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Fincantieri celebrates rededication of John G. Munson

4/26 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, along with Keystone Shipping Co. and Canadian National, celebrated the re-commissioning of the vessel John G. Munson last Thursday.

The ceremony was to celebrate the repowering of the Munson from steam to diesel propulsion. The Munson is managed by Key Lakes, Inc. out of Duluth, Minn., which is a subsidiary of Keystone Shipping Co. Keystone Shipping Company is part of Canadian National, and the Munson is one of nine vessels of the CN Great Lakes Fleet.

During the event, officials representing the companies thanked all of the men and women at Bay Ship who worked on the Munson for their quality and dedication. Officials at the event included Don Kurz, president of Keystone Shipping; Josh Juel, manager of Great Lakes Fleet-Canadian National; Mitch Koslow, vice president of engineering and purchasing at Keystone Shipping; Don Lindquist, Keystone Shipping; Scott McPherson, chief engineer of the John G. Munson; and Ron Buczkowski, captain of the John G. Munson. In attendance from FBS was Stu Fett, production manager; Cheryl Arnott, project manager; and Todd Thayse, vice president and general manager, as well as the FBS production crews.

Kurz and Juel both spoke about the history of the Munson, and Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding's successful and lengthy business relationship with Keystone, Key Lakes and CN. Kurz said it was the hard work and quality of work at Bay Shipbuilding that has extended the life of the Munson by decades.

Juel also said the Munson has provided thousands of jobs since it was first commissioned in 1952 by Manitowoc Shipbuilding; jobs for the ship's captain and crew, jobs for the cities where they make and distribute its cargo, and jobs at Bay Ship. Since the Munson has been repowered, it will continue to provide thousands of jobs for decades, Juel said.

The ceremony ended with the presentation of the recommissioning plaque to McPherson and Buczkowski by Thayse and Arnott.

Green Bay Press Gazette

 

Port Reports -  April 26

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
CSL Assiniboine arrived Duluth Tuesday morning, and stopped at Calumet to fuel before departing again and anchoring off Superior to wait to load at the BN dock. Cason J. Callaway departed after unloading limestone, and headed to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. Around noon, James R. Barker departed with ore from CN and Indiana Harbor was outbound with coal. Isa then left the harbor with wheat from CHS 2. Exeborg was at Gavilon in Superior loading beet pulp pellets. At the Burlington Northern dock, Michipicoten and Stewart J. Cort loaded on Tuesday. CSL Assiniboine was next in line, and Algoma Discovery was expected to drop anchor late Tuesday to wait her turn.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Paul Erspamer
The saltie Labrador remained loading at the Nidera Grain elevator in Milwaukee's inner harbor Tuesday. About 2 p.m. Monday the U.S. EPA vessel Lake Guardian returned from a Lake Superior run, docking in its inner harbor slip near U-W Freshwater Sciences. Purvis Marine tug Anglian Lady and barge PML 2501 arrived about 4 p.m. Monday from Lake Michigan, berthing at the Heavy Lift Dock in the inner harbor. Karen Andrie and her barge came through the breakwater at 11 p.m. Monday, proceeded upriver to the turning basin in the inner harbor and docked north of Greenfield Avenue.

Southern Lake Michigan
Calumet was headed for S. Chicago Tuesday night. Reestborg remained in S. Chicago. American Integrity was unloading at Gary with Roger Blough awaiting her turn. Burns Harbor was unloading at her namesake port.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Lee A. Tregurtha arrived Monday and was still loading on Tuesday. They were expected to depart from the North Dock on Tuesday at around 7 a.m. Also due Tuesday was H. Lee White in the early morning for the North and South docks. There are no vessels scheduled Wednesday. Three vessels are due Thursday, with American Mariner and John J. Boland arriving in the early morning for the South Dock. Hon. James L. Oberstar is also due Thursday in the mid-afternoon for the South Dock.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
John D Leitch was loading salt Tuesday. Algosteel will be next to load.

Detroit, Mich.
The steamer Alpena was unloading cement on Tuesday and was underway downbound in the late evening. She is due in Toledo Wednesday to offload the rest of her cargo.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are expected at the Torco Dock to unload pellets on Thursday in the late morning. Also due at Torco is the Joseph H. Thompson on Friday in the early morning and barge Ashtabula / tug Defiance on Saturday in the early morning. There is nothing due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Vessels due at the CSX Coal Dock include Algoma Enterprise on Thursday in the late morning, along with the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory in the early evening. The barge Ashtabula / tug Defiance are due at CSX to load on Saturday in the early morning. Vessels in port Tuesday included the saltwater vessel Federal Barents.

Nanticoke, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Arrival: Tug Salvor & barge Lambert Spirit arrived at 0114 Tuesday and departed at 1444. Algoscotia departed at 0330.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Barry Andersen, Brian W.
American Mariner arrived at 0015 on Tuesday and departed westbound at 1834.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for April 25. Upbound: Algoma Mariner eta 0015, Federal Yukon (Mhl) eta 0800, USCG Hollyhock eta 0815, Leo A. McArthur & barge John J. Carrick eta 0325, Jana Desgagnes eta 1808 and Drawsko (Bhs) eta 2230. Downbound: Leonard M & barge Niagara Spirit eta 0239, Algoma Guardian eta 0352, Algoscotia eta 0610, Pelee Islander (ferry) eta 0900, Everlast & barge Norman McLeod eta 1100, Oakglen eta 1230, Cuyahoga eta 1300, Salvor & barge Lambert Spirit eta 2031, and Sea Eagle II & barge St. Marys Cement. Port Weller anchorage: Tundra (Cyp) departure time from anchorage 2250 for Redpath in Toronto.

Hamilton, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Departures: Ardita (Mlt) Monday at 2247 Tuesday for Venice, Italy; Jana Desgagnes at 1626. Arrivals: Leonard M & barge Niagara Spirit at 1855, Tim S. Dool at 1930, Pelee Islander (ferry) at 1940 to Heddle Marine’s drydock, BBC Weser (Atg) back into dock from anchorage, Everlast & barge Norman McLeo eta 2300. Remaining at docks: Federal Cedar (Mhl), Arneborg (Nld) and Havelstern (Mhl).

Clarkson, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Algoma Olympic arrived at 0731 Tuesday.

Picton, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Stephen B. Roman remained at dock on Tuesday.

Bronte, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Algoscotia anchored off Bronte at 1859 Tuesday for weather.

Toronto, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Drawsko (Bhs) departed Redpath at 2035 Tuesday headed for Thunder Bay. English River departed at 2050 eastbound.

 

Obituary: Pamela Jo "Jodee" Nelson

4/26 - Pamela Jo "Jodee" Nelson, 64, passed away Saturday, April 22 in the company of family and friends. She is survived by her husband of 37 years, Lance Nelson, a retired captain with American Steamship Co. Jodee had many friends in the Great Lakes shipping industry and often commented on shipping-related discussions on Facebook. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, April 26, from 4-8 p.m. at Arch L. Heady at Resthaven, Louisville, Kentucky. A celebration of her life will be held on Thursday, April 27, at 10 a.m. at Arch L. Heady at Resthaven, with interment to follow at Resthaven Memorial Park, 4400 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Daughters of the American Revolution, www.dar.org/giving and to the American Cancer Association at www.cancer.org

Courier Journal Louisville

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 26

26 April 1891 NORWALK (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 209 foot, 1007 gross tons) was launched by William DuLac at Mount Clemens, Michigan. At first, she was not able to get down the Clinton River to Lake St. Clair due to low water. She lasted until 1916, when she was sold to Nicaraguan buyers and was lost in the Caribbean Sea that autumn.

On 26 April 1859, the wooden schooner A. SCOTT was carrying limestone blocks for a large Presbyterian church being built at Vermilion, Ohio. The vessel was driven ashore near Vermilion by a gale and was quickly pounded to pieces. Her insurance had expired about ten days earlier. No lives were lost.

Algoma's new straight deck bulk freighter ALGOWEST (Hull#226) of Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., was launched April 26, 1982. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1998, and renamed b.) PETER R. CRESSWELL in 2001.

Sea trials were conducted April 26, 1984, on Lake Ontario for the CANADIAN RANGER.

An unfortunate incident happened on the SEWELL AVERY as four crew members were injured, one critically, when a lifeboat winch housing exploded shortly after a lifeboat drill in 1978.

Paterson's CANADOC (Hull#627) by Davie Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., was launched April 26, 1961.

BENSON FORD (Hull#245) of the Great Lakes Engineering Works was launched in 1924.

In 1982, carferry service from Frankfort, Michigan ended forever when railroad service to that port was discontinued and the remaining boats (ARTHUR K. ATKINSON, VIKING, and CITY OF MILWAUKEE) were laid up. CITY OF MILWAUKEE is preserved as a museum ship by the Society for the Preservation of the CITY OF MILWAUKEE.

On 26 April 1902, M. P. BARKLOW (wooden schooner, 104 foot, 122 gross tons, built in 1871, at Perry, Ohio), loaded with salt, was anchored off South Bass Island in Lake Erie to ride out a gale. Nevertheless she foundered and four lives were lost, the skipper, his wife, their son and one crewman.

On 26 April 1926, THOMAS GAWN (2-mast wooden schooner-barge, 171 foot, 550 gross tons, built in 1872, at Lorain, Ohio as a 3-mast schooner) sprang a leak and sank at River Rouge, Michigan in the Detroit River. The wreck was removed the following month and abandoned. She had a 54-year career.

1902 The wooden schooner barge GRACE B. GRIBBLE was holed by ice and sank in Lake Erie off Point Pelee after the hull was punctured by an ice flow. Three sailors were lost.

1958 CIANDRA, a Great Lakes visitor from West Germany as early as 1953, ran aground in the St. Clair River at the south end of Stag Island on this date in 1958. Due to a dispute, there was no pilot on board at the time. The ship was stuck for about 3 hours. It later burned and capsized at Singapore as e) MESONGO on September 9, 1977, and was refloated and then scrapped in 1979.

1981 The Norwegian freighter ASKOT visited the Great Lakes from 1959 to 1962 and returned under the flag of Greece as DIAKAN MASCOT in 1972. It was observed lying off Aden, as c) TYHI with the engine room flooded on this date in 1981. The hull was later refloated and arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakstan, for scrapping on April 28, 1982.

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

 

Port Reports -  April 25

Duluth-Superior
Cason J. Callaway, James R. Barker, Indiana Harbor, Isa, Exeborg and tug Zeus with her barge were at various docks late Monday. Michipicoten was loading ore in Superior Monday night. Stewart J. Cort will be next to load.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
AIS showed Algoway and tug Molly M 1 with a Nadro Marine deck barge (expected to pick up a 25-ton piece of project cargo) in port Monday evening. Federal Kivalina was at anchor.

Marquette, Mich.
Hon. James L. Oberstar left with ore for Dearborn, Mich., late Monday afternoon. Barge James L. Kuber was loading in the late evening.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes loaded on Monday. Two vessels are expected early Tuesday, the barge Pere Marquette 41 / tug Undaunted followed by Mississagi. Great Republic is due Wednesday in the late evening.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Denny Dushane, John Teichtler
The Interlake Steamship Co.’s 1,000-footer Mesabi Miner departed Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay Monday evening for Duluth. Over the winter it received a new gas exhaust scrubber system similiar to what her sistership James R. Barker and other fleetmates have received. John G. Munson remained at the shipyard Monday, however she is expected to depart soon for sea trials of her new diesel engines. Also at the shipyard were the Cleveland Rocks / tug Bradshaw McKee, Calumet, Manitowoc and barge Pathfinder / tug Dorothy Ann. The tug Michigan was also at Bay Shipbuilding, but departed on April 19. American Courage is also at Bay Shipbuilding and not expected to sail this season. At 5:50 p.m. local time Monday, Great Republic was inbound from Lake Michigan.

Milwaukee, Wis.
The ocean bulker Labrador arrived Sunday morning and, assisted by two G-tugs, secured in the Inner Harbor, loading at the Nidera Grain elevator. Federal Danube is expected in Milwaukee from Detroit later this week. Cross-lake ferry Lake Express is at its dock in the outer harbor, ready to begin its spring schedule of two round trips to Muskegon daily on Friday, April 28.

Manistee, Mich.
Great Republic departed Manistee Monday morning after unloading coal at Tondu in Filer City. She arrived Sunday night.

Southern Lake Michigan
Reestborg was at S. Chicago Monday night. American Spirit was at Indiana Harbor and Edwin G. Gott was in Gary, with Presque Isle next in line to unload.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There is nothing due until Thursday, when Kaye E. Barker is expected to arrive in the morning. Also due Thursday is Algosteel in the late evening. The barge Pathfinder/tug Dorothy are due Friday in the early evening.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Philip R. Clarke loaded at the North Dock on Monday and was due to depart around 9:30 a.m. Also due Monday was the Lee A. Tregurtha, which tied-up at South Dock awaiting the Clarke's departure before shifting over to the North Dock to load. There are no vessels scheduled Tuesday. Due in Wednesday is H. Lee White in the early morning for the North Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading Monday. Due Tuesday are the barge Pathfinder / tug Dorothy Ann in the late afternoon. Philip R. Clarke is due Wednesday in the early morning. There are no vessels due Thursday-Saturday. Due Sunday is the Great Republic in the morning.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
John D. Leitch is due early on Tuesday. Algosteel will follow the Leitch.

Sarnia, Ont.
Saginaw is expected to depart winter lay up Thursday for Thunder Bay.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Kaye E. Barker loaded at the CSX Coal Dock on Monday. Also due at CSX is the Algoma Enterprise on Thursday in the late morning, followed by the barge James L. Kuber/tug Victory on Thursday in the early evening. There is nothing scheduled at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Due at the Torco Dock is the barge James L. Kuber/tug Victory on Thursday in the late morning. Joseph H. Thompson is due at Torco on Friday in the early morning. Vessels in port at the time of this report included the tug Wilf Seymour and barge Alouette Spirit and the saltwater vessel Federal Barents. The tug Sea Eagle II / barge St. Marys Cement II were unloading a cement cargo at the St. Marys Cement Terminal.

Ashtabula, Ohio
Federal Kushiro was unloading Monday night.

Erie, Pa. – Gene Polaski
John J. Boland arrived in about 1330 Monday under sunny skies and brisk northeasterly winds. She went to the old ore dock and most likely unloaded stone.

Nanticoke, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Algonova departed at 0153 Monday westbound and Algoscotia arrived at 0210.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner came in with wheat early Monday morning from Duluth for General Mills.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for April 24. Upbound: Algolake eta 0515, CSL Laurentien eta 1215, Frontenac eta 0912, Salvor & barge Lambert Spirit eta 1041, Robert S. Pierson eta 1104, CCGS Limnos eta 1621 - stopped wharf 1, USCG Hollyhock eta 1717 stopped wharf 1 returned to Lake Ontario for buoy work. Downbound: Leonard M & barge Niagara Spirit remained at wharf 16, Algoma Transport eta 0438, Algoma Olympic eta 1231 and Algoma Guardian.

Port Weller anchorage: Tundra (Cyp) remained anchored Monday awaiting Redpath dock in Toronto.

Hamilton, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Departures: Algoma Harvester on April 23 at 2334, Robert S. Pierson at 0220 Monday and CSL Laurentien at 0935. Arrivals: Federal Cedar (Mhl) at 1822. Jana Desgagnes, Arneborg (Nld), Havelstern (Mhl) remained at docks. BBC Weser (Atg) anchored in the bay.

Toronto, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Drawsko (Bhs) remained at Redpath unloading sugar Monday. English River arrived Sunday at 2147 and Stephen B. Roman departed at 1735 Monday.

Seaway – Ron Beaupré, John Tokarz
The scrap tow of the former Quebec ferry Camille-Marcoux (her name shortened to Le-Marc) continued westbound on Monday, passing through the St. Lambert Lock in the morning. It is due at Iroquois Lock Tuesday morning just after daybreak, with the tugs Lois M. and Jarrett M. handling the tow. The vessel is bound for Port Colborne, Ont., and the yard of the Marine Recycling Corp. Groupe Desgagnes's new vessel, Taiga Desgagnes, was upbound Monday above Quebec City for Burns Harbor, Ind. This will be her first visit to the lakes under this name. She previously visited as BBC Amazon.

 

 

Third phase of Interlake’s exhaust gas scrubber installations complete

4/25 - Middleburg Heights, Ohio – The Mesabi Miner sailed Monday from Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding Company in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., becoming Interlake Steamship Co.’s fourth self-unloading bulk carrier to be outfitted with exhaust gas scrubbers.

Interlake became the first U.S.-flag fleet to test freshwater scrubbers on the Great Lakes in April 2015 after pioneering the emission-reduction technology on its motor vessel Hon. James L. Oberstar. In 2016, the company outfitted its first 1,000-foot vessel, the motor vessel James R. Barker, and its 826-foot motor vessel Lee A. Tregurtha in its second phase of exhaust gas scrubber implementation.

“We are executing on our long-term vision to be the most efficient and environmentally responsible fleet on the Great Lakes,” says Interlake President Mark W. Barker. “Being able to successfully reduce our emissions and lead the way with this technology has been a major undertaking for us over the last four years. It demonstrates our Company’s proud commitment to continuously improve and invest in our ships.”

With the 1,004-foot Mesabi Miner back in service, Interlake has equipped nearly half of its nine-vessel fleet with scrubber systems implemented specifically to net emission reductions to a level that meets or exceeds North American Emissions Control Area requirements.

Mesabi Miner has been undergoing the retrofit at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding since December 2016. The Sturgeon Bay shipyard handled the successful installation on Interlake’s four vessels which are equipped with the same single-inlet, closed-loop DuPont™ Marine Scrubbers from Belco Technologies Corp. (BELCO), a DuPont company. The scrubber units, which are attached to the exhaust system of each of the ship’s two engines, effectively strip the majority of sulfur from its stack emissions.

Here’s how the systems work: Exhaust gas from the engine is sent through a series of absorption sprays that “wash” and remove impurities, specifically sulfur and particulate matter. That washed exhaust gas then travels through a droplet separator before a signature clean plume of white steam is discharged into the atmosphere.

As the first U.S.-flag fleet to implement the scrubber technology, the company was not only tasked with proving its emission-reduction capability but also taking the lead in developing a sustainable supply-and-delivery infrastructure to support its widespread use on the Great Lakes.

Specifically, the scrubber system relies on an injection of sodium hydroxide -- to neutralize and remove sulfur from the exhaust gas -- and that chemical has to be delivered to the vessel about twice a month.

Working with partners, Hawkins Inc., PVS Chemicals Inc., Garrow Oil & Propane and OSI Environmental, the company has established waterfront supply capability at Sturgeon Bay, Wis., and Detroit, Mich. Calumet Specialties LLC has become a vital partner and stakeholder in the development of a new supply capability within the Twin Ports of Duluth, Minn., and Superior, Wis. A supply-and-delivery infrastructure is expected to be built at ports located near East Chicago, Ill., and Burns Harbor, Ind.

A total of five Interlake vessels – including the longest ship on the Great Lakes, the motor vessel Paul R. Tregurtha - will be outfitted with these types of scrubbers by 2018.

Interlake Steamship Co.

 

Delivering mail, saving lives aboard Detroit’s J.W. Westcott

4/25 - Detroit, Mich. – In its 143rd year on the Detroit River, the J.W. Westcott Co. once again went beyond its normal mail-delivery duties and helped save lives. This time, Senior Capt. Ryan Gazdecki helped rescue a pregnant woman, two Detroit police officers and a medic who had jumped into the water to help the woman on April 17.

It’s the third time Gazdecki has been part of life-saving efforts in his 13 seasons at the marine-based mail delivery ship — the only mail ship remaining with its own floating ZIP code.

Founded in 1874, the J.W. Westcott Co. has been contracted by the U.S. Postal Service to make deliveries since 1948, said owner Jim Hogan, and headquartered at Riverside Park since 1955. Mostly, during its 24-hour days, the mail ship is just a mail ship, handing off mail to passing freighters on the river, said Hogan, whose family has owned the company since its founding. Counting his son, Jimmy, 32, the company is in its fifth generation in family hands, with fewer than 20 employees.

Per the terms of its contract with the Postal Service, the J.W. Westcott II operates 252 days a year, starting in the spring and ending when the ice on the Detroit River gets too thick. The first rescue was in spring 2007, when Gazdecki was making a delivery alongside a freighter. A fisherman was in a boat and “got himself into some trouble, and didn’t realize a ship was sneaking up on him.”

Read more and view photos, video at this link: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2017/04/24/westcott-rescue/100828406/

 

Owner of yacht littering miles of Lake Michigan beach may face legal action

4/25 - Ludington, Mich. – The owner of a now-destroyed yacht that has created an environmental nightmare along miles of protected Lake Michigan beach could be taken to court after declining to take care of the disabled vessel, according to a state official.

The 76-foot-long boat was grounded on April 15 after taking on water, and the owner was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard. Subsequent efforts to get the owner to take care of the disabled vessel were unsuccessful and the boat has since been destroyed and wreckage has littered miles of coastline, said Tim Schreiner, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources parks and recreation supervisor for the Cadillac district.

He estimated 70 percent of the wreckage remains in the water, including the boat's diesel engines, and said efforts are underway to contract with an underwater salvage operator to clean it up.

Read more and view photos at this link: http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2017/04/legal_action_possible_against.html

 

What's causing Lake Ontario's high water levels?

4/25 - Syracuse, N.Y. – Residents who live along the shoreline of Lake Ontario have been trying to stay ahead of rising water levels that are threatening their properties.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, water levels in Lake Ontario are up 15 inches in the last month, and are expected to rise another six inches in the next month. A state of emergency has been declared in Wayne County because of the rising water. But what is causing the increase in water levels?

Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich met this week with representatives of some of the towns along the Lake Ontario shoreline to talk about the impact of Plan 2014, which is the plan formulated by the International Joint Commission, involving representatives of the U.S. and Canada. That plan allows for wider swings in lake levels.

Environmental advocates have argued that the previous plan impacted wetlands and did other damage to the environment. Reilich says he and some of the other officials of communities along the southern shore of Lake Ontario plan to go to Washington soon to lobby against the plan.

“This plan would not be in the best interest of our residents in so much as it elongates the period of time that the water levels are higher and every week that you remain with higher water levels is the likelihood that a windstorm or something could cause a lot of erosion and damage and flooding,” Reilich said.

Frank Bevacqua, a spokesman for the IJC, says that the lake level plan that was implemented earlier this year really had a negligible impact on the current high water situation.

“Plan 2014 took effect on January 7 and it has contributed a very small amount to the situation we’re seeing now,” said Bevacqua. Things would only be marginally better if the old plan were being followed, it’s just a couple of inches difference.”

Bevacqua says the main issue has been a very rainy April, as well dramatic swings in temperature over the last few months.

Reilich says he is concerned about homeowners in his town who may be impacted soon if the water keeps rising.

“We supply the homeowners upon their request,” Reilich said.” Sandbags, we have thousands and thousands of sandbags that we’re prepared to distribute along with the sand that’s necessary. So we’re going to assist them with that effort and hopefully it won’t be required, but we’re prepared if it does.”

Residents have been putting down sandbags in other communities as well including in Sodus, in Wayne County. In Oswego and Jefferson counties, officials have been monitoring water levels. The biggest area of concern in Oswego County is in Sandy Pond.

WRVO/WXXI

 

Fundraiser coming in May for USS Edson ship museum

4/25 - Bay City, Mich. – USS Edson, DD-946, a Vietnam-era, Forrest-Sherman-class destroyer, is the primary focus of the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum in Bangor Township next to Bay City, Mich. The group will host an all-day fundraiser on May 20 featuring live music, food and beverages, vendors, and a large banner that can be signed by visitors to be sent to the men of one of the nation's aircraft carriers.

The Edson is the only surface warship in the Midwest, and she can be seen daily from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., seven days a week. The most active ship in Vietnam is located next to Independence Bridge, her permanent location, and has been designated a National Historical Landmark by Congress.

For information about tours and the calendar of events, call 989-684-3946.

Rick Blasch

 

Lake Michigan wave and weather buoy is back in business

4/25 - Cook Nuclear Plant has again launched its high-tech weather buoy in Lake Michigan. The extensive weather and water data can be accessed online at www.greatlakesbuoys.org (select the Cook Nuclear Plant buoy 45026).

The buoy is equipped with a range of instruments that can transmit air temperature, wind speed and direction, water current speed and direction, wave height and water temperatures at several depths below the surface. Still images and video clips are taken once each hour and can also be accessed online to see the exact conditions out on the lake at http://www.limnotechdata.com/stations/CookBuoy/.

Cook deployed the weather buoy in 2011 to study Lake Michigan water conditions. Since the data was made available to the public for free, more than 2 million requests for buoy observations have been made from boaters, fishermen and others.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 25

25 April 1890 - The Collins Bay Rafting Company’s tug ALANSON SUMNER (wooden propeller tug, 127 foot, 300 gross tons, built in 1872, at Oswego, New York) burned at Kingston, Ontario. She had $25,000 worth of wrecking machinery onboard. The SUMNER was repaired and put back in service.

On 25 April 1888, JESSIE MAGGIE (wooden schooner, 63 foot, 49 gross tons) was re-registered as a 2-masted schooner. She was built on a farm in Kilmanagh, Michigan, in 1887, as a 3-masted schooner and she was launched near Sebewaing, Michigan. It took 16 spans of oxen to haul her over frozen ground to the launch site. She lasted until 1904.

Interlake Steamship’s WILLIAM J. DE LANCEY (Hull#909) of American Ship Building Co., was christened April 25, 1981. Renamed b.) PAUL R. TREGURTHA in 1990.

On April 25, 1973, the self-unloading boom on Canada Steamship Lines a.) TADOUSSAC of 1969, collapsed while she was at Sandusky, Ohio. She sails today as b.) CSL TADOUSSAC.

In 1925, the ANN ARBOR 4 was back in service after running aground on February 13th off Kewaunee, Wisconsin.

In 1973, it was announced that the CITY OF SAGINAW 31, would be scrapped, after a fire which destroyed her cabin deck in 1971.

Hall Corp. of Canada's bulk canaller a.) ROCKCLIFFE HALL (Hull#615) by Davie Shipbuilding & Repair Ltd., was launched April 25, 1958. Converted to a tanker in 1972, renamed b.) ISLAND TRANSPORT, and c.) ENERCHEM LAKER in 1987.

Pittsburgh Steamship Co.'s BENJAMIN F. FAIRLESS (Hull#824) by American Ship Building Co., was launched April 25, 1942.

Mutual Steamship Co.'s WILLIAM LIVINGSTONE (Hull#41) by Great Lakes Engineering Works, was launched April 25, 1908. Renamed b.) S B WAY in 1936 and c.) CRISPIN OGLEBAY in 1948. She was scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1974.

The PERCIVAL ROBERTS JR sailed light on her maiden voyage April 25, 1913, from Lorain to load ore at Two Harbors, Minnesota.

On April 25, 1954, CSL's, T.R. MC LAGAN entered service. At 714 feet 6 inches, she took the title for longest vessel on the Great Lakes from the JOSEPH H. THOMPSON, beating the THOMPSON by three inches. The THOMPSON had held the honor since November 4, 1952. MC LAGAN was renamed b.) OAKGLEN in 1990, and was scrapped at Alang, India in 2004.

Whaleback a.) FRANK ROCKEFELLER (Hull#136) by the American Steel Barge Co., was launched in 1896, for the American Steel barge Co., Pickands, Mather & Co., mgr. Converted to a sand dredge and renamed b.) SOUTH PARK in 1927, and converted to a tanker and renamed c.) METEOR in 1945.

On April 25, 1949, CSL's, GRAINMOTOR collided with the abutment of the railroad bridge above Lock 2 of the Lachine Canal.

The wooden schooner OTTAWA was launched on 25 April 1874, at Grand Haven, Michigan. She was owned by Capt. William R. Loutill and could carry 180,000 feet of lumber.

T S CHRISTIE (wooden propeller, 160 foot, 533 gross tons) was launched at F. W. Wheeler's yard (Hull #22) in W. Bay City, Michigan, on 25 April 1885. She was built for the Bay City & Cleveland Transportation Company at a cost of $45,000. Originally built as a double-deck vessel, she was cut down to a single decker at Chicago in 1902.

1941 The CANADIAN SIGNALLER was built at Collingwood as Hull 63 in 1919. It was torpedoed and sunk as d) POLYANA by U-103 en route from from Sunderland, UK to Freetown, Sierre Leone, with a cargo of coal. It was attacked just before midnight April 24 and sank in the early hours on this date with all 25 on board being lost.

1968 The Misener steamer EVERETTON ran aground in the St. Lawrence on this date in 1968. Although the damage was considered minor, the ship was sold to Marine Salvage for scrap, resold to Spanish shipbrakers and arrived under tow at Bilbao, on September 23, 1968, for dismantling.

1998 The wooden goelettes MONT NOTRE DAME and MONT ROYAL were destroyed by a fire at St. Joseph-de-la-Rive, Quebec, where they were being preserved ashore as museum ships. MONT NOTRE DAME was one of the first units in the Transport Desgagnes fleet while MONT ROYAL was known to have been a Great Lakes visitor.

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

 

Port Reports -  April 24

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Paul R. Tregurtha departed Duluth early Sunday morning with coal from Midwest Energy. The Polish saltie Isa arrived during the mid-afternoon to load wheat at CHS 2.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort were expected to arrive on Sunday in the late morning to load. Two vessels are due Monday, with Wilfred Sykes arriving first in the early morning followed by the Great Republic in the late evening.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes was expected Sunday in the late morning to load. There are no vessels scheduled Monday. Due on Tuesday are the barge Pere Marquette 41 / tug Undaunted in the morning. John J. Boland is expected to arrive on Wednesday at noon to load.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Philip R. Clarke was expected late Sunday evening for the North Dock to load. Also due is the Lee A. Tregurtha in the early on Monday, also for the North Dock to load. There are no vessels due Tuesday. Due in Wednesday is the H. Lee White in the early morning for the North Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading on Sunday and none are scheduled for Monday.

Midland, Ont.
Whitefish Bay was the first arrival for the 2017 season. Her skipper was presented with the traditional top hat on Saturday. The vessel was at the ADM dock.

Goderich, Ont.
Tug Spartan and barge were in port Sunday night.

Detroit, Mich.
Capt. Henry Jackman departed Detroit’s Rouge River Sunday evening headed for Bruce Mines, Ont. Federal Danube was in port Sunday night.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Joseph H. Thompson unloaded iron ore pellets at the Torco Dock on Sunday. Also due at Torco was the Kaye E. Barker Sunday in the evening. The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are due at Torco on April 27 in the early morning followed by the Joseph H. Thompson in the late evening. There is nothing due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Vessels due at the CSX Coal Dock include the Kaye E. Barker on Monday in the morning. The barge James L. Kuber and the tug Victory are due at CSX on April 27 in the late morning, followed by the Algoma Enterprise on April 28 in the early morning. John J. Boland is due at CSX on April 29 in the morning. Vessels in port at the time of this report included the saltwater vessel Federal Barents, the tug Wilf Seymour and her barge Alouette Spirit.

Nanticoke, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Algoma Hansa departed at 2234 Saturday westbound. CSL Laurentien departed at 1002 Sunday. Algonova remained at dock.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for April 23. Upbound: Algoma Enterprise eta 0148, BBC Thames (Atg) eta 0800, Algoscotia eta 0825, John D. Leitch eta 1039 and Algosteel eta 1930. Downbound: Frontenac, BBC Mont Blanc (Atg) eta 0452, Riga (Nld) eta 0545, and CSL Laurentien eta 1340. Port Weller anchorage: Tundra (Cyp) remained anchored awaiting Redpath dock.

Hamilton, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Algoma Harvester arrived at 0240 Sunday, Algoscotia departed at 0641, Redhead (Hkg) departed at 0952 for Ireland. Algoma Enterprise departed at 2339 on Saturday.

Clarkson, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Adfines Sea (Mlt) departed 1601 Sunday to take bunkers off Hamilton. Algolake and Jana Desgagnes remained at docks.

Picton, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Robert S. Pierson arrived late afternoon Sunday.

Toronto, Ont. – Barry Andersen
USCG Hollyhock departed at 1350 Saturday. Drawsko (Bhs) was at Redpath unloading sugar.

Bath, Ont. – Barry Andersen
English River departed mid-morning Sunday.

Bomanville, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Frontenac arrived at 1540 Sunday.

Seaway
The scrap tow of the former Quebec ferry Camille-Marcoux (her name shortened to Le-Marc) tied up at Montreal Sunday night. The tow is expected to continue Monday. The vessel is bound for Port Colborne, Ont., and the yard of the Marine Recycling Corp. Tugs are Lois M. and Jarrett M.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 24

24 April 1882 - The ferry HAWKINS (wooden propeller ferry, 73 foot, 86 gross tons, built in 1873, at Au Sable, Michigan) was renamed JAMES BEARD. She had received a thorough overhaul and was put in service between Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario, on 25 April 1882. She lasted until 1927, when she was abandoned.

On 24 April 1872, the 3-mast wooden schooner JENNIE GRAHAM was sailing up Lake Huron to pick up a load of lumber. She was light and at full sail when a sudden squall caused her to capsize. Two crewmembers were trapped below decks and died. Captain Duncan Graham was washed away and drowned. The remaining seven crewmembers clung to the overturned hull for about an hour and then the vessel unexpectedly turned upwards and lay on one side. The crew was then able to cut away a lifeboat and get in it. They were later picked up by the schooner SWEEPSTAKES. The GRAHAM was salvaged and taken to Port Huron for repairs.

ONTADOC sailed from Collingwood, Ontario, on her maiden voyage on April 24, 1975, for Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to load steel for Duluth, Minnesota. She was renamed b) MELISSA DESGAGNES in 1990. Pittsburgh Steamship Co.'s D.M. CLEMSON (Hull#716) of the American Ship Building Co., departed Lorain on her maiden voyage April 24, 1917, to load iron ore at Duluth, Minnesota.

The B.F. JONES left Quebec on April 24, 1973, in tandem with her former fleet mate EDWARD S. KENDRICK towed by the Polish tug KORAL heading for scrapping in Spain. The wooden schooner WELLAND CANAL was launched at Russell Armington's shipyard at St. Catharines, Ontario. She was the first ship built at St. Catharines and the first to navigate the Welland Canal when it opened between St. Catharine's and Lake Ontario on 10 May 1828.

1948 A collision between the HARRY L. FINDLAY and the Canadian tanker JOHN IRWIN occurred in the St. Clair River, near Recors Point on this date. The stem bar was twisted and plates set back on the American bulk carrier and these were repaired at Lorain. It later sailed as c) PAUL L. TIETJEN. The tanker saw further service as c) WHITE ROSE II, d) WHITE ROSE and e) FUEL MARKETER (ii).

1975 The Canadian self-unloader SAGUENAY sustained minor damage in a collision in Lake St. Clair with the Panamanian freighter FESTIVITY on this date. The latter had begun coming to the Great Lakes in 1966. It had been damaged in a grounding on July 18, 1977, and arrived at Bilbao, Spain, for scrapping on November 9, 1977.

1989 GENERAL VARGAS arrived at Green Bay and was being towed by the tug MINNIE SELVICK when the latter was crushed against pilings around a railway bridge and sank. All on board were rescued but the tug was a total loss. The Philippine registered freighter had begun Great Lakes trading as a) BRUNTO in 1977 and reacquired that name in 1994. It was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, as f) LINDEN after arriving on July 19, 2011.

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

 

Bay Shipbuilding marks re-commissioning of John G. Munson

4/23 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding marked the re-commissioning of the vessel John G. Munson last Thursday afternoon. Representatives of Keystone Shipping Co. and Canadian National (CN) were on hand. The attendees included managers and engineers from associated companies who celebrated the repowering of the vessel from steam to diesel propulsion.

The Munson was built in Manitowoc in 1952 and is one of the nine freighters from Canadian National’s Great Lakes Fleet. It is managed by Keylakes Inc. of Duluth, Minn., which is a subsidiary of Keystone Shipping Co.

Door County Daily News

 

Port Reports -  April 23

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Paul R. Tregurtha arrived in Duluth early Saturday afternoon to load coal at Midwest Energy, and Oakglen departed from CN with ore. Burns Harbor was loading iron ore pellets at Burlington Northern in Superior, and was expected to depart late Saturday night.

Drummond Island, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Michipicoten became the first vessel for the 2017 season to load at the limestone dock. It arrived Thursday afternoon and departed on Friday morning. Cuyahoga was expected to load Saturday.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Great Lakes Trader / tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort are expected Sunday in the late morning. Wilfred Sykes is due Monday in the morning, followed by Great Republic in the late evening.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes is expected Sunday at noon. Also due are the barge Pere Marquette 41 / tug Undaunted on Monday in the evening. John J. Boland is due on April 26 at noon.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
John J. Boland loaded at the North Dock on Saturday and was due to depart around 3 p.m. There are no vessels scheduled Sunday. Due in Monday are two early morning arrivals, Philip R. Clarke and Lee A. Tregurtha for the North Dock. There are no vessels scheduled Tuesday. Due Wednesday is the H. Lee White in the early morning for the North Dock. Two vessels are due Thursday, with American Mariner arriving in the morning for the South Dock and the H. Lee White due for the South Dock in the late evening.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Cason J. Callaway loaded Saturday and was expected to depart around 3 p.m. There are no vessels scheduled for Sunday or Monday.

Bay City, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The American Steamship Co. 1,000-footer Indiana Harbor arrived in the late morning Saturday to deliver the first coal cargo for the 2017 season to the Consumers Energy/Karn Weadock power plant in Essexville. They delivered the first half of the coal cargo to the St. Clair power plant on Friday.

St. Clair, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Indiana Harbor arrived on Friday in the late morning with a split cargo of coal for the St. Clair power plant and the Consumers Energy/Karn Weadock power plant in Essexville near Bay City. It was their first visit of the 2017/18 season at the facility. They departed Friday in the evening and arrived at Karn Weadock late on Saturday morning to continue unloading. The first vessel to deliver coal to the St. Clair power plant for the 2017/18 season was March 29, when Paul R. Tregurtha arrived to unload a split cargo for the St. Clair and Monroe power plants. Paul R. Tregurtha also became the first vessel for the 2017/18 season to deliver coal to Monroe.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Capt. Henry Jackman was loading road salt Saturday. She was downbound at Sarnia around 10 p.m.

Sarnia, Ont. – Denny Dushane
Federal Champlain, built in 2016, became the first foreign-flagged ship to load at the Cargill grain elevator for the 2017 season. They arrived late on April 17 and departed in the late morning April 21 enroute to Montreal to take on bunker fuel before continuing on to Tuxpan, Mexico, to unload.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Mississagi was at the CSX Coal Dock on Saturday waiting to load coal. Also due at CSX is the Kaye E. Barker on Monday in the morning, followed by the barge James L. Kuber / tug Victory on April 26 in the early evening. Algoma Enterprise is due at CSX on April 27 in the late evening, and the barge Ashtabula / tug Defiance are due at CSX on April 29 during the morning. There is nothing due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Due at the Torco Dock are the barge Joseph H. Thompson / tug on Sunday in the early evening. Kaye E. Barker is also due at Torco on Sunday in the evening. The barge James L. Kuber / tug Victory are due at Torco on April 26 in the late afternoon, and the Joseph H. Thompson returns to Torco on April 27 in the late evening. Vessels in port Saturday included the saltwater vessel Federal Barents and the tug Wilf Seymour / barge Alouette Spirit.

Nanticoke, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Algoma Hansa and Algonova remained at docks on Saturday.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for April 22. Upbound: CCG Constable Carrière eta 1120, Algoma Discovery eta 1521, Marsgracht (Nld) eta 1612, Sten Baltic (Nor) eta 1955 and Thunder Bay eta 2100. Downbound: Algolake, Algoma Enterprise, BBC Weser (Atg) eta 0450, CSL Niagara eta 0615, Federal Champlain (Mhl) eta 0900, Kaministiqua eta 1531, Tecumseh eta 1535, Frontenac eta 2009. Port Weller anchorage: Tundra (Cyp) was awaiting her turn at the Redpath dock.

Hamilton, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Redhead (Hkg) departed anchorage Friday and docked at 2100. Arrivals: Robert S. Pierson Friday at 2325, Havelstern (Mhl) at 1245, Algoma Enterprise at 1415, Arneborg (Nld) at 1520 and BBC Weser (Atg), anchored Burlington Bay at 1558.

Clarkson, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Arrivals: Adfines Sea (Mlt) at 0151 Saturday, Algolake at 1231 and Jana Desgagnes at 1900.

Toronto, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Drawsko (Bhs) was at Redpath unloading on Saturday. English River departed at 2330 for Bath. Stephen B. Roman arrived at 0205.

Seaway – Ron Beaupre´
The scrap tow of the former Quebec ferry Camille-Marcoux (her name shortened to Le-Marc) got underway westbound Saturday. The vessel is bound for Port Colborne, Ont., and the yard of the Marine Recycling Corp. Tugs are Lois M. and Jarrett M.

 

Wakes, high water blamed for shore damage along St. Clair River

4/23 - Harsens Island, Mich. – Since mid-March Charles Hahn has watched the aggressive waves of the St. Clair River crash up onto his yard, warp his dock and wash dirt across the road. Hahn said the damage to private properties stems from a combination of unusually high water levels and freighters moving too fast.

Hahn said the U.S. and Canadian coast guards should be monitoring freighter traffic up and down the river.

Weekly water levels update from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that the St. Clair River levels were up seven inches from the previous year.

At one time, just off of South Channel drive on Harsens Island, the water was so low that residents had sandy beach area to enjoy. Now that same sandy space is covered in nearly a foot of water. When freighters head down the St. Clair River, towards Lake St. Clair, the wakes from the ships can reach up onto the street.

Read more and see photos at this link: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/04/15/shore-damage-st-clair-river/100497868

 

Reservations are now being taken for Soo Boatnerd Cruise

4/23 - Reservations for the annual Boatnerd Freighter Chasing cruise, on Friday, June 30, are now being taken. This event is part of the annual Engineers’ Day weekend Boatnerd Gathering in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The three-hour cruise will travel through the U.S. and Canadian locks, and the price includes an on-board buffet dinner. Reservations are a must as we are limiting the group to 100 persons. This will afford everyone enough space to take photos and enjoy themselves. Check the Gatherings page for complete details and other events taking place during the weekend.

http://www.boatnerd.com/gathering/

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 23

23 April 1907 - The SEARCHLIGHT (wooden propeller fish tug, 40 foot, built in 1899, at Saginaw, Michigan) capsized and sank while returning to Harbor Beach, Michigan, with a load of fish. The vessel had been purchased by Captain Walter Brown and his son from the Robert Beutel Fish Company of Toledo, Ohio, just ten days before. The sale agreement stated that the tug was to be paid for with fish, not cash. All six crew members drowned.

On 23 April 1883, STEPHEN S. BATES (wooden schooner, 97 foot, 139 tons, built in 1856, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) was bound from Horne's Pier, Wisconsin, with posts and hardware for Chicago when she was driven into the shallows just north of Grosse Point, Illinois, by a storm and broke up. No lives were lost.

In 1953, the PERE MARQUETTE 22 was cut in half, then pulled apart and lengthened by 40 feet, as part of a major refit at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Also during this refit, her triple-expansion engines were replaced with Skinner Unaflows, and her double stacks were replaced with a single, tapered stack. The refit was completed August 28, 1953.

On April 23, 1966, the b.) JOSEPH S. WOOD, a.) RICHARD M. MARSHALL of 1953, was towed to the Ford Rouge complex at Dearborn, Michigan by her new owners, the Ford Motor Company. She was renamed c.) JOHN DYKSTRA.

Canada Steamship Lines’ FORT YORK was commissioned April 23, 1958.

On April 23, 1980, the ARTHUR B. HOMER's bow thruster failed while maneuvering through ice at Taconite Harbor, Minnesota, resulting in a grounding which damaged her bow and one ballast tank.

The a.) GRIFFIN (Hull#12) of the Cleveland Ship Building Co. was launched April 23, 1891, for the Lake Superior Iron Mining Co. Renamed b.) JOSEPH S. SCOBELL in 1938, she was scrapped at Rameys Bend, Ontario, in 1971.

On April 23, 1972, PAUL H. CARNAHAN arrived at the Burlington Northern Docks at Superior, Wisconsin, to load 22,402 gross tons of iron ore bound for Detroit, opening the 1972, shipping season at Superior.

On 23 April 1859, at about midnight, the schooner S. BUTTLES was fighting a severe gale. She was carrying staves from Port Burwell, Ontario, to Clayton, New York, and sprang a leak while battling the gale. While manning the pumps, one man was washed overboard, but his shipmates quickly rescued him. Capt. Alexander Pollock beached the vessel to save her about 10 miles east of the Genesee River.

On 23 April 1882, GALLATIN (2-mast wooden schooner, 138 foot, 422 tons, built in 1863, at Oswego, New York) was carrying pig iron from St. Ignace, Michigan, to Erie, Pennsylvania, when she sprang a leak in a storm on Lake Erie. She struck bottom on Chickanolee Reef and foundered in shallow water at Point Pelee. Her crew was saved from the rigging by the fishing sloop LIZZIE.

1916 The grain laden COLLINGWOOD stranded in Whitefish Bay due to ice and fog and was not released until April 27.

1929 The canaller IMARI was on its delivery trip from Port Talbot, Wales, to Canada when it lost the propeller blades, due to ice, off Scaterie Island, Nova Scotia. The vessel later sailed the Great Lakes as b) DELAWARE, d) MANICOUAGAN, e) WASHINGTON TIMES HERALD and f) MANITOULIN.

1945 EFTYCHIA, a Greek freighter, came to the Great Lakes for one trip in 1961. Earlier, as the British freighter RIVERTON, it had been torpedoed by U-1023 off southwest England on April 23, 1945, and three lives were lost. The vessel arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, as c) BOAZ ESPERANZA for scrapping on March 20, 1969.

1975 WESTDALE (ii) ran aground at the entrance to Goderich harbour while inbound with grain and was stuck for 15 hours before being pulled free.

1988 QUEDOC (iii) was upbound in the Seaway when it was in a collision with the BIRCHGLEN (I) under tow for scrap, and went aground in Lake St. Louis near Buoy 2A. Four tugs were needed to pull the ship free and it went to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs.

1991 MARINE TRANSPORT operated around Maritime Canada but had come to the Great Lakes as c) C. OMER MARIE. It ran into ice and sank on April 23, 1991, about 10 miles off Cape Race, NF. The vessel was under R.C.M.P. surveillance when it was lost and all on board were rescued only to be arrested.

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

 

Coast Guard continues response for grounded yacht near Ludington

4/22 - Ludington, Mich. – Coast Guard crews continue to monitor salvage operations Friday of a 76-foot recreational vessel that grounded on April 15 in the vicinity of Big Sable Point near Ludington, Michigan.

The vessel's superstructure has broken off, with debris scattered along the shoreline in the vicinity of the grounding. The deteriorating condition of the vessel was confirmed by an overflight conducted by Air Station Traverse City, Michigan.

Lightering operations were completed Thursday evening with a total of 70 gallons of oily water recovered from the starboard tank. It was determined that no fuel remained in the tank following the recovery.

Coast Guard pollution responders from Grand Haven, Mich., are on scene and overseeing the recovery operation. There are no reports of pollution.

The operator of the vessel was on his way from Pentwater, Michigan, to Traverse City, Mich., April 15 when he noticed his vessel was taking on water and decided to ground the vessel in about 3 feet of water.

A Coast Guard boat crew from Station Ludington responded and safely removed the operator from the vessel after it began listing about 15 degrees.

USCG

 

Shipping container kiosk on Detroit River to teach students about Great Lakes

4/22 - Detroit, Mich. – The Portal View is a shipping container repurposed to provide an education experience about the Great Lakes and the maritime industry’s past and future. It opens to the public on May 22 (that’s National Maritime Day) and is located right outside of the Port of Detroit, between Hart Plaza and the Renaissance Center.

The container will be home to Great Lakes maritime artifacts, educational boards, and an interactive computer provided by BoatNerd.com.

“As an economic engine, the Port of Detroit is an integral part of our region’s success,” said John Loftus, DWCPA executive director. “This container project is a great opportunity for the public, and school groups, to learn about the Great Lakes and the shipping industry.”

Some lucky students will be able to take a look at Portal View first. On April 24, as part of Science Under Sail, an environmental education program, Detroit Public School and Romulus Community School students in third through sixth grade will be touring the Detroit River on the Appledore IV. That’s a two-masted schooner, docked at the DWCPA facility.

The project was made possible through a partnership with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. Support came from General Motors, Three Squared, Inc., the Maritime Recycling Corporation, the Great Lakes Maritime Institute, and Boat Nerd, the DWCPA was able lead the production of Portal View.

Daily Detroit

We are looking for voulenteers to staff the portal and answer vistor's questions. If you are interested in helping out please e-mail moderator@boatnerd.net

 

Port Reports -  April 22

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Presque Isle arrived Duluth early Friday morning to load iron ore pellets at BN. Great Republic arrived at sunrise with limestone to discharge at Hallett #5. She shifted to Midwest Energy during the afternoon to load coal. Oakglen arrived from anchor later in the morning, and headed to CN to load after American Spirit. Early Friday afternoon, American Century and American Spirit departed, the former with coal and the latter with ore. During the evening, Great Republic departed after she completed loading coal, and Presque Isle departed Burlington Northern in Superior with ore.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There is nothing scheduled until April 23, when the barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort are expected at noon to load. Two vessels are expected April 24 when the Mississagi is expected in the early morning followed by the Wilfred Sykes during the late morning.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
John J. Boland was expected on Friday in the evening. However, they are also on the schedule to load at Calcite on Saturday in the morning. Also expected is the Wilfred Sykes on Sunday in the late afternoon. John J. Boland is due Monday in the evening to load.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Philip R. Clarke loaded at the South Dock on Friday and was due to depart around 8:30 p.m. Due for Saturday is the John J. Boland in the morning for the North Dock. Due in during the late evening Sunday is the Philip R. Clarke for the North Dock. There are no vessels scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. H. Lee White is due Wednesday in the early morning for the North Dock to load.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
CSL Laurentien loaded at the CSX Coal Dock on Friday. Waiting to load after the CSL Laurentien was the Mississagi. Also due to arrive at CSX is the Kaye E. Barker on Monday in the morning, followed by the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory on April 26 in the early evening. There is nothing due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Due at the Torco Dock are the barge Joseph H. Thompson and tug on Sunday in the early morning. Kaye E. Barker is due at Torco on Monday during the early morning. Due at Torco on April 26 is a return visit from the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory in the late morning. Joseph H. Thompson returns to Torco on April 27 in the early evening. Vessels in port include the saltwater vessel Federal Barents that arrived on Friday. Also in port were the G-tugs Mississippi and Colorado, and tug Paul L. Luedtke.

Cleveland, Ohio – Nick Hunter
James R. Barker arrived on a rare visit Friday, while the Buffalo continued her shuttle trips. Tugs Calusa Coast, Thomas R. Morrish, and Sea Eagle II, with their respective barges, were in town as well. Set to arrive Friday night are the Samuel deChamplain and barge Innovation.

Nanticoke, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Algoma Hansa and Algonova remained at docks Friday.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for April 21. Upbound: Algowood eta 0013, Harbour Fountain (Por) eta 0415, Petite Forte & barge St. Marys Cement eta 1100, CSL Assiniboine eta 1121, and Algoma Olympic eta 1715. Downbound: Atlantic Huron, English River eta 0149, G3 Marquis eta 0338, Algoma Discovery eta 0543, Algoma Equinox eta 06081005, Beatrix (Nld) eta 0910, and Algolake eta 2150 and Algoma Enterprise eta 2220.

Port Weller anchorage: Tundra (Cyp) was awaiting her turn at the Redpath dock. Adfines Sea (Mlt) anchored.

Hamilton, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Evans Spirit departed at 0909 Friday for the Seaway, tug Salvor arrived at 1005 from Picton and Redhead (Hkg) departed anchorage and returned to dock, Algoscotia arrived at 2150.

Bowmanville, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Algoma Olympic departed at 1231 Friday.

Toronto, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Drawsko (Bhs) was at Redpath Sugar Friday unloading. English River arrived at 1552.

 

Great Lakes town raises money online to save harbor

4/22 - Leland, Mich. – Leland Harbormaster Russell Dzuba is walking down a metal gangway to get a look at the harbor in this northern Michigan town. Normally, there would be some activity this time of year – but the harbor is empty.

“We’re looking at water that’s about six inches deep right over there,” he says.

This channel should be about 12 feet deep. But it silts up every year, as waves and storms push sand and sediment along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. That’s bad news for this small town, which explodes with tourists every summer. Many are drawn to Fishtown, a historic village of wooden fishing shanties that stands as a monument to Leland’s heritage.

Until recently, it looked like the town would be closed to anyone coming by boat, including tourists from Chicago or Milwaukee. Now Leland is fighting back with a special new boat. It’s outfitted with what looks like a huge straw with a drill bit on the end, and sucks the sand from the lakebed. This week, the boat is scheduled to start working to open the harbor.

Small harbors like Leland don’t usually have their own 28-ton dredge boat. But with no federal money available, the town got another idea – an online crowd-funding campaign. Restaurant owner Kate Vilter led the campaign that raised $275,000 to help Leland buy the equipment.

“Fifty-thousand dollars from one … twenty-five from another,” she says. “So people really got behind this project, I think mainly because it was a permanent solution.”

Vilter says that thanks to the deep pockets of some of the town’s summertime residents, the money was raised in less than a month.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers used to dredge Great Lakes harbors every year. But now the agency focuses on major ports like Detroit and Cleveland. Marie Strum, chief of engineering for the Detroit District of the Corps of Engineers says there are 80 recreational harbors on the Great Lakes. They range from Cape Vincent at the eastern edge of Lake Erie to Whitefish Point on Lake Superior.

“Recreational harbors are important to us,” Strum says. “They’re federal harbors, and we understand we have that responsibility. It’s simply a matter of not enough funds.”

Chuck May disagrees. He runs the Great Lakes Small Harbors Coalition. And he says dredging is supposed to be covered by a special tax paid by shippers. “The tax has a very specific purpose – to maintain the harbors. The simple solution is start doing that,” he says. Instead, the $1.5 billion or so collected by the tax every year has been going directly into the federal budget.

Three years ago, Congress mandated that the tax be spent on things like dredging. But that’s being phased in over eight years, and Leland’s residents decided their harbor couldn’t wait.

On a recent day, a big crane lifted the dredge boat off a flatbed truck and into the cold, crystal clear Lake Michigan waters. Harbormaster Dzuba is relieved he’ll no longer have to rely on the federal government to keep his harbor open.

“So there won’t be the helter-skelter that goes on in January, trying to locate funding,” he says. “That’s all done and over with. We’re all done begging.” Dzuba and a crew of community volunteers hope to finish the dredging by mid-May.

Of course, not every harbor town on the Great Lakes has the money to buy its own dredging equipment. A few have asked to borrow Leland’s boat. Dzuba says he’s sympathetic, but the equipment is just too difficult to move.

WBFO

 

Superfunded: Keweenaw Lower Entry declared multi-level hazmat site

4/22 - Chassell Township, Mich. – The pier at the Lower Entry of the Keweenaw Waterway has been listed, at least for now, as a Federal superfund site. Jeromy Kowell of the United States Coast Guard Station’s Marine Safety Unit from Duluth, said in addition to raising the fishing boat Dawn from the entry floor Tuesday, there is additional work to be done to clean up the area along the 2,000-foot-long concrete pier within the harbor of refuge.

“We’ve got three federalized projects,” Kowell said. “One is the boat Dawn, which sank on April 1st of this year. The second is another fishing vessel, Katherine, which sank in December 2016, and the third is hazardous material in addition to oil and similar petroleum products being released by the two vessels.

Kowell said during inspection of both vessels, they discovered hazardous material on the floor of the lake, removal of which has already begun. Divers discovered hazmat materials, including loose batteries, dumped tires and “other miscellaneous materials.”

“We federalized the Dawn first,” Kowell said, “and then when we were conducting cleanup operations, removing oil and hydraulic oil off of the vessel, we noticed that the Katherine was sheening (leaking fluids such as fuel and oil), so we federalized that and removed product that we could off of that one.”

The cost of remediation of the hazmat materials, Kowell said, will be paid through EPA CERCLA (Environmental Protection Agency Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act) funding, which Kowell said was opened specifically for hazardous materials.

“Both vessels are OSLTF (Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund),” Kowell said. “OS (Oil Spill) Field Response funding, for the EPA comes from Coast Guard funding, and any hazmat response funding comes through the EPA, so we use each other’s fundings.”

Mining Gazette

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 22

22 April 1873 - ST. JOSEPH (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 150 feet, 473 gross tons, built in 18,67 at Buffalo, New York) was sold by the Goodrich Transportation Company to Charles Chamberlain and others of Detroit, Michigan, for $30,000.

On 22 April 1872, Capt. L. R. Boynton brought the wooden propeller WENONA into Thunder Bay to unload passengers and freight at Alpena, Michigan. The 15-inch-thick ice stopped him a mile from the harbor. The passengers got off and walked across the ice to town. Later, because of the novelty of it, a couple hundred people from Alpena walked out to see the steamer. In the evening, Capt. Boynton steamed back to Detroit without unloading any of the cargo.

American Steamship Co.'s, ST. CLAIR (Hull#714) was christened April 22, 1976, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Corp.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE of 1930, laid up for the last time at Toronto on April 22, 1986.

CSL's HOCHELAGA lost her self-unloading boom during a windstorm at Windsor, Ontario, on April 22, 1980. As a consequence, she made 10 trips hauling grain as a straight-decker.

CHARLES M. WHITE was commissioned April 22, 1952, at South Chicago, Illinois. She was soon recognized as one of the fastest ships on the Great Lakes because of her ability to reach speeds in excess of 17 knots (19.6 mph).

On 22 April 1871, the 210-foot, 4-masted wooden schooner JAMES COUCH was launched at Port Huron, Michigan. She was named for a prominent Chicago businessman of the time.

On 22 April 1872, EVA M. CONE (wooden schooner, 25 tons, built in 1859, at Oconto, Wisconsin) was carrying lumber from Port Washington to Milwaukee on an early-season run when she struck on ice floe, capsized and sank just outside of Milwaukee harbor. Her crew made it to safety in her lifeboat.

1917: NEEPAWAH, formerly part of Canada Steamship Lines, was captured by U53 a German submarine and sunk by timed bombs. The vessel had been carrying pyrites from Huelva, Spain, to Rouen, France, and went down about 120 miles west of Bishop's Rock.

1924: BROOKTON lost her way in heavy snow and ran aground on Russell Island Shoal near Owen Sound. The vessel was released the next day with the help of a tug. Her career ended with scrapping at Hamilton as g) BROOKDALE (i) in 1966-1967.

1947: HARRY YATES (ii) stranded on Tecumseh Reef, Lake Erie, but was soon released. The vessel became c) BLANCHE HINDMAN (ii) in 1960 and was scrapped at Santander, Spain, in 1968.

1955: Fire destroyed the historic wooden passenger steamers MAID OF THE MIST and MAID OF THE MIST II at their winter quarters in Niagara Falls, ON. The blaze broke out due to an errant welding spark during the annual fit-out and the Niagara Falls Fire Chief suffered a heart attack and died at the scene.

1968: ALHELI, a Lebanese registered Liberty ship, made three trips to the Great Lakes in 1964. The vessel began leaking 900 miles east of Bermuda while en route from Almeria, Spain, to Wilminton, DE, with fluorspar on this date and was abandoned by the crew. The ship went down April 24.

1972: CHAMPLAIN arrived in Canada from overseas in 1959 and saw occasional Great Lakes service. It became f) GILANI in 1970 and toppled on her side at Vercheres due to the swell from a passing ship on April 22, 1972. The ship was refloated several days later.

1973: An explosion in the engine room of the C.P. AMBASSADOR blew a six-foot-hole in the side of the hull during a storm about 420 miles east of Newfoundland. The ship was abandoned, save for the captain and chief engineer, and was towed into St. John's, NF on May 4. It had been a Great Lakes visitor as a) BEAVEROAK beginning when new in 1965. The damage was repaired and the vessel resumed service on July 14, 1973. It was eventually scrapped as f) FLAMINGO at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, following arrival on April 30, 1984.

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

 

Quebec ship gives up after 6-day battle with ice, passengers fly home

4/21 - Quebec, Que. - A ship that transports people and supplies to Quebec's Lower North Shore was forced to abandon its efforts to get to the isolated community of Blanc Sablon, near the border with Labrador, after extraordinarily thick ice made the journey impossible. Three Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers tried to clear a path through the ice for the Bella Desgagnés to the community beginning last Friday, but all efforts failed.

"Not being able to complete the mission successfully, it's hard on everyone," said Julie Gascon, assistant commissioner for the Canadian Coast Guard, Central and Arctic Region.

The Bella Desgagnés had been trying to bring nine passengers and much needed supplies, including perishable goods, to the village, which has no connection by road to the rest of Quebec. On Tuesday, the ship was forced to make an emergency trip to St. Barbe, Nfld., because a diabetic passenger was running out of insulin after an unexpected five days at sea.

"The time was very long. Very stressful, too," said the passenger, Jordan Nadeau, who was travelling from nearby Harrington Harbour. He had only expected to the journey to Blanc Sablon to last one day, and was down to his last day's worth of insulin when the ship made the detour.

The light icebreaker, CCGS Earl Grey, was the first to attempt to cut a path to the shore. When it failed, the medium-sized CCGS Henry Larsen was called in, which also couldn't get through. The coast guard then sent the strongest icebreaker it has, CCGS Terry Fox, but the ice proved too thick.

Chunks of glaciers from Greenland are crowding the narrow Strait of Belle Isle, the coast guard said, and could cause problems for weeks. Blanc Sablon Mayor Armand Joncas said he has not seen ice like it in 25 years.

"The Bella Desgagnés was designed for 18 inches of fresh ice — ice that was made this year — but the ice we got here is maybe a couple thousand years old," he said.

When the ship abandoned hope of reaching Blanc Sablon yesterday, it brought Nadeau and three other passengers back to Newfoundland. From there, they were to catch a flight to Blanc Sablon.

Five other passengers were taking a round-trip voyage and are returning with the ship as it heads back to the coastal communities of La Romaine and Rimouski. Food and supplies will be either be flown to Blanc Sablon, or transported there by truck on a road that links the community to Labrador, Quebec's ferry agency said.

CBC

 

Port Reports -  April 21

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Joseph L. Block and American Mariner departed Duluth on Thursday afternoon, the former bound for Two Harbors to load ore and the latter with grain for Buffalo. Oakglen arrived during the evening to load iron ore pellets at CN. She stopped at the fuel dock to wait for American Spirit to finish loading. American Spirit was expected to depart late Thursday night.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes was expected Thursday in the early evening to load. There is nothing due after that until April 23 when the barge Great Lakes Trader / tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort are expected in the late morning. Great Republic is also expected on April 24 in the early evening to load.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There is nothing scheduled until April 22 when the Michipicoten is expected in the early evening. The barge Pere Marquette 41 / tug Undaunted and the Wilfred Sykes are expected on April 24.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
On Wednesday the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were in port loading cement. The Alpena is expected to return on Friday morning. The research vessel Arcticus is tied up in the river and has been going out in the lake throughout the week.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Philip R. Clarke was expected Thursday during the early morning hours to load at the South Dock. Due Friday is the John J. Boland in the mid-afternoon for the South and the North Dock. Philip R. Clarke is due back on Saturday in the late evening for the North Dock to load.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Two vessels were expected on Thursday. Cason J. Callaway was due in the late afternoon/early evening, followed by Herbert C. Jackson in the evening. There are no vessels scheduled for Saturday. Due in Sunday are the barge Pathfinder / tug Dorothy Ann in the early morning. There are no vessels scheduled Monday. Philip R. Clarke is due Tuesday morning.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Kaye E. Barker arrived at the Torco Dock on Wednesday and unloaded iron ore pellets. They departed Thursday morning. Also due at Torco are the Joseph H. Thompson and tug on Saturday at noon, followed by a return visit from the Kaye E. Barker on Sunday in the early evening. There is nothing due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory loaded at the CSX Coal Dock on Thursday, while CSL Laurentien arrived and was waiting to load. Mississagi is due at CSX to load on Friday in the late afternoon. It was mostly tugs in port on Thursday, with the Paul L. Luedtke, Karl E. Luedtke and the G-tugs Mississippi and Colorado all present.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for April 20. Upbound: Evans McKeil & barge Niagara Spirit, Genesis Victory & barge GM-6506 eta 0350, Labrador (Cyp) eta 0610, Federal Barents (Mhl) eta 0740, Mississagi eta 1540, Federal Kushiro (Mhl) eta 1645, and Wilf Seymour & barge Alouette Spirit eta 2120. Downbound: Algowood, Algosteel, USCG Katmai Bay # 101 eta 0758, headed to Baltimore, Md., for refit, and Atlantic Huron eta 2120.

