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Port Reports -  January 23

Goderich, Ont.
John B. Aird arrived before midnight Saturday to load salt.

 

Traverse City Shipmasters to meet this Thursday for dinner, presentation

1/23 - International Shipmasters’ Grand Traverse Lodge 23 will be gathering for dinner on Thursday, Jan. 26, at Boone's Long Lake Inn, Traverse City, Mich. There will be a short general meeting and discussion of the upcoming Grand Lodge Convention in Alpena, Mich., Feb 2-5. In addition, a representative from the USCG Airstation in Traverse City will speak about their new helicopters. You need not be an ISMA member to attend; everyone is welcome.

Thursday, Jan 26; 6:30 p.m. meeting, 7 p.m. dinner and presentation Boone's Long Lake Inn, 7208 Secor Rd., Traverse City, MI 49685 Please RSVP for the dinner to Mark Mather at markmather@pmship.com

 

Updates -  January 23

News Photo Gallery                 

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 23

January 23 - The CELTIC (wooden schooner-barge, 190 foot, 716 gross tons, built 1890, at W. Bay City, Michigan) broke away from the steamer H.E. RUNNELS during a fierce gale on Lake Huron on 29 November 1902, and was lost with all hands. No wreckage was found until 23 January 1903, when a yawl and the captain’s desk with the ship’s papers were found on Boom Point, southeast of Cockburn Island.

GEORGE A. STINSON struck a wall of the Poe Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on January 23, 1979. The damage was estimated at $200,000.

The rail car ferry GRAND HAVEN sailed on her first trip as a roll on/roll off carrier from Port Burwell on January 23, 1965, loaded with 125 tons of coiled steel bound for Cleveland and Walton Hills, Ohio.

1983: The Greek freighter CAPTAIN M. LYRAS visited the Seaway in 1960 and 1961 and returned as b) ANGELIKI L. in 1965. It arrived at Gadani Beach on this date as c) ANAMARIA for scrapping.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Port Reports -  January 22

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Joseph L. Block arrived at BayShip around 7 P.M. Friday for her winter slumber. Calumet arrived on Saturday.

Lake Huron
John B. Aird was upbound Saturday for Milwaukee with salt. Joyce L. Van Enkevort/Great Lakes Trader were also upbound, possibly for Escanaba. Algosteel was upbound headed for Chicago, according to AIS.

Lake Michigan
Prentiss Brown and her barge loaded in Charlevoix, then left sometime Saturday for Milwaukee.

Goderich, Ont.
John B. Aird was loading salt on Saturday evening.

 

The battle over the Norisle: lawsuit filed over future of historic ferry

1/22 - Manitowaning, Ont. – The fight over whether a historic Manitoulin Island steamship will sail again or be intentionally sunk is expected to be settled in a courtroom. The citizens group that is trying to restore the S.S. Norisle is now suing the town it was once working with on a new tourist attraction.

The SS Norisle Steamship Society filed the suit in December 2016 against the Township of Assiginack — the municipality that covers Manitowaning — where the steamship has lived in the harbor since the 1970s.

The organization is seeking $10 million in damages, and wants an order preventing the town from going ahead with plans to give the ship to another group on the Bruce Peninsula that plans to sink it and use it as a dive site.

The Norisle ran the ferry route from Tobermory to Manitoulin Island from 1946 until 1964. It was later replaced by the MS Chi-Cheemaun. The historic vessel was operated as a museum in Manitowaning until 2007, when a citizens group — which is now the SS Norisle Steamship Society — began planning to restore the ship and take tourists out on cruises of Lake Huron.

According to court documents, the society raised over $1 million in private and government funding and struck an agreement with the township in 2008 to eventually transfer ownership of the ship to the society. But then in 2015, the society alleges, the municipality suddenly backed out and didn't give an explanation as to why.

On top of its monetary demands, the steamship society lawsuit seeks an order where it is named the owner of the Norisle. Both sides declined to comment, as the matter is before the courts.

CBC

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 22

The c.) WOODLAND, a.) FRENCH RIVER) was sold to International Capital Equipment of Canada and cleared the lakes from Montreal January 22, 1991, under the Bahamian flag with the modified name to d.) WOODLANDS.

GOLDEN HIND was sold on January 22, 1973, to Trico Enterprises Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda (Quebec & Ontario Transportation Co. Ltd., Thorold, Ontario, mgr.).

January 22, 1913 - SAINTE MARIE (Hull#127) was launched at Toledo, Ohio, by Craig Shipbuilding Co.

1976: INGRID WEIDE first came to the Great Lakes in 1953, and the West German freighter returned on many occasions including 23 trips through the Seaway to the end of 1965. The vessel stranded as c) DENEB B. off Borkum Island, West Germany, while inbound for Emden with a cargo of stone. The hull broke in two and sank but all on board were rescued.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

McKeil Marine enters long-term agreement with Essroc cement

1/21 - Toronto, Ont. – McKeil Marine has entered into an agreement with Essroc Canada, a part of Lehigh Hanson, Inc., to provide a cement vessel for the transportation of various cement products from Essroc’s production facility in Picton, Ont., to their terminals in Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

"This an exciting milestone contract for McKeil,” said Steve Fletcher, President and Chief Executive Officer, McKeil. “We highly value our relationship with Essroc. We have worked collaboratively to generate the optimal marine solution.”

McKeil Marine will acquire and operate Essroc’s current vessel, the Stephen B. Roman, to provide cement transportation services during the 2017 season. To fulfill the long-term contract, McKeil will deliver a modern shallow draft vessel in early 2018.

The addition of the Stephen B. Roman to the McKeil fleet will provide many new opportunities for the marine logistics company.

“We will be looking to add about 30 new full time jobs in total between sailing and shore-based positions,” said Fletcher.

McKeil Marine

 

Petroleum products impact Port of Green Bay shipping season

1/21 - Green Bay, Wis. – The shipping season has come to an end for the Port of Green Bay. With a final shipment of cement on Jan. 7, the shipping season came to an official end on Jan. 13. The 2016 season started on March 21. This start date was 13 days earlier than the previous year due to the mild winter.

The 2016 season totaled 1.8 million metric tons of cargo. This number was down about 9 percent from 2015.

“While the numbers didn’t quite reach the 2 million mark, being as close as they were means it was still a good season,” stated Port Director Dean Haen. “The numbers indicate that the economy in Northeast Wisconsin remains strong.”

In the 2016 season, domestic imports of petroleum products were up 1,421 percent and U.S. was up 40 percent. The big change in petroleum was due to the closing of a petroleum pipeline serving Northeast Wisconsin.

“The most significant change resulting in those decreases, as well as the increase in domestic imports of petroleum products, can be attributed to the petroleum pipeline closure,” Haen explained. “Prior to the closure, US Venture exported diesel, gasoline and ethanol to other markets. With the closure of the pipeline, the exports flipped to imports to meet the demand for petroleum products.”

Haen says he expects increases in limestone and petroleum products, and decreases in coal and cement due to the low cost of natural gas and the completion of the Interstate 41 project.

GreenBay.com

 

Marine museum at Goderich to be offered to the city

1/21 - Goderich, Ont. – Huron County is looking to hand the town of Goderich the keys to the marine museum, located along the town's waterfront. This includes numerous items relating to the wheelhouse at the beach (from the former Great Lakes vessel Shelter Bay) including the lifeboat, anchor, propeller, steam whistle and compass.

Cultural Services Director Meighan Wark proposed Huron County deaccess those items, which would officially remove them from the museum's holdings. It was also proposed those items be offered to the Town of Goderich, something councillors approved at their latest meeting.

Wark's report cites peeling paint on the body of the Marine Museum, cracked asbestos tiles, leaky roofs, and major rusting. It is also estimated the Marine Museum generated $962 dollars in July and August of 2016. There’s no word yet on whether Goderich will accept the deaccessed items from Huron County.

Bayshore Broadcasting

 

Port Reports -  January 21

Lake Michigan
John B. Aird was upbound Friday for Goderich. Joseph L. Block was also upbound, destination unreported (her AIS read “Goin’ North”). Prentiss Brown and her barge were headed for Charlevoix. Calumet was westbound under the Mackinac Bridge in the evening headed for Sturgeon Bay (following the “Freedom Trail,” according to AIS).

Goderich, Ont.
Algoma Transport loading salt on Friday evening.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 21

On 21 January 1895, CHICORA (wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 199 foot, 1,123 gross tons, built in 1892, at Detroit, Michigan) was bound from Milwaukee for St. Joseph on a mid-winter run when he foundered with little trace. All 25 on board were lost. The ship's dog was found wandering on the beach by St. Joseph, Michigan, a few days later. A well-organized search for the wreck continued until mid-June. Many small pieces of wreckage were washed ashore in the spring.

On January 21, 1978, the Multifood Elevator #4 at Duluth, Minnesota, caught fire and collapsed onto the deck of the steamer HARRY L. ALLEN, which was laid up beneath the elevator. Her pilothouse was destroyed by fire. Severe warping and cracking of her plating occurred when cold water was poured onto her red-hot deck. Declared a constructive total loss, she was scrapped at Duluth in 1978.

1904: HENDRICK S. HOLDEN was torn loose by flooding on the Black River at Lorain, Ohio, and the vessel smashed a coal dump. It also crushed and sank the tug GULL on its way into Lake Erie. The bulk carrier last sailed as VANDOC (i) in 1965.

1921: G.J. BOYCE had been sold off-lakes in 1916. It was inbound for a Cuban port when it lost its rudder. The wooden schooner stranded near Porto Padre and broke up as a total loss.

1928: The Lake Michigan rail car ferry MADISON struck a sand bar off Grand Haven and went aground with close to $50,000 in damage. High winds and ice were a factor.

1959: High winds at Buffalo tore the MacGILVRAY SHIRAS loose when a heavy current swept the Buffalo River. The wayward vessel struck MICHAEL K. TEWSBURY and MERTON E. FARR and eventually demolished the Michigan Ave. Bridge. The damaged SHIRAS was not repaired and arrived in Hamilton in June 1959 for scrapping.

1978: VESLEFJELL was sailing as e) MARLEN when abandoned by the crew after developing leaks in heavy seas near the Canary Islands. The vessel was enroute to Nigeria with cement when it went down. It had been a Great Lakes trader beginning in 1951 and last called inland in 1962.

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

 

Michigan governor calls for new Soo lock

1/20 - Lansing, Mich. – In Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's State of the State address Tuesday, he called for a new lock at Sault Ste. Marie. Snyder said without a second 1,000-foot lock, our country's economy is at risk. He said a top priority right now is working with the federal government to get the lock constructed.

A recent study showed more than 60 percent of the U.S. and Canadian fleet is restricted in size to the Poe lock.

"Studies that have been done about the locks indicates that if it does fail it will have a very negative impact on the economy of the United States," said Tom Baldini, former chair of the International Joint Commission for Canada and the United States. "People don't realize that, how much traffic actually does go through the lock at Sault Ste. Marie."

Congress authorized a second Poe-sized lock in 1986, but the project has yet to be funded. According to reports, the new lock would cost roughly $626 million to construct. The same study reported it would provide an estimated net economic benefit of $1.7 billion.

WLUC

 

What happens when Great Lakes shipping season ends?

1/20 - Cleveland, Ohio – This week marks the start of a break in the Great Lakes shipping season. It’s a time when lakes freeze over, the locks at Sault St. Marie shut down, and crews on big freighters go home to their families. During the 10-week break between shipping seasons, ships undergo repairs and crews are laid off from their jobs.

Near the end of the work day at Great Lakes Towing, a company founded over 100 years ago by John D. Rockefeller, three men secured in harnesses weld on the bow of an upside-down tug boat.

“This tug will be named the tug Cleveland,” says company president Joe Starck. “All the older tugs are named after states, so we decided we’ll name these after our ports.”

The company has tugboats stationed from Duluth, Minn., all the way to Buffalo, N.Y., helping clients reach 40 different ports across the Great Lakes. But when shipping season ends, there’s little use for tugs – and the company changes gears.

“Shipyard work is what balances our annual cycle so that we don’t go completely dark here,” said Starck. “In the old days they would shut down and everybody would go to Florida – that doesn’t happen anymore.”

These days, Great Lakes Towing is not only repairing its own boats, but customer’s boats, too. Starck says the company changed its business model and diversified to make up for a decline in the towing business. “It has been a struggle. You really have to constantly keep your nose to the grindstone.”

Completing tug Cleveland is at the top of a long list of projects Great Lakes Towing will complete this year. Workers will also repair a client’s barge that was damaged in western Lake Erie.

“We have a barge in the yard right now that had some damage to the bottom,” said Starck. “The bottom plate was opened up by rocks that the barge unintentionally landed on.”

The company employs about 100 people, but Starck says that number could double with winter ship repairs. Some workers come to Cleveland year after year for the work.

But what happens to all the ship captains, engineers, and deckhands? “Basically they’re all laid off, and then it’s up to them what they do,” said John Clemons, regional vice president of the American Maritime Officers Union, which has about 400 members. “I myself picked up work working on ships, doing repair work for them. Some of them go on vacation, a lot of people are just happy to be home.”

The life of a sailor is a grueling, 24/7 commitment. Some work what’s called a 60-30 schedule, 60 straight days working, then a 30-day break.

Almost 200 people work aboard the nine vessels of the Interlake Steamship Company, and they have a few options during the winter hiatus.

“There are some that elect to participate in winter maintenance program and that could be a shipyard in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, a shipyard in Superior, a layup dock in Detroit,” said Interlake's Brendan O’Connor.

Everyone – from shipping companies to engineers – is looking for a better season in 2017. They hope President Trump’s promise to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges and waterways brings new opportunities to the Great Lakes.

“Any project that requires more steel and more building materials will help our business,” said Starck.

Interlake's O’Connor has a good feeling about 2017, too. “People do feel a sense of hopeful opportunity with the focus on infrastructure in the Midwest," he said.

The federal government has already recognized the need to improve the region’s infrastructure. The U.S. Treasury Department recently released a report that lists a renovation of the Soo Locks, which connect Lake Superior to the rest of the Great Lakes, as one of the country’s key projects.

The 2017 shipping season officially begins at the end of March. WBFO – Buffalo

 

Port Reports -  January 20

Escanaba, Mich.
Joseph H. Thompson departed Thursday headed for Gary, Ind.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – JohnTeichtler
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived for winter lay up around 1 p.m. local time.

Indiana Harbor, Ind.
Joseph L. Block departed Thursday late afternoon. AIS reports a destination of Escanaba, Mich. John B. Aird was off Chicago Thursday evening, with an unknown destination.

Port Huron / Sarnia
Manitowoc was upbound in the late evening with a destination of Sturgeon Bay.

Detroit-Windsor
Algoma Transport was in the Rouge River late Thursday. Algosteel left Detroit and tied up in Windsor.

Erie, Pa.
Presque Isle arrived for winter lay up on Thursday

 

Grand Haven’s busy shipping season ends

1/20 - Grand Haven, Mich. – Grand Haven’s shipping season carried into January, as one last vessel called on the port. This past Saturday afternoon, Ashton Marine’s tug Candace Elise came into port to break ice upriver. It cleared the ice surrounding the St. Marys Cement terminal.

The articulated tug/barge Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Challenger arrived off the piers at about 8:30 Saturday night. All the ice that the Candace Elise had broken up earlier in the day had flowed out to Lake Michigan by then.

The Challenger came in, with the Elise following behind. Once they reached Harbor Island, the Candace Elise took the lead.

The articulated tug/barge have had their share of icy visits to Grand Haven in the past. Several seasons ago, the Prentiss Brown, when it was paired with the barge St. Marys Conquest, came in on a late-season run to the cement dock. The Prentiss Brown left the barge at the Coast Guard dock and broke the ice at the dock so that the barge could tie up.

Read more and view photos at this link: http://www.grandhaventribune.com/Local/2017/01/19/Shipping-season-wraps-up.html?ci=stream&lp=2&p=1

 

Michigan county could sell replica of fur trading sloop Welcome

1/20 - Emmet County, Mich. – A buyer is looking to purchase the armed sloop Welcome, a replica 18th century fur-trading sloop, from Emmet County to place on display at a Mackinaw City business. If the sale is approved, the ship may be part of a larger display of historical artifacts at a new restaurant under construction on the shoreline of Mackinaw City.

Joe Lieghio and his family own a number of businesses in Mackinaw City and plan to open a new restaurant near the waterfront off of Huron Street. Lieghio recalls the ship being made as part of a celebration from the Mackinac Island State Park Commission in the 1970s as a celebration of the country's bicentennial.

"I'm from Mackinaw City, and I remember when they were building it over at the lighthouse park at Fort Michilimackinac and then when they put it over in the marina. I'd like to put it back. We want to set it up at the Humbard Dock area and make it open for the public to see," Lieghio said.

As long as they receive approval from state officials, Lieghio said the plan is to permanently moor the ship on the dock, allowing visitors to walk on to it, similar to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw that's now a permanent fixture as a museum.

The restaurant will also feature a museum that's open to the public, with artifacts from the local Mackinaw Area Historical Society and from the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point.

The potential to sell the ship to a private buyer was mentioned Thursday during the county board of commissioners' regular meeting.

The county took ownership of the sloop in 2015, through an agreement with the Maritime Heritage Alliance of Traverse City. The ship was constructed by the Mackinac Island State Park Commission at Mackinaw City's Fort Michilimackinac in the 1970s as a commemoration to the country's bicentennial.

The ship was acquired by the Maritime Heritage Alliance in 1992. The county and the alliance reached an agreement, where the county would purchase the ship for $1. In 2015, the county built a $240,000 facility for storing the ship, a structure that was originally budgeted at $150,000.

Commissioners agreed to meet with the buyers at the last meeting, but also proposed that if they plan to sell, they would want to advertise the sale to multiple bidders. They also hope to bring a representative from the Maritime Heritage Alliance to hear the terms of any potential agreement.

"Right now the boat is in the garage and it's not accessible to the public. It's susceptible to deterioration. It would appear that we have an opportunity for the boat to be restored and made available to the public again," said Emmet County Commissioner Charlie MacInnis.

At the time the county purchased the replica ship, officials agreed that if the county chose to sell and a change in ownership were to occur, they would request input from the alliance before entering into a change of ownership.

Lieghio said the ship would be a great addition to a collection of items on display at the new restaurant.

"The Welcome is a great replica, and it has historical value. But in and of itself, it's not enough to get people to go and see it. If we're able to do this, it will be in the same area as the museum and restaurant. We don't expect that the Welcome is going to make a profit, but it will be a draw to the business and it will be downtown and is something to give back to the community," Lieghio said.

A scheduled date for the parties to meet has not yet been set by the county.

Petoskey News Review

 

Great Lakes - St. Lawrence shipping vital to growth, trade, jobs

1/20 - Toronto, Ont. – In a speech Thursday in Toronto, new Chamber of Marine Commerce President Bruce Burrows called the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway a vital engine of sustainable growth that would benefit from increased infrastructure spending in Canada and the U.S.

“I believe this sector has enormous untapped potential that can be unleashed to create more marine traffic at lower cost. I’m convinced that inland and coastal shipping in Canada and the U.S. has tremendous capacity to grow. And current economic and political conditions are conducive to seeing this goal realized,” said Burrows at the Chamber’s annual luncheon. “Shipping is efficient, safe and sustainable. Shipping is vital to growth, trade and new jobs.”

Burrows, who took up his new post in December, pointed to promises from incoming President Donald Trump, and the plans by the government of Prime Minister Trudeau, to invest heavily in infrastructure spending.

“New infrastructure investment will generate increased volumes of materials being shipped on the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence and our coasts. Investments in icebreaking resources, waterways, locks and portside infrastructure, and more efficient delivery of marine navigational services would unleash the full sustainable potential of shipping.”

Burrows noted that all signs indicate reduced red tape and business fees under President Trump and that he hoped the U.S. administration would work closely with the Canadian government to address the “hodgepodge of regulations that currently govern the bi-national waters that we work within.”

He also emphasized that marine shipping’s green advantage bodes well in today’s environmentally- and climate-conscious world. “With our fuel-efficient ships, we have a lower carbon footprint than road or rail. And we enjoy low congestion relative to other major trade corridors. Marine shipping is an attractive alternative for governments committed to a sustainable transportation future, with the capacity to do even more to accelerate both economic and environmental progress.”

CMC Chair Wayne Smith also addressed the audience, noting that the Chamber’s recently completed merger with the Canadian Shipowners Association was perfectly timed.

Smith explained: “In the current climate of increasing transportation regulation and cost, it is clear that we need to better coordinate and strengthen our industry advocacy efforts and to build new partnerships while strengthening existing relationships among North American business, government and marine industry stakeholders.”

The luncheon, a signature event during a week of industry meetings, attracted a crowd of more than 200 Canadian and U.S. shipping, industrial and agricultural executives along with federal, provincial and local government representatives. Stuart Rothenberg, one of Washington’s most highly-respected political analysts and commentators, was the keynote speaker. Rothenberg is the founding editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, a weekly columnist with the Washington Post and a regular guest on national network television.

The Chamber of Marine Commerce is a bi-national association that represents more than 150 marine industry stakeholders including major Canadian and American shippers, ports, terminals and marine service providers, as well as domestic and international ship owners. The Chamber has merged with the Canadian Shipowners Association, combining resources to advocate for an efficient regulatory climate that promotes a strong and competitive marine industry for the benefit of all industry stakeholders throughout the bi-national Great Lakes and St. Lawrence region and along the eastern seaboard and northern coasts. Based in Ottawa, Canada, the merged entity will continue to be called the Chamber of Marine Commerce.

Chamber of Marine Commerce

 

Obituary Carol Johnson

1/20 - Carol Johnson of Williamston, Mich., former long-time calendar editor for the Great Lakes Historical Society’s quarterly journal Inland Seas, died Jan. 16. She was a friend of many Boatnerds and a regular attendee at the annual Boatnerd picnic and gathering at Sault Ste. Marie on Engineer’s Day. Carol was 82. During her career she taught at a one-room country school, was coordinating director of the Keystone Kops Drum and Baton Corp., and was a reporter / photographer /editorial assistant for the Blissfield (Michigan) Advance. Visitation will be this Sunday from 1-4 p.m. at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes Williamston Chapel, 205 E. Middle St., Williamston, Mich.

 

Updates -  January 20

Lay-up list updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 20

20 January 1980 - The E. M. FORD (406 foot, 4,498 gross tons, built in 1898, at Lorain, Ohio as a bulk freighter, converted to self-unloading bulk cement carrier in 1956, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin) was raised at her dock in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She sank on Christmas Eve of 1979, when gale force winds forced her from her moorings and repeatedly slammed her bow into the dock facing. Crews had to remove a solid three feet of hardened cement and patch her holed bow before she could be re-floated.

NORDIC BLOSSOM was launched January 20, 1981 as the a.) NORDIC SUN.

