Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

Port Reports -  September 30

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lidner
Frontenac arrived Duluth just after midnight on Thursday morning. She docked at CN to load iron ore pellets. H. Lee White, making a somewhat rare trip to Duluth, departed just before 4 am after loading coal at Midwest Energy. Her near-sister American Mariner arrived an hour later for her usual cargo of grain. James R. Barker passed under the Lift Bridge just after sunrise, and took the dock at Midwest Energy. Frontenac and James R. Barker were both outbound in the early afternoon and late evening, respectively.

St. Marys River
Paul R. Tregurtha, Algoma Harvester, Ken Boothe Sr./Lakes Contender and Whitefish Bay were downbound in the afternoon and evening. Federal Biscay was downbound after dark. Hon. James L. Oberstar, Joseph L. Block, Roger Blough and Federal Asahi were upbound. As night fell, Tim S. Dool was inbound at DeTour.

Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
The Saginaw River saw the steamer Alpena outbound on Sunday after unloading cement overnight at the Lafarge Terminal in Essexville. The tug Olive L. Moore and the barge Lewis J. Kuber arrived on Wednesday evening, traveling all the way up to the Lafarge Stone dock in Saginaw. The pair completed unloading early Thursday morning, turned around at the foot of the dock in the Sixth Street turning basin and were back outbound for the lake. The pair was met by the inbound tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder. Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder arrived late Thursday morning with a split load for the Wirt Stone docks in Bay City and Saginaw. Once finished unloading in Saginaw, the pair are expected to back downriver to the airport turning basin, turn around and head outbound for the lake late Thursday night.

Toronto, Ont.
Algosoo’s AIS is now on, with waterfront reports indicating she might be on the move, possibly under her own power, up through the Welland Canal and to the scrap dock at Port Colborne this weekend.


2 saltwater tankers to operate on the lakes, Seaway due to shortages

9/30 - An unexpected order from Canada's National Energy Board to reduce operating pressure on the Trans-Northern Pipeline has caught refiners with supply shortages, particularly for the Greater Toronto Area.

Suncor has applied for a coastal license to use the Duzgit Endeavour and Algoma has applied to use the Edzard Schulte each for a month for multiple voyages ranging from Montreal to Sarnia and several Great Lakes ports such as Thunder Bay, Sarnia, Sault Ste.Marie, Oakville and Nanticoke.

Petro-Nav had earlier applied to use the Harbour Pioneer for multiple voyages over a wide range of ports from The Soo to CornerBrook, Newfoundland.

All these voyages will take place between October 5 and November 3 to 5. The Canadian Transportation Agency can recommend coastal licenses if no suitable Canadian tanker is available, and it seems that all Canadian tankers will be fully employed during the same period.



Inland Seas Education Association receives 65-foot tall ship donation

9/30 - Traverse City, Mich – Another tall ship is sailing in to Grand Traverse Bay.

Utopia, a 65-foot schooner, is the latest addition to the Inland Seas Education Association, which promotes Great Lakes stewardship through hands-on education. Utopia will dock at Discovery Pier in Elmwood Township rather than alongside the nonprofit's other schooner, Inland Seas, in Suttons Bay.

"It's a pretty unique boat," ISEA's lead scientist and education specialist Jeanie Williams said. "We're pretty excited to have it here."

Ellsworth Peterson of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin donated Utopia to ISEA after keeping it in the Peterson family for 70 years. Youth outreach is important to the Peterson family, and they wanted the ship to remain in the Great Lakes, ISEA Executive Director Fred Sitkins said.

"When they found out Inland Seas focused on youth and the health of the Great Lakes they found that it was the perfect combination," Sitkins said.

ISEA officials hope the schooner will arrive in Traverse City this week and plan to use Utopia as a platform for an underwater education program for school groups and the public starting in 2017.

Grant money allowed ISEA to purchase a remotely operated underwater vehicle, which students will use to explore Grand Traverse Bay while docked.

Keeping Utopia in Elmwood Township also will allow ISEA to branch out to the Traverse City community, he said.

Sitkins is hopeful Utopia also will receive approval from the U.S. Coast Guard to carry up to six passengers out to sea, but he did not know how soon that could happen. If and when it does, he would like to use the ship to take high school education groups on multiple-day trips on the Great Lakes.

One of Sitkins' favorite things about Utopia is its rich history.

The ship was built in 1946 and cruised the North Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea and Caribbean Islands in 1947. In 1956, a Peterson family member and crew embarked on a three-year voyage around the world, stopping at in Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, Havana, New Guinea and dozens more ports. Utopia has logged more than 60,000 miles, including several Chicago to Mackinac races.

Record Eagle


DTE Energy to build new power plant in St. Clair County

9/30 - St. Clair, Mich. – Just a few months after announcing plans to close the St. Clair Power Plant, DTE Energy is planning to build another facility nearby. The company on Thursday unveiled plans to build natural gas-powered plants worth between $1 billion and $1.5 billion by 2023.

DTE spokesman Brian Corbett said it’s early in the process, and whether it will just be one or several facilities are details still being worked out. But officials said at least one plant is in the works, and it will be on DTE property adjacent to the Belle River plant in China Township.

“The availability of undeveloped company-owned property is in that area,” Corbett said. “We have an experienced local work force there and proven utility grid for sufficient delivery of electricity to our 2.2 million customers.”

It is news that comes in the wake of both DTE’s announcement last June that it intended to close three of its five coal-fired plants, including the facility on the St. Clair River in East China Township, and the fire that erupted at that plant in August, temporarily shutting down its operations.

Times Herald


Wisconsin Capital Day focuses on Great Lakes shipping

9/30 - Washington, D.C. – A delegation of Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway maritime industry leaders held day-long meetings on Wednesday with Wisconsin state political leadership.

Briefings covered the economic impacts of Great Lakes Seaway shipping to Wisconsin’s economy – 8,800 jobs and $1.4 billion in business revenue, as well as the investments being made within the navigation system by both public and private entities, and the maritime trade opportunities that are essential not only to the state, but to the region, nation and to the world.

State agency leaders from Transportation, Economic Development, and Administration participated in a roundtable discussion with industry CEOs. Topics ranged from the importance of the Soo Locks and ballast water management, to harbor dredging and the Harbor Assistance Program, as well as the potential impact of marine sanctuaries.

A meeting with Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch provided another opportunity for industry leaders to reinforce key messages about Great Lakes Seaway shipping and its importance to the state. Each member addressed the relevance of the Great Lakes Seaway System to their business or organization.

The day closed with a meeting with select legislators from around Wisconsin to discuss the local impact of the Great Lakes shipping industry to the state’s economic bottom line in terms of jobs and revenue.

“The access today to key decision makers has been important to Fednav as we continue to make significant investments in new ships built specifically for the Great Lakes,” said Paul Pathy, President & CEO of Fednav Limited. “These ships also include outstanding environmental characteristics which are fundamental to our company’s ongoing environmental commitment. In addition to the new ships, we have made substantial investments in equipment at our terminal facilities in the state to ensure the safe and efficient handling of cargo for our customers.”

Great Lakes-Seaway Partnership


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.

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

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.

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 then 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.

1906: The first FAYETTE BROWN ran into the pier entering Lorain, became disabled and stranded on the beach. The ship was refloated with considerable damage. It last operated as c) GLENMOUNT in 1923 and was scrapped about 1928.

1913: CITY OF LONDON sank off Point Pelee, Lake Erie after a collision with the JOE S. MORROW. The hull was later dynamited as an obstacle to navigation.

1964: DUNDRUM BAY was a pre-Seaway visitor to the Great Lakes on charter to the Hall Corporation. The vessel was driven aground on this date as f) ESITO near Necochea, Argentina, while traveling in ballast. The hull broke in two and was a total loss.

1965: PROTOSTATIS, a Greek Liberty ship, went aground on Traverse Shoal, Lake Ontario, while enroute from Detroit to Genoa, Italy, with a cargo of scrap. The vessel was lightered and refloated with the aid of tugs. It went to Kingston to anchor and reload in the shelter of Wolfe Island.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II, Father Dowling Collection, and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  September 29

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Algoma Harvester and Whitefish Bay departed Wednesday in the evening. Pineglen was headed in. Federal Hunter was at anchor.

St. Marys River
Thunder Bay was downbound at dusk on Wednesday, meeting the upbound Walter J. McCarthy Jr. in Little Rapids Cut. The recently reactivated Algorail arrived at the Drummond Island stone dock to load in the early evening. CSL Laurentien was also upbound in the evening, while Lee A. Tregurtha and Stewart J. Cort were headed down.

Brevort, Mich.
Michipicoten loaded sand on Wednesday and departed eastbound in the evening,

Port Inland, Mich.
On Wednesday evening, Joseph L. Block was loading stone.


Updates -  September 29

News Photo Gallery


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.

1974: J.A.Z. DESGAGNES and HAVRE ST. PIERRE collided while trying to pass on the St. Lawrence. The former often visited the Great Lakes but was scrapped in Croatia as e) A. LEGRAND in 2003-2004. The latter, originally a Dutch coastal vessel, worked on the St. Lawrence and around Eastern Canada but was deleted from Lloyds Register in 1999.

1982: ATLANTIC SUPERIOR went aground off Wellesley Island in the American Narrows of the St. Lawrence. This new member of the Canada Steamship Lines fleet was released October 1 and repaired at Thunder Bay. It was back on the Great Lakes in 2012.

EASTERN FRIENDSHIP first came to the Great Lakes in 1986. It had been stranded off the coast of Bangladesh as d) TONY BEST since April 10, 1993. While refloated on June 21, the anchors dragged on July 24 and the ship went aground again. The hull later cracked and the ship sank on this date in 1993.

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


Port Reports -  September 28

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Thunder Bay departed her namesake on Tuesday in the late afternoon. CSL Niagara and Whitefish Bay were loading. CSL Welland arrived to load Tuesday night, while Federal Katsura appeared to be heading out.

Marquette, Mich.
Buffalo was in port Tuesday, and Lee A. Tregurtha arrived Tuesday evening,

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a rainy Tuesday afternoon included Juno, H. Lee White, American Mariner (which went to the Carbide Dock for unspecified mechanical issues and left about 7 p.m.), Pineglen and Frontenac. Downbounders included Cedarglen, Algoma Equinox, Resko, Edwin H. Gott, Federal Kivalina and Burns Harbor. Herbert C. Jackson was downbound in the upper river after dark, headed for Cleveland. In the afternoon, Mississagi left anchorage above DeTour, where she had been waiting for winds to die down, and headed to the Drummond Island stone dock to load. Tug Leonard M. and barge Huron Spirit continued their stay on the hook, waiting for weather.

Escanaba, Mich.
On Tuesday, John D. Leitch was loading ore.

Green Bay, Wis. – Scott Best
Wind subsided enough for the waiting Algosteel to pick up the hook and make port before dark on Tuesday. She was carrying a cargo of stone from Meldrum Bay, Ont., for the Great Lakes Calcium Dock. The Algosteel, which had been in cold storage layup, was pressed into service in the last few weeks to help Algoma Central meet late season demand, but her days are likely numbered.

Manitowoc, Wis.
The saltie Flevogracht departed Tuesday, assisted by the tug Superior, after picking up cargo manufactured in Newton, Wis., for a project off the shore of Newfoundland. She arrived on Monday.

Goderich, Ont.
Capt. Henry Jackman was at the Sifto salt dock on Tuesday afternoon.


Detroit port boat, docks photos sought

9/28 - The Port of Detroit is updating its handbook, and is asking Boatnerds to send in their favorite shots from around the Port of Detroit. Any shots, from scenic river views to pictures showing the working boats and docks, will be accepted. Please send to

You will be notified if your image is selected for publication.

Port of Detroit


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.

1921: The W.H. RITCHIE caught fire and sank at Port Arthur, ON where it had become a bulk grain transport vessel. The remains were uncovered during dredging work in 1961.

1946: BRIG. GEN. M.G. ZALINSKI, built at Lorain in 1919 as a) LAKE FROHNA and later operated inland in the package freight trade as b) ACE, hit the rocks off Pitt Island, British Columbia. The vessel was enroute from Seattle to Whittier, Alaska, with a cargo of army supplies, and sank in 20 minutes. All on board were rescued by the tug SALLY N. and taken to the fishing village of Butedale.. The hull was located in June 2011 and is upside down.

1960: CHICAGO TRIBUNE and SHENANGO II were both damaged in a collision in the St. Clair River off Marysville.

1973: FRANK R. DENTON and FEDERAL SCHELDE (i) collided in the St. Marys River with minor damage to both ships. The former was scrapped at Ashtabula in 1985-1986. The latter began Seaway service when new in 1968, returned as b) C. MEHMET in 1977 and was delivered to the scrappers at Nantong, China, on March 16, 1999.

1998: ANDROS TRANSPORT, a Fortune Class cargo ship, first came through the Seaway in 1978. Flooding occurred in the engineroom in the Caribbean off Trinidad as d) GRIGOROUSSA on this date while traveling in ballast. The crew of 15 were removed and the ship was towed into Port au Spain. It was declared a total loss, sold to Mexican shipbreakers, and arrived at Tuxpan, under tow for dismantling on December 4, 1998.

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


Interlake’s Herbert C. Jackson returns to service as a motor vessel

9/27 - Middleburg Heights, Ohio – The newly repowered motor vessel Herbert C. Jackson departed Fraser Shipyards in Superior, Wis., Sunday, giving a farewell salute to the Twin Ports where it has been undergoing its steam-to-diesel conversion since December 21.

As the last steam-powered ship in Interlake Steamship Company’s fleet, the successful conversion of the Jackson represents the final phase of the company’s decade-long modernization program to create the most efficient, reliable and environmentally responsible fleet on the Great Lakes.

The 690-foot Jackson is the fifth ship to undergo a major overhaul and Interlake’s fourth and last steam-to-diesel conversion since 2006.

“After a successful repowering at Fraser Shipyards, the Herbert C. Jackson returns to service as an extremely versatile and efficient River Class freighter with a bright new future of carrying cargoes for our Great Lakes customers for decades to come,” says Interlake President Mark W. Barker.

Regularly carrying upwards of 25,000 tons of iron ore between Marquette and Detroit, Mich., the Jackson was powered by an aging steam turbine and two boilers, which have operated since the ship was built in 1959. Maintenance burdens and new emission requirements fueled Interlake’s decision to repower the ship.

“Even though steamships will always be an important part of our company’s legacy and the history of shipping on the lakes, we are very excited to enter an era where our modernized fleet can exceed the expectations of our customers while minimizing our environmental impact,” Barker says.

The Jackson’s new highly-automated engine room includes a 6,250-BHP propulsion package with a pair of MaK 6M 32E engines – the first of their kind to power a vessel on the Great Lakes. These engines give the ship enhanced propulsion capabilities and reliability.

In addition, the ship has been outfitted with a twin-input, single-output Lufkin gear box with twin pto shaft generators, a Schottel controllable-pitch propeller system and Gesab exhaust gas economizers along with an auxiliary boiler. The economizers allow the ship to harness the waste heat and energy from the main engine exhaust and produce “free steam” to heat the accommodations and for heating various auxiliary systems and fuel oil services.

The repowering is estimated to reduce the ship’s emissions of particulate matter by 35%, carbon dioxide by 57% and sulfur oxides (SOx) by 63%.

Interlake Steamship Co.


Waves up to 10 feet to build on some Great Lakes

9/27 - Huge waves are expected to build along some segments of shoreline on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and possibly Lake Huron.

Stiff west winds, cooler air aloft, and warm lake water will produce a good recipe for Michigan's Great Lakes to get rough.

Our first blast of cool fall air is moving in now. The temperature difference between a warm lake and the cool air aloft creates what we meteorologists call an "unstable" atmosphere. Unstable means the air wants to move up and down more than in a stable situation. The downward air movement of cool air aloft pushes a big force against the water, and builds big waves.

This isn't an incredible storm, but certainly our first big fall wave situation on the Great Lakes.

Read more, and view images at this link


Port Reports -  September 27

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
On Monday, Lee A. Tregurtha and Great Lakes Trader/tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort arrived before sunrise, the former with limestone for Graymont Superior, and the latter to load iron ore pellets at CN. Resko departed from Peavey with grain shortly before 11 am, headed for Montreal. Great Lakes Trader also departed during the afternoon. In Superior, Burns Harbor departed from Burlington Northern just before noon, while Lee A. Tregurtha finished unloading and passed through the Superior entry on Monday evening. Federal Biscay was in port loading grain at the Riverland elevator.

Silver Bay, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Herbert C. Jackson departed Silver Bay on Monday morning with her first load of the season, and listed a destination of Cleveland. She was taking the northerly route, likely due to the weather. Lakes Contender/tug Ken Boothe Sr. arrived mid-afternoon to load at Northshore Mining. The schedule currently has the John J. Boland loading in port on Tuesday, and CSL Laurentien loading on Friday.

St. Marys River
Roger Bough was downbound in the afternoon, Cuyahoga was in the locks at 9 p.m., and Arthur M. Anderson was downbound in the upper river late in the evening. Tug Leonard M and barge Huron Spirit remained at anchor above DeTour due to high winds. Mississagi was also stopped in that area.

Manitowoc, Wis. – Manitowoc Maritime Museum, Korey G.
The Netherlands-flagged Flevogracht arrived on Monday and is the first ocean vessel to enter the Port of Manitowoc in over 30 years. She is in port to pick up cargo manufactured in Newton, Wis., for a project off the shores of Newfoundland.

Manistee area – Brian Ferguson
High winds kept the tug Everlast and her barge Norman McLeod, as well as the Great Republic, in port overnight. Everlast / McLeod arrived Manistee at 7 p.m. Sunday with asphalt for Rieth-Riley, and the Great Republic arrived later in the evening with coal for Tondu Energy. With a gale warning posted for overnight Monday, chances are both may still be tied up Tuesday morning.

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Mississagi came into Lorain Saturday at 14:14 and departed 20:00.

Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
On Monday, Evans Spirit unloaded aluminum bars.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Defiance - Ashtabula arrived for the Sand Supply wharf Monday around 4 p.m. She appeared to be ready to leave about 10:30 p.m., with the G-tug Washington standing by.


U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mobile Bay to host ghost ship event in October

9/27 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – The crew of Coast Guard cutter Mobile Bay, homeported in Sturgeon Bay, is scheduled to host visitors during its annual haunted ship attraction Oct. 29. The event is free, and guests are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to local food pantries.

Times will be 5:30-6:30 p.m. with lights on for younger children and 6:30-9:30 p.m. with lights off for older children and adults.

During the event, guests will be ushered through various haunted rooms throughout the ship and barge. Halloween treats and hot chocolate will be complimentary. The ship is located at Sawyer Park Pier, just south of the Maple-Oregon Street Bridge in Sturgeon Bay.



Ship canal dredging resumes at Indiana Harbor

9/27 - East Chicago, Ill – An Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal dredging project that has resulted in the removal of almost 1 million cubic yards of sediment since 2012 resumed on Sept. 13.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversees the project that is a joint venture in which the Kokosing Construction Co., Inc. and O'Brien & Gere conduct the dredging and operation of a confined disposal facility.

Natalie Mills, project manager for the Army Corps, gave an update on the project recently to the East Chicago Waterway Management District board. "That work is scheduled to continue through December, and that includes the federal and the nonfederal work for a total of 270,000 cubic yards of material," Mills said.

That number represents an increase from the 170,00 cubic yards of material that was expected to be removed this year based on information provided at a public meeting held by the Army Corps and the Waterway Management Board in June. At that time it was thought the dredging project was to resume in August.

Mills said she did not know of any specific reason the dredging did not start until this month other than it depended on the contractor's schedule.

While Kokosing and O'Brien & Gere will finish their contractual obligations this year, Mills said the Army Corps is currently evaluating proposals for a new five-year operations and dredging contract. "We're on schedule to award a new contract by the 30th of September," Mills said.

According to a corps news release, the harbor was not dredged from 1972 to 2012 due to contaminated sediment and lack of a suitable storage place for it. That sediment is now stored at a confined disposal facility west of the Indianapolis bridge.

The Army Corps release also said removing approximately 1 million cubic yards of sediment has reduced the amount of contaminants that had been flowing into Lake Michigan and has allowed for more efficient commercial navigation.

NW Indiana Times


Port Maitland Lock faces murky future

9/27 - Port Maitland, Ont. – The Port Maitland On the Grand Historical Association is approaching a major fork in the road in the coming years. The catalyst for the formation of the group – and one of its ongoing triumphs – is the beautification and maintenance of the historic Port Maitland Lock.

The property has been transformed into a tourist draw and off-the-beaten-path green space by the group thanks to monumental efforts during the past 12 years. Re-discovered as – literally – an overgrown garbage heap in 2003, a group spearheaded by William Warnick cleaned up the 7.9 acres surrounding the stone lock on Feeder Canal Road, southeast of Dunnville.

The property boasts well-maintained lawns, benches lining the cleaned up lock and a couple of information boards featuring local history of the lock. During a work bee on Saturday to mow the lawn and burn some brush, Warnick said all of it is at risk in the coming years.

“We, for a number of years, kind of squatted on the property,” Warnick said. “We thought the property belonged to (Haldimand County) … and so did the county."

With use of the property increasing, the historical association was asked to get the deed and insurance for the property. To everyone’s surprise, including the staff at the county, the land didn’t belong to Haldimand.

“It turned out it was owned by (Canadian Pacific Railway),” Warnick said. “They have been good to us and they got us a lease for $1 last year." But the lease price went up to $500 this year, will increase to $1,000 next year and then hit and stay at $2,000 in 2018.

“The realty fellow told me it really should be $3,000, but (CPR) is capping it at $2,000 for us,” Warnick said. “We will have to decide what to do next year, but I can’t see us taking it when it gets to $2,000. We simply can’t afford it."

That said, Warnick said CPR has quoted the Port Maitland On the Grand Historical Association a price for the land – one he would rather not share at risk of spoiling negotiations. The price is too much for the society, but considering the more than a decade of work they’ve put into the site, Warnick said they aren’t giving up.

“So that’s still the goal now,” he said. “We are looking to raise some funds to see if we can make them an offer."

The history of the lock is significant. Besides being an integral part of the Feeder Canal for the Welland Canal’s construction in the 1800s, the Port Maitland Lock was the only entry between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie for a period of about five to seven years in the 1840s.

“It was also the first stone lock they built on the canal,” Warnick said. “And it was built by John Brown, the same engineer responsible for the Mohawk Island Lighthouse. Just being his lock makes it historically significant."

In the meantime, Warnick and the historical association have their work cut out for them. “We have at least this year and next to chase some money and make an offer,” Warnick said. “We have to figure it out, maybe hit up some corporations.

“We’ve proven the community interest. I can’t get over the number of tourists I see here when I’m cutting the lawn during the summer."

Sachem & Glanbrook Gazette


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 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.

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

GEORGE M. HUMPHREY under tow, locked through the Panama Canal from September 27, 1986, to the 30th on her way to the cutter’s 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. On Lake Huron, 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.

1911: The water-logged wooden steamer THREE BROTHERS was beached off South Manitou Island, Lake Michigan. The cargo of lumber was salvaged but the 23-year-old vessel was left to rot.

1912: The wooden steamer GEORGE T. HOPE, loaded with 2,118 tons of iron ore, foundered in Lake Superior near Grand Island when it began leaking in heavy weather. All on board were saved.

1934: SASKADOC departed Erie, Pa., for the short run to the Welland Canal with 7,500 tons of coal and the hatches left open. The vessel encountered a storm on the lake, developed a list and arrived 11 hours late.

1943: NORMAN B. MACPHERSON, a small canaller in the Upper Lakes fleet, went aground on Hammond Shoal in the American Channel of the St. Lawrence near Alexandria Bay, N.Y.

