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Little to no ice on the Great Lakes in late January

1/21 - Syracuse, NY – The unusually mild first part of winter has not only left much of central New York in a significant snow drought, but also with the lack of ice on area lakes, including the Great Lakes.

This probably comes as no surprise, but about three weeks into January the percentage of ice coverage on the Great Lakes is historically low with not even 2% of ice coverage on the lakes. All of the Great Lakes are almost ice free! Lake Erie has no ice on it at all, and this is the Great Lake that is the shallowest of them all and in a typical winter it more often than not completely freezes over. Lake Ontario basically has no ice coverage either. The Great Lake that has the most ice on it is Lake Huron, with the northern shores of Georgian Bay having the bulk of it. Lake Superior and Michigan are at about 1.5% ice coverage.

What does this all mean? When cold air blows in from Canada/Arctic it will spell significant amounts of lake snow for those downwind of the wide-open Great Lakes. There likely will be ice developing on the Great Lakes to end January into at least the start of February as much colder air will be settling into the Great Lakes region, but probably not enough to interfere with lake effect snow late this winter. In a “normal” winter lake snow would be capped at least somewhat due to the extent of ice on the lakes, but that will not be the case this winter.

Don’t be surprised that lake effect snow remains an issue longer than it normally is as long as the air is cold enough, especially at night late this winter.

Also, note that the average water temperature of Lake Ontario as of January 19th was 40° still. According to the Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis the 40° average water temperature of Lake Ontario in late January is the warmest temperature recorded in late January (mid-winter) in the last 26 years.

WSYR

 

Port Reports -  January 21

Lake Michigan – Daniel Lindner
Strong winds and waves sent the few vessels on Lake Michigan seeking shelter on Wednesday. John J. Boland had her hook down off Waukegan, where she will ultimately discharge her cargo from Tawas, MI. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. spent the day anchored off Menominee in Green Bay; she is on her way to Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay for winter layup. American Courage, which transited Manitou Passage upbound on Wednesday afternoon with an AIS destination of "Tony Packos," unexpectedly turned south into Grand Traverse Bay and anchored at the southern end of the west arm, just off the shore of Traverse City. Aside from cruise ships, no large vessel other than GLMA's training ship State of Michigan have come that far into the bay in many years. Algoma Intrepid, bound for Chicago, was stopped in the channel between Cheboygan and Bois Blanc Island just east of the Straits.

Milwaukee, WI
With winds up to 35 knots and waves of 5 to 7 feet forecast for southern Lake Michigan Wednesday night (01/20), Spartan/Spartan II diverted to Milwaukee on its trip from Calumet Harbor to Ludington. The tug/barge, which is running light, arrived at 05:26 and tied up at the former Advanced Boiler dock.

Lake Erie Ports for Wednesday – Bill Kloss
Conneaut: Sam Laud is due on Thursday.
Nanticoke: Algocanada is due on Thursday.

Picton, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit was loading at Lehigh Cement on Wednesday evening for Toronto, ON.

 

LSSU awarded $250K grant from USFS to create green infrastructure

1/21 - Sault Ste, Marie, MI – Lake Superior State University was awarded a large grant from the U.S. Forest Service’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to help create green infrastructure locally.

Lake Superior State University will implement the St. Marys River Green Stormwater Demonstration Project in 2021. It will create the first green stormwater demonstration project along the St. Marys River and do so at a former industrial brownfield site.

The $250,000 project will be located adjacent to LSSU’s Center for Freshwater Research and Education (CFRE) and the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s Alford Park.

The university’s project is one of 27 recently funded projects through the U.S. Forest Service’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, under an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Projects were funded in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin, totaling almost $4.5 million, and are designed to strategically target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem and accelerate progress toward shared long-term restoration goals.

The St. Marys River Green Stormwater Demonstration Project will use green infrastructure to increase runoff infiltration and pollutant removal, create wildlife habitat in a unique riparian area, and provide community education opportunities on the importance of sustainable stormwater management. CFRE will engage students and the community and lead the development of rain gardens, pollinator habitats, and treescapes that will include approximately 50 new trees, 400 shrubs, and more than 4,000 native flowers planted across the CFRE and Alford Park properties.

Key partners in this project include the City of Sault Sainte Marie and the Chippewa Luce Mackinac Conservation District.

“This project will create high-impact experiences related to sustainability for our undergraduate students and our high school career and technology education students by engaging them in rain garden design and planting,” said CFRE Director Dr. Ashley Moerke. “This project is particularly exciting because it will help return a former industrial and contaminated site into a natural area that will more sustainably manage stormwater runoff and protect the water quality of the St. Marys River. The site will be an example used to guide sustainable waterfront development in the future.”

WLUC

 

Efforts to save Waugoshance light abandoned as structure crumbles into Lake Michigan

1/21 - The Waugoshance Lighthouse will not be around much longer. And, as it crumbles into Lake Michigan, it takes a rich history and some good ghost stories with it.

Damage to the lighthouse was first discovered in the fall of 2019 and the non-profit, Waugoshance Lighthouse Preservation Society, was called to action. But plans to help the lighthouse have now been abandoned due to the extensive damage, and the exorbitant costs, needed for even a temporary fix.

“Over the past two years we have been watching the record high water levels erode the base of the lighthouse at an alarming rate,” Chris West, former president of the Waugoshance Lighthouse Preservation Society, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, it is reaching the point of crumbling into Lake Michigan sooner than later. After receiving a quote of over $300,000 to install a temporary fix, which may only last a year or two, and something permanent being in the neighborhood of 2-3 million dollars, we knew we were in big trouble.”

Waugoshance Lighthouse has guarded the entrance to the Straits of Mackinac for the past 170 years. It protects boats from a shoal area at the northern end of Lake Michigan. The lighthouse is located in Emmet County. It stands in an area of the Wilderness State Park that is considered one of the most hazardous areas near the Straits of Mackinac.

The first lightship was stationed on Waugoshance shoal in 1832. In 1851, the Lighthouse Board decided to replace the lightship with a lighthouse. The lighthouse at Waugoshance was arguably the first light built in the Great Lakes that was completely surrounded by water. Both its construction and its continued maintenance were extremely hazardous due to the severe weather conditions of the area.

The lighthouse served until 1912 when its services were replaced by White Shoal Lighthouse, which is situated further north.

The Waugoshance Lighthouse has been around for the Civil War and both World Wars. It survived being used for target practice in WWII as the U.S. Government tested the first drones. It has stood watch as sailing ships were replaced by steamships and then again by thousand-foot freighters. But Lake Michigan’s high water levels and strong winds have caused extensive damage and Mother Nature is proving to be its greatest adversary.

Realizing that the lighthouse is in imminent danger of disappearing forever, the Waugoshance Lighthouse Preservation Society moved into rescue and recovery mode hoping to salvage some of the historical artifacts held within the lighthouse. They notified the National Park Service (NPS) and Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the immediate need to make a plan for recovering historically significant items. This included removing the birdcage lantern room, the bomb scarred metal plating and other historical items.

“Our plan was to donate these historical items to museums so we could continue to tell the story of Waugoshance, as they would be better in a museum then sitting beneath the waters of the Great Lakes,” West said. “We have been attempting to get approval from these government agencies since last summer so we could begin fundraising efforts. We were in contact with companies that specialize in this type of work that were willing to help us save these pieces of maritime history. Unfortunately, the response we received from the state and federal government was that they felt the structure was still able to be saved, and we should try to find another group to take over the efforts. This was extremely frustrating as we did not take this decision lightly, and to see these agencies discounting our opinion was hurtful.

“To make a long story short, this put us in a position that ultimately forced us to dissolve the preservation society because of the liability associated with the structure being unsafe. Sadly it seems the final nail in the coffin comes down to the state and federal agencies preventing us from saving and donating pieces of Waugoshance to keep her story alive.”

The Waugoshance Lighthouse Preservation Society has changed its online presence turning their efforts into a remembrance instead of a crusade to save the structure.

“We will now be known as ‘Fans of Waugoshance Lighthouse’ and will serve as a platform to share stories and images of our beloved lighthouse, but no longer as an official organization,” West said. “I am heartbroken that we could not save her from the elements that have been working to destroy her for the past 170 years.”

Harbor Light

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Algoma Enterprise pulled ashore for scrapping

1/20 - Port Colborne, ON – Rollout of Algoma Enterprise started last Saturday, with chain pullers. MRC crew pulled the 10,000-ton laker half out of the water onto dry land. They stopped when the bow of the Enterprise was pulled within 40 feet of the cement carrier Paul H. Townsend, with half of the freighter out of the water. Once the Townsend is chopped up completely and ice conditions in the harbor cooperate, we will roll out the balance of Enterprise. To the best of our knowledge, Algoway was the largest vessel ever rolled out anywhere to date and even though Enterprise is the same length and breadth as Algoway. Enterprise is much heavier and will be the largest and heaviest ship “dry docked” using the rollout method, Enterprise is the fourth ship rolled out by MRC, after English River, Algoway and Townsend.

Wayne Elliot – Marine Recycling Corp.

 

Soo Locks upgrading park’s lock model displays

1/20 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Soo Locks visitors will see more than $100,000 in improved lock model displays in the coming years thanks to local partner support and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Handshake Partnership Program.

Currently, the park features two original 3-D models dating back to 1893 and 1912, showing locks built on the facility over 100 years ago. The models sit in concrete and glass cases with cracked panes and openings in the bases allowing air, moisture and insects to get inside.

The oldest model was built to test the original Poe Lock plans in 1893 as evidenced by a photo discovered by Chief Park Ranger Michelle Briggs while working with historic photos. “I was doing some research when I found a photo dated March 1893 of the workmen posed with the model of the original Poe Lock, which I recognized from the park,” Briggs said. “I am sure this model was finished shortly after the picture was taken since one of the workmen is still holding a paint brush.”

The other model was built in 1912 to test plans for the Davis and Sabin Locks, twin locks currently being replaced by a second Poe-sized lock.

The historic models will be conserved, repairing original pieces as much as possible and accurately replicating all others. Archival paints will protect the models and match the colors of features at the Soo Locks. New, airtight cases with domed safety glass will further protect the historic models while allowing visitors to see them, Briggs explained. The plan also calls for adding a new 3-D model to the displays. The new model will give a bird’s eye view of the entire Soo Locks facility including the second Poe-sized lock currently under construction.

“One of the most important parts of this project is adding interpretive exhibit panels with each model. The exhibits will share the history of each model and the locks they depict to help visitors better understand how the locks work as well as the history of this National Landmark facility,” Briggs noted.

This project was possible through a Handshake Partnership program within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that provides funds for projects with strong public support to improve Corps parks and natural resources. Briggs worked with the Soo Locks Visitor Center Association (SLVCA), to identify and recruit project partners in the community and throughout the region.

The SLVCA and area partners raised more than $83,000 in funds and in-kind services toward the project. Briggs then competed for ‘gap’ funds through a lengthy application process showing the value of the project and partners’ commitment to improve visitor experiences at the Soo Locks. The application was one of 13 Handshake Partnership Program winners, adding an additional $25,000 for the project.

“This project shows that the Corps, the community and regional stakeholders can work together to preserve and share the history of the Soo Locks with the hundreds of thousands of people that visit each summer,” Briggs said.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District

 

Port Reports -  January 20

St. Marys River – Know Your Ships
Tanker Algocanada departed the harbor downbound around noon Tuesday for Nanticoke.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
After waiting out the night on the hook in Green Bay, Kaye E. Barker arrived at Bay Shipbuilding at 08:40 Tuesday morning for winter layup. American Mariner, which had unloaded her final cargo of the season at Gary and proceeded upbound on Lake Michigan on Monday, entered Sturgeon Bay via the ship canal at 11:47 Tuesday. With assistance from the Sarter tugs, she tied off to Roger Blough at berth 15, outboard of James R. Barker. Tuesday's arrivals bring Bay Shipbuilding's total for layup so far to 11 ships, with at least two more expected. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. is due to arrive early Wednesday, while John J. Boland should be in within the next few days.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid cleared 1.50 pm Tuesday upbound for Chicago with salt. Algoma Sault arrived 3.30 pm Tuesday loading at Compass Minerals.

Lake Erie Ports for Tuesday – Bill Kloss
Cleveland: Sharon MI arrived at 08:26 and went to the Port, dock 24N to unload. She departed at 14:58.

 

Five employees at Goderich salt mine test positive for COVID-19

1/20 - Goderich, ON – Initially three employees at the Compass Minerals salt mine in Goderich tested positive for COVID-19, as reported on Jan. 18. As of Tuesday morning another two employees tested positive for a total of five active cases related to the salt mine.

Compass Minerals transports salt around the Great Lakes region by freighter. This outbreak at the Goderich salt mine comes at a time as the Huron Perth health region experiences a spike in case numbers.

As employees at the Goderich salt mine are testing positive, Compass Minerals say protocols are in place to monitor the situation, perform contact tracing and place others in isolation if needed.

“Any employee who tests positive or who is identified through contact tracing for potential exposure, regardless of whether or not they are symptomatic, is required to immediately quarantine in accordance with provincial and county public health guidance,” a spokesperson for Compass Minerals explained.

Shoreline Beacon

 

Lay-up reports needed

1/20 - As the end of the shipping season approaches, please send reports of vessel lay-ups to news@boatnerd.net. This will help us compile our annual lay-up list. Include vessel name, date, port and name of lay-up dock. At this time we would like to acknowledge the late Dave Wobser for his many years of work maintaining the list and thank Matt Miner for agreeing to continue compiling this popular feature. Click here to view the Lay-Up List

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tug that hit Marquette breakwall salvaged

1/19 - Marquette, MI – Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie responded to a report of a submerged tug along the breakwall outside Marquette, MI.

At 11:40 a.m. on Jan. 15 , the Coast Guard received a report of a submerged tug in 26 feet of water off of the breakwall in Marquette. The 30-foot tug was transiting to the lower harbor when it lost power and struck the breakwall due to weather conditions. The two persons onboard were able to safely disembark the vessel with no reported injuries. Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), and Coast Guard Pollution Responders reported to the scene.

The owner of the barge commenced salvage operations to remove the vessel, which has successfully been accomplished. The maximum pollution potential was determined to be 100 gallons of oil and diesel fuel. The Coast Guard continues to work in concert with EGLE and the vessel owner to mitigate damage to the environment. The Coast Guard is coordinating with EGLE to ensure the safety of the public and environment. Local emergency managers were notified of the sunken vessel.

USGC

 

Port of Duluth-Superior had record-setting year for wind cargo in 2020

1/19 - Duluth, MN – A Lake Superior port is reporting a record-setting year when it comes to wind cargo. The Port of Duluth-Superior received 525,000 freight tons of wind cargoes in 2020, easily eclipsing 2019′s mark of 306,000 freight tons.

The port welcomed 30 oceangoing ships with wind cargoes in 2020, sailing from eight countries: Brazil, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Spain and Turkey. The shipments included the longest blades (242 feet) and towers (100 feet) ever handled in Duluth. Collectively, the components will assemble 154 wind turbines across Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

“It was a record-setting season for wind energy cargoes in Duluth,” said Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “In fact, it was our second consecutive record-setting season for that particular type of cargo. The fact that we were able to handle this record-setting volume of wind cargo this year didn’t happen by accident. It’s a testament to years of hard work.”

As the Great Lakes’ westernmost port, the Port of Duluth-Superior has historically been a key port for shipping companies looking to efficiently move cargo directly to America’s Heartland. The port is situated along the world’s longest freshwater sandbar, comprised of Minnesota Point’s seven-mile span and the three-mile Wisconsin Point.

“Being North America’s furthest-inland seaport really lends well to Duluth being the Midwest hub for wind cargo arrivals,” DeLuca said. “The fact that cargo can sail so far inland – some 2,038 nautical miles from the Atlantic Ocean to Duluth – is very advantageous for shippers.”

The Port of Duluth began receiving wind cargo in 2006. Recent improvements at the port include an $18 million rehabilitation and modernization of a dilapidated dock, a project that added 26 acres of modern outdoor storage space with road and on-dock rail access, as well as two new Seaway-depth berths and a roll-on/roll-off dock.

In 2017, the Port Authority added a 300-ton lift mobile crane to complement the terminal’s existing Duluth-built 90-ton twin gantry cranes and fleet of heavy-lift vehicles.

M Live

 

Port Reports -  January 19

St. Marys River – Know Your Ships
Algocanada remained at the Purvis dock Monday and is expected to depart Tuesday.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
Joseph L. Block arrived in Sturgeon Bay via the ship canal at 17:36 Monday evening for winter layup, mooring at berth 1 next to her fleetmate Wilfred Sykes on the east end of the shipyard. She is now the ninth vessel to tie up at Bay Shipbuilding for the winter; the list so far includes American Century, James R. Barker, Roger Blough, Cason J. Callaway, John G. Munson, Wilfred Sykes, Innovation/tug Samuel de Champlain, and tug Rebecca Lynn. Monday evening, Kaye E. Barker was transiting the Rock Island Passage and upper Green Bay bound for Sturgeon Bay. Her ETA was 00:00, but it was unclear whether she would come straight in or anchor and wait for daylight Tuesday to make her arrival.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
After delivering just over 28,000 metric tons of salt, Algoma Niagara cleared for Goderich at 21:57 Sunday. There has been no marine traffic at the port Monday (01/18), and none is currently expected.

Northern Lake Huron
Tawas City: Monday; 6:20 John J Boland arrived at the USG dock to load gypsum. 13:52 The tug Manitou arrived.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid was expected from Detroit around 9 pm Monday.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
Monday Arrivals: Sharon M I/Huron Spirit arrived at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal to unload steel coils. Sam Laud arrived at Zug Island to load slag. Algoma Intrepid arrived at the Motor City Materials dock to unload salt. New York/Double Skin 509A arrived at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal to load. Monday was an unexpectedly busy day.

