Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

Seaway receives strike notice

9/30 - Cornwall, Ontario - The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) was served with a notice by the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) Friday of its intent to begin strike action on Monday at noon. The CAW represents the Seaway’s 475 unionized employees.

If the unionized workers proceed with strike action, the St. Lawrence Seaway will be closed to all traffic. A contingency plan provides for the orderly shutdown of the system in the event of a labor interruption.

Negotiations will continue with a federally appointed mediator in an effort to reach an agreement with unionized employees. The mediator has been working with the parties throughout the latest round of negotiations, which began on September 19, 2011.


Canadian Miner hull has been breached

9/30 - An inspection Thursday of a freighter grounded off Cape Breton shows its hull has been breached in several places. But a surveillance flight did not notice any signs of an oil leak. The Coast Guard has ordered all marine diesel oil and lubricants removed from the ship. The Canadian Miner is carrying over six tonnes of diesel oil. Water has entered the ship's hull.

Local fishermen say they're worried old sludge in the hull will escape and contaminate their lobster grounds. The Coast Guard says a plan to free the vessel is still being developed. Transport Canada is also investigating to see if any rules or regulations have been broken. Several attempts to free the vessel, which has been aground for more than a week, have failed. The Canadian Miner is a former Great Lakes/Seaway freighter that was bound for an overseas scrapyard when a towline broke.

According to Seward Benoit, senior response officer with the Canadian Coast Guard and based in Port Hastings, representatives from Transport Canada and Canadian Coast Guard boarded and inspected the vessel Thursday morning, finding several breaches in the hull. Some water has entered the hull but there is no generalized flooding below decks.

Transport Canada, along with its federal partner agencies the Canadian Coast Guard and Environment Canada, are in discussions with the owner of the MV Canadian Miner, regarding the salvage plan for the vessel.

Transport Canada asked for confirmation that the owners of the vessel, after reviewing calculations of stress forces and bending moments, are comfortable that deballasting the vessel will not cause unsafe conditions for the salvage operation. While the vessel does not require approval to pump ballast, Transport Canada has received confirmation from the vessel owner that they are comfortable that deballasting will not adversely impact the safety of the ship.

Transport Canada is investigating the incident for compliance with applicable legislation and regulations. Transport Canada is also monitoring ongoing operations with respect to the incident, and will provide marine expertise as required to ensure safety and protect the marine environment.

CBC, Cape Breton Post


Owner says S.S. Keewatin headed back to Canada

9/30 - Holland , Mich. – After almost 45 years resting in the mud of Lake Kalamazoo, the cruise ship Keewatin might again be sailing the Great Lakes ­ this time to a port in Canada.The move could speed up plans for dredging the harbor shared by Douglas and Saugatuck.

Keewatin owner R.J. Peterson announced Monday the 350-foot vessel ­ now a museum in Douglas ­ will be placed into a new trust called the R.J. and Diane Peterson Great Lakes and S.S. Keewatin Foundation.

That trust, funded through donations from Canadian interests, would pay the estimated $1 million to dredge the lake, prepare the ship and have the vessel towed to Port McNicoll in Ontario, possibly as early as spring, Peterson said.

“Here, it’s a local attraction. There, it’s a big deal,” he said about the ship.

The metal lifeboats already have been removed and are being sent to Canada to be refurbished.

The ship, built in 1907, served ports in Lakes Huron and Superior for the Canadian Pacific Railway until it was retired in 1965. The Keewatin, which means “Blizzard of the North,” was purchased by Peterson and brought to Douglas in 1967. Plans and funding for the move have taken a long time to put together, said Eric Conroy, executive director of the new foundation.

“It has been extremely well financed by a number of contributors,” who want to bring a key piece of history back to Canada, he said. “This is such an important part of Canadian history,” added Conroy, who once served on the Keewatin and is the author of the recently released book about those experiences called “A Steak in the Drawer.”

The Keewatin has links to two other famous ships. It took sea trials in Scotland alongside the Lusitania, the ship sunk by a German submarine that brought the United States into World War I. And the Keewatin has the same style of engine as the Titanic. The staircase and the dining saloon are the same as the ill-fated ship as well. The Marconi Room is the same as the radio room on the Titanic.

The town council in Tay Township, where Port McNicoll is located, has not made a final decision about accepting the ship, Conroy said. The vote is expected Oct. 13. “It’s always been my idea to preserve things,” said Peterson, 85, as he sat on the ship to announce the vessel’s fate. “But I ain’t getting any younger.”

The Keewatin draws about 16-18 feet ­ that means 16-18 feet of the ship is below the water line ­ though it could be lightened and ballasted to draw about 12 feet, said Peterson’s son, Matt. In some spots, Kalamazoo Lake is only a few feet deep, so a channel would have to be dredged to remove the Keewatin.

The newly formed trust would fund that, the elder Peterson said. He’s also pushing to have more of the lake dredged and plans to meet with state officials about options.

Douglas and Saugatuck cities are forming a harbor commission to help maintain the waterway. Peterson, who owns Tower Marine, is in negotiations with Douglas to sell his marina to the city. Once the Keewatin is towed away and the lake dredged, the area can be used as a dock for cruise ships, Peterson said. The 257-foot-long cruise ship Yorktown is slated to make seven stops in Saugatuck beginning June 7.

Douglas Mayor Renee Waddell called the Keewatin an area icon.

“Here in Douglas, we are grateful for the Keewatin, which enriched our lives every day and helped sustain the strong and growing tourism in our community, but we look forward to the progress for possibility this property will provide,” she said.

Holland Sentinel


Lake Huron waterspout near Lexington

9/30 - Lexington, Mich. – There were several reports Wednesday afternoon of a waterspout on Lake Huron near Lexington, Lexington Fire Chief Mike Sharon said. There was no evidence of the waterspout moving onto land or causing any damage, he said.

Rich Pollman, a forecaster at the National Weather Service office in White Lake Township, said: "From about Aug. 1 through mid-October it is fairly common to see waterspouts on the Great Lakes, especially southern Lake Huron."

The formation of a waterspout, he said, is different from the classic tornado.

"There is a little bit of a difference," Pollman said. "In a classic tornado, the entire thunderstorm system is rotating. With these, all the rotation is at the lowest levels of the storm." Wednesday was rainy, but no thunder, lightning or high winds.

"They do develop very quickly," Pollman said. "Because the rotation is at the lowest level of the storm, it's very difficult for the radar to see and very difficult to get any warning on them."

He said waterspouts do have the potential to cause some damage. "If they form or move over land they can briefly cause some significant damage -- trees down, sections of roof torn off, kind of in that 60 to 90 mph range," he said.

Port Huron Time Herald


Updates -  September 30

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new pictures in the Sylvania and Cliffs Victory galleries.


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.


Canadian Miner hull has been breached

9/29 - 4 p.m. update - An inspection Thursday of a freighter grounded off Cape Breton shows its hull has been breached in several places. But a surveillance flight did not notice any signs of an oil leak. The Coast Guard has ordered all marine diesel oil and lubricants removed from the ship. The Canadian Miner is carrying over 6 tonnes of diesel oil. Water has entered the ship's hull.

Local fishermen say they're worried old sludge in the hull will escape and contaminate their lobster grounds. The Coast Guard says a plan to free the vessel is still being developed. Transport Canada is also investigating to see if any rules or regulations have been broken. Several attempts to free the vessel, which has been aground for more than a week, have failed. The Canadian Miner is a former Great Lakes/Seaway freighter that was bound for an overseas scrapyard when a towline broke.


Weather system to delay shipping

9/29 - A deepening low pressure system is likely to disrupt shipping as it passes over the Great Lakes region. The most extreme forecasts predict wave heights of up to 33 feet and wind gusts up to 60 mph in western Lake Superior, prompting the U.S. Coast Guard to warn mariners to expect conditions across the Great Lakes region to be unpredictable and dangerous as this front moves into the area.

Lake Michigan - Storm warning in effect from Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon. Thursday night northwest gales to 45 knots becoming north storm force winds to 50 knots from late evening on. Waves 12 to 16 feet building to 14 to 18 feet overnight.

Lake Huron - Gale watch in effect from 8 am Friday until 6 am Saturday. Friday north winds to 30 knots. gusts to 40 knot gales. Waves 6 to 9 feet, maximum wave height around 10 feet.


Environmental OK needed to float stuck ship

9/29 - A plan to pump ballast water out of a ship stuck off the coast of Cape Breton must be given environmental approval before another attempt is made to re-float the vessel, officials say.

The Canadian Miner has been stuck off Scaterie Island since late last week when it snapped a towline in heavy seas. It has 6.5 metric tonnes of diesel on board, used to run the emergency generator. The 230-metre ship is pressed against the shore and all efforts to pull it free have failed.

CBC News


Great Lakes Shipyard provides dry docking for brig Niagara

9/29 - Cleveland, Ohio - The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Historical and Museum Commission had Erie’s Flagship, the US Brig Niagara, delivered to Great Lakes Shipyard, Cleveland, Ohio this week. In 1992, Great Lakes Shipyard installed auxiliary engines in the brig and since then has been contracted to conduct the Niagara’s routine inspections in compliance with federal regulations, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the American Bureau of Shipping.

This year’s dry docking will include surveying the ship out of water, cleaning and painting of the hull, mechanical inspection of the propeller, and other routine maintenance. The Flagship Niagara is owned and maintained by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. She is a reconstruction of the ship that Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry led to victory during the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813. Recognized in both the United States and abroad, the Niagara is considered the most authentic early 19th century replica naval vessel, one of the nation's largest “tall ships” at 198 feet, and a premier sail training ship. The bicentennial celebration of Commodore Perry and the Niagara’s Battle of Lake Erie victory will take place in September 2013.


Ogdensburg Port Authority receives award

9/29 - Washington, D.C. – Wednesday the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) awarded the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority a Pacesetter Award for increases in international cargo shipments during the 2010 navigation season.

In 2010, the port processed more than 30 thousand metric tons in international cargo over 2009. This is the sixth time that the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority has received the Pacesetter award, which recognizes increases in international cargo tonnage shipped through the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the Seaway.

“The Port of Ogdensburg continues to demonstrate its relevance in the St. Lawrence Seaway system, in business and industrial commerce, and greatly appreciates the second Pacesetter recognition within the last five years,” said Wade Davis, Executive Director of the port. “The Port of Ogdensburg continues to expand its agricultural and heavy-lift capabilities, is creating a new access road for over-dimensional cargo, has developed a port master plan in conjunction with New York State Department of Transportation and continues to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to meet future dredging needs. While this award recognizes the efforts of the Port of Ogdensburg for increased tonnage, there is no doubt that the Port of Ogdensburg has a bright future as Seaway traffic continues to rebound.”

During the 2010 navigation season, the port made numerous improvements towards efficiency and competitiveness including the conversion of a 20,000 square foot building into a grain storage facility, installation of new security fencing, gates and cameras, and the relocation of overhead power lines to allow for oversized loads. In addition, the port was awarded a $1.2 million grant from the State of New York for the construction of a port access road that will provide a direct route to a state highway for project cargo.


Great Lakes Maritime Academy makes strong case for career opportunity

9/29 - Traverse City, Mich. – A job that pays approximately $60,000 or more for six months of work. Three to four years of education that yields two diplomas: one, a bachelor’s degree in business administration from a state university and another that includes the highest maritime credentialing available for Great Lakes and oceans. All this from a local institution that can boast 100 percent job placement for its graduates.

To review; that’s two diplomas, a $60,000/year job for six months of work, from a local secondary school, and guaranteed placement.

This is the deal that the director of enrollment, on behalf of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, has for career-minded individuals in the midst of a dismal economy. For a local person with even a minimal interest in either the engineering or piloting of any ship on the seas today, how can this not be an option to consider?

“It is a tremendous opportunity and a rewarding career option,” said John Berck, the Academy’s enrollment director. “Our graduates have a passion for travel, enjoy their time off and are respected all over the world. They have a great deal of honor and pride.

“We are fortunate to have partners like Northwestern Michigan College and Ferris State University. It means modern facilities, committed faculty and accessibility that comes from small class sizes.”

Brad Szczotka came to the maritime academy from Detroit. His spirit and passion for the decision he made confirms what this career preparation path offers. Prior to applying, Szczotka researched all the available maritime academies and how to be a ship captain.

He will graduate in May, and he already has a job offer.

“That is not a fluke,” Szczotka said. “Many cadets have this happen. Because of the licensing we receive here, we are the most sought after. I am very pleased to have made this decision, because it fulfills a passion I have always had for being on the water.

“If you are passionate about the work you do, you don’t really consider it work. This is something I will be doing for a long time. It was a real career decision. My educational experience here has been 100 percent positive.”

A career as a merchant mariner may not be for everyone, and not just every person is admitted to the program. Much like applicants to the country’s military academies, there are admission standards to be met including background checks.

Accomplished cadets who can walk from a graduation ceremony directly onto the deck of the world’s largest ships as a licensed merchant marine deck or engineering officer, are the “cream of the crop,” according to Berck.

The schedule may not appeal to all, but it does have its benefits. Graduates can expect duty stints of 30 days on and 30 days off, or 45 days on and 45 days off. And while not everyone’s situation can make that work, Berck said those rotations should not be prejudged.

“First of all, these people are serving on a variety of ships – including freighters, research ships, tankers, cruise ships, car ferries or even military sea lift command vessels,” he explained.

“Where the Navy goes, so goes the merchant marine fleet in support. With flexible scheduling, extended time off, and all the electronic methods of staying connected with family and friends, the duty is much different than it used to be or what people might have presumed.”

There are six state maritime academies across the country. The Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City offers credentialing and licensing that is higher than all the others. It is significant that it is located here. Berck described this school as “the epicenter of the Great Lakes.”

Students can expect 145 credits in four years, including general studies from NMC. There are three sea projects including an extended voyage of 60 days or more on the training ship. An intimate knowledge of the Great Lakes and connecting waterways is included.

All approved cadets graduate as officers, which can be in a career path of their choosing, either piloting or engineering. There are scholarships available, and credit is given to those who have already completed some level of university or college course work

Hands-on experience aboard the school’s teaching ship is a large part of the curriculum. That ship, “The State of Michigan,” is the former “Persistent,” a Stalwart-class vessel that has a famed history as a submarine tracker. It is equipped with the latest navigation and propulsion systems.

Recently added to the ship’s education arsenal is a 360-degree video recording system. The surveillance is used to capture real-time data of every shoreline, channel and characteristic of the training landscape.

“We use this video data in our simulation systems,” said Berck. “These are the same details that the students will chart, and this new tool in our belt just adds to a stone cold knowledge that our graduates have of all aids to navigation, courses, approaches and harbors.”

The Academy partnered with R.O.K. Systems and AXIS Cameras for the new video equipment.

In the meantime, Berck has his own sonar on the lookout for more cadets.

“I would always love to have more students from our local area,” he said. “It is very important to get the message of this opportunity out.”

Some segments of the local area still don’t fully understand what the Academy is all about, and how much of an asset it is for the region. For others, it’s a different story

Second year Cadet Brad Horyszun is from Long Island in New York City. His choice to seek admission to the top Academy was without question.

“I was drawn by what this program has to offer in piloting,” Horyszun said. “It is hard to beat the deck programs. I always had an interest in the Navy and water in general. When I graduate, I won’t just have a job. There is much more behind it. There is an excellent maritime atmosphere here.”

And that atmosphere is indeed here. So is the opportunity. That is the message that the Academy hopes will catch on to local residents and young people seeking a viable career option.

For more information visit the Academy’s website at

Grand Traverse Insider


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.


Crews will try again to free carrier

9/28 - It will be high tide Tuesday night at the earliest before there's another attempt to refloat a ship stuck off the coast of Cape Breton, Canadian Coast Guard officials say.

The former Canadian Miner has been stuck off Scaterie Island since late last week, when it snapped a towline in heavy seas. It has 6.5 metric tonnes of diesel on board, used just to run the emergency generator. The 230-metre ship is pressed against the shore and all efforts to pull it free have failed.

Fisherman Ken Wadden, from nearby Main-a-Dieu, is worried that if the decommissioned bulk carrier breaks up, it will ruin the lobster fishery.

"I don't know how long that ship's been on the ocean — I'd guess 30, 40 years plus. And you go down to the bottom of her bilge and cut her open, you wouldn't believe it: sludge and mud and oil and garbage," he said, adding that he has worked on such ships.

Wadden, who has been fishing in the area for 50 years, said an icebreaker could possibly pull the ship off But he's betting that Scaterie island, known for its shipwrecks, will be the ship's final destination, too. The Miner was on its way to Turkey to be scrapped.

CBC News


Rand Logistics announces signing of vessel acquisition agreements

9/28 - New York, N.Y. – Rand Logistics announced Tuesday that it successfully closed its public underwritten offering of 2,800,000 shares of common stock at $6 per share. The company's proceeds from the offering, net of underwriter's commissions, were $16.1 million. Rand expects to use the net proceeds of the offering to partially fund the anticipated acquisition of two dry bulk carriers, one of which is a self-unloader, and for general corporate purposes.

With respect to the anticipated acquisitions, Rand also announced today that it has entered into agreements to purchase the two as-yet-unidentified bulk carriers for a total purchase price of $25 million. The acquisition of the self-unloading vessel (which is an integrated tug/barge unit) is subject to Rand obtaining acceptable debt financing for such acquisition. Rand anticipates investing an additional $10 million to modify the two bulk carriers.

"We are very pleased to announce the signing of the vessel acquisition agreements,” Scott Bravener, president of Lower Lakes, said. “The acquisition of additional vessels not currently operating on the Great Lakes will allow us to meet the growing needs of our customers. We believe that the self-unloading dry bulk carrier is the only Jones Act-compliant vessel currently operating outside the Great Lakes with dimensions that allow for it to be transferred into the Great Lakes. Based on current market conditions, we believe that substantially all of the 2012 sailing days related to the new vessels will be utilized in servicing existing and new customers."



Port Reports -  September 28

Green Bay - Wendell Wilke
Arriving early morning before daylight, Algoma Transfer made her second trip within a week to Fox River Dock, Green Bay, Wis., with salt loaded in Goderich. She departed at 10:30 a.m.


Great Lakes shipping traffic steady for the year

9/28 - Superior, Wis. – As one port official says, Great Lakes shipping is on an even keel so far this year.

Usually things slow down in August. U.S. laker traffic was off almost seven percent from July, but up nearly four percent for the year. Lake Carriers Association vice president Glen Neckvasil says things continue to gradually improve with 50 of their 55 U.S. flagged vessels operating.

"In 2009 for example, we had one of the 1000-foot long vessels fit out in April, carry four cargoes and then it laid up until September,” he said. “So in that regard things have been much steadier this year. The ships when they come out, they stayed in service. So yes, we are seeing gradual improvement but I just don't want anybody to think that Great Lakes shipping has fully rebounded from the recession."

There is reason for optimism. Duluth Seaway Port of Authority Director Adolph Ojard says the global market wants shipments from the Great Lakes.