1969: OPHELIA was a Great Lakes caller before the Seaway opened. The West German freighter also made 16 trips inland from 1959 to 1964. It was under Greek registry when it was abandoned off Sibu, Sarawak, with a fire in the engine room, on this date in 1969. The vessel was enroute from Sibu to Kuching, China, and the hull drifted aground as a total loss.

1991: OGDENSBURG was built as a barge to ferry rail cars across the St. Lawrence between Prescott and Ogdensburg. The vessel had joined McKeil as a regular deck barge in 1988 and broke loose in a storm on this date in 1991 while working off Blanc Sablon, Q.C. carrying heavy construction equipment. Refloated, the hull was towed to Hamilton and became one of three former railway barges rebuilt as a floating drydock.

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


Port Reports -  September 26

Silver Bay, Minn.
Herbert C. Jackson was loading Sunday, taking on her first cargo since being repowered from steam to diesel.

Burns Harbor was loading pellets at BNSF on Sunday evening while the saltie Resko was loading grain. Cedarglen left port earlier in the day, headed for Montreal.

Marquette, Mich.
American Integrity and Hon. James L. Oberstar were both in port late Sunday.

St. Marys River
On a brisk Sunday afternoon, Stewart J. Cort was upbound and Saginaw was downbound.

Goderich, Ont.
Radcliffe R. Latimer was loading on Sunday.

Toronto, Ont. – Jens Juhl
The Grand Banks-style schooner Mist of Avalon returned to Toronto this past week. The schooner spent the summer participating in numerous tall ship events on the Great Lakes. Ports Toronto has commenced dredging the east end of the Keating Channel using the new Hike Metal-built tug Iron Guppy and the new Heddle Marine-built spud barge. A leased 40-ton excavator on the barge is doing the dredging.


Historic lens gets new home at Port Clinton lighthouse

9/26 - Port Clinton, Ohio – Now that the Port Clinton Lighthouse has returned to the shores of Lake Erie, perhaps one of the most visually spectacular elements of the historic structure can again help guide mariners or at least offer a welcoming sight to boaters from afar.

The Port Clinton Lighthouse recently had its reproduction Fresnel lens installed and at 1 p.m. Monday it will be lit during a dedication ceremony. It will also mark the official start to its operation as a “private aid to navigation,” which requires approval and designation by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The lens will project a fixed white light that can be spotted from about four miles out into the lake.

“It is a sanctioned light,” said Rich Norgard, president of Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy. “It will appear on charts, Coast Guard charts, but it’s really just for show.”

For decades, the lighthouse was previously home to an original fifth-order Fresnel lens. According to the Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy, the original was removed by the U.S. Coast Guard after the lighthouse was taken off the west pier in 1952. Despite efforts from the conservancy to recover it, the original lens could not be found.

The organization then reached out to Dan Spinella, who privately restores and manufactures reproduction Fresnel lenses for historic lighthouses throughout the country. Spinella, an architectural history buff, recalled that in the late 1980s a famous historic lighthouse in St. Augustine, Florida, was damaged by rifle fire from a vandal.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse’s original first-order Fresnel lens was severely damaged, with 19 of its prisms broken by the gunshots. After the vandalism, the Coast Guard considered removing the lens, however, several organizations pushed instead to have the nine-foot tall antique lens restored.

Spinella joined those efforts and helped raise funds for the restoration. Prior to that, Spinella said he wasn’t familiar with Fresnel lenses, but sparked with curiosity, he was allowed to check it out in the lighthouse’s lantern room.

By trade, Spinella works in engineering for Disney. He said his first hands-on experience working with Fresnel lenses was taking dimensions of the damaged original at St. Augustine.

It was believed to be one of the first restoration projects on a Fresnel lens of that size and scale.

During that project, Spinella said he did a lot of research on the topic, reading books written as far back as the 1800s by lighthouse engineers and studying their precise formulas to learn exactly how these lenses worked.

“I was just intrigued by it and I kind of got hooked there,” he said.

In those early years, Spinella initially began making replacement prisms out of acrylic, as well as various parts and pieces, and volunteered to help restore a few other original Fresnel lenses.

About 12 years ago, he began making full-scale reproduction lenses when he realized that historic lighthouses and the organizations maintaining them may be interested if their original had been lost. Spinella said his business, Artworks Florida, has been evolving since then.

Fresnel lenses are named after their inventor, Augustin-Jean Fresnel (1788-1827), a French physicist and engineer who not only revolutionized lens technology for lighthouses, but also completely changed the way scientists understood how light travels. Fresnel’s equations about how polarized light behaves are still in use today and are the same formulas he utilized to develop his lenses.

“They were engineering marvels, as far as I’m concerned,” Spinella said. “The fact that these were built 150 years ago just intrigued me.”

He found it amazing how with so many different pieces and formulas, it all fit together so accurately to create these incredibly far-reaching light sources.

“It definitely turned into a passion because of the history, the engineering and the art behind it,” Spinella said. “These lenses are beautiful and they’re functional, engineering-wise.”

Fresnel lenses come in six different sizes, referred to as “orders.” The smaller the order, the larger the lens itself is, and more importantly, the longer the focal length or distance from the source the light can be seen. They can also be either fixed or rotating, both designed so to be spotted from multiple angles.

Though the original Port Clinton lens is lost and exact dimensions for it found have not been found, Spinella, Norgard and the conservancy were able to use old photographs as references to determine the size and type of the Fresnel lens housed in the Port Clinton Lighthouse.

It was a fixed fifth-order 180-degree lens with parabolic spherical metal reflectors at the back, which captures escaping light at the rear and further intensifies the brightness of the lighthouse's lamp.

Every aspect of the design had a practical purpose, but looking at it today, the “engineering marvels” also appear to be gorgeous works of architectural art. “It’s a museum piece,” Norgard said.

Port Clinton’s lens took about three months to complete, but a total of at least 500 manhours with all of the different manufacturing processes combined, Spinella said.

Original Fresnel lenses are the most valuable, which in the U.S. are owned by the Coast Guard, depending on the size. A first-order lens can be worth as much as $2 million and the smaller ones are in the several hundred thousand range.

Spinella’s reproductions also vary in cost by size and style. Port Clinton’s was $35,000, which was funded by an anonymous benefactor, according to the lighthouse conservancy.

Fresnel lenses are a rare sight to see along the shore. Because the degradation suffered by many of the originals, the Coast Guard removed most of them, which are usually stored at museums throughout the country.

News Herald


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 26

September 26, 1930, the schooner OUR SON, launched in 1875, sank during a storm on Lake Michigan about 40 miles WSW of Big Sable Point. 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 crewmembers. The vessel quickly broke up in the waves.

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

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

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 sideswiped 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 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.

1979: MAHONI, an Indonesian-registered freighter, went aground on the west coast of Taiwan and was abandoned by the crew. The ship was refloated in June 1980 and sold to Taiwanese shipbreakers for scrapping at Kaohsiung. It had been a Seaway saltie as b) CLARI beginning in 1968 and returned as c) ARNIS in 1970.

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


Port Reports -  September 25

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a beautiful Saturday included Edwin H. Gott and Thunder Bay. Lee A. Tregurtha and Manitoulin were upbound after dark. Downbounders included Presque Isle, James R. Barker, Kaye E. Barker, Tecumseh, Frontenac, Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Leonard M and Thunder Bay. The passenger vessel Victory 1 was at the Carbide Dock during the day, departing downbound in the evening.

Sandusky, Ohio – Dan McNeil
On a windy and cool early fall Saturday afternoon, John J. Boland arrived to load at the NS Coal Dock. She came to Sandusky after unloading a stone cargo in nearby Cleveland, Ohio.


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 25

In tandem tow, 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.

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. 1922: AUBE, on her first trip back under this name, went aground off Carleton Island, while carrying 65,000 bushels of grain. Tugs released the stranded vessel the following day.

1978: FRANQUELIN (ii) went aground in the Seaway below Beauharnois. Once refloated, the ship went to Canadian Vickers in Montreal for repairs and was caught there in a labor dispute.

1980: DERWENTFIELD, a British-flag freighter, first came through the Seaway in 1975. The ship grounded on this date as c) CAVO ARTEMIDI off Brazil, while enroute from Vitoria, Brazil, to Rotterdam, Holland, with a cargo of pig iron and broke in two as a total loss.

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


Herbert C. Jackson conducts sea trials after repowering

9/24 - Duluth, Minn. – The first freighter to be repowered in Duluth since at least the 1980s made its way onto Lake Superior on Thursday for the first day of sea trials.

The Herbert C. Jackson, a 57-year-old vessel belonging to the Interlake Steamship Co. out of Ohio, made it out onto the lake to about the equivalent of 27th Avenue East before returning to dock at Fraser Shipyards in Superior.

Fraser converted the old steamship to a diesel propulsion system. The ship will be tested again Friday and if all goes well will be bound in the coming days for Silver Bay, where it will be loaded with iron ore pellets and put back into circulation.

"This was a large project, and Fraser stepped to the plate to do it," said Interlake President Mark Barker. "We got a very good product out of it, and the yard should be proud of what they produced."

Originally scheduled for sea trials in mid-summer, the effort was beset by complications, including a March shutdown of the project by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA has proposed a $1.4 million fine against Fraser, claiming the company over-exposed workers to lead when they were taking out the old steamship engine and its components.

"It's a complicated project and it was the first time we've done a project like this with Fraser," Barker said. "There's a learning curve. Sometimes it takes longer to get it done than expected. We ran into some delays in engineering and other things and part of the project ended up taking longer than expected."

Barker said the OSHA review "probably slowed things down slightly."

In an August news release announcing several violations, OSHA cited an ambitious timetable that contributed to the situation.

"Fraser Shipyards accepted a contract with a very low profit margin and penalties for delayed completion, but could not meet the schedule without endangering its workers," said David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, in August. "This employer was unwilling to pay the necessary costs to protect employees from lead exposure."

Fraser officials have denied the claims and asked for a settlement conference to respond to the proposed fine. Rob Karwath, a spokesman for Fraser, said the conference happened several weeks ago and that the company is awaiting a final determination from OSHA.

Additionally, one of the workers on the project, James Holder, a citizen of the state of Virginia, filed a lawsuit against Fraser and Interlake in U.S. District Court in Madison in May, seeking damages in excess of $75,000 for what he claimed was exposure to toxic levels of lead while performing work at Fraser on the Jackson. In the latest development in that lawsuit, Interlake filed a motion in August to dismiss its involvement in the lawsuit.

Documents filed with the court revealed that 20 other workers have sought insurance claims related to injuries from lead exposure while working on the Herbert C. Jackson prior to March 29. Barker declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Fraser is a subsidiary of Capstan Corp., a holding company based in Duluth that also owns Viant Crane and the commercial real estate agency Atwater Group.

The repowering of the Jackson made it the last Interlake steamship to be converted to diesel during a 10-year modernization effort by the company.

"This was our fifth repower and we learned something at every one," Barker said. "Everyone became better for it. You're always going to run into complications or technical issues when you do a project of this size and you learn from it. It makes us all better."

Duluth News Tribune


Port Reports -  September 24

St. Marys River
Upbounders Friday included Saginaw, Algoma Harvester, American Integrity and Roger Blough. Downbound traffic included Federal Weser, Algoma Spirit, Paul R. Tregurtha, tug Nickelena and barge and Algonova. At 10 p.m., CSL Niagara was inbound at DeTour.

Owen Sound, Ont. – Paul Martin
The cement barge St. Marys Challenger and her tug were in port this week, arriving Tuesday and departing Wednesday at noon. She passed the Saginaw, arriving to unload grain at the other elevator. Saginaw left port Thursday early evening.

Sarnia, Ont.
Algorail left lay-up Friday morning and headed north to Goderich to load salt. She arrived there about 4 p.m. This is likely her last hurrah, as she and fleetmate Algoway are scheduled to be replaced in 2017 by new vessels being built overseas.

Erie, Pa. – Gene P.
Calumet came in about 2 a.m. Friday, unloaded, and departed about 9 a.m. In the meantime, the dredge J.S. St. John was unloading sand from a night run to Lake Erie.


Algoma creditors to pump $425-million into troubled steel maker

9/24 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – Essar Steel Algoma was granted a stay by the Superior Court of Justice Friday, allowing it to continue its protection under the Companies' Creditor Arrangement Act to Jan. 31.

The court also approved an amendment and extension tot he existing debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing facility for the same extension providing the steelmaker with an additional $35 million of liquidity.

In a press release issued Friday, Essar Steel Algoma also states that the majority of its term lenders and senior secured noteholders have reached agreement on a recapitalization proposal for the company which contemplates either a restructuring plan or the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Essar Steel Algoma.

The proposal includes an investment of up to US $425 million, a reduction of the company's funded debt by about US $1.15 billion and a reduction in annual cash interest expenses by about US $125 million. Those reductions are expected to improve liquidity and financial flexibility for the steelmaker.

Essar Steel Algoma CEO Kalyan Ghosh said in the press release “we are very pleased to see an overwhelming majority of our secured lenders unifying to present a plan for the future of Algoma.”

He said the stay extension and DIP amendment will allow the steelmaker to continue operations, secure its winter raw material build and see the process through to a successful conclusion.

Essar Steel Algoma filed for creditor protection last November. The sale and investment solicitation process was launched in February and since that time, several extensions have been awarded to the company to continue the complex restructuring process.

On Monday, Essar Steel Algoma will return to court where its DIP lenders will ask a judge to increase the court monitor's powers to authorize him to investigate all transactions relating to Essar Global and its subsidiaries.

The DIP lenders wants the monitor to examine any transactions involving Portco or the cogeneration facility completed in the past were detrimental to the steelmaker.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, the United Steelworkers announced that a framework agreement had been reached between the Ontario government and Bedrock Industries for the purchase and continued operations of U.S. Steel Canada facilities in Hamilton and Nanticoke.

Sault Star


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 24

In tandem tow, 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.

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. 1922: AUBE, on her first trip back under this name, went aground off Carleton Island, while carrying 65,000 bushels of grain. Tugs released the stranded vessel the following day.

1978: FRANQUELIN (ii) went aground in the Seaway below Beauharnois. Once refloated, the ship went to Canadian Vickers in Montreal for repairs and was caught there in a labor dispute.

1980: DERWENTFIELD, a British-flag freighter, first came through the Seaway in 1975. The ship grounded on this date as c) CAVO ARTEMIDI off Brazil, while enroute from Vitoria, Brazil, to Rotterdam, Holland, with a cargo of pig iron and broke in two as a total loss.

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


Suds help fuel surge in shipments at Burns Harbor port

9/23 - The Midwest's penchant for craft beer and energy efficiency is helping to put the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor on course for another high-volume year, with a 66 percent hike in large cargo shipments through August compared to the same period last year.

"This year we've handled beer fermentation tanks, multiple large cranes, electric generators for Midwest manufacturers, as well as wind turbine components," Port director Rick Heimann said, noting that the Burns Harbor port continues to be a preferred hub for oversized project cargoes.

He said overall shipments at Burns Harbor are about 4 percent higher than the previous five-year average, but added it would be difficult to match the record-setting pace of 2014 and 2015.

The port handled 2.8 million tons of cargo in 2015, eclipsed only by 2014's tonnage of more than 3 million.

Heimann said coal shipments were up 52 percent versus the period of January through August 2015, slag shipments were up 39 percent and grain shipments increased by 17 percent. Steel-related shipments are higher than the previous five-year average and about even with last year.

"The port also saw an increase in grain shipments during August as 22,000 tons were shipped to our trading partners in Quebec," Heimann said.

This increase comes on the heels of a new partnership between the Province of Quebec and State of Indiana, launched in September 2015, to increase their collaboration in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway system shipping and maritime economic development.

She said during August, export cargoes consisted of general cargo, containerized cargo, wheat, soybeans and corn. Meanwhile, Burns Harbor, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee received bulk shipments of steel, machinery and mechanical presses. Imports of aluminum, windmill components and rutile and ilmenite sand from Australia and Kenya were received at other ports in the system.

Heimann said the Burns Harbor port has handled 53 ships through August this year and nearly 200 barges. He said the port generally handles about 100 ships and 300 barges each year.

The port handles ocean ships, lake vessels and year-round barges. It also has multimodal connections to truck and rail transportation.

He said the port supports nearly 40,000 jobs and generates $4.9 billion in economic activity annually.

Chicago Tribune


Port Reports -  September 23

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Herbert C. Jackson departed Duluth at 10 on Thursday morning for sea trials, returned to port an hour later and docked at the Port Terminal, where she remained Thursday evening. Also on Thursday, Paul R. Tregurtha departed in the early morning with coal, and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived in the evening to load at Midwest Energy. The Polish saltie Resko is in port loading grain at the Peavey elevator.


Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse sports new white look

9/23 - Rochester, N.Y. – The Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse went white last week as historical society members attempt to restore it to reflect a significant period in its own history.

The stone octagonal lighthouse, located on Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Genesee River, was built in 1822 and is one of the oldest standing lighthouses in the country. It was “limewashed,” or whitewashed, in the 1800 and decommissioned in 1881, meaning it no longer functioned as a navigational aid. The lantern room was removed soon after, and the mortar between the stones supporting the lighthouse started to break down.

The limewash wore off as ivy took over the tower’s outer shell for years. The tower was refurbished several times and sported its bare sandstone face until recently.

But its new limewash job harkens back to an earlier era in the mid-1800s, said Fred Amato, a Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Historical Society board member.

The spiral staircase inside was added during that period, as well as a Fresnel lens, a prism-like, high-powered lens that formed light into a beam, he said.

The limewash coating is being completed by contractors and paid for through historical society and grant funding, he said. Workers will eventually put on eight coats with large paintbrushes — it will last for around eight to 12 years.

Some residents seem reluctant to accept the lighthouse’s new look — social media users lamented that they “liked the stone look better” and needed time to let the whitewashed tower “grow on them.”

“We thought, ‘how do we want to preserve this?’ ” said Amato. “Did we have to go back and do the limewash? No, we didn’t have to do it, but the majority of the board thought it was the best option.”

Board members are taking neighbor’s comments into account on the look of the lighthouse, but at this point, it would be impractical to remove the limewash, he said. If they decided to bring back the stone look, the best thing would be to allow the limewash to wear off on its own.

This isn’t the first time the lighthouse got a major makeover.

Edison Technical High School students re-created the lantern room in 1984, and it was affixed to the tower. The lighthouse got another facelift in the 1990s, and was headless once again in 2014, when the lantern room was removed to allow workers to shore up the structure after a report raised concerns about structural hazards. The lantern room was re-affixed after a few weeks.

Those repairs were paid for by Monroe County, which owns the lighthouse property, to the tune of $60,000, said Amato, and an anonymous donor gave $34,000 to buy a replica Fresnel lens, reminiscent of the structure’s original one.

Democrat & Chronicle


Great Lakes Maritime Institute annual fall dinner is Oct. 9

9/23 - Detroit, Mich. – At 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9, the Great Lakes Maritime Institute will have its annual fall dinner at Dossin Museum on Belle Isle.

Guest speaker Joel Stone, senior curator for the Detroit Historical Society, will provide an illustrated historical presentation of his book “The Floating Palaces of the Great Lakes.” He revisits this important era of maritime history, packed with elegance and adventure, politics and wealth, triumph and tragedy. This story of Great Lakes travelers and the beautiful floating palaces they engendered will engage historians and history buffs alike, as well as genealogists, regionalists, and researchers. Tickets are $40 per person and available at

Great Lakes Maritime Institute


Museum of the Great Lakes will display 19th century watercolor

9/23 - Toledo, Ohio – When Peggy Faris Soha goes out on Lake Erie, she thinks about her great-great grandfather, Capt. Orlean Elkana Bullock, skippering a commercial sailing schooner through the waters with its cargo in the late 19th century.

The National Museum of the Great Lakes will display a 19th century watercolor of the Maumee Valley painted by Vincent Douglas Nickerson starting Thursday.

“Every time I go out there, I look out and have this amazing feeling, knowing that my [great-great] grandfather was out there sailing a ship on this very lake,” said the 58-year-old Willoughby Hills resident. “It represents the very soul of our family, and the strength.”

That 127-foot long schooner, christened the Maumee Valley, was captured in a rare watercolor painting by 19th century painter Vincent Douglas Nickerson. It remained in Ms. Soha’s family until Tuesday, when it was transported to the National Museum of the Great Lakes to be a part of the museum’s collection. It will be displayed on “Recent Acquisitions” wall at the Front Street museum.

The painting was commissioned by Captain Bullock during the time he owned and skippered the vessel, between 1895 and 1899. The 28-by-17 painting was passed down to his daughter Lillian, who in turn, gifted the painting to her son and Ms. Faris Soha’s father, Nelson J. Faris of Cuyahoga Falls. There it hung above the fireplace for decades, until Ms. Faris Soha’s parents died in the last decade.

“It was just a constant in our lives; it was a really big deal. We all loved it,” she said. “It was understood by my father that Scott — my brother — and I, that the painting would be donated [to the museum]. That’s where it needs to be. That’s the last stop.”

The painting was recently appraised for about $18,000, Ms. Faris Soha said.

Chris Gillcrist, executive director of the Great Lakes Historical Society, said the boat has a rich history. Research indicates that the boat was built in 1868 in Perrysburg, by a local shipbuilder named F.E. Bugbee. Records also show it was owned mostly by Toledoans, including resident Mary R. Peck. She is listed sole owner in 1891, a rare occurrence in Great Lakes vessel history in the 19th century, Mr. Gillcrist said.

The boat’s ending is compelling and tragic: In 1900, the Maumee Valley went aground off Long Point, a sandy jut of land near Port Rowan, Ont., and northeast of Pelee Island. The crew clung to it for three days, but rescue efforts were futile, and the crew died, Mr. Gillcrist said.

A chief reason the donation is so valuable is for research, he said. Having a color image of a cargo schooner from the 19th century is a scarcity.

“When you only have black and white photography, all of these boats look similar,” he said. “Paintings are really the only way you can actually see what the colors of a boat were. The way these paintings were done — because they were often for the owners — realism is the only way these boats were painted.”

The Maumee Valley was involved mainly in the grain, stone, and coal trade from Toledo and Sandusky east to Buffalo, occasionally carrying passengers from Buffalo to Cleveland, Mr. Gillcrist said. When steamships came on the scene in the late 19th century, commercial sailing vessels became obsolete by the 1930s, he said.

The boat was only in 30-40 feet of water when it sank in a cargo thoroughfare, and researchers at the museum surmise that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had to destroy the boat’s remains to keep the thoroughfare safe.

“We don’t think there is anything left of her,” he said. “These are questions we are still researching.”

Mr. Nickerson, considered one of the great 19th century marine painters, painted hundreds such original ship portraits before his death in 1910. Fifty-two of his original schematic drawings of Great Lakes vessels that he was commissioned to paint by boat owners from 1880 to circa 1910 are part of the digital gallery library at Bowling Green State University. The National Museum of the Great Lakes owns 14 of Mr. Nickerson’s original paintings.

Toledo Blade


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, 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, was 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. 1935: HURRY-ON was a Great Lakes visitor in 1934 when it loaded bagged flour at Port Colborne. The ship was lost off Port Hood Island, near Judique, NS, after developing leaks and a list. The lifeboat swamped twice and five were lost.

1961: CRYSTAL JEWEL, inbound for London in thick fog, was in a collision with the B.P. Tanker BRITISH AVIATOR. The captain was seriously injured and his daughter was killed. The vessel first visited the Great Lakes in 1960 and was enroute from Duluth to London with a cargo of grain at the time of the accident. The vessel grounded and, after being released, was taken to Rotterdam where the entire mid-ship superstructure was replaced. The ship made many more trips through the Seaway and returned as b) MELTEMI in 1970. It was scrapped at Busan, South Korea, after arriving as d) TETA on July 17, 1979.

1980: FERNLEAF first visited the Seaway in 1965 and returned as b) AALSUM in 1974. The ship was detained at Basrah, Iraq, in 1981 as c) INICIATIVA on this date in 1980 and declared a total loss in December 1981. It was salvaged in 1993 and renamed d) DOLPHIN V but perhaps only for a trip to the shipbreakers. The vessel arrived at Gadani Beach December 27, 2003, and dismantling began at once.