On January 20, 1917, American Ship Building's Lorain yard launched the steel bulk freighter EUGENE W. PARGNY for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

January 20, 1911 - The ANN ARBOR NO 5 made her first trip into Kewaunee. On 20 January 1923, CHOCTAW (steel propeller packet, 75 foot, 53 gross tons, built in 1911, at Collingwood) burned at her dock at Port Stanley, Ontario.

On 20 January 1978, HARRY L. ALLEN (formerly JOHN B. COWLE, built in 1910) burned at her winter lay-up berth at Capital 4 grain elevator dock in Duluth. She was declared a total loss.

1907: WILLIAM NOTTINGHAM broke loose in wild winds and flooding at Buffalo. When the storm subsided, the ship had come to rest high and dry about 440 yards from the channel. A total of 12 vessels stranded in the storm but this one was the biggest challenge. A new channel had to be dug to refloat the vessel.

1960: LAKE KYTTLE, under tow as b) JAMES SHERIDAN, foundered in a storm on Long Island Sound. The ship had been built at Manitowoc in 1918 and converted to a barge at River Rouge in 1927 before returning to the sea about 1945.

1962: The Liberty ship FIDES was a Seaway visitor in 1961. It went aground at Grosser Vogelsand, in the Elbe Estuary and broke in two as a total loss.

1975: The tug CATHY McALLISTER sank alongside the dock at Montreal after suffering some grounding damage on the St. Lawrence. The vessel was salvaged on February 13, 1975. It was scrapped at Port Weller as d) DOC MORIN in the fall of 2011.

1979: ZAMOSC first came to the Great Lakes in 1971. It was enroute from Montreal to Antwerp when in a collision with the JINEI MARU off Terneuzen, Holland. The damaged ship was beached but it heeled over in the sand and had to be broken up.

1981: The former SILVER FIR, a Seaway caller in 1977, ran aground and became a total off Libya as d) GALAXY II.

1983: The YDRA sustained an engine room fire and went aground about a mile east of Bizerta, Tunisia, as a total loss. All on board were saved and the hull is still there. The ship first came to the Great Lakes as a) MANCHESTER PORT in 1966 and was back as b) BIOKOVO in 1972.

1990: IMPERIAL ACADIA received major damage at the island of Miquelon due to a storm and had to be transported to Halifax aboard the semi-submersible MIGHT SERVANT for repairs. The vessel arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh, for scrapping as e) RALPH TUCKER on October 26, 2004.

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

 

Second ship returns to winter at Ohio dock

1/19 - Huron, Ohio – A massive ship quietly slipped into Huron sometime late Tuesday night. The 634-foot-long Sam Laud docked near the former ConAgra site, tied up in front of its fleetmate Adam E. Cornelius on the Huron River.

Both boats belong to Buffalo-based American Steamship Co. The company’s representatives don’t publicly speak about their affairs, including when these ships arrive and depart. In winter 2015, company representatives docked two freighters – Adam E. Cornelius and John J. Boland – at a private slip owned by Norfolk Southern. In spring 2016, John J. Boland set sail. The Cornelius did not.

For many years, the company docked the freighters at a port in Toledo. A falling out of some sort, however, led executives to choose a new docking site, which ended up being in Huron. The shipkeepers said Huron presents many advantages, including quick, easy access into Lake Erie. It takes a full day just to dock the ships in Huron because of their size.

Each ship in operation typically logs a few thousand miles each season. The ships offer a certain mystique factor, representing an indirect benefit for people to visit Huron, local officials said.

"It's a nice reminder of the region's connection to the rest of the world through the Great Lakes," Huron city manager Andy White said. "It's also nice to see the dock infrastructure put to good use and simultaneously draw attention to Huron's developing waterfront."

Sandusky Register

 

Port of Hamilton releases results of 2016 shipping season

1/19 - Hamilton, Ont. – The Hamilton Port Authority has released its cargo results for the 2016 shipping season. In 2016, 562 vessels visited the Port of Hamilton, carrying 9,277,282 MT of cargo, edging out the 2015 season total by 0.4 percent. Hamilton continues to hold its position as the largest Canadian Great Lakes port (as measured by cargo volume). This modest increase in Hamilton’s cargo is in contrast to the overall Seaway cargo totals, which fell by 3 percent in 2016.

The agri-food sector continues to shine within the Port of Hamilton’s cargo mix. In 2016, agricultural cargoes surpassed 20.7 percent of the port’s total cargo, the highest proportion ever. Commodities such as Ontario-grown corn, wheat and soybeans, and crop inputs such as fertilizer and potash made up the 2016 total agricultural tonnage of 1,916,535 MT.

The port’s contribution to Ontario’s agri-food sector is poised to expand in 2017, as two major infrastructure developments come into operation: a new 50,000 MT capacity grain export terminal, under construction by G3 Canada Ltd., and a new flour mill under construction by Parrish & Heimbecker.

“We’ve seen terrific momentum in the past several years, as new terminal investments have increased our capacity to get crops from Ontario farms to global markets efficiently. With these new developments on the horizon, we expect the growth trend to continue,” said Ian Hamilton, President & CEO, Hamilton Port Authority.

Steel industry sector tonnage is a complex picture, with the ongoing decline in tonnage at Hamilton’s Stelco facility being balanced by positive performance among other steel players, such as ArcelorMittal Dofasco and Federal Marine Terminals. Overall, steel sector commodities such as iron ore and coal were 5,961,715 MT of the port’s total cargo (not including finished steel), representing a modest decline of 1.9 percent. Imports of finished steel reached their highest volume in the past five years, with more than half a million tons (509,087 MT) transiting the port in 2016.

Liquid bulk commodities make up approximately 4.2 percent of the port’s total tonnage. These products, such as gasoline for southern Ontario consumer gas stations, jet fuel for the airport, and asphalt for area roads, totaled 394,000 MT in 2016, with volumes increasing by 17.1 percent over 2015.

The Port of Hamilton also serves as a strategic location for the import and export of machinery and components for Ontario’s manufacturing and energy sectors. Measured in cubic metres, these are heavy-lift items such as windmill blades and heavy equipment. More than 52,000 m3 transited the port in 2016, exceeding the five-year average by 6.7 percent.

The Port of Hamilton is more than a marine facility; it is one of Ontario’s key multimodal hubs, and rail service is an increasingly important aspect. More than 6,200 rail cars transited the port in 2016, 15.2 percent more than 2015, following a steady growth trend over the past five years.

“We’re focused on delivering modal choice, efficiency and competitiveness to port users, helping Ontario industries thrive and our community prosper,” said Ian Hamilton.

Port of Hamilton

 

Man hurt after falling into ship hold, rescued by crane

1/19 - Oregon, Ohio – One man is recovering after falling into a hold on a ship in Oregon, near Toledo. Dispatchers confirm that crews had to bring in a crane to rescue him. It happened late Wednesday morning at the CSX docks on Mallard Drive. Police say the man fell into a hold on the Buffalo. Authorities say he suffered minor injuries. Crews took him to an area hospital for treatment.

WTVG

 

Port Reports -  January 19

St. Marys River
USCG Mackinaw was working with the tug Anglian Lady in the vicinity of Four Mile Beach in the lower river on Wednesday. The tug tied up at the Purvis Dock later in the day. The Mackinaw was on station in Munuscong Lake.

Thessalon, Ont.
CSL Assiniboine was docked on Wednesday night. Her AIS reads “Home Sweet Home.”

Mackinac Straits
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was westbound ender the bridge Wednesday evening, headed for lay up in Sturgeon Bay.

Escanaba, Mich.
Joseph H. Thompson arrived Wednesday to either load or lay up.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Daniel Lindner
After difficulties getting through thick ice in the bay of Green Bay, James R. Barker arrived mid-afternoon on Thursday with assistance from the Selvick tug fleet and laid up for the winter at Bay Shipbuilding. Cason J. Callaway also arrived for layup, coming in via the ship canal from Lake Michigan. The tug William C. Gaynor is now under Selvick ownership.

Milwaukee, Wis.
John B. Aird was unloading salt Wednesday.

Indiana Harbor, Ind.
Joseph L. Block was unloading ore at Arcelor/Mittal Wednesday.

Lake Huron / Detroit – Dan McNeil
On Wednesday evening, the tug Manitou was downbound in lower Lake Huron heading for her home dock in Port Huron at Malcolm Marine. It appears her icebreaking assignment is finished in Alpena. She has sent the last few weeks breaking ice and assisting the Lafarge Cement barges and their tugs as well as the Alpena into the loading dock at Lafarge. The tug Samuel de Champlain with the cement barge Innovation arrived at Lafarge Cement dock in Detroit Wednesday. She was still at the dock Wednesday evening, and could possibly be there for winter lay up with a storage load of cement. Algosteel was still in Detroit Wednesday night.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
American Integrity was headed in at the CSX#2 Dock early Wednesday afternoon for lay up. Her AIS destination read “Tony Packos,” which is the name of the town’s Hungarian restaurant made famous in TV’s “M*A*S*H.”

Huron, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Sam Laud arrived for winter layup on Wednesday afternoon.

Erie, Pa. – Gene Polaski
CSL Niagara arrived on Wednesday after spending the night at anchor off Presque Isle State Park peninsula. Some time was spent breaking ice, including at the pier it was to dock for the winter. After breaking ice, it backed out into the bay, turned around, and backed into the old ore dock to be secured for the rest of the winter.

 

Help Wanted: Able bodied seaman (Ranger III), Isle Royale National Park

1/19 - Houghton, Mich. – This position functions as an Able Bodied Seaman on the National Park Service vessel Ranger III (R3) at Isle Royale National Park. The Ranger III is a 165’, 650 gross ton passenger (H), tank (D) and miscellaneous cargo (I) vessel that provides logistical support and commercial passenger/freight service during April – October to a wilderness island national park located approximately 75 miles north of park headquarters in Lake Superior.

The Able Bodied Seaman wheels/steers the vessel in all weather conditions under direct supervision of the vessel master and first officer. Performs commercial marine industry AB Seaman duties including standing watch and performing typical operation and maintenance of marine deck machinery. Safely launches and commands a lifeboat, life raft or inflatable buoyancy apparatus in an emergency “abandon-ship” situation and handles mooring lines, towing lines, winches and coordinates securing the vessel to docks with dockside line handlers, and also undocking. Performs walk around fire and maritime security patrol watches and serves as a structural marine firefighter in the event of an onboard fire. This position acts as a crane spotter and performs as a facility person in charge of a USCG regulated, marine transportation-related oil storage facility during petroleum transfers. Leads and directs passengers in a controlled and professional manner and answers passenger questions about the park or vessel.

This is a career-seasonal federal government position (April-October), with a competitive wage and benefits package. Contact Randy Rastello, Chief of Maintenance, at (906)487-7145, or Garland Attaway, Master (RIII), at (906)487-7163 for further job related information or with questions. Please email resumes/qualifications to randy_rastello@nps.gov or garland_attaway@nps.gov or mail to: Isle Royale National Park, 800 E Lakeshore Dr., Houghton, MI, 49931.

 

Video captures largest Great Lakes freighter arriving for winter layup

1/19 - Duluth, Minn. – The queen has arrived. With the conclusion of the shipping season, the Great Lakes' largest freighter – the Paul R. Tregurtha – made its way to Duluth, Minn. last week for winter layup. Rolling through icy waters of Lake Superior, the 1,013-foot "Queen of the Lakes" was captured on video as it cruised toward the Twin Ports.

The Tregurtha earned its nickname in 1981 when its launch made it the fleet's largest freighter. It is one of 13 Great Lakes vessels measuring at least 1,000-feet. Shipping will ramp up again on March 25 when the Soo Locks reopen. In the meantime, crews will get a break while their ships undergo maintenance.

View the video at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTp_uY0sAi0

M Live

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 19

On 19 January 1824, the Welland Canal Company was incorporated to build the first Welland Canal.

DAVID M. WHITNEY (steel propeller freighter, 412 foot, 4,626 gross tons) was launched on 19 January 1901, by the Detroit Ship Building Company (Hull #138) in Wyandotte, Michigan, for the Gilchrist Transportation Company of Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) EDWIN L. BOOTH in 1914, c.) G.N. WILSON in 1921, d.) THOMAS BRITT in 1928, and e.) BUCKEYE in 1943. She lasted until 1969, when she was scrapped in Spain.

January 19, 1927 - The Grand Trunk carferry MADISON was christened with a bottle of Wisconsin milk. She entered service in March of 1927.

CLARENCE B. RANDALL, the a.) J.J. SULLIVAN of 1907, was towed to Windsor, Ontario, on January 19, 1987, for scrapping.

1967: The former ELMBAY ran aground near Barra Grande along the coast of northern Brazil as e) SIMANSUR and was abandoned as a total loss. The ship saw Great Lakes service from 1923 until 1942 for several firms including Canada Steamship Lines.

1998: The Cypriot freighter FLARE was south of Newfoundland when it broke in two while inbound in ballast for Montreal. The stern section sank quickly. The bow drifted for several days before it too went down. Four members of the crew clung to an overturned lifeboat and were saved. The ship had been a Seaway trader as a) DORIC FLAME in 1977 and returned as b) FLAME in 1987 and as c) FLARE in 1993.

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

 

Port Reports -  January 18

St. Marys River
Manitoulin and Michipicoten remained at the Essar Steel dock Tuesday, and may have gone into winter lay up there.

Escanaba, Mich.
Joseph L. Block departed down the lake with ore Tuesday. Great Lakes Trader was loading.

Alpena, Mich. – Dan McNeil
Tug Samuel de Champlain with cement barge Innovation departed Tuesday, Jan. 17 and has a ETA for the Lafarge Cement dock in Detroit in the morning on Wednesday Jan.18. All times and dates are estimates and can change with weather and ice conditions.

 

Keetac steelworkers begin returning to work

1/18 - The first large wave of people returning to work at Keetac starts on Tuesday. According to the union, about 100 steelworkers, including both operations and maintenance, will clock back in on Tuesday.

This will mark the first time in 19 months that some of those people will have been on the property. About 30 steelworkers reported to work again last week. U.S. Steel plans on having pellets roll off the line again in March, after idling the plant in May of 2015.

WDIO

 

Majority of Superior shipyard workers test positive for lead

1/18 - Superior, Wis. – Health officials say the majority of more than 200 workers tested for lead exposure at a Superior shipyard had elevated levels of lead in their blood.

Wisconsin and Minnesota health departments began a joint investigation last spring after workers at Fraser Shipyards were exposed to lead while retrofitting the Herbert C. Jackson originally built in 1959.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports Wisconsin Department of Health Services chief medical officer Jon Mieman says about 73 percent of the 233 workers tested had blood lead poisoning. Mieman says short-term effects may include anemia, headache and fatigue.

Fraser said earlier this month that it had agreed to pay $700,000 to settle a fine from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to improve worker safety. Fraser did not admit fault or liability related to the lead exposure.

Associated Press

 

Updates -  January 18

Lay-up list updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 18

On 18 January 2004, the Great Lakes Fleet’s 1000 footer EDGAR B. SPEER became stuck in the ice in the Rock Cut in the St. Mary’s River. Over the next two days, the U.S.C.G.C. MACKINAW tried to free her, but unsuccessfully. On 21 January, the tugs RELIANCE, MISSOURI, JOSEPH H. THOMPSON JR and JOYCE L. VAN ENKEVORT all coordinated their efforts under the direction of Wellington Maritime’s Captain John Wellington and got the SPEER free.

The CABOT was refloated on January 18, 1967. On December 16, 1966, while loading at Montreal, the CABOT rolled over on her side and sank. The CABOT's stern section, used in the interim as the stern section of the b.) CANADIAN EXPLORER, is now the stern section of c.) ALGOMA TRANSFER.

The MONDOC had her Canadian registry closed on January 18, 1979. The vessel had been renamed b) CORAH ANN and sold to Jamaican company. CORAH ANN was scrapped in 2003.

The National Steamship Co. was incorporated January 18, 1906.

L. P. Mason and Company of E. Saginaw, Michigan sold the steam barge PORTER CHAMBERLAIN (wooden steam barge, 134 foot, 257 gross tons, built in 1874, at Marine City, Michigan) on 18 January 1888, to Comstock Brothers and L. & H. D. Churchill of Alpena, Michigan.

1925: JOHN RUGEE, a wooden steamer in the George Hall Coal Co. fleet, was destroyed by a fire while spending the winter at Ogdensburg.

1938: The passenger ship WAUBIC was damaged by a fire at Kingsville, Ontario, while at winter quarters. It was rebuilt at Port Dover later in the year as b) ERIE ISLE.

1942: LAKE FLAMBEAU was built at Duluth in 1919. It was sailing as c) FRANCES SALMAN when it was sunk by U-552 off the coast of Newfoundland with the loss of 28 lives.

1983: The Greek freighter KIMOLIAKI PISTIS came through the Seaway in 1981. It caught fire on this date in 1983 and was abandoned enroute from Recife, Brazil, to a Black Sea port. The hull was towed into Piraeus, Greece, January 27 and declared a total loss. It first traveled to the Great Lakes as a) MINAS CONJURO in 1969 and then as b) EUGENIO in 1979. The vessel arrived at Split, Yugoslavia, for scrapping on February 21, 1984.

1998: The second MAPLEGLEN caught fire in the engine room while in lay-up at Owen Sound and sustained about $40,000 in damage.

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

 

Soo Locks officially close for the season

1/17 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The Soo Locks officially closed Sunday night at midnight, halting the vessel traffic from Lake Superior to Lake Huron and beyond. The 1,000-foot tug-barge combo Presque Isle made its way slowly into the Poe Lock around 11 p.m. Sunday. It will continue on its journey to northeastern Ohio.

As every shipping season comes to an end in the Soo, "boatnerds" come and bid farewell to the final vessel passing through. “These boats have been a part of my life ever since I was a little guy,” says Don Crawford. “They are just exciting when you stand here when you hear those big engines rumble by!”

The locks will be closed until March 25. During this time, regular maintenance work will be done, while the hydraulic system gets upgraded and crews finish anchorage replacements on the larger of the 2 locks, The Poe Lock.

9&10 News

 

Lower coal shipments through Twin Ports tied to decreased demand

1/17 - Duluth, Minn. – As an industrial middleman, the Port of Duluth-Superior can't exactly control how much of anything moves through the docks. When there's less digging, there's less shipping.

That had been the big story with iron ore shipments until recently, but a commodity that has at times eclipsed taconite tonnage — coal — has seen its own big drop. Though January numbers aren't yet available, it's possible the port will hit its lowest coal totals in nearly 30 years.

"They've actually been on a downward trend since a high point at the end of the 2008 shipping season when coal tonnage hit an all-time high," said Duluth Seaway Port Authority spokeswoman Adele Yorde.

That 2008 peak was 22.1 million tons, while the 2016 season had just passed 10 million tons as of December. While that low could be the new normal, don't expect coal to disappear completely.

"I don't think we'll be going anywhere," said Jeff Papineau, president of the Midwest Energy Resources Co. coal terminal in Superior.

Coal production is driven by demand, which just isn't as robust as it was even five years ago.

"Low natural gas prices, warmer-than-normal temperatures during the 2015-16 winter that reduced electricity demand, the retirements of some coal-fired generators and lower international coal demand have contributed to declining U.S. coal production," according to the Energy Information Administration.

Data from the EIA shows coal production peaked in 2008 — the same year coal shipments peaked in the Twin Ports. In 2016, production reached its lowest level since 1978. The drop coincides with the decline of coal as a primary energy source. In the past decade, coal has fallen from 45 to about 30 percent of domestic electricity generation while natural gas passed it on its way to 34 percent of generation, according to the EIA.

The less coal is needed, the less coal is shipped by rail and unsalted sea.

"Coal will almost certainly have a major long-term place in America's energy supply, but how big that piece will end up being, and for how long, has been unclear for years and will likely remain unclear well into the future," according to a report by the Association of American Railroads, which will watch coal closely as it accounted for 37 percent of all tonnage moved on the rails in 2015.

Nearly all of the coal moving through the Port of Duluth-Superior is handled by the Midwest Energy Resources Co. terminal in Superior, and nearly all of that is destined for two power plants in Michigan — one of which is headed for retirement in 2023.

"Given the age of many of our coal plants, the declining costs of renewables and the increased costs of maintaining plants ... a transformation to cleaner energy production will result in less use of coal as well as a significant reduction in carbon emissions," said Brian Corbett, a spokesman with parent company DTE Energy.

The St. Clair power plant north of Detroit will shut down just shy of its 70th birthday, though the Belle River plant across the road, built in 1984, will continue to burn coal imported through the MERC terminal in Superior. Corbett said Belle River will be online for the foreseeable future.

That should buoy operations while the Twin Ports terminal looks at ways to diversify its offerings and/or find new customers.

"I see us being at about 10.5 million tons for the next two, three years," MERC president Jeff Papineau said, which would be flat from 2016 levels. "From a staffing standpoint, I think we're properly staffed for that."

He said the terminal's 83 employees will naturally be reduced through retirement, which is coming up for many workers, so layoffs appear unlikely.

At its busiest MERC was handling five or more 120-car trains of coal per day; now that number is down to two or so unit trains per day.

Trying different types of commodities to keep the dock busy is a possibility but a "difficult" one, Papineau said. More likely is different types of coal start moving through the MERC terminal for different end users.

"Right now we're specifically in Powder River Basin coal (from Montana and Wyoming), but there are opportunities for Colorado and Utah coals and serving other customers," Papineau said.

There's also the chance to export, though Canada has cut coal orders "dramatically," said Yorde at the Port Authority, and global demand is low as well.

"The economic transformation in China and environmental policies worldwide — including the recent climate agreement in Paris — will likely continue to constrain global coal demand," said Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, following a market report released a year ago.

There was much talk of reviving the coal industry during President-elect Donald Trump's campaign. While that may make environmentalists cringe and industry backers cheer, the economics of coal will ultimately decide its fate.

"The plants are getting older, not as efficient, there's an ongoing expense cost, and then there's the declining costs of wind, solar and natural gas that make those investments in more modern and cleaner sources of energy more attractive," said DTE Energy spokesman Corbett.

All of which will keep coal in the dust, at least in the short term. The federal outlook for coal calls for modest growth in 2017 and a slight decline in 2018.

"Coal consumption in the electric power sector is forecast to increase ... mostly because of rising natural gas prices and increasing electricity generation," according to the EIA. "However, a reverse of these trends in 2018 is expected."

If regulations are to blame for coal's decline, it could be those allowing the widespread use of fracking that has seen oil and natural gas prices plummet and supplies stockpile — though tighter regulations on coal power plants have made it more costly to operate them at the same time.

Should the Trump Administration gut regulations, it could take time to see an effect as coal plants are getting mothballed faster than they are getting built — the number of coal-fired power plants used by electric utilities fell from 353 in 2005 to 256 in 2015, according to the EIA.

Coal will, for now, keep moving from Montana to Michigan. And MERC is confident it will be there to speed it along, Papineau said.

"We're going to be around for a long time, and we look to be a good corporate citizen."

Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports -  January 17

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Lee A. Tregurtha officially closed the Port of Duluth for the 2016 season when she passed under the lift bridge early Monday afternoon. The Tregurtha is the ninth and final vessel to lay up in Duluth for the winter. The layup fleet is as follows: Arthur M. Anderson, laid up at CN; Paul R. Tregurtha at Midwest Energy; American Spirit, American Century, Philip R. Clarke and Roger Blough all at Port Terminal; Lee A. Tregurtha and Herbert C. Jackson at Fraser Shipyards; and Burns Harbor at Lakehead Pipeline. Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was in Superior loading Burlington Northern's final ore cargo of the season and was due to depart Monday evening, presumably for Essar Steel.

St. Marys River
Tug Leonard M and barge were downbound Monday the morning, with USCG Katmai Bay assisting through the Rock Cut. Manitoulin remained at Essar. Presque Isle locked downbound at 11 p.m. Sunday, and was the last vessel of the season. Tug Wilfred M. Cohen, likely with a barge, were upbound at DeTour at 10 p.m., headed for the Purvis dock in the lower harbor. Manitoulin and Michipicoten were at the Essar Steel dock.

Escanaba, Mich.
Great Lakes Trader and Joseph L. Block were at the ore dock on Monday.

Muskegon, Mich. – Dan McNeil
Tug Samuel de Champlain with cement barge Innovation departed in the early evening Sunday with an ETA for Alpena of Tuesday Jan. 17 in the early morning. She will take on another cement cargo. Tug Manitou is in Alpena breaking ice and will assist the Innovation into Lafarge if needed. All dates and times are estimates and could change with weather and ice conditions.

Milwaukee, Wis.
Algoma Transport departed Monday evening after unloading salt.

Goderich, Ont.
John B. Aird was loading salt on Monday.

Point Edward, Ont. – Matt Miner
Saginaw arrived for winter lay up in the north slip on Monday. Defiance / Ashtabula tied up along side her Monday evening.

Detroit, Mich. – Matt Miner
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was still tied up at Zug Island Monday night. Hon. James L. Oberstar has arrived at Nicholson’s Dock for winter layup. Algosteel was also in port.

Sandusky, Ohio
CSL Assiniboine was loading in Sandusky on Monday.

Conneaut, Ohio
American Integrity arrived to unload her cargo from Two Harbors on Monday.

Port Colborne, Ont. – Mike Bannon
Whitefish Bay arrived for layup on January 13. She is parked behind Algowood on the east wall of the canal below Lock 8. Saginaw was unloading salt Sunday on the dock, west side, down by the grain elevators. About 30 percent of Algosoo remains at the scrapyard, largely the stern deckhouse, stack and hull.

 

Seaway ties record for longest navigation season

1/17 - Cornwall, Ont. – After opening the 2016 season on March 21, the St. Lawrence Seaway closed on December 31, enjoying a navigation season of 286 days. This performance ties the record first established in 2008 and matched in 2013 for the longest navigation season.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation recorded a total of 35 million tonnes of cargo transiting the Seaway’s locks in 2016. Grain movements posted a strong performance for a third consecutive season, contributing 11 million tonnes of the total and continuing to track well above the five-year average.

The Port of Thunder Bay, the principal point of entry for grain into the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System, reported a late-season surge in grain activity, as loadings in December trumped all previous December activity since 1995. Grain activity was also strong in the U.S. as the total volume originating from ports such as Duluth / Superior and Toledo increased by 21% during 2016.

“The Seaway System is able to respond to unpredictable surges in cargo movements from a broad number of sectors” said Terence Bowles, president and CEO of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC). "We take it all in stride" said Bowles.

“The final tonnage statistics for the 2016 Seaway navigation season are a validation of the importance of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System to the economy of North America’s ‘Opportunity Belt’,” added U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation Administrator Betty Sutton.

“Cargo shipments this past year supported manufacturing, construction, energy, agriculture, and other industries throughout the Great Lakes region. In particular, the movement of containers with high value project cargo is an area where we foresee continued growth in the future. We are pleased to see our marketing efforts generating new opportunities in the global marketplace as businesses realize the value of utilizing our System.”

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation

 

Coast Guard closes West Neebish Channel

1/17 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Following the closure of the Soo Locks VTS St. Marys River will close the West Neebish Channel at 8 a.m. Thursday. Alternating one-way traffic will be established in the Munuscong and Middle Neebish channels. The Coast Guard USCG

 

Lake Michigan catwalk repair decision could be made soon

1/17 - Grand Haven, Mich. – Decisions regarding the repair of Grand Haven's iconic Lake Michigan catwalk are expected to be made soon. City officials met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers earlier this week to discuss the catwalk repair project.

The meeting involved reviewing proposals from contractors who gave bids on the project. City manager Pat McGinnis said a recommendation will be brought before the council at its meeting Monday, Jan. 16.

Removal of the south pier catwalk began in late August so U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could begin the $2.1 million pier repair project. The catwalk had to be removed for it to be saved. In the meantime, it is being stored at the Verplank docks in Ferrysburg.

Read more and view a photo gallery at this link

 

Shipping season ends in Duluth

1/17 - Duluth, Minn. – For many, it's the sight of the massive ships coming in to the harbor to make the Twin Ports their home for the next couple of months.

"When they (the ships) come in with ice, water spray frozen to the bows, decks and steam rising off the lake it should be a pretty picture," said Jim Sharrow, Director of port planning for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. "It's the last marking of the final transit of the season, which is kind of a benchmark for people."

Already, five ships are docked in the Duluth-Superior Port for winter lay-up this year- with the last four in route. Those include The Roger Blough, Lee A. Tregurtha, Arthur M. Anderson and Phillip R. Clarke, as reported in a story by Hubbard-owned WDIO.

"They're just finishing up their last cargos and coming in for the planned lay-up," said Sharrow."I understand there's quite a bit of steel work this winter and always a lot of work for main engine and power plant repairs."

Fortunately, this year's journey to the Twin Ports will be an easy one. "It's below average in ice accumulations this year," Sharrow said. "There is some ice forming in the connecting rivers but it hasn't slowed down their transits yet."

As for this shipping season, Sharrow says he's optimistic, and hopeful for the next. "We will end up the season at slightly over 30 million tons, which is actually down a little bit from last year. I guess the one bright point is that grain shipments are up 27 percent higher than the last five year average," he added.

"We look like we're going to have a really busy year," Sharrow said. "We're expecting iron ore to be an improved year and we'll see how the rest of it goes."

The Soo Locks at Sault Ste. Marie closed at midnight Sunday. The first ships will leave for the new season the last week in March.

KSTP

 

Report: Soo Locks upgrade among top infrastructure projects

1/17 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – A federal report lists upgrading the Soo Locks shipping complex among 40 proposed infrastructure projects nationwide that would give the economy a significant boost.

The locks network at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, enables vessels to move between Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes. The study says more than 60 percent of the ships in the U.S. and Canadian fleet are so large that they can fit through only one of the locks. If the Poe Lock were disabled, it could cause shortages of raw materials needed by steelmakers, utilities and other industries.

The report says building a second Poe-sized lock would pump up to $1.7 billion into the economy - about three times more than it would cost. The project was authorized in 1986 but hasn't been funded.

The Associated Press.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 17

NORTHERN VENTURE closed the Welland Canal for the season as she passed downbound for Hamilton with coal in 1975.

In 1978, the CLIFFS VICTORY, JOSEPH H. FRANTZ, WILLIAM G. MATHER, ROBERT C. NORTON, CRISPIN OGLEBAY and J. BURTON AYERS formed a convoy in the Detroit River bound for Cleveland.

PHILIP D. BLOCK (Hull#789) was launched at Lorain, Ohio, by the American Ship Building in 1925.

The tanker GREAT LAKES was launched in 1963, as the a.) SINCLAIR GREAT LAKES (Hull#1577) at Decatur, Alabama, by Ingalls Iron Works Co.

JOHN E. F. MISENER was float launched in 1951, as a.) SCOTT MISENER (Hull#11) at St. Catharines, Ontario, by Port Weller Drydocks, Ltd.

January 17, 1902 - PERE MARQUETTE 2 ran aground at Ludington.

PERE MARQUETTE 19 grounded in limited visibility on January 17, 1916, two miles south of Big Point Sable, Michigan, 600 feet off shore. The captain made three unsuccessful attempts to find the Ludington Harbor entrance and on the turn around for the fourth attempt she grounded.

On 17 January 1899, the GERMANIA (wooden propeller freighter, 136 foot, 237 gross tons, built in 1875, at Marine City, Michigan) caught fire and burned to the water's edge at Ecorse, Michigan. The previous day, Norman Reno of Ecorse did some painting inside the cabin and it was presumed that the stove used to heat the cabin may have caused the blaze. The vessel was in winter lay-up at the rear of the home of Mr. W. G. Smith, her owner.

2000: FEDERAL VIBEKE got stuck in the ice on the St. Lawrence and was almost carried into the bridge at Quebec City. The vessel was bound for Sorel with steel. It first came to the Great Lakes in 1993 after previous visits as a) NOSIRA LIN beginning in 1981, b) DAN BAUTA in 1989, and c) KRISTIANIAFJORD in 1991. It was back as e) KALISTI in 2000 and f) NOBILITY in 2004. This bulk carrier arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping as h) OPAL II and was beached on November 14, 2012.

Data from: Max Hanley, Brian Bernard, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

 

Anatomy of a grounding: Investigator shares details of Blough casualty

1/16 - Duluth, Minn. – The lake freighter that grounded last spring in the southeasternmost pool of Lake Superior known as Whitefish Bay was attempting to pass a dead ship being towed out of the lake.

In an interview with the News Tribune, the lead investigator of the U.S. Coast Guard's inquiry also revealed that the grounding of the Roger Blough caused so much damage to the ship as to make it the rare "major marine casualty" on the Great Lakes.

"There are different levels of marine casualty," said Lt. Daniel Every of Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie. "A major marine casualty would be something with $500,000 damage or more."

The Roger Blough suffered $4.5 million worth of damages, Every said, based on the cost of steel and labor to replace the parts of the hull impacted by the grounding. The investigation is still considered open and will be until Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C., signs off on the final report, which will include safety and other recommendations directed at the people and companies involved and possibly even the government itself.

"I've written several," said Every, who could not go into detail about those recommendations or answer the question of culpability. What he did do was describe the 858-foot boat skidding to a stop on May 27, requiring the Blough to be unloaded at sea in a complex arrangement that lasted nearly two weeks.

Read more and view photos at this link: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/4199155-anatomy-grounding-investigator-shares-details-blough-casualty-lake-superior

 

Grounded tanker freed from Cape Breton shore

1/16 - Syndey, N.S. – The grounded bunkering tanker Arca 1 has been freed from the coast of Little Pond, N.S., and is now tied to a dock in the Sydney harbor after being stranded for a week. McKeil Marine Ltd., a marine transportation firm, and the Canadian Coast Guard worked together to remove the vessel during high tide Sunday morning.

"The work was done safely and professionally and proficiently. There were no lives lost, no injuries and no harm to the environment," said Keith Laidlaw, a senior response officer with the Coast Guard's environmental branch.

The Arca 1's crew of six were removed from the tanker in a helicopter rescue last Sunday. The tanker was towed out of the area around 10 a.m. Sunday, after high seas and winds foiled earlier attempts to free the vessel.

First, crews pumped out the ballast water in the hull. Ships carry ballast to increase stability and it was pumped out to make the Arca 1 lighter and easier to tow.

"They took several hundred tonnes (300 tonnes) of ballast water off the vessel...and it floated free," said Stephen Bornais, a spokesman for the Canadian Coast Guard who was at the scene when the ship was removed.

A towline attached to the 53-metre ship was used by a tugboat to pull it into deeper water during high tide Sunday morning.

The Arca 1's engine failed last Sunday during stormy weather north of Sydney Mines. With no propulsion the ship was pushed toward the shoreline and ended up grounded. Laidlaw said Arca 1 is now in the owner's hands.

"The owner has been very cooperative and very available and very responsive up until this point," said Laidlaw.

"Coast Guard is looking at demobilizing our incident command post, probably tomorrow, and, as in all these incidents ... there will be a report."

CBC

 

Port Reports -  January 16

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner, Jason Fyten
Sisterships Philip R. Clarke and Arthur M. Anderson arrived Duluth on Sunday for winter layup. Philip R. Clarke docked across the slip from American Spirit at Port Terminal, and Arthur M. Anderson laid up at CN. Roger Blough was inbound late Sunday evening, and docked at Port Terminal. Lee A. Tregurtha is expected to be the final vessel of the season, and will arrive on Monday for winter layup at Fraser Shipyards. Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin is also due on Monday, and will load iron ore pellets at Burlington Northern that she will presumably take to Essar Steel in Sault Ste. Marie.

St. Marys River
Manitowoc (for Toledo) and John B. Aird (for Goderich) were downbound on Sunday. Manitoulin, headed to Essar, was upbound and was the final upbound passage through the locks before they closed for the winter Sunday night. Presque Isle was in the locks downbound at 10 p.m. Michipicoten was also in the upper river, bound for Essar Steel.

Escanaba, Mich.
Joseph L. Block was upbound off the tip of the Door Peninsula Sunday evening, headed for the CN dock.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Korey Garceau
Edwin H. Gott arrived at Bay Shipbuilding for winter layup on Sunday.

Indiana Harbor, Ind.
James L. Barker arrived in the evening to unload at Arcelor/Mittal.

Goderich, Ont.
John B. Aird is due in to load salt.

Detroit, Mich.
American Integrity was downbound Sunday headed for Conneaut. She was followed by the Algosteel. Hon. James L. Oberstar was unloading what was likely her last cargo of the season in the Rouge River.

Sandusky, Ohio
CSL Assiniboine was loading in Sandusky on Sunday.

Port Colborne, Ont. – Matt Koerner
Whitefish Bay arrived in Port Colborne Saturday night and docked SE wall of Lock 8.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 16

COLONEL JAMES PICKANDS (Hull#791) was launched in 1926, at Lorain, Ohio, by the American Ship Building Co.

In 1987, DETROIT EDISON, at Brownsville, Texas, for scrapping, was raised after being scuttled by vandals.

On 16 January 1909, TECUMSEH (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 200 foot, 839 gross tons, built in 1873, at Chatham, Ontario) burned to a total loss at her winter berth at Goderich, Ontario.

In 1978, CANADIAN CENTURY and NORTHERN VENTURE departed Toronto for Hamilton with coal after laying up at that port due to the bridge tender’s strike, which closed the Burlington Lift Bridge to navigation.

On 16 January 1875, The Port Huron Times printed the following list of vessels that were total losses in 1874: Tug IDA H. LEE by collision in Milwaukee, Tug TAWAS by explosion off Sand Beach, Steamer W H BARNUM by collision in the Pelee Passage, Steamer TOLEDO by partially burning at Manistee, Tug WAVE by burning on Saginaw Bay, Tug DOUGLAS by burning on the Detroit River, Steamer BROOKLYN by explosion on the Detroit River, Steamer LOTTA BERNARD by foundering on Lake Superior.

1926: The wooden steamer PALM BAY caught fire while laid up at Portsmouth, Ontario, and was scuttled in Lake Ontario the next year. It had previously sailed as a) PUEBLO and b) RICHARD W.

1988: ASHLAND, enroute to scrapping in Taiwan, dragged anchor off Bermuda and ran aground on the rocks in severe winds. It was pulled free 4 days later with heavy bottom damage and barely made Mamonal, Colombia, for scrapping on February 5.

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

 

McAsphalt Marine to rename tug Victorious after co-founder Leo A. McArthur

1/15 - Toronto, Ont. – McAsphalt Marine Transportation Limited has announced the renaming of the tug Victorious to Leo A. McArthur in memory of one of the two founding partners of the Miller-McAsphalt Group of Companies.

The tug was built in 2009 at Penglai Bohai shipyard in China. The Canadian-flagged tug is 35.7m long with a beam of 13.5m and a depth of 8.0m. It is powered by two MaK 2500 H.P engines and is paired with the double hulled, OPA 90 compliant barge John J. Carrick.

The Leo A. McArthur/John J. Carrick is ice-strengthened and fully integrated with an Articouple mechanical linkage system. The articulated tug/barge (ATB) combination was specifically engineered and built for the transportation of asphalt and other high temperature black oil products. The barge can load a total capacity of 70,000bbls while requiring less than 6.7 meters of draft making it one of the safest and most capable high heat ATB’s in Canada.

Leo A. McArthur and John J. Carrick founded McAsphalt Industries Limited in 1970, purchased Miller Paving in 1977 and grew the Miller-McAsphalt Group into one of Canada’s largest road construction and asphalt supply companies. John J. Carrick passed away in 2004 and Leo A. McArthur in 2016. Both will be reunited at a re-naming dedication ceremony to be held in Windsor on January 16th, 2017.

McAsphalt Marine Transportation

 

Port Reports -  January 15

Two Harbors, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Presque Isle finally finished loading and was underway Saturday evening. This was the last vessel of the season at the Twin Ports and will likely be the final downbound passage at the Soo Sunday evening before the locks close for the winter.

Lake Superior
Philip R. Clarke and Arthur M. Anderson were keeping each other company across Lake Superior Saturday. The Anderson’s AIS read “Duluth & home.”

Marquette, Mich.
Michipicoten was loading Saturday and will head to Essar when finished.

St. Marys River
Lee A. Tregurtha docked at Essar to unload on Saturday morning. She is expected to lay up at Fraser Shipyards on Monday. Roger Blough was upbound, headed for winter layup at Duluth. Hon. James L. Oberstar and American Integrity were down bound early, followed by Algosteel and Thunder Bay. John B. Aird and Joseph H. Thompson were stopped in the upper river, possibly waiting for daylight before continuing downbound.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Edwin H. Gott will be transiting the ship canal on Sunday morning about 7:30 a.m. Eastern time. She will sit in the ice till Monday afternoon off of the dry dock, then go on the blocks.

Milwaukee, Wis.
Stewart J. Cort was inbound for layup under the Daniel Hoan Bridge at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

Muskegon, Mich. – Dan McNeil
Saturday the tug Barbra Andrie was breaking ice in anticipation of the arrival of the tug Samuel de Champlain with cement barge Innovation, which are due in Sunday afternoon for Lafarge Cement. Once unloaded, they will head to Alpena for another load. All times are subject to change with weather and ice conditions.

Grand Haven, Mich. – Sam Hankinson
Candace Elise was inbound Grand Haven Saturday afternoon, breaking ice up river for the last freighter of the season which will be inbound after dark.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Transport departed Saturday with salt for Milwaukee.

Owen Sound, Ont. – Philip deKat
John D. Leitch arrived just before 0630 on January 14 for lay-up. She is docked on the east side of harbor, north of the Miller cement silos and Algoma Olympic.

Detroit, Mich.
Ashtabula/Defiance were moored at the mouth of the Rouge River Saturday night. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was unloading at Zug Island.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
The Torco Ore Docks will remain open after the Soo Locks close down for the 2016 season. Great Lakes Trader and the Joseph H. Thompson will be handling ore cargoes from Escanaba to Torco. It is unknown at this time how long these two vessels will operate for this trade. In previous years when this happened the boats operated into February.

Cleveland, Ohio
Saginaw was in port on Saturday. Her next destination is listed as Port Colborne.

 

High winds delay attempt to tow grounded tanker

1/15 - Little Pond, N.S. – Crews will attempt to free the grounded tanker near Little Pond, N.S., Sunday morning at high tide. Officials had previously said Saturday night would be an ideal opportunity to try to move the 53-metre tanker, but the attempt was called off due to poor weather.

"It's all relying on the weather and tide and wind conditions," said Keith Laidlaw, senior response officer with the Canadian Coast Guard and incident commander for Arca 1.

Engine failure caused Arca 1 to run aground last Sunday amidst stormy winter weather north of Sydney Mines. The salvage company tasked with the tow job, McKeil Marine, unsuccessfully tried to move the tanker on Tuesday. Laidlaw said they watched the wind and sea state all day Saturday and conditions caused delays moving assets into place.

"Everything was like borderline," he said. "We wanted everything in place just in case the wind dropped down and the sea calmed down in time to do this."

That didn't happen and the attempt was called off around 4 p.m. Aside from getting favorable weather, there needs to be enough time to get the tow rope in place and small boats on site, all while contending with the tide times, said Laidlaw.

"Our first priority is safety. There isn't a grounded tanker in the world that's worth a person's life."

Earlier this week, provincial Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan said he was not concerned Arca 1 could turn into a repeat of the situation with the Canadian Miner, a ship that ran aground off Cape Breton and took years and cost millions of dollars to remove.

Laidlaw said officials met Saturday to determine "the soonest, safest time is to get this done."

The bunkering tanker wasn't carrying cargo but there are about 16 tonnes of fuel on board for its own engines. Although some local fishermen have expressed concerns about the vessel remaining in place while it still has fuel on board, Laidlaw said the double hull construction of the tanker means that fuel remains secure.

"Even if the hull got punctured, it wouldn't affect the fuel tank. The fuel is well protected," he said.

CBC

 

Iron ore shipments rebound as Soo Locks close for 8 weeks of maintenance

1/15 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The Soo Locks will close Sunday night for annual maintenance work, bringing to close a 2016 shipping season that saw a rebound in iron ore shipments but an overall drop in total cargo movement.

On Friday, Jan. 13, the Cleveland-based Lake Carriers Association reported that U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters moved 3.3 million tons of cargo in 2016, a decrease of 4.5 percent compared to 2015.

The 2016 cargo total was also 7.7 percent below the fleet's 5-year average.

Iron ore shipments, however, totaled 44.1 million tons, 7.8 percent bump over 2015. Taconite shipments out of Lake Superior ports have rebounded after slump in demand for American steel in 2015 and part of 2016.

A late-season push helped dig iron ore shipments out of the hole they fell into last year, aided by an increase in domestic steel production in 2016.

Read more and view photos at this link

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 15

In 1978, the upbound McKEE SONS, LEON FALK JR, WILLIAM P. SNYDER JR, A.H. FERBERT and CHAMPLAIN became stuck in heavy ice outside Cleveland Harbor. Eventually they were freed with the help of the U.S.C.G. icebreaker NORTHWIND and the U.S.C.G. MARIPOSA.

FORT YORK (Hull#160) was launched January 15, 1958, at Collingwood, Ontario, by Collingwood Shipyards, Ltd.

In 1917, the ANN ARBOR NO 6 left Ecorse for Frankfort on her maiden voyage.

On 15 January 1873, A. Muir began building a wooden 3-mast schooner ("full sized canaller") at his shipyard in Port Huron. Fourteen men were employed to work on her, including master builder James Perry. The schooner was to be the exact counterpart of the GROTON, the first vessel built at that yard. The vessel's dimensions were 138-foot keel, 145 foot overall, 26 foot 2 inches beam and 11 foot 6 inch depth.

On 15 January 1886, the tug KITTIE HAIGHT was sold to Mr. Fisken of Toronto for $3,900.