"The iron ore as far away as China. The coal to the northern European market. There's a couple of cargoes forecast for the end of this year for Midwest Energy right here in Superior,” he said. “Those types of cargoes could grow in the future. We're hoping to see more of that next year."

Grain, on the other hand, is down this year but mostly because a drought overseas is over and U.S. crops are off. So Ojard says no big blips on the radar screen, but steady as she goes.

Superior Telegram


Goderich salt miners back on the job

9/28 - Goderich, Ont. - More than 400 miners are back on the job at the tornado-damaged Sifto Salt Mine in Goderich. The mine employs 460 workers.

"We're slowly getting back up and running and employees are being called back to work as needed," said communications manager Kelly Barton of compass Minerals, Kansas City. "This has been a great team effort on the part of employees to get things back to normal," she said.

Salt has been moving from Sifto Salt Mine for nearly three weeks and employment numbers are increasing at the facility. The company moved in a portable loading conveyor system and loaded the Algomarine with 27,000 tonnes of salt on Wednesday, Sept. 7. Following that, Sifto added a second telescoping conveyor to help decrease the loading time of lake freighters.

From that initial load, Rowland Howe, former mine manager and director of Corporate Engineering and Canada Country Executive, said the company has loaded about 10 lake freighters as they attempt to move and stockpile salt around the Great Lakes basin ahead of the winter season.

The salt mine was severely damaged in the Aug. 21 tornado that struck Goderich and was the first point of impact. Several storage domes along the north pier were damaged in the storm but the recently completed storage facility escaped serious damage.

Reconstruction work is still ongoing at the company's evaporator plant on the east side of town, heavily damaged in the tornado. Howe said that there is no production yet at the plant but that staff is working diligently to get production up and running there. Some bagging operations are underway.

The evaporator plant employs 89 workers and approximately 45 employees have been back on the job there getting the facility ready to resume production.

London Free Press


Bay Shipbuilding begins construction on platform supply vessels

9/28 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Fincantieri Marine Group says its Bay Shipbuilding division has started construction on two Polar Class PSV’s for Tidewater Marine. The PSV’s are of the MMC 887 LH PSV design from MMC Ship Design of Poland.

The twin 92.4-meter deepwater PSVs feature a state-of-the-art diesel-electric Z-drive propulsion system with redundant dynamic positioning (DPS-2), polar class 7 (Ice Class PC 7), firefighting class 2 (Firefighting Vessel Class 2), and ENVIRO ABS notations.

“I am very pleased and excited that we are building the first Polar Class 7 Platform Supply Vessels for Tidewater Marine under the newly developed American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Rules,” said Gene Caldwell, Vice President and General Manager of Bay Shipbuilding Company. “This has allowed us to transition from the OPA ’90 Tank Barge Market into the Offshore Arctic and Deepwater Market Sectors. Equally important, this production will jumpstart the recall of our previously laid-off workers.”

“With the win of this project, our focus remains to acquire additional contracts and grow our commercial business in concert with the continued CAPEX support being provided by our parent company, Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A.,” said Floyd Charrier, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Bay Shipbuilding Company, located in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., is one of three U.S. shipyards operated by Fincantieri Marine Group, the U.S. arm of Fincantieri-Cantieri Navali Italiani.



Updates -  September 28

News Photo Gallery


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 had 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

Munising , Mich. - Joan Vinette
Great Republic arrived Sunday evening about 10 p.m., and began unloading coal at Neenah Paper mill.

South Chicago, Ill. - Brian Z.
Lower Lakes' fleet saw three of its boats loading in South Chicago Sunday and Monday. Calumet loaded coal at Chicago Fuels terminal Sunday evening and was followed by Manitowoc early Monday morning. McKee Sons arrived at Beemsterboer dock Monday late morning to load petroleum coke for Thorold, Ontario.


Ocean-going tug fails to free Canadian Miner

9/27 - A decommissioned bulk carrier remained stuck Sunday and wouldn’t budge from a Scatarie Island shoal, despite repeated efforts by an ocean-going tug. "At 18:45 p.m. (Saturday) night during high tide, they tried once again to pull if off, but there was no luck," said Keith Laidlaw, senior response officer with the Canadian Coast Guard.

Laidlaw was commenting Sunday during a telephone interview on the latest efforts to remove the bulk carrier, which used to sail the Great Lakes with cargoes such as ore and grain.

Now known as the Miner, the freighter used to be called Canadian Miner and was being towed to Turkey for scrapping when it ran into trouble off Cape Breton early Tuesday morning. The towline from the tug broke during rough seas and the vessel went aground.

"The tug was sufficient for towing the ship overseas, but it obviously (was) not sufficient to pull it off the shoal," said Laidlaw.

The owner, Pella Shipping Co. of Greece, "and a salvage master were on the ship at 9:30 a.m. (Sunday) and they are to do up a master salvage plan. The plan will lay out the best way to remove it," Laidlaw added.

Transport Canada and the coast guard will receive copies of the salvage plan by noon today.

While there is diesel fuel aboard the ship, it is stored in a compartment well above the waterline and doesn’t present an environmental threat at the moment. Coast guard members have been monitoring the operation from air and sea.

The Halifax Herald Limited


East Chicago disposal site ready; dredging to start in 2012

9/27 - East Chicago – A massive disposal site for contaminated sediment from the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal is now ready, and dredging is expected to begin early next year.

A contract for deepening the polluted channels should be awarded by the end of the month, Natalie Mills, project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said to directors of the East Chicago Waterway Management District last week.

The Army Corps plans to remove about 4.6 million cubic yards of sediment from the harbor and canal and permanently store the material at a disposal site along Indianapolis Boulevard at Riley Road. The harbor and canal are so saturated with 362 toxic and cancer-causing substances that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists the waterways as the most contaminated in the Great Lakes area.

Construction of the 21-foot-tall clay walls of the so-called confined disposal facility, which covers 186 acres of the former Sinclair Oil refinery just blocks from Central High School and West Side Junior High, was completed earlier this month, Mills said.

The stated goal of the 30-year, $150 million project is to restore the harbor and canal to navigable depths. For more than 70 years, the Army Corps annually dredged the channels, dumping the sediment far out in Lake Michigan, a practice outlawed in 1972 with passage of the federal Clean Water Act.

Once actual dredging begins next spring, air monitors ringing the site will measure levels of naphthalene, a substance determined by the EPA to be a good indicator of the release of other air pollutants such as benzene, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), all present in the sediment.

And the Indianapolis Boulevard drawbridge will be raised several times a day during the six months of dredging each year in order to permit barges filled with the dredged material to get to the disposal site.

In addition to sediment removed for navigational purposes from the middle of the waterways, the disposal facility will hold dredgings taken from some steel mill docking areas as ordered in a 1995 federal consent decree filed against Inland Steel Co.

Northwest Indiana Times


Shoreline upgrades proceeding on the St. Clair River

9/27 - Port Huron, Mich. – Federally-funded shoreline restoration projects are moving forward in the Blue Water Area. About $3.68 million in grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was awarded to local municipalities and agencies to improve fish spawning habitats and fix shoreline engineering problems.

In Port Huron, excavation has started on a 320-foot stretch of St. Clair River shoreline at the end of Lincoln Street just south of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock's dock. The project -- engineered by Tetra Tech of Port Huron -- is being funded by a $1.3 million GLRI grant.

Crews from Malcolm Marine of St. Clair used backhoes Tuesday afternoon to remove dirt and pieces of scrap cement from the existing riverbank to make room for a new seawall.

A wall of steel I-beams will be driven into the ground and backfilled with stones for stabilization, assistant city engineer Dave Smith said. At the end of its construction in November, the new seawall will be buried underneath a slope of rocks and planted grasses. Though project plans do not call for a path leading to the river's edge on the new river bank, Smith said the city would not be placing fences around the area to keep people away.

Next summer, work will begin on creating a better area for fish to spawn in the river, Smith said. Several rock beds about 20 feet by 40 feet will be placed about 100 to 300 feet offshore in the St. Clair River, said Amanda Huddas, civil engineer for Port Huron. Each bed will have a variety of different sizes of rocks for fish to hide their eggs during spawning season, Smith said.

With a residence on Michigan Street, Jack Kelley of Port Huron lives right next to the construction project. His house was shaking when crews began driving the steel I-beams into the ground, Kelley said.

"It was like a small earthquake," he said. "Other than that, they've been pretty careful."

The area of shoreline the city is currently restoring was overgrown with brush, full of scrap concrete and mostly used as a parking lot, Kelley said. As a fisherman, Kelley knows the smooth clay floor of the St. Clair River isn't a good habitat for fish trying to lay eggs.

"It should be an improvement," Kelley said of the project.

In Marysville, the city council reviewed new conceptual plans for the first time Monday evening for a GLRI-funded project. The $1.5 million grant, paired with $300,000 from the city of Marysville, will repair a failing sea wall and create fish spawning areas along a 2,250-foot-long stretch of St. Clair River shoreline from Cuttle and River roads to Clinton and South Riverside avenues.

The concept plans from environmental consulting firm JFNew in Ann Arbor show a "living shoreline" that allows for wildlife habitat by building a 10-foot-wide boardwalk sitting on piers instead of the current cement walkway and steel seawall.

In the Middle Channel of the St. Clair River, an $880,000 GLRI grant and matching funds are being used by the Michigan Sea Grant to create a $1.043 million spawning reef. The Michigan Sea Grant is a partnership between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

Jen Read, principal investigator for the Michigan Sea Grant project, based in Ann Arbor, said work to install the reef could begin in November -- about two months later than originally planned -- due to a continuation of the bidding process for contractors.

The construction in the St. Clair Flats area will create three new reefs across the Middle Channel, each with different types of material that will allow researchers to study which kinds of material attract the most fish.

Port Huron Times Herald


Ford Capt. Don Erickson to give final presentation on Fitzgerald disaster

9/27 - The Harsens Island St. Clair Flats Historical Society will be hosting Malcolm McAdam and Capt. Donald Erickson of the SS William Clay Ford, who left safe harbor with his ship and crew on November 10, 1975 and went in search of survivors of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Capt. Erickson is 85 and he has indicated that he will be making his last public presentation to a group that will gather at the Harsens Island Lions Club on October 8 from 4-5:30 p.m. The public is invited. Please RSVP to: 248-770-2103 with number in your party


Updates -  September 27

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


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.


Third effort fails to free stuck bulk carrier

9/26 - A decommissioned bulk carrier remains grounded on rocky Scatarie Island off eastern Cape Breton after a third attempt to refloat the vessel failed Saturday evening. "The ship is still stuck and they will try again tomorrow," Canadian Coast Guard spokesman Steve Bornais.

The coast guard has been monitoring the area with aircraft and ships since the vessel was grounded on Tuesday. It is the ship’s owner who is responsible for finding a way to move the bulk carrier, said Bornais.

On Saturday, the team charged with the ship’s removal waited for extreme high tide and then tried, unsuccessfully, to pull it off the island with more force than the previous two attempts.

During the first effort to move the bulk carrier a towline connected to the tug snapped. A second effort on Friday was also unsuccessful. "I’m not sure if they’re going to make a new plan or not," said Bornais late Saturday. "They’ll be examining it and seeing what else they can do."

The carrier, now called the Miner and formerly the Canadian Miner, was under tow on its way to Turkey to be scrapped when the tow line broke in heavy seas and the ship ran aground. There was nobody on the vessel and there were no injuries.

The 230-metre vessel was not carrying any cargo but the coast guard estimates there is about 6,500 litres of diesel fuel onboard. There were no pressing concerns that the fuel would leak, unless something serious occurred, officials said. Bornais said the last message he got indicated the hull was "generally intact."

The Greek owner of the vessel was scheduled to fly to Cape Breton Saturday with a salvage master experienced in moving ships off rocky areas. The bulk carrier plied the Great Lakes during its working life.

Coast guard officials described Scatarie Island as an area known for shipwrecks. It lies just over a mile off Cape Breton’s eastern shore near Main-a-Dieu.

The Halifax Herald Limited


Port Reports -  September 26

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Sunday afternoon included Quebecois unloading at St. Lawrence Cement, saltie Heloise arriving at the Peavey elevator with aid of two GLT tugs, American Century loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal and Philip R. Clarke inbound to Duluth to unload stone at the CN ore dock.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Sunday at the Upper Harbor, Michipicoten loaded ore and departed on a sunny fall afternoon.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. -
The Cason J. Callaway has been at Bay Shipbuilding since early Friday for repairs to her starboard bow, which was damaged in a collision with the Indiana Harbor at Duluth last weekend.

Holland, Mich. - Bob VandeVusse
Manitowoc returned to Holland Sunday morning to deliver stone to the Verplank dock. She arrived just after 8 and departed early in the afternoon.

Midland, Ont. - Terry Ralph
Frontenac, a frequent visitor to Midland, was unloading at ADM Mills in Midland on a beautiful sunny fall Sunday.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
The Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber returned to the Saginaw River on Saturday, calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload. Once finished, the pair departed the slip and were outbound for the lake.

Montreal -
The vessel Don Felix (Ex-Petrolia Desgagnes) should leave Monday morning after more than six weeks of preparation. The tug Ocean Raymond Lemay will escort the vessel down to Escoumins.


Elusive cannon located again in Detroit River

9/26 - Detroit, Mich. – Mission accomplished. That's how the Detroit Police Department's dive team described its work Wednesday, when it again spotted an elusive cannon in the Detroit River.

Within 10 minutes of getting into the river near Cobo Center, officers located the cannon.

The team spotted the cannon in July during a training exercise. Officers went back in the water Sept. 7 to retrieve the cannon, but that mission was foiled by bad weather, high winds and poor visibility. "It was in the exact same spot," police Sgt. Dean Rademaker said.

The cannon was located again Wednesday with the help of GPS about 200 feet from the shore near Cobo. Underwater visibility was about 2 feet Wednesday, much better than the 3-inch visibility that kept divers from finding the cannon earlier this month, Rademaker said.

Officers used a boat to move the cannon to a location that will make it easier to find again when it's pulled from the water by a tow truck on Oct. 5.

It will be the fifth cannon removed from the river in the last three decades. The four other cannons are believed to be British and French. One was found in 1984, two in 1987 and one in 1994. Two are on display at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum in Detroit and the other two are at Historic Ft. Wayne, also in Detroit. Exactly how they got into the water remains a mystery.

This latest cannon will be turned over to the Detroit Historical Society.

Detroit Free Press


Updates -  September 26

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new pictures in the W E Fitzgerald gallery


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.


Former laker Canadian Miner still stuck on Scatarie Island

9/25 - Sydney, N.S. – The latest attempts to remove a wayward lake boat from the shores of Scatarie Island have failed. The tug team that lost the MV Miner (formerly Canadian Miner) when it broke free of a towing line Tuesday morning tried twice on Friday, following a failed Thursday attempt.

The Canadian Coast Guard has been observing the efforts from the air and sea in case any environmental concerns should arise.

“The ship was stripped down in Montreal before leaving,” said Keith Laidlaw, senior response officer. “The only thing onboard the vessel is 6.5 tonnes of diesel and that is in the emergency generator room which is way above the water line.”

Even if the hull was punctured, he said, there is no danger of the diesel getting into the water. “The ship would literally have to flip over for that to happen and that is not likely to happen,” he said.

Attempts to remove the vessel will continue this weekend. Once it is back in deep water, a hull assessment will take place before the ship continues on its way to a scrap yard in Turkey.

"There’s really good weather in the forecast for the weekend, so it should be all right," Laidlaw said.

The Cape Breton Post


Seaway, CAW in contract negotiations

9/25 - St. Catharines, Ont. – St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. and Canadian Auto Workers' union representatives are in negotiations for a new contract for 475 unionized employees that run the waterway.

Seaway spokesman Andrew Bogora said the seaway "remains confident a satisfactory agreement can be reached" with the workers, of which approximately 275 work in Niagara. "In the event a labour dispute interrupts the Seaway, there is a contingency plan to ensure the orderly shutdown of the system," he added.

Bogora said negotiations are taking place in St. Catharines and that workers have been without a contract since March 31 of this year. CAW staff representative Mike Menicanin said the contract is actually still in full force and the legal termination date is Oct.

"We've been bargaining throughout the spring and summer," said Menicanin, adding union reps will be back the bargaining table again next week.

The CAW represents workers across the Seaway through three collective agreements, one with operations and maintenance staff, one for workers at seaway headquarters in Cornwall and one for supervisory and professional staff.

"Our goal is to reach an agreement we believe our members will support by the beginning of October," said Menicanin.

He said the union did a comprehensive review of members' concerns before negotiations began. One of the main concerns is the rate of inflation and how it is affecting members’ ability to get by. "We're working very hard to improve our members' standard of living as part of the process," he said.

Menicanin said when an offer is presented by the Seaway, the bargaining committee will take it back to its membership. He said the committee is working on an agreement it believes the members will support.

"My experience is almost always when a bargaining committee recommends an agreement it's supported by members. But it's up to the membership to make the final decision." Menicanin said there haven't been any strikes "in recent memory" on the Seaway.

Welland Tribune


Port Reports -  September 25

Stoneport – Dan McNeil
Due to load at Stoneport for Sunday: Lewis J. Kuber followed by the John G. Munson. Due Monday is the Great Lakes Trader. Due Tuesday is Lewis J. Kuber. Due Wednesday is Manistee.


Storms spawn waterspouts in Lake Michigan

9/25 - An unstable mix of cool autumn air and warm lake waters spawned dozens of tornadic funnel clouds over Lake Michigan on Saturday, prompting a marine warning, the National Weather Service said.

The National Weather Service issued the warning after receiving reports of waterspouts from weather spotters up and down the vast lake's western shore, which stretches from Indiana to Wisconsin. There were no immediate reports of any injuries or damage.

None of the waterspouts, which can pose a danger to any planes or boats that travel through them, had moved onshore. But the National Weather Service warned that if any waterspouts did make landfall, residents needed to "find shelter immediately."

"We've had confirmed sightings from Green Bay all the way south to Chicago shoreline," said Samuel Shea, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chicago. "Everything has been happening over the lake itself, generally two to five miles out from the shoreline."

Shea said the climatological culprit was a big upper level low-pressure area that has parked itself over the region, bringing cold air into contact with lake water that has retained the warmth it picked up over the hot summer.

He said the result was "a very unstable lower atmosphere that was just prime weather" for waterspout formation.



Clarification: Port Huron pilot boat repowering

9/25 - Port Huron, Mich. – There was an inadvertent omission in the September 22, 2011 article posted in the Times Herald (and on on Sept. 23).

Lakes Pilots Association, Inc. would like to clarify the source of partial funding for the recent repower of its pilot boat, the Huron Maid. In its efforts to provide safe, efficient, and reliable pilotage services on the Great Lakes, Lakes Pilots Association, Inc. partnered with Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision (SDEV) for the repower of its pilot boats.

