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$400 million project to clean up Milwaukee River estuary in motion

3/3 - Milwaukee, WI – Milwaukee’s rivers have slowly been revitalized through a variety of cleanup projects in recent years. But the estuary – the area in which the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers meet Lake Michigan – is still one of the most environmentally degraded sites on the Great Lakes due to contamination caused by decades of industrial waste.

The estuary has a federal designation as an “area of concern.” But change is coming. Years of planning has led to a massive $400 million cleanup project.

Read more at this link: https://www.wuwm.com/post/400-million-project-clean-milwaukee-river-estuary-motion

 

Boating interests, including those on Great Lakes, oppose Erie Canal changes

3/3 - – BoatUS is sounding the alarm on proposed management changes to the New York State Canal System that, if passed, could trigger negative consequences on the historic waterway for years to come — and not just in New York. Urging immediate engagement by their members are the Michigan Boating Industries Association, the Boating Associations of Ohio, the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association and other Great Lakes stakeholders.

An act has been introduced in the waning days of New York’s annual budget process that allows no opportunity for public input. BoatUS is urging its 44,000 New York members — plus all canal community members and the boaters in many states that use the Erie Canal and others in the canal system for transit in and out of the Great Lakes and Canada — to make their voices heard by insisting that legislators immediately remove Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 30-day budget amendment, TED Bill Part VV, distractingly called the New York State Canal System Revitalization Act.

BoatUS discovered that the proposed act essentially details the canal as a failure, calling it “antiquated and deteriorating” as a result of the lack of commercial shipping activity. Ironically, at the same time it acknowledges that, the “state has not exploited the full potential of the canal system.”

If passed, the act would forever change the operating structure, which would leave management of the canal system even less transparent than it currently is, remove state accountability and forever hinder the economic viability of the canal with weak funding sources.

“For our marine industry, the negative impact will hit many marine dealers and boat owners,” says Nicki Polan, executive director of the Michigan Boating Industries Association. “Here’s just one example: Jefferson Beach Yachts Sales in St. Clair Shores receives many of their large Viking, Sunseeker, Princess and Absolute inventory via the Erie Canal. Plus, many of their customers travel north and south via the canal. It will negatively impact dealers and owners on all five Great Lakes.”

The historic Erie Canal effectively connects the Great Lakes at Buffalo to New York City via the Hudson River at Albany. The canal is 363 miles long and was the first canal in the United States to connect western waterways with the Atlantic. Connecting canals also provided access to the popular Finger Lakes region and Lake Ontario at Rochester.

BoatUS vice president of public affairs Scott Croft is even more direct. “We believe the act’s last-minute introduction during the end of the budget process is an indication of the administration’s strategy to minimize debate and control outcomes,” he says. “To discuss change of this magnitude, we’re asking Gov. Cuomo to engage in an open, transparent process to ensure the future of this historic waterway, not only for recreational boaters in New York and beyond, but for the communities that benefit from it all along its length.”

BoatUS Feedback

TradeOnlyToday

 

Help wanted: U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center

3/3 - The U.S. Geological Survey is looking to fill Marine Machinery Repairer (MMR) positions at the Great Lakes Science Center’s Cheboygan Vessel Base. USGS is accepting resumes from qualified veterans that are eligible under one or more of several hiring authorities for the appointment of veterans. For more information, please visit Special Hiring Authorities Available for the Appointment of Veterans (usgs.gov). Duties:

▪ Operates, services, and repairs engine room, deck machinery, and equipment.
▪ Participate in fishery and ecosystem surveys aboard large research vessels for extended periods (10-30 days per survey).
▪ Diagnose and repair various marine vessel equipment, such as diesel engines, generators, and hydraulic systems.
▪ Manage ship’s engine room, keep accurate repair and maintenance logs.
▪ Leads or participates in maritime emergency response, firefighting, and man-over-board operations.
▪ Train personnel on safe vessel operations.
▪ Repair fishing gear including trawls, gill nets, hydraulic winches, net reels, and gill net lifter.

Organization Since 1927, Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC) research has provided critical information for the sound management of Great Lakes fish populations and other important natural resources in the basin. The GLSC is geographically deployed throughout the Great Lakes basin through seven strategically located field stations and five large research vessels.

Interested candidates may submit their resume to Tim O’Brien (tiobrien@usgs.gov), Cell: 734-707-3345

 

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.

 

American Steamship Co. lays off 95 workers

3/2 - Buffalo, NY – American Steamship Co. has laid off 95 workers, according to a notice filed with New York state.

The company, which was founded in 1907, operates a fleet of vessels used to ship products from port to port on the Great Lakes. In a state WARN, the company cited lingering impacts of the Covid-19 crisis, the downturn of the U.S. economy and transformational changes that have impacted its customer base and increased competition from lower-cost carriers.

American Steamship said it made the decision not to operate five vessels in the 2021 sailing season and to charter them to other carriers. The company said the sailing season starts on March 24 and a portion of the workers laid off may not be recalled.

Employees of the company are represented by the Seafarers International Union and American Maritime Officers.

A message left for comment from Kevin McMonagle, American Steamship’s president, was not immediately returned.

Buffalo Business First

 

Ship catches fire while being scrapped in Duluth harbor

3/2 - Duluth, MN – A fire broke out on a decommissioned ship in the Duluth harbor Monday afternoon. Azcon Metals was in the process of scrapping the J.B. Ford when a spark started a small fire in the ship's wooden cabin, according to Duluth Fire Department spokesperson Kate Van Daele. The fire department responded to the fire just after 3:15 p.m. and Van Daele said it was mostly contained as of 4:15 p.m.

"They're just putting out hotspots," she said. "They were able to contain the fire to the cabin, ensuring it didn't spread to the rest of the ship."

Azcon Vice President and General Manager Lynn D. Bergstedt said it was "not that big of a fire" and that it would not impact the company's scrapping work, as it only damaged the wood. "We like the steel," Bergstedt said. No one was injured in the incident.

The J.B. Ford was first launched as the Edwin F. Holmes in 1903. It is 440 feet long, with a beam of 50 feet, a depth of 28 feet and a capacity of 8,000 tons. Azcon purchased the 118-year-old ship for scrap in 2015.

Duluth News Tribune View a video of the fire at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxEoTFpgPjM&fbclid=IwAR2hxpypPdjYe1Yi1pgpGvVfqX5em7TIzVAT7WJCkGPSC-Z8d9360UFczOU

 

Port Reports -  March 2

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Michigan/Great Lakes cleared for Sarnia at 21:34 Sunday (02/28). Algoma Sault should arrive Tuesday morning with salt from Goderich.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid cleared 7.25 pm upbound Sunday for Chicago with salt.

Toledo, OH – Angie Williams
Manitoulin left Toledo Monday morning bound for Sarnia.

Lake Erie Ports
Toledo: Manitoulin departed for Sarnia at 06:23 Monday.
Nanticoke: Algonova arrived at 06:20 and went to anchor off of Port Dover. Algoterra arrived at 15:42 and also went to anchor off of Port Dover.

 

Sykes, Ryerson Captain Treece charts new course as a Great Lakes pilot

3/2 - Post via the S.S. Wilfred Sykes Facebook page: “There is a day in everyone’s life when you will be faced with making a difficult decision in your career. That day has come for me. For the last 30+ years I have sailed for arguably the BEST company in the Great Lakes shipping industry. No matter where I go from here on out the highlight of my career will being able to say “I sailed the Edward L. Ryerson.” I spent the last 11 years as the master of the Wilfred Sykes, another Great Lakes favorite and also very dear to my heart. Only sailors and boatnerds will understand how a floating hunk of steel could hold a special place in one’s heart, but it can. That being said, on March 23, I will fit out the SS Wilfred Sykes for the last time in my career. On April 15, I will begin a new chapter in my life as a trainee for the Western Great Lakes Pilots Association. It was not an easy decision to make, but in the end, it just felt like this was a great opportunity for trying something new and taking on a different kind of challenge. It’s something I am really looking forward to! Captain Eric Treece.”

 

Help wanted: AB Deckhand – Interlake Logistics Solutions

3/2 - Interlake Logistics Solutions is looking for a full-time employee willing to work on board a Great Lakes ship. Employees work 28 days on and 14 days off. March thru December. Large excavator, Front End Loader, and Welding Experience is a plus, but not necessary. Responsibilities include (not limited to) Operating/ Maintaining/Keeping clean Equipment and Cargo spaces around the vessel, knowing and understanding Safety signals and procedures and observing safety policies in effect, performing necessary duties with arriving and departing docking, and answering to the mate on duty. No conviction history accepted. Competitive pay, benefits and 401k. Person must be able to pass a pre-employment drug screening and physical.

Job Type: Full-time
Pay: From $20 per hour
PLEASE EMAIL RESUME TO: thartley@interlakems.com

 

Annual Mariners’ Service at Point Edward

3/2 - Point Edward, ON – It is again time for the Annual Mariners’ Service. As in other years, it will be held on the first Sunday in March. However, this year we will be conducting our service virtually. The service will be available on our Facebook page facebook.com/stpaulspointedward or on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoJFHFVF_QpBWEjBeWpZCjA

Although we cannot be together this year, we hope that you will be able to watch and then next year we can all be together again once our lives return to normal.

St. Paul's Anglican Church

 

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

 

Mackinaw to break ice in Green Bay

3/1 - Sault Ste Marie, MI – U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw will enter Green Bay at Rock Island Passage this week to conduct several days of ice trials in northern Green Bay.

While in Green Bay, Mackinaw will perform a series of operational tests to evaluate and record the performance of their shipboard systems in the thick plate ice. The cutter will not purposely interact with shore fast ice, not enter any port, and plans to spend each night out on the ice. USCGC Mackinaw will operate in the vicinity of Chambers Island remaining north and east of Green Island and west of Washington Island. Recreational users of the ice should plan their activity carefully, use caution near the ice and remain clear of these prescribed areas.

USCG

 

Port Reports -  March 1

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
After a week of warmer temperatures, Milwaukee’s harbor is now mostly ice-free. Michigan/Great Lakes arrived from Cheboygan at 07:37 Sunday (02/28) and tied up at the Liquid Cargo Pier. The pair is likely here to load ethanol. Algoma Sault is expected Monday with salt from Goderich.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault cleared 3.26 am Sunday upbound for Milwaukee with salt. Algoma Intrepid was loading at Compass Minerals and departed in the evening.

Toledo, OH – Michael G Hopkins
Sam Laud went from lay up at the Ironville Dock to the Toledo shipyard dry dock on Jan 27.

Buffalo, NY – Brain R. Wroblewski
Sucro Sourcing, the company behind the new sugar refining operations at the Gateway Metroport in Lackawanna, have announced a major expansion project for 2021. On January 27, the company revealed plans to spend $19 million to refurbish three old steel plant buildings on site to house a larger amount of business. They want to use them for more storage space, an enlarged sugar refinery, packaging and office space. The derelict buildings being rebuilt for the Sucro project, from north to south, are Bethlehem Steel’s former Power House #1, Boiler House #3, Engine House #3, and the concrete pad left over from the now demolished Steam Station #1. The company expects to see at least 10 ocean going freighters arrive every year there after the expansion comes on line.

Construction was to start during this February with the plant reaching full production capacity at some point over the next two years.

The fire tug Cotter was out breaking ice ahead of a thaw on February 23. She went from the slip at Michigan Street to the lake and back that morning with a little extra work being done around the stern of the tug Victory at the Frontier elevator so she can move the Maumee later in March for unloading. They were back at it again on the section from Michigan Street to the Buckeye Terminal above South Park Ave. on the 25th. Then on the 26th they had to do it again because the ice was not flowing out at all due to a return to cold temps overnight and a quick refreeze of everything they had just broken the day before. Ice was seen to be approximately four inches thick for the most part.

 

Preserving History: Saving the Squaw Island Lighthouse

3/1 - A historic lighthouse was in trouble on a small island in northern Lake Michigan. The owners of Squaw Island stepped up to save it. But this is no ordinary project. See how a dedicated construction crew overcame isolation, lack of power, and poison ivy to stop the decay of the lighthouse. Along the way, they also learned a little about themselves. View the full report here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YB04s4MYd6A

 

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.

 

NOAA kicks off transition exclusively to electronic navigation charts

2/28 - The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is set to begin implementing its sunset plan for paper nautical charts as it transitions exclusively to electronic navigation charts.

NOAA announced its Sunsetting of Raster Nautical Charts in the Federal Register in 2019, which detailed a 5-year plan to gradually end production and maintenance of NOAA traditional paper and raster nautical chart products beginning this year.

The electronic charts, NOAA says, are easier to update and maintain, keeping mariners safer with up-to-date information on marine hazards. Read more at this link: https://gcaptain.com/noaa-kicks-off-transition-to-exclusively-electronic-navigation-charts Port Reports

 

Port Reports -  February 28

St. Marys River
USCGC Katmai Bay returned home to Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday afternoon.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault arrived Saturday 8.14 am loading at Compass Minerals. Algoma Intrepid arrived at 2.04 pm tied up North Pier to load next.

St. Clair River
Downbound tanker Algonova was stopped in the St. Clair River north of Marine City Saturday evening waiting for a coast guard ice escort.

Lake Erie Ports
Nanticoke: Algosea departed for Sarnia at 13:52 Saturday.

 

Donations needed to help save USS The Sullivans at Buffalo

2/28 - Buffalo, NY – USS The Sullivans is in danger of sinking, and the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park is asking the general public to help donate in order to keep the ship afloat. Now a local business is coming forward to help raise money for the 78-year-old Fletcher-Class destroyer.

Scott Bieler, the president and CEO of West Herr Automotive Group, says West Herr is donating $50,000 to the All Hands on Deck fundraising campaign to help save USS The Sullivans. West Herr is also issuing a community challenge, calling on others to help contribute to the cause.

“When we heard the USS The Sullivans was in danger of sinking and needed emergency fundraising, we immediately felt compelled to help through our West Herr Cares Initiative," Bieler said.

Currently, the ship requires $100,000 in emergency repairs just to keep her afloat until the Naval Park can begin the long-term repairs.

To learn more about the emergency repairs or to donate to the cause, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFyLODaR-G4&feature=emb_imp_woyt

 

SS Milwaukee Clipper seeks volunteers

2/28 - Muskegon, MI – – The SS Milwaukee Clipper needs volunteers right away. Sign up at milwaukeeclipper.com to help save this amazing National Historic Landmark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR0xJRooecfG2KK81

 

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 28

VENUS (steel propeller bulk freighter, 346 foot, 3,719 gross tons) was launched on 28 February 1901, by the American Ship Building Company (Hull #307) at Lorain, Ohio for the Gilchrist Transportation Company, converted to a crane-ship in 1927. She was renamed b.) STEEL PRODUCTS in 1958, and lasted until 1961, when she was scrapped at Point Abino, Ontario, the spot where she had run aground and partially sunk while being towed for scrap.

The lighthouse tender MARIGOLD (iron steamer, 150 foot, 454 gross tons, built in Wyandotte, Michigan) completed her sea trials on 28 February 1891. The contract price for building her was $77,000. After being fitted out, she was placed into service as the supply ship to the lighthouses in the Eleventh District, taking the place of the WARRINGTON. The MARIGOLD was sold in 1947, converted to a converted to dredge and renamed MISS MUDHEN II.

The rail ferry INCAN SUPERIOR (Hull#211) was launched February 28, 1974, at North Vancouver, British Columbia by Burrard Drydock Co. Ltd. She operated between Thunder Bay, Ontario and Superior, Wisconsin until 1992, when she left the Lakes for British Columbia, she was renamed b.) PRINCESS SUPERIOR in 1993.

OUTARDE was launched February 28, 1906, as a.) ABRAHAM STEARN (Hull#513) at Superior, Wisconsin by Superior Ship Building Co.

In 1929, the Grand Trunk carferry MADISON, inbound into Grand Haven in fog and ice, collided with the U.S. Army dredge General G.G. MEADE, berthed on the south bank of the river for the winter. Damage was minor.

1965: The bow section of the tanker STOLT DAGALI, broken in two due to a collision with the passenger liner SHALOM on November 26, 1964, departed New York for Gothenburg, Sweden, under tow to be rebuilt. The ship had been a Seaway trader as a) DAGALI in 1961, 1962 and 1963.

1974: The Dutch freighter AMPENAN visited the Great Lakes in 1960 and 1961. It arrived at Busan, South Korea, for scrapping as c) OCEAN REX.

1995: CHEM PEGASUS, a Seaway trader as far as Hamilton in 2012, was launched on this date as a) SPRING LEO.

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

 

Port Reports -  February 27

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid was eastbound in the Straits Friday afternoon head for Goderich.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 27

GOLDEN SABLE was launched February 27, 1930, as a.) ACADIALITE (Hull#170) at Haverton-Hill-on-Tees, United Kingdom by Furness Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.

In 1916 MOUNT STEPHEN, formerly of Canada Steamship Lines, struck a mine and sank off Dover, England, while carrying coal as part of a convoy but the crew was rescued.

The former Great Lakes trader GEORGETOWN, built at Buffalo in 1900, sank in 1917 as ETRETAT in a storm off the Bay of Biscay while carrying barreled oil although there was some suspicion of enemy action.

1917: GEORGETOWN was built at Buffalo in 1900 and sank on this day enroute from New York to Le Havre in heavy weather while carrying barreled oil. The ship went down as b) ETRETAT off Ile D'Yeu, Bay of Biscay, and there was lingering suspicion of enemy action being involved.

1966: In 1966, the Greek Liberty ship EUXEINOS was abandoned in the Atlantic 360 miles southwest of the Azores after developing leaks the previous day. She had made three trips through the Seaway as MOUNT ATHOS in 1959. The crew was picked up by a passing tanker and delivered to Halifax.

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

 

Port Reports -  February 26

St. Marys River
USCG Mobile Bay departed Lime Island Thursday for the Straits area.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault cleared downbound 2.25 p.m. Thursday with salt. Algoma Intrepid expected next.

Lake Erie Ports – Bill Kloss
Cleveland: New York/Double Skin 509A departed for Detroit at 08:23. Griffon escorted the combo through western Lake Erie.
Nanticoke: Algoterra departed for Sarnia at 06:23. Morro Bay escorted her through western Lake Erie.

 

Saltwater visitors renamed

2/26 - The following saltwater vessels have been renamed with each having made inland voyages and trips into the Great Lakes/Seaway system.

BBC Ontario IMO 9312157 which first came inland in 2005 and last visited as such in 2008 has been renamed and now sails as the Fesco Uliss of Russian registration and flag.

Fairlift IMO 8806906 which first came inland in 1993 and last visited as such in 2016 has been renamed and now sails as the Maher of Togo registration and flag.

Royal Pescadores IMO 9151400 which first came inland in 2000 and last visited as such in 2009 has been renamed and now sails as the Ganosaya of the Cook Islands registry and flag. As the Royal Pescadores, this vessel held that name from 1997 until 2017 when it was renamed to the Cathy Ocean a name it held from 2017 until 2019. It never came inland as such.

SE Potentia IMO 9431472 which first came inland as such in 2011 on its only visit with that name is now the Potentia of Singapore registry and flag.

Vossborg IMO 9229116 which first came inland as such in 2007 and last visited as such in 2008 is now the Georgios Alexios of Panama registry and flag. This vessel also has had two previous names among them it held the name Vossborg from 2000 to 2004 yet it did not come inland as such. It also held the name Morpeth from 2004 until 2007 and also came inland as such in 2006 on its only visit with that name.

Zea Kelani IMO 9500089 which first came inland as such in 2019 on its only visit with that name has been renamed and now sails as the Uml Veronica of Antigua and Barbuda registry and flag. As the Zea Kelani, this vessel was a new visitor to the Great Lakes/Seaway system in 2019 and it was also the first time that a foreign flagged vessel visited with a Sri Lanka flag and registration.This vessel has also had a very long list of former names as well in its history among them are the following: Safmarine Linyati from 2010 to 2015, Mercs Kelani 2015 to 2016, BBC Kelani along with the Waf Vision both very briefly in 2016 for a short period. It then was renamed the Stella Friederich and it carried this name from 2016 to 2019.

Denny Dushane

 

Coast Guard urges caution on or around ice due to warming weather

2/26 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – With warm weather in the forecast, the Coast Guard is urging people to use extreme caution when recreating on the ice.

The U.S. Coast Guard has seen a significant warming trend on the Great Lakes, and warmer weather is forecasted for the foreseeable future. These temperatures have caused ice conditions to rapidly deteriorate throughout the area, making traversing the ice extremely hazardous. While the Coast Guard does not regulate the use of ice bridges or recreational activities on the ice, we are urging people to remain vigilant and understand that no ice is safe ice.

“Ice conditions are always changing and are very difficult to determine,” said Captain Amy Florentino, Deputy Sector Commander. “In many locations the ice conditions are becoming extremely dangerous, and we urge everyone to heed warnings from local authorities to avoid placing themselves at risk.”

USCG

 

Northern Michigan in Focus: Diving the Morrell

2/26 - We’ve introduced you to world class diver Becky Schott before. In our past story, she explained what underwater photogrammetry is and how she’s studying the art. Beyond photogrammetry, she’s also an Emmy Award-winning underwater photographer. For this week’s Northern Michigan in Focus, Corey Adkins shows you her favorite shipwreck, Daniel J. Morrell, and why it’s important to tell her story. https://www.9and10news.com/2021/02/24/northern-michigan-in-focus-diving-the-morrell

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 26

The completed hull of the BELLE RIVER (Hull#716) was floated off the ways February 26, 1977, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Corp. Renamed b.) WALTER J. MC CARTHY JR in 1990.

JOSEPH L. BLOCK (Hull#715) was launched February 26, 1976, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Corp.

On 26 February 1874, the tug WILLIAM LIVINGSTONE JR. was launched at Port Huron Dry Dock. Her dimensions were 151 feet overall, 25 foot 6 inches beam, and 13 foot depth. Her machinery was built by Phillerick & Christy of Detroit and was shipped by rail to Port Huron. She cost $45,000. Her master builder was Alex Stewart.

On 26 February 1876, the MARY BELL (iron propeller, 58 foot, 34 gross tons, built in 1870, at Buffalo, New York) burned near Vicksburg, Michigan.

The Liberty ship BASIL II, a Seaway visitor in 1960, ran aground on a reef off the west coast of New Caledonia as EVER PROSPERITY in 1965 and was abandoned as a total loss.

ANGLEA SMITS, a Seaway trader in 1983, was abandoned and believed sunk in the Atlantic en route from Norway to Australia in 1986.

1947: The T-2 tanker ROYAL OAK came to the Great Lakes in 1966 as b) TRANSBAY and was rebuilt at Lorain. The vessel departed later in the year as c) TRANSHURON. But as a) ROYAL OAK, it caught fire on this day in the Pacific off Esmeraldas, Ecuador, and had to be abandoned by the crew. The vessel was later reboarded and the fires extinguished. The listing vessel almost sank but it was salvaged and rebuilt for Cities Service Oil.

1965: The Liberty ship BASIL II came through the Seaway in 1960. It ran aground on a reef off New Caledonia as d) EVER PROSPERITY. The vessel was traveling in ballast and had to be abandoned as a total loss.

1981: A spark from a welder's torch ignited a blaze aboard the MONTCLIFFE HALL, undergoing winter work at Sarnia. The fire did major damage to the pilothouse and accommodations area, but the repairs were completed in time for the ship to resume trading on May 27, 1981. It was still sailing in 2013 as d) CEDARGLEN (ii).

1986: ANGELA SMITS, a Seaway trader for the first time in 1983, developed a severe list and was abandoned by the crew on a voyage from Norway to Australia. The hull was sighted, semi-submerged, later in the day in position 47.38 N / 07.36 W and was believed to have sunk in the Atlantic.

1998: The Abitibi tug NIPIGON was active on Lake Superior and often towed log booms from the time it was built at Sorel in 1938 until perhaps the 1960s. The vessel also saw work on construction projects for different owners, and left the Seaway for the sea on December 12, 1988. It was operating as b) FLORIDA SEAHORSE when it sank in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. All 5 on board were rescued.

2011: Fire broke out on the bridge of DINTELBORG while enroute from the Netherlands to Virginia. The ship was taken in tow the next day by the ROWAN M. McALLISTER out of Providence, R.I. The repaired Dutch freighter was back through the Seaway later in 2011. The tug was also a Seaway caller in 2012, coming inland to tow the fire ravaged PATRICE McALLISTER back to Providence.

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

 

Grand River takes over 5 smaller American Steamship Co. vessels

2/25 - Rand Logistics is chartering five American Steamship Co. vessels to Grand River Navigation Co. Both firms share the same parent company, Rand Logistics Inc. Involved are the smaller vessels American Courage, American Mariner, Sam Laud, H. Lee White and John J. Boland. ASC will still run the 1,000-foot ships. It is unknown if names and colors will change.

The charter is expected to take effect in mid-March, prior to the opening of the 2021 shipping season. The unions will change from American Maritime Officers (AMO) and Seafarer’s International (SIU) to Masters, Mates and Pilots (MMP).

