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Tug Meredith Ashton renamed

3/28 - Great Lakes Dock and Materials has renamed its 1981-built tug Meredith Ashton to George F. Bailey.

 

Port Reports -  March 28

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Icebreaker update – Jon Paul
Mackinaw returned to its home port Friday after 4 weeks of ice breaking duty, mooring at USCG Station Cheboygan @ 18:20 (03/27). Their mission saw them conduct ice operations starting in the Straits of Mackinac, then working Sturgeon Bay, Green Bay and Bay De Noc before heading to the St Marys River and operating as far north as Whitefish Point. Morro Bay maintained track on both sides of Neebish Island Friday and anchored in Lake Nicolet for the night @ 19:30. Katmai Bay worked in the upper river from Ile Parisienne to Birch Point and as of 19:30 was moored on the West Pier in the Soo.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Presque Isle left Duluth at 07:59 Friday morning with a load of iron ore pellets from Canadian National. John J. Boland and Lee A. Tregurtha are both still laid up at Fraser Shipyards, and H. Lee White was still at Lakehead Pipeline in Superior on Friday undergoing some form of repairs. Saginaw and CSL Laurentien are due on Saturday, the former to load at CN and the latter to discharge salt. In Superior, Stewart J. Cort departed at 06:08 Friday with iron ore from BN, and American Mariner arrived from anchor at 07:02 to load. She was outbound at 18:10.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Roger Blough departed Two Harbors on March 27th at 05:58 for Gary. Due Two Harbors on March 28th is the Joseph L. Block. Edwin H. Gott has a current AIS. She is heading for Conneaut. The Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader departed Silver Bay on March 27th at 04:30 and the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader also departed Silver Bay on March 27th at approx. 17:47 both are headed for Cleveland. Still showing a Silver Bay destination is the Lee A. Tregurtha. She continues to be at her fit-out berth at Fraser Shipyards. This is as of 18:00 on March 27th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Thursday: Sharon MI and the barge Huron Spirit tied up at the Pollard Highway Products dock to unload windfarm project material. 22:52 Algoma Sault arrived at the Superior Elevator to load grain. Friday; 13:26 CSL Niagara departed for Becancour. CSL St Laurent departed her layup berth at Keefer Terminal and shifted to Viterra A to load wheat. 16:32 Algoma Spirit arrived and went to anchor south of the Welcome Islands.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on Friday included Joseph L. Block, CSL Laurentien, G3 Marquis, Florence Spirit, Algoma Harvester and Mesabi Miner. Downbound traffic included American Spirit, CSL Welland and Edwin H. Gott.

Muskegon, MI – Brendan Falkowski
On Thursday the first ship of the 2020 season made port in Muskegon. The tug/barge Innovation and Samuel de Champlain arrived at 3 a.m. and departed at around 15:00. The pair brought in a load of powdered cement for the Lafarge silos.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Thursday; 22:25 The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 departed for Manitowoc.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Upbound vessels Friday: Frontenac @2:20pm; Algoma Equinox @6:30 pm. Morning overcast lifted to partly cloudy afternoon 45 degrees F, winds and river calm.

Detroit-Rouge River, MI – Raymond H
Kaye E Barker unloaded another load coal at Zug Island on Friday

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Back on the shuttles, but from Ashtabula this time, Herbert C. Jackson arrived in Cleveland at 09:45 Friday for ArcelorMittal Steel.

Ashtabula, OH – Denny Dushane
Mississagi departed winter lay-up on Thursday in the evening. They headed to Marblehead, where they arrived Friday in the early morning to load for Sombra. Mississagi was the second vessel to depart, with the Saginaw being the first on March 22. This leaves the following in lay-up: Calumet, Cuyahoga, tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula, tug Invincible, Ojibway, tug Olive L. Moore and barge Menominee and the Robert S. Pierson.

Hamilton, ON – Denny Dushane
The tug Wilf Seymour and barge Alouette Spirit departed Hamilton and their winter lay-up berth on Thursday in the late evening. They were headed to Toledo. This leaves the following vessels in lay-up: the tug Everlast and barge Norman McLeod, NACC Capri, Algoma Guardian and the John D. Leitch.

Toronto, ON – Denny Dushane
Oakglen departed from winter lay-up on Friday during the early morning hours from the Redpath Sugar Dock in Toronto. They had a storage load of sugar for the winter. AIS has them next headed to Two Harbors, MN, to load. This leaves the Salarium as the last remaining vessel in Toronto's winter lay-up fleet.

Oswego, NY – Ned Goebricher
On Friday, McKeil Sprit unloaded cement.

Montreal, QC – Denny Dushane
Blair McKeil winter lay-up on Thursday in the late evening, headed to Belledune, New Brunswick. This leaves the following vessels in lay-up at Montreal: the tankers Dara and Esta Desgagnes, Argentia Desgagnes, Algoma Discovery, AML Cavalier Maxim, AML Louis Jolliet, Sedna IV, Juno Marie and the tanker Paul A. Desgagnes. Two CSL ships, Baie Comeau and Whitefish Bay, arrived on March 25 from Les Mechins after being upgraded now to Nova Scotia-class. Atlantic Huron is also in lay-up and there have been rumors that the vessel may be finished. The cement carrier NACC Quebec arrived in Montreal on March 25 and is not due to depart from there until April 7.

 

Winter lay-up list has been updated with sailing dates

3/28 - The Winter lay-up list has been updated. Please send reports of vessel sailing dates to news@boatnerd.net.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 28

N. M. Paterson & Sons, PRINDOC (Hull#657) of Davie Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec, was sold off-lakes during the week of March 29, 1982, to the Southern Steamship Co., Georgetown, Cayman Islands and was renamed b.) HANKEY. Later renamed c.) CLARET III in 1990, d.) S SARANTA in 1992, e.) PLATANA IN 1997, Scrapped at Alaiga, Turkey in 1997.

On 29 March 1888, D. D. JOHNSON (wooden propeller tug, 45 foot, 17 gross tons) was launched at E. Saginaw, Michigan. She was built for Carkin, Stickney & Cram and lasted until 1909.

1973: MANCHESTER TRADER, the second ship of this name to visit the Great Lakes, was owned by the Prince Line when it first came inland, on charter to Manchester Liners Ltd., in 1964. The ship was renamed e) WESTERN PRINCE in 1969 and also transited the Seaway that year. It became f) MARINER in 1971 and was abandoned in the Pacific on this date in 1973. The ship was leaking in heavy weather en route from Havana, Cuba, to Kobe, Japan, and was presumed to have sunk about 35.00 N / 152.47 E.

1973: DAVID MARQUESS OF MILFORD HAVEN, one of the longest named saltwater ships to visit the Great Lakes, was the first saltwater ship of the season upbound in the Seaway.

1990: The MAYA FARBER visited the Great Lakes in 1981. It arrived at Alang, India, under tow for scrapping on this date following an explosion and fire off Port Sudan as d) RAAD AL-BAKRY VIII on January 15, 1990.

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

 

New procedure at Soo Locks due to virus

3/27 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Vessels are being told crewmembers will no longer be allowed on the lock wall to handle the lines. Corps of Engineers line handlers will tie up the boats. In addition, written lock reports have been replaced by a form to be filled out online. This is due to concerns about the COVID-19 virus.

 

Cleveland-Cliffs temporarily shuts down construction of its HBI project in Toledo

3/27 - Cleveland OH – Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. has announced, following guidelines from the office of the governor of Ohio regarding COVID-19 virus concerns, the company is temporarily shutting down construction activities at its hot-briquetted iron (HBI) project site in Toledo, Ohio. Effective March 20, all construction activity at the site ceased. Cleveland-Cliffs will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will re-start construction of the HBI plant as soon as feasible. All other Cleveland-Cliffs iron ore mining and steelmaking facilities will remain in operation.

BusinessWire

 

Port Reports -  March 27

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
H. Lee White arrived Duluth at 09:36 Thursday morning to load wheat at General Mills, and Presque Isle was inbound at 11:28 to pick up a load of iron ore pellets at Canadian National. The White finished loading Thursday evening but shifted down to the Lakehead Pipeline dock in Superior for a delay; her departure time is unknown. Presque Isle is expected to depart from CN midday Friday. Lee A. Tregurtha and John J. Boland are both still laid up at Fraser Shipyards; the Tregurtha is now listed as departing early Friday while the Boland is due to depart on Saturday. In Superior, Stewart J. Cort arrived at 13:08 Thursday afternoon to load ore at Burlington Northern, and is expected to depart early Friday. American Mariner was due on Thursday evening but will likely anchor to wait to load after the Cort.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Edwin H. Gott arrived Two Harbors on March 26th at 05:39 for South of #2. She departed on the 26th at 17:15. As of 18:30 she doesn't have an updated AIS, but I'd guess she's headed for Gary. Two Harbors also saw the Roger Blough arrive on the 26th at 17:45 for South of #2. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Two Harbors on March 27th. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the American Spirit depart on March 26th at 08:24 for Cleveland. Arriving Silver Bay on March 26th were the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader at 08:50 and the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader at 09:29. Tentatively due Silver Bay on March 27th is the Lee A. Tregurtha. She is currently in lay-up at Fraser Shipyards.

Thunder Bay, ON
Thursday, March 26; 9:59 CCGS Samuel Risley departed Keefer Terminal to resume ice operations, breaking out the Mission River. 16:53 CSL Welland departed for Montreal. CSL Niagara shifted to Viterra A to finish loading. 20:45 CCGS Samuel Risley rendezvoused with Sharon M I and the barge Huron Spirit south east of the Welcome Islands and is escorting them into the Mission River.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Thursday included Algoma Sault early and Algoma Spirit late. Saginaw left Algoma for Duluth/Superior. Paul R. Tregurtha was downbound in the afternoon, encountering some difficulty with ice being pushed into the Poe Lock ahead of her. She had to back out and the lock had to be emptied, all 22 millions gallons of water along with ice chunks. Then it was refilled. They only had to do this once and the freighter was allowed to enter, very slowly as usual. Eventually the Tregurtha made its way out of the lock and continued on her way to Indiana Harbor. In the afternoon, tug Anglian Lady / barge PML Ironmaster moved from the lower harbor up to Algoma. After dropping off the Ironmaster, Anglian Lady hooked up with the tank barge PML 2501 and headed down the river for the lower lakes with a cargo of coal tar. At 9 p.m., tug Victory and her barge Maumee were headed in to Algoma and Mackinaw was tied up on the northwest pier.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
Joseph L. Block and Mesabi Miner departed winter layup in Sturgeon Bay on Thursday, both headed for Lake Superior to start their 2020 seasons. Still in layup at the shipyard are American Integrity, Edgar B. Speer, James R. Barker, John G. Munson, Wilfred Sykes, and Thunder Bay.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Thursday; 13:44 The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 arrived to unload material at the Lafarge cement plant.

Cheboygan: Thursday; 17:10 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes departed for Sarnia.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
CSL Laurentien was upbound at 11:30 am Thursday, followed by G3 Marquis at 1pm; overcast skies, light winds from the south-southwest, 55 degrees F.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Thursday Arrivals: Florence Spirit arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to fuel. Kaye E Barker arrived at Zug Island to unload coal.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Laura VanEnkevort/Joseph H. Thompson arrived at 16:48 on the 25th from Marblehead with stone for LaFarge. She is departing today. Herbert C. Jackson is finally released from shuttle duties and departed Cleveland at 10:54 and is sailing to Ashtabula. NACC Argonaut departed at 11:30 and is bound for Toronto. Sea Eagle II/ St. Mary's Cement II arrived at 11:48 for the St. Mary's Cement dock.

Hamilton, ON – Denny Dushane
Algoma Equinox departed winter layup Thursday morning for Thunder Bay. Also departing was the G3 Marquis on March 24, Florence Spirit on March 25 and the Algoma Harvester also March 25. All three departures were showing a Thunder Bay destination on their AIS. Vessels still in lay-up include the tug Wilf Seymour/barge Alouette Spirit at Berth 25S - Richardson, tug Everlast/barge Norman McLeod at Berth 24W - McAsphalt, NACC Capri which is now registered in Canada is at Berth 22 - Lafarge, Algoma Guardian is at Berth 26N - GLS and the John D. Leitch is at Berth 11W - Bunge with a storage load of grain from Thunder Bay.

 

As the Great Lakes surge to record heights, coastal areas face a time of reckoning

3/27 - Massena, NY - Editor’s Note: M Live has put together an extensive package of stories on record water levels. Follow the link at the end of this excerpt to view.

The spillway gates are open at the Long Sault Dam on the mighty St. Lawrence River. Below, mist throws a tiny rainbow in the sunlight as the relentless force of water escaping five inland seas billows into a static roar.

Water rushing over the dam is an unusual sight. For most of its 61 years, the gates have been closed to divert the river flow to the dam’s electricity-generating companion, the Moses-Saunders Power Dam, about three miles downstream.

But these are extraordinary times along the Great Lakes. High water records are falling throughout the region less than a decade after the lakes hit record lows. Millions are being spent to combat erosion threatening homes and infrastructure. The annual St. Lawrence Seaway opening is delayed by efforts to drop levels on Lake Ontario — the first time in decades such efforts have impeded movement of goods on the lakes.

On the St. Lawrence River, dam operators are attempting to carefully drain Lake Ontario and, by extension, lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior in a complicated, and lately, controversial process that engineers liken to emptying a series of bathtubs through a straw.

“Everything that comes through the Great Lakes eventually ends up here,” says Patrick Davis, regional manager for the New York Power Authority’s St. Lawrence River dams.

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.mlive.com/news/2020/03/as-the-great-lakes-surge-to-record-heights-coastal-areas-face-a-time-of-reckoning.html

 

Port of Toledo adds COVID-19 safety measures

3/27 - Toledo, OH – The Port of Toledo is an economic driver for the region. It supports about 7,000 jobs and generates $1 billion for the economy annually. The port is not just one operation, there are about 17 docks that load and unload cargo on ships, trains and trucks. According to leaders at the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, each company that operates at those docks has put best practices into place for workers and contract employees during the outbreak.

The terminal operators have also been advised by the U. S. Coast Guard about new protocols.

According to the Port Authority, when it comes to the inspection of cargo ships, the crew will now be checked out as well as the cargo. Agencies like the Coast Guard and Customs will be making sure the crew is healthy, and in some cases the crew may not be able to disembark from the freighter. There are protocols and regulations to cover all that.

So what about cargo coming in from overseas? Joe Cappel is the Vice President of Business Development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. "Safety is our number one concern. There are a lot of people at a lot of levels who have been planning during this time. I understand people's concerns about receiving goods from overseas right now. However, the majority of what we handle here in Toledo is in bulk. Bulk product and raw materials. Those are things that would not be handled by producers overseas," said Cappel.

The freighters that work only in the Great Lakes have started the 2020 shipping season. It will likely be a few weeks before the first international vessel arrives in Toledo.

ABC 13

 

Photo contest winners announced

3/27 - The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership today announced the winners of their second annual photo contest. This announcement also marks the beginning of the organization’s third annual photo contest in tandem with the opening of the Soo Locks on March 25 and the St. Lawrence Seaway on April 1.

Each year, to celebrate the start of the Great Lakes navigation season, the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership invites boatnerds and shipping fans alike to submit their favorite photos of Great Lakes freighters, tugboats and barges across the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System. The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership received over 270 entries throughout the submission period, which began 4/1/19 and ended 12/31/19.

The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership thanks all 2019 contest participants and invites them to participate in 2020’s third annual photo contest by submitting original photos to greatlakesseaway.org/photo-contest.The contest begins on April 1 and will end when the St. Lawrence Seaway closes for the 2020 Great Lakes navigation season. Winners will be announced April 1, 2021.

View the winners here: http://greatlakesseaway.org/great-lakes-seaway-partnership-2019-photo-contest-winners/

 

Seaway salties begin lining up for the 2020 Seaway opening

3/27 - As the official opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway approaches on April 1st from the Montreal to Lake Ontario section, several saltwater vessels are already beginning to arrive in Montreal for the April 1st opening. As of March 26, there are already at least nearly a dozen or so saltwater vessels expected to arrive in Montreal with Great Lakes destinations listed.

Tufty arrived in Montreal already on March 25 and are expected to depart on April 1st for Toronto with sugar. Due in Montreal on March 28 is the Federal Cedar, heading up to Thunder Bay to load. Two more additional salties are expected on March 29, Wigeon and the Cape (ex-Heloise), with the Wigeon headed for Toledo and the Cape for Toronto with sugar. Two Fednav salties are expected in Montreal on March 31, Federal Columbia for Hamilton coming from Antwerp, Belgium, and fleetmate Federal from Richards Bay, South Africa, for Ashtabula. Federal Bering is due in Montreal on April 1st from Brazil and headed to Hamilton.

Three additional saltwater vessels are due April 2nd in Montreal, Oborishte headed to Valleyfield, Federal Biscay arriving from Norway to Ashtabula and also Eeborg arriving from Norway tor Hamilton. Federal Hunter has a tentative ETA per their AIS arriving in Hamilton from Brake, Germany on April 8th. Also due in Montreal on March 29th is the Atlantic Spirit, one of McKeil Marine’s tanker fleet’s newest additions. They will be arriving from the Netherlands. The tanker Gaia Desgagnes of Desgagnes’ Petro-Nav fleet is expected in Montreal on March 30. They have been working throughout the winter trading in European countries.

Denny Dushane

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 27

On 26 March 1922, OMAR D. CONGER (wooden passenger-package freight, 92 foot, 200 gross tons, built in 1887, at Port Huron, Michigan) exploded at her dock on the Black River in Port Huron with such violence that parts of her upper works and engine were thrown all over the city. Some said that her unattended boiler blew up, but others claimed that an unregistered cargo of explosives ignited. She had been a Port Huron-Sarnia ferry for a number of years.

The CITY OF MOUNT CLEMENS (wooden propeller "rabbit,” 106 foot, 132 gross tons) was launched at the Chabideaux yard in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, on 26 March 1884. She was towed to Detroit to be fit out. She was built for Chapaton & Lacroix. She lasted until dismantled in 1921.

1935: A fire destroyed the small wooden bulk carrier ALICE M. GILL that had been laid up at Sandusky since the end of the 1926 season. The ship had been built as a tug for the logging industry and later served as a lighthouse tender and then a small bulk carrier. The remains were scrapped.

1971: The former CLEMENS SARTORI stranded off the coast of Algeria in bad weather as b) PIRAEUS while en route from Antwerp, Belgium, to Mersin, Turkey, and was abandoned by the crew as a total loss. The vessel was a pre-Seaway visitor to the Great Lakes for the West German firm of Sartori and Berger and, in July 1958, was the first westbound salty to use the recently opened American locks at Massena, NY. It made 20 trips to the Great Lakes (1959-1965) mainly on charter to the Hamburg-Chicago Line.

1976: RAMON DE LARRINAGA is remembered as the first Seaway era saltwater vessel into the port of Duluth-Superior, arriving amid great fanfare on May 3, 1959. The ship was sailing as c) MARIAN when it sustained hull damage clearing the port of Lisbon on this date in 1976. Portuguese authorities ordered the vessel towed out to sea and it foundered off Cascais, Portugal, the following day.

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

 

Algoma Conveyor freed at Green Bay

3/26 - Green Bay, WI Update: Around 2:30 p.m. Thursday, tugs freed the Algoma Conveyor, which ran aground last week after losing propulsion while on its way to deliver a shipment of salt to Green Bay.

Original Report -
Efforts are continuing to refloat the Algoma Conveyor which ran aground in last week after losing propulsion while on its way to deliver a shipment of salt to Green Bay. So far, about 2,000 tons of cargo have been offloaded into s small barge with more yet to be lightered. The tugs Erika Kobasic, Nickelena and Barbara Andrie are on the scene.

Algoma Conveyor was transporting a load of road salt from Canada into Green Bay when it lost propulsion because of a mechanical failure, attempted to anchor and then drifted aground, according to Lt. Phillip Gurtler of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Because of the lack of damage, the Coast Guard, state Department of Natural Resources and a contracted salvage company had the leisure to work with the owner, Algoma Central Corp., over the weekend to formulate a plan, Gurtler said.

 

Winter fleet is underway, but Door County officials ask people to stay away

3/26 - Door County, WI – Vessels are underway from winter quarters, but with health concerns about COVID-19, visitors are asked to stay away this year. Just past the entrance to the Sturgeon Bay Shipping Channel, the 858-foot long Roger Blough made its way into the waters of Green Bay Tuesday morning.

"We saw the Roger Blough going out through the ice, with the Mobile Bay out front cutting, and the Gaynor, one of the tugs from Sturgeon Bay took it out here to the quarry," said Rick Stram, Sturgeon Bay.

Every year, Stram looks forward to the time when the ships depart. "They were scheduled to leave yesterday, and there were a bunch of us down at Bullhead Point here in Sturgeon Bay that were waiting for it to leave, but it didn't," he said.

Bullhead Point is a popular place to watch the Winter Fleet. The ships arrive at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding for repairs, and maintenance. But because of the coronavirus, people are being asked to stay away.

Company officials could only specify the vessels are scheduled to leave in March or April. Tourism leaders say most of the area businesses are closed, and the county really cannot support additional visitors at the present time. The Door County Fire Chiefs Association agrees.

"Stay home. Stay safe. They talk about everybody should act like you have the virus, and the virus is on everything and everywhere you're going. So, really respect that. If you're here, if you're self-quarantining, or if you're under an ordered quarantine, please respect the word quarantine, and what it means," said Chief Chris Hecht, Door County Fire Chiefs Association President.

Back on the Bay, the Roger Blough and its crew are heading to Minnesota. Rick Stram is going home. "Now, it's all quiet," he said.

Local tourism officials say it's hard to tell people to stay away from Door County, but because of crisis, the decision is necessary.

FOX 11

 

No fanfare as Welland Canal opens; pilot boats sidelined

3/26 - Welland, ON – A 17-year-old cement carrier, NACC Argonaut, launched the St. Lawrence Seaway's 62nd navigation season Tuesday morning by making its way up the eight-lock, 43-kilometre-long Welland Canal between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

With traditional top hat ceremonies in St. Catharines and Port Colborne cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no fanfare for the vessel as it slipped into the system overnight. While NACC Argonaut – part of Algoma Central Corp's global short sea shipping fleet with Nova Marine Holding SA of Lugano, Switzerland – made its way up the canal, CSL Tadoussac made its way down to Lake Ontario from its winter berth in Port Colborne.

Ship watchers in Port Colborne were treated to a relatively rare sight as the Algoma Sault backed down the canal from its berth just below Bridge 21, the Clarence Street Bridge, and out into Lake Erie, bound for Thunder Bay. It was a tight squeeze above Bridge 21, as the 225.55-metre vessel had to get past two berthed fleetmates – Algoma Mariner and Algoma Transport – to get to the lake.

With the shipping season underway on the canal – the Lake Ontario to Montreal section opens April 1 to allow more water outflow from Lake Ontario. St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. president and chief executive officer Terence Bowles said it saw a tremendous response by its employees and members of the broader marine community in overcoming a range of obstacles to ensure its opening.

"The St. Lawrence Seaway provides an essential transportation service that literally feeds nations around the world, including Canada and the U.S., and supplies the inputs which keep many of our industries operating. We will strive to do our part during this difficult period," said Bowles in a news release.

Seaway spokesman Andrew Bogora said a new series of procedures were implemented to keep interaction between people as minimal as possible to ensure the health and safety of everyone.

A notice on the seaway's website said domestic fleet crews can get on and off vessels at locks 1, 2, 5 and 7 and the loading of stores and supplies will be permitted at Wharf 2 in St. Catharines and Wharf 16 in Port Colborne. Lock 8 in Port Colborne has been used for years for domestic crews getting on and off ships and for resupplying vessels.

Both the wharf locations — on the west side of the canal below Lock 1 in St. Catharines and the east side of the canal in the Snider Docks area in Port Colborne — are secure locations only accessible by seaway staff or people with proper security clearance.

Pilots that guide ocean-going vessels through the canal and lakes will now board vessels at Lock 7 or at wharves as necessary instead of boarding via pilot boats at either end of the canal.

On its website, Canada Steamship Lines president and chief executive officer Louis Martel said the shipping company has developed a contingency plan to protect its employees and ensure continuity of services to customers.

"The plan includes restricted access to ships to essential people only, pre-boarding screening procedures for crew members and anyone boarding a vessel, and strict hygiene and social distancing protocols onboard all ships. A work-from-home policy has also been implemented in CSL offices," he said in his message.

St. Catharines-based Algoma Central Corp. posted COVID-19 protocol on its website that said all crew members will be screened by fleet personnel prior to joining a vessel. Algoma crews will be asked to monitor their own health and immediately report if they develop any symptoms.

Welland Tribune

 

Port Reports -  March 26

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Maumee/tug Victory departed Duluth at 11:26 Wednesday morning with a load of iron ore pellets from Canadian National. American Spirit left her winter layup dock at Lakehead Pipeline and departed via the Superior entry at 06:39, bound for Silver Bay to load. Lee A. Tregurtha remains laid up at Fraser Shipyards and is now due to depart on Thursday, while John J. Boland is still in drydock at the yard but is listed as departing on Saturday. H. Lee White and Presque Isle are both expected in Duluth on Thursday, and Stewart J. Cort and American Mariner are due to load in Superior.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
CN-Two Harbors had no traffic on March 25th. Due Two Harbors on March 26th is the Edwin H. Gott and later in the day the Roger Blough. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the arrival of the American Spirit on March 25th at approx. 11:10. Due Silver Bay on March 26th are both Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader and Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader. Lee A. Tregurtha continues to sit at Fraser Shipyards showing a Silver Bay destination.

Thunder Bay, ON
Wednesday, March 25: 14:09, CCGS Samuel Risley departed Keefer Terminal to resume ice operations. 19:36 the Risley returned to her berth at Keefer Terminal. CSL Niagara departed her layup berth at Keefer Terminal and shifted to Viterra B to load grain.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on opening day Wednesday included Sharon M 1 and barge (to Thunder Bay), Stewart J. Cort, Roger Blough, American Mariner and Saginaw (to Algoma). Hon. James L. Oberstar was downbound. Vessels were encountering little difficulty with ice. USCG Mackinaw was doing track maintenance above the locks. USCG Morro Bay and Neah Bay were doing the same in the lower river.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Wednesday March 25; 11:56 The cement carrier Alpena arrived to load at the Lafarge plant Wednesday and departed at 16:26 for Green Bay.

Sarnia, ON
Frontenac departed the North Slip in Point Edward Wednesday downbound for Sterling Fuel in Windsor and then to load salt for South Chicago.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Frontenac out of layup passed downbound at 4:45pm clear blue skies, 54 degrees F, light breeze from the west-northwest.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Kaye E Barker unloaded ore at AK Steel on Wednesday.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Calusa Coast arrived on 3/23 at 16:45 for the Marathon dock, she departed Wednesday at 14:28. NACC Argonaut arrived on 3/24 at 23:27 for the LaFarge cement dock. Herbert C. Jackson is still on the shuttles

 

Algoma Central provides update on 2020 navigation season

3/26 - Editor’s note: Algoma Central Corporation Wednesday provided an update on the commencement of the 2020 domestic navigation season. Their press release follows:

St. Catharines, ON – The Welland Canal is expected to open on March 24, and the Lake Ontario to Montreal section of the St. Lawrence Seaway is scheduled to open on April 1. We are pleased to announce the NACC Argonaut, a pneumatic cement carrier that is 50% owned by Algoma, is scheduled to open the Welland Canal as the first upbound vessel of the 2020 navigation season. The NACC Argonaut is commanded by Captain Montford Organ and is joined by his Chief Engineer, Khurshid Alam. The vessel currently trades on the Great Lakes and east coast of Canada, primarily for Lafarge Cement Canada Inc, loading regularly at Lafarge’s cement production facility located in Bath, Ontario and delivering to destinations in both Canada and the United States.

Algoma approached the 2020 shipping season with a healthy customer base and a solid book of business and with plans to deploy all its vessels in support of agriculture, construction, mining, and manufacturing. But this year’s opening of the canal comes during uncertain times. Although the precise impact of the COVID-19 virus on Algoma’s markets is not yet clear, it is encouraging that governments in both Canada and the United States have emphasized the importance of maintaining essential services such as marine transportation. It is also reassuring that many of Algoma’s suppliers and customers have been designated as essential services. With the strong support of our employees, labour partners, regulators, customers, suppliers, and the Seaway management corporations, Algoma will remain operational. The company is fitting out vessels for domestic service as warranted by demand and as a result, some vessels will enter service later than previous scheduled. Algoma will work closely with its customers to ensure the Canadian marine transportation sector, the transportation mode with the lowest environmental footprint, is efficiently and effectively positioned to meet their needs.

The most pressing concern currently is the safety of crew members and the Company is working together with all stakeholders and taking proactive steps to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 for all employees.

“The health and safety of our employees and their families is and always has been our number one priority,” advised Gregg Ruhl, President and Chief Executive Officer at Algoma. “Although times are uncertain, we understand that we have a critical role to play in the Canadian and global economy. We are committed and will do everything we can to keep essential supply chains open and the wheels of industry turning, while also doing our part to help flatten the curve,” continued Mr. Ruhl.

Business Wire

 

Carmeuse employees on self-quarantine after exposure

3/26 - Rogers City, MI – Multiple Carmeuse Lime & Stone employees have been asked to self-quarantine after they were exposed to a contractor who worked at the Calcite plant earlier this month, but later tested positive for coronavirus.

Carmeuse Americas on Tuesday was informed that a contractor, who was on site at the Calcite operation between March 9 and March 11, and worked alongside one of the crews, became ill after leaving the Calcite plant. The contractor sought medical treatment in Canada and on March 24 was confirmed to have coronavirus, a statement from the company said.

Two employees from the crew that worked alongside the contractor developed flu-like symptoms. Although they have not been tested for coronavirus, they have been asked to self-quarantine. The other members of the crew who came into contact with the contractor were not asked to self-quarantine because they are beyond the 14-day window when symptoms would show.

“In the meantime, we have been in close contact with McLaren Medical and following their advice, have asked those employees working closely with the self-quarantined employees to self-quarantine until the first of April as a precaution,” Spokesman Kevin Whyte said in the press release. “We are relieved to report that our employees who are ill, are doing well and are recovering at home, as is the contractor employee.”

The Alpena News

 

IJC adjusts Lake Ontario outflow ahead of spring

3/26 - The International Joint Commission is opening the floodgates even more to help get as much water out of Lake Ontario as possible before the spring melt. The International Lake Ontario–St. Lawrence River Board, which is charged with regulating water levels in the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, said it plans to make two major changes to its water management plan to remove as much water as possible from the lake through the spring. “Lake Ontario’s seasonal rise has begun, and will generally continue in the coming weeks,” the board said in a release.

The first change the board plans to make involves the Flood Limit – a rule that governs outflows and “attempts to balance high water impacts upstream and downstream” of the Moses-Saunders dam in Cornwall. For example, when Lake Ontario is near 75.3 metres, outflows are adjusted to bring Lake St. Louis (near Montreal) up to its flood alert level of 22.1 metres.

The water level on Lake Ontario sits at around 75.17 m, which is about 51 cm above average for this time of year and only 14 cm below the record high for this time of year set in 1952, according to the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA). In fact, the CRCA says that if weather conditions continue within normal ranges for this time of year, the water levels are predicted to reach 75.3 m by the week of Apr. 10.

So while Lake Ontario remains below the limit, the board expects it to rise through spring and it’s proactively increasing outflows to allow water levels downstream to get to 22.2 m or more in anticipation of the lake’s rise.

The second deviation will begin Apr. 1 after the St. Lawrence Seaway officially opens. “Working closely with commercial navigation experts, outflows will be increased as quickly and as much as possible above the Plan 2014 usual safe navigation limit,” the board said in a release.

“This strategy will be implemented to ensure that the maximum possible outflows are maintained while allowing for safe navigation to continue.”

Other factors may still come into play and potentially limit outflows, officials added, including Ottawa River flows and water levels in the lower St. Lawrence River. The board said there is still “long-term uncertainty” about just how high the water could get this season, both upstream on Lake Ontario and downstream in the lower St. Lawrence River.

“Water levels will largely be determined by precipitation, inflows from Lake Erie and from the Ottawa River system over the next several weeks,” they said. Residents along the St. Lawrence River should be aware that water levels could fluctuate significantly during this time, they added.

The changes are being implemented in a “very specific window of opportunity” and “will help remove an additional amount of water from Lake Ontario in the coming weeks before the Ottawa river freshet begins; at which time the Lake Ontario outflows will need to be reduced significantly until the Ottawa river flows from melted snow has receded.”

Last week the CRCA reiterated this warning, and water levels have been rising recently, as is typical in early spring, and peak levels are not expected until later in May.

“Under seasonally normal weather and water supply conditions, peak levels of around 75.45 m would be expected. However, while there remains considerable uncertainty at this time, higher peak levels are possible if wet conditions occur,” the conservation agency said. For reference, the peak Lake Ontario water level was 75.88 m in 2017 and 75.92 m in 2019, the two years where flooding was particularly bad.

Recorder & Times

 

Seaway lists COVID-19 restrictions

3/26 - Seaway Notice No. 11 – 2020
Limitations to Interfaces at Canadian Locks due to COVID-19 - Revised
The following limitations are applicable at all Canadian locks:

1. Interfaces for persons/service providers are to occur for R1 personnel only (Canadian crews are considered R1)

2. SLSMC will not entertain any escorting of non-R1 persons or monitoring product exchanges.

3. SLSMC will not provide assistance handling gangways.

4. Visitors are reminded to follow SLSMC instructions for gaining access to all locks. MLO

Domestic Carriers (with their own portable gangway)

- Interfaces permitted at SLB Lock (Lock 1) and Upper Beauharnois Lock (Lock 4)
- R1 Crews can embark / disembark vessels at Locks 1 & 4.
- Interfaces at CSC Lock (Lock 2) and Lower Beauharnois Lock (Lock 3) may be considered.

Ocean Carriers
- Interfaces permitted at SLB (Lock 1) and Upper Beauharnois (Lock 4)
- Emergency situations will be considered (ex: technicians for safety of navigation) Pilot Exchange
- Interfaces permitted at SLB (Lock 1), Upper Beauharnois Lock (Lock 4) and at IRO Lock

Welland Canal
Domestic Carriers (with their own portable gangway)
- Interfaces permitted at Locks 1, 2, 5 and 7
- R1 Crews can embark / disembark vessels at Locks 1, 2, 5 & 7.
- Stores/supplies will be permitted at wharf 2 and wharf 16. Arrangements are to be made with the tenants for cost, timing and availability.

Ocean Carriers
- Interfaces permitted at Locks 1, 2, 5 and 7 for R1 service providers
- Emergency situations will be considered (ex: technicians for safety of navigation)

Pilot Exchange
- Interfaces permitted at Lock 7 and wharves as necessary
Screening and Access to Canadian Locks
Screening measures are being implemented to protect the SLSMC worksite from a risk of infection. Mariners are advised that:
- The SLSMC has implemented screening measures for entering the locks via access gates and for crew members disembarking ships at the locks.
- Crew members or chandlers may be refused access to the lock should they not meet the screening criteria.
- Crew members that are showing symptoms will not be permitted to disembark at the locks.
Note: ships are reminded that they should have their own protective screening measures in place for any interface and not rely on those of the SLSMC
March 25, 2020

Maisonneuve Region – Montréal / Lake Ontario section
Modifications to Ship Inspections
Due to the current operating environment, temporary changes to the Seaway Enhanced Ship Inspections (ESI) program for foreign ships are being implemented in order to minimize the risk of exposure, while balancing the risk to Seaway structures and ensuring compliance with Seaway Practices and Procedures.

These temporary measures will pro-actively evaluate ship's conditions based on historical transits, the date of the last Seaway inspection, past deficiencies and corrective actions, etc. Ships that would traditionally be inspected will be sent a “Self-Inspection Report for Foreign Ships” which must be filled out and returned to SLSMC 96 hours prior to arrival at CIP 2. This evaluation may result in some ships being exempt from a full ESI and they will be granted direct entry into St-Lambert Lock. In addition to the "Self-Inspection Report for Foreign Ships” the SLSMC requests that the "IMO Health Declaration Form” also be submitted.

For exempt ships that may have a direct entry to the Seaway, ballast water inspections will still occur, however they will either take place between St-Lambert Lock and Cote St-Catherine Lock, between Snell Lock and Eisenhower Lock, or through other administrative measures. These temporary measures will be in place until further notice.

 

AIS station hosts needed

3/26 - To better support our AIS map and Automated Vessel Passage System we are looking for locations to host a receiver to share data from that location.

Boatnerd would send you, at no cost, an antenna and receiver. All that is needed is a location near the water and an Internet connection. The receiver sends out small data messages to our server, where it is processed. We can also accept data feeds if you have an existing AIS receiver (like Marine Traffic) that won’t affect your current use.

Data from these locations would be very helpful:

Lake Erie:
North shore, we need better coverage from Port Stanley to Port Burwell and Long Point Bay: Nanticoke / Port Dover
Fairport, Ohio
Conneaut, Ohio

Lake Huron:

Bruce Peninsula
Tobermory, Georgian Bay and Manitoulin Island/ North Channel

Lake Michigan
Port Inland

Lake Superior

Anywhere on the North and East Shores
Grand Marais North Shore
Munising to Grand Marais South Shore
Ashland to Copper Harbor

Lake Ontario
Most, Port Weller to Cape Vincent

Seaway / St. Lawrence River / Gulf of St. Lawrence

most.

Please e-mail if you would like to host or share data
If you have an area you would like us to set up an automated vessel passage system please e-mail The system can be customized for any area we have covered.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 26

On 26 March 1922, OMAR D. CONGER (wooden passenger-package freight, 92 foot, 200 gross tons, built in 1887, at Port Huron, Michigan) exploded at her dock on the Black River in Port Huron with such violence that parts of her upper works and engine were thrown all over the city. Some said that her unattended boiler blew up, but others claimed that an unregistered cargo of explosives ignited. She had been a Port Huron-Sarnia ferry for a number of years.

The CITY OF MOUNT CLEMENS (wooden propeller "rabbit,” 106 foot, 132 gross tons) was launched at the Chabideaux yard in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, on 26 March 1884. She was towed to Detroit to be fit out. She was built for Chapaton & Lacroix. She lasted until dismantled in 1921.

1935: A fire destroyed the small wooden bulk carrier ALICE M. GILL that had been laid up at Sandusky since the end of the 1926 season. The ship had been built as a tug for the logging industry and later served as a lighthouse tender and then a small bulk carrier. The remains were scrapped.

1971: The former CLEMENS SARTORI stranded off the coast of Algeria in bad weather as b) PIRAEUS while en route from Antwerp, Belgium, to Mersin, Turkey, and was abandoned by the crew as a total loss. The vessel was a pre-Seaway visitor to the Great Lakes for the West German firm of Sartori and Berger and, in July 1958, was the first westbound salty to use the recently opened American locks at Massena, NY. It made 20 trips to the Great Lakes (1959-1965) mainly on charter to the Hamburg-Chicago Line.

