Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Port Reports -  September 30

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader unloaded limestone Wednesday morning at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock. Fall colors are nearing peak.

Cheboygan, Mich. - Jon Paul & Brent Michaels
After being aground off Cheboygan State Park for several weeks the tug William Hoey was freed and anchored in deeper water. The pontoon boat crews were using was damaged after prop wash from the tug capsized it and they were stranded aboard the tug for a day and a half without a radio or cellphone.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug General, with its barge and equipment, left Alpena to head back to Cheboygan on Wednesday. The work on the fish habitat in the area was completed. Tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity arrived at Lafarge on Wednesday. The research vessel Sturgeon has been tied up in the river the past few days.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
CSL Laurentien finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed Wednesday afternoon, bound for Sandusky, Ohio, to finish loading coal. Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was at Anderson's K Elevator loading grain. The tug Cleveland was at the Ironhead Shipyard. The tug Sea Eagle II and barge St. Marys Cement II were at the St. Marys Cement dock unloading cement. The tug Kathy Lynn and related dredging equipment were dredging the ship channel area in Maumee Bay near the river entrance. The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the John G. Munson, American Mariner, Michipicoten, and Robert S. Pierson. Kaye E. Barker is due on Saturday followed by John J. Boland on Sunday. The next scheduled ore boat due into the Torco Dock to unload ore will be Algowood on Friday. The next scheduled stone boat due in to the Midwest Stone Dock will be Algomarine on Monday.


Suncor stops spread of St. Lawrence fuel spill

9/30 - Montreal, Que. - Suncor Energy is still trying to determine how much fuel spilled into the St. Lawrence River after a leak at its refinery in east end Montreal. The diesel spill occurred Tuesday night at the company's Petro-Canada refinery at the Port of Montreal.

By Wednesday morning, a slick of diesel fuel ran 2½ kilometres along the shoreline.

With the help of the Montreal fire department, the company installed containment booms and began pumping fuel out of the water.

Suncor spokesperson Michael Southern said the exact source and cause of the leak are still unclear.

"At this time, the source of the leak has been stopped," Southern told CBC News. "We believe that the majority of product that made its way into the river has been contained. We are now in the process of recovering that. We are confident we will be able to recover most of the product."

Firefighters arrived on the scene at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday after people living in the area reported a strong smell of fuel.

Fire officials have said the leak occurred in one of two reservoirs on the site.

Suncor officials managed to stop the fuel from escaping by pumping water into the reservoir, allowing the oil to rise to the top, where it could be skimmed off and removed. The company also installed containment booms around the spill zone.

Officials from Environment Canada and Environment Quebec are on site to monitor the cleanup.

CBC News


Changes in Canada revive hopes for Cleveland-to-Port Stanley ferry service

9/30 - Cleveland, Ohio - In 1962, after five years of operating at a loss, the Michigan Ohio Navigation Co. shut down the nine-deck luxury ferry S.S. Aquarama that ran between Cleveland and Detroit across Lake Erie.

And for the nearly 50 years since then, transportation planners and business visionaries have been trying to resurrect the idea of a cross-lake ferry to Canada, without success.

A sign posted a few years ago in a Port Stanley, Ontario, storefront reflected the local sentiment for the ferry as "one of those ideas which refuses to go away."

William Friedman, the new chief executive of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, thinks there are good reasons for that.

He said the time has never been better for a cross-lake ferry service. It would be profitable without government subsidies and provide a faster, cheaper and environmentally cleaner way to move cargo on trucks and people in cars between the two countries, Friedman said.

U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette of Bainbridge Township agrees and said nearly $7 million in federal government grants remain earmarked for ships and a terminal for the first Northeast Ohio port city that succeeds in nailing down a ferry deal.

"I still think it's the way of the future," LaTourette said in an interview last week. "First and foremost, a ferry would provide a boost for the economic competition of the region. It would be great for jobs, especially in the auto-parts industry."

Cleveland is competing with the ports of Grand River, Conneaut and Ashtabula for LaTourette's federal ferry start-up grant.

A major change has brightened the prospects for a Cleveland-to-Canada ferry service since the last attempt failed about a year ago, Friedman said. Two weeks ago, the city of Central Elgin bought Port Stanley from the Canadian government, giving the local government jurisdiction over whether a ferry terminal is built there. The Canadian government had refused to consent to such an agreement.

But LaTourette said the largest stumbling block remains the U.S. government's Harbor Maintenance Tax, a 0.0125 percent tariff on the value of cargo being imported from Canada.

Friedman doesn't see the tax as insurmountable.

"It isn't a make-or-break deal," Friedman said. "There is a bill pending in the House of Representatives that has pretty broad support, but faces hurdles, that would exempt Great Lakes trade from the tax."

Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority CEO William Friedman says the time has never been better for a cross-lake ferry service.

A wild card in the ferry negotiations could be the Canadians' receptiveness to the plan. Port Stanley, which is 81 miles across the lake, is a quaint lakefront vacation town with pleasure boat marinas and a bustling commercial fishing fleet.

In years past, opponents mustered whenever the ferry issue was proposed.

John Robinson, who is running for mayor of Central Elgin in the Oct. 25 election, said the ferry proposal is not a campaign issue.

"I don't believe anybody has addressed it over here for a while," Robinson said. "It raises its head every so often, but no one is beating the drum to revive the issue at this moment."

Incumbent Mayor Tom Marks said he expects that situation to change after the election.

"I'd be very surprised if someone didn't approach us in the next term," Marks said. "But we don't want that to be an election issue. We have enough things going."

If Port Stanley isn't interested, mayoral candidate Bob Lozon said Port Burwell -- located a short distance to the east -- would be a willing partner. The Canadian government still owns the Port Burwell facility, however.

"I'm absolutely, 100 percent in favor of it," Lozon said. "We're open for negotiations with whichever Ohio city is going to get it."

Friedman has hired maritime consultant Stuart Theis of Rocky River to prepare a ferry feasibility study. His three-month contract for $19,500 expires Nov. 1.

"A ferry service would give Cleveland an international border crossing," Theis said. "Just think about what that would mean for the region. There are a lot of good reasons it should happen, and those reasons haven't changed."

Theis said it takes truckers six hours or more to drive around Lake Erie to Port Stanley, compared with an estimated three-hour ferry ride. The savings in time and fuel would more than offset the price of the Harbor Maintenance Tax to Canadian truckers, he said.

Theis said he will gauge Port Stanley's opinion of the ferry proposal and whether Royal Wagenborg, a Dutch company, is interested in running the ferry service. If either balks, he will talk to other ports and companies, then present his findings to Friedman and the Port Authority board to act on, he said. There is no timetable for the project.

Cleveland Plain Dealer


Crowley awards scholarships to two cadets at Great Lakes Maritime Academy

9/30 - Traverse City, Mich. – Two cadets in the deck officer program at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City, Mich. were recently awarded Thomas B. Crowley Sr. Memorial scholarships.

Bruce Beeker and Christopher Hyzy received the scholarships for the 2010-2011 academic year. Both cadets were awarded scholarships based on their academic record and interest in the towing industry.

Beeker, from Traverse City, received a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from Indiana University at Bloomington. He worked in law enforcement for 13 years before enrolling at GLMA and is scheduled to graduate in 2012 and then enter the towing industry.

Hyzy, a native of Sycamore, Ill., has a bachelor’s degree in aviation management from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He has operations management experience and plans to pursue a career in tug and barge handling.

“We are appreciative of this scholarship program and the commitment of Crowley Maritime Corporation to the maritime cadets of Great Lakes Maritime Academy,” said John Berck, director of admissions. “I am certain our graduates will consider the opportunities Crowley may offer in their maritime careers.”

Over the years, Crowley Chairman, President and CEO Tom Crowley Jr., has continued to give scholarship dollars to deserving students at the maritime academies and other select institutions in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Central America in the name of his father Thomas B. Crowley Sr., who guided the company before passing away in 1994.

Since 1984, Crowley has provided more than half-a-million dollars in scholarship funding for approximately 190 students studying at maritime academies and other select institutions. The company has also donated more than $2 million over the years to support other educational programs. In 2006, the program expanded to Central America and to date has provided financial assistance to approximately 20 students in that region.


Updates -  September 30

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 30

On September 30, 1896, SUMATRA (wooden schooner-barge, 204 foot, 845 gross tons, built in 1874, at Black River, Ohio) was loaded with railroad 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 was lost. The four survivors were rescued by the ARNOLD and the U.S. 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. C.C.G.S. SAMUEL RISLEY arrived and helped patch the ship. The pair the departed for Parry Sound, Ontario.

On September 30, 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 October. 5 Her crew was rescued by the U.S. Lifesaving Service.

On September 30, 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 eight 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.


Port Report - September 29

South Chicago - Brian Z.
Monday was a busy day in South Chicago for KCBX Terminals. CSL Niagara loaded 32,000 net tons of petroleum coke and departed the dock around 6 p.m. The Manistee arrived after the Niagara cleared the Calumet River and began loading a blended coal cargo for Holland, Mich. Manistee completed loading 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning and exited the river to be replaced under the loader at KCBX by the Arthur M. Anderson. The Anderson was scheduled to bring a load a coal to General Motors in Deroit, Mich.


‘Deadliest Catch’ boat engulfed in flames in Seattle

9/29 – Seattle, Wash. - The Arctic Dawn, previously a crabbing vessel featured on the Discovery Channel’s series “Deadliest Catch,” caught fire around 2 a.m. PDT Tuesday morning.

More than 100 firefighters immediately responded to the scene, where they fought the fire from the pier and also from a police boat and a fireboat. Fire crews were able to contain the fire and kept it from spreading to the nearby fishing vessel Kodiak.

The ship’s captain was asleep onboard when the fire started. The Seattle Fire Department reports that the smoke woke him up and he escaped. No injuries were reported during the blaze. Most of the fire was confined to the superstructure of the ship, above the water line. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Phil Leon


Updates - September 29

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 29

September 29, 1930, for the first time in the history of Pittsburgh Steamship Company, the boats of the fleet loaded more than one million tons in a seven-day period. The 64 Pittsburgh boats loaded 1,002,092 tons of cargo between 9/23 and 9/29.

The J. H. SHEADLE (Hull#22) of the Great Lakes Engineering Works, was launched September 29, 1906 , for the Grand Island Steamship Co. (Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co., Cleveland, Ohio, mgr.) Renamed b.) F. A. BAILEY in 1924, c.) LA SALLE in 1930. Sold Canadian in 1965, renamed d.) MEAFORD, and e.) PIERSON INDEPENDENT in 1979. She was scrapped at Santander, Spain, in 1980.

Henry Ford II, 70, of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, passed away on September 29, 1987. Mr. Ford's namesake was the Ford Motor Company self-unloader.

On September 29, 1986, the Polish tug KORAL left Lauzon, Quebec with the JOHN E. F. MISENER and GOLDEN HIND enroute to Cartagena / Mamonal, Columbia, for scrapping.

September 29, 1892 - The ANN ARBOR NO 1 was launched.

On 29 September 1872, ADRIATIC (3-masted wooden schooner-barge, 139 foot, 129 net tons, built in 1865, at Clayton, New York as a bark) was in tow of the tug MOORE along with three other barges in Lake Erie in a heavy gale. She became separated from the tow and foundered. The entire crew of 7 was lost. The wooden schooner DERRICK was used in salvage operations. On 29 September 1854, she had just positioned herself above the wreck of the steamer ERIE off Silver Creek, New York on Lake Erie when she went down in a gale. She had spent the summer trying to salvage valuables from the wreck of the steamer ATLANTIC.

On 29 September 1900, the steamer SAKIE SHEPARD was re-launched at Anderson's shipyard in Marine City. She had been thoroughly rebuilt there during the summer.

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


Port Reports – September 28

Hancock/Houghton - Danielle Adams
Canadian Progress arrived Monday morning in Hancock, Mich., with  22,000 tons of road salt.  They were delayed by a broken cable on the boom that happened after unloading at Sault Ste Marie, Mich., so they had to go to Thunder Bay, Ont., to get the cable fixed.  
Toronto – Charlie Gibbons
The tug M. R. Kane was re-floated at Toronto Drydock early Monday morning; she was followed onto the drydock by the schooner Spirit of Buffalo, on its first visit to The Big Smoke.
Buffalo – Brian Wroblewski
Monday afternoon, American Mariner backed out the Buffalo River unassisted and headed back out into Lake Erie. In the evening, the tug Rebecca Lynn cleared the Buffalo piers with her barge headed westbound for Detroit.
Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Manitowoc slowly made its way into the river by nightfall on Monday. It unloaded coal for the DPI Plant.


Updates - September 28

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 28

On September 28, 1980, 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


 Port Reports – September 27

Buffalo – Brian Wroblewski
Saturday, American Mariner came in without tugs. At 6:30 p.m., the Mariner was still tied up at the General Mills dock.

Soo – Greg Barber
With much calmer wind and sunny skies on Sunday, Indiana Harbor, Presque Isle, Federal Yukon, James R. Barker, Mesabi Miner, Frontenac, Arthur M. Anderson, Canadian Transport, American Spirit and the Gordon C. Leitch where downbound and the Richelieu, CSL Assiniboine and Paul R. Tregurtha where upbound.


Updates - September 27

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 27

September 27, 1959 The West Neebish Channel, through which downbound traffic normally passes, was temporarily closed to permit dredging to the maximum Seaway depth of 27 feet. Two way traffic was instituted in the Middle Neebish Channel until dredging was completed.

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 The Detroit Free Press on September 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 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 in 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, 1,294 gross tons) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan. Her construction had been subcontracted by F. W. Wheeler & Co. to 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 from them. The schooner CORSAIR foundered off Sturgeon Point on Saginaw Bay at 4 p.m. on Sunday the 29th and only 2 of the crew survived. The barge A. LINCOLN 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, Russ Plumb, Mike Nicholls, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series, Detroit Free Press.


Port Reports - September 26

Soo - Greg Barber
On a cold and windy day, only upbound traffic was moving on the river, with Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Charles M. Beeghly, American Integrity, Burns Harbor, Roger Blough, Kaye E. Barker and the Lee A. Tregurtha.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The passenger vessel Clelia II arrived in port late Friday. Hamilton Energy came over from Hamilton Saturday morning to bunker her, then returned to Hamilton. English River was in on Friday at Lafarge. Metis finished unloading at Essroc but did not depart due to high winds. Everlast and Norman McLeod departed Friday morning.


Shipping industry on Great Lakes worried about new legislation

9/26 - People in the commercial shipping industry on the Great Lakes and other marine industry executives are concerned about legislation passed in New York state.

The Ontario Marine Transportation Forum in Thunder Bay was told Tuesday that legislation requires all ships passing through New York waters to follow new ballast water regulations. The regulations are 1,000 times greater than standards set by the International Maritime Organization and are to come into effect by Jan. 1, 2012.

Allister Paterson, president of Seaway Marine Transport, says the problem is that the seaway goes through a very small part of New York state. Paterson says the entire seaway could be potentially shut down because no ship in the world can comply with that regulation, because the technology does not exist. Currently, all ships travelling through the St. Lawrence Seaway are required to go through two locks in Massena, New York, so they would be required to follow the new regulations


Updates - September 26

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 26

September 26, 1930, the schooner OUR SON, originally launched in 1875, sank during a storm on Lake Michigan. Seventy-three year old Captain Fred Nelson the crew of OUR SON were rescued by the self unloader WILLIAM NELSON.

September 26, 1937, the Canadian Seaman's Union signed a tentative wage contract. Sailors would continue a two watch system (working 12 hours every 24 hours) and be paid the following monthly wages: Wheelsmen and Oilers - $72.50, Watchmen and firemen - $67.50, Second Cooks - $52.50, deckhands and coal passers - $50.00, porters - $45.00, Chief Cooks on the Upper Lakes - $115.00, and Chief Cooks on Canal boats $105.00.

September 26, 1957, Taconite Harbor, Minnesota loaded its first cargo of 10,909 tons of taconite pellets into the holds of the Interlake steamer J. A. CAMPBELL.

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 U.S. 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 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. She was renamed b.) ADAM E. CORNELIUS in 1989.

The BELLE RIVER was side swiped by the Liberian FEDERAL RHINE, of 1977, 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 escaped. The BOURKE burned to the waterline and the fire spread ashore, destroying the dock and a pile of lumber.

At 3:00 a.m., 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, Russ Plumb, Mike Nicholls, Ahoy & Farewell II, Father Dowling Collection, and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Strong winds slow shipping

9/25 - Gale force winds across the Great Lakes caused a number of boats to seek shelter on Friday. Late in the day, Canadian Progress was on the hook in Goulais Bay off Whitefish Bay, while further south, Charles M. Beeghly spent most of the day anchored in Raber Bay in the lower St. Marys River. The tug/barge G.L. Ostrander/Integrity sought shelter north of Mackinac Island near St. Ignace.

In Lake Huron, Buffalo, St. Clair, Africaborg and Algorail were anchored in a row above Port Huron. Algoway was tied up at the Government Dock in Sarnia, and CSL Assiniboine was anchored below Marine City in the St. Clair River.


Port Report - September 25

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber called on the Saginaw River early Thursday morning with a split cargo. The pair stopped at the Lafarge dock in Essexville, before continuing upriver, stopping briefly at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee. They then went further upriver, stopping at the Saginaw Rock Products dock. The Moore & Kuber were outbound Thursday evening. The tug Zeus, with the tank barge Robert F. Deegan, called on the Dow Chemical "Oxy" dock in Bay City Thursday morning to unload. The pair remained there early Friday morning.


U.S. Steel starts clock on Hamilton labor stoppage

9/25 - Hamilton, Ont. - The clock is ticking toward a U.S. Steel strike or lockout in Hamilton. The company triggered the countdown Wednesday by asking for a provincial conciliator after four months of negotiations with United Steelworkers Local 1005.

In an announcement on its website, the union advised members of the development, explaining once a conciliation officer is appointed he or she will try to bring the sides together. If that effort fails, the officer will issue a "no board" report. That puts either side in a strike or lockout position after 17 days.

That means, for example, if a no board report is issued next Friday, there could be picket lines in front of the company's Hamilton plant by Oct. 17. The company and union have been trying to reach a new agreement since May. The old contract expired at the end of July. The key stumbling block remains the company's demand to end pension indexing and convert the existing defined benefit pension plan to a defined contribution scheme.

In an e-mail, union president Rolf Gerstenberger said the company's decision to start the lockout clock reflects the attitude it has taken to all of its Canadian operations. "This is part of U.S. Steel not living up to their commitments to the federal government and the Investment Canada Act and to the promises that they made to the Stelco workers and pensioners when they seized Stelco," he wrote.

U.S. Steel spokesperson Trevor Harris did not return a call seeking comment. The company has consistently refused to comment on ongoing negotiations.
If talks result in a lockout or strike it could be a long one -- workers at the company's Lake Erie plant in Nanticoke were locked out for eight months before agreeing to a two-tiered pension plan that closes the current defined benefit system to new staff. They're directed to a new defined contribution scheme.

In another early "get tough" sign, the company cancelled pension increases due to more than 8,000 local retirees on Aug. 1. The company said it wasn't required to make the payments of about $10 per $1,000 in pension because the collective agreement had expired. The union says under Ontario labor law, an employer is barred from changing working conditions laid out in an expired contract until after a provincial conciliator has failed to bring the sides together.

In addition to pension changes, the company wants to cut the cost of living allowance formula so it would pay only 20 per cent of its current increase and reduce maximum vacation time to five weeks from seven.

U.S. Steel has also been sued by the federal government, which alleges the company broke promises to maintain Canadian production and employment made when it was given approval to purchase the former Stelco in 2007. Within a year of the purchase it idled all of its Canadian plants in response to the recession, shifting all production to its American operations.

The Hamilton Spectator


Updates - September 25

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 25

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 Gijn, Spain, for scrapping.

The HENRY C. FRICK departed Bay City 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 and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


New York Power Authority barge Havasu II christened Thursday

9/24 - Cleveland, Ohio – The New York Power Authority’s newly-constructed pedestal crane barge was christened at Great Lakes Shipyard, Cleveland, Ohio, on Thursday. The barge will be utilized for deployment and retrieval of an ice boom placed across the Niagara River at Buffalo New York to prevent ice from blocking the hydro-electric water intakes of the New York Power Authority.

Bristol Harbor Group Inc., Bristol, Rhode Island, designed the barge for New York Power Authority and also acted as its representatives during construction.

Ronald C. Rasmus, President and CEO of The Great Lakes Group, was the ceremony’s principal speaker. Patricia Anne Lombardi, Associate Engineer, Power Supply Project Management Hydro/Transmission Group Niagara Project, was the ship’s sponsor, and ceremonially named the barge Havasu II by breaking the traditional bottle of champagne against its hull. Also speaking was Joseph P. Starck, President of Great Lakes Shipyard.

Before the end of September, the barge will be towed from the shipyard to its new homeport in Buffalo, N.Y., by a Great Lakes Towing Co. tug.

In other news, Great Lakes Shipyard was recently awarded a follow-on $8.2 million contract by the U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., for two new research vessels to support the oceanographic and fisheries assessment mission on the Great Lakes. The new research vessels will replace the research vessels Musky II on Lake Erie and Kaho on Lake Ontario. The construction of these vessels will employ more than 43 shipyard welders, mechanics, electricians and painters, and is expected to be completed in August, 2011.

The Great Lakes Towing Company


Port Reports - September 24

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Thursday, Durocher Marine equipment was dredging the slip for the DNRE vessels in the Thunder Bay River. G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity were expected to arrive at Lafarge late Thursday night.

Cleveland, Ohio - Paul Magyar
Algorail was inbound Cleveland Harbor with a load of stone for Cleveland Road Products Thursday. She was assisted by the tug Iowa approaching NS Bridge #1.


Gale warning issued for Lake Michigan

9/24 - Chicago, Ill. – Despite summer weather on the first full day of fall, Lake Michigan may face potentially hazardous winds and waves Thursday and Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

A gale warning and small craft warning are both in effect until 7 p.m. Friday for areas of Lake Michigan within five miles of shore, according to the weather service.

Southwest winds of about 30 to 35 knots (35 to 40 mph) and waves between 5 and 8 feet are forecast for areas closer to shore, with occasional waves measuring 8 to 11 feet.

Areas more than five miles off shore could see strong winds or gusts of up to 40 knots (46 mph) and waves up to 12 feet, with some waves topping 17 feet, according to the weather service. A gale warning for these areas lasts from 10 p.m. Thursday to 10 p.m. Friday.

The weather is expected to continue through the region and will likely effect all the lakes.

Chicago Sun-Times


Book about St. Marys Challenger wins prestigious award

9/24 - Milwaukee, Wis. – The book "Centennial Steaming Through the American Century," by Milwaukee-based author Chris Winters, has won the Steamship Historical Society of America's prestigious 2010 C. Bradford Mitchell Award. The honor is presented annually to an individual or organization that has made a particular achievement contributing to the aims and mission of SSHSA. The award will be presented Saturday as part of the SSHA's 75th Anniversary Celebration.

"Centennial Steaming Through the American Century," which contains more than 300 images including both archival and contemporary material, is the story of the historic Great Lakes steamer St. Marys Challenger, which turned 100 years old in 2006.

Click here for more information


Museum launches Hulett unloader fundraising program

9/24 - Berea, Ohio - A replica of one of the true monsters of the Great Lakes, the Hulett Ore Unloader, similar to those that operated in 11 Great Lakes cities, is now being offered in an ongoing effort to raise funds for The Ohio Museum of Transportation & Industry (OMTI) project.

The Hulett Ore Unloader, invented by George Hulett in the late 1800s, reigned supreme as the fastest, most efficient ore unloader on the Great Lakes for most of the 20th century, reducing the time to unload 1000 tons of ore from 7 days to one hour, at 20 percent the previous cost. A single Hulett weighed in at over 800 tons and was 116 feet long, 96 feet high (with bucket fully raised) and 34 feet wide, and resembled a hulking dinosaur.

The particular replica being offered operated on Whiskey Island in Cleveland, Ohio from 1912 to 1992. The 1:48 scale all metal model will feature all of the moving parts of the original, reproduced in the highest detail possible using original builder’s plans. A pilot model has been developed as a first step to ensure the highest quality final offering. A limited edition of 100 production models will be manufactured and delivery will begin in the fall of 2011.