This information comes from a number of waterfront watchers familiar with the plan but not authorized to speak about it. In addition, Grand River has been advertising for masters, mates and engineers and on Wednesday was actively recruiting prospective employees at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy. Vessel officers have also been notified.

There was no response to an email to the CEO of Rand Logistics asking for official confirmation.

 

Great Lakes iron ore trade up 43.5 percent in January

2/25 - Cleveland, OH – Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 2.6 million tons in January, an increase of 43.5 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings also topped the month’s 5-year average by 31.7 percent.

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Seaway tolls to increase by 2.0% in 2021

2/25 - Montreal, QC – The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation has announced a toll rate increase of 2.0% for the 2021 navigation season. View the revised tolls at this link: https://greatlakes-seaway.com/en/commercial-shipping/tolls-schedule/

 

Port Reports -  February 25

St. Marys River
USCG Mobile Bay arrived at Lime Island Wednesday late afternoon.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault continued to load salt Wednesday at Compass Minerals.

Lake Erie Ports – Bill Kloss
Nanticoke: Algonova departed for Sarnia at 04:10 Wednesday. Griffon was escorting her through western Lake Erie. Algosea and Algoterra were at Imperial Oil.

 

Ashtabula coal dock being dismantled

2/25 - Ashtabula, OH – Dismantling of the Norfolk & Southern coal dock has begun. About three weeks ago, excavating equipment appeared on the coal dock. Rumors were rampant that the coal conveyor bridge over the Ashtabula River was to be torn down. This resulted in quite a lot of blowback from the citizens, as this is now an iconic structure and an important part of the town’s history. (The irony of this that no one was especially thrilled when it was in operation next to a residential neighborhood).

The ship loader has now been torn down. The concrete walls that the loader traveled on are in the process of being removed. They were re-purposed walls in the 1968 construction built to support the Hoover & Mason cable rigs and formed a trough. Ore was either dumped from the rigs into a weigh hopper and then into rail cars or into the trough where it was picked up by the traveling bridge crane and put into the stockpiles. The transfer point has also been removed. This structure allowed coal coming down the main belt to be diverted either to the ship loader or into the three storage silos.

Presumably, the main belt will be razed soon, followed by the silos.

David Nolan

 

Help wanted: Chief Operating Officer

2/25 - The Great Lakes Pilotage Authority, a federal Crown Corporation established in 1972, is responsible for administering and providing marine pilotage and related services in the Great Lakes region, an area covering some 250,000 km2 of navigable waters in the Provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, and in Quebec south of the northern entrance to the St. Lambert Lock. Its mandate includes pilotage operations, training and management, the development and application of pilotage regulations, as well as the issuance of pilot licenses and pilotage certifications. Headquartered in Cornwall, Ontario, the GLPA is one of four such authorities in Canada, the other three covering the Atlantic, Pacific, and Laurentian regions. At this important juncture, the GLPA is seeking a Chief Operating Officer who will be responsible for the strategic management and daily operational performance of the GLPA.

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Operating Officer (COO) directly supervises and coordinates the work of approximately 80 staff, across many disciplines in both unionized and non-unionized work environments, while ensuring a safe, reliable and efficient pilotage service in accordance with established policies, collective agreements, legislation and regulations, Memorandum of Understanding, etc. He or she coordinates the development and implementation of operational policies and labour relations activities while utilizing industry best practices to ensure the daily operations are performed in a safe, efficient, environmentally sensitive and cost-effective manner.

The ideal candidate for this role brings exceptional leadership qualities combined with thorough working knowledge of federal legislation and regulation regarding marine pilotage including: The Pilotage Act and Canada Shipping Act, 2001, the General Pilotage Regulations, the Great Lakes Pilotage Regulations and the Marine Personnel Regulations, as well as the Canada Labour Code. This ideal candidate will also bring many years’ of experience in the command of a ship, in the shipping industry and will have honed the necessary organizational management skills to effectively plan, schedule and delegate activities in a prioritized manner. What’s more, the ideal candidate is a well-respected and credible leader with a natural ability to effectively persuade, influence and negotiate solutions that align with the interests of internal and external stakeholders. With unquestioned integrity, this candidate is a trusted advisor equipped with strong interpersonal and communication skills and has demonstrated the ability to apply tact, sound judgement, initiative and diplomacy to create and maintain ongoing productive relationships at all levels. Fluent communication skills in both official languages is required.

If you are interested in exploring this exciting opportunity, please submit a resume and cover letter online at www.odgersberndtson.com/en/careers/16989. For more information, please contact Dominik Legault dominik.legault@odgersberndtson.com

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 25

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

U.S. shipping companies invest $87 million in the Great Lakes region

2/24 - Cleveland, Ohio – The U.S.-flag Great Lakes fleet, continues to invest heavily in their ships and the region.

This year alone U.S. Great Lakes shipping companies will invest nearly $87 million in their vessels at shipyards and facilities across the Great Lakes. That includes over $36 million in Wisconsin, $33 million in Ohio, $13 million in Pennsylvania, and over $4 million in Michigan. The work includes replacing steel plating, engine overhauls, navigation equipment updates, and conveyor belt repairs and replacements.

The conveyor belt work is critical as the U.S. Great Lakes fleet of ships are unique with their ability to unload massive amounts of bulk cargo without shoreside assistance. The innovative self-unloading technology allows a 1,000-foot ship to unload 70,000 tons of cargo in eight hours. “A ship can arrive in the middle of the night with cargo at any number of Great Lakes port facilities, unload before sunrise, and shoreside workers awake to a huge stockpile of raw material critical to their operations positioned perfectly on the dock,” stated Jim Weakley, President of Lake Carriers’ Association.

Ships that are 40 and 50 years old, or even older, continue to sail the Great Lakes efficiently because of annual maintenance work performed by Great Lakes shipyards paid for by the U.S. owned, U.S. operated and U.S. crewed vessel operators. The freshwater of the Great Lakes allows vessels to sail for decades while ocean carriers must completely replace their vessels frequently due to the corrosive nature of saltwater and a system built around disposal and replacement over maintenance, unlike the Great Lakes fleet.

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Harbor Seagull, Port Milwaukee's oldest workboat, raised Tuesday

2/24 - Milwaukee, WI – Port Milwaukee's oldest workboat, the Harbor Seagull, began taking on water over the weekend and sank Monday morning, city officials said. City officials called the sinking a "significant and unexpected mishap."

No one was injured and port workers raised the 60-year-old boat to the surface Tuesday, according to city spokesman Jeff Fleming.

A main function of the Seagull is the removal of large-sized debris, trees, logs and other hazards to boats using the waterways. During winter, the all-weather vessel also assists in breaking up ice in the harbor and the rivers.

Adam Tindall-Schlicht, director of Port Milwaukee, said the Seagull likely started taking on water late Sunday night or early Monday morning. "The cause of the sinking is unknown," he said.

The last known operation of the Seagull was on Saturday night when it was ice-breaking on the Kinnickinnic River. The Seagull sank at the Port-owned dock in the Inner Mooring Basin and was discovered by a Port Milwaukee employee on Monday morning.

A crane attached to a barge lifted the vessel out of the water to begin the dewatering process. The boat will ultimately be brought to a port north of Jones Island where the cause will be investigated and diagnosed.

“We do not anticipate any disruption to the port's ongoing operations," said Tindall-Schlicht. “At this time, there are other options available to manage the ice breaking assignment in Port Milwaukee this winter, including our flagship tugboat the Joey D.

The Port director said the sinking didn't cause any known environmental issues, but an environmental consultant will be onsite to observe the recovery of the Seagull. Tindall-Schlicht said preliminary cost estimates to remove the boat from the water are around $30,000 to $40,000. Repairs could cost between $200,000 and $300,000.

The Harbor Seagull was commissioned by the city in 1961. The 50-foot boat has a 12-foot beam, a 220-horsepower engine and a 22-foot boom. It was originally intended to be used on firefighting missions, capable of dispersing 500 gallons of water a minute up to 200 feet away. Its mission evolved over the years to clearing the harbor in all weather.

The steel-reinforced bow of the boat makes it possible to break up walls of ice at a speed of 10 miles an hour.

View a video of the raising at this link: https://www.facebook.com/wisn12/videos/809129846351289

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Port Reports -  February 24

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault was loading salt Tuesday at Compass Minerals.

Lake Erie Ports – Bill Kloss
Monroe: Harvest Spirit departed for Windsor at 11:03 Tuesday with assistance from USCGC Katmai Bay.

Toledo, OH
Manitoulin was removed from drydock at Ironhead Shipyard Tuesday with the tugs Colorado on the bow and Mississippi on the stern.

 

Mariners’ Church to hold blessing of the fleet

2/24 - Detroit, MI – Mariners’ Church of Detroit has announced that the annual Blessing of the Fleet will be held at 3 pm on Sunday, March 14. In-person attendance will be limited to approximately 70 people, and the service will also be livestreamed on Mariners’ Church Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/marinerschurchofdetroit.

To attend the service in person, a reservation is required.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 24

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Milwaukee workboat Harbor Seagull sinks in unexpected mishap

2/23 - Milwaukee, WI – Port Milwaukee officials announced at a news conference on Monday that a workboat has sunk in an unexpected mishap.

The Harbor Seagull was built over 60 years ago and is the older of two workboats the port uses. Officials believe it started taking on water late Sunday night, Feb. 21. The port will leverage a crane to lift the boat from the water. The cause of the sinking is unclear at this time.

CBS 58

 

Port Reports -  February 23

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault was loading at Compass Minerals on Monday.

Monroe, MI – Port of Monroe
Sunday the Port of Monroe welcomed McKeil Marine's Harvest Spirit with a full load of steel coils from Nanticoke, ON. Harvest Spirit was escorted across Lake Erie by the Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Griffon and assisted alongside the Port's Riverfront Dock by the Great Lakes Towing Co.'s tug Wisconsin.

 

Help wanted: Mate / First Class Pilot Grand River Navigation

2/23 - Grand River Navigation Company is the U.S. operating subsidiary of Rand Logistics Corporation. Together with our Canadian sister company, Lower Lakes Towing Ltd., we are one of the largest marine transportation service providers operating on the Great Lakes today with our combined fleet of bulk freight vessel is providing service to over 50 customers across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. Our Company is searching for qualified candidates for the position of Mate / First Class Pilot aboard our US-flagged self-unloading vessels.

Responsibilities
• Safely manning a Navigation Watch
• Supervising the Maintenance and upkeep of the hull, decks and superstructure of the vessel
• Responsible for the safe loading, unloading of cargo
• Ensuring that vessel lifesaving and firefighting equipment is properly maintained
• Supervising and directing the vessels Deck Department, including the ordering of Deck Supplies
• Other duties assigned by the Vessel Master

Qualifications
• Passport and allowed entry into the Canada
• Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) issued by the USCG
• Endorsement as Mate of Unlimited Tonnage upon the Great Lakes and Inland Waters (minimum)
• First Class Pilot of Vessels of Unlimited Tonnage upon the Great Lakes between Duluth, Gary, Buffalo and Port Weller to Cape Vincent
• Transportation Worker Identification (TWIC) issued by TSA
• Excellent communication and teamwork skills as well as the ability to multi-task

Why Choose Grand River Navigation?
• As an employee you are part of the Rand Logistics family where Teamwork and safety are a core value
• Highly competitive wages and benefits
• The best leave system in the industry
• We pay for your travel to and from the vessel
• Excellent Health and Retirement Benefits
• Excellent safety record

Job Type: Permanent
To Apply
Send your Resume with Cover Letter in confidence to:
VIA Mail: Human Resources Department
Grand River Navigation Company
1026 Hannah Ave STE D
Traverse City, MI 49686
VIA email: jobs@randlog.com

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 23

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

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

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

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

 

Lake Superior's ice cover has increased

2/22 - Thunder Bay, ON – After a slow start for ice formation this season, the recent cold spell caused a dramatic increase in Lake Superior's ice cover. Environment Canada reports that, as of Tuesday, about 35 per cent of the lake was frozen over, compared with the historic average of only 23 per cent for this time of year.

The department's senior ice forecaster, Brad Drummond, says this is in sharp contrast to January, when the ice coverage was below normal due to a protracted spell of unseasonably mild weather.

"We actually had a very large jump. Last week were at just 10 per cent ice coverage, and the [long-term average] was still around 23. It's pretty significant over the past week," Drummond said in an interview Wednesday.

Environment Canada and its U.S. counterparts also track ice depth on Lake Superior.

As might be expected, it's thickest in sheltered areas such as Nipigon Bay, Black Bay and the northeast part of Thunder Bay where ice forms sooner than on the rest of the lake.

"We are above 30 centimetres. But the mobile ice, kind of between Thunder Bay and Isle Royale, would be likely less than 15 centimetres," Drummond said

About a month from now, when preparations began for the new shipping season, he expects the ice won't be as widespread as it usually is. "Since it was a later start to the season, the ice isn't going to be quite as thick as it typically would be as well," Drummond said, meaning icebreakers will have an easier time clearing channels.

He noted that by the beginning of next week, temperatures in Thunder Bay are forecast to be well above normal, with daily maximums climbing above the freezing point.

There's been broad variability in Lake Superior's ice coverage in recent years. Drummond pointed to 2014 when it approached nearly 100 per cent, in contrast to years such as 2017 when it reached a near-record low.

TB Newswatch

 

Port Reports -  February 22

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Goderich was quiet Sunday. Algoma Sault expected next.

Lake Erie Ports for Sunday – Bill Kloss
Nanticoke: Harvest Spirit departed Saturday night. Griffon escorted her to Monroe. Michigan/Great Lakes departed for Milwaukee at 04:11. Algosea arrived at the Port Dover anchorage at 07:58.
Monroe: Harvest Spirit arrived at 15:03. Griffon departed to assist Michigan across western Lake Erie.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 22

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

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

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

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

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

 

Ice-breaking operations continue along St. Clair River

2/21 - St. Clair, MI – Coast guards in the U.S. and Canada were continuing to cooperate on ice-breaking operations in the St. Clair River, northeast of Detroit. The U.S. Coast Guard also said escorts were being provided for commercial vessels in the shipping channel.

Commercial ships going through the channel help break the ice which allows water to flow, resulting in lower water levels and less flooding along the shoreline, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Earlier this month, both coast guards began deploying icebreaking ships to the river to break up ice jams contributing to flooding in the area.

Associated Press

 

Port Reports -  February 21

Southern Lake Michigan Ports
Algoma Sault left S. Chicago Saturday after unloading salt. She is headed back to Goderich.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid departed with salt for Chicago early Saturday evening. Algoma Niagara has gone into layup art Berth 5.

Lake Erie Ports for Saturday – Bill Kloss
Nanticoke: Algoterra moved to the Port Dover anchorage and Algonova went to Imperial Oil. Michigan/Great Lakes and Harvest Spirit are still in Nanticoke. CGC Griffon escorted Algosea in western Lake Erie to a point off of Leamington. Algosea is due in Nanticoke on Sunday.
Cleveland: Tug New York has moved to the Great Lakes Shipyard.

 

Sudbury lithium company talks of Great Lakes port-side processing plant

2/21 - Sudbury, ON – An emerging lithium producer is considering a chemical processing plant at a "Great Lakes port" as part of a US$685-million plan to bring an open-pit mine project into production in northwestern Ontario.

Frontier Lithium, a Sudbury company with two high-quality lithium deposits north of Red Lake, released a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on Feb. 16 of its PAK Lithium Project, estimating a 26-year mine life. The company didn't name a port for the plant, nor provide any criteria for selecting a processing site.

The closest Seaway draft port to the PAK project would be Thunder Bay, where city officials there are already working with two other lithium exploration companies to find a suitable brownfield site to establish a proposed lithium processing facility.

The proposed plant would produce 23,174 tonnes per year of battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate at an average selling price of $13,500 per tonne. Over the mining life of those two deposits, an estimated 556,200 tonnes of refined material could be produced.

Beside the electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery market, lithium is also used in the premium glass and ceramic industry.

Northern Ontario Business

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 21

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  February 20

Southern Lake Michigan Ports
Algoma Sault arrived at S. Chicago Friday to unload salt.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid was at Compass Minerals Friday, loading salt for Chicago. Algoma Niagara has gone into layup art Berth 5.

Lake Erie Ports for Friday – Bill Kloss
Nanticoke: Algonova arrived at 07:56 and went to anchor off of Port Dover. Algoterra is at Imperial Oil and Harvest Spirit is at Stelco. Michigan/Great Lakes is at the Long Point anchorage.

 

This year's blue ice in Straits of Mackinac 'spectacular'

2/20 - Mackinaw City, MI – Michigan's sudden cold snap this month and rapid icing of the Great Lakes has resulted in a particularly vivid winter phenomenon — blue ice.

Hundreds of visitors are flocking to the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron in and near the Straits of Mackinac to view huge piles of thick ice, which is crystal clear and features a deep blue tint. The ice has, within the past 10 days, thickened in the chilling air. High winds broke the ice up, shoving ashore a spectacular array of thick sheets onto one other.

Mackinaw City Police Chief Todd Woods said there's an annual buildup of ice sheets this time of year, but the brightness of the blue this year is notable.

“This is the best blue ice since 2018," Wood said. "We had some large plates of ice that year. It all depends on the flow of water that allows the ice to push up. A week ago we had open water. Then the arctic cold and winds came, and the ice came with it.”

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2021/02/18/years-blue-ice-straits-mackinac-spectacular/6779666002

 

Seaway saltwater tankers renamed

2/20 - The following saltwater tankers that have visited the Great Lakes/Seaway system have been renamed:

Chembulk Kobe IMO 9263136 which first came inland in 2017 and last visited as such in 2018 is now the Carp of Gabon registration and flag.

Chemical Aquarius IMO 9576820 which first came inland in 2015 on its one and only visit with that name is now the Baltic Prosperity of Liberian registration and flag.

Fairchem Colt IMO 9304344 which first came inland in 2015 and last visited in 2018 as such is now the Marmotas of the Marshall Islands registry and flag.

Fairchem Steed IMO 9311256 which first came inland in 2017 and last visited in 2019 as such is now the Monax of the Marshall Islands registry and flag.

Sichem Edinburgh IMO 9352066 which first came inland in 2012 and last visited as such in 2015 is now the Aulac Bella of Vietnam registry and flag.

Sichem Manila IMO 9322097 which first came inland in 2007 and last visited as such in 2009 is now the Hn 1 of Panama registry and flag.

Sichem Melbourne IMO 9376921 which first came inland in 2007 and last visited as such in 2014 has been renamed to the Chem Melbourne of the Marshall Islands registry and flag.

Sichem Montreal IMO 9404900 which first came inland as such in 2012 on its only visit with that name has been renamed and now sails as the Pvt Neptune of Panama registry and flag.

Umgeni IMO 9382499 which first came inland as such in 2015 on its only visit with that name is now the Tm Hai Ha 18 of Vietnam registry and flag. This vessel had two previous names and was known briefly as the Umzimvubu and also the Siyanda in 2011. It did not come inland with any of its previous names.

Denny Dushane

 

Floating lighthouses guided mariners for centuries

2/20 - Milwaukee, WI – Read the story at this link: https://onmilwaukee.com/articles/lake-michigan-lightships

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 20

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  February 19

Southern Lake Michigan Ports
Algoma Sault, which had been stopped north of Calumet Harbor, possibly due to ice, was underway Thursday for S. Chicago. AIS showed her being assisted by the tugs John Marshall, Nathan S. and Massachusetts. Later in the evening she was stopped off S. Chicago.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid was at Compass Minerals Thursday, loading salt for Chicago. Algoma Niagara was in basin to load salt next.

Lake Erie Ports for Thursday – Bill Kloss
Nanticoke: Algoterra arrived at 07:02 and Michigan/Great Lakes arrived at 10:21, both for Imperial Oil. Harvest Spirit arrived at 09:47 for Stelco. Algonova is due to arrive on Friday.
Cleveland: New York/DS509A arrived at 12:46 for the Marathon Terminal.

 

American Industrial Partners, Oaktree announce strategic partnership in Rand Logistics

2/19 - Williamsville, NY – Thursday, Feb. 18, American Industrial Partners agreed to sell a significant minority stake in Rand Logistics, a leading Great Lakes marine transportation company to funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.’s Transportation Infrastructure Investing Group, the transaction is expected to close before the end of February.

 

Seaway salties renamed

2/19 - The following saltwater vessels that have visited the Great Lakes/Seaway system have been renamed.

BBC Fortune IMO 9402067, which first came inland as such in 2019 on its only visit with that name, is now the Gwen of Antigua and Barbuda registration. This vessel also had two former names, Beluga Fortune from 2008 to 2011 and Fortune from 2011 to 2018. It did not come inland with any of its previous names.

BBC Kansas IMO 9349291, which first came inland in 2016 and last visited in 2018, has been renamed Victory Shine of Liberian flag. This vessel has a long of former names. Among them was Beluga Foundation from 2006 to 2011, Opal Galiant 2011 to 2013 along with the Freya Scan from 2011 to 2013, Thorco Denmark 2013 to 2015 and the Amber from 2015 to 2016. It did not come inland with any of its former names.

BBC Mekong IMO 9473236, which first came inland as such in 2020 on its only visit with that name, has been renamed Stinnes Zephir of Antigua and Barbuda registration. As the BBC Mekong, it was a new visitor to the Great Lakes/Seaway system as well in 2020. This vessel also had two previous names, the Clipper Newark from 2011 to 2018, and the Stinnes Zephir from 2018 to 2019. It did not come inland with any of its former names.

BBC Polonia IMO 9415325, which first came inland in 2018 and last visited as such in 2019, has been renamed to the Breb Star of Antigua and Barbuda registration.

BBC Rhine IMO 9368338, which first came inland in 2009 and last visited as such in 2012, has been renamed and now sails as the Yamal Berkut of Russian registration and flag. This vessel was once known as the Beluga Gratification, a name it held briefly in 2008 before being named BBC Rhine. It did not come inland with its former name.

CFL Prudence IMO 9398046, which first came inland as such in 2008 on only visit, has been renamed and now sails as the Prudence of the Netherlands registration.

Onego Rotterdam IMO 9631345, which first came inland in 2015 and last visited as such in 2018, has been renamed to the Anna of Antigua and Barbuda registration and flag. This vessel known as the Anna briefly in 2013. It did not come inland with its former name.

Rike IMO 9468097, which first came inland as such in 2018 on its only visit, has been renamed Annie of Antigua and Barbuda registration. This vessel was previously known as Beluga Festival, a name it held from 2010 until 2011. It made one inland visit as the Beluga Festival in 2010.

Zealand Beatrix IMO 9507087, which first came inland in 2013 and last visited as such in 2014 ,has been renamed to the Bulker Bee 10 of the Netherlands registration. This vessel was known once as the Beatrix, a name it held from 2010 to 2011. The vessel made one visit inland as Beatrix in 2010.

Denny Dushane

 

Coal piles move, GLC Minerals expansion advances in Green Bay

2/19 - Green Bay, WI – Brown County now controls the land needed to expand port operations and, potentially, relocate the coal piles off prime riverfront real estate near downtown Green Bay. The county's Board of Supervisors on Wednesday unanimously agreed to buy 43.75 acres of the Pulliam Power Plant property from Wisconsin Public Service Corp. for $2.7 million.

'This is a huge, huge win," County Board Chairman Pat Buckley said after the vote. "Kudos to (county staff) getting this done. Hopefully they’ll be getting those coal piles moved from downtown."

The board also approved a letter of intent to sell almost 10 acres of the portion of the Pulliam property it will buy to a Green Bay mineral processing company that wants to expand.

The county will pay for the purchase using $2.2 million from the Port of Green Bay's Acquisition and Siting Fund and a $500,000 Idle Sites Grant the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. awarded the county in early January.

The agreement calls for the county to pay WPS $100,000 in three days and then pay the remaining $2.6 million when the transaction closes. The agreement gives the county until Dec. 31 to complete the sale.

The purchase opens an opportunity to finally move C. Reiss Coal Co.'s operations off of its riverfront property along South Broadway, just south of the Mason Street bridge. The power plant property was identified almost 20 years ago as an ideal spot for the company.

The purchase includes 34 acres of land and another nearly 10 acres of submerged land that includes areas like a ship dock and shoreline that could be reclaimed and re-used in the future.