Lakes Pilots Association, Inc. was one of eight local businesses to receive assistance from the SDEV, MDEQ, EPA clean diesel stimulus grant.

Designed to assist with reducing diesel emissions this grant provides an incentive for companies to make investments in newer, cleaner technology otherwise unaffordable. The engine repowers and pollution controls installed through this grant funding have significantly decreased diesel emissions. Lakes Pilots Association, Inc. is committed to ensuring our Great Lakes remain great and is pleased to be chosen as a recipient of this funding.

In addition to the assistance in the repower of the Huron Maid, SDEV has also been awarded another grant from the MDEQ to assist additional businesses with clean diesel projects. This grant includes funding to repower the other Lakes Pilots Association, Inc. pilot boat, the Huron Belle, which is scheduled to take place in the coming months.

Lakes Pilots Association, Inc.


Updates -  September 25

News Photo Gallery


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.


Port Reports -  September 24

Marquette, Mich. - Lee Rowe
Lee A. Tregurtha loaded ore on Friday and departed. Work was being done on a minor oil spill on the south side of the dock from an unknown source.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
The Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were inbound the Saginaw River late Wednesday, calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload. The pair were outbound Thursday. Inbound on Thursday was the Manitowoc, which called on the GM dock in Saginaw to unload coal, and the Algorail, which called on the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload salt. Manitowoc was outbound early Friday morning, while Algorail was outbound Friday afternoon. Algoway was inbound Friday morning, taking the place of her fleetmate at Sargent Zilwaukee to unload salt. She was expected to be outbound late Friday.

Oshawa, Ont. - Andre Blanchard
On Thursday the saltie Heloise left Oshawa enroute to Duluth.

Whitby, Ont.
CCGS Cape Mercy departed Whitby harbour on Friday and appears to be returning to its home port of Cobourg, Ont.

Toronto, Ont. – Frank Hood
On Thursday, the tall ships Empire Sandy and Challenge returned to Toronto after participating in the "Tall Ships on the Quays 2011" in Montreal. On Friday, Algolake arrived in Toronto. Also, the tug Petite Forte and barge St. Marys Cement arrived in Toronto. The saltie Baltic Carrier was still unloading in port. The cement carrier English River was also in port Friday. The saltie Shoveler is due to arrive in Toronto sometime on Saturday.


Whistles on the Water returns for third year today

9/24 - St. Clair, Mich. – You'll have to forgive St. Clair for tooting its own whistles Saturday – lots of whistles.

The city's Downtown Development Authority is sponsoring Whistles on the Water, a steam whistle blow in Palmer Park. The St. Clair Chamber of Commerce and the St. Clair Art Association are sponsoring a concurrent event, Chalk the Walk, in the Riverview Plaza across from the park.

"Last year we had about 100 (whistles)," said Al Johnson, chairman of Whistles on the Water.

"I'm expecting about the same. Some of them will be freighters, bigger whistles, smaller whistles off factories, some off old farm equipment, quite a variety."

Johnson, who owns Johnson Hydraulics in St. Clair, was putting the finishing touches Thursday on a large portable boiler that generates the steam that gives the whistles their voices.

"It needs lots of steam," he said. "We've actually used some antique boilers over the years, but as the manifold got bigger and more and more whistles were on it, we kind of outdid what the old boilers could put out, so we had to go to a newer, more conventional boiler that made a lot more steam."

He said the old whistles are audible using compressed air, but steam is what they were made for.

"The potential energy in steam is 20 times greater than air," he said. "You can blow these whistles on air, but the volume and the noise they create are a lot different."

The event is in its third year, he said.

"We were looking for something unusual, something that is hard to reproduce anyplace else," Johnson said. "Most of the whistles on here were off freighters off the Great Lakes, so we have the whistle event right on the water so we can salute the freighters. It kind of matches in with St. Clair being on the water and all the Great Lakes freighters."

He said there will be a special mention of Gareth McNabb, a Lexington resident who was the emcee for the first two Whistles on the Water and who died this summer.

"There's just nobody around who can even come close to his ability and knowledge of the whistles, and when he passed away he was actually working on a whistle for this event," he said.

Port Huron Times Herald


Updates -  September 24

News Photo Gallery


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.


Canadian Miner aground on Scatarie Island

9/23 - Sydney, N.S. – Scatarie Island, once a navigational nightmare for shipping traffic, has claimed its first victim in a long time. Just past 2 a.m. Tuesday, a former Great Lakes shipping vessel now known as MV Miner broke free of its towing line and ran aground on the small island off the coast of Cape Breton.

“As the tug was towing it to Europe in heavy seas, it broke its tow line and the barge drifted,” said Seward Benoit, senior response officer with the Canadian Coast Guard environmental response. “He couldn’t get back alongside of it because the seas were running too hard. It drifted and landed on Scatarie Island.”

The ship was en route to Aliaga, Turkey, where she will be dismantled for scrap. The 12,000-tonne, 222-metre vessel has a cargo capacity of over 28,000 tonnes, but was empty at the time. “It ended up on the north side of the island between the lighthouse and northwest cove,” said local resident Bob Martell.

“Where I live I can see right across there at night, the lights on the boats and everything. I’m living in Mira Gut for 43 years, I’ve never actually seen a boat hit and stay there and sink, but you hear about it.”

Wrecks near Scatarie Island include the 1911 sinking of the passenger steamer ferry SS Bruce and the 1873 wreck of the British steamer Saltwall on the Hay Island shoals near Scatarie Island. The British warship HMS Feversham also wrecked on Scatarie Island during an October 1711 gale.

“That’s the first one there in a long time,” said James MacQueen, a fisherman from Round Island. MacQueen viewed the vessel through binoculars from Waddens Cove. “It is right up on the rocks. They tried to tow it off (Wednesday) with the tug but they couldn’t get it off. It could be a mess if they don’t get it out of there.”

Benoit said the coast guard monitored the vessel and efforts to remove it but there were no immediate environmental concerns. “It does have 6.5 metric tonnes of marine diesel on board and that is basically to run the generator. It is empty outside of that.”

The latest attempt to move the vessel off the island resumed at high tide Thursday evening but as of 5:30 p.m. the ship had not moved.

Built in 1966 as Maplecliffe Hall, the vessel first sailed the Great Lakes hauling primarily iron ore and grain. She was renamed LeMoyne in 1988 by Canada Steamship Lines until becoming Canadian Miner for Upper Lakes Shipping in Toronto in 1994.

Now known as MV Miner, the ship sailed until 2009. Picture from the Post article

Cape Breton Post


Retired sub tow on Lake Ontario

9/23 - The second tow of a retired RCN submarine occurred on Thursday. The lead tug was Ecosse and trailing tug was Seahound. They were making between 5 and 6 knots.

David Bull


Port Reports -  September 23

St. Marys River – Soo Evening News
The Drummond Islander III will be connecting Sugar Island to the mainland for next three weeks, according to a spokesperson from the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority. The regular ferry has been temporarily placed in dry dock for scheduled routine maintenance.

Rochester, N.Y. - Tom Brewser
The tug Evans McKeil with the barge Metis arrived in Rochester early Thursday morning and went up the Genesee River to Essroc's Dock with bulk cement.


Toledo Ironville Dock project gets U.S. funds

9/23 - Toledo, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Commerce yesterday announced the release of a $3.1 million grant to support the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority's on-going development of the Ironville Dock in East Toledo.

The Economic Development Administration grant funding was expected and part of the project's $15.4 million total state and federal grant package, but its release had been on hold pending discussions concerning mortgages the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency holds on the property related to the port authority's past environmental cleanup of the site, said Matt Sapara, the port authority's director of operations. The site is part of the former Gulf Oil refinery in East Toledo.

Listed along with the port authority as grant co-recipients are Lucas County and the Lucas County Improvement Corp.

Grant funding will go toward dredging of vessel docking space, road and dock construction, and utility installation on the 186-acre site, a Commerce department news release said. Port officials had said during a railroad spike hammering ceremony last month that release of the EDA grant was needed before certain construction could start at Ironville.

The new dock is intended to handle primarily bulk materials and will have storage silos, an outdoor lay-down facility, and a 100-car railroad loop for transferring cargo to and from trains.

Toledo Blade


Keewatin being sold; Going to Canada In 2012 or 2013

9/23 - The S.S. Keewatin, a historic and familiar fixture in the Saugatuck-Douglas area since the 1980s, has reportedly been sold and will be tugged to Canada either next summer or the following year, depending on the time and work it will take to dredge the river for its departure.

The ship, brought to the area by local marina owner R.J. Peterson and his wife, is expected to be docked at a Canadian marina and outfitted to be used as a possible restaurant/bar while retaining its historic flavor as one of the last of the great passenger ships that plied the Great Lakes after its launch in 1907. Good-bye ceremonies and events are being discussed.

The Local Observer, Holland, Mich.


Lakes Pilots Association rebuilds pilot boat Huron Maid

9/23 - Port Huron, Mich. – The Huron Maid is looking pretty slick these days.

"We got a complete rebuild on it," said Capt. Dan Gallagher, a Fort Gratiot resident and president of the Lakes Pilots Association Inc. in Port Huron. "We took out the old engine and put in a new fuel-efficient, more friendly for the environment, quieter engine, and did a complete rebuild on the interior."

The Huron Maid is a 46-foot long pilot chase boat. It's used by the Lakes Pilots Association to bring pilots to freighters transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes.

"It's a federal regulation," Gallagher said. "Whenever a foreign vessel comes into the Great Lakes system, they have to have a U.S. registered pilot on board at all times."

He said East Lake Builders of Port Huron completely redid the vessel's interior in mahogany. Port Huron Glass installed new windows, and the interior seats were done by Seams Right Upholstery at Desmond Marine.

The Huron Maid, he said, usually is stationed in Detroit, but the association brought it to Port Huron for the refit because "we wanted it here because our office is here," Gallagher said. "We wanted to give the local people the work."

The association spent about $130,000 and five weeks to do the refit. Much of that cost was spent replacing the old 245-horsepower Detroit Diesel engine with a 405-horsepower diesel installed by Cummins Bridgeway, based in New Hudson. The association received a grant from the state Department of Environmental Quality that paid for 50 percent, or $37,000 to $38,000, of the cost of the engine and installation, Gallagher said.

The Huron Maid's sister ship, the Huron Belle, also will receive a complete overhaul, Gallagher said, within the next two months. That project will cost about $200,000 -- the Huron Belle, Gallagher said, is 52 feet long and is stationed in Port Huron. A DEQ grant will pay for about $90,000 of the project, Gallagher said.

Port Huron Times Herald


Historian Arthur M. Woodford talks about the steamer Tashmoo

9/23 - Join the Detroit Historical Society’s Dossin Maritime Group at the annual Fair Winds Fall Gathering on Sunday, October 2 starting at 1 p.m. Guests will enjoy a reception at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, silent auction, a luncheon, raffle and a presentation titled “Tashmoo: The Park and the Steamer” by local author and historian Arthur M. Woodford.

The cost for the event is $25 for Society/Dossin Maritime Group members and $30 for guests. Advance ticket purchase is required. For more information or to reserve your spot for this event, call (313) 833-1801, or go to and click on Upcoming Events and Programs.

Tashmoo Park, located on Harsens Island, 20 miles north of Detroit, opened in 1897. Owned by the White Star Line excursion boat company, the park was a pleasant two-hour ride from the city. To reach the park, visitors traveled aboard one of the White Star Lines excursion boats, the most famous of which was, without question, the steamer Tashmoo. Completed in 1900, the Tashmoo was the grandest excursion steamer of her day. The park was a 60 acre resort which included picnic grounds, a large dance pavilion, two baseball diamonds, a bicycle track, amusement rides, and at the waters edge, a bathhouse and swimming beach. For nearly 50 years, Tashmoo was Detroit’s most popular park destination and a trip aboard the steamer Tashmoo was a highlight of the summer season. Sadly, after the steamer sank in 1936, the park went into decline and finally closed in 1951. Today, Tashmoo, the park and the steamer, are only a memory of a simpler time.


Updates -  September 23

News Photo Gallery


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.


$23 million construction contracts awarded to Great Lakes Shipyard

9/22 - Cleveland, Ohio – Caribbean Tugz, LLC, an affiliate of SEACOR Holdings, Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has awarded Great Lakes Shipyard vessel construction contracts to simultaneously build two new state-of-the-art 50-ton bollard pull ASD tugboats to be used for ship docking and escort operations at the Hovensa Oil Refinery in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

The contracts total price of the new tugs is $23 million. Design and construction are to start immediately, and the tugs are scheduled for completion in early 2013.

Designed by Jensen Maritime Consultant, Inc. of Seattle, the new tugs will be built to the highest standards of the American Bureau of Shipping, the U.S. vessel classification society. The 92-foot, 4,640HP tugs are purpose-built for ship assist, escort, and firefighting services. Because of the intended area of operation, the tugs will be uniquely constructed to meet the wide range of operational parameters typical in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

SEACOR Holdings, Inc. is a multinational company that provides a variety of marine and aviation services, primarily in the oil and gas industry. Caribbean Tugz, LLC, a new affiliate of SEACOR Holdings, is the Buyer of the new tugs and will charter them to Hovensa under a long-term bareboat charter contract. HOVENSA, the eighth largest oil refinery in the world with a capacity of over 500,000 barrels per day, is a joint venture between subsidiaries of Hess Oil Corporation and Petroleos deVenezuela, S.A.

The Great Lakes Towing Company


Port Reports -  September 22

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Great Republic loaded ore Wednesday morning at the Upper Harbor.

Toledo, Ohio -
The Saginaw arrived at the Andersons facility overnight to be loaded. She is expected to load about 600,000 bushels of corn.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Stephen B. Roman arrived in Toronto on Tuesday, the saltie Redhead departed.

Rochester, NY. - Tom Brewer
Grande Mariner was in Rochester and departed Tuesday afternoon. Niagara Prince was in Rochester and departed Wednesday afternoon. Both were bound for Oswego to enter the New York State Canal System. The Erie Canal is still closed near Little Falls, N.Y., so passengers were taken by bus for the rest of their trip east.


Fate of 75-year-old Benton Harbor shipping business in jeopardy

9/22 - Benton Harbor, Mich. — Michigan's Great Lakes are about more than tourism. They're also big business. More than 150 million tons of cargo gets shipped there each year. But for a Benton Harbor business, shipments are down this year.

Ships are having trouble getting into the business’s harbor because of all the sediment underwater, and the Army Corps of Engineers says it's unlikely the harbor will ever bounce back. The inner harbor is not on the 2012 priority list for dredging because of the economy. The government calls it a low-use harbor, so they are not going to help. It looks like the beginning of the end, and the owner is doing his best to change that.

When it came to shipping bulk materials, Jack Kinney’s father put Benton Harbor on the map when he opened Central Dock 75 years ago. When it opened, it was one of only 30 coal dealers nationwide. Over the years, the business changed with the times – from asphalt to stone to salt.

"It's been good over all the years," said Jack Kinney. But Jack and his son John wonder if the company will be around for 75 more. "It's getting from slow to bad to critical," said John Kinney.

Last year, Central Dock received 91,000 tons of material. That’s less than half than the 241,000 tons received in 2009.

The hard knocks are evident: Central Dock’s first shipment of the year arrived Saturday. It was a 10,000-ton salt shipment, but it doesn't hide the fact that the dock still has a lot of open space. And that's not the only problem.

"To keep the harbor open and viable, you have to dredge it periodically," Kinney said.

Tom O'Bryan, an engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers, confirmed the outer harbor was dredged last year. Kinney said it did nothing to help boats in the inner harbor. "Ships were stuck. You have to do both to make the harbor function."

But that won’t happen. The Federal government said the Central Dock, Dock 63 and the LaFarge Corp docks form a low-use commercial harbor.

Based on the number of inner harbor shipments, the inner harbor hasn't reached the million-ton minimum to qualify for aid. The last time the harbor reached a million tons was 2001.

"We're still trying to come to grips with what's happened down here," Kinney said. "It's not good."



Low water forces N.Y. marinas to cut season short

9/22 - Hammond, N.Y. — The boating season is being cut short for some northern New York marinas because of rapidly dropping water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

Marina owners in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties tell the Watertown Daily Times that the lower water levels are forcing boaters to pull their watercraft out earlier than usual to avoid damage to their vessels.

The boating season started with high water levels on Lake Ontario, but after heavy rainfall in the spring, the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control maximized the outflow at a dam in Massena to prevent flooding downstream. The newspaper also reports that the water supply to the lake decreased dramatically through the summer.

Marina owners say water levels should be kept at summer levels until late September to allow them to extend their business season.

Watertown Daily Times


Updates -  September 22

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new pictures in the Leecliffe Hall galleries


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

Southern Lake Michigan
The tug Coloma L. Warner (formerly the Hannah D. Hannah), refit and refurbished, successfully completed sea trials Tuesday on Lake Michigan.

Lorain. Ohio - Phil Leon
Calumet was spotted just outside the Lorain Harbor at 1:26 p.m. She finally docked at Jonick's dock on the east side of the river to unload stone and was still unloading at 3 p.m.


Marquette harbor cruises get test run

9/21 - Marquette, Mich. – No matter who owns it or its home port, the Isle Royale Queen III seems destined to visit islands. The 81-foot vessel, which for many years shuttled passengers to and from Isle Royale and then was a ferry between Menominee and Sturgeon Bay, Wis., is being used to tour Marquette's coast, including Middle Island and Partridge Island.

Recently, a number of Marquette-area residents took several rides on the boat and toured the areas west of Presque Isle before returning to the bulkhead at Mattson Lower Harbor Park. The tours served as practice runs for next summer, when people will be able to buy tickets for the cruises.

"People have been talking about doing the harbor cruises here for a long time and I've been pushing somebody to try and do it," said Peggy Frazier, who's acting as an unofficial spokeswoman for the business, Marquette Harbor Cruises.

Frazier said the cruises will increase activity in the Lower Harbor and add to the list of attractions and entertainment options in Marquette. "It's an exciting opportunity for the community — anything we can do to increase our critical mass of things to do when people come here," she said.

The boat, originally named the Isle Royale Queen II, was used throughout the 1970s and 1980s to shuttle people, backpacks and canoes between Copper Harbor and Isle Royale. It was smaller then — only about 57 feet — and due to sometimes turbulent seas, length of the journey, and relatively small size of the boat it was not-so-affectionately nicknamed the "barf barge."

In 1989, the boat was lengthened by welding on an additional 24 feet to the stern and renamed the Isle Royale Queen III. The extra 24 feet greatly improved the boat's ability to take on rough weather and smooth out the ride for passengers. Later, the boat was used to transport people from Menominee to Sturgeon Bay in Wisconsin's Door County.

Several local business partners, including William Carmody and John Madigan, purchased the boat in 2010. "We're excited about the opportunity that exists in Marquette," Carmody said. "We're hoping that everything works out such that we can be doing business here next spring."

