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McKeil Marine expands tanker fleet

2/25 - Burlington, ON – Marine services provider McKeil Marine Limited has purchased the Adfines Star, an intermediate-sized ice class 1A product tanker. With this latest addition to its diversified fleet of tugs, barges, workboats and vessels, including bunkers, cement carriers, and tankers, McKeil has one of the fastest growing fleets in Canada with the acquisition of four vessels in the last 13 months.

The Maltese-flagged Adfines Star, built in 2011, measures 152 metres by 23 metres, with a DWT of approximately 19,000 metric tonnes. The vessel was acquired to service the needs of a key customer of McKeil and will continue to trade as a foreign-flag vessel between Europe and the Great Lakes on a consistent trading pattern.

“The addition of the Adfines Star supports the continued focus on growing our tanker fleet here at McKeil with high quality Lakes-ready vessels, following the acquisition of the Hinch Spirit and Wicky Spirit in 2019. The acquisition of the Star positions us well to better serve our customers in the future,” said Captain Scott Bravener, President of McKeil Marine Limited.

The 19,000 DWT vessel will be renamed the Atlantic Spirit and is currently in operation.

McKeil

 

New visitors and new funds headed to Port of Cleveland

2/25 - Cleveland, OH – Great Lakes cruises have seen rapid growth as a result of a concerted marketing effort by the Port of Cleveland. In 2017, nine cruise ships docked in the port. The next year, that number grew to 22, and last year it was 28. As of now, 41 cruise ships are scheduled to dock in Cleveland in 2020.

"The last five years have seen an explosion of cruise vessel activity in and around Lake Erie," said David Gutheil, chief commercial officer for the port. "One of the reasons for that is the cruise industry around the world is saturated. The Great Lakes is really the last geographic area for cruise vessel calls."

In February, the port finished updating, at a cost of more than $650,000, a permanent U.S. Customs and Border Protection station to help process an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 international travelers who come to the city on one of the international Great Lake cruises. (About 6,500 passengers came through the port in 2019, but only about half needed to be processed through customs. The estimate for 2020 is that 7,500 passengers will dock here and, again, about half will need processing.)

At least two more companies are prepping to add Great Lakes lines, including Viking Cruises, which has 20 river and five ocean lines that visit 403 ports in 95 countries.

Matt Grimes, Viking Cruises executor director, said more ships are being built for the high-end lake and river cruises, which cost upward of $5,000 ($1,250 a night) for an eight-day, seven-night trip and prohibit anyone under 18 years old.

"We operate in a different market than previous Great Lakes cruise line operators, but we do plan to pour $100 million in marketing over the next five years, and that should benefit all the operators in the Great Lakes," Grimes said.

Lake cruise ships are smaller than their oceangoing counterparts, typically holding 200-450 passengers, each of whom are estimated to spend about $150 during a visit to Cleveland.

Although Viking has not officially scheduled a stop at Cleveland when it launches in 2022, Gutheil said it is just a matter of time before the port is added to the company's schedule of Great Lakes destinations.

One of the reasons Gutheil is so confident is the renewed attention ports like Cleveland are receiving. That includes newly allocated public funding; monies that he and his staff have spent the last few years lobbying for in D.C. and Columbus.

Read more at this link: https://www.crainscleveland.com/government/new-visitors-and-new-funds-headed-port-cleveland

 

New Coast Guard cutter Edgar Culbertson named after Great Lakes hero

2/25 - A new fast response U.S. Coast Guard cutter has been named after a rescuer from Michigan who lost his life trying to save three teenage brothers who were swept off a pier during a fierce Lake Superior storm known as “Black Sunday.”

The Coast Guard took delivery of the new cutter this month in Key West, Florida. It will be the second of three fast response cutters stationed in Galveston, Texas, the military said.

The new cutter’s namesake, Petty Officer 1st class Edgar Culbertson of Ferndale, was 31 when he died during the rescue effort in Duluth, Minnesota on April 30, 1967. Culbertson and two other Coast Guard rescuers had tethered themselves with rope and spaced themselves 25 feet apart in an effort to rescue the brothers. Culbertson died, as did all three brothers.

The two other Coast Guard rescuers survived. For their bravery and heroism, all three service members were awarded the Coast Guard medal.

Here are some of the details of the “Black Sunday” rescue. Winds were blowing at 45 mph that night, whipping up waves along the coast of Duluth, a port town on Superior’s northwestern shore. Witnesses saw brothers Eric, Arthur and Nathan Halverson - two 16-year-old twins and a 17-year-old - running on the pier about 7:45 p.m. The boys had driven to the pier after a church gathering, their parents later said.

One brother was swept off by the crashing waves, and the other two were stranded on the pier, reports said.

Volunteers who headed out to rescue the siblings included Culbertson, Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Richard Callahan, 21, of Cicero, Ill., and Fireman Ronald C. Prei, 21, of St. Francis, Wis.

“The crew tethered themselves together using a rope, with 25-foot spacing and set out searching the pier with only a hand lantern to light the way,” according to a Coast Guard account of the rescue attempt. "The men shuffled their way out to the lighthouse without incident, but also without finding the missing boys.

“On their way back, Culbertson was knocked off the pier by a large wave, causing him to fall below onto the rocks along the shores of the lake.” His body was later found on the beach. Fencing was later added to the pier as a safety measure.

The fast response cutter named for Culbertson is a versatile ship designed for many functions, including search and rescue, port security, fishery patrols, national defense, and drug and migrant interdiction.

“They feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; over-the-horizon cutter boat deployment to reach vessels of interest; and improved habitability and seakeeping,” the Coast Guard said in a recent announcement on the ship’s delivery. “The ships have a maximum speed of 28 knots, range of 2,500 nautical miles and endurance of at least a five-day deployment.”

Read more at this link: https://www.mlive.com/news/2020/02/new-coast-guard-cutter-edgar-culbertson-named-after-great-lakes-hero.html

 

Port Reports -  February 25

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

S. Chicago
Algoma Conveyor was unloading salt Monday on the Calumet River.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 25

CREEK TRANSPORT was launched this day in 1910, as a.) SASKATOON (Hull#256) at Sunderland, England, by Sunderland Shipbuilding Co.

1964: CISSOULA, a Greek freighter that visited the Seaway in 1961 and 1965, was abandoned after a collision in fog with the Swedish vessel SOLKLINT off Selsey Bill in the English Channel. The damaged freighter was taken in tow and repaired. It was delivered to shipbreakers at Hsinkang, China, on September 24, 1969.

1968: AZAR first came to the Great Lakes as c) CELESTE in 1960 and returned with one trip under this, her fifth name, in 1967. The Liberian-registered, but Canadian-built freighter went aground off Cuba enroute from Venezuela to Tampa, Florida. The ship suffered extensive damage when it caught fire on February 29 and was declared a constructive total loss. It is believed that the hull was dismantled locally.

1978: The Italian freighter ANTONIO was the last saltwater ship to transit the Welland Canal in 1965. It ran aground off Chios Island, Greece, enroute from Constanza, Romania, to Vietnam as e) OMALOS. The ship was refloated on March 1 but laid up at Piraeus, Greece, and subsequently sold, at auction, for scrap. The vessel was broken up at Megara, Greece, beginning on June 13, 1983.

1979: The Panamanian freighter d) FENI was damaged in a collision on the Black Sea at Sulina Roads, Romania, with ATLANTIS STAR and had to be beached. The ship was refloated on February 28 and repaired. It had been a Seaway trader as a) DEERWOOD in 1960 and returned as b) SEBASTIANO in 1969. The ship was scrapped as f) SIRLAD at Split, Yugoslavia, following an explosion off Algeria, on January 3, 1982.

1994: BANDERAS visited the Great Lakes from 1975 through the 1980s. It was abandoned by the crew off the coast of Brazil as b) AEGEAN TRADER due to a fire in the accommodation area. The vessel was towed to Valencia, Spain, to be unloaded and arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, for scrapping as c) EGE TRADE on August 11, 1994.

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

 

Port Reports -  February 24

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Lake Michigan
On Sunday night, Algoma Conveyor was off Manitowoc headed to Chicago with salt.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator cleared Goderich 9:08 am Sunday with salt for Chicago.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Iver Bright was loading at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal on Sunday

Lake Erie
Algoma Hansa and Algocanada were in the Pelee Passage Sunday night headed for Nanticoke. Algosea and Algonova were both at anchor off that port.

 

Obituary: Dr. Charles E. Feltner

2/24 - Dr. Charles E. Feltner, a long-time member of the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History, has passed away. In addition to his many years of service to the association and to the field of Great Lakes maritime history preservation, Dr. Feltner was also a founding member of the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society. In 1998, he and others began a decades-long effort to preserve and restore the historic off-shore light at the entrance to the St. Marys River connecting Lakes Huron and Superior.

In addition to devoting countless volunteer hours to the society, Dr. Feltner also served as its chief historian, restoration chairman and president for many years. From 2001 to 2004, he was in charge of the DeTour Reef Light’s first major interior and exterior restoration project. That project received the State of Michigan Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation in 2005, the same year the lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2006, he was honored with the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History's Award for Historic Preservation.

Dr. Feltner is also widely known in the Midwest marine historical and scuba diving communities for his published articles and presentations on shipwrecks and courses on how to research Great Lakes shipwrecks. He is known for his book “Great Lakes Maritime History: Bibliography and Sources of Information” (1982). Dr. Feltner wrote several in-depth articles on Straits of Mackinac shipwrecks published in a Midwest serial by Rec Diving called Diving Times of which his wife Jeri Baron Feltner was the editor. Diving Times is the only Michigan serial about diving on Michigan shipwrecks.

He was also cofounder, and was chairman for the first five years, of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Festival, an annual event sponsored by the Ford Seahorses Scuba Diving Club of Dearborn, MI. He, along with his wife Jeri, was also instrumental in the establishment of the Shipwrecks of the Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Museum in Mackinaw City with their donation of over 50 shipwreck artifacts from the Straits of Mackinac. He retired from Ford Motor Company after 32 years in engineering and corporate management.

Association for Great Lakes Maritime History

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 24

The Pittsburgh Steamship Co.’s RICHARD V. LINDABURY (Hull#783) was launched February 24, 1923, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. Purchased by S & E Shipping (Kinsman) in 1978, renamed b.) KINSMAN INDEPENDENT. She was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey in 1988.

The founder of Arnold Transit Co., long-time ferry operators between Mackinac Island and the mainland, George T. Arnold filed the Articles of Association on Feb. 24, 1900.

On 24 February 1920, TALLAC (formerly SIMON J. MURPHY and MELVILLE DOLLAR, steel propeller, 235 foot, built in 1895, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was on a voyage from Colon, Panama to Baltimore, Maryland, when she stranded and was wrecked 18 miles south of Cape Henry, Virginia.

1975: The MOHAMEDIA foundered in the Red Sea enroute from Djibouti to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with a cargo of livestock that included 1300 cattle, 700 sheep and 118 camels. One member of the crew was also lost. The vessel had been a Seaway trader as b) ULYSSES CASTLE in 1969 and c) ITHAKI CASTLE in 1973.

1976: FRAMPTONDYKE visited the Seaway in 1969. It sank following a collision with the ODIN in the English Channel enroute from Rotterdam, Netherlands, to Cork, Ireland, as b) WITTERING. All on board were rescued.

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

 

Port Reports -  February 23

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
The tanker Algocanada was downbound from the Purvis Dock Saturday morning early.

Straits of Mackinac – Jon Paul
USCGC Katmai Bay led Algoma Conveyor westbound under the Mackinac Bridge at 16:40 Saturday. It was a beautiful clear afternoon with temps of 40 degrees. They maintained a steady 6+ knots in a track that has been used steadily by AC and the Algoma Innovator. By 10 p.m., her speed was down to just under 3 knots.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator arrived 2.27 pm Saturday, to load at Compass Minerals.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 23

EDWIN H. GOTT arrived at Two Harbors, Minnesota, (her first trip) February 23, 1979, with the loss of one of her two rudders during her transit of Lake Superior. The other rudder post was also damaged. She was holed in her bow and some of her cargo hold plating ruptured as a result of frozen ballast tanks. Even the icebreaker MACKINAW suffered damage to her port propeller shaft on the trip across frozen Lake Superior.

At Port Weller Drydocks Ltd., the keel of the new bow section for HILDA MARJANNE was laid on February 23, 1961, while at the same time the tanker hull forward of her engine room bulkhead was being cut away.

On 23 February 1929, SAPPHO (wooden propeller passenger ferry, 107 foot, 224 gross tons, built in 1883, at Wyandotte, Michigan) burned at her winter lay-up dock in Ecorse, Michigan. She had provided 46 years of service ferrying passengers across the Detroit River. She was neither repaired nor replaced since the Ambassador Bridge was nearing completion.

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

 

Threat of more Lake Ontario flooding may prompt a delay in commercial shipping

2/22 - Rochester, NY – The prospect of still more flooding on the Lake Ontario shoreline has driven regulators to consider an unprecedented delay in the start of the commercial shipping season. An international board could vote as soon as Friday to ramp up the release of water from Lake Ontario to such an extreme rate that safe navigation on the St. Lawrence River would become impossible.

The board, which has control of lake-level regulation, could commit to the high outflow through mid-April, delaying the start of shipping season on the river and Lake Ontario. The season usually commences in the last 10 days of March.

The board also is talking about keep outflows high enough beyond that point that vessels would need tug boats or special navigational aids to transit the river safely.

Such a sustained increase in springtime water discharge has never been undertaken before. It would throttle the connection between the Great Lakes and the world's oceans, idle dozens of huge commercial freighters and cost the shipping industry tens of millions of dollars.

A group representing shipping interests said it has cooperated with measures to release extra water from the lake in the past and would do so again. But shippers oppose any plan that would stop them from operating entirely.

"We certainly do not need any delays or disruption to the transportation of critical supplies and products on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway transportation and trade corridor," said Bruce Burrows, president of the Chamber of Marine Commerce in Ottawa, Canada.

But shoreline residents, battered by record-setting lake levels and flooding in two of the last three years, have been clamoring for government intervention to soften or prevent more damage this spring.

The maneuver being contemplated wouldn’t lower the water level enough to eliminate all prospect of shoreline damage. At best it could lessen the chance of significant springtime flooding a bit or make flooding less severe than it otherwise would be.

Read more at this link: https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2020/02/20/lake-ontario-flood-threat-could-force-delay-shipping-season/4817730002

 

Ship Masters present awards for lifesaving at annual convention

2/22 - Port Huron, MI – The International Ship Masters’ Associations 130th Annual Grand Lodge Convention was held from January 30-February 1 at the Blue Water Convention Center in Port Huron, MI. Capt. Joe Ruch of the Interlake Steamship Company was elected Grand President for the year 2020. Mr. Mark Barker, President of the Interlake Steamship Company, gave the keynote address at the Friday night Grand Ball.

Also at the Grand Ball, Three Grand President Awards for acts of lifesaving were given for the year 2019 by Capt. Mark Mather, Grand President of 2019. The awards went to:

• Capt. Jonathon Barnes and the crew of the Michipicoten for the rescue of a jet skier in Lake Superior on July 14, 2019

• Capt. Sam Buchanan and crew of the J.W. Westcott II mailboat for the rescue of a woman in the Detroit River in July 2019. Capt. Buchanan was present to receive the award.

• Capt. Mike North and crew of the Mackinac Island ferry Joliet for the rescue of a girl who had drifted a quarter mile offshore on an inner tube.

Other speakers included Ken Gerasimos, general manager of Key Lakes/Great Lakes Fleet; and Jim Weakley, president of Lake Carriers Association. Members and guests also learned about various topics from industry experts including autonomous shipping technology, anchor strike mitigation plans in the Straits of Mackinac, icebreaking, new Soo Lock, new Detroit/Windsor bridge and aids to navigation on the Great Lakes. Over 250 ISMA members and guests attended the 3-day event.

Here is a link to the 80-page program book for the convention which includes information about the ISMA, its’ mission, history and advertisements from supporters https://online.flippingbook.com/link/515498/

ISMA Port Huron Lodge No. 2

 

Port Reports -  February 22

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
The tanker Algocanada continued to unload at the Purvis Dock to on Friday.

Lake Huron – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor cleared Goderich at 9:20 am Friday with salt for Chicago. With wind warnings in the area, Algoma Innovator was stopped in the Straits Friday night, heading back to Goderich. USCG Hollyhock was with her.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Iver Bright was unloading at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal on Friday.

 

Ex-finance director faces federal charges of stealing from SS Badger cross-lake ferry

2/22 - Ludington, MI - The former finance director for the SS Badger Lake Michigan ferry has been charged in federal court with defrauding the ferry and financial institutions out of $550,000.

Paul Patrick Piper, 57, was charged in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids on Friday, Feb. 21, with bank fraud and federal income tax offenses, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan.

Piper served “for many years” as the financial controller for Lake Michigan Carferry, which operates the Badger ferry between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, according to the press release. He faces up to 30 years in prison for bank fraud and up to three years for filing false tax returns.

It’s alleged that Piper wrote checks to himself and two of his companies, Piper Tax & Accounting and Piper Group, according to the press release. In doing so, he either forged company owners’ signatures or used signature stamps without the owners’ authorization, the press release states.

It’s further alleged that he hid the thefts by making false entries on the company’s books, including recording them with insurance expense codes, the press release states. Finally, it’s alleged that he didn’t record the money he stole on income tax returns, according to the press release.

M Live

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 22

On 22 February 1920, the Goodrich Line’s ALABAMA (steel propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 272 foot, 2,626 gross tons, built in 1909, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) ran aground on a concrete obstruction which was the foundation of the old water-intake crib in Lake Michigan off Belmont Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. The SIDNEY O. NEFF (wooden package freighter, 149 foot, 346 gross tons, built in 1890, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) took off the ALABAMA’s cargo and then harbor tugs pulled the ALABAMA free. Repairs to her hull took the rest of the winter and she didn’t return to service until May 1920.

February 22, 1925 - The ANN ARBOR NO 7 made her maiden voyage. On 22 February 1878, the 156 foot wooden freighter ROBERT HOLLAND was purchased by Beatty & Co. of Sarnia for $20,000.

1942: The Great Lakes canal-sized bulk carrier GEORGE L. TORIAN of the Upper Lakes and St. Lawrence Transportation Co. had been requisitioned for saltwater service in the bauxite trade in 1941. The ship was torpedoed by U-129 off the coast of British Guiana in position 09.13 N / 59.04 W and sank quickly. Most of the crew were killed.

1945: H.M.C.S. TRENTONIAN was a Flower Class naval corvette that had been built by the Kingston Shipbuilding Company and completed at Kingston, Ontario, on December 1, 1943. It was torpedoed and sunk by U-1004 near Falmouth, England, and went down stern first. Six on board, one officer and 5 enlisted crew members, were lost.

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

 

Port Reports -  February 21

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
On Thursday afternoon, USCG Katmai Bay escorted the tanker Algocanada up the river and to Soo harbor, where she tied up at the Purvis Dock to unload.

Lake Huron – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor was at the Sifto salt dock on Thursday night.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
Algoma Innovator made her second visit of 2020 when she arrived at 04:59 on Thursday (2/20) with salt from the Compass Minerals mine at Goderich. She proceeded to slip one of the outer harbor and was dropping her cargo at the open dock. This makes 10 boatloads of salt brought into the port so far in 2020. No additional vessel traffic is presently expected.

Detroit River
Algosea was downbound Thursday night in the Detroit River headed for Nanticoke.

Port Colborne, ON
Algoma Mariner is having major work done to its engine room this winter. The stack has been removed, equipment hoisted out and replaced, and Wednesday a new, very angular stack was installed to house new scrubber units.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 21

EDWIN H. GOTT arrived at Two Harbors, Minnesota, (her first trip) February 21, 1979, with the loss of one of her two rudders during her transit of Lake Superior. The other rudder post was also damaged. She was holed in her bow and some of her cargo hold plating ruptured as a result of frozen ballast tanks. Even the icebreaker MACKINAW suffered damage to her port propeller shaft on the trip across frozen Lake Superior.

At Port Weller Drydocks Ltd., the keel of the new bow section for HILDA MARJANNE was laid on February 21, 1961, while at the same time the tanker hull forward of her engine room bulkhead was being cut away.

On 21 February 1929, SAPPHO (wooden propeller passenger ferry, 107 foot, 224 gross tons, built in 1883, at Wyandotte, Michigan) burned at her winter lay-up dock in Ecorse, Michigan. She had provided 46 years of service ferrying passengers across the Detroit River. She was neither repaired nor replaced since the Ambassador Bridge was nearing completion.

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

 

Drydock at Port Weller alive once again

2/20 - Port Weller, ON – There’s a sense of urgency at Heddle Shipyards’ graving docks at Port Weller. An urgency that has rarely been matched in the Niagara drydock’s recent history. For the first time in decades, the drydock is undertaking extensive maintenance work on two large bulk carriers at the same time. The work must be completed by the reopening of the Welland Canal, expected in late March.

The short Great Lakes shipping season simply demands its ships be operational for every ice-free moment.

When the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arrived late last December and the Kaministiqua a few days later, the Heddle Shipyards team sprang into action, dedicating 150 skilled trades and laborers to the mammoth task.

According to Ted Kirkpatrick, business development manager for Heddle, the 2020 crew works two shifts a day, only idle for four hours. “This is the busiest we’ve ever been here,” says Kirkpatrick.

In 2017, Heddle entered into a long-term lease with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, which manages and operates the Canadian assets of the Seaway on behalf of the government of Canada.

Over the past few decades, the Port Weller drydock has been empty more than it has been full — a checkered history of excitement and disappointment driven by the fortunes of the Great Lakes marine industry. But you wouldn’t know that today.

Heddle Shipyards owns and operates drydocks for vessel repairs, maintenance and overhauls in Port Weller, Hamilton (where it is headquartered), Thunder Bay, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

“When we acquired Port Weller in 2017, there was nothing here,” says Kirkpatrick. “It was completely stripped of essential equipment. Everything had been sold at auction. The electricity was off, the pipes burst. Essentially (it was) a shell. We started from the ground up. The drydocks themselves were the only real value.”

Kirkpatrick is a St. Catharines native. After attending Wilfrid Laurier University he took to the ships as his father had before him, earning his navigation officer’s ticket. He liked the adventure of it. Now he helps manage his company’s relationships with the four major Canadian-flagged shipping companies — some 90 vessels — serving the Great Lakes’ ports.

“There are a finite number of Canadian-flagged bulk vessels on the Great Lakes,” Kirkpatrick says. “Everyone knows who we are and we know all the major carriers.” He is evidently proud of the success Heddle has achieved in three short seasons in Niagara. “As we do more jobs, we execute them better. Now we get looked upon as a valued supplier. We look forward to a continuing supply of boats for maintenance over the years.”

That blossoming success is also apparent in the growing workforce that once again makes Port Weller part of their annual work cycle. “We go down to 12 (employees) in summer. It’s always a challenge to get ready for the winter season.”

Recently the company went from 20 employees to 150 in the span of four weeks. “As we’ve started to get back on the map, we’re getting more traction. Now we’re starting to see the same people come back every winter. It’s guaranteed work.”

According to Kirkpatrick, the core group of workers who stay year-round are local. But many people in the winter crews come from all over Canada, including Newfoundland, Alberta and across Ontario.

And Heddle needs more workers. At any given time, employment websites include more than 30 Heddle opportunities for welders, machinists and a long list of specialist skills. To help overcome the skills shortage, Heddle is working with Mohawk College to provide potential tradespeople some hands-on experience.

“We’re donating a scrap tugboat for the program,” says Kirkpatrick. “It will be an eight to 10-week program where students get practical experience replacing a piece of a ship’s hull or removing a valve, machining it and reinstalling it. It’s a unique program,” says Kirkpatrick.

Heddle is planning a similar program with Niagara College beginning as early as this summer. Kirkpatrick believes the time when lakers are built in Canada is over.

“You can now buy new ships built in China or Korea for at least half the price of building in Canada. On the other hand, while maintenance here is also more expensive, it is not economical to go all the way to China just for repairs. That’s our advantage.” But Heddle isn’t stopping there. Because the industry is so cyclical, Kirkpatrick is generating business in other areas, using the company’s skills and attributes. He points to Heddle’s contract with the Ashbridge’s Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant project in Toronto.

“We’re doing the wastewater outfall pipes. We have unique equipment, skills and access for the project. It has nothing to do with marine, but it is an 18-month project.”

Just over 30 years ago on the quayside in Hamilton, with nothing more than a welding machine, Rick Heddle founded what is now Heddle Shipyards. The company has grown to be the largest Canadian vessel lifestyle services and drydock company in Canada.

And with the help of regional and municipal governments, Heddle is vying to become part of the Federal National Shipbuilding Strategy, a $100-billion procurement program to replace the aging Coast Guard and naval fleets.

“It’s the largest public procurement program in government history — a 35-year effort. We’d like to be added to the list, at least as a major component supplier.”

With a little luck and a lot of effort, Heddle Shipyards will once again be a part of the Niagara landscape for decades to come.

Niagara Now

 

In Silver Bay, a new pellet points toward Cliffs' future

2/20 - Silver Bay, MN – As company officials and politicians prepared to cut the ribbon on $100 million in upgrades at the Northshore Mining processing facility in Silver Bay, Mayor Scott Johnson said the reinvestments have brightened the outlooks of many residents of his town.

“In mining towns, we’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop. There’s inevitable shutdowns. In our experience we have had actually plant closing and bankruptcy,” Johnson said, referring to the 1986 closure of Reserve Mining Co., the company that built and operated the Silver Bay plant for three decades. “This is the first time we’re actually optimistic.”

With the upgrades, the Cleveland-Cliffs plant can now produce the kind of pellets the steel mills of the future will rely on.

Northshore is set to process up to 3.5 million tons of direct-reduced iron, or DR-grade, pellets per year, most of which will feed its soon-to-be-completed hot briquetted iron, or HBI, plant in Toledo, Ohio. After that, the HBI produced by Cliffs can be mixed with scrap metal in an electric arc furnace to make steel.

Electric arc furnaces are becoming the new normal, while the blast-furnace steel mills that the Minnesota taconite industry has traditionally supplied are aging.

Just recently Northshore Mining was idled for several months in 2015 and 2016 when iron ore prices fell due to a glut of cheap Chinese steel, but Johnson said he’s hopeful the changes will ensure a more stable future.

Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves certainly thinks so, noting that electric arc furnaces now account for 68% of crude steel production in the U.S. while blast furnaces produce the remaining 32% of crude U.S. steel.

“We could do it for the next 10, 20, 25 years, but our kids, your kids, your grandkids, would not be OK,” Goncalves told the crowd at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “With this, they would not be able to be here because this industry would be gone. These DR-grade pellets will ensure that here in Northern Minnesota, we will have this thing going for at least 100 years.”

Read more at this link: https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/business/energy-and-mining/4045444-In-Silver-Bay-a-new-pellet-points-toward-Cliffs-future

 

Port Reports -  February 20

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Lake Huron – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor was off Alpena Wednesday night headed to Goderich. Tanker Algocanada was off Oscoda heading to Soo, On.

Lake Michigan
Algoma Innovator was off Sturgeon Bay bound for Milwaukee Wednesday night.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 20

On February 20, 1959, Interlake Steamship Co.’s HERBERT C. JACKSON (Hull #302) was launched at Great Lakes Engineering Works in River Rouge, Michigan.

The Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker DES GROSEILLIERS (Hull #68) was launched February 20, 1982, at St. Catharines, Ontario by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd.

On 20 February 1903, the straight-deck steamer G. WATSON FRENCH (steel propeller, 376 foot, 3,785 gross tons) was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co. (Hull #608). She lasted until 1964, when she was scrapped by Lakehead Scrap Metal Co. at Fort William, Ontario. The other names she had during her career were b.) HENRY P. WERNER in 1924, c.) JOHN J. BOLAND in 1937, and d.) ALGOWAY in 1947.

1940: A fire broke out in the cargo hold of the package freighter KING at Buffalo when insulation, being installed for refrigeration purposes, ignited. Several firemen were overcome by the smoke, but damage to the ship was negligible.

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

 

Indiana again led the nation in steel production despite 7.4% drop

2/19 - Indiana again led the nation in steel production last year, where it has remained on top for more than four decades. "Indiana was No. 1 again," said Casey Fenton, the digital and online manager of the American Iron and Steel Institute, a Washington D.C.-based trade association that represents the steel industry.

According to the AISI, the Hoosier state has led the nation in steel production since 1977. Under an onslaught from imports and economic stagnancy, the American steel industry suffered major contraction and job losses across the country during the 1970s, shuttering many steel mills and hollowing out many mills towns across the country.

Much of the integrated steel production ended up consolidating in Northwest Indiana, which enjoys a cost advantage because of its strategic location on the Great Lakes, making it easier to access the raw materials required for steelmaking via lake freighter. U.S. Steel to lay off up to 1,545 workers at Great Lakes Works, move production to Gary Works

Northwest Indiana also happens to be close to many of the end users of steel, including appliance manufacturers across the Midwest and automotive factories in Michigan, downstate Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. In 2019, Indiana made 24.7 million tons of steel, Fenton said.

The Hoosier state single-handedly accounted for about a quarter of the nation's steel. American Iron and Steel Institute estimates U.S. steel mills shipped 96.1 million tons of steel last year, a 0.9% increase as compared to the 95.2 million tons of steel shipped in 2019.

Steel production in Indiana however fell 7.4% year-over-year as compared to the 26.7 million tons the Hoosier state made in 2018, Fenton said.

Indiana is home to Steel Dynamics in Fort Wayne and a Nucor mini mill in Crawfordsville, but most of the production takes place at the hulking integrated steel mills that ring Lake Michigan's South Shore in Northwest Indiana. Lake and Porter counties account for half the nation's blast furnace capacity.

But last year, ArcelorMittal idled Blast Furnace No. 3 at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor West in East Chicago and U.S. Steel idled Blast Furnace No. 8 at Gary Works as well as East Chicago Tin amid depressed steel prices and tough market conditions that included declining auto sales and surging appliance imports.

Northwest Indiana's steel mills also suffered operational woes that included extensive flooding just before Thanksgiving that required a temporary shutdown of all the blast furnaces at Gary Works and an explosion that derailed output at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor Steel Producing No. 4.

NW Indiana Times

 

Major investment coming to Toledo's port system

2/19 - Toledo, OH – Major investment is on its way to Toledo's port system, dollars that could position the community to be a big player not only in the U.S. but all the way to Europe. Jobs, economic development and major advances in energy are some things people don't always think about when they look to the Maumee River and beyond, but it's coming and last Friday was a big step in making it happen.

"The last time our nation's ports saw major investment was during the war years," Mark Buzby, of the US Department of Transportation Maritime Administration, said. That's about to change. The $16 million check from the Maritime Administration will be part of a $75 million investment in things like upgrading the dockwalls and constructing a liquid transloading system.

"It's really important that we upgrade those facilities to not only stay up with but stay ahead of our ability to move cargo that goes in and out of this country," said Buzby.

"This seaway and all the multi-model we've been connecting over the years, land, sea, and rail could be extremely important in helping us connect in a new way to Europe," said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. She hopes that could mean maybe natural gas headed to Europe one day after it leaves southern Ohio, but for now these dollars are part of a larger 10-year plan for Toledo's port to connect our products throughout the Great Lakes.

"We're going to do it diligently. We're going to do it correctly, and we're going to work with our partners to make sure it comes to fruition in the right way," said Thomas Winston, CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

"This isn't done alone. It isn't done in one generation. This is an intergenerational task," said Kaptur.

This all coming with one of the port's other major projects, the Cleveland Cliffs project. It's the giant tower going up in East Toledo, where crews will eventually create iron ore pellets that will become steel. That facility is expected to open later in 2020.

WTVG

 

Dutch tanker proves helpful in shipping local asphalt

2/19 - Sarnia, ON – Many Sarnians don’t realize it, but much of the road asphalt they drive on comes from their own backyard. The Suncor Energy refinery in Sarnia converts crude oil into many products, including about 20% of the gasoline and jet fuel powering Ontario’s economy. But the refining process also results in asphalt, which is sold to paving companies for road building and pothole patching across the Great Lakes region.

Cetting asphalt to market by ship is a challenge, according to a recent edition of Suncor Connections, the company’s newsletter. “In the wintertime when the St. Clair River freezes up and the barge takes longer … it must make its way through ice in order to pick up the asphalt and transport it,” said Suncor feedstock coordinator Stu Powell.

Enter the Iver Bright. The 111-metre Great Lakes tanker has been a familiar sight at the Suncor dock on River Road this past year. “Out of 263 asphalt-carrying boats in the world, only 25% – or 65 vessels – fit our criteria,” Powell said. “Fortunately, we found the Iver Bright, one of the few ice-rated vessels out there.”

While most ships in winter must rely on Canadian Coast Guard cutters for escort, the Bright can safely break through ice on its own, he added. The company recently extended its one-year lease on the Netherlands-registered ship to a second year.

Sarnia Journal

 

Port Reports -  February 19

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator cleared at 2:18 am Tuesday with salt for Milwaukee.

Lake Michigan
Algoma Conveyor was off Milwaukee Tuesday evening, headed back to Goderich.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Karen Andrie/Endeavour arrived at the Michigan Paving and Materials dock to unload Tuesday. They departed later that evening, with the Iver Bright taking their place in port.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 19

The b.) TROY H. BROWNING, c.) THOMAS F. PATTON was towed from the James River with two other C4s, LOUIS MC HENRY HOWE, b.) TOM M. GIRDLER and MOUNT MANSFIELD, b.) CHARLES M. WHITE, to the Maryland Dry Dock Co., Baltimore, Maryland, February 1951, to be converted to a Great Lakes bulk carrier according to plans designed by J.J. Henry & Co., New York, New York.

Wolf & Davidson of Milwaukee sold the JIM SHERIFFS (wooden propeller, 182 foot, 634 gross tons, built in 1883, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) to Kelley Island Line on 19 February 1887.

1981: The Indian freighter JYOTI VINOD, a Seaway caller as a) JALAZAD beginning in 1969, departed Bombay with a cargo of jute, general freight and school buses. The nightmare voyage, which proved to be its last, did not reach Tema, Ghana, until December 23, 1981

1992: VIHREN, a Bulgarian built and flagged bulk carrier, was driven on the breakwall at Tuapse, USSR, in severe weather. The vessel later broke in two. The ship first came inland in 1983, headed for Thunder Bay. The two sections of the hull were refloated and each arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, for dismantling in August 1992.

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

 

Water levels hold steady as spring nears

2/18 - Port Huron, MI – Local water levels are expected to hold steady until they begin to rise this spring, with estimates putting Lakes Michigan-Huron and Lake St. Clair at higher than the record levels of 1986. Clay Township Supervisor Artie Bryson is urging residents to heed the warnings and protect their property.

"What really worries me, if you look at the Lake Huron-Lake Michigan projection, it shows that lake well above last year," Bryson said. "That water has to come down through our river."

The township is preparing for when waters rise further. A sandbag machine has been purchased and filled sandbags will be for sale, Bryson said. "We're doing everything we possibly can to help people protect their own property," he said.

Water levels are already high around the Great Lakes, and there's not much time for them to recede before the warmer months arrive, bringing with it snow melt.

"Last year we had a big spike in the water levels end of May, beginning of June," Bryson said. "And I'm not anticipating we get as big of a spike because a lot of that was because a lot of that was the snowpack in the UP. And as of now they don't have as much snow as last year."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are predicting that lake and river levels will hold mostly steady over the next month.

Lakes Michigan-Huron sit around 39 inches above their long-term monthly average for February, and 6 inches above its highest average for February, according to a forecast by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Lake St. Clair is 43 inches above its monthly average for February, and 3 inches above it's highest ever. Neither lake is expected to go up or down by early March.

Both lakes set their highest monthly average in 1986, which saw flooding across southeast Michigan.

The St. Clair River connecting Lake Huron and and Lake St. Clair is also trending high, sitting between 49 to 56 inches above chart datum, or sea level, depending on the point in the river. The river is expected to stay consistent at least until Feb. 28.

Port Huron Times Herald

 

Proposed shipping season delay could affect Port of Oswego

2/18 - Oswego, NY – A proposed delay in the shipping season to help lower Lake Ontario could strain the Port of Oswego and a major employer, Novelis. Whether a solution can be found has been disputed by an environmental group leader and the port director.

John M. Peach, executive director for Save the River, Clayton, has called for postponing the shipping season, believing it could help reduce the near record-high levels of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. A three-week delay in shipping, he said, could provide more opportunities for binational officials to release more water through the Robert Moses-Robert H. Saunders Power Dam in Massena and Cornwall, Ontario.

A recent discussion, however, revealed to Mr. Peach that postponing the start of shipping could cost money and jobs at Novelis, one of the largest employers in the city, and the Port of Oswego. Truckers haul aluminum from the port, which imports it from Canada, to the Novelis plant, where workers process it into aluminum sheets for cans, building materials and cars.

In order to rectify the situation and garner support for his cause from elected officials, Mr. Peach recommended transporting aluminum ingots to the port by rail car instead of ship during the delay. He wrote about his proposal in a Jan. 30 letter to one of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s representatives, Colleen Deacon, urging her or the governor to facilitate the transition in the supply change “and thereby remove this obstacle to delaying the spring opening of the (St. Lawrence) Seaway.”

“Here’s a win-win situation for the governor, for Oswego and for all the riparians,” Mr. Peach said to the Times.

Switching from freighter to rail, however, would cost the port much more and cause a backup in the supply chain and threaten the supply of aluminum for Novelis, said port Director William Scriber.

Hauling an amount of aluminum carried in a typical freighter would require about 200 rail cars, and is more expensive, Mr. Scriber said. The port has 96,000 metric tons of aluminum, and Novelis, which did not return request for comment, relies on the aluminum supply at the port for its products. Transporting enough aluminum to meet the needs of Novelis and the port’s other clients by rail car would cause a bottleneck of cars.

The port would need to order more rail cars to supply its aluminum to clients, but Mr. Scriber said ordering cars requires him to plan anywhere from a week to a year out.

“You cannot use rail in any way to supplement water traffic through the St. Lawrence River,” he said. “Water is less expensive and more economically viable.”

The Port of Oswego imports and exports more than a million metric tons of aluminum, grain, potash, a kind of salt; cement and heavy lifting and project cargo. As the largest port in the state, save for the Port of New York and New Jersey, the Central New York port generated about $35 million in economic benefit and supported more than 300 jobs in 2018, the most recent numbers available, Mr. Scriber said.

“If you take my supply away from me for two or three weeks, it affects my bottom line, my revenue, and it affects my employees,” he said. “Anything that happens on my docket ripples through Oswego city, the county and Central New York.”

Mr. Peach said he believes a delay of three weeks, or between the typical start of the shipping season and Ottawa River freshet, or when ice and snowpack melts and flows into the river in the spring, should not have a significant effect on the overall shipping industry. Shipping stakeholders have previously claimed certain alterations in scheduling would result in a loss of millions, a claim Mr. Peach has rejected. “I’m not sure I buy that for a few weeks of relief,” he said. “In the long term, I would absolutely buy it.”

Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River remain near record-high levels for this time of year. While record amounts of water have flowed through the lake, record amounts have also flowed into it from Lake Erie.

The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, which manages outflows from the dam in Massena and Cornwall, on Thursday announced that Lake Ontario, the Thousand Islands and the lower St. Lawrence River in Quebec are at risk of high water levels this spring. Lake Ontario, which was at 246.25 feet as of Thursday, has reached “slightly below record seasonal highs,” according to the board, but the rest of the Great Lakes have already reached record highs for this time of year. The binational organization urged communities along the lake to plan for a foreseeable peak of 247.7 feet or higher this year.

NNY 360

 

Port Reports -  February 18

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator arrived 11:38 pm Sunday, loading salt at Compass Minerals.

Lake Michigan
Algoma Conveyor was unloading salt at a Calumet River dock on Monday evening.

 

Work begins on Line 5 crossing at St. Clair River

2/18 - Port Huron, MI - Enbridge is replacing a section of Line 5 that runs under the St. Clair River through Marysville. Pre-construction is beginning, mainly on the Canadian side of the river. Crews will use a horizontal drill to bore space for a 2,814 foot section of new pipeline under the riverbed.

The actual drilling is expected to begin sometime in March, said Ryan Duffy, Enbridge spokesperson, and the new section is expected to enter service in June. "There's no safety concerns with the existing line," Duffy said. "It's a proactive measure that was decided on in coordination with the state of Michigan. "We're keeping landowners updated and the city of Marysville."

The replacement plan calls for the installation of a pipe with greater wall thickness and higher tensile strength, according to an Enbridge statement on the project. The setup will have new remote control valves with pressure motoring on both sides of the river, the statement said.

Marysville City Manager Randy Fernandez said the city has been working with Enbridge to minimize any inconvenience to residents, such as arranging for noise barriers. He said he's been in communication with Enbridge in the ramp up to the project.

Line 5 begins in Superior, Wisconsin, and runs into Lambton County, Ontario. It transports up to 540,000 barrels of oil and natural gas liquids per day.

Port Huron Times Herald

 

Photos: Looking back at the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald

2/18 - Perhaps no other Great Lakes shipwreck has as much notoriety as the ill-fated SS Edmund Fitzgerald, a 729-foot iron ore carrier that sunk to the bottom of Lake Superior on Nov. 10, 1975, during a fierce November gale. All 29 crew members died.

The ship set off from Superior, Wisconsin, on Nov. 9, carrying iron ore pellets from mines near Duluth, Minnesota, to be processed in Detroit. Early in the morning of Nov. 10, the ship encountered winds as strong as 80 mph and waves more than 30 feet high. The 729-foot ship took on water and eventually snapped in two, plunging more than 500 feet to the lake bottom, where it remains.

The shipwreck, located about 17 miles northwest of Whitefish Point, Michigan, captured the public's attention for years -- even spurring a popular folk song by Gordon Lightfoot, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." In 1995, divers retrieved the ship's 200-pound bronze bell, which is kept as a memorial at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Michigan. Bodies of the crew have never been recovered.

View the photos at this link: https://madison.com/wsj/weather/photos-looking-back-at-the-wreck-of-the-ss-edmund

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 18

IMPERIAL ST. CLAIR participated in an historic special convoy with DOAN TRANSPORT, which carried caustic soda, led by C.C.G.S. GRIFFON arriving at Thunder Bay, Ontario on February 18, 1977. The journey took one week from Sarnia, Ontario through Lake Superior ice as much as six feet thick, and at one point it took four days to travel 60 miles. The trip was initiated to supply residents of the Canadian lakehead with 86,000 barrels of heating oil the reserves of which were becoming depleted due to severe weather that winter.

The b.) JOSEPH S. YOUNG, a.) ARCHERS HOPE, was towed to the Great Lakes via the Mississippi River and arrived at the Manitowoc Ship Building Co., Manitowoc, Wisconsin on February 18, 1957, where her self unloading equipment was installed. This was the last large vessel to enter the Lakes via the Mississippi. She was the first of seven T-2 tanker conversions for Great Lakes service. Renamed c.) H. LEE WHITE in 1969, and d.) SHARON in 1974. SHARON was scrapped at Brownsville, Texas in 1986.

The Murphy fleet was sold on 18 February 1886. The tugs GLADIATOR, KATE WILLIAMS and BALIZE went to Captain Maytham, the tug WILLIAM A. MOORE to Mr. Grummond, the schooner GERRIT SMITH to Captain John E. Winn, and the tug ANDREW J. SMITH to Mr. Preston Brady.

1980: PANAGIS K. arrived at Alexandria, Egypt, on this date and was soon placed under arrest. The ship was idle and in a collision there with NORTH WAVE on January 23, 1981. The hull was abandoned aground, vandalized and, on October 12, 1985, auctioned off for scrap. The ship first traded through the Seaway in 1960 as a) MANCHESTER FAME and returned as b) CAIRNGLEN in 1965, again as c) MANCHESTER FAME in 1967 and as d) ILKON NIKI in 1972.

1983: A fire in the bow area during winter work aboard the Canada Steamship Lines bulk carrier RICHELIEU (ii) at Thunder Bay resulted in the death of three shipyard workers.

2010: The sailing ship CONCORDIA visited the Great Lakes in 2001 and participated in the Tall Ships Festival at Bay City, MI. It sank in the Atlantic about 300 miles off Rio de Janeiro after being caught in a severe squall. All 64 on board were rescued from life rafts after a harrowing ordeal. 2010: The tug ADANAC (Canada spelled backwards) sank at the Essar Steel dock at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. It was refloated the next day.

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

 

600,000 pounds of debris found at bottom of empty Soo Locks

2/17 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Winter maintenance season at Michigan’s Soo Locks has meant some heavy lifting for the clean-up crew. When the Poe Lock - the system’s largest lock - shut down in late January, the huge area was emptied of all its water so inspections could be done and repairs could be made. But dewatering the lock also revealed what a season of heavy shipping traffic had left behind: 600,000 pounds of debris that has to be cleared away.

So what is all this debris? There’s sand, sediment, dead fish – and a lot of rock. Much of it is the large, flat red Jacobsville sandstone that is native to the northern Upper Peninsula and is under much of Lake Superior. The bottom of the lock also revealed a collection of bolts, pieces of rebar, and tools that had been accidentally dropped into the water by topside work crews during the shipping season.

“Some of it is carried in through the natural currents that occur when we fill and empty the lock,” Jeff Harrington, the Soo area office chief of operations, said of the debris. “The bulk of it is blown in or pulled in with propeller wash from the vessels.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Detroit District posted photos of the clean-up recently on its Facebook page, showing crews busy clearing huge pieces of rock and other debris from the lower fore bay of the Poe Lock. “So far about 600,000 pounds of debris has been lifted out, some of it cleared a shovelful at a time,” officials said.

