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Great Lakes-Seaway shipping season comeback continues

10/24 - North American grain and iron ore exports in September have accelerated a rebound in shipping on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

“While overall tonnage is about 5 percent behind last year, the resurgence in shipping activity that started in August continued last month,” said Raymond Johnston, President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce.

“U.S. grain exports are up and we’re seeing a resumption of iron ore exports from ports in the Upper Great Lakes such as Duluth-Superior due to improved world pricing.”

Total Seaway year-to-date shipments (March 21 through September 30) reached 21.2 million metric tons. U.S. grain totaled 1.4 million metric tons, up more than 5 percent over the 2015 season’s already robust performance. Shipments of aluminum, for the auto industry, remained a growth area for several ports including Toledo, Detroit and Oswego, N.Y. In addition, liquid bulk shipments, including petroleum, asphalt and other products, totaled 2.5 million metric tons, up 25 percent.

“We continued to outpace last year’s totals for coal, liquids, and general cargo shipments through the Port of Toledo in September,” said Joseph Cappel, VP of Business Development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. Aluminum shipments originating in Canada led the way in the general cargo category improving 27 percent over last year. “Grain shipments consisting of imported wheat from Canada and overseas corn exports have also been fairly strong,” Cappel added.

For the Port of Green Bay, September was a strong month with an 8 percent increase in overall tonnage compared to 2015. “Much of the increase continues to be due to shipping of petroleum products,” said Dean Haen, Director of the Port of Green Bay. “We’ve also seen a 10 percent increase in limestone shipments coming into our port.”

Norwalk Reflector


Port Reports -  October 24

Duluth, Minn.
Arthur M. Anderson finished unloading limestone and departed Duluth at 06:53, bound for Two Harbors. American Integrity followed her outbound at 08:40 with coal for St. Clair. Elbeborg continued loading at Peavey, and Eemsborg and Cornelia remained at anchor. In Superior, Michipicoten arrived at 03:19, and after a very quick load, departed at 06:20.

St. Marys River
Alpena and Lee A. Tregurtha were upbound in the morning, followed by Joseph L. Block. Saginaw, Presque Isle and Mesabi Miner were upbound in the afternoon. Baie St. Paul was in Soo Harbor upbound in the evening. Esta Desgagnes was downbound, and tied up in Soo, Ont., to discharge petroleum products. American Spirit was downbound after dark. The tug Stephan M. Asher was incorrectly reported as passing downbound Saturday. She was in the locks area with a barge delivering supplies for a West Center Pier repair project.

Grand Haven, Mich.
Wilfred Sykes arrived to unload on a sunny Sunday morning. She was headed up the lake later in the day.

Saginaw, Mich. – Gordy Garris
Calumet departed early Sunday morning after unloading overnight in Saginaw. Calumet had arrived around 10 p.m. Saturday night and delivered a split load between the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee and the Lafarge Stone dock in Saginaw. After turning around at the Sixth Street basin, Calumet was back outbound for the lake around 8 a.m. Sunday morning. Expected to make its first visit of the 2016 season early Monday morning is the Algorail. Algorail is loaded with slag from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. This will be one of Algorail's final trips to the Saginaw River as she is likely to be retired and scrapped at the end of the shipping season.

Kingston, Ont. – Ron Walsh
The Groupe Ocean tug Escorte and barge Ocean Basque 2 were moored at the old elevator dock in Kingston Sunday, presumably waiting for weather as there were gale warnings up for W 35 knots. This was supposed to ease to 20 knots Sunday night, but build to 25 knots by Monday morning. Waves of 3.0 metres were forecast for eastern Lake Ontario Sunday.


Ports of Indiana, Trois-Rivières partner to launch market study

10/24 - The Ports of Indiana and the Port of Trois-Rivières have announced that the two port authorities have formed a first-of-its-kind marketing partnership and will conduct a joint study to explore new maritime shipping opportunities.

The two ports will launch a market analysis in the next few weeks to identify potential supply chain connections between their facilities. The initiative was created as a direct result of the maritime partnership formed between Indiana and Quebec in 2015. Both port organizations have been working together in the past few months, but now plan to expand their collaboration efforts.

The announcement was made when Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith, Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper and a group of Indiana leaders visited the Port of Trois-Rivières as part of an Indiana Maritime Trade Mission to Quebec that included meetings with Dominique Anglade, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, as well as leadership from Port of Trois-Rivières, Port of Montreal, Fednav and various maritime businesses based in Quebec.

In Trois-Rivières, the Indiana delegation met with Québec Associate Secretary General of Maritime Affairs Georges Farrah, port officials, transportation providers and major manufacturers in the area. The Indiana delegation included port, steel and economic development representatives who participated in the trip to learn more about developments related to Quebec’s Maritime Strategy announced in 2015.

“We’re excited to partner with the Port of Trois-Rivières to explore new market opportunities for better connecting our ports and expanding economic opportunities for both Indiana and Quebec,” said Rich Cooper, CEO for the Ports of Indiana. “Our ports share an entrepreneurial approach to new business development and a determined focus for providing logistics solutions for bulk and break-bulk shipments on our waterways.”

The Port of Trois-Rivières is a deep-water port located between Montreal and Quebec City on the St. Lawrence River, which is open year-round to ocean vessels. The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor provides multimodal connections to the Chicago-Northwest Indiana markets, which is one of the largest steel producing regions in the world, and also offers year-round shipments via the 12,500-mile inland river system which connects to 20 states and the Gulf of Mexico.

“We believe there are potential synergies in the industrial sectors surrounding each of our ports and that the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway can provide logistics solutions for developing new business connections in Indiana and Quebec,” said Gaétan Boivin, President & CEO, Port of Trois-Rivières.

“The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor offers connections to extensive supply and demand opportunities for Quebec businesses in the Chicago marketplace, and can provide access to the U.S. inland waterways system.”


Updates -  October 24

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 24

On October 24, 1886, the wooden steam barge RUDOLPH burned on Lake St. Clair and was beached. She was loaded with lumber from East Saginaw, Michigan, for Cleveland, Ohio.

On October 24, 1902, W. T. CHAPPELL (2-mast wooden schooner, 72 foot, 39 gross tons, built in 1877, at Sebewaing, Michigan) was carrying stove wood from Grand Marais, Michigan, to the Soo in a severe storm on Lake Superior when she sprang a leak. She was blown over and sank four miles from the Vermillion Life Saving Station. The lifesaving crew rescued the two-man crew in the surfboat and took them to the Whitefish Point Lighthouse for the night since the storm was so severe.

THUNTANK 6 (Hull#309) was launched October 24, 1969, at Wallsend, England, by Clelands Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., for Thun Tankers Ltd., London, U.K. Renamed b.) ANTERIORITY in 1972. Purchased by Texaco Canada in 1975, renamed c.) TEXACO WARRIOR. Sold off-lakes in 1984, renamed d.) TRADER, e.) SEA CORAL in 1985, f.) TALIA II in 1985, g.) TALIA in 1985, STELLA ORION in 1995 and h.) SYRA in 2000.

The PHILIP D. BLOCK / W. W. HOLLOWAY scrap tow arrived at Recife, Brazil. October 24, 1986.

THOMAS W. LAMONT and her former fleetmate, ENDERS M. VOORHEES arrived at Alegeciras, Spain on October 24, 1987, on the way to the cutters’ torch. The LAMONT was one of the last bulkers that retained her telescoping hatch covers to the very end.

NIPIGON BAY arrived Thunder Bay, Ontario, on October 24, 1980, where repairs were made from damage caused by her grounding earlier in the month.

On October 24, 1855, ALLEGHENY (wooden propeller, 178 foot, 468 tons, built in 1849, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying general merchandise and passengers in a storm, when she anchored near the Milwaukee harbor entrance for shelter. She lost her stack and then was unable to get up steam and was helpless. She dragged her anchor and came in close to the beach where she was pounded to pieces. There was no loss of life. Her engine and most of her cargo were removed by the end of the month. Her engine was installed in a new vessel of the same name built to replace her.

On October 24, 1873, just a month after being launched, the scow WAUBONSIE capsized at St. Clair, Michigan, and lost her cargo of bricks. She was righted and towed to Port Huron, minus masts, rigging and bowsprit, for repairs.

On October 24, 1886, LADY DUFFERIN (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 135 foot, 356 gross tons, built at Port Burwell, Ontario) was lost from the tow of the propeller W B HALL and went ashore near Cabot Head on Georgian Bay. No lives were lost, but the vessel was a total loss.

On October 24, 1953, the Yankcanuck Steamship Lines' MANZZUTTI (steel crane ship, 246 foot, 1,558 gross tons, built in 1903, at Buffalo, New York as J. S. KEEFE) ran aground south of the channel into the Saugeen River. The tug RUTH HINDMAN from Killarney pulled her free. No damage was reported. 1898: L.R. DOTY foundered off Kenosha in high winds and waves with the loss of 18 lives. The vessel was enroute from Chicago to Midland with a cargo of corn and towing the schooner OLIVE JEANETTE. The latter broke loose and survived.

1948: HARRY T. EWIG stranded off Point Abino, Lake Erie. The ship was lightered to fleetmate BUCKEYE and released with about $40,000 in damage.

1959: WESTRIVER, under tow of the tugs LAURENCE C. TURNER and AMERICA, headed down the Seaway for repairs after being damaged in an earlier explosion on Lake Superior.

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


Thousands show up for USS Detroit commissioning

10/23 - Detroit, Mich. – More than 6,500 people showed up Saturday morning for the commissioning of the U.S. Navy's newest warship, the USS Detroit along the GM Riverwalk on the Detroit River.

For a late October day, the weather cooperated: it was cool, but sunny with blue skies and the Detroit River provided a glistening backdrop. There was a military band that played "Anchors Away" and other favorites. There were speeches by several officials, including from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow.

The 3,200-ton Detroit is officially classified as a LCS, a littoral combat ship. While festooned with bright-colored flags and red-white-and blue draping Saturday it would never be confused with a Boblo boat.

Read more and see photos at this link


Port Reports -  October 23

Duluth, Minn.
Sam Laud arrived at 08:50 with limestone to discharge. On the way in, she passed her sister ship Buffalo, which departed at 09:00 from Fraser Shipyards and headed to Silver Bay to load ore. Paul R. Tregurtha arrived at 10:55 to load coal at Midwest Energy. American Integrity arrived next at 13:45 and docked at Port Terminal to wait for the Tregurtha to finish loading at Midwest Energy. Arthur M. Anderson arrived at 15:55 and discharged limestone at C. Reiss Terminal. Sam Laud then departed light at 16:24 and headed for Silver Bay to load. Paul R. Tregurtha was expected to depart from Midwest Energy late Saturday night. Elbeborg continued loading beet pulp pellets at Peavey. At anchor off Duluth was Cornelia and Eemsborg, which is waiting to load grain at Peavey. In Superior, James R. Barker finished loading and departed from BN at 16:48.

St. Marys River
Ken Boothe Sr./Lakes Contender, Walter J. McCarthy Jr, Stewart J. Cort and tug Stephan J. Asher were downbound in the morning, followed by Kaministiqua, Roger Blough and Federal Kumano after dark. Whitefish Bay and Skawa were upbound in the evening. Algorail spent a second day at the Essar Export Dock.

Holland, Mich. 
Manitowoc was in port Saturday at the at the Board of Public Works (BPW) power plant. They were using two dockside conveyors to load what appeared to be the remaining coal stock from the now-closed municipal power plant. They departed mid-evening, and AIS showed their destination as Manistee.

Sarnia, Ont.
Tim S. Dool was loading grain on Saturday.

Detroit, Mich.
Saginaw was upbound Saturday afternoon, and Philip R. Clarke was downbound. Rt Hon Paul J. Martin spent the day unloading at Zug Island. American Mariner was unloading at a River Rouge dock.

Seaway – Brenda Benoit
The bulk carrier Tundra headed down the St Lawrence Seaway with a cargo of soybean out of Hamilton on Saturday.

Montreal, Que.
The saltwater tug Pacific Hickory (formerly Atlantic Towing’s Atlantic Hickory) arrived at Montreal Saturday morning. She is expected to tow the retired CSL self-unloader Atlantic Erie to the breakers. A departure date has not been set.


Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines gain popularity in Canadian LNG rush

10/23 - Canadian owners have ordered Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines for 13 vessels set to join the St. Lawrence River ferry F.A. Gauthier, the country's only LNG-fuelled vessel to date. Nine dual-fuelled vessels powered by Wärtsilä engines will enter operation in Canada within the next year as the company capitalizes on its strong regional presence.

The company has orders for a total of 13 further gas-powered ships. Including the ferry already in operation, the orders amount to 45 dual-fuel four-stroke engines and 14 LNG Pac gas handling systems, as well as four two-stroke engines from former Wärtsilä subsidiary WinGD.

Two ferries will be built for Société des Traversiers du Québec at Davie Shipyard with the same LNG and diesel-electric configuration as the F.A. Gauthier. Two ferries for Vancouver-based operator Seaspan, to be built at Sedef in Turkey, will each be powered by two W34DF engines.

BC Ferries is having two Spirit class ferries repowered at Remontowa – where they will each be fitted with four eight-cylinder inline W34DF engines by 2019 – as well as building three new Salish class ferries at the same yard. The new vessels, the first of which begins sea trials next week will be powered by three W20DF engines.

Meanwhile, Group Desgagnés has ordered four dual-fuel carriers to serve trades in the Great Lakes and Eastern Seaboard. The first, the M/T Damia Desgagnés, was launched on Saturday, June 11, at the Turkish shipyard Besiktas. Under charter to bulk operator Algoma, they will feature WinGD’s RTFlex50 two-stroke engines as prime movers, with three W20DF generators.


Updates -  October 23

The Great Lakes Book Shelf has been updated with new reviews.

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 23

On this day in 1949, the new Canada Steamship Line steamer HOCHELAGA successfully completed her sea trials in Georgian Bay. She departed Collingwood the next day to load her first cargo of grain at Port Arthur.

On October 23,1887, the small wooden scow-schooner LADY ELGIN was driven ashore about one mile north of Goderich, Ontario, in a severe storm that claimed numerous other vessels. By October 26, she was broken up by the waves.

The CARL GORTHON, was launched October 23, 1970, for Rederi A/B Gylfe, Hsingborg, Sweden. Sold Canadian in 1980, renamed b.) FEDERAL PIONEER and c.) CECILIA DESGAGNES in 1985. In 2000, she was used as a movie set, unofficially renamed LADY PANAMA.

The rail car ferry GRAND RAPIDS was launched October 23, 1926, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, for the Grand Trunk-Milwaukee Car Ferry Co., Muskegon, Michigan. She entered service in December of 1926.

WILLIAM B. SCHILLER (Hull#372) was launched October 23, 1909, at Lorain, Ohio, for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

October 23, 1953 - The steamer SPARTAN arrived Ludington on her maiden voyage. Captain Harold A. Altschwager was in command.

On October 23, 1868, F. T. BARNEY (wooden schooner, 255 tons, built in 1856, at Vermilion, Ohio) collided with the schooner TRACY J BRONSON and sank below Nine Mile Point, Northwest of Rogers City in Lake Michigan. The wreck was found in 1987, and sits in deep water, upright in almost perfect condition.

On October 23, 1873, the wooden steam barge GENEVA was loaded with wheat and towing the barge GENOA in a violent storm on Lake Superior. She bent her propeller shaft and the flailing blades cut a large hole in her stern. The water rushed in and she went down quickly 15 miles off Caribou Island. No lives were lost. This was her first season of service. She was one of the first bulk freighters with the classic Great Lakes fore and aft deckhouses.

On October 23, 1883, JULIA (2-mast wooden schooner, 89 foot, 115 gross tons, built in 1875, at Smith's Falls, Ontario) was coming into Oswego harbor with a load of barley when she struck a pier in the dark and sank. No lives were lost.

1906: The wooden steamer SHENANDOAH backed into a wharf at South Chicago and then went full ahead into the opposite wharf. The captain was found to be drunk and his certificate was suspended.

1917: KATAHDIN was built at West Bay City in 1895 but was sold off-lakes in 1899. The ship was damaged as b) EXPORT in a collision on this date with the Japanese freighter TOKAYAMA MARU in the Delaware River. As a result of the accident, the ship was scrapped in 1918.

1956: GREY BEAVER ran aground on Stoney Crest Island, near Alexandria Bay, NY while downbound with wheat from Toronto to Trois Rivieres, QC. The vessel was released with bottom damage and required a trip to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs.

1968: NORMAN P. CLEMENT, damaged by a grounding and then an on board explosion, was scuttled in the deep water of Georgian Bay near Christian Island.

1987: CANADIAN ENTERPRISE stranded in the Amherstburg Channel. The ship was lightered of 1,840 tons of coal and then pulled free by 4 tugs before going to Thunder Bay for repairs.

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 -  October 22

Duluth, Minn.
Hon. James L. Oberstar departed Duluth at 03:15 on Friday after unloading limestone. She was headed to Silver Bay to load. Elbeborg arrived at 10:45 to load beet pulp pellets at Peavey. Buffalo was at Fraser Shipyards for repair work of some kind on Friday, and Cornelia was at anchor off Duluth cleaning her holds. She is expected to arrive on November 9 to load grain. Buffalo was expected to depart Fraser late Friday night and head to Silver Bay to load. In Superior, Stewart J. Cort departed with iron ore pellets at 04:20, and James R. Barker arrived at 05:30 and replaced the Cort at Burlington Northern.

St. Marys River
Frontenac was upbound Friday afternoon, followed by Great Lakes Trader. ARA Rotterdam was downbound in the evening. The tankers Esta Desgagnes and Algonova were both in the harbor on Friday. Algorail spent the day at the Essar Export Dock.

Goderich, Ont.
Algowood was loading salt at the Sifto dock on Friday evening.

Muskegon, Mich.
G.L. Ostrander / Integrity arrived on Friday afternoon to discharge cement.

Sarnia, Ont.
Tim S. Dool was loading grain Friday night.

Toledo, Ohio
Thunder Bay was loading grain on Friday.


Great Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system

10/22 - Washington, D.C. – Senators who represent states in the Great Lakes area are urging the Department of Transportation to lead an effort aimed at rejuvenating the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence maritime transportation system (MTS).

The bipartisan group of lawmakers is calling on the department to conduct a system-wide analysis to identify bottlenecks and barriers across the Great Lakes and “unlock the potential” of the maritime system, which they say is under-utilized and only operating at 50 percent of its full capacity.

The proposed strategy includes a mix of policies and projects that would help increase efficiency, reduce costs and encourage new markets such as cruise ships, containers and short sea shipping.

The senators hope the move would double maritime trade and shrink the environmental impact of the transportation system, which contributes more than $30 billion to the U.S. and Canadian economies and is responsible for over 220,000 jobs.

“This analysis would lay the groundwork to help identify where future public and private investment would have broad, systemically significant impacts,” the lawmakers wrote to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Thursday. “We have a tremendous opportunity to seize on past investments, take advantage of available capacity and infrastructure, and begin to unlock the economic potential of the Great Lakes MTS.”

The letter is singed by Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich).

The Hill


First ever shipment of soybeans passing through Summerside port

10/22 - Summerside, Prince Edward Island – For the first time in recent memory a ship is on its way to P.E.I. to pick up a massive order of soybeans.

In preparation for the ship’s arrival, the Summerside Port Corporation’s warehouse has been packed full with upwards of 130 tractor-trailer loads of the versatile little legumes. The total shipment will represent closer to 300 tractor-trailer loads.

Seeing that huge room filled to the brim is quite a site to behold and an exciting first, in many respects, for the agriculture industry on the Island, said Neil Campbell, general manager of the P.E.I. Grain Elevator Corporation.

“This is a pretty cool thing for us to be able to do this,” said Campbell.

P.E.I. farmers produce between 35,000 and 40,000 tonnes of soybeans annually. The publically-owned Grain Elevator Corporation would buy a significant portion of the crop and it it in turn sells the beans to mostly off-Island oilseed and grain companies.

This particular deal involves the corporation selling 20,000 tonnes of soybeans to Richardson International, a big player in the Canadian agriculture industry. Two ships are scheduled to dock in Summerside, one within the next few days and a second later this fall, and will take about 10,000 tonnes each to be unloaded in Quebec.

The soybeans in this shipment are labeled as “crusher” beans and are typically crushed for their oil or roasted for animal feed.

Summerside-based Coastal Stevedoring has been contracted to handle the loading of the ships and is bringing in special equipment from out of the province to get the job done.

This deal represents a significant opportunity from the Summerside Port Coporation’s perspective, said Arnold Croken, its president.

Years ago the port did a brisk business shipping out potatoes but that market has mostly moved away from shipping via vessels. The facility has been searching for a way to reinvent itself and attract new business.

“This is a virtually new, underutilized, building that needs to be used for something other than a dance or a book sale. We’re here for the private resources on P.E.I. and we always saw that as our best bet,” said Croken.

If this shipment works out well for all parties then Campbell sees no reason why it won’t happen again in the future and that could have beneficial repercussions for the not just the industry of Summerside but for all soybean harvesters on P.E.I., he said.

Transporting a product via ship allows for much larger volumes, which could eventually translate into an increase in production.

“We could double our production here on the Island and still have the sales – of course we don’t have the infrastructure at this time, but there is room for growth for sure,” said Campbell.



Updates -  October 22

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Chem Polaris, Duzgit Endeavour, Federal Biscay, Flevogracht, Fraserborg, Happy Rover, Harbour Pioneer, Heleen C, Industrial Charger, Maccoa, Njord Clear, Palmerton, Roerborg, Skawa and Vikingbank.

The Great Lakes Book Shelf has been updated with new reviews


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 22

On October 22,1903, while being towed by the GETTYSBURG in the harbor at Grand Marais, Michigan, in a severe storm, the SAVELAND (wooden schooner, 194 foot, 689 gross tons, built in 1873, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) was torn away and thrown against some pilings which punctured her hull. She sank to her main deck and was pounded to pieces by the storm waves. No lives were lost.

The tug PRESQUE ISLE completed her sea trials on October 22, 1973, in New Orleans.

On October 22, 1986, ALGOCEN spilled about four barrels of diesel fuel while refueling at the Esso Dock at Sarnia.

TOM M. GIRDLER departed South Chicago light on her maiden voyage, October 22, 1951, bound for Escanaba, Michigan, where she loaded 13,900 tons of ore for delivery to Cleveland, Ohio.

THORNHILL of 1906 grounded on October 22, 1973, just above the Sugar Island ferry crossing in the St. Marys River.

On October 22, 1887, C.O.D. (wooden schooner-barge, 140 foot, 289 gross tons, built in 1873, at Grand Haven, Michigan) was carrying wheat in Lake Erie in a northwest gale. She was beached three miles east of Port Burwell, Ontario, and soon broke up. Most of the crew swam to shore, but the woman who was the cook was lashed to the rigging and she perished.

On October 22, 1929, the steamer MILWAUKEE (formerly MANISTIQUE MARQUETTE AND NORTHERN 1) sank in a gale with a loss of all 52 hands. 21 bodies were recovered. Captain Robert Mc Kay was in command.

On October 27, 1929, a Coast Guard patrolman near South Haven, Michigan, picked up a ship's message case, containing the following handwritten note: "S.S. MILWAUKEE, OCTOBER 22/29 8:30 p.m. The ship is taking water fast. We have turned around and headed for Milwaukee. Pumps are working but sea gate is bent in and can't keep the water out. Flicker is flooded. Seas are tremendous. Things look bad. Crew roll is about the same as on last payday. (signed) A.R. Sadon, Purser."

On October 22, 1870, JENNIE BRISCOE (wooden schooner, 85 foot, 82 tons, built in 1870, at Detroit, Michigan) was raised from where she sank off Grosse Ile, Michigan, a couple of months earlier. She was in her first season of service when she collided with the propeller FREE STATE and sank there. Her raised wreck was sold Canadian in 1871, and she was rebuilt as the propeller scow HERALD.

In a severe gale on 22 October 1873, the three barges DAVID MORRIS, GLOBE, and SAGINAW from Bay City grounded and sank off Point Pelee on Lake Erie.

On October 22, 1887, DOLPHIN (wooden schooner-barge, 107 foot, 147 tons, built in 1855, at Milan, Ohio) and G. D. NORRIS (2-mast wooden schooner, 128 foot, 262 gross tons, built in 1856, at Cleveland, Ohio) were both carrying lumber and were in tow of the steamer OSWEGATCHIE in a storm on Lake Huron. The towline broke when the vessels were off Harbor Beach, Michigan. The DOLPHIN capsized and foundered. All 6 or 7 onboard perished. The NORRIS sank to her decks and her crew was rescued by the passing steamer BRECK. The NORRIS drifted ashore near Goderich, Ontario.

1929: N.J. NESSEN, a wooden bulk freighter, stranded in Lake Erie off Leamington, ON. The ship had been anchored for weather but the wind switched to the south, leaving it exposed. The hull broke up, but all on board were saved.

1929: YANTIC, a former wooden naval reserve training ship tied up at Detroit for use as a heating plant, sank at the dock. All 3 on board got off safely.

1979: J.N. McWATTERS struck the lighthouse at the main entrance to Cleveland with heavy damage to the structure.

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


Chi-Cheemaun busier again this year

10/21 - Owen Sound, Ont. – The MS Chi-Cheemaun has posted another big season plying the waters between Tobermory and South Baymouth. After significant increases in passenger and vehicle numbers in the 2015 season, the Owen Sound Transportation Company ferry has again had big gains.

"It has been a nice trend upward," said OSTC chief executive officer Susan Schrempf. This past season, which ended on Sunday, saw just over 203,000 passengers take the ferry, an increase of 9.4 per cent over the 2015 season. In 2015, the passenger numbers were 10.8 per cent higher than 2014.

Vehicle numbers were also way up this year with just over 79,000 vehicles taking the ferry, an increase of more than 7.6 per cent above 2015, which saw numbers almost 8.7 per cent above 2014.

"To be perfectly honest we really only anticipated a 2 per cent growth for this year," said Schrempf. "We certainly weren't expecting around 8 per cent, which we will take, for certain."

Schrempf said tourism by car from the U.S. is up about 7 per cent across Canada, though they don't track those demographics so they don't know for sure if they are benefiting from such an increase.

"We do know the weak Canadian dollar has certainly kept people at home and this has also been influenced by the price of gas hovering around a dollar a litre," said Schrempf. "Of course we also had amazing summer weather and we think all of these things have helped."

The OSTC has also stepped up its marketing in southern Ontario in recent years and Schrempf said that has helped them raise the awareness levels to let people know the ferry exists, the experiences on Manitoulin Island and the available experiences onboard.

"We are trying to make it more of an experience for people when they are onboard and we are trying to make the experience as reflective of what is available in the region both on the peninsula and Manitoulin Island," said Schrempf, who said there are further plans to expand the dining and entertainment opportunities.

Schrempf said she doesn't expect passenger and vehicle numbers to continue to grow at such a high rate, but they are hoping to see at least a 2 to 3 per cent increase next year.

Following its final run on Sunday, the ferry headed for Wisconsin, where it arrived Monday afternoon. It is there undergoing a mandatory inspection as well as some maintenance work.

Once the ferry arrives back in Owen Sound for the winter, expected to be around the third week of November, it will undergo upgrades to the forward lounge and the tourism information area.

Last winter, the ferry underwent a $2.4-million renovation to convert the cafeteria into a fine dining area. The renovations are all part of a three-year plan that will conclude with the aft lounge, which houses the play area, gallery space and where other events are held.

Also in the spring, weather permitting, the Chi-Cheemaun will get a major visual makeover when First Nation-themed artwork will grace the bow of the ship. Last year A First Nations-themed decal was installed on the ferry's smokestack.

Owen Sound Sun Times


Port Reports -  October 21

Duluth-Superior - Daniel Lindner
 On a very slow Thursday, Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived Duluth at 17:54 to discharge limestone at Hallett #5. Sam Laud arrived before 21:00 for unknown reasons, as she was expected to load in Silver Bay. Cornelia was expected to finish unloading at Holcim and depart late Thursday night to clean her holds offshore. In Superior, Stewart J. Cort arrived at 14:00 to load at Burlington Northern. James R. Barker was headed for Superior Thursday night, and was expected to anchor to wait for the Cort to finish loading.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
The salties Eeemsborg, Federal Kumano, Wicko and ARA Rotterdam were loading on Thursday.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Thursday included Herbert C. Jackson (heading for Marquette) and, after dark, American Spirit, the tug Stephan M. Asher (listing Sault Ste. Marie as a destination), and Algorail (loaded with salt from Goderich). Downbound traffic included Mesabi Miner, Federal Saguenay, Lee A. Tregurtha and CSL St-Laurent. Mississagi and Michipicoten were at Essar unloading during the day. The former was downbound at the locks in the late evening.

Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Yankcanuck’s accommodations are being gutted at her Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., dock as scrapping of the long-idle Purvis Marine craneship gets underway. Debris is being loaded into the barge PML Ironmaster, which is alongside.

Bruce Mines, Ont.
Capt. Henry Jackman was loading for Toledo on Thursday.

Port Inland, Mich.
Wilfred Sykes was loading stone Thursday evening.

Burns Harbor, Ind.
The salties Federal Mayumi and Happy Rover were in port on Thursday.

Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
Herbert C. Jackson completed unloading in Saginaw late Wednesday night, turned around at the Sixth Street turning basin, and headed outbound for the lake early Thursday morning. The Jackson had delivered a split load to the Wirt Stone docks in Bay City and Saginaw. Herbert C. Jackson is bound for Marquette to take on her next load. Fleet mate Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder arrived late Thursday morning after passing the outbound Jackson in the Saginaw Bay. The pair also made a delivery to each of the Wirt Stone docks. Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder completed unloading in Saginaw Thursday evening and backed out to the airport turning basin. Once turned around, the pair were back outbound for the lake around 8 p.m. Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder are headed for Port Dolomite to take on their next cargo.

Montreal, Que.
The tug Pacific Hickory (former Atlantic Hickory) is due Saturday, according to the port’s website. She will dock at Section 56, which is where the former CSL self-unloader Atlantic Erie is moored. Atlantic Erie’s Canadian registry has been closed in anticipation of an overseas scrap tow. Atlantic Hickory’s next port is listed as Turkey.


100th anniversary of 'Black Friday,' Lake Erie's perfect storm

10/21 - Lake Erie – Black Friday, the shopping event, is just over a month away. But if you want to hear the tale of the real Black Friday, read on.

It was Friday, Oct. 20, 1916 when four large ships sank beneath the waves of Lake Erie in what is perhaps the most infamous killer storm in the Great Lake's history. Known as "Black Friday" today, the storm took the lives of about 50 men.

"I think it gets lost," said Mike Wachter, co-founder of "It doesn't get a lot of media attention. That happens on the east and west coast. To them, the Great Lakes are like little puddles."

But those who doubt the fury of the Great Lakes would be foolish, especially in the early part of the 20th century. Those were the days before radar and ship-to-shore radio was primitive. Shipping was a treacherous trade, with only the chance meeting with another lonely vessel as a connection to the mainland.

Four ships sank on Lake Erie that day. The James B. Colgate, Marshall F. Butters, D.L. Filer and the Merida.

Read more and view photos at this link


Both a museum and working fireboat, 116-year-old Edward M. Cotter needs TLC

10/21 - Buffalo, N.Y. – In the shadow of the Michigan Avenue Lift Bridge, close to the Cobblestone District and across the Buffalo River from RiverWorks and the General Mills cereal plant rests one of Buffalo's most beloved attractions.

The Fireboat Edward M. Cotter is both a National Historic Landmark and Engine 20, a working piece of fire apparatus. The 118-foot-long steel-hulled boat, moored at 155 Ohio St. at Michigan, is ready to draft water from the river and train its five spectacular turret guns on waterside blazes, as it did at the spectacular Concrete Central fire of May 27, 2013.

