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On first visit to Twin Ports, new Algoma Equinox is a cut above
12/13 - Superior, Wis. – Most ships have your standard engine room, cabins, kitchen, laundry room and a control room. The Algoma Equinox offers more. It has a 9,500-horsepower engine, super insulation, a fresh coat of paint, a lounge with a ping pong table, multiple places to catch a stunning view, a mini gym, and a restaurant-size kitchen with a chef making everyone fish and chips for dinner.
“This ship is incredibly big,” said Seann O’Donoughue, captain of the Algoma Equinox. “It took me a couple of weeks to learn everything about this ship.”
Algoma Equinox arrived in the Twin Ports on Wednesday to load iron ore for Cleveland Cliffs at the BNSF Railway Dock. The arrival marked the ship’s first full transit of the entire Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway, according to a news release.
The Algoma Equinox left the Nantong Mingde Shipyard in Nantong, China, on Oct. 1, sailing across 14,700 nautical miles in 61 days. The ship passed through the Panama Canal in mid-November and arrived in Canada for its first load of iron ore from ArcelorMittal Mining Canada in Port Cartier, Quebec, on Dec. 1. The ship left the next day for Hamilton, Ontario, to unload its cargo. Shortly after, the ship headed to Superior for a load of iron ore.
“We have a great crew that has been tremendously helpful during this journey,” O’Donoughue said. “Together we will continue this cold journey to Quebec City on Thursday to unload for Cliffs Natural Resources.”
The Algoma Central Corp. says these new vessels are the next generation of Great Lakes bulk carriers.
This gearless bulker is the first in a series of eight Equinox Class vessels being built at the Nantong Mingde shipyard, all designed for service on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence waterway. Delivery of the other seven will occur at approximately three-month intervals through 2014-2015. The series consists of four gearless bulk carriers and four self-unloading bulk carriers. Algoma will own six of the series, including two gearless bulkers and four self-unloading vessels. CWB, formerly the Canadian Wheat Board, will own the other two gearless bulkers, which will be operated and managed by Algoma.
The Equinox Class represents the next generation of Great Lakes-St. Lawrence waterway bulk cargo vessels. Algoma's $300 million investment in its six Equinox Class vessels demonstrates the Corporation's commitment to operating in a sustainable manner.
Duluth News Tribune
Mailboat J.W. Westcott II heads for winter layup
12/13 - Detroit, Mich. – Thursday was the last day of service for the J.W. Westcott Company’s 2013 season. Mail and pilot services normally run to about Dec. 20 depending on ice conditions. After almost a week of below freezing temperatures ice is quickly building in the Detroit River.
The final delivery for the season was a pilot change on the Dara Desgagnes about 8 p.m. Pilots will now double up at other points with no service at Detroit.
The J.W. Westcott II departed the Detroit dock for Gregory’s Marina behind Belle Isle to be pulled from the water for the winter. The Westcott Company’s back up mailboat the Joseph J. Hogan was laid up earlier in the month. Service returns in April 2014, ice permitting.
Coast Guard wraps up buoy-retrieval, begins ice breaking
12/13 - Cleveland, Ohio – As the Coast Guard 9th District's Operation Fall Retrieve approaches completion throughout the Great Lakes, the agency, in partnership with Canadian and commercial entities, has begun ice-breaking operations as part of Operation Taconite in the western Great Lakes lakes Superior and Michigan, the St. Marys River, the Straits of Mackinac and northern Lake Huron.
Operation Fall Retrieve is 85 percent completed, and is expected to be finished next week.
Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. commenced Operation Taconite Friday to prevent developing ice from hindering commercial navigation in the ports of Duluth, Minn., Superior, Wis., and Thunder Bay, Ont.
Coast Guard Sector Detroit has not yet commenced Operation Coal Shovel, which is the ice-breaking operation in the eastern Great Lakes region consisting of lakes Erie and Ontario, the Detroit and St. Clair rivers, Lake St. Clair, and southern Lake Huron. Operation Coal Shovel commences once ice development in the region requires it.
"Operation Taconite has been officially kicked off, the earliest in recent history," said Lt j.g. Katherine Pierson, Coast Guard 9th District Aids-to-Navigation and Domestic Ice Division. "We have already tasked a few of our cutters with breaking ice in Lake Superior and the St. Marys River, and several more units are fastidiously removing buoys as the lakes are experiencing rapid ice growth."
Operations Taconite and Coal Shovel constitute the country's largest domestic ice-breaking operations.
Domestic ice breaking is normally conducted for four basic purposes: search and rescue, urgent response to vessels beset by ice, assisting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with community service requests such as flood relief, and facilitation of navigation to meet the reasonable demands of the maritime industry. Other emergency services include the opening of channels to icebound communities to ensure critical supplies of food, heating oil, and access to medical care.
When both ice-breaking operations are up and running, there will be nine district icebreakers and several Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers that can provide assistance during the 2013/2014 ice-breaking season.
As a result of the ice-breaking operations, certain waterways may close after consideration is given to the protection of the marine environment, waterway improvements, aids to navigation, the need for cross-channel traffic (e.g. ferries) and the availability of icebreakers. Another important consideration is the safety of residents of Great Lakes islands and other remote locations who use naturally-formed ice bridges for transportation to and from the mainland.
The Coast Guard advises all recreational ice users to plan their activities carefully, use caution on the ice, and stay away from shipping channels. Throughout the ice-breaking season, the Coast Guard will attempt to keep the public informed about ice-breaking operations by way of outreach to local media.
US Coast Guard
Port Reports - December 13
Sandusky, Ohio – Jim Spencer
Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Better dredging needed on lake
12/13 - Sandusky, Ohio – U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur says that when a Canadian ship ran aground in Sandusky Bay last month, it helped make her point that dredging of Lake Erie’s shipping channels and harbors is being neglected.
“I could use a good photo,” Kaptur said Tuesday. “I could take it to the floor.”
The CSL Niagara ran aground on Nov. 17 and had to be helped away by tugboats. Kaptur and other lawmakers from the area are hoping Great Lakes dredging will get more attention soon.
Kaptur signed a letter from Great Lakes lawmakers asking a conference committee writing the final version of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act to include a provision giving direction to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The language tells the agency to treat the lakes as one system, rather than a collection of ports.
The committee agreed to the request, a key goal of the Lake Carriers Association, a trade group representing the Great Lakes shipping industry. The association is located in Rocky River, in Kaptur’s district.
The Army Corps treats the Mississippi River as a system, and Great Lakes backers hope designating the Great Lakes as a system, too, will send more money to maintain Great Lakes shipping.
“They spend the least amount of money in our part of the country,” said Kaptur, who said she had just met with the Army Corps’ associate director to discuss dredging.
Dredging in Sandusky’s harbor is about 800,000 cubic yards behind what it should be, according to figures supplied by the Lake Carriers Association.
Glen Nekvasil, vice president of the Lake Carriers Association, said he doesn’t know the particulars of the Niagara incident, but said “There’s no denying there’s a dredging crisis on the Great Lakes”
Lack of dredging means shipping channels and harbors are too shallow, and that means cargo ships on Lake Erie and other lakes aren’t carrying all of the cargo they could, Nekvasil said. Ships lose 50 to 270 tons of cargo for each inch of draft they give up, he said.
“We are vastly underutilizing the capacity of the system,” he said.
Dredging the Great Lakes properly would mean that ships could carry more cargo without having to add crew or burn more fuel. The big cargo ships on the Great Lakes get about 600 miles per gallon, so shipping goods on water is cheaper and better for the environment than any other kind of transportation, he said.
He said the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund takes in $1.6 billion a year from taxes on cargo but spends only about half that. “It’s kind of like pulling up on a toll booth and paying your toll and being told the speed limit is no longer 60, it’s 30” he said.
Lookback #26 – Lakes-built Indigirka rolled on its side on December 13, 1939
12/13 - The loss of the Great Lakes built freighter Indigirka 74 years ago today is an excellent example of man's inhumanity to man. The ship ran aground in rough weather and then rolled on its side and was abandoned by the crew. This resulted in the deaths of 741 prisoners who were being carried in the cargo holds.
This ship was built at Manitowoc, Wis., and launched as Lake Galva on December 20, 1919. It was completed as Ripon in May 1920 and left the inland lakes for deep sea trading for C.D. Mallory & Co. It joined Moore-McCormack as Malash in 1926 and then, following another sale, was renamed Commercial Quaker.
In 1938, the ship was sold to the Government of Russia and renamed Indigirka for a river in Siberia. It was employed to carry political prisoners from Vladivostok, at the end of the Trans-Siberian Railway, to labor camps in Siberia. Up to 1,500 prisoners could be carried in the cargo holds, under horrific conditions, at one time.
On December 8, 1939, the ship sailed from Magadan for Vladivostok with a crew of 39 sailors, 249 fishermen returning to the mainland, 50 guarded prisoners and 835 former prisoners who were being released because their skills were needed in the war effort.
On December 13, 1939, the ship encountered a blizzard while trying to enter the Laperouse Strait off northern Japan and rolled on its side. The captain and crew were rescued by local fishermen but the prisoners were left behind. When the storm subsided, a group returned with acetylene torches to cut into the side of the hull for the prisoners. Most were dead and the casualty list was 741.
The captain was tried and executed for abandoning his ship under these conditions.
A later Indigirka, another Russian freighter, frequently provided winter service to Montreal and was a Seaway caller in 1968. This ship was reported broken up for scrap in the first quarter of 1982.
Updates - December 13
Today in Great Lakes History - December 13
CANADIAN ENTERPRISE entered service for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. on December 13, 1979.
On December 13, 1989, Kinsman’s HENRY STEINBRENNER, a.) WILLIAM A. MC GONAGLE was laid up at Toledo's Lakefront Dock.
G.A. TOMLINSON, a.) D.O. MILLS arrived under her own power at Triad Salvage Inc., Ashtabula, Ohio, on December 13, 1979, to be scrapped.
THOMAS WILSON ran aground in the St. Marys River on December 13, 1976. The accident required lightering before she would float free.
On 13 December 1872, the Port Huron Times added three vessels to those in winter lay-up at Port Huron: Steamer MARINE CITY, tug JOHN PRINDEVILLE, and wrecking tug RESCUE. December 13, 1906 - The ANN ARBOR NO 4 departed for Manitowoc, Wisconsin on her first trip.
In 1929, the McLouth Steamship Company filed a claim against the City of Port Huron for $687 because its sand sucker, the KALKASKA, was held up for 27-1/2 hours in the Black River because of an inability to open the north span of the Military Street Bridge.
On 13 December 1961, SWEDEN, a.) L C SMITH, steel propeller, 414 foot, 4702 gross tons, built in 1902, at W. Bay City, Michigan) arrived in tow at Savona, Italy, for scrapping.
1899: BARGE 115 broke loose of the towing steamer COLGATE HOYT in northern Lake Superior and drifted for 5 harrowing days before it stranded on Pic Island on December 18. While feared lost with all hands, the crew managed to come ashore in the lifeboat, found their way to the rail line and hiked to safety. They were found December 22.
1906: JOHN M. NICOL was loaded with barbed wire when it stranded off Big Summer Island, Lake Michigan. The crew was rescued by fishermen in a gasoline-powered launch, but the ship broke in two as a total loss.
1916: BAY PORT, a whaleback steamer built at West Superior as a) E.B. BARTLETT in 1891, struck bottom in the Cape Cod Canal enroute to Boston with coal. The ship was refloated but sank again December 14 blocking the entrance to the canal. All on board were saved. The hull had to by dynamited as a hazard.
1939: The Russian freighter INDIGIRKA went aground in a blizzard off the coast of Japan while trying to enter Laperouse Strait, near Sarafatsu, Japan. The ship rolled on its side and was abandoned by the crew. It was carrying fishermen and political prisoners. A reported 741 died in the cargo holds after being left behind. Only a few were still alive when salvagers returned after the storm had subsided. The vessel had been built at Manitowoc, WI in 1919 as a) LAKE GALVA and was renamed b) RIPON before leaving the lakes the next year.
1965: The Liberty ship PONT AUDEMER made one trip through the Seaway in 1960. It was abandoned by the crew as d) VESPER following an engineroom explosion on the Mediterranean enroute from Marseilles, France, to Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The vessel arrived at Cartagena, under tow on December 18, 1965. It was sold to Spanish shipbreakers and left for Villanueva y Geltru for dismantling on May 18, 1966.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, John R Decator Jr , Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Coast Guard ice breaking activities underway
12/12 - Ice is forming in the St Marys River. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay will conduct ice breaking operations to facilitate the movement of commercial shipping throughout the river. Additional cutters will assist throughout the river as needed. This activity will extend to the end of the shipping season, which normally concludes January 15.
Port Reports - December 12
Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood, Charlie Gibbons
Rare post card and photo collections now for sale to benefit BoatNerd
12/12 - BoatNerd recently had the opportunity to buy a once-in-a-lifetime collection of Great Lakes postcards and other images. The sets were purchased to be scanned for future electronic sharing through the web site.
We have finished scanning and now offer the collection for sale. The post card sets are in more than two dozen three-ring binders, four cards per sleeve. The post cards, which number between 2-3,000 images, are organized by port (i.e. Ashland, Buffalo, Calcite-Rogers City, Cleveland, Detroit, Manitowoc, Conneaut, Toledo, Duluth-Superior, Kingston, Harbor Springs and more) as well as by area, i.e. small Lake Michigan Ports, Lake Erie Ports Canada, Etc). There are only a very small number of duplicates. Although some images are well-known, many are very rare and include ship launchings from decades past. Many of these cards are more than 100 years old. Some have been postally used, others have not. Many of the black and white cards are printed on Kodak AZO and VELOX card stock.
In addition to the post card binders, also includes an impressive, large binder of approximately 400 5x7 and other assorted size images. These photos span from the late 1800s to the 1950s, and while the majority of them were taken in the Keweenaw, Houghton-Hancock, Dollar Bay and Copper Harbor areas, there are images from elsewhere on the lakes as well. There is a good assortment of Pesha photos in with the collection. Many of these images are extremely rare and would make an excellent addition to the collection of serious ship enthusiasts.
Lookback #25 – Greater Detroit set ablaze on December 12, 1956
12/12 - I find it difficult to believe that some of our beautiful old passenger ships were intentionally torched, but the Greater Detroit was set ablaze on Lake St. Clair 57 years ago today. In many cases this was done for the convenience of not having to dismantle the woodwork prior to breaking up the steel hull for scrap. But, in some cases, these ships were actually set ablaze as a spectacle that drew crowds to the waterfront to watch them burn.
The 536-foot-long Greater Detroit served the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Co. from the time of its construction in 1924 until it was retired. The magnificent ship cost $3.5 million to build and was noted as the largest sidewheel steamship in the world. Once in operation, it provided overnight service between Detroit and Buffalo. The ship was idle from 1950 until the sale for scrap in 1956. With the superstructure gone, the steel hull was towed into Hamilton by the tug Atomic on May 1, 1957. It was soon dismantled at the Steel Company of Canada dock.
Updates - December 12
Today in Great Lakes History - December 12
On 12 December 1898, FANNY H (wooden propeller tug, 54 foot, 16 gross tons, built in 1890, at Bay City, Michigan) was sold by J. R. Hitchcock to the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. She underwent a major rebuild in 1908, when she was lengthened to 60 feet.
The push tug PRESQUE ISLE was launched December 12, 1972, as (Hull #322) by the Halter Marine Services, Inc., New Orleans, Louisiana.
SPINDLETOP, e.) BADGER STATE was launched December 12, 1942, for the United States Maritime Commission.
WHEAT KING returned to Port Weller Dry Docks on December 12, 1975, for lengthening to the maximum Seaway size of 730 feet overall for the iron ore and grain trade, thus ending her salt water activities.
One unusual trip for the WOODLAND occurred when she arrived at Toronto, Ontario on December 12, 1987, to load a 155-foot, 135-ton self-unloading unit for delivery to the Verolme Shipyard in Brazil, where the Govan-built Panamax bulk carrier CSL INNOVATOR was being converted to a self-unloader.
On Monday December 12, 1898, the AURORA was fast in the ice at Amherstburg, Ontario, when a watchman smelled smoke. The crew tried to put out the fire, but to no avail. They were taken off the burning vessel by the tug C A LORMAN. The ship burned to the water's edge, but was salvaged and rebuilt as a barge.
On December 12, 1956, the once-proud passenger vessels EASTERN STATES and GREATER DETROIT were taken out onto Lake St. Clair where they were set afire. All the superstructure was burned off and the hulls were taken to Hamilton, Ontario, where they were scrapped in 1957.
On 12 December 1872, the Port Huron Times listed the following vessels at winter lay-up at Sarnia, Ontario: Schooners: MARY E PEREW, KINGFISHER, UNADILLA, ONEONTA, AMERICAN, J G MASTEN, PELICAN, UNION, B ALLEN, and CAMDEN; Brigs: DAVID A WELLS, WAGONER, and FRANK D BARKER; Barks: C T MAPLE, EMALINE BATES, and D A VAN VALKENBURG; Steamer: MANITOBA.
On 12 December 1877, U.S. Marshall Matthews sold the boiler and machinery of the CITY OF PORT HURON at auction in Detroit, Michigan. Darius Cole submitted the winning bid of $1,000.
1898: The wooden passenger and freight carrier SOO CITY sank at the dock in Holland, Mi after bucking ice while inbound.
1925: SIR THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY stranded on a rocky shoal inside the breakwall at Fairport, Ohio. Hull repairs were listed at over $18,000.
1966: AMBROSE SHEA, a new Canadian carferry, was hit by a flash fire while under construction by Marine Industries Ltd. at Sorel, Quebec, and sustained over $1 million in damage. Completion of the vessel was delayed by 3 months before it could enter service between North Sydney, NS and Argentia, Newfoundland. The ship arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, for scrapping as d) ERG on June 22, 2000.
1972: SIR JAMES DUNN went aground in the St. Lawrence near the Thousand Islands Bridge while enroute to Sorel with grain.
1990: CLIPPER MAJESTIC was abandoned by the crew due to an engineroom fire off the coast of Peru. The vessel had been through the Seaway as a) MILOS ISLAND in 1981, MAJESTIC in 1989 and was renamed c) CLIPPER MAJESTIC at Toronto that fall. The damaged ship was towed to Callao, Peru, on December 13, 1990, and repaired. It also traded inland as d) MILLENIUM MAJESTIC in 1999 and was scrapped at Alang, India, as e) MYRA in 2012.
2009: The Canada Steamship Lines bulk carrier SPRUCEGLEN (ii) went aground near Sault Ste. Marie and had to go to Thunder Bay for repairs.
2010: The tug ANN MARIE sank in the Saginaw River while tied up for the winter. It was salvaged a few days later.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Jody Aho, Gordon Shaw, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Tuesday a wild and windy night on the lakes
12/11 - Sailors on the Great Lakes were either reducing speed and seeking some relief by skirting the western shorelines or seeking shelter as the effects of the latest gale warning became apparent. Westerly or west southwesterly winds in the mid-30-knot range were being reported on Lake Erie, with some gusts topping 40 knots. The same story was playing out on Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Ontario. Wind chill readings of six degrees were being noted, according to weather reporting station data. Forecasters were telling freighter captains the high winds might begin to ease slightly after midnight.
On Lake Erie, where a low water warning was also issued, Algosteel was at anchor in western Pigeon Bay near Colchester. Just east of Sandusky's pierhead, the Interlake fleet tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were anchored. American Spirit was on the hook off Chicago's Jackson Park. Laying on the hook off Duluth were the Algoma Equinox, Stewart J. Cort and Algoma Navigator. Forecasters were telling skippers that they had issued a heavy freezing spray advisory for Superior.
Port Reports - December 11
Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Carferry Badger 2014 schedule set
12/11 - Ludington, Mich. – On a blustery, wintry day in Ludington, Lake Michigan Carferry Tuesday morning announced the dates of its 2014 sailing season, and noted it will announce rates soon. The season is scheduled to begin Friday, May 16. Double runs are scheduled to begin Friday, June 6 and end Tuesday, Sept. 2. The 2014 season is scheduled to end Sunday, Oct. 25.
Three shoreline cruises are scheduled: May 31, the Manitowoc Shoreline Cruise; June 7, Ludington Shoreline Cruise; July 4, Fourth of July Shoreline Cruise in Ludington.
The season will be a transitional one, as LMC is under orders to store coal ash generated by the SS Badger’s coal-fired, steam engines before the start of the 2015 season. This past year, U.S. District Court Judge Janet Neff signed the consent decree between LMC and the Environmental Protection Agency that allows the Badger to sail in 2014 with some added restrictions on its coal ash discharge to give LMC time it said it needs to create the coal ash storage system.
Ludington Daily News
Lookback #24 – Georgios A. and H. Lee White collided on December 11, 1974
12/11 - Thirty-nine years ago today, the Greek freighter Georgios A. received massive bow damage in a collision with the American Steamship Lines self-unloader H. Lee White. The accident occurred at Buoy 10 on the St. Clair River and there were no injuries.
The former, a long time Seaway trader as Patignies, was headed for the Atlantic with a cargo of barley. It had to be towed, stern first, by the tugs Barbara Ann and Atomic, to Toledo for temporary repairs. This enabled the 600-foot, 3-inch-long vessel to clear the Seaway before the system was closed. As it was, this was the final ocean ship outbound when it passed through the St. Lambert Lock on December 18 headed for permanent repairs.
This Belgian built bulk carrier dated from 1962 and first came to the Great Lakes that year. It was well known around the inland seas and, on December 15, 1970, had been the final Seaway saltwater transit of the year.
Sold and renamed Saronis in 1981, it was back through the Seaway that year still under the flag of Greece. It became Sea Hound in 1985 and placed under Liberian registry. The ship arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, on November 22, 1985, for dismantling.
Meanwhile, H. Lee White is still with us. It was only two years old at the time of the accident, and in 2014 it will turn 40. While most of its work has been on the upper four Great Lakes, the ship did deliver iron ore to Hamilton in May 1999 and went right down the Seaway with ore for Quebec City in April 2012.
Updates - December 11
Today in Great Lakes History - December 11
On 11 December 2002, after last minute dredging operations were completed, Nadro Marine’s tugs SEAHOUND and VAC took the World War II Canadian Naval Tribal-class destroyer H.M.C.S. HAIDA from her mooring place at Toronto’s Ontario Place to Port Weller Dry Docks where a $3.5M refit was started in preparation for the vessel to start her new career as a museum ship in Hamilton, Ontario.
TEXACO CHIEF (Hull#193) was launched December 11, 1968, at Collingwood, Ontario, by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd.
The H. LEE WHITE collided with the Greek salty GEORGIOS on December 11, 1974, near St. Clair, Michigan, and had to return to Nicholson's dock at Detroit, Michigan for inspection.
On December 11, 1979, while about 11 miles off Manitou Island near the Keweenaw Peninsula, the ASHLAND's engine stalled due to a faulty relay switch. Caught in heavy weather and wallowing in the wave troughs, she put out a distress call. True to Great Lakes tradition, four vessels immediately came to her assistance: two 1,000 footers, LEWIS WILSON FOY and EDWIN H. GOTT, along with WILLIS B. BOYER and U.S.C.G. cutter MESQUITE.
WILLIAM CLAY FORD loaded her last cargo at Duluth on December 11, 1984.
PERE MARQUETTE 21 passed down the Welland Canal (loaded with the remnants of Port Huron's Peerless Cement Dock) on December 11, 1974, towed by the tugs SALVAGE MONARCH and DANIEL MC ALLISTER on the way to Sorel, Quebec where she was laid up.
The fishing boat LINDA E vanished on Lake Michigan along with its three crewmen on December 11, 1998.
Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd.’s WHEAT KING was laid up for the last time December 11, 1981.
On 11 December 1872, the Port Huron Times listed the following vessels in winter lay-up in Port Huron: Sailing Craft: A H MOSS, FOREST HUNTER. MARY E PEREW, SEA BIRD, REINDEER, T S SKINNER, L W PERRY, ADAIN, LITTLE NELLIE, MAGGIE, PRINCE ALFRED, CAPE HORM, KITTIE, JOHNSON (wrecker), CHRISTIANA, HOWE, C G MEISEL, AUNT RUTH, W R HANNA, IRONSIDES, GOLDEN FLEECE, JOHN L GROSS, WARRINGTON, ANGLO SAXON, MOORE, LADY ESSEX, ANNIE, FORWARDER (sunk), GROTON, NORTHWEST, FRED H MORSE, GEM OF THE LAKES, D J AUSTIN, CZAR, JAMAICA, ANNIE (scow), AND HATTIE. Side wheel Steamers: 8TH OHIO, WYOMING (lighter). Propeller Steam Barges: W E WETMORE, SANILAC, CITY OF DETROIT. Tugs: KATE MOFFAT, TAWAS, HITTIE HOYT, FRANK MOFFAT, J H MARTIN, JOHN PRIDGEON, BROCKWAY, GLADIATOR, CORAL, GRACE DORNER (small passenger vessel), AND C M FARRAR.
On 11 December 1895, GEORGE W. ADAMS (wooden schooner-barge, 231 foot, 1444 gross tons, built in 1875, at Toledo, Ohio) was in tow of the steamer CALEDONIA with a load of coal, bound from Cleveland for Chicago. Her hull was crushed by ice and she sank near Colchester Shoals on Lake Erie. A salvage operation on her the following summer was a failure.
1911: A fire broke out in a wooden grain elevator at Owen Sound. The KEEWATIN was moored nearby for the winter but not yet locked in ice. The ship was moved to safety but the elevator was destroyed.
1963: MANCOX went aground in Lake St. Clair, near Peche Island, enroute from Sault Ste. Marie to River Rouge.
1984: The Yugoslavian freighter BEOGRAD, outbound in the Seaway with soybeans for Brazil, collided with the FEDERAL DANUBE at anchor near Montreal and had to be beached. The hull was refloated and arrived at Montreal for repairs on December 27. It was scrapped at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, as b) MURIEL in 1999. FEDERAL DANUBE (i) now operates for Canada Steamship Lines as c) OAKGLEN (iii).
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series and Boatnerd.com.
Remains of Civil War-era shipwreck rumored to carry gold found in Lake Huron
12/10 - Grand Rapids, Mich. – The Civil War was only seven months old on Nov. 9, 1861, when the sidewheel steamer Keystone State passed into oblivion. Nobody even knew the ship had sunk until more than a week later, when wreckage was spotted off Port Austin and the Keystone State's wheelhouse washed ashore.
Since then, the ship has remained one of the many Great Lakes shipwreck mysteries; a tragedy that claimed the life of 33 crew members and sparked rumors about a clandestine cargo load of gold and war materials.
This year, part of the mystery has been solved. On Monday, Dec. 9, shipwreck hunter David Trotter announced the discovery of the Keystone State in Lake Huron, about 50 miles north of Michigan’s thumb in less than 200 feet of water.
“She wasn’t where she was supposed to be,” said Trotter, an avid shipwreck sleuth with more than 100 discoveries to his name. “I probably thought I’d never find her.”
Trotter’s Undersea Research Associates team discovered the wreck in July using side-scan sonar and has since made several dozen dives to document the site and attempt to answer questions about the ship’s mysterious cargo, which some believe was intentionally mislabeled on the manifest.
The 288-foot-long Keystone State, luxurious for her day, was the second largest ship on the Great Lakes when she was launched in 1849 and is one of the largest side-wheel steamers to disappear into their depths.
The ship was bound for Milwaukee, Wis., when she left Detroit on Nov. 8, 1861, carrying what was labeled “iron implements,” or farm machinery, on the cargo manifest. Since the sinking, rumors have persisted that the Keystone State was actually carrying military supplies destined for the battlefield.
A cargo of farm machinery in November on a special run — the ship normally moved between Detroit and Buffalo, N.Y. — invites a natural suspicion, Trotter said.
“Farm implements are not heavily used in the winter,” he said.
Unfortunately, Trotter’s team found an empty cargo hold. The reason probably won’t ever be fully known, but he said ship crews of the time would likely dump cargo in an effort to save a vessel in dire straits. The ship left Detroit in a hurry, without any lifeboats, he said.
According to the historical record, the Keystone State was last seen off Port Austin rolling heavily in rough water. The fact that she was found further north of where most believed she’d sunk “tells you she made quite a fight of it,” he said.