Port Weller anchorage: Drawsko (Bhs) departed anchorage for Toronto. Tundra (Cyp) was awaiting her turn at the Redpath dock. Adfines Sea (Mlt) anchored at 0940

Hamilton, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Evans McKeil & barge Niagara Spirit arrived at 0058 Thursday and departed at 1759 for the Welland Canal, Redhead (Hkg) departed dock on 4.19 to anchor in Burlington Bay at 2330. Evans Spirit remained at dock.

Bowmanville, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Petite Forte & barge St. Marys Cement departed at 0641 Thursday, Algoma Olympic arrived at 1100.

Bronte, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Adfines Sea (Mlt) departed for the Port Weller anchorage Thursday.

Toronto, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Mississagi arrived 0529 Thursday and departed at 1406. Labrador departed at 0401. Drawsko (Bhs) arrived Redpath at 0602. Stephen B. Roman departed at 1333.

Nanticoke, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Frontenac arrived at 0523 Thursday and departed 1728 westbound, Algocanada departed at 1549 westbound, Algoma Hansa arrived at approximately 2140, Algonova remained at dock.

 

More ship activity means bridges up often on Welland Canal

4/21 - St. Catharines, Ont. – Drivers waiting to cross the Welland Canal bridges have had to be more patient than usual this season as shipping is experiencing a surge. Canal traffic is up 23 per cent from this time last year due to shipments of grain and iron ore.

“We are witnessing a very healthy level of traffic,” said Andrew Bogora, spokesman for St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp.

The good news for drivers in St. Catharines is that Carlton Street bridge repairs are on schedule to be completed by the end of the month and the bridge will be back in service.

Bogora said it’s always a balancing act to accommodate everyone’s needs. “I simply want to underline our thanks to the community for the understanding during both the maintenance that has been done and the current surge in traffic,” Bogora said.

Bogora said the iron ore market is highly price sensitive and the canal is seeing export movement from the upper lakes downbound that accounts for part of the increase in traffic. Shipments from the Mesabi Range in Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are destined for markets overseas.

He said there’s a natural synergy in terms of moving iron ore on a laker for its initial transit and then transferring it to a larger ocean vessel in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Rail companies may not have the facilities to transfer cargo at certain ports.

“In terms of efficiency, both energy efficiency and cost efficiency, moving iron ore by ship is the option that is virtually the only option,” he said.

Grain from the previous year’s harvest is also being moved to various markets. Bogora said the harvest was late last year in certain areas of the Prairies due to weather. That meant it had to be stored and there wasn’t an opportunity to move it to market. As well, some farmers store grain until they get the price they want.

“What we will witness throughout the year are certain bursts of activity coinciding with price opportunities for the sale of grain,” Bogora said.

St. Catharines Standard

 

Marine Career Awareness Day to be held in Hamilton June 27

4/21 - Hamilton, Ont. – A Marine Career Awareness Day will be hosted by the Mission to Seafarers Southern Ontario, The Hamilton Port Authority and The Marine Club June 27 at the Hamilton Convention Centre.

The event will consist of a Career and Job Fair in the afternoon from noon- to 4 p.m. Employers and educators representing the varied aspects of the marine community will be available to those interested in learning about opportunities for employment and education leading to a career in the diverse environment of the marine and marine industry related companies. (A 2010 study found that cargo handled by the Port of Hamilton is connected to 38,000 jobs and $6 billion in economic activity throughout Ontario.)

In the evening from 5:50 to 8:30 p.m., the marine industry will get together to network and enjoy an evening of entertainment including live music, a silent and live auction. This is an opportunity to bring customers, guests and staff and celebrate the accomplishments of the industry.

For more information on how to become an Exhibitor/Attendee at the career fair or to order tickets to the celebration evening, please email Judith Alltree at: mtsso2017@gmail.com.

 

Obituary: Chief Engineer Wallace "Wally" J. Haske

4/21 - Retired Chief Engineer Wallace "Wally" J. Haske died April 8 at age 89 in Manitowoc, Wis. He retired from the steamer Rogers City in 1977 after 30 years of service to Great Lakes Fleet, United States Steel. He and his family moved to Manitowoc, Wis., at that time where he was employed for an additional 13 years as head boiler operator for Manitowoc Engineering. Services have already taken place.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 21

21 April 1907 Peter West, a fireman on the JOHN C. GAULT (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 218 foot, 519 gross tons, built in 1881, at Buffalo, New York, converted to a bulk freighter in 1906, at Detroit, Michigan) fell overboard and drowned in Lake Huron. The news was reported to Capt. J. W. Westcott when the GAULT sailed past Detroit, Michigan, on 23 April 1907.

On 21 April 1863, SEABIRD (wooden side-wheel steamer, 638 tons, built in 1859, at Newport [Marine City], Michigan) was purchased by Capt. A. E. Goodrich from Capt. E. Ward for $36,000. She served primarily on the Lake Michigan west-shore and Lake Superior routes until she burned in 1868.

EDWIN H. GOTT cleared Two Harbors, Minn., with her first cargo, 59,375 tons of iron ore, on April 21, 1979, bound for Gary, Indiana.

Interstate Steamship's a.) WILLIS L. KING (Hull#79) by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, departed on her maiden voyage with a load of coal from Toledo, Ohio on April 21, 1911, bound for Superior, Wisconsin. Renamed b) C. L. AUSTIN in 1952 and was scrapped at Ashtabula, Ohio, in 1985.

On April 21, 1988, P & H Shipping Ltd.'s, d.) BIRCHGLEN, a.) WILLIAM MC LAUGHLIN, was towed off the Great Lakes by the tugs ELMORE M. MISNER and ATOMIC bound for Sydney, Nova Scotia, to be scrapped. Panda Steamship Co., G. A. Tomlinson, mgr.'s a.) WILLIAM H. WARNER (Hull#784) by American Ship building Co., was launched April 21, 1923. Renamed b.) THE INTERNATIONAL in 1934, c.) MAXINE in 1977, d.) J. F. VAUGHAN in 1981 and e.) OAKGLEN in 1983. Scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, in 1989.

Pittsburgh Steamship Co's, HOMER D. WILLIAMS (Hull#720) by American Ship Building Co., Lorain, Ohio, was launched in 1917.

April 21, 1998 - PERE MARQUETTE 41 (former CITY OF MIDLAND 41) was towed to Sturgeon Bay from Muskegon for the remainder of the conversion. She was towed by the tugs MARY PAGE HANNAH and the CARL WILLIAM SELVICK.

On 21 April 1868, GERTRUDE (2-mast wooden schooner, 137 foot, 268 tons, built in 1855, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying corn from Chicago to Buffalo when she was cut by the ice four miles west of Mackinaw City and sank in deep water. Her crew made it to shore in the yawl.

1963: The hull of the Swedish freighter HELGA SMITH cracked en route from Montreal to Kristiansand, Norway, and the crew abandoned the ship. The vessel was taken in tow but sank April 23 while ten miles off Cape Broyle, Newfoundland. The ship had been completed in December 1944 and had been a Seaway trader since 1960.

1981: The Italian freighter DONATELLA PARODI first came inland in 1965 at the age of 8. It was sailing as f) MARIKA K. when a fire broke out in the engineroom on this day in 1981. The vessel was en route from Varna, Bulgaria, to Karachi, Pakistan, when the blaze erupted on the Mediterranean some 60 miles east of Crete. The ship was abandoned by the crew but towed to Eleusis, Greece. It was laid up, later put under arrest and was partially sunk. Following an auction, the hull was pumped out, towed into Aliaga, Turkey, on May 18, 1987, and broken up.

1986: ALGOPORT was inbound at Grand Haven, MI with a cargo of salt when it hit the seawall.

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

 

Great Lakes water levels expected to stay above long-term average

4/20 - Washington, D.C. – Water levels on the Great Lakes are likely to remain above the long-term average through the spring and summer, according to forecasts assembled by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada and the US Army Corps of Engineers. But none of the Great Lakes are expected to reach record high water levels set mostly in the 1980s or 1950s.

While each lake is unique, they all tend to follow a similar cycle based on seasonal changes. Water levels typically reach their seasonal low during the winter months before increasing in the spring due to snowmelt and precipitation. Water levels tend to peak during the summer months, before beginning to drop in the fall and early winter.

There are three main factors that impact lake water levels, said Drew Gronewold, physical scientist with NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory: the precipitation over the lakes, evaporation of water on the lakes into vapor, and the runoff that comes into the lakes.

These variables, in turn, are affected by changes in air and water temperatures. For example, Gronewold said the timing of big runoff pulses is dependent on the amount of snow building up in the winter months and when it melts in the spring.

A water level decline in the fall is generally driven by evaporation, as air temperatures drop while surface water temperatures are still relatively warm. While water temperatures were relatively warm during the fall and winter months of 2016-2017 – leading to a lack of ice cover – evaporation amounts have been typical for this time of year due to a relatively mild winter air temperatures, Gronewold said.

These recent conditions, coupled with historical data, lead agencies to expect the water level rise to remain fairly typical this spring and into the summer. As water levels are already above their long-term average for this time of year, researchers expect that they’ll remain above average in the coming months, Gronewold explained.

There is still plenty of uncertainty, he added, as the amount of snow on the ground is less than it has been in some recent winters. It’s also difficult to predict continental-wide meteorological and climate patterns that impact Great Lakes weather patterns and temperatures. These can range from an El Niño effect like the one seen in the winter of 2015-2016 or a “polar vortex” that hit the region in the winters of 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. This uncertainty is expressed as a range of possible water levels in the forecasts released by the US Army Corps and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Great Lakes water levels also can be influenced by human management. Hydropower plants and a gated dam on the St. Marys River are used to manage outflows from Lake Superior into Lake Michigan-Huron, while a hydropower plant on the St. Lawrence River is used to manage outflows from Lake Ontario. Outflows through these structures are managed binationally by boards and according to orders and criteria established by the IJC. Nonetheless, the control of water flows through these lakes is limited, and weather conditions and water supplies remain the most significant factor affecting water levels.

Water levels are measured based on the International Great Lakes Datum, defined as the height above sea level at Rimouski Quebec on the St. Lawrence River. Agencies have been measuring lake levels since the 1860s, with more reliable levels going back as far as 1918. They base the lakes’ long-term average water levels on that information.

“We expect a range of water level conditions depending on water supplies,” said Jacob Bruxer, senior water resources engineer with Environment and Climate Change Canada. “There’s a lot of variability and uncertainty in weather and water supply forecasts, particularly when looking beyond a few weeks’ time, so we don’t try to forecast any specific trends and instead consider a full range of water supply scenarios that could be expected.”

According to recent forecasts, through September 2017 Lake Superior is likely to remain at or above seasonal averages, with a small chance of falling below its long-term average in July. There is less uncertainty for the spring months; water levels were about 5.5 inches (0.14 meters) above the long-term average by the end of March, and by May that range could be between 2.7 inches to 10 inches above the average (0.07 meters to 0.27 meters). By September, water levels could be as high as 1 foot (0.3 meters) above the long-term monthly average for Superior.

Lake Michigan-Huron, considered as one lake hydrologically, was about 9.4 inches (0.24 meters) above the March long-term average by the end of the month. By September, Michigan-Huron is expected to remain above the long-term average, in a range of 1-16 inches (0.02-0.4 meters). Gronewold said Michigan-Huron saw water levels fall slightly more during the fall months of 2016 than is typical, but that is unlikely to make a discernible difference during this spring and summer.

Higher-than-average water levels are anticipated on Lake Erie, which has seen water levels on the rise in recent months, reaching more than 17 inches (0.44 meters) above the long-term average by the end of March. Water levels are expected to continue to remain above average this spring, before starting to fall around June to a range of 3.9-16 inches above average (0.10-0.41 meters).

Lake Ontario has a slight chance of being just barely below its long-term average going into summer, but will more likely be above it by up to 15 inches (0.38 meters). The forecasted peak is in May, when water levels could be 3.9-21 inches above average (0.10-0.55 meters). Water levels are then expected to fall at about the same degree as they usually do, according to the long-term average.

The US Army Corps publishes 12-month forecasts for Lakes Erie, Huron-Michigan and Superior, as well as Lake St. Clair, based on current conditions and similar historical weather data. Uncertainty grows substantially more than six months out, but most outcomes for Lakes Erie and Michigan-Huron suggest a greater likelihood of continued higher-than-average water levels through the year. Lake Superior also has a better chance of higher-than-average water levels, but faces a substantial possibility of being below that long-term average, too.

International Joint Commission

 

Port Reports -  April 20

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Indiana Harbor departed Duluth before sunrise Wednesday with coal. Algoma Transport arrived around 07:30, and docked at North American Salt just across from the lift bridge to unload. Great Lakes Trader/Joyce L. VanEnkevort departed a few minutes later with iron ore pellets from CN. Joseph L. Block then arrived from anchor, and began discharging limestone at CN. During the evening, Riga departed after taking on wheat at Riverland, and American Spirit arrived to load ore at CN. American Mariner continued loading grain at General Mills in Superior.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Denny Dushane
The ASC 1,000-footer Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departed winter lay-up at Bay Shipbuilding early Wednesday morning to begin its 2017-18 shipping season. Mesabi Miner is due to sail this week. John G. Munson may do sea trials next week with her new diesel engines. Other vessels at Bay Shipbuilding include the barge Cleveland Rocks, tug Bradshaw McKee, Calumet, Manitowoc, barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann / tug Invincible. Tug Michigan departed sometime later in the day Wednesday, headed to Cheboygan, Mich., to reunite with her barge.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Paul Erspamer
Early Wednesday Polsteam's ocean bulker Isa arrived from Burns Harbor and docked at Slip #2 in the Outer Harbor, delivering steel. Around 2 p.m., Alpena finished unloading cement at Jones Island and departed onto Lake Michigan.

Manistee, Mich.
Great Republic is expected to arrive with coal on Sunday, April 24.

Indiana Harbor, Ind.
Wilfred Sykes was unloading the last of the ore from Escanaba at ArcelorMittal Wednesday evening.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There is nothing scheduled until Friday, April 21, when the Wilfred Sykes is expected in the late afternoon. Due on April 23 are the barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort in the early morning. Great Republic is due April 24 in the morning to load.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There is nothing due until April 24, when the barge Pere Marquette 41 / tug Undaunted arrive in the early morning, followed by the Wilfred Sykes at noon. After that, nothing is scheduled until April 27, when Philip R. Clarke and Algosteel are expected in the late evening.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels scheduled Wednesday. Two vessels are due Thursday, Herbert C. Jackson at noon and Cason J. Callaway in the late afternoon. There are no vessels due Friday and Saturday. Expected Sunday are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the early morning.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
The barge Ashtabula and tug Defiance were at the CSX Coal Dock waiting to load on Wednesday morning. Also due at CSX are two vessels for Thursday, with the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory arriving first to load in the early morning followed by CSL Laurentien due in the late afternoon. There is nothing expected at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Two vessels were expected to arrive at the Torco Dock on Wednesday. The barge James L. Kuber and the tug Victory were due in the late afternoon, followed during the early evening Thursday by the Kaye E. Barker. Joseph H. Thompson is due at Torco on Saturday in the early evening. As was reported on Tuesday, the barge Menominee was placed in drydock to undergo a 5-year survey and other work. The tug Olive L. Moore was also docked at the Old Interlake Iron Dock. Other vessels in lay-up include the tug Jane Ann IV and the barge Sarah Spencer in long-term between the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock and the CSX Coal Docks. At the Torco Slip #1 East Wall are the Manistee and the American Valor, neither of which is due to sail, and at the West Wall of the Torco Slip #1 is the St. Clair, which may sail later in the year. Manitoulin was also expected Wednesday to unload grain.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for April 19. Upbound: Sea Eagle II & barge St. Marys Cement II eta 0330, Algoma Enterprise eta 0747, Evans McKeil & barge Niagara Spirit eta 2049. Downbound: Evans Spirit eta 0709, CSL St. Laurent eta 1130, tugs Salvage Monarch and M.R. Kane with barge Coastal Titan eta 1000, Algoma Olympic eta 1450, Mississagi eta 1715, Algowood eta 2215.

Port Weller anchorage: Drawsko (Bhs) was awaiting dock at Redpath Wednesday. Tundra (Cyp) was also awaiting her turn for Redpath dock.

Hamilton, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Evans McKeil & barge Niagara Spirit arrived at 0058 Wednesday and departed at 1759 for the Welland Canal. Evans Spirit arrived at 1729.

Bowmanville, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Petite Forte & barge St. Marys Cement arrived on Wednesday.

Bronte, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Adfines Sea (Mlt) remained docked on Wednesday.

Toronto, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Stephen B. Roman arrived at 0744 Wednesday, Petite Forte & barge St. Marys Cement departed for Bowmanville. Labrador remained at the Redpath dock.

Nanticoke, Ont. – Barry Andersen
CSL Laurentien departed at 1553 Wednesday westbound. Algonova and Algocanada arrived.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 20

On 20 March 1885, MICHIGAN (Hull#48), (iron propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 215 foot, 1,183 tons) of the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee Railroad was sunk by ice off Grand Haven, Michigan.

The sidewheeler NEW YORK was sold Canadian in 1877, hopefully at a bargain price, because when she was hauled out on the ways on 20 March 1878, at Rathburn's yard in Kingston, Ontario, to have her boiler removed, her decayed hull fell apart and could not be repaired. Her remains were burned to clear the ways.

On 20 March 1883, the E. H. MILLER of Alpena, Michigan (wooden propeller tug, 62 foot, 30 gross tons, built in 1874, at East Saginaw, Michigan) was renamed RALPH. She was abandoned in 1920.

1938: ¬ A fire of an undetermined cause destroyed the passenger steamer CITY OF BUFFALO while it was fitting out for the 1938 season at the East 9th St. Pier in Cleveland The blaze began late the previous day and 11 fire companies responded. The nearby CITY OF ERIE escaped the flames, as did the SEEANDBEE.

2011” ¬ The Indian freighter APJ ANJLI was built in 1982 and began visiting the Great Lakes in 1990. It was sailing as c) MIRACH, and loaded with 25,842 tons of iron ore, when it ran aground 3 miles off the coast of India on March 20, 2011. Four holds were flooded and the crew of 25 was removed. The hull subsequently broke in two and was a total loss.

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

 

Escanaba ore dock ships last load

4/19 - Escanaba, Mich. – The last load of ore was shipped from Escanaba, Mich., Tuesday aboard the steamer Wilfred Sykes. Dock owner Canadian National (CN) Railroad announced in March the facility would be closed due to low activity at the dock since the closure of the Empire Mine last year.

Ore has been shipped from the Escanaba port for 165 years. It was the only iron ore port on Lake Michigan and allowed ore to shipped earlier and later in the shipping season, after the Soo Locks closed for the season. The port was also an alternative for ore shipments in the region if the Soo Locks were damaged or shut down.

The Sykes, operated by Central Marine Logistics for ArcelorMittal, arrived in the morning and departed in the mid-evening, headed for Indiana Harbor, Ind.

Lee Rowe, John Chown

 

J.W. Westcott crew helps save drowning pregnant woman

4/19 - Detroit, Mich. – After an allegedly suicidal pregnant woman jumped into the Detroit River, and two Detroit police officers and an EMS worker jumped in to save her, the woman is in stable condition and the baby boy she was carrying is safe after being delivered via C-section, authorities said.

It was just before 11 p.m. Monday night when authorities received a 911 call that a woman fell into the water at Riverside Park, which is on Detroit’s west side, below Jefferson and at the end of West Grand Boulevard. Two Detroit police officers jumped in to help.

A boat owned by the J.W. Westcott Co., which handles marine-based mail delivery for the freighters that use the Port of Detroit, made a major assist. Ryan Gazdecki, 32, a senior captain at the J.W. Westcott company, had just finished his 3-11 p.m. shift when he heard the commotion at the park.

"I ran down to where things were happening, and saw one person coming out of the water, and asked if anyone else was down there," Gazdecki said on Tuesday. "There was, a woman who was struggling."

Gazdecki sprinted some 500 yards to where the pilot boat Huron Maid was docked near the Westcott office. He got the boat in position and Dispatcher Joe Buchanan threw a life ring to the woman, which she grabbed. They pulled her onto the boat and out of the water.

The Huron Maid, Gazkecki said, has a "really low freeboard," which makes it easier to place someone who has been pulled out of the water. A medic who had "exhausted all of his energies" was also pulled up onto The Huron Maid, Gazdecki said. For Gazdecki, who is in his 13th season with the company, this was the third save he's taken part in.

In the end, the two police officers, the medic and the woman were all taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital to be treated for hypothermia, said Dave Fornell, deputy fire commissioner for the Detroit Fire Department. The medic was treated and released, while the woman and the two officers were in stable condition at last report. The baby boy is fine.

Whether the woman will face charges was not immediately known, said Officer Jennifer Moreno, a Detroit Police Department spokeswoman. “Right now, our concern is getting her the help she needs,” Moreno said.

Detroit News

 

Port Reports -  April 19

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
CSL Niagara arrived at Duluth early Tuesday morning to load iron ore pellets at CN. American Mariner arrived during the afternoon, and headed to General Mills in Superior to pick up grain. Great Lakes Trader/Joyce L. VanEnkevort arrived from anchor during the evening, and headed to the CN dock. CSL Niagara cleared the dock and stopped at Calumet to fuel before departing later in the evening. Indiana Harbor was at Midwest Energy loading, and Riga continued loading at the Riverland elevator. Joseph L. Block was anchored offshore, waiting to unload limestone at the CN dock. In Superior, Algoma Discovery departed early Tuesday morning, and Stewart J. Cort arrived soon after to load.

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
Tuesday morning at the Lower Harbor, H. Lee White arrived and unloaded the first coal cargo of the 2017-18 shipping season for the Shiras Steam Plant.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Paul Erspamer
A bit of rush hour traffic was seen at the Milwaukee Harbor's main entrance Tuesday when Alpena arrived at 8 a.m., closely followed by USCGC Mackinaw. Right behind came tug Prentiss Brown and barge St. Marys Conquest, heading for their Kinnickinnic River cement silo.

St. Joseph, Mich. – John Burzynski
The Lafarge cement barge Innovation was unloading Tuesday evening.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
On Monday, Algoway was backing in just between the breakwalls when she reversed course and headed out into the lake. After travelling a mile she returned and entered the harbor bow first, turned in the basin with help from the tug Cote Nord, and loaded salt during the night. By evening, she was headed up the lake. Algosteel was loading salt Tuesday and departed in the early evening for Ogdensburg.

Owen Sound, Ont. – Paul Martin
Algoway, the last Algoma ship wintering in port, slipped out of the harbor early Monday morning. Only the ferry Chi-Cheemaun remains, and she is to begin cruises later this month and regular service to Manitoulin Island early in May.

Toledo, Ohio
Barge Lewis J. Kuber (soon to be renamed Menominee) was placed in dry dock at Ironhead Shipyard on Monday morning. She is having a five-year survey plus repair work done to the hull. The tug Olive L. Moore is tied up at the former Interlake Iron Dock.

Cleveland, Ohio – Nick Hunter
Early Tuesday afternoon, Mississagi arrived in town, while the Hon. James L Oberstar left in the morning. English River is due Wednesday.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for April 18. Upbound: Algoma Guardian, Eemsberg (Nld), English River eta 0040, M.R. Kane stopped at West Street (Port Colborne), Molly M I & barge S/VM 86 eta 1430, Baie Comeau eta 1843 to wharf 2 to take bunkers, and Sterling Energy eta 1937 to wharf 2 to fuel vessel. Downbound: Thunder Bay - eta 0429, Evans McKeil & barge Niagara Spirit - eta 0700, Robert S. Pierson - eta 0715, John D. Leitch - eta 0720, Solina (Bhs) - eta 1000, Edzard Schulte (IOM) - eta 1754 and Stephen B. Roman - eta 2045.

Port Weller anchorage: Drawsko (Bhs)wa awaiting dock at Redpath Tuesday. Tundra (Cyp) was also awaiting her turn for Redpath dock;

Bowmanville, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Sea Eagle II & barge St. Marys Cement II departed at approximately 2015.

Bronte, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Adfines Sea (Mlt) remained at dock Tuesday.

Toronto, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Petite Forte & barge St. Marys Cement arrived Tuesday morning. Labrador remained at the Redpath dock. The tug Jarrett M departed for Quebec City.

Nanticoke, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arrived at 1001 and departed in the evening Tuesday.

Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
On Tuesday the Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock was in town to pick up buoys.

 

Waves keep salvage crews from grounded yacht

4/19 - Hamlin Township, Mich. – Crews on Lake Michigan still haven’t been able to recover a yacht from where it ran aground north of Ludington over the weekend.

Saturday, a man was taking the 76-foot yacht from Pentwater to Traverse City, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. When he realized the boat was taking on water, he ran it aground in about three feet of water near Big Sable Point. The boat started to tip about 15 degrees to the side, but the Coast Guard was soon able to retrieve the man. He wasn’t hurt.

Monday, the yacht remained abandoned in the water. The Coast Guard said waves more than four feet high kept commercial salvage crews from getting close enough to deploy a boom around and pump fuel off the boat.

Coast Guard pollution responders out of Grand Haven will oversee the recovery. There are no reports of pollution so far.

WOOD

 

Muskegon WWII ship to reunite with christening bottle for 75th birthday

4/19 - Muskegon, Mich. – The beribboned bottle neck that christened the USS LST 393 will be part of a display celebrating the ship's 75th "birthday" this summer.

The ship was christened by an 11-year-old shipbuilder executive's daughter, Lucy Sorenson Pape, in 1942. Pape has the neck of the champagne bottle to be displayed with other artifacts that mark the World War II ship's beginnings, and the beginning of its 13th year as the USS LST 393 Veterans Museum.

Opening for the season will be on Saturday, April 29. It will be open weekends through May 20, and then will be open every day through mid-September. The museum closes for the winter at the end of September.

On June 3, the museum will celebrate "D-Day Plus 73," as the 73rd anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1944, approaches. The event will include dozens of World War II reenactors with authentic garb and weaponry who will defend the LST in"Air Raid Muskegon" during a warbird flyover.

Read more and see photos at this link: http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2017/04/wwii_ship_to_reunite_with_chri.html

 

Maritime Academy to offer public ship tours Saturday

4/19 - Traverse City, Mich. – The Great Lakes Maritime Academy is inviting the public to tour its training ship State of Michigan from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday (April 22).

The event will include guided free tours of the T/S State of Michigan, interaction with current maritime cadets and an opportunity to learn more about the Maritime Academy and the maritime industry.

Tours will begin at the pier security gate entrance on the north side of NMC's Great Lakes campus at 715 E. Front Street. Low-heel, closed-toe, soft-soled shoes are highly recommended. The event will occur rain or shine.

 

Lake Ontario property owners prepare for rising lake levels

4/19 - People in the Thousand Islands are watching the high spring waters of the St. Lawrence River. Upstream, residents are trying to protect their shoreline property from potential flooding as water levels continue to rise on Lake Ontario.

Residents along the lakeshore are preparing for flooding.

Sodus Town Supervisor Steve LeRoy maintains the higher than normal levels are the early effects of the recent agreement between the U.S. and Canada to change the way Lake Ontario water levels are controlled.

After years of heated debate and revisions, the plan went into effect several months ago. Leroy’s a vocal critic: "The effects of that plan are evident. We're already seeing a very possible flood. We know at 247 feet above sea level we'll begin to flood. I believe we're within two inches of that now, and the water's still coming up," Leroy said.

Keith Korawlewski of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does not believe the new management plan is a factor in the rising lake levels. "Basically what we've been seeing so far since the implementation of Plan 2014 is that the levels as would have been likely similar (before) to what we are seeing right now," he said. "The biggest factor has been the wet spring that we have had, including the rainfall we have had in the last couple of weeks."

Town supervisor Steve LeRoy said sandbags are being filled to create a break-wall to protect against surges from passing boat traffic or high winds.

North Country Public Radio

 

Inversion allows observers to see for miles and miles

4/19 - Sheffield Lake, Ohio – Canada and other places and things that normally wouldn’t be visible from Lorain County’s lakeshore communities were visible Monday thanks to an atmospheric inversion.

Mark Mullen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Cleveland office, said an inversion occurs when cold air on the water interacts with increasingly warm layers of air from land on a calm day, causing far off objects to appear larger and closer. Mullen said Lake Erie water temperatures were 45 degrees Monday and the air temperature was 65 degrees.

When such conditions are present, the light that filters through the layers bends and makes it possible for things on the lake which are normally obscured by the curvature of the lake, to become visible, according to other news reports about the phenomenon.

“Today was a quiet weather day with a strong inversion over the lake,” Mullen said. “I can’t say that this happens a lot, but it does happen and is not rare.”

The Associated Press reported about the phenomenon in 2006 and quoted a 1906 Plain Dealer article which Cleveland residents said the entire Canadian shoreline stood out for about an hour as if it were less than 3 miles away. People in Sheffield Lake and Lorain said Monday they were able to see the Canadian shoreline, Lake Erie Islands and Cedar Point. The islands and Canadian shoreline were still visible from the Sheffield Lake boat launch as of 6 p.m.

The Chronicle-Telegram

 

Fundraisers set to help save Grand Haven’s catwalk

4/19 - Grand Haven, Mich. – Organizers of Grand Haven’s Save the Catwalk effort continue to push toward their fundraising goal as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors begin work on the pier itself.

“We’ve raised over $550,000, and the money keeps on rolling in, which is great,” Save the Catwalk organizer Erin Turrell said. Current costs to replace the necessary portions of the catwalk total $1 million. The city has already given the green light for the first two phases of the five-phase project.

Phase 1 involved removing the catwalk from the pier for $84,000. The second phase includes the purchase of steel and restoration of type 1 catwalk bents at a cost of $310,000. Phase 3 involves the restoration and replacement of type 2 bents at a cost of $250,000. Phase 4 includes restoration and replacement of type 3 bents at a cost of $220,000. Phase 5 is the installation of the catwalk on the repaired pier at a cost of $136,000. With the exception of six bents — two of each kind — the entire catwalk will be rebuilt.

“We need to make sure we have enough money so they can finish,” Turrell said. “I don’t want another winter without the catwalk on the pier.”

Turrell noted that support for the catwalk has continued to pour in even after the city and the Save the Catwalk committee announced their $550,000 milestone during a special event earlier this year at Grand Haven’s Central Park. “People in the community are taking it upon themselves to do this without having to be prompted or anything,” Turrell said.

Turrell noted that local businesses and organizations host special days when they donate portions of their profits to the fundraiser, student groups have planned fundraisers for the catwalk, and local charitable organizations and service groups continue to plan fundraisers for it, as well.

“There’s going to be a 10-mile bike ride and a 33-mile bike ride that is going to end at City Beach,” Turrell said, noting the city and the Grand Haven High School Student Senate’s Tour de Grand Haven. “There’s going to be food and entertainment. It’s an all-day event.” Set to take place Saturday, May 13, rides will begin at the YMCA and end at the beach. Registration will be done online.

Other fundraisers are also scheduled.

The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation has established a fund to hold and administer the tax-deductible donations. To make a donation, visit the foundation’s donation webpage and designate “Catwalk”; or send a check with "Save the Catwalk" in the memo line to the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, 1 S. Harbor Ave., Grand Haven, MI 49417. Donors of $2,500 or more will be memorialized with a personalized bronze plaque that will be placed on the pier.

To learn more about the catwalk project, visit the Save the Catwalk Facebook page or call City Hall at 616-847-4888.

Grand Haven Tribune

 

Multiple weekend rescues prompt Coast Guard warning about cold water

4/19 - Chicago, Ill – The Coast Guard is reminding people who plan outdoor recreation activities about the continued dangers of cold water despite warmer air temperatures.

As temperatures approached 80 degrees in some areas of the Midwest Saturday and Sunday, people took to the water, and the Coast Guard responded to multiple cases on the Great Lakes involving boaters in distress, including four people who were rescued from dangerously cold water.

“As the air temperatures continue to get warmer, it’s important to remember that the water temperature throughout the Great Lakes is still very cold and dangerous," said Cmdr. Leanne Lusk, search and rescue coordinator for Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan in Milwaukee. "Hypothermia can set in very quickly. If you plan to go out on the water, the Coast Guard recommends you dress for the water temperature to increase your cold-water functional time should an emergency arise.”

USCG

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 19

19 April 1884 - The KASOTA (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 246 foot, 1660 gross tons, built in 1884 at Cleveland, Ohio) was launched by Thomas Quayles & Sons at Cleveland, Ohio for Capt. Thomas Wilson of Cleveland, Ohio. The hull was painted green with white bulwarks and upper works.

On 19 April 1956, the newly-converted cement carrier E.M. FORD had her steering equipment break when she was abeam of Harsens Island on the St. Clair River. She plowed head-on into the down bound freighter A.M. BYERS which was loaded with dolomite for Buffalo, New York. The BYERS sank in just 17 minutes and the FORD anchored. No lives were lost.

Sea trials were completed for Upper Lakes Shipping's CANADIAN TRANSPORT on April 19, 1979, and she departed Port Weller Dry Docks Ltd., on her maiden voyage the next morning.

The GEORGE A. STINSON's self-unloading boom collapsed onto her deck due to a mechanical failure on the night of April 19, 1983, at Detroit, Michigan. No injuries were reported. She continued hauling cargoes without a boom most of the year until it was replaced on September 20. She sails today as b.) AMERICAN SPIRIT.

On April 19, 1951, the CLIFFS VICTORY began her much publicized 1,000 mile journey up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers through the Illinois Waterway pushed by a towboat to Lockport, Illinois where two Great Lakes Towing Co., tugs took up the tow through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

Hall Corp. of Canada's a.) HUTCHCLIFFE HALL (Hull#261) by Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal, Quebec, was launched April 19, 1954.

Pittsburgh Steamship's steamer RICHARD TRIMBLE (Hull#707) of the American Ship Building Co., Lorain, Ohio, was launched April 19, 1913. She was scrapped at Duluth, Minnesota between 1978 and 1981.

On April 19, 1950, the WILFRED SYKES entered service, departing Lorain, Ohio for Toledo to load coal on her maiden voyage. The SYKES also became the largest vessel on the Great Lakes, taking the honor from Pittsburgh Steamship Company's LEON FRASER class (the "Supers"), which had held it since June 21, 1942.

April 19, 1917 - ANN ARBOR NO 5 broke off her starboard shaft and bent the rudder stock on the rocky corner of the old Goodrich dock in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

On 19 April 1880, the Port Huron Times reported the results of a severe gale: "The schooner CHRIS GROVER, ashore near Oscoda, Michigan, is reported going to pieces. The crew is aboard. The schooner ATHENIAN, lumber laden, is reported to have gone ashore off Au Sable and to be a complete wreck. The schooner HATTIE JOHNSON is abandoned on Goose Island shoal. The cabin and part of her deck are gone. The stern is gone from her mizzen and the gale probably broke her up completely and her outfit and cargo may prove a total loss." The GROVE and the JOHNSON were later recovered and put back in service.

On 19 April 1884, EUROPE (wooden propeller, passenger/package freight vessel, 136 foot, 628 gross tons, built in 1870 at St. Catharines, Ontario) was almost totally destroyed by fire at St. Catharines. The remains of her hull were later rebuilt as the barge REGINA.

1915: PALIKI of the Algoma Central Railway fleet was carrying steel rails to Chicago when it ran aground on Simmons Reef near the Straits of Mackinac.

1922: LAMBTON, a steel lighthouse tender, was last seen on the date by the MIDLAND PRINCE. It was lost with all hands on Lake Superior somewhere south of Michipicoten Island while delivering lighthouse keepers to their stations. Wreckage was later located but no bodies were ever found.

1927: DAVID S. TROXEL was damaged in a storm on Lake Superior. Plates and rivets worked loose and there were problems with the rudder. The ship was renamed c) SONOMA later in 1927 and was scrapped by Stelco in Hamilton as d) FRED L. HEWITT in 1962.

1938: REDRIVER had loaded coal at Charlotte, NY and was crossing Lake Ontario when it ran aground, due to fog, near Point Petre.

1939: VALLEY CAMP ran aground on Cole's Shoal, near Brockville, due to fog and part of the cargo of coal had to be lightered before the ship was refloated with the help of the tug SALVAGE PRINCE on April 24.

1940: SANDLAND battled through heavy ice to open the port of Port Colborne on this date in 1940. The ship had a cargo of scrap steel from Detroit for the Algoma Steel mill.

1956: A.M. BYERS was loaded with limestone and bound from Drummond Island to Buffalo when it sank in the St. Clair River following a collision with the E.M. FORD on this date in 1956. The ship was hit on the port side abreast of the pilothouse but all on board were rescued. The ship was later salvaged and repaired becoming b) CLEMENS A. REISS (ii) in 1959 and c) JACK WIRT in 1970.

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

 

Port Reports -  April 18

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
H. Lee White arrived at Duluth early Monday morning with salt she discharged at the Graymont dock in Superior. She then shifted to Midwest Energy to load coal, and departed just before noon. Riga arrived after spending the weekend at anchor off Duluth, and began loading wheat at the Riverland dock. During the evening, Beatrix departed from CHS 2 with wheat, and Indiana Harbor arrived to load coal at Midwest Energy. Algoma Discovery arrived Superior during the afternoon and began loading ore at Burlington Northern.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
The barge Cleveland Rocks arrived at Bay Ship Monday and was rafted next to the Calumet at berth 8. Her tug, Bradshaw McKee, was tied up on the end of berth 8. The barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann arrived and rafted outboard of the John G. Munson. The tug Michigan is in the small graving dock.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Joseph L. Block was expected Sunday in the early afternoon. After that there is nothing due until April 22, when the Michipicoten is expected in the early evening.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Cason J. Callaway was expected Monday in the late afternoon to load. After that there is nothing due until April 21, when Wilfred Sykes is due in the late afternoon.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading on Monday and none were expected until Thursday when Cason J. Callaway is scheduled in the morning. There are no vessels scheduled Friday and Saturday. Herbert C. Jackson is due Sunday, April 23 during the mid-afternoon.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
John J. Boland was expected Monday to load at the South Dock in the early evening. Also due is the Great Republic on Tuesday in the morning for the South Dock. There are no vessels scheduled Wednesday. Due Thursday is the Philip R. Clarke in the early morning for the North Dock.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Transport loaded salt and cleared upbound for Duluth. Algoway was downbound Monday. Algosteel is next to load.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Algowood was expected at the CSX Coal Dock on Monday in the early evening to load. Also due at CSX is the barge Ashtabula and tug Defiance on Tuesday in the morning. The barge James L. Kuber and the tug Victory are due at CSX on Wednesday morning. There are no vessels scheduled at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Vessels due at the Torco Dock include the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory, which are due Wednesday in the late morning, followed by the Kaye E. Barker, due on Wednesday in the early afternoon. Joseph H. Thompson is due at Torco on April 22 in the late afternoon. Vessels in port included the Evans Spirit, the G-tugs Colorado and Mississippi, and the tug Karl Luedtke.

Erie, Pa.
Presque Isle left winter layup and headed for the upper lakes on Monday evening.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for April 17. Upbound: Fuldaborg (Nld) eta 0815, Oakglen eta 0930, BBC Weser (Atg) eta -1110, Federal Kivalina (Mhl) eta 1800, Algoma Guardian eta - 1831, light tug M.R.Kane eta 2010 to small craft dock and Eemsborg (Nld). Downbound: USCG Hollyhock, M.R. Kane & Barge 7 - departed wharf 1 @ 1021, Federal Bering (Mhl) departed PW anchorage for Seaway, Tim S. Dool eta - 0722, Spruceglen eta - 1100 and Petite Forte & barge St. Marys Cement eta 1620.

Port Weller anchorage: Drawsko (Bhs) awaiting dock at Redpath in Toronto. Tundra (Cyp) - arrived Sunday at 2330 and is awaiting her turn for Redpath dock.

Bowmanville, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Sea Eagle II & barge St. Marys Cement II – arrived on Monday.

Bronte, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Adfines Sea (Mlt)- arrived April 13 at 0545. Buffalo, N.Y. – Barry Andersen
Calusa Coast and barge Deleware departed westbound on Monday.

Toronto, Ont. – Barry Andersen
M.R. Kane & Barge 7 arrived at 1444 and departed for Port Weller at 1757 Monday.

 

See 20 monster boats of the Great Lakes in gorgeous photos

4/18 - Cleleland, Ohio – They're called Boatnerds, people who relish the commercial ships that navigate the Great Lakes, delivering iron ore, coal and other aggregates from one port, or one lake, to another. All of us have a little bit of Boatnerd in us. The site of a floating, steel-hulled monster nudging its way up the Cuyahoga River is especially captivating.

Now that the ice (what little we had this year) has melted away and the shipping season has begun with the opening of the Soo Locks between Lake Superior and Lake Huron, we offer up a colorful look at several of the boats that call the Great Lakes home.

Read more and view photos at this link: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/04/see_20_monster_boats_of_the_gr.html

 

Obituary: Chief Lock Master John J. Papineau

4/18 - John J. Papineau passed away April 11 at the age of 97 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., where he had lived all his life. After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, he began a long career at the Soo Locks (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) and worked his way up over 38 years from a lineman to Chief Lock Master. He could tell all the statistics of any freighter that traveled the Great Lakes. He also had the distinction of locking the first freighter through the new Poe Lock. He retired in 1979. The family asks friends to give “three longs and two short toots, which is the master salute of freighters, as you pass by the locks in honor of our dad, grandpa and Chief Lock Master and the career he loved.” Visitation will be held from 12-3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Thursday, April 20, at Clark Bailey Newhouse Funeral Home in Sault Ste. Marie. A mass of Christian burial will be held 11 a.m. Friday, April 21, at St. Marys ProCathedral, also in Sault Ste. Marie.

 

Updates -  April 18

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the BBC Weser, Brant, Chestnut, Drawsko, Edzard Schulte, Eemsborg, Exeborg, Federal Bering, Federal Clyde, Federal Danube, Federal Kivalina, Fuldaborg, Labrador, Reestborg and Tundra.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 18

18 April 1907 - At least 20 freighters were anchored at De Tour, Michigan, waiting for the frozen St. Marys River to break up. The vessels found their provisions running low after waiting for about a week and they bought everything edible in De Tour.

The U.S. Lighthouse Service Tender ASPEN (steel propeller tender, 117 foot, 277 gross tons, built in 1906, at Toledo, Ohio) was sent to Cheboygan, Michigan to get more provisions. De Tour did not have railroad facilities at this time and therefore was compelled to stretch the provisions from the last boat in the fall through winter until a boatload of supplies was delivered in the Spring.

On 18 April 1889, the CITY OF RACINE (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 220 foot, 1,041 tons) was launched by Burger & Burger at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, for the Goodrich Transportation Company. The vessel was ready for service three months later. Her total cost was $125,000.

On her maiden voyage April 18, 1980, the AMERICAN MARINER left Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in ballast for Escanaba, Michigan to load 31,322 gross tons of taconite pellets for Ashtabula, Ohio and arrived there on April 26th.

Hall Corp. of Canada’s b.) MONTCLIFFE HALL began trading on the Great Lakes on April 18, 1978. Renamed c.) CARTIERDOC in 1988 and d.) CEDARGLEN in 2002. Built in 1959 in Germany as the a.) EMS ORE, she was purchased by Hall Corp. in 1977. Converted to a bulk carrier with the addition of a forward cargo section at Davie Shipbuilding in Lauzon, Quebec.

PATERSON (Hull#231) was launched April 18, 1985, by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. She was the last straight deck bulk freighter built on the Lakes and was built to the maximum size permitted to lock through the Seaway. Renamed b.) PINEGLEN in 2002.

Johnstown Steamship's a) MIDVALE (Hull#167) of Great Lakes Engineering Works was launched April 18, 1917. Renamed b.) BETHLEHEM in 1925 and scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1974.

Problems occurred on the ALASTAIR GUTHRIE's first trip of the year on April 18, 1979, when she began taking on water in the engine room while loading grain at the International Multifoods elevator at Duluth, Minnesota. Her stern settled to the bottom of the slip with 12 feet of water in the engine room.

Upper Lakes Shipping's RED WING was sold for scrap on April 18, 1986.

On April 18, 1960, the ROBERT C. STANLEY struck Vidal Shoal in St. Marys River about 1.5 miles above the Soo Locks, and tore a hole in her bottom.

Superior Steamship Co.'s a.) SINALOA (Hull#609) of the West Bay City Shipbuilding Co., was launched April 18, 1903, as a straight deck bulk freighter. Renamed b.) WILLIAM F. RAPPRICH in 1924, c.) SINALOA in 1927. Converted to a self unloader in 1931. Renamed d.) STONEFAX in 1960. Scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1971.

April 18, 1936 - Albert W. Ackerman, chief engineer of the Pere Marquette car ferries for 35 years, died (Friday afternoon) at the Paulina Stearns hospital.

On 18 April 1848, the wooden schooner TRIBUNE went missing in lower Lake Michigan. Her fate was unknown until native fishermen discovered her masts standing upright off Cathead Point in November 1849. All 10 of her crew were lost.

On 18 April 1885, the schooner-barge ELEANOR was launched at Mount Clemens, Michigan. Her dimensions were 185 foot overall, 32 foot beam and 11 foot 3 inch depth. She had three spars and was the consort of the steam barge A WESTON. She was built for the Tonawanda Barge Line and was named after Capt. William Du Lac's wife.

1945 The steel barge GEORGE T. DAVIE, en route from Oswego to Kingston with 1,100 tons of coal and under tow of the SALVAGE PRINCE, began leaking and sank off Nine Mile Point, Lake Ontario, in 85 feet of water. The hull was located by divers in 1999. The ship had once been part of Canada Steamship Lines.

1989 ENERCHEM AVANCE spent 7 hours aground in the St. Marys River below the Soo Locks on this day in 1989. At last report the ship was under Nigerian registry as e) ERINGA.

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

 

Port Reports -  April 17

Duluth-Superior
Frontenac arrived on her first trip of the season Sunday. She tied up at the BNSF dock in Superior to load ore. The saltie Beatrix arrived and headed for CHS to load grain.

Two Harbors, Minn.
Roger Blough was at the ore dock loading on Sunday evening.

St. Marys River
A busy Easter Sunday saw quite a bit of traffic on the river. American Integrity, Rt Hon. Paul J. Martin, John D. Leitch and Hon. James L. Oberstar were downbound in the early afternoon. They were followed later by Burns Harbor, Edwin H. Gott and American Century. Upbound traffic included Indiana Harbor, Edgar B. Speer, Atlantic Huron, CSL Niagara, Great Lakes Trader, Kaye E. Barker, James R. Barker, Herbert C. Jackson and Stewart J. Cort. Some vessels had to check back or drop anchor waiting for traffic to clear.

Muskegon, Mich.
Tug Bradshaw McKee departed Sunday pushing the barge Cleveland Rocks. They are bound for Sturgeon Bay, where the barge will undergo a refit.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Capt. Henry Jackman cleared for Marinette with salt. Algoma Transport was loading Sunday night.

Detroit, Mich.
The J.W. Westcott Co. has started its 144th season serving the marine community on the Detroit River. View a video at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NByBBu0n_sI

Cleveland, Ohio – Nick Hunter
On Sunday, the Great Republic arrived in the early evening while the Buffalo left in the morning after completing more shuttle trips up the Cuyahoga. The Clyde S. VanEnkevort / Erie Trader will arrive around 10 p.m. Sunday.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for Sunday, April 16. Upbound: Robert S. Pierson, Algosteel, Federal Danube (Mhl), Algowood, Algoma Olympic, Everlast with barge Norman McLeod, Stephen B. Roman (eta 2345). Downbound: M.R.Kane & Barge 7 (at wharf 1 for weather), CSL Assiniboine, USCG Hollyhock, Algoma Guardian, Federal Bering (Mhl), Sea Eagle II & barge St. Marys Cement II.

Bath, Ont. – Barry Andersen
English River

Toronto, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Labrador was at Redpath Sunday. She has been unloading sugar since April 14.

Port Weller anchorage – Barry Andersen
Drawsko (Bhs), awaiting a dock in Toronto. Tundra (Cyp), awaiting a dock in Toronto.

 

Updates -  April 17

News Photo Gallery  
New Video on our YouTube Channel

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 17

17 April 1871 - The wooden brig ST. JOSEPH was carrying lumber from Ludington, Michigan, to Chicago, Illinois. Her hold was filled and lumber was stacked on deck so she was indeed overloaded. A gale developed and the deck load shifted, then was lost. ST. JOSEPH became waterlogged in mid-lake. Her crew remained with her until 19 April when the propeller ST. LEWIS found them 35 miles southwest of Pentwater, Michigan, and took them there. The tug ALDRICH towed the waterlogged brig in for repairs.

The first vessels through the Straits of Mackinac for the 1870 season were the CITY OF BOSTON and the CITY OF NEW YORK, both owned by the Northern Transportation Company. They passed through the Straits on 17 April 1870. The following day they passed Port Huron but could only go as far as Algonac, Michigan, since the St. Clair River had an ice jam which raised the water level by two feet and was causing flooding.

The Collingwood-built, 610-foot aft section of the JOHN B. AIRD passed up bound through the St. Marys Falls Canal on April 17, 1983, in tow of the tugs WILFRED M. COHEN and JOHN MC LEAN heading for Thunder Bay, Ontario, where it was assembled with the 120-foot bow section.

Canada Steamship Lines a.) STADACONA (Hull#24) was launched April 17, 1929, by Midland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. She was renamed b.) NORDALE in 1969 and was scrapped at Port Colborne, Ontario, in 1983. She was the first vessel scrapped at the old Algoma Steel Dock in Port Colborne.

April 17, 1970 - CITY OF FLINT 32 was sold to the Norfolk & Western Railway for $100,000.

On 17 April 1840, the wooden side-wheeler CATARAQUI was burned to a total loss during a great fire, which destroyed much of the waterfront area of Kingston, Ontario.

On 17 April 1874, CHARLES J. KERSHAW (wooden propeller, 223 foot, 1,324 gross tons) was launched at the Ballentine shipyard at Bangor, Michigan.

1961: FREEMAN HATCH was built at Sturgeon Bay and completed in December 1942. It left the Great Lakes the following spring for service for the British Ministry of War Transport. It was sold and renamed b) CHARLES M. in 1950 and became c) HOUSTON in 1953. The vessel was sunk on this date in 1962 during the attempted, anti-Castro, Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

1982: CHEMICAL TRANSPORT ran aground in the St. Lawrence near Dark Island as channel markers were out of position due to the wind and ice conditions. The vessel lightered some cargo to fleetmate JAMES TRANSPORT and then went to Sorel for repairs. In 2009, the ship was reported as lying burned out and derelict near Lagos, Nigeria, after an explosion and fire as c) REAL PROGRESS on June 1, 2001.

1990: RESERVE ran aground in the St. Marys River while downbound with a load of iron ore for Toledo on this date in 1990. The ship stranded in a snowstorm and had to be lightered to the WILLIAM R. ROESCH before going to Fraser Shipyard for repairs.

1997: ALGOLAKE got stuck on Vidal Shoal, St. Marys River while bound for Algoma Steel with a cargo of iron ore. The ship was lightered and released. After unloading, the vessel went to Thunder Bay for repairs.

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

 

Tug service returns to Two Harbors for first time since 1981

4/16 - Two Harbors, Minn. – For the first time since 1981, people who visit Two Harbors will have a chance to see a tugboat working in the port, as tug service has returned to Agate Bay.

The last tugboat that serviced Two Harbors was the Edna G., which still is docked in Agate Bay as a museum. Now the Edna G. has some company as the Nancy J. is docked on the north side of Canadian National Railway Ore Dock 1. The Nancy J. is owned and operated by Heritage Marine in Duluth and its owner, Mike Ojard, has a long history with tugboats — and specifically the Edna G.

Ojard grew up on the Edna G. His father was the chief engineer and his uncle was the captain, and he went to work with his dad every day. “There was no mother in the family, so it was just me and my dad,” Ojard said. “I would go to work with him and I knew that Edna from stem to stern.”

As a tribute to the Edna G., the four tugboats currently in the Heritage Marine fleet all are painted the same color as the historic tug, and Ojard is now picking up where his family left off by providing tug service for Two Harbors once again.

Tug service has returned to Two Harbors because CN wants to better serve its customers that visit the Two Harbors port, said CN spokesman Patrick Waldron. According to Ojard, when there is a strong north-northeast wind, it can be hard for some of the larger vessels to navigate into the port.

“A lot of times they have to run across the lake and sit near the Apostle (Islands) anchored or come all the way to Duluth and anchor and wait for the weather to die down,” he said.

Though weather is the main reason the tugboat will be used, Ojard said that it also will be used when the ore boats are having bow thruster problems. “If CN and Key Lakes Inc. and the rest of the shipping companies are not moving pellets and product they don’t get paid, so that’s why they made the decision to move to a tug service,” he said.

The current contract between CN and Heritage Marine is for one year, with the hope that time delays will begin to lessen with the tug on hand.

Ojard wasn’t the only one happy to see tug service return to Two Harbors — so was former Edna G. crew member John Klug. “It’s the right color,” Klug joked as he made the comparison to the Edna G. Klug, 70, worked on the Edna G. from 1972 to the day it was retired. He said he often goes down to the parking lot near the boat ramp along Agate Bay in the summer to watch the boats, and he hopes to be able to catch the Nancy J. in action this summer.

“It’s good to see it and I think that’s one of the most powerful tugs on the lake,” Klug said.

Ojard started Heritage Marine from the bottom up about 10 years ago, and said he wishes he would have started it earlier. “It’s very rewarding and a lot of hard physical work, but it’s something I really enjoy doing,” Ojard said. “I’m not a kid anymore, either. I’m 71 years old… so you’ve got to have a love for it.”

Before starting Heritage Marine, Ojard spent 11 years as a teacher and owned three businesses, but his passion is with his tugboat service. Ojard started his business with just one tugboat, and around mid-June this year he will be adding a fifth one. The tugboat business has been a family affair for Ojard, so naturally all of the tugs are named after family members — with the Nancy J. being named after his wife.

Along with running his business, Ojard has recently joined Two Harbors’ Edna G. Commission is hopes of using his knowledge of the tug to help the city find a way to pull the deteriorating, historic tug out of the water. The commission is actively working on finding a feasible way to save the historic tug and put the Edna G. on land.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Newfoundland ferry stuck in ice for over 24 hours near Quebec gets escort to port

4/16 - Blanc-Sablon, Que. – Crews are assisting a Newfoundland and Labrador ferry that has been stuck in the ice-choked waters near Quebec for more than 24 hours. The Canadian Coast Guard tweeted Friday afternoon that an icebreaker is escorting the Apollo ferry to port after being stranded near Blanc-Sablon, Que., since Thursday.

The ferry departed from St. Barbe on Newfoundland’s northern peninsula Thursday morning, but the normally less than two-hour trip to Blanc-Sablon was delayed when the ship got stuck in the ice in the Strait of Belle Isle. The coast guard sent an icebreaker to help the ferry, but says it could not help the vessel due to a mechanical issue.

An operations manager with Labrador Marine says all 70 passengers on board the ferry are safe, food is available and there were cabins for people to sleep in overnight. The delay has caused a “major disruption” to people’s travel plans over the Easter weekend.

The Canadian Press

 

Port Reports -  April 16

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes arrived Saturday in the late morning to load. Also due is the Joseph L. Block on Sunday during the mid-afternoon. Michipicoten is due April 22 during the early evening.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Joseph L. Block is expected Sunday in the early morning to load. Also due is the Cason J. Callaway on Monday in the mid-afternoon. After that, there is nothing scheduled until April 25, when two vessels are expected to arrive. Wilfred Sykes is due that day in the late afternoon, followed by the barge Great Lakes Trader and her tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort in the late afternoon or early evening.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Manitoulin loaded on Saturday and was expected to depart around midnight Saturday evening. There are no vessels scheduled from Sunday-Wednesday. Due in Thursday is the Cason J. Callaway in the morning. No vessels are scheduled for Friday, April 21. Due in Saturday, April 22, is the Herbert C. Jackson in the mid-afternoon to load.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Lee A. Tregurtha arrivedearly on Saturday to load at the South Dock. They were expected to depart the dock around 4 p.m. There are no vessels scheduled for Sunday. Due on Monday is the John J. Boland in the early evening for the South Dock. Great Republic is due to arrive on Tuesday in the early morning for the South Dock. There are no vessels scheduled for Wednesday. Due in Thursday is the Philip R. Clarke in the early morning for the South Dock.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Algolake cleared laden with salt Friday for Milwaukee. Capt. Henry Jackman arrived on Saturday, with Algoma Transport expected.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Kaye E. Barker was expected at the Torco Dock on Saturday in the late morning to unload iron ore pellets. Also due at Torco are the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory on Wednesday in the early morning followed by the Kaye E. Barker due back on Wednesday during the late evening. Joseph H. Thompson is due at Torco on Friday, April 21 in the early morning. At the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock, the Mississagi was expected to arrive on Saturday in the early evening to unload a cargo of limestone. Vessels expected at the CSX Coal Dock to unload are the barge Ashtabula and tug Defiance on Monday in the early morning followed by the Algowood on Monday in the early evening to load. The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are due at CSX to load on Wednesday in the morning along with the Manitoulin, also on Wednesday in the morning. Spruceglen was still in port on Saturday up river at one of the grain elevators loading a grain cargo.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Hollyhock departed around 5 p.m. Saturday for the Welland Canal.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for Saturday, April 15. Upbound: Algoma Transport, Tecumseh, CSL Welland, Reestborg (Nld) and Evans Spirit. Downbound: Algoma Olympic, tug M.R. Kane & Barge 7 and Chestnut (Cyp).

Hamilton, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Algoma Enterprise departed Friday at 2035. Arrivals: Redhead (Hkg) arrived at 0345, Exeborg (Nld) arrived at 0750 and departed at 2009 for Chicago.

Toronto, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Drawsko (Bhs) was anchored at Port Weller Saturday awaiting dock. Stephen B. Roman departed at 0841.

Oswego, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Evans McKeil - dep 0840

 

Coast Guard recovers operator off grounded, flooding vessel near Ludington

4/16 - Chicago, Ill. – A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Ludington, Michigan, assisted an operator off of his vessel that he grounded off Big Sable Point Saturday.

The operator was on his way from Pentwater, Michigan, to Traverse City, Michigan, aboard a 76-foot pleasure craft when he noticed his vessel was taking on water so he decided to ground the vessel in about 3 feet of water.

The boat crew, which was already underway on patrol when the Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan command center directed it to assist, arrived on scene in about 20 minutes. The operator was removed from the vessel after it began listing about 15 degrees.

There were no injuries and no report of pollution. A commercial salvage company is planning to place boom around the vessel Sunday and position a barge with a vacuum pump to remove all of the fuel and oil from the vessel.

USCG

 

Bollards could draw boat nerds

4/16 - Port Colborne, Ont. – One Port Colborne resident has an idea that he says will attract tourists and “boat nerds.” Jeffery Dwor’s idea involves the installment of 30 marine bollards along the Welland Canal pathway with information plaques describing where they came from and with a bit of their history.

“I felt it will be interesting to walk through H.H. Knoll (Lakeview) Park following the canal, both on the east and west side down to Derek Point memorial gardens and have resting and information areas,” he said.

He said areas along the path would have a selected number of bollards that people could stop and look at and read about. Dwor said he’s prepared to restore the bollards to be placed along the canal. They’re anywhere from 540 to 1,125 kilograms and stand to just under a metre tall. Most of the ones he has, which he’s salvaged over the years through Dwor Metal and Marine Salvage, have a stamp embedded into the top of them that indicates where they came from. When Dwor Metal and Marine Salvage got involved with scrapping ships in the early 1950s, he said they acquired bollards from various shipyards, including one from Superior Shipbuilding Co. which dates back to 1936 and a more recent one from a Manitowoc shipyard dating back to 1968.

“This will be an attraction that no one else has,” he said, adding that it will highlight the history of the canal, the craftsmanship of lake ship building and repair while also sharing a bit about the canal’s history.

Dwor shared this idea with Port Colborne council on Monday night. Councillors responded positively to the idea, seeing it as an opportunity not to be missed. He said his goal with this is to share with the community and educate them about how these played into local history.

He added that they’re not doing any good just sitting in his yard. In his idea proposal, he didn’t have any notion of cost, but was asking for a barn to work out of to do the restoration and an assistant to help with computer work.

City staff have been instructed by council to work with Dwor to work out details for the project and come back to council with a report at a later date.

Niagara Falls Review

 

Updates -  April 16

News Photo Gallery  

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 16

16 April 1907 - In a blinding snowstorm, the LOUIS PAHLOW (wooden propeller package freighter, 155 foot, 366 gross tons, built in 1882, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) was towing the DELTA (wooden schooner, 134 foot, 269 gross tons, built in 1890, at Algonac, Michigan) on Lake Michigan. She went off course and ran onto the rocks at the Clay Banks, six miles south of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The DELTA made it to anchorage before she also grounded. The Lifesaving Service rescued both crews. Both vessels were eventually freed, repaired and put back in service.

On 16 April 1872, the THOMAS W. FERRY (wooden schooner, 180 feet) was launched at the J. Jones yard at Detroit, Michigan. She cost $40,000 and was owned by P. J. Ralph & Son and A. C. Burt.

ALGOWOOD departed on her maiden voyage April 16, 1981, from Owen Sound, Ontario, in ballast for Stoneport, Michigan, taking on limestone there for Sarnia, Ontario.

ALGOLAKE's sea trials were held April 16, 1977.

BURNS HARBOR's keel was laid at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, as (Hull#720) for Wilmington Trust Co., Bethlehem Steel Co., manager, on April 16, 1979.

CEMENTKARRIER (Hull#175) of the Furness Shipbuilding Co. Ltd at Haverton Hill-on-Tees, England, was launched April 16, 1930, for Canada Cement Transport Ltd.

Reiss Steamship Co.'s a.) W.K. BIXBY entered service on April 16, 1906. Renamed b.) J. L. REISS in 1920 and c.) SIDNEY E. SMITH JR in 1971. She sank in a collision with the Hindman steamer PARKER EVANS under the Blue Water Bridge on June 5, 1972.

On April 16, 1986, U.S. Steel's steamer WILLIAM A. IRVIN was sold for $110,000 to the Duluth Convention Center Board.

On 16 April 1870, the fore-and-aft schooner L.W. PERRY was launched at the Fitzgerald & Leighton yard in Port Huron, Michigan. She was owned by J. L. Woods of Lexington, Michigan and commanded by Capt. M. Hyde. Her dimensions were 128 foot keel, 133 foot overall, 26 foot beam and 9 foot depth. She cost $29,000 and was built for the lumber trade.

On 16 April 1873, DAVID BALLENTINE (wooden propeller, 221 foot, 972 gross tons) was launched at Bangor, Michigan. She was built by Thomas Boston.

1897: The wooden schooner INGEBORG FORREST was a total loss in a spring gale near the entrance to Pentwater, Michigan, on this date in 1897.

1906: EUGENE ZIMMERMAN was upbound with coal on its maiden voyage when it collided with the SAXONA in the Mud Lake section of the St. Marys River on this day in 1906. The new bulk carrier was hit on the port bow and sank. The hull was raised on May 20, repaired and returned to service. It was renamed b) GRAND ISLAND in 1916 and last operated in 1960. After work as a grain storage hull named c) POWEREAUX CHRIS, the vessel was towed to Hamburg, West Germany, for scrapping in 1964.

1959: T.R. McLAGAN of Canada Steamship Lines ran aground on a shoal off Amherst Island, Lake Ontario, and was released on April 18.

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

 

Port Reports -  April 15

Superior, Wis.
Burns Harbor was loading late Friday night, with CSL Laurentian next in line.

Silver Bay, Minn.
Hon. James L. Oberstar was loading Friday evening.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading Friday and none were expected. Due Saturday is the Wilfred Sykes in the late afternoon to load. Joseph L. Block is due Sunday at noon. After that there is nothing due until April 24, when the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted are expected in the early morning to load.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading on Friday and none were expected. Due Saturday is the Joseph L. Block in the early morning. Cason J. Callaway is due on Monday during the early morning. Two vessels are expected April 21, with the barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort due in the early morning followed by the Wilfred Sykes in the early evening.

Escanaba, Mich. – Lee Rowe
Wilfred Sykes will be in Tuesday the 18th at 2100 hours. She will be taking the last load of ore from the port.

Grand Haven, Mich. – Sam Hankinson
Wilfred Sykes made her first visit of the season Friday. She was headed out to Lake Michigan bound to Cedarville in the evening. The tug John Henry was working along the south pier on the ongoing restoration project.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
The steamer Alpena loaded cement on Tuesday at Lafarge and delivered it to Superior, Wis. Great Republic unloaded coal at Lafarge on Friday morning and departed around noon, passing the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation that were tied up at the other dock loading cement.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading on Friday and none were expected. Due in for Saturday are the Great Republic and the Manitoulin, both early morning arrivals. There are no vessels scheduled for Sunday-Tuesday. Due Wednesday is the Cason J. Callaway in the early evening.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessel arrivals for Friday and none were loading. Lee A. Tregurtha is expected on Saturday in the early morning for the South Dock. Also due on Saturday during the late morning is the H. Lee White, which will also load at the South Dock. There are no vessels scheduled for Sunday.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Olympic cleared early Friday laden with salt for Toronto.