Lake Erie Ports for Monday – Bill Kloss
Ashtabula: Calumet arrived for lay up at 23:01.
Conneaut: Calumet arrived at 04:51 and went to anchor. She went in to unload at 09:03. Once empty, she departed at 16:20 for Ashtabula.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 18

St. Marys River – Know Your Ships
Tug Anglian Lady/barge Ironmaster departed downbound Sunday. Tanker Algocanada arrived at the Purvis dock around noon and is expected to depart Tuesday.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
After waiting out the night anchored off Sherwood Point, American Century got underway early Sunday morning and backed through Sturgeon Bay to the shipyard, arriving there at 08:05. She was immediately placed in the graving dock where she will receive her 5-year survey.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Algoma Niagara arrived 09:33 Sunday (01/17) with salt from the Compass Minerals mine at Goderich. With tug Louisiana standing by, she spun in the outer harbor before backing to the salt domes and discharge pad on the inner harbor. Stewart J Cort arrived from Burns Harbor at 14:59 and proceeded to the Heavy Lift Dock where she will spend the winter. No additional marine traffic is currently expected.

Holland, MI – Bill Van Appleforn
The Undaunted/PM41 arrived early 1/16/20 to load scrap metal at the Padnos dock.

Northern Lake Huron
Meldrum Bay: Sunday; 15:09 CCGS Samuel Risley departed and is down bound on Lake Huron.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid cleared 11.40 am Sunday downbound for Detroit with salt.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
On Sunday, Kaye E Barker arrived at AK Steel to unload the last cargo of ore for the season. GL Ostrander/Integrity were also in port, unloading cement at Lafarge.

Lake Erie Ports for Sunday – Bill Kloss
Ashtabula: H. Lee White arrived at 08:50.
Conneaut: Edwin H. Gott departed at 01:12 for lay up in Toledo. Calumet is due early Monday morning.

Picton, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit at Lehigh Cement on Sunday afternoon.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 17

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Burns Harbor, the last vessel to arrive at the Twin Ports for the 2020 navigation season, arrived via the Superior entry at 10:21 Saturday morning and backed into the Lakehead Pipeline/Enbridge dock for the winter. Paul R. Tregurtha, which had arrived in Duluth on Friday and moored at Port Terminal, moved to her layup berth at SMET on Saturday morning as well. With only four active vessels laid up between Duluth and Superior - the other two being Lee A. Tregurtha and Hon. James L. Oberstar, both at Fraser Shipyards - the 2020/21 winter fleet is considerably smaller than normal. Edward L. Ryerson remains mothballed at Fraser for yet another winter, while the rusting hull of the former steamer J.B. Ford still sits intact at the Azcon Metals dock where she is to be broken up eventually.

St. Marys River – Know Your Ships
Anglian Lady/barge PML 9000 arrived upbound to the Purvis Dock in the lower harbor Sunday late morning. She is expected to depart downbound with the barge Ironmaster on Sunday.

Northern Lake Michigan
Charlevoix: Saturday; 6:32 Prentiss Brown arrived to load cement products and departed at 12:46 for Chicago.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
Cason J. Callaway arrived Sturgeon Bay at 08:00 Saturday and berthed next to her fleetmate John G. Munson at Bay Shipbuilding. American Century was anchored off Sherwood Point at the entrance to Sturgeon Bay Saturday night; she will more than likely wait for daylight on Sunday to arrive. John J. Boland is expected on Sunday, while the remainder of the layup fleet should be following within the next few days.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
No vessel traffic Saturday (01/16). Algoma Niagara is expected Sunday with salt from Goderich. Also likely to arrive Sunday is the Stewart J. Cort, which is coming up from Burns Harbor to spend winter at Milwaukee’s Heavy Lift Dock

Northern Lake Huron
Straits of Mackinac: Thursday; 20:15 15:28 G L Ostrander weighed anchor and departed for Alpena. 21:24.The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes weighed anchor and departed for Sarnia.
Lower St Marys River: Saturday; All the boats anchored above Detour departed for their destinations. 6:50 CCGS Samuel Risley weighed anchor to work on navaids in the Mississagi Straits. 9:11 USCG Mackinaw departed for the coast guard base in Cheboygan. 13:53 CCGS Samuel Risley went to anchor in Meldrum Bay. 14:01 Sharon MI / Huron Spirit weighed anchor and departed for Detroit.
Alpena: Saturday; 6:28 GL Ostrander arrived to load cement products.and departed at 12:08 for Detroit.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Niagara cleared 12.47 am Saturday upbound for Milwaukee with salt. Algoma Intrepid expected next.

Lake Erie Ports for Saturday – Bill Kloss
As most of the Great Lakes fleets are headed into lay up, activity on Lake Erie is down to just a few ports.
Ashtabula: H. Lee White arrived at 23:59.
Conneaut: Edwin H. Gott arrived at 11:30.
Nanticoke: Algonova departed for Sarnia at 08:03.

 

Saginaw River Commercial Shipping Season Report 2020

1/17 - With the best season on record since 2008, the 2020 commercial shipping season on the Saginaw River is in the books. Traffic numbers have now increased for the fourth consecutive year, surpassing last season’s totals. The number of commercial vessel passages for 2020 were the highest they have been since the 2008 season, climbing over the 200 mark for the first time since that year. It is important to note however, that without the record number of wind turbine blade deliveries that came into the Saginaw River this season, the 2020 season would have had the exact same number of commercial deliveries as the 2019 season. It is still exciting to see the improvement, especially after a year rocked by a global pandemic, boats in extended layup, and lower numbers realized in other parts of the industry. Hard work continues to be put in by leaders of the industry, not only here on the Saginaw River locally, but across the Great Lakes, working improve infrastructure and product diversity, which allows for more opportunities to utilize maritime assets to move product, cheaper and more efficiently than other modes of transportation. The results of these efforts are showing dividends, and it is still my hope that the gains we are now seeing, foreshadow even better things to come in the future. The following is a look back on the 2020 commercial shipping season here on the Saginaw River, utilizing the information and data I have collected during this time period.

The 2020 season officially started on March 18th, with the arrival of the tug Spartan and her tank barge, Spartan II. The pair brought in a cargo of Calcium Chloride from the Occidental Chemical Corp., located in Ludington, Michigan, delivering it at Port Fisher in Bay City. The season ended when the steamer Alpena arrived on January 8, 2021 to unload a cargo of powdered cement at the Lafarge Cement Dock in Essexville. The 2020 season on the Saginaw River lasted for a total of 297 days. This was 19 days longer than in 2019. The start of the 2020 season was 22 days earlier than in 2019, with the end of the season two days earlier than in 2019.

For the 2020 commercial shipping season, there were a grand total of 202 commercial vessel passages on the Saginaw River, representing an increase of 21 more passages than the 2019 season. These passages were made by 45 different vessels, representing 18 different vessel management companies. Both were increases, as there were 37 unique vessels and 15 companies in 2019.

Looking at other numbers from the 2020 season, deliveries were made to a total of 17 individual docks along the banks of the Saginaw River. These were the same 17 that had received cargo in 2019. The dock seeing the most vessel traffic in 2020 was the Port Fisher/Bay Aggregates Dock in Bay City, with 45 vessel deliveries. This is three more than recorded during the previous season. In second and third place respectively were the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City with 38 deliveries and the Wirt Stone Dock in Saginaw with 36 deliveries. Rounding out the top five are the Lafarge Cement Dock in Essexville with 23 deliveries and the Port Fisher/ International Dock with 21 deliveries. These top five docks accounted for a whopping 81% of the total commercial vessel deliveries in 2020. The two largest companies, Fisher and Wirt, each with multiple docks along the Saginaw River, accounted for a total of 78% of all commercial vessel deliveries. In all, accounting for split cargos by some vessels, which unloaded at two or more different docks during the same visit, there were 246 deliveries to the various docks along the Saginaw River. This is 42 more actual dock deliveries than during the 2019 season.

This table outlines the docks delivered to along with the number of vessels stopping there

The Lower Lakes Towing/Grand River Navigation tug, Olive L. Moore, paired with the self-unloading barge Menominee, defended their title of “Queen of the Saginaw River,” again making more trips to the river in 2020 than any other vessel. The pair logged 43 visits this season, eight more than in 2019 and 30 more than the boat the with second most trips to the Saginaw River, Interlake Steamship’s Herbert C. Jackson, who had 13. The Olive L. Moore/Menominee have been the workhorse of the Saginaw River 14 of the past 15 years. Rounding out the top five most frequent vessels is a three-way tie for third: Algoma Central’s Algoma Innovator, American Steamship’s John J. Boland, and Lower Lakes/Grand River’s Calumet, all with eight visits each.

The company leading the way with the most cargo deliveries to the Saginaw River during the 2020 season was Lower Lakes Towing/Grand River Navigation, with 70 vessel deliveries, an increase of 14 deliveries over 2019 and accounting for 35% of all deliveries in 2020. They have now been leading the way on the Saginaw River for 13 of the past 14 years. The Interlake Steamship Co. logged the second most visits, with 27 trips, down from 46 in 2019. Coming in third place was the American Steamship Co. with 21 deliveries to the Saginaw River, down three from 2019. These three companies accounted for 58% of all deliveries on the Saginaw River in 2020. Rounding out the top five companies were Algoma Central Marine and LafargeHolcim/Andrie, both with 15 trips each.

There were a number vessels that were visitors to the Saginaw River in 2019, that did not make a return visit here in 2020, with those vessels being American Steamship Co.’s 1,000 footers American Century, American Integrity, Indiana Harbor, and Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. Others were Sam Laud, Great Republic, and Manitoulin. Saltwater vessels included BBC Elbe, BBC Plata, BBC Polonia, BBC Louise, BBC Leda and Industrial Strength.

The list of boats that were not visitors in 2019 but did make an appearance on the Saginaw River in 2020 includes the longest vessel on the Great Lakes, Interlake Steamship’s Paul R. Tregurtha, making a first-ever visit, and the Robert S. Pierson and BBC Volga. There was a list of saltwater vessels making a first-ever visit to the Saginaw River in 2020: BBC Vessels Gdansk, Mont Blanc, Rushmore, Switzerland, Greenland, Edge, Song, Vesuvius, Peru, and Brazil. The others were Timgad, Zea Servant, Caroline, Amoenitas, Hilke, Calypso, Spiekeroog and Azoresborg.

There were a number of other notable stories during the 2020 season:

• Wind energy was a considerable theme relating to cargo delivered to the Saginaw River in 2020. Over the past few years, wind turbine components have been delivered here by boats, trains, and trucks, with the components including everything from the blades, to the tower segments, to the nacelles. This season however, we witnessed the largest ever amount of wind turbine blades delivered to the Saginaw River. Twenty one vessels called on the Port Fisher Dock in Bay City and unloaded these blades for delivery to wind energy farms throughout Michigan. As a result, Malcolm Marine Incorporated’s workhorse tug, Manitou, spent a large part of the 2020 season here on the Saginaw River, standing by at the Lafarge Cement dock in Essexville, ready to assist these saltwater vessels with turning around on the Saginaw River as well as getting safely on and off Port Fisher dock.

• The tug Manitou also assisted a number of other vessels, including Algoma Buffalo and Calumet, during a time of high water and currents due to extreme rainfall and dam failures on the tributaries that feed the Saginaw River, and the tanker Iver Bright, when she would arrive to unload liquid asphalt at the Bit-Mat dock.

• An iconic structure that sat on the bank of the Saginaw River since the 1940s disappeared from the landscape in 2020. The J.C. Weadock power generating plant in Essexville was retired by Consumers Energy in 2016 and demolition started. In 2020, with controlled explosions, the remains of the structure were brought down and hauled away. Interlake Steamship Co.’s Dorothy Ann – Pathfinder ended up making two deliveries to Consumers Energy, dropping stone to fill the hole left by the old Weadock plant.

• In February 2020, it was announced that Wilkinson Minerals would be opening a facility on the Saginaw River just east of the Independence Bridge in Bay City and begin pumping salt brine from a large deposit known as the Sylvania Sandstone Formation. Wilkinson Minerals has stated that “the company will produce both liquid and dry salt products, with the liquid products primarily shipped out on the river.” At last report, construction was supposed to begin in 2021.

• Maintenance dredging took place along sections of the Saginaw River during the 2020 season. Crews from the Ryba Marine Construction Co., based out of Cheboygan, MI, handled the work, with their tugs Kathy Lynn and Kristin Joelle each spending time working on the river.

• While not located on the Saginaw River, another iconic structure was lost in 2020, when crews demolished the old U.S. Gypsum marine loading building located in Lake Huron, offshore from their old mine in Alabaster. Built in the 1920s and last used in 2000, the scrap from the demolished building was barged to the Saginaw River, again by the Ryba Marine tug Kathy Lynn, and unloaded at the Port Fisher dock in Bay City for recycling and disposal.

• Some other vessels visiting the Saginaw River in 2020 were the U.S. Coast Guard cutters Hollyhock and Adler, handling aids to navigation work for the Saginaw River Entrance Channel out in Saginaw Bay. Michigan Department of Natural Resources research vessels Tanner and Wheeler also made appearances on the Saginaw River, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers surveyed the Saginaw River channel to insure there were no hidden hazards after hydroelectric dam failures in Edenville and Sanford caused flooding on the Saginaw River. Commercial shipping on the Saginaw River was suspended for a short time until conditions were safe enough for transit and the survey was completed.

As the shipping industry continues to evolve, adapt and move forward, it is the hoped that commercial traffic on the Saginaw River will continue to thrive and grow and that the products and materials handled continue to expand. Hopefully the 2021 season will be at least as good as 2020, and will be a safe and profitable one for everyone

Reported by: Todd Shorkey

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Walter J. McCarthy Jr. closes Soo Locks shipping season

1/16 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – The Soo Locks closed for the season early Saturday morning when the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. locked downbound. At 11 p.m. Friday, she was rounding Whitefish Point headed for Gary, IN, to unload her cargo of taconite. She was preceded earlier Friday by Kaye E. Barker, Sam Laud, American Courage, American Integrity and Calumet. Friday afternoon the USCG icebreaker Mackinaw cruised up the river to Soo Harbor, turned about and headed back down to moor at Line Island for a second night. There is no significant ice in the river system, which is highly unusual for mid-January.

Know Your Ships

 

Put to bed: Winter layup brings 4 ships to port of Duluth-Superior

1/16 - Superior, WI – Four vessels will winter in the Twin Ports as the 2020-21 shipping campaign draws to completion Friday with the end-of-day closure of the Soo Locks connecting lakes Superior and Michigan.

During winter layup, the Soo Locks are repaired and maintained. Lake freighters go into the shop, too, sometimes requiring significant work. Hulls banged up by a season of sailing can see their steel repaired and painted.

“It is a difficult time in terms of weather to complete this work, but it keeps this important national infrastructure project operating during shipping season,” Soo Area Office engineer Kevin Sprague said in a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers news release this week.

The four ore boats wintering in the port of Duluth-Superior:
• Hon. James L. Oberstar and Lee A. Tregurtha will dock at Fraser Shipyards in Superior.
• Paul R. Tregurtha will move around the harbor and settle at the Midwest Energy Resources Co. terminal Sunday.
• Burns Harbor will take up the Enbridge dock in Superior.

The season reopens March 25. The Great Lakes operating season is fixed by federal regulation and is driven in part by the feasibility of vessels operating in typical ice conditions, the Army Corps said. American Mariner was the final boat out of the Twin Ports on Thursday afternoon.

None of the Great Lakes fleet of vessels, which are based in Duluth, will be wintering in the Northland. Both Tregurthas and the Oberstar belong to Interlake Steamship Co., based outside Cleveland, Ohio, while Burns Harbor belongs to American Steamship Co., based outside Buffalo, New York.

While wintering in the Twin Ports, Paul R. Tregurtha will undergo a continuous hull survey as well as improvements to the self-unloading system, ballast tanks and main engine repairs, the company said.

The Oberstar will also undergo a continuous hull survey, repairs to the self-unloading system and refrigeration replacements, Interlake said. The Lee A. Tregurtha will have cargo hold repairs and renovations to crew rooms and common areas, Interlake said.

The concluding campaign was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The resulting economic downturn saw blast furnaces slow down, and some mines close temporarily, slowing the transit of taconite iron ore. It created a wide gap when comparing tonnage figures to the previous season.

Mark Barker, president of Interlake Maritime Services, which manages the steamship company, described the season as "one of the most dynamic in recent history. It wasn’t necessarily a banner year for cargoes carried," Barker said, "but I’m extremely proud of the resourcefulness and responsiveness of our entire industry and especially the women and men onboard our ships in keeping the America economy moving forward these last 10 months.”

Latest figures from the Duluth Seaway Port Authority showed a 25% tonnage gap through December between 2019-20 and 2020-21, 32.9 million tons compared to 24.7 million this season. The overall tonnage gap did shrink as the season wore on, from 31% late in the summer, down to 27% through November, and then 25% in December.

“There were highs and lows, but we’re recovering well,” Kate Ferguson, the Port Authority’s director of trade and business development, said earlier this month.

The industry did well to prevent COVID-19 from infecting the workforce. At the beginning of the campaign, the specter of outbreaks on vessels was a major concern, Ferguson said. “We had minimal reports on any of that kind of situation on lakers or salties, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. You have to declare that an absolute success.”

Barker agreed, saying the companies worked together through the Lake Carriers' Association to establish protocols intended to mitigate the risk of infection.

"(W)e were able to keep our merchant mariners safe and healthy throughout a very unpredictable time," Barker said. "And at the same time (we) continued to deliver millions of tons of cargoes for our customers around the region.”

Off the eastern end of Lake Superior, on the St. Marys River, the Army Corps of Engineers uses the winter period to perform maintenance which keeps the Soo Locks operating. Often the work takes long hours in extreme conditions to complete during the closure period. The Corps of Engineers has several projects this off season, it said.