The ship’s captain, Wilkes Travers, may have been reluctant to turn the ship toward land for fear of being capsized in a sea trough, Trotter said. Control of a sidewheel steamer would be difficult in heavy seas due to the ship’s design.
Trotter said the wreck has “settled-in” quite a bit, and his team is still trying to sort out how much damage was caused by the storm, how much happened when the hull hit the bottom and what has occurred over the last 152 years.
The team hasn’t found any gold yet, but the wreck is surrounded by a large, yet-to-be-explored debris field, he said.
Due to the water depth, divers only have about 15 to 20 minutes to explore the wreck before they must decompress for more than an hour on the way back up.
Trotter, a retired Ford Motor Co. executive who lives in Canton, has been shipwreck hunting for more than 35 years.
His recent Great Lakes shipwreck discoveries include the 238-foot steamer New York about 25 miles northwest of Harrisville in July 2012, and a joint discovery with the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association of a 90-foot double-masted schooner in deep water off the coast of Grand Haven in October 2011.
Port Reports - December 10
Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Lookback #23 – Flying Independent closed Seaway December 10, 1963
12/10 - The American freighter Flying Independent was the last saltwater ship out bound through the Seaway fifty years ago today. This was the latest closing yet for a waterway that had only been in operation since 1959.
The next year, Flying Independent was not as fortunate. This was one of four ships trapped by the ice and had to spend the winter on the Great Lakes.
Flying Independent was built as the C-1 cargo vessel Cape Domingo It was constructed by Consolidated Steel Corp. of Wilmington, California, and launched on December 11, 1943. The ship entered service for the United States Maritime Commission the following February.
After a sale to the Isbrandtsen Co. in 1947, this steamship sailed as Flying Independent. It began Great Lakes trading with one trip in 1959, three more in 1962 and was leaving the inland lakes for the fourth time in the 1963 season when it recorded the final saltwater bound transit of that year. The ship made a total of 15 Seaway voyages until being sold late in 1965.
Renamed Harbor Hills, the freighter retained U.S. flag registry until being resold to Taiwanese shipbreakers. The vessel arrived at Kaohsiung on August 23, 1968, and was broken up by the Jui Cheng Co.
Updates - December 10
Today in Great Lakes History - December 10
The steamer EDWARD Y. TOWNSEND loaded the last cargo of ore for the 1942 season at Marquette.
CEDARGLEN, a.) WILLIAM C. ATWATER, loaded her last cargo at Thunder Bay, Ontario on December 10, 1984, carrying grain for Goderich, Ontario.
Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co. of Cleveland, Ohio bought NOTRE DAME VICTORY on December 10, 1950. She would later become b.) CLIFFS VICTORY.
IRVIN L. CLYMER was laid up at Superior, Wisconsin on December 10, 1985, for two seasons before returning to service April 30, 1988.
An explosion occurred in IMPERIAL LEDUC's, b.) NIPIGON BAY ) forward tanks on December 10, 1951. This happened while her crew was cleaning and butterworthing the tanks. Five crewmembers were injured with one eventually dying in the hospital. Multiple explosions caused extensive damage in excess of $500,000.
On December 10, 1905, WILLIAM E. COREY finally was pulled free and refloated after grounding on Gull Island Reef in the Apostle Islands in late November.
FRANK A. SHERMAN laid up for the last time at Toronto, Ontario on December 10, 1981.
Donated by Cleveland-Cliffs to the Great Lakes Historical Society on December 10, 1987, the WILLIAM G. MATHER was to become a museum ship at Cleveland's waterfront.
PAUL H. CARNAHAN and her former fleet mate, GEORGE M. HUMPHREY, arrived safely under tow at Kaohsiung, Taiwan on December 10, 1986, for scrapping.
On 10 December 1891, a fire started on MARY (2-mast wooden schooner, 84 foot, 87 gross tons, built in 1877, at Merriton, Ontario) when an oil stove in the kitchen exploded. The vessel was at anchor at Sarnia, Ontario and damage was estimated at $10,000.
The CORISANE (2-mast wooden schooner-barge, 137 foot, 292 gross tons, built in 1873, at Marine City, Michigan) was tied up alongside MARY and she also caught fire but the flames were quickly extinguished. She was towed away from MARY by the ferry J C CLARK.
PERE MARQUETTE 3 ran aground in 1893, north of Milwaukee.
1922: The wooden freighter JAMES DEMPSEY, built in 1883 as a) JIM SHERIFFS, was destroyed by a fire at Manistee, MI.
1963: The Canadian coastal freighter SAINTE ADRESSE went on the rocks off Escoumins, QC and was leaking in high winds while on a voyage from Montreal to Sept-Iles. Local residents helped lighter the cargo of beer and ale. The remains of the hull were visible at low water for several years.
1975: PAUL THAYER went aground in Lake Erie off Pelee Island. It was lightered to WOLVERINE and released Dec. 12 with extensive damage.
1994: The Maltese registered YIANNIS Z. entered Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago, in leaking condition after apparently hitting bottom while enroute from Manzanillo, Cuba, to Peru. The ship was arrested for non-payment of the crew. The vessel had been a Seaway trader in 1970 as a) MATIJA GUBEC. The hull was sold at public auction on August 28, 1997, and apparently partially dismantled to become a barge. It was noted sinking at its moorings on October 14, 2006, under the name f) KELLYS MARK and subsequent fate is unknown.
2005: JOHN D. LEITCH hit bottom above the Eisenhower Lock and began leaking.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Port Reports - December 9
St. Marys River - Scott McLellan
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Huron, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Coast Guard rescues dog, stresses ice safety
12/9 - Cleveland, Ohio – The Coast Guard rescued a dog from the frigid waters of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., Sunday morning after it fell through the ice.
At about 9 a.m., the owner of the dog called Door County, Wis., 911 reporting that her dog had fallen through the ice after chasing a goose out on the ice. A Door County 911 dispatcher then contacted the Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay. A short-haul ice-rescue team was dispatched at 9:10 a.m., and the rescue team was on scene with the dog at 9:20 a.m.
"The ice is really new right now, so it is really important to understand the ice conditions," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Disher, officer-of-the-day at Station Sturgeon Bay. "In this case, the owner of the dog did the right thing by not trying to rescue her dog by herself and calling us for help instead."
After the rescue, the dog was checked out by a veterinarian and was released back to its owner.
Marine calendar, books, BoatNerd items great gifts for Christmas
12/9 - Delight the BoatNerd on your Christmas list with a Great Lakes-themed gift.
One possibility comes from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit, which has opened up the sale of its 2014 marine calendar to the public. MHSD.org
Marine Publishing Company has reduced the price on many items for the holidays, including BoatNerd t-shirts and caps (a portion of the sale of these items benefits BoatNerd.com). KnowYourShips.com
For a complete list of new book and DVD releases, click here
Lookback #22 – Commodore stranded on December 9, 1898
12/9 - The wooden freighter Commodore was built at Cleveland by Thomas Quayle in 1875. The 265-foot-long steamer served the Western Transit Company in a variety of trades.
The ship ran aground at Bar Point, Lake Erie, 115 years ago today. Ice was already a problem on the lake and salvage was a challenge. However, some of the cargo was removed and the ship was released on December 12 only to get stuck again before finally floating free.
Commodore was acquired by the Illinois Naval Militia in 1912 and then sold to the U.S. Navy on September 1, 1918. The latter used the vessel as a receiving ship and then had it decked over and converted to a Naval Reserve Armory at Chicago in 1919. The ship was decommissioned on March 10, 1930, and dismantled by U.S. Navy Reservists in 1931.
A second Commodore, a schooner that dated from 1880, sank in Lake Erie on June 17, 1918, after being caught in a storm while under tow of the Jay Gould.
Updates - December 9
Today in Great Lakes History - December 9
While tied up at Port Colborne, Ontario, waiting to discharge her cargo of grain, a northeast gale caused the water to lower three feet and left the EDWIN H. OHL (steel propeller bulk freighter, 420 foot, 5141 gross tons, built in 1907, at Wyandotte, Michigan) on the bottom with a list of about one foot. The bottom plating was damaged and cost $3,460.19 to repair.
Cleveland Tankers’ JUPITER (Hull#227) was christened December 9, 1975, at Jennings, Louisiana, by S.B.A. Shipyards, Inc.
JEAN PARISIEN left Quebec City on her maiden voyage December 9, 1977.
CLIFFS VICTORY ran aground December 9, 1976 near Johnson’s Point in the ice -laden Munuscong Channel of the St. Marys River.
The FRANK C. BALL, b.) J.R. SENSIBAR in 1930, c.) CONALLISON in 1981) was launched at Ecorse, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works as (Hull #14) on December 9, 1905.
ARTHUR B. HOMER was towed by the tugs THUNDER CAPE, ELMORE M. MISNER and ATOMIC to Port Colborne, Ontario, December 9, 1986, and was scrapped there the following year.
HILDA MARJANNE was launched December 9, 1943, as a.) GRANDE RONDE (Hull#43) at Portland, Oregon, by Kaiser Co., Inc.
The keel for Hall Corporation of Canada’s SHIERCLIFFE HALL (Hull#248) was laid on December 9, 1949, at Montreal, Quebec by Canadian Vickers Ltd.
On 9 December 1871, CHALLENGE (wooden schooner, 96 foot, 99 tons, built in 1853, at Rochester, New York) missed the piers at Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in heavy weather, stove in some of her planking and sank. She was a particularly sleek craft, actually designed as a yacht and once owned by the U.S. Light House Service as a supply vessel.
On 9 December 1874, the Port Huron Times reported that "the old railroad ferry steamer UNION at Detroit is having machinery taken out and preparing to go into permanent retirement, or perhaps to serve as a floating dining room for railroad passengers."
1910: JOHN SHARPLES of the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation Co., stranded on Galops Island in the St. Lawrence due to low visibility. The vessel was holed fore and aft and not released until April 1911 with the help of the tug HECLA.
1943: SARNIAN, the first member of what became the Upper Lakes Shipping fleet, stranded on Pointe Isabelle Reef, Lake Superior, while downbound with 162,489 bushels of barley. The vessel was not refloated until July 24, 1944, and never sailed again.
1956: FORT HENRY, a package freighter for Canada Steamship Lines, hit Canoe Rocks approaching the Canadian Lakehead, cutting open the hull. It reached the dock safely, quickly unloaded, and went to the Port Arthur shipyard for repairs.
1968: NORTH CAROLINA lost power and sank in Lake Erie five miles west of Fairport, Ohio, in rough weather. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued the three-member crew. The hull went down in about 30 feet of water and is a popular dive attraction.
1980: The salt-laden KINGDOC (ii) was released by the tugs POINT VALIANT and IRVING BIRCH after an earlier grounding at Pugwash, NS
1983: The saltwater ship d) IAPETOS was struck by Iraqi gunners in the Khor Musa Channel about 30-40 miles from Bandar Khomeini, Iran. It was abandoned and struck again by a missile and bombs on March 29, 1984. The vessel began Seaway service as a) JAROSA in 1965 and returned as b) IVORY STAR in 1973 and c) TURICUM in 1975. It was refloated about 1984 and scrapped at Sitalpur, Bangladesh.
2001: The former HAND LOONG, a Seaway trader beginning in 1977, sank as b) UNA in the Black Sea off Sinop, Turkey, enroute from Algeria to Romania with 11,000 tons of iron ore. Seventeen sailors were rescued but one was missing and presumed lost.
2003: STELLAMARE capsized on the Hudson River at Albany, N.Y., while loading turbines. The cargo shifted and three members of the crew were lost. The ship was righted, refloated and repaired as c) NANDALINA S. It was broken up for scrap at Aliaga, Turkey, as d) DOUAA A. in 2011. This heavy-lift freighter first came through the Seaway in 1989 and returned inland from time to time.
2011: VSL CENTURION lost its stern anchor while downbound in the Welland Canal at Port Colborne. Shipping was held up until it was found. The ship first visited the Seaway as a) SAGITARRIUS in 1990 and became d) PHOENIX SUN in 2012.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series, Marine Historical Society of Detroit.
Great Lakes iron ore trade up 7 percent in November
12/8 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes totaled 5.5 million tons in November, an increase of 7 percent compared to a year ago. The November ore float was also 4.1 percent ahead of the month’s 5-year average, but trailed October by 7.7 percent.
Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 4.9 million tons, an increase of almost 10 percent compared to a year ago. The November total included 366,000 tons shipped to Quebec City for loading into oceangoing vessels and delivery overseas. Year-to-date overseas exports from U.S. Great Lakes ports total 2,883,000 tons. Through November of last year, overseas exports from U.S. ports totaled 3,544,000 tons.
Shipments from Canadian ports to Great Lakes destinations totaled 619,000 tons in November, a decrease of 9.3 percent compared to a year ago.
Year-to-date, the Lakes iron ore trade stands at 53.2 million tons, a decrease of 3.6 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings are 2.1 percent below the long-term average for the January-November timeframe.
Lake Carriers Association represents 17 American companies that operate 57 U.S.-flag vessels on the Great Lakes and carry the raw materials that drive the nations economy: iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, aggregate and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation, as well as salt, sand and grain. Collectively, these vessels can transport more than 115 million tons of cargo per year.
More information is available at www.lcaships.com.
Lakes Pilots Association seeking applications
12/8 - Lakes Pilots Association, Inc., based in Port Huron, Mich., is seeking applications to fill vacancies of U.S. registered pilots on foreign vessels in District 2 of the Great Lakes.
Lakes Pilots provides pilotage service in all the waters and ports on the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers and Lake Erie, excluding the Welland Canal. Applicants must hold a U.S. Master, Mate or Pilot license with at least 24 months licensed service or comparable experience on vessels or integrated tugs and tows, of 4,000 gross tons, or over, operating on the Great Lakes or oceans. Those applicants qualifying with ocean service must have obtained at least six months of licensed service or comparable experience on the Great Lakes. A complete list of requirements may be found in CFR Title 46, Shipping, Part 401, Subpart B. Anyone interested must first apply to the Director of Great Lakes Pilotage in Washington, D.C. for a preliminary review to determine eligibility. Once approved, applications will be forwarded to Lakes Pilots Association and reviewed as positions become open. Those seriously interested are encouraged to call Lakes Pilots Assn. for more details about the job.
Applications and Information can be obtained on the web at: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg552/pilotage.asp
For more information contact:
Lakes Pilots Association
Lookback #21 Altadoc stranded on December 8, 1927
12/8 - The first Altadoc to sail in the Paterson fleet only put in two years in their colors. The 26 year old bulk carrier was up bound and in ballast when it stranded 86 years ago today.
The steering malfunctioned while traveling from Owen Sound to Fort William and the ship was blown on the rocks of the Keweenaw Peninsula during a bad storm. Five members of the crew were able to come ashore and hike nine miles to Copper Harbor to report their plight. The U.S.C.G. Crawford was dispatched to the scene to rescue the rest of the crew. There were some injuries but no loss of life.
Altadoc could not be salvaged and later broke in two between hatches 7 and 8. The engine and some machinery were removed in 1928 and the pilothouse was also taken off and apparently used as a cottage until it was reported destroyed by a fire on March 22, 1987.
The 376 foot long freighter had been built at West Bay City, MI and initially served the Gilchrist Transportation Co. as Lake Shore. It became Indus for the Interlake Steamship Co. in 1912 and was sold to Paterson in 1926 to become the first Altadoc.
The hull was cut up for scrap, on location, during World War Two.
Today in Great Lakes History - December 8
On 08 December 1917, DESMOND (wooden propeller sand-sucker, 149 foot, 456 gross tons, built in 1892, at Port Huron, Michigan) sprang a leak off Michigan City, Indiana, during gale and then capsized within sight of the lighthouse at South Chicago, Illinois. Seven lives were lost. Six others were rescued by the tugs WILLIAM A. FIELD, GARY and NORTH HARBOR.
CANADIAN ENTERPRISE (Hull#65) was christened December 8, 1979, at St. Catharines, Ontario, by Port Weller Drydocks. Ltd.
JAMES DAVIDSON was laid up for the last time on December 8, 1969, at Toledo, Ohio.
MERLE M. McCURDY collided with U.S. Steel’s PHILIP R. CLARKE opposite Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan on Lake St. Clair, December 8, 1974.
On 8 December 1886, BELLE (2-mast wooden schooner, 61 foot, 40 gross tons, built in 1866, at Port Dalhousie, Ontario) burned while frozen in at anchor.
On 8 December 1854, WESTMORELAND (wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 200 foot, 665 tons, built in 1853, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying supplies for Mackinac Island, including liquor and supposedly $100,000 in gold. She capsized in a storm due to the heavy seas and the weight of the thick ice on her superstructure. She sank in the Manitou Passage in Lake Michigan and dragged one of the loaded lifeboats down with her. 17 lives were lost. There were many attempts to find her and recover her cargo. Some reports indicate the wreck was found in 1874, however it was not discovered until 2010 by Ross Richardson.
1876: IRA CHAFFE was driven ashore in a severe snowstorm near the Chocolay River, Lake Superior, near Munising. All on board were saved and the ship was eventually released.
1909: Fire broke out in the hold of the CLARION off Southeast Shoal, Lake Erie. Six sailors who huddled on the stern were picked up in a daring rescue by the LEONARD C. HANNA the next day. Another 14 were lost when their lifeboat was swept away in the storm and one more perished when he went into the hold to fight the fire.
1909: W.C. RICHARDSON stranded on Waverley Shoal, 2 miles west of Buffalo. A storm had prevented entrance to Buffalo and the ship was riding out the weather on the lake. The hull had to by dynamited as a navigational hazard when salvage efforts failed. Five lives were lost.
1927: ALTADOC (i) stranded on the rocks of the Keweenaw Peninsula when the steering failed while upbound, in ballast, for Fort William. The hull could not be salvaged and it was cut up for scrap on location during World War Two.
1927: LAMBTON stranded on Parisienne Shoal, Lake Superior, with the loss of 2 lives. The engine was removed for the FERNIE and the hull salvaged in 1928 for further work as the barge c) SALVUS.
1963: FORT ALBANY sank in the St. Lawrence off Lanorie after a collision with the PROCYON, and five members of the crew were lost. Heavy fog persisted at the time. The hull was refloated in June 1964, taken to Sorel, and scrapped.
1971: HARMATTAN was attacked with missiles and gunfire by Indian Naval units south of Karachi, Pakistan, and heavily damaged. Seven sailors were killed and the ship was abandoned. It arrived at Karachi March 2, 1972, and was scrapped. The ship had been a Seaway trader earlier in 1971.
1982: The Liberian freighter GENIE came through the Seaway in 1972. It was badly damaged by an explosion and fire on this date while laid up the Seychelles Islands. The hull was taken to Karachi, Pakistan, and scrapped in 1985.
1983: AKTION, a Seaway trader for the first time in 1970, was laid up at Piraeus, Greece, as e) ELISA when fire broke out and the vessel was heavily damaged aft. The hull was towed into Aliaga, Turkey, in October 1984, and broken up for scrap.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Coast Guard begins icebreaking operations in western Great Lakes
12/7 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie began Operation Taconite Friday afternoon in response to developing ice conditions in the commercial ports of Western Lake Superior. Before ice impedes commercial navigation, an icebreaker was assigned to the region.
Initially, only one Coast Guard icebreaker will be assigned to Operation Taconite. USCGC Katmai Bay will provide icebreaking services. In the coming days and weeks as ice growth continues on the Great Lakes additional Coast Guard icebreakers will join the operation.
Currently there are no channel closures. However the implementation of Operation Taconite does place additional measures on commercial shipping plying the western Lakes, St. Marys River, and the Straits of Mackinac. These measures include restricting tanker transits to daylight only in the presence of ice, reducing speeds by 2 miles per hour in various locations, and requiring additional voice and position reporting points throughout the operation’s area of responsibility. The Coast Guard would like to advise all recreational ice users there are currently no channel closures, and to plan their activities carefully, use caution on the ice, and stay away from shipping channels. Recreational users and island residents should stay tuned to local media resources for the status of waterway closures.
Ice is forming in the greater Duluth/Superior Harbor and Thunder Bay, Ont., regions. U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay will conduct icebreaking operations to allow the movement of commercial shipping throughout the twin ports and Thunder Bay. U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder will relieve the Katmai Bay at a later date. This activity will extend to the end of the shipping season, which normally concludes 16 January.
Operation Taconite is the Coast Guard’s largest domestic icebreaking operation, encompassing Lake Superior, St. Marys River, the Straits of Mackinac and Lake Michigan. As a result of the Operation certain waterways may close once due consideration is given to the protection of the marine environment, waterway improvements, aids to navigation, the need for cross channel traffic (e.g. ferries), the availability of icebreakers, and the safety of the island residents; who in the course of their daily business use naturally formed ice bridges for transportation to and from the mainland.
Port Reports - December 7
Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Owen Sound, Ont. - J. Mackay
Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Cedarville & Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
Erie, Pa. - Gene Polaski
CN train derails in Two Harbors; 2 injured
12/7 - Two Harbors, Minn. – A Canadian National Railway train filled with iron ore pellets from the Iron Range derailed in Two Harbors early Thursday afternoon, and two injuries were reported, Lake County Sheriff Carey Johnson said.
The two CN employees were transported from the scene via ambulance. Patrick Waldron, a spokesman for CN, said the injuries appear to be minor. The two other employees on the train were uninjured. The accident occurred at 1:14 p.m. on a bend in the tracks between Northshore Manufacturing and Two Harbors Lumber on Fourth Avenue, the Two Harbors Police Department said. Waldron said the area is considered the CN train yard.
Uwe Kausch, a sales manager at Northshore Manufacturing, said the rail cars were everywhere, stacked up like cordwood, with some pointing up vertically.
A typical ore train has just over 100 cars and Kausch said it looked like most of them were affected by the derailment. Waldron said there were 107 cars but said it hadn’t been determined how many were damaged or upended. He said a CN crew is on the scene investigating the derailment.
Duluth News Tribune
Algoma's $400M Equinox investment starts sailing
12/7 - St. Catharines, Ont. – It's a private shipping investment by Algoma Central Corp. that is unprecedented in recent Canadian history. Loaded with iron ore, the Algoma Equinox bulk carrier sailed through the Welland Canal Friday for its inaugural trip.
The Equinox is the first of eight in that class, as part of $500 million-plus in ship orders by the St. Catharines-based firm.That first Equinox vessel was recently delivered to Algoma by China's Nantong Mingde Heavy Industry Co. Ltd., with the rest to join Algoma's Great Lakes-St. Lawrence fleet next year and in 2015.
Orders for the Equinox vessels themselves are worth $400 million, with two coastal vessels totaling $100 million put into service by Algoma starting in 2010.
“The design of the vessels involved a tremendous amount of work,” said Greg Wight, president and CEO of Algoma. “We knew that we had the opportunity to create something that would be innovative and game changing.”
“These world-class designs dramatically cut emissions and use much better speed with less fuel, and larger freight-carrying capacity.”
It has reinvigorated Algoma, which employs about 300 in the region alone.
“It’s a win-win situation. We win because we burn less fuel, we go faster and carry more cargo, said Wight. This means that were substantially more efficient from an economic point of view, yet at the same time we achieve huge environmental benefits."
Algoma's decision to invest follows a 2010 federal government decision to end a 25 percent import duty on general cargo vessels and tankers.
"The duty inhibited us in investing in the future of our fleet, as it was so punitive," said Wight. "When it came off, it lifted that we knew we had to invest in the future to continue to be the largest and most innovative shipping company in Canada."
Wight said the fleet rejuvenation, "certainly makes all the jobs secure. These ships are very innovative and efficient and they'll be competitive for many years to come."
He also spoke to criticism from some that the shipbuilding was not done in Ontario or Canada. This, as St. Catharines' Seaway Marine and Industrial dry docks declared bankruptcy last summer.
"The government went out to all the shipbuilders in Canada and asked their opinion on whether the duty should be removed and what the impact would be," Wight said. He said domestic shipbuilders said they were either not capable, or had no desire to build the types of private-sector vessels whose import duty was ultimately removed.
"It wasn't a matter of taking work away from Canadian yards," Wight said. "They clearly had already indicated to the government it wasn't work they'd be doing anyway."
Chamber of Marine Commerce president Stephen Brooks said Canadian ship owners are investing more than $1 billion in new vessels the largest renewal in the Great Lakes fleet in three decades.
"Ships like the Algoma Equinox are incredibly more efficient and equipped with the latest environmental technologies," Brooks said in an e-mail. "This will not only make Great Lakes shipping even more competitive, but it is good news for our North American manufacturing and agricultural customers and the Great Lakes communities in which we operate."
St. Catharines MPP Rick Dykstra called the Algoma investment a "whole new era in shipping by water, whether it be Ontario, the Great Lakes or really in the country."
"It's exciting to see this kind of investment overall," Dykstra said. "This will reinforce and save the jobs that are on those ships, this is a dawn of a new era of shipping in our region."
St. Catharines Standard
Lookback #20 – Simcoe lost at sea on December 7, 1917
12/7 - The Canadian Department of Marine & Fisheries ordered a buoy tender from the famous Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson shipyard at Newcastle, England, and this vessel was completed as Simcoe in March 1907.
The 180-foot-long, steam-powered tender crossed the Atlantic for Great Lakes service and was stationed at Parry Sound to ferry lighthouse keepers to their stations, deliver supplies and care for channel markers around Georgian Bay. The ship was transferred to the East Coast to replace Dollard on the Bay of Fundy and left the Great Lakes in the fall of 1917 for the new assignment.
It departed Sydney, Nova Scotia, for the last time in early December carrying coal and supplies for the Bird Rocks and to retrieve buoys in the Magdalen Islands area. An S.O.S. was transmitted 96 years ago today saying the ship was sinking in heavy seas, high winds and snow. It was never seen or heard from again and all 44 on board were lost. A life ring, found on Sable Island in 1922, was the only trace of the Simcoe.
Updates - December 4
Today in Great Lakes History - December 7
On 07 December 1893, the hull of the burned steamer MASCOTTE (steel ferry, 103 foot, 137 gross tons, built in 1885, at Wyandotte, Michigan) was towed from New Baltimore to Detroit by the tug LORMAN for repairs. She was rebuilt and put back in service. She went through nine owners in a career that finally ended with another fire in Chicago in 1934.
In 1990, the ENERCHEM LAKER was sold to Environment Protection Services, Inc., Panama and departed Montreal on December 7, 1990, for off-lakes service with the new name d) RECOVERY VIII. Built for Hall Corp. of Canada as a.) ROCKCLIFFE HALL, converted to a tanker renamed b.) ISLAND TRANSPORT in 1985, and c.) ENERCHEM LAKER in 1986. Renamed e.) MORGAN TRADER in 1993, and currently serves as a bunkering tanker in Suez, Egypt as f.) ANNA II, renamed in 1997.
The LEADALE, a.) JOHN A. KLING sank in the Welland Canal on December 7, 1982, and was declared a constructive total loss.
The GEORGE R. FINK, under tow, arrived at Gandia, Spain prior to December 7, 1973, for scrapping.
W. W. HOLLOWAY was laid up December 7, 1981, for the last time in Toledo’s Frog Pond.
On December 7, 1932, the MARQUIS ROEN caught fire at Meacher's dock at Bay City, and before the fire was brought under control, the cabins and after end were destroyed.
Captain John Roen of the Roen Steamship Co. died on December 7, 1970.
On December 7, 1906, the R. L. IRELAND stranded on Gull Island in the Apostle Islands, Lake Superior. PERCIVAL ROBERTS JR. (Hull#398) was launched December 7, 1912, for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co at Lorain, Ohio by the American Ship Building Co.
The steel side-wheel passenger steamer EASTERN STATES (Hull#144) was launched on December 7, 1901, by the Detroit Shipbuilding Company for the Detroit and Buffalo Steamship Company.
The railcar ferry ANN ARBOR NO 2 (Hull#56), was launched on December 7, 1892 at Toledo, Ohio by Craig Ship Building Co. Sold in 1914 and cut down to a barge, renamed b.) WHALE in 1916, abandoned in 1927.
In 1906, the ANN ARBOR NO 4 arrived Frankfort on her maiden voyage.