Port Huron, Mich. – Sarnia, Ont.
Lee A. Tregurtha, H. Lee White and G3 Marquis were upbound in the evening, followed by Edzard Schulte after dark, headed for Sarnia. Saginaw remains in lay up on the Sarnia side, with hull work being done. Barge Ashtabula / tug Defiance are still laid up, as is Ojibway. The latter is not expected to come out until fall.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Cason J. Callaway arrived at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Friday in the early morning. Also due at CSX is the Manitoulin on Sunday in the late afternoon, however due to the Easter holiday they will not load until Monday morning. Mississagi is expected at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on April 19 to unload. At the Torco Dock, the Kaye E. Barker is expected Saturday in the mid-afternoon. Spruceglen arrived Friday. The tug Olive L. Moore was placed in drydock Friday morning but was out and docked in front of her barge by afternoon.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W
Hollyhock was still tied up at the Visiting Ship's Dock on the Buffalo River Friday. Tug Calusa Coast barge Delaware were headed for Buffalo Friday evening.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for Friday April 14: Upbound: Petite Forte & barge St. Marys Cement, Algocanada, CSL Niagara, Algoma Discovery, Whitefish Bay dep 19E (ADM) and Algoma Transport. Downbound: Algoma Enterprise, Robert S. Pierson, Algoscotia, Radcliffe R. Latimer, Algoma Harvester and light tug M.R. Kane and barge 7.

Bronte, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Algocanada departed Friday for Nanticoke.

Hamilton, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Stella Polaris (Nld) departed at 0240 Friday. Algoma Discovery departed 2345 - 4/13.

Toronto, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Labrador (Cyp) arrived.

Oshawa, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Redhead (Hkg) departed at 1833 for Hamilton .

Nanticoke, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Algoscotia departed at 0145, Algoma Hansa arrived 0334. Algocanada arrived and anchored at 1831.

 

Corps of Engineers resumes dredging a section – but not all – of Cuyahoga River

4/15 - Cleveland, Ohio – Dredging resumed this week in the Cuyahoga River shipping channel after a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers survey showed sediment buildup in the lower stretch nearest to Lake Erie and Cleveland Harbor. Dredging in the upper channel nearest to the ArcelorMittal steel mill's docks is expected to begin later this month, said Luciano Vera, a spokesman for the Army Corps.

The five-mile stretch in between, however, will only be dredged where necessary. That's because, in a policy reversal from previous years, the Army Corps will "prioritize" its work.

"We will work with the contractor to address shoaling areas throughout the entire channel," Vera said. "Some sections will not require dredging at this time based on survey results."

Last year marked the first shipping season in more than 30 years that the Army Corps did not dredge the entire river. After delaying dredging until December, the Corps' contractor was forced to shut down the $3.7 million project due to inclement weather and after a pump on an excavator-mounted barge broke down. Only the channel in the vicinity of the steel mill docks was cleared.

"Our dredging efforts were cut short last fall due to both equipment and weather challenges that created unsafe conditions for our contractor," said Lt. Col. Adam Czekanski, the Army Corps' district commander. "We are happy to begin dredging again to complete this critical work in support of the community in Cleveland."

Port of Cleveland officials have said they expect the Corps to fulfill its obligation to dredge the entire six-mile shipping channel, and that navigation problems are sure to arise without the dredging.

Port spokesman Jade Davis previously characterized the decision as "another example of the problems we've been having" with the Army Corps.

ArcelorMittal is the primary user of the shipping channel, as giant vessels loaded with iron ore pellets regularly navigate the crooked river from the mines in Minnesota. Ship captains experienced problems with the river's depth last year, however, and steel company officials expressed fears of "catastrophic harm" if a federal judge didn't immediately order the Army Corps to dredge the shipping channel.

Without a navigable channel, the steel mill could be forced to curtail or shut down its blast furnaces without the raw materials necessary to make steel, the company said.

Earlier this spring, an Army Corps spokesman said a survey team would assess the channel "to determine the need for, and priorities of, dredging." The sediment being dredged this week is being loaded onto a barge and pumped into an Army Corps containment dike located near Burke Lakefront Airport.

"The Port is concerned that any delays in dredging this spring, such as was the case in 2016, could lead to a recurrence of river navigation issues again in 2017," Davis said recently. "We hope that the Army Corps will carry out full dredging this year, in an expeditious and environmentally safe manner."

The Army Corps is a defendant in a federal lawsuit filed by the Port of Cleveland and the Ohio EPA, who are seeking a court order requiring the Corps to dredge the river and dump the sediment into a containment dike on the Lake Erie shoreline.

The Corps insists the dredged sediment is clean enough for open-lake disposal, and deny the agency is legally required to dredge the channel.

Lawyers for the EPA and the Port obtained emails filed in federal court quoting Army Corps officials of intentionally delaying dredging to allow sediment to build up and threaten shipping in the river, with the intent to "put pressure on the locals," according to court documents.

Emails from the Corps' Cleveland Harbor project manager suggested the Corps could reduce the amount of dredging in the shipping channel to impede navigability and "keep the heat on the local users" to approve open-lake dumping.

The Army Corps' lawyers have denied those allegations.

U.S. Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, recently said he hopes to wrap up an investigation into the Army Corps' decision last year to cut its own budget as an apparent excuse to dump dredged contaminated sediment directly into Lake Erie.

"We have subpoena power, and I'm encouraged we're going to receive the information we have asked for from the Corps," Portman said.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

Toronto Marine Historical Society holding annual auction

4/15 - This auction is taking bids on a large selection of Great Lakes shipping memorabilia. Besides the usual books and photographs there are general arrangement plans, ship logs, flags and many other items of interest. See the complete list at www.tmhs.ca (PDF) Closing date for bids is Monday, May 1 at 11:59 p.m.

David Bull

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 15

15 April 1907 - The Rutland Line’s OGDENSBURG (steel propeller package freighter, 242-foot, 2329 gross tons, built in 1906, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying 50,000 bushels of corn, a big consignment of flour and general merchandise from Chicago to Ogdensburg when she stranded on Point aux Barques on Lake Huron in a storm. Although she was leaking in her forward compartment, she was freed after some cargo was jettisoned.

15 April 1907 - The Welland Canal opened for the season with the first vessel being the SAMUEL MATHER (steel propeller bulk freighter, 530 foot, 6,751 gross tons, built in 1906, at Wyandotte, Michigan) carrying coal from Cleveland, Ohio to Prescott, Ontario.

On 15 April 1881, the Market Street Bridge in Mount Clemens, Michigan, was taken down to allow the newly built VIRGINIUS to pass down the Clinton River to Lake St. Clair, where she was taken in tow by the CITY OF NEW BALTIMORE. The VIRGINIUS was towed to Port Huron where her engine was installed and she was fitted out for service.

Misener's CANADA MARQUIS (Hull#257) of Govan Shipyards Ltd, Govan, Scotland, was launched April 15, 1983. Renamed b.) FEDERAL RICHELIEU in 1991, c.) FEDERAL MACKENZIE in 1991, d.) MACKENZIE in 2001 and CSL's e.) BIRCHGLEN in 2002.

American Steamship Co.'s SAM LAUD was christened April 15, 1975.

On April 15, 1977, the CONALLISON's, a.) FRANK C. BALL of 1906, self-unloading boom collapsed while unloading coal at the Detroit Edison Trenton, Michigan, power plant in the Trenton Channel on the lower Detroit River.

W. W. HOLLOWAY suffered a fire in the fantail while in dry dock following her re-powering at AmShip on April 15, 1963, causing $15,000 damage.

Pittsburgh Steamship's steamer J. P. MORGAN JR left Lorain in ballast April 15, 1910, on her maiden voyage to load iron ore at Duluth, Minnesota.

Masaba Steamship's steamer JOE S. MORROW entered service April 15, 1907.

The steamer JOHN P. REISS left Lorain, Ohio on her maiden voyage on April 15, 1910 with coal for Escanaba, Michigan. She was the first of three bulkers built in 1910 for Reiss interests. The other two were the steamers A. M. BYERS and the PETER REISS.

The tanker IMPERIAL COLLINGWOOD began service April 15, 1948.

On April 15, 1955, American Steamship's steamer DETROIT EDISON entered service, departing Manitowoc, Wisconsin, for Port Inland, Michigan, on her maiden trip.

On April 15, 1985, the e.) WILLIAM CLAY FORD, formerly d.) WALTER A. STERLING and presently f.) LEE A. TREGURTHA) departed Fraser Shipyards for the D. M. & I. R. ore docks in West Duluth for her first load in Ford Motor Company colors.

April 15, 1930 - While going up the Manitowoc River to dry dock, the WABASH rubbed the parked steamer THEODORE ROOSEVELT and damaged her upper works forward.

On 15 April 1862, ELISHA C. BLISH (wooden propeller tug, 81 foot, 107 tons, built in 1857, at Black River, Ohio) sank near shore at Algonac, Michigan, when a steam pump was accidentally left in an open position and she flooded. She was raised and lasted another two years when she "went missing" on Lake Huron.

On 15 April 1872, The Port Huron Daily Times announced that the HURON was chartered by a circus company for the season. They intended to perform at many lakes ports throughout the summer.

1967: MAPLE HILL began visiting the Great Lakes in 1959. The British-flag freighter had been built at Montreal in 1943 as a) FORT VERCHERES and was renamed c) DIOPSIDE in 1966. It collided with and sank the Swedish freighter IREVIK in the Baltic Sea on this day in 1967. MAPLE HILL was renamed d) ENTAN in 1969 and arrived at Hirao, Japan, for scrapping on June 30, 1970.

1987: An attempt to steal navigation equipment using a cutting torch resulted in a fire that caused major damage to the upper deck of the GRAND RAPIDS. The retired Lake Michigan carferry had been idle at Muskegon since 1971. It was eventually sold for scrap in 1989 and broken up at Port Maitland, ON in 1994.

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

 

Hemgracht, season’s first saltie, has come and gone at Windsor

4/14 - Windsor, Ont. – The first ocean-going vessel has arrived at the Port of Windsor and is now en route to Ireland with a load of feed products. The Netherlands-flagged motor vessel Hemgracht arrived on April 7 at the ADM Windsor Grain Terminal.

The ship’s captain, Maxim Korolkov, and the crew were welcomed by officials of the Windsor Port Authority.

“It is always a celebration when the first ocean going vessel, or saltie, arrives at the port as it marks the beginning of the international shipping season here in Windsor,” David Cree, president of the Windsor Port Authority, said in a news release. “ADM is a major international grain merchant and we are very fortunate to have them in the Port of Windsor.”

Korolkov and his crew were presented with a copy of “From the Vault,” a historic book featuring Windsor Star reporter Craig Pearson, and gift bags with various personal care items including phone cards to call around the world.

“The St. Lawrence Seaway System allows ADM to connect local farmers by truck and rail to customers around the world, and we are proud to be a part of the Port of Windsor community and this year’s first saltie celebration,” said Steven Combres, merchandiser with ADM.

Hemgracht was eastbound in the Welland Canal Thursday night.

Windsor Star

 

Port Reports -  April 14

Duluth-Superior
Wilfred Sykes’ highly-anticipated trip to Lake Superior to load has been canceled.

Marquette, Mich. – Denny Dushane
American Integrity became the first vessel to unload coal into the hopper at the Upper Harbor in Marquette for the 2017 season. They arrived Wednesday in the early evening and they departed on Thursday in the late afternoon.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes is expected Saturday in the early morning. Also due in is the Manitoulin on Sunday during the early morning, along with the Joseph L. Block at noon. Rounding out the schedule is the Cason J. Callaway, due April 22 during the early morning.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Joseph L. Block is due Saturday in the late evening to load. Also due is Cason J. Callaway on Monday during the early morning. The barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort are expected April 21 in the early morning to load.

Escanaba, Mich. – Lee Rowe
Joseph L. Block was loading on Thursday and left in the late afternoon. These will be some of the final ore cargoes to come out or Esky. Joseph H. Thompson and tug departed bound for Marquette, but returned Thursday for unspecified repairs.

Indiana Harbor, Ind.
Wilfred Sykes was in port Thursday evening. Indiana Harbor was arriving.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann loaded on Thursday and were due to leave Friday at 7 a.m. Two other vessels are expected Friday, both in the late afternoon: Manitoulin followed by Great Republic. There are no vessels scheduled for Saturday-Tuesday.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
H. Lee White is expected in the mid-afternoon on Friday for the South Dock to load. Also due is the Lee A. Tregurtha on Saturday in the early morning for the South Dock. There are no vessels scheduled Sunday. Due Monday is the Cason J. Callaway in the early morning for the South Dock. Great Republic is due on Tuesday in the early morning for the South Dock. Due in Wednesday is the John J. Boland in the early afternoon loading at the North Dock.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Olympic was loading salt Thursday; destination unknown.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Cuyahoga was loading at the CSX Coal Dock on Thursday. Also due at CSX is the Cason J. Callaway on Friday in the early morning. Manitoulin is due at CSX on Sunday in the early morning, however they will not begin to load until 7 a.m. on Monday due to the Easter holiday. Due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock is the Mississagi on April 19 during the early morning. At the Torco Dock, the Lee A. Tregurtha was expected Thursday in the late evening. Also due at Torco is the Kaye E. Barker on Saturday in the mid-afternoon.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
USCG Hollyhock arrived around 1p.m Thursday and was tied up on the North Pier around 2 p.m.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Traffic for Thursday: Upbound: Evans McKeil & barge Niagara Spirit, tugs Salvage Monarch and M.R. Kane with barge Coastal Titan, Spartan & barge Spartan II, Federal Bering (Mhl), G3 Marquis, Spruceglen, Edzard Schulte (IOM), Kaministiqua, Capt. Henry Jackman and Federal Champlain (Mhl). Downbound: Whitefish Bay stopped at 19E (ADM Milling), Federal Seto (Mhl), Hemgracht (Nld) and Algoma Enterprise.

Oshawa, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Petite Forte & barge St. Marys Cement arrived at 0119 Thursday, departed for Cleveland.

Hamilton, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Tugs Salvage Monarch and M.R. Kane & barge Coastal Titan departed at 0445 Thursday for Toledo, G3 Marquis departed at 0700, Erieborg (Nld) departed for Montreal, Federal Champlain (Mhl) departed at 1850 for Windsor.

 

Great Lakes gain mind-boggling amount of water in last 12 days

4/14 - Grand Rapids, Mich. – The Great Lakes' water levels are rising. The entire Great Lakes system has gained an incredible amount of water just in the first 12 days of April. Recent wet weather, combined with the seasonal lake level rise due to earlier snowmelt, are causing the Great lakes to rise.

Read more and see a video at this link: http://www.mlive.com/weather/index.ssf/2017/04/great_lakes_gain_mind-boggling.html

 

First ship arrives at Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor

4/14 - In another rite of spring, international commerce has returned to Northwest Indiana. The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, the region's gateway to distant shores, celebrated its version of opening day Wednesday by welcoming its first ocean-going vessel of the season.

The 413-foot general cargo carrier BBC Mont Blanc brought wind turbine parts to the deepwater Lake Michigan port in Portage and Burns Harbor. She departed Thursday evening for Thunder Bay, Ont.

"The arrival of the first ocean ship of the new year is an exciting time not only for our port, but also for our port companies and numerous other regional businesses that rely on the cargoes these vessels carry," said new Port Director Ian Hirt, who started in March. "For northwest Indiana, the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway each spring is always a symbol of optimism because it reestablishes a direct connection to global markets and new business opportunities."

Port officials presented the ceremonial "Steel Stein" to welcome Russian Captain Nikolay Gombalevsky, who helms a crew of 15 sailors on the Mont Blanc, a German-owned ship that's flagged to Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean. The ship carried over a cargo of nearly 900 tons of wind turbine tower sections shipped from Marin, Spain and bound for a wind farm in Illinois, and will ship out Thursday to drop off a huge transformer in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

About 30 workers from the International Longshoremen's Association and International Union of Operating Engineers are unloading the massive parts, which Hirt said should herald a resurgence in wind turbine shipments, which tapered off after a big gust of them blew through three or four years ago. Hirt also expects an increase in steel slabs from Russia to NLMK's mini-mill at the port this year. Get breaking news sent instantly to your inbox

In his new role, Hirt hopes to boost shipping volumes and recruit more businesses to take over the remaining 110 acres of vacant space at the Lake Michigan port. Private businesses, mainly steel processors and Cargill's grain-shipping operations, currently occupy about 500 acres there.

About 2.6 million tons of cargo passed through the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor last year, capping the highest three-year total in its 59-year history.

Northwest Indiana Times.com

 

‘Know Your Ships’ booksigning Saturday in Port Huron

4/14 - Port Huron, Mich. – On Saturday, in what has become an unofficial kick-off to the end of winter, Roger LeLievre, cataloguer of freighters on the Great Lakes, will be on hand at the Great Lakes Maritime Center at Vantage Point, signing copies of the 2017 edition of “Know Your Ships.”

"We bring Roger in every year to sign the new edition of his book," said the Maritime Center’s “Freighter” Frank Frisk. "It's the 11th year. Roger brings in some of his crew of researchers and photographers and it's an excellent day."

The event runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Books and other items will be available for purchase.

 

Crews deploy Port Sheldon buoy cam into Lake Michigan

4/14 - Port Sheldon Township, Mich. – Ottawa County welcomed a sign of spring Wednesday, as the Port Sheldon buoy camera returned to Lake Michigan. Crews with LimnoTech deployed the buoy cam Wednesday morning, after pulling it from the water before winter set in.

About 25 buoy cams float in the Great Lakes, monitoring conditions including wind speed, wake heights and water temperatures. They play an important role for the community, especially boaters.

“Just one guy this morning in South Haven said that the buoy saves him trips to the lake. He doesn’t live on the lake, so he uses the buoy to check conditions. He checks the buoy before getting out of bed in the morning; it saves a lot of time.

“It’s also a safety thing. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) uses it to forecast better… to have eyes on the water and what’s going on,” explained LimnoTech project engineer Ed Verhamme.

The buoy anchored off the shore of Port Sheldon is historically the most popular buoy in the entire Great Lakes. Its recordings, which are available online for free, were viewed 30,000 times last year after community donations helped pay for its late launch.

WOOD TV

 

Chemical spill closes four Lake Michigan beaches

4/14 - A U.S. Steel plant in Portage, Ind., has spilled wastewater containing a potentially cancer-causing chemical into Burns Waterway, a tributary about 100 yards from Lake Michigan. The leak prompted the closure of four beaches and a riverwalk at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and Indiana American Water in Ogden Dunes—the nearest municipal water source—to shut down its water intake and switch to a reserve water supply, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is overseeing the spill, announced.

U.S. Steel reported the leak on Tuesday morning. The company informed the EPA that its release has been stopped at the source. The amount of spilled wastewater is still unknown.

The wastewater discharge, apparently caused by a pipe failure, contains hexavalent chromium (chromium-6), which is used for industrial processes. The toxic chemical was made famous by the environmental activist and 2000 movie of the same name, "Erin Brockovich."

Incidentally, as Chicago Tribune pointed out, President Donald Trump's administration has proposed a budget that would quash efforts to crack down on the dangerous pollutant nationwide.

According to the Associated Press, a U.S. Steel preliminary investigation determined that an expansion joint failed Tuesday in a pipe at the Portage facility. This allowed wastewater from an electroplating treatment process containing chromium-6 to escape into the wrong wastewater treatment plant at the complex. That wastewater eventually flowed into the Burns Waterway.

Andy Maguire, the EPA's on-scene coordinator, told the AP that testing is continuing at the intake areas and other nearby points, but hexavalent chromium from the spill has so far not been found in Lake Michigan.

Chromium-6 is used in chrome plating, wood and leather treatments, dyes and pigments and the water in cooling towers of electrical power plants. The chemical has long been known to cause lung cancer when airborne particles are inhaled. Recent science has also shown that, when ingested, it can cause stomach cancer. A 2008 study by the National Toxicology Program found chromium-6 in drinking water caused cancer in rats and mice.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 14

14 April 1965 The GEORGE A. SLOAN (steel propeller bulk freighter, 603 foot, 9057 gross tons, built in 1943, at River Rouge, Michigan) was the first commercial vessel through the Soo Locks. The SLOAN (now MISSISSAGI) received Sault Ste. Marie's official tri-centennial flag to fly all season. The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce in turn received the Pittsburgh Fleet flag, and it flew below the United States flag on the flagpole on top of the Ojibway Motor Hotel all season.

On 14 April 1872, the MESSENGER (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 150 foot, 444 gross tons, built in 1866, at Cleveland, Ohio) left Manistee, Michigan in a storm for Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After battling ice flows near shore, she made it to open water but the heavy seas snapped her rudder post. She was unmanageable and four members of the crew left in the yawl to try to get help. Although they were only a few miles from port, the men struggled for hours against the wind, waves and ice before they finally made it back to Manistee, Michigan, where they got a tug to go out and tow the MESSENGER in for repairs.

On April 14, 1961, FORT CHAMBLY departed Toronto, Ontario, on her maiden voyage bound for the Canadian Lake head.

Interlake Steamship's COLONEL JAMES PICKANDS (Hull#791) sailed on her maiden voyage April 14, 1926, clearing Lorain for Toledo, Ohio, to load coal.

CSL's steamer GLENEAGLES lost her self-unloading boom April 14, 1977, while unloading at the CSL stone dock at Humberstone, Ontario. Renamed b.) SILVERDALE in 1978, she was scrapped at Windsor, Ontario, in 1984.

On April 14, 1984, vessels around the Great Lakes were battling one of the worst season openers for ice in recent memory. The ERNEST R. BREECH (now OJIBWAY) and HERBERT C. JACKSON spent the entire day battling ice off the Duluth entry, while the St. Clair River was choked with ice.

On 14 April 1873, The Port Huron Daily Times gave the following report of shipbuilding work going on in Port Huron: "Mr. Fitzgerald is up to his eyes in business with a large barge in process of construction and a good sized schooner still on the stocks. Mr. Thomas Dunford has in hand the repairs of the large scow T S SKINNER and she is being rapidly healed of the damage done to her in the collision with the INTERNATIONAL last fall. At Muir's yard the [schooner] canaller on the stocks is rapidly approaching completion. At the [Port Huron] Dry Dock Company's yard, they are busy as bees docking and repairing vessels and work upon the new tug for Moffat & Sons is [being] pushed ahead very rapidly." Unfortunately, later that year the "Panic of 1873" struck and all shipyard work was stopped while the country tried to recover from that economic depression.

1965: Fire broke out in the #2 hold of the CAPETAN VASSILIS en route from Madras, India, to Rotterdam with a cargo of sunflower seeds while 60 miles off the Mediterranean island of Crete. The crew abandoned the vessel and it sank on April 16. The ship had been built at Superior, Wisconsin, as TULLY CROSBY in 1944 and returned to the lakes as c) SPIND in 1952-1953, as d) HEILO in 1953 and e) CAPETAN VASSILIS in 1956.

1977: CANADIAN OLYMPIC ran aground in the St. Lawrence off Heather Point near Brockville. The ship was loaded with ore and en route from Sept Iles to Ashtabula. The navigation channel was blocked. The vessel was lightered to MAPLEHEATH and released at 1057 hours on April 16. The ULS self-unloader spent three weeks at Port Weller Dry Docks undergoing repairs to the damage.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, “Ahoy and Farewell”.

 

Icebreaker Alexander Henry returning to Thunder Bay to become tourist attraction

4/13 - Thunder Bay, Ont. – The plan to bring the Alexander Henry home has officially set sail. City council unanimously gave the Lakehead Transportation Museum Society its approval in principle for a plan that would tow the ship to the city's waterfront, where it would become a tourist attraction at the former Pool 6 grain elevator site.

Museum society treasurer Wally Peterson said council support is essential to moving provincial funding applications forward and allowing for the group to issue tax receipts to donors who want to see the icebreaker ship brought home to the Port Arthur shipyards where it was built in the 1950s.

"It means we can go to the insurance companies and say, 'yes we're getting it,' so we can get hard and fast quotes," Peterson said. "We can go to the people who are going to do the tow and start actually getting firm and sound commitments because without a commitment from the city, we were waiting."

The ship that broke ice across the Great Lakes from 1959 to 1984 is currently docked outside of Kingston, Ont. The Alexander Henry was displaced from that city where it was displayed for decades and used as a bed and breakfast. The federal government sold the land where it was docked, leading to a countdown that would either see it sunk in Lake Ontario or scrapped by the end of June unless $250,000 can be raised and a plan was put in place to tow it across the Great Lakes one last time.

"With June 29 pending, we had to get this going and that was a hard, hard, hard deadline," Peterson said.

Some councillors were hesitant to support the group's request for $125,000 from the city in December but all cast their votes in principle to support its efforts. "It's a win-win situation either way, whether it becomes part of a transportation or the underwater marine museum, it's going to work," said Westfort Coun. Joe Virdiramo.

Coun. Iain Angus compared the decision council faces to that of the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier turned tourist attraction that's docked in San Diego.

"That ship was the subject of much debate in the community for the price of $100,000 people thought they couldn't afford and now that ship brings in millions to that community," Angus said. "Different magnitude, but just an example of how when you have a vision and you work towards it, it pays off in the long term."

Northwood Coun. Shelby Ch'ng called her reluctant support "an act of faith" in city administration, who has been working with the project's advocates since a business plan presented last year met criticism and disapproval around the council table.

"I still haven't seen a business plan and I'm very uncomfortable voting 'yes' on something that I haven't seen any numbers on. I've asked this a number of times and I know it's bits and pieces here and there but I just want to see it," Ch'ng said.

Sudbury.com

 

Port Reports -  April 13

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
James R. Barker departed Wednesday morning with iron ore pellets she loaded at CN. The Polish saltie Solina arrived during the afternoon to load wheat at CHS 1. She is the second saltie to arrive Duluth for the 2017 season. In Superior, Stewart J. Cort departed before sunrise with ore from BN. CSL Assiniboine arrived soon after and began loading. Algoma Guardian was expected late Wednesday night to load ore. The Madeline Island ferry Bayfield is receiving her 5-year inspection at Fraser Shipyards. Also, if the schedule holds, Wilfred Sykes is scheduled to make an exceedingly rare trip to load blast furnace trim at Hallett #5 in Duluth on Sunday.

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
Tug and Barge Clyde S. VanEnkevort and Erie Trader arrived and opened the Lower Harbor for the 2017-18 shipping season on Wednesday with a load of stone for the Shiras Dock.

Soo Locks – Jon Hagelee
Alpena was upbound for Superior, Wis., on Tuesday on her first trip into Lake Superior this season. Other upbounds included CSL St. Laurent, Rt. Hon. Paul J Martin, Tim S. Dool, American Spirit, Burns Harbor, Herbert C. Jackson and Kaye E. Barker. Downbounds included Roger Blough, Indiana Harbor, Lee A Tregurtha, Radcliffe R Latimer and Algoma Harvester.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading on Wednesday and none are expected until Saturday at noon when the Joseph L. Block is due. Also due in is the Wilfred Sykes on April 18 in the late afternoon.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted are expected to arrive at Port Inland to load on Thursday in the early morning. They will be the first vessels for the 2017 season to load at PI. Also due is the Joseph L. Block on Friday in the late evening. John J. Boland is due April 17 during the early morning to load.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Michipicoten arrived on Wednesday to load was due to depart on Thursday at 3 a.m. Also due Thursday were the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the mid-afternoon. Two vessels are due for Friday, with the Michipicoten due back in the early morning followed later by the Great Republic in the early evening. The barge Pathfinder and the tug Dorothy Ann return on Saturday in the evening to load.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
John J. Boland loaded at the South Dock on Wednesday and was due to depart around 7 p.m. Also due Wednesday was the Philip R. Clarke to load at the South Dock following the Boland's departure. American Mariner was also expected on Wednesday during the evening for the North Dock. There are no vessels scheduled to load on Thursday. Due for Friday is the Lee A. Tregurtha, making a rare visit for the South Dock in the late evening.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Mississagi cleared Tuesday with salt, destination Parry Sound, Ont.

Owen Sound, Ont. – Paul Martin
Algoma Olympic departed Wednesday at 3 p.m. following winter lay up. Samuel Risely was in port on Tuesday working on area navigation aids. Algoway is the lone freighter remaining in winter lay up, in addition to the passenger ferry Chi-Cheemaun.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Cuyahoga was expected to unload limestone at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on Wednesday evening. Mississagi is due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on April 19 in the early morning to unload limestone. At the CSX Coal Dock, Cuyahoga is due to load on Thursday morning. Also due at CSX is the Cason J. Callaway on Friday in the morning and the Manitoulin on Sunday in the late afternoon. At the Torco Dock, Lee A. Tregurtha is due on Thursday in the early afternoon, and Kaye E. Barker is due on Saturday in the late afternoon.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for Wednesday April 12: Upbound: Isa (Cyp), Algolake, Algoma Equinox, Federal Clyde (Mhl), tugs Salvage Monarch & M.R.Kane with Coastal Titan. Downbound: Algocanada, Algowood, Dara Desgagnes and Baie Comeau.

Hamilton, Bronte and Toronto, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Hamilton Wednesday: G3 Marquis at 0020, Algoma Discovery at 2140. Departures: Algoma Equinox at 0950, and tugs Salvage Monarch, M.R. Kane & barge Coastal Titan. Bronte: Arrival: Algocanada. Toronto: Arrival Petite Forte & barge St. Marys Cement at 0306.

 

New twist in Great Lakes pilot rate debate

4/13 - The Coast Guard is proposing a change in the way it calculates Great Lakes pilot rates by adding a metric favored by shippers and ports. The agency for the first time will account for the weighting factor, so that larger ships yield higher pilotage fee revenues than smaller ones.

“The result of the adjustment would be a reduction in the hourly pilotage rates in the Great Lakes region from amounts proposed” last October for the 2017 shipping season, the Coast Guard said in its Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) published April 5. “This action does not change the total amount of projected revenue we deem necessary for the pilot associations to provide safe, efficient, and reliable service, but would have the practical effect of reducing the actual amount of money paid as pilotage fees by shippers by approximately 28 to 32 percent.”

The agency originally sought a 14 percent rate increase primarily to cover eight new pilots needed because of workload and fatigue factors as well as the number of older pilots approaching retirement. Meanwhile, the 2016 rates remain in effect.

Under the new calculations, the current hourly rate on the St. Lawrence River, for example, would go from $580 to $592, instead of $757 in the October proposal. Rates on lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior would go from $264 to $215, instead of $280.

The Coast Guard establishes rates for Great Lakes pilots while rates elsewhere in the country are set at the local level. The rates must be reviewed annually. Both sides have spoken up on the weight issue.

“It is abundantly clear that the use of the weighting factor when invoicing for services needs to be included in revenue projection calculations,” Michael Broad, wrote on behalf of the U.S. Great Lakes Pilotage Users Coalition. “Not doing so is an unacceptable error in principal. This can no longer be ignored and must be corrected immediately.”

Pilots want the Coast Guard to keep the status quo on weighting factors, “at least until actual data suggests that changes are necessary and appropriate,” pilot group presidents Capt. John Boyce, St. Lawrence Seaway Lakes Pilots Association, Capt. Dan Gallagher, Lakes Pilots Association, and Capt. John Swartout, Western Great Lakes Pilots Association, said about the October proposal. “Over the last decade, the pilots have consistently failed to reach target compensation even with the weighting factors included. Changing this practice would exacerbate an already-unfortunate situation and risk further contributing to the pilot attraction and retention difficulties.”

Meanwhile, ports and shippers last year sued the Coast Guard seeking a 2016 rate reduction of at least 20.6 percent, arguing the agency’s calculations were flawed and the increases arbitrary and capricious. The Coast Guard set the average annual pilot compensation at $326,000, up from $235,000 and recommended more pilots and up to 10 days off a month.

Pilots associations have joined the suit on the Coast Guard side. Comments on the SNPRM must be submitted by May 5.

Workboat

 

Kelleys Island ferry Carlee Emily at Great Lakes Shipyard for 5-year drydocking

4/13 - Cleveland, Ohio – Great Lakes Shipyard has been awarded a drydocking contract by Kelleys Island Ferry Boat Line for the motor vessel Carlee Emily. Maintenance work includes 5-year drydocking, U.S. Coast Guard inspection and surveys as well as miscellaneous routine repairs. The ferry was hauled out using the 770-MT Mobile Marine Travelift on April 10. Work is expected to be completed later this month, allowing the ferry to return to service as soon as possible.

This is the second time the Carlee Emily has been drydocked at Great Lakes Shipyard and it is the fifth drydocking for Kelleys Island Ferry Boat Line. Other Kelleys Island vessels drydocked at the shipyard include Kayla Marie and Juliet Alicia.

Great Lakes Shipyard

 

Bill to lighten boating restrictions along border passes Canadian Senate

4/13 - Legislation that would loosen boating restrictions along the U.S.-Canadian border in the St. Lawrence River has cleared the Canadian Senate.

State Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, is sponsoring the U.S. version of the bill. Under current law, boaters must report to Canadian customs to legally be in Canadian waters at anytime. A few years ago, a U.S. boater traveling along the Gananoque Narrows was told by Canadian border agents that he needed to pay a $1,000 fine or face arrest, having his boat towed to Canada and be forced to pay $25,000 in penalties.

Now, legislators on both sides of the border want to ease the rules so boaters can travel freely, which they hope will also spur more tourism.

“I have been proud to advocate for passage of this important measure, which I hope will continue to advance and soon become law,” Sen. Ritchie said in a statement. “Through this legislation, we can make it easier for people to enjoy our shared waterways and strengthen the relationship that exists between our two nations.”

The Canadian bill is sponsored by Senator Bob Runciman and Member of Parliament Gordon Brown.

Watertown Daily Times

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 13

13 April 1872 - The schooners MARY TAYLOR and ANTELOPE wooden were racing to Oswego, New York, trying to beat a large block of drifting ice. The ice won and blocked the harbor entrance. The ANTELOPE became icebound about a quarter of a mile from the piers and remained there for one day. The MARY TAYLOR got within 500 feet of the pier and remained there for five days until the tug MAJOR DANA broke through the ice.

RICHARD REISS lost her boom April 13, 1994 when it collapsed at Fairport, Ohio.

On 13 April 1872, the wooden schooner-barge JOSEPH PAIGE was launched at the Wolf & Davidson yard in Milwaukee. Her dimensions were 190 feet x 32 feet x 12 feet, 626 gross tons.

The passenger/package freight vessel OCEAN was launched at Andrews & Sons shipyard in Port Dalhousie, Ontario, on 13 April 1872. She was placed in service on 27 April 1872, loading iron at Kingston for Chicago.

1917: The steel canaller STRATHCONA was built at Dundee, Scotland, in 1900 and came to the Great Lakes that summer. The ship had several owners before being requisitioned for war service in 1915. It was stopped by U-78 near Ronaldshay, England, while traveling from Tyne, England, to Marseilles, France, with a cargo of coal on this date in 1917. Enemy bombers attacked sinking the ship. Nine crew members were lost while another 3 were taken prisoner.

1937: The Norwegian freighter REIN was a frequent pre-Seaway caller to the Great Lakes. It had been built in 1900 and was inland as early as 1908. The ship was carrying wood pulp when it was wrecked off Helman Island, 2 miles south of Wick, Scotland, while traveling from Lyngor, Norway, to Preston, UK on this date in 1937. REIN was a total loss.

1956 Winds and ice pushed the ore laden GEORGE M. HUMPHREY on a shoal in Whitefish Bay en route from Superior to Zug Island. The vessel was salvaged and taken to Lorain for repairs.

1959: GLENEAGLES was proceeding through ice in Lake Erie when it abruptly stopped. The trailing WESTMOUNT could not stop as quickly and rammed the stern of its CSL fleetmate. GLENEAGLES had to be towed to Lorain for repairs that included a new rudder.

2010: The rebuilt ALGOBAY went aground while upbound in the St. Marys River on its first trip to the upper lakes. The vessel had to go to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs.

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

 

Coast Guard concludes icebreaking operations on Western Great Lakes

4/12 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – On Tuesday the U.S. Coast Guard concluded its domestic icebreaking operations in support of commercial navigation, known as Operation Taconite, throughout the Western Great Lakes.

As a result of warmer temperatures this winter, ice coverage was less than the multi-year average and had no significant impact on commercial navigation on the Great Lakes. Nearly all of the ice that formed has melted.

Six Coast Guard cutters assigned to Operation Taconite conducted nearly 2,200 hours of domestic ice breaking in support of U.S. and Canadian shipping interests. Nearly 14 million tons of dry and liquid cargo, valued at more than $488 million, was shipped during the winter navigation season, which spanned 113 days. These commodities were used in sustaining industrial production and generating power throughout the Great Lakes region during the winter months.

USCG

 

Port Reports -  April 12

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Welland Canal transits for Tuesday April 11: Upbound: Atlantic Huron, USEPA Lake Guardian, and ISA (Cyp). Downbound: Algosteel, Capt. Henry Jackman, Federal Schelde (Bbs), Oakglan, Petite Forte & barge St. Marys Cement, Everlast & barge Norman McLeod.

Hamilton, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Tuesday arrivals: tug Salvage Monarch with barge Coastal Titan arrived at 0105, Algoma Equinox arrived at 0541. Departure: Travestern (Mhl) for the Seaway.

 

Port McNicoll's SS Keewatin is on the move

4/12 - Port McNicoll, Ont. – The SS Keewatin is on the move. And she needs the public’s help. No, the iconic steamship is not leaving its Port McNicoll home. However, she does need to move 350 feet away to accommodate the $1 million restoration work on the old docks at the foot of Talbot Street.

So the Friends of Keewatin, led by president and CEO Eric Conroy, decided to turn the simple act of moving the ship into an event bringing the community together.

The Friends of Keewatin are hosting the SS Keewatin World Record Pull on April 22, and north Simcoe citizens are invited to come, grab a rope and pull the ship to its new home.

“All the money is going to something that will benefit the community. So it’s a win-win because we’ll not only be moving the ship but also helping a great cause. It’s one of those things that just come up,” said Conroy. “We have to move the ship and a tugboat would cost too much. So somebody asked if we can do it with people.”

So the idea to do it through elbow grease was born. The hope after all is said and done is to get a place in the Guinness World Records for pulling a ship using human hands.

The Keewatin pull also has a second purpose, to raise funds for the Radio for Cardiology drive for the cardiac unit at Barrie’s Royal Victoria Hospital.

“All the money is going to something that will benefit the community,” said Conroy. “So it’s a win-win because we’ll not only be moving the ship but also helping a great cause.”

The participants in the pull will grab a rope and pull the Keewatin, with a small tugboat on-site to ensure the ship doesn't blow offshore. A steel cable will be attached to a bulldozer to stop the Keewatin once it reaches its goal.

“Once we get it started we should be able to move it in 20 or 25 minutes,” he said. “It should be a good day.”

The SS Keewatin World Record Pull starts at noon on April 22, at the Keewatin’s berth at 311 Talbot St. in Port McNicoll. More information can be found at sskeewatin.com.

Simcoe.com

 

Lake Express high-speed ferry prepares for first voyage of season

4/12 - Milwaukee, Wis. – The Lake Express high-speed ferry will launch its 14th season April 28. Each year, the ferry makes about 800 trips across Lake Michigan between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Mich. With a capacity for 248 people and 46 vehicles, the Lake Express has about 50 seasonal employees.

Over the past year, Lake Express received many navigation and technological upgrades, including new equipment in the pilothouse and new WiFi service for passengers.

“Summer is the busiest time, and we’re up from a year ago,” said Aaron Schultz, vice president of sales and marketing, adding that many people prefer the cruise across the lake to driving on land around Chicago to the other side. "I think it’s because people don’t like to be tied to a seat."

The Lake Express crosses Lake Michigan four times daily during its spring schedule. During the peak of the summer travel season, the Lake Express makes six Lake Michigan crossings daily, with additional evening sailings from Milwaukee at 7 p.m. and then Muskegon at 11 p.m.

Before the Interstate highway system was built, many people crossed Lake Michigan by steamship. From 1941 to 1970, people primarily used the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper, which was a six-hour trip. The S.S. Badger has crossed the lake from Manitowoc to Ludington, Mich., since 1953. The Lake Express cut the trip down to two and a half hours.

“We were able to do it with the modern advancements with our vessel,” Schultz said. “The Lake Express offers the experience but saves the time."

A standard cabin ticket for an adult is $153 for a round trip, and an additional $190 for a car as well. Senior citizens, college students and those who provided military service get a discounted price of $140. Children under 4 ride free.

Journal-Sentinel

 

Updates -  April 12

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the BBC Mont Blanc, Duzgit Endeavour, Federal Columbia, Federal Elbe, Harbour Fountain, Isa, Lake Ontario, Redhead, Riga, Solina, Stella Polaris, and Travestern.
 

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 12

On 12 April 1896, PETER DALTON (propeller tug, 63 foot 49 gross tons, built in 1880, at Grand Haven, Michigan) caught fire off Grosse Pointe, Illinois, while returning to Chicago with the salvaged schooner A.J. DEWEY in tow and the boiler of the JOHNSON. The fire burned her in two before she finally sank. The DALTON's crew and the DEWEY were rescued by the tug WELCOME.

On 12 April 1874, the tug D.N. RUNNELS was launched Runnel's yard at the north end of the 7th Street Bridge in Port Huron, Michigan. As the tug splashed into the Black River, the flag at her bow was unfurled with her name on it. Commodore Runnels distributed oranges to the crowd of onlookers.

The tanker a.) LANA (Hull#151) was launched April 12, 1967, by Aktiebolaget Lodose Varv A/B at Lodose, Sweden. Renamed b.) NEW ORLEANS in 1988 and c.) NANCY ORR GAUCHER in 1989, she departed the Lakes in 1994. Renamed d.) PETRAWAK in 1996 and e.) TONGA in 2000.

Tanker LAKESHELL (Hull#389) of Marine Industries Ltd., Sorel, Quebec, was launched April 12, 1969, for Shell Canada Ltd.

Pioneer Steamship's steamer a.) A.A. AUGUSTUS (Hull#374) of American Ship Building Co., Lorain, Ohio, departed Cleveland on her maiden voyage April 12, 1910, bound for Green Bay, Wisconsin, with a load of coal. She was sold to Canadian registry in 1961, and renamed b.) HOWARD HINDMAN. She was scrapped at Bilbao, Spain, in 1969.

Hall Corp. of Canada's tanker HUDSON TRANSPORT (Hull#629) of the Davie Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec, was launched April 12, 1962.

On April 12, 1955, while upbound from Monroe, Michigan to load iron ore at Duluth, the ENDERS M. VOORHEES had the honor of opening the second century of navigation through the St. Marys Falls Ship Canal, celebrated with great pomp and ceremony.

On 12 April 1880, the wooden 2-mast schooner-barge JUPITER was launched at Marysville, Michigan, after being rebuilt under the supervision of James Bowers. She was originally built in 1857, at Irving, New York, and after this rebuild, she lasted another 21 years.

On 12 April 1892, UGANDA (wooden propeller, 291 foot, 2,053 gross tons) was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan, at F.W. Wheeler's yard (Hull #88).

1949: The corvette H.M.C.S. BATTLEFORD was Hull 95 from the Collingwood Shipyard and it was commissioned at Montreal on July 31, 1941. The ship was sold to the Venezuelan Navy becoming b) LIBERTAD in 1946 and was wrecked on this date in 1949. 1991: CHANDA hailed from India and first came to the Great Lakes in 1978. The ship was laid up Bombay, India, on May 5, 1988, after 20 years of service. It was moved to the scrapyard on April 11, 1991, but a major fire erupted in the engine room April 12 during dismantling operations.

1993: MELISSA DESGAGNES ran aground in the St. Lawrence, two miles east of the Eisenhower Lock, at 2352 hours. The ship was en route from Windsor to Newfoundland with wheat and floated free, after being lightered, on April 15.

2009: SCARAB was 16 years old when it first came through the Seaway in 1999. The ship was sold and renamed JASPER in 2002 and never returned to our shores. It was anchored off Fatsa, Turkey, when it got blown aground on this date in 2009. Some 2000 tons of fertilizer had to be removed for the ship to float free and it went to Tuzla, Turkey, for repairs.

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

 

Port of Toledo wins Pacesetter award for international cargo

4/11 - Toledo, Ohio – A major honor has been earned by the Port of Toledo. It's one of six ports that are being recognized with a Pacesetter Award. The award is given by the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation to ports that increase international cargo tonage.

About 7,000 jobs are tied to the Port of Toledo, and it has a one billion dollar economic impact on the region. "Toledo is truly a gateway to global markets," said Joe Cappel, Vice President of Business Development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

More than 8 million tons of cargo moved in and out of Toledo in 2016.

Global business is up double digits, "We were up about 15 percent from 2015. A lot of that increase is due to grain, direct overseas grain shipments," he said.

Cappel says between 500-800 vessels come in and out of the port every year, up to 100 of them from overseas. "Most of our direct overseas trade is with northern Europe and north Africa and the Mediterranean region. We have had shipments from Mexico and South America as well. We even get shipments from Russia and eastern Europe," he said.

One of the most common products is aluminum that's brought from eastern Canada to Toledo's general cargo dock, run by Midwest Terminals. It is shipped out by truck to automakers, appliance manufacturers and other users of aluminum.

In addition to aluminum, other cargo includes coal, iron ore and items related to the energy industry.

The port has 17 marine terminals around the Toledo area, stretching from the DiSalle bridge on I-75 up to the mouth of the Maumee River They are all busy. Cappel says the goal is to make sure each terminal can handle multiple cargos.

"Any time we buy equipment for a terminal or a new building for our operations it is going to be multi-purpose. We are able to handle just about anything you can load onto a ship with those improvements,” he observed.

The hope is that even more business will be delivered to the Port of Toledo in 2017.

13ABC.com

 

Port Reports -  April 11

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Paul R. Tregurtha departed Duluth on Monday morning with coal from Midwest Energy. Indiana Harbor departed during the evening after loading iron ore pellets at CN. In Superior, Edgar B. Speer loaded at BN on Monday and also departed during the evening, bound for Conneaut.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Welland Canal transits for Monday, April 10. Upbound: Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, CSL St. Laurent, Federal Elbe (Mhl), Manitoulin, and light tug Ecosse. Downbound: CSL Welland, Florence Spirit, Spartan & barge Spartan II, Algosteel.

 

Milwaukee’s North Point Lighthouse reopens

4/11 - Milwaukee, Wis. – The North Point Lighthouse, located in Lake Park on the East Side of Milwaukee, has announced that the museum will reopen beginning the weekend of April 8-9 after being temporarily closed for restoration work since January. The work involved removing and replacing damaged floors on the museum’s gallery level.

The lighthouse will resume its normal public hours and be open throughout the year on Saturdays and Sundays, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for tours. Through the efforts of lighthouse directors, staff and volunteers, all museum artifacts and exhibits have been put back in place in preparation for the reopening on Saturday, April 8.

Visitors to the museum will discover how the lighthouse served the Great Lakes maritime industry, see artifacts and exhibits about the ships that sailed Lake Michigan, and learn about the keepers who maintained the lighthouse. Visitors can also climb the 74-foot tall tower for a spectacular 360-degree view of Lake Park, Lake Michigan and downtown Milwaukee.

For more information about public hours and admission, visit northpointlighthouse.org

WDJT Milwaukee

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 11

In 2015, 18 vessels that had been stuck in 35 square miles of crushed ice up to eight feet thick on Eastern Lake Superior were moving again with the Wednesday arrival of the heavy Canadian icebreaker Pierre Radisson.

11 April 1890 - CHENANGO (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 176 foot, 696 gross tons, built in 1887, at Detroit, Michigan) was carrying 40,000 bushels of wheat from Toledo, Ohio, to Buffalo, New York, when she caught fire off Erie, Pennsylvania. She was partially consumed by the fire and sank in four fathoms of water with no loss of life. She was later raised at great expense and rebuilt as the steamer LIZZIE MADDEN.

On 11 April 1882, GALATEA (3-mast wooden schooner, 180 foot, 606 gross tons) was launched by F. W. Wheeler (Hull#13) at W. Bay City, Michigan. She lasted until she stranded and broke up at Grand Marais, Michigan, in the "Big Storm" of 1905.

The tanker IMPERIAL ST. CLAIR (Hull#57) of the Port Weller Drydocks Ltd., entered service on April 11, 1974, running light for Montreal, Quebec.

Canada Steamship Lines’ J.W. MC GIFFIN (Hull#197) was christened at Collingwood on April 11, 1972. Port Weller Drydocks attached a new forebody in 1999, and she was renamed b.) CSL NIAGARA.

Pioneer Steamship's steamer PHILIP D. BLOCK sailed on her maiden voyage April 11, 1925, with coal from Huron, Ohio, bound for delivery at Indiana Harbor, Indiana.

Wilkinson Transportation Co.'s steamer A.E. NETTLETON (Hull#176) of the Detroit Ship Building Co., was launched April 11, 1908. She was scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1973.

On April 11, 1970, in Lake Superior's Whitefish Bay, CSL's steamer STADACONA of 1952 encountered thick ice and suffered bow damage. She developed a hairline crack in her bow and to alleviate the leakage her cargo was shifted from her forward hold to her after compartments using her self-unloading equipment. This maneuver raised her bow enough to keep her from sinking before she reached safety.

Pittsburgh Steamship Co.'s steamer ENDERS M. VOORHEES (Hull#288), of the Great Lakes Engineering Works, was launched on April 11, 1942. She was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey in 1989.

On April 11, 1964, while upbound on Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior, a boiler burst on board the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.'s WILLIAM A. IRVIN, killing one of the crew and injuring two others.

April 11, 1948 - ANN ARBOR NO 7 ran aground just south of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

On 11 April 1874, the new tug E.H. MILLER burned at her dock at Willow Island in the Saginaw River. Her loss was valued at $9,000 and there was no insurance. Although considered to be a total loss, she was rebuilt and lasted another 46 years.

On 11 April 1878, ALASKA, a wooden bulk freighter, was launched at J. P. Clark's yard in Detroit, Michigan. Her dimensions were 180 feet overall, 28 foot beam, and 10 foot depth.

The navigation season at the Canadian Sault Canal was unofficially opened on 11 April 1955, at 7:15 a.m., when the MANZZUTTI (steel crane ship, 246 foot, 1,558 gross tons, built in 1903, at Buffalo, New York as J.S. KEEFE) locked up bound for the Algoma Steel dock. Because the MANZZUTTI wintered over at the Soo, its captain, John B. Perry, was not eligible for the traditional top hat and silk gloves presented to the first captain through the locks. So this was not the official opening of navigation at the Soo. The first boat through the American locks was expected the following day.

1964: NORCO had been used to carry pulpwood from Michipicoten to Green Bay from about 1938 to 1957. The vessel had been built at Ecorse, Michigan, for deep-sea service as INCA in 1915, and returned inland in the 1920s. It went back to the sea in 1959 and stranded at Little Corn Island, Nicaragua, on this date in 1964 while en route from Tampa to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, with a cargo of phosphate.

1994: AMERICAN MARINER was downbound in the St. Marys River when it struck a rock above the Soo Locks and had to go to the shipyard in Erie to repair the damage.

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

 

First salty arrives at Thunder Bay

4/10 - Thunder Bay, Ont. – Capt. Karl Fernandez has done it again. Fernandez, who pilots the Barbados-registered MV Federal Schelde, for a second straight year was at the helm of the first ocean-going vessel to arrive at the Port of Thunder Bay.

Along with his chief engineer Chandramohanan Nair Sreedharan, Fernandez on Friday accepted the ceremonial top hat from MP Patty Hajdu (Lib., Thunder Bay-Superior North), a traditional honor bestowed on the captains of the first laker and first salty of the season in the city.

It’s quite the honor, said Fernandez, a day after his ship sailed into port, adding the warm weather made for a worry-free sailing. "We find it a little more mild than it usually is at this time of year,” Fernandez said. “I heard the winter was not so severe and the conditions were much better coming up.”

It’s feels great to get the shipping season on the Great Lakes underway, he said, the MV Federal Schelde behind him being loaded with a 21,000-tonne shipment of canola, bound for Rouen, France, at the G3 Elevator.

Harbormaster Guy Jarvis said unlike the first laker, which arrived in record time after berthing west of the Soo Locks, the first salty arrival was more or less average for the port.

“This is the traditional dates of opening up the salty traffic. It’s usually at the end of the first week or the second week of April and since the ice cover on all five of the Great Lakes was pretty light this year, we’re opening just on time.”

Despite a great March, Jarvis said it’s still too early to forecast how the rest of the year might go. “We’re always optimistic at this time of year. I guess a couple of weeks ago I was talking about icebreakers. Then you had a laker and now that we’ve got the first salty, I know we’re all in full swing now,” Jarvis said.

“We’ll see quite a few ships in the month of April and we’ll hope to build on that success throughout the year.”

Federal Schelde began its journey to Thunder Bay picking up 20,500 tonnes of steel bars in Romania, delivering it to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

TBNewsWatch

 

Desgagnes fleet updates continue

4/10 - The new Damia Desgagnes, an asphalt tanker propelled by dual-fuel engines allowing the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG), marine diesel oil (MDO) or heavy fuel oil (HFO), was handed over to Groupe Desgagnes on March 30 and should set sail from the Besiktas Shipyard in Yalova near Istanbul, Turkey, by April 10 for her delivery voyage to Canada. In addition, the newly-acquired general cargo vessel Sider Tis, built in 2013, will likely be renamed Acadia Desgagnes. Both are now in Desgagnes colors.

 

Christopher Winters named Detroit Marine Historian of the Year

4/10 - Christopher Winters, Great Lakes writer, historian and photographer, was named the Marine Historical Society of Detroit’s 2017 Historian of the Year Saturday evening at an event in Troy, Mich.

Winters is author of the book “Centennial,” which tells in story and photos the history of the vintage Great Lakes vessel St. Marys Challenger. He is co-author of ‘The Legend Lives On; S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald” (with Bruce Lynn), published recently by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society. He has several other books in various stages of production.

A lifelong student of Great Lakes maritime history, Winters is an avid SCUBA diver and lecturer on Great Lakes' shipwreck history. His maritime artwork and documentary photography has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the Great Lakes region. He and his wife Jess live near Milwaukee, Wis., where he works for Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin.

The award, presented most years since 1969, is voted on by past winners.

Mhsd.org

 

Port Reports -  April 10

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Paul R. Tregurtha arrived Duluth late Sunday afternoon to load coal at Midwest Energy. Indiana Harbor was inbound late evening to load ore at CN. In Superior, Michipicoten arrived during the afternoon to load at Burlington Northern. She was expected to depart late Sunday night. Edgar B. Speer was passing Two Harbors Sunday evening on her way to the BN dock.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
The steamer Alpena was in port Saturday afternoon loading cement for Green Bay under the silos at Lafarge. On Sunday morning the tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 arrived at Lafarge. They unloaded cargo throughout the day and departed during the evening. Samuel de Champlain and barge are expected in port early Monday morning.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Erie Trader (ex-Lakes Contender) and tug Clyde S. Van Enkevort (ex-Ken Boothe Sr.) were expected Sunday in the late afternoon. This is the pair's first trip to Stoneport since they were renamed earlier this season. Also due is the Cason J. Callaway on Monday in the early morning. The Michipicoten is due on Tuesday in the early evening. Two vessels round out the schedule for Wednesday, with the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann due in during the early morning followed in the evening by the Great Republic.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Cason J. Callaway arrived at Calcite on Saturday and was due to depart the North Dock on Sunday at 6 a.m. Also due was the H. Lee White on Sunday in the morning for the South Dock.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Capt Henry Jackman was loading salt Sunday. Algowood sneaked into North Harbor, probably to load salt. John D Leitch departed for Thunder Bay.

Sarnia, Ont. – Denny Dushane
Cuyahoga departed winter lay-up Saturday in the afternoon, becoming the fourth vessel to leave for the 2017 shipping season. Still in lay-up are the barge Ashtabula / tug Defiance, Saginaw, Ojibway and the tanker Algosea (waiting for repairs). Other fit-outs included Capt. Henry Jackman, departing on March 19, CSL Assiniboine on March 25 and Algoma Transport on April 2.

Toledo, Ohio– Denny Dushane
The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory arrived in Toledo at the Torco Dock on Saturday to unload iron ore pellets. They were still unloading on Sunday morning. Also due at Torco is the Kaye E. Barker on Tuesday in the morning followed by the Lee A. Tregurtha on Wednesday in the early evening and the Joseph H. Thompson on Thursday in the early morning. There is no activity scheduled at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. At the CSX Coal Dock the barge James L. Kuber is due early on Monday morning and will begin loading after a broken rail gets fixed. Also due at CSX to load is the Cason J. Callaway on Monday in the late afternoon and the Algowood at CSX on April 15 in the late afternoon. Mississagi was in port Sunday, upriver at one of the grain elevators.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Welland Canal transits for Sunday April 9. Upbound: Solina (Bhs), BBC Mont Blanc (Atg), Thunder Bay, Sea Eagle II and barge St. Marys Cement II, Algoma Guardian, and Tim S. Dool. Downbound: Tecumseh, Sarah Desgagnes, CSL Niagara, Lake Ontario (Atg), Wilf Seymour & barge Alouette Spirit, Algoma Transport and Manitoulin.

Hamilton, Ont. – Barry Andersen
The salties Brant (Cyp), Stella Polaris (Nld) and Erieborg were in port Sunday.

Clarkson, Ont.
Tanker Jana Desgagnes departed 0800 Sunday for the Seaway.

 

Updates -  April 10

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Adfines Sea, Adfines Star, Beatrix, Brant, Chestnut, Erieborg, Federal Champlain, Federal Schelde, Federal Seto, Hemgracht, Lake Ontario, Riga and Travestern.

News Photo Gallery  

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 10

10 April 1868 The ALPENA (wooden side-wheel passenger-package freight steamer, 653 tons, built in 1867, at Marine City, Michigan) was purchased by Capt. A. E. Goodrich from Gardner, Ward & Gardner for $80,000.

On 10 April 1861, UNION (wooden propeller, 170 foot, 465 tons) was launched and christened at the Bates yard in Manitowoc, Wisconsin for the Goodrich Line. She cost $19,000. The engines, machinery and many of the fittings were from the OGONTZ of 1858. This was the first steamer built by the Bates yard.

The tanker TEXACO CHIEF (Hull#193), was christened April 10, 1969. She was renamed b.) A G FARQUHARSON in 1986 and c.) ALGONOVA in 1998. She was sold Panamanian in 2007 and renamed PACIFICO TRADER.

The d.) GODERICH of 1908 was sold April 10, 1963, to the Algoma Central & Hudson Bay Railway Co. and renamed e.) AGAWA. Renamed f.) LIONEL PARSONS in 1968, and served as a storage barge at Goderich, Ontario until 1983, when she was scrapped at Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The keel was laid April 10, 1952, for the steamer WILLIAM CLAY FORD (Hull#300) of the Great Lakes Engineering Works.

The SINCLAIR GREAT LAKES (Hull#1577) of the Ingalls Iron Works, Decatur, Alabama, was christened on April 10, 1963.

On April 10, 1973, the ARTHUR B. HOMER departed the shipyard at Lorain, Ohio, with a new pilothouse. She had suffered extensive damage on October 5, 1972, in a head on collision with the saltie NAVISHIPPER on the Detroit River.

April 10, 1912 - ANN ARBOR NO 5 struck her stern against the channel in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, bending her rudder, and damaging her port shaft.

On 10 April 1875, the propeller EMMA E. THOMPSON was launched at East Saginaw, Michigan. She was built for Capt. D.F. Edwards of Toledo and cost $20,000. Her dimensions were 125 feet x 26 feet x 10 feet. In 1880, she was rebuilt as a schooner and then returned to a propeller in 1881, when she was given the engine from the propeller AKRON.

On 10 April 1882, ESPINDOLA (wooden schooner, 54 tons, built in 1869, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) was carrying railroad ties when she was overwhelmed by a storm and went to pieces one mile north of the Chicago waterfront. No lives were lost, but four crewmen were rescued by a tug after having been in the water for some time.

MANZZUTTI (steel crane ship, 246 foot, 1558 gross tons, built in 1903, at Buffalo, New York as a.) J S KEEFE) of the Yankcanuck Steamship Ltd., was the first vessel through the Canadian locks at the Soo for the 1954 navigation season. She entered the Canadian canal on 10 April about 8:15 a.m. The locking of the MANZZUTTI was not considered the official opening of the season at the Soo since she wintered in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and the first vessel must come up the St. Marys River from Lake Huron or Michigan. President Dave Bows of the Kiwanis Club, pointed out the club’s $1,000 marine contest is based on the first such vessel though the Michigan Sault locks only. The U.S. Coast Guard reported six-inch ice in the lower St. Marys River.

1905: The 400-foot steel-hulled bulk carrier GEORGE B. LEONARD arrived in Cleveland with ice damage and leaking bow seams.

1941: The first CEDARBRANCH ran aground at the mouth of the Etobicoke Creek, west of Toronto and had to be lightered to float free.

1949: The former J.H. PLUMMER, once part of Canada Steamship Lines, was reported wrecked, due to stranding in fog, while six miles southwest of Shaweishan on this date in 1949. The vessel was sailing as f) TUNG AN, and was en route from Tsingtao to Shanghai, with scrap steel.

1953: The Finnish freighter ANGELA came to the Great Lakes in 1952 and was wrecked on April 10, 1953, at Frisland, Isle of Coll, due to heavy weather. The vessel was travelling in ballast from Larne, Northern Ireland, to Goole, UK, and was a total loss.

1965: A collision in the Lake St. Peter section of the St. Lawrence involved the TRANSATLANTIC and HERMES. The former, a West German freighter, caught fire and capsized with the loss of three lives. The vessel was salvaged in August and eventually scrapped at Sorel. It had been coming to the Great Lakes for the Poseidon Line since 1961. The latter, a Dutch carrier, never came through the Seaway and was scrapped at Calcutta, India, as NIKI R. in 1985-1986.

1977: HILDA MARJANNE ran aground on a sandbar at Sarnia after leaving the Government Dock with a cargo of corn. It was released the next day with the help of the tug DARYL C. HANNAH.

1989: The canal-sized bulk carrier IROQUOIS, b) TROISDOC (ii), was built in 1955 but left the Seaway as c) KOBA in 1983. That vessel foundered in the Gulf of Mexico, near Isla de Lobos, on this date in 1989 while en route from Tampico to Progresso, Mexico.

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

 

Port Reports -  April 9

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Oakglen departed Duluth Saturday morning after loading iron ore pellets at CN. The Madeline Island carferry Bayfield remains at Fraser Shipyards.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted are expected to arrive Wednesday in the early morning to load. They will be the first to arrive for the 2017 season. Also due is the Joseph L. Block on April 15 in the early morning. Wilfred Sykes is due April 21 in the mid-afternoon.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes is expected Tuesday during the late morning. It will be the first vessel arrival for the 2017 shipping season. Also due at Cedarville is the Joseph L. Block, arriving on April 15 in the early evening. The Sykes is due back again on April 18 in the early morning.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann were expected to arrive during the late afternoon on Saturday. Also due Saturday was the barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort in the late evening to load. There are no vessels scheduled for Sunday. Due in for Monday is the Cason J. Callaway in the early morning. Expected Tuesday is the Michipicoten in the early evening. Rounding out the schedule are two arrivals on Wednesday, with the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann due in the early morning hours followed by the Great Republic in the evening.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Cason J. Callaway arrived at Calcite to become the first ship to load there for the 2017 season early on Saturday morning. It was expected to depart from the North Dock at midnight on Saturday evening. Also due at Calcite is the H. Lee White on Sunday in the morning for the South Dock. There are no vessels scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. Three vessels are due Wednesday, with two of them early morning arrivals. John J. Boland and Philip R. Clarke are due for the South Dock respectively and the America Mariner is also due in on Wednesday in the early afternoon for the North Dock.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
John D. Leitch was loading salt Saturday with an unknown destination. Capt. Henry Jackman pulled around to North Harbor. Radcliffe R. Latimer was at the grain elevators (not at the salt dock as reported Friday).

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory were expected to arrive at the Torco Dock on Saturday in the evening to unload an iron ore pellets. Also due at Torco is the Kaye E. Barker on Tuesday morning, along with the Lee A. Tregurtha on Wednesday in the late afternoon. There is no activity scheduled at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Due at the CSX Coal Dock to load iares the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory on Monday at 4 a.m., but will not begin to load until 7 a.m. Also due at CSX to load is the Cason J. Callaway on Monday in the late afternoon, and the Algowood on April 15 in the late afternoon. The H. Lee White became the seventh vessel to depart from winter lay-up. They left on Saturday in the morning. This leaves only the tug Olive L. Moore and the recently renamed barge Menominee (ex-Lewis J. Kuber) as the only vessels that will be sailing in the 2017 season.