1976: RAMON DE LARRINAGA is remembered as the first Seaway era saltwater vessel into the port of Duluth-Superior, arriving amid great fanfare on May 3, 1959. The ship was sailing as c) MARIAN when it sustained hull damage clearing the port of Lisbon on this date in 1976. Portuguese authorities ordered the vessel towed out to sea and it foundered off Cascais, Portugal, the following day.

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

 

Soo Locks opens for the season; first freighter passes through

3/25 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – After a 10-week shut down for winter maintenance, the Soo Locks opened for the season early Wednesday morning.

The first freighter made its way into the Sault Ste Marie area around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. H. Lee White had the honor of starting the shipping season. Joyce L. VanEnkevort followed her up the river and was scheduled lock to through after the White. Clyde S. VanEnkevort and her barge Erie Trader were anchored at Nine Mile Tuesday night. Burns Harbor will be the first downbound passage. Edwin H. Gott and Presque Isle were also upbound in the river on Tuesday.

Soo Locks Park is closed to visitors due to the Covid-19 pandemic until further notice. View a video at this link: https://www.9and10news.com/2020/03/24/soo-locks-opens-for-the-season-first-freighter-passes-through

 

NACC Argonaut opens Welland Canal

3/25 - St. Catharines, ON – The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) marked the opening of the Seaway’s 62nd navigation season Tuesday with the transit of the NACC Argonaut through Lock 8 on the Welland Canal.

“With the COVID-19 outbreak, we are living in exceptional times. We witnessed a tremendous response by our employees and members of the broader marine community in overcoming a range of obstacles to ensure that the Seaway can open” said Terence Bowles, President and CEO of the SLSMC.

“The St. Lawrence Seaway provides an essential transportation service that literally feeds nations around the world, including Canada and the U.S., and supplies the inputs which keep many of our industries operating. We will strive to do our part during this difficult period. We are implementing recommended preventive measures to protect the health of our employees, including working from home where possible. ”

Craig H. Middlebrook, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation said, “Every navigation season brings opportunities and challenges and the 2020 season will be no different. While the opportunities and challenges change each year, what remains constant are the safety, reliability, efficiency and environmental performance advantages of waterborne transportation. The Seaway Corporations continue working every day to ensure that these advantages are realized as fully as possible in our binational waterway.”

The Seaway’s Montreal / Lake Ontario section will open on April 1, this year, eight days after the opening of the Welland Canal. This hybrid approach will enable the International Joint Commission to move record volumes of water out of Lake Ontario in order to provide relief to lakeshore communities battered by high water levels.

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation

 

Homeland Security says maritime workers considered ‘essential’

3/25 - Maritime workers – including those working on barges, in energy transportation and at ports – are considered “essential employees” and should report to work even under state or local shelter-in-place or stay-at-home restrictions designed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a list Thursday of “essential critical infrastructure workers” to help state and local officials identify those who should stay on the job during the coronavirus crisis.

Calling them either shelter-in-place or stay-at-home restrictions, a growing number of states and local governments are curbing or shuttering businesses and limiting the movement of people to stem the disease’s spread. DHS stated that these responses are locally executed, state managed and federally supported.

Concerning the maritime industry, the DHS list zeros in on “port workers, mariners, equipment operators, employees who maintain marine vessels and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers.”

Also included are those involved in marine transport and storage of crude oil and petroleum. LNG facilities and transport, and workers who support the operation, inspection and maintenance of the nation’s locks, dams and levees are also considered essential. Workers involved in the necessary credentialing, vetting and licensing operations of transportation workers are also included.

The American Waterways Operators, the association representing the tug and barge industry, has been working closely with federal officials to make sure barge industry workers are classified as essential and are able to get to their jobs despite stay-at-home restrictions imposed where they live.

AWO has posted on its website templates of two letters that can be used by waterways companies stating that their employees are considered “essential critical infrastructure workers” under the DHS guidelines. One letter can be sent to state, city or other government bodies to assure the “free passage” of maritime transportation workers to their jobs. The other identifies employees as essential.

Both letters emphasize the importance of allowing maritime workers to get to their jobs and quote the DHS memorandum that states: “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.” Letter templates and other updates can be found on AWO’s website.

Workboat

 

Port Reports -  March 25

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
After shifting from her winter layup berth at SMET to the Canadian National dock late Monday night to load her first cargo of the season, Paul R. Tregurtha was outbound at 14:23 Tuesday afternoon with iron ore pellets. Her fleetmate Lee A. Tregurtha had been expected to depart from Fraser Shipyards at some point Tuesday evening for Silver Bay to load, leaving only the John J. Boland and American Spirit left in layup. Duluth's first arrival of the 2020 season will be the Maumee/tug Victory, which was expected at 21:30 to pick up a load of ore at CN. There is a growing list of vessels that are due upon the opening of the Soo Locks, including H. Lee White, Presque Isle, Saginaw, Mesabi Miner, CSL Laurentien, Stewart J. Cort, and American Mariner.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived Two Harbors on March 24th at 00:15 Central for South of #2. She departed on the 24th at 10:20 for Indiana Harbor. Anchored near Detour was the Edwin H. Gott for Two Harbors as of 19:00 on March 24th. Lee A. Tregurtha is due Silver Bay to load. As of 19:00 on the 24th she was still at Fraser Shipyards. As of 19:00 on the 24th Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader and the Joyce L. VanEnkevort / Great Lakes Trader were both below the locks awaiting their upbound passage. Both are showing a Silver Bay destination.

Thunder Bay, ON
Tuesday, March 24; 10:25, CCGS Samuel Risley arrived and began ice operations to break out the harbor. CSL Welland left her layup berth at Keefer Terminal and shifted to Viterra A to load wheat.

St. Marys River – Denny Dushane
As of 6 p.m. March 24, American Steamship Company’s H. Lee White was moored on the lower Poe Lock wall awaiting the opening of the Soo Locks scheduled for 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday. She is headed for Superior, WI, where she is expected sometime on March 26. From there, the ship will load a cargo of wheat for Buffalo, NY. The White was also the first ship to depart Sturgeon Bay. Meanwhile, the 1,000-foot Burns Harbor was anchored above the Soo Locks near Gros Cap Light around Isle Parisienne waiting for the H. Lee White to clear the locks upbound before they proceed downbound. H. Lee White will be the first ship upbound at the Soo Locks while the Burns Harbor will be the first downbound. Both are owned by the American Steamship Company. This will also be a first for the H. Lee White as far as opening the Soo Locks. Burns Harbor was the last vessel of the 2019 season at the Soo Locks on January 15th heading to Superior, WI.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
Roger Blough and American Mariner departed their winter layup berths at Bay Shipbuilding on Tuesday, leaving eight vessels still tied up around the shipyard. Sandblasting and painting work is well underway on the hull of Thunder Bay in the graving dock, while the remaining vessels are slowly ballasting and making preparations for the coming season.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Samuel de Champlain/Innovation cleared for Chicago at 22:38 Monday (3/23). An hour later, Stewart J. Cort backed out of the harbor and headed for Lake Superior.

Northern Lake Huron
McGregor Bay: Sunday March 22; 10:56 CCGS Samuel Risley arrived to break out the Lafarge Whitefish Bay Terminal and Fisher Harbour. She departed at 14:26 for Thunder Bay On. Tuesday; The cement carrier Alpena arrived at the Lafarge Whitefish Bay Terminal to unload. Alpena: Monday March 23; The cement carrier Alpena arrived to load at the Lafarge plant and departed at 19:44 for McGregor Bay.

Toledo, OH – Denny Dushane
A correction to Monday's news reports. It was mentioned and indicated the Edwin H. Gott became Toledo's fourth vessel to depart from for the 2020 shipping season. The Gott was the fifth vessel departure from Toledo for the 2020 season. The first to depart was the tug Samuel De Champlain and barge Innovation on March 16 from the Lafarge Cement Dock where they had wintered. Two more vessels departed on March 20 from Lay-Up, the tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort and barge Erie Trader along with the tug Laura L. VanEnkevort and barge Joseph H. Thompson with each sailing to Marblehead to load limestone. The fourth vessel to depart was the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader within the past few days. They were headed to Silver Bay to load iron ore pellets.

Port Colborne, ON – Denny Dushane
Algoma Sault departed on Tuesday morning heading upbound. AIS shows Thunder Bay as their next destination. Algoma Sault joined CSL Laurentien and CSL Tadoussac, which departed from their Winter Lay-Up berths in Port Colborne. CSL Laurentien departed in the late evening hours on March 23, while te CSL Tadoussac left in the morning on March 24 heading downbound in the Welland Canal to Bowmanville to load cement for Detroit. CSL Tadoussac was also the first downbound vessel for the 2020 season at Lock 3. Meanwhile, the CSL Laurentien was showing on their AIS a Windsor destination.

 

Dojon Shipbuilding among business that receive a least a partial wavier

3/25 - Erie, PA - Business owners and their employees in Erie and across the state continued to seek answers Monday about how Gov. Tom Wolf would define non-life-sustaining business.

That definition has continued to evolve since the governor announced last week that he would shutter thousands of Pennsylvania businesses in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. And the list of businesses required to close has been updated to reflect a growing number of exemptions since the original list was announced Thursday.

Local company Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair learned they had been granted at least partial waivers. Donjon, which sent more than 140 employees home last week, was expected to resume operations Tuesday with a workforce of about 80.

Like a long list of other businesses, New Jersey-based Donjon Marine Co. Inc., parent company of the Erie shipyard, made the case that it was vital to the economy. “We’re in very difficult times,” said John Witte, executive director of Dojon Marine. “We made the waiver request and we waited in line behind everybody else to learn whether we would be granted the waiver.”

GoErie.com

 

Goderich Port’s response during social distancing

3/25 - Goderich, ON – Amid the evolving situation pertaining to the pandemic of COVID-19, shipping is currently in its seasonal hiatus, yet will resume in early April. Ports play a key role in the economy and the marine transportation sectors are prepared for the heightened risk of COVID-19.

Goderich Port Management Corporation (GPMC) expects lake traffic supporting maritime commerce to continue. “The Town and GPMC has emergency plans and processes in place to respond to situations like the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Goderich Mayor John Grace. “Our top priority is taking the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of our residents and any vessels entering our Port.”

According to the GPMC, measures have been taken to ensure vessels destined for Goderich have the latest information from local health teams on how to handle crew who might have symptoms of COVID-19. Both Alexandra Marine and General Hospital (AMGH) and the Maitland Valley Family Health Team have been preparing for COVID-19 for weeks.

Local health teams reiterate that if at risk of COVID-19 because of travel or contact with someone who has the virus, phone appointments are on offer. If symptoms are mild, health teams ask individuals to stay at home or in self-isolation and if symptoms are serious, direction will be provided.

The Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC), the shipping industry association is keeping all shipping and ports updated on the changing situation and Transport Canada has issued guidance to offshore vessels approaching Canadian waters.

Goderich Signal Star

 

COVID-19 concerns slated to temporarily close Burlington lift bridge to vehicle traffic

3/25 - Hamilton, ON – The federal government plans to close the Burlington Canal lift bridge to car traffic temporarily as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to emails to the city. City officials were alerted Monday that the bridge over the shipping canal into Hamilton Harbor would soon be lifted — and left in the raised position — due to staffing issues related to COVID-19.

But there was still no word Tuesday about when the closure would begin or how long the bridge might be off-limits to cars. Emails to the city indicated a federal announcement – including alternate route information – is yet to come. It is also unclear if any of the handful of employees who run the federally owned bridge are in self-isolation, or whether the planned shutdown is meant as a temporary precaution.

The nearly 60-year-old bridge serves as both the Eastport Drive road link between Burlington and Hamilton — particularly for the residential beach strip — but also an emergency route over the canal for QEW highway traffic during skyway closures. Leaving the bridge in the "raised" position would allow lakers and other marine traffic to access the busy port in Hamilton Harbour with the shipping season about to begin.

Hamilton Spectator

 

U.S. flat steel demand healthy in Q1, virus outlook uncertain: US Steel

3/25 - Demand for flat-rolled steel products in the US has been healthy throughout the first quarter of 2020, however the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on the rest of the year is unknown given the rapidly evolving situation, US Steel said Friday.

US Steel expects to report an adjusted loss of 8 cents per diluted share in the first quarter of 2020, it said in its first quarter guidance issued Friday. This compares with earnings of 31 cents per diluted share, or $54 million, on sales of $3.5 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Results for the company’s flat-rolled segment are expected to be better than anticipated in Q1 as seasonally strong shipment volumes more than offset the typical seasonality of mining, US Steel said.

“Additionally, the domestic flat-rolled steel market has remained healthy throughout the first quarter to date,” the company said. “Extended lead times are supported by robust construction end-market demand and an end to destocking that negatively impacted order rates throughout 2019.”

In April the company will commence the previously announced indefinite idling of its iron and steel making operations at its Great Lakes Works outside Detroit and still expects to begin a sched-uled 48-day outage at its Gary Works blast furnace No.4 in April.

Steel selling prices in Europe steadily increased throughout Q1, however US Steel said its business was still impacted by the flow through of lower pricing based on monthly and quarterly contracts and elevated raw material costs.

Additionally, the company’s tubular steel segment remained challenged in Q1 as oil prices remain under significant pressure and rig counts continue to be low, US Steel said.

“The global coronavirus outbreak is an unprecedented and rapidly evolving situation,” US Steel said. “It remains uncertain how long the situation will last and what the impacts will be for the full year. Given the significant uncertainty in the marketplace, we continue to monitor demand levels and plan to provide more information during our first quarter earnings call.”

Hellenic Shipping News

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 25

HENRY G. DALTON (Hull#713) was launched March 25, 1916, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co., for the Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio – the company's first 600 footer.

FRANK R. DENTON was launched March 25, 1911, as a.) THOMAS WALTERS (Hull#390) at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Interstate Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

On March 25, 1927, heavy ice caused the MAITLAND NO 1, to run off course and she grounded on Tecumseh Shoal on her way to Port Maitland, Ontario. Eighteen hull plates were damaged which required repairs at Ashtabula, Ohio.

The steamer ENDERS M. VOORHEES participated in U.S. Steel's winter-long navigation feasibility study during the 1974-75 season, allowing only one month to lay up from March 25th to April 24th.

March 25, 1933 - Captain Wallace Henry "Andy" Van Dyke, master of the Steamer PERE MARQUETTE 22, suffered a heart attack and died peacefully in his cabin while en route to Ludington, Michigan.

1966: The French freighter ROCROI made one trip through the Seaway in 1959. The ship arrived at Halifax on this date in 1966 with interior damage after the 'tween decks, loaded with steel, collapsed crushing tractors and cars beneath. The vessel was repaired and survived until 1984 when, as e) THEOUPOLIS, it hit a mine en route to Berbera, Somalia, on August 14, 1984. The vessel was badly damaged and subsequently broken up in India.

1973: The former MONTREAL CITY caught fire as b) RATCHABURI at Bangkok, Thailand, on March 24, 1973. It was loading a cargo of jute and rubber for Japan on its first voyage for new Thai owners. The vessel was scuttled and sank on March 25 in Pattani Bay, South Thailand. The ship began coming through the Seaway for the Bristol City Line when new in 1963.

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

 

Soo Locks poised for season opener

3/24 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – With the shipping season getting underway at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, two vessels are already in the river awaiting passage. The downbound Burns Harbor was at anchor below Whitefish Point at 10 p.m. Monday night. H. Lee White was anchored above DeTour. The vessels will make their way to the locks on Tuesday to be ready for the opening bell. It was unknown on Monday which vessel would have the honor of being the first boat. The USCG icebreaker Mackinaw is stationed above the locks to provide assistance if needed.

On Monday, tug Victory / barge Maumee left winter layup at Algoma Steel bound for Marquette to load, according to her AIS. The CCGS icebreaker Samuel Risley locked upbound to conduct ice ops in Thunder Bay. USCG Alder was downbound, and by 10 p.m. was in the Straits area. Other vessels headed for the locks include upbound Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader, Presque Isle and Edwin H. Gott.

Events marking the opening of the locks have been cancelled for this year and the Soo Locks park is closed to visitors.

 

Twin Ports shipping season gets underway

3/24 - Duluth, MN – Amid a pandemic and fears over how a recession could impact Iron Range mining operations, the Twin Ports shipping season quietly got underway over the weekend.

The Burns Harbor departed from the Superior entry at 1:53 a.m. Sunday with a load of iron ore bound for the ship's namesake port in Indiana. The 1,000-foot laker, operated by the American Steamship Company, was also the last into port, arriving on Jan. 16.

Meanwhile, the new season's first traffic should begin arriving later this week. The Stewart J. Cort, H. Lee White and American Mariner all were Twin Ports-bound, with estimated Thursday morning arrivals, according to tracking website Harbor Lookout.

The Soo Locks will open for the season Wednesday, making Lake Superior accessible to the lower Great Lakes and oceangoing vessels.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Ship remains grounded in Green Bay; freight being off-loaded to help it float free

3/24 - Green Bay, WI - Efforts were under way Monday to free a 740-foot cargo vessel that ran aground and became stuck in the bay of Green Bay Thursday. Some of her cargo was off-loaded into a barge Monday, but not enough for tugs to pull her free. Off-loading will continue.

The ship was undamaged, no one was hurt, and there was no resulting pollution spill from the accident, but the ship remained lodged in place, partially blocking the shipping channel five miles north of the mouth of the Fox River.

The ship, the Algoma Conveyor, was transporting a load of road salt from Canada into Green Bay when it lost propulsion because of a mechanical failure, attempted to anchor and then drifted aground, according to Lt. Phillip Gurtler of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Because of the lack of damage, the Coast Guard, state Department of Natural Resources and a contracted salvage company had the leisure to work with the owner, Algoma Central Corp., over the weekend to formulate a plan, Gurtler said.

The plan so far is a simple one: Off-load the road salt to another vessel and see whether the resulting loss of weight improves buoyancy enough to free the vessel. Several tug boats were dispatched to the scene to help pull the vessel free if that is necessary and it can be done without damaging the hull, Gurtler said.

The 18 crew members will remain aboard to help with the off-loading and other tasks but will be removed if any major safety concern develops, Gurtler said. He was unable to guess how long the operation could take.

Green Bay Press Gazette

 

Port Reports -  March 24

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
There were no departures from the Twin Ports on Monday as originally expected. Hon. James L. Oberstar, in layup at Fraser Shipyards, was tentatively expected to depart at 19:30 for Two Harbors to pick up her first load of the season but was still at the shipyard at that time (AIS showed her underway at 10 p.m.). Paul R. Tregurtha, which had been expected to load at SMET where she is currently laid up, is now slated to shift to CN to load iron ore pellets before departing on Tuesday or Wednesday. The port's first arrival of the season will likely be H. Lee White, which is currently anchored in the lower St. Marys River and is due on Thursday to load wheat at General Mills.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Jim Conlon
The first ship to leave winter layup at Bayship, the H. Lee White, left on Sunday morning.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Samuel de Champlain/Innovation arrived from Alpena at 01:49 Monday (3/23) with cement for Lafarge. She was reunited with fleetmate, G.L. Ostrander/Integrity, which has spent the winter in Milwaukee. At 03:10, Calumet River Fleeting’s tug Nathan S returned to the city with three more barges for loading at the COFCO elevator. This makes seven three-barge tows loaded at COFCO in 2020. Tug and barges cleared for Calumet Harbor at 16:56. No additional marine traffic is currently expected.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Saginaw was loading coke at Zug Island on Monday.

Toledo, OH – Denny Dushane
Edwin H. Gott departed Winter Lay-Up early in the morning on March 23. Their AIS was indicating a Two Harbors destination. This makes the fourth vessel so far that departed from Winter Lay-Up in Toledo and now leaves 12 vessels still remaining in lay-up. The list includes Algoma Strongfield at the Ironhead Shipyard drydock getting their 5-year survey done; Philip R. Clarke and Great Republic tied-up at the Old Interlake Iron Co. Dock near the Ironhead Shipyard Drydock; Sam Laud at the Ironville Dock along with the American Century at CSX #3 Dock, Indiana Harbor along with the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. at CSX #2 Dock; Arthur M. Anderson at the CSX #1 Dock Wall and American Courage at the Torco Lakefront Docks. Three ships that are laid-up and not expected to sail in 2020 include American Valor and Manistee in long-term lay-up at the Hocking Valley Dock and the St. Clair still at the Lakefront Docks from its fire in February 2019.

Ashtabula, OH – Denny Dushane
Saginaw became Ashtabula's first departure from Winter Lay-Up of the 2020 Shipping Season late during the evening on March 22. Vessels that remain in lay-up are the following: Calumet, Cuyahoga, tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula, tug Invincible, Mississagi, Ojibway, tug Olive L. Moore and barge Menominee and the Robert S. Pierson.

 

ArcelorMittal idling #4 blast furnace at Indiana Harbor after auto shutdown in coronavirus response

3/24 - East Chicago - ArcelorMittal is idling the #4 Blast Furnace at its ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor steel mill after auto plants nationwide shut down for a deep cleaning to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Much of the steel made at the mill in East Chicago and along Northwest Indiana's lakeshore ends in cars, trucks and SUVs. Industry analysts estimate as much as 50% of the business at integrated mills like ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor comes from the automotive industry.

The Detroit 3 automakers are shuttering their plants through March 29 to clean them to protect workers from COVID-19. Honda, Subaru and other foreign automakers also temporarily closed their U.S. plants in response to the global pandemic for which there is not yet a cure.

"The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted ArcelorMittal USA’s key use markets. In response to this, we are adapting our capacity to meet changing demand while maintaining the flexibility of our operations," ArcelorMittal spokesman William Steers said. "As a result, ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor has begun preparations for a safe and orderly blow down of IH #4 blast furnace with necessary precaution to preserve the asset for future production."

The company would not say exactly how many jobs would be affected.

"ArcelorMittal USA plans to work with the USW to minimize impact on our workforce for the duration of the outage by finding available opportunities for displaced workers in other areas of our operations," Steers said. "Our employees are our greatest asset and their health and safety is our top priority. During this time we continue to be committed to protecting the well-being of our employees, contractors, vendors and customers to ensure the continuity and sustainability of our business and communities."

The idling could potentially just be the start as the coronavirus crisis unfolds, he said.

"ArcelorMittal will continue to engage with our customers in understanding the new market realities resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, which may require additional capacity optimization to align our production with end use demand," Steers said.

Northwest Indiana Times

 

S.S. Keewatin will not reopen to visitors in 2020

3/24 - Port McNicoll, ON – Despite its investment in headsets to facilitate the operation of tours of the S.S. Keewatin, the Friends of Keewatin has determined, in conjunction with Skyline Investments, the owners of the ship, that it will not be feasible for its tours to operate in 2020 within COVID-19 social distancing requirements in light of parts of the tours necessarily occurring in close quarters.

In anticipation of these requirements continuing for some time, given the S.S. Keewatin’s relatively short mid-May to mid-October operating season, the impact on tourism, including by cruise ship, a significant source of visitors in recent years, and the substantial fixed cost and volunteer effort to open for the season, we have concluded that preparing to open for the 2020 season will not be in the long-term interests of the S.S. Keewatin.

The Friends of Keewatin will continue to work with Skyline Investments in determining the future plans for operation of the S.S. Keewatin.

Friends of Keewatin

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 24

ALPENA (Hull#177) was launched on March 24, 1909, at Wyandotte, Michigan, by Detroit Ship Building Co. for the Wyandotte Transportation Co.

IRVIN L. CLYMER was launched March 24, 1917, as a.) CARL D. BRADLEY (Hull#718) at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co. the third self-unloader in the Bradley Transportation Co. fleet.

The SAMUEL MATHER was transferred on March 24, 1965, to the newly-formed Pickands Mather subsidiary Labrador Steamship Co. Ltd. (Sutcliffe Shipping Co. Ltd., operating agents), Montreal, Quebec, to carry iron ore from their recently opened Wabush Mines ore dock at Pointe Noire, Quebec to U.S. blast furnaces on Lakes Erie and Michigan. She was renamed b.) POINTE NOIRE.

PETER ROBERTSON was launched March 24, 1906, as a) HARRY COULBY (Hull#163) at Wyandotte, Michigan, by Detroit Ship Building Co. for the L. C. Smith Transit Co., Syracuse, New York.

On 24 March 1874, the 181-foot, 3-mast wooden schooner MORNING STAR was launched at E. Saginaw, Michigan, by Crosthwaite.

On 24 March 1876, CITY OF SANDUSKY (wooden side-wheel passenger/package freight vessel, 171 foot, 608 gross tons, built in 1866, at Sandusky, Ohio) burned and sank in the harbor at Port Stanley, Ontario.

On 24 March 1876, MINNIE CORLETT (wooden scow-schooner, 107 gross tons, built before 1866) was sailing light from Chicago, Illinois, to Two Rivers, Wisconsin, on Lake Michigan when she stranded and then sank. No lives were lost.

1905: The wooden passenger and freight carrier LAKESIDE was built in Windsor in 1888. It spent most of its life operating between Niagara and Toronto. During fit out on this date in 1905, the ship sank at the dock in Port Dalhousie when water was sucked in through the seacock after the engine filling the boiler shut down. The hull was refloated and returned to service until the DALHOUSIE CITY was built in 1911.

1981: The West German freighter ANNA REHDER first came through the Seaway in 1967 when it was two years old. It was sold and renamed LESLIE in 1973. The captain last reported his position on this date in 1981 and that they were encountering heavy weather while en route from Boulogne, France, to Umm Said, Qatar. There was no further word and it is believed that the ship went down with all hands in the Atlantic off the coast of Spain. A ring buoy was later found north of Cape Finnestere.

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

 

Tugs at scene of grounded Algoma Conveyor

3/23 - Green Bay, WI – On Sunday, two tugs and a barge were at the scene of the Algoma Conveyor grounding in the entrance channel to Green Bay, WI. The tugs are Erika Kobasic and Nickelena. USCG Mobile Bay was also on the scene, as was a barge to be used in offloading some of the Converyor’s cargo of salt. Algoma Conveyor lost propulsion late Thursday afternoon and moved outside the shipping channel and ran aground.

 

Port Reports -  March 23

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Burns Harbor was outbound from Burlington Northern around 02:00 Sunday, laden with iron ore pellets bound for her namesake port. There has been no further vessel movement in the harbor, however the Paul R. Tregurtha is expected to begin taking on coal at SMET on Sunday to prepare for a Monday departure.

St. Marys River
USCGC Neah Bay escorted the Algocanada downbound Sunday morning. USCG was above the locks awaiting downbound traffic.

Marine City, MI - Rich Larson
At 1:15 pm Sunday Algosea passed downbound. Shortly after, Alpena passed upbound. Skies partly cloudy 40 degrees F with steady breezes from the east southeast.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Sunday Arrivals: Kaye E Barker arrived at AK Steel to unload ore. Joyce L VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to fuel.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader arrived in Lorain at 09:25 Sunday from Marblehead with stone for the Lafarge dock. Herbert C. Jackson continued on the shuttles from Cleveland Bulk Terminal to ArcelorMittal Steel.

Lake Ontario – Ron Walsh
McKeil Spirit has already made two trips to Toronto, and one each to Oswego and Rochester. She was loading cement in Picton on Sunday. The NACC Argonaut arrived in Bath Saturday from her Toronto winter layup. The Sea Eagle II is anchored off Bowmanville. The CCGC Cape Hearne arrived at her new coast guard base in Kingston on Saturday. The CCGC Cape Storm is also on station at Port Weller. The Kingston-area tour boats have started to fit out for the season, but they really do not know when they will start or what health conditions they will face. There is no ice to speak of anywhere in the area as compared to last year when large icebreakers were operating in the area.

Erie, PA – Gene P
Presque Isle departed Sunday evening. Her AIS has not yet been updated.

 

2020 edition of “Know Your Ships” ready for new shipping season

3/23 - The new shipping season is at hand, and so is the release of "Know Your Ships 2020,” the edition of the popular annual field guide to boats and boatwatching on the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Seaway.

This year’s 200-book includes information on U.S., Canadian and international-flag cargo vessels, tugs, excursion boats and barges in regular Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Seaway service, including owner and port of registry, year and shipyard where built, length, beam, depth, cargo capacity and former names, plus type of engine, horsepower and more.

Standard and spiral bindings are available. Order at this link: www.knowyourships.com

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 23

The National Transportation Safety Board unanimously voted on March 23,1978, to reject the U. S. Coast Guard's official report supporting the theory of faulty hatches in their EDMUND FITZGERALD investigation. Later the N.T.S.B. revised its verdict and reached a majority vote to agree that the sinking was caused by taking on water through one or more hatch covers damaged by the impact of heavy seas over her deck. This is contrary to the Lake Carriers Association's contention that her foundering was caused by flooding through bottom and ballast tank damage resulting from bottoming on the Six Fathom Shoal between Caribou and Michipicoten Islands.

On 23 March 1850, TROY (wooden side-wheel passenger/package freighter, 182 foot, 546 tons, built in 1845, at Maumee, Ohio) exploded and burned at Black Rock, New York. Up to 22 lives were lost. She was recovered and rebuilt the next year and lasted until 1860.

On 23 March 1886, Mr. D. N. Runnels purchased the tug KITTIE HAIGHT.

The 3,280 ton motor vessel YANKCANUCK commanded by Captain W. E. Dexter, docked at the Canadian Soo on 23 March 1964, to officially open the 1964 navigation season for that port. Captain Dexter received the traditional silk hat from Harbormaster Frank Parr in a brief ceremony aboard the vessel. The ship arrived in the Sault from Windsor, Ontario. Captain Dexter said the trip from Windsor was uneventful and he had no trouble with ice. This was the first time a ship from the Yankcanuck line had won the honor of opening the Sault Harbor.

1986: EBN MAGID visited the Seaway in 1970 as a) ADEL WEERT WIARDS and was on the cover of Know Your Ships for 1971. Following 2 explosions and a fire at sea at the end of January, the vessel docked this day at Milford Haven, U.K. to be unloaded. It was then sold to Belgian shipbreakers.

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

 

Mackinaw locks up to break ice in upper St. Marys River

3/22 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – At lunchtime Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Mackinaw entered the Poe Lock to begin opening the upper St. Marys River and Whitefish Bay as part of spring breakout in Lake Superior. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, continues vital operations at the Soo Locks while dealing with the impacts of COVID-19.

USCG

 

Tugs head for grounded Algoma Conveyor

3/22 - Green Bay, WI – On Saturday evening, two tugs and a barge were on their way to the Algoma Conveyor, which ran aground late Thursday afternoon in the entrance channel to Green Bay, WI. The tugs are Erika Kobasic and Nickelena. USCG Mobile Bay was also on the scene Saturday afternoon.

Algoma Conveyor lost propulsion and moved outside the shipping channel, and it ran aground, according to port director Dean Haen. The ship was hauling salt into Green Bay.

 

U.S. Coast Guard to open West Neebish Channel in the St. Marys River

3/22 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – The Coast Guard plans to open the West Neebish Channel in the St. Marys River Tuesday morning, March 24.

Ice above the Neebish Island ferry crossing is deteriorating rapidly. Recent rain and above normal temperatures weakened shore ice which threatens to collapse and potentially obstruct ferry operations. Three 140-foot ice breaking tugs are working the lower St. Marys River to flush rotten ice downstream to prevent ice from hindering commercial navigation, including ferry operations. Prior to announcing these plans, Coast Guard officials conferred with the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority (EUPTA) and the local ferry operators to collect their input. Each supports the timing for the waterway opening.

For up-to-date information on ferry operations call the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority (EUPTA) delays, cancellation, and updates hotline at (906) 632-1516, check the local ferry Facebook pages, or the EUPTA website at EUPTA.net.

USCG

 

Port Reports -  March 22

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
After spending the last few months laid up at Elevator M in Superior, Burns Harbor left the dock around 01:00 Saturday morning and shifted to Burlington Northern to load her first cargo of iron ore pellets for the season. She was tentatively expected to depart at 22:00. Still in layup around the Twin Ports are Paul R. Tregurtha, moored at Midwest Energy; American Spirit, tied at Lakehead Pipeline; and Hon. James L. Oberstar, Lee A. Tregurtha, and John J. Boland, all laid up at Fraser Shipyards. All three Interlake vessels are currently slated to depart on Monday, while the port's first arrivals of the 2020 season should come by the end of the week.

St. Marys River
Tanker Algocanada was unloading petroleum products in Soo, ON, on Saturday.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 5:30 pm Saturday, the tug Leo A. MacArthur and barge John J. Carrick passed downbound. Skies clear 29 degrees F. Winds stiff and steady from the north-northwest.

Marblehead, OH
The Clyde S. VanEnkevort and barge Erie Trader arrived late Friday night in Marblehead thus becoming the first arrival in Marblehead for the 2020 Shipping Season. The tug Laura L. VanEnkevort and Joe Thompson are anchored awaiting the Clyde to load at Marblehead first.

Rochester, NY – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit departed Saturday afternoon, in ballast, for Picton, ON, after delivering the first load of the season to Lehigh Cement.

 

USS Little Rock offered for service as hospital in battle against Covid-19

3/22 - Buffalo, NY - The decommissioned USS Little Rock at Canalside is volunteering to be a floating hospital for people testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Taking an all-hands-on-deck approach, Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park officials said Friday the ship and the entire park could play a role in the local health care delivery system to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Paul Marzello, the park's president and CEO, offered use of the ship and park to Erie County officials, who confirmed they have received the offer. “Right now the USS Little Rock could accommodate between 175 and 200 people, depending on distancing requirements,” said Shane Stephenson, the park's director of museum collections.

The public opening of the military park for the 2020 season has been delayed because of the highly contagious virus. But elected officials and health industry leaders are scrambling to increase hospital bed capacity in anticipation of a surge of patients infected by the virus.

The park's offer comes a day after Catholic Health announced it is converting the St. Joseph Campus for Sisters of Charity Hospital to exclusive care of coronavirus patients. But that is not expected to be enough.

Mark Sullivan, president and CEO of Catholic Health, has said the St. Joseph Campus in Cheektowaga will handle 20% of patients expected to need hospitalization and the 5% who will need intensive care. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has also been in discussions on the possibility of using the former Women & Children's Hospital and the Buffalo Grand Hotel, formerly the Adam's Mark Buffalo, for additional hospital beds to treat Covid-19 patients.

The Little Rock, a light cruiser commissioned at the end of World War II, was originally designed to accommodate 700 shipmates. In its current role as a museum, it is outfitted with plumbing and other utilities. “My understanding is that the Army Corps of Engineers would have to bring in equipment to make it suitable for this type of service,” Stephenson said.

Using a decommissioned naval ship might not be as unusual as it sounds. The Navy has already sent two hospital ships to New York City and the West Coast. "The role of the military in the past has been significant in assuaging the public's fears in times of crisis," Marzello said. "Generally speaking, people view the military as having the resources and the commitment to overcome these kinds of challenges."

The Little Rock is no stranger to overnight guests. In the spring and fall, the ship routinely accommodates area Boy Scout and Girl Scout organizations for weekend encampments.

The USS The Sullivans, a decommissioned destroyer at the park, is not suitable for housing because it lacks utilities, Branning said.

The Buffalo News

 

Seaway announces COVID-19 measures

3/22 - Seaway notice no. 10 - 2020
Limitations to Interfaces at Canadian Locks due to COVID-19 The following limitations are applicable at all Canadian locks:

1. Interfaces for persons/service providers are to occur for R1 personnel only (Canadian crews are considered R1)
2. SLSMC will not entertain any escorting of non-R1 persons or monitoring product exchanges.
3. SLSMC will not provide assistance handling gangways.
4. Visitors are reminded to follow SLSMC instructions for gaining access to all locks.

Domestic Carriers (with their own portable gangway)
• Interfaces permitted at SLB Lock (Lock 1) and Upper Beauharnois Lock (Lock 4)
• R1 Crews can embark / disembark vessels at Locks 1 & 4.
• Interfaces at CSC Lock (Lock 2) and Lower Beauharnois Lock (Lock 3) may be considered.

Ocean Carriers
• Interfaces permitted at SLB (Lock 1) and Upper Beauharnois (Lock 4)
• Emergency situations will be considered (ex: technicians for safety of navigation) Pilot Exchange
• Interfaces permitted at SLB (Lock 1), Upper Beauharnois Lock (Lock 4) and at IRO Lock

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 22

On 22 March 1922, the Goodrich Transit Company purchased the assets and properties of the Chicago, Racine and Milwaukee Steamship Company. This sale included two steamers: ILLINOIS (steel propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 240 foot, 2,427 gross tons, built in 1899, at S. Chicago, Illinois) and PILGRIM (iron propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 209 foot, 1,921 gross tons, built in 1881, at Wyandotte, Michigan).

The GULF MACKENZIE sailed light March 22, 1977, on her maiden voyage from Sorel to Montreal, Quebec.

The tanker COMET (Hull#705) was launched March 22, 1913, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Standard Transportation Co. of New York.

THOMAS W. LAMONT (Hull#184) was launched March 22, 1930, at Toledo, Ohio by Toledo Shipbuilding Co. for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

March 22, 1885 - The Goodrich steamer MICHIGAN was crushed in heavy ice off Grand Haven, Michigan and sank. Captain Redmond Prindiville was in command, Joseph Russell was the first mate.

On 22 March 1873, TYPO, a wooden schooner/canaller, was launched at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She cost $25,000 and was commanded by Captain William Callaway.

On 22 March 1871, Engineer George Smith and two firemen were badly scalded on the propeller LAKE BREEZE when a steam pipe they were working on blew away from the side of the boiler. They were getting the engines ready for the new shipping season.

On 22 March 1938, CITY OF BUFFALO (steel side-wheeler passenger/package freight vessel, 340 foot, 2,940 gross tons, built in 1896, at Wyandotte, Michigan) caught fire during preparations for the spring season while at her winter moorings at the East Ninth Street dock in Cleveland, Ohio. She was totally gutted. The hulk was towed to Detroit for conversion to a freighter, but this failed to materialize. She was cut up for scrap there in 1940.

On 22 March 1987, the pilothouse of the 1901, steamer ALTADOC, which was used as a gift shop and 2-room hotel near Copper Harbor, Michigan, was destroyed by fire.

1973: The Swedish built NORSE VARIANT first came to the Great Lakes in 1965 just after completion. On March 22, 1973, the vessel was en route from Norfolk, VA, to Hamburg, Germany, with a cargo of coal when it ran into an early spring storm with 40 foot waves southeast of Cape May, N.J. The vessel was overwhelmed and sank with the loss of 29 lives. Only one man survived.

2006: The Collingwood-built Canadian Coast Guard ship SIR WILFRID LAURIER came to the rescue of those aboard the passenger ship QUEEN OF THE NORTH when the latter sank with the loss of two lives off the coast of British Columbia.

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

 

Efforts to free Algoma Conveyor to begin Saturday

3/21 - Green Bay, WI – Algoma Conveyor, which ran aground late Thursday afternoon in the entrance channel to Green Bay, WI, was still stuck Friday night. She was inbound with salt at the time of the grounding.

The ship lost propulsion and moved outside the shipping channel, and it ran aground, according to port director Dean Haen. The ship was hauling salt into Green Bay. Another of the company's ships will need to come to remove some of the salt to make the Algoma Conveyor lighter so it can be removed. Haen says that could take a week or more.