On 7 December 1894, KEWEENAW (steel steamer, 291 foot, 2511 gross tons, built in 1891, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was seen groping toward the coast of the State of Washington in a severe gale. With distress signals flying, she put back to sea and foundered. She was built by F. W. Wheeler (Hull #73) for saltwater service. Built in two pieces, she was towed down the St. Lawrence and reassembled at Montreal.
On 7 December 1866, M. BALLARD (2-mast wooden schooner, 116 foot, 288 tons, built in 1855, at Cleveland, Ohio) was lost with all hands in a storm on Lake Ontario.
The wooden propeller bulk freighter MORLEY was launched at Marine City on 7 December 1878. She was on the stocks for two years and was built for the Morley Brothers and Hill. She was a double decker with side arches between decks with iron straps. She also had iron trusses running through the center. Her boiler was on the main deck and she had the engine from the tug WM PRINGLE. She had three spars, a centerboard, and could carry 45,000 bushels of grain.
1909: MARQUETTE & BESSEMER NO. 2 disappeared with all hands in the overnight hours of December 7-8 while crossing Lake Erie from Conneaut to Port Stanley with 30 loaded railway cars. The hull has never been located.
1912: The whaleback BARGE 134 was operating on the East Coast as b) BANGOR when it stranded and broke up near Hampton Roads, Va. The hull was salvaged by blasting and dredging in 1975.
1917: SIMCOE, of the Canadian Department of Marine & Fisheries, left the Great Lakes earlier in the fall for new work on the Bay of Fundy. It sent out an S.O.S. that it was sinking in heavy seas and the ship was never seen again. The only trace was a lifering that came ashore at Sable Island. There were 44 on board.
1927: KAMLOOPS, inbound for the Canadian Lakehead, disappeared with all hands overnight December 6-7. The hull was finally found by divers off 12 O'Clock Point, Isle Royale, in 1977.
1927: AGAWA stranded on Advance Reef, Georgian Bay along the south shore of Manitoulin Island. It spent the winter aground and was not released until Nay 16, 1928. The hull had been declared a total loss but was rebuilt at Collingwood as the ROBERT P. DURHAM and then later sailed as c) HERON BAY (i).
1927: The first MARTIAN went aground off Hare Island, Lake Superior and was not released until December 14.
1929: ULVA sank in the ice at Port Colborne but was raised, refitted and returned to service in 1930. The British built freighter operated between Maritime Canada and the Great Lakes until about 1939. It was torpedoed and sunk by U-60 northwest of Ireland on September 3, 1940.
1941: The tanker MAKAWELI was reported to be anchored at Pearl Harbor during the infamous Japanese attack and damaged. The ship was built at Ashtabula as COWEE in 1919 and returned to the Great Lakes for Lakeland Tankers in 1946.
1967: FIR HILL, a Seaway trader in 1961, went aground off Yasuoka, Japan, as d) UNIVERSAL CRUSADER. It was lightered and released but sold for scrap and broken up at Hirao, Japan, in 1968. 1969: The bulk carrier PETITE HERMINE and TEXACO CHIEF (ii) collided in fog near Prescott and both ships had slight damage. The former became c) CANADIAN HUNTER while the latter last operated on the lakes as c) ALGONOVA (i).
1976: The Liberian flag bulk carrier UNIMAR grounded leaving Thunder Bay with a cargo of grain and was not released until December 15.
1976: HARRY L. ALLEN of the Kinsman fleet went aground in Lake St. Clair, near St. Clair, Mich., and was held fast in the ice before being freed by tugs.
1982: LEADALE (ii) finished unloading salt at Thorold and backed into a concrete dolphin while departing the dock. A hole was punched in the hull and the ship sank while trying to get back to the dock. LEADALE was refloated December 19, towed to Port Colborne and scrapped by Marine Salvage in 1983. 1983: UNISOL had been docked at Chandler, Que., to load newsprint but left to ride out an approaching storm after being pounded against the dock. The ship ran aground while outbound and the crew was saved by a Canadian Forces helicopter. The vessel, noted as the first Peruvian flag freighter to transit the Seaway earlier that year, broke up in the storm.
1983: The Norwegian freighter WOODVILLE began visiting the Great Lakes in 1962. It ran aground near Palau Mungging, Malaysia, enroute from Bangkok, Thailand, to Malacca, Malaysia, as d) PETER RICH and was abandoned as a total loss.
1989: CAPITAINE TORRES, enroute from the Great Lakes, got caught in a vicious storm on the Gulf of St. Lawrence on December 7-8 after the cargo shifted. All 23 on board were lost when the ship went down.
2005: ZIEMIA LODZKA collided with and sank the VERTIGO in shallow water in the Great Belt off Denmark. All were saved. The former began Great Lake trading in 1992.
2010: The passenger ship CLELIA II, a Great Lakes visitor in 2009, was hit by a monstrous wave in the Antarctic Ocean smashing the pilothouse window and damaging electronic equipment. The vessel made Ushusia, Argentina, safely and only one member of the crew had a minor injury.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Port Reports - December 6
Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Announcements mean Seaway closing near
12/6 - Radio messages will be issued Monday through Friday as the Seaway’s season end approaches. As the need arises, weekends will be included.
It is important for mariners to note that any vessel which enters the Seaway upbound at CIP2 after 2359 hours on December 9 shall be designated a wintering vessel in accordance with all the terms outlined in Seaway Notice No. 9 of 2013.
Water temperature at St. Lambert on December 5 is 2.2 degrees Celsius. Last year’s temperature was 3.5 degrees Celsius. The 10-year average is 3.3 degrees Celsius.
At midnight December 4, the number of ocean vessels above St. Lambert was 39 as compared to 27 in 2012. Above Port Weller the number was 26 as compared to 18 in 2012.
The Prescott/Ogdensburg ice boom opening has been reduced to 600m and is indicated by quick flashing green and red buoys.
Mariners are advised that the implementation of the power to length ratio restrictions and minimum draft requirements, scheduled for December 7, are postponed until further notice. All closing procedures outlined in Seaway Notice No. 9 of 2013 remain in effect.
St. Lawrence Seaway Authority
Lookback # 19 – Monarch stranded on Isle Royale on December 6, 1906.
12/6 - The wooden passenger and freight steamer Monarch was built at Sarnia in 1890 and lost off Isle Royale on this date 107 years ago.
The 248-foot, 6-inch-long vessel, built of the finest white oak and braced with iron, usually operated between Sarnia and the Canadian lakehead. It was carrying 12 passengers and a crew of 32 on what proved to be its final voyage.
After loading bagged flour, Monarch sailed from Port Arthur only to strike Blake Point on the northeast part of Isle Royale. The stern broke off and sank in deep water and all but one on board reached safety. They huddled on shore and built fires both for heat and to attract attention. Crewmembers from the steamer Edmonton spotted their plight and summoned help from Port Arthur. The tugs James Whalen and Laura Grace responded and while only one life was lost, a deck watchman, the 16-year old Monarch was a total loss.
Updates - December 6
Saltie Gallery updated
with pictures of the Amstelgracht, Fortitude, Harbour Fountain, HR Constitution, MCT Monte Rosa, Merwedegracht, Mitiq, Oslo Bulk 1, Oslo Bulk 4, Pilica, and Sapphire.
Today in Great Lakes History - December 6
On 06 December 1886, C. McElroy purchased the steamer CHARLIE LIKEN for use as a ferry at St. Clair, Michigan to replace the burned CLARA.
In 1988, Canada Steamship Lines’ HON. PAUL MARTIN was renamed b.) ATLANTIC ERIE.
American Steamship Co.’s H. LEE WHITE (Hull#711) was launched December 6, 1973, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Co.
CONSUMERS POWER was laid up for the last time at Erie, Pennsylvania on December 6, 1985.
On December 6, 1988, an arsonist set fire to the after end of FORT CHAMBLY while she was laid up at Ojibway Slip in Windsor, Ontario.
GOLDEN HIND was launched at Collingwood, Ontario on December 6, 1951, as the tanker a.) IMPERIAL WOODBEND (Hull#147).
N.M. Paterson & Sons LAWRENDOC (Hull#174) was launched December 6, 1961, at the Collingwood Shipyards.
On 6 December 1874, the Port Huron Times reported that the Port Huron Dry Dock Co. had been declared bankrupt and Mr. John Johnston had been appointed assignee of the company by the U.S. District Court.
OCONTO grounded near Charity Island in Saginaw Bay on 6 December 1885. The passengers and crew were saved. She was built at Manitowoc in 1872, by Rand & Co. and owned by Capt. Gregory W. McGregor and Rensselaer VanSycle. She was later recovered but only lasted until July 1886, when she went down in the St. Lawrence River with a valuable cargo of merchandise. Although several attempts were made to recover her, she remains on the bottom and is a frequent charter dive target to this day.
1906: MONARCH, carrying a cargo of bagged flour, struck Blake Point, Isle Royale and broke in two. The stern sank in deep water and the survivors huddled on shore. They were spotted the next day by the passing steamer EDMONTON who had help sent out from Port Arthur. Only one life was lost.
1906: R.L. IRELAND went aground off the Apostle Islands, Lake Superior, while loaded with coal. Some of the crew rowed a lifeboat to Bayfield for help. The vessel was salvaged and last sailed as c) ONTADOC (i)in 1970.
1909: BADGER STATE caught fire at Marine City, drifted downstream and stranded off Fawn Island. The hull burned to the waterline. 1910: DUNELM went aground on Isle Royale while downbound with grain for Montreal. It was salvaged on December 21 and taken to Port Arthur for repairs.
1917: TUSCARORA, recently cut in two, towed through the Welland and St. Lawrence Canals, and rejoined at Montreal, sank with the loss of all hands off Cape Breton Island on the delivery voyage to the East Coast.
1924: MIDLAND PRINCE was swept onto a reef while under tow in the outer harbor at Port Colborne and sank the tugs JOSEPH H. and HOME RULE in the process. The laker was released the next day but the tugs were a total loss.
1961: The listing freighter MARIANGELA B. was abandoned on the Mediterranean south of Formentera, Spain, after the cargo of zinc shifted in a storm. The vessel was towed to Cartagena, Spain, on December 8 but soon sold to Italian shipbreakers for dismantling at La Spezia in 1962. The vessel had been built at Sturgeon Bay as LABAN HOWES in 1943.
1977: The passenger ship ROYAL CLIPPER caught fire in the engine room at Montreal. After five hours, the ship rolled on its side and sank. It was salvaged in 1982, towed to Port Maitland, and scrapped during 1984-1986.
1992: WILLIAM R. ROESCH was inbound at Holland, Mich., with a cargo of slag when it went aground. The ship was stuck for two hours.
2001: NANCY MELISSA visited the Great Lakes in 1980. It began taking water as e) EMRE BAY in the Ionian Sea and the crew abandoned the ship. The grain laden vessel was taken in tow to safety but was later sold for scrap and arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, for dismantling as f) RESBE on April 9, 2003.
2002: SAGINAW sustained rudder damage while backing away at Thorold and had to go to Hamilton for repairs.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Port Reports - December 5
Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Mississagi arrived at the Lafarge stone dock in Marblehead Wednesday evening and began loading for Kingsville, Ont. Indications were that the 620-foot self-unloader would not be taking on a full load and that she expected to arrive in the Canadian village harbor shortly before daylight on Thursday.
Steel production rises by 16,000 tons in Great Lakes states
12/5 - Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region rose to 692,000 tons in the week that ended Saturday, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.
Production rose by about 16,000 tons, or about 2.3 percent, from the week prior. Most of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in Indiana and the Chicago area.
Production in the Southern District was estimated at 693,000 tons, down from 627,000 tons a week earlier.
Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.81 million tons, which was down slightly from 1.85 million tons a week earlier.
U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 75.6 percent last week, down from 77.2 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 70.1 percent at the same time last year.
So far this year, domestic steel producers have had a capacity utilization rate of 77.1 percent, which is down from 77.5 percent during the same period in 2012.
Domestic mills have produced an estimated 88.7 million tons of steel this year, down 1.6 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 90.1 million tons of steel by Nov. 30, 2012.
In October, steel imports rose by 8.4 percent, according to the American Institute for International Steel.
"Steel imports jumped in October as pricing for semi-finished steel products, used by the domestic industry to augment their raw steel capacity, strengthened this fall," said executive director Richard Chriss. "Semi-finished imports accounted for over three-fourths of the increase in the month-to-month comparison. While we believe that for the most part the improvement in market conditions reflects re-stocking by service centers and distributors –and not a real improvement in underlying demand – import arrivals reacted predictably during the month in response to improved market conditions."
Northwest Indiana Times
Prelude, the world’s largest ship, launched
12/5 - Take the Empire State Building, lay it on the ground and add another 150 feet. Then put it out to sea. That’s essentially what Shell did today with the launch of the 1,601-foot Prelude mega-ship.
At 600,000 tons and 243 feet wide, when the Prelude left its dry dock in South Korea after a year-long build, it unseated the Emma Maersk (1,302 feet) as the world’s largest ship. But calling it a ship is almost a misnomer. The Prelude is a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility that will be posted off the coast of Western Australia and will stay there for the next quarter-century.
As an FLNG plant, the Prelude handles everything involved in capturing, processing, and storing liquid natural gas, sucking the stuff from deep within the Earth and refining 3.9 million tons each year before it’s offloaded onto smaller ships that bring it back to the mainland.
Since the Prelude has to process and hold 175 Olympic swimming pools’ worth of the liquid natural gas year-round, it has to withstand anything Mother Nature sends its way. For that, there’s a 305-foot-tall turret that runs through the ship and into the seafloor, keeping the Prelude anchored and allowing it to slowly pivot to the direction of the wind. Between the moorings, the turret, and the three 6,700-horsepower engines, the ship can handle a category 5 hurricane.
The Prelude is set to launch in 2017, and will settle into its new home 300 miles north-east of Broome, Western Australia through 2042.
Lookback #18 – Henry Steinbrenner sank following collision on December 5, 1909.
12/5 - It was 104 years ago today that the first Henry Steinbrenner sank for the first time. The 440 foot long, 8-year old bulk carrier was down bound with iron ore when it collided with the up bound, and coal laden, Harry A. Berwind. The accident occurred in the Mud Lake section of the St. Marys River near Sault Ste. Marie.
Heavy snow limited visibility. The Steinbrenner received a 40-foot hole in her hull and sank with the cabins remaining above the water line. The ship spent the winter on the bottom. This steamer was refloated in 1910 and rebuilt at Cleveland to continue service in the Kinsman Transit Co. fleet.
Henry Steinbrenner was subsequently lost on Lake Superior when the weather turned bad on May 11, 1953. The ship was again loaded with iron ore. The wild winds, and up to 19-foot waves, ripped off three hatch covers. Seventeen sailors were lost while another 14 were rescued when the vessel sank about 15 miles south of Isle Royale.
Today in Great Lakes History - December 5
In 1927, ALTADOC crashed on the rocks of the Keweenaw Peninsula when her steering gear parted during a Lake Superior storm. The machinery and pilothouse of the wreck were recovered in 1928. The pilothouse was eventually refurbished in 1942 and opened as the Worlds Smallest Hotel in Copper Harbor, Michigan. The owners resided in the captains’ quarters, a gift shop was set up in the chart room, a guest lounge was set up in the wheelhouse, and there were two rooms for guests.
On 05 December 1897, the GEORGE W. MORLEY (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 193 foot, 1045 gross tons, built in 1888, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was sailing light from Milwaukee to Chicago when a fire started near her propeller shaft. It blazed up too quickly for the engineer to put it out and before he could get the fire pump started, the flames drove on deck. The firemen were kept at their posts as the vessel was steered to shore. She sank 100 yards off Greenwood Avenue, Evanston, Illinois. Luckily no lives were lost. The vessel’s engine was recovered in October 1898.
Tanker SATURN (Hull#218) was launched in 1973, for Cleveland Tankers at Jennings, Louisiana, by S.B.A. Shipyards, Inc.
SIR JAMES DUNN (Hull#109) was launched in 1951, for Canada Steamship Lines at Port Arthur, Ontario, by Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.
The keel was laid for the E.G. GRACE on December 5, 1942. This was the last of the six ships built by AmShip in the L6-S-A1 class for the United States Maritime Commission and was traded to the Interlake Steamship Company in exchange for older tonnage. She would later become the first of the "Maritime Class" vessels to go for scrap in 1984.
On 5 December 1874, the steam barge MILAN was scheduled to be hauled ashore at Port Huron to replace her "Mississippi wheel" with a propeller.
The wooden 100-foot schooner BRILLIANT was close to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, on 5 December 1857, where she was scheduled to pick up a load of lumber when she went on a reef close to shore and sank. No lives were lost.
1909: HENRY STEINBRENNER (i) sank in a snowstorm on Mud Lake following a collision with the HARRY A. BERWIND. The superstructure remained above water and the ship was later refloated and repaired.
1927: The wooden steamer ADVANCE went aground off Manitoulin Island and two sailors were lost. The ship was salvaged but tied up at Cornwall later in the month and never operated again.
1935: The lumber carrier SWIFT caught fire at Sturgeon Bay and was a total loss. The remains were scrapped in 1936.
1935: The 65-year old wooden tug LUCKNOW burned outside the harbor at Midland and the ship was beached as a total loss.
1952: The wooden tug GARGANTUA departed Collingwood under tow and sought shelter from a storm early the next day behind Cabot Head. The ship was scuttled to avoid the rocky shore with the main part of the hull above water. The intent was to refloat the vessel in 1953 but it was abandoned instead.
1964: FAYETTE BROWN, enroute to Bilbao, Spain, for scrap, broke loose of the tug BARENTSZ ZEE in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and drifted aground on the south shore of Anticosti Island. Salvage efforts were not successful and the remains of the hull, now broken into many pieces, are still there.
1971: VENUS CHALLENGER was sunk by a missile in the India-Pakistan war while 26 miles south of Karachi. The ship broke in two and sank in 8 minutes. All 33 on board were lost. The vessel was completely darkened and going at 16 knots when hit. The ship had been a Seaway trader earlier in 1971 and as b) PLEIAS in 1968.
1976: TATIANA L. and RALPH MISENER sustained minor damage from a collision in the St. Lawrence. The former was scrapped at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, as c) LUCKY LADY in 2009, while the latter arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, for dismantling as c) DON in September 2012.
1987: The CASON foundered off Punta Rostro, Spain, enroute from Hamburg to Shanghai, due to heavy weather. There were 8 survivors but another 23 sailors perished. There were explosions and fires in deck containers and the hull broke in two during a salvage effort in May 1988. The ship had come through the Seaway as b) WOLFGANG RUSS in 1978 and FINN LEONHARDT in 1979.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze , Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
New Algoma Equinox enters Seaway for first time
12/4 - Algoma Central Corporation's newest addition to its fleet, Algoma Equinox, entered the St. Lawrence Seaway on Tuesday, Dec. 3 for the first time.
The vessel arrived at the St. Lambert Lock in Montreal at 1:48 p.m., officially ending a long journey that began in China. The vessel departed the Nantong Mingde Shipyard in Nantong City, China on Oct. 1. After transiting the Panama Canal in mid-November, Algoma Equinox arrived in Canada for its first load iron ore from Port Cartier, Quebec, Dec. 1. The ship departed Port Cartier on December 2 and after stopping in Montreal briefly overnight. She is now on her way to Hamilton, Ontario, with her first official cargo.
Upon her arrival in Hamilton she will unload at Pier 21 or the ArcelorMittal Dofasco Steel Dock. Algoma Equinox is the first of the new Equinox class ships that Algoma has ordered from China. In total, eight new vessels will be joining the Algoma fleet, with four being straight-deck bulk carriers and an additional four being self-unloaders. Two of the straight-deckers are being built for CWB Inc. formerly the Canadian Wheat Board, with Algoma operating them.
Port Reports - December 4
Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Sandusky & Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Great Lakes continue move toward normal levels
12/4 - Lake Superior declined by less than it usually does in November, and Lakes Huron and Michigan actually rose in a month they nearly always decline. That was the report Monday from the International Lake Superior Board of Control.
Lake Superior declined a bit less than its usual 2-inch drop for November and sat just 2 inches below its long-term average for Dec. 1. The lake is now 13 inches above the Dec. 1 level in 2012.
Huron and Michigan reversed the usual decline of 2 inches for November and instead rose by 0.4 inches. The lakes are now 15 inches higher than on Dec. 1, 2012, and just 13 inches below the long-term average for this time of year.
The lakes have been generally trending back toward normal in 2013 after several years below normal.
Duluth News Tribune
Mackinaw scheduled to arrive at Navy Pier Friday with Christmas trees
12/4 - Chicago, Ill. – The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, serving once again as this year’s Christmas Ship and loaded with more than 1,200 Christmas trees, is returning to Chicago on Dec. 6, at 8:30 a.m. for a two-day event re-enacting an annual Chicago tradition from the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The Christmas trees, purchased by the Chicago’s Christmas Ship Committee, will be offloaded on the morning of Dec. 7 by members of the Coast Guard and local youth volunteers including the Sea Cadets, Venture Crews, Sea Scouts and the Young Marines, following a brief, public ceremony beginning at 10 a.m.
The ceremony will take place at the west end of Navy Pier, near the Captain at the Helm statue. The first tree will be presented to a representative family. The remaining trees will be loaded onto trucks for distribution by 18 local community organizations to more than 1,200 deserving families throughout Chicago.
The Mackinaw’s reenactment continues a treasured piece of Chicago’s maritime tradition. Herman Schuenemann, captain of the original Christmas Ship, delivered fresh evergreens and wreaths for the holiday season from Michigan to Chicago for more than 30 years during the late 1800s and early 1900s. On Nov. 23, 1912, Captain Schuenemann was at the helm of the fabled Christmas Ship the Rouse Simmons, transiting from Michigan. On that day, Captain Schuenemann, the Rouse Simmons and 16 crew were lost in a storm between Kewaunee and Two Rivers, Wis.
During its transit to Chicago this year, the crew of the Mackinaw will hold a solemn tribute and drop a wreath into the waters near the resting place of the Rouse Simmons, which was located in 1971.
Chicago’s boating community has been re-enacting the landing of the Rouse Simmons in Chicago for the past 14 years. The Chicago’s Christmas Ship Committee is comprised of and supported by all facets of the Chicago’s boating community including the International Shipmasters Association; Chicago Marine Heritage Society; the Navy League of the United States; Chicago yacht clubs; Friends of the Marine Community; the Chicago Yachting Association, the Cruise Ship Mystic Blue and others. Navy Pier hosts the event in support of this ongoing tradition.
Free public tours of the Mackinaw will be available on Dec 7, from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Obituary: Captain Roderick Graham
12/4 - Captain Roderick Graham of Howard City, Michigan, passed away Saturday, November 30, at the age of 84. Captain Graham had a career of over 40 years sailing the lakes on different types of carriers including tankers, cement boats, passenger boats, ferries, excursion boats and bulk carriers.
He was captain of the Straits trainferry Chief Wawatam from 1974 until 1983. In 1945 he signed aboard the tanker Imperial Cornwall. In 1949 he started work with Georgian Bay Lines, serving in both North and South American and reaching the rank of first mate. He sailed on the South American through the 1967 season, her last. He later sailed the bulk carriers of the Shenango and Bethlehem fleets until the Chief Wawatam job opened up. After leaving the Chief, he sailed the Bo-Lo boat St. Claire before retiring.
He is predeceased by his wife Joan, whom he met on the North American. He is survived by his two daughters, Lori and Heather, as well as a son Bruce, and many grandchildren.
Lookback #17 – Captain C.D. Secord needed help on December 4, 1961
12/4 - The bulk carrier Captain C.D. Secord became disabled off Isle Royale 52 years ago today. Earlier, while up bound in the St. Marys River, the ship suffered from engine trouble and sustained propeller damage. Fleetmate Sir Thomas Shaughnessy took the vessel in tow and headed across Lake Superior for the Canadian lakehead communities of Fort William and Port Arthur.
Superior was in a foul mood, as it often can be that time of year, and the towline broke in a storm. The U.S. Coast Guard ship Woodrush reconnected with Captain C.D. Secord and brought the ship out of danger. Another fleetmate, Mohawk Deer, completed the tow to Port Arthur.
The ship dated from 1900 and first sailed as Charles R. Van Hise. It began service as part of the Bessemer Steamship Co., and was an original member of the United States Steel fleet in 1901.
During World War One, the vessel was cut in two so it could be towed from the lakes and enter saltwater service. Fortunately, the war ended before the 458-foot-long bulk carrier departed, so it was rebuilt at Ashtabula and lengthened to 557 feet overall before resuming service as the A.E.R. Schneider in 1920. In later years it was known as S.B. Way and J.M. Oag before becoming Captain C.D. Secord for the Mohawk Navigation Co. in 1937.
It last operated in 1967 and, following a sale for scrap, the ship finally reached the Atlantic in August 1968, 50 years after the first attempt to go to sea was halted. The final port was Santander, Spain, and the 68-year-old freighter arrived there, under tow for dismantling, on August 21.
Updates - December 4
Today in Great Lakes History - December 4
In 1947, EMORY L. FORD, Captain William J. Lane, departed the Great Northern Elevator in Superior, Wisconsin, with the most valuable cargo of grain shipped on the Great Lakes. The shipment, valued at more than $3 million, consisted of 337,049 bushes of flax valued at $7 a bushel and 140,000 bushels of wheat.
On 04 December 1891, the side-wheel wooden passenger steamer JEANIE, owned by John Craig & Sons, caught fire at the Craig & Sons shipyard in Toledo, Ohio, and burned to the water's edge. She was valued at $25,000 and insured for $10,000.
Algoma Central Marine's ALGOSOO was the last ship built on the Lakes with the traditional fore and aft cabins; her maiden voyage took place today in 1974.
IMPERIAL QUEBEC entered service on December 4, 1957. Renamed b.) SIBYL W. in 1987, and c.) PANAMA TRADER in 1992. Scrapped in Mexico in 1997.
LIGHTSHIP 103 completed her sea trials December 4, 1920.
At 0210 hours on December 4, 1989, the U.S.C.G.C. MESQUITE ran aground in 12 feet of water at a point one-quarter nautical mile off Keweenaw Point. After a struggle to save the ship, the 53 persons aboard abandoned ship at 0830 hours and boarded the Indian salty MANGAL DESAI, which was standing by.
On 4 December 1873, a gale struck Saginaw Bay while the CITY OF DETROIT of 1866 was carrying 8,000 bushels of wheat, package freight and 26 crew and passengers. She was also towing the barge GUIDING STAR. The barge was cut loose in the heavy seas at 3:30 a.m. and about 7 a.m. the CITY OF DETROIT sank. Captain Morris Barrett of the GUIDING STAR saw three of the CITY OF DETROIT's crew in one lifeboat and only one in another lifeboat. The CITY OF DETROIT went down stern first and the passengers and crew were seen grouped together on and about the pilothouse. Capt. Barrett and his crew of seven then abandoned GUIDING STAR. They arrived at Port Elgin, Ontario on 6 December in their yawl with their feet frozen. The barge was later found and towed in by the tug PRINDEVILLE.
On 4 December 1838, THAMES (wooden passenger/package-freight side-wheeler, 80 foot, 160 tons, built in 1833, at Chatham, Ontario) was burned at her dock in Windsor, Ontario by Canadian "patriots" during a raid on Windsor involving more than 500 armed men.
EMERALD ISLE completed her maiden voyage from Beaver Island to Charlevoix on December 4, 1997. Her first cargo included a few cars and 400 passengers. EMERALD ISLE replaced BEAVER ISLANDER as the main ferry on the 32-mile run.
1920: The first RENVOYLE went to saltwater for war service in 1915. It foundered in shallow water on this date in the Bay of Biscay in 1920. Salvage attempts failed. The hull was broken up by the elements and part was scrapped on site.
1951: CAPTAIN C.D. SECORD was disabled and under tow of the SIR THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY when it broke loose in a storm off Isle Royale. The ship was retrieved by U.S.C.G. WOODRUSH and taken to safety and eventually to Port Arthur for repairs.
1966: NAKWA RIVER sustained extensive fire damage at Montreal. The flames broke out while outbound from the Great Lakes.
1986: AMERICAN REPUBLIC was blown on the breakwall at Lorain, Ohio, and received a five-foot gash on the side about 15 feet above the waterline.