Welland Canal and Area– Barry Andersen
Welland Canal transits for Saturday: Upbound: Petite Forte & barge St. Marys Cement departed wharf 16, CSL Laurentien, Federal Columbia (Mhl), Florence Spirit, Solina (Bhs) - ETA 2330. Downbound: research vessel Lake Guardian, Tecumseh, Sarah Desgagnes - ETA 2100, Oshawa: Federal Champlain departed at 1405 for Hamilton, Redhead (Hkg) arrived 1436

Hamilton: Federal Champlain arrived 2010, Stella Polaris (Nld) - ETA 2345
Clarkson: Jana Desgagnes
Toronto: English River arrived 0544, light tug Salvage Monarch arrived 0921

Welland Canal transits for Friday: high winds and snow squalls early in the day delayed some vessels. Upbound: Mississagi - stopped at wharf 20 (Port Colborne Grain Terminal) at 0121, Petite Forte & barge St. Marys Cement at w-16, Algoma Harvester, Riga (Nld), Algowood, CSL Assiniboine. Downbound: Sea Eagle II & barge St. Marys Cement II, Evans McKeil & barge Niagara Spirit moved to wharf 2 from wharf 1, Spruceglen, CSL Laurentien, Leo A. McArthur & barge John J. Carrick.

Hamilton: Erieborg (Nld) arrived at 1045 from Norway

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 9

09 April 1890 - W.H. SAWYER (wooden propeller freighter, 201 foot, 746 gross tons) was launched by F. W. Wheeler (Hull #66) at West Bay City, Michigan. She lasted until 1928, when she sank off Harbor Beach, Michigan.

On 09 April 1868, SEABIRD (wooden side-wheel steamer, 638 tons, built in 1859, at Newport (Marine City), Michigan, was sailing on her first trip of the season from Manitowoc to Chicago. At 6 a.m. off Waukegan, Illinois, the porter cleaned out the ashes in the cabin stove and threw the hot coals overboard into the wind. The coals were blown back aboard and a blaze quickly engulfed the vessel. Only two survived. They were picked up by the schooner CORNELIA. 102 were lost. The vessel was uninsured and this was a severe financial blow to the new Goodrich Transportation Company.

On April 9, 1960, Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.'s a.) MURRAY BAY (Hull#164), of Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., entered service as the first Canadian 730-footer. Renamed b.) COMEAUDOC in 1963, she was scrapped at Port Colborne in 2003.

LAWRENDOC (Hull#174) was christened jointly with her Collingwood-built sister ship MONDOC (Hull#173) on April 9, 1962.

The Wilson Marine Transit Co., Cleveland purchased the b.) FINLAND, a.) HARRY COULBY (Hull#163) of the Detroit Ship Building Co., on April 9, 1957, and resold her the same day to the Republic Steel Corp., Cleveland with Wilson Marine acting as manager. Renamed c.) PETER ROBERTSON in 1969 and d.) MARINSAL in 1975.

On April 9, 1930, the CITY OF FLINT 32 entered service under the command of Estan Bayle.

On 9 April 1871, the wooden "rabbit" BAY CITY (152 foot, 372 gross tons, built in 1867, at Marine City, Michigan) had just loaded 270,000 feet of lumber in Bay City for Tonawanda, New York, when a fire broke out ashore. The ship was set adrift at 11 a.m. to get away from the lumberyard blaze. However, as the crew watched the shore fire, sparks smoldered in the ship's cargo. At 2 p.m., she burst into flame. Four tugs and a steam-powered fire engine brought alongside on a lighter fought the blaze to no avail. The vessel was scuttled to put out the fire. A few days later she was raised and repaired at a cost of $4,000.

On 9 April 1885, the laid-up vessels BURLINGTON and CHURCH were hit by the barge ALLEN and forced into the Military Street bridge at Port Huron, Michigan, crashing into the structure and completely blocking the Black River and disabling the bridge. The blame was placed on the spring thaw.

1913: Ice sliced through the wooden hull of the steamer UGANDA in the Straits of Mackinac and the vessel sank near White Shoal. The crew was rescued by the JOHN A. DONALDSON, and there was no loss of life.

1962: On November 28, 1961, fire had broken out aboard the IQUITOS off the coast of Mexico while the ship was en route from Callao, Peru, to Manzanillo, Mexico, with a cargo of fishmeal. The vessel had been a pre-Seaway trader as RUTENFJELL beginning in 1936 and as POLYRIVER beginning in 1951. The blazing freighter was abandoned by the crew. The ship did not sink and drifted for weeks before being spotted February 2, 1962. The hull was considered a hazard to navigation and was sunk on this date, southeast of the Christmas Islands by a U.S. destroyer, in 1962.

1968: MENIHEK LAKE was in a minor collision with the anchored PETITE HERMINE in the Lake St. Francis section of the St. Lawrence, and the latter's anchor chain damaged the propeller of MENIHEK LAKE.

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

 

John B. Aird prepared for scrap tow; Lewis J. Kuber renamed

4/8 - Algoma Central Corp’s John B. Aird’s name has been shortened to John B. and her stack has been painted all black at Montreal in preparation for an overseas scrap tow. She arrived there under her own power this Wednesday.

At Toledo Friday a workman was removing the name on Grand River Navigation’s Lewis J. Kuber. Her new name will be Menominee. The barge is the former powered vessel Buckeye (1990 – 2006) and Sparrows Point (1952 – 1990). She was converted to a barge at Erie, Pa., in early 2006. Expectations are that fleetmate barge James L. Kuber (Reserve 1953 – 2008) may also get a new name.

René Beauchamp, Jim Hoffman

 

New vessel for Desgagnés; Quebec ferry to be scrapped at Port Colborne

4/8 - Groupe Desgagnés has a new cargo vessel, Taiga Desgagnés. She is the former BBC Amazon, which first transited the Seaway in 2009. It is currently listed as bareboat chartered Out of Canada on the Transport Canada web site.

The former Quebec ferry Camille Marcoux is expected to be towed soon from Quebec City to International Marine Salvage in Port Colborne to be scrapped.

René Beauchamp, Isaac Pennock

 

Port Reports -  April 8

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
American Spirit and Oakglen were in port Friday loading iron ore pellets at CN. American Spirit departed during the morning, while Oakglen was topping off during the late evening. In Superior, Burns Harbor loaded ore at Burlington Northern and departed Friday afternoon.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Federal Schelde was loading grain on Friday.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Daniel Lindner
Wilfred Sykes departed from her winter berth on Friday and headed for Escanaba to load her first cargo of the season. Tug/barge combo G.L. Ostrander/Integrity remain in port, as do the remaining few vessels of the winter layup fleet.

Goderich, Ont.
Radcliffe R. Latimer was loading salt Friday at Sifto.

Detroit, Mich.
Hon. James L. Oberstar was unloading in the Rouge River Friday evening.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Manitoulin was unloading potash at Anderson's K Elevator on Friday. She is more than a week away from Toledo, but it appears the Federal Barents may be the first salt water ship of the season for Toledo. She is one of the new Fednav vessels and this will be her first trip to Toledo. H. Lee White is expected to depart layup from the Ironville dock soon.

 

Should we privatize the Soo Locks?

4/8 - Advocates for a new Soo Lock have been trying to get Congress to fund the estimated $600 million project for decades. Congress first authorized the construction of the lock in the 1980s but has not come up with the money to pay for it.

With President Trump in office, there is renewed optimism among some that now could finally be the time to build it. But Jarrett Dieterle, a fellow at the R Street Institute in Washington, D.C., says it should not be taxpayers footing the bill. He says either privatizing the lock or allowing the Army Corps of Engineers to charge user fees would make more sense.

Dieterle co-wrote a piece advocating what he calls alternative financing models in the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s Michigan Capitol Confidential in 2016.

“What we suggested was either a privatization model or a user-fee model that would be run by the government,” Dieterle says, “that would essentially unlock immediate funding for the lock and would allow the lock to get funds that weren’t federal to do its repairs and maintenance.”

Listen to the interview at this link: http://interlochenpublicradio.org/post/we-ve-got-issues-should-we-privatize-soo-locks#stream/0

 

Woodland art-inspired decals will enwrap Chi-Cheemaun’s bow

4/8 - Owen Sound, Ont. – The Owen Sound harbor is about to become much more colorful over the coming weeks as the Chi-Cheemaun’s bow is wrapped in bold, bright colors and images influenced by the iconic Woodland style of art.

The current work is Phase 2 of Chi-Cheemaun’s exterior “re-branding,” begun in spring 2015 with Phase 1, when the ship’s sides were dressed with the ‘Travel In Good Spirits’ logo, and ship’s funnel wrapped in images of the turtle, moose and bear. Phase 1 work earned a National Billboard award for Have1.com of Owen Sound.

Have1.com has produced the vinyl decal sheets for Phase 2, and will again lead the installation. Decal designs were developed by Cleansheet Communications, the Toronto based creative marketing agency behind the Chi-Cheemaun’s ‘Travel In Good Spirits’ award winning marketing brand campaign

Chi-Cheemaun’s interior work is nearing completion with both the forward lounge (Fathom Five Lounge) and Tourism Information Centre having been renovated over the winter and transformed into spaces to better support live concerts, on-board events and displays.

The Owen Sound Transportation Company will host a free come-and-go Open House on the Chi-Cheemaun from 1 pm to 3 pm on Tuesday, May 2 for members of the public to tour the vessel and view the recent updates. Chi-Cheemaun will depart on her annual Spring Cruise from Owen Sound to Tobermory on Thursday, May 4, and begin the 2017 sailing season on Friday, May 5 with the 8:50 a.m. departure from Tobermory to Manitoulin Island.

2017 will be a busy year, as Chi-Cheemaun hosts highly popular concert and dinner cruises, Parks Canada interpreters on summer sailings, and traditional storytelling with Falcon Migwans. The Stargazing Tour will again be offered throughout the month August, and special musical programming in partnership with the Georgian Bay Folk Society, funded by Ontario 150, will be available with regular ferry fares every Sunday in July. Visit www.ontarioferries.com for news and events listings.

Manitoulin Expositor

 

Brig Niagara crew prepares for expanded public sail season

4/8 - Erie, Pa. – The U.S. Brig Niagara's 18 professional crewmembers reported for duty last week to prepare for the start of the Great Lakes summer sailing season and public and school-day sail schedule.

"We'll spend the next month putting the rig back together — that's the name of the game,” Niagara Capt. Billy Sabatini said. "We have to rig the ship, and we have a lot more rigging to do than we do most years because we have the lower mast and the bow sprit out. That was to effect all the repairs we had to do.'" Three extra shipwrights worked on Niagara projects this past winter.

Shipwrights replaced a 25-foot section of waterway timber on the starboard quarter; replaced an 8-foot section of deck on the bow; replaced the starboard forward channel; replaced two pin rails, and brought down the foremast and did a major repair to its fighting top platform.

Sixteen of the Niagara's 18 professional crewmembers have returned, Sabatini said.

Niagara shakedown and training sails are scheduled for April 29-30 and May 1-2 in Presque Isle Bay and on Lake Erie. Those sails will allow crew, composed of professionals and trainee personnel, to determine if the ship's engines are running properly, its sails are working and all of its lines are led in the proper places.

At the end of the 2016 sailing season in October, the Niagara sailed to Cleveland's Great Lakes Towing Co., where the vessel underwent nearly three weeks of maintenance.

Part of the dry dock maintenance involved a "destructive survey,” in which six good planks — three on each side of the vessel — were removed so Sabatini and Niagara crew could look behind the planks, evaluate the ship's internal structure and look for where rot could potentially develop.

"What we found is that the underwater portion of our ship is in excellent condition,” Sabatini said. "Really, it looks brand-new, and that has a lot to do with the construction of materials. Using laminated pine that's pressure-treated really made a big difference. We're very, very happy about that.”

As a sail-training vessel under U.S. Coast Guard inspection, the Niagara is required to be inspected out of the water twice in a five-year period, with no inspection interval exceeding three years. Before its October dry docking in Cleveland, the Niagara's last such inspection was in the fall of 2013.

Funds generated from the Flagship Niagara League's September 2016 Tall Ships Erie Festival paid for the Cleveland maintenance inspection, which cost less than $100,000, Sabatini said.

Former Gov. Tom Corbett announced in May 2014 the Niagara would receive a $4.8 million, state-funded overhaul that would make the vessel seaworthy for another 25 years.

Sabatini said work on that planned refit of the Niagara, which would include a complete rebuild of the hull, likely won't start until fall 2019 at the earliest. "The plan for the refit was always going to be from the water line up, and that's where we want to replace everything,” said Sabatini, who begins his fourth season as the Niagara's captain. "Between now and then, we just keep dealing with all the rot as it comes.”

The Niagara will offer 24 public-day sails and 11 school-day sails this season. Because of a 2016 sailing season laden with Tall Ships appearances throughout the Great Lakes ports, the Niagara was able to offer only 12 public-day sails and four school-day sails in 2016.

"Traditionally, in Tall Ships festival years, we have less time in town, so we try and make it up to the community in non-Tall Ships years, so that is why our numbers are doubled this season,” Flagship Niagara League Executive Director Shawn Waskiewicz said.

The Flagship Niagara League will offer its community Discovery Day on May 6, when admission to the Erie Maritime Museum and tours aboard the Niagara are free from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Children's activities and crafts are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sabatini and a veteran crew took the Niagara on seven sail-training voyages on four of the five Great Lakes this past summer, most of which coincided with the vessel's several Tall Ships festival visits.

The Niagara sailed more than 5,000 miles in 2016. Port visits included Chicago; Duluth, Minnesota; Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Bay City, Mich.

This season's sailing schedule includes visits to Put-in-Bay, Ohio, June 16-18; Bath, Ontario, July 6-9; Sorel Tracy, Quebec, July 14-16; Quebec City, Quebec, July 18-23; Rochester, New York, July 28-31; Port Colborne, Ontario, Aug. 4-6; Put-in-Bay, Ohio, Aug. 16-17, and Cleveland, Aug. 19-20.

"We are doing something big this year. We are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada,” Sabatini said. "That's a pretty big deal. That's why we're visiting mostly Canadian ports. Quebec City is going to be a massive festival. They're talking about bringing 40 tall ships in, which will be the largest festival I've ever been to.”

The Quebec City event is an international Tall Ships festival.

"Our Erie festival has nine or 10 ships, and the Chicago Tall Ships festival has about 15 ships, but Quebec City is expecting 40 tall ships, and the Niagara is probably going to be one of the smaller ships there,” Waskiewicz said.

Erie Times-News

 

Updates -  April 8

News Photo Gallery  

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 8

08 April 1871, NAVARINO (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 184 foot, 761 tons, built in 1871, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) entered service for the Goodrich Transportation Company. She only lasted until 09 October 1871, since she burned in the Great Chicago Fire.

BAY CITY (wooden propeller stem barge, 152 foot, 262 gross tons, built in 1867, at Newport [Marine City], Michigan) had just been rebuilt at Bay City and then refitted at Fitzgerald & Leighton’s yard in Port Huron, Michigan. On 08 April 1871, (some sources give the date as 10 April 1871), on her first trip out from the shipyard, she caught fire and burned to the water line. She was rebuilt again and lasted until 1891, when she burned again.

The sea trials for AMERICAN REPUBLIC were conducted in Green Bay on April 8 thru 10, May 4 thru 11 and 18, 1981.

Interlake Steamship Co.’s steamer J. A. CAMPBELL of 1913, was the first bulk carrier to load taconite pellets that were shipped from Reserve Mining’s Davis Works at Silver Bay, Minn., on April 8, 1956.

In 1957, Great Lakes Steamship stockholders voted to sell the entire 16-ship fleet to four fleets.

In 1977 at Toledo, G.A. TOMLINSON required an estimated $235,000 to outfit her machinery for the upcoming season.

On April 8, 1905, Pittsburgh Steamship Co.’s steamer a.) ELBERT H. GARY (Hull#66) was launched by the Chicago Ship Building Co. Renamed b.) R.E. WEBSTER in 1963, she was scrapped in 1973 at Santander, Spain.

In 1969, LEON FALK JR. entered Duluth harbor to become the first vessel to arrive from the lower lake region opening the 1969, shipping season at the head of the lakes. She loaded almost 20,700 tons of iron ore bound for Great Lakes Steel’s Zug Island in Detroit.

April 8, 1998 - An unidentified worker was injured in a fall aboard the CITY OF MIDLAND 41, while it was being converted to a barge in Muskegon.

April 8, 1871, was a bad day on the St. Clair River. The schooner A MOSHER had favorable winds, so the captain decided to save the cost of a tow and sail up the St. Clair River without assistance from a tug. In the strong current at Port Huron, the vessel hit some old dock timbers, went out of control and collided with the down bound 3-masted schooner H.C. POST. The POST's main and fore masts were carried away in the collision. After some vehement arguing, the MOSHER sailed on while the POST anchored in mid-river while her skipper went ashore. The schooner JESSE ANDERSON then sailed out of the Black River and rammed right into the side of the POST. This finished the wrecking of the POST's aft mast. The ANDERSON went out of control and went aground on the riverbank. The tug GEORGE H. PARKER tried to assist the ANDERSON, but she also got stuck on the mud bank. It was several hours before everything got cleaned up and river traffic was back to normal.

The steam ferry JULIA, owned by C. Mc Elroy of St. Clair, Michigan, started running between St. Clair and Courtright, Ontario on 8 April 1878. She was formerly named U S SURVEYOR. Before JULIA took over this service, the ferries R.F. CHILDS and MARY MILLS served in this capacity.

The steamer f.) MANCOX (steel propeller crane freighter, 255 foot, 1,614 gross tons, built in 1903, at Superior, Wisconsin, as a.) H.G. DALTON) of Yankcanuck Steamship Lines was first through the Soo Locks for the 1958, season at 7:05 a.m. on 8 April 1958. In locking through the Canadian lock, the MANCOX became the first ship to come through the new lock gates, which were installed during the winter months. The American Soo Locks had been ready for traffic since March 26, but the Canadian lock had the first ship.

1941: The newly-built PRINS WILLEM II first came to the Great Lakes in May 1939. There was a mutiny on board at Sandusky, Ohio, in June 1940, as the crew did not want to return to their now-occupied homeland. The ship was torpedoed off Cape Farewell, Greenland, on April 8, 1941, while travelling from Halifax to London. An estimated 10-12 members of the crew perished.

1942: The first NOVADOC was sailing as g) ARA when it hit a mine and sank off Borkum, Germany, while en route from Gothenburg, Sweden, to Rotterdam, Holland in 1942. The ship had been built as CANADIAN PATHFINDER and was listed as Hull 69 of the Collingwood shipyard. It had also sailed the Great Lakes as b) NORMAN M. PATERSON and c) NOVADOC (i) before being sold to British interests in 1927.

1982: The Canadian-owned QUEBEC came through the Seaway in 1969. It had been built in 1959 as ALICE BOWATER but never came inland under that name. It was sailing as d) BLUE SEA when there was an engine room explosion and fire on April 8, 1982, in the Mediterranean near the Kerkennah Islands in the Gulf of Gabes off Tunisia. The gutted hull was towed to Sfax, Tunisia, on April 12. It was sold for scrap and arrived at Bizerta, Tunisia, for dismantling on July 7, 1984.

2001: The CHERYL C., the fifth name for the ship, was carrying a cargo of steel when it sank on April 8, 2001. The vessel ran aground near Peniche, Portugal, north of Lisbon, due to a navigational error. The 1597 gross ton ship had been built in 1983 and came through the Seaway, under Barbados registry, for the first time on April 22, 1998, with clay for Ashtabula. It made its last inland voyage in November 1999.

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

 

U.S. Army Corps optimistic about a new Soo Lock

4/7 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are optimistic that federal funding will eventually make it to Sault Ste. Marie for the construction of a new lock.

Kevin Sprague, the Sault Area Engineer for the Corps, told attendees at a Tuesday morning construction summit that efforts to secure the funding “have a tremendous amount of support right now.” The summit, held in Lake Superior State University’s Cisler Center, was sponsored by the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation.

Sprague said an economic reevaluation report on building the new lock is underway and should be completed by December. He added that the move was necessary since several factors have changed since an earlier evaluation was done several years ago showing a relatively low benefit-to-cost ratio.

“Theoretically, we could start getting money really quickly,” Sprague said. He later estimated that the new lock would cost around $600 million.

Meanwhile Joanne Gray, chief of construction and technical support for the Corps’ Sault office, discussed what building a new lock could mean for contractors. She said although an out-of-town company could ultimately be hired to lead the project, local firms would be in line for multiple sub-contractor roles.

Plus, Gray said, out-of-town workers could mean a boon for transient housing and local merchants. Gray noted that, even if the federal funding is secured, it would take at least 10 years before the new lock could start operating. That means the current locks, the MacArthur and Poe, must be maintained to keep critical Great Lakes shipping lanes open.

She ran down a list of projects which might be necessary in the coming years, including an anchor gate replacement and new fill/empty valve on the MacArthur Lock, and a gate replacement on the Poe Lock.

In addition, pier rehabilitation, steam plant modernization, and backup generator replacement could be in the works.

Gray also outlined some of the repairs which have already been completed in recent years, like an anchor gate replacement on the Poe Lock and a new electrical system on the MacArthur Lock.

Proponents of a new Soo Lock insist it is necessary because the current ones are growing old and outdated. The MacArthur was built in 1943, and the Poe followed it 1968.

Soo Evening News

 

Port Reports -  April 7

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The latest schedule has Cason J. Callaway due Friday morning for the North Dock. It will be the first vessel arrival to load at Calcite for the 2017 season. Also due is the American Mariner on Saturday in the morning for the North Dock. All times are subject to change due to weather.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The revised schedule shows no vessels for Friday. Three vessels are expected on Saturday, the first being the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the early morning. The barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort are also due on Saturday in the morning. Cason J. Callaway is due on Saturday in the late evening. There are no vessels scheduled to load from Sunday to Tuesday. All times are subject to change due to weather.

Goderich, Ont.
Robert S. Pierson departed downbound on Thursday with salt.

Detroit, Mich.
The saltwater vessel Chestnut continued unloading sugar Thursday at the former McClouth Steel dock in Trenton, Mich.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
The revised schedule for the Toledo Docks has listed the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory arriving at the Torco Dock with a cargo of iron ore pellets on Saturday in the early evening. They were at anchor Thursday due to weather. Also due at Torco is the Kaye E. Barker on Sunday in the early evening. There is nothing due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. For the CSX Coal Dock, John J. Boland is due there to load on Friday at 4 a.m. and will start loading at 7 a.m. Also due at CSX are the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory, scheduled on Sunday in the early morning. Great Republic departed from its winter lay-up dock on Thursday morning, becoming the sixth vessel to depart for the 2017 shipping season. A recap of the vessel fit-outs so far from Toledo includes the Edgar B. Speer on March 22, American Mariner on March 25 and Buffalo on March 29 (not March 25 as was reported recently). The American Integrity sailed on March 31, John J. Boland on April 5. Just two vessels remain in lay-up in Toledo that are expected to sail in 2017. The U.S. Coast Guard Bristol Bay was in port on Thursday.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for April 6 (weather delays for wind): Upbound: John D. Leitch, Algoscotia (anchored at Port Weller for weather), Dara Desgagnes, Mississagi. Downbound: Sea Eagle II & barge St. Marys Cement II -w-2, Jana Desgagnes departed Port Weller anchorage for Hamilton, Algowood, CSL Laurentien w-16, Algolake, Evans McKeil & barge Niagara Spirit w-1, Spruceglen.

Hamilton – Barry Andersen
Arrivals Thursday: Jana Desgagnes from Port Weller anchorage, Brant (Cyp) from Toronto, Travestern (Mhl) from the Seaway and Algowood from the Welland Canal.

 

Iroquios Dam closed until further notice

4/7 - Cornwall, Ont. – Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is advising users of the St. Lawrence River that the gates at Iroquois Dam was closed Thursday and it will remain closed until further notice. Boaters are advised that they will need to use the Iroquois Lock for passage.

The gates at Iroquois Dam are being lowered to control increasing water levels on Lake St. Lawrence upstream of Cornwall. This notification is in accordance with the operating regulations of the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control.

OPG Handout

 

Tugs cover 3,000 miles battling waves, seasickness to reach Muskegon

4/7 - Muskegon, Mich. – Two tugboats recently took up residence at Mart Dock in Muskegon. Their arrival marked the end of a blustery cold 21-day, 3,000-mile journey from Staten Island, N.Y.

Up to 20-foot-tall Atlantic Ocean waves, an ongoing battle with seasickness and a snapped towing cable while traversing Lake Michigan helped create a memorable, yet sometimes scary, trip. The long-awaited arrival was finally celebrated by the crew with whiskey at Mart Dock.

The additions of the twin Katie G. McAllister (1966) and Colleen McAllister (1968) tugs brings Port City Marine Services' fleet total to four, said Capt. Ed Hogan, vice president of the company, who led the journey from New York.

Read more and see photos at this link: http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2017/04/two_tug_boats_arrived_in_muske.html

 

Canadian boaters and paddlers urged to get NEXUS card

4/7 - Windsor, Ont. – Boaters planning to float down the Detroit River are being warned to notify officials if they cross the invisible border before coming back to Canada. The caution comes courtesy of a new interpretation of the "in transit exemption," according to former commodore of the Windsor Power and Sail Squadron, Alan Johnson.

"Call in more frequently than you probably think you probably should, and make sure you have all your identification with you and a phone or radio with you so you can call in," said Johnson, adding his advice applies to everyone on the water, from boats to paddle boards.

"When you cross the ... dotted line, you are supposed to call back in upon entering Canada," he explained.

Word of the change comes after a recent meeting between Windsor boaters, RCMP and officials from both sides of the border where Windsor residents expressed confusion over the rules. In a statement sent to CBC, the CBSA said failure to report returning to Canada could lead to detention, seizure of a boat or a hefty fine.

"The minimum fine for failing to report to the CBSA upon entry to Canada is $1,000," the statement said.

Johnson said Canada's regulations are actually more strict than those of the Americans, who only expect boaters to check in if they drop anchor in the U.S. or come ashore.

"I believe the law was always there," he said, adding he believes more people have been caught by the coast guard for not checking in. "It's just it's kind of being more enforced and interpreted to the letter of the law right now."

CBC

 

National Museum of the Great Lakes makes donation to BGSU University Libraries

4/7 - Toledo, Ohio – The University Libraries at Bowling Green State University has greatly expanded its collection of Great Lakes research materials thanks to a significant donation from the National Museum of the Great Lakes, which is owned and operated by the Great Lakes Historical Society.

More than 160 cubic feet of photos, pamphlets, slides, bound materials, postcards and archival materials have found a new home in the Libraries' Historical Collections of the Great Lakes (HCGL), housed within the Center for Archival Collection.

"We are grateful to the National Museum of the Great Lakes for entrusting us with their extensive collection, and we are excited that the consolidation of their materials with our existing Great Lakes archives has now created the largest collection of its kind on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes," said Mary Ellen Mazey, Ph.D., president of Bowling Green State University.

These additional materials bolster the already robust offering of Great Lakes-related research and artifacts curated by the University Libraries at BGSU.

"The Great Lakes materials recently donated to HCGL is a wonderful addition to our holdings and provides many opportunities for collaboration between BGSU, the National Museum of the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes Historical Society," said University Libraries Dean Sara A. Bushong.

The addition of these materials to BGSU also will make University Libraries a major research destination in the U.S. for Great Lakes history.

"The added scope and depth of the HCGL collection expands research opportunities for BGSU students and faculty, National Museum of the Great Lakes staff and patrons, as well as researchers from beyond campus," said retired HCGL archivist Bob Graham, who played an instrumental role in bringing the collection to BGSU. "Both organizations view this donation as the first step in an evolving partnership involving students, faculty and museum staff."

Potential areas of collaboration include internships, lectures series, exhibits, new courses and digital galleries.

"The merging of these incredible archival collections is just the beginning of a long, synergistic journey between our two organizations that will both preserve Great Lakes history, but more importantly, elevate the perception of Great Lakes history in our national culture," said Christopher Gillcrist, National Museum of the Great Lakes Executive Director. "This collaboration will help ensure the understanding of the role Great Lake history has played in our national story."

"The archival collection that we donated to BGSU represents over 70 years of library-based materials donated to and acquired by our organization," said Anna Kolin, development director for the National Museum of the Great Lakes. "By merging it with a large university, it increases its access to those looking to do research on Great Lakes topics, which is why, in part, BGSU was chosen."

Bowling Green State University

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 7

On April 7, 1997, LEE A. TREGURTHA suffered an 18-foot hull fracture in her port bow near the bowthruster tunnel while downbound in the upper St. Marys River due to heavy ice. She proceeded to the De Tour Coal Dock, where repairs were made overnight and she continued on her trip on April 8, 1997.

On 07 April 1906, the Goodrich Transportation Company, which was incorporated under the laws of the State of Wisconsin in 1868, was dissolved and a new company, the Goodrich Transit Company, was incorporated under the laws of the state of Maine. This was just for financial reasons, and other than the name and the port of registry of the vessels, everything else remained the same. The vessels in the company at the time were CHICAGO, CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, CITY OF RACINE, GEORGIA, INDIANA, IOWA, SHEBOYGAN, VIRGINIA, and tug ARCTIC.

Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd.'s new CANADIAN TRANSPORT was christened April 7, 1979.

The tanker ROBERT W. STEWART, b.) AMOCO MICHIGAN was delivered to Standard Oil Co. on April 7, 1928, as the second largest tanker in service at the time of her launch.

JAMES LAUGHLIN (Hull#16) of the Great Lakes Engineering Works was launched April 7, 1906, for the Interstate Steamship Co., Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. Later renamed b.) HELEN EVANS, she was scrapped at Cartagena, Columbia, in 1983.

The EMORY L. FORD was sold on April 7, 1965, to the Reiss Steamship Co., and renamed b) RAYMOND H. REISS, the last vessel purchased by Reiss.

TEXACO BRAVE of 1929 arrived at Ramey's Bend from Toronto on April 7, 1975, in tow of tugs G. W. ROGERS and BAGOTVILLE for scrapping.

In 1974, the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.'s steamer THOMAS W. LAMONT loaded the initial shipment of ore for the season at the D.M. & I.R. ore docks in Duluth.

On 7 April 1871, the tug S.V.R. WATSON was towing the schooner S.G. SIMMONS out of Chicago harbor at noon when the WATSON stalled. The schooner plowed into her broadside, causing the tug to tip on her beam ends, take on water and sink. Four men were trapped below decks and drowned; two survived. The WATSON was later raised and returned to service.

On 7 April 1873, the contract for the building of a new carferry, MICHIGAN, for the Great Western Railway was awarded to the Jenkins Brothers of Windsor, Ontario. The new vessel was planned for service on the Detroit River. Her engines were built at Montreal by Canada Engine Works for a cost of $100,000. The hull alone cost $600,000.

Although the locks are not scheduled to open until Thursday, 12 April 1962, the Canadian Sault harbor was officially opened Saturday, 7 April 1962, when the tanker IMPERIAL LONDON pulled into the Imperial dock between the two hospitals. Captain Russell Knight accepted the traditional silk top hat. The IMPERIAL LONDON, carrying almost 1,000,000 gallons of gasoline, led the IMPERIAL SIMCOE, loaded with 19,000 barrels of fuel oil for household heating, up the St. Marys River to the Sault.

1941: The PORTADOC had been requisitioned by the British Ministry of War Transport and was en route from Saint John, NB, to Sierra Leone with a cargo of coal when it was torpedoed by U-124 off the coast of Africa. The crew spent six days on the open sea before landing at French Guinea. They were taken prisoner by the Vichy French forces and the Chief Engineer died before there was a prisoner of war exchange. The vessel, part of the Paterson fleet, had also sailed on the Great Lakes as a) EUGENE C. ROBERTS and b) JAMES B. FOOTE.

1968: CAPTAIN LEONIDIS ran aground in the Messier Channel, Chile, while travelling from Santos, Brazil, to Valparaiso, Chile. The vessel stranded April 7, 1968, and became a total loss. It had first come to the Great Lakes as the Norwegian freighter d) FANA in 1964 and returned as e) CAPTAIN LEONIDIS in 1966. The hull remains aground and appears to have been used by the Chilean Navy for target practice.

1979: GEHEIMRAT SARTORI dated from 1951 and had been a pre-Seaway caller to the Great Lakes. It returned through the new waterway for three trips in 1959 and was sailing as c) SEA ROVER when it was lost on this date in 1979. The cargo shifted in heavy weather on the Mediterranean while the ship was en route from Civitavecchia, Italy, to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It sank about eight miles off Punta Cornacchia.

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

 

John B. Aird arrives at Montreal; scrap sale is next

4/6 - Montreal, Que. – After unloading salt at Ogdensburg and Prescott, John B. Aird docked in Montreal Wednesday at Section 37. Although no official announcement has been made by owner Algoma Central Corp., crewmembers have said on social media the vessel will be sold for scrap.

The Aird was constructed as a joint effort between two shipyards. The 610’ stern section was built as hull #224 at Collingwood Shipyards, Collingwood, Ont. The keel was laid for this section on April 29, 1982 and launched in a formal ceremony on October 21, 1982. On board for the launching was the vessel’s namesake Mr. John Black Aird, Lieutenant Governor of the province of Ontario at that time.

The stern section cleared Collingwood under tow of tugs Wilfred M. Cohen and John McLean on April 15, 1983 bound for Port Arthur Shipyards, Thunder Bay, Ont., to be mated up with her 120’ bow section. The new vessel was christened John B. Aird in a quiet ceremony on June 3, 1983 at Thunder Bay for Algoma Central Railway, Marine Division, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

 

High winds, waves forecast; USCG urges people to avoid Lake Michigan shoreline

4/6 - Chicago, Ill. – The U.S. Coast Guard, in advance of predicted high winds and heavy surf during the next two days, is advising the public to exercise caution, heed heavy surf warnings, and avoid the shorelines of Lake Michigan.

People are urged to remain vigilant and stay away from beaches and off of rocks, jetties and piers as high winds out of the north-northeast are expected to create high waves and heavy, dangerous surf conditions. Large waves crashing onto and near these areas can quickly and unexpectedly sweep a person into the cold water, away from shore and out into the Lake. Wind surfers and other surfers are also advised against heading out onto the lake.

“Outdoor enthusiasts and curiosity seekers should stay clear and keep away from the shorelines. Safety is a number one priority,” said Chief Warrant Officer Matthew James, commanding officer of Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor. "In addition, mariners are also advised to heed weather warnings. Safe operations in heavy weather requires special equipment, experience and a vessel designed to operate in high seas."

Hypothermia is the biggest danger after falling into the water, even if one manages to get out immediately. Hypothermia sets in quickly as the human body’s core temperature drops below 95 degrees.

Residents are reminded that even after a weather system moves out of the area and the winds subside, heavy surf and high waves on Lake Michigan will typically take an additional day, at least, to calm.

The forecast for Lake Michigan:
• WINDS...NORTHEAST TO 40 KT WEDNESDAY, INCREASING TO 50 KT FROM THE NORTH AFTER MIDNIGHT
• SIGNIFICANT WAVES TO 23 FT THURSDAY
• OCCASIONAL WAVES...25 TO 28 THURSDAY

USCG, NWS

 

Port Reports -  April 6

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
CSL Niagara arrived Duluth at sunrise on Wednesday morning to load iron ore pellets at CN. Lake Ontario departed during the afternoon, bound for Montreal with grain. Michipicoten arrived a few hours later and stopped at Calumet to fuel before shifting down to Burlington Northern in Superior to load. American Spirit was due late Wednesday night to load at CN, after the departure of CSL Niagara.

Two Harbors, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Roger Blough and Algoma Transport loaded at CN on Wednesday. American Century and Algosteel are expected to arrive on Thursday.

Mackinac Straits
Stewart J. Cort and Lee A. Tregurtha dropped anchor between Mackinac Island and Sr. Ignace Wednesday. They will be waiting till high winds that are forecast for the area die down. Prentiss Brown and St. Marys Challenger appeared to be on the hook off Manistique.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
The cement barge Integrity was towed into the floating drydock Wednesday. Her tug was tied up at berth 1. Wilfred Sykes’ departure has been delayed until the weekend.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
American Mariner is expected to arrive at Calcite on Thursday in the early morning for the North Dock and will be the first vessel to arrive for the 2017 season. Also due in Thursday in the late morning is Cason J. Callaway. They will also load at the North Dock. All times listed are subject to change due to weather.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane, Ben & Chanda McClain
Philip R. Clarke became the first vessel arrival for the 2017 season at early Wednesday morning. It was expected to depart the dock around 7 p.m. There are no vessels scheduled for Thursday. Due in Friday are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the early eveni-ng. Expected Saturday is the barge Great Lakes Trader / tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort in the early morning. Cason J. Callaway is due on Sunday with an unknown arrival time. Rounding out the schedule are two arrivals for Monday, the Joseph H. Thompson in the early morning followed by the Kaye E. Barker in the early evening. All times listed are subject to change due to weather. Members of the International Shipmasters Association Northeast Michigan Lodge #19 went out to greet the Clarke Wednesday morning. ISMA members were welcomed aboard and given a tour.

Goderich, Ont.
Robert S. Pierson was loading salt Wednesday.

Detroit, Mich.
The saltwater vessel Chestnut was unloading sugar at Detroit Steel Co. Wednesday, at the former McClouth Steel dock in Trenton, Mich.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
John J. Boland is due at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Friday in the early morning. Also due at CSX to load are the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory on Saturday in the early morning. Cason J. Callaway is due at CSX to load on April 13 in the early morning. There is nothing due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. At the Torco Dock, the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are due Friday in the late afternoon. Kaye E. Barker is due at Torco on April 9 during the early evening. Rounding out the schedule is the Joseph H. Thompson, due at Torco on April 11 in the mid-afternoon. John J. Boland departed from its winter lay-up berth early on Wednesday morning, becoming the fifth vessel to depart from winter lay-up for the 2017 season. They proceeded to Sandusky to load coal. A recap and update to the fit-outs in Toledo has Edgar B. Speer on March 22; American Mariner on March 25; Buffalo, March 25; American Integrity March 31 and John J. Boland on April 5. H. Lee White remains laid-up at the Old Ironville Dock but is due to sail soon. Also in lay-up at the Midwest Terminal is the Great Republic, also due to sail soon. The barge Lewis J. Kuber and tug Olive L. Moore are still laid-up at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. All times listed are subject to change due to weather.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
English River cleared the Buffalo piers at 8 a.m. Wednesday bound for Port Colborne. She had been unloading at Lafarge since arriving around 4:30 a.m. on the 4th.

Rochester, N.Y. – Tom Brewer
Stephen B. Roman arrived Wednesday evening with a cargo of bulk cement for Lehigh Hanson.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for April 5. Upbound: Capt. Henry Jackman (dep w-16), Algoma Enterprise, Whitefish Bay, Baie Comeau, John D. Leitch. ETA upbound: Algoscotia at 0120. Downbound: tug Leo A. McArthur & barge John J. Carrick (anchored Long Point Bay), Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, Mississagi, English River, Sea Eagle II & barge St. Marys Cement II, tug Undaunted & barge Pere Marquette 41 stopped W-16, Kaministiqua, and Algowood. ETA downbound: Algowood at 0130.

Hamilton and Toronto – Barry Andersen Hamilton: Florence Spirit arrived at 0145, John D. Leitch arrived at 0530 and departed at 1800. Toronto: Mississagi arrived 1921.

 

PortsToronto marks arrival of the first ship with 156th annual Beaver Hat ceremony

4/6 - Toronto, Ont. – PortsToronto Harbor Master Angus Armstrong has “crowned” the motor vessel Brant’s Capt. Sergii Kurash with an antique silk and beaver top hat at the 156th annual Beaver Hat Ceremony at Redpath Refinery.

The annual ceremony dates back to the mid-1800s and celebrates the arrival of the Port of Toronto’s first ocean-going vessel of the season. This year, the Brant won the race to be the first ship to port, bringing more than 19,692 metric tonnes of sugar from Nicaragua’s Corinto to Redpath Sugar.

“Since 1793, the Port of Toronto has served as Toronto’s gateway to the St. Lawrence Seaway and to marine ports around the world,” said Geoffrey Wilson, president and CEO, PortsToronto. “From the sugar we use to sweeten our coffee to the salt used on our roads to keep drivers safe during the winter months to the concrete used to support Toronto's booming construction industry, the goods delivered through Toronto's Port have a significant impact on the people, projects, and industries of Toronto.”

“Canfornav Inc. has been carrying bulk sugar into Toronto on behalf of Redpath Sugar for some 16 years,” added Knud Jensen, executive VP of Canfornav Inc. “During this period our ships have brought in about 4 million tonnes over the course of some 190 voyages to Toronto, so this is not the first time that one of our vessels has opened the navigation season in the Port of Toronto. We value our relationship with Redpath and the Port of Toronto and we look forward to years of continued co-operation and many more of our captains being crowned with the antique Beaver Top Hat.”

Ports Toronto

 

Big ships underway from Milwaukee and Green Bay

4/6 - Milwaukee, Wis. – The Great Lakes shipping season is underway in Milwaukee and Green Bay, with the first foreign-flag ship of the year expected at the Port of Milwaukee soon. One of the largest lake freighters, the Stewart J. Cort, has left Milwaukee from its winter layover, signaling the start of the shipping season here.

The first ocean-going vessel will arrive in the next couple of weeks with a load of steel from Europe, returning home with Wisconsin grain. Most of that grain comes from farms located within 90 miles of Milwaukee, said Port Director Paul Vornholt.

The port has some of the largest cranes on the Great Lakes, allowing it to move large, heavy items, including mining equipment, wind turbines, coils of steel and tons of grain.

Earlier this year, the port installed a new Manitowoc crawler crane that can lift up to 300 tons. The $2.7 million model 2250 crane was delivered in late 2016, joining the port’s complement of other crawler, gantry and derrick cranes.

The largest vessels on the lakes can unload 70,000 tons of cargo in 12 hours or less. Prior to self-unloading, it would have taken days to empty a ship of a cargo of that size.

Milwaukee is the only Great Lakes port in Wisconsin that unloads foreign steel. It’s a custom product not available domestically, according to Vornholt. The steel business has been strong the past couple of years, he said, indicating that local manufacturers using the raw material have been doing well.

“Our outlook for steel seems to be holding its own, or slightly better,” Vornholt said.

The first ocean-going vessel has left the Port of Green Bay, bound for Quebec, Canada, with a load of ethanol. There are 14 port businesses located along three miles of the Fox River and the Port of Green Bay. Those businesses move about 2 million tons of cargo on more than 200 ships each year.

Some years, three of every four ships leave docks on the Great Lakes "light loaded" because harbors and connecting channels aren’t dredged to proper depths and widths.

Ships have been unable to make deliveries to the port in Waukegan, Ill., because of insufficient harbor depth. There have been times when coal could not be delivered to a power plant in Holland, Mich., because of a buildup of harbor silt.

But that’s not the case this year in Milwaukee and Green Bay, according to the port directors. The Port of Green Bay had a huge increase in handling petroleum products in 2016, up more than 1,400%, because of the closing of a petroleum pipeline serving northeast Wisconsin.

Prior to the closure, the port exported diesel, gasoline and ethanol to other markets. Now, “the exports have flipped to imports to meet the demand for petroleum products,” said Green Bay Port Director Dean Haen.

The 2016 Great Lakes shipping season tied a record for the longest navigation period on the lakes, with 286 days of ship traffic.

Journal Sentinel

 

Lake Superior’s level drops in March

4/6 - Duluth, Minn. – Little falling snow and little snow on the ground to melt left Lake Superior with a below-normal water supply in March and caused the lake to drop more than usual. The International Lake Superior Board of Control reported Tuesday that the big lake dropped two inches in March, a month it usually drops less than a half-inch.

Lake Superior is four inches below the level of April 1, 2016, but is still 6 inches above the average for April 1. The big lake almost always rises from April to September before it begins a fall and winter decline each year.

The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron rose two inches in March, the usual increase for the lakes that sit six inches lower than April 1, 2016, but still 10 inches above the long-term average for this time of year.

Duluth News Tribune

 

 

Thunder Bay port opens season on a high note

4/6 - Thunder Bay, Ont. – The Port of Thunder Bay saw more than 260,000 metric tonnes of cargo transited the port during March. The port opened with a strong shipping start to the navigation season, which opened on March 24 with the arrival of the first cargo ship, the motor vessel Manitoulin.

The March volumes are above the ten-year-average of 117,000 metric tonnes, but historical results for the month do vary because of unpredictable weather and ice conditions. In a release, the Thunder Bay Port Authority officials stated the majority of the cargo shipped was carried over grain from last year’s strong prairie harvest.

Other shipments included outbound coal and an inbound load of road salt to replenish the stock for local use.

Port officials are anticipating steady cargo shipments through the month of April. Keefer Terminal, the port’s general and project cargo hub is anticipating its first marine shipment, a load of electrical transformers, in mid-April.

ThunderBayWatch

 

Updates -  April 6

News Photo Gallery  

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 6

The a.) LOUIS R. DAVIDSON (Hull#95) of the Great Lakes Engineering Works was launched April 6, 1912, for the American Steamship Co. Later renamed b.) DIAMOND ALKALI in 1932, c.) DOW CHEMICAL in 1939 and d.) FERNDALE in 1963. She was scrapped at Castellon, Spain in 1979.

April 6, 1931 - The CITY OF FLINT 32 set a world record sailing 101,000 miles in her first year of service.

On 6 April 1872, the schooner I.N. FOSTER was launched from the Fitzgerald & Leighton yard at Port Huron, Michigan. She was classified as a "full-sized canaller" since she was as large as a vessel could be to pass through the Welland Canal. Her dimensions were 143 foot overall, 26 foot inch beam, 11 foot 6 inch depth, 437 tons.

1942: The CANADIAN FARMER was Hull 65 of the Collingwood shipyard and it was launched there on December 27, 1919. The vessel was sailing as c) SHIN KUANG when it was sunk by Japanese surface naval forces on the Bay of Bengal.

1949: FORT WILLDOC of the Paterson fleet and the JAMES E. McALPINE of the Brown Steamship Co. collided in Lake Superior, above Whitefish Point, on this date. Both ships were damaged and needed repairs.

1972: The freighter STAR OF REWIAH had been built at Collingwood as Hull 105 and launched as the corvette H.M.S. COMFREY on July 28, 1942. The ship was later converted to a cargo carrier and was sailing under this sixth name when it ran aground off the Ashrafi Lighthouse in the Gulf of Suez and declared a total loss on this date in 1972. It was traveling in ballast from Suez, Egypt, to Safaga, Egypt, at the time.

1978: The self-unloader TARANTAU was blown aground due to the wind and shifting ice pack in Lake Huron above Port Huron and had to be freed by the tug BARBARA ANN.

1979: A violent spring storm found LABRADOC (ii) on Lake Erie where the cargo shifted and the vessel took on a precarious list. All on board were removed fearing the ship would roll over and sink. But it survived and was towed to safety eventually undergoing repairs at Port Weller Dry Docks. The vessel left Great Lakes service in 1988 and operated on deep sea runs as b) FALCON CREST until scrapping at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, in 1994.

1992: An explosion and fire in the tunnel of HALIFAX occurred while the CSL ship was upbound in the St. Marys River. One sailor was killed and two more injured while the ship sustained internal damage. It went to Thunder Bay for repairs.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, “Ahoy & Farewell II,” the Father Dowling Collection, the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University, 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.

 

Duluth welcomes first saltie of the season

4/5 - Duluth, Minn. – The first oceangoing vessel to reach Duluth this shipping season was celebrated Monday with the traditional ceremony to mark the milestone.

The Lake Ontario took on a load of wheat at Riverland Ag/Duluth Storage on Rice's Point on Monday, after officially passing beneath the Aerial Lift Bridge on Sunday evening. Dignitaries including Duluth Mayor Emily Larson gathered aboard the ship on Monday for the ceremony, presenting the crew with several gifts.

Thanks to a relatively mild winter and early spring, the Lake Ontario arrived just a few days after the record for the earliest saltie in the Twin Ports. The earliest recorded arrival of a saltie in Duluth was the Federal Hunter, which reached Duluth on March 30, 2013. The record for the latest first saltie is held by the Diana, which arrived on May 7, 2014.

The 606-foot Lake Ontario flies the flag of Antigua and Barbuda; its crew of 21 is under the command of Capt. Costelus Morosanu. The ship dropped off cargo in Halifax, Nova Scotia, before entering the St. Lawrence Seaway system for the journey to Duluth, where it spent some time anchored on Lake Superior over the weekend before moving into the harbor.

The saltie was scheduled to leave the Twin Ports Tuesday in the late afternoon or early evening hours, taking its load of wheat across the Atlantic to Italy.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports -  April 5

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
In Duluth Tuesday, James R. Barker was loading at CN, Lake Ontario was loading at Riverland, and CSL Niagara was at anchor waiting for the Barker to clear the dock. Both James R. Barker and Lake Ontario were expected to depart Tuesday evening. The carferry Bayfield, which is one of the Madeline Island ferries, arrived via the Superior entry on Tuesday and headed to Fraser Shipyards for repairs.

Two Harbors, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Erie Trader/Clyde S. VanEnkevort loaded Tuesday. The pair departed during the evening. Roger Blough was inbound very late Tuesday night. Algoma Transport and American Century are expected on Wednesday to load.

Calcite and Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
American Mariner is expected at Calcite on Thursday in the early morning for the North Dock, becoming the first vessel for the 2017 shipping season. Also due Thursday is the Cason J. Callaway in the late morning for the North Dock. The Stoneport dock has yet to receive any vessels for the 2017 season.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
The updated schedule has John J. Boland loading at the CSX Coal Dock on Friday in the early morning. Also due at CSX on Friday to load are the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory in the early evening. They are due back at CSX to load again on April 13 in the early morning. There is nothing due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock as it is still closed for the season. At the Torco Dock, the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are expected on Thursday in the morning. Joseph H. Thompson is due at Torco on Saturday in the early evening. Rounding out the lineup is the Lee A. Tregurtha, due at Torco on April 11 in the morning to unload. H. Lee White has their AIS turned on and may be leaving soon. John J. Boland is at CSX #2 dock, tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber are at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock and Great Republic at the Midwest Terminal Dock, all of which will be sailing soon. In long-term lay-up are the tug Jane Ann IV and barge Sarah Spencer near the CSX coal dock and the Midwest Terminal stone dock. Manistee and American Valor are both at the Torco slip #2 dock east wall. Also at Torco slip #2 dock west wall across from the Manistee is the St. Clair.

Cleveland, Ohio – Nick Hunter
Mississagi left port Tuesday evening after a two-day visit, passing Dorothy Ann / Pathfinder on her way back in town after returning from a trip to Marblehead. The Buffalo was also in port for the first time this season, upriver at the steel mill.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Welland Canal transits for April 4 (high winds) – Upbound: Petite Forte & barge St. Marys Cement at w-16; Hemgracht (Nld); Capt. Henry Jackman, delayed due to weather; Algoma Enterprise departed Hamilton and anchored off Port Weller at 2100. Downbound: Sea Eagle II & barge St. Marys Cement II at w-12, Baie St. Paul, Thunder Bay and John D. Leitch. Expected arrivals dependent on weather are Leo A. McArthur & barge John J. Carrick anchored Long Point Bay, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, Algowood, Mississagi, tug Undaunted & barge PM41and Kaministiqua.

Toronto and Oshawa, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Brant (Cyp) arrived Toronto at 0003 on Tuesday. Federal Champlain arrived Oshawa at 1240.

 

County seizes ex McLouth Steel plant after owners failed to pay $3.7M in back taxes

4/5 - Trenton, Mich. – Citing millions owed in back taxes, the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office seized the former McLouth Steel facility in Trenton last Friday. Detroit Steel Co. owned the property along West Jefferson Avenueand failed to pay $3.7 million in taxes, treasury spokesman Bruce Babiarz said.

“The Wayne County Treasurer has foreclosed on that property and now owns that property,” Babiarz said. “The treasurer’s team will evaluate the property and determine whether to put it up for auction or to list it for sale.”

It's been 20 years since the property was in operation as McLouth Steel, but it's colloquially still known by that name. The steelmaker filed for bankruptcy in 1996. Under Detroit Steel Co.'s ownership, the site was used for manufacturing and importing and exporting of various goods like metals, salts and plastics.

The site has been a point of contention for many, however, including, the Trenton City Council, which sued Detroit Steel Co. in 2014 for allowing prohibited activities at the site without the council’s consent. The council and Detroit Steel Co. eventually settled in early 2015.

Wayne County Commissioner Joseph Palamara, whose district includes Trenton, praised the treasurer's action. "It has sat in that condition for way too long," he said. "Anybody else who takes ownership and makes an endeavor to clean it up for reuse is a positive."

Trenton Mayor Kyle Stack said McLouth once was one of the city's biggest taxpayers, but she's been unable to count on that money for years. Getting the property into new hands – and back on the city's tax roll – is a priority for her, she said.

 

Great Lakes Towing names G-Tug photo contest winners

4/5 - The Great Lakes Towing Company has announced the winners and honorable mentions for the Second Annual G-Tug Photo Contest. The company invited fans to participate in the contest from April 3, 2016 to the end of the 2016/2017 Great Lakes navigation season when the Soo Locks closed on January 15. Over 128 entries were submitted. The company thanks all contest participants. View photos of the first, second and third place winners as well as honorable mentions at www.thegreatlakesgroup.com/winners

Great Lakes Towing Co.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 5

On 05 April 1890, INDIANA (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 220 foot, 1,178 gross tons) was launched by Burger and Burger at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, for the Goodrich Transportation Company. The total cost of the vessel was $135,000.

On April 5, 1984, the joined sections of the HILDA MARJANNE and CHIMO emerged from Port Weller Dry Dock Ltd., as the b.) CANADIAN RANGER.

Sea trials for Canada Steamship Lines new bulk freighter, PRAIRIE HARVEST (Hull#227) of Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., were complete on April 5, 1984. She operates on the Lakes today as the self-unloader d.) ATLANTIC HURON.

The a.) LUZON (Hull#54) of the Chicago Ship Building Co. was launched for the Erie Steamship Co., E.D. Carter, mgr., on April 5, 1902. Renamed b.) JOHN ANDERSON in 1924 and c.) G. G. POST in 1933. She was scrapped at Izmir, Turkey, in 1972.

April 5, 1977 - The Chessie System announced that the CITY OF MIDLAND 41 would be withdrawn from service and only the SPARTAN and BADGER would run for the season.

On 5 April 1854, AMERICA (wooden side-wheeler, 240 foot, 1,083 tons, built in 1847, at Port Huron, Michigan) was bound for Cleveland from Detroit. After the captain had set her course and gone to bed, the 2nd mate changed the course to the north. The 1st and 2nd mates disagreed about the course and as they awoke the captain, the ship ran aground near Point Pelee, Ontario. Wave action reduced the vessel to rubble but no lives were lost.

On 5 April 1879, the 3-mast wooden schooner RESUMPTION was launched at the Wolf & Davidson yard in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her dimensions were 143 foot x 29 foot x 10 feet, 294 gross tons, 279 net tons.

April 5, 1962, the tanker ROBERT W. STEWART was renamed b.) AMOCO MICHIGAN, The WILLIAM P. COWAN was renamed b.) AMOCO ILLINOIS, the EDWARD G. SEUBERT was renamed b.) AMOCO WISCONSIN and the RED CROWN was renamed b.) AMOCO INDIANA, after being transferred from Standard Oil Company in a sale to the American Oil Company for $10 for each ship. Each ship traded in their names and their well-known red superstructure for a typical white paint job which stuck with them until their end. The only change came to the AMOCO INDIANA when she traded in her black hull for the blue paint of c.) MEDUSA CONQUEST, d.) SOUTHDOWN CONQUEST, e.) CEMEX CONQUEST and f.) ST MARYS CONQUEST. She operates today as a self - unloading cement barge.

1921: The Imperial Oil tanker IMPOCO (ii) had combined Great Lakes and coastal trading and had gone as far afield as the Mediterranean Sea and the Falkland Islands during World War One. The 8-year old vessel stranded at Blonde Rock, Cape Sable, Nova Scotia, on this date in 1921 while en route from Halifax to Saint John with a cargo of gasoline. The ship was lightered, salvaged on May 4, and beached at Charles Harbour and then at Halifax as not worth repair. The hull was apparently not scrapped until 1953.

1983: The small Finnish freighter KENITRA visited the Great Lakes in 1957. It was abandoned by her crew in the Red Sea while sailing as d) ALASKA on this date in 1983. It had developed a severe list while traveling from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Mersin, Turkey, and sank the same day.

1996: The Liberian freighter STEEL FLOWER ran aground in the St. Lawrence near Wellesley Island while upbound on this date in 1996 and was stuck for two days. The ship had also been a Seaway trader as a) FEDERAL RHINE (i) from 1978 to 1992, as STEEL FLOWER from 1994 to 1996 and as c) NARRAGANSETT from 1997 to 1999 before going to Alang, India, for scrap later in 1999.

1999: The PATERSON (ii) ran aground in Lake St. Francis and was stuck for two days. The ship went to Les Mechins, QC for repairs and returned to work on May 13. The vessel now sails for Canada Steamship Lines as b) PINEGLEN (ii).

1999: ALGONTARIO ran aground at Johnsons Point in the St. Mary's River while upbound with a load of cement from Clarkson to Duluth. The ship was released April 7 and, after unloading, was laid up at Thunder Bay until eventual repairs and a return to service on October 10, 2004. The vessel was towed to Aliaga, Turkey, for scrapping in 2011.

Data from: Skip Gilham, Steve Haverty, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection and the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Algoma Strongfield begins delivery trip from China to Canada

4/4 - St. Catharines, Ont. – Algoma Central Corporation has announced that the Algoma Strongfield has completed preparations and has now begun its delivery voyage to Canada. The ship is expected to enter service as part of the Algoma Bulker Pool in June.

Algoma Strongfield will make the journey to Canada under foreign flag and will be re-flagged and crewed by Canadian seafarers when she reaches Canada. The ship will join its Equinox Class sister ships, the Algoma Equinox, the Algoma Harvester, along with the G3 Marquis, owned by G3 Canada Limited and will service the company's agriculture and iron ore trades.

"We are looking forward to the Algoma Strongfield's arrival in Canada this summer," said Ken Bloch Soerensen, Algoma president and CEO. "The completion and delivery of this ship was delayed by the bankruptcy of the shipyard at which she was being built; however, liquidation of the shipyard enabled us to acquire the vessel at an attractive price.”

The Algoma fleet now includes four of the original Equinox Class series of gearless bulker carriers. Seven additional Equinox Class vessels, including two 650' self-unloaders and five 740' self-unloaders are currently under construction. Two of these ships are scheduled to be delivered in time to enter service during 2017.

Algoma Central Corporation

 

Giant mural on CSL St-Laurent celebrates Canada's 150th

4/4 - St. Catharines, Ont. – A five-storey mural of a colourful Canada goose on the front of Canada Steamship Lines’ CSL St-Laurent was a first for the artists who came together to create it, a first for the shipping company and a first for a Canadian commercial vessel, says the company.

“The Sea Keeper/Gardien des eaux is an original work of art conceived by Montreal urban artist Bryan Beyung and created by Beyung with artists FONKi, Ankh One, and Benny Wilding of the Ashop art collective. The monumental mural was created over a few weeks – a feat which is in itself is worth noting – and required the ingenuity of CSL's technical team to make it a success,” the company says on its website.

The mural is that of a Canada goose, wings spread in flight, which can found along the shorelines of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway and the routes the Montreal-based shipping travels while carrying mainly loads of grain.

Each artist weaved their individual styles into the piece, which “combines cultures and styles that evoke Montreal’s and Canada’s diversity.” The mural was unveiled on March 20, when CSL St-Laurent was the first ship to transit the St. Lambert lock in Montreal. Over the weekend, the bulk carrier made its way down the Welland Canal, bound for Quebec, with people stopping to take photos of the vessel and its giant mural as it passed by.

The company says the painting is a tribute to both the city of Montreal and Canada, as they celebrate their 375th and 150th anniversaries respectively. It’s also a tribute to the roles of the St. Lawrence Seaway, marine transport, and CSL itself in building the nation and the city.

“CSL chose CSL St-Laurent to host the tribute to Montreal and Canada because her name honors the St. Lawrence River, and her state-of-the-art technology and seamanship represent the new generation of high-performing, environmentally-responsible cargo vessels.”

View photos of the mural at this link: http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2017/04/03/giant-mural-celebrates-canadas-150th

 

Port Reports -  April 4

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Duluth's first saltie of the season, Lake Ontario, arrived on Sunday to load grain at the Riverland terminal. Paul R. Tregurtha arrived late Sunday to load coal at Midwest Energy, and departed on Monday afternoon. Spruceglen and James R. Baker also arrived on Sunday to load iron ore pellets at CN. American Integrity arrived via the Superior entry early Monday afternoon due to heavy fog, and headed to Midwest Energy to load coal. Spruceglen departed Monday evening. In Superior, Stewart J. Cort departed mid-day Monday with iron ore pellets, and CSL Niagara was expected late Monday night.

Two Harbors, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Cason J. Callaway, Edwin H. Gott and Lee A. Tregurtha loaded at the CN dock on Monday. Roger Blough, Algoma Transport and American Century are due to load on Wednesday, and Algosteel is expected on Thursday. Edgar B. Speer, Edwin H. Gott and Algoma Enterprise are all expected to load at CN on Saturday.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
On Sunday morning the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were sailing out into the bay after loading at Lafarge during the early morning. Another tug/barge combo called at Lafarge on Sunday as well. The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 tied up at the coal dock slip to unload product. The Alpena returned to port on Monday afternoon for another load of cement after delivering to Whitefish, Ont.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The first vessel for the 2017 shipping season will be the Joseph H. Thompson, due on Tuesday during the morning to load. Also due on Tuesday are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the evening. There are no vessels scheduled for Wednesday-Friday. The barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort are expected on Saturday, April 8, at midnight.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
John J. Boland is expected at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Tuesday in the early evening. They will be departing lay-up dock at CSX #2 and this will also be their first cargo for the 2017-18 season. Also due at CSX on April 10 in the early morning are the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory. Due at CSX on April 14 is the Manitoulin at noon. The Midwest Terminal Stone Dock is still closed. For the Torco Dock, due are the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory on April 6 at noon. Also due at Torco is the Lee A. Tregurtha on April 10 in the evening. Due back at Torco on April 11 in the early morning are the barge James L. Kuber and the tug Victory. The updated list of vessel fit-outs include Edgar B. Speer on March 22, American Mariner March 25, Buffalo on March 29 and the American Integrity on March 31. Vessels that remain in lay-up but are expected to sail soon are John J. Boland at CSX #2 Dock and H. Lee White at the Old Ironville Dock, as well as the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber at the Midwest Terminal Stone dock and Great Republic at the Midwest Terminal Dock.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W
English River should be arriving in Buffalo some time Tuesday morning.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for April 3:
Upbound: Algowood, Petite Forte and barge St. Marys Cement, Wilf Semour and barge Alouette Spirit, Mississagi, Beatrix (Nld), English River, Oakglen (1st trip out of lay-up) and Hemgracht (Nld). ETA upbound: Capt Henry Jackman. Downbound: G3 Marquis, Algoma Discovery, Algoma Enterprise and Baie St. Paul,

 

Coast Guard begins Operation Spring Restore throughout Great Lakes system

4/4 - Cleveland, Ohio – Coast Guard aids to navigation teams throughout the Ninth Coast Guard District began restoring the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway aids to navigation March 28. Slightly more than 11 percent of the operation has been completed.

Operation Spring Restore involves placing approximately 1,216 navigational aids, including lighted and unlighted buoys and beacons. Roughly half of the aids in the region are taken out of service during the winter due to decreased vessel traffic and to minimize damage from ice and inclement weather. This is known as Operation Fall Retrieve.

The aids put into service during Operation Spring Restore are all floating aids. All have a purpose and help in determining location, as well as facilitating the safe transit of more than 100 million tons of cargo between U.S. ports in the Great Lakes and to international ports via the St. Lawrence Seaway and Atlantic Ocean.

The Ninth District’s aids to navigation system ensures safe and efficient maritime activity on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway regions by marking safe passage for domestic, international, commercial and recreational vessel traffic. On the Great Lakes, the Coast Guard manages 2,557 federal aids.

To accomplish Operation Spring Restore, the Ninth District uses six U.S. Coast Guard cutters, five aids-to-navigation teams and two small boat stations with aids to navigation duties. The Coast Guard is assisted in this endeavor by the Lamplighters (a group of civilian employees who manage the inland waters of northern Minnesota), the Canadian Coast Guard and the St. Lawrence Seaway Corporation.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary also helps the district with verification of approximately 1,700 privately-owned aids to navigation in the region.

USCG

 

Historic Delta Queen riverboat gets Senate approval to resume cruises

4/4 - Washington, D.C. – The historic Delta Queen riverboat has cleared a major hurdle to again cruise U.S. waterways.

After years of failed attempts, the U.S. Senate voted 85-12 Monday to waive the safety standards against wooden ships carrying more than 50 passengers overnight — as long as the vessels met new requirements and passed an annual inspection by the Coast Guard. The measure now goes to the House.

If those changes are enacted, the 1920s-era Delta Queen will resume its trips along with Mississippi and Ohio rivers, docking in 80 ports including Kimmswick in Jefferson County.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, who co-sponsored the measure with Sen. Roy Blunt, pointed to a report that says putting the Delta Queen back in service will create 170 new jobs and deliver a $36 million annual economic boost for the St. Louis region.