For more information about the Hulett model click here


Diamond Belle trip to Whistle Blow Saturday cancelled

9/24 - Diamond Jack River Tours has regretfully canceled the Diamond Belle trip this Saturday to the St. Clair Live Steam Whistle Blow. Insufficient reservations caused the cancelation. Those holding tickets for the voyage will receive a full refund from Diamond Jack. Questions can be answered at 313-843-9376.

The Live Steam Whistle Blow will go on as scheduled this Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. in St. Clair, Mich., next to the St. Clair Inn. details


Updates - September 24

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 24

The EDMUND 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 on 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 CHARLES L. HUTCHINSON entered service. This vessel was renamed b.) ERNEST R. BREECH when it was sold to the Ford Motor Company in 1962, and it was given its present name, c.) KINSMAN INDEPENDENT, when it was sold to Kinsman Lines in 1988. Sold Canadian in 2005, and renamed d.) VOYAGEUR INDEPENDENT. She sails today as the motorship e.) OJIBWAY.

On September 23, 1991, J.W. MC GIFFIN rescued several people in a 24-foot pleasure craft off Presque Ile State Park. The group had been disabled since the day before. They were taken aboard the McGIFFIN and their boat taken under tow. The MC GIFFIN was rebuilt with a new forward section and renamed b.) CSL NIAGARA in 1999.

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

On 24 September 1902, H.A. BARR (3 mast wooden schooner, 217 foot, 1,119 gross tons, built in 1893, at W. 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.


Port Reports - September 23

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Wednesday morning, the first day of fall, found Michipicoten loading ore at the Upper Harbor and the tug Rochelle Kaye and barges dredging near the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The moon was rising above the bay as the Alpena sailed into Lafarge around 7 p.m. Wednesday, tying up under the silos to take on another cargo of cement. Trailing not far behind the Alpena was the Durocher Marine tug General, pushing a barge loaded with equipment. It tied up at the old slip on Lafarge property.


Thunder Bay port leaders feeling nervous about future

9/23 - Thunder Bay, Ont. – The commercial shipping industry on the Great Lakes is at a crossroads, and marine industry executives, local politicians, and business leaders gathered Tuesday in Thunder Bay for the Ontario Marine Transportation Forum to discuss matters that could have negative consequences for the Port of Thunder Bay.

One issue on everyone‘s mind is legislation passed by the state of New York that requires all ships passing through New York waters to follow ballast water regulations that are 1,000 times greater than standards set by the International Maritime Organization. The standards, to be in effect by Jan. 1, 2012, could cause the Port of Thunder Bay to loss three-quarters of its commercial business, the forum was told.

“The problem for us is there is a very small part of New York that the seaway goes through,” said Allister Paterson, president and chief executive officer of Seaway Marine Transport. “The entire seaway could be potentially shut down because no ship in the world can comply with that regulation,” because the technology simply does not exist.

Vessels travelling through different bodies of water are required to clean ballast systems to prevent the spread of invasive species. Currently, all ships travelling through the St. Lawrence Seaway are required to go through two locks in Massena, N.Y., so they would be required to follow the new regulations.

“We‘re certainly hopeful that they don‘t come in to play,” said Port of Thunder Bay CEO Tim Heney. “The seaway has always been a model of co-operation between Canada and the U.S. It is largest inland waterway in the world. It‘s hard to believe one state can hold that all to ransom.”

The Port of Thunder Bay has an annual economic impact of $200 million and is responsible for 450 direct jobs.

“If the seaway was affected, Thunder Bay would be affected as much or more as any other port on the lakes,” Paterson added. “I think it needs to start here because the economic impact would be higher than anywhere else.”

Paterson and Heney suggest a standard set of regulations for both nations. The IMO has a worldwide standard which could be used in the seaway, Paterson said.

“Whatever is done between Canada and the U.S. on the bi-national waterway should be one set of rules, because it‘s one water highway and that‘s the way it‘s operated for 100 years,” Paterson said. “Now they are putting different rules in different patches of the water, which is impossible because we have to sail through them all.”

The issue of a 25 per cent import duty on ships purchased overseas was also discussed Tuesday. Paterson said the legislation, implemented in 1980 to protect domestic shipbuilding industries, is discouraging Canadian shipowners from investing in new vessels.

Paterson and Heney are looking to local and provincial politicians to bring these concerns to the federal government and make them a priority.

“I think it‘s important for Thunder Bay to stand up and be counted through the politicians to say this is unacceptable and needs to be solved,” Paterson said.

The Chronicle Journal


Landmark Lockport canal building to get rehabilitation

9/23 - Lockport, Ill. – At 111 years old, the red brick building in Lockport where excess water from the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal is released into the Des Plaines River certainly qualifies as a landmark.

It also qualifies as old and weather beaten, badly in need of the $7.2 million rehabilitation it is about to undergo. The project, funded by federal stimulus money, is part of a larger $88 million project that includes the renovation of the canal wall just upstream from the old Lockport Powerhouse dam.

Local officials and members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers broke ground during a ceremony this month at the building, known as the Lockport Stage II Controlling Works.

"The structure has weathered more than a century of service," said Col. Shawn McGinley, commander of the corps' Rock Island District. "The years have taken their toll on the integrity of the structure."

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago owns and operates the building, which has seven floodgates, each about 30 feet wide and 20 feet high. It was built to stop flooding in downtown Chicago and other areas along the river and canal, according to district officials.

In June, Howard W. Pence Inc., of Elizabethtown, Ky., was awarded the controlling works project, which calls for replacing deteriorating bricks and the building's granite facing.

The project is expected to be done in 2011. McGinley said the contractor is required to preserve the building's original look, as it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Work on the canal wall has also begun and will be finished in June 2012, according to officials.

The nearby Lockport Locks, one of the busiest locks in the Illinois waterway system, sees about 17.7 million tons of commodities pass through the system each year.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, D-Ill., whose district includes the area, lobbied other legislators for stimulus funds –– through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act –– by reminding them that the state's labor, business and agriculture industries depend on the waterway.

"These waterways may be out of sight from the general public, but they are extremely important for the economy," said Halvorson. "Can you imagine the pollution, traffic and costs if we had to move commerce off barges and onto roads?"

Halvorson brushed off worries about a federal lawsuit by five Great Lakes states seeking an emergency injunction to close shipping locks on the Chicago waterway system to keep the invasive Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan.

"Closing the locks is not the answer," said Halvorson. "We want to protect the pristine Great Lakes. That is why we are doing things like shipping 30 million pounds of Asian carp to China. We also have the electric (fish) barrier set up in the canal."

Halvorson said she believes the methods to stop the fish are working and pointed out that a recent fish kill near Lake Calumet found no Asian carp.

Jim Robbins, an official with the Illinois Corn Growers Association, said the canal is extremely important to farmers in Illinois and throughout the Midwest.

Illinois' largest industry is agriculture, and the state is one of the nation's top producers of corn and soybeans.

While a majority of the grain is shipped south down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, Robbins said, some grain comes north through the area, exporting to Canada and states in the upper Midwest.

"About 80 to 90 percent of the state's grain is exported," said Robbins. "Transportation is very important for farmers. One barge-load of grain takes 70 trucks off the road."

Chicago Tribune


Seaway water levels divide boaters and home owners

9/23 - Cornwall, Ont. – With lower than normal water levels throughout the seaway, except in Lake St. Lawrence, few boaters and homeowners along the river are happy.

But the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control was quick to point out at a teleconference on Tuesday that their name is fairly inaccurate – they can only control what Mother Nature gives them.

"If supply is greater than outflow it goes up," said Jim Vollmershausen, Canadian chair of the board that oversees water levels from Lake Ontario to Montreal. "It's straightforward but it doesn't seem like it when you're in the middle of it."

Below average snowfall and rain last winter and spring left every body of water along the seaway emptier than normal, until record-setting rainfall in early summer brought levels back up. Lake St. Lawrence, just above the Moses-Saunders dam, is now 25 centimeters higher than last year, and one centimeter above average – the only area without a decrease from last year at this time.

But the lake's major tributary, the Ottawa River, had the lowest spring flow rate on record.

The abnormal conditions left the control board, a branch of the International Joint Commission (IJC) scrambling to keep the regions within a 1958 flow plan.

"All the lakes are below average," said Vollmershausen, adding that ships leaving the Port of Montreal had to lighten their load to ensure safe passage.

"The board . . . made a valiant effort this year, despite what Mother Nature threw at them," said Massena's David Foster at the public meeting.

Despite all the adjustments, many homeowners and boaters are unhappy with the water levels and are impatient for a new regulatory plan to be released from an IJC taskforce.

Public affairs advisor Bernard Beckhoff said there are still technical studies being done, but having representatives from federal, provincial and state governments involved will help speed the process along.

"It's the hope of everyone in the group to have something in a year," he said.

The new plan will add to the 1958 regulations, dictating how much water levels can safely fluctuate between the extreme minimum and maximums.

Rich Henry said he is worried about his property on Lake Ontario suffering erosion and other damages from a higher water level.

"This is a grave concern to people around me," he said, noting that even below average waves were coming over his storm walls with strong enough winds.

Some people, on the other hand, want the water to stay higher longer along the St. Lawrence River so they don't need a crane to dry their vessels.

"It would be nice to extend the boating season into September," said one resident from near Morrisburg.

Montreal representatives are also advocating for more water in their zone to better insulate the shipping industry. Boating season and property damage is nothing compared to what Paul Webb considers to be the water level's major impact.

"We're playing with people's lives," said the Brockville resident, adding that fishing and other river-based industries are crucial to maintain. "We can always launch boats . . . but the tourism industry is what's important."

Beckhoff assured that the community will be consulted before the IJC adopts a new plan.

"There's still more work to be done but we've made quite a bit of progress," he said. "The commission recognizes the urgency in getting a new plan out. A lot of time has passed since we started the process."

Webb also emphasized the need for regulations that consider new environmental concerns. "What we have right now is not working," he said. "It doesn't suit the 2010 life we're living. We've got to go ahead."

Vollmershausen and other IJC members assured participants at the meeting that they will do everything they can to consider all concerns and requests, but there are limitations to what they can accomplish.

"In the end it's subject to the supply Mother Nature gives us," said Beckhoff.

Standard Freeholder


Dossin Museum program October 3

9/23 - Detroit, Mich. – Join the Detroit Historical Society's Dossin Maritime Group at the annual Fair Winds Fall Gathering on Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. Guests will enjoy a reception, silent auction, lunch catered by Sindbads, raffle and a presentation on the history of the Dossin family, their business legacy, and their passion for racing hydroplanes by society trustee Doug Dossin.

Dossin will discuss the history of his family business, which began more than a century ago as a maker of canned food products and condiments, then grew into soft drink bottling and culminated with the acquisition of the Pepsi Cola franchise for Michigan and northern Ohio. In the 1940s, the Dossin family entered the sport of hydroplane racing with great success and were the first team owners to utilize the sport as an advertising vehicle for their business. Their Miss Pepsi, nicknamed The Mahogany Cigar, dominated the hydroplane racing circuit in the 1950s.

Around the same time, in 1949, the Museum of Great Lakes History opened on Belle Isle aboard the landed wood schooner J. T. Wing, the last commercial sailing ship on the Great Lakes. Seven years later, this museum was closed due to the deteriorated condition of the J.T. Wing. It was at this time that the Dossin family provided the funds for a new maritime museum. The new facility, now named the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, opened on the Wing’s former Belle Isle site on July 24, 1960, the 259th anniversary of Detroit’s founding. Miss Pepsi became a permanent part of the Museum three years later after the construction of an adjoining pavilion.

The Dossin Museum was the first of its kind dedicated to telling the stories of the Great Lakes maritime community. It has remained focused on that mission since it opened and has successfully moved into the 21st century as one of the premier maritime museums on the Great Lakes. Current temporary exhibits include “Life on a Long Ship: Great Lakes Sailors” and “Dossin Great Lakes Museum: Celebrating 50 Years.”

For more information visit


Updates - September 23

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 23

September 23, 1922, the 306 foot NEPTUNE loaded the first Head-of-the-Lakes cargo of pig iron at Zenith Furnace, Duluth, Minnesota. The 5,000 tons of malleable pig iron was delivered to Buffalo, New York.

September 23, 1975, the HERBERT C. JACKSON lost power while upbound on Lake Superior. She was towed back to the Soo by the USS straight decker D. G. KERR.

September 23, 1952, the steamer CHARLES L. HUTCHINSON became the first boat christened at Cleveland since the early years of World War II. The 644 foot HUTCHINSON, Captain T. A. Johnson, is the new flagship of the Pioneer fleet and one of 35 boats in the three fleets operated by Hutchinson & Co. Renamed b.) ERNEST R. BREECH in 1962, c.) KINSMAN INDEPENDENT in 1988. Sold Canadian in 2005, and renamed d.) VOYAGEUR INDEPENDENT. She sails today as the motorship e.) OJIBWAY.

On 23 September 1910, the BETHLEHEM (steel propeller package freighter, 290 foot, 2,633 gross tons, built in 1888, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying general merchandise when she went ashore in a gale on the SW side of S. 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Twin Ports update

9/22 - The Twin Ports grain trade is up sharply since Russia announced it was suspending grain exports. With the former Cargill and AGP elevators no longer shipping by boat, most vessel loading is concentrated on the CHS terminal, followed by Peavey and General Mills. On Tuesday, grain traffic included Algocape and J.W. Shelley loading at CHS, Kent Sunrise at Peavey, and American Mariner at General Mills in Superior. Anchored on the lake waiting for berths were salties Africaborg, Federal Yukon and Calliroe Patronicola. Elsewhere, James R. Barker was loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal. Indiana Harbor was expected at the energy terminal later in the day.

Also Tuesday, Edgar B. Speer was loading at BNSF ore dock in Superior while Stewart J. Cort waited out on the lake for its turn at the dock. Indiana Harbor was backing into the Quebec Pier dock in Superior for some sort of delay. Joseph L. Block was loading at Hallett 5 in Duluth.

Al Miller


Worker hospitalized after accident on Algobay

9/22 - Prince Edward Count, Ont. – - A worker on a cargo ship had to be lifted out of the vessel's cargo hold using a crane before eventually being transferred to the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital, Ontario Provincial Police reports.

Officers from the Prince Edward detachment of the OPP, along with Prince Edward County firefighters and EMS personnel, were dispatched to the pier at the end of Chapel Street outside Picton at 2 a.m. on Tuesday. A worker on the ship Algobay was injured and required medical attention.

After the worker was lifted out of the hold, OPP said in a press release, he was stabilized by EMS and then lowered to the OPP marine unit, which had pulled up alongside the vessel. The man was taken to the pier, placed in an ambulance and taken to hospital. mOPP said the extent of the man's injuries is not known.

Belleville Intelligencer


Updates - September 22

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 22

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. 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 struck bottom in Buffalo Harbor September 22, 1976, sustaining holes in two double bottom tanks and damage to three others, whereupon she proceeded to Chicago for dry docking on September 27, 1976, for survey and repairs. Renamed b.) ADAM E. CORNELIUS in 1989.

While being towed from Duluth, Minnesota by the Canadian tug TUSKER on September 22, 1980, the D. G. KERR 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, of 1890, which was at anchor on the fog shrouded St. Clair River near Sarnia, Ontario. The JOLIET 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, of 1909, that incurred only minor damage.

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

MATHILDA DESGAGNES was freed from polar ice in the Arctic on September 22, 1988, by the West German Icebreaker Research Vessel POLARSTERN.

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, 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 and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports - September 21

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Wilfred Sykes was towed into the graving dock Monday and yard crews lifted her unloading boom back into position, after which she was towed back to the dock face, where the final installation will be completed.

Cheboygan, Mich. - Dianne Donati
On Monday, Maumee was unloading at Durocher's on the Cheboygan River.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Calumet was inbound early Monday morning, calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload. She finished and departed for the lake, late in the morning. Monday evening saw the arrival of the Olive L. Moore with the Lewis J. Kuber. The pair also called on the Bay Aggregates dock to unload. They were still at the dock late into the evening.

Welland Canal
Fresh from a refit, Gordon C. Leitch was upbound in the Welland Canal Monday bound for Superior, Wis.


Study will weigh whether Lake Michigan ferries can ease traffic

9/21 - The Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute has awarded a $20,000 grant to a Purdue University North Central industrial engineering professor to study the feasibility of using ferries to get tractor-trailers across Lake Michigan.

Thomas Brady is chair of the school's department of engineering technology. Brady says the study will look at whether using ferries to move trucks between Michigan and Wisconsin would relieve traffic congestion in the Chicago area, including northern Indiana.

Brady will study the issue for a year, using PNC students.

Business Week


Updates - September 21

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 21

On 21 September 1892, the whaleback steamer JAMES B. COLGATE (steel propeller whaleback freighter, 308 foot, 1,713 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 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.


Port Reports - September 20

Welland Canal
Gordon C. Leitch was refloated and pulled out of drydock at Port Weller Sunday morning by the Groupe Ocean tugs LaPrairie and Omni-Richelieu. She was tied up at the fit-out dock so final work could be performed; she is expected to get underway today.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons The saltie Pochard, which was in at Redpath Sugar since Thursday, departed at 9 p.m. with the assistance of the tug LaPrairie, which came over from Hamilton for the job, and returned to that port when finished. Pochard was upbound in the Welland Canal Sunday morning. USCG Biscayne Bay arrived in port late Friday from the Welland Canal. The fire tug Wm. Lyon Mackenzie was refloated Sunday morning at Toronto Drydock. The tug M. R. Kane subsequently went on the dock for its four-year inspection.


Coast Guard rescues boaters on Superior, Ontario

9/20 - Cleveland, Ohio – Response crews have concluded their search and rescue case, having recovered the fourth boater deceased in Lake Superior Sunday.

Coast Guard Station Marquette launched a rescue crew aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small (RB-S) after receiving a distress call via VHF-FM radio channel 16 at about 1 p.m. that four people had entered the water when their 18-foot vessel overturned about two miles northeast of Little Presque Isle, Mich.

The crew located three of the boaters at about 1:30 p.m. and transported them ashore.

A Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Traverse City, a Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel and marine assets from the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department also assisted in the search for the missing person.

In another incident, three men were rescued by the Coast Guard last Friday morning after a boat capsized beyond the mouth of the Salmon River in Lake Ontario.

Early in the morning, three men set out to fish on Lake Ontario, according to the Coast Guard. Approximately three miles out on the water, the boat turned over. All three men were wearing life preservers and they used a waterproof radio to call in help from the Coast Guard based in Oswego.

A helicopter was also deployed as were two Canadian Coast Guard boats. The men had been in the water for almost an hour when the Coast Guard arrived.

"What saved their lives are their lifejackets, also their portable VHF radios, also the fact that they stayed with the boat," said Petty Officer Walter Kendall.

Kendall says staying with the boat is key because it's easier to locate people that way. With the waterproof radio, the fishermen were actually able to direct the rescuers in when they got close.



Underwater cameras in Port Huron reveal hidden mysteries

9/20 - Port Huron, Mich. – Viewing the adventures of fish or plants and eyeballing the remains of a dozen shipwrecks without getting wet is a great idea. And if diver Brian Martin has his way, Port Huron will soon be a city displaying big screen televisions with live video feeds to what's going on at the bottom of Lake St. Clair.

"We're working to educate people right now about the resources we have here, like we can share the history of the shipwrecks in the lake and show off all the different fish," Martin said.

A commercial diver from Fort Gratiot, Martin also builds boat hoists as part of his business, Martin Marine Services. He's part of a group of Port Huron area residents who started an initiative last November to bring more tourism to the city. So far the informal crowd of volunteers, which includes business owners and individuals, numbers more than 50 people eager to put their city back on tourist maps.

"The focus is to support all the tourism venues and open people's eyes to the rich community history we're built on here in Port Huron," Martin said. "And the local communities have to learn to be entertaining while taking advantage of the assets we have at hand."

The group spent the summer months promoting events in town like Cruise Night, the Blue Water Festival and the Blue Water YMCA Salmon Steaks. They have plenty more ideas, but the main one they'd like to get up and running is placing live cameras in the river to show off fish and shipwrecks.

It's a plan that has been on Martin's mind for many years, in fact he installed a stationary camera in a light ship at the Maritime Center seven years ago. The unit, funded by Acheson Ventures, was recently replaced, but it sits in a specific area 15 feet under the water and there's very little fish or structures to observe at that point, Martin said.

A second camera that he set-up underwater at the Waster Water Treatment Plant in the St. Clair River offers more activity including sounds of passing ships. There's also a rare uniqueness to that area because an "act of nature" creates an enclave of clear water at that very spot that allows great viewing.

"There's a wonderful triangle of clear blue water there and when it gets to Sarnia it will go all murky, but we have an excellent view on our side before it gets to Canada," Martin said. "So the camera can catch some really cool stuff like steel-headed trout, walleye and bass."

The high definition camcorder is first put in a waterproof housing then placed inside a metal box with a lock on it. The camera usually captures about eight hours of footage that Martin then edits down to a two to four minute video clip.

Having the cameras to use underwater was made possible by the Best Buy store in Fort Gratiot. Martin said they not only donated the equipment, but have been very generous to the project for some time now.

"They just gave me the cameras right off the shelf and it really makes for some good quality videos," Martin said. "And Dave is a really good asset to have in our community and I really think you ain't seen nothing yet; Dave has bigger and better ideas for this project all the time."

In this case, Dave, is Dave Bertram, general manager of the Best Buy and a strong advocate for the underwater viewing project. He even had a monitor set-up in his store that shows off Martin's footage from Lake St. Clair.

"We are really starting to get some momentum now; people are asking about the videos and wanting to buy the film," Bertram said. "And we are happy to support this with Brian's diving skills and our resources here; it's great to work together on this."

The footage is updated pretty frequently with Martin taking to the lake to collect new film sometimes twice per week. Bertram said the camera can capture images from spawning season or different species of fish that swim through depending on the season.

"These are things that not everybody gets to see, or if they aren't from Port Huron, they don't even know what's in the lake," Bertram said. "This is a very unique project and we are happy to be a part of it."

Beyond filming fish, Martin hopes to provide a real close-up look at the dozen shipwrecks that are located near where the Black River meets the St. Clair River. He feels being able to share those stories while showing off the actual site will be a real boost for visitors to the city.

The eventual placement of permanent cameras on the bottom of the St. Clair River will take some planning and funding.

"The fast moving water at the shipwreck sites prevent placing permanent cameras there, but if we can get the community to support it and help fund it we can do it," Martin said. "And those areas where we will be placing the cameras is public property anyway."

So far, Bertram is not only supportive, but also impressed with the projects progression noting that everyone involved, including Martin and his wet suit, are volunteers.

"He does those dives, sometimes a few times a week and it's all on his own time," Bertram added.

Still, the final plan is certainly clear to Martin once he's on dry land.

"We'd like to have a network of cameras in the different local shops and we'll have a large screen TV showing, live in real time, what's going on underwater," he said.

The Voice


Whistle pull and last BoatNerd Gathering Sept. 25

The last gathering scheduled for 2010 is aboard the Diamond Belle Saturday, Sept. 25, on a trip from Detroit to the "St. Clair Live Steam Whistle Blow.” Diamond Belle will follow the shipping channel in both directions with two meals aboard and luncheon at the St. Clair Inn. Diamond Belle will have on board the whistles from the cruise ship North American, the 1871 tug Gladiator, and the Great Lakes freighter Mantadoc. Other whistles to be blown include the steamers Columbia, South American, tanker Mercury, and many others. For more information  click here


Updates - September 20

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated - Note: Boards were moved to a new server Saturday night, you may receive an error message until your local ISP updates to the new server location.


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

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

The CHARLES E. WILSON sailed light on her maiden voyage from Sturgeon Bay September 20, 1973, bound for Escanaba, Michigan, to load ore. She was renamed b.) JOHN J. BOLAND in 2000.

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.


Agawa Canyon begins voyage to scrapyard

9/19 - At 6 a.m. on a chilly Saturday, final preparations for the tow of the Agawa Canyon were in their last stages. With the tug Sirocco (with two pilots aboard) on the bow, and the tug Vigilant 1 (with one pilot aboard) on the stern, the tow, which will end in Aliaga Turkey, began. The final voyage of the Agawa Canyon will take 30 or more days, at the end of which she will be scrapped. In about 10 days the Canadian Prospector will follow, and in 20 days or so the Algoisle will join the already departed vessels on her way to Aliaga.