1986: The former Greek freighter PAULINA C., a Seaway trader beginning in 1976, ran aground off the Dutch coast near Rotterdam as c) RIO GRANDE. It was refloated January 23 and became d) NEPTUNIA later in 1986. It arrived at Bombay, India, for scrapping on December 3, 1986.

1990: The tanker MAYA FARBER came through the Seaway in 1981. It was anchored off Port Sudan as e) RAAD AL-BAKRY VIII when there was an explosion in a cargo tank. Fire broke out and the vessel was gutted. The hull later broke in two and the after end sank. The forebody was sold for scrap and arrived at Alang, India, for dismantling on March 28, 1990.

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

 

U.S.-flag cargo movement on the Great Lakes down 4.5 percent in 2016

1/14 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters moved 83.3 million tons of cargo in 2016, a decrease of 4.5 percent compared to 2015. The 2016 float was also 7.7 percent below the fleet’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos totaled 44.1 million tons, an increase of 7.8 percent. However, all other commodities decreased. Coal was down 26.6 percent. Limestone (mostly aggregate and fluxstone) dipped by 8.4 percent. Cement decreased by 6 percent.

Salt cargos were off by nearly 11 percent. Shipments of sand fell by 17.1 percent and grain decreased by almost 30 percent.

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Soo Locks set to close for the season Sunday

1/14 - Detroit, Mich. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announces the seasonal closing of the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on Jan. 15. The Locks will undergo maintenance and repairs until the Navigation Season re-opens on March 25.

"The Soo Locks are critical to the Great Lakes Navigation System and we have a tremendous team that operates and maintains them daily," said Lt. Col. Dennis Sugrue, district engineer. "This important maintenance and repair period is our highest priority, and is vital to the next shipping season. This work keeps the locks functioning safely and reliably for the benefit of our nation." Planned winter maintenance work includes Poe Lock hydraulic system testing and final commissioning, Poe Lock anchorage replacements and MacArthur Lock dewatering bulkhead weld repairs and coating replacement. Both locks are scheduled to reopen on March 25. The MacArthur Lock closed for season December 19.

More than 4,500 vessels carrying up to 80 million tons of cargo maneuver through the locks annually. Iron ore, coal, wheat and limestone are among the most frequently carried commodities. Opened in 1969, the Poe Lock is 1,200 feet long. The MacArthur Lock was opened in 1943 and is 800 feet long.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

 

Port Reports -  January 14

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
John B. Aird departed Duluth just before noon on Friday after unloading salt at Hallett #8 and headed for Goderich. Thunder Bay departed Superior mid-morning after loading iron ore pellets at Burlington Northern.

Two Harbors, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
American Integrity departed Two Harbors before sunrise on Friday, bound for Conneaut with ore. Joseph H. Thompson/Joseph H. Thompson Jr. and Presque Isle both arrived early to load ore. The Thompson was outbound during the afternoon. Presque Isle, the final vessel to load in Two Harbors for the 2016-17 season, was due to depart late Friday evening.

Marquette, Mich.
Hon. James L. Oberstar and Manitowoc were loading Friday night.

St. Marys River
Arthur M. Anderson and Philip R. Clarke were upbound during the day Friday headed for Duluth for winter lay up. Lee A. Tregurtha was upbound at DeTour Friday night late. She is expected to lay up at Fraser Shipyards on Monday, after a stop to unload at Essar.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Daniel Lindner
Edwin H. Gott arrived outside of the Sturgeon Bay canal on Friday afternoon for winter layup, but she stopped and dropped anchor just outside of the canal entrance. She is presumably waiting for Bay Shipbuilding to make her berth ready, and should arrive on Saturday. The Gott is the sixth ship to lay up in Sturgeon Bay so far this winter; at least another five vessels should arrive within the next week or so.

St. Joseph, Mich. – Dan McNeil
Tug Samuel de Champlain with cement barge Innovation are due to make a late season delivery of cement in the early morning Saturday. Times could change with weather and ice conditions.

Indiana Harbor, Ind.
Joseph L. Block was at ArcelorMittal Friday night.

Burns Harbor, Ind.
Steward J. Cort unloaded her final cargo of the season Friday and is now bound for winter lay up at Milwaukee, Wis.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin departed early Friday. AIS reports she is going to Superior/Duluth.

Owen Sound, Ont. – Terry Doyen
On Friday the CCGS Samuel Risley cleared a spot for the John D. Leitch, expected to arrive at 7a.m. Saturday for winter lay up. Algoma Olympic and Algoway are already tied up for the winter.

Sandusky, Ohio
Ashtabula and Manitoulin were in port Friday night. Manitoulin’s AIS reports an ETA of Sault Ste. Marie at one minute before midnight on Jan. 15. The locks close for the season at midnight.

 

Study sees $1.7 billion economic benefit from Soo Locks modernization

1/14 - Cleveland, Ohio – A new study commissioned by the U.S. Treasury Department lists modernization of the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., as one of the 40 American transportation and water “megaprojects” that could bring as much as $1.3 trillion in national economic benefits. The system resiliency that a second Poe-sized lock will provide has an estimated net economic benefit of as much as $1.7 billion, according to the study. The Soo Locks connect Lake Superior to the lower four Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. Lake Superior is home to five iron ore loading ports, as well as the largest coal and grain shipping ports. Without the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, those cargos could not reach steelmakers, utilities and overseas markets. As the study notes, more than 60 percent of the current U.S. and Canadian fleet is restricted by size to the Poe Lock. Any type of service disruption or closure would result in vessel delays, and outages of the aging Poe Lock (it was built in 1969) are expected to increase. The study further notes that in the event of a closure, there may not be viable alternatives to transporting the more than 40 million tons of iron ore and coal to U.S. manufacturers along the Great Lakes. In fact, a 2016 Department of Homeland Security report on a six-month closure of the Poe Lock forecast 11 million jobs lost nationally as steel production and manufacturing quickly grind to a virtual halt. Construction of a second Poe-sized lock was authorized in the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, but an inaccurate analysis of the benefit/cost (b/c) ratio has stalled the project. The Treasury Department study puts the project’s b/c ratio between 2.0 and 4.0, well above the level required for inclusion in an Administration budget and notes that the Federal guidance followed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in determining the current b/c ratio does not fully capture impacts to the nation for each closure of the Poe Lock. “This new study is further proof that a second Poe-sized lock will be a wise investment, said James H.I. Weakley, President of Lake Carriers’ Association, the trade association representing U.S.-flag vessel operators on the Great Lakes. “The project is shovel ready. We just need an accurate b/c ratio.” Weakley further noted a second Poe-sized lock fits perfectly in President-elect Trump’s plan to invest in infrastructure. “The project will require 1.5 million labor-hours over the 10-year construction period. The jobs it will create have been likened to opening an auto plant in the Upper Peninsula. And the economic benefit will exceed $1.7 billion.” Lake Carriers’ Association T

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 14

On this day in 1970, IRVING S. OLDS entered winter layup at Lorain to close the longest season in Great Lakes shipping history.

On 14 January 1945, the W. Butler Shipyard built C1-M-AV1 ship LEBANON (Hull#40) was the last vessel through the Soo Locks. Ice was a serious problem. The newly-commissioned icebreaker U.S.C.G.C. MACKINAW escorted the LEBANON to Lake Huron. The locks had never before been open this late in January. They were kept open to allow newly-built cargo vessels to sail from Superior, Wisconsin, to the Atlantic Ocean where they were needed for the war effort.

Scrapping began on CHICAGO TRIBUNE in 1989, by International Marine Salvage in Port Colborne, Ontario. January 14, 1920 - The Grand Trunk carferry GRAND HAVEN was fast in the ice three miles out of Grand Haven.

In 1977, CANADIAN MARINER laid up at the Consol Fuel dock in Windsor after her attempt to reach Port Colborne was thwarted by heavy ice off Long Point.

On Jan 14, 1978, JAMES R. BARKER departed the Soo Line ore dock in Ashland, Wisconsin, where she had been laid-up since August 7, 1977, due to the iron ore miner’s strike.

1946: The BADGER STATE, a former Great Lakes canal ship as a) FORDONIAN, b) YUKONDOC and c) GEORGIAN, foundered off the mouth of the Grijalva River in the Gulf of Mexico.

1969: SAGAMO, retired former flagship of the Lake Muskoka passenger ships in Central Ontario, burned at the dock in Gravenhurst as a total loss.

1981: The former Lake Erie rail car ferry and later barge MAITLAND NO. 1 rolled over between Yarmouth, NS and Rockland, ME. An attempt to tow the vessel upside down failed and it sank. The ship was under tow of IRVING MAPLE and bound for Port Everglades, FL with a load of scrap. It may have been renamed b) TRIO TRADO at Quebec City on the way south.

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

 

Salvagers will try again this weekend to free stranded tanker Arca 1

1/13 - Little Pond, N.S. – A marine salvage contractor will try again this weekend to move the tanker that ran aground off Cape Breton, according to the Canadian Coast Guard. McKeil Marine Ltd. tried to move the Arca 1, which is owned by Petroil Marine of Mexico, early Tuesday evening but was unsuccessful.

"The first attempt showed a need for a larger tug and additional equipment. There were some mechanical issues with the tanker," said Keith Laidlaw, a coast guard senior response officer.

"Those things have all been considered and we have additional equipment on site to handle it. We have additional pumps, tow lines have been put on board the tanker today to prepare for the next attempt."

Nova Scotia Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan said he's satisfied the salvage operation is going as smoothly as possible.

"From a technical perspective, it looks like everything is in check. Obviously the longer the vessel sits there, the more opportunity for some kind of catastrophe to take place," he said. "Every hour that goes by, there's obviously a cause for concern."

The provincial Transportation Department is not part of the effort to free the ship, he said. Unlike the former laker Canadian Miner, which spent four years stranded at Scaterie Island before it was removed, the company that owns Arca 1 is taking responsibility,

The Canadian Coast Guard and Transport Canada have reviewed the salvage plan with McKeil Marine and have asked for additional information about the stability of the vessel before the next attempt to remove it, Laidlaw said. "

About 400 tonnes of ballast water will have to be pumped out in order to add a foot and a half of clearance to float the vessel, which ran aground Sunday en route from Montreal to Mexico. The other complication was the 60 centimetres of ice that topped the ballast water tanks, Laidlaw added.

The good news is the Arca 1's hull remains intact and tanks carrying 16,000 litres of fuel are not compromised, he said.

Laidlaw could not give an exact time when the next attempt will be made to move the ship. High tides in the area on Saturday and Sunday are between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., and 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

"We are at the mercy of the tide, wind and sea conditions. We need to have all three of those things lining up," he said.

A longer towline is being manufactured and a large tug will move the ship from the sandy bottom where it is lying before switching the line over to a smaller tug that will move the vessel to Sydney harbor.

"We were fortunate there were tugs in the area to start with. Normally we have to wait days, or a week," Laidlaw said.

CBC

 

Port Reports -  January 13

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
After waiting for weather conditions to improve, James R. Barker departed Duluth from CN late Thursday afternoon, bound for Indiana Harbor. This will be the Barker's last trip before heading to Sturgeon Bay for layup. John B. Aird arrived during the evening hours to discharge salt at Hallett #8. Thunder Bay arrived in Superior mid-afternoon Thursday to load iron ore pellets at BN.

Two Harbors, Minn.
American Integrity was loading Thursday night. Joseph H. Thompson was waiting and Presque Isle was enroute.

Marquette, Mich.
Hon. James L. Oberstar was loading Thursday evening. This will be her last cargo of the year. Michipicoten arrived late to load.

St. Marys River
Great Lakes Trader was downbound in the afternoon on her last trip of the season. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. followed after dark, headed for Zug Island. Manitowoc was at Essar, and Algosteel was at the Export Dock. USCG Mackinaw was hove to in Mud Lake.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Dan McNeil
Tug G.L Ostrander/barge Integrity arrived Lafarge Jan. 1 for winter layup.

Goderich, Ont.
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arrived Thursday and tied up at the grain elevator.

Detroit, Mich. – Interlake Steamship Co.
Kaye E. Barker unloaded in Dearborn Thursday. After 90 trips criss-crossing the lakes this season, she and her crew are headed to the barn.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
The John J. Boland arrived at the CSX# 2 Coal Dock for winter layup on Thursday morning.

Cleveland, Ohio – Bill Kloss, Dan McNeil
The steamer Alpena arrived Thursday morning with a winter storage load of cement for Lafarge. Karen Andrie was also in port. Cuyahoga was taking on a cargo of salt at Cargill in the evening.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 13

13 January 2005 - GENESIS EXPLORER (steel propeller tanker, 435 foot, built in 1974, at Port Weller, Ontario, formerly a.) IMPERIAL ST. CLAIR & b.) ALGOSAR) sailed from Halifax for Quebec City. She was registered in the Comoros Islands. She was carrying a few members of her former crew for training purposes, but her new crew was African.

On 13 January 1918, the Goodrich Line’s ALABAMA and the Grand Trunk ferries MILWAUKEE and GRAND HAVEN all became stuck in the ice off Grand Haven, Michigan. The vessels remained imprisoned in the ice for the next two weeks. When the wind changed, they were freed but Grand Haven’s harbor was still inaccessible. The ALABAMA sailed for Muskegon and stalled in the 18-inch thick ice on Muskegon Lake.

After lightering 3,000 tons of coal, the a.) BENSON FORD was refloated in 1974 and proceeded to the Toledo Overseas Terminal to be reloaded.

In 1979, the U.S.C.G. tug ARUNDEL was beset by windrowed ice at Minneapolis Shoal in Green Bay. Strong winds piled the ice on her stern and soon she had a 25-degree list. The crew feared that she may sink and abandoned the tug, walking across the ice with the help of a spotlight onboard the ACACIA, which also became beset by the heavy ice. The MACKINAW, SUNDEW and a Coast Guard helicopter were dispatched to the scene, but northwest winds relieved the ice pressure and the crew was able to re-board the ARUNDEL. The ARUNDEL sails today as the tug c.) ERIKA KOBASIC.

On January 13, 1970, the lower engine room and holds of the SEWELL AVERY accidentally flooded, sinking her to the bottom of Duluth Harbor causing minimal damage, other than an immense cleanup effort.

January 13, 1909 - The PERE MARQUETTE 17 was freed after her grounding the previous December.

Data from: Joe Barr, Max Hanley, Brian Bernard, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Last layup? Familiar Algoway to be replaced by new freighter

1/12 - Owen Sound, Ont. – This will likely be the last time the lake freighter Algoway spends a winter in the Owen Sound harbor.

“We do expect this to be her last season as she will be replaced by one of the new 650s currently under construction in Croatia,” said Peter Winkley, vice-president, finance and chief financial officer at Algoma Central Corp.

The 646-foot Algoway, which is currently moored next to the Owen Sound Grain Elevators, was built in 1972 at the Collingwood Shipyards. The self-unloading bulk carrier is to be replaced by a new 650-foot Equinox Class vessel, which is being built on the northern shores of the Adriatic Sea. It's part of a fleet renewal and expansion project by Algoma Central.

The Algoway has been in the Owen Sound harbor many times over the years. This winter, both the Algoway and Algoma Olympic, which are owned by Algoma Central Corp., are spending the season in Owen Sound for off-season work. They will likely remain in the harbor until the Great Lakes sailing season begins in the spring, Winkley said.

A third Algoma Central ship – the John D. Leitch – had been scheduled to arrive Wednesday. The 50-year-old lake freighter was to be escorted into the harbor by the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Samuel Risley. However, the Risley was sent to do another task in the north channel of Lake Huron, so it will not be coming to Owen Sound until next week, said Kevin Hill, a spokesman for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Owen Sound Sun Times

 

Soo Locks close at midnight on Sunday

1/12 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – When clocks turn midnight on Jan. 15, shipping season on the upper Great Lakes will come to an official close as the Soo Locks shut down for their annual winter maintenance period.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers will begin their intensive maintenance period by completing a plethora of projects before shipping season resumes March 25. The winter work blitzkrieg will pack as much work as possible in roughly eight weeks and include maintenance and inspections.

"We stay open for any ship that leaves a Lake Superior port before midnight on the 14th," said Soo Area Engineer Kevin Sprague. "Every year it's the same date."

Sprague added that major projects this winter will include replacing embedded anchors and doing hydraulic work on the Poe Lock, the system's oldest operating chamber. The engineer noted that the scheduled work will be "wet" or done with water in the locks.

"We have a lot of miscellaneous jobs on a smaller scale," continued Sprague. "They add up to take quite a bit of time."

The MacArthur Lock will receive attention through a series of upkeep routines over the two-plus months. A new sand job, welding and paint job are in store of the smaller lock. The lock's dewatering bulkheads will be the primary beneficiary of the care. The bulkheads help drain water from the chamber during the year's when the maintenance is performed in an empty lock.

The manic work pace can condense roughly 10 weeks of work into eight figured Sprague. He expects over 200 contractors to help assist with the repairs and inspections. The Corps tries to finish the work a week before the March 25 opening to help the Coast Guard break ice.

"The last few years we've had good budgets," concluded Sprague, mentioning that the funding has helped complete a lot of work and "recapitalize major equipment."

Soo Evening News

 

Port Reports -  January 12

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
James R. Barker continued loading iron ore pellets at the CN dock in Duluth on Wednesday. She was expected to depart late evening, but may be waiting for weather conditions to improve.

Two Harbors, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Great Lakes Trader and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. both departed Two Harbors on Wednesday during the day. American Integrity arrived during the early afternoon to load. Joseph H. Thompson and Presque Isle are expected on Thursday, however the weather may delay their arrivals.

St. Marys River
Manitoulin was at Essar Steel Wednesday night. Algosteel was at the Essar Export Dock. Algonova was unloading at the Purvis Dock. USCG Mackinaw was hove to in Mud Lake. Upbound traffic in the evening included Hon. James L. Oberstar. Cason J. Callaway was downbound earlier in the day.

Goderich, Ont.
Algoma Transport departed Wednesday evening with salt for Fisher Harbour.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Buffalo arrived at the former C&O Ore Dock for winter layup on Wednesday morning. She is directly across from the American Mariner. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Morro Bay was escorting the tug Karen Andrie and her barge through the ice in western Lake Erie. The tug/barge combo is bound for Cleveland, Ohio. After the escort was completed, Morro Bay returned back to western Lake Erie and is waiting for the next vessels to be escorted through the ice.

 

Larger tug to be used to shift grounded Arca 1 off Cape Breton

1/12 - Sydney Mines, N.S. – A tanker remains grounded on the sandy bottom of a Cape Breton bay, as a salvage company readies a more powerful tug after a failed attempt to dislodge the boat Tuesday night. The bid to refloat and tow the Arca 1 resulted in only minor movements towards deeper water, Olous Boag, vice president of McKeil Marine, said Wednesday.

Boag said the tow was called off shortly after high tide, and it was determined the larger tug Tim McKeil would be required.

He said in an interview the company had hoped that by pumping out the 300 tonnes of ballast water from the tanker, it would have permitted a smaller tug to pull the vessel off the sand north of Sydney Mines, N.S.

However, difficulties breaking through a half metre of ice to install portable pumps to remove ballast water caused slowdowns – and it turned out additional portable pumps will be needed to fully empty the tanks between low and high tides. Only about half of the ballast water was pumped off in the first attempt.

“It turns out we need the larger horsepower and additional pumps,” said Boag.

The salvage executive says the firm remains optimistic the tanker can be moved in a few days, but it will require bringing in additional steel wire and floating rope because the more powerful tug must stay about a kilometre away from the grounded vessel.

Boag said the vessel is sitting in just 60 centimetres of water. “At low water, you can almost walk around the Arca,” he said.

There will be “challenges” in setting up the next towing effort, he said, including worsening weather and the freezing of ballast water. Tests will also be needed to ensure the force of the tow doesn’t rip off the connection points to the tanker, he added.

The precise timing of the next attempt to move the ship will depend on daily forecasts and wind speeds, and the Canadian Coast Guard must approve the plan, said Boag.

The Arca 1 – which is carrying 15 tonnes of fuel for its own engines – ran aground just north of Sydney Mines on Sunday after losing engine power, and its six-member crew was rescued later that day.

The tanker was en route to Mexico carrying no cargo when it experienced mechanical difficulties.

Global News

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 12

The steamer ROBERT S. McNAMARA, under tow, reached her intended destination of Santander, Spain on January 11, 1974, for scrapping.

In 1970, IRVING S. OLDS was the last ship of the season at the Soo Locks as she followed the PHILIP R. CLARKE downbound.

In 1973, ROGER BLOUGH collided with PHILIP R. CLARKE after the CLARKE encountered an ice pressure ridge and came to a stop in the Straits of Mackinac.

On 11 January 1962, ARCTURUS, formerly JAMES B. WOOD, was under tow of the Portuguese tug PRAIA GRANDE on the way to Norway to be scrapped when she foundered off the Azores at position 46.10N x 8.50W.

January 11, 1911 - ANN ARBOR NO 5 arrived in Frankfort, Michigan, on her maiden voyage.

On 11 January 1883, The Port Huron Times reported that a citizens' committee met to help Port Huron businesses. "A. N. Moffat decried the taxation of vessel property. High taxation of vessel property had driven much of it away from Port Huron. He cited the case of Capt. David Lester of Marine City who came to Port Huron a few years ago to live and would have brought here one of the largest fleets on the Great Lakes, but when he found what taxes would be, returned to Marine City."

1919: The laker CASTALIA left the lakes in two pieces and was rejoined at Lauzon, Quebec, for a new career on the Atlantic in 1918. The ship broke in two 65 miles off Sable Island, Nova Scotia, and the crew was rescued by the BERGENFJORD.

1962: The retired Interlake Steamship Company bulk carrier ARCTURUS was under tow of the tug PRIA GRANDE for scrapping in Europe when it sank in the Atlantic in position 46.10 N / 8.50 W.

1965: CELIA B. made 15 trips through the Seaway in 1959-1962 under Liberian registry. The vessel arrived at Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles, as f) SEA MAID with engine damage and having lost its propeller. The ship was ultimately deemed not worth repairing and arrived at Rotterdam, Netherlands, under tow for scrapping on June 22, 1966.

1974: The first FEDERAL HUDSON to visit the Great Lakes was sailing as d) GOLDEN KING when it struck the wreck of the THETIS off Chittagong, Bangladesh, while inbound from Singapore Roads. It was beached in sinking condition and sustained water damage at high tide. The vessel was refloated on February 13, 1974, and taken to Chittagong to unload and get repaired. It was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, as d) CHAR HSIUNG in 1980.

1981: ARNA began Seaway trading in 1965. It stranded off Shimonoseki, Japan, as b) IQBALBAKSH and was declared a total loss. The vessel was sold to South Korean shipbreakers and arrived at Busan, under tow on August 2, 1981.

