green Bay

Reported by Jason Leino (pictures in today's Photo Gallery)

The American Republic arrived in Green Bay Thursday afternoon shortly after 4:00 PM with a load of coal for Georgia Pacific. This is the second load of coal for the GP dock this week and the 7th vessel in port since Sunday.  The Alpena is due in Green Bay Friday and the Petite Forte and Great Lakes Trader are due in Saturday.


Parry Sound

Reported by Paul Beesley (pictures in today's Photo Gallery)

For the second time in three days Parry Sound has been visited by a large commercial ship.  Lower Lakes Towing’s Mississagi arrived in Big Sound at 1800 on Thursday with a load of salt.  Prior to her arrival a contractor had removed the plastic cover from the salt pile and positioned a bulldozer at the top of the pile in anticipation of the additional salt.

 There is no dock at this location so the Mississagi is tied up while leaning against the bank.  Consequently, the crew cannot access the town of Parry Sound.

 The unloading was scheduled to finish about 2300.  Another load of salt is expected in early October.


Calumet River (Chicago)

Reported by Bill Edwards

 Late in the evening of Thursday, September 23, Great Lakes tugs Colorado (leading) and Arizona (trailing) assisted Algomarine as she backed out of the Calumet River in Chicago.  She passed Sam Laud at the KCBX Terminals dock; Sam Laud herself had departed by noon Friday.




Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - September


Today in Great Lakes History - September 01

On 01 September 1891, EDWARD H JENKS (wooden propeller freighter, 119 foot over all, 180 gross tons, built in 1882 at Port Dover, Ontario as the passenger/package freight steamer E M FOSTER) was carrying limestone up the Detroit River during a foggy night when she collided with GEORGE W MORLEY (wooden propeller freighter, 193 foot, 1045 gross tons, built in 1888 at W. Bay City, Michigan) in a misunderstanding of passing signals. Three were killed in the collision and the JENKS quickly sank at Ballard Reef on the Detroit River. Her cargo kept her in place until she was recovered the following month and rebuilt.

Tragedy struck four days after the launch of the AGAWA CANYON, September 1, 1970, when the ship was rocked by an engine room explosion killing one of the crew and injuring seven more. The AGAWA CANYON entered service in November, 1970. New engines were fitted in 1975, equipped with four 10 cylinder, two stroke cycle, single acting opposed piston diesel engines, built in 1970 by Fairbanks, Morse (Canada), Kingston, Ontario. Total bhp 6,680. Rated service speed: 12 knots (13.8 mph).

The TEMPLE BAR (Hull#101G) was launched September 1, 1970 at Govan, Scotland by the Govan Division of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd. for Lambert Bros. (Shipping) Ltd., London, England. Renamed b.) LAKE NIPIGON in 1977 and d.) 1986, c.) LAKETON in 1984 and d.) ALGONORTH in 1987.

Upon her arrival at Quebec City on September 1, 1962, the LAKE WINNIPEG was the first vessel of the Nipigon Transport Ltd. (Carryore Ltd., mgr.) fleet.

The self-unloader B H TAYLOR (Hull#787) was launched September 1, 1923 at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co., the third self-unloader built for the Bradley Transportation Co., Rogers City, Michigan. Renamed b.) ROGERS CITY (2) in 1957. Scrapped at Recife, Brazil in 1988.

From September 1, 1947 to September 15, 1959 the U.S.C.G.C. MESQUITE was stationed at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

On 1 September 1854, ABIAH (2-mast wooden schooner or brig, 134 foot, 353 tons, built in 1848 at Irving, New York) was sailing light from Chicago, Illinois to Oconto, Wisconsin when she capsized and sank in a squall about 10 miles off Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The schooner L LUDDINGTON rescued her crew and 2 passengers.

The 135 foot wooden schooner JOSEPH E SPARROW was launched at Bangor, Michigan on 1 September 1873.

On 1 September 1900, the Canadian steamer ADVANCE (wooden propeller package freighter, 168 foot, 1178 gross tons, built in 1884 at St. Catharines, Ontario) was placed in service. In August 1899, when she was named SIR S L TILLEY, she had caught fire off shore, about 7 miles from Fairport, Ohio and was destroyed. However, the hull was later recovered and used as the basis of the steamer ADVANCE. She lasted in this role until 1903 when she burned again.

September 1, 1919 - A switchman was killed in the yard at Manitowoc, Wisconsin while the ANN ARBOR NO 6 was being loaded. This caused a delay of four hours in her sailing time.

September 1, 1931 - W.L. Mercereau retired as superintendent of steamships, a position he had held since 1899.

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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 02

On 02 September 1902, the White Star Line’s TASHMOO (steel side-wheel excursion steamer, 308 foot, 1344 gross tons, built in 1900 at Wyandotte, Michigan) hosted President Theodore Roosevelt when he came to Detroit, Michigan to speak to Spanish American War veterans. The vessel took the president and his party on a sight seeing tour up and down the river while flying the president’s blue and gold flag from the main mast.

The BROOKNES (Hull #1177) was launched on September 2, 1970 at Glasgow, Scotland by Lithgows Ltd. for "Langra" Schiffahrsges G.m.b.H. & Co., Hamburg, Germany. Brought to the Lakes in 1976, converted to a self-unloader and renamed b.) ALGOSEA (1) and sails today as c.) SAUNIERE.

ROBERT KOCH's first trip was on September 2, 1977 up the Welland Canal bound for Buffalo with cement.

The W F WHITE was one of the earliest ships built as a self-unloader on the Great Lakes. On her maiden voyage September 2, 1915 the WHITE loaded coal at Erie, Pennsylvania and sailed for Menominee, Michigan. She was the largest self-unloading bulk carrier on the Lakes at that time with a cargo capacity of 10,500 tons.

The RALPH H WATSON departed light September 2, 1938 from Detroit, Michigan upbound to load iron ore at Duluth, Minnesota. She was built as part of a fleet modernization plan for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio. of four new "GOVERNOR MILLER' class bulk carriers, the other two were the JOHN HULST and the WILLIAM A IRVIN. The WATSON was only the fourth steam turbine powered vessel on the Lakes

HUBERT GAUCHER ran aground in the lower St. Lawrence on September 2, 1988. It took three tugs to free her, repairs took place at Quebec City.

ZIEMIA TARNOWSKA lost her engine while docking at Pier 24 in Cleveland, ramming the dock and caused about $100,000 in damage on September 2, 1988. The Polish vessel had minimal damage to her bulbous bow.

On 2 September 1851, BUNKER HILL (wooden sidewheeler, 154 foot, 457 tons, built in 1835 at Black River, Ohio) burned to a total loss at Tonawanda, New York.

The COLONEL ELLSWORTH (wooden schooner, 138 foot, 319 gross tons, built in 1861 at Euclid, Ohio as a bark) was beached on Whitefish Point in Lake Superior the entire winter of 1895-96. She was repaired and put back into service late in the summer of 1896. Then, on 2 September 1896, the newly rebuilt vessel collided with the schooner EMILY B MAXWELL about 6 miles from White Shoals on Lake Michigan and sank at about 4:00 AM. Her crew escaped in the yawl and was picked up by the MAXWELL.

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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 03

On 03 September 1899, the Great Lakes Towing company’s RED CLOUD (wooden propeller tug, 62 foot, 40 gross tons, built in 1883 at Buffalo, New York) was sailing on Lake Erie for Lorain, Ohio when a storm forced her to head for port at Cedar Point, Ohio. However she was thrown on a reef and broke in two – a total loss. The crew made it to Sandusky, Ohio.

On September 3 the BELLE RIVER (now WALTER J MCCARTHY JR) set a then Great Lakes record for coal when it loaded 62,802 tons of coal at Superior Midwest En ergy Terminal on its maiden voyage. This record has since been surpassed many times. .

At Lorain, Ohio keel laying ceremonies for the 437 foot bow section of the ROGER BLOUGH (Hull#900) took place on September 3, 1968 and was float launched December 21, 1968 less ballast tanks because the existing dry dock wasn’t wide enough to accommodate her 105 foot width.

SOODOC (b) AMELIA DESGAGNES ) on her maiden voyage from Collingwood, Ontario, she loaded salt at Goderich, Ontario on September 3, 1976.

The SEWELL AVERY was laid up for the last time September 3, 1981 at Superior, Wisconsin.

The THOMAS W LAMONT was laid up for the last time at Duluth’s Hallett dock #6A on September 3, 1981.

The H.H PORTER sailed on her maiden voyage for the Brier Hill Steamship Co. (Pickands, Mather, mgr.) on September 3, 1920, light from Lorain, Ohio to load iron ore at Two Harbors, Minnesota. Renamed b.) WALTER E WATSON in 1957 and c.) NATIONAL TRADER in 1973.

On September 3, 1985, PHILIP R CLARKE plowed into the Drawbridge Cove Marina in Lorain's Black River damaging 5-10 small craft and sinking one at the steel dock. CLARKE managed to stop before hitting the Route 6 drawbridge.

On 3 September 1887, BULGARIA (wooden propeller, 280 foot, 1888 gross tons) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan by J. Davidson (Hull #16).

September 3, 1910 - The MARQUETTE & BESSEMER NO 2 (2) (Hull#450) was launched in Cleveland, Ohio by the American Ship Building Co. for the Marquette & Bessemer Dock & Navigation Co.. On 3 September 1869, the 167 foot wooden propeller BOSCOBEL burned about two miles below St. Clair, Michigan. Three lives were lost. The ship was only about two years old and was in service of the New York Central Railroad, though owned by the Peshtigo Lumbering Co. of Chicago. The burned hulk was raised in 1876 and rebuilt as a schooner-barge at Algona, Michigan. She lasted until 1909 when she sank on Lake Huron.

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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 04

On 04 September 1889, the new steamer CHEROKEE (wooden propeller freighter, 209 foot, 1002 gross tons) arrived in Port Huron, Michigan from M. P. Lester’s yard in Marine City, Michigan for the Phoenix Iron Works in Port Huron to installed the engine and boiler. Her outfitting was then completed by Carleton and Cole of Port Huron.

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 ONTADOC (2) sailed to Holland with a load of bentonite from Chicago, Illinois on August 4, 1979. ONTADOC sails today as the b.) MELISSA DESGAGNES, renamed in 1990.

The E J BLOCK was laid up for the last time at Indiana Harbor, Indiana on August 4 1984, the E J BLOCK was sold for scrap in late May, 1987. The D M CLEMSON (2) left Superior on August 4, 1980 in tow of Malcolm Marine's TUG MALCOLM for Thunder Bay, Ontario where she was dismantled.

The HOCHELAGA (2) (Hull#144) was launched August 4, 1949 at the Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., Collingwood, Ontario for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., Montreal, Quebec.

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

On 4 September 1902, ALICE M BEERS (2-mast wooden schooner, 105 foot, 154 gross tons, built in 1864 at Algonac, Michigan) was light when she hove to off the dock at Glen Arbor, Michigan in a gale. However, she slipped her anchor and was driven onto the channel marker. She was holed and drifted ashore where she later broke up. No lives lost.

On 4 September 1876, CITY OF PORT HURON, a wooden steam barge, sank a few miles off shore near Lexington, Michigan at about noon. She was heavily loaded with iron ore and sprang a leak at about 11 o'clock. Most of the crew managed to get on top of the cabin while two were in the forward rigging as she went down in 6 fathoms of water. The heavy seas washed over those on the cabin. Captain George Davis and two others floated ashore on wreckage while a fish boat picked up the five others. No lives were lost.

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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 05

On 05 September 1898, the MONTGOMERY (wooden schooner-barge, 204 foot, 709 tons, built in 1856 at Newport [Marine City], Michigan as a passenger/package freight steamer) sank in 21 feet of water on Lake St. Clair after colliding with the whaleback barge 137 (steel barge, 345 foot, 2480 gross tons, built in 1896 at W. Superior, Wisconsin) which was being towed by the ALEXANDER McDOUGALL (steel propeller semi-whaleback freighter, 413 foot, 3686 gross tons, built in 1898 at W. Superior, Wisconsin). The MONTGOMERY was raised and repaired. She lasted another two years – breaking up in a storm in 1901.

On September 5, 1964, the 730-foot bulk freighter LEECLIFFE HALL sank after colliding with the Greek ocean vessel APPOLONIA in the St. Lawrence River.

The CHI-CHEEMAUN completed her sea trials on September 5, 1974 and then cleared the Collingwood shipyard on September 26th.

The BENJAMIN F FAIRLESS cleared Lorain on her maiden voyage September 5, 1942 for the pittsburgh Steamship Co..

The J P MORGAN JR returned to service September 5, 1948 after repairs suffered in an accident in June.

The NEW QUEDOC arrived at McLouth Steel, Trenton, Michigan on her maiden voyage September 5, 1960 with a load of Labrador iron ore.

The WYANDOTTE (2) was towed down the Welland Canal on September 5th & 6th on her way to the cutters torch.

On 5 September 1905, ABERCORN (wooden propeller “rabbit”, 126 foot, 261 gross tons, built in 1873 at Marine City, Michigan) burned at the dock at Goderich, Ontario While unloading coal. She reportedly caught fire from the explosion of a signal lamp.

The schooner CALEDONIA, wrecked the previous autumn near the Fishing Islands on Lake Huron, was raised and arrived in Port Huron, Michigan on 5 September 1882 under tow to be rebuilt.

Data from: Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, 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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 06

On 29 August 1872, a storm struck Lake Erie. On 06 September 1872, nine days after she set sail from Port Colborne for Detroit, the schooner J W SARGENT was listed as missing in the Detroit newspapers – probably a victim of that storm. Later on the same day that the newspaper announcement was published, the SARGENT arrived in Detroit. Captain William Simms stated that the storm drove him south to Erie, Pennsylvania where he sheltered for a few days. He sent a telegraph message to the ship’s owner but the news was not relayed to Detroit. The SARGENT only lasted another three months. In November 1872, a storm got her on Lake Erie.

The BADGER was launched on September 6, 1952, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. In a christening ceremony that included the SPARTAN (launched earlier that year). The BADGER was named in honor of the University of Wisconsin. The BADGER was built by Christy Corporation, and is powered by two Skinner 4 cylinder Steeple Compound Unaflow Marine Steam engines, developing over 7,000 horsepower. She was the last of the large, coal-fired steamers to be built in the United States, and the only ship of her type still operating on the Great Lakes. The BADGER offers seasonal passenger service from Ludington, Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin from mid May to early October.

The BELLE RIVER began her maiden voyage when she loaded 56,073 long tons of western coal at Superior, Wisconsin on August 31, 1977 and arrived at Detroit Edison Co.'s Belle River power plant at Recors Point on September 6, 1977. today sails as: b) WALTER J McCARTHY JR.