2000: Vandals attacked the museum ship NORGOMA at Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., breaking windows, light fixtures and setting off fire extinguishers, leaving an estimated $15,000 in damage.

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


Annual Whistles on the Water this Saturday in St. Clair

9/22 - St. Clair, Mich. – The annual Whistles on the Water whistle blow will be this Saturday in Palmer Park along the boardwalk in downtown St. Clair, Mich., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Steam whistles from dozens steamships from a bygone era will be blown on live steam provided by a huge, yet portable, steam boiler. In the course of the day, 400 gallons of fuel oil and 2,000 gallons of water will be spent.

Crowd favorites such as the Bob-Lo excursion steamer Columbia and the Georgian Bay Line's South American, as well as the three Typhon horns from the Charles M. Beeghly, will be on hand. There will be whistles from noted bulk freighters, carferries, tankers, tugboats and some unusual ones from non-lakeboat installations.

Small whistles will be available for visitors to actually blow a steam whistle and have their picture taken – all for free. Admission to the whistle blow is also free of charge. Protective earplugs will be provided for those who wish to watch the activity at close range. There will be narration on the manufacturer and history of each whistle to add to the understanding and enjoyment of the sounds. There is no other event in the world with a greater number of large steamship whistles to be heard.

Dave Michelson


BLP engines arrived Wednesday at Marquette on barge

9/22 - Marquette, Mich. – Three large engines are working their way into Marquette from a barge that brought them from Escanaba, up through the Soo Locks, and then across eastern Lake Superior. The engines were made by Finnish company Wartsila and came across the Atlantic Ocean on a saltwater vessel.

Onlookers across Marquette may have noticed street closures near the Upper Harbor throughout the day Wednesday due to the arrival of the engines. This will be a several day-long-process, leading to the possibility of road closures throughout the weekend.

The engines will be used for the expansion of the generation system by the Board of Power and Light. Each of the engines weighs 300 tons and combined will produce 50 megawatts of power. The engines burn a versatile group of fuels, such as natural gas, fuel oil or liquefied natural gas.

“For our use in Marquette, it will provide a lot of back-up generation,” said Board of Light & Power Board member David Carlson.

These engines are the largest created by Wartsila and are also the largest natural gas burning internal combustion engines in the world. The engines began their journey on the ocean vessel BBC Mont Blanc and worked their way to Escanaba, where they were loaded on the barge pulled by the tug Nickelena. They passed through the locks at Sault Ste. Marie and on to their final stop in Marquette.

Although the barge was expected to dock Wednesday afternoon, the porting location was changed 50 feet north because of difficulties with the prior location.

“This spot had been looked at in the past and it seemed to be the best spot that we had, but just as a precaution they had a final check to see if the lake bed had changed and in fact it has a great deal,” said Carlson.

The new location is now getting wooden beams placed on the shore. Once all equipment is in place, the barge will bring the engines over and they will be rolled off the barge and eventually brought onto trucks to be transferred.

“We’ve not had anything like this in this part of the world that I know of, that you could see an engine of this size, it’s pretty special. Once it gets inside the building, we won’t see much of it again,” said Carlson.



Port Reports -  September 22

Superior, Wis.
Herbert C. Jackson, which has been out of service this year while being converted to diesel, was expected to fuel overnight and head out on sea trials Thursday, weather permitting.

Silver Bay, Minn.
James R. Barker was loading Wednesday evening.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Algoma Spirit, Frontenac, Orsula, Federal Weser and Federal Kivalina were all loading on Wednesday. Federal Hunter remained at anchor.

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
Basic Marine tug Nickelena and a barge carrying three engines for a Marquette Board of Light and Power project, arrived at the Upper Harbor Wednesday, the last afternoon of summer. Hon. James L. Oberstar was loading Wednesday evening.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Wednesday included Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Presque Isle, Tecumseh and Great Republic. Algonova and Mesabi Miner were headed inbound at DeTour at 10 p.m. Downbounders Wednesday included Vancouverborg, Esta Desgagnes (which turned and moored at Sault, Ont.), Kaminstiqua, John J. Boland, USCG Biscayne Bay and, after dark, the saltie Labrador and CSL Laurentien.

Goderich, Ont.
Algoway was loading salt at Sifto in Wednesday. Algosteel locked through the Welland Canal Wednesday, headed for Goderich.

Sarnia, Ont.
Algorail, which has spent the 2016 season so far in layup, has been fitting out and is expected to sail on Thursday. As of Wednesday night, her AIS signal still reported as “Closed for Christmas.”

Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
On Wednesday, English River unloaded cement.


Search for three missing boaters on Lake Superior suspended

9/22 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday announced it has ended the active search for three boaters missing since Saturday on Lake Superior offshore from Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

"This is the most difficult decision we have to make during a search effort," Cmdr. Carolyn Moberley, of Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, said in a news release.

"Coast Guard boat crews, aircraft (and) the cutter Biscayne Bay, as well as Canadian aircraft and numerous state and local resources, have searched nonstop over an extensive portion of Lake Superior for these overdue boaters. Our very deepest condolences go out to the families of these individuals."

When the search was suspended Wednesday afternoon, the Coast Guard reported its crews had searched 14,000 square miles over the course of 151 hours. The search area extended from the Keweenaw Peninsula east to Caribou Island, Ont, and the community of Grand Marais, Mich. Some searching also was done on the west side of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

The group was in a 14-foot recreational boat owned by 61-year-old Keith Karvonen of Atlantic Mine, Mich., one of the three people missing. WLUC-TV in Marquette, Mich., identified the other two individuals as Steven Chartre, 43, of Ishpeming, Mich., and his 9-year-old son Ethan.

Karvonen’s Facebook page lists his occupation as “Merchant Mariner, Great Lakes Fleet.”

The Coast Guard said it was notified Saturday night that the three had not returned from a fishing trip at 5 p.m. Saturday as planned. Their truck and trailer were found at a marina near the eastern entrance to the Keweenaw Waterway, southeast of Houghton.

U.S. Coast Guard crews from as far away as North Carolina and Massachusetts took part in the search, along with Canadian Coast Guard personnel and state agencies.

Duluth News Tribune


Updates -  September 22

News Photo Gallery


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, the 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, but 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.

1917: The wooden steamer WILLIAM P. REND, a) GEORGE G. HADLEY, foundered off Alpena while carrying livestock. All 9 crewmembers were rescued.

1951: The Liberty ship THUNDERBIRD visited the Seaway in 1959. Earlier, on this date in 1951, the ship received major bow damage from a head-on collision with the Chinese freighter UNION BUILDER (built in 1945 at Brunswick, GA as a) COASTAL RANGER) at the entrance to Colombo, Ceylon. THUNDERBIRD was also a Great Lakes trader as d) NEW KAILING in 1964 and scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in 1967.

1979: OCEANIC KLIF first visited the Seaway in 1971. The ship stranded near Las Palmas, Canary Islands, while on a voyage from Kamsar, Guinea, West Africa, to Port Alfred, QC with calcinated bauxite and was abandoned by the crew.

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


Boblo boat Ste. Claire needs fund for move; has two weeks to find a new home

9/21 - Livonia, Mich. – Going to Boblo Island is a fond memory for many Michiganders, and a big part of that memory is riding the Boblo Boat. Kevin Mayer is on a mission to restore the Boblo Boat, the steamship Ste. Claire. It's one of two boats that took excited amusement park goers to Boblo Island before it closed in the 1990s – and it's the last Boblo Boat still in the area.

The restoration process, however, is in danger of running aground.

The boat is currently docked in Del Ray on the River Rouge, but Mayer says he has to move the boat because the space has now been rented to a new company for more money.

"By moving the ship, that costs a lot of money," he says. "We're looking at approximately $20,000 to try to tow this ship, and that could be a great deal of money back into the restoration. We want to bring this boat back as soon as possible; everybody wants this boat back."

Mayer says he and his crew are putting out a call for help in finding a new home for the boat – and they have just two weeks to do so.

"If anybody knows anyone that could give us some dock space; we're not looking for a handout. We don't mind renting the property. We're even at the point where, if we have to, we'll purchase some property. Just so that we can get this project done," Mayer says.

Fox 2 Detroit


Rand Logistics brings bulker Ojibway out of layup

9/21 - Rand Logistics, a bulk shipping services provider throughout the Great Lakes region, has announced that its previously laid up bulk carrier, the motor vessel Ojibway, has returned to service support new business contracts resulting from the Canadian grain harvest season.

“We are very pleased to bring the Ojibway back into service for the remainder of the 2016 sailing season,” said Ed Levy, Rand’s chief executive officer. “As previously disclosed during the quarter ended March 31, 2016, we agreed to a favorable buyout of a customer time charter contract on this vessel and the Ojibway was not expected to operate this sailing season. After favorable marketing efforts and the strong Canadian grain market, we were able to return the vessel to service to support our customers’ needs.”

Levy said the projected revenue from these additional sailing days will help to balance the continuing choppy demand environment in the first quarter of fiscal year 2017 and returning the vessel will position the company to continue to repay debt and increase return on capital.

The company has increased its projection of sailing days to approximately 3,500 days, an increase from the initial projection of approximately 3,405 days, and intends to operate 14 vessels for the remainder of the 2016 season.

Splash 24/7


Port Reports -  September 21

Superior, Wis.
Herbert C. Jackson’s steering pole was turned from inboard to its sailing outboard position Tuesday morning and lifeboat drills were being conducted. The Jackson has been out of service this year while being converted to diesel, a project that is nearing completion.

St. Marys River
Frontenac was upbound at the locks around noon. Paul R. Tregurtha, James R. Barker and Hon. James L. Oberstar followed in the after afternoon. Roger Blough, Flevogracht, Saginaw and Edwin H. Gott were downbound. The tug Nickelena and her barge containing power generators for Marquette, departed the Carbide Dock upbound about 5 p.m.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Joseph L. Block was inbound through the Sturgeon Bay ship canal for Bayship just after 5 p.m. (CDT) Tuesday.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey, Gordy Garris
The Saginaw River saw one of it's busiest days so far this season with three commercial vessel passages on Tuesday. The morning saw Dorothy Ann-Pathfinder inbound on the Saginaw River, carrying a split cargo. The pair dropped a partial load at the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City, then traveled upriver to finish unloading at the Wirt Stone Dock in Saginaw. Also inbound later in the morning was the Walter J. McCarthy Jr., calling on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville to unload coal. Both vessels were expected to be outbound Tuesday afternoon. The third arrival on Tuesday was the tug Olive L. Moore and the barge Lewis J. Kuber, inbound Tuesday night from Stoneport with cargo for Bay City. The pair waited in the Saginaw Bay near the entrance to the shipping channel for the outbound McCarthy and Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder to clear before proceeding inbound. The Moore/Kuber are expected to be back outbound for the lake Wednesday morning.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
The saltwater vessel Industrial Charger, barring any unforeseen delays, should be arriving at Toledo sometime Friday morning. It is unknown to which dock she is bound.


Dock owners push back on plan to expand port authority in Muskegon

9/21 - Muskegon, Mich. – It's a promise of jobs and economic prosperity along the lakeshore, but not everyone is convinced. Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Muskegon, is among a group of legislators and business and community leaders pushing to establish a port authority in Muskegon to create more opportunities for shipping goods in and out of West Michigan.

With shipments of raw bulk materials like coal and rock dwindling in wake of the closure of B.C. Cobb Consumers Energy coal power plant and Sappi paper mill, Hughes says there is a need to make up the lost shipments.

“When we lost Consumers Power, we lost 660,000 tons of shipping (coal)," she said. "We’re slowly making up that tonnage—some of the companies have been—but we want more economic growth, like it used to be before I was born, using our ports.”

Hughes' bill would amend the state's Port Authority Act to allow an authority to be established in communities where the ports are owned by private operators, which is the case in Muskegon. Current law limits the creation of port authorities to communities where the ports are publicly owned. Detroit is the only publicly owned port in the state.

Hughes said the change would allow for the establishment of a private-public partnership, which would enable the state to compete with maritime commerce in other states.

“It’s basically a framework to concentrate on increasing what we ship into the port and increase jobs," Hughes said, adding her desire to see Muskegon compete with Chicago. "I think Chicago has plenty of business to spare, so I wouldn’t mind tapping that a little bit.”

Hughes also argues Muskegon's port is at risk of losing federal funding for dredging by not being able to meet a 1-million-ton shipment threshold established by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Dredging is the process of removing material underwater to keep the primary commercial channels clear for shipping freighters. But according to a report from the Great Lakes Dredging Team, 13 harbors below the 1-million-ton threshold received funding for high priority dredging in 2016.

Max McKee, president of West Michigan Dock and Market Corporation, argues the establishment of a port authority would only create unfair competition and encourage the murky use of public funding, like grant money, for projects on privately owned facilities.

“I see this as a question of choosing winners and losers," McKee said. “It’s about the possibility of another level of government also able to access funds, to then use those funds to compete with docks already in the business, that’s our concern.”

But Hughes contends the proposed amendment is meant to help, not hurt private port owners. The proposal would provide protections for private port owners, including removing the ability of the authority to condemn property or authorize a millage request. The bill would also require direct authorization of a port operator before any port authority could begin work on their property.

McKee says the 'build it and they will come' mantra is irresponsible, adding that the majority of shipments into the area now are bulk raw item materials which don't create dock jobs because the shipments are unloaded by automated machinery.

"People talk about ‘building up the port,’ but we have had roughly 11 foreign cargoes—commercial ships—come through here in the last 20 years carrying something other than bulk shipments,” he said. “It’s not like there’s a whole lot of congestion out there on the lake."

McKee says any future business would be easily managed by the existing private commercial docking facilities and ample existing port capacity, with no need for involvement from an authority.

"It’s just bad policy, it’s bad for the taxpayers, it’s bad for our state," he said. “Make no mistake, that’s taxpayer money and they’ll be able to determine where that goes and it could go to your competitor."

Hughes disputes the arguments, pointing to the widespread backing her proposed legislation has received from the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Municipal League, Consumers Energy, Muskegon County Road Commission, Michigan Works!, and the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission, among others.

"It’s great not only for Muskegon economic development, but regional economic development too," she said. “I think it will finally make a difference in our port and how it’s being utilized.”

The bill was expected to be approved out of a House committee in Lansing as soon as Sept. 20.



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.

1907: The passenger ship PICTON, a) CORSICAN caught fire and burned at the dock in Toronto. The hull was later converted to a barge and was, in time, apparently abandoned near the Picton Pumping Station.

1907: ALEX NIMICK, a wooden bulk freighter, went aground near west of Vermilion Point, Lake Superior, and broke up as a total loss. The vessel was enroute from Buffalo to Duluth with a cargo of coal and six lives were lost

1921: The 3-masted schooner OLIVER MOWAT sinks in Lake Ontario between the Main Duck and False Duck Islands after a collision with KEYWEST on a clear night. Three lives were lost while another 2 sailors were rescued from the coal-laden schooner.

1924: The whaleback self-unloader CLIFTON, the former SAMUEL MATHER, foundered in Lake Huron off Thunder Bay while carrying a cargo of stone from Sturgeon Bay to Detroit. All 25 on board were lost.

1946: A second typhoon caught the former Hall vessel LUCIUS W. ROBINSON as b) HAI LIN while anchored in the harbor at Saipan, Philippines, on a voyage to China.

1969: AFRICAN GLADE, a Seaway caller in 1963, lost power in the Caribbean as c) TRANSOCEAN PEACE and was towed into Port au Spain, Trinidad. The repaired ship departed for Durban, South Africa, in April 1970 only to suffer more boiler problems enroute. The vessel was sold for scrapping at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, later in the year.

1977: HELEN EVANS suffered steering problems and went aground on Whaleback Shoal while upbound with iron ore in the St. Lawrence. There was minor damage and the vessel was released September 23.

1982: CALGADOC left the Great Lakes in 1975 and saw service in the south as b) EL SALINERO. The ship sank on this date in 1982 on the Pacific off the coast of Mexico.

1985: ELTON HOYT 2ND struck the 95th Street Bridge at Chicago and headed to Sturgeon Bay for repairs. 1988: The small tug MARY KAY sank in a Lake Ontario storm enroute from Rochester to Oswego. The former b) CAPT. G.H. SWIFT had recently been refitted and went down after a huge wave broke over the stern. It had seen only brief service on Lake Ontario after arriving from the Atlantic in 1987.

1993: The tug DUKE LUEDTKE sank in Lake Erie about 12 miles north of Avon Point when the ship began taking water faster than the pumps could keep up. One coastguardsman was lost checking on the source of the leak when the vessel rolled over and sank.

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


Build new Soo Lock before economic disaster strikes, advocates warn

9/20 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – There’s a good chance that the car you’re driving is made from American steel. Steel comes from iron ore, and American car companies rely almost exclusively on the kind that’s mined in Minnesota and Michigan called taconite. It’s carried down the Great Lakes in 1,000-foot-long iron boats to the steel mills.

That supply chain relies on a critical piece of infrastructure at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan: the Soo Locks. If there was a major problem there, the effects could send the entire nation into recession. And that has advocates saying it’s time to build a new lock – but they’ve been saying that for decades.

The problem is simple.

Lake Superior’s water level sits 21 feet higher than Lake Huron’s. Because of that, there are rapids in the St. Mary’s River, which connects the two lakes. The rapids are impassable for ships. But since the 1790s there has been a simple solution: locks. Locks are like an elevator for ships so they can avoid the rapids.

The water level in the lock can go up or down depending on which lake the boat is heading to. This boat is bound for Lake Huron carrying iron ore to a steel mill in Ontario. It takes a gentle touch and some finesse to guide the Canadian freighter Tim S. Dool into the lock. The boat has a diesel engine with nearly 11,000 horsepower.

Once in position, a giant gate swings together to close at the boat’s rear. The gate interlocks and forms a wall supporting the lock against the pressure of the St. Mary’s River and Lake Superior. And the Tim S. Dool starts dropping from Lake Superior’s water level to Lake Huron’s.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Kevin Sprague is in charge at the Soo Locks. His job is to keep boats moving through the locks 24/7 for 9 months of the year. Millions of tons of commodities like iron ore and coal pass through the locks each year. These are raw materials essential to the industrial economy.

Most of that cargo has to go through the Poe Lock.

“70 percent of the tonnage that comes through the facility is restricted to the Poe due to the size of the ships,” Sprague says. The smaller boats pass through the other, smaller lock.

“Moving iron ore from the mines to the steel mills in the lower lakes is very important,” Sprague says. If there was an outage at the Poe, it could be a disaster for those steel mills and the auto companies that rely on them.

A long outage hasn’t happened at the Poe before. But last summer there was a failure at the Poe Lock’s smaller neighbor next door – the MacArthur Lock. One of the gates broke. Sprague compares the gate to a roof on a house which carries a snow load.

“They’re carrying the water load into the walls,” Sprague says. “If at the peak … it doesn’t come together right and you put a head of water on there, the gates will collapse.”

The MacArthur Lock was out of commission for nearly three weeks while they drained the lock and fixed it. It was the longest outage of Sprague’s 25-year career. During the outage, all the traffic that normally went through the MacArthur Lock had to be routed through the Poe instead.

But if it had been the reverse situation, and the Poe had gone down, the largest boats on the lake like the Tim S. Dool would have been stuck. And so would have millions of dollars worth of iron ore. That scenario has many people advocating for an additional large lock the same size as the Poe to be built.

Sault Ste. Marie is a pretty small town compared to the economic importance of the locks. Superior Coffee Roasting is just down the street from the locks. That’s where Linda Hoath is sitting.

Hoath, who was born at the Soo, is the executive director of the Sault Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Soo Locks, and the ships, are a big draw for tourists.

“It’s amazing to watch them,” Hoath says. “Years ago there used to be [a ship called] the Cliffs Victory and it was an amazing ship. It kind of had a nose on it that was so different. You could close your eyes and you knew it was her coming because of her sound.”

Hoath has been pushing for a new lock for decades. She says the threat of an outage at the Poe is too great to do nothing. “It would be devastating to our whole state, the country and other countries,” Hoath says.

Leaders in the shipping industry and in government agree with Hoath. A report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released last fall described the Poe Lock as ‘the Achilles Heel of the North American industrial economy.’

It reported that if the Poe Lock closed for six months – a nightmare scenario – the result would be a nation spiraling into recession. Unemployment in Michigan could reach 20 percent. That’s higher than its peak during the Great Recession.

The problem is there is no alternative way to move vast quantities of iron ore to steel mills in the Midwest right now.

“You can’t put it on railroads, you can’t put it in trucks,” Hoath says. “There isn’t enough out there. We have no railroads up here. The auto industry would just be collapsing.”

The Homeland Security report says there are not enough trucks in all of the U.S. to move that amount of iron ore.

The Soo Locks have been critical for American manufacturing for decades. During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stationed 20,000 troops at Sault Ste. Marie. He worried that Nazi bombers might strike the locks and put a critical wound to the American war machine. Today, the main threat is not some faraway enemy, although terrorism is always a concern. The larger worry is the simple fact that the locks are aging.

“Our infrastructure in this country is crumbling,” says former Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak. Stupak, who left office in 2011, spent his career in office trying to get a new lock built. It was nearly part of the 2009 stimulus package but it didn’t make the final draft.

The current Poe Lock is about 50 years old, but Stupak says building another one has not been a priority for the U.S. Army Corps.

“The Army Corps isn’t opposed to it,” Stupak says. “But they look at their budget every year and they say, ‘we have so many needs, so little money, how can we justify a whole new project when we can’t pay for the needed repairs on all the projects the Army Corps of Engineers has throughout the United States?’”

The U.S. Army Corps says a new lock would cost around $580 million and could take up to a decade to build.

Still, Bart Stupak says he’s optimistic about the future. “We’re going to get a new member of Congress from northern Michigan,” Stupak says, “hopefully we’ll have [the Soo Locks] as one of their priorities.”

The U.S. Army Corps is taking a new look at the need for an additional lock. After the review, the project could move to the top of the Corps’ to-do list. That would make the lock a viable project for Congress to fund. The study is not scheduled to be finished until 2018.

Interlochen Public Radio


Port Reports -  September 20

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Kaministiqua, Flevogracht and Saginaw were loading on Monday. Algoma Spirit and four Fednav boats were at anchor.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic Monday afternoon and evening included Cuyahoga, Isolda, Baie St. Paul, American Integrity, Kaye E. Barker, Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader and Whitefish Bay. Esta Desgagnes was upbound in the early morning, followed later by CSL Laurentien, American Spirit and Orsula.

Cedarville, Mich.
Wilfred Sykes was loading limestone Monday evening.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Manitoulin arrived Monday afternoon and went to the Midwest Terminals Overseas Dock to load coal or pet coke.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W
American Mariner should arrive off Buffalo around 5 a.m. Tuesday before heading up the Buffalo River & the City Ship Canal for the Frontier Elevator.


Coast Guard increases search area for 2 adults, child missing in Lake Superior

9/20 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard crews along with state and local agencies have increased the search area in Lake Superior Monday for two adults and one child who went missing Saturday night in the vicinity of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

The search region now extends from outer Keweenaw Bay into Lake Superior. One of the three missing has been identified as Keith Karvonen. The Coast Guard is not releasing the names of the second adult and child.

Karvonen is the owner of a 14-foot boat that the group is expected to be aboard.

Agencies searching are: U.S. Coast Guard Station Marquette, Michigan, Coast Guard Station Portage, Michigan, Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay, Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Canadian Coast Guard.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, no signs of the missing trio or their boat had been found.

Anyone with any information about this case is urged to contact the Coast Guard Sector Sault Sainte Marie command center at 906-635-3233. More information will be released as it becomes available.



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 could be fabricated. She was renamed b.) AMERICAN SPIRIT in 2004.