Kent Malo


Fraser scrap tow arrives in Port Maitland

9/19 - The scrap tow of the ex-Canadian naval destroyer DDH Fraser ended Saturday afternoon with the arrival of the retired vessel at her final dock in Port Maitland, Ont. She passed through most of the Welland Canal early Saturday, however a dozen or so shipwatchers were on hand as she approached Lock 8 at Port Colborne around 9 a.m. The tug Ecosse was on the bow and Lac Manitoba was on the stern.

Former lead tug Tony Mackay, which was sidelined with engine trouble Friday, remained anchored off the Port Weller entrance Saturday. After returning from the Fraser tow, Lac Manitoba was expected to tow the Mackay to Hamilton. A broken crankshaft may be the cause of her woes.


Gordon C. Leitch expected out of drydock today

9/19 - Plans called for Upper Lakes Group’s reactivated Gordon C. Leitch to be moved from the drydock at Port Weller, Ont., around 11 a.m. Sunday. The tug Ecosse returned down the Welland Canal Saturday night from the Fraser scrap tow, and was expected to tie up at the drydock for the night in order to participate in moving the vessel Sunday. Once the final touches of her refit are complete, Leitch is expected to take her place in the fall grain trade.


Port Reports - September 19

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Friday the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were at Lafarge. The Alpena came into port before 7 a.m. on Saturday to load cement for Superior, Wis. Also visiting Lafarge on Saturday was the Manitowoc, which brought a load of coal.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
After a week with no traffic on the Saginaw River, Friday saw the arrival of three vessels. Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. was the first to arrive, early Friday morning, calling on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville. She completed her unload by late morning, backed from the dock, and turned near Light 12 to head for the lake. Maumee and Calumet also arrived on the river during the day Friday. Maumee traveled up to the Saginaw area to unload. It is not known what dock she called on. Calumet lightered at the Lafarge Stone dock in Essexville, before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Lafarge Stone dock in Saginaw. Both vessels were outbound for the lake Saturday morning.

Buffalo N.Y. - Brian W.
John J. Boland spent the early morning hours Saturday unloading stone, and was ready to depart by 9:15 a.m. The ship’s unloading rig was brought back aboard and with one long blast of the horn they started backing out of the Lackawanna Canal soon after. Once the ship was clear of the Gateway dock she came to a stop just off the Holcim Cement plant in the Outer Harbor Southern Channel. The captain then used a combination of right rudder, along with the bow and stern thrusters to bring her into a turn to starboard while moving forward towards the South Entrance. The Boland eased out of the harbor and out onto a beautiful sunlit lake around 10 a.m.


Coast Guard medically evacuates man from Mackinac Island

9/19 - Cleveland, Ohio – The U.S. Coast Guard medically evacuated a 29-year-old man from a clinic on Mackinac Island, in Lake Huron, to a hospital on mainland Michigan at about 3 a.m. Saturday.

Coast Guard Station St. Ignace launched rescue crew aboard a 47-foot Motor Life Boat (MLB), with an emergency medical technician aboard, after receiving a request for a medical evacuation from the Mackinac Island Clinic at about 1:45 a.m.

It was reported a roommate had taken to the man to the Mackinac Island Clinic, where he regained consciousness. Reportedly, the man had previously been taken to the Mackinac Island Clinic by his roommate after he had been found unconscious at their home.

The Coast Guard boat crew transported him from Mackinac Island Clinic to St. Ignace, where he was taken to a local hospital at the request of his doctors. His current condition is unknown.


Society announces freighter trip raffle and choice of design firm

9/19 - Vermilion, Ohio – On Saturday September 25, The Great Lakes Historical Society will hold its annual “Treasures on the Lakes Special Benefit” to raise revenue for the Society in its effort to create the National Great Lakes Maritime Museum in Toledo Ohio. Christopher Gillcrist, Executive Director of the Society said that "although this is an annual fundraising event, each day the Society's focus of attention on creating the National Great Lakes Maritime Museum in Toledo strengthens."

At the heart of the fundraiser is the Society's Grand Freighter Trip Raffle which features two chances at a freighter trip in the 2011 season. Gillcrist acknowledged that a $100 ticket even for two chances at a freighter trip was significant. "Don't forget, this is a limited raffle with only 650 tickets to be sold. As of Sept. 18, we have sold 318 tickets. I think we have a good chance at selling about 80 more tickets in the next five days. Those aren't bad odds for a trip of a lifetime."

Gillcrist also announced that the Society had engaged the services of Gerald Hilferty and Associates of Athens, Ohio, to design 12,000 square feet of exhibit space for the new museum. After an exhaustive search, the Society chose to engage an Ohio firm with international experience in museum design work. Preliminary rendering are expected this winter.

Click here for details on the Trip Raffle


Updates - September 19

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


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 Cleveland Tankers new SATURN 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 twin-screw rail car ferry GRAND HAVEN of 1903, 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 a.m., 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.


Fraser tow heads into Welland Friday night after delay

9/18 - The scrap tow of the ex-Canadian naval destroyer DDH Fraser was on the move again late Friday evening after mechanical difficulties aboard lead tug Tony Mackay sent the vessels to anchor Friday night off the Port Weller entrance to the Welland Canal. The tow was entering Lock 1 at 11 p.m., with Ecosse taking over as lead tug, assisted by Lac Manitoba as the stern assist tug. Lac Manitoba came over from Hamilton Friday afternoon. Tony Mackay remains anchored off Port Weller.

Fraser’s final destination is Port Maitland, Ont., on Lake Erie, where she will be scrapped.


Great Lakes coal trade up 9.8 percent in August

9/18 - Coal shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 3,915,684 net tons in August, a decrease of 4.4 percent compared to July, but an increase of 9.8 percent compared to a year ago. Compared to the month’s 5-year average, loadings were down 11.5 percent.

Shipments from Lake Superior ports basically mirrored a year ago, but were down 11.6 percent compared to Augusts 5-year average. Loadings in Chicago fell by 35 percent compared to a year ago, and even more 41 percent - compared to the month's 5-year average. The coal trade out of Lake Erie increased 52.7 percent compared to a year ago, but was still slightly below the 5-year average.

Year-to-date coal shipments stand at 18.7 million tons, an increase of 4.9 percent compared to a year ago. However, a year ago the trade was still depressed by the recession. A better measure is the 5-year average, and in that regard, 2010 loadings are 20.6 percent off the pace.

Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports - September 18

Escanaba, Mich. - Dick Lund
St. Clair arrived at the CN Ore Dock in the early morning hours of Friday to load taconite pellets.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Friday, Montrealais departed at 8 a.m. from Dofasco. Maccoa departed Pier 25 at 9:30 a.m. with soya beans and corn for Puerto Rico. Tug LaParirie arrived at 9:45 a.m. Maritime Trader arrived at 10 a.m. from Port Cartier in ballast. They will load grain at Pier 25. Federal Danube arrived at 10:30 a.m. with steel products from Antwerp. They went to anchor in the harbor to await the departure of the Orsula at Pier 14W. CSL Laurentian arrived at 12:30 p.m. with iron ore pellets from Point Noire, Que., for US Steel. Rebecca Lynn and barge departed at 12:45 p.m. for the nanal. Canadian Transport departed at 2:30 p.m. for the canal. CCG ship Kelso arrived in Burlington at 4:30 p.m. for the Canada Centre for Inland Waters.

South China Sea - William Boyd
Federal Welland was sighted in the South China Sea Friday on her way to Adelaide, Australia.


Work announced for Montreal / Lake Ontario Section of the Seaway

9/18 - The Seaway has advised that work will be carried out on ship arrester No. 3 at the St. Lambert Lock next week. Work periods will be determined daily as per scheduled navigation for the day. Even if the work is carried out between ship transits, it is possible that delays could be created. A special procedure could take effect during this period to transit at this lock.


U.S. Coast Guard rescues 2 in Lake Superior

9/18 - Cleveland, Ohio - A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued two kayakers after their 21-foot tandem kayak capsized near Michipicoten Island in northern Lake Superior Friday.

Rescued were Robert Beltram, 63, from McHenry, Ill., and Judith Gotlieb, 59, hometown not known.

The HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Traverse City, Mich., responded at the request of Canadian coast guard authorities at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton, Ontario, who were initially notified of the distress when Beltram activated his 406 MHz personal locator beacon (PLB) at about 12:59 p.m., EST.

Beltram and Gotlieb were reportedly on a 4-week kayak trip around Lake Superior, and have successfully made the trip before. The specific details of the accident are not known at this time. On scene weather was rough, with six-foot waves, 20- to 25-knot winds, and a water temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

The first response crew on scene was aboard a Canadian coast guard C-130 search plane from JRCC Trenton. The crew spotted the kayakers at 3:19 p.m.

The Traverse City crew was on scene and had both kayakers aboard the rescue helicopter at 4:01 p.m. They were both reportedly showing signs of hypothermia and were transported to Lady Dunn Hospital in Wawa, Ontario.

"A personal locator beacon is invaluable when we're attempting to find persons in distress," said Capt. Stephen Torpey, chief of the Incident Management Branch for the Ninth Coast Guard District in Cleveland.

"In the case of an emergency, its activation is as simple as pressing a button," Torpey said. "Mariners don't have to dial a cellular phone. They don't have to determine and communicate their position on a marine radio. Everything is done automatically and transmitted to the appropriate response agencies who can take immediate action."


Coast Guard rescues 3 boaters near Pulaski, N.Y.

9/18 - Cleveland, Ohio – The U.S. Coast Guard rescued three people after their 19-foot vessel capsized near the mouth of the Salmon River in Pulaski, N.Y., at about 9:15 a.m. Friday.

Rescue crews aboard a 47-foot Motor Life Boat (MLB) and a 25-foot Response Boat-Small (RB-S) from Coast Guard Station Oswego, N.Y., an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, and two aircraft from the Canadian coast guard responded after the boaters made a distress call via VHF-FM Channel 16 at about 8:25 a.m.

Crewmembers aboard the RB-S located and safely rescued all three people and transported them to the Port Ontario Pier, where they were taken by EMS to a local hospital.

All three people were wearing lifejackets and were showing signs of hypothermia at the time of rescue.

The owner of the vessel had a handheld, waterproof VHF radio, which facilitated communication with the Coast Guard after the vessel had capsized.

"What saved their lives today were their life jackets and radio," said Petty Officer 1st Class Jadon Sprague, executive petty officer at Station Oswego. "If they didn't have their life jackets on and a radio to call us, who knows what could have happened?"


Tall ships dock at Montreal’s Old Port

9/18 - Montreal, Que. - Tall ships are the stuff of legend. Throughout history, the large, rigged sailing vessels have roughed the seven seas in naval battles and fought the good pirate fight in some of Hollywood's most popular movies.

Families can visit five of these marine marvels at the Old Port this weekend.

The Roald Amundsen, from Germany, and the Pride of Baltimore II, the Lynx and the Unicorn from the United States will be there -as will the U.S. ship the Bounty. Possibly the most recognizable of the five, the Bounty was featured in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

No, Captain Jack Sparrow will not be there. But champion sailor Mike Birch will be in attendance.

The Vancouver native, who now calls Quebec City home, is one of the world's best solo racers. His celebrated career is documented in the 2004 film Mike Birch: Riding with the Wind, co-produced by Richard Lavoie and the National Film Board of Canada.

Birch has raced mono-hulls and multi-hulls across the North Atlantic, but he has never crewed a tall ship.

"But I'd like to one day if I had the chance," the 79-year-old said during a telephone interview from his Quebec City apartment.

Birch will be one of many captains on hand to answer questions during the weekend.

He stopped racing three years ago and has spent the time designing and building yet another boat. Birch has been involved in boat design for more than 30 years.

The man of few words was a cowboy and a gold miner and delivered yachts in England for years before entering his first race in 1976. He placed second.

Two years later, he shot to fame by winning the inaugural run of the grueling Route des Rhum race, between St. Malo, France, and Point-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, beating heavily favored Michel Malinovsky from France by 98 seconds.

"You have to be able to do it all," Birch said. "Sail, navigate, everything. The pressure is constant, but there is a certain satisfaction when you succeed."

The tall ships come to the Old Port after participating in the Great Lakes Tall Ships Challenge. The summer races are used to raise awareness of the importance of protecting freshwater sources worldwide.

The ships are moored at the Jacques Cartier Pier. Marine themed activities including sail painting and live entertainment take place at the pier from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Sunday.

A performance mixing opera and fireworks, with the tall ships as the backdrop, begins Saturday at 9 p.m.

Tours of the ships take place 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and after the sun goes down, the ships' masts are illuminated.

The tall ships are at the Jacques Cartier Pier, today through Sunday. Admission is free for everything except the guided tours. Tickets for a five-ship visit cost $5 for adults and $3 for children 7 to 17 years old. Tours are free for children 6 years old and younger. A family pass (two adults and two children) costs $12. Taxes are not included.

The Montreal Gazette


Au Sable Point Lighthouse sees refurbishments

9/18 - Alger County, Mich. - It seems that everyone who visits the Au Sable Point Lighthouse is impressed by the beauty they find.

"We came out to see the lighthouse. We'll go all the way down the bluffs, the sand dunes--they're stunning. We're overwhelmed, we never expected it to be this beautiful," says Bill Wehrenberg, who hiked to the lighthouse from downtown Grand Marais.

Lighthouse program coordinator Karena Minor says it's so beautiful, she can't believe she actually works there.

"When you're out here, it's so peaceful at night," said Minor. "The stars, just from horizon to horizon, seeing sunsets out here and even sunrises out here, just the serenity of the place."

But there's a unique history here, as well. The lighthouse played a critical role in the economic development of the area. It was built in 1872 to help cargo ships with iron ore and timber cross the Great Lakes to the U.P.

Lighthouse contractor and U.P. native Carl Behrend says he wanted to do the restoration because he feels like he's getting in touch with his roots. "Well, I just feel it's part of our heritage that is so important; it brings us back to the past, it tells us who our forefathers really are," said Behrend.

Behrend loves the Great Lakes so much, he sings about it. He says that working on lighthouses inspired the five records he produced.

"The Great Lakes, there's so many beautiful lighthouses, there's so much beautiful shoreline, it's very inspiring and I feel privileged to live here," Behrend said.

The free event will include lighthouse history tours, food, music, a free shuttle to the lighthouse, and of course, those breathtaking views.


Updates - September 18

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 18

On September 18, 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 50 feet in diameter.

On September 18,1679, 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, a.) W. R. WOODFORD of 1908, 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. She lasted until scrapped at Ramey's Bend in 1988.

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, a.) JAMES MAC NAUGHTON 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 Isles, Quebec., 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 September 18, 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 September 18, 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.


Lakes iron ore trade up 85 percent in August

9/17 - Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 6 million net tons in August, a nominal increase over July, but a significant improvement 85 percent over a year ago. Loadings were also marginally ahead of the month’s 5-year average.

August loadings at U.S. ports increased 74 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian ports nearly tripled.

Year-to-date the Lakes ore trade stands at 33.6 million tons, an increase of 109 percent compared to the same point last year. The end-of-August total is also within striking distance of the 5-year average for the January-August timeframe. Shipments from U.S. ports are up 114 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings at Canadian ports are 78 percent ahead of last year’s pace.


Port Reports - September 17

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Thursday afternoon at the harbors in Marquette, Kaye E. Barker loaded ore at the Upper Harbor while fleetmate Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder arrived at the Lower Harbor to unload stone from Meldrum Bay.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Calumet arrived at Lafarge around 7 p.m. on Thursday. After the lines were secured, the self unloading boom was positioned over to the storage hopper and discharging of cargo began.


Project gets to bottom of the St. Clair

9/17 - Port Huron, Mich. - There has been plenty of action in the St. Clair River near the Great Lakes Maritime Center this week -- and it hasn't been passing freighters.

Luedtke Engineering of Frankfort has been dredging in the river as part of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project. The project is to perform regular maintenance on the federal shipping channel.

Lynn Duerod, spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said work maintaining the channels is done periodically. She said the area is dredged every two or three years, depending on funding. The river is dredged to a depth of 27.4 feet.

"We just want to make sure it's deep enough for ships to get through," Duerod said. "It's usually pretty clean. They just need to clear some space."

The $712,000 contract was to be completed in 2009, but an overload in projects delayed it until now.

Luedtke Engineering is clearing about 25,000 cubic yards of material in the St. Clair River. The work should be finished by the end of the week. Crews then will move to Lake St. Clair to dredge another 29,000 cubic yards by the end of next week. That contract is for $887,000.

Work began Monday in the St. Clair River. "There have been no problems. Everything has gone smoothly. It's pretty standard work," said Kurt Luedtke, president of Luedtke Engineering. "It's just a long tow. We have to take our materials a long way, from Dickinson Island near Algonac."

Port Huron Times Herald


Coast Guard rescues man near Frankfort breakwall

9/17 - Cleveland, Ohio – A U.S. Coast Guard boat crew rescued a man who had fallen into the water near the Frankfort, Mich., breakwall Thursday at approximately 1 a.m.

The man, in his early 20s, reportedly fell off the breakwall while fishing. Another fisherman nearby was able to throw a life ring to the man. Coast Guard Station Frankfort was notified by Benzie County dispatch at about 12:55 a.m. and launched a 25-foot response boat and crew. He was not wearing a life jacket.

“We got there and shined our spotlight along the breakwall and saw the man near the end,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Emmons, a boatswain’s mate and member of the Station Frankfort boat crew. “His friend had tossed him a life ring and was holding onto a line, keeping him away from the rocks. He was too close to the rocks for us to go in safely, but he was able to swim out to us, and we got him onboard.”

The man was taken to the station's Frankfort boat launch and transferred to local Emergency Medical Services.


Study: Lakeshore shipping boon for northwest Indiana economy

9/17 - Waterborne shipping along Indiana's Lake Michigan shoreline generates an estimated $14 billion each year to the state economy and supports more than 104,000 jobs, according to a study released Tuesday.

The Ports of Indiana consulted with Martin Associates, the same Lancaster, Pa.-based maritime economic consulting firm that called for a study of the economic benefit of the three Indiana ports, to do the study.

John Martin, president of the firm, said the port in Burns Harbor, steel mills and other local industries depend on using the waterways as a low-cost mode of transportation.

Data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers used in the study, said Indiana's lakeshore terminals handled 32 million tons of maritime shipments in 2008, the report said.

Although Indiana barge shipments through the T.J. O'Brien Lock and Dam only accounted for 30 percent of the total in the area in 2008, Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper said a closure of the Chicago waterway locks would increase costs to consumers for food items derived from grains, household goods made from steel and energy derived from coal and oil.

The Ports of Indiana is part of the UnLock Our Jobs coalition, an advocacy group calling for keeping the Chicago Area Waterway System open despite concerns about the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes.


Search for Lake Michigan shipwreck moves forward

9/17 - Detroit, Mich. - The effort to confirm whether a suspected shipwreck in Lake Michigan is the long-lost Griffon, the first European sailing ship on the Great Lakes, just took a step forward.

Steve Libert, a Virginia resident who has a summer home in Charlevoix, discovered the site that could be the Griffon, and selected the Center for Maritime and Underwater Resource Management from Laingsburg, near Lansing, to do the archaeological work on the site, it was announced Wednesday.

The maritime center is a nonprofit group specializing in underwater archaeology, shipwreck management and education. Their credits include work as consultants on Titanic research and conservation, and the conservation plan for preserving the bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald, Michigan's most famous shipwreck.

The Griffon disappeared in 1679, carrying furs that were to help finance the expedition of René-Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle. La Salle went on to explore the Mississippi River and much of the land in the Louisiana Purchase. The ship's whereabouts acquired an iconic status among shipwreck hunters, who often refer to the Griffon as the Holy Grail of Great Lakes wrecks.

This next phase of the research will be noninvasive. It will rely on high-resolution sonar scans and advanced bottom profiling of the site. It also will involve diving to the wreck and identifying artifacts in the hopes of coming up with something like the king of France's seal on a cannon, for example, that would prove it was the Griffon.

Earlier research like sonar scans, a magnetometer and bottom profiling of the mysterious site indicated the suspected wreck could date to the Griffon's era. While no one has proved it's the Griffon, searchers have not ruled out the possibility. That's encouraging all involved to do more research. The early work showed there could be something in the area with acoustic and magnetic signatures that are similar to those of a shipwreck.

"The assessment phase in archaeology is similar to crime scene investigation in law enforcement," said Ken Vrana, director of the center. "We work from a prewritten research design to collect scientifically generated facts needed to answer the primary question on the minds of maritime enthusiasts throughout the Great Lakes region and beyond -- is this Le Griffon?"

Detroit Free Press


ArcelorMittal to reach 100 million metric ton iron ore output by 2015

9/17 - On Sept. 16, Peter Kukielski, head of mining for the world's largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, said that the company plans to expand annual iron ore production to 100 million metric tons by 2015, with an investment of $4 billion.

The target is expected to be achieved through the development of greenfield mines in West Africa as well as through brownfield expansions and efficiency improvements at many of the group's mines. ArcelorMittal holds iron ore assets having resources estimated at 19 billion metric tons in different locations including Canada, Kazakhstan, Liberia, Ukraine and Brazil.

Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal stated that it also has plans to further develop its coal assets by exploring additional opportunities with joint venture partners and reviewing opportunities in new markets.

Steel Orbis


No hope in sight for Ontario’s Presqu'ile lighthouse

9/17 - Brighton, Ont. - Presqu'ile Lighthouse, located on the north shore of Lake Ontario, could burn out if the Ministry doesn't step in.

According to a report submitted to council by Councillor Dave Cutler, the structure is in urgent need of repairs.

In the recommendation dated Aug. 31, Coun. Cutler asked that council urge the Minister of Natural Resources to pursue an assessment of the structure on an urgent basis.

"It seems that there is little that the municipality can do directly to ensure conservation of this iconic building," he said in his report. "It is suggested that passing a resolution stating our interest and urging the Ministry having ownership to proceed with assessment work on an urgent basis may move the priority up."

Peter Alker, Chair of the Friends of Presqu'ile Communications Committee, says there is not a lot they can do either. "While we would be more than willing to help, we do not believe that we can be the primary financial contributor or project manager at this point," Mr. Alker said.

According to Mr. Alker, The Friends of Presqu'ile main focus is on the education centre, not the lighthouse itself. Built in 1840, the Presqu'ile lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses on the Great Lakes.

"(The lighthouse) is of cultural significance to the Province and to the Municipality of Brighton in particular," Coun. Cutler said. "This iconic structure is featured on the Municipality of Brighton coat-of-arms and inextricably linked to Brighton's identity."

According to Councillor Craig Kerr, Chairman of the Friends of Presqu'ile, the immediate repairs needed to the lighthouse are likely not that expensive.

"What we need to do immediately is replace the shingles that have fallen off and give it a good paint job. That will likely hold it over until a more ambitious program came into play," Coun. Kerr said.

In the meantime, he says he hopes the province will see this as an unusual situation and move forward with the necessary repairs.

"It desperately needs to be done and we have a desperate interest in it," he said.

Northumberland News


Seaway ship enthusiasts form marine history group

9/17 - Brockville, Ont. - What started out as a lecture at the Brockville Museum about shipping on the St. Lawrence River has evolved into a local history group.

Last February, as part of the Brockville Museum's Winter Lecture Series, the museum's volunteer coordinator and marine historian Viktor Kaczkowski gave a talk describing the ships that pass Brockville and how they have changed over the last 50 years. After the talk Kaczkowski was approached by a couple of individuals who were very interested in ships and wanted to get a group of like-minded people together.

Over the spring, two meetings convened by word of mouth, held just to test the waters. Surprisingly, people came from as far away as Morrisburg and Kingston. Most did not realize that there were so many others who shared the same interests. Some brought in pictures of the "canallers" that used to transit the small locks of the old canals. Some shared memories of the days when Brockville itself was regularly visited by coal ships, oil tankers and passenger ships. Some even sought (and found) answers to some long-standing questions.

Given the obvious enthusiasm, it was decided that any local people with an interest in this type of marine history should get together on a regular basis and that the group be named "Seaway Ship Enthusiasts.” The name refers to the range of interests that were evident, ranging from the ships themselves to the old canals between Prescott and Montreal, and of course the construction and on-going operation of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

"I'm really excited about having a local marine history group," said Kaczkowski. "Long-established groups meet regularly in Toronto, St. Catharines and Detroit but there is little in eastern Ontario, which is surprising given the connection between many local families and the river."