On September 6, 1992 the H LEE WHITE was in tow of the "G" tugs COLORADO and LOUISIANA entering the Trenton Channel when she struck a section of the toll bridge at Grosse Ile, Michigan knocking down a 150 foot span immediately east of the main river channel. The WHITE was not damaged but a new section of the bridge had to be installed at a cost of $1.7 million. The bridge was back in service in late January, 1993. The U.S. Coast Guard investigated this casualty and their report states that it was the failure of the bridge tender to operate and open the bridge which caused this casualty. The Coast Guard found that the master of the WHITE was operating his vessel in a prudent and lawful manner including the use of whistle signals.

The CHARLES E. WILSON completed her sea trials in 1973. Renamed b.) JOHN J BOLAND in 2000.

The GEORGIAN BAY collided with the steamer CHARLES HUBBARD in the fog-covered lower St. Marys River September 6, 1955.

On September 6, 1989 the Twin Screw Rail Car Ferry GRAND RAPIDS left Muskegon, Michigan in tow of the tugs ANGLIAN LADY and PRINCESS NO1 and arrived at Port Maitland, Ontario on September 11th. Scrapping was completed in the fall of 1994.

On 6 September 1887, BLUE BELL (2-mast wooden scow-schooner, 84 foot, 122 gross tons, built in 1867 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) was carrying lumber from Wilt’s Bay, Michigan to Milwaukee when she missed the harbor entrance at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in a storm. She was driven ashore where she broke up. Her crew made it to the beach with the aid of the local U.S. Life Saving crew. The total loss was valued at $5,000.

On 6 September 1871, the wooden schooner ROSA STEARNS, loaded with coal, was battling a storm for hours off Cleveland, Ohio. The ship was driven on the stone breakwater about 1:00 AM and was pounded to pieces. The crew jumped onto the breakwater and crawled to safety as the waves crashed over them.

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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 07

On 07 September 1883, the COLORADO (wooden schooner-barge, 118 foot, built in 1866 at Fairport, Ohio) was in tow of the steamer DON M DICKINSON along with the schooner-barge N P GOODELL in a gale on Lake Huron. As the gale worsened, the string of vessels went to shelter in the harbor at Sand Beach (now Harbor Beach), Michigan. The COLORADO broke loose as they entered the harbor. Deckhand Abbot Way jumped on to the breakwater with a line to secure the COLORADO, but the line broke as soon as it went taut. It broke three times and the barge drifted out into the gale, stranding Mr. Way on the breakwater with six foot waves washing over it. He managed to get to the harbor light at the end of the breakwater and climbed up above the waves where he was stranded for two hours until the crew of the Lifesaving Station got to him. COLORADO beached herself with no loss of life. She was later recovered and lasted until 1902 when she was abandoned.

On September 7, 1978 the ROGER M KYES lost all power in Lake St. Clair requiring tug assistance from the Great Lakes Towing Co. tugs MARYLAND and MAINE which escorted her to the Great Lakes Steel dock. Renamed b.) ADAM E CORNELIUS in 1989.

The CADILLAC (4) was laid up on September 7, 1981 for the last time at Toledo, Ohio. She was later transferred to a West coast marine operation in preparation for conversion for a proposed container ship for service between Chicago, Detroit and Quebec City. However these plans never materialized.

On September 7, 1921, the D G KERR pulled up to the ore dock at Two Harbors, Minnesota to load exactly 12,507 gross tons of iron ore in the record breaking time of sixteen and a half minutes. This was accomplished through the cooperation of the dock superintendent, the dock employees concerned, the ship's captain and crew and the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. as a means of "showing up" the competition. Her time of arrival and departure to and from the dock took only nineteen minutes. For comparison, a good average loading time at that time was about three hours and forty-five minutes.

On September 7, 1975 on the St. Marys River loaded with iron ore pellets, the WILLIAM G MATHER, forced out of the channel by a salt water vessel, struck bottom. Upon proceeding further onto Lake Huron it was soon discovered that her pumps were unable to cope with incoming water caused by the damage. She was beached at Frying Pan Island (De Tour, Michigan) in 19 feet of water when it became evident they couldn't make dock.

On 7 September 1883, LAURA BELL (wooden schooner, 138 foot, 269 gross tons, built in 1870 at Toledo, Ohio) was carrying coal from Cleveland, Ohio to Marquette, Michigan when she stranded off Shot Point, east of Marquette in Lake Superior. Her crew spent 3 days in her rigging and all but one was rescued by a tug from Marquette.

September 7, 1916 - The PERE MARQUETTE 3 ran aground 10 miles north of Milwaukee.

September 7, 1996 - The American Society of Mechanical Engineers designated the propulsion system of the BADGER a mechanical engineering landmark.

The launch of the 188' wooden schooner ELIZABETH A NICHOLSON was set for 4:00 PM on 7 September 1872 at E. Fitzgerald's shipyard in Port Huron, Michigan. Just before 4:00 PM, a telegram was received at the shipyard from Capt. Nicholson, the owner of the new vessel, which read, "Wait a while. We are coming." The launch was delayed until another dispatch was received which said to go ahead anyway. The boat Capt. Nicholson was on had broken down. The launch went well. The vessel was painted deep green with her name in gilt. All present cheered the sight, but there was no party afterwards. All of the food and beverages for the celebration were with Capt. Nicholson on the disabled vessel.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Tin Stackers - The History of the Pittsburgh Steamship Company, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Today in Great Lakes History - September 08

On 08 September 1868, HIPPOCAMPUS (wooden propeller, 152 tons, built in 1867 at St. Joseph, Michigan) stranded in a storm off St. Joseph, Michigan and was pounded to pieces. 36 of the 41 passengers were lost. Litigation continued until 10 November 1884 when the owner was held innocent of blame in the U. S. Court at Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The GEMINI (Hull#745) sailed on her maiden voyage in August, 1978 from Levingston Shipbuilding Co., at Orange, Texas, to load fuel oil at Baytown, Texas, for delivery at Detroit, Michigan. Passing upbound the next month on September 8th through the Welland Canal, GEMINI became the largest U.S. flagged tanker on the Great Lakes with a capacity of 76,000 barrels.

The W E FITZGERALD (Hull#167) was launched September 8, 1906 at Wyandotte, Michigan by Detroit Ship Building Co. for the Chicago Navigation Co., Chicago, Illinois (D. Sullivan, mgr.).

The bulk freighter HENRY A HAWGOOD was launched September 8, 1906 at Cleveland, Ohio by the American Ship Building Co. for Minerva Steamship Co. (W.A. & H.A. Hawgood, mgr.), Cleveland. Renamed b.) C RUSSELL HUBBARD in 1912 and c.) W W HOLLOWAY in 1935.

The RADIANT departed the shipyard September 8, 1913 light on her maiden voyage bound for Montreal, Quebec.

September 8, 1970 - The MILWAUKEE CLIPPER made her last run from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

On September 8, 1985 the downbound the Panamanian NORCHEM collided with the upbound CANADIAN PROSPECTOR near Kanawake, Quebec. PROSPECTOR had little damage but NORCHEM was ripped open near her port anchor.

On 8 September 1885, ADVANCE (wooden schooner, 119 foot, 180 gross tons, built in 1853 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) was carrying wood when she became waterlogged and capsized in a gale and blinding rain near Port Washington, Wisconsin in Lake Michigan. All but one of her crew of 7 drowned when her yawl capsized in the surf.

On 8 September 1871, the schooner MORNING LIGHT was sailing from Kelley's Island on Lake Erie with a cargo of stone for Marquette, Michigan in heavy weather. Trying to enter the Detroit River, the crew miscalculated their position and ran the ship aground on Pointe Mouille, just below Gibraltar. The crew scuttled the vessel in the shallow water to save her from harm. The following day, the tug GEORGE N BRADY was sent out with steam pumps and hawsers and the MORNING LIGHT was raised and towed to Detroit for repairs.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Al Miller, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, 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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 09

On 09 September 1886, GENERAL WOLSELEY (wooden side-wheel steamer, 103 foot, 123 tons, built in 1884 at Oakville, Ontario) caught fire on her way to Dyer’s Bay, Ontario. She was run ashore for the crew to escape near Cape Croker on Georgian Bay and burned to the water’s edge.

The WOLVERINE (4) (Hull#903) was launched September 9, 1974 at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Union Commerce Bank (Ohio), Trustee (Oglebay Norton Co., mgr.), Cleveland, Ohio.

DETROIT EDISON (2) (Hull#418) was launched September 9, 1954 at Manitowoc, Wisconsin by Manitowoc Ship Building Co. for the American Steamship Co. (Boland & Cornelius, mgr.) Buffalo, New York. The Steamer PERE MARQUETTE 18 sank on September 9, 1910 with a loss of 29 lives. No cause for the sinking has ever been determined. The PERE MARQUETTE 17 picked up 33 survivors, losing 2 of her own crew during the rescue.

The first of two fires suffered by the Grand Trunk carferry GRAND RAPIDS occurred on September 9, 1980. The cause of the fire was not determined.

On 9 September 1929 the ANDASTE (steel propeller self-unloading sandsucker, 247 foot, built in 1892 at Cleveland, Ohio) was probably overloaded with gravel when she “went missing” west of Holland, Michigan. The entire crew of 25 was lost. When built, she was the sister of the “semi-whaleback” CHOCTAW, but was shortened 20 feet in 1920-21 to allow her to use the Welland Canal.

On 9 September 1871, Captain Hicks of the schooner A H MOSS fired the Mate, a popular fellow, in a fit of anger the same time that a tug arrived to tow the schooner out of Cleveland harbor. The crew was upset to say the least, and when the tow line was cast off and Capt. Hicks ordered the sails hoisted, the crew refused to do any work. The skipper finally raised the signal flags and had the tug towed his vessel back into the harbor. When the MOSS dropped anchor, he fired the entire crew then went ashore to hire another crew.

The M.V. ROY A JODREY (Hull#186) was launched in 1965 at Collingwood, Ontario by Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. for Algoma Central Railway Ltd.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Today in Great Lakes History - September 10

On 10 September 1884, the 137 foot steam barge HENRY HOWARD was sailing upbound with the schooner-barge GEORGE WORTHINGTON in tow when she caught fire near Harsen’s Island at the mouth of the St. Clair River. The fire broke out near the HOWARD’s engine room and spread rapidly. The vessel was beached on the island but the WORTHINGTON ran against her and was thus scorched. No lives were lost. The HOWARD was valued at $5,000, but only insured for $3,000 by her owners, B. Hoose and Julia Miner.

The METEOR (2) was towed from Manitowoc, Wisconsin by the tug JOHN ROEN IV to Superior, Wisconsin on September 10, 1972.

The HARRY COULBY b.) KINSMAN ENTERPRISE turned 75 years old on September 10, 2002. When she entered service on this date in 1927, the 631-foot bulk freighter was the third largest on the Great Lakes.

While upbound in the Welland Canal on September 9, 1986 it was noted that the port anchor of the J W MC GIFFIN was missing, her chain was almost touching the water.

On 10 September 1909, COLUMBUS (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 136 foot, 439 gross tons, built in 1874 as the tug JOHN OWEN) burned to a total loss at her dock at Gargantua, Ontario in Lake Superior. She was cut loose and allowed to drift out into the bay where she sank. The top of her engine reportedly still shows above the water.

September 10, 1979 - The SPARTAN was laid up.

The barge N MILLS was launched at P. Lester's yard in Marysville, Michigan on 10 September 1870. Her dimensions were 164' x 30' x 12'.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Jody L. Aho, James Neumiller, 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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 11

On 11 September 1883, EXPLORER (2-mast wooden schooner, 48 foot, 33 gross tons, built in 1866 at Chatham, Ontario) struck rocks and went down on Stokes Bay on the outside of the Bruce Peninsula. Her crew was visible from shore clinging to the wreck until the vessel broke up. All five were lost.

The GEORGE M HUMPHREY (1) was patched and refloated on September 11, 1944. She had sunk in 80 feet of water after a collision with the steamer D M CLEMSON (2) off Old Point Light, on June 15, 1943. On May 6, 1944 the barges MAITLAND NO1 and HILDA were employed as pontoons for the salvage operation positioned over the sunken hull. cables were attached to the HUMPHREY's hull and to the barges. The hull was raised through a series of lifts which allowed it to be brought into shallower water. Partial buoyancy was provided by the HUMPHREY's ballast tanks which were pumped out to about 25% of capacity. The HUMPHREY was patched and refloated on September 11, 1944. She was taken to the Manitowoc Ship Building Co. first for an estimate of repairs which totaled $469,400, and then was towed to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin for reconditioning which was completed at a reported cost of $437,000. Captain John Roen's Roen Transportation Co. assumed ownership on September 18, 1944 and the next year the ship was renamed b) CAPTAIN JOHN ROEN. She re-entered service on May 1, 1945 chartered to the Pioneer Steamship Co. on a commission basis. Renamed c.) ADAM E CORNELIUS in 1948 and d.) CONSUMERS POWER in 1958. Scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1988.

September 11, 2001 the former Bob-Lo boat STE CLAIRE was towed from Detroit to Toledo.

On September 11, 1987 while in lay-up at Point Edward, Ontario, the FORT YORK caught fire which gutted her bridge.

Carrying cargoes off the Lakes, the CANADA MARQUIS departed Halifax bound for Philadelphia with a cargo of grain. The HON PAUL MARTIN departed Halifax the same day on her way to Tampa with a load of gypsum.

The HORACE JOHNSON sailed on her maiden voyage light from Lorain, Ohio on September 11, 1929 bound for Two Harbors, Minnesota to load iron ore.

On 11 September 1895, S P AMES (2 mast wooden schooner, 61 foot, 43 gross tons) was driven ashore at Pointe Aux Barques, Michigan in a storm. She was quickly stripped before she went to pieces. She had been built in 1879 at Montrose, Michigan, in farm country, well inland, on the Flint River by Mr. Seth Ames. He wanted to use her to return to sea, but he died the day before her hull was launched.

On 11 September 1876, the schooner HARVEST HOME sank on Lake Michigan while bound from Chicago for Cleveland with a load of scrap iron. She was about 26 miles off Grand Haven, Michigan. The crew were taken off by the schooner GRACIE M FILER just as the boat was going down.

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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 12

On 12 September 1902, EXPERIMENT (2-mast wooden schooner, 65 foot, 50 gross tons, built in 1854 at St. Joseph, Michigan) was carrying fire wood in a storm on Lake Michigan when she went out of control in the harbor at St. Joseph, Michigan after swerving to miss an unmarked construction crib. She wrecked and was declared a total loss. Her crew was rescued by the Lifesaving Service. Three days later she was stripped and abandoned in place.