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.mlive.com/news/2020/02/600000-pounds-of-debris-found-at-bottom-of-empty-soo-locks.html

 

Port Reports -  February 17

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Lake Huron
Algoma Innovator was expected to arrive at Goderich sometime on Monday.

Lake Michigan
Algoma Conveyor was off Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula on Sunday night, headed to Chicago with salt.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 17

IMPERIAL ST. CLAIR participated in an historic special convoy with DOAN TRANSPORT, which carried caustic soda, led by C.C.G.S. GRIFFON arriving at Thunder Bay, Ontario on February 18, 1977. The journey took one week from Sarnia, Ontario through Lake Superior ice as much as six feet thick, and at one point it took four days to travel 60 miles. The trip was initiated to supply residents of the Canadian lakehead with 86,000 barrels of heating oil the reserves of which were becoming depleted due to severe weather that winter.

The b.) JOSEPH S. YOUNG, a.) ARCHERS HOPE, was towed to the Great Lakes via the Mississippi River and arrived at the Manitowoc Ship Building Co., Manitowoc, Wisconsin on February 18, 1957, where her self unloading equipment was installed. This was the last large vessel to enter the Lakes via the Mississippi. She was the first of seven T-2 tanker conversions for Great Lakes service. Renamed c.) H. LEE WHITE in 1969, and d.) SHARON in 1974. SHARON was scrapped at Brownsville, Texas in 1986.

The Murphy fleet was sold on 18 February 1886. The tugs GLADIATOR, KATE WILLIAMS and BALIZE went to Captain Maytham, the tug WILLIAM A. MOORE to Mr. Grummond, the schooner GERRIT SMITH to Captain John E. Winn, and the tug ANDREW J. SMITH to Mr. Preston Brady.

1980: PANAGIS K. arrived at Alexandria, Egypt, on this date and was soon placed under arrest. The ship was idle and in a collision there with NORTH WAVE on January 23, 1981. The hull was abandoned aground, vandalized and, on October 12, 1985, auctioned off for scrap. The ship first traded through the Seaway in 1960 as a) MANCHESTER FAME and returned as b) CAIRNGLEN in 1965, again as c) MANCHESTER FAME in 1967 and as d) ILKON NIKI in 1972.

1983: A fire in the bow area during winter work aboard the Canada Steamship Lines bulk carrier RICHELIEU (ii) at Thunder Bay resulted in the death of three shipyard workers.

2010: The sailing ship CONCORDIA visited the Great Lakes in 2001 and participated in the Tall Ships Festival at Bay City, MI. It sank in the Atlantic about 300 miles off Rio de Janeiro after being caught in a severe squall. All 64 on board were rescued from life rafts after a harrowing ordeal. 2010: The tug ADANAC (Canada spelled backwards) sank at the Essar Steel dock at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. It was refloated the next day.

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

 

Port Reports -  February 16

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Lake Michigan
Algoma Innovator was off the Door Peninsula headed back to Goderich on Saturday night. At Sturgeon Bay, American Integrity was towed into the graving dock on Friday.

Straits
Algoma Conveyor was anchored between Mackinac Island and Bois Blanc Island Saturday, likely for weather. She is headed to Chicago with salt.

Detroit-River Rouge – Raymond H
Leo A. MacArthur/John J Carrick were loading at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal on Saturday

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 16

EDWIN H. GOTT sailed on her maiden voyage February 16, 1979, in ballast from Milwaukee, bound for Two Harbors, Minnesota. This was the first maiden voyage of a laker ever in mid-winter. She was in convoy with three of her fleet mates; CASON J. CALLAWAY, PHILIP R. CLARKE and JOHN G. MUNSON each needing assistance from the U.S.C.G.C. MACKINAW to break through heavy ice 12 to 14 inches thick the length of Lake Superior. The GOTT took part in a test project, primarily by U.S. Steel, to determine the feasibility of year around navigation.

JAMES E. FERRIS was launched February 16, 1910, as the ONTARIO (Hull#71) at Ecorse, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works.

On February 16, 1977, a four-hour fire caused major damage to the crews' forward quarters aboard the W.W. HOLLOWAY while at American Ship Building's South Chicago yard.

February 16, 1939 - The state ferry CHIEF WAWATAM was fast in the ice in the Straits of Mackinac. She freed herself the next day and proceeded to St. Ignace.

The little tug JAMES ANDERSON burned on Long Lake near Alpena, Michigan, on the morning of 16 February 1883. Arson was suspected.

1943: WAR OSIRIS was built at Port Arthur, Ontario, now part of Thunder Bay, in 1918. It was mined and sunk as c) LISTO near Spodsbjerg, Denmark, while enroute from Larvik, Norway, to Emden, Germany, with iron ore.

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

 

High water threatens Frankfort's Point Betsie Lighthouse

2/15 - Frankfort, MI – On an overcast February morning, a cold wind swept inland from Lake Michigan, dusting Point Betsie Lighthouse with snow. Jed Jaworski walked along the shoreline next to it and noticed a wood board with nails sticking out of it.

“In the fall storms we had, this pathway was completely choked with debris,” he says. Jaworski visits the lighthouse about twice a week, no matter the season. Usually it’s pristine. But he says the lake’s high water continues to cause damage, and he worries about the barriers that protect the lighthouse.

“So that crack is what I’ve been monitoring and literally in every storm event now it’s got wider and wider and wider,” he says.

Jaworski says cracks in the concrete allow water to get in, and the water carries sediment out, causing the rock bed to sink. When that happens, the whole system is destabilized. A thick crack is worrisome to Jaworski, because it means water is washing away rocks and sediment that hold the barrier wall upright.

The Point Betsie Lighthouse opened in 1858. It was one the last staffed lighthouses on the Great Lakes and now it’s maintained as a tourist attraction by a community non-profit.

President of the Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse, Dick Taylor, says the group is currently looking to do an engineering study of the cracked barrier at the lighthouse. It was installed in 1944. “As a whole, (the shoreline protection system) is just eroded and worn and taken 80 years worth of winters and needs some attention,” he says.

Once that’s done, the group will seek out bids and begin applying for permits. They’re hoping to start construction in the summer. In the meantime, winter storms will continue damage and water levels are expected to rise even higher in the spring, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Taylor says that pressure could mean more expensive repairs, upwards of a million dollars. “As it gets worse, the potential for wave erosion to make the sand behind the seawall dig out and undermine the integrity of that whole structure, that’s a concern,” he says.

Taylor also worries that when they are ready to do the work, contractors won’t be available.

“As folks perhaps return North from not living here full-time and come up and find with urgency they need to get some work done, that the competition for both materials and labor to get work done this summer might become frantic,” he says.

Taylor says the one bright spot is that state agencies are responding to permits quickly. Benzie County owns the lighthouse, and gets the final say. County Commissioner Art Jeannot says the county will likely sign off on the project. “As long as they’re able to fix the problem through those funding vehicles we are absolutely dedicated to having it done,” Jeannot says.

Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse launched a fundraising campaign in the summer, and they’ve almost reached their goal of a million plus in donations. Taylor says if things go as expected they’ll have enough to cover the repairs this year, but they may not have enough for their other projects — including adding parking and hiring an executive director. Still, he says they won’t take any chances waiting on repairs.

Interlochen Public Radio

 

Port Reports -  February 15

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Straits – Mackinac Ferry Logs
Star Line’s Huron has suspended winter service to Mackinac Island from St. Ignace for now due to ice conditions.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
After visiting the city nine times last year, Algoma Innovator made her first appearance of 2020 when she arrived at 06:59 on Friday (2/14). Loaded to a draft of 8.4 meters, she carried approximately 25,500 metric tons of salt from the Compass Minerals mine at Goderich. She backed into the inner harbor under the watchful eye of the G-Tug Louisiana. Karen Andrie/Endeavour should make port Friday afternoon to deliver liquid asphalt from BP’s Whiting Refinery at Construction Resources Management’s Milwaukee Terminal.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor departed Friday afternoon with salt for Chicago.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 15

In 1961, HARRY R JONES, a.) D.G. KERR arrived at her final port of Troon, Scotland, where she was cut up for scrap the same year.

1990: The tug LOIS T. was swamped while docked at Hamilton and sank in a storm. The vessel was pumped out, refloated and repaired. It now serves as the Port Colborne based tug CHARLIE E.

1993: BELLE ISLE, an SD-14 cargo carrier, visited the Seaway when new in 1971. It was sailing as g) VAST OCEAN when it reported in on this day as sailing on the Sea of Japan. It was never heard from again and disappeared with all hands on a voyage from Vanimo, Russia, to Shanghai, China.

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

 

Lake Erie just broke February high water record – and the lake level keeps rising

2/14 - Cleveland, OH – Lake Erie rose 5 inches in January. By the end of the month, lake levels were 7 inches above last January’s. And by Monday, the lake broke the February high water record, set in 1987.

The latest water forecast from the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers predicts Lake Erie will break monthly records for the next four months before leveling off in June and July. Levels should be 2-11 inches higher than they were last year.

Last year, boaters and beach goers throughout the Great Lakes were plagued by high water. Beaches and docks disappeared, roads and bike paths washed out, and at least one cottage collapsed into the water.

Erosion is made worse by the lack of ice this winter. As of Monday, only .4 percent of Lake Erie had ice, compared to the average of 67 percent on Feb. 10. No ice means more waves pounding the shore all winter long, eroding away cliffs, washing out beaches and damaging shoreline infrastructure. Lake Erie on Monday was 573.8 feet above sea level -- 35 inches above normal. The all-time record, set last June, is 574.3.

One reason for the increase in lake levels is rain: The Lake Erie basin had 2.78 inches of precipitation last month, about 112 percent of normal.

Because temperatures are above normal, more precipitation fell as rain instead of snow, according to the U.S. Army Corps. “This phenomenon, in addition to increased snowmelt, contributed to considerably above normal runoff to all of the Great Lakes.”

All of the Great Lakes are high. About 92 percent of the water in Lake Erie comes from the upper lakes, through Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River, into Lake Erie. And the upper lakes -- Superior, Huron and Michigan -- all hit record monthly highs in January.

Lake Erie then flows into the Niagara River, into Lake Ontario. The International Joint Commission can control outflow in the Great Lakes only from Superior and Ontario. But the impact is very small.

Cleveland.com

 

$31M agricultural product export facility coming to Port Milwaukee

2/14 - Milwaukee, WI – A $31 million agricultural product export facility is coming to Jones Island. The facility, to be located on 3.8 acres on the west side of the island, is being funded partly by a $15.9 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's maritime administration.

Construction of the facility is expected to begin in August 2021 with completion around June 2023.

Port Milwaukee, in coordination with Clinton-based DeLong Co., an exporter of containerized agricultural products, will redevelop an underutilized area on the island to create what officials say will be the first and only intermodal bulk export agricultural transload facility in the Great Lakes region.

Additional funding will come from the port ($4.3 million), DeLong ($6.2 million) and a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation ($4.9 million).

Once the facility is operational, DeLong estimates initially exporting at least $40 million worth of agricultural goods, annually, overseas via Port Milwaukee.

“This investment adds a new dimension to Port Milwaukee’s role as a connector of Wisconsin's businesses and farmers to world markets,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in a statement released by the city. “Waterborne commerce is what established Milwaukee and fueled its growth. The Port's new agricultural export facility will serve regional customers for decades to come, and we are very appreciative of the federal government’s partnership.”

Tonnage through Port Milwaukee was up 24% in 2019 to 2.66 million tons. In 2018, 2.39 million tons of cargo passed through the port, down from 2.57 million tons in 2017. In 2018, tonnage through the port generated more than $100 million in revenue for businesses that are directly dependent upon the cargo handled there.

The last time the port surpassed 3 million tons was 2014, when it recorded 3.02 million tons. Tonnage dipped in 2015 to 2.7 million tons and again in 2016 to 2.4 million tons.

Milwaukee Business Journal

 

Port Reports -  February 14

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Sturgeon Bay, WI
Thursday afternoon, the James R. Barker was removed from the graving dock and was rafted outboard of the Mesabi Miner. Also, the USCG Neah Bay was in town for a couple of days and left earlier Thursday morning. Neah Bay was rafted next to the the Mobile Bay's barge.

Lake Michigan
Algoma Innovator is due at Milwaukee at 6 a.m. Friday. Temperature will be -4 degrees.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived 7:26 am Thursday, loading salt at Compass Minerals.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 14

MESABI MINER (Hull#906) was launched on this day in 1977, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. becoming the fourth 1,000-foot bulk carrier on the Great Lakes and Interlake's second. She had been built under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970 at a cost of $45.1 million.

Ford Motor Co., looking to expand its fleet, purchased the JOSEPH S. WOOD, a.) RICHARD M. MARSHALL on February 14, 1966, for $4.3 million and renamed her c.) JOHN DYKSTRA. In 1983, she was renamed d.) BENSON FORD. Renamed e.) US.265808, in 1985, she was scrapped at Recife, Brazil in 1987.

On February 14, 1973, the LEADALE’s forward cabins burned during winter lay-up at Hamilton, Ontario and were later repaired. Built in 1910, at Great Lakes Engineering Works (Hull#77) as a,) HARRY YATES, for the American Steamship Co. renamed b.) CONSUMERS POWER in 1934, c.) FRED A. MANSKE in 1958 and d.) LEADALE in 1962. Scrapped at Cartagena, Columbia in 1979.

1997: The SD 14 cargo ship PATRICIA M. was a Seaway trader in 1974 and returned as c) SELATAN in 1991. It was sailing as d) NIKA II when it stranded on a breakwall near Veracruz, Mexico, while inbound, in ballast, to load sugar. The hull was refloated on March 8, towed to an anchorage and declared a total loss. It was broken up for scrap at Tuxpan, Mexico, beginning on April 27, 1997.

2000: ZAFIRO, a Seaway trader in 1984, sank as d) ZAFIR off Calabria, Italy, after a collision with the ESPRESSO CATANIA while carrying 6000 tons of cement clinker. Thirteen sailors were lost or missing.

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

 

Union: 'Business as usual' after American Steamship Co. sale

2/13 - American Steamship Co. has assured American Maritime Officers that ASC's pending acquisition by Rand Logistics Inc. will have no adverse effect on our union's jobs in this Great Lakes fleet or on AMO Plans, the benefit funds that serve all deep-sea, Great Lakes and inland waters AMO members and their families.

"It will be business as usual for ASC and for AMO," a senior ASC executive said in an afternoon phone call February 10.

Rand Logistics Inc. credits the "professionalism and dedication" of the ASC fleet's officers and crews as significant influences on the fleet's profit-making operation and its sustained customer confidence, this executive said. He added that ASC is gearing up for early fitout, with 11 of the company's vessels operating to meet strong demand for industrial raw materials.

The sale of American Steamship Co. to Rand Logistics Inc. is subject to approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission and possibly by other regulatory agencies and federal court.

American Maritime Officers represents the engine and deck officers in the American Steamship Co. fleet. The Seafarers International Union represents the unlicensed ASC personnel.

Paul Doell, AMO Currents

 

Port of Toledo receives $16 million from two U.S. DOT grants

2/13 - Toledo, OH – The Port of Toledo and the Port of Cleveland will receive $27 million in two U.S. Department of Transports grants, U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur announced Tuesday.

The grants will help the two ports carry out infrastructure projects at each location. According to a press release, Kaptur will join the Port Authorities and U.S. DOT officials to outline the awards in Ohio on Friday.

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority will receive $16 million. It will utilize the funding at the Facility No.1 cargo terminal to repair the failing dock face wall; implement a liquid bulk transloading operation, and to modernize the on-dock rail to vessel transfer points of access.

The $16,000,000 awarded to the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority will be matched with an additional $4,000,000 in local funds to move the project forward.

Each year, the Port of Toledo handles 9-12 million tons of cargo shipped to and from other U.S. Great Lakes ports, Canadian Great Lakes ports, and directly overseas shipments via the St. Lawrence Seaway System.

The Port of Toledo alone generates $1.12 billion annually in business activities and supports more than 7,000 jobs in the region.

WTVG

 

Grand Haven’s coal-burning Sims power plant shutting for good

2/13 - Grand Haven, MI - The boilers at Grand Haven’s Sims power plant will be turned off a final time this week, marking the final end of the 37-year-old coal-burning facility.

The decision to shut down the plant was made nearly two years ago, but the city had been planning for its demise since before then, said David Walters, general manager of the Grand Haven Board of Light & Power. The plant received its coal by Great Lakes freighter.

The city will now get its electricity from other power providers – just as it already has been doing during spring and fall months for about the last five years, Walters said. Rates are expected to remain the same for customers, he said.

“Our customers, when we shut down Sims, they won’t even see any difference at all,” Walters said. The J.B. Sims No. 3 power unit was opened in 1983, and a couple years later, its No. 1 and No. 2 units were shut down.

All three will be demolished starting this June, a process expected to last through summer 2021, Walters said. Bierlein Construction of Midland, which is finishing up the removal of the B.C. Cobb Plant in Muskegon, was awarded a $5 million Sims demolition contract, he said.

The board had recorded the official closure date of the Sims plant as June 1, knowing that the date would be closer to mid-February considering the amount of coal it had left to burn, Walters said. That inventory had dwindled to the point where on Tuesday, Feb. 11, Walters said the plant was “coming to a conclusion in the next day or so.” Grand Haven J.B. Sims Generating Station to be torn down in summer of 2020.

While the coal plant can meet current environmental standards, it doesn’t fit with the push to reduce greenhouse gases to combat climate change, Walters said. It also needs about $35 million in improvements to remain operational, and it still would be an expensive plant to operate, he said. “There was no justification at all to invest that kind of money,” he said. “The economics are not there.”

The relative expense of operating the plant was the reason that it operated only during summers and winters for the last several years, he said. It also had to be shut down at other times because of its unreliability, he said.

When the No. 3 unit was built, it was connected to an outside grid to allow for the purchase of supplemental power on the open marketplace. The city has purchased and will continue to purchase electricity through the Michigan Public Power Agency, comprised of 22 municipalities that have had their own power plants, Walters said.

The site on Harbor Island where the Sims plant is located will continue to house the substation serving Grand Haven’s downtown. An office-type structure will be built to house a control room for the utility grid since the current one is in the plant that will be torn down, Walters said.

The city will install new gas hot water heaters in an existing building on site that will heat the snowmelt system on the downtown sidewalks, he said. A boiler inside the No. 3 plant currently provides most of the heat for the sidewalks.

Under consideration is the addition of natural gas boilers to provide backup power for the downtown, Walters said. They would generate less than 25 megawatts of electricity – a fraction of the 76 megawatts the Sims power system generates, he said. The No. 3 unit produces 70 megawatts and an older diesel engine located in a plant on Harbor Drive produce 6 megawatts, primarily for backup or for sale on the open market, he said.

The rarely-used diesel engine will go offline by June 1, he said.

 

Port Reports -  February 13

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Lake Michigan
Algoma Innovator was off Port Inland in the northern part of the lake Wednesday night, headed to Chicago according to AIS.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor was off Alpena Wednesday night headed to Goderich.

 

Annual lighthouse festival to celebrate Northern Michigan landmark

2/13 - Traverse City, MI - The annual Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival will have an extra reason to celebrate this year, as it coincides with a big anniversary for an iconic Northern Michigan light.

The 2020 festival will not only commemorate the rich history of this region’s lighthouses, but also mark the 150th anniversary of Mission Point Lighthouse, located at the tip of Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City. This year’s festival will be held August 7 and 8.

The schedule includes free and priced events, including a ticketed kick-off program, with a dinner, cash bar, and entertainment. There will also be a free "Lighthouse MarketPlace” featuring authors, artists, photographers, and crafters, and the lighthouse will be open for self-guided tours.

Mission Point Lighthouse began operating in September 1870 and was decommissioned in 1933. The lighthouse is now largely run by volunteers, and is home to a museum and gift shop, as well as a historic log cabin and miles of trails in the surrounding Lighthouse Park. The lighthouse is open May through October, and on weekends in November.

M Live

 

History Happy Hour kicks off at National Museum

2/13 - Toledo, OH – The National Museum of the Great Lakes is exploring new avenues to mix maritime history with everyday fun by introducing “History Happy Hour,” with the first event in the series focused on women of the Great Lakes.

“We wanted to bring the beauty and mission of our museum to more people in a casual yet unique way,” said the museum’s Executive Director Chris Gillcrist. “This activity gives guests an opportunity to grab a drink and explore our museum after hours, while also providing an exclusive experience to interact with history.”

The first History Happy Hour takes place during Women’s History Month on Thursday, March 12 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. and is titled “The Women Who Made the Great Lakes.” From Native American poet Jane Schoolcraft, to early 19th century Great Lakes captain and Toledoan Grace Waite, to the only female Great Lakes Gold Life Saving Medal Awardee Jean Colby—thematic and engaging learning opportunities will be situated throughout the museum while visitors roam and hear stories of daring rescues, dangerous shipwrecks, and most of all, trailblazing women.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.nmgl.org and include drinks, snacks and open access to the museum after-hours with interactive story-telling. The series is planned to continue throughout the year with History Happy Hours scheduled in June—featuring sailor stories aboard the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship and Museum Tug Ohio, and again in November—highlighting Great Lakes Rogues, Rebels and Radicals.

For more information or to register go to www.nmgl.org or call 419-214-5000 extension 200.

National Museum of the Great Lakes

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 13

POINTE NOIRE was launched February 13, 1926, as a.) SAMUEL MATHER (Hull#792) at Lorain, Ohio by the American Ship Building Co.

February 13, 1897 - PERE MARQUETTE (later named PERE MARQUETTE 15) arrived in Ludington on her maiden voyage, with Captain Joseph "Joe" Russell in command.

1941: The first WESTCLIFFE HALL, overseas to assist in the war effort, was damaged when hit by a bomb while two miles off Whitby High Light. The ship was repaired and returned to the Great Lakes after the war. It last sailed as b) WHEATON in the Misener fleet before scrapping at Hamilton in 1965-1966.

1973: MITERA MARIA loaded street cars on deck during a Great Lakes visit to Toronto in August 1967. The ship sustained fire damage in the engineroom at Karachi, Pakistan, as d) MARBELLA and sold for scrap. The 25-year old vessel was broken up at Gadani Beach in 1974.

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

 

Solid Duluth shipping season on the books, optimistic outlook for 2020

2/12 - Duluth, MN – The 2019-2020 shipping season was a solid one. The Duluth Seaway Port Authority released numbers on Monday. The agency said 33.5 million tons moved through the ports.

"It was record breaking in some ways, with wind energy cargo setting a record. That was definitely a highlight," shared Jayson Hron, the director of marketing and communications for the port authority.

Grain also had a good year. There was even a shipment that left in January, which is unprecedented for the port.

A total of 85 ocean-going vessels visited during the season, the most since 2010. Another highlight was when Duluth Cargo Connect was honored with the 2019 Port/Terminal Operator of the year, at a ceremony in Antwerp.

As for the biggest cargo, which is iron ore, the number is down slightly. But that's likely due to the very high number in 2018. Coal also dropped.

The Soo Locks open up on March 25th. "Looking ahead to 2020, there's definitely a reason to be optimistic. There's less trade uncertainty. We already have wind cargo deliveries on the schedule," Hron added.

WDIO

 

Duluth Seaway Port Authority awarded $10.5 million MARAD grant

2/12 - Duluth, MN – Minnesota Congressman Pete Stauber announced today that the United States Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration allocated a $10.5 million grant to the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

This Port Infrastructure Development Program grant will help fund construction of a 56,000-square-foot, rail-served warehouse at the Clure Public Marine Terminal, along with rehabilitation of 1,775 lineal feet of deteriorating dock walls at Berth 10 and 11 of the Clure Terminal Expansion.

The new warehouse will build upon an existing 430,000 square feet of warehouse space at the Clure Terminal in high demand by regional businesses.

The dock wall rehabilitation will fortify 7 acres of laydown space for inbound and outbound heavy-lift cargo and also protect the recently renovated dock deck.

These improvements will provide even greater supply chain cost savings to regional industries, helping keep them competitive in the global marketplace. Additionally, this infrastructure upgrade will allow increased cargo storage and movement flexibility which, within the context of shipping logistics and supply chain management, allows cargo owners to take greater advantage of market opportunities.

“We are incredibly excited by the award of the PIDP grant and we thank Congressman Stauber and Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith for their support in this endeavor,” said Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “This grant supports projects that improve and broaden the infrastructure of the Clure Public Marine Terminal and the value it provides. These projects will also allow us to expand our service capabilities at our multimodal logistics hub, which in turn helps us support industries throughout the Upper Midwest.”

Duluth Seaway Port Authority

 

Port Reports -  February 12

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Lake Michigan
Algoma Conveyor was off Manitowoc Tuesday night, likely headed back to Goderich.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator arrived 4.47pm Monday and began loading salt at Compass Minerals. She was outbound in the early evening, however her AIS hadn’t been updated.

 

Annual lighthouse festival to celebrate Northern Michigan landmark

2/12 - Traverse City, MI - The annual Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival will have an extra reason to celebrate this year, as it coincides with a big anniversary for an iconic Northern Michigan light.

The 2020 festival will not only commemorate the rich history of this region’s lighthouses, but also mark the 150th anniversary of Mission Point Lighthouse, located at the tip of Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City. This year’s festival will be held August 7 and 8.

The schedule includes free and priced events, including a ticketed kick-off program, with a dinner, cash bar, and entertainment. There will also be a free "Lighthouse MarketPlace” featuring authors, artists, photographers, and crafters, and the lighthouse will be open for self-guided tours.

Mission Point Lighthouse began operating in September 1870 and was decommissioned in 1933. The lighthouse is now largely run by volunteers, and is home to a museum and gift shop, as well as a historic log cabin and miles of trails in the surrounding Lighthouse Park. The lighthouse is open May through October, and on weekends in November.

M Live

 

History Happy Hour kicks off at National Museum

2/12 - Toledo, OH – The National Museum of the Great Lakes is exploring new avenues to mix maritime history with everyday fun by introducing “History Happy Hour,” with the first event in the series focused on women of the Great Lakes.

“We wanted to bring the beauty and mission of our museum to more people in a casual yet unique way,” said the museum’s Executive Director Chris Gillcrist. “This activity gives guests an opportunity to grab a drink and explore our museum after hours, while also providing an exclusive experience to interact with history.”

The first History Happy Hour takes place during Women’s History Month on Thursday, March 12 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. and is titled “The Women Who Made the Great Lakes.” From Native American poet Jane Schoolcraft, to early 19th century Great Lakes captain and Toledoan Grace Waite, to the only female Great Lakes Gold Life Saving Medal Awardee Jean Colby—thematic and engaging learning opportunities will be situated throughout the museum while visitors roam and hear stories of daring rescues, dangerous shipwrecks, and most of all, trailblazing women.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.nmgl.org and include drinks, snacks and open access to the museum after-hours with interactive story-telling. The series is planned to continue throughout the year with History Happy Hours scheduled in June—featuring sailor stories aboard the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship and Museum Tug Ohio, and again in November—highlighting Great Lakes Rogues, Rebels and Radicals.

For more information or to register go to www.nmgl.org or call 419-214-5000 extension 200.

National Museum of the Great Lakes

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 12

RED WING was launched February 12, 1944, as a.) BOUNDBROOK (Hull#335) at Chester, Pennsylvania by Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., a T2-SE-A1 Ocean Tanker. She was renamed b.) IMPERIAL EDMONTON in 1947. In 1959, she was brought to Port Weller Drydocks for conversion to a bulk freighter for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., renamed c.) RED WING. Scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1987.

1965: MARGIT, a Danish vessel, came inland in 1964 for one trip. It suffered an explosion and fire in the engine room about 1,000 miles southwest of Honolulu on a voyage from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Calcutta, India, and had to be abandoned. Three members of the crew were killed and the ship was burning fiercely when last seen. The drifting hull later grounded at Wotje Atoll, Marshall Islands, and was found, still burning, on March 11, 1965. The ship was a total loss.

1975: E.B. BARBER was in winter quarters at Port Colborne when a fire broke out in the engine room. Local fire fighters contained and extinguished the blaze.

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

 

American Steamship Co. sold for $260 million; business as usual for now

2/11 - The owner of American Steamship Co., a major player in the Great Lakes shipping industry since its founding in 1907, has agreed to sell the company to New York-based Rand Logistics in a stock purchase agreement valued at $260 million.

The deal is still subject to working capital and other closing adjustments, as well as customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Meanwhile, crews will report to vessels in March for spring fit-out as planned. There has been no mention of vessels being transferred to Rand’s Canadian subsidiary, Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. of Port Dover, ON, although some vessels may eventually be transferred to Canadian registry.

Rand has been owned by the investment firm American Industrial Partners since March 2018. According to its web site, AIP is a New York- based private equity firm with over $4.0 billion of assets under management that has focused on buying, improving and growing industrial businesses in the U.S. and Canada for over 20 years.

American Steamship Co. operates the largest fleet of U.S.-flagged vessels on the Great Lakes, providing waterborne transportation of dry bulk commodities such as iron ore, coal, and limestone. Since 1973, it has been under the ownership of Chicago-based railcar lessor GATX Corporation.

“ASC has been a strong contributor for GATX since 1973,” said Brian A. Kenney, president and chief executive officer of GATX. “This sale allows GATX to focus on our core franchises in global railcar and aircraft spare engine leasing.” GATX said it expects the net sales proceeds to reduce its new debt issuance in 2020.

ASC was founded in Buffalo, New York in 1907. Its fleet currently consists of 11 self-unloading vessels ranging from 635-feet to 1,000-feet in length. It is unclear whether another vessel, the St. Clair, heavily damaged in a February 2019 fire, is included in the deal. ASC reported segment profit of $46.1 million for 2019 (including a one-time gain of $10.5 million), and its assets comprised 3.5% of GATX’s total assets on Dec. 31, 2019.

Rand Logistics operates a fleet of eleven U.S. and Canadian-flagged self-unloading bulk carriers, including three tug/barge units and three conventional bulk carriers.

 

More ships, less cargo at Toledo’s port in 2019

2/11 - Toledo, OH – A poor grain harvest and a drop-off in dry-bulk cargoes at the Port of Toledo were mostly offset by surging iron-ore business and an upswing in liquid-bulk shipments during 2019, data from the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority show.

The net result was a slight, 2.59 percent decline in overall cargo tonnage, even though the number of ships calling at the Maumee River and Lake Erie docks increased.

The 41.81 percent decline in grain cargoes was “true for all the Great Lakes ports this year” because of a wet spring that left some fields unplanted and others planted late, said Joe Cappel, the port authority’s vice president for business development.

Higher-than-average wheat cargo and new business in outbound distillers’ dried grains from ethanol production helped a bit, Mr. Cappel said, but corn and soybeans were down sharply. “With a normal harvest, we would have surpassed 2018” in grain, he said.

A spokesman for The Andersons, the area’s largest grain trader, declined to comment before the company’s upcoming fourth quarter and year-end earnings call. That call is set for Feb. 12.

On the plus side, iron ore was up by nearly 600,000 tons, an 18.85 percent increase driven by the first ore deliveries to the Cleveland-Cliffs iron-reduction plant under construction along Front Street, Mr. Cappel said.

“They’re ready to rock once that plant is operational,” he said, calling the half-million tons unloaded at Ironville Dock and transferred by new conveyors over to a plant stockpile along Front “a good test of the equipment.”

Production of direct-reduced iron briquettes for use in electric-arc steel mills is expected to start at the plant this year.

The smallest cargo sector by tonnage was also one of the brightest. General and miscellaneous cargo, which includes metals and “project cargoes” like wind-turbine components and heavy machinery, rose by 54.98 percent: from 179,204 tons to 277,574 tons.

Mr. Cappel said that was largely a result of the cancellation of Trump Administration tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel, which had taken a bite out of the local port’s metals business in 2018 after a record year in 2017.

“Aluminum came back with a vengeance after the tariffs were lifted,” he said: It accounted for 208,000 tons, up from 130,000 in 2018. Toledo’s status as an official London Metals Exchange delivery point for aluminum has helped keep its aluminum trade robust.

Machinery for the Cliffs plant and wind-turbine parts transferred from ships to trains in Toledo for delivery to Van Wert County also helped the general-cargo sector, which is considered among the port’s most valuable because those shipments provide more work for longshoremen than does the heavily mechanized handling of coal or ore. The port-owned general cargo docks also often handle dry-bulk cargoes like sugar, bauxite, and the oil-refining byproduct petroleum coke. But while “we handled a lot of salt this year,” Mr. Cappel said, the dry-bulk sector was down by nearly 11 percent because of a decline at the Midwest Terminals dock that primarily han-dles railroad ballast rock for CSX Transportation.

Coal also was down by just over 10 percent to 2,448,749 tons, marking its third-weakest year in Toledo since the start of port record-keeping in 1947. Only 2015, with 1,920,339 tons, and 2012, with 2,387,977, were lower at CSX Transportation’s Presque Isle dock.

Coal volume has sunk for several decades as the electric-power industry on both sides of the Great Lakes shifted away from it as a fuel and blast-furnace steel production lost market share to foreign competitors and electric-arc mills.

Liquid bulk shipments, conversely, showed the largest percentage increase, more than tripling to 414,568 tons. The majority of Toledo’s liquid-bulk cargo, Mr. Cappel said, is petroleum handled at the BP-Husky marine terminal.

“While I do not have direct knowledge of the reason for increased shipments through that dock in 2019, we do know that BP Husky has made improvements to their marine facility in recent years and values the ability to utilize marine transportation for certain products whenever practical,” the port official said.

BP officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Except to predict that grain will get off to a slow start when lakes shipping resumes in the spring because of low inventories, Mr. Cappel balked at forecasting the upcoming season. A wild card, he said, will be the impact of Cleveland-Cliffs’ recent purchase of AK Steel, whose mills in Middletown, Ohio, and Ashland, Ky. – the latter mostly idled several years ago — had long been the main consumers of iron ore unloaded in Toledo before last year.

Toledo Blade

 

Port Reports -  February 11

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Detroit-River Rouge – Raymond H
Iver Bright was unloading at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal on Monday

 

Obituaries: Douglas R. Abbott

2/11 - Douglas Robert Abbott, 81, of Burtchville Township, MI, died Saturday, February 8, 2020. He was born August 30, 1938 in Detroit to the late Robert and Amelia Abbott. He married Robin A. Morkal on August 12, 1961 in Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, Detroit.

Doug graduated from Edwin Denby High School in Detroit in 1956. He attended Capital University and received an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Michigan in 1961. He worked for Detroit public schools, and then F.J. O’Toole Company for over 30 years, rising to vice president.

In retirement, Doug focused on his interest in ships and boats. He was a member of the International Ship Masters' Association Port Huron Lodge 2, was secretary and treasurer of the Great Lakes Nautical Society, a volunteer at the Great Lakes Maritime Center and an accomplished boat modeler. He also gave of his time as a longtime volunteer at Mid-City Nutrition and was a member at Deacon at Our Saviour Lutheran Church.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Robin; three children, Timothy Abbott, Katherine Abbott, and Andrew (Kristin) Abbott; four grandchildren, Tyler, Danielle, Drew, and William Abbott; a brother, Gary (Christine) Abbott; a brother-in-law, Ross (Sharon) Morkal; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visitation will be from 2-4 and 6-8 pm Tuesday in Pollock-Randall Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 in Our Saviour Lutheran Church with visitation beginning at 10:00 am. The Reverend Donald Doerzbacher will officiate. Burial will be in Cadillac Memorial East, Clinton Township. Memorial contributions may be made to the Our Saviour Lutheran Church Radio Ministry or the American Cancer Society.

To send condolences, visit pollockrandall.com

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 11

On 11 February 1994, the tug MARY E. HANNAH and an empty fuel barge became trapped in the ice in the Pelee Passage on Lake Erie. The vessels were freed by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter NEAH BAY and the Canadian Coast Guard ship SAMUEL RISLEY.

NIXON BERRY was sold to Marine Salvage for scrap on in 1970, she was the former a.) MERTON E. FARR.

BEN W. CALVIN (Hull#388) was launched in 1911, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co.

The keel was laid for ROY A. JODREY (Hull#186) on February 11, 1965, at Collingwood, Ontario by Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. The tanker IMPERIAL CORNWALL was retired on February 11, 1971.

Albert Edgar Goodrich, the founder of the Goodrich Steamboat Line, was born in Hamburg, New York, near Buffalo on 11 February 1826.

February 11, 1918 - Amid blasts of whistles from nearby ships and factories and the cheers of several hundreds of people, the cargo steamer Asp was launched at the Polson Iron Works. Fears that the launching could not be carried out because of the thickness of the ice proved unfounded. Gangs of men cut away the ice barrier and at 3:20 the vessel slipped easily into the water without any mishap. Curiosity was aroused when one of the ice cutters found a three-foot alligator frozen just under the surface of the ice. Whether or not it escaped from some sailor or from the local zoo is not known.

1987: UNILUCK first came through the Seaway in 1977. The vessel was sailing as b) TINA when it reported water entering the engine room and cargo holds in the Sula Sea off the Philippines. The crew said they were abandoning the ship but no trace of them or their vessel was ever found.

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

 

Rand Logistics, Inc. To Acquire American Steamship Company From GATX Corporation

2/10 - Jersey City, N.J. - Rand Logistics, Inc. (“Rand”) has entered into a stock purchase agreement to acquire American Steamship Company (“ASC”) from GATX Corporation. Rand is an affiliate of American Industrial Partners (“AIP”) and provides dry bulk shipping services throughout the Great Lakes region.

ASC operates the largest fleet of U.S. flagged vessels on the Great Lakes, providing waterborne transportation of over 27 million tons annually of dry bulk commodities such as iron ore, coal and limestone on vessels ranging in size from 634 feet to over 1000 feet. The strategic combination of Rand and ASC will create the largest and most diverse fleet on the Great Lakes, serving different and highly complementary markets with multiple self-unloading vessel classes.

“We are excited about this transformative combination of two leading vessel operators on the Great Lakes. This strategic union will create significant additional shipping capacity through network efficiencies and repositioning of the respective fleets. All of which will allow the resulting company to further improve its customer service and offer additional flexibility and shipping capacity to its customer base,” said Peter Coxon, Chief Executive Officer of Rand.

“ASC is an iconic American company with a rich 113-year history and an important role in moving the materials that built, sustain and drive the vast industrial capacity of the Great Lakes region. We are thrilled to partner with management and further increase our investment in the Great Lakes shipping and logistics ecosystem,” said Jason Perri, Partner of AIP and Chairman of Rand’s Board of Directors. “ASC’s asset quality and track record of reliability, safety and service in moving raw materials for its customers is world class and we look forward to integrating these two great companies into a new and larger platform for growth under our ownership.”

 

Mining through the winter: ArcelorMittal's perspective

2/10 - Winter can be challenging for many industries, including mining. But the taconite plants run 24/7, and so do the steel mills, so they need to do some prepping and planning to make sure things go smoothly.

Gary Norgren, general manager of mining for ArcelorMittal USA, shared that he checks the ice cover on the Great Lakes every day. "So far it's adding up to be a fairly mild winter," he said. "I've been pleasantly surprised to see lower levels of ice cover."

This is important because ArcelorMittal needs to get more of their pellets down to the steel mills once the Soo Locks open back up again. They've been planning for the winter months since last spring.

"Our target, typically, is to have 105 days’ worth of pellets, to get us through the 70 days that the Soo locks are closed," Norgren said. "The teamwork between the plants, the railroads, the docks and the vessels is phenomenal."

Sometimes, when the ice cover is really thick, it can take even longer to get the vessels moving at pace again. "Really we have to plan a supply to get us through mid-April," he explained.

ArcelorMittal owns and manages Minorca Mine in Virginia, and partially owns and manages Hibbing Taconite. At the plants, they need to winterize for months. "It's about keeping heat in the facility. Every fall we bring in truck loads of torpedo heaters, which are targeted devices we can aim heat where we need it," Norgren explained.

During snowstorms, they will keep crews on in case the next ones can't get in right away. And they'll manage their operations to avoid any outages during really cold snaps.

But they have been mining in northern Minnesota for over a century. So people have a pretty good idea of what to do.

For now, they are looking ahead to spring. "The Burns Harbor was the final boat in. And she'll be in the first one out, loaded and waiting on March 25th, to bring us our first load of pellets for the 2020 season," Norgren added.

WDIO https://www.wdio.com/mining-news/mining-in-winter-arcelormittal-range-weather-cold-shipping/5633513

 

Obituaries: Douglas R. Abbott

2/10 - Douglas Robert Abbott, 81, of Burtchville Township, MI, died Saturday, February 8, 2020. He was born August 30, 1938 in Detroit to the late Robert and Amelia Abbott. He married Robin A. Morkal on August 12, 1961 in Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, Detroit.

Doug graduated from Edwin Denby High School in Detroit in 1956. He attended Capital University and received an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Michigan in 1961. He worked for Detroit public schools, and then F.J. O’Toole Company for over 30 years, rising to vice president.

In retirement, Doug focused on his interest in ships and boats. He was a member of the International Ship Masters' Association Port Huron Lodge 2, was secretary and treasurer of the Great Lakes Nautical Society, a volunteer at the Great Lakes Maritime Center and an accomplished boat modeler. He also gave of his time as a longtime volunteer at Mid-City Nutrition and was a member at Deacon at Our Saviour Lutheran Church.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Robin; three children, Timothy Abbott, Katherine Abbott, and Andrew (Kristin) Abbott; four grandchildren, Tyler, Danielle, Drew, and William Abbott; a brother, Gary (Christine) Abbott; a brother-in-law, Ross (Sharon) Morkal; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visitation will be from 2-4 and 6-8 pm Tuesday in Pollock-Randall Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 in Our Saviour Lutheran Church with visitation beginning at 10:00 am. The Reverend Donald Doerzbacher will officiate. Burial will be in Cadillac Memorial East, Clinton Township. Memorial contributions may be made to the Our Saviour Lutheran Church Radio Ministry or the American Cancer Society.

To send condolences, visit pollockrandall.com

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 10

UHLMANN BROTHERS was launched February 10, 1906, as a.) LOFTUS CUDDY (Hull#341) at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. The MARKHAM (Twin Screw Hopper Suction Dredge) was delivered February 10, 1960, to the Army Corps of Engineers at Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1998, The Ludington Daily News reported that a private investment group (later identified as Hydrolink) was planning to start cross-lake ferry service from Muskegon, Michigan to Milwaukee running two high-speed ferries.

On 10 February 1890, NYANZA (wooden propeller freighter, 280 foot, 1,888 gross tons) was launched at F. W. Wheeler's yard (Hull #63) in W. Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co. In 1916, she was renamed LANDBO and she lasted until abandoned in 1920.

In 1975, a fire onboard CRISPIN OGLEBAY a.) J.H. HILLMAN JR of 1943, caused $100,000 damage to the conveyor and tunnel while she was laid up at Toledo. The forward end of CRISPIN OGLEBAY is now ALGOMA TRANSFER (C.323003).

1973: The CUNARD CAVALIER was launched at Seville, Spain. It first appeared on the lakes in 1978.

1981: A pair of former Seaway traders collided in the Mediterranean off Algiers and one sank. The FEDDY had been inland as b) SUNSEA in 1969, c) SAGA SAILOR in 1971 and as d) ELLY in 1976. It went to the bottom with the loss of 32 lives. This ship had been enroute from Boston to Volos, Italy, with a cargo of scrap steel. The second vessel, SOUNION, survived. It had been to the Great Lakes as a) SUGAR CRYSTAL in 1968 and was back as b) SOUNION in 1979. It sailed until scrapping at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, following arrival as c) MED VITORIA on April 17, 1993.

1982: TEXACO BRAVE (ii) was pushed off course by the ice and current and struck the bridge crossing the St. Lawrence at Quebec City damaging a mast and the radar. The vessel still sails as d) ALGOEAST.

1984: Scrapping of the Italian freighter b) VIOCA got underway at La Spezia, Italy. The ship made 8 trips through the Seaway as a) BAMBI from 1959 to 1964.

1984: The AEGIS FURY arrived at Shanghai, China, for scrapping as e) WELL RUNNER. The ship first came to the Great Lakes in 1972.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Brian Bernard, Dave Swayze, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the “Great Lakes Ships We Remember” series.

 

New Mackinac Island ferry William Richard nearly done

2/9 - Onaway, MI – Construction on the latest addition to Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry fleet is a little ahead of schedule, officials said Friday. The William Richard, a $4 million boat, is being constructed at Moran Iron Works in Onaway. It is nearing completion and is expected to begin ferrying guests to and from Mackinac Island in May.

“Our goal is to have her hauling passengers by Memorial Day, and what that means is the drop-dead date that we have to have the boat in the water is the 20th of April,” fleet Capt. Billy Shepler said.

The William Richard is the fourth major project Moran has completed for Shepler’s, Tom Moran, founder of the iron works company, said. Moran constructed its first ferry for the company, the Miss Margy, in 2015.

Shepler said the ferry company decided to work with Moran again because of “the great success they’ve had in the past.” The project brings Shepler’s total new investment in northern Michigan to $12.8 million over the past six years.

The William Richard was named for the ferry company’s founder, Bill Shepler, who is now 87. The boat is 84 feet long, 20 feet, 3 inches wide, and weighs 60 tons. It will ferry 210 passengers and reach 35 miles per hour at top speed.

Unlike ferries previously constructed for the company, Shepler said, the William Richard will be “propelled a little differently.” Instead of propellers, the ferry will have four jet drives, which will make for a smoother ride.