Bonnie Burke, Curator/Director of the Brockville Museum, said she was very excited about having a new group consider the museum as its home. She went on to say "our river is one of our community's great resources. We often overlook the number of hours people spend at Blockhouse Island just watching the ships go by. The river and the ships that ply it are very much a part of who we as Brockvillians were and continue to be."

Any and all members of the public who share this interest are invited to join. The next meeting is on Thursday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m. in the Carriage Hall of the Brockville Museum, at which time David Muir will be talking about Brockville's very own shipping company, Bayswater Shipping.

Subsequent meetings will be held on the third Thursday every second month (a total of five times per year) between September and May. A fee of $3.50 per person per meeting will be charged to cover the cost of coffee and to offset some of the museum's overhead.

For further information please visit the Brockville Museum's updated website at

EMC News


Developers named to build Lake Erie wind turbines

9/17 - Cleveland, Ohio - Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. has tapped three companies to build turbines for the world's first freshwater wind farm several miles offshore from Cleveland.

The nonprofit announced Tuesday that the companies are San Francisco-based Bechtel Development Company, Inc., Cavallo Great Lakes Ohio Wind, LLC out of Houston, and Great Lakes Wind Energy, LLC in Youngstown.

Earlier this year, Lake Erie Energy and General Electric Co. announced plans to build five wind turbines about 6 miles north of the Cleveland Browns stadium.

Construction on the 20-megawatt turbines is scheduled to start in late 2012.



DoD mystery barrel recovery in Lake Superior delayed until next summer

9/17 - Duluth, Minn. - The recovery of Cold War-era Department of Defense munitions barrels from western Lake Superior will not happen this year as planned. Mike Simonson reports from Superior.

Because of safety concerns, recovery is expected to take place next summer instead.

Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa had hoped to raise about 70 of the 1440 barrels that were ordered dumped around 1960 by the Department of Defense just a few miles from Duluth and Superior. The barrels held top secret munitions parts, which may or may not be hazardous. Old Army Corp of Engineers records show the barrels contained several hazardous chemicals and some groups such as Nukewatch believe there may be nuclear components in them.

Whatever the case, Red Cliff Water Resources Manager Tracey Ledder says they'll have to wait until next year.

"At the depth that they're at, keeping the barrel as a whole, and working on safe conditions for workers. These are very heavy barrels. That and taking responsible care to avoid potential explosive hazards."

A 2008 side-scan sonar investigation found only 591 potential barrels of the original 1440 believed to be on Lake Superior's bottom.

Only three sites, near the Talmadge River, Sucker River and Lester River between Duluth and Knife River, had these potential barrels. Four other sites were eliminated, including the French River, Shoreview Road, Knife River and Knife Island.

Ledder says they’ll examine not only the contents of the barrels raised, but also the sediment around the barrels and the water for possible contamination.

91.3 KUWS


Welland Gathering scrap yard tour canceled

9/17 - The tour of the International Marine Salvage yard in Port Colborne, scheduled for Saturday, September 18, has been canceled. Nothing has changed since last year, and there is presently no staff working at the yard.

The tour has been a part of the annual Welland Boatnerd Gathering. We will try to schedule a tour for the 2011 Gathering.

All other Welland Gathering events will go on as planned. Click here for details.


Updates - September 17

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 17

On September 17, 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 (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. Renamed b.) PINEGLEN in 2002.

On September 17, 1830, WILLIAM PEACOCK (wood side wheel 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 September 17, 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 September 17, 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 August 3,1900. 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.


Fraser scrap tow on the move once more

9/16 - The tug Tony Mackay, towing the ex-Canadian naval destroyer DDH Fraser, was on the move at noon Wednesday, poised to enter the St Lambert lock. Her final destination is Port Maitland, Ont., on Lake Erie, where the Fraser will be scrapped.

Kent Malo


Port Reports - September 16

South Chicago, Ill. - Lou Gerard and Brian Z.
Lower Lakes' Manitowoc loaded a coal blend for Holland, Mich., Wednesday at KCBX Terminal in South Chicago. Manitowoc arrived before dawn and departed early afternoon. She is expected to return to Chicago for another coal cargo, destined for Alpena. Canadian Enterprise was loading at Chicago Fuel Terminal. Alpena arrived in Calumet Harbor from Green Bay around 11 a.m., followed by the tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41. Alpena steamed up the river to the LaFarge terminal at 130th Street where she turned and backed up to her dock at 2 p.m. Manitowoc departed KCBX in early afternoon.

Sarnia, Ont. - Frank Frisk
Canadian Transfer has departed Sarnia's North Slip, returning to service from short term lay-up and destined for Bruce Mines, Ont., to load.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
The tug Washington towed Herbert C. Jackson out of the river around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. After finishing with the Jackson, the tug picked up the English River at the outer harbor and assisted her up to LaFarge Cement.


Lakes limestone trade up 9.5 percent in August

9/16 - Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3,339,540 net tons in August, a decrease of 9.3 percent compared to July, but an increase of 9.5 percent compared to a year ago. The trade was down 18.4 percent when compared to the month’s 5-year average. Loadings at U.S. ports were up 115,000 tons compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian docks increased by 176,000 tons.

Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 17 million net tons, an increase of 27.2 percent compared to a year ago, but a decrease of 15.9 percent compared to the 5-year average for the January-August timeframe. Loadings at U.S. ports are up 31 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian docks are 14.4 percent ahead of last year’s pace.

Lake Carriers' Association


Roads to re-open while grain elevator cleanup continues in East Toledo

9/16 - Toledo, Ohio – Miami Street and surrounding roads were expected to be re-opened by Wednesday afternoon as cleanup continues at a grain silo in East Toledo, where a fire earlier this week caused the evacuation of nearby homes and businesses.

Toledo Fire Battalion Chief Mark Klein said Wednesday morning that residents of a nearby mobile home park were allowed back into their residents late Tuesday night and that all neighboring businesses have full access to their sites.

Toledo firefighters continue to supervise the grain silo owned by Archer Daniels Midland at 1301 Miami St., but the immediate job is to have a construction crew enlarge a third hole that was punched into the silo on Tuesday night. The hole will continue to allow the drainage of the wheat from the damaged silo.

"There's no evidence of smoke and fire right now," said Chief Klein. "It's just an off-loading operation."

The chief said that until the silo is completely empty there is no way of inspecting the building to determine how the fire may have started and whether the structure can be saved.

The wheat that is spilling from the building is being collected in large piles at the site, and Chief Klein said he anticipates that it will eventually be burned or otherwise destroyed.

Toledo Blade


Updates - September 16

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 16

On September 16, 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 the tanker 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 that 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.

Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd. 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.

The NORISLE went into service September 16, 1946, as the first Canadian passenger ship commissioned since the NORONIC 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 September 16, 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 September 16,1877, the 46 foot tug 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 September 16, 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.


Tugs and tow delayed at Montreal

9/15 - Montreal, Que. – The scrap tow of the HMCS Fraser has been delayed due to engine problems on the Tony Mackay. There was an indication she was supposed to leave Monday night, but that did not materialize. As of Tuesday evening, the trio remained at Section 50 Port of Montreal. When repairs are complete, the tow will head up the Seaway, reportedly to Port Maitland, Ont., on Lake Erie.

Kent Malo


U.S.-flag laker cargos up almost 40 percent in August

9/15 - U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters carried 10,006,656 net tons of cargo in August, a decrease of 5.1 percent from July, but an increase of 39.3 percent compared to a year ago.

Iron ore cargos in August more than doubled compared to a year ago. Coal loadings were up 8.6 percent. Limestone cargos increased 10.5 percent.

Year-to-date U.S.-flag cargos stand at 53,444,424 net tons, an increase of 50 percent compared to a year ago, but 9 percent behind the 5-year average for the first eight months of the year. Iron ore cargos are up 118 percent. Coal is 6.3 percent ahead of last year’s pace. Limestone cargos are up 32.1 percent.

Lake Carriers' Association


Arrival of new saltie Miedwie gives grain industry hope

9/15 - Duluth, Minn. – The Federal Rideau has been waiting since Saturday and two more ships are due in on the weekend for grain, according to Gavilon Grain terminal manager Mick Sertich.

Shipping experts said the increased presence of saltwater vessels on Lake Superior is a sign that the grain industry is doing well this year. In fact, grain shipments are already up 40 percent compared to last year due in part to droughts in Europe.

That trend could continue.

"The Miedwie right now is scheduled to be a frequent visitor," Piotr Cichocki, president of Polsteam, which owns Miedwie, said.

Over the years the number of active grain elevators in the Twin Ports has declined. In fact, there are only seven left. Still, those at the forefront of the business say there's something that will always keep ships coming in for more grain.

"It's a high quality spring wheat that's being grown out in the country, North Dakota, a little bit in South Dakota and Montana. There's just big demand for this type of grain right now," Sertich said.

The Miedwie is headed for Italy, and Cichocki said she'll be back for more grain soon. The Polish ship was designed specifically for the Great Lakes. She can handle iron ore and grain and is scheduled to serve the Great Lakes for the next 20 years.

Last month Russia banned the export of grain through the end of the year. A drought and multiple fires depleted nearly one quarter of Russia’s grain crops, a major player in the international grain market.

That means demand is high for United States grain. Duluth Seaway Port Authority Director Adolph Ojard is excited to see the extra traffic.

“A lot of demand for Minnesota, North Dakota durum wheat that’s continuing but we’re also seeing movements into other markets served by Russia such as the Mideast, Egypt, Morocco, we even had some cargoes into Germany, which has been unusual because they too in Europe are having some drought conditions, reduced crop yields.”

Cichocki says their success on the Great Lakes is what keeps them coming back.

“The devil is in details. Great Lakes trading and Great Lakes shipping are very demanding. It’s a top-quality seaman ship and of top-quality and reliability of the technical performance of the ship. We are in this industry for over 40 years but we have a saying, ‘If you are trading Great Lakes, it means that you are a top-class ship owner and a ship operator.’”

Chuck Hilleren is the president of international shipping agency Guthrie Hubner, the Miedwie’s local vessel agency. He says U.S farmers are able to pick up the slack from Russia.

“Fortunately we have a bumper crop. We’re able to fill a big void in the world’s need for grain. It happens to be in Duluth and we’re enjoying it,” he said.

Grain shipments are down overall so far this year, but demand spiked up 51 percent in August. Shipping officials expect that spike to become a trend and hold up for the rest of this shipping season.

91.3 KUWS, Northland's News Center


Updates - September 15

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


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 $7,500.

The A. H. FERBERT of 1942 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 another tug to reach the Soo on the 19th. On the 21st the FERBERT had to anchor off Detour, Michigan, after she ran 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 steamer 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. Renamed b.) WILLIAM A. REISS in 1934, she was scrapped at Alang, India, in 1994.

On 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. Second and third degree burns were suffered by two crew members. She was renamed f.) AMERICAN VICTORY in 2006.

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, 1,123 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 3Ú4 mile short, about six 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.


Port Reports - September 14

Duluth / Superior
Grain business at Duluth-Superior remains brisk, with CHS and Peavey handling most of the traffic. Herbert C. Jackson shifted to Murphy Fuel midday Saturday with a load of Buffalo-bound spring wheat from CHS 1. She was quickly replaced by the Federal Shimanto, which had been waiting at anchor outside the Duluth Entry. Maineborg spent Friday and Saturday loading beet pulp pellets for Morocco at General Mills A and departed early Saturday afternoon. She was followed out through the Aerial Bridge by the refueled Herbert C. Jackson. Federal Shimanto departed Sunday evening for Algeria followed closely by the American Mariner, underway from General Mills S with spring wheat for Buffalo. They passed the inbound Beluga Fairy in the Duluth Harbor Basin as she arrived from anchor out on the lake to take the Shimanto's place at CHS 1. Isa spent the weekend at CHS 2 and is expected to complete her load Tuesday afternoon.

Peavey cleared the Richelieu last Friday and loaded Polsteam's new Miedwie Sunday and Monday. Federal Rideau was next in line; Monday evening she weighed anchor off Duluth, headed south, and arrived the Superior Entry as the Miedwie departed Duluth. Various reports list the Miedwie's destination as either Belgium or Portugal with a cargo of spring wheat. Federal Rideau should clear Wednesday and is due next at Quebec City to top off with a mineral cargo for Kristiansand, Norway, so her grain load is likely bound for northern Europe as well.

Beluga Fairy was expected to load late into Monday evening and depart in the early morning hours Tuesday. Calliroe Patronicola and Africaborg are both at anchor off the Duluth Entry; one of them is next in line for CHS 1. By the Tuesday night Switzerland's Celine should be anchored off Duluth, also waiting her turn at CHS. Later in the week CHS expects the Tim S. Dool and Pineglen. Ojibway, Federal Yukon, J.W. Shelley and Beluga Festival are also due for unspecified grain elevators.

The CN/Missabe dock in Duluth will busier than usual for the next few weeks. CN is reportedly carrying out maintenance on its stockpile stacker at Two Harbors; to ease some of the burden at that facility during the work period all iron ore pellets from ArcelorMittal's Minorca mine will be diverted through Duluth. The first re-routed Minorca train arrived at CN's massive Proctor yard over the weekend. The Two Harbors docks will continue to handle their usual throughput from U.S. Steel's Minntac mine, which typically accounts for the majority of tonnage through Two Harbors. CN's Duluth dock expects the St. Clair, Joseph L. Block, Edwin H. Gott and American Spirit between Tuesday and Friday.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Manitowoc delivered a load of stone for Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg early Sunday evening. Calumet was expected with a load of coal for the Board of Light and Power Plant on Harbor Island in Grand Haven some time Tuesday morning.

Port Huron / Sarnia - Frank Frisk
Luedtke Engineering has started the USACE dredging project of the St Clair River, directly in front of the Great Lakes Maritime Center. It was delayed from 2009 due to previous contracts. They have a large crew in Lake St Clair dredging as well and no completion date or time has been given. In Sarnia, Canadian Transfer is returning to return to service from her lay-up dock in the North Slip. She is expected to depart early this week for Bruce Mines.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Pathfinder finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed Monday evening. The fire at the ADM Elevator has the Maumee River shut down to all navigation from the Hi Level Bridge to the Disalle Bridge I-75 until further notice. This area services all three grain elevator complexes; there were no ships located in this area that is affected by the fire. The ADM Elevator is located on the east side of the river. Andersons E and Andersons K elevators are located on the west side of the river. The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the Michipicoten on Wednesday, Saginaw and Lee A. Tregurtha on Friday, Canadian Transport on Saturday followed by Catherine Desgagnes on Monday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the CSL Assiniboine on Tuesday, followed by Lee A. Tregurtha on Friday. The next scheduled stone boat due in at the Midwest Dock will be John B. Aird on Tuesday.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Algoway was spotted just outside Lorain Harbor at 3:25 p.m. At 5:02 p.m. she was docked north of the railroad trestle preparing to unload.

Montreal - Kent Malo The tugs Tony Mackay and Vigilant 1 are towing the retired DDH Fraser 233 to a Great Lakes scrapyard. Built at Burrard Dry Dock in Vancouver, B.C., Fraser was launched 1953, commissioned 1957 and paid off 1994. Fraser was used at Bridgewater, N.S., as a floating museum, but when that failed she was bought back by the Canadian Navy and sold for disposal at Port Maitland, Ont. The tow will resume from Section 50 Port of Montreal at 2100 Sept. 13 after a brief Seaway inspection.

The International Towage Company tug Sirocco will be arriving in Montreal Sept. 15 to hook on to the former Algoma Central self-unloader Agawa Canyon. The tow is scheduled to depart Sept. 16-17 for a Mediterannean port, perhaps Aliaga, Turkey, where Agawa Canyon will be scrapped. It is not yet known what company will furnish the stern tug, if one is needed, to go as far as the Les Escoumins pilot station. No date has been set for the arrival of the tow at its destination. This is the same company that towed Algobay to China with the tug Simoon.


Firemen tackle Toledo grain elevator fire

9/14 - Toledo, Ohio - Fire crews on Monday night used a wrecking ball to punch a hole into the side of an East Toledo grain elevator where a fire was reported earlier in the day, causing evacuations and shutting down streets and boat traffic.

Grain could be seen spilling from the silo near the Maumee River but firefighters had yet to begin tackling the fire. Officials hope they can extinguish the blaze but acknowledged the silo could fall in the process. They have ruled out a threat of an explosion.

Joseph Taets, a vice president for Archer Daniels Midland grain operations where the fire was reported, said Monday afternoon that employees have cut beams into the facility to isolate the grain elevator from the others there.

The silo fire caused the evacuation of nearby homes and businesses, forced parents to pick up their children from nearby schools, and shut down boat traffic on part of the river. The evacuations remained in effect Monday night.

Toledo fire department dispatchers said the incident at Archer Daniels Midland in the 1300 block of Miami Street was reported about 7 a.m.

Miami and Fassett streets were closed when a report of excessive heat in the elevator was reported and about 9 a.m., the determination was made to evacuate buildings closest to the grain elevator, including a mobile home park, two homes, and a handful of businesses, including the Archer Daniels building, officials said. Toledo firefighters say the fire has been contained in one tower and is now smoldering, although the nearby roads will continue to be closed. The burning grain elevator is connected to two other silos and all three are filled with wheat, but the conveyers connecting the three silos have been disconnected, Assistant Fire Chief Luis Santiago said.

He said firefighters have been pouring water on the grain elevator and he ruled out the risk of an explosion. He said there is some “structural compromise” to the grain elevator but if the silo falls it should fall away from the other ones. The blaze may have been burning for as long as a day, he said. The U.S. Coast Guard closed the Maumee River to boat traffic near the grain silo facility at 12:30 p.m. Monday.

Master Chief Aaron Zimmer of the Toledo office said watercraft is not permitted on the river between the Disalle Bridge (I-75) and the Norfolk Southern railroad bridge.

Roman Blahoski, a spokesman for Archer Daniels Midland, said the grain facility on Miami Street was evacuated after employees noticed excessive heat in a wheat storage bin. He said it is his understanding there was no reports of a fire or explosion and no employees were injured. He said the facility was evacuated as a precautionary measure.

In July, 2005, a pair of explosions in The Andersons/Cargill grain elevator along the Maumee River shut down I-75.

Toledo Blade


C. Columbus’ return to Great Lakes in 2010 excites several visitor bureaus

9/14 - Detroit, Mich. - A revived Great Lakes luxury cruise ship hasn't set sail yet, but its scheduled return already has Travel Michigan Vice President George Zimmermann smiling about next year's tourism season.

After a three-year absence, the 423-passenger C. Columbus ocean liner plans to return to the Great Lakes for two cruises in September 2011 -- one from Toronto to Chicago and a return voyage to Toronto. The cruises will include several stops in and around Michigan.

Because Germany-based Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is charging a starting price of $4,020 a person for an inside cabin for the 14-day cruises, state tourism officials say the cruises will bring hundreds of big spenders to the region.

Those tourists will provide a boost to restaurants, souvenir shops and even hotels when they stop at ports in Mackinac Island; Traverse City; Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario; and the Windsor/Metro Detroit area.

"We are thrilled to have her back," said Zimmermann of Travel Michigan, which is a part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

In 2007, the Columbus pulled out of the Great Lakes after having cruised there for nine years because water levels declined too much at key ports like Sault Ste. Marie.

Since the Columbus stopped cruising the Great Lakes, the cruise company reports that many people had inquired about the cruise and it recorded a list of names. Now the Columbus joins three or four other ships that are cruising the Great Lakes since water levels are rising again.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, which tends to target German tourists, is banking that the appetite for luxury cruises in the region hasn't dried up during the recession. The ship offers pool, sauna and massage facilities, as well as a fitness center, library and hairdressing salon.

Passengers also can take advantage of bicycle rides and a golf simulator.

For another $340 a person, cruise passengers can buy an "all-inclusive package" that covers a visit to Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes, a powwow and a tour of Duluth, Minn. -- as well as all tips and drinks "from soft drinks to exotic cocktails," according to the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

Michigan tourism officials say travelers who can afford several thousand dollars for a vacation usually don't spare any expense when they arrive at tourism hot spots. This could benefit Metro Detroit. When the cruise stops in Windsor, Hapag-Lloyd will promote sites like The Henry Ford, the Motown Museum and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

On Mackinac Island, cruise passengers typically spend money on carriage rides, bicycle rentals and horseback riding, said Mary McGuire Slevin of the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau.

"It's great for the economy," she said. "A lot of the people are here to visit and sightsee and spend some money. There's only so much they can buy on the boat each day."

Some passengers are also a source of income for fancy restaurants and hotels.

"Sometimes when people are on a ship for a while, they want to get off and get into a bigger room," Slevin said. "There is something nice about getting off the boat for a night."

In Traverse City, Mike Norton of the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau says the passengers typically eat most of their meals and sleep on the ship. But it still gives his city a "morale booster" to see so many tourists. "For the most part, it's just nice to have people around," Norton said. "It gives us an opportunity to practice our German and be good hosts."

The Great Lakes region is also piggy-backing off an international Hapag-Lloyd promotional campaign for the Columbus. Zimmermann said they send huge posters to travel agencies in Germany, which gives Michigan free advertising.

"They can't really sell the cruise without selling the Great Lakes," Zimmermann said. "That's good for Michigan and the Great Lakes whether people book the cruise or not."

Detroit News


Fate of historic warship built near Windsor playing out in U.S. courts

9/14 - Windsor, Ont. - The legal battle over a recently discovered shipwreck — purported to be an 1812 warship built near Windsor — took another twist last week in a New York court as the U.S. salvage company that found the sunken vessel rejected accusations by state lawyers it has “plundered” the wreck site and disturbed human remains.

The struggle over the fate of the well-preserved wreck — believed to be the 203-year-old Caledonia, a troop transport involved in the first British-Canadian victory of the War of 1812 — comes with the clock ticking toward the war’s bicentennial and amid controversial plans to raise the ship for display on Lake Erie’s southern shore near Buffalo, N.Y.

Thursday’s court hearing before U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara followed a state magistrate’s ruling in May that the wreck should be left preserved on the lake bottom — the position held by state legal and archeological officials.

But Northeast Research Ltd., the U.S. dive company that found the wreck in 60 metres water about 30 kilometres offshore of Dunkirk, N.Y., appealed the May ruling and asked Arcara to grant a full trial to determine the wreck’s future.

Northeast co-owner Pat Clyne, condemning the state’s policy of “in situ preservation” as equivalent to leaving wrecks “on the bottom to rot,” told Postmedia News if Arcara grants a trial his company could win the right to raise the wreck and create a major international War of 1812 tourist attraction.

“We were pleased with the judge’s questions as well as our attorney’s ability to explain why we believe that this historic ship should be raised, conserved and put on display for all to see — and not just for a handful of privileged few,” Clyne said. “If the judge’s decision goes our way, we then get our chance to confront the State of New York in court with all of our evidence and extensive research to prove our case.”

Northeast’s lawyer defended the company’s dives to the wreck as respectful toward the historic artifacts and human remains known to be at the site.

While several relics were raised and preserved to help identify the ship, and a few bone fragments were inadvertently moved during a dive, Northeast contends its handling of the wreck has been thoroughly professional.

If the ship on the Erie lake bed is the Caledonia — a 26-metre, two-masted schooner with a richly documented history — it would be discovery of international importance.

The origin of the ship is unclear but Peter Rindlisbacher, vice-president of Provincial Marine Amherstburg, said most documents point to it being built in River Rouge, Mich. He said it was originally owned by the North West Company and used for hauling furs from trading posts around the Great Lakes.

Rindlisbacher said there are both success and horror stories of salvaging shipwrecks and more research needs to be done to establish that it is in fact the Caledonia.

“The identity investigation is really a careful business. They try and pull up as many identities as they can and try and find reasons why they couldn't be related to that ship and eliminate them one-by-one,” Rindlisbacher said.

“If you were going to prove it was the Caledonia you would almost certainly have some military artifacts somewhere aboard that ship and I don't believe they have been able to find those.”

The Caledonia is known to have been sold after the war and refitted as a commercial ship, the General Wayne, which sank in the 1830s.

Northeast Research claims there’s evidence the General Wayne was used to ferry escaping slaves to freedom in Canada, decades before the U.S. Civil War.

Despite Northeast’s claims that it has found the Caledonia, doubt remains about the identity of the shipwreck.