Superior Telegram

 

Port Reports -  January 16

Duluth / Superior
Paul R. Tregurtha arrived Duluth at 08:36 Friday morning and backed into the Port Terminal slip. She is scheduled to winter at Midwest Energy, so she is most likely at Port Terminal for work of some sort before she moves to her winter berth. She joined Interlake fleetmates Lee A. Tregurtha and Hon. James L. Oberstar in layup, both of which are tied at Fraser Shipyards. Burns Harbor is due to arrive via the Superior entry at 10:00 Saturday morning for the winter; her arrival will mark the end of the 2020 season for the Twin Ports.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departed Two Harbors on Jan. 14th at 20:47 for Gary. This will be my final Port Report for the 2020-21 shipping season.

St. Marys River – Know Your Ships See top news report.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner John G. Munson arrived at Bay Shipbuilding at 15:33 Friday afternoon for winter layup. Cason J. Callaway was upbound on Lake Michigan Friday and should arrive early Saturday morning, while American Century departed Gary on Friday afternoon for Sturgeon Bay.

Green Bay, WI – Jon At 9:02 am Friday Algoma Intrepid arrived from Goderich with salt for the Fox River Dock Terminal. She departed at 6:02 p.m. for Goderich and is the port’s last vessel of the season.

Northern Lake Huron
Straits of Mackinac: Thursday; 10:22 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes for Sarnia went to anchor at the south west end of Bois Blanc Island for weather. 15:28 G L Ostrander for Alpena went to anchor at Trails End Bay, west of the Straits for weather.
Lower St Marys River: Thursday; 17:57 CCGS Samuel Risley went to anchor north of Detour. USCG Mackinaw moored at Lime Island Friday.A number of boats have gone to anchor for weather. Kaye E Barker for Dearborn, Sam Laud for Toledo and American Courage were north of De Tour. Sharon MI / Huron Spirit is anchored north of Lime Island off of Pointe Aux Frenes.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas Algoma Sault cleared 3.36 am Friday upbound for Chicago with salt. Algoma Niagara arrived 10.17 pm Thursday loading at Compass Minerals.

Lake Erie Ports for Friday – Bill Kloss

Ashtabula: The lay-up fleet has increased by one as Manitowoc arrived at 11:22.

Conneaut: Presque Isle departed for Erie at 05:02. Edwin H. Gott is due on Saturday.

Erie: Presque Isle arrived at 15:00.

Nanticoke: Algocanada departed for Sault Ste. Marie at 15:53. Algonova arrived at 05:48.

Toronto, ON – Tom Brewer

McKeil Spirit arrived Friday evening from Picton and docked at Lehigh Cement.

 

USCG closes West Neebish and Pipe Island channels, Grays Reef Passage

1/16 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Captain of the Port Sault Ste. Marie will close three regional waterways in conjunction with the scheduled closure of the Soo Locks. Tuesday 19 January the West Neebish Channel and Pipe Island Channel (North and East of Pipe Island) of the St Marys River and Grays Reef Passage in the Straits of Mackinac will close to commercial shipping due to expected ice growth. The St Marys River’s Middle Neebish Island Channel and Pipe Island Course will become alternating one-way transit routes. Per United States Code of Federal Regulation, these actions steer commercial shipping and Coast Guard ice breaking activity away from these waterways during the winter months. A similar announcement in the spring will precede the planned reopening of these waterways. The Coast Guard reminds all recreational ice users to plan their activities carefully, use caution on the ice, stay away from active shipping routes and ice breaking areas.

USCG

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Great Lakes iron ore trade down in 2020

1/15 - Cleveland, OH – Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes totaled 4.7 million tons in December, a decrease of 3.8 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments were also below the 5-year average for the month by 7.2 percent.

The year-end total for the iron ore trade stands at 41.2 million tons, a decrease of 22.9 percent compared to 2019. Compared to the trade’s 5-year average, 2020 iron ore loadings were down 21 percent.

 

Port Reports -  January 15

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Lee A. Tregurtha arrived Duluth at 07:07 Thursday morning, becoming the first vessel to arrive at the Twin Ports for the winter. She was assisted to her berth at Fraser Shipyards by G-tugs North Carolina and Missouri. Her fleetmate Hon. James L. Oberstar was due to lay up around 23:00, also at Fraser. Paul R. Tregurtha will arrive Friday for layup at SMET and will more than likely close the 2020 season on the Duluth side. At the Superior entry on Thursday, American Integrity departed at 00:21 loaded with iron ore pellets for Gary. American Mariner, the last vessel to be loaded at Burlington Northern for the season, weighed anchor and arrived at 01:00 to load; she was outbound with pellets at 15:31. Burns Harbor is expected on Saturday to end her season at either Lakehead Pipeline or Elevator M in Superior.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Calumet departed Two Harbors on Jan. 14th at 00:36 for Conneaut. American Courage arrived Two Harbors on Jan. 14th at 00:55 for South of #2. She departed Two Harbors on Jan. 14th at 06:57 for Gary. Arriving Two Harbors on Jan.14th at 07:33 was the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. The McCarthy Jr. was showing a Superior destination. As of 19:30 on Jan. 14th she was still at the loading dock. She will be the last boat to load in Two Harbors this season.

Marquette, MI – Fred A. Tijan
Jan 8 the Sam Laud departed at 11:31 am for Toledo, OH. Jan 9 the Hon. James L. Oberstar departed at 14:30 hr for Ashtabula, OH and the Lee A. Tregurtha departed at 21:07 hr for Dearborn, MI. Jan 10 the Kaye E. Barker departed at 14:23 hr for Dearborn. Jan. 11 Herbert C. Jackson departed at 06:37 hr for Detroit AK Steel. Jan. 12 the Manitowoc departed at 16:48 hr for Toledo, OH. Jan 13 the Dirk S. VanEnkevort / Michigan Trader departed at 08:18 hr for Indiana Harbor, IN. Jan. 14 had the last boat to load, the Kaye E. Barker departing at 12:22 hr for Dearborn ,MI. January 2021 had 16 boats loading with 444,134 tons of pellets if loaded to the maximum tonnage listed for each boat.

St. Marys River – Know Your Ships
As the shipping season winds down, there were just a few downbound passages on Thursday. John J. Boland locked down early, Stewart J. Cort, Erie Trader/Clyde S, Edwin H. Gott and Sharon M 1/barge Huron Spirit followed in the late afternoon. CCGS Samuel Risley headed downbound as well and was expected to stop for the night in the lower river Nothing moved upbound, however the USCG Mackinaw entered the river from the south late in the afternoon and moored at Lime Island.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
James R. Barker's 2020 season ended at 09:34 Thursday morning when the footer arrived at Bay Shipbuilding for winter layup. Sarter tugs moved the dormant Roger Blough away from the wall, allowing the Barker to back into berth 15 alongside the graving dock. The Blough, along with Wilfred Sykes, have been laid up at BayShip for most of the latter half of 2020, however both vessels should hopefully be back out in the spring. Also at the shipyard is the Lafarge ATB Innovation/Samuel de Champlain and the Andrie tug Rebecca Lynn; all three vessels are on the blocks receiving their 5-year surveys in addition to other work. The incomplete hulls of the future Mark W. Barker and a tank barge being built for overseas service are moored at the shipyard, waiting for construction work to resume in the spring. With the closing of the Soo Locks on Friday, the rest of Sturgeon Bay's winter layup fleet, American Century, John J. Boland, Kaye E. Barker, Cason J. Callaway, John G. Munson, and Joseph L. Block, should be arriving within the next week.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
With winds up to 20 knots and waves of 6 to 8 feet forecast for southern Lake Michigan Thursday night (01/14), Milwaukee is hosting two unexpected guests in the inner harbor. Tug John Marshall with two barges of armor stone is tied up just south of the COFCO elevator, and Spartan/Spartan II is secured at the Heavy Lift Dock. No other marine traffic is currently scheduled.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Thursday; 9:10 Great Republic departed for winter layup in Toledo.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid cleared 7.22 am Thursday upbound for Green Bay with salt. Algoma Sault arrived 5.50 am loading at Compass Minerals.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
The tug New York and barge Double Skin 509A were loading at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal on Thursday. Herbert C Jackson also arrived for lay-up at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal on the 13th.

Lake Erie Ports for Thursday – Bill Kloss
Cleveland: Dorothy Ann departed Wednesday night for Burns Harbor.
Ashtabula: Indiana Harbor arrived at 14:34.
Conneaut: Arthur M. Anderson departed for Toledo at 05:31. Presque Isle arrived to unload at 14:00.
Erie: Mesabi Miner arrived at 17:00 for lay up.
Nanticoke: Algocanada arrived at Imperial Oil at 07:25. Algonova is due on Friday.

 

Obituary: Arthur "Captain Art" S. Herrala

1/15 - Detroit, MI – Our industry lost one of the greatest Wednesday. Arthur "Captain Art" S. Herrala sailed aboard the Boblo steamers from 1947-1991. During that time he worked every position in the deck department on the Columbia and Ste. Claire, retiring as master of the Columbia when she was retired in Sept. 1991. He was a mentor and friend to many and will be missed. He was born on July 28, 1929 and passed away on January 13, 2021. Arrangements by the care of Resurrection Funeral Home, Clinton Twp., MI.

Capt. Sam Buchannan

 

Free admission at National Museum Saturday-Monday

1/15 - Toledo, OH – In the community improvement and service spirit of the Martin Luther King holiday, beginning Saturday, January 16, through Monday, January 18th, we are opening our doors for free in thanks and recognition of the outpour of community support we have gotten throughout the past year.

To ensure the health and safety of our guests, we require masks at all times and have limited attendance capacity. We hope by extending free admissions across three days, we can accommodate as many visitors as safely able. With that in mind, although not required, timed entry tickets are strongly encouraged and can be reserved online at nmgl.org. If you have questions or need help registering, don't hesitate to call us at 419-214-5000.

For those unable to join us, we encourage you to visit History From Home with free, interactive virtual tours, videos, at-home activities, reading, and maritime education for all ages.

National Museum of the Great Lakes

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Great Lakes limestone trade down 14.7 percent in 2020

1/14 - Cleveland, OH – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 26.6 million tons in 2020, a decrease of 14.7 percent compared to 2019. 2020’s loadings were also 7.2 percent below the trade’s five-year average.

Loadings from U.S. quarries totaled 21.1 million tons, a decrease of 17.8 percent compared to 2019. Shipments from U.S. quarries were also below their 5-year average by 10.8 percent. Shipments from Canadian quarries totaled 5.5 million tons, a near match to 2019, and 9.7 percent better than their 5-year average.

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Soo Locks closing for seasonal repair, maintenance

1/14 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – The Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan will close to marine traffic beginning 11:59 p.m. January 15 through 12:01 a.m. March 25 to perform critical maintenance. The operating season is fixed by federal regulation and is driven in part by the feasibility of vessels operating in typical ice conditions.

Every year, the Corps uses the winter period to perform maintenance to keep the Soo Locks operating. The Soo Area Office team works long hours in extreme conditions to complete a significant amount of maintenance during this annual closure period. The work they perform is unique, especially given the harsh northern Michigan conditions they work in.

“It is a difficult time in terms of weather to complete this work, but it keeps this important national infrastructure project operating during shipping season,” Soo Area Office Area Engineer Kevin Sprague said.

The Corps of Engineers has several projects to complete before reopening the locks in March. “The first step is to place the bulkheads then our dive team goes into the freezing water to seal the bulkheads and prepare the locks for dewatering,” he said. “Most of the maintenance projects will take place on the dewatered Poe Lock, the only lock large enough for the 1,000-foot freighters to transit.”

The team will install temporary panel bridges across the MacArthur and Poe Locks. These panel bridges will provide the ability to mobilize materials and equipment to the job sites throughout the winter closure.

Maintenance crews will complete Poe Lock upstream and downstream miter gate structural repair work. The miter gates are the large gates that serve as dams at each end of the lock chamber allowing the water to be raised and lowered in the chamber. One of the intermediate miter gate concrete sills will get major repairs as well.

Crews will replace ice flushing valves on the upstream miter gates and make repairs to one of the lock filling valves and one of the lock emptying valves. Crews will also clean the Poe Lock underfloor drainage system. This is important to ensure the lock can be effectively dewatered in the future and goes a long way to minimizing ice buildup on the lock floor while work is being done.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will drydock its barge Huron on the Poe Lock floor where crews will inspect, repair, sand blast and paint it. This is a cost-effective way for the Corps to maintain its barge.

In addition to the above, crews also perform a wide range of other maintenance tasks from fender timber replacements on the piers to inspections and preventative maintenance on electrical and mechanical systems on both Poe and MacArthur Locks.

Watch the Detroit District Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/USACEDetroitDistrict for information about the last vessel to transit the Poe Locks for the 2020-2021 shipping season and updates about the maintenance work.

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

The Corps is building a second Poe-sized lock to provide much needed resiliency in the Great Lakes Navigation System. The second Poe-size lock, 110-feet by 1,200-feet, is being built on the existing Davis and Sabin Locks sites. The Davis Lock opened in 1914, not used since 2018, and only to transport Corps vessels. The Sabin Lock opened in 1918, has been inactive since 1989. Both the Sabin and Davis Locks are too shallow for most modern vessels.

The Corps’ contractor wrapped up the first year of upstream channel deepening mid-December, excavating between two and six feet of Jacobsville sandstone to deepen the north canal enough for the 1,000-foot ships that will use it. The deepening work will resume in April 2021. The project’s second phase to stabilize the existing upstream approach walls will also begin in April.

The project’s final phase is construction of the new lock chamber. The Detroit District is preparing the 100% design package and the final design review will be in early 2021. Corps officials anticipate phase three construction will begin in spring 2022. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, maintains a navigation system of 95 harbors, including the Great Lakes Connecting Channels that join lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie.

To find more information on the Soo Locks, visit the Detroit District Website: www.lre.usace.army.mil.

 

Port Reports -  January 14

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Late Tuesday night, the Duluth harbor saw some unexpected traffic. Erie Trader/tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort finished their load at Canadian National and departed at 23:09 for Indiana Harbor. American Courage, which had been anchored outside Duluth waiting to load in Two Harbors, made port at 23:32 and tied up at the CN gravity dock. Her sister Sam Laud, which had also been scheduled to load in Two Harbors but likely switched to Duluth due to the backlog of vessels waiting for north shore berths, arrived at 23:58 and moored alongside the Courage. The Laud swung her boom over the Courage's deck and offloaded iron ore pellets into her holds. Those pellets most likely came from American Mariner, which overloaded in Two Harbors a few days ago and discharged part of her cargo to the upbound Laud on the St. Marys River. Partially loaded, American Courage departed at 04:02 Wednesday morning and re-anchored off Duluth. She still had her hook down Wednesday night but should be next in line for CN Two Harbors after Calumet loads. Sam Laud, meanwhile, moved to the shuttles at CN after offloading into the Courage. She was still loading Wednesday evening but should depart overnight. In Superior on Wednesday, Stewart J. Cort was outbound at 00:54 bound for Burns Harbor with iron ore pellets. This is her last trip of the season, as she will head for Milwaukee after unloading to lay up. American Integrity, which had been anchored off the Twin Ports with a Two Harbors destination, arrived Superior at 01:35 and tied up at Burlington Northern to load. She was still at BN Wednesday night with no departure time posted. American Mariner arrived off the Twin Ports on Wednesday, initially to wait for her turn in Two Harbors. However, by mid-afternoon, she was showing a Superior destination; she will arrive to load once the Integrity departs.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
John J. Boland departed Two Harbors on Jan. 12th at 23:27 for Indiana Harbor. Arriving Two Harbors on Jan. 13th at 00:14 was the Edwin H. Gott. She departed on Jan. 13th at 13:00 for Conneaut. Arriving Two Harbors on Jan. 13th at 13:22 was the Calumet after she had been anchored near Port Wing, WI. The only other boat scheduled to load in Two Harbors for the season is the American Courage and she's anchored off Duluth. Depending on what pellets the Calumet and American Courage are loading and the time it takes to reclaim, both boats could be loaded by morning. The Calumet could be loaded by midnight/1 a.m.

Green Bay, WI – Jon
On Wednesday at 3:42 pm the tug Michigan barge Great Lakes departed for Sarnia to close out the 2020/2021 shipping season in Green Bay. No additional marine traffic is currently expected.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
No marine traffic at Milwaukee Wednesday (01/13), and nothing is expected.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Wednesday; 17:49 Great Republic arrived at the Lafarge plant to unload.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid arrived 11.30 am Wednesday turned in basin loading at Compass Minerals. Algoma Sault expected next.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
Herbert C Jackson unloaded ore at AK Steel on Wednesday

Lake Erie Ports for Wednesday – Bill Kloss
Cleveland: Dorothy Ann arrived at 08:07 to load at Cargill. New York departed for Detroit at 09:05.
Ashtabula: Defiance arrived at 04:20 for lay up. Indiana Harbor is due on Thursday.
Conneaut: American Spirit departed at 17:35. Arthur M. Anderson arrived at 22:30.
Erie: Mesabi Miner is due on Thursday.
Nanticoke: Algocanada is due on Thursday.

Toronto, ON –Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit at Lehigh Cement on Wednesday evening.

 

Past Seaway visitors scrapped

1/14 - Vessels with Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway connection reported as a casualty or sold for demolition, taken from January 2021 issue of Marine News - Journal of the World Ship Society

Casualties: None Demolitions: BOOLI MOOG (8613061; Togo) (Jaohar Express-18, Kickapoo Belle-15, Chofu-98 - 1st Seaway trip 1988) 14,499 / 1987 - general cargo ship. By Devon Maritime Ltd, Marshall Islands, to International Steel Corp., India and commenced demolition 14.03.2020

LIEN LI 57 (8025018, Panama) (Hai Soon 22-08, Nipayia-01, Botany Tribute-96 - 1st Seaway trip 1984) 4,750 / 1981 - products tanker. By Yisheng Shipping Co Ltd., Hong Kong, China, to Sl Steel Ship Breaking Yard and arrived Chittagong 8.01.2020 and commenced demolition 14.01.2020 Report prepared by Barry Andersen and René Beauchamp

 

Great Lakes bulker successfully retrofitted for automatic dock-to-dock operation

1/14 - American Courage is the largest ship ever to perform automatic dock-to-dock operation. This follows a decision by its owner to fit the 1979-built ship with Wärtsilä SmartMove solutions for hands-off transit along the Cuyahoga River in Ohio.