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

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.

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.

1970: MARATHA ENDEAVOUR, enroute from Chicago to Rotterdam, broke down in the Atlantic and sent out a distress call. The ship was taking water but survived. The 520-foot long vessel had been a Seaway trader since 1965 and returned as b) OLYMPIAN in 1971. The ship arrived at Huangpu, China, for scrapping as c) HIMALAYA on January 9, 1985.

1980: The Canadian coastal freighter EDGAR JOURDAIN was built at Collingwood in 1956 as MONTCLAIR. The ship had been a pre-Seaway trader to the lakes and returned as b) PIERRE RADISSON in 1965, c) GEORGE CROSBIE in 1972 and d) EDGAR JOURDAIN beginning in 1979. It was wrecked at Foxe Basin, off Hall Beach in the Canadian Arctic, after going aground. The ship was abandoned, with the anchors down, but disappeared overnight on December 15, 1982, while locked in shifting pack ice. It is believed that the vessel was carried into deeper water and, at last report, no trace had ever been found.

1982: BEAVERFIR served Canadian Pacific Steamships as a Seaway trader beginning in 1961. The ship stranded off Barra de Santiago, El Salvador, as d) ANDEN in a storm on this date in 1982 after dragging anchor. Sixteen sailors from the 26-member crew perished.

2011: MINER, a) MAPLECLIFFE HALL, b) LEMOYNE (ii), c) CANADIAN MINER broke loose of the tug HELLAS and drifted aground off Scaterie Island, Nova Scotia, while under tow for scrapping at Aliaga, Turkey. The ship was a total loss and, in 2013, was still waiting to be dismantled and removed.

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


Game on to return former icebreaker Alexander Henry to Thunder Bay

9/19 - Thunder Bay, Ont. – The Lakehead Transportation Museum Society is trying to bring the former Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Alexander Henry back home to Thunder Bay. Built in 1958 at the Port Arthur shipyard, the Alexander Henry served the coast guard on the Great Lakes for decades before being decommissioned in 1984 after the Canadian Coast Guard Samuel Risley was brought into service.

For many years the appearance of the Henry on the horizon was the Lakehead’s harbinger of spring.

Named after the fur trader, explorer and writer who made annual expeditions to Thunder Bay in the 1800s, the Henry was brought to Kingston, Ont., where it served as a part of the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes exhibition. The fate of the ship was called into question after the museum’s property was sold. The museum was given two options at the time - sink or scrap the Alexander Henry.

Charlie Brown, president of Thunder Bay’s transportation museum society, said the group presented the museum with a third option - donate it back to Thunder Bay. “Anyone who lived in Thunder Bay during the ‘60s, ‘70s and early ‘80s, can remember the Henry opening up the Thunder Bay harbor,” he told The Chronicle-Journal.

“The Henry broke ice allowing each shipping season to begin. Thunder Bay would not exist without transportation. The Henry played a pivotal role in the existence of this city by opening up the harbor each spring. The Henry is an iconic image of our rich transportation heritage as thousands of Thunder Bay residents would wait and watch the Alexander Henry bring in the new shipping season that so many depended on for their livelihood.”

Brown argued the Alexander Henry was also the showcase attraction at the museum in Kingston for years, proving that it is a tourism attraction.

Negotiations between the two groups have been going on for the past two months. Brown said each party is working to find a deal that best suits them. He explained the Kingston museum was forced to relocate suddenly and the Henry is at temporary dock space. One of the main challenges facing the Thunder Bay initiative is moving the ship. Brown believes the cost will be between $230,000 and $250,000. He’s hoping the Thunder Bay community will step up to help cover the cost.

The other problem is timing.

“The museum in Kingston is under a tight schedule to do something with the Henry,” he said. “Timing is everything and we need sufficient time to raise the necessary funds for the tow. We will be looking for the community to help us to tow this once-in-a -lifetime endeavor and help bring the Henry home. We are planning fundraising activities for the near future.”

This isn’t the first fight to secure a piece of Thunder Bay’s marine transportation past. The city had a chance to have the passenger liner SS Keewatin, which routinely travelled from Thunder Bay to Port McNicoll, Ont., on Georgian Bay. The opportunity sailed by and now the Keewatin permanently resides at Port McNicoll as the centerpiece of its waterfront renewal project.

Brown said he hopes the community won’t repeat history.

“The Keewatin was a missed opportunity, but this is a better opportunity,” he said. “In our talks with the board in Kingston, it is in excellent shape. When they had to take (the Henry) out of drydock, they pulled it out within 15 minutes and the tow was nice and easy. It is in very good condition; it has to be towed obviously, because it doesn’t run, but it is in much better shape than the Keewatin was. It is basically a standalone artifact that we can use almost immediately.”

Brown wasn’t able to disclose where the Henry would be located until the deal is completed.

The Lakehead Transportation Museum Society’s mandate is to find and safely secure artifacts. The goal is to create a transportation museum to showcase the community’s varied transportation history.

Brown has spearheaded restoration of two of the city’s old Brill buses that are stored in the transit barn on Fort William Road. Other vehicles that were built in Thunder Bay include wartime ships and planes, rails cars and industrial vehicles, including transport trailers and timber skidders.

Historical vehicles already on hand include a CN Rail caboose, a Via Rail passenger train and the Alexender Henry’s original icebreaking predecessor, the James Whalen.

Chronicle Journal


Port Reports -  September 19

St. Marys River
Basic Marine’s tug Nickelena towed a barge upbound through the St. Marys River loaded with three Wartsila generators bound for Marquette Board of Light and Power Sunday afternoon. They were put aboard in Escanaba and came from overseas on the BBC Mont Blanc. Resko, Lee A. Tregurtha and John J. Boland were also upbound on Sunday afternoon. The research vessel Lake Guardian headed downbound, with Mesabi Miner following, in the evening.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41unloaded cargo at Lafarge on Wednesday (9-15). Tug and barge fleetmates G.L Ostrander/Integrity and Samuel de Champlain/Innovation were in port as well last week, loading cement. Manitowoc unloaded coal at Lafarge on Saturday. The Alpena is expected to return on Monday.

Goderich, Ont.
Algoma Mariner was loading at Sifto salt on Sunday.


Future USS Wichita launched at Marinette Marine

9/19 - Marinette, Wis. – The future USS Wichita, currently known as LCS 13, was launched Saturday at Fincantieri Marinette Marine. Wichita is the seventh LCS launched in Marinette making it another step closer to joining the Navy’s fleet.

Some out at the ceremony say witnessing a christening is always a sight to see. Ship sponsor Kate Lehrer, who performed the traditional breaking of a champagne bottle, says it's a moment you truly can blink and miss.

"He said now never take your eyes off the ship, because you got seven seconds after you hit for the launch to happen, it's over in seven seconds," said Lehrer.

"I mean look at her she's speaks for herself, " said Commander Tyrone Bush with the United States Navy. Bush says touring the ship as it was being built, and meeting the people behind the finished product, has made the day much more special.

"They just beamed with excitement and they talked about the ships that have came, and were going to come after. I could see the excitement in their eyes, and that just made me excited," he said.

For those who work at the shipyard, it's a day they've been waiting for.

"It's a dream come true for all the hard work that everyone that works here puts in everyday. Wonderful to see it finally in the water," said Marc Jamo who is an employee the shipyard.

LCS 13 will be the third U.S. Navy ship named USS Wichita. Previous ships to bear the name included a World War II heavy cruiser (CA-45) and a Wichita-class Replenishment Oiler (AOR-1).

Fox 11 News


Michigan robotics students build ROV, explore Lake Michigan shipwreck

9/19 - Stockbridge, Mich. – Remember that one favorite book from elementary school? Maybe not, but a group of Stockbridge High School students do. They remember "The Christmas Tree Ship" so well, in fact, that they explored the book under 170 feet of water.

The robotics team traveled to Manitowoc, Wis. Friday, Sept. 2, to explore the Rouse Simmons shipwreck, which sank in Lake Michigan in 1912. The sunken ship is located six miles off the coast of Wisconsin.

"Several students had expressed an interest in diving the wreck that they first learned about while reading the children's book, "The Christmas Tree Ship," in elementary school," Bob Richards, Stockbridge robotics instructor, said in a press release.

The Rouse Simmons was carrying a crew of 17 and a cargo of freshly cut Christmas trees destined for customers in Chicago, as it had each Christmas season since 1868, when it sunk during a storm.

The students and two instructors crossed Lake Michigan on the SS Badger car ferry and spent the night on the World War II submarine USS Cobia. They spent Labor Day weekend diving their underwater remotely operated vehicle, which they spent two weeks in August designing and building.

Richards applied for the 2016-17 Michigan STEM Partnership grant in order to fund the project.

"The team spent a good deal of time reworking its underwater video camera system to withstand the increased depth requirements," Richards said. "While the Christmas Tree shipwreck sits in 170 feet of water, the team is hoping to dive deeper wrecks in the Great Lakes later in the school year."

Team members on the trip were Madison Howard, Faith Whitt, Michelle Zemke, Katelyn Knieper, Colin Lilley and Jake Chapman.

View a photo gallery here


Sand Point Lighthouse gets a fresh coat of paint

9/19 - Escanaba, Mich. – A famous Delta County landmark is getting a bit of a makeover. Painters have been hard at work over the past few days giving the Sand Point Lighthouse at the end of Ludington Street in Escanaba a fresh coat of white paint. The work is being done on the historic landmark thanks in part to a grant from the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program — a program funded by custom license plates that residents can purchase from the state.

“This lighthouse was a very, very important part of the foundation of this city,” said Elizabeth Keller, a board member of the Delta County Historical Society. “It was primarily built to protect incoming traffic — boat traffic — from the sandbar that extends out from the lighthouse. In the last number of days since the painter’s been working, so many people have stopped to admire the lighthouse, and I think that it will bring more people to see it.”

In total, the repainting is going to cost about $21,000, with $7,000 of that being contributed by the Delta County Historical Society. According to the Historical Society’s website, the lighthouse cost $11,000 to build — but of course, that was a century and a half ago.

ABC 10 News


Updates -  September 19

News Photo Gallery


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. 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 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.


Port Reports -  September 18

Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
John J. Boland arrived Saturday morning with a load for the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. The Boland completed unloading, backed out of the slip, and was back outbound for the lake around 8 p.m. Saturday.

Montreal, Que. – Rene Beauchamp
Oakglen left Montreal Saturday morning for the Verreault shipyard at Les Méchins, Que. She has been laid up since Dec. 30. A third U.S.-flagged laker this season, the H. Lee White, will be travelling down the Seaway soon. A new saltwater visitor, the Industrial Charger, will be seen heading to Toledo in a couple of days.


Updates -  September 18

News Photo Gallery


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.

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.

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.

1909: LACKAWANNA lost steering and sank in the St. Clair River with a hole in the starboard bow after a collision with the wooden schooner CHIEFTAIN off Point Edward.

1918: BUFFALO, formerly the Great Lakes package freighter a) TADOUSAC, b) DORIC, was torpedoed by U-117 and sunk off Godfrey Light and Trevose Head, Cornwall, UK

1942: ASHBAY traded on the Great Lakes for Bay Line Navigation from 1923 until 1935 when it was sold for Brazilian coastal service. The ship was sunk by gunfire from U-516 on this date at the mouth of the Marowyne River, Brazil, as c) ANTONICO and 16 lives were lost.

1942: NORFOLK, enroute from Surinam to Trinidad, was hit, without warning, by two torpedoes from U-175, on the starboard side near the British Guiana Venezuela border. The Canada Steamship Lines ship went down in minutes. Six lives were lost was well as the cargo of 3055 tons of bauxite destined for Alcoa.

1958: ASHTABULA sank in Ashtabula harbor after a collision with the inbound BEN MOREELL. All on board were rescued but there were later two casualties when the captain committed suicide and an insurance inspector fell to his death while on board.

1970: HIGHLINER was heavily damaged amidships as d) PETROS in a fire at Tyne, UK. The vessel was not repaired and, after being laid up at Cardiff, was towed to Newport, Monmouthshire, for scrapping on June 12, 1972.

1978: The British freighter DUNDEE was a pre-Seaway trader into the Great Lakes and returned through the new waterway on 14 occasions from 1959 to 1962. It foundered in the Mediterranean as g) VLYHO near Falconera Island after an engine room explosion caused leaks in the hull. The vessel was enroute from Chalkis, Greece, to Tunis, Tunisia, at the time.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Manitoulin dedicated in Friday ceremony at Sarnia

9/17 - Sarnia, Ont. – The Manitoulin received a first class welcome and champagne toast during a special ceremony at the Government Dock at Sarnia Harbor Friday.

The 664 ft Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. vessel, with a maximum seaway capacity of 27,550 tons, is the first new river class self-unloader to be introduced into Great Lakes service in over 40 years.

Rand Logistics VP of Technical Services Eric McKenzie says they are excited about the new addition to their fleet.

“What you see here is the forebody of the ship, which is completely new, constructed in China,” he says. “The afterbody, which is the accommodation and engine room, is an ex-Danish tanker built in 1995. Tankers run a normal life of about 15 years. But, for us it’s fairly new.”

McKenzie says Sarnia residents should see the new vessel, which transports bulk cargo to Canadian and U.S. Great Lakes ports, quite a bit navigating the St. Clair River.

“Most of the cargos it will be carrying will be grain, aggregate, we carry a lot of aggregate salt, coal, anything that we can move in 25,000-ton lots,” he says. “It carries a lot of salt out of Goderich, a lot of aggregate out of the Michigan peninsula, we dump aggregate down in the Windsor area for our customers. So, it will traverse this area quite a bit.”

The new addition increases the fleet size of Rand subsidiary Lower Lakes Towing to 16, including 10 Canadian flagged and six U.S. flagged vessels.

“This is a Great Lakes ship, so its construction is about 50% the strength of an ocean going ship,” says McKenzie. “We had to be very careful in bringing it across the ocean. We only got a one-trip exemption. So we took special caution and loaded some solid ballast to reduce the stresses on it.”

McKenzie says it’s an exciting time for the Canadian shipping industry, which is in a mode of fleet renewal.

“Our competitors are currently building ships to replace older ships and some of our competitors have full sized ships that are now operating in Canada that are brand new,” he says.


Port Reports -  September 17

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
Downbound traffic Friday evening included the fresh-from-layup Pineglen, bound from Thunder Bay to Montreal with grain. Vancouverborg, CSL Niagara and Michipicoten were upbound in the evening.

Detroit, Mich.
The Port of Detroit welcomed the Victory I to the cruise ship dock on the Detroit River on Thursday.


Brockville welcomes return of Tall Ships Festival

9/17 - Brockville, Ont. - – Once again the magic is happening in Brockville, from Friday to Sunday (Sept. 16-18), when Brockville welcomes the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes.

On hand will be the brigantine Fair Jeanne, the schooner Mist of Avalon from Toronto, the well-known Tern schooner Empire Sandy from Toronto, the brigantine St. Lawrence II from Kingston, the topsail schooner Pride of Baltimore II from Baltimore, Md., the Colonial-era Spanish Galleon replica El Galeon from Spain, the schooner Sail When and If from Key West, Fla., as well as the Royal Canadian Navy Halifax class frigate HMCS Ville de Quebec and the hero-class patrol vessel CCGS Corporal Teather C.V. from Burlington, Ont.

To see daily schedules, go to and click on activities.


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 crankcase 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.

1909: The towline connecting the ALEXANDER HOLLEY and SIR WILLIAM FAIRBAIRN broke in a Lake Superior storm and the former, a whaleback barge, almost stranded on Sawtooth Shoal. The anchors caught in time and it took 5 hours to rescue the crew.

1980: HERMION began Great Lakes trading shortly after entering service in 1960. The vessel stranded as d) AEOLIAN WIND, about a half mile from Nakhodka, USSR, during a voyage from North Vietnam to Cuba. The ship was refloated on October 8, 1980, and scrapped in 1981 at Nakhodka.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Great Lakes-Seaway shipping rebounds in August

9/16 - Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway shipping rebounded in August due to a surge in U.S. grain exports, iron ore shipment improvements and a steady flow of raw materials for manufacturing and construction.

“We’ve seen a real rally in August. St. Lawrence Seaway cargo shipments were up 8 percent compared to the same month last year,” said Stephen Brooks, President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “U.S. grain exports now match last season’s strong performance. Iron ore shipments have improved as Canadian and U.S. mines have boosted production and we continue to see steady demand for aluminum, cement and asphalt.”

The August acceleration lifted year-to-date Seaway cargo shipments (from March 21 to August 31) to 17.3 million metric tons. While this number is down 7.5 percent compared to the same period in 2015, the busier August narrowed the gap.

U.S. grain shipments via the Seaway (from March 21 to August 31) totaled 1.1 million metric tons with wheat, corn and soybeans being loaded in ports such as Duluth-Superior and Toledo, Ohio.

“Grain shipments through the Port of Duluth-Superior have been running well ahead of last year – some 18 percent as of early last month,” said Vanta Coda, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “Recent shipments have included not only wheat and beet pulp pellets bound directly for Mediterranean ports but also cargoes headed through the Great Lakes-Seaway system to Canadian ports aboard Canadian-flag lakers.”

Year-to-date domestic general cargo shipments are up 23 percent compared to last season, with aluminum ingots (for car and truck manufacturing) shipped by McKeil Marine from the Aluminerie Alouette plant in Sept-Iles, Quebec to Oswego, NY, Detroit, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio.

Cement shipments have topped over a million metric tons for the season (March 21 to August 31), while liquid bulk including asphalt and petroleum products reached 2.2 million metric tons, up 29 percent over the same period last year.

The Port of Green Bay benefitted from the brisk activity with monthly cargo up 16.7 percent compared to the same month in 2015.

Dean Haen, Brown County Port and Resource Recovery Director, said "Cement and limestone were our largest imports in August. When we look at the year to this point, salt has also been another big import – up 40 percent over last year. Petroleum shipments also continue to be strong due to the shutdown of the Wisconsin pipeline with imports of gasoline and diesel coming from Montreal, New York and Toledo." Ports and ship owners are now gearing up for the autumn, traditionally the busiest time of the season.

“The Port of Cleveland was excited to see an increase in steel shipments throughout August, when compared to July. We expect continued momentum in our cargo numbers throughout the remainder of the shipping season,” said Jade Davis, Vice President of External Affairs, Port of Cleveland.

Chamber of Marine Commerce


Port Reports -  September 16

Duluth, Minn.
The steamer Alpena arrived Thursday afternoon to discharge cement at Lafarge.

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
After a relatively quiet first two weeks of September, H. Lee White and Lee A. Tregurtha loaded ore Thursday morning at the Upper Harbor.

St. Marys River
Fog briefly closed the river between Nine Mile and the Mud Lake junction light Thursday morning, sending the downbound Stewart J. Cort to anchor. Other downbound traffic Thursday included Arthur M. Anderson, John D. Leitch, Evans Spirit, Edgar B. Speer, Lake Guardian and Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin. Burns Harbor was upbound in the morning, with Mesabi Miner, Presque Isle and Atlantic Huron following in the late afternoon and evening.

Sarnia, Ont.
LLT’s Manitoulin arrived at the Government Dock on Thursday for her dedication ceremony, Friday at 1 p.m.

Montreal, Que. – Rene Beauchamp
Salarium, which has been laid up in Montreal, returned to service on Wednesday, leaving for the Magdalen Islands to haul road salt from the local salt mine.


Barge carrying BLP generators to hit shore this weekend

9/16 - Escanaba, Mich. – Marquette Board of Light and Power’s new generators will be making quite the scene this weekend. The three generators came into port Wednesday in Escanaba aboard the BBC Mont Blanc after traveling across the Atlantic from Italy. But the final phase of the move is going to be the trickiest.

Each generator weighs 650 thousand pounds (That’s nearly two million pounds total.). Basic Marine hopes to have all three generators transferred to a barge and secured down by this weekend. The barge will then make the 378-mile trip through the Soo Locks to Marquette. Traveling at approximately nine miles an hour the barge will take 35-40 hours to complete the trip.

Once in Marquette, it’s not exactly clear where the barge will dock, but according to Basic Marine they will be trying to get it as close to shore as possible. Ramps will be used to transfer the generators off the barge to shore.

Upper Michigan Source


Future LCS to be named for Marinette

9/16 - Marinette, Mich. – A future littoral combat ship will be named for the Northeast Wisconsin city where half the fleet is built.

U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble's office says the U.S. Navy has agreed to name LCS 25 the USS Marinette. The U.S. Navy is expected to officially announce the name on Sept. 22, Ribble's office says. The ship is scheduled to be finished and delivered to the Navy in 2020, according to Lockheed Martin, which oversees LCS construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine.

Construction of the littoral combat ships is split between Marinette Marine and an Alabama shipyard.

The complete list of names of the LCS built in Marinette: USS Freedom, USS Fort Worth, USS Milwaukee, USS Detroit, USS Little Rock, USS Sioux City, USS Wichita, USS Billings, USS Indianapolis, USS St. Louis, USS Minneapolis/St. Paul and USS Cooperstown.

The future USS Wichita, LCS13, will be launched Saturday.

Fox 11


Why haven't invasive zebra and quagga mussels overtaken Lake Superior?

9/16 - Lake Superior – Divers discovered a lost railroad locomotive, a schooner barge and a passenger steamer on the bottom of Lake Superior this year. Each wreck has spent more than 100 years underwater. None of them are covered in zebra or quagga mussels.

In any other Great Lake, that would be unheard of. But scientists say that Lake Superior has successfully repelled the invasive dreissenid mussels thanks to a unique combination of temperature, chemistry and food availability.

"I suspect they can be found in tributaries and Duluth harbor," said Don Schloesser, a fishery research biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey's Great Lakes Science Center in Ann Arbor.

But otherwise, Lake Superior is a "pretty inhospitable environment."

Read more, and see a video at this link


Welland Canal Gathering this weekend

9/16 - If you see extra people along the canal this weekend, it's the Boatnerd Gathering. Boatnerds from around the lakes gather to enjoy the canal to take photographs, trade stories, watch slide shows and generally enjoy the weekend. Details are below.

Friday, September 16 - Evening Gathering - Raffle & Door Prizes Canadian Corps Assoc. #22, 7 Clairmont St., Thorold Canadian Corps is located 3 blocks West of The Inn at Lock Seven 6:00 p.m. - Vendor Tables Open. 7:30 p.m. - Bring a tray of your best slides, CDs or DVDs to share with the group. We will have a laptop, digital projector and slide projector available, so bring your best stuff.

Saturday, September 17 - Marine Recycling Corp. **CANCELED** Walking tour of Marine Recycling Corp. scrapyard. Located at south end of Welland Street in Port Colborne. Due to no vessels being at Marine Recycling Corp., the walking tour of the scrapyard will not be held.

Saturday, September 17 - Evening Gathering - Raffle & Door Prizes Canadian Corps Assoc. #22, 7 Clairmont St., Thorold 6:00 p.m. - Vendor Tables Open. 7:30 p.m. - Bring a tray of your best slides, CDs or DVDs to share with the group.

Saturday & Sunday 17 - 18 - St. Catharines Museum 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Free Admission to St. Catharines Museum and Welland Visitors Centre - Located at Lock 3. Gift Shop offering 10% discount on selected items - tell them you are a Boatnerd.

Sunday 18 - St. Catharines Museum 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Visitors Centre will be viewing Discovery Channel's show “Mighty Ships” about the Algoma Equinox. Free donuts and coffee will be available.

1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Ted Barris will be giving his presentation on his best selling book “Fire Canoe.” The book is about the Canadian prairie steamboats during the latter half of the 19th century.


Door County Maritime Museum reports on tower fundraising campaign

9/16 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – The Door County Maritime Museum & Lighthouse Preservation Society has been actively engaged for nearly a year in a fundraising campaign to both construct a 10-story museum tower addition and expand the current facilities in Sturgeon Bay.