1993: EUROJOY was anchored off Cadiz, Spain, when a spontaneous combustion fire broke out in the cargo of coal that had been bound for Turkey. The ship was listed as a total loss and sold for scrap but was repaired. It sailed additional years until scrapping at Alang, India, as g) LENA II in 1998. It first visited the Seaway as a) ATLANTIC CHALLENGE in 1971 and returned as b) ANGEBALTIC in 1981, c) ASTURIAS in 1986 and e) EUROJOY in 1990.

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

 

First attempt to tow tanker grounded off Cape Breton ends in failure

1/11 - Little Pond, N.S. – An attempt to tow a vessel grounded off Cape Breton ended in failure Tuesday evening when the salvage contractor couldn't remove enough ballast water from the ship, according to the Canadian Coast Guard.

The removal of Arca 1, which ran aground Sunday north of Sydney Mines, had been scheduled to coincide with the evening high tide, around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The ship, which was sailing to Mexico from Montreal, lost engine power in a winter gale and its six-member crew had to be rescued by helicopter. The vessel is carrying 15 tonnes of fuel for its engines. The contractor had been working to pump out ballast water since boarding the Arca 1 Tuesday afternoon, but ran into some trouble with frozen pumps.

Coast Guard officials said additional pumps were brought on board, but the tide began to turn before enough water was removed to give the ship the necessary buoyancy. The tow effort had to be abandoned around 7 p.m. and the Coast Guard said with inclement weather moving in, there will not be another attempt to move the ship on Wednesday.

Tuesday's attempt involved two tugs, two Coast Guard vessels and two DFO conservation and protection vessels. The contractor began pumping ballast water back on to the ship to give it more stability to ride out high seas and officials will monitor the weather for the next window of opportunity.

McKeil Marine Ltd. is the salvage company hired for the towing operation. Vice-president Olous Boag said the company delayed an effort initially scheduled for Tuesday morning to give it more time to assess how the operation could be carried out. The company, which has headquarters in Hamilton, Ont., operates on the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway and the East Coast.

Boag said earlier Tuesday his firm would use its salvage tug Tim McKeil along with a smaller tug, the Kaliutik, to attempt to tow the vessel to Sydney harbor.

He said that while he was optimistic the vessel can be towed off, "it may not come at the first try."

Senior coast guard response officer Keith Laidlaw said Tuesday that the tow process, once successfully completed, "will be very slow." The vessel will be towed to Sydney harbor where it will be secured.

"During the whole operation, the coast guard will be monitoring. We'll have conservation protection vessels out there doing safety and security," said Laidlaw. Once in Sydney, "the vessel will be inspected for why the incident happened to start with," he said.

He could not say if the Arca 1 will be permitted to continue its voyage to Mexico following the inspection.

The prospect of having the ship hauled away just days after it ran aground was music to the ears of Amanda McDougall, the new municipal councillor in the area, who remembers the almost four-year fight to have the former laker Canadian Miner removed from her community of Main-à-Dieu, N.S.

"Time is of the essence," she said. "You have to move fast. The longer that boat stays there idle on the shoreline, the more precarious the situation becomes."

When she heard that the Arca 1 had foundered off Little Pond, near Sydney Mines, she admits to feeling "nervously nostalgic." But those feelings have been somewhat allayed by the quick response of federal authorities who demanded that the Mexican owners of the vessel take responsibility right away.

"Making sure that the shipowner contracts a tug as soon as possible — that in itself was very reassuring, because I know with the Miner that was the biggest problem," she said. "Had that action been taken immediately, we wouldn't have had a vessel stuck on our shores for close to four years."

The salvage team determined Monday night the vessel's flat bottom wasn't damaged and that a large amount of ballast water on the ship could be pumped off to increase the vessel's buoyancy, he said.

The key challenge is to take the vessel off the bottom while the winds are blowing offshore. The Mexican company, Petroil Marine SA, that owns the ship is responsible for the costs of removing the tanker. On Monday, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc said the owner is co-operating with the Canadian government to organize and pay for the removal costs.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has said that booms are in place around the vessel to protect against environmental damage.

A team from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada is performing a technical analysis to determine what kind of mechanical failure left the boat adrift. The team is also trying to figure out why the boat was sailing in a forecasted storm.

Arca 1 was last used in the Port of Montreal to ferry bunker fuel or diesel to other ships anchored in the port. Previously, it ran fuel to Sarnia, Ont., by way of the Great Lakes.

CBC

 

Icebreaking planned at Muskegon ahead of vessel transits

1/11 - Muskegon, Mich. – Several vessels will call on the Muskegon Wednesday, Jan. 11 through Sunday, Jan 15. Ships are expected to transit the channel in or out of Muskegon at various times throughout the weekend. Tug Barbara Andrie will conduct ice breaking in support of these ship movements.

USCG

 

Port Reports -  January 11

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Herbert C. Jackson and Paul R. Tregurtha arrived Duluth for winter layup on Tuesday, the former at Fraser Shipyards and the latter at Midwest Energy. There are now five vessels laid up in the harbor, with four more expected this coming weekend. Also on Tuesday, Whitefish Bay and James R. Barker both arrived before sunrise to load iron ore pellets at CN. This will be the Barker's last cargo of the season before she will head to Sturgeon Bay early next week for layup. Whitefish Bay departed during the early afternoon. American Integrity remained at anchor offshore waiting for the dock at Two Harbors.

Two Harbors, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
The shipping season in Two Harbors is slowly winding down, after a very busy few weeks. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Great Lakes Trader were loading on Tuesday, while American Integrity was at anchor off Duluth waiting to load (her AIS read HRBRS 2 EH SOMEDAY). Joseph H. Thompson and American Integrity are both expected to load on Wednesday. The last vessel of the season to load in Two Harbors will be Presque Isle, which is due to load iron ore pellets on Thursday.

Marquette, Mich.
CSL Assiniboine was at anchor offshore on Tuesday night, most likely waiting on weather.

St. Marys River
Kaye E. Barker, Roger Blough, Philip R. Clarke and CSL Niagara were downbound in the afternoon and evening. Algosteel, Saginaw and Stewart J. Cort were at anchor above DeTour Tuesday evening for weather. Upbounders included John B. Aird, Manitoulin and Thunder Bay, were being assisted in the tight spots behind Neebish Island by the USCG Mackinaw. CSL Niagara was on the hook in the upper river off Bay Mills. The Soo Locks close for the season at the end of the day Sunday.

Escanaba, Mich.
Joseph L. Block was loading at CN late Tuesday.

Alpena, Mich.
The steamer Alpena was in her home port Monday night.

Rogers City, Mich.
Roger Blough was riding at anchor off shore on Tuesday night due to high winds.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Transport was loading salt Monday, with a destination of Fisher Harbour.

Port Huron, Mich.
Rt. Hon Paul J. Martin and Hon. James L. Oberstar were anchored just off Sarnia Monday afternoon, likely for weather. They were joined later by Calumet and CSL Laurentien.

Detroit, Mich.
Manitowoc was loading in the Rouge River Monday evening. Lee A. Tregurtha was expected soon after dark.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
The American Mariner arrived at the CSX#1 Dock for winter layup very early Tuesday morning. Buffalo is supposed to arrive at Toledo late Tuesday night sometime for winter layup. Unknown which dock she is bound for. On Tuesday afternoon the Canadian icebreaker Griffon was escorting Sam Laud, Algocanada, John J. Boland, and the Arthur M. Anderson through the ice in western Lake Erie. All vessels were headed eastbound on the lake.

 

Tankers try to get fuel to remote St. Lawrence community

1/11 - Quebec, QC – The tanker Jana Desgagnés has been unable to dock in La Romaine, Que., to deliver much-needed fuel for electrical generators, so on Tuesday the smaller tanker Juno Marie was headed for the isolated community to have a try. The smaller vessel can more easily get near the quay in spite of strong winds and weather conditions.

Two million litres of diesel must be delivered to Hydro-Québec, which has confirmed that the tanks are running low. The public is being asked to limit electrical consumption by using only one part of their house at a time and by using wood stoves whenever possible.

La Romaine is an Innu First Nations reserve in the Côte-Nord region of Quebec at the mouth of the Olomane River on the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

 

Updates -  January 11

News Photo Gallery                 

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 11

The steamer ROBERT S. McNAMARA, under tow, reached her intended destination of Santander, Spain on January 11, 1974, for scrapping.

In 1970, IRVING S. OLDS was the last ship of the season at the Soo Locks as she followed the PHILIP R. CLARKE downbound.

In 1973, ROGER BLOUGH collided with PHILIP R. CLARKE after the CLARKE encountered an ice pressure ridge and came to a stop in the Straits of Mackinac.

On 11 January 1962, ARCTURUS, formerly JAMES B. WOOD, was under tow of the Portuguese tug PRAIA GRANDE on the way to Norway to be scrapped when she foundered off the Azores at position 46.10N x 8.50W.

January 11, 1911 - ANN ARBOR NO 5 arrived in Frankfort, Michigan, on her maiden voyage.

On 11 January 1883, The Port Huron Times reported that a citizens' committee met to help Port Huron businesses. "A. N. Moffat decried the taxation of vessel property. High taxation of vessel property had driven much of it away from Port Huron. He cited the case of Capt. David Lester of Marine City who came to Port Huron a few years ago to live and would have brought here one of the largest fleets on the Great Lakes, but when he found what taxes would be, returned to Marine City."

1919: The laker CASTALIA left the lakes in two pieces and was rejoined at Lauzon, Quebec, for a new career on the Atlantic in 1918. The ship broke in two 65 miles off Sable Island, Nova Scotia, and the crew was rescued by the BERGENFJORD.

1962: The retired Interlake Steamship Company bulk carrier ARCTURUS was under tow of the tug PRIA GRANDE for scrapping in Europe when it sank in the Atlantic in position 46.10 N / 8.50 W.

1965: CELIA B. made 15 trips through the Seaway in 1959-1962 under Liberian registry. The vessel arrived at Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles, as f) SEA MAID with engine damage and having lost its propeller. The ship was ultimately deemed not worth repairing and arrived at Rotterdam, Netherlands, under tow for scrapping on June 22, 1966.

1974: The first FEDERAL HUDSON to visit the Great Lakes was sailing as d) GOLDEN KING when it struck the wreck of the THETIS off Chittagong, Bangladesh, while inbound from Singapore Roads. It was beached in sinking condition and sustained water damage at high tide. The vessel was refloated on February 13, 1974, and taken to Chittagong to unload and get repaired. It was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, as d) CHAR HSIUNG in 1980.

1981: ARNA began Seaway trading in 1965. It stranded off Shimonoseki, Japan, as b) IQBALBAKSH and was declared a total loss. The vessel was sold to South Korean shipbreakers and arrived at Busan, under tow on August 2, 1981.

1993: EUROJOY was anchored off Cadiz, Spain, when a spontaneous combustion fire broke out in the cargo of coal that had been bound for Turkey. The ship was listed as a total loss and sold for scrap but was repaired. It sailed additional years until scrapping at Alang, India, as g) LENA II in 1998. It first visited the Seaway as a) ATLANTIC CHALLENGE in 1971 and returned as b) ANGEBALTIC in 1981, c) ASTURIAS in 1986 and e) EUROJOY in 1990.

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

 

Port of Thunder Bay has “unprecedented” year

1/10 - Thunder Bay, Ont. – The 2016 shipping season officially closed Monday with the arrival of an inbound shipment via the Canada Steamship Lines’ vessel Frontenac. The Frontenac, which will winter at Thunder Bay Port Authority’s Keefer Terminal, delivered a load of road salt to the Mobil Ex Terminal on the Kaministiqua River.

In a news release, the Thunder Bay Port Authority categorized the 2016 season’s haul as “above average” for the third consecutive year, due to strong grain shipments (7.4 million tonnes) along with increases in coal (778,000 tonnes) and project cargo (31,540 tonnes) volume.

Cargo totals for the year amounted to just under 8.9 million tonnes, “virtually matching the 2015 season tally.” The port experienced its usual late-season surge in December with grain elevators loading out 1.3 million tonnes of grain for the month.

In tracking monthly grain records dating back to 1995, the port authority called the December volume “unprecedented.”

Keefer Terminal handled 14 project cargo shipments of electrical transformers, wind turbine parts, wood pellets, mining equipment, and an oriented strand board plant. All factored in, it was a 19-year high for Keefer, and port officials are optimistic 2017 will be another banner year with more shipments of transformers confirmed for the spring.

Northern Ontario Business

 

Strong outlook for Canadian shipping ports "more than a blip"

1/10 - Montreal, Que. – Some of Canada's largest ports are anticipating a stronger year for the transportation of cargo. The Port of Montreal says a new cargo terminal should again bolster volumes, which grew 10 per cent in 2016 to a record 35.2 million tonnes.

"We are entering a new year with a sense of accomplishment," said CEO Sylvie Vachon.

The Ontario ports of Hamilton and Thunder Bay say increased shipments of steel and wheat respectively should boost volumes above around nine million tonnes each handled last year.

"There's certainly reasons to believe it will be stronger," Ian Hamilton, new CEO of the port just west of Toronto, said pointing to the contribution from higher agricultural product shipments.

Although Hamilton is expecting its best performance in four or five years, shipping volumes have decreased over the last 20 years as steel plants shuttered or reduced their output. Thunder Bay says bulk tonnage has increased an average of two million tonnes a year since changes were made to the Canadian Wheat Board.

"Now we're considering this to be more than just a blip, it's actually a shifting paradigm," said port CEO Tim Heney.

MetroNews.ca

 

Tugs set to pull stranded Arca 1 from sand

1/10 - Little Pond, N.S. – Two tugboats have arrived off Little Pond, N.S., to dislodge the Mexican-owned Arca 1 from where the stranded ship ran aground after sending out a distress call Sunday. The crew of six Canadian and American sailors was lifted by helicopter to safety from the deck of the vessel after it drifted, powerless in a storm.

Nova Scotia company McKeil Marine Ltd. sent its salvage tug Tim McKeil and a smaller twin-screw tug, Kaliutik, to retrieve the Arca 1 from the shallow water where it became stranded, said Olous Boag, vice-president of operations.

“We did go out to the vessel last night and do a preliminary assessment,” McKeil's Boag said. “The Coast Guard are also on scene, flying overhead.

“This particular area is a little bit of a bay. It’s an incredibly sandy bottom (but) there’s a cliff at the end of the beach, and if you go a quarter mile to either side, it’s rocky shoreline,” he said. “If they had been anywhere else, on one side or the other of where they landed, (the Arca 1) would be in bits and pieces by now.”

After word spread of the rescue of the six sailors, who were lifted from the boat by a Canadian Forces crew in a Cormorant helicopter Sunday, a steady stream of traffic began passing by the shore in front of the distressed vessel.

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans confirmed that the Canadian Coast Guard vessel, the Earl Grey, was on site and monitoring the distressed Arca I.

Monday, the McKeil tugboat crews planned to assess how The Arca 1 was sitting, then tow it out Tuesday, Boag said.

“They’re going right now to inspect the vessel, and to make sure that everything is intact, that there is no damage, and that all the fuel that is on board and lube oils, any contaminants, are secured,” McKeil said.

First, the smaller Kaliutik will try to dislodge the Arca 1. If not, the Kaliutik will take a tow line out to the larger Tim McKeil.

“Because of the shallow water, the large tug is a half-mile away from … the distressed vessel. That’s the issue.”

Once the Arca 1 is pulled free, one of the McKeil tugs will tow it into the Port of Sydney, and then pass it back to the owners. Boag described the Arca 1 as “an extremely small vessel,” allaying fears of a potential large oil spill.

“It was used as a bunkering barge, in the Port of Montreal (but) there’s no heavy fuel oil in the cargo tanks,” he said. “It had fuel, but only that it uses for its own propulsion. . . .We understand there’s approximately 15,000 litres. You have fishing boats that carry much more than that.

Boag said he’s optimistic.

“We would hope that within the next 24–48 hours that they’re pulling it off the beach safely and securing it alongside in Sydney,” he said.

“It could have been a lot worse. . . .It was a relatively soft landing. Normally, we deal with holes in vessels and vessels that are heavily damaged, but this one had about the best land as you could get. You couldn’t have planned it better.”

CBC

 

Port Reports -  January 10

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner, Jason Fyten
CSL Assiniboine departed Duluth early Monday afternoon after loading iron ore pellets. Burns Harbor arrived Superior just before noon and laid up at Lakehead Pipeline, becoming the third vessel of Duluth's winter fleet. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and American Integrity both remain anchored off Duluth waiting to load in Two Harbors.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Algolake and Frontenac were in port Monday.

St. Marys River
Saginaw was upbound in the evening headed for Essar. Lee A. Tregurtha and CSL Laurentien were downbound in the late afternoon.

Goderich, Ont.
Algoma Transport was loading salt Monday.

Midland, Ont.
Baie Comeau arrived at ADM on Monday. CCGS Samuel Risley was also in port.

Detroit, Mich.
The former Boblo passenger boat Ste. Claire was on the move Monday, headed up river to a dock at Riverside Marina, near Belle Isle. Two Great Lakes Towing Co. tugs handled the job. View a video of the move at this link: http://www.clickondetroit.com/lifestyle/watch-legendary-boblo-boat-moved-on-detroit-river

Toledo, Ohio
H. Lee White has arrived at the Ironhead Shipyard and will be placed on the dry dock. Defiance/Ashtabula was at the Midwest Overseas Dock.

 

Saginaw River 2016 shipping season wrap-up

1/10 - Saginaw, Mich. – After an increase in commercial vessel passages on the Saginaw River during the 2015 season, there was optimism that we would again see an increase in commercial traffic for the 2016 season. That optimism never became a reality, with numbers coming in more like the dismal 2014 season. The following is a look back at what took place along the banks of the Saginaw River during this past year.

The 2016 shipping season officially started on March 19th, with the arrival of the tug Samuel de Champlain and her cement barge, Innovation. This was the second year in a row that the pair called on the Lafarge Cement dock in Essexville to start the season, this time, starting the season 21 days earlier than the 2015 season opener. The 2016 season came to a close on December 18th, when the American Integrity departed the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville. This was five days sooner than the 2015 close, for a season lasting 274 days. For 2016, there were a total of 113 commercial vessel passages. That is 19 fewer than the previous season. These passages were made by 28 different vessels, representing 14 different companies, an increase of one more unique vessel and one more company as compared to the 2015 numbers.

Looking at some of the other statistics from the 2016 season, there were 14 docks receiving cargos this season. While this number was unchanged from last year, the docks receiving product did change, as the GM Dock in Saginaw received two cargos, after not receiving any in 2015. The North Star Fertilizer Dock in Essexville did not receive any deliveries by boat in 2016, after receiving two in 2015. The dock seeing the most traffic in 2016 was the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City, seeing 25 vessel deliveries. This was the same number of deliveries as in the 2015 season. Coming in second was the Bay Aggregates Dock in Bay City, with 22 cargo deliveries, nine fewer than the previous season, and the Wirt Stone Dock in Saginaw coming in third, with 20 cargo deliveries. These three docks accounted for 47 percent of all vessel deliveries to the Saginaw River in 2016. The top two docks, Bay Aggregates and Bay City Wirt, have now been the two busiest docks for the past five years running. In all, accounting for split cargos by some vessels that unloaded at two different docks on the same visit, there were 143 deliveries to the various docks along the Saginaw River. This is 19 fewer actual dock deliveries than in 2015.

For the 10th year in a row, the tug Olive L. Moore, paired with the self-unloading barge Lewis J. Kuber, made the most trips to the Saginaw River, logging 25 visits. This is a huge decrease from 2015, when the pair made 55 trips to the river. The vessel with the second most trips to the Saginaw River, logging 18 trips and cutting into the total of the Moore-Kuber due to a new contract acquisition, was Interlake Steamship Company’s tug Dorothy Ann, paired with the self-unloading barge Pathfinder. The top two were followed by Manitowoc, with six passages and then the Alpena and the Herbert C. Jackson with five visits each.

Lower Lakes Towing/Grand River Navigation, as they have for many years, logged the most visits by a fleet in 2016, with 44 vessel passages. This was 19 fewer than 2015, but was still good enough for the tenth year in a row for LLT/GRN in the No. 1 position, accounting for 39 percent of the vessel passages on the Saginaw River. The next busiest fleet was the Interlake Steamship Company with 23 vessel passages, and in third was American Steamship Company with 16 passages. These three companies accounted for 73 percent of all deliveries on the Saginaw River in 2016.

There were a number of vessels that were visitors to the Saginaw River in 2015 that did not make a delivery here in 2016 – American Courage, American Mariner, Buffalo, Indiana Harbor, Sam Laud, Manistee, Harbour Fountain, Larsholmen and Chem Norma. The list of boats that were not visitors in 2015, but visited the Saginaw River in 2016 were John J. Boland, Sjard, Dorothy Ann – Pathfinder, Calumet, Defiance – Ashtabula, Robert S. Pierson, Saginaw, Harbour Fashion, Happy Ranger, and Floretgracht. The Floretgracht, Happy Ranger, and Sjard made their first-ever deliveries to the Saginaw River in 2016. The tugs Manitou and Kimberly Anne were also visitors. The USCG cutter Hollyhock made visits to work aids to navigation in the Saginaw River Entrance Channel, and the tug Gregory J. Busch, which calls the Saginaw River home, was also up and down the river numerous times.

There were a few notable stories during 2016. Crews from Dean Marine & Excavating worked out in the Saginaw Bay, west of the Saginaw River Front Range, dredging the Kawkawlin River Entrance Channel. As mentioned earlier, neither the North Star Dock in Essexville, nor the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City received any cargo deliveries by water this season. Another exciting story of note was the arrival of wind turbine components and blades, brought in to the Port Fisher Dock in Bay City, by foreign-flagged cargo ships. Port Fisher also received turbine components and blades by rail. Finally, the tall ship festival returned to the Saginaw River in 2016, with the following vessels taking part: Pride of Baltimore II, Denis Sullivan, US Brig Niagara, El Galleon Andalucía, Draken Harald Harfagre, Madeline, Mist of Avalon, Pathfinder, Playfair, When and If, Appledore IV, and Appledore V.

Todd Shorkey

 

Lake Michigan sanctuary proposal has shippers’ attention

1/10 - The federal government is seeking comments starting Monday, Jan. 9, through March 31 on proposed national marine sanctuaries in Lake Michigan and the Potomac River – the first such designations since 2000.

While the sanctuaries would promote preservation and tourism, shippers and others want to be sure they don’t hinder dredging and ballasting in the Great Lakes.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wants to designate a 1,075-sq. mi. area of Lake Michigan adjacent to Wisconsin’s Manitowoc, Sheboygan and Ozaukee counties that holds 37 known shipwrecks. In Maryland, the proposed 52-square mile stretch of the tidal Potomac by Charles County contains more than 100 known and potential shipwrecks, including remains of the ghost fleet built during World War I.

The Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) has said it “welcomes the recreational and educational opportunities” a sanctuary may bring, but “what is currently a legal navigational practice should continue to be allowed once the sanctuary is established.”