“Jets are very efficient going through the water at speed,” Shepler said. “Propellers are efficient going through the water, but they’re a little slower — more efficient at a slower speed.”

Moran estimates crews are about 95% complete with the fabrication of the ship and will now move on to the finishing work, which includes electrical, painting, and insulating the hull. “A very important part of the Shepler’s experience is not having a noisy ride over to the island, and there’s a lot of effort and a lot of money that goes into the insulation part of it,” Moran said.

Once the project is complete, the William Richard will be transported from Onaway to the Port of Calcite in Rogers City to be launched into Lake Huron. Shepler said the boat will undergo regulatory tests and inspections before hauling passengers.

“It takes about a month to get all of that organized, so, if we can have it tested by the 20th of April, we will have it ready and raring to go by Memorial Day,” he said.

Moran said the project is “all about trust.” He said Sheplers put its livelihood on the line and trusts Moran with a $4 million project. He added that the Sheplers, in turn, expect his company to perform better with each project. Moran said the project started without a contract and the paperwork followed.

“It was all about trust,” he said. “It was all about a handshake agreement. And, you know what? It’s still good to let people know that still exists in the world.”

Alpena News

 

Port Reports -  February 9

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Mackinac Straits
Algoma Conveyor was westbound Saturday evening with salt for Chicago.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Conquest departed Cleveland at 12:09 Saturday.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 9

EAGLESCLIFFE, loaded with 3,500 tons of grain, sank two miles east of Galveston, Texas on February 9, 1983, after the hull had fractured from a grounding the previous day. She began taking on water in her forward end en route to Galveston. To save her the captain ran her into shallow water where she settled on the bottom in 20 feet of water with her bridge and boat deck above water. All 16 crewmembers and one dog were rescued. She was built for the Hall Corp. of Canada in 1957 at Grangemouth, Scotland as a.) EAGLESCLIFFE HALL, renamed b.) EAGLESCLIFFE in 1973.

The ALEXANDER LESLIE was launched February 9, 1901, as a.) J T HUTCHINSON (Hull # 405) at Cleveland, Ohio by American Ship Building Co.

The HOMER D. WILLIAMS suffered extensive fire damage to her side plating and forward lower cabins during her lay-up at Toledo, Ohio on February 9, 1971. The fire was started by a spark from welding that caused the tarpaulins stored in the hold to catch fire.

February 9, 1995 - The founder of Lake Michigan Carferry, Charles Conrad, died at the age of 77.

In 1899, JOHN V. MORAN (wooden propeller package freighter, 214 foot, 1,350 gross tons, built in 1888, at W. Bay City, Michigan by F. W. Wheeler & Co. (Hull#44) was cut by the ice and developed a severe leak during a mid-winter run on Lake Michigan. The iron passenger/package freight steamer NAOMI rescued the crew from the sinking vessel. The MORAN was last seen on the afternoon of 12 February 1899, drifting with the ice about 20 miles off Muskegon, Michigan. She was a combination bulk and package freighter with hatches in her flanks as well as on her deck.

1964: The Collingwood built tug PUGWASH (Hull 85 - 1930) was torn from its moorings at Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. The vessel drifted out to sea and sank.

2009: The SONATA suffered engine failure in the Gulf of Finland and had to be towed to Talinn, Estonia, for repairs. It was arrested there, sold at auction and broken up for scrap locally. The ship had been a Great Lakes visitor first as c) RENTALA in 1988 and was back as d) MARY W. in 1990 and f) LANGESUND in 2000.

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

 

Rivers have poured a year’s worth of water into some Great Lakes in just 4 months

2/8 - The amount of water pouring into Lake Michigan and Lake Huron is amazing. Record amounts of water are being delivered by some Michigan rivers. Let’s look at exactly how much water has been shipped into Lake Michigan and Lake Huron by some of the bigger rivers in Lower Michigan. Before we get started, here’s a reminder on what constitutes a water year. A water year runs from October 1 to September 31.

One of the most astonishing bits of info is the Grand River at Grand Rapids has already poured more water into Lake Michigan than an average complete year of water. The 2020 water amount below sits right at the average for a year.

Read more and view graphs at this link: https://www.mlive.com/weather/2020/02/rivers-have-poured-a-years-worth-of-water-into-some-great-lakes-in-just-4-months.html

 

Chamber of Marine Commerce talks about challenges facing Seaway shipping

2/8 - Chamber of Marine Commerce President Bruce Burrows has unveiled a 2020 wish list for legislators and policymakers to support the growth of Great Lakes-St. Lawrence and coastal shipping with climate resiliency to deal with high-water levels as a top priority.

Overall cargo on the St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 38 million metric tons in 2019, a decrease of 7% attributed to trade conflicts, challenging navigational conditions due to high waters, and adverse weather impacts on key cargoes such as grain.

“The challenges of the 2019 shipping season underline the critical importance of protecting the future integrity of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence waterway as a reliable and efficient trade and transportation corridor for the United States and Canada,” said Burrows. “High water levels are negatively impacting residents and businesses, including the marine shipping sector that transports cargo through the St. Lawrence Seaway, and we need to work together with the International Joint Commission and governments to conduct a proper study into water levels and their causes, and to develop a resiliency plan that can address stakeholder needs into the future.”

Pressure on the IJC’s International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, to lower Lake Ontario levels by raising water outflow at the Moses-Saunders dam to unsafe navigation levels that would have shut down Seaway shipping, continued throughout 2019.

Marine shipping worked with stakeholders for safe navigation at record outflow levels for five months last year to help lower the lake, taking on 26 mitigation measures that caused shipping delays, lost cargo business and millions of dollars of extra operating costs.

The chamber also supports the River Board’s recent actions to increase outflow levels at the dam during the winter, in order to lower levels as much as possible before spring, the press statement said.

“We would also like to see commercial navigation interests as members of the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board to work alongside recent appointees representing community interests. Many different industries including agriculture, manufacturing, fuel supply, construction and the mining sector depend on the Great Lakes-Seaway transportation system, supporting 238,000 jobs and USD$35 billion (Cdn$45.4 billion) in economic activity in Canada and the U.S,” Burrows said.

Other legislative and policy priorities for 2020

He said he hoped that U.S. and Canadian governments could continue to invest in maritime infrastructure and advance Coast Guard asset renewal. The CMC will be asking for the medium-term refurbished Canadian Coast Guard vessels and longer-term new builds announced in 2019 to be used to help ice-breaking in the Great Lakes, the Seaway and the lower St. Lawrence River, where cargo deliveries have been stalled or delayed in past winters and springs due to service breakdowns and a lack of assets.

He also said he wished to see “a harmonized and practical approach to ballast water regulations aimed at domestic fleets. The Canadian government has put forward regulations that would require domestic fleets to install ballast water treatment systems despite the fact that no technology currently exists that reliably operates in Great Lakes conditions and trading patterns. At the same time, the United States Coast Guard is developing regulations that are not aligned with the technology standards or timelines of the Canadian regulations. We need one regulatory approach for the bi-national Great Lakes region that levels the playing field and recognizes the challenges faced by the domestic fleets in Canada and the United States.”

Chamber of Marine Commerce

 

Port Reports -  February 8

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived 2:38 am Friday, loading salt at Compass Minerals.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 8

While in lay-up on February 8, 1984, a fire broke out in WILLIAM G. MATHER's after accommodations killing a vagrant from Salt Lake City, Utah, who started the fire that caused considerable damage to the galley.

On 8 February 1902, ETRURIA (steel propeller freighter, 414 foot, 4,653 gross tons) was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co. (Hull#604). She was built for the Hawgood Transit Company of Cleveland but only lasted three years. She sank in 1905, after colliding with the steamer AMASA STONE in the fog off Presque Isle Light in Lake Huron.

1983: EAGLESCLIFFE sank in shallow water at Galveston, Texas, while carrying a cargo of cattle freed for Tampico, Mexico. The ship developed hull cracks and subsequently broke in two during an August 1983 hurricane. The canal sized bulk carrier operated on the Great Lakes as a) EAGLESCLIFFE HALL (ii) from 1956 through 1971 and went south in 1974.

1990: LE SAULE NO. 1 received a hole in the bow after striking the Yamachiche Beacon in the Lake St. Peter area of the St. Lawrence and went to Sorel for lay-up. The damage was later repaired at Les Mechins.

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

 

Port Reports -  February 7

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
The tug Prentiss Brown and barge St. Mar's Conquest arrived Thursday at 09:11 from Charlevoix to deliver to St. Marys Cement on the Cuyahoga River.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 7

HURON (Hull#132) was launched February 7, 1914, at Ecorse, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for Wyandotte Transportation Co. She was scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1973.

In 1973, ENDERS M. VOORHEES closed the Soo Locks downbound.

In 1974, ROGER BLOUGH closed the Poe Lock after locking down bound for Gary, Indiana.

1965: The Liberty ship GRAMMATIKI visited the Seaway for one trip in 1960. The vessel began leaking in heavy weather on the Pacific enroute from Tacoma, Washington, to Keelung, Taiwan, with a cargo of scrap. The vessel, also slated to be scrapped, was abandoned by the crew the next day and slowly sank.

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

 

Lake Superior breaks high-water record for February

2/6 - Duluth, MN – The International Lake Superior Board of Control reported Tuesday that Lake Superior’s average water level was a half-inch higher than the previous February record, set in 1986.

The big lake dropped only 2 inches in February, a month it usually drops 3, thanks to a continued wet period across the lake’s big watershed. Lake Superior now is 15 inches above its long-term average and is 4 inches above the Feb. 1 level in 2019.

The high-water trend means continued bad news for coastal residents due to increased erosion, especially during storms and heavy wave action, a problem that’s already caused millions of dollars in damage in Duluth and along the South Shore. It also sets the lake up for continued record levels and perhaps an all-time high-water record sometime in late summer or early fall when the lake traditionally hits its annual high-water mark before dropping each winter.

The problems of high water cross all five Great Lakes. Lakes Michigan and Huron also hit their all-time high Feb. 1 watermark and are now 19 inches above Feb. 1 last year and 39 inches — more than 3 feet — above average for this time of year.

“With all of the Great Lakes near or above record-highs for this time of year, there is an exceptional volume of water in the system,” the Board noted in its report Tuesday. “Water levels are expected to remain high over at least the next several months and further record-highs are possible if wet conditions continue in 2020. As a result, there will continue to be a significantly increased risk of shoreline erosion, lakeshore flooding and coastal damages over the next several weeks and into the spring.”

More heavy snowstorms or heavy spring rains could push problems to a new level, as could spring windstorms that whip the lake into a frenzy.

The Board again warned Lake Superior shoreline communities “to prepare for potentially severe coastal impacts, especially during periods of strong winds and high waves.”

The Board recently received approval from the International Joint Commission to deviate from Lake Superior Regulation Plan 2012 through this winter. A small amount of additional flow will be released out of Lake Superior through the St. Marys Rapids this winter to offset expected and potential unscheduled reductions in flows at the hydropower plants that often occur in challenging winter conditions.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Great Lakes limestone trade up 9 percent in 2019

2/6 - Cleveland, OH – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 31.2 million tons in 2019, an increase of 9 percent compared to 2018. 2019’s loadings were also 12.1 percent above the trade’s 5-year average.

Loadings from U.S. quarries totaled 25.7 million tons, an increase of 9.4 percent compared to 2018. Shipments from U.S. quarries also topped their 5-year average by 11.2 percent.

Shipments from Canadian quarries totaled 5.5 million tons, an increase of 7.2 percent from 2018, and 16.4 percent better than their 5-year average.

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Port Reports -  February 6

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator cleared 1.34 am Wednesday with salt for Chicago.

Detroit-River Rouge – Raymond H
Michigan/Great Lakes were unloading at the Buckeye Terminal on Wednesday.

 

Water levels continue rising; more records expected in 2020

2/6 - Water levels on the Great Lakes are continuing to climb, which isn't good news for shoreline property owners battling severe erosion. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said water levels on each of the five Great Lakes started 2020 higher than they started 2019. The agency expects several more monthly record high water levels in 2020.

Water levels are expected to remain well above average for at least the next six months. Already, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are more than 3 feet above average, Lake Erie is more than 2 feet above average while Lake Superior and Lake Huron are more than 1 foot above average.

The Army Corps of Engineers expects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, which are considered a single body of water, to reach an all-time record high level this year.

“It is likely that water levels on lakes Michigan and Huron will set new monthly mean record high levels over the next couple of months,” said John Allis, chief of the Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office in Detroit. “This sets the stage for coastal impacts and damages in 2020 similar to, or worse than, what was experienced last year.”

Researchers blame persistent wet weather around the Great Lakes basin for pushing water levels higher. Warm temperatures also increased runoff in December and caused less evaporation from the lakes' surface.

High water levels have contributed to severe shoreline erosion, which has destroyed some houses and threatened dozens more.

ABC 12

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 6

On 06 February 1952, the LIMESTONE (steel propeller tug, 87 foot 10 inches) was launched at Bay City, Michigan, by the Defoe Shipyard (Hull #423) for the Michigan Limestone and Chemical Company. Later she was sold to U.S. Steel and in 1983, to Gaelic Tug Company who renamed her b.) WICKLOW. She is currently owned by the Great Lakes Towing Company and is named c.) NORTH CAROLINA.

LORNA P, a.) CACOUNA was damaged by fire at Sorel, Quebec, which was ignited by a welder's torch on February 6, 1974.

ALVA C. DINKEY (Hull #365) was launched February 6, 1909, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co.

HALLFAX (Hull#526) was launched February 6, 1962, at Port Glasgow, Scotland by William Hamilton & Co. Ltd.

On February 6, 1904, the PERE MARQUETTE 19 went aground on Fox Point, Wisconsin approaching Milwaukee in fog. Engulfed in ice and fog, she quickly filled with water.

On 06 February 1885, Capt. William Bridges of Bay City and A. C. Mc Lean of East Saginaw purchased the steamer D.W. POWERS (wooden propeller freighter, 140 foot, 303 gross tons, built in 1871, at Marine City, Michigan) for the lumber trade. This vessel had an interesting rebuild history. In 1895, she was rebuilt as a schooner-barge in Detroit, then in 1898, she was again rebuilt as a propeller driven steamer. She lasted until 1910, when she was abandoned.

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

 

Nevada contractor to begin $53M project to deepen channel for new Soo Lock in spring

2/5 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Work to upgrade the Soo Locks and pave the way for creation of a new large lock will begin in the spring. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announced Friday that the first phase of construction on the New Lock at the Soo has been awarded to Trade West Construction Inc. of Mesquite, Nevada.

Trade West Construction will receive almost $53 million to complete this first phase of construction, which involves deepening the upstream approach channel to a depth of 30 feet. The first phase will take approximately two years to accomplish.

Trade West was the low bidder. GFA of Traverse City participated in site visit but did not bid. Leudtke Engineering of Frankfort also site visited but did not bid. Durocher Marine of Cheboygan visited and bid $65,453,000 under the name of its parent company, Kokosing Industrial. Cashman Dredging & Marine of Quincy, Mass. bid $64,271,000 for the work.

The much-anticipated mega-project will be constructed in three phases. Phases two and three of the project are still in design phase and involve rehabilitation of the upstream approach walls and construction on the new lock chamber, respectively.

Phase two, upstream approach walls construction, will be advertised for bid in February, officials said, The upgrades will stabilize the existing approach walls to allow for modern vessels to tie up and wait their turn to pass through the new lock. The third phase, construction of the new lock chamber, will include rehabilitating downstream approach walls and is expected to be advertised for bid in spring of 2021.

“Contingent on efficient funding, the New Lock at the Soo project, estimated to cost nearly $1 billion, could be complete in as few as seven years from the start of construction,” said Mollie Mahoney, project manager.

The new lock project will construct a second, Poe-sized lock on the site of the existing, decommissioned Davis and Sabin locks.

MLive

 

Port Reports -  February 5

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Northern Lake Huron
Tuesday; 1:00 The tug Prentiss Brown and barge passed through the Straits and is down bound for Cleveland. 12:53 USCG Katmai Bay departed Mackinaw City to conduct ice operations in the Straits area and at 17:18 arrived at Mackinac Island.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator arrived 4.38 am Tuesday to load salt at Compass Minerals.

 

Coast Guard warns of weak ice across Great Lakes region

2/5 - Cleveland, OH - The U.S. Coast Guard reminds the public to exercise caution on ice throughout the entire Great Lakes region, Monday.

Current ice conditions on the Great Lakes are far below the seasonal average. The combination of open water, unstable ice formation and areas of relatively weak ice may create hazardous conditions for recreational users. The public is advised to use caution when deciding to venture out onto ice covered water. Never assume the ice is safe, even if others are on it. Evaluate conditions for yourself and exercise sound judgement. Stay away from shipping lanes and other areas with vessel traffic, as ice is even more unstable and unpredictable in these areas.

If you’re planning to participate in recreational ice activities, remember the acronym I.C.E. before you head out. (I.C.E. = Information, Clothing, and Equipment).

Get the right Information on weather and ice conditions before going out. Ice thickness is rarely consistent. Water currents, particularly around narrow spots, bridges, inlets and outlets are always suspect for weak ice. Stay away from cracks, seams, pressure ridges, slushy areas and darker areas for these may represent areas of unstable ice. Know where you are going, how to get there and how to call for help; share this information with friends and family prior to departing. This information can be valuable to first responders in an emergency.

Ensure you wear the proper Clothing to prevent hypothermia and choose bright colors to be easily seen by others. It is not uncommon for people to become disoriented while on the ice, especially in low visibility or deteriorating weather conditions.

Never venture onto the ice without proper safety Equipment. Carry a whistle or noise-making device to alert people of distress and a waterproof VHF-FM radio or Personal Locator Beacon to contact local emergency responders. Please remember that cellular phone signals can be limited and unreliable in remote areas. Carry two ice awls or screwdrivers. These instruments can aid in pulling yourself out of the water onto solid ice in an emergency and are more effective than hands alone.

USCG

 

Vessel Casualties

2/5 - Vessels with Great Lakes / Seaway connection - reported as a casualty or sold for demolition, taken from February 2020 issue of Marine News - Journal of the World Ship Society:

Casualties: None reported

Demolition: RAINBOW-H (7521132; Togo) (Joy Express-15, Celtic Spirit-10, Gardsky-03, Isnes-94, Dollart-87 - 1st trip into Seaway 1978) 2,978 / 1976 - General Cargo ship. By HR Brothers Maritime Shipping SA, Honduras, to Sheth Ispat, Hussain, India and arrived Alang 7.04.2019 - commenced demolition 3.04.2019

Report prepared by Barry Andersen and René Beauchamp

 

Plan to bury radioactive waste near Lake Huron is dead

2/5 - Flint, MI – A Canadian company is searching for a new location to build a nuclear waste site. After years of resistance from lawmakers and decision-makers on both sides of the border, plans to build the underground facility near Canadian shores of Lake Huron have dried up.

The news brought satisfaction to U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-5th District), who took up the issue after assuming office in 2013. “The environment won. The land won. The Great Lakes won,” he said.

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) announced on Jan. 31 that it would not move forward with plans for a permanent disposal site in Kincardine, Ontario. The underground development would have been 2,200 feet below the surface and less than three-quarters of a mile from Lake Huron.

“It made no sense to us then that nuclear waste that will be active for thousands and thousands of years should be stored so close to the greatest source of freshwater on the planet,” he said.

OPG owns two nuclear reactors northeast of Toronto and the Bruce Nuclear plant in Kincardine, which would have been home to the underground development.

Low-level and intermediate-level waste from the three reactors--such filters and tools--would have buried in dry rock that is isolated from the lake, according to the company.

Kildee and many others were not convinced. “We do know that in the past when the nuclear industry has given assurances that nothing bad could happen, something bad happens,” he said.

Fox 66

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 5

ASHLAND, in a critically leaking condition, barely made Mamonel, Colombia, on February 5, 1988, where she was scrapped.

February 5, 1870 - Captain William H. Le Fleur of the Pere Marquette carferry fleet, known as "the Bear" was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

On February 5, 1976, the carferry WOLFE ISLANDER III was inaugurated into service between Kingston and Wolfe Island Ontario. Later that night, two blocks over, a Kingston resident noticed the captain turning off the running lights of the 'ol WOLFE ISLANDER as she joined her already winterized sister, the UPPER CANADA.

1972: CHRISTIANE SCHULTE, a West German Seaway trader, went aground at Khidhes Island, Cyprus, while on fire and was abandoned by the crew. The ship was traveling from Lattakia, Syria, to Mersin, Turkey, as b) CITTA DI ALESSANDRIA and was a total loss.

1977: The Israeli freighter TAMAR, a Seaway caller in 1959 and 1961, was gutted by a fire in the Aegean Sea south of Thira Island as c) ATHENA. The vessel, enroute from Mersin, Turkey, to Albania, was towed into Piraeus, Greece, on February 12, 1977. It was a total loss and scrapping began at Eleusis in January 1978.

1982: The Canadian tanker JAMES TRANSPORT spent 10 hours aground in the St. Lawrence near Batiscan, Quebec.

1996: A shipboard fire caused extensive damage to the Jean Parisien docked at the stone docks in Port Colborne. No one was injured in the blaze, which took two hours to extinguish and was the second one on board a ship in two days.

Data from: Gerry Ouderkirk, Max Hanley, Brian Johnson, Ahoy & Farewell II and the “Great Lakes Ships We Remember” series.

 

Port Reports -  February 4

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Northern Lake Huron
Cheboygan: Saturday 23:24 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes departed for Sarnia. Mackinaw City: Monday 17:49 After completing ice operations Katmai Bay arrived at the coast guard station. Algoma Innovator was downbound for Goderich.

 

Region steel mills gear up for winter

2/4 - In the winter, the Great Lakes typically freeze over and the Soo Locks close, making it impossible for lake freighters to haul ore pellets from Minnesota's Iron Range to Northwest Indiana's steel mills.

But the mills expect the cold, winds and snowstorms the harsh winters in the Region can bring and start preparing as much as 18 months in advance. The integrated steel mills along the Lake Michigan lakeshore spend most of the year stockpiling iron ore pellets, limestone and other raw materials as they get ready for winter.

Gary Norgren, ArcelorMittal USA's general manager of mining operations, who previously served as manager of raw materials for eight years, has helped coordinate the ore boats, mines and railroads to ensure the company's steel mills in East Chicago, Burns Harbor and Cleveland have enough raw materials to run uninterrupted through the winter months.

The blast furnaces require a steady infusion of raw materials to forge the iron that's made into steel in basic oxygen furnaces. "The vessles carry extra ore for nine months of the year," he said. "It amazes me how well it works."

It takes lake freighters about 6.5 days to complete a round trip between ore mines in upper Minnesota and the Calumet Region's steel mills, which they do nonstop every year between March and Jan. 15, when the Soo Locks close for 70 days.

"The locks use the 70 days for maintenance and vacation," Norgren said. "That 70 days is a very well-established block of time in their world."

ArcelorMittal USA tries to ensure it has at least 105 days’ worth of pellets to get through the winter, so it will cover until at least the middle of April if necessary.

"The first couple weeks there is still ice in the water and the weather isn't that great," Norgren said. "The run rate isn't as high when you're trying to replenish your inventory quickly. The boats only come every six days, so you don't want to lose ground."

About two ships come to ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor every week, while three come to ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor. The logistics become more challenging during the winter as the iron ore piles can freeze on the docks in Minnesota, drawing out the loading time. Strong winds and ice make it harder to navigate the Great Lakes.

But the freezing of the lake — which had its worst year in the past half century during the polar vortex of 2014 — has been far milder in recent years than normal. The Great Lakes had just over 11% ice cover last week, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

U.S. Coast Guard ice cutters sometimes have to clear the path for ships to keep sailing to the steel mills in December and January. "It takes a lot of people to ensure we can keep safely making steel in January and February," Norgren said. "We try to keep our facilities as steady as possible, even in the Northwest Indiana winter."

The steel mills have to take other winterization steps, such as salting roads for semi-trailer trucks that haul the steel and keeping water lines from freezing. "We've been doing this for a lot of years and have a lot of experience," Norgren said. "It takes a lot of preparation, but we get through it."

NW Indiana Times

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 4

The two sections of the a.) WILLIAM J. DE LANCEY, b.) PAUL R. TREGURTHA) were joined at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. and float-launched on February 4, 1981, (Hull #909).

In 1977, ROGER BLOUGH arrived at the American Shipbuilding Company in Lorain, Ohio for winter lay up and a 5-year hull inspection. She had departed South Chicago after unloading on Jan 25th and the trip took 10 days due to weather and heavy ice.

February 4, 1904 - Captain Russell of the PERE MARQUETTE 17 reported that Lake Michigan was frozen all the way to Manitowoc.

In 1870, The Port Huron Weekly Times reported that “a Montreal company has purchased all the standing timber on Walpole Island Indian Reservation [on the St. Clair River…] A large force of men are employed in hewing, cutting and delivering the same on the banks of the river in readiness for shipment… The proceeds of the sale of timber on Walpole Island will probably amount to $18,000 to $20,000, to be distributed among the Indians of the island to improve their farms.

1964: OCEAN REGINA, which would become a Seaway visitor in 1971, ran aground in the Makassar Strait, Indonesia, while enroute from Geraldton, Australia, to China. The ship was refloated February 11.

1965: The Liberty ship IRINI STEFANOU visited the Great Lakes in 1959 and 1960. It struck a reef, 1 mile west of the San Benita Islands, Baja Peninsula and had to be beached. The vessel was enroute from Vancouver, British Columbia, to London, England, with timber. While abandoned, the hull was refloated on February 25 and taken to Los Angeles for examination. They discovered a serious distortion of the hull and it was broken up at Terminal Island.

1970: ARROW, a Liberian tanker quite familiar with Great Lakes trading, stranded in Chedebucto Bay, while inbound from Venezuela to Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia. The ship broke in two as a total loss on February 8 spilling millions of gallons of oil. This resulted in a major environmental problem and clean up took two years and $3.8 million.

1976: A fire aboard the freighter KERKIS broke out in #3 hold off the northern coast of Sicily. The vessel was brought into Milazzo, Italy, the next day and when the hold was opened on February 12, the blaze flared up again. The hull was beached as a total loss. It had begun Seaway trading as a) BYSANZ in 1959 and was back as b) ALSATIA beginning in 1967.

1984: The former MANCHESTER RENOWN was idle at Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, as c) EDESSA. The ship was being reactivated when a fire broke out and destroyed the upper works. The vessel was sold to Taiwan shipbreakers and arrived at Kaohsiung on April 6, 1984. It had begun Seaway trading as a new ship, in 1964.

1992: PATRICIA was wrecked at Crotone, Italy, and abandoned. The hull was visible years later, partially submerged. The ship began Seaway service as a) RUMBA in 1971 and was back as b) JANJA in 1975, c) JANJE in 1979 and e) FIGARO in 1988.

1999: The former BAUNTON caught fire in #1 hold 350 miles west of Dakar, Senegal, as c) MERSINIA and was abandoned by the crew. The ship, enroute from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to Amsterdam, Netherlands, with cocoa beans in bulk, was a total loss and was delivered to Spanish shipbreakers at Santander for dismantling on January 21, 2000. It first came through the Seaway in 1981 when it was a year old.

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

 

Lake Michigan ends January 4 inches above record

2/3 - Detroit, MI – Lake Michigan remained above the all-time January record Friday, all but assuring the Great Lake will set its first high water record since 1987. The monthly water level record is calculated by taking the average lake level over an entire month. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will calculate that data in the coming days.

According to the Army Corps weekly report released Friday, Lake Michigan has risen 1 inch during the month of January. It’s a month that usually sees one of the largest decline in water levels annually. The lake is 19 inches higher than it was on this day one year ago. Lake Michigan is forecasted to drop 1 inch by March 2.

All of the Great Lakes are hovering around all-time records for the month of January. Lake Superior is even with the January record set in 1986. Lake Erie is 1 inch above the January record set in 1987. Lake Ontario is 1 inch below the January record set in 1946. Since they are connected, Lake Michigan and Huron are treated as the same lake by Army Corps.

 

Ohio representative talks Port of Monroe with Trump

2/3 - Monroe, MI – As U.S. Rep Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, sat with President Donald Trump on Air Force One, he knew it was his chance to talk about a local agency’s ongoing customs battle. Walberg, along with other Republican representatives from Michigan, was accompanying Trump Thursday to an event at Dana Inc. in Warren.

Trump was gearing up to talk about a newly-signed trade deal with Mexico and Canada. Walberg was thinking of the Port of Monroe. For years he has worked with Port Director Paul LaMarre III to navigate shipping restrictions handed down by U.S. Customers and Border Patrol’s Detroit office.

The restrictions have limited the port’s ability to deal in international trade. They also are at odds with standards expected at neighboring Lake Erie ports, like Toledo and Cleveland, Walberg says, which makes it harder to generate funds to install additional security equipment. “It’s not fair,” Walberg said. “The (Monroe port) is being given challenges that others aren’t.”

On Thursday, Walberg and the other representatives aboard Air Force came up with a strategy. They had a rare opportunity to discuss constituents’ concerns with the country’s top leader and they weren’t going to waste the moment.

They each selected issues tied to their district and briefly talked about them with the president. “It was a tag-team effort,” Walberg said. “It was very effective.”

Though brief, Walberg was pleased with the response he received from Trump. “He indicated to make sure (his team) knew about the issue and that we would discuss it further,” Walberg said.

It’s an interaction he knows will carry weight when he meets with Peter Navarro, assistant to the president and director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, to discuss the issue of shipping on the Great Lakes. The meeting, which will occur in the near future, will be the latest in a series of gatherings brokered by officials to discuss disparate shipping standards levied by CBP’s different jurisdictions.

Late last year, Sen. Gary Peters was present at a meeting between LaMarre and some of CBP’s top officials. It was only the most recent of such meetings, which have done little to alleviate the pressure exerted on the Monroe seaport. “We’ve talked with key individuals (at CBP) until we’re blue in the face,” Walberg said. ”... But that hasn’t dealt results yet.”

Walberg said he will continue to press the issue because the restrictions have a wider impact on the Great Lakes region. Stifling trade and conflicting standards create an unequal playing field, which impacts millions of jobs and economic vitality, Walberg said. The conversation with Trump and his team exerts how wide-reaching the issue can be, he added.

“I’m going to take that as a real step forward,” Walberg said. ”... The port is a huge opportunity for not only Monroe, but also the entire shipping industry on the Great Lakes.”

At the local level, LaMarre is buoyed by the fact that awareness of the issue has reached the top of the country’s executive branch. The issue has battered the port, he said. ″... to know that our issue (with CBP) has reached the president’s ears can only be compared to a glimmer of sun peeking through the storm clouds at sea,” LaMarre said. “Hope is the most powerful fuel I know, and today Walberg has refilled our tanks.”

Support from legislators has been monumental in dealing with the restriction, LaMarre added. He has been in contact with Walberg regarding the port and its struggles since restrictions cut off several trade deals years ago, including a lucrative one that would have shipped Ford Mustangs to Europe via the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

Moving forward, LaMarre wants transparency as to why CBP’s restriction are necessary for Monroe’s port and the same level of scrutiny isn’t applied elsewhere.

″(CBP) is discriminating against the Port of Monroe and our community as a whole as we fight to remain economically sustainable,” LaMarre said. “Thanks to Walberg, new light has been shed on the issue ...”

Monroe Evening News

 

Port Reports -  February 3

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Lake Michigan
Algoma Innovator was off Sheboygan, WI, at 10 p.m. Sunday headed back to Goderich.

Northern Lake Huron
Algoma Conveyor was westbound in the Straits Sunday at 10 p.m. headed for Chicago with salt.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
There were no vessels in port Sunday.

Toronto, ON – Ron Walsh
On Sunday, McKeil Spirit was westbound near the False Duck Islands, heading for Toronto, where she arrived a bit later in the day. The AIS on the Salvage Monarch is now active in Toronto.

 

Michigan senators ask White House for new icebreaker funding

2/3 - Northern Michigan - U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow are urging the Trump administration to include enough funding for the Coast Guard to get a new Great Lakes icebreaker in their 2021 budget.

“The Coast Guard is required by law to maintain a heavy icebreaking capability on the Great Lakes to keep our region’s ports and harbors open and facilitate our nation’s free flow of commerce. However, the current maintenance condition of the existing icebreaking fleet has resulted in 182 lost operating days last winter primarily due to engine failures,” wrote the senators. “We respectfully request adequate funding for the acquisition of a Great Lakes icebreaker in your FY 2021 budget request.”

Records said icebreaking capacity in the Great Lakes supports more than 90 million tons of cargo every year.

During the 2018-2019 ice season, businesses that depend upon the great Lakes maritime industry lost more than $1 billion in revenues because of delays caused by inadequate icebreaking.

The Coast Guard is required by law to maintain a heavy icebreaking capability on the Great Lakes to keep the region’s ports and harbors open and facilitate the free flow of economic commerce.

Back in 2015, Congress authorized the Coast Guard to acquire a new Great Lakes icebreaker at least as capable as the heavy icebreaker the Mackinaw.

To date, the Trump Administration has not requested funding for an additional Great Lakes icebreaker vessel in the annual budget submitted to Congress.

WPBN/WGTU

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 3

In 1960, The Ludington Daily News reported that the S.S. AVALON, formerly the S.S. VIRGINIA, had been sold to Everett J. Stotts of Artesia, California.

On 03 February 1899, the steamer GEORGE FARWELL (wooden propeller freighter, 182 foot, 977 gross tons, built in 1895, at Marine City, Michigan) burned while laid up near Montreal, Quebec. She had just been taken from the Great Lakes by her new owners, the Manhattan Transportation Company, for the Atlantic coastal coal trade, The loss was valued at $50,000 and was fully covered by insurance. The vessel was repaired and lasted until 1906 when she was lost near Cape Henry, Virginia.

1939: LUTZEN came ashore in dense fog at Nauset Beach, Chatham, Mass., off Cape Cod. The vessel rolled over on its side with its cargo of frozen fish and fruit. The small ship had been built at Fort William, (now Thunder Bay) in 1918.

1970: The tanker GEZINA BROVIG sank 300 miles northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico. An explosion in the main engine on January 31 blew a piston through the side of the ship and it gradually sank. The vessel had been a Great Lakes trader beginning in 1965.

1993: The former Spanish freighter MARTA, a Seaway trader in 1981, was sailing as b) PROSPERITY when it began leaking in a storm. The ship subsequently broke in two and sank with the loss of 5 lives. The vessel went down 120 miles west of Sri Lanka while enroute from Jordan to Madras, India.

1996: An engine room fire aboard the C.S.L. self-unloader JEAN PARISIEN at Port Colborne resulted in about $250,000 in damage.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection and the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes.

 

Senators urge funding for new icebreaker for the Great Lakes

2/2 - Northern Michigan – U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow are urging the Trump administration to include enough funding for the Coast Guard to get a new Great Lakes icebreaker in their 2021 budget.

“The Coast Guard is required by law to maintain a heavy icebreaking capability on the Great Lakes to keep our region’s ports and harbors open and facilitate our nation’s free flow of commerce. However, the current maintenance condition of the existing icebreaking fleet has resulted in 182 lost operating days last winter primarily due to engine failures,” wrote the Senators. “We respectfully request adequate funding for the acquisition of a Great Lakes icebreaker in your FY 2021 budget request.”

Records said icebreaking capacity in the Great Lakes supports more than 90 million tons of cargo every year.

During the 2018-2019 ice season, businesses that depend upon the great Lakes maritime industry lost more than $1 billion in revenues because of delays caused by inadequate icebreaking.

The Coast Guard is required by law to maintain a heavy icebreaking capability on the Great Lakes to keep the region’s ports and harbors open and facilitate the free flow of economic commerce.

Back in 2015, Congress authorized the Coast Guard to acquire a new Great Lakes icebreaker at least as capable as the heavy icebreaker the Mackinaw.

To date, the Trump Administration has not requested funding for an additional Great Lakes icebreaker vessel in the annual budget submitted to Congress.

WPBN/WGTU

 

Port Reports -  February 2

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
Algocanada was downbound from her Soo, ON, dock Saturday, with Mackinaw escorting.

Northern Lake Huron
Calcite: Saturday 8:42 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes departed for Cheboygan. Cheboygan: Saturday; 12:10 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes arrived at the US Oil Company dock to unload. 19:50 The USCG Mackinaw arrived at the coast guard station.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived and was loading salt on Saturday.

 

Port Huron Ship Masters’ Lodge No. 2 announces raffle winners

2/2 - Port Huron, MI - The Port Huron Lodge No. 2 of the International Ship Masters’ Association would like to announce the following winners of its’ 2019/2020 freighter trip raffle. The drawing was held at 10 pm at the 130th Annual Grand Lodge Convention at the Blue Water Convention Center in Port Huron, Michigan.

Grand Prize: Trip for 4 aboard an Interlake Steamship Company vessel in the 2020 sailing season: Sharon Hamill of Royal Oak, MI.

2nd Prize: 2 Night Stay at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island during 2020: Steve Pollok of Webberville, MI.

3rd Prize: Round trip passage for 2 on the car ferry Badger including 1 auto and accommodations during the 2020 sailing season: Eric Polack of Gates Mills, OH

The lodge would like to thank everyone who purchased tickets for their support.

ISMA Port Huron Lodge No. 2

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 2

SAMUEL MATHER, a.) PILOT KNOB (Hull #522) had her keel laid February 2, 1942, at Ashtabula, Ohio, by Great Lakes Engineering Works.

February 2, 1939 - CHIEF WAWATAM went to the shipyard to have a new forward shaft and propeller placed.

1913: The wooden passenger and freight carrier MANITOU sustained fire damage at Owen Sound and sank at the dock. The vessel was refloated, repaired and operated to the end of the 1939 season.

1972: IRISH SPRUCE first appeared in the Seaway in 1960. The ship was enroute from Callao, Peru, to New Orleans with zinc and copper concentrates as well as coffee, when it ran aground on Quinta Suero Bank (14,25 N / 81.00 W) off the coast of Nicaragua. The ship had its back broken and became a total loss.

1981: EDOUARD SIMARD and JAMES TRANSPORT collided in the St. Lawrence River east of Port Neuf, Quebec. Both received bow damage.

1981: ARTHUR SIMARD received extensive bottom damage after going aground in the St. Lawrence. It was enroute from Montreal to Sept-Iles, but returned to Trois Rivieres to unload and then to Montreal for repairs.

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

 

Contract for first phase of new Soo Lock awarded; dredging on tap for this year

2/1 - Detroit, MI – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, has announced that the first phase of construction on the New Lock at the Soo has been awarded to Trade West Construction Inc. of Mesquite, Nevada.

The much-anticipated mega-project will be constructed in three phases. Trade West Construction will receive almost $53 million to complete this first phase of construction, which involves deepening the upstream approach channel to a depth of 30 feet. Construction will begin in spring 2020 and will take approximately two years to accomplish.

"This is an exciting time for the Corps and the Great Lakes. We look forward to working with the contractors and meeting all the milestones in this first phase of the project, which is critical to the success of the entire project." said Lt. Col. Greg Turner, district engineer.

Phases two and three of the project are still in design phase and involve rehabilitation of the upstream approach walls and construction on the new lock chamber, respectively. Upstream approach walls construction, phase two, will stabilize the existing approach walls to allow for modern vessels to tie up and wait their turn to pass through the new lock. This phase of the project will be advertised for bid in February 2020. The third phase, construction of the new lock chamber, will include rehabilitating downstream approach walls and is expected to be advertised for bid in spring of 2021.

"Contingent on efficient funding, the New Lock at the Soo project, estimated to cost nearly $1 billion, could be complete in as few as seven years from the start of construction," said Mollie Mahoney, project manager.

The Soo Locks are situated on the St. Marys River at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and allow vessels to transit the 21-foot elevation change at the St. Marys Falls Canal. Over 85% of commodity tonnage through the Soo Locks is restricted by vessel size to the Poe Lock. This new lock project will construct a second Poe-sized lock (110' by 1,200') on the site of the existing decommissioned Davis and Sabin locks. According to a 2015 Department of Homeland Security study on the impact of an unexpected Soo Locks closure, the Soo Locks are nationally critical infrastructure and the reliability of this critical node in the Great Lakes Navigation System is essential to U.S. manufacturing and National Security.

 

Port Reports -  February 1

information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
Algocanada continued unloading at Soo, ON, Friday.

Grand Haven, MI
The Prentiss Brown and St. Marys Conquest arrived at the Grand Haven piers Thursday night at 2055 and tied up at St Marys Silo about 2145. Conditions were calm and zero ice.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
Algoma Conveyor backed into port at 11:42 on Thursday (1/30). She carried deicing salt from the Compass Minerals mine at Goderich. After dropping about 30,000 metric tons at the open dock on the outer harbor, she cleared at 01:37 Friday morning (1/31) and headed back to Goderich. This was Conveyor’s fourth visit to the city in January. Currently, no additional vessel traffic is expected.

Northern Lake Huron
Friday; Algoma Innovator was upbound for Chicago with a load of road salt from Goderich. Algoma Conveyor was down bound for Goderich. Calcite: Friday; 15:37 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes arrived from Sarnia to unload petroleum products.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator cleared 3.36 am Friday with salt upbound for Chicago. Algoma Conveyor is expected next.

Picton, ON – Ron Walsh
Friday afternoon the McKeil Spirit made an unusual winter run to Picton to load cement. This probably due to the low ice cover on Lake Ontario. I am not sure if there will be more runs. The NACC Argonaut, our other frequent visitor, is still in Toronto but her AIS has remained active all winter.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 1

On 01 February 1871, the SKYLARK (wooden propeller steamer, 90 tons, built in 1857) was purchased by the Goodrich Transportation Company from Thomas L. Parker for $6,000.

On February 1, 1990, the U.S.C.G.C. MESQUITE was officially decommissioned.

The steamer R. J. GORDON was sold to M. K. Muir of Detroit on 1 February 1883.

In 1904, ANN ARBOR NO. 1 found the rest of the ferry fleet stuck in the ice outside Manitowoc. She made several attempts to break them loose, she became stuck there herself with the others for 29 days.

In 1917, ANN ARBOR NO 6 (later ARTHUR K. ATKINSON) arrived Frankfort, Michigan, on her maiden voyage.

On 1 February 1886, Captain Henry Hackett died in Amherstburg, Ontario, at the age of 65. He and his brother, J. H. Hackett, organized the Northwestern Transportation Company in 1869.

In 1972, ENDERS M. VOORHEES locked through the Poe Lock downbound, closing the Soo Locks for the season.

1966: The Liberty ship IOANNIS DASKALELIS came through the Seaway for one trip in 1962. It was abandoned in heavy weather as d) ROCKPORT on the Pacific and taken in tow. The vessel slowly sank about 600 miles from Midway Island on February 5. ROCKPORT was enroute from Vancouver to Japan and three dramatic photos of the ship sliding beneath the surface appeared in a number of newspapers.

1969: The third LUKSEFJELL to visit the Great Lakes was anchored at Constanza, Romania, as b) AKROTIRI when there was an explosion in the engine room. A roaring fire spread throughout the midships accommodation area and the blaze claimed the lives of 21 of the 25 crewmembers on board. The hull was sold to Romanian shipbreakers and broken up in 1970.

1974: AMETHYST ran aground off River Douro, on the northeast coast of Portugal, while inbound for Leixos with maize from New Orleans. The vessel had been anchored waiting to enter the river when heavy weather swept the area. The vessel dragged anchor, stranded and, on February 6, broke in two as a total loss. It first came through the Seaway in 1971.

1981: The former ANDERS ROGENAES and MEDICINE HAT came inland in 1964. It ran aground as h) YANMAR at Guayaquil, Ecuador, while outbound for Port Limon, Costa Rica. An onboard crankcase explosion followed on February 23. The vessel was a total loss and sold for scrapping at Brownsville, Texas. Work began on dismantling the ship at that location on June 12, 1981.

1988: L'ORME NO. 1, the former LEON SIMARD, struck a pipe while docking at St. Romauld, Quebec, in fog. A fire and explosion followed that damaged the ship and wharf. Repairs were made and the ship was last noted sailing as d) GENESIS ADVENTURER under the flag of Nigeria.

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

 

Cleveland port cargo grew 9 percent in 2019

1/31 - Cleveland, OH – The Port of Cleveland saw 9 percent more cargo last year than in 2018, thanks to an increase in business from Canada. That’s despite the fact that cargo from Europe decreased by 25 percent, in part because of tariffs, said Jade Davis, the port’s vice president of external affairs.

The port has received a lot of Canadian barge traffic, especially of pipes and flat-rolled steel for steel plants.

The port and terminal operator LOGISTEC have shifted focus to new cargo from Canada. The port also finished a major rehabilitation of their bulkhead at Cleveland Bulk Terminal, so crews can work on multiple vessels simultaneously. "Our terminal operator has found some other customers, which is good, and we’re glad about that, and we’re moving forward,” Davis said.

In 2019, the port welcomed 28 passenger cruise ships and planned a $600,000, permanent U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility to process cruise passengers. In 2020, the port expects 42 cruises.

Viking Cruises will begin sailing the Great Lakes in 2022, though are not planning to stop in Cleveland. Davis hopes that changes in the future. “We’re definitely going to stay communicating with them,” he said, “;et them know we’re a port of call, we’re investing in facility and we’re ready.”

The ships that continued to come from Europe travel through the St. Lawrence Seaway from the Atlantic Ocean.

The 2,300-mile St. Lawrence saw an 8.5 percent increase in dry bulk cargo shipments in 2019, according to a news release. Salt was the No. 1 increase, at 3.9 million metric tons. However, the 38 million tons of commodities moved in 2019 is a 6.6-percent decrease from 2018.