He said there will likely be three tours a day and the boat will be available for private charter for such things as anniversaries, birthdays, corporate parties and other occasions.

Converting the boat into a tour ship took a bit longer than expected, Carmody said The upper deck of the 90-ton vessel was reinforced at a facility on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan. The upper deck was originally designed to carry backpacks and canoes and had to be reinforced to bear the weight of passengers.

The official inspection, which took place in St. Ignace, was also a lengthy process. "We anticipated 30 days at the most in dry dock, and we were there 60, which really put us behind," Carmody said.

Carmody said he hopes to have the boat back in Marquette by next May and start the tours in June. He said the business' website will go online this fall.

Although many of the details have yet to be worked out, Frazier said tickets for the cruises will likely cost about $25 and will be available at the Lake Superior Theatre ticket office in Mattson Lower Harbor Park.

Traverse City Record Eagle


Updates -  September 21

News Photo Gallery
New Video on our YouTube Channel


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.


Two lakers damaged at Twin Ports

9/20 - Duluth, Minn. – The Indiana Harbor is a frequent visitor to the Twin Ports during the shipping season, typically hauling iron ore or coal. But the 1000-footer is now docked in Superior, getting repaired.

According to sources like the Port Authority and Midwest Energy, the Indiana Harbor was damaged when another laker hit her on Saturday morning. The other laker, the Cason J. Callaway, hit the Indiana Harbor on the stern. Midwest Energy president Fred Shusterich said the Indiana Harbor was secured at their docks, when the collision happened.

"We also have some damage on our dock, and we are working with the owner of the Callaway to figure out what happened," he said.

The Callaway left the Twin Ports on Sunday night. She will be getting repaired at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Company leaders said it will be about a 10-day repair. Shipping industry leaders said a hit like this one happens occasionally, but not often, on the Great Lakes.



Port Reports -  September 20

Twin Ports –Al Miller
Cason J. Callaway departed overnight Sunday from the Duluth port authority while Indiana Harbor reportedly remained docked in Superior on Monday. As of Monday morning there was no official word on what might have occurred Saturday involving the two vessels, although the event was starting to gain some media attention. Elsewhere Monday morning, Arthur M. Anderson arrived about 7:30 a.m. laden with stone. Edgar B. Speer was tied up at Garfield dock with a wheeled crane near its stern. Presque Isle was due in to load a partial load of pellets at CN ore dock. John J. Boland was fueling before unloading its stone cargo. Saltie Isa was arriving at CHS berth 1 with aid of two GLT tugs.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Michipicoten and Algosoo loaded ore Sunday afternoon at the Upper Harbor. John B. Aird loaded Monday morning.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber called on the Saginaw River Sunday evening, carrying a split cargo. The pair stopped at the Bay City Wirt Stone Dock to drop part of the load before continuing upriver to finish at the Wirt Stone Dock in Saginaw. The Moore - Kuber were outbound for the lake Monday afternoon.


U.S. ports defy slower August trend, report positive tonnage

9/20 - Washington, D.C. – U.S. ports reported upticks in tonnage during the normal summer slowdown period. The Seaway’s year-to-date total cargo shipments from March 22 to August 31 were 22 million metric tons, up 3.5 percent from the same period last year.

“In addition to the cargo shipments increase, vessel transits are up 9 percent from a year ago with the best performers in August being petroleum products, scrap metal and salt. This number shows that the marine trade, even in today’s tough economic times, can grow when you match demand with supply,” said Rebecca Spruill, Director of Trade Development for the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

At the Port of Duluth-Superior, two tenants have found new markets and new partners that have increased their business and changed their market base. Midwest Energy Resources Company (MERC) has partnered with Quebec Stevedoring’s Beauport Sector dock in Quebec City to form a seamless supply route for customers across the Atlantic. “MERC has been able to capitalize on the increased demand for U.S. low-sulphur coals in international markets,” said Fred Shusterich, MERC President. “The world wants U.S. coal, but there are capacity issues at U.S. coastal ports. Our route puts us one-third the ocean distance of the Gulf ports to Europe, so we are well-positioned to be a strong player in the coal export market.”

The MERC goal was to handle one export shipment this season, but will likely export 200,000 metric tons of coal to Europe by year-end. “Continued growth, exploring new markets and responding to changes in the North American energy market provides impetus to expand our service area,” added Shusterich, who expects shipments to grow next year. “To slingshot to 1.5 million metric tons in coal exports by the end of 2012 is testimony to the ingenuity of our staff and the flexibility of our terminal and the Seaway. It truly is a global gateway.”

The second Duluth-Superior tenant to make inroads overseas is Cliffs Natural Resources. The global demand for high-quality iron ore concentrate is on the rise – particularly in countries with emerging economies like China and India – and that demand is coupled with higher international iron ore prices. As a result, Cliffs moves ore from its mines in Minnesota and Michigan to Quebec City via the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system. From that Canadian port, ocean-going vessels can transload/transport pellets to steelmakers worldwide.

“It is a unique venture, with the pellets going to Canada first, then China,” said Don Gallagher, Cliffs’ Executive Vice President-Global Commercial. “Demand is strong. We are marketing globally, because that’s where the higher demand is.” Cliff’s first shipment of Minnesota iron ore took place on March 30, bound for China via the Seaway.

For the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, August was the biggest tonnage month of the year and their second highest monthly total since 2007. “The port enjoyed one of its best years on record,” said Port Director Peter Laman. “This August, tonnage was up 40 percent from last year this time. Overall we’re up 24 percent year-to-date due primarily to increases in fertilizer, steel, and limestone, as well as new coal shipments.”

“Indiana’s economy depends heavily upon our Lake Michigan connections to ocean vessels via the St. Lawrence Seaway, lake carriers transiting the Soo Locks, and river barges moving through the Chicago Area Waterway System. These waterways move vital goods to and from businesses throughout the Midwest and generate more than 100,000 jobs for Indiana,” Laman added.

The Port of Cleveland’s tonnage was up almost 535,000 metric tons versus the same time period last year, an increase of approximately 25 percent. That increase was driven by a 26 percent uptick in Cleveland Bulk Terminal tonnage, which moves iron ore and limestone to ArcelorMittal, and a 9 percent increase in their general cargo operation.

“The steel industry in our region is enjoying more demand, which has resulted in an increase in the volume of raw material moving through our port’s facilities,” said David Gutheil, Vice President for Maritime and Logistics. “In addition, our general cargo operation continues to recover from the historic lows of two years ago thanks to an increase in steel imports coming through the port to satisfy demands for steel not met by U.S. steel producers.”

At the Toledo Port Authority, general cargo is up over 55 percent over the same period in 2010. “In total, the port has handled over 6.7 million short tons to date, and is up nearly 12 percent over 2010 with increases in all cargo categories – general cargo, grain, iron ore, petroleum products, and dry bulk – with the exception of coal,” explained Joseph Cappel, Director, Cargo Development.

St. Lawrence Seaway shipments of petroleum products and salt remained up 70 percent and 18 percent respectively in August compared to the same month last year. Coal shipments totaled 465,000 metric tons in August, a decrease of 30 percent from August 2010. Year-to-date iron ore shipments of 5.4 million metric tons were down 21 percent compared to the same period last year primarily due to the continued closure of the U.S. Steel plant in Hamilton, Ontario. Year-to-date U.S. grain shipments of 931,000 metric tons were down 7 percent, while Canadian grain shipments were up 35 percent to 893,000 metric tons in August.

Marine Delivers


Warning: Seaway advises possible labor trouble may shut waterway

9/20 - As a result of a possible labor disruption, the St. Lawrence Seaway may be shut down for an undetermined period as early as 00h01 on Oct. 1. Should your vessel opt to continue its present transit, the manager and the corporation make no representation whatsoever as to their ability to successfully transit the ship downbound and subsequently out of the system. If a shutdown is imminent, there is a possibility that the corporation would start winding down its operations earlier.

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation


Great Lakes Mariner Hall of Fame dinner held at the Soo

9/20 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – In a tradition that started in 1955, the Marine Man of the Year was selected for 2011 on Friday, Sept. 16, at the Great Lakes Mariner Hall of Fame Dinner. Mark J. Rohn, President of the Grand River Navigation Company, is this year’s Marine Man of the Year.

Rohn began his career in the maritime industry in May 1978, employed as a vessel agent with N.M. Paterson & Sons. His career path continued, in a variety of vessel operations, with the M.A. Hanna Company starting in June 1979, through February 1992, at which time, Rohn became the Director of Operations for The Great Lakes Towing Company until March 1994. In 1994, he joined the Oglebay Norton Company, working in a variety of vessel operations and eventually serving as the Vice- President of Terminal Operations and Director of Human Resources, leaving the organization in 2001. Rohn began his career at Grand River Navigation Company in April 2001, and currently serves as president. He serves on the Board of Visitors of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy and is a member of the Lakes Carriers Association, Propeller Club, Port of Cleveland, SNAME, and ISMA Cleveland Lodge #4.

The members of the Great Lakes Hall of Fame are all displayed on the Museum Ship Valley Camp in Sault Ste. Marie. Representatives present at this year’s event were from Grand River Navigation, Interlake Steamship, Port City Steamship, Lakes Carriers Association, American Bureau of Shipping, Wellington Maritime, Warner Petroleum, Great Lakes Maritime Academy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sault Historic Sites and the Soo Locks Visitors Center Association.


Great Lakes to host large-scale homeland security and defense exercise

9/20 - Cleveland, Ohio – Approximately 2,500 people from Canadian and U.S. military branches and government agencies are scheduled to take part in the annual maritime homeland defense training exercise, Frontier Sentinel, Sept. 20 - Oct. 5 in the Great Lakes region.

Frontier Sentinel exercises, held annually since 2006, are designed to assess collaborative information exchange, planning and coordinated responses to security and defense threats in the maritime domain of Canada and the U.S.

Frontier Sentinel 2011 is a full-scale exercise held jointly and involving the commanders of U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, U.S. Fleet Forces/U.S. Navy 2nd Fleet, and Joint Task Force Atlantic. FS11's overall purpose is to conduct a maritime homeland security and defense exercise in the Northwest Atlantic, Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes region that enables the development of combined information sharing and planning, leading to the generation of a coordinated response to mutual maritime threats. This year's exercise includes participation of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

“We protect people on the lakes, we protect people from threats delivered from the lakes, and we protect the lakes themselves, but we recognize that no agency can do that alone," said Rear Adm. Michael Parks, 9th Coast Guard District commander. "These types of exercises allow us to use our authorities to build unity of effort, integrated operations and awareness among regional partners to manage risks on the Lakes.”

The scenario for the exercise revolves around an exchange of narcotics for guns by a state-sponsored bus that ships to and from a U.S. fishing trawler. The trawler then conducts a follow-on transfer to a privately-owned U.S. cabin cruiser for transit through the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Great Lakes. The exercise is designed to challenge the participants to develop multiple scenarios involving controlled takedowns of the bus, trawler and cabin cruiser.


Updates -  September 20

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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.


Port Reports -  September 19

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Cason J. Callaway remained docked at the Duluth Port Terminal slip No. 1 late Sunday afternoon, with the Duluth Shipping News reporting it had been involved in some sort of contact with Indiana Harbor. The Callaway arrived Friday to unload stone and was departing Saturday with iron ore pellets loaded at the CN ore dock. The Great Lakes Fleet vessel hotline reported the vessel scheduled to depart at 1 p.m. but it remained at the dock as of about 4 p.m. No reports of any incident were available in local media on Sunday or on any company or Coast Guard websites. The BoatNerd information search page showed a photo of the Callaway docked with a large vertical indentation in its starboard bow. Elsewhere in port, Cedarglen was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal late Sunday afternoon, Algoma Progress was loading at the CN ore dock, and salties Isa and Kwintebank were anchored out on the lake.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick and Lee Rowe
Kaye E. Barker loaded ore and Algosoo waited to load ore Saturday evening at the Upper Harbor. Adam E. Cornelius was expected at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock with coal late Saturday night.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber called on the Saginaw River on Friday, traveling upriver to unload at the Buena Vista Dock in Saginaw. The pair completed unloading and were outbound Friday evening. Ryba Marine Contracting has begun dredging operations in the Upper Saginaw River, hauling spoils to the CDF located on the Saginaw-Bay County line. The tug Kathy Lynn was busy moving mud barges in the river on Friday.

Toronto and Oshawa, Ont. - Andre Blanchard
Baltic Carrier arrived in Toronto on Saturday. Redhead was still in port. Heloise arrived in Oshawa on Sunday. It was assisted by tugs Jerry G and Omni-Richelieu.


Lighthouse restoration begins

9/19 - Port Huron, Mich. – Crews began restoring the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse brick by brick Friday. Dennis Delor of St. Clair County Parks and Recreation said workers from National Restoration removed damaged bricks and installed a section of new bricks on the lighthouse's outer shell.

He said the test sample section will be inspected Tuesday by a historic architect. While brickwork will take about four weeks, the entire restoration of the tower will be a two-month process, Delor said.

County staff hopes to have the Fort Gratiot Light Station open to the public by spring or summer 2012.

Mark Brochu, director of St. Clair County Parks and Recreation, said until work is complete, the general public is not allowed at the site -- which includes a duplex light keeper's dwelling, a fog signal building, a single light keeper's dwelling, a former Coast Guard building and a three-bay garage.

"For safety reasons, we cannot have them on the property," Brochu said.

National Restoration, based in Keego Harbor, has a $332,900 contract with the city of Port Huron to overhaul the lighthouse. Quinn Evans Architects of Ann Arbor -- the company that made design plans for the work -- will be paid $41,000 as a restoration consultant. The city is paying for the lighthouse restoration with grant money and matching funds.

St. Clair County acquired the deed for the property from the federal government in September 2010. The city has been cooperating with the county to restore buildings at the light station.

For its end of the project, the county has $40,000 in state grant funds and a donation from the Friends of the Fort Gratiot Light. The funds will be used to replace the roof of the equipment building and fog signal building and repair the chimney of the fog signal building, Brochu said.

The county originally began the bidding process for the roof and chimney work in July, but it was halted after contractors had questions and suggestions for the project, he said. The county has reissued the project out to bid, and a bid opening is scheduled for Sept. 27. Brochu said roof and chimney work should be "substantially complete" by December.

Additionally, the county recently was approved for a $30,000 Coastal Zone Management Grant to construct a walkway from the fog signal building to the lighthouse and install benches and interpretive panels, Brochu said. The grant would require a $30,000 match in local funds.

Port Huron Times Herald


Updates -  September 19

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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.


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.


Port Reports -  September 17

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Adam E. Cornelius arrived in Superior on Friday morning to unload stone at the CLM dock. When finished, it was expected to load coal at Midwest Energy Terminal for delivery to the Shiras plant in Marquette. The small saltie Kwintebank was anchored out on the lake. Elsewhere, Indiana Harbor was due in the evening to load at Midwest Energy Terminal with coal for delivery to Essexville and St. Clair. Joseph L. Block was loading at Hallett dock before shifting to BNSF to load pellets.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Three vessels visited the Upper Harbor on Friday. Fleet mates Herbert C. Jackson and Hon. James L. Oberstar loaded ore in the afternoon while Robert S. Pierson waited at anchor for a clear dock.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Alpena arrived at Lafarge Thursday morning and tied up at the coal dock. It is not expected to load cement until Sunday. The Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation came in Friday morning to load under the silos. They were outbound in the bay before 11 a.m. Fleetmate G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity were expected to arrive in port late Friday night.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Manistee arrived Friday morning and came in stern first. By afternoon she was docked and unloading on the east side of the river at Jonick's dock; her bow was partially under the raised railroad bridge preventing the bridge from being lowered.

Welland Canal
Upbound traffic Friday included Pineglen, Mapleglen, Ganges Star and Karen Andrie/Endeavour. Vessels downbound included Canadian Transport, BBC Jade, Algomarine, Federal Kumano and Resko. Algoma Transfer, which had been tied for repairs at the former stone dock in Port Colborne, departed in the afternoon, headed for Lake Erie.


N.Y. ballast rule draws Midwest protest

9/17 - Minneapolis, Minn. – Midwest governors are pushing back on New York's proposed tough rules on ballast water carried into the Great Lakes by freighters.

In a letter sent to New York's Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week, the Republican governors of Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana argue that the regulations could require the St. Lawrence Seaway to close down, resulting in thousands of maritime-related job losses in the Great Lakes states and Canada.

Ballast water, brought from around the world, is one the main ways that invasive species wind up in the Great Lakes. That's how the spiny water flea, which eats zooplankton, got to Lake Superior and spread to about 40 lakes in Minnesota. Ballast water also brought viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus, which kills numerous fish species.

In 2008 Minnesota became one of the first states in the nation to put ship owners on notice that they will need to obtain a state permit to discharge ballast water into the Duluth-Superior harbor or other state waters. It will also require them to install equipment on new ships by 2012, and existing ships no later than 2016 that will remove or kill potential invasive species.

New York's proposed rules, which would require a water quality standard 100 times stronger than the current standards used by the International Maritime Organization, are the toughest yet proposed.

Many states and the shipping industry have called on the U.S. and Canadian governments to devise universal rules. The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release a proposal this year. In the meantime, many states are coming up with their regulations, with inevitable conflicts.

"A strong and clear national standard would be preferable," said Emily DeSantis, assistant director of public information for New York's Department of Environmental Conservation. She said that New York is working with other states and also encouraging the federal government to adopt a national standard. New York will re-examine its regulations once the EPA releases its proposal in November, she said.

Star Tribune


Norgoma and other Upper Lakes vessels recognized

9/17 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – On behalf of the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Bryan Hayes, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie, Friday unveiled a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque commemorating the passenger and packet freighters on the Upper Great Lakes as a National Historic Event.

“Our government is committed to celebrating events in Canadian history that are of profound importance to our national character and unique identity like the use of passenger and packet freighters on the Upper Great Lakes,” said Kent. “These vessels contributed to the settlement and development of Northern Ontario and to our great country.”

The ceremony was held at the Roberta Bondar Park Tent Pavilion in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario near the Museum Ship Norgoma, a passenger and packet freighter that was used on the Upper Great Lakes.

“Construction of vessels like the Norgoma contributed to the development of shipbuilding industries on the Great Lakes,” said Hayes. “As a museum ship, the Norgoma continues to contribute to tourism on the Sault Ste. Marie waterfront.”

For many decades passenger and packet freighters were the only source of transportation for goods and people to and from isolated Upper Great Lakes coastal communities. They were an integral component of Canada’s first transcontinental transportation system, and were of fundamental importance to the early and on-going settlement and development of Northern Ontario.

Created in 1919 and supported by Parks Canada, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Government of Canada through the Minister of the Environment regarding the national historic significance of places, people and events that have marked Canada’s history.