From stem to stern, from the keel to the tower that raises the back turret gun about 15 feet off the main deck, the Cotter is a painted, polished, humming testimony to the skills of its crews through the years, including Captain John D. Sixt III and Jack Kelleher, fire department marine engineer. Besides those two Buffalo Fire Department employees, a group of volunteers tend to the Cotter and serve as crew when it goes out. Its supporters recently formed a new group, the Fireboat E.M. Cotter Conservancy Inc., to raise money to repair and preserve the Cotter.

Although the Cotter has been held together by constant maintenance work, it needs extensive repairs to its hull and engines and new propellers and shafts. The work is estimated to cost half a million dollars. The Conservancy and the City of Buffalo are discussing how to use money raised by the Conservancy to pay for these repairs and what resources the city might provide. The Conservancy has pledged to $25,000 a year to pay for the boat's upkeep.

The Cotter is valued as a working fireboat and as a museum that is open for tours by appointment. The boat is taken to the Port Colborne Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival every year to recall its response on Oct. 7, 1960, when the Cotter was called to assist with the Maple Leaf Milling Co, grain elevators fire. In doing so, the Cotter was believed to be the first fireboat to cross an international boundary to fight a fire.

The Cotter, which can pump as much water as about 11 pumpers, "is absolutely our first line of defense in case of a large industrial fire along the waterfront, the grain silos or any of the other industry there," said Fire Commissioner Garnell W. Whitfield Jr. "But don't forget all the residential development that is going on there too. Our waterfront is being developed as it's never been before."

The Cotter also works as an icebreaker in winter and spring, clearing the Buffalo River and keeping ice from jamming the Cazenovia and Buffalo creeks and causing extensive flooding. Whitfield Jr. estimated that hiring an icebreaker to prevent flooding from those creeks would cost between $20,000 and $30,000 a day.

"As wonderful a piece of apparatus as it is for us, as historic as it is, don't diminish its importance as an icebreaker," he said.

Conservancy supporters hope to raise the Cotter's profile with visits to Canalside and other promotions as the boat's 116th birthday approaches next month. In the meantime, the Conservancy is selling an assortment of items, ranging from from T-shirts to Cotter charms and challenge coins cast from brass that was once on the boat. They are available from Wickenheiser by calling 741-9276.

It was built in 1900 and has had three names: the William S. Grattan until 1953, when it was briefly named The Firefighter, then renamed the Edward M. Cotter to honor the president of Buffalo Firefighters' Local 282. It is believed to be the oldest working fireboat in the world.

A group of volunteers is led by President Sanford Beckman, vice president Ron Endle, secretary Mark C. Butler and treasurer Charles Wickenheiser, and the group is supported by the Fire Bell Club of Buffalo, the Buffalo Fire Historical Museum, Union Local 282 and WNY Retired Firefighters. Cotter Captain Sixt, Buffalo Commissioner of Fire Garnell W. Whitfield Jr. and Local 282 President Thomas Barrett are ex-officio directors of the Conservancy.

Buffalo News


Updates -  October 21

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 21

On this day in 1980, the converted ELTON HOYT 2ND loaded her first cargo of 1,000 tons of pellets at Taconite Harbor. After field-testing her new self-unloading gear, she loaded 21,000 tons of pellets for delivery to Chicago.

The Anchor Line's CONEMAUGH (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 251 foot, 1,609 gross tons, built in 1880, at West Bay City, Michigan), and the Union Line's NEW YORK (wooden propeller package freighter, 269 foot, 1,922 gross tons, built in 1879, at Buffalo, New York) collided on the Detroit River at 7:30 p.m. The CONEMAUGH sank close to the Canadian shore. She was carrying flour and other package freight from Chicago to Buffalo. She was later raised and repaired, and lasted until 1906, when she was lost in a storm on Lake Erie.

The JOHN B. AIRD arrived at Sarnia, Ontario, on October 21, 1990, for repairs after suffering a conveyor belt fire a week earlier.

The JAMES A. FARRELL and fleet mate RICHARD TRIMBLE were the first vessels to lock down bound in the newly-opened Davis Lock at the Soo on October 21, 1914.

On October 21, 1954, the GEORGE M. HUMPHREY set a record when she took aboard 22,605 gross tons of iron ore at Superior, Wisconsin. The record stood until 1960.

The crew on the SAMUEL MATHER was safely removed from the badly exposed steamer on October 21, 1923, by the Eagle Harbor life saving crew. She had run aground on the 19th. Renamed b.) PATHFINDER in 1925, sold Canadian in 1968, renamed c.) GODERICH. Renamed d.) SOO RIVER TRADER in 1980, e.) PINEGLEN 1982. Scrapped at Port Maitland in 1984.

It was announced on October 21, 1986, that Canada Steamship Lines and Upper Lakes Group would merge CSL's Collingwood shipyard and ULS' Port Weller shipyard and create Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering (1986) Ltd.

On October 21, 1941, AMERICA (steel tug, 80 foot, 123 gross tons, built in 1897, at Buffalo, New York) was on a cable along with the tug OREGON off Belle Isle in the Detroit River trying to pull the steel bulk freighter B. F. JONES off a bar. The cable tightened, pulling AMERICA out of the water and spinning her upside down. Six of the crew of 13 lost their lives. AMERICA was later recovered. AMERICA was renamed b.) MIDWAY in 1982 and c.) WISCONSIN in 1983.

October 21, 1954 - Capt. Allen K. Hoxie, skipper of the MILWAUKEE CLIPPER, retired.

On October 21, 1886, W. L. BROWN (wooden propeller freighter, 140 foot, 336 gross tons, built in 1872, at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, as NEPTUNE) was carrying iron ore from Escanaba for DePere, Wisconsin. A storm struck while she was on Green Bay. She sprang a leak one mile from Peshtigo Reef and went down in 76 feet of water. No lives were lost. All of her outfit and machinery were removed the following summer. This vessel's first enrollment was issued at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on 22 April 1873, as NEPTUNE, but this enrollment was surrendered at Milwaukee on 30 September 1880, endorsed "broken up." However she was re-enrolled as a new vessel at Milwaukee on 15 June 1880, having been rebuilt by A. L. Johnson at Green Bay, Wisconsin, as the W. L. BROWN.

1912: Two were lost when the wooden steamer PINE LAKE sank in the Detroit River near Belle Isle following a collision with FLEETWOOD (i). The hull was later dynamited as a hazard to navigation.

1913: C.W. ELPHICKE began leaking in a storm on Lake Erie and was beached near the Long Point lighthouse. The downbound, grain-laden wooden freighter was a total loss but the crew was saved.

1969: JOHN PURVES was towing Derrick Scow 43 bound for Rogers City when the latter was lost.

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.


Tax dollars sought to shore up Detroit’s riverfront industry

10/20 - Detroit, Mich. – The blight along the Detroit River starts downstream of the Ambassador Bridge with the vacant 10-story building recognizable by the peeling sign for the Boblo Island dock. It’s a reminder of the once-bustling amusement park that closed 23 years ago.

Continuing downstream toward the Rouge River is Zug Island, the 596-acre home to U.S. Steel Corp.’s mill operations, with its mountains of coal and iron ore, and furnaces that are the size of skyscrapers. On its banks are rows of bridge cranes built decades ago to load and unload cargo from the massive freighters that navigate the river and the Great Lakes.

“That technology is outdated; freighters don’t load cargo that way anymore,” said John Loftus, executive director of the Detroit Wayne County Port Authority, the government agency that promotes southeast Michigan’s maritime industries. “At least one of those cranes will be scrapped.”

On a recent clear fall day, Loftus gave reporters a boat tour of the industrial parts of the two rivers to make the argument that the industrial riverfront remains essential — and also in need of urgent investment. That includes tax money, he contends.

“There are great opportunities along the Detroit and Rouge rivers to expand our maritime opportunities, our cargo and freight capabilities,” Loftus said.

Read more, and view photos at this link


Port Reports -  October 20

Duluth-Superior - Daniel Lindner
On a slow Wednesday, Mesabi Miner departed Duluth at 04:56 with iron ore pellets and Lakes Contender/tug Ken Boothe Sr. arrived at 12:32 and unloaded limestone at Graymont Superior Plant. As of Wednesday night, Cason J. Callaway was loading at CN after discharging limestone at both C. Reiss and Hallett #5. She was expected to depart late Wednesday night, as was Lakes Contender, which is headed to Silver Bay to load iron ore pellets. Cornelia continued unloading at Holcim.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Federal Saguenay departed Wednesday afternoon for Montreal. CSL St.-Laurent, Wicko, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, Eemsborg and Radcliffe R. Latimer were loading. Federal Kumano was at anchor.

Marquette, Mich.
Lee A. Tregurtha and Buffalo were both in port Wednesday. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departed in the late afternoon.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Wednesday included Stewart J. Cort, James R. Barker, Hon. James L. Oberstar, and Roger Blough. Downbounders included Kaye E. Barker, American Century and, after dark, Presque Isle and Federal Hudson.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Jim Conlon On Wednesday morning, the Canadian ferry Chi-Cheemaun was put in the floating drydock at Bay Shipbuilding, assisted by two Selvick Marine towing tugs.

Saginaw River
Herbert C. Jackson was unloading stone at the Wirt Dock in Zilwaukee on Wednesday evening.

Goderich, Ont.
Algorail arrived to load salt on Wednesday night.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Thunder Bay is making a return trip to load grain. She is due during the day on Friday, most likely going to Andersons K Elevator. Some time late next week the Federal Danube is scheduled to arrive.

Nanticoke, Ont.
Frontenac was discharging ore on Wednesday.


Groups aim to help revive old Lock 1 site

10/20 - Port Dalhousie, Ont. – A grassroots effort is underway to rejuvenate a cornerstone of Port Dalhousie’s rich maritime history. The spotlight for that revitalization drive is Lock 1 of the second Welland Canal — built in 1845 and now in port’s commercial core. Its limestone walls, mostly still visible, are structurally sound but visibly showing their age.

In an effort to spruce the site up and make it a focal point, the Port Dalhousie Beautification and Works Committee and Kiwanis Club of St. Catharines have partnered in a project to allow better access there. On the wish list is a tiered seating and viewing area, bronze statues to commemorate tow horses that were used to pull ships through the canal, and historical interpretive signage.

Called The Lock One Revitalization Project, it’s also been selected by the charitable National Trust for Canada, This Place Matters in a crowdfunding competition that offers the chance of a $40,000 prize, based on the number of votes received.

“This will be part of helping beautify and clean up Port, which in turn helps us draw people to the business core,” said Jeff Mackie, founding member of the beautification committee and a local business owner. “There’s a feeling, with some, that parts of Port (look) closed, and having areas that are neglected doesn’t help … that impression.”

There is also a profound historical component that makes the effort important, he said. “Just as with the first and third canals, this one was quite instrumental (before and after) Canada’s Confederation in opening up the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, and to the world.”

Port Dalhousie was also the Lake Ontario terminus for the first three Welland Ship Canals, allowing a bypass from Niagara Falls from the lake to Lake Erie.

“There are a lot of pieces to this,” he said. “There’s having it as a place for people to interact with this history and also act as a space where people can come, have coffee, maybe watch a quartet in a small amphitheatre — it seems a perfect use.”

In an e-mail, Port Dalhousie Ward Coun. Bruce Williamson said the old lock should be a celebrated centerpiece of the canal village.

“It has been sadly neglected, but has the potential to illuminate our maritime history and become architectural gem in our harbor landscape,” Williamson said.

Votes and donations for the project can be found at and in Facebook:

St. Catharines Standard


Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald retold at Gaylord library

10/20 - Gaylord, Mich. – Bruce Lynn, co-author of the new book "The Legend Lives On: S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald," will share rare archival material as well as exclusive underwater images at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, at the Otsego County Library.

Lynn is the executive director of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society. In his new book, he and Great Lakes photojournalist Chris Winters have assembled a comprehensive look at the working life and mysterious wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The story is familiar. As the “Pride of the American Side” slashed across Lake Superior that fearful night, her veteran skipper reported some seemingly incidental topside damage and a bad list. At around 7:10 p.m., Fitzgerald went missing without a distress call of any kind. There were no survivors.

This free event and will be in the main library’s multipurpose room. For more information, please call Deb Johnston at (989) 732-5841 or visit


Updates -  October 20

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 20

On this day in 1916, the whaleback JAMES B. COLGATE sank off Long Point in Lake Erie with a loss of 26. The lone survivor was Captain Walter J. Grashaw who was picked up two days after the sinking. Captain Grashaw had sailed as First Mate on the COLGATE for ten years and was conducting his first trip as Captain. The "Black Friday" storm also claimed the MERIDA, D.L. FLYER, and M.F. BUTTERS.

On 20 October 1875, the wooden schooner F.C. LEIGHTON was loaded with ore when she struck a rock in the St. Marys River and sank a few miles from Detour, Michigan. A tug was sent right away to raise her.

On 20 October 1916, MERIDA (steel propeller bulk freighter, 360 foot, 3,261 gross tons, built in 1893, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was heavily loaded with iron ore when she encountered the "Black Friday" Storm on Lake Erie. She sank about 24 miles east of Erieau, Ontario. All 24 onboard were lost. A few days later the wheelhouse was found floating 15 miles south of Port Stanley. 21 bodies were eventually found, but not the bodies of Capt. Harry L. Jones or crewman Wilfred Austin. The wreck was found in 1975 by Larry Jackson, a commercial fisherman.

The SCOTT MISENER of 1954 proceeded to the Port Arthur shipyard for dry docking and repairs on October 20th, after striking bottom October 15, 1973, near Whaleback Shoal on the St. Lawrence River.

The JAMES S. DUNHAM was launched October 20, 1906, for the Chicago Navigation Co. (D. Sullivan & Co., mgr.) Duluth, Minnesota. Renamed b.) LYNFORD E. GEER in 1926, and c.) OTTO M. REISS in 1934. Scrapped at Castellon, Spain in 1973.

PETER A.B. WIDENER was launched October 20, 1906, for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. (later the U.S. Steel Corp. in 1952), Cleveland, Ohio.

The tug RESCUE was sent from Port Huron to Tawas, Michigan to release the 246-foot barge OCEAN that was grounded. After pulling the barge free, Capt. Fitch of RESCUE began towing her down Lake Huron, but the storm got so bad that he was about to turn back and run for Tawas. However, the captain of OCEAN yelled that they were all right and to go ahead down the lake. Soon the seas got the better of the barge. The tug kept with her until she was about to sink. Then the line was cut, the tug turned about, ran under her lee, and rescued her crew of 9 from the lifeboat. The barge sank. On the way down Lake Huron, opposite Port Sanilac, the RESCUE picked up 6 men and 1 woman from the wrecked barge JOHN F. RUST. In this one trip, the RESCUE earned her name by rescuing 16 persons!

October 20, 1898 - The SHENANGO NO 2 (later PERE MARQUETTE 16) was arriving Milwaukee when her steering gear failed, causing her to crash into a grain elevator that was under construction.

October 20, 1926 - The keel was laid for the twin screw lake passenger and railcar ferry WABASH (Hull#177) of the Toledo Shipbuilding Co.

On 20 October 1863, E. S. ADAMS (3 mast wooden bark, 135 foot, 341 gross tons, built in 1857, at Port Robinson, Ontario) was carrying 18,500 bushels of wheat on a clear night when she collided with the American bark CONSTITUTION resulting in the loss of the ADAMS. One life was lost. Neither vessel was blamed for the accident.

On 20 October 1854, JOHN J. AUDUBON (wooden brig, 370 tons, built in 1854, at Black River, Ohio) was carrying railroad iron from Buffalo to Chicago when she was struck amidships by the schooner DEFIANCE on a dark night, halfway between Thunder Bay and Presque Isle, Michigan. AUDUBON was cut almost in half. Both vessels sank quickly. No lives were lost.

On 20 October 1844, DAYTON (2-mast wooden schooner, 69 foot, 85 tons, built in 1835, at Grand Island, New York) capsized and sank in Lake Erie off Dunkirk, New York in a terrific gale. All onboard were lost.

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


SS Badger welcomed home as 2016 sailing season ends

10/19 - Ludington, Mich. – People waved from the Loomis Street boat launch, the breakwaters and waterfront walkway areas Sunday night, while others honked their car horns as the SS Badger entered the Ludington harbor.

It was the final day of the sailing season for Lake Michigan Carferry, and people were commemorating the occasion.

“This is my favorite time of the year,” said Ronnie Mosier, who lives in Ludington and has been celebrating the final trip of the Badger season for two years. “I love the sunsets. It’s so crisp, so beautiful. It’s the most beautiful place in the world, and I’ve been to Hawaii and Alaska and ... (all over). My husband spoiled me. But this is Ludington.”

At 6:32 p.m., the SS Badger passed the North Breakwater Light and the long-standing tradition of commemorating the SS Badger began.

“We love coming down, walking the channel, and waving to the Badger,” said Betty Curtis of Ludington.

Ludington Daily News


Port Reports -  October 19

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Radcliffe R. Latimer departed before sunrise on Tuesday after spending nearly 48 hours unloading salt. She left light and headed for Thunder Bay to load. Buffalo arrived at 06:55 to load coal at Midwest Energy. Mesabi Miner arrived at 09:05 and stopped at Calumet to fuel before heading to the CN dock. Buffalo departed at 15:15. Cason J. Callaway was next, arriving at 15:40 with limestone to discharge at C. Reiss Terminal. Beatrix finished loading beet pulp pellets at Peavey and departed Duluth at 17:35. In Superior, American Century departed from BN 05:45 bound for Nanticoke. Cornelia continued unloading cement at Holcim on Tuesday.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Eemsborg, CSL St.-Laurent, Wicko and Federal Hudson were loading on Tuesday. Federal Kumano was at anchor. Radcliffe R. Latimer was expected around midnight.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on a slow Tuesday included Great Republic early, followed by Algoma Discovery and Paul R. Tregurtha. Upbound traffic included Kaye E. Barker early, followed by Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin. Pineglen spent the day at anchor above DeTour, departing in the early evening.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Mark & Sue Dillenburg
Chi Cheemaun, aka “The “Big Canoe,” arrived on a rainy Monday afternoon and tied up near American Courage, which has been in lay-up all season. Burns Harbor is ballasted bow down as repairs are made at the stern.

Rogers City, Mich.
Herbert C. Jackson was taking on stone late Thursday.

Alpena, Mich.
Steamer Alpena was loading cement at her namesake port on Tuesday evening.

Toledo, Ohio
Capt. Henry Jackman and the tug-barge combo Defiance-Ashtabula were docked along the Maumee River Tuesday night.

Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland was busy Tuesday, with Federal Cedar, Federal Yukon, English River, Sam Laud, Manitowoc and the tug Sea Eagle II with her cement barge all in port.

Welland Canal
The saltie Nogat was in the Welland Canal Tuesday on her final trip for Polsteam. Reports indicate the vessel has been sold. According to AIS, her destination is Haifa, Israel.


Brig Niagara in for drydocking, repairs at Great Lakes Shipyard

10/19 - Cleveland, Ohio – The U.S. brig Niagara, Erie, Pennsylvania’s flagship, has arrived at Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland for routine drydocking and repairs. The vessel was hauled out using the Marine Travelift on Oct. 10, and work on the vessel will be completed in approximately three weeks.

This marks the second time Great Lakes Shipyard has hauled out the Niagara using the Marine Travelift.

Owned and maintained by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, an agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Flagship Niagara is a reconstruction of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s ship that led the Battle of Lake Erie victory on September 10, 1813.

As a sailing school vessel under U.S. Coast Guard inspection, the Niagara is required to be inspected out of the water twice in a five-year period, with no inspection interval exceeding three years. The Niagara's last such inspection was in the fall of 2013 at Great Lakes Shipyard.

Great Lakes Shipyard


New ship, new momentum at Inland Seas Education Association

10/19 - Traverse City, Mich. – The Inland Seas Education Association has new momentum, thanks to the arrival of a new school ship, several grants, and the initial steps in a complete renovation of its Suttons Bay facility. “I think it’s all a very big deal, with lots of potential,” says Fred Sitkins, the organization’s executive director.

The 65-foot schooner Utopia was recently gifted by Ellsworth Peterson, retired chairman of the shipbuilding firm Peterson Builders of Wisconsin.

The arrival of the schooner will allow the organization to offer more programs to students. It will be parked at the Discovery Pier in Traverse City, which Sitkins says will help the organization in its efforts to work more closely with the Discovery Center and the Traverse City community.

Built in 1946 by Peterson, Utopia’s maiden voyage in 1947 included a cruise of the North Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea and Caribbean Islands. In 1956, the ship embarked on a three-year cruise around the world. Utopia has logged more than 60,000 miles, including several Chicago-Mackinac races.

A grant from the Worthington Foundation will allow Inland Seas to purchase a remotely operated underwater vehicle and develop an underwater course for school groups and the public beginning in 2017. This program will be run from Utopia.

Two educational grants, one for $75,000 and one for $72,000, will provide funding for programs for teachers and students. The first, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will allow Inland Seas to bring in 30 teachers from Michigan and other Great Lakes states to participate in a four-day professional development opportunity next June. The field course will include daily hands-on, place-based environmental education experiences, time for studying and planning, and lodging at Northwestern Michigan College and on the schooner Inland Seas.

The teachers will also receive ongoing support and resources during the following school year as they implement what they’ve learned in their home areas. As an example, Sitkins cites the Enbridge pipeline rupture, which resulted in crude oil spilling into the Kalamazoo River. Teachers from that area could potentially learn from this field course how to address such calamities in the classroom and in the field.

The second grant is from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, and will provide what Sitkins calls “playspace education” for area teachers. “We want to get kids in the natural environment,” he says. He says a crumbling mural on the exterior of a gas station in Suttons Bay, which has deteriorated over time, is an example of what would be “a wonderful project … for an art class. We’ll give them (teachers and students) tools.”

Last month, the ISEA unveiled its plans for the Inland Seas Capt. Thomas M. Kelly Biological Station. Inland Seas has $810,000 in pledges for the project. The current facilities at 100 Dame St. in Suttons Bay will be renovated to include dorm space in the lower level of the education center and a new building capable of storing and maintaining ship and scientific equipment as well as the boat shop. The upper level of the education center will remain an invasive species museum and continue to house the Suttons Bay Visitors Center.

“It’s a huge opportunity for us,” says Sitkins. He says the ambitious five-year project will kick off next spring with construction of the new boat shop, the first domino in the process.


Groundbreaking set for OBPA grain storage project

10/19 - Ogdensburg, N.Y. – The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority will break ground on a $2.6 million project today designed to expand the Port of Ogdensburg’s ability to import and export agricultural products.

The official groundbreaking ceremony for construction related to two 800-pound grain storage bins is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Port of Ogdensburg entrance at the corner of Ford and Barre streets, according to OBPA officials. The grain bin construction is part of a larger $2.6 million project that also calls for construction of a new conveyor system and the eventual rehabilitation of two rail bridges.

In April the OBPA announced that a project to improve the port’s capacity to import and export agricultural products had been moved up by a year. State Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, said at the time that the $2.6 million project was aimed at growing Ogdensburg’s agriculture import-export business.

Mrs. Ritchie said the port expansion had originally been set to begin next year, but the state moved up the construction timetable at her request.

“With its proximity to Canada, and its location as the last deepwater port for outward bound shipping from the Great Lakes, the Port of Ogdensburg can play a key role in growing our economy and helping to create new jobs,” Mrs. Ritchie said in an April press statement.

The expansion project is also designed to better position the Port of Ogdensburg to serve the needs of north country farmers and agri-businesses by making it easier to move products to newer and bigger markets by rail and water, according to officials.

The port’s agribusiness project was labeled a priority for the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, which highlighted the plan in its third round of funding awards in 2013.

Watertown Daily Times



Detroit Historical Society curator to speak about unique ships on Harsens Island

10/19 - Harsens Island, Mich. – The Harsens Island St. Clair Flats Historical Society will welcome Joel Stone to Harsens Island at 3 p.m. Oct. 29 to present his program "Unique Ships of the Great Lakes … Practical Ships Designed for Practically Every Need.”

Stone is senior curator for the Detroit Historical Society, which oversees the Detroit Historical Museum, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, and the arti-factual collection of the City of Detroit. Raised in the Detroit area, he has studied journalism, history, archaeology, and archival management at the University of Detroit, Wayne State University and the University College Cork, Ireland. He supports a number of regional history organizations, and is a board member of the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History.

The lecture will be at the Schoolhouse Grille, 2669 Columbine Rd., Harsens Island, Mich. Please make reservations for this event, as seating is limited, by contacting Charles Miller at 810-748-7209 or via e-mail at A $10 donation is suggested to help support the lecture series.

Harsens Island St. Clair Flats Historical Society


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 19

At 2 a.m. October 19, 1901, the Barry line steamer STATE OF MICHIGAN (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 165 foot, 736 gross tons, built in 1875, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) sank in 60 feet of water about four miles northwest of White Lake harbor on Lake Michigan. The crew and captain reached shore in boats with the assistance of the White Lake Life Saving crew and the tug MC GRAFF. The vessel was sailing in good weather when a piston rod broke and stove a hole through the bottom of the boat. The water came gushing in. By the time the tug MC GRAFF came and took on the crew, the STATE OF MICHIGAN was in serious trouble. She went down shortly after the tug began towing her toward shore.

On October 19, 1871, ELIZA LOGAN (2-mast wooden schooner, 130 foot, 369 gross tons, built in 1855, at Buffalo, New York) foundered in rough weather about 12 miles off Erie, Pennsylvania, on Lake Erie. She was sailing from Toledo, Ohio, to Buffalo, New York, with a load of wheat when she sank. Captain Lawson and one sailor were lost, but the six others scrambled up the rigging and held on to the crosstrees for 42 hours until they were rescued by the schooner EMU at 6:00 a.m. on the morning of 21 October.

GEORGE A. SLOAN ran aground off Bob-Lo Island in the Amherstburg Channel on October 19, 1987. She was released when she unloaded part of her cargo to the CALCITE II. SLOAN was repaired in Toledo. Purchased by Lower Lakes Towing in 2001, renamed c.) MISSISSAGI.

ALGOSEA, a.) BROOKNES, was christened on October 19, 1976, at Port Colborne, Ontario. She was renamed c.) SAUNIERE in 1982. Scrapped in Turkey in 2011.

BUFFALO was able to leave the Saginaw River once it opened to traffic on October 19, 1990. The river was closed after the tanker JUPITER exploded as the BUFFALO passed.

KINSMAN VOYAGER was launched October 19, 1907, as a.) H. P. BOPE for the Standard Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

WILLIAM LIVINGSTONE of 1908, had the honor on October 19, 1912, of being the first vessel to navigate the opening of the Livingstone Channel named after the man who helped conceive the idea of a separate down bound channel on the east side of Bob-Lo Island in the lower Detroit River. Mr. Livingstone, President of the Lake Carriers Association at the time, piloted his namesake vessel in the channel on that historic trip. Renamed b.) S B WAY in 1936 and c.) CRISPIN OGLEBAY in 1948. She was scrapped at Santander, Spain, in 1974.

The crew on the stranded WILLIAM C. MORELAND was removed in gale force winds on October 19, 1910, by the Portage life saving crew.

On October 19, 1923, SAMUEL MATHER was driven onto Gull Rock on Lake Superior near Keweenaw Point during a snowstorm and gale winds. The crew was safely removed from the badly exposed steamer on October 21st by the Eagle Harbor life saving crew. Renamed b.) PATHFINDER in 1925, sold Canadian in 1964, renamed c.) GODERICH, d.) SOO RIVER TRADER and e.) PINEGLEN in 1982. Scrapped at Port Maitland, Ontario in 1984.

Michigan Limestone's self-unloader B. H. TAYLOR sailed from Lorain on her maiden voyage on October 19, 1923. She was renamed b.) ROGERS CITY in 1957, and scrapped at Recife, Brazil in 1988.

On October 19, 1868, PARAGON (wooden schooner, 212 tons, built in 1852, at Oshawa, Ontario as a brig) was being towed up the St. Clair River by the tug WILLIAM A MOORE with a load of lumber in the company of four other barges. During a gale, the tow was broken up. While the tug MOORE was trying to regain the tows, she collided with PARAGON causing severe damage. Four were drowned, but two were rescued by the Canadian gunboat/tug PRINCE ALFRED. PARAGON was then towed into Sarnia, but she sank there and was abandoned in place.

October 19, 1919 - ANN ARBOR NO 4, while on the Grand Haven to Milwaukee run, got caught in a gale, stretching the normal 6-hour crossing to 27 hours.

On October 19,1876, MASSILON (3-mast wooden schooner with foretop and topgallant sails, 130 foot, 298 gross tons, built in 1857, at Cleveland, Ohio, as a bark) was sailing from Kelley's Island for Chicago with limestone when she sprang a leak 20 miles above Pointe aux Barques at the mouth of Saginaw Bay. She was abandoned at about 2:00 a.m. and then sank. The crew was in an open boat until 7 a.m. when they were rescued by the tug VULCAN.

On October 19, 1873, JOHN F. RUST (wooden schooner-barge, 161 foot, 347 gross tons, built in 1869, at East Saginaw, Michigan) was carrying lumber in tow of the steamer BAY CITY in a storm when she broke her towline and went ashore a few miles north of Lakeport, Michigan.

1901: The wooden freighter STATE OF MICHIGAN, a) DEPERE sank off Whitehall, MI enroute to Manistee to load salt. A piston rod had broken and fractured the hull the previous day and the vessel went down slowly. All on board were saved.

1905: KALIYUGA foundered in Lake Huron with the loss of 18 lives. The ore laden steamer was enroute to Cleveland.

1905: SIBERIA sank in a storm on Lake Erie while eastbound with a cargo of grain. All on board were saved.

1916: The wooden schooner D.L. FILER, loaded with coal and enroute from Buffalo to Saugatuck, MI, became waterlogged and sank near the mouth of the Detroit River 3.5 miles east of Bar Point Light. The vessel settled in shallow water with the crew clinging to the masts. The forward mast cracked throwing the sailors into the water and all 6 were lost. Only the captain on the after mast survived.

1947: MANCHESTER CITY went aground off Cap Saumon, QC, while inbound from the United Kingdom with freight, 12 passengers and a crew of 50. The ship stranded in fog and the passengers were removed safely before the vessel was lightered. The vessel made 17 trips through the Seaway from 1959 to 1963 before being scrapped at Faslane, Scotland, in 1964.

1981: ELSIE WINCK first came through the Seaway in 1962. It was bombed and sunk at Bandar Khomeini, Iran, as e) MOIRA on this date and was a total loss.

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


Detained last year, saltie Cornelia returns to Duluth

10/18 - Duluth, Minn. – An oceangoing freighter that was detained in the Duluth harbor for six weeks in 2015 made its first trip back into the local port over the weekend.

Flying a different flag and presumed to be operating under a different owner, the Cornelia arrived Sunday and remained docked at the Holcim Trading Co. terminal at the end of Rice's Point on Monday. Holcim is an international cement supplier based in Switzerland.

The Cornelia was detained in Duluth late last year and its German owners were slapped with $1 million in penalties after pleading guilty to dumping oily wastewater into the Great Lakes.

The U.S. Coast Guard Ninth District, based in Cleveland, was responsible for detaining the ship and conducting the investigation. It said there was nothing out of the ordinary about the ship's return to the Great Lakes.

"Business as usual," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Yaw. "As far as anything that happened last year, it was investigated. It would be similar to if a ship ran aground, went through the process to get repairs and made it back."

The Cornelia flew the flag of the South Pacific's Cook Islands into port this time, having previously been a Liberian-flagged ship. The ship no longer appears on the fleet list of the German company that owned it and pleaded guilty in July in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, MST Mineralien Schiffahrt.

The Coast Guard held the Cornelia, with its captain and crew aboard, at anchor in the harbor, just out from 27th Avenue East, from early November until Dec. 18, when it finally was allowed to depart.