“The Delta Queen is an important piece of history. The vessel connects us to a time before railroads and highways, when rivers were key arteries of travel and commerce in this country,” McCaskill said on the Senate floor.

The 88-room steamship carried three presidents and served as a World War II Navy ship, and it’s been designated a National Historic Landmark.

To assuage critics of the measure who have worried the ship poses a fire risk, the measure passed Monday requires the ship’s owners to install new boilers and generators, along with replacing at least 10 percent of the vessel’s flammable material each year.

In a statement, Blunt called the Delta Queen a “remarkable part of our nation’s history,” adding that restoring it to full operation will “create jobs, support economic growth, and enhance our state’s tourism industry.”

St. Louis Post Dispatch

 

Updates -  April 4

News Photo Gallery  

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 4

04 April 1903: The first steamer to pass upbound through the Straits of Mackinac was the LUZON (steel propeller bulk freighter, 353 foot 3,582 gross tons, built in 1902 at Chicago, Illinois). She was heavily coated with ice, even to the top of the pilothouse due to fighting a gale on Lake Huron.

On 04 April 1908, ALEXIS W. THOMPSON (steel propeller bulk freighter, 504 foot, 6,437 gross tons) was launched by West Bay City Shipbuilding Co. (Hull #625) at W. Bay City, Michigan for Valley Steamship Co. (W.H. Becker, Mgr.). She lasted until 1962, when she was towed to Hamilton, Ontario, for scrapping by Steel Co. of Canada, Ltd.

The keel was laid at Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on April 4, 1978, for the Columbia Transportation Div., Oglebay Norton Co.'s FRED R. WHITE JR (Hull#722).

Sea trials of the tanker ROBERT W. STEWART (Hull#802) of American Shipbuilding Co., Lorain, Ohio were run on April 4, 1928. Renamed b.) AMOCO MICHIGAN in 1962, she was sold off the lakes in 1969 and renamed c.) SHUKHEIR. Scrapped in Egypt in 1989.

WILLIAM C. ATWATER (Hull#249) was launched on April 4, 1925, by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, for the Wilson Transit Co. Renamed b.) E. J. KULAS in 1936, c.) BEN MOREELL in 1953, d.) THOMAS E. MILLSOP in 1955. Sold Canadian in 1976, renamed e.) E. J. NEWBERRY and f.) CEDARGLEN 1981. Scrapped at Port Maitland, Ontario in 1994.

FRED G. HARTWELL (Hull#112) was launched April 4, 1908, by the Toledo Shipbuilding Co., for the Mutual Steamship Co., G. A. Tomlinson, mgr. Renamed b.) HARRY W. CROFT in 1917. Scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1969.

Interlake Steamship's E.G. GRACE became the first Maritimer to be sold for scrap when she was acquired by Marine Salvage on April 4, 1984.

JEAN-TALON was launched April 4, 1936, as a.) FRANQUELIN (Hull#1517) by Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. for the Quebec and Ontario Transportation Co. Ltd.

The harbor tug and fire boat EDNA G was launched April 4, 1896, by the Cleveland Ship Building Co., as (Hull#25), for the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railroad Co.

On April 4, 1983, and on April 4, 1984, the WILLIAM CLAY FORD, opened the shipping season at Duluth, Minnesota. While the WILLIAM CLAY FORD was traditionally among the first vessels to visit Duluth-Superior, it was coincidence that she opened the port on the same day during her last two seasons in service.

On 4 April 1872, the schooner JOHN WESLEY was launched from Bailey's yard at Toledo, Ohio. She was built for Skidmore & Abairs. She was classed as a full-sized canaller and cost $22,000.

On 4 April 1881, the last two vessels of the Northern Transit Company, CHAMPLAIN and LAWRENCE, were sold to D. H. Day & Company of Grand Haven, Michigan.

1969: The Liberty ship CORINTHIAKOS made three trips to the Great Lakes beginning in 1960. It had been built as a tanker but rebuilt as a bulk carrier in 1955. The ship was sailing under Liberian registry as h) PACSTAR when it ran aground in a storm on the north shore of Toshima, Tokyo Bay en route from Kure, Japan, to Portland, Oregon, in ballast. The bottom was opened to the sea and the engine room was flooded. Salvage efforts were unsuccessful and the ship was abandoned as a total loss and sold for scrap.

1969: The self-unloader HOCHELAGA of Canada Steamship Lines hit the breakwall stern first while turning with the help of tugs at Conneaut, Ohio. The cargo of coal was lightered to MANITOULIN and HOCHELAGA had to go to Port Colborne for repairs.

1997: ELIJIANNI, a Greek bulk carrier, had visited the Great Lakes in 1979. It was sailing as d) KEKOVA when it was in a collision with the VASILIOS III, a Greek tanker, in the Sea of Marmora on this date in 1997. There were temporary repairs to the port bow but the 27-year-old vessel was sold for scrap and arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, for dismantling on June 2, 1997.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze , Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, “Ahoy & Farewell II,” the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University and the “Great Lakes Ships We Remember” series.

 

Port Reports -  April 3

Duluth-Superior
Correction: Stewart J. Cort arrived Saturday via the Superior entry, not the Duluth entry. She was still undergoing repairs at the Port Terminal dock on Sunday night.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Algosteel departed on her first trip of the season Sunday, headed to Milwaukee with salt.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Transits for April 2. Upbound: Federal Seto (Mhl). Downbound: Algoma Harvester, Algoscotia, CSL Assiniboine, Algoma Mariner, Algoma Equinox, John B. Aird (leaving Lock 1 at 10:30 p.m. on her last trip, next stop is Ogdensburg, N.Y.), CSL St. Laurent. ETAs upbound: Algowood at 0010, tug Petite Forte & barge St. Marys Cement, tug Wilf Seymour & barge Alouette Spirit. ETA downbound: G3 Marquis.

Oswego. N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
The barge Alouette Spirit unloaded aluminum bars on Sunday.

 

Vessels with Great Lakes / Seaway Connections Reported as a Casualty or Demolition

4/3 - The following information taken from April 2017 Marine News – Journal of the World Ship Society

Casualties: none to report
Demolitions: Musi River (8131178; Indonesia) (Island Chief-01, Spear-00, Spirit-00, Spear 99, Edel Sif-96 - Lampung Bay-94, Salif Bay-93, Edel Sif-93, (first trip into the Seaway 6.20.92 for Buffalo), Pegasus Progress-92, Edel Sif-91,

Pegasus Progress-91, Edel Scheel-88) 5,014 / 83 general cargo. By PT Meratus Line, Indonesia to Sheth & Sons Ltd (SB) P Ltd., India and arrived Alang 03.11.2016 - commenced demolition 11.11.2016

Sea Amore (8319524; Panama) (Lady Bushra-11, Mount Fuji-04, Hero-04, Mount Fuji-90 - (1st trip into Seaway 7.05.86 for Chicago), 11,356 / 1984 bulk cargo. By MCD Shipping SA, Panama, to Nagarsheth Shipbreakers India and arrived Alang 12.10.2016 - commenced 17.10.2016

Compiled by Barry Andersen and René Beauchamp

 

Updates -  April 3

News Photo Gallery  

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 3

On 03 April 1969, RALPH MISENER (steel propeller bulk freighter, 730 foot, 19,160 gross tons, built in 1967, at Montreal, Quebec) suffered serious fire damage to her engine room during fit-out at Port Colborne, Ontario. She went overseas for scrap in 2012 as b.) GORDON C. LEITCH (ii).

On April 3, 1991, the pilothouse of the WILLIAM CLAY FORD of 1953 was moved by a barge towed by Gaelic tug's CAROLYN HOEY and placed on a specially built foundation at the Dossin Museum for display facing the Detroit River as a fully equipped pilothouse.

The tanker a.) TEMBLADOR (Hull#15) of the Barnes Ð Duluth Shipbuilding Co., was launched April 3, 1943, for the Creole Petroleum Corp, for off lakes use. She later sailed on the lakes as b.) LIQUILASSIE.

On 3 April 1872, the passenger/package freight steam barge ROBERT HOLLAND was launched at Marine City, Michigan. She was towed to Detroit by the propeller TRADER to have her machinery installed.

On 3 April 1876, the Port Huron Times reported "The wreck of the schooner HARMONICA, which has been missing for a month or more, has been discovered on the beach near Whitehall, Michigan completely buried in the ice. Four are supposed to have perished."

On 3 April 1894, WILLIAM H. BARNUM (wooden propeller freighter, 219 foot, 937 gross tons, built in 1873, at Detroit, Michigan) was carrying corn on her first trip of the season. She was reportedly in poor condition and was insured only for this voyage. Her hull was cut by floating ice and she sank in the Straits of Mackinac about two miles east of present Mackinac Bridge. The tug CRUSADER got her crew off before she sank.

1942: The second TABORFJELL to visit the Great Lakes for the Fjell Line was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic east of New Jersey on this date by U-576. The vessel was en route from Matanzas, Cuba, to New York and Montreal with sugar. The three survivors waited for 20 hours before being rescued. Another 17 crewmates perished. The 1339 gross ton vessel first came inland shortly after being delivered in August 1938.

1975: The self-unloader J.W. McGIFFIN of Canada Steamship Lines was blown aground in the Welland Canal near Thorold. Two holes were punched in the hull and they were repaired at Port Weller Dry Docks. The ship was rebuilt as CSL NIAGARA in 1999.

Data from: Skip GIllham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection and the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University, “Ahoy & Farewell II” and the “Great Lakes Ships We Remember” series.

Port Reports -  April 2

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Indiana Harbor departed Duluth early Saturday after taking a few days’ delay at Port Terminal. She headed for Silver Bay to load. John D. Leitch departed from CN at sunrise. Duluth's first saltie of the season, Lake Ontario, arrived off Duluth Saturday afternoon and dropped anchor for the night. She is expected to arrive on Sunday evening to load wheat at Riverland Ag. Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was at the CN dock loading. Stewart J. Cort arrived during the late evening via the Duluth entry to load at Burlington Northern in Superior. However she stopped at the Port Terminal dock for prop repairs, assisted by the G tug Kentucky.

Two Harbors, Minn.
Edgar B. Speer was loading on Saturday.

Silver Bay, Minn.
Indiana Harbor was loading on Saturday.

Gary, Ind.
Philip R. Clarke was unloading Saturday evening.

Alpena, Mich.
Steamer Alpena arrived back at her namesake port Saturday evening from Chicago.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
Algosteel was loading her first salt load of the season on Saturday.

St. Clair–Detroit Rivers
John B. Aird was downbound with salt from Goderich Saturday morning headed for Montreal. This is her final trip before being sent to scrap. She is expected in the Welland Canal during daylight hours Sunday.

Detroit, Mich.
Kaye E. Barker and Herbert C. Jackson went to anchor in the Detroit River Saturday due to strong currents in the Rouge River thanks to recent rains.

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

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Upbound Saturday: Sarah Desgagnes, tug Leo A. McArthur and barge John J. Carrick, Radcliffe R. Latimer, Chestnut (Cyp), tug Evans McKeil with barge Niagara Spirit from wharf 13 Robin Hood mill. ETA prospect upbound: Federal Seto (Mhl). Downbound: Tim S. Dool. Baie Comeau, Capt. Henry Jackman, Atlantic Huron, tug Petite Forte & barge St. Marys Cement, Sea Eagle II & barge St. Marys Cement II (stopped w-12), Algoma Harvester, CSL Assiniboine and Algoscotia. ETA prospects downbound for Sunday: Algoma Equinox, CSL St. Laurent, John B. Aird (final trip) and Algoma Mariner.

Quebec City, Que. – Bruno Boissonneault
Oakglen left layup Saturday morning bound for Duluth to load pellets. She is due there April 6. This is an unusually early fit out for Oakglen, which generally is held in reserve until the fall grain rush.

 

Lorain shipping season begins

4/2 - Lorain, Ohio – The shipping season has begun for the port of Lorain. The tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort and barge Erie Trader passed by Lorain’s Charles Berry Bascule Bridge on March 24. The arrival marked the opening the 2017 shipping season.

A total of 978,733 tons of material passed through the port in 2015, the most recent year figures available. The numbers were published by the Navigation Data Center of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Lorain ranks 144th among 150 American ports listed in those figures. It also was the lowest among Ohio cities shipping materials in and out via water. It appears Lorain’s tonnage could be declining due to the steel mills not taking in any iron ore, said Glen Nekvasil, vice president of the Rocky River-based Lake Carriers’ Association.

“The limestone and gypsum the last couple years have not been exactly gangbusters,” Nekvasil added, referring to two materials shipped in for construction.

Lorain Port Authority Executive Director Tom Brown agreed the total amount of materials would increase if the steel mills began producing and needed more iron ore. Now, the goal is to spread the word about available land, docks and shipping capacity in Lorain, Brown said.

Lorain still has at least three companies using lake and river shipping of materials for construction, he said. They are Jonick Dock & Terminal; AMCOR; and Terminal Ready-Mix Inc., according to the Lorain Port Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Lorain is not the only port struggling on the Great Lakes, Brown said. However, if Lorain’s shipping amounts drop too much, there is a chance the city will become a lower priority for dredging, he said. Lorain is considered a deep draft commercial harbor with depths ranging from 29 feet in the entrance channel to 17 feet in the Black River turning basins, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees dredging.

About 200,000 cubic yards of material is scooped up from the Black River bottom every three years, according to the Corps. Lorain last was dredged in 2016 and is on a cycle for future dredging every two to three years, depending on availability of funding, according to the Corps. Without the dredging, the Port of Lorain will not be deep enough for freighters, Brown said.

Lorain’s maritime history has been documented, but may be overlooked in modern times. Shipbuilding began in Lorain in 1820, according to the Lorain historical timeline published by the Lorain Public Library System.

In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire created demand for Amherst Quarries Stone shipped on Lake Erie from the Oak Point Pier. In 1874, the first shipment of coal arrived in the city, “off-loaded onto wheelbarrows,” according to the Library System’s historical timeline.

As for the start of this year’s shipping season in Lorain, the tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort and barge Erie Trader carried 32,000 tons of stone loaded at Marblehead, Bansek said.

Lorain Morning Journal

 

Sturgeon Bay Shipyard, museum, boat tours May 6

4/2 - The annual Sturgeon Bay Shipyard Tours hosted by the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 6. The popular event raises funds for Door County Rotary Youth Interact, an international service organization for teenagers, and other Rotary projects in the county, according to the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay.

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, Co. and Centerpointe Yacht Services will be open for guided walking tours along with events and tours at the Door County Maritime Museum. A U.S. Coast Guard cutter also will be available to tour and an emergency rescue boat and city police boat will be open for tours at the Graham Park Dock.

Buses will be available to shuttle participants between the sites, the release said. The tours at Bay Shipbuilding are about one hour.

Tickets for the event are available the day of the tours and are $15 per adult and $6 for children ages 11 to 17. Children age 10 and younger are free. The tickets will be sold at both shipyard entry gates and the maritime museum.

 

Replica fur trading ship Welcome sold

4/2 - Mackinaw City, Mich. – The armed sloop Welcome, a replica 18th century fur trading ship in storage since it was purchased by Emmet County for $1 in 2015, has a new owner in Mackinaw City.

An agreement between Rum Runners Inc., a venture owned by businessman Joe Lieghio of Mackinaw City, and Emmet County was approved by county officials earlier in March.

The bid was for the purchase of the ship, in its current condition, for a lump sum payment of $10,111. The ship will be removed from its storage location near the Headlands park within 90 days of the agreement's approval. Emmet County has already received payment for the ship.

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

The ship was acquired by the Maritime Heritage Alliance in 1992. The county and the alliance reached an agreement, where the county would purchase the ship for $1.

The previously built storage facility for the ship, which cost $240,000, will continue to be used for equipment and storage for Emmet County's park services, according to Emmet County administrator Marty Krupa.

Petoskey News Review

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 2

A total of 60 ore boats departed Cleveland between March 31 and April 2 to start the 1948 shipping season.

On 02 April 1900, the JOHN MINER (wooden 3-mast schooner, 134 foot, 273 gross tons, built in 1866, at Detroit, Michigan as a bark) was purchased by S. R. Chamberlain from Frank Higgie for $800. She only lasted until 19 October 1902, when she was lost in a storm on Lake Huron.

On April 2, 1951, CLIFFS VICTORY was towed, bound for New Orleans, Louisiana, with her deck houses, stack, propeller, rudder and above deck fittings stored on or below her spar deck for bridge clearance. She was outfitted with two 120-foot pontoons, which were built at the Baltimore yard, that were attached to her hull at the stern to reduce her draft to eight feet for passage in the shallow sections of the river/canal system.

LEON FALK JR. was launched April 2, 1945, as a.) WINTER HILL, a T2-SE-Al, World War II, a single-screw fuel tanker for U.S. Maritime Commission.

CLIFFORD F. HOOD was launched April 2, 1902, as the straight deck bulk freighter a.) BRANSFORD for the Bransford Transit Co., (W. A. Hawgood, mgr.).

SENATOR OF CANADA sailed under her own power on April 2, 1985, to Toronto, Ontario, where she was put into ordinary next to her fleet mate the QUEDOC. She was scrapped in Venezuela in 1986.

WHEAT KING was lengthened by an addition of a 172 foot 6 inch mid-section (Hull #61) and received a 1,000 h.p. bowthruster. This work reportedly cost $3.8 million Canadian and was completed on April 2, 1976.

On April 2, 1953, the straight deck bulk freighter J. L. MAUTHE (Hull#298) of the Great Lakes Engineering Works entered service for Interlake Steamship Co. She operates currently for Interlake as the self-unloading barge PATHFINDER.

April 2, 1975 - The State of Michigan filed a Federal Court suit to stop the Grand Trunk Railway from selling the GRAND RAPIDS. It was felt that selling the ferry would build a stronger case for abandonment of the entire ferry service.

On 2 April 1874, A. H. HUNTER (wooden propeller tug, 58 foot, 28 gross tons) was launched at Saginaw, Michigan. She was built for Donnelly & Clark of Saginaw by Wheeler. The engine was built by Bartlett & Co. of Saginaw. Her boiler and some other equipment were from the almost new tug KATY REID that burned at Salzburg, Michigan in October 1873.

1976: WHEAT KING was refloated at Port Weller Dry Docks. It had arrived on December 12, 1975, and was lengthened to 730 feet over the winter. The ship would only sail six years with the new dimensions and was retired at the end of the 1981 season.

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

 

Insights into Soo Locks upgrade study emerge from Snyder's office

4/1 - Lansing, Mich. – Michigan officials are taking a two-pronged approach to influence a federal study underway to determine the economic feasibility of building a second 1,000-foot commercial shipping lock in Sault Ste. Marie.

John Walsh, strategy director for Gov. Rick Snyder's office, said Michigan will formally request changes to a dated U.S. Army Corps of Engineers policy that's limiting the scope of a cost-benefit analysis on rebuilding the Soo Locks.

Simultaneously, Walsh said Michigan plans to prove that an unexpected breakdown of the Poe Lock -- the only shipping chamber in Sault Ste. Marie large enough to handle most of the ships moving iron ore -- would idle more than just the regional and Michigan economy.

"We're trying to argue that our regional impact is a national impact," said Walsh, who was among a handful of representatives from the governor's office that met with the Army Corps team developing the study this week in West Virginia.

"Our homework is to prove that."

The March 27 meeting yielded new insights into how the Army Corps is approaching its study of a long sought-after Soo Locks upgrade that Great Lakes shipping interests have been pressing for years but which has never moved much beyond its initial Reagan era Congressional authorization 31 years ago.

Read more at this link

 

Port Reports -  April 1

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
John D. Leitch arrived Duluth just before noon on Friday and began loading iron ore pellets at CN. Baie St. Paul departed from the CN dock a few hours later, bound for Sept Iles. Her fleetmate Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arrived mid-afternoon, also to load at CN. In Superior, CSL Laurentien departed before sunrise after loading at BN. Algolake took the dock next, and departed just after noon. Thunder Bay arrived early in the afternoon and began loading. Indiana Harbor remained docked at Port Terminal. Lake Ontario, the season’s first saltie, is expected to arrive Saturday afternoon to load wheat.

Two Harbors, Minn.
Burns Harbor made a rare appearance to load ore at the CN dock on Friday.

St. Marys River
The season’s first saltie, Lake Ontario, was upbound around 2 p.m. Friday headed for Duluth.

Chicago, Ill.
The steamer Alpena sailed into the Port of Chicago Thursday night, heading to the Lafarge Cement dock located on Lake Calumet.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
John B. Aird was still loading salt Thursday evening and will be bound for Montreal. After unloading, she is expected to be sold for scrapping.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Lee A. Tregurtha arrived at the Torco Dock to unload iron ore, thus becoming the first official arrival at the Torco Dock for the 2017 shipping season on Friday morning. Also due at Torco is the barge James L. Kuber along with the tug Victory on April 4 in the early morning. They are due back at the Torco Dock on April 9 in the late afternoon. The Tregurtha is also due back at Torco on April 10 in the late afternoon. There is nothing due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. At the CSX Coal Dock, John J. Boland is due to load on April 4 in the early evening. Also due at CSX is the barge Ashtabula along with the tug Defiance on April 6 in the mid-afternoon. The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are due at CSX on April 10 in the early morning. Rounding out the schedule is the Manitoulin, due at CSX on April 14 in the early morning. Vessels that remain in lay-up in Toledo include the H. Lee White at the Old Ironville Dock along with the American Integrity at the CSX #2 Dock and they are expected to depart anyday. Great Republic is laid-up at the Midwest Terminal Dock. Vessels in port included the Robert S. Pierson, unloading a grain cargo at the Kraft Foods Elevator from Sarnia, while further upriver and loading a grain cargo was the Algoma Discovery at Andersons. They were the port's first arrival of the 2017 season to load grain. The tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes were also in port loading cargo as.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Vessel traffic for 3-31, Upbound: light tug Evans McKeil. Downbound: Radcliffe R. Latimer, Harbour Fountain (Por), Whitefish Bay, Baie Comeau, Tim S. Dool (ETA 2240). Note: Port Weller ETAs: Sarah Desgagnes (ETA 0030), tug Leo A. McArthur and barge John J. Carrick (ETA 0115).

 

Keweenaw icebreaking to begin week of April 3

4/1 - At the request of local officials, the United States Coast Guard will conduct icebreaking operations in the Keweenaw Waterway beginning the week of April 3.

A cutter, yet to be named, will make its approach to the waterway from the east and enter at Keweenaw Bay. The cutter will transit west through Portage Lake ending at the upper entry and exiting into the open waters of Lake Superior. All recreational users of the Keweenaw Waterway should plan their activities carefully, and use caution near the ice.

USCG

 

$3 million project will improve dry dock at Erie's shipyard

4/1 - Erie, Pa. – The massive dry dock at Erie's Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair isn't always as dry as the name would suggest. Puddles of water could be seen throughout the southern end of the space Tuesday as employees worked to make repairs on the Atlantic Enterprise, a 230-foot Canadian fishing trawler.

But the puddles, a product of poor drainage and stormwater infiltration, aren't the only thing that ails the dry dock, a key feature of the shipbuilding facility owned by the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority and leased to Donjon.

“I don't think any significant improvements have been made to the dry dock since its original construction," in the 1960s, said Brenda Sandberg, the authority's executive director. That's about to change.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has awarded the port authority $3 million to make repairs to the dry dock, a massive space that can be flooded to allow boats in and then drained to allow workers to repair them. The goal is to ensure the safety of employees and the business growth potential of the 18-acre shipyard at the foot of Holland Street, which has been leased to New Jersey-based Donjon since December 2009.

"The dry dock is in pretty rough shape," said John Nekoloff, Donjon's safety / environmental and subcontracts manager.

Bids are due in mid-April for the first phase of the project, which will fix drainage issues, address concerns about storm water infiltration, remove the top two inches of crumbling concrete, install steel reinforcing rods and a top coat of six inches of new concrete, Sandberg said. Because of the uneven surface, Donjon employees sometimes struggle to provide level blocking beneath ships as repairs are made.

This isn't the first time state money has been used to upgrade the port-owned shipyard to the benefit of Donjon and its predecessors.

Even before this latest round of funding, the port and its tenants had secured more than $10 million to upgrade the shipyard in recent years.

GoErie.com

 

USCG Sector Lake Michigan hosted Women’s Leadership Symposium

4/1 - Milwaukee, Wis. – Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan hosted its annual Women’s Leadership Symposium at the Milwaukee War Memorial Thursday.

The symposium was attended by more than 150 Coast Guard members stationed throughout the Great Lakes region and beyond. The purpose of the event was to bring together leaders from all levels of the service to discuss leadership, mentorship and resources available to contribute to the success of the Coast Guard’s missions.

"The symposium is more than just a snapshot of how to be a better leader in today’s Coast Guard,” said Paul Jones, chief boatswains mate and executive petty officer of Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Station Two Rivers, Wisconsin. “It’s more about discussing the challenges of leadership and how to overcome them to foster a stronger environment of fairness, diversity and mentorship."

Keynote speaker for the event was Deputy Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Leilani Cale-Jones. Other events of the symposium included a command panel of senior Coast Guard leaders, mentoring sessions and a junior leadership discussion.

Also included in the symposium were small group discussions that covered a wide range of current topics such as career guidance, building resiliency within the service, and marriage in the military. These panel sessions provided an open dialogue between attendees and presenters for further discussion.

"It was truly a learning experience, and I have much to take away," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Paige Dockery, a company commander at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, New Jersey. "I learned a lot about myself as a leader, and how important it is to know your people."

This is the third year the symposium has been hosted by Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan and has become an annual event within the Great Lakes region.

USCG

 

Ticket sale opens to public for Door County Lighthouse Festival

4/1 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Tickets for the 24th Annual Door County Lighthouse Festival go on sale to the general public Monday, April 3, following a two-week pre-sale for museum members.

Following the successful members only pre-sale, one tour is sold out but ample tickets remain for the variety of land-based tours and boat excursions set for the weekend of June 9-11. Tickets can be obtained online on the museum’s website, www.dcmm.org, by calling the museum at (920) 743-5958 or stopping by the museum in Sturgeon Bay, 120 N. Madison Ave.

Many of the boat excursions are unique to the Lighthouse Festival weekend. New this year is the Lakeshore Lighthouse Cruise out of Baileys Harbor. The tour will offer the opportunity to see a number of lights from the water, including Cana Island lighthouse, the old Baileys Harbor “bird cage” light as well at the Baileys Harbor Range Lights. The possibility of seeing several shipwrecks also exists on the tour.

Returning boat trips include the popular excursion from Gills Rock to Plum Island. There are four tours spread over Saturday and Sunday with limited seating available. The excursion includes a walking tour of Plumb Island presented by the Friends of Plum & Pilot Islands. Because of its limited capacity, this tour traditionally sells out quickly so it is advised to check online for ticket availability.

The excursion to Chambers Island is another once-a-year opportunity. Although a larger-capacity boat permits more people to visit Chambers Island, it will continue to be a hot ticket item. Participants need to be prepared for a scenic island hike covering three miles round trip to the lighthouse and back to the dock.

Another popular weekend tour will circle Plum and Pilot islands from Gills Rock while the one-of-a-kind schooner trip aboard the tall ship Edith Becker from Sister Bay is also among the offerings this year with trips under sail past the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse with cannon salute.

The Chicago Fireboat will be offering its regular daily tours from the Door County Maritime Museum as well as special sunset dessert cruises both Friday and Saturday evenings.

Two different daylong, land-based narrated trolley tours, visit the five mainland lights and depart from either the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay or the Door County Trolley Depot in Egg Harbor. The popular Ghost/Mystery trolley tour leaves from the Door County Maritime Museum on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Cana Island and Eagle Bluff Lighthouses maintain regular seasonal hours throughout the weekend. Both the Sherwood Point Lighthouse and Sturgeon Bay Canal Light are operated by the U.S. Coast Guard and offer free admission over this weekend only. The range lights in the Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor, with its newly restored lower light, will also welcome visitors 10 am-2 pm Friday-Sunday for a free-will offering. Make sure to visit the sanctuary’s stunning new welcome center.

For more detailed information on tours and pricing or to request a brochure visit www.dcmm.org. Tickets can be ordered on the website or by calling (920) 743-5958.

Door County Marine Museum

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 1

On 01 April 1887, W. T. Botsford & Company of Port Huron, Michigan bought the COLORADO (wooden propeller package freighter, 254 foot, 1,470 gross tons, built in 1867, at Buffalo, New York). She was added to their two other vessels: DEAN RICHMOND and ROANOKE.

STEWART J. CORT was commissioned on April 1, 1972.

In April 1965, Interlake's steamer J. A. CAMPBELL was renamed c.) BUCKEYE MONITOR after being purchased by the Buckeye Steamship Co.

Realizing that the bulk trades were too competitive, Captain John Roen's Roen Transportation Co. sold the CAPTAIN JOHN ROEN to the American Steamship Co. (Boland & Cornelius, mgr.) on April 1, 1947, for $915,000.

ROY A. JODREY started her first full season opening navigation at the Soo Locks April 1, 1966, with a load of stone for Algoma Steel.

Dismantling of the G. A. TOMLINSON, a.) D. O. MILLS, began in Ashtabula, Ohio, on April 1, 1980, and was completed eight months later.

April 1, 1903 - Gus Kitzinger of the Pere Marquette Line steamers, acquired the PERE MARQUETTE 3 & 4 from the Pere Marquette Railway Co.

Sailors at Chicago went on strike on 1 April 1871, for an increase in pay. They were getting $1.50 a day. Some ship owners offered $1.75 but when word came that the Straits of Mackinac were clear of ice, the sailors demanded the unheard of daily wage of $3.25. Although some ships stayed in port, the $1.75 wage was accepted and the barks MARY PEREW, J G MASTEN and C J WELLS, along with the schooners DONALDSON, PATHFINDER and CHAMPION set sail on 1 April 1871

On 1 April 1904, CONDOR (2-mast wooden schooner, 58 foot, 22 gross tons, built in 1871, at Sheboygan, Wisconsin), while lying at anchor in the Kalamazoo River at Singapore, Michigan, was crushed by ice moving out in the spring breakup.

1941: ROBERT W. POMEROY had served the Eastern Steamship Co. as well as Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation Co. while on the Great Lakes from 1923 to 1940. It went overseas and worked for the British Ministry of War Transport hauling coal on coastal routes. While north bound on April 1, 1942, the ship hit a mine and, four minutes later, a second mine and went down in the North Sea off Norfolk, U.K. Twenty-two survived although two were injured when the boiler exploded.

1942: The Norwegian salty GUDVANG came to the Great Lakes in 1939. It was intercepted by a German patrol boat between Denmark and Norway, while trying to escape to England, on this date in 1942. The ship was sunk by gunfire and the crew became prisoners of war.

1968: GHISLAIN was more at home on the St. Lawrence, but had delivered pulpwood to the Great Lakes in the late 1960s. It had several escapades during these years including a grounding while entering Yarmouth, NS with 1400 tons of herring on this date in 1968. The vessel was repaired at Liverpool, NS. It was listed as g) ANIK in 1974 and in need of repairs. While it was not deleted from LR until 1986, the ship was likely broken up in the mid-1970s.

1983: REGENT MARIGOLD visited the Great Lakes in 1975 under Panamanian registry. It was sailing as d) LEXINGTON when the hull fractured in a storm while en route from Bukpyong, South Korea, to Bangladesh. It went down on this date about 200 miles northwest of Penang, Malaysia.

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

 

Port Reports -  March 31

Silver Bay, Minn.
American Century was loading Thursday night.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
CSL St-Laurent departed on Thursday afternoon for Sorel. Algoma Equinox was headed out in the evening, bound for Port Cartier. Thunder Bay was headed for Superior, Wis. Algoma Enterprise was loading.

Marquette, Mich.
Herbert C. Jackson was loading Thursday night.

Owen Sound, Ont. – Paul Martin
John D. Leitch left lay-up from the east harbor wall either late on the 28th or early morning on the 29th of March to begin her shipping season. Algoma Olympic remains, along with the Algoway, which is undergoing repairs on her forward bow thruster.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
John B. Aird was loading salt on Wednesday bound for Montreal.

Sarnia, Ont.
The saltie Lake Ontario was upbound Thursday early evening with a Duluth destination.

Monroe, Mich.
Paul R. Tregurtha was unloading coal Thursday night.

Toledo, Ohio
Lee A. Tregurtha is due in Toledo to the Torco Dock during the day on Friday. She will be the first ore boat for the 2017 shipping season for this dock. Robert S. Pierson arrived with grain on Thursday evening.

Cleveland, Ohio – Nick Hunter
Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived in Cleveland early Thursday morning and unloaded ore at the bulk terminal, while the Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder continued her familiar trip to the steel mill. The Oberstar left for Silver Bay in the early evening.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W
On Thursday, tug Calusa Coast and barge Delaware wheeled out of Buffalo around 10 a.m. On Wednesday, Manitoulin departed around noon.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Vessel traffic for 3-30-2017: Upbound: tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes, Spruceglen, Sterling Energy to wharf 1. Downbound: Mississagi - stopped wharf 1, Algoma Guardian, Radcliffe R. Latimer eta 2130. Notes: Calusa Coast and barge Delaware departed Buffalo and Spruceglen departed winter lay-up at Toronto.

Rochester, N.Y. – Tom Brewer
Stephen B. Roman arrived Thursday evening for her first trip of the season with a load of cement for Lehigh Hanson Inc.

Montreal, Que. – Bruno Boissonneault
Atlantic Huron left layup in Halifax on March 18. Salarium is laid-up at Section 65 in the Port of Montreal.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 31

On 31 March 1971, the American Steamship Company's RICHARD J. REISS grounded at Stoneport, Michigan, while moving away from the dock. She damaged her number nine tank.

Christening ceremonies took place at St. Catharines, Ontario, on March 31, 1979, for d.) CANADIAN PROSPECTOR, lengthened by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd.

ROGER M. KYES (Hull#200) was launched March 31, 1973, at Toledo, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co. Renamed b.) ADAM E. CORNELIUS in 1989.

WILLIAM R. ROESCH was renamed b) DAVID Z. NORTON in christening ceremonies at Cleveland, Ohio, on March 31, 1995. The PAUL THAYER was also renamed, EARL W. OGLEBAY, during the same ceremonies.

JOSEPH S. WOOD was sold to the Ford Motor Co. and towed from her winter lay-up berth at Ashtabula, Ohio, on March 31, 1966, to the American Ship Building's Toledo, Ohio, yard for her five-year inspection. A 900 h.p. bowthruster was installed at this time. She would be rechristened as c.) JOHN DYKSTRA two months later.

The steamer b.) J. CLARE MILLER was launched March 31, 1906, as a.) HARVEY D. GOULDER (Hull#342) at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co., for W.A. & A.H. Hawgood of Cleveland, Ohio.

On March 31, 1927, the WILLIAM MC LAUGHLAN entered service for the Interlake Steamship Co. when she departed Sandusky, Ohio for Superior, Wisconsin, on her maiden trip. Later renamed b.) SAMUEL MATHER in 1966, sold Canadian in 1975, renamed c.) JOAN M. MC CULLOUGH, and finally d.) BIRCHGLEN in 1982. Scrapped at Point Edward, Nova Scotia, by Universal Metal Co. Ltd.

On 31 March 1874, E. H. MILLER (wooden propeller tug, 62 foot, 30 gross tons) was launched at Chesley A. Wheeler's yard in E. Saginaw, Michigan. The power plant from the 1865, tug JENNIE BELL was installed in her. She was renamed RALPH in 1883, and spent most of her career as a harbor tug in the Alpena area. She was abandoned in 1920.

1974: The nine-year old Liberian freighter CAPE PALMAS first came through the Seaway in 1969 after it had been purchased from Swedish interests. The vessel was at Bilbao, Spain, undergoing repairs, on March 31, 1974, when a blaze broke out aft and caused extensive damage. This was repaired and the ship resumed trading. It was converted to the cement carrier c) ASANO in 1978 and served until arriving at Shanghai, China, for scrapping on September 10, 1993.

1999: VARADERO was the first new ship of the 1991 season to use the Seaway. It was bound for Toronto with a cargo of sugar. This bulk carrier was sailing as e) MANPOK, and under North Korean registry, when it sank on this date in 1999 following a collision with HYUNDAI DUKE some 500 miles off Colombo, Sri Lanka, while inbound from Jakarta, Indonesia, with a cargo of cement. Two crew members were rescued while another 37 were posted as missing.

2011: BBC STEINHOEFT got stuck in the Seaway on this date in 2011. The Liberian registered freighter had just been renamed at Toronto, having entered the lakes as BELUGA FUSION. It lost power near the St. Lambert Lock and ended up sideways and blocking the channel until she was refloated and realigned.

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

 

Barge towed by Evans McKeil sinks in Picton Bay

3/30 - Kingston, Ont. – Officials in Prince Edward County are reassuring residents that a partially submerged barge in Picton Bay, about 60 kilometres southwest of Kingston, poses little risk to the environment.

The bow of the Pitts Carillon, a 27-metre barge owned by Galcon Marine, is resting in shallow waters after it began taking on water late Thursday, according to McKeil Marine, the company that was chartering the vessel and is now taking responsibility for the salvage operation. The barge's stern remains afloat, the company said. In a statement Monday, McKeil Marine said the barge poses "little risk to the environment."

"The barge is stable," according to the company's director of project management Chris Kirby, who's overseeing the salvage operation. "We have developed a recovery plan which was reviewed by the Coast Guard and Transport Canada. We have assembled a team of experts and taken all necessary precautions to ensure utmost safety throughout the operation."

It's believed the partially submerged barge contains about 1,200 litres of diesel fuel and 100 litres of hydraulic fluid. The fuel tanks remain intact, but the company deployed a pollution boom around the barge as a precaution. Divers hired to inspect the barge have confirmed no pollutants have contaminated the bay, according to Prince Edward County.

"I am assured there is no immediate danger and no spill occurred," said Coun. Lenny Epstein on Facebook. "I don't say that to minimize it nor to diminish but to reassure." The county said it has taken all necessary precautions to protect the local drinking water system, and said a sufficient supply of drinking water exists in municipal reservoirs in the event that pollution is detected.

McKeil Marine said the barge was towed from the Port of Toronto on Wednesday and arrived at Picton Terminal Thursday evening. Early Friday morning the crew of the tug noticed the barge listing to one side and set up a pump in an attempt to right it. There were no injuries.

CBC

 

Port Reports -  March 30

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Philip R. Clarke arrived Duluth on Wednesday afternoon to load iron ore at CN. American Spirit departed during the evening after receiving repairs at Port Terminal. Algoma Mariner arrived in Superior just after noon and was loading Wednesday night.

Two Harbors, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Edwin H. Gott departed Two Harbors on Tuesday morning, and Capt. Henry Jackman arrived soon after to load. She departed during the evening. Algoma Harvester was inbound around 9 p.m. to take on ore. On Thursday, G3 Marquis, Roger Blough, and John D. Leitch are due to load at CN, and American Integrity is expected on Friday. Edgar B. Speer and Algoma Transport are due to arrive on Saturday.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Algolake left winter lay-up Wednesday evening and was headed out into the lake.

Goderich, Ont.
John B. Aird is still at her layup dock, but her AIS destination is now showing Montreal on April 4, 2017. Waterfront reports indicate she will load salt soon and will be sold for scrap after her arrival at Montreal.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Vessels in port Wednesday evening included the Algoma Discovery at one of the grain elevators as the port's first grain vessel for the 2017 season. The tug Petite Forte and barge St. Marys Cement were at the St. Marys Cement Terminal unloading a cement cargo. Manitoulin is expected to arrive at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Thursday in the morning. They will be the first vessel to load at that dock for the 2017 shipping season. Also due at CSX are the barge James L. Kuber / tug Victory on April 3 in the late morning. John J. Boland is due at CSX on April 4 in the early evening to load, and the barge James L. Kuber / tug Victory are due back at CSX on April 8 in the late afternoon. There is nothing due for the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. At the Torco Dock, the first expected arrival for the 2017 season will be Lee A. Tregurtha on Friday in the morning. Also due at Torco are the barge James L. Kuber / tug Victory on April 2 in the late evening, followed by the Joseph H. Thompson and tug on April 3 in the early evening and the barge James L. Kuber / tug Victory on April 9 in the late morning. The Buffalo became the third vessel to depart from Winter Lay-up for the 2017 shipping season. This leaves the H. Lee White at the Old Ironville Dock, American Integrity at the CSX #2 Dock and the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber as the last vessels at least expected to sail. Vessels not expected to sail in 2017 are the Manistee and American Valor, both at the Torco Dock #2 East Wall. The St. Clair is laid-up at the Torco Slip #2 West Wall across from the Manistee and is due for shipyard work before she fits out later in the season. Also not expected to sail are the tug Jane Ann IV and barge Sarah Spencer, both of which are near the CSX Coal Dock area and the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Vessel transits for Wednesday included the upbound Kaministiqua, Algoscotia, Lake Ontario (Atg) and Federal Schelde (Brb). Amelia Desgagnes, tug Salvage Monarch with barges Radium 603 & 617 and dredge Ocean Basque 2 were downbound. Algoma Hansa departed Nanticoke, Algonova was at Nanticoke and Algoscotia was anchored in Long Point bay awaiting dock. Manitoulin departed Buffalo, headed for Toledo.

 

Newly discovered shipwreck in Lake Superior offers stunning window into the past

3/30 - It was near midnight in early May 1884 when the J.S. Seaverns went down off the north shore of Lake Superior. The ship had run against some rocks on its way out of nearby Michipicoten Harbor. And while all aboard made it to shore alive, the ship was swallowed up by the lake, abandoned and forgotten. Until now.

Dan Fountain calls the Seaverns “one of the best preserved shipwrecks" he's ever seen. Fountain is the sleuth responsible for uncovering the site of the 132 year-old shipwreck. He was inspecting nautical charts more than a decade ago when he noticed a symbol representing a wreck in Michipicoten Bay.

Several years later, and with the help of sonar, a team of wreck divers descended through the frigid waters of Lake Superior to the site of the almost-forgotten vessel.

“We were all amazed at the condition of the wreck,” Fountain said. The deck of the vessel, which was carrying supplies for contractors working on the Canadian Pacific Railroad, had collapsed. But the lower cabins remained intact. "We were able to look into some of the crew accommodations," he said, "We were able to look into the galley and see dishes still on the shelves.”

Fountain said the cold water in Lake Superior helped preserve the shipwreck. So too did the lake’s lack of invasive mussels; in the other Great Lakes, this vessel likely would have been covered with quagga and zebra mussels.

Listen to the report at this link: http://michiganradio.org/post/newly-discovered-shipwreck-lake-superior-offers-stunning-window-past

 

Obituary: Jane C. Greenwood

3/30 - Jane C. Greenwood, age 77, Valencia, Pa., (formerly of Shaker Heights, Ohio) passed away March 20. She lived the majority of her life in Cleveland, Ohio, where she was active in various organizations. Her late husband, John O. Greenwood, worked at the Interlake Steamship Co. for many years, authored a series of authoritative books on Great Lakes fleets, and founded Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping.

 

Lay-up List updated with 2017 departure dates

3/30 - The lay-up list has been updated with departure dates. Please send in sailing dates that are not yet posted on the list. Lay-up list

 

Updates -  March 30

News Photo Gallery  

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 30

The tanker CHEMICAL MAR arrived at Brownsville, Texas on March 30, 1983, in tow of the tug FORT LIBERTE to be scrapped. Built in 1966, as a.) BIRK. In 1979, she was renamed b.) COASTAL TRANSPORT by Hall Corp. of Canada, but never came to the lakes. She was sold by Hall and was renamed c.) CHEMICAL MAR in 1981.

March 30, 1985 - CITY OF MIDLAND's departure was delayed when her anchor snagged one that she had lost in Pere Marquette Lake the previous summer.

March 30, 1900, the carferry ANN ARBOR NO 2, grounded on the rocks east of the approach to the channel at Manistique, Michigan. She was pulled off quickly by the ANN ARBOR NO 3 and the tug GIFFORD. She was found to have bent a propeller shaft and broken rudder, resulting in a trip to the drydock at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1917: GERMANIC was the last wooden passenger ship built in Collingwood. It was completed there in 1899 and burned there, at the dock, on this date in 1917. The ship was part of Canada Steamship Lines at the time of loss. The hull settled on the bottom but was raised, towed towards Wasaga Beach, and run aground. The remains were torn apart for firewood during the Depression.

1940: The first THORDOC, a) J.A. McKEE, stranded at Winging Point, 10 miles southwest of Louisbourg, N.S., due to heavy fog. The ship was abandoned on April 1 and declared a total loss. This member of the Paterson fleet had been travelling in ballast and had been involved in Great Lakes trading since 1908.

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

 

Rand Logistics announces expectations for 2017 sailing season

3/29 - Jersey City, N.J. – Rand Logistics, Inc., a leading provider of bulk freight shipping services throughout the Great Lakes region, has announced its outlook for the 2017 sailing season. In summary, the company anticipates improved financial performance over the 2016 sailing season based on recent contract wins, improved customer demand and continued cost savings initiatives.

“We are projecting to sail approximately 3,600 days with 14 vessels in the 2017 season, including all six of our Canadian flagged self-unloaders, our three Canadian flagged bulkers, and five of our six U.S. flagged self-unloaders,” said Ed Levy, Rand's president and chief executive officer.

“For comparison purposes, we sailed 3,560 days in the 2016 sailing season and we operated 14 of our vessels. We do not expect to utilize any third-party vessels to haul our customer tonnage in the 2017 sailing season, and we are presently evaluating several return-generating alternatives for our sixth U.S. flagged self-unloader," Levy added.

"Based on the current market environment and assuming no change in the U.S./Canadian foreign exchange rate, we are projecting vessel margin per day for our fiscal year ending March 31, 2018 to be approximately $13,400, or 12 percent greater than preliminary vessel margin per day for our fiscal year ended March 31, 2017,” he said.

"Market conditions for the commodities that we carry have improved compared to this time last year. There still remains leftover grain tonnage from 2016's record-setting Canadian harvest and, at current prices, iron ore exporting is economically attractive and causing tighter capacity in our market. We were successful in increasing market share with certain of our customers whose contracts we renewed over the last 120 days, and we are pleased with our tonnage nominations for the upcoming sailing season. Based on current market conditions and customer nominations received to date, we are expecting our tonnage hauled to increase 7 percent in the 2017 Sailing Season compared the 2016 Sailing Season,” he concluded.

Mark Hiltwein, Rand's chief financial officer, said the company is “well on our way to achieving an additional $1 million of annual cost savings, which will result in approximately $5 million of aggregate cost savings since we commenced a comprehensive evaluation of our cost structure at the beginning of 2016. These reductions have been realized in a number of areas, including insurance, provisions, spare parts, and general and administration expenses. Our cost savings program is part of an initiative to improve return on invested capital.”

“Our 2017 operational initiatives include continuing to rationalize our cost structure, managing capital expenses, continuing to improve our operational efficiencies and achieving a higher value-added revenue. We are also actively focused on strategies to refinance our debt,” he concluded.

Global Newswire

 

Port Reports -  March 29

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
James R. Barker departed Duluth with iron ore pellets early Tuesday morning. Erie Trader/Clyde S. VanEnkevort, the former Lakes Contender/Ken Boothe Sr, arrived soon after and began loading at CN. They were expected to depart later in the evening. American Spirit and Indiana Harbor both remained at Port Terminal. CSL Assiniboine was loading at Burlington Northern in Superior.

Two Harbors, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Edwin H. Gott departed Tuesday morning and Capt. Henry Jackman arrived soon after to load. She departed during the evening. Algoma Harvester was inbound around 9 p.m. to take on ore. On Thursday, G3 Marquis, Roger Blough, and John D. Leitch are due to load at CN, and American Integrity is expected on Friday. Edgar B. Speer and Algoma Transport are due Saturday.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Baie Comeau and CSL Welland departed with grain in the early evening Tuesday. Tim S. Dool, CSL St.-Laurent and Atlantic Huron were loading.

Escanaba, Mich.
Joseph L. Block was headed in to load Tuesday night.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Algoma Discovery arrived Tuesday afternoon but was unable to proceed up river due to the bridges not being manned. She went to anchor in western Lake Erie just east of the entrance to the Toledo ship channel. Her adventure going up the Maumee River will start over again early Wednesday morning. The first vessel to load at the CSX Coal Dock for the 2017 season will be the Manitoulin, due Thursday at midnight. Due next at CSX will be the barge James L. Kuber / tug Victory April 4 in the mid-afternoon, followed by the barge Ashtabula / tug Defiance due April 6, also in the mid-afternoon. The barge James L. Kuber / tug Victory return there on April 9 in the late evening, and the Saginaw is also due at CSX to load April 10 in the early morning. Two other vessels are also due at CSX, the Algoma Enterprise on April 17 in the late evening followed by the Algoma Transport on April 25 in the morning. There is no activity scheduled at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. At the Torco Dock, the first arrival is expected to be the Lee A. Tregurtha, due in on Friday in the morning. The barge James L. Kuber / tug Victory are due at Torco on April 2 in the late evening followed by the Joseph H. Thompson Jr. and barge on April 3 in the early evening. Rounding out the schedule are the barge James L. Kuber / tug Victory, returning to Torco on April 9 in the late morning. There has been no new vessel departures from Winter Lay-up, however, American Integrity, Buffalo and Great Republic all have their AIS up and running and should be departing soon.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The first commercial vessel transit of the new season for the Buffalo area was the 664-foot self-unloader Manitoulin with a load of Canadian red wheat on March 27. She arrived in a heavy fog that evening around 7 p.m. from Thunder Bay, Ont., and was winded in the outer harbor by the tug Washington. They proceeded on a stern-first tow up the Buffalo River for the ADM Standard elevator, securing on the dock there at about 9 p.m. Tonawanda’s first delivery came on March 28 when the tug-barge unit Calusa Coast – Delaware arrived with asphalt from Detroit for Noco. They came in along the Canadian coast to dodge the breeze coming out of the north, switched out of towing gear off Point Abino, and then headed for the North Entrance around 3 p.m. After transiting the Black Rock Canal downbound, the pair docked at the Noco pier around 5 p.m.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Tuesday’s upbound passages were Sea Eagle II / barge St. Marys Cement II and Kaministiqua. Downbound traffic consisted of Amelia Desgagnes (eta 2315). Monday’s upbound passages were G3 Marquis, Algoma Enterprise, Algoma Discovery, Harbour Fountain (Portugal; first ocean vessel for 2017 through the canal), Baie St. Paul and Mississagi. English River was downbound.

Other news: Kaministiqua departed Hamilton winter berth at 1900 Tuesday, ETA Port Weller was 2207. Algoscotia departed Bronte at 2105. ETA Port Weller was 2250.

Seaway – Rene´ Beauchamp, Mac Mackay
A new saltie is expected at Cleveland from Russia on or about April 7, the general cargo ship Riga. Until lately, she was part of the Flinter Shipping fleet, which went bankrupt. Former name of the vessel was Flinter Aland. According to reports, she is still of Netherlands registry. With the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway this week for another season, the tug Genesis Victory out of New York is headed for the Great Lakes. The tug with its tank barge GM 6506 has been a regular on the Great Lakes, spending most of the summer there and leaving in the fall. Their work seems to be on Lake Michigan, working out of Whiting, Ind. The tug and barge usually use the Canso Canal to reach the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but since that facility will be closed for renovations until May, they may be waiting for better weather at Halifax before proceeding on their trip around Cape North.

 

Diver shuns med school for thrill of underwater finds

3/29 - Toledo, Ohio – Carrie Sowden wasn’t always on a path to be an underwater archaeologist, but she’s thrilled to have docked in Toledo.

As a college student, Ms. Sowden searched for an internship that would allow her to spend a summer in Maine, where her family vacationed. She spent a few months preserving artifacts from a 1710 shipwreck. One year later, she wondered if she could make a career out of it.

“All of a sudden, I was like, ‘That was really cool. I could do that. Med school sounds lame,’ ” Ms. Sowden said. “So it was this random, unexpected thing, but it’s turned out really well for me.”

Before joining the National Museum of the Great Lakes as its archaeological director, Ms. Sowden, 41, received degrees from Emory University and Texas A&M University. She traveled as far as Portugal and Turkey, diving to the depths of the seas studying shipwrecks. The diving component is little more than a means of transportation for Ms. Sowden. Finding what lies beneath is the real reward.

“There’s just something about boats that have been present and permanent in human nature for literally thousands of years,” she said. “There’s so much they can tell you about the culture and the people who built it, sailed it, and perhaps died on it.

“I’ll be down there just working away, and all of a sudden I’ll have to stop and think about what I’m really doing. I’m sitting on the edge of this boat that 150 years ago was above the water with a bunch of people on it. This isn’t just numbers and measurements I’m taking, which does mean something, but in the end, it's about the people and the greater story.”

Every shipwreck Ms. Sowden encounters tells a different, yet important tale. She ventured to the bottom of the Red River in Oklahoma to examine the state’s only shipwreck. The steamboat built in New Albany, Ind., was carrying goods from Cincinnati when it sank just a few miles from its destination.

“It’s interesting because the guys who were shipping the goods, their contract said they didn’t get paid until they made it to dock,” Ms. Sowden said.

While in Turkey, Ms. Sowden analysed tin ingots from the Uluburun. The ship sank in 1305 B.C., and each ingot was engraved with the owner’s mark. Ms. Sowden discovered a new owner’s mark that had not been found previously.

The most interesting item she recovered is a bell on display at the museum. The bell was on board the Cortland, which sank in 1868 off the coast of Lorain, Ohio, in Lake Erie, killing 35 people. Most bells on ships were made of brass, but Ms. Sowden was surprised to find this one was made of iron. She discovered it was originally on the ship owner’s farm in Seneca Falls, N.Y.

“People will be like, ‘Oh, did you find gold?’ ” Ms. Sowden said. “But some of the things we do find are super interesting. Archaeology is all dependent on the questions you’re asking.”

Those interested in an up-close-and-personal experience with a shipwreck can take Ms. Sowden’s workshop. The three-part class is designed for divers and nondivers, and begins April 29. Participants will learn about laws and ethics, research, and do their own shipwreck survey in May.

“The people who go through the class, it gives them an ownership of Great Lakes shipwrecks,” Ms. Sowden said. “It’s a piece of history they now know. I really enjoy teaching people about what the Great Lakes have to offer.”

Toledo Blade

 

NMGL to hold spring shipwreck archaeology training workshop

3/29 - Toledo, Ohio – Have you ever wondered about the history that sits at the bottom of our Great Lakes? With more than 8,000 shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, there’s so much to be explored. Touring these sites is fun, but learning more about them, how they were built, the people on board, and what happened that fateful evening broadens our knowledge of our shared history. To do that, you need archaeology. That’s why the National Museum of the Great Lakes and the Maritime Archaeology Survey Team will hold its annual shipwreck archaeology training workshop at the National Museum of the Great Lakes, April 29-30.

The workshop is open to anyone with a passion for archaeology, shipwrecks or the history of the Great Lakes. Although the most common participant is a recreational diver, there are dozens of activities for the non-diver. Over the past 14 years, more than 350 people have enrolled in the workshop at the basic or advanced levels.

The weekend workshop includes one day of classroom work, which includes guest speakers on topics like Ship Terms, Laws and Ethics, Research, Survey Tools and Trilateration (the technique used to measure shipwrecks). The second day has participants putting their survey skills to the test aboard the Col. James M. Schoonmaker, which is permanently docked at the museum. Then on either May 20 or 21, participants spend a day at the White Star Quarry testing their skills underwater.

After completion of the workshop program, participants are invited to take part in the survey of a Lake Erie Shipwreck over the summer. This year, the summer survey on Lake Erie will continue last year’s work of surveying the wreck of the Admiral, lost with all hands in Lake Erie off of Avon Lake, Ohio, on December 2, 1942 after leaving Toledo toward Cleveland towing the Clevco, a fuel oil barge. The Admiral was a regular visitor to Toledo and was involved in the fuel trade, which was common during that time.

There are two levels of training: Basic and Advanced. The Basic class is open to anyone who is interested in shipwreck archaeology and is over 16 years of age. The Advanced class is open to people that have previously taken the basic class. Details about the levels of training can be found at Nautical Archaeology Workshop.

As part of the training weekend, MAST will be holding its annual meeting, dinner and program. This is open to everyone. This year we will be hosting Wayne Lusardi, Michigan State Underwater Archaeologist, who will be speaking about his work in Lake Huron on airplanes.

Registration for the workshop is $170 for either level and includes one ticket to the MAST annual dinner that will be held on April 29 at the SeaGate Center in Toledo, Ohio.

National Museum of the Great Lakes

 

Public Gallery back up and running

3/29 - The Public Gallery is back in action thanks to our volunteer Greenshirt. He was able to correct a database problem, One Long and Two shorts from the fans of the Gallery. Pics.Boatnerd.Com

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 29

N. M. Paterson & Sons, PRINDOC (Hull#657) of Davie Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec, was sold off-lakes during the week of March 29, 1982, to the Southern Steamship Co., Georgetown, Cayman Islands and was renamed b.) HANKEY. Later renamed c.) CLARET III in 1990, d.) S SARANTA in 1992, e.) PLATANA IN 1997, Scrapped at Alaiga, Turkey in 1997.

On 29 March 1888, D. D. JOHNSON (wooden propeller tug, 45 foot, 17 gross tons) was launched at E. Saginaw, Michigan. She was built for Carkin, Stickney & Cram and lasted until 1909.

1973: MANCHESTER TRADER, the second ship of this name to visit the Great Lakes, was owned by the Prince Line when it first came inland, on charter to Manchester Liners Ltd., in 1964. The ship was renamed e) WESTERN PRINCE in 1969 and also transited the Seaway that year. It became f) MARINER in 1971 and was abandoned in the Pacific on this date in 1973. The ship was leaking in heavy weather en route from Havana, Cuba, to Kobe, Japan, and was presumed to have sunk about 35.00 N / 152.47 E.

1973: DAVID MARQUESS OF MILFORD HAVEN, one of the longest named saltwater ships to visit the Great Lakes, was the first saltwater ship of the season upbound in the Seaway.

1990: The MAYA FARBER visited the Great Lakes in 1981. It arrived at Alang, India, under tow for scrapping on this date following an explosion and fire off Port Sudan as d) RAAD AL-BAKRY VIII on January 15, 1990.

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

 

Port Reports -  March 28

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Duluth harbor has seen plenty of traffic since the opening of the Soo Locks. All of the winter layup fleet has departed with the exception of Arthur M. Anderson, expected to sit out the 2017 season. On Monday, Paul R. Tregurtha departed Duluth just after midnight with her second coal load of the season. Indiana Harbor arrived before sunrise, and docked at Port Terminal. Cason J. Callaway departed during the afternoon after loading ore, and CSL Assiniboine arrived later in the evening and stopped to fuel before shifting down to Superior to load. James R. Barker continued loading at CN, while American Spirit remained at Port Terminal undergoing repairs. In Superior, Whitefish Bay arrived during the afternoon to load at BN.

Two Harbors, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Edgar B. Speer departed just after sunrise on Monday after loading iron ore pellets at the CN dock. Radcliffe R. Latimer arrived later in the morning and began loading. Edwin H. Gott arrived offshore during the afternoon and dropped anchor to wait for the Latimer to clear the dock. The schedule for Two Harbors has Capt. Henry Jackman and Algoma Harvester loading on Tuesday, while Edgar B. Speer and Algoma Transport are due to load on Saturday.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Baie Comeau and CSL Welland were loading Monday. Algoma Guardian departed in the evening with grain.

Marquette, Mich.
Michipicoten loaded Monday and headed for Essar in the Canadian Soo.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Alpena arrived at Lafarge around 3 p.m. on Monday to load its first cargo of the season. Later in the evening she departed for Green Bay. The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation are expected in port on Tuesday afternoon.

Sarnia, Ont. – George Lee
The tug Salvage Monarch was downbound on the St. Clair River Monday headed for Quebec City with Group Ocean dredging equipment that had been used last season in Sarnia harbor.

Detroit, Mich.
Kaye E. Barker was unloading her first ore cargo of the season Monday.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
The Port of Toledo and the Toledo Docks are expected to open this week. The first arrival at the CSX Coal Dock is scheduled to be the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory on March 29 in the mid-afternoon. Also due at CSX is the Saginaw on April 10 in the early afternoon, along with the Algoma Enterprise on April 17 in the morning. On April 18 in the early afternoon Algoma Transport is due. There is nothing scheduled at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. At the Torco Dock, the first expected arrival for the 2017 shipping season will be the tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber on March 31 in the early morning. Lee A. Tregurtha is also due at Torco on March 31 in the early morning. Joseph H. Thompson Jr. and barge are due at Torco on April 3 in the morning and the tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber return to Torco on April 6 in the mid-afternoon. The 1,000-footer Edgar B. Speer was the first to depart Toledo's Winter Lay-up fleet on March 22, followed by the American Mariner on March 25. Vessels that are still in lay-up include the American Integrity at CSX #2 Dock, due to sail any time. John J. Boland is also at the CSX #2 Dock and due to sail in April. Buffalo is at CSX #1 Dock to sail anytime. H. Lee White is at the Old Ironville Dock and due to sail in April. At the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock, the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber remain in lay-up and the Great Republic remains at the Midwest Terminal Dock. Not expected to sail until later in the season is the St. Clair. Manistee and American Valor remain laid-up in the Frog Pond area. The tug Jane Ann IV and barge Sarah Spencer are in long-term lay-up near the CSX Docks and the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock.

Cleveland, Ohio – Nick Hunter, Denny Dushane
American Century was in port Monday morning. Herbert C. Jackson was at the bulk terminal alongside fleetmates Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder Monday afternoon. At about 6 p.m. the Jackson left the terminal floodwall and headed in through the pier towards the steel mill downriver. The oldest operating vessel currently sailing the Great Lakes, the 1942-built steamer Alpena, departed its lay-up berth Sunday morning for her namesake port to begin its 75th season sailing on the Great Lakes.

Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
Stephen B. Roman was the first ship of the season when she arrived Sunday with cement.

 

Coast Guard ship that underwent $9 million in repairs in 2009 sells for $373,000

3/28 - A decommissioned Canadian Coast Guard ship that underwent $9-million in repairs in 2009 only to be permanently docked four years later has been sold for $373,000 after being offered for sale on the government’s surplus website.

The vessel, named CCGS Tracy while in commission, was sold to an unspecified buyer on March 1, according to the Canadian Coast Guard. It was offered for sale on the GCSurplus website, where government-owned assets no longer deemed necessary are made available for purchase. The minimum bid was listed as $250,000.

The sale comes after the former Conservative government awarded Quebec-based Verreault Navigation Inc. a $6.8-million contract in 2009 to conduct “major repairs” to the ship. Richard Beaupré, the firm’s president and chief operations officer, said in an interview that the number was actually just over $9-million, a figure the Coast Guard confirmed.

The Coast Guard in 2009 expected that the repairs would keep the vessel in service for the following 10 years. But only four years later, it removed the CCGS Tracy from service.

Mario Pelletier, deputy commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, said the repairs were necessary to ensure the vessel met Transport Canada operating requirements. He placed the cost of a replacement ship for the Tracy at $300-million. “It’s a large number, but in the context of marine industry, it’s the cost of doing business,” Mr. Pelletier said of the $9-million repairs in an interview.

Mr. Pelletier said the Tracy was put out of commission as part of cost-cutting measures introduced in 2012 by the former Conservative government to trim the federal budget deficit.

The vessel is a buoy tender, which are responsible for maintaining and replacing buoys, navigational floating devices. As part of orders to find cost efficiencies, Mr. Pelletier said the Coast Guard explored the concept of contracting out buoy-tending services to the private sector, but discovered the cost was far greater than performing the service in-house.

But as part of the study, the Coast Guard discovered new efficiencies in how the buoy-tending program is delivered, he said, which provided “more ship time” to perform buoy tending, leading to the Tracy being declared surplus.

The Hill Times

 

Rock of Ages Lighthouse to be restored

3/28 - Duluth, Minn. – The Rock of Ages Lighthouse has greeted visitors approaching Isle Royale National Park since 1908, but it's been nearly 40 years since a lightkeeper cared for it.

Although the bones of the structure are in good shape, the lighthouse's interior needs attention — and the Rock of Ages Lighthouse Preservation Society is hoping to provide that. The preservation society, based in Duluth, is planning a multi-year project beginning this summer to restore the lighthouse to a 1930s look, with the goal of opening the lighthouse to the public in 2020.

Heather Gerth, a preservation society board member, said they want to preserve the lighthouse because of its history and its unique, remote location to the west of Isle Royale National Park, 15 miles off of the North Shore. The lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places and sits on the Rock of Ages reef, where two shipwrecks occurred prior to the lighthouse's construction.

"If the lighthouse is torn down, that's one less lighthouse that will ever be in existence. They're kind of an obsolete type of historical building. They're not being used in the same way. You can now put a buoy out in the water and accomplish the same thing. Those buildings really capture a historic way of life that's disappearing," Gerth said. "The keepers who stayed out there, the stories they have and the lives impacted by that light station are something that we think are worth preserving."