“Throughout the 2019 shipping season, American Great Lakes ports continued moving cargos at a consistent pace, achieved numerous benchmarks and historic moments, and made significant investments to maintain success in 2020,” Steve Fisher, executive director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association, said in a news release.

Cleveland.com

 

Port Reports -  January 31

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
Algocanada made another trip to Soo, ON, Thursday with petroleum products. USCG Mackinaw was tied up at Group Soo in the evening.

Monroe, MI – Raymond H
Calusa Coast and Delaware arrived at the Michigan Paving and Materials dock to unload asphalt on Thursday .

Toledo, OH
Correction: Philip R. Clarke was placed in drydock on Tuesday in Toledo, not Erie.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 31

MANZZUTTI was launched January 31, 1903, as a.) J S KEEFE (Hull#203) at Buffalo, New York by the Buffalo Dry Dock Co.

January 31, 1930 - While the Grand Trunk carferry MADISON was leading the way across Lake Michigan to Grand Haven, she was struck from behind by her sister ship GRAND RAPIDS.

1917: DUNDEE, which left the Great Lakes in 1915 after service in several fleets including Canada Steamship Lines, was torpedoed and sunk by U-55. The vessel was 10 miles north and west of Ives Head, Cornwall, England, while enroute, in ballast, from London to Swansea. One life was lost.

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

 

Soo Locks empties its largest lock, see inside

1/30 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – After the last big freighter of the season went through the Soo Locks earlier this month, a busy window of winter maintenance kicked into high gear for this engineering marvel that moves ships and cargo between Lake Superior and the lower Lake Huron.

The first step: Dewatering the Poe Lock, the system's largest lock - and the only space big enough to handle the 1,000-foot freighters.

Before the Soo Locks reopen on March 25, there will be a flurry of parts inspected and repairs made. This week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District shared more than a dozen photos of how their team is tackling the massive job.

Each year, the locks handle more than 4,500 vessels carrying up to 80 million tons of cargo. Iron ore, limestone and coal make up the bulk of what is coming through on the big freighters.

Of the Soo's four locks, only the Poe and the MacArthur locks are in regular use in the St. Marys River during the shipping season. Draining those two means pumping out about 73.3 million gallons of water, the Army Corps said. This year, the MacArthur lock was shut down earlier in the season for repairs.

It takes about 22 million gallons of water to raise the level of the Poe Lock by 21 feet when a big ship comes through, the Army Corps said.

While a new lock is planned, the Corps has said it's imperative to keep the two frequently-used locks in good repair. The Poe Lock is 1,200 feet long, while the smaller MacArthur Lock is 800 feet long.

Below, check out the winter photos and descriptions being shared by the Army Corps. https://www.mlive.com/news/j66j-2020/01/9ef3fcec417407/soo-locks-empties-its-largest-lock-see-inside.html

 

Port Reports -  January 30

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
At Port Milwaukee Tuesday (1/28), Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Conquest arrived from Calumet Harbor at 09:48 with cement for the Kinnickinnic River terminal. After discharging cargo, the unit cleared Milwaukee for Charlevoix that evening. Algoma Conveyor is due in Thursday (1/30) with more salt from Goderich.

Northern Lake Huron
Wednesday: Algoma Conveyor was upbound for a Lake Michigan port with a load of road salt from Goderich. Algoma Innovator was downbound for the Shell Terminal at Corunna, ON, for refueling.

Sarnia, ON
Frontenac has gone into winter layup at the North Slip.

Erie, PA
Philip R. Clarke was placed in drydock on Tuesday.

 

All signs point to more flooding in greater Green Bay this spring

1/30 - Green Bay, WI - The question of whether Brown County will see more flooding this spring is not a matter of "if," officials say. It's when, and how much.

Water levels remain persistently high after a wet 2019, prompting police, emergency responders, volunteer groups and more to partner with Brown County and establish best practices for coping with floods. Their key message? Be ready.

“This is going to affect all of us, so we’re all going to have to work together," said Ed Janke, director of public safety for the village of Howard.

The Green Bay area saw its worst flooding since 1990 last year when heavy rain and rapidly melting snow overwhelmed the East River. Officials condemned homes and evacuated residents who grappled with damaged wedding photos, cars and furnaces.

Since then, water levels have remained high in area rivers and streams and in the bay of Green Bay, heightening concerns about spring flooding

After nearing a record high in July, Lake Michigan water levels ended 2019 at around 581 feet — nearly 3 feet over the long-term average — and have maintained the same levels throughout January, according to data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Army Corps physical scientist Deanna Apps said the region has seen persistent wet conditions since the lakes set a record low in 2013, and that trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Lake levels never saw their typical decline in the fall and winter last year because of heavy precipitation, Apps said. Green Bay, which receives an average of 30 inches of precipitation annually, had its wettest year on record in 2019 with 48.63 inches.

Green Bay Press Gazette.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 30

ELMDALE was launched in 1909 as a.) CLIFFORD F. MOLL (Hull#56) at Ecorse, Michigan, by the Great Lakes Engineering Works.

CHIEF WAWATAM was held up in the ice for a period of three weeks. On January 30, 1927, she went aground at North Graham Shoal in the Straits. She was later dry-docked at Great Lakes Engineering Works in Detroit where her forward propeller and after port wheel were replaced.

January 30, 1911 - The second PERE MARQUETTE 18 arrived Ludington, Michigan, on her maiden voyage.

On 30 January 1881, ST. ALBANS (wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 135 foot, 435 tons, built in 1869, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying general merchandise, flour, cattle and 22 passengers in Lake Michigan. She rammed a cake of ice that filled the hole it made in her hull. She rushed for shore, but as the ice melted, the vessel filled with water. She sank 8 miles from Milwaukee. The crew and passengers made it to safety in the lifeboats. Her loss was valued at $35,000.

On 30 January 2000, crews began the removal of the four Hulett ore unloaders on Whiskey Island in Cleveland.

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

1999: The SD 14 freighter LITSA first came through the Seaway in 1977 as a) SANTA THERESA and was the last saltwater ship of the year downbound through that waterway in 1981. It was sailing as e) LITSA when fire broke out in the engine room off Senegal on this date. The blaze spread through the accommodation area and the crew got off safely. The hull was first towed to Dakar, Senegal, and then, after a sale to Turkish shipbreakers, it arrived at Aliaga on August 6, 2001.

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

 

U.S. Great Lakes ports report busy 2019 navigation season

1/29 - Washington, D.C. – The St. Lawrence Seaway registered an 8.5 percent gain in year-over-year dry bulk cargo shipments in 2019. This highlights the Seaway’s ability to drive a diverse mix of commodities to and from Great Lakes ports.

The top-performing cargos through the 2019 navigation season included:
Salt — 3,855,000 metric tons; 10.8%* increase
Cement & Clinkers — 1,909,000 metric tons; 1.2%* increase
Coke — 1,453,000 metric tons; 8.5%* increase
Gypsum — 640,000 metric tons; 27.8%* increase
Potash — 333,000 metric tons; 7.3%* increase
*Percentages rounded to nearest tenth

“Throughout the 2019 shipping season, American Great Lakes ports continued moving cargos at a consistent pace, achieved numerous benchmarks and historic moments, and made significant investments to maintain success in 2020,” said Steve Fisher, Executive Director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association.

The final total tonnage results – 38 million tons of commodities moved in 2019 – reflect an overall 6.6 percent decrease in Seaway-wide total tonnage compared to the 2018 season yet kept on pace with the Seaway’s five-year average.

Historic Year for ‘The Biggest Little Port’
Port Monroe laid the groundwork during a strong 2018 navigation season, including the introduction of a new state-funded riverfront dock, for continued success throughout the 2019 season. In October 2019, Port Monroe handled a historic shipment receiving what may be the most valuable single piece of cargo to have moved through the Seaway system. The M/V Happy Ranger delivered a stator – a device that converts a rotating magnetic field to electric current – from Rotterdam, Netherlands to the Port of Monroe. The record-breaking piece of cargo, due to value, will be used in a generator at DTE Energy’s Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant in Newport.

That same ship was then loaded with 42 wind tower segments manufactured at Ventower, a wind energy manufacturing company based in Monroe, and shipped to Peru, exemplifying what can only be described by Port Director Paul C. LaMarre III as “logistics perfection.”

Port of Cleveland Capitalizes on General Cargo, Invests in Future
The Port of Cleveland reported that general cargo tonnage increased by approximately 9 percent in the 2019 navigation season compared to 2018. “This increase was achieved despite the fact that our trans-Atlantic tonnage decreased by approximately 25 percent. Due to the forecasted continued stagnation in trans-Atlantic tonnage, the port and our terminal operator, LOGISTEC, has shifted focus and secured new general cargo business from Canada, which directly contributed to the increase in our total general cargo tonnage,” said Port of Cleveland’s Chief Commercial Officer David Gutheil.

The Port also completed a major rehabilitation of their bulkhead at Cleveland Bulk Terminal, which will enable multiple vessels to be worked simultaneously and significantly improve loading and discharging efficiencies at that operation for years to come. The Port continues to expand their cruise vessel business, and in 2019 welcomed 28 passenger vessels. During the 2020 season, Cleveland expects to be the port of call for 40 passenger vessel calls to Cleveland.

Wind-Related Cargo Blows Port of Duluth-Superior Past Single-Season Record
The Port of Duluth-Superior finished this navigation season strong, achieving notable benchmarks with wind-related cargo and grain. In 2019, the Port set a single-season record, welcoming 306,000 freight tons of wind energy cargo. This haul eclipsed the previous high of 302,000 freight tons set in 2008. The Port also saw a surge of late-season grain, pushing their 2019 season total 15 percent over last season and more than 40 percent ahead of 2017.

Overall, it was an award-winning year for the Port of Duluth-Superior and its terminal operator (Duluth Cargo Connect). The Port collected its 18th Pacesetter Award for international tonnage increases, earned high marks in the Green Marine environmental performance report (ranking among the United States’ top 5 and No. 10 overall), and was named the 2019 Port/Terminal Operator of the Year by an international panel of judges with Heavy Lift and Project Forwarding International.

Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor Sees Positive Numbers with Grain
The Port of Indiana reported that through the end of November, overall tonnage was down 4 percent from 2018. However, as the final numbers come in for the season, the trend points to a considerable increase in grain shipments compared to last season.

“As we collect data for the entire 2019 navigation season, it is clear tonnage results reflect the more challenging conditions encountered this year compared to 2018,” said Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor Director Ian Hirt. “It was a steady year that was hampered by trade uncertainty as well as difficult navigational conditions.”

In 2019, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor received the 2019 PCA Industrial Award, hosted Indiana’s first U.S. Navy vessel commissioning ceremony of the USS Indianapolis, and is making significant investments for the future including two new railyards, 4.4 miles extension to the port’s 14-mile rail network, construction of a new 2.3-acre cargo terminal with multimodal connections, improvements to the dock apron and approximately 1200-foot dock expansion, and a new 6-acre truck marshaling yard.

Great Lakes Seaway Partnership

 

Retired U.S. Coast Guard Bramble 'safe and sound'

1/29 - The retired U.S. Coast Guard ship Bramble, which long called Port Huron home, remains in Alabama after being sold at auction nearly two months ago. "Tell them she's safe and sound," said Phillip Mason, vice president of operations for the Modern American Recycling Services' Waggaman and Mobile facilities.

Modern American Recycling Services, the winning bidder in the auction for the retired ship calls itself the "largest barge dismantler and offshore decommissioning provider in the United States," according to its website. Two parties bid on the Bramble in Mobile, Alabama, on Dec. 4. According to the U.S. Marshals, the winning bid was $80,000.

An order was issued in October to auction the 75-year-old ship as part of a federal lawsuit filed by Inchcape Shipping Services against the ship and associated companies in August for unpaid bills.

Mason had the same answer when reached by phone Tuesday he had following the December purchase of the ship – no decision has been made as to the Bramble's fate. Previously Mason said he would like to incorporate the Bramble into their fleet of ships which are used when they recycle oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

When asked if he would sell the ship, Mason said, "Absolutely," adding it would be a decision not made by him and at a later date. "She's sitting in a safe spot, no decisions been made," he said.

The Bramble had called Port Huron home until March of last year after being purchased by Virginia businessman Tom Clarke. Clarke said at the time he had a dream of recreating the Bramble's 1957 voyage through the Northwest Passage. The Bramble traveled to Mobile to be retrofitted for the journey.

Inchcape Shipping Services, Inc., filed the suit alleging Bramble Historical Epic Companies, LLC and Orinoco Natural Resources, LLC had not paid $178,000 for services between March and April 2019. The case remains open.

The Bramble was commissioned in 1944 and was one of 38, 180-foot U.S. Coast Guard buoy tenders built in the early 40s, according to USCGCBramble.com. The ship was part of Operation Crossroads, which tested the effect of atomic bombs on ships. It made its voyage through the Northwest Passage with the cutters Spar and Storis in 1957.

In 1962, the Bramble was moved to Detroit, where it was used for ice-breaking, law enforcement and search and rescue missions, before coming to Port Huron in 1975. The ship was decommissioned in 2003 and established as a museum.

Robert and Sara Klinger purchased the ship in 2013 from the Port Huron Museum. The Klinger's kept the Bramble open to the public as a museum ship before selling it to Clarke.

Port Huron Times Herald

 

Port Reports -  January 29

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
Algocanada was downbound early Tuesday morning from the Purvis dock escorted by USCG Morro Bay.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor remained loading salt at Compass Minerals on Tuesday.

Detroit-River Rouge – Raymond H
Calusa Coast and Delaware arrived at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal to load on Tuesday. Not far behind them was the tug Madison R, which tied up near Fordson Island.

 

Port Weller shipyard stands good chance of landing federal work

1/29 - Port Weller, ON - Heddle Shipyards has "outstanding" prospects to pick up federal shipbuilding work, despite not being named an official partner in the national rebuilding plan, says St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle.

He said he expects to meet soon with Anita Anand, federal minister of public service and procurement, to talk about Heddle's chances. Ottawa is on the verge of officially adding a third builder for the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which is expected to span several decades and cost an estimated $15 billion.

But Heddle president Shaun Padulo believes even that won't provide enough capacity, saying he sees "a pretty significant gap" between demand and what he believes the three builders can deliver on time. Already, he said, some project timelines have been "stretched."

He said Heddle might be open to working in some way with one of the three builders to ensure projects can be delivered on time. "We can build modules and send them down on barges. So that's an option," Padulo said.

Ideally, he said, Heddle hopes to convince Ottawa a fourth partner is needed — something Bittle called "a great point … and it's a question I want to ask the minister's team." But Bittle said "even outside of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, even though they will not necessarily be one of the primary shipyards there will be a great deal of work that's available."

The national strategy will see as many as 18 vessels built to replace the Coast Guard's fleet of aging ships as they come out of service between 2030 and 2042. In 2012 Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax and Seaspan Shipyards in B.C. were named partners in Ottawa's long-term plan to rebuild the fleet.

Last year, the federal government started its search for a third partner. Heddle applied but was disqualified because it hadn't built and delivered a new ship with displacement greater than 1,000 tonnes after January 2010. It has built similar-sized ships previous to that, under different owners.

Prior to last October's federal election, Heddle complained the procurement process appeared slanted in favour of Quebec-based Chantier Davie.

It later withdrew the complaint, but Padulo said Monday he still believes Heddle could handle the work, especially now that it has partnered with Dutch international shipbuilding giant Damen Shipyards, which will provide knowledge and on-site support.

"In terms of the shipyard itself, at Port Weller if you look at the facility, especially the buildings at the side of the shallow dock, that was a premier building facility in Canada," he said. "And those icebreakers were well within the capabilities of the facility."

Davie is the only Canadian shipbuilder qualified to meet all the requirements, as written, to build its part of the federal program — up to six medium and heavy icebreakers. It has been pre-qualified but not yet officially confirmed as the third partner.

Meanwhile, members of Heddle's management team have been making the rounds of Niagara municipal councils gathering support. As well, it is working with a firm in Ottawa "to basically knock on doors, let them know who we are."

Heddle took over Port Weller in 2017 with a plan to re-establish the yard on the national scene. It planned to keep it busy year-round to avoid up-and-down cycles that would impact the workforce there.

Currently it has two large bulk carriers — Rt. Hon. Paul J Martin and Kaministiqua — docked for repairs. Padulo said there are more than 150 workers on site this year, plus 50 to 75 sub-contractors.

 

New Canadian Foundation launched to promote marine sector careers

1/29 - Ottawa, ON – The marine shipping industry has joined forces with the federal government to launch the Canadian Marine Industry Foundation (CMIF), to promote careers in the marine sector and help alleviate labour shortages.

Maritime workforce recruitment and retention has become an increasing challenge with positions going unfilled both on ships and ashore. The marine sector has been hit by a combination of factors including more outgoing retirees than new recruits joining, skills shortages and a lack of awareness by the public of the rewarding careers available.

The CMIF is an initiative conceived and developed by Canada’s private and public sector marine stakeholders, including the Ottawa-based industry association Chamber of Marine Commerce, and the federal government under the direction of Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

The foundation aims to expand its membership to include private and public entities from all coasts in Canada. It will present opportunities for engagement, resource sharing and also direct financial contribution.

One of the CMIF’s first initiatives in 2020 will be to launch a digital campaign to raise awareness of the industry so it can continue to attract the skilled labour, trades and accredited professionals needed to steer the industry forward. The campaign will ask Canadians to Imagine Marine and start a conversation to spark the imagination of youth to consider careers in an industry with a tradition and future like no other. A new web-based career resource will be designed to inform, direct and support workforce candidates with academic and career information.

The CMIF will not replace or duplicate individual company or departmental recruitment efforts but rather act as a clearing house or one-stop resource that provides the broader picture of everything the marine sector has to offer.

More Information: http://www.cmif-fimc.ca/

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 29

BUCKEYE was launched January 29, 1910, as the straight decker a.) LEONARD B MILLER (Hull # 447) at Cleveland, Ohio by the American Ship Building Co.

JOHN P. REISS (Hull # 377) was also launched this date in 1910, at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co.

January 29, 1987 - BADGER almost capsized at her dock due to a broken water intake pipe.

In 1953, RICHARD M. MARSHALL (steel propeller freighter, 643 foot, 10,606 gross tons) was launched in Bay City, Michigan, at Defoe's shipyard (Hull # 424). Later she was named JOSEPH S. WOOD in 1957, JOHN DYKSTRA in 1966, and BENSON FORD in 1983. She was scrapped in 1987 at Recife, Brazil.

1975: RATTRAY HEAD, a Seaway trader first in 1971, ran aground on Black Rock Shoal, Galway Bay, while inbound with a cargo of coal. The ship was a total loss.

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

 

Does lack of Great Lakes ice mean more evaporation and lower lake water levels?

1/28 - Many readers have asked if the lack of Great Lakes ice cover this winter will lead to lower water levels this summer. Here’s a look at what limited ice cover can do to water levels. The warmer than average winter has led to limited ice cover on the Great Lakes as of January 27.

Evaporation can be higher when ice cover is lacking, but it’s not a certainty. Evaporation is the highest when the difference between the air temperature and the water temperature is the greatest. Typically, evaporation is highest on the Great Lakes in fall and early winter. The water is warm and the air gets cold. That temperature difference accelerates evaporation. Stronger winds can also increase evaporation, with fall and early winter being a windy time of year over the Great Lakes.

Read more and view graphs at this link: https://www.mlive.com/weather/2020/01/does-lack-of-great-lakes-ice-mean-more-evaporation-and-lower-lake-water-levels.html

 

778.4 billion gallons of water added to Lake Michigan in last week

1/28 - Berrien County, MI – With all of the rain and active weather we've seen of late, Lake Michigan has risen once again. In just the last week, the lake has seen its water level go up by two inches. While that may not seem like a significant amount, it takes 778.4 billion gallons of water to get that increase of two inches! Now that is certainly a more eye-popping number.

That rise in water levels has placed Lake Michigan-Huron, which is treated as one body of water, well above where it started out in 2019. With 2019 seeing very high to record water levels all year long, it's fair to say that with this start we may see even worse conditions along Lake Michigan in 2020.

The current water level for Lake Michigan-Huron is 581.69 feet. That is 3 inches higher than one month ago, 20 inches higher than where it was just a year ago and 39 inches higher than where the lake typically is in January.

Put in simplest terms, Lake Michigan -- along with the other Great Lakes -- is running very high. Are we at record levels, though? If the month ended on the 24th, the answer would be a resounding yes. The latest lake level is a whopping 5 inches above the record highest monthly average, which was observed back in 1987.

And with there being only six days left in the month, it's looking like a good bet that we break the all-time record for January water levels on Lake Michigan-Huron.

Looking ahead, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is projecting a decrease of one inch on Lake Michigan-Huron over the next month. That would keep the levels well above where they should be.

ABC57

 

Port Reports -  January 28

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
Algocanada remained at the Purvis Dock unloading on Monday. USCG Mobile Bay was working ice tracks in the lower river and tied up at Lime Island for the night.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
With little harbor ice to interfere with operations, the salt boats keep coming. Algoma Conveyor slipped into port at 04:32 on Saturday (1/25). She carried deicing salt from the Compass Minerals mine at Goderich. After dropping her load on a pad along the inner harbor, she headed back to Goderich that evening. This was Algoma Conveyor’s third visit to the city in 2020. On Monday (1/27), Canada Steamship’s Frontenac made her second appearance of 2020. She arrived from Windsor at 03:30 with salt for Morton. After depositing her cargo at the open dock on the outer harbor, she headed for winter lay-up at Sarnia.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived 3.06 pm Monday to load salt.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
The CCG vessel Griffon passed upbound at 1:30 Monday on calm waters with overcast skies, light winds and 34 degrees F.

Detroit-River Rouge – Raymond H
Samuel De Champlain/Innovation unloaded cement at Lafarge on Monday. Michigan/Great Lakes shifted to the Buckeye Terminal to unload.

 

Weekend trip on Lake Michigan uncovers century-old shipwreck

1/28 - Manitou Island, MI - A team of shipwreck hunters that includes members from Milwaukee uncovered what appears to be one of the most intact wooden schooners ever discovered at the bottom of the Great Lakes. The amazing find was made almost on accident, and the discovery sparked a months-long mission to identify the vessel and solve the mystery of what happened to her crew.

"This particular story starts out with a family trip," said Ross Richardson, a Michigan native. "My cousins were visiting from Georgia, and they wanted to go to South Manitou Island."

Richardson, who lives near the Manitou Islands, has spent countless hours searching for lost ships in the Great Lakes, however, he was not expecting to find anything when he decided to show off his equipment to family members.

"They were like, 'We get to see some shipwreck hunting,' not realizing how boring it is, you know?" said Richardson. "Ten hours looking at a computer screen, but I said, 'On the way out to the island, we'll put the fish in the water, and we'll kind of look around.'"

Sure enough, the sonar equipment got a positive hit almost instantly.

"After about five minutes, we ran over a small target," said Richardson. "It wasn't big, but knew it was something worth looking at. A week later, I stopped by the site again on the way out to the island again, with different family members, and I ran the sonar, and got a little more imagery, and something significant happened, and something was ringing off the sonar 90 feet off the bottom."

Richardson sent those images back to Milwaukee, where divers Steve Wimer and Cal Kothrade thought what was on their screens looked promising. "I saw the radar images, and I thought, 'Boy, it sure looks like a shipwreck. Sure looks like a schooner,'" said Kothrade.

Read more and view a video at this link: https://fox6now.com/2020/01/26/weekend-trip-on-lake-michigan-uncovers-century-old-shipwreck

 

Obituaries: Capt. Percy J. Garrick

1/28 - Capt. Percy J. Garrick of Goderich, ON, died suddenly at Alexandra Marine & General Hospital on Thursday January 16 in his 80th year. Beloved husband of Joyce (Chambers) Garrick. Dear father of Shawn (Kim) Garrick of Tavistock, Tracy Garrick of Calgary and the late Wayne Garrick. Loving grandfather of Shayla. Survived by sister Margaret. Predeceased by sisters June, Clara and brothers Murray, Bill, John and George. A private family interment will take place at Maitland Cemetery. Donations to Knox Presbyterian Church gratefully acknowledged.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 28

SELKIRK SETTLER (Hull #256) was launched January 28, 1983, at Govan, Scotland, by Govan Shipbuilding Ltd. She sails today as SPRUCEGLEN for Canada Steamship Lines.

At 4 a.m. on 28 January 1879, the ferry SARNIA was discovered on fire while lying at Fitzgerald's yard in Port Huron. All of the cabins were destroyed although the fire department had the fire out within an hour. About $3,000 damage was done. She was in the shipyard to be remodeled and to have a stern wheel installed. Arson was suspected.

On 28 January 1889, The Port Huron Times announced that the Toledo & Saginaw Transportation Company went out of business and sold all of its vessel and its shipyard. The shipyard went to Curtis & Brainard along with the PAWNEE and MIAMI. The BUFFALO, TEMPEST, BRAINARD and ORTON went to Thomas Lester. The C.F. CURTIS, FASSET, REED and HOLLAND went to R. C. Holland. The DAYTON went to J. A. Ward and M. P. Lester. The TROY and EDWARDS were sold, but the new owners were not listed.

1965: TRANSWARREN, a T-2 tanker, made three trips through the Seaway in 1960. The vessel began flooding on the Atlantic and sent out a distress call enroute from Bahamas to Ijmuiden, Holland. The ship made it to Ponta Delgada, Azores, for repairs but these were only temporary. On arrival at drydock in Marseilles, France, the vessel was declared a total loss and sold to Spanish shipbreakers at Castellon.

1966: The passenger ship STELLA MARIS came to the Great Lakes in 1959. It caught fire while bunkering at Sarroch Roads, Italy, as e) WESTAR after being refitted for the Alaska trade. Two died, another three were injured and the ship was declared a total loss. It arrived at La Spezia, Italy, for scrapping on April 30, 1966.

1975: CHRISTIAN SARTORI was the closest ship to the CARL D. BRADLEY when it sank in Lake Michigan on November 18, 1958, and helped in the search for survivors. The West German freighter continued to travel to the Great Lakes through 1967 and returned as b) CHRISTIAN in 1968. It ran aground at Puerto Isabel, Nicaragua, on this date after breaking its moorings as e) ROMEO BERNARD. The vessel had to be abandoned as a total loss.

1983: JALAJAYA went aground at the Los Angeles breakwater after the anchors dragged in bad weather. The ship was released and operated until tying up at Bombay, India, on October 3, 1987. It was subsequently scrapped there in 1988. The vessel had not been in service long when it first came through the Seaway in 1967.

1986: ADEL WEERT WIARDS, caught fire as c) EBN MAGID enroute from northern Europe to Libya. The vessel docked at Portland, U.K., on the English Channel, the next day but, following two explosions and additional fire on January 30, it was towed away and beached. The vessel was a total loss and scrapped at Bruges, Belgium, later in the year.

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

 

Lakes Erie and Ontario start year with high water levels

1/27 - St. Catharines, ON – Shoreline erosion and flooding in low-lying areas remain high across the Great Lakes as winter months bring large storms and winds across the basin. Environment Canada and Climate Change said the risk comes as high-water levels continue across the lakes.

Through its Level News newsletter, the agency said lakes Erie and Ontario started well above average, even after a decline in December, which still saw the second- or third-highest monthly mean level for the month between 1918 and 2018.

Lake Erie started off the month 72 centimetres above average and 12 cm higher than at the same time last year. The government agency said the level is the third-highest on record and 23 cm lower than the beginning-of-January record set in 1987.

Lake Ontario's level at the start of January was 48 cm above average; 24 cm higher than the water levels last year and the third-highest on record. The last time the level was this high at the start of January was in 1946 when the level was 17 cm higher.

"We are now at the time of year when both lakes Erie and Ontario have reached their seasonal minimum levels. From this point on, they would be expected to hold steady and then start to rise over the next few months," the agency said in its newsletter.

Although Lake Erie is expected to start its seasonal rise in the next few months, Environment Canada said it would take a few months of consistently wet conditions to again see record-high levels. The lake will stay well above average throughout the winter and spring even with average or dry conditions.

With average conditions, Lake Ontario, which typically hits its annual minimum at this time of the year, will start to rise over the next few months. Average water supplies would keep the lake well above average while very wet conditions would again put the lake level back toward record highs.

The Standard

 

Fort Gratiot Lighthouse turns 190 years old

1/27 - Port Huron, MI – When the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse was constructed in 1829, Michigan still had seven years remaining of its status as a territory before becoming a state. The light was built upon a swampy, sodden spot where St. Clair County, itself only nine years old, bulged into junction of the St. Clair River and Lake Huron. The area was crisscrossed by creeks that have long since been in-filled.

"This was frontier when the tower was built," said Dennis Delor, special events coordinator and site historian with St. Clair County Parks and Recreation, which has owned the light station since 2010.

There were only a smattering of residences in the area in 1829 and they tended to be clustered in little villages along the river, such as Peru, south of the Black River. A 1,200-acre Chippewa Reservation laid on the south side of the river, just inland from its mouth, according to the earliest know map to show the lighthouse, drawn in 1829. Fort Gratiot, the military outpost that guarded the mouth of Lake Huron, was 15 years old and rose where Baker College Culinary Institute sits today.

The earliest known drawing of the lighthouse, looking east, shows water in front of and behind the tower. The water behind the tower is the St. Clair River. Delor suspects that the water in the foreground of 1830 rendering is Bonhomme Creek, long since land-filled, named for Francis Bonhomme, who owned 640 acres west of the lighthouse. McNeal creek also skirted the property, emptying into the St. Clair River about where the Blue Water Bridges stand today.

The lighthouse was actually the second one to mark the confluence of the lake and the river.

With marine traffic increasing, the first was built by the federal government in 1825 just north of the where the bridges are now; the cost: $3,500. But mariners complained that the light wasn't visible from the lake. The tower was poorly constructed and crumbled during a storm in 1828. To remedy both problems, the government purchased land a bit to the north.

Contractor Lucius Lyon finished work on the tower in December 1829. Since most lighthouses were shuttered during the winter, Delor guesses that the tower was first lighted in the spring of 1830, making its 190th birthday right about now.

Twenty years later, the tower got its first Fresnel light, a fourth order light that reflected and refracted the oil light into single beam. In 1860, a third order Fresnel light was installed, capable of being seen 16 miles out in Lake Huron.

The increased importance of Michigan iron ore to the Civil War effort and the growth of ship traffic led the government to increase the height of the lighthouse from 65 feet to 82 feet, 1862-1865.

The long lingering smoke from the Great Fire of 1871, which raged across the state, and the later from Great Fire of 1881, which incinerated a path across the Thumb, triggered the establishment of fog signals at the light station, big coal-fired boilers that generated steam to power ear-shredding steam whistles, one toward the lake, one aimed at the river.

The Great Storm of 1913, also known as the White Hurricane, almost destroyed the lighthouse. In the wake of the storm, the government added an additional hurricane wall around the tower, which today is a popular resting spot for visitors.

Speaking of visitors: "The lighthouse has been a tourist attraction for 190 years," said Delor. Photos of the tower dating from the late 1800s show people visiting the grounds.

"Lighthouses have a specific following," Delor said. "People will spend their entire vacations visiting lighthouses. From May-November, you'll see license plates in our parking lot from the lower 48 and Alaska. This site is probably the number tourist site in St. Clair County."

"Fort Gratiot is technically the second oldest operating light in the Great Lakes after Marblehead in Ohio," said Delor.

Marblehead sits on the end of the peninsula that juts into Lake Erie above Sandusky.

The .49 mill tax that supports St. Clair County Park and Rec helps to maintain the grounds at the light station. But the ongoing historically accurate restoration of the light tower and the buildings on the site have been paid for by grants and donations, most under the auspices of the Friends of the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse. The park is nine years into a 25-year plan to restore the site.

The site includes the Light Keepers Duplex, built in 1874; the Fog Signal Building, 1900; the Single Keeper's Dwelling, 1932; the former Coast Guard Station, 1932; the Equipment Building, 1939, now the gift store; the tower itself, and Fort Gratiot Hospital, both 1829. "We're on schedule, maybe a little ahead," Delor said.

The site is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. with no charge. The Port Huron Museum offers tours of the buildings, including a climb up the light tower from May to December; the cost is $10 for adults, $7.50 for students and $25 for families.

The drama of the light station could fill a book. "When you're 190 years old, you have a big story to tell," said Delor.

The Voice

 

Port Reports -  January 27

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
Algocanada was upbound with petroleum products just after noon on Sunday. She tired up at the Purvis Dock to unload. She was escorted upriver by USCG Mobile Bay.

Northern Lake Huron
Sunday; 19:30 Algoma Conveyor was downbound for Goderich. Algoma Innovator was upbound for Muskegon with a load of road salt. Alpena: Friday; 7:57 Barbara Andrie arrived at the Lafarge plant to conduct ice operations. Sunday; 2:43 Barbara Andrie began ice operations. 5:19 Samuel De Champlain arrived to load cement products and departed at 12:41 for Detroit. Barbara Andrie departed for Muskegon.

Detroit-River Rouge – Raymond H
Sunday Arrivals: Iver Bright arrived at the Buckeye Terminal to unload petroleum products from Sarnia. Michigan/Great Lakes -arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to unload.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Calusa Coast/Delaware arrived at 18:49 Saturday for the Marathon terminal.

 

Hidden treasures: Not all historical artifacts make it into an exhibit

1/27 - Alpena, MI – The Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center is home to more than 3,000 artifacts of historic and cultural value – but not all of them are in public view. The decision of what makes it onto the Maritime Heritage Center’s floor or into an exhibit is at the discretion of the collection’s curator, Wayne Lusardi.

Lusardi is the maritime archeologist for the state and manages what he describes as “the single greatest repository of Michigan shipwreck materials.” The fate of each artifact begins in the Heritage Center’s conservation laboratory, where each item goes through an intake process.

Lusardi says he takes a photograph of the artifact and documents it, noting where or who it came from, its measurements, and how much it weighs. Then he does a quick evaluation of the artifact’s stability or conservation needs.

In the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center’s conservation laboratory, state Maritime Archaeologist Wayne Lusardi handles a drive shaft recovered from a World War II-era airplane that crashed into Lake Huron during training.

“If it’s something that was found on somebody’s beach and it’s kind of rotted, I need to address that to make sure it doesn’t fall apart,” Lusardi said. “Very often, if it’s been in a private collection for awhile, it tends to be in pretty good shape, and it’s really just a matter of receiving it.”

Once an artifact is documented, Lusardi determines where it will go. “Sometimes, it’s just that simple, as a matter of size,” he said. “But, very often — and probably the primary reason — is to help tell a story. If we’re talking about the tragedy of the Pewabic, we want to show the items that came from that vessel.”

The Heritage Center has many artifacts from the S.S. Pewabic, a package freighter that sank near Thunder Bay Island after colliding with its sister ship, the Meteor, in 1865. The Heritage Center also has many artifacts from the Nordmeer, a German freighter which ran aground seven miles east of Thunder Bay Island after miscalculating a turn in 1966.

When there are too many of one kind of artifact, such as copper ingots from the Pewabic or glass bottles from the Nordmeer, they likely end up in storage. If an item is broken or shattered, it, too, may remain in the laboratory or tucked away in storage.

Read more and view photos at this link: https://www.thealpenanews.com/life/2020/01/hidden-treasures

 

Draining the Welland Canal: Where did all the water go?

1/27 - Draining the 43-kilometre Welland Canal is an annual process that is essential for winter maintenance and to inspect the canal's infrastructure.

Staff of the non-profit St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., including mechanical supervisor Alan Noble, tech co-ordinator-HV power Joel Minor and maintenance manager Jim Wheeler, took The Lake Report on a tour last week to explain behind-the-scenes work when the canal closes for the shipping season.

The canal typically closes by Dec. 31 but, as part of a pilot program, the season was extended to allow the canal to run for an extra week. Closer to the end of December, the ice starts to form on the Great Lakes and it ends up in the canal. Thanks to warmer weather this year, the experiment was deemed successful, Wheeler said.

“If we do have ice on the lock and we drain, we have to go slower because all of that ice just drops down, so you have to be careful,” Noble added.

“And you have to flush down the ice at the same time as you’re draining. This is the perfect year to do it: there’s no ice, it’s warm, no issues, all equipment is working. It’s fantastic, perfect conditions.”

Part of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes Waterway, the canal is used by ships to bypass Niagara Falls. The canal is 9.1 metres deep over the sill and 8.2 metres deep in channels. There are eight locks connecting the canal from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.

Each of seven lifts locks has an average lift of 14.2 metres, while Lock 8 at Lake Erie is a control lock with a shallow lift ranging from 0.3 to 1.2 metres. The locks, from breast wall to gate fender, are 24.4 metres wide and 233.5 metres long.

Some of the biggest repair work taking place now includes major maintenance at the valves, gates and flight locks.

Another major job will be replacing sliding walls that ships rub along to direct themselves into the lock. The $12-million project is scheduled to start this year but due to how big the project is, it will be completed over two years, Wheeler said.

“Throughout the year we just maintain all that stuff. During navigation, we have maintenance programs set up … to make sure everything keeps running the way it was supposed to run,” Noble said.

If a piece of equipment stops working during the navigation season and if it can’t be repaired, it will be shut down and isolated until winter maintenance begins, he added.

The not-so-big "medium" jobs involve redoing slider pads as well as gates' and valves' rehabilitation.

One previous big project also included replacing tie-up walls and implementing hands-free mooring units that suck on to the ship and allow it to securely pass the canal from one lock to another, without requiring staff to manually tie them up.

“Now, 90 to 95 per cent of our ships use hands-free mooring, so it is very eerie. You can come in and the ships are going through and there isn’t a single person on the lock,” Wheeler said. “Everything is operated remotely.”

The decommissioning process starts after the last ship, which is usually a Coast Guard boat that lands and secures buoys, enters the canal. The dewatering team then follows the ship either upbound to Lake Erie or downbound heading to Lake Ontario and starts the draining process. As the vessel leaves each lock, the valves and gates at that lock are then electrically shut off.

“Everything from here just goes down to Lake Ontario,” said Noble.

The canal is drained from Lock 7 up to Lock 1 at Lakeshore Road. The channel, from Lock 7 leading up to Lock 8 at Lake Erie, doesn’t have any operating equipment, so that portion isn’t drained, said Wheeler. The city of St. Catharines and Ontario Power Generation also draw some water off from the channel.

This year, there were two ships travelling in opposite directions along the canal, so the team waited until the last ship crossed Lock 7 before starting the process, said Noble.

There are large waterways between certain locks that are called a “reach.” The reaches act as a buffer to allow the water in the canal to raise and lower ships.

These reaches are drained through the locks at the end of navigation season and then filled again when the shipping season starts again in March.

The ideal rate of draining is two and a half to three inches per hour. If the water is lowered faster, it may cause channel banks to slide or collapse. A fast drainage can also create an air bubble that will reach the charge valves, about 24 metres down, which will then come up all the way up the valve house, create blowback and move the steel roof weighing from six to eight tonnes.

It’s been decided to leave water in reach 2 between the Carlton and Queenston bridges this time around because there’s not a lot of work going on in this area and it will be used to generate power, said Noble.

The funding for major projects, ranging from $30 million to $50 million, comes from Transport Canada. The budget for smaller jobs, about $5.2 million, comes from tolls that the St. Lawrence Seaway Corp. collects from ships, Wheeler told The Lake Report.

“It’s based on a five-year plan, so some years we’ll spend more, some years we’ll spend less,” he said. “But it has to equal the total we’re allowed to spend over five years.”

It takes only two people (Noble and Minor) to oversee the massive draining process, thanks to the equipment modernization and upgrades.

“We used to do it with five or six people, but you also need to have people at the locks to do water watches to make sure the water is going down,” Noble explained. “Now, we have remote sensors and you’re able to calibrate a lot finer. So, once you set it up, it’s good to go.”

The rewatering process – refilling the canal for the shipping season – starts at Lock 7 in March and takes about three days.

“With filling, you got to be a more precise and when we’re filling since there are such major works happening at the locks, some of it gets behind schedule and you have to work around their schedule,” Noble said.

The shipping season is usually celebrated by a ceremony at which the captain of the first ship to enter the canal receives a top hat.

It is “a rare occurrence” a vehicle or a body are found in the canal, but these situations do happen during draining, said Alvina Ghirardi, manager of regional services and marine facilities for the seaway corporation.

“A primary reason is that many years ago vehicles were able to freely access tie-up walls and, for example, stolen vehicles would be found during draining the canal,” she said in an email.

“Since then, tie-up walls have been fenced and access is restricted, this has eliminated those draining discoveries.”

If a vehicle ends up in the canal, seaway authorities are always involved in its removal, providing safe entry into water and land to Niagara Regional Police and towing companies. Police divers are also involved to identify the vehicle or to recover a body, Ghirardi said.

Just this week, a vehicle landed in the canal in St. Catharines. Police said it was carrying six people when it hit a tree and ended up in the drained canal. The vehicle was a write-off, police said.

Niagara Now

 

Obituary: Russ Plumb

1/27 - From Russ Plumb's Facebook page, an entry written by his sister: "It is with great sadness that I tell you that my big brother passed away on Jan.14 from esophageal cancer which was diagnosed in late August. His wish was to be cremated and the ashes are to be scattered on Lake Superior. Who knew when he sailed on his first freighter at age 18, what an influence it would have on his life? He loved the Great Lakes and the freighters. His materials will be shared to the Great Lakes Maritime Museum in Toledo. RIP, Russ!"

Russ kept extensive records on who was who and on what boat they sailed on going back many decades. He was always happy to help people trace the sailing careers of their grandfathers, fathers and other family members.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 27

In 1912, the Great Lakes Engineering Works' Ecorse yard launched the steel bulk freighter WILLIAM P. SNYDER JR (Hull #83), for the Shenango Furnace Co.

LEON FALK JR. closed the 1974 season at Superior by loading 17,542 tons of ore bound for Detroit.

January 27, 1985 - CITY OF MIDLAND 41 had to return to port (Ludington) after heavy seas caused a 30-ton crane to fall off a truck on her car deck.

On 27 January 1978, ALLEGHENY, the training vessel of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy (built in 1944, at Orange, Texas as a sea-going naval tug) capsized at her winter dock at Traverse City, Michigan, from the weight of accumulated ice. She was recovered but required an expensive rebuild, was sold and renamed MALCOLM in 1979.

On 27 January 1893, Charles Lonsby and Louis Wolf purchased the 161- foot wooden steam barge THOMAS D. STIMSON for $28,000. The vessel was built in 1881, by W. J. Daley & Sons at Mt. Clemens, Michigan, as a schooner and was originally named VIRGINIUS. She was converted to a steamship in 1887.

1972: The Canadian coastal freighter VOYAGEUR D. hit a shoal off Pointe au Pic, Quebec, and was holed. It was able to make the wharf at St. Irenee but sank at the dock. The cargo of aluminum ingots was removed before the wreck was blow up with explosives on November 8, 1972.

1978: A major winter storm caught the American tanker SATURN on Lake Michigan and the ship was reported to be unable to make any headway in 20-foot waves. It left the Seaway for Caribbean service in 2003 and was renamed b) CENTENARIO TRADER at Sorel on the way south.

2002: SJARD first came through the Seaway in 2000. It was lost in a raging snowstorm 350 miles east of St. John's Newfoundland with a cargo of oil pipes while inbound from Kalinigrad, Russia. The crew of 14 took to the lifeboat and were picked up by the BEIRAMAR TRES.

2006: PINTAIL received extensive damage in a collision off Callao, Peru, with the TWIN STAR. The latter broke in two and sank. PINTAIL began Seaway service in 1996 and had been a regular Great Lakes trader as a) PUNICA beginning in 1983. The ship arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh, for scrapping as c) ANATHASIOS G. CALLITSIS and was beached on September 19. 2012. It had also traded inland under the final name in 2008 and 2009.

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

 

World War II ships built for Navy in Sturgeon Bay focus of new museum exhibit

1/26 - Sturgeon Bay, WI – Ships built in this city to serve in World War II don't get the recognition they deserve from naval historians, says Rhys Kuzdas, curator and exhibits manager for the Door County Maritime Museum.

That's a large part of the reason the museum Thursday is opening "Built for Battle," a new exhibit focused on the submarine chaser (SC) and patrol craft (PC) ships built for the U.S. Navy by Peterson Boat Works (later Peterson Builders) and Leathem D. Smith, two of Sturgeon Bay's historic shipbuilding firms. The exhibit marks the 75th year after the end of WWII.

But while the exhibit focuses on the 42 PC-class ships built at Leathem Smith and the 17 SCs from Peterson, and the experiences of the crews who served on them, another part of the cause is to show the effort the city put into helping the country prepare for and fight the war. Kuzdas said that matters to a city with a deep maritime heritage that still resonates even though just one local shipbuilder, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, is active today.

"This is definitely focusing on the local touch," Kuzdas said. "We want to highlight this craft that was built here. You've got the connection to the past. Sturgeon Bay is still very much a ship building city, and World War II is a subject people very much focus on. Sturgeon Bay set out to over-deliver for the war effort, so through this exhibit we'll try to highlight Sturgeon Bay's past and tell the story of Sturgeon Bay as much as the ships. This is everyday history, not just military history or maritime history."

https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/local/door-co/entertainment/2020/01/24/navys-world-war-ii-ships-sturgeon-bay-focus-museum-exhibit/4567998002

 

National Museum seeks former Schoonmaker, Boyer and tug Ohio crew

1/26 - Toledo, OH – The National Museum of the Great Lakes is seeking individuals who served on the Col. James M. Schoonmaker or the Willis B. Boyer and the tug Laurence Turner or Ohio to act as a first step in creating an oral history archive to help preserve and make known the recent history of the Great Lakes. Museum staff will be recording interviews to use for research purposes and also to spur the development of new exhibits and/or publications. If you're interested in sharing your experience, just complete this online form www.nmgl.org/oral-histories

 

Port Reports -  January 26

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator was loading salt for Muskegon, MI, at Compass Minerals at 1 p.m.