The ship is essentially blocking access to the port, but Haen says no other ship is expected until next week. The ship is north of a line between Long Tail Point and Point Sable. There is no leaking or environmental discharge, Haen says.

Tugs are expected Saturday morning.

 

Thunder Bay icebreaking by USCG delayed due to border restrictions

3/21 - Thunder Bay, ON – The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder that was expected to clear ice in the Thunder Bay harbor this week, has been held back due to border crossing restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Instead, the Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Samuel Risley will arrive early next week to free up wintering ships at Keefer Terminal and open passages for the navigation season.

Chronicle-Journal

 

Port Reports -  March 21

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Lake Huron
Tanker Algocanada was back in Soo, ON, Friday to unload petroleum products.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Alpena was unloading at Lafarge on Friday.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
As of 4 pm Friday, the tug/barge combo Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader were leaving winter layup berth at the Torco Dock. Shortly afterwards the Laura VanEnkevort/ Joseph H. Thompson left the Torco dock as well. Both vessels are bound for Marblehead to load stone.

 

Message from CSL regarding COVID-19

3/21 - Montreal, QC - CSL and the marine industry at large are now sailing in uncharted waters as the entire world faces a truly unprecedented time in our history. Above all else, the health and safety of our crews, employees and communities are our main priorities and we are taking all necessary precautions to protect and support them.

In line with the guidance and regulations of local, national and global health authorities and governments, CSL has developed and activated a comprehensive contingency plan to protect people and ensure the continuity of our services to our customers.

The plan includes restricted access to ships to essential people only, pre-boarding screening procedures for crew members and anyone boarding a vessel, and strict hygiene and social distancing protocols on board all ships. A work-from-home policy has also been implemented in CSL offices.

As the situation continues to change, we will adjust our plan to ensure it is aligned to the level of threat to our crews and level of impact to our operations.

We are extremely grateful to the seafarers and employees who are working around the clock to respond and adapt to the evolving situation and ensure the normal continuity of our services to our customers. In the difficult economic climate created by the pandemic, more than ever, our customers as well as national and global economies depend on our critical services.

The shipping sector is considered an economic priority service and, so far, governments are doing everything they can to ensure the services we provide are not disrupted. However, delays at the border and with supply services are to be expected. We are working closely with sector associations and governments to put in place best practices and keep disruptions to a minimum.

Through careful planning and our cautious business strategy, and thanks to our dedicated and resourceful crews and employees, I am confident CSL will meet the COVID-19 challenge with vigilance and resilience. We urge everyone to be cautious and stay safe.

Louis Martel President and CEO

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 21

The c.) CHEMICAL MAR of 1966 sustained severe damage when sulfuric acid leaked into the pump room while she was discharging her cargo at the island of Curacao on March 21, 1982. Flooding occurred later and the vessel was declared a constructive total loss. She was scrapped at Brownsville, Texas in 1983. From 1979 until 1981, CHEMICAL MAR was named b.) COASTAL TRANSPORT for the Hall Corp. of Canada. She never entered the lakes under that name.

NOTRE DAME VICTORY was floated from the drydock on March 21, 1951, three months and two days after she entered the dock, and was rechristened b.) CLIFFS VICTORY.

MARLHILL was launched on March 21, 1908, as a.) HARRY A. BERWIND (Hull#40) at Ecorse, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for G. A. Tomlinson of Duluth, Minnesota.

Pittsburgh Steamship Co.'s GEORGE F. BAKER was sold to the Kinsman Marine Transit Co., Cleveland, Ohio on March 21, 1965, and renamed b) HENRY STEINBRENNER.

On 21 March 1874, the two schooners NORTH STAR and EVENING STAR were launched at Crosthwaite's shipyard in East Saginaw, Michigan. They were both owned by John Kelderhouse of Buffalo, New York.

On 21 March 1853, GENERAL SCOTT (wooden side-wheeler, 105 foot, 64 tons, built in 1852, at Saginaw, Michigan) was tied up to her dock on the Saginaw River when she was crushed beyond repair by ice that flowed down the river during the spring breakup. One newspaper report said that while the vessel was being cleaned up for the new navigation season, a seacock was left open and she sank before the spring breakup.

1959: The retired sidewheel steamer WESTERN STATES, known as S.S. OVERNIGHTER, caught fire while waiting to be scrapped in 1959. The vessel had last sailed in 1950 and had briefly served as a flotel at Tawas, MI, before being sold for scrap. Final demolition of the hull was completed at Bay City later in the year.

1970: The West German freighter WILHELM NUBEL made one trip through the Seaway in 1959. It sustained machinery failure as c) SAN GERASSIMOS following an engine room fire on this date in 1970. The vessel was traveling from Galatz, Romania, to Lisbon, Portugal, with a cargo of maize and had to be abandoned by the crew. While taken in tow by the tanker STAVROS E., the ship sank in heavy weather in the Ionian Sea.

1998: Three crewmembers were killed by phosphine gas when they went to assess flooding damage in #1 hold after the MARIA A. encountered heavy weather on the South Atlantic. The ship, en route from Argentina to Jordan with wheat, put into Paranagua, Brazil for repairs. The ship had been a Seaway caller as RIGHTEOUS beginning in 1979 and as AFSAR in 1986. While renamed ARIA later in 1998, the British built bulk carrier was never repaired and was either scuttled or scrapped.

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

 

Algoma Conveyor grounds near Green Bay

3/20 - Green Bay, WI – Algoma Conveyor ran aground late Thursday afternoon in the entrance channel to Green Bay, WI. She was still there at 10 p.m. Weather at the time was rainy. She was inbound with salt from Goderich, Ontario.

 

Seaway Notice # 9: Transit requirements under high flow conditions

3/20 - Transit Requirements under High Flow Conditions Mariners are advised that due to the higher than normal outflows expected at the opening of navigation, the following transit requirements are deemed necessary until further notice.

•All ships equipped with a bow thruster shall have the bow thruster operational when transiting near Seaway structures.
•All Tall Ships and Tows (Tug/Barge) transiting the Montreal to Lake Ontario section of the Seaway shall be capable of making a minimum of 8 knots through the water.
•No transits of Dead Ship tows will be permitted.
•Ships unable to transit safely at these flows may be subject to transit restriction(s). Mariners will be advised when the above restrictions will be lifted

 

Lake Ontario water levels expected to rise, outflows increased

3/20 - Watertown, NY – The group in charge of regulating water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River plans to keep pushing large amounts of water out of Lake Ontario through the spring. The International Lake Ontario–St. Lawrence River Board said it expects Lake Ontario to rise through spring and is proactively increasing outflows.

The board also said beginning April 1, following the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, "outflows will be increased as quickly and as much as possible above the Plan 2014 usual safe navigation limit."

The board said the strategy is designed to ensure that the maximum release of water is maintained while allowing for safe navigation to continue. According to the board, other considerations may take precedence and limit outflows, including Ottawa River flows and water levels in the lower St. Lawrence River.

Lake Ontario’s seasonal rise has begun and will generally continue in the coming weeks, the board said. It added that residents and communities along Lake Ontario should remain vigilant and continue to make preparations for potential impacts of high water this spring, as the risk remains elevated, particularly during periods of strong winds and waves.

The board said there remains considerable long-term uncertainty for peak levels that will be reached this season, both upstream on Lake Ontario and downstream in the lower St. Lawrence River. Water levels will largely be determined by precipitation, inflows from Lake Erie and from the Ottawa River system over the next several weeks.

The board said residents along the St. Lawrence River should be aware that water levels could fluctuate significantly during this time. Residents and property owners along Lake St. Louis near Montreal and the lower St. Lawrence River should be aware that water levels will continue to be kept very high and that low lying areas may see minor impacts, the board said.

WWNY

 

Port Reports -  March 20

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Lake Huron
Tanker Algocanada was headed back to the Soo Thursday and is due some time Friday. Cement vessel Alpena was at the southern part of the lake Thursday night headed for Detroit.

Manitowoc, WI – Matt McDonald
Tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 arrived for the first time this year, at 4:46 pm 03/19/20.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Report
At Port Milwaukee Thursday (3/19), Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Conquest arrived from Grand Haven at 13:05 with cement for the Kinnickinnic River terminal. No additional marine traffic is currently expected.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 3:30 pm Thursday, Algosea passed upbound under overcast skies, 44 degrees F, winds light from the south-southeast.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Thursday Arrivals: Iver Bright arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to unload. Kaye E. Barker arrived at AK Steel to unload ore from Ashtabula.

Oswego, NY – Ned Goebricher
On March 18, McKeil Spirit was the first ship of the season for the port.

 

Iron Range mines face looming recession triggered by COVID-19

3/20 - Duluth, MN – Amid the spread of the new coronavirus and the likelihood of a global recession, mining companies on the Iron Range continue to staff the taconite mines and iron ore pellet plants at near-full levels.

This week, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley said there’s already a global recession underway as COVID-19, the respiratory illness that develops from the new coronavirus, continues to spread, according to Bloomberg News.

That’s bad news for the Iron Range mines, said Tony Barrett, an economics professor at the College of St. Scholastica. “Whenever there’s a recession, that hurts the demand for steel,” Barrett said. “And that’ll hurt the demand for our taconite.”

And on Wednesday, General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler announced plants will temporarily shut down through the end of the month to help curb the spread of COVID-19, after reaching an agreement with the United Auto Workers union, according to CNBC.

Phil Gibbs, equity research analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets, said the integrated steel companies with ore operations in Minnesota will undoubtedly also see less demand for steel, noting that after Cleveland-Cliffs and AK Steel merged last week, the company will see about half of its steel bought up by the automotive industry.

“I would anticipate the strongest impacts to be in probably the second or the third quarters. … Maybe they receive some of the steel that they promised these guys for the remainder of the quarter, but they've certainly softened up purchases in the second quarter,” Gibbs said in an interview with the News Tribune Wednesday.

But Kelsey Johnson, president of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota, was more optimistic. She told the News Tribune on Wednesday that the companies could be insulated because they are less reliant on the automotive industry than in the past.

“I anticipate that might not affect us as greatly as it has in the past because we’re definitely pursuing other markets for the steel that we have,” Johnson said. “That may cause a small loss but I don’t anticipate it affecting the overall economic viability of either the iron or steel market.”

Additionally, an indicator Johnson tracks — capacity utilization of the country’s blast furnaces — hasn’t fallen below 80%. If utilization falls below that figure, then the Iron Range could start to feel it.

For the week ending March 14, utilization was at 80.5%, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute’s most recent numbers released Tuesday. That’s down from a utilization of 81.6% reported the week before and 82.2% during the same week in 2019. Total production during the week was down 1.3% compared to the week before and down 1.8% from the same week in 2019.

The three companies mining taconite and producing iron ore pellets in Minnesota have not felt or responded to a potential recession, based on responses to the News Tribune this week. The companies have also kept employees working, despite workers throughout the U.S. being encouraged to stay at home during the pandemic.

U.S. Steel, which owns Keetac in Keewatin and Minntac in Mountain Iron and a portion of Hibbing Taconite, is not facing any issues with essential materials and has plans in case delivery issues arise, U.S. Steel spokesperson Meghan Cox said.

Although Cox did not explicitly address the potential impact of a recession, she made the case for why domestically produced steel is better amid a pandemic.

“The coronavirus does, however, highlight general supply chain vulnerabilities, which is a primary reason why we believe a strong domestic steel industry is needed,” Cox said in an email to the News Tribune. “Products that are made and used domestically are more sustainable since they avoid national security risks, supply disruptions and the environmental cost of transoceanic shipment.”

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cox said U.S. Steel has canceled non-essential travel, limited visitors and encouraged employees to avoid large gatherings and use phone or video conference meetings instead.

An ArcelorMittal spokesperson said the company was taking similar measures but did not respond to questions on whether the company sees any sign of a recession or slowdown in demand for steel and if it was taking any steps to address those possibilities. ArcelorMittal owns Virginia’s Minorca Mine and operates and owns the largest share in Hibbing Taconite.

Cliffs, owner of Northshore Mining in Babbitt and Silver Bay and at United Taconite in Eveleth and Forbes and a portion of Hibbing Taconite, is also taking extra measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, and believes its mines and plants can remain open as its employees are generally far apart and not working in large groups, Cliffs spokesperson Patricia Persico said.

The company has encouraged some workers, like managers and its headquarters staff in Cleveland, to work from home, Persico said.

On the potential for an economic recession, Persico on Tuesday that the company hasn’t felt an impact on demand. “We’re still operating as usual,” Persico said. “Right now we are not seeing any changes, but things are very fluid obviously in this situation,” Persico said. “We’ll manage it appropriately and make the right decisions to keep everybody healthy and the business as well.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Damage from high Great Lakes levels prompts Michigan city to close marina

3/20 - South Haven, MI - South Haven is the first city in Michigan to close a marina for the summer season due to damage from high Great Lakes water over the winter. Instead of playing a role in tourism, North Marina and its 97 slips instead will receive electrical upgrades at a cost of about $300,000.

“High water has compromised the shore power electric system, which could cause shock or electrocution if someone were to come into contact with the water,” according to a news release from Katie Hosier, assistant city manager and harbormaster. “Results of a recent field review and targeted testing showed electrical leakage is occurring where wires have been sliced or are in partially or fully submerged junction boxes.”

The move comes as the city on Lake Michigan confronts at least $16 million in estimated damage from high Great Lakes water, and as shoreline communities around the state fear that their marinas also will be compromised.

South Haven has been particularly hard among coastline cities. It’s damage estimate, provided to the Michigan Municipal League, lists “Significant damages to coastal & riverbank ... beach erosion and maintenance.” Among other steps the city has taken this year is canceling its July 4 fireworks due to loss of beach.

North Marina is one of four operated by South Haven, which offers boaters a total of 229 slips.

Boating is part of the summer tourism industry in the city, which city slips building a full experience for boaters during the typical season of April 15-October 15. Electrical service, water, showers, restrooms, picnic areas, complimentary bikes and party decks are included with the cost of slip rental, according to the city, which also offers a fish-cleaning station. But with ongoing concerns about lake levels, the tourist season may continue to look different in 2020. Other marinas may push back opening dates, the city said.

The city offered the 97 slip holders at Northside with options, including canceling this year’s rental and receiving a full refund or applying this year’s rental to reserve a slip for 2021.

Lake Michigan is among four of the Great Lakes that set new record water levels in February, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts ongoing high levels through early summer at least. Meanwhile, the city said, South Haven is also seeking guidance from state officials in Michigan on the impact COVID-19 might have on marinas.

M Live

 

Great Lakes museum releases new interactive online exhibit

3/20 - Toledo, OH – The National Museum of the Great Lakes has announced the opening of an online, interactive exhibit meant to capture the vibrancy and importance of the Maumee River and the Port of Toledo over time. The Port of Toledo: Then & Now online exhibit can be accessed for free by visiting www.nmgl.org/portoftoledo.

The exhibit’s landing page showcases a Port of Toledo map with icons indicating the location of various photos taken throughout history around the Maumee River. The exhibit will be updated every few weeks with new images and stories. Visitors can click to learn more about each individual image and leave comments or share their own memories.

The initial exhibit focuses on the Port of Toledo “Then”. Still to come, the museum will explore the Port of Toledo as we know it now by showcasing collected and crowd-sourced images mirroring the historic story of the “Mighty Maumee”. Finally, in September, the National Museum of the Great Lakes will open a temporary exhibit in the History Walk Gallery of Promedica’s historic Steam Plant Headquarters, bringing together the beauty of the online exhibit with images and the incredibly real experience of artifacts.

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is committed to continuing to spread their mission while also providing valuable resources to those looking for history-based home-learning opportunities. Beyond our new Port of Toledo exhibit, we also offer an online virtual tour of our museum exhibits and the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship at: https://nmgl.org/museum-interactive-tour/. Look for more #HistoryFromHome learning opportunities to come!

National Museum of the Great Lakes

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 20

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Great Lakes iron ore trade down in January

3/19 - Cleveland, OH – Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 1.8 million tons in January, a decrease of 24.7 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings also topped the month’s 5-year average by 13.8 percent.

 Ore-shipments.jpg (71890 bytes)

 

Port Reports -  March 19

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

Straits of Mackinac – Jon Paul
Alpena passed eastbound under the Mackinac Bridge at 19:03 and proceeded through Round Island Passage heading for their namesake port to load. Algoma Conveyor was westbound with salt for an unknown port. USCGC Mackinaw returned to the Straits passing westbound Round Island Light at 15:40. They have spent the past 2 days working the lower St. Marys River in both upbound and downbound portions. They secured for the day at USCG Station St.Ignace at 16:50. Both CG 140s Neah Bay and Katmai Bay continued laying and maintaining track in the lower St. Mary's River and docked for the night at Lime Island.

Grand Haven, MI – Bill Van Lopik
The first arrival of the new shipping season took place Wednesday afternoon with the arrival of Prentiss Brown / St. Marys Conquest. The barge is presently unloading at the St. Marys terminal in Ferrysburg.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Sunday Arrivals: Samuel De Champlain/Innovation arrived at Lafarge to unload cement. Calusa Coast and Delaware arrived at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal to load.

 

Sturgeon Bay shipyard tours postponed

3/19 - Sturgeon Bay, WI - Due to the Novel Corona-19 Virus, the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay Shipyard Tour for May 2, 2020 is postponed until further notice. We are working with our event partners to determine the feasibility of hosting an event later this year. We will keep you updated as additional information becomes available. Those who purchased tickets will be contacted during the next few weeks; please be patient with us as we work through this process.

Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay

 

Help Wanted: Licensed Ass’t Engineer (Ranger III), Isle Royale National Park, Houghton, MI

3/19 - This position functions as Assistant Engineer of the Isle Royale National Park operated vessel, Ranger III, a 165’, 650 gross ton passenger (H), tank (D) and miscellaneous cargo (I) vessel. The Ranger III provides logistical support and commercial passenger/freight service during the months of April-October to a wilderness island national park located approximately 70 miles north of park headquarters in Lake Superior. During the off-season months (November-March), this position will be duty stationed at park headquarters in Houghton, Michigan. The Assistant Engineer serves as assistant to the Chief Engineer in the operation, maintenance, and repair of all engine room and associated machinery, refrigeration, plumbing, heating, and mechanical / hydraulic and electric/electronic systems.

Requirements include an Assistant Engineer (Limited) of Motor Propelled Vessels of less than 1,600 Gross Register Tons (GRT) of less than 5,000 HP/ 3,750 kw Upon Oceans, Near Coastal and Great Lakes. This is a permanent-full time, federal government position, with a competitive wage and benefits package. Contact Randy Rastello, Chief of Maintenance, at (906) 487-7145, for further job-related information or with questions. Please email resumes/qualifications to (randy_rastello@nps.gov) or mail to: Isle Royale National Park, 800 E Lakeshore DR, Houghton, MI.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 19

W. R. STAFFORD (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 184 foot, 744 gross tons, built in 1886, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was freed from the ice at 2:00 a.m. on 19 March 1903, by the Goodrich Line’s ATLANTA. When the STAFFORD was freed, the ice then closed around the ATLANTA and imprisoned her for several hours. Both vessels struggled all night and finally reached Grand Haven, Michigan, at 5 a.m. They left for Chicago later that day in spite of the fact that an ice floe 2 miles wide, 14 miles long and 20 feet deep was off shore.

CARTIERCLIFFE HALL was launched March 19, 1960, as a.) RUHR ORE (Hull # 536) at Hamburg, Germany, by Schlieker-Werft Shipyard.

INDIANA HARBOR (Hull#719) was launched March 19, 1979, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, by Bay Shipbuilding Corp.

CITY OF GREEN BAY was launched March 19, 1927, as a.) WABASH (Hull#177) at Toledo, Ohio, by Toledo Ship Building Co., for the Wabash Railway Co.

ALFRED CYTACKI was launched March 19, 1932, as a.) LAKESHELL (Hull#1426) at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd.

On 19 March 1886, the PICKUP (wooden passenger/package freight steamer, 80 foot, 136 gross tons, built in 1883, at Marine City, Michigan, was renamed LUCILE. She lasted until she sank off the Maumee River Light (Toledo Harbor Light), Toledo, Ohio, Lake Erie, on August 8, 1906.

1916 The canal-sized PORT DALHOUSIE saw only brief service on the Great Lakes. It was built in England as TYNEMOUNT in 1913 and came to Canada as PORT DALHOUSIE in 1914. It left for saltwater in 1915 and was torpedoed and sunk by UB-10 while carrying steel billets to Nantes, France. It went down March 19, 1916, south and west of the Kentish Knock Light vessel and 12 lives were lost.

1978 BELKARIN was a Norwegian cargo carrier that made one trip inland in 1963. It struck a sunken warship in Suez Bay on March 19, 1978, as c) NAHOST JUMBO and the engine room was holed. The vessel, en route from Aqaba, Jordan, to Holland, settled in shallow water. The hull was refloated in January 1979 and sold for scrap.

1990 On March 19, an explosion in a container on board the Norwegian freighter POLLUX at La Baie, QC, killed two sailors, seriously injured a third as well as 7 Alcan dock employees. The ship made its first trip up the Seaway coming to to Port Weller Dry Docks May 18 for repairs. It was renamed there and left the lakes in August as d) NOMADIC POLLUX. This ship returned inland in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and was back as e) BALTICLAND in May 2004.

1993 An explosion and fire rocked the tanker SHIOKAZE in the North Sea en route to Rotterdam killing one member of the crew. The vessel had first been a Seaway trader in 1986 and returned in 1998 as DILMUN TERN bound for Hamilton with palm oil. It was scrapped, after 30 years of service, arriving at Alang, India, on June 14, 2010, as c) THERESA III.

2002 A hull crack of close to 13 feet was found on LAKE CARLING off Cape Breton Island while traveling from Sept-Iles to Trinidad with iron ore. Originally ZIEMIA CIESZYNSKA, the vessel first came to the Great Lakes in 1993 and was renamed LAKE CARLING at Chicago in October. The crack widened to 25 feet before the vessel could reach safety but the damage was repaired and it returned to service. The original name was restored in 2004 and the vessel was last on the lakes in 2009.

2003 A fire in the after end of the CALEDONIA on the Heddle Dry Dock in Hamilton was contained to one deck. The vessel was there for conversion to a sailing ship and the work was eventually completed. The ship had visited the Great Lakes as the coastal freighter PETREL in the late 1970s but was much more at home around Maritime Canada and Hudson Bay. As a sailing ship, it carries 77 passengers and visits Caribbean ports.

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

 

Port of Buffalo ice boom removed

3/18 - Buffalo, NY – The ice boom placed at the mouth of the Niagara River has been completely removed by the New York State Power Authority tugs Breaker and Breaker II. The harbor, the Buffalo River shipping channel, and the Lackawanna/Bethlehem Steel bulk terminal docks are currently ice free.

Craig E. Speers

 

View new Seaway notices

3/18 - Seaway Notices 2 - 8 have been issued. View them here: https://greatlakes-seaway.com/en/news-and-information/notices/seaway-notices

 

Port Reports -  March 18

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

St. Marys River
Algocanada departed the Purvis Dock downbound of Sarnia on Tuesday morning. USCG Morro Bay and Mackinaw were working ice in the lower river.

 

2020 edition of “Know Your Ships” ready for new shipping season

3/18 - The new shipping season is at hand, and so is the release of "Know Your Ships 2020,” the edition of the popular annual field guide to boats and boatwatching on the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Seaway.

This year’s 200-book includes information on U.S., Canadian and international-flag cargo vessels, tugs, excursion boats and barges in regular Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Seaway service, including owner and port of registry, year and shipyard where built, length, beam, depth, cargo capacity and former names, plus type of engine, horsepower and more.

Standard and spiral bindings are available. Order at this link: www.knowyourships.com

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 18

In 1967, under the command of Captain Ray I. McGrath, the Columbia Transportation Company's HURON (steel propeller self-unloader bulk freighter, 415 foot, 4,810 gross tons, built in 1914, at Ecorse, Michigan) cleared Fairport, Ohio, and headed to Toledo, Ohio for a load of coal. She was the first freighter to sail in the new season. She sailed on the same day that the U. S. Steel's Bradley Fleet of seven vessels started fitting out.

On 18 March 1906, the Goodrich Line's ATLANTA (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 200 foot, 1,129 gross tons, built in 1891, at Cleveland, Ohio) was sailing from Sheboygan, Wisconsin for Milwaukee. When she was 14 miles south of Sheboygan, fire was discovered in the aft hold and quickly spread to the engine room. She ran out of steam, making the fire pumps inoperable. There were 65 persons aboard and Capt. Mc Cauley gave the order to abandon. The fish tug TESSLER came to help and only one life was lost. As the TESSLER was steaming to port, the Goodrich Line's GEORGIA came into view and took on all of the survivors. The hull of the ATLANTA was beached by the TESSLER. Later, the burned hull was purchased by D. O. Smith of Port Washington.

ARSENE SIMARD (Hull#404) was launched March 18, 1972, at Sorel, Quebec, by Marine Industries Ltd., for Branch Lines Ltd.

PERE MARQUETTE 21 (Hull#209) was launched March 18, 1924, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. She was christened by Mrs. Charles C. West, wife of the president of Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co.

The straight-deck bulk carrier SYLVANIA (Hull#613) was launched March 18, 1905, at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co., for the Tomlinson Fleet Corp.

On 18 March 1890, CITY OF CHICAGO (steel sidewheeler, 211 foot, 1,073 gross tons) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan by F. W. Wheeler & Co. (Hull#68) for the Graham & Morton Line. CITY OF CHICAGO was lengthened to 226 feet at Wheeler's yard one year later (1891). She was again lengthened in 1905-06, this time to 254 feet. On the same day and at the same yard the 3-mast wooden schooner A.C. TUXBURY was stern launched.

On 18 March 1928, M. T. GREENE (wooden propeller freighter, 155 foot, 524 gross tons, built in 1887, at Gibraltar, Michigan) burned to a total loss near Brigdeburg, Ontario, on the Niagara River.

1923 The wooden steamer JAMES P. DONALDSON was built in 1880 and often worked in the lumber trade. At the end, it was used by N.M. Paterson & Sons Ltd. to bring wet grain to the company elevator for drying. The ship caught fire at the Canadian Lakehead on this date and the remains were sunk off Isle Royale, Lake Superior, on May 6, 1923.

1991 The Canadian Coast Guard ship GRIFFON collided with the fishing trawler CAPTAIN K. sinking it in Lake Erie. Three lives were lost.

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

 

Soo Locks park closed; first boat events cancelled

3/17 - The park at the Soo Locks is closed until further notice in compliance with CDC recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19. Special events for the first day of shipping are also cancelled for this year.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District

 

Welland Canal opening on track, but top hat ceremonies cancelled

3/17 - Welland Canal – Top hat ceremonies in Port Colborne and St. Catharines scheduled for the Welland Canal's opening next week have been cancelled in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Also cancelled is the mariner's service that was to be held this Sunday at Port Colborne's St. James and St. Brendan Anglican Church.

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., working with Transport Canada, has put measures in place to ensure domestic and ocean-going vessels can operate on the 3,700-kilometre St. Lawrence Seaway.

Port Colborne was to welcome the first downbound vessel on the Welland Canal at Lock 8 Gateway Park, while the ceremony for the first upbound vessel was to be held at St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre at Lock 3.

The canal section of the seaway system is set to open Tuesday, March 24, while the Lake Ontario-Montreal section will open Wednesday, April 1. That section is opening later to allow more water to be released from Lake Ontario, which, like the rest of the Great Lakes is at high levels.

In a message, the seaway corporation said the "measures are designed to maintain an efficient transportation corridor into and out of the heartland of North America while safeguarding the welfare of all personnel."

It said for ocean-going vessels coming into the seaway, strict adherence to the 96-hour advance notice of arrival to the government of Canada is essential. "In addition, all crew members of domestic and ocean-going vessels must be monitored for symptoms of the virus and notice must be promptly given of any confirmed or suspected cases of the virus on board, prior to seaway inspectors boarding the ship."

Last week, the federal government announced that cruise ships carrying more than 500 people will be allowed to dock in Canada until at least July 1. Cruise ships can be found in the Great Lakes, but none of the vessels carries more than 450 passengers. Some of those vessels, including the Pearl Mist and Victory I and II, do dock in Port Colborne during the trips.

The seaway corporation said the current health crisis has its full attention and it is constantly monitoring the situation to ensure the waterway "continues to function as a vital contributor to the United States and Canadian economies."

The Welland Tribune

 

Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center closed

3/17 - Duluth, MN – In the interest of public safety due to COVID-19 concerns, the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center in Duluth will be closed to the public until further notice effective March 13 at 3 p.m. As always, public safety remains our top priority. We will continue to monitor and assess the situation and keep the public informed of any additional updates. Staff will be reporting to work and can be reached at 218-788-6430.

Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center

 

Port Reports -  March 17

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

St. Marys River
Corps of Engineers tugs Billmaier and Owen M. Frederick were breaking ice in the lower Poe Lock approach on Monday afternoon. USCG icebreaker Mackinaw was conducting ice ops in lower end of the West Neebish channel Monday evening.

Green Bay, WI
At 3:52 p.m. Monday, the Alpena arrived with cement for the Lafarge terminal.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
Calumet River Fleeting’s tug Nathan S was back in Milwaukee early Monday (3/16) with three more barges for loading at the COFCO elevator. This is the sixth three-barge tow loaded at COFCO in 2020. Each barge can carry about 1,360 metric tons. When filled, the barges will head back to Calumet Harbor, IL. No further marine traffic is currently expected.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 1 p.m. Monday, Algosea was downbound under partly sunny skies, 42 degrees F, calm river.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H.
On Monday, Kaye E. Barker departed layup at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal and proceeded to AK Steel to unload her storage load of ore.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
The Samuel De Champlain with her barge left her layup berth at the Lafarge Cement Dock at Toledo earlier Monday bound for Alpena.

 

Ojibway headed for Ashtabula

3/17 - Lower Lakes Towing’s Ojibway left winter layup in Windsor and headed to Ashtabula on Monday morning. LLT has a ship repair facility there.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 17

On 17 March 1995, a fire started on the AMERICAN MARINER's self-unloading conveyor belt from welding being done on the vessel at the Toledo Ship & Repair Company in Toledo, Ohio. About $100,000 in damage was done. The Toledo fire department had the blaze out in half an hour.

The tanker LAKESHELL reportedly leaked over 21,000 gallons of Bunker C oil into the St. Lawrence River on March 17, 1982, after suffering a crack in her cargo compartment caused by striking an ice floe.

GEORGE R. FINK was launched March 17, 1923, as a.) WORRELL CLARKSON (Hull#174) at Toledo, Ohio, by Toledo Ship Building Co., for the Kinsman Transit Co.

On 17 March 1916, CITY OF MIDLAND (wooden propeller passenger-package freighter, 176 foot, 974 tons, built in 1890, at Owen Sound, Ontario) burned at the Grand Trunk Railway dock at Collingwood, Ontario, while fitting out for the coming season. No lives were lost.

In 1945 Stadium Boat Works of Cleveland Ohio launched the SOUTH SHORE (US. 247657) for Miller Boat Line of Put-In-Bay, Ohio. She carried 6 autos and 120 passengers. In 1973, she was sold to Beaver Island Boat Company until retired at the end of the 1997 season. In April of 1999, sailed to Chicago where she was docked at the foot of Navy Pier as a storage vessel for Shoreline Cruises.

1906: SOVEREIGN, a steel hulled passenger ship that operated on the St. Lawrence in the Montreal area, was destroyed by a fire at Lachine, Quebec. The vessel was rebuilt that year as IMPERIAL and remained in service until 1928 when the boilers and hull were condemned.

1916: CITY OF MIDLAND, a passenger and freight steamer for Canada Steamship Lines, caught fire at the Grant Trunk Railway Dock in Collingwood and was a total loss.

1973: A wild late winter storm swept into Goderich off Lake Huron on March 17-18. Eleven ships got loose, while only the PATERSON (i) remained fast at the dock. It sustained bow damage when struck by fleetmate MONDOC (iii). Varying amounts of damage were inflicted to other ships.

1980: SUNPOLYNA was built in 1956 and provided service for Saguenay Shipping between Eastern Canada and the West Indies. The ship first came through the Seaway in 1963 and, on May 16, 1967, it ran aground near Thorold. It was sailing as d) TEMERAIRE when abandoned by the crew on March 17, 1980, in position 28.16 S / 21.04 W after the hull had cracked. The ship was en route from Santos, Brazil, to Mina Qaboos, Oman, and, after drifting to northwest for several days, sank on March 21.

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

 

Coast Guard to expand icebreaking to part of West Neebish Channel Wednesday

3/16 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – On Wednesday March 18, the U.S. Coast Guard will expand icebreaking in the St. Marys River’s West Neebish Channel. To date, icebreaking in the West Neebish Channel was limited to Munuscong (Mud) Lake, south of Moon Island. Wednesday, the Coast Guard will extend icebreaking into the southern half of the West Neebish Channel, working from Mud Lake Junction Light north to the south end of the Rock Cut at West Neebish Channel Light 29.

The Coast Guard will not disturb the ice north of the Neebish Island ferry crossing or break ice south of West Neebish Channel Light 45 this week. Every precaution is being taken to maintain uninterrupted ferry service to Neebish Island. Compared to previous winters, this season’s ice cover is weaker, not as expansive and deteriorating ahead of seasonal norms. Recreational users of the ice should plan their activities carefully, use caution near the ice, and stay away from charted navigation areas.

USCG

 

Northwestern Michigan College, including Maritime Academy, suspends classes

3/16 - Traverse City, MI – A statement from the college follows: As you know, we have been monitoring the rapidly changing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and are committed to keeping you safe, while working to limit the disruption to learning as much as possible. After careful consideration, with input from our partners in the Grand Traverse County Health Department, Munson Healthcare and state and federal health and emergency response agencies, NMC will suspend face-to-face classes starting Monday, March 16, 2020.

All NMC classes will be delivered via online learning if possible. Some courses may not be able to be delivered via online learning, including some occupational and lab classes (e.g. culinary and welding).

Our plan is to resume face-to-face classes on campus the week of April 27. Given the highly volatile nature of the pandemic, we recognize this situation may change and we will continue to communicate with you.

Northwestern Michigan College

 

Port Reports -  March 16

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

St. Marys River
USCG Katmai Bay led the tanker Algocanada upbound on Sunday morning. She tied up at the Purvis Dock on the Canadian side in the early afternoon.

Green Bay, WI
At 12:28 p.m. Sunday, the Tug Michigan/Barge Great Lakes arrived with oil at the U.S Oil Venture Terminal.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 16

Today in Great Lakes History March 16 On 16 March 1901, ARGO (steel passenger/package freight propeller, 173 foot, 1,089 gross tons) was launched at the Craig Ship Building Company (Hull #81) at Toledo, Ohio, for the A. Booth Company. She left the Lakes in 1917, and was last recorded in 1938, out of Brest, France.

BUFFALO (Hull#721) was launched March 16, 1978, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Corp., for the American Steamship Co.

On 16 March 1883, The Port Huron Times announced that the passenger and package freight steamer PICKUP would be built in Marine City, Michigan and would run on the St. Clair River between Port Huron and Algonac. The machinery from the burned steamer CARRIE H. BLOOD was to be installed in her. In fact, her construction was completed that year and she went into service in September 1883. Her dimensions were 80 foot x 19 foot x 7 foot, 137 gross tons, 107 net tons.

The Niagara Harbor & Dock Company, a shipbuilding firm, was incorporated on 16 March 1831, at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

On 16 March 1886, the tug MOCKING BIRD was sold by Mr. D. N. Runnels to Mr. James Reid of St. Ignace, Michigan. Mr. Runnels received the tug JAMES L. REID as partial payment.

1924: MOHAWK of the Western Transit Co. was known as a fast ship. It was built at Detroit in 1893 and was renamed AMERICA in 1916. It was cut in two to exit the Great Lakes and re-assembled at Montreal for East Coast service. The ship was renamed BERMUDEZ in 1921 and sank in the Erie Basin at Brooklyn on March 16, 1924, with the stern resting on the bottom and the bow afloat. The hull was pumped out but scrapped at New York in January 1925.

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

 

St. Lawrence Seaway releases COVID-19 measures

3/15 - Guided by information made available by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) is working closely with Transport Canada and all other relevant authorities on a comprehensive response to the COVID-19 crisis.

SLSMC has put in place a series of measures to ensure the continuity of operations on the St. Lawrence Seaway for both domestic and ocean vessels. These measures are designed to maintain an efficient transportation corridor into and out of the heartland of North America, while safeguarding the welfare of all personnel. We are continuing to follow the evolving situation and are working to ensure that lock operations will be reliable when commercial navigation resumes on March 24, 2020 (Welland Canal) and April 1, 2020 (Montreal to Lake Ontario Section). Detailed Seaway notices related to the opening of the commercial navigation season will be communicated through usual channels within the next few days.

For ocean vessels coming into the St. Lawrence Seaway, adherence to the 96-hour advance notice of arrival to the government of Canada is essential. In addition, all crew members of domestic and ocean vessels must be monitored for symptoms of the virus and notice must be promptly given of any confirmed or suspected cases of the virus on board prior to Seaway inspectors boarding the ship.

From our understanding of new restrictions on transportation, all cruise ships carrying 500 or more people will be prohibited from entering Canadian waters. Consequently, cruise ships should monitor Transport Canada communication channels for further updates, as these stipulations may change in the future.

Please be assured, the current health crisis has the full attention of the SLSMC’s leadership, and the situation is being constantly monitored to ensure that our waterway continues to function as a vital contributor to the United States and Canadian economies. We are committed to keeping our customers informed and remain focused on meeting your marine transportation needs with reliability and predictability. Please reach out to us at slsmc-cgvmsl@seaway.ca for any Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System questions related to COVID-19.

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation

 

Port Reports -  March 15

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

St. Marys River
USCG Katmai Bay and Bristol Bay were conducting ice ops in the lower river on Saturday.

Lake Huron
Tanker Algocananda was northbound off the tip of Michigan’s thumb Saturday night headed for Sault Ste. Marie, ON.

 

National Museum of the Great Lakes closes due to virus

3/15 - Toledo, OH - After careful consideration and the recent urging of Governor DeWine along with the recommendations of the Lucas County Health Department, the National Museum of the Great Lakes has made the decision to close to the public until further notice effective 5 p.m., Saturday, March 14.

In the weeks to come, we look forward to exploring new engagement opportunities to help visitors connect with Great Lakes history virtually—including increased access to our museum through virtual tours and the launch of our first online exhibit The Port of Toledo: Then and Now. We will continue to connect with our National Museum of the Great Lakes / Great Lakes Historical Society members and supporters through the distribution of our quarterly Inland Seas journal and Chadburn Newsletter.

As we move through the challenges ahead, we encourage you to consider supporting us by making a donation online or shopping on our online Museum Store.

The staff and board of the National Museum of the Great Lakes will continue to monitor announcements by officials surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and will reassess our public access as new information becomes available. We expect to issue a follow-up statement on public access no later than April 3rd.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 15

WESTCLIFFE HALL (Hull#519) was launched March 15, 1956, at Grangemouth, Scotland, by Grangemouth Dockyard Co. Ltd., for the Hall Corp. of Canada.

March 15, 1949 - The Ann Arbor carferry fleet was laid up due to a strike called by the boat crews. The fleet was idled until March 22nd.