Press Gazette

 

Help wanted: Vessel Manager, Grand River Navigation

2/19 - Traverse City, MI - Grand River Navigation is seeking a well-organized and self-directed individual for the position of Vessel Manager with the following duties:
Provide direct managerial supervision for a group of assigned vessels.
Responsible for the performance of his / her assigned vessels in terms of Safety, Day to Day Operations, and Reliability.
Lead and manage small projects with the support of the Director of Technical Services and Director of Projects.
Directly manage incidents involving damage and emergency repairs to his / her assigned vessels.
Support the Shipboard Leadership Team on board his / her assigned vessels to ensure they are provided with adequate resources (parts, supplies, equipment, information, efficient systems, and support).
Build, present and manage all aspects of the vessel budgets for the Operating Season, Winter Work, Lay-up, Fit Out, and Emergency Repairs.
Provide direct leadership and possess understanding of company goals, processes and procedures.
Make decisions based on the realities of the business, which require considering financial constraints, organizational culture, human factors, and business results.
Overall responsible for the operational readiness of the vessels managed during the season and on time delivery of the vessels at fit out.
Incident Management – Alternate Qualified Individual (QI).
Procurement: Review and approve requisitions, issue service purchase orders, assist Procurement department in parts sourcing.
Repair & Maintenance: R&M cost planning, budgeting, execution, pricing, and direct management.
Winter Work: Planning, budgeting, bidding, vendor selection, project management, and follow up.
Capital Planning: Provide input, cooperation, and review.
Relationships: Regulatory (Class and USCG/TC), Vendors, Crews, Chief Engineers, other departments.
Leadership: mentoring, placement recommendation, performance review of vessel Chief Engineers. Display positive work attitude.
Situational Awareness: Regular vessel visits (at least 6 visits per quarter), resulting in 2 Engineering audits per Year.
Planned Maintenance: Monitor, oversee and audit the proper execution of the PM program by the vessel crews
Safety and Quality: Collaborate with the Director of Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) on the Vessel’s Safety Performance, Environmental Compliance, emergency responses, and Quality Assurance and vessel Regulatory and Statutory Compliance.
Perform vessel audits according to established company directives.
Maintain professional vendor relations, including advocating for the company and negotiating favorable rates and cost.
Shore side HSE committee member

Education:
Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Engineering or Marine Transportation is preferred.

Experience
At least three years of marine engineering or related experience. Minimal sailing experience as a 2nd Assistant Engineer is required. Experience on Great Lakes bulk carrier and/or Articulated Tug Barge is preferred.

Specific Skills
Good working knowledge of all facets of Self-Unloading vessels and the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Seaway System.
Computer ability: Microsoft Office (Outlook, Excel, Word) and ability to work in task related software. Working knowledge of Nautical Systems Enterprise is preferred.
Travel

Extensive travel to vessels throughout the Great Lakes basin.

Send a cover letter and resume no later than March 15, 2021 in confidence to: VIA Mail: Human Resources Department
Grand River Navigation Company
1026 Hannah Ave STE D
Traverse City, MI 49686

VIA email: jobs@randlog.com

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 19

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

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

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

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

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

 

Convoy leads vessels through St. Clair, Detroit River ice to Lake Erie

2/18 - Detroit, MI – Wednesday morning the USCG Hollyhock escorted the tanker Algoterra from Sarnia heading for Nanticoke. They were joined by the USCG Katmai Bay for the escort through the heavy ice in the lower St. Clair River. The tug New York and barge Double Skin 509A also departed Marathon Oil in the Rouge River and waited for escort. The barge is loaded with asphalt for Cleveland. Harvest Spirit departed the Windsor Morterm dock and also waited in the ice to join the convoy. They are heading to Nanticoke. The tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes, heading to Nanticoke, also joined the convoy. The ice edge was reported to be at South East Shoal in Western Lake Erie. The Griffon will escort the tug New York to Cleveland. By mid-evening the vessels were proceeding without assistance on Lake Erie.

Know Your Ships

 

St. Clair River levels expected to decline as ice flows, winds shift

2/18 - St. Clair River – Water levels from Lake St. Clair to Lake Huron have slightly declined with the absence of northerly wind-driven water, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported Wednesday.

Lake St. Clair water levels have experienced a minor increase, officials from St. Clair County Homeland Security and Emergency Management said. Algonac water levels remain slightly below minor flood stage, with the St. Clair levels slightly below major flood stage. Shifting winds late Wednesday afternoon and evening are expected to result in levels to continue trending down.

United States Coast Guard operations Wednesday include the Hollyhock and the Katmai Bay working the lower St. Clair River along ice edges to keep water flowing. The Samuel Risely continues to be under repair.

The Voice

 

Port Reports -  February 18

Straits of Mackinac
Algoma Niagara was eastbound for Goderich on Wednesday.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid continued to load salt on Wednesday.

Lake Erie Ports for Wednesday – Bill Kloss
Nanticoke: Algosea departed at 18:20 for Sarnia. Algoterra and Michigan/Great Lakes are due on Thursday. USCGC Hollyhock is escorting New York/DS509A to Cleveland.

 

Virtual Visitor Center: Meet the Chief Engineer of the Hon. James L. Oberstar

2/18 - A freighter isn’t moving without a Chief Engineer. Second in authority only to the Captain on board, the Chief Engineer is responsible for the maintenance and repair of every piece of equipment from the bow to the stern. They maintain and repair everything from the massive engines that power the ship to the equally essential sanitation system aboard the floating city. A conversation with Erik Wlazlo, Chief Engineer of the Hon. James L. Oberstar, will reveal stories of typical and not so typical days working to keep vessels operating at their peak performance. If the technology cooperates, he plans to provide a quick engine room tour as well! Join us and learn about the experiences and skills he gained working his way up in this challenging career.

The free program begins at 12:30 EST (11:30 CST), Thursday, February 18 in the Virtual Visitor Center. Use a Chrome browser to join right on the web: https://www.gotomeet.me/VirtualVisitorCenter/chief-engineer. The Virtual Visitor Center is a cooperative endeavor between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Soo Locks Visitor Center Association and Lake Superior Marine Museum Association.

 

Obituary: Robert Bingle, Cedarville survivor

2/18 - Robert Gerald Bingle, age 77, of Rogers City, MI, passed away peacefully at home on January 27. He sailed on the Great Lakes for 40 years, retiring as a wheelsman aboard the George A. Sloan in 1999. He was a survivor of the Cedarville sinking in the Straits in 1965. He enjoyed camping, playing cribbage, and spending time playing cards with his grandchildren. He and his wife Lee enjoyed spending summers as camp hosts at various campgrounds. Bob will be remembered for his pranks and one-liners.

Bob is survived by his wife, Lee; three children, Rob (Marnie) Bingle of Tucson, Arizona, Robyn (Pat) McDaniel of Roswell, Georgia and Ron (Annmarie) Bingle of Grand Rapids; eight grandchildren, Madison, Sloane, Roenan, Ryan, Erin, Owen, Ella and Maya; in-laws, Pam Bingle of Rogers City, Beth (Art) Getzinger of Rogers City, Lyn Petz of Florida, Don (Julie) McLennan of Rogers City and Scott McLennan of Rogers City; as well as many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum in Rogers City or Peace Lutheran Church in memory of Robert Bingle.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  February 17

Straits of Mackinac
Algoma Sault, which had been stopped in the ice west of the Mackinac Bridge, was on the move Tuesday. She is headed for Chicago. On her way down Lake Michigan, she will pass fleetmate Algoma Niagara, which is heading back to Goderich.

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

Lake Erie Ports for Tuesday – Bill Kloss
USCGC Morro Bay has arrived back in Cleveland after icebreaking duties on the St Clair and Detroit rivers. Algosea remains at Imperial Oil.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Seaway releases opening dates

2/16 - Opening of the 2021 Navigation Season and Maximum Allowable Drafts
The opening of the 2021 navigation season is scheduled to take place on the following dates and times:

• Welland Canal: March 19 at 8 a.m.
• Montreal / Lake Ontario Section: March 22 at 8 a.m.

Ship transits will be subject to weather and ice conditions. Restrictions may apply in some areas until lighted navigation aids have been installed.

Sault Ste. Marie Locks and Canals
Opening of the Sault Ste. Marie Locks is currently scheduled for March 25. Please note the Notice to Navigation Interests released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for further information.

 

Port Reports -  February 16

Straits of Mackinac
Algoma Sault was stopped in the ice late Monday west of the Mackinac Bridge.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid was loading at the salt dock Monday night.

St. Clair River
U.S. and Canadian coast guard escorted the tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes downbound on Tuesday to Detroit.

 

Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River regulators ‘optimistic’ levels won’t cause flood risk

2/16 - Watertown, N.Y. – Regulators of Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River water levels say they are “optimistic” that weather conditions for the remainder of the winter into spring won’t cause a “damaging rise” in lake levels this year.

That hasn’t prevented the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board from dictating system outflows above limits prescribed in Plan 2014, the basic plan the board follows to regulate lake and river levels by means of outflows at the Robert Moses-Robert H. Saunders Power Dam in Massena and Cornwall, Ontario.

Adherence to Plan 2014 has been widely criticized for contributing to flood conditions along the lake and river in 2017 and 2019. The International Joint Commission, which sets the outflow strategies implemented by the board, has allowed the board to deviate from Plan 2014 for months, with latest authority granted to continue deviations due to expire Feb. 28.

While the deviation authority can subsequently be extended past that date, the board said in a statement Friday that the deviations, which have helped maximize outflows, have resulted in three additional inches of water removed from Lake Ontario than would have been achieved under strict adherence to Plan 2014.

The deviations, along with somewhat drier than usual weather conditions over the past several months and favorable ice conditions on the river, has helped lower Lake Ontario levels to a few centimeters below its seasonal long-term average. Stable ice formation allows outflows to be increased. Without the stable formation, ice dams can result, which can produce flooding. A series of freezes and thaws that prevented a stable formation, which limited outflows, has been cited as a factor contributing to flooding in spring 2019.

The board says the risk of high water on Lake Ontario this year “remains a moderate possibility,” but less likely than at this point last year. The board said while water levels on Lake Erie and the upper Great Lakes are all lower than a year ago, they remain high. This will mean inflows into Lake Ontario from Lake Erie will remain high in the coming months. Coupled with yet-to-be-determined seasonal factors, such as precipitation and snowpack runoff, the board said a moderate risk of a high-water event on the lake during the spring remains.

The board said it will continue to monitor conditions and appropriate deviations from Plan 2014 will be applied should conditions worsen. The board said that given the lower risk of flood levels on Lake Ontario this year compared to the same time last year, it does not expect its deviation strategies to interrupt or negatively impact commercial navigation on the St. Lawrence River.

NNY 360

 

The future of Lake Superior with climate disruption

2/16 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – The downtown office for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of the Chippewa Indians Fisheries Management Program is a simple, small two-story brick building. But you don’t have to guess about whether you’re in the right place. Pickup trucks with the tribe’s Natural Resources Services emblem are usually parked at the side of the building and sometimes in front.

Brad Silet is a bearded guy with a broad smile who looks the part of an outdoorsman. He’s the lead Fisheries Biologist for the Sault Tribe. He is greatly concerned about the whitefish population in Lake Superior as well as in Lakes Michigan and Huron. “That is our main fish species in Anishinaabe culture. That is the fish species that is most important throughout our creation history,” he said.

The Great Lakes are warming. For the coldest and largest of the lakes, Lake Superior, that could mean a lot of changes. Researchers are still sorting out what the future might be, but a lot of it doesn’t look good.

One of the changes Silet is worried about is the volatility of the lake levels. “When you start doing these really drastic up and down water levels, you start seeing a lot more of those negative impacts potentially to the hatching of those eggs,” he said.

That’s because whitefish spawn in rocky coastal areas. When water levels drop, spawning grounds can be disrupted. During the winter, ice can scour the spawning grounds and damage eggs.

“If the projections are what they are appearing for climate change, we may be going into a sort of bad situation with the ability for whitefish eggs or even lake trout eggs to be able to survive,” Silet said.

Lake Superior is not just warming; it’s warming faster than its surroundings.

Jay Austin and a colleague published a study on Lake Superior warming about 15 years ago. Austin is one of the department heads at the Large Lakes Observatory at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. “We looked at summer surface water temperature increasing –and at the time it was only 25 years, but the message remains today with an extra 15 years of data- was faster than the change in air temperature,” he said.

Climate change is affecting Lake Superior in some volatile ways. Its surface temperature has been going up, but in wild fluctuations. The average wind speeds have been increasing five percent each decade since 1980. And Superior has been pounded by three five hundred-year to one thousand-year storm events in the past eight years. (See here and here.)

“If it's not climate change, what is it?” asks Peter Annin. He extensively documented the effects of climate change in his recently revised book Great Lakes Water Wars. I mean, that we have the largest lake in the world by surface area is not just seeing one extreme event, it's seeing a series of scientifically documented extreme events that are creating a pattern that is changing the relationship that human beings are having with the Great Lakes that they love.

“I mean, that we have the largest lake in the world by surface area is not just seeing one extreme event, it's seeing a series of scientifically documented extreme events that are creating a pattern that is changing the relationship that human beings are having with the Great Lakes that they love,” he said.

Read more and view photos and video at this link: https://www.michiganradio.org/post/future-lake-superior-climate-disruption

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Road salt plays major role at Port of Milwaukee, and it's a year-round endeavor

2/15 - Milwaukee, WI – As the boat appeared to the east through the rising steam on an Arctic-like morning, the freighter was just a bump on the Lake Michigan horizon.

A sliver of the moon hung to the south as day began to break. The Allen Bradley thermometer tower was at zero and the crowd began to grow in the shadow of the revamped American Family Insurance Amphitheater still awaiting its first concert.

The Milwaukee Pierhead Lighthouse, adjacent to the Summerfest grounds, is a popular public park to catch a sunrise, salmon or smelt. But on Tuesday of last week the Algoma Sault, growing as it motored west toward the gap in the break wall, was the focus of those toting their cameras, some of which were affixed on tripods, one attached to a drone. Salt Freighter

The cargo, more than 25,000 tons of road salt and hidden from the nautical-enthused paparazzi, is a Wisconsin winter staple.

“There’s a lot of people here and a lot of people have been talking about it,” said Aaron Hamm, who was operating a drone from the driver’s seat of his heat-infused, four-door sedan. “I just think it’s great to get the unique shot and unique boat breaking through the ice. I’m really excited to see it break through that stuff. It’s not too often you get to see a big ship.”

Big boats are a draw, but Hamm may want to get better acquainted with the shipping schedules for the Port of Milwaukee.

Located on Jones Island, just south of the city’s downtown, the port is one of the biggest on the Great Lakes, and freighters like the Algoma Sault bring in salt about 200 times a year. Scores of other ships use the port for loading and unloading corn, soybeans, machinery and cement.

Salt, however, is the major player. The evidence is on display in the form of towering piles and, at this time of the year, the hundreds of trucks that can arrive daily to pick up loads that will ultimately be spread on city streets, town roads, state and county highways and interstate systems in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. As of last week, port officials estimated there was about 1.2 million tons of road salt piled up at the port. There can be as much as 1.6 million tons on site.

The salt boats aren’t just a winter thing, either. They arrive year-round. “They’re basically dump trucks,” Wayne Johnson, the port’s harbormaster, said of the ships. “They haul it in, they dump it off and then go and get more.”

And more often than not, the source of the salt is Goderich, Ontario, home to the world’s largest underground salt mine. Operating since 1959 and located 1,800 feet under Lake Huron, the mine is as deep as the CN Tower in Toronto is tall, according to a website for Compass Minerals, which acquired the mine in 1990.

The salt is shipped to hundreds of communities around the Great Lakes and along the St. Lawrence Seaway. Some is packaged for deicing and water softeners and sold at retailers throughout North America. The salt is also sold in bulk to manufacturers for the production of plastics, detergents, disinfectants and animal nutrition products. Some is even turned into table salt.

But the company’s biggest business is road salt. Ports in Green Bay and Duluth/Superior close each winter due to ice, but the Milwaukee port is open year round. It’s one of the biggest receivers of salt in the country, which helped the port handle 2.8 million tons of goods in 2020, a 5% increase over 2019.

“Really remarkable, the resiliency of the Port of Milwaukee given what has proven to be a challenging economic climate with COVID-19,” said Adam Tindall-Schlicht, the port’s director. “We have been focused at the port for many, many years on commodity diversification. We’ve been able to identify new commodities and new opportunities that will help us grow our business in the future.”

Read more and view images at this link: https://madison.com/wsj/business/watch-now-road-salt-plays-major-role-at-port-of-milwaukee-and-its-a-year/article_a7fda250-3c48-54c3-b2b7-634f4371508f.html

 

Port Reports -  February 15

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault cleared 3.06 am Sunday upbound for Chicago with salt. Algoma Intrepid loading at Compass Minerals, salt also for Chicago.

St. Clair River
Late Sunday afternoon, Algocanada and Iver B right were being escorted upriver by USCG Hollyhock and Morro Bay.

Detroit
Sunday afternoon the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon arrived downbound with the USCG Hollyhock escorting the tanker Alsosea. The Griffon continued downbound with the Algosea while the Hollyhock turned upbound to escort the Algocanada and Iver Bright to Sarnia with the USCG Morro Bay bringing up the rear. Video of the ice escorts passing the Dossin Museum: https://youtu.be/AQ7ghcoafdc

Lake Erie ports for Sunday – Bill Kloss
Monroe: Monroe: New York/DS509A departed for Detroit at 09:34.
Lake Erie: CCGC Griffon was escorting Algosea on western Lake Erie. Algosea was headed to Nanticoke.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 15

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

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

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

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

 

Sturgeon Bay Fire Department honored for fight during Roger Blough fire

2/14 - Sturgeon Bay, WI – Sturgeon Bay's Fire Department is being recognized for their efforts during an early morning ship fire Feb. 1. The fire lasted several hours, but no one was injured.

Praise is coming from U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin). "I want to make sure we're not taking it for granted.," said Gallagher, "that we're shining a light on the very professional and heroic work that they do."

Gallagher presented the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department with a copy of the speech he gave on the House floor Feb. 11. Reciting part of the speech to the fire department, Gallagher said, "Madame Speaker I rise today in recognition of the heroic efforts of the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department."

Fire Chief Tim Dietman is proud of the work from his crews that day. He's also honored by the congressman's recognition. "Firefighters, law enforcement and public safety, when you ask them they say they're just doing the job they're hired to do," said Dietman. "When things like this come along it means people are watching you day to day and it just reiterates what we do."

Chief Dietman said vessel fires like this are unlike house fires they see on a more regular basis. "Imagine turning on your oven at home to broil and crawling inside it. Ultimately that's what it gets down to," said Dietman. "I mean the temperatures the firefighters they're going into these conditions are twice what they would see in a regular structural fire."

After a similar vessel fire in 2015 that's when Sturgeon Bay Fire Department started looking into more training for fires like this one. "We reached out to fire departments all over the Great Lakes to find out what they're doing, where they're finding training things like that," said Dietmann.

Chief Dietman says firefighters have taken additional training for these vessel fires. The ship that caught fire has been docked at Fincantieri Bay Shipyard for the winter. It has been there since the summer receiving minor repairs

WLUK

 

Great Lakes ice cover made a roaring comeback in a frigid February

2/14 - Great Lakes ice cover has rapidly developed over the last week as frigid arctic air finally made its appearance. Up until very recently, the Great Lakes were experiencing one of the mildest winters on record. Through the middle of January, the average temperatures for the Great Lakes Region had been running 4 to 8 degrees above average. That warmth kept the Great Lakes from chilling down as they usually do at this time of the year. See the Weather Channel report here:

https://weather.com/safety/winter/news/2021-02-11-great-lakes-ice-lake-erie-february-2021

 

Port Reports -  February 14

Sturgeon Bay, ON – Jim Conlon
Friday morning, the tug Sarah Andrie was towed into the graving dock by Sarter Marine and after this tow was completed , Sarter Marine tugs towed the Kaye Barker into the graving dock. Most of the Sarter tug fleet were used for the two tows.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault loading at Compass Minerals Saturday. Algoma Intrepid expected next.

Monroe, MI
Just before dawn Friday, the venerable Tug Wisconsin assisted the Iver Bright from her moorings at the Port of Monroe's Turning Basin Dock after another delivery of liquid asphalt to Michigan Paving & Materials. The Wisconsin escorted the Iver Bright into Lake Erie where she was met by the Canadian Coast Guard ship Griffon to be escorted to Sarnia, ON for another load.

Lake Erie ports for Saturday – Bill Kloss
Monroe: Iver Bright departed for Sarnia. New York/DS509A arrived from Detroit at 12:16.

 

Port of Green Bay contest encourages guesses to shipping season launch

2/14 - Green Bay, WI – When will the first vessel reach the Port of Green Bay this shipping season? The correct answer comes with prizes. The port and the Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau are sponsoring the "First Ship Contest" for the 2021 season.

Participants can submit their guess for what date and time the season will begin, which is marked by the arrival of the first vessel. Over the last five years, arrival dates have ranged from March 15 to April 5.

“The opening of the shipping season is dependent on a number of factors, including the weather and when it’s warm enough to melt the ice throughout the St. Lawrence Seaway,” Port of Green Bay Director Dean Haen said in a news release. “Water conditions in other parts of the Great Lakes play a part as well. So, year to year, the opening can vary by as much as 30 days.”

The participant with the closest guess will win the contest. If multiple entries are correct, the participant who submitted their entry first will win the prize package, which includes a $100 Door County gift certificate and two Port of Green Bay goodie bags.

Contest entry can be done online, with one entry per person.

Fox 11

 

Grand Haven end-of-season report

2/14 - Grand Haven, MI – The commercial shipping season in Grand Haven concluded on January 29 with the articulated tug/barge Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Challenger delivering a load of cement to the St. Marys Cement terminal in Ferrysburg. That closed the book on a very long and unique season.

Our 2020/21 shipping season started on March 17, 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic began to create ripples in the Great Lakes shipping industry. Some vessels did not fit out for the season and some vessels laid up due to a lack of demand. However, the season went on, and recognition is owed to the fine people on the ships and at the docks that worked to move cargo amid the uncertainty surrounding the industry.

The vessels we saw visit Grand Haven this season included the American-flagged vessels American Courage, Calumet, Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder, Great Republic, John J. Boland, Laura L. VanEnkevort/Joseph H. Thompson, Joseph L. Block, Kaye E. Barker, Manitowoc, Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 and Wilfred Sykes.

The cement barges St. Marys Challenger, St. Marys Conquest, and Commander also visited this season with different tug pairings between the Bradshaw McKee, Caroline McKee, Meredith Ashton, and Prentiss Brown. We also saw visits from the Canadian flagged vessels Algoma Innovator, Cuyahoga, Michipicoten, Mississagi, and Saginaw.

The Manitowoc was our most frequent visitor with 18 trips and the Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 was close behind with 16.

Counting vessels that unloaded at more than one dock on the same visit to port, we received 109 cargoes during the 2020-21 season. This is more than the 95 cargoes we received last season and the most since we received 112 cargoes during the 2005-06 season.

That is a static number that simply tallies the number of times commercial vessels visited our harbor and is not representative of the tonnages received by each dock.

One vessel we will not see next season is Lower Lakes Towing’s Mississagi. This vessel is slated to be retired and cut up for scrap. It was built in 1943 and has been a frequent caller to Grand Haven for many seasons, first as the George A. Sloan and then as the Mississagi.

Sam Hankinson, Grand Haven Tribune

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Over $11,000 in donations for Soo Locks Plaza Learning Center

2/13 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Sault Ste. Marie is looking to add a new learning center that will teach those interested about the Soo Locks. They’re calling it the “Soo Locks Plaza” and plan to set it up in an area near the Macarthur Lock.

Soo Locks Visitor Center Association President Linda Hoath started a fundraiser on Monday via www.Patronicity.com with a goal of raising $7,500. So far, they have raised more than $11,000 in donations.

Hoath says she wasn’t surprised by the amount of support. “I told them within a week we’d have it, but we had it in less than two and a half days,” she said. “I know how people love this park, and I know people who come here every year for the Soo Locks. It’s just a part of their life.”

The extra funds will go towards more seating, exhibits, and signage.

9 & 10 News

 

Great Lakes ice coverage has more than doubled in the last 8 days

2/13 - Detroit, MI – Ice coverage on the Great Lakes has been low after a relatively mild winter, but with the arctic air that has moved into Michigan over the last few days, it has more than dou-bled on all of the Great Lakes.

On Feb. 2, total ice coverage on all five of the Great Lakes was at 11.8%, below-average for this time of year. As of Feb. 10, after several days of arctic air, the total ice coverage for all five Great Lakes is at 24.4%. The breakdown by date and by lake is below.

Feb. 2
Lake Superior – 6.8%
Lake Michigan – 10.9%
Lake Huron – 20.8%
Lake Ontario – 4%
Lake Erie – 14.2%
Total - 11.8%

Feb. 10
Lake Superior – 12.2%
Lake Michigan – 17.7%
Lake Huron – 32.3%
Lake Ontario – 8.3%
Lake Erie – 77.1%
Total - 24.4%

Seasonal winter ice coverage on the Great Lakes is expected to be significantly below average for 2020-2021, according to the NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab. As of Jan. 30, the GLERL predicts a maximum ice coverage of 30% on the Great Lakes. The average maximum ice coverage is 53.3%, according to the NOAA.

Those predictions can change, according to the NOAA. Each forecast iteration will take into account the latest surface-air temperature data, which drives ice formation. It has not yet been updated after the arctic air moved into the Great Lakes region.