According to the news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Minnesota district in July, the Cornelia's crew discharged oily wastewater overboard at least 10 times from February to October 2015, and its chief engineer intentionally failed to record the discharges in its record book. That included at least one incident while the vessel was in the Great Lakes. The guilty plea was to violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.

Attempts to reach Holcim and the local vessel agent, Guthrie-Hubner, to discuss the Cornelia's return were unsuccessful.

Duluth News Tribune


Coast Guard crew makes special stop over Edmund Fitzgerald wreck site

10/18 - Lake Superior – While the winds of November aren't yet blowing, a U.S. Coast Guard crew crossing Lake Superior this past weekend stopped above the Edmund Fitzgerald wreck site to pay tribute to the 29 lost mariners.

The wreck, which came to be internationally known through Gordon Lightfoot's soulful tune, happened during a massive storm on Nov. 10, 1975.

Last week, crew members aboard the Hollyhock, a Coast Guard cutter and buoy tender, stopped directly above the wreck site about 17 miles northwest of Whitefish Point. One by one, they dropped roses onto the water's surface as a memorial to the 29 men who went down with the Fitzgerald, according to the Coast Guard's Facebook page.

Read more and view photos at this link


Port Reports -  October 18

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
American Century arrived Duluth at 06:43 on a very foggy Monday and stopped at Calumet to fuel before heading down the harbor to load iron ore pellets at Burlington Northern. Her sister Walter J. McCarthy Jr. closely followed the Century, passing through the Duluth ship canal at 07:05 to load coal at Midwest Energy. She began loading as soon as Paul R. Tregurtha cleared the dock. The St. Clair-bound Tregurtha departed Duluth at 08:46. There was a break in traffic until Monday evening, when Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departed with coal at dusk. Olza departed from Riverland Ag with wheat at 21:00 Monday night. In Superior, the Wagenborg saltie Beatrix arrived at 07:41 to load beet pulp pellets at Peavey. Also in port Monday were Cornelia unloading at Holcim and Radcliffe R. Latimer at the North American Salt Dock. She shifted to the dock just across from the lift bridge on Monday morning from Hallett #8 to unload the rest of her cargo of salt.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
CSL St-Laurent and the saltie Eeemsborg arrived Monday afternoon to load grain.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on a blustery, rainy Monday included Frontenac, Philip R. Clarke, Irma and, after dark, Pineglen. Upbounders included Mesabi Miner, Cason J. Callaway and, after dark, Edgar B. Speer and Lakes Contender/Ken Boothe Sr.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
The Georgian Bay ferry Chi-Cheemaun ferry arrived at BayShip on Monday early afternoon for her five-year inspection. Burns Harbor is still at the shipyard undergoing unspecified repairs.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
On Friday the tug Leonard M and a barge unloaded cargo at Lafarge. The tug G.L Ostrander along with the barge Integrity arrived in port Sunday evening to load under the silos. The Alpena came in and tied up once the Integrity departed. Monday brought two vessels to Lafarge. The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation came in for another load. The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 arrived in the evening to unload.


Duluth port shows off public terminal upgrades

10/18 - Duluth, Minn. – It may look like a parking lot, and in some ways, that's what the rehabilitation of Docks C & D at the Clure Public Marine Terminal has created. But it's kind of a bigger deal than that.

"(The berths) triple surface storage capacity," said Sen. Al Franken after a tour at the port of Duluth on Monday. "This is good not just for Duluth but for all of Minnesota."

The $17.7 million infrastructure investment off of Helberg Drive gives the public port another 25 acres for commodities moving through the port, doubles heavy-lift cargo handling capacity and adds a roll-on/roll-off dock on a new rail spur.

"This expansion is a masterpiece of maritime workmanship," the Duluth Seaway Port Authority said in a release.

The terminal expansion had been decades in the making and was made possible with a $10 million federal grant and $3.75 million in state money. Thanks to renewed federal wind-energy credits, there's a good chance the area will be used to stage wind turbine parts

The terminal was previously owned by Cargill and hosted grain elevators; it was sold to the Port Authority for $1 in 1989.

Now, after 18 months of construction that saw 1,898 feet of sheet pile, 5.5 miles of H-pile and 62,000 cubic yards of dredged material, the Port Authority and Lake Superior Warehousing are about to take over the property from Lunda Construction and open it for the 2017 shipping season.

A 1,000-foot American Steamship laker will spend the winter in the space before it is opened to salties — two at a time will be able to fit along the 1,600-foot dock.

Duluth News Tribune


Gate automation project to benefit key international spawning grounds

10/18 - Detroit, Mich. – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District recently awarded a contract to automate gates at the Corps’ compensating works structure at the head of the St. Marys rapids in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

This $8.02 million dollar effort leverages Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funds provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide power to the gates and add the capability of opening and closing those gates from a control center in the Corps Soo Locks facility. Currently these gates can only be opened and closed through a timely and labor intensive process of hand cranking mechanical gears on the gates themselves.

The rapids immediately downstream of the gates provide a critical spawning area for a diverse range of fish species. This roughly 80 acre area of rapids is one of the most productive spawning locations anywhere in the Great Lakes system. The automation project will provide much greater flexibility to how the gates can be operated to optimize spawning conditions in the rapids.

“This critical project will allow us to move the gates at very controlled rates and execute more complicated gate position adjustment strategies that will maximize the productivity of spawning in these important rapids” said John Allis, chief of the Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office.

Construction of this project is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2017, with a scheduled completion date in December of 2018. Koontz Electric Company, Inc. of Morrilton, Ark. is the prime contractor responsible for this project.

The compensating works structure contains 16 gates located across the international divide between the United States and Canada. The Corps operates and maintains the eight U.S. gates, while Brookfield Renewable Energy Group operates and maintains the eight Canadian gates. Gate movements are executed as part of the overall regulation of outflows from Lake Superior specified by the Lake Superior Board of Control, which was established in 1914 by the International Joint Commission.



Piece of Owen Sound’s marine history for sale

10/18 - Owen Sound, Ont. –Possibly the first Russel Brothers tugboat built in Owen Sound has come home and is floating at the Owen Sound marina, an incomplete restoration project which is for sale on Kijiji.

The Bluefin, built in 1937-38 at the Russel Brothers shipyard, was put in the water this spring. But due to personal circumstances its owner, Kristjan van Wissen, a recent marine engineering graduate at Georgian College, just listed the 40-foot tug for sale on Kijiji for $35,000.

“Bluefin could well have been the first Owen Sound built Russel vessel,” according to information found at, a website established by local tugboat enthusiast Steve Briggs. “This vessel was definitely the forerunner of the Navy Ville class of tugs,” built for Second World War service.

“If it sells up there, great. I planned on bringing it to Toronto Nov. 1,” van Wissen said. “And if it doesn't sell, it's still a great boat and I'll make some use of it in the future,” the 37-year-old said. “There's been some interest in the add already.”

Wissen, who used to deliver boats to their owners back and forth across the Atlantic, didn't know where Owen Sound was when he signed up for the Georgian College program.

He knew nothing about Russel Brothers boats and brought his boat it to Owen Sound not knowing it was made here, he said. It was simply a convenient place to work on while going to school here, he said.

He said he and his wife, Eliza, the boat's legal owner who's also an avid sailor, have taken the Bluefin across the harbour to the old Russel Brothers factory site for picnics on that overgrown, vacant east harbourfront site.

And Wissen has been overwhelmed with the interest shown in the vessel since its been here. People have come up to him to say a family member who worked at Russel's may have even helped built that boat.

“I was really surprised that the boat sat in Goderich on land for 10 years. No one even mentioned it. And then I bring it to Owen Sound and I've been told a hundred times that I should restore it to its original condition or I should use it for charter trips outside the rail museum,” he said.

“One city councillor said he would support me if I wanted to restore it and I could have a berth outside the city rail museum and do trips on it and stuff. And I said, well, if the boat's so important, how come nobody else looked into it in the last 10 years?”

The Ontario government used it last, as a research vessel to hunt for shipwrecks. It was stripped and sat rusting on land for 10 years before it was sold to someone who then sold it to van Wissen last fall. Most of its working life it was a commercial fishing boat in Northern Ontario.

“I could tell right away that it was an incredibly well built vessel. It was far better built and far stronger than any other boat you can get, recreational vessel of that size,” van Wissen said.

The engine seemed in great shape, lots of wiring had been replaced and “so even though it was all rusty and covered in wasps nests and obviously left out in the elements for 10 years, I could see that it was actually a very good boat,” he said.

This boat was to be turned into a recreational vessel and van Wissen started doing so with some of his classmate friends. But a personal commitment arose which limits his free time, he said, which led to the decision to sell.

Bluefin was named “Annie Mac” at the shipyard before it was renamed Bluefin by its first owner, a commercial fisherman named Angus (Buddy) McLeod, according to a 1988 article about the vessel which van Wissen shared for this story.

Based on interviews with Buddy's “wife and fishing partner,” Edna, the article said the vessel was delivered by rail from Owen Sound to Nipagon in March 1938 and was used as a fishing boat for years, modified with a “turtleback” to cover the deck. That deck cover has since been removed. In the late 1960s the Bluefin was sold to his friend Harold Dampier who moved the boat to Lake Superior.

By 1980 his brother, Randie Dampier, fished with it in Lake Superior.

“By this time, Bluefin had established her reputation as a tough, economical little sea boat,” the article said.

“But that was not the only reputation that she had acquired. With her old-style, narrow, deep hull and fine lines she tended to roll a bit. Harold once told me, 'she'll never drown you but she'll beat your brains out.'”

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources bought the Bluefin in 1985 under its Fisheries Buyout Program. The vessel, next owned by the Ontario Ministry of Culture and Communications, was then used to hunt shipwrecks as a research vessel, captained by Peter Engelbert, who wrote the 1988 in the marine heritage newsletter, Save Our Shipwrecks.

Owen Sound Times


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 18

On October 18, 1869, GERALDINE (3-mast wooden schooner, 232 tons, built in 1856, at Wilson, New York as a bark) was carrying coal from Buffalo to Detroit in heavy weather. During the night, she collided with the schooner E. M. PORTCH five miles below "The Cut" at Long Point on Lake Erie and sank in 5 minutes. The PORTCH stood by while the GERALDINE's crew got off in the yawl. No lives were lost.

ALVA C. DINKEY departed Quebec City October 18, 1980, in tandem with her former fleet mate GOVERNOR MILLER, towed by the FedNav tug CATHY B., in route to Vigo, Spain, for scrapping.

Tragedy struck on the WILLIAM C. MORELAND's fifth trip October 18, 1910, Loaded with 10,700 tons of iron ore from Superior for Ashtabula, Ohio, the vessel stranded on Sawtooth Reef off Eagle Harbor, Michigan, on Lake Superior. Visibility had been very limited due to forest fires raging on the Keweenaw Peninsula and the lake was blanketed with smoke as far as one mile off shore. The MORELAND hit so hard and at such speed that she bounced over the first reef and came to rest on a second set of rocks. The stern section was salvaged and combined with a new forward section she became b.) SIR TREVOR DAWSON in 1916. Renamed c.) CHARLES L. HUTCHINSON in 1920, d.) GENE C. HUTCHINSON in 1951, sold into Canadian registry in 1963, renamed e.) PARKDALE. Scrapped at Cartagena, Spain in 1970.

On October 18, 1896, AUSTRALASIA (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 282 foot, 1,829 gross tons, built in 1884, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was carrying 2,200 tons of soft coal when she caught fire, burned to the waterline and sank 3 miles east of Cana Island in Lake Michigan. The Bailey's Harbor Lifesavers saved her crew.

At 8 p.m., on October 18, 1844, the steamer ROCHESTER left Rochester, New York for Toronto. She encountered a severe gale about halfway there. Captain H. N. Throop had the vessel put about to return to Rochester. The gale was so severe that all thought they were lost. When they finally arrived in Rochester, the passengers were so grateful that they had survived that they published a note of gratitude to Almighty God and Captain Throop in The Rochester Daily Democrat on 19 October 1844 -- it was signed by all 18 passengers.

On October 18,1876, the schooner R. D. CAMPBELL filled with water and capsized on Lake Michigan about 10 miles from Muskegon, Michigan. The crew clung to the vessel's rigging until rescued by the tug JAMES MC GORDAN. The schooner drifted to the beach some hours later.

1905: The schooner TASMANIA became waterlogged while under tow of the steamer BULGARIA and sank in the Pelee Passage

1911: ARUNDELL had been laid up at Douglas, MI, for about 2 weeks when fire Poke out, destroying the iron hulled passenger and freight vessel.

1917: ABYSSINIA had been under tow of the MARUBA when both ships stranded at Tecumseh Shoal in heavy seas. The grain-laden vessels had been following the north shore due to high winds when they struck bottom. The barge began leaking and was pounded apart but there was no loss of life but the steamer was refloated.

1933: The wooden steam barge MANISTIQUE caught fire on Lake Huron and the remains either sank or was scuttled.

1973: The AGIOS ANTONIOS first visited the Seaway in 1972 and, as a) SILVERWEIR, had come inland beginning in 1964. The ship had loaded iron ore at Coondapoor, on the southwest coast of India, and went aground leaving for Constanza, Romania. The vessel was abandoned as a total loss.

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


Shipping, hauling play support roles in steel industry

10/17 - Cleveland, Ohio – Steel manufacturing doesn't just keep paychecks coming for 1,900 workers at ArcelorMittal. For more than 100 years, it has kept the lights on at places like Interlake Steamship Co. and W.H. Fay Co.

Interlake operates nine modernized vessels, shipping loads of iron ore from Minnesota to ArcelorMittal's mills on the Cuyahoga River.

W.H. Fay trucks out the mills' finished steel. It employs five people in its Tremont office, and coordinates 30 owner-operator drivers who work exclusively for the trucking business.

When ArcelorMittal's predecessor LTV filed bankruptcy in the past, the two firms were among 20,000 creditors who were owed more than $4 billion.

"After the LTV bankruptcies, me and my two brothers took some pretty good hits," said William "Bill" Gregg, president of W. H. Fay.

Interlake Steamship Co.'s board chairman, James Barker, called the bankruptcy "the darkest day in Interlake history."

For those firms, as for workers and managers at the steel plant, survival has not been easy.

Read more and view photos  at this link


Atlantic Erie one step closer to scrap

10/17 - Canada Steamship Lines’ motor vessel Atlantic Erie's Canadian registry was closed October 5. Her markings were painted out recently, and she is expected to be towed overseas for scrap eventually.

On January 11, 2015, the vessel was damaged after she grounded on a sand bar off Iles-de-la Madelaine while loaded with salt from Magdalen Islands for Quebec City. The vessel was at section 48, Montreal on January 19, 2015 then was laid up for the last time at section 56 south, Montreal, on January 22, 2015.

Atlantic Erie was built in 1985 at Collingwood Shipyards, Collingwood, Ont., as Hon. Paul Martin. The vessel was renamed Atlantic Erie on December 6, 1988 in Savannah, Ga.


Port Reports -  October 17

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Radcliffe R. Latimer arrived Duluth at 00:27 on Sunday and began unloading salt at Hallett #8, just behind Midwest Energy. Frontenac finished loading at CN and departed at 06:36. Great Republic arrived at at 07:22 with limestone for Hallett #5. She shifted to Midwest Energy on Sunday afternoon to load coal. Next was the Cornelia, which arrived with the assistance of Heritage Marine tugs at 14:05, and docked at Holcim to unload cement. Paul R. Tregurtha followed her in at 16:40 and docked at Calumet to fuel and wait for Great Republic to finish loading at Midwest. The Republic was expected to depart late Sunday night. Olza also continued loading at Riverland on Sunday.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Pineglen departed downbound in the early evening, followed by the Irma. Algoma Discovery, Wicko and Federal Hudson were loading. Federal Kumano was at anchor.

St. Marys River
Gadwall was downbound early Sunday, followed by Lee A. Tregurtha, Sam Laud, Nogat and John D. Leitch. Federal Saguenay was upbound in the late morning, followed by Michipicoten, tug Victory and barge Lewis J. Kuber, Presque Isle, CSL St-Laurent and, after dark, Eemsborg, Buffalo and H. Lee White. Manitoulin spent the day at Essar Steel.

Port Inland, Mich.
Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. were loading stone on Sunday.

Goderich, Ont.
Robert S. Pierson was loading at the salt dock on Sunday evening.

Toledo, Ohio
Algoma Harvester and the saltie Torrent were in port loading grain Sunday.


Coast Guard assists disabled BBC Colorado in Gulf of Alaska

10/17 - Dutch Harbor, Alaska – The crew of Coast Guard cutter Morgenthau assisted in the rescue and safe transit of a 400-foot cargo vessel with 12 people aboard during a multiple day operation in the Gulf of Alaska.

The Resolve Pioneer, a sea going tug boat based in Dutch Harbor, arrived on scene Saturday and set up tow with the motor vessel BBC Colorado under the observation of Morgenthau. Upon confirmation that the tow was holding and intact, Morgenthau crew resumed their mission of fisheries enforcement in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea, and the Resolve Pioneer made way for Washington with the BBC Colorado in tow.

The BBC Colorado visited the Great Lakes as recently as 2011.

The Coast Guard received a call for help Oct. 5, 2016, from the master of BBC Colorado, who reported they had experienced a severe engine casualty, restricting their speed and maneuverability. With forecasted seas of 30-feet and winds in excess of 50 knots closing in on it’s location, the Colorado requested the Coast Guard’s assistance. Morgenthau was diverted to the scene approximately 500 miles away.

While en route, the Morgenthau’s onboard command center worked jointly with the 17th District Command Center in Juneau to create a rescue assistance plan for the Colorado. The Coast Guard issued a marine assistance request, resulting in the response from the Resolve Pioneer. The Resolve Pioneer began making way towards the BBC Colorado Oct. 7, 2016.

Once within range of the BBC Colorado, the Morgenthau crew launched their embarked helicopter to evaluate the condition of the BBC Colorado, capture images of the vessel to better assist the towing evolution and make radio contact with the master.

Morgenthau maintained a constant presence with the Colorado for over 24 hours until the Resolve Pioneer was on scene. Morgenthau readied emergency gear, including heavy towing lines, survival equipment and increased the crew’s readiness in case immediate response was necessary.

Morgenthau, homeported in Honolulu, was on an Alaska Patrol to carry out a living marine resources mission in the Bering Sea,

The Resolve Pioneer and Morgenthau have trained together on emergency tows in the past. In September of this year the two vessels conducted a training exercise near Dutch Harbor utilizing a towing system designed specifically for large cargo vessels disabled in the region.



Updates -  October 17

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 17

On this day in 1889, the whaleback 103 completed her maiden trip by delivering 86,000 bushels of Duluth wheat to Buffalo.

On this day in 1936, the 252-foot sand sucker SAND MERCHANT rolled over and sank when a 50 mph gale swept across Lake Erie. The steamer THUNDER BAY QUARRIES, Captain James Healey, rescued three survivors and the steamer MARQUETTE & BESSEMER NO 1, Captain George Wilson, rescued four additional survivors. Eighteen crewmembers and one female passenger drowned in the accident.

On October 17, 1887, Henry McMorran and D. N. Runnels bought the engine and boiler of the tug GEORGE HAND at the U.S. Marshall's sale in Port Huron, Michigan, for $500.

The CARLTON (Hull#542) was launched October 17, 1963, at Sunderland, England, by Short Brothers, Ltd., for Chapman & Willan, Ltd. Renamed b.) FEDERAL WEAR in 1975. Purchased by Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. in 1975, renamed c.) ST LAWRENCE PROSPECTOR in 1975. Lengthened to Seaway size and renamed d.) CANADIAN PROSPECTOR in 1979. Scrapped in 2009 at Aliaga, Turkey.

The EMS ORE was launched October 17, 1959, for Transatlantic Bulk Carriers, Monrovia, Liberia. Purchased by Hall Corp. of Canada in 1976, reconstructed for lake service and renamed b.) MONTCLIFFE HALL in 1977. Renamed c.) CARTIERDOC in 1988, she sails today as d.) CEDARGLEN.

With an inexperienced Taiwanese crew, boiler problems and the collapse of Lock 7's west wall in the Welland Canal on October 17th, SAVIC's (CLIFFS VICTORY) departure was delayed until December 17, 1985, when she departed Chicago under her own power.

The carferry PERE MARQUETTE 19 was launched October 17, 1903.

In 1893, the FLINT & PERE MARQUETTE NO 1 was damaged by fire while in Ludington.

In 1988, the Society for the Preservation of the S.S. City of Milwaukee purchased CITY OF MILWAUKEE from the City of Frankfort for $2.

On October 17,1871, CASCADEN (2 mast wood schooner, 138 tons, built in 1866, at Saugeen, Ontario) was carrying much needed supplies for the Cove Island Lighthouse keeper and his family who were in desperate straits. But she went ashore 3 miles below Cape Hurd near Tobermory, Ontario, in a storm and was wrecked.

On October 17, 1843, the wooden schooner ALABAMA collided with a pier during a storm at the mouth of the Grand River at Fairport, Ohio, and was a total loss.

On October 17, 1871, the 42-ton wooden schooner SEA HORSE stranded on Fitzwilliam Island at the mouth of Georgian Bay in a storm. She was a total loss.

1923: The bulk carrier LUZON went aground in Lake Superior, northeast of Passage Island, due to poor visibility from the dense smoke of local forest fires. The vessel sustained serious bow damage but, fortunately, the bulkhead held. It was enroute from Fort William to Buffalo with grain at the time. The ship returned to service as b) JOHN ANDERSON in 1924 and was last known as G.G. POST.

1936: SAND MERCHANT sank in Lake Erie about 13.5 miles off Cleveland with the loss of 19 lives. The ship began taking on water faster than it could be pumped out and only 7 sailors survived.

1951: GEORGE F. RAND and HARVEY H. BROWN collided just below the Huron Cut at Port Huron and the former was beached with a starboard list. After being refloated, this vessel unloaded its cargo of silica sand at Port Huron and then went to Toledo for repairs. The latter later sailed as PARKER EVANS and MARLHILL.

1980: The Canadian tanker GULF CANADA and MEGALOHARI II collided at Montreal with minor damage. The former had been built at Collingwood as a) B.A. PEERLESS in 1952 and was scrapped at Alang, India, as d) COASTAL I in 1990. The latter had begun Seaway trading in 1965 and was scrapped at Alang as b) AGIOS CONSTANTINOS in 1985.

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 -  October 16

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
On a quiet Saturday, Philip R. Clarke departed Duluth after discharging coal at Graymont Superior, and headed to Two Harbors to load. Frontenac arrived later in the evening to load at CN. Olza was at Riverland Ag loading.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
John D. Leitch departed Saturday evening, followed by the Irma, Pineglen and Wicko were loading.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a busy Saturday included Robert S. Pierson (to Essar), ARA Rotterdam, Cornelia, Algoma Discovery, Paul R. Tregurtha, Leonard M and barge, American Century, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and, after dark, Beatrix, Edwin H. Gott and Manitoulin. Downbound traffic included Algowood, Stewart J. Cort, James R. Barker, Ojibway, American Spirit and Roger Blough.

Goderich, Ont.
Michipicoten was at the grain dock Saturday.

Green Bay, Wis.
Alpena was unloading cement on Saturday and looked to be departing in the evening.

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Joseph H. Thompson got into Lorain Saturday at 08:50 and went to Dock # 3.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W
Defiance - Ashtabula were towed out of the City Ship Canal by the tug Washington at 9:30 p.m. Friday.


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 16

On this day in 1950, the JOHN M. McKERCHEY of the Kelley's Island Lime and Transport Company sank at 2:30 a.m. while returning from the pumping grounds with a load of sand. Captain Horace S. Johnson went down with the boat, but the remaining 19 crewmembers were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard.

On October 16,1855, SENECA (wooden propeller tug, 92 foot, 73 tons, built in 1847, at Buffalo, New York) was towing the brig LANSING past the foot of Randolph Street at Chicago, Illinois, when her boiler exploded. Her skipper and engineer were killed instantly and several others were injured. The vessel was later recovered.

On October 16, 1990, the JOHN B. AIRD's loop belt caught fire while loading mill scale at Inland Steel Mill, East Chicago, Illinois. Fueled by coal dust left over after unloading coal at the mill, 1,400 feet of the rubber conveyor belt burned causing nearly $500,000 in damages.

ALGOWEST set a cargo record carrying 27,517 tons of grain down the Seaway October 16, 1982, to Port Cartier, Quebec. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1998, and renamed b.) PETER R. CRESSWELL in 2001.

The Cayman Islands-registered tanker RIO ORINOCO grounded off Anticosti Island, Quebec on October 16, 1990, and was abandoned. Later she was salvaged by Le Groupe Desgagnes (1981) Inc., refloated, repaired and renamed d.) THALASSA DESGAGNES.

Sea trials of MERTON E. FARR were successfully completed October 16, 1920.

On October 16, 1954, the SCOTT MISENER of 1954 became the first laker to load a record 800,000 bushels of grain on the Great Lakes when she was loaded with barley at Fort William, Ontario, for delivery to Port Colborne.

WILLIAM G. MATHER of 1925 was towed from her Cuyahoga River berth on October 16, 1990, by the Great Lakes Towing tugs IDAHO and DELAWARE. She was placed next to the 9th Street Pier of Cleveland's North Coast Harbor and now serves as a marine museum.

On October 16, 1912, JAMES BUCKLEY (2 mast wood schooner-barge, 161 foot, 442 gross tons, built in 1884, at Quebec City) was carrying coal and being towed by the tug WILLIAM PROCTOR in consort with the barges H B and MENOMINEE in Lake Ontario. The BUCKLEY separated from this group in a storm and was driven into the shallows off the coast of Jefferson County, New York. The tug PROCTOR delivered MENOMINEE to Cape Vincent, then returned in time to take BUCKLEY’s crew out of the rigging - hand over hand on a heaving line - before BUCKLEY finally sank.

On October 16, 1855, the brig TUSCARORA was carrying coal from Buffalo to Chicago. She anchored off Chicago's Harrison Street, but a storm dragged her in. Volunteers from shore were unable to get to the stricken vessel. A group of 9 ship captains and 4 seamen then organized a rescue party and took two new "Francis" metal lifeboats out and rescued the entire crew of eleven. By 21 October, TUSCARORA was pounded to pieces.

On October 16, 1853, PHILO SCOVILLE (2-mast wooden brig built in 1853, at Sheboygan, Wisconsin) was carrying flour, wheat, pigs and barreled fish when she encountered a gale in the eastern Straits of Mackinac. She was dismasted and drifted ashore where she was pounded to pieces. Her crew was saved by floating ashore while clinging to the floating main mast.

1880: ALPENA, a wooden sidewheel passenger steamer, was lost in Lake Michigan in a violent storm. All 67 on board perished.

1928: PARKS FOSTER ran aground, due to fog, in Lake Huron near Alpena. The ship was lightered, pumped out and refloated. While declared a total loss, the vessel was rebuilt as b) SUPERIOR and eventually dismantled at Port Weller in 1961.

1940: TREVISA was torpedoed and sunk by U-124 while 600 miles off the coast of Ireland. The ship had become a straggler from convoy SC-7 that had been attacked over a period of 3 nights. Seven lives were lost when TREVISA was hit in the engineroom by a single torpedo.

1968: The NORMAN P. CLEMENT was at Collingwood for examination of the grounding damage of earlier in the month when an onboard explosion on this date injured 11. The hull was contaminated with chemicals and declared a total loss.

1969: FREDEN V. came to the Great Lakes in 1958 and returned through the Seaway in 1959. The small tanker was heavily damaged as c) YARIMCA in an engine room fire at Sinop, Turkey, but that was repaired in 1972 and the ship survived until scrapping at Aliaga, Turkey, as f) ORTAC in 2004.

1971: The Cypriot freighter UNION came through the Seaway in 1971 after prior visits as c) MICA beginning in 1965. Fire broke out in the engine room and the ship was abandoned 130 miles off Freetown, Sierra Leone, on October 10, 1971. The vessel sank on October 16 and had been enroute from Gdynia, Poland, to Chittagong, Bangladesh.

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


Updates -  October 16

News Photo Gallery


Port Reports -  October 15

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
The saltie Nogat arrived Duluth at 02:50 on Friday to load grain at CHS 2. American Spirit left from CN with iron ore at 06:05. There was no traffic until mid-evening, when Philip R. Clarke arrived to discharge coal at Graymont Superior Plant. Nogat, after loading throughout the day, departed at 21:30. On the south side of the harbor, Stewart J. Cort departed from BN at 05:20.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ojibway departed downbound Friday afternoon, followed by Algolake in the evening. Gadwall and Federal Satsuki were loading. Two Fednav boats were anchored waiting for cargo.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on Friday included Edgar B. Speer, Algonova, Michipicoten, Algoway (to Hamilton) and, after dark, Atlanticborg. Upbound vessels included Pineglen (headed to Thunder Bay), in the early morning, followed later by John D. Leitch (to Thunder Bay), Frontenac (to Duluth), Radcliffe R. Latimer and, later in the evening, Great Republic and Wicko. Algowood remained at the Essar export dock on Friday.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Herbert C. Jackson was loading on Friday morning. Due in Sunday are the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. in the late morning. The barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort are due Monday during the early evening. There are no vessels scheduled for Tuesday. Wilfred Sykes is due on Wednesday in the late morning, followed by the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted.

Escanaba, Mich.
Great Lakes Trader was loading on Friday evening. Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Burns Harbor remained at Bayship for repairs on Friday.The Georgian Bay ferry Chi-Cheemaun is expected at Bayship for her five-year inspection on Sunday.

Green Bay, Wis. – Scott Best
Friday morning, the tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber arrived with limestone from Port Inland for the Graymont Western Lime Dock. However as of Friday afternoon it appeared the Kuber may have suffered a breakdown or other delay, as the boom was over the dock but no unloading had taken place as of 5:30 p.m. The cement vessel Alpena was in port unloading on Friday night.

Burns Harbor, Ind.
Wilfred Sykes was unloading Friday night.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels expected Friday and Saturday. Due Sunday is the Wilfred Sykes at noon. Joseph H. Thompson is due Monday during the early morning. After the Thompson, there are no vessels until October 20, when the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. are due to arrive in the early morning.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Great Republic loaded at the South Dock on Friday and was due to depart around 12:30 p.m. Waiting at anchor was the H. Lee White, due to get the South Dock upon the Republic's departure. Also waiting at anchor was the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann, due to get the South Dock upon the H. Lee White's departure. There are no vessels scheduled for Saturday. Due Sunday is the Herbert C. Jackson during the early afternoon for the North Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Arthur M. Anderson loaded Thursday, and were due to depart around 6 a.m. on Friday. There were no vessels scheduled for Friday. Due on Saturday is the Algowood in the early morning. Two vessels are scheduled for Sunday, with the Cason J. Callaway arriving in the early morning, followed during the early afternoon by the Cuyahoga. For Monday, Arthur M. Anderson and the Hon. James L. Oberstar both due in to load in the early morning. There are no vessels expected for Tuesday.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Algoma Harvester should be arriving at Toledo sometime on Sunday to load grain. This will be her first trip to Toledo. Manitoulin loaded at the CSX coal dock on Friday. Due Friday at midnight was the 1,000-footer American Integrity making a rare visit. Algolake is due at CSX on October 18 in the early morning, and the Manitowoc is due on October 19 in the early morning. Also due at CSX is the American Mariner on October 20 in the morning. Vessels due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock include the Capt. Henry Jackman, expected to arrive on October 18 in the mid-afternoon, followed by the Manitoulin on October 22 in the early morning. At the Torco Dock, the barge James L. Kuber and tug are due for the first of three trips October 19 in the mid-afternoon, followed by a return during the late afternoon on October 25 and again on October 31 in the early afternoon. Recent arrivals and departures from port include Algoma Enterprise, which arrived and left on October 12, followed by the tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes, which arrived on October 11 and left on October 13. The Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived and departed on October 13. Algoma Equinox, making her first visit to Toledo, arrived to load grain on October 12 and departed on October 13. Robert S. Pierson arrived and departed on October 13. Tug Petite Forte and barge St. Marys Cement arrived on October 12 and left on October 14. The saltwater vessel Heleen C arrived on October 12 to load grain and left on October 14. Ships in port included the Evans Spirit and the tug Dylan Cooper with a barge. Erie, Pa. – Eugene Polaski
Manitowoc unloaded stone in Erie Thursday, then took on a load of sand that had been dredged from Lake Erie by the J.S. St. John. Friday the Manitowoc moved the sand only a few hundred yards across the entrance channel to be unloaded on Presque Isle State Park. The sand will be used for beach replenishment.