The lighthouse is still strong and sturdy, Gerth said. However, when the last lightkeeper left in 1979, the interior was sprayed with an exterior-grade white paint that has trapped a lot of moisture.

"You walk in there and it looks really bad. It looks like plaster is coming off the walls, plaster is coming off the ceiling. But when you get down to the skeleton of the structure, things are intact," Gerth said.

The preservation society's plan is to work its way through the 10-story lighthouse, restoring a room or two per year using mostly volunteers. This year's project will be the lightkeeper's quarters that housed the beds and closets. They're hoping to have six crews of six volunteers do the restoration work over seven weeks this summer, and plan to outfit a sleeping and cooking area for the crews on Barnum Island between Rock of Ages and Isle Royale.

The budget for the first year of restoration work is $36,000. In-kind donations total $21,000 and the preservation society is fundraising the remaining $15,000 that's needed to meet the budget, Gerth said.

In addition to two basement levels used for storage and a machinery room in the entrance area, the lighthouse had three floors for the lightkeepers that included an office, bathroom, gathering space, kitchen and sleeping quarters. Restoring a living quarters built more than a century ago will provide some challenges, she said.

"The year that we do the bathroom and that space, we're going to have to come up with some creative solutions for water and electricity. Historically, the lighthouse had discharged water into the lake and, obviously, that's not an option with very good reason," she said.

The top floors of the lighthouse are a watch room with access to the lighthouse's catwalk and the room that housed the light. The original light's pedestal and lens are located at Windigo on Isle Royale and the U.S. Coast Guard still operates a small light at Rock of Ages, Gerth said.

The preservation society also hopes that the National Park Service will restore the dock to the lighthouse to provide a safer landing for visitors, Gerth said. She added that they also plan to contract for the lighthouse's exterior restoration work, which requires more specialization than volunteers can provide.

The preservation society was created by Gerth's husband Dave Gerth in 2008. The first few years were spent transferring ownership of the lighthouse from the Coast Guard to the National Park Service and establishing a partnership agreement between the preservation society and NPS, Beth Gerth said.

The preservation society sees itself as a support organization for the lighthouse and creating a partnership with NPS is key to future work, including restoring the lighthouse. Gerth noted that they're fortunate that the lighthouse hasn't sustained more damage than it has.

"I think a lot of lighthouses that are being restored don't have that benefit of having really good solid bones to start with. We're lucky, actually, that things are in really good shape and we can work to make it much nicer inside," she said.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Former Polsteam bulker and Lakes visitor goes to scrap

3/28 - Ziemia Gornoslaska, a one-time former Polsteam bulker and Great Lakes/Seaway system visitor, has been sold for scrapping and was beached at Chittagong on March 16, 2017. This vessel was built in 1990 as the Ziemia Gornoslaska, and carried that name until August 1991, when it was sold and renamed the Lake Charles, a name it carried from 1991-2003. In 2003 the ship was renamed back to Ziemia Gornoslaska and it first came inland as such in 2003. In November 2013 it was sold and renamed Kanuni of the Cook Islands and never returned inland.

Denny Dushane

 

 

CN, Duluth Cargo Connect announce container terminal; intermodal capabilities a ‘game-changer’

3/28 - Duluth, Minn. -– Duluth’s status as an international hub just got a big boost. Canadian National Railway and Duluth Cargo Connect officially announced their intermodal terminal on Monday as the first CN train cars carrying shipping containers rolled onto the Clure Public Marine Terminal.

“From a 50,000-foot level it is a game-changer; this is traffic we normally wouldn’t see,” Vanta E. Coda II, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said by phone Monday. “We’re going to have an offering that for many becomes the path of least resistance. At the end of the day that’s what supply chain management is all about.”

The port authority and Lake Superior Warehousing have teamed up as Duluth Cargo Connect to operate the new terminal, which will transfer containers between rail cars and trucks at the Clure Public Marine Terminal.

Such a service can save local, regional and even international customers time and money while also providing work for the port. It also connects the port to three coasts — Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico — via CN’s rail network.

“This may be bold, but from a logistics perspective this is the biggest thing to happen since the opening of the seaway itself,” Jonathan Lamb, president of Lake Superior Warehousing, told the News Tribune.

Container shipping is a hallmark of major coastal ports, and the containers can be seen moving on rails across the country. Until now, Duluth had to watch that traffic head to other cities as it rolled through town.

CN has several intermodal terminals throughout the Upper Midwest and said the new terminal “opens up a new logistics supply chain and growth opportunities.”

“CN is pleased to bring its extensive contacts in international markets, freight-forwarding knowledge and customs and marketing support to the Twin Ports,” JJ Ruest, CN executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, said in a news release.

Container traffic crossing the U.S.-Canadian border on rails has increased markedly in the past several years, and CN pins some of its 2017 prospects on continued growth there.

“The company expects to see growth across a range of commodities, particularly in intermodal traffic, grain, finished vehicles, and lumber and panels,” CN wrote in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing earlier this year.

Transportation and logistics can factor heavily into bottom lines and company decisions; making it easier to get from point A to point B “will return benefits to us in terms of lower cost and greater global competitiveness,” according to the Mid-America Freight Coalition, a Midwestern transportation group.

“What it does for those companies is take freight savings they can reinvest in their business,” Coda said, which could mean jobs for those businesses. It could also mean new jobs at the port.

“As traffic grows we’ll certainly need more individuals with supply chain expertise, and these are really good jobs to have,” Coda said.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Updates -  March 28

News Photo Gallery  

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 28

N. M. Paterson & Sons, PRINDOC (Hull#657) of Davie Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec, was sold off-lakes during the week of March 29, 1982, to the Southern Steamship Co., Georgetown, Cayman Islands and was renamed b.) HANKEY. Later renamed c.) CLARET III in 1990, d.) S SARANTA in 1992, e.) PLATANA IN 1997, Scrapped at Alaiga, Turkey in 1997.

On 29 March 1888, D. D. JOHNSON (wooden propeller tug, 45 foot, 17 gross tons) was launched at E. Saginaw, Michigan. She was built for Carkin, Stickney & Cram and lasted until 1909.

1973: MANCHESTER TRADER, the second ship of this name to visit the Great Lakes, was owned by the Prince Line when it first came inland, on charter to Manchester Liners Ltd., in 1964. The ship was renamed e) WESTERN PRINCE in 1969 and also transited the Seaway that year. It became f) MARINER in 1971 and was abandoned in the Pacific on this date in 1973. The ship was leaking in heavy weather en route from Havana, Cuba, to Kobe, Japan, and was presumed to have sunk about 35.00 N / 152.47 E.

1973: DAVID MARQUESS OF MILFORD HAVEN, one of the longest named saltwater ships to visit the Great Lakes, was the first saltwater ship of the season upbound in the Seaway.

1990: The MAYA FARBER visited the Great Lakes in 1981. It arrived at Alang, India, under tow for scrapping on this date following an explosion and fire off Port Sudan as d) RAAD AL-BAKRY VIII on January 15, 1990.

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

 

Interlake Steamship's round-the-clock crew delivers 'the building blocks of America'

3/27 - Cleveland, Ohio – In the Great Lakes region, there's a critical partner to the steel and construction industries that the public may overlook: the lake and river shipping industry. "We haul the building blocks of America," said Jeremy Mock, captain of Interlake Steamship Co.'s Dorothy Ann-Pathfinder.

Interlake, a family-owned U.S.-flag fleet that operates on the Great Lakes, has been in existence since 1913. The Middleburg Heights-based company employs about 400 people and has nine active ships in its fleet, eight of which it owns and one of which it operates through its sister company.

While Interlake doesn't share its annual revenue, president Mark Barker said 2016 wasn't a great year, but it was OK. The company delivers products for the steel making, power generation and construction industries. "As the economy goes, we go," Barker said.

The automotive industry has kept the steel industry alive, he said, but the strong dollar and foreign competition certainly presented challenges. Barker said he is seeing some optimism for 2017, especially in the construction and infrastructure industries, and he has seen a small uptick in volume.

It's early in the year for Interlake. For the most part, Interlake's season begins when the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., open on March 25, said Paul Christensen, director of vessel operations and security. But the Dorothy Ann-Pathfinder got an early start on its Cuyahoga River ore shuttles, which started March 1.

The Dorothy Ann-Pathfinder is an approximately 700-foot-long tug boat-barge combination that employs 14 people who live on the ship full-time. Christensen said the ship works in the stone trade and can travel as far as the Saginaw River in Michigan, but that its primary operation is iron ore shuttles. On Wednesday, March 22, the ship conducted one of those shuttles from the Cleveland Bulk Terminal to ArcelorMittal's Cleveland plant. The iron ore it carries is a critical raw material for steelmaking.

- Read more and view photos at this link: http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20170326/NEWS/170329835/interlake-steamships-round-the-clock-crew-delivers-the-building

 

Port Reports -  March 27

Duluth, Minn.
American Spirit loaded ore at the CN Dock Sunday, then was towed to the Port Terminal Dock for unspecified repairs by the G tugs North Carolina and Kentucky.

Goderich, Ont. – Bruce Douglas
John B. Aird, Algosteel and Algorail remain in winter layup.

Sarnia, Ont.
The tug Salvage Monarch arrived from the Welland Canal on Sunday.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Sunday’s upbound traffic included Algoma Equinox, Thunder Bay, Amelia Desgagnes, Robert S. Pierson, Algoma Discovery, Baie St. Paul (delayed) and G3 Marquis. Downbounds were Dara Desgagnes and Algowood

Vessels departing from Welland Canal winter berths:
3/20 - Algowood moved from above L8 to wharf 12
3/22 - Thunder Bay
3/23 - Tim S. Dool

Hamilton, Ont. – Barry Andersen
Vessels departing Hamilton recently from their winter berths:
3/19 - Robert S. Pierson to open Canal on the 20th
3/20 - tug Sea Eagle II & barge St. Marys Cement II
3/21 - tug Wilf Seymour & barge Alouette Spirit
3/21 - Mississagi
3/23 - Algoma Guardian and Radcliffe R. Latimer
3/25 - Algoma Mariner and Algoma Harvester
3/25 - tug Petite Forte & barge St. Marys Cement
3/26 - Algoma Enterprise and G3 Marquis about 1700
Date unknown - Radcliffe R. Latimer

 

Soo Locks open for shipping season

3/27 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The shipping season at the Soo Locks officially started at 12:01 Saturday morning when the 1,000-foot-long Stewart J. Cort made its way up into Lake Superior. Dozens of BoatNerds from across the region made their way to the locks to welcome in the Cort. This was the first visit for a teenager from Evart.

"I think the overall the locks and the vessels that pass through is just phenomenal on how big an object made by man can move that much cargo in one load,” said Jarrett Dodge.

View the interview at this link: http://www.9and10news.com/story/34997849/soo-locks-open-for-shipping-season

 

Goderich Council not interested in operating marine museum

3/27 - Goderich, Ont. – Goderich Council has decided it’s not interested in operating the Marine Museum at the foot of West Street. C-A-O Larry McCabe explains the town owns the Marine Museum but it has been operated by the county.

A decision was recently made by the county that it was no longer viable, and the revenue it was generating would not cover the costs of bringing it up to acceptable standards, so the county asked the town to assume responsibility for the museum.

McCabe says the town received a report from the Health and Safety Committee this week and also authorized a third party to look at hazardous substances like lead paint in the building as well as meeting provincial accessibility standards.

McCabe says based on those reports council decided to remove the Marine Museum from its current location and shut it down.

Blackburn News

 

BoatNerd launches new AIS system; receiver locations wanted

3/27 - BoatNerd has updated the popular free AIS system ais.boatnerd.com that features near real-time shipping locations in an interactive map. The new system offers faster loading and better response on mobile devices.

Phase two is underway and will automate the Vessel Passage section by providing a database of ship passages. It will even allow for a schedule of expected vessel at any defined location.

The system works when shore stations with a range of about 20 miles capture AIS data and shares it with our server.

How You Can Help
You can help by hosting a receiver or by sharing an existing station to our servers.

If you are hosting a receiver with Marine Traffic or one of the other reporting sites, they can easy add the BoatNerd map to their upload of your data. E-mail us for an input port and we will send you the necessary information to forward to the reporting sites so the traffic is shared. We also can provide receivers and antennas to sites interested in hosting and installing them. All that's needed is a location near commercial traffic with an Internet connection and the ability to mount an antenna.

If you are interested in hosting a receiver and antenna please e-mail moderator@boatnerd.net and we will add you location to the list.

Right now we are working on Freighter Trip Raffle to help fund the equipment. We will post details as they become available.

Thank you, The BoatNerd Crew

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 27

The steamer b.) EDWARD S. KENDRICK was launched March 27, 1907, as a.) H.P. McINTOSH (Hull#622) at West Bay City, Michigan, by West Bay City Ship Building Co. for the Gilchrist Transportation Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

Nipigon Transport Ltd. (Carryore Ltd., mgr., Montreal, Quebec) operations came to an end when the fleet was sold on March 27, 1986, to Algoma Central's Marine Division at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

On 27 March 1841, BURLINGTON (wooden sidewheeler, 150 tons, built in 1837, at Oakville, Ontario) was destroyed by fire at Toronto, Ontario. Her hull was later recovered and the 98-foot, 3-mast schooner SCOTLAND was built on it in 1847, at Toronto.

On 27 March 1875, the steamer FLORA was launched at Wolf & Davidson's yard in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her dimensions were 275-foot keel x 27 foot x 11 foot.

On 27 March 1871, the small wooden schooner EMMA was taken out in rough weather by the commercial fishermen Charles Ott, Peter Broderick, Jacob Kisinger and John Meicher to begin the fishing season. The vessel capsized at about 2:00 p.m., 10 miles southwest of St. Joseph, Michigan and all four men drowned.

C E REDFERN (wooden schooner, 181 foot, 680 gross tons) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan by F. W. Wheeler (Hull #65) on 27 March 1890. Dimensions: 190' x 35' x 14.2'; 680 g.t.; 646 n.t. Converted to a motorship in 1926. Foundered on September 19, 1937, four miles off Point Betsie Light, Lake Michigan. The loss was covered in an unsourced news clipping from Sept. 1937: Freighter Wrecked Eleven Are Saved. Ship Founders in Lake Michigan. Sault Ste. Marie, Sept. 20 - (Special) - Eleven members of the crew of the 181-foot wooden-hulled freighter C. E. Redfern, which foundered in Lake Michigan on Saturday night four miles northwest of Point Betsie Lighthouse, were rescued by coastguard cutter Escanaba. The men were landed safely at Frankfort, Michigan, and it is reported that considerable wreckage of the cargo of logs, decking and deckhouse of the ill-fated vessel were strewn about and floating towards shore.

1916: The steel bulk carrier EMPRESS OF MIDLAND came to the Great Lakes for the Midland Navigation Co. in 1907 and left in 1915 when requisitioned for war service in 1915. The vessel hit a mine laid by UC-1 nine miles south of the Kentish Knock Light on this date in 1916. The ship developed a starboard list and 18 took to the lifeboat. Five more sailors jumped into the English Channel and were picked up by the lifeboat. The vessel, en route from Newcastle, UK to Rouen, France, with a cargo of coal, subsequently sank.

1964: The Victory ship MORMACPINE came through the Seaway on 13 occasions between 1960-1967. Fire broke out in the cargo hold on this date in 1964 while en route to Bermuda and U.S.C.G. HALF MOON escorted the vessel to safety. The ship resumed trading until arriving at the scrapyard in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on July 18, 1970.

1965: The Norwegian tanker NORA began Great Lakes visits in 1960. It caught fire and burned in the English Channel after a collision with the large tanker OTTO N. MILLER 10 miles south of Beachy Head in dense fog at 0737 hours on March 27, 1965. The vessel was a total loss and arrived at Santander, Spain, under tow for scrapping in June 1965.

1979: FEDERAL PALM was built by Port Weller Dry Docks in 1961 and left the Great Lakes for Caribbean and later South Pacific service. The passenger and freight carrier was sailing as b) CENPAC ROUNDER when it was blown aground by Typhoon Meli on Vothalailai Reef in the late night hours of March 27, 1979. The hull was refloated on April 27 but was beyond economical repair and arrived at Busan, South Korea, for scrapping in June 1979. The image of this Great Lakes built ship has appeared on postage stamps issued for both Grenada and Tulavu.

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

 

Smooth sailing: Captain of port's 1st ship amazed by what he barely saw on lake

3/26 - Thunder Bay, Ont. – The laker Manitoulin arrived in Thunder Bay on Friday and docked at the Richardson Elevator at 7:42 a.m. making it the first ship to arrive in the 2017 navigational season. Capt. John Carlson said the trek to Thunder Bay was smooth sailing.

“The trip up here was amazingly ice free - probably the least amount of ice that I’ve seen in the last 30 years in Lake Superior before April 1,” he said. Apart from dealing with some ice in the Whitefish Bay area, he said Superior is basically ice free all the way to the outside of our breakwall.

The Manitoulin spent Friday loading wheat that she will take to Buffalo. “Thunder Bay to Buffalo has become a regular trip for us,” said Carlson. “We get six or seven loads a year out of Thunder Bay for Buffalo.”

After unloading in Buffalo, the Manitoulin will head to Sandusky, Ohio, and take on a load of coal before heading to Sault Ste. Marie. She will then return to Thunder Bay to take on a load of potash.

Carlson was presented with the traditional top hat by John Aiken, the Thunder Bay Port Authority board chairman, and Thunder Bay Harbor Master Guy Jarvis. Ken Boshcoff, with the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, presented Carlson with aboriginal suede and beaded mittens, and Coun. Larry Hebert welcomed his crew on behalf of the city.

Jarvis said the early arrival of the Manitoulin is a good omen for the navigation season ahead.

“When I look at the grain line for the next week, there are eight to 10 grain vessels coming in. There’s potash and salt vessels coming in. It’s a good March and April,” he added.

Chronicle-Journal

 

Port Reports -  March 26

Duluth, Minn.
Tugs Kentucky and North Carolina assisted American Spirit into position alongside the shiploader in Duluth Saturday. The Spirit opened the season at CN No. 6.

Marquette, Mich.
Kaye E. Barker was the first arrival of the season Saturday.

Escanaba, Mich.
Joseph L. Block and Great Lakes Trader were loading on Saturday evening.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Upbound traffic Saturday included Atlantic Huron, light tug Salvage Monarch, light tug Sharon M I, Algoma Mariner, Algoma Harvester, tug Petite Forte & St. Marys Cement. Downbound traffic included Thunder Bay, Algoscotia, Robert S. Pierson, tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes and Mississagi.

Hamilton, Ont.
Saltie Harbor Fountain was the port’s first arrival of the season on Saturday.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Manitoulin should be arriving in the early morning Tuesday with a load of Canadian red wheat out of Thunder Bay. This will probably be the first commercial vessel arrival for the WNY area this season. On Thursday, the fireboat E.M. Cotter went up the Buffalo River to CSX's River Bridge breaking ice during the morning.

 

Funding frozen for new Coast Guard ship to open shipping lanes

3/26 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Spring has officially arrived in Michigan, at least on the calendar. To the U.S. Coast Guard, it’s still winter and Operation Taconite is underway. Its mission is to break up the ice fields of the upper Great Lakes, where the duty of opening shipping lanes for vessels falls to the Coast Guard and its only heavy icebreaker, the USCGC Mackinaw.

“This year has not been as challenging as the past couple of years; there is less ice,” said Commander Vasilios Tasikas of the USCGC Mackinaw. “Whitefish Bay has the most ice, and we will escort the first vessels through this weekend.” In an average year, the Coast Guard breaks ice for 120 days, helping half a billion dollars in commodities maneuver through the Great Lakes. “It’s very gratifying to do what we do,” Tasikas said.

But concerns over keeping the state’s commodities moving following recent harsh winters have renewed interest in having a second heavy icebreaker join forces with the Mackinaw to clear the frigid waterways.

Two years ago, then President Barack Obama signed into law the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015, appropriating $17.5 billion for Coast Guard activities. It provides funds for the design and construction of an icebreaker that is capable of buoy tending and to enhance icebreaking on the Great Lakes. But funding for it is on hold as the new Trump administration pours over financial appropriations for all facets of government.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, a member of the Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee of Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard, is pushing, along with U.S. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, for another heavy icebreaker.

“It is essential that Congress provides the men and women of the Coast Guard with the resources they need to keep open shipping lanes in the Great Lakes,” wrote Peters and Stabenow in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Coast Guard.

Read more and view photos at this link: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/03/24/great-lakes-michigan-ice-icebreakers/99608960/

 

Updates -  March 26

News Photo Gallery  

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 26

On 26 March 1922, OMAR D. CONGER (wooden passenger-package freight, 92 foot, 200 gross tons, built in 1887, at Port Huron, Michigan) exploded at her dock on the Black River in Port Huron with such violence that parts of her upper works and engine were thrown all over the city. Some said that her unattended boiler blew up, but others claimed that an unregistered cargo of explosives ignited. She had been a Port Huron-Sarnia ferry for a number of years.

The CITY OF MOUNT CLEMENS (wooden propeller "rabbit,” 106 foot, 132 gross tons) was launched at the Chabideaux yard in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, on 26 March 1884. She was towed to Detroit to be fit out. She was built for Chapaton & Lacroix. She lasted until dismantled in 1921.

1935: A fire destroyed the small wooden bulk carrier ALICE M. GILL that had been laid up at Sandusky since the end of the 1926 season. The ship had been built as a tug for the logging industry and later served as a lighthouse tender and then a small bulk carrier. The remains were scrapped.

1971: The former CLEMENS SARTORI stranded off the coast of Algeria in bad weather as b) PIRAEUS while en route from Antwerp, Belgium, to Mersin, Turkey, and was abandoned by the crew as a total loss. The vessel was a pre-Seaway visitor to the Great Lakes for the West German firm of Sartori and Berger and, in July 1958, was the first westbound salty to use the recently opened American locks at Massena, NY. It made 20 trips to the Great Lakes (1959-1965) mainly on charter to the Hamburg-Chicago Line.

1976: RAMON DE LARRINAGA is remembered as the first Seaway era saltwater vessel into the port of Duluth-Superior, arriving amid great fanfare on May 3, 1959. The ship was sailing as c) MARIAN when it sustained hull damage clearing the port of Lisbon on this date in 1976. Portuguese authorities ordered the vessel towed out to sea and it foundered off Cascais, Portugal, the following day.

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

 

Stewart J. Cort opens Soo Locks for the new season

3/25 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – After a 10-week hiatus for repairs, the Soo Locks were set to open for the shipping season at 12:01 a.m. Saturday with the upbound passage of the 1,000-footer Stewart J. Cort of the Interlake Steamship Co.

Earlier Friday, Capt. Greg Sipper and crew got some special recognition when a delegation of local officials, including representatives of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce, visited the vessel. The honor was a first for Capt. Sipper.

"I've been sailing with the Interlake Steamship Company for 37 years and I've been through the Soo Locks many times, but this is the first in my career where we were the first ship of the season to go through the Soo Locks," Sipper said. "It's a little thrill," Sipper said. "It's something that we can call our families and go 'Hey we were the first ship through the Soo."

The Cort was the first 1,000-foot vessel of her kind to sail the Great Lakes, carrying taconite pellets from Superior, Wisconsin to Burns Harbor, Indiana that fuel the steel industry. "Pellets for the steel makers, and in turn the steel makers make steel for the car-makers," Sipper said. "It's a pretty big cycle."

Around 1 p.m. Friday, hearty "boatnerds" could be seen lining up to watch and photograph the behemoth head up the St. Marys River. It was a tight race between the Cort and the Philip R. Clarke, which was to be the first downbound vessel after the Cort cleared.

For the engineers at the Soo Locks, the last 10 weeks are the busiest of the year. "People wonder what we do in the winter and they think 'Well it must be nice not having any boats coming through,'" said engineer Kevin Sprague. "Actually it’s our busiest time of the year. We have a lot of projects that are scheduled to cram into that time period."

Sprague expects about a dozen more ships to pass through on Saturday. Right now, the Poe Lock is open, but the MacArthur Lock won't open until April.

Right behind the Cort was her fleetmate Kaye E. Barker, also upbound. Edgar B. Speer, Algoma Guardian, Cason J. Callaway, James R. Barker and Tim S. Dool are due up sometime Saturday. Roger Blough and Burns Harbor were headed downbound early Saturday, with American Century and Lee A. Tregurtha following later in the day.

UpNorth Live, 9&10 News

 

Port Reports -  March 25

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Manitoulin, the first vessel of the season, departed Friday with grain for Buffalo.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Cason J. Callaway and James R. Barker left layup Friday and headed for Lake Superior.

Midland, Ont.
Baie Comeau departed winter layup Friday evening.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Friday’s transits included Whitefish Bay upbound. Stephen B. Roman, tug Sea Eagle II / barge St. Marys Cement II were downbound.

 

Thunder Bay port officials expect early start to 2017 shipping season

3/25 - Thunder Bay, Ont. – Port officials in Thunder Bay, Ont., welcomed the first vessel of the 2017 shipping season Friday, and the group's CEO says this year could be a record-breaker.

"It should be pretty close," said Tim Heney. "I know the Welland Canal opened – it was a tie for the record this year on [March] 20th. I think we'll be pretty close to a record as well," he added.

In some years, two or more ships race to be the first into the Thunder Bay port, but Heney said there's not likely to be the same drama this year. That's because the first laker, the motor vessel Manitoulin, wintered over west of the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, he said.

Heney said that in itself is unusual.

While port officials greeted the first lake freighter, the timing of the arrival of the season's first saltie is less certain, Heney said. He added that the earlier-than-usual opening of the Great Lakes this year will mean a busy start, with 10 ships expected in port before the end of March.

A good start to the season is nice to see, Heney said, but it doesn't forecast the rest of the year. "The capacity at the port is such that you can move a lot of grain," he said. "The year that we opened late (2014) after all that ice we had, the tonnage was made up by the end of the year."

CBC

 

Gray’s Reef Passage to open

3/25 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mi. – Monday morning the Coast Guard will open Gray’s Reef Passage at 8 a.m. Aids to navigation in Gray’s Reef Passage have been position checked and found to be working properly.

USCG

 

'Ice volcanoes' erupt on Lake Erie shores

3/25 - Ice chunks the size of cannon balls exploded from cone-shaped formations off of Point Gratiot in Dunkirk during last week’s nor’easter. On both shores of Lake Ontario, icy hills or mountains spew plumes of sand, water, ice – and even fish.

Moving pictures streamed to social media are capturing similar icy eruptions on Lake Superior. The Great Lakes’ ice volcanoes are waking up.

“It’s like a different world out there,” said Dave McCoy, an environmental educator at Evangola State Park. Mother Nature’s handiwork has been on full display at Evangola – and around the region – this week.

McCoy said more than two dozen of the ice cones sprang up along Lake Erie’s shoreline at Evangola as the result of the recent weather. Although ice volcanoes are usually an annual phenomenon in the Great Lakes, McCoy said this year’s crop has been special. “I’ve never seen them form in March,” said McCoy.

Read more and see photos at this link: http://buffalonews.com/2017/03/23/great-lakes-ice-volcanoes-awaken-include-wny-shores/

 

Coast Guard urges caution after recent ice rescue cases

3/25 - The Coast Guard is urging the use of extreme caution on and near the waterways after the rescue of more than a dozen people in the last seven days. Above-freezing air temperatures are weakening and melting ice at a fast rate and pose a safety concern for anyone venturing onto the ice.

Recently, crews rescued 11 boaters in Saginaw Bay, Michigan, after the boaters' vessels became trapped by ice floes, making it impossible for them to get to shore. The previous day, two people were rescued in Irondequoit Bay, New York, after they became stranded on an ice floe off shore.

The Coast Guard urges people to be aware of changes in environmental conditions and to be properly prepared when venturing out onto the ice. Ice is unpredictable and the thickness can vary, even in small areas. Water currents, particularly around narrow spots, bridges, inlets and outlets, are always suspect for thin ice. Stay away from cracks, seams, pressure ridges, slushy areas and darker areas since these signify thinner ice.

USCG

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 25

HENRY G. DALTON (Hull#713) was launched March 25, 1916, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co., for the Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio – the company's first 600 footer.

FRANK R. DENTON was launched March 25, 1911, as a.) THOMAS WALTERS (Hull#390) at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Interstate Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

On March 25, 1927, heavy ice caused the MAITLAND NO 1, to run off course and she grounded on Tecumseh Shoal on her way to Port Maitland, Ontario. Eighteen hull plates were damaged which required repairs at Ashtabula, Ohio.

The steamer ENDERS M. VOORHEES participated in U.S. Steel's winter-long navigation feasibility study during the 1974-75 season, allowing only one month to lay up from March 25th to April 24th.

March 25, 1933 - Captain Wallace Henry "Andy" Van Dyke, master of the Steamer PERE MARQUETTE 22, suffered a heart attack and died peacefully in his cabin while en route to Ludington, Michigan.

1966: The French freighter ROCROI made one trip through the Seaway in 1959. The ship arrived at Halifax on this date in 1966 with interior damage after the 'tween decks, loaded with steel, collapsed crushing tractors and cars beneath. The vessel was repaired and survived until 1984 when, as e) THEOUPOLIS, it hit a mine en route to Berbera, Somalia, on August 14, 1984. The vessel was badly damaged and subsequently broken up in India.

1973: The former MONTREAL CITY caught fire as b) RATCHABURI at Bangkok, Thailand, on March 24, 1973. It was loading a cargo of jute and rubber for Japan on its first voyage for new Thai owners. The vessel was scuttled and sank on March 25 in Pattani Bay, South Thailand. The ship began coming through the Seaway for the Bristol City Line when new in 1963.

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

 

Port Reports -  March 24

St. Marys River – Graham Grattan
Manitoulin departed Essar Steel Algoma enroute to Thunder Bay on Thursday. The USCG Morro Bay and Mackinaw assisted her through the ice.

Quebec City – Bruno Boissonneault
Amelia Desgagnes will be leaving Friday for the Seaway.

 

Locks prep for shipping season opening

3/24 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The new shipping season will be underway throughout the Great Lakes when calendars roll over to March 25 marking the opening of the Soo Locks and an end to the United States Army Corps of Engineers' winter maintenance.

The first vessel to cross through the rapids adjoining lakes Superior and Huron has yet to be determined. Following the closing of the Soo Locks on Jan. 15, a considerable amount of work revamping the lock system has been completed to greet Saturday's traffic.

"Typically we don't know until the last minute (which ship will use the locks first)," said Soo Area Engineer Kevin Sprague. "We're looking at a pretty busy opener. There's quite a few ships heading this way."

Boat traffic should remain steady in part due to a smaller ice buildup than years past. The mild winter lent its hands to assisting in the completion of the winter maintenance. The Poe Lock and MacArthur Lock received a series of upgrades and restorations to be ready for the 2017 shipping season.

"We were able to get our embedded anchor project done ahead of schedule," added Sprague, noting that hydraulic work on the Poe Lock was also completed.

The early spring shipping season will assist in the restoration work being performed on the MacArthur Lock. The smaller lock's maintenance included sanding, welding and painting.

The engineer briefly touched on other upcoming projects the Corps will be completing as 2017 unfolds. Four of the 16 compensating works, or gates, upstream near the railroad bridge that help control flow into the rapids will be automated to help assist the fishery's health.

"The idea is so you don't strand fish or washout fish eggs," explained Sprague, adding that steel sheet piling repair to the west center pier is also underway.

Soo Evening News

 

Algoma expanding partnership with Swiss shipping company

3/24 - St. Catharines, Ont. – A new global company specializing in short-sea dry bulk shipping is expected to be created as Algoma Central Corp. and Nova Marine Carriers SA, of Lugano Switzerland, explore an expanded partnership, the two companies announced earlier this month.

The new company, to be called NovaAlgoma Short-Sea Carriers, or NASC, will initially operate a fleet of approximately 70 bulk vessels with capacities up to 15,000 dwt (deadweight tonnage) in markets world-wide. The fleet will comprise owned ships, chartered vessels, and vessels under third party management contracts. Deadweight tonnage is how much mass a ship is carrying or can safely carry, and does not include the weight of the ship.

Creation of the partnership is subject to completion of appropriate due diligence and finalization of definitive documentation, St. Catharines-based Algoma said in the release.

Algoma, which operates the largest Canadian flagged fleet of dry and liquid bulk carriers on the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Waterway, originally joined forces with Nova Marine in 2016 to form NovaAlgoma Cement Carriers (NACC) to focus on building a fleet of modern pneumatic bulk vessels to service cement manufacturers. The company has already positioned itself as one of the leaders in this specialized segment, Algoma said in a release.

Nova Marine operates a varied fleet of modern bulk carriers and belt self unloading vessels ranging from 5,000 dwt up to 57,000 dwt. With over one hundred ships under control, Nova specializes in bulk traffic in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Persian Gulf. Algoma also has interests in ocean dry-bulk vessels operating in international markets and provides ship management services for other ship owners.

St. Catharines Standard

 

Updates -  March 24

News Photo Gallery  

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 24

ALPENA (Hull#177) was launched on March 24, 1909, at Wyandotte, Michigan, by Detroit Ship Building Co. for the Wyandotte Transportation Co.

IRVIN L. CLYMER was launched March 24, 1917, as a.) CARL D. BRADLEY (Hull#718) at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co. the third self-unloader in the Bradley Transportation Co. fleet.

The SAMUEL MATHER was transferred on March 24, 1965, to the newly-formed Pickands Mather subsidiary Labrador Steamship Co. Ltd. (Sutcliffe Shipping Co. Ltd., operating agents), Montreal, Quebec, to carry iron ore from their recently opened Wabush Mines ore dock at Pointe Noire, Quebec to U.S. blast furnaces on Lakes Erie and Michigan. She was renamed b.) POINTE NOIRE.

PETER ROBERTSON was launched March 24, 1906, as a) HARRY COULBY (Hull#163) at Wyandotte, Michigan, by Detroit Ship Building Co. for the L. C. Smith Transit Co., Syracuse, New York.

On 24 March 1874, the 181-foot, 3-mast wooden schooner MORNING STAR was launched at E. Saginaw, Michigan, by Crosthwaite.

On 24 March 1876, CITY OF SANDUSKY (wooden side-wheel passenger/package freight vessel, 171 foot, 608 gross tons, built in 1866, at Sandusky, Ohio) burned and sank in the harbor at Port Stanley, Ontario.

On 24 March 1876, MINNIE CORLETT (wooden scow-schooner, 107 gross tons, built before 1866) was sailing light from Chicago, Illinois, to Two Rivers, Wisconsin, on Lake Michigan when she stranded and then sank. No lives were lost.

1905: The wooden passenger and freight carrier LAKESIDE was built in Windsor in 1888. It spent most of its life operating between Niagara and Toronto. During fit out on this date in 1905, the ship sank at the dock in Port Dalhousie when water was sucked in through the seacock after the engine filling the boiler shut down. The hull was refloated and returned to service until the DALHOUSIE CITY was built in 1911.

1981: The West German freighter ANNA REHDER first came through the Seaway in 1967 when it was two years old. It was sold and renamed LESLIE in 1973. The captain last reported his position on this date in 1981 and that they were encountering heavy weather while en route from Boulogne, France, to Umm Said, Qatar. There was no further word and it is believed that the ship went down with all hands in the Atlantic off the coast of Spain. A ring buoy was later found north of Cape Finnestere.

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

 

Port Reports -  March 23

Duluth-Superior
Roger Blough left winter lay up Wednesday and headed to Two Harbors to load ore. Also on Wednesday Burns Harbor was loading ore at BNSF and Paul R. Tregurtha was loading coal for Silver Bay at the SMET dock. Philip R. Clarke, bound for Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets, was leaving via the ship canal around 9 p.m. local time. Lee A. Tregurtha (also for Two Harbors to load pellets) and Herbert C. Jackson (bound for Silver Bay to load pellets) were also preparing to sail.

St. Marys River
Waterfront reports indicate Manitoulin will leave winter layup at Essar Steel on Thursday for Thunder Bay.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Joseph L. Block left winter layup Wednesday and headed for Escanaba to load.

Detroit, Mich.
Hon. James L. Oberstar was preparing to leave Nicholson’s Dock late Wednesday evening to start the new season.

Toledo, Ohio
Tug Patricia Hoey was assisting the Edgar B. Speer out from her layup dock at about 4:40 p.m. Wednesday.

 

First ship of 2017 season arrives in Port of Green Bay

3/23 - Green Bay, Wis. – The start of spring brought with it the first ship of the season at the Port of Green Bay. The tug-barge Michigan / Great Lakes arrived at 11 a.m. Tuesday, according to port officials. It was to take ethanol from the U.S. Oil terminal to Montreal, Que.

“Last year, the first ship arrived March 22, so this season started just a day earlier than the 2016 season,” port director Dean Haen said in a news release. “The 2016 season officially ended on January 13, so it’s been a short break. It’s a good sign when the port opens in March; it means that the demand for product from manufacturers is there. Those bouts of warm weather we had this winter were another contributing factor to the earlier start.”

The beginning of the season also meant a prize was given away. Melanie Haedt of Suamico won the First Ship Contest by guessing closest to the time of the arrival of the first ship of the season. Haedt's guess of 1 p.m. March 21 was the closest of 150 entries.

WLUK

 

Great Lakes shipwrecks the focus of annual show in Holland

3/23 - Holland, Mich. – If you're interested in learning about shipwrecks, this is the event for you. The annual West Michigan shipwreck show "Mysteries & Histories Beneath the Inland Seas" is this Saturday in Holland, Mich.

The Holland-based Michigan Shipwreck Research Association sponsors the show, started two decades ago, as part of its mission to research and discover shipwrecks in the Great Lakes and to document and present their findings to the public. This year's keynote presentation is "Eight Years of Diving the Carl D. Bradley," led by Minnesota-based shipwreck expert John Janzen.

Great Lakes shipwreck hunter David Trotter is scheduled to present a program called "Fire Wind and Storm," which will focus on the recent discovery and exploration of the wrecks the ships Venus and Montezuma. Finally, Valerie van Heest will explore how reality television shows blur the lines between history and myth for the sake of ratings.

Tickets are $12.50 in advance and $15 at the door.

M Live

 

Lake Ontario marine sanctuary application advances

3/23 - Syracuse, N.Y. – A nomination to make part of Lake Ontario a national marine sanctuary is moving forward. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is accepting the application for further consideration.

Oswego, Jefferson, Wayne and Cayuga counties put together the application after NOAA decided to add to its current list of 14 marine sanctuaries. It could help preserve dozens of known and unknown historic shipwrecks in 1,700 square miles of the southeastern portion of the lake for further study.

“This is a critical step forward for our local leaders, advocates, and members of the community who have worked tirelessly to raise awareness for this project,” said central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus).

“This designation has the potential to grow tourism and boost our local economy while preserving some of our region’s most historic and unique natural resources. As one of only a few accepted sanctuaries nationwide, I urge the administration to swiftly take action to ensure that this nomination receives proper consideration.”

The application was submitted earlier this year after Gov. Andrew Cuomo endorsed the plan.

WRVO

 

Obituary: Captain John Randle Harwood

3/23 - Captain John Randle Harwood, 84, died at Summit Place Retirement Residence, Owen Sound, Ont., on Saturday March 18. Captain Harwood sailed the Great Lakes for almost 50 years, working his way up from a deckhand with the Hindman Transportation Co. of Owen Sound. He became the youngest captain on the Great Lakes when he took command of the Elmdale for Reoch Shipping. His last ship before becoming a pilot was the Pinedale. He retired as a Great Lakes pilot. Services have taken place.

 

Updates -  March 23

Historic Perspective   - Photos shared by Robert Klamerus of Ashland, Wis.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 23

The National Transportation Safety Board unanimously voted on March 23,1978, to reject the U. S. Coast Guard's official report supporting the theory of faulty hatches in their EDMUND FITZGERALD investigation. Later the N.T.S.B. revised its verdict and reached a majority vote to agree that the sinking was caused by taking on water through one or more hatch covers damaged by the impact of heavy seas over her deck. This is contrary to the Lake Carriers Association's contention that her foundering was caused by flooding through bottom and ballast tank damage resulting from bottoming on the Six Fathom Shoal between Caribou and Michipicoten Islands.

On 23 March 1850, TROY (wooden side-wheel passenger/package freighter, 182 foot, 546 tons, built in 1845, at Maumee, Ohio) exploded and burned at Black Rock, New York. Up to 22 lives were lost. She was recovered and rebuilt the next year and lasted until 1860.

On 23 March 1886, Mr. D. N. Runnels purchased the tug KITTIE HAIGHT.

The 3,280 ton motor vessel YANKCANUCK commanded by Captain W. E. Dexter, docked at the Canadian Soo on 23 March 1964, to officially open the 1964 navigation season for that port. Captain Dexter received the traditional silk hat from Harbormaster Frank Parr in a brief ceremony aboard the vessel. The ship arrived in the Sault from Windsor, Ontario. Captain Dexter said the trip from Windsor was uneventful and he had no trouble with ice. This was the first time a ship from the Yankcanuck line had won the honor of opening the Sault Harbor.

1986: EBN MAGID visited the Seaway in 1970 as a) ADEL WEERT WIARDS and was on the cover of Know Your Ships for 1971. Following 2 explosions and a fire at sea at the end of January, the vessel docked this day at Milford Haven, U.K. to be unloaded. It was then sold to Belgian shipbreakers.

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

 

First ship of the season departs Twin Ports

3/22 - Duluth, Minn. – Roger Blough was the first freighter of the 2017 commercial shipping season to leave the Twin Ports this morning.

The ship was bound for Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority reported. Other freighters that wintered in Duluth or Superior and are tentatively scheduled to leave today include:

Philip R. Clarke, late afternoon/early evening, bound for Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets
Paul R. Tregurtha, late tonight/early Thursday, carrying coal to Silver Bay before returning to Duluth
Lee A. Tregurtha, late today, bound for Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets
Herbert C. Jackson, late today, bound for Silver Bay to load iron ore pellets
Burns Harbor, tonight, departing with iron ore pellets

All times are estimates, and are subject to change. All ships are scheduled to leave via the Duluth entry except for the Burns Harbor, which is set to leave via the Superior entry.

The Soo Locks open for the season at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. The first ships to arrive in the Twin Ports from Sault Ste. Marie are expected Sunday — likely either the Stewart J. Cort, James R. Barker or Cason J. Callaway.

For updated information 24 hours a day, call the Boatwatcher's Hotline at (218) 722-6489.
View a video at this link: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/business/shipping/4238633-first-ship-season-departs-twin-ports

 

2017 commercial shipping season gets underway in Port of Duluth-Superior

3/22 - Duluth, Minn. – The first U.S.-flag lakers are expected to depart the Port of Duluth-Superior Wednesday, signaling the start of the 2017 commercial shipping season at this, the farthest inland port on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system.

Exact times are difficult to pinpoint during fit-out, but the first departure may very well take place while most folks are still asleep. The Roger Blough is expected to leave its berth at the Clure Public Marine Terminal at first light Wednesday and depart beneath Duluth’s Aerial Bridge en route to the CN Docks in Two Harbors to load iron ore.

After fueling late afternoon/early evening, another Great Lakes Fleet vessel, the Philip R. Clarke, will also head to Two Harbors to take on its first cargo of the season. Both vessels, with deliveries to make to steel mills on the Lower Lakes, will proceed across Lake Superior toward Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., to await the opening of the Soo Locks at 12:01 a.m. on Sat., March 25. The Blough is expected to be the lead ship downbound as she was in 2016.

Interlake’s flagship, the 1013.5-foot-long Paul R. Tregurtha, wintered at the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal and is scheduled to load coal there Wednesday, then move to the Clure Terminal for final preparations before leaving for Silver Bay Wednesday night/early Thursday. After discharge, that vessel will return to Superior to load coal for its first inter-lake delivery to the St. Clair Power Plant in Michigan.

Two more Interlake Steamship Co. freighters that wintered in the Twin Ports – the Lee A. Tregurtha and the Herbert C. Jackson – are expected to depart late Wednesday, as well. The Lee A. is in position to leave Fraser Shipyards first, sometime midday. Both vessels will stop to fuel at the Calumet dock in Duluth before heading out to Two Harbors and Silver Bay, respectively, to load iron ore.

The Burns Harbor is due to move from its layup berth to the BNSF Railway Dock to load iron ore Wednesday before departing via the Superior Entry. American Century is set to leave Thursday to load in Silver Bay while fleet mate American Spirit is expected to move to the CN Duluth Dock to load iron ore over the weekend before getting underway.

All vessel departure/arrival times are estimates and are subject to change without notice.

With the Soo Locks opening Saturday and virtually ice-free conditions across the lakes, Port of Duluth-Superior should see its first arrival from the Soo on Sunday, most likely the Stewart J. Cort, James R. Barker or Cason J. Callaway, but that’s still too close to call. For updates, check www.duluthboats.com. Watch real-time transits at marinetraffic.com or ais.boatnerd.com, or on mobile devices with Marine Traffic or Ship Finder apps.

Duluth Seaway Port Authority

 

Port Reports -  March 22

Thunder Bay, Ont.
USCG Alder arrived Monday to break ice.

Escanaba, Mich.
Joyce L. VanEnkevort / Great Lakes Trader were loading ore on Tuesday evening.

Green Bay, Wis.
Tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes opened Port of Green Bay Tuesday morning.

Erie, Pa.
The tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort / barge Erie Trader departed Tuesday headed for Marblehead on their first trip since being renamed. The pair are the former Ken Boothe Sr. / Lakes Contender. They are now owned by VanEnkevort Tug & Barge of Escanaba, Mich.

 

A tip of the Top Hat welcomes first vessel of 2017 to the Port of Hamilton

3/22 - Hamilton, Ont. – The first vessel of the 2017 shipping season has arrived at the Port of Hamilton. The tug Calusa Coast and its specialized tank barge Delaware arrived carrying liquid asphalt from Detroit for delivery to the Yellowline Asphalt Products terminal at the Port.

The Hamilton Port Authority marks the start of each shipping season with the ceremonial presentation of a top hat to the captain of the first vessel. On March 21, Calusa Coast Captain Gary Kafcsak was welcomed to Hamilton by Yellowline’s Operations Manager Suresh Daljeet and Hamilton Port’s Harbor Master Vicki Gruber. Ms. Gruber presented Captain Kafcsak with the traditional top hat, which he signed and dated, a port tradition.

“2017 is the 70th year of the Port of Hamilton’s Top Hat Ceremony,” said Ms. Gruber. “This presentation is a gesture of respect and welcome. We are looking forward to a successful 2017 shipping season, and are pleased to welcome Captain Kafcsak here to help get the season underway.” The Port’s top hat ceremony began in 1947 and there have been two ceremonial top hats used since – the first from 1947 to 1987 and the current since 1987.

Captain Kafcsak and his crew on the Calusa Coast travelled from Detroit via the Welland Canal. Soon after its arrival in Hamilton late in the evening of March 20, the ship’s liquid bulk cargo began being transferred from the vessel docked at Pier 23, directly to Yellowline’s tanks on Pier 22 via pipe.

More than 390,000MT of liquid bulk products transited the Port of Hamilton in 2016, including commodities such as liquid asphalt, gasoline, and even rum. At the Port, these commodities may be stored, blended and transloaded to other modes of transportation for local distribution.

The tug Calusa Coast is owned by Dann Marine of Chesapeake City, Md., and the barge Delaware is owned by Texas-based Kirby Offshore Marine, one of the largest tank barge operators in the United States.

The Port of Hamilton is the largest Canadian port on the Great Lakes, handling more than 9 million MT of cargo each year.

Hamilton Port Authority

 

U.S. Coast Guard to open West Neebish Channel

3/22 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - Vessel Traffic Service St Marys River will open the down bound West Neebish Channel of the St. Marys River, effective at 8 a.m. March 24.

The ice breaking will begin at the north end of the channel near Nine Mile Point and continue south to Saw Mill Point. By day’s end, the West Neebish Channel in its entirety will be open to commercial navigation. Due to the deteriorating ice conditions, the U.S. Coast Guard does not believe Neebish Island Ferry operations will be adversely impacted. However Neebish Island residents should prepare for minor service interruptions.

USCG

 

Members-only ticket sale kicks off Door County Lighthouse Festival

3/22 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Door County Maritime Museum members will get the first opportunity to order tickets for the 24th annual Door County Lighthouse Festival. Between March 20 and April 3, members can order tickets for the variety of land-based tours and boat excursions set for the weekend of June 9-11. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Monday, April 3, and can be bought by going online at www.dcmm.org or calling the museum at (920) 743-5958.

DCMM

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 22

On 22 March 1922, the Goodrich Transit Company purchased the assets and properties of the Chicago, Racine and Milwaukee Steamship Company. This sale included two steamers: ILLINOIS (steel propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 240 foot, 2,427 gross tons, built in 1899, at S. Chicago, Illinois) and PILGRIM (iron propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 209 foot, 1,921 gross tons, built in 1881, at Wyandotte, Michigan).

The GULF MACKENZIE sailed light March 22, 1977, on her maiden voyage from Sorel to Montreal, Quebec.

The tanker COMET (Hull#705) was launched March 22, 1913, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Standard Transportation Co. of New York.

THOMAS W. LAMONT (Hull#184) was launched March 22, 1930, at Toledo, Ohio by Toledo Shipbuilding Co. for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

March 22, 1885 - The Goodrich steamer MICHIGAN was crushed in heavy ice off Grand Haven, Michigan and sank. Captain Redmond Prindiville was in command, Joseph Russell was the first mate.

On 22 March 1873, TYPO, a wooden schooner/canaller, was launched at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She cost $25,000 and was commanded by Captain William Callaway.

On 22 March 1871, Engineer George Smith and two firemen were badly scalded on the propeller LAKE BREEZE when a steam pipe they were working on blew away from the side of the boiler. They were getting the engines ready for the new shipping season.

On 22 March 1938, CITY OF BUFFALO (steel side-wheeler passenger/package freight vessel, 340 foot, 2,940 gross tons, built in 1896, at Wyandotte, Michigan) caught fire during preparations for the spring season while at her winter moorings at the East Ninth Street dock in Cleveland, Ohio. She was totally gutted. The hulk was towed to Detroit for conversion to a freighter, but this failed to materialize. She was cut up for scrap there in 1940.

On 22 March 1987, the pilothouse of the 1901, steamer ALTADOC, which was used as a gift shop and 2-room hotel near Copper Harbor, Michigan, was destroyed by fire.

1973: The Swedish built NORSE VARIANT first came to the Great Lakes in 1965 just after completion. On March 22, 1973, the vessel was en route from Norfolk, VA, to Hamburg, Germany, with a cargo of coal when it ran into an early spring storm with 40 foot waves southeast of Cape May, N.J. The vessel was overwhelmed and sank with the loss of 29 lives. Only one man survived.

2006: The Collingwood-built Canadian Coast Guard ship SIR WILFRID LAURIER came to the rescue of those aboard the passenger ship QUEEN OF THE NORTH when the latter sank with the loss of two lives off the coast of British Columbia.

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

 

Escanaba ore dock to close by the end of April

3/21 - Escanaba, Mich. – The CN Railroad Ore Dock in Escanaba will close by the end of April. CN confirmed the move Monday with city officials.

A CN spokesman told Escanaba City Manager Jim O’Toole that activity at the Escanaba ore dock has been very slow since Cliffs Natural Resources closed the Empire Mine last year. The Lakes Carriers’ Association says about 3.5 million tons of iron ore was shipped out of the Escanaba port in 2015.

State Rep. Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain) said he was told last week by a representative of CN Railroad that it planned to close the Escanaba dock. The company did not respond to our request for comment. LaFave says he spoke to the official last week at an event in Lansing.

“I offered reasons on why they would be able to stay,” LaFave said. “I think there is a decent chance that that mine is going to come in in Menominee County so I said if that comes in wouldn’t you be able to transmit some of that stuff but I guess they did an economic analysis and unless the environment changes politically or economically they think it’s not going to be viable,”

The closure affects 12 union employees. O’Toole says he was told the employees will be able to transfer to other locations. “I advised CN that if they needed any assistance in helping employees find other employment that they could call me and we would work with them,” O’Toole said.

He said the company will also be working on a redevelopment or reuse plan within the company for the property. Iron ore has been shipped from Escanaba since 1852. It is the only iron ore port on Lake Michigan.

The Escanaba port allowed ore to be shipped earlier and later in the shipping seasons when the Soo Locks remained closed. It is also a vital alternative for ore shipments on the Great Lakes if the locks at Sault Ste. Marie were damaged or shutdown.

UpperPeninsulaBiz

 

Welland Canal opens with first upbound, downbound passages

3/21 - Port Colborne, Ont. – Not only is the Welland Canal at the forefront of Niagara’s transportation infrastructure, it’s an economic driver for the region and great for tourism as well, speakers at the Top Hat Ceremony in Port Colborne said Monday morning.

The ceremony, held at Lock 8 Park, celebrates the first downbound vessel to pass through the lakeside city toward Lake Ontario, and the opening of the canal. Capt. Gary Kafcsak of the tug-barge combination Calusa Coast and Delaware received the ceremonial head-topper.

When speeches were over, Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum director/curator Stephanie Powell Baswick presented a more than 100-year-old beaver felt fur top hat to Kafcsak.

The Calusa Coast and Delaware are part of Dann Marine Towing, a fifth generation family-owned and operated tugboat company, which manages a fleet of 22 ocean and coastal tugboats as well as inland push boats. The captain and his crew were bound for Hamilton with a load of liquid asphalt from Detroit.

Meanwhile, a ceremony at Lock 3 in St. Catharines marked the first upbound ship through the canal. Capt. Ted Brown of the motor vessel Robert S. Pierson was awarded the top hat there. The ship, owned by Rand Logistics, is a 189-metre-long Canadian flag self-unloader that would make its way to Cleveland and then be back in the lock system by tonight, according to Brown.

Ed Levy, president and CEO of Rand Logistics, said the vessel will move 18,000 tonnes of salt to Toronto, and during the 2017 season will load and unload about 120 times.

“We transport approximately 21 million tonnes of dry bulk commodities annually. To put this tonnage in perspective, to match you would need approximately 670,000 trucks or nearly 210,000 rail cars.”

Levy said the company was honored to be part of Monday’s Top Hat Ceremony, and was pleased that not only was it the first day of spring but also one of the earliest days of the opening of the canal.

He lauded St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. for its $100 million in improvements and maintenance made to the seaway and Welland Canal during the off-season. “These improvements are critical to meet the needs of our industry,” he said.

Seaway corporation vice-president of operations Stephen Kwok said there is optimism that cargo volumes will be up this year from the 35 million tonnes that went through the seaway in 2016. He estimated that cargo moved over the combined Great Lakes seaway system supports more than 227,000 jobs and $35 billion of economic activity in Canada and the U.S.

“With the advances we are making with our modernization program, I am confident that the seaway is ready for the future and is a crucial lynchpin connecting the heartland of North America to the world,” said Kwok.

Welland Tribune

 

CSL St-Laurent opens seaway with unveiling of commemorative mural

3/21 - Montreal, Que. – The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation marked the opening of its 59th navigation season Monday with a special tribute to marine shipping’s substantial contribution to Canada’s economic development and quality of life. The CSL St-Laurent, the first ship to transit the St. Lambert lock in 2017, featured a monumental work of art commissioned by CSL as a tribute to Canada’s 150th anniversary and the 375th of the City of Montreal.

“For over 150 years, Canada Steamship Lines ships have proudly plied the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System to help build our cities and our country," said incoming CSL Group President and CEO Louis Martel. "We chose CSL St-Laurent to host our tribute to Montreal and Canada because her name honors the St. Lawrence River, and her state-of-the-art technology and seamanship represent the new generation of high-performing, environmentally-responsible cargo vessels. CSL’s fleet renewal investment represents gains in shipping efficiencies, customer excellence, environmental sustainability, and hundreds of high-paying sailing jobs.”

The mural, titled The Sea Keeper, is an original work conceived by Montreal urban artist Bryan Beyung and created by Beyung with artists FONKi, Ankh One and Benny Wilding of the Ashop art collective. The mural depicts a Canada goose in flight, a common sight along the St. Lawrence River, and represents the vessel sailing in harmony with the environment. Painting an original work of art of this magnitude on a cargo vessel is a first for these artists, and is the first of its kind to be displayed on a Canadian commercial bulker.

The Honorable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, and the Honorable Jean D’Amour, Minister for Maritime Affairs for the Province of Québec, were among a number of dignitaries that shared their convictions as to the important role played by marine transportation in supporting Canada’s ascendance as a trading nation, and the City of Montreal’s rich history as a key trading hub.

“The St. Lawrence Seaway has a distinguished past, a dynamic and vital present and will continue to play a pivotal role in Canada’s economy in the future,” said Minister Garneau. “It is gratifying to see that the Seaway and its partners continue to modernize their operations, to make them more efficient as well as environmentally sustainable. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish you a safe and successful navigation season.”

The CSL St-Laurent is sailing to Thunder Bay to pick up grain. Terence Bowles, president and CEO of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, noted that a strong carry over of grain from the 2016 harvest should help the waterway record an increase in cargo levels this season.

CSL

 

 

After worst cargo season in years, St. Lawrence Seaway opens for shipping

3/21 - Hamilton, Ont. – After the worst cargo season in years, shippers traversing the Great Lakes are expecting a rise in volumes this season as the St. Lawrence Seaway opened Monday, but not enough to give them cause to celebrate.

The shipping industry is facing a global economic slowdown that will take a couple of years before sustained growth resumes, says the incoming CEO of Canada Steamship Lines in Montreal.

"I don't see anything that's going to be a game changer very quickly," says Louis Martel, who takes over one of the largest shippers on the Great Lakes next month. "We need another China or an India or something like this to really get us back to a very, very upbeat shipping world."

Total cargo passing through the seaway fell to a seven-year low last year, with tonnage slipping 3.4 per cent to 35 million tonnes, according to the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. An increase in grains and liquid bulk volumes failed to offset a 13 per cent drop in iron ore and nearly 10 per cent decreases in coal and dry bulk goods.

Slowing growth in China has curtailed international cargo demand, which hasn't been able to keep up with a surge in the number of vessels that were the result of a shipbuilding boom between 2002 and 2008.

Martel says volumes through the Great Lakes are looking to be up slightly this year amid improved commodity prices and higher hopes for grain shipments, some of which have been left over from last year's bumper crop. That could allow ships to operate for the entire navigational season, unlike last year when some didn't leave port.

Fuelled by higher prices, iron ore volumes are expected to be up as Canadian producers export more to Asia and supply an anticipated boom in infrastructure in North America, including US$1 trillion in promised spending by U.S. President Donald Trump. Still, Martel estimates Canada Steamship Lines will ship a quarter of the iron ore it did compared with its peaks years of 2012 and 2013.

Seaway CEO Terence Bowles expects traffic will increase in line with the two to 2.5 percent GDP growth forecast by economists, but that won't be strong enough to return to the yearly average of 40 million tonnes.

"The seaway is the bellweather for the economy so basically if the economies improve we're going to improve, it's as simple as that," he said following the seaway's official opening.

Peter Winkley, chief financial officer for Algoma Central Corp., says he is optimistic business will pick up this year after the St. Catharines, Ont.-based shipper saw volumes fall 19 per cent in 2016. "Compared to where we were at this time last year, it's certainly looking a lot better," Winkley says.

While upheaval in the ocean shipping business has led to the bankruptcies of large players such as South Korea's Hanjin, Canadian shipping on the Great Lakes is on a more solid footing, says William Bennett, senior analyst with London-based consultancy Vessels Value.

He says shipping in the St. Lawrence Seaway is a specialized, niche sector, giving it a degree of insulation from the economic forces hitting the high seas business. Shippers of dry bulk on the Great Lakes, for instance, are likely to have a better season than their ocean-going counterparts.

"It's not very difficult for the market to come up from where it is now, given how low it is," he says. "Everyone is so desperate to see some sort of light at the end of the tunnel, (but) there's a lot of very, very big uncertainties underpinning the market at the moment."

The Canadian Press

 

Updates -  March 21

News Photo Gallery  

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 21

The c.) CHEMICAL MAR of 1966 sustained severe damage when sulfuric acid leaked into the pump room while she was discharging her cargo at the island of Curacao on March 21, 1982. Flooding occurred later and the vessel was declared a constructive total loss. She was scrapped at Brownsville, Texas in 1983. From 1979 until 1981, CHEMICAL MAR was named b.) COASTAL TRANSPORT for the Hall Corp. of Canada. She never entered the lakes under that name.

NOTRE DAME VICTORY was floated from the drydock on March 21, 1951, three months and two days after she entered the dock, and was rechristened b.) CLIFFS VICTORY.

MARLHILL was launched on March 21, 1908, as a.) HARRY A. BERWIND (Hull#40) at Ecorse, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for G. A. Tomlinson of Duluth, Minnesota.

Pittsburgh Steamship Co.'s GEORGE F. BAKER was sold to the Kinsman Marine Transit Co., Cleveland, Ohio on March 21, 1965, and renamed b) HENRY STEINBRENNER.

On 21 March 1874, the two schooners NORTH STAR and EVENING STAR were launched at Crosthwaite's shipyard in East Saginaw, Michigan. They were both owned by John Kelderhouse of Buffalo, New York.

On 21 March 1853, GENERAL SCOTT (wooden side-wheeler, 105 foot, 64 tons, built in 1852, at Saginaw, Michigan) was tied up to her dock on the Saginaw River when she was crushed beyond repair by ice that flowed down the river during the spring breakup. One newspaper report said that while the vessel was being cleaned up for the new navigation season, a seacock was left open and she sank before the spring breakup.

1959: The retired sidewheel steamer WESTERN STATES, known as S.S. OVERNIGHTER, caught fire while waiting to be scrapped in 1959. The vessel had last sailed in 1950 and had briefly served as a flotel at Tawas, MI, before being sold for scrap. Final demolition of the hull was completed at Bay City later in the year.

1970: The West German freighter WILHELM NUBEL made one trip through the Seaway in 1959. It sustained machinery failure as c) SAN GERASSIMOS following an engine room fire on this date in 1970. The vessel was traveling from Galatz, Romania, to Lisbon, Portugal, with a cargo of maize and had to be abandoned by the crew. While taken in tow by the tanker STAVROS E., the ship sank in heavy weather in the Ionian Sea.

1998: Three crewmembers were killed by phosphine gas when they went to assess flooding damage in #1 hold after the MARIA A. encountered heavy weather on the South Atlantic. The ship, en route from Argentina to Jordan with wheat, put into Paranagua, Brazil for repairs. The ship had been a Seaway caller as RIGHTEOUS beginning in 1979 and as AFSAR in 1986. While renamed ARIA later in 1998, the British built bulk carrier was never repaired and was either scuttled or scrapped.

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

 

Port Reports -  March 20

Lake Michigan
Great Lakes Trader/Joyce L. VanEnkevort were unloading at Indiana Harbor Sunday.

Sarnia, Ont.
Capt. Henry Jackman left winter layup on Sunday bound for Bowmanville, Ont. By Sunday night, she was headed out of the Detroit River and into Lake Erie.

Welland Canal
Robert S. Pierson was upbound in Lock 2 Sunday evening, and will be honored as the first upbound vessel through the system on Monday.

Montreal, Que. – Rene´ Beauchamp
On Sunday afternoon the CSL St-Laurent was at the downstream wall of the St. Lambert Lock, positioning themselves for the opening of the Seaway on Monday. Her destination is Ashtabula. The ship left layup in Montreal on March 17 and loaded ore in Sorel for Ashtabula.

 

Coast Guard to conduct ice operations near Pipe, Drummond islands in St. Marys River

3/20 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The U.S. Coast Guard will continue with spring breakout operations on the St. Marys River near Pipe and Drummond islands beginning at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

A U.S. Coast Guard cutter will conduct ice breaking operations to open the Pipe Island Passage, north and east of Pipe Island, and will circumnavigate Drummond Island along the International Boundary Line into the North Channel and exit via False Detour Passage.

USCG

 

2017 edition of “Know Your Ships” ready for new shipping season

3/20 - The new shipping season is at hand, and so is the release of "Know Your Ships 2017," the popular annual field guide to boats and boatwatching on the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Seaway.

Included in the 184-page, illustrated booklet, on sale now, is information on U.S., Canadian and international-flag cargo vessels, tugs, excursion boats and barges in regular Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Seaway service, including owner and port of registry, year and shipyard where built, length, beam, depth, cargo capacity and former names, plus type of engine, horsepower and more.

Standard binding and spiral binding are both available.

"Know Your Ships," now in its 58th year, is meant not only for those with a casual interest in the parade of nautical commerce that passes our shores, but also for more serious-minded individuals who have a passion for all the details about the ships that ply the inland seas.

Editor / publisher Roger LeLievre, as well as members of the KYS crew, will also be on hand to autograph copies of the new edition Saturday, April 15 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron, Mich. Books will be available for purchase at the signing.

Order at this link: www.knowyourships.com

 

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 20

On 20 March 1885, MICHIGAN (Hull#48), (iron propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 215 foot, 1,183 tons) of the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee Railroad was sunk by ice off Grand Haven, Michigan.

The sidewheeler NEW YORK was sold Canadian in 1877, hopefully at a bargain price, because when she was hauled out on the ways on 20 March 1878, at Rathburn's yard in Kingston, Ontario, to have her boiler removed, her decayed hull fell apart and could not be repaired. Her remains were burned to clear the ways.