1990: IONIA caught fire in the engine room about 90 miles south of Puerto Rico while enroute from Tampa to Chittagong, Bangladesh. The damage was not repaired and the hull was towed to Aliaga, Turkey, as f) ONIA in 1991 and scrapped. The vessel began Seaway service in 1971 as the British flag freighter ZINNIA, returned as b) TIMUR SWIFT in 1983 and as d) ZENOVIA in 1985.
1992: ZEUSPLEIN caught fire in the bridge at Campana, Argentina, and became a total loss. The vessel was sold to shipbreakers in India and arrived for scrapping on June 1, 1993. It had first traveled the Seaway as a) ZEUS in 1972 and had been rebuilt as a container ship in 1983.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, S. Whelan, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Port Reports - December 3
Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Empire Mine shutdown caused by early morning fire
12/3 - Palmer, Mich. – A fire broke out early Tuesday at the Empire Mine in Palmer, causing a temporary shutdown of the facility. Company officials said they did not know how long the iron ore mine would remain shuttered.
Jennifer Huetter, district manager of public affairs Cliffs Natural Resources, said a fire broke out at the mine's limestone feeding system, which is how crushed limestone gets to the mine.
All employees were evacuated safely, Huetter said, and there were no injuries. Huetter said no damage estimate had been established, and the cause of the fire is unknown. Cliffs Natural Resources, the United Steelworkers and the Mine Safety Health Administration are investigating the fire. The Empire Mine is one of two iron ore mines Cliffs operates in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
The Mining Journal
Welland Canal featured on CBC TV's Rick Mercer Report
12/3 - This Tuesday evening, the Rick Mercer Report (CBC TV) will feature Mercer’s voyage on board the Whitefish Bay, a Canada Steamship Lines vessel, in the Welland Canal. Check your channel guide to determine the show's availability in your area (generally Tuesday at 8 p.m. on your local CBC TV station).
Santa gathers Christmas requests aboard museum tug John Purves
12/3 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Santa Claus will make his annual visit to the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay to gather gift requests from area children. He will welcome children aboard the tugboat John Purves, the museum’s 94-year-old in-water exhibit, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.
His visit offers a double treat for the children since it not only presents an opportunity to see Santa, but to also step aboard an historic tugboat.
“I know Santa Claus needs a little break from his workshop,” said the museum’s executive director Bob Desh. “We feel fortunate to have Santa visit the museum during such a busy season.”
Once on board the 149-foot tugboat, Santa will accept children’s Christmas wishes. However, due to the cramped conditions on the vessel, only two adults will be permitted to escort the children. While they wait, children will be entertained by holiday videos in the museum’s Reddin Bridge Room.
The event will be held in conjunction with the museum’s Merry-Time Festival of Trees and will provide the public with a special opportunity to see the trees. While admission to the museum is free to children through age 17 until the festival’s closing on Dec. 10, adults will be admitted to the tug and museum’s galleries Saturday for only the price of a raffle ticket. Tickets sell for $5 and allow the purchaser to try to win a decorated Christmas tree of their choice. Museum admission is free for members.
Obituary: Capt. James J. Bishop
12/3 - Capt. James J. Bishop, 87, of St. Ignace, Mich. passed away peacefully on November 1 at Mackinac Straits Hospital after suffering a stroke on October 19 at his home. He was born in Sault Ste. Marie on April 3, 1926 to Capt. Melvin (Mike) and Eileen (Hassett) Bishop.
Capt. Bishop had his own ferryboats (Fairy Isle and the Shawnee) that serviced St. Ignace to Mackinac Island during the 1960s. During this time, he started the Mighty Mac Cruises, taking tourists below the Mackinac Bridge at night aboard the Fairy Isle to view the bridge lights.
In the early 1970s, he was night watchman on the hand-fired train ferry Chief Wawatam. After that, he began a charter fishing business out of Charlevoix. Once he retired that business, he served as a relief captain for the Arnold Line and Star Line ferryboats in St. Ignace. For many years, he was a licensed tugboat captain and worked on the Great Lakes until retirement.
He graduated from St. Leo High School in Chicago and joined the U.S. Merchant Marine under the U.S. Coast Guard, serving active duty in the Atlantic War Zone and the Mediterranean-Middle East War Zone on the John F. Cushing and the Kettle Creek from 1943 to 1945. He was honorably discharged in May 1945 and was then drafted in the Army during the Korean War and served until 1952.
At the captain's request, there will be no memorial service at this time. There will be much music and merriment next summer when the family hosts a gathering on the shores of Lake Michigan to celebrate his life.
Soo Evening News
Lookback #16 – Lionel-Manchester Merchant collided on December 3, 1963
12/3 - It was 50 years ago today that two saltwater ships, with Great Lakes connections, collided at the entrance to the Seaway. Both received considerable damage.
The most seriously damaged was the six-year-old Norwegian freighter Lionel. The 321-foot-long vessel, a Seaway trader since 1959, had to be beached at Ronde Island following an explosion and fire. It was eventually refloated and given sufficient repairs over the winter by Canadian Vickers Ltd. at Montreal to enable a tow to Drammen, Norway, the next year for permanent work.
Lionel returned to service in 1964 as Skagatind and was back through the Seaway, on two occasions, in 1965, but never returned.
There were subsequent resales and renames of Bastion in 1967, Capetan Alecos Milonas in 1972 and Alecos in 1980. The latter was laid up at Eleusis, Greece, on May 28, 1982, and suffered an engine room fire there on July 8 and another on July 10. This time the damage was not repaired and the ship was broken up locally in September 1983.
Manchester Merchant dated from 1951 and sustained bow damage in the collision. It served Manchester Liners Ltd. into 1967 and, following a sale for Liberian flag service, was abandoned as Clio in the Atlantic, about 700 miles off Angola, after a fire broke out on February 13, 1972. The hull was sighted, low in the water, on February 19, but was never seen again.
Today in Great Lakes History - December 3
In 1918, the forward end of the former Pittsburgh steamer MANOLA sank during a gale on Lake Ontario. The after end received a new forward end and sailed for several years as the MAPLEDAWN.
On 03 December 1881, the DE PERE (wooden propeller, 736 tons, built in 1875, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) was caught in a severe southwest gale and blizzard on Lake Michigan. She was driven ashore near Two Rivers, Wisconsin. All efforts to free her failed, so she was left to winter where she lay. In April 1882, she was pulled free by the Goodrich tug ARCTIC and towed to Manitowoc for repairs. Little damage was found and she was back in service quickly.
On 03 December 1891, the OGEMAW (wooden propeller freighter, 167 foot, 624 gross tons, built in 1881, at St. Clair, Michigan) sprang a leak on Big Bay de Noc and sank. Her decks and cabins were blown off as she sank in 11 fathoms of water, 1 1/2 miles northwest of Burnt Bluff. Her crew was rescued by her consorts MAXWELL and TILDEN. Although the vessel was removed from enrollment as a total loss, she was later raised, rebuilt, and re-documented in 1894. However, 03 December was a fateful date for this steamer because on that date in 1922, she burned 1-1/2 miles below Grand Point, near Harsens Island, on the St. Clair River Ð this time to a total and final loss.
Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd.'s CANADIAN AMBASSADOR (Hull#70) was launched December 3, 1982, at St. Catharines, Ontario, by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd.
ROBERT W. STEWART, b.) AMOCO MICHIGAN in 1962) was launched in 1927, at Lorain, Ohio (Hull # 802), by the American Ship Building Co.
In 1909, LE GRAND S. DEGRAFF collided with the steamer HARVARD while down bound in the Detroit River in fog.
IRVING S. OLDS was laid up for the final time on December 3, 1981, at the Hallett Dock #5, Duluth, Minnesota, due to market conditions and her inability to compete with the 60,000-ton carrying capacity of the self-unloading thousand-foot bulk freighters.
On 3 December 1872, the officers and crew of the schooner E. KANTER arrived home in Detroit, Michigan. They reported that their vessel was driven ashore near Leland, Michigan in Lake Michigan on 26 November and was broken up by the waves.
On 3 December 1850, HENRY CLAY (2-mast wooden brig, 87 foot, 163 tons, built in 1842, at Huron, Ohio) was driven ashore at Point Nipigon in the Straits of Mackinac. She suffered little damage, but she was high and dry and unsalvageable. Her crew and passengers were picked up by the passing steamer TROY.
Back during the rough days of November on the lakes, the crews of the Imperial Oil tankers would wet the tablecloths in the mess rooms to keep plates, glasses and silverware from sliding off the tables.
1909: BARGE 101, a whaleback built on the Great Lakes in 1888, sank off Seal Island, Maine enroute from Boston to Halifax with coal tar. The crew of seven was lost.
1942: Yesterday and today the tug ADMIRAL and petroleum barge CLEVECO were lost with all hands off Euclid Beach, Ohio. A total of 32 sailors perished.
1954: The tug ROUILLE sank off Cape Smoky, NS with the loss of 5 lives. The vessel was built in 1929 as Hull 83 at the Collingwood Shipyard and had been on the lakes earlier in the year.
1959: THEODORUS A., seized earlier on Lake St. Clair due to debts, went aground twice while under tow to be unloaded. The vessel was released and spent the winter on the lakes. The crew was sent home.
1963: LIONEL and MANCHESTER MERCHANT collided at the entrance to the Seaway. The former caught fire and was beached at Ronde Island with heavy damage. It was rebuilt at Drammen, Norway, in 1964, returned inland as b) SKAGATIND in 1965 and was scrapped following another fire as e) ALECOS in 1982.
1967: TORONTO CITY, a Seaway trader from 1959 through 1962, went aground near the Elbe I Light enroute from Rostock, Germany, to Rotterdam, Holland, as d) EMMANUEL M. The crew was rescued and the ship was refloated July 7, 1970, sold for scrap, and broken up at Hamburg, Germany.
1985: An engine room fire broke out aboard the SKRADIN at Augusta, Italy, and the ship was a total loss. It had been a Seaway trader as b) BALTIC WASA beginning in 1971 and first returned under the current name in 1976. The damaged vessel was quickly sold for scrap and arrived at Split, Yugoslavia, December 28, 1985, for dismantling.
1987: The former Straits of Mackinac passenger and auto ferry VACATIONLAND sank off Oregon while under tow for scrapping in the Far East.
1993: HOPE I was seriously damaged when it hit bottom east of Quebec City. The ship had traded inland as a) NOSIRA MADELEINE beginning in 1983 and had returned as b) HOPE I earlier in 1993. It was repaired at Lauzon and continued Great Lakes service through 2002. The bulk carrier was back as c) HOPE in 2004.
1995: The former Canada Steamship Lines bulk carrier RIMOUSKI, renamed b) CANADIAN HARVEST, broke in two 114 miles NE of Sable Island while under tow for scrapping in India. The stern sank first. The bow was released two days later and was also lost.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ron LaDue, Russ Plumb, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Saguenay reaches Aliaga for scrapping
12/2 - The former Canada Steamship Lines bulk Carrier Saguenay arrived off Aliaga, Turkey, on December 1, and is due to be beached for dismantling. The 730-foot-long vessel had departed Montreal, under her own power, on November 6 for a rendezvous with Turkish shipbreakers.
This vessel was built at Hoboken, Belgium, and launched on March 30, 1981. It was completed that June as Federal Thames. The ship began Great Lakes trading the following month. It was a regular visitor at a variety of inland ports over the duration of its career.
Federal Thames opened the navigation season at the St. Lambert Lock on April 2, 1984, as the first saltwater trader up bound for the year. On board was a cargo of sugar from South Africa for Toronto. It then loaded canola at Thunder Bay and 306,000 bushels of wheat at Toledo for delivery to Norway.
The following year, the ship loaded 25,400 tons of chrome ore at Duluth for Sweden. The ore had been mined in Montana during World War Two but had remained stockpiled.
After five trips to the Great Lakes in 1994, Federal Thames was sold and re-registered in the Marshall Islands as Lake Superior. It was the first saltwater ship of the 1995 season in the Welland Canal on March 25 and headed to Burns Harbor, Indiana.
Steel, wheat, flax, peas, bleached pulpwood, coke, corn, soybeans, potash, and sunflower seeds all served as outbound cargoes in the 44 voyages Lake Superior made from the Great Lakes from 1995 through 2008.
Late in 2008, the vessel was resold to Canada Steamship Lines and, the following season, it was renamed Saguenay. It was repainted in CSL colors in 2010 and combined Great Lakes, St. Lawrence and some limited overseas trading on their account to finish a 32 year career.
Port Reports - December 2
Green Bay, Wis. - Wendell Wilke
Cedarville & Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
At Port Inland, three vessels are due on Tuesday afternoon, with the barge Ashtabula and tug Defiance along with the Pere Marquette 41 and the Undaunted in the mid-afternoon and Wilfred Sykes arriving in the late afternoon.
Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
For the month of November, there were 20 commercial cargo deliveries/vessel passages on the Saginaw River, an increase of three over the same time period last season and three more than the five-year-average. For the year to date, there have been 133 commercial cargo deliveries/vessel passages. This represents an increase of six deliveries more than the same period last season, but four less than the five-year-average.
Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Lookback #15 – Millenium Eagle blown across Welland Canal on December 2, 2000
12/2 - Wind, particularly cross wind, can play havoc with ships transiting the narrow confines of the Welland Canal. Millenium Eagle, a canal trader under four names, was registered in the Cayman Islands when it was blown across the waterway while approaching Lock 2 up bound 13 years ago today.
Help from the pilot boat and winch lines from the partially tied ship assisted in restoring order and enabling the 577-foot-long freighter to resume its journey.
The vessel was built at Sedota, Japan, in 1983 and made its first appearance in the Seaway on November 18, 1984, as Mangal Desai. It was a frequent Great Lakes trader and, on December 4, 1989, was in position to rescue crew from the U.S.C.G. Mesquite aground near Houghton, Michigan.
Originally under the flag of India, the ship was sold and became Millenium Eagle in 1998 and continued the tradition of regular Great Lakes trading. Another sale in 2002 resulted in the rename of Stokmarnes, with registry in Hong Kong and three more trips to the Great Lakes that year.
It became Seneca, under Maltese registry in 2004 and returned inland the next year. By 2010, its last season as a Seaway trader, this ship was noted as the oldest saltwater ship to visit the Great Lakes that year.
Following a sale to Pakistani shipbreakers, Seneca arrived at Gadani Beach on March 24, 2013, and was pulled ashore for scrapping.
Updates - December 2
Today in Great Lakes History - December 2
On this day in 1942, the tug ADMIRAL and tanker-barge CLEVCO encountered a late season blizzard on Lake Erie. The ADMIRAL sank approximately 10 miles off Avon Point, Ohio, with a loss of 11. The CLEVCO sank 30 hours later off Euclid Beach with a loss of 19.
On 02 December 1857, the NAPOLEON (wooden propeller, 92 foot, 181 tons, built in 1845, at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, as a schooner) went to the assistance of the schooner DREADNAUGHT. In the rescue attempt, the NAPOLEON bent her rudder and disabled her engine. Helpless, she went on a reef off Saugeen, Ontario, and was pounded to pieces. Her engine, boiler and gear were salvaged in the autumn of 1858, and sold at Detroit, Michigan.
Hall Corporation of Canada’s OTTERCLIFFE HALL (Hull # 667) was launched December 2, 1968, at Lauzon, Quebec, by Davie Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.
GEORGE R. FINK, b) ERNEST T. WEIR under tow passed Gibraltar on December 2, 1973, and arrived at Gandia, Spain, prior to December 7, 1973, for scrapping.
Pittsburgh Steamship Co.’s GOVERNOR MILLER (Hull # 810) was launched in1937, at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co.
NIPIGON BAY last ran in 1982, and was laid up at Montreal on December 2nd.
December 2, 1975, the brand new carferry WOLFE ISLANDER III sailed into Kingston from Thunder Bay, Ontario. The new 55-car ferry would replace the older ferries WOLFE ISLANDER and UPPER CANADA.
On 2 December 1874, the steam barge GERMANIA was launched at King's yard in Marine City, Michigan. The Port Huron Times of 4 December 1874 reported that she "is probably the cheapest boat ever built in Marine City, wages and material, iron, etc. being very low." This was due to the nation just recovering from the "Panic of 1873." The vessel's dimensions were 144 feet overall x 56 feet 2 inches x 11 feet 9 inches.
On 2 December 1832, the wooden schooner CAROLINE was carrying dry goods worth more than $30,000 from Oswego to Ogdensburg, New York, in a violent storm. She capsized and sank off Ducks Island on Lake Ontario with the loss of one life. Five survived in the yawl and made it to the island in 6 hours. After much suffering from the cold and snow, they were rescued by the schooner HURON.
Duluth - December 2, 1950 - In the early part of this week there were as many as 41 Great Lakes vessels lined up in the Duluth-Superior harbor awaiting their turn to take on their cargoes of iron ore. Freezing temperatures prevailed at the head of the lakes and ore steaming operations permitted loading only of about 10 boats per day.
1964: The anchors of AGIOS NICOLAOS II dragged in a storm on the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the ship drifted aground at Sea-Cow Head, near Summerside, Prince Edward Island. The ship was released and towed to Halifax but not repaired. It had first come through the Seaway as a) ALKAID in 1961 and made one trip inland as b) AGIOS NICOLAOS II in 1964. Following a sale for scrap, the ship arrived at Bilbao, Spain, under tow of the tug PRAIA DE ADRAGA, on April 2, 1965.
1967: The tanker LUBROLAKE and tug IRVING BEECH were blown aground on Cape Breton Island, near New Waterford, NS at a site called the No. 12 Stone Dump. Both ships were abandoned and broken up to the waterline there at a later date.
1976: PEARL ASIA went aground off Port Weller while waiting clearance to head upbound to Thorold with a cargo of bauxite. After being lightered to MAPLEHEATH, the vessel was pulled free. It had begun Seaway trading as a) CRYSTAL CROWN in 1960 and first returned as b) PEARL ASIA in 1971.
1977: KEFALONIA SKY arrived at New Orleans with engine trouble that was later deemed beyond economic repair. The vessel was sold for scrapping at Brownsville, Texas, in 1978. It had first visited the Seaway as NIEUWE TONGE in 1960 and returned as b) AMSTELDIEP in 1963.
2006: The tug SENECA broke loose of the SUSAN B. HOEY on Lake Superior and was blown aground 21 miles east of Grand Marais, Mich. It was refloated on Dec. 23 and taken to Sault Ste. Marie for assessment.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Dave Wobser, Brian Johnson, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Fire at Republic Steel injures 4
12/1 - Lorain, Ohio – A fire Saturday afternoon at Republic Steel left four people injured and caused substantial damage. The fire was reported at 2:20 p.m. in the new electrical arc furnace room, which opened earlier this month, according to Lorain Fire Capt. Tom Baker.
Lorain Fire Department responded to the plant, with mutual aid provided by Elyria, Elyria Township, Sheffield and Sheffield Township fire departments. The fire was declared out at 3:30 p.m.
Baker said the fire was caused by a heat source entering the oxygen supply. The fire blew through three or four floors, damaging an area that houses computer systems. Damage estimates were not yet available, but Baker said, it will be in the millions.
It was previously reported that five people were injured, but Baker said he was aware of four people who were transported to Mercy Regional Medical Center. Three people suffered smoke inhalation, and one person suffered first-degree burns. Baker said he believed all four were mill personnel.
Port Reports - December 1
Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
Lookback #14 – Henry Cort hit pier and sank on December 1, 1934
12/1 - Luck ran out for the whaleback steamer Henry Cort 79 years ago today. The ship struck the north pier at Muskegon, Michigan, while seeking shelter from 60 mile per hour winds on the storm tossed lake. The vessel was travelling in ballast from Holland, Michigan to Chicago when it was lost.
It was not the first time that the then 42-year-old whaleback steamer had found trouble. It had been ice-breaking in Lake Erie on December 17, 1917, when it was in a collision with the Midvale and sank. The ship was salvaged on September 22, 1918, and towed to Toledo for repairs.
On another icebreaking excursion in 1927, Henry Cort managed to go aground on Colchester Reef and was abandoned. Sold, salvaged and repaired as a crane ship, the 335 foot long freighter hit Ballard's Reef in the Detroit River in December 1933, managed to return to Detroit and settled on the bottom on December 24.
After the 1934 accident, the crew huddled in dark, unheated quarters eating leftover Thanksgiving turkey until help arrived. While all on board were eventually saved, on rescuer perished when a U.S.C.G. surfboat overturned while bringing help to the stranded sailors.
Today in Great Lakes History - December 1
In 1940, the Columbia Transportation steamer CARROLLTON laid up in the Cuyahoga River with a storage load of 75,000 bushels of potatoes.
On 01 December 1884, the N BOUTIN (wooden propeller tug, 68 foot, 46 gross tons, built in 1882, at Buffalo, New York) sank in ten feet of water near Washburn, Wisconsin. Newspaper reports stated that she was leaking badly and was run toward shore to beach her but no details are given regarding the cause of the leak. She was recovered and repaired.
On December 1, 1974, the Canadian motor vessel JENNIFER foundered on Lake Michigan in a storm. Her steel cargo apparently shifted and she foundered 24 miles southwest of Charlevoix, Michigan. The JENNIFER went to the bottom in water too deep for any salvage attempt.
FRED G. HARTWELL, the last boat built for the Franklin Steamship Co., was delivered to her owners on December 1, 1922, but her maiden voyage didn't occur until early 1923, because of unfavorable weather conditions.
The SASKATOON's ownership was transferred to the Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., Montreal, on December 1, 1913, when the company was formed and all six vessels of the Merchants Mutual Line were absorbed by CSL in 1914.
HUDSON TRANSPORT was put up for sale by Marine Salvage in December 1982.
On 1 December 1875, BRIDGEWATER (3-mast wooden schooner, 706 tons, built in 1866, at Buffalo, New York, as a bark) grounded on Waugoshance Point in the Straits of Mackinac. She was released fairly quickly and then was towed to Buffalo, New York, for repairs. In Buffalo, she was gutted by fire. In 1880-82, the propeller KEYSTONE was built on her hull.
In 1909, the MARQUETTE & BESSEMER NO 2 sank on Lake Erie, 31 lives were lost.
December 1, 1985 - SPARTAN broke loose from her moorings at Ludington in a storm and ended up near Buttersville Island. She was pulled off on December 5, by the Canonie tugs SOUTH HAVEN and MUSKEGON with the help of the CITY OF MIDLAND 41. It took about 10 hours.
On 1 December 1875, the Port Huron Times reported: "The schooner MARY E. PEREW went ashore in the Straits of Mackinac and by the brave efforts of the people on shore, her crew was rescued from perishing in the cold. Her decks were completely covered with ice and the seas were breaking over her. The vessel has a large hole in her bottom made by a rock that came through her. She will prove a total loss." On 7 December 1875, that newspaper reported that MARY E. PEREW had been raised by a wrecker and would be repaired.
On 1 December 1882, DAVID M. FOSTER (wooden 3-mast schooner, 121 foot, 251 tons, built in 1863, at Port Burwell, Ontario as a bark) was carrying lumber from Toronto to Oswego, New York, in a storm. She was picked up by a harbor tug outside of Oswego for a tow into the harbor, but the towline broke. The FOSTER went bows-on into the breakwater. She was holed and sank. No lives were lost. Her loss was valued at $3,300.
On 01 December 1934, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ESCANABA (WPG 64) (165 foot, 718 gross tons, built in 1932, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was involved in the rescue of the crew of the whaleback HENRY CORT off the piers at Muskegon, Michigan. Also that winter, she delivered food to the residents of Beaver Island, who were isolated due to the bad weather.
SULLIVAN BROTHERS (steel straight-deck bulk freighter, 430 foot, 4897 gross tons, built in 1901, at Chicago, Illinois as FREDERICK B. WELLS) grounded at Vidal Shoal on Tuesday evening, 01 Dec 1953. She was loaded with grain and rested on solid rock. She was recovered.
1934: The whaleback steamer HENRY CORT hit the north pier at Muskegon, MI and was wrecked. All on board were saved but one rescuer perished when the U.S.C.G. surfboat overturned. HENRY CORT was cut up for scrap on location during World War Two.
1961: The Canada Steamship Lines bulk canaller ELGIN struck the Charelvoix Bridge on the Lachine Canal when the structure did not open properly due to a faulty bridge mechanism. The waterway was closed for several days but the ship was not damaged.
1961: ARIE H., a Liberian flagged Liberty ship, went aground near the Snell Lock but was refloated and, the following day, departed the Seaway as the last oceangoing ship of the season.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Michipicoten grounds off Port Inland
11/30 - Port Inland - Friday morning the Michipicoten reported by the U.S. Coast Guard aground off Port Inland in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Michipicoten appeared to be just out of the channel, heading into the lake from port after loading on Thursday. Fleetmate Manistee arrived on scene and at 1:30 p.m. Friday was alongside the Michipicoten, perhaps taking on cargo to help refloat the vessel.
By mid-evening, Manistee had resumed her course to Brevort, Mich., while Michipicoten was eastbound in the Straits.
CSL Assiniboine strikes channel buoy
11/30 - The CSL Assiniboine, on her way to Two Harbors, Minn., struck an underwater obstacle Friday morning. An investigation revealed that the ship’s prop had become fouled after striking a channel buoy that had somehow slipped beneath the water and went unseen.
Port Reports - November 30
Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Cedarville, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
In a year, two lakes’ water levels rise nearly a foot
11/30 - Buffalo, N.Y. – Lake Erie’s water level in October was 10 inches higher than in the previous October, recovering from the historic drop-off in 2012. The 10-inch rise is equivalent to the water volume in more than two million Olympic-size swimming pools.
Similarly, Lake Ontario’s water level gained nearly a foot between October 2012 and October 2013, and this month remains about three inches above the long-term water level average for November.
The increases are part of an overall rising trend in Great Lakes water levels this year, according to new data reported by federal scientists. An unusually wet spring this year accounted for the resurgence of water levels, which had receded to record lows last fall and winter, according to scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Army Corps of Engineers.
But early forecasts indicate that water levels could recede again slightly heading into 2014.
Lake Erie, according to data ending in October, gained 10 inches of water from where the lake level was in October 2012. From December 2011 to October 2012, Lake Erie went through an unprecedented period in which its water level dropped for 10 consecutive months.
“That had never happened before in recorded history,” said Drew Gronewold, a hydrologist with the NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.
Despite the recent rise, water levels still remain low for those who frequent the lakes. Scientists still experience difficulty launching their boat into the Black Rock Channel at SUNY Buffalo State’s Great Lakes Center.
“The level doesn’t look like it has gone up 10 inches, but then it was really low,” said Mark D. Clapsadl, the center’s field station manager. “It’s still an issue for us, still tricky to get a boat into the water from a trailer.”
Low water levels can adversely affect fish, primarily those that depend on nursing habitat along the shore, said Clapsadl, a fish biologist.
Low water levels occurred throughout the Great Lakes early this year for two reasons: a dearth of snowfall during the winter of 2011-12 followed by an early spring in 2012. A prolonged period of hot and dry weather brought widespread drought in the Midwest during that summer.
Forecasters project that lake levels will slide again during the next few months – as they normally do – because of the significant evaporation in the late fall and early winter months. When the evaporation of the lake waters exceeds the precipitation falling on them, simple mathematics dictates that water levels will drop.
Evaporation over the Great Lakes seems to concern scientists the most nowadays. The rate of evaporation in the basin has “accelerated over the past 15 years” since the El Niño effect kicked in around 1998.
Scientists think that El Niño, a climate pattern associated with warmer ocean water temperatures, has played a direct role in the “rapid acceleration of evaporation” on the lakes, along with the sudden decrease in winter ice cover and changes to lake water temperatures.
Reduced ice cover on the Great Lakes could be related to an overall change in climate, according to some scientists.
A team of scientists from the United States and Canada continues to research the relationship, if any, that ice cover plays in lake water evaporation.
Early findings suggest that warmer lake waters during the autumn months might lead to the accelerated evaporation with less evaporation during the winter months, with or without ice cover.
Lake Erie probably does evaporate as much as wider and deeper lakes such as Superior, Huron and Michigan because “it often freezes completely over in wintertime,” said Keith Kompoltowicz, watershed hydrology branch chief for the Army Corps. The ice acts as a protective blanket for the waters underneath it, making evaporation close to zero.
That would help explain why Lake Erie hasn’t experienced the sustained and historic low water levels that have gripped the three larger Great Lakes to the west during the last decade.