The ROGER BLOUGH was laid up at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin from September 12, 1981 through 1986 because of economic conditions.

CANADIAN PIONEER was christened at Port Weller Drydocks Ltd. on September 12, 1981 by Mrs. Louise Powis, wife of the Chairman and President of Noranda Mines for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd..

CARTIERCLIFFE HALL was towed by the tug WILFRED M COHEN to Collingwood, Ontario for repairs from a June 5th fire and arrived at Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. on September 12, 1979.

Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Limited at Collingwood, Ontario closed the yard on September 12, 1986 after 103 years of shipbuilding. She was famous for her spectacular side launches. 214 ships were built at Collingwood.

While unloading steel in South Chicago from the CANADA MARQUIS on September 12, 1988, a shoreside crane lifting a payloader into the hold, collapsed onto the ship. CANADA MARQUIS had a hole in her tank top and damage to her hatch coaming.

On 12 September 1900, ALBACORE (2 mast wooden schooner, 137 foot, 327 tons, built in 1872 at Port Dalhousie, Ontario) had a storm blow out her sails, driving her into the seawall at Fort Bank just east of Oswego, New york where she broke up. The tug J NAVAGH tried unsuccessfully to save her. Her crew of 7 was rescued by the U.S. Lifesaving Service.

After an extremely dry summer, forests were burning all over the Great lakes region in the Autumn of 1871. The smoke from these fires affected navigation. Newspaper reports stated that on 12 September 1871, 38 ships and four strings of barges anchored near Point Pelee on Lake Erie due to the restricted visibility caused by the smoke from the forest fires. On 12 September 1900, the schooner H W SAGE was raised by the Mc Morran Wrecking Company and was then towed to Port Huron for repairs. She had sunk near Algonac, Michigan in a collision with the steamer CHICAGO on 30 July 1900.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, 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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 13

On 13 September 1872, the wooden schooner RAPID left Pigeon Bay, Ontario bound for Buffalo, New York with 5000 railroad ties. While on Lake Erie, a storm blew in and Capt. Henderson decided to turn for Rondeau. While turning, the vessel capsized. Annie Brown, the cook, was trapped below decks and drowned. The seven other crew members strapped themselves to the rail and waited to be rescued. One by one they died. Finally, 60-hours later, the schooner PARAGON found the floating wreck with just one man, James Low, the first mate, barely alive.

The EDMUND FITZGERALD's sea trials occurred on September 13, 1958.

The HOFFMAN (United States Army Corps of Engineers Twin Screw Hopper Dredge) collided with the Japanese salty KUNISHIMA MARU at Toledo, Ohio, September 13, 1962. Reportedly the blame was placed on the pilot of the Japanese salty. Apparently the damage was minor.

On September 13, 1968 the AUGUST ZIESING grounded in fog two-hundred yards above the Rock Cut in the St. Marys River. The grounded vessel swung into the shipping channel blocking it until September 15th when lightering was completed.

September 13, 1953 - The PERE MARQUETTE 22 made her second maiden voyage since she was new in 1924. She was cut in half, lengthened, had new boilers and engines installed.

On 13 September 1875, CITY OF BUFFALO (wooden schooner, 91 foot, 128 tons, built in 1859 at Buffalo, New York as a propeller canal boat) beached and sank after striking a rock in the St. Mary’s River. The tug MAGNET worked for days to release her before she went to pieces on 19 September. No lives were lost.

On 13 September 1871, the bark S D POMEROY was anchored off Menominee, Michigan during a storm. Archie Dickie, James Steele, John Davidson and James Mechie were seen to lower the yawl to go to shore. Later the empty yawl drifted ashore and then the bodies of all four men floated in.

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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 14

Captain Albert Edgar Goodrich died on 14 September 1885 at the age of 59 at his residence, 1474 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. He was a pioneer steamboat man and founded the Goodrich Transportation Company, famous for its passenger/package freight steamers on Lake Michigan.

The J J SULLIVAN (Hull#439) was launched September 14, 1907 at Cleveland, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Superior Steamship Co. (Hutchinson & Co., mgr.). Renamed b.) CLARENCE B. RANDALL (2) in 1963.

On 14 September 1871, R J CARNEY (wooden barge, 150 foot, 397 gross tons) was launched at Saginaw, Michigan.

The 203' wooden schooner KATE WINSLOW was launched at J. Davidson's yard in East Saginaw, Michigan on 14 September 1872.

The steamer ASIA sank in a storm off Byng Inlet on Georgian Bay September 14, 1882. Over 100 people lost their lives with only 2 people, a man and a woman being rescued. ASIA was built in St. Catharines, Ontario in 1873 and was bound from Collingwood, Ontario to the French River and Canadian Sault.

Data from: Clive Reddin, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, 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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 15

On 15 September 1886, F. J. KING (wooden schooner, 140’ foot, 280 tons, built in 1867 at Toledo, Ohio) was carrying iron ore from Escanaba, Michigan to Chicago, Illinois. She sprang a leak and sank in a heavy southwesterly gale three miles off Rawley Bay, Wisconsin. Her crew reached shore in the yawl. Her loss was valued at $7500.

The A H FERBERT (2) was towed out of Duluth by the Sandrin tug GLENADA September 15, 1987, they encountered rough weather on Lake Superior and required the assistance of the another tug to reach the Soo on the 19th. On the 21st the FERBERT had to anchor off Detour, Michigan after she had run aground in the St. Marys River when her towline parted. Her hull was punctured and the Coast Guard ordered repairs to her hull before she could continue. Again problems struck on September 24th, when the FERBERT went hard aground at the Cut-Off Channel's southeast bend of the St. Clair River. Six tugs, GLENADA, ELMORE M. MISNER, BARBARA ANN, GLENSIDE, SHANNON and WM A WHITNEY, worked until late on the 26th to free her. The FERBERT finally arrived in tow of GLENSIDE and W N TWOLAN at Lauzon, Quebec on October 7th.

The str. WILLIAM A. AMBERG (Hull#723) was launched September 15, 1917 at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Producers Steamship Co. (M.A. Hanna, mgr.). Renamed b.) ALBERT E HEEKIN in 1932, c.) SILVER BAY in 1955, d.) JUDITH M PIERSON in 1975 and e.) FERNGLEN in 1982. Scrapped at Port Maitland, Ontario in 1985.

On September 15, 1925 the JOHN A TOPPING left River Rouge, Michigan light on her maiden voyage to Ashland, Wisconsin to load iron ore for delivery to Cleveland, Ohio.

September 15th lightering was completed on the AUGUST ZIESING, she had grounded above the Rock Cut two days earlier blocking the channel.

September 15, 1959 was the last day the U.S. Coast Guard Buoy Tender MESQUITE was stationed at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

MIDDLETOWN suffered a fire in her tunnels on September 15, 1986. 2nd & 3rd degree burns were suffered by two crewmembers.

In 1934 the ANN ARBOR NO 6 collided with the steamer N F LEOPOLD in a heavy fog.

September 15, 1993 - Robert Manglitz became CEO and president of Lake Michigan Carferry Service after Charles Conrad announced his retirement and the sale of most of his stock.

On 15 September 1873, IRONSIDES (wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 220 foot, 1123 tons, built in 1864 at Cleveland, Ohio) became disabled when she sprang a leak and flooded. The water poured in and put out her fires. She sank about 7 miles off Grand Haven, Michigan on Lake Michigan. Reports of the number of survivors varied from 17 to 32 and the number lost varied from 18 to 28.

On 15 September 1872, A J BEMIS (wood propeller tug, 49 tons, built in 1859 at Buffalo, New York) caught fire while underway. The fire originated under her boiler. She ran for shore but sank 3⁄4 mile short, about 6 miles from Alpena, Michigan. No lives lost.

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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 16

On 16 September 1893, HATTIE EARL (wooden schooner, 96 foot, 101 gross tons, built in 1869 at South Haven, Michigan) was driven ashore just outside the harbor of Michigan City, Indiana and was pounded to pieces by the waves. No lives were lost.

At about 8:30 a.m. Sunday, September 16, 1990 the inbound motor ship BUFFALO passed close by while JUPITER was unloading unleaded gasoline at the Total Petroleum dock in the Saginaw River near Bay City, Michigan. As the BUFFALO passed the dock's aft pilings broke off and the fuel lines parted which caused a spark and ignited the spilled fuel. At the time 22,000 barrels of a total of 54,000 barrels were still aboard. Flames catapulted over 100 feet high filling the air with smoke that could be seen for 50 miles. The fire was still burning the next morning when a six man crew from Williams, Boots & Coots Firefighters and Hazard Control Specialists of Port Neches, Texas arrived to fight the fire. By Monday afternoon they extinguished the fire only to have it re-ignite t hat night resulting in multiple explosions. Not until Tuesday morning on the 18th was the fire finally subdued with the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard's BRAMBLE and BRISTOL BAY. The tanker, which was valued at $9 million, was declared a total constructive loss, though the engine room was relatively untouched. Unfortunately the fire claimed the life of one crew member who drowned attempting to swim ashore. As a result the Coast Guard closed the river to all navigation. On October 19th the river was opened to navigation after the Gaelic tugs SUSAN HOEY and CAROLYN HOEY towed the JUPITER up river to the Hirschfield & Sons Dock at Bay City (formerly the DeFoe Shipyard) where a crane was erected for dismantling the burned out hulk. Her engines were removed and shipped to New Bedford, Massachusetts for future use. The river opening allowed American Steamship’s BUFFALO to depart the Lafarge dock where she had been trapped since the explosion. JUPITER's dismantling was completed over the winter of 1990-91. Subsequent investigation by the NTSB, U.S. Coast Guard and the findings of a federal judge all exonerated the master and BUFFALO in the tragedy.

P & H purchased all nine of the Soo River's fleet on September 16, 1982 for a reported C$2.5 million and all nine returned to service, although only four were running at the end of the season.

NORISLE went into service September 16, 1946 as the first Canadian passenger ship commissioned since the NORONIC's commissioning in 1913.

On September 16, 1952, the Cason J Callaway departed River Rouge, Michigan for Duluth, Minnesota on its maiden voyage for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co..

On 16 September 1895, ARCTIC (2 mast wooden schooner, 113 foot, 85 gross tons, built in 1853 at Ashtabula, Ohio) was rammed and sunk by the steamer CLYDE in broad daylight and calm weather. ARCTIC was almost cut in half by the blow. The skipper of CLYDE was censured for the wreck and for his callous treatment of the schooner’s crew afterwards. Luckily no lives were lost.

On 16 September 1877, the little tug (46 foot) RED RIBBON, owned by W. H. Morris of Port Huron, Michigan, burned about 2 miles below St. Clair, Michigan. Capt. Morris ran the tug ashore and hurried to St. Clair to get assistance, but officials there refused to allow the steam fire engine to go outside the city. The tug was a total loss and was only insured for $1,000, half her value. She had just started in service in May of 1877 and was named for the reform movement that was in full swing at the time of her launch.

On 16 September 1900, LULU BEATRICE (2-mast wooden schooner, 72 foot, 48 gross tons, built in 1896 at Port Burwell, Ontario) was carrying coal on Lake Erie when she was wrecked on the shore near the harbor entrance at Port Burwell in a storm. One life was lost, the captain’s wife.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Jody L. Aho, James Neumiller, 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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 17

On 17 September 1898, KEEPSAKE (2-mast wooden schooner, 183 foot, 286 gross tons, built in 1867 at Newport [Marine City], Michigan) was carrying coal from Ashtabula when she was struck by a terrible storm on Lake Erie. Her rudder was damaged, a sail torn away and her bulwarks were smashed. The CITY OF ERIE saw her distress signals at 3:30 a.m. and came to help. With the CITY OF ERIE’s searchlight shining on the doomed schooner, a huge wave swept over the vessel taking away everything on deck and snapping both masts. The crew, some only half dressed, all managed to get into the lifeboat. They rowed to the CITY OF ERIE and were all rescued. Three days later, the other lifeboat and some wreckage from the KEEPSAKE were found near Ashtabula by some fishermen.

GRIFFON (2) (Hull#18) was launched September 17, 1955 at St. Catharines, Ontario by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd. for Beaconsfield Steamship Ltd., Montreal, Quebec. Renamed b.) FRANQUELIN in 1967, c.) EVA DESGAGNES in 1987. Sold foreign in 1989, renamed d.) TELCHAC, scrapped at Tuxpan, Mexico in 1992.

On September 17, 1985, PATERSON suffered a crank case explosion as she was bound for Quebec City from Montreal. She was repaired and cleared on September 21.

On 17 September 1830, WILLIAM PEACOCK (wood sidewheel steamer, 102 foot, 120 tons, built in 1829 at Barcelona, New York) suffered the first major boiler explosion on Lake Erie while she was docked in Buffalo, New York. 15 - 30 lives were lost. She was rebuilt two years later and eventually foundered in a storm in 1835 near Ripley, Ohio.

On 17 September 1875, the barge HARMONY was wrecked in a gale at Chicago, Illinois by colliding with the north pier which was under water. This was the same place where the schooner ONONGA was wrecked a week earlier and HARMONY came in contact with that sunken schooner. No lives were lost.

On 17 September 1900, a storm carried away the cabin and masts of the wrecked wooden 4-mast bulk freight barge FONTANA. The 231-foot vessel had been wrecked and sunk in a collision at the mouth of the St. Clair River in the St. Clair Flats on 3 August 1900. She had settled in the mud and gradually shifted her position. She eventually broke in two. After unsuccessful salvage attempts, the wreck was dynamited.

Tragedy struck in 1949 when the Canada Steamship Lines cruise ship Noronic burned at Pier 9 in Toronto, Ontario. By morning the ship was gutted, 104 passengers were known to be dead and 14 were missing. Because of land reclamation and the changing face of the harbor, the actual site of Noronic's berth is now in the lobby of the Harbour Castle Westin hotel.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, 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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 18

On 18 September 1855, SEBASTOPOL (wooden side-wheel steamer, 230 foot, 863 tons, built in 1855 at Cleveland, Ohio) was sailing on Lake Michigan in a gale. Her cargo included copper, tin, lead and iron ingots, safes and general merchandise. Her skipper misread the shore lights while she was coming in to Milwaukee and she stranded 500 feet from shore, broadside to the storm waves which pounded her to pieces. Most of the crew and 60 passengers were saved with the help of small boats from shore, but about 6 lives were lost. This was the vessel’s first year of operation. Her paddlewheels were fifty feet in diameter.

On 18 September 1679, GRIFFON, the first sailing ship on the upper Lakes, left Green Bay with a cargo of furs. She left the explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, behind. GRIFFON never reached her planned destination.