"A lot can still happen as there are many weeks of winter left. Historically, much of the major freezing happens in February," the NOAA wrote.

WXYZ

 

Port Reports -  February 13

St. Marys River – Know Your Ships
Algoma Tankers’Algonova departed the Purvis Dock in Soo Harbor Friday just after lunch. USCG Katmai Bay worked the ice track in the lower river prior to Algonova’s downbound passage.

Sturgeon Bay, ON – Jim Conlon
On Friday morning tug Sarah Andrie and the Kaye E. Barker were moved into the graving dock by the Sarter tugs Donald J. Sarter, William C. Gaynor, Jimmy L. and two small Sarter tugs Cameron O. and Jacquelyn Yvonne plus the small Bayship tug Bayshipco. It takes a lot of tugs to move the ice from in front of the graving dock entrance.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Niagara cleared 6.24 am Friday upbound for Chicago with salt. Algoma Sault backed in 11.30 am Friday loading at Compass Minerals.

Detroit, MI
Canadian Coast Guard ship Griffon escorted the tanker Iver Bright upbound to the Belle Isle Anchorage where the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Morro Bay was waiting for them. The Griffon turned downbound to wait in the Pelee Passage for their next escort. Iver Bright headed for the Sun Oil Dock in Sarnia. It is unknown when they will depart.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
Wednesday morning CSL Assiniboine was moved from fit out wall and placed into the dock and secured in the early afternoon. At around 4:30 the tugs Lac Manitoba and Wyatt M moved the CSL Niagara from tie-up wall above lock 1 over to fit out wall to take the place of the CSL Assiniboine. The thickening ice made it a little difficult to get the Niagara into position. The CSL Assiniboine will remain in dock for an extended period of time while decision is made to repair or replace her one damaged engine.

 

Inside Detroit's Dossin Great Lakes Museum

2/13 - Watch a news feature at this link: https://www.fox2detroit.com/video/898172

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 13

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

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

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

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

 

Fire department report: Blough sustained $20 million in damages

2/12 - Duluth, MN – The fire aboard a wintering Roger Blough on Feb. 2 caused an estimated $20 million in damages, one-fifth the total cost of the $100 million lake freighter. Those details and others were pulled from the Sturgeon Bay (Wisconsin) Fire Department's report of the fire issued this week.

The Blough had been laid up for the Great Lakes shipping offseason at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding located in the Wisconsin port city on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The damage estimates from fire departments are only that, and don't always line up with what corporations say afterward.

So far, the Duluth firm that operates Blough and the rest of the Great Lakes Fleet for Canadian National Railway, Key Lakes, Inc., has not said what the fate of the Blough will be, or when or if it will return to service.

The fire department's report contains new details from the fire department lieutenants, Matt Austad and Brent Wiegand, who authored it.

The fire required patience, strategy and 1.4 million gallons of water, both to cool the steel of the ship that radiated 1,200-degree heat off its exterior, and to suppress both the fire and lingering hot spots during the 10-plus-hour effort. One million gallons of water came from hydrants, and the rest from the berth where the Blough was one of four ore boats stacked and bound together.

The ship keeper, the only one aboard the boat as the fire was first reported by shipyard staff at 1:38 a.m., was awakened by alarms and smoke coming into his room. He grabbed his clothes and left the boat.

"Heavy black smoke started building and became very intense, venting from both the port and starboard aft unloading area/belts," the report said.

The Blough was the second of four boats stacked together, with the James Barker anchored to the dock, and the Blough bound to it. The American Mariner and John J. Boland were on the other side of the Blough. During the operation, tugboats were used to separate the Blough and other boats as best they could in an icy berth in the lake's Sturgeon Bay.

Firefighters worked with shipyard crew members to cut holes into parts of the vessel using torches in order to vent and drop water onto burning areas. "The area had to be cooled only allowing short cuts as the heat and heavy black smoke continued hindering our ability to make access," the report said.

Belts that make up the self-unloading system burned. "We knew we had multiple belt fires," the report said. "We knew we had multiple belt fires along with whatever started this incident."

So far, no cause has been reported. Fire Chief Tim Dietman said further information will be available in the coming weeks. The fire remains under investigation, the report said, contrary to what was reported last week. Key Lakes, Inc., has not yet responded for this report to address the Blough's repairs and future.

Superior Telegram

 

Windsor Salt, CSL partner on construction of new self-unloader in China

2/12 - Montreal, QC – K+S Windsor Salt Ltd. and Canada Steamship Lines, a division of The CSL Group, have announced the construction of a new, state-of-the-art self-unloading ship with a deadweight of 26,000 metric tons for service in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Great Lakes region.

Windsor Salt and CSL began construction of the custom-made vessel in August 2020 after several years of collaborative planning, which included an environmental impact analysis, ship and shore personnel safety reviews, an efficiency evaluation of cargo operations, and navigational optimization.

The purpose-designed vessel was created to service Windsor Salt's need to deliver deicing salt from its Mines Seleine salt mine on the Magdalen Islands to stockpiles in Montreal, Quebec City, and other destinations within the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland.

Given the shipping route is located in the sensitive marine environment of the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Windsor Salt and CSL worked together to bring several innovations to enhance sustainability and reduce the environmental footprint of the new ship, including:

• Diesel-electric tier 3 engines and a unique hull design that will contribute to cutting CO2 emissions and improve energy efficiency
• A ballast water treatment system that is expected to reduce the transfer of invasive species
• Quieter machinery that will reduce vessel noise to protect the area's North Atlantic right whales and other marine mammals

Compared to the previous vessel servicing the same salt routes, the new ship is expected to emit approximately 25% less greenhouse gas emissions and 80% fewer harmful air pollutants.

The new ship also features several innovations to enhance efficiency and safety including:

• A fixed, single point of loading system with a single hopper into which the salt is loaded, combined with a cargo handling system that eliminates the need for the vessel to shift during loading, which will improve the efficiency of cargo operations and the safety of ship and shore personnel.
• A modern hull design and state-of-the-art propulsion system to enhance the maneuverability of the vessel and increase the safety of navigation in the shallow Magdalen Island channel.

The keel laying ceremony for the newbuild was held at Chengxi Shipyard in Jiangyin, China, on January 29, 2021. The vessel is expected to commence operations in the Magdalen Islands at the start of the 2022 navigation season.

CSL

 

Victory Cruise Lines, American Queen to require COVID-19 vaccines

2/12 - American Queen Steamboat Co. and its sister company, Victory Cruise Lines, will become the first North American cruise operators to require all passengers to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition for setting sail, beginning July 1, 2021.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required for all crewmembers, passengers and all non-shipboard employees across all seven vessels in the AQSC and Victory fleets. The initiative will be part of the company's overall health and safety protocols that the company says will include, and will not be limited to, pre-cruise COVID-19 PCR testing and mask mandates in all public areas where social distancing is not possible.

Victory Cruise lines operates two vessels, Victory l and Victory ll, in the Great Lakes market. The 2020 season was canceled due to the virus.

On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention announced face masks would be mandatory for all passengers on ships and in cruise terminals within the United States.

"The health and safety of our guests, crew members and partners continues to remain our top priority," said John Waggoner, CEO and founder of American Queen Steamboat Co.

"Vaccination requirement for both our guests and crew is the most prudent next step to ensure that we are providing the safest cruising experience possible. Our new vaccination requirement, coupled with comprehensive health and safety protocols and risk-free booking policy, will give our loyal guests another added level of assurance to join us as we return to sailing."

Waggoner notes that current CDC guidelines recommend all essential workers engaged in transportation, including shipboard crew members, should be able to be vaccinated by the July 1 deadline.

Passengers who are unable to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine before their scheduled trips, or those who have no intention of receiving the vaccine, are requested to contact the reservations team with AQSC or Victory Cruise Lines.

Cruise Critic

 

Port Reports -  February 12

St. Marys River – Know Your Ships
Algoma Tankers’Algonova remained at the Purvis Dock in Soo Harbor Thursday. The arrival of USCG Katmai Bay in the lower river late Thursday likely means the tanker will be downbound Friday.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Niagara loading Thursday at Compass Minerals, salt for Chicago. Algoma Sault expected next.

Lake Erie Ports – Bill Kloss
Nanticoke: Algosea departed Wednesday night for Sarnia. The Canadian Coast Guard cutter Griffon is icebreaking on western Lake Erie.

 

Help wanted: Grand River Navigation Co.

2/12 - Our company is searching for qualified candidates for the position of Master aboard our US flagged self-unloading vessels.

Responsibilities
• The Master is in ultimate command and therefore responsible for their vessel.
• The Master is responsible for the seaworthiness, safety, and security of the vessel, its equipment, cargo, and personnel.
• The Master directly represents the Owners of the vessel in its operation
• The Master is responsible for the Safe Navigation of the vessel
• The Master is responsible for the compliance of all laws and regulations, including Co Policies
• The Master is responsible to promote and encourage crew morale and their professional growth

Qualifications
• Passport and allowed entry into the Canada
• Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) issued by the USCG
• Endorsement as Master of Self Propelled Vessels of Unlimited Tonnage upon the Great Lakes and Inland Waters
• First Class Pilot of Vessels of Unlimited Tonnage upon the Great Lakes between Duluth, Gary, Buffalo and Port Weller to Cape Vincent
• Certification as Ship Security Officer
• Transportation Worker Identification (TWIC) issued by TSA
• Excellent communication and teamwork skills as well as the ability to multi-task

Why Choose Grand River Navigation?
• As an employee you are part of the Rand Logistics family where Teamwork and safety are a core value
• Highly competitive wages and benefits
• The best leave system in the industry
• We pay for your travel to and from the vessel
• Excellent Health and Retirement Benefits
• Excellent safety record
Job Type: Permanent

To Apply
Send your Resume with Cover Letter in confidence to:
VIA Mail: Human Resources Department
Grand River Navigation Company
1026 Hannah Ave STE D
Traverse City, MI 49686
VIA email: jobs@randlog.com

 

Obituary: Shipping industry pioneer Christos N. Kritikos

2/12 - The shipping industry has lost one of its pioneers from the golden era of containerization. Christos N. Kritikos passed away on January 31, 2021 at home with his family at his side. He was 95 years old.

Born in Greece on the Island of Andros and raised in Athens, he arrived in the United States in 1947 as a merchant mariner. In 1954, he found a job working for an East Coast stevedoring company. After just four years, he moved to Chicago to start his own stevedoring firm, launching an illustrious shipping career.

Christos Kritikos, known as Chris to his friends, was an experienced sailor and very familiar with the dynamism of marine transportation. The late 1950s was a time when the St. Lawrence Seaway was opening up, and it presented a lucrative business opportunity. Chicago was expected to be the largest general cargo port in the Great Lakes, and the influx of cargo ships coming into the port needed professional stevedores and terminal operators. Chris recognized the potential and this is where he founded his passion, Ceres Terminals Incorporated.

After the Seaway opened in 1959, Ceres picked up over 50 percent of the total grain volume in Chicago. From 1959 to 1962, Ceres expanded to Duluth, Milwaukee and Toledo. In 1962, Ceres opened a Canadian operation at Montreal and quickly became one of the port’s largest stevedoring companies.

Ceres expanded to the Port of Baltimore in 1979, then to Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans and Houston. In 1982, Ceres became a container operator in Montreal with Atlantic Container Line as it first container customer. That same year, Ceres signed a 20-year lease with the Halifax Port Authority and secured 55 percent of the port’s volume in the first year of operation. In 1988, Chris moved Ceres’ corporate headquarters from Chicago to Weehawken, New Jersey. Here he could be closer to his customers and maintain the personal service that was his trademark.

In 2002, Ceres was purchased by NYK, and Chris remained at the helm for a year before “becoming unemployed.” Chris would never retire, and he always strived to move to another chapter in his life.

Chris Kritikos was one of the true icons of the shipping industry, and his impact on containerization was measurable. Those who had the opportunity to work with Chris would never forget him. He was the type of person that the waterfront reveres. He was a tough negotiator, but never let the deal get away. Right at the point when a customer would pack their bag to leave, Chris would drop a new idea on the table and get to a contract signature. His word was sacred, and quality came before anything else. He never referred to contract language, but rather to the spirit of the agreement. As a result, his customers stuck with him as he expanded to new locations.

“Our industry has lost one of its most memorable and unique individuals. He was a colorful soul full, of ambition and drive and the nerve to pull his vision off. Using his progressive vision and outsized personality, Chris built a small Chicago-based startup company into one of the leading stevedoring and terminal operators in North America. His is a true American success story. The industry will miss him,” commented Thomas J. Simmers, past President & CEO of Ceres Terminals Incorporated.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there will be a private burial service for Chris.

Maritime Executive

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 12

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  February 11

St. Marys River – Know Your Ships
Algoma Tankers’Algonova was upbound to the Purvis Dock in Soo Harbor Wednesday around noon to unload petroleum products. USCG Katmai Bay escorted her upriver, then headed back downbound.

Straits of Mackinac
Tug Michigan pushing the petroleum-tanker barge Great Lakes passed under the Mackinac Bridge at 4 p.m. Wednesday. It came to a complete stop in the ice under the bridge. After about 5 minutes they backed up and made a second try, passing under the bridge at the speed of a fast walk. The pair is on its way to Milwaukee.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Niagara loading at Compass Minerals, salt for Chicago. Algoma Sault expected next.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cliffs says it has a fix for HibTac land woes

2/10 - Minneapolis, MN – The parent company of Hibbing Taconite on the Iron Range said it has found its own solution to the mine nearing the end of its mining life and will not partner with U.S. Steel, a move suggested by Gov. Tim Walz in letters to both companies last week.

Cleveland-Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves said in a statement that he informed Walz on Monday that “Cleveland-Cliffs has identified a solution to extend HibTac’s life of mine, using land already under the control of Cleveland-Cliffs. With this solution, no land swap with other companies will be necessary to extend the life of HibTac.”

The statement spurned Walz’s suggestion that Cliffs partner with U.S. Steel (which also operates in Minnesota) to find a remedy for HibTac’s iron ore shortage woes. Goncalves declined to elaborate beyond his statement.

A Cliffs spokeswoman said the solutions being considered for HibTac were in Minnesota but declined to specify. She noted that details will come later. Cliffs newly owns the ArcelorMittal Minorca mine near Virginia, Minn., and a patchwork of land parcels in Nashwauk. It also owns United Taconite in Eveleth/Forbes, Northshore Mining in Silver Bay/Babbitt and the bulk of HibTac in Hibbing.

Concerns about HibTac have recently intensified as the employer of 750 people is expected to run out of minable ore space by 2024. Expanding the mine is not possible because of surrounding cities, highways and other businesses.

In his Feb. 1 letter, Walz noted that while U.S. Steel — which owns Keetac in Keewatin and Minntac in Mountain Iron, Minn. — had enough ore for now, it had “expressed interest in securing leases for additional high-quality ore that would solidify the longterm options for the mine.”

Walz also noted that both companies were located near minable land owned by third parties and that if they worked together, they might be able to ensure “the future success of both” of their taconite operations.

In a Feb. 2 letter to Walz, Goncalves seemed agreeable to Walz’s idea, welcomed the state’s involvement but warned there were obstacles. Goncalves wrote that U.S. Steel and Cleveland-Cliffs had previously tried to negotiate regarding select “Carmi-Campbell” ore leases but that no agreement was reached — despite years working together as the co-owners of HibTac.

U.S. Steel owns nearly 15% of HibTac and managed it for years. Today Cleveland-Cliffs manages it and owns the rest of HibTac, after buying out Arcelor-Mittal USA in December.

“Regardless of which party was acting as the manager [of HibTac], a commercially viable solution has failed to materialize” over new mining leases that might have solved HibTac’s ore problem, Goncalves wrote last week. “The unsuccessful negotiations with U.S. Steel were a very important part of our decision to acquire land in Nashwauk, in order to provide us with the mine life extension we need at Hibbing Taconite.”

Goncalves added that if Cleveland-Cliffs were allowed to mine its own Nashwauk land, plus adjacent land owned by Mesabi Metallics, “not only Hibbing Taconite will be saved, but we would also have the opportunity to build a ‘direct reduction’ [iron processing] plant on the site, creating the basis for a future steel mill in Nashwauk” that would use locally supplied hot briquetted iron bricks made from the direct-reduced iron.

It was not clear Monday if Cleveland-Cliffs’ remedy for HibTac’s mining woes involved the land in Nashwauk that Cliffs bought or leased in December 2017. A judge awarded Cliffs the mining rights to that land in July 2018.

The Nashwauk property has been tricky, because a large chunk of the area is already owned by Mesabi Metallics, the entity that took over the failed Essar Steel Minnesota that filed for bankruptcy in 2016, owing nearly $1 billion.

Essar left a half-built ore-processing plant on the site. Recent court and state actions have given Mesabi Metallics until May to get finances and construction agreements in place so construction can resume at the site. Mesabi Metallics has said it plans to finish building a taconite pelletizing plant at the site.

While Goncalves declined to discuss Nashwauk, he thanked Walz for being willing to help solve the HibTac problem. “Gov. Walz stated his commitment to direct his agencies to take all legally possible actions to support Cliffs’ initiative,” he said.

Separately Monday, Cleveland-Cliffs offered to sell 60 million common shares of company stock to the public, including about 40 million shares offered by its newly purchased subsidiary ArcelorMittal North America Holdings LLC USA.

Minneapolis Star Tribune

 

Port Reports -  February 10

St. Marys River – Know Your Ships
Algoma Tankers’ Algonova is expected at the Purvis Dock in Soo Harbor Wednesday to unload petroleum products. USCG Katmai Bay was stopped at Lime Island Tuesday night, and will escort the Algonova upbound through river ice.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Algoma Sault arrived 07:03 Tuesday (02/09) with deicing salt from the Compass Minerals mine at Goderich. With tug Louisiana breaking ice, she made her way to the inner harbor and dropped her load on a dockside discharge pad. She should be heading back to Goderich early Tuesday evening.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Niagara was loading at Compass Minerals, salt for Chicago.

St. Clair River – Bill Moran
On Tuesday morning, USCGC Biscayne Bay came from her base in St. Ignace, MI, to join the ice project. Morro Bay came from Cleveland on the weekend, and Neah Bay and Bristol Bay have gone back to Cleveland and Detroit respectively. Samuel Risley was leading the tank barge Great Lakes, powered by the 5,800-horsepower tug Michigan. Tug Manitou was lashed to her stern to provide more thrust. Risley stopped and backed up and let the trio catch up. They made steady headway upbound and got to about Courtright shortly after 3 pm. The Risley is the only Canadian unit on scene, as Griffon is tied-up in downtown Windsor.

Lake Erie Ports for Wednesday – Bill Kloss
Monroe: New York/DS509A departed for Detroit at 08:04. Nanticoke: Algosea is at Imperial Oil. Algocanada arrived from Sarnia at 15:28.

Welland Canal – Barry Andersen
On Wednesday, CSL Niagara was brought out of dry dock with tugs Lac Manitoba & Wyatt M assisting, taking her to tie-up wall above lock 1. Wednesday the schedule is for the tugs to take CSL Assiniboine from fitout wall and place her into the dock for inspection and winter work as required alongside the CSL Laurentien.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Soo Locks group launches Soo Locks Plaza fundraiser; 30 days left for matching funds

2/9 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – For decades, the park at the Soo Locks has featured two historic lock models hidden in plain sight. The Soo Locks Visitor Center Association wants to use those models, built over 100 years ago, to transform a paved area near the MacArthur Lock into Soo Locks Plaza, a center for learning and inspiration. The group has already raised just over 90 percent of its goal to transform the area into an interpretive plaza by adding exhibits, restoring the original models and adding a third model showing the facility as it will be of when the new lock is built, but it needs to raise $7,500 in community support to receive a matching grant and complete this project.

The group has just 30 days to raise the remaining money for this project. If it hits the goal, contributions to this project will be matched 100% by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)! All funds raised will supplement contributions already made by community non-profits, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, shipping companies and maritime interests all over the region. Work on the exhibits and models is projected to begin over the winter of 2021-22 with the models reinstalled in June 2022 with a special unveiling celebration planned in conjunction with Engineers Day.

The models in the park are replicas of locks built on the site more than 100 years ago. Both are currently in danger of being destroyed by exposure to the elements. The oldest model was created in 1893 to test the design of the original Poe Lock completed in 1896 and replaced with the current Poe Lock in the 1960s. The other model, built in 1912, is a replica of the Davis and Sabin Locks which will soon be removed to make way for a new lock. A third model is in the works to show the entire facility as it will be when the new lock is complete in 2030.

Several levels of participation are available and contributions in any amount are appreciated! Just click on your support level and follow the instructions on the screen to make a secure donation right now. If you want to support this project, but prefer not to make a gift online you may mail checks to:

Soo Locks Visitor Center Association
PO Box 666
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

Make checks payable to the SLVCA with "Soo Locks Plaza" in the note. Checks must be received and processed prior to the end of the campaign on March 10, 2021. The SLVCA hopes to exceed its goal; funds raised in excess of the goal will be used to expand the project by adding seating and special signage. For more information, or to donate, go to www.patronicity.com/soolocks

Soo Locks Visitor Center Association

 

Port Reports -  February 9

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Jim Conlon
On Monday afternoon, the American Century was floated out of the graving dock at Bay Shipbuilding and rafted next to the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. at pier 1. The move was made by four Sarter Towing tugs.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid cleared 8.17 am Monday upbound for Chicago with salt. Algoma Niagara arrived 8.46 am Monday loading at Compass Minerals.

Lake Erie Ports for Monday – Bill Kloss
Nanticoke: Michigan/Great Lakes departed for Milwaukee at 12:57. Algosea arrived at Imperial Oil at 13:01. Algocanada is due on Tuesday.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  February 8

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault cleared 3.37 am Sunday upbound for Milwaukee with salt. Algoma Intrepid loading at Compass Minerals. Algoma Niagara expected next.

St. Clair River – Know Your Ships
U.S. and Canadian icebreakers plus the tug Manitou were busy assisting cement barge St. Marys Challenger / tug Prentiss Brown upbound on a sunny but cold Sunday. AIS has them heading back to Charlevoix, MI.

Lake Erie Ports for Sunday – Bill Kloss
Monroe: Iver Bright arrived from Sarnia at 18:59 Saturday and went on the hook. She came in Sunday morning at 09:36. New York/Double Skin 509A is still in port.
Nanticoke: Michigan and barge Great Lakes arrived from Detroit at 06:38. Algosea arrived from Sarnia at 09:25 and went to anchor off of Port Dover.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 8

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

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

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

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

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

 

Roger Blough's post-fire prognosis may come next week

2/7 - Sturgeon Bay, WI – Days after a fire that consumed one of the lake freighters most well-known to the Twin Ports, it’s still too soon to know what its prognosis is. The Roger Blough burned for several hours early Monday, requiring a massive suppression effort at the Sturgeon Bay, WI, shipyard where it had been wintering.

“We were very fortunate,” Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Dietman told the News Tribune on Friday. “The boat is saved; it’s floating, it’s secure and stable."

The smoke-filled air on board the vessel cleared enough for officials and investigators to walk through by lunchtime Monday, some 11 hours after the shipyard first reported the fire at 1:38 a.m.

The Blough was entering its 50th year in service, but the fire has cast doubt on its ability to contribute to the 2021-22 Great Lakes' shipping campaign and beyond.

“Thankfully, there were no injuries and the fire was contained to just the one ship,” Fincantieri Marine Group spokesman Eric Dent wrote the News Tribune from Washington, D.C., calling it premature to speculate on the Blough’s “future operational availability.”

Investigations by the fire department locally, and also the United States Coast Guard were wrapping up. Dietman said he expects to address the cause and specifics of the fire next week, saying his department concluded its investigation Thursday and is preparing its findings.

A frequent visitor to the Twin Ports, the Roger Blough is a de facto resident of the port of Duluth-Superior, given its inclusion in the Great Lakes Fleet of ore boats, a nine-vessel roster operated by Key Lakes Inc., of Duluth, and owned Canadian National Railway.

Key Lakes did not respond to inquiries about what it might have planned for the ship.

Flames burned a third of the ore boat at the Blough’s aft end, affecting living quarters, the kitchen, or galley, and down into the engine room, Dietman said. “It’s pretty severely affected,” he said, comparing it to a similar fire at the same Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding site in 2015, when the 519-foot Alpena absorbed a similar aft-end burn which saw the vessel recovered to continue sailing. “This was worse than that one,” Dietman said.

While nobody was injured, there was a ship keeper on board when the fire department was paged. The man “was able to self-rescue,” Dietman said.

Sturgeon Bay isn’t a transient port, like Duluth-Superior, with cargoes sailing in and out. Instead, it’s known as a major Great Lakes shipyard, where 10 to 20 vessels winter every offseason, their maintenance and repair tended to by scores of tradespeople.

When the laid-up boats are in Sturgeon Bay, most everything on board the boats is shut down. “We treat them like dead-in-the-water floating vessels,” Dietman said.