Detroit-River Rouge – Raymond H
Calusa Coast and Delaware departed the Marathon Asphalt Terminal for Cleveland on Saturday.

Erie, PA – Gene P
On Saturday tugs pulled the tug Dorothy Ann out of the graving dock so as to be reconnected with the Pathfinder. The tugs Michigan and Oklahoma did the work while the Rhode Island stay tied to the dock due to some mechanical issues.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 26

In 1994 THALASSA DESGAGNES (steel propeller tanker, 131.43 meters, 5,746 gross tons, built in 1976, in Norway, as the a.) JOASLA, renamed b.) ORINOCO in 1979, c.) RIO ORINOCO in 1982) entered service for Groupe Desgagnes.

The keel for CLIFFS VICTORY, a). NOTRE DAME VICTORY (Hull#1229) was laid on January 26, 1945, at Portland, Oregon, by Oregon Shipbuilding Corp.

THOMAS F. COLE (Hull #27) was launched January 26, 1907, by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ecorse, Michigan, for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

J. F. SCHOELLKOPF JR. was launched January 26, 1907, as a.) HUGH KENNEDY (Hull#349) at Lorain, Ohio, by the American Ship Building Co.

ST. LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR was launched in 1967, as a.) DEMETERTON (Hull#619) at South Shields, United Kingdom, by John Readhead & Sons, Ltd.

On 26 January 1898, the CITY OF DULUTH (wooden passenger/package freight vessel, 202 foot, 1,310 gross tons, built in 1874, at Marine City, Michigan, as a passenger vessel) was carrying passengers, corn, flour and general merchandise from Chicago to St. Joseph, Michigan, during a late season run when she struck an uncharted bar in a storm inbound to St. Joseph. She was heavily damaged and driven ashore 350 feet west of the north pier where she broke up. The Lifesaving Service rescued all 24 passengers and 17 crew members using breeches' buoy.

1986: The saltwater ship f) MARIKA L. was sold at auction to Scrap Hellas Ltd. on this date The vessel had arrived at Eleusis, Greece, under tow, on April 25, 1981, after an engine room fire on the Mediterranean. The ship had been arrested and partially sunk prior to being sold. It made one trip through the Seaway as a) DONATELLA PARODI in 1965 and was ultimately resold for scrapping at Aliaga, Turkey.

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

 

Lack of ice on Great Lakes keeps Coast Guard ships idle

1/25 - With ice covering just over 10 per cent of the lakes, Canada's two Great Lakes icebreakers sit idle for now. But the CCGS Samuel Risley docked at Sarnia, and the CCGS Griffon at Amherstberg, are ready to break out harbours and escort commercial vessels still operating on Lake Erie and the upper lakes.

Despite the lack of ice now, the two vessels performed 23 taskings in late December and early January, said Stacy Dufour, the Canadian Coast Guard's superintendent of icebreaking for the Central and Arctic region.

"Fourteen were for commercial harbour breakouts, mainly in Thunder Bay," said Dufour, during a briefing on ice operations for 2019-20.

Fisher Harbour, on northern Georgian Bay, was another area where a harbour breakout and ice escorts were carried out. Dufour said the Coast Guard also conducted at least four aerial ice reconnaissance flights.

"Early cold in December saw ice on Lake Superior at Thunder Bay and the north channel of Lake Huron." That ice disappeared with warmer weather in January.

The Samuel Risley reached Thunder Bay on Christmas Eve and helped the last ship out of the harbour on Jan. 12 before moving to Sarnia, where it will cover Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and northern Lake St. Clair.

Dufour said the Griffon was busy in the Montreal to Lake Ontario section of the St. Lawrence Seaway until New Year's Eve. The vessel, a frequent visitor to Niagara, was then positioned in Burlington for the closing of the Welland Canal, which was later this season. It then moved to the lower Detroit River at Amherstburg, where it remains ready to assist on Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair.

Dufour said the Canadian Coast Guard and American coast guard share icebreaking duties on the Great Lakes, with vessels working wherever needed.

The Americans have six icebreakers on the lakes. While she didn't have a timetable for the Great Lakes, the Coast Guard's director-general of operations Julie Gascon said the aging Canadian fleet will be replaced. She said at least 16 new multi-purpose icebreakers will be built in the coming years, along with two offshore patrol vessels and six dedicated icebreakers.

"Last season, the coast guard helped 522 ships on the Great Lakes, moving cargo critical to keep the Canadian economy moving," she said, of the late December 2018 to April 2019 season.

Four additional Coast Guard vessels — the Amundsen, Des Groseilliers, Martha L. Black and Pierre Radisson — were sent to help break the ice on Lake Erie and beyond. The four vessels helped break open the mouth of the Welland Canal and escorted ships through the thick ice on the lake.

An ice operations centre in Montreal looks at what assets are available on the Great Lakes and the needs of the shipping industry before moving things around. Gascon said emergencies take precedence, with vessels carrying dangerous, perishable or good essential to communities following behind. Dufour said the Montreal office has ice specialists from the Coast Guard and Environment Canada on hand to assess ice conditions on the Great Lakes, using satellite data and flights from Canada and the U.S. to produce ice charts for the shipping industry.

The two agencies position the various vessels where they think they'll be needed to assist the shipping industry in the winter months.

With the milder weather, he said the Canadians and Americans have suspended daily calls to assess ice conditions. Dufour couldn't say what ice conditions would be like on the lakes, adding mild weather was predicted for at least another 10 days.

The Welland Tribune

 

Property owners tried to use Lake Superior, storms to wash away construction debris

1/25 - Marquette, MI – The Michigan DNR says property owners in the Upper Peninsula tried to use Lake Superior’s waves and an incoming storm to wash away construction debris.

According to an official DNR report, the bizarre incident occurred in Marquette County in late-December when Josh Boudreaux, a conservation officer in DNR District 1, assisted Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Det. Trey Luce with a littering complaint.

Officials had received a report of individuals throwing construction debris into Lake Superior prior to incoming storms so that it would be washed away. CO Boudreaux followed up with the property owner shortly after he and Det. Luce examined the remnants scattered along the beach.

He was able to get a confession from the property owners who reportedly “didn’t believe they were doing anything wrong,” but were simply trying to save a trip to the local landfill. A citation was issued for litter and the property owners were ordered to clean up their mess or face additional charges.

DNR District 1 is in the Western Upper Peninsula and includes Baraga, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Marquette, Menominee and Ontonagon counties.

 

Port Reports -  January 25

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Lake Michigan
Algoma Conveyor was off Green Bay Friday night headed to Milwaukee with salt.

Northern Lake Huron
Cheboygan: Thursday; 23:35 Barbara Andrie and her barge departed for Alpena. Friday; 0:33 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes departed for Sarnia.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator was loading salt on Friday.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 2:30 pm Friday Algocanada was upbound; weather raining most of the day, 32 degrees F with stiff winds from the east and northeast

Detroit-River Rouge – Raymond H
Iver Bright arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to unload petroleum products from Sarnia on Friday

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 25

In 1994 THALASSA DESGAGNES (steel propeller tanker, 131.43 meters, 5,746 gross tons, built in 1976, in Norway, as the a.) JOASLA, renamed b.) ORINOCO in 1979, c.) RIO ORINOCO in 1982) entered service for Groupe Desgagnes.

The keel for CLIFFS VICTORY, a). NOTRE DAME VICTORY (Hull#1229) was laid on January 26, 1945, at Portland, Oregon, by Oregon Shipbuilding Corp.

THOMAS F. COLE (Hull #27) was launched January 26, 1907, by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ecorse, Michigan, for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

J. F. SCHOELLKOPF JR. was launched January 26, 1907, as a.) HUGH KENNEDY (Hull#349) at Lorain, Ohio, by the American Ship Building Co.

ST. LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR was launched in 1967, as a.) DEMETERTON (Hull#619) at South Shields, United Kingdom, by John Readhead & Sons, Ltd.

On 26 January 1898, the CITY OF DULUTH (wooden passenger/package freight vessel, 202 foot, 1,310 gross tons, built in 1874, at Marine City, Michigan, as a passenger vessel) was carrying passengers, corn, flour and general merchandise from Chicago to St. Joseph, Michigan, during a late season run when she struck an uncharted bar in a storm inbound to St. Joseph. She was heavily damaged and driven ashore 350 feet west of the north pier where she broke up. The Lifesaving Service rescued all 24 passengers and 17 crew members using breeches' buoy.

1986: The saltwater ship f) MARIKA L. was sold at auction to Scrap Hellas Ltd. on this date The vessel had arrived at Eleusis, Greece, under tow, on April 25, 1981, after an engine room fire on the Mediterranean. The ship had been arrested and partially sunk prior to being sold. It made one trip through the Seaway as a) DONATELLA PARODI in 1965 and was ultimately resold for scrapping at Aliaga, Turkey.

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

 

Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula to rebuild Lion’s Head Lighthouse

1/24 - Lion’s Head, ON – The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula (MNBP) is working quickly to rebuild the Lion’s Head Lighthouse which succumbed to winter storms early in the morning of Jan. 12. MNBP will be welcoming donations and volunteer support in bringing this iconic structure back to life.

MNBP is currently leading discussions on the reconstruction with two local volunteer leads, and will be releasing detailed plans soon. The emphasis will be on a complete restoration to the lighthouse, with staff and volunteers working from the original plans developed in 1911 and used for the 1983 reconstruction. Additionally, great consideration is being taken to ensure the materials, location and design of the restoration are appropriate for enduring similar extreme weather events for generations to come.

The importance of the lighthouse to the community has become widely apparent, with an outpouring of concern to the municipality and on social media from local residents, cottagers and tourists alike. Going forward, there will be two ways for members of the public to get involved in the rebuild:

1. Given popular demand, if you would like to lend financial support, MNBP will be accepting tax-deductible donations to help with reconstruction costs. Cash, cheque or credit card donations will be received by the municipal offices at 56 Lindsay Road 5 Lion’s Head, Ontario N0H 1W0, or by phone (519) 793-3522.

2. To share your own story of the Lion’s Head Lighthouse, or to volunteer, please email lighthouselegacies@northernbruce.ca

For ongoing information and updates on the reconstruction process please follow https://www.northbrucepeninsula.ca/en/play/lion-s-head-lighthouse.aspx.

Bruce Peninsula Press

 

ASC report to SEC mentions St. Clair fire

1/24 - The following was excerpted from American Steamship Co. parent company GATX’s annual U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission report.

American Steamship Company (ASC) reported segment profit of $19.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, compared to $12.3 million a year ago. Segment profit for full-year 2019 was $46.1 million, compared to $33.0 million in 2018. The 2019-quarter and year-to-date results include a $10.5 million net casualty gain ($8.1 million after-tax) related to an insurance recovery for a vessel heavily damaged by fire (St. Clair) and written off. Excluding this impact, the increase in 2019 full-year segment profit was primarily attributable to favorable operating conditions and efficient fleet performance. In 2019, ASC operated 11 vessels and carried approximately 27.0 million of net tons of cargo, compared to 11 vessels that carried 26.2 million net tons in 2018.

No mention was made of the St. Clair’s eventual disposition.

 

Port Reports -  January 24

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Lake Michigan
Algoma Innovator and Frontenac upbound on the lake Wednesday night after delivering salt to Chicago. Samuel de Champlain and her barge were also upbound with an AIS destination of Toledo.

Northern Lake Huron
Thursday; Cheboygan: 16:36 USCG Mackinaw returned to its berth at the coast guard station. Downbound vessels on Lake Huron Thursday were Frontenac for Windsor, Samuel De Champlain for Toledo and Algoma Innovator for Goderich.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor cleared at 6.04 pm Thursday, upbound with salt for Milwaukee, WI.

Detroit-River Rouge – Raymond H
Apparently the Calusa Coast and Delaware are not in layup, as they departed Nicholson's to load at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal Thursday afternoon.

Toledo, OH
Great Republic was moved from the drydock Thursday and the Philip R. Clarke was moved to go into drydock Friday. Both vessels are undergoing regular inspection and maintenance.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 24

JOHNSTOWN (Hull#4504) was launched January 24, 1952, at Sparrows Point, Maryland, by Bethlehem Sparrows Point Shipyard.

SPRUCEGLEN was launched January 24, 1924, as a.) WILLIAM K. FIELD (Hull#176) at Toledo, Ohio, by the Toledo Ship Building Co.

The steel barge MADEIRA (Hull#38) was launched on January 24, 1900, at Chicago, Illinois, by the Chicago Ship Building Co.

1964: RUTH ANN, a Liberian freighter that came through the Seaway in 1960, ran aground on the Chinchorro Bank off the Yucatan Peninsula enroute from Tampico to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, as d) GLENVIEW. It later broke up as a total loss.

1967: DAMMTOR, a West German flag pre-Seaway trader, foundered in heavy weather as b) HASHLOSHA while about 80 miles west of Naples, Italy, enroute from Greece to Marseilles, France. A distress call was sent but the vessel went down with the loss of 21 lives before help could arrive. The ship had also made four Seaway voyages in 1959,

1988: ENDERS M. VOORHEES, under tow on the Mediterranean, broke loose in gale force winds and went aground about 56 miles south of Athens off Kythnos Island and broke up. The hull was salvaged in sections and the bow and stern reached the scrapyard at Aliaga, Turkey, in August 1989.

2009: DIAMOND QUEEN sank at the Gaelic Tugboat Co. dock at River Rouge. It was refloated on January 27, 2009.

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

 

 

Sugar Island Ferry crew rescues teenage girl who fell through ice on St. Marys River

1/23 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – It's a case of being in the right place at the right time.

Two crew members of the Sugar Island ferry rescued a teenager after she fell through the ice on the St. Marys River. According to the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority, Captain Dale Rosenbum spotted something in the water Tuesday afternoon.

Deckhand/Crew Leader Phil Roy came to help Rosenbum and saw the girl hollering for help. They immediately went into action, utilizing their man-overboard training, to get the girl out of the water.

“You don’t ever think you are going to use the training,” said Roy. “You hope you never have too, but it just came automatically and we set everything in motion. Dale was able to maneuver the ferry close to the girl and Phil, with the help of the passengers, was able to get her aboard the vessel. “The passengers became part of our crew, and they are all a large part of this rescue.”

Roy said they were able to turn the ferry around and dock at the mainland where an ambulance was waiting.

“Our crew trains specifically for moments like this but have never had to do it out of necessity. We always use a dummy during training maneuvers. They deployed our Man-Overboard drill like we’ve done a hundred times before, but this time it wasn’t a drill. Due to their training and quick action, they successfully pulled her from the water and onto the boat," said Pete Paramski, EUPTA executive director.

"Our guys' fast action and training undoubtedly saved her life. Words cannot explain how proud I am of our crew and how happy I am that we were available for this young lady. Absolutely outstanding work by the Sugar Island ferry crew.”

After the incident, the crew continued their shift to make sure the ferry continued to run as normal.

Onboard the ferry, passengers and Sugar Island residents Fred Newton, Bob LaPointe, Sonny Menard and Ben Repa assisted the crew, applied first aid, and treated the person for hypothermia. Repa is also a Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer at Sector Sault Ste. Marie.

The girl’s mother said the girl, who is autistic and has cerebral palsy, is just a little sore with a few cuts and bruises.

See an interview with the crew at this link: https://www.9and10news.com/2020/01/22/girl-rescued-from-st-marys-river-by-sugar-island-ferry-crew-residents

 

Duluth port sorting out terminal details ahead of cruise ship visits

1/23 - Duluth, MN – Two cruise line companies have started selling and marketing for trips to stop in Duluth. German-based cruise line Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has sold out, with two stops scheduled this summer, and seven stops are scheduled for 2022 under Viking Cruises.

The last time a cruise ship stopped in Duluth was in 2013, Visit Duluth President Anna Tanski said. "Usually, it's just one from a ship company, so for us to have Viking committed to this itinerary of seven stops is like nothing we've ever experienced," Tanski said.

Hapag-Lloyd's cruise ship Hanseatic Inspiration is scheduled to arrive in Duluth June 12 and June 22 carrying 385 guests. Both trips have sold out, with prices starting around $9,000.

In 2022, a Viking Cruises ship will stop in Duluth seven times between May and September. Prices start at nearly $7,000. The ship can carry 378 guests. While tickets are for sale, Tanski said the Viking ship is currently being built, fitting a trend common in the cruise line industry.

"They sell and market before the logistics are worked out," Tanski said. "They sell first and then they start to figure it out. Viking has done this for decades."

Prior to marketing and selling the trips, cruise lines held preliminary meetings with local stakeholders before determining Duluth as a destination point. Visit Duluth was responsible for facilitating the exploration of Duluth as a destination.

"Viking has very, very loyal customers," Tanski said. "They know their demographics tend to be more affluent and people who are well-traveled who are seeking their next adventure or unique experience."

Viking estimates around 9,000 passengers will visit Duluth over the course of the summer in 2022. "For us that's very significant (economically)," Tanski said. "But it's also the exposure, which you can't necessarily put a price tag on. Viking markets their products to their international base, so putting Duluth on that map, we could never have that kind of reach without their marketing force they have."

Duluth's tourism industry brings in more than $780 million annually in direct economic impact, according to the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. In 2018, the city collected nearly $12.2 million in tourism taxes.

With the Great Lakes emerging as a desirable place to visit, especially via cruising, Tanski said she's hopeful the city will continue seeing growth in cruising over the next few years. Currently, Visit Duluth is in active communication with other cruise lines considering Duluth stops in the next couple years.

Passengers aboard the Hanseatic Inspiration will spend their time in Duluth this summer participating in a city tour, visiting the St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Center as well as Gooseberry Falls State Park and Split Rock Lighthouse, according to the cruise line's website.

Since Viking Cruises has yet to sort out many of the trip logistics, it has not been determined what passengers will do in Duluth. Other factors also remain undetermined, such as where ships will load and unload passengers, Duluth Seaway Port Authority spokesperson Jayson Hron said. The undetermined terminal location will also need to process international visitors for clearance.

Visit Duluth, the city of Duluth, the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center and the Port Authority are working together with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to understand the requirements for a proposed passenger clearance facility.

Funding for the proposed facility was secured in 2018, with the city approving $25,000, the Duluth Economic Development Authority approving $50,000 and the Port Authority chipping in $10,000.

None of that money has been spent yet, as the Port Authority has not purchased any of the equipment and technology needed for the terminal, nor has a location been determined, though spaces within the DECC are being considered, Hron said. Both temporary and permanent facility options are being explored.

"The idea is that we are working to rightsize the facility for the market and take advantage of emerging technology over the next couple years," Hron said. "That's kind of where the discussions are right now."

In early 2019, two visits from the MV Victory II of the Victory Cruise Lines fleet expected to stop in Duluth that summer were canceled due to a change of ownership.

Ahead of those visits, Duluth was moving forward with plans to put a cruise ship terminal in place that would include the equipment needed for clearing international visitors, but after the only cruises scheduled to arrive that summer were canceled, port officials voided their order for equipment, explaining the terminal should be equipped with the most current technology when the need arrives.

A date has not yet been determined as to when the proposed facility can be expected to reach completion. "Everyone involved in the process hopes to have the clearing question answered very soon," Hron said. "But no one wants to rush to a potential outcome that isn’t right for this market."

If the investment is made to develop the proposed terminal, Tanski said, Visit Duluth will be ready to make sure it stays as busy as possible.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports -  January 23

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
USCG Mackinaw came up the river as far as Six Mile Point on Wednesday morning to do track maintenance. She came about at Six Mile, went back down the river and was tied up at Lime Island Wednesday night.

Lake Michigan
Algoma Innovator and Frontenac North Bound on the lake Wednesday night after delivering salt to Chicago. Samuel de Champlain and her barge were also dpwnbound with an AIS destination of Toledo.

Northern Lake Huron – Jon Paul
Wednesday: Barbara Andrie, which arrived Tuesday with her barge, was still loaded and sitting at the U.S. Oil Terminal. The Cheboygan River is empty of ice, as is the turning basin. There also isn't any ice to speak of past the breakwall and out into the open lake. This time last year the South Passage was closed and covered in ice as was all of the Straits of Mackinac from Lansing Shoal to DeTour.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived 12.53 pm Wednesday and began loading salt at Compass Minerals.

Detroit-River Rouge – Raymond H
It appears the Calusa Coast and Delaware are laid up at Nicholson's Detroit Terminal, as they have been moored there for nearly a week.

 

Northern Ontario on board with Viking's plans to cruise Great Lakes

1/23 - Sudbury, ON - Viking Cruise lines, a company known for its luxurious European river cruises, now plans to bring some of that opulence to the Great Lakes by expanding to Northern Ontario.

The Swiss cruise company announced this week that Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will be sailing Lake Superior starting in 2022.

It’s an announcement that’s been in the works for some time now as the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition worked in conjunction with destinations such as Thunder Bay, Sault. Ste. Marie, Killarney and Manitoulin Island.

"It’s huge news, it’s a game changer for the cruise shipping outlook," said Thunder Bay Tourism’s Paul Pepe. "We’re starting to see a resurgence of the discovery market right now."

Pepe says it’s given stakeholders a reason to celebrate in Thunder Bay. The city had cruise ships calling on the northwestern Ontario port from 1996 to 2012. Viking is planning on making the city a ‘turnaround port,’ which would mean tourists staying in hotels for overnight stays, dining in restaurants, taking in attractions and ships replenishing their supplies.

City officials have crunched the numbers and they’re anticipating the announcement will mean 5,200 tourists a year and an estimated $1.6 to $2.3 million for the economy.

"We’re fairly fortunate here that we have a full dock, 900 feet long and 27 feet deep, built for big freighters. It’s a brownfield, an old industrial site that when we activate it for cruise ship season, we can transform it to a park-like setting," said Pepe. "Indigenous drummers, dancers, Scottish pipers to create a welcoming facility for guests. We can park buses and service trucks adjacent to ships and it’s walkable to downtown making an incredible hub."

"I was lying awake all night, itching to get the word out, it’s exciting. I’ve always believed it’s exotic as anywhere else, seeing companies like Viking … it’s been a long strategy that’s really starting to pay off," he added.

Tourism Thunder Bay had previously announced another cruise ship, the Hanseatic Inspiration, will be visiting the city in June 2020 as part of a 14-day excursion.

The cruise ship company will offer two cruises, ‘The Undiscovered Great Lakes’ which will be an eight-day cruise from Thunder Bay to Milwaukee with stops that’ll include Duluth, the Apostle Islands and Mackinac Island. There will also be ‘The Great Lakes Explorer’ which will be an eight-day cruise from Milwaukee to Thunder Bay will include three days exploring Georgian Bay.

"I think that’s the big takeaway from the story is how this gives so much credibility to Northern Ontario as a destination," said Destination Northern Ontario’s Stephanie Hopkin. "Viking Cruises is a huge company, they have credibility."

"The ability for communities in Northern Ontario to take advantage of these stops is really big news for Thunder Bay but really all those along the lakes and itineraries. It’s huge news for the communities on the ground and for us as the destination," she said.

Hopkin says they are still trying to determine how it’ll work with what stops they decide to make and how long they will be at each port.

The cruise market is great and I think people are starting to notice the gem we have on the Great Lakes and it’s only helping us a tourism destination. There’s a real opportunity for growth," she added.

Killarney Mayor Ginny Rook says she was ecstatic to learn about the news given how much it might mean in terms of economic benefit.

Rook says the town is already enjoying the spin-off that’s been created as a result of the recently built Killarney Mountain Lodge. There’s more employment, houses are being built and the town is enjoying the increase in property taxes to help fund additional projects.

"I think it’s wonderful, it’s going to help a lot of the business in town, they’re going to be accessing a lot of those businesses," she said.

The mayor adds plans are now in the works with the lodge to build a new wharf in the community.

Viking is currently in the process of building these two ships which will be tailored to expedition-style cruising.

CTV

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 23

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sugar Islander crew saves girl who fell into St. Marys River

1/22 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – A 16-year-old girl was walking on the ice a couple hundred yards north of the Sugar Island Ferry Dock Tuesday at about 4 p.m. when she broke through, fell in and started floating down the river. The crew of the ferry Sugar Islander II (Capt. Dale Rosenbaum and deckhand Phil Roy), saw her in the water and pulled her up onto the ferry. She was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. Her current condition is not known

 

Great Lakes shipping fleet prepares for 2020 season

1/22 - Cleveland, OH – More than $97 million in maintenance and modernization is underway on U.S.-flag lakers idled for winter work at multiple Great Lakes shipyards. After working around the clock for 10 months hauling cargo over more than 70,000 miles per vessel, the ships and their crews are given a brief rest to recoup before the next season starts in March.

The investment U.S. shipping companies put into these freshwater vessels will grow the workforce at shipyards across the Great Lakes. More than 1,000 engineers, welders, pipefitters, mechanics and electricians will work on the ships over the next two months to ensure they are ready to sail as soon as the Soo Locks open on March 25th. Major shipyards are located in Superior, WI, Sturgeon Bay, WI, Toledo, OH and Erie, PA with other work being done in Toledo and Ashtabula, OH, as well as Milwaukee, WI, Detroit, MI and Ludington, MI.

Winter work includes the steel renewal, installation of advanced electronic navigation systems, and replacement of safety equipment such as lifeboats. The self-unloading capability on lakers is unique and the equipment requires maintenance to ensure the vessels can continue to unload up to 75,000 tons of cargo in less than 12 hours, one of the reasons why U.S.-flag Lakers are the most efficient mode of dry-bulk cargo transportation in the world.

The work is carefully orchestrated to get as much done as possible while ensuring the U.S.-flag fleet is ready to sail. It will be in high demand come March after stockpiles of raw materials are running low and customers require resupply immediately to maintain operations and keep people employed.

When the lakers come out of maintenance there is no idle time. Crews arrive, warm up the engines and get to work moving vital cargo. Every day in a 10-month shipping season is critical, hence the investment in maintenance and modernization now while the Soo Locks are closed.

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Port Reports -  January 22

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
There was no vessel movement on Tuesday.

Lake Michigan
Algoma Innovator and Frontenac were in the northern part of the lake Monday night, headed for Chicago with salt. Algoma Conveyor was northbound for Goderich. Frontenac has one more trip with salt from Windsor before layup.

Northern Lake Huron
Tuesday: Algoma Conveyor was downbound for Goderich. Cheboygan:19:12 Barbara Andrie arrived from Toledo at the U.S. Oil Co. dock.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 22

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

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

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

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

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

 

International cargo on the Great Lakes declined by 7 percent last year

1/21 - Port of Indiana – International cargo on the Great Lakes to ports like the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor and the Port of Chicago totaled 38 million tons last year.

Cargo on the huge international vessels known as salties that pass from the Atlantic Ocean through the St. Lawrence Seaway to Great Lakes ports dropped by 7%. Officials attributed the year-over-year decline in 2019 to trade wars, high waters that made navigational conditions difficult at key points on the marine superhighway, and all the rain in the spring that took a toll on grain exports.

“The challenges of the 2019 shipping season underline the critical importance of protecting the future integrity of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence waterway as a reliable and efficient trade and transportation corridor for the United States and Canada,” said Bruce Burrows, president of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “High water levels are negatively impacting residents and businesses, including the marine shipping sector that transports cargo through the St. Lawrence Seaway, and we need to work together with the International Joint Commission and governments to conduct a proper study into water levels and their causes, and to develop a resiliency plan that can address stakeholder needs into the future.”

Record outflow levels at the Moses-Saunders dam for five months last year — intended to lower Lake Ontario levels — caused shipping delays and millions of dollars in increased operating costs. But the Chamber of Marine Commerce is encouraged that the dam's outflow levels have been raised during the winter to lower the lake levels as much as possible for the international shipping season resumes in the spring.

“Many different industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, fuel supply, construction and the mining sector depend on the Great Lakes-Seaway transportation system, supporting 238,000 jobs and $35 billion in economic activity in Canada and the U.S.,” Burrows said.

 

Lake Erie ice cover at historic low

1/21 - Toledo, OH – Lake Erie is at near all-time historical lows for ice cover in the middle of January, at 1.2%. The average amount of ice for this date is about 46%. The winter of 1998 had the all-time lowest ice cover for the season on Lake Erie at 5.4%.

WTOL

 

Twice a year this iconic U.P. ore dock perfectly frames the sunrise

1/21 - Marquette, MI – There are only a couple chances each year to witness a photogenic U.P. phenomenon. Every January and November, right around the 20th of the month, the sun moves into the perfect position to rise from the Lake Superior horizon while framed by Marquette’s historic Lower Harbor Ore Dock.

The event has been nicknamed “Orehenge,” and it’s such a spectacle that it usually draws a small crowd. Some locals even schedule it on their calendars.

There’s always a few days in a row where the angles are just right to produce this little Michigan miracle — and right now is the right time. Unfortunately for the 25 or so people who showed up at the ore dock Monday morning, the sunrise was obscured by a cloud bank. But Marquette native Bugsy Sailor, who became a self-made sunrise expert after photographing every single sunrise of 2019, says there’s a chance tomorrow, January 21st, might deliver.

When the clouds cooperate, it’s a spectacular scene. And when they don’t? It’s still a great excuse to get outside, Sailor says.

“If this is what gets people out in the morning, then I’m all for it,” said Sailor, who has brought coffee and hot chocolate for the sunrise-seekers on some previous Orehenge mornings. “It’s a fun thing to take delight in, and a cool thing to see.”

Constructed during the early 20th-century heyday of the Upper Peninsula mining boom, the Lower Harbor Ore Dock is a striking and often-photographed landmark along Marquette’s Lake Superior shoreline.

On the blog for his company, U.P. Supply Co., Sailor said 8 a.m. is the best time to get to the ore dock to catch the sunrise, which right now is around 8:26 a.m. In January you’ll likely have to climb a snowbank to see it, but it’s worth it, he said.

“It’s such an iconic thing in Marquette,” he said. “This ore dock is something that’s photographed every day, all year round, by everybody coming to town. The fact that the sun does actually shine all the way through twice a year — it’s pretty cool.”

View images at this link: https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2020/01/twice-a-year-this-iconic-up-ore-dock-perfectly-frames-the-sunrise.html

 

Port Reports -  January 21

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
The tanker Algocanada was downbound from the Purvis Dock in Soo, ON, around 11:30 a.m. Monday. USCG Morro Bay was working the ice tracks in the lower river, then departed the system with Algocanada.

Lake Michigan
Algoma Innovator and Frontenac were in the northern part of the lake Monday night, headed for Chicago with salt. Algoma Conveyor was northbound for Goderich. Frontenac has one more trip with salt from Windsor before layup.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
At Port Milwaukee Monday (01/20): After delivering cement to the Lafarge terminal, Samuel de Champlain/Innovation cleared for Calumet Harbor at 02:36. Algoma Conveyor headed back to Goderich at 07:52 after delivering salt for Compass Minerals. Karen Andrie/Endeavour headed back to Indiana Harbor at 09:41 after delivering liquid asphalt from BP’s Whiting refinery to the Construction Resources Management facility. Still in harbor are the Stewart J. Cort and G.L. Ostrander/Integrity. It appears both will spend the winter at Milwaukee. The Cort is tied up at the city's heavy lift dock. G.L. Ostrander/Integrity is at the former Gillen dock. Presently, no additional boat traffic is expected.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 1:15 pm CCG icebreaker Samuel Risley passed upbound, followed at 1:45 by Algosea also upbound. Weather sunny, light breezes from the north-northwest, 23degrees F.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
American Century arrived for winter lay up on Monday at the C&O #3 slip.

 

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.

 

Port Reports -  January 20

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
The tanker Algocanada was still tied up at the Purvis dock in Soo harbor Sunday afternoon discharging petroleum products. USCG Morro Bay and Katmai Bay were tied up at the Group Soo base.

Northern Lake Huron
Algoma Innovator, bound for Chicago, was stopped east of the Mackinac Bridge Sunday night.

Port Huron, MI
Frontenac was upbound Sunday afternoon with a destination of Chicago, where she will unload salt.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
On Sunday, American Century and Sam Laud were anchored in Lake Erie just off the Toledo Ship Channel. Both vessels are bound for Toledo for winter layup. By evening, the Laud was inbound with an AIS destination of “Rumpus Room.”

 

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 lay-up dock name.
Click here to view the Lay-Up List

 

BoatNerd seeks used equipment donations

1/20 - Have an old IPad, or touch screen laptop? BoatNerd is looking for donations of used equipment that can be repurposed as kiosk displays. Touch screen laptops , monitors or iPads are good candidates. The equipment will be wiped and reset with our own software.

Depending on your location we can send you a pre-paid shipper to drop it in the mail.

Please contact help@boatnerd.com with the type of equipment you would like to donate. As a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, we will send a thank you letter acknowledging your donation.

 

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.

 

There’s almost no ice on the Great Lakes: Does that mean more lake effect snow?

1/19 - Syracuse, N.Y. – The extended warm spell Upstate New York has been stuck in could, paradoxically, lead to more snow.

That’s because warm air has kept ice from forming on the Great Lakes, and that means more open water that to produce lake effect snow. The five lakes have just 5.3% of ice cover as of Tuesday, which is a quarter of the long-term average for Jan. 14. Most of that is in the bays of the more northern lakes: Michigan, Huron and Superior.

While Upstate can get lake effect snow from as far away as Lake Huron, most of it comes from lakes Erie and Ontario. Erie, which delivers those mega-lake effect storms that make Buffalo famous, usually has about 40 percent of its surface covered with ice by now. As of Tuesday, it was zero.

Lake Ontario, which contributes the lake effect that makes Tug Hill one of the snowiest spots in the East, has less than 1% of ice cover. In a normal year, about 9% of the lake would be covered in ice.

There’s no formula that can predict inches of snow vs. percentage of ice, but the rule of thumb is that the less surface area of a lake is covered with ice, the more moisture will evaporate and fall as snow when cold winds whip across the lakes.

“As long as they’re open and not frozen over, you can get lake effect snow,” said Jon Hitchcock, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

In a typical winter, ice on the Great Lakes starts to form on the lakes in late fall and peaks in March. Erie’s average ice cover in early March at about 70%, but in cold years the shallow lake can freeze over completely. While moisture can still rise through cracks in the ice, a frozen lake in essence shuts down the lake effect machine.

Lake Ontario, with an average depth of about 800 feet, almost never freezes over completely. At its typical late winter peak, 60% of Ontario’s surface remains ice-free. Great Lakes have little ice so far this year

Only 5.3% of the Great Lakes is covered by ice as of Tuesday, about one-quarter of normal for mid-January.

Not surprisingly, the lakes are much warmer than average now. Both Erie and Ontario are 3 to 4 degrees above average for this time of year. That doesn’t make much difference in how much lake effect snow falls, Hitchcock said.

“It’s a misnomer that warm lakes lead to lake effect snow,” he said. “Just having the lakes warm doesn’t seem to be that much of a difference.”

Hitchcock noted that open water is just one ingredient in the lake effect snow recipe. The air also has to be cold enough and the winds have to come from the right direction. The heaviest lake effect snow falls when winds whip along the longest axis of the lake; for Lake Ontario, which lies west to east, the biggest snows are generated by winds from the west.

While the lakes are warm, it’s not unprecedented. Hitchcock said Lake Erie is at 33 degrees right now, and the record for this time of year is 42. “It’s warmer than normal but not in record territory,” he said.

The open lakes will have a chance to do their stuff this week and into next week as cold air and strong winds return to Upstate New York. Winter weather advisories are in place for Western New York and Tug Hill today for up to 6 inches of lake effect snow. A weekend storm will likely bring some snow from a system rumbling from the Pacific Northwest to the Northeast, and as that system departs Sunday, the cold air behind it is likely to generate more lake effect snow east and southeast of the lakes.

syracuse.com

 

Port Reports -  January 19

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
The tanker Algocanada was upbound in the river on Saturday. By late afternoon she was tied up at the Purvis dock in Soo harbor discharging petroleum products.

Northern Lake Huron
Saturday; 19:16 American Century passed through the Straits of Mackinac and was down bound on Lake Huron for lay up at Toledo. Sunday; 6:43 Samuel De Champlain weighed anchor and departed for Milwaukee. She passed through the Straits at 7:41

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator cleared 6.43 a.m. Saturday with salt for Chicago.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud has delivered her final cargo of the 2019-2020 season and is heading to Toledo for lay up and some well-deserved time at home for the crew.

 

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.

 

Rising Great Lakes prompt calls for more icebreakers

1/18 - Detroit, MI – The shipping industry and Michigan businesses are urging Congress to increase the number of icebreaking ships in the Great Lakes as water levels have surged to record highs in most of the lakes and connecting waterways.

In the past few winters, higher water levels have created greater ice hazards for ships, hindering the movement of goods and last year costing an estimated 5,421 jobs and $1 billion to the U.S. economy, according to an industry-backed study. It also resulted in an estimated $172,000 in lost state and federal tax revenue.

The losses resulted from steel that wasn't made and power that wasn't generated by coal and iron ore that U.S.-flag ships couldn't move, according to a report by Martin Associates that used industry-provided numbers on lost hours and tonnage. The cargo moved on Great Lakes waterways include iron ore, coal, limestone, grain, salt, fuel and oil.

Freezing temperatures and winter storms in higher water create more opportunities for the formation of ice floes — large sheets of ice that can damage hulls — and ice jams, which clog waterways and cause flooding. They are creating a growing problem to keep the shipping channels and harbors open from December to as late as April, said Jim Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers Association, which represents shipping companies operating on the lakes.

"We've been complaining about this for years," Weakley said. "And now with the high water, we think the problems are going to be even worse, not just an economic loss to the laker fleet, but an economic loss to the steel companies that we provide support for."

Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, has been working for five years to get funding for a new heavy ice cutter, but the Coast Guard has not created a plan to do so. He recently got $2 million in the latest budget agreement to jump-start the process.

“The Great Lakes are in desperate need of a new heavy icebreaker because Michigan businesses must be able to rely on shipping to move their goods and materials year-round," Peters said in a statement. "Increasing our icebreaking capacity will not only help support maritime commerce but will also protect our Northern border.”

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/01/17/rising-great-lakes-prompt-calls-more-icebreakers/4410987002

 

Grand Haven shipping season by the numbers

1/18 - Grand Haven, MI – After kicking off in March 2019, the Ship’s Log Column has sailed until January 2020, and now it’s time to finally lay up for the winter as we received our last cargo of the season.

Port City’s articulated tug/barge Bradshaw McKee/Commander paid a visit to the St. Marys Cement terminal in Ferrysburg on January 7th to discharge a partial load of cement, departing early the next morning.

The shipping season began on March 28th, 2019 and ended on January 7th, 2020. Between these two dates, we saw visits by sixteen different vessels delivering a total of 94 cargoes to the three active docks on the Grand River.

This season’s total is a slight increase from last season’s total of 92. It’s worth mentioning that last season’s number has four coal cargoes counted into it, and we did not receive any coal cargoes this season, as the Sims plant on Harbor Island is slated to close soon. There will no longer be coal shipments into Grand Haven.

The most frequent visitor of the season was the steamship Wilfred Sykes of Central Marine Logistics, with 19 trips into port. This is the fifth season in a row that the Sykes has had the highest visit total.

We saw several new vessels visit our port this season, one of which was the Commander. It was in its first full season of operating as a cement barge after being converted from a dry cargo barge. The Commander ended up coming to Ferrysburg pretty frequently, finishing with 13 total visits.

Port City currently operates three barges and two tugs, an awkward setup which saw the tugs changing assignments several times this season. It’s possible you saw two of PC’s barges in port with the same tug this season. A third tug, the Caroline McKee, is expected on the lakes this spring to give PC an even three between tugs and barges.

We also saw Algoma Central Corporation’s river-class Algoma Innovator visit for the first time. The Innovator was built in 2017 and is part of Algoma’s fleet renewal program which has seen old vessels go to scrap and replaced by new, state-of-the-art carriers.

The barge Joseph H. Thompson, a common visitor in past seasons, paid a visit this season with a new tug, the Laura L. VanEnkevort. The Thompson was for years pushed by the tug Joseph H. Thompson Jr, but VanEnkevort Tug & Barge split the two up, with the new tug Laura L. being assigned to the Thompson barge, and the Thompson tug getting paired up with VTB’s new barge Michigan Trader, expected to sail in 2020. Expect both Thompsons to be sailing with new names in 2020.

It was very exciting to see visits from the Great Lakes Fleet vessels Great Republic and John G. Munson. We haven’t seen GLF vessels in port since the late ’90s, and we should expect to see more visits from them next season. Barring a surprise late season delivery, this will be my last article of the season and will wrap up my fourth full season of writing the Ship’s Log column.

Grand Haven Tribune, Sam Hankinson

 

Port Reports -  January 18

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
The Purvis tug Anglian Lady and her barge were upbound to the Purvis Dock in Sault, ON, on Friday evening, escorted by USCG Katmai Bay and Morro Bay. Wilfred M. Cohen assisted in the harbor.

Northern Lake Huron
Thursday; 17:05 Samuel De Champlain departed Alpena for Milwaukee. Friday; 6:37 the tug Nancy Anne departed for Cheboygan. Samuel De Champlain went to anchor at 8:35 off the south west coast of Bois Blanc Island. She is not due in Milwaukee until 12:00 Saturday. 14:45 Nancy Anne arrived in Cheboygan.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Leonard M and her barge Niagara Spirit unloaded steel coils at Nicholson's Detroit Terminal on Friday. The tug Kathy Lynn was inbound on the Rouge River.

Monroe, MI – Raymond H
Iver Bright arrived at the Michigan Paving and Materials dock Friday to unload.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
Indiana Harbor arrived for winter layup on Friday. Walter J. McCarthy also arrived to wait out the winter. American should be arriving at Toledo for winter layup very late Saturday or on Sunday.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud was delivering the final shuttle from the Bulk Terminal Friday and is scheduled to lay up afterwards.

Erie, PA – Gene P
Presque Isle arrived in Erie mid-morning Friday after spending the night at anchor about six miles out in the lake. She laid up port side to at the Montfort terminal. Winds were light out of the northwest with a temperature of 22F.

 

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.

 

Season 77 ends for busy steamer Alpena

1/17 - Alpena laid up in Cleveland Thursday with a storage cargo of cement onboard. The season started in April and ended in January, and in that time the Alpena made 64 trips.

 

Shipping industry fears impacts of water regulation on Lake Ontario

1/17 - A United States-Canadian agency that oversees Great Lakes water levels says it will continue to give a board flexibility in how it’s managing outflows on Lake Ontario. Officials there are hoping to lower lake levels to reduce the risk of flooding, but the shipping industry fears increased flows will effectively shut down shipping on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Politicians and residents have been pushing for higher flows to release more water from Lake Ontario as it’s seen record-breaking levels this year. The state of New York has set aside $300 million this year for communities impacted by shoreline flooding and sued the International Joint Commission, alleging it failed to act.

The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board has been able to increase flows as part of regulating water levels on Lake Ontario. Now, the commission is allowing it to continue to deviate from its water regulation plan even as water levels drop.

The board is trying "to get as much water off of Lake Ontario as possible," said Andrew Kornacki, the board’s communications officer. Even so, he said officials are planning to keep flows about 200 cubic meters per second more than rates considered safe for commercial navigation until the shipping season ends.

"Nothing is off the table at this point, but one of the things we always do is we communicate with all the stakeholders to understand exactly what those impacts are that are being felt," said Kornacki.

The shipping industry fears any increase in flows may make navigation unsafe and effectively shut down the season. The end of commercial navigation would halt the movement of goods and result in broken contracts, said Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

"Our own community has been affected by flooding and storm damage, so we do share those concerns about high water levels," said DeLuca. "However, if you’re affecting a very minor change in water levels and you’re already seeing the economic damage that’s done to the property owners, all you’re doing is exacerbating the economic damages by affecting the shipping industry by halting it."

About 75 percent of the grain that comes through the Twin Ports goes out for export through the seaway, DeLuca said. The Chamber of Marine Commerce said a shutdown could cost the U.S. and Canadian economies $193 million per week.

Members of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation also signed a Nov. 20 letter voicing opposition to increasing flows that result in the season’s early closure, including U.S. House Reps. Gwen Moore, Mike Gallagher, Jim Sensenbrenner and Glenn Grothman.

The commission’s Frank Bevacqua said the current outflow strategy has removed a tremendous amount of water from Lake Ontario, which is down about 3 feet from its peak in June.

"This year, we have seen record inflows to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Under those conditions, the best that any management plan for the outflows can do is to reduce the peak flows and the flooding impacts," Bevacqua said. "That was accomplished this year. The lake peaked 14 inches lower than it would’ve without regulation, and the impact downstream is a lot less than it would’ve been."

Yet, he acknowledged increased flows would provide a modest decrease in water levels of less than an inch to 2 inches, adding that no regulation plan can prevent flooding when inflows are high. "But, of course, every little bit helps," he said.

The board’s Kornacki noted officials are looking for potential opportunities to increase outflows from the lake between the shutdown of the shipping season and the formation of ice on the upper St. Lawrence River.

Wisconsin Public Radio

 

Viking announces new cruise ship will sail the lakes in 2022

1/17 - Viking Cruises announced Wednesday that the Viking Octantis, currently under construction, will offer 14 cruises on Lake Superior in 2022. The "Undiscovered Great Lakes" tour, starting at $6,695 per person, is scheduled to sail seven times in 2022. It will visit Duluth and the Apostle Islands before heading east to Houghton, the Soo Locks, and Mackinac Island.