Less evaporation from Lake Erie combined with larger amounts of rainfall and runoff into its watershed this year bolstered the lake’s “net basin supply,” Kompoltowicz said.
Lake Erie caught up to and briefly exceeded its long-term monthly average for July this past summer, when its water level was about 1.5 inches above average. Since that time, it has remained slightly above or at average.
Scientists discount the suggestion that massive water draws for municipal water supplies, bottled water or hydraulic fracturing operations have any significant effect on Great Lakes water levels. “Consumptive use diversions are very minuscule,” Kompoltowicz said.
Lake levels have consequences for marina operators, recreational boaters, property owners and especially commercial lake freighters that often have to adjust navigation routes or the size of their cargo depending on the depth of the water.
The average water level for Lake Erie this month is 570.82 feet above sea level, according to Army Corps figures. That is down about 3 inches from last month’s average, but almost right at the lake’s long-term November average of 570.83 feet for the recorded period between 1918 and 2012.
And it’s 5 inches above last November’s average.
Lake Ontario stood at 244.79 feet for the month’s average, about an inch less than October, but about 3 inches higher than the long-term average and almost 13 inches over last November, the Army Corps figures show.
Whether the lakes locally – and regionwide – continue to recover more water in 2014 remains to be seen. “The forecast part of this can change very quickly,” said Kompoltowicz.
Rich Davenport, a fisherman from North Tonawanda, said that he has noticed improving water levels in Lake Erie but that overall levels in the larger Great Lakes basin remain low.
“Things have gotten better in Lake Erie this year with the wetter weather,” he said.
The low water level may have improved fishing in the eastern part of Lake Erie by driving fish away from the vast blue-green algae blooms in the western part of the lake, according to Davenport, recording secretary of the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs.
End nears for former “Santa Claus” ship Algoma Quebecois
11/30 - Port Colborne, Ont. – The retired Canadian bulk carrier Algoma Quebecois arrived in Port Colborne under tow during the early hours of Nov. 21, 2013. The ship has been purchased by International Marine Salvage and will be dismantled for recycling at the company berth in the outer harbor.
This vessel was built in two pieces by Canadian Vickers Ltd. in Montreal. The stern was launched on Sept. 8, 1962, and the bow slid into the water on Nov. 10. The two sections were joined and the vessel was christened Quebecois on April 10, 1963. The 222.50-metre-long vessel was owned by Canadian General Electric but operated as part of the Papachristidis fleet. It worked in the Seaway ore and grain trades and routinely passed Port Colborne.
This ship joined Upper Lakes Shipping in 1972 and retained the same name. It could carry in the range of 24,800 tons of cargo at Seaway draft and was steam powered. There was accommodation for four passengers in addition to room for a crew of up to 40 sailors.
Quebecois ran aground on a mud bank at the entrance to Lake St. Clair after an electronic malfunction on Aug. 26, 1979, but was free in nine hours. It also got stuck on the St. Lawrence off Van Rensselaer Point on Nov. 12, 1982, but was released the next day. Neither accident resulted in serious damage.
For many years Quebecois was known as the Santa Claus Ship, as one of the crew enjoyed dressing up and bringing cheer to young and old as he traveled the lakes in December.
In later years, the vessel was known to carry cement clinker to Duluth and even brought a load of bauxite to Thorold that had been taken aboard from a deep-sea ship east of the Seaway.
When Upper Lakes sold their fleet in 2011, this ship joined the Algoma Central Corp. It was renamed Algoma Quebecois for its final season of 2012. The ship tied up at Hamilton in December 2012, towed to Toronto on June 12, 2013, and left there on Nov. 19 for its final voyage.
Skip Gillham - Niagara Leader
Seaway salties go for scrap
11/30 - Several saltwater vessels that traded in the Great Lakes/Seaway system at least once in their careers have been scrapped. The list includes Navigator M, more familiar to many as Pontokratis from 1981-2010; Tuscarora, which last visited in 2011 under that name but was familiar to many as the Rixta Oldendorff from 1986-05; Fesco Aleksandrov, the former Grigoriy Aleksandrov from 1986-2011 and last visited in 2007; and Caribbean Fidelity, a former Finnish tanker which was known as the Tavi from 1985-04 and Taviland from 2004-08. Asphodel, which last visited during the 2009 season, was familiar to boatwatchers with three different names, all of which visited the Great Lakes/Seaway. Asphodel was the Vamand Wave from 1985-07, Yamaska from 2007-09 and Asphodel from 2009-13. Mesamar, which never visited under that name, came inland as Polydefkis P from 1991-2010, has also been scrapped. Also scrapped is Jade Sky, which had three previous names in her career: Mary Anne 1985-93, Federal Vigra 1993-97 and Spar Garnet from 1997-11. The vessel last visited the Great Lakes/Seaway as Spar Garnet in 2008. Kai Shun, which last visited the Great Lakes/Seaway in 2007, has had many names in her career. She was known as the Radnik 1984-96, Grant Carrier 1996-2001, Chios Sailor 01-07, Elpida 2007-09. She last visited as Elpida in 2007. Before her last name, Kai Shun, she also carried the name Chios Voyager from 2009-11 but, never visited under that name. H. Pioneer, which also had many names in her career and was a regular trader has been scrapped. She made visits under the names Nosira Madeleine 1982-89 and Bella Dan 1989-93 but was more familiar to many as the Hope I from 1993-2002 and Hope from 2002-2007. Another name she carried was Dora from 2007-11, however, she never visited with that name.
Lookback #13 – Raleigh lost in Lake Erie on November 30, 1911
11/30 - The anchor of the wooden steamer Raleigh was recovered in July 1975 and is on display outside the Port Colborne Historical Museum, not far from Lock 8 of the Welland Canal.
The 235-foot-long vessel was on its last trip of the 1911 season and loaded with a cargo of pulpwood when it got into trouble. The rudder broke in heavy seas five miles east of Port Colborne, leaving the ship in danger. The crew took to the yawl boats but both capsized. Spectators waded into the lake and helped pull the sailors to safety.
There were three casualties. The cook and his wife perished trying to reach shore while the Chief Engineer, who had refused to leave the ship, was also lost.
Raleigh had been built at Cleveland in 1871 at a cost of $80,000 and barely survived a November gale crossing Lake Superior on November 17, 1886. The ship managed to have a 40-year career before breaking up 102 years ago today.
Today in Great Lakes History - November 30
On 30 November 1896, CITY OF KALAMAZOO (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 162 foot, 728 gross tons, built in 1892, at South Haven, Michigan) burned at her lay-up dock at South Haven, Michigan, with the loss of four lives. She was rebuilt and lasted until 1911, when she burned again.
On November 30, 1910, ATHABASCA (steel propeller passenger steamer, 263 foot, 1,774 gross tons, built in 1883, in Scotland) collided with the tug GENERAL near Lime Island in the St. Mary's River. As a result of the collision, the GENERAL sank. She was later recovered and rebuilt as a bulk freighter and lasted until she was broken up in 1948.
On 30 November 1934, HENRY CORT (steel propeller whaleback crane vessel, 320 foot, 2,394 gross tons, built in 1892, at W. Superior, Wisconsin as PILLSBURY) was driven onto the north pier at Muskegon, Michigan, in a storm. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ESCANABA rescued her crew, but one Coast Guardsman lost his life. The vessel settled in shallow water and then broke in half. Her remains were scrapped the following year.
CANADIAN PIONEER suffered a major engine room fire on 30 Nov 1987, at Nanticoke, Ontario.
On November 30, 1981, A.H. FERBERT was laid up for the last time at the Hallett Dock #5, Duluth, Minnesota.
The PERE MARQUETTE 22 passed down the Welland Canal on November 30, 1973 in tow of the tugs JOHN PURVES and YVON SIMARD en route to Sorel, Quebec, where she was cut down to a barge for off-Lakes use.
On 30 Nov 1967, the CITY OF FLINT 32 was laid up, never to run again.
On 30 Nov 1900, ALMERON THOMAS (2-mast wooden schooner, 50 foot, 35 gross tons, built in 1891, at Bay City, Michigan) was carrying gravel in a storm on Lake Huron when she sprang a leak and ran for the beach. She struck bottom and then capsized. She broke up in twenty feet of water near Point Lookout in Saginaw Bay. No lives were lost.
The schooner S.J. HOLLY came into the harbor at Oswego, New York, on 30 November 1867, after a hard crossing of Lake Ontario. The previous day she left the Welland Canal and encountered a growing gale. Capt. Oscar Haynes sought calm water along the north shore, but the heavy seas and freezing winds made sailing perilous. The ropes and chains froze stiff and the schooner was almost unmanageable. The only canvas out was a two-reef foresail and it was frozen in place. With great skill, the skipper managed to limp into port, having lost the yawl and sustained serious damage to the cargo. Fortunately no lives were lost.
1905: The steel consort barge MADEIRA stranded at Split Rock, while under tow of the WILLIAM EDENBORN, broke in two and became a total loss.
1908: D.M. CLEMSON (i) disappeared on Lake Superior while upbound with a cargo of coal from Lorain to Superior. All 24 on board were lost and only 2 bodies were ever found.
1911: Three lives were lost when the wooden steamer RALEIGH sank off Port Colborne. The crew took to the yawl boats but these capsized. Spectators on shore helped pull the sailors to safety.
1922: MAPLEHURST foundered near the West Portage entry Lake Superior while upbound with coal. The captain sought shelter from a storm but the engine failed and the anchors did not hold. There were 11 casualties and the ship was a total loss.
1924: MAPLEDAWN was wrecked at Christian Island, Georgian Bay while downbound with barley. The hull was pounded and could only be salvaged in pieces for scrap about 1942.
1926: CITY OF BANGOR stranded on Keweenaw Point in a blizzard with zero visibility. The ship fell into the trough and was carried ashore. It could not be salvaged and the hull was cut up for scrap during World War II.
1943: RIVERTON, aground for two weeks at Lottie Wolf Shoal, Georgian Bay, was released and taken to Collingwood for repairs. It resumed sailing in 1944 as MOHAWK DEER.
1945: OUTARDE (i) sank at the Consul-Hall Coal Dock, Clayton, NY after being repeatedly pounded against the structure in a wild storm and holed by an underwater piece of steel. The ship was finally refloated on April 18, 1946.
1961: ALGOWAY (i) was damaged while shifting at Port Arthur when it hit a discarded underwater oxygen tank.
1987: A fire aboard the ULS self-unloader CANADIAN PIONEER at Nanticoke damaged the wiring under the control panel. The ship went to the Welland Dock for repairs and then left the Seaway for Sorel where it was reflagged Vanuatu and renamed b) PIONEER.
1997: The tug CAROLYN JO suffered a fire in the engine room off Snake Island, Lake Ontario, and had to be towed to Kingston. The ship is still sailing as d) SEAHOUND.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Michipicoten grounds off Port Inland
11/29 - Friday morning the Michipicoten was aground off Port Inland in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Michipicoten appeared to be aground just out of the channel heading into the lake from port after loading on Thursday. Fleet mate Manistee arrived off the port and at 1:30 p.m. was along side the Michipicoten likely taking on cargo to help refloat the vessel.
Port Reports - November 29
Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Port Authority board hears cruise pitch for Toledo
11/29 - Toledo, Ohio – The executive director of the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition made good on a promise he made in October to visit Toledo and talk about how the city could position itself to be a port of call for a future Great Lakes cruise.
Stephen Burnett’s pitch on Tuesday to rejoin the coalition was made to 11 people inside the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority offices, four of them port board members and one of them Paul Toth, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority president and chief executive officer.
“We were a founding member, and we paid dues for nine years,” Mr. Toth told him.
The coalition exists to help its member communities become more attractive to cruise lines when they select ports of call.
Mr. Toth invited Mr. Burnett after The Blade published an article on Sept. 29 that stated the port authority had dropped out of the coalition as a budget-cutting move during the nation’s 2008 financial crisis.
Even now, Toledo’s dues would only be $3,750 a year — a fraction of the port authority’s multimillion-dollar operating budget and its $283,000 marketing budget — but Mr. Toth has said the agency was looking for places to cut because of the sour economy.
Port authority revenue declined more than $3.7 million annually between 2007 and 2013. That has reduced the port authority’s budget by 35 percent, which caused 25 staff positions to be eliminated — including 13 in airport operations this year, Mr. Toth said in his invitation.
Mr. Burnett said there are signs the industry is now experiencing a comeback.
No vote was taken, but those who heard Tuesday’s presentation seemed impressed by the possibilities. Mr. Burnett fielded several questions about how the cruise industry, with help from his group, coordinates trips at and between U.S. and Canadian ports. In some cases, the ships rent kayaks or bicycles to accommodate younger travelers, Mr. Burnett told them.
“I think it’s something we really need to take a hard look at,” Jerry Chabler, one of the port board members in attendance said after the meeting. “I felt a lot better about it. I think it’s something we need to pursue.”
Mr. Chabler said he expects the full board to consider rejoining the coalition at its December meeting.
Mr. Burnett, who drove about eight hours from his office in Kingston, Ont., gave an overview on Great Lakes cruising history and his perception of market trends that have infused new life into it. Six small cruise ships are expected to ply Great Lakes water next summer, marketed as luxury cruises to tourists in North America and abroad. Many of the tourists are expected to be from Europe, he said.
Great Lakes cruises usually take 100 to 400 people, with an average cost of $5,000 per person for a nine-day cruise. They are smaller and less expensive than Caribbean cruises, which may have 1,000 passengers, but they offer a mix of different sight-seeing opportunities — from moose to museums. They offer a slice of North America’s heartland, a taste of its big cities, and the allure of some small, charming towns, he said.
“We have nothing to be ashamed of. We have an excellent cruise product in the Great Lakes. It’s refreshing. It’s invigorating,” Mr. Burnett said.
When the Great Lakes had nine cruises about a decade ago, they were credited for generating an estimated $36.8 million for the region’s economy, he said.
During his presentation, Mr. Burnett laid out three examples of day-long side trips Toledo could offer if it ever became a port of call.
They included various combinations of shuttling tourists to sites such as the Toledo Museum of Art, Tony Packos, the Valentine Theatre, the Libbey Glass factory outlet, the Hollywood Casino, Real Seafood, Mancy's, and to a Toledo Mud Hens game at Fifth Third Field.
The packages would ideally be themed. One theme could be about architecture and include a visit to the Our Lady Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral in Toledo’s Old West End. The cathedral has a five-star rating on tripadvisor.com.
Another trip could emphasize history, with a trip to Fort Meigs, LaRoe’s restaurant in Grand Rapids, the remnants of the Miami and Erie Canal inside Providence Metropark, and the Ludwig Mill.
Officials would want to strike a balance between new development, shopping, historic, and outdoorsy themes, each of which draw different tourists, Mr. Burnett said.
He said the historic theme should not be overlooked. “Giving foreign visitors a window into why people came here and settled is extremely important,” he said.
Casinos, on the other hand, aren’t as important to some Europeans because many have access to them in their homeland. Europeans tend to be “sports crazy,” though, he said, and probably would get excited about a Mud Hens game if it doesn’t go too late into the night and conflict with the time they need to be back on their cruises, Mr. Burnett said.
He said Toledo should aggressively promote itself as a potential port of call to existing cruises now to better position itself for future cruises. The cruise industry tends to flock to established ports “like lemmings,” he said.
Toledo has not hosted cruise passengers for years.
Detroit has been “one of the hardest sells we’ve had,” Mr. Burnett said, alluding to the city’s reputation. But he said cruise passengers who have stopped there, especially from other countries, often remark how much they enjoyed it after seeing sights such as the Motown Museum, the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, Greektown, and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
“Detroit really, really delivers,” Mr. Burnett said. “As a destination for a short visit, they really have it.”
Incoming Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins and outgoing Mayor Mike Bell have both said they support the general concept of marketing Toledo to the cruise industry.
Both have said they believe the Maumee River waterfront near downtown will play a key role if the city is to ever achieve the economic prosperity some envision.
Lookback #12 – Daniel J. Morrell sank in Lake Huron on November 29, 1966
11/29 - The ore carrier Daniel J. Morrell broke in two in a 60 m.p.h. gale on Lake Huron 47 years ago today. The 600-foot-long, 60-year-old vessel, went down in the lake off Harbor Beach, Michigan, while en route, in ballast, from Cleveland to Taconite Harbor.
The hull cracked at #11 hatch and broke up quickly. While several of the crew made it to the life rafts, only one man, Dennis Hale, survived the sinking after a harrowing ordeal drifting on the frigid lake. He was rescued alive close to 38 hours after the ship broke up. The other 28 sailors on board perished.
The two sections of the Daniel J. Morrell have been located on the bottom of the lake. They are about five miles apart and both are upright. The bow sank first with the clock having stopped at 0155 hours. The stern steamed on longer and apparently went down at 0328 hours.
The Daniel J. Morrell sailed for the Cambria Steamship Company under the management of Bethlehem Transportation. It had passed its five-year inspection in February 1966. A sister-ship, Edward Y. Townsend, also sustained a deck crack in the same storm but did not break up. It was condemned at Sault Ste. Marie and sold for scrap.
The Daniel J. Morrell had weathered many bad storms in the past. Its crew was the last to see the Adella Shores, lost with all hands on Lake Superior on April 30, 1909, and the last to see the Benjamin Noble, which disappeared in Lake Superior with all hands on April 28, 1914.
Today in Great Lakes History - November 29
In 1953, BENJAMIN F. FAIRLESS, Captain H. C. Buckley, transported the last iron ore of the season through the Soo Locks. The ore originated at Two Harbors and was unloaded at Conneaut. After unloading, the FAIRLESS headed for Monroe, Michigan, for layup.
On 29 November 1886, ALFRED P. WRIGHT (wooden propeller tug, 56 gross tons, built in 1877, at Buffalo, New York) was towing the schooner A J DEWEY in a blizzard and gale in the harbor at Manistee, Michigan. The towline parted and fouled the WRIGHT's propeller. Disabled, she capsized and her crew clung to the overturned hull. One crewman swam 1,000 feet to shore and summoned the U.S. Lifesaving Service. The WRIGHT's and DEWEY's crews were both rescued but three lifesavers were lost in this effort.
On November 29, 1966, the DANIEL J. MORRELL sank approximately 20 miles north of Harbor Beach in Lake Huron. Her nearly identical sistership, the EDWARD Y. TOWNSEND, was traveling about 20 miles behind the MORRELL and made it to the Lime Island Fuel Dock in the St. Marys River where cracks were found in her deck; the TOWNSEND proceeded to Sault Ste. Marie where she was taken out of service. The TOWNSEND sank in the Atlantic on October 7, 1968, while being towed overseas for scrap.
E. B. BARBER was laid up for the last time at Toronto, Ontario, on 29 Nov. 1984.
On November 29, 1903, snow and stormy seas drove the two-and-a-half year old J. T. HUTCHINSON onto an uncharted rock (now known as Eagle River Reef) one-half mile off shore and 10 miles west of Eagle Harbor, Michigan near the northwestern coast of the Keweenaw Peninsula.
On November 29, 1974, the PERE MARQUETTE 21 was loaded with remnants of Port Huron's Peerless Cement Dock, which reportedly were bound for Saudi Arabia, and cleared there in tow of the Great Lakes Towing Co., tugs AMERICA and OHIO.
SYLVANIA was in a collision with the DIAMOND ALKALI in the Fighting Island Channel of the Detroit River on 29 Nov 1968, during a snow squall. SYLVANIA's bow was severely damaged.
The propeller BURLINGTON had barges in tow up bound on Lake Erie when she was damaged by the ice and sank in the Pelee Passage.
On 29 November 1856, ARABIAN (3-mast wooden bark, 116 foot, 350 tons, built in 1853, at Niagara, Ontario) had stranded on Goose Island Shoal, 10 miles ENE of Mackinac Island ten days earlier. She was relieved of her cargo and was being towed to Chicago by the propeller OGONTZ when a gale blew in and the towline parted. ARABIAN made for shore, her pumps working full force and OGONTZ following. During the night they were separated and ARABIAN sank off Point Betsey in Lake Michigan. Her crew escaped in her yawl.
In 1903, the PERE MARQUETTE 19 arrived Ludington on her maiden voyage. Captain John J. Doyle in command.
On 29 November 1881, the 149 foot wooden propeller NORTHERN QUEEN, which had been involved in a collision with the 136 foot wooden propeller canaller LAKE ERIE just five days before, struck the pier at Manistique so hard that she was wrecked. Besides her own crew, she also had LAKE ERIE's crew on board.
On 29 Nov 1902, BAY CITY (1-mast wood schooner-barge, 140 foot, 306 gross tons, built in 1857, at Saginaw, Michigan as a brig) was left at anchor in Thunder Bay by the steamer HURON CITY during a storm. BAY CITY's anchor chain parted and the vessel was driven against the Gilchrist dock at Alpena, Michigan and wrecked. Her crew managed to escape with much difficulty.
1902: The wooden bulk freighter CHARLES HEBARD (i) stranded on the Ontario shore of Lake Superior at Point Mamaise in a snowstorm. The hull broke up but all on board were rescued.
1950: ESSO ROCHESTER, a T-2 tanker, broke in two in heavy weather off Anticosti Island, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence while enroute, in ballast, from Montreal to Aruba. The two sections were taken in tow but the bow had to be cut loose in a storm on December 21, rolled over and was lost. The stern was taken to Newport News, VA and rebuilt. It was a Seaway trader in 1959 and scrapped at Onimichi, Japan, in July 1966.
1959: VILJA went aground in fog while outbound through the Brockville Narrows. The 14-year old ship was refloated on December 13 and had to spend the winter at Prescott. The Norwegian-flag freighter never returned inland and was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, as c) SILVER HOPE in 1974.
1960: FRANCISCO MORAZON went aground on the rocks of South Manitou Island, Lake Michigan and the remains of the hull are still there.
1960: CATO II, a small survey vessel, was cut loose by vandals at Port Dalhousie, drifted with the current into Lake Ontario, and stranded on the rocks of the west pier off Port Weller. Despite gale force winds and cold, the hull was salvaged the next day. At last report, the ship was still intact and was owned by Seneca College of Toronto.
1964: The MARIA COSULICH was wrecked at the breakwall at Genoa, Italy, when the engine failed while outbound. The crew was saved but the vessel was a total loss. It had been built at Sturgeon Bay in 1943 as WILLIAM HOMAN.
1985: JALAGODAVARI sliced into the St. Louis road and rail bridge on the Seaway and navigation had to be suspended for seven days. The vessel was removed, taken to Montreal and arrested for damages. The ship was repaired and survived until scrapping as f) BLUE OCEAN in 2000-2001.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
New Algoma Equinox takes shelter off Nova Scotia
11/28 - Algoma Equinox transited the Canso Canal on her delivery trip from China, but is now sheltering in the lee of Cape George, Nova Scotia, until a major storm passes. Then she will head across the Gulf to load her first cargo.
Port Reports - November 28
Sandusky & Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Sherwin propeller installed at National Museum of the Great Lakes
11/28 - Toledo, Ohio – The National Museum of the Great Lakes is pleased to announce the installation of the steamship John Sherwin’s propeller as one of its largest artifacts to go on display at the new museum in Toledo Ohio. The propeller weighs 22 tons and is approximately 22 feet in diameter. The propeller was put on permanent loan to the museum by the Interlake Steamship Co., which owns the boat.
The propeller was cast in Toledo in 1958, when the boat was built for the company at American Shipbuilding in Toledo. When it was cast it is believed to be the largest cast propeller ever built. Christopher Gillcrist, Executive Director of the National Museum of the Great Lakes said he hopes the propeller, which is installed in front of the museum, will become a place where people from all over the world will be photographed. The propeller is also important because it represents one of about 25 artifacts that are detailed at part of the Toledo Trail a specialized tour that highlights artifacts and stories that are connected to Toledo’s history.
The installation of the propeller was made possible by a grant from the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission, which has been so critical in this project. The City of Toledo Department of Engineering Services managed the installation.
Republic Steel fires up new electric arc furnace
11/28 - Lorain, Ohio – Steel production once again is a hot ticket in South Lorain as Republic Steel has begun melting metal with the company’s new electric arc furnace.
Republic Steel announced Tuesday it has begun hot commissioning of the new furnace, an $85 million investment that is expected to create nearly 450 jobs in the next several years. The furnace will re-heat scrap metal to produce liquid steel.
The Canton-based company already has hired more than 300 workers for the startup and they completed the furnaces first heat Monday night, a Republic Steel spokesman said. The new electric arc furnace will provide more than 1 million tons of steel annually. At full capacity, the new electric arc furnace could melt up to 20 heats per day, said Chris Hoyt, director of sales for Republic Steel.
“It’s the first time in five years we’ve produced liquid steel there, so were pretty excited,” Hoyt said. The project ultimately could bring in more than $1 billion dollars in annual economic activity to Ohio, according to project plans. The existing 489 jobs in Lorain will be retained.
Republic Steel bills itself as the nations leading provider of special bar quality steel used in a variety of applications such as axles, drive shafts, suspension rods and other car parts, off-road vehicles and industrial equipment.
U.S. Steel - located next door to Republic - recently announced it would purchase most of the steel produced by the new furnace. Based on the size of the furnace, there are about 40 new jobs for workers handling scrap metal that goes into the furnace, a spokesman said.
The project was more than two years in the making, with Republic Steel announcing the new furnace in November 2011, the same year the company celebrated 125 years in business.
Lookback #11 – William E. Corey stranded in Lake Superior on November 28, 1905
11/28 - Wild weather battered the Lake Superior region at the end of November 1905, and a number of ships became casualties 108 years ago. Among those damaged was the newly-built William E. Corey of the recently-created United States Steel fleet.
Named for the president of U.S. Steel and the largest ship on the Great Lakes when it was launched on June 24, 1905, William E. Corey stranded off the Wisconsin shore of Lake Superior on Gull Island Reef on November 28, 1905. Salvagers were dispatched to get the company flagship removed from its perch before the onslaught of winter. The 158 workers succeeded in their efforts and the 569-foot-long bulk carrier was floating freely again on December 10.
William E. Corey was soon surpassed by larger ships but continued to haul cargoes for U.S. Steel until tying up at Duluth on June 20, 1960. It remained idle until a sale to Upper Lakes Shipping in July 1963 and the vessel returned to service the following month as Ridgetown.
The ship concentrated in the grain trade until tying up at Toronto on November 17, 1969. Since then it saw service off Nanticoke as a temporary breakwall from 1970 into 1973. Refloated, it was sunk again off the Credit River, west of Toronto, on June 21, 1974, and remains visible at that location 108 years after it was built at Chicago.
Today in Great Lakes History - November 28
In 1949, sea trials for the largest freighter built on the Great Lakes, the WILFRED SYKES, were held off Lorain, Ohio. SYKES was converted to a self-unloader in 1975.
In 1942, the Canadian grain carrier JUDGE HART grounded and then sank in Ashburton Bay, Lake Superior. The entire crew of the JUDGE HART was rescued by the JAMES B. EADS, Captain Stanley J. Tischart, and the whaleback JOHN ERICSSON, Captain Wilfred E. Ogg.
On 28 November 1867, MARQUETTE (wooden bark, 139 foot, 426 tons, built in 1856, at Newport [Marine City], Michigan) was carrying corn from Chicago to Collingwood, Ontario when she sprang a leak during a storm on Lake Huron. She was run ashore on Hope Island on Georgian Bay.
On November 28, 1905, the Pittsburgh Steamship Company vessel MATAAFA was wrecked as it tried to re-enter the Duluth Ship Canal in a severe storm. The MATAAFA had departed Duluth earlier but had decided to return to safety. After dropping her barge in the lake, the vessel was picked up by waves, was slammed against the north pier and was swung around to rest just hundreds of feet offshore north of the north pier, where it broke in two. Much of the crew froze to death in the cold snap that followed the storm, as there was no quick way to get out to the broken vessel for rescue. The MATAAFA was repaired prior to the 1906, season; she ultimately ended her career as an automobile carrier for the T.J. McCarthy Steamship Company and was sold for scrap in 1965.
The CANADIAN OLYMPIC's maiden voyage was 28 Nov 1976, to load coal at Conneaut, Ohio for Nanticoke, Ontario. Her name honored the Olympic games that were held at Montreal that year.