And even though the local firefighters have trained on the Wilfred Sykes and the Joseph L. Block while those vessels have been in port, it didn’t necessarily transfer to knowledge of the Blough, which, like many vessels, is a one of a kind.

“Anybody who’s part of a ship-board fire knows that you’re basically turning on an oven to 1,000 to 1,200 degrees and crawling into it,” Dietman said. “It takes a while to cool the steel enough so you don’t get reignition and to operate within it. You can’t be rushing in. You have to be smart about what you’re doing in an extremely confined area where you have very little to look at and understand.”

The firefighters started arriving four minutes after they were paged. What they found was a boat on fire that was sandwiched by others. The Blough was the second of four boats stacked and bound to one another, with the James Barker anchored to the dock, with the Blough bound to it. The American Mariner and John J. Boland were on the other side of the Blough.

Even before Blough was launched in 1972, the ore boat was exposed to the perils of its kind. A fire killed four aboard the boat in 1971, delaying its arrival by a year, according a history of the Blough on Boatnerd.com. Fast forward a half-century, when fire consumed Blough once again.

The shipbuilding company said it was awaiting the results of the investigations. “We will see what the investigation offers as to a cause, the extent of damage, and how we might prevent future incidents like this,” Dent said.

Dietman wouldn’t speculate on when the Blough would sail again. A native of Ashland, he said he knows the port of Duluth-Superior well. He hoped the Blough would get back there. “She’s a unique ship,” Dietman said. “Everyone in different parts of the Great Lakes has their different favorites. And she’s definitely a favorite of mine.”

Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports -  February 7

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
On Saturday, Algoma Sault was loading and Algoma Intrepid was waiting.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 7

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cruise ship visits to Canada now banned until February 2022

2/6 - Ottawa, ON – A ban on cruise ships with more than 100 people coming to Canada will remain in place until February 2022, a federal government release said Thursday. The temporary measures for cruise ships were scheduled to end on Feb. 28.

Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra announced the interim order, and also extended an order prohibiting pleasure craft in Canadian Arctic waters except for those used by residents of the region.

"Cruise vessels in Canadian waters pose a risk to our health-care systems. The government of Canada will continue to evaluate the situation and make changes as necessary to ensure the health and safety of all Canadians," the release said.

The government said it is focusing efforts on "the most pressing issues, including the vaccine rollout and new COVID-19 variants." The release urged Canadians to avoid travel on cruise ships for now.

Essential passenger vessels, such as ferries and water taxis, should continue to follow local public health guidance and mitigation measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and prevent future outbreaks, the release said.

Alghabra can rescind the ban if the pandemic situation improves enough to allow the resumption of cruising.

Mike Cochrane, the CEO of Port Charlottetown in Prince Edward Island, said he supports the ban extension to keep everyone safe. However, another season without revenue will have "a big impact" not only for the port, but for P.E.I.'s entire tourism industry, he said. "It's just another difficult year in 2021 that we'll have to ride through."

Cochrane said all ports need to work together to restore confidence in cruising so that it can resume as soon as possible when conditions are safe. He is optimistic that will happen in 2022.

In New Brunswick, cruise ships account for 10 to 15 per cent of Port Saint John revenue in a normal year, so going without the business for a second season is a "significant blow," said Port Saint John CEO Jim Quinn.

But he called the port resilient and said he expects other sectors of its business will remain strong. "Quite frankly, I worry more about the businesses in our community, and in the surrounding region that have cruise as a principal income-driver," Quinn said.

CBC

 

Pancake ice may reappear in Lake Michigan with this weekend’s cold snap

2/6 - Chicago, IL – Nearly a year into the pandemic, a week after shoveling out a foot of snow and on the cusp of another Midwestern cold snap, ice along the Chicago shoreline may look like how your spirit feels: flattened like a pancake.

On a recent morning, ice resembling imperfect Frisbees jostled along the shore at 63rd Street Beach. Some large slabs looking like deep-dish pizzas were spotted north near Fullerton Avenue. The pancake ice, rounded off with crusted rims, offered up an unusual view of Lake Michigan from above and a change of scenery for those walking by down below.

Hayley Shen, an emeritus professor of Clarkson University in New York, said the first time she saw photos of pancake ice, it was Lake Michigan.

Shen’s research has involved modeling wave action and ice cover, and she was part of an international group of researchers who studied those relationships in the Arctic, including the formation of pancake ice. First, Shen said, “There must be waves.”

Using wave tanks to simulate conditions, researchers found the size of the pancakes is connected to water’s turbulence, including wave amplitude and the distance between crests. Generally, the choppier the waves, the smaller the pancakes, Shen said.

If the waters are calm as Chicago heads into a cold snap, the pancakes might grow larger or link up with neighbors, Shen said. “After the snow falls on them, you gradually lose the features of the pancake and you’ll just see a flat sheet of ice,” she said. If more waves come, the pancakes might crack into smaller pieces.

“People may wonder,” Shen said, “why is it important to study pancakes?” The ice formation can decrease wave intensity, which can have major implications for ships navigating wavy waters. “Pancake ice is a very effective damper,” Shen said.

Researchers are also studying why more pancake ice is appearing in the Arctic and its connections to climate change.

Toward the end of January, ice cover across the surface area of the Great Lakes hit record lows for that time of year. Ice cover is highly variable, regularly fluctuating between extremes; some years see almost full coverage while others dip below a fifth.

“It’s almost atypical to have a year where it’s close to the average,” said James Kessler, a physical scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

More notable was that each lake experienced a top-five lowest average ice cover for January, Kessler said. Lake Michigan had its second lowest on record with less than 4% ice cover. “Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes average were both No. 2 for lowest Januarys,” Kessler said. “So that was significant.”

Maximum ice coverage across the Great Lakes is declining 5% per decade, according to records since 1973. Lake Michigan’s ice coverage decline of about 3.6% is slightly less pronounced.

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/environment/ct-lake-michigan-pancake-ice-20210205-5rx47zkornheraqykrbv5al2qi-story.html

 

Port Reports -  February 6

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault loading at Compass Minerals Friday, salt for Milwaukee. Algoma Intrepid tied up at North Pier, will load next.

Lake Erie Ports for Friday – Bill Kloss
No traffic to report.

 

Island Princess gets council go-ahead to drop anchor

2/6 - Midland, ON – The Island Princess' co-owner is excited about the win-win venture that's coming to Midland this spring. "We're as pumped as we can be," said Jerry Hogenhout, a Toronto-based accountant, who is co-owner of the boat with Midland's David Scoffield and Dave Plewes, who run Georgian Shores Catering. "It's incredible what's happened since we made the commitment. It's a huge opportunity for us."

Hogenhout was talking to MidlandToday a day after council approved the changes to be made at the town dock to accommodate the boat. The changes would be the construction of a 40m x 40m roadway to be used as an access road from the parking lot to the edge of the pier, where the Island Princess will dock beginning this spring. The cost for this is estimated at $25,000, along with electrical servicing for an estimated $7,000.

All costs associated with the servicing and access requirements will be paid by Georgian Shores Boat Tours Inc., the company the three partners formed when they bought the boat.

Island Princess is currently sitting in Orillia and will be moved to Midland once the locks open up in May. "It's a 10-day venture," said Hogenhout, adding they'd initially toyed with the idea of a name-change, but decided to stick with Island Princess. "They have to take it through the locks into Lake Ontario and bring it in to Lake Huron."

The intent, he said, is to move it to Midland and then do some cosmetic sprucing.

"In a perfect world, we will be in business on July 1," Hogenhout said. "I'm not ignorant to the fact that there might be a surprise or two."

MidlandToday

 

Digital Book “Seaway Queens” author offers virtual Kingston Marine Museum program

2/6 - Kingston, ON – Now in its 4th season, join the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes and the Kingston Yacht Club for our Nautical Nights Winter Speaker Series!

“Seaway Queens” focuses on the design and beauty of the most celebrated Lakes vessels built on the U.S. and Canadian sides of the Great Lakes between 1950-69. Includes first-person accounts and interviews with some of the builders and shapers of both the vessels and the industry as a whole. It also takes a brief look at the modern era, where technology and innovation ensure the freshwater fleet continues to play a vital role in society.

Jim McRae has been on and around Lakers all of his life, beginning as a young boy when he first started visiting the ships during winter layup in his hometown of Montreal. Over the years, he had part-time jobs aboard ship during college, and has featured the Great Lakes - Seaway industry in much of his work over two decades. He’s probably shared stories with more sailors than anyone else in Canada, beginning with his dad.

Tickets are $5 and all funds go directly to support speaker honorariums. Registration is required to receive a link to the event and closes 2-hours before the start of each presentation. Deadline is 10 February at 5pm.

Marine Museum of the Great Lakes

 

Marine News report for February 2021

2/6 - Vessels with Great Lakes / St Lawrence Seaway connection - reported as a Casualty or Sold for Demolition, taken from February 2021 issue of Marine News - journal of the World Ship Society

Casualty: PETER KÖNNA (9198628) (Svend-06, Peter Könna-03 - 1st seaway trip 2014) 2,194 / 2002 general cargo ship - owners unknown – stranded on the seawall 12.11.2020 after breaking anchor chain in typhoon Ulysses at Bay City, Metro Manila, Philippines - the three crew members got ashore

BOTHNIA I (9079157, St. Kitts & Nevis) (Nordic Bothnia-20, ID Bothnia-09, Cedar 5-09, Moon Dance-09, Ice Trader II-08, Franklin-08. Lady Franklin-05 - regular trader into Montreal) 27,078 / 1995 bulk carrier - By Vega Marine Ltd (Prayati Shipping Pvt Ltd), Marshall Islands, to Rai Metal Works Pvt Ltd, and commenced demolition 15.01.2020

Demolitions:
JIN XING (8500460; Panama) (Luilang Wisdom-13, Alaska Rainbow-09 - 1st seaway trip 2000) 13,898 / 1985 bulk carrier - Rongxing Marine Shipping Co Ltd (Fu Long Marine Shiping Co Ltd), People's Republic of China, to Master & Brothers, Bangladesh and arrived Chittagong 20.02.2020 - commenced demolition 27.01.2020

NAZLIKIZ (7531369; Comoros) (Steines-11, Millennium N-05, Millennium-04, Aquarius2-98, Aquarius-97 - 1st trip in seaway 1990, Boxy-89 - 1st seaway trip 1989) 6,355 / 1978 general cargo ship, self-unloading - By BAF Bunkering & Shipping S de RL (Yenal Gemi Isletmeciligi AS) Panama, to Usman Steel Pvt Ltd, Pakistan and arrived Gadani Beach 26.08.2020 - commenced demolition 26.08.2020

SUPERTRAMP (9216602; Marshall Islands) (Dimitrios K-18 - 1st seaway trip 2014, Ladytramp-13, Atlantic Castle-07 - 1st seaway trip 2006, Cedar -03 - 1st seaway trip 2001) 16,807 / 2001 general cargo ship - by Mandraki Shipping & Trading Ltd (Korkyra Shipping Ltd) (Korkyra Shipping DOO) Marshall Islands, to Bangladesh breakers, and arrived Chittagong 10.02.2020 - commenced demolition 14.02.2020UNI-BROTHERS (8312071; Sierra Leone) (Atlantic Cozumel-12, Alam Sempurna-09 - 1st seaway trip 1993, Saint Laurent-91 - 1st seaway trip 1984) 7,065 / 1984 bulk carrier - By Cem Shipping Co, Marshall Islands, to Imran Shipbreaking, Pakistan, and arrived Gadani Beach 22.08.2020 - commenced demolition 22.08.2020

Report prepared by Barry Andersen and René Beauchamp

 

Help wanted: Grand River Navigation Co., Chief Engineer

2/6 - Grand River Navigation Company is the U.S. operating subsidiary of Rand Logistics Corporation. Together with our Canadian sister company, Lower Lakes Towing Ltd., we are one of the largest marine transportation service providers operating on the Great Lakes today with our combined fleet of bulk freight vessel is providing service to over 50 customers across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.

Our company is searching for qualified candidates for the position of Master aboard our US flagged self-unloading vessels.

Responsibilities
• The Chief Engineer is directly responsible to the Company and the Captain for the safe, efficient, and economical operation and maintenance of all the vessels machinery
• The Chief Engineer is responsible for the supervision of all personnel under their charge. These personnel include all the engineers, oilers, day persons, mechanical assistants, conveyor personnel, engine room cadets, any extra personnel assigned to the chief engineer, or contractors on board conducting repairs. When the vessel transits restricted waters and / or is maneuvering the Chief Engineer is immediately available to assist the watch Engineer in the Engine Room
• The Chief Engineer will be responsible for the entire vessel during lay-up/re-fit and dry-docking of the vessel other than when the vessel is under the care of a ship-keeper.
• The Chief Engineer is responsible for the supervision and assistance to all contractors who board the vessel to conduct maintenance or repairs during the shipping season or winter lay-up period other

Qualifications
• Passport and allowed entry into the Canada
• Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) issued by the USCG
• Endorsement as Master of Self Propelled Vessels of Unlimited Tonnage upon the Great Lakes and Inland Waters
• First Class Pilot of Vessels of Unlimited Tonnage upon the Great Lakes between Duluth, Gary, Buffalo and Port Weller to Cape Vincent
• Certification as Ship Security Officer
• Transportation Worker Identification (TWIC) issued by TSA
• Excellent communication and team work skills as well as the ability to multi-task

Why Choose Grand River Navigation?
• As an employee you are part of the Rand Logistics family where Teamwork and safety are a core value
• Highly competitive wages and benefits
• The best leave system in the industry
• We pay for your travel to and from the vessel
• Excellent Health and Retirement Benefits
• Excellent safety record

Job Type: Permanent
To Apply Send your Resume with Cover Letter in confidence to:
Human Resources Department
Grand River Navigation Company
1026 Hannah Ave STE D
Traverse City, MI 49686
VIA email: jobs@randlog.com

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

St. Clair River ice blockages cause flooding in East China Township, surrounding cities

2/5 - St. Clair, MI – The National Weather Service extended its flood warning through Friday after ice blockages in the St. Clair River caused water to flow downstream, which flooded surrounding areas.

Meteorologist with the National Weather Service Andrew Arnold said there's flooding to homes and businesses in East China Township. There's also minor flooding to surrounding cities by the St. Clair River area such as Marine City and St. Clair.

"Whenever you get those ice blockages there, not a lot of the water is able to float downstream," Arnold said. "So then it just sorts of piles up in that general location and kind of comes up and then out of the banks."

Arnold said the river's water level is about 580 feet with minor fluctuations. The high water level and the National Weather Service's river gauges indicate major flooding, he said.

According to the Times Herald in Port Huron, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay and Canadian Coast Guard Griffon were sent to break up the ice jams on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard Neah Bay, from Cleveland, and Canadian Coast Guard ship Samuel Risley also assisted in breaking up the ice.

East China Township is issuing sandbags to residents, which act as a barrier against the floodwaters, the city's website states. Residents can pick up a limit of 100 sandbags at the East China Township Wastewater Plant that's located at 1244 Record Road.

Detroit Free Press

 

Steel mills operating at about three-fourths of capacity

2/5 - NW Indiana – Great Lakes steel production fell by 6,000 tons last week, the second straight week of decline, and remains depressed by nearly 10%, with U.S. steel mills only operating at about three-fourths of capacity, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Steel mills in the Great Lakes region, clustered mainly along the lakeshore in Northwest Indiana, made 608,000 tons of metal in the week that ended Jan. 30, down from 614,000 tons the previous week.

Overall, domestic steel mills in the United States made 1.725 million tons of steel last week, up 0.5% from 1.717 million tons the previous week, but down 9.5% as compared to 1.9 million tons the same time a year prior.

Steel capacity utilization has fallen by 6.5 percentage points year-over-year though the end of January.

So far this year, domestic steel mills in the United States have made 7.36 million tons of steel, a 9.7% decrease compared to the 8.14 million tons made during the same period in 2020.

U.S. steel mills have run at a capacity utilization rate of 75.9% through Jan. 30, down from 82.4% at the same point in 2020, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Steel capacity utilization nationwide was 76.1% last week, which was down from 82.4% at the same time a year ago but up from 75.7% at the same time a week prior.

Steel production in the southern region, a wide geographic swath that encompasses many mini-mills and rivals the Great Lakes region in output, was 710,000 tons last week, up from 692,000 tons the week before. Volume in the rest of the Midwest fell to 186,000 tons, down from 189,000 tons the week prior.

NW Indiana Times

 

Port Reports -  February 5

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

Lake Erie Ports for Thursday – Bill Kloss
Cleveland: Prentiss Brown departed for Charlevoix at 11:58 Nanticoke: Algonova departed Wednesday night for Sarnia.

 

A year after auction, decommissioned Coast Guard ship still 'safe and sound'

2/5 - Port Huron, MI – A year after the ship was sold as part of a federal lawsuit, the former U.S. Coast Guard ship Bramble remains moored in Alabama. But Phillip Mason, vice president of operations for Modern American Recycling Services’ Waggaman and Mobile facilities which purchased the ship, said the Bramble is still “safe and sound.”

Previously Mason had said the company planned to incorporate the Bramble into their fleet, which recycle oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. But in an email Friday, Mason said the company has no plans for the ship’s future.

“Just keeping her safe and locked up,” he said.

Mason didn't respond to an email asking why Modern American Recycling Service purchased the Bramble. According to the U.S. Marshals, the winning bid for the ship was $80,000.

Photos sent by Mason show the ship moored in a narrow waterway with paint missing from its hull on the bow and port side, where the coast guard's orange and blue stripes were once displayed. A crane that once held one of the ship's smaller boats now hangs empty above streaks of rust.

The Bramble began to call Port Huron home in 1975 and remained until 2019, even after being decommissioned and established as a museum in 2003. The ship was purchased by Virginia businessman Tom Clarke, who planned to recreate the ship's historic Northwest Passage voyage, which it completed in 1957 with cutters Spar and Storis.

To prepare for the trip, Bramble was sailed to Mobile to be retrofitted for the journey. But in October 2019, Inchcape Shipping Services, Inc., filed a federal lawsuit alleging Bramble Historical Epic Companies, LLC and Orinico Natural Resources, LLC had not paid $178,000 for services between March and April 2019. An order was issued that month to auction the ship as part of the suit.

Detroit Free Press

 

USCG Alder to break ice at Duluth-Superior

2/5 - Duluth, MN – On Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder will sail from its dock in Duluth to assist a tug-barge from Fraser Shipyard to Superior Midwest Energy Terminal. A track through the ice will be started at the west end of Howards Bay, through East Gate Basin, then proceed east down the Superior Front Channel to the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal. Coast Guard Cutter Alder will be monitoring VHF Channel 16 throughout the icebreaking evolution.

USCG

 

Griffintown Media's Digital Book Featured at Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston February 10 at 7pm

2/5  
Now in its 4th season, join the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes and the Kingston Yacht Club for our Nautical Nights Winter Speaker Series.

There so many topics to choose from this year; from historic sites and local history to seaway legends and sailing.

Tickets are $5 and all funds go directly to support speaker honorariums. Registration is required to receive a link to the event and closes 2-hours before the start of each presentation. Deadline is 10 February at 5pm.

Seaway Queens focuses on the design and beauty of the most celebrated Lakes vessels built on the U.S. and Canadian sides of the Great Lakes between 1950-69. Includes first-person accounts and interviews with some of the builders and shapers of both the vessels and the industry as a whole. It also takes a brief look at the modern era, where technology and innovation ensure the freshwater fleet continues to play a vital role in society.

Jim McRae has been on and around Lakers all of his life, beginning as a young boy when he first started visiting the ships during winter layup in his hometown of Montreal. Over the years, he had part-time jobs aboard ship during college, and has featured the Great Lakes - Seaway industry in much of his work over two decades. He’s probably shared stories with more sailors than anyone else in Canada, beginning with his dad.

You are also welcome to purchase and read the online book ahead of time here, giving you more time to gather your questions for Jim.
https://www.marmuseum.ca/education/nautical-nights

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

J.B. Ford scrapping finally begins at Duluth

2/4 - Duluth, MN – Scrapping has started on the long-retired cement carrier/storage vessel J.B. Ford at Azcon Metals in Duluth. The stack is now gone. J.B. Ford was built in 1904 and last operated in 1985. She was most recently used as a cement storage and transfer vessel at Superior, WI, and sailed in her early years as Edwin F. Holmes and E.C. Collins.

Michael Konczak

 

Two more icebreakers deployed to help relieve St. Clair River flooding

2/4 - Port Huron, MI – A strong north wind and heavy brash ice in the St. Clair River resulted in an ice jam and flooding in communities in southern St. Clair County this week. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay and Canadian Coast Guard Griffon were deployed Tuesday afternoon to help break up the ice jams.

Griffon was underway until about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night, flushing ice that was contributing to the flooding. The Bristol Bay experienced mechanical and personnel issues that made them feel they couldn't safely continue and had to moor early, according to Lt. Jeremiah Schiessel.

Both ships resumed operations shortly after daybreak Wednesday morning, and were expected to continue throughout the day. "They're the experts, when they feel enough ice is broken and the flow is steady enough to improve the situation they'll assess their next course of action," said Schiessel.

Wednesday afternoon, the USCGC Neah Bay, from Cleveland, and Canadian Coast Guard ship Samuel Risley were also deployed. Ships will continue to work until the situation is mitigated, said Schiessel.

The U.S. Coast Guard is urging anyone affected by the flooding to contact their local emergency managers, who will process reports with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

St. Clair County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Justin Westmiller said flooding is impacting most communities along southern St. Clair River, including Marine City, East China and St. Clair.

While the water has been receding in Algonac, Westmiller said it continues to rise further north along the river.

Marine City City Manager Elaine Leven said there is some flooding along the Belle River and the St. Clair River on Water Street. Water is mostly coming up to the front yards of homes and businesses, and in most cases hasn't entered the buildings, she said. The flooding comes as National Weather Service projects dropping temperatures heading into the weekend that will prompt more ice build-up.

Times Herald

 

Giant vacuums clean empty Soo Locks in winter: 5 things found at the bottom

2/4 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Anyone who has been behind the handle of a vacuum knows some pretty strange stuff can get sucked up from under the couch or behind a chair.

But what if you had to use a huge, industrial vacuum with a hose wider than your arm to clean up the bottom of Michigan's Soo Locks, drained dry after a season that saw more than 4,500 ships pass through them?

Each year during its winter maintenance season, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Detroit District shuts down the massive lock system in the St. Marys River that helps the ships get from Lake Huron up to the higher-level Lake Superior, then back down again.

This means pumping out 73.3 million gallons of water from the Poe and MacArthur locks - the only locks of the four at the Soo that are in regular use.

Once the locks are drained, the engineers and work crews can make needed repairs, and clean up everything before the locks are refilled and re-opened for the new Great Lakes shipping season, which starts on March 25.

Earlier this winter, the Army Corps shared a series of photos showing how they clean out the locks -- and what they find at the very bottom when they descend the stairs to the chamber underneath the lock floor.

"One of the important tasks our crews are tackling at the Soo Locks this winter is debris removal, or 'mucking' below the lock floor. Despite using a high-powered vacuum, this still involves a lot of hard, dirty work," the Army Corps said in a recent post on its Facebook page.

We talked to the group for more details about some of the odd things they found this winter, and the down-and-dirty process of doing their spring cleaning. With their permission, we're sharing their photos and descriptions of the work.

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.mlive.com/life-and-culture/g66l-2019/03/7e865642aa5267/giant-vacuums-clean-empty-soo-locks-in-winter-5-things-found-at-the-bottom.html

 

Port Reports -  February 4

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Wednesday; 4:24 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes weighed anchor and departed for Detroit. At 17:18 she docked at the Port Huron Seaway Terminal for the night.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Niagara cleared 11.54 am Wednesday upbound for Chicago with salt. Algoma Sault arrived 4 pm Wednesday, turned in basin, loading at Compass Minerals.

Lake Erie Ports for Wednesday – Bill Kloss
Cleveland: Prentiss Brown arrived at 18:44 to unload at St. Marys Cement.

 

Toledo grain silos will be transformed into a massive mural

2/4 - Toledo, OH – Grain silos may not be the first place that comes to mind as a spot to create artwork, but that’s exactly what is about to happen in Toledo. 28 ADM silos along the Maumee River are about to become host to a mural. It’s called the Glass City River Wall.

“Sometimes I pinch myself that this is really happening,” says Nicole LeBoutillier, who was among a group of friends who rode past the silos on a boat back in 2019. It was then the idea for the project was born.

“What an opportunity to change your community for the better. This is life-changing for me,” says Christina Kasper, who has also been part of the project from the start.

The silos provide a 160-thousand square-foot blank canvas that tens of thousands will see on a daily basis. n“More than 82,000 vehicles pass there every day so we’re talking about 30 million views a year,” says Kasper.

Gabe Gault, a well-known California artist, is creating the mural. He’s working on his final version, but an early rendering included a field of sunflowers, blue skies, and a Native American woman representing the region’s first farmers.