On 15 March 1882, GRACE PATTERSON (wooden propeller tug/freighter, 111 tons, built in 1880, at Grand Haven, Michigan) was carrying lumber and lath when she stranded near Two Rivers Point, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan. She caught fire and was totally destroyed. Lifesavers rescued the crew.

Mr. Russell Armington died on 15 March 1837. He operated the first shipyard at St. Catharines, Ontario from 1828, until his death.

On 15 March 1926, SARNOR (wooden propeller freighter, 228 foot, 1,319 gross tons, built in 1888, at W. Bay City, Michigan, formerly BRITANNIC) caught fire at Kingston, Ontario near the La Salle Causeway. She burned to a total loss.

1942: The first SARNIADOC of the Paterson fleet was lost with all hands on the Caribbean en route from Trinidad to the U.S. Virgin Islands. It was apparently torpedoed by U-161 in the night hours of March 14-15, 1942, while in the south for the wartime bauxite trade.

1969: The bulk carrier ALEXANDER T. WOOD, remembered by many for its regular early Seaway service in the ore and grain trades as well as for a collision with the Finnish flag freighter MARIA in the Detroit River on August 12, 1960, was lost on this day in 1969 as VAINQUER. The latter had been to the Great Lakes in 1968 but sank following a boiler room explosion in the Gulf of Mexico with the loss of one life. It was en route from Vera Cruz, Mexico, to New Orleans with a cargo of sugar.

1976: The rail car barge HURON rolled over and sank at the Windsor dock due to an uneven deck load. The 1875 vintage vessel had operated across the Detroit River as a steamer until March 1971 and then as a barge. It was refloated and returned to service.

1980: The Liberian vessel FRATERNITY was built in 1963. It visited the Great Lakes in 1967 and operated briefly as ARYA NIKU in 1975-1976 before becoming FRATERNITY again under Greek registry. Fire broke out in #1 and #2 cargo holds en route from Hamburg to Karachi on this date in 1980. An explosion followed the next day and the crew abandoned the ship in the Red Sea. The hull was beached March 17 around the border of Eritrea and Sudan but was refloated April 1 and deemed a total loss. After unloading at Sharjah, the hull was towed to Gadani Beach, Pakistan, arriving at the scrapyard on May 19, 1981.

1984: The Greek freighter ELINA likely made only one trip to the Great Lakes, coming inland in 1982 to load frozen meat at Kenosha, WI. It laid up at Emden, West Germany, on June 13, 1983, only to catch fire on March 15, 1984. The damage was extensive and the hull was towed into Gijon, Spain, for scrapping on April 23, 1984.

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

 

As icebreaker preps for Great Lakes shipping, shippers hope for more

3/14 - Duluth, MN – The reinforced hull of the 225-foot U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder scraped loudly through the ice in the harbor. With each advancing inch, it sent cracks into a marbleized sheet, breaking it into crumbled pieces.

The sure sign of spring — ice breaking in Lake Superior Harbor in preparation for shipping season — is relatively easy this year, with ice only about a foot thick in some spots.

"This is a weird year," said Lt. Cmdr. Justin Erdman, the ship's captain, as he surveyed the frozen industrial back bays from the upper deck of the Alder, the vessel trembling only a bit as it plowed ahead under little resistance. "Most winters we're backing and ramming to break the ice."

Mild temperatures left the Great Lakes at only 19.5% ice cover this year — the fourth-lowest percentage on record, and far less than the mean maximum ice cover of 54%. Lake Superior has mostly open water this year, with only 7% ice coverage as of Tuesday, compared with more than 86% coverage last year at this time.

So it may be a hard sell for shipping companies and associations that are urging the federal government to invest in more and better ice-breaking equipment, saying that slowed ice breaking in cold winters can mean hundreds of millions of dollars of economic loss, including damage to cargo-carrying vessels.

In 1979, 20 icebreakers roamed the Great Lakes, but now there are just 11 — nine from the United States and two from Canada. Many of the vessels are aging and are sometimes out of commission for repair.

Shippers say the inability to break up the ice quickly can often delay moving goods and materials for a week or two because vessels would be damaged too much. That period of time is critical to keeping steel mills and power plants operating, they argue.

"In really bad years, it'll go beyond a month, a month and a half," said Ken Gerasimos, general manager of Key Lakes Inc., which operates nine cargo-carrying vessels out of the Duluth-Superior Port. "Last year was a pretty good indicator, it was totally inadequate. … You're incurring damage to the ships."

The Lake Carriers' Association is pushing for another heavy icebreaker like the Coast Guard's Mackinaw, a 240-foot brute that can cut through ice 32 inches thick and is stationed in Michigan on Lake Huron.

The Great Lakes have only one such ship now and could use a second, said Eric Peace, association communications director. Last year — an especially difficult ice year — the economy took a hit of more than a billion dollars because of inadequate ice breaking, Peace said. "We'd take two or three of them. One of them is what we need right now," he said.

The cost for a new ship is estimated at more than $160 million. While Congress has authorized its construction, it has not yet appropriated all the money needed to acquire it.

"The problem is that winters like this year will make it a short-term memory loss," Peace said. "Then next year we'll have another horrific ice year."

While the Coast Guard typically keeps top-tier waterways open, he said, their operations are akin to using a limited number of snowplows to clear freeways, but keeping on-ramps and smaller roads blocked, so not many vehicles can even reach the main roads.

The Alder is cutting those paths easily this year as it maneuvers around the Duluth-Superior Harbor. The vessel, designed for setting buoys during open water months, is capable of cutting through 18 inches of ice or ramming through 3 feet of it.

After leaving its home port on the bay side of Park Point, the Alder made a few ice-breaking circles in the St. Louis Bay north channel, near the Canadian National ore docks, and the south channel near the Midwest Energy Terminal, then it went to Howards Bay to break a path to Fraser Shipyards. Later, it made a path through the Superior Front Channel toward the Burlington Northern Santa Fe ore dock.

While the Alder is only 49 feet wide — not nearly enough for a 1,000-foot laker to squeeze through — the initial ice breaking will make it easier to break more paths later so ships can get out in plenty of time for the March 25 opening of the Soo Locks, Erdman and others said.

"We'll widen it out over the next couple of days," he said.

While the Alder cut through harbor ice this week, some of the crew on board wondered aloud whether, with milder winters, shipping could someday run all year. That would require a second Soo Lock capable of handling big ships, so that there is time for lock maintenance, Peace said. Plans are underway for construction of that lock.

When that is completed, industry might be ready to think about year-round Great Lakes shipping. "It's possible. … We're not necessarily advocating for that right now, but maybe in the future depending on what the conditions are," Peace said. "We'd still need the icebreakers to do their work, and we'd probably need more of them."

Star-Tribune

 

Icebreaking to begin at port of Thunder Bay

3/14 - Thunder Bay, ON – The Canadian Coast Guard advises residents of Thunder Bay, ON, that the United States Coast Guard Cutter Alder is conducting icebreaking operations in the area on or around March 17, 2020.

Coast Guard icebreaking service on the Great Lakes and connecting waterways is delivered in close co-operation between the Canadian and United States Coast Guards. By working together, the two Coast Guards ensure scheduled vessel traffic can move through the shipping channels and into and out of community harbours.

The date and ice breakers are subject to change with no notice, as activities could begin before or after that period, depending on operational requirements or weather conditions.

Canadian Coast Guard

 

Port Reports -  March 14

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

Sarnia, ON – Bruce Douglas
Her salt runs over for now, Algoma Innovator arrived at Sarnia at 3:05 am Friday.

 

Coast Guard rescues group from Green Bay ice floe

3/14 - Sturgeon Bay, WI – The U.S. Coast Guard helped to rescue a large group of people trapped on an ice floe that broke loose Thursday afternoon and drifted into the Bay of Green Bay. The Coast Guard says a number of people and ice shanties were on the ice floe that drifted away from Sherwood Point, where Sturgeon Bay enters the larger bay.

The rescue operation included the Coast Guard's 140-foot icebreaker Mobile Bay, two Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters from Traverse City, Mich., an ice boat and 22-foot airboat from Sturgeon Bay and help from the Wisconsin DNR.

The Coast Guard evacuated 10 people from the ice floe, while others were evacuated aboard personal boats. The officer in charge of the Sturgeon Bay Coast Guard station said there were two other ice rescues nearby at about the same time. Those people were helped by local first responders.

"Really, at this point, people just need to stay off the ice on the big bodies of water," Master Chief Petty Officer Justin Olson said in a statement.

Olson said weeks of warmer-than-average temperatures and recent high winds have increased the risk of ice breaking away.

WBAY

 

Georgian's latest marine simulator a peek into industry's future

3/14 - Owen Sound, ON - Georgian College’s Owen Sound campus now can boast it has Canada’s only Kongsberg marine simulator, a leading-edge technology for the marine industry, the college announced Thursday.

Visitors at the announcement stood behind the ship’s wheel in the simulation room and looked out onto screens which presented a panoramic, digitized view of the bow of the ship sailing into the port of Quebec City.

Capt. Bradley Moore, a Georgian College staff member responsible for marine simulation research and development, discussed the advantages of the new technology. “This is the newest Kongsberg simulation system they have,” Moore said in an interview. “Because it has such advanced technology, it will allow us to train our cadets for systems that aren’t even out there yet.”

Those capabilities include simulations of self-docking and holding vessels in place in up to five-foot seas “with greater precision than a human can manage.”

“There will be a great deal of automation and functionalities that assist the captain and crew and take some of the burden of captain and crew,” Moore said.

Canada Steamship Lines’ $540,000 donation toward the simulator was recognized with the unveiling of a sign outside the simulation room, announcing the Canada Steamship Lines Advanced Integrated Simulator.

CSL is the longest-surviving and active shipping company in the Great Lakes system, and has been in the forefront of technological change in the marine industry, said Kevin Weaver, Georgian’s vice-president, academic, in remarks in Owen Sound.

“Thank you for sharing that technology and continuing to create great opportunities for our cadets and for our students and for those that are coming back for training,” Weaver said.

CSL has taken a large number of the college’s cadets since its co-op program started. The marine industry has had a shortage of workers for years and graduates can expect to earn $100,000 for six to eight months work right after graduating.

Weaver noted the college’s longstanding partnership with the marine industry, CSL’s 2008 donation that helped establish one of the college’s Centre for Marine Training and Research simulators, and subsequent corporate training and research partnerships.

Weaver said having the new high-tech system will further enhance Georgian’s reputation and that of its graduates, which in turn will draw more students and working mariners to study and upgrade, all a boon to the region.

More than 2,600 marine navigation and marine engineering sailors study at Georgian to upgrade their skills every year. The college also has 107 cadets in post-secondary studies.

Louis Martel, the president and CEO of the CSL Group, ,which includes Canada Steamship Lines, made his first visit to the college Thursday. He said given the shortage of qualified workers, CSL is spending a lot of money to solve the problem, including with this latest simulator investment.

“CSL is also getting modernized, it’s getting transformed, we’re spending a lot of money in digitalization,” he said.

The technology should also help bridge a cultural divide between marine engineering and navigation cultures, by allowing students in both professions to work together on the simulator.

Better communication and teamwork should be the result by letting students on a simulated bridge communicate with their colleagues in a simulated engine room, said Moore, the marine research and development official at Georgian.

“Really they are two different departments on a ship, there’s navigation and there’s engineering. And there’s always been a difficulty of communicating between those two cultures.

“And this is the whole point of advanced training, is to break down some of those silos and those cultures and this is the mechanism to do it.” Promoting communication and collaborative problem-solving also enhances safety, Moore said.

The new simulator will also provide the college with a research platform one which to build, Moore said.

For example, another simulator at the college helped develop a ferry for the Owen Sound Transportation Company’s Pelee Island run by “building” the ship in the simulator “before metal is laid for the keel.”

Simulators can mimic various water depths, currents and weather conditions in which the virtual ship was tested. Then, the officers and crew were trained on the simulated version of their new ferry.

“So they were very comfortable when the ship was delivered. They walked onboard like they’d been driving it for a year. Of course, doing that exceeds any other way of learning a new ship,” Moore said.

The Owen Sound campus of Georgian College also has four other navigational bridge simulators, 12 “part-task training navigation bridge simulators functioning on desktop computers, eight desktop engine room simulators one full-mission engine simulator, 18 radio communication simulators and one lifeboat simulator.

The campus has offered programs for the marine industry since 1967 and it bills itself as the marine training centre of excellence for Central Canada.

Owen Sound Sun Times

 

Virus fears prompt changes to Know Your Ships book events

3/14 - Two events involving the book Know Your Ships have been rescheduled or postponed. A March 29 presentation and book signing at the Algonac Historical Maritime Museum in Algonac, MI, has been postponed, with the new date to be determined.

The Saturday, April 11 book signing at the Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron, MI, has been rescheduled for Saturday May 16 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Books that have been pre-ordered online will be sent out as planned, according to Roger LeLievre, editor and publisher. He said the decision to postpone or reschedule was made after consulting with the two venues involved.

“We all agreed that, given the current circumstances and uncertainty surrounding the immediate future, it was the best decision to make,” LeLieve said.

Know Your Ships

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 14

March 14, 1959 - The ANN ARBOR NO 6 returned to service as the b.) ARTHUR K ATKINSON after an extensive refit.

In 1880, the harbor tug GEORGE LAMONT sank with her crew of three off Pentwater, Michigan after being overcome by weather during a race with her rival, the harbor tug GEM. The LAMONT was the only steamer to disappear with all hands during the many races that took place among steamers during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

On 14 March 1873, the new railroad carferry SAGINAW went into the Port Huron Dry Dock Company's dry dock where her engine was installed along with her shaft and propeller. Workmen had to break up the ice in the dry dock to release the schooner MARY E. PEREW so that work could begin on the SAGINAW. The work was done quickly since SAGINAW was needed to fill in for a disabled ferry in Detroit. Mr. Francois Baby was granted a "ferry lease" between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan on 14 March 1843. He built the steamer ALLIANCE for this ferry service and Capt. Tom Chilvers was the skipper. In 1851, Capt. Chilvers leased the steamer from Mr. Baby and ran it on the same route until the late 1850s.

On 14 March 1878, the first vessel of the navigation season passed through the Straits of Mackinac. This was the earliest opening of the navigation season at the Straits since 1854.

1918 ISLAND QUEEN, a wooden-hulled Toronto Island ferry, was destroyed by a fire at Hanlan's Point in Toronto. The ship was valued at $25,000 and the hull was left to rot.

1962: MILLY made one trip through the Seaway in 1959. It had been launched at Stockton, CA on May 13, 1915, as PORTHCAWL and became d) MILLY in 1950. The 295 foot freighter, sailing as f) HEDIA, last reported March 14 near Galita Island on the Mediterranean close to Malta and en route from Casablanca, Morocco, to Venice, Italy, with a cargo of phosphate. It was posted as missing and then lost with all hands.

1993: The Freedom Class freighter SHAMALY was a year old when it came through the Seaway in 1969. It returned December 1, 1990, as c) WALVIS BAY for Ogdensburg, NY to load corn gluten The 9650 gross ton freighter ran aground south of Greece off Cape Morakis in 1993 en route from Piraeus to Scotland as d) LIPARIT BAY. The hull was not worth repairing and sold for scrap. Renamed e) NORA for the delivery tow, it arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, April 4, 1994, for dismantling and work began May 16.

1999: The Panamanian freighter EVANGELIA PETRAKIS was built in Muroran, Japan, in 1978 as N.J. PATERAS. It came through the Seaway in 1988 and was renamed c) AMER VED in 1990. It survived a grounding off Horsetail Bank, UK on November 19, 1996, only to suffer serious damage in a collision with the newly built, 57,947 gross ton, Maltese flag tanker SEAPRIDE I off Khor Fakkan, United Arab Emirates. The damage to the 21-year old freighter was not worth repairs so it arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping on June 19, 1999.

1964: MARIA G.L. went aground at Suno Saki, Japan, about 30 miles south of Yokohama, in fog. This Liberty ship had been a Great Lakes trader in 1961. It was enroute from Long Beach, California, to Chiba, Japan, with a cargo of phosphates and broke in two as a total loss.

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

 

Poe Lock refilled as new shipping season nears

3/13 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Thursday afternoon crews removed the last of the equipment from the Poe Lock and, near the end of the day, opened the sluices in the upper stop logs to begin filling the lock. View a video of the lock being filled here: https://www.facebook.com/USACEDetroitDistrict/videos/2520067938244770/UzpfSTEzMzMxMjE4MjQ6ODMyNTgyODAwNTg4Mzk5

 

Port Reports -  March 13

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

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor cleared Goderich at 3.36 am Thursday with salt for Chicago.

 

Bayship departures listed


Bayship.jpg (86676 bytes)

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 13

The keel for the tanker IMPERIAL REDWATER (Hull#106) was laid March 13, 1950, at Port Arthur, Ontario, by Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. She was converted to a bulk freighter at Collingwood, Ontario and renamed b.) R. BRUCE ANGUS in 1954. The ANGUS operated for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., until she was scrapped at Setubal, Portugal in 1985.

On March 13, 1989, the Rouge Steel Co. announced the sale of its marine operations to Lakes Shipping, Cleveland (Interlake Steamship, mgr.).

1994: SHIPBROKER was built at Varna, Bulgaria, in 1980 as OCEAN SEAGULL and came through the Seaway that year on July 3. It was renamed SHIPBROKER in 1986 and made its maiden voyage to the Great Lakes on November 19, 1991. The ship was in a collision with the Cypriot tanker NASSIA in the Bosporus Strait on March 14, 1994, and caught fire. It burned for days and 29 members of the crew of 33 plus four on the tanker, were lost. Following a sale for scrap, the gutted bulk carrier arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, under tow on December 3, 1994, and dismantling began April 5, 1995.

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

 

USCG Alder breaks through ice in Lake Superior harbor

3/12 - Duluth, MN – Despite a mild winter, the U.S. Coast Guard is still needed to break-up the ice in the Twin Ports harbor. Lake Superior's harbor may look clear of ice, but that doesn't mean the U.S. Coast Guard can rest easy this season.

Operation Taconite was underway Tuesday with the USS Alder venturing out in the harbor to cut through any remaining ice. Coast Guard officials say this annual ice-breaking expedition is essential for ships to eventually enter and leave the harbor.

According to the Operation Officer LTJG. Caleb Metroka, "Over the winter, you get the lake freezing over, and the ice gets thick. Most ships can't operate in the thick ice. So what we do is go through, break the ice, create paths for the ships so they can get in and out of the harbor."

The Alder will continue cutting ice Wednesday before shipping season begins in the next couple weeks.

View an icebreaking video at this link: https://cbs3duluth.com/2020/03/10/uss-alder-breaks-through-ice-in-lake-superior-harbor

 

Port of Thunder Bay not likely to be affected by delay in St. Lawrence Seaway opening

3/12 - Thunder Bay, ON – High water conditions on the Great Lakes are delaying by 12 days the opening of a stretch of the the St. Lawrence Seaways, but it should not impact the Port of Thunder Bay, according to Tim Heney, the port authority's CEO .

The St. Lawrence Seaway corporation said the section between Montreal and Lake Ontario will now open April 1. However, Heney said it should be business as usual at the Thunder Bay port this spring.

"The Soo Locks opens as scheduled on the 25th of March, and the Welland is still on the 21st of March. So we have 3 lakers in port...and most of the Canadian lake fleet is wintering above the Montreal/Lake Ontario section."

In a written release the St. Lawrence Seaway said "after carefully considering the many complex issues at stake, delaying the opening of the Seaway by 12 days to April 1st is a difficult decision to communicate to our customers but we maintain that it is a reasonable thing to do under the circumstances."

Heney said high water on Lake Superior should not cause an issue and will actually allow ships to take on full loads at Thunder Bay. He said the current situation is nearly the exact opposite of what happened in 2007, when the Port of Thunder Bay had to be dredged because of low water levels.

Heney also noted that outside the Thunder Bay breakwall, Lake Superior was pretty much open. He said the main focus for the icebreaker will be smashing the ice within Thunder Bay harbour.

"I'm not sure the exact date [of the ice breakers arrival] but I would think it's in the next two weeks for sure," Heney said. "It shouldn't take too long to bust that ice up." Moses-Saunders Dam located near Cornwall, Ontario and Massena, New York, is the main control structure on the St. Lawrence River used to regulate outflows from Lake Ontario. (International Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River Board (supplied))

Heney said the opening of the lower St. Lawrence Seaway is being delayed because of the negative impacts of the extremely high water levels in the lower Great Lakes this year.

"They sound like they're still pretty high [in Lake Ontario] and are the reason they're delaying the opening in the Montreal," he said. "So they're trying to relieve some of the pressure [on Lake Ontario] by opening the gates at the Moses Saunders power dam in an attempt to lower those water levels. Now whether that's really effective or not is another matter but that's causing the issues around the delay of the opening."

Officials with the St. Lawrence Seaway said they have retained the services of a risk management expert to assist in strategies to maintain safe navigation under high Lake Ontario outflows.

"We are confident that both short an d long term solutions to commercial navigation challenges exist that will enable us to maintain our resiliency and predictability for many years to come," the seaway stated in a written release.

CBC

 

Cruise ships not welcome: Discovery Center votes against use of Traverse City port

3/12 - Traverse City, MI – Plans for Traverse City to be a regular stop for massive international cruise ships beginning in summer 2022 appear to be scuppered.

Discovery Center announced its intention to no longer serve as a port of call for cruise ships, effectively leaving cruise lines with nowhere to drop off passengers in the city. Discovery’s board of directors voted on the decision Monday.

The vote comes a month after Discovery Center announced that they had informally agreed to serve as a port of call for Viking Cruises and would host as many as seven Viking ships holding 378 passengers each at the nonprofit’s Greilickville pier.

Discovery CEO Matt McDonough says the nonprofit decided to stick to projects that more closely align with their mission.

“More cruise ships are coming to the Great Lakes sooner than we expected and many want to come to Traverse City,” McDonough tells The Ticker. “The more conversations we had in the community about this issue, the more questions, concerns, and opinions we learned the community had.”

The decision will also impact slightly smaller international cruise ships that had visited the region the past few falls and had also used Discovery Center as a port. McDonough says those visits were slated to increase in number in the coming years.

“Quite frankly, it’s been kind of a push-and-pull decision,” says Becky Ewing, executive director of Rotary Charities and Rotary Camps and Services, of which Discovery is a subsidiary. “Like many other nonprofits, the Discovery Center is looking for ways to both be financially self-sustaining and on point with our mission and goals, and sometimes that’s kind of a tricky balance.”

Concern over the impact of cruise ship visits in Grand Traverse Bay spawned vocal opposition – including from Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers, business owners, and some environmentalists – leading to calls that the cruise lines be kept away.

Carruthers says he thought there should have been a wider community discussion before Viking became a summer-long visitor to Traverse City.

“My frustration was that I read about it in the paper,” Carruthers says. “I think people really want us to manage our recreational resources as well as our natural resources with care.”

Boomerang Catapult Principal Casey Cowell, an outspoken critic, says, "Discovery Zone deserves our appreciation and respect for making the right call. Cruise ships would be no more beneficial here than they have been to Key West. Negative economic, cultural, social impact. Seasonal congestion…and when the cruise ship door gets pried open it will only get worse."

Greg Reisig, chairman of the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council, says he is pleased with the decision because not enough is known about the potential impacts of Great Lakes cruise ships.

“There’s not a lot of research on these Great Lakes ships,” he says. “We need to do more studies and evaluate what are the environmental impacts.”

The Viking North America press contact could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Traverse City is currently listed on their website as a 2022 port of call in their “Niagara and the Great Lakes” expeditions, which sail from Toronto to Milwaukee.

Trevor Tkach, CEO of Traverse City Tourism, says he is disappointed with Discovery’s decision, noting he believes Great Lakes cruise ships would be good for the region by enabling more people to visit with minimal overall impact on the city’s infrastructure.

Tkach says that he is unaware of any alternative spots in Traverse City that a cruise company could use as a port, but that over time, that could change. Cruise ship ports are regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard.

In the meantime, Tkach says, he thinks Discovery’s decision might be an opportunity for another northern Michigan city that is also close to wineries and near the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

“Frankfort would be fabulous,” Tkach says. “That’s one that immediately comes to mind.”

 

Port Reports -  March 12

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

Straits-Cheboygan, MI – Jon Paul
USCGC Hollyhock entered the Cheboygan River passing the Crib Light at 17:00 Wednesday, turned in the turning basin and docked at the Mackinaw moorings, USCG Station Cheboygan, at 17:20. They had spent the day opening Gray's Reef Passage from Ile aux Galets north to White Shoal and then east under the Mackinac Bridge. They took the South Passage, which has been closed for the winter, to Cheboygan, thus laying the first track for the season.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
Calumet River Fleeting’s tug Nathan S returned to Milwaukee early Wednesday (3/11) with three more barges for loading at the COFCO elevator. With no ice in the harbor and fair weather, barges continue coming up from Chicago to load grain. This is the fifth set of three barges loaded at the COFCO elevator in 2020. Each barge carries about 1,360 metric tons. When filled, the barges will head back to Calumet Harbor, which connects with New Orleans via the Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway System. Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Conquest arrived at noon with cement from Charlevoix for the Kinnickinnic River terminal. No further marine traffic is currently expected.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor was still at the Sifto dock Wednesday night.

Marine City, MI
2:45 pm Wednesday, CCGS Samuel Risley passed downbound, mostly sunny 50 degrees F, river calm.

Detroit-River Rouge, MI – Raymond H
Karen Andrie/Endeavour arrived at the Michigan Paving and Materials dock to unload on Wednesday.

 

Cleveland-Cliffs and AK Steel vote to merge

3/12 - Shareholders of Cleveland-Cliffs and AK Steel on Tuesday voted to approve the merger between the two companies, the last major step before the deal closes Friday.

Under the merger, AK Steel, a producer of flat-rolled carbon and stainless and electrical steel products, would become a subsidiary of Cliffs, which owns several Minnesota and Michigan iron ore mines and taconite plants.

The move allows Cliffs to own AK Steel’s existing blast furnaces and electric arc furnaces and supply the furnaces with its own iron ore pellets. Cliffs had long sold its pellets to other steelmakers.

"The new Cleveland-Cliffs is a lot stronger than either Cliffs or AK Steel individually. We are ready to transform your confidence into shareholder value, and that’s what we are going to do,” Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves said in a statement after the votes Tuesday.

But last week, Goncalves warned that if a loophole in President Donald Trump's sweeping steel tariffs wasn't closed, he'd be forced to shutter the United States' last producers of grain-oriented electrical steels in Butler, Pennsylvania and Zanesville, Ohio. Those two AK Steel plants employ 1,500 and 100 people, respectively. "I promise (the jobs) will be gone if I don't get help," Goncalves told the Congressional Steel Caucus last week.

Goncalves said countries the U.S. imposed steel tariffs on — like China, South Korea and Japan — are shipping mostly-finished electrical steels into Mexico for one final step in production, then trucking it into the U.S. to avoid tariffs, a move that he said is making the plants unprofitable. "I'm not in this business to lose money," Goncalves said.

 

Drone video shows Wilfred Sykes in 2019 season

3/12 - Captain Eric Treece kindly gave us permission to post this outstanding drone video. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTKOHgSuGkk

 

Plan now for 2020 Boatnerd Gatherings

3/12 - The Boatnerd Gatherings page has been updated for 2020.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 12

The b.) RUTH HINDMAN was launched March 12, 1910, as a.) NORWAY (Hull#115) at Toledo, Ohio by Toledo Shipbuilding Co., for the United States Transportation Co. She was scrapped at Thunder Bay, Ontario, in 1978.

G.A. TOMLINSON was launched March 12, 1907, as a) D.O. MILLS (Hull#29) at Ecorse, Michigan, by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Mesaba Steamship Co.

March 12, 1941 - The ferry CITY OF MIDLAND 41 arrived in Ludington, Michigan, on her maiden voyage. She loaded cars of paper at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and then picked up some cars of canned milk at Kewaunee, with Captain Charles Robertson in command.

On 12 March 1883, the steam barge R. MC DONALD was renamed IDA M. TORRENT.

1917: ALGONQUIN was built at Glasgow, Scotland, in 1888 and saw service for several companies on the Great Lakes. The ship was torpedoed by U-62 when it was 65 miles off Cornwall, England, while west of Bishop's Rock and en route from New York to London with general cargo. It was the first American merchant ship lost due to enemy action in World War One.

1942: ¬CRAIGROWNIE was a World War One Laker and had been launched at Ashtabula on April 12, 1919. It was sailing as d) OLGA when torpedoed by U-126, 20 miles off Nuevital Light, Cuba, while en route from Port Everglades, FL, to Beracoa, Cuba. One crewmember was lost but 32 were rescued and taken to Cuba.

1947: EXANTHIA struck a mine in the Mediterranean while 12 miles from the island of Elba while traveling from Istanbul to New York. The ship was flooded and abandoned but reboarded and eventually towed to New York for repairs. The ship sailed for the American Export Lines and came to the Great Lakes on nine occasions from 1959-1961. After a few years in the James River Reserve Fleet, the vessel was taken to Brownsville, Texas, in 1975 and broken up.

1971: SUNCLIPPER, a Seaway trader in 1966, was built in 1953 as BOW BRASIL. It ran aground at Haifa Bay as f) CLIPPER when the anchors dragged in a storm. The ship was refloated April 10, and taken to Perama, Greece. It was sold “as lies” to Turkish ship breakers, and arrived at Istanbul, Turkey, for scrapping on August 29, 1972.

1985: LETITIA was the 96th and final addition to the British flag Donaldson Line. It made four trips through the Seaway in 1966 and three more in 1967. It was sailing as d) TEPORA when it caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico en route to Veracruz, Mexico, on March 12, 1985. The Honduran-flagged freighter was abandoned by the crew. The fire was apparently extinguished and the vessel reboarded. It was taken in tow but the blaze broke out again and the ship sank on March 14.

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

 

High water, waves push 1905 shipwreck closer to Lake Huron’s shore

3/11 - Rogers City, MI – The 115-year-old wreckage of a freighter that sank in Lake Huron is moving closer to the shoreline due to high water levels and waves that are weakening the ruins.

The Joseph S. Fay sank off the shore of Alpena on Oct. 19, 1905. Since last October, the wreckage has moved about 25 feet toward shore from its original location near 40 Mile Point Lighthouse, said Eric Klein, lighthouse caretaker. One side of the wreck moved the first 10 feet during a storm in October.

The waves are eroding the ship, breaking off big pieces and washing them away, he said. A large portion of the starboard side is already washed ashore and can be seen on the beach near the lighthouse, according to the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

The Joseph S. Fay, 216-foot bulk freighter, was hauling iron ore when it came upon a gale and then hit rocks and quickly sank at 40 Mile Point, according to the marine sanctuary. The wreckage, including the load of iron ore, sits in 17-foot deep water.

View a photo at this MLive link: https://www.mlive.com/news/2020/03/high-water-waves-push-1905-shipwreck-closer-to-lake-hurons-shore.html

 

Port Reports -  March 11

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

St. Marys River
Algocanada left the Purvis dock Tuesday morning downbound for Nanticoke, with a stop in Windsor for fuel. USCG Bristol Bay was moored for the night at Lime Island.

Green Bay, WI
Icebreaking ops are ongoing in the Bay of Green Bay. USCG Mobile Bay started Monday working between Green Island and the Green Bay entrance, and the USCG Mackinaw rolled in Monday night from the Rock Island pass and came south. On Monday, the Mackinaw was working at the Sherwood Point / West Ship Channel entrance of Sturgeon Bay. USCG Neah Bay was also heading down from Mackinac Straits.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived to load salt Tuesday night.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 11

The keel was laid March 11, 1976, for the 660-foot-long forward section of the BELLE RIVER (Hull#716) at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Corp. Renamed b.) WALTER J. McCARTHY JR in 1990.

L'AIGLE was launched March 11, 1982, as a.) ERRIA PILOT (Hull#308) at Imabari, Japan by Asakawa Zosen Co. Renamed b.) KOYAMA 3 in 1983, c.) IONIAN EAGLE in 1989. Purchased by Soconav in 1991, renamed d.) LÕAIGLE. Sold, renamed e.) ALAM KERISI in 1996, f.) SALDA in 1999, and sails today as the tanker g.) ARAL.

Sea trials were conducted on March 11, 1956, on Paterson's new canaller LACHINEDOC.

The tug RIVER QUEEN was sold to Ed Recor of St. Clair, Michigan on 11 March 1886.

1904: The wooden-hull Lake Erie car ferry SHENANGO NO. 1 caught fire and burned following an engine room explosion on March 11, 1904. The vessel had been frozen in the ice off Conneaut since January 1 and one member of the crew perished in the blaze.

1912: FLORA M. HILL sank in Lake Michigan en route to Chicago after being caught in an ice floe that crushed the iron hull. The vessel had been built as at Philadelphia in 1874 as the lighthouse tender DAHLIA and rebuilt and renamed at Milwaukee in 1910 for Lake Michigan service.

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

 

 

Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie all set new water level records in February

3/10 - Four of the five Great Lakes set new record monthly water levels in February 2020.

Lake Michigan and Lake Huron shattered its February water level record by one-half of a foot. Since each inch of water represents 800 billion gallons of water on the two lakes, Lake Michigan-Huron had 4.8 trillion gallons more than it has ever had in any February since the late 1800s. The February 2020 water level was 17 inches higher than February 2019. Lakes Michigan and Huron are expected to break monthly water level records for each month now through August 2020. The water levels are forecast to break records by one to five inches in each month for the next six months.

Even though Lake Superior declined three inches from January to February 2020, Lake Superior still set a new record water level in February. February’s water level surpassed the 1986 record, but only by less than one inch. Lake Superior is two inches higher than last year at this time. Lake Superior currently has a water level forecast for the next six months to inch lower and out of record territory.

Lake Erie started its seasonal rise in February, adding four inches of water between January and February. The February water level shattered the previous record by five inches. Lake Erie is currently almost one foot higher than February 2019. Lake Erie is projected to set new monthly record highs from March 2020 to May 2020, and then dip below record water levels for June, July and August.

Lake Ontario rose three inches in the past month but was still six inches below its record February level. Lake Ontario’s water levels fluctuate the most of any Great Lake. March and April are expected to rise seven inches higher than last year, and then shift to 10 to 20 inches lower than last year for May through August.

If the water level forecasts are correct, it appears Lakes Michigan and Huron will have the highest water levels compared to long-term averages. As a result, the shoreline erosion for the next six months will probably be the most damaging on Lakes Michigan and Huron. Lake Erie and Lake Superior will also be in record water level territory for the next several months, with shoreline erosion also being a problem on those two lakes.

MLive

 

Industry, educators work to ease shortage of seafarers in Canada

3/10 – Nearly 90 percent of the stuff we buy, wear and eat is brought to us on ships. But 20 percent of the current seafarer workforce is expected to retire within the next five years.

To fix this looming labor shortage, industry experts and schools are working together to attract the next generation of mariners. Read the story at this link: https://www.facebook.com/BrettRuskinNews/videos/887492825024584

 

Port Reports -  March 10

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

St. Marys River
USCG Katmai Bay was downbound Monday morning to conduct ice ops in the lower river in preparation for new shipping season.

Straits of Mackinac – Jon Paul
Mackinaw departed the State Dock in Mackinaw City at 15:35 Monday and proceeded westbound in the Straits of Mackinac. The track has open water in spots, and they maintained a steady 13-14 knots past White Shoal. The South Passage has open water from Point Nipigon east through Poe Reef. Katmai Bay has been working the turns in the lower St Marys River and as of 17:30 Monday was tied up at the old coal dock on Lime Island. In Northern Lake Michigan, Prentiss Brown and barge were waiting out weather swinging on the hook off the NE side of South Fox Island.

Northern Lake Huron
Monday; 10:24 Algoma Conveyor passed through the Straits Monday and was downbound for Goderich. Algoma Innovator departed Goderich at 6:26 bound for Chicago to unload road salt.

Mackinaw City
Monday at 16:20 USCG Mackinaw departed for Green Bay to conduct ice operations.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor expected next for salt.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
Algoma Strongfield was placed in to the drydock at Ironhead Shipyard Sunday.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 10

CHARLES E. WILSON (Hull#710) was launched March 10, 1973, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Corp., for American Steamship Co. Renamed b.) JOHN J. BOLAND in 2000.

The ADAM E. CORNELIUS, built by the Great Lakes Engineering Works (Hull#53) in 1908, was renamed b.) DETROIT EDISON on March 10, 1948. In 1954, she was renamed c.) GEORGE F. RAND and in 1962, the RAND was sold to Canadian registry and renamed d.) AVONDALE. She was scrapped at Castellon, Spain in 1979.

FORT HENRY (Hull#150) was launched March 10, 1955, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.

KINSMAN VENTURE was launched March 10, 1906, as a.) JOHN SHERWIN (Hull#617) at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co.

On 10 March 1881, the propellers MORLEY and A. L. HOPKINS were purchased by the Wabash Railroad Company from the Morley Brothers of Marine City, Michigan.

The N. K. FAIRBANK (wooden freighter, 205 foot, 980 gross tons, built in 1874, at Marine City, Michigan) was sold by Morley & Morse to Captain H. Hastings on 10 March 1884.

The tug RIVER QUEEN sank at her dock in Port Huron, Michigan during the night of 10 March 1885. She was raised the following day and one of her seacocks was discovered to have been open that caused her to fill with water.

CADILLAC (steel ferry, 161 foot, 636 gross tons) was launched on 10 March 1928, by the Great Lakes Engineering Works in River Rouge, Michigan (Hull #260) for the Detroit & Windsor Ferry Company. The ferry company claimed that she was the largest and most powerful ferry in North American waters. When she was launched, the Ambassador Bridge and the tunnel, which connects Detroit and Windsor, were being constructed. She was placed in service on 25 April 1928, and had a varied history. From 1940 to 1942, she ran as a Bob-lo steamer. In 1942, she was sold to the U. S. Coast Guard and renamed b.) ARROWWOOD (WAGL 176) and used as an icebreaker. She was rebuilt in 1946, renamed c.) CADILLAC, and served as a passenger vessel on Lake Erie. At the end of the 1947 season, she was tied up to the dock for use as a restaurant. She went through a couple of owners until she finally arrived at the scrappers' dock in Hamilton, Ontario on May 26, 1962 for breaking up.

In 2000, the HARMONIOUS, a Panamanian freighter dating from 1977, visited the Great Lakes in 1978 and returned on several occasions through 1986. It was lost on the Arabian Sea as c) KASTOR TOO while traveling from Aqaba, Jordan, to Visakhapatnam, India, with a cargo of phosphate on March 10, 2000. The crew of 18 were rescued by the nearby container ship MILDBURG.

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

 

Port Reports -  March 9

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

St. Marys River
Algocanada was upbound for the Purvis dock in Sault, ON, with petroleum products on Sunday early afternoon. She was escorted by USCG Neah Bay, which headed back down the river after Algocanada reached Six Mile Point. There is ice starting just below Mission Point, but it is not as think as in recent years.

Northern Lake Huron
Cheboygan: Saturday; 15:54 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes departed for Nanticoke.