The E J BLOCK returned to service on September 18, 1946 as the first large bulk freighter powered by a diesel-electric power plant and one of the first equipped with commercial radar on the Great Lakes.

On September 18, 1959 the HENRY FORD II ran aground in the St. Marys River and damaged 18 bottom plates.

On September 18, 1958 the BEN MOREELL (2) collided with and sank the car ferry ASHTABULA in the harbor at Ashtabula, Ohio. Captain Louis Sabo was in command of the ASHTABULA.

LAKE WINNIPEG was the first vessel to enter the Nipigon Transport fleet. She loaded her first cargo of 22,584 gross tons of iron ore clearing Sept Îles, Queec on September 18, 1962 bound for Cleveland, Ohio.

The Pere Marquette carferry CITY OF MIDLAND 41 (Hull#311) was launched on September 18, 1940, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She was built by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Corporation at a cost of $2 million. She was named after Midland, Michigan for one of the Pere Marquette Railway's biggest customers, Dow Chemical Co. She was christened by Miss Helen Dow, daughter of Willard H. Dow, president of Dow Chemical Co. Converted to a barge in 1998, renamed PERE MARQUETTE 41. .

On 18 September 1871, E B ALLEN (wooden schooner, 111 foot, 275 tons, built in 1864 at Ogdensburg, New York) was carrying grain when she collided with the bark NEWSBOY and sank off Thunder Bay Island in Lake Huron.

On 18 September 1900, the large steamer CAPTAIN THOMAS WILSON was taken from her launch site on the Black River in Port Huron out to the St. Clair River. The tug HAYNES was at the bow and the tug BOYNTON at the stern. It took an hour and a half to maneuver through the various bridges. Newspapers estimated that a couple thousand persons watched the event. Once the WILSON made it to the St. Clair River, she was towed to Jenks Shipbuilding Company where she was completed and received her machinery.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Today in Great Lakes History - September 19

At Rush Street in Chicago, Illinois, a hand-operated ferry carried pedestrians across the Chicago River. The ferry operator would pull on a rope, hand over hand, to move the ferry across the river. At a signal from schooners, the rope was dropped and the schooner would sail over it. On 19 September 1856, the rope was dropped but the impatient passengers picked it up to move the ferry themselves. The incoming schooner snagged the rope and the ferry was spun around and capsized. 15 people were drowned.

When SATURN (4) entered service and made her first trip to Toledo, Ohio on September 19, 1974, she became the first of three tankers built for the fleet's modernization program.

The EDGAR B SPEER departed the shipyard on her maiden voyage for U.S. Steel on September 19, 1980 bound for Two Harbors, Minnesota where she loaded her first cargo of taconite pellets.

The GRAND HAVEN (Twin Screw Rail Car Ferry) was laid up in the spring of 1965 at the old Pennsylvania Dock at Cleveland, Ohio and later at dockage on the Old River Bed where she sank on September 19, 1969.

September 19, 1997 - officials at Lake Michigan Carferry, Inc. announced that the CITY OF MIDLAND 41 would be converted to a barge.

On 19 September 1893, SAMUEL BOLTON (wooden schooner-barge, 150 foot, 330 gross tons, built in 1867 at Bangor, Michigan as a schooner) was loaded with lumber and being towed in fog in Lake Huron. She got lost from the tow and drifted ashore near Richmond, Michigan where she broke in two and was then torn apart by waves. She was owned by Brazil Hoose of Detroit.

On Saturday, 19 September 1891, at 11:00 AM, the whaleback steamer CHARLES W WETMORE left Philadelphia, Pennsylvania loaded with the materials to build a nail mill, iron smelter and shipyard for the new city of Everett, Washington. Her skipper was Captain Joseph B. Hastings and she had a crew of 22.

On 19 September 1900 the Great Lakes schooner S L WATSON foundered off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She had been sent to the Atlantic the previous autumn by her owner J. C. Gilchrist of Cleveland.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Today in Great Lakes History - September 20

John Jonathon Boland was born on 20 September 1875 in New York. Along with Adam E. Cornelius, he formed the partnership of Boland and Cornelius in 1903 and was one of the founders of the American Steamship Company in 1907. He died in 1956.

On September 20, 1986, vandals started a $5,000. fire aboard the laid up NIPIGON BAY at Kingston, Ontario where she had been since April, 1984.

GEORGE A STINSON's self-unloading boom was replaced on September 20 1983. The boom had collapsed onto her deck due to a mechanical failure on the night of April 19, 1983 at Detroit, Michigan. No injuries were reported. She continued hauling cargoes without a boom until replacement.

On September 20, 1980, the EDGAR B SPEER entered service for U.S. Steel.

The CHARLES E WILSON sailed light on her maiden voyage from Sturgeon Bay September 20, 1973 bound for Escanaba, Michigan to load ore.

The CHARLES M WHITE was christened at Baltimore, Maryland on September 20, 1951.

On 20 September 1873, W L PECK (2 mast wooden schooner-barge, 154 foot, 361 gross tons) was launched at Carrollton, Michigan.

On 20 September 1856, COLONEL CAMP (3-mast wooden bark, 137 foot, 350 tons, built in 1854 at Three Mile Bay, New York) was carrying wheat to Oswego, New York when she collided with the wooden steamer PLYMOUTH and sank in just a few minutes. No lives were lost.

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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 21

On 21 September 1892, the whaleback steamer JAMES B COLGATE (steel propeller whaleback freighter, 308 foot, 1713 gross tons) was launched by the American Steel Barge Co. (Hull #121) at W. Superior, Wisconsin. She only lasted until 1916 when she foundered in the "Black Friday Storm" on Lake Erie with the loss of 26 lives.

ALGOWAY (2) left Collingwood on her maiden voyage in 1972 and loaded salt for Michipicoten, Ontario on Lake Superior.

On 21 September 1844, JOHN JACOB ASTOR (wooden brig, 78 foot, 112 tons, Built in 1835 at Pointe Aux Pins, Ontario but precut at Lorain, Ohio) was carrying furs and trade goods when she struck a reef and foundered near Copper Harbor, Michigan. She was owned by Astor’s American Fur Company. She was reportedly by the first commercial vessel on Lake Superior.

On 21 September 1855, ASIA (2-mast wooden schooner, 108 foot, 204 tons, built in 1848 at Black River, Ohio) was carrying corn from Chicago for Buffalo when she collided with the propeller FOREST CITY off the mouth of Grand Traverse Bay. ASIA went down in deep water in about 10 minutes, but her crew just had enough time to escape in her boat. The schooner HAMLET picked them up.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, B.G.S.U. 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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 22

On 22 September 1942, the tug JOHN ROEN (steel propeller tug, 100 foot, built in 1895 at Camden, New Jersey for the Army Corps of Engineers) was towing the barges TRANSPORT (iron pulp-wood barge, 254 foot, 1397 gross tons, originally built as a car ferry in 1880 at Wyandotte, Michigan; converted to a barge in 1933) and CITY OF ST. JOESPH (steel barge, 254 foot, 833 gross tons, originally built in 1890 at W. Bay City, Michigan as a side-wheel passenger/package freight steamer; converted to a barge in 1938), both carrying pulpwood, in a severe storm on Lake Superior. The barges were cut loose in the rough weather, but each one was driven ashore and wrecked near Eagle Harbor, Michigan. One life was lost from the CITY OF ST. JOSEPH. Both barges were cut up in place for scrap the winter of 1942-1943.

On September 22, 1958, the EDMUND FITZGERALD entered service, departing River Rouge, Michigan for Silver Bay, Minnesota on its first trip. The FITZGERALD's first load was 20,038 tons of taconite pellets for Toledo, Ohio. The vessel would, in later years, set several iron ore records during the period from 1965 through 1969.

While in ballast, the ROGER M KYES (b, ADAM E CORNELIUS - 1989) struck bottom in Buffalo Harbor September 22, 1976 sustaining holes in two double bottom tanks and damage to three others, whereupon she proceeded to South Chicago Illinois for dry docking on September 27, 1976 for survey and repairs.

While being towed from Duluth, Minnesota by the Canadian tug TUSKER on September 22, 1980, the D G KERR (2) rammed into the breakwater at Duluth causing $200,000 in damages to the breakwater. The tow apparently failed to make the turning buoy leaving Duluth Harbor.

On September 22, 1911 the HENRY PHIPPS collided with and sank her Steel Trust fleet mate, steamer JOLIET (1), which was at anchor on the fog shrouded St. Clair River near Sarnia, Ontario. The JOLIET (1) sank without loss of crew and was declared a total loss. The PHIPPS then continued her downbound journey and collided with the Wyandotte Chemical steamer ALPENA (1) that incurred only minor damage.

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

The MATHILDA DESGAGNES was freed from polar ice in the Arctic on September 22, 1988.

September 22, 1913 - The ANN ARBOR NO 5 struck bottom in the Sturgeon Bay Canal and damaged her rudder and steering gear. After undergoing repairs at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she was back in service the following October. On 22 September 1887, ADA E ALLEN (wooden propeller steam barge, 90 foot, 170 gross tons, built in 1872 at Walpole Island, Ontario) caught fire while moored at Amherstburg, Ontario She was cut loose and set adrift to prevent the fire from spreading ashore. She drifted to Bois Blanc (Bob-Lo) Island and burned to a total loss.

On 22 September 1882, Mr. H. N. Jex accepted the contract to recover the engine and boiler from the MAYFLOWER, which sank in the Detroit River in 1864. He was to be paid $600 upon delivery of the machinery at Windsor, Ontario. He succeeded in raising the engine on 12 October and the boiler shortly thereafter.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, James Neumiller, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes at B.G.S.U 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

Today in Great Lakes History - September 23

On 23 September 1894, AGNES L POTTER (2-mast wooden schooner-barge, 134 foot, 279 gross tons, built in 1870 at St. Clair, Michigan as a 3-mast schooner) went aground near the south pier at Grand Haven, Michigan in a severe gale. She was being towed by the steamer CHARLES REITZ at the time. The crew was saved. Although the POTTER took a severe pounding, she was recovered later and lasted until 1906.

On 23 September 1910, BETHLEHEM (steel propeller package freighter, 290 foot, 2633 gross tons, built in 1888 at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying general merchandise when she went ashore in a gale on the SW side of South Manitou Island in Lake Michigan. Lifesavers and the crew unloaded her over several days. Although battered by several storms while ashore, she was eventually pulled free and repaired. She lasted until 1925 when she was scrapped.

The scow WAUBONSIE was launched at the Curtis yard in Fort Gratiot, Michigan on 23 September 1873.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Today in Great Lakes History - September 24

On 24 September 1902, MOSES TAYLOR (steel propeller freighter, 416 foot, 4772 gross tons) was launched at the American Ship Building Company (Hull #320) in Lorain, Ohio for the Cleveland Steamship Company (John Mitchell & Co., managers). Miss Isabelle Mitchell christened the vessel. The ship was renamed SOODOC in 1926 and lasted until 1968 when she was scrapped in Italy.

On September 24th the A H FERBERT (2) went hard aground at the Cut-Off Channel's southeast bend of the St. Clair River. Six tugs, GLENADA, ELMORE M MISNER, BARBARA ANN, GLENSIDE, SHANNON and WM A WHITNEY, worked until late on the 26th to free her.

The FITZGERALD's first cargo of taconite pellets was loaded September 24, 1958 at Silver Bay, Minnesota. for Toledo, Ohio.

The PERE MARQUETTE 22 entered service September 24, 1924.

In early morning fog on the St. Clair River September 24, 1962 the J L REISS was hit three glancing blows by U.S. Steel's SEWELL AVERY. The AVERY had lost control just below Robert's Landing and crossed the channel from the Canadian side and struck the J L REISS which was proceeding slowly by radar on the U.S. side.

On September 24, 1952, the CHARKES L HUTCHINSON entered service. This vessel was renamed ERNEST R BREECH when it was sold to the Ford Motor Company in 1962, and it was given its present name, KINSMAN INDEPENDENT, when it was sold to Kinsman Lines in 1988.

On September 23, 1991, J W MC GIFFIN rescued several people in a 24' pleasure craft off Presque Ile State Park. The group had been disabled since the day before. They were taken aboard the MC GIFFIN and their boat taken under tow.

September 24, 1924 - The PERE MARQUETTE 22 arrived at Ludington, Michiganon her maiden voyage.

On 24 September 1902, H A BARR (3 mast wooden schooner, 217 foot, 1119 gross tons, built in 1893 at West Bay City, Michigan) was in tow of the “saltie” THEANO with a load of iron ore in a storm 30 miles off Port Stanley in Lake Erie. She broke her tow line in giant waves and foundered. THEANO rescued her crew.

On 24 September 1879, the tug URANIA was towing the schooner S V R WATSON into Sand Beach at about noon when the schooner struck the tug amidships, cutting a hole in the hull and sinking her in three fathoms of water. No lives were lost.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, James Neumiller, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Today in Great Lakes History - September 25

At about 7:30 a.m. on 25 September 1883, EAST SAGINAW (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 136 foot, 235 tons, built in 1866 at Marine City, Michigan) sank in Lake Huron in about 25 fathoms of water near Sand Beach, Michigan. The crew was saved by the steamer CONNEMAUGH. At 10:00 PM the previous night, the EAST SAGINAW struck a reef off Sand Beach. She drifted and filled with water through the night. The sunken vessel was eventually recovered and lasted until 1923.

In tandem tow, the MENIHEK LAKE and LEON FALK JR arrived at Vigo, Spain on September 25, 1985. The MENIHEK LAKE was scrapped at Vigo, and the FALK was towed to Gijón, Spain for scrapping.

The HENRY C FRICK departed Bay City, Michigan on her maiden voyage on September 25, 1905 and rammed and damaged the Michigan Central Railroad Bridge at Bay City.

On 25 September 1869, COMMENCEMENT (2-mast wooden schooner, 75 foot, 73 tons, built in 1853 at Holland, Michigan) was carrying wood in her hold and telegraph poles on deck from Pentwater, Michigan for Milwaukee when she sprang a leak 20 miles off Little Sable Point on Lake Michigan. The incoming water quickly overtook her pump capacity. As the crew was getting aboard the lifeboat, she turned turtle. The crew clung to the upturned hull for 30 hours until the passing steamer ALLEGHENY finally rescued them. COMMENCEMENT later washed ashore, a total wreck.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II, Father Dowling Collection, 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



The c. Columbus Visits Parry Sound
(Pictures in today's Photo Gallery)


On September 21, the c. Columbus paid her first visit to Parry Sound in several years.  While capable of carrying over 500 passengers, she had about 170 on board for this trip.