“There will be little surprises sprinkled throughout to remind us what makes this space, and this community so special,” says Kasper.

So just how do you paint a mural on silos? The final design will be projected onto the silos, and crews will then use a Paint-By-Number technique. Work gets underway in June and the project is expected to be finished in August. But it’s about more than just art. “We have included an education curriculum, there is also economic development with it,” says LeBoutillier. “It is so much bigger than a beautification project.”

The project has a price tag of about $750,000. About $500,000 has already been raised, and everyone has a chance to be part of reaching the goal. “We want the community to be involved in this,” says LeBoutillier. “You can donate $1, $5, OR $5,000.”

“I think this will be a way for Toledo to be recognized the way she deserves. Period,” says Kasper.

WTVG

 

Public shouldn't be blocked from strolling Burlington Canal piers, mayor says

2/4 - Hamilton, ON – Hamilton's mayor is calling on the federal government to reconsider a plan to install swing gates blocking access to two Burlington Canal piers that are popular for photos, strolls and boat watching.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger has written to Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, telling him residents will be upset if Ottawa installs metal barriers on either side of the canal.

The piers are near Hamilton's popular waterfront trail that runs along the Lake Ontario shore. They're also near the Burlington Canal lift bridge, and people stand on the piers to watch large, eye-catching vessels enter Hamilton Harbour.

"This is a popular spot for walkers, sight seers, photographers and people fishing, not only by local residents of the Beach Strip community, but by people throughout Hamilton and Burlington and the wider region," Eisenberger wrote in the Jan. 28 letter.

"As you can imagine, the public can be expected to react negatively to this." Transport Canada has cited safety concerns, including ice and high waves, as a reason to install metal barriers at the shoreline. The work is planned for the spring.

The department, which installed warning signs in the fall, said it knows people use the piers for recreational purposes, but it's a commercial site.

"Transport Canada has observed an increase in pedestrian activity at this commercial site and has deemed these safety related measures necessary to ensure public safety at the piers," the department said in an email.

"Transport Canada is aware that the Burlington Canal piers has been used in the past by local residents for recreational purposes. However, this is not the intended purpose of this commercial site. As this property does not have the necessary infrastructure to mitigate the possibility of personal injury, limiting access to this site is necessary, particularly during inclement conditions that impact the site such as periods of high-water levels, and ice build-up over the winter months."

Eisenberger says he understands the safety concerns, but thinks there are other options, including a gate that can be closed in bad weather. Marianne Meed Ward, mayor of Burlington, says she isn't a fan of the federal government's plan either.

Meed Ward says she met with former transport minister, Marc Garneau, to discourage permanent gates, and hopes to meet with Alghabra too. In a December letter, she suggested other options to fulfil both public usage and safety concerns, such as the bollards the city installed at Spencer Smith Park.

The piers are "one of the ways people enjoy our beautiful and wonderful waterfronts," she said. "They're actually a part of our regional waterfront parks plan that is a $50-million plan with Halton Region."

CBC

 

Meet the captain of the Mesabi Miner

2/4 - The master of the Mesabi Miner, Captain Paul Berger, joins us in conversation to share insights into what it takes to become a captain and share highlights of his career on the Great Lakes. Learn what it is like to live and work on a freighter and have a chance to ask your own questions about this unique career.

The free program begins at 12:30 EST (11:30 CST), today, Thursday, February 4 in the Virtual Visitor Center, use a Chrome browser to join on the web: https://www.gotomeet.me/VirtualVisitorCenter/mesabi-miner . For those unable to attend live, the program will be recorded and posted later on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqtbMFyAaYYO9TIAaaK2HTLr0Ph4A5FRF. The Virtual Visitor Center is a cooperative endeavor between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Soo Locks Visitor Center Association and Lake Superior Marine Museum Association.

Soo Locks Visitor Center Association

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cause of Roger Blough fire under investigation

2/3 - Sturgeon Bay, WI – Emergency responders used more than a million gallons of water to safely put out the fire that caught early Monday morning on a bulker docked in winter layup at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay.

It would be many hours after the initial dispatch at 1:38 am Monday before crews finished at the berth of the Roger Blough, an 858-foot, self-unloading iron-ore bulk carrier. Only one minor injury resulted from the fire, according to Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward.

Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Dietman said in a statement that the department, responding to reports of smoke coming from the Blough’s cabin area, would meet heavy smoke coming from the ship’s upper level upon arrival. All of the Blough’s crew members were immediately accounted for, along with those on adjoining boats, Dietman said.

The smoke still billowing from the ship as dawn broke had stopped around noon. Dietman said it took approximately 1.4 million gallons of water to extinguish the fire. The Sturgeon Bay Fire Department led the firefighting efforts, with assistance pouring in from departments across the peninsula.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, United States Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board, Dietman said. No other information will be released until that investigation is complete.

Door County Pulse

 

Port Reports -  February 3

Northern Lake Huron
Cheboygan: Tuesday; 6:12 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes departed for Detroit. At 14:53 she went to anchor in Thunder Bay off of Alpena.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Niagara loading at Compass Minerals, salt for Chicago.

Lake Erie Ports for Tuesday – Bill Kloss
Monroe: New York/Double Skin 509A arrived from Detroit at 13:28.
Nanticoke: Algonova came in from anchorage at 7:17 and went to Imperial Oil.

 

Federal officials probing 'path of destruction' train crash at Goderich harbor

2/3 - Goderich, ON – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating a train derailment in Goderich that trapped two people in a pickup truck and demolished an historic fish shanty.

“I was down there pretty quick with the responders,” Goderich Mayor John Grace said. “I was impressed with how fast, with how effective and the number of responders that were on site within minutes. “Everyone is safe. There is considerable damage done to the rail cars, and some infrastructure at the harbor.”

A freight train on the Goderich-Exeter Railway left a path of destruction shortly after 1:30 p.m. Monday. The runaway train demolished a transport truck and trailer that had just been loaded at the grain elevators at the Goderich Harbor, Huron OPP said. The driver was not inside the truck

Ten cars derailed as the train headed west toward Lake Huron, striking a pickup truck and plowing into the shanty before coming to a stop. Two people trapped inside the pickup were freed by Goderich firefighters, police said. The occupants of the truck were not injured. A damage estimate is not available, Huron OPP said.

The Transportation Safety Board has sent an investigator to Goderich. The agency will download the information from the locomotive event recorder, which is similar to a black box, as part of its probe, spokesperson Chris Krepski said.

“Right now, it looks like there was an uncontrolled movement of the train, so now it’s a matter of looking at the circumstances that led to this and that can take some time,” he said. “We need to take a look at the condition of the track (and) find out what operating practices and procedures were in place at the railway.”

The fish shanty was located between the grain elevators and an area normally frequented by pedestrians. Designated in 2015 by the Ontario Heritage Trust, the wooden building with a metal roof reflected the significance of commercial fishing in Goderich, the lone deep-water harbor on the eastern shore of Lake Huron. Fish shanties built by local fishing families used to line the south side of the harbor. The last remaining shanty damaged in the derailment was being used for storage.

Goderich Signal Star, Phil Nash

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Crews put out fire aboard the Roger Blough

2/2 - Sturgeon Bay, WI – No injuries were reported from a Monday fire aboard a freighter ship docked for the winter at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding.

The fire was reported at about 2 a.m. aboard the Roger Blough, one of a number of Great Lakes freighters that spends its winter layover at Bay Ship. Smoke could be seen coming from the stern end of the ship and may have started in the area containing the unloading belts. Efforts to make sure the fire was contained stretched into the afternoon.

Fire Chief Tim Dietman said that crews had trouble finding the source of the fire.

Damage as of Monday afternoon appears limited to the ship itself, said Eric Dent, communications director for Fincantieri. He said he didn't know if anyone was aboard when the fire happened, but those would have been limited to a few essential crew members for the layover or maintenance personnel.

"It appears the (Sturgeon Bay) fire department showed up, did its job and did a good job keeping the fire contained to one vessel," Dent said. The cause is not yet known but an investigation is underway, Dent said.

Vessels moored on either side of the Blough, James R. Barker and American Mariner, appear to have escaped damage, although that has not been confirmed.

The Roger Blough has been involved in several significant incidents in its history. The 858-foot-long, self-unloading freighter was supposed to launch in July 1971, but an engine room fire that killed four people a few weeks before delayed its

According to a statement from Keystone Shipping, which operates the Blough, representative from Keystone were on the scene and are cooperating fully with the United States Coast Guard to assess the damage and to determine the cause. Keystone Shipping would like to thank the first responders for their hard work and support throughout this incident.

The Roger Blough is part of the CN's Great Lakes Fleet, and was one of the boats that was tied up during the slowdown in 2020 because of the pandemic.

The Blough has been involved in several significant incidents in its history. The 858-foot-long, self-unloading freighter was supposed to launch in July 1971, but an engine room fire that killed four people a few weeks before delayed its launch until 1972.

More recently, the Roger Blough ran aground with a load of cargo on a reef in Lake Superior's Whitefish Bay on May 27, 2016. It began offloading cargo June 3 and came free of the reef a day later. After evaluating the damage and making some repairs, the ship was escorted to Bay Ship about a week later for final repairs.

WDIO

 

Port Reports -  February 2

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Niagara loading at Compass Minerals Monday, salt for Chicago.

Lake Erie Ports for Monday – Bill Kloss
Nanticoke: Algosea departed Sunday for Sarnia. Algonova arrived from Sarnia at 14:12 and went on the hook off of Port Dover.

 

USCG flies out to fix Michigan lighthouse known as ‘the Loneliest Place in the World’

2/2 - Lake Superior – After a harsh winter storm blew out a window in the very remote Stannard Rock Lighthouse in Lake Superior, a team from the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alder recently hitched a ride on a Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City to make the icy repair.

Teams had been worried the missing window could threaten the electronics inside - and even the working light - at the historic lighthouse that sits off the eastern shore of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula.

Built 24 miles from the Upper Peninsula shoreline, Stannard Rock is considered the lighthouse farthest from shore in the contiguous United States. That has earned it the grim moniker as “The Loneliest Place in the World.” Stannard Rock sits 24 miles from the Upper Peninsula mainland, making it the farthest from shore of any lighthouse in the contiguous United States.

Petty Officers Craig Campomizzi and John Ziemba, part of the Aids to Navigation Team aboard the Duluth-based cutter Alder, made the Jan. 26 trip out to Stannard Rock with help from the Traverse City-based chopper crew.

“The weather wasn’t the most conducive at single-digit temperatures and frequent snow squalls, but thanks to the keen skill and professionalism of the air crew, they were able to make five hoists using a rescue basket to get Petty Officer Ziemba, myself, and our gear safely onto the icy structure,” Petty Officer Campomizzi told MLive. “While Petty Officer Ziemba ensured the light was operating within specified parameters and the structure was sound, I got to work boarding up the missing window until the Superior Watershed Partnership and Land Conservancy can get out there in the spring to affect a permanent window replacement.”

Built in 1883, the Stannard Rock station is well-known among Great Lakes lighthouse lore lovers. Its exposed crib - or base structure - is considered one of the Top 10 engineering feats in the U.S., according to the National Park Service. And it was built to mark a huge underwater reef that was considered one of the most dangerous obstacles to shipping in Lake Superior. The top of a large underwater mountain was found to sit just 4 feet from the surface of the water in some spots.

As such a remote lighthouse, Stannard Rock was considered one of the “stag stations,” where male keepers and assistants could work, but could not bring their families like they could at other assignments.

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.mlive.com/news/2021/02/coast-guard-flies-out-to-fix-remote-michigan-lighthouse-known-as-the-loneliest-place-in-the-world.html

 

Annual St. Clair Marine Mart cancelled for 2021

2/2 - St. Clair, MI - The Board of Directors of Lake Huron Lore Marine Society have cancelled the 2021 St Clair Marine Mart due to ongoing concerns with the COVID pandemic and the inability to assure a safe and healthy environment for all participants. Further notice about the 2022 mart will be sent at the appropriate time.

Lake Huron Lore Marine Society

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Roger Blough on fire at Bay Shipbulding

2/1 - The Roger Blough is on fire at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay. Flames are coming out of the aft end where the unloading conveyor is located. The Sturgeon Bay and several other fire departments are at Bay Shipbuilding fighting the fire. The Blough is rafted between the James R. Barker and American Mariner at pier 15. Sarter Marine tugs have been called to try and separate the ships. There are no reports of injuries. Firefighters were called to the scene at about 2 a.m.

Sturgeon Bay webcam

Jim Conlon, WBAY

 

See behind-the-scenes photos of the draining process in the 1,200-foot Poe Lock

2/1 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – The Soo Locks closed earlier this month for the regular winter period, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Detroit District, has now posted photos showing what it looks like to dewater the locks.

The photos posted on the Facebook page show the dewatering process of the Poe Lock, the largest lock at the Soo at 1,200 feet long, 110 feet wide and 32 feet deep. It's the lock that the 1,000-foot freighters go in.

Related: Photos show inside the empty 1,200-foot-long lock at the Soo Locks

The first step, according to the U.S. Army Corps of engineers, is a crane lowering a panel bridge into place across the lock. Those bridges allow for heavy equipment to be moved when needed.

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.wxyz.com/news/see-behind-the-scenes-photos-of-the-draining-process-at-the-largest-soo-lock

 

Lay-up reports needed

2/1 - As the end of the shipping season approaches, please send reports of vessel lay-ups to news@boatnerd.net. This will help us compile our annual lay-up list. Include vessel name, date, port and name of lay-up dock. At this time we would like to acknowledge the late Dave Wobser for his many years of work maintaining the list and thank Matt Miner for agreeing to continue compiling this popular feature. Click here to view the Lay-Up List

 

Port Reports -  February 1

Northern Lake Michigan
Charlevoix: Saturday; 22:30 Prentiss Brown arrived at the St Marys Cement plant to load and departed Sunday at 18:48 for Toledo.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault cleared 1.05 am Sunday upbound for Milwaukee with salt. Algoma Intrepid cleared 3.50 pm Sunday upbound with salt. Algoma Niagara loading Sunday evening at Compass Minerals.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 31

Milwaukee, WI - MKE Marine Reports
After dumping nearly 28,000 metric tons of deicing salt on the open dock, outer harbor, Atlantic Huron cleared for Sarnia at 17:04 Friday (01/29). No additional marine traffic is currently expected.

Muskegon, MI – Muskegon Ships
Andrie tugs Barbara Andrie and Rebecca Lynn called on Muskegon on Friday. Rebecca Lynn arrived first, stopping at the Mart Dock, and proceeding to the Verplank's Cobb Dock to pick up her barge A-397. She and her barge departed for Indiana Harbor late in the evening. Barbara Andrie arrived and docked at the Andrie Dock for layup.

Northern Lake Huron
Cheboygan: 9:51 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes arrived at the US Oil Co terminal to unload petroleum products.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault loading at Compass Minerals Saturday. Algoma Intrepid tied up North Pier. Algoma Niagara expected next.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 31

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 30

Milwaukee, WI - MKE Marine Reports
Andrie tug Rebecca Lynn arrived off Milwaukee about 17:00 Thursday (01/28) with cement barge Innovation and spent the night beyond the breakwater. With an assist from fleetmate Barbara Andrie, Rebecca Lynn brought Innovation in at 06:04 Friday (01/29) and secured it at the Lafarge dock. Both tugs then headed back to Muskegon. Atlantic Huron arrived 06:57 Friday with deicing salt from Windsor. She backed into south slip one, outer harbor, and dropped her cargo at the open dock. No other marine traffic is currently expected.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid and Algoma Sault were anchored offshore Friday night.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
The tug New York and barge Double Skin 509A were loading at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal on Friday. Iver Bright was at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal.

Lake Erie Ports – Bill Kloss
Nanticoke: Algosea arrived from Sarnia at 09:35.

 

Virtual Lecture Series at National Museum of the Great Lakes

1/30 - Toledo – On Wednesday, February 3 at 7 p.m. the National Museum of the Great Lakes will host a roundtable discussion highlighting the “Port of Toledo: Then & Now.” The virtual event is a capstone to a multi-part, yearlong exhibit reflecting on both the history and present-day life on the Maumee River. The evening presentation will specifically focus on the topics of recreation, navigation, shipbuilding and cargo while featuring six Toledo-area experts and historians including former Eastern Michigan Director of Historic Preservation Ted Ligibel, Metroparks Toledo representative Shannon Hughes, East Toledo historian Larry Michaels, Lucas County Port Authority Vice President Joe Cappel, local history author and holytoledohistory.com curator Tedd Long and President of the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse Preservation Society Sandy Bihn.

The event is Free, however registration is required. Donations are encouraged and can be given upon registration. For more information on the event and to register visit nmgl.org. To learn more about the museum’s year-long Port of Toledo exhibit visit nmgl.org/portoftoledo.

 

Port Huron Web Camera link has changed

1/30 - New link: https://youtu.be/ng7LqJdT6H8

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 30

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 29

Milwaukee, WI - MKE Marine Reports
Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Challenger arrived 08:39 Thursday (01/28) with cement for the Kinnickinnic River terminal. The tug/barge was halted by ice in the inner harbor until tug Barbara Andrie arrived from Alpena at 11:03. After breaking ice for Brown/Challenger, Barbara Andrie retired to the Lafarge dock. Atlantic Huron is expected Friday with deicing salt from the Morton mines near Windsor.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault was outside Goderich Thursday, must be too windy to come into harbor. Algoma Intrepid expected next.

 

Seaway salties renamed

1/29 - Two saltwater vessels that made inland voyages into the Great Lakes/Seaway system during the 2020 shipping season have been renamed.

BBC Thames, IMO 9368340, built in 2008 which first came inland as such in 2015 and last visited in 2020 is now the Mys Dezhneva of Russian registry. This vessel once held the name Beluga Graduation from 2008 to 2009 but never came inland as such. As the BBC Thames, the vessel first came inland during the 2015 shipping season and returned again in the 2016 and 2017 seasons before a last visit in 2020. The vessel made two inland voyages in 2020. both to Lake Superior destinations. It first entered the Seaway in 2020 on August 29 and returned on October 10.

Industrial Skipper IMO 9741138, built in 2016 which first came inland as such in 2019 and last visited in 2020 is now the BBC Skipper of Liberian flag and registry. As the Industrial Skipper, it made three inland voyages during the 2020 shipping season however none were made to any Lake Superior destinations. The ship first entered the Seaway in 2020 on June 20 and it returned a second time on August 16 and then a third and final time on September 29.

Denny Dushane

 

Lake Carriers’ Association appoints new board chair and promotes staff

1/29 - Cleveland, OH – The (LCA) Board met January 27, 2021 and voted unanimously to appoint William Kutka, with Great Lakes Fleet, CN – Supply Chain Solutions, as the Chair of the Board and promoted Thomas Rayburn to Vice President of the Lake Carriers Association.

Mr. Kutka assumed the role of Chair from Mark Pietrocarlo of American Steamship Company who held the position for three years.

Tom Rayburn has been with LCA since 2015 focusing on environmental, infrastructure, and regulatory issues for LCA’s members. His promotion to Lakes Carriers’ Association Vice President comes at an ideal time as the Great Lakes maritime industry continues to address significant challenges including adequate icebreaking, maritime infrastructure investments such as the navigational locks in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, and the need to balance regulations with sustainable commercial shipping.

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 29

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jana Desgagnés heads to Russia

1/28 - The former Groupe Desgagnés tanker Jana Desgagnés left Montreal Tuesday night under the name Jana for Vladivistok in Russia. Her fleetmate Esta Desgagnés departed for Russia in 2020.

Marc Piché

 

New Captain Henry Jackman launched in China

1/28 - Algoma Central Corp.’s new Captain Henry Jackman was launched Dec. 25, 2020 at the Jiangsu Yangzi-Mitsui Shipbuilding Co. in China. This Seaway-Max gearless bulk carrier is expected to be delivered during the second quarter of 2021 and she will be the newest and most efficient vessel in Algoma’s domestic fleet. The design is being coined “Equinox 3.0” and it includes improvements in cargo deadweight capacity and equipment, all while maintaining the numerous performance efficiencies of the original Equinox Class design. A previous Capt. Henry Jackman was scrapped in Turkey in 2019.

Algoma Central Corp.

 

Port Reports -  January 28

Northern Lake Michigan:
Charlevoix: Wednesday; 4:01 Prentiss Brown and her barge arrived at the St Marys Cement plant to load and departed at 10:22 for Milwaukee.

Muskegon, MI – Muskegon Ships
Algoma Intrepid came into port around 7 a.m. Wednesday, with a cargo of salt for the Verplank Salt Dock. She loaded her cargo in Goderich, ON. This was her first visit to Muskegon, as the Intrepid arrived on the Great Lakes on her maiden voyage in November 2020.

Northern Lake Huron
Cheboygan: Wednesday; 8:14 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes departed for Sarnia. 14:15 USCG Mackinaw arrived at the coast guard station.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
No traffic for Goderich Wednesday, Algoma Sault and Algoma Intrepid expected in that order.

 

Coast Guard to close the South Channel

1/28 - Sault Ste Marie, MI – Captain of the Port Sault Ste Marie will close the South Channel Thursday January 28th at noon local time. The South Channel is located south of Bois Blanc Island near Cheboygan, MI.

USCG

 

Corps addresses concerns of potential building in Soo’s Canal Park

1/28 - Sault Ste. Marie MI – As local residents expressed concerns about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office being put into the Soo Locks Park, the Corps had a Town Hall to address some of these concerns and answered questions.

The Corps is planning to put a modular structure near the entrance of Canal Park as the new lock is constructed. While the Corps says the modular will only be placed temporarily, the new lock could take up to ten years to complete. The Corps welcomed comments and concerns from the public until Jan. 13. About 106 comments and concerns were received via the email address provided and on the district’s Facebook page.

“All of us ... really do want what’s best for the Sault Ste. Marie community,” said Isaac Freel, project manager, during the town hall. “It’s really our desire to get as much as the information, comments, feedback from everyone here so we can make the best decision. We want the most successful execution of this new Soo Lock project.”

The Corps addressed common concerns expressed by interested agencies, public groups and citizens by having a town hall. The town hall was hosted by city manager Brian Chapman, co-hosted by deputy city manager Robin Troyer and co-hosted by Freel.

This project will not impact public access to Canal Park. The placement of the structure will happen over the course of approximately two days during normal closing hours for the park. The connection to utilities and additional site work will be limited to this area of the park. The main entrance will remain open.

There were concerns over trees in the park. This proposed location for the modular has the least amount of trees that have to come down. Two trees will have to be removed for this project, however, one of the trees has been condemned as a result of disease.

After the project is complete, the Corps and Michigan State Historic Preservation Office have agreed that restoration efforts will include, but not be limited to, replacement of any removed trees of similar type, restoration of any grass area and restoration of any previously existing sidewalks to previous conditions. The Corps has agreed that upon the new lock being substantially completed, they will submit a timeline for the removal of the structure within one year of substantial completion and subsequent restoration of the site to the Preservation Office and National Park Service. These efforts have been agreed to by the Corps, the Preservation Office and the National Park Service.

After voicing concerns about unearthing Native American burial and funerary remains during construction of the temporary office space, the Corps said the possibility for this is very low. The area that the modular will be placed in is an area that has been surveyed from a previous project. The finding of culturally significant material, including intact burial and funerary objects, is unlikely.

“Given the historic nature of the Sault, this (question) comes up a bit,” said Curtis Sedlacek, district archeologist. “A Corps-provided archaeological monitor will be on site for any ground disturbing work in this area ... We are also in consultation with the Bay Mills Indian Community and Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa as well, they are aware of the project and they are invited to monitor during ground disturbance work with us.”

Other proposed locations for this project in the Soo Locks property have a greater risk for uncovering intact cultural material as they have not been surveyed or are not known to be previously disturbed. Should any cultural material be discovered during construction, all work will cease and the Corps will contact the Preservation Office, National Park Service and federally recognized tribes with a historic and cultural interest in the area and consult with them.

These other following locations were considered for this modular as well as the reasoning why they would not have worked for this project:

West end of Canal Park
This area of Canal Park was not considered as a viable option for installation of the temporary structures as it is already an area used for vital operations and maintenance activities done by the Army Corps for the continued operation of the Soo Locks throughout the year. Access to city utilities needed for the office space is difficult in this area and would require effort and costs that are prohibitive for this option.

Near the Comfort Station
Though the closest to the project site, the placement of the temporary structure near the Comfort Station would be in the most prominent viewing of the Soo Locks from the Canal Park main entrance and would occupy the same space as a paved overlook area that is frequently used by the public. Other locations reviewed for placement of the structures on the Soo Locks property have been determined to have less impact on visitor access to the park.

Near the Maintenance and Service Building
The placement of the temporary structure near the Maintenance and Service Building would have the least obstruction to the visitor’s view of the Locks, but it would place the office space the furthest away from the project site and would require the removal of six mature, healthy trees and the relocation of park fencing. This location presented drainage concerns that would have brought about additional time and cost to the project.