The Wärtsilä SmartMove solution for semi-autonomous sailing features advanced sensors and high-accuracy ship control systems that, says Wärtsilä Voyage, effectively take the concept of automated dock-to-dock operations to the next level.

Fully retrofittable, the SmartMove Suite can give existing vessels next-generation capabilities to improve safety, efficiency and productivity on the water. The technology enables navigation officers to perform at a higher level.

The Wärtsilä solution has been successfully tested on the American Courage since March 2020, making it the largest ship ever capable of performing automated docking and dock-to-dock sailing operations. The winding, often narrowing Cuyahoga River can be heavily congested, making it by far the most challenging of shipping routes for any vessel using automated sailing and docking technology.

Read more at this link: https://www.marinelog.com/news/great-lakes-bulker-successfully-retrofitted-for-automatic-dock-to-dock-operation

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The last grain boat in Thunder Bay caps a successful shipping season

1/13 - Thunder Bay, ON – The honor of closing the 2020 shipping season in Thunder Bay goes to the Saginaw. The self-discharging bulk carrier, owned by Lower Lakes Towing Ltd., docked at the Richard Terminal in the north end of the harbor Tuesday morning to pick up a load of grain.

The boat was expected to leave the port and head for Windsor at approximately 5:00 p.m., closing a season which the port authority has described as very successful. Thunder Bay handled more cargo this year, 10.2 million metric tonnes, than in any year since 1997. That was also the last year that shipments exceeded the 10 million tonne mark.

As well, the port saw the second highest number of ocean-going vessels (157) since the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959. In all, 482 vessels visited Thunder Bay, 53 more than the previous shipping season.

CEO Tim Heney said the success is particularly impressive considering that the seaway as a whole experienced a decline in virtually every other cargo over the past year.

Grain shipments were largely responsible for Thunder Bay's strong numbers, with a tonnage increase of about 17 per cent. For the first time ever, the port received a cargo of phosphate fertilizer bound for western Canada. It's being stored at Keefer Terminal for shipment by rail to prairie farms, where it will cultivate the grain that will be sent to Thunder Bay after next year's harvest. Heney said "This shipment required considerable planning between the freight forwarder, the Port, and Logistec Stevedoring which was responsible for the discharge and handling of the fertilizer."

He said there will likely be more incoming fertilizer shipments next season. "We have invested heavily in infrastructure and marketed a two-way route that adds value for businesses shipping to and from the west."

Heney is also looking for a rebound in the upcoming shipping season in coal shipments – which have dropped considerably from last year – and wind turbines. The 2021 shipping season is expected to open in late March.

Over the winter, four vessels will remain in Thunder Bay for maintenance and repairs: Algoma Guardian, Algoma Strongfield, and Frontenac at Keefer Terminal, and Blair McKeil at Heddle Shipyard.

TB Newswatch

 

Port Reports -  January 13

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
There was no traffic through either the Duluth or Superior entries on Tuesday. Erie Trader/tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort spent the day loading iron ore pellets at CN, while Stewart J. Cort was tied up at Burlington Northern in Superior loading. Neither vessel had a departure time posted. American Courage and American Integrity were both anchored outside the harbor waiting to load in Two Harbors.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
The John G. Munson departed Two Harbors on Jan. 11th at 20:42 for Gary. The Cason J. Callaway shifted from South of #1 to South of #2 from 20:46 to 21:12. She departed on Jan. 12th at 04:20 for Gary. Arriving Two Harbors on Jan. 12th was the John J. Boland at 05:35. As of 19:00 on Jan. 12th she was still loading. The Gott has been laying off Two Harbors all day on Jan. 12th waiting on the Boland's departure. Anchored off the Twin Ports awaiting the Two Harbors dock are the American Courage and the American Integrity. Anchored off Port Wing, WI awaiting Two Harbors is the Calumet.

Thunder Bay, ON
Monday; 21:16 Robert S Pierson departed for Windsor. Tuesday; 3:53 Saginaw arrived at the Richardson Current River Terminal to load wheat and is the last boat to load in Thunder Bay for the season. 10:50 CCGS Samuel Risley departed for Sault Ste Marie. 18:40 Saginaw departed downbound.

St. Marys River
Among downbound traffic Tuesday was the tug/barge combo Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 coming from Algoma Steel. The tug was sporting her new Interlake Steamship Co houseflag as she is now under the operation of Interlake Logistics Solutions, but her stack was still painted on Pere Marquette Shipping colors. That is supposed to change to Interlake colors over the winter. Also, cutting has begun on the bow of the old laker William H. Donner, which is being scrapped at the MCM dock.

Green Bay, WI – Jon
On Tuesday at 12:19 pm the Tug Michigan Barge Great Lakes arrived from Sarnia with petroleum products for the U.S. Oil/Venture Terminal.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
After delivering her cargo of salt from the Compass Minerals mine in Goderich, Algoma Niagara departed at 06:52 Tuesday (01/12). No additional marine traffic is currently expected.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
No traffic to report on Tuesday.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
Kaye E Barker unloaded ore at AK Steel on Tuesday.

Lake Erie Ports for Tuesday – Bill Kloss
Cleveland: Alpena arrived at 06:52 to lay up at LaFarge. New York arrived at 07:04 and went to the Shelley Liquids dock to unload. Algoma Intrepid arrived at 08:12 to unload salt at the Port, dock 22E. After unloading she departed for Goderich at 16:35.
Ashtabula: The Hon. James L. Oberstar departed for Duluth at 07:19.
Conneaut: Defiance arrived at 10:46, unloaded and departed at 19:46. American Spirit arrived at 23:59.
Nanticoke: Algosea departed for Sarnia at 10:42.

 

Welland Canal closed, locks drained

1/13 - St. Catharines, ON – With the Welland Canal now closed, the section between lock 2 & 3 has been drained and major work is being done on the canal and the canal trail.

Voks Den restaurant, which is across the Welland Canal Parkway, is open from Tuesday through Saturday as many activities are now outdoors and there will be a lot of workers present. Many in the shipping industry stop there during the warmer months, but especially now with the COVID 19 regulations closing indoor dining in restaurants with take out only.

Angus Kennedy

 

Lay-up reports needed

1/13 - As the end of the shipping season approaches, please send reports of vessel lay-ups to news@boatnerd.net. This will help us compile our annual lay-up list. Include vessel name, date, port and name of lay-up dock. At this time we would like to acknowledge the late Dave Wobser for his many years of work maintaining the list and thank Matt Miner for agreeing to continue compiling this popular feature. Click here to view the Lay-Up List

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

So many lakers: Why ore boats are 'bunching' on Lake Superior

1/12 - Duluth, MN – The Duluth Seaway Port Authority didn’t set out to coin a new maritime term last week, but officials may have started the process anyway. In talking about how ore freighters have been stacking up on Lake Superior, including in the port of Duluth-Superior, they described it alternately as “bunching” or ship “clumping.”

Spokesman Jayson Hron favored “late-season clumping” and called it fairly typical for this time of year. “I call it bunching,” said Kate Ferguson, the Port Authority's director of trade and business development. “I don't believe there is a specific term for it.”

With the 2020-21 shipping campaign drawing to an end when the Soo Locks close for the winter on Jan. 15, lake freighters are carrying the season’s final loads of taconite iron ore from ports on Lake Superior to steelmaking facilities on the lower Great Lakes.

But ships aren’t “bunching” because shipping companies are redoubling efforts to make up for a trying year. Cargoes dropped 27% in the local port through the end of November during a pandemic-addled season. But there’s no making up for lost time or tonnage, Ferguson said.

Instead, the bunching and clumping is attributed to other factors. “At this time of year you have groups of vessels that have weathered storms together, and then they transit the lake together, and they’re waiting for the same loading docks,” Ferguson said.

A clumping of ships was expected this weekend in Two Harbors, where several lake freighters were scheduled to arrive.

The stormy weather that begins with November’s gales slows shipping movements on the lakes. When that happens, the ore boats don’t sail through the middle of the lake as the ships might in summer. Instead, the boats move along closer to the shores of Lake Superior. The captains will duck into places such as the Whitefish and Keweenaw bays when the lake is frenzied. The ships will all move out in unison when it clears.

“They’ll kind of tuck into different protected shelters and ride out the storms, so they’ll get into groups,” Ferguson said. "These vessels only have so many places on the Great Lakes to hide from weather."

The other factor that leads to bunches of ships at lake ports: By this time of the season, the diversity of cargoes falls off, leaving mostly ore and coal to be loaded. Fewer cargoes means more ships lining up for the same docks. That's why so many ore carriers have been seen at anchor of late in Lake Superior, outside the Duluth ship canal.

It presents a picturesque view, but it's not ideal. “The companies’ traffic departments work hard to get a separation,” Ferguson said. “You want to come to an empty dock that’s prepared for you. That means you get a really fast load.”

Blast furnace usage rates at U.S. steel mills were trending forcefully upward last week, according to the Port Authority — a positive sign for iron ore demand. So while there is no way to make up for lost time or tonnage on the Great Lakes, there is hope for a better tomorrow.

“We’re seeing iron ore going strong into 2021," Ferguson said. "With all the mines in operation on the Iron Range, we’re very hopeful for a positive 2021 shipping season."

As far as the bunching or clumping goes, Ferguson reminded: It's mostly about the weather. "Unless another storm hits, you see them naturally begin to separate," she said, describing each departing boat getting a head start on the next one yet to load. "It's when you have weather that has them sheltering they all tend to bunch into clumps."

Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports -  January 12

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Erie Trader/tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort arrived Duluth at 16:13 Monday afternoon and headed to CN to pick up iron ore pellets. This is the last scheduled load of iron ore from Canadian National for the 2020 season; however, with so many boats in line to load in Two Harbors, the possibility of a vessel switching to Duluth can't be entirely ruled out. At the south end of the harbor, American Century arrived at 09:20 Monday to load at BN; she departed at 18:59 with iron ore. Stewart J. Cort, which spent most of Monday at Port Terminal in Duluth finishing up repairs, shifted down to BN after the Century cleared and began loading. John J. Boland and American Courage were on the hook off the Twin Ports waiting to load up the north shore.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Arthur M. Anderson departed Two Harbors on Jan. 10th at 21:40 for Conneaut. Presque Isle arrived Two Harbors on Jan. 10th at 22:38. She departed on Jan. 11th at 14:13 for Conneaut. Also arriving Two Harbors on Jan. 11th was the John G. Munson at 14:31. Both the Munson and Presque Isle had been anchored off Duluth. Cason J. Callawy continues at South of #1 lay-by in Two Harbors. Anchored off Duluth is the John J. Boland. She was being joined by the American Courage the evening of Jan. 11th. The Edwin H. Gott anchored off Bark Point the morning of Jan. 11th. The evening of Jan.11th the Calumet is heading to anchor near Port Wing, WI. Due Two Harbors on Jan. 12th are the American Integrity and the Sam Laud. This will be my last post on Northshore Mining for the year. There is no traffic on the schedule for the remainder of the shipping season.

Thunder Bay, ON
Monday; 7:30 Blair McKeil arrived at the Heddle Shipyard for winter layup. 11:17 Robert S Pierson arrived at the G3 elevator to load grain.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Conquest arrived from Manitowoc at 09:11 Monday (01/11) with cement for the Kinnickinnic River terminal. The tug/barge cleared for Charlevoix at 15:17. Algoma Niagara arrived at 13:49 with a full load of salt from the Compass Minerals mine in Goderich. She first stopped at the Kinder Morgan bagging plant on the outer harbor before delivering the balance of her cargo at the storage dome and discharge pad on the inner harbor. No other marine traffic is currently expected.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Sunday; 22:50 The cement carrier Alpena departed for Cleveland. 1:20 Manitowoc arrived at the Lafarge plant to unload. 2:03 Undaunted / Pere Marquette 41 arrived to unload at the Lafarge plant. 7:40 Manitowoc departed for Marquette. 10:53 Undaunted / Pere Marquette 41 departed for Algoma Steel Sault Ste Marie.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid cleared 5.26 am downbound for Cleveland with salt.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
Monday Arrivals: Sharon M I/Huron Spirit arrived at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal to unload steel coils. Leo A MacArthur/John J Carrick arrived at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal to load.

Lake Erie Ports for Monday – Bill Kloss
Cleveland: Alpena is due on Tuesday to lay up at LaFarge. The New York/Double Skin 509A combo and Algoma Intrepid are also due on Tuesday.
Ashtabula: The Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived at 20:29.
Conneaut: Defiance and American Spirit are due on Tuesday.
Nanticoke: Algosea is at Imperial Oil.

Buffalo, NY – Brian R Wroblewski
Victory-Maumee was assisted up the Buffalo River & the City Ship Canal by the tug Vermont at 4:30PM Monday for the General Mills Frontier Elevator. They have Buffalo's first storage load for winter lay up here since the Joseph H. Frantz in 2004. The cargo may possibly be unloaded some time in February. This was the latest I've ever seen a vessel arrive for Buffalo in my 30 years of watching boats here. The only other time one showed up around here this far into January was an occasional salt run into Lackawanna. At 815-feet overall length with the tug in the notch, the Victory-Maumee became the longest vessel to ever go up the Buffalo River/City Ship Canal. This is the first time ever that an ATB will be unloading at the Frontier Elevator and it's the Victory-Maumee's first trip ever to Buffalo since the barge was converted from the old freighter Reserve. It's also the first time in about 50 years that a tug-barge unit has been laid up for winter in the City Ship Canal. The last one was the old Wiltranco back in the late 60s/early 70s era.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 12

CHI-CHEEMAUN (Hull#205) was launched January 12, 1974, at Collingwood, Ontario, by Collingwood Shipyards, Ltd.

GRAND HAVEN was gutted by fire on January 12, 1970, during scrapping operations at the United Steel & Refining Co. Ltd. dock at Hamilton, Ontario.

MENIHEK LAKE (Hull#163) was launched January 12, 1959, at Collingwood, Ontario, by Collingwood Shipyards, Ltd. She was used in a unique experiment with shunters in the Welland Canal in 1980. She was scrapped at Gijon, Spain in 1985.

On January 12, 1973, the VENUS had an engine room explosion shortly after unloading at Kipling, Michigan, near Gladstone on Little Bay De Noc, causing one loss of life.

On 12 January 1956, ANABEL II (probably a fish tug, 62 tons, built in 1928) was destroyed by fire at her winter lay-up at the Roen Steamship Co. dock at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

January 12, 1911 - ANN ARBOR NO 5 hit the rocks close to the south breakwater when entering Manistique harbor, tearing off her starboard shaft and wheel.

The wooden steam barge O.O. CARPENTER (127.5 foot, 364 gross tons) was sold by the Jenks Shipbuilding Company on 12 January 1892, to Mr. H. E. Runnels and Capt. Sinclair for $26,000. The vessel had been launched at Jenks yard on 13 May 1891.

The new EDWIN H GOTT departed Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, in 1979, for final fitout at Milwaukee. 1970: BARON BERWICK made one trip inland in 1959 and returned as b) FILTRIC in 1967. The latter was abandoned 5 miles south of Cape Finistere on the northwest coast of Spain after the cargo shifted. The vessel was enroute from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Alexandria, Egypt, and it drifted aground the next day as a total loss.

1971: The West German freighter BRANDENBURG sank in the Straits of Dover, 7 miles south of Folkestone, England, after apparently hitting the wreck of TEXACO CARIBBEAN which had gone down the previous day following a collision. The former had been through the Seaway in 1969.

1979: A propane explosion aboard the tug WESTERN ENGINEER at Thunder Bay resulted in extensive damage. Two were injured. The ship was never repaired and noted as broken up in 1980.

1985: ATLANTIC HOPE first came inland when it was fresh from the shipyard in 1965. It was gutted by a fire in the accommodation area in position 9.22 N / 60.37 W as b) ALIVERI HOPE. The ship was abandoned but towed to Barbados and eventually into Mamonal, Colombia, on October 14, 1985, for dismantling.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Brian Bernard, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.

 

Port Reports -  January 11

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
The only traffic in Duluth on Sunday was Great Lakes Trader/tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort, which departed at 08:03 destined for Toledo with iron ore pellets. Stewart J. Cort remained at Port Terminal undergoing repairs. In Superior, Burns Harbor left port at 07:52 Sunday morning for her namesake port after loading ore at Burlington Northern. Presque Isle and John G. Munson both remained anchored off the Twin Ports Sunday evening waiting to load in Two Harbors.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
American Spirit departed Two Harbors on Jan. 9th at 21:47 for Conneaut. Arriving Two Harbors on Jan. 9th at 22:24 was the Joseph L. Block after being anchored off Duluth. She departed Two Harbors on Jan. 10th at 13:47 for Indiana Harbor. Shifting from North of #2 lay-by to South of #2 was the Arthur M. Anderson. She shifted from 13:47 to 14:08. At lay-by at South of #1 in Two Harbors is the Cason J. Callaway. At anchor off Duluth are the Presque Isle and the John G. Munson. As of 19:00 on Jan. 10th the John J. Boland is coming down the North Shore for Two Harbors. Due Two Harbors on Jan. 11th are the Edwin H. Gott, Calumet, and the American Courage. There is no traffic scheduled for Northshore Mining in Silver Bay on Jan. 11th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Sunday14:03 CCGS Samuel Risley departed for ice operations and returned to the coast guard base at 16:03. 17:43 Frontenac arrived at Keefer Terminal for winter layup. 19: 46 Ojibway departed and is down bound.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Tug Albert with tank barge Margaret arrived from Sarnia at 10:20 Sunday (01/10) for winter layup. After tug Louisiana broke up some light ice, Albert/Margaret tied up in the south end of the mooring basin. Albert/Margaret visited Milwaukee twice last year hauling a total of 16,000 metric tons of ethanol to Green Bay. Algoma Niagara is expected Monday with salt from Goderich.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Sunday; 16:15 The cement carrier Alpena arrived to load.
Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid was loading Sunday at Compass Minerals.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
The tug New York and barge Double Skin 509A loaded at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal on Sunday

Lake Erie Ports for Sunday – Bill Kloss
Cleveland: Olive L. Moore departed at 03:31 for Ashtabula.
Ashtabula: Olive L. Moore arrived at 09:51.
Conneaut: American Mariner departed at 00:16 for Duluth.
Nanticoke: Algoterra departed for Sarnia at 12:26. Algosea is at Imperial Oil. Rt. Hon.Paul J. Martin departed for Port Colborne at 09:12.