It is especially concerned about three areas. “Dredging of federal navigation channels in ports, rivers, and their approaches is essential for our ships’ access to dockside customers. Removal of (dry cargo residue) from a ship’s deck is critical for the safety of crewmembers working on deck. Ballasting is crucial to maintain trim, draft, stability, and structural integrity of a vessel,” LCA wrote last year when NOAA was preparing a draft environmental impact statement.

The Lake Michigan sanctuary would be the second one on the Great Lakes, where a number of other sanctuary nominations are expected. Lake Huron’s Thunder Bay, site of nearly 100 discovered shipwrecks, became a national sanctuary in 2000 and was officially expanded in 2014 from 448 square miles to 4,300 square miles.

Sanctuary regulations are specific to each site, according to Ellen Brody, NOAA’s Great Lakes Regional Coordinator. “Some sanctuaries do include restrictions on discharge and dredging,” she earlier told WorkBoat. Thunder Bay does not. Its regulations focus on protecting shipwrecks.

To comment online, go to www.regulations.gov and use docket number NOAA-NOS-2016-0150 for Lake Michigan, and NOAA-NOS-2016-0149 for the Potomac.

NOAA said it will make a final decision on whether to designate the sanctuaries after reviewing the comments.

Workboat

 

Updates -  January 10

News Photo Gallery                 

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 10

On this day in 1952, EDWARD B. GREENE was launched at the American Shipbuilding yard at Toledo, Ohio. The 647-foot vessel joined the Cleveland Cliffs fleet. After lengthening over the winter of 1975-1976 and conversion to a self-unloader in 1981, the GREENE sailed briefly as the b.) BENSON FORD for Rouge Steel. She sails today as the c.) KAYE E BARKER of the Interlake fleet.

ONTADOC (Hull#207) was launched January 10, 1975, at Collingwood, Ontario, by Collingwood Shipyards, Ltd. For N.M. Paterson & Sons. Renamed b.) MELISSA DESGAGNES in 1990.

On January 10, 1977, the CHESTER A. POLING, b.) MOBIL ALBANY) broke in two and sank off the coast of Massachusetts.

January 10, 1998 - Glen Bowden, former co-owner of the Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Company (MWT) died.

In 1974, the W.C. RICHARDSON was towed from her winter berth in Toledo to assist in lightering the grounded a.) BENSON FORD.

On Jan 10, 1978, the tanker JUPITER became stuck in 3 to 5-foot ridged ice off Erie, Pennsylvania. The U.S.C.G. tug OJIBWA was sent from Buffalo, New York, to free her, but she too became beset in the ice 3 miles from the JUPITER's position. The JUPITER was lost after an explosion at Bay City in 1990. The OJIBWA is now the tug GEN OGLETHORPE in Savannah, Georgia.

On 10 January 1898, Alexander Anderson of Marine City was awarded a contract to build a wooden steamer for A. F. Price of Freemont, Ohio, Isaac Lincoln of Dakota, and Capt. Peter Ekhert of Port Huron, Michigan. The vessel was to be named ISAAC LINCOLN and was to be 130 feet long and capable of carrying 400,000 feet of lumber. The contract price was $28,000. Her engine and boiler were to be built by Samuel F. Hodge of Detroit. The vessel was launched on 10 May 1898, and her cost had increased to $40,000. She lasted until 1931 when she was abandoned.

1967: PRINDOC (iii) was laid up for the winter at Cardinal, Ontario, when it broke its moorings in a storm and drifted down the St. Lawrence. The shipkeeper was able to get the anchor down and they held just above the Iroquois power dam, averting a major problem.

1970: IOANNA stranded near Sete, France, in a gale while inbound from Barcelona, Spain and had to be sold for scrap. The ship had been a Seaway trader as a) A.J. FALKLAND in 1959 and returned as b) PETER in 1960 and 1961.

1971: CATTARO came through the Seaway in 1959 for the Ellerman's Wilson Line. It caught fire in the engine room at Galatz, Romania, as b) VRACHOS and had to be beached. It was subsequently broken up for scrap.

1977: The tanker CHESTER A. POLING broke in two and sank off the coast of Massachusetts in a storm after an explosion in the forward pump room. Two members of the crew were lost. The ship had been a Great Lakes trader as a) PLATTSBURG SOCONY and as b) MOBIL ALBANY.

1981: SOL RIVER came to the Great Lakes in 1968. It ran aground as f) LIZA near Combi, Lemnos Island, Greece. The hull broke in two and sank January 15. The ship was carrying phosphate enroute from Sfax, Tunisia, to Kavalla, Greece, when it went down on the Aegean Sea with the loss of 5 lives.

2001: The Cypriot freighter ARETHUSA first came through the Seaway in 1987. Fire broke out in the engine room and spread to the bridge and accommodation area while the ship was in the northern Great Belt. The vessel, enroute from Casablanca, Morocco, to Gdansk, Poland, with phosphate, was towed to Gydnia, Poland, after the blaze was extinguished. Repairs to the 28-year-old vessel were not worthwhile and it arrived at the scrapyard at Aliaga, Turkey, for dismantling on March 26, 2001.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Brian Bernard, Russ Plumb, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

 

Rescue workers scoop crew from tanker stranded off Cape Breton

1/9 - Little Pond, N.S. – A tanker has run aground off Little Pond, N.S., after experiencing engine failure and rescue crews have successfully removed six people from the stranded ship. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said the vessel's crew is safe and no pollution from Arca 1 has been reported.

Anne Miller, a regional director with the Canadian Coast Guard's Atlantic Region, said the bunkering tanker was heading to Sydney. A bunkering tanker carries fuel for other ships.

"The vessel's hull has not been compromised, and there's no report of pollution. There is approximately 15 tonnes of propulsion fuel on board," she said.

The coast guard says there's no information to suggest weather played a part in the ship's engine failure, but that the storm helped push the vessel closer to the shore. The six crew members who were on board the ship are now in Sydney, N.S., about 32 kilometres south of Little Pond.

The vessel, formerly named Arca and used by Shell Canada as a bunkering tanker at Montreal, was repositioning from Montreal to new owners in Mexico.

Once the crew was off the vessel, Miller said the ship will transfer over to the coast guard's environmental response group, which will try to "mitigate any risk of pollution to the environment." A coast guard aircraft was circling the area Sunday. Miller said it was monitoring and observing any potential pollution from the ship.

Capt. Liam Mather, the public affairs officer with the Joint Rescue Coordinator Centre in Halifax, said the center received a mayday distress call Sunday morning.

The ship "experienced engine failure and went aground near the entrance to Sydney Harbour at approximately 10 a.m.," Mather said.

The coordination centre sent a Cormorant helicopter from 14-Wing Greenwood to help, along with Canadian Coast Guard ships Spindrift and Earl Grey, which are travelling to the area, he said. People in the area said the vessel came close to shore some time through the night.

CBC

 

Port Reports -  January 9

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner, Jason Fyten, Robert Mills
CSL Niagara arrived Duluth early Sunday morning to load iron ore pellets. Algolake departed just before noon after completing her salt unload at the North American Dock. CSL Niagara departed from CN mid-evening, and her fleetmate CSL Assiniboine then took the dock and began loading. Stewart J. Cort arrived Superior mid-morning, and was expected to depart late Sunday night. American Spirit arrived at Duluth at 13:44 Jan. 7 for winter layup at the Port Terminal Berth 11. Paul R. Tregurtha will be spending winter layup at Minnesota's Midwest Energy. It will arrive on Jan. 10 with the Herbert C Jackson, which will be spending her layup at Fraser Shipyards in Superior.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
CSL Laurentien departed Sunday. USCG Mobile Bay was due in the early morning Monday. Algolake was headed here from the Twin Ports.

Marquette, Mich.
Lee A. Tregurtha was in port Sunday night.

St. Marys River
Baie Comeau (headed to Midland) and Edwin L. Gott were downbound in the afternoon. John J. Boland was at the locks downbound about 9 p.m. Kaye E. Barker and James R. Barker were upbound in the early evening. Michipicoten was at Essar and the USCG Mackinaw was docked at the Coast Guard base,

Green Bay, Wis.
Samuel de Champlain and her barge Innovation unloaded cement and departed for Alpena on Sunday.

Milwaukee, Wis.
Algosteel was unloading Sunday. She brought her cargo from Essar in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Burns Harbor, Ind.
Joseph L. Block was unloading on Sunday.

Goderich, Ont.
John B. Aird and Algoma Transport were in port Sunday.

Detroit, Mich.
Alpena was downbound on Lake Huron with cement from Alpena Sunday night.

Sandusky, Ohio
Manitoulin was in port Sunday night.

 

Coast Guard channel closures announced

1/9 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mi. - Captain of the Port Sault Ste. Marie will close the following water ways January 11 at 6 p.m.:
Waters between Cheboygan Michigan, and Bois Blanc Island, Michigan, known as South Channel; Grays Reef Passage on Lake Michigan; Pipe Island Passage (East of Pipe Island Shoal and North of Pipe Island Twins from Watson Reef Light to Sweets Point). The Pipe Island Course will become a two-way route.

USCG

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 9

On this day in 1973, the CHARLES M. BEEGHLY was the latest running Interlake vessel when she entered winter layup at Toledo, Ohio.

BAIE COMEAU II was laid up on January 9, 1983, at Sorel, Quebec, and was sold the following April to Progress Overseas Co. S.A., Panama renamed c.) AGIA TRIAS.

January 9, 1977 - The last survivor of the PERE MARQUETTE 18 disaster, Mike Bucholtz, died.

In 1974, a combination of wind and ice forced the beset BENSON FORD, of 1924, from the shipping channel in Western Lake Erie, running aground.

1974: MARDINA REEFER ran aground at the breakwall at Stephenville, Newfoundland, while inbound in stormy weather. The ship was scheduled to load pickled herring for Europe but became a total loss. Salvage efforts failed and the hull was pounded on the rocks and eventually split in two. The crew was rescued. The vessel had been through the Seaway in 1973.

1974: LUCIE SCHULTE had been a Pre-Seaway and Seaway visitor to the Great Lakes. It sank in bad weather as b) TEVEGA in the Bay of Biscay while enroute from Antwerp, Belgium, to Casablanca, Morocco, with a cargo of barley. Only one member of the crew survived.

1979: MARIGO M.F. had been a Seaway trader in 1973 and earlier as a) NEGO ANNE in 1971. The ship went aground off Alexandria, Egypt, and sustained hull and water damage. The bulk carrier was not worth repairing and sold to Brodospas of Split, Yugoslavia, for scrap. It arrived August 13, 1979, for dismantling.

1980: BILL CROSBIE was carrying steel when it got into trouble on the Atlantic on January 4, 1980. The vessel, a Seaway trader in 1974, was listing badly when it was brought into St. John's, Newfoundland, only to roll over and sink at the wharf on this date. The hull was towed out to sea, bottom up, on November 3, 1980, and scuttled 12 miles off shore.

1983: SANTONA stranded in the Red Sea off Sudan at North Jumna Shoal. The hull was refloated but sold for scrap. It arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, on April 4, 1983, for dismantling. It was a busy Seaway trader and had made 36 trips to the Great Lakes from 1959 to 1967.

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

 

Port Reports -  January 8

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Algolake arrived Duluth before sunrise on Saturday morning to discharge salt at Hallett #8. American Spirit arrived just after noon and laid up for the winter at Port Terminal's berth 11. CSL Assiniboine arrived two hours later, also with salt for Hallett #8. Algolake departed light later in the evening. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Great Lakes Trader/tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort were at anchor off Duluth waiting to load in Two Harbors. Stewart J. Cort was expected to arrive Superior late Saturday night to load ore at BN. View a video of the CSL Assiniboine arriving at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZazEk8Jg_xk&t=381s

Two Harbors, Minn. - David Schauer
The Great Lakes Fleet party continued in Two Harbors on Saturday, with Cason J. Callaway loading at CN and Arthur M. Anderson, Philip R. Clarke, and Roger Blough all docked waiting to load. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Great Lakes Trader/tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort were at anchor off Duluth waiting for the dock.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
CSL Laurentien was loading Saturday night.

Marquette, Mich.
Michipicoten was loading Saturday night.

St. Marys River
Baie Comeau and Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin were anchored in the lee of Whitefish Point Saturday evening due to winds. Lee A. Tregurtha was upbound out of the locks at 9 p.m., and looked to be headed to anchor as well. Burns Harbor was upbound in the late afternoon. Algosteel left the Essar Export Dock in the afternoon and by 10 p.m. Saturday was westbound in the Straits.

Green Bay, Wis.
Samuel de Champlain and her barge Innovation were unloading cement Saturday night.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Indiana Harbor arrived in Sturgeon Bay Friday night and was immediately towed into the graving dock.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
On Thursday morning the Manitowoc made its way into Lafarge, stern first, to tie up. It unloaded coal throughout the day. Around 5 p.m., the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation arrived to take on cement for Green Bay. Friday evening the tug Manitou was in the area, going in front of the Alpena to make sure it was able to get into Lafarge. Ice continues to build with the colder temperatures. Alpena loaded cement for Whitefish, Ont., and was on her way Saturday evening.

Goderich, Ont.
John B. Aird was loading salt Saturday. Algoma Transport was next in line.

Detroit River
H. Lee White and Saginaw were at docks on the Rouge River Saturday night. John D. Leitch and CSL Welland were moored in Windsor.

Sandusky, Ohio
Manitoulin was in port Saturday night and Sam Laud was waiting for the dock.

Erie, Pa. – Gene Polaski‎
The tug Ken Boothe Sr. / barge Great Lakes Contender were in Erie Bay Saturday morning. There was about 1.5 feet of snow and the temperature was 15F. Whiteouts from the blowing snow sometimes obscured the view. The Boothe’s captain decided the ice was too stiff, and broke the Ken Boothe Sr. away from the barge so he could break ice in toward the slip where they were going to lay up for the winter.

 

Son of founders tell the history of the Selvick Towing

1/8 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - – You are not likely to find any resistance to the claim the green tugboats on the south side of the Sturgeon Bay Canal are a landmark.

Not many waterfronts boast a fleet of tugboats. They are like ducks in a row begging for attention. Artists pull up their easels to paint renditions and photographers position themselves for the best perspective like any other attraction in Door County.

About 75 people learned more about the history of tugs owned by Selvick Marine Towing Corp. during the Door County Maritime Museum’s popular Maritime Speaker Series with guest Steve Selvick on Thursday night. The seven working tugs are moored side-by-side between the Michigan Street and the Maple-Oregon Street bridges in Sturgeon Bay. Their names are Cameron O, Donny S, William C. Gaynor, Jimmy L, Sharon M. Selvick, Susan L, and led by William C. Selvick.

New to the Selvick fleet, the Gaynor arrived Jan. 3. During the winter, four to six tugs are required to break/crush ice while other tugs push/tow a freighter neatly into berthing at nearby Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding.

Speaker Selvick began the program with a clarification. He is no longer with the family operation; his sisters Sharon Opiela and Susan Londo run the business. He has stepped back to focus on marine insurance for Door County Insurance Agency Inc.

Originally, the triplets purchased the business created by their parents, William and Bonnie Selvick, in 1969.

In the past 47 years, it hasn’t always been about tugboats. The towing company has operated or purchased barges and freighters under the company’s umbrella along with the 18 tugboats.

Steve Selvick outlined the company’s rich history in a slide presentation as he stood at the back of the room, making sure he saw every photograph himself. At the same time, it was a personal journey of his family scrapbook. Each vessel requires recognition, inspires a thought or a colorful memory.

When Steve arrived at the slide of the Steven M. Selvick tugboat, he gently put on the brakes. It’s the tug of his namesake. “And it’s sunk,’’ he smiles. And it is also a treasure.

The story goes that after 80 years of service, the tug was intentionally sunk near the Mackinac Bridge spanning Upper and Lower Michigan. It had many names and even served the U.S. Navy in 1946 for a couple of years. It also played an important role in the construction of the bridge in the 1950s and this is its final resting place.

It was retired and sold to the Alger Underwater Preserve for $1 and sunk in 1996. Its primary purpose is for a historical attraction for SCUBA divers. It lies in 65 feet of water and the pilothouse is visible at about 40 feet down. It is also a designation for a glass-bottom boat tour navigating the Munising Bay.

As the story goes, a sinking is not easy, or is it? “The tough part,’’ Selvick said, is “everybody had to approve it.’’ That includes such agencies as the DNR, U.S. Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers. “Then they had to take it apart piece-by-piece to inspect it, clean it, and put it back together,’’ Selvick said.

When they were nearly finished putting the retired tug back together, an unfortunate incident happened. It accidentally sunk. “They had to raise it, totally take it apart and re-clean it and re-inspect,’’ he said. The ceremonial sinking took place June 1, 1996. The fanfare included commemorative T-shirts, balloons and other souvenirs. Steve was the guest of honor. “It was my moment of fame, I guess,’’ he said, smiling.

A visible waterfront tugboat in the canal is the Donny S. The 143-foot, 2,000 bhp horsepower tug was built in 1950 in Texas. It was renamed in 2014. “It’s the next chapter,’’ explained Selvick. In 2014, the triplets started selling their business to marine captain and veteran ship-docking, ice-breaking and towing expert Donny Sarter (and wife Julie). The transition is expected to be completed within the next half-dozen years. They will be joined by their sons Brian and Brett.

The next monthly Maritime Speakers Series is slated for 7 p.m. Feb. 2 featuring Richard Purinton on his travel experiences last fall to the Falkland Islands and South Georgia aboard the National Geographic Explorer.

Green Bay Press Gazette

 

Obituary: Thomas A. Kucinski

1/8 - Thomas A. Kucinski, 66, of Two Harbors, Minn., passed away on Jan. 6 surrounded by family. He was born in Milwaukee, Wis., on June 29, 1950. After graduation from high school, he sailed the Great Lakes and later worked as a foreman on the ore docks Two Harbors, Minn., until he retired in 2010. It brought him great joy to volunteer and he served on many boards, including that of the Lake Superior Maritime Museum. He also gave tours on the William A. Irvin for many years. His knowledge of the boats, the docks and mining was second to none. He also helped bring the Irvin back to life as a museum, providing tour guides with information that they otherwise would never find.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the 11 am service on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Two Harbors. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Lake Superior Maritime Museum or The Boy & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee.

 

Updates -  January 8

News Photo Gallery                 

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 8

On 08 January 2004, McKeil Marine’s CAPT. RALPH TUCKER was the first vessel of 2004 to arrive at the port of Manistee, Michigan. Once docked at the General Chemical facilities, Captain Bill Sullivan and Chief Engineer Otto Cooper were each presented with hand-carved Hackberry canes. This was a notable way for the vessel to start her last year of operation. Later that year she was sold for scrap.

JOHN HULST (Hull#286) was launched in 1938, at River Rouge, Michigan, by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

On 8 January 1877, the tug KATE FELCHER burned at East Saginaw, Michigan. Her loss was valued at $3,000, but she was insured for only $2,000. She was named after the wife of her owner, the well-known Capt. James Felcher of East Saginaw.

In 1939, several tugs helped release the CHIEF WAWATAM, which had been aground since January 3. In 1974, BENSON FORD, of 1924, became beset by ice in Western Lake Erie.

January 8, 1976, LEON FALK JR. closed the season at Superior, Wisconsin, after she departed the Burlington-Northern ore docks.

1996: The research ship CALYPSO, a converted wooden minesweeper, served noted deep-sea diver Jacques Cousteau for many years. It came to the Great Lakes in 1980 and explored several wrecks including the EDMUND FITZGERALD and GUNILDA. It sank at Singapore following a collision on this date. The hull was refloated but never repaired. Subsequently, there were disputes over ownership, with a later report saying the vessel would be displayed at the Bahamas as a tourist attraction.

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

 

Port Reports -  January 7

Duluth-Superior
Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader were stopped outside the harbor entrance Friday night, with the tug North Carolina working in the vicinity.

Two Harbors, Minn. - David Schauer
The arrival of Philip R. Clarke Friday made for a family reunion with a full house of Great Lakes Fleet boats. Also present were Edwin H. Gott, Roger Blough and Arthur M. Anderson.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and Baie Comeau were loading Friday. CSL Laurentien was anchored.

Marquette, Mich.
Hon. James L. Oberstar was loading Friday night.

Green Bay, Wis. – Jeff Rueckert‎
USCG Mobile Bay and Biscayne Bay were up by Gills Rock breaking ice for the Samuel de Champlain and her barge Friday night.

Alpena, Mich.
Alpena was in her namesake port Friday. It is unknown if she was loading or laying up.

Goderich, Ont.
John B. Aird was tied up in the North Harbor Friday. Algowood was at the grain elevator. Algorail is in winter layup.

Toledo, Ohio
John D. Leitch was unloading grain on Friday. Manitoulin left for Sandusky and Saginaw headed to Detroit.

Cleveland, Ohio – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud is running the shuttles to Arcelor Mittal in Cleveland. Recovery operations continue for the private aircraft missing since last week. Corps tug Cheraw, R/V Muskie and Salvage Chief are all assisting.

 

Algoma Innovator launching video

1/7 - The launching of the first Algoma Central’s new 650-foot self-unloader Algoma Innovator (Hull No. 732) in Croatia took place Dec. 29, 2016.

View a video at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZMrBIJAnaY

 

Fraser Shipyards reaches agreement to improve safety

1/7 - Superior, Wis. – Fraser Shipyards Inc. announced today that it has reached an agreement with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to improve safety and reduce a previously proposed fine.

"We appreciate the opportunity to work with OSHA and respect their oversight as well as our joint commitment to the health and safety of all workers at Fraser," said James Farkas, president and chief operating officer of Fraser Industries, which oversees Fraser Shipyards. "This agreement, reached with input from unions representing workers at Fraser ensures that we can move forward with a strong commitment to employee protection and business viability, in partnership with OSHA and everyone who earns a living at our 126-year-old family-owned company in Superior."

Last summer, OSHA proposed a $1.395 million fine for Fraser related to employee exposure to lead from paint and other sources during the repowering and refurbishing of the Herbert C. Jackson, a 57-year-old Great Lakes freighter. Fraser requested a settlement conference with OSHA to discuss the findings, consider the company's responses after it identified hazards and seek a settlement establishing strong safety procedures moving forward. The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, which represents workers at Fraser, participated in the settlement conference.

The settlement agreement specifically provides that Fraser does not admit to fault or liability for the violations alleged by OSHA. Further, the settlement agreement calls for reducing Fraser's fine to $700,000 and establishing a new safety plan requiring Fraser to:

• Put in place a new health and safety management program, as well as additional worker protections, and work with OSHA for three years to monitor safety.
• Submit to regular OSHA inspections as well as two independent health and safety audits over two years.
• Meet regularly with OSHA, the Boilermakers other employee groups to review health and safety improvements and issues.

"We are committed to taking these steps and look forward to working with OSHA and all our team members at Fraser," Farkas said in a prepared statement. "Our business depends on taking the health and safety of our people seriously."