The c. Columbus dwarfed the local cruise fleet and the town dock.  When her horn was sounded, the entire town awoke.

 The ship will be back in early October for another visit to the town.  Fall colors should be in full show by then.

 Reported by Paul Beesley



Security Concerns May Change Winter Lay-Up Habits for Lakers


By mid-September, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority usually has signed agreements in place for the five winter berths it controls. But not this year.

 Jim Sharrow, facilities manager, explained that uncertainty about new security requirements for this year's winter lay-up has given ship operators cold feet this fall.

 "We're hoping that non-operating vessels would not be required to provide a higher level of security than in past years," Sharrow said. But there has been talk of stricter standards going into effect.

 If fencing, guards and periodic inspections become standard requirements, Sharrow said it will drive up costs, and the Port Authority will have no choice but to pass along those expenses to ship operators.

 Anything that discourages ships from wintering in the Twin Ports could be detrimental to the local economy. Twelve to 14 vessels usually tie up in the Twin Ports. All told, they cumulatively spend $6 million to $11 million.

 "I would hope that by the end of this month, we will have a clear policy on how to handle the security of vessels this winter," Sharrow said.

 Reported by The Duluth News Tribune, Al Miller



Several Communities Seeking Mackinaw After Retirement


A committee formed to keep the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw in Cheboygan as a museum ship has received a list of competitors said to be vying to become the final home port of the aging icebreaker.

A correspondence from U.S. Coast Guard Vice Adm. T.M. Cross, an acting commandant, sent to U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., identifies five groups or locales besides Cheboygan that are interested in obtaining the vessel, according to a story in the Cheboygan Daily Tribune.

 Besides Cheboygan, Cross lists the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, the city of Duluth, Minn., the village of Mackinaw City, the Duluth (Minn.) Entertainment and Convention Center, and the Lake County (Ill.) Convention and Visitors Bureau as entities that have inquired about the ship known as WAGB-83.

 It is not known how old the list may be or whether some of the groups remain actively interested in the Mackinaw. For example, while Duluth has long been known to be a potential suitor for the ship, the city recently obtained another decommissioned cutter, the Sundew, for its Great Lakes Floating Maritime Museum at Canal Park.

 Mackinaw City's interests are known to emanate from Bill Shepler, whose Mackinac Island ferry and marine service would provide a substantial financial, maintenance and docking base. Although Shepler is not listed by name in the letter, he has partnered with Richard Moehl of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association in offering lighthouse cruises in the Straits of Mackinac.

 The Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau represents a coastal area of Illinois north of Chicago, home to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center and the Six Flags Great America amusement park.

 "There's one missing from the list that I have a feeling will come out sooner or later," said Jim Stevens, who is the chairman of the Cheboygan effort to claim the Mackinaw, "and that is Grand Haven. I think they're going to go about it a different way but I think they're a player in this too."

 Roger Rose, president of the Tri-Cities Historical Museum in Grand Haven, said the ship would be a welcome centerpiece for the city's Coast Guard Festival, but that they could never afford it.

 "I heard talk some time ago about maybe bringing the ship here, but we also heard there would be a $2 million price tag on retro-fitting it for museum use," Rose said Monday. "I don't see how we could afford it when you figure maintenance on top of that. For that matter, how could Cheboygan afford it? Chicago, maybe, but smaller towns couldn't come up with that money."

 The Cheboygan group, formed as a committee known as S.O.S. - Save Our Ship, hopes to obtain political clout through a letter giving them a first right of refusal to take the ship after its decommissioning.

 Reported by the Cheboygan Daily Tribune, Jason Leslie



CCGS Cuter Thunder Cape Heavily Damaged


The 47-foot state-of-the-art cutter Thunder Cape received serious damage when it tipped on its side after running into the breakwater at Thunder Bay, Ont., during a rescue in Thunder Bay’s harbor last Sunday.

 The CCGS Samuel Risley is reported headed for Thunder Bay to transport the damaged vessel to Burlington, Ont.

The incident is under investigation by the Canadian Coast Guard and has left the vessel out of commission for at least part of the winter.

“Certainly, no boat is indestructible,” Gary Sidock, regional director of operational services for the coast guard, told a Thunder Bay newspaper.

It all began when two boaters needed a rescue near the mouth of the Mission River. Thunder Cape was sent to the scene about 10 kilometres away from Keefer Terminal. An inflatable coast guard boat was also sent.

After the two boaters were taken into an inflatable rescue boat, Thunder Cape ended up hitting the breakwater. It caused a puncture in its hull, along with damage to a propeller and shaft.

Gerry Dawson, who owns Thunder Bay Tug Services, towed the Thunder Cape. He did not see any damage on the cutter at the time, but the boat belonging to the rescued boaters was another story. It “was definitely damaged,” Dawson said.

The smaller Coast Guard 119 is filling in for the Thunder Cape, which was scheduled to be upgraded over the winter and used elsewhere.

“It’s unfortunate, but frankly the timing was not bad,” said Sidock.

He said a new coast guard vessel, the Cape Chaillon, will be replacing the Thunder Cape in October



Be A Boatnerd News Reporter


We would like to invite anyone interested in reporting shipping news from their area to send in reports for this news page whenever they see anything interesting. Reports can be sent by e-mail or by using a form if the sender does not want credit. If you would like credit your name (or company name) will be listed on the news page. We are especially looking for individuals from the Chicago and Sturgeon Bay areas.

 To report news, email or use this form:



Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Guy V. Molinari Ferry Sets Sunday arrival in New York Harbor


The new Staten Island ferryboat Guy V. Molinari will make its first entrance into New York Harbor on Sunday, according to a story in the Staten Island Advance.

The Molinari, the first of three new boats built for the ferry system, is scheduled to complete the last leg of a 2,725-mile voyage from the Wisconsin shipyard where it was built around sunset.

But the new ferry is still about four months away from being used for public service. Crews must be trained on the boat, which is entirely unlike the seven others currently in the ferry fleet.  The Molinari is the first of three boats commissioned from the Marinette Marine Corp. in Wisconsin.

The ferryboat Sen. John J. Marchi is virtually complete and is scheduled for a December delivery date. A third boat, the September 11, has yet to be launched from the Marinette Marine Corp.

After leaving Marinette on Aug. 12, the Molinari traveled through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway through Canada. The vessel then rounded the Maritime Provinces and north Atlantic states before docking at a Rhode Island shipyard three weeks ago for last-minute maintenance.

The last leg of the voyage Sunday will take the boat through Long Island Sound and down the East River.

Reported by The Staten Island Advance

Guy V. Molinari heads off the lakes.  (Dave Wobser)


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Steamer Buckeye Fit-out Schedule Posted


Fit-out of the laid-up Oglebay-Norton Marine steamer Buckeye continues at Toledo. Engineers have already reported to the vessel, with the deck crew due Sept. 28. Inspections are due to start on Sept. 28 and vessel is expected to sail Sept. 30.

Reported by Jason Leslie


Veteran Tug Miseford Bought by Thunder Bay Firm


Thunder Bay Tug Services Ltd., has purchased the 1915 built tug Miseford, which until recently had operated for Nadro Marine Services of Port Dover, Ont. The tug arrived in port Monday. It is unclear at this time whether the Miseford will replace one of the firm’s other tugs or to add to the fleet.

Miseford in 1999. (Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Reported by Rob Farrow



Detroit River Will See Two New Passenger Vessels Next Spring


Two new charter ships are making plans to ply the Detroit River next spring, according to a story in Tuesday's Detroit News.

One is the 1,900-passenger paddleboat called the Detroit Princess which, with its twin stacks and multi-tiered decks looks like a Mississippi sternwheeler of old, is en route to Michigan now. The other, called the Ovation, which carries up to 325 passengers, will arrive next spring and dock periodically in Detroit, said Steven L. Rybicki, general manager of Infinity Yacht Charters in St. Clair Shores.

The charter ships could bolster the fledgling revival of Detroit's waterfront. A riverfront promenade, parks and retail and housing projects also are in the works.

The Detroit Princess, now docked in Nova Scotia, may reach Detroit next month, but rough waters could delay its arrival until next spring, said John Chamberlain, director of Detroit Princess LLC in Grand Ledge, Mich. Chamberlain and a group of investors purchased the ship earlier this year. Built in 1993 and previously owned by Harrah's Entertainment, the Detroit Princess is 222 feet long with five decks. Chamberlain said the ship will offer dining and entertainment, including a salute to Motown music, comedy revues, murder mysteries and big band shows.

"We'll dock the Detroit Princess at Hart Plaza initially and then move to a new dock being built by the Detroit Wayne County Port Authority next to the Renaissance Center," Chamberlain said. "The ship is heated and air-conditioned, so we plan to operate year-round."

The Detroit Princess will take passengers near Belle Isle, under the Ambassador Bridge and to Wyandotte. Other trips can be arranged to Lake St. Clair or Lake Erie, Chamberlain said.

Detroit Princess


Warship Replica to Teach History at Michigan Maritime Museum


A replica Great Lakes warship, the Friends of Good Will, will take up station at the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven next Saturday, according to a story this week in the Grand Rapids Press.

It will serve as a hands-on vehicle for teaching Great Lakes history, sailing, navigation, knot-tying and more. A classroom in the hull is designed for visits from school children. Museum officials also figure the replica, with its forest green hull and natural wood deck, will help South Haven tourism.

The Friends Good Will is a replica of a ship by the same name that records show was built in 1810 in Detroit as a merchant vessel. Officials with the Maritime Museum commissioned an Albany, N.Y., company, Scarano Boat Building, to replicate the vessel for about $1.25 million.

The original Friends Good Will carried cargo chiefly on Lake Erie between Detroit and Buffalo, but also sailed Lake St. Clair, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

Not long after it was commissioned, the U.S. government commandeered the vessel to transport military supplies in the War of 1812. The British captured Friends Good Will after it tried to dock at Fort Mackinac, which recently had fallen to the British.

In September 1813, however, the United States regained the sloop after Commodore Oliver Perry defeated the British on Lake Erie. A few months later, it ran aground in Buffalo during a storm, and the British burned it to the waterline during a raid in January 1814.

The Maritime Museum's steering committee chose to recreate the Friends Good Will because of its significance to the Great Lakes. It will be licensed to carry a crew of four and up to 28 passengers.


Coast Guard Wants Greater Cross-Border Powers on Lakes


The Coast Guard admiral overseeing the Great Lakes says keeping the country safe from terrorism is his top priority.

“What I want to see happen is greater cooperation with other federal agencies, state and civil agencies, because the Coast Guard cannot take on this challenge by itself,” Rear Adm. Robert Papp Jr. said last week in a story in the Green Bay Press Gazette. “My main priority is making sure there is not a terrorism incident within the Ninth Coast Guard District.”

He said he is in the process of working out an agreement with Canadian officials that would allow the Coast Guard to share border security on the lakes and pursue suspects over a greater range of water.

"I cannot pursue criminals or terrorists back across the border because I  have to stop halfway across the lakes,” he said. “We’ve been working very hard … to come up with memorandums of understanding that will allow us to work more closely with them.”

Since Sept. 11, 2001, homeland security has become one of the key missions for Coast Guard stations throughout the Great Lakes and nation.

“Everybody in the whole country is a little more suspicious of what’s going on and paying more attention, and that’s what we’re doing as the Coast Guard,” said Sr. Chief Timothy Lee, officer in charge of the Two Rivers, Wisc, Coast Guard station, which provides security for two nuclear power plants and the carferry S.S. Badger as part of its duties.

Lee said that station has a working relationship with the Manitowoc and Two Rivers police departments.

“If their officers are on patrol and they see something suspicious, they know they can call us,” he said. “If we can send a boat out and investigate, we will.”

Papp, a 1975 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., and a native of Norwich, Conn., assumed command in May. While the Ninth District encompasses inland waterways, Papp said they take the threat of terrorism to the Wisconsin area as serious as any other place in the country.

“While al-Qaida has demonstrated the ability to fly large airplanes into buildings, they have also demonstrated that they use small boats loaded with explosives to cause damage,” Papp said. “We have 6 million small boats on the Great Lakes. It’s hard to keep a handle on that, and the only way we do is by cooperation with other agencies.”

Reported by Jason Leslie


Port Report


Burns International Harbor

Reported by Peter Zagorac

Monday was an active day within the port, hosting a total of 5 ships. The Canadian Navagator at ISG. The Catherine Desgagnes unloading scrap iron. The American Mariner unloading at Globel Stone, departed harbor at 2:10 pm. The Ziemia Zamojska is at Federal Marine Terminals and the Lake Ontario at FMT.


Reported by Mac Mackay
Detroit Princess, aka Players Riverboat Casino II, is still in Halifax awaiting better weather conditions before continuing her journey to Detroit. She put in Sept. 16 after experiencing rough going while sailing up the Nova Scotia coast. Winds on the Northumberland Strait were also severe, so it is no surprise that the four decker riverboat type vessel is staying put for the time being.

Hurricane conditions in Cape Breton Monday cancelled all ferry service to Newfoundland, and even prevented the new Queen Mary II from  visiting Sydney, N.S. and Corner Brook, Newfoundland.


Reported by Bob Vincent
Finished loading coal onto the Lee A. Tregurtha around 1 p.m. Tuesday.  Next coal boat will be CSL Niagara due Thursday, Sept. 23 at 6 a.m.  
Catherine Desgagnes is due Saturday, Sept. 25 at 1 a.m. (she will pump water for 6 hours before loading)
Kaye E. Barker due Saturday, Sept. 25 at 10 a.m.

Algosteel is due Saturday, Sept 25 at 10 a.m.

Rt. Hon. Paul Martin arrived Tuesday at 9:30 p.m.  
The next ore boat will be CSL Laurentien, due Wednesday, Sept 22 at 2:30 a.m.
Sarah Spencer due Thursday, Sept. 23 at 12:05 p.m.
H. Lee White due Saturday, Sept 25 at 8 p.m.


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Backers Told Spirit of Ontario Will Sail Again


The Australian backers of a grounded high-speed ferry between Rochester, N.Y. and Toronto have been assured the boat will again sail the waters of Lake Ontario.

Enam Choudury, of Australian Export Finance and Insurance Corp., was in Toronto on Thursday to look at the problems that led to last week's abrupt shutdown of the fast ferry, notably the absence of a planned ferry terminal.

"I think they were seeking some assurances that a contract is in place,'' said Henry Pankratz, chairman of the Toronto Port Authority. "I'm hoping they heard what they were expecting to hear.''

Ellis Don vice-president Robert Smith, whose company won the contract to build an $8-million terminal, said workers were pouring concrete at the work site Thursday.

The ferry, dubbed the Breeze, carried about 140,000 people between the two cities in the three months it operated. Last week, it shut down unexpectedly because of mounting debt and bureaucratic battles on both sides of the border.