Toronto, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit departed on Sunday bound, in ballast, for Picton, ON.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

1962: The retired Interlake Steamship Company bulk carrier ARCTURUS, formerly JAMES B. WOOD, was under tow of the Portuguese tug PRAIA GRANDE on the way to Norway to be scrapped when she foundered off the Azores at position 46.10N x 8.50W.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 10

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
James R. Barker departed Duluth at 02:15 Saturday morning destined for Indiana Harbor loaded with iron ore, and Great Lakes Trader/tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort arrived at 16:33 to load at Canadian National. Stewart J. Cort remained tied up at Port Terminal undergoing repairs. In Superior, Burns Harbor arrived at 15:28 Saturday afternoon for an iron ore load from BN. Presque Isle and John G. Munson were on the hook outside the harbor waiting to load in Two Harbors.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Defiance/Ashtabula departed Two Harbors on January 9th at 03:12 for Conneaut. American Spirit arrived Two Harbors on Jan. 9th at 04:46. She is still at the loading dock at 19:30. Arthur M. Anderson arrived Two Harbors on Jan. 9th at 06:26 for North of #2 lay-by. Arriving Two Harbors on Jan. 9th at 18:56 for South of #1 lay-by was Cason J. Callaway. Anchored off Duluth awaiting Two Harbors were Joseph L. Block, Presque Isle, and John G. Munson. The Block got underway between 18:30 and 19:00 for Two Harbors. Due Two Harbors on Jan. 10th is the John J. Boland after unloading at Algoma at the Soo. There is no traffic due Northshore Mining in Silver Bay on Jan. 10th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Saturday; 9:04 Algoma Guardian arrived at Keefer Terminal. 19:09 Ojibway arrived at the G3 elevator to load grain.

Northern Lake Michigan
Charlevoix: Saturday; 8:46 Prentiss Brown arrived to load cement products and departed at 19:17 for Manitowoc.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 arrived from Grand Haven early Friday morning. After loading coal ash at the Heavy Lift Dock, tug/barge cleared for Alpena at 07:21 Saturday (01/09). GL Ostrander/Integrity also arrived from Alpena Friday morning. After delivering cement at the Lafarge terminal, the pair cleared for Calumet Harbor at 09:29 Saturday. Currently, Albert/Margaret is expected from Sarnia Sunday and Algoma Niagara is expected from Goderich Monday.

Northern Lake Huron
Cheboygan: Saturday; 0:18 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes departed for Sarnia Saturday.

Lake Erie Ports for Saturday – Bill Kloss
Cleveland: New York departed for Detroit at 11:03. Olive L. Moore arrived at 15:54 with a shuttle from Ashtabula.
Ashtabula: Olive L. Moore departed for Cleveland at 08:09.
Conneaut: American Integrity departed for Two Harbors at 10:36. American Mariner came in to unload at 11:25.
Nanticoke: Algoterra and Algosea are at Imperial Oil. The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arrived at 22:00.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
After watching the Algoma Enterprise arrive at anchor off Port Colborne, Jan 7th around 1820, she is finally on her way into the piers. CSL Tadoussac cleared wharf 16 and went out into the lake, perhaps to clean her hold. When she cleared the Enterprise headed inbound to take her position at wharf 16 for a couple of days before entering the scrapyard. Arrival time Port Colborne piers 1847.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian R Wroblewski
Continuing the late season action was the new, 650-foot self-unloader Algoma Intrepid with a load of salt for the Gateway Metroport Main Dock on the 7th. The ship came in the South Entrance and winded by herself before backing up the Lackawanna Canal to unload at the bulk apron near the North end. Lower Lakes Transportation’s Manitoulin was next later that day when she arrived with a load of Canadian Red Wheat from Thunder Bay for the ADM Standard elevator. She was winded in the Outer Harbor Northern Channel with the help of the tug Vermont and then towed upriver stern first around 11 AM. This was the first time ever that two forward boom Stemwinder style lake ships were unloading here at the same time. As of early 2021, there are only three of these all cabins aft-type boats on the lakes with a bow-mounted boom. The Intrepid was built in Croatia and arrived on the Great Lakes in November 2020. She was all set to depart Gateway by 2 PM and she then slid right out the South Entrance headed for Goderich on an overcast and chilly Lake Erie. Manitoulin was done unloading her partial cargo at ADM by 4 AM on the 8th and departed the Standard Elevator with the tug Vermont at her stern shortly after that. They dropped the tug’s line at the Watson Basin and proceeded out bow first by themselves bound for Port Colborne to unload the rest of the product there.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Frank Mays, last living survivor from Carl D. Bradley wreck in Lake Michigan, has died

1/9 - Rogers City, MI – The last living survivor from the wreck of the S.S. Carl D. Bradley has died. Frank L. Mays age 89 of Rogers City and Dade City, Florida passed away January 7, 2021 at Advent Health Hospital in Zephyrhills, Fl. He was born November 24, 1931 in Rogers City to Frank and Mary (Budnik) Mayes.

The Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan announced Friday the passing of Frank Mays, who was one of two men to survive when the vessel broke in two and sank in northern Lake Michigan during gale-force winds on Nov. 18, 1958.

In total, 33 men were killed, including 23 from Rogers City, leaving Mays to tell their remarkable story, and his, through his books “If We Make it ‘til Daylight,” and “A Lot More to Do: The Remarkable Life of Frank Mays.”

Beck Funeral Home of Rogers City will announce his memorial mass at St. Ignatius Catholic Church when the date is set in the summer of 2021

Read more and view photos at this link: https://www.mlive.com/news/2021/01/frank-mays-last-living-survivor-from-wreck-of-carl-d-bradley-in-lake-michigan-has-died.html

 

Port Reports -  January 9

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Stewart J. Cort arrived Duluth at 10:58 Friday morning and backed into the Port Terminal slip to undergo some sort of repairs; she is scheduled to load at Burlington Northern once those are complete, her final cargo of the season. H. Lee White was outbound from CHS 1 at 14:28 laden with wheat for delivery to Toledo. James R. Barker spent the day loading iron ore at CN and did not have a departure time posted as of Friday night. At the Superior entry, Paul R. Tregurtha arrived at 05:57 Friday morning to load ore at Burlington Northern. She was outbound for Burns Harbor at 18:55. American Spirit was anchored off the Twin Ports on Friday evening waiting to load in Two Harbors.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Indiana Harbor departed Two Harbors on Jan. 8th at 10:33 for Gary. Arriving Two Harbors on Jan. 8th at 10:56 was the Defiance/Ashtabula. As of 19:00 on Jan. 8th she was still at the dock. American Spirit arrived off Duluth on Jan. 8th at 07:15 to wait on Two Harbors. Tentatively due Two Harbors on Jan. 9th are Joseph L. Block, Cason J. Callaway, Presque Isle, Arthur M. Anderson, and John G. Munson. There is no traffic due Northshore Mining in Silver Bay on Jan. 9th.

Northern Lake Huron
Cheboygan: Friday,16:47 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes arrived at the US Oil Co. terminal to unload petroleum products. Alpena: Friday; 7:57 The cement carrier Alpena arrived to load and departed at 12:52 for Essexville.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Niagara loading at Compass Minerals Friday, salt for Milwaukee. Algoma Intrepid expected next.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
Friday Arrivals: Kaye E Barker arrived at AK Steel to unload ore. Robert S Pierson arrived at Zug Island to load coke. Herbert C Jackson arrived at Zug Island to unload coal.

Lake Erie Ports for Friday – Bill Kloss
Sandusky: Herbert C. Jackson arrived at 01:11. After loading she departed for Detroit at 10:38.
Cleveland: After delivering to ArcelorMittal, Menominee/Olive L. Moore departed for Ashtabula at 14:23. New York arrived with barge Double Skin 509A at 07:27, assisted by G tug Wisconsin. They went to Shelley Liquids.
Fairport Harbor: CSL Tadoussac departed at 04:51 for Port Colborne.
Ashtabula: Menominee/Olive L. Moore arrived at 22:00.
Conneaut: American Century departed at 06:48 for Duluth. American Courage came in to unload at 07:25. She departed for Two Harbors at 15:14. American Integrity arrived at 21:15 followed by American Mariner at 21:45.
Nanticoke: Algoterra is at Imperial Oil. Algosea is due on Saturday.

Picton, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit has departed Lehigh Cement and is under way for Toronto.

 

Georgian Bay community fights to keep its Titanic-era steamship

1/9 - Port McNicoll, ON – When the historic passenger vessel S.S. Keewatin first went through the Welland Canal, it had to be cut in half.

The 106-metre-long ship was too long to fit into the lift locks of the canal in 1907 when it was on its way to Owen Sound from its birthplace in Glasgow’s River Clyde to start a 60-year career as a Great Lakes passenger vessel for Canadian Pacific Railway’s Upper Lake Service.

Now, more than 9,000 people in this Georgian Bay port have signed a petition asking the federal government to prevent Keewatin from taking a second cruise on the Welland Canal. They want the vessel to remain as a museum destination here, rather than as a museum destination at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes on the Kingston waterfront.

Keewatin is five years older than the Titanic and is believed to be the only Edwardian passenger liner still afloat, and its fate has been adrift for the past three years since its owner — Skyline Investments Inc. — decided not to go ahead with plans to create a 1,400-home resort community on Georgian Bay.

Former Skyline president Gil Blutrich purchased Keewatin from R.J. Peterson in Saugatuck, Mich., to be the community centre for his proposed $1.2-billion waterfront community in Port McNicoll. Peterson had operated Keewatin for 44 years in Saugatuck as a popular maritime museum after rescuing it from a date with a scrapyard.

Blutrick had Keewatin towed 935 kilometres from Saugatuck to Port McNicoll in June 2012 to arrive back in its home port exactly 46 years to the hour it last shipped out for Thunder Bay. More than 1,000 boats were out on Georgian Bay to welcome home the passenger vessel, all of them blasting their air horns.

CP Ships retired Keewatin after its last trip to Thunder Bay from Port McNicoll in the fall of 1967. Keewatin had started carrying passengers, freight and mail to Thunder Bay in 1908 from Owen Sound, but CP moved its passenger fleet to Port McNicoll in 1911 after its Owen Sound grain elevator was destroyed by fire.

Although Skyline owns Keewatin, a large volunteer group called Friends of Keewatin, headed by Capt. Rick Conroy, is responsible for the significant restorations of the ship since its arrival. Conroy was a teenage waiter in the Keewatin’s ornate dining room in 1963 and ’64, and had written a book about life aboard the ship. As an adult, he organized Eaton’s Santa Claus Parade for many years in Toronto.

He persuaded 851 people to each pay $20 to help pull the 3,600-tonne ship into her final berth at Port McNicoll. The $18,000 raised was donated to the cardiac clinic at Royal Victoria hospital in nearby Barrie and won a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records. The Keewatin has been closed as a museum since last April, because of COVID-19.

Skyline has agreed to donate Keewatin to the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes, which will require the ship to make its second trip through the Welland Canal, towed by tugboats. In 1908, it was cut in half in a dry dock in Levis, Que., and then stitched back together in Buffalo. The Welland Canal now can accommodate ships of up to 740 feet in length.

The retired Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Alexander Henry sat in the dry dock at the Kingston museum from 1984 to 2017, after 25 years of breaking ice on the Great Lakes. The icebreaker also seemed destined to be scrapped when the museum was sold to make way for a waterfront condominium. However, Thunder Bay’s tourism authority stepped in to buy the icebreaker and tow it through the Welland Canal to Thunder Bay, where it was built in 1959. It’s now a museum on the Thunder Bay waterfront.

The Kingston condo deal fell through, the museum was resurrected and is now looking for a vessel to sit in its empty dry dock.

Toronto.com

 

Updated 2020 saltwater vessel final statistics by the numbers

1/9 - As the 2020 seaway shipping season came to a close on December 31 with the closing of the St. Lawrence Seaway from the Montreal-Lake Ontario section, a recap of the 2020 season by the numbers showed the 2020 Seaway season saw many records set and several surges as far as westbound transits at the Eisenhower Lock in Massena, NY.

A summary of the final 2020 statistics shows the following: In 2020, there were 258 saltwater vessels that made 520 westbound transits at the Eisenhower Lock. That was up 19 vessels when compared to the 2019 season, which saw 239 vessels. The 258 vessels was up 30 vessels from the five-year average 2015-2019.

The 520 is up 53 transits from 2019, when there were 467 westbound transits then. Also, the 520 westbound transits was up 57 transits from the five-year average.

There were also 47 new salties that made westbound transits at the Eisenhower Lock during the 2020 season. That was down 2 transits from the 2019 season that saw 49 new salties and it was also down 3 vessels from the five-year average.

The 2020 season was fueled by a surge of inbound wind turbine parts carried to ports such as Duluth/Superior, Bay City and Monroe, which saw most of the inbound cargos. Another cargo which also saw a surge was outbound grain cargoes carried by saltwater vessels as the 2020 season saw strong grain crop. Ports such as Thunder Bay, Duluth/Superior, Sarnia, Hamilton and Toledo all saw a surge in outbound grain cargoes during the season.

There were several records set by vessels. In August there were 62 westbound transits made by vessel. That was up 15 transits from 2019’s total and up 13 transits from the five-year average. Also in October, there were 70 westbound transits made by vessel. This number was up 11 transits from 2019 and up 7 transits from the five-year average.

Although the 70 transits in 2020 was a bit of a surge from previous Octobers, it is not a record, as the highest total for that month during the five-year average occurred during the 2015 season when were 72 transits.

It should be noted that in November 2020, there were 80 westbound transits made by vessel. That number was a huge surge from 2019’s total, up 28 transits from the November 2019 total of 52 transits and up 19 transits from the 5-year average from the five-year average. In December 2020, another record for that month was set with 39 westbound transits. That number was also up 7 transits from the December 2019 total of 32 and was also up 10 transits from the five-year average.2015-2019 for December.

A final count of the westbound monthly transits at the Eisenhower Lock for the 2020 Season shows the following transit numbers and statistics by the month totals.

March/April: 59
May: 56
June: 44
July: 54
August: 62
September: 56
October: 70
November: 80
December: 39

There were no westbound transits made during March 2020 due to high water levels on Lake Ontario and the threat of flooding. All transits during March/April 2020 were made during April.

Denny Dushane

 

National Museum offers free admission on MLK weekend

1/9 - Toledo, OH – The National Museum of the Great Lakes is opening its doors to the community over Martin Luther King weekend in thanks and recognition for the support they have received over the course of the past year. Community Appreciation Days with free museum admission begins Saturday, January 16 and continues through Monday, January 18.

“The past year has seen struggles like no other for so many,” shares the museum’s Senior Director of Institutional Advancement Kate Fineske. “Yet our community of supporters rallied to ensure our museum continued to keep Great Lakes history afloat for generations to come with their generous donations, membership renewals, museum store purchases and continued visitation. We want to thank our community, and what a better way to do that than to share our mission with all.”

All this support inspired the National Museum of the Great Lakes to begin 2021 with an action of gratitude after their annual cleaning shutdown. Museum-only admission to non-member visitors would typically be $10 for adults and $8 for children ages. To ensure the health and safety of their guests, the museum requires masks at all times and has a limited attendance capacity. Although not required, timed, pre-purchased entry tickets are strongly encouraged and can be reserved online at nmgl.org.

For those community members unable to join in these Community Appreciation Days, the museum encourages them to visit their History From Home landing page at nmgl.org/virtual-content which includes FREE interactive virtual tours of the museum and museum ships, videos, Great Lakes history articles and tons of other at-home activities and maritime education for all ages.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Final coal cargoes delivered to St. Clair and Monroe power plants for season

1/8 - The 1,000-footer Paul R. Tregurtha has delivered the last split cargo of coal for the 2020/21 Great Lakes shipping season to the St. Clair and Monroe power plants. They arrived first at St. Clair to offload half of their coal cargo around 38,000 tons on January 4. Afterward, the Tregurtha departed from St. Clair the same day and arrived at the Monroe Power Plant on January 5 with that facility’s final delivery for the season. The Tregurtha departed Monroe the same day after delivering around 30,000 tons or so for the Monroe power plant.

Meanwhile, the 1,000-footer James R. Barker delivered the last full load cargo of coal for the St. Clair Power Plant for the season on January 4 and departed after discharging around 58,000 tons or so of coal on January 5.