On November 28, 1983, while up bound after leaving the Poe Lock, the INDIANA HARBOR was in a collision, caused by high winds, with the downbound Greek salty ANANGEL SPIRIT resulting in a 10 foot gash in the laker's port bow.
LANCASHIRE (Hull#827) was launched at Lorain, Ohio on November 28, 1942. She would soon be renamed b) SEWELL AVERY.
CATHY B towed the GOVERNOR MILLER to Vigo, Spain on November 28, 1980, where she was broken up.
BENSON FORD was renamed e) US265808 and departed River Rouge on November 28, 1986, towed by the Sandrin tugs TUSKER and GLENADA bound for Ramey's Bend in the Welland Canal.
FRONTENAC arrived at the Fraser Shipyard, Superior, Wisconsin on November 28, 1979. Her keel, which had hogged four feet, was declared a constructive total loss.
The BRANSFORD stranded on a reef off Isle Royale in Lake Superior during a major storm on 28 November 1905, (the same storm that claimed the steamer MATAAFA). She was recovered.
On her third trip in 1892, the ANN ARBOR NO 1 again ran aground, this time three miles north of Ahnapee (now called Algoma). There was $15,000 damage to her cargo.
In 1906, the ANN ARBOR NO 4 left Cleveland bound for Frankfort on her maiden voyage. The ANN ARBOR NO 4 ran aground off Kewaunee in 1924.
On 28 November 1905, AMBOY (2-mast wooden schooner-barge, 209 foot, 894 gross tons, formerly HELENA) was carrying coal in tow of the wooden propeller GEORGE SPENCER in a gale on Lake Superior. In an effort to save both vessels, AMBOY was cut loose. The SPENCER was disabled quickly and was driven ashore near Little Marais, Minnesota. AMBOY struggled against the gale for a full day before finally going ashore near Thomasville, Ontario on 29 November. No lives were lost from either vessel.
On 28 November 1872, W O BROWN (wooden schooner, 140 foot, 306 tons, built in 1862, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying wheat in a storm on Lake Superior when she was driven ashore near Point Maimanse, Ontario and pounded to pieces. Six lives were lost. Three survivors struggled through a terrible cold spell and finally made it to the Soo on Christmas Day.
On 28 Nov 1874, the propeller JOHN PRIDGEON JR was launched at Clark's shipyard in Detroit, Michigan. She was built for Capt. John Pridgeon. Her dimensions were 235 X 36 X 17 feet. The engines of the B F WADE were installed in her.
On 28 Nov 1923, the Detroit & Windsor Ferry Company and Bob-Lo docks were destroyed by a fire caused by an overheated stove in the ferry dock waiting room. The blaze started at 3 a.m.
CANADIAN TRANSFER underwent repairs most of Tuesday, 28 Nov. 2000, at the Algoma Steel dock at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. She had run aground the previous night in the Canadian channel approaching Algoma Steel. CANADIAN TRANSFER was freed by two Purvis Marine tugs. The vessel suffered a crack or hole in the hull plating about 10 feet from the bottom along its port side.
1918: The bow section of the former passenger steamer NORTH WEST sank in Lake Ontario. The ship had been cut in two for a tow out of the Great Lakes. The stern was later rebuilt as b) MAPLECOURT.
1923: LINDEN, a wooden bulk carrier, burned as a total loss in Tawas Bay.
1932: The Canadian freighter GEORGIAN stranded at Munising while downbound from Port Arthur to Detroit. The crew was rescued on December 3. The first salvage attempt failed on December 5 and the vessel was not released until May 1933.
1961: IQUITOS, enroute from Callao, Peru, to Manzanillo, Mexico, with fish meal, caught fire off the coast of Mexico and was abandoned by the crew. The vessel first visited the Great Lakes as a) RUTENFJELL in 1936 and returned on numerous occasions. It was back as b) POLYRIVER from 1951 to 1958. The abandoned IQUITOS drifted for months and was finally sunk by a U.S. destroyer as a hazard to navigation about 100 miles southeast of the Christmas Islands, on April 9, 1962.
1966: The Liberty ship TEGEAN ran aground on The Sisters rocks in fog south of Halifax while inbound for bunkers. All on board were saved by Coast Guard and Navy helicopters. The hull broke into 3 pieces and was dynamited by Navy divers as a hazard on December 16, 1966. The vessel had traded through the Seaway as b) ST. MALO in 1962.
1981: LONDON EARL went aground at Pointe aux Trembles while outbound from Thunder Bay to Hamburg, West Germany, with a cargo of wheat. Five tugs released the ship, with only minimal damage, on November 30. The vessel later returned through the Seaway as b) OLYMPIC LIBERTY beginning in 1983, as c) STABERG in 1990 and as d) ITHAKI in 1996. It was scrapped at Alang, India, in 2001.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Port Reports - November 27
Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
Kingston, Ont. - Ron Walsh
Maritime Speaker Series presents authors of new Great Lakes sailing book
11/27 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Life on the Great Lakes will be the topic as the Door County Maritime Museum presents the second of its five Maritime Speaker Series programs on Thursday evening, Dec. 5, at 7 pm at the Sturgeon Bay museum.
Captain Gary Schmidt partnered with Warren Gerds to author the recently released book “Real, Honest Sailing with a Great Lakes Captain.” Both will be on hand to discuss the book, Schmidt’s long tenure on the lakes and his ties to Sturgeon Bay. The book is going into its fourth printing since August.
Schmidt grew up in Sturgeon Bay, graduating from Sturgeon Bay High School in 1963. He has been a master of Great Lakes vessels for more than 40 years, most recently the tug-barge combination Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder, which has ties to Sturgeon Bay. The Dorothy Ann was built at Bay Shipbuilding along with the conversion of the freighter J.L. Mauthe into the Pathfinder.
Capt. Schmidt will talk about the demands of maneuvering a vessel carrying mountains of iron ore and stone with a 7,000 horsepower engine. This is the fourth book for Gerds, who is the critic-at-large for the WFRV-TV in Green Bay after a long tenure as critic at the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
This presentation is being held in conjunction with the museum’s Merry-Time Festival of Trees celebration. While the series is offered free of charge, adults attending this pre-Christmas program must purchase a $5 raffle ticket that is used to win a decorated tree of their choice from the 32 on display in the museum. Each tree is sponsored by a local business or organization. Museum members are admitted free to the program.
All Speaker Series programs are on Thursday evenings. After the holidays, programs feature shipwright Keith Kollberg (Jan. 2); Mark Holey of the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (Feb. 6); and John Kaser, commanding officer of the United Sates Coast Guard Marine Inspection Detachment in Sturgeon Bay, on March 6.
All of the evening programs begin at 7 pm at the Door County Maritime Museums Sturgeon Bay location. visit www.dcmm.org for more information.
Cruise of a Lifetime raffle winners
11/27 - The Lake Superior Marine Museum Association (LSMMA) Cruise of a Lifetime raffle drawing took place at the 26th annual Gales of November on Saturday, Nov.2 in Duluth, MN. The winners were Erik Raettig of Madison, Wisconsin and David T. Johnson of Marshall, Michigan.
In the summer of 2014, the two winners and their guests will enjoy a 5.5 day cruise on the 1,000 foot ore boat, the Edwin H. Gott. The cruise, which departs from Duluth or Two Harbors, includes accommodations in the owner’s quarters, stateroom and lounge, which overlook the ship’s deck. Winners will dine with the captain and are encouraged to tour the ship from the pilothouse to the engine room.
The Cruise of a Lifetime is made possible by a donation from Great Lakes Fleet/Key Lakes of Duluth, MN. Raffle sales go to help maintain and preserve the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center in historic Canal Park.
Gales of November is an annual maritime benefit coordinated by LSMMA, a nonprofit organization established in 1973 to help support the Army Corps of Engineers Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center and to preserve the regions maritime history. LSMMA sponsors maritime-related educational and promotional programs and assists in the purchase of Visitor Center displays and exhibits. For more information visit www.LSMMA.com.
Lookback #10 – Judge Hart stranded in Lake Superior on November 27, 1942
11/27 - The canal-sized steamship Judge Hart stranded on Fitzsimmons Rock, Ashburton Bay, Lake Superior 71 years ago today. The 261-foot-long bulk carrier had loaded 101,500 bushels of grain at Port Arthur and was en route to Toronto.
The ship had gone to anchor off the Welcome Islands in 53 mile per hour winds but stranded by the bow at about 3.50 a.m. The captain kept the engine running to hold the vessel's position in the stormy weather. This enabled the crew to leave in the lifeboats and they were taken aboard fleetmate James B. Eads that was nearby riding out the same storm.
The last of the sailors left on November 28 and, when the engine stopped running, the Judge Hart slid back off the ledge, drifted and sank in deep water.
The hull was not seen again until 1990 when wreck hunters discovered it final resting place. The 1,729- gross-ton ship is at a depth of 150 feet and was in remarkable condition although the stack had tipped over.
Judge Hart was built at Cowes, England, Isle of Wight, and was the first of a series of 10 canal-sized ships launched for the Eastern Steamship Company. It entered the water on April 21, 1923, and sailed to Canada for work in the bulk trades through the old canal system. Judge Hart was sold to the Upper Lakes and St. Lawrence Transportation Co. in 1936, a company known as Upper Lakes Shipping after 1959, and remained in service under its original name until being lost.
Today in Great Lakes History - November 27
At 4:00 a.m. on 27 November 1872, the wooden schooner MIDDLESEX was struck by a terrible winter storm on Lake Superior. The winds caught the vessel with such force that she listed at a 45 degree angle and her cargo shifted. In danger of sinking, the crew jettisoned much of the cargo and the ship righted herself. Her lifeboat and much of her rigging and sails were washed away. She limped into Waiska Bay and anchored to ride out the storm. However, she had developed a leak and it was so cold that her pumps had frozen. To save the vessel, she was run ashore and sank in shallow water. The crew climbed into her rigging until the tug W. D. CUSHING rescued them.
ALGOSEA entered Lake service as a self-unloader for the first time with salt loaded at Goderich, Ontario and passed down bound in the Welland Canal November 27, 1976, for Quebec City.
AVONDALE was condemned and was not allowed to carry cargo after she arrived at Toledo, Ohio on November 27, 1975, to load soybeans.
The steam barge CHAUNCY HURLBUT was launched at the shipyard of Simon Langell at St. Clair, Michigan on Thanksgiving Day, 27 November 1873. She was built for Chandler Bros. of Detroit.
On 27 November 1886, COMANCHE (wooden schooner, 137 foot, 322 tons, built in 1867, at Oswego, New York) was carrying corn in a storm on Lake Ontario when she ran on a shoal and sank near Point Peninsula, New York. A local farmer died while trying to rescue her crew of 8. His was the only death. She was later recovered and rebuilt as THOMAS DOBBIE.
The PERE MARQUETTE 22 collided with the WABASH in heavy fog in 1937.
In 1966, the CITY OF MIDLAND 41 ran aground at Ludington, Michigan in a storm. Stranded on board were a number of passengers and 56 crewmen. Ballast tanks were flooded to hold the steamer on until the storm subsided. She was pulled off four days later by the Roen tug JOHN PURVES.
The propeller MONTGOMERY, which burned in June 1878, was raised on 27 November 1878. Her engine and boiler were removed and she was converted to a barge. She was rebuilt at Algonac, Michigan in the summer of 1879.
On 27 November 1866, the Oswego Advertiser & Times reported that the schooner HENRY FITZHUGH arrived at Oswego, New York with 17,700 bushels of wheat from Milwaukee. Her skipper was Captain Cal Becker. The round trip took 23 days, which was considered "pretty fast sailing".
The CITY OF FLINT 32 was launched in Manitowoc on 27 Nov 1929. Cut down to a rail barge at Nicholson's, Ecorse in 1970, renamed b.) ROANOKE.
On Monday, 27 Nov 1996, the Cyprus flag MALLARD of 1977, up bound, apparently bounced off the wall in the Welland Canal below Lock 1 and into the path of the CANADIAN ENTERPRISE. It was a sideswipe rather than a head on collision. The ENTERPRISE was repaired at Port Weller Dry Docks. The repairs to the gangway and ballast vent pipes took six hours. The MALLARD proceeded to Port Colborne to be repaired there.
At 10:20 p.m. on Monday, 27 Nov. 2000, CANADIAN TRANSFER radioed Soo Traffic to report that the vessel was aground off Algoma Steel and "taking on water but in no danger." The crew reported that they had two anchors down and one line on the dock. Purvis Marine was contacted.
1905: LAFAYETTE stranded at Encampment Island, Lake Superior, broke in two and was a total loss. MANILA, its consort barge, also came ashore but was later salvaged.
1942: JUDGE HART stranded at Fitzsimmons Rock, Ashburton Bay, Lake Superior, enroute to Toronto with 101,500 bushels of grain. All on board were rescued and the ship later slid off the rocks, drifted and sank.
1981: LOUKIA, a Greek flag visitor to the Great Lakes in 1976, arrived at Monrovia, Liberia, as f) DESPOULA and was abandoned. The vessel was looted before being sold for scrap. On September 2, 1982, while under tow for Yugoslavia for dismantling, the vessel broke loose in heavy seas and grounded about 14 miles north of Monrovia.
2006: SPAR OPAL had mechanical problems and ran aground near the Iroquois Lock. It was released on November 29. It did not return through the Seaway in 2007 but was back for two final trips in 2008. The ship was renamed h) ARWAD PRINCESS in 2012 and re-registered in Belize.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Port Reports - November 26
Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Kingston, Ont. – Ron Walsh
Lookback No. 9 – Jablancia collided with Pierson Daughters on November 26, 1979
11/26 - The 622-foot-long Yugoslavian bulk carrier Jablancia was only a year old when it was in a collision with the Pierson Daughters 34 years ago today. The down bound freighter had loaded corn at Duluth and was bound for Antwerp, Belgium, and Hamburg, West Germany, to discharge.
Despite clear visibility, the two ships collided off Alexandria Bay, New York, on November 26, 1979, and Jablancia went aground on Broadway Shoal with a hole in the hull. The lighter Mapleheath took off some of the cargo and, once free, Jablancia proceeded to Montreal and then on the Lauzon, Quebec, for repairs.
Jablancia was a regular Seaway trader. It was sold and renamed Ellie in 1993 and back on the Great Lakes that year under Liberian registry. The ship usually carried steel or sugar when entering the Great Lakes and left with a variety of grains. Its last two trips were in 1999.
Another sale in 2001 brought a new name of Grain Trader under the flag of Malta and, while the ship visited Eastern Canada as such, it did not return inland.
It became Pine Trader with Panamanian registry in 2007. On May 18, 2009, the ship lost power east of Cape Agulhas, off the southern tip of South Africa, and the engine room flooded while en route to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, with a cargo of bagged rice. After being declared a total loss, Pine Trader was sold to Indian shipbreakers. It arrived at Alang, under tow, on September 15, 2009, and was beached for dismantling on October 30.
Updates - November 26
Today in Great Lakes History - November 26
In 1952, the PHILIP R. CLARKE was launched at the American Ship Building yard at Lorain, Ohio. The 647- foot-long freighter became the flagship of the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. She was lengthened by 120 feet in 1974 and converted to a self-unloader in 1982.
On 26 November 1856, CHEROKEE (2-mast wooden schooner, 103 foot, 204 tons, built in 1849, at Racine, Wisconsin) foundered in a gale 7 miles south of Manistee, Michigan, on Lake Michigan. All aboard (estimates range from ten to fourteen persons) were lost.
The U.S.C.G.C. MESQUITE departed Charlevoix and locked through the Soo on November 26, 1989, to begin SUNDEW's normal buoy tending duties on Lake Superior.
The ELIZABETH HINDMAN was launched November 26, 1920, as a.) GLENCLOVA (Hull#9) at Midland, Ontario, by Midland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.
On 26 November 1872, the steamer GEO W. REYNOLDS burned at 1 in the morning at the dock in Bay City. The fire supposedly originated in the engine room. She was owned by A. English of East Saginaw.
On 26 November 1853, ALBANY (wooden side wheel passenger/package freight, 202 foot, 669 tons, built in 1846, at Detroit, Michigan) was carrying passengers and miscellaneous cargo in a storm on Lake Huron.. She was making for the shelter of Presque Isle harbor when the gale drove her over a bar. Her crew and 200 passengers came ashore in her boats. Plans were made to haul her back across the bar when another storm wrecked her. Her boiler and most of her machinery were recovered the following year.
LAKE BREEZE (wooden propeller, 122 foot, 301 gross tons, built in 1868, at Toledo, Ohio) burned at her dock in Leamington, Ontario, on 26 November 1878. One man perished in the flames. She was raised in 1880, but the hull was deemed worthless. Her machinery and metal gear were removed in 1881, and sold to an American company.
The ANN ARBOR NO 5 (steel carferry, 359 foot, 2,988 gross tons) was launched by the Toledo Ship Building Company (Hull #118) on 26 Nov 1910. She was the first carferry to be built with a sea gate, as a result of the sinking of the PERE MARQUETTE 18 in September of 1910.
On 26 Nov 1881, JANE MILLER (wooden propeller passenger-package freight coaster, 78 foot, 210 gross tons, built in 1878, at Little Current, Ontario) departed Meaford, Ontario, for Wiarton - sailing out into the teeth of a gale and was never seen again. All 30 aboard were lost. She probably sank near the mouth of Colpoy's Bay in Georgian Bay. She had serviced the many small ports on the inside coast of the Bruce Peninsula.
HIRAM W. SIBLEY (wooden propeller freighter, 221 foot, 1,419 gross tons, built in 1890, at E. Saginaw, Michigan) was carrying 70,000 bushels of corn from Chicago for Detroit. On 26 Nov 1898, she stranded on the northwest corner of South Manitou Island in Lake Michigan during blizzard. (Some sources say this occurred on 27 November.) The tugs PROTECTOR and SWEEPSTAKES were dispatched for assistance but the SIBLEY refloated herself during the following night and then began to sink again. She was put ashore on South Fox Island to save her but she broke in half; then completely broke up during a gale on 7 December 1898.
During the early afternoon of 26 Nov 1999, the LOUIS R. DESMARAIS suffered an engine room fire while sailing in the western section of Lake Ontario. Crews onboard the DESMARAIS put out the fire and restarted her engines. The DESMARAIS proceeded to the Welland Canal where she was inspected by both U.S. and Canadian investigators. No significant damage was noted and the vessel was allowed to proceed.
1924: The wooden steamer J.C. FORD was destroyed by a fire while on the St. Marys River near DeTour.
1940: The coal-laden CHEYENNE went aground in a storm near Port Colborne while enroute to Montreal. The ship was released on December 1. It last sailed as c) SORELDOC (ii) in 1965 before being scrapped at Hamilton.
1942: L.E. BLOCK went aground in the Straits of Mackinac during a snowstorm.
1951: JOHN H. PRICE was at Ste. Anne des Monts to load pulpwood when a storm swept the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The ship broke loose early the next day, drifted to shore and was pounded on the rocks. All on board were saved and the vessel was refloated May 30, 1952.
1964: The Norwegian tanker STOLT DAGALI, a Seaway caller as a) DAGALI in 1960-1962, was sliced in two by the passenger vessel SHALOM about 28 miles southeast of the Ambrose Channel Light Vessel. The stern of the tanker sank but the bow was rebuilt using the stern of the C.T. GODSTAD that had grounding damage. The rebuilt ship resumed sailing as STOLT LADY.
1979: Despite clear visibility, PIERSON DAUGHTERS and JABLANICA collided off Alexandria Bay, NY, and both ships were damaged. The latter went aground on Broadway Shoal and had to be lightered before being released. It was a regular Seaway trader and was also back as b) ELLIE beginning in 1993. The ship was scrapped at Alang, India, as d) PINE TRADER in 2009.
1981: EURO PRINCESS, a Seaway trader beginning in 1976, went aground in the Atlantic near Sable Island and the crew of 26 was airlifted to safety. Despite a cracked hull, the ship was refloated and was back on the Great Lakes as c) EUROPEGASUS in 1985 and survived until scrapping in India in 1997-1998.
2000: The former BALSA I, a Seaway trader beginning in 1981, reported taking water off Hainan Island in the South China Sea and sank. The crew was saved by a passing freighter.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Port Reports - November 25
Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
Port Dalhousie, Ont. - Skip Gillham
Kingston, Ont. - Ron Walsh
National Freight Advisory Committee endorses full use of Harbor Maintenance Tax
11/25 - The National Freight Advisory Committee has unanimously approved a recommendation to pass legislation that will ensure that the Harbor Maintenance Tax is utilized for its intended purpose – to keep the nation’s harbors and channels dredged and maintained at their maximum authorized depth for the safe shipping of commerce.
The resolution was championed by Paul C. LaMarre III, Executive Director of the Port of Monroe, Michigan.
The Harbor Maintenance Tax is a user fee collected by the U.S. Government to ensure the adequate maintenance and operations of the national waterway infrastructure. In recent years, more fees have been collected than expended and the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund contains a surplus of $8.2 billion.
At the same time, there is a growing backlog of dredging needs throughout the nation’s harbors. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently reported that almost 30 percent of commercial vessel calls at U.S. ports are constrained due to inadequate channel depths. U.S. ports have expressed the need for a consistent dredging plan – which is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The recommendation made by the Committee will go to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to present to the Obama Administration. This recommendation is consistent with President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015.
The American Great Lakes Ports Association
Studies provide no certainty in Griffon shipwreck search
11/25 - Traverse City, Mich. – Five months after divers searched a remote section of Lake Michigan for a mysterious 17th century ship and retrieved a wooden slab the group leader believes is part of the vessel, it is still uncertain whether they are on the right track.
The object of the week-long mission in June was the Griffon, built by the legendary French explorer La Salle, which disappeared in 1679 with a six-member crew, becoming the oldest known shipwreck in the upper Great Lakes. The dive team dug a deep hole at the base of the nearly 20-foot-long timber, which was wedged vertically into the lake floor, hoping other wreckage was beneath. To their disappointment, they found nothing.
Since then, the beam has undergone a CT scan at a Michigan hospital. A wooden sliver has been sent to a Florida lab for carbon-14 analysis. Three French experts who participated in the expedition have completed a report. Others are in the works, as scientists who have examined the slab or data from the tests compile their findings. Thus far, most have declined to take a position on whether the Griffon has been found.
Based on the totality of the scientific results thus far, as well as historical research, to this point there are still two valid theories about the wooden beam, said Ken Vrana, who served as project manager for the expedition. It could be part of a ship, or a pound net stake an underwater fishing apparatus used in the Great Lakes in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Dean Anderson, Michigan’s state archaeologist, who has long been skeptical that the beam came from the Griffon, told The Associated Press last week he is convinced the latter alternative is correct. “I’m looking at the evidence and the evidence is pointing to a net stake,” Anderson said. “I’m not seeing any evidence of a vessel element here.”
That theory is hotly disputed by Steve Libert, president of Great Lakes Exploration Group, who has spent three decades and more than $1 million on his quest for the Griffon. He contends the slab is a bowsprit – a spur or pole that extends from a vessel’s stem – which broke off and was jammed into the lake bed as the ship sank during a violent storm.
“I am very confident that this piece is from the Griffon,” Libert said, “dismissing the net stake idea as “the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of.”
His view is bolstered by findings of the French team, which included Michel L’Hour, director of the Department of Underwater Archaeological Research in the French Ministry of Culture and an authority on shipwrecks. Their report, which L’Hour shared with the AP, casts doubt on the stake theory, noting that the slab doesn’t have a sharp, pointed end typical of submerged stakes found elsewhere. Instead, it has a sloping beveled end similar to those of bowsprits of wrecked European vessels from the 16th and 17th centuries that have been recovered, the report says.
It draws no conclusion about whether the timber came from the Griffon but says it has other characteristics consistent with a bowsprit from the period, including its length. Additionally, it says the section of the timber that protruded from the lakebed appears to have eroded for one or several centuries.
In August, Libert arranged to have the slab x-rayed with a CT scan machine at Otsego Memorial Hospital in Gaylord, hoping to obtain tree ring images that would determine its age. Only 29 rings were visible. Carol Griggs, a Cornell University expert in using ring patterns to date trees, said at least 50 were needed for an accurate measurement. So yet again, the results were inconclusive.
Libert also sent a sliver from the timbers interior to Beta Analytical Inc., a Miami company that performs carbon-14 tests on archaeological and geological artifacts. The results were similar to radiocarbon analysis performed on other pieces from the slab a decade ago. They found the wood could have originated from any of several periods between 1670 and 1950.
Darden Hood, the company’s president, said in an interview it could be misleading to narrow down the time range any further.
So the results are not in any way definitive, Hood said in a letter to Libert. They must be used as one line of evidence along with others to hopefully provide you with a solution.
But William Lovis, a Michigan State University anthropology professor who reviewed the findings at Anderson’s request, said a computer program that uses tree-ring data to refine carbon-14 test results indicates a greater likelihood that the timber came from the 1800s than the late 1600s. Vrana, the project manager, acknowledged that it does not appear that the timber may be as old as the Griffon.
Libert, however, said the carbon-14 findings support his position by failing to rule out that the beam dates from the 17th century. He said that fact, combined with other historical and archaeological data, makes a strong case that hes recovered the Griffon bowsprit and that other wreckage is waiting to be found in the same area. He plans to resume the search next spring.
“This would be probably the most important archaeological find in this country’s history,” he said.
Lookback #8 – Rouse Simmons, famed Christmas tree ship, sailed November 25, 1913
11/25 - The wooden schooner Rouse Simmons cleared Thompson Harbor, near Manistique, Mich., on November 25, 1913, loaded with Christmas trees for the Chicago market. The 45-year-old vessel was spotted several times in obvious distress on the stormy lake but it could not be reached for aid and disappeared with all hands, a total of 16 sailors, likely on November 26.
Area fisherman found spruce and balsam trees in their nets the following spring and some years later a wallet from one of the crewmen washed up on shore.
The hull of the 130-foot-long sailing ship was discovered by divers, apparently in 1971, and today the U.S. Coast Guard remembers the fabled “Christmas Tree Ship” by delivering trees to Chicago at this time of year.
Updates - November 25
News Photo Gallery
Today in Great Lakes History - November 25
In 1890, the WESTERN RESERVE delivered a record cargo of 95,488 bushels of wheat from Duluth to Buffalo.
In 1913, the schooner ROUSE SIMMONS, Captain August Schuenemann, departed Thompson Harbor (Michigan) with a load of fresh cut Christmas trees bound for Chicago. Somewhere between Kewaunee and Two Rivers, Wis., the SIMMONS was lost with all hands.
On 25 November 1857, ANTELOPE (wooden schooner, 220 tons, built in 1854, at Port Robinson, Ontario) was driven ashore by a gale near St. Joseph, Michigan. Five lives were lost. She was recovered the next year and rebuilt.
INCAN SUPERIOR was withdrawn from service after completing 2,386 trips between Thunder Bay and Superior and on November 25, 1992, she passed down bound at Sault Ste. Marie for service on the Canadian West Coast. Renamed PRINCESS SUPERIOR in 1993.
ROBERT C. STANLEY was laid up for the last time November 25, 1981, at the Tower Bay Slip, Superior, Wisconsin. She was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey in 1989.
CITY OF MILWAUKEE (Hull#261) was launched November 25, 1930, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. She was sponsored by Mrs. Walter J. Wilde, wife of the collector of customs at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She entered service in January of 1931.
On 25 November 1866, F. W. BACKUS (wooden propeller, 133 foot, 289 tons, built in 1846, at Amherstburg, Ontario) was carrying hay, horses and cattle off Racine, Wisconsin. She was run to the beach when it was discovered that she was on fire. Her crew and passengers disembarked. The tug DAISY LEE towed her out while she was still burning, intending to scuttle her, but the towline burned through and she drifted back to shore and burned to the waterline. Her live cargo was pushed overboard while she was still well out and they swam to shore.
On 25 November 1874, WILLIAM SANDERSON (wooden schooner, 136 foot, 385 gross tons, built in 1853, at Oswego, New York) was carrying wheat in a storm on Lake Michigan when she foundered. The broken wreck washed ashore off Empire, Michigan, near Sleeping Bear. She was owned by Scott & Brown of Detroit.