Ferry operator Canadian American Transportation Systems (CATS) is upset with Canada Customs, which is charging the ferry operator about $2,500 a day for customs services, something not done at any other border crossing. CATS is also upset with American regulators for slow-footedness in giving approval for transport trucks to use the ferry.

For the ferry to resume operations, it needs its Australian backers to release about $1.5 million being held in escrow until the bureaucratic issues are resolved.

Toronto Mayor David Miller met briefly with CATS and their Australian backers, saying he hoped the service would resume. "I hope nobody does anything precipitous because there is a real (tourism) benefit to Toronto,'' from having the ferry, Miller said.



Port Report



Reported by Scott Best (Pictures in today’s Photo Gallery)
Early Sunday morning the Chios Pride arrived off Marinette, WI. The Chios Pride was assisted into port by the Selvick Tugs Jimmy L and Carla Anne Selvick. Earlier this week the Volmeborg was in port unloading and loading pulp products. The Chios Pride is docked along the Donner at Marinette Fuel & Dock and will be in port unloading for 3-4 days before departing for Thunder Bay.


Saginaw River

Reported by Todd Shorkey (Pictures in today’s Photo Gallery)
Saturday saw two vessels visit the Saginaw River.  First in was the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort & barge Great Lakes Trader.  The pair passed the front range just after midnight on their way to the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City to unload.  Once tied up, the Joyce L. uncoupled from the trader to proceed back down to the Essroc dock to take on fuel.  Once unloaded, they turned and proceeded out for the lake late in the morning.
Late Saturday evening, the Wilfred Sykes was inbound with a split load for the Bay City & Saginaw Wirt docks.  The Sykes lightered in Bay City and proceeded upriver Early Sunday morning.  Once finished she turned at Sixth Street and was downbound passing through Bay City early in the afternoon.


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Photo Gallery Updated
(2 pages!!)


Photo Gallery


Invasive Species Biggest Threat, Report Says


The flow of invasive species into the Great Lakes tops the list of environmental problems that could plague the lakes for years, if not decades, according to a new report.

Last Monday the International Joint Commission, a U.S.-Canadian organization charged with handling boundary waters issues, urged the two nations to adopt strict regulations to halt invasive species.

"Alien species continue to be introduced into the lakes at about one every eight months," said Herb Gray, the IJC's Canadian chairman. "The commission urges the governments of Canada and the United States to ... coordinate prevention measures to help stop the invasion of the lakes."

In the United States, those measures include congressional approval of the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act, which would regulate ballast water dumping from saltwater ships and fund research efforts to study the eradication of invasive species.

Another recommendation is that the two countries adopt proposed ballast water rules from the International Maritime Organization, a group that governs shipping.

"When invasives get in, they tend to stay there for an awfully long time," said Dennis Schornack, the IJC's U.S. chairman. "We've not been able to eradicate any new species that have gotten into the lakes. We've just been able to control them."

Reported by Jason Leslie



40 Mile Point Lighthouse to Host "A Night at the Lighthouse"


Tour the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse and Calcite pilothouse on Friday, Oct. 8, from 7-9 p.m.  Great opportunity to take night photos of the lighthouse in operation, and the pilothouse.  Informal acoustical jam session in the fog signal building (all non-electrical instruments welcome).  The lighthouse is located seven miles north of Rogers City, Mich.. Free admission.  E-mail: for more information.

Reported by 40 Mile Point Lighthouse Society


Port Report



Reported by Al Miller

Joseph H. Frantz was in port early Thursday unloading salt at the Cutler-Magner dock in Duluth. Over at the port terminal, the passenger ship C. Columbus was fueling at Murphy Oil dock before inching ahead to its new berth. The cruise ship previously docked behind the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center near downtown. New security regulations, however, require it to dock at the port terminal, where it is fenced off from the public. On its first visit of the season last week, a Coast Guard boat patrolled around the cruise ship while a public band was brought in through the fence by bus to welcome the passengers -- a far cry from the spontaneous crowds that used to gather when the ship called here. While all this was happening, an Interlake 1,000-footer -- possibly Paul R. Tregurtha -- was inbound about two miles off the Duluth ship canal when it turned a full circle to the left. It was unclear what prompted the unusual maneuver but it may have done simply because the Midwest Energy Terminal loading berth and the Murphy Oil fueling berth were both occupied at the time, leaving no place for the Tregurtha to go inside the harbor.

Reported by Eric Holst
Rice's Point in Duluth was a boatwatcher's dream late Friday, boasting quite an array of ships.  The J.A.W. Iglehart and Joseph H. Frantz were right next door to each other, unloading their respective cement and salt cargos at the Lafarge and Cutler-Magner terminals.  Just across the pier from the Frantz, the Victoriaborg was loading beet pulp pellets at General Mills A.  A few slips over, the brand-new Antiguan-registered saltie Victoria had just pulled into the AGP terminal to await a load of grain.  Further up Rice's Point, the James R. Barker was waiting her turn for Midwest Energy at Murphy Fuel's Port Terminal facility.  The footer's crew was apparently taking advantage of the downtime to do some work on the ship's lower stern, as her bow was ballasted far down and her stern was riding high enough to expose more than half of her propellers.  To top it all off, two more ships were due at Rice's Point late Friday night or early Saturday morning; the Algocape with cement powder for Holcim/St. Lawrence Cement, and the Federal Saguenay with steel coils for Port Terminal #1.  Friday traffic was busy on the Superior side of the harbor as well, with the Stewart J. Cort and CSL Tadoussac loading iron ore pellets at Burlington Northern - Santa Fe and the Canadian Transport and Oglebay Norton loading coal at Midwest Energy.

Sturgeon Bay

Reported by Darren Hesler
The new CSCG Alder passed through the canal last Tuesday. The Mark Hannah and barge Hannah 6301 are against the dock behind Bldg. 311. The barge had an inspection done, the bottom of the barge was painted and the tug had some light repairs. The Edward L. Ryerson is in Berth #3 at Bayship. On the 17th, the Sturgeon  was tied up for the day  at the city docks and departed the same day. The two hot oil barges are well underway with sand blasting of the holds going on right now. As of now 17, boats are on the winter layup list.



Information Sketchy on Bar Point Lighthouse Accident


Shown below are recent pictures of the damage sustained to Bar Point Light D-33, which apparently was struck by a tug and barge at around 6:15 a.m. last Saturday.  Area residents reported an initial explosive sound followed by what was most likely the shriek of steel as the vessel backed off the light. The structure once rose 45 feet above the water. The Canadian Coast Guard placed a temporary beacon soon after the accident and has been surveying the area for the location of debris.

Although no report has officially been issued, reports indicate the Barge A-397, and her tug, Karen Andrie, have been at the Toledo Shipyard with the barge undergoing repairs to bow damage ever since then.

No information has been released to the public at this time and all reports are based on waterfront speculation.

Reported by Bill Disler

Lighthouse before the accident
After being hit
Another view


Toronto Fast-Ferry Terminal Still Under Construction


Construction workers poured concrete Thursday for the ferry terminal under construction at the bottom of Cherry Street in Toronto, despite the fact that operators have suspended the Rochester-Toronto ferry service for which the terminal is intended.

The Toronto Port Authority says it is proceeding full steam ahead with construction of a $10.5-million terminal, meant for use by the Spirit of Ontario 1.

In fact, with the ferry not running, no passengers get in the way of the construction project, Ken Lundy, chief of operations at the port authority, a federal agency, told Canada's National Post.

"We're building the terminal," Lundy said. "It's still underway. The silver lining is that the contractor has the advantage of using the site to expedite the construction."

Asked why the construction is continuing even though the ferry is at anchor, Lundy said, "Because we have a contract to build the building. The ferry service is under suspension. It's not cancelled and until we hear otherwise, we're still continuing to build."

The terminal is expected to be complete by January.

Reported by Jason Leslie


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Port Report



Reported by Lee Rowe
The David Z. Norton brought stone to the Shiras dock on Wednesday evening, then moved to the upper harbor for ore.  The Herbert C. Jackson and Saginaw are both expected Thursday evening.


Reported by Barry Hiscocks
Nanticoke left the North Slip late Wednesday with the assistance of the tug Menasha. Nanticoke arrived at the North Slip late last Thursday for repairs to a damaged crankshaft in her starboard engine. Nanticoke is upbound for Thunder Bay.

Toledo/Maumee River

Reported by Bob Vincent and Dawn Roberts (schedule current as of Wednesday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m. - subject to change)

Coal Dock
Lee A Tregurtha (revised) now due Friday, Sept. 17th. at 1 a.m.
Philip R. Clarke (also revised) arrives Saturday, Sept. 18th. at 2 a.m.
Arthur M. Anderson is expected Sunday, Sept. 19th. at 3 a.m.
Herbert C. Jackson scheduled to arrive Sunday, Sept. 19th. at 2 p.m.

Midwest Terminal Stone Dock
Algomarine due Sunday, Sept. 19th. at 2 p.m., coming from Windsor

Torco Dock
No boats scheduled until next week

Thursday the Algosteel was unloading at the Arms Dock and McAsphalt 401 was tied up on the opposite side while the Integrity was heading out.

Buckeye fans will be happy to know there is now a small engine crew on board. Reports indicate the auxiliary boiler is on, meaning hot showers for the crew. It will be awhile before the main boiler is on. This lends weight to information received earlier that the vessel is preparing to fit out. Buckeye has spent the past two seasons tied to the wall.


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Lake Express to Make 1-Day Chicago Trip


The fast-ferry Lake Express will make a goodwill trip to Chicago's Navy Pier next Tuesday.

The vessel will be taken out of service that day so it can ferry Michigan and Wisconsin tourism officials for a public relations visit to the Windy City.

Lake Express President Ken Szallai told the Muskegon Chronicle the day trip to Chicago is not a sign that the Milwaukee-based ferry service is looking to expand its routes south. Rather, Lake Express officials are hoping to convince Chicagoans to take the ferry from Milwaukee to Muskegon.

The Lake Express will be in Chicago from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to host dignitaries, the media, travel agents and the general public. Included in the Lake Express one-day blitz of the Chicago market are visitors bureaus from Muskegon, White Lake, Grand Haven, Holland, Grand Rapids and Saugatuck, according to Joanne Hatch, Lake Express' Michigan marketing director.

"The northern Chicago suburbs are a new market for us as they can easily get to Michigan on The Lake Express," Hatch said.

When it returns to service Wednesday, the ferry -- which has operated three round trips a day since June 1 -- will begin its fall schedule, which has the ferry arriving in Muskegon at 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. daily and departing for Milwaukee at noon and 8 p.m.

Szallai said the fall schedule gives the ferry company more flexibility and travel time for what traditionally are rougher conditions on Lake Michigan.

Lake Express will not operate Thanksgiving and Christmas days and will have an abbreviated schedule the day before each of those holidays. However, the ferry will operate New Year's Eve and make a final round-trip crossing of the season on New Year's Day.

Lake Michigan weather and wave conditions for November and December could be difficult for operations, and Szallai said crossings will be canceled if conditions become too uncomfortable for passengers.

Reported by The Muskegon Chronicle



Port Report


See Photo Gallery for pictures.


Reported by David Francis
Canadian Transport arrived at the Yalmer Mattila dock in Hancock, Mich., at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday to unload a cargo of road salt.


Reported by Barry Hiscocks
The CSL self unloader Nanticoke arrived at the North Slip in Sarnia,ON. late last Thursday for repairs to a damaged crankshaft in her starboard engine. She had traveled at reduced speed from Lake Erie relying on her port engine only. Engine specialists from as far as Miami, Fla., have been doing repairs within the confines of the ship.

The Nanticoke is expected to depart Sarnia late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning to load in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Saginaw River

Reported by Todd Shorkey, Lon Morgan
The Saginaw River was busy to start the week seeing visits from a number of vessels on Monday.  The Buffalo called on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City early Monday morning.  She finished her unload, backed from the slip and started her trip to the lake.  
Passing the outbound Buffalo, the Wolverine was in next, also calling on the Bay Aggregates dock.  She unloaded there during the afternoon before departing early in the evening.
The Canadian Transfer was inbound early Monday evening heading upriver to the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload.  She was expected to be outbound early Tuesday morning.
The Tug Muskegon and dredge Buxton II continue to work a dredging progect along the Saginaw River.
Other visiters to the Saginaw River during the past week were the Invincible -McKee Sons, Buffalo, Joyce L. VanEnkevort, Algorail, Tug James Hannah, and Tug Rebecca Lynn.


Reported by Jacob Ainsworth
On Saturday two cruise ships, the 410-passenger Columbus and the 90-passenger Le Levant, arrived in Chicago.  Each docked at Navy Pier to disembark passengers and board passengers for the next cruise.


Reported by Dawn Roberts (as of 11:45 a.m. Monday - subject to change) 
Coal dock
Algowood loaded Monday, Sept. 13, starting at 7 a.m.
John. J. Munson due to load Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m.
Lee A. Tregurtha returns Thurday, Sept. 16 at 10 p.m.
Philip R. Clarke due Saturday, Sept. 18 at  7 p.m. 

Midwest Terminal Stone dock
Nothing due this week
Torco Dock
Algomarine due Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 5 a.m.
CSL Niagara due Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 3 p.m.



Reported by Lee Rowe
Lee A. Tregurtha arrived in Marquette on Tuesday for a load of ore. She was followed in by the John J. Boland. A warm and humid day brought rain as the LAT finished her load and the Boland arrived. The David Z. Norton was expected later.


Cleveland Shipmasters’ Lodge Offers Raffle for Boat Trip


International Ship Masters' Association Cleveland Lodge #4 is currently conducting a boat trip raffle. Grand Prize is a trip for four adults aboard an Interlake Steamship Company steamer (CHARLES M. BEEGHLY, HERBERT C. JACKSON, KAYE E. BARKER, or LEE A. TREGURTHA) during the 2005 navigation season plus $250 for transportation expenses.  2nd Prize is $100 and 3rd and 4th Prizes of $50 each will also be drawn. 

The drawing will be held at Lodge #4's regularly scheduled luncheon meeting on April 7, 2005.  Winners will be notified by phone, mail, and email if applicable.  Tickets can be obtained for a donation of $10 (US) each.  Send a check or money order to ISMA Cleveland Lodge #4, PO Box 451054, Westlake, OH 44145.  For more information,  email

Reported by Christine Rohn-Tielke (raffle chairperson)


Photo Gallery Updated (2 pages)


Photo Gallery


Final Bells for Bill Brewster; Sailed on Munson 25 Years


William A. "Bill" Brewster, 74, of Cheboygan, passed away, Tues., Sept. 7, 2004 at his home.