Lake Michigan
Algoma Conveyor departed Milwaukee Sunday afternoon and headed up the lake for Goderich.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator arrived at 12:40pm Sunday and began loading salt at Compass Minerals.

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

 

Video explores the origins of Know Your Ships book

3/9 - With the upcoming release of the 2020 Know Your Ships book, check out this video about how it all began for editor and publisher Roger LeLievre.

https://www.facebook.com/DreDesignsGLMP/videos/141306900507624/?fref=gs&dti=74265040605&hc_location=group

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 9

In 1905, the JAMES C. WALLACE (Hull#334) of the Acme Steamship Co., (A.B. Wolvin, mgr.), was launched at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co. Purchased by the Interlake Steamship Co. in 1913, she was scrapped at Genoa, Italy in 1963.

On 09 March 1933, all nine steamers of the Goodrich Transit Company were seized by federal marshals under a bankruptcy petition. These steamers were CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, CAROLINA, ALABAMA, ILLINOIS, CITY OF BENTON HARBOR, CITY OF GRAND RAPIDS, CITY OF ST. JOSEPH, CITY OF HOLLAND, and the CITY OF SAUGATUCK.

AMOCO ILLINOIS was launched March 9, 1918, as a) WILLIAM P. COWAN (Hull#724) at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co.

NOTRE DAME VICTORY (Hull#1229), was launched on March 9, 1945, at Portland, Oregon, by Oregon Shipbuilding Co., just 42 days after her keel was laid. She became the b.) CLIFFS VICTORY and sailed on the Great Lakes from 1951 until 1985.

WIARTON was launched March 9, 1907, as a) THOMAS LYNCH (Hull#73) at Chicago, Illinois, by Chicago Ship Building Co., for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. She was used as part of a breakwall at the Steel Co. of Canada Dock in Hamilton. The GROVEDALE of 1905, and HENRY R. PLATT JR of 1909, were also used.

March 9, 1920 - The PERE MARQUETTE 3 sank off Ludington after being crushed by ice.

On 9 March 1858, the propeller ferry GLOBE was being loaded with cattle at the Third Street dock at Detroit, Michigan. In the rush to get aboard, the cattle caused the vessel to capsize. All of the cattle swam ashore, although some swam across the river to the Canadian side.

1985: The Norwegian freighter TRONSTAD first came to the Great Lakes as a pre-Seaway visitor in 1957. It returned on another 12 occasions after the new waterway opened in 1959. The vessel was sailing a d) CRUZ DEL SUR when it was confiscated by U.S. authorities for drug smuggling and brought to Miami on this date in 1985. The 30-year old ship was towed out into the Atlantic and scuttled off Miami on December 19, 1986.

2007: The Greek freighter WISMAR was built in 1979 and came through the Seaway in 1980. It lost power below Lock 2 of the Welland Canal while upbound on August 30, 1980, and had to drop anchor. It was sailing as h) GRACIA from Thailand to Dakar, Senegal, with a cargo of rice, when the engine failed in heavy weather in the Indian Ocean on February 27, 2007. The crew took to the lifeboats and was rescued. The former Great Lakes visitor was last seen on March 7, adrift, with a 20-degree list to port, and likely soon sank.

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

 

High Lake Huron water wrecking wrecks

3/8 - Rogers City, MI – High water and erosion have pushed a portion of the Joseph S. Fay shipwreck inland from its former location off the shoreline at the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse.

Although it’s currently covered by snow and ice, lighthouse caretaker Eric Klein said the starboard — or right-hand — side of the shipwreck moved about 10 feet inland during a storm in October. Klein said it’s the first time he’s known the shipwreck to move.

The piece of shipwreck moved farther inland during subsequent storms, and Klein estimates it has now moved about 25 feet from its original location. The piece is now wedged up to the treeline, where sand is eroding and the trees are starting to topple.

Klein said there’s nothing that can be done to protect the wreck, because it’s against the law to move shipwreck artifacts or remove them from the water. He said the wave action over the past few years has taken its toll on the wreckage. When water receded, the wreckage was exposed to the elements and the wood dried out, weakening it. Waves are now impacting the weakened wood.

“It’s basically eroding the wreck, and big pieces will come off and be washed away,” he said. He said what’s happening now is “just part of its natural progression.”

While water levels in the Great Lakes fluctuate over time, state Maritime Archaeologist Wayne Lusardi said what’s atypical are the waves that have eroded shores, actually digging out artifacts and pieces of shipwrecks that haven’t been exposed for some time.

He said that has occurred throughout the state, particularly over the course of the past six months. A couple pieces of slab wood, or possibly pieces of shipwrecks, washed ashore along Bay View Park this summer. At Hoeft State Park, a 45-foot stretch of ribs and keel from an unidentified shipwreck, once covered by sand dunes, now lie in shallow water.

Along the Lake Michigan shoreline, just south of White Lake Channel, the remnants of a schooner also emerged from sand dunes, only to be buried again two weeks later.

As for the Joseph S. Fay, Klein worries about what might happen when the waters recede. “The last time the lake washed out that ridge in the (19)80s, it reestablished a dune there, and I fear it’s going to cover the wreck,” he said.

The Alpena News

 

Port Reports -  March 8

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

St. Marys River
Tanker Algocanada was at anchor off the east end of St. Joseph Island Saturday night. It is not known why it did not make it to the Purvis dock in Sault, ON, for unloading at 1700 hours on March 7 as planned. USCG Katmai Bay icebreaker passed the Purvis dock headed upstream around 1700 hours without the Algocanada following.

Straits of Mackinac
Algoma Innovator was eastbound for Goderich Saturday evening.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
Alpena arrived at 06:40 Saturday (3/7) with cement and proceeded to the Lafarge terminal on the inner harbor. Still powered by steam, she is the oldest working freighter on the lakes. Also in port was Algoma Conveyor, which arrived early Wednesday morning (3/4) with salt from Goderich. Early Saturday, with an assist from the tug Louisiana, the Conveyor spun around and backed into slip one of the outer harbor. After a three-day delay, reportedly due to belt issues, she appeared ready to discharge her cargo. No additional marine traffic is expected.

 

Access to Huron's piers blocked by Army Corps

3/8 - Huron, OH - The Army Corps of Engineers placed new signs warning people to stay off dangerous areas near Huron's piers. The signs posted at the Lighthouse Pier, north of the "blockhouse," and the East Pier, attached to Nickel Plate Beach, warn people of danger and to keep off the restricted area.

"We put the signs up because all of those areas are strictly navigation structures, and that's what they were designed for," said Susan Blair, a spokeswoman for the Army Corps' Buffalo office. "The public was never meant to use them for recreation. Last year, somebody, unfortunately, died when he fell off the rocks."

Henry Stout, 19, drowned in June after a wave knocked him off the rocks as he attempted to get from the pier to the Huron Lighthouse. There were also two drownings last year at Nickel Plate Beach, but they were unrelated to the restricted area at the East Pier. Some people, however, do use the rocks there for recreation, which the Army Corp. contends needs to stop.

Blair said people who disobey the signs could be charged with trespassing.

Huron city manager Andy White said the federal government owns the land and the city leases certain areas of it like the observation deck at the blockhouse, which remains accessible to the public.

"It's their land and they can obviously do what they please," White said. "But it has been widely enjoyed as a recreational asset in the past, and we weren't given any notice of it."

 

Muskegon cruise ship stops to double, with some days two in port at once

3/8 - Muskegon, MI – Three cruise ship operators have finalized 2020 itineraries for cruises on the Great Lakes, resulting in 35 stops in the port city of Muskegon. That's twice as many stops as in 2019. In 2021 the number of stops is expected to grow to nearly 50 stops.

All three cruise ships will enter the Muskegon Lake channel and eventually tie up at a dock at Muskegon County's Heritage Landing Park. "We have the perfect setup," said Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Larsen.

Larsen says Heritage Landing is perfect in part because it's close to the shops, breweries, and museums in Muskegon's growing downtown.

The growing piece of the region’s tourism economy can be traced back to one single cruise ship stop in 2015.

"On average we'll have two cruise ships a week," said Larsen. "But there are going to be a couple of times when we'll have two cruise ships in the same day."

Community leaders were initially concerned about the double booking for the Muskegon port. The dock at Heritage Landing can only accommodate one ship at a time. The neighboring Mart Dock is providing additional docking space during double bookings which should happen twice in 2020.

"We have got plenty of space here," said Mart Dock President Max McKee. "When there will be two in town or maybe an event at Heritage Landing and they can't accommodate the cruise ships, those ships have been here before, they're welcome again."

The growing cruise ship business is a sign of the city's diverse economy. A one reason that lead Ashley Cooper to open her "Harris & Willow" store in downtown on Second Street. "Just seeing the growth," Cooper said. "It's just fun to be a part of Muskegon and see the new things they're offering and just to be a small part of that."

Cooper started "Harris & Willow" inside one of the city's mini retail chalets on Western Avenue. It's a popular stop for cruise ship passengers. "We'd see them drive by on the trolley, and then later on they would come and shop the shops," Cooper said. She hopes this summer they find her new location for clothing, gifts, and keepsakes.

Not only do passengers spend money in the city, but the ships operators do too. In 2019 one ship made a $14,000 alcohol purchase from a Muskegon area beer distributor before leaving town.

The first cruise ship of 2020 will arrive in Muskegon's port on May 13, the last stop of the season is scheduled for October 16.

In 2001, Muskegon County made significant improvements to Heritage Landing including the construction of the dock where cruise ships could dock. Stopping in Muskegon this year are the ships The Victory I, Victory II, Pearl Mist, and Le Champlain.

WZZM

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 8

EUGENE P. THOMAS (Hull#184) was launched March 8, 1930, at Toledo, Ohio by Toledo Shipbuilding Co., for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

March 8, 1910 - A fire from unknown causes destroyed the ANN ARBOR NO. 1 of 1892. The hull was sold to Love Construction Co., of Muskegon, Michigan.

On 8 March 1882, the tug WINSLOW left Manistee to tow the NORTHERN QUEEN to Marine City for repairs. NORTHERN QUEEN had collided with LAKE ERIE the previous autumn and then sank while trying to enter Manistique harbor. Robert Holland purchased the wreck of NORTHERN QUEEN after that incident.

1981 MEZADA of the Zim Israel Line first came to the Great Lakes in 1966 after it had been lengthened to 676 feet. The vessel had been built in 1960 and foundered after breaking in two about 100 miles east of Bermuda on March 8, 1981. The 19,247 gross ton bulk carrier was traveling from Haifa to Baltimore with a cargo of potash and 24 lives were lost while only 11 sailors were rescued.

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

 

McKeil Marine expands again with purchase of another tanker

3/7 - Montreal, QC – McKeil Marine renamed its latest acquisition, the 2011-built product tanker Adfines Sea (originally Osttank Norway), to Northern Spirit in Montreal on Tuesday. Late in Feburary, McKeil purchased fleetmate Adfines Star, which was renamed Atlantic Spirit.

Rene Beauchamp

 

Coast Guard to begin icebreaking next week for new shipping season

3/7 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Coast Guard cutter Katmai Bay starts breaking ice Monday March 9 in the lower St. Marys River in preparation for the 2020 shipping season. Later in the week, Coast Guard cutters Mackinaw, Neah Bay, Morro Bay and Bristol Bay will augment the icebreaking fleet assigned to the St Marys River.

To date, icebreaking activity was limited to the lower St Marys River, south of Munuscong (Mud) Lake and the Middle Neebish Channel north and east of Neebish Island. Monday, the Coast Guard extends their icebreaking activity into the southern half of the West Neebish Channel, working from Mud Lake Junction Light north to Moon Island. The Coast Guard will not disturb the ice north of Moon Island until the week of 16 March. They do not plan to break ice north the Neebish Island ferry crossing south of West Neebish Channel Light 45 before 20 March 2020.

Unlike some previous winters, this year was unseasonably warm. Regional ice cover is not as expansive, nor did it reach traditional thicknesses. The forecast for the next seven to ten days calls for temperatures conducive to rapid deterioration of ice. All snowmobile, All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) operators, ice fishing, and other recreational users of the ice should recognize the instability of the ice, plan their activities carefully, and use caution near the ice, especially in proximity to charted navigation areas.

Meanwhile, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder will commence spring break out operations in the Duluth-Superior area Tuesday, March 10. Initially, icebreaking operations will occur inside the Duluth and Superior Harbors. The ice breaking work expands next week to other regional waterways, including Thunder Bay, Ontario to prepare for commercial ship movements.

In addition, Coast Guard cutters Mackinaw, Mobile Bay and Neah Bay commence the breakout of the bay of Green Bay, Monday March 9. The Port of Green Bay will resume commercial shipping activity at week’s end. These icebreaking operations will likely occur in areas used by recreational users such as, but not limited to, the Fox River, Green Bay Entrance Channel, the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal, Menominee River Entrance, and the waters of Green Bay from Escanaba to the Port of Green Bay. In the days and weeks to come, these icebreaking efforts will increase in frequency as ice conditions deteriorate and commercial navigation increases.

USCG

 

Port Reports -  March 7

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

Northern Lake Huron
St Ignace: Thursday: 22:10 USCG Mackinaw arrived. Friday: 8:21 USCG Neah Bay departed for the Straits to conduct ice operations. 14:45 USCG Mackinaw departed for Mackinaw City, arriving there at 15:10.

Straits of Mackinac: 9:31 Friday the cement carrier Alpena weighed anchor and proceeded through the Straits for Milwaukee. Alpena was escorted by USCG Neah Bay.

 

Great Lakes water levels remain high going into the spring

3/7 - Detroit, MI - – Water levels on each of the Great Lakes remain very high going into the spring, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced. Although 2020 started with wetter conditions, February was a fairly dry month for the Great Lakes basin. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that a few cold air outbreaks during the month led to increased evaporation.

Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie set new monthly records for February 2020.

“After months of generally wet conditions, February was finally drier across most of the Great Lakes.” said John Allis, chief of the Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office, Detroit District. “However levels remain above or near record highs for this time of year, and we expect impacts to those along the coastline to increase as water levels now begin rising towards their seasonal peaks.”.

Those impacted by high water levels in 2019 should prepare for similar or higher levels in 2020.

WXYZ

 

Friends of the tug Edna G need maintenance volunteers

3/7 - Two Harbors, MN – The Friends of the Edna G needs a volunteer or volunteers to do weekly maintenance on the historic tug Edna G. It would require checking on the tug weekly to check how much water it has taken on and if necessary, pump the water out. Also, check the mooring lines and tighten them if necessary and report on the condition of the tug to the board and if anything is needed to keep tug in good condition contact a board member. There will be someone to train you. You will not be required to attend our monthly meeting. If you can only volunteer once or twice a month that will okay. There is one person currently doing the maintenance on the tug and he is getting older. If something should happen to him, or if he goes on vacation, we do not have someone to replace him.

Friends of the Edna G

 

Green Bay offering contest to guess first ship

3/7 - Green Bay, WI – Can you guess when the first ship will enter the Port of Green Bay's shipping channel in 2020? It could be science that guides you, or maybe a little bit of luck. Again this year the Port of Green Bay and Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau are partnering in a contest that embraces the age-old tradition of guessing the day the first ship will arrive at port.

Tradition also holds, that due to weather and other shipping factors, no one knows when arrival will take place. The person who guesses the closest date and time of the first ship's arrival, will win a prize package offered by the Port of Green Bay which includes intro to sailing lessons for two from Green Bay Sail & Paddle, $25 gift certificate from Louie's Lagoon, two Port of Green Bay drawstring goodie bags and a 200th Anniversary Brown County Monopoly Game.

The shipping industry is significant for the Port of Green Bay and the Greater Green Bay region. A total of 2,277,652 metric tons were moved in and out of the Port during the 2019 shipping season, representing a 9 percent increase over 2018. The Port has 14 terminal operators along the Fox River and businesses handle dry bulk commodities such as coal, limestone and salt, bulk liquids like petroleum products, liquid asphalt and tallow, and breakbulk commodities including wood pulp and forest products in addition to oversized cargo like machinery and wind components. As the westernmost Lake Michigan dock, railroad companies and major trucking firms utilize the Port of Green Bay. Visit www.portofgreenbay.com for more port information.

 

Statement from Victory Cruise Lines regarding virus preparations

3/7 - Editor’s note: Victory I and Victory II have a full season of passenger cruising scheduled for 2020 on the Great Lakes.

Dear Valued Guest,

At American Queen Steamboat Company, our thoughts are with those affected by COVID-19. Please be assured that American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines are closely monitoring the situation. We’ve enhanced screening protocols, and have taken the recommended necessary precautions on each of our vessels. Our top priority is – and will always be – the safety of our guests and employees.

We remain optimistic about the future, and encourage you to do the same. We’ve made adjustments to our deposit requirements, final payment schedules and cancellation policies to make it easier to evaluate your vacation plans.

We have exciting things planned for next month. First is the introduction of our new and beautiful American Countess on the Mississippi River. Next is the start of our second successful season of the Victory I and Victory II, providing spectacular voyages on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Thank you for your being a valued guest of our two brands. We want you to be able to travel with confidence based on the flexibility that our adjusted policies offer.

John W. Waggoner Founder and CEO, American Queen Steamboat Company CEO, Victory Cruise Lines

 

Casualties/demolitions

3/7 - Vessels with Great Lakes / Seaway connection reported as a casualty or sold for demolition taken from March 2020 issue of Marine News - Journal of the World Ship Society:

Casualties: TECUMSEH (7225855; Canada) - 1st trip into Seaway 2012 - (Tina Litrico-11, Judy Litrico-06, Islander-96, Sugar Islander-96) 18,049 / 1973 bulk carrier Great Lakes. Owned by Lower Lakes Towing Ltd., Canada. Caught fire in the engine room on 17.12.2019 and lost power in the Detroit River off Zug Island, Detroit USA. The fire was brought under control by the crew and she was towed to Windsor, Ontario where they were evacuated and a specialist fire team finally put it out. Ship had been on a voyage from Thunder Bay, Ontario to Windsor, Ontario with grain.

Demolitions: BOLD WORLD (9141417, Panama) (Stolt Bold World-08, Stolt Kent-07 - 1st trip into the Seaway 1998) 12,141 / 1998 Chemical Products tanker. By Linkdale Co SA (Womar Logistics Pte Ltd), Panama, to Leela Ship Recycling Pvt. India and arrived Alang 27.04.2019 - commenced demolition 6.05.2019

Report prepared by Barry Andersen and René Beauchamp

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 7

ALGOSOO suffered a serious fire at her winter mooring on the west wall above Lock 8, at Port Colborne, Ontario on March 7, 1986, when a conveyor belt ignited, possibly caused by welding operations in the vicinity. The blaze spread to the stern gutting the aft accommodations. The ship was repaired at Welland and returned to service on October 6.

TEXACO BRAVE was launched March 7, 1929, as a) JOHN IRWIN (Hull#145) at Haverton-Hill-on-Tees, United Kingdom by Furness Shipbuilding Co.

On 7 March 1874, the wooden tug JOHN OWEN (Hull#28) was launched at Wyandotte, Michigan, by the Detroit Dry Dock Company for J. E. Owen of Detroit, Michigan.

On 7 March 1896, L. C.WALDO (steel propeller freighter, 387 foot, 4,244 gross tons) was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan by F. W. Wheeler (Hull #112). She had a long career. She was rebuilt twice, once in the winter of 1904-05 and again in 1914, after she was stranded in the Storm of 1913. She was sold Canadian in 1915, and renamed b.) RIVERTON. In 1944, she was renamed c.) MOHAWK DEER. She lasted until November 1967, when she foundered in the Gulf of Genoa while being towed to the scrap yard at La Spezia, Italy.

ANN ARBOR NO 1 (wooden propeller carferry, 260 foot, 1,128 gross tons, built in 1892, at Toledo, Ohio) got caught in the ice four miles off Manitowoc, Wisconsin in February 1910. She remained trapped and then on 7 March 1910, she caught fire and burned. Although she was declared a total loss, her hull was reportedly sold to Love Construction Co., Muskegon, Michigan, and reduced to an unregistered sand scow.

1969: The British freighter MONTCALM, a Seaway trader when new in 1960, made 29 trips to the Great Lakes to the end of 1967. A truck in #1 hold got loose on this date in an Atlantic storm 420 miles southeast of Halifax in 1969 causing a heavy list and a 12 foot gash in the hull. A U.S.C.G. helicopter dropped extra pumps and the ship reached Halifax and safety. The vessel later became a livestock carrier and arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh, for scrapping as c) SIBA EDOLO on August 8, 1988.

1973: BISCAYA was a Danish flag freighter that first came inland in 1965. It was sailing as c) MARGARITA, and under Greek registry, when it sank following a collision with the ANZOATEGUI, a Venezuelan reefer ship, while in bound about 39 miles off Maracaibo, Venezuela on March 7, 1983. It was carrying barytes, a mineral used in oil-drilling fluids, from El Salvador.

1982: OCEAN LEADER came to the Great Lakes in 1980 and ran aground upbound near Sault Ste. Marie on November 11 when the radar malfunctioned. Later, in 1982 as c) FINIKI, the then 7-year old ship hit an underwater obstruction 10 miles west of the Moruka Light, while en route to Paramaribo, Suriname. The vessel reached Georgetown, Guyana, and was declared a total loss. It was reported as scuttled in the Atlantic off Jacksonville, Fla., on or after December 9, 1982.

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

 

Port Reports -  March 6

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

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Thursday; 2:26 The cement carrier Alpena arrived to load at the Lafarge plant and at 8:48 departed for Milwaukee.

Cheboygan: Thursday; The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes arrived at the US Oil Company terminal.

Straits of Mackinac: Thursday; 18:18 The cement carrier Alpena went to anchor on the east side of the bridge probably waiting for escort. USCG Mackinaw left the St Marys River and was sailing west to the Straits.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 4:45 pm Thursday, tug/barge Prentiss Brown/St.Marys Conquest were heading upbound with the barge sporting what appeared to be a fresh paint job; 40 degrees F, sunny skies, light winds from the south/southeast.

Detroit-Rouge River, MI – Raymond H
Herbert C Jackson departed her lay up berth at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal on Thursday, headed for Cleveland to load ore at the Bulk Terminal.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Herbert C. Jackson arrived at 06:06 Thursday to begin running shuttles from the Bulk Terminal to ArcelorMittal steel. The Canadian Coast Guard cutter Samuel Risley arrived at 07:56 and with to dock 26W.

 

Closed Lakewalk could complicate Duluth's summer tourism

3/6 - Duluth, MN - Canal Park is prepping for a tourism season without regular access to the very feature that draws so many visitors to the city: Lake Superior.

This summer, construction to rebuild the popular Lakewalk trail will stretch along the shore of Duluth’s destination district, from the corner of the lake near the Endion Station Inn to the Lake Superior Marine Museum.

After a series of storms wiped out large portions of Duluth’s Lakewalk, the city put together a $60 million plan to fortify its shoreline. This Canal Park phase of the project is expected to start in May and finish next winter, costing about $15 million.

The Carriage Way walking path will remain open during construction, but the land closer to the lake is already fenced off for safety reasons. The city is starting to haul in 76,000 tons of stone from a quarry north of Two Harbors in preparation for the project.

Matt Baumgartner, president of the Canal Park Business Association, said Wednesday that though the hotels, restaurants and shops in the neighborhood are worried how construction will affect the already “slim margins” many businesses are operating on, they’re hoping the new and improved Lakewalk will be worth the hassle.

“We are excited that we are not only strengthening our Lakewalk and shoreline, but we are also looking to the future to enhance one of our greatest attractions,” said Baumgartner, who added that Canal Park businesses plan to amp up marketing to let people know they’ll be open through the construction.

Once it reopens, the Lakewalk in Canal Park will have a new boardwalk, benches and lighting, all fortified by a new stone and concrete seawall.

Traffic this summer could also be complicated by construction to the Lake Avenue bridge, which spans Interstate 35 to connect Canal Park to downtown Duluth.

Last year, the city rebuilt the portion of the Lakewalk behind the Fitger’s complex. A storm in October was the reinforced trail’s first test, and city officials were pleased with how it held up.

Even more effort is being made to bolster Canal Park’s shoreline, an area that often bears the brunt of Lake Superior’s rage in storms. “This area is right in the bull’s-eye,” city construction project supervisor Mike LeBeau said.

Gov. Tim Walz is rallying support for $13.5 million in bonding dollars for the Lakewalk project, which is also funded in part by federal and state disaster aid Duluth received after storms in 2017 and 2018.

The city is planning to rehabilitate the shoreline from Leif Erikson Park to E. 21st Avenue and the Western Waterfront Trail in 2021.

Star Tribune

 

Beaver Island lighthouse fog signal may need protection from high lake levels

3/6 - Charlevoix, MI – The current high water levels on the Great Lakes — along with forecasts they’ll go higher — may require further action by Charlevoix County officials to protect the fog signal building at the Beaver Island Head Lighthouse.

At last week’s meeting of the Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners, county administrator Kevin Shepard told commissioners officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently visited the site and made some suggestions on how to protect the fog signal building from Lake Michigan wave action.

Shepard said the fog signal building sits right next to the shoreline. He said the structure and its foundation are still solid, but if already-high lake levels go up another 9-15 inches later this year — as some forecasts have suggested — more efforts will be needed to protect the building.

He said last year the county spent about $30,000 to hire a local contractor to place additional rocks around the fog signal building to protect it. “So far it seems to be doing OK, but since the Corps was out there, we thought we’d have them take a look at it,” Shepard said.

He said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was on the island with Charlevoix-Cheboygan-Emmet Office of Emergency Management staff to assess several other locations around the island.

Shepard said Corps officials suggest several options for how the county could protect the building, but he said exactly what will be needed and how much it will cost will be determined by multiple factors, including how much lake levels continue to rise.

Last year the county and Networks Northwest bought the lighthouse property from the Charlevoix Public Schools at a price of $215,000.

The 171-acre property includes the lighthouse and fog signal building, three residential cabins, a classroom building, a dining hall and a wood shop. The Beaver Island Lighthouse, also called the Beaver Head Light Station, is one of the oldest lighthouses on the Great Lakes. It was built in the 1850s and was decommissioned in 1962 when it was replaced by a radio beacon. It is listed as a significant site in the National Register of Historic Places.

County officials have discussed many potential uses for the property including reopening a rustic campground on the site. Shepard said he doesn’t anticipate any work needed to protect the fog signal building will have an impact on any other work slated for the site this year.

He said the county is considering having a new roof put on the lighthouse, but officials are seeking grant funding for that effort.

Petoskey News Review

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 6

EUGENE J. BUFFINGTON (Hull#366) was launched March 6, 1909, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co., for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. She lasted until 1980, when she was towed to San Esteban de Pravia, Spain, for scrapping.

At noon on 6 March 1873, the steam railroad carferry SAGINAW was launched at the Port Huron Dry Dock Co. She did not get off the ways at first and had to be hauled off by the tug KATE MOFFAT. She was built for use between Port Huron and Sarnia.

On 6 March 1892, SAGINAW (wooden 4-car propeller carferry, 142 foot, 365 tons, built in 1873, at Port Huron, Michigan) burned at the dock in Windsor, Ontario where she had been laid up since 1884. The hull was later recovered and converted to an odd-looking tug, a well-known wrecker in the Detroit River area until broken up about 1940.

1982 INDIANA was chartered to Swedish interests when it made four trips to the Great Lakes in 1962. It was sailing as d) ZOE II, under Liberian registry, when it was abandoned in the Adriatic Sea, south of Pula, Yugoslavia, (now Croatia) after a severe list had developed while on a voyage from Koper, Yugoslavia, (now Slovenia) to Ancona, Italy, on March 6, 1982. No further trace of the ship was ever found.

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

 

Coast Guard recognizes Sugar Island ferry crew, Good Samaritans for lifesaving effort

3/5 - Sault Ste. Mariue, MI – On Wednesday, Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie recognized the crew of the Sugar Island ferry Sugar Islander II and three Good Samaritans who saved the life of a teenage girl from the icy waters of the St. Marys River.

Capt. Patrick Nelson, Commander Sector Sault Ste. Marie, presented the Coast Guard Certificate of Merit to Captain Dale Rosenbum and Phillip Roy, of the Sugar Island ferry, for their commendable actions on January 21, 2020, in which they rescued a teenage girl who fell into the St. Marys River. Upon sighting of the person in the water, Captain Rosenbum expertly maneuvered the ferry for emergency pickup procedures by a makeshift Good Samaritan crew assembled by Mr. Roy, a deckhand onboard. Mr. Roy and the Good Samaritans stabilized the survivor’s condition and swiftly transported her to awaiting emergency responders on the mainland.

“We are incredibly proud of the heroic and quick response by Captain Rosenbum and Mr. Roy. It is a clear testament to their proficiency and dedication as professional mariners and their strong sense of civic responsibility to their community,” stated Captain Nelson.

Capt. Nelson also recognized three of the Good Samaritans, Sonny Menard, Fred Newton, and Bob LaPointe, who volunteered to assist the crew. “These Good Samaritans embody the UP spirit of community selflessness. We thank them for stepping up to assist with saving a life.”

View a video at this link: https://www.9and10news.com/2020/03/04/sugar-island-ferry-workers-honored-for-saving-girl

USCG Sector Sault Ste. Marie

 

Port Reports -  March 5

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

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
Algoma Conveyor slipped into port at 05:59 Wednesday (3/4). She carried salt from the Compass Minerals mine at Goderich. She tied up in slip one of the outer harbor, and as of noon, had not started discharging cargo. This is her sixth visit to the city in 2020. She was loaded to an observed draft of 8.4 meters, which would equate to nearly 30,000 metric tons. No further vessel traffic is expected.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 1 p.m. Wednesday, the steamer Alpena passed upbound under partly sunny skies, 46 degrees F, winds from the west and steady, and the river completely ice free.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
On Wednesday, Alpena arrived at Lafarge to unload a storage load of cement. This was her first trip since fitting out. After unloading, she departed upbound for her namesake port, and by 9 p.m. was off the tip of Michiagn’s thumb. Algosea arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to unload.

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

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
CCGC Griffon departed at 08:43 Wednesday for Amherstburg, ON. Prentiss Brown/St.Marys Conquest arrived at 08:07. They are at the former Medusa Cement silos.

 

A dog, an ice floe and a dramatic after-dark rescue by crew of tug Barbara Andrie

3/5 - Muskegon, MI - If dogs could talk, Max the mutt, rescued in the dark of night off an ice floe in the middle of Muskegon Lake, would have quite a tale to tell. It’s a mystery how the dog, missing from Muskegon for as many as 36 hours, ended up in the predicament he was in. But his rescue is a heart-warming story of man’s devotion to his best friend.

Returning from a 20-hour trip to Milwaukee on Monday, March 2, the guys on board the tugboat Barbara Andrie couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the lone pup adrift in the middle of the lake.

They had just entered through the channel from Lake Michigan when the dog stranded on a small ice floe suddenly appeared in their path, said the boat’s captain that night, Dave Wellington. It was around 8:30 p.m. and pitch dark when the dog suddenly appeared in the boat’s spotlight. “I’ve got to say, my heart almost sank,” Wellington said. “I almost thought I ran him over at first.” But when he looked back, there was the dog, still on its precarious floating perch.

The crew on board had been working since 6 that morning and looking forward to getting to dock at Andrie in Muskegon and calling it a night. But first, they had a rescue operation to conduct. “Everybody was like, ‘No question, we’re going to get him,’” Wellington said. “We weren’t going to leave him out there. There’s no way. We were going to get him.”

He slowly backed the 125-foot tug up, careful not to disturb the delicate ice surrounding the stranded dog.

“He was way out there, way out in the middle of the lake,” said deck hand Craig Benedetti. “I’m not sure he would have made it through the night.”

When they were close enough, crew members used a pole with a hook on the end to carefully snag the ice floe and pull it toward the tug. At one point, the dog slipped off the ice into the water, but was able to get back on his perch, Wellington said.

“You could tell he was cold and afraid and didn’t know where to go and what to do,” Wellington said. “He was on his little piece of ice that he wasn’t giving up, which, truthfully, was the best thing to do.”

It took about 20 minutes, but finally the crew was able to slip a rope over the pup’s neck and pull it to safety with a little lunch meat as enticement. “It was a very nice dog,” said Matt Babbitt, another captain on board the tug that night. “It was very happy. It was glad to be on board with us.”

The crew, which also included Chief Engineer Danny Kuiper, Assistant Engineer Tyler Gagnon and deckhand Jeff Wever, brought the pup blankets and a little more lunch meat, Babbitt said. “It would sit and shake and everything,” he said. “It was a good little dog.”

His name was Max, the crew discovered by looking at the dog’s tag, which also had his owner’s phone number. “I believe they were kind of surprised,” Wellington said when Max’s owners learned of the rescue.

A Facebook post from the owner indicated Max had gone missing the previous day, Sunday, March 1, between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. He last was seen near Muskegon Catholic Central schools, reported the owner, whom MLive was unable to reach.

Benedetti said another boat captain had reported seeing the dog around 4 a.m. Monday out on the ice, which at that time was more solid than by the time the Barbara Andrie crew got to him.

The crew posed for a few photos with Max before Wellington and Benedetti delivered him to his grateful owners. “When we told them where we found Max, the daughter said, ‘When we take him to the beach, Max doesn’t even like the water,’” Wellington said.

View photos at this MLive link: https://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/2020/03/a-dog-an-ice-floe-and-a-dramatic-after-dark-rescue.html

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 5

On 05 March 1997, the Canadian Coast Guard cutter GRIFFON pulled the smashed remains of a 1996 Ford Bronco from the icy depths of the Straits of Mackinac. The vehicle flipped off the Mackinac Bridge on 02 March 1997, and the driver was killed. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter BISCAYNE BAY served as a platform for the M-Rover submersible craft used to locate the Bronco in 190 feet of water.

HARRY L. ALLEN was launched March 5, 1910, as a.) JOHN B. COWLE (Hull#379) at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. She was declared a constructive total loss after a fire on January 21, 1978. The vessel was in winter lay-up at the Capitol elevator in Duluth when part of the elevator complex burned. Debris from the elevator fell on the boat, badly damaging it. The owners decided to scrap it rather than repair it. The ALLEN was scrapped at Duluth in 1978.

LEADALE was launched March 5, 1910, as a.) HARRY YATES (Hull#77) at St. Clair, Michigan, by Great Lakes Engineering Works. Scrapped at Cartagena, Columbia in 1979.

March 5, 1932 - In distress with a broken steering gear off the Ludington harbor, S.S. VIRGINIA entered port under her own power.

On 05 March 1898, the WILLIAM R. LINN (Hull#32) (steel propeller freighter, 400 foot, 4,328 gross tons) was launched at the Chicago Ship Building Company in South Chicago, Illinois. In 1940, she was sold, renamed b.) L.S. WESCOAT and converted to a tanker. She was scrapped in Germany in 1965.

1997 - The former Greek bulk carrier ANTONIS P. LEMOS had been built at Osaka, Japan, in 1976, and visited the Great Lakes that year. As c) ALBION TWO, the ship departed Gdynia, Poland, for Kingston, Jamaica, with a cargo of steel products and was reported as missing on March 5. Wreckage was later found off the coast of France and identified as from the missing vessel. All 25 crewmembers were lost. The ship had also been through the Seaway as b) MACFRIENDSHIP in November 1993 with a cargo of steel for Hamilton.

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

 

Port Reports -  March 4

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

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
Calumet River Fleeting’s tug Nathan S returned to Milwaukee early Tuesday (3/3) with three more river barges for loading at the COFCO elevator. Mild weather has allowed barge operations to continue through the winter. This is the fourth set of three barges loaded at the COFCO elevator in 2020. Each barge can take about 1,360 metric tons. Tug and barges were headed back to Calumet Harbor Tuesday evening. Calumet Harbor connects with New Orleans via the Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway System. Algoma Conveyor is scheduled to arrive Wednesday morning (3/4) with salt from Goderich, Ontario.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor cleared 4:36 am Monday with salt for Milwaukee. Algoma Innovator cleared at 4:01 pm Tuesday with salt for Chicago.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Alpena left lay up Tuesday at 16:14 bound for Detroit. Calusa Coast also departed at 14:28, heading to Monroe. The Canadian Coast Guard cutter Griffon arrived in Cleveland at 08:13 on 3/2. She is docked at the Port, dock 26E.

 

Sign of spring: Lake Erie-Niagara River ice boom to be removed

3/4 - Cleveland, OH – Crews will remove the ice boom from the outlet of Lake Erie, where it protects the Niagara River from ice jams all winter, this week. The boom, a series of 22 steel pontoons that has been used since 1964, is normally opened at the beginning of April. Last year, the date was April 22, according to a news release. The latest date was May 3, 1971, while the earliest was Feb. 28, 2012.

The boom off the shore of Buffalo keeps ice on the lake from flowing down the Niagara River, damaging shoreline properties and power plant intakes. See a live feed here. No notable ice cover formed on Lake Erie this season, the least amount of ice since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration began keeping records in 1973. The Great Lakes in total are currently 17 percent frozen.

Water temperature in the lake near the ice boom was 34 degrees on Thursday, according to the Army Corps.

The ice boom is owned and operated by the New York Power Authority and Ontario Power Generation and overseen by the International Joint Commission. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers serves as technical advisors.

Cleveland.com

 

You can sail Lake Michigan on this 19th century replica ship

3/4 - South Haven, MI – Your chance to sail on Lake Michigan in a 19th century replica ship is here. The Michigan Maritime Museum is looking for volunteer sailors aboard the Friends Good Will for the 2020 season, according to a press release from the museum based in South Haven.

Friends Good Will was built in 2004 as a replica of an 1810 merchant ship that sailed the Great Lakes.

“Enjoy the excitement of traditional sailing as you share the unique maritime heritage of the Great Lakes with museum guests, students, and fellow sailors on daily sailing excursions on Lake Michigan,” the museum said in the release.

To qualify for the crew, volunteers must complete the free Museum Basic Seamanship Training program, which is scheduled over two weekends on April 25-26 and May 16-17. Training includes both classroom and on-water components. Volunteers will learn seamanship skills, line handling, knot tying and more as part of the training.

“What better way to share a passion for sailing and history, than crewing aboard a tall ship like Friends Good Will?” asked Captain Bob Harnish, commander of the museum’s fleet. “This is a wonderful opportunity for teachers, sailors, historians, and adventure seekers alike.”

Participants must be at least 16 years old and be a member of the museum. To register, contact captain@mimaritime.org or call 269-637-8078.

M Live

 

Help Wanted: QMED-Fireman SS Badger

3/4 - Lake Michigan Carferry is accepting applications for placement in the engine room aboard the historic SS Badger. Candidates must possess a Merchant Mariners Credential with QMED (Fireman/Oiler/Watertender) endorsement, a current Medical Certificate and a valid TWIC card. QMED will expect to live aboard and stand a 4 hour watch, twice a day, 7 days a week during the 2020 sailing season (mid-May through mid-Oct) Competitive wages and benefit package after completing a 90 day probationary period. Visit https://www.ssbadger.com/contact-us/join-the-badger-crew.html and click on Apply Online to submit an application directly to Human Resources. Email: laurieb@ssbadger.com with questions.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 4

In 1944, the U.S.C.G.C. MACKINAW (WAGB-83) was launched by the Toledo Ship Building Company (Hull #188) at Toledo, Ohio. Her name was originally planned to be MANITOWOC. MACKINAW was retired in 2006.