Welland Canal
American Mariner was in the canal eastbound for Quebec City on Friday.


Great Lakes shipbuilding industry weathers change

10/15 - Detroit, Mich. – When she launched from the American Ship Building Company’s Lorain, Ohio, shipyard in May 1981, the William J. De Lancey became the largest vessel operating on the Great Lakes.

While her 1,013-foot length still gives her the title of “Queen of the Lakes,” the freighter, now known as the Paul R. Tregurtha, is a time capsule from a mostly bygone era.

Along the eastern shore of the Black River, the former site of American Ship Building — the largest yard in the Great Lakes prior to World War II — is now home to the Harborwalk condominium complex.

An over-two-hours drive west and north is River Rouge, birthplace of the infamous Edmund Fitzgerald. For roughly the first 60 years of the 20th century, the Great Lakes Engineering Works was an innovative builder of ore freighters. Today, the shipyard is no more and the site is home to the Great Lakes Steel Corp.

Despite a history of groundbreaking design and production, large-scale shipbuilding in the Great Lakes is another of those things that have undergone change. Depending on definition, there are about four major shipyards operating in the Great Lakes that can still produce the massive vessels that have become synonymous with shipping in the region.

But it’s not the number of yards in operation, but the number of new large-scale vessels they are building that represents the biggest change.

Read more and view photo galleries at this link




Lake Michigan is so warm it's set a new October record Two Lake Michigan buoys continue to give us a picture of much warmer than normal water temperatures. A buoy in northern Lake Michigan and a buoy in southern Lake Michigan have thermometers that measure the surface water temperature. If we take a five-day average of surface water temperature at these buoys, Lake Michigan has never been warmer for this time of year. Consistent data goes back to 1979.

Read more and view graphs at this link


USS Detroit warship lands in namesake city

10/15 - Detroit, Mich. – The sixth U.S. Navy warship to bear Detroit's name arrived in its namesake city Friday afternoon, Oct. 14.

Hundreds of people lined up in front of the GM Renaissance Center on Detroit's Riverfront to watch the ship sailed down the Detroit River between Belle Isle and Windsor, Ontario's shoreline. The ship made its way from Wisconsin and around the Great Lakes before docking in Detroit.

USS Detroit's commissioning ceremony is set for Oct. 22 on the Riverwalk outside the Renaissance Center. Event space is full, and tickets are no longer available.

Read more, and view photos at this link


Sault ceremony honors late Captain Jack Cork

10/15 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Friday afternoon, family, friends and colleagues of the late Capt. Jack Cork boarded Soo Locks Boat Tours Le Voyageur for a short river cruise in his memory. Cork, who spent 50 years sailing the St. Marys River for Soo Locks Boat Tours, died on October 8

The Le Voyageur’s U.S. flag flew at half-mast for the event. In the Little Rapids Cut, they met the upbound Algoway and she blew a salute that was appreciated by all on board. A moment of silence was observed, and Capt. Robert Schallip read a short passage.

Cork was a founding member and president of The Great Lakes Captain’s Association and past grand president of the International Shipmasters’ Association.



Early Coast Guard rescue craft added to the National Register of Historic Places

10/15 - Douglas, Mich. – pioneering piece of Coast Guard history has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Francis Metallic Surfboat is a 26-foot, iron-hulled vessel that is one of two known surviving examples of the 19th Century coastal rescue craft.

It will be dedicated at a ceremony held at the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center and Museum, 130 Center St., in Douglas at noon on Saturday, Oct. 15.

This particular type of boat was designed by Joseph Francis, known as the father of the U.S. lifesaving services, in 1854 using an innovative metal fabricating technique he invented.

It was the first type of coastal rescue craft used from 1849 to 1857. Utilized by a federally sponsored, unmanned life-saving/shipwreck rescue program, the surfboat is an example of a distinctly American type of rescue boat known as the "pulling" surfboat. This design is intended to be pulled through the water by oar power rather than propelled by sail or motor.

Owned by the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society, the Francis Metallic Surfboat is on display in a dedicated building on SDHS property not far from the vessel's original station near the mouth of the Kalamazoo River.

"The Francis Metallic Surfboat was one of the first of its kind to provide rescue missions during storms on the Great Lakes," said Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, (R-Antwerp Township). "Including this relic in on the National Register of Historic Places helps recognize West Michigan's proud maritime history and encourages tourism from around the state and country."

M Live


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 15

On this day in 1893, according to reports in Buffalo newspapers, First Mate Ben Lewis was washed off the decks of the JAY GOULD during a storm. A succeeding wave picked him up and dropped him back on the deck of the GOULD.

On October 15, 1871, LA PETITE (wooden schooner, 94 foot, 122 gross tons, built in 1866, at Huron, Ohio) was carrying lumber from Alpena, Michigan, to Huron, Ohio, when she was caught in a terrific gale on Lake Huron. The heavy seas carried away the lumber strapped on deck. Then the vessel sprang a leak and turned on her beam ends. Capt. O. B. Smith, his wife, and four other sailors rode out the storm on the wreck until found by the tug BROCKWAY. The schooner was towed to Port Huron and repaired.

On her maiden voyage, Branch Lines new tanker LEON SIMARD was spotted traveling eastward on the St. Lawrence River on October 15, 1974. Renamed b.) L'ORME NO 1 in 1982. Sold off the lakes, renamed c.) TRADEWIND OCEAN in 1997 and d.) AMARA in 2001.

The self-unloader WOLVERINE departed the American Ship Building Co., October 15, 1974, on her maiden voyage from Lorain, Ohio, light to load stone at Stoneport, Michigan, for delivery to Huron, Ohio.

HERBERT C. JACKSON cleared Fraser Shipyard on October 15, 1988, after having the 1000 h.p. bowthruster motor installed from the JOHN SHERWIN. The motor from the JACKSON was later repaired and placed in the SHERWIN's cargo hold for future use.

The PAUL H. CARNAHAN came out on her maiden voyage October 15, 1961.

On October 15, 1984, JOHN O. McKELLAR of 1952, was sold to P.& H. Shipping of Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd., Mississauga, Ont., and renamed b.) ELMGLEN.

Scrapping began on October 15, 1988, of JOHN T. HUTCHINSON at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, by Li Chong Steel & Iron Works Co. Ltd.

C. H. McCULLOUGH JR was laid up on October 15, 1969, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

COVERDALE (Hull#34) was launched at Midland, Ontario, on October 15, 1949, for Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal, Quebec. Renamed b.) GEORGE HINDMAN in 1973 and c.) MELDRUM BAY in 1979. Scrapped at Lisbon, Portugal in 1985.

SCOTT MISENER of 1954 struck bottom on October 15, 1973, near Whaleback Shoal on the St. Lawrence River reportedly damaging 60 of her bottom plates. She proceeded to the Port Arthur shipyard for drydocking and repairs from October 20th through the 28th.

On October 15, 1980, the NIPIGON BAY, loaded with ore for Hamilton, Ontario, grounded at the "crossover" near Brockville, Ontario, on the St. Lawrence River and sustained a 100-foot rip in her bottom plates. She proceeded to Thunder Bay arriving there on October 24th where repairs were made at an estimated cost of $500,000.

R. P. MASON (3 mast wooden schooner, 115 foot, 155 gross tons, built in 1867, at Grand Haven, Michigan) was bound from Chicago for Detroit when she struck a rocky reef near Waugoshance Point in the Straits of Mackinac on October 8. 1871. Water gushed in an 8-foot hole. However, she was temporarily patched and her cargo of grain, flour and meat was taken off over the next few days. The tug LEVIATHAN took her in tow, going to Little Traverse Bay when, on October 15, they encountered a gale near Cross Village, Michigan. The MASON broke free and capsized. 5 died and 4 were rescued. The MASON drifted ashore upside down. She was eventually salvaged and sailed for another 46 years. She ended her days when she burned in Lake Michigan in 1917.

The tug DOUGLAS caught fire near Wyandotte while going down the Detroit River and sank. The crew all jumped overboard and was saved by the steam yacht JOSEPHINE, except for John Cassidy, one of the firemen, who drowned. A few days later, plans were made to raise and rebuild the DOUGLAS.

On October 15,1871, R. G. COBURN (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 193 foot, 867 tons, built in 1870, at Marine City, Michigan) was carrying 15,000 bushels of wheat, 3,500 barrels of flour and 30 barrels of silver ore from Lake Superior to Detroit. As she came down Lake Huron, she encountered a terrific gale that had driven most vessels to seek shelter. The COBURN fought the wind at Saginaw Bay throughout the night until she lost her rudder and turned broadside to the waves. Her large stack fell and smashed the cabin area and then the cargo came loose and started smashing holes in the bulwarks. About 70 passengers were aboard and almost all were terribly seasick. As the ship began her final plunge beneath the waves, only a few lifeboats were getting ready to be launched and those were floated right from the deck as the ship sank. 32 people perished, including Capt. Gilbert Demont. No women or children were saved.

On October 15, 1900, the wooden 186-foot freighter F. E. SPINNER was sunk in a collision with the steamer H. D. COFFINBERRY in the St. Marys River. She was raised from 125 feet of water, one of the deepest successful salvage operations to that time. She was later renamed HELEN C and lasted until 1922.

October 15, 1910 - After the sinking of the PERE MARQUETTE 18 of 1902, built at Cleveland, Ohio, the previous September, a new PERE MARQUETTE 18 of 1911, was ordered by the Pere Marquette Railway from the Chicago Ship Building Co.

On 15 October 1871, the EXCELSIOR (3-mast wooden schooner, 156 foot, 374 gross tons, built in 1865, at Buffalo, New York) was struck by a gale near Thunder Bay on Lake Huron. She sailed through the early morning hours only to sink about 4:30 a.m. Only Charles Lostrom survived. He was on the cabin roof, which blew off when the vessel went down. Mr. Lostrom remained on the floating roof-raft for two days and two nights until he was rescued by fishermen near South Hampton light on the Canadian side of Lake Huron.

1916: The wooden bulk freighter L. EDWARD HINES was sold to Nicaraguan owners and left the Great Lakes in 1916. The ship had loaded coal in New Orleans for Venezuela for its maiden voyage on this date in 1916 but got caught in a hurricane and sank with the loss of 17 lives while 45 miles east of Belize, British Honduras.

1971: SINGAPORE TRADER was upbound with general cargo from Japan to Detroit, on its first trip to the Great Lakes, when it ran aground in the Thousand Islands. The vessel was released on November 29 and towed back to Montreal on December 16. The ship was arrested there and offered for sale, by court order. The successful bidder for the 27-year-old vessel was a shipbreaker at Santander, Spain, and the ship arrived there for dismantling on June 22, 1972.

1977: The three-year old Panamanian bulk carrier GOLDEN STAR damaged its rudder when it struck the opposite bank while backing from the dock at Huron, Ohio. The vessel, bound for the United Kingdom, needed four tugs when it was towed out of the Seaway for repairs at Sorel, QC. The vessel was last noted as c) FUN JIN under the flag of Panama in 1993.

1978: The West German freighter FRANCISCA SARTORI made 21 trips through the Seaway from 1959 through 1967. It was lying at Piraeus, Greece, as f) GIOTA S. when the engine room flooded on this date in 1978. The ship departed for Chalkis on October 24, 1979, but further leaks developed and the vessel had to be beached at Laurium, Greece.

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


St. Lawrence Seaway cargo shipments steady in September

10/14 - Washington, D.C. – “Notable increases were reflected in the export of wheat, corn and soybeans from the U.S. Ports of Duluth, Milwaukee and Toledo during the month of September,” Betty Sutton, Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, said in a Thursday press release.

“The good news is that we anticipate that trend to continue for the remaining three months of the 2016 navigation season,” she added. Also notable were shipments of aluminum and project cargo consisting of crane components, machinery, and transformers.

In September, coal, liquids, and general cargo shipments through the Port of Toledo surpassed last year’s year-to-date totals. “Aluminum shipments led the way in the general cargo category up 27 percent over last season,” said Joseph Cappel, Vice President of Business Development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. “While grain shipments slightly trailed totals from last year, wheat imports from Canada and corn exports are off to a good start moving into the fall harvest.”

For the second month in a row, the Port of Green Bay saw improvement in its year-over-year tonnage. Foreign imports of limestone increased in September 2016 compared to the same time frame in 2015. “That’s a good trend to see and is reflective, in part, of the economy as well as the variable nature of shipping,” said Dean Haen, Brown County Port and Resource Recovery Director. “We are hopeful the trend will continue through the end of the shipping season.”

“Activity at the Port of Milwaukee continues at a brisk pace with both steel and grain volumes ahead of last year,” Port Director Paul Vornholt said. “We expect continued strength through the final quarter of the year.” So far in 2016, steel is up seven percent and grain has more than doubled.

The Port of Oswego saw a rebound of aluminum shipments in September from Sept-Iles destined for the local Novelis plant. “In addition to our aluminum shipments, the grain harvest is promising to be positive for the export of soybeans to Asia,” said Port CEO Zelko Kirincich.

The St. Lawrence Seaway reported that year-to-date cargo shipments for the period March 21 to September 30 were 21 million metric tons, down 5.32 percent over the same period in 2015. The dry bulk category was down 11 percent. Iron ore was down 13 percent; coal was down15 percent. While the general cargo category was down 3 percent overall, steel slabs and other general cargo were up 41.5 percent and nearly 6 percent respectively.

Great Lakes Seaway Partnership


Corps of Engineers awards $3.7 million to dredge Cleveland shipping channel

10/14 - Cleveland, Ohio – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Wednesday that it has awarded a $3.7 million contract to dredge Cleveland Harbor and the six-mile Cuyahoga River shipping channel. The dredging work is expected to begin by Nov. 1, and be completed by Dec. 15.

Under terms of the agreement, Ryba Marine Construction of Cheboygan, Mich., will dispose of the dredged sediment in a confined disposal facility on the Lake Erie shoreline near Burke Lakefront Airport, said Army Corps spokesman Andrew Kornacki.

The Army Corps had preferred to dump the sediment directly into Lake Erie, but reached a settlement with the Ohio EPA and the Port of Cleveland to store the sediment on land, with the Army Corps paying the additional cost of about $2.1 million, Kornacki said.

The Ohio EPA agreed to reimburse the Army Corps if it fails to prevail in a pending lawsuit in federal court.

An EPA spokeswoman said the agency would have preferred that the Army Corps had acted quicker on the contract. "We are disappointed that it took the entire seven days allowed by the court for the Army Corps to award the contract to dredge the Cuyahoga River shipping channel," said spokeswoman Heidi Griesmer. "We expected the Corps to move quickly to begin dredging the channel as soon as possible to ensure it is navigable."

The Army Corps said its tests have shown the sediment is clean enough for open-lake placement. The EPA said its tests found the sediment too polluted with PCBs for the open lake.

The Army Corps is required to maintain the upper reaches of the shipping channel to a depth of 23 feet. High water on Lake Erie had kept the river navigable until now, but a recent buildup of sediment near the ArcelorMittal steel mill docks had made dredging necessary.

Had the Army Corps and EPA failed to reach the agreement, it would have been the first time in at least 30 years that the Corps had failed to dredge the shipping channel and harbor.


Port Reports -  October 14

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Stewart J. Cort arrived Duluth at 03:00 on Thursday to take a delay at Port Terminal before she was expected shift to Burlington Northern to load iron ore pellets. The Cort has been arriving through the Duluth canal on her past few trips, a delight to Twin Ports boatwatchers. American Spirit arrived next at 12:39 for CN. The Polish saltie Olza arrived at 16:37 to load grain at Riverland. In Superior, Algoway cleared BN and departed at 05:40. Atlanticborg finished loading grain at Peavey and left via the Superior entry at 17:10.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Michipicoten departed in the evening Thursday. Federal Satsuki and Ojibway were loading. Three salties were at anchor awaiting cargos.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Thursday included Philip R. Clarke, Sam Laud and Algonova. The latter tied up at the Purvis dock on the Canadian side to unload. Downbound traffic included Algoma Spirit, Presque Isle and, after dark, Cason J. Callaway, Cedarglen Mesabi Miner and John J. Boland. Algowood was at the Essar Export Dock. Yankcanuck was eased away from her lay-up dock in the morning in order to place the barge PML Ironmaster along the dock face. Yankcanuck was re-moored outside of the barge.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory arrived during the late morning on Thursday to load. Expected Friday is the Herbert C. Jackson in the early morning. Due Saturday are the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. during the early morning. There are no vessels scheduled Sunday. Expected Monday are the barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort in the early evening.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Burns Harbor remained at Bayship for unspecified repairs on Thursday.

Milwaukee, Wis.
Herbert C. Jackson unloaded limestone from Stoneport, Mich., Thursday. The Jackson is a rare visitor to Milwaukee.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Calumet arrived in the early afternoon Thursday. Due Friday are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the early morning. There are no vessels scheduled Saturday. Wilfred Sykes is due Sunday at noon.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Great Republic is expected around midnight Friday for the South Dock. Also expected Friday is the H. Lee White in the early morning for the South Dock, with the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder due in the late morning for the South Dock. There are no vessels scheduled for Saturday.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Arthur M. Anderson was expected Thursday during the late afternoon to load. There are no vessels scheduled Friday. Due Saturday is the Algowood in the morning. Two vessels are expected Sunday early morning, with the Cuyahoga first, followed by Cason J. Callaway. Arthur M. Anderson, followed by Hon. James L. Oberstar, are due on Monday early morning.

Goderich, Ont.
Radcliffe R. Latimer was loading salt on Thursday.

Detroit, Mich.
The fomer BobLo boat Ste. Claire was moved 200 feet farther down her Rouge River dock Thursday morning by two Gaelic tugs. The dock needed to be cleared for a barge due on Friday. On Thursday night, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was unloading at Zug Island, while fleetmate American Mariner was downbound through the Detroit River bound for Quebec City.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Hon. James L. Oberstar was at the CSX coal dock loading on Thursday. Robert S. Pierson arrived Thursday morning and would follow the Oberstar to load. Manitoulin and American Integrity are expected in the evening. Capt. Henry Jackman is due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on October 21 during the late morning. Manitoulin is due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on October 22 in the early morning. At the Torco Dock, the barge James L. Kuber and the tug Victory are due on October 19 in the early morning, and return again on October 25 in the early morning. Vessels in port Thursday included the tug Petite Forte and barge St. Marys Cement unloading at the St. Marys Cement Dock. Algoma Equinox departed Thursday evening with grain for Baie Comeau. The saltwater vessel Heleen C was also upriver loading grain.

Hamilton, Ont.
Federal Kushiro, Federal Cedar, Tundra and Algoma Harvester were in port Thursday evening, while CSL Laurentien was headed there from the Welland Canal.

Toronto, Ont.
The saltie Torrent was in port on Thursday, along with the cement carrier Stephen B. Roman.

Erie, Pa. – Eugene Polaski
On Friday, Manitowoc arrived at 1530 under partly sunny skies and a west wind of 14 knots to unload stone. Two days ago, the newly-launched Sea Chem I chemical barge built at DonJon was taken out of dry dock by two tugs while the tug Sea Power that will eventually mate up with it, stood by.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Defiance - Ashtabula should be arriving some time Friday with the second half of a split load of sand for the Sand Supply Wharf on the City Ship Canal.


Abandoned Kathryn Spirit must be stabilized before winter: experts

10/14 - Beauharnois, Que. – A rusting abandoned ship on the Saint Lawrence River should be properly stabilized before winter, according to environmentalists and local politicians. The 153-metre long Kathryn Spirit sits just offshore from the town of Beauharnois, Que., listing precariously to its port side.

The bulk carrier was towed to the town in 2011 to be dismantled by a local company, Excavation René St-Pierre Inc.

When the town refused to issue a permit, the company sold the ship to a Mexican recycler. Last year, that new owner declared bankruptcy and officially abandoned the ship.

“He hadn’t asked permission from the town,” said councillor Gaëtan Dagenais.

Pollutants were removed from the ship in 2013, but environmentalists say there is still oil, PCBs and asbestos on board. This spring, mooring lines were put up to prevent the Kathryn Spirit from tipping more, but it didn’t work. In June, some of the cables snapped and the ship tilted about 20 degrees.

There are calls for the federal government to act before the cold weather sets in. Many fear that ice could move the ship over the winter, causing it to tilt more and possibly fall over in the spring thaw.

“Every spring, there is a problem with that ship,” said Anne Minh-Thu Quach, the local NDP member of parliament.

The Canadian Coast Guard has taken over the site, but that hasn’t prevented explorers from boarding the ship and posting videos of their exploits online.

Earlier this year, a fire was started on the Kathryn Spirit. It was extinguished by firefighters, but they now say the ship is listing and unsafe, so they won’t go onboard if there’s another fire.

A working group released a study in June and found the ship had deteriorated to the point it can’t be towed away. The only solution is to dismantle it where she is now; the study suggests building a dry dock around the Kathryn Spirit. It would mean dumping rock and gravel in the water and creating a platform 7.5 meters wide around the ship that would stick out of the water, just over a half-meter high.

The federal department of Fisheries and Oceans is studying options, but has yet to release a timetable. The project to dismantle the Kathryn Spirit is expected to cost $10 to $15 million.

View a video at this link

Global News


Stranded ship’s crew gets surprise Thanksgiving dinner delivered by McKeil

10/14 - Hamilton, Ont. – Thanksgiving came early to Hamilton Harbor last Saturday morning. The smell of roast turkey likely surprised the gulls used to more traditional harbor odors as a trio of folks from McKeil Marine delivered a cooked 11-kilogram bird with all the trimmings and two massive homemade apple pies to the 14 crewmembers of the stranded cargo ship Ardita.

It's been stuck in the harbor since April 24. An ownership dispute between McKeil Marin and Italian shipping company Setramar resulted in a federal court order placing the ship under arrest, unable to leave local waters until the sale is sorted out, stranding the Italian-based crew here for going on six months.

"They (the crew) are stuck in the middle of this," said Blair McKeil, owner and CEO of McKeil Marine. "They're good people."

McKeil wanted to do something for the men and on Friday came up with the idea of an impromptu Thanksgiving feast delivered to the ship. His friend, Peter Trajkovski, the owner of the Edgewater Manor Restaurant, was more than willing to help out. After the restaurant closed for the night Saturday, Trajkovski remained so that he could put the turkey in the oven at 2 a.m. and keep an eye on it. The restaurant's chef prepped the other dishes and dessert, which Trajkovski cooked in time for McKeil’s arrival at 9 a.m.

The pair loaded the entire meal into the back of McKeil's SUV for the short drive to Pier 25 where the Ardita was temporarily docked and taking on supplies. Assisted by McKeil Marine's president Steve Fletcher and VP of Operations Olous Boag, they promptly marched up the gangway where the crew was busy loading bottled water and presented a somewhat surprised captain Salvatore Siragusa with the turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetable, gravy, apple pies and wine. Cranberries, too.

Trajkovski didn't mind the overnight cooking duties. "It's showing these gentlemen our Canadian hospitality — some Hamilton hospitality," he said.

By the time the meal was delivered to the grateful crew, Trajkovksi, who hadn't slept in more than 24 hours was on his way to his family's own Thanksgiving feast. His mom cooked this one.

The Spectator


Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society wins 2016 Achievement Award

10/14 - Whitefish Point, Mich. – For many people, Whitefish Point, that remote tip along Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula, embodies the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society.

There, 11 miles from the nearest town, the society operates the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum campus spread beneath a distinctive lighthouse tower. But the society’s mission and reach go well beyond operation of one historic site.

For its decades of work to discover, preserve and protect maritime heritage, Lake Superior Magazine has chosen the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society as the 2016 winner of its Achievement Award.

Since 1994, Lake Superior Magazine has annually honored an organization or individual who has significantly contributed to the well-being of Lake Superior and its communities and who can serve as a role model for others to follow. The 2016 award was announced in the October/November issue of the magazine.

“The breadth of what the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society accomplishes as a private, non-profit organization certainly can serve as a role model for preserving our heritage on land or water,” says Editor Konnie LeMay. “My hat’s off to the staff and volunteers for putting their hearts into their work.”

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, founded in 1978, has discovered or documented many notable shipwrecks. In 1995, the organization helped raise the bell from the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The bell is housed at the shipwreck museum, which hosts a ceremony each year to honor the sailors lost on the Fitz.

Upper Michigan Source


Public invited to tour haunted Marblehead Coast Guard station

10/14 - Marblehead, Ohio – The crew of Coast Guard Station Marblehead, Ohio, is scheduled to open its doors to visitors for tours of the haunted station the weekend before Halloween. Guests are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to local food pantries, but there is no admission charge.

There will be a mild haunt for younger children from 7-8 p.m. and a scarier haunt for older children and adults from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29. During the tours, guests will be ushered through various haunted rooms. Halloween treats and hot chocolate will be complimentary.

The station is located at 606 Prairie St., Marblehead, Ohio



Today in Great Lakes History -  October 14

On this day in 1953, Boston Metals Company of Baltimore, Maryland, submitted a successful bid of $118,111 for six retired lakers to be scrapped by the U.S. Maritime Commission. The six boats were the CHACORNAC, COLONEL, MUNISING, NEGAUNEE, YOSEMITE and AMAZON.

On 14 October 1871, the LEVANT (2-mast wooden schooner, 91 foot, 115 tons, built in 1854, at Chicago, Illinois) was loaded with lumber when she was overtaken by a severe gale and went over on her beam ends off Sheboygan, Wisconsin, on Lake Michigan. The 6-man crew lashed themselves to the vessel so as not to be washed away by the waves. Throughout the night the men died one by one. At daylight, the schooner D P DOBBINS found the wreck with floating bodies tied to it and three still alive (two of them were barely alive). One died during the rescue attempt and another died within minutes of being rescued. Only Peter J. Thornum survived.

DEAN RICHMOND (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 238 foot, 1,432 gross tons, built in 1864, at Cleveland, Ohio) sailed from Toledo, Ohio, on Friday the 13th of October 1893, with a load of bagged meal, flour, zinc and copper ingots. She encountered hurricane force winds of over 60 mph and battled the storm throughout the night. She was seen on 14 October 1893, off Erie, Pennsylvania, missing her stacks and battling the wind and waves. The following day, wreckage and bodies were washing ashore near Dunkirk, New York. Among the dead were the captain, his wife and three children. A few crewmembers managed to make it to shore however all but one died of exposure. The only survivor was found on the beach near Van Buren Point two days later. During the search for bodies, three volunteers lost their lives. The wreck was found in 1984.

The keel to the JAMES R. BARKER was laid on October 14, 1974. She was to become Interlake's first 1000 footer and the flagship of the fleet for Moore McCormack Leasing, Inc. (Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio, mgr.).

On October 14, 1983, the CHI-CHEEMAUN encountered 48-knot winds after departing Tobermory with 113 passengers bound for South Baymouth. Due to high wind and waves the captain decided to find shelter rather than to continue on or return to port. The ferry made her way around the Bruce Peninsula southeast to Dyer Bay where she dropped anchor for the night, however she had no overnight accommodations. Complimentary meals were served and activities were organized by the crew. The anchor was lifted the next morning and the ferry returned to Tobermory.

The GEORGE A. STINSON departed Detroit on her maiden voyage October 14, 1978, light for Superior, Wisconsin, to load iron ore pellets for delivery to the Great Lakes Steel Division of the National Steel Corp. at Zug Island in River Rouge, Michigan. Renamed b.) AMERICAN SPIRIT in 2004.

On 14 October 1875, it was discovered that thieves had completely stripped the canvass and rigging from the schooner FORWARDER owned by Little & Brown. The schooner was lying about three miles below Port Huron.

On 14 October 1822, APPELONA (wooden schooner, 45 foot, 37 tons, built in 1814, at Henderson, New York) was bound from Oswego for Genesee, New York, when she was struck by lightning in Lake Ontario and sank about 15 minutes. All hands were injured but abandoned her for shore and all survived.

The tug NELSON burned at Chicago on Saturday, 14 October 1876. She was one of the smaller class of tugs and the damage was so great that she was not considered to be worth repairing.

October 14, 1911 - The ANN ARBOR NO 4 ran aground while enroute to Manistique, Michigan, at full speed, damaging several plates. The ANN ARBOR NO 3 pulled her off.

On 14 October 1876, NEW YORK (wooden propeller freighter, 183 foot, 704 tons, built in 1856, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying lumber and towing the schooner BUTCHER BOY and barges NELLIE MC GILVERAY and A. J. CORREY from Cove Island in Georgian Bay to Buffalo when they encountered a severe storm near Pointe aux Barques. The towline parted and the NEW YORK could not regain it in the heavy seas. She then sprang a leak and the water rose rapidly enough to put out her fires. The crew (15 men and one woman) abandoned in the yawl as NEW YORK was overwhelmed and sank. The open boat was adrift for five hours when the 74-foot schooner NEMESIS came upon it. NEMESIS tried twelve times to approach the yawl in the rough seas, losing a portion of her deck load of tanbark each time that she came about, but at last she got alongside the yawl. The NEW YORK's crew managed to get aboard the NEMESIS except for Fireman William Sparks, who fell between the yawl and the schooner and was lost. The other vessels in the tow all made it to Port Huron safely.

On 14 October 1883, NELLIE GARDNER (wooden schooner-barge, 178 foot, 567 gross tons, built in 1873, at Marine City, Michigan) was loaded with 39,000 bushels of corn while being towed by the steamer JOHN PRIDGEON JR in a storm on Lake Huron. The GARDNER released herself from the tow in the heavy weather to run for the shelter of Thunder Bay under sail. However, she was unable to make it, and turned back for Tawas, Michigan, but struck a reef, broke in two and was wrecked 1 mile SE of Scarecrow Island. Her crew made it to shore in her yawl.

1895: The wooden steamer AFRICA struck a reef near Cove Island enroute to Georgian Bay, broke up and sank with the loss of all 13 crew.

1922: ARROW, a steel sidewheeler, partially burned at the dock in Put-in-Bay.

1954: The Dutch freighter PRINS WILLEM V. sank off Milwaukee after a collision with the barge SINCLAIR XII pushed by the SINCLAIR CHICAGO. All 30 sailors on board were rescued but the overseas vessel was never salvaged. It was replaced in 1956 by another PRINS WILLEM V.

1966: The STONEFAX and ARTHUR STOVE collided in the Welland Canal between Allanburg and Port Robinson. The former, a member of the Halco fleet, sank with its cargo of potash and remained on the bottom until November 25. The latter subsequently visited the Seaway as b) TIARET and was scrapped at Nantong, China, as c) CLARET in 1984-1985.

1983: The British freighter HOUSTON CITY visited the Great Lakes in 1966. It ran aground at Mayotte Island, part of the Comoros, while enroute from the Far East to South Africa as c) ALPAC AFRICA. The ship was stuck until October 22 and scrapped at Shanghai, China, in 1984.

1985: FURIA was trapped in Lock 7 when a section of the lock wall collapsed. The Welland Canal was closed until November 7. The vessel arrived at Shanghai, China, for scrapping as b) YRIA on November 1, 2001, after it made a final trip inland as such in 2000.