Skeptics pointed earlier this year to a 1934 article published in The Beaver, the Canadian history magazine, that concluded the Caledonia didn’t sink in Lake Erie but was dismantled in Erie, Penn., following the War of 1812.

Clyne said his company had probed that possibility but found other evidence supporting the identification of the shipwreck as the Caledonia.

It was pressed into military service when war broke out between Britain and the U.S. along the Canadian frontier in June 1812.

Just a month later, the ship carried some 400 troops — British and Canadian soldiers, conscripted fur traders and allied Indian fighters — to U.S.-controlled Michilimackinac Island at the western end of Lake Huron, a strategic prize close to the eastern entrance of Lake Michigan.

Without a shot being fired, the Americans surrendered the fort — an important event that dashed U.S. expectations of an easy triumph in the war, and largely solidified aboriginal support behind the British.

But the Caledonia fell into American hands just three months later.

The Windsor Star


Construction set to begin this fall on Fort Gratiot Light Station

9/14 - Port Huron, Mich. - It's been coming for a long time, but a dream of several local residents and organizations will be realized this fall, as work will begin at the Fort Gratiot Light Station.

The first construction is likely to be roof repair.

"It's energized the entire organization," said Susan Bennett, Port Huron Museum's director of administrative and community relations, who leads the Lighthouse Advisory Committee. "We can finally talk about getting things done at our next meeting."

To start fixing the lighthouse roof, the county will use another $60,000, two-thirds of which is from a state grant. The Friends of the Fort Gratiot Light provided the additional $20,000.

Mark Brochu, St. Clair County's Parks and Recreation Department director, said the county's priority is to use a federal grant acquired by the city of Port Huron to fix masonry work at the 86-foot-tall lighthouse.

The $370,000 grant for the work was matched with $370,000 from the city.

Brochu said the City Council must approve the grant for the work because the funds could not be transferred to the county. Brochu said this is likely to happen at the council's meeting on Sept. 27.

If that approval is given, part of the money will be used to hire Quinn Evans Architects, based in Ann Arbor, to investigate the building and see what work needs to be done.

They are expected to work with city engineers to open the bidding process for construction contracts. Brochu said the project would be out for bid this fall, with work projected to start after this winter.

Brochu said the county, at a minimum, must keep the buildings from deteriorating. He's not sure when it will reopen, however.

"We don't know what work's to be done or how long it will take," Brochu said. "The good news is, we have some enthusiastic partners and we are starting to get things taken care of."

Eventually, the property will be open to the public, with the Port Huron Museum managing tours and exhibits at the site.

Plans also call for the rehabilitation of the outbuildings. One of the buildings could be used as a gift shop, for example.

Bennett said the Friends of Fort Gratiot Light plan to continue raising money, but the group doesn't plan to have a fall event. She said the next event is likely to take place in the spring.

"Construction beginning will be the excitement for the fall," Bennett said. "We might have a construction hard-hat event in the spring on the grounds, just to show the community that something is really happening."

Port Huron Times Herald


Study: U.S. offshore wind capacity exceeds total U.S. electricity generation

9/14 - The electricity generating potential of offshore wind resources in the U.S. is 4,150 gigawatts (GW) based on offshore resources from 26 coastal states and the Great Lakes, according to the latest report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

NREL says, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the nation’s total electric generating capacity from all sources was 1,010 GW in 2008.

In February, NREL’s assessment showed that onshore U.S. wind resources were larger than previously estimated. A key finding indicated that onshore U.S. wind resources could generate nearly 37,000,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) annually, more than nine times current total U.S. electricity consumption.

The offshore wind report’s estimate is based on the latest high-resolution maps predicting annual average wind speeds, and shows the gross energy potential of offshore wind resources.

The potential electric generating capacity was calculated from the total offshore area within 50 nautical miles of shore, in areas where average annual wind speeds are at least 7 meters per second (approximately 16 miles per hour) at a height of 90 meters (295 feet).

For purposes of this study, researchers assumed that 5 megawatts of wind turbines could be placed in every square kilometer of water that met these wind characteristics.

The report, “Assessment of Offshore Wind Energy Resources for the United States” (PDF) shows detailed resource maps and tables for the 26 coastal states and the Great Lakes by wind speed, water depth, and distance from shore.

Environmental Leader


Daley: Let's look at reversing flow of Chicago River back into Lake Michigan

9/14 - Chicago, Ill. - Mayor Richard Daley Monday floated the idea of undoing Chicago's greatest engineering feat --- reversing the flow of the Chicago River away from Lake Michigan --- to improve the ecology of the Great Lakes.

“I said boy that’s a great project,” Daley told the Tribune, recalling a conversation he had last week with his brother while at a beach along Lake Michigan. “Instead of diverting all that water, maybe we should reverse it (to flow into the lake).”

“I said that’s a great project, we have to start thinking about it now, and of course go to the business community and set up a committee and work with Water Reclamation District and others and Army Corps of Engineers,” Daley added. “That could be the salvation maybe of the Great Lakes.”

More than 100 years ago, city leaders completed decades of work that reversed the river’s flow, so untreated waste did not flow into Lake Michigan, the city’s drinking water source. The reversal also linked Chicago to the nation’s shipping waterways.

But the project also diverted a significant amount of water from Lake Michigan, and created a way for invasive species, like Asian Carp, to get from the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes ecosystem. So Daley, who once headed up an international coalition to protect the Great Lakes, started thinking about re-reversing the river’s flow, the mayor said today an interview a few days after announcing he would not seek a record seventh term.

Daley went on to say that reversing the river wouldn’t require that the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to reverse its long-standing opposition to treating sewage before it’s dumped in the river.

“I don’t think so,” he said, adding that the massive, ongoing Deep Tunnel project designed to prevent stormwater overflow from contaminating the city’s waterways would have to progress much further before anything could be done. “if we get another tunnel built, which I think will be possible and everybody will support that, it would be possible in the next 20 years that we could have this, and that would really help ecology.”

Daley said he’s considering putting his latest ambitious plan into action, even though his decades in office are winding down. “I hope to put a committee together,” he said.

City leaders pulled off one of the great engineering feats in world history by artificially reversing the flow of the Chicago River and diverting sewage water away from in Lake Michigan. They accomplished this by digging a channel through a small ridge on the western edge of the city, using gravity and the landscape's natural plane to carry water backwards toward the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. In the process, engineers built an entirely new waterway system that included the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and would become a vital and lucrative corridor for boats and cargo ships.

The move angered other Great Lakes states that feared Chicago had disrupted the natural ecosystem of the region and would lower lake levels by diverting too much water the other direction. Subsequent lawsuits limited how much water could be diverted, but Chicago's waterway system remained intact.

Some environmentalists and Great Lakes advocates have long lobbied Chicago to redesign its system to return the Chicago River to its original flow. Though the cost may be high, sophisticated filtration systems and water treatments plants could remove the risk of diverting sewage back into Lake Michigan, the city's primary source of drinking water.

With fears rising about the introduction of Asian carp and other invasive species into the Great Lakes, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked Congress in June to commission a study looking at re-engineering the region's waterway system to allow for the passage of boats an ships but not invasive species. The study would also look at the feasibility of restoring the Chicago River to its original direction.

Once one of America's most polluted stretches of water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has since introduced the idea of cleaning the Chicago River so that it may be one day used for swimming. Such an undertaking would likely require spending millions on new sewage treatment technologies, but it is perhaps the next logical step as the city remakes the winding river into a second waterfront.

Chicago Tribune


Updates - September 14

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 14

September 14, 1962, the HORACE S. WILKINSON was involved in a collision with the Canadian freighter CAROL LAKE in the Welland Canal. Rather than repair the WILKINSON, Wilson Marine had her towed to Superior, Wisconsin, for conversion to a barge. All cabin superstructure, the engine, boilers, and auxiliary machinery were removed. The stern was squared off and notched to receive a tug. The WILKINSON was renamed WILTRANCO I and re-entered service in 1963, as a tug-barge combination with a crew of 10, pushed by the tug FRANCIS A. SMALL of 1966.

September 14, 1963, the BENJAMIN F. FAIRLESS, Captain Earl C. Bauman, received a National Safety Council Award of Merit for operating 1,001,248 consecutive man-hours without a lost time accident. This accomplishment required 15 years, 600 round trips, and 1,200 passages through the Soo locks.

Captain Albert Edgar Goodrich died on September 14,1885, at the age of 59, at his residence in Chicago. 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 in 1963. She was scrapped at Windsor, Ontario in 1988.

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

The 203 foot 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 two people, a man and a woman, rescued. ASIA was built in St. Catharines, Ontario, in 1873, and was bound from Collingwood, Ontario, to the French River and Canadian Sault.

Captain William H. Pollard, retired from the Cleveland – Cliffs, fleet will be 90 years old today. "Bill" still resides in Mantua, Ohio. Data from: Clive Reddin, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Tough times for Great Lakes shipping

9/13 - Buffalo, N.Y. - Majestic and stately, the American Mariner is like a visitor from another century.

She sat one morning next to the General Mills silos on Buffalo's inner harbor, unloading tons of grain that will go into tons of Cheerios and other cereals. Industrial sounds filled the air, the rumble of a motor, the whir of belts.

Watching the Mariner, it's clear why Great Lakes freighters are the subject of fascination. By night, all lit up, they look like a Vegas casino. By day, they command attention with their graceful mass. Earlier this year, as the 690-foot Herbert C. Jackson maneuvered into the Buffalo Harbor, folks at the Hatch restaurant flocked to watch a tugboat guide the huge vessel through the twists and turns of the Buffalo River.

There was a time when more than 300 U.S. flagged freighters plied the Great Lakes, and ships lined up in Buffalo Harbor. Now the sight of a ship is increasingly rare. Since 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway has diverted boat traffic, the steel mills have gone and the grain elevators are mostly empty. Facing such changes, does Great Lakes shipping, a pursuit dating to this country's earliest days, still play a viable role in today's economy?

Glenn Nekvasil, the director of communication for the Lake Carriers Association, which includes almost all the U.S. freighters on the Great Lakes, points to good and bad news.

"From our last survey, we were running about 52 of our ships. There are six ships on the U.S. side that did not sail this year," he said.

Nekvasil cautioned against contrasting the numbers of today's ships with the numbers of the 1950s. "It's apples and oranges. In the 1950s, a big ship carried 25,000 tons. Today our ships can carry 70,000 tons."

He made clear, though, that the waters have been rough. In 2009, the shipping industry took a bad hit from the recession. Eight ships were idled.

The 2010 season, while better, is far from ideal. "I don't want people thinking that happy days are here again," he said. "The fact that we still have six ships laid up, that's not good news. That tells us the economy has not healed. When the economy is strong, we operate all of our vessels. The recovery is far from complete." But there are positive signs.

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency exempted 12 currently active Great Lakes steamships from a stringent new emissions rule that would have required expensive engine retrofitting that ship owners said they could not afford.

Also telling is that the Port of Buffalo -- the seventh-busiest port on the Great Lakes, and the 28th in the country -- makes money for its owner, Buffalo Crushed Stone.

"It's very competitive. It's a tough market," says port director Jim Pfohl. "But we're profitable."

While Nekvasil cannot make predictions, the improvement he notes over last year's season suggests that when the economy picks up again, shipping will, too.

"If our economy continues to rebound, there's every reason to expect that Great Lakes shipping will continue to rebound," Nekvasil said. "You can't make steel without ore. Those power plants need coal to make electricity. You can't rebuild roads and highways without limestone."

For companies that need these bulk materials, freighters remain the most economical option. A king-sized, 1,000-foot freighter -- the largest size on the Great Lakes -- can carry 70,000 tons, the equivalent of six 100-car trains, or 3,000 semi-trucks.

The 28th largest port in the country, Buffalo ranks seventh among the Great Lakes ports. (Hamilton, Ont., with its steel plants, is No. 1.)

Coal goes by train from British Columbia to Thunder Bay, Ont., and a freighter carries it to Buffalo, where it is blended with coal from West Virginia and reloaded onto other ships to go to U.S. Steel Canada plants in Hamilton and Nanticoke.

Petroleum coke is hauled on a freighter from Chicago to Buffalo, continuing by rail to AES' Somerset power plant in Wilson. Freighters also carry limestone from Roger City, Mich., to Buffalo. From Buffalo, it goes by train to AES Somerset plant in Wilson, and by truck to the AES plant on Cayuga Lake.

In the winter, Buffalo's ubiquitous road salt comes in by ship -- from North American Rock Salt in Goderich, Ont.

Lake freighters' patterns are part of a stunning choreography. But the glamour of the boats can transcend numbers and economics.

Gordon Lightfoot's ballad memorializes the Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank with her crew in Lake Superior in 1975 while carrying 26,000 tons of taconite to Detroit. Barring these rare disasters, lake freighters, or "lakers," gain allure -- and economic viability -- because they enjoy long lives, longer than the "salties," their oceangoing counterparts.

The Arthur M. Anderson, which accompanied the Edmund Fitzgerald on its fateful last voyage, is still sailing, revered by freighter fans. Another celebrity ship is the St. Marys Challenger, the oldest boat on the lakes. Launched in 1906 and renamed many times, it still plies Lake Michigan, hauling cement.

The history of the great ships thrives on a Web site called Brian Wroblewski, the site's Buffalo correspondent, photographs boats in Buffalo and predicts their arrivals and departures.

Wroblewski notes that the American Mariner is of special interest -- at 734 feet, it is the biggest boat to date to navigate the narrow Buffalo River. He also points out that two freighters, the American Victory and the Lee A. Tregurtha, saw service in World War II.

"One of them, I forget which one, was hit by a Japanese bomb," he said. "There's still shrapnel bomb damage. It burned through the hull."

The glamour of the lake freighters does not wear thin, even for longtime sailors.

Daniel Bartels is the captain of the 634-foot Sam Laud, one of the 18 vessels owned by the American Steamship Company -- which owns three actual steamships, including the American Victory. Now a subsidiary of GATX of Chicago, the American Steamship Company is headquartered in Williamsville.

Bartels comes from generations of sailors. The son of a Great Lakes captain, he met his wife on the John J. Boland, a boat named for one of the founders of American Steamship.

He keeps scrapbooks on Great Lakes shipping. They show how in the early 1900s, a freighter's crew was required to wear a jacket and tie to dinner. "In the old days, all the rooms were fancy," he said, pointing out the polished wood trim.

The wood finishes were long ago declared fire hazards, and formality has fallen by the wayside. Even in his own experience -- he began sailing soon after graduating from Cardinal O'Hara High School -- Bartels has seen changes.

Once, a boat would have a single, fuzzy TV. The crew would talk, play cards, hang out on deck. Now, with iPods and laptops, workers sequester themselves more in cabins.

Today's boats have air conditioning. Not too long ago, sailors would beat the heat just as Columbus did. "You'd open the porthole, hope for a breeze," Bartels says. "On a hot night, you'd take your mattress out on deck, look up at the stars."

Though his job can become routine, Bartels still sees the magic in it. He grows dreamy describing the Northern Lights. "That's a lot of fun," he says. "And out on the lake, there are a lot of meteor showers."

The Buffalo News


Port Reports - September 13

Little Calumet River - Pat Pelz
The T.J. O'Brien lock and dam Sunday afternoon saw the Steve A. McKinney and ARTC heading down the river. Later the William C and Aggie C were upbound with Aggie giving five blasts of the horn twice to move pleasure craft out of harm’s way.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Friday the tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity were at Lafarge taking on cement. The Alpena was in port early Sunday morning loading for Green Bay, Wisc. Also visiting the silos on Sunday was the Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation.

Welland Canal - Al Howard
Atlantic Huron arrived at Wharf 2 Sunday morning to take on stores and to be refueled by Hamilton Energy. After waiting for Thalassa Desgagne to pass upbound for Lock 1, Hamilton Energy departed Wharf 1 and slid across channel to dock with Atlantic Huron.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
English River arrived in port Sunday afternoon. The tug Evans McKeil and barge Metis arrived at Essroc on Saturday, and Algosteel arrived in for Redpath Sugar Saturday evening. The passenger vessel Clelia Ii was in at Pier 52 on Thursday and Friday.


Updates - September 13

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 13

On 13 September 1894, the GLOBE (steel propeller package freighter, 330 foot, 2,995 gross tons) was launched by the Globe Iron Works (Hull #53) at Cleveland, Ohio. She was lengthened to 400 feet and converted to a bulk freighter in 1899, when she was acquired by the Bessemer Steamship Company and renamed JAMES B. EADS. She lasted until 1967, when she was scrapped at Port Weller Drydocks.

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 200 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. Marys 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.



Port Reports - September 12

Green Bay, Wis. - Wendell Wilke
Inbound around 2 p.m. Friday were the tug Prentiss Brown and barge St. Marys Conquest, going to the St. Marys Cement dock. In the marina at the entry to the Fox River was the newest 45-foot Coast Guard hull recently finished by ACE Marine (a division of Marinette Marine) and CG 45635 with the hailing port of Calumet Harbor on the stern.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
John B. Aird finished unloading ore at the Torco Dock and departed Saturday afternoon. Saginaw was loading coal at the CSX Docks. The next scheduled coal boat due in at the CSX Docks will be Pathfinder on Sunday. Pathfinder returns on Monday, Michipicoten on Wednesday, Lee A. Tregurtha on Thursday, Saginaw on Friday followed by Canadian Transport on Saturday. The next scheduled ore boats due in at the Torco Dock are Joseph H. Thompson on Sunday, CSL Assiniboine on Tuesday followed by Lee A. Tregurtha on Thursday. The next scheduled stone boats due in at the Midwest Dock will be Algosoo on Sunday followed by John B. Aird on Tuesday.

Halifax, N.S. - Mac Mackay
Algobay arrived Halifax Saturday evening to load gypsum. This is the first time the rebuilt ship has called in Halifax. It called many times over the years in its original configuration.


Clelia cruise ship runs aground off Manitoulin Island

9/12 - Little Current, Ont. - Clelia II was temporarily waylaid on its journey through the North Channel recently, when the cruise ship lost engine power and became grounded at the point at Boyle Marine in Little Current.

The incident occurred around 5 p.m. Sept. 8, shortly after the ship left port and headed west for its destination in Sault Ste. Marie. The exact problem with the ship could not be confirmed prior to press time, but eyewitnesses say the ship appeared to lose power, and had to drop anchor to prevent drifting into the docks at Boyle Marine.

Brenda Edington, who has a cottage on the North Channel, recalled hearing an unusual announcement over the loudspeakers as the ship was getting ready to disembark.

"They started the engines around 3:40 p.m. or thereabouts, and there seemed to be a lot of noise emanating from the engine room," she said.

Dismissing the commotion as customary tests before leaving port, Ms. Edington waited to watch the ship sail. "Then all of a sudden," she reported, "around 3:50, they come on to the outside speakers and say, 'Attention, attention, attention, all passengers. There is a situation in the engine room and we would ask that you refrain from using the toilet systems or the water systems. We'll let you know as soon as we can what's going on.'"

When the ship finally became mobile, it didn't get far before trouble set in. Just out of port, the Clelia appeared to lose power, and dropped anchor adjacent to the red buoy in an effort to prevent the current from shifting its position.

The engines got going again, and the crew began to pull up the anchors, but the ship was only able to travel a short distance before power was cut for a second time.

As it sailed past Discovery Yacht Charters, proprietor Chris Blodgett had his camera at the ready to capture the vessel. Though he was speculative as to the cause of the incident, he said it appeared that the ship lost control as it veered towards Boyle Marine.

"Apparently they had some sort of electronic failure that caused them to lose all propulsion on their bow thruster in both engines, but I can't say for sure," he said. "It was quite a sight to watch them drag both anchors up the channel when they finally did get it going, and they managed to take one of the green markers out in the channel."

Dustin McKenzie and Brandon Boyle were fishing nearby when the sight of the ship rounding the point caused them to run over to see what was going on. By the time they arrived, the ship "only had 10 feet of water to draw," Brandon reported, and at that point, a grounding seemed inevitable.

Boyle Marine proprietor Marlene Boyle said a small crowd had gathered as her husband Pat and son Brian offered assistance to the crew.

"They were talking to the captain, and Pat was yelling out, '30 feet, 20 feet, 10 feet,' and then there was this big bang" as the Clelia hit shore, she said.

"They hit the shore, and I thought there was going to be a big dent in the ship," Dustin said, although it's unlikely that the collision with land had much effect on the ship, since the Clelia is an ice class vessel, making it stronger and more likely to withstand tougher conditions.

"It was scary," Brandon added, noting that he and his companion could feel a rumble as the ship made contact with land. "There was a big boom just like an earthquake."

The ship connected with a shallow rock ledge that shoots out from the point, Ms. Boyle said, and photos taken at the time show just how little water was there to buoy the vessel.

At this point, the ship dropped anchor again, in an attempt to prevent further drifting into docks and the boats berthed there.

Passengers aboard the Clelia didn't seem to be too concerned about the incident, said the Boyles, since many were on deck watching the proceedings. The ship was so close, those on land were able to converse easily with the captain on board. "He said there had been a computer malfunction and the engines had shut down," Ms. Boyle reported.

Fearing a collision, the captain asked whether the boats in the harbour could be moved, but Mr. Boyle replied that, "it would take a month to move all those boats."

That's when the captain enlisted the help of Pat and his son Brian, who went out in a tug to offer stabilizing assistance to hold the ship against the current. But by the time they got to the vessel, power had been restored, and the ship was able to back out slowly from the marina. The tug remained on standby while the captain tried to get the ship back on course.

The vessel appeared to be back on track until it caught the green J45 buoy in one of the anchors as they were being raised. The ship then dragged the buoy with it, moving the marker an estimated 300 feet off position, before letting go and continuing on course.

As she travelled to her cottage along Highway 540, Ms. Edington, who heard the announcement made by the captain, caught sight of the ship again, this time travelling on the south side of the channel, near the James Foot Patcha shoal across from Bedford Island and heading towards Little Wabos and Big Wabos islands at Freer Point.

Though she thought that course was unusual, since ships typically stay in deeper water on the north side of the channel, the vessel appeared to be functioning.

"The bow was collecting water, so it was moving," she said, "but by the time I got down to Tamarack (a laneway edging the channel), he had gone back on course and disappeared behind Clapperton."

As news of the incident spread, there was some speculation by boaters communicating over the Manitoulin Cruisers' Net that when a grounding occurs, the Coast Guard is to be contacted immediately, and a ship must go into a forced decommissioning in dry dock to await repairs.

When contacted by the Expositor, however, representatives with the Canadian Coast Guard based in Parry Sound were unaware of the grounding, yet had received a notice that the green buoy had been dislodged from its location.

"The only thing I know is that one of our buoys is off position right now," a representative said. "One of our ships is coming up to check the position of it."

He estimated that, depending on the weather, a Coast Guard ship would be in the area late on Friday to check on the buoy and reposition it if needed.

The Clelia's ultimate port of call was Duluth, where it was scheduled to pick up a new round of passengers before setting sail on the Great Lakes again. It has two more stops in port before the end of the season.

Manitoulin Expositor


Today in Great Lakes History - September 12

On 12 September 1903, the R E SCHUCK (steel propeller bulk freighter, 416 fott, 4713 gross tons) was launched by the American Ship Building Company (Hull #327) at Lorain, Ohio for the Gilchrist Transportation Company. She was purchased by the Interlake Steamship Co. (Pickands, Mather & Co., Mgrs.) in 1913, and renamed b.) HYDRUS. However, she foundered in the "Big Storm" of 1913, on Lake Huron with all hands; 24 lives were lost.

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.

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. Renamed b.) PIONEER in 1987, she operates in ocean service flagged from Vanuatu.

CARTIERCLIFFE HALL, a.) RUHR ORE, 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. Renamed c.) WINNIPEG in 1988, and d.) ALGONTARIO in 1994.

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 a.) CANADA MARQUIS on September 12, 1988, a shoreside crane lifting a pay loader into the hold, collapsed onto the ship. CANADA MARQUIS had a hole in her tank top and damage to her hatch coaming. She sails today on the ocean and lakes today as e.) BIRCHGLEN, for CSL.

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.