On 20 March 1883, the E. H. MILLER of Alpena, Michigan (wooden propeller tug, 62 foot, 30 gross tons, built in 1874, at East Saginaw, Michigan) was renamed RALPH. She was abandoned in 1920.

1938: ¬ A fire of an undetermined cause destroyed the passenger steamer CITY OF BUFFALO while it was fitting out for the 1938 season at the East 9th St. Pier in Cleveland The blaze began late the previous day and 11 fire companies responded. The nearby CITY OF ERIE escaped the flames, as did the SEEANDBEE.

2011” ¬ The Indian freighter APJ ANJLI was built in 1982 and began visiting the Great Lakes in 1990. It was sailing as c) MIRACH, and loaded with 25,842 tons of iron ore, when it ran aground 3 miles off the coast of India on March 20, 2011. Four holds were flooded and the crew of 25 was removed. The hull subsequently broke in two and was a total loss.

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

 

Welland Canal opens Monday

3/19 - Navigation season along the St. Lawrence Seaway kicks off Monday, tying a record set in 2007 for the earliest opening date. Parts of the Seaway have been given millions of dollars in upgrades and moving a massive cargo ship through the lock system can now be done with the click of a mouse.

This past winter parts of the Welland Canal were fitted with three double-pad mooring units. It’s part of a $100 million upgrade. Using suction, the pads stick to ships while they are in the locks. As the water level in the lock is raised or lowered, the pads move with the ship keeping the vessel in place and it is all controlled at the Seaway’s new control room in St. Catharines.

In the past, the ships were tied down with steel wires. There have been cases where the steel lines have snapped.

According to Cassie Kelly from St. Lawrence Seaway, “It is a fairly risky business. You’ve got the steel lines coming out of the vessel at a certain speed and this ends up being a much safer operation.” Seaway officials say the hands-free mooring system will be completed this year.

The Seaway stretches 37 hundred kilometres and runs from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, passing through 15 locks and 5 Great Lakes. Approximately 160 million tonnes of cargo travels through the Seaway every year. The Seaway has also rebuilt the tie-up wall near lock 3.

The shipping season will kick off with a top hat ceremony on Monday, where the captain of the first upbound ship will be welcomed.

CHCH.com

 

Shipping season opening nears, ice breaking underway

3/19 - Duluth, Minn. – A glance from Agate Bay out over the gleaming blue Lake Superior might not reveal it, but there is ice on the Great Lakes, and efforts to remove it in advance of the coming shipping season began last Thursday.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder will break ice in the Duluth-Superior harbor before heading north to Thunder Bay over the weekend, said Mark Gill, Coast Guard director of vessel traffic services based in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., where the Soo Locks are set to open at 12:01 a.m. on March 25.

"As of right now there will be eight downbound vessels and probably as many upbound vessels waiting to pass through the locks," Gill said.

Both Whitefish Bay at the eastern edge of Lake Superior and the St. Marys River, home to the Soo Locks that connect lakes Superior and Huron, are 100 percent covered with ice, Gill said Wednesday.

"There's not a tremendous amount of thickness compared to the 30-year average," he said. "We've had ice as much as 3 feet thick, but this year it's a couple inches thick and (we) expect it will be fairly fragile."

It figures to be slow going for the first vessels through the locks. A process that normally takes a half-hour to 45 minutes probably will require three to four hours per ship for the way vessels will push ice into the Soo's Poe Lock and have to back out in order for the lock to be cleared of ice. This back-and-forth is necessary because at 1,200 feet long and 110 feet wide, the Poe Lock already is a snug fit for thousand-foot lakers, and ice introduced by a ship's push tightens the squeeze. Some of the season's first vessels could wait in line for several hours or even days, Gill said.

Closed beginning Jan. 15, the Soo Locks were the subject of continued maintenance and repair throughout the offseason. Gate anchors, like a hinge on a door, buried deep in concrete were showing fatigue and were replaced. Dewatering bulkheads saw welded repairs and were repainted. Gears that were original from 70 years ago were replaced, and an ongoing switchover to more modern control systems was implemented.

"We're in the middle of an overall asset renewal plan and we're trying to recapitalize a lot of the major equipment," said Kevin Sprague, Soo-area engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "This was just a part of that and we'll continue working on it for several more years to come."

The smaller sister lock to the Poe, the MacArthur Lock, won't open until mid-April. The lock accommodates only smaller vessels up to 730 feet in length. But its loss for 19 days to an outage in 2015 led to significant backups and illustrated the importance of having both in operation.

"The MacArthur really does keep things moving more smoothly," Sprague said.

In 2016, the Coast Guard counted 3,388 freighters through the Soo Locks — down from a historic average of 3,500 to 6,500, Gill said, with seven-of-10 transits containing iron ore. Of the total number of transits, 20 percent, or 428, were foreign-flag vessels coming through the entire Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System from the Atlantic Ocean.

It's hard to tell what sort of count 2017 will bring, Gill said, but he added that the Coast Guard, working with Canada, is preparing for everything. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is scheduled to work the ice breakout of the St. Marys River. The Canadian Coast Guard's Griffon is responsible for the St. Lawrence Seaway from Lake Ontario to the Atlantic Ocean, and its sister icebreaker, the Samuel Risley, is heading to work on clearing ice between lakes Huron and Erie.

The U.S. Coast Guard is supplementing the work of those bigger cutters from its fleet of nine total available icebreakers, including Duluth's Alder. The area around Green Bay, on Lake Michigan, is one place where there is what Gill called "a slug of ice."

Lake County News Chronicle

 

A wave of optimism in advance of Seaway opening

3/19 - Optimism abounds for the 2017 navigation seasons on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. The Seaway will open March 20, followed five days later by the American Soo Locks between Lakes Superior and Huron and the 2017 navigation season on the Great Lakes will be fully underway.

While the Seaway finished down by 3.1 per cent in tonnage in 2016 compared to 2015, the gap between the two years narrowed during the final months as traffic picked up. The revival in the North American economy has continued, albeit cautiously into 2017.

“All the signs are very encouraging. Canada and the United States are heading for growth rates of two to three per cent and Europe should manage one per cent or better,” said Terence Bowles, president and CEO of the Canadian Seaway Management Corp.

“We expect positive growth over the year,” Craig Middlebrook, deputy administrator of the U.S. Seaway Development Corp. said. “We have more reasons to be optimistic this year than we’ve had recently.”

Both men point to hefty stocks of grain waiting to be exported and little ice on the Great Lakes this year to delay the ships. On top of that, international iron ore prices have risen to levels that justify exporting from the U.S. mines in Michigan and Minnesota. The ratification of the Canada-Europe trade deal in Ottawa and Brussels could boost the flow of Trans-Atlantic traffic later this year.

If the shipping industry needs additional encouraging economic signs, it could take heart from the latest statistics from the American Association of Railroads. For the week ending Feb. 18, the 13 U.S., Canadian and Mexican railways reported total weekly traffic was up 7.6 per cent from the same point in 2016. For the first seven weeks of 2017 traffic was 3.2 per cent above last year. Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume was up 7.4 per cent for the period compared to 2016.

The Port of Thunder Bay recorded its busiest December ever loading Canadian grain in domestic and ocean-going vessels. It was a similar situation in the American grain ports as shipments increased by 21 per cent during 2016.

Last year, the Seaway opened on March 21 and closed on Dec. 31, a navigation season of 286 days that tied the record first established in 2008 and matched in 2013 for the longest navigation season. Bowles said the opening date is always constrained by the need to perform maintenance and upgrades on seaway facilities during the winter.

While ice coverage on the lakes in late February had dropped below 10 per cent, there was enough snow during the winter in the Great Lakes region to ensure chart datum if not higher water levels during the season.

Bowles said in addition to grain and ore, other bulk commodities including salt as well as liquid bulk shipments should increase this year. Then there’s the possibility that infrastructure spending in Canada and the United States might generate the need for raw materials, cement and steel.

Mike Broad, president of the Shipping Federation of Canada, said traffic on the Seaway-Great Lakes “should be up a bit.” Growing economic activity in the United States should increase the demand for imported steel and there’s plenty of grain to trans- port to overseas customers.

Bruce Burrows, president of the Chamber of Marine Commerce, said, “Obviously, it’s too early to tell how things will fare in 2017 but we’re particularly encouraged by the fact that there is a large carry-over of Prairie grain for potential export.”

The strong improvement during the last quarter of 2016 was due to Canadian ships “back in full service delivering iron ore pellets from U.S. Great Lakes ports to the Port of Quebec for transshipment overseas. The grain program was very strong in November and December.

Manitoba CoOperator

 

Coast Guard medevacs 2 people off Beaver Island

3/19 - Traverse City, Mich. – A Coast Guard aircrew from Traverse City medically evacuated two people off Beaver Island Saturday. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie received a medevac request from officials on Beaver Island early Friday evening. Due to poor visibility and icing conditions, an aircrew from Traverse City was forced to delay its response.

By late morning Saturday, weather conditions were slightly improved. After consulting with a Coast Guard flight surgeon, an Air Station Traverse City MH-65 Dolphin helicopter launched to medevac two people suffering from injuries sustained during a single vehicle accident. The patients were safely transported to Air Station Traverse City where awaiting ambulances carried them to Munson Medical Center for treatment.

USCG

 

Watch live unveiling of mural on CSL St-Laurent during Monday Seaway opening

3/19 - Montreal, Que. – The opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway’s 59th navigation season will feature the unveiling of a monumental work of art work painted on CSL St-Laurent as a tribute to Canada’s 150th anniversary and the 375th of the City of Montreal. The original artwork extends across the forward facade of the accommodation block of the ship and commemorates the important roles of CSL, the St. Lawrence River and the marine transportation industry in the history and growth of both Canada and the City of Montreal.

The artwork was conceived by Montreal artist Beyung and created in collaboration with three other urban artists – Ankh One, Benny Wilding, and FONKi of the Ashop art collective. The mural is the first of its kind to be displayed on a Canadian commercial bulker.

Tune into the Canada Steamship Lines Facebook account on Monday, March 20th at approximately 10 a.m. EST to watch the unveiling live, which will take place following a speech by the Honorable Marc Garneau, Canada’s Minister of Transport.

CSL

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 19

W. R. STAFFORD (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 184 foot, 744 gross tons, built in 1886, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was freed from the ice at 2:00 a.m. on 19 March 1903, by the Goodrich Line’s ATLANTA. When the STAFFORD was freed, the ice then closed around the ATLANTA and imprisoned her for several hours. Both vessels struggled all night and finally reached Grand Haven, Michigan, at 5 a.m. They left for Chicago later that day in spite of the fact that an ice floe 2 miles wide, 14 miles long and 20 feet deep was off shore.

CARTIERCLIFFE HALL was launched March 19, 1960, as a.) RUHR ORE (Hull # 536) at Hamburg, Germany, by Schlieker-Werft Shipyard.

INDIANA HARBOR (Hull#719) was launched March 19, 1979, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, by Bay Shipbuilding Corp.

CITY OF GREEN BAY was launched March 19, 1927, as a.) WABASH (Hull#177) at Toledo, Ohio, by Toledo Ship Building Co., for the Wabash Railway Co.

ALFRED CYTACKI was launched March 19, 1932, as a.) LAKESHELL (Hull#1426) at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd.

On 19 March 1886, the PICKUP (wooden passenger/package freight steamer, 80 foot, 136 gross tons, built in 1883, at Marine City, Michigan, was renamed LUCILE. She lasted until she sank off the Maumee River Light (Toledo Harbor Light), Toledo, Ohio, Lake Erie, on August 8, 1906.

1916 The canal-sized PORT DALHOUSIE saw only brief service on the Great Lakes. It was built in England as TYNEMOUNT in 1913 and came to Canada as PORT DALHOUSIE in 1914. It left for saltwater in 1915 and was torpedoed and sunk by UB-10 while carrying steel billets to Nantes, France. It went down March 19, 1916, south and west of the Kentish Knock Light vessel and 12 lives were lost.

1978 BELKARIN was a Norwegian cargo carrier that made one trip inland in 1963. It struck a sunken warship in Suez Bay on March 19, 1978, as c) NAHOST JUMBO and the engine room was holed. The vessel, en route from Aqaba, Jordan, to Holland, settled in shallow water. The hull was refloated in January 1979 and sold for scrap.

1990 On March 19, an explosion in a container on board the Norwegian freighter POLLUX at La Baie, QC, killed two sailors, seriously injured a third as well as 7 Alcan dock employees. The ship made its first trip up the Seaway coming to to Port Weller Dry Docks May 18 for repairs. It was renamed there and left the lakes in August as d) NOMADIC POLLUX. This ship returned inland in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and was back as e) BALTICLAND in May 2004.

1993 An explosion and fire rocked the tanker SHIOKAZE in the North Sea en route to Rotterdam killing one member of the crew. The vessel had first been a Seaway trader in 1986 and returned in 1998 as DILMUN TERN bound for Hamilton with palm oil. It was scrapped, after 30 years of service, arriving at Alang, India, on June 14, 2010, as c) THERESA III.

2002 A hull crack of close to 13 feet was found on LAKE CARLING off Cape Breton Island while traveling from Sept-Iles to Trinidad with iron ore. Originally ZIEMIA CIESZYNSKA, the vessel first came to the Great Lakes in 1993 and was renamed LAKE CARLING at Chicago in October. The crack widened to 25 feet before the vessel could reach safety but the damage was repaired and it returned to service. The original name was restored in 2004 and the vessel was last on the lakes in 2009.

2003 A fire in the after end of the CALEDONIA on the Heddle Dry Dock in Hamilton was contained to one deck. The vessel was there for conversion to a sailing ship and the work was eventually completed. The ship had visited the Great Lakes as the coastal freighter PETREL in the late 1970s but was much more at home around Maritime Canada and Hudson Bay. As a sailing ship, it carries 77 passengers and visits Caribbean ports.

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

 

Coast Guard clears way before shipping season begins

3/18 - Duluth, Minn. – The Alder cruised through Lake Superior, cracking and breaking the ice that formed on the water’s surface.

“The Alder is a 225 foot buoy tender, it is ice capable, so it’s not actually designated as an ice breaker, we just have the ability to break ice,” explained Lt. Christian Von Stralendorff of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Shipping season is around the corner, and the coast guard cleared the way so large ships could come and go through the Twin Ports safely. The process includes breaking the Ice in to pieces by using the weight of the boat to crush it, and moving buoys, that have been moved overtime by winter storms and ice, back to their right spots, so incoming ships know what to look out for.

“We don’t want that buoy marking danger, where there actually isn’t danger. And we don’t want that buoy to be where danger actually is,” said Von Stralendorff.

Read more and view video at this link: http://www.fox21online.com/2017/03/16/coast-guard-breaks-ice-make-way-ships/

 

Port Reports -  March 18

St. Marys River
USCG icebreaker Mackinaw passed upbound through the Poe Lock on Friday. She and the USCG cutter Morro Bay were working the shipping lanes in the upper river. USCG Biscayne Bay was working in the lower river above Lime Island. The tanker Algonova, which had been discharging at the Purvis dock in Soo Harbor late Thursday, headed back downbound early Friday. By mid-afternoon she was downbound in Lake Huron, likely headed to Sarnia.

Lake Michigan
Great Lakes Trader/Joyce L. VanEnkevort were upbound off Sturgeon Bay Friday afternoon, headed for Escanaba to load.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 18

In 1967, under the command of Captain Ray I. McGrath, the Columbia Transportation Company's HURON (steel propeller self-unloader bulk freighter, 415 foot, 4,810 gross tons, built in 1914, at Ecorse, Michigan) cleared Fairport, Ohio, and headed to Toledo, Ohio for a load of coal. She was the first freighter to sail in the new season. She sailed on the same day that the U. S. Steel's Bradley Fleet of seven vessels started fitting out.

On 18 March 1906, the Goodrich Line's ATLANTA (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 200 foot, 1,129 gross tons, built in 1891, at Cleveland, Ohio) was sailing from Sheboygan, Wisconsin for Milwaukee. When she was 14 miles south of Sheboygan, fire was discovered in the aft hold and quickly spread to the engine room. She ran out of steam, making the fire pumps inoperable. There were 65 persons aboard and Capt. Mc Cauley gave the order to abandon. The fish tug TESSLER came to help and only one life was lost. As the TESSLER was steaming to port, the Goodrich Line's GEORGIA came into view and took on all of the survivors. The hull of the ATLANTA was beached by the TESSLER. Later, the burned hull was purchased by D. O. Smith of Port Washington.

ARSENE SIMARD (Hull#404) was launched March 18, 1972, at Sorel, Quebec, by Marine Industries Ltd., for Branch Lines Ltd.

PERE MARQUETTE 21 (Hull#209) was launched March 18, 1924, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. She was christened by Mrs. Charles C. West, wife of the president of Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co.

The straight-deck bulk carrier SYLVANIA (Hull#613) was launched March 18, 1905, at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co., for the Tomlinson Fleet Corp.

On 18 March 1890, CITY OF CHICAGO (steel sidewheeler, 211 foot, 1,073 gross tons) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan by F. W. Wheeler & Co. (Hull#68) for the Graham & Morton Line. CITY OF CHICAGO was lengthened to 226 feet at Wheeler's yard one year later (1891). She was again lengthened in 1905-06, this time to 254 feet. On the same day and at the same yard the 3-mast wooden schooner A.C. TUXBURY was stern launched.

On 18 March 1928, M. T. GREENE (wooden propeller freighter, 155 foot, 524 gross tons, built in 1887, at Gibraltar, Michigan) burned to a total loss near Brigdeburg, Ontario, on the Niagara River.

1923 The wooden steamer JAMES P. DONALDSON was built in 1880 and often worked in the lumber trade. At the end, it was used by N.M. Paterson & Sons Ltd. to bring wet grain to the company elevator for drying. The ship caught fire at the Canadian Lakehead on this date and the remains were sunk off Isle Royale, Lake Superior, on May 6, 1923.

1991 The Canadian Coast Guard ship GRIFFON collided with the fishing trawler CAPTAIN K. sinking it in Lake Erie. Three lives were lost.

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

 

Port Reports -  March 17

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Joy Fett
Tanker Algonova was upbound Thursday, heading for the Purvis dock in the lower harbor on the Canadian side.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
After waiting for weather in the Straits of Mackinac, the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation arrived at Lafarge on Thursday morning. The pair loaded cement under the silos and left by early afternoon for Detroit, Mich.

Welland Canal – Paul Beesley
CCGS Griffon passed downbound on Thursday, confirming buoy positions along the way. The Welland Canal and St. Lawrence Seaway are scheduled to open on Monday.

 

Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie warns of unstable ice

3/17 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – With the forecast rain, wind and above-freezing temperatures this weekend, the Coast Guard is urging people to use extreme caution when venturing onto the ice across Lake Superior, St. Marys River, and the northern parts of lakes Michigan and Huron.

The Coast Guard is also increasing its ice breaking operations in preparation for the upcoming maritime shipping season, which will further diminish existing ice, especially along the St. Marys River.

Ice is unpredictable and the thickness can vary, even in small areas. Water currents, particularly around narrow spots, bridges, inlets and outlets, are always suspect for thin ice. Stay away from cracks, seams, pressure ridges, slushy areas and darker areas since these signify thinner ice.

Obstructions such as rocks, logs, vegetation and pilings affect the strength of ice. Heat from these obstructions slows ice formation. Ice shifting and expanding can create pressure cracks and ridges around the obstructions.

Plus, ice near the shore of a frozen lake may be unsafe and weaker because of shifting, expansion, and sunlight reflecting off the bottom.

USCG

 

Cracking ice sheets pile up along Lake Superior's north shore

3/17 - Duluth, Minn. – It may sound like cracking glass, but these plates aren't falling from your kitchen pantry. The floating plate-like ice formations are known as ice floes. These particular sheets formed on western Lake Superior and were blown toward the shorelines in Duluth, Minn. on March 4. As the ice met the rocky shore, it broke into plates and began shuffling and stacking on land while creating a sound similar to glass cracking.

Radiant Spirit Gallery, a husband and wife photography team based in the Duluth area, were there to capture the spectacle. "I never tire of these ice stacking events, and each has its own unique characteristics," wrote Dawn M. LaPointe, who owns the company with Gary L. Fiedler.

LaPointe explained that the smooth, dark areas in the video show the ice floe moving toward shore, propelled by easterly winds moving around 15 miles per hour.

See a video at this link: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/03/cracking_ice_sheets_pile_up_al.html

 

Proposed budget would eliminate Great Lakes cleanup funds

3/17 - Great Lakes restoration funding is altogether eliminated in President Donald Trump's first formal budget proposal as part of $2.6 billion in cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency that will eliminate 3,200 jobs from the federal agency responsible for ensuring the country has safe drinking water.

Drastic cuts to the federal grants that fund pollution cleanup, watershed restoration and other work in eight Great Lakes states were expected, but the actual proposal the White House sent to Congress on Thursday, March 16 goes further by zeroing-out what has been a popular bipartisan program.

The proposed budget "returns the responsibility for funding local environmental efforts and programs to state and local entities," according to the 62-page document, titled "A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again."

Read more at this link: http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/03/trump_budget_eliminates_great.html

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 17

On 17 March 1995, a fire started on the AMERICAN MARINER's self-unloading conveyor belt from welding being done on the vessel at the Toledo Ship & Repair Company in Toledo, Ohio. About $100,000 in damage was done. The Toledo fire department had the blaze out in half an hour.

The tanker LAKESHELL reportedly leaked over 21,000 gallons of Bunker C oil into the St. Lawrence River on March 17, 1982, after suffering a crack in her cargo compartment caused by striking an ice floe.

GEORGE R. FINK was launched March 17, 1923, as a.) WORRELL CLARKSON (Hull#174) at Toledo, Ohio, by Toledo Ship Building Co., for the Kinsman Transit Co.

On 17 March 1916, CITY OF MIDLAND (wooden propeller passenger-package freighter, 176 foot, 974 tons, built in 1890, at Owen Sound, Ontario) burned at the Grand Trunk Railway dock at Collingwood, Ontario, while fitting out for the coming season. No lives were lost.

In 1945 Stadium Boat Works of Cleveland Ohio launched the SOUTH SHORE (US. 247657) for Miller Boat Line of Put-In-Bay, Ohio. She carried 6 autos and 120 passengers. In 1973, she was sold to Beaver Island Boat Company until retired at the end of the 1997 season. In April of 1999, sailed to Chicago where she was docked at the foot of Navy Pier as a storage vessel for Shoreline Cruises.

1906: SOVEREIGN, a steel hulled passenger ship that operated on the St. Lawrence in the Montreal area, was destroyed by a fire at Lachine, Quebec. The vessel was rebuilt that year as IMPERIAL and remained in service until 1928 when the boilers and hull were condemned.

1916: CITY OF MIDLAND, a passenger and freight steamer for Canada Steamship Lines, caught fire at the Grant Trunk Railway Dock in Collingwood and was a total loss.

1973: A wild late winter storm swept into Goderich off Lake Huron on March 17-18. Eleven ships got loose, while only the PATERSON (i) remained fast at the dock. It sustained bow damage when struck by fleetmate MONDOC (iii). Varying amounts of damage were inflicted to other ships.

1980: SUNPOLYNA was built in 1956 and provided service for Saguenay Shipping between Eastern Canada and the West Indies. The ship first came through the Seaway in 1963 and, on May 16, 1967, it ran aground near Thorold. It was sailing as d) TEMERAIRE when abandoned by the crew on March 17, 1980, in position 28.16 S / 21.04 W after the hull had cracked. The ship was en route from Santos, Brazil, to Mina Qaboos, Oman, and, after drifting to northwest for several days, sank on March 21.

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

 

Great Lakes Shipyard awarded drydocking contract by McKeil for tug Leonard M

3/16 - Cleveland, Ohio – Great Lakes Shipyard was recently awarded a repair contract by McKeil Marine Ltd. to drydock its 50-MT bollard pull tug Leonard M. The tug was hauled out using the shipyard’s 770-MT Travelift on March 1. Repairs include general maintenance as well as classification surveys and inspections. The work is expected to be completed later in the month.

McKeil Marine has been a regular customer of Great Lakes Shipyard. Over the past five years, Great Lakes Shipyard has completed several repair contracts for McKeil, including barge Huron Spirit – dockside repairs (2014); tug Leonard M – drydocking (2014); tug ); tug Leonard M – drydocking (2013); tug John Spence – dockside repairs (2012); and barge Niagara Spirit – dockside repairs (2012).

Great Lakes Shipyard

 

Great Lakes Maritime Task Force 2016 annual report sees progress on key issues

3/16 - Toledo, Ohio – The year 2016 was one of steady progress towards making shipping on our nation’s Fourth Sea Coast as efficient and reliable as possible, according to the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force (GLMTF) in its 2016 annual report issued Wednesday.

GLMTF, the largest labor/management coalition ever assembled to promote shipping on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, cited progress on the dredging crisis, construction of a second Poe-sized lock, and adding another heavy icebreaker to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Great Lakes forces.

Significant progress has been made on reducing the amount of sediment clogging ports and waterways that in turn forces vessels to carry less cargo.

“It was not too long ago that the dredging backlog at Great Lakes ports and waterways topped 18 million cubic yards and was projected to grow to 21 million cubic yards,” the report stated. “It now stands at 15 million cubic yards and will keep shrinking because expenditures from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund will annually increase rather than build a surplus that was then used to make the federal deficit seem smaller. We can see the day when fluctuating water levels, not lack of dredging, determine vessels’ loaded draft.”

The report notes there was no lengthy failure of either the Poe or MacArthur locks that connect Lake Superior to the lower four Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, but warns the threat is even greater, as both chambers are now a year older (48 and 74 respectively). “We used to average building a new lock at the Soo every 19 years, but it is now nearly half a century since the Poe was opened.”

Congress authorized construction of a second Poe-sized lock at full Federal expense in 2007. “The stumbling block remains the Corps’ 2005 assessment of the project’s benefit-cost (b/c) ratio, which, because the report assumed the railroads had the capacity to move the cargos stranded by a failure of the lock and could do so at no additional cost, was set at 0.73. An administration cannot include a project in its budget unless the b/c ratio is at least 1.0. The Corps is reassessing the b/c ratio and its report is due by year’s end. We expect a very favorable report, because for one, Treasury’s recently released report estimates the project’s b/c ratio could be as high as 4.0.”

GLMTF cautions that two mild winters in a row must not lessen the region’s resolve to fund the new heavy lakes icebreaker authorized in the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015. “Fortunately, our Great Lakes delegation, in particular Wisconsin senators Tammy Baldwin (D) and Ron Johnson (R), takes the long view and is committed to another Mackinaw-class icebreaker.”

One disappointment in 2016 was failure to enact federal ballast water legislation, but GLMTF endorses The Commercial Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (S. 168/H.R. 1154) now moving through Congress. “We must have a uniform, federal ballast water discharge standard, one that meets the highest standard currently achievable and is dictated by the U.S. Coast Guard. The status quo, two federal vessel discharge regulations enforced by two different agencies, plus, at latest count, 25 state regimes, is unworkable.”

The annual report also highlights the conversion of two U.S.-flag steamships to internal combustion engines.

Great Lakes Maritime Task Force

 

Presque Isle Lighthouse improvements scheduled

3/16 - Visitors will have more days this summer to climb to the top of the Presque Isle Lighthouse and they'll find improvements on the ground below. Starting Memorial Day weekend, the lighthouse for the first time will be open to the public daily. New fencing, sidewalks, perimeter lighting and a flagpole should be in by opening day on May 26.

"Everyone in Erie should go out and look at it," lighthouse volunteer Julie Monocello said. "It's one of our treasures."

More than 30,000 people toured the grounds and house for free in 2016, when the attraction was only open five days a week. About 13,400 people paid the $6 fee to climb the 78-step tower for views of Lake Erie, the peninsula and the city. But as public access to the lighthouse increases, more volunteers are required to keep the facility running.

"We need five people per shift," said Michael Sullivan, the lighthouse's executive director. "You need 10 people per day."

With plans for the lighthouse at Presque Isle State Park to be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through September, Sullivan is looking to increase the number of volunteers beyond the current 65. A training session for new volunteers will be held April 22 at 10 a.m. at the lighthouse, he said. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and can commit to as many or as few hours as they're available, Sullivan said. Two shifts are offered: 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 5 p.m.

Volunteers can work at the front table selling tickets or in the gift shop at the cash register. The tourists are greeted by volunteers who serve as docents in the oil room, where they talk about the history of the house, or at the top of the tower, where they answer questions about how far it is to Canada or how far the light shines.

Public access to it was almost nonexistent for years because the building was used as housing for Presque Isle State Park managers.

The lighthouse is now run by a nonprofit group with plans to restore the structure to its early 20th-century appearance. Opening it to the public on weekends in the summer of 2015 was a first step.

Sullivan expects to have the new sidewalks, perimeter lighting and historically accurate fencing, along with a 45-foot flagpole, installed by May 26.

"These are things we have been working on for a year," he said.

The nonprofit has the $40,000 for those improvements as well as about $250,000 to convert the existing garage into an operations center with a new gift shop, welcome area, office and staff restroom. Sullivan said bids for the center should go out within a month and he hopes the work will be done by autumn.

He said the money has come through a combination of donations, private contributions and grants.

For more about the lighthouse, call 833-3604 or visit www.presqueislelighthouse.org. For more information about volunteering, call 403-5778. GoErie.com

 

Wisconsin Marine Sanctuary plan gains support in Algoma

3/16 - Algoma, Wis. – The idea of including Door County as part of a proposed Wisconsin-Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary gained support Monday night at a hearing in Algoma.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last fall announced nomination of a more than 1,000 square miles area of Lake Michigan — off Ozaukee, Sheboygan and Manitowoc Counties — as a marine sanctuary. The agency website said the designation would, “conserve nationally significant shipwrecks and related maritime heritage resources in Wisconsin.”

At least 37 known shipwrecks are located in the waters off the three counties. An additional 80 sites are believed to exist.

An alternative proposal would include the Kewaunee County shore in the sanctuary. Doing so would add one confirmed wreck site and 15 potential sites, NOAA officials said. The sanctuary would protect the wreck sites — prohibiting anchoring to the wrecks while allowing divers to explore them.

More than 100 people filled Algoma's community center at Knutson Hall for Monday night's hearing. About two dozen spoke, including three people associated with the Door County Maritime Museum who urged a further expansion to include Door County in the Sanctuary.

“Expand it to Death's Door,” museum archivist Rhys Kuzdas said. Museum Director Amy Paul and Museum Curator Adam Gronke also spoke in favor of including Door County.

The Algoma session was the first of four. Others were scheduled for Manitowoc, Sheboygan and Port Washington. Written comments can be submitted to NOAA until the end of March, officials said. Instructions can be found at the NOAA web page: sanctuaries.noaa.gov/wisconsin.

Green Bay Press Gazette

 

Windsor tour boat stuck in ice

3/16 - Windsor, Ont. – A Canadian tour boat is not doing much cruising after becoming stuck in the ice Monday on Little River opposite Peche Island.

Two lines helping moor the Macassa Bay for the winter in Lakeview Park Marina broke in high winds, which pushed the 97-foot ship into the channel, where March’s unseasonably cold temperatures trapped the vessel in ice. Nobody was on board.

“With the ice and the winds, the boat is very, very heavy,” said Mary Jones, the ship owner and president of Windsor River Cruises. “It was impossible to move it. So it’s lodged in the ice. But it’s secure. It’s not going anywhere. It’s not going to do damage to anything.”

The vessel should be accustomed to rough weather, though, since it was originally used as a ferry from Newfoundland to the Hibernia Oil Platform in the North Atlantic.

During the summer, the Macassa Bay docks downtown near Caesars Windsor, from where it leaves for dinner, dancing and sightseeing tours up and down the Detroit River. Right now, however, the Macassa Bay — built in Hamilton in 1986 for up to 197 passengers — will have to sit tight for a few more days.

Jones said when the ice clears, crews will use an on-board winch, attached to land by cable, to pull itself to shore.

“We won’t be able to move it until the weather breaks and the ice melts, which hopefully will be Thursday or Friday,” Jones said. “Then we’ll be able to secure it back in the marina.”

Windsor Star

 

 

Shipwreck show ‘Mysteries & Histories’ March 25 in Holland, Mich.

3/16 - Holland, Mich. – Underwater video of some of the deepest dives on Great Lakes shipwrecks will highlight the 19th annual shipwreck show, "Mysteries & Histories Beneath the Inland Seas" on Saturday, March 25, in Holland.

The Holland-based Michigan Shipwreck Research Association sponsors the annual show as part of its mission to research and discover shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, then document and present their findings to the public, according to a news release from the organization.

John Janzen of Minnesota will offer the keynote presentation "Eight Years of Diving the Carl D. Bradley." The Carl D. Bradley was a self-unloading Great Lakes freighter that sank in a Lake Michigan storm Nov. 18, 1958. Of the 35 crew members, 33 died in the sinking.

Janzen and diving partner John Scoles conducted three dives to the Bradley in August 2007. They removed the original bell and replaced it with memorial bell of similar dimensions, engraved with the names of the lost crew. They were the first scuba divers to reach the stern of the Bradley. Janzen also has worked as a diver and videographer for National Geographic and was featured in the recent Nat Geo Explorer episode, "Ghost Ships of the Great Lakes."

Also on the program is "Fire Wind and Storm," in which Great Lakes shipwreck hunter David Trotter presents his recent discovery and exploration of the shipwrecks of the Venus and the Montezuma, and "Shipwrecks, Reality TV and the Michigan Triangle," presented by MSRA's Valerie van Heest who will explore how reality television shows blur the lines between history and myth for the sake of ratings.

The association also will air an episode of the Science Channel program "Secrets of the Underground," in which Michigan Shipwreck Research Association is featured. The episode was aired on the Science Channel on March 14.

The show will take place at Knickerbocker Theatre, 86 E. Eighth St., Holland. Tickets are $12.50 in advance and $15 at the door, or free with various membership levels at michiganshipwrecks.org.

Holland Sentinel

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 16

Today in Great Lakes History March 16 On 16 March 1901, ARGO (steel passenger/package freight propeller, 173 foot, 1,089 gross tons) was launched at the Craig Ship Building Company (Hull #81) at Toledo, Ohio, for the A. Booth Company. She left the Lakes in 1917, and was last recorded in 1938, out of Brest, France.

BUFFALO (Hull#721) was launched March 16, 1978, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Corp., for the American Steamship Co.

On 16 March 1883, The Port Huron Times announced that the passenger and package freight steamer PICKUP would be built in Marine City, Michigan and would run on the St. Clair River between Port Huron and Algonac. The machinery from the burned steamer CARRIE H. BLOOD was to be installed in her. In fact, her construction was completed that year and she went into service in September 1883. Her dimensions were 80 foot x 19 foot x 7 foot, 137 gross tons, 107 net tons.

The Niagara Harbor & Dock Company, a shipbuilding firm, was incorporated on 16 March 1831, at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

On 16 March 1886, the tug MOCKING BIRD was sold by Mr. D. N. Runnels to Mr. James Reid of St. Ignace, Michigan. Mr. Runnels received the tug JAMES L. REID as partial payment.

1924: MOHAWK of the Western Transit Co. was known as a fast ship. It was built at Detroit in 1893 and was renamed AMERICA in 1916. It was cut in two to exit the Great Lakes and re-assembled at Montreal for East Coast service. The ship was renamed BERMUDEZ in 1921 and sank in the Erie Basin at Brooklyn on March 16, 1924, with the stern resting on the bottom and the bow afloat. The hull was pumped out but scrapped at New York in January 1925.

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

 

Upgraded Welland Canal opens next Monday

3/15 - St. Catharines, Ont. – An upgraded Welland Canal and community celebrations will welcome the first ships to sail through the waterway. Top hat ceremonies and events planned in St. Catharines and Port Colborne will launch the opening of the canal and start of the shipping season next Monday.

The St. Lawrence Seaway has seen $90 million in upgrades and repairs during the off-season, while many of the ships that sail through it have seen about $70 million in upgrades.

In St. Catharines, the first upbound ship will be welcomed at about 10 a.m. at the St. Catharines Museum – Welland Canals Centre, starting the 188th anniversary of the canal and launching the 2017 shipping season. The ceremony will include a keynote address by Edward Levy, chief executive officer of Rand Logistics, a shipping company based in Jersey City, N.J.

At the south end of the waterway, Port Colborne Mayor John Maloney will welcome the captain of the first downbound vessel during a ceremony at Lock 8 Gateway Park, starting at 8 a.m. with a fair trade pancake breakfast.

The Mariner’s Celebration will be held the night before, at St. James and St. Brendan Anglican Church, 55 Charlotte St., starting at 7 p.m.

The Chamber of Marine Commerce reported that seven shipping companies including Algoma Central and CSL Group invested in engine and generator overhauls, steel and mechanical work, navigation equipment, system hardware and software upgrades, and accommodation and safety equipment upgrades to the combined 143 vessels they operate within the waterway.

In a news release, chamber president Bruce Burrows called the investments an example of the economic boon provided by the shipping industry, even while ships are docked for the winter.

“Even in the off-season, Canadian shipowners and the St. Lawrence Seaway spend millions of dollars with equipment suppliers and repair businesses, helping to sustain well-paying, highly skilled jobs in communities all over the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence region,” he said.

Work was done at ports throughout the seaway, including Port Colborne and Hamilton. Chamber spokesperson Julia Fields said additional work may have been done at other ports by companies that were not surveyed.

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. investments in the Welland Canal include the reconstruction of the upper Lock 1 tie-up wall, rehabilitation of locks 1 and 7, bank protection, rehabilitation of lock and weir valves, repairs of Bridge 3A at Carlton Street in St. Catharines, new hands-free mooring units in the Thorold flight locks, as well as lighting upgrades.

Additional seaway upgrades were made along the waterway in Beauharnois and the St-Lambert Lock in Montreal.

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. president and chief executive officer Terence Bowles said in a release the investments “ensure that our waterway continues to process ship transits safely, efficiently and reliably.”

“With a system availability rate approaching 100 per cent over the last 10 years, the corporation and its staff have done an excellent job in managing the seaway’s locks and channels, which form the core of a vital trade artery that connects the heartland of North America to markets across the globe,” he said.

St. Catharines Standard

 

Port Reports -  March 15

St. Marys River
The USCG icebreaker Mackinaw arrived in Soo Harbor Tuesday afternoon and moored at the Coast Guard base. The USCG Morro Bay was also in town.

 

Tentative vessel departure dates from Sturgeon Bay

3/15 - John G Munson - 4/24/17
Edwin H Gott - 03/23/17
Cason J Callaway - 03/23/17
Indiana Harbor - 04/10/17
Walter J. McCarthy - 04/21/17
Mesabi Minor - 04/26/17
James R Barker - 03/23/17
Joseph L Block - 03/22/17
Wilfred Sykes - 04/04/17

Indications are that they will depart out the West Entrance into the Bay of Green Bay.

 

Advocates for Soo Locks optimistic about Pres. Trump

3/15 - Some supporters of building a new Soo Lock are hopeful that President Trump could finally be the one to deliver the goods. Groups like the Lake Carriers’ Association have been trying to get a new lock built at Sault Ste. Marie for decades.

They say an additional lock is needed for the sake of redundancy. The lakes’ 1,000-foot freighters are currently limited by size to one lock – the Poe Lock – to move between Lakes Superior and Huron.

“I’m optimistic that President Trump will cut through the bureaucratic obstacles and that we’ll start constructing this project during his administration,” says Jim Weakley, the president of the Lakes Carriers’ Association.

In 2015, a report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said a failure at the Poe Lock could cause a national recession. That’s because the manufacturing economy is dependent on iron ore coming out of the mining regions of Michigan and Minnesota. Without the big iron boats moving freely between the upper and lower lakes, the flow of ore to steel plants would slow to a trickle.

Congress first authorized the building of a new Soo Lock in the mid-1980s, but since then has not appropriated the estimated $600 million it would cost to complete the project.

Weakley says a lot is riding on a benefit-cost study that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is doing right now. With a high enough rating, the program would be fundable in the president's budget.

But Weakley says he’s worried the Army Corps could bury the project in its analysis. The benefit-cost study is not expected to be completed until 2018. NPR Morning Edition

 

Build new lock: Great Lakes Commission

3/15 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – An interstate agency wants the American government to build a new large lock at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Nearly 4,000 vessels pass through the locks annually, Great Lakes Commission says. About 70 per cent of the American flag fleet can only use the Poe Lock.

“Our sole reliance on this single, 50-year old lock puts our regional and national economies at risk,” a release says. “Congress should provide funding to begin construction of a new large lock to safeguard our regional economy and national security.”

Great Lakes Commission members are eight Great Lakes states. Ontario and Quebec have associate status. In October 2015, Department of Homeland Security found a six-month closure of the Poe Lock would cause a recession in the United States.

Sault Star Nothing’s too thick for the Great Lakes’ only heavy ice-breaker It's a mighty tall order: maintaining navigation channels through the Great Lakes all winter long. That mission is fulfilled by a mighty ship: the USCGC Mackinaw. She's the only heavy ice-breaker the U.S. Coast Guard has on the Great Lakes.

She docks in Cheboygan, and during the winter months she maintains navigation channels through the Great Lakes by splitting ice.

Vasilios Tasikas, the commanding officer of the Mackinaw, spoke to Stateside about his ship’s unique mission. The economic viability of the Great Lakes is based on the movement of ships, Tasikas said. Ice can bring that transportation to a dead stop.

That's where the Mackinaw comes in.

The massive weight of the ship does most of the work to break up thick ice. When the ship hits the ice, the impact causes it to crack.

“And the bow kind of slides up on the ice and the ice is pushed down under the ship, causing a kind of bend in that ice plate and when the ship continues on the ice, it crushes under the weight of the ship and causes the plate ice to break up into small pieces,” he said.

He said the impact shakes the entire ship and can be rather violent. The ship is “punching and riding on top and breaking and crushing and smashing,” from sunrise to sunset," Tasikas said.

To hear more about the Great Lakes’ only icebreaker, listen to the full interview at this link: http://michiganradio.org/post/nothing-s-too-thick-great-lakes-only-heavy-ice-breaker

Michigan Radio

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 15

WESTCLIFFE HALL (Hull#519) was launched March 15, 1956, at Grangemouth, Scotland, by Grangemouth Dockyard Co. Ltd., for the Hall Corp. of Canada.

March 15, 1949 - The Ann Arbor carferry fleet was laid up due to a strike called by the boat crews. The fleet was idled until March 22nd.

On 15 March 1882, GRACE PATTERSON (wooden propeller tug/freighter, 111 tons, built in 1880, at Grand Haven, Michigan) was carrying lumber and lath when she stranded near Two Rivers Point, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan. She caught fire and was totally destroyed. Lifesavers rescued the crew.

Mr. Russell Armington died on 15 March 1837. He operated the first shipyard at St. Catharines, Ontario from 1828, until his death.

On 15 March 1926, SARNOR (wooden propeller freighter, 228 foot, 1,319 gross tons, built in 1888, at W. Bay City, Michigan, formerly BRITANNIC) caught fire at Kingston, Ontario near the La Salle Causeway. She burned to a total loss.

1942: The first SARNIADOC of the Paterson fleet was lost with all hands on the Caribbean en route from Trinidad to the U.S. Virgin Islands. It was apparently torpedoed by U-161 in the night hours of March 14-15, 1942, while in the south for the wartime bauxite trade.

1969: The bulk carrier ALEXANDER T. WOOD, remembered by many for its regular early Seaway service in the ore and grain trades as well as for a collision with the Finnish flag freighter MARIA in the Detroit River on August 12, 1960, was lost on this day in 1969 as VAINQUER. The latter had been to the Great Lakes in 1968 but sank following a boiler room explosion in the Gulf of Mexico with the loss of one life. It was en route from Vera Cruz, Mexico, to New Orleans with a cargo of sugar.

1976: The rail car barge HURON rolled over and sank at the Windsor dock due to an uneven deck load. The 1875 vintage vessel had operated across the Detroit River as a steamer until March 1971 and then as a barge. It was refloated and returned to service.

1980: The Liberian vessel FRATERNITY was built in 1963. It visited the Great Lakes in 1967 and operated briefly as ARYA NIKU in 1975-1976 before becoming FRATERNITY again under Greek registry. Fire broke out in #1 and #2 cargo holds en route from Hamburg to Karachi on this date in 1980. An explosion followed the next day and the crew abandoned the ship in the Red Sea. The hull was beached March 17 around the border of Eritrea and Sudan but was refloated April 1 and deemed a total loss. After unloading at Sharjah, the hull was towed to Gadani Beach, Pakistan, arriving at the scrapyard on May 19, 1981.

1984: The Greek freighter ELINA likely made only one trip to the Great Lakes, coming inland in 1982 to load frozen meat at Kenosha, WI. It laid up at Emden, West Germany, on June 13, 1983, only to catch fire on March 15, 1984. The damage was extensive and the hull was towed into Gijon, Spain, for scrapping on April 23, 1984.

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

 

USCG Alder to begin spring breakout at Duluth-Superior on Thursday

3/14 - Duluth-Superior – U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alder will commence spring break out operations in the Duluth-Superior area Thursday March 16. These operations will continue periodically over the next few days and weeks to prepare regional waterways for the start of the Great Lakes commercial navigation season.

Initially, icebreaking operations will occur inside the Duluth and Superior harbors. The icebreaking work will expand in the following days to prepare Two Harbors, Minn., Taconite Harbor, Minn., Silver Bay, Minn., and Thunder Bay, Ont. for commercial ship movements.

Unlike some previous winters, this year was unseasonably warm. Regional ice cover is not as expansive nor did it reach traditional thicknesses. The forecast for the next 7-10 days calls for temperatures conducive to rapid deterioration of ice.

USCG

 

Port Reports -  March 14

Erie, Pa. – Gene Polaski
The newly named Clyde S. VanEnkevort /Erie Trader (formerly Ken Boothe Sr/Lakes Contender) moved from one slip at DonJon Shipyard in Erie to another slip on the west side of the building. It moved at about 4 p.m. in a very bitter northerly wind and 28F temperature. She pushed out in the bay, then turned and backed into the slip.

 

Ashland lighthouse has new mission as weather station

3/14 - Ashland, Wis. – After celebrating its centennial last year, the lighthouse that serves as a beacon on Chequamegon Bay is ready for a new job, though it still plans to keep the lights on.

The Ashland Harbor Breakwater Light, as it is officially known, began service as an aid to navigation in 1916. It became automated in 1962 and continues to serve as a navigation beacon today. This year, it will be tasked with a heavier workload, receiving upgrades in technology that have transformed the lighthouse into a weather station.

Since last fall, the station has monitored lake levels and water currents. The new equipment will allow it to monitor weather conditions such as precipitation, wind speed and temperatures. The water-monitoring gear will track lake levels, currents and waves. Another upgrade in the spring will allow water quality to be measured. The new information is being collected through a real-time data stream by the U.S. Geological Survey at its Middleton, Wis., facilities.

Paul Reneau, a hydrologist with the USGS who is described as a "modern-day lighthouse keeper" by the National Park Service, will keep tabs on the data. He described the new capabilities as being similar to the buoys in the lake. "It is sort of a standalone," he said. "The closest would be the buoys run by NOAA, (of) which there are about a dozen."

Reneau estimated the cost of the new weather equipment to be about $30,000, plus an additional $20,000 for the water quality sensors. The cost of the original lighthouse, keeper's dwelling and boathouse, when constructed more than 100 years ago, was $24,943.80, according to the Lighthouse Friends website. Great care has been taken not to allow the modern equipment to take away from the lighthouse's historic character.

Mark Vinson, the USGS Lake Superior Biological Station chief, can see the lighthouse from his office in Ashland.

"Its central location in the western part of the bay makes it a good spot for evaluating incoming waters from Fish Creek and other small tributaries along with water the bay exchanges with Lake Superior," he said in a news release.

The station already has seen the new equipment pay off: It tracked what are described as "significant" changes in lake levels during a storm in November 2016. The changes are being attributed to a so-called seiche (pronounced "saysh") that was the result of wind and pressure-driven sloshing of the lake. Time-lapse photographs taken recently also show how quickly ice and water conditions on the lake can change.

The new mission is a cooperative venture between the National Park Service and the USGS. The park service received support to make the improvements from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 14

March 14, 1959 - The ANN ARBOR NO 6 returned to service as the b.) ARTHUR K ATKINSON after an extensive refit.

In 1880, the harbor tug GEORGE LAMONT sank with her crew of three off Pentwater, Michigan after being overcome by weather during a race with her rival, the harbor tug GEM. The LAMONT was the only steamer to disappear with all hands during the many races that took place among steamers during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

On 14 March 1873, the new railroad carferry SAGINAW went into the Port Huron Dry Dock Company's dry dock where her engine was installed along with her shaft and propeller. Workmen had to break up the ice in the dry dock to release the schooner MARY E. PEREW so that work could begin on the SAGINAW. The work was done quickly since SAGINAW was needed to fill in for a disabled ferry in Detroit. Mr. Francois Baby was granted a "ferry lease" between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan on 14 March 1843. He built the steamer ALLIANCE for this ferry service and Capt. Tom Chilvers was the skipper. In 1851, Capt. Chilvers leased the steamer from Mr. Baby and ran it on the same route until the late 1850s.

On 14 March 1878, the first vessel of the navigation season passed through the Straits of Mackinac. This was the earliest opening of the navigation season at the Straits since 1854.

1918 ISLAND QUEEN, a wooden-hulled Toronto Island ferry, was destroyed by a fire at Hanlan's Point in Toronto. The ship was valued at $25,000 and the hull was left to rot.

1962: MILLY made one trip through the Seaway in 1959. It had been launched at Stockton, CA on May 13, 1915, as PORTHCAWL and became d) MILLY in 1950. The 295 foot freighter, sailing as f) HEDIA, last reported March 14 near Galita Island on the Mediterranean close to Malta and en route from Casablanca, Morocco, to Venice, Italy, with a cargo of phosphate. It was posted as missing and then lost with all hands.

1993: The Freedom Class freighter SHAMALY was a year old when it came through the Seaway in 1969. It returned December 1, 1990, as c) WALVIS BAY for Ogdensburg, NY to load corn gluten The 9650 gross ton freighter ran aground south of Greece off Cape Morakis in 1993 en route from Piraeus to Scotland as d) LIPARIT BAY. The hull was not worth repairing and sold for scrap. Renamed e) NORA for the delivery tow, it arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, April 4, 1994, for dismantling and work began May 16.

1999: The Panamanian freighter EVANGELIA PETRAKIS was built in Muroran, Japan, in 1978 as N.J. PATERAS. It came through the Seaway in 1988 and was renamed c) AMER VED in 1990. It survived a grounding off Horsetail Bank, UK on November 19, 1996, only to suffer serious damage in a collision with the newly built, 57,947 gross ton, Maltese flag tanker SEAPRIDE I off Khor Fakkan, United Arab Emirates. The damage to the 21-year old freighter was not worth repairs so it arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping on June 19, 1999.

1964: MARIA G.L. went aground at Suno Saki, Japan, about 30 miles south of Yokohama, in fog. This Liberty ship had been a Great Lakes trader in 1961. It was enroute from Long Beach, California, to Chiba, Japan, with a cargo of phosphates and broke in two as a total loss.

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 13

The keel for the tanker IMPERIAL REDWATER (Hull#106) was laid March 13, 1950, at Port Arthur, Ontario, by Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. She was converted to a bulk freighter at Collingwood, Ontario and renamed b.) R. BRUCE ANGUS in 1954. The ANGUS operated for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., until she was scrapped at Setubal, Portugal in 1985.

On March 13, 1989, the Rouge Steel Co. announced the sale of its marine operations to Lakes Shipping, Cleveland (Interlake Steamship, mgr.).

1994: SHIPBROKER was built at Varna, Bulgaria, in 1980 as OCEAN SEAGULL and came through the Seaway that year on July 3. It was renamed SHIPBROKER in 1986 and made its maiden voyage to the Great Lakes on November 19, 1991. The ship was in a collision with the Cypriot tanker NASSIA in the Bosporus Strait on March 14, 1994, and caught fire. It burned for days and 29 members of the crew of 33 plus four on the tanker, were lost. Following a sale for scrap, the gutted bulk carrier arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, under tow on December 3, 1994, and dismantling began April 5, 1995.

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

 

Signs of spring: Engineers prepare Soo Locks for opening

3/12 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The weather may be frigid right now, but the first sign of spring is approaching. Every winter, the Soo Locks close for 10 weeks to do maintenance work and repairs.

The Soo Locks sit on the U.S. and Canadian boarder and play a crucial role in allowing ships to carry materials like iron and coal that largely feed the steel industry from the lower Great Lakes to Lake Superior. The locks closed on Jan. 15 for annual maintenance.

Kevin Sprague with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told 7&4 News what they had to get done this year.

"Done a lot of work with sandblasting, painting our dewatering bulkheads, and also a lot of replacement work on really, really large bevel gears. Those are the type of things they work on every winter, but one piece is only replaced every 50 to 100 years. The gate anchorages, or hinges for the doors on the Poe Lock.

"It's like a hinge that you'd put on a door, only it's very large and the embedment's go very deep in to the concrete. The original embedment's go 16 feet deep," said Sprague.

"Actually, people ask 'what do you guys do in the winter? There's no boats running, there must not be anything to do,' but actually this is our busiest time of the year. We have a tight schedule to fit these jobs into, and there's no forgiveness for not opening on time, there is no other way," said Sprague.

The locks bring a lot of people to the area to visit, but its also important to national trade and commerce.

"Locally, it's important for our community that we have a fairly large tourist attraction. We have a lot of people come visit our park, come visit Sault Ste. Marie because of that. Nationally, it's important, because the cargo that goes through here feed primarily the U.S. steel industry, integrated steel mills, so that's important to make automobiles, tractors, you name it," said Sprague.

Despite the looks of the weather, Sprague says this winter has been easier than usual for the working on the locks. The Soo Locks reopen one minute after midnight on March 25.

7&4 News

 

Port Reports -  March 12

Lake Michigan
Tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were headed in to St. Joseph, Mich., Saturday night, according to AIS. Bradshaw McKee and St. Marys Conquest had departed Manitowoc Saturday afternoon and were headed back up the lake.

Indiana Harbor, Ind.
Joyce L. VanEnkevort and Great Lakes Trader were unloading on Saturday and were still there in the late evening.

 

The World’s Largest Rubber Duck is coming to Canadian ports this summer

3/12 - Toronto, Ont. – Toronto’s Redpath Waterfront Festival is getting a big addition this year. Announced in a press release Friday, the World’s Largest Rubber Duck is set to join the ONTARIO 150 Tour to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday this summer.

From July 1-3, Toronto’s annual summer event will welcome the World’s Largest Rubber Duck as it makes its first trip to Canada (although it did call on U.S. ports last year). In case you’re wondering, the duck is 61 feet tall, 79 feet wide, 89 feet long, and weighs in at 30,000 pounds. That’s a lot of rubber duck.

So much duck, in fact, that it won’t be able to stay put in Toronto for long, touring Ontario towns Owen Sound, Sault Ste. Marie, Midland, Amherstburg, and Brockville over the summer as well.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 12

The b.) RUTH HINDMAN was launched March 12, 1910, as a.) NORWAY (Hull#115) at Toledo, Ohio by Toledo Shipbuilding Co., for the United States Transportation Co. She was scrapped at Thunder Bay, Ontario, in 1978.

G.A. TOMLINSON was launched March 12, 1907, as a) D.O. MILLS (Hull#29) at Ecorse, Michigan, by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Mesaba Steamship Co.

March 12, 1941 - The ferry CITY OF MIDLAND 41 arrived in Ludington, Michigan, on her maiden voyage. She loaded cars of paper at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and then picked up some cars of canned milk at Kewaunee, with Captain Charles Robertson in command.

On 12 March 1883, the steam barge R. MC DONALD was renamed IDA M. TORRENT.

1917: ALGONQUIN was built at Glasgow, Scotland, in 1888 and saw service for several companies on the Great Lakes. The ship was torpedoed by U-62 when it was 65 miles off Cornwall, England, while west of Bishop's Rock and en route from New York to London with general cargo. It was the first American merchant ship lost due to enemy action in World War One.

1942: ¬CRAIGROWNIE was a World War One Laker and had been launched at Ashtabula on April 12, 1919. It was sailing as d) OLGA when torpedoed by U-126, 20 miles off Nuevital Light, Cuba, while en route from Port Everglades, FL, to Beracoa, Cuba. One crewmember was lost but 32 were rescued and taken to Cuba.

1947: EXANTHIA struck a mine in the Mediterranean while 12 miles from the island of Elba while traveling from Istanbul to New York. The ship was flooded and abandoned but reboarded and eventually towed to New York for repairs. The ship sailed for the American Export Lines and came to the Great Lakes on nine occasions from 1959-1961. After a few years in the James River Reserve Fleet, the vessel was taken to Brownsville, Texas, in 1975 and broken up.

1971: SUNCLIPPER, a Seaway trader in 1966, was built in 1953 as BOW BRASIL. It ran aground at Haifa Bay as f) CLIPPER when the anchors dragged in a storm. The ship was refloated April 10, and taken to Perama, Greece. It was sold “as lies” to Turkish ship breakers, and arrived at Istanbul, Turkey, for scrapping on August 29, 1972.

1985: LETITIA was the 96th and final addition to the British flag Donaldson Line. It made four trips through the Seaway in 1966 and three more in 1967. It was sailing as d) TEPORA when it caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico en route to Veracruz, Mexico, on March 12, 1985. The Honduran-flagged freighter was abandoned by the crew. The fire was apparently extinguished and the vessel reboarded. It was taken in tow but the blaze broke out again and the ship sank on March 14.

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

 

Port Reports -  March 11

Lake Michigan
AIS Friday evening showed the Joyce L VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader headed downbound off Sturgeon Bay for Gary on their first trip of the new season. Bradshaw McKee/St. Marys Conquest were the first vessels to call on Manitowoc for the new season, arriving with cement from Charlevoix on Thursday.

Picton, Ont.
The cement carrier Stephen B. Roman arrived in Picton for the first visit of the year on Friday.

 

$160 million invested in Seaway over winter; March 20 opening looms

3/11 - Ogdensburg, N.Y. – An estimated $160 million has been invested in repair and infrastructure projects along the St. Lawrence Seaway System this winter, according to a report issued by the bi-national association representing more than 135 marine businesses and organizations.

The Chamber of Marine Commerce, headquartered in Ottawa, represents major Canadian and American shippers, ports, terminals and marine service providers, according to the organization’s website.

In a report published Wednesday, the group said that during the winter of 2016-17, approximately $160 million has been invested in repair and infrastructure projects, boosting economic activity in communities throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River corridor.

The report calculated that Canadian shipowners have invested an estimated $70 million to maintain and upgrade vessels and that the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation allocated another $90 million for infrastructure modernization and maintenance projects during the same period.

The vast majority of the investment and upgrades were carried out in the last few months in preparation of the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway shipping season that begins on March 20, the report said.

Vessel projects included engine and generator overhauls, steel and mechanical work, navigation equipment and system hardware and software upgrades, accommodation and safety equipment upgrades and annual inspections, according to the chamber’s report.

Notable rehabilitation and upgrades along the St. Lawrence Seaway corridor over the past few months have included reconstruction work and improvements at Welland Canal and rehabilitation of the gates at locks one and seven in Niagara, officials said,

The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway shipping system creates 227,000 jobs in Canada and the United States and generates revenues of $35 billion annually, according to figures provided by the Chamber of Marine Commerce.

The organizations says shipping in the region contributes $4.6 billion in tax revenue yearly and supports a consumer market of more than 100 million people.

Watertown Daily Times

 

Coast Guard urges caution during ice breaking operations on bay of Green Bay

3/11 - Green Bay, Wis. – The Coast Guard is urging residents and people recreating on the bay of Green Bay to use caution during ice breaking operations scheduled for Monday. The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is scheduled to break ice in areas near the Fox River Entrance Channel, the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal, the Menominee River entrance and the Little Bay De Noc near Escanaba.

USCG

 

Volunteers needed for Spring Cleaning Day at Lake Superior Marine Museum

3/11 - Duluth, Minn. – The Lake Superior Marine Museum Association is looking for volunteers to help during its annual Spring Cleaning Day. The LSMMA and the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center is hosting the event on Wednesday, March 15, at the Visitor Center in Canal Park.

Helpers are needed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Anyone interested is asked to contact LSMMA at 218-727-2497 or email tammy@lsmma.com.

Volunteers will wipe down displays, polish brass, dust electronic equipment and assist park rangers with other special projects. A complimentary lunch will be provided by Grandma's Sports Garden.

WDIO

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 11

The keel was laid March 11, 1976, for the 660-foot-long forward section of the BELLE RIVER (Hull#716) at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Corp. Renamed b.) WALTER J. McCARTHY JR in 1990.

L'AIGLE was launched March 11, 1982, as a.) ERRIA PILOT (Hull#308) at Imabari, Japan by Asakawa Zosen Co. Renamed b.) KOYAMA 3 in 1983, c.) IONIAN EAGLE in 1989. Purchased by Soconav in 1991, renamed d.) LÕAIGLE. Sold, renamed e.) ALAM KERISI in 1996, f.) SALDA in 1999, and sails today as the tanker g.) ARAL.

Sea trials were conducted on March 11, 1956, on Paterson's new canaller LACHINEDOC.

The tug RIVER QUEEN was sold to Ed Recor of St. Clair, Michigan on 11 March 1886.

1904: The wooden-hull Lake Erie car ferry SHENANGO NO. 1 caught fire and burned following an engine room explosion on March 11, 1904. The vessel had been frozen in the ice off Conneaut since January 1 and one member of the crew perished in the blaze.

1912: FLORA M. HILL sank in Lake Michigan en route to Chicago after being caught in an ice floe that crushed the iron hull. The vessel had been built as at Philadelphia in 1874 as the lighthouse tender DAHLIA and rebuilt and renamed at Milwaukee in 1910 for Lake Michigan service.

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

 

Port Reports -  March 10

St. Marys River
USCG icebreaker Mackinaw was working in the lower river above DeTour on Thursday.

Escanaba, Mich.
Joyce L. VanEnkevort / Great Lakes Trader left winter layup Thursday and were loading ore at CN.

Milwaukee, Wis.
Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were in port Thursday unloading the cement cargo brought aboard earlier this week at Alpena.

Cleveland, Ohio
The steamer Alpena has been moved from her wintering slip at Lafarge cement to the nearby Great Lakes Towing facility to be readied for the 2017 shipping season.

 

Coast Guard to open the waters between Cheboygan, Bois Blanc Island

3/10 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - Captain of the Port Sault Ste. Marie will open the waters between Cheboygan, Mich., and Bois Blanc Island, Mich., known as South Channel, effective 8 a.m. local on March 12.

USCG

 

Goderich awaits council decision on future of Marine Museum

3/10 - Goderich, Ont. – The fate of the local marine museum hangs in the balance as the Town of Goderich awaits a decision from council that will determine the museum’s future, along with the town’s role in that future. The County of Huron currently owns and operates the small museum located across from the Main Beach in the wheelhouse of the SS Shelter Bay at the Goderich harbor.

Town of Goderich Chief Administrative Officer Larry McCabe says the town was recently advised by Huron County that the county wants to remove itself from the operation of the marine museum due to declining attendance and significant maintenance costs. So the county has offered it to the town.

The museum, which contains historical photographs, paintings and various ship models, along with nautical artifacts, including the ship’s life boat, anchor, propeller, steam whistle, and compass, is dedicated to the men and women who made their living on Lake Huron.

“The County of Huron owns the marine museum and has artifacts in there, and they currently pay the ongoing operating expenses such as staffing and maintaining the artifacts,” says McCabe. “However the county decided they want to turn that over to the town. The town is now faced with what options they would have in regards to the future of the marine museum.”

McCabe says the issue has been referred to town staff to conduct a report, which will then be handed over to council. “I presume that report, when it’s finished, will include the cost of operation, but more so it would be a review of the state of the current facility. In other words, from a health and safety perspective, what is required for bringing it up to a more acceptable standard of repair. Those are the things we’ll bring in to council to decide.”

The options council will have to consider range from continuing operation as a museum to removing the building altogether. “Either it will be operated as a marine museum through the town in some way, shape or form as an approved facility, and those costs would be assessed,” McCabe says.

“Or, council is going to look at some other alternative for it at the other extreme. What they would be considering, through the budget process, is do they remove the marine museum? So that’s up to them. They need to look at all the options that are available.”

What the town will have to do, says McCabe, is look at what was proposed in its waterfront master plan for this year in relation to what [council] wants. “The master plan included the main beach, the facilities and the boardwalks, all the way to the end at St. Christopher’s Beach. So in light of the report that will come about the museum and the options available, council will look at that report and the master plan and say, ‘How does this fit in to our future requirements and what was proposed in the master plan?’

All of that will be part of the discussion on this issue, says McCabe. He says funds have already been allocated in the 2017 budget for upgrades of pavilions, the first priority included in the master plan. “But there are boardwalks, and there are proposals of such things in that area as an amphitheater-type [structure]. So council will have to look at how that fits in to the master plan.