Soo Today


Fundraising cruise for Boblo boat SS Columbia

9/17 - The S.S. Columbia Project will host its third festive fundraising cruise on the Detroit River on Saturday, Sept. 24th from 2–5 p.m. aboard the MV Friendship. The Friendship will depart from the dock at the Portofino Restaurant in Wyandotte. Boarding begins at 1:30 pm. Suggested donation is $40 per person.

Guests are invited to bring memorabilia, share their fond memories and reminisce about America’s oldest surviving passenger steamer as they view the beloved Bob-Lo boats, Columbia and Ste. Claire. The Cruise will also serve as an official reunion event for former Boblo Crew members and employees.

During the cruise, guests will feast on complimentary pizza delivered by the J.W. Westcott II mailboat while toasting the slow steady progress in restoring the Columbia to its former glory.

Reserve tickets at


Updates -  September 17

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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.


U.S.-flag lakers' cargo up nearly 4 percent in August

9/16 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S. flag Great Lakes freighters carried 10.4 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in August, a decrease of 6.6 percent compared to July, but an increase of 3.7 percent compared to a year ago. The August float was also largely in line with the month’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos for the steel industry increased 8 percent compared to a year ago. Limestone cargos for construction, steel production, and environmental uses jumped almost 21 percent, but coal for power generation and steel production slumped again, this time by more than 16 percent.

Through August U.S.-flag cargos stand at 55.1 million tons, an increase of 3.2 percent compared to the same point in 2010. Iron ore has increased 9.4 percent, but coal is down by 7.5 percent. Limestone cargos have now inched passed last year.

Compared to the 5-year average for the first eight months of the year, U.S.-flag cargos are down 1.9 percent.

Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports -  September 16

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
The saltie Redhead arrived in Toronto on Wednesday with a load of sugar for Redpath.


Canadian boatbuilder expanding in Cape Vincent

9/16 - Cape Vincent, N.Y. – Canadian boat manufacturer MetalCraft is expanding its American operation with a move from Clayton to Cape Vincent. A welcoming ceremony will be held Tuesday morning at the 7,500 square-foot building MetalCraft will be refitting this winter, said Cape Vincent Supervisor Urban Hirschey.

Hirschey said MetalCraft, maker of high-tech, aluminum-hulled boats, has 10 employees in Clayton and will have 20 this winter in Cape Vincent and could expand to 50 within three years. “They are capable of a lot of growth,” he said.

MetalCraft, with headquarters in Kingston, Ont., makes fire boats, patrol boats, work boats and barges. The boats use diesel-powered water-jet propulsion. Models range in size from 22 to 70 feet and can take up to six months to build, a company spokesperson said.

Hirschey said the company, with 100 employees in Canada, is looking to expand in the defense field and is building prototypes for the American military. At its web site, Metalcraft displays boats used for firefighting in Tampa, Boston Harbor and for patrol along the New England Coast.

The space the company is taking, at Anchor Marina, has been used for boat building before, Hirschey said, and features 25-foot-high ceilings. “It’s like a gymnasium in here.”

The Syracuse Post-Standard


BoatNerd activities this weekend at St. Catharines Museum

9/16 - St. Catharines, Ont. – A special program will be offered to BoatNerds gathered at the Welland Canal this weekend at the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre. This year, the Centre is screening the film “Shipyard,” a 14-minute impressionistic documentary on traditional shipbuilding and launching in Collingwood Ont. The video was published in 1980 by Rudy Buttignol. The video will be shown between 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday, with coffee and tea available. In addition, the museum exhibition galleries are now open with admission by donation.

St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre


Updates -  September 16

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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.


Port Reports -  September 15

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
After loading ore early Wednesday morning, Robert S. Pierson remained secured on the south side of the ore dock Wednesday afternoon waiting for winds to subside on Lake Superior before departing.

St. Marys River – Dave Wobser
Due to high winds, several vessels sought shelter in the St. Marys River. Buoys in Eastern Lake Superior were reporting winds over 20 knots and seas at six feet Wednesday night. Anchored in Whitefish Bay were St. Clair, Cason J. Callaway and Adam E. Cornelius. Presque Isle went to anchor about 7 p.m. then departed downbound at 8 p.m. Algolake and Lee A. Tregurtha were in the anchorage in the upper St. Mary River above the locks. Kwintebank passed the anchored lakers and headed into Lake Superior about 5:30 p.m. and the Resko arrived downbound. Algosar was in Goulais Bay. Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived upbound about 7 p.m. and went to anchor in the lower St. Marys River off Lime Island.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Stephen B. Roman was in Toronto on Tuesday. She finished unloading and departed the same day.


Updates -  September 15

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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.


Rand announces common stock offering to fund acquisition of 2 vessels

9/14 - New York, N.Y. – Rand Logistics, Inc. has announced that it has commenced a public underwritten offering of 2,975,000 shares of common stock. Rand intends to grant the underwriter a 30-day option to purchase up to 525,000 additional common shares at the public offering price, to cover over-allotments, if any. Rand anticipates entering into one or more agreements on or about the date of the offering providing for the acquisition of two dry bulk carriers, one of which is a self-unloader. Rand's use of the net proceeds that it will receive from this offering will include the following: funding the anticipated acquisition of two dry bulk carriers, one of which is a self-unloader; the payment of accrued and unpaid dividends on its Series A Convertible Preferred Stock; and general corporate purposes. Rand believes these vessel acquisitions will be highly strategic to the company.

Rand Logistics


Lakes limestone trade up 14 percent in August

9/14 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3.8 million net tons in August, an increase of 4 percent over July, and an increase of 14 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments were also just about even with August’s 5-year average.

Shipments from U.S. quarries increased 22 percent compared to a year ago and slightly bettered the month’s 5-year average. Loadings at Canadian quarries were off roughly 15 percent compared to both a year ago and August’s 5-year average.

Through August the limestone trade stands at 16.1 million tons, a decrease of 5.2 percent compared to the same point in 2010, and a drop of 14.8 percent compared to the 5-year average for the January-August timeframe.

Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports -  September 14

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Calumet, after series of delays, finally crossed the pier heads with the first load of coal for the fall season at 9:15 p.m. Monday night. It unloaded and was gone by morning.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Ryba Marine tugs, Tenacious and Kathy Lynn, were inbound the Saginaw River on Monday with dredging equipment for the upper river. Crews are setting up at the new confined disposal facility located along the river at the Bay-Saginaw County line. Late Tuesday night, the Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were inbound nearing the Saginaw River Entrance Channel. It is unknown as to which dock she will call on when she arrives on the river.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W. and Vince Harzewski
Manistee departed stern first under tow of the tug Washington at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. They had a tight squeeze at General Mills with the American Mariner docked at the Frontier Elevator. Both Leudtke tugs were also headed in for the Buffalo River from the Outer Harbor at that time with their scows. Herbert C. Jackson departed Monday at 10 p.m. for Sandusky.


German cruise ship to visit Duluth Sept. 14 and 22

9/14 - Duluth, Minn. – After a four-year absence, the German luxury liner C. Columbus has returned to the Great Lakes for two cruises this month and is scheduled to make stops in Duluth on both legs of the Toronto-Chicago route – on Wednesday Sept. 14 and again on Thursday Sept. 22. This will be her 11th and 12th visits to the Port of Duluth-Superior since she first set sail in 1997.

The Columbus, under the command of Captain Jörn Gottschalk, is expected to arrive beneath the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge at approximately 5 a.m. and will proceed directly to Murphy Oil USA at the Clure Public Marine Terminal for fueling. The vessel is scheduled to then dock behind the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) at 8 a.m., where passengers will clear Customs and Border Protection.

As they disembark, passengers will be greeted by the familiar sounds of a German band called the “Wurst Band,” playing on the waterfront balcony of the DECC under the direction of Ron Halverson. Once all 370 passengers have cleared customs, most will be taking narrated sightseeing bus tours of the city and/or the North Shore – excursions arranged by Visit Duluth. Nearly a dozen citizen volunteers from the Twin Ports will serve as German-speaking greeters. The one-day stop will also allow visitors time to explore the downtown/Canal Park area on foot before returning to the ship. The Columbus is scheduled to depart at approximately 8 p.m. via the Duluth ship canal.

“It’s great to see this passenger ship return to the Great Lakes,” said Ron Johnson, trade development director for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “We’re thrilled to have her back. It’s a great boost for the local economy and for the Seaway.”

Owned and operated by the German cruise company Hapag-Lloyd, the Columbus comes equipped with five passenger decks that include a swimming pool, sauna, fitness center, library, salon, restaurant, lounge and wine-bar. Built for luxury cruising, the atmosphere onboard is one of casual elegance enhanced by outstanding cuisine and an attentive, international crew of 180. Built in Germany in 1997, the Bahamian-flagged ship is 472.4 feet long and 70.5 feet wide – designed specifically to accommodate Great Lakes/Seaway locks.

The 423-passenger luxury ocean liner is operating two cruises this year along the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway – from Toronto, Ont., to Chicago, Ill. (Sept. 5-18) and a return voyage Sept. 18-Oct.1 . Rates for the 10-day cruises range from approximately $3,500 (inside cabin) to $9,500 (outside suite). The vessel will stop in Duluth once on each leg of the trip – allowing passengers to disembark and enjoy a day of sightseeing and shopping. Additional stops include the Welland Canal, Windsor, Manitoulin Island, Little Current, Sault Ste Marie/Soo Locks, Thunder Bay, Mackinac Island and Traverse City, Mich.


Updates -  September 14

News Photo Gallery


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.


Port Reports -  September 13

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Duluth-Superior harbor was busy early Monday with Spruceglen departing with coal, James R. Barker loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal, and saltie Resko arriving at the CHS terminal with aid from two GLT tugs. BBC Jade remained at the Duluth port terminal unloading wind turbine assemblies. Canadian Transport was using its boom to unload grain into the hopper on the former Cargill B2 berth. This is the second time in recent weeks that a vessel has performed this unusual maneuver at the former Cargill elevator, which is now owned by a hedge fund and named Duluth Storage.

Green Bay, Wis. - Matt Ludvigson
John G. Munson arrived in Green Bay on a sunny Monday afternoon with a load of coal for the C. Reiss dock.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Calumet was due between 3 and 4 p.m. Monday with the first fall load of coal for the Grand Haven Board of Light and Power plant on Harbor Island in Grand Haven.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Early Sunday morning, G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity departed Lafarge heading for South Chicago. Monday morning, Alpena took on cement under the silos and Manitowoc was tied up at Lafarge, also unloading coal.

Goderich, Ont. - Rob Skinner
Peter R Cresswell arrived in Goderich on Sunday to load salt from the tornado-damaged terminal. Portable loaders are being used.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner was expected late Monday. Herbert C. Jackson was ready to depart ADM Monday evening. The #10 dredge was working above South Park Ave. and the #17 was in the Watson Basin. Both Leudtke tugs were running their scows around Monday evening.


Port Huron’s tall ship is sailing back home

9/13 - Port Huron, Mich. – The Highlander Sea set sail Sunday for the last time in Port Huron. Dave Brown, director of marine operations for Acheson Ventures, said the ship is headed for Gloucester, Mass.

"Literally, the ship is going home," he said.

The 154-foot gaff-rigged topsail schooner was built in Essex, Mass. in 1924 and acquired by Acheson Ventures in 2002. It was docked in 2009 to cut costs. Brown said the future of the ship is not known at this time.

"We're basically excited about the boat leaving on the premise that we're exploring new opportunities for the Highlander," he said. Those opportunities include becoming a charter ship or being sold. The Highlander Sea has been listed for sale for about a year and is priced at $2 million on

Brown said Acheson Ventures currently is going through the process of getting the ship certified by the U.S. Coast Guard to have 49 passengers. Once the ship sets sail, it will take three to four weeks to get to its destination, depending on weather. The ship has had several home ports during its 87 years on the water. It originally was christened Pilot after its original owners, the Boston Pilots Association.

The ship was purchased by two doctors and two lawyers in the 1970s who planned to sail around the globe and was used for marine biology classes in California after 1976. The ship was renamed Highlander Sea in 1998 when it was purchased by Fred Smithers of Secunda Marine Service in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Port Huron Times Herald


Hojack swing bridge to come down, CSX says

9/13 - Rochester, N.Y. – CSX has applied for a bevy of permits to demolish the Hojack swing bridge, saying it is under orders from the U.S. Coast Guard to remove the structure. The Coast Guard confirms it considers the bridge a safety hazard.

CSX is working with federal state and local agencies as it prepares to comply with a U.S. Coast Guard order to remove the Hojack Swing Bridge on the Genesee River. Planning is still in progress and no other specific details are available at this time, said CSX spokesman Bob Sullivan in an email. In documents laying out the project to bidders, CSX said it wants the bridge removed by March 2012. It does not specify a cost. Some of the rail ties may contain asbestos.

There has long been debate about removing the structure. In a 2003 New York Times article, then-Mayor William Johnson called the bridge "a monstrosity covered with moss" that he didn't want visitors from Toronto arriving on the fast ferry to encounter.

Built in 1905, the Hojack bridge used to serve farms along the lakeshore. It stopped carrying rail cars in 1978, according to a report prepared by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2001 about the bridges historical value. The study says the state declared the bridge eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The report recommended preserving the bridges value through displays of artifacts and markers, but did not recommend saving the entire structure.

CSX has not gotten approvals to tear down the bridge. It needs the green light from the city, Department of Environmental Conservation, Army Corps of Engineers and Coast Guard for its demolition plan.



More dredging ahead in Soo Harbor

9/13 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed Thursday that more dredging will take place on the St. Marys River. The first phase of the project, conducted last summer, removed roughly 10 tons of material from the river bottom. The latest phase, scheduled to run through Oct. 31., will remove an additional 23,000 tons. Consumer’s Energy is bearing a portion of the dredging costs for this project which will remove PAH’s associated with a coal gasification plant that used to stand between the current home of MCM Marine and the Soo Locks Boat Tour Dock. The removed materials will be de-watered and subsequently hauled to the Dafter Landfill for disposal.

Soo Evening News


Scrapyard-bound submarine stops in Port Colborne

9/13 - Port Colborne, Ont. – Submarines are meant to be underwater, out of the public eye. But when a submarine is found above water, it's not hard to garner attention ... especially when it's traveling down the Welland Canal.

Many Port Colborne residents lined Wharf 12 just north of Bridge 19, the Jack-knife Bridge, Monday morning to get a glimpse of Olympus, a decommissioned submarine once used by the Canadian Department of National Defense.

The 1,250-tonne vessel had to make a stop in Port Colborne Monday for a day or two before heading towards its final destination in Port Maitland, where its metal will be recycled by Marine Recycling Corp. at the company's shipyard.

"It's not too often you see one of these out of water," said Wayne Elliott, Marine Recycling Corp's director of business development. "The navy once used this for training. It had been sitting in Halifax for 20 years. I looked at it eight years ago when it was decommissioned and it took that long that long just to get them here."

Traveling from Halifax, the Olympus was sitting in Hamilton, waiting for the right time to be transported to Port Maitland. While in Hamilton the submarine was re-floated and placed on a barge for its transit through the canal.

When it arrives in Port Maitland, the submarine will be recycled.

"Every last bit will be used," Elliott said. The $4.5 million recycling project is expected to be completed in three months, Elliott said.

Some of the challenges to recycling the submarine will be getting into the Olympus itself and maneuvering around. With all the machinery inside, it will be a tight fit, Elliott said.

Elliott said the age of the metal is not a concern because metal is "infinitely recyclable. "It can be another 100 years old and it can still be recycled, as long as it doesn't rust away," Elliott said.

While much of the metal will be recycled, some parts of the Olympus as well as Okanagan, another submarine to pass through Port Colborne, will be preserved.

Marine Recycling Corp. plans on putting the tops of the submarines on display at Derek Point Memorial Gardens. The submarine parts will be part of a vessel exhibit, which will be dedicated to local business leaders and honour the Canadian Navy.

Welland Tribune


Wind Cargo heading West via Port of Duluth

9/13 - Duluth, Minn. - BBC Jade arrived in the Port of Duluth early Thursday morning to begin discharging nearly 4,000 freight tons of wind turbine components destined for Minnesota Power’s Bison 1 Wind Energy Center in North Dakota. On board the ship are 15 direct drive nacelles, 15 power units and nearly 30 containers that are integral components for Phase B of the 82-megawatt Bison 1 project currently under construction near New Salem, N.D.

The wind turbine components (which left the Port of Aarhus, Denmark, two weeks ago), plus hubs for each unit scheduled to arrive on a second ship in early November, will be securely stored at the Duluth Seaway Port Authority’s Clure Public Marine Terminal until needed at the project site. Specialized trucks will be dispatched throughout the fall to transport the heavy equipment to North Dakota. Initial shipments of wind components for this same project moved through the Duluth port in August 2010. Wind turbine blades for Bison 1 were fabricated in a Siemens Energy facility in Fort Madison, Iowa, and trucked to the construction site. Towers for the wind turbines were built in West Fargo, N.D.

“Earlier this summer, the Port of Duluth passed the one million mark in number of freight tons of wind components handled to date,” said Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “We are especially pleased to be handling these two shipments for Minnesota Power, a company headquartered here in Duluth and committed to serving Minnesota.”

To date, Minnesota Power has installed 16 wind turbines at the Bison 1 site. Earlier this year, the company announced the expansion of its wind development efforts with two additional wind projects, totaling 210 megawatts and 70 turbines. Bison 2 and 3 are scheduled to go online in 2012. This investment of more than $300 million will help move the company closer to meeting Minnesota’s 25 percent Renewable Energy Standard by 2025 in a timely and cost effective manner. The company already owns a 465-mile high voltage transmission line that is being used to move renewable energy eastward to its Arrowhead Substation near Duluth.

Most wind turbine components shipped through the Port of Duluth since 2005 have been inbound from suppliers in Germany, Denmark and Spain for delivery to major projects in the Upper Midwest. The Port has also served wind farm projects as far away as Montana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Ontario, plus handled outbound shipments of blades manufactured in North Dakota to Spain, Brazil and Chile.

“Because of our strategic location and the experience of our workforce,” added Ojard, the Port of Duluth remains a vital link in the global wind energy supply chain.”


Updates -  September 13

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new pictures in the Leecliffe Hall (1) and Spruceglen galleries


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.


Great Lakes coal trade down almost 25 percent in August

9/12 - Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes totaled 2,956,930 net tons in August, a slight dip compared to July (131,000 tons), but a decrease of almost 25 percent (959,000 tons) compared to a year ago.

Loadings at Lake Superior ports fell 26.7 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Lake Michigan terminals rose nearly 71 percent. Loadings at Lake Erie docks slipped 35.7 percent.

Year-to-date, the coal trade stands at 15,656,348 tons, a decrease of 16.2 percent compared to a year ago.

Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports -  September 12

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic late Sunday afternoon included Great Republic motoring up St. Louis Bay to load at CN ore dock. It was passing the Indiana Harbor, which was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal. Elsewhere, barge Innovation and tug Samuel de Champlain were unloading cement at the LaFarge terminal in Superior, BBC Jade remained at the Duluth port terminal with newly unloaded wind turbine components lined up on the dock, and the saltie Resko was anchored on the lake waiting to berth Monday morning at CHS grain terminal in Superior.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
River Class lakers American Courage and Robert S. Pierson arrived Sunday afternoon at the Upper Harbor to load ore.

St. Joseph, Mich. - Greg Barber
The Alpena came into St. Joe Saturday morning about 9 a.m. They unloaded and departed about 8 p.m.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
The Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber called on the Saginaw River Sunday afternoon, traveling all the way up to the Lafarge Stone Dock in Saginaw, to unload. The pair finished unloading, turned in the Sixth Street basin and was outbound for the lake around 10pm. The American Century called on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville late Sunday afternoon to unload coal. She was expected to depart for the lake late Sunday night or early Monday morning.

Kingston and Toronto, Ont. - Andre Blanchard
Boston's new fireboat John S. Damrell departed Kingston on Friday. It appears she is on the way to Boston. The Tall ship Pride of Baltimore II arrived in Toronto Thursday for weekend tours.

Montreal - Rene Beauchamp
Canadian Miner is expected to leave Montreal on Tuesday under tow of Hellas for Aliaga, Turkey to be scrapped. The new name of the former Petrolia Desgagnes has been finally painted on her hull. However, she has not been taken over by the new owners yet after they renamed the vessel Don Felix I. Her Canadian registry was closed on April 6.


Pilotage rules nearly sink U.S. Brig Niagara voyage to Montreal

9/12 - Erie, Pa. – The U.S. Brig Niagara's scheduled trip to a tall ships festival in Montreal Sept. 15-18 was nearly scuttled Thursday because of recent new pilotage regulations and fees on the Welland Canal and St. Lawrence Seaway.

Niagara Senior Capt. Walter Rybka said the ship is facing $20,000 in pilotage fees on its round trip to Montreal. Rybka said he and Flagship Niagara League officials learned Wednesday of the new fees, which were implemented in late July.

The Niagara was scheduled to leave Erie on Thursday at 1 p.m., but did not depart its berth behind the Erie Maritime Museum until Thursday evening. The Niagara set sail Thursday after Flagship Niagara League officials were able to negotiate with the Port Authority of Montreal a $10,000 increase in Niagara's festival appearance fee.

The Flagship Niagara League will receive $60,000 for Niagara's Montreal appearance, but the $20,000 pilotage fees remain in effect.

Rybka said under previous regulations governing the Welland Canal and St. Lawrence Seaway, the Niagara usually did not require a pilot and did not incur pilotage fees.

"We took it through ourselves,'' he said. "It used to be on the lower St. Lawrence when we used to do East Coast voyages, we did have to take a pilot from the entrance of the St. Lawrence River to Montreal. It was based on the length of the vessel -- any vessel over 125 feet -- and we qualified. We had to pay, and it cost $5,000 to $7,000 depending on how long the pilots were on board. But that was only every couple of years.''

Rybka said under the previous pilotage provisions, any ship less than 300 gross tons was not required to take on a pilot. "The Niagara measures 162 gross tons, but she is over 125 feet,'' Rybka said. "They changed the rule to have one unified rule for ships over 125 feet. The rules now apply to the upper (St. Lawrence Seaway) system as well as the lower system.''

Rybka said the Niagara's minimum builder's length -- its hull and anything permanently attached to it -- is 127 feet. The ship's length, including its bowsprit, measures 146 feet, he said.

"This would have been the first time we would have not gone to a scheduled appearance,'' Rybka said.

Erie Times-News


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

Menominee, Mich. – Dick Lund
The big tug Zeus made an unusual stop on Tuesday night when it arrived in Menominee to take two barges loaded with rock down to Chicago. The barges were brought to Menominee by the tug Buckley. For most of the summer, the Buckley and its fleet mate Donald C (ex-Donald C. Hannah), have been running back and forth from Menominee to Chicago with barges loaded with rock for a big marina project. After being held in port for a few days, and due to the fact that the tug Zeus was in the area and available, the bigger tug was summoned to Menominee. With rough seas predicted for Lake Michigan for the next week, the tug Zeus was deemed better equipped to handle the barges. After sitting at the dock Wednesday and Thursday, the tug and its two barges finally departed Menominee with the tug Buckley also departing. The tugs headed north up the bay of Green Bay to head through Death's Door at the tip of Wisconsin's Door County before entering Lake Michigan for their run down to Chicago.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Manistee was outbound from the Saginaw River Friday morning, after unloading at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. She was followed by the tug Tenacious, which was outbound for the lake a short time later. Inbound on Friday was the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber. The pair lightered at the Bay City Wirt Stone Dock, the continued upriver to finish at the Saginaw Wirt Stone Dock. The Moore - Kuber were outbound Friday night.

Cleveland, Ohio - Jake Kniola
Saturday the Sam Laud departed CBT for the steel mill up the Cuyahoga River.


Duluth port hits 1 millionth ton of wind turbines shipped

9/11 - Duluth, Minn. – Almost unnoticed, Duluth passed a milestone this summer — surpassing the 1 million-freight-ton mark of wind turbine components shipped through the port.

Officials with the Duluth Seaway Port Authority and Minnesota Power hold a media briefing Friday about the industry as the latest shipment of wind turbine components is unloaded at the Clure Public Marine Terminal. The BBC Jade arrived in Duluth early Thursday carrying nearly 4,000 freight tons of wind turbine components from Denmark bound for Minnesota Power’s Bison 1 Wind Energy Center in North Dakota.

The first shipments of components for Bison 1 moved through Duluth last year. Another shipment is expected in early November.

“We are especially pleased to be handling these two shipments for Minnesota Power, a company headquartered here in Duluth and committed to serving Minnesota,” said Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

Duluth handled the first shipments of turbine components in 2005. Since then, most of the components have been inbound from European suppliers for wind farm projects as far away as Montana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Ontario. But the port has also handled outbound components — turbine blades manufactured in North Dakota bound for Spain, Brazil and Chile.

Lake Superior Warehousing Co. Inc., which has operated the Port Authority’s Clure Public Marine Terminal since 1991, handles the loading and unloading of the components.

“We have an exceptional intermodal facility here in Duluth,” said Jonathan Lamb, Lake Superior Warehousing general manager. “We sit at the intersection of three major highway corridors and are served by four Class I railroads, so we can provide customers multiple options for direct transfer of project cargo from ship to truck or ship to rail.”

Duluth handled 34,080 freight tons of wind turbine components in 2005. The port’s peak year was 2007, when 305,265 freight tons passed through the port. So far this year, the port has received 84,469 freight tons.

The decline coincides with the growth of the domestic wind turbine manufacturing industry. Ojard expects shipments of wind turbine components through Duluth to remain fairly level as long as wind power is economically feasible.

“Because of our strategic location and the experience of our work force, the Port of Duluth remains a vital link in the global wind energy supply chain,” he said.

Duluth News Tribune


Coast Guard closes seasonal air facilities on Great Lakes

9/11 - Cleveland, Ohio - The Coast Guard's Great Lakes air stations closed their seasonal air facilities in Muskegon, Mich., and Waukegan, Ill., Tuesday following their annual assignment to support Coast Guard operations in southern Lake Michigan and the surrounding areas.

The air facilities are open during the traditional boating season, which runs from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend, to provide enhanced search and rescue services due to the high volume of summer boaters off Chicago, Milwaukee and other southern Lake Michigan areas.

Both air facilities were operational on May 27, 2011, in advance of Memorial Day. Air Facility Muskegon, which falls under the command of Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, is located at Muskegon County Airport, while Air Facility Waukegan, falling under Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., is located at Waukegan Regional Airport. Both air facilities are staffed by aircrews deployed from their parent air station and maintain two aircrews and one MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter to provide search and rescue services 24 hours a day during the summer months.

"Air Facility Waukegan is an integral part of our unit during the summer and enhances our ability to support the greater Chicago and Milwaukee areas," said Cmdr. Joe Buzzella, commanding officer of Air Station Traverse City. "Although the air facility has closed for the winter, the Air Station Traverse City crew stands ready to respond when needed throughout our area of responsibility — lakes Michigan, Superior and Huron."

"Air Facility Muskegon's seasonal closing may signify the end of peak boating and recreational activity on Lake Michigan, but it does not signify the end of the risks posed to those on the water," said Cmdr. Michael Platt, commanding officer of Air Station Detroit. "We look forward to supporting our Muskegon area of responsibility in 2012."


Exhibit explores mysteries of the Great Lakes

9/11 - Port Huron, Mich. – Visitors will be able to dive into Great Lakes lore at Port Huron Museum's latest exhibit. "Great Lakes: Mysteries of the Blue Water" opens Saturday. The exhibit begins with the formation of the Great Lakes, including the unique geology of the Blue Water Area compiled by geology students at St. Clair County Community College.

The journey will then continue over a boardwalk that will take people further into the exhibit. Along the way, local wildlife such as raccoons, coyotes, foxes, a bobcat and several ducks will sneak peeks out from the bushes.

Custom-built aquariums filled with local fish caught from the St. Clair River fill one room, the largest holding 600 gallons of water and a slew of fish. In addition to bluegill, walleye and crappy, live turtles, frogs and snakes also will be on display.

Children and others will be able to get a hands-on experience of being a scuba dive through several displays. Featured will be a robotic arm that guests can use to try and manipulate objects in a sandbox.

Underwater video of the St. Clair River will be on display throughout the exhibit.

Thanks to a three-dimensional flat screen television donated by Best Buy in Fort Gratiot, people will be able to take a trip down the St. Clair River. After donning special pairs of glasses, the video footage taken from a pilot boat pops to life.

The exhibit ends with presentations by the St. Clair County Drain Commission and the Health Department asking visitors to commit to keep the Great Lakes clean and healthy.

Port Huron Time Herald


Updates -  September 11

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new pictures in the Leecliffe Hall gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 11

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

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Lee A. Tregurtha arrived Friday afternoon at the Upper Harbor to load ore.

Holland, Mich. -  Robert VandeVusse
Friday the Niagara Prince and the Manitowoc were both in Holland. Niagara Prince arrived in the morning and tied up for the day at the Boatwerks Restaurant dock. The Manitowoc arrived at the Verplank dock at about 3 p.m. to deliver stone. Both departed shortly after 7 p.m. heading south west across the lake.


Ports of Indiana ships steel to Macedonia

9/10 - Portage, Ind. – Indiana-made steel is headed from the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor to the Republic of Macedonia. The shipment – made up of 18,000 metric tons of hot-rolled steel coils – was produced at ArcelorMittal's Burns Harbor facility. The steel will ship to Thessaloniki, Greece, where it will be unloaded and transported to ArcelorMittal Skopje, a steel finishing facility in Macedonia's capital city.

"We are pleased to be exporting nearly 18,000 metric tons of steel – our most significant export from the U.S. in three years – from the Port of Indiana," said Ramana Venkat, managing director of ArcelorMittal International. "Opportunities to export steel from ArcelorMittal USA facilities can be very attractive when market conditions allow. Export projects always bring excitement to the teams involved and demonstrate the global competitiveness of our Northwest Indiana steel facilities."

Federal Marine Terminals, the port's general cargo stevedore, started loading the steel onto the Pacific Huron Thursday and expects the process to take two to three days. The vessel, built especially for carrying cargo between Europe and the Great Lakes, is making its fourth voyage into the Great Lakes. The trip is expected to take 23 days, with stops for fuel in Montreal and Gibraltar, arriving in Thessaloniki on Oct. 1.

This is the first substantial steel export from the port since 2008. Year-to-date steel shipments through the port are up 40 percent over last year, with 2011 on target for having the highest steel shipments since 2007. Through August, the port has handled 25 percent more cargo than 2010, including a variety of project cargoes such as wind equipment and heavy machinery.

The Journal Gazette


Wind Cargo heading West – from Denmark to North Dakota – via Port of Duluth

9/10 - Duluth, Minn. - The BBC Jade arrived in the Port of Duluth early Thursday morning, to begin discharging nearly 4,000 freight tons of wind turbine components destined for Minnesota Power’s Bison 1 Wind Energy Center in North Dakota. On board the ship are 15 direct drive nacelles, 15 power units and nearly 30 containers that are integral components for Phase B of the 82-megawatt Bison 1 project currently under construction near New Salem, N.D.

The wind turbine components (which left the Port of Aarhus, Denmark, two weeks ago), plus hubs for each unit scheduled to arrive on a second ship in early November, will be securely stored at the Duluth Seaway Port Authority’s Clure Public Marine Terminal until needed at the project site. Specialized trucks will be dispatched throughout the fall to transport the heavy equipment to North Dakota. Initial shipments of wind components for this same project moved through the Duluth port in August 2010. Wind turbine blades for Bison 1 were fabricated in a Siemens Energy facility in Fort Madison, Iowa, and trucked to the construction site. Towers for the wind turbines were built in West Fargo, N.D.

“Earlier this summer, the Port of Duluth passed the one million mark in number of freight tons of wind components handled to date,” noted Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “We are especially pleased to be handling these two shipments for Minnesota Power, a company headquartered here in Duluth and committed to serving Minnesota.”

“Through the years, we’ve developed long-standing relationships with manufacturers and suppliers in Europe and North America,” added Ojard. “And our terminal operator – Lake Superior Warehousing Company – has earned a stellar reputation for handling dimensional cargoes; we were just ranked the top port in North America for overall service by the Railway Industrial Clearance Association (RICA).”

"As one of the world's largest wind turbine providers, efficient transportation is critical to our operations," said Sally Chope, transportation & logistics manager for Siemens Energy's wind power business. "The Port of Duluth offers us convenience, easy clearance for our shipments and Lake Superior Warehousing provides excellent handling of our cargo. As the supplier of the wind turbines, we are delighted to see the continuing expansion at Minnesota Power's Bison project, providing clean energy to their customers throughout the region."

To date, Minnesota Power has installed 16 wind turbines at the Bison 1 site. Earlier this year, the company announced the expansion of its wind development efforts with two additional wind projects, totaling 210 megawatts and 70 turbines. Bison 2 and 3 are scheduled to go online in 2012. This investment of more than $300 million will help move the company closer to meeting Minnesota’s 25 percent Renewable Energy Standard by 2025 in a timely and cost effective manner. The company already owns a 465-mile high voltage transmission line that is being used to move renewable energy eastward to its Arrowhead Substation near Duluth.

Most wind turbine components shipped through the Port of Duluth since 2005 have been inbound from suppliers in Germany, Denmark and Spain for delivery to major projects in the Upper Midwest. The Port has also served wind farm projects as far away as Montana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Ontario, plus handled outbound shipments of blades manufactured in North Dakota to Spain, Brazil and Chile.


Historic tall ship sails into Hamilton Saturday

9/10 - Hamilton, Ont. – Hamilton’s waterfront will welcome a little bit of history this Saturday when a reproduction of an 1812-era topsail schooner sails into the city as part of its Great Lakes tour.

The Pride of Baltimore II will arrive in Hamilton’s harbour under full sail, weather permitting, on Saturday at 1 p.m. as it promotes Star-Spangled 200, the celebration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 in Maryland. The 157-foot schooner will be escorted by vessels from the Hamilton Port Authority when it makes its grand entrance and will offer free public tours once it docks for the weekend.

The Pride will welcome visitors on Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Baltimore-built topsail schooner will be docked near the Discovery Centre at Pier 8. Information booths will be set up outlining the history of the War of 1812 in Hamilton and surrounding areas.

The Hammer City Roller Girls will stage an all-pirate, no-holds-barred clash to celebrate the ship’s visit. The derby will take place Sunday, 2 p.m. at the waterfront skate pad, weather permitting. Admission is pay what you can. Non-perishable food items will also be collected.

Hamilton Spectator


Toledo to host Great Lakes history buffs

9/10 - Toledo, Ohio – As executive director of the Great Lakes Historical Society, Chris Gillcrist knows how important the five inland lakes are in American history -- but he has long believed that the lakes have yet to garner the respect they deserve.

This weekend, researchers, archivists, and enthusiasts in general will come to Toledo, where the Great Lakes -- and in particular, their maritime history -- will be the focus of a three-day event.

The Association for Great Lakes Maritime History is holding its 27th annual conference in Toledo. Hosted by the Great Lakes Historical Society, the conference will be a mix of official business for the association and programs and events open to the public.

"We're trying to elevate Great Lakes history. We're trying to say that Great Lakes history is a critical part of the history of the U.S.," Mr. Gillcrist said. "We're hoping that people who like watching the History Channel and like watching documentaries will come. They'll get an interesting variety of topics on Great Lakes history."

Held each year in a different community around the Great Lakes region, the annual conference is a chance for maritime historical organizations to meet and talk. Although designed for the 75 institutional members and 200 individual members, the annual conference usually offers topics focused on the host community that would be of interest to the general public, Mr. Gillcrist said.

Saturday, in particular, the conference will offer a day of programs open to the public at the Toledo Maritime Center, 1701 Front St. Included in the issues highlighted will be the history of "Dart Boats" on the Maumee River and watercrafts used in war, commerce, and for pleasure.

Mr. Gillcrist said that Toledo was chosen as the host city this year to highlight the rechristening of the S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker, formerly the S.S. Willis B. Boyer, and the pending creation of the National Great Lakes Museum at the Toledo Maritime Center. The museum is scheduled to open in the spring of 2013.

Laura Jacobs, an archivist at the University of Wisconsin at Superior and president of the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History, said that the group attracts an international membership. She said next year, the annual conference will be held in Ontario.

"Toledo has a very significant history on the Great Lakes," Ms. Jacobs said, noting that the Toledo port was once a major player on the lakes. "We really encourage people if they have any interest at all to come on down and listen to the speakers. Most of them are really quite interesting."

The registration and welcome for Saturday's events start at 8:30 a.m. with a variety of history programs staring at 9:15 a.m. An afternoon session of history programs begins at 1 p.m. and a roundtable, "Using primary documents for shipwreck site discovery," is to begin at 2:45 p.m.

Paul LaMarre III, manager of maritime affairs for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, said that while educators and historians usually fill the seats at the conference, "anyone who has an interest in Great Lakes history" would enjoy the programs.

"For folks who do have that interest, there's no other event with these type of individuals speaking all at one time," he said.

Those interested in Saturday's program can attend for $15 or the sessions are free to members of the Great Lakes Historical Society. Society memberships will also be available for purchase. Registration is not required but encouraged by calling 440-967-3467, ext. 1.

Toledo Blade


Updates -  September 10

News Photo Gallery


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.


Port Reports -  September 9

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports boatwatchers were treated to the sight of the pellet-laden John G. Munson departing Wednesday afternoon as Herbert C. Jackson approached the Duluth ship canal. On Thursday morning, the Jackson was loading under four spouts at the CHS grain terminal in Superior. Elsewhere, American Century was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal and BBC Jade was unloading wind turbine parts at the Duluth port terminal.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Wednesday saw the arrival of Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber, which called on the Bay Aggregates dock early in the morning. The pair were outbound later that evening. On Thursday, Manistee called on the Bay Aggregates dock during the afternoon. She was still there late in the evening and was expected to be outbound early Friday morning.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Blacky departed Toronto on Wednesday evening. Canadian Provider has entered the history books as her name has been changed to Algoma Provider and the Algoma Central logo has been placed on her smokestack.