CECILIA DESGAGNES, a.) CARL GORTHON, departed Sorel, Quebec, on March 4, 1985, bound for Baie Comeau, Quebec, on her first trip in Desgagnes colors.

March 4, 1904 - William H. Le Fleur of the Pere Marquette car ferries was promoted to captain at the age of 34. He was the youngest carferry captain on the Great Lakes.

In 1858, TRENTON (wooden propeller, 134 foot, 240 gross tons, built in 1854, at Montreal, Quebec) burned to a total loss while tied to the mill wharf at Picton, Ontario, in Lake Ontario. The fire was probably caused by carpenters that were renovating her.

On 4 March 1889, TRANSIT (wooden 10-car propeller carferry, 168 foot, 1,058 gross tons, built in 1872, at Walkerville, Ontario) burned at the Grand Trunk Railroad dock at Windsor, Ontario on the Detroit River. She had been laid up since 1884, and the Grand Trunk Railroad had been trying to sell her for some time.

In 1871, FLORENCE (iron steamer, 42.5 foot, built in 1869, at Baltimore, Maryland) burned while docked at Amherstburg, Ontario at about 12:00 p.m. The fire was hot enough to destroy all the cabins and melt the surrounding ice in the Detroit River, but the vessel remained afloat and her engines were intact. She was rebuilt and remained in service until 1922 when she was scrapped.

1976 - The former British freighter GRETAFIELD of 1952, a Great Lakes visitor for the first time in 1962, hit the breakwall entering Cape Town, South Africa, as c) SIROCCO I and received extensive bow damage. It was sold to Taiwanese shipbreakers and departed May 15,1976, arriving at Kaohsiung July 5 for dismantling.

1983 - The former Danish freighter MARIE SKOU of 1962, inland for the first time in 1966, caught fire in the engine room and was abandoned by the crew south of Sicily as b) CLEO C. The vessel was towed to Malta on March 9 and scrapped there beginning in April.

1986 - The onetime Greek freighter YEMELOS, built in 1962 as MIGOLINA and renamed in 1972, first came inland in 1973. It was abandoned as e) TANFORY off Trincomolee, Sri Lanka, en route from Kandla, India, to Chittagong, Bangladesh, with salt and bentonite. The ship was presumed to have sunk.

1995 - The tug ERIE NO. 1, a) DUNKIRK, b) PEGGY M., c) RENE PURVIS sank at the dock in Toronto. It was raised by a crane June 18, 1995, but the cable snapped, dropping the hull on the dock breaking the tug’s back. The vessel was broken up at that location in late 1995.

2011 - LOUIS JOLLIET caught fire at Montreal during winter work. The ex-St. Lawrence ferry was being used as an excursion vessel.

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

 

National Museum of the Great Lakes welcomes new board chairman

3/3 - Toledo, OH – It didn’t take long for Mark W. Barker to note the incongruity of a man from Cleveland being ultimately in charge of a museum in Toledo when he was introduced last week as the National Museum of the Great Lakes’ new board chairman.

But Mr. Barker, who as president of Interlake Steamship is in charge of one of the Great Lakes’ pre-eminent freighter fleets, said he’s no stranger to the Toledo waterfront and is familiar with the local port’s history.

“We have a lot of ties to Toledo and the maritime side of it,” both in terms of cargo movement and vessel maintenance and repair, Mr. Barker said during a reception Tuesday at the riverfront museum in East Toledo.

Mr. Barker, a certified marine engineer who holds a master of business administration degree from Case Western Reserve University, has been a board member with the Great Lakes Historical Society — now also the museum board — since the early 2000s and noted that Interlake has been involved with the society since its founding 75 years ago.

“They have a great passion for the Great Lakes as well as a great passion for their business,” Andy Dale, the chief operating officer at Hylant in Toledo and a member of the museum board, said of Interlake and its president.

Mr. Barker succeeds Bill Buckley, who as the board’s chairman from 2013 to 2018 oversaw the historical society’s move in early 2014 from a smaller museum in Vermilion, Ohio to the Toledo site on Front Street. Mr. Buckley “has put us in a great spot,” said Mr. Barker, whose election as the new chairman was recommended by the museum board’s governance committee.

Mr. Barker touched on cooperative programs in the works involving the Toledo Zoo and Toledo Lucas County Public Library system as well as the museum’s ongoing effort to add a lake-vessel pilothouse, liberated from its former ship during a barge conversion, to the museum’s local exhibits.

The museum also is involved in cooperative promotion of other Toledo-area tourist attractions, Mr. Barker said. It has vital roles in preserving and documenting the history of Great Lakes shipping, public education and outreach to promote the lakes’ importance to the national economy and heritage, and underwater archaeology, he said.

“I don’t like to talk about shipwrecks, but they happen,” the shipping executive said with a shrug. Interlake operates nine freighters on the Great Lakes and has a 10th under construction. When launched, it will be the lakes’ first new U.S.-flag ship since the 1980s.

The Blade

 

Port Reports -  March 3

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

Mackinac Straits – Jon-Paul
Mackinaw escorted Prentiss Brown and its barge eastbound thru the Straits Monday afternoon. They made a steady 9 knots with PB passing Round Island Lt at 16:30 and Mackinaw returning to the State Dock in Mackinaw City at 17:00.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
Philip R. Clarke is out of the dry dock and is tied up at the old Interlake Dock behind the Great Republic. Algoma Strongfield is supposedly the next vessel due into the dry dock.

 

Legislators press Trump to push frigate deal to Marinette

3/3 - Madison, WI – A bipartisan coalition of Wisconsin legislators sent a letter Monday to President Trump pressing him to direct a lucrative U.S. Navy frigate construction contract to a Marinette shipyard.

Fincantieri Marinette Marine is locked in a fierce competition with Bath Iron Works in Maine; Austal USA of Alabama; Huntington Ingalls of Mississippi: and Lockheed Martin of Baltimore for the contract. Whoever wins the deal would be expected to build two frigates annually from 2021 to 2021. Each ship is expected to cost about $900 million each.

Wisconsin Rep. John Nygren, who represents Marinette in the state Assembly, persuaded 54 Republican and Democrats from both the Assembly and Senate to sign on to the letter to Trump.

The letter paints Fincantieri Marinette Marine as a vital economic engine in northeastern Wisconsin. The frigate contract would generate another 1,000 jobs for the region, the letter said. If the Navy hands the contract to someone else, however, Fincantieri could end up closing its shipyard, the lawmakers warned.

“We have witnessed what the loss of opportunity does to the Midwest,” the letter said. “When industry departs, so does hope.”

The lawmakers conclude by telling Trump that his “leadership and attention to this opportunity is vital.”

WBAY

 

Interlake video explains vessel names

3/3 - Ever wonder about the names prominently displayed on the bows of Interlake Steamship Co. vessels? Who is Paul R. Tregurtha? How are James R. Barker and Kaye E. Barker related? (Spoiler alert: By marriage). Why name a ship the Mesabi Miner? Watch this video and wonder no more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmhtIEM5-dM

 

Royal Canadian Navy, coast guard short hundreds of sailors

3/3 - Ottawa, ON – It’s been billed as the largest-ever investment in the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard during a time of peace. Over the next decade, the federal government will invest tens of billions of dollars into new science ships, icebreakers, supply vessels and warships.

Yet as they prepare to welcome those new ships with open arms, given the age of their current fleets, top officials at both the navy and coast guard are wrestling with a difficult but critical question: Who will sail the vessels?

That is because the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard need hundreds more sailors between them. And while the situation isn’t critical yet, it has become one of the top priorities for both services.

“It’s good to get all those resources, all this new technology and new ships,” Canadian Coast Guard Commissioner Mario Pelletier said in a recent interview. “But without people, I’m not going to be able to operate or to support or to manage the operations. So I need people.”

The coast guard says up to 15 per cent of its positions are currently vacant, representing a shortfall of roughly 1,000 people. While that alone is cause for concern, the organization released a business plan last year that noted the workforce is also getting older.

The same business plan identified recruitment as “one of the most difficult challenges” for the organization — an assessment echoed by Pelletier. It is for those reasons that he identified recruitment as well as retention as a key focus when he became commissioner in December.

Vice-Admiral Art McDonald, who took over as commander of the Royal Canadian Navy last June, has the same priority: getting more young men and women to sign up to sail with the navy, which is short roughly 850 members.

The shortfall is manageable now, but McDonald said the concern is what would happen should the navy find itself needing to dramatically ramp up its operations — something that can’t be ruled out given the current state of the world.

“So on one hand, my broad message to you is it’s very manageable, the shortfalls we’re currently experiencing,” he said. “But in a volatile world where we may be required to do more, we need to be able to push to fill those numbers in — and we are.”

The navy and coast guard are not alone when it comes to having trouble recruiting new sailors. Canada’s entire marine industry is facing a similar shortage of bodies, as older sailors leave faster than they can be replaced and new technology sparks shortages of certain skills.

“We’ve identified a shortage over the next five to 10 years of about 5,000 people,” said Bruce Burrows, president of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “And we are having to temporarily bring, for example, foreign captains.”

Why aren’t people considering a career in the navy, coast guard or marine industry? Officials have previously cited the fight for employees at a time when unemployment is low and many people don’t want to be away from home for long periods of time.

Yet McDonald, Pelletier and Burrows all cite a lack of awareness. McDonald calls it “maritime blindness.” Not only have most Canadians never been on — or perhaps even close to — a large vessel, but those interviewed believe there is a misconception about the job.

Burrows is quick to list the many ways in which the industry has tried to become more appealing, including shorter stints at sea, more emphasis on high-tech skills as vessels have become more modern, and better food and connectivity to home.

The navy, meanwhile, has been implementing wireless networks onto its ships so sailors can stay connected to home while highlighting the ability to learn new skills in a fast-paced environment.

“We just have to get our story out,” McDonald said. “And what millennials and others are looking for is a chance to do a relevant job where they get to shape what the output is and have a voice to be heard and to contribute.”

The federal government and industry teamed up in January to create the Canadian Marine Industry Foundation, whose purpose will be to promote careers in the marine sector and bring in much-needed new blood.

For McDonald, the stakes are high over the next few years.

“My concern is being 850 down this year, we need to get those people in. We have a message that we’re hiring because robustness, resilience and our ability to fully meet the surge if we get asked to do more than we’re doing now means that I need those extra people to come in.”

National Post

 

See jaw-dropping photos of ice-covered houses on Lake Erie shore

3/3 - Cleveland, OH – The same winds that caused 10-foot waves off the shore of Cleveland Thursday transformed homes in Hamburg, New York, into ice sculptures. The Hoover Beach neighborhood, south of Buffalo, was covered in feet of ice, frozen when water whipped up from Lake Erie, according to CNN. By Friday, homes near the water were encased in ice and dripping with icicles.

Residents worried how the weight of the ice would damage their homes, reported WIVB. Last month, the he town of Hamburg wants to apply for federal money to install a breakwall in the town.

View the images at this link: https://www.cleveland.com/news/2020/03/see-jaw-dropping-photos-of-ice-covered-houses-on-lake-erie-shore.html

 

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.

 

Shippers eager to deal with rail backlog. but high water levels delay Seaway opening

3/2 - Ottawa, ON – With protests stalling Canada’s railways, shipping companies on the St. Lawrence seaway say they’re ready to help move vital goods, but high water levels, controlled by a major dam, are keeping them at the dock.

The St. Lawrence Seaway corporation has decided to delay the opening of the system until April 1, even though the river is largely ice free and could open as early as March 20. Bruce Burrows, president of the Marine Chamber of Commerce, said demand is 40 per cent higher than normal and they would like to be out on the water.

“We have over 100 ship transits ready to go, record volumes ready to move,” he said.

The seaway works with a joint Canada-U.S. agency, called the International Joint Commission, (IJC) on the river’s opening dates. The commission’s board controls the Moses-Saunders Dam near Cornwall, Ont., that effectively acts as a drain on Lake Ontario. When the dam is closed levels in the lake rise and when it opens lake levels drop.

The commission wants to keep the dam open to drain Lake Ontario, which has been at record high levels over the last few years. On Friday, the lake was at 75.08 metres, 45 centimetres above average and 20 centimetres below the all-time high. The commission has kept the dam open for all of February draining nine centimetres off Lake Ontario.

All that water flooding out of Lake Ontario creates a problem for ships however. Burrows said they simply can’t navigate the rapids all that water creates. “We can’t operate our ships in very fast moving currents. It is just too dangerous,” he said. “We have to stop navigating and that’s when we start hitting the economy.”

The commission also has to keep an eye on downstream communities, because letting too much water out of the lake can actually lead to floods. Taking just one centimetre off Lake Ontario raises the level in Montreal’s harbour 12 centimetres.

Sarah Lobrichon, a spokesperson for the IJC, said they do their best to balance all the interests, but right now, they have to focus on flood prevention. “There is a risk of flooding this year and we are doing everything we can to minimize this risk,” she said. “Our attention is focused on how high the lake is.”

The consistently high levels since 2017 have led to flooding of communities in New York State. Last fall New York State’s Attorney General launched a lawsuit against the International Joint Commission, charging it had failed to protect communities.

“The International Joint Commission failed their primary mission of properly managing Lake Ontario’s water levels,” said Attorney General Letitia James, in a statement when the suit was announced. “We will not stand by while the IJC continues to expose New Yorkers to dangerous flooding.”

Burrows said opening up the dam doesn’t have a big impact on the lake and it’s becoming a crutch when governments should be looking for broader solutions. He said by contrast as much as a $100 million a week in economic activity is being lost because the ships can’t move.

Burrows said it’s time for governments on both sides of the border to look at climate resilience plans, strengthening seawalls and taking other measures to ensure communities are safe. He said simply opening the dam ignores the heavy rainfalls and other issues driven by a changing climate.

“You can occasionally open the plug into the bathtub, but if you have two big taps that are running into the bathtub it’s not going to be a net gain.”

Burrows said even without rail disruptions a lot of vitally important supplies move on the seaway and many companies depend on being able to get supplies by ship. “It’s amazing to think that when a plane takes off at Pearson Airport in Toronto, a lot of that fuel has been delivered by ship,” he said.

Lobrichon said the IJC agrees that the dam has a limited impact on Lake Ontario and they are looking for broader solutions. A committee they have struck to look at the problem is set to make recommendations next week. “It’s extremely complex. We need to take into consideration upstream and downstream interests.”

MSN

 

Port Reports -  March 2

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

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived 6.30 pm on Saturday and began loading salt at Compass Minerals. Algoma Innovator arrived 1.52 am Sunday, tied up North Pier; she'll load salt next.

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

 

TC leaders discuss pros, cons of cruise ships porting in Grand Traverse Bay

3/2 - Traverse City, MI - Major cruise lines have their eye on Traverse City. Viking Cruises is the latest line to announce a Great Lakes route that will stop in the Cherry Capital. Their eight-day voyage includes an itinerary with stops in Ontario, Alpena, Mackinac Island, Detroit and Milwaukee as well.

At the TC port of call, the visit includes excursions to the Sleeping Bear Dunes, wine tasting on the Leelanau Peninsula and shopping in downtown Traverse City. The ship would dock at the Discovery Center Pier on West Grand Traverse Bay.

Friday, the Discovery Center invited community leaders to a meeting to see if they’re on board with the idea. A few weeks ago, Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers told 9&10 he had some reservations with the plan.

“We felt it was really important to not make a decision in a vacuum,” said Discovery Center Great Lakes CEO Matt McDonough. The Viking cruise would bring up to 380 passengers eight times a summer.

“The overall impact is fairly negligible when you consider there’s millions of visitors that come to Traverse City every year,” said McDonough. For Traverse City tourism CEO Trevor Tkach, the cruise ships would be a predictable stream of new business in the area.

“You know how many people are going in, and how many people are going out, you know exactly when they’re coming and you know their itinerary, where they want to go and what they want to do,” said Tkach.

The Leelanau Peninsula Chamber of Commerce says the meeting helped clear up one of their biggest concerns: how nature would be affected. “First and foremost, we’re a community that’s very concerned about the environmental impact,” said chamber vice president Deborah Allen. “One of the things I’m most encouraged by is the open communication.”

The DNR, NOAA and EGLE all participated in Friday’s meeting. The Discovery Center said they’ll make a final decision about cruise ships using their docks within the next few months. “We haven’t made commitments to anybody,” said McDonough.

Viking’s Great Lakes cruise is scheduled to set sail in 2022.

9 & 10 News

 

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

 

Lake Michigan water level update

3/1 - Great Lakes water levels remain at or near late February record levels and that trend is expected to continue.

The water level of Lake Superior is down 4″ in the last month. That’s a significant drop and mostly due to the fact that temperatures are below freezing and precipitation falls as snow and stays on the ground rather than water moving into the rivers. There is now a deep snowpack around Lake Superior (snow depths Friday: 51″ Painesdale, 49″ Grand Marais, 37″ Munising, 36″ Marquette, 35″ Hancock) and that snow will eventually melt and get into the lake.

Lake Superior is at the same level as one year ago, but still 13″ above the average level for late February. It’s 2″ below the highest February level set in 1986.

The water level of Lake Michigan-Huron is down 2″ in the last month, but still 15″ higher than one year ago. The lake is 37″ higher than the late February average and is 4″ higher than the record February level set in 1986.

The water level of Lake Erie is up 1″ in the last month and up 11″ in the last year. The lake is 36″ higher than the average February level and is 5″ higher than the previous record February level set in 1987.

The water level of Lake Ontario is down 2″ in the last month, up 4″ year-to-year and is now 19″ above the February average level. The lake is still 7″ below the record February level set in 1952.

The water level of Lake St. Clair is up 1″ in the last month and up 11″ in the last year. The lake is now 40″ above the February average level and is even with the record February level set in 1986.

All the rivers that connect the Great Lakes have well above average flow. The Detroit River at Detroit has a flow of 261,000 cubic feet per second, compared to an average flow of 176 cfs. That’s 148% of average flow and that’s a lot of water passing by. South Haven webcam – mouth of the Black River

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.woodtv.com/bills-blog-2/lake-michigan-water-level-update

 

Port Reports -  March 1

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

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived 6.30 pm Saturday assisted by the tug Ocean A. Simard. Algoma Innovator was on Lake Huron Saturday night headed to Goderich.

 

No good explanation for Michigan port policy

3/1 - Detroit, MI - Want an example of a major scandal that has been almost completely under the radar? The Detroit office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection has adopted a bizarre policy that is severely harming trade revenue in the state, and which has had devastating consequences for the Port of Monroe.

That policy is this: The vast majority of international cargo these days is shipped in large containers — and the Detroit office of the CBP is now requiring those metal shipping containers to be X-rayed and scanned for security reasons before they can go out or come in. But no port in the state has the equipment to do that, so the state is effectively shut out of most international trade. This is a policy, according to Paul LaMarre III, the head of the Port of Monroe, that is leveled only against Michigan.

“What to me is most clear is that this should be a non-political, non-partisan regulatory issue,” said Mr. LaMarre, who became leader of the Monroe port in 2012 after years as maritime affairs manager for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. “And this is a clear abuse of regulatory authority.”

Mr. LaMarre, a 39-year-old former U.S. Navy pilot, has worked hard to expand the Port of Monroe, with considerable success. Last year, a University of Michigan study found that the number of jobs created by the port tripled under his stewardship, going from 577 to 1,659, meaning millions of dollars for the local economy. But then came the decision to forbid containers.

That was bad for all Michigan’s 40 ports, but worst of all for Monroe. Though less than an hour’s drive from Detroit, the port is technically outside Detroit’s jurisdiction, according to boundaries set by the Federal Register.

Because Monroe has no customs unit, Detroit has provided cargo inspection as a “courtesy if they have the manpower available.” For years, that wasn’t a problem. But now, whenever a key shipment of goods is about to exit or enter through Monroe, no manpower seems to be available.

“This has cost us [and the community] millions,” said Mr. LaMarre. What normally happens is that the cargo is either diverted to Toledo’s port, which is 14 miles from Monroe’s, or to Cleveland.

The authorities in charge of U.S. customs for Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin are based in Chicago — and have far more lenient rules than Michigan’s, which are the tightest in the nation. Christopher Perry, the CBP’s program manager in Detroit, sets the state’s customs rules. He is paid $166,218 a year. He has repeatedly refused media requests to explain his policy and has reportedly been vague about security needs.

No cargo has been halted from leaving or entering — it is just sent or received via different ports, hurting the state’s economy, and in some cases, adding costs to the consumer.

The University of Michigan conducted a major study on the effects of these policies last year, in which researchers looked at the impact of two glaring examples. In one case, Ford Motor Co. wanted to ship new Mustang cars from Monroe to Hamburg, Germany.

This would have meant revenues for the port and saved money for the automaker. But just weeks before the first 100 cars were to be shipped, Detroit customs officials told Ford that they could not guarantee that an agent would be there to inspect the containers. The project collapsed.

Another major project involved the shipment of huge amounts of particle board to the Port of Monroe that would be trucked to Grayling, where Arauco is erecting a factory. The project was approved, but the CBP’s Detroit office announced it would deny entry just before the first ship arrived. The ship was diverted to Cleveland. Mr. LaMarre then got a barge and a tug and brought that shipment to Monroe, but the rest was canceled.

“They keep moving the target, but we are still developing new markets and doing our best to stay competitive,” he said.

The Detroit Customs and Border Patrol seems to be engaged in vindictive retaliation against one of the Monroe port’s biggest defenders, Gregg Ward, owner of the Detroit-Toledo Truck Ferry. Some months ago, the CBP sent teams with a slow mobile X-ray unit to his ferry, which takes trucks with hazardous material across the Detroit River daily.

“They are inspecting, with a slow mobile X-ray unit, 100 percent of our vehicles,” delaying transit and costing him business, Mr. Ward said. “It is pure harassment. At the Ambassador Bridge they X-ray no car traffic going to Canada and less than 10 percent of commercial vehicles entering the United States.”

Mr. LaMarre’s take: “They are trying to put him out of business. Gregg Ward is one of the finest and most honest men I know.”

What is clear is this: Monroe, and the state of Michigan, are losing millions of dollars because of a seemingly senseless and arbitrary customs rule that exists in no other state. And nobody in government has satisfactorily explained why.

Jack Lessenberry, Toledo Blade

 

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.

 

Seaway says Welland Canal to reopen March 24

2/29 - Setting an opening date for a section of the St. Lawrence Seaway system was challenging this year, said Andrew Bogora. The Welland Canal part of the 3,700 km seaway system — it stretches from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River to the western shores of Lake Superior — opens March 24. But the Lake Ontario-Montreal section, which allows both domestic and foreign-flagged access to Quebec and upper lakes, won't open until April 1.

For that section, the challenge was finding a delicate balance between meeting the needs of the shipping industry and the need to continue to lower water levels on Lake Ontario. "It's been a tough process. There was a lot of careful study," said Bogora, spokesman for St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp.

"We consulted with a number of stakeholders, the prominent one has been the International Joint Commission and its International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence Board." The IJC deals with issues around the Great Lakes on both sides of the border. Its Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board controls the outflow of Lake Ontario.

That outflow is regulated at the 36-turbine Moses-Saunders Dam, between Cornwall, Ont., and Massena, N.Y. and was at record-setting levels for 70 days in 2019 and high levels into 2020. "The IJC is the sole author in setting water flows, it's outside our mandate," Bogora said.

He said there's pressure from farmers who have stored grain they need to get out and steel mills waiting for fresh supplies of iron ore.

The later opening date on the Lake Ontario-Montreal section reflects the balance struck between all parties. Bogora said the Seaway's No. 1 function is to ensure the safety of navigation, which can be affected by the amount of water released from the lake into the St. Lawrence River.

Last year, the Seaway had to put measures in place — including one-way navigation in certain locations on the river and the use of tugs at the Iroquois Locks — to deal with outflows that were just beyond safe levels for operating vessels.

Bogora said if the water levels were at a moderate level on Lake Ontario, and the weather the same — mild conditions and little ice — the Lake Ontario-Montreal section could have opened as early as March 20, as it did in 2017.

In a release, the IJC said if at the end of March, Lake Ontario water levels and inflows show increased outflows are needed, it has authorized its Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board to maximize flows until at least April 15. That applies if conditions in the St. River Lawrence will allow for increased flow.

"Under such conditions, all interested parties would be provided with advance notice of any outflow increases that might create unsafe conditions for commercial navigation," the release said.

It said at this point the probability the board would have to resort to such action is relatively low, but will be better known closer to the end of March.

The Chamber of Marine Commerce, a binational group that represents more than 130 marine industry stakeholders, said in 2019 the industry worked with stakeholders to ensure safe navigation during record outflow levels

"Going forward, we need to get together to develop a much broader, holistic resiliency plan that can address stakeholder needs and deliver actual, real results. It's time for politicians to start working with all the affected residents, businesses and shipping stakeholders on smart, effective solutions for high water levels," said marine chamber president and chief executive officer Bruce Burrows.

The Welland Tribune

 

Manitowoc lands $2.2M harbor grant to support manufacturing jobs

2/29 - Manitowoc, WI – The City of Manitowoc will receive a $2.2 million Harbor Assistance Program grant for improvements at the Manitowoc harbor and to support the manufacturing, assembly and shipping of cranes for the U.S. Navy.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers' office made the announcement in a news release Friday, and said new loadout and rail platforms will be constructed at the City Centre, LLC, property to handle oversize and overweight cranes.

“These harbor improvements provide double benefits," Evers said in the news release. "The grant helps create new highly-skilled jobs in Wisconsin. It also helps contain transportation costs, making future manufacturing contracts even more attractive. This grant connects the dots between quality transportation infrastructure, the success of local businesses and building strong communities."

The improvements are needed to enable Konecranes and Broadwind Towers and Heavy Fabrications to manufacture enormous cranes for the U.S. Navy. Once manufactured, the cranes must be tested and shipped fully assembled to the East Coast.

Craig Thompson, Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary-designee, said in the news release: “Without these improvements to City Centre, these jobs would likely be lost to an out-of-state port. This grant also continues the Manitowoc crane building tradition and is another great illustration of the value of transportation investments in Wisconsin’s ports.”

Created in 1979, WisDOT’s Harbor Assistance Program helps harbor communities maintain and improve waterborne commerce. Applications are reviewed by the Harbor Advisory Council, which includes members from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, UW Sea Grant, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and alumni from the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute.

Herald Times Reporter

 

Obituary: William Padgett

2/29 - William Padgett, 74, longtime Superior, WI-area resident, died unexpectedly Saturday, February 15, at his home. He was born on July 2, 1945 in Detroit, MI to Floyd and Ruth (Kaufman) Padgett. He served his country in the United States Navy, married Sue Joiner on March 14, 1992, and they celebrated 27 years of marriage before his passing. He was employed as a wheelsman for the American Steamship Co. and was a member of the Seafarers Union. He loved fishing, taking road trips and spending time with his family and friends. He also was an avid Green Bay Packers fan. A Time of Remembrance and Celebration of Bill’s Life will be held from 12:00 – 2:30 PM on Saturday, March 7, at the Downs-LeSage Funeral Home, 1304 Hammond Ave., Superior, WI. Military Honors will be accorded by the Richard I. Bong American Legion Post #435 Honor Guard at the funeral home. The Downs-LeSage Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. To leave an online condolence or to sign the guestbook, please visit www.downs-lesage.com.

 

Floating preparedness: Port Colborne crews ready to fight fires on board docked lakers

2/28 - Port Colborne, ON – Fighting fires on board ships isn't the same as fighting a house fire, says Tom Cartwright.

"A ship is larger, there's limited accessibility, limited ability to manoeuvre inside … you can't ventilate and there's the heat build-up from the steel structure," said the chief of Port Colborne Fire and Emergency Services.

With seven lakers docked for winter repairs along the east wall of the Welland Canal from Lake Erie to the stone dock and two barges at Southpier Terminals, Cartwright said there's always the risk of a fire on board.

Last February, firefighters were called to Algoma Guardian when alarms alerted the ship-keeper to a potential problem on board. Overheated transformer fills ship control room with smoke. The man found smoke in a control room area and shut down power to the ship, which was coming from a shore-based power station, averting a potential fire.

While a fire was averted, Cartwright said each situation on board a vessel first needs to be assessed and added his firefighters won't go below decks to fight a working fire.

"I made a recommendation to city council years ago and they supported me. We'll do anything above deck and assist with medical incidents below decks. If it's a minor issue and we can deal with it safely, we'll go below.”

Cartwright and Deputy Chief Scott Lawson said each career platoon has gone on board the various lakers — owned by Algoma Central Corp. and Canada Steamship Lines — to familiarize themselves with the vessels. Lawson took a platoon of volunteers on board some lakers as well and has plans to take the remaining volunteers in the next week or so. "Every ship is identified, and we have all the contact information," said Cartwright, adding there are ship-keepers on board each vessel throughout the winter.

In the past, the fire service conducted fire drills with different ships by setting up their aerial truck and stretching a fire hose up as if there was a fire on board. "All of the ships are basically the same, though some have added features."

Cartwright some of the changes he's seen in the past 18 years he's been chief in the lakeside city include the addition of sprinkler and fire suppression systems on board the newer vessels, which minimize damage and helps with firefighting efforts.

The most common fires on lakers are in the engine room or conveyor belt systems, which are made of rubber. In 1986, there was an out-of-control fire in the loop conveyor belt system of the Algosoo, which was undergoing repairs in the city. The fire service also fought a conveyor belt fire for 12 hours on the H.M. Griffith — now the Rt. Hon. Paul J Martin — in 1989.

"The risk is always there," said Cartwright, adding the fire service is as prepared as it can be.

In 2010, the fire service dealt with a unique situation on board a vessel 3.7 nautical miles (nearly seven kilometres) southwest of Port Colborne when 16 crew members on board the Liberian-registered Hermann Schoening became ill. Firefighters used the pilot boat J.W. Cooper and two rescue boats from Fort Erie Fire Department to ferry the men to West Street where waiting ambulances took them to area hospitals.

The men became ill when gas formed from the chemical phosphine, used to fumigate for pests, and leaked from the cargo hold into the crew quarters and working spaces. All were later released from hospital.

Read more and view videos at this link: https://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/news-story/9848985-floatng-preparedness-port-colborne-crews-ready-to-fight-fires-on-board-docked-lakers

 

Port Reports -  February 28

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

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
Algoma Innovator made her third visit of 2020 when she arrived at 00:08 on Thursday (2/27) with salt from the Compass Minerals mine at Goderich. She proceeded to slip one of the outer harbor and was dropping her cargo at the open dock. Loaded to a draft of 8.5 meters, she carried approximately 26,000 metric tons. This makes 11 boatloads of salt delivered at the port in the first two months of 2020. This compares with four during the same period last year. Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Conquest cleared for Charlevoix at 11:15. No other vessel traffic is currently expected.

 

Door County Lighthouse Festival tickets on sale soon

2/28 - Sturgeon Bay, WI - Tickets for the 2020 Door County Spring and Fall Lighthouse Festivals go on sale to the public starting Monday, March 23.

The Lighthouse Festivals include land-based, boat, and adventure tours that together reach all eleven of the treasured lighthouses of Door County. Many of the tour excursions are unique to the lighthouse festivals and provide exclusive access to several lighthouses not typically open to the public, including Chambers Island Lighthouse, Plum Island Range Lights, and the Sherwood Point Lighthouse. New this year are air tours that visit all 11 historic Door County lighthouses.

There are tours for all levels of activity and accessibility. Some tours involve hiking, while others ride in the comfort of the Door County Trolley. Boat tours depart from a variety of locations around the Peninsula, including Sister Bay, Gills Rock and Baileys Harbor.

Tickets are available for purchase at www.doorcountytickets.com. For questions, please email info@dcmm.org or call (920) 743-5958.

 

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.

 

Lake Ontario's high water prompts delay in shipping season until April 1

2/27 - The start of the shipping season on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River will be delayed 12 days to help address near-record high water.The decision will be greeted warmly by shoreline residents, who are facing what could be the third spring of damaging high water in the last four years. The lake level has dipped slightly in recent days but remains about 18 inches above the long-term average for this time of year.

It will be the first time since the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959 that flows will be sustained at a high enough level that commercial vessels will be unable to sail. The Democrat and Chronicle reported first last week that a regulatory board had been considering an unprecedented measure that would have delayed the opening of the season until mid-April.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, the board said "the risk of high water this spring remains elevated" even with extreme outflows through the end of March. The board also said it would make decisions about April outflow "based on conditions upstream and downstream at the time and in consideration of all interests."

Commercial freighters had hoped to begin plying the lake and the St. Lawrence River on March 20, an unusually early date owing to a mild winter. Shipping companies had strongly opposed any delay in the opening.

The regulatory board, made up of government, academic and local government representatives from the United States and Canada, was supposed to announce a decision Monday and again on Tuesday, but did not do so. However, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System, which manages the seaway, posted a notice to mariners Tuesday stating that shipping would not begin until April 1.

"Delaying the opening of the Seaway by 12 days to April 1st is a difficult decision to communicate to our customers but we maintain that it is the reasonable thing to do under the current circumstances," the bi-national agency said in an accompanying statement.

A spokesman for the Great Lakes maritime industry denounced the decision Wednesday morning. "We’re very disappointed with this delay. It's time for politicians to start working with all the affected residents, businesses and shipping stakeholders on smart, effective solutions for high water levels. Delaying, shutting down or interrupting American, Canadian and international trade on the St. Lawrence Seaway and further damaging the economy and our nations’ global trading reputation should never be an option," said Bruce Burrows, president of the Chamber of Marine Commerce in Ottawa, Canada.

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2020/02/26/lake-ontario-shipping-delayed-help-lower-water-level/4858664002

 

Senator, U.S. rep call on feds to examine security issues hampering Michigan ports

2/27 - Detroit, MI – Frustrated with progress in their attempts to get the Detroit field office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to treat Michigan ports the same way other Great Lakes and ocean ports are treated, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and Rep. Tim Walberg have called on the federal Government Accounting Office to study inconsistencies in cargo screening standards.

"CBP's inconsistent approach gives a strategic advantage to some ports while placing burdensome infrastructure requirements on other ports, such as demands from CBP to purchase expensive scanning equipment that is provided by the federal government at other points of entry," they wrote in a letter dated Feb. 24 to Gene Dodaro, comptroller general of the U.S. in the GAO.

"Other coastal and Great Lakes ports have not been subjected to the same strict screening requirements," said a news release accompanying the letter. "The change in requirements has severely impacted the Port of Monroe's operations and undermines Michigan's economic competitiveness."

On Dec. 8, a Crain's Detroit Business report detailed how stricter policies for Michigan ports have affected job creation and income for ports, focusing on the Port of Monroe. The Detroit office of CBP, which sets rules for Michigan ports, requires shipping containers to be scanned and X-rayed. However, none of Michigan's 40 ports has the technology to meet those requirements, effectively shutting the state out of the growing volume of shipping container traffic on the Great Lakes.

Many cargo ships unload at the Port of Toledo, instead, just 17 miles from the Port of Monroe. The Chicago office of CBP oversees ports in Ohio and has far more lenient rules than the Detroit office.

According to a University of Michigan study of port activity highlighted in the Crain's report, the rules established by the Detroit office of CBP have created millions of dollars in docking and unloading fees in Toledo and Cleveland and has cost Michigan hundreds of jobs. The Detroit office also has stricter screening requirements for what is called break-bulk cargo, which is cargo wrapped or boxed but not in steel containers.

Toledo doesn't have scanning or X-ray equipment, either. The Port of Cleveland has two radiation scanners but no X-ray equipment.

Last August, a ship arrived in Saginaw with cargo to be offloaded for a power plant under construction in Lansing. The Detroit office of CBP wouldn't let it be unloaded, so the ship sailed back to Toledo, where the cargo was unloaded without being X-rayed or scanned, put on trucks and driven to Lansing.

Last November, Paul C. LaMarre, the director of the Port of Monroe, joined Peters at a meeting with CBP officials in Washington, D.C., and Walberg, a Republican, talked about the issue in person with President Donald Trump in January.

On Feb. 13, Walberg set up a meeting in the White House with LaMarre and Peter Navarro, Trump's director of trade and manufacturing policy to discuss the inequities.

"In today's age of seemingly divisive politics, it is rewarding and reassuring that Sen. Gary Peters and Congressman Tim Walberg are putting Michigan's continued prosperity as a marine transportation hub above party differences. The fact that both legislators have engaged the United States Government Accountability Office to investigate USCBP's inequitable treatment of Michigan seaports is proof positive that USCBP's disingenuous dialogue with elected leadership will not be tolerated," LaMarre said in response to the letter to the GAO.

"To this day, USCBP refuses to answer one simple question: Why are Michigan ports being treated differently than anywhere else in the United States? They have evaded this question for months. It is time for the GAO to find out why."

Crain’s Detroit Business

 

Port Reports -  February 27

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

Straits of Mackinac – ‎Mackinac Ferry Logs
The ferry Huron resumed service to Mackinac Island Wednesday after a 12 day lay-off. Service is day to day depending on ice conditions

Lake Michigan
Algoma Innovator was north of Milwaukee Wednesday night, headed for that mort with salt, according to AIS. Fleet mate Algoma Conveyor was still at S. Chicago.

 

Wreckage from shoreline erosion creates hazard on Michigan beaches

2/27 - Michigan officials continue to look at how to manage increasingly high water levels in the Great Lakes. But in the meantime, evidence of the erosion problem created by waves and wind remains strewn across its shorelines.

“Torn off decks, stairways, BBQ grills, large trees and docks among many other things” are now littering Michigan beaches, said Jim Storey, chairman of the Allegan County Board of Commissioners. The situation is creating problems for homeowners and communities - and, by spring, risks for the recreation and tourism industries.

Concerns over clearing debris from the state’s shoreline were raised Tuesday during two committee meetings in the Michigan Legislature focusing on impacts of shoreline erosion as a second year of record-high lake levels are forecast.

Testimony during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing focused on the impact on local communities, which face significant costs from damage, Storey said. His county includes the lakeshore communities of Saugatuck and Douglas, both of which expand with summertime visitors. Clearing beaches in preparation for seasonal tourism has to take place now, he said, but public funding is stretched.

The situation could worsen, other officials said, if record-setting rains continue this spring.

Read more and view images at the MLive link: https://www.mlive.com/news/2020/02/wreckage-from-shoreline-erosion-creates-hazard-on-michigan-beaches.html

 

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.

 

Opening of the Seaway and Maximum Allowable Drafts

2/26 - The opening of the 2020 navigation season is scheduled to take place on the following dates and times:

• Welland Canal: March 24 at 8 a.m.
• Montreal / Lake Ontario Section: April 1 at 8 a.m.

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

The Soo Locks are currently scheduled to open on March 25.

Allowable Draft In the Montreal / Lake Ontario Section, the maximum allowable draft will be 80.0 dm (26' 3"). The maximum draft will be increased to 80.8 dm (26' 6") for all vessels when the South Shore Canal is ice-free and when water levels throughout the Montreal/Lake Ontario section are favorable. In the Welland Canal, a maximum allowable draft of 80.8 dm (26' 6") will be in effect from the start of the navigation season for all vessels.

