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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

 

BoatNerd seeks used equipment donations

1/10 - 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 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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