Lake Superior public input session today in Grand Marais, Minn.

9/9 - The Lake Superior Binational Forum is holding a public input session this afternoon in Grand Marais, Minn. The event will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.

The Lake Superior Binational Forum is a group of volunteers from Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario that work together to provide input to governments about Lake Superior issues and educate residents in the Lake Superior basin about ways to protect and restore the lake. The forum, funded by a U.S. EPA grant, is headquartered in the U.S. at Northland College's Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute. The Canadian office is at EcoSuperior in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and is funded by Environment Canada.

This year is the 20th anniversary of the Lake Superior Binational Program.

Friday's agenda in Grand Marais includes a welcome from the binational forum co-chairs Bruce Lindgren and Glen Dale, a welcome from Grand Marais Mayor Larry Carlson, and a blessing ceremony by Billy Blackwell of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. At approximately 3:30 p.m. there will be an opportunity for dialogue and questions with the day's speakers, as well as for open public comments.

For more information visit or call 888-301-lake. You may also visit the forum's Facebook page at


Updates -  September 9

Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - Leecliffe Hall (2) gallery updated and expanded with a new gallery featuring the Leecliffe Hall (1)


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.


CSL doubles new vessel order to four

9/8 - Montreal, Que. – Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) announced Wednesday it is exercising its option for the building of two new self-unloading vessels, bringing to four the number of ships on order in its major fleet-renewal program.

The Montreal-based Great Lakes-Seaway carrier has two self-unloading Lakers currently under construction at Chengxi Shipyard in Jiangyin, China, scheduled for delivery in the fall of 2012. The newly announced vessels will enter service in the spring of 2013.

CSL has also indicated that it has options for four additional vessels for delivery during the 2013 shipping season.

"This is a major investment in our company, in our customers and in Canada," said Tom Brodeur, Vice-President of Marketing at CSL. "These ships will introduce a new level of operational efficiency and environmental performance to the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Waterway, while providing jobs for Canadian seafarers for the next 25 to 30 years."

The 35,500-DWT self-unloaders will measure a Seaway maximum 225.6 by 23.8 metres, feature custom hull design for increased cargo lift, EPA Tier II compliant main engines, automated cargo-handling equipment and the latest environmental and safety systems.

CSL sister company CSL International (CSLI) also has three Panamax vessels on order at Chengxi. All ships will share similar design and technology, and collectively be known as Trillium Class vessels.


Ore shipments decrease in August but up compared to last year

9/8 - Cleveland, Ohio – Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 6,551,329 tons in August, a decrease of 7 percent from July, but an increase of 9 percent compared to a year ago. August loadings also were up 24.6 percent compared to the month’s 5-year average.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 5.8 million tons, an increase of 14.2 percent compared to a year ago. However, loadings at Canadian ports dipped more than 20 percent.

Through August the iron ore trade stands at 36.7 million tons, an increase of 9.1 percent compared to a year ago, and 9.4 percent better than the 5-year average for the January-August timeframe.

Shipments from U.S. ports are up 10 percent compared to a year ago and 14.3 percent ahead of their 5-year average. Loadings at Canadian ports are 1.6 percent ahead of last year’s pace, but 14.6 percent below the 5-year average for the first eight months of the year.


Salt moves from Sifto Salt

9/8 - The Algomarine made a surprise visit to port Wednesday afternoon and was taking on a load of salt using a portable loading conveyor system that Sifto had put in place over the last several days.

"This is an exciting day," former mine manager and Director of Corporate Engineering and Canada Country Executive Rowland Howe said from the north pier Wednesday as the Algomarine was taking on a load of 27,000 tons.

"The tornado was just a couple of weeks ago and today were are loading ships. We have a fantastic team that worked diligently to get this done. We are employing a temporary telescoping conveyor but we will be replacing our ship loader as soon as possible.

"To start loading boats is a huge relief. We were actually involved in hoisting this week and bringing some salt to the surface."

Some production employees were called back to help with the loading of the lake freighter. Howe anticipated that freighters would be in port regularly to load with salt now that the temporary conveyor loading system was in place and operational. Storage space was at a premium, he said, after the tornado damaged couple of storage domes on site.

The salt mine was severely damaged in the F3 tornado that struck Goderich Aug. 21. The mine employs about 458 people.

Goderich Signal Star


Port Reports -  September 8

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Paul R. Tregurtha arrived Wednesday morning at the Upper Harbor to unload Western coal into the hopper. The approach span to the ore dock is presently being repainted.

Grand Haven, Mich. Dick Fox
St. Marys Challenger came in about 7:30 Tuesday evening after partially unloading in Milwaukee. She was seen backing out about 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Stephen B. Roman reversed out of her berth at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and then headed for the Eastern gap. The Upper Lakes crest on the smoke stack of Canadian Provider has been painted over, possibly making way for an Algoma Central logo. The saltie Blacky was still being unloaded at Redpath.


Search for 200-year-old cannon in Detroit River called off Wednesday

9/8 - Detroit, Mich. - Strong currents and poor visibility hampered efforts Wednesday to raise a cannon believed to be more than two centuries old from the bottom of the Detroit River. Divers found the cannon earlier this summer.

The U.S. Coast Guard had been assisting in the recovery efforts. Police said the cannon was discovered during a July training session. It's the fifth cannon found in the area in three decades.

The Detroit Historical Society hopes to restore and preserve the cannon, which is more than six feet long and likely weighs about 1,200 pounds. Three other cannons were recovered in the 1980s. A fourth was recovered by the department's dive team in 1994. Those are believed to be British and French.

Detroit Free Press


Updates -  September 8

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new pictures in the Leecliffe Hall, Viking, and W E Fitzgerald galleries


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.


Canadian Miner overseas scrap tow to leave next week

9/7 - The tug Hellas is due to arrive at Montreal on Sept. 10. She will dock alongside Canadian Miner. Both ships have the same agent, Protos Shipping Ltd. The departure is set for 6 a.m. Sept. 12 for Turkey, where the Miner will be cut up.

Ron Beaupre


Port Reports -  September 7

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Cuyahoga, paying a rare visit, delivered a load of stone at sunset Monday evening for Meekhof's D & M dock on Harbor Island in Grand Haven. The St. Marys Challenger was due Tuesday night at the St. Mary's Cement terminal in Ferrysburg.

Toronto, Ont. - Dave Robinson
It was a busy weekend, with lots of visiting vessels in port. The saltie Blacky was in the Redpath slip unloading all weekend while the Frigate HMCS Montreal and the Coastal Defense Vessels HMCS Shawinigan and HMCS Summerside were tied up and receiving visitors near Sugar Beach. The cruise ship Columbus was in at the Cruise Terminal on Sunday, and Sunday evening the Stephen B. Roman slipped quietly into one of the cement docks.


Lake Superior drops in August

9/7 - Lake Superior dropped an inch during August, a month it usually holds steady, the International Lake Superior Board of Control reports. The big lake now sits 11 inches below its long-term average for Sept. 1 but is about 2 inches higher than the level at this time last year.

While Duluth had above-average precipitation in August, most of the Lake Superior region had less rainfall than usual.

The levels of Lakes Michigan and Huron fell 3 inches in August when they usually drop 2 inches. The lakes now sit 14 inches below their long-term average and an inch below their level one year ago. The Great Lakes in September begin a seasonal decline in water levels through April.

Duluth News Tribune


Business – and hiring – on the upswing at Marinette Marine

9/7 - Marinette, Wis. - It took a bit of effort to find a parking spot at Marinette Marine Corp. on a weekday morning late last month.

The search for a spot comes during an increase in work at the Marinette shipbuilder following the award of a contract at the end of 2010 that could see the facility producing as many as 10 of the U.S Navy's new littoral combat ships in the coming years.

Leadership at Marinette Marine say the main focus of the business is on the LCS program in the next three to five years with an eye on landing additional LCS contracts when the program comes up for competitive bidding again in 2014.

Chuck Goddard, who took over as president, CEO and general manager of the company in June, said Marinette Marine is focused on shifting construction of the ships to a streamlined manufacturing process — much like the company did a decade ago with a class of buoy tenders for the U.S. Coast Guard as well as the Navy's Lighterage System, a floating pier system.

"The future here is clearly LCS with the award of the block-buy contract," he said. "We've got the first two ships under contract and options for the remaining eight. So it's really focusing the yard on the serial manufacture of those ships."

For the past several years Marinette Marine has filled its workload with one-off vessels like the fisheries vessel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and an Alaskan regional research vessel.

"We brought in that work to retain as much of the work force we could getting ready for LCS," Goddard said. "The real future here are those 10 (LCS) ships and making sure we perform on those."

Late last year Congress approved a Navy plan to buy 10 littoral combat ships from Lockheed Martin — those ships are built at Marinette — and 10 from Austal USA, which are being built in Mobile, Ala. The dual-buy option cropped up late in 2010 after months of positioning by the contractors in anticipation of the Navy selecting only one design in what was described by some as a winner-take-all competition.

Marinette Marine is one of three companies involved in the Lockheed Martin program. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor while Gibbs & Cox is providing vessel design and Marinette is building the ships.

All three companies have worked closely together to improve ship design and performance, as well as production efficiencies, after the delivery of the first-in-class USS Freedom in 2008.

"We ended up building (LCS) 3 differently with a lot of good lessons learned from (LCS) 1," said Joe North, vice president of littoral combat ship and systems programs for Lockheed Martin. "We're on cost and on schedule with (LCS) 3 and we're going to go right into (LCS) 5 with (LCS) 7 right behind it.

"It keeps all the production lines moving," he said.

Goddard, a Connecticut native with 30 years of Navy service working with ship design and acquisition, moved to Menominee, Mich., this summer. His previous job was with Lockheed Martin. "It's a passion I've always had," the U.S. Naval Academy graduate said.

Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations for the U.S. Navy, visited Marinette Marine last week and mentioned the need for the LCS class of ships several times.

"We need LCS and we need them on time, on cost and we need to get them out to the regions that are important to us," he told reporters during the stop.

Marinette Marine has about 1,100 employees, having recalled all employees on layoff this summer. The company expects to reach an employment level around 2,200 workers as the LCS program ramps up. "We're hiring at 35 to 50 people a month now," Goddard said.

Marinette Marine is working with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to train workers for the shipbuilding industry both at the main campus in Green Bay and in Marinette.

While the parking situation reflects some of the employment changes at Marinette Marine — the employee count is expected to peak in the next 18 to 24 months — it's one of the topics Goddard and others are looking at as they move Marinette Marine forward — from staggering shifts slightly to building a parking ramp.

"One of the big things when we went out and talked to the work force is parking, so we're looking at some solutions there," Goddard said.

Marinette Marine is owned by Italian shipbuilder Fincanteri which is also the parent company of Bay Shipbuilding Co. in Sturgeon Bay and ACE Marine in Green Bay.

The company has committed about $74.5 million in upgrades to the Marinette yard, including the expansion of an assembly building and the construction of new production buildings with the goal of streamlining LCS construction.

"To see what is going into the yard, the new production schemes being out into place that will allow the ships to be built faster and at less cost … I've been very pleased with what I've seen," Roughead said. "I'm an impatient man. Faster is always better, but I think with the changes that have taken place … and the ideas coming in from the Navy, the shipyard and the workers here will pay great dividends."

Goddard said Marinette Marine has submitted a proposal to the U.S. Navy to build 72 of the proposed Ship-to-Shore Connector, a vessel designed to move equipment from Navy ships to a beachhead. Production of those vessels would be located in Green Bay, he said.

Marinette Marine expects to hear about that contract by late this year or early in 2012, Goddard said.

The yard is also looking at additional Coast Guard and Navy projects, but the focus remains on producing the LCS within cost and on schedule.

"Our future is performance," North said. "We have to continue to perform and we believe we'll be exactly where we want to be."

Green Bay Press Gazette


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 16 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

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Three vessels arrived to load ore at the Upper Harbor on Labor Day including Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder, Great Republic, and Robert S. Pierson.

Green Bay - Matt Ludvigson
Alpena arrived at Green Bay on a cool and windy Labor Day with a load of cement for Lafarge.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity arrived in port Monday afternoon to load cement. Also at Lafarge on Monday unloading coal were the barge McKee Sons and tug Invincible.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The Rebecca Lynn departed Buffalo with the barge A-397 in ballast for the Rouge River in Detroit at 8:15 a.m. Monday morning.

Oswego, N.Y. - Ned Goebricher
Tug Evans McKeil and barge Metis were unloading cement in Oswego harbor on Monday.

Seaway - Fritz Hager
The cruise ship C.Columbus passed up bound through the 1,000 Islands on Sunday bound for Toronto with 370-plus passengers. From there she is to make two trips through the Lakes over the next 4 weeks: Toronto to Chicago via Thunder Bay and Duluth, and Chicago to Toronto in reverse.


Federal dredging funds in limbo

9/6 - St. Joseph, Mich. - Dredging work has been completed in the outer section of the St. Joseph River harbor, officials said, and the entire harbor has adequate depth for commercial shipping. But the lack of an appropriation to maintain the harbor and others on the Great Lakes in the 2012 federal budget could have a severe impact on future operations.

The outer harbor dredging was completed by July 30. About 55,000 cubic yards of sediment was removed and used to replenish area beaches. Because the harbor receives commercial shipping at three docks, the federal government historically has provided maintenance funding to the Army Corps of Engineers. That could change next year.

The proposed federal budget provides money for larger Great Lakes harbors and those used to bring in coal for power plants. But the Twin Cities harbor and many other smaller harbors are not on the funding list. The St. Joseph River Harbor Authority was told last Thursday that the zero funding status has not changed in the past month.

Past funding allocations usually provide funding to dredge the outer portion of the harbor, the section from the Blossomland Bridge downstream to beyond the twin piers in Lake Michigan.

Funding was rarely available to maintain the inner harbor, which serves two of the three commercial docks. When shallow water threatened shipping, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, has been able to line up money for dredging and keep the harbor open. But earmarks are no longer allowed, leaving Congress with no formal process to direct funding for specific purposes not included in the budget.

Shipping companies, harbors and other maritime interests have protested the federal government's unwillingness to use tax dollars collected specifically for harbor maintenance to ensure that the nation's waterways are navigable.

A tax on every ton of material brought into harbors around the country is levied and the money goes into a Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. The tax generates about $1.6 billion a year but the government appropriates only about half of the total for dredging and other maintenance.

According to the Lake Carriers Association, a trade group based in Cleveland that represents ship operators in the Great Lakes area, about half of the amount of the annual tax revenue is spent for its intended purpose. As of July 31, the fund had amassed a $6.2 billion surplus, most of it held as federal securities - in effect IOUs issued to enable the government to use the money for other purposes.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., introduced legislation early this year that would require money deposited in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to be used for that purpose. Companion bills would block use of the funds for other purposes.

Upton has said he backs legislation that would add a waterways component to Congress' regular reauthorization of spending for highways.

The docks on the St. Joseph River harbor receive and store bulk commodities such as stone, cement, aggregate and sand used in construction, and salt used for ice control on roads.

Herald Palladium


Hydroelectric prototype test delayed a year

9/6 - Port Huron, Mich. - Testing of Vortex Hydro Energy's hydroelectric converter prototype in the St. Clair River will be delayed until next year.

A second round of tests was expected to be conducted in the river this summer after researchers completed modifications to the original prototype, which was tested in the river just offshore of the Dunn Paper Plant in Aug. 2010.

Additional modifications needed to be done to the prototype before subjecting it to the river currents, said Gus Simiao, chief executive officer at Vortex Hydro Energy.

"We've gone for a more technical, sophisticated system," Simiao said.

To harness energy, the VIVACE -- or Vortex Induced Vibrations for Aquatic Clean Energy -- converter sits at the bottom of a body of water and mimics the swimming strategy of a school of fish.

The expense of testing in the river and the risk involved with losing vital parts downstream is too high until engineers feel the prototype is ready, Simiao said.

"When we're in the river, we're at the mercy of the elements," Simiao said.

For now, engineers are testing the five-ton prototype in labs at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. A week of testing often results in a month of data analysis, Simiao said.

The main alterations are taking place in the power transfer box that houses the generator, Simiao said. Developing an efficient electronics system for the prototype currently is the focus of the team's efforts.

At 10 feet wide, 11 feet tall and 14 feet long, the five-ton prototype is one-third of the final operating size.

"We're going through the development process to demonstrate it works well and consistently, and at some point it will bring in capital," Simiao said.

Once the prototype is out of the development stages, Simiao said the company hopes to build partnerships in order to begin production of the converter for commercial use.

Vortex Hydro Energy is a spinoff of the University of Michigan's Engineering Department and has exclusive rights to the VIVACE technology. The converter was invented in 2004 by Michael Bernitsas, a professor in the school's Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.

Port Huron Times Herald


Updates -  September 6

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - Leecliffe Hall feature updated


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 6

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 a August 29 storm that struck Lake Erie. 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.


Port Reports -  September 5

St. Marys River
Great Republic and Robert S. Pierson spent Saturday evening at anchor in the shelter of Whitefish Point due to winds.

Green Bay, Wis. - Matt Ludvigson
Lewis J Kuber arrived with a load of limestone and departed Green Bay on Sunday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Mary E. Hannah and her tank barge called on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City on Saturday to unload. She was followed by the tug Dorothy Ann, and the barge Pathfinder, which also called on the same slip, but unloaded at the Bay Aggregates dock early Sunday morning. The latter were outbound later in the morning, while the Mary E. Hannah and her barge remained at the dock late Sunday night.


Port of Green Bay security stays current

9/5 - Green Bay, Wis. – A decade after the 9/11 attacks, St. Marys Cement Co. continues to do business in the Port of Green Bay much like it did on Sept. 10, 2001 — albeit with additional layers of security built into the facility along the Fox River in Green Bay.

"Normal day-to-day operations aren't really affected, it's just when the boats come in," said Mike Vizer who manages the terminal and oversees security planning at other St. Marys terminals in the Great Lakes, including Manitowoc.

"Now the entire facility is fenced in, we did incur some cost installing fences," he said. "And you can't really put a value on it, but it changed the way we do business in terms of checking IDs from the drivers, escorting personnel according to our procedures. It's been a slight hassle, but in the big scheme of things, it's not an issue at all."

Like many facets of American life after Sept. 11, 2001, business and security at the Port of Green Bay and surrounding ports changed. Terminal operators were mandated to develop security plans that included capital investments in fences, cameras and security staff. Shipping companies also developed security plans for vessels and crew.

For public safety agencies, post-9/11 existence has seen an influx of millions of dollars in funding for training exercises and new equipment — including boats and gear for dive teams.