Port Reports - September 11

Green Bay, Wis. - Scott Best
Friday in Green Bay, John G. Munson arrived early in the day and unloaded stone at Great Lakes Calcium Dock, and departed by early afternoon. Manitowoc arrived in late afternoon with a load of coal for the Georgia Pacific Dock.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Friday at the Upper Harbor, Joseph H. Thompson unloaded stone into the hopper during the morning and loaded ore in the afternoon. Also in the afternoon, Charles M. Beeghly arrived to load ore.


Duluth-based cutter Alder to return from 2-month Arctic deployment

9/11 - Cleveland, Ohio - The Coast Guard cutter Alder is scheduled to return home Saturday at about 9 a.m. following a 56-day deployment to the Canadian Arctic.

The Alder departed Duluth, Minn., July 12 for a two-month deployment in which the crew participated in Exercise NATSIQ 2010, a Canadian exercise, designed to improve the collective capacity of our Arctic allies to effectively respond to safety and security threats or emergencies in the Arctic.

Exercise NATSIQ involved forces from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, as well as the Canadian navy and coast guard, and the Danish navy.

This is the first exercise that the United States Coast Guard was invited to participate in that was held in the northernmost region of the high Arctic in Lancaster Sound (Resolute Bay, Pond Inlet and Arctic Bay), approximately 1,800 miles northeast of Alder's homeport of Duluth.

Alder supported the Canadian forces while conducting maintenance visits and community outreach to remote sites along the Labrador coast, provided transport for members of the Canadian armed forces, conducted crew exchanges to enhance cultural understanding and share best practices, and participated in drills and exercises based on an array of naval warfare, maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, and other scenarios, all designed to increase interoperability and effectiveness.

The Coast Guard was invited to participate in Exercise NATSIQ by Canada Command, Joint Task Force North. Exercises such as NATSIQ provide a unique opportunity to enhance interoperability with joint and combined forces and increase our operational experience in the harsh and fragile conditions of the Arctic.

U.S. Coast Guard diving forces also participated in the exercise‚s finale, which involved responding to a simulated oil pollution incident, a scenario of increased importance due to rising pressure to utilize the Northwest Passage for shipping.

"The crew is very excited to return home to see their loved ones after participating in Exercise NATSIQ 2010," said Lt. Cmdr. MaryEllen Durley, Alder's commanding officer. "We successfully increased the interoperability between all three countries while executing operations in the high Arctic during this first mission of its kind. Alder safely navigated more than 8,500 miles through lots of fog, rain and heavy seas amongst many icebergs and whales while also witnessing beautiful fjords and a quick glimpse of a polar bear," Durley said.

The Alder is a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender that conducts aids to navigation and ice-breaking missions in Lake Superior.


Polish ship docks at NWI port on maiden voyage to Great Lakes

9/11 - Portage, Ind. - The new Polish vessel Miedwie arrived at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor Wednesday on its first trip into the Great Lakes.

Carrying break bulk cargo from the Port of Ijmuiden in the Netherlands, the ship was to have been unloaded Wednesday by workers from port terminal operator Federal Marine Terminals, the International Longshoremen's Association and the International Union of Operating Engineers.

Operated by Polsteam, Miedwie is making several stops along the Great Lakes on its first trip into the St. Lawrence Seaway system, including Milwaukee, Cleveland and Duluth. C&M Shipping Inc. was the steamship agent that coordinated the vessel logistics for this shipment.

The cargo delivered to the Northwest Indiana port included 8,700 tons of steel for local manufacturing companies, and it will next load 20,000 tons of wheat in Duluth for the return trip to Europe.

Polsteam, the largest Polish shipowner and one of the largest in Europe, operates 75 ships, including 67 bulk carriers, four sulfur carriers and four ferries. The company has announced plans to build 34 new bulk cargo carriers by 2015.

Captained by Tamasz Molenda, Miedwie is a 30,000-ton vessel that was built in the Mingde shipyard in Nantong, China, not far from Shanghai. Miedwie, which was launched in late March, is the first ship in a series of eight new Great Lakes vessels that Polsteam has ordered.


Russian drought helps boost Seaway traffic

9/11 - Montreal, Que. – Russia's long drought and crop shortages are pushing up demand for U.S. and Canadian grain and boosting traffic through the St. Lawrence Seaway system.

But the Port of Montreal is less likely to benefit than other Quebec grain trans-shipment ports such as Trois Rivieres, Quebec City, Baie Comeau and Sept Iles, shipping sources said yesterday. This is because the other ports offer greater water drafts and better economics.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. said grain shipments through the Seaway in August jumped 51 per cent from a year earlier to 830,000 tonnes "as international demand began to ramp up in the wake of production shortages in Russia."

U.S. grain shipments via the Seaway hit 303,000 tonnes, up 62 per cent, and Canadian grain shipments rose to 527,000 tonnes, up 45 per cent.

From March 25 to Aug. 31, U.S. grain shipments totaled 743,000 tonnes, up 18 per cent, while Canadian shipments were down 15 per cent to 2.8 million tonnes. But overall, the Seaway handled 18.7 million tonnes of cargo -from iron ore and steel to grain and other bulk cargo - up 22 per cent from a year earlier.

Ocean vessel (Seaway-size) traffic has risen sharply with a resurgence in steel products, the corporation said, and the prospect of higher demand for grain exports suggests tonnages will continue to be strong through Dec. 31, the end of the season.

Russia's ban on grain exports through the end of the year to safeguard domestic supplies has boosted international orders for U.S. grain and Canadian ships are responding swiftly. "We've found capacity to move an additional 300,000 to 400,000 tonnes of U.S. export grain on short notice," said Allister Patterson, CEO of Seaway Marine Transport.

Jean Lemay, senior vice-president, chartering, at Fednav Ltd., said the big international bulk shipping company is seeing higher bookings to move grain from the Great Lakes region to Europe and North Africa because of a bumper crop in the Prairies and crop failures in other parts of the world.

The Montreal Gazette


Updates - September 11

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 11

On 11 September 1899, the PENOKEE (3-mast wooden canaler schooner, 139 foot, 332 tons, built in 1872, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin), which was transferred to the Atlantic coast from Lake Erie in 1898, struck Romer Shoal off the shore of Staten Island and was wrecked. She was sailing from Norfolk, Virginia to Saco, Maine at the time. Her crew managed to reach the Life Saving Station through the heavy surf.

September 11, 1969, the Bethlehem steamer LEHIGH, Captain Loren A. Falk, delivered the first cargo to the new Bethlehem Steel mill at Burns Harbor, Indiana. The cargo consisted of 15,700 tons of taconite pellets loaded at Taconite Harbor, Minnesota.

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, of 1927, 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, of 1916, off Old Point Light, on June 15, 1943. On May 6, 1944, the barges MAITLAND NO. 1 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 percent 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. She was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1988.

September 11, 2001, the former Bob-Lo boat STE. CLAIRE was towed from Detroit to Toledo by Gaelic's tug SHANNON. In August, 2005, she was taken to Belanger Park in River Rouge and in the Spring of 2006 she was returned to Nicholson's Slip in Ecorse by Gaelic's tugs PATRICIA HOEY and CAROLYN HOEY.

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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Jody L. Aho James Neumiller, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports - September 10

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Calumet was back on the Saginaw River late Tuesday night, with another cargo for the GM dock in Saginaw. She completed her unload and was outbound on Wednesday. Thursday morning saw the arrival of the American Mariner, who called on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville to unload coal. This dock is usually serviced by the 1000 footers, so the Mariner's visit is a little unusual. Algorail was also inbound early Thursday, stopping at the Buena Vista dock and the GM dock, both in Saginaw. After unloading, Algorail was outbound Thursday night, and once she had passed Consumers Energy, the American Mariner began backing from the dock and out into the Saginaw Bay to turn at Light 12 and head for the lake.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Thursday, the bunkering ship Hamilton Energy arrived back in port at 8 a.m. from Port Weller. The CCG ship Kelso departed Burlington at 8:15 a.m. for Oakville. Tug Omni Richelieu departed at 8:30 a.m. for Toronto to help the saltie Maccoa from her berth. They both arrived in Hamilton at 3 p.m. Tug William J Moore and barge McLeary's Spirit departed at noon. Maritime Trader departed at 1:30 p.m. from Pier 25. Algoma Guardian arrived with iron ore pellets from port Cartier for Dofasco. Her arrival was delayed, as they came across a partially submerged boat out in the lake.


Port of prosperity: Shipping up 52 percent

9/10 - Portage, Ind. - The Port of Indiana is seeing an increase in the amount of cargo arriving in Portage in 2010.

On Wednesday, the Miedwie, which sails under the Bahamas flag and is operated by a Polish shipping company, arrived on its maiden voyage with 8,700 tons of steel for local manufacturing companies.

The ship set sail from the Port of Ijmuiden in the Netherlands, and was unloaded by workers from port terminal operator Federal Marine Terminals, the International Longshoremen's Association and the International Union of Operating Engineers.

Through July, the port has handled 700,000 tons of shipments. That's ahead of the port's 2009 pace, and the port typically takes in one-third of its haul in the last quarter of the year, said spokesman Jody Peacock.

"We've certainly seen an uptick in the number of cargo shipments this year as compared to last year," Peacock said. "Through July, we're seeing a 52 percent increase in shipments as compared to 2009."

In 2009, the Port handled 1.2 million tons of shipments. The Port is open from April through December.

The Miedwie is operated by Polsteam. The ship stopped in Cleveland and Milwaukee before stopping in Portage. Its next stop is Duluth, Minn., where it will pick up 20,000 tons of wheat for the European market.

The Miedwie is a 30,000-ton vessel that was built in the Mingde shipyard in Nantong, China. It was launched in late March, and it is the first ship out of a series of eight new Great Lakes vessels that Polsteam has ordered.

Peacock said that the shipping industry is excited that Polsteam plans on building 34 new bulk cargo carriers by 2015.

"It's been bleak over the last few years with the economy," Peacock said. "So it's good that a leading international firm is planning for more ships."



Wheat exports along Great Lakes / Seaway set stage for busy fall

9/10 - Grain shipments through the St. Lawrence Seaway increased by 51 percent to 830,000 metric tons in August compared to the same period last year as international demand began to ramp up in the wake of production shortages in Russia.

The St. Lawrence Seaway reported that American grain shipments reached 303,000 metric tons in August, an increase of 62 percent compared to the same period last year, while Canadian grain shipments increased by 45 percent to 527,000 metric tons. Year-to-date numbers, however, reflect an 18 percent increase to 743,000 metric tons for U.S. grain shipments and a 15 percent decrease to 2.8 million metric tons for Canadian grain shipments from March 25 to August 31compared to the same period in 2009.

Commercial vessels carried a total of 18.7 million metric tons of cargo through the Seaway from March 25 to August 31 an increase of 22 percent over 2009. The overall numbers were also helped by strong increases in iron ore, coal and steel shipments.

“Robust demand for our services during the month of August suggests that our key markets are continuing to improve, approaching in some instances the levels that we witnessed in 2008 before the onset of the recession,” said Richard Corfe, President and CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation. “On a year-over-year basis, we note that ocean vessel traffic has risen sharply given a resurgence in the movement of steel products. The prospect of strong demand for grain exports to overseas markets leads us to believe that tonnage will continue on the positive side for the rest of the season.”

By mid-August, one quarter of Russia’s grain crops had been destroyed. Drought, followed by devastating fires, led their government to ban exports of grain through the end of the year in order to conserve supplies for domestic food production and animal feed. This situation has caused an unexpected boon for U.S. grain exporters.

One of the key Great Lakes grain ports, the Port of Duluth-Superior, has noted this uptick with vessel agent bookings up 25 percent from this time last year. Executive Director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, Adolph Ojard, confirmed that 14 ships were at the port last week loading product for international markets. “Grain is a world commodity and the U.S. not only grows high-quality spring wheat, we have been fortunate this year to have a bumper crop. That provides an opportunity to move the agricultural bounty of North America through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway navigation system to benefit those in need around the world.”

The United States is the world’s top exporter of wheat. Media reports indicate U.S. wheat exports could reach their highest level since 1996, with future demand strong. And American farmers are poised to capture new market shares overseas. David Torgerson, executive director of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers explained, “We are located about as far away from our export customers as any farmers in the United States. But, with the Seaway and the Port of Duluth-Superior, we have a direct water link to markets around the world (in particular Europe and North Africa), which keeps transportation costs competitive and enables North Dakota and Minnesota farmers to compete globally. The farmers really rely on the Seaway to provide that service.”

Late last week Germany reached out to the United States for grain, an export they've not purchased from U.S. farmers for three years. The bulk load represents 20,000 metric tons of spring wheat. According to Ron Johnson, trade development director at the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, Grain buyers in Turkey and Egypt, likewise, are sourcing spring wheat from Duluth-Superior. “Not only are we seeing new customers this year, were seeing increased purchases from existing customers. We also expect to export feed barley to countries we haven't shipped to for 15-20 years.”

This increase in business serves to emphasize the strategic value of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway navigation system. Without the benefit of this water highway, the United States could not be as nimble in moving product to international markets. Canadian lakers, which have been the backbone for bi-national movement between the U.S. and Canada, play an integral role in that process.

“The Seaway provides a critical safety valve in being able to rapidly respond to sudden shifts in trade patterns,” Allister Paterson, President and CEO, Seaway Marine Transport (SMT) based in St. Catharines, Ontario, said. “From a Canadian carriers’ prospective, there is no doubt that U.S. wheat bookings are on the upswing. Before the Russians announced their ban on grain exports, SMT had planned to lay up ships in August and September. With that announcement, we were able to book enough U.S. wheat cargoes to keep all of our ships sailing. In addition, we are spending significant dollars to mobilize one full seaway-size bulker from inactive status to provide additional capacity for another 150,000 metric tons of U.S. grain this season. In total, we have found capacity to move an additional 300,000-400,000 metric tons of U.S. export grain on short notice.”

Montreal-based Fednav Limited, the largest international marine bulk shipping company in Canada, has also noted an increase in its bookings due to the international demand for grain. According to Jean Lemay, Senior Vice President, Chartering, “We have noticed a substantial increase in inquiries for cargoes originating from the Great Lakes to Europe and North Africa, partly due to a bumper crop in the prairies and to crop failures in other parts of the world.”

The Seaway navigation system is efficient; it functions without affecting other modes of transportation, which are already overloaded. In terms of capacity, a single Seaway-sized vessel carries 26,500 metric tons of cargo. It would take 1044 trucks or 270 rail cars to carry the same load. Additionally, in terms of fuel efficiency and environmental impact, a ship can travel 312 kilometers with one ton of cargo on one liter of fuel; a railroad car travels only 181 kilometers; and an 18-wheel semi-trailer truck goes only 75 kilometers. These efficiencies, in addition to the safety factor, make transport by water extremely attractive.

Marine Delivers


Spill drill coming to Two Harbors

9/10 - Two Harbors, Minn. - County emergency teams will work with railroad company CN Tuesday in a mock fuel spill drill on Agate Bay in Two Harbors. CN owns the docks on the bay.

While the drill is on public property, organizers are asking the public to stay out of the way, especially at the boat landing area on the bay.

The drill will begin at 8 a.m. and will also include state and federal response teams. There will be “table-top simulations” and an equipment deployment drill responding to an accidental release from the Great Lakes Fleet fueling facility.

The “Incident Command Center” will be the Two Harbors Community Center. The equipment deployment drill will be near the CN’s fueling facility near the ore docks.

Earlier this summer there was a real response to a reported fuel spill on the bay. The Two Harbors Fire Department and Lake County rescue teams responded July 7 to a reported oil slick on the bay west of the ore docks. It turned out to be taconite dust sitting on still Lake Superior water.

The fire and rescue crews placed containment booms on the bay before a Coast Guard crew made the determination of what was on the water.

At the time, Aaron Gross, the chief of response for the Marine Safety Unit of the Coast Guard in Duluth, said the response was a “nice test” for a real emergency. Gross said the response was good, CN responders were there as well, and the scrambling that day might have fulfilled the federal mandate for a drill like the one coming Tuesday. “I’ll have to call and see if this would count,” Gross said at the time.

Apparently it didn’t.

Lake County News Chronicle


Steel giant finishes $100M upgrade to plant in Hamilton

9/10 - Hamilton, Ont. - ArcelorMittal Dofasco has completed a $100-million upgrade to its Hamilton steelmaking plant.

The initiative, dubbed the Primary Optimization Project (POP), included process and product innovation upgrades that will sharply reduce the amounts of coke and electricity used in making steel, increase steelmaking capacity by almost 20 per cent and create 50 jobs.

“The completion of this Primary Optimization Project to our steel production operations positions ArcelorMittal Dofasco as one of the most productive and energy-efficient advanced steel manufacturing plants in the world,” president and CEO Juergen Schachler said in a news release.

“The improvements are an investment in the future of the operations, the city and the province and have allowed us to create an additional 50 skilled positions, while sustaining 5,000 total jobs at our company.”

Upgrades to the Hamilton plant will reduce the amount of electricity required to produce steel by approximately 20 megawatts, the equivalent of removing about 20,000 homes from the electrical grid. In addition, less coke will be needed per tonne of steel produced and waste gas will be harnessed and converted to usable energy.

"The POP project was ongoing through the difficult times of 2009," said Schachler. "We continue to recover from the challenges and are looking towards our steady climb into 2011.”

The final step in the project will be the restart of the No. 3 Blast Furnace, planned to be up and running in October, after which the company will move on to a similar effort around its finishing operations.

As part of those efforts the company is holding a series of public meetings to share information about the project and company. The first will be held Sept. 22 at 6:30 at the company’s Burlington Street headquarters.

Hamilton Spectator


Remains of historic shipwreck Lady Elgin trapped in limbo

9/10 - Chicago, Ill. - Swimming through the murky depths of Lake Michigan, scuba divers came upon a ghostly shape looming in the greenish gloom.

An anchor stood upright, embedded in the sandy bottom, trailing a long chain that had caught on a boulder.

Beyond lay the remnants of a ship, its wooden ribs picked clean of their hull, like the carcass of a long-beached whale. Strewn along the lake floor were a broken china plate, a boiler and a rifle dating from before the Civil War.

This was the wreckage of the Lady Elgin, where some 350 men, women and children lost their lives on Sept. 8, 1860.

"It's an ethereal experience," diver David Blanchette said of seeing the site as part of a 1993 expedition by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, for which he is a spokesman. "It puts a lump in your throat."

One hundred and fifty years after the worst open-water disaster on Lake Michigan, and more than a decade after a court case decided who owns the wreckage, there is still no way most of the general public can see its remains.

The site lies scattered under 60 feet of water, 10 miles offshore from Highland Park. Some 200 artifacts brought up from the site — from swords to a chandelier — remain locked in storage.

It may be the most historically significant wreck in Lake Michigan, but its discoverer and owner, Harry Zych, says he can't find a museum willing to spend the money to preserve and exhibit the artifacts.

Now, the disclosure of gold and silver coins — worth $300 at the time, and much more now — found amid the wreckage only adds intrigue to an already chaotic tale of politics, slavery and tragedy.

The anniversary of the disaster has spawned a book, a play and public seminars on the subject.

Valerie van Heest, a shipwreck diver who led an archeological expedition documenting the site, has written a new account of the story, "Lost on the Lady Elgin," and will speak about it at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Evanston History Center.

In her book, she writes that the coins were discussed in a court fight over the wreck that raged through the 1990s but were not well-publicized previously.

"The artifacts have never been put on display," she said. "I'd love to see an exhibit."

Having worked on other maritime museum exhibits, van Heest estimated the cost of an exhibit at $50,000 to $100,000. But that would not include the cost of conserving the artifacts, which Zych said experts estimated at $10,000 for a single parasol.

The site was discovered in 1989 after a long search by Zych, a 62-year-old former hard-helmet diver for the military and a commercial salvage operator in Chicago. After a long legal battle, the Illinois Supreme Court declared Zych the owner of the wreck.

Zych did not put a price on his property, which the court ruled has "very little salvage value." He maintained: "I was never into the money. It was about saving the most historical shipwreck in the Great Lakes."

Zych helped take part in an exhibit about the wreck with the Milwaukee Public Museum in 2008, but it didn't include the artifacts.

Zych said he talked with several museums about putting on an exhibit, but none was willing to spend the money necessary. Curators were more interested in a kiosk with a video of the site rather than an extensive exhibit of artifacts and preservation.

As he put it, "I have a collection of stuff I can't find a home for."

In the meantime, the site has continued to be picked over by other divers, to the point that no one knows what's missing.

On Sept. 8, 1860, the Lady Elgin, a 252-foot-long side-wheel steamer, was returning to Milwaukee from a political rally in Chicago, according to the Milwaukee Public Museum.

It carried the Irish Union Guard of Milwaukee, a Democratic organization whose weapons had been confiscated over questions about whether they would fight for the Union in a civil war.

The members had gone to Chicago on a fundraising mission to buy their own weapons and support Stephen Douglas, who was running against Abraham Lincoln for the presidency.

On their voyage home through stormy, rolling waters, the lumber-filled schooner Augusta collided with the Lady Elgin, tearing a hole in the side before disengaging and going on without providing help.

The Lady Elgin sank within a half-hour, and passengers were pitched into the water to cling to bits of wreckage. Many did not know how to swim, and there were only a few lifeboats. An estimated 100 passengers eventually made it to shore and survived, some being rescued by witnesses.

In the aftermath of the disaster, lawmakers required better lighting and inspections for ships.

Officials from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Evanston Historical Society said they would be interested in exhibiting the wreck. But Blanchette acknowledged that the cost of new exhibits and conservation makes such projects prohibitive.

So for now, the wreck of the Lady Elgin remains accessible only to divers.

"It's emotional," Blanchette said. "When the forces of nature and history collide, this is the end result before you, at the bottom of Lake Michigan."

Chicago Tribune


This weekend’s Tall Ships Erie seeks to draw thousands

9/10 - Erie, Pa. - Love the sight of a majestic tall ship? You can check out eight of them at Tall Ships Erie, a four-day event that began Thursday and ends Sunday.

Thousands of visitors are expected to tour the ships, including the U.S. Brig Niagara, at Dobbins Landing and the Erie Maritime Museum. Flagship Niagara League officials are hoping the four-day festival attracts 30,000 to 50,000 people to Erie's downtown and bayfront.

"We're trying to bring people in not only from Erie but regionally -- Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Cleveland,'' said Bill Sutton, executive director of the Flagship Niagara League, the ship's fundraising arm. "There's a lot of people who are interested in tall ships.''

A weekend of activities, coinciding with the Erie Heritage Festival, features an eight-ship Parade of Sail, an Erie Philharmonic concert at Liberty Park, a Cardboard Boat Regatta and a commemoration of the Battle of Lake Erie at Presque Isle State Park's Perry Monument.

The eight tall ships scheduled to appear in this weekend's festival are the most to visit Erie for an event since the mid-1990s, Sutton said.

Flagship Niagara League officials began organizing the festival in March. "We have more than 500 volunteers,'' Sutton said. "It's a massive undertaking.''

Some of the tall ships scheduled to appear this weekend are the Lynx, of Newport Beach, Calif.; the Roald Amundsen, of Eckernforde, Germany; and the Bounty, of Greenport, Long Island, N.Y.

"Our object is to show good hospitality to the other vessels,'' Niagara Senior Capt. Walter Rybka said. "We want to make sure they have whatever they need, and we want to be hospitable to their crews. One of our focal points is we want to make sure they have a good experience in Erie and want to come back.''

The festival is a fundraiser for the Niagara.

Erie Times News


Catch the fall grain rush at the Welland BoatNerd Gathering

9/10 - The annual Boatnerd Welland Canal Gathering is scheduled for Friday- Sunday, Sept. 17-19. Events include a Saturday morning tour of the International Marine Salvage scrap yard and two evenings of slide show presentations by attendees. The evening sessions will also include a number of vendor tables and many door prizes.

The Saturday evening session is a joint meeting with the Welland Canal Ship Society. Come and make new friends and renew old acquaintances.

Click here for details.


Updates - September 10

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 10

On 10 September 1890, the PORTER CHAMBERLAIN (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 134 foot, 280 gross tons, built in 1874, at Marine City, Michigan) was floated free of the Wolverine Drydock in Port Huron, Michigan where she had steel arches installed. When she floated free, the arches broke in three places and she stayed in Port Huron to have them repaired.

September 10, 1952, the forebody and afterbody of the future JOSEPH H. THOMPSON arrived at the American Shipbuilding yard in South Chicago. The two sections were delivered to the lakes via the Mississippi River and Chicago Ship Canal. The afterbody departed Baltimore, Maryland on August 2 and the forebody departed Pascagoula, Mississippi on August 21.