1987: GEORGE A. SLOAN sustained major bottom damage going aground in the Amherstburg Channel and was repaired at Toledo. The ship is still sailing as c) MISSISSAGI.

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


Great Lakes water temperatures remain warm into mid October

10/13 - Current Great Lakes surface water temperatures continue to run warm, and above the 1992-2015 average. Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are currently 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than one year ago today.

U.S. National Weather Service


Port Reports -  October 13

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Atlanticborg arrived Duluth at 07:08 on Wednesday to load grain at Peavey. Edgar B. Speer left the dock at Port Terminal and departed for Two Harbors at 08:50 to load. Fuldaborg departed next after finishing up at CHS 1. She passed under the lift bridge at 15:55 bound for Montreal. She was closely followed outbound by Mesabi Miner, which departed from CN at 16:59. On the Superior side, Algoway arrived to load at Burlington Northern at 16:26. Atlanticborg was at Peavey loading Wednesday night.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Wednesday morning included American Spirit, American Mariner, James R. Barker and Olza. Roger Blough was up in the afternoon, while Nogat and Algowood followed in the evening. Downbound traffic included Walter J. McCarthy Jr., American Mariner, Federal Yukina, American Century, Buffalo and, after dark, Oborishte and Vikingbank. Despite being closed for most of a day more than a week ago for valve repairs, the Poe Lock emptying time for downbounders is still around 30 minutes.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes arrived Wednesday in the early afternoon. Also due were the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted. They were expected to get the dock upon the Sykes' departure. The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are due Thursday in the early morning, followed by Calumet. Another two vessels are due in Friday, with the Herbert C. Jackson expected in the early morning and the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. due in the late morning. Due Saturday is the Mississagi in the early morning.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Burns Harbor arrived at Bayship Wednesday evening for unknown repairs.

Marinette, Wis.
The USS Detroit (LCS 7) departed from Marinette Marine on a cold, rainy Wednesday morning, passing through the Ogden Street bridge and escorted out to the Bay of Green Bay by the tugs Jimmy L and William C. Selvick. The USS Detroit is headed to her namesake, Detroit Mich.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Cuyahoga was loading Wednesday morning. She departed in the late afternoon. No vessels are due Thursday. Due Friday are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the early morning. Wilfred Sykes is expected Saturday in the early afternoon. Joseph H. Thompson is expected to arrive on Sunday during the early evening.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Lewis J. Kuber and tug Olive L. Moore were loading Wednesday in the late morning. Due Thursday is the Arthur M. Anderson in the late afternoon. There are no vessels due Friday. Three vessels are scheduled for loadings on Saturday, with Algowood and Cason J. Callaway due in the early afternoon, followed in the early evening by Cuyahoga. Arthur M. Anderson returns Sunday in the late evening to load.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
CSL Laurentien arrived at the CSX coal dock on Monday. Two other vessels were due at CSX on Tuesday, Algoma Enterprise and Robert S. Pierson. Capt. Henry Jackman is due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on October 17 in the early evening, followed by the Manitoulin, due October 19 in the early morning. At the Torco Dock, the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are due October 19 in the early morning and again on October 25 during the early morning. Vessels in port included the tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes, and Algoma Equinox upriver at one of the grain elevators. The salty Heleen C was also upriver at one of the grain elevators.

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


Lake Huron’s water levels post gain over last year

10/13 - Despite the lack of precipitation for Manitoulin this summer, Lake Huron water levels remain strong, continuing to post above-average numbers this fall.

“It’s been another interesting summer,” Derrick Beach, editor of Environment Canada’s LEVELNews, said. “The water levels have pretty much stayed constant, which was mainly because Lake Superior had a very wet summer so the outflow this summer was well above average, keeping Lakes Huron and Michigan stable.”

Mr. Beach noted that from May to September there was not much change in water levels, adding that the seasonal decline began last month. However, the levels remain higher than this time last year.

“The level at the beginning of October is 26 centimetres above average (176.46 metres) and the highest for this time of year since 1997,” he said. Lake Huron is also six centimetres above last year’s beginning of October levels.

“If we were to get very dry conditions, we’re still predicting levels to be 10 centimetres above average,” Mr. Beach explained. “If they’re very wet conditions, we’re predicting above average by 40 centimetres, but that’s still below the 1986 record by 45 centimetres.”

Manitoulin Expositor


Freighter trip, artifacts available at museum fundraiser

10/13 - Toledo, Ohio – The National Museum of the Great Lakes will hold its Annual H2Oh - Making Waves fundraiser in Toledo on Saturday, Oct. 15, in Toledo. The event features the Luck of the Lakes raffle with a freighter trip from Interlake Steamship Co. and a $10,000 prize. The raffle tickets are $100 each. Only 1,500 tickets will be sold. The museum is also auctioning several items that have been donated or acquired for the event, including the ship's wheel from the tug Roger, a Chelsea ship's bell clock, a painting commission by Paul LaMarre Jr., an engine telegraph from the whaleback Meteor and a set of port, starboard and mast lights. You do not have to be present to bid on these items. Contact the museum at 419-214-5000, extension 200, to make arrangements or to purchase raffle tickets.

National Museum of the Great Lakes


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 13

On this day in 1893, Chief Engineer J. H. Hogan left the DEAN RICHMOND in Toledo to take care of some family business. One day later, the DEAN RICHMOND burned off Dunkirk, New York, with a loss of 17 lives including the replacement Chief Engineer.

On October 13, 1909, GEORGE STONE (wooden propeller freighter, 270 foot, 1,841 gross tons, built in 1893, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was sailing from Ashtabula, Ohio for Racine, Wisconsin, with cargo of coal when she stranded on Grubb Reef in the Pelee Passage on Lake Erie. She then caught fire and was destroyed. Five of the 18 crewmen were lost.

The SASKATCHEWAN PIONEER made her first trip out of Thunder Bay, Ontario with grain on October 13, 1983. Renamed b.) LADY HAMILTON in 1995, sold to Voyageur Maritime in 2006, and now sailing as c.) KAMINISTIQUA for Lower Lakes Towing.

The tug GLENADA towed the BROOKDALE from Port Colborne to Newman's scrap yard at Port Maitland, Ontario the week of October 13, 1980.

On October 13, 1902, the MAUNALOA collided with her whaleback consort barge 129 on Lake Superior and sank it 30 miles northwest of Vermilion Point, which is between Upper Michigan's Crisp and Whitefish Points. MAUNALOA had been towing the 129, both vessels loaded with iron ore, when the towline parted in heavy seas. While trying to regain control of the barge, they came together and the steamer's port anchor raked the side of the barge, which started taking on water. The crew was taken off the barge before it sank.

On 13 October 1875, off Alpena, Michigan, the tug E. H. MILLER had her boiler explode while racing with the tug CITY OF ALPENA - both in quest of a tow. The ALPENA, who was ahead of the MILLER when she blew up, immediately turned around to pick up survivors. The ALPENA sunk in minutes. The engineer, fireman and a boy were rescued, but the captain and cook were lost. The fireman was in such poor shape that it was thought that he would not live.

On 13 October 1877, The Port Huron Times reported that the tug PRINDIVILLE and the 2-masted schooner PORTLAND had both gone ashore at the Straits of Mackinac and been pounded to pieces.

On 13 October 1886, SELAH CHAMBERLAIN (wooden propeller steam barge, 212 foot, 1,207 gross tons, built in 1873, at Cleveland, Ohio) collided with the 222-foot wooden lumber hooker JOHN PRIDGEON, JR. in heavy fog off Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The CHAMBERLAIN had been towing the schooner FAYETTE BROWN. The CHAMBERLAIN sank quickly. Five of the crew went down with the vessel when the lifeboat davits became fouled and they were unable to launch the lifeboat. The rest of the crew made it to shore in the other lifeboat after a 3-hour pull through the fog.

1902: The wooden steamer C. B. LOCKWOOD was swamped in a storm and sank on Lake Erie with the loss of 10 lives.

1927: The ONTARIO, once the largest carferry on the Detroit River, was later reduced to a barge and it foundered on Lake Superior, near Outer Island, while carrying 1100 tons of pulpwood. It had been under tow of the tug BUTTERFIELD and all on board were saved.

1973: SCOTT MISENER damaged 60 bottom plates when it hit bottom near Whaleback Shoal in the St. Lawrence.

1976: The former T2 tanker and now bulk carrier SYLVIA L. OSSA, remembered on the Great Lakes as the MARATHONIAN that was in a head-on collision with ROLWI in Lake Michigan, disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle with the loss of all 37 members of the crew.

1990: ERNA WITT first visited the Great Lakes in 1958 and returned through the Seaway in 1962. The vessel sank off Port Sudan as k) SHIBA after a collision with the ALTAAWIN ALARABI while inbound from Aqaba, Jordan. Three members of the crew were lost.

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


Port Reports -  October 12

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
On Tuesday, Cason J. Callaway arrived Duluth at 02:02 with limestone for the CN dock. American Century departed from Midwest Energy at 08:15 for St. Clair. Mesabi Miner arrived at 14:10 to load iron ore pellets at CN. Vikingbank finished loading at Hallett #5 and departed at 15:38 with a destination of Amsterdam. She was followed outbound by Cason J. Callaway, which departed at 17:38 and headed to Two Harbors to load. As of Tuesday night, Fuldaborg was at CHS 1 loading, and Edgar B. Speer remained at Port Terminal. She isn't expected to depart for Two Harbors until early Wednesday. In Superior, American Mariner departed from BN at 04:10 with iron ore.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Algoma Spirit, Cedarglen and Federal Satsuki were loading on Tuesday. Federal Yukina departed. Irma was at anchor and Federal Kumano was inbound.

Hancock, Mich.
Algoway transited the Keweenaw Waterway Tuesday to deliver the community’s annual load of salt.

St. Marys River
A slow Tuesday saw Edwin H. Gott, Great Lakes Trader and CSL Welland downbound during the day, with Whitefish Bay and Algosteel downbound after dark. Kaye E. Barker and Stewart J. Cort were upbound in the evening, and Ojibway was headed for DeTour.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading on Tuesday. Due in Wednesday is the Wilfred Sykes in the early morning. The barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted are also due on Wednesday in the early afternoon. Due on Thursday in the early morning are the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory, followed by the Calumet. Two early-morning arrivals are expected Friday, with the Herbert C. Jackson due first followed by the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. Mississagi is due on Saturday in the early morning.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Manitowoc arrived Tuesday morning to load. Also due Tuesday was the Cuyahoga in the late evening. There are no vessels scheduled Wednesday. Due Thursday are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the late evening.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Herbert C. Jackson loaded on Tuesday and was expected to depart around 3 a.m. on Wednesday. Expected to arrive on Wednesday during the late morning are the barge Lewis J. Kuber and tug Olive L. Moore. Due Thursday is the Arthur M. Anderson in the late afternoon. There are no vessels scheduled Friday. Three vessels are due Saturday, with Algowood expected in the early afternoon followed by the Cason J. Callaway. Cuyahoga is due in the early evening on Saturday. Arthur M. Anderson returns to load on Sunday in the late evening.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
No vessels are expected until Thursday, when H. Lee White is due in the early morning for the South Dock. Two vessels are due Friday, with the Great Republic due in first in the early morning for the South Dock, followed later in the morning by the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann, also for the South Dock.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Tuesday evening the Thunder Bay was heading out with grain. Her place at the dock will be taken by Algoma Equinox. CSL Laurentien arrived at the CSX coal dock to load during the early evening Tuesday. Also due at CSX is the Algoma Enterprise on Wednesday in the early morning. Robert S. Pierson is due at CSX on Wednesday in the early afternoon along with the Hon. James L. Oberstar. At the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock, Capt. Henry Jackman is due October 17 in the early evening, followed by Manitoulin on October 19 in the early morning. At the Torco Dock, the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are due on October 19 in the early morning, and will return again on October 25 in the early morning. Saginaw was at the Nabisco Elevator Tuesday. The G tugs Mississippi and Nebraska were also in port.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W
English River arrived around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday and was unloading at Lafarge. This was a partial cargo, with the first part delivered to Toronto.


Obituary: Captain Jack Cork

10/12 - Captain John “Jack” Cork of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., died on October 8. Jack Cork loved being on the water and spent most of his life associated with ships and shipping. He was a founding member and president of The Great Lakes Captain’s Association and past grand president of the International Shipmasters’ Association. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1953 to 1961, and was a captain for the Soo Locks Boat Tours for 50 years. He will be remembered by many Boatnerds as the captain of the tour boat Le Voyageur for many of the annual Engineers’ Weekend cruises.

Jack Cork was born in Oak Park, Ill., on Feb. 11, 1935. Graveside services will be held at Oaklawn Chapel Gardens in Sault Ste. Marie on Friday October 14 at noon with Reverend David Henderson officiating. Memorials may be left to The Great Lakes Captains Association in memory of Captain John Cork. Arrangements are in the care of Hovie Funeral Home.


Buyers beware: Historic lighthouses come with costs

10/12 - When Lou Schillinger and his volunteer cadre began restoring an 1890s lighthouse more than two miles off the Michigan shore in Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay, they first needed to remove 30 years' accumulation of gull and pigeon feces whose depth measured in feet rather than inches.

That was in the mid-1980s when he reached an agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard to prevent the Port Austin Reef Lighthouse — his "Castle in the Lake" — from being dismantled and lost forever.

"That first summer my dad and I ran out there with a 14-foot rowboat and a 20-foot ladder because there was no access ladder and we just began shoveling manure," said Schillinger, 66, president of the Port Austin Reef Light Association, a nonprofit group that in 2013 took title of the property from the federal government. No keeper had lived in the brick building with its five-floor tower since 1952. The roof was gone.

"We shoveled diligently," Schillinger said. "I'd get friends out there, they would come out and volunteer and they'd show up for one day and they would never come back again because it was such a miserable job."

About 120 lighthouses no longer critical to the U.S. Coast Guard in 22 states and Puerto Rico have been acquired at no cost by government entities and nonprofits, or sold to private individuals eager to preserve the landmarks and maybe tap into their tourism potential since they became available under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000. Upkeep was too expensive and their usefulness was in decline with the advent of GPS.

Winning bids have ranged from $10,000 for the Cleveland East Pierhead Light in Ohio to $934,000 for the Graves Light in Boston Harbor. More are auctioned every year, but buyers beware: Years of neglect, vandalism, limited access and hammering by the elements often make for labor-intensive money pits that are for neither the weak of heart nor stomach.

"People who are into this I believe have to have an internal fire, an internal passion, a conviction that these buildings and the history they represent are worth saving," said Terry Pepper, 68, executive director of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association.

Port Austin Light was built on a shallow reef. It's accessible only by boat when winds are light, otherwise waves are too choppy to dock and disembark. Pepper's association overcame similar access issues when it renovated a lighthouse on the 160-acre St. Helena Island, seven miles west of the Mackinac Bridge. It took about 20 years and $1.5 million to finish the job in 2005.

Nobody had lived in the 1870s lighthouse since 1922, making it a destination for partiers, scrappers and vandals, said Pepper. His association acquired the lighthouse before the 2000 act and also is restoring the Cheboygan River Front Range Light in Michigan.

"The roof had huge holes in it," Pepper said. "Somebody had lit a fire on the floor in one of the bedrooms on the second floor and embers from that fire dripped down to the first floor and started burning that floor also. Every single window in the lighthouse was gone. All the doors on the inside of the brick lighthouse were gone. Railings on the stairs were gone and the plaster inside the lighthouse had been kicked down."

Pepper estimates the group has spent $1.5 million and "untold thousands of hours of volunteer labor" restoring the St. Helena property, which must meet state and federal standards for historic preservation.

"We who are in this business, with this passion, have to be asking for money all the time," Pepper said, whether it's through grants, donations, selling memorabilia or offering Great Lakes lighthouse cruises.

Pepper is often contacted by prospective buyers because of his knowledge of lighthouses, particularly those in Michigan, where there are 129 — the most in the U.S.

"I will tell people if you end up spending $100,000 to get that lighthouse, that's a lot of money," Pepper said. "But $100,000 is the tip of the iceberg."

Onshore lighthouses are no bargain either.

A volunteer group spent about a decade and nearly $1.9 million to acquire and renovate North Point Lighthouse in Milwaukee. It opened to the public in 2007 and since has attracted more than 80,000 tourists. It has cost more than $1.1 million to run it, mostly paid through entrance fees and events, donations, fundraising and grants.

About 30 miles to the north, Port Washington is in the process of acquiring an 81-year-old light on its breakwater with plans to raise and spend $1.5 million for restoration. And that structure does not have living quarters.

Back on the Port Austin Reef Light, time is measured in decades, not years, of work. Schillinger and his crews put on a new roof. They installed new windows and oak doors, and replaced the chimney. Vandals have been constant. Last fall, they started putting in a dock for easier access by boats, but a nasty late November gale wiped out their work and they had to start over this year.

"We've invested close to half-a-million dollars in that property in time and material over the last 30 years and almost I would say 95 percent of it's all been out-of-pocket or donated time," said Schillinger. He estimated it will take three years and at least $1.6 million more in grants and donations to prepare it for tours and renters who want to experience the keeper's life.

"It's been really been kind of a labor of love for all community members here in Port Austin."

Associated Press


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 12

On this day in 1976, three boats discharged a record 108,379 tons of cargo on a single day at the Pinney Dock in Ashtabula, Ohio. The three boats were the JAMES R. BARKER (57,305 tons), the WILFRED SYKES (20,678 tons), and the JOSEPH L. BLOCK (30,306 tons).

On the night of October 12, 1871, the grain laden schooner PLOVER struck a reef near Whitefish Point on Lake Superior, put a hole in her hull and sank in deep water. Captain Jones and the crew of eight escaped in the yawl. They spent two days making their way to Sault Ste. Marie.

The JEAN PARISIEN suffered considerable bottom damage when she ran aground near Comfort Island about a mile west of Alexandria Bay, New York. She was released October 12, 1981, and returned to service after repairs were completed at the Canadian Vickers Montreal yard.

The CLIFFS VICTORY was sold October 12, 1985, to Hai International Corp. of New York for scrapping in the Orient and transferred to Panamanian registry. Her name was changed to c.) SAVIC, utilizing the "S" from CLIFFS, the "VIC" from VICTORY and inserting an "A". All the other letters were painted out.

The JOHN A. KLING sailed on her maiden voyage for the Rockport Steamship Co. (Reiss Steamship Co., mgr.) on October 12, 1922, light from Manitowoc, Wisconsin to load stone at Rockport, Michigan. Sold into Canadian registry in 1981, renamed b.) LEADALE. She was scrapped at Ramey's Bend in 1983.

The keel was laid October 12, 1925, for the Interlake Steamship Co.'s steamer COLONEL JAMES PICKANDS.

The SYLVANIA returned to service on October 12, 1967. She sank at the Peerless Cement Co. Dock at Port Huron, Michigan in June of that year after being struck by the Canada Steamship Lines package freight steamer RENVOYLE.

The tug EDNA G remained at Two Harbors, Minnesota, until October 12, 1993, when she was towed to the Fraser Shipyard at Superior, Wisconsin, by the Great Lakes Towing Co. tug KANSAS. She is now on display as a floating exhibit for the city.

On October 12, 1967, the Papachristidis Company Limited's FEUX FOLLETS entered service with the distinction of being the last steam-powered vessel built on the Great Lakes. The vessel was renamed b.) CANADIAN LEADER when it was sold to Upper Lakes Shipping in 1972 It was scrapped in 2011.

At 3:00 a.m., 12 October 1870, the 76-ton tug ONTARIO caught fire and burned to the waterline while lying at Harrow's dock in Algonac, Michigan.

On 12 October 1901, ALVINA (wooden schooner-rigged scow-barge, 89 foot, 95 gross tons, built in 1871, at Fair Haven, Michigan) was being towed by the steamer WESTON and had a load of 700 barrels of lubricating oil. They were bound from Cleveland for Manistique. The ALVINA was overwhelmed in a storm and sank near Thunder Bay Island in Lake Huron. Her entire crew made it to shore in her yawl. Her cargo was salvaged five days later.

On 12 October 1880, TRADER (wooden propeller, 115 foot, 169 gross tons, built in 1865, at Marine City, Michigan) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan. She was battered severely and became waterlogged. Her crew abandoned her with water up to her decks. They were saved by the schooner GUIDE in a daring rescue. A few days later, in the "Alpena Storm,” her wreckage washed ashore near Holland, Michigan and she was erroneously reported as another "all-hands" victim of that storm.

On 12 October 1874, on her maiden voyage, the tug MARY passed Port Huron down bound with the bark FAVORITE in tow. The tug was owned by William Hardison of Port Huron.

1912: MARENGO, a wooden schooner under tow of the LLOYD S. PORTER, broke loose in a storm, came ashore west of Port Colborne and was pounded to pieces by the waves. The anchor was salvaged and now sits on the lawn of Port Colborne High School.

1912: S.K. MARTIN began leaking in heavy weather and sank in Lake Erie off Harbor Creek, NY. The coal laden wooden steamer ran for shore but the effort fell short. The crew took to the lifeboat and were saved. The ship went down bow first and rested on the bottom in 56 feet of water.

1918: The wooden tug ELLA G. STONE was destroyed by a brush fire that swept through the town of Cloquet, MN. Several scows, tugs and a dredge as well as over 400 lives were lost.

1941: ENARE, a Great Lakes visitor in 1932-1933, sustained heavy damage in an air attack in the North Sea as h) GLYNN. The ship was subsequently sunk by a convoy escort as a hazard to navigation. It had also been a Great Lakes trader as f) FLAKS in 1933 and 1934.

1991: ZIEMIA GNIEZNIENSKA hit the wall at Lock 7 and dislodged a chunk of concrete. The Welland Canal was closed for three days.

2002: STELLANOVA and CANADIAN PROSPECTOR were in a head-on collision on the Seaway near Cote St. Catherine and both ships sustained considerable damage. The former was repaired at Les Mechins and the latter at Port Weller Dry Docks.

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


Port Reports -  October 11

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Great Lakes Trader and Joyce L. Van Enkevort departed Duluth at 04:18 on Monday with iron ore pellets. Paul R. Tregurtha arrived at 04:56 to load coal at Midwest Energy. She stopped at Calumet to fuel on her way to the dock. American Mariner finished unloading coal at C. Reiss, departed at 09:49 and dropped anchor off Duluth. Edgar B. Speer then arrived at 11:20 and docked at Port Terminal to wait to load in Two Harbors. American Mariner re-arrived Duluth at 13:34 after cleaning her holds and headed down the harbor to Burlington Northern to load. On Monday evening, Paul R. Tregurtha departed Midwest Energy, but the dock wasn't empty for long. American Century arrived just after the Tregurtha departed and stopped to fuel before beginning to load coal. Fuldaborg was next, arriving at 20:00 from Thunder Bay to load grain at CHS 1. Vikingbank was expected to close out a busy Monday and arrive late Monday night to load bentonite at Hallett #5.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
CSL Welland departed Monday afternoon. Algoma Spirit and Whitefish Bay were loading. Four salties were at anchor, waiting to load.

Marquette, Mich.
Algosteel arrived late Monday evening to load.

St. Marys River
The recently reactivated Algosteel was upbound at the locks just after 7 a.m. Monday, followed in the afternoon by Presque Isle and Cedarglen. John J. Boland and Federal Kumano were upbound in the late evening. Algoway, with salt for Hancock, Mich., was expected at the locks about midnight. Atlanticborg was behind the Algoway. Downbound traffic included Mississagi and Arthur M. Anderson in the afternoon, and American Integrity in the late evening.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading or due Monday. Two vessels are expected on Tuesday, with the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann due in first in the early morning, followed at noon by Herbert C. Jackson. Due Wednesday are the barge Lewis J. Kuber and tug Olive L. Moore. Arthur M. Anderson is due on Thursday in the late afternoon, and Lee A. Tregurtha is scheduled Friday in the early morning.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Great Republic was expected Monday during the late morning for the North Dock. Also expected Monday were the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. for the South Dock in the early afternoon. No vessel loadings were scheduled for Tuesday. Due in on Wednesday will be the H. Lee White, arriving during the early evening for the South Dock. Great Republic is due in on Thursday in the late evening for the South Dock. Due in Friday are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the late evening for the South Dock. Due in on Saturday is the Herbert C. Jackson in the early evening for the North Dock.

Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
The Saginaw River saw one of it’s busiest days of the 2016 shipping season with three vessel passages on Monday. The first arrival of the day was the Robert S. Pierson. The Pierson arrived in the early morning to deliver the first salt cargo of the year. After completing unloading at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee, she turned around at the Sixth Street basin and was back outbound for the lake around 1 p.m. Next inbound was the Herbert C. Jackson, making her third consecutive trip to the Saginaw River and her second consecutive split load delivery between the Wirt Stone docks in Bay City and Saginaw. Once the outbound Robert S. Pierson passed the Bay City Wirt dock around 3 p.m., the Jackson was able to proceed upriver to Saginaw to complete unloading. The final arrival of the day was the tug Undaunted and the barge Pere Marquette 41. The pair arrived just before 3 p.m. to unload at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 and the Herbert C. Jackson were expected to be back outbound for the lake late Monday night.

Goderich, Ont.
Capt. Henry Jackman was loading salt on Monday.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Algoma Equinox is bound for the Andersons K Elevator. On Monday evening she was anchored in western Lake Erie off the Toledo Ship Channel. She has to wait until the Thunder Bay finishes loading grain at Andersons K. It is unknown when she will arrive, as the past several boats that loaded at the K elevator averaged a three-day loading time. This will be her first trip to Toledo. CSL Laurentien is expected Tuesday at the CSX Coal Dock to load in the early afternoon. Algoma Enterprise is due at the CSX Coal Dock on Wednesday in the early morning, as is the Hon. James L. Oberstar. Capt. Henry Jackman is due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock with a stone cargo on October 17 in the early evening. Manitoulin is due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on October 19 in the early morning. At the Torco Dock, just the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are due on October 19 in the early morning and again on October 24 in the late evening.


Great Lakes Group announces reirement

10/11 - C - The Great Lakes Group today announced that Ronald C. Rasmus will retire effective November 30, 2016 as an Officer of The Great Lakes Group Inc. and Great Lakes Group Entities namely:

President, The Great Lakes Group Inc.
Co-Chairman, 4500 Division LLC
Co-Chairman, The Great Lakes Towing Company
Director, The Great Lakes Towing Company
Director, Soo Linehandling Services, Inc.
Chairman, Soo Linehandling Services, Inc.
President, Admiral Towing and Barge Company

Rasmus will continue as a shareholder, member of the board and an independent consultant to The Company to ensure a seamless transition. He worked for over sixty-one (61) years, fifty-six (56) in the Navy, government and commercial maritime businesses and with almost thirty-four (34) years in the tugboat/shipyard business at The Great Lakes Group Inc. and Great Lakes Group Entities. He will retire with a legacy of great accomplishments at The Company and the beginning of a new chapter for The Company including the Damen partnership; tugboat fleet renewal program; off-shore wind project; Subchapter M repair opportunities and the shipyard expansion.


Kingston Marine Museum 'down but not out'

10/11 - Kingston, Ont. - "It's been a heck of a journey these past few months," was how the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston started out its October edition of the Marine Museum News.

The newsletter, a way to keep interested residents up to date on what has been happening at the beleaguered museum, stated the institution is "down but not out" despite challenges it has faced in recent months, including getting evicted from its home on Ontario Street.

Most of the museum's 14,000 square feet of collections have been moved by volunteers into storage at the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour. That includes the vessels, models, engines, books, paintings and archives. The city gave the museum the space rent-free for two years.

Work has to be done to bring the space up to code and once that is completed, likely not before the end of the year, it is hoped a "modest exhibition" could be mounted that would include some of the museum's favourite pieces, models and paintings.

"We won't be able to call this site a museum, in the proper sense "¦ but members will be welcome to come and take a look," said the newsletter.

One possibility for the future is to join in a possible development of the former Kingston Penitentiary to highlight the city's nautical history and use it as a site for a new museum.

Also in the works is a virtual exhibit on shipwrecks of the Great Lakes, thanks to a $187,000 grant by Virtual Museums Canada. It will be a two-year project and work on it is underway.

The Alexander Henry is now tied to a wharf near Prinyer's Cove in Prince Edward County. The ship's future is still up in the air, said the newsletter, and options include sinking her as an artificial reef for divers or relocating her to Thunder Bay, where she was built in 1958 and worked as an icebreaker.

"At many times, it seemed the obstacles were insurmountable," said museum chair Chris West in a message included in the newsletter. "For weeks and weeks this past spring, we were packing and stacking but had no affordable place to go. It was truly quite grim."

He wrote the future for the museum is, however, still bright.

"Every crisis carries within it the seed of an opportunity and ours is no exception. I am confident that we will take advantage of our unexpected hibernation to arise anew in a magnificent structure, once again on the water, and once again proudly boasting a significant museum ship. With a spectacular new building, a new interpretive plan, reconceived displays and exhibits and re-energized programming and outreach activities, I foresee the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston being a greater culture and tourism contributor to Kingston than ever before."

Kingston Whig-Standard


New Wagenborg vessel Roerborg headed for Great Lakes

10/11 - Roerborg (IMO 9592599), built in 2014 at the Ferus Smit GmbH shipyards in Leer, Germany, for Royal Wagenborg Shipping, is expected to arrive sometime between October 11 and 15 in Quebec City, Que., from Antwerp, Belgium, where it had departed on September 28. After discharging cargo there, Roerborg is expected to sail to Thunder Bay, Ont., an on its first voyage to the Great Lakes.

Roerborg is one of three vessels of the R-series built between 2013 and 2014 at the Ferus Smit yard. All of the R-series ships are 23,000 DWT and are 169.75 meters in length and 20.4 meters in width. Reggeborg was the first of the new vessels to make an inland voyage to the Great Lakes, in mid-June 2014, followed later by the Reestborg in late July of that year.

Denny Dushane


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 11

On this day in 1923, the HENRY STEINBRENNER of 1901 collided with the J. McCARTNEY KENNEDY at 4:20 p.m. off Parisienne Island, Whitefish Bay. The accident occurred during thick, smoky weather and both boats were severely damaged.

MEDINA (wooden propeller tug, 66 foot, 57 gross tons) was launched by O'Grady & Maher at Buffalo, New York on October 11, 1890. She cost $12,000.

Quebec & Ontario Transportation's b.) BAIE COMEAU II cleared Sorel October 11, 1983, as c.) AGIA TRIAS, Panamanian registry #1355. Her Canadian registry was closed on October 12, 1983. Her mission was to carry grain from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Mexican and Caribbean Island ports. Subsequently she was renamed d.) OCEANVIEW in 1988, e.) SEA DIAMOND in 1989, f.) GOLDEN CREST in 1990, g.) ATLANTIC WOOD in 1991, h.) LONDON FURY in 1994 and i.) DONG SHENG in 1995. Cleveland Tankers’ MERCURY scraped the South Grand Island Bridge in the Niagara River in heavy fog on October 11, 1974. Her forward mast snapped off, the amidships mast was tilted and her smoke stack was toppled. She proceeded after the mishap to G&W Welding at Cleveland, Ohio under her own power for repairs. Upper Lakes Shipping's WHEAT KING, under tow, arrived at Chittagong Roads, Bangladesh on October 11, 1989, to be broken up.

In 1911, the rail ferry CHIEF WAWATAM arrived at St. Ignace, Michigan, and began service shortly thereafter.

On 11 October 1913, THOMAS H. CAHOON (3 mast wooden schooner-barge, 166 foot, 431 gross tons, built in 1881, at E. Saginaw, Michigan) was carrying lumber in tow of the steamer C. W. CHAMBERLAIN. They were bound from Sault Ste. Marie to Byng Inlet. However during a storm, the CAHOON stranded and went to pieces on 'Kenny Shoal' by the southwest corner of Innes Island in Georgian Bay. No lives were lost.