Near the Visitor Center
Though this location would offer adequate proximity of the office space to the project site, placement of the temporary structures near the Soo Locks Visitor Center would ultimately impede foot traffic between the Visitor Center and Viewing Stand of the Locks themselves, both vital parts of tourism for the Soo Locks. This location would also impact the park itself as park fencing would need to be moved and three mature, healthy trees would need to be removed.

The Corps further explained why the best location for this modular is near the main entrance of Canal Park from Portage Avenue. It minimizes removal of healthy trees and the location will minimize impacts to visitor’s view of the Locks as they enter the park. From the main entrance, the guard shelter will obscure the view of the structure and visitors will be focused towards the locks making the structure behind their line of sight. The area where the structure will be placed has very low use by visitors. Close proximity to the project site is crucial to the successful oversight of the construction project and this location provides efficient access to the construction site.

Securing a lease for a local office space or empty lot in Sault Ste. Marie would be considered prohibitive. Leasing a space large enough for the entire team, roughly 9,000 square-feet, would require the USACE to use the General Service Administration leasing process, which would take several years. New lock personnel are currently using space in the Soo Lock Visitor Center which threatens to impede public access of the center upon its reopening on May 9. To avoid this, a local office space is being leased beginning in April to accommodate the construction management team while the temporary structure is being designed and installed. This leased space will provide roughly 2,500 square-feet and is a short-term solution to restore full public access to the Visitor Center without stalling progress to the construction of the new lock.

The issue of parking also came up during the town hall and Corps employees will be parking in all available government-owned parking spaces first, only utilizing public parking as needed.

Mayor Don Gerrie expressed his gratitude towards the Army Corps and their efforts in this project. He reiterated the city commission’s concerns about the obstruction of the view of the Locks that the modular would impose on tourists and residents of Sault Ste. Marie. He also expressed the commission’s concerns about the aesthetic of the modular as well as potential parking issues.

However, Gerrie reiterated the trees that would have to come down as well as this location for the modular would pose the least disruption of tourist traffic.

“We thank you for this and we appreciate everything you do, we hope that you do the most tourist-friendly and certainly aesthetically pleasing alternative,” Gerrie said. “We know that you have to do this because you are guardians of the taxpayer money and you need to do the best decision possible for the Corps.”

The Sault News

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cason J. Callaway may sit out 2021 season

1/27 - Sturgeon Bay, WI – According to waterfront reports, the 1952-built steamer Cason J. Callaway of the Duluth-based Great Lakes Fleet will not operate in 2021. She will instead remain in layup at Bay Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, WI, possibly getting steel work done.

 

Tug makes epic journey across Atlantic to new home at Picton Terminals

1/27 - Picton, ON – A new tug is plying Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario waters after making an epic journey across the Atlantic Ocean to her new home at Picton Terminals in Prince Edward County.

The 106-foot-long tug has a 30-foot beam and a gross tonnage of 327. Amy Lynn D is big enough to comfortably house six crew and features a large bridge.

Sandy Berg, spokesperson for Picton Terminals, said the tug – built in 2013 in the Netherlands — was transported from Europe on a barge that was recently towed to Canada. “The epic journey was 9,214 nautical miles, sailed in 1,251 hours, and delivered the Amy Lynn D tugboat with Jacob Joseph C barge safely to Picton Terminals,” Berg said.

“The Amy Lynn D is traveling to Toronto all winter delivering barges of surplus aggregate. We have a multi-year contract with the Toronto Conservation Authority to build breakwaters at the Ashbridges Bay site. We are grateful for a mild winter to date where ice breaking hasn’t been required,” she said.

The Amy Lynn D has already made two trips from Picton to Toronto, she said. “We’re helping to build three breakwaters at Ashbridges Bay and technically, it’s for the Toronto Conservation Authority. It’s so the City of Toronto can expand the water treatment plant,” she said, adding work to ship aggregate at the site continues through the pandemic because the work is essential.

The delivery of aggregate to Toronto is expected to continue into 2022, she said.

If and when ice does cover Picton Bay and Lake Ontario, Berg said another tug owned by Picton Terminals, the Sheri Lynn S., will be breaking ice this winter. Come March 1, Picton Terminals will also task Amy Lynn D’s crew to move barges of aggregate to the Wolfe Island ferry project on Wolfe Island as well, Berg said.

Whig Standard

 

Port Reports -  January 27

Northern Lake Huron
Calcite: Tuesday; 0:03 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes departed for Cheboygan.
Cheboygan: Tuesday; 4:36 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes arrived at the US Oil Terminal to unload petroleum products.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Niagara departed in the morning Tuesday with salt for Chicago.

Lake Erie Ports for Tuesday – Bill Kloss
Monroe: The tug New York and her barge left for Detroit at 16:51.
Port Colborne: The Canadian Coast Guard cutter Griffon headed for the Western basin of Lake Erie.

 

‘Buy American’ executive order reiterates support of Jones Act

1/27 - President Joe Biden is set to sign an executive order, titled “Strengthening ‘Buy American’ Provisions, Ensuring Future of America is Made in America by All of America’s Workers,” ensuring that the federal government is investing taxpayer dollars in American manufacturers, businesses, and workers.

Notably for the domestic maritime industry, the executive order explicitly reiterates President Biden’s strong support of the Jones Act, the 100-year-old law that requires goods shipped between U.S. ports to be transported on ships that are built, owned, and operated by United States citizens or permanent residents. It also gives a nod to the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which the American Maritime Partnership recently described as the most consequential maritime legislation enacted in years.

The American Maritime Partnership (AMP) called the executive order extremely important and timely. The order has also attracted broad support from many major maritime and offshore business leaders, stakeholders and industry trade groups.

According to AMP, the U.S. maritime industry employs nearly 650,000 Americans across all U.S. 50 states and territories, and contributes $154 billion to the nation’s economic growth annually. The Jones Act fleet also now consists of some 40,000 vessels.

gCaptain

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 27

In 1912, the Great Lakes Engineering Works' Ecorse yard launched the steel bulk freighter WILLIAM P. SNYDER JR (Hull #83), for the Shenango Furnace Co.

LEON FALK JR. closed the 1974 season at Superior by loading 17,542 tons of ore bound for Detroit.

January 27, 1985 - CITY OF MIDLAND 41 had to return to port (Ludington) after heavy seas caused a 30-ton crane to fall off a truck on her car deck.

On 27 January 1978, ALLEGHENY, the training vessel of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy (built in 1944, at Orange, Texas as a sea-going naval tug) capsized at her winter dock at Traverse City, Michigan, from the weight of accumulated ice. She was recovered but required an expensive rebuild, was sold and renamed MALCOLM in 1979.

On 27 January 1893, Charles Lonsby and Louis Wolf purchased the 161- foot wooden steam barge THOMAS D. STIMSON for $28,000. The vessel was built in 1881, by W. J. Daley & Sons at Mt. Clemens, Michigan, as a schooner and was originally named VIRGINIUS. She was converted to a steamship in 1887.

1972: The Canadian coastal freighter VOYAGEUR D. hit a shoal off Pointe au Pic, Quebec, and was holed. It was able to make the wharf at St. Irenee but sank at the dock. The cargo of aluminum ingots was removed before the wreck was blow up with explosives on November 8, 1972.

1978: A major winter storm caught the American tanker SATURN on Lake Michigan and the ship was reported to be unable to make any headway in 20-foot waves. It left the Seaway for Caribbean service in 2003 and was renamed b) CENTENARIO TRADER at Sorel on the way south.

2002: SJARD first came through the Seaway in 2000. It was lost in a raging snowstorm 350 miles east of St. John's Newfoundland with a cargo of oil pipes while inbound from Kalinigrad, Russia. The crew of 14 took to the lifeboat and were picked up by the BEIRAMAR TRES.

2006: PINTAIL received extensive damage in a collision off Callao, Peru, with the TWIN STAR. The latter broke in two and sank. PINTAIL began Seaway service in 1996 and had been a regular Great Lakes trader as a) PUNICA beginning in 1983. The ship arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh, for scrapping as c) ANATHASIOS G. CALLITSIS and was beached on September 19. 2012. It had also traded inland under the final name in 2008 and 2009.

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

 

Great Lakes shipping down only 1.7% during 2020 season despite pandemic

1/26 - Great Lakes shipping only declined by 1.7% during the 2020 navigation season, despite the turmoil the coronavirus pandemic unleashed on the global economy.

"The Seaway’s 62nd navigation season was one of the most remarkable in history," said Craig Middlebrook, deputy administrator of the U.S. Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. "Despite all the challenges throughout the year, it was one of the safest and smoothest seasons on record. The final tonnage results continue to demonstrate the resilience of the bi-national waterway and its ability to remain competitive in the global marketplace.”

During the 2020 shipping season, shipments of grain rose 27.1% year-over-year to 13.3 million, coal 2% to 2.4 million, gypsum 32.8% to 859,000, asphalt 30.9% to 372,000 and steel slabs 181.7% to 503,000.

Wind turbine component cargoes also have been surging.

“The Port of Burns Harbor saw a total of 45 shipments of wind components, both via ship from overseas as well as domestic origins via deck barge,” said Port Director Ian Hirt. “We also handled approximately 10 ships containing components for gas-powered electric generation stations as the U.S. Midwest shifts away from coal.”

The Port of Duluth-Superior also had its second straight record-breaking year of wind turbine component cargo with 219,000 tons of freight coming in.

“Looking beyond the numbers, this port’s emergence as a wind cargo hub is an important win for cargo diversity and also for the expansion of renewable energy nationwide,” said Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “It’s been a difficult year under the cloud of a global pandemic, but this freight tonnage record is a much-appreciated highlight, made even better by the fact that Duluth Cargo Connect set records in consecutive seasons.”

About 143.5 million tons of cargo passes every year through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System, a marine highway that stretches 2,300 miles from the Atlantic Ocean to Great Lakes ports like the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor and the Port of Chicago.

International shipping on the Great Lakes generates $35 billion in economic activity and supports more than 237,868 jobs.

NW Indiana Times

 

Port Reports -  January 26

Northern Lake Huron
Calcite: Monday; 2:04 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes arrived to unload petroleum products.
Alpena: Monday; 15:08 Rebecca Lynn and barge departed the Lafarge plant for a Lake Michigan port.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid cleared 4.40 pm Monday upbound for Muskegon with salt. Algoma Niagara backed into Compass Minerals 5.15 pm Monday.

Lake Erie Ports for Monday – Bill Kloss
Monroe, MI: The tug New York with her barge Double Skin 509A arrived from Detroit at 13:41.
Nanticoke: Algocanada departed for Sarnia at 12:13.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 26

In 1994 THALASSA DESGAGNES (steel propeller tanker, 131.43 meters, 5,746 gross tons, built in 1976, in Norway, as the a.) JOASLA, renamed b.) ORINOCO in 1979, c.) RIO ORINOCO in 1982) entered service for Groupe Desgagnes.

The keel for CLIFFS VICTORY, a). NOTRE DAME VICTORY (Hull#1229) was laid on January 26, 1945, at Portland, Oregon, by Oregon Shipbuilding Corp.

THOMAS F. COLE (Hull #27) was launched January 26, 1907, by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ecorse, Michigan, for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

J. F. SCHOELLKOPF JR. was launched January 26, 1907, as a.) HUGH KENNEDY (Hull#349) at Lorain, Ohio, by the American Ship Building Co.

ST. LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR was launched in 1967, as a.) DEMETERTON (Hull#619) at South Shields, United Kingdom, by John Readhead & Sons, Ltd.

On 26 January 1898, the CITY OF DULUTH (wooden passenger/package freight vessel, 202 foot, 1,310 gross tons, built in 1874, at Marine City, Michigan, as a passenger vessel) was carrying passengers, corn, flour and general merchandise from Chicago to St. Joseph, Michigan, during a late season run when she struck an uncharted bar in a storm inbound to St. Joseph. She was heavily damaged and driven ashore 350 feet west of the north pier where she broke up. The Lifesaving Service rescued all 24 passengers and 17 crew members using breeches' buoy.

1986: The saltwater ship f) MARIKA L. was sold at auction to Scrap Hellas Ltd. on this date The vessel had arrived at Eleusis, Greece, under tow, on April 25, 1981, after an engine room fire on the Mediterranean. The ship had been arrested and partially sunk prior to being sold. It made one trip through the Seaway as a) DONATELLA PARODI in 1965 and was ultimately resold for scrapping at Aliaga, Turkey.

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

 

Port Reports -  January 25

St. Marys River
Tug Anglian Lady and barge Ironmaster were upbound for the Purvis Dock on Sunday. USCG Mackinaw has been on ice ops in the lower St. Marys River.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
John J. Boland arrived at Bay Shipbuilding at 09:55 Sunday morning, becoming the final vessel to arrive for the winter. She was rafted to her fleetmate American Mariner at berth 15 in what is normally known as the "Footers Row;" this year, only one actual footer, James R. Barker, is moored there. Rafted outboard of the Barker are Roger Blough, American Mariner, and now the Boland. American Century is in the graving dock receiving her 5-year survey and a much-needed coat of paint. Kaye E. Barker, Cason J. Callaway, John G. Munson, Wilfred Sykes, Joseph L. Block, and tug Samuel de Champlain, as well as the incomplete hulls of Mark W. Barker and the new tank barge being built by BayShip, are all berthed in the other shipyard slips. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. is moored perpendicular to those vessels along the dock face.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
After delivering another load of deicing salt, Algoma Niagara cleared for Goderich at 15:39 Saturday (01/23). Prentiss Brown is expected Monday with cement for the Kinnickinnic River terminal.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Niagara expected next to load salt.

Lake Erie Ports for Sunday – Bill Kloss
Nanticoke: Algosea departed for Sarnia at 12:55. Algocanada is at Imperial Oil. With ice coverage on Lake Erie only at 3-5%, the Nanticoke/Sarnia shipments should keep going for a while.

 

Obituary: James M. "Ding" Schoonmaker II

1/25 - Naples, FL – One of America's sailing heroes, James M. "Ding" Schoonmaker II, 87, passed away peacefully on January 19, 2021, at his home in Naples, FL, with his wife, Treecie, by his side. Ding was born on June 10, 1933, in Pittsburgh, PA, and is survived by his wife, his stepson Julian Gage of Pensacola, and his sister Mary "Winky" Worley of North Carolina.

His grandfather was Col. James M. Schoonmaker, namesake of the museum ship now docked at Toledo. “Ding” and Treecie were honored guests at the rechristening of the Schoonmaker as the centerpiece display of the National Museum of the Great Lakes in 2011. Since then he has been the ship’s biggest benefactor.

“In 2007, during our museum ship’s darkest hours, one man answered the call to preservation above all others,” said Paul C. LaMarre III, who spearheaded the restoration effort.

“Ding” Schoonmaker not only provided the initial funding for the S.S. Col James M. Schoonmaker’s restoration but also remained the ships greatest benefactor. He upheld his grandfather’s legacy with the vigor for which the Colonel himself was so well known. May every step of every guest who walks our historic ship’s decks be in “Ding’s” honor as the Schoonmaker itself would not exist if not for his support,” LaMarre added.

Schoonmaker was a long time champion and steward of the sport of sailing. Ding won his first race in 1944 in Rhode Island. He spent his summers in Watch Hill and winters in Florida over his lifetime. After successfully sailing the Finn, Flying Dutchman, and Soling, Ding's passion shined brightest in the Star Class and at the age of 19 he placed second in the Olympic Trials and was named the team's alternate for the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. He earned that honor again in 1964 at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Over the years he won the North American, South American, Western Hemisphere, European and World Championships in the Star Class, and was named Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in 1971.

He played an active role in the leadership of U.S. Sailing and the International Sailing Federation. For his distinguished career, in 1988 he was awarded the Nathanael Greene Herreshoff Award, US Sailing's highest honor, and in 2011 the Beppe Croce Award, World Sailing's highest honor. In 2018 he was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame and the following year he was presented the Distinguished Service Award by the National Maritime Historical Society. Notable among all of his philanthropic work was creation of the U.S. Sailing Center in Miami, Florida in 1987. He was the driving force behind the training facility which provides Olympic sailors access to train and compete on Biscayne Bay, and on which the building bears his name. His efforts also initiated the World Youth Sailing Trust to help aspiring sailors in emerging countries and creating the U.S. Sailing Foundation in 1990.

He has been an important counselor to the leaders of the sport in both the United States and throughout the world. Ding was an active member of the Port Royal Club, Naples Yacht Club and the Hole in the Wall Golf Club, and in the summers as a member of The New York Yacht Club, Watch Hill Yacht Club and the Misquamicut Golf Club. His lifetime love of dogs prompted support for no-kill shelters in his hometown, and he lovingly adopted rescues of his own throughout the years.

No memorial service is currently planned. In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made to The US Sailing Foundation - "Pinnacle Project " (1 Roger Williams University Way, Bristol, RI 02809) or Golden Paws of Naples (3173 Horseshoe Dr. S, Naples, FL 34104). Fuller Funeral Home of Naples, FL is handling arrangements.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 25

In 1994 THALASSA DESGAGNES (steel propeller tanker, 131.43 meters, 5,746 gross tons, built in 1976, in Norway, as the a.) JOASLA, renamed b.) ORINOCO in 1979, c.) RIO ORINOCO in 1982) entered service for Groupe Desgagnes.

The keel for CLIFFS VICTORY, a). NOTRE DAME VICTORY (Hull#1229) was laid on January 26, 1945, at Portland, Oregon, by Oregon Shipbuilding Corp.

THOMAS F. COLE (Hull #27) was launched January 26, 1907, by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ecorse, Michigan, for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

J. F. SCHOELLKOPF JR. was launched January 26, 1907, as a.) HUGH KENNEDY (Hull#349) at Lorain, Ohio, by the American Ship Building Co.

ST. LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR was launched in 1967, as a.) DEMETERTON (Hull#619) at South Shields, United Kingdom, by John Readhead & Sons, Ltd.

On 26 January 1898, the CITY OF DULUTH (wooden passenger/package freight vessel, 202 foot, 1,310 gross tons, built in 1874, at Marine City, Michigan, as a passenger vessel) was carrying passengers, corn, flour and general merchandise from Chicago to St. Joseph, Michigan, during a late season run when she struck an uncharted bar in a storm inbound to St. Joseph. She was heavily damaged and driven ashore 350 feet west of the north pier where she broke up. The Lifesaving Service rescued all 24 passengers and 17 crew members using breeches' buoy.

1986: The saltwater ship f) MARIKA L. was sold at auction to Scrap Hellas Ltd. on this date The vessel had arrived at Eleusis, Greece, under tow, on April 25, 1981, after an engine room fire on the Mediterranean. The ship had been arrested and partially sunk prior to being sold. It made one trip through the Seaway as a) DONATELLA PARODI in 1965 and was ultimately resold for scrapping at Aliaga, Turkey.

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

 

Great Lakes just set a record for lack of ice

1/24 - Most years, by January the majority of the Great Lakes are so cold they look like a scene from "Frozen." This year, that's not the case. In fact, the Great Lakes are currently dealing with record low ice. According to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), the Great Lakes total ice coverage right now is sitting at 3.9%. This same time last year, it was sitting at 11.3%, and the year before at 18.5%. The previous record low for this date was 5% back in 2002.

Dr. Jia Wang, a physical oceanographer for NOAA-GLERL, said it's not necessarily a good thing ecologically if the lakes remain unfrozen. "For some species, no ice cover is not good for them because they need a safe place to lay eggs," Wang said. The reason for this lack of widespread ice coverage is due to the lack of extremely cold air across the region.

Since January 1, much of the Midwest and Northeast -- including Minneapolis, Chicago, Cleveland and Buffalo -- have had air temperatures at least 5 to 10 degrees above average.

With no real robust areas of cold air in the future, the long-term forecast for Great Lakes ice coverage also looks meek. "The Great Lakes region is experiencing warmer-than-usual weather, and the max ice cover is projected to be 30%, way below the average of 53%," Wang said. That means by the end of winter, less than one-third of the Great Lakes will be covered by ice.

In order to build significant ice over the lakes, a blast of cold air needs to settle in -- but the long-term forecast does not reflect that. The one-month outlook from NOAA shows warmer than average temperatures to settle in across much of the country.

Read more and view graphs at this link: https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/22/weather/great-lakes-record-lack-of-ice/index.html

 

Port Reports -  January 24

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
The tug Barbara Andrie arrived in Sturgeon Bay at 05:27 Saturday morning. She and her fleetmate Rebecca Lynn, which has been laid up at Bay Shipbuilding since December 22, took the freshly painted cement barge Innovation under tow and departed at 07:00 via Green Bay. The tow is destined for Alpena, where a winter storage cargo of cement will be loaded aboard Innovation. Why Innovation's dedicated tug Samuel de Champlain, which is also laid up at BayShip, did not take her own barge to Alpena is unclear; the barge's next destination after loading is also unknown at this time. John J. Boland, which is expected to be the last arrival in Sturgeon Bay for the 2020 season, was upbound on Lake Michigan hugging the Wisconsin shoreline Saturday night. Her ETA is Sunday at 03:00.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Making her third visit this month, Algoma Niagara arrived from Goderich at 04:10 Saturday (01/23). She backed into the inner harbor and dropped about 28,000 metric tons of deicing salt on the Compass Minerals discharge pad. She should be heading back to Goderich this afternoon. No other marine traffic is currently expected.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Niagara cleared 10.48 am Saturday upbound for Chicago with salt.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
Iver Bright loaded at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal on Saturday.

 

Fire Boat #41: From Chicago to Door County and back again

1/24 - Sturgeon Bay/Chicago – Sometimes there’s something that’s a pleasant part of our life, and then it’s gone, leaving us wondering where it came from and where it went. Often that something is a person. But that’s another story.

In this story, the something is Chicago Fire Boat #41, which was docked at the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay for a number of years prior to the spring of 2019.

On July 4, 2018, Jim Ellis; his wife, Karen; and their daughter’s family from Minnesota took a sunset cruise to the Sherwood Point Lighthouse on the fire boat – a trip that included watching the fireworks set off in Sunset Park. Jim became intrigued with the boat’s history and how it came to be in Sturgeon Bay.

They immediately signed up for another cruise that fall, hoping it would go toward Lake Michigan so they could get a from-the-water view of their vacation condo at Snug Harbor on Memorial Drive, but the cruise was canceled at the last minute.

They made reservations to cruise again on July 4, 2019, but they learned in May that the boat had been sold. There was no closure, but it increased Jim’s hope that someone would dig into the history of Chicago Fire Boat #41, what it had done before it arrived in Sturgeon Bay, and what had happened to it after it disappeared.

This is its story.

Fire Boat #41, named for Chicago’s 39th mayor, Fred A. Busse, was built in Bay City, Michigan, and began service in Chicago on May 4, 1937. It was designed specifically to fit beneath the city’s bridges, and at 90 feet long, it was, at the time, the largest diesel-powered fire boat in the world. Its four onboard pumps could spray 10,000 gallons of water per minute up to 27 stories high.

During its 44 years of service stationed at Navy Pier, Fire Boat #41 responded to many emergencies, including the fire that destroyed the original McCormick Place on Lake Shore Drive on Jan. 16, 1967. The Fred A. Busse was decommissioned in 1981.

By the fall of 1986, it sat at Lake Calumet on the city’s far southeast side, stripped of everything of value. Next to it were two other retired fire boats, the Victor L. Schlaeger and the Joseph Medill, both built by the Christy Corporation in Sturgeon Bay and launched together on Nov. 5, 1949.

Eventually, #41 was rescued by John M. Selvick – owner of Calumet River Fleeting, a Great Lakes tug and barge company based in Chicago – who moved it to his native Door County. Restored and anchored at the Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay, it was a popular tour boat on the bay and Lake Michigan until Selvick’s death in 2012.

Selvick’s nephew, Ricky Nebel, had worked with his uncle on the tugs and tour boat since graduating from high school. He and his wife, Angel, bought the boat from Selvick’s estate and, by the spring of 2013, they were running Legends Cruises Chicago Fire Boat in Sturgeon Bay.

It was a family operation, with Captain Ricky at the helm. For the very popular July Fourth cruises, he was known for keeping the boat constantly turning 360 degrees so that every passenger had an equal view of the fireworks.

Angel dressed in a dalmatian costume to entertain the crowd – especially the children on board, allowing each of them a turn at aiming the water hoses.

“We especially planned our daytime trips to be kid friendly,” Ricky said, “because our three kids went to work with us every day. Cameron, Andrew and Angela, now 16, 8 and 4, loved being on the boat and meeting people, but as they got older, there were things they missed, too. Their friends’ families did things together on weekends and went on vacations in the summer. We went to work every day.”

After six years, the Nebels made the bittersweet decision to list Fire Boat #41 for sale.

“We loved that boat,” Ricky said. “It had a lot of sentimental value for us, and we wanted it to find a home where it would be appreciated.”

Meanwhile, back in Chicago, Ray Novak and Erich Totsch, Navy veterans of the Persian Gulf War, were working as captains of tour boats. In October 2018, Novak was looking online at boats for sale when he came across old #41.