During the 2020 shipping season, there were no coal deliveries made to either the St. Clair or Monroe power plants until late May 2020 due to Covid-19. Once coal deliveries resumed in May from the Midwest Energy Coal Terminal Dock in Superior, Wis., which also set a record for the latest ever coal shipments from that dock in a shipping season, the Tregurtha became the first arrival at the St. Clair and Monroe power plants for the 2020 shipping season. The Tregurtha arrived at St. Clair on May 30, 2020 delivering the latest ever coal shipment to the plant. They arrived at the Monroe power plant on May 31 with that facility’s first coal cargo of the season. It was also the latest ever coal cargo shipped to the Monroe plant

Denny Dushane

 

Port Reports -  January 8

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
James R. Barker arrived Duluth at 12:42 Thursday afternoon, and after a fuel stop at Husky Energy, began loading iron ore pellets at Canadian National. Maumee/tug Victory spent Thursday taking on wheat at General Mills (not CHS 1 as reported previously), while H. Lee White was loading grain products at CHS 1; she snuck into port just before midnight Wednesday evening. The latter two vessels did not have departure times posted but should be outbound late Thursday night or on Friday morning. There was no traffic in Superior on Thursday; due next is Stewart J. Cort, which should arrive early Friday to load at BN.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Mesabi Miner departed Two Harbors on Jan. 7th at 07:55 for Indiana Harbor. Arriving Two Harbors on Jan. 7th at 08:38 was the Great Republic after being anchored near Port Wing, WI. She departed Two Harbors on Jan. 7th at 16:58 for Conneaut. Arriving Two Harbors on Jan. 7th at 17:18 was the Indiana Harbor after being anchored near Port Wing. Due Two Harbors on Jan. 8th is the American Spirit. Paul R. Tregurtha was scheduled for Two Harbors but has been switched to Superior. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departed Northshore Mining in Silver Bay on Jan. 6th at 20:07 for Burns Harbor. Silver Bay has no traffic scheduled on Jan. 8th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Thursday; 0:14 Saginaw departed for Toledo. 3:38 Harvest Spirit arrived at Viterra A to load grain. 13:41 CCGS Samuel Risley departed for ice operations and returned to the coast guard station at 15:39. 16:29 Harvest Spirit departed and is down bound.

Green Bay, WI – Jon
On Thursday at 8:32 am the Alpena departed for Alpena, MI.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 should arrive from Grand Haven about 22:30 Thursday (01/07). GL Ostrander/Integrity is expected from Alpena Friday.

Northern Lake Huron
Owen Sound: Thursday; 7:15 Algoma Innovator arrived for winter layup. She is docked at the end of 1st Ave west which is immediately north of the Great Lakes Elevator Co.
Alpena: Wednesday; 22:37 G L Ostrander departed for Milwaukee.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Niagara tied up North Pier, it's salt for Milwaukee. Algoma Sault loading at Compass Minerals salt for Chicago Algoma Intrepid expected next.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
Thursday Arrivals: Hon. James L Oberstar arrived at AK Steel to unload ore. Herbert C Jackson arrived at Zug Island to unload coal. Lee A Tregurtha arrived at AK Steel to unload ore.

Lake Erie Ports for Thursday – Bill Kloss
Sandusky: Herbert C. Jackson departed for Detroit-Zug at 02:32. She is due back early Friday morning.
Cleveland: Olive L. Moore is on the shuttles. Vane Bros. tug New York is due on Friday.
Fairport Harbor: CSL Tadoussac arrived at 01:08 to load at Morton Salt.
Conneaut: American Century arrived at 15:59. American Courage arrived at 20:26 and went to anchor. American Integrity and American Mariner are both due on Friday.
Erie: Calumet arrived at 04:30. She unloaded and departed for Detroit at 10"20.
Nanticoke: Algoterra is at Imperial Oil.

Hamilton, ON – Tristin Woolf
Mississagi arrived at 04:24 EST with a load of grain from Thunder Bay. This is said to be the final voyage of her career. She is expected to lay up in Hamilton and will be taken to a scrapyard at a later time. She is also likely the final vessel that Hamilton will see for the season. There are 10 total vessels currently laid up in Hamilton for the season. They are as listed: Algoma Equinox, Petite Forte/St. Marys Cement, Algoma Harvester, Everlast/Norman McLeod, G3 Marquis, Florence Spirit, Sea Eagle II/St. Marys Cement II, John D. Leitch, Algoma Conveyor, and Mississagi.

Rochester, NY – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit departed Thursday morning, in ballast, for Picton, Ont.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Canadian Coast Guard begins annual icebreaking operations on the Great Lakes

1/7 - Sarnia, ON – The Canadian Coast Guard's annual icebreaking season on the Great Lakes, which provides assistance to the shipping industry, is underway. Working in partnership with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) District 9, the Canadian Coast Guard has two icebreakers assigned to the Great Lakes for the entire winter season: CCGS Griffon and CCGS Samuel Risley. These vessels are supported as required by additional Coast Guard vessels during the spring icebreaking season.

This icebreaking season is different than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Coast Guard is working closely with organizations and governments, industry, and other partners to make decisions based on the best advice and guidance available from federal, provincial, and municipal health authorities. Coast Guard continues to maintain normal levels of operation during the COVID-19 pandemic, while following strict National Standard Operating Procedures to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes extra sanitation practices for all Coast Guard crew, such as frequent hand-washing, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and enhanced cleaning protocols onboard vessels.

Icebreaking requests are coordinated by Coast Guard's Icebreaking Office in Montreal, along with the USCG. Daily operational conference calls are held between industry representatives and Coast Guard officials, who provide updates from both countries about ice extent, concentration, and thickness. Ice condition updates are provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada, and also gathered from ice reconnaissance flights, using both Canadian and United States Coast Guard helicopters.

Marine Communications and Traffic Services in Sarnia, ON, and Prescott, ON, are in contact with mariners 24-hours-a-day providing information, managing marine traffic, and responding to calls for assistance. Winter maritime search and rescue operations are coordinated by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, ON. Coast Guard icebreakers and other vessels may be called upon to help. Aircraft from the Department of National Defence and USCG are also involved in maritime search and rescue operations, as necessary.

In addition to icebreaking for the shipping industry, both Coast Guards work to prevent the formation of ice jams and flooding in communities. Problems occur when ice accumulates and blocks the flow of a river. That obstruction, known as an ice jam or ice plug, can cause flooding as water builds up and overflows the banks. Coast Guard ships are also at the ready to respond to environmental incidents or other urgent or humanitarian emergencies.

All ice surface users should plan their ice activities carefully, use caution on the ice, and avoid shipping lanes and icebreaking operations. Broken and fragmented ice tracks and ridging left behind by passing icebreakers or commercial vessels may not freeze over immediately. This can result in hazardous conditions for ice users. In addition, newly fallen snow will obscure ship tracks. Unsafe ice conditions can persist long after icebreakers have left the area.

Cison

 

Port Reports -  January 7

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
The only traffic through the Duluth entry on Wednesday was Maumee/tug Victory, which arrived at 19:35 to load wheat at CHS 1. At the Superior entry, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin loaded at BN throughout the day before departing at 16:31 for Nanticoke.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Mesabi Miner arrived Two Harbors on Jan. 5th at 23:37 for South of #2. As of 19:22 on Jan. 6th she was still at the dock. The Great Republic stopped West of Port Wing, WI on Jan. 6th mid-morning to wait on Two Harbors. Due Two Harbors on Jan. 7th are the Indiana Harbor and tentatively the Defiance/Ashtabula. At 19:22 on Jan. 6th the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. is still at the dock at Northshore Mining in Silver Bay. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Silver Bay on Jan. 7th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Wednesday; 14:22 Saginaw shifted to Thunder Bay Terminals to finish loading..

Northern Lake Michigan
Charlevoix: Tuesday; 23:29 Prentiss Brown departed for Chicago.

Green Bay, WI – Jon
On Wednesday at 11:30 am the Alpena arrived from Calumet Harbor via Alpena, MI, after anchored out in the bay of Green Bay. Then, at 12:54 pm Wednesday afternoon the Tug Michigan Barge Great Lakes arrived from Sarnia with petroleum products for the U.S. Oil/Venture Terminal after being anchored out in the bay of Green Bay. The combo Michigan/Great Lakes AIS reads Cheboygan, MI, as next stop.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
No marine traffic at Milwaukee Wednesday and none is expected before Friday.

Northern Lake Huron
Midland: Wednesday 15:44 CCGS Griffon departed for Sarnia.
Alpena: Wednesday; 17:31 G L Ostrander arrived to load cement products.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid cleared 1.52 pm Tuesday down bound for Buffalo with salt. Algoma Sault loading at Compass Minerals for Chicago. Algoma Niagara tied up North Pier.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
On Wednesday, Algoma Enterprise made her final trip to the Port of Detroit, unloading coal from Thunder Bay at Zug Island. She will then head to Port Colborne for eventual scrapping.

Lake Erie Ports for Wednesday – Bill Kloss
Sandusky: John J. Boland arrived at 7:05 to load at Norfolk Southern. She departed at 17:52. Herbert C. Jackson arrived at 15:30.
Cleveland: Olive L. Moore is loading a shuttle at the Bulk Terminal. Dorothy Ann is at Cargill loading salt for Burns Harbor. She departed at 12:37. Joyce L. VanEnkevort came in from anchorage to the Bulk Terminal at 08:32. After unloading she departed at 19:00. This is the last inbound boat to the Bulk Terminal for the season.
Fairport Harbor: Calumet is at Morton Salt loading for Erie. She departed at 19:58. CSL Tadoussac is due to arrive early Thursday.
Conneaut: American Century and American Courage are due to arrive on Thursday.
Nanticoke: Algonova departed for Sarnia at 13:01. Algoterra is at Imperial Oil.

Welland Canal – B. Andersen
CSL Niagara was headed for the deep dock at Heddle DD for winter work on Wednesday. Alongside her on shelf is CSL Laurentien, and CSL Assiniboine tied at fit out wall, will await her turn. Tugs Wyatt M & Lac Manitoba are at the dock to assist.

Hamilton, ON – Tristin Woolf
Algoma Guardian departed for Thunder Bay at 06:19 EST, after unloading ore. Mississagi is expected on Thursday; likely to be the last vessel to arrive Hamilton for the season.

 

Viking Octantis launches, begins wave of new expedition cruise vessels

1/7 - Viking Cruises' foray into the growing world of expedition cruising came one step closer to reality in December, when the line successfully floated out its first purpose-built expedition vessel, Viking Octantis.

The 378-passenger ship is scheduled to debut in early 2022 and will spend its maiden season sailing itineraries to Antarctica and North America's Great Lakes region. The ship will be followed by a sister, Viking Polaris, which will debut in summer 2022 and will offer voyages to the Arctic and Antarctic.

The ships are being styled in a similar fashion to Viking's fleet of oceangoing vessels, and are being constructed at Fincantieri's VARD shipyard in Søviknes, Norway. Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will launch Viking's new Viking Expeditions brand. Viking is one of several lines planning new expedition vessels to be launched over the next few years.

This year, dozens of new expedition vessels are scheduled to debut, including new offerings from Atlas Ocean Voyages, Crystal, Lindblad Expeditions, Ponant, Quark Expeditions, Silversea, Seabourn, and others.

Most new expedition vessels debuting this year and beyond are intended for service in the world's polar regions. Nearly all have ice-class ratings, and more and more vessels are offering additional "toys" for exploration, like onboard helicopters, submarines, and remotely-operated vehicles (ROV's).

Viking, on the other hand, is choosing to once again focus on the experience, both onboard and ashore. To that end, passengers can expect to find similar features that have proven popular on the line's award-winning river and oceangoing vessels, along with the company's trademark Scandinavian décor.

Viking's new expedition fleet will offer dedicated expedition teams onboard, along with a fleet of zodiac rafts for explorations ashore. Both ships will also offer a wide array of accommodations; a scientific laboratory onboard; faux outdoor firepits; and three temperature-controlled swimming pools, with indoor and outdoor options.

Viking Octantis sets sail in 2022.

Cruise Critic

 

Virtual tour of the U.S.C.G.C. Mackinaw in the Virtual Visitor Center today

1/7 - The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is a one-of-a-kind icebreaker on the Great Lakes. Join us today for a virtual tour of the ship led by Lt. j.g. Patrick Buell, the assistant operations officer. He will highlight the missions of this unique vessel and the duties of the men and women who live and work aboard her.

The free program begins at 12:30 EST (11:30 CST), today, Thursday, January 7 in the Virtual Visitor Center, use a Chrome browser to join on the web: www.gotomeet.me/VirtualVisitorCenter/icebreaking. The Virtual Visitor Center is a cooperative endeavor between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Soo Locks Visitor Center Association and Lake Superior Marine Museum Association.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Duluth-Superior port says farewell to 2020 grain shipping season

1/6 - Duluth-Superior – The 2020 Duluth-Superior grain shipping season ended with the saltie Federal Oshima departing on Dec. 18 after loading at Duluth's Riverland Ag facility. Its cargo included 26,070 short tons of North American spring wheat bound for Italy.

For the third consecutive season, a Fednav Limited vessel was the last oceangoing ship to depart the Port of Duluth-Superior. Coincidentally, another member of the Fednav Limited fleet, Federal Churchill, was the Port of Duluth-Superior's first saltie to arrive in 2020, according to the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

Located at the westernmost tip of Lake Superior, the Port of Duluth-Superior is North America's farthest-inland freshwater seaport. A remarkable 9-mile natural breakwater shelters the port's 49 miles of harbor frontage. Twenty privately owned bulk cargo docks and an award-winning general cargo terminal populate the working waterfront, along with a marine fueling depot, a shipyard with dry docks, multiple tug and barge services, plus an intermodal cargo termina1, according to the Port Authority website.

Duluth-Superior is a diversified multimodal shipping hub, offering global cargo transport through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway, free-flowing major highways and direct Class I rail service to the east, west and Gulf Coast. The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System connects North America's freshwater Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean and the world. More than 200 million tons of freight sail the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System each year. In fact, 24 of the top 100 tonnage ports in the United States are located on the Great Lakes.

In the midseason tonnage report released in mid-September by the Duluth Seaway Port Authority it was noted that after an early summer surge, maritime tonnage through the Port of Duluth-Superior slowed atypically in August, amidst a tepid recovery from

Total tonnage stood 31% behind the 2019 pace through Aug. 31, driven primarily by declines in coal and iron ore tonnage (down 59% and 26% respectively). The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed those drops, shuttering industrial facilities and reducing demand for electricity and steel. Despite the reopening of many such facilities and an incremental return to more typical consumption, the United States' steel capability utilization rate remained at 65.1% during the week ended Sept. 12, compared to 80.3% during the same period in 2019, noted the report. The Port of Duluth-Superior's diminished 2020 tonnage reflects this steel production disparity, as Minnesota provides approximately 80% of the iron ore used in America's first-pour steel.

On a more positive note, outbound grain and inbound wind energy cargoes emerged as the season's first-half highlights in the Port of Duluth-Superior. North American wheat shipments pushed grain tonnage 14.5% ahead of the 2019 pace through Aug. 31 and 7% above the five-season average. Jayson Hron, Director of Communications and Marketing, Duluth Seaway Port Authority, told DTN on Dec. 29 that "the Port of Duluth-Superior was well on its way to surpassing 1.2 million short tons of grain floated in 2020."

"If this pandemic-plagued shipping season was a prospector's pan, there'd be a lot of black sand and only a few golden nuggets," said Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. "But even a few golden nuggets are cause for excitement, and we're certainly pleased to see strong grain numbers and potentially record-setting success with wind cargoes."

Progressive Farmer

 

Thunder Bay records strong grain season

1/6 - Thunder Bay, ON – Shipping activity remained strong in the Port of Thunder Bay right into the last few weeks of the season. Thunder Bay is a large bay on the northern shore of Lake Superior and is Canada's westernmost port on the Great Lakes, and the end of Great Lakes navigation. As of November 2020, shipments of grain there exceeded the five-year average volumes every month for the 2020 shipping season and it was expected that December would likely continue the trend.

Increased demand for Canadian grain in Europe, the Middle East and Africa has led the port to a 20-year high for cargo tonnage. Prairie grain accesses these markets via Thunder Bay, according to the Lake Superior News.

Thunder Bay was visited by 156 foreign saltie vessels during the season, the second highest total in port history. Laker visits exceeded 300, the five-year average, with up to 20 more expected before the Soo Lock closure in mid-January. Lakers ship to ports within the Great Lakes Seaway system, while salties carry cargo directly overseas. Most Laker-shipped grain is transloaded in the St. Lawrence River to salties for export.

The Port of Thunder Bay is projecting final overall cargo volumes of 10 million metric tons (mmt) for the first time since 1997. The 10-mmt tally represents a 14% increase over the port's five-year average. The Federal Hudson was the last saltie moving off Lake Superior for the season; it locked downbound on the morning of Dec. 26 headed for Montreal, and eventually, overseas with grain, according to Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping website

Progressive Farmer

 

Port Reports -  January 6

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Erie Trader/tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort arrived Duluth at 03:31 Tuesday morning to load iron ore pellets at CN. The pair was still at the dock Tuesday evening but was expected to depart around 22:00. At the Superior entry, American Integrity departed at 16:10 after loading at BN; she had arrived on Monday after her sister American Century. Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was inbound at 16:48 and took the dock next; she should depart mid-day Tuesday.

Thunder Bay, ON
Tuesday Blair McKeil departed downbound. 19:14 Saginaw arrived at Viterra A to load grain.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Cason J. Callaway departed Two Harbors on January 4th at 01:00 for Gary. Arriving Two Harbors on January 4th was the John G. Munson at 01:30. She departed on January 4th at 10:22 with an assist from Heritage Marine's tug Nels J. The Munson was heading for Gary. American Mariner arrived Two Harbors on January 4th at 11:22 and departed on the 4th at 20:48 for Conneaut. Also arriving on Jan. 4th was the American Courage at 21:17 for South of #2. She departed on Jan. 5th at 03:08 for Conneaut. The Edwin H. Gott arrived Two Harbors on Jan. 5th at 03:32. She departed on Jan. 5th at 19:17 for Gary. The Mesabi Miner was off the Apostle Islands at 19:00 on Jan. 5th for Two Harbors. Due Two Harbors on Jan. 6th is the Great Republic. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived off Duluth at approx.07:30 and got underway at approx. 14:15. She was originally scheduled for Two Harbors, but arrived Silver Bay at 18:25. There is no inbound traffic due Northshore Mining in Silver Bay on Jan. 6th.

Northern Lake Michigan
Charlevoix: Tuesday; 12:42 Prentiss Brown arrived to load cement products.