Representatives of the Boilermakers said they appreciated the actions taken by Fraser and the company's commitment to safety through the settlement agreement.

"We are pleased to see this settlement agreement, which will ensure the health and safety of workers while also allowing Fraser to move ahead as a business that provides valuable employment for our members," said Mark Garrett, director of health and safety services for the Boilermakers. "We have appreciated Fraser's responsiveness to working with us to get this issue resolved. We don't get many employers that step up like they did."

Fraser Shipyards, founded in 1890 in Superior, is the last major independent shipyard on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes, providing dry docking floating repairs at its 60-acre facility or around the Great Lakes.

Superior Telegram

 

Lake Superior’s foggy phenomenon: sea smoke

1/7 - Duluth, Minn. – It's one of the most eye-popping sights you'll ever see, even looking apocalyptic at times. So, what causes sea smoke? What about the boats on the water? Are they affected by the mysterious winter fog, too?

First, let's explain what causes sea smoke.

The ominous looking fog is formed when cold winter air settles over the unfrozen Lake Superior. Cold air can't hold the same amount of moisture as warm air. So as the warmer lake air rises and interacts with a frigid airmass, water vapor over the lake condenses creating the ethereal looking phenomenon. The greater the difference in temperature between the lake and the air, the better the chances of finding sea smoke.

The best time to look for sea smoke is in the early morning hours of December and January. The pre-dawn light not only provides the coolest air temperatures, but the changing sky can create a kaleidoscope of colors, as well.

One man who has seen his fair share of sea smoke is Dave Campbell, the Aerial Lift Bridge operator. Campbell says the sea smoke doesn't get too close to the bridge, but it can hinder his visibility of the ships that are in the harbor. "All you can see is that top pilot house on the ship coming through that sea smoke. It's actually pretty cool,” Campbell said.

Even though the fog can look frightening from the banks of Lake Superior, one local ship captain says the ships on the water are built to handle the limited visibility the sea smoke can provide. Greg Sipper, a captain on the Stewart J. Cort, says he'll rely on the computerized instruments when the visibility from sea smoke drops to near zero.

Sipper said, "It's just like business as usual whether it be sea smoke or fog. We're all trained for dealing with the ice and the cold conditions. He said there is one fallback to the sea smoke. He says the ice that forms on parts of the ship can be a bit of a headache.

"The moisture will freeze on the railings of the ships, the hulls, the super structures...it's slippery and it's something that we have to salt, sand and remove depending if it's on our stairs or anywhere that it could be a hazard," Sipper added.

But no matter whether you are on the lake or on the land, Sipper said it is quite the sight to see. "If you're a photographer and there are other ships in the area, it sets up for a very nice backdrop,” he added.

WDIO

View a video at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoFtdGKnqx8

 

Great Lakes Towing repositions tug Huron to Duluth

1/7 - Duluth, Minn. – The Great Lakes Towing Company repositioned its tug Huron to Duluth on Jan. 2 to enhance capabilities for ice breaking, harbor assist and other services essential to commercial shipping in the Duluth-Superior region.

Huron’s first icebreaking operation took place late Wednesday evening, Jan. 4, when she assisted longstanding customer Canada Steamship Lines’ Thunder Bay at Duluth.

The harbor fleet in Duluth now includes the Huron in addition to tugs Arkansas, Kentucky and North Carolina, giving the fleet fresh legs for the upcoming ice-breaking battle. According to a Great Lakes Towing Company statement, “this ensures (that) the first-class harbor assist, towing, and icebreaking services that commercial shippers expect in the Port of Duluth will continue for years to come.

“The Towing Company offers 365/24/7 service with experienced full-time crews, so that our customers always receive consistent and dependable service. With a full-service lakes-wide towing contract, including icebreaking and our other ancillary services, our customers gain an added level of safety and seamanship to protect their crew, equipment, and the environment; wherever their vessels may call on the Great Lakes. It’s added insurance,” said Joseph P. Starck, Jr., president of The Great Lakes Towing Company.

The Great Lakes Towing Company plans to bring two more former YTBs into service during 2017. These additional tugs will be strategically stationed in other ports where icebreaking services are normally required.

The Great Lakes Towing Co.

 

Leland Harbor to stay closed unless funds found for dredging

1/7 - Traverse City, Mich. - Leland Harbor could eventually close for good unless officials scrape together enough money to dredge its sand-choked entrance. The Leland Township Harbor Commission's tight budget and limited federal funding over the past several years has stalled dredging efforts for the harbor in Traverse City, which is a refuge for Lake Michigan boaters in distress and houses fishing boats and ferries.

The harbor was last dredged in 2014, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported. Sand continues to pile onto the lakebed and has essentially blocked passage by cutting the channel to less than 6 feet deep. Harbormaster Russell Dzuba said he closed off the harbor after a recent storm and that it will stay closed in the spring.

Dzuba said annual dredging would cost about $200,000, and it seems unlikely the harbor will receive federal or state assistance from Michigan. Harbor commissioners are hoping to fundraise about $200,000 to help contribute toward purchasing a $500,000 dredging boat. By having the boat, the harbor would no longer need to look for outside assistance. Leland Township Supervisor Susan Och said about $368,000 has already been secured.

While there's been wide support for the dredging boat, Dzuba has expressed concern for the harbor commission's budget after operating, maintenance and staffing costs. But despite the financial worry, the harbormaster still supports the idea.

"The harbor itself brings a lot of people in and lot of dollars into the community," Och said. "If you look at any Pure Michigan literature, they love Fishtown."

Associated Press

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 7

07 January 1974 - EDMUND FITZGERALD (steel propeller bulk freighter, 711 foot, 13,632 gross tons, built in 1958, at River Rouge, Michigan) lost her anchor in the Detroit River when it snagged on ice. It was raised in July 1992. The anchor weighs 12,000 pounds and now resides outside the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan.

On January 7, 1970, the e.) ONG, a.) REDHEAD of 1930, had her Canadian registry closed. The tanker had been sold for use as a water tender at Antigua in the Lesser Antilles and had departed Toronto on December 1, 1969.

1924: The rail car ferry ONTARIO NO. 1 had a rough overnight crossing of Lake Ontario. The ship was diverted to Toronto with three feet of ice on the deck and anchored off Port Credit. With no seagate, it had to sail into the wind and could not make its docking at Cobourg as scheduled.

1943: ORNEFJELL came to the Great Lakes beginning in 1933 and returned as b) AKABAHRA after being sold in 1937. It was torpedoed and sunk on the Mediterranean in position 37.07 N / 4.38 E.

1977: BARFONN had visited the Seaway beginning in 1959 and returned as b) ORIENT EXPLORER in 1967 and as c) AEGEAN in 1971. It caught fire at Colombo, Sri Lanka, as d) TONG THAY and became a total loss. The vessel was taken to Singapore Roads, laid up, sold for scrap and arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for dismantling on March 24, 1978.

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

 

Port Reports -  January 6

 Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Joseph L. Block departed Superior with ore before sunrise on Thursday. Besides American Century, there were no other vessels in port.

Two Harbors, Minn.
Cason J. Callaway and Philip R. Clarke were anchored off Duluth Thursday night waiting their turn at Two Harbors. Edwin H. Gott and Joseph H. Thompson were loading.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, Baie Comeau and CSL Laurentien are expected in port to load grain early Friday after being delayed by weather.

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
On Thursday at the Upper Harbor, Walter J. McCarthy arrived and unloaded the last coal cargo of the shipping season for the Presque Isle Power Plant.

St. Marys River
The river was busy on blustery Thursday evening. Algolake, CSL Assiniboine, Defiance/Ashtabula and John J. Boland were upbound. Downbounders included Paul R. Tregurtha, Herbert C. Jackson, Victory/James L. Kuber, CSL Welland and Kaye E. Barker. Algosteel was still at Essar. American Spirit was inbound at DeTour at 10 p.m.

Escanaba, Mich.
James R. Barker departed some time Thursday and was headed for down Lake Michigan Thursday night.

Sarnia, Ont.
Cuyahoga has entered winter layup inboard of Ojibway.

Toledo, Ohio
Saginaw and Manitoulin were unloading Thursday night. John D. Leitch is due Friday morning with grain, depending on weather.

 

Carlton Street bridge over Welland Canal to close this winter

1/6 - The Welland Canal’s Carlton Street bridge is facing a four-month closure for motorists and pedestrians. Construction has started on the fixed approach span in east St. Catharines this week. As a result, the bridge will continue to be closed until April 30, said Alvina Ghirardi of St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp.

She said full bridge closure is necessary given the “construction scope and logistics.” Construction will not impede shipping when it resumes in the spring.

“As part of the (seaway’s) asset renewal program and enhancing reliability of its structure, construction project was commissioned this winter works to replace the fixed approach span,” Ghirard said of a contract awarded to Rankin Construction.

While a specific cost for the project was not immediately available, Ghirardi said the seaway authority will be investing about $50 million this winter into the continued enhancement of its locks and bridges infrastructure.

Ghirard noted that in October the seaway corporation launched a low-power radio station in collaboration with Niagara Region. When near canal bridges in north St. Catharines, people can tune into 93.3 FM (CFBN) to get updates on the status of St. Catharines bridges.

Those updates include the number of minutes remaining for a bridge to be up and unavailable for traffic crossings, or report that they are down and available for crossing.

St. Catharines Standard

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 6

While under tow heading for scrap, the HARRY R. JONES went aground at Androsan, Scotland, on January 6, 1961, and it wasn't until February 15 that she arrived at her final port of Troon, Scotland.

January 6, 1999 - The Dow Chemical plant in Ludington, Michigan, announced a plan to close its lime plant, eliminating the need for Great Lakes freighters to deliver limestone.

In 1973, the JOSEPH H. THOMPSON ran aground at Escanaba, Michigan, after departing that port.

1976: The former GLADYS BOWATER was sailing as c) AGINOR when it caught fire and had to be abandoned off southwest Sicily. The hull was towed to Palermo, Italy, with serious damage and then to Piraeus, Greece, where it was laid up unrepaired. But the ship was resold, rebuilt and returned to service as d) ALEXANDRA in 1977. It was scrapped at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, as e) LAMYAA in 1985.

1979: OTTO NUBEL first came to the Great Lakes in 1953 and returned regularly until the final four trips in 1959. The ship was sailing as b) MARIA III when there was an explosion in the engine room on January 6, 1979, near Tamomago Island, Spain. A fire followed and the vessel went aground where it was abandoned as a total loss.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Brian Bernard, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

U.S.-flag fleets to keep Great Lakes shipyards busy this winter

1/5 - Cleveland, Ohio – Temperatures are dropping, but the pace at Great Lakes shipyards is heating up. Winter is their busiest time and this year is no exception. U.S.-flag Great Lakes vessel operators are going to spend more than $80 million to maintain and modernize their vessels for the 2017 shipping season.

“Once again Lake Carriers’ Association members are demonstrating their commitment to Great Lakes shipping,” said James H.I. Weakley, President of the trade association representing the major U.S.-flag carriers.

“As a Department of Homeland Security report has emphasized, many steel mills, power plants and stone quarries do not have viable alternatives for the shipment of their raw materials. If the U.S.-flag Great Lakes fleet is not primed to meet the needs of commerce in 2017, industrial activity and hundreds of thousands of family-sustaining jobs would be in jeopardy. This year’s winter work program ensures the vessels will be ready.”

Much of the work to be done this winter is normal maintenance such as overhauls of engines, cargo hold renewal and replacement of conveyor belts in the unloading systems. Lakers get a real workout during the season. Vessels in the long-haul trades will carry perhaps 50 cargos. Hulls dedicated to the short-haul trades can easily double that total.

Reducing the industry’s carbon footprint is again a major focus. A 1,000-foot-long U.S.-flag laker will become the fifth vessel to have an exhaust-scrubbing system installed in the past few years. The conversion of a steamship to a diesel-powered vessel will also be completed this winter.

Several lakers will be drydocked so their hulls can be surveyed by the U.S. Coast Guard and American Bureau of Shipping as required by U.S law. Since they operate in a fresh water environment, lakers need only be drydocked every 5-6 years, whereas vessels in the ocean (saltwater) trades are required to be drydocked twice in a 5-year period.

The benign Lakes environment allows for long careers. Two vessels, the Mesabi Miner and the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr., will mark their 40th year of operation in 2017. During those four decades of service those vessels have collectively carried approximately 220 million tons of iron ore and coal.

The oldest vessel expected to see service in 2017, the cement barge St. Marys Challenger, will mark her 111th season on the inland seas. That vessel has carried more than 100 million tons of several types of cargo since being launched as the ore carrier William P. Snyder in 1906

The major shipyards on the Lakes are located in Sturgeon Bay, Superior and Marinette, Wisconsin; Erie, Pa.; and Toledo, Ohio. Smaller “top-side” repair operations are located in Cleveland, Ohio; Escanaba, Mich.; Buffalo, N.Y.; and several cities in Michigan. The industry’s annual payroll for its 2,700 employees approaches $125 million and it is estimated that a wintering vessel generates an additional $800,000 in economic activity in the community in which it is moored.

Great Lakes shipyards continually upgrade their facilities to serve the fleet. For example, Fraser Shipyards in Superior, Wis., added an additional 880 feet of dock and berthing space in 2016.

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Seaway closes for season

1/5 - Cornwall, Ont. – The St. Lawrence Seaway shipping channel from Montreal to Lake Ontario has shut down for the season. The seaway shut down at noon on Saturday, Dec. 31.

It’s been a challenging year for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System. As of the end of November, nearly six per cent less cargo had moved through the transportation network – mainly due to losses in coal, dry bulk goods and iron ore. In fact, all categories of shipping were down except for one – a nearly 20 per cent jump year-over-year for liquid bulk shipments.

As for shutting down the seaway, the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon was in Cornwall on Dec. 21 as she worked to remove buoys from the St. Lawrence River. The buoys are replaced with winter ice spars (a winterized marker).

The Griffon was sporting a new makeover, having gone through a retrofit in Quebec City, which included new water piping, electrical work, galley refurbishment and a main engine overhaul. Her home port is Prescott, Ont.

Brockville NewsWatch

 

Port Reports -  January 5

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Thunder Bay arrived Duluth early Wednesday morning to load iron ore pellets at CN, and Herbert C. Jackson departed from Midwest Energy just after sunrise morning with a load of coal bound for Trenton, Mich. The air temperature was -7 and the wind chill was -30. Arthur M. Anderson, which had been at anchor waiting to load in Two Harbors, arrived during the afternoon to fuel at Calumet. She departed soon after, and headed to load. Thunder Bay departed during the evening. In Superior, Joseph L. Block arrived just after noon to load ore at BN. Cason J. Callaway was at anchor offshore, awaiting her turn to load in Two Harbors.

Silver Bay, Minn.
American Mariner was loading on Wednesday night.

Marquette, Mich.
Tug Victory / barge James L. Kuber and Kaye E. Barker were in port Wednesday night.

St. Marys River
CSL Laurentien, Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader, Baie Comeau and Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin were anchored in the lee of Whitefish Point Wednesday night due to high winds. Algowood was downbound above Ile Parisienne. John D. Leitch was in the locks at 9 p.m. with a Toledo destination. Algosteel remained at the Essar Export Dock, with Michipicoten at the main dock unloading. Algocanada was at the Purvis Dock in the lower harbor.

Escanaba, Mich.
James R. Barker was still loading on Wednesday night.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
Strong gusty winds brought the John J. Boland and CSL Assiniboine to anchor off Alpena on Wednesday morning. Manitowoc was off Alpena Wednesday night to anchor for weather also. The steamer Alpena was in port on Monday. The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity were at Lafarge last week, as well as the tug Leonard M and a barge, which unloaded cargo.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Transport was downbound Wednesday evening at the top end of Lake Huron, and is expected sometime Thursday. Earlier in the day, Algolake departed upbound with salt.

Toledo, Ohio – Aaron J. Border
Saginaw is docked at Sarnia with a grain load for Toledo, possibly for Andersons. They're waiting out winds and low water levels, and should be inbound Thursday morning. Manitoulin has a wheat load for the Kraft/Nabisco elevator, and is currently due in around midnight. They may anchor and wait out the low water levels as well. John D. Leitch is due early Friday morning with grain, depending on weather.

 

Winter layups begin for big ships

1/5 - Erie, Pa. – Erie's busy winter ship repair season is now underway. The first large ship, the tug-barge Dorothy Ann-Pathfinder, is now docked at Donjon Shipbuilding and Repair. Three more big ships, including the 1,000-foot lake freighter Presque Isle are scheduled to arrive in Erie soon.

Erie's skilled work force and facilities at the shipyard and Erie Sand & Gravel help attract the ships, and help boost the local economy.

"When Donjon gets geared up for winter work, that typically means they are looking at bringing back individuals they laid off over the summer when they are slower,” said Erie Port Authority Executive Director Brenda Sandberg. “Often that means their employment rates will go up to 200 individuals."

The big ships typically leave Erie by late March when locks open, providing access to the upper Great Lakes.

Erie Now News

 

 

NYC fireboat finds new home in Door County

1/5 - Door County, Wis. – Mike Cole says it will probably be more than four years before the public sees it and, when it does, it won’t look much like its former self. But, regardless, his new boat has a story.

Unlike the fireboat Fred A. Busse that is spending its retirement from the Chicago Fire Department providing tours on Sturgeon Bay during the warmer months, the future for the Kevin C. Kane looks far different. The Kane served as a fireboat in the New York City Fire Department for more than 20 years and was an active participant in some of that city’s extraordinary events during that span.

The Kane lent assistance during 9/11, serving as one of the evacuation and relief vessels after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center’s twin towers in 2001. Nearly a decade later, the fireboat would be called upon again when US Airways Flight 1549 suffered catastrophic engine failure and was forced to make a water landing in the Hudson River on Jan. 15, 2009.

It was neither of those momentous events that led directly to why that vessel finds itself in Door County, but rather another.

The Kane was damaged in Hurricane Sandy, the epic superstorm that ravaged the East Coast in October 2012. The boat was also in need of a mechanical upgrade, so the city opted for a replacement and auctioned it off. Unaware of the initial sale, Cole received a break when the person who purchased the 52-foot boat decided he didn’t want it and put it up for sale.

Cole owns Iron Works Construction in Baileys Harbor and one might think that a fireboat wouldn’t necessarily be ideal for marine construction. But Cole, who saw an advertisement for the boat in a trade publication, saw an opportunity to get a larger tug he had been looking for at a decent price.

“It’s a good boat,” said Cole, who added that the fire department might have seen the hurricane damage as an opportunity to get a new vessel. Cole admitted lightheartedly that he can’t find the damage.

Cole saw it as an opportunity to take a well-built vessel and convert it into a working tug. When finished, it won’t look much like the vessel that nuzzled up to the side of the floating US Airways plane eight years ago on the Hudson River. But Cole is excited to write an entirely new chapter that hopefully won’t require it to make any of the many emergency responses that were part of its illustrious career with the FDNY.

Cole is confident the Kane, named for an FDNY firefighter who was killed in the line of duty, could have served for decades to come. Built in 1992, it went up for auction alongside the John D. McKean that had been in service since 1938.

“It’s got big horsepower to pull and push,” said Cole. “It was built for heavy seas. It had a top speed of 34 knots.”

Cole used the word “had” since he’s taken 15,000 pounds of firefighting equipment off the boat, including its five water guns and pumps. “It came a foot out of the water and it’ll probably do 36-40 knots when we’re finished,” he said.

But Cole will be adding some weight back on as he converts a one-deck vessel with a pilot house to three, adding crew quarters for those jobs that will require multiple days away from home port.

Cole said his initial interest in the vessel was enough to fly to New York to see the boat and inspect it. He bought it but was disappointed to find that what he had been told about its condition wasn’t exactly true. What turned out to be a couple parts replacements proved to be a bigger job that delayed bringing the vessel back to Door County. What was expected to be about a 12-day trip involving repairs, sea trials and return to Door County, lasted 10 additional days with the boat arriving a day before Thanksgiving.

“But the response to the boat was amazing, especially in New York from former firefighters,” said Cole, who added that the vessel was an item of curiosity for its entire trip back, which began with a trip through the Erie Canal.

“Actually, I didn’t know much about its history until I got to New York,” said Cole, who got an inkling when he stepped into the pilothouse. “Right there on the ceiling is a handwritten card with the cell numbers for the fire chief as well as the numbers for the mayor and governor.”

Cole said he isn’t planning on removing the well-worn card.

While the FDNY may have sold the Kane prematurely, it was paid its due respect for services rendered. “It was assigned to (FDNY) Marine Company No. 6,” said Cole, who said its identification plate now hangs in the company’s station. “I was told they had a formal ceremony with the Kane family when the boat was retired.”

After hearing about the esteem in which Kane is held within the fire department and the deeds the boat and its crew performed in his name, Cole said he isn’t about to change the name of the vessel.

“His name will live on with this boat,” said Cole, who expects to have more than a few locals and visitors alike ask him who Kevin C. Kane is once it again hits the water. He’ll have quite a story to tell.

Green Bay Press Gazette

 

Memorial set in the Soo for late Capt. Mike Patterson

1/5 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The tug crew, line handlers and friends of Capt. Mike Patterson will be hosting a memorial get-together for Mike, who passed away on December 9, at the Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., American Legion on Saturday, Jan. 21 from 4-8 p.m. The American Legion is located at 3 Legion Blvd. (on the waterfront just west of the U.S. Coast Guard station).

Bring you best Mike stories, your good humor, and a dish to pass (optional). We’ll get together and remember him in a happy way. Patterson was a long-time tug captain for The Great Lakes Towing Co.

Angie Patterson

 

Updates -  January 5

Lay-up list updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 5

The keel was laid January 5, 1972, for ALGOWAY (Hull#200) at Collingwood, Ontario, by Collingwood Shipyards, Ltd.

The wooden tug A. J. WRIGHT caught fire on 5 January 1893, while laid up at Grand Haven, Michigan. She burned to the water's edge. Her loss was valued at $20,000. She was owned by C. D. Thompson.

In 1970, PETER REISS broke her tail shaft while backing in heavy ice at the mouth of the Detroit River.

On January 5, 1976, Halco's tanker CHEMICAL TRANSPORT cleared Thunder Bay, Ontario, closing that port for the season.

1976: A.S. GLOSSBRENNER struck bottom entering Port McNicoll and had to be unloaded immediately due to the extensive hull damage. The ship was repaired at Port Weller Dry Docks in the spring. The vessel became b) ALGOGULF (ii) in 1987 and c) ALGOSTEEL (ii) in 1990.

1982: The Norwegian freighter NORHOLT first came through the Seaway in 1962 and made a total of 15 inland voyages. It was renamed b) SALVADOR in 1966 and returned once in 1967. The ship went aground as c) SAN JUAN off Shadwan Island enroute to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on this date. It was refloated January 22, 1982, towed to Suez Bay and laid up. Fire broke out on August 26, 1982, and the ship was abandoned and later beached. It was taken over by the Suez Canal Authority in 1983 and scrapped.