Meanwhile, the "Great Lakes Explorer" tour, starting at $6,495 per person, will go from Milwaukee to Lake Huron and Georgian Bay before heading through the Soo Locks and across Lake Superior directly to Thunder Bay. The Octantis will also offer two other Great Lakes cruises that won't reach Lake Superior.

The ship will split its time between the Great Lakes and Antarctica, offering cruises in the polar region when it isn't in the Great Lakes. Viking says the Octantis was designed to be small enough to navigate the St. Lawrence River and polar regions but large enough to offer stability in rough waters.

A sister ship, the Viking Polaris, will also launch in 2022 to cruise the polar regions. The company says explorers Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft will be honored as "ceremonial godmothers" of the ships.

Each ship will also be a working research vessel with an onboard team of scientists. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will travel on Great Lakes expeditions to research changes in weather, climate, and ecosystems.

Guests will have supervised access to their laboratory, and scientists may offer lectures about the Great Lakes environment.

“Our guests are curious explorers,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking. They want to continue traveling with us to familiar and iconic destinations, but they would also like to travel further. We began as Viking River Cruises; then we evolved into Viking Cruises with the addition of ocean cruises; today we stand singularly as Viking, offering destination-focused voyages on more than 20 rivers, five oceans and five Great Lakes, visiting 403 ports in 95 countries and on all seven continents.”

See an image of the new vessel at this link: https://www.wdio.com/news/viking-cruises-octantis-lake-superior-duluth-summertime-vacation/5609236

 

Port Reports -  January 17

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner, Jacob Silvan
The 2019 shipping season came to a close in the Twin Ports on Thursday with the final two vessels arriving in Superior for winter layup. American Spirit was inbound at 10:42 and backed into the Lakehead Pipeline slip for the winter, while her fleetmate Burns Harbor followed at 11:28 and tied up for the season at Elevator M. These final arrivals bring the total number of vessels wintering in Duluth/Superior to six, with the other four being Paul R. Tregurtha at Midwest Energy and John J. Boland, Lee A. Tregurtha, and Hon. James L. Oberstar at Fraser Shipyards.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
Two more additions to Sturgeon Bay's winter layup fleet arrived on Thursday. Interlake sisters Mesabi Miner and James R. Barker anchored in the bay of Green Bay on Wednesday night and, with assistance from the USCG cutter Mackinaw and Sarter Marine tugs, the Miner made her arrival at Bay Shipbuilding late Thursday morning. She was followed in by the Barker a few hours later. There are now twelve vessels tied up around the shipyard for the winter; Edgar B. Speer, Wilfred Sykes, Joseph L. Block, American Integrity, American Mariner, Thunder Bay, John G. Munson, Roger Blough, and H. Lee White are already laid up, while the partially completed barge Michigan Trader is also moored at the yard. There are currently no more vessels expected to winter in Sturgeon Bay, however that may change due to late-season contracts or ice conditions.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
At Port Milwaukee Thursday (01/16): Canada Steamship Lines’ Frontenac arrived 03:14 with salt from the Morton mines in Windsor, ON. A classic laker built in 1968, Frontenac carries 25,600 metric tons at seaway draft (26’-06”). She departed about noon and headed back to Windsor. At 12:51, the Stewart J. Cort arrived from Burns Harbor. She will spend the winter in Milwaukee. Algoma Conveyor should be in Friday afternoon with salt from the Compass Minerals mine in Goderich, ON.

Southern Lake Michigan
Unload completed, American Century was upbound at the lower end of the lake Thursday night for Toledo, where she will lay up.

Alpena, MI
Thursday; 17:35 The tug Nancy Anne arrived from Cheboygan and docked at the US Coast Guard station in the Thunder Bay River. Thursday; Nancy Anne began ice operations at the Lafarge cement plant. 10:23 Samuel De Champlain and barge innovation arrived to load cement products. Nancy Anne returned to the US Coast Guard station.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor cleared 8.12 pm Wednesday, upbound with salt for Milwaukee. Algoma Innovator took her place at the salt dock

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Herbert C Jackson arrived at AK Steel to unload ore from Ashtabula on Thursday. After unloading, she tied up at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal for winter layup.

Toledo, OH
Laura L. VanEnkevort / Joseph H. Thompson were inbound at 10 p.m. Wednesday to unload pellets, after which they went into winter layup.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud is still on the shuttles from the Bulk Terminal. She loaded this morning but remains at the dock due to currents at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Alpena arrived on the 15th to lay up at LaFarge.

 

Lake Erie is usually 40% covered by ice this time of year; so far in 2020, there is none

1/17 - Cleveland, OH - Warmer-than-normal temperatures this winter have put the ice concentration levels on Lake Erie far below average for this time of the year. In fact, as of Jan. 15, 2020, the National Weather Service says there is no ice on Lake Erie.

The average ice concentration level at this point in the season, measured between 1973 and 2019, is approximately 40%. The National Weather Service’s Cleveland office says with colder temperatures forecast through the end of the week, ice could begin to develop on the western portion of Lake Erie.

WOIO

 

Officials seek donations to build seawall around USS Edson

1/17 - Bay City, MI – The Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum is working to preserve one of its prized possessions, the USS Edson. The Edson as a member of the US Pacific Fleet and earned the reputation of a top destroyer ship. The famed vessel is now at risk from erosion along the Saginaw River.

Community leaders are hoping to install a seawall to hold back water as it comes in. They are asking the public for assistance with finances to pay for the wall. Mike Kegly, president of the museum, wants to build the structure around the USS Edson in Bay County’s Bangor Township. It separates land from water ultimately preventing erosion.

Kegly said to build the seawall he needs to raise a total of $250,000 which costs more than the museum’s yearly operation.

“We have quite a bit of erosion because of the water coming in. It’s not bad enough that we get the flood waters but then boats go by at not the no-wake speed and that, of course, helps the erosion,” Kegly said. “In order for us to continue to do the business that we want to do, we’ve got to put something to stave the water.”

In addition to the cost of the seawall, he’ll also need a $2,000 permit.

If you would like to help, you can send all donations to the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum located at 1680 Martin St., Bay City, MI, 48706 or call 989-684-3946.

WNEM

 

Lay-up reports needed

1/17 - 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 lay-up dock name.
Click here to view the Lay-Up List

 

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.

 

Burns Harbor ends shipping season at the Soo Locks

1/16 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – The 1,00-footer Burns Harbor was the final cargo vessel of the 2019 navigation season through the Soo Locks. With two salutes, Capt. Terry Heyns brought the vessel through the Poe Lock Wednesday at 6:44 a.m. on her way to Superior, WI, for winter lay-up. Crews began the dewatering process immediately, kicking off a busy season of maintenance projects.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District

 

With Oberstar arrival, winter layup settles on Twin Ports

1/16 - Duluth, MN – The Soo Locks that connect Lake Superior with the other Great Lakes closed at midnight Wednesday, ushering in winter layup. The nearly 10-week layup lasts until late March. It's an offseason in one sense, as ships' crews head home and steel mills on the lower Great Lakes siphon taconite iron ore from their built-up stockpiles.

But it's also a time for itinerant boilermakers and iron workers to descend on the Twin Ports. They migrate from near and far, and some have said in the past that they enjoy repairing the ships and the respite they receive, largely from refinery construction. A lot of ore boats require steel work over the winter, as the steel armor that makes up the hulls can take a beating in the ice, causing plates to require replacement. Also, some lake freighters are required to undergo a five-year survey, or inspection, during layup.

"There is no real downtime on the waterfront," Jayson Hron, spokesperson for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said. "Hundreds of workers — engineers, welders, pipe-fitters, mechanics and electricians — will spend the next (several) weeks doing maintenance and repair work so these vessels are ready to sail when the Soo Locks reopen March 25.

"All of that effort, while less visible than vessels hauling cargo in and out of the port, contributes to equitable job growth and economic sustainability in the region."

Tonnage reports as the season comes to a close have indicated that ore shipments were stable, but slightly behind a solid 2018. It was a banner year for the Port Authority and its Duluth Cargo Connect, which broke a record for the tons of wind blades and towers hauled. The Coast Guard told the News Tribune in December that it was expecting below-normal ice conditions in 2020 based on forecasts. So for now, the 2020 spring breakout is on schedule.

On Tuesday, the Duluth shipping canal welcomed the Hon. James L. Oberstar into winter layup. Only two lake freighters remain to arrive among the six wintering in Duluth: the American Spirit expected Wednesday and the Burns Harbor, arriving Thursday to close out the winter roster.

Winter-layup roster for port of Duluth-Superior

At Fraser Shipyards (Superior)
John J. Boland
Honorable James L. Oberstar
Lee A. Tregurtha

At Midwest Energy Resources Co. (Superior)
Paul R. Tregurtha

At Hansen-Mueller Co.'s Elevator M (Superior)
Burns Harbor

At Enbridge Terminal (Superior)
American Spirit

View photos and video at this link: https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/business/transportation/4862108-Winter-layup-settles-on-Twin-Ports

 

Port Reports -  January 16

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
With the Duluth shipping season officially at an end and only two more arrivals scheduled in Superior, the 2019 season in the Twin Ports is just about over. American Spirit was passing between Thunder Bay and Isle Royale as of 20:00 Wednesday night on her way to Superior for winter layup at Lakehead Pipeline, and is currently due to arrive around 09:00 Thursday morning. Burns Harbor was not far behind, and is scheduled at 11:00 Thursday for layup at Elevator M. Already tied up in port for the winter are Paul R. Tregurtha, moored at SMET; John J. Boland, in drydock at Fraser Shipyards; and fleetmates Lee A. Tregurtha and Hon. James L. Oberstar, both tied up at Fraser.

Milwaukee, WI
Frontenac is due Thursday morning with salt.

Southern Lake Michigan
American Century, belt repairs completed, was unloading at Indiana Harbor Wednesday night. Stewart J. Cort departed Burns Harbor for lay up in Milwaukee.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor left Wednesday early evening with salt for Milwaukee. Algoma Innovator took her place at the loading dock.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Wednesday Arrivals: Joyce L VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to fuel. Kaye E Barker arrived at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal for winter lay up. She is loaded with a storage load of taconite. Calusa Coast and Delaware tied up at Nicholson's Detroit Terminal to wait for dock space at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal. On Wednesday night, Herbert C. Jackson was upbound in the Detroit River for Dearborn.

Toledo, OH
Laura L. VanEnkevort / Joseph H. Thompson were inbound at 10 p.m. Wednesday to unload pellets.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud was running the first of two shuttles for ArcelorMittal from the Bulk Terminal. Sharon M I arrived at 08:45 from Sault Ste. Marie, ON, with steel for the port. She departed at 13:31 for Nanticoke. Alpena arrived at 09:02 to lay up at LaFarge.

Conneaut, OH
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived to unload Wednesday evening, after which she is expected to head for Toledo to lay up.

 

Maintenance underway along length of Welland Canal

1/16 - St. Catharines, ON - It's a pretty normal year for the St. Lawrence Seaway as $22 million in maintenance is carried out along the 43-kilometre-long Welland Canal. "It's not a whole lot different from last year. We have several (lock) gates being rehabilitated," said St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. Niagara engineering manager Cassie Kelly.

Kelly said the lock gates — there are 48 along the canal weighing roughly 453,600 kilograms each — are worked on each year. The gates operate in pairs at the upper and lower ends of the locks, plus additional ones for safety.

Kelly said rehab work started in 2011-12, with eight gates already complete. The project will run until 2036, costing more than $120 million over that time. "The year we finish, we'll have to start over." Kelly said gate inspections are carried out frequently to check for wear and tear or other problems, such as a gate that may have been struck by a vessel.

Work on anchoring the floor of Lock 8 in Port Colborne that started last year has been put on hold due to a rock formation found under it that seaway staff were not expecting. She said more testing and information on the formation was needed before work could proceed. "We could get back to it (anchoring the floor) in a couple of years."

Work will be carried out on Bridge 19A, Mellanby Avenue Bridge, in Port Colborne, and see its closure for at least a month to both pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Bridge 21, Clarence Street Bridge. Bridge 5, Glendale Avenue Bridge, and Bridge 11, Allanburg Bridge, will undergo work as the seaway corporation replaces various components.

Kelly said Rankin Construction will continue to carry out work on the long reach of the canal — the area just north of Bridge 19 in Port Colborne to Lock 7 in Thorold. The company is stabilizing the banks of the canal, a project that's expected to take at least 20 years but could be done in less time.

In Thorold, sandblasting will be carried out inside a pair of gates as will some metal work. The gates will be partially painted this year as well. Valve work will take place at Locks 4, 5 and 6, the flight locks. The valves control the flow of water in and out of the locks when they are being filled and emptied for vessels.

The Standard

 

Marine simulator recreates the night the Edmund Fitzgerald sank

1/16 - Barrie, ON – On Nov. 10, 1975 – 40 years ago – the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior. The entire crew of 29 was lost. It’s still the largest ship to have sunk in the Great Lakes.

CTV commemorated the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald and its crew with this news cast featuring Georgian College’s marine simulator and its manager, Jason Davenport. The simulator recreated the conditions from the night of the storm, including the view from the ship’s bridge.

View the simulator at this link: https://barrie.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=747344&binId=1.1272429&playlistPageNum=1

 

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.

 

Seaway tolls to increase by 2.0 percent in 2020

1/15 - The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) announced a toll rate increase of 2.0 percent for the 2020 navigation season.

The Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Seaway navigation system supports over 329,000 jobs and $59 billion in economic activity per year. The SLSMC remains dedicated to promoting the economic and environmental benefits of marine transportation, attracting new cargoes to the Seaway, and leveraging technology to enhance the system’s performance.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management

 

Port Reports -  January 15

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner, Isaac Pischer
Duluth's 2019 shipping season officially came to a close on Tuesday when Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived at 12:22 for winter layup at Fraser Shipyards. Her arrival brings the total number of vessels laid up in port so far to four, with the others being Paul R. Tregurtha at SMET and John J. Boland and Lee A. Tregurtha moored at Fraser. Two more 1,000-foot vessels are still expected in Superior for the winter, with American Spirit due on Wednesday evening and Burns Harbor due in the late morning or early afternoon on Thursday.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
Here are the destinations of three 1,000 footers that loaded in Two Harbors recently. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. is headed for Conneaut. Indiana Harbor is in Gary and the American Century is headed for Indiana Harbor after she departs Milwaukee.

St. Marys River
Kaye E. Barker was downbound at the locks around 2 p.m. Tuesday for Dearborn, MI, to unload and then go into winter layup. She was not the last downbound passage, however, as the tug Leonard M and barge Niagara Spirit departed Algoma Steel Tuesday around 10:30 p.m. for Detroit. American Spirit was upbound in the early evening, sounding a nice salute as she left the locks to become the only vessel moving on Lake Superior. USCG Mackinaw and Katmai Bay were doing track maintenance in the lower river Tuesday. They moored for the night at Lime Island. Burns Harbor, expected in the river in the early morning Wednesday, will be the last upbound passage.

Green Bay, WI
Tug Barbara Andrie and tug Albert / barge Margaret departed for Sarnia, ON, on Tuesday.

Milwaukee, WI – John N. Vogel
American Century remained at the Port of Milwaukee's heavy lift dock the evening of 13 January for repairs to its conveyor. It was reported that the ship should be underway again in perhaps two days. Once the Century leaves, the Stewart J. Cort is due in for winter lay-up.

Alpena MI
Monday: 23:19 The cement carrier Alpena departed for Detroit

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor was at the salt dock loading Tuesday night, with Algoma Innovator at the north dock waiting to load.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Tuesday: 11:15 am downbound Manitoulin; 2:30 pm upbound Frontenac. The river was still murky with much floating debris. Weather was overcast, light winds from west northwest, 42 degrees F.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Tuesday Arrivals: Alpena arrived at Lafarge to unload cement. James R Barker arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to fuel.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
On Tuesday night, Edwin H. Gott was on Lake Erie off Conneaut bound for Toledo for winter layup. She will be arriving Wednesday morning sometime. Clyde S. VanEnkevort with the barge Erie Trader was inbound the Toledo Ship channel in the evening for winter layup. She was at the Ironville Dock Monday to unload ore. I assume she will be going over to the Torco Dock complex for winter layup.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud arrived from Ashtabula at 13:03 Tuesday with a shuttle for ArcelorMittal.

 

New, interactive map highlights Michigan’s Great Lakes shipwrecks, their lore

1/15 - A new interactive map allows users to locate and learn about shipwrecks in the Great Lakes. The Michigan Shipwrecks App offers users a closer look at 1,500 shipwrecks submerged in Michigan waters by providing the difficulty level of diving to each wreck and identifying whether it’s accessible by kayak or canoe.

The app also serves as a sort of virtual history lesson, recounting the circumstances of each sinking. It also provides a description of the ship, with photos and drawings, if available.

“This new tool gives divers, kayakers, snorkelers and armchair explorers a chance to learn more about these underwater archaeological sites and the circumstances that led to the shipwrecks,” said Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan History Center. “It’s a wonderfully interactive way to help people connect with this part of Michigan’s maritime history.”

About one-quarter of the estimated 6,000 wrecks found throughout the Great Lakes are in Michigan waters, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Users can search for shipwrecks by name or location or customize and print their own PDF maps to explore famous and lesser-known wrecks.

Read more at this link: https://www.mlive.com/news/2020/01/new-interactive-map-highlights-michigans-great-lakes-shipwrecks-their-lore.html

 

Repairs begin on breakwater off Pere Marquette beach in Muskegon

1/15 - Muskegon, MI - Repair work has begun on the south breakwater structure off Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Park. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District, which covers all of Michigan and parts of Wisconsin and Indiana, announced on social media on Monday that workers had placed armor stone on the breakwater’s edge.

That stone placement began shortly after Christmas. Additional work is expected to begin this spring and continue through at least June, according to Christopher Schropp, who oversees construction for the Grand Haven area office of the Army Corps of Engineers.

That work includes demolishing the existing cap of the structure, replenishing missing stone underneath, and then capping the entire thing with new concrete, according to previous MLive reporting.

The breakwall, a popular walkway off Pere Marquette’s beach, was closed to the public in October due to safety concerns. A contract for the work, in the amount of $1.6 million, was awarded to Muskegon’s Great Lakes Dock & Materials, LLC in September, according to Schropp.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers put out a bid for the work in early 2019. This followed an attempt to patch the aging infrastructure in 2016. A project that autumn administered by Great Lakes Dock and Materials LCC cost about $100,000.

That work was intended to be a temporary fix while awaiting additional federal funding, said Schropp.

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/2020/01/repairs-begin-on-breakwater-off-pere-marquette-beach-in-muskegon.html

 

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.

 

Port of Thunder Bay celebrates biggest year since 2014

1/14 - Thunder Bay, ON – Nearly eight million tons of grain from Western Canada helped the Port of Thunder Bay achieve one it’s most successful seasons in recent years.

“The grain in total was up by 500,000 by the end of the year,” said Thunder Bay Port Authority CEO, Tim Heney. “Certainly grain led the increase and coal and potash were other strong commodities this year.”

The Port’s 2019 season officially came to an end with the departure of the last cargo-laden vessel on Sunday. The Port’s last day is often determined by the closure of the Sioux Locks, which takes place on Jan. 15.

The total tonnage that passed through the Port in 2019 was approximately 9.3 million metric tons, with grain accounting for 7.9 million tons, coal at 779,893 tons, and potash at 399,557 tons.

This makes for the best year the Port of Thunder Bay has seen since 2014.

“To get that increase in tonnage, it’s a positive thing,” Heney said. “We are the second largest grain port in Western Canada and we are the most efficient grain port in terms of car cycle times. That is really making us still a significant player in the grain business. It shows the capacity of the port as well and it’s still here and available.”

In 2019, the Port of Thunder Bay saw a total of 429 vessels, with 316 domestic ships and 113 foreign. According to Heney, the tons per ship has also been increasing in recent years with new vessels that can hold 30,000 tons of grain as opposed to 25,000 tons on older vessels.

There are three vessels wintering in the Port of Thunder Bay, all from the Canada Steamship Lines. Being newer generation vessels, they will require less work, Heney said. “There used to be a lot of steel replaced on the old ships,” he said. “There was a lot of iron working type jobs, welding, that type of work. That’s not a thing on these new ones.”

Looking ahead to 2020, Heney is expecting another strong year, with project shipments expected to increase after having a soft year in 2019 due largely to fewer wind turbine projects in Western Canada. “We see the project cargo being bigger next year,” he said. “There are a lot of wind turbine projects coming on, so we are looking at a busy year at Keefer.”

In 2019, Keefer Terminal saw 16,671 tons of project cargo, down significantly compared to 2018 that saw 26,760 tons.

And with this winter being milder than last year, Heney said there is a good chance Lake Superior will remain open all season, but it is up to mother nature to determine when vessels will be able to return to port.

“We started off really cold then we had a warming spell,” Heney said. “It depends on winds and temperature of course. Any warm day is one less cold one. So it’s certainly not going to be a record ice year.”

TBNewswatch

 

Coast Guard to close three waterways on January 16

1/14 - 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 and the expected development of ice. On Thursday, January 16, 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.

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 any icebreaking plans to reopen these waterways.

USCG

 

Storm destroys Lion's Head lighthouse

LionsHead.jpg (302842 bytes)1/14 - Owen Sound, ON – The landmark lighthouse at Lion’s Head, Ont., was destroyed over the weekend during a storm that also caused hydro outages, downed trees and poor driving conditions in Grey-Bruce and prompted some municipalities to declare significant weather events.

Benjamin Madill said he stopped by the Lion’s Head harbor Sunday around 7:15 a.m. and was “blown away” to discover the lighthouse had been knocked down and ruined by the storm. “The sun was coming up when I drove in like I normally do and I always see the lighthouse there and I’m thinking to myself, something’s missing here. And then I drove up and realized it’s gone. It’s completely gone,” he said in an interview.

Madill lives in Oliphant, but was doing his rounds early Sunday as part of his work for a water treatment agency. His grandparents had a cottage at Lion’s Head, so he’s familiar with the lighthouse. His Facebook post, which included photographs of the destroyed lighthouse, was widely shared.

“You can see the bolts on the concrete slab where the lighthouse was bolted to and then it’s just in pieces floating in the water and on the dock,” he said.

The lighthouse, which is owned by Northern Bruce Peninsula, had been damaged by a pair of storms in October. The municipality had planned to close it in and secure the structure for winter and fix it up in the spring.

The lighthouse was built by high school students in 1983, based on the blueprints of the original 1903 structure. The federal government has maintained the navigation light in the lighthouse.

Pictures of the damage

Owen Sound Times

 

Port Reports -  January 14

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth/Superior – Daniel Lindner
There was no traffic through either the Duluth or Superior entries on Monday. Hon. James L. Oberstar will be the last arrival for the 2019 season in Duluth when she enters port for winter layup on Tuesday, while the HarborLookout schedule now has American Spirit and Burns Harbor due to arrive in Superior later in the week for layup at Lakehead Pipeline and Elevator M, respectively. Their arrivals will bring the Twin Ports' winter layup total to six, with John J. Boland, Paul R. Tregurtha, and Lee A. Tregurtha already tied up for the season.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departed Two Harbors on Jan. 12th at 20:17. As of 17:00 on Jan. 13th her AIS was still showing Two Harbors.

Presque-Isle-1-13-20rl.jpg (110192 bytes)St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on Monday: Michipicoten early, followed by Presque Isle, Manitoulin, CCGS Samuel Risley, and Joseph L. Thompson/Laura L. VanEnkevort in the afternoon. Kaye E Barker was upbound early (for Marquette to load) and Hon. James L. Oberstar (for Superior to lay up) followed around 1 p.m.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
A near record lake level coupled with strong northeast winds associated with a powerful winter storm triggered severe flooding at Port Milwaukee Saturday. Port tenants suspended operations and access to Jones Island was restricted. Port Milwaukee was back in business Monday (1/13). At 03:12 the tug Nathan S arrived from Calumet Harbor with three barges for loading at the COFCO grain elevator. Samuel de Champlain/Innovation arrived from Alpena at 05:41 with cement for the Lafarge terminal. At 06:28 the thousand-footer American Century arrived for repairs to her conveyor belt on her way down the lakes with iron ore pellets loaded at Two Harbors. Still in port was G.L. Ostrander/Integrity, which arrived January 1 and tied up near the south end of the municipal mooring basin.

McGregor Bay, ON
Monday; 3:00 Algoma Innovator departed for Goderich. CCGS Griffon departed and was downbound on Lake Huron.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator arrived 4.39 pm Wednesday, tied up North Pier. Algoma Conveyor arrived 8.19 pm Wednesday and was loading salt at Compass Minerals.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Leo A MacArthur/John J Carrick were loading at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal on Monday

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud arrived in Ashtabula at 15:50 Monday to load a shuttle for ArcelorMittal in Cleveland.

 

Warning: High waters drag debris into Great Lakes

1/14 - This weekend’s strong weather brought another round of punishing waves to communities along the Great Lakes. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now warning everyone to be aware of debris brought into the Great Lakes from high water levels and lakeshore erosion.

Homes, piers, docks and really anything along the lakeshore has been falling into Lake Michigan the past couple of months. That has caused safety concerns for right now, and when warm weather returns.

The Army Corps says docks and piers may also be under water from the high water levels that you may not be able to see. When spring and summer comes, they say you should monitor for possible rip currents and electric shock that could also factor into you drowning.

9 & 10 News

 

Lake Erie experienced seiche on Sunday

1/14 - A major seiche occurred on Lake Erie on Sunday, January 12. The static level for this lake has been about 1.2 metres (47 inches) above chart datum for the last few weeks. On Saturday, January 11 the residual of a strong winter storm swept the lake with northwest winds, an event that usually pushes the water somewhat towards the east end of the lake increasing the level in the Port Colborne-Buffalo area. However this storm had intense winds with gusts in excess of 115kph (71mph) in the early morning hours of Sunday according to the Environment Canada weather station in Port Colborne. The Canadian Hydrographic instrumentation at that community registered a peak level of 2.44 metres (96 inches) above chart datum at 07:00, while at the west end of the lake at Bar Point, just south of Amherstburg a similar station showed dropping levels that reached a minimum of 0.86 metres (34 inches) around noon.

As the gale/storm force winds abated at the east end the water began to migrate back westwards to where the Bar Point gauge rose to over 1.8 metres (71 inches) by 16:00. Meanwhile the east end registered a drop to 0.95 metres (37 inches) at the same hour. For the next 16 hours, the levels were moving back and forth over the length of lake Erie like a wave in a bathtub.

Usually events with such extremes occur over a lengthy time frame of 24 hours, but due to climatic conditions near the entrance to the Welland Canal it caused the seiche to be more pronounced and noticeable in this few hours.

Also involved, probably due to a lesser extent, was a variation in the barometric pressure at the two sites where lower atmospheric pressure near Port Colborne also contributed with a storm surge similar to that found at the eye of a hurricane but nowhere near as severe.

Robert Spearing

 

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.

 

Final week of the BoatNerd Fundraiser

1/13 -   We are close to wrapping up our second annual fundraising drive. We are accepting donations of any amount through PayPal or by mail. https://paypal.me/Boatnerd (updated link) or to e-mail donate@boatnerd.net

We had hoped to have a new website online by now generating revenue through advertising. That project has been much slower than anticipated, so we are hosting this fundraising drive to help keep the web site and Gatherings operational for another year. Any amount is appreciated and will go a long way towards keeping the site active.

2019 was a good year and we made progress on the new web site and added new AIS stations. We also returned the Port Huron Webcam. Thank you for your continuing support. We hope to continue the same in 2020.

Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc.
Box 244
Troy, MI 48099

 

"Historic Flooding" forces closure of Port of Milwaukee, Jones Island

1/13 - Milwaukee, WI – Saturday's severe weather caused some significant flooding to The Port of Milwaukee and Jones Island. Both locations were evacuated as officials continue to monitor the storm. For now, there are no operations and no public access at either location.

“I would call this a once-in-a-generation weather event," Port of Milwaukee Director Adam Schlicht said. “From today’s winter weather event we’ve seen 60 to 70-percent flooding here on Jones Island, at The Port."

After evacuations, only security and emergency personnel were left behind to keep watch. “Our first major concern was for the protection of human life – all those people that work here on Jones Island,” he said.

Schlicht called the flooding "historic" and said brought several feet of water onto land, bringing concern to city and port-owned infrastructure. “The warehouses, the terminal facilities, all of the cargo that we’ve brought into The Port throughout the year, that is stored here during the winter months.”

Port officials are remaining cautious, but hope those facilities are not completely underwater. They have delayed some winter shipping, hope to reopen The Port as soon as it is safe to do so.

“One of the next steps that we’ll take as soon as the weather event is over, and the flooding recedes, is a careful examination of how much damage we’ve incurred here.”

The Sewage Treatment Plant is also located on Jones Island. But so far it is operating normally, at half its capacity, according to a Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District representative.

CBS 58

 

Port Reports -  January 13

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth/Superior – Daniel Lindner
Lee A. Tregurtha arrived Duluth at 18:52 Sunday night for winter layup at Fraser Shipyards, joining the John J. Boland and Paul R. Tregurtha that have already tied up for the season. Hon. James L. Oberstar is currently due mid-day Tuesday for the winter, and as of now there are no other ships scheduled to arrive after her even though Duluth's winter layup fleet is usually made up of five to seven vessels.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
As of 19:45 on Jan. 12th the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was still loading at South of #2. A partial update on the Indiana Harbor: Before she arrived Two Harbors and after she departed her AIS was showing Two Harbors. As of 19:45 on Jan. 12th she was approaching the Straits, then on to Lake Michigan. She will be going to either Gary or Indiana Harbor.

Thunder Bay, ON
Saturday; 18:41 Michipicoten arrived at the G3 elevator to load grain. 19:28 Saginaw departed for Toledo. 23:54 CSL Niagara arrived at Keefer Terminal for winter lay up. Sunday; 5:20 Michipicoten departed for Windsor. 14:49 CCGS Samuel Risley departed and is down bound on Lake Superior.16:24 Manitoulin departed for Windsor.

St. Marys River
Ojibway was downbound early Sunday. Indiana Harbor and Algocanada (from Purvis Dock) followed in the early afternoon. Saginaw left the locks downbound at 7 p.m. There was no upbound traffic. USCG Katmai Bay was working ice in the lower river. Leonard M and barge were at Algoma Steel.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner, Jim Conlon
H. Lee White arrived in Sturgeon Bay for winter layup mid-day Sunday with assistance from the tug William C. Gaynor, bringing the total number of vessels laid up so far to nine. Once arriving at Bay Shipbuilding, she was rafted to her fleetmate American Mariner. Already in layup at the shipyard are Edgar B. Speer, Wilfred Sykes, Joseph L. Block, American Integrity, American Mariner, Thunder Bay, John G. Munson, and Roger Blough. VanEnkevort's new barge Michigan Trader is also tied up in a slip.

Green Bay, WI
The tug Barbara Andrie arrived Sunday to assist the tug Albert barge Margaret to the U.S. Oil Venture Terminal.

Northern Lake Huron ports
McGregor Bay: Sunday; 12:49 CCGS Griffon resumed ice operations. 13:13 Frontenac departed and was down bound on Lake Huron. 19:18 Algoma Innovator arrived at Fisher Harbor to unload road salt. 20:15 CCGS Griffon went to anchor. Alpena: Sunday; 12:31 Sam Laud departed for Ashtabula. 15:44 The cement carrier Alpena arrived to load.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
After her fleetmate Mesabi Miner passed downbound at 10 am Sunday, Kaye E. Barker weighed anchor and continued her upbound journey under much improved conditions. The Jan. 11 storm has passed leaving river calm, mostly cloudy skies, and 30 degrees F.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Hon. James L Oberstar fueled at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal on Sunday.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Joyce L. VanEnkevort departed at 12:42 Sunday for Duluth/Superior.

 

Homeowners near the Great Lakes face high water challenges

1/13 - Les Cheneaux Islands – On a frigid morning in late fall, resort owner Mark Engle studied the mangled planks and dock posts scattered along an ice-glazed channel that feeds into Lake Huron. Les Cheneaux Landing Resort, tucked behind an archipelago of 36 islands off Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, once had a 175-foot dock with slips for a dozen boats, a boathouse and a bait shop.

In the past two years, Lake Huron rose through the floorboards of both buildings and overtopped the adjoining dock. Now, the weather-beaten boathouse sits stoically marooned, beset on all sides by crystal clear water.

All that Engle has left to carry him through the next tourist season is a small makeshift dock. “Man can’t seem to make anything big enough, strong enough to maintain an advantage over the lake,” Engle said. “I’ve been dealing with Lake Huron since 1982. And I’m afraid the lake is winning the battle.

Near-record high lake levels have astonished residents and business owners in the tiny hamlet of Cedarville, an unincorporated waterfront community built around boating. The consternation isn’t solely from the high water — in 1986, lake levels were slightly higher — it’s also from the pace of the rise. Less than seven years earlier, many docks and boat-houses were sitting on dry land.

In 2013, Lake Huron bottomed out, hitting its lowest mark in more than a century, as did Lake Michigan, which shares the same water levels, according to data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Around that time, the lake withdrew so far from the shore around Engle’s resort — then a collection of 12 rustic cabins and three docks — that mud was all that remained beneath his boathouse.

In just 3 ½ years, levels rose more than 4 feet and last summer peaked at nearly 6 feet above the record low. The swing in the water level of Lake Huron from January 2013 to July 2019 was nearly 6 feet, from historically low to historically high.

Read more, view images and graphs at this link: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/environment/great-lakes/ct-lake-huron-climate-change-water-levels-20200109-oiw7nunhonh3hm2vg5lrfiimou-story.html

 

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

 

 

Seaway orders 60-foot harbor tug

1/12 - The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) has placed an order for a newbuild ASD (Z-drive) harbor tug to be delivered by Washburn & Doughty Associates, Inc. of East Boothbay, Maine. It will replace the existing tug Performance.

“This new vessel will be used to carry out a variety of construction and maintenance duties for the US portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway, including routine maintenance of lock gates, maintenance and positioning of aids to navigation, ice management and removal of accumulated ice from lock walls,” said Craig Middlebrook, Deputy Administrator of the SLSDC.

The HT-60, the smallest in the Harbor Tug series developed by Glosten, a US based naval architecture firm, is slated for delivery in 2021.

According to Glosten, the HT-60 is designed to capitalize on the operating advantages afforded by a broad bow form with a semi-raised foc’sle deck and full visibility and winch controls from a single operating station in the pilothouse. To perform its intended work functions in ice, the hull has been ice-strengthened to ABS Ice Class C0 standards.

The Z-drive units are powered by a pair of EPA Tier 3 diesel engines turning carbon fiber shafts for a combined 1,320 BHP at 1,800 RPM.

At 60 foot overall, the tug is right-sized for maneuvering inside lock chambers, with a wide 28 foot beam to improve performance in ice and enhance stability for deck crane operations, Glosten said.

Marine Link

 

US gives funds for ‘marine highway,’ but frustrates import/export efforts

1/12 - Monroe, MI – The U.S. Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) award of more than $1.1 million to the Port of Monroe, Michigan for a domestic “marine highway” project is welcome news for a port that says its efforts to increase international business has been stymied by the Detroit office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The port in 2016 had a route designated under MARAD’s marine highway program. The proposed “Lake Erie Shuttle” would be a domestic container service between Monroe and Cleveland, with the possible addition of other ports such as Detroit and Buffalo, and the crane would be used to load and discharge containers and breakbulk cargo.

Currently, if ships loading and discharging cargo in Monroe do not have their own gear, the port has to rent cranes, which LaMarre says can be prohibitively expensive. The port has been working with Green Shipping Line, on a proposed short sea service, Green Shipping Line was founded by Percy R. Pyne IV, a longtime advocate of short sea shipping and founder of the short-lived American Feeder Lines, which operated a service between Halifax, Portland, Maine and Boston in 2011-12. Pyne continues to look at starting up a domestic coastal service not only on the Great Lakes but on the East and Gulf Coast as well as building specialized vessels for the wind energy industry in the U.S.

The Port of Monroe is now looking at a number of opportunities to move cargo domestically or internationally, with a focus on the automobile industry, said LaMarre.

For example, he says the port could load containers with finished cars and other products and receive containers with automotive parts. In addition to the proposed Lake Erie Shuttle, the port and Green Shipping Line are looking at possibly transporting coils of aluminum made by Novelis in Oswego, New York, on Lake Ontario to Monroe and shipping aluminum scrap back to Oswego.

LaMarre said that the port also wanted to ship automobiles — specifically Ford Mustangs made at an assembly plant in nearby Flat Rock, Michigan — overseas but that effort was frustrated by decisions made by the Detroit office of Customs.

He said the port had done a demonstration for Ford of how the cars would be loaded in containers, but he said “ultimately the containers went back to Europe empty.”

“CBP compromised the entire project. Not only were they going to require inspection and putting their seal on outbound containers, they were going to require 100% scanning. They are still standing on that.”

In another instance, he says Monroe was denied the ability to discharge project cargo — construction material, machinery and supplies — bound for a $500 million fiberboard factory being built in Grayling, Michigan, by the North American subsidiary of the Chilean forest products company Arauco.

He said the project would have resulted in 14 breakbulk ships visiting the port.

“Overnight, in 2017 U.S. CBP decided a wood breakbulk crate is a container requiring scanning in Michigan and nowhere else in the country. That stands to this day,” said LaMarre. The first shipment of cargo was eventually taken to Cleveland, where it was not required to be opened, devanned or scanned by CBP according to an exhaustive 44-page report prepared by the University of Michigan’s Program in Practical Policy Engagement in May that detailed the Port of Monroe’s jousting with CBP.

The University of Michigan report found “CBP-Detroit imposes clearance requirements on Michigan ports that are not required elsewhere in the United States. This renders Michigan ports unable to handle crated or containerized cargo, putting them at a comparable disadvantage” and that “CBP-Detroit’s policy has damaged the reputation of the Port of Monroe and the state of Michigan, resulting in lost business and the potential loss of region-lifting economic developments like the Arauco project.”

CBP told Crain’s Detroit Business in December that because no two ports are exactly alike, it “must evaluate all requests for services individually.”

The Monroe News in August said a CBP officer in Detroit told it that facilities in Michigan lack the proper infrastructure and technology to inspect containerized cargo and that CBP’s limited resources are a factor in its decisions because working with the port requires pulling staff from their existing responsibilities.

LaMarre said while the initial shipment for the Arauco project was loaded on a barge and moved from Cleveland to the Port of Monroe, the subsequent shipments moved through Cleveland and Canadian ports and then trucked to Grayling.

However, he says Monroe has been highly successful in arranging the movement of project cargo moved by carriers such as Spliethoff and Big Lift, including wind energy towers made by Ventower Industries. The port also installed a $1 million rail spur on its dock to receive a 390-ton generator stator from Rotterdam for the DTE Energy’s Fermi 2 nuclear power plant in Newport, Michigan. It also handles coal for DTE’s coal-fired power station, which is located next to the Port of Monroe.

“I say we are the biggest little port on the Great Lakes,” says LaMarre. “When I started here in 2012, it was an overgrown, grassy field that used to be a landfill. We have gone from not even being able to see the water because the trees were so high to a bustling seaport. And we have done it with very few resources.”

American Shipper

 

Port Reports -  January 12

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth/Superior – Daniel Lindner
There was no traffic in Duluth on Saturday, and likely the only remaining vessels to arrive this season are the rest of Duluth's winter layup fleet. Currently laid up are John J. Boland and Paul R. Tregurtha, at Fraser Shipyards and SMET, respectively, with Lee A. Tregurtha and Hon. James L. Oberstar due in the next few days. At the Superior entry, Presque Isle departed at 11:21 Saturday with the last outbound cargo of iron ore pellets from Burlington Northern for the season.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
Indiana Harbor departed Two Harbors on Jan. 10th at 22:40. No updated AIS. The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived Two Harbors on Jan. 10th at 23:08 for South of #2. As of 19:30 on Jan. 11th she was still loading. The McCarthy Jr. will be the last boat to load iron ore in the Twin Ports and North Shore for the 2019-2020 shipping season. An update on the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader: When she departed Silver Bay on Jan. 6th she didn't have an updated AIS. She went to Cleveland.

Thunder Bay, ON
Friday; 18:08 Saginaw shifted to the Superior Elevator to finish loading grain. Saturday; 2:04 Ojibway departed for Windsor. 3:48 Manitoulin arrived at the Richard Current River Terminal to load grain.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on Saturday included CSL Niagara early, followed by Lee A. Tregurtha, and Algocanada (Purvis Dock, Soo Harbor). Mesabi Miner was downbound early. Edwin H. Gott and American Century were anchored for weather Saturday night above DeTour.

Northern Lake Michigan
Cheboygan MI: Friday; 3:26 USCG Mackinaw arrived at the Coast Guard Base. 15:38 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes arrived at the US Oil Co. dock to unload petroleum products.

Alpena MI: Friday; 16:22 Samuel De Champlain departed for Milwaukee. 17:25 Sam Laud arrived to unload slag.

McGregor Bay: Friday; 21:13 Frontenac went anchor off of Killarney to wait for an icebreaker to take her into MacGregor Bay. Saturday; 12:53 CCGS Griffon arrived and began ice operations. Frontenac weighed anchor and proceeded to Fisher Harbor to unload road salt. CCGS Griffon went to anchor to wait for Frontenac to finish unloading and escort her to Georgian Bay.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Overnight fog restricted visibility to less than a half mile. Three vessels were heard, but not seen in the late night and early morning hours, passing the St. Clair Power Plant sounding their horns fog. At 2:15 pm Kaye E. Barker was upbound, but anchored south of the power plant at 3:15 pm, most likely weather delayed.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Kaye E Barker and Herbert C Jackson arrived at AK Steel to unload ore on Saturday.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader arrived on 1/11 at 14:28 and is the last boat of the season to unload at the Bulk Terminal.

 

Great Lakes water levels are higher than last year at this time

1/12 - - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit district announced Friday that water levels on each of the Great Lakes started 2020 higher than they started 2019, a year where many record high water levels were set across the lakes.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urges those impacted by the high water levels of 2019 to prepare for similar levels again this year.

The most recent six-month forecast of Great Lakes water levels shows water levels continuing to be well above average over this period. Unlike last year, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are forecasted to reach record high levels in 2020.

“It is likely that water levels on lakes Michigan and Huron will set new monthly mean record high levels over the next couple of months,” said John Allis, chief of the Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office, Detroit District. “This sets the stage for coastal impacts and damages in 2020 similar to, or worse than, what was experienced last year.”

Brian Adam, meteorologist with the National Weather Service Gaylord office, noted when the region receives a lot of ice coverage on the lakes, it tends to diminish evaporation off the lakes through the winter months, which in turn leads to higher lake levels the following season.

“Typically the lake levels fluctuate and are seasonal, but if you have that ice coverage component through the winter you’re going to diminish evaporation and it leads to higher levels,” Adam said. “You add on top of that we had a pretty wet fall and the combination of rain and snow, that’s some pretty hefty precipitation levels.”

Adam noted the Great Lakes system as a whole currently is at 3.6 percent ice coverage. Last year at this time, ice coverage stood at 1.8 percent.

Petoskey News-Review

 

Demolitions reported by World Ship Society

1/12 - Vessels with Great Lakes / Seaway connections reported as a casualty or sold for demolition taken from January 2020 issue of Marine News - Journal of the World Ship Society.

Casualties: none reported

Demolitions:

DIAMOND SUN (8701923; Tanzania, (Zanzibar) (Kopalnia Rydultowy-12) - 1st trip into the Seaway 1996) - 8,897 / 1990 bulk carrier. By Aland Shipping Ltd, Marshall Islands, to United Ship Breaking Co., India and arrived Alang 3.03.2019 - commenced demolition 8.03.2019

WEST OCEAN I (7638492; Mongolia) (Lift I-10, Lift Off-03, Christodoulos-02, Alexandros III-00, Kift Off-87 - 1st trip into the Seaway 1984) 3,039 / 1977 General cargo ship. By West Ocean Lines & Transport Inc., Philippines, to Bangladesh breakers and arrived Chittagong 14.03.2019 - commenced demolition 22.03.2019

Report prepared by Barry Andersen and René Beauchamp

 

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

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth/Superior – Daniel Lindner
Manitoulin arrived Duluth at 06:39 Friday morning to unload salt at Hallett #8. Paul R. Tregurtha was inbound at 07:22, and tied up at Port Terminal for a few hours before shifting to her winter layup berth at Midwest Energy. Edwin H. Gott was outbound from Canadian National at 11:47 with an ore cargo, and Manitoulin finished unloading and departed at 13:03 light for Thunder Bay. In Superior on Friday, Presque Isle arrived at 18:05 to load iron ore at BN, and should be outbound by Saturday night. The Tregurtha is only the second vessel so far in Duluth's winter layup fleet, with the other being John J. Boland at Fraser Shipyards. Both Lee A. Tregurtha and Hon. James L. Oberstar are due early next week for layup. Other than that, the Twin Ports' cargo season is just about over with the closing date of the Soo Locks looming in just a few days.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
American Century departed Two Harbors on Jan. 10th at 00:09 for Milwaukee. The Indiana Harbor shifted from North of #2 to South of #2 between 00:26 and 01:10 on Jan. 10th. As of 19:40 on Jan. 10th she was still at the loading dock. The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. went to anchor off Duluth at approx. 20:15 on Jan. 9th to await Two Harbors. She will be the final boat of the season for Two Harbors. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay has completed its shipping season for 2019-20.