The campaign has reached out to more than 2,000 individuals, corporations, foundations and small businesses. Nearly half of the funds needed for construction and one-quarter for the entire project has been raised to date.

“We have been extremely pleased with the response shown by the Door County community and our supporters outside the immediate area. The tower and addition are planned to become a reality in 2017,” said Bill Harder, president of the museum’s board of directors.

The tower will feature an elevator ride to the 10th floor enclosed observation deck with its 360-degree view of Sturgeon Bay. Guests will be able to see downtown Sturgeon Bay to the north and south as well as seeing commercial and recreational boat traffic in the harbor. Touch screen digital displays will help visitors identify sites along the waterfront, both current and past. From here 10th floor visitors will have the experience of climbing the staircase to the open observation deck for a breath-taking view. To commemorate the lighthouse experience in Door County, visitors can examine a lighted, historic Fresnel lens and climb in the beacon enclosure.

The museum sees the tower project as the keystone in the city’s waterfront redevelopment, significantly impacting the economy of the Door County community, and creating and iconic attraction for business conferences, families, and tourism alike.

It is expected the expansion will raise community pride and spur tourism helping Sturgeon Bay serve as a destination site for out-of-town groups, small conventions, and in general, contribute to the local economy.

The new floor plan would increase retail space for an expanded museum store that is key to museum’s sustainable development as well as cater to and expand the number of tour groups visiting the museum. It is hoped local businesses and organizations will make use of the expanded conference and meeting space, not to mention private parties and receptions.

“The expanded store would feature educational toys and books, exhibit-related fun items, a large maritime library, unique nautical gifts and original artwork,” said museum Executive Director Amy Paul. “The museum addition will offer open areas for traveling exhibits that can easily be moved to make room for community training, meeting and conference room spaces.”

For more information related to the campaign or to support the project, please contact the Door County Maritime Museum at (920) 743-5958.



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.

1892 The wooden propeller VIENNA sank in foggy Whitefish Bay after beiing hit broadside by the wooden steamer NIPIGON. The latter survived and later worked for Canada Steamship Lines as b) MAPLEGRANGE and c) MAPLEHILL (i) but was laid up at Kingston in 1925 and scuttled in Lake Ontario in 1927.

1901 HUDSON was last seen dead in the water with a heavy list. The steeel package freighter had cleared Duluth the previous day with wheat and flax for Buffalo but ran into a furious storm and sank in Lake Superior off Eagle Harbor Light with the loss of 24-25 lives.

1906 CHARLES B. PACKARD hit the wreck of the schooner ARMENIA off Midddle Ground, Lake Erie and sank in 45 minutes. All on board were rescued and the hull was later dynamited as a hazard to navigation.

1937-- The large wooden tug G.R. GRAY (ii) of the Lake Superior Paper Co., got caught in a storm off Coppermine Point, Lake Superior, working with GARGANTUA on a log raft and fell into the trough. The stack was toppled but the vessel managed to reach Batchawana and was laid up. The hull was towed to Sault Ste. Marie in 1938 and eventually stripped out. The remains were taken to Thessalon in 1947 and remained there until it caught fire and burned in 1959.

1975 BJORSUND, a Norwegian tanker, visited the Seaway in 1966. The 22--year old vessel began leaking as b) AMERFIN enroute from Mexico to Panama and sank in the Pacific while under tow off Costa Rica.

1990 JUPITER was unloading at Bay City when the wake of a passing shipp separated the hose connection spreading gasoline on deck. An explosion and fire resulted. One sailor was lost as the ship burned for days and subsequently sank.

2005 Fire broke out aboard the tug JAMES A. HANNAH above Lock 2 of the Welland Canal while downbound with the barge 5101 loaded with asphalt, diesel and heavy oil. City of St. Catharines fire fighters help extinguish the blaze.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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

Escanaba, Mich.
The saltwater vessel BBC Mont Blanc was docked unloading machinery on Wednesday.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
The regular visitors have been in port over the past few days. The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity were in over the weekend. Fleetmate Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation loaded at Lafarge on Monday. The Alpena returned Tuesday afternoon to load cement for Superior, Wis. The research vessel Spencer F. Baird is tied up in river.

Lackawanna, N.Y. – Brian W.
The classic Canadian laker Algosteel arrived Wednesday morning for the Gateway Metroport Main Dock in Lackawanna to unload salt from Goderich. She came in via the South Entrance, winded in the Outer Harbor Southern Channel, and backed up the Bethlehem Slip. She's one of the last remaining Canadian lake boats with the bow-located pilothouse and forward cabins.

Montreal, Que. – Denny Dushane
Salarium of Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) departed early Wednesday morning after being in lay-up most of 2016. This leaves Atlantic Erie and Oakglen as the only two CSL ships in lay-up in Montreal. Atlantic Erie has had her markings painted out and is expected to go for scrap. Waterfront reports indicate Oakglen may fir out for the fall grain trade. CSL Tadoussac remains laid up in Thunder Bay, and as yet is not expected to sail this season.


Ex-USCG Bramble to make historic St. Clair River trip

9/15 - On Sept. 16, the former USCG cutter Bramble (WLB 392), based in Port Huron, will make a special trip up the St Clair River to Algonac, Mich., according to owner Robert Klingler of Marine City.

Among ex-coasties sailing will be three former 1957 Northwest Passage crewmembers – James O. Hiller, Charles F. Schmitzer III and Richard A. Juge of the cutter Storis, whose ship accompanied the Bramble and Spar on the trip. Additionally, former Bramble Captain Charles S. Park will be on the bridge.

A special salute will given in honor of former Marine City native Pat Owens, long-time captain of the Benson Ford. Bramble will fly Owens’ house flag for the Owens family as the vessel passes St. Mary Catholic Church, Marine City, on Friday morning Sept 16. While in moored in Algonac, the Bramble will be open to the public for tours Saturday, Sept 17, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Robert B. Klingler


Two masts, rigging intact on 119-year-old shipwreck near Apostle Islands

9/15 - Duluth, Minn. – The aged Antelope may have been one of the most venerable vessels on the Great Lakes, but it was living up to its fleet-footed namesake on that October day 119 years ago.

The schooner-barge, carrying a load of coal, was clipping along at 11-12 mph as it approached the Apostle Islands in tow of the steamer Hiram W. Sibley on Oct. 7, 1897.

As the two vessels neared Michigan Island, the weather was fair but the wind brisk, the seas choppy. That wouldn’t have troubled most ships — but the Antelope had been launched 36 years earlier, an eternity for a Great Lakes vessel in those days.

Under stress from the punishing waves, the old ship “sprung a leak and the pumps were put at work,” the Duluth News Tribune reported the next day. “Although the crew worked valiantly, the pumps were not able to cope with the inrushing water, which rapidly and steadily increased in depth in the hold.

“When it was plain that the Antelope was doomed … the crew had time to gather up their effects and these, together with the vessel’s papers and other articles of value that could be moved conveniently, were taken aboard the (Sibley).”

The 187-foot Antelope slipped beneath the waves, not to be seen again — until earlier this month when, thanks to years of work and some good fortune, a group of shipwreck hunters with Northland ties and a string of recent discoveries located the remarkably preserved vessel.

“It’s the most spectacularly intact sail-rigged ship in Lake Superior — two of the three masts are standing with the full rigging,” said Jerry Eliason of Scanlon, who along with Ken Merryman of the Twin Cities and Kraig Smith of Rice Lake, Wis., lowered a camera to explore the wreck last week Wednesday. “It’s got the giant woodstock anchors; the bow cabin is intact.”

They had first spotted the wreck on sonar less than a week earlier. The Antelope was a ship the group had been seeking for years, making periodic trips to search the vicinity where the vessel was last reported. In the end, it was good luck — backed by knowledge from those many previous trips — that led to the discovery.

As they traveled from Ontonagon, Mich., to Bayfield aboard Merryman’s boat, Heyboy, on Sept. 2, they left the sonar running — even though they weren’t actively searching at the time — because they knew they’d be passing through the general area where the Antelope sank.

Sure enough, the ghostly, distinctive form of a schooner showed up on the sonar as they neared Michigan Island, about 75 miles east of Duluth.

“It was a lot like winning the lottery after having purchased 10,000 tickets,” Eliason said with a chuckle.

The Antelope was built in 1861 — the same year Abraham Lincoln became president, Eliason noted — as a steamer carrying passengers and freight between Chicago and Buffalo, N.Y.

According to Great Lakes maritime historical records at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, the Antelope caught fire and burned in Buffalo in 1867. It was rebuilt and continued service on the Great Lakes as a steamer.

“Twenty-five or 30 years ago, she was one of the cracker jacks, a thing of beauty and an object of pride,” the News Tribune reported the day after the ship sank in 1897.

The Antelope had its main boilers removed when it was converted to a schooner-barge in the 1880s — a somewhat odd changeover at a time when schooners generally were being supplanted by steamers on the lakes.

In its later years it had three masts, cabins near the bow in part to house a donkey boiler to run the windlass, and another set of cabins near the stern. The ship’s wheel, to the extent it was needed while in tow of another vessel, was at the stern as well.

On Oct. 7, 1897, the Antelope carried a cargo of coal from a port on the lower Great Lakes as the Sibley towed it toward Ashland, according to an account of the wreck in James M. Keller’s “The ‘Unholy’ Apostles: Tales of Chequamegon Shipwrecks.”

The plan was to drop the Antelope off in Ashland, with the Sibley continuing on to Duluth. But the old ship’s seams opened up off Michigan Island, the towline was cut and she slipped beneath the waves. All aboard were able to climb aboard the Sibley.

When they reached Duluth, the News Tribune reported, the officers of both ships declined to discuss the sinking — a 19th-century “no comment.”

“Vesselmen that knew the ancient schooner Antelope account for the foundering on the theory that she was in too fast company while in tow of the H.W. Sibley,” the News Tribune reported. “The supposition is that the old schooner could not stand the punishment of the choppy sea, which prevailed yesterday on Lake Superior, while whisked along by the powerful steamer.”

As for the Sibley, it lasted only one more season on the Great Lakes before it was wrecked on Lake Michigan in late 1898.

Eliason, Merryman and Smith all were involved in the well-publicized 2013 discovery of the freighter Henry B. Smith offshore from Marquette, Mich.; and the 2004 discovery of the schooner Moonlight and 2005 discovery of the steamer Marquette, both near Michigan Island.

The Antelope was known to be “out in the area where we hunted for many years for the Marquette and Moonlight,” Merryman said. “We had basically covered maybe three-quarters of the area that (the Antelope) could be in, in the search for the other two. … It seemed like a likely target.”

Also making the Antelope an appealing target: its cargo.

“What we’ve discovered in finding these deep wrecks is that the cargo that they were carrying really determines how intact they are on the bottom,” Merryman said. “The ships that were carrying iron ore or rails — heavy, dense cargo — tend to get broken or filleted out when they hit the bottom. … The weight of the cargo splits the hull. But ships that were carrying wheat and coal and lighter cargoes tend to stay intact.”

“The Antelope was carrying coal, so we had reason to believe this one could be more intact,” Eliason said. After committing to look for the Antelope several years ago, the group put in at least a few days of searching with sonar most summers.

This summer, Merryman took his boat on a circumnavigation of Lake Superior, joined by Eliason, Smith and others for various portions of the trip.

During a stop in Ontonagon, they consulted some old lake charts at the local museum to help further pinpoint the search. When plotting the course to Bayfield, they realized they’d be traversing an area of the lake where the Antelope might be resting.

As Merryman tells it: “Jerry was at the helm, and I said, ‘We’re coming up to our search area here, keep an eye on the sonar because we might just hit the thing, and then I went down (below deck) … and he goes, ‘Whoa, look at this.’ And I jumped up and looked — ‘Whoa, that’s a shipwreck all right.’ … We just ran over the Antelope. … It was obvious it was standing upright on the bottom with the masts still standing.”

“The sonar image was good enough that we didn’t have any question that it was a wreck. Ken got some excellent sonar images — you can see the masts,” Eliason said.

The Antelope was on the lakebed in more than 300 feet of water, a few miles from Michigan Island. It was an area the men already had planned to search a few days later. Instead, they were able to return with camera gear to explore the wreck.

Dropping the camera down into the water, they found what Merryman said he believes to be “the most intact schooner (wreck) on Lake Superior. There are others that are intact in Michigan and Huron — but they’re all covered in zebra mussels.”

“Nearly 120 years post-sinking, it’s still in remarkably good shape,” Smith said.

The rear mast is missing; the rear cabins are gone, likely torn off as the ship sank. But two masts remain standing — a rarity — with wire rigging, deadeyes and other components intact. All that rigging made it a challenge to maneuver the camera, Smith said, which got stuck at one point but after much effort was freed.

The forward cabin also is intact. And the Antelope’s wheel and rudder, broken free from the rest of the wreck, are on the lake bottom alongside the ship.

The group may try to return to the Antelope with an underwater remotely operated vehicle that can better maneuver around the wreck. And Merryman said the Antelope is “deeper than I was planning on diving again. (But) I’m cautiously thinking about it.”

Given the depth of the Antelope, a diver would need to undergo a lengthy decompression process for a short amount of time on the bottom.

For Eliason, Merryman and Smith, who have accumulated an impressive roster of shipwreck discoveries and explorations over the years, finding the pristine Antelope was exciting — but also bittersweet.

“It felt good and somewhat sad — this was the last good (undiscovered) shipwreck that had what we considered to be a reasonable location in western Lake Superior,” Merryman said.

“The number of targets with much of a potential for success certainly are dwindling,” Smith said.

When choosing what to search for, the group talks about how “findable” a wreck is — if there was a specific known location where the ship sank; how historically significant a wreck is; and how likely it is that it’ll be intact, and not broken up.

“The Antelope was the last very findable wreck that would be relatively intact and a neat dive — not quite as historic as some of the others … (but) still a very interesting shipwreck,” Merryman said.

Duluth News Tribune


Lake Erie island lighthouse restored, offered for events

9/15 - Put-In-Bay, Ohio – A nineteenth-century lighthouse on a Lake Erie island has been restored and is being offered for events like weddings. The 2 ½-story brick South Bass Island Lighthouse guided ships from July 1897 until October 1962.

The Blade reports that Ohio State University, which acquired the building from the federal government in 1867, is making the restored lighthouse available for special events starting next year.

The lighthouse with a 60-foot tower is unusual because of the amount of living space in an attached Queen Anne-style home. The grounds, which include a butterfly garden, are a popular spot for viewing Lake Erie.

Fox 8 Cleveland


Pilotage issue creates stir at Canadian ports conference

9/15 - Thunder Bay, Ont. – Sparks flew over pilotage costs on the Great Lakes at a Canadian ports conference held a Thunder Bay, on the tip of Lake Superior. These costs run in the tens of thousands of dollars for carriers entering the waterway through the St. Lawrence Seaway. Under the general theme of Sea the Superior Way, the conference of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA) began on Sept. 7 and ends Sept. 9.

Angus Armstrong, harbor master and director of security at the Port of Toronto, charged that in light of the significant progress in recent years of navigational equipment “pilotage today is a 19th century technology” that is undermining the competitiveness of the waterway in the industrial heartland of North America.

In an interview, he expressed concern that a refusal to eliminate or reduce compulsory pilotage could compromise the future of international shipping on the Great Lakes. “Where are the cost savings, when regulations don’t reflect technology. They are killing the golden goose.”

Following a marked decline last year, with Seaway cargo volume down nearly 10% to about 35 million metric tons, the downtrend is continuing this year with Canadian domestic carriers notably not using their fleets at full capacity. A major factor has been the sharp drop in global commodity markets.

“To make the system competitive, one has to work on costs, not just at one entity but the collective costs,” said a representative of Canada’s St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.

Blair McKeil, chairman and CEO of McKeil Marine, a leading Canadian tug and barge enterprise, stressed that “from a domestic fleet perspective, pilotage is doubling costs in compulsory zones.”

While he affirmed that “a lot of good things are happening on the Great Lakes,” pilotage costs were among “the dams in the system that hinder our efficiencies and increase our costs, inhibiting our competitiveness in the world-wide markets.”

He also evoked loading and discharge costs. Bulk carriers move cargo from the head of the Great Lakes to the St. Lawrence for nearly $20 per metric ton. But it’s a “real impediment when the cost to load and unload that cargo runs up $12 a ton. Yet we know that in place like New Orleans, stevedoring costs are less than $3 a ton.

Otherwise, McKeil said the biggest issue facing Canadian carriers (part of a global trend) was the ability to find experienced crew to meet the needs of the industry.

He said that one solution could be to “allow ourselves to bring in foreign crew and pay Canadian wages in order to compete with foreign-flag operators.

In conclusion, McKeil suggested that “a day will come in the not too distant future for UBER-like cargo on the Great Lakes, especially for short-haul cargoes. Think about it: ports will post available cargoes on quasi UBER platforms and see who can move it.”

American Journal of Transportation


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 about six miles from Alpena, Michigan. No lives lost.

1882: The wooden passenger steamer ASIA got caught in a wild storm crossing Georgian Bay, fell into the trough and sank stern first. There were 123 passengers and crew listed as lost while only two on board survived.

1915: ONOKO of the Kinsman Transit Company foundered in Lake Superior off Knife Point, while downbound with wheat from Duluth to Toledo. The crew took to the lifeboats and were saved. The hull was located in 1987, upside down, in about 340 feet of water.

1928: MANASOO, in only her first season of service after being rebuilt for overnight passenger and freight service, foundered in Georgian Bay after the cargo shifted and the vessel overturned in heavy weather. There were 18 casualties, plus 46 head of cattle, and only 5 survived.

1940: KENORDOC, enroute to Bristol, UK, with a cargo of lumber was sunk due to enemy action as part of convoy SC 3 while 500 miles west of the Orkney Islands. The ship had fallen behind the convoy due to engine trouble, and was shelled by gunfire from U-48. There were 7 casualties including the captain and wireless operator. H.M.S. AMAZON completed the sinking as the bow of the drifting hull was still visible.

1940: The Norwegian freighter LOTOS came inland in 1938 delivering pulpwood to Cornwall and went aground there in a storm. The ship was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine while about 15 miles west of Rockall Island, Scotland, while inbound from Dalhousie, NB for Tyne, UK.

1962” A collision between the HARRY L. FINDLAY of the Kinsman Line and the Greek Liberty ship MESOLOGI occurred at Toledo. The latter began Seaway service that year and made a total of six inland voyages. It was scrapped at Aioi, Japan, as f) BLUE SAND after arriving in November 1969.

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


Great Lakes/Seaway iron ore trade up nearly 3 percent in August

9/14 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 6,048,409 tons in August, an increase of 2.9 percent compared to a year ago. However, shipments trailed the month’s 5-year average by 5 percent.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 5.3 million tons in August, an increase of 7.7 percent compared to a year ago. However, loadings at Canadian terminals dipped by 23 percent to 709,000 tons.

Year-to-date the iron ore trade stands at 32,851,570 tons, a decrease of 2 percent compared to the same point in 2015. Year-over-year, loadings at U.S. ports are up by 270,000 tons, or 0.9 percent, but shipments from Canadian ports in the St. Lawrence Seaway have slipped by 955,000 tons, or 21.6 percent.

Lake Carriers’ Association


Port Reports -  September 14

Thunder Bay, Ont.
On Tuesday, Federal Caribou was loading grain. Pineglen, Federal Sakura, Federal Hunter, Federal Kivalina, Federal Katsura and Isolda were anchored waiting for cargoes. Evans Spirit was also in port.

St. Marys River
Ojibway departed layup in Sarnia late Monday evening and was upbound at the Soo for Thunder Bay in the evening. Other upbound traffic Monday included the saltie Labrador (also headed for the Thunder Bay parking lot), American Mariner, American Integrity, Algoma Discovery (Thunder Bay), James R. Barker, Philip R. Clarke, Paul R. Tregurtha and John D. Leitch. G3 Marquis, Kaye E. Barker and Edwin H. Gott were downbound.

Port Huron, Mich.
The reactivated grain boats Cedarglen and Frontenac were downbound under the Blue Water bridges early Friday evening.

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Algoway arrived Tuesday at 5:10 a.m. and was out at noon.

Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
Stephen B. Roman unloaded cement on Tuesday.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Manitoulin was in port on Tuesday unloading grain at ADM. The tug Manitou departed the South Entrance around 7 p.m. She had been over to the Cargill Pool pier. Calusa Coast - Delaware was switching their tow around off Windmill Point at 8 p.m. They had just departed Buffalo on their way west.


New life for Port Dalhousie's Lock 1

9/14 - St. Catharines, Ont. – There’s some serious horsepower guiding a new Port Dalhousie beautification project. The St. Catharines council has put its support behind the community-driven initiative that will see Lock 1 of the second Welland Canal revived.

The $625,000 project taken on by the Kiwanis Club of St. Catharines and Port Dalhousie Beautification and Works Committee will include, in addition to the lock’s restoration, creation of a small plaza and tiered seating area, and installation of four horse sculptures representing the history of tow horses used on the first and second Welland Canal. The sculptures will ultimately become part of the city’s art collection.

Project chair Len Bates said the hope is to ultimately see a barge installed on the waterway that will act as a platform for performances throughout the warmer months, transforming the tiered seating into an amphitheatre.

During his presentation to council Monday, Bates stressed the group is not looking for financial contributions from the city, as it has received ample interest from the community and is confident in its ability to access grant funding.

The existing area is fenced off to restrict access due to concerns of the retaining wall and slope’s stability. The wall would be rebuilt and the slope sodded as part of the project. A geotechnical assessment would be required for the project to move forward. However, Bates said a local contractor has already agreed to come on board and take on that study as well as other components of the project, offering in-kind services.

The proposal, he said, is an opportunity to save the Lock 1 feature before it is lost to time. The area is currently overgrown with brush and the historical structure hidden away. In addition to preserving history, he believes it will be a draw to the Port Dalhousie area.

The project, which has been in the works for nearly two years, will be broken down in phases with completion expected by early 2018.

St. Catharines Standards


Judge will not force Corps of Engineers to dredge Cuyahoga River shipping channel

9/14 - Cleveland, Ohio – A federal judge on Monday said he will not yet force the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the Cleveland Harbor and Cuyahoga River shipping channel this year.

U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent denied the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Port of Cleveland's request for a preliminary injunction on technical grounds. His decision continues a standoff where Ohio EPA and port officials, who think the channel must soon be dredged, and the Army Corps, which says it has the ability to decide whether the channel requires dredging. Thus far, the Army Corps has said dredging might not be necessary.

Nugent wrote in the three-page order that since the request pertains to claims and events not included in the Ohio EPA and port's original 2015 lawsuit, an injunction request would need to be filed along with a separate lawsuit.

He also denied an attempt by the Ohio EPA and port to tweak its lawsuit to include the events that happened in the 2016 battle to dredge the shipping channel.

The Army Corps would have dredged in May during a typical year, though low rainfall and high lake levels have not made it an absolute necessity. The agency is demanding a "non-federal sponsor" pay to dump the dredged sediment into a disposal facility. It contends the sediment is safe to be dumped into Lake Erie. The Ohio EPA says dumping in the sediment in the lake would be harmful to the lake's ecosystem.

Jade Davis, the Port of Cleveland's vice president of external affairs, said the port will likely file another lawsuit but that plan is not set in stone. He said "we have to figure out what our response is going to be and get it done expeditiously."

Kate Hanson, a spokesman for Attorney General Mike DeWine's office, said state lawyers are reviewing the decision to determine its next steps.

This is the second year in a row the state asked Nugent to force the Army Corps to dredge the harbor and dump the sediment into a disposal facility. Nugent in May 2015 issued a scathing opinion that forced the Army Corps to dredge.

Even though the shipping channel is largely navigable, some freight carriers have reported difficulty passing through parts of the channel. Port officials have said rain storms could push more sediment into the channel land render it unnavigable.