On October 11, 1839, DEWITT CLINTON (wooden passenger/package freight side-wheeler, 147 foot, 413 tons, built in 1836, at Huron, Ohio) foundered off Milwaukee with the loss of 5 lives. She was recovered the following year and lasted until 1851. She and her near-twin ROBERT FULTON were reportedly the first Lake steamers built primarily as freighters with relatively few passenger accommodations.

On October 11, 1866, GREAT WEST (wooden 3-mast bark, 175 foot, 765 tons, built in 1854, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying wheat in a storm on Lake Michigan when she stranded on Racine Reef. She was reported to be a total loss but she may have been recovered and then lost near Chicago in 1876. When launched, she was the largest sailing vessel on the Lakes and much was made of her beautiful lines. She was diagonally braced with iron. She stood 174 feet tall from her deck to her masthead. So if she were sailing today, although she'd be able to sail under the Mackinac Bridge, she'd be stopped at the Blue Water Bridge whose roadway is only 152 feet above the water.

1923: The canal-sized steamer GLENGELDIE, enroute from Killarney to Welland with a cargo of quartz rock, hit bottom in Georgian Bay and had to be towed to Collingwood for over $15,000 in repairs to the starboard side. The ship later sailed for Canada Steamship Lines as b) ELGIN.

1924: SENATOR DARBYSHIRE, a wooden bulk carrier upbound and in ballast, was destroyed by a fire on Lake Ontario, and sank near Point Petre Light. The crew fought the early morning blaze but eventually had to abandon the ship and was picked up by MAPLEBAY. Capt. J.W. Scarrow was later a master for Canada Steamship Lines.

1942: WATERTON was lost due to enemy action in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The former Misener freighter, operating for the Bowater Steamship Co., was attacked with 2 torpedoes from U-106 and went down in the Cabot Strait in 8 minutes. All on board got off safely. The ship was traveling from Cornerbrook, NF, to Cleveland with newsprint and pulpwood.

1982: The Israeli freighter DAGAN made 18 trips to the Great Lakes from 1959 to 1967. It ran aground on Cay Sal Bank, north of Cuba, as f) CORK and was abandoned the next day as a total loss.

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 -  October 10

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
American Integrity arrived Duluth at 02:29 on Sunday to load coal at Midwest Energy. Great Lakes Trader/tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort passed under the Lift Bridge at 07:25 with limestone for Graymont Superior Plant. An hour later, Lee A. Tregurtha arrived, also with limestone for Graymont. She stopped at the Port Terminal to fuel and wait for Great Lakes Trader to finish unloading. Great Lakes Trader then shifted to CN to load iron ore pellets. American Integrity topped off and departed from Midwest Energy at 13:27. Her sister American Mariner arrived on Sunday evening with coal for the C. Reiss Terminal.

Marquette, Mich.
Hon. James L. Obserstar was loading Sunday afternoon and evening. Earlier in the day, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. unloaded coal, then departed for Superior, Wis.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on a beautiful fall Sunday incuded Baie St. Paul (early), Kaye E. Barker, Sam Laud, Frontenac, Federal Champlain and Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin. Upbound traffic included Algoma Spirit, American Century, Vikingbank and, after dark, Cason J. Callaway and Buffalo. Expected through the river upbound, most likely early Monday morning, is the Algosteel.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Manitowoc arrived early on Sunday morning. There are no vessels scheduled for Monday and on Tuesday. Two vessels are due in on Wednesday, with the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted due in the early morning. The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are also due in on Wednesday in the early evening to load.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted arrived Sunday in the morning to load. There are no vessels scheduled for Monday. Due on Tuesday is the Manitowoc in the morning, and the Cuyahoga arriving on Wednesday in the early morning.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Philip R. Clarke loaded Sunday and was due to depart around 2 p.m. Also due on Sunday were the barge Lewis J. Kuber and tug Olive L. Moore, expected to arrive at noon.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Herbert C. Jackson made a rare visit and was loading Sunday. She were expected to depart around 8 p.m. Two vessels are due in Monday at noon. They are the Great Republic for the North Dock followed by the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. for the South Dock. There are no vessels scheduled for Tuesday. Due in on Wednesday is the H. Lee White in the early evening for the South Dock. Expected in on Thursday is the Great Republic in the late evening for the South Dock. Due on Friday are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the late evening for the South Dock.

Goderich, Ont.
Saginaw was at the grain elevator Sunday, while Michipicoten was loading salt and Algoway was tied on the north side of the dock. Algoway’s AIS says her next port of call is Hancock.

Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
Herbert C. Jackson is scheduled to make her third consecutive trip to the Saginaw River sometime Monday afternoon after taking on stone in Calcite overnight on Sunday. Robert S. Pierson is also scheduled to arrive on Monday. American Century is scheduled to deliver coal to the Consumers Energy dock on Friday.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Algoma Enterprise is expected at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Tuesday in the morning. Also due at CSX is the CSL Laurentien on Tuesday during the lunch hour. Hon. James L. Oberstar is due at CSX on Wednesday in the early morning, and Robert S. Pierson is due at CSX on Wednesday in the early afternoon. There are two vessels due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Expected first will be the Capt. Henry Jackman on October 17 in the early evening, followed by the Manitoulin on October 19 in the early morning. Just one vessel is due at the Torco Dock with iron ore. The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory currently have three trips scheduled. They are expected to arrive at Torco on October 16 in the morning, followed by October 22 also in the morning and again on October 28 in the morning. Spruceglen was in port at the time of this report, still loading grain upriver. The G tugs Nebraska and Mississippi were also in port. The salty Federal Nakagawa left Toledo on Sunday after loading grain at one of the elevators upriver. Vessels expected to arrive in the coming days include the Thunder Bay, which is expected Sunday in the late evening. Algoma Equinox, which is scheduled to make a rare, possibly first-ever visit to Toledo, is due Monday in the early evening, most likely to load grain. The saltwater vessel Heleen C is also due Tuesday in the early morning. The tug Michigan and the barge Great Lakes are due Tuesday in the early evening.

Nanticoke, Ont.
American Spirit was unloading at Nanticoke Sunday evening. It is a rarity to see an American laker there. Algowood was also in port, as was Thalassa Desgagnes.


Repair project underway at Grand Haven South Pier

10/10 - Grand Haven, Mich. – The demolition leg of the $2.7 million Grand Haven South Pier repair project began Monday, barring pedestrian access until next summer.

Throughout the fall, workers will chip away at the concrete center section of the pier, looking for indications of structural damage beneath, said Tom O'Bryan, an area engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Work breaks this winter once the weather becomes harsh, O'Bryan said. In the spring, the work will largely shift to repairs and, once completed, refilling the exposed area with stone and then capping with new concrete.

The projected completion date of July 2017 is reliant on calm, cooperative weather, O'Bryan said. The contractual completion date is Dec. 1, 2017.

Read more, and view a photo gallery at this link


Updates -  October 10

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Cornelia, Irma, MTM Southport, Njord Clear, Njord Cloud, Nogat, Olza, Torrent and Tundra.


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 10

On this day in 1891, the SUSAN E. PECK collided with the schooner GEORGE W. ADAMS above the Soo Locks. The PECK, loaded with wheat for Buffalo, sank in a matter of minutes and completely blocked the navigation channel. General Orlando M. Poe, in charge of the Soo Locks, estimated that 275 boats lost an estimated 825 days and 5 hours waiting for the wreck to be cleared.

On this day in 1956, two F-86 Saber Jets collided over Lake Michigan. The ERNEST T. WEIR, Captain Ray R. Redecker, rescued one of the pilots (Lt. Kenneth R. Hughes) after he spent three hours in the water. ARTHUR M. ANDERSON, WILLIAM A. IRVIN and GEORGE W. PERKINS participated in an unsuccessful attempt to locate the second pilot.

On October 10, 1902, GARDEN CITY (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 133 foot, 352 gross tons, built in 1873, at Ogdensburg, New York) caught fire on the Saginaw River between Bay City and Saginaw while sailing up the river for winter lay-up. She sank four miles above Bay City near the old interurban railroad bridge.

While downbound with coal in the St. Lawrence River on October 10, 1981, the JEAN PARISIEN suffered considerable bottom damage when she ran aground near Comfort Island about a mile west of Alexandria Bay, New York. She was rebuilt with a new forebody at Port Weller Drydocks and renamed b.) CSL ASSINIBOINE in 2005.

BROOKDALE of 1909 was towed out of Toronto on October 10, 1980, by the tug GLENADA, assisted by the tug TERRY S. She was one her way to the cutters’ torch at Port Maitland, Ontario.

CHAMPLAIN with her former fleet mate CADILLAC was towed past Gibraltar October 10, 1987, heading for Aliaga, Turkey, for dismantling by Cukurova Celik Endustrisi A.S.

SAVIC b.) CLIFFS VICTORY cleared New York on October 10, 1986.

HULL NO 1, b.) KINSMAN ENTERPRISE, being towed by the Polish tug JANTAR arrived in Aliaga, Turkey, on October 10, 1989, to be scrapped there.

October 10, 1906 - The PERE MARQUETTE 5 was sold to The Barry Transportation Co. for $75,000. The PERE MARQUETTE 5 was the last of the "break-bulk" boats operated by the Pere Marquette Railway Co.

On October 10, 1905, CHARLES H. BURTON (3 mast wooden schooner, 158 foot, 514 gross tons, built in 1873, at Bangor, Michigan) was carrying coal in a storm in Lake Erie when she was driven ashore 4 1/2 miles east of Barcelona, New York and broke up. No lives were lost. She had been built on the hull of the bark GLENBULAH that had burned in the Chicago fire of 1871.

On 10 October 1877, ELIZA R. TURNER (wooden schooner, 156 foot, 409 gross tons, built in 1867, at Trenton, Michigan) was carrying wheat from Detroit to Buffalo when a storm drove her aground nine miles west of Long Point on Lake Erie where she was wrecked. The skipper and cook drowned, but the remaining 8 were saved.

The tug CRUSADER of Oswego burned and sank in the middle of the Straits of Mackinac about 9 p.m. on 10 October 1878.

On 10 October 1877, ABEONA (wooden scow-schooner, 100 tons, built in 1863, at Lambert, Ontario) was carrying lumber and shingles down bound on Lake Huron when she stranded during a storm one mile west of Port Austin where she reportedly later broke up.

In 1877, PORTLAND (2-mast wooden schooner, 118 foot, 250 tons, built in 1847, at Pillar Point, New York) stranded and went to pieces north of False Presque Isle on Lake Huron. Salvage attempts only retrieved her anchor and chain.

1923: HURONTON, a Canadian freighter, sank in Lake Superior off Caribou Island following a collision on the foggy lake with the CETUS. The vessel went down in 800 feet of water in 18 minutes but all on board were rescued.

1927: MICHIPICOTEN, of the Owen Sound Transportation Co., was destroyed by a fire at Gore Bay, on Manitoulin Island.

1963: The wooden freighter VAUQUELIN caught fire and sank in the St. Lawrence northeast of Quebec City off Cap Saumon. The vessel had previously sailed as a) LA RIVIERE MALBAIE.

1969: The T-2 tanker CARIBBEAN SKY visited the Seaway for 3 trips in 1960-1961 before being converted to a bulk carrier. The engine exploded and disintegrated during dock trials after repairs at Antwerp, Belgium, as f) LAKE PLACID, with the loss of one life. The hull settled but was pumped out and declared a CTL. It was towed to Rotterdam in 1971, repaired and returned to service as g) GARANDA. The after end again proved to be troublesome and was cut off and scrapped. The bow was joined to after end of the Panamanian tanker AKRON and the ship returned to service under this name. It was finally dismantled in Pakistan during 1981.

1987: The wheat-laden WILLOWGLEN went aground on the north side of Ogden Island in the St. Lawrence. The ship was released on October 13 and later went to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs.

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


Port Reports -  October 9

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Duluth saw no traffic on Saturday until the evening, when the Arthur M. Anderson departed from Hallett #5 at 17:50 after unloading limestone. She headed to Two Harbors to load. Isa was tentatively expected to depart from Peavey Saturday night. In Superior, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin departed from BN at 08:15.

Thunder Bay
Frontenac departed Saturday afternoon. Fuldaborg and Federal Yukina were loading. Federal Satsuki, Gadwell and Oborishte were at anchor. CSL Welland arrived.

Marquette, Mich.
Walter J. McCarthy was in port Saturday evening.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on a cold and blustery, fall-like Saturday included Tim S. Dool, Burns Harbor, Radcliffe R. Latimer, Michipicoten, Olive L. Moore, Federal Hunter, James R. Barker and Roger Blough. Upbound traffic included American Mariner, Edwin H. Gott, Irma and, after dark, Whitefish Bay and Paul R. Tregurtha. Hon. James L. Oberstar was approaching DeTour upbound in the late evening,

Grand Haven – Sam Hankinson
Algosteel was inbound at dusk on Saturday.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
After unloading on a very foggy Thursday at the Lafarge Stone dock in Essexville, the Herbert C. Jackson was back yet again early Saturday morning, this time with a split load for the Wirt Stone docks in Bay City and Saginaw. This was a rare trip for the Jackson, as she does not usually travel upriver to Saginaw to unload. The Jackson finished unloading around 9:30 a.m. and headed upriver to turn around at the Sixth Street turning basin. Once turned around, the Jackson was back outbound for the lake by 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Herbert C. Jackson is bound for Calcite to take on her next cargo.


Federal St. Laurent sold for scrapping in China

10/9 - Federal St. Laurent (IMO 9110896), the third vessel to carry that name for the Fednav Ltd. fleet, has been sold for scrapping at China’s Zhong Xin Shipbreaking & Steel Co. Ltd. This ship, built in 1996, first came inland that year under the Liberian flag, but was later re-flagged to Barbados. It last visited during the 2015 Great Lakes/Seaway shipping season. Federal St. Laurent was built in China in 1996-97, as were her sisterships Orsula (ex-Federal Calumet), Federal Maas, Federal Rhine and Federal Schelde. Of the six ships, only the Federal St. Laurent has been sold for scrapping.

Denny Dushane, Fednav


More new ships join Fednav’s fleet

10/9 - Fednav Ltd. of Montreal, Que., has added more vessels to its growing fleet serving the Great Lakes and Seaway.

Two Handysize vessel, have been added to the C-series of vessels built at the Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. in Oshima, Japan. They are Federal Clyde (IMO 9671072) and Federal Columbia (IMO 9671084).

Both vessels are flagged in the Marshall Islands and are 199.98 meters in length with a beam or width of 23.760 meters. Each of the new ships in the B and C series are different than many of their Fednav fleetmates as they have four deck cranes, whereas some of the earlier ships built at Oshima for Fednav have three deck cranes.

The C-series now consists of Federal Caribou, Federal Cedar, Federal Champlain, Federal Churchill, Federal Clyde and Federal Columbia. Federal Clyde and Federal Columbia have yet to make any voyages to the Great Lakes.

Federal Clyde is the second vessel to bear that name in the Fednav fleet. The original (IMO 7600653), built in 1978, still exists today as Hui Fu of Chinese registry. She was known as Federal St. Clair from 1987 until April 1994, when it was sold and renamed.

The third addition, from the New Century Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., is owned by the Intership Navigation Co., Ltd. of Cyprus. Built in 2016, Federal Alster (IMO 9766164), flagged in the Marshall Islands, is 199.90 meters in length with a beam of 23.700 meters. This vessel is expected to join other fleet members also built at the New Century Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. – Federal Danube, Federal Elbe, Federal Ems, Federal Leda and Federal Weser.

Two more new vessels are on order at New Century Shipbuilding Co. shipyard ¬–Federal Ruhr (IMO 9766176) and Federal Mosel (IMO 9766188). It is unknown when these units are expected to enter service. Federal Alster, along with sisterships Federal Ruhr and Federal Mosel, are all 36,583 DWT.

Denny Dushane


Video - Mail By the Pail: All aboard America's only floating ZIP code

10/9 - If you’re a sailor aboard a freighter in the Great Lakes, it’s very difficult to get ashore to shop for supplies or mail a letter. Luckily, there’s one small tugboat that has been delivering mail, packages, and goods to ships in these lakes for the past 142 years: the J.W. Westcott. Operating out of Detroit, the J.W. Westcott is the only floating ZIP code in the United States and it delivers its mail by the pail. View the video at this link:


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 9

On 08-09 October 1871, NAVARINO (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 184 foot, 761 tons, built in 1870, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) was lying at a dock when the Chicago fire swept through the city. The vessel tried to pull away from the dock and get to the safety of Lake Michigan, but the wind, which was being drawn into the fire held her against the dock. She burned to a total loss; no lives were lost. Her machinery was later salvaged and used in the new propeller MENOMINEE.

The CHIMO was moved onto the Port Weller Dry Dock on October 9, 1983, where workers began to cut her apart forward of her aft-located pilothouse and engine room. Upon completion Upper Lakes Shipping renamed her b.) CANADIAN RANGER.

GULF MACKENZIE (Hull#435) was launched at Sorel, Quebec, by Marine Industries, Ltd. on October 9, 1976. Renamed b.) L. ROCHETTE in 1985, departed the lakes and renamed c.) TRADEWIND ISLAND in 1995 and d.) KEMEPADE in 2003.

Pioneer Shipping Ltd's SASKATCHEWAN PIONEER arrived in the Welland Canal on her delivery trip October 9, 1983, en route to her formal christening at Thunder Bay, Ontario. Sold off the lakes and renamed b.) LADY HAMILTON in 1995. Brought back to the Lakes as VOYAGEUR PIONEER in 2006. Renamed KAMINISTIQUA in 2008.

JAMES DAVIDSON (Hull# 288) was launched at Wyandotte, Michigan, by Detroit Ship Building Co. on October 9, 1920, for the Globe Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio (G. A. Tomlinson, mgr.)

On October 9, 1984, the PATERSON was sold to Shearmet Recycling, a Thunder Bay, Ontario, ship breaker, and was broken up at their Mission River dock.

COL. JAMES M. SCHOONMAKER sailed from the Great Lakes Engineering Works on her maiden voyage on October 9, 1911, to Toledo, Ohio, where she loaded coal bound for Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The SCHOONMAKER was the largest vessel on the Great Lakes when she came out. For much of the decade this vessel either broke or held many bulk cargo records. Renamed b.) WILLIS B. BOYER in 1969. Since 1987, the BOYER serves as a museum ship in Toledo, Ohio, with her original name recently restored.

On 9 October 1820, ASP (wooden schooner, 57 tons, built in 1808, at Mississauga, Ontario) was carrying lumber and staves when she sprang a leak near Long Point in Lake Ontario. She waterlogged, then capsized. The upturned vessel was driven across the lake and finally went ashore off the Salmon River at Mexico Bay, New York, and broke up quickly. 9 of the 11 onboard lost their lives. She was originally built as the British armed schooner ELIZABETH.

On 9 October 1931, CHARLES H. BRADLEY (wooden propeller, 201 foot, 804 gross tons, built in 1890, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was carrying pulpwood and towing the barge GRAMPIAN. She was traversing the Portage Canal in the Keweenaw Peninsula when she ran onto a bar and stranded. The barge kept coming and plowed into her stern. The BRADLEY caught fire and burned to the waterline. The wreck still lies in 6 to 17 feet of water just off the mouth of the Sturgeon River.

On 9 October 1895, AFRICA (wooden propeller steam barge, 135 foot, 352 gross tons, built in 1873, at Kingston, Ontario) was towing the schooner SEVERN in a storm on Lake Huron when she struck a reef, 15 miles south of Cove Island light on Lake Huron. AFRICA broke up in the storm, all 11 of her crew were lost. SEVERN went ashore near Bradley Harbour and broke up. The crew was rescued by a fish tug from Stokes Bay.

1907: CYPRUS cleared Superior with a cargo of iron ore for Lackawanna, N.Y., on only the second trip. The vessel sank two days later and there was only one survivor. The hull was found on the bottom of Lake Superior in 2007 in 460 feet of water.

1922: TURRET CROWN ran aground off Cove Island, Georgian Bay, but was later salvaged.

1944: The German freighter LUDOLF OLDENDORFF, a Great Lakes trader as a) WESTMOUNT (i) and as e) TRACTOR, was sunk by British aircraft at Egersund, Norway.

1968: BUCKEYE, under tow for scrapping overseas, began drifting in rough weather when the anchors were unable to hold off Port Colborne. The ship was blown aground west of the city and the hull remained stuck until November 29.

2001: The Maltese flag freighter SYLVIA ran over a buoy below the Eisenhower Lock and the mooring chain was wrapped around the propeller. The cable was freed and the ship proceeded to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs arriving October 19 and returning to service on October 27. The ship had previously been inland as a) CHIMO when new in 1981 and first returned as d) SYLVIA in 2000. The vessel was noted as h) INTERCROWN and registered in Cambodia as of 2010.

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


Port Reports -  October 8

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
The Polish saltie Isa arrived Duluth at 09:17 on Friday to load grain at Peavey. Walter J. McCarthy Jr., which arrived Duluth on Thursday, departed from Midwest Energy at 10:35. Arthur M. Anderson was expected to arrive just before midnight on Friday to discharge limestone at either Hallet #5 or Graymont Superior Plant. On the Superior side, Radcliffe R. Latimer departed with iron ore at 06:24, and Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arrived at 20:15 to load.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on Friday included Atlantic Huron Stewart J. Cort, Kaministiqua and Burns Harbor. American Integrity, Kaye E. Barker and Great Lakes Trader/Joyce L. VanEnkevort were upbound in the evening.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort arrived during the early afternoon on Thursday to load. Manitowoc was also expected on Thursday in the early evening, and get the dock upon the Great Lakes Trader's departure. There were no vessels expected for Friday. Manitowoc is expected to return on Saturday around noon to load. The barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted are expected in the early morning Sunday, and Wilfred Sykes is due Sunday at noon.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann arrived during the early afternoon on Wednesday. Also expected on Wednesday was the Arthur M. Anderson in the early evening. No vessels are due until Monday, when the Manitowoc is expected during the late evening. Cuyahoga makes a rare appearance on Tuesday in the late afternoon to load.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Calumet loaded on Monday and was expected to depart on Tuesday at 2 a.m. There were no vessels on Tuesday. Philip R. Clarke was expected to arrive on Wednesday in the early morning. Four vessels were expected on Friday, with Michipicoten arriving first during the morning, followed by two afternoon arrivals. Arthur M. Anderson was due in the early afternoon, followed in the mid-afternoon hours by the Joseph H. Thompson. Herbert C. Jackson was due on Friday in the late evening.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
John J. Boland arrived on Thursday and loaded at the North Dock and was expected to depart on Friday at 3 a.m. Also in port on Friday was the Lee A. Tregurtha at the South Dock loading. Great Republic was also expected on Friday in the early evening for the North Dock. Due in Saturday are two early evening arrivals. The Cason J. Callaway showed up first for the South Dock followed a couple of hours later by the Herbert C. Jackson for the North Dock.

Harsens Island, Mich.
Calumet came down the North Channel on Friday, unloaded for MDOT near the Harsens Island ferry and returned upriver. It is unusual, but not unheard of, for a vessel to discharge there.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
American Mariner arrived at the CSX Coal Dock on Thursday during the late afternoon to load. They departed on Friday in the early morning. Also due at CSX is the Manitoulin on Monday during the late evening. CSL Laurentien is due at CSX on Tuesday in the early morning. There are two vessels due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock with stone cargoes. Capt. Henry Jackman is due October 17 in the early evening. Manitoulin is expected October 19 in the early morning. Two vessels are expected to arrive at the Torco Dock with iron ore cargoes. The barge James L. Kuber and the tug Victory are due on October 17 in the early morning, while the 1,000-footer James R. Barker is due at Torco on October 20 during the early evening. A sign of the fall grain rush had three vessels upriver at the grain elevators on Friday. Saginaw and Spruceglen were busy at the elevators, while the salty Federal Nakagawa was busy loading grain. The G tugs Nebraska and Mississippi were also in port. Recent departures included the barge St. Marys Cement and tug Petite Forte on Friday morning after unloadeding cement at St. Marys. Philip R. Clarke, which had arrived on Thursday in the early evening departed on Friday morning. Tug Dylan Cooper and barge also departed on Friday morning after arriving on Monday in the late evening. Algoma Olympic, which had arrived on Sunday in the early evening, departed on Thursday morning.

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Algoway came in Thursday night at 23:00 and went to dock #3. She left Friday morning at 08:30.


Updated list of new saltwater names

10/8 - As of October 1 there were 37 saltwater vessels making their first inland voyages under their current names to the Great Lakes/Seaway system via the Eisenhower Lock in Massena, N.Y.

The list includes Ardita, BBC Haren, BBC Hudson, BBC Kansas, BBC Manitoba, Beauforce, Belasitza, Bro Agnes, Cape, Coe Leni, Fearless, Federal Biscay, Federal Caribou, Federal Cedar, Federal Champlain, Federal Churchill, Floretgracht, Halit Bey, Industrial Charger, Industrial Chief, Jan Van Gent, Jule, Lake St. Clair, Malmo, Marsgracht, Minervagracht, Mona Swan, Oborishte, Ocean Castle, San, SCT Matterhorn, SCT Monte Rosa, SCT Stockhorn, Stade, Thorco Marjanne, Tradewind Adventure and Vectis Castle. Vectis Castle was reflagged Canadian on April 13 and chartered to Groupe Desgagnes Inc. At least three more new visitors are expected into the Seaway system during the month of October: Happy Delta and the tankers Njord Clear and Njord Cloud.

Denny Dushane


Updates -  October 8

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 8

On 08 October 1871, PHILO PARSONS (wooden side-wheel steamer, 221 tons, built in 1861, at Algonac, Michigan) burned to a total loss in the great Chicago fire. She burned so completely that her remains were not located in the Chicago River until 1877. She was the vessel commandeered by Confederate raiders in a plot to capture the iron gunboat U.S.S. MICHIGAN on Lake Erie during the American Civil War. The Chicago fire destroyed many fine vessels while they were docked in the harbor. These included the new propeller NAVARINO, the schooner GLENBULA, the schooner ECLIPSE, the schooner BUTCHER BOY, the bark VALETTA, the schooner ALNWICK, the bark A. P. NICHOLS, the bark FONTANELLA, the fore-and-aft schooner STAMPEDE, the schooner N. C. FORD, and the schooner CHRISTINA NEILSON. The only recorded casualties among the sailors were on the ALNWICK; her mate died and the captain burned his hands severely.

The keel was laid October 8, 1976, for the 660-foot forward section of the BURNS HARBOR, but was completed as b.) LEWIS WILSON FOY for the Bethlehem Steel Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Purchased by Oglebay Norton and renamed c.) OGLEBAY NORTON in 1991, and d.) AMERICAN INTEGRITY in 2006.

The MATHEWSTON (Hull#47) entered service on October 8, 1922. On her maiden voyage she sailed from Port Arthur, Ontario with 11,634 tons of barley and wheat. Renamed b.) RALPH S. MISENER in 1954 and c.) MATHEWSTON again in 1967. Scrapped at Vado, Italy in 1970.

The Canadian registry for MENIHEK LAKE was officially closed on October 8, 1985, with the notation "sold Spain." She was scrapped at Gijon, Spain.

WILLIAM G. MATHER arrived on October 8, 1988, in tow of the Great Lakes Towing Co. tugs WYOMING and ALABAMA at the G&W Shipyard at Collision Bend in the Cuyahoga River to be refurbished.

On 8 October 1906, PASADENA (wooden barge, 250 foot, 1,761 gross tons, built in 1889, at Cleveland, Ohio as a propeller bulk freighter) was carrying coal, in tow of the steamer GLADSTONE, bound for Superior, Wisconsin. The PASADENA went out of control in a gale and her skipper had the tow line cut. She was thrown against a pier near the upper entry to the Keweenaw Waterway and pounded to pieces in a few hours. Two lives were lost, but 8 made it to shore on the floating wreckage.

On 8 October 1854, E. K. COLLINS (wooden passenger/package freight side-wheeler, 256 foot, 1,095 gross tons, built in 1853, at Newport, Michigan) caught fire and beached near the mouth of the Detroit River where she burned to the waterline. About 23 lives were lost. About 43 persons were rescued in small boats and by the steamers FINTRY and GLOBE. There was some speculation that arson was the cause. The hull was recovered in 1857, and rebuilt as the barge ARK.

On October 8, 2000 the tug UNDAUNTED and barge PERE MARQUETTE 41 departed Calumet Harbor loaded with pig iron for Marinette, Wis., under favorable conditions and were later caught by the heavy weather. During the storm, the 5,000 tons of pig iron and the barge's four pieces of heavy loading equipment were washed into Lake Michigan. Both the tug and barge suffered damage in the incident.

1899: The tug RECORD sank at Duluth after a collision with the whaleback steamer JAMES B. NEILSON and one life was lost.

1906: The barge PASADENA, loaded with iron ore for Cleveland and under tow of the steamer GLADSTONE, was cut loose approaching the Keweenaw Waterway. The anchors fail to hold. The ship smashed into the east pier of the waterway and broke up on the rocks. Seven sailors were rescued but two were lost.

1964: A fire aboard West German-flag freighter ERATO at Detroit left two dead when they were trapped in their stern quarters. Another three sailors were injured. The 2-alarm blaze was brought under control and the ship was eventually repaired at Toledo. It arrived at Bombay, India, and laid up as d) VIJAYA DARSHANA on May 26, 1983, and eventually scrapped there beginning in May 1986.

1971: DIDO went aground leaving Goole, U.K. for Porsgrunn, Norway, but returned to Goole the next day after being refloated. The 22-year-old Norwegian freighter was listed as a total loss and sold for scrap. It was taken to Hull, U.K., a year later and dismantled. The ship had been a pre-Seaway trader as early as 1951 and made 14 voyages to the Great Lakes from 1959 through 1963.

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


Lakes limestone trade down 9.5 percent in September

10/7 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 2,958,522 tons in September, a decrease of 9.5 percent compared to a year ago. September’s loadings were also 13.3 percent below the month’s 5-year average.

Loadings from U.S. quarries totaled 2,495,401 tons, a decrease of 14.8 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian quarries totaled 463,121 tons, an increase of 35.8 percent.

Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 19,465,787 tons, a decrease of 7.9 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings out of Michigan and Ohio quarries total 15,689,454 tons, a decrease of 12.3 percent. Shipments from Ontario quarries total 3,776,333 tons, an increase of 16.6 percent.

Lake Carriers’ Association


Port Reports -  October 7

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Racliffe R. Latimer arrived Thursday to load ore at BNSF. Tim S. Dool departed downbound after loading grain for Baie Comeau at Riverland Ag.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic Thursday included Paul R. Tregurtha (stopped at DeTour for company meetings before proceeding down the lake in the afternoon), tanker Esta Desgagnes (went to Sault, Ont., to unload the rest of her cargo). Upbounders included Victory–James L. Kuber (to Essar), Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and Arthur M. Anderson. Algosteel was upbound past DeTour in the late morning but turned and went to Bruce Mines, Ont. At 9 p.m., Soo Traffic reported no vessels in the river system, although Federal Satsuki was approaching DeTour from the west.

Port Inland, Mich.
Manitowoc was loading stone Thursday night.

Menominee, Mich. – Scott Best
Atlanticborg arrived Thursday to load pulp at the K&K Warehousing East Dock.

Toledo, Ohio
Spruceglen was inbound Thursday morning to load grain. The Saginaw also arrived, and headed upriver to the Kuhlman dock. Federal Nakagawa continued loading grain on Thursday.

Marblehead, Ohio
Ashtabula/Defiance were loading stone on Thursday evening.


Sault Ste. Marie Alford Park and dock deemed unsafe, closes

10/7 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Effective immediately the waterfront of Alford Park will be closed to public access. The park, just downstream of the Soo Locks next to the hydro plant, is a popular place for boatwatchers.