Through 2010, agencies with jurisdiction in the Port of Green Bay — such as the Green Bay Police and Fire departments and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources — had secured $3.1 million in grant money for port security, according to Brown County Emergency Management.

Nationwide, billions of dollars have been allocated to port security since the terrorist attacks. "9/11 changed the whole way ports operate," said Dean Haen, manager of the Port of Green Bay. "We had to start looking at ourselves, identifying our risks, our threats and start addressing those."

That meant working with agencies like the U.S. Coast Guard to identify potential targets — including areas away from the water, such as road and bridges to power plants — and formulate a security plan.

"Then you had to have facility security plans and you had to implement specific security requirements at each port facility," Haen said. "The Coast Guard allowed companies to build their own security plan to address their own needs. Someone could have said, 'We need to have 20-foot high concrete walls,' and somebody else with an identical facility could have said, 'We're going to put up fencing' and somebody else could have said, 'We're going to put up cameras,' so there was flexibility in how you were going to meet that."

In the wake of the attacks, Haen said the federal government used a "broad brush" in implementing new security standards. Meaning, the Port of Green Bay is subject to the same regulations as major ports like New York, Houston, Texas, and Long Beach, Calif.

"Every port business has had to incur costs," Haen said. "This has been an additional cost of doing business by the water." For St. Marys, that meant spending about $7,500 in fencing and signs at its Green Bay terminal and drafting procedures for keeping track of people on the property, especially when a vessel is moored at the terminal.

"The only issues we had have been the bureaucratic red tape of changing our procedures to jive with Coast Guard requirements," said Vizer, one of two employees at the terminal. The Coast Guard "has worked with us to a degree."

There are 14 terminal operators in the Port of Green Bay.

"Initially, everything was hardcore," Haen said about the aftermath of 9/11. "Now there's more reasonableness built into decisions, but you still have the facility security requirements to meet."

Grants helped cover 75 to 100 percent of the additional security costs for terminal operators that sought grant money as well as a camera surveillance system for the port that is also used by the Green Bay Police Department, he said. Grants have also funded large-scare training exercises, such as terrorists or a fire on a ship.

Vizer said St. Marys is attempting to decertify from the Coast Guard security program because there have been no credible terrorist threats against cement boats or aggregate facilities. But the company needs to obtain a list of waivers before that would happen.

Shedding government oversight wouldn't change the security procedures already in place, he said.

"Even if we do get the waiver, we're still going to keep the fences up, and we're still going to do our security checks," Vizer said. "It's not like we're going to totally abandon security protocols."

The Coast Guard performs spot checks on the terminal several times a year.

Through the end of fiscal year 2011, about $2.73 billion will have been allocated nationwide to port security since December 2001, according to the American Association of Port Authorities.

Some years there is a 25 percent local cost share and some years there isn't, said Aaron Ellis, director of communications with the association.

"There are some things it doesn't pay for, and the biggest expense ports have are in personnel costs for managing and operating their security systems," he said. "That is the biggest ongoing cost they have, and ports have to pay for that all themselves."

For ships operating on the Great Lakes, 9/11 meant new guidelines based on some of the security measures last used during World War II."We put together a security plan for our vessels that is more than 200 pages long," said Glen Nekvasil, vice president of corporate communications with the Ohio-based Lake Carriers' Association.

"I wouldn't say there has been a dramatic change in the day-to-day life and operation of our vessels, but after 9/11 — even before the government came up with these new security regulations — we put out additional security measures for our members, and we based them on what we did during World War II."

Nekvasil said the cost of post-9/11 regulations can be largely measured in additional administrative time and tasks. Both ports and ships have designated security officers under federal mandates.

"Have we had to add major equipment or anything? No," he said. "There are more forms to be filled out and people have to sign in and those sort of things." Nekvasil said the industry anticipates the Coast Guard will propose changes to security regulations next year.

"From what we are hearing from the Coast Guard it is not going to be, 'Go back to square one,' so there's not going to be a massive rewrite, but there will be some general updating next year," he said.

Vessels operating on the Great Lakes have their own security plans that mesh with the facility security plans when in port, with security clearance needed for individuals to get on or off ships.

That's where the Transportation Worker Identification Card comes into play. Maritime workers were issued the cards — which included biometric information like fingerprints — but the readers for the cards have not yet been deployed.

Haen said the port received grant money for each of the terminal operators for the cards, and it applied for grants for the readers. The Transportation Worker Identification Card reader pilot program recently concluded, the Transportation Security Administration said in a statement this week.

"Information gathered from the pilot is being provided to the Coast Guard who will develop the card reader final rule," the agency said. "The rule will set guidelines on card reader policy to access secure areas of ships, ports and maritime facilities."

Law enforcement agencies around the area have also been heavily involved in port security and on the receiving end of gear designed for both terrorist events and normal operations.

Late last month, additional grants were announced for the Green Bay Police Department ($1.4 million), Marinette County Emergency Management ($120,201), Marinette Fuel & Dock Co. ($71,092) and Marinette Marine Corp. ($852,348), according to the American Association of Port Authorities.

Sturgeon Bay has an active waterfront with Bay Shipbuilding Co. the centerpiece of the maritime industry. The facility is one of a handful on the Great Lakes specializing in the repair of enormous Great Lakes freighters. The city is also home to yacht builder Palmer Johnson, a bustling recreational boating industry and a number of other maritime-related industries.

The police department has been awarded a number of grants to purchase equipment — some of which is shared with the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department and other regional agencies — that can be used for both homeland security operations and more routine law enforcement duties.

A 27-foot boat used for police, fire rescue and as a dive team boat; a sectional sonar unit; and night vision equipment for tactical teams are among the capital items the department has purchased with the help of federal grants, Sturgeon Bay Police Chief Arleigh Porter said late last month shortly before heading out onto the water to train with the sonar system.

"Anytime we receive funding … we try to purchase equipment that doesn't sit on shelves," he said. "We want it to be used so that when we do need it, we know how to operate it because some of this equipment is pretty sophisticated and should an event happen we're going to able to respond to it more effectively than we were 10 years ago.

"We have the equipment and training we would have never, ever would have been able to purchase through traditional budget mechanisms."

A $280,000 wireless video camera system to monitor critical infrastructure is pending, he said. It's part of the same $649,000 grant that paid for much of the department's new and upgraded gear, including the 27-foot boat.

Porter pointed out the grants are competitive and reviewed on merit before the funding is allocated.

Maritime security over the last 10 years "has changed. A lot," he said. "What's the future hold? Nobody knows the answer to that, but I think this country — in your lifetime and mine — will see another terrorist event of significant magnitude.

"I think it's inevitable."

Green Bay Press Gazette


Updates -  September 5

Weekly Website Updates


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.


Port Reports -  September 4

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Former River-Class fleet mates Robert S. Pierson and American Courage loaded ore Saturday morning at the Upper Harbor. Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived to load ore after Pierson's departure.

St. Marys River
Traffic Saturday was mostly downbound. Passages included Great Lakes Trader, Stewart J. Cort, Sam Laud, Isle Royale Queen III, Algoma Discovery (assisted by the tugs Florida and Missouri due to mechanical issues), Algoma Guardian, Capt. Henry Jackman and Roger Blough. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was up in the morning and the Edwin H. Gott passed unbound in the evening. The tugs Missouri and Florida returned to their Soo berth after dropping the Algoma Discovery at DeTour.

Alpena, Mich.
The steamer Alpena was due to arrive at her namesake port to load a cargo of cement during the evening hours of September 3. Her Lafarge Cement fleetmate the tug G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity were unloading a cargo of cement in Waukegan, Ill., on September 3 and was expected to depart during the late evening hours. She is due to arrive back in Alpena to load cement at about Noon on Labor Day.

Port Inland and Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
At Port Inland loading at the stone dock on Saturday was the Lewis J. Kuber. The tug Gregory J. Busch and barge were also due to load at the dock on Saturday following the departure of the Kuber. The next boat due in to load stone at Port Inland is the H. Lee White on Sunday. In Stoneport, American Mariner was due to arrive Saturday evening to load. Due next to load will be the Kaye E. Barker on Sunday, McKee Sons on Monday, Lewis J. Kuber on Tuesday, with the McKee Sons returning on September 7. The Cason J. Callaway rounds out the Stoneport dock lineup on September 8.

Calcite and Cedarville, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Vessels that are due to load in Calcite in the coming days ahead are the following: John G. Munson and James L. Kuber on Sunday for the South Dock, Lewis J. Kuber on Labor Day, Monday for the North Dock and the American Courage on Tuesday for the North Dock. At Cedarville vessels due to load are the Calumet on Sunday, Wilfred Sykes and the Joseph H. Thompson both due on Labor Day.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
Vessels that are due to load at the CSX Coal Dock in the next few days are Herbert C. Jackson and John J. Boland both on Sunday and Catherine Desgagnes on Tuesday. At the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock the Algomarine is due to arrive on Labor Day, while fleetmate Peter R. Cresswell is due to arrive on September 9. Over at the Torco Ore Dock, American Courage is due to arrive Labor Day, while the CSL Niagara is due in on Tuesday with her sistership and fleetmate Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arriving on September 7. Rounding out the Torco Dock lineup is the Great Republic also due on September 7.


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

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The Luedtke tugs Krista S. and Ann Marie are both in town with two separate dredge rigs and a small fleet of dump scows. They are set to begin dredging the Buffalo River and City Ship Canal shortly.


Students at NMC identify shipwreck

9/3 - Traverse City, Mich. – Divers from Northwestern Michigan College have identified a newly-discovered shipwreck as a barge that sank in 1957. Students with NMC's Water Studies Institute found the shipwreck in July. A team from the school's Nautical Archaeology program inspected the site and identified the vessel as the B West based on a nameplate on the bow. The lumber barge sank off Northport in December 1957 when its bilge pump failed.



Lake Superior outflow adjusted in September

9/3 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. - The International Lake Superior Board of Control, under authority granted to it by the International Joint Commission, has set the Lake Superior outflow to 1,650 cubic meters per second (m3/s) (58.3 thousand cubic feet per second (tcfs) for the month of September, effective September 2, 2011.

This is a decrease from the August outflow, which was 1,750 m3/s (61.8 tcfs). This outflow is as prescribed by Plan 1977-A.

The September outflow will be released by discharging about 1,538 m3/s (54.3 tcfs) through the three hydropower plants and passing most of the remaining flow through the control structure at the head of the St. Marys rapids.

The gate setting of the control structure will be maintained at the existing setting equivalent to one-half gate open (four gates open 20 centimeters (cm), or about 8 inches each). There will be no change to the setting of Gate No. 1 that supplies the Fishery Remedial Works.

This past month the water supplies to both the Lake Superior and Lakes Michigan-Huron basins were below normal. Lake Superior is currently 6 cm (2 inches) above chart datum level. The level of Lake Superior is expected to remain steady or rise slightly in September.

Currently, the Lake Superior level is about 28 cm (11 inches) below its long-term average beginning-of-September level, and is 5 cm (2 inches) higher than the level recorded a year ago.

This past month the level of Lake Superior fell 2 cm (1 inch), while on average it rises 1 cm (0 inches) in August. The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron fell 8 cm (3 inches), while on average it falls 4 cm (2 inches) in August. The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron is now about 35 cm (14 inches) below its long-term average beginning-of- September level, and is 2 cm (1 inch) lower than it was a year ago.

Currently Lakes Michigan-Huron is 18 cm (7 inches) above its chart datum level. The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron is expected to drop in September.

The board continues to monitor conditions both on Lake Superior and downstream and will advise the International Joint Commission accordingly on those conditions.


U.S. Steel and Local 1005 come to the table

9/3 - Hamilton, Ont. – For the first time in almost a year U.S. Steel and its locked out Hamilton workers will meet over a negotiating table on Sept. 13. The meeting has been arranged by provincial mediator Simon Clark to allow the company to table a “comprehensive settlement” offer to the union it locked out of the former Stelco plant last November.

In a news release late Thursday, the union said “USW Local 1005 can only consider the fact that this meeting has been called by USS to be a positive development. We have, of course, accepted the invitation to attend the meeting.”

“All I know is that we got a call from Simon Clark saying the company had asked for a meeting,” union president Rolf Gerstenberger said in an interview. “I don’t know what precipitated it. I hope it means they want to settle,” he added. “Maybe they need our steel now.”

In an e-mail exchange and interview, company spokesman Trevor Harris confirmed the company has asked for the meeting but said he couldn’t talk about why it was sought.

“Obviously, we cannot comment about the substantive matters to be discussed, but I can confirm that we did ask the mediator to arrange a meeting with Local 1005,” he wrote.

Hamilton Spectator


Updates -  September 3

News Photo Gallery


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.

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

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Robert S. Pierson arrived Thursday morning at the Upper Harbor to load ore.

Stoneport, Mich. - Daniel McNeil
Manistee loaded at Stoneport on Thursday. Joseph H. Thompson is due Friday. Due Saturday is Kaye E. Barker. McKee Sons is due on Labor Day.


Flooding closes Erie Canal locks, stops waterway travel

9/2 - The Champlain Canal, and the Erie Canal between Locks E-19 (Frankfort) and E-2 (Waterford) are closed to all vessels because of flooding caused by Hurricane Irene. The closure was officially published just before 5 a.m. on Thursday.

Boats heading south for the winter through the Great Lakes may have to change plans, as updates regarding the reopening of the Erie Canal will not be available until next week at the earliest according to the New York State Canals Website. Updates for the Champlain Canal should be available sooner.

Hurricane Irene caused record flooding in the Mohawk River and the Canal Corporation is currently assessing damage to several structures. For updates and information, call 1-800-4canal4.


Wine bar / brew pup opens at Port Huron’s Desmond Landing

9/2 - Port Huron, Mich. – Vinomondo has opened a wine bar and brew pub at Desmond Landing in downtown Port Huron. The business is in the former BoatNerd building on the west side of Desmond Landing. The building was used as the real-world location of the popular Web site before the current Great Lakes Maritime Center was built.

"I don't think there's a better view in Port Huron," co-owner Pat Healy said. Healy said he and his business partners worked with Acheson Ventures for about four years to find the perfect location. He operates Vinomondo with his wife, Jeanne, and business partners Denise and Mark Olsen.

"I don't even mind just coming here and sitting down," Healy said as he looked out at the St. Clair River. There are at least 10 wines available, but Healy said more is coming, as well as a microbrewery. "We're trying to get everything rolling," he said.

Vinomondo isn't the only thing rolling downtown. Port Huron City Manager Bruce Brown said there's been discussion about putting a railroad caboose at Desmond Landing to sell popcorn and ice cream.

Port Huron Times Herald


Updates -  September 2

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - Leecliffe Hall feature updated with new pictures


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 sightseeing 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.


Port Reports -  September 1

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Wednesday, August 24, saw the Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber call on the Saginaw River with a split load for the Bay City Wirt Stone Dock and for the Lafarge Stone Dock in Saginaw. On Friday, the tug Cleveland, with the barge Cleveland Rocks arrived on the river, traveling up to the GM dock in Saginaw to unload. This was the first visit to the Saginaw River for the pair since August 27, 2006. In that year, Cleveland - Cleveland Rocks visited the river 10 times. On Saturday, the Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were back, calling on the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee. Monday, August 29th saw the American Century call on the Consumers energy dock in Essexville, and the Cleveland - Cleveland Rocks back at the GM dock in Saginaw. Wednesday, August 31 saw the Algoway call on the Buena vista dock in Saginaw, early in the morning. Manistee was inbound Wednesday evening, calling on the GM dock in Saginaw.

For the month of August there were 29 commercial vessel passages on the Saginaw River. This is up six from the same time last season and above the five year average of 26. There have been 81 commercial vessel passages for the year to date. This is five less than the same period last season. Looking back at the five year average, this is 29 passages below the average of 110.

Erie, Pa. - Jeffrey Benson
At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday American Courage was in Erie at the Mountfort Terminal unloading a cargo of stone.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
English River came in around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; she was still in port Thursday morning.


Sarah Desgagnes – Everlast involved in overtaking incident

9/1 - The upbound tanker Sarah Desgagnes was overtaking the upbound tug Everlast and barge Norman McLeod when they came in contact and bumped a couple of times. The incident happened between 2 - 3 p.m. Tuesday between Williamstown and Cornwall, Ont. There was some traffic congestion in the area – Jana Desgagnes, Esta Degagnes, Canadian Empress, and the two in the sideswipe. The vessels reported their incident and inspections followed at both Snell and Iroquois Locks.

Ron Beaupre


Compass committed to Goderich Sifto mine reconstruction

9/1 - Goderich, Ont. – Operations at the Sifto Salt Mine and its evaporator plant are shut down after damage caused by a recent tornado, but owner Compass Minerals of Kansas City is "absolutely committed" to the mine's reconstruction and continued operation.

"We are rebuilding and we know how important Sifto is to the town," former mine manager and Compass Minerals Country Executive for Canada and Director of Corporate Engineering, Rowland Howe said Monday. "We've got people going underground doing inspections and the mine was not harmed. Surface damage is huge but we are surprised by what we have left."

Hydro poles are down and being replaced in the area and a transformer station lost in the storm is now being reconstructed.

"Absolutely we are committed to reconstruction. Compass Minerals is totally dedicated to get the mine going again," he said. "Salt will be moving sooner than later. We have to restore power and boat loading capacity."

As of Monday morning, some employees were on site at the mine location "to assess damage and clean up" according to Compass Minerals spokesperson Kelly Barton.

"On Monday we will had about 49 employees at the mine site and another 27 will be at the evaporator plant," she said. "There is electricity to the evaporator plant and there are generators at the mine to bring power to the shaft and pumping system.

"The goal is to bring people back as soon as possible but not at the expense of bringing them into an unsafe environment." About 485 people are employed at the Sifto Mine and evaporator plant.

The salt mine was the first structure in Goderich hit by the F3 tornado Sunday, Aug. 21.

Mine worker Norman Laberge, 61, of the Lucknow area was killed in the storm. The 31-year employee was in a loading boom when the storm hit the waterfront. Private funeral services were held at the family home last Friday.

"Let us not forget about Norman and the absolute tragic event in which he lost his life. The storm came on so fast that there was little time to react," Howe said. "He was in the loading boom over the boat on Sunday and other employees were in the area but in more secure positions. He's a symbol of what's happened in Goderich."

While special rescue teams from Toronto were called in to help in the rescue effort, it was the local rescue team that carried Laberge out on the stretcher.

Through the reconstruction process, the company paid every employee for 40 hours of work and employees were then issued temporary layoff notices.

The company has set up two phone lines for employees to call for information. The numbers are; 1-877-766-1823 for the mine and 1-877-893-0897 for the evaporator plant. Information is also available on the company websites: and

Compass Minerals has made donations to the Salvation Army and established an employee Relief fund with matching funds that help employees and their families.

Goderich Signal Star


Updates -  September 1

News Photo Gallery


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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