A career sailor on the Great Lakes, he was employed by the Bradley Transportation Line and U.S. Steel and Transtar Companies, spending a record of 25 years sailing on the John G. Munson, retiring in 1993. Bill also was a member of St. Mary/St. Charles Catholic Church, enjoyed his daily coffee with his friends and family, camping and woodworking.

A lifelong resident of Cheboygan, Bill was born July 26, 1930 in Carp Lake, the son of Russell and Helen (Newman) Brewster.  After attending St. Charles School, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1951until 1955. On Feb. 2, 1963, at St. Charles Catholic Church in Cheboygan, he married Beverly Carscadden.

Reported by Barbara L. Brewster


Port Report



Reported by Al Miller
Olympic Merit was loading Monday at the Peavey elevator in Superior, one of the few vessels to call at that terminal this season. Boatwatchers at midday were fortunate to see an increasingly rare sight -- a staightdecker steaming into the Duluth Ship Canal. In this case, it was Canadian Provider bound for the Cenex Harvest States elevator. Once inside the harbor, the boat used two tugs to maneuver in a stiff breeze. Elsewhere, Indiana Harbor was loading at the DMIR ore dock while Halifax remained anchored on the lake waiting for its turn to load pellets.


Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain

The tug G.L. Ostrander/barge Integrity was in port loading cement at Lafarge Sunday afternoon. The J.A.W. Iglehart also came in on Sunday, arriving before 8pm for its turn under the silos.

The steamer Alpena is expected back early Monday morning. The Paul H. Townsend is headed to Muskegon.

The Philip R. Clarke was loading at Stoneport on Sunday. The Great Lakes Trader, Sam Laud, and McKee Sons were on the schedule for Monday.


Ralph Tucker Leaves Montreal on Scrap Voyage


The tanker Ralph Tucker left Montréal Sunday morning around 9:45 under her own power bound for Chittagong, Bangladesh, to be broken up. The trip is expected to take about 35 days. She was expected to leave late last week, but encountered unexpected delays.

Reported by Marc Piché



Bar Point Light Mostly Demolished by Unidentified Vessel


The Bar Point Pier Light in the lower end of the Detroit River (near the split between the Livingstone and Amherstburg channels) was badly damaged recently by an unidentified vessel. Only about 10-feet of structure remains above water, with rubble strewn on the platform. The light once stood approximately 45-feet above the water. No other details are available to Boatnerd at this time.

Reported by Kevin Sprague

Bar Point Light before the accident

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Rochester Investors May Try to Save Spirit of Ontario


A group of Rochester business leaders might invest in the high-speed ferry to get the idle ship cruising across Lake Ontario again.

"Many of us in the business community think that it's pretty imperative that we go forward with the ferry project if it makes any economic sense," said

John "Dutch" Summers, chief executive of Jasco Tools Inc. and chairman of the Rump Group, a consortium of community leaders pushing economic initiatives here, told the Rochester-Democrat Chronicle.

Summers declined Thursday to characterize the size of any investment. Canadian American Transportation Systems, the private Rochester-based ferry company, shut down service Tuesday night, citing $1.7 million in debt and higher-than-expected expenses. It hopes to resume operations soon.

CATS has blamed the financial woes partly on the ship hitting a dock in New York City on its way to Rochester and then the engines having to be modified. Those problems delayed the maiden passenger voyage by seven weeks, and the company incurred $2.1 million in debt with no offsetting revenue during that idle period. Company officials also pointed a finger at issues such as not being able to carry commercial trucks, pilot fees, Canadian customs fees, high diesel costs and the lack of a permanent ferry terminal in Toronto. Those issues, except for the fuel costs, need to be resolved before one of its financial backers, the Australia-based Export Finance and Insurance Corp., will allow the company to access $1.5 million in escrow to keep the ferry going, CATS has said.

Summers was optimistic that the ferry service would resume. "My phone has rung off the hook, letting me know that people have gone from being against or neutral into understanding this can be a wonderful community asset," he said.

Reported by Rochester Democrat-Chronicle, Jason Leslie


Port Huron Can Officially Call Itself Maritime Capital


The state of Michigan now recognizes Port Huron as the Maritime Capital of the Great Lakes.

The city this week learned the slogan was approved as a state trademark, meaning local businesses can use it to promote the area as a tourist destination.

Port Huron has the title for 10 years and can renew it for another decade in 2014, according to a Friday story in the Port Huron Times Herald.

If any city outside Michigan wanted the title, the state trademark wouldn't protect the slogan. Approval is needed from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which rejected the city's patent request and is reviewing another.

Mark Bisard, a trademark attorney retained by the city, told city leaders the federal office is hesitant to approve the slogan because while it is now used to describe Port Huron, it is not used to specifically describe the sale of Port Huron's services.

The move to trademark the slogan has been met with derision from other Great Lakes port cities which say the claim could just as easily be theirs.

Reported by Port Huron Times-Herald


Third Minnesota Taconite Plant to Boost Production


Northshore Mining Co. says it plans to reopen a long-idled production line as early as next year and increase the plant's annual output by 800,000 tons of taconite pellets.

Cleveland-Cliffs, which operates Northshore's mine in Babbitt, Minn., and processing plant in Silver Bay, Minn., said the project will cost $30 million and create about 35 jobs. The announcement is good news for Great Lakes fleets because Northshore Mining ships all its pellets by water.

The production line, known as Line 5, has been idle since 1982, when a nationwide recession sent the taconite industry and Great Lakes shipping into a tailspin. Restarting the line will enable the 53-year-old plant to produce about 5.6 million tons of taconite pellets per year.

Two other Northeastern Minnesota taconite plants also are planning significant production increases to meet increased demand by the steel industry. Cliffs plans to increase pellet production at United Taconite by 800,000 tons in 2005 and another 900,000 tons the following year.

U.S. Steel plans to expand production at Keewatin Taconite by 500,000 tons.

In addition to increasing pellet production at Northshore, Cliffs said Thursday that it has ended efforts to get permits for a commercial iron nugget plant at Silver Bay. Instead, the company plans to participate in development of a 500,000-ton-per-year iron nugget plant at its Cliffs-Erie site near Hoyt Lakes. Cliffs-Erie is the site of the former Erie Mining Co.

Reported by Al Miller


Gala Benefit for Dossin Museum Planned in Detroit


The Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority and the Detroit Historical Society will host an event to raise funds to support the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on, September 20. This first annual event will take place from 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Dossin Museum, located at 100 Strand Drive on Belle Isle in Detroit. The gala includes a strolling dinner, chance to explore the museum's current exhibits, and live jazz from the Marvin Thompson Jr. Ensemble.

"The Detroit / Wayne County Port Authority is proud to partner with the Detroit Historical Museum in what we hope will become an annual event intended to preserve Detroit's maritime history," said Arthur B. Blackwell II, Chairman of Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority. "The Dossin Great Lakes Museum is a valuable treasure in a city founded because of its strategic location in the center of the Great Lakes. Support of this event and of the museum is an opportunity to keep our history alive for future generations."

The purpose of the gala is to raise funds to support the Dossin Great Lakes Museum's exhibits and educational programs and to increase public awareness of the museum. The public is invited. Tickets are $150 per person, and dressy attire is recommended. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call Vanessa Baker at (313) 331-3842, ext. 309.

Reported by Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority


Port Report


Green Bay

Reported by Jason Leino
The cruise vessel LeLevant arrived in the port of Green Bay Friday morning between 6 and 7 a.m. local time. It proceeded upriver to the K&K Warehousing dock on Green Bay's west side just south of Walnut Street to drop passengers off where they were due to catch a bus that was bound for Manitowoc. It is not known officially why the vessel docked in Green Bay, but it was believed security in Manitowoc may not have satisfied Coast Guard requirements.

(Pictures in the Photo Gallery)


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Milwaukee Port Director Named Lake Express CEO


Milwaukee's high-speed ferry company is plotting a course toward expansion at the same time a new captain is coming aboard, according to a story in Thursday’s Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Ken Szallai will step down as Milwaukee's port director on Friday, then take over Monday as president and chief executive officer of Lake Express LLC, Szallai and outgoing CEO David Lubar said Wednesday.

At Lake Express, Szallai said, one of his major challenges will be expanding service to more routes with more vessels. He and Lubar - who remains the company's principal investor - declined to comment on which routes they might be considering or how fast the company might grow.

Reported by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel


Port Report



Reported by Lee Rowe
After unloading stone at the Shiras dock, the American Mariner made a  trip to the ore dock in Marquette's upper harbor on Thursday.

The Gallagher tug BeeJay and barge were being employed to do some repair work on the ore dock.


Reported by Brian Wroblewski
The Army Corps tug Kozoil departed the Black Rock Canal at 5:30 p.m.with the crane barge McCauly, crossed the Outer Harbor, and then docked inside Slip "A" at the Buffalo Port Terminal.

The Joseph H. Frantz and English River were both sitting on the hook off Buffalo Harbor at 5 p.m. Thursday afternoon. They were both waiting for the river currents to slow down after soaking rain storms left the water running downstream at full blast and carrying large amounts of debris.


Reported by Jason Leslie

The bulk carrier Canadian Provider, which had been in short-term layup in July 24, has resumed service. She was to pass through the Welland Canal Thursday night en route to Duluth to load grain. She is due there Sunday.


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Ralph Tucker Leaves For Trip to Indian Scrapyard


UPDATE: 7 p.m. Ralph Tucker did not leave Montreal today as planned. There is no information yet on what may be causing the delay.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Ralph Tucker took on fuel Wednesday for the trip to Chittagong, Bangladesh, and eventual scrapping. The ship took on fuel for 21 days, enough to reach the Suez Canal which will take 17 days, where the ship will refuel for the remainder of the voyage to India.  

The Tucker was built at Port Weller, Ont., in 1966 as the Imperial Acadia for Imperial Oil, acquired by Algoma  in 1997 and renamed Algoscotia, and was purchased by McKeil Marine in 2001 and christened Ralph Tucker. She was later renamed Capt. Ralph Tucker.

With her Ralph Tucker name restored, she is now reflagged to St Vincent & The Grenadines for her final voyage. The vessel was expected to leave Montreal at 2130 Wednesday night.

Reported by Kent Malo

Ralph Tucker at Montreal earlier this week.


Spirit of Ontario Suspends Cross-Lake Ontario Service


Citing accumulating debt, the Canadian American Transportation Systems has stopped operations of the high-speed ferry Spirit of Ontario 1 between Rochester and Toronto.

The last trip was made on Wednesday.

“This is a very difficult decision, but until the other parties involved fulfill their promises and obligations, we have no choice,” said Cornel Martin, president of CATS, in a news release.

The ferry, which started service in June, was hurt by a series of problems, even before it began running across Lake Ontario.

Martin said the continued delays in the vessel's ability to carry trucks, which reduced revenue by up to $18,000 per day, hard costs of $6,000 per day in pilotage fees, $2,500 per day in Canadian customs fees, and higher fuel costs are to blame for the suspension of operations.

The company is trying to restructure its debt, but Martin said in a news release lenders have said they would not make money available until some of the issues plaguing the ferry are resolved.

Martin also blamed the lack of a firm date for the completion of a proper terminal facility in Toronto.  The Toronto Port Authority was spending $10.5 million to redevelop the planned site. It was not expected to open until January.

CATS stated in the news release that it has accumulated more than $2.1 million in debt with no offsetting revenues during a seven-week delay before the vessel entered service, incurred after it hit a pier in New York City. Operations were scheduled to begin May 1.

The company said it is trying to restructure its debt and hoped to resume operations as soon as possible, according to a Wednesday story in the Toronto Star.

In 80 days of service, more than 140,000 passengers travelled on the Spirit of Ontario..

Rochester Mayor William A. Johnson Jr. tried to convince CATS to delay the ferry’s closure, saying he and other political leaders were working to rectify outstanding issues. He said stopping service would hurt the immediacy of getting the federal government and others to remedy CATS problems.

Johnson said CATS should have cut back its schedule - as many ferry services do after Labor Day - to once a day or on weekends.

Reported by Ron Walsh, Rochester Democrat-Chronicle

Spirit of Ontario


Laid-up Buckeye May Re-enter Service


Reports from Toledo indicate the steamer Buckeye, which has been laid up since the end of the 2002 shipping season, may sail soon. Increased demand for ore has been cited as the reason for the possible fit out. No sailing date has yet been posted.

If Buckeye reenters service that would leave just the steamer Courtney Burton, which needs a five-year inspection and boiler work, at the wall.

Reported by A. Whitman

Buckeye above Port Huron in 2001. (Roger LeLievre)


Lake Superior Wreck Not the Robert Wallace


Shipwreck hunters who recently announced they had discovered the long-lost wreck of the freighter Robert Wallace on western Lake Superior now say they actually found the packet boat Thomas Friant.

The five-man team announced in July that they had found the Wallace in more than 300 feet of water about 13 miles southeast of Two Harbors, Minn. The identification was made through video shot by a remotely controlled camera.

However, when divers descended to the wreck they found characteristics of the vessels didn't match those they expected to find on the 209-foot Wallace. After further research, the divers realized they had found the Thomas Friant, a small passenger steamer that had been converted to haul cargo.

"It's still an important find," Thom Holden, director of the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center in Duluth, told the Duluth News Tribune. "It's a boat that was missing a long time. It has a lot of local connections with commercial fishing and the Apostle Islands and Bayfield."

The Friant was launched in 1884 in Grand Haven, Mich., to carry tourists between Lake Michigan resorts. After a fire in 1910, the 96-foot boat was converted to haul cargo and for commercial fishing.

The vessel was bought by several men from Bayfield, Wis. They were fishing on Lake Superior on Jan. 6, 1924, when heavy ice holed the wooden hull. The nine men aboard took to the liftboat as the Friant  sank. They rowed throughout the night until finally reaching shore near Larsmont, Minn. A single crewman scaled an icy cliff to reach an isolated homestead to seek help.

The shipwreck hunters said they plan to document the Friant wreck, which is in good condition with a bronze bell, a whistle, and a compass on the front deck. But they also plan to keep looking for the Robert Wallace.

Reported by Al Miller


Lake Express Good for West Michigan Businesses


The people who never gave up hope of reopening a water route between Muskegon and Milwaukee were right after all. Early indications are the first three months of the Lake Express high speed ferry service have been good for the local tourism business.

Lake Express began operations June 1, and by all accounts it has been very successful. In a year that cold, wet weather hampered the summer tourist season statewide, Muskegon and some areas along the West Michigan lakeshore reported a solid summer.