Meighan Wark, Huron County Director of Cultural Services, says she is hopeful the town is able to make use of the museum in some way. “We would be thrilled to have the opportunity to pass the marine museum on to the town of Goderich so they can work with it,” she says. “I know that they’ve been working on a waterfront master plan, so this is something that might fit into the work that they’re already doing.”

“It’s a council decision, we’ll go from there,” says McCabe, who expects to know more by the beginning of April when the final budget and further details should come forward. “How the recreation amenities fit with the industrial amenities will always be a consideration of council and town staff as we move forward.”

Goderich Signal Star

 

Grand Haven receives $60K in grant funding for lighthouse restoration

3/10 - Grand Haven, Mich. – State Rep. Jim Lilly, R-Park Township, has announced Grand Haven is this year's recipient of the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program Grant. The City of Grand Haven received $60,000 in funding to assist with restoring the South Pier Lighthouse.

State legislature established the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program in 1999 to help preserve and protect Michigan's lighthouses, according to a statement. The program was created alongside the Michigan Lighthouse Project's efforts to maintain the historic nature of the state's many lighthouse stations.

Lilly said in a statement the Grand Haven lighthouse is often used as a symbol of the community and he is happy to see the state playing a role in its preservation.

"The funds awarded to the city of Grand Haven show our state's commitment to maintaining these historic structures and an investment in our community's future," Lilly said. The grant funding will be used to reconstruct and stabilize the entrance light's and inner light's porthole windows and to apply a weather stripping to the lantern doors.

Read more and view a photo gallery at this link: http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2017/03/grand_haven_announced_lighthou.html#incart_river_home

 

 

Port of Cleveland links private investment to Charter Steel expansion, job growth

3/10 - Cleveland, Ohio - The Board of Directors of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port of Cleveland) met Thursday to review and approve a development finance agreement that will link $38 million in private party investment funds to Charter Steel’s expansion of its Cuyahoga Heights facilities through the Port’s development finance program.

Charter Steel, North America’s leading producer of carbon and alloy steel wire rod, is building a new rolling mill to serve the growing cut-to-length steel bar market. The new facility will be built adjacent to Charter Steel’s existing coil mill and steelmaking operations in Cuyahoga Heights, and adds an additional 25 jobs, bringing Charter’s local employment total to approximately 355 employees. Total project cost of the expansion is $146.6 million, representing the largest investment in the company’s history.

In maritime matters, the Board approved a one-year agreement authorizing Federal Marine Terminals, Inc. (FMT) to continue as terminal operator for Warehouses A, 24, 26, and the Maintenance Shed. The new deal also expands FMT’s role to Dock 22 and Warehouse 22, including providing stevedoring services to the Cleveland-Europe Express (CEE), the only scheduled container vessel service between the Great Lakes, Europe, and points beyond.

“FMT has proven itself a strong service provider on the Port of Cleveland’s docks,” said Dave Gutheil, Port Vice President, Maritime & Logistics. “This new agreement will help streamline and improve efficiencies at our facilities.” Gutheil also stated that the deal represents a meaningful increase of 5.5% in lease revenue from the 2016 agreement.

Port of Cleveland

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 10

CHARLES E. WILSON (Hull#710) was launched March 10, 1973, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Corp., for American Steamship Co. Renamed b.) JOHN J. BOLAND in 2000.

The ADAM E. CORNELIUS, built by the Great Lakes Engineering Works (Hull#53) in 1908, was renamed b.) DETROIT EDISON on March 10, 1948. In 1954, she was renamed c.) GEORGE F. RAND and in 1962, the RAND was sold to Canadian registry and renamed d.) AVONDALE. She was scrapped at Castellon, Spain in 1979.

FORT HENRY (Hull#150) was launched March 10, 1955, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.

KINSMAN VENTURE was launched March 10, 1906, as a.) JOHN SHERWIN (Hull#617) at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co.

On 10 March 1881, the propellers MORLEY and A. L. HOPKINS were purchased by the Wabash Railroad Company from the Morley Brothers of Marine City, Michigan.

The N. K. FAIRBANK (wooden freighter, 205 foot, 980 gross tons, built in 1874, at Marine City, Michigan) was sold by Morley & Morse to Captain H. Hastings on 10 March 1884.

The tug RIVER QUEEN sank at her dock in Port Huron, Michigan during the night of 10 March 1885. She was raised the following day and one of her seacocks was discovered to have been open that caused her to fill with water.

CADILLAC (steel ferry, 161 foot, 636 gross tons) was launched on 10 March 1928, by the Great Lakes Engineering Works in River Rouge, Michigan (Hull #260) for the Detroit & Windsor Ferry Company. The ferry company claimed that she was the largest and most powerful ferry in North American waters. When she was launched, the Ambassador Bridge and the tunnel, which connects Detroit and Windsor, were being constructed. She was placed in service on 25 April 1928, and had a varied history. From 1940 to 1942, she ran as a Bob-lo steamer. In 1942, she was sold to the U. S. Coast Guard and renamed b.) ARROWWOOD (WAGL 176) and used as an icebreaker. She was rebuilt in 1946, renamed c.) CADILLAC, and served as a passenger vessel on Lake Erie. At the end of the 1947 season, she was tied up to the dock for use as a restaurant. She went through a couple of owners until she finally arrived at the scrappers' dock in Hamilton, Ontario on May 26, 1962 for breaking up.

In 2000, the HARMONIOUS, a Panamanian freighter dating from 1977, visited the Great Lakes in 1978 and returned on several occasions through 1986. It was lost on the Arabian Sea as c) KASTOR TOO while traveling from Aqaba, Jordan, to Visakhapatnam, India, with a cargo of phosphate on March 10, 2000. The crew of 18 were rescued by the nearby container ship MILDBURG.

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

 

 

Canadian registry opened for Algoma Strongfield

3/9 - According to the Transport Canada website, Canadian registry was opened March 8, 2017 for Algoma Strongfield, with the registered owner as Algoma Central Corp. This is the vessel that was caught in the 2015 financial collapse of its builder, Nantong Minde Heavy Industry Co., based in Jiangsu Province, China. The mostly- completed Equinox-class vessel was sold to Singapore interests in early February. It now appears to have been resold to Algoma.

The vessel was originally intended to run for the Canadian Wheat Board, now the Global Grain Group (G3), as CWB Strongfield under Algoma management. Given the new name, it seems unlikely Algoma Strongfield will join her sistership G3 Marquis under G3 ownership.

 

Spring, new shipping season is near for Port of Hamilton

3/9 - Hamilton, Ont. – The first day of spring marks the start of shipping season at the Port of Hamilton this year. Twenty-one vessels including ships, tugs and barges that passed the winter and underwent repairs in Hamilton will be venturing back into the Great Lakes starting March 20, says Hamilton Port Authority spokesperson Larissa Fenn.

The maintenance work conducted is part of an estimated $160 million spent on repair and infrastructure projects this winter by Canadian ship owners and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation in ports ranging from Sarnia to Port Colborne to Thunder Bay, according to the Chamber of Marine Commerce.

"The (Hamilton) port never really sleeps," said Fenn. "There's a lot to do both on board the vessels and on the terminals on land."

Similar to other ports, some of the work done in Hamilton included safety and mechanical inspections as well as upgrades and repairs, she said.

Work has also continued on a new, $45-million wheat flour mill for the milling division of grain-handling giant Parrish and Heimbecker Limited that sits at the foot of Wellington Street North. Another going concern is a new $50-million grain terminal by Winnipeg-based G3 Global Grain Group, at Pier 26 off Eastport Drive. Both are expected to begin service this year.

Since the seaway closed for the winter on Dec. 31, its management corporation tackled projects such as upgrading lighting on locks and bridges, and rehabilitating approach walls and fendering at St. Lambert Lock in Montreal.

Ships that spent the winter in the Port of Hamilton belong to companies such as McKeil Marine, Lower Lakes Marine and Algoma Central Corporation, said Fenn.

St. Catharines-based Algoma Central had four ships in Hamilton on winter layup this year and hired between 10 and 15 extra contractors to work on the vessels, said Kelly Humes, the company's director of technical services.

While all of their vessels underwent routine maintenance like generator and engine overhauls, their biggest project was a total cargo hold recoating for the Radcliffe R. Latimer, she added, involving "about 50,000 or 60,000 square feet of steel."

Hamilton Spectator

 

Proposed budegt cuts would hit Great Lakes beach safety, Coast Guard, fishery research

3/9 - Grand Rapids, Mich. – Proposed budget cuts at the National Atmospheric & Oceanic Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Coast Guard could have a huge impact on Great Lakes fishery research, beach and boater safety, environmental protection, algal bloom monitoring, icebreaking, maritime security and rescue capabilities.

The Washington Post reported this weekend the Trump administration wants to cut the nation's top weather and climate agency $5.6 billion budget by 17 percent, citing a leaked memo from the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The NOAA cuts come on the heels of a proposed 97 percent cut to an Environmental Protection Agency grant program that funds Great Lakes pollution cleanup, invasive species management and watershed projects in eight states.

Politico also reported that the U.S. Coast Guard is facing a 14 percent cut to its $9.1 billion budget as part of Trump's effort to boost immigration enforcement.

Read more and view a photo gallery at this link: http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/03/trump_noaa_coast_guard_cuts.html

 

Ferry trip offers waterfront views of 32 Lake Michigan lighthouses

3/9 - Mackinaw City, Mich. – Reservations are open for an all-inclusive, five-day ferry excursion that includes a visit to 32 different Great Lakes lighthouses. There are 80 spots available for the trip which takes place in the northern part of Lake Michigan June 5-9. It is presented by the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, which oversees the care of two lighthouses in the region.

Guests travel aboard the Shepler's Ferry vessel Hope and stay at different resorts along the way, including Weathervane Terrace Inn & Suites in Charlevoix and Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

"It's an awesome thing to do," said Terry Pepper, executive director. "Lighthouses were built for the mariners so by going out to see them the way they were designed for from the water is unique."

The price for the trip is $1,395 per person for double occupancy, or $1,645 per person single occupancy. Non-members will also need to purchase a membership in order to participate. The price includes all costs of transportation, lodging, food, soft drinks, and gratuities from the time the boat is boarded.

All proceeds will benefit the GLLKA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the care and promotion of all lighthouses, especially those in the Great Lakes.

Read more, and view photos at this link: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/03/ferry_trip_offers_waterborne_v.html

 

Sarnia’s ‘Ghost Fleet’ of shipwrecks featured in new book

3/9 - Sarnia, Ont. – Hidden on the bottom of Lake Huron just north of Sarnia lies a “Ghost Fleet” of shipwrecks being featured in a Canada sesquicentennial project. The book, ‘Canada’s 150 Most Famous Great Lakes Shipwrecks,’ was written and photographed by Windsor-based scuba divers Cris Kohl and Joan Forsberg.

“The goal (is) to educate people, to let them know that quite frankly a lot of places like Toronto, Thunder Bay and Sarnia wouldn’t exist if it hadn’t been for ships,” said Kohl. “That’s how they got their start.”

The ‘Ghost Fleet’ is comprised of four ships that went down in the St. Clair River in the early 1900s but wound up at rest in the lake about 12 kilometres northwest of Sarnia. The shipwrecks all lie within three kilometres of each other in about 70 feet of water.

Sarnia council agreed to sponsor a page in the 224-page book, which is set for release in mid-April and will be available at The Bookkeeper for $19.95.

Kohl said he discovered the ‘Ghost Fleet’ in 1993 while searching for the Wexford, a ship that disappeared during the Great Storm of 1913. Though he didn’t find the Wexford he was able to locate and identify the Aztec, the Sachem, the Province, and the Yakima.

Kohl’s colleague Jim Stayer coined the nickname ‘The Ghost Fleet of the St. Clair River.’

All four ships sank in the river and were scuttled in Sarnia Bay, which was then the place ships went to die, he said. As wrecks began to accumulate in the bay a decision was made to move some of them to open water.

“In those environmentally worry-free days they didn’t care as long as they got them out of sight. Out of sight, out of mind,” he said.

The book, Kohl’s 17th, is a way to recognize Canada’s 150th birthday while paying tribute to the ships and their fearless sailors, he said.

“Because of the cold, fresh water of the Great Lakes we have something very unique. We have the best preserved shipwrecks in the world,” said Kohl, who has been scuba diving since 1974. “In the Great Lakes, you can dive on a shipwreck that went down 150 years ago and it looks like, if it could be raised to the surface, it would float again.”

Sarnia Journal

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 9

In 1905, the JAMES C. WALLACE (Hull#334) of the Acme Steamship Co., (A.B. Wolvin, mgr.), was launched at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co. Purchased by the Interlake Steamship Co. in 1913, she was scrapped at Genoa, Italy in 1963.

On 09 March 1933, all nine steamers of the Goodrich Transit Company were seized by federal marshals under a bankruptcy petition. These steamers were CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, CAROLINA, ALABAMA, ILLINOIS, CITY OF BENTON HARBOR, CITY OF GRAND RAPIDS, CITY OF ST. JOSEPH, CITY OF HOLLAND, and the CITY OF SAUGATUCK.

AMOCO ILLINOIS was launched March 9, 1918, as a) WILLIAM P. COWAN (Hull#724) at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co.

NOTRE DAME VICTORY (Hull#1229), was launched on March 9, 1945, at Portland, Oregon, by Oregon Shipbuilding Co., just 42 days after her keel was laid. She became the b.) CLIFFS VICTORY and sailed on the Great Lakes from 1951 until 1985.

WIARTON was launched March 9, 1907, as a) THOMAS LYNCH (Hull#73) at Chicago, Illinois, by Chicago Ship Building Co., for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. She was used as part of a breakwall at the Steel Co. of Canada Dock in Hamilton. The GROVEDALE of 1905, and HENRY R. PLATT JR of 1909, were also used.

March 9, 1920 - The PERE MARQUETTE 3 sank off Ludington after being crushed by ice.

On 9 March 1858, the propeller ferry GLOBE was being loaded with cattle at the Third Street dock at Detroit, Michigan. In the rush to get aboard, the cattle caused the vessel to capsize. All of the cattle swam ashore, although some swam across the river to the Canadian side.

1985: The Norwegian freighter TRONSTAD first came to the Great Lakes as a pre-Seaway visitor in 1957. It returned on another 12 occasions after the new waterway opened in 1959. The vessel was sailing a d) CRUZ DEL SUR when it was confiscated by U.S. authorities for drug smuggling and brought to Miami on this date in 1985. The 30-year old ship was towed out into the Atlantic and scuttled off Miami on December 19, 1986.

2007: The Greek freighter WISMAR was built in 1979 and came through the Seaway in 1980. It lost power below Lock 2 of the Welland Canal while upbound on August 30, 1980, and had to drop anchor. It was sailing as h) GRACIA from Thailand to Dakar, Senegal, with a cargo of rice, when the engine failed in heavy weather in the Indian Ocean on February 27, 2007. The crew took to the lifeboats and was rescued. The former Great Lakes visitor was last seen on March 7, adrift, with a 20-degree list to port, and likely soon sank.

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

 

Canadian fleets, Seaway invest $160M to prepare for new season

3/8 - Ottawa, Ont. – Canadian shipowners and the St. Lawrence Seaway have spent an estimated $160 million on repair and infrastructure projects this winter, boosting the economic fortunes of communities throughout the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence and east coast.

Canadian shipowners have invested an estimated $70 million to maintain and upgrade their vessels during the winter months — an annual exercise that keeps their vessels in tip-top shape to safely and efficiently deliver goods for North American businesses.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation also allocated $90 million for infrastructure modernization and maintenance projects in 2016-2017, the vast majority of which were carried out in the last few months in advance of the Seaway opening on March 20.

“Even in the off season, Canadian shipowners and the St. Lawrence Seaway spend millions of dollars with equipment suppliers and repair businesses, helping to sustain well-paying, highly skilled jobs in communities all over the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence region,” says Bruce Burrows, president of the Chamber of Marine Commerce.

Vessel projects include engine and generator overhauls, steel and mechanical work, navigation equipment and system hardware and software upgrades, accommodation and safety equipment upgrades and various annual inspections. Several vessels also had five-year dry dock inspections, which are required by Transport Canada and survey all aspects of the ship below the waterline. Winter lay-up and vessel repairs took place in Sarnia, Hamilton, Port Colborne, Thunder Bay, Windsor, Sault Ste. Marie, Nanticoke, Midland, Isle-aux-Coudres (Quebec), Montreal, Quebec City, Les Méchins (Quebec), Shelbourne (Nova Scotia) and Halifax (Nova Scotia).

Notable rehabilitation and upgrades by the St. Lawrence Seaway over the past few months include:

• Reconstruction of the Upper Lock 1 tie-up wall in the Welland Canal
• Rehabilitation of gates at locks 1 and 7 in Niagara and at Lock 7 in Maisonneuve
• Bank protection in the Welland Canal
• Rehabilitation of lock and weir valves in both regions
• Rehabilitation of the swing bridge in Beauharnois and of Bridge 3A in Niagara
• Rehabilitation of approach walls and fendering at St-Lambert Lock
• Deployment of Hands Free Mooring units in the Flight Locks in Niagara
• Locks and bridges lighting upgrades

"The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation's ongoing investments in asset renewal and modernization ensure that our waterway continues to process ship transits safely, efficiently and reliably,” said Terence Bowles, president and CEO of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.

“With a system availability rate approaching 100 per cent over the last 10 years, the Corporation and its staff have done an excellent job in managing the Seaway's locks and channels, which form the core of a vital trade artery that connects the heartland of North America to markets across the globe.”

Chamber of Marine Commerce

 

Great Lakes / Seaway group releases 2016 ballast water management report

3/8 - Cleveland, Ohio – The U.S. Coast Guard has announced the release of the Great Lakes Seaway Ballast Water Working Group's 2016 Summary of Great Lakes Seaway Ballast Water Management activities.

The Great Lakes Seaway Ballast Water Working Group is a bi-national collection of representatives from the United States Coast Guard, the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, Transport Canada - Marine Safety & Security, and the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation. The group’s mandate is to develop, enhance, and coordinate bi-national compliance and enforcement efforts to reduce the introduction of aquatic invasive species via ballast water and residuals.

In 2016, 100 percent of vessels bound for the Great Lakes Seaway from outside the Exclusive Economic Zone received a ballast water management exam. In total, the BWWG assessed all 8,488 ballast tanks, during the 466 vessel transits in the 2016 navigation season.

This is the seventh consecutive year that BWWG agencies ensured the examination of 100 percent of ballast tanks entering the Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence Seaway, and the group anticipates continued high ship compliance rates for the 2016 navigation season.

For more information, please contact U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Christopher Tantillo at 216-902-6049 or Christopher. J. Tantillo@uscg.mil

USCG

 

Ice boom removal by New York Power Authority begins early

3/8 - Buffalo, N.Y. – The ice boom is coming out early again. New York Power Authority marine crews began work Monday morning to remove the 22-span barrier where Lake Erie flows into the Niagara River.

“The last time I talked to them, they’d removed a couple sections before noon,” said Andrew Kornacki, chief of public affairs for the Buffalo District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Complete removal of the boom usually takes two or three days, he said, weather permitting. Current images of the boom can be seen online at iceboom.nypa.gov.

The warmest February on record in Buffalo and lack of ice on Lake Erie has led to one of the earliest dates for the removal of the boom. The earliest ever removal was Feb. 28, 2012. “For the second consecutive year, mild weather conditions for most of this winter season have resulted in little to no ice cover on Lake Erie,” according to an International Joint Commission statement issued Monday. “Considering the lack of ice cover on the lake and the absence of an ice buildup in the Maid-of-the-Mist Pool below Niagara Falls, preparations are underway for the removal of the Lake Erie-Niagara River Ice Boom.”

Last year, which was also an abnormally warm winter, the ice boom removal started March 8. There is currently no ice on Lake Erie, according to data from the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. There has been less than 1 percent ice on the lake since Feb. 22, the data shows. That’s dramatically below average.

Usually, about half of Lake Erie is still encrusted in ice during the first week in March. Ice coverage on Lake Erie, and the Great Lakes at large, has run below average most of this winter.

The Lake Erie-Niagara River Ice Boom has been a winter fixture at the outlet of Lake Erie since 1964. The boom is designed to prevent ice from entering the Niagara River to reduce chances for ice jamming, which could impact shoreline properties along the Niagara River and hydro-electric production, the IJC reported.

Buffalo News

 

Video documents delivery trip of Colleen and Katie G. McAllister tugs

3/8 - This travelogue was compiled for the Port City Marine Services company meeting. The presentation highlights the trip from New York to Muskegon with the newly purchased Colleen and Katie G. McAllister tugboats. Credits for photos include tugboatgraffiti.com/, Nelson Brace Photography, and Brenda Benoit Photography.

https://vimeo.com/207123030

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 8

EUGENE P. THOMAS (Hull#184) was launched March 8, 1930, at Toledo, Ohio by Toledo Shipbuilding Co., for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

March 8, 1910 - A fire from unknown causes destroyed the ANN ARBOR NO. 1 of 1892. The hull was sold to Love Construction Co., of Muskegon, Michigan.

On 8 March 1882, the tug WINSLOW left Manistee to tow the NORTHERN QUEEN to Marine City for repairs. NORTHERN QUEEN had collided with LAKE ERIE the previous autumn and then sank while trying to enter Manistique harbor. Robert Holland purchased the wreck of NORTHERN QUEEN after that incident.

1981 MEZADA of the Zim Israel Line first came to the Great Lakes in 1966 after it had been lengthened to 676 feet. The vessel had been built in 1960 and foundered after breaking in two about 100 miles east of Bermuda on March 8, 1981. The 19,247 gross ton bulk carrier was traveling from Haifa to Baltimore with a cargo of potash and 24 lives were lost while only 11 sailors were rescued.

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

 

Port Reports -  March 7

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
The new shipping season began at Lafarge on Monday morning with the arrival of the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation. They tied up under the silos to load product, which will be delivered to Milwaukee, Wis.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 7

ALGOSOO suffered a serious fire at her winter mooring on the west wall above Lock 8, at Port Colborne, Ontario on March 7, 1986, when a conveyor belt ignited, possibly caused by welding operations in the vicinity. The blaze spread to the stern gutting the aft accommodations. The ship was repaired at Welland and returned to service on October 6.

TEXACO BRAVE was launched March 7, 1929, as a) JOHN IRWIN (Hull#145) at Haverton-Hill-on-Tees, United Kingdom by Furness Shipbuilding Co.

On 7 March 1874, the wooden tug JOHN OWEN (Hull#28) was launched at Wyandotte, Michigan, by the Detroit Dry Dock Company for J. E. Owen of Detroit, Michigan.

On 7 March 1896, L. C.WALDO (steel propeller freighter, 387 foot, 4,244 gross tons) was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan by F. W. Wheeler (Hull #112). She had a long career. She was rebuilt twice, once in the winter of 1904-05 and again in 1914, after she was stranded in the Storm of 1913. She was sold Canadian in 1915, and renamed b.) RIVERTON. In 1944, she was renamed c.) MOHAWK DEER. She lasted until November 1967, when she foundered in the Gulf of Genoa while being towed to the scrap yard at La Spezia, Italy.

ANN ARBOR NO 1 (wooden propeller carferry, 260 foot, 1,128 gross tons, built in 1892, at Toledo, Ohio) got caught in the ice four miles off Manitowoc, Wisconsin in February 1910. She remained trapped and then on 7 March 1910, she caught fire and burned. Although she was declared a total loss, her hull was reportedly sold to Love Construction Co., Muskegon, Michigan, and reduced to an unregistered sand scow.

1969: The British freighter MONTCALM, a Seaway trader when new in 1960, made 29 trips to the Great Lakes to the end of 1967. A truck in #1 hold got loose on this date in an Atlantic storm 420 miles southeast of Halifax in 1969 causing a heavy list and a 12 foot gash in the hull. A U.S.C.G. helicopter dropped extra pumps and the ship reached Halifax and safety. The vessel later became a livestock carrier and arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh, for scrapping as c) SIBA EDOLO on August 8, 1988.

1973: BISCAYA was a Danish flag freighter that first came inland in 1965. It was sailing as c) MARGARITA, and under Greek registry, when it sank following a collision with the ANZOATEGUI, a Venezuelan reefer ship, while in bound about 39 miles off Maracaibo, Venezuela on March 7, 1983. It was carrying barytes, a mineral used in oil-drilling fluids, from El Salvador.

1982: OCEAN LEADER came to the Great Lakes in 1980 and ran aground upbound near Sault Ste. Marie on November 11 when the radar malfunctioned. Later, in 1982 as c) FINIKI, the then 7-year old ship hit an underwater obstruction 10 miles west of the Moruka Light, while en route to Paramaribo, Suriname. The vessel reached Georgetown, Guyana, and was declared a total loss. It was reported as scuttled in the Atlantic off Jacksonville, Fla., on or after December 9, 1982.

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

 

American Steamship Co. starts fit out this week; 6 vessels to remain tied up

3/6 - Crews will begin reporting to the vessels of the American Steamship Co. fleet this week for the 2017 season. Not scheduled to sail this year are St. Clair, American Courage Sam Laud and Adam E. Cornelius. The latter two are laid up at Huron, Ohio. In addition, American Victory and American Valor will continue in long-term layup.

 

Moran Iron Works building fisheries research vessel

3/6 - Onaway, Mich. - Moran Iron Works is building a new 56-foot-nine by 16-foot-six inch-wide deep aluminum fisheries research vessel for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Green Bay, Wis. The USFWS and MIW announced the project in November.

The name of the vessel is the Stanford H. Smith and people can follow the progress of the boat’s construction on the Moran Iron Works website.

Preliminary design on the vessel was performed by Seacraft Design LLC, Sturgeon Bay, Wis., with MIW working to finalize the design and construction drawings. The official keel laying was Jan. 23. The project will require some 11,000 man hours on the shop floor over the next nine months, employing a crew of six. In October, the vessel will be transported by trailer to Moran’s Port Calcite location, the deepwater port in nearby Rogers City, Mich., for launch to become the newest addition to the USFWS fleet.

“This well-designed vessel will provide a larger, faster and more efficient work platform for biologists in lakes Michigan and Huron for years to come,” Jason Willis, project manager at MIW, said in a statement announcing the contract. “We’re proud to be a part of this project for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

Weighing in at 63,582 lbs. and sporting a draft of four-feet, six inches, the new boat will feature a Kennebec net lifter, Rapp winches and net reel and Kolstrand winch necessary for Fish and Wildlife personnel to do their jobs. Capacities will include 1,160 gallons of fuel oil and 75 gallons of water, with a 78-gallon holding tank. The rear deck will measure 195 sq. ft. covered and 255 sq. ft. uncovered.

Main propulsion will come from twin John Deere 6135 SFM85 diesel engines, producing 500 hp at 1,900 hp each. The propulsion package will give the new research vessel a speed of 20 knots. Ship’s service power will be the responsibility of a Northern Lights M844 DW3 genset, sparking 16 kW of electrical power.

Workboat, Rich Nicholls

 

New station will help seafarers in Oshawa

3/6 - Oshawa, Ont. – The Rev. Judith Alltree can’t wait to board the first freighter that comes into the Port of Oshawa this spring and welcome the crew. “When they say, ‘Where is the Seafarers’ Club?’ I’ll be able to point up the street and say, ‘You’re five minutes away.’ They’ll be absolutely thrilled.”

Thanks to a generous grant, the Mission to Seafarers Southern Ontario is installing its first station in the Port of Oshawa. Ms. Alltree, executive director of the mission, hopes to have the building up and running when the shipping season begins in late March.

Ms. Alltree, a priest of the diocese, says the station will make an enormous difference in the lives of the seafarers. The Port of Oshawa is one of the fastest growing shipping terminals on Lake Ontario, with about 150 freighters from all over the world docking from late March to December.

In previous years, seafarers coming off the ships would ask where the nearest “Seaman’s Club” was – their nickname for Mission to Seafarers stations around the world – and were disappointed to learn it was 65 km away in Toronto. “They’d look at me like I’d lost my mind,” says Ms. Alltree.

With the help of volunteers, Ms. Alltree would arrange to drive the men to the nearest mall in Oshawa, about a 10-minute drive away. If a ride wasn’t available, they’d have an expensive taxi ride ahead of them.

These on-shore visits are crucial, she says, because the men are desperate to talk to their families after weeks at sea. “The first thing they want is WiFi. They’ve been on a journey across the Atlantic or up the coast and they want to get in touch with their families. They need to hear their wives’ or their girlfriends’ or their mothers’ voices.” The station will be the only place in the port where the seafarers are provided with free WiFi.

The mission tried to provide free mobile WiFi in the port but it was too expensive. As the number of seafarers arriving in Oshawa increased over the years – more than 3,000 arrived last year – it became clear that a more permanent solution was needed.

The situation took a turn for the better last year when the mission received a £10,000 grant from Seafarers UK, an organization that supports missions to seafarers in Commonwealth countries. The mission used the money to buy a used Miller construction trailer, which it transported from Burlington to the Port of Oshawa.

Ms. Alltree admits that the trailer needs to be fixed up. It needs new doors, floors, walls and windows. It also needs to be hooked up to hydro. But she’s thrilled that at long last there will be a station for the seafarers.

“This way, they can walk from the foot of the gangway to the station in five minutes and we’ll have the coffee on and a WiFi code for them. They can sit down in an easy chair and put their feet up. We might even be able to get a big-screen TV. They’ll have place to get away from the ship, especially the noise.”

Ms. Alltree is looking for local volunteers to help out. The job includes staffing the station and going on the ships to welcome the crews. Ideally, volunteers would be able to commit to two to six hours a week. Training will be provided. “Going on board the ship is a huge thrill,” she says. “I never get tired of it.”

The Mission to Seafarers Southern Ontario has two other stations, in the ports of Toronto and Hamilton. It is part of the Canadian branch of the worldwide Missions to Seafarers, founded in 1856 as an Anglican outreach ministry.

Ms. Alltree says the support from parishes and individuals over the years has been remarkable. “We’re incredibly grateful for the amount of support that we continue to receive from so many churches in the Diocese of Toronto. Every dime of their support is vital to us. From small churches to big churches – it is astonishing who still remembers us.”

Diocese of Toronto

 

Traverse City aircrew rescues injured snowmobiler from remote area in Canada

3/6 - Traverse City, Mich – A helicopter crew from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City rescued an injured snowmobiler suffering life-threatening injuries from a remote area in southern Canada Saturday.

Personnel at Canada’s Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Trenton, Ontario, received a report of the emergency from the Ontario Provincial Police Department and Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Fire Department late Saturday afternoon. Due to the nature of the injuries and close proximity to the U.S. border, JRCC Trenton requested assistance from the Coast Guard’s District Nine Command Center in Cleveland.

The rescue crew from Air Station Traverse City was launched at 6:45 p.m. EST. After a brief fuel stop at the Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Airport, the helicopter crew continued on its mission and reached the injured snowmobiler in a remote area near Chapleau, Ontario, about 10 p.m.

The man was located in a heavily wooded area covered in waist deep snow. He had been traveling alone when his injury occurred. Another group of snowmobilers on the same trail found the man. Some of the snowmobilers traveled to a lodge several miles away to phone for help and provide a GPS location, while the others built a fire to keep the man warm.

Despite the deep snow, steep slope, and winds in excess of 25 miles per hour, a member of the Coast Guard aircrew was lowered from the helicopter, which was hovering about 125 feet above the ground, and quickly prepared the man to be hoisted to the aircraft.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew then transported the man to Sault Ste. Marie Airport in Ontario where an awaiting ambulance took him to a nearby hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City operates four helicopters for search and rescue operations for Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron and the surrounding Great Lakes region.

USCG

 

Hospital ship is a calling for marine engineer

3/6 - St. Catharines, Ont. – It seems that her first experience aboard the Africa Mercy made quite an impression on St. Catharines resident Sara Wegener. A year ago the now 28-year-old returned from spending just over two months on the world’s largest hospital ship while helping people in Madagascar.

The marine engineering graduate said that initially she felt that sea-time was more important than a 9 to 5 job and that volunteering was a good way of giving back. She recalled it as a life-changing experience – so when they messaged her to come back, she was quick to answer.

“I must have made an impression, I was home for a month, and they just emailed, ‘Can you come back?’ “I wanted to do a longer stint the first time, but I wasn’t prepared to extend it.” She was this time.

Promoted to the ship’s third engineer, the holder of an honors bachelor degree in biological physics said she has found her ideal job. “I grin like an idiot when I step on a ship.”

But she admitted that the honeymoon period was over the second time around. With the promotion came a lot more work and she oversaw a team of seven people. Wearing overalls and plaid shirt, she with her team performed major generator overhauls while the ships were in dock. And those times when they weren’t working on the ship they would help out in areas of South Africa that were very impoverished.“

There was a whole bunch of Canadian girls that liked to make clothing and supplies so we set up a table in the middle of nowhere in an area that looked very impoverished and the children lined up, I wasn’t part of that the first time.”

She recalled being asked one time to donate blood because of an emergency need in the hospital.The floating hospital includes five operating theatres, recovery, an intensive care unit and 80 patient beds.

The 16,500-tonne vessel is the largest operated by global charity Mercy Ships, a faith-based organization delivering free health-care services to people in the developing world. As well the ship has laboratory services, an X-ray unit and CT scan.

“We went from Madagascar to Durban in South Africa while a team goes forward and does an advance screening. It’s months of work to have whole towns line up and to be screened,” she said.

Wegener said she helped in one community where 700 people had lined up for one day. It took three weeks in total to screen the town. “In the hospitals, you have to pay for water, pay for mosquito netting, for the bed, most people can’t afford it.”

She hopes to encourage others to volunteer, adding that it’s not just doctors and nurses that they need. “So many skills that can be used, technical teams, electricians even laundry services, everyone is needed.”

Just now settling in back at home, she is planning to pursue the next level of her marine engineering, but she knows she already has an open invitation on the hospital ship.

St. Catharines Standard

 

Port Huron Shipmasters’ Lodge No. 2 announces raffle winners

3/6 - The Port Huron Lodge No. 2 of the International Shipmasters’ Association have announced the winners of its’ 2016/2017 freighter trip raffle. The drawing was held at the lodges’ 126th Annual Dinner Dance at the DoubleTree-Hilton in Port Huron, Mich., March 4.

Grand Prize: Mrs. Lisa Ludington of Lexington, Mich. (Trip for 4 aboard an Interlake Steamship Company vessel in the 2017 sailing season.)

2nd Prize: Mr. Tim Sonnega of Shoreline, Wa. ($1,000 cash)

3rd Prize: Mrs. Charlotte Moore-Viculin of Dearborn Heights, Michigan (round trip passage for two on the car ferry Badger including 1 auto and accommodations.)

ISMA Port Huron Lodge No. 2

 

Updates -  March 6

News Photo Gallery  

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 6

EUGENE J. BUFFINGTON (Hull#366) was launched March 6, 1909, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co., for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. She lasted until 1980, when she was towed to San Esteban de Pravia, Spain, for scrapping.

At noon on 6 March 1873, the steam railroad carferry SAGINAW was launched at the Port Huron Dry Dock Co. She did not get off the ways at first and had to be hauled off by the tug KATE MOFFAT. She was built for use between Port Huron and Sarnia.

On 6 March 1892, SAGINAW (wooden 4-car propeller carferry, 142 foot, 365 tons, built in 1873, at Port Huron, Michigan) burned at the dock in Windsor, Ontario where she had been laid up since 1884. The hull was later recovered and converted to an odd-looking tug, a well-known wrecker in the Detroit River area until broken up about 1940.

1982 INDIANA was chartered to Swedish interests when it made four trips to the Great Lakes in 1962. It was sailing as d) ZOE II, under Liberian registry, when it was abandoned in the Adriatic Sea, south of Pula, Yugoslavia, (now Croatia) after a severe list had developed while on a voyage from Koper, Yugoslavia, (now Slovenia) to Ancona, Italy, on March 6, 1982. No further trace of the ship was ever found.

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

 

Port Reports -  March 5

Detroit, Mich.  – Tom Hynes
Per AIS, the Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation departed the Lafarge dock at Detroit on  Friday March 3 and headed downriver towards Cleveland. They were still in port early Sunday morning.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 5

On 05 March 1997, the Canadian Coast Guard cutter GRIFFON pulled the smashed remains of a 1996 Ford Bronco from the icy depths of the Straits of Mackinac. The vehicle flipped off the Mackinac Bridge on 02 March 1997, and the driver was killed. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter BISCAYNE BAY served as a platform for the M-Rover submersible craft used to locate the Bronco in 190 feet of water.

HARRY L. ALLEN was launched March 5, 1910, as a.) JOHN B. COWLE (Hull#379) at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. She was declared a constructive total loss after a fire on January 21, 1978. The vessel was in winter lay-up at the Capitol elevator in Duluth when part of the elevator complex burned. Debris from the elevator fell on the boat, badly damaging it. The owners decided to scrap it rather than repair it. The ALLEN was scrapped at Duluth in 1978.

LEADALE was launched March 5, 1910, as a.) HARRY YATES (Hull#77) at St. Clair, Michigan, by Great Lakes Engineering Works. Scrapped at Cartagena, Columbia in 1979.

March 5, 1932 - In distress with a broken steering gear off the Ludington harbor, S.S. VIRGINIA entered port under her own power.

On 05 March 1898, the WILLIAM R. LINN (Hull#32) (steel propeller freighter, 400 foot, 4,328 gross tons) was launched at the Chicago Ship Building Company in South Chicago, Illinois. In 1940, she was sold, renamed b.) L.S. WESCOAT and converted to a tanker. She was scrapped in Germany in 1965.

1997 - The former Greek bulk carrier ANTONIS P. LEMOS had been built at Osaka, Japan, in 1976, and visited the Great Lakes that year. As c) ALBION TWO, the ship departed Gdynia, Poland, for Kingston, Jamaica, with a cargo of steel products and was reported as missing on March 5. Wreckage was later found off the coast of France and identified as from the missing vessel. All 25 crewmembers were lost. The ship had also been through the Seaway as b) MACFRIENDSHIP in November 1993 with a cargo of steel for Hamilton.

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

 

Port Reports -  March 4

Milwaukee, Wis. – Tom Hynes
The tug Bradshaw McKee and the barge St. Marys Conquest left winter layup at South Chicago (the Sheds) shortly after midnight on March 3, upbound for the St. Marys Cement dock in Milwaukee. She was docked there Friday night.

 

Proposed budget slashes Great Lakes EPA funding to 10 million in early budget plan

3/4 - Detroit, Mich. – The White House is proposing to slash Environmental Protection Agency funding that pays for Great Lakes pollution cleanup by 97 percent, according to a budget document obtained by the National Association of Clean Air Agencies.

The potential cuts are part of President Donald Trump's initial 2018 budget proposal, detailed in a U.S. Office of Management and Budget "passback" to the EPA that outlines drastic cuts to an agency Trump has called a "job killer" and promised to reduce to "tidbits" as a candidate.

The proposal would virtually eliminate annual Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding, slashing it from $300 million to $10 million among other cuts that would altogether reduce the EPA's total budget by a quarter.

Specific program cuts were reported by the Oregonian and have been confirmed by other news agencies like the Detroit Free Press.

The Trump administration says it will release its final budget the week of March 13. The EPA and State Department are expected to take major blows to meet Trump's goal of increasing military spending by 10 percent.

The EPA has the option to appeal the cuts before the budget is sent to Congress, but has not yet made any public statements about a counter proposal.

The Great Lakes funding cut is the largest total dollar reduction on a list that includes major cuts to climate change programs, restoration funding for Puget Sound and Chesapeake Bay, research into chemicals that disrupt human reproductive and developmental systems, enforcement of pollution laws and funding for Brownfield cleanups.

Read more at this link: http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/03/trump_great_lakes_epa_cuts.html

 

Thunder Bay shipyard owners reveal their plans

3/4 - Thunder Bay, Ont. – As many as 80 people will work at the Thunder Bay Shipyard after the new owners of the property put it into operation this spring.

The new owners of the idled Thunder Bay shipyard—which operated for decades as the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Company—say they will be up and running soon with 25 full-time employees, and up to 80 workers during peak periods.

Hamilton-based Heddle Marine is a ship repair and service business offering a wide range of services including dry docking, fabrication, mechanical, machining, electrical and hydraulic work to a diverse range of clients including maritime vessel operators, offshore/onshore oil and gas operators, the military and the Coast Guard.

Besides Thunder Bay and Hamilton, it has facilities in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. An agreement to acquire the Thunder Bay site was finalized last June, but not made public until last September.

Now, Heddle Marine has announced that it will operate in the city as a start-up company known as Current River Holdings Inc., in collaboration with local partner Fabmar Metals Inc. The shipyard is expected to become operational sometime this spring.

In a news release, spokesperson Shaun Padulo says the venture has received support from the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission as well as the Thunder Bay Port Authority.

Padulo said Fabmar "will form the cornerstone of Heddle's operations at the Thunder Bay Shipyard."

He added that although it plans to begin with 25 workers, the company hopes to increase the full-time staff by diversifying its product offerings to areas such as fabrication work for infrastructure projects in northwestern Ontario.

TBNewswatch.com

 

ERP Iron Ore secures customer, focuses on restart of Grand Rapids plant

3/4 - Grand Rapids, Minn. – There was a positive update on Friday from the owner of ERP Iron Ore, Tom Clarke, a Virginia-businessman who's purchased the former Magnetation assets.

"I signed an agreement this week for concentrate, and need to start delivering in May," he said over the phone. "It will be three trains a month, so it's small, but it's a start. It gets all the systems up and running and everything."

So Clarke and his team have to get going. There are teams on the ground in Grand Rapids at Plant 4 and in Reynolds, Ind., at the pellet plant, preparing for a restart. The facilities have been shutdown since last fall, when a bankruptcy court approved the end of Magnetation.

Some of the people back on site are former employees of Magnetation, according to Clarke. He anticipates needing to hire about 100 people for Plant 4. "There will be a website soon, where people can apply," he said.

There’s also a contractor on site. As for the plants being union shops, he said that hasn't come up yet, but he would welcome that conversation. "I believe 7 out of 9 of our facilities are union, and we have United Steelworkers and United Mine Workers," he observed.

Clarke gets a progress report each day about what's happening at the plants, and said it's exciting. He said they are participating in regional meetings too, to get their name out there.

WDIO

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 4

In 1944, the U.S.C.G.C. MACKINAW (WAGB-83) was launched by the Toledo Ship Building Company (Hull #188) at Toledo, Ohio. Her name was originally planned to be MANITOWOC. MACKINAW was retired in 2006.

CECILIA DESGAGNES, a.) CARL GORTHON, departed Sorel, Quebec, on March 4, 1985, bound for Baie Comeau, Quebec, on her first trip in Desgagnes colors.

March 4, 1904 - William H. Le Fleur of the Pere Marquette car ferries was promoted to captain at the age of 34. He was the youngest carferry captain on the Great Lakes.

In 1858, TRENTON (wooden propeller, 134 foot, 240 gross tons, built in 1854, at Montreal, Quebec) burned to a total loss while tied to the mill wharf at Picton, Ontario, in Lake Ontario. The fire was probably caused by carpenters that were renovating her.

On 4 March 1889, TRANSIT (wooden 10-car propeller carferry, 168 foot, 1,058 gross tons, built in 1872, at Walkerville, Ontario) burned at the Grand Trunk Railroad dock at Windsor, Ontario on the Detroit River. She had been laid up since 1884, and the Grand Trunk Railroad had been trying to sell her for some time.

In 1871, FLORENCE (iron steamer, 42.5 foot, built in 1869, at Baltimore, Maryland) burned while docked at Amherstburg, Ontario at about 12:00 p.m. The fire was hot enough to destroy all the cabins and melt the surrounding ice in the Detroit River, but the vessel remained afloat and her engines were intact. She was rebuilt and remained in service until 1922 when she was scrapped.

1976 - The former British freighter GRETAFIELD of 1952, a Great Lakes visitor for the first time in 1962, hit the breakwall entering Cape Town, South Africa, as c) SIROCCO I and received extensive bow damage. It was sold to Taiwanese shipbreakers and departed May 15,1976, arriving at Kaohsiung July 5 for dismantling.

1983 - The former Danish freighter MARIE SKOU of 1962, inland for the first time in 1966, caught fire in the engine room and was abandoned by the crew south of Sicily as b) CLEO C. The vessel was towed to Malta on March 9 and scrapped there beginning in April.

1986 - The onetime Greek freighter YEMELOS, built in 1962 as MIGOLINA and renamed in 1972, first came inland in 1973. It was abandoned as e) TANFORY off Trincomolee, Sri Lanka, en route from Kandla, India, to Chittagong, Bangladesh, with salt and bentonite. The ship was presumed to have sunk.

1995 - The tug ERIE NO. 1, a) DUNKIRK, b) PEGGY M., c) RENE PURVIS sank at the dock in Toronto. It was raised by a crane June 18, 1995, but the cable snapped, dropping the hull on the dock breaking the tug’s back. The vessel was broken up at that location in late 1995.

2011 - LOUIS JOLLIET caught fire at Montreal during winter work. The ex-St. Lawrence ferry was being used as an excursion vessel.

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

 

Shipping begins on Cuyahoga River

3/3 - Cleveland, Ohio – Thursday was opening day for the 2017 Great Lakes shipping season as Interlake Steamship Co.'s Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder made its way up the Cuyahoga River through downtown Cleveland with a load of iron ore bound for ArcelorMittal.

 

OSHA Investigation at Fraser Shipyards

3/3 - Superior, Wis. – OSHA has opened another investigation at Fraser Shipyards. This time, it's because an employee suffered burns. According to OSHA, the employee had been working in a cargo hold in Duluth harbor on Feb. 6. The burn injury required hospitalization. According to Essentia Health, the man is still hospitalized, and is listed in fair condition.

OSHA was notified about the incident on Feb. 7. Details about the investigation are not public at this time, including which vessel the man had been working on.

This news comes two months after Fraser announced a settlement with OSHA over alleged lead exposure. The investigation into the lead exposure began in February of 2016. OSHA cited Fraser with 14 health violations. 14 workers had lead levels up to 20 times the exposure limit, according to the agency.

The original civil penalty was nearly $1.4 million dollars, but the settlement cut it in half. The settlement also included Fraser establishing a new safety plan, as well as additional worker protections, and working with OSHA for three years to monitor safety.

Local union leaders were unable to comment on this recent burn accident. Fraser said in a statement: "Fraser Shipyards is not able to comment on personal medical conditions of our team members." OSHA has six months to complete this new investigation.

WDIO

 

Logistec appointed as new terminal operator at Cleveland Bulk Terminal

3/3 - Cleveland, Ohio – Logistec USA Inc., a subsidiary of Logistec Corporation, has signed a 10-year agreement with the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority to operate the Cleveland Bulk Terminal as of April 2017.

“Cleveland Bulk Terminal will become a significant part of our network along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway,” said Madeleine Paquin, president and CEO of Logistec.

Cleveland Bulk Terminal handles dry bulk commodities, principally iron ore pellets destined for steel production on the Cuyahoga River Ship Channel and limestone destined for Ohio power plants. The 45-acre facility began operating in 1997 and is located on the outer harbor of the Port of Cleveland, west of the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. The terminal is directly serviced by Norfolk Southern railroad.

Logistec has been operating in the United States for more than 20 years and handles dry cargo at 10 ports and terminals along the East Coast. These activities include: containers, steel, steel scrap and project cargo in Port Manatee, Florida; steel, lumber and salt in New London, Connecticut; and various bulk products (notably biomass) in Brunswick, Georgia. Through its subsidiaries, Logistec also handles forest products in Baltimore, Maryland (BalTerm) and operates port logistics facilities adjacent to the Port of Virginia (CrossGlobe).

Port of Cleveland

 

Sarnia church hosting annual mariners’ service this weekend

3/3 - Sarnia, Ont. – An interfaith church service to usher in the Great Lakes shipping season returns to Point Edward on March 5. The annual Mariners’ service at historic St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Point Edward — also known as The Sailor’s Church — begins at 10 a.m.

From 1869 until 1902, St. Paul’s was located at Livingston and Victoria streets, where its steeple would reflect light from the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse in Port Huron, increasing visibility for ships entering the St. Clair River from Lake Huron. The Sailor’s Church was relocated to 210 Michigan Ave. in 1902, and many visitors return each year to pay tribute to the mariners who navigated the Great Lakes and honor the important role shipping has played in the life of the community.

Speaking will be shipping enthusiast and photographer Mark Dease, followed by light refreshments. On display will be shipping artifacts and memorabilia in the St. Paul’s heritage room.

Sarnia Journal

 

Hopes high Former President will attend Buffalo commissioning of Navy ship

3/3 - Buffalo, N.Y. - Former President Bill Clinton will be invited and it is hoped he will attend in September the commissioning of the USS Little Rock in Buffalo, one of the Navy's newest and swiftest combat vessels, a law enforcement source and two members of the area's military community told The Buffalo News.

"If President Clinton does come, it will be a fantastic honor," Col. Patrick J. Cunningham, executive director of the Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park, said when asked about the visit. However, Moe Naylon, chairman of the commissioning committee, pointed out that official invitations have not yet been sent out, because a firm date for the ship's commissioning has not been finalized. The tentative date is Sept. 30.

"When we get a firm date, we will invite all of the living presidents to the commissioning," Naylon said. "We're hopeful that President Clinton will come, but we have no expectation at this point."

The invitation to Clinton will be extended because he is a native of Arkansas and the state's former governor and because the ship is named for the state's capital. Already scheduled to attend the commissioning is outgoing Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who served on the decommissioned Little Rock. In fact, it was Mabus who named the new Little Rock.

Cunningham said the commissioning of the ship will not only be a major event for Buffalo but also historic: "At no time in history has any other Navy ship bearing the name of its predecessor been commissioned while alongside its predecessor."

This is the first time a Navy ship is being commissioned in Buffalo. The original USS Little Rock was commissioned at the end of World War II.

The new USS Little Rock is a littoral combat ship, which allows it to navigate closer to shorelines and can take on illicit-trafficking operations in places such as the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, as well as counter-piracy operations in places such as around the Horn of Africa.

A core crew of 50 will operate the new ship, plus 20 to 23 more sailors depending on the mission-specific equipment brought aboard. That means the total size of the crew will peak at fewer than 100, compared to the original Little Rock, which had a crew of up to 1,400. The new Little Rock can also move at speeds of up to 40 knots, which makes it one of the fastest ships in the Navy's fleet.

Buffalo News

 

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

3/3 - The following information was taken from March 2017 Marine News – Journal of the World Ship Society

Casualties: none to report

Demolitions: report not included in the March issue - will be included in the April 2017 issue

Compiled by Barry Andersen and René Beauchamp

 

Help Wanted: S.S. Badger

3/3 - 2nd Assistant Engineer: Under the direct supervision of the Chief Engineer and First Engineer, assists by overseeing maintenance and operation of the boilers and related equipment to include close monitoring of boiler water chemistry. Must possess a valid MMC with proper endorsements, including 2nd Assistant Engineer of steam vessels of 7000 horsepower or greater, a valid TWIC card and Coast Guard issued Medical Certificate. Works full season from May to October. Assigned watch – 4 hours on, 8 hours off 7 days a week. Eligible for benefits after 90-day probationary period. Visit www.ssbadger.com >Join the Badger Crew to obtain application or email laurieb@ssbadger.com with letter of interest and copies of credentials.

3rd Mate: Supervises a navigational watch and is responsible for assisting the First Mate in daily duties including maintenance, maintaining logbooks, safety inspections and unloading/loading of cargo and passengers as directed. Candidates must possess, at minimum, a valid MMC with License as Mate-Great Lakes and Inland – Any Gross Tons”, USCG Medical Certificate, and valid TWIC card. Visit www.ssbadger.com >Join the Badger Crew to obtain application or email laurieb@ssbadger.com with letter of interest and copies of credentials.

Lake Michigan Carferry

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 3

The keel was laid on March 3, 1980, for the COLUMBIA STAR (Hull#726) at Sturgeon Bay, Wis., by Bay Shipbuilding Corp. She now sails as AMERICAN CENTURY.

At midnight on 3 March 1880, DAVID SCOVILLE (wooden propeller steam tug/ferry, 42 foot, 37 gross tons, built in 1875, at Marine City, Mich.) burned at the Grand Trunk Railway wharf at Sarnia, Ontario. Arson was suspected. No lives were lost.

1947: NOVADOC of the Paterson fleet was lost with all hands (24 sailors) off Portland, Maine, while en route from Nova Scotia to New York City with a cargo of gypsum. The ship had also sailed as NORTHTON for the Mathews and Misener fleets.

1958: The tanker DON JOSE, formerly the ITORORO that operated on the Great Lakes for Transit Tankers & Terminals in the early 1940s, was destroyed by a fire, likely in a loading mishap, at Talara, Peru.

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

 

VanEnkevort fleet announces new names for tug/barge combo

3/2 - Escanaba, Mich. – The new names for the tug/barge combo Ken Boothe Sr./Great Lakes Trader will be Clyde S. VanEnkevort for the tug and Erie Trader for the barge. Workers were applying the new names earlier this week. The vessels are laid up at Donjon Shipbuilding yard in Erie, Pa., for the winter.

Clyde S. VanEnkevort entered the marine industry in the late 1960s. He was a specialist in integrated tug/barge design, with one of his biggest accomplishments being the building of the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and the barge Great Lakes Trader. He died Feb. 20, 2016.

The tug and barge were built by Donjon Shipbuilding and Repair LLC at their shipyard in Erie, Pa. The tug was completed in February 2011 and the barge was completed in April 2012. The combined tug/barge unit entered service under charter to American Steamship Company in May 2012. That charter was not renewed allowing the VanEnkevort firm to acquire the pair.

 

Great Lakes iron ore trade up more than 14 percent in January

3/2 - Cleveland, Ohio ¬– Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 2,468,706 tons in January, an increase of 14.4 percent compared to a year ago. However, shipments were 10.3 percent below the month’s 5-year average.

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 2

On 02 March 1889, the U.S. Congress passed two acts for establishment of a light station at Old Mackinac Point and appropriated $5,500 for construction of a fog signal building. The following year, funds were appropriated for the construction of the light tower and dwelling.

March 2, 1938 - Harold Lillie, crewmember of the ANN ARBOR NO 6, stepped onto the apron as the carferry was approaching and fell into the water and suffered a broken neck.

March 2, 1998, a fire broke out on the ALGOSOO causing serious damage to the self-unloading belts and other nearby equipment. Almost 12 years earlier in 1986, a similar fire gutted the aft cabins.

On 02 March 1893, the MARY E. MC LACHLAN (3-mast wooden schooner, 251 foot, 1,394 gross tons) was launched at F. W. Wheeler's yard in West Bay City, Michigan as (Hull #96). The launch turned into a disaster when the huge wave generated by the vessel entering the water hit the freighter KITTIE FORBES (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 209 foot, 968 gross tons, built in 1883, at W. Bay City, Michigan). The FORBES had numerous spectators onboard and when the wave struck, many were injured and there was one confirmed death.

1972 - HARMATTAN, a Seaway trader beginning in 1971, arrived at Karachi, Pakistan, for scrapping after suffering missile damage at sea from Indian Naval units during a conflict between the two countries.

1976 - BROOK, a former Seaway trader as EXBROOk beginning in 1968, arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for scrapping.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, and Steve Haverty

 

Iron ore trade kicks off 2017 lakes shipping season

3/1 - Cleveland, Ohio – The 2017 Great Lakes shipping season began Tuesday with the departure of the U.S.-flag tug/barge unit Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder departed her winter lay-up berth in Erie and sailed to Cleveland, Ohio, where she will initiate the shuttle of iron ore from Cleveland Bulk Terminal to the ArcelorMittal steel mill at the end of the navigable portion of the Cuyahoga River on Wednesday. The vessel will load approximately 15,000 tons that was mined from Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range.

The next vessel to get underway will be the cement carrier Bradshaw McKee/St. Marys Conquest on March 1. The vessel will depart Charlevoix, Mich., with 8,000 tons of cement for Milwaukee.

The western coal trade will resume on March 22 when the Paul R. Tregurtha loads 62,000 tons at Superior Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior, Wis., for delivery to the power plant in Silver Bay, Minn.

The locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., that connect Lake Superior to the lower four Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway reopen on March 25. The Soo Locks typically handle more than 80 million tons of cargo in a season, about 80 percent of which transits the Poe Lock, the largest chamber at the Soo.

In 2016, U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters moved 83.3 million tons of cargo. Iron ore for steel production remained the fleet’s primary cargo, 44.1 million tons. Limestone loads for construction and steel production totaled 21.2 million tons. Coal cargos, most of which were for power generation, totaled 13 million tons. Other cargos included cement, salt, sand and grain.

Cargo totals in 2017 will be determined by the state of the economy, but a number of issues will determine the industry’s future. Regulation of ballast water is perhaps the most critical. Currently two federal agencies and 25 states regulate the discharge of ballast water, but legislation to end this patchwork approach has been introduced in the U.S. Senate. S. 168, The Commercial Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (CVIDA) consolidates the fractured system currently in place into a single, nationwide, federal ballast water discharge standard that employs the most stringent standard currently available.

Reliance on a single Poe-sized lock at the Soo continues to threaten the U.S. economy. More than 90 percent of the cargo U.S.-flag lakers move through the Soo Locks transits the Poe Lock. A 2016 U.S. Department of Homeland Security study forecasts that a six-month closure of the Poe Lock would bring steel production and heavy manufacturing to a virtual stop and leave nearly 11 million Americans standing in the unemployment line.

A second Poe-sized lock has been authorized at full federal expense, but a flawed analysis of the project’s benefit/cost (b/c) ratio by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has stalled construction. The Corps has acknowledged the b/c ratio must be reexamined and a report is due by year’s end. A U.S. Department of Treasury report issued last month estimates a second Poe-sized lock could have a b/c ratio as high as 4.0, or nearly three times higher than the 0.73 estimated by the Corps.

Despite the mild winter of 2016/2017, the need for a second heavy icebreaker to bolster the U.S. Coast Guard’s aging fleet remains urgent. The cargos that were delayed or canceled by the massive ice formations during the winters of 2014 and 2015 cost the U.S. more than $1 billion in economic activity. The damage the ice caused during the 2013/2014 winter cost U.S.-flag vessel operators more than $6 million to repair. A number of vessels’ sailings were delayed in the spring of 2015 to avoid further damage.

A second heavy icebreaker was approved in the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015. Lake Carriers’ Association is now focusing its efforts on funding the $240 million icebreaker.

Although the last two Water Resources bills have increased funding for dredging Great Lakes ports and waterways, approximately 15 million cubic yards of sediment still need to be removed to allow for full loads. For example, if the Cuyahoga River was maintained to project dimensions, the Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder would have carried another 3,800 tons.

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Detroit River ferry owner battles Ambassador Bridge owner to stay in business

3/1 - Detroit, Mich. – A unique border battle is brewing in Detroit as a small ferry owner said the owner of the Ambassador Bridge is trying to put him out of business. Greg Ward has been crossing the Detroit River with his ferry for nearly 30 years. His boat carries trucks that aren't allowed to cross the bridge or use the tunnel because of hazmat regulations.

But Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun wants to change the regulations, saying he feels deliberately singled out by the state. The state controls where hazardous or dangerous cargo can go on its roadways. Moroun said he should be able to decide what travels on his bridge.

For all the Ambassador Bridge trucks that travel to and from Canada, you won't see gasoline tankers, explosives or radioactive cargoes. Moroun said he can't understand the regulations and he is suing the state to change them.

In a statement, the bridge company said, "Supplies important to manufacturing and the auto industry currently are required to drive 60 miles out of their way or pay a ransom to cross the border on a barge."

The barge is the Detroit Windsor Truck Ferry, pushed by the tug Stormont.

"MDOT (Michigan Department of Transportation) has no issue with the highly regulated and controlled cargo using the state-owned crossing at Port Huron. The Ambassador Bridge should be available for trucks to take the shortest and safest route," the bridge company's statement said.

"It puts us out of business if they're successful," Ward said. Ward started the truck ferry in 1990 and has battled Moroun for years.

"It's a very small economic gain for them, but it probably gives them some pleasure in causing as much grief they can for anyone who opposes them," Ward said.

Ward said he has a bull's-eye on his back. The new Gordie Howe Bridge would likely make the ferry obsolete, and he said he could live with that. "I don't necessarily want to go out of business, but I understand the greater good, and we need to have a redundancy in a transportation system," Ward said. "If it's at our cost, so be it."

In 2008, Moroun asked the state to look at the issue and management decided not only to prevent hazardous materials from crossing the bridge, it increased restrictions. While the state doesn't comment on pending litigation, MDOT spokespeople said federal standards would require increased public safety as a reason to change the rules, and they don't believe changing the regulations would do that.

ClickOnDetroit.com

 

Ashland Harbor breakwater light gets new mission

3/1 - Ashland, Wis. – The Ashland Harbor Breakwater Light has guided ships in navigating the area for 101 years and now gets another mission. The light was added to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in 2014 and has recently had new weather monitoring equipment added to it.

The light will now serve as a weather and water quality sentinel, providing real time data on environmental conditions with support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. A hydrologist with the U-S Geological Survey will monitor the data from offices in Middleton, Wisconsin. The equipment will measure temperature, precipitation and wind speed above the water and waves, water currents and lake levels from underwater sensors.

KDAL

 

Coast Guard, federal, state and local agencies, to hold rescue exercise in Milwaukee

3/1 - Milwaukee, Wis. – The U.S. Coast Guard and more than 20 federal, state and local agencies will conduct a full-scale, mass rescue and recovery exercise at multiple locations near the Milwaukee waterfront and on Lake Michigan Thursday.

Events will take place at different locations, including McKinley Marina, General Mitchell Airport and in the city of Cudahy. The Coast Guard, Milwaukee County, and the city of Milwaukee will serve as the primary response agencies with other area fire and law enforcement agencies participating under a mutual aid process.

The joint exercise scenario involves an airplane crash into Lake Michigan about 5 miles offshore. The crash site will be simulated by the Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay anchored off shore from McKinley Marina. The exercise is designed to test coordinated emergency response efforts and provides the participating agencies the opportunity to evaluate the coordination between multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional response plans for mass rescue operations in a cold weather and ice rescue environment.

The simulated rescues will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a Coast Guard rescue helicopter from Air Station Traverse City, Mich., conducting simulated medical evacuations. Coast Guard cold-water rescue teams, utilizing Port of Milwaukee tugs, will be the next on scene followed closely by rescue teams from the Wisconsin Department Natural Resources, Milwaukee Police Department, and the rescue dive team from the Milwaukee Fire Department.

In a separate exercise simulation, ice fishermen will need to be rescued from the city of Cudahy on the shores of Lake Michigan. The Cudahy Fire Department and St. Francis Fire Department will work alongside Coast Guard teams to locate, treat and transport these additional patients to area hospitals.

"Exercises like this are vital for emergency preparedness," said Capt. Amy Cocanour, commander of Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan. "It gives us the opportunity to test our response plans and ensure that our planning and training efforts integrate with our partner response agencies for an effective and efficient response to real events like this."

Local residents should not be alarmed about the increased presence of law enforcement and first response agencies near the Port of Milwaukee Thursday morning and should be aware an exercise is in progress.

USCG

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 1

HENRY FORD II (Hull#788) was launched on March 1, 1924, at Lorain, Ohio by the American Ship Building Co. She served as flagship of the Ford Motor Company fleet for many years and was eventually sold to Interlake Steamship Company when Ford sold its Great Lakes division. It was renamed b.) SAMUEL MATHER, but never sailed under that name. It was scrapped in 1994, at Port Maitland, Ontario by Marine Recycling & Salvage Ltd.

In 1881 the steamship JOHN B. LYON was launched at Cleveland, Ohio by Thomas Quayle & Son for Capt. Frank Perew. She was a four mast, double-decker with the following dimensions: 255 foot keel, 275 feet overall, 38 foot beam, and 20 foot depth.

On March 1, 1884 the I.N. FOSTER (wooden schooner, 134 foot, 319 gross tons, built in 1872, at Port Huron, Michigan) was sold by Clark I. Boots to E. Chilson. This vessel lasted until 1927, when she was abandoned in Buffalo, New York.

1926 - The passenger ship WHITE STAR of Canada Steamship Lines burned at Hamilton. It then became a coal barge and was rebuilt in 1950 as the diesel powered, self-unloading sandsucker S.M. DOUGLAS. It operated mainly on the St. Lawrence and was sunk as a breakwall at Kingston, ON in 1975.

1972 - The Dutch passenger and freight carrier PRINSES ANNA first visited the Great Lakes in 1967. It was lost in Osumi Strait, 18 miles south of Cape Sata, Japan, as HWA PO while on a voyage from Nagoya to Whampoa, China. The cargo shifted and 20 of the 36 on board were lost when the ship went down.

1980 - The Swedish freighter BARBARA was 4-years old when it first came inland in 1966. It returned through the Seaway as BARKAND in 1968 and as MARIANNA in 1969. The ship was under a fourth name of MARIA BACOLITSA and in bound from Brazil with pig iron for Constanza, Romania, when it went down on the Black Sea with all hands. An S.O.S. had been sent out without giving the location and rescuers were helpless to lend any assistance.

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


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