During a storm on 25 November 1895, MATTIE C. BELL (wooden schooner, 181 foot, 769 gross tons, built in 1882, at E. Saginaw, Michigan) was in tow of the steamer JIM SHERRIFS on Lake Michigan. The schooner stranded at Big Summer Island, was abandoned in place and later broke up. No lives were lost.
On 25 Nov 1947, the CAPTAIN JOHN ROEN was renamed c.) ADAM E. CORNELIUS by the American Steamship Co. in 1958, CORNELIUS was renamed d.) CONSUMERS POWER. Eventually sold to Erie Sand, she was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1988. Built in 1927, as a.) GEORGE M. HUMPHERY.
On 25 Nov 1905, the JOSEPH G. BUTLER JR (steel straight-deck bulk freighter, 525 foot, 6,588 gross tons) entered service, departing Lorain, Ohio, for Duluth on her maiden voyage. The vessel was damaged in a severe storm on that first crossing of Lake Superior, but she was repaired and had a long career. She was renamed DONALD B GILLIES in 1935, and GROVEDALE in 1963. She was sunk as a dock in Hamilton in 1973, and finally sold for scrap in 1981.
1904: B.W. BLANCHARD stranded near Alpena, MI and was wrecked. The ship had become unmanageable in heavy weather while enroute to Detroit with a cargo of lumber and was a total loss.
1908: NORTH STAR sank in Lake Huron off Port Sanilac after a collision with NORTHERN QUEEN. The accident occurred in dense fog and the ship went down quickly. All were saved.
1927: THOUSAND ISLANDER cleared Sarnia for Midland under tow of C.S.L. fleetmate COLLINGWOOD and they encountered heavy weather on Lake Huron. The ship was overwhelmed southeast of Thunder Bay Island and sank.
1950: The cargo of steel and package freight aboard the C.S.L. steamer WEYBURN shifted on Lake Ontario in a wild fall storm and the ship took on a precarious list and almost capsized. The ship was escorted to Toronto by RENVOYLE where the problem was corrected.
1971: The Greek freighter ESTIA sank on the Caribbean north of French Guiana after a violent engine room explosion. The ship was bound for Brazil with phosphates and all on board were saved. The vessel had been a Great Lakes visitor as MANCHESTER SPINNER beginning in 1963.
2003: The yacht ALISON LAKE, rebuilt at Toronto from the U.S. Coast Guard ship SAUK, hit a submerged object and sank in very deep water south of Key West, FL. All on board were rescued.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Coast Guard medevacs man in Straits of Mackinac
11/24 - Cleveland, Ohio – A Coast Guard boat crew medically evacuated a man Saturday afternoon from a commercial vessel in the Straits of Mackinac. His name was not released.
At 1 p.m., a search-and-rescue controller at the Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste Marie, Mich., was contacted by the captain of the motor vessel Burns Harbor, a 1,000-foot ship owned by American Steamship Co., requesting assistance with the medical evacuation of a 37-year-old man. The man was reportedly suffering abdominal pains and had collapsed and lost consciousness for two minutes. After conferring with the on-duty flight surgeon, the ship was directed to make way for St. Ignace, Mich., where they would be met by a Coast Guard boat that would take the man to safety.
At approximately 1:30 p.m. the Burns Harbor, which had just passed west under the Mackinac Bridge, turned around and headed back east. After passing under the bridge, it turned north toward St. Igance, slowly approached Coast Guard Station St. Ignace and met up with the CG 45-foot RB-M. When the vessel got just off the station it turned sharply to the east and held its position, where it blocked the waves for the RB-M to remove the crewman. Weather at the time in Straits had winds gusting over 30 mph, temperatures in the teens and rough seas.
The rescue crew transferred the man to the rescue boat. The man was taken to the Coast Guard station where EMS transported him to the Mackinac Straits Rural Health Clinic in St. Ignace. The man was last known to be in stable condition.
USCG, Bob McGreevy
Port Reports - November 24
Western Lake Erie - Jim Spencer
Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Kingston, Ont. – Ron Walsh
Badger Captain Dean Hobbs remembered as “master” on the lakes, stellar man
11/24 - Ludington, Mich. – Senior Captain Dean Hobbs of Lake Michigan Carferry’s SS Badger wasn’t just a ship captain, he was one of the best there was.
Rear Admiral John Tanner, former superintendent of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City, said next month would have made 40 years that he knew Hobbs and that there wasn’t a better captain or better person around.
Hobbs, 59, died around 10 p.m. Thursday night after suffering a heart attack during a senior men’s league hockey game.
Tanner said he met Hobbs in 1973 when he was a ship’s officer and visited the GLMA to talk to a student group. In 1974, Tanner joined the faculty and he remained a faculty member through Hobbs’ graduation in 1976. They maintained a relationship over the years as Hobbs advanced his career as a mariner and Tanner advanced to take over one of only six mariners’ academies in the U.S.
Tanner and GLMA Director of Enrollment John Berck said Hobbs was a true mariner in every sense of the word.
From the academy he took a job with Amoco, which had three ships hauling petroleum products around the Great Lakes. He was a manager with the company.
Hobbs joined Lake Michigan Carferry in 1995, the same year that Tanner took over the GLMA.
“It was a perfect marriage,” Tanner said of Hobbs. “He was the right personality type at the right time in his life. Things line up in a person’s life and he enjoyed that immensely.”
Part of the job that Hobbs enjoyed most was telling people about his ship and the history of the Great Lakes. It was not uncommon to see him speaking with passengers on cross-lake trips.
“I can tell you he did that for people in all walks of life,” Tanner said. “Sometimes people will just talk to people who only benefit them. Dean talked to everybody. He talked to people he knew would never, ever help him, which is the definition of a true gift.”
Tanner said the Badger is an important vessel for a number of reasons.
“It has a historic value, it has a mystique about it — the general public loves that vessel — I can speak for people all through Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin. If it’s one of the 1,000-footers, they see that on the lake or maybe in the locks, but the Badger, what makes it so unique, is that the people who love ships can go aboard and touch it and talk to the captain as members of the general public and that’s where Dean was a master.”
Tanner said the GLMA’s school ship happened to be in Marinette, Wis., when Hobbs was getting ready to deliver a ferry bound for Staten Island, New York.
“Dean treated all the cadets to breakfast,” Tanner said. “Stuff that he did, things he didn’t have to do. Spending time with cadets who he didn’t have to, taking them to breakfast, for those 12 cadets it meant the world to them.”
Tanner said Hobbs never stopped giving back to the academy that taught him his skills. “He probably helped Great Lakes Maritime Academy more than any other graduate,” Tanner said. “Whatever I would ask, whether as a faculty member or a superintendent, he was there.”
Hobbs served as an adjunct instructor at the GLMA and was very engaged in the history of the industry.
“He paid attention to the history of the Badger and the history of the Great Lakes,” Tanner said. “In fact there’s an organization that goes back to 1886 called the International Shipmasters Association — he was grand president of that in 1999 or 2000. That’s a very prestigious title. Shipmasters from around Lakes elected him president which was a huge thing.”
Hobbs also helped establish a shipmasters lodge, No. 23, in Traverse City.
“He was just involved in so much. He did so much to help other people,” Tanner said. “He was a good shipmate aboard ship, he was a good captain but I know personally he helped so many mariners who needed a boost in their confidence and give them help in their lives.
“Life’s not fair. Somebody who did that should live a long life and Dean can’t, but Dean was there for people.”
Piloting a 410-foot vessel across Lake Michigan thousands of times is not the easy task that it may seem to observers. Tanner, who was third officer on the first 1,000-foot vessel on the Great Lakes, said people don’t understand the skill involved in bringing the SS Badger back and forth between Ludington and Manitowoc.
“The skills he had were world class,” Tanner said. “I was fortunate enough to be on the first 1,000-footer on the Great Lakes. I know the dynamics of ship handling of a lot of different vessels. When a ship doesn’t have a bow thruster, when they pivot on an anchor (like the Badger does), it’s world-class seamanship. It’s world class. There are very few people in the world who can do that, that’s how impressive it is, the handling of the Badger.”
Tanner said he had a group of mariners from Washington, D.C., on the Badger and they watched with mouths agape as the vessel was docked by pivoting on the anchor chain.
Hobbs had an unlimited tonnage master’s license and credentials for ocean-going vessels as well.
“He did work for the shipyard in Marinette on some government vessels, some very high-end navy vessels,” Tanner said.
“He was always there whenever we needed help with an academic program or volunteer opportunity,” GLMA’s Berck added. “I’ve known Captain Hobbs, Dean, for so many years. I loved Dean and it’s just such a shock. Our concerns are now with his wife, Brenda, and their children.”
Berck said it was a tradition to bring the new class of cadets down from the GLMA each year and cross the lake on the Badger, and Hobbs made it a special experience for them every time.
“Captain Hobbs would go out of his way with all these incoming cadets and give them all kinds of inside knowledge and speak with them,” Berck said. “We’re certainly going to miss him.
Hobbs was someone who cadets or instructors could reach out to with questions or for advice or help.
“He was really somebody who was always there as a liaison with the industry for the school,” Berck said. “He was proud of what happened for him here and the direction it took him in the industry but he was just a very humble fellow — as many successful people are. He was just a wonderful friend and supporter with the school.”
“He liked organizing things,” Tanner said. “He worked and dabbled and did all sorts of things.”
“He was very active in a lot of those things — he loved hockey. In fact, he helped set up a hockey game we held for years at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy between the cadets and the alumni. Dean was a goalie and he just loved that.”
Hobbs also arranged in May of 2003 to have the school’s ship meet the Badger for a salute between the ships outside Ludington’s harbor in 2003. He arranged it so the school ship’s first port of call on a trip around the lake that year was Ludington.
“I was very proud of that and so was Dean Hobbs,” Tanner said.
Berck said Hobbs was extremely knowledgeable and for years he tried to get him to write a book. He said he’ll be missed.
“It’s a close-knit, small industry and you won’t find anyone who doesn’t think he was one of the best captains in the industry but also one of the best people in the industry,” Berck said. “Forget the maritime, forget everything else, he was just a quality person who would do the heavy lifting behind the scenes for people he didn’t even know,” Berck said.
Ludington Daily News
Lookback #7: Kinsman Independent struck Superior shoal on November 24, 1990
11/24 - The Kinsman Independent was about 24 miles off course when it ran aground on a reef near the entrance to Siskiwat Bay, on the south side of Isle Royale, 23 years ago today. The ship sustained considerable hull damage but was released the next day, November 25, 1990.
The leaking, 38-year-old bulk carrier reached Thunder Bay and was repaired over the winter. This member of the Kinsman fleet had been built at Bay City, MI in 1952 and first sailed as Charles L. Hutchinson. It moved to the Ford fleet as Ernest R. Breech in 1962 and joined Kinsman as their third Kinsman Independent in 1988.
After being retired at Buffalo in December 2002, the vessel was sold for Canadian service and refitted in 2005 as Voyageur Independent. It joined Lower Lakes Towing and became Ojibway in 2008. The 642-foot, 3-inch-long freighter is now diesel powered and operates primarily in the grain trade around the Great Lakes and down the St. Lawrence.
Today in Great Lakes History - November 24
On this day in 1966, Hjalmer Edwards became ill while working as a second cook on the steamer DANIEL J. MORRELL. He was transferred to the hospital at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan when the MORRELL transited the locks for the last time on Thanksgiving Day. Five days later, the DANIEL J. MORRELL sank during a severe storm on Lake Huron with just Dennis Hale as its lone survivor.
On 24 November 1945, SCOTT E. LAND (steel propeller C4-S-A4 cargo ship, 496 foot, 10,654 gross tons) was launched at Kaiser Corporation (Hull #520) in Vancouver, Washington for the U.S. Maritime Commission. She was converted to a straight-deck bulk freighter at Baltimore, Maryland in 1951, and renamed TROY H. BROWNING. In 1955, she was renamed THOMAS F. PATTON. After serving on the Great Lakes, she was scrapped in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1981.
On November 24, 1950, while bound for South Chicago with iron ore, the ENDERS M. VOORHEES collided with the up bound steamer ELTON HOYT II (now the ST. MARYS CHALLENGER) in the Straits of Mackinac during a blinding snowstorm. Both vessels received such serious bow damage that they had to be beached near McGulpin Point west of Mackinaw City to avoid sinking.
ROSEMOUNT, stored with coal, sank alongside CSL's Century Coal Dock at Montreal, Quebec, on November 24, 1934.
Paterson's PRINDOC (Hull#657) was launched November 24, 1965, at Lauzon, Quebec, by Davie Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.
November 24, 1892 - The ANN ARBOR NO 1 ran aground on her first trip just north of the Kewaunee harbor.
On 24 Nov 1881, LAKE ERIE (wooden propeller canaller, 136 foot, 464 gross tons, built in 1873, at St, Catharine's, Ontario) collided with the steamer NORTHERN QUEEN in fog and a blizzard near Poverty Island by the mouth of Green Bay. LAKE ERIE sank in one hour 40 minutes. NORTHERN QUEEN took aboard the crew but one man was scalded and died before reaching Manistique.
The CITY OF SAGINAW 31 entered service in 1931.
On 24 November 1905, ARGO (steel propeller passenger/package freight, 174 foot, 1,089 tons, built in 1896, at Detroit, Michigan) dropped into a trough of a wave, hit bottom and sank in relatively shallow water while approaching the harbor at Holland, Michigan. 38 passengers and crew were taken off by breeches' buoy in a thrilling rescue by the U.S. Lifesaving Service.
NEPTUNE (wooden propeller, 185 foot, 774 gross tons, built in 1856, at Buffalo, New York) was laid up at East Saginaw, Michigan, on 24 November 1874, when she was discovered to be on fire at about 4:00 a.m. She burned to a total loss.
The ANN ARBOR NO 1 left Frankfort for Kewaunee on November 24, 1892. Because of the reluctance of shippers to trust their products on this new kind of ferry it was difficult to find cargo for this first trip. Finally, a fuel company which sold coal to the railroad routed four cars to Kewaunee via the ferry.
1905: ARGO missed the entrance to the harbor at Holland, MI while inbound from Chicago and went aground. All on board, an estimated 72 passengers and crew, were rescued by breeches buoy in a very challenging task. The ship was salvaged in January 1906.
1938: The idle former passenger ship CITY OF BENTON HARBOR was gutted by a fire at Sturgeon Bay.
1970: C.W. CADWELL hit a submerged rock in the Niagara River near Queenston and was stranded.
1988: KATIA was abandoned off Nova Scotia, enroute from Brazil to Carleton, QC, and all 27 on board were taken off by rescue helicopter. Despite salvage efforts, the listing ship sank November 26. It had been through the Seaway earlier in 1987 after previous inland voyages as c) TIMI in 1978 and d) HAPPY MED in 1981.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Maritime community mourns loss of Badger’s popular captain
11/23 - Captain Dean Hobbs, senior captain of the carferry Badger and a well-known master mariner on the Great Lakes, passed away Thursday evening as a result of a heart attack while playing hockey.
The family of Captain Hobbs, which includes his wife Brenda, shared this statement Friday:
We are deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of our dear husband and dad, Captain Dean Hobbs. He died on Thursday evening, November 21, while enjoying a game of hockey, one of his favorite pastimes.
He knew the Great Lakes inside and out and took great pride in his job as a captain on the SS Badger and every ship he helmed. He was an exceptional friend, sailor, father and husband. … The lakes and our lives will not be the same without him and we will miss him forever.
At the time of his death he was secretary of International Shipmasters Association Lodge 23 in Traverse City. He served as ISMA Grand Lodge president in 1999.
Captain Hobbs was a graduate of, and an instructor at, the Great Lakes Maritime Academy and also held a bachelor’s degree from the Maine Maritime Academy. In 1976 he became the youngest licensed captain on the Great Lakes.
Besides his position on board the Badger, he was senior trial master for Marinette Marine Corporation, and assisted in the sea trails and delivery of many of its new vessels, including nearly 24 new U.S. Coast Guard cutters and several U.S. Navy Littoral combat ships.
He owned the sea trial and vessel delivery company, ABCD Marine LLC. One of his most recent projects was the delivery of the new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fishery research vessel Reuben Lasker.
Early in in his Great Lakes career, he sailed with and was in fleet operations for the Inland Steel and American Oil Co. (AMOCO) fleets. Captain Hobbs started working for Lake Michigan Carferry, the Badger’s owner, in 1995. He served as relief master of the tug Ken Boothe Sr. for the early part of the 2012 shipping season.
He graduated from Sault Area High School, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., in 1972. He was a staunch supporter of the Boatnerd site and graciously welcomed many visitors to Badger’s pilothouse during the group’s annual Boatnerd crossing, and often led tours of the boat.
A statement Friday evening from Lake Michigan Carferry reads as follows: “Captain Hobbs was our Senior Captain for 17 years and took great pride in providing a safe and memorable experience for the passengers and crew aboard the S.S. Badger. His maritime knowledge, commanding presence and commitment to Lake Michigan Carferry Service will be profoundly missed.”
A funeral will be held sometime next week for close friends and family, and arrangements will be made for a larger maritime memorial service at the beginning of 2014, according to the family.
Port Reports - November 23
Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
New tugs planned for Niagara River
11/23 - According to press reports, the New York Power Authority has commissioned Bristol Harbor Group of Bristol, R.I. to engineer, design and supervise the construction of two tugs. The vessels will be used to maintain ice booms located on the Niagara River near the Lake Erie outlet. The booms protect power installations from damage by winter ice. The new tugs will replace older boats.
Clayton man who grounded tug admits faking marine pilot license
11/23 - Syracuse, N.Y. – A Clayton man who grounded a tug boat in Lake Ontario last year has admitted using a fake merchant marine license to pilot the boat.
Mark Anselm, 37, pleaded guilty Friday n U.S. District Court to six felonies, including making false statements to the Coast Guard, using an altered merchant marine license, and aggravated identity theft.
Anselm admitted holding himself out as a licensed commercial ship pilot to marina owners, federal officials and potential employers in 2011 and 2012, when he had no such license.
Anselm had altered the licenses by substituting his name on them, federal prosecutors said. With the false licenses, he got jobs operating "various commercial ships" on Lake Ontario, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Coast Guard officials discovered Anselm's crimes after he grounded a tug boat in Canadian waters of Lake Ontario on June 19, 2012, prosecutors said. The agency's investigation into that mishap revealed "numerous instances" of Anselm holding himself out as a licensed merchant marine captain based on the forged licenses, prosecutors said.
Anselm faces up to 27 years in prison and a $1.5 million when U.S. District Judge Glenn Suddaby sentences him March 28.
Lookback #6 – Explosion and fire aboard Leapaul on November 23, 1962
11/23 - The West German freighter Leapaul was on its third trip to the Great Lakes for the 1962 season and was unloading at Toronto when steel rods penetrated drums of sodium nitrate. An explosion and fire followed but there were no injuries. The blaze was quickly extinguished leaving only minor damage.
Leapaul had been launched at Hamburg, West Germany, on April 30, 1958, and began Seaway trading on behalf of the Hamburg-Chicago Line the following year. The 400-foot long, 5,067 gross ton carrier made 28 transits into the lakes to the end of 1966 and was back four more times in 1967 as Spica.
The ship went on to have a total of six names and was also operated under the flags of Greece, Singapore, Cyprus and Lebanon. The vessel was sold to Pakistani shipbreakers as Phoebus in 1984. It arrived at Gadani Beach on March 10, 1984, and was soon dismantled.
Today in Great Lakes History - November 23
In 1940, the CONSUMERS POWER, a.) HARRY YATES of 1910, collided with the MARITANA on the Detroit River. The MARITANA sustained $11,089.91 in damage. MARITANA was scrapped at Hamilton, Ontario, in 1947.
On 23 November 1863, BAY OF QUINTE (wooden schooner, 250 tons, built in 1853, at Bath, Ontario) was carrying 7,500 bushels of wheat to Toronto when she was driven ashore on Salmon Point on Lake Ontario and wrecked. No lives were lost.
On 23 November 1882, the schooner MORNING LIGHT (wooden schooner, 256 tons, built in 1857, at Cleveland, Ohio) was sailing from Manistee for Chicago with a load of lumber when a storm drove her aground off Claybanks, south of Stony Lake, Michigan. One crewman swam to shore, the rest were saved by a lifesaving crew, local fishermen and the tug B. W. ALDRICH. Earlier that same year, she sank near St. Helen Island in the Straits of Mackinac. She was salvaged and put back in service, but she only lasted a few months.
After discharging her cargo, the SAMUEL MATHER, launched as a.) PILOT KNOB b.) FRANK ARMSTRONG (1943-73), proceeded to DeTour, Michigan, laying up for the last time at the Pickands Mather Coal Dock on November 23, 1981. She was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey in 1988.
In 1987, the self-unloader ROGERS CITY was towed out of Menominee, Michigan, for scrapping in Brazil.
STADACONA's sea trials were completed on November 23, 1952, and was delivered to Canada Steamship Lines the next day.
On 23 November 1872, Capt. W. B. Morley launched the propeller JARVIS LORD at Marine City, Michigan. Her dimensions were 193 feet X 33 feet X 18 feet, 1,000 tons. She was the first double decker built at Marine City. Her engine was from Wm. Cowie of Detroit.
On 23 November 1867, S. A. CLARK (wooden propeller tug, 12 tons, built in 1863, at Buffalo, New York) was in Buffalo's harbor when her boiler exploded and she sank.
November 23, 1930 - The Ann Arbor carferry WABASH grounded in Betsie Lake. She bent her rudder stock and her steering engine was broken up.
On 23 November 1853, the wooden schooner PALESTINE was bound from Kingston to Cleveland with railroad iron at about the same time as the like-laden schooner ONTONAGON. Eight miles west of Rochester, New York, both vessels ran ashore, were pounded heavily by the waves and sank. Both vessels reported erratic variations in their compasses. The cargoes were removed and ONTONAGON was pulled free on 7 December, but PALESTINE was abandoned. A similar event happened with two other iron-laden vessels a few years previously at the same place.
On 23 November 1853, the Ward Line's wooden side-wheeler HURON struck an unseen obstruction in the Saginaw River and sank. She was raised on 12 December 1853, towed to Detroit and repaired at a cost of $12,000. She was then transferred to Lake Michigan to handle the cross-lake traffic given the Ward Line by the Michigan Central Railroad. The carferry GRAND HAVEN was sold to the West India Fruit & Steamship Co., Norfolk, Virginia in 1946, and was brought down the Mississippi River to New Orleans, Louisiana for reconditioning before reaching Port Everglades and the Port of Palm Beach, Florida. She was brought back to the Lakes and locked up bound through the Welland Canal on 23 Nov 1964. She was intended for roll on/roll off carrier service to haul truck trailers laden with steel coils from Stelco's plant at Hamilton, Ont.
CSL NIAGARA a.) J. W. McGIFFIN, passed Port Huron, Michigan on 23 Nov 1999, on her way to Thunder Bay to load grain. This was her first trip to the upper lakes since the vessel was re-launched as a SeawayMax carrier in June 1999.
1901: QUITO stranded off Lorain, Ohio, and broke up in a Lake Erie storm. All on board were saved.
1902: SILVANUS J. MACY was last observed battling heavy seas in Lake Erie off Port Burwell. The coal laden, wooden steamer was lost with all hands.
1936: A fire at Portsmouth, Ontario, just west of Kingston, destroyed several idle wooden steamers including the SIMON LANGELL and PALM BAY. Their remains were towed into Lake Ontario and scuttled in 1937.
1961: AMVRAKIKOS ran aground on Pancake Shoal, Lake Superior, on its first and only visit to the Great Lakes. This World War Two vintage Liberty ship was refloated on November 26, loaded scrap steel at Toledo for Japan and was the last saltwater ship of the 1961 season to depart the St. Lawrence Seaway.
1997: AN TAI, an SD 14 cargo carrier registered in Belize, began to list and then the hull cracked at the dock in Port Klang, Malaysia. The ship sank at the wharf the next day. The vessel had visited the Great Lakes, first as a) LONDON GRENADIER in 1972 and again as b) FIRST JAY in 1979. Subsequent salvage efforts failed and the hull was cut into sections, taken out to sea, and dumped in a fish breeding grounds.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Steve Haverty, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series
Port Reports - November 22
Marquette, Ohio - Rod Burdick
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Owen Sound, Ont. - Shane Ruther
Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Sandusky & Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Port Colborne, Ont.
Port of Cleveland’s express ocean freight service to Europe begins in spring
11/22 - Cleveland, Ohio – The Cleveland-Europe Express freight shipping service between Cleveland Harbor and Europe via the Saint Lawrence Seaway will begin in Spring 2014, according to a charter agreement with The Spliethoff Group approved by The Port of Cleveland Board of Directors on November 21.
The Cleveland-Europe Express Ocean Freight Service will be the only regular, scheduled international container service on the Great Lakes. The fuel-efficient, multi-purpose ships will also have room for non-containerized cargoes.
William Friedman, president & CEO of the Port of Cleveland, said that the service will be the fastest and greenest route between Europe and North America’s heartland, allowing regional companies to ship their goods up to four days faster than using water, rail, and truck routes via the U.S. East Coast ports.
“This service will offer Ohio exporters a faster, more cost-effective and greener solution to get their goods to global markets,” Friedman said. “The Cleveland-Europe Express can handle roughly 10-15% of Ohio’s trade with Europe.”
The decision by the Port’s Board of Directors comes at a time when cargo coming through the Port is on the increase. General cargo moving through the Port of Cleveland in October was up 20% compared to October 2012 and, year to date, is more than 20% ahead of the port’s 2012 tonnage level. The port is on pace to have its highest annual tonnage level since the 2008 calendar year.
Jay Foran, senior vice president of Business Attraction for Team Northeast Ohio (Team NEO), said that scheduled, direct cargo ship service from Cleveland to northern Europe would be a significant addition to the business case for attracting companies to Northeast Ohio. “It also is vitally important to the companies that are here and the overall growth of our region because it will encourage higher levels of trade between Northeast Ohio and the rest of the world,” Foran said.
Initially, the Cleveland-Europe Express will have one vessel call per month in Cleveland and one in a major port in Europe, still to be determined. The port’s goal is to offer customers the best option for door-to-door cargo movement. The agreement with the Spliethoff Group allows the port to add a second ship, allowing for a vessel in port every two weeks, as demand rises. The Spliethoff Group owns and operates a fleet of about 100 multi-purpose, heavy-lift, and ro-ro vessels ranging in size from 9,500 to 21,000 tons, all of which sail under the Dutch flag.
Bart Peters, manager of The Spliethoff Group’s America Service, said that the agreement with the Port of Cleveland allows the company to better serve the North Atlantic trade lane. “Providing scheduled, reliable capacity to the America’s industrial heartland via the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway routing will enable shippers to connect more efficiently to the European continent,” Peters said.
Marc Krantz, chairman of the Port of Cleveland Board, said direct route export and import service to Europe will help the Northeast Ohio region and the Midwest compete globally by connecting businesses to world markets. “We also expect there to be a lot of indirect benefit to companies who service the Port as a result of increased cargo coming through Cleveland Harbor,” Krantz said.
Steve Wharton, Operations Manager at The Lubrizol Corporation, is supportive of the Cleveland-Europe Express, explaining that having a direct shipping option to Europe will increase the company’s competitiveness. “This, in turn, produces the opportunity to invest more dollars into the local economy, reduce our inventory carrying costs by using this faster shipping option, and reduce our carbon footprint,” he said.
For more information, visit www.portofcleveland.com
Coast Guard set to load more than 1,200 Christmas trees onto Mackinaw for transit to Chicago
11/22 - Cheboygan, Mich. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is scheduled to load 1,220 Christmas trees onto the ship at its homeport of Cheboygan, Mich., on Nov. 25, in preparation for the 2013 Christmas Ship celebration.
The trees will be transported to Chicago where they will be offloaded on the morning of Dec.7 following a public ceremony at Navy Pier. The trees will be given to nonprofit organizations, selected by members of the Chicago maritime community, then given to deserving families.
The journey and ceremony honors the traditions of the Rouse Simmons, the original Christmas Ship, which sank between Kewaunee and Two Rivers, Wis. on Nov. 23, 1912 in a storm during its annual transit from northern Wisconsin to Chicago.