Muskegon County room tax receipts are up 1.5 percent for the year. The most recent numbers available from June showed an 8-percent increase, despite the average temperature being 5 degrees below normal. Weather plays a crucial role in the success or failure of the summer tourism market, officials said.

In July, visitors to the Muskegon County Convention and Visitors Bureau were up 35 percent and telephone calls up 16 percent over the past year. County tourism officials say a vast majority of inquiries are about Lake Express and Michigan's Adventure Amusement Park -- one of West Michigan's leading attractions.

Many in the tourist industry point to the Lake Express as making a difference this cool summer. No one -- not even Lake Express -- has specific numbers and research yet, but many in the industry are convinced that Lake Express is giving a boost to the tourism economy.

The poor weather in northern Michigan and Wisconsin, plus new cross-lake ferry competition has hurt business on the SS Badger, a historic ferry operated between Ludington and Manitowoc by Lake Michigan Carferry. Like Lake Express, Badger officials don't release passenger numbers.

"The competition has had an effect on our business," Lake Michigan Carferry spokeswoman Lynda Daugherty said. "But we really can't say how much because of the tourism situation in northern Michigan and Wisconsin.

The Badger service will be around for the long-term, Daugherty said.

"We are focused on managing our business and improving our service for our passengers," she said. "We have new things planned for next season."

Reported by The Muskegon Chronicle, Jason Leslie


Legislation Would Save Port Huron's Maritime Heritage


More money is needed to help protect Port Huron’s maritime heritage.

That was the topic of discussion last Wednesday when U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow met with city and history preservation officials aboard the Huron lightship in Port Huron to rally support for two pieces of maritime legislation she introduced in Congress.

One bill, the Michigan Lighthouse and Maritime Heritage Act, would direct federal and state governments to determine options for long-term protection of significant maritime landmarks such as lighthouses, piers, museums and historic vessels.  The second bill would provide $100 million during four years in grants to Great Lakes coastal cities looking to improve their coastline or save lighthouses.

The bills are circulating through the House and Senate.

Meanwhile, the federal Patent and Trademark Office is reviewing another request from Port Huron to trademark the "Maritime Capital of the Great Lakes" slogan, which is used on city documents. Jim Clary, a Port Huron artist who is leading the slogan effort, said the office denied the first request filed last year because the city couldn't prove the slogan was being used as a destination tool. Clary said the process could take several years.

Reported by Jason Leslie, Port Huron Times Herald


Port Report


Port Stanley

Reported by Andy Greenlees, Brad Jolliffe

Saginaw arrived and backed in to Port Stanley early Sunday morning to load wheat for Huron, Ohio. As a buildup of silt has formed at the harbor mouth she can only load to bout 21 feet and must make a hard turn to port exiting the harbor.


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Kinsman Independent Towed to Hamilton


An era came to an end Wednesday evening in Buffalo. The idled grain boat Kinsman Independent was towed away from the Buffalo Port Terminal at around 7:30 p.m., with a large, upper pilothouse style tug pulling at the bow and the smaller tug Seahound at the stern. This closes a timeline of nearly 100 years worth of straight deck bulk freighters calling on Buffalo's docks, and leaves the waterfront without a resident straight decker for the first time in 10 years.

The Kinsman Independent, which was the last non self-unloading, U.S.-flag vessel left in the grain trade, was retired at the end of the 2002 season, replaced with the self-unloader Joseph H. Frantz, which Great Lakes Associates has on charter from Oglebay Norton Marine Services.

Kinsman Independent was built at DeFoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Mich., in 1952 as the Charles L. Hutchinson. She later sailed for the Ford Motor Co. as Ernest R. Breech. She was sold to Great Lakes Associates in 1988.

Her destination is reported to be Hamilton, Ont., where new owner McKeil Marine Ltd., may be planning on cutting the historic steamer down to a barge.

Reported by Brian Wroblewski


Capt. Ralph Tucker Moves to Montreal


2:00PM Update:
It has been reported that the Capt. Ralph Tucker will be sailing under her own power from Montreal to the ship breakers at Alang, India.  A crew is being provided from India with the Captain and Chief Engineer already on board preparing for the voyage.  A departure date is not yet known.

Reported by Kent Malo

Original Report:
The 1966-built tanker Capt. Ralph Tucker, reported previously as being sold for scrapping overseas by owner McKeil Marine Ltd., sailed from Hamilton to Montreal Thursday under her own power. She has since arrived at Sec. 56 North, which was home to the obsolete laker Canadian Venture until earlier this week, when that vessel was towed away for scrap.

The Tucker’s ultimate destination is listed as India, which probably means the shipbreaker’s yard at Alang.

Reported by Ron Walsh, Kent Malo


Midwest Energy Agrees To Pay Pollution Fines


The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday announced it has reached a settlement with Midwest Energy Resources Co. coal terminal in Superior for past violations of air pollution regulations.

Midwest Energy has agreed to pay a $69,750 fine to the EPA for the violations, according to a story in the Duluth News Tribune. The EPA also said the company has agreed to repair or replace six air-cleaning bag houses that will cut coal dust by 125 tons per year.

One year ago the EPA said Midwest Energy violated the Clean Air Act by not running bag houses at all times as required by the company's air pollution permit. The EPA said high levels of coal dust could affect the health of children, the elderly and people with heart and lung diseases. The alleged violations occurred on numerous days between October 1999 and December 2002, the EPA said.

But Fred Shusterich, Midwest Energy president, told the newspaper the company already had been in compliance with EPA regulations for most of this year. In fact, the new and improved pollution control equipment was installed as part of the new state Department of Natural Resources operating permit issued in January.

Shusterich said that air monitoring devices placed around the coal terminal show an average air particulate matter of about 25 micrograms per cubic meter. Federal standards allow up to 150 micrograms.

Midwest Energy received a new state operating permit for air emissions earlier this year after a long struggle with state regulators. The new permit will allow the company to increase capacity about 41 percent over time, from about 18 million tons per year to 25.5 million tons.

Midwest Energy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Detroit Edison.

Reported by Duluth News Tribune


Lake Express Trips Called Off More Than Predicted


The Lake Express is canceling an average of one round trip every two weeks, mostly because of rough seas. That's more than twice the number of cancellations predicted in the ferry's business plan, according to a recent story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Nonetheless, passenger bookings continue to exceed expectations and Lake Express LLC executives respect the decisions of ferry captains to stay in port if the lake is too rocky for passengers' comfort, Lake Express spokesman Jeff Fleming said.

Three round trips were canceled last weekend - the last one on Saturday and the first two on Sunday - after a car deck door came loose and fell on two passengers' cars, amid heavy waves. Before that, the ferry canceled round trips July 23 and Aug. 4 because of rough seas and canceled an Aug. 19 round trip to complete maintenance work.

That's six cancellations out of the 271 round trips scheduled through Tuesday, or more than 2 percent. Before the ferry started service, executives figured it would miss less than 1 percent of its trips because of weather, Fleming said.

Although the waves haven't hit 12 feet - the level at which the ferry must seek port for safety reasons, under the terms of its U.S. Coast Guard certification - wind direction has been a larger problem. The ferry's stabilizers work best when facing the head winds or tail winds that prevail on its route, authorities have said. When the wind hits the vessel from the side, passengers are rocked, and captains call off trips if the rocking gets too heavy.

When trips are canceled, the ferry line offers alternate transportation or refunds. Fleming said "passengers have been very understanding" and realize that airlines also cancel trips for weather or mechanical reasons.

Reported by Jason Leslie


Port Report



Reported by Ben and Chanda McClain
Tuesday was an active day in the Thunder Bay River with two vessels bringing salt to the Alpena Oil Dock. The Algoway arrived mid-morning and unloaded the first cargo of salt and the Agawa Canyon came in around 4pm with the second load. The Canyon departed after 8pm and proceeded to back out of the river.

On Wednesday morning the G.L Ostrander/barge Integrity took on cement at Lafarge and the Paul H. Townsend was expected in late Wednesday night to load.  

The J.A.W Iglehart was unloading in Saginaw on Wednesday and the steamer Alpena was in St. Joseph.

Fleetmates Arthur M. Anderson and John G. Munson loaded at Stoneport on Tuesday & Wednesday.



Reported by Al Miller

The fall grain rush appears to have begun in the Twin Ports, with four vessels loading Tuesday morning and two more waiting at anchor. Algonorth was loading at AGP in Duluth. In Superior, Joseph H. Frantz was loading at General Mills S. Cenex Harvest States clearly has been the busiest elevator in the Twin Ports this season. On Tuesday it was hosting another full house, with Bluewing loading in berth 1 and Woody arriving about 7:30 a.m. in berth 2. Anchored on the lake were Orsula and Federal St. Laurent.

Saginaw River

Reported by Todd Shorkey
Early on Monday, the American Republic was inbound for the Bay Aggregates dock to unload.  She was back outbound for the lake later in the morning.
The tug Joe Thompson, Jr. and barge Joseph H. Thompson were outbound in the morning as well after delivering a split load to the Wirt dock in Bay City and the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee.
Tuesday saw the J.A.W. Iglehart upbound for the LaFarge dock in Carrollton to unload.  She finished Wednesday afternoon, turned at the Sixth Street basin and was downbound for the lake passing through Bay City late in the afternoon.
On Wednesday, the Richard Reiss was inbound with a split load.  The Reiss stopped at the Essexville Sand & Stone dock to lighter before proceeding upriver late in the morning to finish unloading at the Burroughs dock.  Once the downbound Iglehart passed, the she departed for the Sixth Street basin, turned and was outbound early in the evening.


Reported by  D. Roberts & Bob Vernon
Thursday saw Algosteel and Canadian Navigator at the MidWest Terminal (stone dock).

Toledo Docks are expecting a busy week ahead. Scheduled for the Coal Dock:  Friday, Sept. 3rd, John G. Munson is due from Huron at 12:30 a.m. with Arthur M. Anderson arriving from Ashtabula at 1 a.m. At 1 p.m., Catherine Desgagnes is expected from Green Bay and will pump water for six hours before starting to load.

Saturday, September 4th., H. Lee White should arrive from Detroit around 5 p.m.; Herbert C. Jackson is expected from Detroit, Wednesday, September 7th., at 7 a.m. while Saginaw comes down from Windsor at 6 p.m

Rt. Hon. Paul Martin is expected to visit the Torco (ore) Dock Tuesday, September 7th., at 6 p.m., with American Mariner due from Marquette Thursday, September 9th. at 11 p.m., and Frontenac scheduled at 8 a.m. Sunday, September 12th.

(Photos in Photo Gallery)


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Scrap Tows Delayed Until Today


The departure of the Canadian Venture from Montreal,, which was scheduled for Tuesday, was delayed until 5 a.m. today. She and her former fleetmate, Canadian Trader, are bound for an overseas scrapyard.

Canadian Venture, with Strong Deliverer as lead tug, assisted by the tug Gerry G from Ocean McAllister, will eventually meet up with the Canadian Trader, which will leave Trois Rivieres, Que., under tow of the tugs Avantage and Andre H.

The two tows are expected to meet up at the Les Escoumins pilot station; the tug Strong Deliverer will then take both vessels overseas. The tow is expected to take 3.5 months, sailing around the Cape of South Africa.

The tug Gerry G will  tow the tugs Avantage and Andre H. back to Trois Rivieres after the Canadian Venture and Canadian Trader have been delivered to the Les Escoumins pilot station

Reported by Kent Malo (Photos taken Tuesday on Ocean Jupiter)

Strong Deliverer and Canadian Venture Tuesday
Canadian Venture (stern view) ready to leave on her scrap tow.


Sunken Sailboat/Yacht Will Be Salvaged


The 54 foot sailboat/yacht Mondisy which sunk in the St. Lawrence River in the early morning of Aug. 11 after colliding with the containership Canada Senator, will be salvaged. Transport-Canada has awarded the operation to Groupe-Ocean of Quebec City. The Mondisy is resting in the navigational channel in front of St.Nicolas in 20 meters of water. The wreck is considered a potential hazard to navigation and Groupe-Ocean is already present on the scene to begin the operations expected to last several days. Two people from the yacht lost their lives: the owner and the person at the helm. Two others were rescued. An autopsy performed on the body of the helsman did not reveal any sudden illness or malaise.

Reported by Frederick Frechette


USCG Mackinaw Reunion Marks 60th Anniversary


Aug. 12-14 the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw Association held its 8th reunion, marking the 60th anniversary of the ship.  The event was for all crew members, past and present, and their families. 

There were three "plank owners” (original crewmembers when the vessel was launched) and their families present. There was a cocktail hour, get together and open house Thursday. On Friday, the ship hosted a cruise from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. with a chicken barbecue on the fantail. 

After the vessel returned to Cheboygan and tied up Friday evening, there was a banquet with state representatives, county dignitaries and the admiral from the Ninth Coast Guard district, all of whom gave glowing remarks about he ship and her history.

On Saturday there was a picnic and a softball game, present crew vs. the old timers. About 500 former crew showed up as this might be the last reunion for the old girl.  The new Mackinaw is supposed to be commissioned in 2005.

Reported by George Watson

(Pictures in Photo Gallery)



Balladeer Lee Murdock To Perform Oct. 2 Concert On William G. Mather


Lee Murdock will perform a benefit concert on board the Steamship William G. Mather Museum at  Cleveland’s  North Coast Harbor Oct. 2 at 8 pm..

 Discover a sweetwater treasure in his songs about the Great Lakes, and explore the drama and inspiration in the lives of sailors and fishermen, lighthouse keepers, ghosts, shipwrecks, outlaws and everyday heroes.  His musical arrangements of new and traditional folk ballads, chanteys, and work songs introduce folk music to new audiences, while entertaining the serious fans of maritime and traditional music.

Weather permitting, Murdock will perform outside on the main deck, otherwise, he will sing inside one of the Mather’s cargo holds. The Mather Museum will be open prior to the concert for tours of  “The Ship That Built  Cleveland.” For ticket prices and more information, contact the Mather Museum at 216-574-9053.  You can also visit the Mather Museum online at and Lee Murdock at

Reported by Rob Catalano, William G. Mather Museum


Port Report


Saginaw River

Reported by Todd Shorkey
Wilfred Sykes was inbound the Saginaw River Saturday afternoon headed to the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City.  She was outbound early Sunday morning.
The tug Muskegon has been working on a dredging project near the mouth of the river.
The James Norris was inbound on Monday headed up to an undisclosed dock in Saginaw To unload.  It is expected that she will be outbound Tuesday morning.

(Pictures in the Photo Gallery)


Reported by Lee Rowe
The Michipicoten and Herbert C. Jackson loaded ore at Marquette Tuesday. Plans are being made to increase the fencing along the shore near the ore dock and require identification badges for all workers.

(Pictures in the Photo Gallery)



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