Thunder Bay, ON
Friday; 4:09 CCGS Samuel Risley resumed ice operations. 6:08 Ojibway arrived at the G3 elevator to load grain. 8:52 CCGS Samuel Risley returned to the coast guard base at Keefer Terminal. 10:11 Saginaw arrived at Thunder Bay Terminals to load.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on Friday included Lara L. VanEnkevort/Joseph H Thompson (went to anchor just below Ile Parisienne), Michipicoten, CSL Niagara and Lee A Tregurtha. Downbound traffic included American Spirit, James R. Barker, Mississagi and, late, Mesabin Miner. Algocanada and Stewart J. Cort, both downbound earlier in the day were at anchor above DeTour for weather.

St. Ignace, MI
Downbound Burns Harbor was anchored offshore for weather all day Friday.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator arrived 4.39 pm Wednesday and was loading salt at Compass Minerals. Algoma Conveyor arrived 8.19 pm Wednesday is tied up North Pier. She will load salt next.

 

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.

 

Great Lakes water levels could be even higher in 2020

1/10 - Detroit, MI – With water levels in the Great Lakes breaking records in 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is predicting levels to reach similar heights in 2020, with a chance of new records being set again.

Projections that extend six months from the present-day estimate levels in every Great Lake, as well as Lake St. Clair will be well above the average levels, with Lakes Michigan and Huron appear the most likely to set record highs. Both came close to records in 2019.

“Great Lakes have a long memory and it takes a while for lakes to respond,” said Lauren Fry, the technical lead for Great Lakes hydrology at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Looking at where we are now going into the future, it will take an extended period of very dry conditions to bring us back to the average.”

While it’s unclear how long it will be before water levels do return to normal, the Army Corps is confident even if this year experiences its driest year ever measured, the Great Lakes will still be above the average.

While projections become less certain the further into the future people look, the outlook for the winter and spring will likely be wet, not dry. Layered on top of an already historic season of high lake levels in 2019 that measured new records in Lakes St. Clair, Erie, Ontario, and Superior, it’s likely Great Lakes residents will see more of the same in 2020.

The last time lake levels were this high was in 1986 when Fry said there was a “really big fall precipitation.”

Besides precipitation, evaporation on the lakes are the two primary factors that determine lake levels. Since the lakes recorded historic lows 10 years ago, the region has seen consistent ice cover matched with heavy rainfall and snowmelt.

“By my read, what’s changing are the extremes. The fact is it’s gone from more than a decade of at or around record lows in 2010, then jumping up to record highs so quickly - it’s unusual,” said Joel Brammeier, CEO of the Alliance for Great Lakes. “That volatility (shows) we’re seeing potentially global climate change coming to the Great Lakes.”

In 2019, water levels in Lakes Michigan and Huron came close to breaking records in June and July, when levels rose two feet above average recorded measurements. Lake St. Clair also reached its high in July, extending multiple inches above the 1986 record and more than two feet above the norm.

The past few years have been particularly wet for residents in the region. Just in 2019, every Great Lake beside Lake Superior received higher than average precipitation. Fry said 2015-19 has been the region’s wettest five-year-period in recorded history in the Great Lakes. Last May, 23 of the month’s 31 days saw rain, above the average measured by the National Weather Service.

When that volatility arrived in Michigan, it wreaked havoc on coastal communities around the state. The Detroit River, which connects Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie, spilled into the city and inundated neighborhoods like Jefferson Chalmers with high water levels. Parts of Harrison Township, which sits just west of Lake St. Clair, became impassable after its roads channeled water that spilled over from the basin.

Docks in St. Clair Shores became submerged and kept people from accessing their boats. Even the annual Jobbie Nooner was disrupted by the lake levels.

In response to the high lake levels, Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy sped up the time it takes for residents to acquire a seawall permit. Several communities have also requested Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to declare a state of emergency, in hopes of acquiring enough money to mitigate future-damage the levels might cause.

Ten state lawmakers mailed a letter to the governor in early December requesting the declaration. However, at the time Whitmer’s administration said the Michigan State Police, which works with emergency response teams, has yet to receive a request from county executives.

FOX 2 Detroit

 

Port Reports -  January 10

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth/Superior – Daniel Lindner
Edwin H. Gott arrived Duluth at 09:34 Thursday morning and backed into the Port Terminal slip to take a delay. She left the slip and shifted over to Canadian National at 18:00 to load iron ore. Manitoulin is expected on Friday morning with salt, and Paul R. Tregurtha is due shortly thereafter for winter layup at Midwest Energy. In Superior, Mesabi Miner spent Thursday loading ore at Burlington Northern, and currently has no posted departure time. Presque Isle is tentatively due on Friday afternoon.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
Indiana Harbor arrived Two Harbors on Jan. 9th at 01:25 for North of #2 lay-by. American Century arrived Two Harbors on Jan. 9th at 10:14 for South of #2 shiploader where she is still loading at 19:15 on Jan. 9th. Also due Two Harbors is the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. that was running checked down on the North Shore. This was as of 19:15. American Spirit departed Two Harbors on Jan. 8th at 19:58 for Gary. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the arrival of the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader on Jan. 9th at 07:29. As of 19:15 she is still at the dock. She is loading for Toledo.

Thunder Bay, ON
Wednesday; 16:46 CCGS Samuel Risley resumed ice operations. 17:58 Mississauga arrived at Viterra A to load wheat and departed Thursday at 14:03 for Windsor.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Thursday, 12:45 pm upbound tug & barge Victory/Maumee; 1:30 pm upbound Frontenac; weather overcast, strong steady winds from south southeast creating significant waves and whitecaps on the river, 31 degrees F.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Thursday Arrivals: Leonard M and barge Huron Spirit arrived at Nicholson's Detroit Terminal to unload steel coils. Robert S Pierson arrived at Motor City Materials to unload salt.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Samuel deChamplain/Innovation departed at 06:06 for Alpena. Sharon M1 departed at 21:30 on 1/8 for Sault Ste. Marie. Defiance/Ashtabula was loading another shuttle for ArcelorMittal.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages, Thursday January 9 - Barry Andersen

Nanticoke - arrivals - Jan 8 - Algoma Hansa at 1146 from the anchorage - departed - Jan 9 - Algosea at 1733 westbound for Sarnia

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored - Jan 7 - Algoma Hansa at 0753 - departed Jan 8 at 1146 for the dock

Buffalo - departed - Jan 9 - H Lee White - departed at 1916 for Sturgeon Bay

 

Port of Monroe to buy crane with $1.1 million grant

1/10 - Monroe, MI - Federal grant money has been awarded to fund equipment upgrades and training geared toward attracting more cargo to the Port of Monroe.

The U. S. Department of Transportation’s America’s Marine Highway Projects Program announced Tuesday the local port will receive $1.1 million. Paul LaMarre III, port director, said the funds will be used to buy a crawler crane, which will move cargo and heavy equipment.

“The grant is symbolic (of the fact) the Port of Monroe is here to stay and we are in the cargo business,” LaMarre said. “We will relentlessly continue to develop a prosperous seaport for the City of Monroe and beyond.”

The Marine Highway Projects Program, which is administered by the Maritime Administration, works to expand the use of the country’s water systems, including the Great Lakes, which are connected to the St. Lawrence Seaway System via Lake Erie.

Each year the program awards grants to projects that have been identified as Marine Highway Routes. The port and the Lake Erie Shuttle Project, an initiative to spur economic growth in the region, received a Marine Highway Route designation in 2016. Port officials pursued the grant because it presented an opportunity to help fund a project that makes the local entity more competitive in the shipping industry, according to LaMarre.

“There are very few grant programs that exist specifically for port- related projects and equipment,” he said. “We thought it was prudent to apply for funding for what has the potential to be most costly piece of equipment the port will utilize.”

The port will purchase a Manitowoc MLC165 crawler crane, which has a maximum boom length of 276 feet.

“The key to attracting cargo to your terminal is efficiency and economics,” he said. “A crane can single handedly provide both of those things.”

A crane is expensive to rent, which created a disadvantage for the local port, according to LaMarre. Last year, DRM Terminal Service, the port’s terminal operator, spent about $500,000 on crane rentals, he added.

The addition of the crane enables the port to handle different kinds of cargo, LaMarre said, adding the Manitowoc model can be customized with different attachments and other types of equipment.

The port submitted the grant proposal Sept. 20 to the DOT. Once port officials sign an agreement, the port will have 24 months to use the funds provided by DOT.

The grant was awarded on the contingency that the port also generate additional funds to purchase the crawler crane — the grant program requires a community match.

The total cost of the crane, its installation and associated training is approximately $1.7 million. LaMarre said the port will use a combination of its own money, funds from DRM Terminal Services and financing to cover the nearly $600,000 still needed.

“We have a reasonable amount of time to come up with the local match funding,” he said. The port worked with New Jersey-based grant writer Tiffany Torrey on the 10-page grant proposal. LaMarre said Torrey is respected within the maritime community.

“She is very familiar with the field in which we operate,” he said. “She has been highly successful with her applications for projects.”

Though the crane will be owned by the port, DRM Terminal Service will use it and handle its maintenance, which is a common industry practice, according to LaMarre.

In addition to the business the new equipment will help attract, LaMarre is looking forward to flying an American flag from the top of the crane. He also plans to fly a “Don’t Give Up the Ship” flag, a motto LaMarre has used as a rallying cry as the port remains embroiled in a regulatory dispute with U. S. Customs and Border Patrol. During the War of 1812, Cmdr. James Lawrence of the American frigate Chesapeake ordered his crew ′ Don’t give up the ship’ after he was fatally wounded during a battle near Boston Harbor in 1813. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry won his naval battle with the British on Lake Erie three months later while flying a blue battle flag inscribed with those words.

For several years CBP has imposed regulations that have limited the port’s ability to handle international cargo. LaMarre contends the regulations, which were handed down by CBP’s Detroit office, are inconsistent with expectations at other Great Lake ports. An independent study determined those regulations have cost the port several millions of dollars in revenue each year.

With the aid of U. S. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and U. S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, LaMarre has been seeking to operate more freely in the international shipping business as he works to comply with requirements set forth by CBP.

Last year Peters brokered a meeting with CBP officials to address the issue.

He supported the port’s recent grant application, highlighting the importance of the maritime highway and its economic impact on the area.

“I was proud to support the Port of Monroe’s application for the grant, which will allow it to upgrade equipment, make more investments to continue growing and delivering the products families and businesses across Michigan rely on every day,” Peters said.

LaMarre said there isn’t a set date for the installation of the crane. Given what the port has faced in recent years, it’s not going to rush the process, he added.

“With so much support for our continued prosperity for the American taxpayer, we would hope that (CBP) would recognize that the Port of Monroe deserves its resources and support,” LaMarre said. “All of our recent challenges have forced us to be patient. ... We will ensure the (crane) is installed when it makes the most sense.′

Monroe Evening News

 

Lay-up reports needed

1/10 - 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 lay-up dock name.
Click here to view the Lay-Up List

 

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.

 

$1.1 million federal grant for Port of Monroe equipment upgrades

1/9 - Washington, DC – The Port of Monroe will receive a $1.1 million federal grant to expand its maritime commerce operations, according to U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI). The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)’s America’s Marine Highway Projects Program. The grant funding will allow the Port to purchase a crawler crane and train staff to use it, which will allow the Port to boost operations and meet the increasing demand for cargo service throughout the Great Lakes region.

“The announcement that the Port of Monroe will be receiving a Marine Highway Grant to purchase a key piece of cargo handling equipment comes with great pride and admiration for our Port team and community partners,” said Paul LaMarre, Director of the Port of Monroe.

“It represents a critical step for our continued growth but also as an acknowledgement of our recent success,” LaMarre added. “Senator Peters has been at the forefront of that success, and we’re grateful for all of his efforts including supporting our grant application. The unrelenting support of he and his team for the Port of Monroe and Great Lakes St Lawrence Seaway System is truly priceless to us and serves as further motivation to keep moving ‘full speed ahead’ as Michigan’s Gateway Port.”

Peters has led numerous efforts to support the Port of Monroe. This past August, through his role as Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters pressed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on an agency decision that has blocked the Port of Monroe from receiving certain types of international cargo. Peters also supported the application of Paul LaMarre to the U.S. Marine and Transportation System National Advisory Committee. Last year, LaMarre was appointed to the Advisory Committee for a term of two years.

 

Water outflows at ‘unprecedented’ rates, regulators say

1/9 - Massena, NY – Despite outflows that water-level regulators call unprecedented, it might not make a lot of difference on Lake Ontario.

Members of the International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board say mild temperatures and little ice formation have allowed them to release water from dams in Massena at rates as high as 377,900 cubic feet per second. They say that's the highest-ever rate they've released water during winter.

They also say they might not be able to do it for much longer, once temperatures drop and ice starts to form on the St. Lawrence River. And, they say, "even with unprecedented outflows from Lake Ontario, the relative impact on the lake level will be small."

They say that's because of the amount of water flowing into Lake Ontario from Lake Erie and any precipitation that falls across the Lake Ontario basin. But board members say they'll continue to set outflows as high as they can based on conditions across the region.

Other factors include making sure the Moses-Saunders Dam continues to generate power safely, high water levels downriver, low water levels upriver, wind-driven water level changes.

 

Port Reports -  January 9

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth/Superior – Daniel Lindner
The only traffic in Duluth on Wednesday was James R. Barker, which departed at 14:12 for Toledo after loading iron ore pellets at Canadian National. Both Edwin H. Gott and Paul R. Tregurtha are due on Thursday, however their arrivals are weather dependent. In Superior, Stewart J. Cort continued loading ore at Burlington Northern on Wednesday with an unknown departure time. Mesabi Miner was anchored offshore waiting for her turn at the dock.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
American Spirit arrived Two Harbors on Jan. 8th at 07:56, and as I am filing this report at 19:41 on Jan. 8th she was backing away from the dock. Due Two Harbors on Jan. 9th are the Indiana Harbor, American Century, Edwin H. Gott, and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. Due Northshore Mining in Silver Bay on Jan. 9th is the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a brisk Wednesday included Saginaw for Algoma Steel around noon and Manitoulin late. Paul R. Tregurtha was in the lower river Wednesday evening and Ojibway was inbound at DeTour. Downbound traffic included Burns Harbor after dark, followed closely by Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader. USCG Katmai Bay was active in the lower river, returning to base around 4 p.m. Algonova continued to unload at the Purvis dock in the lower harbor. Corps of Engineers tug Billmaier was working in the locks area Wednesday afternoon.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Manitoulin cleared 2.07 am Wednesday with road salt for Superior, WI. Algoma Innovator arrived 4.39 pm Wednesday and was loading salt at Compass Minerals.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sharon M1 arrived at the Port, Dock 22E at 09:42 on 1/7. Defiance/Ashtabula continued on the shuttles from the Bulk Terminal. Samuel deChamplain/Innovation arrived at 20:00 for Lafarge. Frontenac arrived in Fairport Harbor on 1/7 at 07:41 to load at Morton Salt.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages - Wednesday January 8 - Barry Andersen

Nanticoke - arrival - Jan 8 - Algosea at 1521 - docked - Jan 7 - Algoma Hansa at 0718 Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored - Jan 7 - Algosea at 0531 - departed Jan 8 - Algosea at 1503 for the dock

Buffalo - arrival - Jan 7 - H Lee White - at 0523

Welland Canal upbound - Jan 5 - CSL Tadoussac at 2209 - last upbound commercial ship of 2019 - Jan 7 - CCGS Griffon at 0833 replacing summer navigation aids with winter markers - stopped wharf 18-1 West Street - departed wharf 18 at 1603 for Amherstburg

Welland Canal downbound - Jan 7 - G3 Marquis at 1054 - last vessel downbound for 2019 season

Hamilton - docked - Jan 5 - John D Leitch at 1239 - Jan 7 - Algoma Equinox at 0207 and G3 Marquis at 2201

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages - Tuesday January 7, Barry Andersen Nanticoke - arrival - Jan 7 - Algoma Hansa at 0718 from the anchorage - departed - Jan 7 - Algocanada at 0634 westbound

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored - Jan 7 - Algosea at 0531 - departed Jan 7 - Algoma Hansa at 0716 for the dock

Buffalo - arrival - Jan 7 - H Lee White - at 0523

Welland Canal upbound - Jan 7 - CCGS Griffon at 0833 replacing summer navigation aids with winter markers - stopped wharf 18-1 West Street

Welland Canal downbound - Jan 7 - G3 Marquis at 1054

Hamilton -arrival - Jan 7 - Algoma Equinox at 0207 and G3 Marquis at 2201 - docked - Jan 5 - John D Leitch at 1239 - departed - Jan 7 - CCGS Griffon at 1620 for the canal

 

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.

 

Lake Superior near monthly high water record, again

1/8 - Duluth, MN – Lake Superior remains precariously close to record-high levels and spurring continued erosion problems along its shoreline. The lake’s level dropped a little more than 1.5 inches in December, only half its normal decline for the month. That was the report last week from the International Lake Superior Board of Control that warned lakeshore residents to “prepare for potentially severe coastal impacts, especially during periods of strong winds and high waves.”

Lake Superior is 13 inches above its normal Jan. 1 water level and a full 4 inches above the Jan. 1, 2019, level one year ago. The lake is less than an inch from its all-time record-high January level set in 1986 as an unprecedented six-year wet period continues.

Heavy rain and snow and continued free-flowing rivers still not locked in ice contributed to the big lake’s slower-than-usual decline.

“Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron remain near record-highs for this time of year, and although they are expected to continue their seasonal declines in January, levels are expected to remain high over the next several months and may again exceed record-highs if wet conditions continue in 2020,” the board said in its monthly report. “As a result, there will continue to be a significantly increased risk of shoreline erosion, lakeshore flooding and coastal damages through the winter.”

The news comes in the wake of two major gale-force storms that battered the western end of Lake Superior in recent weeks, one just after Thanksgiving and another days after Christmas, sending waves pummeling the shoreline and spurring major erosion. Park Point residents in Duluth continue to see their sand beach crumble into the lake as South Shore clay sloughs into the water and even North Shore gravels erode.

The current outflow for Lake Superior is set at 86,874 cubic feet per second, well above the average outflow for this time of year and above the long-term plan for the lake. Some Lake Superior shoreline residents have complained that not enough water is being let out of the big lake through control structures on the St. Marys River in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

But Charles Sidick, hydrologist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit who oversees Lake Superior water levels, said the outflow is near the maximum safe level for the man-made structures. The outflow also is within the plan set by agreement between the U.S. and Canada.

Moreover, releasing more water from Superior faster will only compound the problems downstream, such as on Lake Michigan where an entire Muskegon County, Mich., waterfront home fell into Lake Michigan on New Year’s Day due to high water erosion. Lakes Michigan-Huron are now above the previous January record by 1.7 inches and were 37 inches above average for Jan. 1 and 17 inches above the level on Jan. 1 one year ago.

“For every (resident) on Lake Superior complaining about not releasing enough water, there is another one on Lakes Michigan-Huron who wants us to release less,” Sidick said. “There’s also the issue with the control structure itself. We could maybe release another 120 centimeters or so safely, but more than that and we could cause much damage to the compensating works due to the ice. The hydropower plants are also passing as much as they can.”

Lake Superior generally declines from October through March and then rises from April to September. The all-time record high occurred in October 1985, although some monthly records have been set since then. The all-time record low occurred in April 1926.

Just a decade ago, several Great Lakes were near all-time low levels. Now, nearly six years of high water has been good news for shippers, with Great Lakes freighters able to carry full loads and not worry about bottoming out in some ports and channels. (As recently as 2013, some freighters were leaving ports less than full because of low water levels.) But the high water since 2014 has exacerbated erosion issues, with much less beach and other shoreline buffer against wind-whipped waves, allowing storms to cause millions of dollars in damage to the Duluth Lakewalk and other waterfront areas, damage that probably wouldn’t have been as bad in low-water conditions.

Pioneer Press

 

Neebish Island resident talks about life on the Great Lakes

1/8 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Sault Ste. Marie is a famous tourist spot for the Soo Locks, where freighters pass by the downtown area for all to see. However, what is it like for people on those boats? Neebish Island resident Hunter Tyner has been a deckhand for Interlake Steamship Company for about six years. He spends over nine months a year on the freighters for his job.

“Spending three-fourths of a year on the lakes each year after so long takes its toll on a person,” Tyner told the Sault News. “All the work is manual labor. Some people can go from fit-out to layup without breaks, but nowadays they offer good vacations for everyone. I enjoy it, especially when I have a good deck crew to work with. It makes everything go a lot smoother. It’s a good experience out here, especially for those who are going on their own for the first time or possibly their first actual job like it was for me.”

Tyner has been to infamous ports such as Duluth, Superior, Detroit, Cleveland, Marquette, Toledo, and Indiana. He went into detail about how the crews he works with depends on how well the work goes.

“Living on the boats for months at a time all depends on your crew. If everyone gets along, it’s enjoyable and fun. It’s the opposite if everyone hates each other. These are people you trust with your lives in dangerous situations and they trust you in return so at times tensions are high and things need to be talked out.”

When asked about the most interesting things he has seen while on the ships, he told the Sault News about the dangerous weather he’s been through and seen on the ship. Back in 2018 in Detroit on a ship called the Kaye E. Barker, the city was in a tornado warning which caused the warning siren to blare across the city. The crew huddled inside the vessel and waited for it to pass. Luckily, said Tyner, nothing ever happened around them.

“This job, in general, is dangerous. Everything on the boat can hurt you, so we always have to be looking out for each other. The scariest situation I saw and was part of was in January of 2016 on the Kaye Barker, which was our last trip of the season. We were hauling coal from Sandusky, OH, to Essar Steel in Algoma, Canada, by the International Bridge. We had a deckhand fall in between the boat and the dock. I was down there when he slipped in. Luckily, the boat was close enough for him to hold himself up. I went to help him and I slipped, falling in myself. I almost landed on top of him. I somehow got back up onto my feet and pulled him free. Afterward, we both sat on the dock for a few seconds just looking at each other, knowing we both almost lost our lives.”

Read more at this link: https://www.sooeveningnews.com/sports/20200107/life-on-great-lakes

 

2 new Romanian-built ferries coming in 2020

1/8 - The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has ordered two ferries, built in Romania. The Amherst Islander II and Wolfe Islander IV are entirely electric powered. Read about them at this link: https://www.damen.com/en/blog

 

Port Reports -  January 8

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
Neither Two Harbors nor Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had any traffic on Jan. 7th. No ETA for the American Spirit due Two Harbors. as of 18:30 on Jan. 7th she was running checked down hugging the SE side of Isle Royale. Due Two Harbors are the Indiana Harbor, anchored in Bete Grise Bay. These are all as of 18:30 on Jan. 7th. The Edwin H. Gott was anchored in Whitefish Bay and the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was anchored in the St. Marys River. All are due Two Harbors. Due Northshore Mining in Silver Bay is the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader, which was anchored in Whitefish Bay at 18:30 on Jan. 7th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Tuesday, 1:35 Joyce L Van Enkevort arrived and went to anchor to wait out weather. 13:57 CCGS Samuel Risley resumed ice operations.

Cheboygan, MI
Tuesday, 1:55 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes arrived at the US Oil Co. dock to unload petroleum products and departed at 13:11 for Sarnia. 15:27 USCG Mackinaw departed for Green Bay to conduct ice operations.

Alpena, MI
Monday at 12:16 Samuel De Champlain departed for Detroit.

Southern Lake Michigan ports
Presque Isle was unloading at Gary Tuesday night.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Tuesday: 1:45 pm upbound Algoma Innovator; 2 pm downbound Laura L. VanEnkevort/Joseph H. Thompson

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Tuesday Arrivals: Samuel De Champlain/Innovation-arrived at Lafarge to unload cement. Calusa Coast and Delaware-arrived at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal to load. CSL Tadoussac-arrived at St. Mary's Cement to unload clinker.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Paul R. Tregurtha departed the Bulk Terminal at 07:55 Tuesday to head to Superior for layup. Sam Laud departed Cleveland for Toledo; she will load for Alpena. Defiance/Ashtabula three 3 more shuttles to run for ArcelorMittal from the Bulk Terminal. The ferry Put-In-Bay left the Great Lakes Shipyard at 08:05.

 

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.

 

Lake Erie ice cover predicted to cap at 80 percent

1/7 - Residents living along the Lake Erie shoreline can breathe a sigh of relief this winter.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a U.S. government scientific agency, is predicting that ice cover on Lake Erie this winter is expected to be a maximum of 80 percent, which is the highest projection for all of the five Great Lakes. The NOAA said maximum ice cover on the lower lakes, such as Lake Erie, normally occurs between mid-February and the end of February and Lake Erie has the highest ice cover because it is shallow.

Preliminary findings released in a January 2, 2020 report from the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory showed ice cover on Lake Huron should be up to 66 per cent this winter, Lake Superior 54 percent, Lake Michigan 41 percent, and Lake Ontario with the lowest level of ice cover at 32 percent because of its depth.

The ice will replace splashing waves along the shoreline caused by strong wind, meaning that properties along Lake Erie will get a break from erosion, damage, and flooding caused by pounding waves and record-high water levels in 2019.

The NOAA said as of January 1, 2020, the total Great Lakes ice cover is 1.3 per cent, which is about two thirds less than around this time last year, and barely anything compared to early 2018, when the ice covering the Great Lakes was already almost 20 percent overall. NOAA predicts the total maximum Great Lakes’ ice cover this winter to be around 47 per cent, well below the long-term average of 55.7 percent. The highest Great Lakes ice coverage on record is 94.7 percent in 1979 and the lowest is 9.5 percent in 2002.

Blackburn News

 

Grain shipments down 50% at Port of Toledo, but 2019 still a solid year

1/7 - Toledo, OH – While we've been below average when it comes to snowfall this winter, our rain totals were well above average during last year's growing season. That made for an extremely difficult year for a lot of farmers around the region. In fact, many of them couldn't even plant their crops, and that had a big effect on the grain numbers at the Port of Toledo.

The Port of Toledo has about 7,000 jobs tied to it, with a 1 billion dollar annual economic impact on the region. Every year 500-800 vessels come through Toledo. However, in 2019 those freighters were carrying a lot less grain.

Grain shipments through the port were down 50% in 2019, but a diversified portfolio of products helped offset the loss in grain numbers. In the end, it was another solid year for one of the busiest ports on the Great Lakes.

Port leaders say they will release the final numbers for 2019 in the coming weeks. The total will likely be over nine million tons of cargo moving in and out of Toledo.

Also, the new Cleveland Cliffs HBI facility being built in Toledo will mean more business here in 2020. It's expected to create new jobs and the need for at least 100 additional freighter shipments in and out of Toledo this year.

WTVG

 

Port Reports -  January 7

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
CN Two Harbors had no traffic on Jan. 6th. Due Two Harbors on Jan. 7th is the Indiana Harbor and the American Spirit. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the departure of the Lee A. Tregurtha on Jan. 5th at 20:20 for Toledo. The Joyce L.VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader arrived on Jan. 5th at 20:35 and departed Silver Bay on Jan. 6th at 13:27. As of 18:00 she has no updated AIS. Due Silver Bay on Jan. 7th is the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader.

Thunder Bay, ON
Sunday; 22:45 Michipicoten arrived at Viterra to load grain and departed Monday at 14:50 for Windsor.

St. Marys River
Vessels that had been stopped for weather – Mesabi Miner, Hon. James L. Oberstar and Herbert C. Jackson, all resumed their upbound trips Monday early evening as gales-force winds moderated. Other upbounders included Indiana Harbor, American Spirit, Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader (anchored off Paradie Monday night) and Mississagi (headed for Thunder Bay). At 10 p.m., Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Kaye E. Barker were upbound in the lower river.

Southern Lake Michigan ports
American Century was unloading on Monday night.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Tug Sharon M I and barge Huron Spirit unloaded steel coils at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal on Monday

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Defiance/Ashtabula and Sam Laud both ran shuttles to ArcelorMittal from the Bulk Terminal on Monday. Victory/Maumee were anchored off Lakewood waiting out currents. Paul R. Tregurtha arrived at the Bulk Terminal at 17:00.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages – Monday January 6 - Barry Andersen
Nanticoke - arrival Jan 7 - Algosea eta 0700 - docked Jan 3 - Algocanada at 0758

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored Jan 3 - Algoma Hansa at 2130

Buffalo - arrival Jan 7 - H Lee White - eta 0600 - Jan 6 - departed anchorage off Sandusky at 1503 after weather delay for Buffalo

Welland Canal upbound Jan 5 - CSL Tadoussac at 2209 stopped on east wall above lock 8

Welland Canal downbound Jan 6 - Algoma Equinox at 1054

Hamilton - arrival - Jan 7 - Algoma Equinox eta 0200 - docked - Jan 5 - John D Leitch at 1239 and CCGS Griffon at 1601 from Hamilton

 

Algoma Buffalo and Compass spending winter in Owen Sound

1/7 - Two Algoma Central Corporation lake freighters are spending this winter laid up in the Owen Sound Harbor. The 42-year-old Algoma Buffalo and 47-year-old Algoma Compass both arrived in the port last week, Peter Winkley, the company’s chief financial officer said Monday.

The two vessels joined in the harbor the MS Chi-Cheemaun, which docked for the winter on Oct. 21. Work is taking place on all three ships during this year’s layup.

“We will be doing regular winter maintenance on our two ships while they are there, similar to what we have done with other ships that have spent the winter,” Winkley said of the Algoma vessels.

Algoma Central Corporation purchased the Compass, formerly named the Adam C. Cornelius, and the Buffalo from the American Steamship Company at the end of 2017. The vessels have sailed for Algoma for the past two years, Winkley said.

Both ships are Great Lakes self-unloading bulk carriers. The Buffalo, which is tied up on the west side of the harbor north of the grain elevators, is 630 feet long, while the Compass, which is moored on the east side of the harbor, measures 680 feet. Both vessels tend to focus on the salt and construction materials shipping markets, Winkley said.

Chi-Cheemaun, meanwhile, is anchored south of the two freighters, near the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre. This winter, workers will be undertaking a project on the ferry to overhaul the below-deck crew quarters. Three-quarters of the work will take place this winter, with the remainder set for next winter, according to OSTC.

The final stage of the Chi-Cheemaun’s dining deck upgrade will also be completed this winter. The wall paneling and flooring are being extended through to the aft area of the dining deck and the two aft stairways are being completed as well. The ferry’s first crossing of 2020 between Tobermory and South Baymouth is set for May 1.

Owen Sound Sun Times

 

$50 million sediment cleanup on Rouge River Old Channel will become a model

1/7 - Detroit, MI - Not many people know the history of Zug Island at the confluence of the Rouge and Detroit rivers, nor the $50 million project currently underway there.

The island is named after Samuel Zug, who came to Detroit from Pennsylvania in 1836 as a 20-year-old. He went into the furniture-making business with a Detroit investor named Marcus Stevenson with money he had saved as a bookkeeper in Pittsburgh. The substantial forests and convenient access to East Coast markets by way of the Detroit River, Great Lakes and the Erie Canal made Detroit an ideal place for a young man seeking a fortune making furniture.

After 23 years in the furniture business, his partnership with Stevenson dissolved in 1859, leaving Zug a wealthy man. He purchased 325 acres of land at the confluence of the Rouge and Detroit rivers from Michigan’s second territorial governor, General Lewis B. Cass. It was a marshy peninsula that was three-quarters wetlands. Another attractive feature was that it had a natural sulfur spring that was providing, at that time, 1,200 barrels of mineral water per day.

Zug and his wife had hoped to build a mansion on the island, but after ten years they decided that the wetlands and the mosquitos breeding there were just too much to endure.

In 1888, Samuel Zug authorized the River Rouge Improvement Company to cut a small canal 60 feet wide and eight feet deep along the south end of his land, essentially converting his natural peninsula into a human-made island and making a new river mouth south of where the Rouge River used to empty into the Detroit River. This reversed the flow of the Old Channel. Detroit River water now flowed into the Old Channel, around the island, and then mixed with Rouge River water before emptying again into the Detroit River.

In 1889, Samuel Zug died, leaving this land to his wife, who died in 1891. The Zug heirs sold the island for $300,000 to George Brady and Charles Noble, who wanted to use it for industrial development. Today, it is called Zug Island and has a more-than-100-year history as part of the epicenter of the industrial revolution in Detroit. Several blast furnaces for steel production were built on the island beginning in 1902.

In the early 1900s, Henry Ford enlarged the canal to accommodate large freighters bringing raw materials into the Ford Rouge Plant. This shipping channel extends from the Detroit River at Zug Island upriver to a turning basin for freighters in Dearborn where the Rouge Plant is located. Construction of the Rouge Plant began in 1917 and was completed in 1928, making it the largest integrated factory in the world at that time.

Before strong environmental laws were enacted in the 1970s, pollutants were routinely discharged into the lower Rouge River. Dozens of industries operated in the area from the late 1800s, including iron and steel mills, coking plants, and tar and paper manufacturing. Today, there are strict controls on pollutant discharges, but the legacy of many decades of release of pollutants into the river can be found in contaminated sediments.

It should be no surprise that the Old Channel was identified as a contaminated sediment hot spot. The primary contaminants of concern in the Old Channel are polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons that are known to cause liver tumors in fish and oil and other petroleum products. An industrial chemical called polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs is also present.

Incidentally, the oil and other petroleum products in the sediments are undoubtedly the same kind of oil products that caused the infamous Rouge River fire 50 years ago.

In 2018, a voluntary contaminated sediment remediation project was started on a 0.75-mile stretch of the Old Channel under the Great Lakes Legacy Act. The Old Channel is part of the Rouge River Area of Concern. The first step was stabilizing the river bank along the Old Channel.

In 2019 and 2020, dredging and disposal of contaminated sediments and capping of contaminated sediments where dredging is not possible due to underwater utilities and other hazards are being carried out.

In total, 70,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment is being remediated at a cost of $50 million. The contaminated sediments are being transported by barge for disposal at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Pointe Mouillee Confined Disposal Facility in South Rockwood, Michigan. Silt curtains are deployed in the water around the dredging to minimize any suspended sediment from leaving the site.

Following the contaminated sediment remediation, spawning habitat will be enhanced for locally important fish species like walleye and lake sturgeon.

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/01/zug-island-history-sediment-cleanup-detroit-rouge-river

 

Saltie Gallery Update

1/7 - The Saltie Gallery has been updated with the following images: Acadia Desgagnes, Alina, Argentia Desgagnes, Caroline, Chembulk Yokohama, CLI Pride, Fairchem Steed, Fearless, Federal Montreal, Federal Weser, Hanse Gate, Heerengracht, Lake Erie, Miena Desgagnes, Mirella S, Onego Traveller, Palmerton, Rosaire A. Desgagnes, Timgad, Vectis Falcon and Vectis Pride.

 

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.

 

Captain of the Exeborg docks first ship of 2020 at Port of Montreal

1/6 - Montreal, QC – Every Jan. 1, the first vessel to enter the Port of Montreal in the new year is treated to a special ceremony, complete with a champagne toast and the presentation of a gold-tipped cane to the ship's captain.

This year, that honor goes to the Exeborg, from the Netherlands, which arrived in Montreal after leaving the port of Sauda in Norway on Dec. 21. On Monday, the Exeborg's captain, Qin Xiao Fei, will receive the ceremonial gold-headed cane engraved with his name. Over the weekend, Qin said he's planning on going into the city to buy gifts for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

The custom of handing down the 14-carat-tipped cane began in 1840.

Read more and view a video at this link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/montreal-golden-cane-ceremony-1.5399170

 

Port Reports -  January 6

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Lake Superior
With gale warnings in effect, James R. Barker was on the hook in the shelter of the Keweenaw Peninsula Sunday night. AIS says she is bound for Duluth.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
The CN-Two Harbors docks had no traffic on Jan. 5th. Tentatively due Two Harbors on Jan. 6th are the James R. Barker and the Mesabi Miner. As of 19:40 on the 5th the Barker is anchored in Bete Grise Bay, where it has been most of the day, and the Miner has been anchored since late afternoon near Paradise, MI. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the arrival of the Lee A. Tregurtha on Jan. 5th at 05:15. She is still at the dock on Jan. 5th at 19:40. As of 19:40 on the 5th the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader is running checked down on the North Shore NE of Silver Bay. Her AIS is showing Duluth, but Harbor Lookout is showing her for Silver Bay. I'm inclined to agree with Harbor Lookout.

Thunder Bay, ON
Sunday; 7:19 CCGS Samuel Risley resumed ice operations. 9:44 CSL St Laurent arrived at Keefer Terminal for winter layup. 10:27 CCGS Samuel Risley returned to the coast guard base.

St. Marys River
Algoma Equinox was downbound in the late morning, followed by Presque Isle in the early evening. Laura VanEnkevort was in the locks in the late evening. Upbounders included Mesabi Miner in the afternoon (went to anchor for weather), followed by Herbert C. Jackson and Indiana Harbor in the late evening (went to anchor above DeTour). Gale warnings were in effect, with winds to 40 knots for the St. Marys River area.

Sturgeon Bay, WI
Roger Blough arrived for winter layup Sunday; John G. Munson arrived Saturday. The tug Cheyenne, formerly based in Detroit and now under new ownership, arrived and is docked at the Center Point Marina.

Green Bay, WI
Steamer Alpena unloaded cement on Sunday and was outbound Sunday night. Her AIS says she is going to Milwaukee.

Southern Lake Michigan ports
On Sunday night, Edwin H. Gott was unloading at Gary, with American Century doing the same at Indiana Harbor.

Calcite, MI: Saturday; 21:31 After unloading petroleum products the tug Albert and tanker barge Margaret departed for Sarnia.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault was loading salt Sunday. Manitoulin was at the north dock. Algoma Enterprise is laid up in the basin.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Sunday Arrivals: Calumet shifed to the Revere Dock to finish unloading slag. Kaye E Barker arrived at AK Steel to unload ore. Sarah Andrie and her tank barge arrived at the Buckeye Terminal. Iver Bright arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
Algoma Innovator went to anchor in northern western Lake Erie Sunday. Unknown when she will arrive at Toledo.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Defiance/Ashtabula arrived at 06:32 Sunday. Sam Laud was on a shuttle from the Bulk Terminal for ArcelorMittal.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages – Sunday January 5, Barry Andersen
Nanticoke - docked - Jan 3 - Algocanada at 0758 - Jan 4 - Algonova at 0024 departure - Algosea at 0024 westbound - Jan 5 - Algonova at 1242 westbound

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored - Jan 3 - Algoma Hansa at 2130

Buffalo - arrival - Jan 6 - none - Jan 7 - H Lee White - currently delayed, anchored off Sandusky for weather

Welland Canal upbound - Jan 4 - Robert S Pierson at 1608 and Tim S Dool at 2121 stopping at wharf 12 - Jan 5 - CSL Tadoussac eta 2210

Welland Canal downbound - Jan 4 - Frontenac at 0349 stopping wharf 16, CSL Laurentien at 1347 to wharf 16 (winter berth), Algoma Mariner at 1507 to wharf 16 (winter berth) and John D Leitch eta 2235

Welland Canal docks - Dec 19 - Rt Hon Paul J Martin into Heddle Marine dry dock Port Weller for winter work at 1151 - Dec 25 - Algoma Transport stopped wharf 17 - winter layup - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit arrived wharf 12 at 1955 approx for winter lay-up - Jan 3 - Kaministiqua from Heddle Marine lay-by berth into deep dock at 1005 approx. for winter work - Kaministiqua into Heddle Marine DD with tugs Wyatt M and Jarrett M assisting - light tug Wyatt M tied-up West Street Port Colborne at 1600 approx. overnight - Jan 4 - CSL Laurentien at 0432 (stopped wharf 16 (winter berth) and Algoma Mariner stopped wharf 16 at 1542

Hamilton - arrival - Jan 5 - John D Leitch at 1239 - listed as laid-up - Dec 20 - NACC Capri (Mlt) at 1228 - Dec 24 - tug Wilf Seymour & Alouette Spirit at 0854 - Dec 28 - tug Everlast & Norman McLeod at 0738 - Dec 29 - tug Sea Eagle II & St Marys Cement II at 0741 - miscellaneous vessels - Dec 4 - CCGS Ile St Ours at 1800 and CCGS Caribou Isle at 1800 - both at Heddle Drydock and Dec 22 - CCGS Limnos at 1048 moored at Centre for Inland Waters - Dec 31 - Algoma Guardian at 0058, Algoma Harvester at 1001 - Jan 2 - Manitoulin at 0707 - Jan 3 - Florence Spirit at 1559 and Tim S Dool at 2023 - Jan 4 - tug Ecosse at 1350 from Toronto - departure - Jan 4 - CCGS Griffon at 0829 for Toronto Toronto - arrival - Jan 4 - CCGS Griffon at 1156 - docked - Dec 26 - Oakglen at 1010 (laid-up) - Dec 27 - Salarium at 1957 (laid-up) - Dec 30 - McKeil Spirit at 1248 - Jan 1 - NACC Argonaut at 2216 - departed - Jan 4 - tug Ecosse at 1022 for Hamilton

 

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.

 

New cruise ship Hanseatic Inspiration headed for lakes, Duluth this summer

1/5 - Duluth, MN – On June 3, the Hanseatic Inspiration, owned by a German cruise ship company, will set sail in Toronto and make its way to Chicago. Other stops along the Great Lakes will include Sault Ste Marie, Thunder Bay and Duluth, with 376 passengers and 240 crew.

Hanseatic inspiration was launched in October 2019. "Great Lakes cruising has really become much more organized in the last 5-years and now we're seeing those results," said Anna Tanski, President and CEO of Visit Duluth told KBJR. The cruise line has scheduled two visits to Duluth this year. The second is on June 17, from Chicago back to Toronto.

Explore the available cruises at this link: https://www.hl-cruises.com/cruisefinder/INS2011

 

 

Port Reports -  January 5

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Once again there was no harbor traffic in Duluth on Saturday, with none scheduled until Thursday when Paul R. Tregurtha is due. In Superior, G3 Marquis departed at 08:37 Saturday morning with iron ore pellets from Burlington Northern, and Burns Harbor arrived from anchor at 09:09 to load. She was still at the dock Saturday night with an estimated departure time of 23:30. Stewart J. Cort was anchored offshore waiting for her turn at the dock.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
Presque Isle departed Two Harbors at 14:13 on Jan. 4th. As of 19:30 on Jan. 4th she wasn’t showing a destination AIS. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Two Harbors on Jan. 5th. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had no traffic on Jan. 4th. Due Silver Bay on Jan. 5th in the morning is the Lee A. Tregurtha. Harbor Lookout is showing the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader also due on the 4th, but the Joyce L. is showing an AIS destination of Duluth.

Thunder Bay, ON
Friday; 9:06 CCGS Samuel Risley resumed ice operations. 13:16 Algoma Innovator departed for Toledo. 16:08 Ojibway departed for Windsor.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Sunday included CSL St. Laurent, Great Lakes Trader/Joyce L. VanEnkevort and, late, James R. Barker. Downbound traffic included Kaye E. Barker, Algoma Innovator, Paul R. Tregurtha, Ojibway and Algoma Equinox.

Green Bay, WI
The Tug Michigan/Barge Great Lakes arrived from Sarnia to the U.S Oil Venture Terminal Saturday morning.

Northern Lake Huron ports
Cheboygan: Friday; 11:09 The tug Albert and tanker barge Margaret departed for Calcite. 11:13 The tug Nancy Anne departed for Calcite. 20:03 Nancy Anne arrived.

Calcite: Friday; 15:16 The tug Nancy Anne arrived to assist the tug Albert and tanker barge Margaret to dock.

Alpena: Thursday; 23:48 The cement carrier Alpena departed for Green Bay. Friday; 7:20 Samuel De Champlain weighed anchor and proceeded to the Lafarge dock to load cement products.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault was loading salt Saturday. Algoma Enterprise is laid up in the basin.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Saturday Arrivals: Hon. James L Oberstar arrived at AK Steel to unload ore. Calumet arrived at St. Mary's Cement to unload slag.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
Cason J. Callaway is going to Erie, Pennsylvania for winter layup. You will not be able to see all three of these vessels (Anderson, Callaway, Clarke) in layup at Toledo this year. The Anderson is at the former C&O Ore Dock. While the Clarke is at the former Interlake Iron dock by the Shipyard.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud arrived at 01:28 Saturday from Ashtabula and is running shuttles. Saginaw arrived in Lorain at 15:51 for Amcor.