Green Bay, WI – Jon
On Tuesday night the tug Michigan barge Great Lakes arrived from Sarnia with petroleum products for the U.S/Oil Venture Terminal.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
No marine traffic at Milwaukee Tuesday and none is expected.

Northern Lake Huron
Midland: Tuesday; 8:39 CCGS Griffon arrived to conduct ice operations in preparation for the arrival of Baie Comeau. At 10:20, Baie Comeau arrived at the ADM elevator to unload wheat. CCGS Griffon tied up at the Midland Municipal Harbor.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid arrived 6.58 pm Sunday loading at Compass Minerals. Algoma Sault arrived 4.57 pm Monday unloading at grain dock. Algoma Niagara arrived and is waiting at the north dock.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
Tuesday Arrivals: Robert S Pierson arrived at Zug Island to load coke. CSL Tadoussac arrived at the St. Marys Cement dock to unload clinker. GL Ostrander/Integrity arrived at Lafarge to unload cement. New York and Double Skin 509A arrived at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal to load. Cuyahoga arrived at Zug Island to load coke.

Lake Erie Ports for Tuesday – Bill Kloss
Sandusky: John J. Boland departed for Zug Island. Herbert C. Jackson arrived at 00:36. After loading she departed for Zug Island at 12:14.
Cleveland: Sharon MI is at the Port, dock 24N. She departed at 17:27 for Detroit. Olive L. Moore came in from anchorage at 11:34 and went to ArcelorMittal Steel. Dorothy Ann arrived at 14:43 to load at Cargill. Joyce L. VanEnkevort is due on Wednesday.
Fairport Harbor: Calumet departed for Erie. She arrived back at 23:00.
Conneaut: Sam Laud arrived at 00:16. After unloading she left for Marquette at 09:24.
Erie: Calumet arrived at 07:39. After unloading she left at 15:07 for a return to Fairport Harbor.
Nanticoke: Algonova is at Imperial Oil. Algoterra arrived at 22:00.

Hamilton, ON – Tristin Woolf
Algoma Conveyor arrived at 03:53 EST, joining the growing layup fleet. John D. Leitch is expected to arrive at 21:00 EST, also laying up for the season.

Rochester, NY – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit at Lehigh Cement Dock on Tuesday night.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Two vessels make last trips through locks Monday

1/5 - It was an unusual day Monday with two vessels about to be retired making downbound passages through the Soo Locks. Algoma Enterprise locked through with coal to Detroit around 8 a.m. After she unloads, she will head to Port Colborne, ON, where she will be cut up by Marine Recycling Corp. Following her about 4 p.m. was Mississagi, downbound with wheat for Hamilton, where she will tie up for the winter. Her fate after that is unknown. As she passed under the International Bridge, she and upbound fleetmate Saginaw exchanged a pair of salutes.

Know Your Ships

 

Great Lakes shipping hit with demand slump amid pandemic

1/5 - Traffic is down at the Soo Locks. Demand for iron ore and other commodities is down compared to last year. But some Great Lakes shipping companies are beginning to see things get a little bit better.

“We are starting to see a rebound from where we were in the summer time,” says Lake Carriers’ Association spokesperson Eric Peace. “[Demand] is starting to move up for iron ore, limestone and some of the other commodities as well."

Cargo shipments of iron ore through November are down nearly 25% compared to 2019, while limestone cargo tonnage is down 16%, according to the Lake Carriers Association, a trade group representing 11 member companies operating 46 commercial cargo vessels on the Great Lakes.

Demand is creeping up only after a long and difficult year when the manufacturing industry temporarily shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Peace says American shipping companies transported nearly 90 million tons of cargo total in 2019. Through November this year there’s been 36.6 million tons of iron ore shipped, and about 25.5 million tons of limestone.

Canadian and American carriers – the massive, long freighters sometimes visible on a Great Lakes horizon – traverse the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway hauling cargo to and from ports in both countries. Data from the Lake Carriers’ Association is a view of just one aspect of the shipping industry, as its members are made up of American carriers focused primarily on transporting iron ore and limestone.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, mines in Michigan and Minnesota shipped 98% of the “usable iron ore products” consumed by the steel industry in 2019 in the United States – an estimated value of $5.4 billion dollars.

58.1 million tons of cargo had passed through the Soo Locks as of Dec. 12, 2020, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson Bill Dowell. The Locks processed more than 73.1 million tons of cargo in all of 2019.

Bruce Burrows is the President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce, a binational association of private sector companies in the maritime industry. The association says cargo totals for both American and Canadian carriers on the St. Lawrence Seaway (not including the greater Great Lakes region) are down 6.6% compared to 2019. He says shipping on the St. Lawrence Seaway constitutes about 25% of all commercial shipping in the Great Lakes region.

“It’s been a super difficult year under the cloud of the pandemic, and we started off in much deeper, negative territory earlier in the season, finishing up Q2,” he says.

Burrows says closer to years’ end, demand for iron is down about 15% on the St. Lawrence Seaway, while dry bulk is down about 15%, and demand for refined [petroleum] products is down about 32%.

“You know, with construction shutdowns through the manufacturing sector [in early 2020], that’s particularly affected demand for steel,” Burrows says. “We move a lot of iron ore and steel in our system and that remains down.”

But grain has been a surprising boon this year for freight carriers on the St. Lawrence Seaway. Burrows says U.S. grain shipping volumes are up 20%, and Canadian grain is even higher than that. He says there’s global demand for grain products like pasta.

“The pandemic, people are at home, you know, eating macaroni and cheese,” Burrows says. “That’s been very helpful for us, but still hasn’t compensated for the loss in those other areas I mentioned. It’s still pretty healthy losses compared to 2019.”

There are more than 120,000 American jobs directly tied to the shipping industry across the Great Lakes region, according to a 2019 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of the Transportation Institute. And according to the Great Lakes Seaway Institute, the Great Lakes shipping industry provides Michigan residents with over 25,000 jobs and more than $1.78 billion in personal income.

While the American members of the Lake Carriers Association transport mostly iron and limestone, Burrows says grain is buoying some businesses.

“Each port has a slightly different story depending on how focused they are on grain or not,” Burrows says. “Ports like Thunder Bay have not had as good a year in twenty years. Ports like Duluth, are very focused on iron ore movements and so on; they’ve had a really tough time.”

Michigan Radio

 

Port Reports -  January 5

Thunder Bay, ON
Sunday; Destination update: Baie Comeau is sailing for Midland. Monday; 18:17 Manitoulin departed and was downbound. 18:51 Blair McKeil arrived at Viterra A to load grain.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Anchored off Duluth on Jan. 3rd were the American Mariner, John G. Munson, and the American Courage. Joseph L. Block departed Two Harbors on Jan. 3rd at 01:47 for Indiana Harbor. Arriving Two Harbors on Jan. 3rd at 03:23 was the Presque Isle. She departed on Jan. 3rd at 13:55 for Gary. Cason J. Callaway arrived Two Harbors on Jan. 3rd at 16:28 after being anchored off Duluth. There is no traffic due Two Harbors from the lower lakes on Jan. 4th. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader depart on Jan. 3rd at 03:08 for Cleveland. Silver Bay has no inbound traffic scheduled for Jan. 4th.

St. Marys River – Know Your Ships
Downbound traffic Monday included Algoma Enterprise on her last trip before retirement. Following her were Algoma Innovator, Joseph L. Block, Baie Comeau (for Midland), Cuyahoga (from Algoma) and Mississagi. Saginaw (to Algoma) and Mesabi Miner were upbound.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
No marine traffic at Milwaukee Monday (01/04), and none is currently expected.

Muskegon, MI – Muskegon Ships
Alpena arrived midday on Sunday with a load of cement for the Lafarge Terminal. She departed early on Monday bound for South Chicago to unload the remainder of her cargo.

Northern Lake Huron
Owen Sound; Monday; 16:24 Algoma Compass arrived at the east wall for winter layup.
Cheboygan; Monday; 12:50 The tug Albert and tanker barge Margaret departed for Sarnia.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Dorothy Ann tug Pathfinder barge cleared 4.41 pm Monday downbound for Toledo with salt. Algoma Intrepid arrived 6.58 pm Sunday loading at Compass Minerals. Algoma Sault arrived 4.57 pm Monday unloading at grain dock. Algoma Niagara expected next.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
Herbert C Jackson unloaded ore at AK Steel on Monday

Lake Erie Ports for Monday – Bill Kloss
Sandusky: John J. Boland arrived at 13:21. Herbert C. Jackson is due on Tuesday.
Cleveland: G.L. Ostrander departed for Toledo at 15:14. Olive L. Moore arrived at 16:10 and went to anchor. Sharon MI is due early Tuesday morning.
Fairport Harbor: Calumet is at Morton Salt.
Ashtabula: Olive L. Moore departed at 03:05 for Cleveland.
Conneaut: Sam Laud is due early Tuesday morning.
Nanticoke: Algonova is at Imperial Oil.

Hamilton, ON – Tristin Woolf
The Sea Eagle II and her barge St. Marys Cement II arrived at 00:33 EST, joining the list of vessels that will lay up in Hamilton for the season. Algoma Discovery departed light at 06:22 EST for Toronto, where she will likely lay up for the season. Algoma Guardian arrived at 17:37 EST to unload ore from Superior. The list of vessels laid up in Hamilton includes Algoma Harvester, Petite Forte/St. Marys Cement, Algoma Equinox, G3 Marquis, Florence Spirit, and Sea Eagle II/St. Marys Cement II.

Buffalo, NY – Brian R Wroblewski
January got off to a quick start with a busy extended shipping season carrying over from 2020. The next couple weeks will have the most traffic going into a new year that I’ve ever seen. The 740-foot Algoma Niagara arrived with a load of salt from Goderich at 11PM on the 3rd. She winded by herself in the Outer Harbor Southern Channel and backed in for the Compass Mineral storage dome in Lackawanna. The Niagara was at the dock until 12:30PM on the 4th when unloading operations wrapped up and they dropped lines for departure. She slid right out the South Entrance bound for Goderich to load more salt again. Her sister Algoma Intrepid is currently on her way to Lackawanna with another load of salt.

Rochester, NY – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit arrived at Lehigh Cement's Dock on Monday morning.

 

Posted on the Fans of Waugoshance Lighthouse Facebook Page

1/5 - It is with a heavy heart that the Waugoshance Lighthouse Preservation Society board of directors has made the decision to dissolve the 501c-3 non-profit that has been dedicated to preserving Waugoshance Lighthouse for the past 23 years.

Over the past two years we have been watching the record high water levels erode the base of the lighthouse at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, it is reaching the point of crumbling into Lake Michigan sooner than later. After receiving a quote of over $300,000 to install a temporary fix, which may only last a year or two, and something permanent being in the neighborhood of 2-3 million dollars, we knew we were in big trouble.

Once we digested the magnitude of our newest problem, our president notified the National Park Service (NPS) and Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the immediate need to make a plan for recovering historically significant items. This included removing the birdcage lantern room, the bomb scared metal plating and other historical items before they end up on the bottom of Straits of Mackinac.

Our plan was to donate these historical items to museums so we could continue to tell the story of Waugoshance, as they would be better in a museum then sitting beneath the waters of the Great Lakes. We have been attempting to get approval from these government agencies since last summer so we could begin fundraising efforts.

We were in contact with companies that specialize in this type of work that were willing to help us save these pieces of maritime history. Unfortunately, the response we received from the state and local government was that they felt the structure was still able to be saved, and we should try to find another group to take over the efforts.

This was extremely frustrating as we did not take this decision lightly, and to see these agencies discounting our opinion was hurtful. To make a long story short, this put us in a position that ultimately forced us to dissolve the preservation society because of the liability associated with the structure being unsafe.

This does not mean we have lost our love for Waugoshance, however, the 501c-3 nonprofit will cease to exist. The website and social media outlets will be redesigned to tell the story of the lighthouse, including sharing images of her throughout the years. We will now be known as “Fans of Waugoshance Lighthouse” and will serve as a platform to share stories and images of our beloved lighthouse, but no longer as an official organization.

On a personal note, Waugoshance has given me so many wonderful memories and lifelong friendships. I am heart broken that we could not save her from the elements that have been working to destroy her for the past 170 years. Some examples include Mother Nature, high water levels and the damage acquired from military target practice. Sadly it seems the final nail in the coffin comes down to the state and federal agencies preventing us from saving and donating pieces of Waugoshance to keep her story alive

Thank You all for your support over the years Chris West Former President Waugoshance Lighthouse Preservation Society In accordance with the IRS rules for dissolving a 501c-3 organization we will be donating the money in our bank account to local organizations with similar missions.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 4

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Arthur M. Anderson arrived Duluth at 04:50 Sunday morning and headed to Canadian National to load iron ore pellets. She was just getting underway from the dock at 19:30 and was expected to depart shortly after 20:00 for Gary. At the Superior entry, American Century arrived at 04:21 to load at BN; she was still at the dock Sunday night with no posted departure time. American Integrity and Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin were both anchored off the Superior entry waiting to load. Also anchored were John G. Munson, American Mariner, and American Courage, all waiting for berths in Two Harbors.

Thunder Bay, ON
Sunday; 7:59 Algoma Enterprise departed for Detroit. 13:41 Algoma Innovator departed for Toledo. 16:22 Manitoulin shifted to the Superior Elevator to finish loading grain. 16:53 Baie Comeau departed and is downbound. 17:03 Algoma Strongfield arrived at Keefer Terminal for winter layup. 17:31 Mississagi departed for Hamilton.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Anchored off Duluth on Jan. 3rd were the American Mariner, John G. Munson, and American Courage. Joseph L. Block departed Two Harbors on Jan. 3rd at 01:47 for Indiana Harbor. Arriving Two Harbors on Jan. 3rd at 03:23 was the Presque Isle. She departed on Jan. 3rd at 13:55 for Gary. Cason J. Callaway arrived Two Harbors on Jan. 3rd at 16:28 after being anchored off Duluth. There is no traffic due Two Harbors from the lower lakes on Jan. 4th. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader depart on Jan. 3rd at 03:08 for Cleveland. Silver Bay has no inbound traffic scheduled for Jan. 4th.

St. Marys River – Know Your Ships
Downbound traffic Sunday included Herbert C Jackson, Paul R. Tregurtha, Sam Laud, Algoma Sault, American Spirit, Frontenac, James R. Barker and Burns Harbor. Upbounders included Erie Trader/Clyde S, Blair McKeil, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Edwin H. Gott.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
No marine traffic at Milwaukee Sunday (01/03), nor is any currently expected.

Green Bay, WI – Jon
On Sunday, the tug New York barge Double Skin 509A departed at 7:56 am for Detroit, MI.

Northern Lake Huron
Calcite: Saturday; 20:52 The tug General arrived from Cheboygan. 23:23 The tug Albert and tanker barge Margaret arrived to unload petroleum products. They were assisted by the General which departed Sunday at 0:33 for Cheboygan. 14:03 The tug Albert and tanker barge Margaret departed for Cheboygan.
Cheboygan: Saturday; 3:58 The tug General arrived. 18:14 The tug Albert and tanker barge Margaret arrived at the US Oil Co Terminal to unload.
Port Dolomite: After spending Friday night at anchor, AIS showed Dirk S. Van Enkevort at the loading dock on Saturday morning.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Dorothy Ann tug and Pathfinder barge loading at Compass Minerals. Algoma Niagara arrived 6.58 pm Sunday and tied up at North Pier.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
Sunday Arrivals: John J Boland arrived at Zug Island to unload coal. Lee A Tregurtha arrived at AK Steel to unload ore. Sharon M I/Huron Spirit arrived at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal to unload steel coils.

Lake Erie Ports for Sunday – Bill Kloss
Sandusky: Algoma Transport departed for Bowmanville at 18:46.
Cleveland: Mesabi Miner departed for Two Harbors at 05:24. G.L. Ostrander is now due early Monday morning.
Fairport Harbor: Calumet departed at 09:04 for Ashtabula. She arrived back at 22:30.
Ashtabula: Olive L. Moore is in port. Kaye E. Barker arrived at 07:08. After unloading, she departed at 14:58 for Marquette. Calumet arrived at 12:29, unloaded and departed at 18:48 for a return to Fairport Harbor.
Nanticoke: Algonova is at Imperial Oil. Algoterra departed for Sarnia and Saginaw departed for Sault Ste. Marie.

Hamilton, ON – Tristin Woolf
Florence Spirit departed at 14:26 EST Sunday out into Lake Ontario, with no set destination. Algoma Discovery arrived at 15:20 EST to unload ore from Superior. Harvest Spirit departed at 17:29 EST, bound for the Welland Canal after unloading coke. Florence Spirit is expected to return from Lake Ontario late Sunday night.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 4

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 3

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
American Spirit departed Duluth at 02:46 Saturday morning destined for Indiana Harbor to deliver iron ore pellets, and James R. Barker left port at 10:04 after taking on coal at Midwest Energy. Due next is Arthur M. Anderson, scheduled to arrive early Sunday morning to load at Canadian National. The only traffic in Superior on Saturday was Burns Harbor, which departed for her namesake port at 07:40 loaded with iron ore. Presque Isle, John G. Munson, Cason J. Callaway, and American Mariner were all anchored off the Twin Ports Saturday waiting for their turn at CN in Two Harbors.

Thunder Bay, ON
Friday; 21:39 Mississagi arrived and went to anchor south of the Welcome Islands. 23:47 Frontenac arrived at Viterra A to load wheat. Saturday; 2:37 Algoma Conveyor departed.for Hamilton. 10:21 Algoma Enterprise arrived at Thunder Bay Terminals to load coal. 13:41 CCGS Samuel Risley departed for ice operations.14:14 Algoma Sault departed for Goderich. 14:27 Mississagi weighed anchor and proceeded to the Superior Elevator to load grain. 17:03 Frontenac departed for Port Colborne. 17:50 Baie Comeau weighed anchor and proceeded to Viterra A to load wheat.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on Saturday included H. Lee White, Algoma Guardian and, late, Ashtabula/Defiance and Algoma Conveyor. Upbounders included American Courage in the afternoon and Algoma Strongfield in the late evening.