The trip coincides with the Mackinaws annual seasonal buoy operations in southern Lake Michigan in support of Operation Fall Retrieve, the nations largest domestic aids to navigation recovery operation. During the transit to Chicago, the crew of the Mackinaw will conduct a wreath laying ceremony near the wreck of the Rouse Simmons to honor the ship and its crew.
“The crew and I are looking forward in participating in this years event.” We feel it’s an extremely worthwhile cause,” said Cmdr. Michael Davanzo, the ships commanding officer.
Authorama returns to Port Huron’s Maritime Center Saturday
11/22 - Port Huron, Mich. - – The 8th Annual Marine Authorama will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron, Mich.
Featured at the public event will be Dennis Hale, author of "Shipwrecked: Reflections of the Sole Survivor" and only survivor of the Daniel J. Morrell freighter disaster; Roger LeLievre, author of "Know Your Ships;" authors Wayne “Skip” Kadar and T.J. Gaffney, David Gagnon and Michael M. Dixon (“When Detroit Rode the Waves”), David G. Brown (“White Hurricane”), Ashley Briston ("Titanic"), Tim Juhl (Out Of The Blue Productions), Art Woodford ("Tashmoo") and more.
Videographer/glass worker Ed Spicuzza will also be on hand and, as a special treat, Great Lakes singer-songwriter Dan Hall will be playing his guitar selling his maritime CDs and book.
Also, BoatNerd gear, such as hats and T-shirts, will be on sale, as well as a variety of books and DVDs. Admission is free.
Lookback # 5 – Frontenac wrecked on Nov. 22, 1979
11/22 - The second Frontenac to sail in the Cleveland-Cliffs fleet was wrecked while inbound at Silver Bay 34 years ago today. The 603-foot, 9-inch long bulk carrier was due to pick up a cargo of iron ore when the accident occurred.
The 56-year-old freighter struck Pellet Shoal resulting in major damage to the hull. There was also a fear of pollution and experts were brought in to drain off most of the Bunker C fuel oil.
Frontenac was refloated on Nov. 24 but was heavily damaged. It sailed to Superior on its own power but an examination determined that the ship was not worth the cost of repair and best suited for scrap.
Pilothouse equipment was carefully removed and taken to the Great Lakes Maritime Academy at Traverse City, Mich. The pilothouse itself was delivered by barge to Two Harbors and donated to the Lake County Historical Society, while the bow thruster was removed for installation in the Irvin L. Clymer.
Frontenac remained idle at Superior until it was dismantled there in 1985.
Today in Great Lakes History - November 22
In 1947, the Canadian tanker BRUCE HUDSON broke down shortly after departing Port Stanley, Ont. The U.S. tanker ROCKET, Captain R. B. Robbins, managed to get a line on the HUDSON and tow her 50 miles through high seas and a snow storm to shelter behind Point Pelee. Later, the tug ATOMIC arrived on scene and towed the Hudson to Toledo for repairs.
On 22 November 1860, WABASH VALLEY (wooden propeller, 592 tons, built in 1856, at Buffalo, New York) was caught in a blizzard and gale off Muskegon, Michigan, on Lake Michigan. Her skipper thought they were off Grand Haven and as he steamed to the harbor, visibility dropped to near zero. The vessel ran onto the beach. Her momentum and the large storm waves carried her well up onto the beach where she broke in two. Her machinery was salvaged and went into the new steamer SUNBEAM.
Scrapping of SPRUCEGLEN, a.) WILLIAM K. FIELD was completed on November 22, 1986, by Lakehead Scrap Metal Co. at Thunder Bay Ontario. SPRUCEGLEN was the last Canadian coal-fired bulker.
On 22 November 1869, CREAM CITY (3-mast wooden bark, 629 tons, built in 1862, at Sheboygan, Wisconsin) was carrying wheat in a gale when she lost her way and went ashore on Drummond Island. She appeared to be only slightly damaged, but several large pumps were unable to lower the water in her hull. She was finally abandoned as a total wreck on 8 December. She was built as a "steam bark" with an engine capable of pushing her at 5 or 6 mph. After two months of constant minor disasters, this was considered an unsuccessful experiment and the engine was removed.
CITY OF MILWAUKEE was chartered to the Ann Arbor Railroad Co. and started the Frankfort, Michigan-Kewaunee, Wisconsin service for them on November 22, 1978.
November 22, 1929 - CITY OF SAGINAW 31 went out on her sea trials.
On 22 November 1860, CIRCASSIAN (wooden schooner, 135 foot, 366 tons, built in 1856, at Irving, New York) was carrying grain in a gale and blizzard on Lake Michigan when she stranded on White Shoals near Beaver Island. She sank to her decks and then broke in two. Her crew was presumed lost, but actually made it to Hog Island in the blizzard and they were not rescued from there for two weeks.
A final note from the Big Gale of 1879. On 22 November 1879, The Port Huron Times reported, "The barge DALTON is still high and dry on the beach at Point Edward."
1878: The wooden passenger and freight steamer WAUBUNO was lost with all hands, 14 crew and 10 passengers, on Georgian Bay.
1898: ARTHUR ORR went aground on Isle Royale when the steering gear failed in a severe storm. It was later released and survived until scrapping at Hamilton in 1947-1948.
1898: S.S. CURRY was leaking badly after it struck a reef off Duck Island, Lake Huron.
1906: J.H. JONES, en route from Owen Sound to Lions Head, was lost with all hands. The wooden passenger and freight steamer went down in 60 mph winds.
1907: Fire broke out aboard the wooden freighter LIZZIE MADDEN shortly after clearing Bay City for Little Current. The crew was rescued by the LANGELL BOYS. The burning hull drifted ashore on Little Charity Island in Saginaw Bay and was a total loss.
1911: JOLIET sank in the St. Clair River following a collision with the HENRY PHIPPS. It had been anchored due to fog when hit and all on board were saved. The remains were dynamited as a hazard to navigation.
1919: The wooden steamer MYRON sank off Crisp Point, Lake Superior and 17 crew were lost.
1950: The former Canada Steamship Lines canaller MAPLETON was destroyed at the Port of Suez, Egypt as b) EASTERN MED when a fire broke out while loading oil drums. The remains of the ship were scrapped.
1975: PIERSON DAUGHTERS hit bottom off North Colban Island in the St. Lawrence and had to go to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs after unloading the cargo of iron ore at Conneaut.
1988: The Dutch flag freighter POOLSTER first came through the Seaway in 1969. It suffered an engineroom fire off Kuwait as e) ATLANTIC REEFER while bound for Dubai on this date. The badly damaged ship was towed to Sharjah and then sold for scrap. It was renamed f) VOYAGER I for the trip to Gadani Beach, Pakistan, and the vessel arrived April 4, 1989, for dismantling.
1998: SPAR OPAL went aground inside the breakwall at Port Colborne due to high winds and was released by the tugs UNDAUNTED and WELLAND. The ship had also been a Seaway trader beginning in 1984 as a) LAKE SHIDAKA, in 1991 as b) CONSENSUS ATLANTIC, and in 1992 as c) FEDERAL MATANE (i). It began Great Lakes service as e) SPAR OPAL in 1997.
2000: PRINSES IRENE of the Oranje Lijn made 16 trips into the Great Lakes, with passengers and freight, from 1959 through 1963. The vessel was observed beached at Jakarta, Indonesia, as c) TANJUNG OSINA on this date and appeared to be badly rusted and burned out. The hull was later reported to have been broken up.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Steve Haverty and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Quebecois tow update
11/21 - About 3 p.m. Wednesday, the tug Molly M 1 pulled the Algoma Quebecois out of Lock 2 of the Welland Canal. The tow was expected pass the moored Spruceglen, and move up to the wall below Lock 3. The CSL Niagara would then be released from lock and pass the dead ship tow. However the Algoma Quebecois seemed to not be ready to go to scrap, and was trying to drift to the west side of the channel. Then the Homer Street Bridge malfunctioned and the tow was allowed to rest on the west bank until the bridge was fixed. The tow stayed there until CSL Niagara was released from the lock and passed the tow. This gave the tow a straight shot at Lock 3. The tugs Lac Manitoba and Seahound were on the stern of the tow. At 11:30 p.m., the tow was between Allanburg and Port Robinson.
Port Reports - November 21
Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Great Lakes levels recover from record lows after wet year
11/21 - Detroit, Mich. – A snowy winter and wet spring and summer led to an almost unprecedented recovery of Great Lakes levels this year, officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association said Wednesday.
But because they were at or near record lows, several of the lakes continue to have below-average water levels even after the recovery.
“That’s going to continue to affect Great Lakes shipping, shoreline property owners, marina owners and the recreational boater,” said Keith Kompoltowicz, watershed hydrology branch chief of the Army Corps’ Detroit district.
Dan Mishler noticed the difference this year. Mishler is president of the Lake Charlevoix Association for shoreline owners and other enthusiasts of the northern Michigan Lake connected to Lake Michigan.
“The water dropped dramatically about this time a year ago, and it stayed down throughout the winter,” he said. “It did not do that this year.”
Several marinas had to dredge, and many were forced to install much longer docks to use their boats, Mishler said. The dredging in particular concerns him.
“Michigan doesn’t have a really clean past,” he said. “The three cities on Lake Charlevoix (Boyne City, Charlevoix and East Jordan) all have industrial pasts, and when they dredge, I worry about what they are stirring up.”
The walleye and perch fishing on Lake St. Clair and western Lake Erie late last year was “absolutely excellent,” said charter fisherman Bruce Curtis, who represents that region for the Michigan Charter Boat Association.
But lower water levels meant “some marinas suffered,” he said. Those that didn’t dredge soon enough or deep enough lost bigger boats to other, deeper-channel marinas that could better accommodate them, he said.
Great Lakes levels typically get whatever rise they will have in a normal year during snowmelt and spring rains, a period from late winter to early summer. Lakes Michigan and Huron, which are connected at the Straits of Mackinac, had a nearly 20-inch rise from late February to early June in 2013, compared with just a 4-inch seasonal rise the year before, Kompoltowicz said. The average seasonal rise from late winter to early summer is closer to a foot, he said.
“Going back to 1918, the seasonal rises on Lake Superior and Lakes Michigan and Huron were in the top percentages of seasonal rises ever recorded” this year, Kompoltowicz said.
The better-but-not-normal lake level theme played out across the Great Lakes basin:
■ Lakes Michigan and Huron remain 17 inches below their long-term average as of the end of October but are up 11 inches from this time a year ago.
■ Lake Superior is 2 inches below its long-term average but up 13 inches from its levels of a year ago.
■ Lake St. Clair is 6 inches below its long-term average but up nearly 10 inches from a year ago.
■ Lake Erie is near its long-term average and up nearly 10 inches from this time last year.
■ Lake Ontario is also near average and up about a foot from the previous year.
Precipitation levels are only part of the equation, said Drew Gronewold, a hydrologist with NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. How much evaporation occurs in the summer is also key to lake levels, he said.
“Right now, we are in a period, since an El Niño period in the late 1990s, of exceptionally high evaporation,” he said. El Niño refers to a pattern of extended warming of the Pacific Ocean that leads to climate changes across the globe.
The forecast over the next six months calls for Lake Superior to remain 2 to 3 inches below its long-term average, but a foot or more above its levels of a year ago.
“With a wet winter, mean monthly Lake Superior water levels could rise above their long-term average, which would be the first time in 14 years that has occurred,” Kompoltowicz said.
The six-month forecast calls for water levels about a foot above those of a year ago on Lakes Michigan and Huron.
“Even with very dry conditions, we don’t see any further threat for record lows on Lakes Michigan and Huron,” Kompoltowicz said.
Lake Erie is expected to remain near its long-term average and 4 to 5 inches above its levels of last year, he said. Lake Ontario is projected at about 10 inches above its levels of the previous year over the next six months.
Kompoltowicz noted the difficulty in even short-term projections of lake depths.
“At the end of 2012, we were projecting several months in a row of record-low water levels on Lakes Michigan and Huron,” he said. “That ended with only a two-month stretch, and Lakes Michigan and Huron then rose very quickly.
“Something could change to make these forecasts complete busts.”
Detroit Free Press
Steel production dips by 5,000 tons in Great Lakes states
11/21 - Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region dipped slightly to 668,000 tons in the week that ended Saturday, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.
Production slipped by about 5,000 tons, or about 0.7 percent, from the week prior. Most of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in Indiana and the Chicago area. Production in the Southern District was estimated at 655,000 tons, up from 615,000 tons a week earlier.
Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.86 million tons, which was up from 1.83 the week prior.
U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 77.5 percent last week, up from 76.3 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 70.1 percent at the same time last year.
So far this year, domestic steel producers have had a capacity utilization rate of 77.2 percent, which is up from 75.5 percent during the same period in 2012.
Domestic mills have produced an estimated 85 million tons of steel this year, down 1.8 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 86.6 million tons of steel by Nov. 16, 2012.
In September, U.S. steel mill shipped 7.8 million net tons, a 5.6 percent decrease from a month earlier but an 8.9 percent increase from the same period last year, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.
Year-to-date shipments over the first nine months were down 2.4 percent. Shipments of hot-dipped galvanized products, hot-rolled sheet and cold-rolled sheet all declined last month.
Northwest Indiana Times
Lookback # 4: Bannockburn went missing on November 21, 1902
11/21 - The Bannockburn, the legendary “Flying Dutchman” of Lake Superior, disappeared with all hands 111 years ago today. The ship had loaded 85,000 bushels of grain at Port Arthur destined for Midland but was lost without a trace.
The nine-year old steamer had been built at Middlesborough, England, and crossed the Atlantic to join the Montreal Transportation Co. in 1893. While a good carrier for the canal grain trades, Bannockburn had its share of misfortune with groundings in 1897, 1900 and 1901.
No one knows what caused the ship to disappear. Some speculated there was a boiler explosion, others that it hit bottom and sank in rough seas, and some pondered that the machinery went through the bottom of the hull.
Reports circulated that the 245-foot-long vessel was aground on or near Michipicoten Island but this only raised unfounded hope for relatives of the missing sailors.
Folklore suggested that the ship has been spotted riding the waves of Lake Superior on dark and stormy nights but apparently all that has even been found was an oar that washed up on the Michigan side of the lake.
Updates - November 21
Today in Great Lakes History - November 21
In 1934, the package freighter EDWARD L. LOOMIS, Captain Alex McKenzie, collided with the W. C. FRANZ, Captain Alex McIntyre, about 30 miles southeast of Thunder Bay Island, Lake Huron. Four crewmen on the FRANZ drowned when the lifeboat turned over while being lowered.
On 21 November 1861, ENTERPRISE (2-mast wooden scow-schooner, 64 foot, 56 tons, built in 1854, at Port Huron, Michigan) was driven ashore near Bark Shanty at the tip of Michigan's thumb on Lake Huron. The storm waves pounded her to pieces. Her outfit was salvaged a few days later.
On the evening of 21 November 1890, the scow MOLLIE (wooden scow-schooner, 83 foot, 83 gross tons, built in 1867, at Fairport, Ohio) left Ludington, Michigan, with a load of lumber. About 8:00 p.m., when she was just 25 miles off Ludington, she started to leak in heavy seas, quickly becoming waterlogged. Capt. Anderson and his two-man crew had just abandoned the vessel in the yawl when the steamer F & P M NO 4 showed up, shortly after midnight. The rough weather washed Capt. Anderson out of the yawl, but he made it back in. At last a line from the F & P M NO 4 was caught and made fast to the yawl and the crew made it to the steamer. The men had a narrow escape, for the MOLLIE was going to pieces rapidly, and there was little likelihood of the yawl surviving in the gale.
PATERSON (Hull#113) was launched November 21, 1953, at Port Arthur, Ontario, by Port Arthur Ship Building Co. Ltd.
In 1924, MERTON E. FARR slammed into the Interstate Bridge that linked Superior, Wisconsin, with Duluth, Minnesota, causing extensive damage to the bridge. The bridge span fell into the water but the FARR received only minor damage to her bow.
On 21 November 1869, the ALLIANCE (wooden passenger sidewheeler, 87 foot, 197 gross tons, built in 1857, at Buffalo, New York) slipped her moorings at Lower Black Rock in the Niagara River and went over the falls. She had been laid up since the spring of 1869.
November 21, 1906 - The PERE MARQUETTE 17 encountered one of the worst storms in many years while westbound for the Wisconsin Central slip in Manitowoc. Wisconsin. She made port safely, but the wind was so high that she could not hold her course up the river without assistance. The tug ARCTIC assisted, and as they were proceeding through the 10th Street Bridge, a gust of wind from the south drove the ferry and tug against the north pilings of the 10th Street Bridge. The ARCTIC, pinned between the ferry and the bridge, was not damaged, but she crushed the hull of a fishing tug moored there, sinking her, and inflicted damage of a few hundred dollars to the bridge.
November 21, 1923 - Arthur Stoops, the lookout on the ANN ARBOR NO 6, was drowned while stepping from the apron onto the knuckle to cast off the headline.
On the night of 21 November 1870, C.W. ARMSTRONG (wooden propeller steam tug, 57 foot, 33 tons, built in 1856, at Albany, New York) burned at her dock at Bay City, Michigan. No lives were lost.
More incidents from the Big Gale of 1879. On 21 November 1879, The Port Huron Times reported "The schooner MERCURY is ashore at Pentwater. The schooner LUCKY is high and dry at Manistee; the schooner WAUBASHENE is on the beach east of Port Colborne. The schooner SUMATRA is on the beach at Cleveland; the large river tug J P Clark capsized and sunk at Belle Isle in the Detroit River on Wednesday [19 Nov.] and sank in 15 minutes. One drowned. The schooner PINTO of Oakville, Ontario, stone laden, went down in 30 feet of water about one mile down from Oakville. At Sand beach the barge PRAIRIE STATE is rapidly going to pieces.
1883: The boiler exploded aboard the salvage tug ERIE BELLE while working to free the schooner J.N. CARTER in the Kincardine area of Lake Huron. The former was wrecked but the boiler is still on what has become known as “Old Boiler Beach”.
1902: BANNOCKBURN disappeared on Lake Superior without a trace. Its final resting place has never been found.
1906: The wooden steamer RESOLUTE anchored off the Eastern Gap at Toronto to ride out a storm but the wind switched battering the vessel until it sank. The hull was salvaged in October 1907 and rebuilt as the JOHN ROLPH.
1936: HIBOU was lost in Owen Sound Bay within two miles of the dock and seven perished. The hull was refloated in 1942.
1941: HENRY C. DARYAW, requisitioned for war and on its delivery voyage stranded on rocks in the Brockville Narrows, rolled over and slid off into deep water and sank. It was to have been used on the east coast as a tender for ocean ships. One life was lost.
1957: MONTFAUCON was built at Wyandotte, MI in 1920 and later operated on the Great Lakes as b) E.M. BUNCE. It was at Naples, Italy, as g) ANNA MARIA IEVOLI when an internal explosion caused damage that led to the ship being scrapped.
1959: MOSES GAY was built at Duluth in 1943. It was severely damaged as e) HEANGURA in a storm at Ostra Kvarken, Sweden, and went aground. While salvaged, the ship was tied up at Turku, Finland, and sold for scrap in January 1960.
1961: The British freighter RAPALLO was anchored at Istanbul, Turkey, when struck and damaged by two different freighters, both out of control due to high winds. The vessel was repaired and began Seaway trading in 1963 for the Ellerman Wilson Line.
1961: The former Paterson canaller GANANDOC left the Great Lakes as b) SUGARLAND in October 1961. It had a brief career in the south and went aground at Arcas Reef, Bay of Campeche, while inbound for Coatzacoalcos, Mexico with 2,877 tons of phosphoric rock from Tampa. The ship was abandoned on November 26 as a total loss.
1962: BRO, a Norwegian pre-Seaway visitor as early as 1953, was abandoned by the crew after taking a severe list en route from Seville, Spain, to Rotterdam, Netherlands. The ship was taken in tow, reached Lisbon, Portugal, and was repaired.
1982: CAPTAIN PANAGOS D.P. went aground at Farasan Island in the Red Sea en route from Trois Rivieres, QC to Bandar Abbas, Iran. Fire broke out in the engine room and the ship was gutted. The hull was refloated and was noted lying off Qatar “derelict” in December 1986 and finally scrapped at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, as c) JENNY in 1988. The vessel first came through the Seaway as PANAGOS D. PATERAS in 1977 and returned as CAPTAIN PANAGOS D.P. in 1980.
1994: The Russian freighter FASTOV, upbound for Green Bay with pulpwood on its first trip to the Great Lakes, lost power and struck the Shell dock at Corunna, ON, resulting in considerable damage to the structure. The vessel returned inland as d) EVANGELOS in 1999 and was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, as f) JONA in 2011.
2007: The engine aboard the Lake Erie passenger ship JIIMAAN became disabled after the vessel snagged a fish net off Kingsville and the vessel grounded briefly.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Steve Haverty and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Algoma Quebecois heads for Port Colborne and scrap
11/20 - The scrap yard bound Algoma Quebecois left Toronto around 2 p.m. Tuesday bound for the Marine Recycling Corp. dock at Port Colborne, Ont. The tug Seahound was on the stern and the tug Lac Manitoba was on the bow. The weather was good, with sunny skies and a helpful northerly tailwind. Somewhere in the Welland Canal the tow will pass the downbound Algoma Montrealais, the Algoma Quebecois’ sister ship and now the last operating Canadian-flag steamer.
Charlie Gibbons and Jens Juhl
Port Reports - November 20
Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons and Jens Juhl
Man dies after being run over by forklift at Detroit Marine Terminal
11/20 - Detroit, Mich. – A 62-year-old man was killed Tuesday at the Port of Detroit Marine Terminal after a co-worker accidentally struck him with a forklift, police said.
Rescuers were called to the scene near Jefferson and Scotten at 8:50 a.m. after the forklift ran the man over, Detroit Police Officer Adam Madera said. He was guiding the driver of the forklift, who apparently lost sight of him. Madera said the investigation is being handled as an accident.
Known as the Nicholson Terminal and Dock, the marine cargo handling facility employs about 50 people, said Rhonda Burke, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Department of Labor, which oversees the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the federal agency that regulates workplace conditions.
OSHA has visited the facility 28 times over the past 40 years, records show. The most recent was in May 2009, but no citations were issued. OSHA investigated a 2004 fatality and issued eight citations.
The Detroit News
Lookback No. 3 – Roy A. Jodrey stranded Nov. 20, 1974
11/20 - Roy A. Jodrey, a self-unloader in the Algoma Central fleet, was up bound from Sept Iles, Quebec, and en route to Detroit with a cargo of iron ore, when it stranded on Pullman Shoal, off Wellesley Island, in the St. Lawrence 39 years ago today.
The nine-year old freighter stayed aground long enough for all on board to get away safely. Then, in the early hours of November 21, the ship slipped back off its perch and disappeared into deep water. Any hope for salvage was determined to be too difficult due to the location, the current and the damage.
Roy A. Jodrey was built as Hull 186 at Collingwood, and had been launched on September 9, 1965. The 640 foot, 6 inch long, diesel-powered vessel entered service on November 11, 1965, bound for Calcite, Mich., to take on a cargo of stone for Sault Ste. Marie.
The ship handled a variety of stone, coal and iron ore for Algoma's customers in its brief career.
Today in Great Lakes History - November 20
In 1948, the ROBERT HOBSON was blown against the Duluth-Superior breakwall as she tried to enter the harbor during a 68-mph gale. Damage to the vessel was kept to a minimum when Captain John Mc Nellis ordered the seacocks opened to settle the HOBSON on a sandbar. Renamed b.) OUTARDE in 1975, she was scrapped at Port Colborne, Ontario in 1985.
On 20 November 1854, BURLINGTON (2-mast wooden brig, 80 foot, 117 tons, built in 1842, at Cleveland, Ohio) was driven hard aground near Port Bruce, Ontario, on Lake Huron while trying to assist the stranded Canadian bark GLOBE.
SAGINAW was christened at the Government Dock in Sarnia, Ontario, in 1999. Bonnie Bravener and Wendy Siddall broke the traditional bottle of champagne adding the second vessel to Lower Lakes Towing's fleet. The company then opened the vessel for tours to all those in the large crowd that had gathered to witness the event. She was built in 1953 as a.) JOHN J. BOLAND.
Hall Corporation of Canada's EAGLESCLIFFE HALL was launched in 1956, at Grangemouth, Scotland. Sold off the lakes, renamed b.) EAGLESCLIFFE in 1974, she sank two miles east of Galveston, Texas, on February 9, 1983.
The ferry WOLFE ISLANDER was christened on November 20, 1946, at Marysville, Wolfe Island. The new ferry was the unfinished OTTAWA MAYBROOK which was built to serve the war effort in the south Pacific Ocean. She replaced two landing barges which were pressed quickly into service following the condemned steamer WOLFE ISLANDER, a.) TOM FAWCETT of 1904, which had served the community for 42 years. Officially christened WOLFE ISLANDER by Mrs. Sarah Russell, it took five tries before the champagne bottle finally broke on her port side.
Pittsburgh Steamship's steamer RALPH H. WATSON (Hull#285) was launched in 1937, at River Rouge, Michigan, by Great Lakes Engineering Works.
On 20 November 1872, the side wheel steamer W. J .SPICER was finally laid up and the crew dismissed. She had served for many years as the Grand Trunk ferry at Fort Gratiot on the St. Clair River.
On 20 November 1880, BAY CITY (wooden barge, 199 foot, 480 tons, built in 1852, at Trenton, Michigan as the sidewheeler FOREST CITY) was carrying coal when she was cast adrift east of Erie, Pennsylvania by the steamer JAMES P. DONALDSON in a storm. She was driven ashore and wrecked. Her crew was saved by the U.S. Lifesaving Service using breeches' buoy. November 20, 1898. ANN ARBOR #3 left Cleveland, Ohio for Frankfort, Michigan, on her maiden voyage.
November 20, 1924 - Pere Marquette fleet engineer Finlay MacLaren died after 42 years with the railroad. He was succeeded by his brother Robert until Leland H. Kent was named fleet engineer in 1925.
On 20 Nov. 1871, the schooner E. B. ALLEN was sailing from Chicago to Buffalo with a load of corn when she crossed the bow of the bark NEWSBOY about six miles off the Thunder Bay Light on Lake Huron. The NEWSBOY slammed her bow deep into the schooner's hull amidships and the ALLEN sank in about 30 minutes. The crew escaped in the yawl. The NEWSBOY was badly damaged but did not sink.
On 20 Nov. 1999, the Bermuda-flag container ship CANMAR TRIUMPH went aground on the St. Lawrence River off Varennes about 15 kilometers downstream from Montreal. She was the third vessel to run aground in the St. Lawrence River that autumn. The Canadian Coast Guard reported that she was having engine problems and the CBC News reported that the vessel's rudder was damaged in the grounding.
On Saturday morning, 20 Nov. 1999, Marinette Marine Corporation of Marinette, Wisconsin, launched the 175-foot Coast Guard Cutter HENRY BLAKE. The BLAKE was one of the "Keeper" Class Coastal Class Buoy Tenders. Each ship in the "Keeper" class is named after a famous American lighthouse keeper. 1917: JOHAN MJELDE, built at Cleveland in 1916, was sailing as b) STORO when captured by the German submarine U-151 near the Azores and, after 22 tons of copper were removed, the ship was scuttled on November 26.
1920: J.H. SHEADLE ran aground on the rocks at Marquette when the steering failed while backing from the dock. The ship was badly damaged. It last sailed in 1979 as e) PIERSON INDEPENDENT.
1943: The former LAKE FINNEY, later a Pre-Seaway trader in the 1930s as SANTA EULALIA, was torpedoed and sunk by British forces as the enemy ship c) POLCEVERA off Carlovassi, Italy.
1966: The Liberty ship MOUNT EVANS made two trips through the Seaway in 1961. It stranded off Mapingil, Philippines as h) EASTERN ARGO on this date in 1966. The hull was refloated with damage and then towed to Taiwan for scrapping in 1967.
1990: GINA, a Lebanese freighter, began leaking at Varna, Bulgaria. The ship was later taken to Piraeus, Greece, and laid up. The superstructure was removed and installed on a fire damaged vessel while the hull was towed to Aliaga, Turkey, in October 1991 and dismantled. GINA had been a Great Lakes trader as a) MARCOSSA-I in 1972
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Brian Johnson, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Steve Haverty and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
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