Erie, PA – Andrew Rogers
cason J. Callaway arrived in Erie for layup Saturday evening after unloading at Conneaut. She is at the old ore dock.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages – Saturday January 4, Barry Andersen

Nanticoke - arrivals - Jan 3 - Algocanada at 0758 - Dec 4 - Algonova at 0024 departure - Algosea at 0024 westbound

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored - Dec 29 - Algonova at 2115 - Jan 3 - Algoma Hansa at 2130

Buffalo - Jan 6 - H Lee White eta 0600

Welland Canal upbound - Jan 4 - Robert S Pierson at 1608

Welland Canal downbound - Jan 4 - Frontenac at 0349 stopping wharf 16, tug Petite Forte & St Marys Cement at 0542, CSL Laurentien at 1347 to wharf 16 (winter berth), Algoma Mariner at 1507 to wharf 16 (winter berth) and John D Leitch eta 2235 Welland Canal docks - Dec 19 - Rt Hon Paul J Martin into Heddle Marine dry dock Port Weller for winter work at 1151 - Dec 25 - Algoma Transport stopped wharf 17 - winter layup - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit arrived wharf 12 at 1955 approx for winter lay-up - Jan 3 - Kaministiqua from Heddle Marine lay-by berth into deep dock at 1005 approx. for winter work - Kaministiqua into Heddle Marine DD with tugs Wyatt M and Jarrett M assisting - light tug Wyatt M tied-up West Street Port Colborne at 1600 approx. overnight - Jan 4 - Frontenac stopped wharf 16 at 0424, and Algoma Mariner stopped wharf 16 at 1542 - departures- Jan 3 - CSL Laurentien backed away from 19-E at 0825 out to anchorage - Jan 4 - Frontenac at 1215 from wharf 16 out to Lake Erie westbound

Port Colborne anchorage - anchored - Jan 2 - Algoma Mariner at 2342 - Jan 4 - CSL Laurentien at 0432 - departed - Jan 3 - Algoma Mariner at 1356, and CSL Laurentien at 1240 - both for wharf 16 and winter lay-up

Hamilton - arrival - Jan 4 - tug Ecosse at 1350 from Toronto - listed as laid-up - Dec 20 - NACC Capri (Mlt) at 1228 - Dec 24 - tug Wilf Seymour & Alouette Spirit at 0854 - Dec 28 - tug Everlast & Norman McLeod at 0738 - Dec 29 - tug Sea Eagle II & St Marys Cement II at 0741 - miscellaneous vessels - Dec 4 - CCGS Ile St Ours at 1800 and CCGS Caribou Isle at 1800 - both at Heddle Drydock and Dec 22 - CCGS Limnos at 1048 moored at Centre for Inland Waters - Dec 31 - Algoma Guardian at 0058, CCGS Griffon at 0907 and Algoma Harvester at 1001 - Jan 2 - Manitoulin at 0707 - Jan 3 - Florence Spirit at 1559 and Tim S Dool at 2023 - departed Jan 2 - tug Leo A McArthur & John J Carrick at 1233 for the canal - Jan 4 - CCGS Griffon at 0829 for Toronto

Toronto - arrival - Jan 4 - CCGS Griffon at 1156 - docked - Dec 26 - Oakglen at 1010 (laid-up) - Dec 27 - Salarium at 1957 (laid-up) - Dec 30 - McKeil Spirit at 1248 - Jan 1 - NACC Argonaut at 2216 - departed - Jan 4 - tug Ecosse at 1022 for Hamilton

 

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.

 

Outflows at Moses-Saunders Dam raised to help drain Lake Ontario

1/4 - The last cargo ship of the season passed through the St. Lawrence Seaway in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, and with that, the seaway closed for the season. Usually, by the time this happens, ice has started forming on the river, but not this year. A stretch of unusually warm weather has prevented any ice formation on the St. Lawrence so far this year.

And with the seaway now free of ships, the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board is taking the opportunity to flush as much water as possible out of Lake Ontario. The river board announced it plans to throw open the floodgates at the Moses-Saunders Dam, increasing the outflow from 8,850 cubic metres per second to over 10,000, flow rates not seen since near the end of the summer.

Releasing such an enormous amount of water downstream is only possible done when no ships are trying to navigate the seaway and no ice forming on the surface.

“If you increase outflows, you increase the velocity of the St. Lawrence River and, eventually, it becomes unsafe for navigation. But the outflows have been at record highs for several months despite this constraint. But with the closing of the seaway, that safety concern is gone,” explained Jacob Bruxer, the Canadian regulatory representative of the river board.

“Ice is another concern. If you increase outflows too much, it prevents the formation of a stable ice cover on the river, which can cause ice jams that we do not want. But with the mild weather we’ve had, and another week of mild temperatures being forecasted, we don’t have to worry about that either.”

Water levels in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River have been much higher than normal for several months, causing a lot of anger from residents living on both sides of the river. The issue has become so bad that New York state is suing the International Joint Commission (which delegates authority over water levels to the river board), seeking US$1 billion in damages for destruction of residents’ property.

There have also been calls from residents along the river in Ontario for the International Joint Commission to scrap or amend Plan 2014, which governs how water levels in the river can be adjusted and under what circumstances. The board’s weekly updates show it tossed Plan 2014’s rules out the window earlier this year, increasing flow rates through the dam beyond what Plan 2014 recommends in order to mitigate Lake Ontario water levels.

In the face of constant criticism from those dealing with a second summer of flooding in three years, the board struggled to keep flow rates to the highest levels that would continue to allow safe navigation along the seaway. Flow rates only dropped below 10,000 cubic metres per second the week of Sept. 12.

The increase began Tuesday and aims to remove as much water as possible, as quickly as possible, in order to make water levels next spring and summer more manageable.

“All the Great Lakes are still very high for this time of year, including Lake Ontario,” said Bruxer. “There is a lot of concern about high water occurring again in 2020, so the board is looking to take every opportunity to release water from Lake Ontario between now and then. So this is part of that strategy.”

By increasing the outflows at the Moses-Saunders Dam to over 10,000 cubic metres per second, it could reduce the water level in Lake Ontario by an additional three or four centimetres over the next week. Before the increase, the lake level was dropping by 28 centimetres a week.

As a result, water levels on the downstream side of the dam are expected to rise, which includes Cornwall and the Montreal area. But the water should quickly drain out to the ocean.

Standard Freeholder

 

Port Reports -  January 4

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
There was no traffic in Duluth on Friday, as H. Lee White ended up departing from General Mills late Thursday night. In Superior, Algoma Equinox was outbound from Burlington Northern at 11:51 with a load of ore for Hamilton, and her sister G3 Marquis arrived at 12:28 to load. She was due to depart just before midnight. Burns Harbor was anchored waiting to load next, and Stewart J. Cort was due to join her at 21:00 Friday evening.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
American Century departed Two Harbors on Jan. 3rd at 01:04 for Indiana Harbor. The Presque Isle shifted from North of #2 to South of #2 between 02:14 and 02:36 where she was still loading as of 19:00 on Jan. 3rd. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Two Harbors on Jan. 4th. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the departure of the Paul R. Tregurtha on Jan. 3rd at 10:10 for Cleveland. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Silver Bay on Jan. 4th.

St. Marys River
Cason J. Callaway, Hon. James L Oberstar and Mississagi were downbound on Friday during the day. Edwin H. Gott was in the locks at 10 p.m. followed by H. Lee White with a load for Buffalo.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
Under mostly sunny skies, tug G.L. Ostrander with barge Integrity arrived Port Milwaukee 14:01 on January 1, 2020. She was the port’s first visitor of the new decade. Typically, the pair would deliver cement to Lafarge’s terminal. On this occasion, however, they tied up near the south end of the mooring basin.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor was loading salt at Compass Minerals Friday. Algoma Enterprise remains idle in basin and may have entered winter layup. Manitowoc is expected next.

Marine City, MI – Rick Larson
Friday: 12:45pm downbound Cason J. Callaway; 1:30 pm upbound tug Cheyenne. Weather overcast with calm winds; river calm, 42 degrees F.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Friday Arrivals: Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder arrived at the Motor City Materials dock to unload salt. Calusa Coast and Delaware arrived at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal to load.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
Algoma Innovator loaded a grain cargo at Thunder Bay and is due in Sunday morning. Unknown which dock she is bound for.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud departed Cleveland at 20:33 on 1/2, arriving in Ashtabula at 01:13 on 1/3. Also in Ashtabula was the Cuyahoga, arriving at 15:54 on the 3rd. Herbert C. Jackson arrived in Cleveland from Ashtabula at 20:58 on the 2nd. The American Spirit arrived at 18:00 for the Bulk Terminal.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages – Friday January 3, Barry Andersen
Nanticoke - arrivals - Jan 3 - Algosea at 0416, Mesabi Miner at 0418, and Algocanada at 0758 - departed - Jan 3 - Mesabi Miner at 1735 westbound

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored -Dec 29 - Algonova at 2115 - Jan 3 - Algoma Hansa eta 2050 - departed - Jan 3 - Algosea at 0408 from the anchorage and Algocanada at 0750 from the anchorage - both to the dock

Welland Canal upbound - Jan 2 - Algoma Mariner at 1254 and tug Leo A McArthur & John J Carrick at 1540 - Jan 3 - Manitouin at 0554, tugs Jarrett M at 0738 & Wyatt M at 0802 - to Heddle Marine lay-by berth to assist Kaministiqua into dry dock, tug Jarrett M departed shipyard at approx 1000 upbound

Welland Canal downbound - Jan 2 - CSL Laurentien at 0245 stopped at wharf 19-E - Jan 3 - Tim S Dool at 0737, tug Wyatt M departed shipyard at approx 1000 headed back to Toronto, Robert S Pierson at 1258

Welland Canal docks - Dec 19 - Rt Hon Paul J Martin into Heddle Marine dry dock Port Weller for winter work at 1151 - Dec 25 - Algoma Transport stopped wharf 17 - winter layup - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit arrived wharf 12 at 1955 approx for winter lay-up - Jan 2 - CSL Laurentien stopped at wharf 19-E at 0315 approx. - departed - Jan 3 - Kaministiqua from Heddle Marine lay-by berth into deep dock at 1005 approx. for winter work - tugs Wyatt M and Jarrett M assisted Kaministiqua into the dry dock, CSL Laurentien backed away from 19-E at 0825 westbound - light tug Wyatt M tiedup West Street Port Colborne at 1600 approx.

Port Weller anchorage - anchored - Jan 1 - Algoma Mariner at 0046 from Clarkson dock - weather - departed - Jan 2 at 1235 for the canal

Hamilton - arrival -Jan 3 - Florence Spirit at 1559 and Tim S Dool at 2023 - listed as laid-up - Dec 20 - NACC Capri (Mlt) at 1228 - Dec 24 - tug Wilf Seymour & Alouette Spirit at 0854 - Dec 28 - tug Everlast & Norman McLeod at 0738 - Dec 29 - tug Sea Eagle II & St Marys Cement II at 0741 - miscellaneous vessels - Dec 4 - CCGS Ile St Ours at 1800 and CCGS Caribou Isle at 1800 - both at Heddle Drydock and Dec 22 - CCGS Limnos at 1048 moored at Centre for Inland Waters - Dec 31 - Algoma Guardian at 0058, CCGS Griffon at 0907 and Algoma Harvester at 1001 - Jan 2 - Manitoulin at 0707 - departed Jan 2 - tug Leo A McArthur & John J Carrick at 1233 for the canal - Jan 2 - Florence Spirit at 2239 to go out on lake to clean holds before returning

Toronto - docked - Dec 26 - Oakglen at 1010 (laid-up) - Dec 27 - Salarium at 1957 (laid-up) - Dec 30 - McKeil Spirit at 1248 - Jan 1 - NACC Argonaut at 2216 - departed - Jan 2 - CSL Niagara at 1630 for the canal

 

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.

 

Main engine failure led to Tecumseh engine room fire

1/3 - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is continuing to investigate an engine room fire that began on a Canadian cargo vessel along the Detroit River in December 2019.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded on Dec. 15, 2019 to an engine room fire that began on the Tecumseh. The fire took place around 2 p.m., while the freighter was near Zug Island on the American side of the Detroit River. Sixteen crew members were on board, with one sustaining minor injuries, according to the TSB. Additionally, the fire caused "extensive damage" to the vessel.

The vessel eventually drifted into Canadian waters, where a team of firefighters boarded and extinguished the blaze. The TSB deployed a team of investigators to the Tecumseh on Dec. 17 to "gather information and access the occurrence."

CBC

 

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay refurbished and ready for service in Sturgeon Bay

1/3 - Sturgeon Bay, WI – After about a year away from its home port of Sturgeon Bay, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay is back in Door County. The ice-breaking tug was getting an upgrade from top to bottom. From its signature black and white paint job to the attached aids to navigation barge, the 140 foot-long U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay is ready for service.

"We brought the cutter to Baltimore, Maryland, in the summer of 2018. And we returned this past summer, to bring her back home," said Lt. Cmdr. Steven Kingsley, U.S. Coast Guard. Kingsley serves as captain of the Mobile Bay. He says the ship was gutted from bow to stern, and then rebuilt. Kingsley says the ship's bridge features a new navigational system. The electronic charting table faces forward, and the steering console is redesigned.

"We're usually navigating in confined areas, alongside large vessels, so you want to have the best steering system you possibly can in those conditions," said Kingsley.

Just outside, part of the deck is now wider to accommodate the small-boat launch system. Below deck, there are more bunks for the 28 crew members to sleep, and the engineering control center is rewired too.

"New cameras for remote monitoring. So with a smaller crew, we don't get into every space, all the time. We're able to monitor spaces pretty frequently, just by looking up at a screen, instead of sending people down to spaces," said Chief Warrant Officer Brent Fike, U.S. Coast Guard.

And down in the engine room, a motorized pump system, once stored on deck, now operates below, away from the elements. Fike says after 40 years, the Mobile Bay needed the improvements. "It was just time for an upgrade. Time for making it much more comfortable than it was in the past," he said.

The U.S. Coast Guard hopes the improvements will add another 15 years of service to the Mobile Bay. The captain says, with winter approaching, the ice breaker could be put to use in the coming weeks.

Fox 11

 

Port Reports -  January 3

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
H. Lee White arrived Duluth at 05:48 Thursday morning and headed to General Mills to load wheat. There is currently no further traffic listed on Duluth's schedule for the next few days, so the timing of the harbor's next arrival is unknown. The Burlington Northern dock in Superior, however, is seeing plenty of traffic. Edwin H. Gott continued loading iron ore there on Thursday and was tentatively expected to depart Thursday evening. Algoma Equinox, G3 Marquis, and Burns Harbor were all anchored offshore waiting to load, with Stewart J. Cort due to join them on Friday.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
As of 19:30 on Jan. 2nd the American Century was still loading at South of #2. Presque Isle was still at North of #2 lay-by. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Two Harbors on Jan. 3rd. Paul R. Tregurtha arrived Northshore Mining in Silver Bay on Jan. 1st at 22:45. As of 19:30 on Jan. 2nd she was still at the loading dock. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Silver Bay on Jan. 3rd.

Thunder Bay, ON
Wednesday; Algoma Innovator is loading grain at Viterra B. 22:22 John D Leitch departed and is down bound on Lake Superior. 23:14 Mississagi arrived at the G3 elevator to load grain. Thursday; 5:40 Ojibway arrived and went to anchor south of the Welcome Islands. 16:39 Mississagi departed for Windsor. 16:44 Ojibway weighed anchor and proceeded to the G3 elevator to load grain.

Sturgeon Bay, WI
Tug Cheyenne was upbound from Detroit to Sturgeon Bay Thursday to assist in icebreaking this winter. She is under new, unspecified ownership.

Northern Lake Huron ports
Owen Sound: Thursday; 6:07 Algoma Buffalo arrived for winter layup.

Alpena: Thursday; 10:52 Samuel De Champlain arrived and went to anchor.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived at the elevators 6.42 am Wednesday. Algoma Enterprise arrived 4.06 pm Thursday and was in the basin.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Lee A Tregurtha was unloading ore at AK Steel on Thursday

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
Philip R. Clarke was bound for Toledo most likely for winter layup on Thursday. She should be arriving mid to late Thursday evening sometime.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Finished with shuttles, Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder went to Cargill to load salt for Detroit, departing Cleveland at 16:08. Sam Laud is running the shuttles for ArcelorMittal Steel.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages – Thursday January 2 - Barry Andersen

Nanticoke - arrivals - Jan 2 - none

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored - Dec 29 - Algosea at 0917 and Algonova at 2115 - Jan 2 - Algocanada at 0755

Welland Canal upbound - Jan 1 - Kaministiqua at 0800 - tied at lay-by berth Heddle Dry Dock - Jan 2 - Algoma Mariner at 1254 and tug Leo A McArthur & John J Carrick at 1540

Welland Canal downbound - Jan 1 - Manitoulin at 1944 - Jan 2 - CSL Laurentien at 0245 stopped at wharf 19-E

Welland Canal docks - Dec 19 - Rt Hon Paul J Martin into Heddle Marine dry dock Port Weller for winter work at 1151 - Dec 25 - Algoma Transport stopped wharf 17 - winter layup - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit arrived wharf 12 at 1955 approx for winter lay-up - Jan 1 - Kaministiqua tied at lay-by berth at Heddle Marine Port Weller until later in the week before entering dock for winter work - Jan 2 - CSL Laurentien stopped at 0315 approx.

Port Weller anchorage - anchored - Jan 1 - Algoma Mariner at 0046 from Clarkson dock - weather - departed - Jan 2 at 1235 for the canal

Hamilton - arrival - Jan 2 - Manitoulin at 0707 and Manitoulin at 0707 - listed as laid-up - Dec 20 - NACC Capri (Mlt) at 1228 - Dec 24 - tug Wilf Seymour & Alouette Spirit at 0854 - Dec 28 - tug Everlast & Norman McLeod at 0738 - Dec 29 - tug Sea Eagle II & St Marys Cement II at 0741 - miscellaneous vessels - Dec 4 - CCGS Ile St Ours at 1800 and CCGS Caribou Isle at 1800 - both at Heddle Drydock and Dec 22 - CCGS Limnos at 1048 moored at Centre for Inland Waters - Dec 31 - Algoma Guardian at 0058, CCGS Griffon at 0907 and Algoma Harvester at 1001 - Jan 1 - Florence Spirit at 1737 - departed Jan 2 - tug Leo A McArthur & John J Carrick at 1233 for the canal

Clarkson - docked - Jan 1 - Algoma Mariner at 0543 - departed Jan 1 at 2147 for Port Weller anchorage

Toronto - docked - Dec 26 - Oakglen at 1010 (laid-up) - Dec 27 - Salarium at 1957 (laid-up) - Dec 30 - McKeil Spirit at 1248 - Jan 1 - NACC Argonaut at 2216 - departed - Jan 2 - CSL Niagara at 1630 for the canal.

Seaway – Rene Beauchamp
The first ship of the year in Montreal will be the Exeborg tomorrow night (night of January 2 to 3) when she will cross port limits. She will be the winner of the famous gold-headed cane. She is a vessel that has transited the Seaway regularly since 2013, the year of her construction.

 

UW-Milwaukee receives $10M donation toward new Great Lakes research vessel

1/3 - Milwaukee, WI - Thanks to an anonymous donor, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences has half the funding it needs to get a new research vessel. The $10 million donation is from an unknown donor who is a part of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and it's the largest gift UW-Milwaukee has ever received, according to the university.

Researchers will be studying the water quality of the Great Lakes along with studying both environmental and human impacts on the lakes, with the hope of managing freshwater resources.

The new vessel will be named Maggi Sue and will replace the Neeskay, the current research vessel. The Neeskay was purchased by UW-Milwaukee nearly 50 years ago. The 71-foot converted Army T-boat is more than 65 years old.

"It’s probably one of the oldest research vessels operating in the Great Lakes today," Val Klump, dean of the School of Freshwater Sciences, said. "We’ve known we were going to have to replace her, so we’ve been working on this project for over a decade now."

The Maggi Sue will be 120 feet long, and have advanced onboard technology, numerous lab spac-es and sleeping accommodations that will allow scientist and crew to remain on the lakes longer than on the Neeskay. Researchers can only stay on the Neeskay for a day. The Maggie Sue allows them to be on the water for up to 10 days.

"It’ll be the first research vessel designed and built from the keel up as a multi-disciplinary research vessel in the great lakes," Klump explained.

On the new vessel, researchers will be able to collect real-time data and conduct experiments on the water, which are two things researchers aren’t able to do on the Neeskay.

MacLellan-Hurd said the Neeskay doesn’t allow the entire team to stay on the ship comfortably. A small group normally takes the Neeskay to Green Bay on the lake and the rest of the team drives up and gets on the ship there.

The total amount for the new vessel is $20 million, $15 million will go toward building Maggi Sue. The remaining $5 million will be used to maintain the vessel. UM-Milwaukee is raising the rest of the money with the hope of starting construction in the next few years.

Wisconsin Public Radio

 

Goderich moves to protect water treatment plant from rising lake levels

1/3 - Goderich, ON – A recent rise in water levels on Lake Huron has the town of Goderich, Ont., spending more than $1 million to protect its treatment plant for drinking water. The plant is located less about 30 metres from the water's edge. Mayor John Grace said municipal officials became concerned in August about increasing erosion and rising lake levels.

"That's a very significant piece of infrastructure for the community, that's our drinking water," he said. "If we did nothing, there could be damage to the plant and its chlorination equipment. We had no choice but to move as quickly as possible."

To keep rising water away from the plant, the town hired a contractor to truck in tonnes of armour stone from the Owen Sound area. The stone will be used to form a wall along the shore to protect the water plant and its surrounding area from flooding.

The original plan was to wait until spring 2020 to do the work, but Grace said the town had to step up that timetable to ensure the plant was protected. Work began in early December could continue until February, depending on weather. No small expense

It's an expensive project: Grace said the final bill will likely be between $1.5 million and $2 million, no small expense for a town with a population of less than 10,000. The town will have to dip into reserves built up by water user fees to pay for the work. "It's not small potatoes, but it needs to be done," said Grace.

In addition to protecting the water plant, the town also had to replace a lakeshore boardwalk battered by high waves during storms in the fall. High water levels have caused problems for property owners up and down the Lake Huron this year.

Throughout 2019, lake levels have approached the record set in 1986. The Maitland Valley Conservation Authority, which oversees much of the Lake Huron coastline, predicts the lake will continue to rise in early 2020 and will be about 30 centimetres higher in January and February than the same period of 2018.

Stephen Jackson is the flood and erosion safety service coordinator with the conservation authority. He said fluctuations in lake levels are part of a natural cycle, with the peaks and valleys separated by anywhere from eight to ten years.

The lake level is measured in metres above sea level. Over the past 50 years, it's ranged from a low of about 175 metres to a high of 177.5 metres set in 1986. The town of Goderich, Ont., is spending more than $1 million to protect its drinking water treatment plant from rising lake levels. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

"What's different this time is the speed of the rate of rise," he said. "So we hit a record low in 2013 and here we are in 2019 at record levels." Jackson said the level of precipitation and evaporation are the only significant factors that determine the lake's level. Also, it's not clear where the lake levels will go after an expected rise in early 2020.

"At then end of the day, it really comes down to what the weather is like in the coming months," he said.

CBC

 

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.

 

Liberty ship John W. Brown to find new home at former Bethlehem Steel shipyard

1/2 - Baltimore, MD – Just seven weeks after the owners of the WWII Liberty ship SS John W. Brown announced it was losing its berth at the Port of Baltimore, there’s a new plan to put the historic ship at the site of the former Bethlehem Steel Fairfield Shipyard.

On Monday, Project Liberty Ship Inc. and Baltimore shipbuilder Maritime Applied Physics Corp (MAPC) announced a $18 million plan to revitalize a portion of the Bethlehem Steel site. It would provide a home base for the ship’s education and cruise activities and give MAPC room to grow its shipbuilding and maritime technology operations. (The company is also responsible for Baltimore’s slick new water taxis.)

In 2000, John W. Brown visited the Great Lakes for drydocking and hull work at Toledo. She is one of two remaining operational World War II Liberty Ships out of 2,710 built in an emergency shipbuilding program to carry troops and cargo. More than 350 were mass-produced, to save on materials, at the Bethlehem-Fairfield shipyard– where the Brown’s new pier at MAPC will be.

The 440-foot John W. Brown has been docked (for free) for years at Pier C on Clinton Street in Southeast Baltimore. But when the pier was sold by the state of Maryland to a private company, the volunteer-run Project Liberty Ship Inc. couldn’t afford to stay. After a one-year extension given by the new owners, the ship’s lease is up.

Bay Bulletin and other news outlets reported on the ship’s plight back in November, and since then, MAPC has come through. The $18 million proposal would take federal and state funding, along with corporate and individual donations, to rebuild a historic WWII fitting-out pier for the Brown. The ship itself launched from the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard on Labor Day 1942, bringing the story full circle.

The proposal is still at the conceptual design stage, Project Liberty Ship’s Michael Barnes tells Bay Bulletin. Once a final design is chosen, permitting, demolition and construction must take place. The permitting process involves the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, the Maryland Port Administration, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Historical Trust, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Coast Guard, and others, but Barnes is optimistic that things will go smoothly because the project calls for replacing an existing pier, and because no dredging is required.

With an estimated completion goal of about two years, Project Liberty Ship is still working on a solution for interim docking. The ship will be in drydock in Norfolk for the next five weeks. After that, the Brown will need a place to stay that allows the public access to its floating museum, says Barnes, who is the chairman of Project Liberty Ship pier committee and a ship volunteer.

“We are still looking for short term places to keep the ship and would very much like those to be in Baltimore,” he says.

Chesapeake Bay Magazine

 

Port Reports -  January 2

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
The only harbor traffic in Duluth on New Year's Day was Ashtabula/tug Defiance, which departed from Canadian National at 18:40 carrying iron ore pellets for Toledo. In Superior, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was outbound at 10:46 after loading ore at Burlington Northern, and Edwin H. Gott arrived from anchor at 11:17 to load. She will likely depart during the latter half of the day Thursday. Algoma Equinox was on the hook waiting to load after the Gott, and her fleetmate G3 Marquis was expected to join her Wednesday night to wait for BN.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
John G. Munson departed Two Harbors from South of #2 on Dec. 31st at 21:50 for Gary. The Cason J. Callaway then shifted from South of #1 to South of #2 between 21:45 to 22:17. She departed Two Harbors on Jan. 1st at 10:50 for Conneaut. Arriving Two Harbors on Jan. 1st at 11:10 was the American Century that had been anchored off Duluth. She got underway at approx. 08:40 for Two Harbors. Also arriving Two Harbors on Jan. 1st was the Presque Isle at 17:25 for North of #2 lay-by. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Two Harbors on Jan. 2nd. As of 19:15 on Jan. 1st the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader was still loading at Northshore Mining in Silver Bay. She arrived at 20:48 on Dec. 31st. Due Silver Bay after the Clyde S. departs is the Paul R. Tregurtha, that as of 19:15 on the 1st, is running checked down on the North Shore. There is no inbound traffic due Silver Bay on Jan. 2nd.

Thunder Bay, ON
Wednesday; 16:44 Algoma Innovator arrived to load grain. 17:51 CSL Welland arrived at Keefer Terminal for winter layup.

St Marys River
Downbound traffic New Year’s Day included James R Barker (early), Mesabi Miner, Cuyahoga, Saginaw, Mississagi, Anglian Lady and barge, Joyce L/Clyde S. VanEnkevort, Indiana Harbor, Lee A Trugurtha and Roger Blough. American Spirit was downbound at Isle Parisienne at 9 p.m., with John G. Munson about to round Whitefish Point. Ojibway was upbound in the morning, followed in the afternoon by tug Sharon M l and barge in the late afternoon. Since the weather has been mild, there is no significant ice impeding vessel passage.

Indiana Harbor, IN
Calumet is due Wednesday night or early Thursday.

Burns Harbor, IN
Stewart J. Cort departed upbound around noon on Wednesday for Superior, WI.

Alpena, MI
Wednesday: 9:58 Algoma Buffalo arrived to unload road salt. At 15:52 she departed for Owen Sound for winter layup.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived 6.42 am Wednesday and she tied up at elevators. Algoma Sault arrived 7.20 am Wednesday and began loading salt at Compass Minerals, departing in the evening for Green Bay. Algoma Enterprise is expected next.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Philip R Clarke was unloading ore at Zug Island on Wednesday

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
Saginaw she should be arriving at Toledo early Thursday afternoon. She is supposed to be going upriver to the Kuhlman Dock to unload grain.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages – Wednesday January 1, Barry Andersen Nanticoke - arrivals - Dec 31 - none

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored - Dec 29 - Algosea at 0917 and Algonova at 2115 - Dec 31 - CSL St Laurent at 1418 for weather - departed Jan 1 - CSL St Laurent for Ashtabula

Welland Canal upbound - Dec 31 - Kaministiqua at 1400 to Port Weller anchorage - Jan 1 - Kaministiqua at 0800 - tied at lay-by berth Heddle Dry Dock

Welland Canal downbound - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit at 1825 headed to wharf 12 for winter lay-up - Jan 1 - Florence Spirit at 0756, CSL Tadoussac at 0845 and Manitoulin at 1944

Welland Canal docks - Dec 19 - Rt Hon Paul J Martin into Heddle Marine dry dock Port Weller for winter work at 1151 - Dec 25 - Algoma Transport stopped wharf 17 - winter layup - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit arrived wharf 12 at 1955 approx for winter lay-up - Jan 1 - Kaministiqua tied at lay-by berth at Heddle Marine Port Weller until later in the week before entering dock for winter work

Port Weller anchorage - anchored - Dec 31 - Kaministiqua at 1505 for weather - headed to Heddle Marine Dry Dck at Port Weller - departed - Jan 1 at 0735 for the canal

Hamilton - arrival - Jan 1 - Florence Spirit at 1737 - listed as laid-up - Dec 20 - NACC Capri (Mlt) at 1228 - Dec 21 - tug Leo A McArthur & John J Carrick at 0755 - Dec 24 - tug Wilf Seymour & Alouette Spirit at 0854 - Dec 28 - tug Everlast & Norman McLeod at 0738 - Dec 29 - tug Sea Eagle II & St Marys Cement II at 0741 - miscellaneous vessels - Dec 4 - CCGS Ile St Ours at 1800 and CCGS Caribou Isle at 1800 - both at Heddle Drydock and Dec 22 - CCGS Limnos at 1048 moored at Centre for Inland Waters - Dec 31 - Algoma Guardian at 0058, CCGS Griffon at 0907 and Algoma Harvester at 1001 -

Clarkson - arrival - Dec 31 - Algoma Mariner eta 1820 approx from the anchorage off Hamilton

Toronto - arrival - Jan 1 - NACC Argonaut eta 2200 - docked - Dec 26 - Oakglen at 1010 (laid-up) - Dec 27 - Salarium at 1957 (laid-up) - Dec 30 - CSL Niagara at 1230, McKeil Spirit at 1248 - departed - Dec 31 - NACC Argonaut at 0620 eastbound

 

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 News Page

1/1 - BoatNerd wishes all our readers a very happy and successful 2020. Thank you for your support.

A big three long and two short goes out to all who send news to this page or contribute to the Port Reports, among them Daniel Lindner, Gary A. Putney, Gordy Garris, Todd Shorkey, Rene Beauchamp, Ron Beaupre, Rod Burdick, Ned Goebricher, Bruce Douglas, Bill Kloss, Barry Andersen, Ron Walsh, Capt. Mike Nicholls, Gene Polaski, Jim Hoffman, Ken Cyrette, Marc Dease, Tom Brewer, Ned Goebricher, Paul Erspamer, Logan Vasicek, Sam Hankinson, Jeff Benson, Paul Martin, Matt Miner, Dave Wobser, Ben & Chanda McClain, Joy Fett, Denny Dushane, Ken Borg, Luke Johnson, Phil Nash, Bill Bird, Raymond H., 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!

 

Port Reports -  January 1

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
There was no traffic through the Duluth entry during the day Tuesday, however Ashtabula/tug Defiance were due at 20:30 to load iron ore pellets at CN. In Superior, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived at 02:12 to load iron ore pellets at BN. She should depart early Wednesday. Both Edwin H. Gott and Algoma Equinox were anchored outside the harbor waiting to load after the McCarthy. American Century, which had a Duluth destination for a short period of time on Monday evening, was anchored off Duluth on Tuesday waiting to load in Two Harbors.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
Roger Blough departed Two Harbors on Dec. 31st at 13:10 from South of #2 for Gary. The John G. Munson shifted from North of #1 to South of #2 between 13:25 and 13:51 where at 19:45 she is still loading. Cason J. Callaway remains at lay-by at South of #1. The American Century went to anchor off Duluth on the 31st to await Two Harbors. Presque Isle is due Two Harbors on Jan. 1st. As of 19:45 on Dec. 31st the American Spirit was still at Northshore Mining in Silver Bay. The Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader passed by Silver Bay in the a.m. of the 1st and continued on to go to anchor between Two Harbors and Larsmont to the SW. She stopped at approx. 10:10 and got underway at approx. 12:25 on Dec. 31st. She ran checked down to Silver Bay where she is off Silver Bay at 19:45 to wait on the American Spirit to depart Due Silver Bay on Jan. 1st is the Paul R. Tregurtha.

Thunder Bay, ON
Monday; 17:46 Cuyahoga departed and went to anchor north of the main anchorage to wait out the weather. 20:39 John D Leitch arrived and went to anchor. Tuesday; 6:28 Cuyahoga weighed anchor and departed downbound. 6:36 John D Leitch weighed anchor and proceeded to Viterra A to load grain. 10:51 CCGS Samuel Risley resumed ice operations. 12:32 Saginaw departed for Toledo. 15:28 John D Leitch shifted to the G3 elevator to finish loading.

St Marys River
With the bad weather of the past few days moving out, the river was busy on Tuesday. Upbound traffic included Presque Isle, Paul R Tregurtha, Kaye E. Barker, CSL Welland, Algoma Innovator, Mississagi, G3 Marquis, H. Lee White and Burns Harbor. Downbounders included Algocanada. Algoma Conveyor and Philip R Clarke. New Year’s Day looks to be busy with downbounders as well, with AIS showing 10 vessels showing at or east of the Keweenaw Tuesday evening.

Indiana Harbor, IN
Calumet departed Tuesday evening northbound. No destination was listed.

Burns Harbor, IN
Stewart J. Cort was still in port New Year’s Eve.

Northern Lake Huron ports
St Marys River: Tuesday; 2:37 Laura L Van Enkevort weighed anchor and departed for Toledo. 9:42 CSL Laurentien weighed anchor and departed for Port Colborne.

Alpena: Tuesday; 7:17 G L Ostrander departed for Milwaukee. The cement carrier Alpena shifted to the loading dock.

Midland, ON
Canada Steamship Lines’ Frontenac departed Midland at approximately 11 a.m. on December 31, after unloading at the ADM elevator.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages Tuesday December 31, Barry Andersen

Nanticoke - arrivals - Dec 31 - none

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored - Dec 29 - Algosea at 0917 from the dock and Algonova at 2115 from the dock - Dec 31 - CSL St Laurent at 1418 for weather - bound Ashtabula

Welland Canal upbound - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit at 0919 - went out into Lake Erie to turn around heading back down to wharf 12 for winter lay-up and CSL St Laurent at 2158 - Dec 31 - Algoma Enterprise at 1046 and Kaministiqua at 1400 to Port Weller anchorage - Jan 2 - CSL Laurentien

Welland Canal downbound - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit at 1825 headed to wharf 12 for winter lay-up

Welland Canal docks - Dec 19 - Rt Hon Paul J Martin into Heddle Marine dry dock Port Weller for winter work at 1151 - Dec 25 - Algoma Transport stopped wharf 17 - winter layup - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit arrived wharf 12 at 1955 approx for winter lay-up - Jan 1 - Kaministiqua to go into deep dock at Heddle Marine Port Weller for winter work

Port Weller anchorage - anchored - Dec 31 - Kaministiqua at 1505 for weather - headed to Heddle Marine Dry Dck at Port Weller - departed - Jan 1 for the dry dock

Anchorage off Hamilton - anchored - Dec 30 - Algoma Mariner at 1434 for weather - departed Dec 31 at 1650 approx. for Clarkson dock

Hamilton - arrivals - Dec 30 - Algoma Enterprise at 2133 - Dec 31 - Algoma Guardian at 0058, CCGS Griffon at 0907 and Algoma Harvester at 1001 - listed as laid-up - Dec 20 - NACC Capri (Mlt) at 1228 - Dec 21 - tug Leo A McArthur & John J Carrick at 0755 - Dec 24 - tug Wilf Seymour & Alouette Spirit at 0854 - Dec 28 - tug Everlast & Norman McLeod at 0738 - Dec 29 - tug Sea Eagle II & St Marys Cement II at 0741 - miscellaneous vessels - Dec 4 - CCGS Ile St Ours at 1800 and CCGS Caribou Isle at 1800 - both at Heddle Drydock and Dec 22 - CCGS Limnos at 1048 moored at Centre for Inland Waters - departure - Dec 31 - Algoma Enterprise at 0832 for the canal

Clarkson - arrival - Dec 31 - Algoma Mariner eta 1820 approx from the anchorage off Hamilton

Toronto - docked - Dec 26 - Oakglen at 1010 (laid-up) - Dec 27 - Salarium at 1957 (laid-up) - Dec 30 - CSL Niagara at 1230, McKeil Spirit at 1248 and NACC Argonaut at 1610

Seaway – Rene Beauchamp
The last ships of the 2019 season transited the St-Lambert lock overnight after midnight. The Spruceglen was bound for Côte Ste-Catherine to spend the winter there with fleetmate CSL Assiniboine. And, their work done, the tugs La Prairie and Ocean Serge Genois as well as the icebreaker Edward Cornwallis spent New Year’s Eve at the dock.

 

Ludington lighthouse fighting flooding, working with DNR on solution

1/1 - Ludington, MI – High water levels along Lake Michigan continue to impact beachfront property. This time, the Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Ludington is trying to fend off water that's seeped into the basement.

Preserving and protecting Big Sable from flooding has been an undertaking for as long as the lighthouse has been around, according to Peter Manting. He's the director of the Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association.

“If you look back in the logs, they built the lighthouse in 1868 and in 1870, they were saying they had water in the basement," he chuckled.

Over the years, Manting says measures have been taken like extending the seawall to keep the crashing waves of Lake Michigan at bay. But high water levels up top are only part of the problem. He says there’s a high water table. So the water is coming up from beneath the surface. “We’ve installed sump pump down there, automatic sump pump now. So that seems to be keeping our basement dry," Manting said.

He says the sump pump was installed in November. However, Manting says the last time water levels have been this much of a concern was in 1986.

“The place had been abandoned. So there was nobody out here to really monitor things... and that’s when the water got really close to the tower," he described.

In 1986, Manting says concerned citizens and Boy Scouts sandbagged the perimeter. Now that the lighthouse association is in place, he says they’re looking to the Department of Natural resources for a longer term fix.

“We’re working with the State of Michigan to come up with a good solution, and I think one of the solutions that their engineers have come up with is to throw some rip rock out in front of the seawall, about thirty feet out," Manting explained.

The desired outcome is for the rip rock to break up the waves before the waves get to the seawall, thus keeping water further away from the lighthouse.

Fox 17

 

From 'harbor' to 'wharf,' Great Lakes glossary defines shipping

1/1 - Duluth, MN – – For many folks, "Chandler" is a character on the hit television show “Friends,” and a "metric ton" is the amount of grief a teenager can impose on a parent. But for observers of Great Lakes shipping traffic, those terms mean very different things. A "metric ton" is 2,204 pounds of a given cargo, and a "chandler" is a person who sells and delivers supplies to the ore boats in harbor.

Thanks to the Chamber of Marine Commerce in Ottawa, observers have its Glossary of Terms to turn to in order to understand the wide array of shipping specific vocabulary.

“The reason we created the glossary is because a lot of the industry has its own specific terms, or jargon, developed over decades and even centuries of operation,” said Julia Fields, spokesperson for the Chamber. “It’s a fun tool to translate that language.”

The glossary debuted in 2011 and made the jump to the Chamber’s new website earlier this year. It’s a popular feature, Fields said, and has been promoted multiple times on the Chamber’s Facebook page.

Jayson Hron is the director of marketing for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority and is one of the folks who has benefited from the glossary. He’s been on board that organization for a year in January and was compelled to learn industry terms such as "stowage," "transship" and what it is a "vessel agent" does.

“The maritime world definitely speaks its own special dialect, with obscure-to-generalist terms like 'cabotage' and 'draft' and 'Plimsoll line,' which quickly become part of your everyday language when you’re immersed in it daily,” he said.

Learning the language means realizing that not all terms live in isolation, and that some of the terms take on a bigger life.

“Many marine words and phrases have drifted into general language,” Hron said. “Lefty pitchers are 'portsiders'; people are told to 'pipe down'; rummage sales are filled with 'flotsam and jetsam' — so it’s not an impossibly foreign language to learn. And learning it has been part of the fun. It’s a fascinating world.”

For the Chamber in Ottawa, the origin of the glossary was simple: They were meeting a demand.

“People who live in the communities around water and see great big majestic ships going by, they’re curious about who’s working on those ships,” she said. “There’s just a natural interest in what’s happening in marine shipping industry.”

So the next time you wonder what the difference is between a "stevedore" and a "longshoreman," you can look it up. (Hint: both are responsible for unloading vessels, but one supervises the other.)

Download the glossary at this link: https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/business/transportation/4838858-From-harbor-to-wharf-Great-Lakes-glossary-defines-shipping

 

Sarter Fund remembers lost tug captain

1/1 - Sturgeon Bay, WI - The Sarter family is making sure its patriarch’s presence continues to be felt throughout the county. The Don Sarter Marine Safety Memorial Fund was established shortly after his death on the Great Lakes back in September.

Sarter bought Selvick Marine Towing early in 2019.

In the wake of the tragedy, donations made in Sarter’s honor are now being used to fund safety-related projects like new life jackets for kayak and boat companies and a drone for the Door County Sheriff’s Department. His daughter, Tammy Sarter Zeigle, says her father would want to be remembered this way. Zeigle says the newly established foundation is in the process of writing for more grants to help fund additional safety-related projects. Donors can contribute to the Don Sarter Marine Safety Memorial Fund at any Nicolet Bank branch.

Door County Daily News

 

Lake Ontario outflow sets records in 2019, further increases expected in New Year

1/1 - Outflows will be increased substantially in the coming days as efforts to remove water from Lake Ontario continue.

Starting Wednesday, following the end of navigation season, outflows will be increased as much as possible until ice formation resumes on the St. Lawrence River. A flow increase from 8,850 m3/s (312,500 cfs) to over 10,000 m3/s (353,000 cfs) may be possible in the coming days, with the exact amount depending on ice and water level conditions in the St. Lawrence River. Water levels downstream of the Moses-Saunders Dam, including around the Montreal area, are expected to rise, but will be monitored closely to ensure they are maintained below flood levels.

Lake Ontario outflows were first set to record-rates in June as water levels of Lake Ontario reached a new daily record-high of 75.92 m (249.08 ft). This followed an unprecedented spring that saw record water levels and flows occurring across the Great Lakes and Ottawa River basins. High outflows from Lake Ontario continued through the summer, fall and early winter, resulting in more water released from Lake Ontario during the last seven months of 2019 than in any year since the start of records in 1900. The average outflow from June through December was 9,560 m3/s (337,600 cfs), the highest flow ever released over this period, and equivalent to removing nearly 9.1 m (30 ft) of water from Lake Ontario during this time.

However, with all of the Great Lakes seeing record or near-record water levels in 2019, inflows to Lake Ontario have also remained high during that time. Lake Ontario’s level was 75.00 m (246.06 ft) yesterday and remains well-above seasonal averages. High inflows are expected to continue into 2020.

The International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board, under authority granted to it by the International Joint Commission, will continue to deviate from Plan 2014 and will look for any and all opportunities to remove additional water from Lake Ontario prior to the spring.

The first of these opportunities is expected at the start of January. Over the past several weeks, outflows were set at 200 m3/s (7,100 cfs) above the Plan 2014 maximum L-limit, which is the highest outflow that can be released from Lake Ontario, while still ensuring safe navigation through the St. Lawrence River. However, with the St. Lawrence Seaway season set to end on December 31st, this constraint will no longer apply.

Ice conditions are also no longer a constraint. Flows were temporarily reduced on December 20th following a brief cold spell that resulted in temporary ice formation in the Beauharnois Canal. Mild temperatures followed, causing the ice cover to deteriorate and allowing outflows to again be rapidly increased. Ice formation will likely resume during the next cold spell, but the timing is uncertain.

IJC

 

Win a Great Lakes cruise aboard a working freighter

1/1 - Port Huron, MI – For vacation next summer, how about a leisurely Great Lakes cruise aboard a 1,000-foot freighter?Seriously – this is a real thing you can do. But you can’t buy a ticket; you have to win one in a charity raffle.

Each year, several fleets of U.S.-flagged freighters carry millions of tons of dry bulk goods between ports on the Great Lakes. They primarily transport iron ore for making steel, coal for power plants, limestone, cement, salt, sand and grain. Thirteen of these ships are more than three football fields in length and the largest can carry more than 70,000 tons in a single trip, according to the Lake Carriers Association.

There’s no law prohibiting these ships from also carrying a small number of fare-paying passengers, but none choose to offer this service due to various logistical and liability concerns. A few Great Lakes shipping companies do, however, occasionally provide free cruises to nonprofit organizations to use as a prize in a fundraiser raffle. And there’s another opportunity coming up.

Port Huron Lodge No. 2 of the International Ship Masters’ Association is selling freighter cruise raffle tickets for $10 each. The winner will get a roundtrip freighter cruise for four adults aboard an Interlake Steamship Company vessel during the 2020 sailing season.

It’s impossible to say this far in advance what the exact prize entails: logistical details like specific ship, route, travel dates, length of voyage and departure port are all things you’ll have to coordinate with the company. They aren’t making a special trip for you – cargo takes priority. You’re just coming along for the ride.

"The willingness to be flexible with the company on this is a precondition," said Chris Gillcrist, executive director of the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo. "They don't go by a passenger time schedule. The boat could be leaving the dock at 11 o'clock at night and you need to be on it by 7 that night."

To enter, visit www.freightertrip2020-ismalodge2.com to download the entry form and submit before the Jan. 31 drawing.

Find more information and read more at this link: https://www.cleveland.com/life-and-culture/g66l-2019/12/bcb41f1e764439/win-a-great-lakes-cruise-aboard-a-working-freighter.html

 

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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