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

 

Great Lakes limestone trade down 9 percent in 2016

1/4 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 26.3 million tons in 2016, a decrease of 9.3 percent compared to 2015. 2016’s loadings were also 5.3 percent below the trade’s 5-year average.

Loadings from U.S. quarries totaled 21.4 million tons, a decrease of nearly 13 percent compared to 2015. Shipments from U.S. quarries also trailed their 5-year average by 8.6 percent.

Shipments from Canadian quarries totaled 5 million tons, an increase of 10.5 percent over 2015 and 12.4 percent better than their 5-year average.

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Shipping peaks as Great Lakes season nears end

1/4 - Duluth, Minn. – Even with vessels steaming nonstop in and out of Lake Superior, ship owners play it close to the vest — not willing to “go there” when asked if the race is on to move as much cargo as possible in anticipation of the annual closing of the Soo Locks on Jan. 15.

“CN ore shipments for the remainder of the season are on schedule, as per our operating plan, which is designed to meet our customers’ transportation needs,” is all spokesman Jim Feeny of Canadian National Railway would say.

As owners of the Great Lakes Fleet of ships that include the popular local visitors Arthur M. Anderson, Edwin H. Gott and Roger Blough, CN would appear to be pouring it on as much as all of the other Great Lakes operators. Live maps of marine traffic found online have showed a dozen or more ships at a time on Lake Superior for the past several weeks.

It appears to be a peaking finale to the season throughout the ports of Duluth-Superior, Two Harbors and Silver Bay.

“We’ll wind up with this fourth quarter stronger than we’ve seen the first three going in,” said Adele Yorde, spokeswoman for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “It was nice to see an uptick in iron ore, and certainly it was great to see advancing grain numbers.”

The season’s last saltie left the Twin Ports just before Christmas to beat the Welland Canal closing Dec. 31. Laker traffic will continue all the way up to the close of the Soo Locks that link lakes Superior and Huron. The locks are a vital link in the supply chain between taconite iron ore mines and steel mills and are scheduled for more maintenance than usual this offseason.

“Folks will start seeing a few of those vessels coming in (to stay),” Yorde said. “There will be ships berthing at our new dock, one on either side, which will be fun for folks to see.” Seven ships will berth locally for winter, and two others will be in port for longer layups, Yorde said. Many of those vessels will be undergoing maintenance and other work.

“It’s a good 10 weeks of work for labor crews ... getting all those ships in ship-shape for the start of the season in late March,” Yorde said. “It sounds like there will be a lot of steel work over the winter.”

With the close of the 2016-17 shipping campaign looming, it’s worth a review of what was a season filled with intrigue:

• In March, scientists announced that the Great Lakes hadn’t seen a confirmed new aquatic invasive species in a full 10 years. If not proof, it stood as a strong indicator that the U.S. Coast Guard’s ballast-flushing program for incoming oceangoing salties has been working.

• In June, the CN freighter Roger Blough ran aground in the far eastern edge of Lake Superior in Whitefish Bay. An elaborate rescue to offload its cargo helped to release the freighter, which returned to work in short order and was visiting the Twin Ports again by August. The U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board have yet to release the conclusions of their investigations.

• Also in June, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx visited the Northland for a round-table discussion on renewing aging infrastructure across all modes of transportation, including the ports.

• In July, a German shipping company whose vessel Cornelia was detained offshore from Duluth for six weeks in 2015 was slapped with $1 million in penalties after its owners pleaded guilty to dumping oily wastewater into the Great Lakes. The Cornelia, under new ownership, returned to Duluth in November to offload cement before it waited offshore several more weeks to secure an outgoing grain contract.

• August saw the start to a series of underwater discoveries, when local adventurers found the Canadian Pacific Railway Locomotive 694 that had plunged into a bouldery grave in Lake Superior 106 years ago. The wrecks of the vessels Antelope and J.S. Seaverns, which sunk 119 and 122 years ago, respectively, also were discovered.

• Also in August, the Norwegian Viking ship Draken Harald Hårfagre pulled out of the Tall Ships Duluth festival after it said it could not afford pilotage fees. Pilotage law requires a local navigator be aboard foreign vessels traveling through the Great Lakes. Multiple foreign ship owners also are suing the Coast Guard over what they claim are increased pilotage fees that equate to a monopoly among the various U.S. pilot groups.

• In September, the first freighter to be repowered in Duluth since at least the 1980s made its way onto Lake Superior for sea trials as the 57-year-old Herbert C. Jackson became the last of Interlake Steamship Co.’s vessels to be modernized with diesel power. The Jackson is now back to work, but the repowering was not without issues. Fraser Shipyards, the last remaining shipyard in the Port of Duluth-Superior, performed the repowering and has appealed nearly $1.4 million in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for what it alleges was improper handling of lead and asbestos by Fraser aboard the Jackson. Previously, a welder had filed a lawsuit against Fraser in U.S. District Court in Madison, 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 October, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken wrote Foxx asking for a study on maritime bottlenecks and barriers across the Great Lakes, surmising that the system remains underutilized.

• In November, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority wrapped up its two-year, nearly $18 million revitalization of Docks C and D in the Superior Bay across the slip from its existing Clure Public Marine Terminal. The 26 acres feature new steel dock walls, a new rail spur and a roll-on/roll-off dock that will be the first of its kind in Duluth. A grand opening is expected to be held in the spring.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports -  January 4

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner, Jason Fyten & Jared Nelson
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived Duluth at 04:45 on Tuesday to load coal at Midwest Energy. Her sister American Century passed under the lift bridge at 10:45, and docked at Port Terminal Berth 8 for winter layup. She is the first ship to lay up in Duluth for the winter of 2016-17. The McCarthy finished loading and departed from Midwest Energy at 15:58, and Herbert C. Jackson arrived at 21:00 to load at the same dock. Thunder Bay was expected very late Tuesday evening to load iron ore pellets at CN. Arthur M. Anderson, Roger Blough, and Joseph L. Block were anchored off Duluth Tuesday night waiting to load in Two Harbors.

Two Harbors, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
The CN docks in Two Harbors continue to experience delays. Paul R. Tregurtha was loading on Tuesday night, while Presque Isle and Joseph H. Thompson Jr. and barge were docked waiting to load. Arthur M. Anderson, Roger Blough, and Joseph L. Block were on the hook off Duluth. Paul R. Tregurtha was tentatively expected to depart from the dock Tuesday night, while Edwin H. Gott and her fleetmate Cason J. Callaway were due to join the waiting party off Duluth.

St. Marys River
Whitefish Bay, Manitoulin and Saginaw were downbound Tuesday evening. Great Lakes Trader was upbound. Algosteel and Michipicoten were at Essar Steel.

Escanaba, Mich.
James R. Barker was still loading on Tuesday night.

Midland, Ont. – Phillip Stevens
Baie Comeau unloaded grain Tuesday, and then headed upbound for Thunder Bay.

Owen Sound, Ont. – Paul Martin, Philip de Kat
Algoma Olympic arrived Tuesday morning to join fleetmate Algoway in wintering in the port along the east wall of the harbor. St. Mary's Challenger with her tug Prentiss Brown arrived at the cement elevator on the east side of the harbor to unload. She was expected to depart in the evening.

Goderich, Ont.
Algolake was still loading salt on Tuesday.

Point Edward, Ont. – Marc Dease
Ojibway arrived in the North Slip at Point Edward, Ont., for winter lay-up on Jan. 3.

Cleveland, Ohio – Bill Kloss
H. Lee White was unloading at Cleveland Bulk Terminal Tuesday.

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

 

Vessels with Great Lakes / Seaway connections – reported as a Casualty or Demolition

1/4 - The following information taken from January 2017 Marine News – Journal of the World Ship Society

Casualties: none to report

Demolitions:
Sea Wave (8009557; Togo) ex Gulluk-11, Al Safi-01, Trans Friendship-95, Gazania-87 - First trip into the Seaway 1981 - 10,922 / 1980 bulk carrier. By Sea Falcon Marine Inc; (Al Ryadh Trading FZCO), Panama, to Pakistani breakers and arrived Gadani Beach - commenced demolition 19/08/2016

True Brothers (8316522; Belize) ex Federal Agno-14 - First trip into the Seaway 1989, Federal Asahi-89 - First trip into the Seaway 1985 - 17,821 / 1985 bulk carrier. By January Marine Inc; (Island-Star Maritime), Liberia to Nagarsheth shipbreakers India. Arrived Alang 27/07/2016 - commenced demolition 3/08/2016

Compiled by Barry Andersen and René Beauchamp

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 4

On January 4, 1978, IRVING S. OLDS was involved in a collision with the steamer ARMCO while convoying in heavy ice in the Livingstone Channel of the lower Detroit River. The OLDS hit a floe of heavy ice, came to a complete stop and the ARMCO, unable to stop, hit the OLDS' stern.

In 1952, the car ferry SPARTAN (Hull#369) was launched at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Christy Corp.

1966: FARO, a Liberty ship that had visited the Seaway in 1965, ran aground in heavy weather off Nojima, Japan, enroute from Muroran, Japan, to Keelung, Taiwan, in ballast. It had to be abandoned as a total loss. It was sold to Japanese shipbreakers in 1967 and broken up.

2012: FEDERAL MIRAMICHI was disabled by a mechanical problem during stormy weather on the English Channel, 12.8 miles northwest of Guernsey enroute from St. Petersburg, Russia, to Paranagua, Brazil, with 22,900 tons of urea. French authorities, fearing the ship could blow ashore, dispatched a tug and the vessel was towed into Cherbourg for repairs. It has been a frequent Seaway trader since 2006.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

 

Port Reports -  January  3

Duluth-Superior
The Great Lakes Towing Co. tug Huron arrived Monday after a trip from the lower lakes. Reports indicate she will be stationed here.

Marquette, Mich.
Lee A. Tregurtha departed Monday and Michipicoten arrived.

Escanaba, Mich.
James R. Barker arrived on Monday evening.

Milwaukee, Wis.
Algoma Transport was bound for Milwaukee with salt Monday evening. John B. Aird left Goderich headed to Milwaukee on Monday.

Burns Harbor, Ind.
Burns Harbor was in her namesake port unloading Monday night.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Algolake was loading salt Monday night.

Detroit, Mich. – Kenneth Borg
Cuyahoga was loading coke from Zug Island in the old channel of the Rouge River on Monday.

Cleveland, Ohio – Bill Kloss
John J. Boland, Defiance/Ashtabula and Sam Laud are running shuttles up the Cuyahoga to ArcelorMittal.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 3

For the second year in a row the tanker GEMINI (steel propeller tanker, 420 foot, 5,853 gross tons, built in 1978, at Orange, Texas) was the first vessel of the year in Manistee, Michigan. She headed to the General Chemical dock to load 8,000 tons of brine for Amherstburg, Ontario. The vessel arrived at Manistee in 2002, on January first, and Captain Riley Messer was presented a hackberry cane, crafted by local resident Ken Jilbert. A similar cane was presented to the vessel Saturday morning. Sold Canadian in 2005, renamed b.) ALGOSAR (i).

In 1939, the CHIEF WAWATAM ran aground on the shoals of the north shore near St. Ignace, Michigan.

On Jan 3, 1971, BEN W. CALVIN ran aground at the mouth of the Detroit River after becoming caught in a moving ice field.

In 1972, TADOUSSAC cleared Thunder Bay, Ontario, for Hamilton with 24,085 tons of iron ore, closing that port for the season.

1945: While not a Great Lakes event, what is considered the deadliest marine disaster in world history occurred on this date. The little-remembered event claimed the German passenger liner WILHELM GUSTLOFF loaded with over 10,000 refugees and naval personnel fleeing Germany in the latter stages of World War Two. It was torpedoed by a Russian submarine on the Baltic Sea and a reported 9,343 lives were lost. Another 1,239 reached safety.

1979: KOIKU MARU first visited the Seaway in 1967. It ran aground near Tartous, Syria, in stormy weather overnight and had to be abandoned as a total loss.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Brian Bernard , Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Mike Nicholls, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.

 

Port of Montreal presents gold-headed cane to first ship of the year

1/2 - Montreal, Que. – Chem Sirius, a chemical tanker flying the Liberian flag, was the first ship of the year to reach Montreal’s Old Port. The ship left the Port of Antwerp in Belgium on Dec. 19 and arrived at the downstream limits of Montreal’s port in Sorel at 3:16 a.m. Sunday.

Ship captain Daniel Ju will be rewarded with the 178th gold-headed cane at a ceremony Wednesday. The cane is awarded each year to the captain of the first ocean-going vessel to reach Montreal without a stopover.

Sophie Roux, the Port of Montreal’s vice-president of public affairs, said recent meteorological conditions made the last stretch of the journey difficult, with waves reaching heights of 20 feet in the last few days. The tanker was carrying phosphoric acid on its transatlantic journey. Phosphoric acid can be used to make fertilizers, food products and cosmetics, Roux explained.

Global News

 

Port Reports -  January 2

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Frontenac started the new year off early, departing Duluth at 05:10 on Sunday after loading ore at CN. Whitefish Bay finished unloading salt at Hallett #8 and departed at 09:50, arriving Superior an hour later to load ore. American Integrity, Arthur M. Anderson, and Paul R. Tregurtha were all at anchor waiting for the dock at Two Harbors.

Two Harbors, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
The CN docks in Two Harbors have been experiencing long delays over the past few days. On New Year's Day, Indiana Harbor, Joseph H. Thompson/Joseph H. Thompson Jr, and Presque Isle were all loading ore or waiting to load. American Integrity, Arthur M. Anderson, and Paul R. Tregurtha were all at anchor off Duluth waiting for the dock. The Tregurtha is making a rare visit to Two Harbors, deviating from her usual coal run from Superior to St. Clair.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Manitoulin and Saginaw were in port Sunday.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic Sunday included American Spirit early and CSL Niagara after dark. Upbounders included Algowood, tug Victory/barge James L. Kuber, Roger Blough, John D. Leitch, Tecumseh, Joseph L. Block, Buffalo and Walter J. McCarthy Jr.

S. Lake Michigan
Algosteel was in South Chicago Sunday night. James R. Barker was at Indiana Harbor.

Owen Sound, Ont. – Philip de Kat
Algoway laid up at 1700 Jan. 1, at the end of west pier.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Transport left for Milwaukee Sunday evening. John B. Aird moved over to the salt dock. Algolake was upbound in the Detroit River in the evening for Goderich.

Sarnia, Ont. – Matt Miner
Capt. Henry Jackman arrived at the Government Dock for winter layup on Sunday. She is the first of the port’s winter fleet to tie up.

Trenton, Mich.
Herbert C. Jackson arrived Sunday afternoon to unload at the Trenton Power Plant, assisted by G tugs.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Algoma Olympic arrived Sunday at the A.R.M.S. Dock to unload an oats cargo. Edgar B. Speer is expected around 8 a.m. Monday for winter layup at the Midwest Overseas Dock.

 

Updates -  January 2

News Photo Gallery                 

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 2

While on the North Atlantic under tow for scrapping, ASHLAND parted her towline but was tracked by U.S. Coast Guard aircraft and was retrieved by her tug on January 2nd, 1988, some 300 miles off course.

The 3-masted wooden schooner M. J. CUMMINGS was launched at the shipyard of Goble & MacFarlane in Oswego, New York. Her owners were Mrs. Goble & MacFarlane, Daniel Lyons and E. Caulfield. Her dimensions were 142 foot 6 inches X 25 foot 2 inches X 11 foot 6 inches, 325 tons and she cost $28,000.

January 2, 1925 - The ANN ARBOR NO 7 (Hull#214) was launched at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Corp. She was sponsored by Jane Reynolds, daughter of R. H. Reynolds, marine superintendent of the railroad. Renamed b.) VIKING in 1983.

1967: The small Norwegian freighter RAAGAN dated from 1919 and had been a Pre-Seaway visitor to the Great Lakes as a) ERICH LINDOE, b) GRENLAND and c) HILDUR I. It sank in the North Sea about 60 miles north of the Dutch coast after developing leaks on a voyage from Egersund, Denmark, to Dordrecht, Netherlands, with a cargo of titanium. The crew was rescued.

1976: The XENY, which was towed into Cadiz Roads on January 1, capsized and sank on her side. The ship had caught fire on December 2 and was abandoned by the crew. It had first visited the Great Lakes as a) PRINS WILLEM II in 1955 and had been back as d) XENY in 1971.

1981: The heavy lift vessel MAMMOTH SCAN had heeled over while unloading at Abu Dhabi on October 15, 1980. The ship was righted and under tow when the towline parted off Algeria on December 28, 1980. The listing vessel was brought to Malaga Roads, Spain, on this date, healed over and sank as a total loss.

1987: A fire in the cargo hold of REMADA at Barcelona, Spain, resulted in heavy damage and the ship had to be sold for scrap. It had made one trip through the Seaway in November 1973 as b) ONTARIO.

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

 

Happy New Year from Boatnerd!

1/1 - Boatnerd wishes a very happy 2017 to all our readers. Thank you for your support. A big three long and two short goes out to all who send news to this page or contribute to the Port Reports, among them Daniel Lindner, Gordy Garris, Todd Shorkey, Denny Dushane, Rene Beauchamp, Ron Beaupre, Rod Burdick, Ned Goebricher, Brian Wroblewski, Bruce Douglas, Barry Andersen, Capt. Mike Nicholls, Gene Polaski, Jim Hoffman, Jake H., Ben & Chanda McClain, Phil Nash, Bill Bird, Phil Leon, Jake H., Al Miller, Jens Juhl and anyone else we’ve inadvertently left off this list. We’d also be remiss in not acknowledging the many contributions to this page by author and historian Skip Gillham, who passed away earlier this year.

Ton Hynes deserves a big thank you for keeping up with the Photo Galleries, as does Matt Miner, who rides herd on saltie comings and goings. A shout out as well to Dave Wobser, who maintains the winter lay-up list and the gatherings page. It’s the contributions of all these volunteers, and many more, that make this site possible.

With that in mind, we are always seeking contributions to this page from readers around the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. If you see news in your area, or want to offer your observations of vessel arrivals and departures, please send to news@boatnerd.net. If you spot an interesting shipping-related story in your local newspaper, please take a moment to forward a link so that we may share it with our audience.

Smooth sailing to everyone in 2017. - T

 

Port Reports -  January 1

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
On New Year's Eve, Frontenac arrived Duluth at 09:48 to load iron ore pellets at CN. CSL Niagara, which arrived Friday night, departed from CN at 12:53. Whitefish Bay was expected to arrive late Saturday evening to discharge salt at Hallett #8. American Integrity remained at anchor, waiting for her sister Indiana Harbor to finish loading in Two Harbors. In Superior, Stewart J. Cort arrived at 10:12 to load ore at Burlington Northern.

Two Harbors, Minn.
Indiana Harbor was loading ore on Saturday afternoon.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Saginaw was due in the late evening Saturday. Manitoulin was expected New Year’s morning.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic Saturday included Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, Sam Laud, Anglian Lady / barge, John J. Boland, Cason J. Callaway, CSL Laurentien, Burns Harbor and Great Lakes Trader. Upbounders included Arthur M. Anderson, Lakes Contender / Ken Boothe Sr., Hon. James L. Oberstar and Lee A. Tregurtha. The new G tug Huron left the Soo, where it had been at the MCM dock the last two weeks, on Saturday en route to Duluth. Sharon M. 1 and barge were at the Purvis Dock in the early afternoon. Michipicoten and Leonard M / barge were at Essar in the early afternoon, however Michipicoten soon departed upbound. Baie Comeau was at anchor above DeTour earlier in the day, but was outbound DeTour at dusk.

Milwaukee, Wis.
Algosteel arrived Saturday in the late afternoon with salt.

S. Lake Michigan
Joseph L. Block left Burns Harbor Saturday afternoon headed for Two Harbors. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departed Indiana Harbor. Edwin H. Gott was due in at Gary in the late evening.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Transport arrived around 8:30 p.m. Saturday. John B. Aird is due Sunday morning for salt.

St. Clair-Detroit Rivers
Algoway was upbound Saturday afternoon, her AIS reporting a destination of Owen Sound for lay up. Tecumseh and John D. Leitch were upbound during the day for Thunder Bay. Buffalo was headed for Silver Bay.

Ashtabula, Ohio
CSL Welland was in port on New Year’s Eve.

Lake Erie
Algolake and CSL Assiniboine were anchored Saturday evening off Turkey Point, likely for weather.

Sorel-Tracy, Que. – Laurent Côté‎, René Beauchamp
The fueling tanker Arca 1 (formerly Shell Canada’s Arca) departed Saturday morning on her way to new owners in Mexico. She was expected to overnight in Quebec City.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 1

On this day in 1958, 76-year-old Rangvald Gunderson retired as wheelsman from the ELTON HOYT 2ND. Mr. Gunderson sailed on the lakes for 60 years.

On January 1, 1973, the PAUL H. CARNAHAN became the last vessel of the 1972 shipping season to load at the Burlington Northern (now Burlington Northern Santa Fe) ore docks in Superior, Wisconsin. Interestingly, the CARNAHAN also opened the Superior docks for the season in the spring of 1972.

On 1 January 1930, HELEN TAYLOR (wooden propeller steam barge, 56 foot, 43 gross tons, built in 1894, at Grand Haven, Michigan) foundered eight miles off Michigan City, Indiana. She was nicknamed "Pumpkin Seed," due to her odd shape.

January 1, 1900 - The Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad merged with the Chicago & West Michigan and the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western Railroads to form the Pere Marquette Railway Co.

On 1 January 1937, MAROLD II (steel propeller, 129 foot, 165 gross tons, built in 1911, at Camden, New Jersey, as a yacht) was siphoning gasoline off the stranded tanker J OSWALD BOYD (244 foot, 1,806 gross tons, built in 1913, in Scotland) which was loaded with 900,000 gallons of gasoline and was stranded on Simmons Reef on the north side of Beaver Island. A tremendous explosion occurred which totally destroyed MAROLD II and all five of her crew. Only pieces of MAROLD II were found. Her captain's body washed ashore in Green Bay the next year.

At time of loss, she was the local Beaver Island boat. The remains of the BOYD were removed to Sault Ste. Marie in June 1937.

1943: HAMILDOC (i) went south during World War Two to assist in the bauxite trade. The N.M. Paterson & Sons bulk canaller sank in the Caribbean after a three-day gale. The vessel, enroute from Georgetown, British Guiana, to Trinidad, was at anchor when the hull broke in two. All on board were saved.

2000: WISTERIA was built at Imabari, Japan, in 1976 and came through the Seaway that year. It was taking water in #1 hold as c) AIS MAMAS while enroute from West Africa to India with a cargo of logs. The crew was removed but the ship was taken in tow and reached Capetown, South Africa, on January 5. It was subsequently sold for scrap and arrived at Alang, India, for dismantling on April 23, 2000 and was beached the next day.

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


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