On 10 September 1884, the 137 foot steam barge HENRY HOWARD was sailing up bound 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 whaleback tanker METEOR was towed from Manitowoc, Wisconsin by the tug JOHN ROEN IV to Superior, Wisconsin on September 10, 1972.

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

While up bound 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. Rebuilt with a new cargo hold section by Port Weller Drydocks, Ltd., in 1999, renamed b.) CSL NIAGARA.

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. She remains in Ludington, Michigan.

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

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


Twin Ports grain season could be its busiest in years

9/9 - After an August that saw moderate but steadily increasing grain traffic, Duluth-Superior is about to experience the first noticeable uptick in what could prove to be the port's busiest fall grain rush in seven or eight years. As of Tuesday there were 17 vessels either in port loading grain or due to arrive for grain within the next six days.

The CHS terminal continues to dominate the trade, doing more than twice as much business this season as all of the port's other grain terminals combined. The pace at the Peavey elevator increased substantially in August. So far this season General Mills has loaded just a few cargoes of spring wheat for Buffalo, N.Y. out of its Superior terminal and a handful of export beet pulp pellets shipments out of its Duluth elevator. In busier times both General Mills facilities handled more traffic and a wider variety of commodities. It remains to be seen whether that will occur this season, but the possibility is distinct considering the high demand forecast for grain loads out of the Twin Ports and the fact that the ex Cargill and AGP facilities in Duluth, now owned by a Ceres Global Ag (a Canadian commodities-oriented hedge fund), are currently out of the ship-loading business.

Kaministiqua, J.W. Shelley and Ojibway have been frequent visitors to the CHS and Peavey terminals this season. John D. Leitch and Canadian Enterprise loaded at CHS 1 in late August in what may prove to be a growing trend of St. Lawrence-bound transshipment cargoes going aboard self-unloaders. Richelieu (once Fednav's Lake Erie) is due at Peavey on Wednesday in her first trip to the Twin Ports in many years, and her first under her new name and ownership.

For the first time in recent memory, most of the oceangoing visitors to Great Lakes ports that were slated to become available for loading this week are on the schedule for Duluth-Superior. Wagenborg ships are continuing their especially strong presence in the Twin Ports this year, with Dongeborg, Edenborg, Africaborg and Maineborg all making recent visits or due soon. Vessels from the Fednav and Beluga fleets are making a strong showing as well. Miedwie is due later this week; she's the first of Polsteam's new class of Lakes-capable vessels and is on her first trip to the Lakes. Calliroe Patronicola is due to enter the Seaway soon and will be arriving at the Twin Ports empty direct from her last unload at an overseas port - once a common occurrence in busier times but lately a rare occasion.


Port Reports - September 9

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
John J. Boland and Michipicoten loaded ore at the Upper Harbor Tuesday evening but remained at the dock Wednesday morning due to gale warnings on Lake Superior. Kaye E. Barker arrived late Tuesday evening to load ore and docked ahead of Michipicoten on the south side of the ore dock.

St. Marys River
More high winds sent vessels to anchor in the upper St. Marys River Wednesday. Frontenac, Philip R. Clarke, St. Clair and Sam Laud were anchored in the lee of Whitefish Point for most of the day but all were underway in the late evening. It was a busy day for Fednav vessels, with four of them in the river at one time – the downbound Federal Kivalina and Federal Sakura, the upbound Federal Shimanto, and Federal Rideau moored at the Essar Steel Export Dock. Other traffic included the upbound American Century, Maineborg, Edwin H. Gott and Canadian Olympic. CSL Niagara and American Integrity were downbound. Around 2 p.m., the USCG cutter Mackinaw backed down from the Group Soo base to tie at the Carbide Dock. En route, they received word of a 22-foot disabled aquatic research vessel in the harbor, so the short trip was paused to launch a rescue boat. The disabled craft was towed to a safe mooring. During the evening, the saltie Celine dropped anchor above DeTour, and Joseph L. Block, Birchglen, Edenborg and Edgar B. Speer were headed downbound for the locks

In the Straits of Mackinac on Wednesday, Maumee and Barbara Andrie and barge were anchored off St. Ignace. According to the National Weather Service, northwest winds to 40 knots and seas to 14 feet on Lake Superior were expected to diminish slowly during the day Wednesday.

Oswego, NY - Ned Goebricher
Canadian Navigator unloaded road salt at Oswego Port Authority dock Wednesday


Updates - September 9

Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 9

On 09 September 1889, the FOLGER (wooden propeller wrecking tug, 69 foot, 64 gross tons, built in 1881, at Kingston, Ontario) was sailing upbound past St. Clair, Michigan when fire was discovered in her engine room. Her wheelsman stuck to his post as long as possible, trying to beach her at Courtright, Ontario, but the flames engulfed the vessel and all hands had to abandon her.

September 9, 1936, For the second consecutive day, boats of the Interlake and Pittsburgh fleets collided. The SATURN collided with the HENRY H. ROGERS in heavy fog above Whitefish Bay. The SATURN continued upbound to repair damage at Superior Shipbuilding. The ROGERS continued downbound to South Chicago where the anchor of the SATURN was removed from the Mate's starboard cabin.

September 9, 1940, the steamer MARITANA, Captain Charles E. Butler, went to anchor in Whitefish Bay due to weather. When they retrieved their anchor the next day, they also recovered a second anchor. The second anchor had an oak stock 12 feet across and 17 inches in diameter. The 8 foot forged metal shank was stamped with a date of 1806.

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 (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 (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 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports - September 8

Marquette , Mich. - Rod Burdick
Two vessels unloaded coal at Marquette's harbors Tuesday morning. Mesabi Miner discharged into the Upper Harbor hopper while John J. Boland off-loaded at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock. Tug Rochelle Kaye and dredge barges remain at the Lower Harbor.

Straits of Mackinac - Fred Stone
Monday morning the tall ship Appledore V sailed past anchored Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation in the Straits of Mackinaw South Channel one mile west of Pt. Nipigon.

South Chicago, Ill. - Brian Z.
Canada Steamship's Atlantic Huron went to anchorage on Tuesday due to high winds. The Huron was scheduled at KCBX in South Chicago to load petroleum coke for Nova Scotia. Winds of 45 knots and waves of 9-14 feet and building were reported off Waukegan in the afternoon. Winds were expected to subside early on Wednesday and waves were expected to return to 3-5 feet.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
American Mariner was inbound Toledo Ship Channel Tuesday evening bound for the CSX Docks to load coal. The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the Robert S. Pierson on Wednesday, John D. Leitch, McKee Sons and John J. Boland due in Thursday followed by the Saginaw and Kaye E. Barker on Friday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the Boland on Thursday, the John B. Aird on Saturday and the Joseph H. Thompson on Sunday, followed by the CSL Assiniboine on Monday. The next scheduled stone boat due in at the Midwest Dock will be Algosoo on Sunday.


Gale warning issued Tuesday night for Lake Michigan

9/8 - Chicago, Ill. - Strong winds could whip up waves approaching 20 feet tall Tuesday night on Lake Michigan, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a gale warning.

Along the Illinois lake shore, sustained or frequent gale force winds from the west are forecast to reach 45 knots (about 52 miles per hour) Tuesday night and may produce waves up to eight feet tall, though occasional waves may top 13 feet. Toward the middle of the lake, the strong winds may produce waves 14 feet tall with occasional waves reaching 20 feet, according to the weather service.

The warning expires at 9 p.m. for areas of the lake within five miles of shore, and at 3 a.m. Wednesday for areas closer to the middle of the lake, according to the weather service.

A gale warning means wind speeds are expected to reach 34 to 47 knots (39 to 54 miles per hour), according to the weather service.

Chicago Sun-Times


Canadian coast guard ship building starts

9/8 - Halifax, N.S. - Construction of the Canadian coast guard's nine new mid-shore patrol vessels is under way by Irving Shipbuilding Inc. in Nova Scotia.

The vessels, contracted late last year for $187 million, will begin entering service next year and will eventually replace vessels in use that are approaching end of service.

"Today marks an important milestone in the government of Canada's commitment to build and maintain an effective fleet of federal ships and the Canadian coast guard's Fleet Renewal Program," said Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea said at a shipyard ceremony. "These new vessels will help the coast guard support fisheries enforcement and enhance the security of coasts and waterways for years to come."

Five of the mid-shore patrol vessels will be used primarily to support Department of Fisheries and Oceans conservation and protection programs in the Maritime, Quebec and Pacific regions. The other four will be used in a program with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to enhance security along the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system.

United Press International


Cleanup study for Detroit River island to start

9/8 - Detroit, Mich. - A Detroit River island the U.S Army Corps of Engineers built to hold contaminated sediment is targeted for cleanup by another federal agency.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said today that workers are about to start evaluating Grassy Island to determine how to best contain about 3 million cubic yards of dredged material. The agency says work could start as early as Tuesday and will end in November.

Grassy Island is off the shore in Wyandotte, about 10 miles south-southwest of Detroit. It’s now part of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.

The island originally was a large shoal area with a few low-lying islands. The Army Corps diked up 72 acres in 1959 to hold sediment, mainly from the Rouge River.

Detroit Free Press


Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal vessel restrictions set to begin Sept. 7 canceled

9/8 - Chicago, Ill. - The restrictions to vessel traffic on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in the vicinity of the electric fish barrier set to begin on September 7th and run through Sept. 11th have been canceled.


Updates - September 8

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 8

September 8, 1936, the Interlake steamer CRETE and the Pittsburgh steamer CORNELL collided in heavy fog above Whitefish Point. After temporary repairs were made in the Weitzel lock, the CRETE proceeded to Chicago Shipbuilding to repair a damaged bow. The CORNELL proceeded to Manitowoc to repair damage to her starboard side just forward of her boiler house.

On September 8,1868, HIPPOCAMPUS (wooden propeller, 152 tons, built in 1867, at St. Joseph, Michigan) stranded in a storm off St. Joseph and was pounded to pieces. 36 of the 41 passengers were lost. Litigation continued until November 10,1884, 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 up bound the next month on September 8 through the Welland Canal, GEMINI became the largest U.S. flagged tanker on the Great Lakes with a capacity of 76,000 barrels. GEMINI was renamed b.) ALGOSAR in 2005.

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 on 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 September 8,1885, 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 seven drowned when her yawl capsized in the surf.

On September 8,1871, 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports - September 7

Little Calumet River at the T.J. O'Brien Lock - Pat Pelz
The tug Windy City came out of the lock on a windy, grey morning with four light barges.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
On Friday, the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber arrived on the Saginaw River and lightered at the Wirt Sand & Stone dock in Essexville. The pair waited out extremely strong winds for the next day and a half at the Essroc dock, before heading upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Rock Products Dock. On Monday, Calumet was inbound for the GM Dock in Saginaw; she was expected to be outbound late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

St. Catherines, Ont. - Doug Pruder
Monday, Gordon C. Leitch was moved to the drydock at Port Weller.


Retired Canadian warship Fraser bound for Lake Erie scrapyard

9/7 - The tug Tony MacKay sailed from Halifax Monday morning towing the retired Canadian warship Fraser. After a four day delay due to Hurricane Earl, and a failed court challenge by a preservation group, the tow got under way about 8:30 a.m.

Fraser is bound for the scrapyard in Port Maitland, Ont, despite many efforts to preserve her intact or as a dive site. She is the last of the St. Laurent class of destroyer escorts, a remarkable group of ships that served the Canadian navy from the 1950s to 1990s. Fraser was built in Vancouver by Burrard Dry Dock Co Ltd and commissioned in 1957. She was based at Esquimalt, British Columbia until 1965 when she was converted to helicopter capability at Canadian Vickers Ltd in Montreal. From 1966 she was based in Halifax.

A 1981-82 refit, also at Canadian Vickers extended her life until paying off in 1994. A society was established to preserve her and she lay in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, but the funds never materialized to complete the work. She was reacquired by the Canadian navy last year, and now will almost certainly be scrapped.

Mac Mackay


Coast Guard rescues boater after 4 hours in cold water

9/7 - Alpena, Mich. - A Coast Guard boat crew from Station Alpena, Mich., rescued a man who was in 60-degree water without a life jacket in Lake Huron for almost four hours after his boat capsized near Stoneport, Mich., Monday.

The man reportedly held on to a floating cooler while another man who had been on the boat with him swam to shore and called for help.

Coast Guard Sector Detroit learned of the accident at about noon EST and immediately dispatched search crews aboard a helicopter from Air Station Traverse City, Mich., and a boat from Station Alpena to search.

The boat crew located the man, who was showing signs of hypothermia and still holding onto the cooler, at about 2 p.m., EST. They brought him aboard their rescue boat and took him to shore where EMS was waiting to take him to a local hospital for further evaluation.


Season ends at Coast Guard Air Facility Muskegon

9/7 - Cleveland, Ohio - The U.S. Coast Guard is shutting down its seasonal air facility in Muskegon, Mich., Tuesday, following a busy summer.

The facility is located at the Muskegon County Airport and is open during the traditional Great Lakes boating season, which runs Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, to provide enhanced search and rescue services to the high volume of summer boaters on Lake Michigan.

Since Memorial Day, air crews from the Muskegon air facility saved one life and spent a total of 236 hours assisting in 50 search and rescue cases.

During the season, two air crews, each made up of two pilots, a flight mechanic and a rescue swimmer, and one HH-65C rescue helicopter from Air Station Detroit staff the air facility to provide search and rescue services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Updates - September 7

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Great Lakes authors sought for AuthoRama Nov. 20

9/7 - Authors of Great Lakes-themed works are invited to attend the second annual Great Lakes AuthoRama, Nov. 20 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron, Mich. There is no charge to appear at the event, which gives authors, artists, videographers and others a chance to present their works to the public during the holiday shopping season.

Anyone interested in being a part of the AuthoRama can contact Frank Frisk at the Maritime Center,


Today in Great Lakes History - September 7

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 of 1943, 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, WILLIAM G. MATHER, forced out of the channel by a saltwater vessel, struck bottom. Upon proceeding further onto Lake Huron it was 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-foot wooden schooner ELIZABETH A. NICHOLSON was set for 4 p.m., on 7 September 1872, at E. Fitzgerald's shipyard in Port Huron, Michigan. Just before 4 p.m., 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.

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.

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


Port Reports - September 6

St. Marys River
After two days of bad weather that sent many vessels to anchor, ship traffic was brisk Sunday on the St. Marys River. Upbound traffic included CSL Niagara, Alsosar, Algoway, Samuel Risley, American Integrity, Canadian Provider, Buffalo, Charles M. Beeghly, Canadian Transport and Canadian Progress. The list of downbounders included J.W. Shelley, CSL Tadoussac, Cason J. Callaway, John G. Munson, St. Clair, Burns Harbor, Presque Isle, Arthur M. Anderson and Flinterrebecca. Rain and wind are expected to return by Tuesday.

Little Calumet River - Pat Pelz
Sunday about 1 p.m. the tug Bill Arnold was downbound with two barges.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Atlantic Huron finished unloading ore at the Torco Dock and departed Sunday morning. Sam Laud finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed Sunday morning. Calumet followed the Laud at the CSX Docks; they finished loading coal and departed Sunday afternoon. The next scheduled coal boat due into the CSX Docks will be Maumee on Monday morning. American Mariner and Robert S. Pierson are due Tuesday, John D. Leitch on Wednesday followed by the McKee Sons and John J. Boland on Thursday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Docks will be the John J. Boland on Thursday, the John B. Aird on Saturday followed by Joseph H. Thompson on Sunday. The tug Sea Eagle II and cement barge St. Marys Cement II are due in at the St. Marys Cement plant late Sunday evening.


Barge breaks loose from moorings, hits seawall, blocks marina in Oswego

9/6 - Oswego, N.Y. - Strong winds and large waves on Lake Ontario caused a 195-foot barge to break loose from its moorings early this morning and strike a wall in front of Patz Restaurant in Oswego, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

"It broke loose from the Port Authority dock and drifted up river into the seawall in front of Patz Restaurant," said Jason Furman, U.S. Coast Guard machinery technician 2nd class.

No damage and no injuries were reported. However, the barge blocked the entrance to a marina on the east side of the Oswego River, Furman said. U.S. Coast Guard crews, with help from the U.S. Border Patrol, tied the barge to the seawall and a pier about 12:30 a.m. today so it wouldn't drift any farther into the marina.

About 11:15 a.m., Port Authority employees pulled the barge about 500 feet, back to its moorings, Furman said.

This is the first time Furman -- an eight-year U.S. Coast Guard employee -- said he has seen a barge break loose from its moorings because of the winds.

"The winds were really strong last night," he said. "It was a constant 20 knots (about 26 mph), with gusts over 25 knots (about 32.5 mph)."

The Post-Standard


Updates - September 6

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 6

On August 29, 1872, a storm struck Lake Erie. On September 6,1872, 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. A christening ceremony 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 Uniflow 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. Renamed in 1990, she sails today 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 NO 1, and arrived at Port Maitland, Ontario, on September 11th. Scrapping was completed in the fall of 1994.

On September 6, 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 September 6,1871, 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 a.m. 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.


High winds delay shipping on Upper Great Lakes

9/5 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - A fall-like storm system that brought high winds and rain to the upper Great Lakes had vessel traffic at a near-standstill overnight Friday and into Saturday. At 11 a.m. Saturday, NW winds were still gusting up to 40 knots in the Grand Marais-Whitefish Point area, according to the National Weather Service, with seas 10-14 feet.

Three vessels - Herbert C. Jackson, Ojibway and American Spirit - were anchored in the lee of Whitefish Point, while Montrealais and Algosar were on the hook north of DeTour in the lower St. Marys River. Only two vessels were moving in the system Saturday morning, the upbound salties Federal Sakura and Beluga Favourisation. They were followed, in the early evening, by Stewart J. Cort, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Isa, also headed up.

On northern Lake Huron, Karen Andrie and G.L. Ostrander/Integrity were anchored behind Mackinac Island. Four other vessels, Algorail, Buffalo, Philip R. Clarke and Joseph L. Block, which spent Friday night in the lee of the island, resumed their trips on Saturday. By early evening Saturday, the vessels behind Whitefish Point as well as those remaining near Mackinac Island had upped anchor and resumed their trips, as winds were expected to moderate Saturday night into Sunday.

Manistee, an unusual visitor to the upper lakes, was upbound in the lower river early Sunday morning.


Port Reports - September 5

Little Calumet River - Pat Pelz
Saturday night at the T.J. O'Brien lock and dam, the tug William C and six light barges were heading down the river towards Lemont. The Steve A McKinney exited the lock, fighting the northerly wind, with two barges heading south about 5 p.m.

Detroit River - Michael Mehall
After repairs from an apparent tire caught in her prop earlier in the week, American Republic departed the Trenton Channel late Saturday night.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
Saturday two G-tugs were assisting Beluga Recognition from the Gateway Terminal about 1 p.m.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Friday the CCGC Limnos was stationed off Fifty point (5 miles east of Hamilton). Hamilton Energy arrived at 10 a.m. after bunkering in Port Weller. Canadian Olympic arrived at 2:30 p.m. with iron ore pellets from Point Noire, Que., for Dofasco. Saltie Jo Spirit departed at 3:30 p.m. and the saltie Hulin departed at 7 p.m. Saturday, James Norris arrived in the Burlington Bay anchorage at 7 a.m. due to very high winds. CSL Assiniboine arrived in the anchorage at 7:30 a.m. The tug Omni Richelieu departed at 8 a.m. Algosoo also arrived in the anchorage at 9:30 a.m. and entered the harbor at 5:30 p.m. after the winds diminished somewhat. Frontenac arrived at 4:30 p.m. and also anchored. Algolake departed Dofasco at 5 p.m., after discharging coal at Dofasco.


High winds cancel Badger sailing Friday

9/5 - Manitowoc, Wis. - The S.S. Badger car ferry didn't sail Friday because of high winds, according to John Merchant, communications coordinator for the Lake Michigan Carferry Service. The Badger remained at the Ludington, Mich., port, Merchant said.

"It is not typical at all," he said about the cancellation, although the weather did keep the car ferry in port once last season as well. The decision was made to keep the car ferry in port because of gale-force winds, which Merchant said were between 32 and 63 mph, and high waves.

It's not a matter of the ship not being able to make the trip. "It was designed to run 24/7 year-round," he said. Rather, it was concern for the passengers' comfort and their safety moving about the ship that led to the decision to cancel the sailings.

Merchant said the car ferry service reached about 90 percent of the passengers before they had left home. They had the option of rescheduling or receiving a refund.

Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter


Updates - September 5

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 5

September 5, 1899, the DOUGLASS HOUGHTON grounded at Sailors Encampment and sank when rammed by her barge, JOHN FRITZ. The HOUGHTON completely blocked St. Marys River traffic for five days. More than 300 boats were delayed at an estimated loss of $600,000.

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, 2,480 gross tons, built in 1896, at W. Superior, Wisconsin) which was being towed by the ALEXANDER McDOUGALL (steel propeller semi-whaleback freighter, 413 foot, 3,686 gross tons, built in 1898, at West Superior, Wisconsin). The MONTGOMERY was raised and repaired. She lasted another two years before 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. Renamed b.) QUEDOC in 1963. QUEDOC was scrapped at Curacao Island, Lesser Antilles in 1985.

The WYANDOTTE of 1916, a.) CONNEAUT, was towed down the Welland Canal on September 5- 6, 1973, on her way to the cutters torch at Santander, Spain.

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 September 5, 1882, under tow to be rebuilt.

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


14-foot high waves expected on Lake Michigan

9/4 - Chicago, Ill. - An early shot of autumn-like weather is expected to stir up big waves, powerful rip currents and strong gale-force winds on Lake Michigan over Labor Day weekend.

The National Weather Service on Friday issued rip current and gale warnings for near shore areas in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, where 14-foot high waves were expected overnight and Saturday morning.

“People should use their own caution about going in the lake,” NWS senior forecaster David Beachler said. “This is pretty substantial. Normally, we wouldn’t see [these conditions] until late September or early October.

The conditions are caused by a strong cold front blowing through the area and a low pressure system to the north, Beachler said.

Northwesterly winds expected to reach 46 miles per hour are expected to create the biggest waves near the Indiana Dunes and in southwest Michigan. Strong winds are expected to diminish by Saturday afternoon, Beachler said.

The SS Badger said earlier Friday that the car ferry would remain in its Ludington port due to heavy winds and high waves on Lake Michigan. The Badger runs between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wis., but its travels scheduled for Friday were halted.

Lake Michigan Carferry says the "Badger was designed for severe weather conditions on the Great Lakes," but "today's sailing was canceled because of our concern for passenger comfort and safety."


Port Reports - September 4

Soo Report - Roger LeLievre
A mix of clouds, sun and rain, along with brisk winds, made for a fall-like day along the St. Marys River. Traffic downbound included Roger Blough, CSL Laurentien and Montrealais. Ubounders included Ojibway, Avenger IV / PML 2501 and American Spirit. High wind advisories on Lake Superior issued Friday evening sent Herbert C. Jackson, Ojibway and American Spirit to shelter behind Whitefish Point. In the Straits, Joseph L. Block, tug Karen Andrie and Buffalo were anchored in the lee of Mackinac Island.

Calumet River - Pat Pelz
Friday the Aggie C was downbound from KCBX at the TJ O'Brien Lock about 1 p.m. loaded with three barges of coal, likely headed to the Will County generating station.

Stoneport, Mich. - Dan McNeil
Finishing loading on Friday was the barge McKee Sons and tug Invincible. Due Saturday is Joseph H. Thompson. Due Sunday is a return of the McKee Sons followed on Monday by Pathfinder.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were in port Thursday afternoon taking on cement. Friday morning the tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity arrived at Lafarge. The Durocher Marine tug Nancy Anne was tied up in the river.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
For the month of August, shipping traffic was up on the Saginaw River compared to last year. The 23 commercial passages in August 2010 are 5 more than the same period last year. For total passages year-to-date, there have been 86. This is still below 2009 numbers, which were 95 passages.