The preliminary results of a recent structural analysis indicate that the area at the face of the dock is not safe for pedestrian or vessel mooring. The city has taken steps to secure the Alford Park waterfront area. Additionally, the city will be working with the various vessel operators to find alternate methods for using the Carbide Dock under the current conditions.

Vessels often tie at the Carbide Dock for repairs, and passenger ships use the facility to disembark guests. The city’s annual salt cargo for winter use on streets is also unloaded onto the Carbide Dock.

The City of Sault Ste. Marie has received a $30,000 Coastal Zone Management Grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Office of the Great Lakes to be used along with $30,000 of city funds to perform a Redevelopment Study for Alford Park, Carbide Dock and Harvey Marina. The city hired engineering consultant SmithgroupJJR to perform the grant tasks, including a structural inspection and analysis of the Carbide Dock, which also includes the waterfront portion of Alford Park.

According to a press release, “the city recognizes the popularity of the Alford Park waterfront for fishing and ship viewing and therefore is disappointed by the need to close this waterfront, however public safety is the city’s highest priority with taking this action.”

SmithgroupJJR will be performing additional analysis to determine if there are any areas within the Alford Park that can be reopened to pedestrian access. In the meantime, the city will continue with the completion of the Waterfront Redevelopment Study including seeking outside funding for the repair of the Carbide Dock and Alford Park waterfront.

City of Sault Ste. Marie


Saturday races to benefit historic lighthouse

10/7 - Whitefish Point, Mich. – The sixth annual Whitefish Point: Run for the Light series of races is returning Saturday morning to the historic lighthouse to raise funds for renovations.

The three races, a 5k run/walk, a 10k run and a half-marathon, will start at 8:30 a.m. and follow a southbound path along Lake Superior complete with different turnarounds, both start and end at the Whitefish Point Shipwreck Museum.

“This will be our sixth race event,” said Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society Operations Manager and race coordinator Sarah Wilde. “All proceeds go to restoration costs for the Whitefish Lighthouse.”

The lighthouse is owned by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, but the light is operated by the United States Coast Guard. It is Lake Superior’s third easternmost marker.

Wilde noted that the yearly maintenance on the building calls for a handful of fundraisers. The races serve as the third largest money gathering events behind the summer and winter appeals. The lighthouse has been on the National Register of Historic Sites since 1973.

The races have grown since their inception. The first year drew 30 runners before topping out at 200 racers. This year, Wilde expects 100 participants to intake the sights. Awards will be presented for top male and female finishers in each race type dependent on age group.

Potential participants can register onsite at the museum store through Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. People looking to volunteer are asked to call the Shipwreck Society office at (906) 635-1742.

Soo Evening News


Federal bankruptcy court approves end of Magnetation

10/7 - Duluth, Minn. – A federal bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved a settlement that will dissolve the operations of Grand Rapids, Minn.-based Magnetation LLC, ending the company’s efforts to reorganize, restructure its debts and emerge from recent financial hardships intact. In a statement issued Thursday, the company said its focus now shifts to shutting down its remaining operations — an iron ore concentrate recovery plant outside Grand Rapids and a pellet-making plant in Reynolds, Ind. — “in order to preserve their value for a potential buyer of the plants.

It remains unclear whether some of the company’s facilities may be able to resume operation under new ownership.

Under the settlement agreement, AK Steel will pay $32 million to the creditors to terminate a purchase agreement for Magnetation pellets, an agreement that has been the subject of ongoing legal action. Magnetation’s assets will be sold off to partially repay creditors.

At one point Magnetation had more than 500 employees as it rocketed into Iron Range headlines with a proprietary technology to recover valuable iron ore concentrate out of tailings, the leftover waste material from decades-old mining sites.

After iron ore prices crashed in 2014, the company lost customers, and dwindling demand for the concentrate it produces forced Magnetation to close three of four Iron Range operations, lay off hundreds of workers and file for bankruptcy in May 2015.

Magnetation’s owners had been holding out hope that a savior investor would jump in, agree to partially pay off debts, keep the company running under the same management team and retain workers.

The company’s remaining plants had employed roughly 245 people — about 180 on the Iron Range and 165 in Indiana.

Further details on exactly how Magnetation now will wind down its operations were unavailable Thursday. Matt Lehtinen, who led the company with his father, Larry, said the five-sentence written statement Magnetation issued earlier in the day would need to suffice and declined to field any additional questions from the News Tribune.

Magnetation’s bankruptcy filing listed more than $1 billion in total debt and assets that were worth less than half that sum. Many suppliers, vendors and service providers who did business with the company likely will be saddled with millions of dollars in unpaid bills.

Duluth News Tribune


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 7

On October 7, 1968, the NORMAN P. CLEMENT was damaged in a grounding off Britt, Ontario. The Canadian boat was towed to Collingwood for repairs. However, while in dry dock, an explosion occurred on October 16 that injured 11 workers and further damaged the hull. Rather than repair her, the owners had the CLEMENT towed out into Georgian Bay where she was intentionally sunk on October 23, 1968.

On this day in 1939, the E. G. MATHIOTT collided with the steamer CORVUS on the St. Clair River. Damage to the CORVUS totaled $37,647.70.

On this day in 1958, the WALTER E. WATSON, Captain Ralph Fenton, rescued the sailing vessel TAMARA on Lake Huron.

On October 7, 1871, GEM (wooden schooner, 120 foot, 325 tons, built in 1853, at Buffalo, New York) was sailing up bound in a storm on Lake Erie with a load of coal. She began to leak and was run to shore in an effort to save her. However, she went down before reaching shoal water and settled with six feet of water over her decks.

ALGOWOOD was launched October 7, 1980, at Collingwood, Ontario, for Algoma Central Marine, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

PAUL THAYER was launched October 7, 1973, for the Union Commerce Bank Trustee, Cleveland, Ohio and managed by Kinsman Marine Transit Co., Cleveland. She was built under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970, for $12.6 million. Renamed b.) EARL W. OGLEBAY in 1995.

The WILLIAM MC LAUCHLAN (Hull#793) was launched at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co., on October 7, 1926, for the Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) SAMUEL MATHER in 1966, c.) JOAN M. MC CULLOUGH in 1975 and d.) BIRCHGLEN in 1982. Scrapped at Sydney, Nova Scotia, in 1988.

BLACK RIVER, a lake bulk freighter, was built as a steel barge in 1897, by the F.W. Wheeler & Co., she was launched October 7, 1896, as a.) SIR ISAAC LOTHIAN BELL (Hull# 118).

HUTCHCLIFFE HALL was raised October 7, 1962, and taken to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs. She had sunk after a collision a few days earlier.

October 7, 1923 - The ANN ARBOR NO 4 went back into service after being overhauled and having new cabins built on her main deck.

MADISON suffered a fire on October 7, 1987, while lying idle at Muskegon, Michigan, and was badly damaged.

In 1903, ADVENTURE (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 108 foot, 142 gross tons, built in 1875, at Detroit, Michigan, as a schooner) caught fire while tied to the Kelleys Island Line & Transport Co. Dock. The blaze spread so quickly that those on board barely escaped. She was towed from Kelleys Island out into Lake Erie by the tug SMITH to save the dock and the adjacent schooner ANDERSON.

In a severe gale and rain/hail storm on October 7, 1858, the 247-ton schooner OSPREY approached Oswego, New York. As she was about to enter the harbor, the vessel struck the east pier broadside. Her masts and rigging were carried away and she started to sink. Capt. John Parsons got his wife and child out of the cabin to try to escape to the pier. His wife was washed overboard and drowned. Capt. Parsons held on to his child, but another wave struck the wreck and swept the child into the water. George Crine, the mate, was also swept overboard. Those three were lost, but the next wave swung the wreck about with her bowsprit over the pier and the captain and the six remaining crewmen scrambled to safety. The entire town and harbor mourned those deaths and held a dockside service two days later with many prayers and all flags at half-mast. Donations were accepted for the surviving sailors since they escaped with only the clothes on their backs.

On October 7,1873, the PULASKI was launched at the Archibald Muir yard on the Black River in Port Huron. Her dimensions were 136 feet x 26 feet x 11 feet, 349 gross tons. She was a three mast "full canaller", painted white and her private signal was a red M on a white ground bordered with blue. Her sails were made by Mr. D. Robeson of Port Huron, Michigan.

On October 7, 1886, The Port Huron Times reported that "The old side-wheel ferry SARNIA, which was a familiar sight at this crossing [Port Huron-Sarnia] for so many years, and which is said to have earned enough money in her time to sheet her with silver, the hull of which has been for some years back used as a barge by the Marine City Salt Company, has closed her career. She was last week scuttled near the Marine City Salt Works wharf."

1902: ANN MARIA hit a sandbar approaching Kincardine while inbound with a cargo of coal and broke up as a total loss. Four crew and a volunteer rescuer were reported lost.

1917: GEORGE A. GRAHAM was wrecked off Manitoulin Island, Georgian Bay, when the cargo shifted when turning in a storm. The ship ran for the safety of South Bay but stranded on the rocks. All on board were saved but the ship was a total loss.

1919: The wooden steamer HELEN TAYLOR was damaged by a fire in the pilothouse near Hessel, Mich., but was repaired.

1937: M & F DREDGE NO. 14, Hull 39 from the Collingwood shipyard, foundered in the St. Lawrence off Batiscan, QC as b) D.M. DREDGE NO. 14.

1956: The consort barge DELKOTE of the Hindman fleet was adrift for 9 hours in a Lake Superior storm with 13 on board and waves up to 20 feet. The ship had broken loose of the GEORGE HINDMAN but was picked up by the CAPT. C.D. SECORD.

1968: EDWARD Y. TOWNSEND, under tow for scrapping in Bilbao, Spain, broke in two about 400 miles southeast of St. John's, NF, and the bow sank. The stern was apparently retrieved and towed into Santander, Spain, for scrapping on October 28.

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


Port Reports -  October 6

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Stewart J. Cort departed Duluth from Port Terminal at 03:42, and dropped anchor off Superior to wait for the Burns Harbor, which had arrived late Tuesday night, to load. American Spirit arrived Duluth at 09:55 to load iron ore pellets at CN Duluth. Mesabi Miner, which finished loading at CN on Tuesday, spent the day at Port Terminal. She departed at 20:30. Atlantic Huron, a rare visitor to the Twin Ports, arrived soon after the Miner departed to load coal at Midwest Energy. At the end of the night, Atlantic Huron was loading coal, American Spirit was loading at CN, and Tim S. Dool was at Riverland loading wheat. On the Superior side, Burns Harbor finished loading at departed at around the same time the Miner left Duluth. Stewart J. Cort weighed anchor and arrived soon after to load at BN.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a windy Wednesday included Walter J. McCarthy Jr., tug Anglian Lady / PML Ironmaster, Baie St. Paul, Radcliffe R. Latimer, Roger Blough, Isa and CSL Welland. Fuldaborg and Federal Champlain were above DeTour upbound as night fell. Downbounders included Hon. James L. Oberstar, Buffalo, Saginaw, Alpena, Baie Comeau, Edgar B. Speer, Federal Asahi and American Century. Herbert C. Jackson, which had anchored above DeTour, possibly for the fleet’s annual company meetings, departed downbound in the early afternoon and was headed down Lake Huron or Saginaw in close company with the Hon. James L. Oberstar, which is going to Dearborn. Reports from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., indicate the long-idle crane vessel Yankcanuck is being stripped and will be towed to the Purvis scrap dock above the locks sometime this fall. Yankcanuck was built at Collingwood in 1963 and has been inactive since the end of 2007.

Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
On Tuesday the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. arrived early in the morning with a load of coal for the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville. Once finished unloading, the McCarthy backed out to Light 12 in the Saginaw Bay, turned around and headed for the lake. Once clear of the channel, the inbound Calumet was allowed to proceed past the McCarthy. Calumet passed through the drawbridges in downtown Bay City around 3 p.m. and headed all the way upriver to Saginaw to unload at the Lafarge stone dock. Calumet completed unloading just after midnight, turned off the end of the dock in the Sixth Street turning basin, and was back outbound for the lake early Wednesday morning. Making a rare visit to the Saginaw River will be the recently-repowered Herbert C. Jackson. The Jackson is en-route with a load of stone from Port Inland and is scheduled to arrive around 5 a.m. Thursday morning.

Toronto, Ont. – Jens Juhl
The handy-size bulker Tufty did a 180-degree turnaround at noon Wednesday and is discharging sugar out of hold No. 6. Of late, bulkers have been carrying sugar in hold 6, as Redpath is stockpiling sugar for the winter over at Terminal 52. The airport standby ferry David Hornell V.C. is back alongside at hangar No.1. The ferry arrived back in port this past Monday after a two-week spell in drydock at Heddle Marine in Hamilton for its second five-year survey. The ferry recently had a new set of vehicle loading ramps installed. As the TTCA#1, the ferry carried most of the building material for new airport terminal plus all the heavy construction equipment and as a result the original ramps were pretty beat up and bent out of shape.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner departed the Frontier Elevator at 9 p.m.


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 6

On October 6, 1893, DAVID STEWART (3-mast wooden schooner, 171 foot, 545 gross tons, built in 1867, at Cleveland, Ohio) foundered in a gale off Pigeon Bay, Ontario, on Lake Erie. She crew clung to the frozen rigging for 14 hours until saved by the fish tug LOUISE of Sandusky, Ohio. The STEWART was carrying iron ore at the time of her loss.

Herb Fraser & Associates completed repairs on the ALGOSOO at the Welland Dock on October 6 1986. She had suffered a serious fire at her winter mooring on the west wall above Lock 8 at Port Colborne, Ontario, on March 7, 1986.

The bow section of the barge PRESQUE ISLE arrived Erie, Pennsylvania, on October 6, 1972 under tow of the tugs MARYLAND and LAURENCE C. TURNER. The total cost to construct the tug/barge 1,000- footer was approximately $35 million.

October 6, 1981, the Reoch self-unloader ERINDALE's bow was damaged when she hit the Allanburg Bridge abutment running down bound in the Welland Canal. Built in 1915, as a.) W. F. WHITE, she was renamed b.) ERINDALE in 1976.

In 1980, the LAC DES ILES grounded in the Detroit River just below Grassy Island, the result of a faulty steering mechanism. She freed herself a few hours later. The damage caused by the grounding ended her career. She was scrapped at Port Colborne in 1985.

This day in 1870, the schooner E. FITZGERALD was launched at the Fitzgerald & Leighton yard at Port Huron, Michigan. Her dimensions were 135 feet x 26 feet x 11 feet.

In 1875, the MERCHANT (iron propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 200 foot, 750 tons, built in 1862, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying lumber on Lake Michigan when she stranded on Racine Reef near Racine, Wisconsin. Then she caught fire and was gutted before she could be refloated. She had stranded on that same reef twice previously. She was the first iron cargo ship built on the Lakes and the first one lost.

On October 6, 1873, JOHN A. MC DOUGALL (wooden schooner-barge, 151 foot, 415 gross tons) was launched at Wenona, Michigan. She was built at the Ballentine yard in only five weeks.

On October 6, 1889, PHILO SCOVILLE (3-mast wooden schooner, 140 foot, 323 tons, built in 1863, at Cleveland, Ohio) was sailing from Collingwood for Chicago when a storm drove her into the shallows and wrecked her near Tobermory, Ontario. Her captain died while trying to get ashore through the rocks. The Canadian Lifesaving Service saved the rest of the crew. At first the vessel was expected to be recovered, but she broke up by 10 October.

1910: The wooden freighter MUSKEGON, formerly the PEERLESS, was damaged by a fire at Michigan City, IN and became a total loss.

1958: SHIERCLIFFE HALL hit bottom in the St. Marys River and was intentionally grounded off Lime Island with substantial damage. The ship was refloated and repaired at Collingwood.

1966: EMSSTEIN and OLYMPIC PEARL collided south of St. Clair, MI and the former had to be beached before it capsized. This West German freighter made 19 trips to the Great lakes from 1959 through 1967 and arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, for scrapping as d) VIOLETTA on May 28, 1978. The latter, on her first trip to the Great Lakes, had bow damage and was also repaired. This ship arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping as b) AL TAHSEEN on May 6, 1985.

1972: ALGORAIL hit the pier inbound at Holland, MI with a cargo of salt and settled on the bottom about 12 feet off the dock with a gash in the port bow. The vessel was refloated in 24 hours and headed to Thunder Bay for repairs.

1982: CONTINENTAL PIONEER made 8 trips through the Seaway from 1960 through 1964. A fire broke out in the accommodation area as c) AGRILIA, about 20 miles north of Porto Praia, Cape Verde Islands and the heavily damaged ship was abandoned before it drifted aground in position 15.06 N / 23.30 W.

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


Port Reports -  October 5

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Paul R. Tregurtha arrived Duluth at 06:35 Tuesday to load its usual cargo of coal at Midwest Energy. She replaced American Century at the dock, which finished loading and departed at 09:14. Tim S. Dool arrived through the Superior entry at 09:05, after spending the night anchored in the lake to clean her holds. After re-arriving, she headed back up the harbor and docked at Riverland Ag to load wheat. Paul R. Tregurtha headed out at 18:20. Mesabi Miner was expected to depart Duluth from CN late Tuesday night. Stewart J. Cort was still at the Port Terminal, but was expected to shift to Burlington Northern to load in the evening. Burns Harbor was also due to arrive in Superior, but she will most likely anchor to wait for the Cort.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic included Esta Desgagnes early, Atlantic Huron, Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber and Frontenac. Downbounders included Cason J. Callaway, Lee A. Tregurtha and Edwin H. Gott. Much to the dismay of boatwatchers, Algorail was headed for a nighttime passage. James R. Barker anchored above DeTour in the afternoon for annual company meetings now in progress on the fleet’s vessels, then was upbound at the locks after dark. John J. Boland loaded at the Drummond Island stone dock.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
Last week there was some vessel activity in the area. The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 unloaded at Lafarge on September 27. The tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber anchored for weather off Alpena on Friday before going to Stoneport to load. The Steamer Alpena was in port on Friday, loading cement at Lafarge. G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity were in over the weekend as well. On Monday, the Calumet unloaded coal at Lafarge.


Research L.L. Smith Jr. vessel reinvented

10/5 - Superior, Wis. – For the first time in more than 15 years, the L.L. Smith Jr. won't winter at Spirit Lake Marina and RV Park in Duluth. The Wisconsin-built tugboat that for decades served as an aquatic research vessel for the University of Wisconsin-Superior headed to Washburn Marina last week. The vessel will be lifted out of the water for sandblasting and repainting of the hull. Whether it returns to Duluth or settles in Washburn depends on owners Mel and Carolyn Maierhafer of Fremont, Wis.

"It was our original intent to stay in Washburn because it was closer and beautiful," Mel Maierhafer said. "But then we ended up with so many friends here that have boats."

It's easy to round up a crew of qualified people for a run, said fellow boat enthusiast Edso Quirk, who is also docked at Spirit Lake Marina, and passers-by knock on the door occasionally seeking a peek of the inside.

"Nice people," Carolyn Maierhafer said. "We'll see what happens."

The couple's journey began in August of 2015 when Mel's bidding zeal landed them with the vessel.

"She wasn't happy for the first couple weeks," he said of his wife.

Spirit Lake Marina is 316 miles from their home. As they started each six-hour drive, the couple would go out for breakfast. When they pulled in at the marina, they'd unpack and go out for dinner. "That kind of plays into it," Mel Maierhafer said.

The two self-professed workaholics quickly dug into renovating the research vessel into a floating home.

"This has been a great experience," said Charlie Stauduhar with Spirit Lake Marina. "We're just tickled that somebody has got a vision for the boat and can see the vision through."

With the help of fellow marina boater Edso Quirk, they ground and repainted the steel walls and deck, added carpeting on the main level, imported a number of cooking appliances and changed the color scheme from black and white to battleship gray in honor of Mel's service in the U.S. Navy aboard the destroyer USS Ault.

"I went along with the gray, but I asked for a little bit of white trim," Carolyn Maierhafer said. "You see what I got, around those little portholes."

Her color of choice is yellow, but it only shows up on interior trim like the bathroom window.

Another new feature is a flight of stairs to the top deck.

"My wife has never been up on the second deck, because to get up there you've got to climb this ladder, and she's had too many surgeries on shoulders and backs," Mel Maierhafer said. "It's just beautiful up there; it gives you a whole different look."

When the L.L. Smith Jr. headed out for a shakedown cruise two weeks ago to test the engine, which has also had work done to it, the welders and carpenters building the stairs came along.

"But then when we got to some interesting part, they quit working and enjoyed the trip," Mel Maierhafer said. "So they got a free ride and they were grinning all the while."

Recent cruises have included two captains, former UWS captain Dan Rau and Quirk, who will be the new captain for the vessel. "We're passing the torch," Quirk said. "I've always had a dream to be a ship captain."

The 60-ton vessel carries a lot of history. It was built in 1950 at Knudsen Shipyards (now Fraser) and the main engine was built in Two Rivers, Wis. The 58-foot vessel was purchased by UWS in 1978 for environmental education. Over the course of its stay with UWS, the ship welcomed thousands of people — college students, school groups, public officials and more.

The science lab where students once conducted research now holds two easy chairs and a TV, although the owners don't use it often.

"Most of our time has been spent on the end of a paintbrush," Mel Maierhafer said. "We haven't had much time to sit."

The couple winters in Texas, but have spent the summer putting their stamp on the L.L. Smith Jr. Despite Mel Maierhafer's heart condition and the fact that both were very ill over the winter, they've continued pouring their efforts into the vessel. For them, it's a labor of love. "Because this is such a dream of his, I just wanted to keep making it look nice," Carolyn said.

"I wanted it to get done because I didn't think I'd live long enough. And I wanted it done so Captain Ed could help her sell it," Mel said. "Six months ago I never thought that I would see the day when we'd have the deck painted and now ..."

New medication has helped with Mel's condition, and he's looking forward to a future with his wife and their tugboat. Whether the L.L. Smith Jr. returns to Duluth or docks in Washburn, it's left friends in its wake.

"Lots of people get visions for boats and they start a project, but it never seems to get through to fruition," Stauduhar said. "These guys are dedicated and they've got a great vision. I think it's in good hands."

Superior Telegram


History of VIP travel on freighters to be offered Thursday in Avon, Ohio

10/5 - - On Thursday October 6, 2016 at 7 p.m., Christopher Gillcrist will present the free program “Traveling in Style: VIP Travel on Great Lakes Freighters” at the Cambria Suites Hotel 35600 Detroit Rd. in Avon, Ohio. The program features rare photographs and archival material and explores the changing experience for VIPs aboard Great Lakes freighters. The program is free to the general public but reservations are required and can be made by calling 419-214-5000, extension 200.


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 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.


Port Reports -  October 4

Duluth, Minn.
Algorail and Alpena departed downbound Monday afternoon. At dusk, Stewart J. Cort was headed in via the Duluth entrance. She usually arrives through the Superior entry. She will take a delay at Port Terminal before shifting to load iron ore at Burlington Northern.

St. Marys River
The Poe Lock was shut down for about 8 hours during the day Monday for a scheduled valve replacement. Ken Boothe Sr/Lakes Contender and Burns Harbor were delayed upbound and American Integrity was delayed downbound. Other Monday traffic Monday included the upbound Tecumseh and Hon. James L. Oberstar. Hollyhock left the Carbide Dock and was downbound in the morning, heading for Lake Huron. Kaye E. Barker was downbound in the evening. The saltie Oborishte was approaching DeTour from the south as the day ended.

Muskegon, Mich.
Herbert C. Jackson was in port unloading late Monday.

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Algoway came into Lorain Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and went to Dock #2. She departed about 5 p.m.

Welland Canal
The tug Sea Power was upbound in the Welland Canal Monday headed for Erie, Pa., where she will pick up a new barge at Donjon Shipbuilding. H. Lee White was downbound in the canal for Quebec City. Algosoo, which arrived Sunday for scrapping at International Marine Salvage, has already had her stack logos painted out.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner was expected in Buffalo around 10:30 p.m. Monday.


Vessels with Great Lakes/Seaway connections reported as a casualty or scrapped

10/4 - Vessels with Great Lakes/Seaway connections reported as a casualty or scrapped, according to the October 2016 Marine News, the journal of the World Ship Society.

Arwad Tower (8406925; Belize) 16,775 / 85 b.c. ex Stefania I-13, 1st trip into Seaway/Lakes 1998; Stefania-98, Sea Crystal-97, Astral Ocean-95, 1st trip into Seaway/Lakes 1986. Sold by White Tower Shipping Co. (GMZ Ship Management Co. S.A., Marshall Islands) to Pakistani shipbreakers and arrived Gadani Beach 10/05/16 demolition commenced 5/20/16

Algosar (7634288; Canada) (ex Gemini-05) 6,596 / 78 product tanker - Sold by Algoma Central Corporation to Marine Recycling Corp. and arrived Port Colborne 05/17/2016.

Barry Andersen & René Beauchamp


Ashland's Soo Line Ore Dock celebrates its centennial

10/4 - Ashland, Wis. – After having to postpone their celebration by two weeks, the Ashland Ore Dock finally got its opportunity to celebrate its 100-year anniversary. A festival was held Saturday as the community poured out to celebrate one of its oldest structures.

Residents gathered as the last remaining ore dock in the city to celebrate it's centennial, all with a little help from volunteers, and the community.

"We threw it out there on Facebook, asked people if they would make donations towards the 100-year ore dock anniversary event, and we had 5,000 bucks within a week from less than 20 people. People are connected with this ore dock, so they were more than happy to make donations towards it." Said event organizer Don Jaskowiak.

People listened to live music, ate, and talked about the history of the quarter-mile long dock.

The dock means a little more to one Ashland man whose grandfather started three generations of ore dock workers. He describes the dock as something you had to see in person.

"It was 80 feet in the air, they had chutes, they dumped ore into the pockets before the vessel came in, and right after that, they had a boat-load come in, and load it in about three or four hours. It was just amazing." Said Tom Kucinski, describing his time working on the dock. Kucinski worked on the dock for over 40 years.

Kucinski's work was preceded by his grandfather, who spent half of a century working in Ashland, as well as his father's work in the city. And at least for now, there will be one more generation working the waters of Lake Superior.

"My daughter, she got a job on the Roger Blough in the summer months, and then she met the man of her dreams. And she's married to the captain, he's a pilot now. So, it lives on." Said Kucinski, talking about his family’s long history of work on Lake Superior.

Kucinski said the dock has seen many ups and downs over the years, as the ore industry continues to ebb and flow, but is very excited for the future plans for the dock. In September, the Ashland City council approved a plan to revitalize the ore dock, and turn it into a community gathering place.

The dock is in phase one of three of its redevelopment plan that will span the next several years.

Northland News Center


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 4

On October 4, 1887, ORIENT (wooden propeller tug, 60 foot, 37 gross tons, built in 1874, at Buffalo, New York) foundered three miles west of Point Pelee on Lake Erie in a storm. She was seen going down by the schooners LISGAR and GLENFORD but neither was able to help. All six on the ORIENT were lost. She was out of Marine City, Michigan.

On October 4, 1979, the ST. LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR arrived at the Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catharines, Ontario, where she was lengthened to the Seaway maximum length of 730-foot overall. A new bow and cargo section was installed including a bow thruster and was assigned Hull #66. New tonnage; 18,788 gross tons, 12,830 net tons, 32,279 deadweight tons. She was renamed c.) CANADIAN NAVIGATOR in 1980 and ALGOMA NAVIGATOR in 2012. She sails for Algoma Central Corp. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1997.

TEXACO BRAVE (Hull#779) was launched October 4, 1976, by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Shimonoseki, Japan for Texaco Canada Ltd., Don Mills, Ontario. Renamed b.) LE BRAVE in 1987, c.) IMPERIAL ST LAWRENCE in 1997, and d.) ALGOEAST in 1998.

On October 4, 1980, Bethlehem's ARTHUR B. HOMER was laid up for the last time at Erie, Pennsylvania. As a result of the collision between the PARKER EVANS and the SIDNEY E SMITH JR, four months earlier, alternate one-way traffic between the Black River Buoy and Buoys 1 and 2 in Lake Huron was agreed upon by the shipping companies on October 4, 1972

The JAMES E. FERRIS' last trip before scrapping was from Duluth, Minnesota, with a split load of 261,000 bushels of wheat for Buffalo, New York, arriving there October 4, 1974.

The JIIMAAN, twin screw ro/ro cargo/passenger ferry built to Ice Class 1D standards had its keel laid October 4, 1991, at Port Weller Drydocks, Ltd. (Hull# 76).

On October 4, 1982, the BENJAMIN F. FAIRLESS laid up for the last time in Duluth, Minnesota. She was towed out of Duluth, on her way to Kahoshiung, Taiwan for scrapping, on June 17, 1988.

October 4, 1940 - The Ludington Daily News reported "The Pere Marquette car ferries handled approximately 95,000 freight cars last year." (1939)

On October 4,1877, BRITISH LION (3 mast wooden bark, 128 foot, 293 tons, built in 1862, at Kingston, Ontario) was carrying coal from Black River, Ohio, to Brockville, Ontario. She was driven ashore at Long Point in Lake Erie by a storm and wrecked. She was the first bark on the Lakes to be wire rigged and she was built for the Great Lakes - Liverpool trade.

On October 4, 1883, JAMES DAVIDSON (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 231 foot, 1,456 gross tons, built in 1874, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was carrying coal and towing the barge MIDDLESEX in a storm on Lake Huron. She was driven onto a reef near Thunder Bay Island and ripped up her bottom. The barge was rescued by the tug V SWAIN. No lives were lost. Financially, the DAVIDSON was the most extensive loss on the Lakes in the 1883, season. She was valued at $65,000 and insured for $45,000. Her coal cargo was valued at $8,000.

1904: CONGRESS burned at the dock at South Manitou Island, Lake Michigan while loading lumber. The ship was towed away, abandoned, burned to the waterline and sank.

1966: ROBERT J. PAISLEY ran aground in heavy weather off Michigan City, IN. The ship was released the next day but went to Sarnia with hull damage and was laid up.

2008: MERKUR BAY came through the Seaway in 1984. It hit a rock as m) NEW ORIENTAL in heavy weather off Tuy An, Vietnam, and settled on the bottom with a large hole in the bow. The crew abandoned ship on October 18 when it showed signs of sinking. It was enroute from Thailand to China with iron ore and was a total loss.

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


Career ends for Algosoo; laker arrives at scrap dock Sunday

10/3 - Port Colborne, Ont. – The Canadian-flagged self-unloader Algosoo sailed proudly under her own power up the Welland Canal to the breaker’s yard at Port Colborne, Ontario, on Sunday. She will be cut up in the coming months.

Her first stop will be Wharf 17 in Port Colborne for parts removal before being shifted to the International Marine Salvage scrapping slip. Algosoo received a good send-off from many Boatnerds along the canal who braved frequent downpours but were rewarded with many salutes. She also passed downbound fleet member Algoma Enterprise below Lock 2 around 1 p.m., with stirring blasts of their horns as they passed.

Algosoo has been laid up this season at Toronto, Ont., after arriving for winter lay-up on Dec. 30, 2015. While other idled vessels returned to service this fall due to increasing demand, the Algosoo wasn’t one of them.

Built by Collingwood Shipyards, Collingwood, Ont., in 1974, the vessel sailed her entire career under the same name and for the same owner, the Algoma Central Corp. Four other members of the Algoma fleet have been disposed of for scrap already this season, with more scrappings expected next year as new vessels are built to replace them.

Algosoo and her slightly newer fleetmate Algolake are considered near-sister ships, with similar hull designs and machinery. However Algolake was built with all accommodations and wheelhouse aft, while Algosoo has the wheelhouse and some accommodations forward. She was the last cabins-forward laker (straight-decker or self-unloader) built on the Great Lakes.