Davis said surveyors are assessing whether this weekend's storms pushed in more sediment, and should know more in a day or two. Army Corps spokesman Andrew Kornacki said he could not comment on pending litigation.


Canada Steamship Lines’ president, CEO Rod Jones to retire

9/14 - Montreal, Que. - – The CSL Group has announced that Rod Jones has decided to retire effective March 31, 2017, after a nine-year tenure as president and chief executive officer, and a career with CSL that has spanned over 30 years.

During his three decades at CSL, Mr. Jones worked with CSLers around the world to transform what was a Great Lakes-focused shipping business into the largest owner and operator of self-unloading ships in the world. Under his leadership, CSL expanded beyond Canada and the Americas to Australia, Asia and Europe.

“The CSL Board of Directors and the Martin family are very grateful for the enormous contribution Rod Jones has made to the company’s growth and success,” said Paul Martin, chair of the CSL board. “Rod has stood out as an inclusive, visionary and modern leader who leaves behind a sound company and lasting legacy built on authentic values and a commitment to people, safety and the environment.”

Effective April 1, 2017, Louis Martel, President, CSL International and Executive Vice-President, CSL Group, will assume the role of chief executive officer.

Louis Martel joined Canada Steamship Lines as a naval architect in 1997 and transferred to CSL Americas in 2003 where he became vice-president, technical operations. He took the helm of Canada Steamship Lines as president in April 2012 and was promoted to executive vice-president, CSL Group, and president, Canada Steamship Lines in January 2014. A year later, he was appointed president, CSL International.

The CSL Group


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.

1960: The Bahamas registered vessel ITHAKA stranded 10 miles east of Chhurchill, Manitoba, after the rudder broke and the anchors failed to hold in a storm. The ship had served on the Great Lakes for Hall as a) FRANK A. AUGSBURY and e) LAWRENCECLIFFE HALL (i), for Canada Steamship Lines as b) GRANBY and for Federal Commerce & Navigation as f) FEDERAL PIONEER.

1965: FORT WILLIAM, which recently entered service as a package freight carrier for Canada Steamship Lines, capsized at Pier 65 in Montreal. There was an ensuing fire when part of the cargo of powdered carbide formed an explosive gas and five were killed. The vessel was refloated on November 22, 1965, repaired, and still sails the lakes a b) STEPHEN B. ROMAN.

1970: The barge AFT, the forward part of the former STEEL KING (ii), arrrived at Ramey's Bend, Port Colborne, under tow of the tug HERBERT A. for dismantling. The barge had been part of a tandem tow with the dipper dredge KING COAL but the latter broke loose in a Lake Erie storm and sank.

1998: The Cypriot-registered STRANGE ATTRACTOR first came through the Seaway in 1989 as a) LANTAU TRADER. It returned under the new name in 1996 and lost power on this date in 1998 while leaving the Upper Beauharnois Lock and had to be towed to the tie up wall by OCEAN GOLF and SALVAGE MONARCH. The ship was soon able to resume the voyage and continued Great Lakes trading through 2003. It arrived for scrapping at Aliaga, Turkey, as d) ORIENT FUZHOU on August 7, 2009.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic Monday afternoon included Great Lakes Trader, BBC Mont Blanc (headed for Escanaba), Federal Beaufort, Victory 1, Whitefish Bay and Cedarglen. Frontenac was at the locks downbound after dark. American Spirit was upbound in the late afternoon. Sugar Islander III headed up to the MCM drydock Monday; her place was taken by Drummond Islander III.

Suttons Bay, Mich. – Al Miller
Tug Leonard M. with barge Huron Spirit pulled into Suttons Bay on Monday afternoon to anchor.

Goderich, Ont.
Mississagi and Algosteel were loading Monday, while Capt. Henry Jackman was waiting to load.

Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
On Monday, the English River unloaded cement.


Updates -  September 13

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the BBC Hudson, BBC Kansas, BBC Mont Blanc, BBC Zarate, Beauforce, Blacky, COE Leni, Federal Hunter, Federal Sakura, Federal Seto, Garganey, HHL Amazon, Industrial Chief, Jule, Labrador, Lake St. Clair, Nordic Mari, Pilica, Rio Dauphin, Swan Baltic, and Taagborg.


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 - 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.

1967 – The former Great Lakes passenger ship NORTH AMERICAN sank in the Atlantic (40.46 N / 68.53 W) while under tow for a new career as a training ship at Piney Point, Maryland.

1988 – The Cypriot freighter BLUESTONE, at Halifax since August 19, had 3 crewmembers jump ship at the last minute claiming unsafe conditions due to corrosion in the tank tops, but this could not be checked as the vessel was loaded.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, James Neumiller, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  September 12

Duluth, Minn.
Frontenac left Duluth for Nanticoke Sunday afternoon after loading ore at the CN dock.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Pineglen left lay up and anchored out in the bay Saturday. Cedarglen cleared Isle Royale at 8 p.m. Sunday downbound with grain for Montreal, with BBC Mont Blanc and Federal Beaufort just ahead of her. G3 Marquis and Federal Caribou were loading on Sunday.

St. Marys River
On Sunday, Algoma Transport, Lakes Contender/Ken Boothe Sr. and Huron Spirit/Leonard M were downbound, while Federal Katsura, Michipicoten and Roger Blough were upbound. After dark, Presque Isle and Lee A. Tregurtha were downbound, while CSL Laurentien was upbound in the lower river and Stewart J. Cort was approaching DeTour.

As night fell Sunday, the cruise ship Saint Laurent was headed for Mackinac Island, while the Buffalo was westbound under the bridge.

Port Inland, Mich
Wilfred Sykes was loading stone on Sunday evening.

Saginaw, Mich. – Gordy Garris
The Saginaw River saw it’s third coal delivery of 2016 on Thursday. The vessel making the delivery was the American Century. The Century completed unloading and departed for the lake later in the day, after backing out and turning around at Light 12 in the Saginaw Bay. The Century is scheduled to make a return delivery on September 20. The tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber arrived on Friday with a load from Calcite for Bay City. The pair completed unloading and was back outbound for the lake later in the day. Sunday saw the arrival of two vessels. First was the Saginaw, arriving in the early evening with a load of slag from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Saginaw traveled upriver to the Buena Vista dock to unload. She was expected to be back outbound late Sunday night or early Monday morning and will be en-route to Bruce Mines, Ont., to take on her next cargo. Sunday's next arrival was the tug Dorothy Ann and the barge Pathfinder, inbound at the Front Range around 9 p.m. with a load from Calcite for the Wirt Stone docks in Bay City and Saginaw. The tug Olive L. Moore and the barge Lewis J. Kuber are scheduled to arrive early Monday morning with a load of stone from Cedarville. Monday morning figures to be a busy one with all three vessels transiting the river system simultaneously.

Erie, Pa.
After a busy weekend and thanks to the interest shown by the residents of Erie, the Spanish vessel El Galeón will remain open to the public until Tuesday, Sept. 13 at Dobbins Landing with a price of $10 for adults, $5 for kids until 12, and under age 5 for free. Come with a weekend festival ticket and get $2 off. The vessel, whose homeport is Seville, Spain, has sailed throughout the world and has spent this summer making its first voyage on the Great Lakes. Erie is the 14th port the vessel has visited this summer.


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 firewood 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.

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. Collship was famous for its 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 payloader 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 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 seven 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 McMorran 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.

1889: ROTHESAY, a wooden sidewheel passenger vessel, collided with the tug MYRA in the St. Lawrence between Kingston and Prescott. The latter sank with the loss of 2 lives. The former was beached on the Canadian shore where it settled and was abandoned. The wreck was dynamited in 1901 and part of it remains on the bottom in 35 feet of water.

1900: The wooden steamer JOHN B. LYON began taking water in a storm about 25 miles east of Ashtabula and sank in Lake Erie. There were 9 lost with only 6 rescued from the 19-year old vessel.

1917: GISLA was built at Wyandotte, MI in 1916 and went overseas for war duty. The vessel was hit by gunfire from U-64 in the western Mediterranean off Cape Palos, Spain, and sunk by a timed bomb. The ship was carrying nuts and vegetable oil from Kotonou, Dahomey, for Marseilles, France, when it was attacked.

1919: The wooden barge CHICKAMAUGA began leaking in huge seas off Harbor Beach, MI while under tow of the CENTURION and the ore laden vessel sank the next day. The crew of 10 was rescued by the JAMES WHALEN and the wreck was removed the following year.

1928: B.B. McCOLL was virtually destroyed by a fire at Buffalo while loading and had to be abandoned as a total loss. The ship was salvaged, rebuilt and last sailed as h) DETROIT. The ship was scrapped in 1982-1983 at Lake Calumet, IL.

1953: MARYLAND was mauled by a storm on Lake Superior and 12 hatch covers were blown off. The ship was beached near Marquette and all 35 on board were saved. The ship was abandoned but the extensive bottom damage was repaired and the ship resumed service as d) HENRY LALIBERTE.

1989: POLARLAND began visiting the Great Lakes in 1968 and returned as b) ISCELU in 1980, c) TRAKYA in 1981 and d) TRAKYA I in 1982. The ship was lying at Hualien, Taiwan, as e) LUNG HAO during Typhoon Sarah and got loose in the storm prior to going aground. The hull broke in two and was a total loss.

1989: SACHA, Liberian registered SD 14, began Seaway trading in 1973. It returned as b) ERMIONI in 1982. The ship stranded on the wreck of the ORIENTAL PEARL while approaching Bombay, India, from Tampa as d) SAFIR on December 22, 1984, and sustained considerable damage. This was repaired but SAFIR was lost after stranding on a reef off Tiran Island in the Red Sea on September 12, 1989.

2006: TORO went aground in the St. Lawrence off Cornwall Island with damage to the bulbous bow and #2 hold. The ship, enroute from Thunder Bay to Progresso, Mexico, with a cargo of wheat, was released September 18 and repaired at the Verreault shipyard in Les Mechins, QC before resuming the voyage on October 27. The vessel had previously visited the Great Lakes as a) LA LIBERTE, c) ASTART and d) ULLOA. It was still sailing as g) XING JI DA as of 2011.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 11

1872, at Milwaukee, the 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.

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

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 was taken off by the schooner GRACIE M. FILER just as the boat was going down.

1942: H.M.C.S. CHARLOTTETOWN, a Canadian naval corvette built at Kingston, ON in 1941, was torpedoed and sunk by U-517 on the St. Lawrence near Cap Chat, QC. Nine of the 64 on board were lost. 1946:

The former Hall freighter LUCIUS W. ROBINSON, heading for new service in the Far East as b) HAI LIN, ran into a typhoon on the Pacific during its delivery voyage but was unscathed.

1961: The retired PERSEUS, under tow for scrapping overseas, broke loose of the tug ENGLISHMAN, and was abandoned in rough seas near the Azores. It was later found drifting and taken in tow only to sink on September 21.

1968: GRINDEFJELL, a pre-Seaway and Seaway-era visitor for the Norwegian Fjell Line from 1953 to 1965, put into Mozambique as b) LENRO after fire had broken out in a cargo hold. The flames spread and, at one time the hull glowed red hot. The ship was gutted, later capsized and was abandoned as a total loss. The vessel was enroute from Assab, Ethiopia, to Rotterdam, with a cargo of bagged niger seed expellers and had to take the long way around due to the Suez Canal being closed. The hull was either scrapped or scuttled.

1987: An arson fire gutted the bridge and top deck of the laid up former C.S.L. package freighter FORT YORK at Sarnia. There had been another suspicious fire three weeks earlier that had been extinguished.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Updates -  September 11

News Photo Gallery


Warming waters: Lake Superior nearly breaks water temperature record

9/10 - Duluth, Minn. – As late summer waves crashed around him on the beach along Park Point, 10-year-old Gage Jones of Superior, Wis., splashed in the often-frigid Lake Superior water. "It's not the warmest it's been, but I think it's pretty good. Enough to swim in," he said.

"This is the warmest I've ever felt it, actually," said Candace Jones as she kept an eye on Gage and another son on the seven-mile spit of sand that stretches into Lake Superior from downtown Duluth.

In late August the average surface water temperature for the entire lake hit 68 and a half degrees. That might not seem very warm, but only 2010 had a warmer high temperature. And the water temperature at Park Point and other areas close to shore has remained around 70 degrees for weeks.

"It's very warm," said Drew Gronewold, a hydrologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Surface water temperatures across the Great Lakes, he said, have soared. "And on and off, they've been pretty high over the past 10, 15 years," he said.

In Lake Superior, researchers at the University of Minnesota Duluth have found that summer surface water temperatures have increased by 5 degrees over the past 30 years. That's twice as fast as the air temperature has increased, and some of the most rapid change observed on the planet.

So what's causing such rapid change? It turns out there's a strong connection between the amount of ice on the lake the previous winter, and how warm the lake gets the following summer, said Jay Austin, a physicist with the Large Lakes Observatory at UMD.

"We use the term facetiously of course, but the lake has a memory. In that, summer water temperatures reflect what happened the previous winter," he said. And it's in the winter that Minnesotans are really feeling the effects of climate change. The average winter temperature in the state has risen by about 1 degree per decade since the 1970s.

That might not seem like a huge change. But according to Austin, a relatively small temperature change has a huge impact on ice formation.

"The difference between one of those low-ice and high-ice years can be due to as little as 1 to 2 degrees Celsius in winter air temperature," he said. "So very small changes in winter air temperature can lead to large changes in the amount of ice that's formed." Less ice in winter translates to warmer water the following summer.

Austin also contributed to a study released late last year that compiled data from more than 200 of the largest lakes in the world, including Superior, that showed them warming an average of 0.61 degrees Fahrenheit each decade — with the most rapid warming occurring in lakes at northern latitudes.

But something else could be going on in addition to ice cover, Austin and others note. Researchers noticed a dramatic shift in the Great Lakes region around 1998. Before that year, there were lots of high-ice years. But since, with the major exception of 2014, there have been hardly any.

"The speculation is that there was a decrease in cloud cover that was sustained after the late 1990s," explained NOAA's Drew Gronewold. "But we're still looking into that and some other factors as well." Simply put, if there are fewer clouds, there's more sun warming Superior and the other Great Lakes.

So what's the upshot of warmer water temperatures?

Less ice cover could be a major boon for the Great Lakes shipping industry. Record ice cover in 2014 delayed the start of the shipping season and damaged ships trying to plow through thick ice sheets.

In Lake Superior, warmer surface water could also result in a more productive fishery for species like salmon and brook trout, said Cory Goldsworthy, Lake Superior area fisheries supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

"If there was a warmer water layer near the surface for a longer period of time throughout the year," he said, "that would increase the amount of time those fish have to grow." But it could also make the lake more hospitable to non-native species like alewife, he said, which could have a detrimental impact on native lake trout.

Minnesota Public Radio


Port Reports -  September 10

St. Marys River
The upbound Mississagi arrived at Essar Steel around 9 a.m. Friday and left downbound about 2:30 p.m. Joseph L. Block was loading at Drummond Island in the morning and was upbound at the locks in the afternoon. Other upbound traffic included Federal Hunter, Whitefish Bay and CSL Assiniboine. Downbound traffic included Federal Baltic, American Integrity, Tecumseh and Hon. James L. Oberstar. BBC Kansas remained at anchor above DeTour.

Marinette, Wis. – Scott Best
Algoway arrived Friday late afternoon and backed in stern first to unload salt at the Fuel & Dock.


From the South Pacific to the Seaway on a Hawaiian canoe

9/10 - A replica of a large Polynesian sea canoe is making its way down the St. Lawrence Seaway from the Thousand Islands towards Montreal. The Hokulea, based on a traditional, ancient Hawaiian double-hulled canoe, is on a voyage around the world that included Ogdensburg for a few days this week.

Managed by the Polynesian Voyaging Society, the 'round the world water trek began a couple of years ago in Hawaii. Its adventure has taken it through warm waters in the south Pacific, rough seas around the southern tip of Africa and, mostly recently, the Great Lakes. The mission: environmental awareness and cultural connections.

Kalepa Baybayan, one of the captains of the Hokulea, said his crew has enjoyed daily swims in the cool waters of the St. Lawrence after many days of salty seas. He's in charge of navigation and about dozen crewmembers.

Sam Kapoi is helping as a deckhand, while also documenting the voyage through videos, photos and blog posts. And he's been answering a lot of questions about the trip and life aboard the 60-foot catamaran-type vessel - Is there a bathroom? Where does everyone sleep? And, are the crewmembers all related to each other?

Kapoi says after it leaves the St. Lawrence River, the Hokulea will continue its voyage along the east coast south to Washington DC, with additional stops in Florida, the Panama Canal, Galapagos Islands and back into the south Pacific before returning to Hawaii in June, 2017.

North Country Public Radio


Fresh from the lakes, world’s largest rubber duck ducks out of N.J. festival

9/10 - Camden, N.J. – If you’re headed out to the Tall Ships Festival on the waterfront this weekend, you may find something is missing. The world’s largest rubber duck isn’t there.

Eyewitness News has learned there was a problem with the rubber duck during the parade of ships on Thursday. The pontoon the duck came in on took on some water, and it turns out there were lots of holes in Mama Duck, and that is why she was sitting lopsided.

The world’s largest rubber duck was recently on the Great Lakes participating in Tall Ship events.

“We brought the duck to the shore and when we were taking out the pontoon boat we discovered the duck had some ducky bruises, some rips and tears,” event organizers said. “We are in the process of repairing the duck. She is in the water and we hope to have her up soon.”

She should be back in the water by at least the end of the weekend.

Eyewitness News


Navy takes 1st four Littoral Combat Ships out of rotation due to engine problems

9/10 - In the wake of a rash of engine problems that have sidelined a number of the Navy's new littoral combat ships, the service is turning the first four LCSs into non-deploying test ships -- and overhauling its force employment strategy.

In a Sept. 8 announcement, Naval Surface Force Pacific Fleet officials said the changes would be implemented over the next five years and affect the 28 littoral combat ships budgeted and ordered through 2018.

The changes will "simplify crewing, stabilize testing and increase overseas deployment presence availability," officials said.

The decision to turn the first four $360 million ships -- the Freedom, the Independence, the Fort Worth and the Coronado -- into testing ships will allow the Navy to conduct near- and long-term testing for the entire ship class without affecting deployment rotations.

The ships designated for testing would be single-crewed, officials said, and would be able to deploy on a limited basis if necessary, but it would not be their primary purpose.v Of these ships -- two from the Freedom-class made by Lockheed Martin Corp. and Marinette Marine and two from the Independence-class built by Austal USA -- only one, the Independence, has not been sidelined with a serious engine issue in the last 12 months.

"This approach accommodates spiral development and rapid deployment of emerging weapons and delivery systems to the fleet without disrupting operational schedules," SURFPAC officials said in a news release.

Crewing model change Starting this fall, the Navy also plans to phase out its current LCS crewing model, in which three rotating crews operate two ships, so that one of the ships can always be forward-deployed. In its place, the service will introduce a two-crew "blue/gold" model like that used on ballistic missile submarines and minesweepers, officials said. Two crews per ship mean one will be able to complete homeport training and workups while the other crew deploys. The LCS crews also will begin training and rotating with larger elements, known as mission module detachment crews, allowing the ships to deploy as part of four-ship groups. They can deploy with other surface warfare ships, mine warfare ships, or anti-submarine warfare ships, officials said.

Aviation detachments will also begin deploying with the same LCS crew, they said.

The Navy also plans to adjust homeporting for its LCSs to enable its new testing and crew plan. While all six ships now in service are homeported at Naval Base San Diego, plans call for all of the Independence-variant ships to be based in San Diego and Freedom-variant ships in Mayport, Florida.

Of the planned 28 LCSs, 24 will be divided into six divisions, divided between the East Coast and West Coast.

Each of the divisions will have one warfare focus -- surface, mine or anti-submarine, as Navy leaders aim to maximize the capability of the LCS.

"Under this construct, each division's training ship will remain available locally to certify crews preparing to deploy," officials said.

Navy brass hope these changes will allow the service to deploy more and increase its presence, with a crewing model that makes more ships available for deployment at a given time.

In the release, officials added that a blue/gold crewing model might also simplify ownership of maintenance responsibilities -- a key area of concern amid a flurry of recent engine mishaps, including at least one caused by an engineer's error.

"As we implement these changes, we will continue to make iterative adjustments and improvements based on evolving fleet requirements and technological developments," Naval Surface Forces commander Vice Adm. Tom Rowden said in a statement. "Implementing the approved recommendations from this review and continuing to examine other areas for improvement will better position the LCS program for success -- both now and in the future."

Even more changes are likely coming for the LCS.

Rowden announced earlier this week that he had ordered a comprehensive LCS engineering review to be completed by the Surface Warfare Officer's School in the next 30 to 60 days, with further adjustments and recommendations expected to emerge from that review.


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 Harsens 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.

1910: PERE MARQUETTE 18, inbound for Milwaukee with 29 rail cars, began leaking and sank 30 miles off Sheboygan, Wis. There were 33 survivors but 29 were lost including the captain. 1918: The barge SANTIAGO, under tow of the small bulk carrier JOHN F. MORROW, sank in Lake Huron off Pointe aux Barques without loss of life. 1940: A.E. AMES was once part of Canada Steamship Lines. The vessel was sold for saltwater service about 1917 and was lost, via enemy action, as c) GINETTE LEBORGNE on this date in 1940 when it struck a mine on the Mediterranean, west of Sardinia, while returning demobilized troops from North Africa to France.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Are the Great Lakes an up-and-coming cruise destination?

9/9 - Muskegon, Mich. – The Pearl Mist isn’t like any other ship in the Port of Muskegon this late-summer afternoon. Sleek and white and six decks tall, the 335-foot, 210-passenger cruise ship is the picture of luxury next to working vessels and historic military craft.

Two days into a weeklong cruise that started in Chicago, passenger Jill Hoose of Texas offered rave reviews.

“We’ve been on 26 cruises and I’ve enjoying this one so much,” she said. “There’s not such a rush, rush, rush feeling. There are not 3,500 people standing in lines.”

She was on her way back to her cabin after spending the morning sightseeing in downtown Muskegon. The Pearl Mist is in its third season of Great Lakes cruising. Muskegon just finished its first full season as a port of call.

Michiganders likely will see more cruise ships like the Pearl Mist on the horizon.

Read more and see video and photos at this link


Port Reports -  September 9

St. Marys River
After an extremely busy Wednesday, the river was pretty much deserted on Thursday. Thunder Bay was downbound in the afternoon and Algoma Harvester followed in mid-evening. Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader were upbound in the lower river near Lime Island at dusk, while Frontenac was on pre-call for DeTour, headed for Duluth.


Fall lecture series starts at National Museum

9/9 - Toledo, Ohio - On Wednesday, September 14 at 7 p.m., author and adventurer Loreen Niewenhuis will present "A 1000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure" at the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, Ohio.

In this presentation, Niewenhuis will take you to islands in each of the five Great Lakes and their connecting waters. In words, photos, and video, you’ll explore the geology of the largest system of fresh water lakes in the world and why there are tens of thousands of islands in the Great Lakes basin. She’ll reveal how these islands are diverse in both geological underpinnings and in the life forms existing on the islands. She will also take with her to explore some of the scientific research on the islands that she assisted with during her island odyssey. From the wolf-moose study on Isle Royale to the conservation of the endangered piping plover on the Manitou Islands, Niewenhuis will open her audience’s eyes and minds to the complexity of life on our Great Lakes islands.

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is located at 1701 Front Street Toledo Ohio. The presentation is included in the price of admission but members of the museum are admitted free. Reservations are required. Please call 419-214-5000 extension 200 to reserve your space.

National Museum of the Great Lakes


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 towline 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 tow 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.

1924: A fire aboard the ship SOUTH AMERICAN at Holland, MI destroyed the upper works of the popular passenger steamer.