Looking at the averages, the six year average for August is 30 vessels. 2010 is 7 passages below that. For the year-to-date, the six year average is 144 passages. 2010 is below that number by a large 58 fewer vessel trips.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
Friday, Beluga Recognition appeared to be loaded and ready to depart the Gateway Metroport in Lackawanna. The ship was docked in the Lackawanna Canal with her deck cargo loaded, the cranes stored, and the lights blazing at 8:45 p.m. that evening. High wind, rain, and heavy waves were coming in at the time.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
Evans McKeil and Metis were still in port unloading Thursday. Tug Everlast and asphalt barge Norman McLeod arrived in port. The saltie Moacca arrived early at Redpath Sugar with tug assistance from Laprairie, which came over from Hamilton, and stayed to assist HMCS Fredericton, which arrived in mid-afternoon.

Montreal - Rene Beauchamp
In Montreal, Canadian Prospector and Agawa Canyon have had their names painted out in preparation for a long tow overseas to be broken up, probably in Turkey, according to one of the preparing workers. The stack markings were also partially painted out. Presently, no tugs are reported heading for Montreal from overseas to take the two lakers under tow. Next one to leave for scrapping will be Algoisle.


Seaway dredging operations to begin

9/4 - Dredging operations will commence on or about Sept. 13 at the International Tangent between U.S. Lighted Buoy 1 and U.S. Lighted Buoy 3, and in the Wiley-Dondero Canal between Eisenhower and Snell Locks.


Great Lakes historians gather at in Superior next week

9/4 - Superior, Wis. - Great Lakes historians gather at the University of Wisconsin-Superior for three days of meetings and presentations when the university’s Jim Dan Hill Library and its Lake Superior Maritime Collection host the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History’s annual conference Sept. 9-11.

AGLMH members will spend Friday afternoon discussing challenges and opportunities involved in restoring and preserving historic maritime structures ranging from Minnesota’s Split Rock Lighthouse to Superior’s whaleback freighter Meteor.

On Saturday, members hear presentations about historic topics including the passenger steamers Lady Elgin and Christopher Columbus, the recently discovered shipwreck of the freighter L. R. Doty, and the U.S.S. Essex, which served as a naval training vessel on the Great Lakes from 1904 to 1930. A maritime research roundtable focuses on researching 20th century Great Lakes maritime history using the working papers of a ship’s captain.

Saturday presentations run 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. in the Yellowjacket Union Great Room at UWS. Non-member admission is $20.

The conference concludes with a dinner and awards program at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Yellowjacket Union Great Room. Dr. Richard Stewart, professor of transportation and logistics management at UWS, talks about cruise lines on the Great Lakes. Non-AGLMH members must register by Sept. 7. Registration information is available at

Superior Telegram


Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal to close periodically Oct. 4-8

9/4 - Chicago, Ill. - The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee announces periodic waterway closures on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal each day from Oct. 4 through Oct. 8 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to install underwater structures designed to limit the spread of electric current in the waterway from the barriers that are in place to prevent the passage of Asian carp into the Great Lakes.

The U.S. Coast Guard will activate a safety zone on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. The canal will be closed to all traffic during periods of work. It is expected that the waterway will be closed each morning and afternoon, with possible openings midday and some nights. However, there may also be one or two overnight closures during this period to allow for intensive fish sampling. Details are subject to change, but the ACRCC recognizes the importance of providing maximum advance notice to waterway users.

Questions on the waterway closure can be directed to U.S. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan at (414-747-7163) or to U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago at (630) 986-2155.


Updates - September 4

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 4

On September 4,1889, the new steamer CHEROKEE (wooden propeller freighter, 209 foot, 1,002 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.

On September 4, 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.


Port Reports - September 3

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
On a windy Thursday afternoon at the Upper Harbor, Kaye E. Barker loaded ore. With gale warnings forecast for Lake Superior, shipping schedules will likely be affected.

St. Marys River
Traffic at the Soo Thursday included American Century, McKee Sons, Tuscarora (with a battered trimaran lashed to her deck, origin unknown), Algocape and Mapleglen, all downbound. American Mariner was upbound.

Goderich, Ont. - Dave Cooper
Mississagi arrived at Goderich late Wednesday afternoon, and was at the grain terminal.

Trenton, Mich. - Michael Mehall
Repairs continue to American Republic, which picked up an old fender tire in one of its propellers Tuesday after unloading coal at the Detroit Edison power plant in Trenton, Mich. The ship is ballasted low in the bow to expose the stern, and men can be seen working on the rudder and propeller area for the last three days.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
The saltwater tanker Basat finished unloading cargo at Andersons K Elevator and departed Thursday morning under tow of the tugs Mississippi and Nebraska outbound Maumee River bound for Lake Erie. Algolake finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed Thursday afternoon. Algomarine was at the Midwest Stone Dock unloading coal. The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the Lee A. Tregurtha, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and Sam Laud due in Friday. The Calumet and Maumee are due in Saturday, followed by the Robert S. Pierson and American Mariner on Tuesday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be Canadian Navigator late Thursday evening, CSL Niagara on Friday followed by Atlantic Huron on Saturday.

Hamilton / Burlington, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Thursday, Atlantic Erie arrived at 2 p.m. with gypsum from Point Tupper, N.S. CCG ship Simmonds departed Burlington's Canada Centre for Inland Waters at 2:15 p.m. Tug Omni Richelieu arrived at 4 p.m. along with the saltie Hulin. CCG ship Kelso arrived in Burlington at 4:15 p.m. going to CCIW. Canadian Progress departed at 4:30 p.m. for Silver Bay. Maineborg departed at 4:45 p.m. with ferro manganese for Burns Harbor.


Twin Ports shipping boosted by world grain shortage

9/3 - Duluth, Minn. - These days, dozens of foreign ships are paying an extra visit to the Twin Ports. What many are loading is spring wheat and feed barley. The reason: Russian, Canadian, and European grain markets have all suffered poor growing and harvesting seasons, according to the Duluth Port Authority.

Russia announced they were going to cease all grain exports effective August 15th through the end of the year," said Port Authority expert Don Johnson, "and that basically turned the world grain market upside down."

As the Russian reputation slips away, Port Authority officials say the reaction has been a turn to the U.S. market.

On the Chicago Market, spring wheat is now selling at a steady $7 a bushel, up nearly $2 from July.

Businesses in Turkey, Egypt, and Germany, are now buying from Duluth and Superior, countries that haven't done business in the Twin Ports for years. Port Authority officials say they received one order for an entire shipload of spring wheat on Wednesday. The bulk load represents 20,000 metric tons of grain that will eventually travel to Germany.

"And it's not only spring wheat," said Johnson. "They're buying feed barley, and we haven't exported feed barley out of the Twin Ports for 15 or 20 years."

According to representatives from Cenex Harvest States, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, and the local longshoreman's union, hundreds of longshoremen, tug–boat operators, train operators, and ship suppliers are already benefiting from the boost in trade.

"This is the week that really characterizes the global nature of shipping for the port of Duluth Superior," said Port Authority spokeswoman Adele Yorde. "We're part of a world marketplace," Yorde added.

"Even though we're on the great lakes and much of what we ship is bulk cargo on the lakes, the grain shipping keeps us an international port."

And accordingly, keeps hundreds of domestic workers busily employed.

Northlands News Center


Coast Guard decomissions LORAN station in Caribou, Maine

9/3 - Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard held a decommissioning ceremony for its Long Range Aids to Navigation (LORAN) Station in Caribou, Maine. The LORAN-C station was commissioned in November of 1974, marking 35-years of service.

The station transmitted the American northeast 9960 and Canadian East Coast 5930 navigation and timing signals. It had a crew of four active duty Coast Guard members. Termination of the LORAN-C program was supported through the enactment of the fiscal year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. Transmission of the American signal ended on February 8, 2010, and the Canadian signal was terminated on August 3, 2010.

LORAN Station Caribou has the distinction of being the last station to transmit an American Loran signal, thus ending the 67-year LORAN-C program.

Marine Link


Museum launches “monsterous” fundraising program targeting model enthusiasts

9/3 - Berea, Ohio – A replica of one of the true monsters of the Great Lakes, the Hulett Ore Unloader, is now being offered in an ongoing effort to raise funds for The Ohio Museum of Transportation & Industry (OMTI) project. The Hulett Ore Unloader, invented by George Hulett in the late 1800s, reigned supreme as the fastest, most efficient ore unloader on the Great Lakes for most of the 20th century, reducing thectime to unload 1000 tons of ore from 25 days to one hour, at 20 percent the previous cost. A single Hulett weighed in at over 550 tons and was 134 ft long, 85 feet high and 33 feet wide, and resembled a hulking dinosaur.

In July, the group signed a deal with DHS Diecast Collectibles to create 1:48 scale models. The particular replica being offered operated on Whiskey Island in Cleveland, Ohio, until 1992. The 1:48 scale metal model will feature all of the moving parts of the original, reproduced in the highest detail possible using original builder’s plans. A pilot model has been developed.

A limited edition of 100 production models will be manufactured as soon as OMTI secures enough pre-orders and deposits, and delivery will begin in the fall of 2011 and cost $5,495 with some discounts for pre-payment and for multiple orders.

The Ohio Museum of Transportation and Industry was founded on the belief that the critical role Ohio inventors and companies have played in the development of our nation’s transportation infrastructure should be preserved and celebrated. For more information visit


New board members, new CEO for Seaway Management Corporation named

9/3 - Cornwall, Ont. - The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation has announced the following recent changes to its Board of Directors.

Ian MacGregor has assumed the position of Chair of the Board at the meeting of the board held on Aug. 18. Mr. MacGregor replaces Guy Véronneau, who recently left the board after serving as chair for the past four years. He is a director of Seaway Marine Transport and Chairman of Golden Star Resources Ltd.

David L. Muir, FCA, joined the Board of Directors in May 2010 as the representative of the Federal government. Mr. Muir is Senior Vice President, Collins Barrow Ottawa Management Consultants Inc.

Jonathan Bamberger joined the Board of Directors on Aug. 28 as the industry representative for the Corporation’s “Other Members.” Mr. Bamberger is President, Redpath Sugar Ltd., based in Toronto, and Vice President, Commodities, American Sugar Refining Inc.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation also announced the appointment, effective Nov. 1, of Terence F. Bowles as President and Chief Executive Officer, to replace Richard Corfe, who has served in the position since 2003. Mr. Bowles served as President and CEO of the Iron Ore Company of Canada from 2001 until early 2010. Prior to that, he worked in various capacities with QIT Fer et Titane du Quebec, including five years as President from 1996 to 2001.

“We are very pleased to have someone with Terry Bowles experience and background to succeed Dick Corfe”, said Mr. MacGregor, “and I would like to take this opportunity to recognize Dick’s contribution in what have been challenging times for the Seaway. He has agreed to make himself available to help his successor with the transition of responsibilities.”

St. Lawrence Seaway


Updates - September 3

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 3

September 3, 1919, the WILLIAM A. McGONAGLE loaded a record 15,160 tons of soft coal at Toledo, Ohio for delivery to Gary, Indiana. The record lasted less than 24 hours as the D. G. KERR, Captain Harry Harbottle, loaded 15,532 tons of coal at the same Toledo dock for delivery to Gary, Indiana.

September 3, 1942, The 250 foot STEEL VENDOR, Captain G. L. Kane, sank at 3:45 a.m. on Lake Superior with a cargo of 3,000 tons of iron ore. The lone casualty was Oiler John N. Sicken. Twenty-two survivors were rescued by the CHARLES M. SCHWAB, Captain Alfred Drouillard, and 2 survivors were rescued by the WILLIAM G. CLYDE, Captain David M. LeRoy. Other boats standing by were the B. F. AFFLECK, ELBERT H. GARY, JOLIET, and EUGENE P. THOMAS.

September 3, 1957, the HARRIS N. SNYDER of the Boland & Cornelius fleet, Captain Elmer Murray and Chief Engineer Frank Mc Cabe, rescued 2 from the waters of Lake Michigan. Not only did the crew rescue Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Colby, but the crew used the unloading boom to recover their sailboat and place it on the deck of the SNYDER. The entire maneuver only required 55 minutes.

On September 3, 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 Energy 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 (Hull#210) of 1976, on her maiden voyage from Collingwood, Ontario, loaded salt at Goderich, Ontario, on September 3, 1976. Renamed b.) AMELIA DESGAGNES in 1990.

U.S. Steel's SEWELL AVERY was laid up for the last time September 3, 1981, at Superior, Wisconsin. She was towed to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, in 1987, where the superstructure was removed and the hull was sunk for use as a dock.

The THOMAS W. LAMONT was laid up for the last time at Duluth’s Hallett dock #6A on September 3, 1981. She was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, in 1987.

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. She was scrapped at Thunder Bay, Ontario, in 1978.

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 September 3,1887, BULGARIA (wooden propeller, 280 foot, 1,888 gross tons) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan, by J. Davidson, as their hull number 16.

September 3, 1910 - The MARQUETTE & BESSEMER NO 2 (Hull#450) was launched in Cleveland, Ohio by the American Ship Building Co. for the Marquette & Bessemer Dock & Navigation Co. She was the replacement for the MARQUETTE & BESSEMER NO 2 of 1905, (Hull#428), which foundered on Lake Erie, December 7, 1909.

On September 3, 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 Algonac, Michigan. She lasted until 1909, when she sank on Lake Huron.

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


Port Reports - September 2

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Calumet was inbound the Saginaw River, Wednesday afternoon, carrying a split load. She stopped at the Bay City Wirt Stone dock to lighter, then continued upriver to the Saginaw Wirt Stone dock to finish. Calumet was expected to be outbound early Thursday morning.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Rt. Hon Paul J. Martin finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed early Wednesday morning. The saltwater tanker Basat arrived Wednesday morning at Andersons K Elevator to unload cargo. She was towed upriver by the tugs Nebraska and Mississippi. The tugs Erich Luedtke and Kurt Luedtke and related dredge equipment were dredging the ship channel in Maumee Bay north of Buoy 38 area. The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be Algolake and Lee A. Tregurtha on Thursday, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on Friday, Calumet and Maumee on Saturday followed by Robert S. Pierson on Monday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be Canadian Navigator on Thursday, CSL Niagara on Friday followed by Atlantic Huron on Saturday. The next scheduled stone boat due into the Midwest Stone Dock will be Algomarine on Thursday. American Fortitude and American Valor remain in layup at their respective dock sites with no activity aboard them.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Manitowoc cleared the Charles Berry Bridge at noon Wednesday, heading back out into Lake Erie.


Port of Indiana Burns Harbor handles colossal cargo: A-388 ton electrical transformer

9/2 - Chesterton, Ind. - The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor is currently handling one of the biggest single cargoes in the port’s 40-year history.

According to a statement released today by the Ports of Indiana, a 388-ton electrical transformer has arrived on the ship Beluga Recognition, from Cordoba, Spain, and was transloaded at the port onto the largest railcar ever to enter the facility.

The transformer was loaded onto a 20-axle railcar for its trip to Ottawa, Ill., for installation at the Exelon Corp.’s LaSalle County Nuclear Generating Station. The plant supplies electricity to Chicago and northern Illinois. The combined weight of the railcar and transformer is over 1.3 million pounds, or 650 tons. The transformer is currently being stored at the port until final delivery to the LaSalle County station in the near future.

The transformer was unloaded from the ship by the port’s terminal operator, Federal Marine Terminals, and a 16-man crew from the International Longshoremen’s Association. Specialized Rail Transport is handling the rail loading and transportation of the transformer to Illinois.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in project cargo shipments this year,” said Peter Laman, port director at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. “This port has all the components a shipper would want to see for handling large cargoes—a world-class terminal operator, one of the most productive longshoremen labor units on the Great Lakes, sufficient draft for large ships, transload capabilities between rail, ship, truck and barge, and plenty of indoor and outdoor storage. Just take a look around our port today—we’ve got over 15 acres of wind turbine components, and more are on the way.”

Through July, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor has handled nearly 70,000 tons of project cargo shipments and a 52-percent increase in overall port tonnage versus the same period in 2009.

Chesterton Tribune


End of an era: Ontario fishery shuts down

9/2 - Wheatley, Ont. - In a major blow to Wheatley's commercial fishing industry, the Great Lakes Fish Corporation plant has been sold and closed, putting 130 people out of work.

The sale of the assets of what was the province's largest fish processor was expected to close Tuesday.

The former Omstead Foods fish processing plant, along with its smelt quota, have been sold separately from fishing quotas for yellow perch, walleye and whitefish, making it unlikely the iconic plant that dates back to 1911 could be reopened.

"It's devastating to the community and its devastating to all that were involved in it," Chatham-Kent Coun. Brian King said Monday. "It's like losing a family member."

King said the plant closure will have a major psychological impact on the town of about 1,800 and is comparable to Chatham's loss of the Navistar plant. "Chatham was known for making big trucks. Wheatley was known for its fish."

Just a month ago, Wheatley was installing signs claiming it had the world's largest freshwater commercial fishing port. Now there will be fewer fishing tugs pulling into the harbour. King, who represents the Wheatley area on council, said without the fishing quotas, the processing plant is dead. Great Lakes Fish Corporation had controlled 55 per cent of the Lake Erie commercial fish harvest.

Processing plant workers including some with as many as 49 years seniority were told Saturday that their jobs are gone. Most had already been laid off.

Workers were also told they won't be getting severance/termination pay because the company is essentially bankrupt, said Roger Paquette, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 459.

Great Lakes Fish Corporation had stopped fishing June 18 and had filed for bankruptcy protection.

An Aug. 16 report by the trustee handling the case says a numbered Ontario company associated with Kingsville fish processor La Nassa Foods is buying the gill net licence quotas for yellow perch, walleye and whitefish along with some property and a closed Kingsville processing plant for $10.5 million. The report says the buyer has not committed to hiring any of the Great Lakes Fish employees.

The same report says the smelt quotas and the 239,300- square-foot fish processing plant in Wheatley are being acquired for $10.5 million by a different numbered Ontario company affiliated with VenGrowth, a private equity firm that invested in Great Lakes Fish Corporation in 2008 to help buy the Omstead fish plant.

Paquette said he was told VenGrowth is not going to process fish at the Wheatley plant but will freeze whole smelt and ship them overseas.

Paquette said fish filleters worked on piece rate and could make $200 a day.

He said they could have a better chance of finding work than general labourers, who had two levels of pay beginning at $19.14 an hour and $11.55 an hour.

"It's pretty slim pickings right now," said Paquette who called the plant closing "crushing."

Paquette said instead of receiving one week's pay for every year worked to a maximum of 26 weeks as severance pay -- a total which could reach more than $19,000 -- workers will receive about three weeks pay.

The company isn't officially bankrupt but all of its assets have been sold.

Carlos Braga, 49, had worked as a commercial fisherman for Great Lakes Fish Corporation for three years but was laid off about a month ago. The Kingsville fisherman got a job on another fishing tug but said he's barely surviving. Lower fishing quotas in this end of Lake Erie mean the boats go out less frequently and there are fewer workers on them as quota holders try to spread out their fishing over the summer.

"Fishing is going bad because the government keeps cutting the quotas," Braga said.

The commercial fishing industry on Lake Erie is appealing the catch limits fishermen say are the lowest ever off Essex County and Chatham-Kent. The Kingsville and Wheatley area had more than a dozen fish processing plants in the 1980s and is now down to a few.

Chatham-Kent Coun. Bryon Fluker, who also represents the town of Wheatley, said there were about 500 to 600 jobs in Wheatley between fish and vegetable processing during boom times. That dropped with the economy and now with 130 jobs lost, there's likely between 100 and 200 of those jobs left in the area, he said.

Fluker said he hopes someone can come in and do something with the plant. He said there is still a market for the fish and he hopes the industry can be revived.

The Windsor Star


Tall ships visit Waukegan Harbor

9/2 - Waukegan, Ill. - Tall ships that were part of the recently ended Great Lakes United Tall Ship Challenge in Chicago slipped in and out of Waukegan Harbor on their way to Kenosha, Wis.

A number of people made the trek down to the harbor to see the boats Monday night and Tuesday morning, when they left port. The most majestic was The Bounty, a three-masted ship with a dozen sails that is a replica of the famous Bounty from the film "Mutiny on the Bounty."

This ship was built in 1960 for MGM studios' "Mutiny on the Bounty" with Marlon Brando and was constructed from the original ship's drawings, still on file in the British admiralty. The ship is now owned by The HMS Bounty Organization LLC, which is dedicated to keeping the ship sailing and using her as a vehicle for teaching the nearly lost arts of square-rigged sailing and seamanship.

The organization provides a variety of programs on board, including sail training programs for the general public, group leadership and teamwork training, the Sail Away Summer Camp program, and dockside educational programs for elementary and secondary school children.

The Tall Ship Challenge saw ships in Chicago, Deluth, Minn., Green Bay, Wis., Toronto, Ont., Cleveland, Ohio, and Bay City, Mich. On their way to their home ports, they are making stops along the way.

The challenge was a partnership by the American Sail Training Association and Great Lakes United, a conservation group that brings the message of freshwater conservation education and youth sailing training to the Great Lakes area.

Lake County News-Sun


Updates - September 2

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 2

On 02 September 1902, the White Star Line’s TASHMOO (steel side-wheel excursion steamer, 308 foot, 1,344 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. She sailed most recently 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 a.m. Her crew escaped in the yawl and was picked up by the MAXWELL.

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.


Tanker Hulin grounds in Seaway

9/1 - 7:30 a.m. Update - Wednesday morning the Hulin was stopped at the lower approach wall below Snell Lock for inspection. She reported to Eisenhower lock shortly after running out of the channel that she was hard aground. However, she managed to work herself free.

Original report - Tuesday evening about 19:55 the tanker Hulin turned hard to port and ran hard aground on Horseback Shoal on the south side of the shipping channel near light D55, 1.3 nautical miles NE of Hamilton Island at the West end of Lake St Francis. Apparently some sort of emergency occurred in the engine room. She is completely out of the channel and stopped in 5 to 6 metres depth of water. This ship was built in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2008. She is owned by Hulin Shipping Ltd. and managed by Atlas Tanker Isletmeciligi of Istanbul.

Ron Beaupre


Encounter with fender tire delays American Republic

9/1 - Late Monday night, American Republic came downbound into the Trenton Channel to unload coal at the DTE Trenton power plant. After unloading and on its way out early Tuesday morning, the vessel picked up one of the large fender tires off the pier or off the bottom and got the tire lodged in one of its propellers. American Republic made its way back up to the old McLouth steel plant dock, where divers attached a line on the tire and an excavator pulled it lose.

Bob Burns


Port Reports - September 1

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Michipicoten departed the Upper Harbor Tuesday morning after loading ore during the night. Lee A. Tregurtha was due later in the day for ore.

Green Bay, Wis. - Scott Best
Tuesday was a very busy day for the Port of Green Bay, Early Tuesday morning, Philip R. Clarke arrived with a load of coal for the C Reiss Dock. Just behind the Clarke was Olive L Moore with Lewis J. Kuber, which unloaded stone at Great Lakes Calcium, a rare visitor for a dock that normally is only serviced by GLF boats. Clarke and Kuber joined the Prentiss Brown-St. Marys Conquest, which were already in port unloading at St Mary's Cement. Tuesday evening, the Kuber was the first to depart, followed by Prentiss Brown and Clarke. Both Prentiss Brown and Philip R Clarke backed down the Fox River to the Fox River Dock slip to turn around. However by the time the Clarke could turn around, Maumee was inbound with a load of salt for the Fox River Dock, so the Clarke turned around and backed up south of the I-43 bridge to until the Maumee could pull into the slip at FRD. Also expected early Wednesday is the G.L. Ostrander and Integrity at LaFarge.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Pere Marquette 41 and Undaunted came in about 9 a.m. Tuesday morning with a load for Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg. Cuyahoga came through the pierheads about 1 p.m., blowing two salutes, much to the delight of tourists and locals alike, on its way to Meekhof's D & M Dock next to the power plant on Harbor Island in Grand Haven. Both were still unloading about 4:30 p.m.


Updates - September 1

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 1

September 1, 1880, the Cleveland Vessel Owners Association, later Lake Carriers’ Association, was created, with Alva Bradley as its first president.

September 1, 1892, the upbound WESTERN RESERVE, flagship of the Kinsman fleet, sank approximately 60 miles above Whitefish Point. There were 31 casualties among the crew and passengers. The lone survivor was Wheelsman Harry W. Stewart.

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, 1,045 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's 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, 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, c.) LAKETON in 1984, d.) LAKE NIPIGON in 1986, and e.) 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 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, 1,178 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, Jody L. Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


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