The Seaway Corporations have been working with the International Joint Commission (IJC) and the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB) to monitor Lake Ontario water levels and forecasts for flooding around Lake Ontario this year. Based on the current conditions and forecasts provided by the ILOSLRB, the majority of benefits of lowering Lake Ontario levels by maintaining outflows above those safe for navigation in the Montreal / Lake Ontario Section of the Seaway occur before April 1, 2020. After that date, the benefits for lowering Lake Ontario by maintaining outflows above those safe for navigation are significantly reduced. Due to the dry conditions experienced in February thus far and the record outflows that the ILOSLRB has been able to maintain this winter, the probability of Lake Ontario being above flood levels has decreased and is now only approximately 35 percent. Beginning April 1, the Seaway Corporations will continue to work with Mariners to ensure the safety of navigation under outflows prescribed by the IJC and ILOSLRB.

 

Chicago fire dept. rescues crew man who fell into cargo hold

2/26 - Chicago, IL – A crew member was rescued Tuesday after falling inside a cargo ship that was docked on in South Chicago. The Chicago Fire Department’s special operations emergency response crew arrived at the scene near 106th Street and Buffalo Road around 2 p.m. It took 27 different pieces of equipment before crews could lower in a recovery basket and rescue the worker.

The man was aboard the Algoma Conveyor unloading salt when he fell into the hold of the ship on the Calumet River. He suffered fractures to his leg or ankel, according to tweets from the Fire Department, but was in good condition after his rescue.

Initial reports said that he fell from the deck about 100 feet to the bottom of the deep cargo hold area of the ship, but authorities said he slipped “He slid down a wet metal grate,” Battalion Chief Tom Bogenthaler said. “He slid down fractured his leg.”

The worker was taken to a hospital for treatment and was alert and in good condition. View the video at this link: https://wgntv.com/2020/02/25/crew-member-injured-after-falling-100-feet-into-cargo-hold-chicago-fire-dept-on-scene

 

Port Reports -  February 26

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

Straits of Mackinac – Jon Paul
USCG Mackinaw (WLBB 30) departed the State Dock in Mackinaw City at 13:00 (02/25) and proceeded through Round Island Passage, arriving at DeTour at 16:30 to work ice in the St Marys River. She stopped at Lime Island for the night. USCGC Mobile Bay was working the track in the Straits of Mackinac and then docked at USCG Station St. Ignace at 16:15 for logistics.

 

$29 million grant awarded to Port of Marinette

2/26 - Marinette, WI – A harbor Assistance Program grant worth $29 million has been awarded to the Port of Marinette. Gov. Evers' office announced the grant on Tuesday, saying it will be used for "improvements needed at the Port of Marinette to allow for the production of the next generation of navy ships."

In addition, Evers' office says Fincantieri Marinette Marine plans to continue a site improvement project, which includes the following:

• Construction of a vertical ship lift structure
• Dock walls and bulkheads
• Harbor dredging to transition the shipyard to accommodate building larger vessels

Craig Thompson, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation secretary-designee, says the ripple effect of the grant will be felt statewide. Evers said the shipyard improvements will ensure the company can continue competing for contracts with the U.S. Navy, and also provide the area with jobs.

According to Evers' office, the shipyard employs 1,500 full-time employees and contractors, with another 1,000 suppliers and customers, some of which have offices at the shipyard, are at the site every day.

WBAY

 

Obituary: Thomas S. Craig, Jr.

2/26 - Thomas S. Craig, Jr. of Reno, NV, passed away on February 16, 2020 at age 81. He worked for the Great Lakes Feet in the engine department his entire career and retired as chief engineer of the M/V Presque Isle in 1997. He was born in Uniontown, PA in 1938 and resided in various cities around the Great Lakes including; Conneaut, Ohio, Sault Ste. Marie and Rogers City, Michigan and Erie Pennsylvania; reflecting his close ties to the Great Lakes shipping industry. He first shipped out on the Pittsburgh Steamship Company’s Cason J. Callaway as a maintenance man in 1957 and worked for the Great Lakes Fleet in various positions during his 40 years of service. He enjoyed many years of retirement in the Reno, Nevada area with his wife Patti. He is survived by his wife Patti, brothers, William H. Craig, of La Porte, Indiana, A. Wiley Craig of Reno, Nevada and sister Patricia G. Smelser of Buffalo, New York. A private service will be held in the near future.

 

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.

 

 

McKeil Marine expands tanker fleet

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

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

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

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

McKeil

 

New visitors and new funds headed to Port of Cleveland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

New Coast Guard cutter Edgar Culbertson named after Great Lakes hero

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  February 25

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 25

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  February 24

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

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

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

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

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

 

Obituary: Dr. Charles E. Feltner

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

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

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

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

Association for Great Lakes Maritime History

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 24

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  February 23

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 23

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Ship Masters present awards for lifesaving at annual convention

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ISMA Port Huron Lodge No. 2

 

Port Reports -  February 22

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

M Live

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 22

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  February 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 21

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

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

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

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

 

Drydock at Port Weller alive once again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Niagara Now

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  February 20

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 20

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NW Indiana Times

 

Major investment coming to Toledo's port system

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WTVG

 

Dutch tanker proves helpful in shipping local asphalt

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

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

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

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

Sarnia Journal

 

Port Reports -  February 19

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 19

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

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

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

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

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

 

Water levels hold steady as spring nears

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Port Huron Times Herald

 

Proposed shipping season delay could affect Port of Oswego

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NNY 360

 

Port Reports -  February 18

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

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

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

 

Work begins on Line 5 crossing at St. Clair River

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

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

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

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

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

Port Huron Times Herald

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  February 17

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  February 16

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

High water threatens Frankfort's Point Betsie Lighthouse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interlochen Public Radio

 

Port Reports -  February 15

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 15

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cleveland.com

 

$31M agricultural product export facility coming to Port Milwaukee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Milwaukee Business Journal

 

Port Reports -  February 14

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Doell, AMO Currents

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WTVG

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  February 13

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

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

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

 

Annual lighthouse festival to celebrate Northern Michigan landmark

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

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

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

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

M Live

 

History Happy Hour kicks off at National Museum

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

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

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

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

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

National Museum of the Great Lakes

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 13

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WDIO

 

Duluth Seaway Port Authority awarded $10.5 million MARAD grant

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

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

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

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

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

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

Duluth Seaway Port Authority

 

Port Reports -  February 12

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

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

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

 

Annual lighthouse festival to celebrate Northern Michigan landmark

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

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

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

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

M Live

 

History Happy Hour kicks off at National Museum

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

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

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

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

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

National Museum of the Great Lakes

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 12

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BP officials did not respond to a request for comment.

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

Toledo Blade

 

Port Reports -  February 11

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

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

 

Obituaries: Douglas R. Abbott

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

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

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

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

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

To send condolences, visit pollockrandall.com

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Mining through the winter: ArcelorMittal's perspective

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Obituaries: Douglas R. Abbott

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

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

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

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

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

To send condolences, visit pollockrandall.com

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

New Mackinac Island ferry William Richard nearly done

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alpena News

 

Port Reports -  February 9

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Chamber of Marine Commerce talks about challenges facing Seaway shipping

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other legislative and policy priorities for 2020

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

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

Chamber of Marine Commerce

 

Port Reports -  February 8

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 8

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  February 7

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 7

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

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

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

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

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

 

Lake Superior breaks high-water record for February

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Duluth News Tribune

 

Great Lakes limestone trade up 9 percent in 2019

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

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

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

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Port Reports -  February 6

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

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

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

 

Water levels continue rising; more records expected in 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABC 12

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MLive

 

Port Reports -  February 5

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

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

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

 

Coast Guard warns of weak ice across Great Lakes region

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

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

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

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

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

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

USCG

 

Vessel Casualties

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

Casualties: None reported

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

Report prepared by Barry Andersen and René Beauchamp

 

Plan to bury radioactive waste near Lake Huron is dead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fox 66

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  February 4

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

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

 

Region steel mills gear up for winter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NW Indiana Times

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Lake Michigan ends January 4 inches above record

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

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

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

 

Ohio representative talks Port of Monroe with Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monroe Evening News

 

Port Reports -  February 3

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

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

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

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

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

 

Michigan senators ask White House for new icebreaker funding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WPBN/WGTU

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Senators urge funding for new icebreaker for the Great Lakes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WPBN/WGTU

 

Port Reports -  February 2

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

ISMA Port Huron Lodge No. 2

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  February 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  February 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cleveland port cargo grew 9 percent in 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cleveland.com

 

Port Reports -  January 31

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

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

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

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 31

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

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

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

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

 

Soo Locks empties its largest lock, see inside

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports -  January 30

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Green Bay Press Gazette.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 30

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Lakes Seaway Partnership

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Port Huron Times Herald

 

Port Reports -  January 29

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

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

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

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

 

Port Weller shipyard stands good chance of landing federal work

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

New Canadian Foundation launched to promote marine sector careers

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

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

The CMIF is an initiative conceived and developed by Canada’s private and public sector marine stakeholders, including the Ottawa-based industry association Chamber of Marine Commerce, and the federal government under the direction of Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

The foundation aims to expand its membership to include private and public entities from all coasts in Canada. It will present opportunities for engagement, resource sharing and also direct financial contribution.

One of the CMIF’s first initiatives in 2020 will be to launch a digital campaign to raise awareness of the industry so it can continue to attract the skilled labour, trades and accredited professionals needed to steer the industry forward. The campaign will ask Canadians to Imagine Marine and start a conversation to spark the imagination of youth to consider careers in an industry with a tradition and future like no other. A new web-based career resource will be designed to inform, direct and support workforce candidates with academic and career information.

The CMIF will not replace or duplicate individual company or departmental recruitment efforts but rather act as a clearing house or one-stop resource that provides the broader picture of everything the marine sector has to offer.

More Information: http://www.cmif-fimc.ca/

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 29

BUCKEYE was launched January 29, 1910, as the straight decker a.) LEONARD B MILLER (Hull # 447) at Cleveland, Ohio by the American Ship Building Co.

JOHN P. REISS (Hull # 377) was also launched this date in 1910, at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co.

January 29, 1987 - BADGER almost capsized at her dock due to a broken water intake pipe.

In 1953, RICHARD M. MARSHALL (steel propeller freighter, 643 foot, 10,606 gross tons) was launched in Bay City, Michigan, at Defoe's shipyard (Hull # 424). Later she was named JOSEPH S. WOOD in 1957, JOHN DYKSTRA in 1966, and BENSON FORD in 1983. She was scrapped in 1987 at Recife, Brazil.

1975: RATTRAY HEAD, a Seaway trader first in 1971, ran aground on Black Rock Shoal, Galway Bay, while inbound with a cargo of coal. The ship was a total loss.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Does lack of Great Lakes ice mean more evaporation and lower lake water levels?

1/28 - Many readers have asked if the lack of Great Lakes ice cover this winter will lead to lower water levels this summer. Here’s a look at what limited ice cover can do to water levels. The warmer than average winter has led to limited ice cover on the Great Lakes as of January 27.

Evaporation can be higher when ice cover is lacking, but it’s not a certainty. Evaporation is the highest when the difference between the air temperature and the water temperature is the greatest. Typically, evaporation is highest on the Great Lakes in fall and early winter. The water is warm and the air gets cold. That temperature difference accelerates evaporation. Stronger winds can also increase evaporation, with fall and early winter being a windy time of year over the Great Lakes.

Read more and view graphs at this link: https://www.mlive.com/weather/2020/01/does-lack-of-great-lakes-ice-mean-more-evaporation-and-lower-lake-water-levels.html

 

778.4 billion gallons of water added to Lake Michigan in last week

1/28 - Berrien County, MI – With all of the rain and active weather we've seen of late, Lake Michigan has risen once again. In just the last week, the lake has seen its water level go up by two inches. While that may not seem like a significant amount, it takes 778.4 billion gallons of water to get that increase of two inches! Now that is certainly a more eye-popping number.

That rise in water levels has placed Lake Michigan-Huron, which is treated as one body of water, well above where it started out in 2019. With 2019 seeing very high to record water levels all year long, it's fair to say that with this start we may see even worse conditions along Lake Michigan in 2020.

The current water level for Lake Michigan-Huron is 581.69 feet. That is 3 inches higher than one month ago, 20 inches higher than where it was just a year ago and 39 inches higher than where the lake typically is in January.

Put in simplest terms, Lake Michigan -- along with the other Great Lakes -- is running very high. Are we at record levels, though? If the month ended on the 24th, the answer would be a resounding yes. The latest lake level is a whopping 5 inches above the record highest monthly average, which was observed back in 1987.

And with there being only six days left in the month, it's looking like a good bet that we break the all-time record for January water levels on Lake Michigan-Huron.

Looking ahead, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is projecting a decrease of one inch on Lake Michigan-Huron over the next month. That would keep the levels well above where they should be.

ABC57

 

Port Reports -  January 28

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
Algocanada remained at the Purvis Dock unloading on Monday. USCG Mobile Bay was working ice tracks in the lower river and tied up at Lime Island for the night.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
With little harbor ice to interfere with operations, the salt boats keep coming. Algoma Conveyor slipped into port at 04:32 on Saturday (1/25). She carried deicing salt from the Compass Minerals mine at Goderich. After dropping her load on a pad along the inner harbor, she headed back to Goderich that evening. This was Algoma Conveyor’s third visit to the city in 2020. On Monday (1/27), Canada Steamship’s Frontenac made her second appearance of 2020. She arrived from Windsor at 03:30 with salt for Morton. After depositing her cargo at the open dock on the outer harbor, she headed for winter lay-up at Sarnia.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived 3.06 pm Monday to load salt.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
The CCG vessel Griffon passed upbound at 1:30 Monday on calm waters with overcast skies, light winds and 34 degrees F.

Detroit-River Rouge – Raymond H
Samuel De Champlain/Innovation unloaded cement at Lafarge on Monday. Michigan/Great Lakes shifted to the Buckeye Terminal to unload.

 

Weekend trip on Lake Michigan uncovers century-old shipwreck

1/28 - Manitou Island, MI - A team of shipwreck hunters that includes members from Milwaukee uncovered what appears to be one of the most intact wooden schooners ever discovered at the bottom of the Great Lakes. The amazing find was made almost on accident, and the discovery sparked a months-long mission to identify the vessel and solve the mystery of what happened to her crew.

"This particular story starts out with a family trip," said Ross Richardson, a Michigan native. "My cousins were visiting from Georgia, and they wanted to go to South Manitou Island."

Richardson, who lives near the Manitou Islands, has spent countless hours searching for lost ships in the Great Lakes, however, he was not expecting to find anything when he decided to show off his equipment to family members.

"They were like, 'We get to see some shipwreck hunting,' not realizing how boring it is, you know?" said Richardson. "Ten hours looking at a computer screen, but I said, 'On the way out to the island, we'll put the fish in the water, and we'll kind of look around.'"

Sure enough, the sonar equipment got a positive hit almost instantly.

"After about five minutes, we ran over a small target," said Richardson. "It wasn't big, but knew it was something worth looking at. A week later, I stopped by the site again on the way out to the island again, with different family members, and I ran the sonar, and got a little more imagery, and something significant happened, and something was ringing off the sonar 90 feet off the bottom."

Richardson sent those images back to Milwaukee, where divers Steve Wimer and Cal Kothrade thought what was on their screens looked promising. "I saw the radar images, and I thought, 'Boy, it sure looks like a shipwreck. Sure looks like a schooner,'" said Kothrade.

Read more and view a video at this link: https://fox6now.com/2020/01/26/weekend-trip-on-lake-michigan-uncovers-century-old-shipwreck

 

Obituaries: Capt. Percy J. Garrick

1/28 - Capt. Percy J. Garrick of Goderich, ON, died suddenly at Alexandra Marine & General Hospital on Thursday January 16 in his 80th year. Beloved husband of Joyce (Chambers) Garrick. Dear father of Shawn (Kim) Garrick of Tavistock, Tracy Garrick of Calgary and the late Wayne Garrick. Loving grandfather of Shayla. Survived by sister Margaret. Predeceased by sisters June, Clara and brothers Murray, Bill, John and George. A private family interment will take place at Maitland Cemetery. Donations to Knox Presbyterian Church gratefully acknowledged.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 28

SELKIRK SETTLER (Hull #256) was launched January 28, 1983, at Govan, Scotland, by Govan Shipbuilding Ltd. She sails today as SPRUCEGLEN for Canada Steamship Lines.

At 4 a.m. on 28 January 1879, the ferry SARNIA was discovered on fire while lying at Fitzgerald's yard in Port Huron. All of the cabins were destroyed although the fire department had the fire out within an hour. About $3,000 damage was done. She was in the shipyard to be remodeled and to have a stern wheel installed. Arson was suspected.

On 28 January 1889, The Port Huron Times announced that the Toledo & Saginaw Transportation Company went out of business and sold all of its vessel and its shipyard. The shipyard went to Curtis & Brainard along with the PAWNEE and MIAMI. The BUFFALO, TEMPEST, BRAINARD and ORTON went to Thomas Lester. The C.F. CURTIS, FASSET, REED and HOLLAND went to R. C. Holland. The DAYTON went to J. A. Ward and M. P. Lester. The TROY and EDWARDS were sold, but the new owners were not listed.

1965: TRANSWARREN, a T-2 tanker, made three trips through the Seaway in 1960. The vessel began flooding on the Atlantic and sent out a distress call enroute from Bahamas to Ijmuiden, Holland. The ship made it to Ponta Delgada, Azores, for repairs but these were only temporary. On arrival at drydock in Marseilles, France, the vessel was declared a total loss and sold to Spanish shipbreakers at Castellon.

1966: The passenger ship STELLA MARIS came to the Great Lakes in 1959. It caught fire while bunkering at Sarroch Roads, Italy, as e) WESTAR after being refitted for the Alaska trade. Two died, another three were injured and the ship was declared a total loss. It arrived at La Spezia, Italy, for scrapping on April 30, 1966.

1975: CHRISTIAN SARTORI was the closest ship to the CARL D. BRADLEY when it sank in Lake Michigan on November 18, 1958, and helped in the search for survivors. The West German freighter continued to travel to the Great Lakes through 1967 and returned as b) CHRISTIAN in 1968. It ran aground at Puerto Isabel, Nicaragua, on this date after breaking its moorings as e) ROMEO BERNARD. The vessel had to be abandoned as a total loss.

1983: JALAJAYA went aground at the Los Angeles breakwater after the anchors dragged in bad weather. The ship was released and operated until tying up at Bombay, India, on October 3, 1987. It was subsequently scrapped there in 1988. The vessel had not been in service long when it first came through the Seaway in 1967.

1986: ADEL WEERT WIARDS, caught fire as c) EBN MAGID enroute from northern Europe to Libya. The vessel docked at Portland, U.K., on the English Channel, the next day but, following two explosions and additional fire on January 30, it was towed away and beached. The vessel was a total loss and scrapped at Bruges, Belgium, later in the year.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Lakes Erie and Ontario start year with high water levels

1/27 - St. Catharines, ON – Shoreline erosion and flooding in low-lying areas remain high across the Great Lakes as winter months bring large storms and winds across the basin. Environment Canada and Climate Change said the risk comes as high-water levels continue across the lakes.

Through its Level News newsletter, the agency said lakes Erie and Ontario started well above average, even after a decline in December, which still saw the second- or third-highest monthly mean level for the month between 1918 and 2018.

Lake Erie started off the month 72 centimetres above average and 12 cm higher than at the same time last year. The government agency said the level is the third-highest on record and 23 cm lower than the beginning-of-January record set in 1987.

Lake Ontario's level at the start of January was 48 cm above average; 24 cm higher than the water levels last year and the third-highest on record. The last time the level was this high at the start of January was in 1946 when the level was 17 cm higher.

"We are now at the time of year when both lakes Erie and Ontario have reached their seasonal minimum levels. From this point on, they would be expected to hold steady and then start to rise over the next few months," the agency said in its newsletter.

Although Lake Erie is expected to start its seasonal rise in the next few months, Environment Canada said it would take a few months of consistently wet conditions to again see record-high levels. The lake will stay well above average throughout the winter and spring even with average or dry conditions.

With average conditions, Lake Ontario, which typically hits its annual minimum at this time of the year, will start to rise over the next few months. Average water supplies would keep the lake well above average while very wet conditions would again put the lake level back toward record highs.

The Standard

 

Fort Gratiot Lighthouse turns 190 years old

1/27 - Port Huron, MI – When the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse was constructed in 1829, Michigan still had seven years remaining of its status as a territory before becoming a state. The light was built upon a swampy, sodden spot where St. Clair County, itself only nine years old, bulged into junction of the St. Clair River and Lake Huron. The area was crisscrossed by creeks that have long since been in-filled.

"This was frontier when the tower was built," said Dennis Delor, special events coordinator and site historian with St. Clair County Parks and Recreation, which has owned the light station since 2010.

There were only a smattering of residences in the area in 1829 and they tended to be clustered in little villages along the river, such as Peru, south of the Black River. A 1,200-acre Chippewa Reservation laid on the south side of the river, just inland from its mouth, according to the earliest know map to show the lighthouse, drawn in 1829. Fort Gratiot, the military outpost that guarded the mouth of Lake Huron, was 15 years old and rose where Baker College Culinary Institute sits today.

The earliest known drawing of the lighthouse, looking east, shows water in front of and behind the tower. The water behind the tower is the St. Clair River. Delor suspects that the water in the foreground of 1830 rendering is Bonhomme Creek, long since land-filled, named for Francis Bonhomme, who owned 640 acres west of the lighthouse. McNeal creek also skirted the property, emptying into the St. Clair River about where the Blue Water Bridges stand today.

The lighthouse was actually the second one to mark the confluence of the lake and the river.

With marine traffic increasing, the first was built by the federal government in 1825 just north of the where the bridges are now; the cost: $3,500. But mariners complained that the light wasn't visible from the lake. The tower was poorly constructed and crumbled during a storm in 1828. To remedy both problems, the government purchased land a bit to the north.

Contractor Lucius Lyon finished work on the tower in December 1829. Since most lighthouses were shuttered during the winter, Delor guesses that the tower was first lighted in the spring of 1830, making its 190th birthday right about now.

Twenty years later, the tower got its first Fresnel light, a fourth order light that reflected and refracted the oil light into single beam. In 1860, a third order Fresnel light was installed, capable of being seen 16 miles out in Lake Huron.

The increased importance of Michigan iron ore to the Civil War effort and the growth of ship traffic led the government to increase the height of the lighthouse from 65 feet to 82 feet, 1862-1865.

The long lingering smoke from the Great Fire of 1871, which raged across the state, and the later from Great Fire of 1881, which incinerated a path across the Thumb, triggered the establishment of fog signals at the light station, big coal-fired boilers that generated steam to power ear-shredding steam whistles, one toward the lake, one aimed at the river.

The Great Storm of 1913, also known as the White Hurricane, almost destroyed the lighthouse. In the wake of the storm, the government added an additional hurricane wall around the tower, which today is a popular resting spot for visitors.

Speaking of visitors: "The lighthouse has been a tourist attraction for 190 years," said Delor. Photos of the tower dating from the late 1800s show people visiting the grounds.

"Lighthouses have a specific following," Delor said. "People will spend their entire vacations visiting lighthouses. From May-November, you'll see license plates in our parking lot from the lower 48 and Alaska. This site is probably the number tourist site in St. Clair County."

"Fort Gratiot is technically the second oldest operating light in the Great Lakes after Marblehead in Ohio," said Delor.

Marblehead sits on the end of the peninsula that juts into Lake Erie above Sandusky.

The .49 mill tax that supports St. Clair County Park and Rec helps to maintain the grounds at the light station. But the ongoing historically accurate restoration of the light tower and the buildings on the site have been paid for by grants and donations, most under the auspices of the Friends of the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse. The park is nine years into a 25-year plan to restore the site.

The site includes the Light Keepers Duplex, built in 1874; the Fog Signal Building, 1900; the Single Keeper's Dwelling, 1932; the former Coast Guard Station, 1932; the Equipment Building, 1939, now the gift store; the tower itself, and Fort Gratiot Hospital, both 1829. "We're on schedule, maybe a little ahead," Delor said.

The site is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. with no charge. The Port Huron Museum offers tours of the buildings, including a climb up the light tower from May to December; the cost is $10 for adults, $7.50 for students and $25 for families.

The drama of the light station could fill a book. "When you're 190 years old, you have a big story to tell," said Delor.

The Voice

 

Port Reports -  January 27

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
Algocanada was upbound with petroleum products just after noon on Sunday. She tired up at the Purvis Dock to unload. She was escorted upriver by USCG Mobile Bay.

Northern Lake Huron
Sunday; 19:30 Algoma Conveyor was downbound for Goderich. Algoma Innovator was upbound for Muskegon with a load of road salt. Alpena: Friday; 7:57 Barbara Andrie arrived at the Lafarge plant to conduct ice operations. Sunday; 2:43 Barbara Andrie began ice operations. 5:19 Samuel De Champlain arrived to load cement products and departed at 12:41 for Detroit. Barbara Andrie departed for Muskegon.

Detroit-River Rouge – Raymond H
Sunday Arrivals: Iver Bright arrived at the Buckeye Terminal to unload petroleum products from Sarnia. Michigan/Great Lakes -arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to unload.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Calusa Coast/Delaware arrived at 18:49 Saturday for the Marathon terminal.

 

Hidden treasures: Not all historical artifacts make it into an exhibit

1/27 - Alpena, MI – The Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center is home to more than 3,000 artifacts of historic and cultural value – but not all of them are in public view. The decision of what makes it onto the Maritime Heritage Center’s floor or into an exhibit is at the discretion of the collection’s curator, Wayne Lusardi.

Lusardi is the maritime archeologist for the state and manages what he describes as “the single greatest repository of Michigan shipwreck materials.” The fate of each artifact begins in the Heritage Center’s conservation laboratory, where each item goes through an intake process.

Lusardi says he takes a photograph of the artifact and documents it, noting where or who it came from, its measurements, and how much it weighs. Then he does a quick evaluation of the artifact’s stability or conservation needs.

In the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center’s conservation laboratory, state Maritime Archaeologist Wayne Lusardi handles a drive shaft recovered from a World War II-era airplane that crashed into Lake Huron during training.

“If it’s something that was found on somebody’s beach and it’s kind of rotted, I need to address that to make sure it doesn’t fall apart,” Lusardi said. “Very often, if it’s been in a private collection for awhile, it tends to be in pretty good shape, and it’s really just a matter of receiving it.”

Once an artifact is documented, Lusardi determines where it will go. “Sometimes, it’s just that simple, as a matter of size,” he said. “But, very often — and probably the primary reason — is to help tell a story. If we’re talking about the tragedy of the Pewabic, we want to show the items that came from that vessel.”

The Heritage Center has many artifacts from the S.S. Pewabic, a package freighter that sank near Thunder Bay Island after colliding with its sister ship, the Meteor, in 1865. The Heritage Center also has many artifacts from the Nordmeer, a German freighter which ran aground seven miles east of Thunder Bay Island after miscalculating a turn in 1966.

When there are too many of one kind of artifact, such as copper ingots from the Pewabic or glass bottles from the Nordmeer, they likely end up in storage. If an item is broken or shattered, it, too, may remain in the laboratory or tucked away in storage.

Read more and view photos at this link: https://www.thealpenanews.com/life/2020/01/hidden-treasures

 

Draining the Welland Canal: Where did all the water go?

1/27 - Draining the 43-kilometre Welland Canal is an annual process that is essential for winter maintenance and to inspect the canal's infrastructure.

Staff of the non-profit St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., including mechanical supervisor Alan Noble, tech co-ordinator-HV power Joel Minor and maintenance manager Jim Wheeler, took The Lake Report on a tour last week to explain behind-the-scenes work when the canal closes for the shipping season.

The canal typically closes by Dec. 31 but, as part of a pilot program, the season was extended to allow the canal to run for an extra week. Closer to the end of December, the ice starts to form on the Great Lakes and it ends up in the canal. Thanks to warmer weather this year, the experiment was deemed successful, Wheeler said.

“If we do have ice on the lock and we drain, we have to go slower because all of that ice just drops down, so you have to be careful,” Noble added.

“And you have to flush down the ice at the same time as you’re draining. This is the perfect year to do it: there’s no ice, it’s warm, no issues, all equipment is working. It’s fantastic, perfect conditions.”

Part of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes Waterway, the canal is used by ships to bypass Niagara Falls. The canal is 9.1 metres deep over the sill and 8.2 metres deep in channels. There are eight locks connecting the canal from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.

Each of seven lifts locks has an average lift of 14.2 metres, while Lock 8 at Lake Erie is a control lock with a shallow lift ranging from 0.3 to 1.2 metres. The locks, from breast wall to gate fender, are 24.4 metres wide and 233.5 metres long.

Some of the biggest repair work taking place now includes major maintenance at the valves, gates and flight locks.

Another major job will be replacing sliding walls that ships rub along to direct themselves into the lock. The $12-million project is scheduled to start this year but due to how big the project is, it will be completed over two years, Wheeler said.

“Throughout the year we just maintain all that stuff. During navigation, we have maintenance programs set up … to make sure everything keeps running the way it was supposed to run,” Noble said.

If a piece of equipment stops working during the navigation season and if it can’t be repaired, it will be shut down and isolated until winter maintenance begins, he added.

The not-so-big "medium" jobs involve redoing slider pads as well as gates' and valves' rehabilitation.

One previous big project also included replacing tie-up walls and implementing hands-free mooring units that suck on to the ship and allow it to securely pass the canal from one lock to another, without requiring staff to manually tie them up.

“Now, 90 to 95 per cent of our ships use hands-free mooring, so it is very eerie. You can come in and the ships are going through and there isn’t a single person on the lock,” Wheeler said. “Everything is operated remotely.”

The decommissioning process starts after the last ship, which is usually a Coast Guard boat that lands and secures buoys, enters the canal. The dewatering team then follows the ship either upbound to Lake Erie or downbound heading to Lake Ontario and starts the draining process. As the vessel leaves each lock, the valves and gates at that lock are then electrically shut off.

“Everything from here just goes down to Lake Ontario,” said Noble.

The canal is drained from Lock 7 up to Lock 1 at Lakeshore Road. The channel, from Lock 7 leading up to Lock 8 at Lake Erie, doesn’t have any operating equipment, so that portion isn’t drained, said Wheeler. The city of St. Catharines and Ontario Power Generation also draw some water off from the channel.

This year, there were two ships travelling in opposite directions along the canal, so the team waited until the last ship crossed Lock 7 before starting the process, said Noble.

There are large waterways between certain locks that are called a “reach.” The reaches act as a buffer to allow the water in the canal to raise and lower ships.

These reaches are drained through the locks at the end of navigation season and then filled again when the shipping season starts again in March.

The ideal rate of draining is two and a half to three inches per hour. If the water is lowered faster, it may cause channel banks to slide or collapse. A fast drainage can also create an air bubble that will reach the charge valves, about 24 metres down, which will then come up all the way up the valve house, create blowback and move the steel roof weighing from six to eight tonnes.

It’s been decided to leave water in reach 2 between the Carlton and Queenston bridges this time around because there’s not a lot of work going on in this area and it will be used to generate power, said Noble.

The funding for major projects, ranging from $30 million to $50 million, comes from Transport Canada. The budget for smaller jobs, about $5.2 million, comes from tolls that the St. Lawrence Seaway Corp. collects from ships, Wheeler told The Lake Report.

“It’s based on a five-year plan, so some years we’ll spend more, some years we’ll spend less,” he said. “But it has to equal the total we’re allowed to spend over five years.”

It takes only two people (Noble and Minor) to oversee the massive draining process, thanks to the equipment modernization and upgrades.

“We used to do it with five or six people, but you also need to have people at the locks to do water watches to make sure the water is going down,” Noble explained. “Now, we have remote sensors and you’re able to calibrate a lot finer. So, once you set it up, it’s good to go.”

The rewatering process – refilling the canal for the shipping season – starts at Lock 7 in March and takes about three days.

“With filling, you got to be a more precise and when we’re filling since there are such major works happening at the locks, some of it gets behind schedule and you have to work around their schedule,” Noble said.

The shipping season is usually celebrated by a ceremony at which the captain of the first ship to enter the canal receives a top hat.

It is “a rare occurrence” a vehicle or a body are found in the canal, but these situations do happen during draining, said Alvina Ghirardi, manager of regional services and marine facilities for the seaway corporation.

“A primary reason is that many years ago vehicles were able to freely access tie-up walls and, for example, stolen vehicles would be found during draining the canal,” she said in an email.

“Since then, tie-up walls have been fenced and access is restricted, this has eliminated those draining discoveries.”

If a vehicle ends up in the canal, seaway authorities are always involved in its removal, providing safe entry into water and land to Niagara Regional Police and towing companies. Police divers are also involved to identify the vehicle or to recover a body, Ghirardi said.

Just this week, a vehicle landed in the canal in St. Catharines. Police said it was carrying six people when it hit a tree and ended up in the drained canal. The vehicle was a write-off, police said.

Niagara Now

 

Obituary: Russ Plumb

1/27 - From Russ Plumb's Facebook page, an entry written by his sister: "It is with great sadness that I tell you that my big brother passed away on Jan.14 from esophageal cancer which was diagnosed in late August. His wish was to be cremated and the ashes are to be scattered on Lake Superior. Who knew when he sailed on his first freighter at age 18, what an influence it would have on his life? He loved the Great Lakes and the freighters. His materials will be shared to the Great Lakes Maritime Museum in Toledo. RIP, Russ!"

Russ kept extensive records on who was who and on what boat they sailed on going back many decades. He was always happy to help people trace the sailing careers of their grandfathers, fathers and other family members.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 27

In 1912, the Great Lakes Engineering Works' Ecorse yard launched the steel bulk freighter WILLIAM P. SNYDER JR (Hull #83), for the Shenango Furnace Co.

LEON FALK JR. closed the 1974 season at Superior by loading 17,542 tons of ore bound for Detroit.

January 27, 1985 - CITY OF MIDLAND 41 had to return to port (Ludington) after heavy seas caused a 30-ton crane to fall off a truck on her car deck.

On 27 January 1978, ALLEGHENY, the training vessel of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy (built in 1944, at Orange, Texas as a sea-going naval tug) capsized at her winter dock at Traverse City, Michigan, from the weight of accumulated ice. She was recovered but required an expensive rebuild, was sold and renamed MALCOLM in 1979.

On 27 January 1893, Charles Lonsby and Louis Wolf purchased the 161- foot wooden steam barge THOMAS D. STIMSON for $28,000. The vessel was built in 1881, by W. J. Daley & Sons at Mt. Clemens, Michigan, as a schooner and was originally named VIRGINIUS. She was converted to a steamship in 1887.

1972: The Canadian coastal freighter VOYAGEUR D. hit a shoal off Pointe au Pic, Quebec, and was holed. It was able to make the wharf at St. Irenee but sank at the dock. The cargo of aluminum ingots was removed before the wreck was blow up with explosives on November 8, 1972.

1978: A major winter storm caught the American tanker SATURN on Lake Michigan and the ship was reported to be unable to make any headway in 20-foot waves. It left the Seaway for Caribbean service in 2003 and was renamed b) CENTENARIO TRADER at Sorel on the way south.

2002: SJARD first came through the Seaway in 2000. It was lost in a raging snowstorm 350 miles east of St. John's Newfoundland with a cargo of oil pipes while inbound from Kalinigrad, Russia. The crew of 14 took to the lifeboat and were picked up by the BEIRAMAR TRES.

2006: PINTAIL received extensive damage in a collision off Callao, Peru, with the TWIN STAR. The latter broke in two and sank. PINTAIL began Seaway service in 1996 and had been a regular Great Lakes trader as a) PUNICA beginning in 1983. The ship arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh, for scrapping as c) ANATHASIOS G. CALLITSIS and was beached on September 19. 2012. It had also traded inland under the final name in 2008 and 2009.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swa yze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

 

World War II ships built for Navy in Sturgeon Bay focus of new museum exhibit

1/26 - Sturgeon Bay, WI – Ships built in this city to serve in World War II don't get the recognition they deserve from naval historians, says Rhys Kuzdas, curator and exhibits manager for the Door County Maritime Museum.

That's a large part of the reason the museum Thursday is opening "Built for Battle," a new exhibit focused on the submarine chaser (SC) and patrol craft (PC) ships built for the U.S. Navy by Peterson Boat Works (later Peterson Builders) and Leathem D. Smith, two of Sturgeon Bay's historic shipbuilding firms. The exhibit marks the 75th year after the end of WWII.

But while the exhibit focuses on the 42 PC-class ships built at Leathem Smith and the 17 SCs from Peterson, and the experiences of the crews who served on them, another part of the cause is to show the effort the city put into helping the country prepare for and fight the war. Kuzdas said that matters to a city with a deep maritime heritage that still resonates even though just one local shipbuilder, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, is active today.

"This is definitely focusing on the local touch," Kuzdas said. "We want to highlight this craft that was built here. You've got the connection to the past. Sturgeon Bay is still very much a ship building city, and World War II is a subject people very much focus on. Sturgeon Bay set out to over-deliver for the war effort, so through this exhibit we'll try to highlight Sturgeon Bay's past and tell the story of Sturgeon Bay as much as the ships. This is everyday history, not just military history or maritime history."

https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/local/door-co/entertainment/2020/01/24/navys-world-war-ii-ships-sturgeon-bay-focus-museum-exhibit/4567998002

 

National Museum seeks former Schoonmaker, Boyer and tug Ohio crew

1/26 - Toledo, OH – The National Museum of the Great Lakes is seeking individuals who served on the Col. James M. Schoonmaker or the Willis B. Boyer and the tug Laurence Turner or Ohio to act as a first step in creating an oral history archive to help preserve and make known the recent history of the Great Lakes. Museum staff will be recording interviews to use for research purposes and also to spur the development of new exhibits and/or publications. If you're interested in sharing your experience, just complete this online form www.nmgl.org/oral-histories

 

Port Reports -  January 26

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator was loading salt for Muskegon, MI, at Compass Minerals at 1 p.m.

Detroit-River Rouge – Raymond H
Calusa Coast and Delaware departed the Marathon Asphalt Terminal for Cleveland on Saturday.

Erie, PA – Gene P
On Saturday tugs pulled the tug Dorothy Ann out of the graving dock so as to be reconnected with the Pathfinder. The tugs Michigan and Oklahoma did the work while the Rhode Island stay tied to the dock due to some mechanical issues.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 26

In 1994 THALASSA DESGAGNES (steel propeller tanker, 131.43 meters, 5,746 gross tons, built in 1976, in Norway, as the a.) JOASLA, renamed b.) ORINOCO in 1979, c.) RIO ORINOCO in 1982) entered service for Groupe Desgagnes.

The keel for CLIFFS VICTORY, a). NOTRE DAME VICTORY (Hull#1229) was laid on January 26, 1945, at Portland, Oregon, by Oregon Shipbuilding Corp.

THOMAS F. COLE (Hull #27) was launched January 26, 1907, by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ecorse, Michigan, for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

J. F. SCHOELLKOPF JR. was launched January 26, 1907, as a.) HUGH KENNEDY (Hull#349) at Lorain, Ohio, by the American Ship Building Co.