“I called the broker and told him I could be in Sturgeon Bay the next day,” he said. “After spending two hours looking at the boat, I knew this would be a really exciting opportunity. My first thought was, ‘How can I get this boat to Chicago?’ My second thought was to tell Erich, ‘I have an adventure for you.’”

The friends agreed on the deal two days later at the Billy Goat Tavern, appropriately located on Navy Pier in Chicago. The sale was finalized in April 2019, and the boat made the two-day trip “back home” the first weekend in May. Financing for the purchase was arranged by retired Marine Corps Major Charles “Lynn” Lowder, who’s also an attorney; and restaurateur Dale Eisenburg, co-founders of the Veteran Business Project, an Illinois nonprofit that matches veterans who want to own businesses with business owners who want to sell. “Something like a dating website,” Lowder said.

Novak and Totsch spent more than a year “giving the boat a little makeup job by painting her and freshening her up.” Rooms inside the cabin where the crew used to stay now hold firefighting paraphernalia and pictures of #41 in action. The deck, with both covered and open seating and a bar, can carry 127 passengers. Totsch describes it as “one of the most unique boats on the river.”

Its maiden voyage in Chicago was on July 6, 2020. Because of COVID-19, the Chicago Harbor System shut down tours for more than three months, and when they resumed, maximum capacity was limited to 50. The owners are spending the winter redoing the bathrooms and working on interactive activities for kids in the interior of the boat, “where they can operate lights, bells and whistles.”

Some events, focused on getting together safely, are already booked for the season that will open in the spring at Fire Boat #41’s new dock on the Chicago Lakefront.

Door County Pulse

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 24

JOHNSTOWN (Hull#4504) was launched January 24, 1952, at Sparrows Point, Maryland, by Bethlehem Sparrows Point Shipyard.

SPRUCEGLEN was launched January 24, 1924, as a.) WILLIAM K. FIELD (Hull#176) at Toledo, Ohio, by the Toledo Ship Building Co.

The steel barge MADEIRA (Hull#38) was launched on January 24, 1900, at Chicago, Illinois, by the Chicago Ship Building Co.

1964: RUTH ANN, a Liberian freighter that came through the Seaway in 1960, ran aground on the Chinchorro Bank off the Yucatan Peninsula enroute from Tampico to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, as d) GLENVIEW. It later broke up as a total loss.

1967: DAMMTOR, a West German flag pre-Seaway trader, foundered in heavy weather as b) HASHLOSHA while about 80 miles west of Naples, Italy, enroute from Greece to Marseilles, France. A distress call was sent but the vessel went down with the loss of 21 lives before help could arrive. The ship had also made four Seaway voyages in 1959,

1988: ENDERS M. VOORHEES, under tow on the Mediterranean, broke loose in gale force winds and went aground about 56 miles south of Athens off Kythnos Island and broke up. The hull was salvaged in sections and the bow and stern reached the scrapyard at Aliaga, Turkey, in August 1989.

2009: DIAMOND QUEEN sank at the Gaelic Tugboat Co. dock at River Rouge. It was refloated on January 27, 2009.

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

 

Port Reports -  January 23

Northern Lake Michigan:
Charlevoix: Wednesday; 2:23 Prentiss Brown arrived at the St Marys Cement plant.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
After spending two days in Milwaukee’s inner harbor waiting for conditions to improve, Spartan/Spartan II cleared for Ludington at 15:20 Friday (01/22). Algoma Niagara should arrive just after 04:00 Saturday with salt from Goderich. This will be her third visit to the city in January.

Northern Lake Huron
Cheboygan: Friday; 7:48 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes arrived at the US Oil Terminal to unload and departed at 12:24 downbound on Lake Huron.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault arrived 9.34 pm Thursday loading at Compass Minerals.

Lake Erie Ports for Friday – Bill Kloss
Toledo: Sam Laud and American Courage arrived for layup. Erie: Dorothy Ann arrived for layup at 06:18 this morning. Nanticoke: Algosea and Algocanada are both anchored off of Port Dover.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 23

January 23 - The CELTIC (wooden schooner-barge, 190 foot, 716 gross tons, built 1890, at W. Bay City, Michigan) broke away from the steamer H.E. RUNNELS during a fierce gale on Lake Huron on 29 November 1902, and was lost with all hands. No wreckage was found until 23 January 1903, when a yawl and the captain’s desk with the ship’s papers were found on Boom Point, southeast of Cockburn Island.

GEORGE A. STINSON struck a wall of the Poe Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on January 23, 1979. The damage was estimated at $200,000.

The rail car ferry GRAND HAVEN sailed on her first trip as a roll on/roll off carrier from Port Burwell on January 23, 1965, loaded with 125 tons of coiled steel bound for Cleveland and Walton Hills, Ohio.

1983: The Greek freighter CAPTAIN M. LYRAS visited the Seaway in 1960 and 1961 and returned as b) ANGELIKI L. in 1965. It arrived at Gadani Beach on this date as c) ANAMARIA for scrapping.

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

 

Sarnia expecting 11 ships over the winter

1/22 - Sarnia, ON – A full house is expected this winter at Sarnia Harbor. The harbor on the St. Clair River traditionally provides winter berthing for ships working the Great Lakes, and an opportunity for repairs and maintenance work that provides an economic boost to the community.

Ron Realesmith, the city’s marine facility security officer, confirmed there are 11 ships booked into the harbor this winter, which is its full capacity. “Due to warm winter weather, ships will lay up to our dock later in the year than planned,” Realesmith said this week. “Currently there are six vessels in the harbor – two short-term layups and four that are here for the season.“

A 2014 study for the city found ship repairs and maintenance over the winter can generate $10 million to $15 million in economic activity for the community. “It is generally accepted that these numbers would still be relevant to today’s operations,” said Kelly Provost, the city’s director of economic development.

She said the study found the three- to four-month winter berthing season at the harbor can generate more than 60,000 “person hours” of employment in the community. It also notes a review of just one of the main ship contractor’s winter repair activity found more than 120 local businesses and vendors supplied it with materials and services.

Sarnia’s advantages, the report says, include its central location on the Great Lakes, and a supply of skilled industrial labor and equipment, as well as the limited availability of similar services at other lake ports.

The St. Lawrence Seaway said this week nearly 38-million tonnes of cargo travelled the system in 2020, nearly matching the previous year’s total. “Considering the impact of the worldwide pandemic, we are very pleased with these traffic results,” Terence Bowles, CEO of the seaway management corporation, said in a news release.

“While the economic volatility from COVID-19 impacted the marine industry, the seaway worked with carriers and shippers to maximize cargo opportunities and confirm its competitive position in North America’s transportation system,” Bowles said.

The last commercial ship moved through the Montreal and Lake Ontario section of the seaway on Dec. 31, and the Welland Canal saw its last ship of the season on Jan. 7. While the seaway, Welland canal and Sault Ste. Marie locks close for the winter, freighters continue working the lakes and connecting waters, such as the St. Clair River, through the season.

The Canadian Coast Guard said it, along with the U.S. Coast Guard, helped 58 ships make their way through ice on the Great Lakes last winter.

Sarnia Observer

 

Great Lakes steel production shoots up by 20,000 tons, still lags last year

1/22 - NW Indiana – Great Lakes steel production rose by 20,000 tons last week but remains depressed by nearly 10% with U.S. steel mills only operating at about three-fourths of capacity, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Steel mills in the Great Lakes region, clustered mainly along the lakeshore in Northwest Indiana, made 621,000 tons of metal in the week that ended Jan. 16, up from 601,000 tons the previous week.

Overall, domestic steel mills in the United States made 1.73 million tons of steel last week, up 1.7% from 1.7 million tons the previous week, but down 8.8% as compared to 1.9 million tons the same time a year prior.

Steel capacity utilization has fallen by 6.5 percentage points year over year in an economy upended by the coronavirus pandemic. So far this year, domestic steel mills in the United States have made 3.91 million tons of steel, a 9.7% decrease compared to the 4.33 million tons made during the same period in 2020.

U.S. steel mills have run at a capacity utilization rate of 75.9% through Jan. 16, down from 82.4% at the same point in 2020, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Steel capacity utilization nationwide was 76.7% last week, which was down from 82.4% the previous week but up from 75.4% at the same time a year ago.

Steel production in the southern region, a wide geographic swath that encompasses many mini-mills and rivals the Great Lakes region in output, was 695,000 tons last week, down from 699,000 tons the week before. Volume in the rest of the Midwest rose to 192,000 tons, up from 184,000 tons the week prior.

NW Indiana Times

 

Port Reports -  January 22

Thunder Bay, ON – Gene Onchulenko
Lakers in layup: Algoma Strongfield. Algoma Guardian, Frontenac, Blair McKeil, Wolf River (long term lay up since 1998). Harbor Tugs: Glenada, Miseford, Point Valour, Robert W, Rosalee D, Florence M, George N. Carlton, Robert John, Teclutsa. McAllister 132 (Barge). Pat D (Work Boat). Fish Tugs: Ironsides II, Rosaline, Melissa, Marilyn Grace. Research Fish Tugs: Superior Explorer, Everett H. Museum Tug: James Whalen.

Traverse City, MI – Daniel Lindner
After waiting out high winds on the open lake on Wednesday night, American Courage raised anchor and departed Traverse City at 11Thursday morning, bound for Toledo for the winter

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived at Bay Shipbuilding at 15:51 Thursday afternoon for winter layup, becoming the twelfth member of the shipyard's layup fleet to arrive so far. John J. Boland should be on her last run of the season, after which she will head for Sturgeon Bay; she is expected to be the last arrival for the winter.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
With wind gusts to 30 knots expected for southern Lake Michigan Thursday night (01/21), Spartan/Spartan II stayed in Milwaukee’s inner harbor. Algoma Niagara is expected late Friday with more salt from Goderich.

Northern Lake Huron
Tawas City: Tuesday; 0:51 John J Boland departed for Waukegan. 2:18 Manitou departed for Port Huron.
South Channel: 14:29 With south west gales on Lake Michigan Algoma Intrepid went to anchor south west of the Cheboygan safe water buoy.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Niagara cleared 11.20 am Thursday upbound for Milwaukee with salt. Algoma Sault expected next.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
The tug New York and barge Double Skin 509A were at the Buckeye Terminal on Thursday

Lake Erie Ports for Thursday – Bill Kloss
Conneaut: Sam Laud arrived at 03:43. After unloading she departed at 11:30 and went to Toledo for layup.
Erie: Dorothy Ann is due on Friday.
Nanticoke: Algocanada arrived at 05:11 and went on the hook. Algosea is due on Friday.

 

New lock at the Soo to co-host virtual town hall

1/22 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and city officials here will co-host a virtual town hall noon, January 25, to provide additional information and address community’s questions and concerns regarding placement of a temporary project office in Canal Park.

To participate in the virtual town hall, join the zoom meeting at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87065852272?pwd=WDRKOURjck1HN3hyMDZiZWtUdkVOQT09
Meeting ID: 870 6585 2272
Passcode: 889905
Or dial in at: +1 (646-558)-8656
Meeting ID: 870 6585 2272#
Passcode: 889905#

The USACE, Detroit District released a public notice December 13, 2020, proposing to erect a structure to provide office space necessary for the Integrated Project Office, New Lock at the Soo to execute and oversee construction at the Soo Locks Complex.

The comment period ended January 13 and USACE will address common concerns expressed by interested agencies, public groups, and citizens. About 106 comments and concerns were received via the email address provided and on the district’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/USACEDetroitDistrict.

The city of Sault Ste. Marie held a public City Commission meeting January 4 where community and commissioner concerns were addressed regarding the temporary structure.

A Frequently Asked Questions sheet is also posted on the Detroit District website at https://go.usa.gov/xAf8f and Facebook page.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 22

The c.) WOODLAND, a.) FRENCH RIVER) was sold to International Capital Equipment of Canada and cleared the lakes from Montreal January 22, 1991, under the Bahamian flag with the modified name to d.) WOODLANDS.

GOLDEN HIND was sold on January 22, 1973, to Trico Enterprises Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda (Quebec & Ontario Transportation Co. Ltd., Thorold, Ontario, mgr.).

January 22, 1913 - SAINTE MARIE (Hull#127) was launched at Toledo, Ohio, by Craig Shipbuilding Co.

1976: INGRID WEIDE first came to the Great Lakes in 1953, and the West German freighter returned on many occasions including 23 trips through the Seaway to the end of 1965. The vessel stranded as c) DENEB B. off Borkum Island, West Germany, while inbound for Emden with a cargo of stone. The hull broke in two and sank but all on board were rescued.

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

 

Little to no ice on the Great Lakes in late January

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

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

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

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

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

WSYR

 

Port Reports -  January 21

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WLUC

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harbor Light

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Algoma Enterprise pulled ashore for scrapping

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

Wayne Elliot – Marine Recycling Corp.

 

Soo Locks upgrading park’s lock model displays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District

 

Port Reports -  January 20

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Shoreline Beacon

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tug that hit Marquette breakwall salvaged

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

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

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

USGC

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

M Live

 

Port Reports -  January 19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Saginaw River Commercial Shipping Season Report 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reported by: Todd Shorkey

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Walter J. McCarthy Jr. closes Soo Locks shipping season

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

Know Your Ships

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Superior Telegram

 

Port Reports -  January 16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lake Erie Ports for Friday – Bill Kloss

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

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

Erie: Presque Isle arrived at 15:00.

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

Toronto, ON – Tom Brewer

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

 

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

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

USCG

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Great Lakes iron ore trade down in 2020

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Obituary: Arthur "Captain Art" S. Herrala

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

Capt. Sam Buchannan

 

Free admission at National Museum Saturday-Monday

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

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

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

National Museum of the Great Lakes

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Great Lakes limestone trade down 14.7 percent in 2020

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

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

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Soo Locks closing for seasonal repair, maintenance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Past Seaway visitors scrapped

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TB Newswatch

 

Port Reports -  January 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Welland Canal closed, locks drained

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

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

Angus Kennedy

 

Lay-up reports needed

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports -  January 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Georgian Bay community fights to keep its Titanic-era steamship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Toronto.com

 

Updated 2020 saltwater vessel final statistics by the numbers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Denny Dushane

 

National Museum offers free admission on MLK weekend

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Denny Dushane

 

Port Reports -  January 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Canadian Coast Guard begins annual icebreaking operations on the Great Lakes

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cison

 

Port Reports -  January 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Viking Octantis launches, begins wave of new expedition cruise vessels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Viking Octantis sets sail in 2022.

Cruise Critic

 

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Duluth-Superior port says farewell to 2020 grain shipping season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Progressive Farmer

 

Thunder Bay records strong grain season

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

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

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

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

Progressive Farmer

 

Port Reports -  January 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Two vessels make last trips through locks Monday

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

Know Your Ships

 

Great Lakes shipping hit with demand slump amid pandemic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michigan Radio

 

Port Reports -  January 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Posted on the Fans of Waugoshance Lighthouse Facebook Page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 4

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

2020 list of new saltwater visitors

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

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

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

Denny Dushane

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Atlantic Spirit first vessel for 2021 at Port of Montreal

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

Rene Beauchamp

 

Port Reports -  January 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 2

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

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

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

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

1976: The XENY, which was towed into Cadiz Roads on January 1, capsized and sank on her side. The ship had caught fire on December 2 and was abandoned by the crew. It had first visited the Great Lakes as a) PRINS WILLEM II in 1955 and had been back as d) XENY in 1971.

1981: The heavy lift vessel MAMMOTH SCAN had heeled over while unloading at Abu Dhabi on October 15, 1980. The ship was righted and under tow when the towline parted off Algeria on December 28, 1980. The listing vessel was brought to Malaga Roads, Spain, on this date, healed over and sank as a total loss.

1987: A fire in the cargo hold of REMADA at Barcelona, Spain, resulted in heavy damage and the ship had to be sold for scrap. It had made one trip through the Seaway in November 1973 as b) ONTARIO.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Happy New Year from the BoatNerd

1/1 - BoatNerd wishes all our readers a very happy and successful 2021. Thank you for your support.

 

Duluth Fire Department evacuates injured H. Lee White crewman

1/1 - It’s not every day that a medical call comes in involving a 704-foot laker. Wednesday, Duluth Fire Department crews responded to a medical call from the H. Lee White due to a crewmember falling on some ice while underway. The ship was supposed to pick up a load in Silver Bay, but when the crewmembers symptoms got worse, and included neck pain the captain made the decision to pull into port in Duluth for medical attention. Rescue 1 and 1 Tower responded to the ship and helped offload the crewmember who was taken to a nearby hospital. H. Lee White left soon after to head back to Silver Bay to pick up their load

Duluth Minnesota Fire Department

 

Port Reports -  January 1

Thank you to our port reporters!

A big three long and two short goes out to all who send news to this page or contribute to the Port Reports, among them Daniel Lindner, Gary A. Putney, Gordy Garris, Todd Shorkey, Rene Beauchamp, Ron Beaupre, Rod Burdick, Ned Goebricher, Bruce Douglas, Bill Kloss, Barry Andersen, Ron Walsh, Tristin Woolf, MKE Marine Reports, Brian R Wroblewski, Tom Brewer, Port of Monroe, Jon in Green Bay, Bill Van Appledorn, Capt. Mike Nicholls, Fred A. Tijan, Brendan Falkowski, Ken Cyrette, Marc Dease, Tom Brewer, Ned Goebricher, Paul Erspamer, Logan Vasicek, Sam Hankinson, Jeff Benson, Paul Martin, Matt Miner, Ben & Chanda McClain, Denny Dushane, Ken Borg, Luke Johnson, Phil Nash, Bill Bird, Raymond Hill, Al Miller, Tom Hynes, Roger LeLievre and anyone else we’ve inadvertently left off this list, including those who wish to remain anonymous. It is the contributions of all these volunteers, and many others, that make BoatNerd possible.

We are always seeking contributions to this page from readers around the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. If you see news in your area or want to offer your observations of vessel arrivals and departures, please send to news@boatnerd.net. If you spot an interesting shipping-related story in your local news, please take a moment to forward a link so that we may share it with our audience. Thank you!

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Baie Comeau arrived Duluth at 03:29 Thursday morning, offloaded salt at Hallett #8, and departed light at 13:14 for Thunder Bay. American Spirit arrived at 15:51 to load iron ore pellets at CN, and Great Republic was outbound at 19:16 loaded with ore. She had finished loading at CN early Thursday afternoon and shifted to Port Terminal for repairs. At the Superior entry, Stewart J. Cort arrived at 02:15 to load at Burlington Northern. She departed with her iron ore cargo at 12:06. Algoma Guardian then arrived from anchor at 12:51 and began loading; she should depart around midnight. Burns Harbor is next in line for the dock, and was anchored off Superior Thursday night. Also anchored were Manitowoc and Sam Laud, both still waiting for berths in Two Harbors.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Only two boats are left at anchor off Duluth waiting on Two Harbors. As of 19:00 on Dec. 31st at anchor were = Sam Laud and = Manitowoc. = Indiana Harbor departed Two Harbors on Dec. 31st at 17:18. As of 19:00 there is no updated AIS. Departing anchorage off Duluth on Dec. 31st at approx. 11:00 was th=e Defiance/Ashtabula. She arrived Two Harbors at 17:37 on the 31st. Due Two Harbors on Jan. 1st are = Presque Isle and = Joseph L. Block. = Callaway on Dec. 31st at 19:00 is at the Soo. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw = Mesabi Miner depart on Dec. 30th at 22:47 for Cleveland. Arriving Silver Bay on Dec. 30 at 23:55 was = H. Lee White. She was still at the dock on Dec. 31st at 19:30. There is no scheduled inbound traffic for Silver Bay on Jan. 1st.

Thunder Bay, ON
Thursday; 12:50 Ojibway departed for Windsor. 19:49 Algoma Conveyor arrived at the G3 elevator to load grain.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on Thursday included Kaministiqua and Erie Trader/Clyde S. Upbouders included Algoma Innovator, James R Barker, Lee A. Tregurtha, Manitoulin, Herbert C. Jackson, Cason J. Callaway and Mississagi (for Thunder Bay). John G. Munson and Frontenac were headed for DeTour late.

Northern Lake Michigan
Thursday; 13:13 With calmer seas Prentiss Brown departed from the lee side of North Manitou Island for Milwaukee.

Northern Lake Huron
Midland: Thursday; 13:17 Katmai Bay departed for the Soo.
Georgian Bay: Thursday; 10:30 Frontenac weighed anchor and departed Hope Bay for Thunder Bay.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Intrepid was loading at Compass Minerals Thursday.

Detroit, MI – Raymond Hill
Thursday Arrivals: Florence Spirit arrived at Zug Island to load coke. Sea Eagle 2/St. Mary's Cement 2 arrived at the St. Marys Cement dock to unload cement.

Lake Erie Ports for Thursday – Bill Kloss
Sandusky: John J. Boland arrived on Wednesday and is at Norfolk Southern. Algoma Transport is berthed behind waiting her turn to load.
Cleveland: Olive L. Moore departed for Detroit on Wednesday. Algoma Intrepid was erroneously reported as coming to Cleveland but instead went to Detroit.
Fairport Harbor: Algoma Niagara arrived from Goderich at 11:38.
Conneaut: American Courage came in from anchorage at 12:16. Edwin H. Gott is due on Friday.
Nanticoke: Algoterra departed for Sarnia. Algosea arrived at Imperial Oil at 10:59. Algonova is at anchor.

Erie, PA – Erie Shipping News
Algoma Buffalo will be the first arrival for winter layup at Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair. They will, weather permitting, likely arrive early Friday.

 

Northern Michigan in Focus: Bottled Goodbyes, Lake Fury

1/1 - It’s a form of communication that goes back centuries, finding a message in a bottle, and now there’s a new book that unlocks some of the mysteries behind some of those messages. Corey Adkins spoke with Ric Mixter, who explains in this week’s Northern Michigan in Focus.

“I’ve been looking at newspapers for 30 years now and every time I look at a newspaper I would always look for an article that said a message was found in a bottle from so-and-so’s shipwreck.” Mixter says. “I put those away in a folder and I thought one day if I ever get the time I’m going to write a book about that, and guess what, COVID came and with a layoff that gave me the time, so there was that silver lining to a horribly dark cloud.”

From that dark cloud comes the new book by author and maritime historian Mixter, “Bottled Goodbyes: Final Farewells From Maritime and Aviation Disasters.”

“We do know that this is an act of desperation by sailors that threw it out to hopefully get either rescue or worse, they know that they’re going to be lost and they say their final advice. Or in many cases there’s ones where they just threw it in a river system and just to say hi or look for a pen pal.”

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.9and10news.com/2020/12/30/northern-michigan-in-focus-bottled-goodbyes-lake-fury

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 1

On this day in 1958, 76-year-old Rangvald Gunderson retired as wheelsman from the ELTON HOYT 2ND. Mr. Gunderson sailed on the lakes for 60 years.

On January 1, 1973, the PAUL H. CARNAHAN became the last vessel of the 1972 shipping season to load at the Burlington Northern (now Burlington Northern Santa Fe) ore docks in Superior, Wisconsin. Interestingly, the CARNAHAN also opened the Superior docks for the season in the spring of 1972.

On 1 January 1930, HELEN TAYLOR (wooden propeller steam barge, 56 foot, 43 gross tons, built in 1894, at Grand Haven, Michigan) foundered eight miles off Michigan City, Indiana. She was nicknamed "Pumpkin Seed," due to her odd shape.

January 1, 1900 - The Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad merged with the Chicago & West Michigan and the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western Railroads to form the Pere Marquette Railway Co.

On 1 January 1937, MAROLD II (steel propeller, 129 foot, 165 gross tons, built in 1911, at Camden, New Jersey, as a yacht) was siphoning gasoline off the stranded tanker J OSWALD BOYD (244 foot, 1,806 gross tons, built in 1913, in Scotland) which was loaded with 900,000 gallons of gasoline and was stranded on Simmons Reef on the north side of Beaver Island. A tremendous explosion occurred which totally destroyed MAROLD II and all five of her crew. Only pieces of MAROLD II were found. Her captain's body washed ashore in Green Bay the next year.

At time of loss, she was the local Beaver Island boat. The remains of the BOYD were removed to Sault Ste. Marie in June 1937.

1943: HAMILDOC (i) went south during World War Two to assist in the bauxite trade. The N.M. Paterson & Sons bulk canaller sank in the Caribbean after a three-day gale. The vessel, enroute from Georgetown, British Guiana, to Trinidad, was at anchor when the hull broke in two. All on board were saved.

2000: WISTERIA was built at Imabari, Japan, in 1976 and came through the Seaway that year. It was taking water in #1 hold as c) AIS MAMAS while enroute from West Africa to India with a cargo of logs. The crew was removed but the ship was taken in tow and reached Capetown, South Africa, on January 5. It was subsequently sold for scrap and arrived at Alang, India, for dismantling on April 23, 2000 and was beached the next day.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


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