1964: A collision between the GEORGE R. FINK and the Swedish freighter BROHOLM occurred in zero visibility on Lake Huron just north of the Bluewater Bridge. The latter, on her only voyage through the Seaway, received a gash on the starboard side above the waterline while the former had only minor damage. BROHOLM arrived at Hsinkang, China, for scrapping as d) PROODOS on September 2, 1974.

1977: The British freighter PERTH began service to Canada in 1951 and ooperated into the Great Lakes until 1960. The ship ran aground about 200 miles south of Suez as e) GEORGIOS on this date but was later refloated and taken to Suez. The ship was arrested there and subsequently sank on October 1, 1979. The hull was likely refloated and dismantled at that location.

1993: INDIANA HARBOR received major hull damage when it struck Lansing Shoal. The ship was repaired at Sturgeon Bay.

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


Port Reports -  September 8

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic during the day included Presque Isle, Lakes Contender/Ken Boothe Sr., Hon. James L. Oberstar, G3 Marquis and Tim S. Dool. Downbound traffic during the day included Algowood, Philip R. Clarke, CSL Welland, Lee A Tregurtha, BBC Zarate, Stewart J. Cort and Algoma Equinox. Several vessels had to check down, go to anchor or wait on the piers as the backlog slowly diminished. Sam Laud was downbound at dusk, while BBC Mont Blanc and Paul R. Tregurtha were upbound.

Green Bay, Wis. – Tyler Fairfield
The tug Candace Elise towed the long-inactive barge St. Marys Cement III out of Green Bay Wednesday, headed for Muskegon. Reports are she is going to the old Grand Trunk dock next to the Milwaukee Clipper museum ship.


Updates -  September 8

News Photo Gallery


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.

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.

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

September 8, 1970 - 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.

1860: The wooden passenger and freight steamer LADY ELGIN sank in Lake Michigan following a collision with the schooner AUGUSTA with an estimated 297 lost their lives.

1979: The Norwegian carrier INGWI first came through the Seaway in 1960 and made about 10 trips inland through 1967. The hull was reported to have fractured as b) OH DAI enroute from Singapore to Calcutta. The ship foundered in the Bay of Bengal but there was speculation at the time that this was an insurance fraud.

1980: The idle rail car ferry GRAND RAPIDS sustained fire damage from a blaze in the pilings at Muskegon, buckling plates on the car deck. It was extinguished by the U.S.C.G. and Fire Department.

2010: The tug MESSENGER came to the Great Lakes for the Gaelic Tugboat Co. in 1984 and was renamed b) PATRICIA HOEY. It was later sold and became c) NEW HAMPSHIRE and then d) SEA TRACTOR II before leaving the lakes, via Oswego, about 1991. It was known as e) SHARK when scuttled as an artificial reef near Miami, on this date in 2010.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Lakes limestone trade down 13.5 percent in August

9/7 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3,365,999 tons in August, a decrease of 13.5 percent compared to a year ago. August’s loadings were also 8 percent below the month’s 5-year average.

Loadings from U.S. quarries totaled 2,765,206 tons, a decrease of 15.5 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian quarries totaled 600,793 tons, a decrease equal to one load in one of the larger river-class vessels.

Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 16.5 million tons, a decrease of 7.6 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings out of Michigan and Ohio quarries total 13.2 million tons, a decrease of 11.8 percent. Shipments from Ontario quarries total 3.3 million tons, an increase of 14.3 percent.

Lake Carriers’ Association


Port Reports -  September 7

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Cedarglen and Pineglen are now showing on AIS, a possible sign of their return to service for the fall grain rush.

St. Marys River
The saltie Eeborg left its weeks-long anchorage above Detour Tuesday and headed upbound for Duluth. BBC Kansas is now anchored in that same vicinity. Other upbound traffic on a rainy Tuesday were American Integrity and Algoma Transport. Downbound traffic included Baie Comeau, Cuyahoga and Kaye E. Barker. The passenger ship Victory 1 was at the Carbide dock on the Michigan side during the day, and on the way downbound after dark for Mackinac Island.

Goderich, Ont.
Frontenac left lay-up around noon Tuesday and headed downbound for Windsor.


Coast Guard helicopter called to medical emergency aboard Algowood

9/7 - Marquette, Mich. – A helicopter from the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City was called to fly to a medical emergency aboard a Canadian-flagged freighter in Lake Superior on Monday afternoon.

The 710-foot Algowood was nearly 80 nautical miles north of Marquette's coast when the captain contacted the Coast Guard, saying one of his crewmembers had chest pains and needed help.

The air station's helicopter worked alongside a 45-foot response boat from the Coast Guard's Marquette station. Once the helicopter used its hoist basket to retrieve the ill crewman, the person was flown to UP Health System - Marquette for treatment.

USCG / M Live


$500,000 grant awarded for Wisconsin Maritime Center in Marinette

9/7 - Madison, Wis. – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has awarded a $500,000 Brownfields Grant to the Marinette County Association for Business and Industry to help fund site cleanup work for the new Wisconsin Maritime Center of Excellence.

The grant will be used for environmental work that will take place on the 2.2- acre site in Marinette that will be home to a facility that will support and strengthen the state's maritime and shipbuilding industry.

The 23,000-square-foot building, expected to open in 2017, will serve as a training, educational, research and entrepreneurship center that is expected to help fuel commercial collaboration and supplier development for the shipbuilding industry.

The center, located adjacent to Fincantieri Marinette Marine, will include an industrial incubator and space for U.S. Naval personnel assigned to the company's Littoral Combat Ship building program. One of the center's key objectives will be to support the Navy's commitment to building the LCS in Marinette through 2022 and beyond.

Nearly one of every three workers in Marinette County is employed in the manufacturing sector, and many of those positions are tied to the maritime/shipbuilding industry.

Iron Mountain Daily News


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.

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 19 minutes. For comparison, a good average loading time at that time was about three hours and 45 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.

1901: WAWATAM ran aground on Gratiot Beach above Port Huron with the whaleback barge #102 in tow.

1929: CHARLES C. WEST went aground on Gull Rock Reef damaging both frames and plates. The repair bill topped $46,000.

1942: OAKTON of the Gulf & Lake Navigation Co. was torpedoed and sunk in the St. Lawrence by U-517 about 15 miles west of Cape Gaspe. It was struck amidships on the port side and went down stern first without any loss of life except the ship's St. Bernard dog. The ship had a load of coal on board from Sandusky, Ohio, to Cornerbrook, NF when hit. Two other Greek ships, MOUNT TAYGETUS and MOUNT PINDUS were struck in the same attack with the loss of 6 lives.

1956: The former Canada Steamship Lines freighter WINONA stranded on a sand bank at Aparii, Philippines, island of Luzon, as b) EDDIE while enroute to Japan with a cargo of logs. The ship broke in two and was a total loss.

1965: AMARYLLIS was driven ashore about 1.5 miles north of Palm Beach Inlet, Florida, during Hurricane Betsy. The crew lived on board for another 4 months keeping up steam in hope of being refloated but the ship was eventually abandoned as a total loss. The vessel, enroute from Manchester, England, to Baton Rouge, LA in ballast, visited the Great Lakes in 1959. The hull became increasingly unpopular with local residents and, in 1975, a gravel road was built to the ship to truck the scrapped steel away. The remains were later floated off and sunk off West Palm Beach as an artificial reef.

1979: INDIANA HARBOR loaded a record 61,649 tons of iron ore at Two Harbors.

1997: NORTH ISLANDS, a Cypriot flag SD14, came through the Seaway in 1994 and loaded peas at Thunder Bay for Cuba. The vessel went aground near San Antonio, Chile, after losing her propeller. The ship broke in two, but all 30 on board were rescued by a helicopter from the Chilean Navy.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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

Duluth, Minn.
A rarity for Twin Ports boat watchers, the Stewart J. Cort came through the Duluth entry Monday afternoon on her way to the BNSF ore dock in Superior. She will take the place of the Burns Harbor at the dock. Canal Park visitors received an added bonus when the Cort’s captain blew three salutes on his trip through the ship canal.

St. Marys River
On Sunday, Joseph L. Block and the saltie Three Rivers were downbound early, while Radcliffe R. Latimer was down around noon. Tecumseh was upbound in the afternoon, and that was it for the day. As night fell, Mesabi Miner was approaching the river downbound and Lee A. Tregurtha was nearing DeTour upbound.

Muskegon, Mich.
Defiance and Ashtabula made a rare visit Monday to unload road salt at the Verplank dock.

Sarnia, Ont.
Algorail’s AIS has popped on, possibly a prelude to a return to service for this vessel, which has been laid up this season and which is expected to go to the scrapyard before long.

Toledo, Ohio
As of 1:40 p.m. Monday afternoon, the saltwater vessel Gadwell had departed the Port Colborne anchorage on eastern Lake Erie bound for Toledo. Her AIS states that she will arrive at Toledo at 7 a.m. Tuesday. She is most likely going upriver to load grain.

American Mariner is making a run through the Seaway with ore for Quebec City.


Two Rivers shipwreck added to Wisconsin state register

9/6 - Two Rivers, Wis. – The Alaska, a shipwreck near Point Beach State Park, has been added to the Wisconsin Register of Historic Places. “It really adds another layer of excitement to the discovery of that shipwreck,” Two Rivers City Manager Greg Buckley said.

The Wisconsin State Historical Society accepted the nomination at its Aug. 19 meeting in La Crosse. More discussions need to take place before the shipwreck is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Our history isn’t simply static,” Buckley said. “There are always going to be more discoveries out there to be found.”

The shipwreck was found from the air May 2015 by ultralight pilot Suzze Johnson. Weather and current conditions in Lake Michigan at the time had shifted the sand so the shipwreck was visible. It lies about 5 feet under the water near Two Rivers.

“It (the shipwreck) adds to the already interesting history of shipping and shipwrecks on Lake Michigan,” Buckley said.

The Alaska is a 90-foot scow schooner that was built in 1869 by Smith Neville Sr., a master shipbuilder, in Sheboygan and was primarily used in Lake Michigan for the lumber trade, according to the registration form sent to the Wisconsin State Historical Society.

The document lists details of the schooner, including its history and what remains underwater. According to that document, the Alaska sank in 1879 after bad weather forced it to shore near Two Rivers and attempts to relaunch the ship failed. After the crew abandoned the vessel near Two Rivers, the ship sank, and over the years, became covered in sand.

In the registration form, it is written that the Alaska provides historians and archaeologist a rare chance to study scow schooner construction. It also mentions the wreck contains a number of artifacts not normally found with near-shore shipwrecks, and more may be uncovered under the sand.

Manitowoc Herald Times


Saltie with lakes connection scrapped in Nigeria

9/6 - Marine News, the journal of the World Ship Society publication for September, reports just one vessel that had previously made a transit into the Seaway as scrapped. DOUKATO 7382990 - Pan - 5,788 gross / blt 1976 - chemical tanker - ex Emporer-12, Stream-11, Ek-Cloud-04, Lotos-83, Joaker-77. First trip up the Seaway in 1979. Sold to Nigerian breakers, reported 2015.

Rene Beauchamp and Barry Andersen


U.S. Steel sues over Michigan rule to reduce air pollution

9/6 - Detroit, Mich. – The state of Michigan has hit a roadblock in its efforts to cut down on air pollution in Wayne County. U.S. Steel is suing the state over a rule that requires the company to submit a plan for meeting sulfur dioxide standards at its Great Lakes Works plant in Ecorse.

Michigan has been trying get the Pittsburgh-based company and several others in the Detroit-area to scale back emissions since 2010, when a federal review found that levels were above standards. Michael Shore with the Department of Environmental Quality says U.S. Steel is the only company that hasn't complied.

"Instead, [U.S. Steel] is pursuing a legal strategy that puts them at a competitive advantage over other sources. Rather than pursue compliance in good faith, they've done everything possible to avoid making the needed changes to reduce their contribution to the region's SO2 impact," Shore said.

A spokesperson with U.S. Steel said the company had no comment on the matter.

Michigan Radio


South Bass Island lighthouse restored

9/6 - Lake Erie – Most tourists who take Miller Ferry to South Bass Island turn right as they huff and puff up the steep hill from the boat dock. From there, it’s a couple of miles in a taxicab, golf cart, or on bicycle to downtown Put-in-Bay.

Steps away to the left, though, is one of the island’s most peaceful and idyllic settings — one that will likely catch on with more people in the coming year.

The 119-year-old South Bass Island Lighthouse, which Ohio State University acquired from the federal government in 1967, has been restored and is being made available by the university for weddings and other special events starting in 2017, Chris Winslow, interim Ohio Sea Grant and OSU Stone Laboratory director, said.

The public has a chance to visit it and nearby Gibraltar Island at no charge from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday when the Friends of Stone Laboratory hosts its 18th annual open house.

Free transportation to Gibraltar will be provided from the Aquatic Visitors Center jointly operated by Ohio Sea Grant and Ohio State University on the opposite side of South Bass Island, just beyond downtown Put-in-Bay. Private water taxis also can be hired for a fee.

Ohio is one of 33 states with a college sea grant program operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The South Bass Island Lighthouse has been like a hidden gem out in plain sight for years now, prominently located near a busy dock but often restricted to the public.

That’s changing. The grounds — which include a butterfly garden installed a few years ago — are often open for picture-taking now, and the property’s shoreline offers one of Lake Erie’s most magnificent views.

Part of the adventure in visiting the lighthouse goes beyond its relaxing, screened-in porch and beautifully decorated living room, kitchen, and bedrooms.

The spiral staircase to the light offers tight twists and turns. The payoff, though, is a panoramic view of Lake Erie at the top.

Built at a cost of only $8,000, the brick lighthouse was used to guide ships from July, 1897, to October, 1962. It accommodates about 10 people at a time, and — according to Ohio Sea Grant — it is somewhat unique in that respect.

Unlike most lighthouses with huge towers and small, detached quarters, the South Bass Island Lighthouse has 2½ stories of living space in a Queen Anne-style home, a full basement, and an attached 60-foot tower. It also has a laundry room, large kitchen, furnace, and other amenities not normally found in lighthouses.

Back in the 1960s, after it had been retired as a lighthouse, the home was rented out to the family of Harry R. Johnson of Williston, Ohio, for the grand total of $66.50 a month. Mr. Johnson, his wife, and their seven children lived there for five years, according to a Sea Grant brochure.

Ohio State bought it after that five-year rental agreement expired in 1967. In 1983, NOAA installed a $50,000 meteorological station to assist the National Weather Service. The lighthouse was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on April 5, 1990.

Kelly Dress, Stone Laboratory business office manager, said those interested in renting South Bass Island Lighthouse in 2017 should contact Craig Genheimer via email at

Toledo Blade


Ship operators explore automated cargo vessels

9/6 - “All hands on deck” may become a thing of the past. Ship designers, their operators and regulators are gearing up for a future in which cargo vessels sail the oceans with minimal or even no crew. Advances in automation and ample bandwidth even far offshore could herald the biggest change in shipping since diesel engines replaced steam.

Ship operators believe more automation will enable them to optimize ship use, including cutting fuel consumption. “The benefit of automation is as an enabler of further efficiency across the 630 vessels we operate,” said Palle Laursen, head of Maersk Line Ship Management, a unit of cargo-ship giant A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S.

British engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC is leading the Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications initiative involving other companies and universities. It foresees technologies long used to improve commercial airline operations migrating to ships. The group also is tapping know-how from those working on driverless cars to adapt for safe at-sea autonomous operations.

A future unmanned ship could resemble some of the most advanced combat drones. It would sport infrared detectors, high-resolution cameras and laser sensors to monitor its surroundings. The vast troves of data would be transmitted to command centers where staff do little more than monitor progress and ensure ships are operating at optimum speeds.

Read more and see an image at this link:


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.

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, 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 that 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.

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

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.

1908: The wooden steamer CHAUNCY HURLBUT began leaking and was beached at Whitefish Point, Lake Superior, along a rough and rocky shore. It became a total loss and the hull was removed in August 1910 and sunk in deep water.

2009: ALGOPORT ran into heavy weather from tropical storm DeJuan while under tow of the PACIFIC HICKORY, broke up and sank in the Philippine Sea about a week's tow from the destination of Jiangyin, China.

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


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.

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

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

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

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 cutter’s 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.

1896: The Canadian passenger ship BALTIC, built in 1867 as FRANCES SMITH, burned at the dock in Collingwood. The hull drifted to shallow water and remained there for several years.

1964: A. & J. MID-AMERICA, a Seaway caller in 1963, was driven ashore at Lantau Island near Hong Kong by typhoon Ruby. The vessel was refloated October 5 but came ashore again days later during typhoon Dot on October 13. Refloated October 21, the vessel returned to service and was scrapped as e) UNION TIGER at Inchon, South Korea, after arriving in April 1968.

1964: The former HEMSEFJELL, a pre-Seaway trader, was also blown aground at Hong Kong as d) PROSPERITY during typhoon Ruby but released on October 5. It was scrapped in Thailand during 1972.

1964: The three-year old bulk carrier LEECLIFFE HALL sank in the St. Lawrence, 65 miles below Quebec City, following a collision with the APOLLONIA. Efforts to beach the ship failed and three lives were lost. The hull was dynamited as a hazard to navigation in 1966. The latter, a Greek freighter, had been a Seaway trader in 1964 and was repaired at Levis, QC. The ship was scrapped at Shanghai, China, as c) MAYFAIR after arriving on May 3, 1985.

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


Feds put old Michigan lighthouses up for auction

9/4 - Mackinaw City, Mich. – Nick Korstad was 7 when he first learned about lighthouses and dreamed of being a lightkeeper. Now, he’s a keeper for three lighthouses in three states.

His most recent acquisition is the Spectacle Reef Light in northern Lake Huron, northeast of Cheboygan. He won the bidding for the 142-year-old light in September 2015, paying $43,575 to the U.S. General Services Administration, which sells surplus government property.

“It’s a beautiful structure; I can’t wait to get to work on it,” Korstad said. “We have some work ahead of us.”

Some work is also needed on four other lighthouses in northern Lake Michigan that are being auctioned off as part of the efforts under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act to find new owners:

• The White Shoal Light, built in 1901, is 20 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge. Featured on a state of Michigan license plate, the red and white tower has a terra cotta, steel and brick interior. It was automated in 1976. As of Friday, there were two bids on the structure with the highest being $16,000.

• Grays Reef Light, built in 1936, is four miles west of Waugoshance Island. The historic 82-foot light has a square tower with steel plate construction on a concrete crib. It also was automated in 1976. Opening bid is $10,000 and there are no buyers yet.

• The North Manitou Shoal Light, built in 1935, is southeast of North Manitou Island, eight miles offshore from Leland. The light includes a two-story steel building that housed the living quarters with a 63-foot tall steel tower. The light was automated in 1979. It had one bid of $10,000 Friday.

• Minneapolis Shoal Light marks the entrance to Little Bay de Noc in Delta County. The 82-foot-high octagonal lighthouse sits on a 32-foot square metal structure that housed the keeper’s living quarters. The light was built in 1934 and was the last manned lighthouse to mark an isolated reef. It also was automated in 1979. Opening bid is $15,000 and no takers yet.

Bidders can be private individuals or nonprofits and must obtain a private use agreement from the state, which owns the bottomland on which the structures sit, and agree to maintain and operate the lights.

The GSA hopes to wrap up the bidding by mid-September. Bidders are required to complete an online application and offer a deposit of at least $10,000.

If any of the four lighthouses are sold, proceeds will go into the Coast Guard’s Aid to Navigation Fund for equipment, preservation and maintenance of lighthouses. If they don’t sell, the GSA will have to decide whether to keep the property or try again to sell them.

The lighthouses, while still active, are no longer needed by the U.S. Coast Guard, which has made advancements in navigation technology, said Catherine Langel, the GSA’s Great Lakes region public affairs officer.

Over the past two decades, nonprofit preservation groups interested in lighthouses have grown around the Great Lakes, with more than 50 organizations involved in the Michigan Lighthouse Alliance.

Two lighthouses that were listed for auction in 2015 have GSA sales pending: Gravelly Shoals and Isle Aux Galet.

“Lighthouses like these in Michigan have deep roots and sentimental value as local historic landmarks,” GSA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Ann Kalayil said in a statement.

Terry Pepper is the executive director of one of those groups, the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association. “There are 388 Great Lakes lights,” he said. “Michigan alone has 124 lights.”

The group has restored and maintains the St. Helena Light, west of Mackinaw City, on Lake Michigan and the Cheboygan River Front Range Light on Lake Huron in Cheboygan.

“We have undertaken our work with the help of volunteers, Boy Scouts and church groups, and we offer a volunteer keeper program at both lighthouses. It’s important to keep the stories of these places alive,” Pepper said.

Detroit News


Port Reports -  September 4

Thunder Bay, Ont.
CSL Welland and Algoma Olympic were loading Saturday, while Federal Beaufort, Federal Caribou, Federal Sakura and Federal Baltic were at anchor. Cedarglen has her AIS turned on, which may mean rumors of her fit out for the fall grain rush are true.

St. Marys River
Saturday started out with morning fog in the lower river. Algonova was anchored at Nine Mile Point downbound but was underway around 10 a.m. She was followed downriver by James R. Barker. Upbound traffic included Baie Comeau, Philip R. Clarke (which gave multiple salutes at Mission Point), Cuyahoga (headed to Essar), Burns Harbor and American Century. At dusk, Algoma Discovery was downbound above the locks and Algoma Equinox was inbound at DeTour. The saltie Eeborg remained at anchor above DeTour, where she has been for some time.


Ontonagon lighthouse celebrates 150th anniversary

9/4 - Ontonagon, Mich. – The Ontonagon lighthouse has been standing since 1866. More than 3,700 people toured the Ontonagon Lighthouse last summer. This season, that number has doubled as the Ontonagon Historical Society says they're still counting.

"We're proud of the fact that we're in this little corner of the Upper Peninsula and yet we have one of the highest per capita attendance rate of any small historical society in the area," said society president Bruce Johanson.

This landmark is one of five lighthouses along Lake Superior. It once helped boaters travel in and out of the Ontonagon Harbor during the Copper Rush in the 1800s. Many lighthouse keepers kept close watch of boaters entering the port as they were living inside.

Everything in the lighthouse has been restored from the 1900s, including the stove, oven, refrigerator and water pump.

Upper Michigan Source


Updates -  September 4

News Photo Gallery


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 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.

1921: The former laker RANDOLPH S. WARNER was cut in two to leave the Great Lakes during World War One. It was rebuilt with the pilothouse amidships and sank on this date about 40 miles off the Bosporus after reportedly striking an unrecovered mine.

1926: HARSEN, loaded with a cargo of sand, capsized and sank in a storm 3 miles northeast of the Pelee Passage Light in Lake Erie. The wooden-hulled vessel was a total loss.

1961: IMPERIAL HAMILTON caught fire while loading ethyl gasoline at Sarnia and sustained considerable damage. Six on board were injured.

1963: The Egyptian freighter SALAH ELDIN, a former Victory ship, caught fire in the crew quarters in Hamilton but the blaze was extinguished before it reached the cargo hold. The vessel almost capsized due to the weight of water but it remained upright. Two crew were injured and the Chief Steward died. The ship was towed out by GRAEME STEWART and JAMES BATTLE on November 22, 1963, for Quebec City and sold as is, where it became d) MERCANTILE VICTORY after a refit at Houston, Texas. Another fire on April 23, 1964, this time in the engine room on the Red Sea shortly after re-entering service in March 1964, led to an eventual resale to Spanish shipbreakers. The vessel arrived at Castellon for dismantling on May 10, 1965.

1967: The tugs MICHAEL McALLISTER and AMERICA towed the retired passenger ship NORTH AMERICAN through the Welland Canal enroute to a new career as a training ship for the S.I.U. at Piney Point, MD.