Northern Lake Michigan
Charlevoix : Saturday; 15:59 Prentiss Brown arrived to load cement products.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
After delivering cement at the Kinnickinnic River terminal, Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Conquest cleared for Charlevoix at 17:36 Friday (01/01). No other marine traffic is currently expected.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Niagara cleared 2.25 pm Saturday for Buffalo with salt. Dorothy Ann tug, Pathfinder barge arrived 6.56 pm Saturday loading at Compass Minerals.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
Saturday Arrivals: Cuyahoga-arrived at the Motor City Materials dock to unload salt. They then shifted to Zug Island to load coke. Hon. James L Oberstar-arrived at AK Steel to unload ore.

Lake Erie Ports for Saturday – Bill Kloss
Sandusky: John J. Boland departed at 18:15 for Zug Island. Algoma Transport loading at Norfolk Southern.
Cleveland: Algoma Intrepid arrived at 06:17 to unload salt at Osborne. She departed at 19:38. Mesabi Miner arrived at 18:14 for the Bulk Terminal. G.L. Ostrander is due late Sunday.
Fairport Harbor: Calumet arrived at 03:48 and went to anchor. She came in to load at Morton Salt at 10:07.
Ashtabula: Olive L. Moore arrived at 22:15. Kaye E. Barker is due to arrive on Sunday.
Conneaut: Edwin H. Gott unloaded and departed at 12:59 for Two Harbors.
Nanticoke: Algosea departed at 16:32 for Sarnia. Algoterra is at Imperial Oil and Saginaw is at Stelco. Algonova is at anchor.

Hamilton, ON – Tristin Woolf
The Algoma Compass arrived at 01:45 EST from Superior to unload ore. The Florence Spirit arrived at 02:24 EST to unload coke from Detroit. The Algoma Compass departed at 11:11 EST, bound for Owen Sound, where she will lay up for the season. The Harvest Spirit is expected to depart at 21:15 EST after completing an unload of coke, and the Florence Spirit will take their place. The Algoma Harvester and G3 Marquis, who have both been sitting in port for several days, are likely joining the list of vessels that will lay up in Hamilton.

 

2020 list of new saltwater visitors

1/3 - As the St. Lawrence Seaway officially closed on December 31, ending the 2020 St. Lawrence Seaway shipping season from the Montreal to Lake Ontario sector of the Seaway, a recap shows that there were 47 new saltwater vessels that made their first ever inland into the Great Lakes/Seaway system at the Eisenhower Lock in Massena, New York.

The final list of the 47 new visitors to the Seaway system for the 2020 Shipping season includes: Alanis, Amber Bay, Amoenitas, Atlantic Spirit, Aujaq, Barbarica, BBC Direction, BBC Dolphin, BBC Eagle, BBC Echo, BBC Gdansk, BBC Mekong, BBC Norfolk, BBC Song, BBC Swift, Caroline, Chiberta, Comet, Fure Ven, FWN Rapide, Heemskerkgracht, Hilke, Hudsongracht, Ijborg, Imke, Janet C, Josef, Julian, Julie C, Keith, Lagertha, Maasgracht, Margaretha, Mick, Nadja, Northern Spirit, Onego Bayou, Ortolan Beta Strait, Patrona I, Pechora Star, Puna, RF Stella, Sider Amy, Sinaa, Spiekeroog, Trito Navigator and Zea Servant.

One of the new vessels, the Julian, was renamed Harvest Spirit and reflagged Canadian while in Hamilton on November 19.

Denny Dushane

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Atlantic Spirit first vessel for 2021 at Port of Montreal

1/2 - Montreal, QC – McKeil Marine’s Atlantic Spirit, a frequent visitor to the Seaway, was expected to be the first vessel of the New Year to arrive in the Port of Montreal late Friday afternoon. As a result, it will be the winner of the Golden Cane, a tradition that has existed since 1840.

Rene Beauchamp

 

Port Reports -  January 2

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Paul R. Tregurtha arrived Duluth at 03:35 on New Year's Day and headed to Midwest Energy to load coal. Her fleetmate James R. Barker arrived at 18:44 and tied up at Husky Energy for fuel; she will load next at SMET after the Tregurtha, which was still loading as of 20:00 Friday night with no departure time posted. American Spirit spent the day at Canadian National loading iron ore pellets and was expected to depart before midnight. On the south end of the harbor, Algoma Guardian departed at 08:46 Friday morning loaded with pellets from Burlington Northern. Burns Harbor then weighed anchor and arrived, entering the harbor at 09:13 to load. She was still loading Friday night and should be outbound early Saturday. Presque Isle and Joseph L. Block were both anchored off the Twin Ports Friday evening waiting for berths at CN in Two Harbors.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Currently anchored off Duluth waiting on Two Harbors are the Presque Isle and the Joseph L. Block. Defiance/Ashtabula departed Two Harbors on Jan. 1st at 11:10 for Gary. Arriving Two Harbors on Jan. 1st at 11:35 was the Manitowoc. As of 19:30 on Jan. 1st she is close to being loaded. The Sam Laud departed anchorage off Duluth the afternoon of the 1st and at 19:30 she is running checked down awaiting the departure of the Manitowoc. Due Two Harbors or anchorage off Duluth on Jan. 2nd are the Cason J. Callaway, John G. Munson, and the American Mariner. When the Indiana Harbor departed Two Harbors there was no updated AIS. She is heading for Indiana Harbor. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the H. Lee White depart on Jan. 1st at 06:43 for Indiana Harbor. Due Silver Bay on Jan. 2nd is the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader.

Thunder Bay, ON
Thursday; 22:39 Algoma Sault arrived at the Superior Elevator to load grain. Friday,January 1; 3:32 Baie Comeau arrived and went to anchor. 9:14 CCGS Samuel Risley departed to conduct ice operations.10:17 Algoma Innovator arrived at Viterra B to load grain. 12:02 CCGS Samuel Risley returned to the coast guard base. 13:34 Manitoulin arrived at the Richardson Main Terminal.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on New Year’s Day included Hon. James L. Oberstar, Ojibway, Kaye E. Barker, Stewart J. Cort, Sharon M 1 / Huron Spirit and, late, Indiana Harbor. Algoma Enterprise locked up around noon for Thunder Bay. This was her last upbound passage as she is due to be retired. She was followed by Great Lakes Trader/Joyce L and, late, American Century and Arthur M. Anderson.

Green Bay, WI – Jon
On New Year's Day at 1:45 pm the tug New York Barge Double Skin 509A arrived from Detroit, MI to Green Bay for the CRM Terminal shared with Lafarge Terminal.

Muskegon, MI – Muskegon Ships
On New Year's Day, Andrie tug Sarah Andrie and her barge A-397 came into port, docking at the Verplank's Cobb Dock.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
After delivering deicing salt from Cleveland, Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder cleared for Goderich at 00:56 Friday (01/01). After delivering salt from Windsor, Ontario, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin cleared for Thunder Bay at 02:19. Milwaukee’s first arrival of 2021 was Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Conquest, which arrived from Charlevoix at 03:31 with cement for the Kinnickinnic River terminal.

Northern Lake Huron
McGregor Bay: Friday, January 1; 7:15 The cement carrier Alpena arrived at the Lafarge Whitefish River Terminal to unload.
Alpena: Friday, January 1; 7:12 Undaunted and Pere Marquette 41 arrived to unload at the Lafarge plant and departed at 17:07 for Holland.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Niagara arrived 5.30 pm Friday loading at Compass Minerals.

Lake Erie Ports for Friday – Bill Kloss
Sandusky: John J. Boland is at Norfolk Southern and Algoma Transport is waiting to load.
Cleveland: Algoma Intrepid and Mesabi Miner are both due on Saturday.
Fairport Harbor: Algoma Niagara departed for Goderich. Calumet is due early Saturday morning.
Conneaut: American Courage departed at 00:01 for Two Harbors. Edwin H. Gott arrived at 22:00.
Erie, Pa: Algoma Buffalo arrived for drydocking at Donjon.
Nanticoke: Algosea is at Imperial Oil. Algonova and Algoterra are at anchor.

Hamilton, ON – Tristin Woolf
12/31/20: Algoma Buffalo departed at 02:55 EST, bound for Erie, where she will layup for the season. The tug Vigilant 1 arrived at 04:24 EST from Port Weller, and was outbound for Toronto at 06:50 EST. The Saginaw departed light at 08:54 EST, bound for Port Colborne. Algoma Equinox arrived at 14:11 EST for layup, becoming the second confirmed vessel to lay up in Hamilton for the season. G3 Marquis and Algoma Harvester could both possibly be laying up as well, although unconfirmed at this point.

1/1/21: The Coast Guard vessel Griffon arrived at 08:35 EST from Prescott. She was outbound at 14:29 EST, headed towards the Welland Canal. Harvest Spirit is expected to arrive at 22:00 EST to unload coke from Detroit.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Happy New Year from the BoatNerd

1/1 - BoatNerd wishes all our readers a very happy and successful 2021. Thank you for your support.

 

Duluth Fire Department evacuates injured H. Lee White crewman

1/1 - It’s not every day that a medical call comes in involving a 704-foot laker. Wednesday, Duluth Fire Department crews responded to a medical call from the H. Lee White due to a crewmember falling on some ice while underway. The ship was supposed to pick up a load in Silver Bay, but when the crewmembers symptoms got worse, and included neck pain the captain made the decision to pull into port in Duluth for medical attention. Rescue 1 and 1 Tower responded to the ship and helped offload the crewmember who was taken to a nearby hospital. H. Lee White left soon after to head back to Silver Bay to pick up their load

Duluth Minnesota Fire Department

 

Port Reports -  January 1

Thank you to our port reporters!

A big three long and two short goes out to all who send news to this page or contribute to the Port Reports, among them Daniel Lindner, Gary A. Putney, Gordy Garris, Todd Shorkey, Rene Beauchamp, Ron Beaupre, Rod Burdick, Ned Goebricher, Bruce Douglas, Bill Kloss, Barry Andersen, Ron Walsh, Tristin Woolf, MKE Marine Reports, Brian R Wroblewski, Tom Brewer, Port of Monroe, Jon in Green Bay, Bill Van Appledorn, Capt. Mike Nicholls, Fred A. Tijan, Brendan Falkowski, Ken Cyrette, Marc Dease, Tom Brewer, Ned Goebricher, Paul Erspamer, Logan Vasicek, Sam Hankinson, Jeff Benson, Paul Martin, Matt Miner, Ben & Chanda McClain, Denny Dushane, Ken Borg, Luke Johnson, Phil Nash, Bill Bird, Raymond Hill, Al Miller, Tom Hynes, Roger LeLievre and anyone else we’ve inadvertently left off this list, including those who wish to remain anonymous. It is the contributions of all these volunteers, and many others, that make BoatNerd possible.

We are always seeking contributions to this page from readers around the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. If you see news in your area or want to offer your observations of vessel arrivals and departures, please send to news@boatnerd.net. If you spot an interesting shipping-related story in your local news, please take a moment to forward a link so that we may share it with our audience. Thank you!

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Baie Comeau arrived Duluth at 03:29 Thursday morning, offloaded salt at Hallett #8, and departed light at 13:14 for Thunder Bay. American Spirit arrived at 15:51 to load iron ore pellets at CN, and Great Republic was outbound at 19:16 loaded with ore. She had finished loading at CN early Thursday afternoon and shifted to Port Terminal for repairs. At the Superior entry, Stewart J. Cort arrived at 02:15 to load at Burlington Northern. She departed with her iron ore cargo at 12:06. Algoma Guardian then arrived from anchor at 12:51 and began loading; she should depart around midnight. Burns Harbor is next in line for the dock, and was anchored off Superior Thursday night. Also anchored were Manitowoc and Sam Laud, both still waiting for berths in Two Harbors.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Only two boats are left at anchor off Duluth waiting on Two Harbors. As of 19:00 on Dec. 31st at anchor were = Sam Laud and = Manitowoc. = Indiana Harbor departed Two Harbors on Dec. 31st at 17:18. As of 19:00 there is no updated AIS. Departing anchorage off Duluth on Dec. 31st at approx. 11:00 was th=e Defiance/Ashtabula. She arrived Two Harbors at 17:37 on the 31st. Due Two Harbors on Jan. 1st are = Presque Isle and = Joseph L. Block. = Callaway on Dec. 31st at 19:00 is at the Soo. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw = Mesabi Miner depart on Dec. 30th at 22:47 for Cleveland. Arriving Silver Bay on Dec. 30 at 23:55 was = H. Lee White. She was still at the dock on Dec. 31st at 19:30. There is no scheduled inbound traffic for Silver Bay on Jan. 1st.

Thunder Bay, ON
Thursday; 12:50 Ojibway departed for Windsor. 19:49 Algoma Conveyor arrived at the G3 elevator to load grain.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on Thursday included Kaministiqua and Erie Trader/Clyde S. Upbouders included Algoma Innovator, James R Barker, Lee A. Tregurtha, Manitoulin, Herbert C. Jackson, Cason J. Callaway and Mississagi (for Thunder Bay). John G. Munson and Frontenac were headed for DeTour late.

Northern Lake Michigan
Thursday; 13:13 With calmer seas Prentiss Brown departed from the lee side of North Manitou Island for Milwaukee.

Northern Lake Huron
Midland: Thursday; 13:17 Katmai Bay departed for the Soo.
Georgian Bay: Thursday; 10:30 Frontenac weighed anchor and departed Hope Bay for Thunder Bay.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid was loading at Compass Minerals Thursday.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
Thursday Arrivals: Florence Spirit arrived at Zug Island to load coke. Sea Eagle 2/St. Mary's Cement 2 arrived at the St. Marys Cement dock to unload cement.

Lake Erie Ports for Thursday – Bill Kloss
Sandusky: John J. Boland arrived on Wednesday and is at Norfolk Southern. Algoma Transport is berthed behind waiting her turn to load.
Cleveland: Olive L. Moore departed for Detroit on Wednesday. Algoma Intrepid was erroneously reported as coming to Cleveland but instead went to Detroit.
Fairport Harbor: Algoma Niagara arrived from Goderich at 11:38.
Conneaut: American Courage came in from anchorage at 12:16. Edwin H. Gott is due on Friday.
Nanticoke: Algoterra departed for Sarnia. Algosea arrived at Imperial Oil at 10:59. Algonova is at anchor.

Erie, PA – Erie Shipping News
Algoma Buffalo will be the first arrival for winter layup at Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair. They will, weather permitting, likely arrive early Friday.

 

Northern Michigan in Focus: Bottled Goodbyes, Lake Fury

1/1 - It’s a form of communication that goes back centuries, finding a message in a bottle, and now there’s a new book that unlocks some of the mysteries behind some of those messages. Corey Adkins spoke with Ric Mixter, who explains in this week’s Northern Michigan in Focus.

“I’ve been looking at newspapers for 30 years now and every time I look at a newspaper I would always look for an article that said a message was found in a bottle from so-and-so’s shipwreck.” Mixter says. “I put those away in a folder and I thought one day if I ever get the time I’m going to write a book about that, and guess what, COVID came and with a layoff that gave me the time, so there was that silver lining to a horribly dark cloud.”

From that dark cloud comes the new book by author and maritime historian Mixter, “Bottled Goodbyes: Final Farewells From Maritime and Aviation Disasters.”

“We do know that this is an act of desperation by sailors that threw it out to hopefully get either rescue or worse, they know that they’re going to be lost and they say their final advice. Or in many cases there’s ones where they just threw it in a river system and just to say hi or look for a pen pal.”

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.9and10news.com/2020/12/30/northern-michigan-in-focus-bottled-goodbyes-lake-fury

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 1

On this day in 1958, 76-year-old Rangvald Gunderson retired as wheelsman from the ELTON HOYT 2ND. Mr. Gunderson sailed on the lakes for 60 years.

On January 1, 1973, the PAUL H. CARNAHAN became the last vessel of the 1972 shipping season to load at the Burlington Northern (now Burlington Northern Santa Fe) ore docks in Superior, Wisconsin. Interestingly, the CARNAHAN also opened the Superior docks for the season in the spring of 1972.

On 1 January 1930, HELEN TAYLOR (wooden propeller steam barge, 56 foot, 43 gross tons, built in 1894, at Grand Haven, Michigan) foundered eight miles off Michigan City, Indiana. She was nicknamed "Pumpkin Seed," due to her odd shape.

January 1, 1900 - The Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad merged with the Chicago & West Michigan and the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western Railroads to form the Pere Marquette Railway Co.

On 1 January 1937, MAROLD II (steel propeller, 129 foot, 165 gross tons, built in 1911, at Camden, New Jersey, as a yacht) was siphoning gasoline off the stranded tanker J OSWALD BOYD (244 foot, 1,806 gross tons, built in 1913, in Scotland) which was loaded with 900,000 gallons of gasoline and was stranded on Simmons Reef on the north side of Beaver Island. A tremendous explosion occurred which totally destroyed MAROLD II and all five of her crew. Only pieces of MAROLD II were found. Her captain's body washed ashore in Green Bay the next year.

At time of loss, she was the local Beaver Island boat. The remains of the BOYD were removed to Sault Ste. Marie in June 1937.

1943: HAMILDOC (i) went south during World War Two to assist in the bauxite trade. The N.M. Paterson & Sons bulk canaller sank in the Caribbean after a three-day gale. The vessel, enroute from Georgetown, British Guiana, to Trinidad, was at anchor when the hull broke in two. All on board were saved.

2000: WISTERIA was built at Imabari, Japan, in 1976 and came through the Seaway that year. It was taking water in #1 hold as c) AIS MAMAS while enroute from West Africa to India with a cargo of logs. The crew was removed but the ship was taken in tow and reached Capetown, South Africa, on January 5. It was subsequently sold for scrap and arrived at Alang, India, for dismantling on April 23, 2000 and was beached the next day.

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


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