In 1975, Algosoo carried a record cargo of 23,300 tons of salt from Goderich to Toronto, and a record 32,600 tons of stone from Stoneport to Sarnia. Also that year, she carried a record 926,204 bushels of wheat to Port McNicoll, Ont. On July 12, 1977, she set a salt cargo record from Ojibway Salt in Windsor, loading 31,936 tons for Buffalo. December 9, 1977 saw Algosoo carry the 60 millionth ton of cargo through the St. Lawrence Seaway. A milestone in Algosoo's history was the carrying of the 2 billionth ton of cargo through the St. Lawrence Seaway on May 10 1996.

On February 28, 1998, while at winter lay up at Port Colborne's Wharf 10, a fire caused serious damage to the self-unloading belts and other nearby equipment. In honor of Algoma Central's 100th anniversary, an open house event was held on board the Algosoo on July 31, 1999 at the Canal Days Festival at Port Colborne, Ont. The event was almost directly across the canal where she will be demolished.


Port Reports -  October 3

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
On Sunday, American Integrity departed Duluth at 7:15 a.m. with coal from Midwest Energy. Cason J. Callaway finished unloading her cargo of limestone at C. Reiss and departed at 9:33 a.m. bound for Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. Alpena arrived mid-evening to discharge cement at Lafarge in Superior. Tim S. Dool was unloading cement at Holcim and Joseph L. Block was topping off at CN. She was expected to depart late evening, bound for Indiana Harbor.

St. Marys River
Sunday’s upbound traffic included Buffalo, Stewart J. Cort, Mesabi Miner, American Century and Edgar B. Speer. Roger Blough and Pineglen (headed for Montreal) were downbound. The Poe Lock will have a six-hour outage on Monday in order to replace a defective hydraulic cylinder. The outage is expected to begin around 8:30 in the morning. The lock will be returned to full service as soon as the work is completed.

Port Inland, Mich.
Philip R. Clarke was loading on Sunday afternoon and evening. Wilfred Sykes is next in line.

Goderich, Ont.
Algosteel was loading salt on Sunday.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
As of 4:35 p.m. Sunday, the Algoma Olympic was approaching the CSX coal docks. The tugs Mississippi and Nebraska assisted her up the Maumee River. As of 8:15 p.m. Sunday, Federal Nakagawa was approaching Montreal and the St. Lawrence Seaway bound for Toledo with an ETA of Wednesday, October 5.


Thunder Bay shipyard under new ownership

10/3 - Thunder Bay, Ont. - A historic Thunder Bay industrial complex could soon be seeing new life. The signage outside the old shipyard indicates the property is under new ownership.

Heddle Marine president Rick Heddle said the company is not ready to announce anything at this point, or even confirm that a purchase has taken place.

The company's part-owner Blair McKeil confirmed to TBT News this week that Heddle Marine has taken over control of the former Lakehead Marine and Industrial operation, which has been idle for nearly 3 years.

Heddle has ship repair facilities in the Hamilton area and in the Maritimes, and McKeil said they're excited about expanding into Thunder Bay. He added that they're looking forward to resurrecting the ship repair operation, although it's not clear how soon that might happen.

Steelworker's union rep Herb Daniher said it's encouraging news.

“I went by a couple of weeks ago, and they were just starting to drain the dry dock, so we know there was some activity there,” Daniher said. “Certainly, this is a better outcome then having to shut down and having some kind of proposal for some other infrastructure development town that doesn’t really create any jobs.”

Daniher added that this industrial manufacture repair facility has been successful in the past, and he is expecting they are going to have some success going forward and that means prosperity for the community.

The Port Arthur Shipbuilding Company was launched in 1911, and saw the construction of dozens of vessels over the next 50 years. After that, the company continued to repair and renovate ships under various names, including Pascol Engineering and Lakehead Marine and Industrial.

Between 40 and 100 employees would spent the winter months welding and repairing lake and ocean vessels, but in 2014, Lakehead Marine declared bankruptcy, assets were auctioned off and then the property went into third party ownership.

Daniher said if and when the operation reopens, the former employees would have the best skills for the new company's hiring process. “If there’s a place they can apply then hopefully the new company is successful in obtaining the necessary work to get up and running and continue to operate,” he said. “I don’t presume they bought the site without anything else in mind, so it’s positive news.

Daniher said for those who haven’t found any employment elsewhere jobs are still probably available.

Heddle Marine officials said they could be ready to announce about their plans, in the weeks or months ahead.



Three missing boaters found dead in Lake Superior

10/3 - Keweenaw Peninsula, Mich. – The bodies of three boaters who went missing on Lake Superior in mid-September were found in their sunken boat this weekend.

At 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, 61-year-old Keith Karvonen and 9-year-old Ethan Chartre were located and recovered from a sunken boat on Lake Superior. Forty-three-year-old Steven Chartre was also located, and additional resources are being used to assist in efforts to recover him.

Karvonen's 14-foot boat was found using sonar by two nonprofit/volunteer search and rescue organizations, Bruce's Legacy from Black River Falls, Wis., and Crossman Consulting of Duluth, Minn.

Michigan State Police said the search began two weeks ago after the trio didn't return from a fishing trip. They left Chassel in the Upper Peninsula on Saturday, Sept. 17 and family members called police later that day.

The U.S. Coast Guard called off the search on Sept. 21. Extending from Keweenaw Bay into Lake Superior, Coast Guard searchers covered more than 14,000 square miles for a total of 151 hours.

M Live


Boo! USS Edson in Bay City offers ‘haunted’ ship tours

10/3 - Bay City, Mich. – Under dark, eerie skies this past weekend, hundreds ventured through the depths of the USS Edson, a retired U.S. Naval destroyer that calls Bay County home on the banks of the Saginaw River.

Dozens of volunteers came together on Saturday to kick off a month of haunted tours on the vessel. The Vietnam-era ship has been the focus of numerous paranormal investigations over the years. Those brave enough to enter were asked to investigate a terrifying military experiment on all five levels of the Naval destroyer.

The tour lasts 15 minutes. People in hazmat suits lead participants through a labyrinth of tunnels, evading zombies and creatures across the five decks of horrors.

While the festivities are all fun and games, there have been talks about whether or not the USS Edson is haunted. Mike Kegley, Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum president, has said in the past that he's a believer when it comes to possible ghosts on the ship.

The haunted attraction at the USS Edson continues to Nov. 5. General admission is $15, Fast Pass tickets are $25 and Group Rate tickets are $12.

Bay City Times


National Museum of Great Lakes raffling a Great Lakes cruise

10/3 - Toledo, Ohio – There are no casinos, wave pools, or ports of call with sandy beaches and swim-up bars. No worries. Those who have traveled on Great Lakes freighters apparently didn’t miss any of that, according to Chris Gillcrist, executive director of the Toledo-based National Museum of the Great Lakes.

Whether sailing on freighters in the early 20th century or today, “what unites everybody is that they all consider it the ultimate trip of a lifetime,” Gillcrist said.

Unlike the thousands of Caribbean cruises taken each year, similar trips aboard Great Lakes freighters are not available commercially. But next week’s free program presented by Gillcrist at 7 p.m. Thursday at Cambria Suites Hotel, 35600 Detroit Road, Avon, will offer the chance to buy $100 tickets that will send one lucky ticket holder on a Great Lakes cruise.

Money from the raffle benefits the nonprofit museum and its programs that work to preserve and celebrate the history of the Great Lakes and the ships and people who traveled on them.

Titled “Traveling in Style: VIP Travel on Great Lakes Freighters Since 1900,” the program presents slides depicting trips past and present.

While several shipping companies occasionally donate Great Lakes trips, most of those offered by the museum are aboard vessels of the Interlake Steamship Co., which raffles four outings a year to benefit nonprofit organizations that can realize $60,000 to $90,000, Gillcrist said.

The value of such trips can range from $5,000 to $6,000 for a couple to $16,000 for a foursome, Gillcrist said. Most trips take place during summer and are of the four-nights and five-days variety.

Those who buy raffle tickets at next week’s program in Avon also will be entered in a special raffle for a Cuyahoga River dinner cruise for four aboard a restored bumboat, a small boat that typically ferried supplies or sold items to freighters anchored offshore.

The winner of the Great Lakes trip will be chosen during an Oct. 15 drawing.



Updates -  October 3

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 3

On October 3,1887, EBENEZER (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 103 foot, 158 gross tons, built in 1847, at Buffalo, New York) was driven ashore off the breakwater at Holland, Michigan, during a storm. She had sprung a leak in the terrific storm, lost her deck load of shingles and struck the pier trying to get into the harbor. She broke in two but was later raised and rebuilt. She lasted until 1903.

On October 3,1887, CITY OF GREEN BAY (3-mast wooden schooner, 145 foot, 346 gross tons, built in 1872, at Green Bay, Wisconsin) was carrying iron ore from Escanaba to St. Joseph, Michigan, on Lake Michigan and having difficulty in a strong westerly gale. She sprang a leak and anchored four miles from South Haven and put up distress signals. The wind and waves were so bad that the crew could not safely abandon the vessel. She slipped her anchor and was driven on to a bar at Evergreen Point, just 500 feet from shore. The crew scrambled up the rigging as the vessel sank. The South Haven Life Saving crew tried to get a breeches buoy out to the wreck, but their line broke repeatedly. So much wreckage was in the surf that it fouled their surfboat. Soon the masts went by the board and the crew members were in the churning seas. Six died. Only Seaman A. T. Slater made it to shore. The ineffective attempts of the Life Saving crew resulted in Keeper Barney Alonzo Cross being relieved of his command of the station.

The E. G. GRACE was delivered to the Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland on October 3, 1943. The GRACE was part of a government program designed to upgrade and increase the capacity of the U.S. Great Lakes fleet during World War II. In order to help finance the building of new ships, the U.S.M.C. authorized a program that would allow existing fleets to obtain new boats by trading in their older boats to the government for credit. As partial payment for each new vessel, a fleet owner surrendered the equivalent tonnage of their existing and/or obsolete vessels, along with some cash, to the Maritime Commission.

October 3, 1941 - The CITY OF FLINT 32, eastbound from Milwaukee, collided with the PERE MARQUETTE 22 westbound. The PERE MARQUETTE 22 headed directly for Manitowoc for repairs while the CITY OF FLINT 32 continued to Ludington where she discharged her cargo, then headed for the shipyard in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

The barges BELLE CASH and GEO W. HANNAFORD, owned by Capt. Cash of East China Township, Michigan, were driven ashore on Long Point in Lake Erie on 3 October 1875.

On October 3, 1900, the steel freighter CAPTAIN THOMAS WILSON left Port Huron on her maiden voyage for Marquette, Michigan, where she loaded 6,200 tons of iron ore for Cleveland, Ohio.

ARK (3-mast iron-strapped wooden scow-schooner-barge, 177 foot, 512 tons, built in 1875, at Port Dalhousie, Ontario) was in tow of the steam barge ALBION (wooden propeller, 134 foot, 297 gross tons, built in 1862, at Brockville, Ontario) on Lake Huron when a terrific storm struck on October 3,1887. Both were loaded with lumber. Both vessels were driven ashore near Grindstone City, Michigan. The U.S. Lifesaving Service rescued the crews. The ALBION was pounded to pieces the next day and the ARK was declared a total loss, but was recovered and was sailing again within the month.

1907: The wooden tug PHILADELPHIA dated from 1869 and briefly served in the Algoma fleet. It was wrecked at Gros Cap, Lake Superior, on this date in 1907.

1911: The wooden freighter A.L. HOPKINS had cleared Bayfield the previous day with a full load of lumber and foundered in a storm on this date near Michigan Island, Lake Superior. Buoyed by the cargo, the hull floated a few more days before it disappeared. All 15 on board were picked up by the ALVA C. DINKEY.

1928: The steel bulk carrier M.J. BARTELME ran aground at Cana Island, Lake Michigan. The bottom was ripped open and the ship was abandoned. It was dismantled on site in 1929.

1953: The superstructure of the idle passenger steamer PUT-IN-BAY was burned off in Lake St. Clair and the remains of the iron hull were later dismantled at River Rouge.

1963: The Liberian flag Liberty ship TRIKERI, on her only trip to the Great Lakes, swung sideways in the Welland Canal near Welland, blocked the waterway and delayed traffic for 4 hours. The ship arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for scrapping as e) DAHLIA on December 27, 1967.

1963: A fire broke out in the cargo hold of the FRED CHRISTIANSEN while downbound at Sault Ste. Marie. The stubborn blaze took 4 hours to put out and was believed caused by some of the grain igniting as it was close to a steam line. The Norwegian freighter began Seaway trading in 1959 and returned as b) HERA in 1964. It arrived at Pasajes, Spain, under this name for scrapping on May 30, 1974.

1969: JOSEPH H. ran aground at Bic Island, in the St. Lawrence while enroute from Milwaukee to Russia with a cargo of rawhides. The Liberian-flag vessel sustained heavy bottom damage. It was refloated on October 6, taken to Levis, QC, and subsequently broken up there for scrap. The ship was operating under her fifth name and had first come through the Seaway as a) GRANADA in 1959.

1980: POLYDORA first came inland for four trips as a) FERNFIORD in 1963 and returned under her new name in 1964 on charter to Canadian Pacific Steamships. The ship had been at Marina di Carrara, Italy, and under arrest as d) GEORGIOS B., when it sailed overnight without permission. A fire in the engineroom broke out the next day and, while taken in tow, the ship foundered east of Tavolara Island, Sardinia.

1999: MANCHESTER MERCURIO traded through the Seaway in a container shuttle service beginning in 1971. It was abandoned by the crew and sank off the coast of Morocco as f) PHOENIX II on this date in 1999.

2000: The tug KETA V. usually operated on the St. Lawrence for Verreault Navigation but came to the Great Lakes with barges for Windsor in 1993. It ran aground and sank near Liverpool, NS on this date in 2000 but all on board got away safely on life rafts.

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


Algosoo on the move to scrapyard

10/2 - Algosoo departed Toronto Sunday October 2, at 0621. ETA Welland Canal is today at 9 a.m. This is the final opportunity to view the Algosoo under her own power, as she is transiting for Port Colborne to be dismantled in the weeks to come.


Poe Lock to shut down for repairs

10/2 - The Poe Lock in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan has been operating with one empty valve due to a hydraulic cylinder failure since early July 2016. The Poe Lock will have a six hour outage on Monday in order to replace the hydraulic cylinder. The outage is expected to begin around 8:30 in the morning. The Lock will be returned to full service as soon as the work is completed.


Port Reports -  October 2

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Joseph L. Block arrived Duluth just after 3 am on Saturday with limestone for CN. She was then expected to take on a split load of iron ore pellets and blast furnace trim. Tim S. Dool arrived at 5:50 with her usual load of cement for the Holcim terminal. American Integrity arrived mid-afternoon to load coal at Midwest Energy, and Cason J. Callaway arrived mid-evening to discharge limestone at C. Reiss Terminal.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Pineglen and G3 Marquis were loading Saturday, while Federal Hunter and Federal Asahi were at anchor.

St. Marys River
Saturday’s upbound traffic included Edwin H. Gott, Alpena (headed for Superior), Baie Comeau, Gadwall, Algorail (no destination shown on AIS) and Federal Yukina. Downbounders included H. Lee White and Juno. USCG Hollyhock locked down in the morning and tied up at the Carbide Dock for an unspecified period of time.

Detroit, Mich.
After waiting on the hook for the strong current from recent rains to subside, Algoway made it into the Rouge River Saturday to unload. She was towed up river stern first by the tugs Wyoming and Colorado. Lee A. Tregurtha also arrived on Saturday.

Monroe, Mich.
Paul R. Tregurtha was unloading coal at the Monroe Power Plant Saturday evening.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Algoma Olympic has been delayed in her transit of the Welland Canal. It looks more like a mid-to-late Sunday afternoon arrival at Toledo. Spruceglen was at Montreal Saturday headed for Toledo.

Toronto, Ont.
Waterfront reports indicate that Algosoo may transit the Welland Canal upbound Sunday en route to the scrap dock at Port Colborne, Ont.


Steelworkers ratify contract with Cliffs

10/2 - Duluth, Minn. – The United Steelworkers of America announced Thursday that its members have ratified a new labor contract with Cliffs Natural Resources. The contract, first announced in late August, covers about 2,000 USW-represented workers at United Taconite in Eveleth and Forbes, Hibbing Taconite and Cliffs' operations in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It's retroactive to Oct. 1, 2015, and will expire on Oct. 1, 2018.

The union said the new contract "preserves wages, benefits and other longstanding rights and protections without lowering the standards of living of current workers or retirees."

"The contract reflects the hard work and solidarity of our negotiating committee, activists and members and retirees from each of the local unions," Emil Ramirez, director of USW District 11 — which includes Minnesota — said in a news release. "Settling our differences with management at the table will enable all of us to focus on addressing the industry's real problems, such as global overcapacity and the unfair and often illegal foreign trade practices that depress prices, close facilities and cost jobs."

The agreement came after a year of negotiations. The previous contract had expired Oct. 1, 2015, and Cliffs employees had been working under the terms of the expired contract since that time.

"Through no fault of their own, too many of our brothers and sisters have dealt with the uncertainty of an industry downturn brought about by decades of misguided trade policies," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "We are looking forward to a more secure future with ratification complete and a fair collective bargaining agreement in place."

When the tentative contract agreement was announced in August, Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves said it was "fair and equitable to both parties, and provides Cliffs a competitive cost structure for future success. ... This agreement once again reinforces that we have more in common with the USW than we have differences, and we look forward to continuing our strong partnership."

Earlier this year, Steelworkers ratified labor contracts with:

• ArcelorMittal USA, which has about 310 hourly employees at its Minorca taconite iron ore mine and processing operations in Virginia. The agreement also covers another 13,000 workers at ArcelorMittal steelmaking facilities in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, South Carolina and Louisiana.

• U.S. Steel, affecting 18,000 employees at more than a dozen facilities across the country, including hundreds at the Minntac taconite mine and processing plant in Mountain Iron and Keetac operations in Keewatin.

Duluth News Tribune


A year later, El Faro families, investigators still looking for answers

10/2 - Jacksonville, Fla. – A year after the El Faro sank in a powerful hurricane, claiming the lives of all 33 mariners, family members and investigators are still looking for answers to what happened to the cargo ship in those last hours.

They know a lot more than they did a year ago today, when U.S. Coast Guard crews were still hoping to find survivors but knew the odds were long given the nearly 800-foot vessel could not be located. They still don’t know why the ship was there and what, ultimately, led to its demise.

Now they know the spot near the Bahamas where the battered ship rests 3 miles below the surface. They know the El Faro lost propulsion, was taking on water, and was listing at the mercy of the powerful winds and surging water of the storm. They know the captain ordered the crew to abandon ship just minutes before an audio recording device stopped working.

But there is no closure. No bodies have been recovered. Uncertainty remains about those last hours as Hurricane Joaquin approached and overtook the ship. The owner has settled wrongful death lawsuits brought by 23 of the 33 estates, but with one court date not set until 2018 and at least two ongoing federal investigations, final resolutions and meaningful answers could be years away.

Investigators and family members are hopeful that 26 hours of data and audio from the ship’s voyage data recorder, retrieved in August on a third mission, will provide key evidence and fill in some gaps. The National Transportation Safety Board is processing that data and transcribing the recovered audio.

The lead Coast Guard investigator said he and his team are “exploring several factors that seemed to combine together” that led to the loss of the ship on its route between Jacksonville, where many of the crewmembers lived, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“I don’t feel there is one certain factor that stands out more than the others,” said Capt. Jason Neubauer, chairman of the board appointed by the Coast Guard commandant to investigate the Oct. 1, 2015, tragedy. Neubauer pointed to the weather, the “vessel’s overall compliance through time,” “human factors that we’re examining for the crew,” and other factors related to the stability and loading of the El Faro.

The Coast Guard is also overseeing several studies, with the two most prominent analyzing the condition of the ship on the final voyage and factors related to its stability. Those include cargo loading, the “liquid loads,” and “the vessel stability while under way while at a sea state.”

“It is just to try to model how the vessel would have handled under those environmental conditions,” Neubauer said.

He said he hopes those studies will be completed by the next hearing of the Marine Board of Investigation, which is tentatively scheduled for January. He expects this third hearing to be the last. The board met two previous times for two weeks each in Jacksonville, hearing from former crew members, from executives with Tote Services Inc. that owned the ship, top officials with the National Hurricane Center, surveyors who inspected the El Faro, those who oversaw the loading of the ship, and the Coast Guard captain who oversaw the search and rescue effort.

After the team completes the investigation, it will submit a report including recommendations to the Coast Guard commandant. Neubauer said because of the uncertainty of the information from the VDR, he did not have a timeline for the final report.

The Marine Board of Investigation is rare, the highest level of investigation for the Coast Guard. The last one was for the Deepwater Horizon incident, currently being portrayed in the movie of the same name.

Neubauer said he regularly communicates by phone, email and social media with the El Faro families, including those of the five Polish workers aboard.

“Several family members know about the maritime industry and have provided leads to the investigative team,” Neubauer said. “Others have voiced concerns” including aspects of the investigation they want explored or witnesses they believe investigators should call before them. “I basically tell them we will track down any of the leads they provide to me” and are committed to determining what happened and preventing similar tragedies in the future, Neubauer said.

On Oct. 1, the Seafarers Internation Union dedicated an El Faro memorial in Jacksonville, Florida, and also conducted a brief ceremony at its affiliated school in Piney Point, Maryland.

Many of the 17 SIU crewmembers who perished aboard the El Faro were from the Jacksonville area, and the ship last set sail from that port. The monument unveiled at the union hall on Belfort Road is a miniature lighthouse featuring 33 stars – one for each person who was part of the vessel’s final crew.

There is also an El Faro memorial at the waterfront park in Piney Point; it was formally dedicated in late April., SIU


Updates -  October 2

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the ARA Rotterdam, Atlanticborg, Duzgit Endeavour, Ganges Star, Halit Bey, Industrial Charger, Lake St. Clair, Nilufer Sultan, Oborishte, Ruddy and Tufty.


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 2

On her maiden trip in 1905, the PETER WHITE grounded outside the Lackawanna breakwall. After lightering 200 tons, she proceeded to the Lackawanna Steel mill where the remainder of the cargo was unloaded.

On this day in 1979, the ELTON HOYT 2ND unloaded her last cargo as a straight decker at the Ashtabula & Buffalo Dock, Ashtabula, Ohio.

On October 2,1901, M. M. DRAKE (wooden propeller freighter, 201 foot, 1,102 gross tons, built in 1882, at Buffalo, New York) and her consort MICHIGAN (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 213 foot, 1,057 gross tons, built in 1874, at Detroit, Michigan) were loaded with iron ore while sailing in a strong gale on Lake Superior. The MICHIGAN began to leak and the DRAKE came around to take off her crew, but the two vessels collided. Both sank off Vermilion Point, Michigan. One life was lost. As the vessels sank, the passing steamers NORTHERN WAVE and CRESCENT CITY stood by and rescued the crews.

Upper Lakes Shipping's new self-unloader CANADIAN OLYMPIC was christened on October 2, 1976, at St. Catharines, Ontario. Her name honored the Olympic Games that were held at Montreal that year.

TADOUSSAC (Hull#192) departed Collingwood on her maiden voyage for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. on October 2, 1969, to load iron ore at Fort William, Ontario.

The sandsucker AMERICAN last operated in 1956, and laid up at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She was scrapped in S. Chicago in 1984.

JOHN T. HUTCHINSON and CONSUMERS POWER arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan on October 2, 1988, where dismantling began on October 14t by Li Chong Steel & Iron Works Co. Ltd.

On her maiden voyage October 2, 1943, E. G. GRACE cleared Lorain, Ohio, bound for Superior, Wisconsin, to load iron ore.

HOCHELAGA of 1949 departed Toronto October 2, 1993, in tow of the McKeil tugs GLENBROOK and KAY COLE for Montreal, Quebec, and then to the cutter’s torch.

October 2, 1954 - The PERE MARQUETTE 21 sailed into Ludington, Michigan, on her second maiden voyage of her career.

On October 2,1888, OLIVER CROMWELL (wooden schooner-barge, 138 foot, 291 tons, built in 1853, at Buffalo, New York) was being towed by the steamer LOWELL in a storm in Lake Huron when she broke her towline. She rode out most of the storm at anchor, but then she snapped her anchor chains and she was driven ashore at Harbor Beach, Michigan, where she broke up.

The 183 foot, 3-mast wooden schooner QUEEN CITY was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan, on 2 October 1873.

The Port Huron Times reported the following shipwrecks from a severe storm that swept the Lakes over 2-3 October 1887: Schooner CITY OF GREEN BAY lost near South Haven, Michigan; the schooner-barge CHARLES L HUTCHINSON, lost near Buffalo, New York; the steam barge ALBION and her consort the schooner-barge ARK ashore near Grindstone City, Michigan; the 3-mast schooner EBENEZER ashore near Holland, Michigan; the wooden package freighter CALIFORNIA sunk in the Straits of Mackinaw; the schooner HOLMES ashore at Middle Island on Lake Huron; the schooner GARIBALDI ashore near Port Elgin on Lake Huron; the barge MAYFLOWER disabled near Grand Haven, Michigan; the schooner D. S. AUSTIN ashore at Point Clark; and the schooner HENRY W HOAG ashore at Erie, Pennsylvania.

1891: WINSLOW ran aground in fog while inbound at Duluth. The hole in the wooden hull was patched and the ship was released and able to be docked. The vessel caught fire while unloading the next day and destroyed.

1938: The first WINDOC was struck when Bridge 20, a railway bridge across the Welland Canal, was lowered prematurely and removing the stack, spar and lifeboats of the N.M. Paterson steamer.

1953: A collision occurred between PIONEER and WALLSCHIFF in the St. Clair River on this date and the latter, a West German visitor to the Great Lakes, rolled on its side and settled in shallow water. One crew member perished. PIONEER, a Cleveland-Cliffs steamer, was repaired for further service and was later scrapped at Genoa, Italy, in 1961. WALLSCHIFF, on her first and only trip to the Great Lakes, was refloated and departed for permanent repairs overseas in 1954. The vessel was still sailing as g) GOLDEN MERCURY in 2011.

1973: A head-on collision in fog off Gull Island, Lake Michigan between the T-2 tanker MARATHONIAN and Norwegian freighter ROLWI left both ships with massive bow damage. The former had begun Seaway service as f) MARATHON in 1960 and was repaired at South Chicago. It disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle as h) SYLVIA L. OSSA in October 1976. ROLWI, a Norwegian salty, was also repaired and returned inland as b) DOBERG in 1974 and c) LORFRI in 1976. It arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping as e) PEROZAN on February 6, 1996.

1992: The Canadian coastal freighter SIR JOHN CROSBIE was built in St. Catharines by Port Weller Dry Docks in 1962. It sank in the Gulf of Mexico off the west coast of Florida as c) HOLSTEN on this date but all on board were rescued.

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


Port Reports -  October 1

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Friday saw little traffic in Duluth. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived just after midnight to load coal at Midwest Energy. She departed mid-afternoon, while her fleetmate American Mariner departed a few hours later.

Port Inland, Mich.
Michipicoten was loading stone Friday evening.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic Friday included John J. Boland around noon, CSL Welland, and Frontenac at dusk, followed by the passenger ship Victory 1 and Presque Isle. Upbound traffic included the American Integrity and Saginaw in the morning, followed by Cason J. Callaway. USCH Hollyhock was anchored in the upper river Friday night after locking upbound on Thursday. Her AIS says “sea trials.” Joseph H. Thompson was loading at the Drummond Island stone dock. Soo Traffic is announcing that the Poe Lock will be out of service for six hours Monday for valve repairs.

Alpena, Mich.
Alpena was in her namesake port loading at Lafarge on Friday.


ArcelorMittal fears "catastrophic harm" if Corps fails to dredge Cuyahoga channel

10/1 - Cleveland, Ohio – The ArcelorMittal company said this week that the steel mill will suffer "catastrophic harm" if a federal judge doesn't immediately order the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the Cuyahoga River shipping channel.

If the Army Corps fails to dredge this fall, the steel mill could be forced to curtail or shut down its blast furnaces without the raw materials necessary to make steel, the company's lawyers' said in a 17-page motion to intervene filed in U.S. District Court.

As sediment has built up in the shipping channel, cargo ships have been compelled to lighten their loads to prevent bottoming out or becoming stuck in the river. Due to the lighter loads, the steel mill's inventory of iron ore pellets has reached a critically low level, the motion said.

"Each passing day decreases the likelihood that ArcelorMittal will be able to recover from that inventory shortfall without having to curtail or idle its plant," the motion said.

Read more at this link


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 1

In 1986, the HERBERT C. JACKSON rescued Carl Ward and his nephew after they had been adrift on lower Lake Michigan for 80 hours.

On October 1,1888, the ST CLAIR (3-mast wooden schooner, 156 foot, 296 gross tons, built in 1859, at Montreal as a bark) was carrying coal in a storm on Lake Huron as part of a 5-barge tow of the tug CHAMPION. She broke loose and came to anchor off Harbor Beach, Michigan. The anchor dragged and she sank near the mouth of the harbor. The crew was rescued by the U.S. Life Saving Service. However, this rescue was ill fated since all were taken in the lifesavers surfboat and the boat was rowed 23 miles to Port Sanilac. 100 yards from shore, just a half mile from Port Sanilac, the surfboat capsized and five lives were lost. The wreck of the ST. CLAIR was later lightered, raised and towed out into the lake and re-sunk.

CHICAGO TRADER, a.) THE HARVESTER of 1911, was laid up on October 1, 1976, at the Frog Pond in Toledo, Ohio.

Dismantling commenced October 1, 1974, on the KINSMAN INDEPENDENT a.) WILLIAM B. KERR of 1907, at Santander, Spain.

October 1, 1997 - The CITY OF MIDLAND 41 was towed out of Ludington to be converted to a barge.

On October 1, 1843, ALBANY (wooden brig, 110 tons, built in 1835, at Oswego, New York) was carrying merchandise and passengers when she went aground in a storm and was wrecked just a few miles from Mackinaw City, Michigan.

The steam barge C. H. GREEN was launched at E. Saginaw, Michigan, for Mason, Green & Corning of Saginaw on October 1, 1881. She was schooner rigged and spent her first year as a tow barge. The following winter her engine and boiler were installed. Her dimensions were 197 feet X 33 feet X 13 feet, 920 tons. She cost $70,000.

On October 1,1869, SEA GULL (wooden schooner, 83 tons, built in 1845, at Milan, Ohio) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan. She was driven ashore and wrecked south of Grand Haven, Michigan. The wreck was pulled off the beach a few days later, but was declared a constructive loss, stripped and abandoned. She was owned by Capt. Henry Smith of Grand Haven.

1918: The Canadian bulk carrier GALE STAPLES was blown ashore Point au Sable about 8 miles west of Grand Marais. All on board were saved but the wooden vessel, best known as b) CALEDONIA, broke up.

1942: The former CANADIAN ROVER, Hull 67 from the Collingwood shipyard, was torpedoed and sunk as d) TOSEI MARU in the Pacific east of Japan by U.S.S. NAUTILUS.

1946: KINDERSLEY, loaded with 2074 tons of excess munitions, was scuttled in the deep waters of the Atlantic. The former C.S.L. freighter had been on saltwater to assist in the war effort.

1984: ANNEMARIE KRUGER arrived at Finike, Turkey, as e) BANKO with engine damage on this date and was laid up. The ship, a frequent Seaway visitor in the 1960s, was sold for scrap and arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, under tow on August 3, 1986, and was dismantled.

1998 The tank barge SALTY DOG NO. 1 broke tow from the tug DOUG McKEIL and went aground off Anticosti Island the next day. The vessel was released and it operated until scrapping at Port Colborne in 2005.

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


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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