1972: NORSE CORAL was new when it entered the Seaway in 1962 and returned as b) TOTEM STAR in 1963. The ship opened the Seaway season on April 8, 1964, and returned to our shores as c) SILVERBEACH in 1965. It sustained heavy damage off Victoria, BC while inbound from Hong Kong to Vancouver on this date due to a collision with the C.E. DANT. The two ships were locked together. They were towed to Victoria the next day and then separated September 6. The damage was repaired and the former lakes trader survived until scrapping at Xingang, China, in 1986.

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


U.S.-flag lakes cargos down almost 10 percent in July

9/3 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters moved 9.85 million tons of cargo in July, a decrease of 9.5 percent compared to a year ago. The July float was also 9 percent below the month’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.6 million tons, a decrease of 3.4 percent compared to a year ago. Coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.7 million tons, a decrease of 25 percent. Limestone loads for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.9 million tons, a decrease of 10 percent compared to a year ago.

Year-to-date U.S.-flag carriage stands at 40.4 million tons, a decrease of 5 percent compared to the same point in 2015. Iron ore cargos are up 4.8 percent, but coal cargos have dipped 27 percent. Limestone shipments trail last year by 4.5 percent.

Lake Carriers’ Association


Port Reports -  September 3

St. Marys River
American Mariner, Blacky and James L. Kuber/Victory were downbound Friday. Manitoulin was upbound. Lee A. Tregurtha, American Integrity and Presque Isle were all above the locks as night fell. Passenger ship Pearl Mist was also downbound after dark. Tug John Marshall departed the system downbound early Friday while the Miss Laura was headed back to Duluth.

Toledo, Ohio
As of 11:35 a.m. Friday the saltwater vessel Hanse Gate was in the lower Detroit River bound for Toledo. Federal Bering and Cason J. Callaway were in port Friday night.


Algoma collects final refund from Nantong Mingde

9/3 - C - Canada’s Algoma Central Corp has been awarded a $29.1m refund for the fourth and final shipbuilding contract it has been disputing with Nantong Mingde Heavy Industries. The Canadian carrier was awarded its refund claim in July at an arbitration tribunal in London.

“The collection of this final refund guarantee brings to an end the extended process related to the cancellation of the four Mingde shipbuilding contracts,” Peter Winkley, Algoma’s CFO and vice-president of finance, said in a statement.

Including the latest award, Algoma has received $82.5m in refund guarantees for the four cancellations, which Winkley said would be “invested in active shipbuilding contracts now underway in Croatia and China.”

Algoma ordered six Equinox-class bulk carriers at Nantong Mingde in 2010 to replace aging ships in its domestic fleet. Only two of the vessels were delivered before the Chinese shipyard declared bankruptcy in August 2015.

Algoma cancelled the four remaining contracts and has received tribunal decisions in its favour for all four of the cancellations. It has since signed contracts with shipyards in Croatia and another builder in China to build the other five Equinoxes.

Algoma Central Corp.


Boblo boat Ste. Claire will have to move again

9/3 - Detroit, Mich. – Since November, the steamer Ste. Claire has been safely docked on the Rouge River, as a team steadily worked to bring the ship back to its former glory.

But just one year after moving to great fanfare, the former Boblo boat faces its latest hurdle: It will have to move once more. The dock along the Rouge River needs to be clear by the second week of October to make way for a new, paying client, said its owner, Paul Russo. And while the team has enough money to finish replacing much of the boat's inner workings, it is still hundreds of thousands of dollars short of what's needed to finish the final stages.

“My heart sank,” upon learning of the move, said Ron Kattoo, the ship’s co-owner who has led restoration efforts since he bought the boat in 2007. He got the bad news last month.

Read more and view photos, video at this link


Eisenhower Lock visitors center in Massena closes for season Monday

9/3 - Massena, N.Y. – Public access to the visitors' center at the U.S. Eisenhower Lock ends at 6 p.m. on Labor Day, Sept. 5. The center will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will entry will be free to the public until Sept. 5.

This year, nearly 60,000 visitors from 44 states and 22 countries entered the center or stopped by the overlook to view ships from dozens of nations traversing the binational U.S.-Canadian waterway.

The Eisenhower Visitors' Center is located off Route 37 in Massena and is accessible to the disabled. A north overlook parking lot is available year round for visitors to view ships after the center is closed. The visitors’ center will be closed for the winter and will reopen in May 2017.

North Country Now


Expanded Door County autumn lighthouse fest returns

9/3 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Reacting to the popularity of the Door County Lighthouse Festival each June and a positive response to last October’s first installment of an abbreviated Autumn Door County Lighthouse Festival, the Door County Maritime Museum is again offering some of its most popular tours Columbus Day weekend. Reservations are now being taken for these nautical adventures that will take place October 8-9, with discounts being offered for Door County Maritime Museum members.

The Chambers Island tour and the Sail Door County Schooner Cruise will again be a part of this abbreviated offering. New this fall is the first land-based tour offered by Door County Nature & Travel as well as a couple different boat excursions by Shoreline Charters.

A pair of schooner tours out of the Sister Bay Marina are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 8, leaving at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The cruises offer a sail into yesteryear on a 19th century tall ship. The 2.5-hour cruise is longer and more historically themed than regular schooner trips. It visits the scenic waters adjacent to the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse to present the opportunity for views and photos of the light perched on the bluff. Participants are invited to hoist the sails on the 65-foot schooner Edith M. Becker. As tradition requires, the cannon will be fired to signal the end of the cruise. Cost of the tour is $62 for Door County Maritime Museum members and $65 for non-members. Only 22 tickets will be sold per tour.

Also on Saturday, Shoreline Charters will offer its Death’s Door cruise. It’s a 90-minute excursion into the legendary strait from which Door County got its name. Tours will leave from the Gills Rock dock at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Highlights include water views of the Baileys Harbor Range Lights and abandoned Coast Guard Station on Plum Island and then on to eerie Pilot Island with its bare trees and lighthouse. Cost is $49 per person and capacity is limited to 14 people.

The Door County Nature & Travel land-based tour will include lighthouses in the Baileys Harbor and Fish Creek areas. The four-hour tour includes stops at the Ridges Range Lights, Cana Island Lighthouse and Eagle Bluff Lighthouse. The tour, which will leave from the Baileys Harbor Town Hall, will be capped with a stop at one of the peninsula’s premier wineries. The cost is $49 and includes admission to the lighthouses.

On Sunday, the Chambers Island boat excursion and walking tour will be offered. Departures will take place at the Fish Creek Dock aboard the Quo Vadis at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

A journey to Chambers Island is a one of the Door County Lighthouse Festival’s enduring offerings and will be presented in the same format as in June. Access to the historic lighthouse requires a three-mile round trip docent-led hike. Lighthouse caretakers will meet the tours and provide a remarkable account of both the history of the island and its lighthouse. There you will be able to soak up the amazing view and climb to the lantern room platform. Note: Good hiking shoes are recommended and participants should be in good enough shape to handle the hike. Time on the island will be approximately 2 hours. The cost of the tour is $65 for Door County Maritime Museum members and $69 for non-members. Space is limited.

Shoreline Charters will be offering a tour from the Sister Bay Marina on Sunday with departures at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The tour will last between 90 minutes and two hours as it passes the scenic coastline to Eagle Bluff Lighthouse. Along the way you will see spectacular homes and be amazed by the large caves. Continuing on to the lighthouse enjoy the views of the Strawberry Islands and other islands in the distance. The cost is $49 per person.

Tickets are now on sale for the Door County Autumn Lighthouse Festival. To reserve your spot on one of these limited tours, please contact the Door County Maritime Museum at (920) 743-5958. For additional information, visit



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.

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.

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 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.

1905: The GEORGE STEPHENSON was blown aground at Pointe Aux Pins, Lake Superior and struck by her consort barge JOHN A. ROEBLING. Both were released and returned to service.

1942: DONALD STEWART, a canal trader for Canada Steamship Lines, was torpedoed by U-517 and sunk while in a convoy on the Gulf of St. Lawrence while carrying barrels of aviation fuel and bulk cement for the air base at Goose Bay, Labrador. Three members of the engine room crew were lost.

1944: LIVINGSTON, a former Great Lakes canal ship, was torpedoed and sunk by U-541 in the Atlantic about 80 miles east of Cape Breton Island. Fourteen lives were lost but another 14 were spared and rescued.

1965: The tanker EASTERN SHELL sank the small wooden goelette MONT BLANC in a collision blamed on fog about 20 miles from Trois Rivieres. All crewmembers of the pulpwood carrier were rescued.

1970: KENNETH made a single trip to the Great Lakes in 1959. It caught fire in the engine room on this date off the coast of Israel while enroute from Alexandria, Egypt, to Tripoli, Libya, as h) CHRISTINA MARIA. The ship was abandoned by the crew, towed into Haifa, Israel, September 6 and sold to Israeli shipbreakers later in the year.

1998: ORKANGER, a chemical tanker that first came through the Seaway in 1977, began leaking while inbound at Rio Grande, Brazil, as e) BAHAMAS with 12,000 tons of sulphuric acid and sank in the harbor. The hull was eventually refloated but never repaired although it had subsequent renames and was reported as broken up in 2003 as h) ORIENT FLOWER.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic Thursday included the saltie Jule, Roger Blough, Tim S. Dool, Great Lakes Trader, Esta Desgagnes, Isadora and Edwin H. Gott. Algoma Enterprise was upbound. The tugs John Marshall and Miss Laura spent the day at the Carbide Dock. Federal Beaufort was nearing DeTour headed for Thunder Bay in the late evening.

Toledo, Ohio
Hon. James L. Oberstar ended her nearly two-week stay at Ironhead Marine for mechanical issues and moved over to the coal machine to load.

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Algoway was expected to arrive in Lorain Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m.

Lackawanna, N.Y. – Brian W.
The ocean-going freighter Chestnut is now on her way down the St. Lawrence River with a destination of Ghent, Belgium, with a load of coke from Lackawanna.


Access to two Lake Michigan piers will soon close

9/2 - Grand Haven, Mich. – Those heading to Lake Michigan this holiday weekend should know access to two west Michigan piers will soon close. The south pier in Grand Haven will close to foot-traffic after the Labor Day holiday.

New structural concerns discovered during a recent survey are leading to the closing of the south break wall pier in Muskegon on Thursday.

The Army Corps of Engineers is working to hire a firm to fill holes and stabilize sections of unstable concrete. The condition of this pier is inspected every year. The most recent survey revealed new and growing danger areas.

"And the recommendations from that group was that we have to get some repairs going extremely fast," said Tom O'Bryan, Area Engineer Army Corps of Engineers.

More significant and expensive repairs to the break wall may happen next summer. The immediate repairs may finish and allow the pier to re-open to the public in October. O'Bryan says piers get significant foot-traffic, but they weren't built for that use.

"These are for navigation and to ensure the harbor stays open so freighters can come and go," said O'Bryan.

In Grand Haven, the long view down the south pier has changed. There's compromised concrete that need to be replaced on this pier too. To do the work, the catwalk needed to be removed. Most of the catwalk is gone, the remaining sections will soon be unbolted, too.

During the construction, the catwalk is being stored at the Verplank dock along the Grand River. Each section has been numbered so the catwalk can go back on the pier next summer in the order it came off.

For now, pedestrians can still walk to Grand Haven's lighthouse -- that's going to change. "It probably will not be closed permanently until at least after Labor Day," said O'Bryan.

The work repairing Grand Haven's cracked pier will take several months. Workers are hoping to finish in the days before the Coast Guard festival next summer. The work to remove, repair and re-set the catwalk in Grand Haven will cost around $100,000.

The cost is being covered by a community fundraising drive, called "Save the Catwalk."



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.

1905 The large wooden schooner PRETORIA, which cleared Superior with ore under tow of the VENEZUELA, hit a fierce storm and the steering gear failed. The vessel fell into the trough after the tow line snapped and the barge broke up off Outer Island. Five crew were rescued and another five were lost.

1905 IOSCO and the schooner OLIVE JEANETTE foundered off Huron Island, Lake Superior, with the loss of 19 lives on the former and another 7 on the latter. Both were downbound with iron ore and were last seen near Stannard Rock. Also, the SEVONA stranded on a reef in a Lake Superior storm and broke in two as a total loss. Seven drowned from the bow section when they tried to come ashore on hatch rafts. The wreck was dynamited in 1909 after the boilers had been salvaged.

1914 THOS. R. SCOTT became waterlogged and sank during a storm in the deepest part of Georgian Bay off the east coast of the Bruce Peninsula. The ship was swamped in a storm while carrying lumber from Cockburn Island to Owen Sound and all on board were saved. The hull was located using sidescan sonar in 1994.

1926 BURT BARNES, a wooden three-masted schooner, foundered in Lake Ontario while carrying 210 tons of coal from Sodus Point to Picton. The crew abandoned the ship in the yawl boat near Picton and were blown across the lake and came ashore safely 12 miles west of Rochester.

1972 The Cypriot freighter AEGIS WISDOM and the Italian vessel LIBRA collided in fog on the St. Lawrence near Les Escoumins. The former, which had been launched in March, was on her first trip outbound from the Seaway and was heavily damaged aft. The vessel was towed to Lauzon for repairs and survived until scrapping at Alang, India, as d) ANGELIKI II following arrival on January 14, 1997. LIBRA, dated from 1965 but did not come to the Great Lakes until 1975. It was scrapped in Mainland China as b) DEPY in 1986.

1975 CHICAGO TRIBUNE, enroute from Thunder Bay to Collingwood with grain, went aground in Georgian Bay and had to be lightered by the CHARLES W. JOHNSON, working with the tug ROD McLEAN. After being released and unloaded, the ship went to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Ex-Boblo boat Ste. Claire could dock in St. Clair

9/1 - The Ste. Claire, more widely known as one of the Boblo boats, could dock in St. Clair permanently. The passenger steamer was decommissioned in 1991. The ship ran for 81 years, carrying passengers between Detroit and the Boblo Island amusement park near Windsor.

Its sister ship Columbia found a home in Buffalo, New York, last year. Kevin Mayer, co-owner and general manager of the Ste. Claire, said the Columbia will be steaming up and down the Hudson River next year.

Mayer wants to see a similar future for the Ste. Claire after its ongoing restoration.

“There still is a lot of work to be done,” Mayer said. “It would be two years at the most to finish the work, but we are looking for a permanent site for her.”

Mayer said St. Clair is at the top of his list, with Wyandotte close behind. The ship's owners currently are not considering any other cities.

“It had a strong connection to Wyandotte since it used to stop there, but also a strong connection to the Port Huron area since once a year the ship would take an excursion up to Port Huron to let people shop for the day and then come home,” he said.

Mayer said no official plans have been made and discussions with St. Clair City Council are needed. A special meeting is proposed for October. The date is still pending. St. Clair Mayor Bill Cedar said all he knows so far is that the owners of the ship are interested in St. Clair. Cedar said there are a lot of details that need to be worked out.

St. Clair Councilman Mitch Kuffa said while there hasn’t been a formal meeting about the possibility, the preliminary discussion was the first step. Kuffa said council will have to approve the use of city property allowing the boat to dock at and possibly lease seawall space from the city.

“This is a learning experience and there are plenty of steps involved,” Kuffa said. “In my opinion, bringing the Boblo Boat to St. Clair is the final puzzle piece to make this a destination place for people all around.”

Kuffa said he expected the boat would attract thousands of visitors.

“This couldn’t have been presented at a better time, with the re-opening of the St. Clair Inn,” Kuffa said. “It’s unique because you go up and down Michigan, all along the coast you see lighthouses and little historic towns, but you never see a ship like this.”

“We haven’t been up (to St. Clair), but looked at Google earth and it looks like a beautiful location,” Mayer said. “It would be great to have it docked near the St. Clair Inn. We still have to look at other areas once it gets closer to that point, but St. Clair is at the top of the list.”

Mayer said he feels St. Clair is a good fit for the ship. He imagines hosting weddings on the steamer, with the guests staying overnight at the St. Clair Inn. The boat will be a year-round attraction, completely decked out for Christmas, featuring a chance to meet Santa Claus on the boat, and a festive New Year’s Eve celebration as well.

While the boat is currently slated to just be only a dock-side attraction for now, Mayer hopes eventually seeing it sail again. But the boat need a lot of work before that point.

“Our welders have worked all summer long and we have new architect drawings and we need more poles and beams to make it more secure,” Mayer said. “They are about three-quarters the way finished below deck, however now we are trying to make the boat more cosmetically appealing.”

“We want to make her as beautiful as possible,” Mayer said. “No one wants a dilapidated boat in (St. Clair), so we are trying our hardest to get her back to her glory.”

The boat currently sits in the Detroit River on the border of Ecorse and River Rouge, Mayer said. But it is currently looking for a new home to allow the crew to continue restoring her before finding a long-lasting permanent home to dock.

Port Huron Times Herald


Murky waters for Alexander Henry

9/1 - Kingston, Ont. – It's not easy being the Alexander Henry, evicted from Kingston and now floating dangerously close to a Picton scrapyard.

Six weeks ago the former Coast Guard icebreaker was hauled away from its home at the boarded up Marine Museum of the Great Lakes to temporary moorings in Picton. Even the move turned out to be controversial.

Someone called anonymously to Prince Edward County mayor Robert Quaiff warning him the ship was on its way – and that it was filled with environmentally hazardous substances.

"It was a very anonymous phone message. The individual didn't leave his name and said he wanted to give us a heads-up," said Quaiff. "I made an inquiry as to where the ship was going to be located. We had a concern from an environmental perspective."

Quaiff made his first call for information to Kingston mayor Bryan Paterson. Quaiff was told that the Henry had been in the drydock at the marine museum for a number of years. The museum property had been sold to developer Jay Patry who gave notice this winter that the museum had to remove its artifacts as well as pull the ship from the drydock.

So in stepped Kingston-area developer Henk Doornekamp with a plan.

"I've been so upset about that marine museum issue I said I would take it. We did a proposal where we would take it to our dock in Picton," said Doornekamp. "They had a gun to their heads."

A few years ago, Doornekamp Construction had purchased the old shipping terminal near Picton, bringing in raw materials and shipping out aggregates from the company's own quarries. The Henry could be moored there until the marine museum figured out the ship's future, possibly to be sunk as an artificial diving reef, or cut up and sold for scrap.

For $100,000, Doornekamp's crew managed to swing open the gates of the antiquated drydock and float the Henry free of its longtime home. A tugboat from Toronto dragged it toward Picton. And that's when Quaiff was tipped off.

Hearing the Picton mayor's concerns, Doornekamp arranged to have the Henry anchored at a salvager's further away from the town. Nearly two months later, that's where it rests -- and will likely stay until spring.

The chairman of the marine museum board of directors, Christopher West, said there are no environmental concerns with the ship. The bilges were emptied before it left Kingston and all of the through hulls had been welded shut.

Still, the Alexander Henry remains figuratively, if not actually, adrift. The first priority, said West, would be to sink it for recreational diving. But that would involve a costly clean-up to remove oils from the engines and other mechanical fittings.

If that doesn't happen, the marine museum has an agreement with the City of Kingston to turn it over to Doornekamp, meaning the ship could be cut up for scrap.

"If by next summer we can't dispose of it then we'll go 50-50 with the city to have Henk Doornekamp take it off our hands. The price is $326,000," said West.

But don't count the Alexander Henry out just yet. There is new hope coming out of Thunder Bay. That's where the Henry was built, in the late 1950s, and a group of citizens is interested in bringing the ship home to be put on display.

"People in Thunder Bay remember the Alexander Henry very fondly. The interest is genuine," said West. "This fall, I would like to see a resolution one way or the other. If Thunder Bay can come through it won't cost much at this end at all."



Viking ship dodges being detained, pays pilotage fees

9/1 - The Viking ship that crossed the Atlantic Ocean this year with relative ease only to become mired in American red tape has left the Great Lakes.

"A new journey has begun as we just left the lakes today heading down Erie Canal," posted the Draken Harald Hårfagre on Facebook on Monday. "It has been two intense months that feels more like two years, with so many memories we can't tell them all."

One memory they will arguably be trying to forget is how close they came to being detained by Canadian authorities for alleged non-payment of pilotage fees. Lakes Pilots Association, one of three United States organizations providing pilotage service to ships crossing the Great Lakes, says that as of last Wednesday, Viking Kings A/S, the non-profit organization behind the Draken expedition, still owed an undisclosed amount to both United States and Canadian authorities for two months of pilotage service.

In both countries, a ship can be detained for significant bills or claims against it, as well as any environmental violations or damage it may have caused. The ship is not allowed to leave port and the crew is not allowed to leave their ship.

"It's an old legal procedure to get a vessel owner to pay their bills before they sail away where nobody will ever see them again and it would be impossible to ever receive our compensation," says Captain George Haynes, vice president of Lakes Pilots Association, whose pilots helped the Draken get as far as Green Bay, Wisconsin, before the expedition decided it could not afford to continue to Duluth, Minnesota.

According to Haynes, the pilotage authority in Canada had a warrant to "arrest" the Draken when it arrived at Port Colborne, Ontario, which is on the Lake Erie side of the Welland Canal, the ship canal that connects Lake Erie with Lake Ontario but avoids Niagara Falls.

"We were informed by the Viking ship's agent, McLean Kennedy [Inc.] in Montreal, the day before and decided to not put on a pilot at Erie [Pennsylvania] until we received our payment," says Haynes. "The representative on board worked with our secretary to wire transfer the funds into our account."

Once Lakes Pilots Association had been paid, it arranged to have a pilot on board the Draken on August 23 to help the Viking ship get to the Welland Canal.

Had the Draken got through the canal, onto Lake Ontario, and to its next stop in Oswego, New York, Haynes says, "We knew and the Canadians knew...we will never collect payment."

After spending a few days in Erie, Pennsylvania, where maintenance work was done to the Draken, the ship left Erie at 3 p.m. on Friday and sailed northeast to Port Colborne and then onto the Welland Canal.

On the other side, a new pilot boarded the Draken at Port Weller on Saturday evening. The Draken then sailed all night and arrived early Sunday morning at H. Lee White Maritime Museum in Oswego, New York, its last stop on the Great Lakes. By late Monday evening, the Draken had taken down its mast and is headed south on the Oswego Canal toward the Erie Canal, where it will go east until hooking up with the Hudson River, which will lead them south to New York City.

Lisa Johansson, Expedition Manager for the Draken Harald Hårfagre, did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Loop North News


Obituary: David Treadwell

9/1 - David Treadwell, age 60, aka “Kawika”, died on Aug. 28. He spent many years of his life sailing on large ships on the Great Lakes to deliver bulk cargoes of rock, coal, sand, and iron ore to many ports along the lakes. He was an avid reader and had an excellent memory. He loved swimming and thoroughly enjoyed his many trips to Hawaii. David was very kind and generous to all. His pride and joy was his 1967 Mustang. He enjoyed talking about cars with his many friends and was an active member of several car clubs. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated Thursday, Sept. 1, 8:30 a.m., at Our Lady of the Annunciation Catholic Church, 2621 Vermont St. NE, Albuquerque, N.M. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family request donations are made to the American Cancer Society or a local animal shelter in memory of David.

Albuquerque Journal


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.

1916 DRONNING MAUD, a Norwegian freighter visited the Great Lakes on charter to Keystone Transports beginning in 1909. It hit a mine in the North Sea on this date and sank off the east coast of England, between Southwall and Lowestoft.

1929 EDWARD BUCKLEY caught fire and was destroyed in the North Channel of Georgian Bay. The blaze broke out aft while enroute to Little Current to load pulpwood. The hull burned to the waterline and sank near Narrow Island Lighthouse. Local fishermen rescued the crew.

1936 The Canadian canaller BENMAPLE of the Port Colborne & St. Lawrence Navigation Company, sank in the St. Lawrence at about 0400 hours, near Father Point, after being hit in fog by the inbound liner LAFAYETTE. A wheelsman was killed but all others on board were rescued.

1983 INDIANA HARBOR sets a record loading 67,896 tons of iron ore at Escanaba.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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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