ST. LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR was launched in 1967, as a.) DEMETERTON (Hull#619) at South Shields, United Kingdom, by John Readhead & Sons, Ltd.

On 26 January 1898, the CITY OF DULUTH (wooden passenger/package freight vessel, 202 foot, 1,310 gross tons, built in 1874, at Marine City, Michigan, as a passenger vessel) was carrying passengers, corn, flour and general merchandise from Chicago to St. Joseph, Michigan, during a late season run when she struck an uncharted bar in a storm inbound to St. Joseph. She was heavily damaged and driven ashore 350 feet west of the north pier where she broke up. The Lifesaving Service rescued all 24 passengers and 17 crew members using breeches' buoy.

1986: The saltwater ship f) MARIKA L. was sold at auction to Scrap Hellas Ltd. on this date The vessel had arrived at Eleusis, Greece, under tow, on April 25, 1981, after an engine room fire on the Mediterranean. The ship had been arrested and partially sunk prior to being sold. It made one trip through the Seaway as a) DONATELLA PARODI in 1965 and was ultimately resold for scrapping at Aliaga, Turkey.

Data from: Skip Gilham, Joe Barr, Steve Haverty, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Lack of ice on Great Lakes keeps Coast Guard ships idle

1/25 - With ice covering just over 10 per cent of the lakes, Canada's two Great Lakes icebreakers sit idle for now. But the CCGS Samuel Risley docked at Sarnia, and the CCGS Griffon at Amherstberg, are ready to break out harbours and escort commercial vessels still operating on Lake Erie and the upper lakes.

Despite the lack of ice now, the two vessels performed 23 taskings in late December and early January, said Stacy Dufour, the Canadian Coast Guard's superintendent of icebreaking for the Central and Arctic region.

"Fourteen were for commercial harbour breakouts, mainly in Thunder Bay," said Dufour, during a briefing on ice operations for 2019-20.

Fisher Harbour, on northern Georgian Bay, was another area where a harbour breakout and ice escorts were carried out. Dufour said the Coast Guard also conducted at least four aerial ice reconnaissance flights.

"Early cold in December saw ice on Lake Superior at Thunder Bay and the north channel of Lake Huron." That ice disappeared with warmer weather in January.

The Samuel Risley reached Thunder Bay on Christmas Eve and helped the last ship out of the harbour on Jan. 12 before moving to Sarnia, where it will cover Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and northern Lake St. Clair.

Dufour said the Griffon was busy in the Montreal to Lake Ontario section of the St. Lawrence Seaway until New Year's Eve. The vessel, a frequent visitor to Niagara, was then positioned in Burlington for the closing of the Welland Canal, which was later this season. It then moved to the lower Detroit River at Amherstburg, where it remains ready to assist on Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair.

Dufour said the Canadian Coast Guard and American coast guard share icebreaking duties on the Great Lakes, with vessels working wherever needed.

The Americans have six icebreakers on the lakes. While she didn't have a timetable for the Great Lakes, the Coast Guard's director-general of operations Julie Gascon said the aging Canadian fleet will be replaced. She said at least 16 new multi-purpose icebreakers will be built in the coming years, along with two offshore patrol vessels and six dedicated icebreakers.

"Last season, the coast guard helped 522 ships on the Great Lakes, moving cargo critical to keep the Canadian economy moving," she said, of the late December 2018 to April 2019 season.

Four additional Coast Guard vessels — the Amundsen, Des Groseilliers, Martha L. Black and Pierre Radisson — were sent to help break the ice on Lake Erie and beyond. The four vessels helped break open the mouth of the Welland Canal and escorted ships through the thick ice on the lake.

An ice operations centre in Montreal looks at what assets are available on the Great Lakes and the needs of the shipping industry before moving things around. Gascon said emergencies take precedence, with vessels carrying dangerous, perishable or good essential to communities following behind. Dufour said the Montreal office has ice specialists from the Coast Guard and Environment Canada on hand to assess ice conditions on the Great Lakes, using satellite data and flights from Canada and the U.S. to produce ice charts for the shipping industry.

The two agencies position the various vessels where they think they'll be needed to assist the shipping industry in the winter months.

With the milder weather, he said the Canadians and Americans have suspended daily calls to assess ice conditions. Dufour couldn't say what ice conditions would be like on the lakes, adding mild weather was predicted for at least another 10 days.

The Welland Tribune

 

Property owners tried to use Lake Superior, storms to wash away construction debris

1/25 - Marquette, MI – The Michigan DNR says property owners in the Upper Peninsula tried to use Lake Superior’s waves and an incoming storm to wash away construction debris.

According to an official DNR report, the bizarre incident occurred in Marquette County in late-December when Josh Boudreaux, a conservation officer in DNR District 1, assisted Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Det. Trey Luce with a littering complaint.

Officials had received a report of individuals throwing construction debris into Lake Superior prior to incoming storms so that it would be washed away. CO Boudreaux followed up with the property owner shortly after he and Det. Luce examined the remnants scattered along the beach.

He was able to get a confession from the property owners who reportedly “didn’t believe they were doing anything wrong,” but were simply trying to save a trip to the local landfill. A citation was issued for litter and the property owners were ordered to clean up their mess or face additional charges.

DNR District 1 is in the Western Upper Peninsula and includes Baraga, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Marquette, Menominee and Ontonagon counties.

 

Port Reports -  January 25

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Lake Michigan
Algoma Conveyor was off Green Bay Friday night headed to Milwaukee with salt.

Northern Lake Huron
Cheboygan: Thursday; 23:35 Barbara Andrie and her barge departed for Alpena. Friday; 0:33 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes departed for Sarnia.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator was loading salt on Friday.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 2:30 pm Friday Algocanada was upbound; weather raining most of the day, 32 degrees F with stiff winds from the east and northeast

Detroit-River Rouge – Raymond H
Iver Bright arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to unload petroleum products from Sarnia on Friday

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 25

In 1994 THALASSA DESGAGNES (steel propeller tanker, 131.43 meters, 5,746 gross tons, built in 1976, in Norway, as the a.) JOASLA, renamed b.) ORINOCO in 1979, c.) RIO ORINOCO in 1982) entered service for Groupe Desgagnes.

The keel for CLIFFS VICTORY, a). NOTRE DAME VICTORY (Hull#1229) was laid on January 26, 1945, at Portland, Oregon, by Oregon Shipbuilding Corp.

THOMAS F. COLE (Hull #27) was launched January 26, 1907, by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ecorse, Michigan, for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

J. F. SCHOELLKOPF JR. was launched January 26, 1907, as a.) HUGH KENNEDY (Hull#349) at Lorain, Ohio, by the American Ship Building Co.

ST. LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR was launched in 1967, as a.) DEMETERTON (Hull#619) at South Shields, United Kingdom, by John Readhead & Sons, Ltd.

On 26 January 1898, the CITY OF DULUTH (wooden passenger/package freight vessel, 202 foot, 1,310 gross tons, built in 1874, at Marine City, Michigan, as a passenger vessel) was carrying passengers, corn, flour and general merchandise from Chicago to St. Joseph, Michigan, during a late season run when she struck an uncharted bar in a storm inbound to St. Joseph. She was heavily damaged and driven ashore 350 feet west of the north pier where she broke up. The Lifesaving Service rescued all 24 passengers and 17 crew members using breeches' buoy.

1986: The saltwater ship f) MARIKA L. was sold at auction to Scrap Hellas Ltd. on this date The vessel had arrived at Eleusis, Greece, under tow, on April 25, 1981, after an engine room fire on the Mediterranean. The ship had been arrested and partially sunk prior to being sold. It made one trip through the Seaway as a) DONATELLA PARODI in 1965 and was ultimately resold for scrapping at Aliaga, Turkey.

Data from: Skip Gilham, Joe Barr, Steve Haverty, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula to rebuild Lion’s Head Lighthouse

1/24 - Lion’s Head, ON – The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula (MNBP) is working quickly to rebuild the Lion’s Head Lighthouse which succumbed to winter storms early in the morning of Jan. 12. MNBP will be welcoming donations and volunteer support in bringing this iconic structure back to life.

MNBP is currently leading discussions on the reconstruction with two local volunteer leads, and will be releasing detailed plans soon. The emphasis will be on a complete restoration to the lighthouse, with staff and volunteers working from the original plans developed in 1911 and used for the 1983 reconstruction. Additionally, great consideration is being taken to ensure the materials, location and design of the restoration are appropriate for enduring similar extreme weather events for generations to come.

The importance of the lighthouse to the community has become widely apparent, with an outpouring of concern to the municipality and on social media from local residents, cottagers and tourists alike. Going forward, there will be two ways for members of the public to get involved in the rebuild:

1. Given popular demand, if you would like to lend financial support, MNBP will be accepting tax-deductible donations to help with reconstruction costs. Cash, cheque or credit card donations will be received by the municipal offices at 56 Lindsay Road 5 Lion’s Head, Ontario N0H 1W0, or by phone (519) 793-3522.

2. To share your own story of the Lion’s Head Lighthouse, or to volunteer, please email lighthouselegacies@northernbruce.ca

For ongoing information and updates on the reconstruction process please follow https://www.northbrucepeninsula.ca/en/play/lion-s-head-lighthouse.aspx.

Bruce Peninsula Press

 

ASC report to SEC mentions St. Clair fire

1/24 - The following was excerpted from American Steamship Co. parent company GATX’s annual U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission report.

American Steamship Company (ASC) reported segment profit of $19.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, compared to $12.3 million a year ago. Segment profit for full-year 2019 was $46.1 million, compared to $33.0 million in 2018. The 2019-quarter and year-to-date results include a $10.5 million net casualty gain ($8.1 million after-tax) related to an insurance recovery for a vessel heavily damaged by fire (St. Clair) and written off. Excluding this impact, the increase in 2019 full-year segment profit was primarily attributable to favorable operating conditions and efficient fleet performance. In 2019, ASC operated 11 vessels and carried approximately 27.0 million of net tons of cargo, compared to 11 vessels that carried 26.2 million net tons in 2018.

No mention was made of the St. Clair’s eventual disposition.

 

Port Reports -  January 24

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Lake Michigan
Algoma Innovator and Frontenac upbound on the lake Wednesday night after delivering salt to Chicago. Samuel de Champlain and her barge were also upbound with an AIS destination of Toledo.

Northern Lake Huron
Thursday; Cheboygan: 16:36 USCG Mackinaw returned to its berth at the coast guard station. Downbound vessels on Lake Huron Thursday were Frontenac for Windsor, Samuel De Champlain for Toledo and Algoma Innovator for Goderich.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor cleared at 6.04 pm Thursday, upbound with salt for Milwaukee, WI.

Detroit-River Rouge – Raymond H
Apparently the Calusa Coast and Delaware are not in layup, as they departed Nicholson's to load at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal Thursday afternoon.

Toledo, OH
Great Republic was moved from the drydock Thursday and the Philip R. Clarke was moved to go into drydock Friday. Both vessels are undergoing regular inspection and maintenance.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 24

JOHNSTOWN (Hull#4504) was launched January 24, 1952, at Sparrows Point, Maryland, by Bethlehem Sparrows Point Shipyard.

SPRUCEGLEN was launched January 24, 1924, as a.) WILLIAM K. FIELD (Hull#176) at Toledo, Ohio, by the Toledo Ship Building Co.

The steel barge MADEIRA (Hull#38) was launched on January 24, 1900, at Chicago, Illinois, by the Chicago Ship Building Co.

1964: RUTH ANN, a Liberian freighter that came through the Seaway in 1960, ran aground on the Chinchorro Bank off the Yucatan Peninsula enroute from Tampico to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, as d) GLENVIEW. It later broke up as a total loss.

1967: DAMMTOR, a West German flag pre-Seaway trader, foundered in heavy weather as b) HASHLOSHA while about 80 miles west of Naples, Italy, enroute from Greece to Marseilles, France. A distress call was sent but the vessel went down with the loss of 21 lives before help could arrive. The ship had also made four Seaway voyages in 1959,

1988: ENDERS M. VOORHEES, under tow on the Mediterranean, broke loose in gale force winds and went aground about 56 miles south of Athens off Kythnos Island and broke up. The hull was salvaged in sections and the bow and stern reached the scrapyard at Aliaga, Turkey, in August 1989.

2009: DIAMOND QUEEN sank at the Gaelic Tugboat Co. dock at River Rouge. It was refloated on January 27, 2009.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

 

Sugar Island Ferry crew rescues teenage girl who fell through ice on St. Marys River

1/23 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – It's a case of being in the right place at the right time.

Two crew members of the Sugar Island ferry rescued a teenager after she fell through the ice on the St. Marys River. According to the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority, Captain Dale Rosenbum spotted something in the water Tuesday afternoon.

Deckhand/Crew Leader Phil Roy came to help Rosenbum and saw the girl hollering for help. They immediately went into action, utilizing their man-overboard training, to get the girl out of the water.

“You don’t ever think you are going to use the training,” said Roy. “You hope you never have too, but it just came automatically and we set everything in motion. Dale was able to maneuver the ferry close to the girl and Phil, with the help of the passengers, was able to get her aboard the vessel. “The passengers became part of our crew, and they are all a large part of this rescue.”

Roy said they were able to turn the ferry around and dock at the mainland where an ambulance was waiting.

“Our crew trains specifically for moments like this but have never had to do it out of necessity. We always use a dummy during training maneuvers. They deployed our Man-Overboard drill like we’ve done a hundred times before, but this time it wasn’t a drill. Due to their training and quick action, they successfully pulled her from the water and onto the boat," said Pete Paramski, EUPTA executive director.

"Our guys' fast action and training undoubtedly saved her life. Words cannot explain how proud I am of our crew and how happy I am that we were available for this young lady. Absolutely outstanding work by the Sugar Island ferry crew.”

After the incident, the crew continued their shift to make sure the ferry continued to run as normal.

Onboard the ferry, passengers and Sugar Island residents Fred Newton, Bob LaPointe, Sonny Menard and Ben Repa assisted the crew, applied first aid, and treated the person for hypothermia. Repa is also a Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer at Sector Sault Ste. Marie.

The girl’s mother said the girl, who is autistic and has cerebral palsy, is just a little sore with a few cuts and bruises.

See an interview with the crew at this link: https://www.9and10news.com/2020/01/22/girl-rescued-from-st-marys-river-by-sugar-island-ferry-crew-residents

 

Duluth port sorting out terminal details ahead of cruise ship visits

1/23 - Duluth, MN – Two cruise line companies have started selling and marketing for trips to stop in Duluth. German-based cruise line Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has sold out, with two stops scheduled this summer, and seven stops are scheduled for 2022 under Viking Cruises.

The last time a cruise ship stopped in Duluth was in 2013, Visit Duluth President Anna Tanski said. "Usually, it's just one from a ship company, so for us to have Viking committed to this itinerary of seven stops is like nothing we've ever experienced," Tanski said.

Hapag-Lloyd's cruise ship Hanseatic Inspiration is scheduled to arrive in Duluth June 12 and June 22 carrying 385 guests. Both trips have sold out, with prices starting around $9,000.

In 2022, a Viking Cruises ship will stop in Duluth seven times between May and September. Prices start at nearly $7,000. The ship can carry 378 guests. While tickets are for sale, Tanski said the Viking ship is currently being built, fitting a trend common in the cruise line industry.

"They sell and market before the logistics are worked out," Tanski said. "They sell first and then they start to figure it out. Viking has done this for decades."

Prior to marketing and selling the trips, cruise lines held preliminary meetings with local stakeholders before determining Duluth as a destination point. Visit Duluth was responsible for facilitating the exploration of Duluth as a destination.

"Viking has very, very loyal customers," Tanski said. "They know their demographics tend to be more affluent and people who are well-traveled who are seeking their next adventure or unique experience."

Viking estimates around 9,000 passengers will visit Duluth over the course of the summer in 2022. "For us that's very significant (economically)," Tanski said. "But it's also the exposure, which you can't necessarily put a price tag on. Viking markets their products to their international base, so putting Duluth on that map, we could never have that kind of reach without their marketing force they have."

Duluth's tourism industry brings in more than $780 million annually in direct economic impact, according to the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. In 2018, the city collected nearly $12.2 million in tourism taxes.

With the Great Lakes emerging as a desirable place to visit, especially via cruising, Tanski said she's hopeful the city will continue seeing growth in cruising over the next few years. Currently, Visit Duluth is in active communication with other cruise lines considering Duluth stops in the next couple years.

Passengers aboard the Hanseatic Inspiration will spend their time in Duluth this summer participating in a city tour, visiting the St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Center as well as Gooseberry Falls State Park and Split Rock Lighthouse, according to the cruise line's website.

Since Viking Cruises has yet to sort out many of the trip logistics, it has not been determined what passengers will do in Duluth. Other factors also remain undetermined, such as where ships will load and unload passengers, Duluth Seaway Port Authority spokesperson Jayson Hron said. The undetermined terminal location will also need to process international visitors for clearance.

Visit Duluth, the city of Duluth, the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center and the Port Authority are working together with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to understand the requirements for a proposed passenger clearance facility.

Funding for the proposed facility was secured in 2018, with the city approving $25,000, the Duluth Economic Development Authority approving $50,000 and the Port Authority chipping in $10,000.

None of that money has been spent yet, as the Port Authority has not purchased any of the equipment and technology needed for the terminal, nor has a location been determined, though spaces within the DECC are being considered, Hron said. Both temporary and permanent facility options are being explored.

"The idea is that we are working to rightsize the facility for the market and take advantage of emerging technology over the next couple years," Hron said. "That's kind of where the discussions are right now."

In early 2019, two visits from the MV Victory II of the Victory Cruise Lines fleet expected to stop in Duluth that summer were canceled due to a change of ownership.

Ahead of those visits, Duluth was moving forward with plans to put a cruise ship terminal in place that would include the equipment needed for clearing international visitors, but after the only cruises scheduled to arrive that summer were canceled, port officials voided their order for equipment, explaining the terminal should be equipped with the most current technology when the need arrives.

A date has not yet been determined as to when the proposed facility can be expected to reach completion. "Everyone involved in the process hopes to have the clearing question answered very soon," Hron said. "But no one wants to rush to a potential outcome that isn’t right for this market."

If the investment is made to develop the proposed terminal, Tanski said, Visit Duluth will be ready to make sure it stays as busy as possible.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports -  January 23

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
USCG Mackinaw came up the river as far as Six Mile Point on Wednesday morning to do track maintenance. She came about at Six Mile, went back down the river and was tied up at Lime Island Wednesday night.

Lake Michigan
Algoma Innovator and Frontenac North Bound on the lake Wednesday night after delivering salt to Chicago. Samuel de Champlain and her barge were also dpwnbound with an AIS destination of Toledo.

Northern Lake Huron – Jon Paul
Wednesday: Barbara Andrie, which arrived Tuesday with her barge, was still loaded and sitting at the U.S. Oil Terminal. The Cheboygan River is empty of ice, as is the turning basin. There also isn't any ice to speak of past the breakwall and out into the open lake. This time last year the South Passage was closed and covered in ice as was all of the Straits of Mackinac from Lansing Shoal to DeTour.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived 12.53 pm Wednesday and began loading salt at Compass Minerals.

Detroit-River Rouge – Raymond H
It appears the Calusa Coast and Delaware are laid up at Nicholson's Detroit Terminal, as they have been moored there for nearly a week.

 

Northern Ontario on board with Viking's plans to cruise Great Lakes

1/23 - Sudbury, ON - Viking Cruise lines, a company known for its luxurious European river cruises, now plans to bring some of that opulence to the Great Lakes by expanding to Northern Ontario.

The Swiss cruise company announced this week that Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will be sailing Lake Superior starting in 2022.

It’s an announcement that’s been in the works for some time now as the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition worked in conjunction with destinations such as Thunder Bay, Sault. Ste. Marie, Killarney and Manitoulin Island.

"It’s huge news, it’s a game changer for the cruise shipping outlook," said Thunder Bay Tourism’s Paul Pepe. "We’re starting to see a resurgence of the discovery market right now."

Pepe says it’s given stakeholders a reason to celebrate in Thunder Bay. The city had cruise ships calling on the northwestern Ontario port from 1996 to 2012. Viking is planning on making the city a ‘turnaround port,’ which would mean tourists staying in hotels for overnight stays, dining in restaurants, taking in attractions and ships replenishing their supplies.

City officials have crunched the numbers and they’re anticipating the announcement will mean 5,200 tourists a year and an estimated $1.6 to $2.3 million for the economy.

"We’re fairly fortunate here that we have a full dock, 900 feet long and 27 feet deep, built for big freighters. It’s a brownfield, an old industrial site that when we activate it for cruise ship season, we can transform it to a park-like setting," said Pepe. "Indigenous drummers, dancers, Scottish pipers to create a welcoming facility for guests. We can park buses and service trucks adjacent to ships and it’s walkable to downtown making an incredible hub."

"I was lying awake all night, itching to get the word out, it’s exciting. I’ve always believed it’s exotic as anywhere else, seeing companies like Viking … it’s been a long strategy that’s really starting to pay off," he added.

Tourism Thunder Bay had previously announced another cruise ship, the Hanseatic Inspiration, will be visiting the city in June 2020 as part of a 14-day excursion.

The cruise ship company will offer two cruises, ‘The Undiscovered Great Lakes’ which will be an eight-day cruise from Thunder Bay to Milwaukee with stops that’ll include Duluth, the Apostle Islands and Mackinac Island. There will also be ‘The Great Lakes Explorer’ which will be an eight-day cruise from Milwaukee to Thunder Bay will include three days exploring Georgian Bay.

"I think that’s the big takeaway from the story is how this gives so much credibility to Northern Ontario as a destination," said Destination Northern Ontario’s Stephanie Hopkin. "Viking Cruises is a huge company, they have credibility."

"The ability for communities in Northern Ontario to take advantage of these stops is really big news for Thunder Bay but really all those along the lakes and itineraries. It’s huge news for the communities on the ground and for us as the destination," she said.

Hopkin says they are still trying to determine how it’ll work with what stops they decide to make and how long they will be at each port.

The cruise market is great and I think people are starting to notice the gem we have on the Great Lakes and it’s only helping us a tourism destination. There’s a real opportunity for growth," she added.

Killarney Mayor Ginny Rook says she was ecstatic to learn about the news given how much it might mean in terms of economic benefit.

Rook says the town is already enjoying the spin-off that’s been created as a result of the recently built Killarney Mountain Lodge. There’s more employment, houses are being built and the town is enjoying the increase in property taxes to help fund additional projects.

"I think it’s wonderful, it’s going to help a lot of the business in town, they’re going to be accessing a lot of those businesses," she said.

The mayor adds plans are now in the works with the lodge to build a new wharf in the community.

Viking is currently in the process of building these two ships which will be tailored to expedition-style cruising.

CTV

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 23

January 23 - The CELTIC (wooden schooner-barge, 190 foot, 716 gross tons, built 1890, at W. Bay City, Michigan) broke away from the steamer H.E. RUNNELS during a fierce gale on Lake Huron on 29 November 1902, and was lost with all hands. No wreckage was found until 23 January 1903, when a yawl and the captain’s desk with the ship’s papers were found on Boom Point, southeast of Cockburn Island.

GEORGE A. STINSON struck a wall of the Poe Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on January 23, 1979. The damage was estimated at $200,000.

The rail car ferry GRAND HAVEN sailed on her first trip as a roll on/roll off carrier from Port Burwell on January 23, 1965, loaded with 125 tons of coiled steel bound for Cleveland and Walton Hills, Ohio.

1983: The Greek freighter CAPTAIN M. LYRAS visited the Seaway in 1960 and 1961 and returned as b) ANGELIKI L. in 1965. It arrived at Gadani Beach on this date as c) ANAMARIA for scrapping.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Sugar Islander crew saves girl who fell into St. Marys River

1/22 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – A 16-year-old girl was walking on the ice a couple hundred yards north of the Sugar Island Ferry Dock Tuesday at about 4 p.m. when she broke through, fell in and started floating down the river. The crew of the ferry Sugar Islander II (Capt. Dale Rosenbaum and deckhand Phil Roy), saw her in the water and pulled her up onto the ferry. She was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. Her current condition is not known

 

Great Lakes shipping fleet prepares for 2020 season

1/22 - Cleveland, OH – More than $97 million in maintenance and modernization is underway on U.S.-flag lakers idled for winter work at multiple Great Lakes shipyards. After working around the clock for 10 months hauling cargo over more than 70,000 miles per vessel, the ships and their crews are given a brief rest to recoup before the next season starts in March.

The investment U.S. shipping companies put into these freshwater vessels will grow the workforce at shipyards across the Great Lakes. More than 1,000 engineers, welders, pipefitters, mechanics and electricians will work on the ships over the next two months to ensure they are ready to sail as soon as the Soo Locks open on March 25th. Major shipyards are located in Superior, WI, Sturgeon Bay, WI, Toledo, OH and Erie, PA with other work being done in Toledo and Ashtabula, OH, as well as Milwaukee, WI, Detroit, MI and Ludington, MI.

Winter work includes the steel renewal, installation of advanced electronic navigation systems, and replacement of safety equipment such as lifeboats. The self-unloading capability on lakers is unique and the equipment requires maintenance to ensure the vessels can continue to unload up to 75,000 tons of cargo in less than 12 hours, one of the reasons why U.S.-flag Lakers are the most efficient mode of dry-bulk cargo transportation in the world.

The work is carefully orchestrated to get as much done as possible while ensuring the U.S.-flag fleet is ready to sail. It will be in high demand come March after stockpiles of raw materials are running low and customers require resupply immediately to maintain operations and keep people employed.

When the lakers come out of maintenance there is no idle time. Crews arrive, warm up the engines and get to work moving vital cargo. Every day in a 10-month shipping season is critical, hence the investment in maintenance and modernization now while the Soo Locks are closed.

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Port Reports -  January 22

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
There was no vessel movement on Tuesday.

Lake Michigan
Algoma Innovator and Frontenac were in the northern part of the lake Monday night, headed for Chicago with salt. Algoma Conveyor was northbound for Goderich. Frontenac has one more trip with salt from Windsor before layup.

Northern Lake Huron
Tuesday: Algoma Conveyor was downbound for Goderich. Cheboygan:19:12 Barbara Andrie arrived from Toledo at the U.S. Oil Co. dock.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 22

The c.) WOODLAND, a.) FRENCH RIVER) was sold to International Capital Equipment of Canada and cleared the lakes from Montreal January 22, 1991, under the Bahamian flag with the modified name to d.) WOODLANDS.

GOLDEN HIND was sold on January 22, 1973, to Trico Enterprises Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda (Quebec & Ontario Transportation Co. Ltd., Thorold, Ontario, mgr.).

January 22, 1913 - SAINTE MARIE (Hull#127) was launched at Toledo, Ohio, by Craig Shipbuilding Co.

1976: INGRID WEIDE first came to the Great Lakes in 1953, and the West German freighter returned on many occasions including 23 trips through the Seaway to the end of 1965. The vessel stranded as c) DENEB B. off Borkum Island, West Germany, while inbound for Emden with a cargo of stone. The hull broke in two and sank but all on board were rescued.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

International cargo on the Great Lakes declined by 7 percent last year

1/21 - Port of Indiana – International cargo on the Great Lakes to ports like the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor and the Port of Chicago totaled 38 million tons last year.

Cargo on the huge international vessels known as salties that pass from the Atlantic Ocean through the St. Lawrence Seaway to Great Lakes ports dropped by 7%. Officials attributed the year-over-year decline in 2019 to trade wars, high waters that made navigational conditions difficult at key points on the marine superhighway, and all the rain in the spring that took a toll on grain exports.

“The challenges of the 2019 shipping season underline the critical importance of protecting the future integrity of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence waterway as a reliable and efficient trade and transportation corridor for the United States and Canada,” said Bruce Burrows, president of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “High water levels are negatively impacting residents and businesses, including the marine shipping sector that transports cargo through the St. Lawrence Seaway, and we need to work together with the International Joint Commission and governments to conduct a proper study into water levels and their causes, and to develop a resiliency plan that can address stakeholder needs into the future.”

Record outflow levels at the Moses-Saunders dam for five months last year — intended to lower Lake Ontario levels — caused shipping delays and millions of dollars in increased operating costs. But the Chamber of Marine Commerce is encouraged that the dam's outflow levels have been raised during the winter to lower the lake levels as much as possible for the international shipping season resumes in the spring.

“Many different industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, fuel supply, construction and the mining sector depend on the Great Lakes-Seaway transportation system, supporting 238,000 jobs and $35 billion in economic activity in Canada and the U.S.,” Burrows said.

 

Lake Erie ice cover at historic low

1/21 - Toledo, OH – Lake Erie is at near all-time historical lows for ice cover in the middle of January, at 1.2%. The average amount of ice for this date is about 46%. The winter of 1998 had the all-time lowest ice cover for the season on Lake Erie at 5.4%.

WTOL

 

Twice a year this iconic U.P. ore dock perfectly frames the sunrise

1/21 - Marquette, MI – There are only a couple chances each year to witness a photogenic U.P. phenomenon. Every January and November, right around the 20th of the month, the sun moves into the perfect position to rise from the Lake Superior horizon while framed by Marquette’s historic Lower Harbor Ore Dock.

The event has been nicknamed “Orehenge,” and it’s such a spectacle that it usually draws a small crowd. Some locals even schedule it on their calendars.

There’s always a few days in a row where the angles are just right to produce this little Michigan miracle — and right now is the right time. Unfortunately for the 25 or so people who showed up at the ore dock Monday morning, the sunrise was obscured by a cloud bank. But Marquette native Bugsy Sailor, who became a self-made sunrise expert after photographing every single sunrise of 2019, says there’s a chance tomorrow, January 21st, might deliver.

When the clouds cooperate, it’s a spectacular scene. And when they don’t? It’s still a great excuse to get outside, Sailor says.

“If this is what gets people out in the morning, then I’m all for it,” said Sailor, who has brought coffee and hot chocolate for the sunrise-seekers on some previous Orehenge mornings. “It’s a fun thing to take delight in, and a cool thing to see.”

Constructed during the early 20th-century heyday of the Upper Peninsula mining boom, the Lower Harbor Ore Dock is a striking and often-photographed landmark along Marquette’s Lake Superior shoreline.

On the blog for his company, U.P. Supply Co., Sailor said 8 a.m. is the best time to get to the ore dock to catch the sunrise, which right now is around 8:26 a.m. In January you’ll likely have to climb a snowbank to see it, but it’s worth it, he said.

“It’s such an iconic thing in Marquette,” he said. “This ore dock is something that’s photographed every day, all year round, by everybody coming to town. The fact that the sun does actually shine all the way through twice a year — it’s pretty cool.”

View images at this link: https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2020/01/twice-a-year-this-iconic-up-ore-dock-perfectly-frames-the-sunrise.html

 

Port Reports -  January 21

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
The tanker Algocanada was downbound from the Purvis Dock in Soo, ON, around 11:30 a.m. Monday. USCG Morro Bay was working the ice tracks in the lower river, then departed the system with Algocanada.

Lake Michigan
Algoma Innovator and Frontenac were in the northern part of the lake Monday night, headed for Chicago with salt. Algoma Conveyor was northbound for Goderich. Frontenac has one more trip with salt from Windsor before layup.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
At Port Milwaukee Monday (01/20): After delivering cement to the Lafarge terminal, Samuel de Champlain/Innovation cleared for Calumet Harbor at 02:36. Algoma Conveyor headed back to Goderich at 07:52 after delivering salt for Compass Minerals. Karen Andrie/Endeavour headed back to Indiana Harbor at 09:41 after delivering liquid asphalt from BP’s Whiting refinery to the Construction Resources Management facility. Still in harbor are the Stewart J. Cort and G.L. Ostrander/Integrity. It appears both will spend the winter at Milwaukee. The Cort is tied up at the city's heavy lift dock. G.L. Ostrander/Integrity is at the former Gillen dock. Presently, no additional boat traffic is expected.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 1:15 pm CCG icebreaker Samuel Risley passed upbound, followed at 1:45 by Algosea also upbound. Weather sunny, light breezes from the north-northwest, 23degrees F.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
American Century arrived for winter lay up on Monday at the C&O #3 slip.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 21

On 21 January 1895, CHICORA (wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 199 foot, 1,123 gross tons, built in 1892, at Detroit, Michigan) was bound from Milwaukee for St. Joseph on a mid-winter run when he foundered with little trace. All 25 on board were lost. The ship's dog was found wandering on the beach by St. Joseph, Michigan, a few days later. A well-organized search for the wreck continued until mid-June. Many small pieces of wreckage were washed ashore in the spring.

On January 21, 1978, the Multifood Elevator #4 at Duluth, Minnesota, caught fire and collapsed onto the deck of the steamer HARRY L. ALLEN, which was laid up beneath the elevator. Her pilothouse was destroyed by fire. Severe warping and cracking of her plating occurred when cold water was poured onto her red-hot deck. Declared a constructive total loss, she was scrapped at Duluth in 1978.

1904: HENDRICK S. HOLDEN was torn loose by flooding on the Black River at Lorain, Ohio, and the vessel smashed a coal dump. It also crushed and sank the tug GULL on its way into Lake Erie. The bulk carrier last sailed as VANDOC (i) in 1965.

1921: G.J. BOYCE had been sold off-lakes in 1916. It was inbound for a Cuban port when it lost its rudder. The wooden schooner stranded near Porto Padre and broke up as a total loss.

1928: The Lake Michigan rail car ferry MADISON struck a sand bar off Grand Haven and went aground with close to $50,000 in damage. High winds and ice were a factor.

1959: High winds at Buffalo tore the MacGILVRAY SHIRAS loose when a heavy current swept the Buffalo River. The wayward vessel struck MICHAEL K. TEWSBURY and MERTON E. FARR and eventually demolished the Michigan Ave. Bridge. The damaged SHIRAS was not repaired and arrived in Hamilton in June 1959 for scrapping.

1978: VESLEFJELL was sailing as e) MARLEN when abandoned by the crew after developing leaks in heavy seas near the Canary Islands. The vessel was enroute to Nigeria with cement when it went down. It had been a Great Lakes trader beginning in 1951 and last called inland in 1962.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Brian Wroblewski, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Port Reports -  January 20

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
The tanker Algocanada was still tied up at the Purvis dock in Soo harbor Sunday afternoon discharging petroleum products. USCG Morro Bay and Katmai Bay were tied up at the Group Soo base.

Northern Lake Huron
Algoma Innovator, bound for Chicago, was stopped east of the Mackinac Bridge Sunday night.

Port Huron, MI
Frontenac was upbound Sunday afternoon with a destination of Chicago, where she will unload salt.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
On Sunday, American Century and Sam Laud were anchored in Lake Erie just off the Toledo Ship Channel. Both vessels are bound for Toledo for winter layup. By evening, the Laud was inbound with an AIS destination of “Rumpus Room.”

 

Lay-up reports needed

1/20 - As the end of the shipping season approaches, please send reports of vessel lay-ups to news@boatnerd.net. This will help us compile our annual lay-up list. Include vessel name, date, port and lay-up dock name.
Click here to view the Lay-Up List

 

BoatNerd seeks used equipment donations

1/20 - Have an old IPad, or touch screen laptop? BoatNerd is looking for donations of used equipment that can be repurposed as kiosk displays. Touch screen laptops , monitors or iPads are good candidates. The equipment will be wiped and reset with our own software.

Depending on your location we can send you a pre-paid shipper to drop it in the mail.

Please contact help@boatnerd.com with the type of equipment you would like to donate. As a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, we will send a thank you letter acknowledging your donation.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 20

20 January 1980 - The E. M. FORD (406 foot, 4,498 gross tons, built in 1898, at Lorain, Ohio as a bulk freighter, converted to self-unloading bulk cement carrier in 1956, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin) was raised at her dock in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She sank on Christmas Eve of 1979, when gale force winds forced her from her moorings and repeatedly slammed her bow into the dock facing. Crews had to remove a solid three feet of hardened cement and patch her holed bow before she could be re-floated.

NORDIC BLOSSOM was launched January 20, 1981 as the a.) NORDIC SUN.

On January 20, 1917, American Ship Building's Lorain yard launched the steel bulk freighter EUGENE W. PARGNY for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

January 20, 1911 - The ANN ARBOR NO 5 made her first trip into Kewaunee. On 20 January 1923, CHOCTAW (steel propeller packet, 75 foot, 53 gross tons, built in 1911, at Collingwood) burned at her dock at Port Stanley, Ontario.

On 20 January 1978, HARRY L. ALLEN (formerly JOHN B. COWLE, built in 1910) burned at her winter lay-up berth at Capital 4 grain elevator dock in Duluth. She was declared a total loss.

1907: WILLIAM NOTTINGHAM broke loose in wild winds and flooding at Buffalo. When the storm subsided, the ship had come to rest high and dry about 440 yards from the channel. A total of 12 vessels stranded in the storm but this one was the biggest challenge. A new channel had to be dug to refloat the vessel.

1960: LAKE KYTTLE, under tow as b) JAMES SHERIDAN, foundered in a storm on Long Island Sound. The ship had been built at Manitowoc in 1918 and converted to a barge at River Rouge in 1927 before returning to the sea about 1945.

1962: The Liberty ship FIDES was a Seaway visitor in 1961. It went aground at Grosser Vogelsand, in the Elbe Estuary and broke in two as a total loss.

1975: The tug CATHY McALLISTER sank alongside the dock at Montreal after suffering some grounding damage on the St. Lawrence. The vessel was salvaged on February 13, 1975. It was scrapped at Port Weller as d) DOC MORIN in the fall of 2011.

1979: ZAMOSC first came to the Great Lakes in 1971. It was enroute from Montreal to Antwerp when in a collision with the JINEI MARU off Terneuzen, Holland. The damaged ship was beached but it heeled over in the sand and had to be broken up.

1981: The former SILVER FIR, a Seaway caller in 1977, ran aground and became a total off Libya as d) GALAXY II.

1983: The YDRA sustained an engine room fire and went aground about a mile east of Bizerta, Tunisia, as a total loss. All on board were saved and the hull is still there. The ship first came to the Great Lakes as a) MANCHESTER PORT in 1966 and was back as b) BIOKOVO in 1972.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

There’s almost no ice on the Great Lakes: Does that mean more lake effect snow?

1/19 - Syracuse, N.Y. – The extended warm spell Upstate New York has been stuck in could, paradoxically, lead to more snow.

That’s because warm air has kept ice from forming on the Great Lakes, and that means more open water that to produce lake effect snow. The five lakes have just 5.3% of ice cover as of Tuesday, which is a quarter of the long-term average for Jan. 14. Most of that is in the bays of the more northern lakes: Michigan, Huron and Superior.

While Upstate can get lake effect snow from as far away as Lake Huron, most of it comes from lakes Erie and Ontario. Erie, which delivers those mega-lake effect storms that make Buffalo famous, usually has about 40 percent of its surface covered with ice by now. As of Tuesday, it was zero.

Lake Ontario, which contributes the lake effect that makes Tug Hill one of the snowiest spots in the East, has less than 1% of ice cover. In a normal year, about 9% of the lake would be covered in ice.

There’s no formula that can predict inches of snow vs. percentage of ice, but the rule of thumb is that the less surface area of a lake is covered with ice, the more moisture will evaporate and fall as snow when cold winds whip across the lakes.

“As long as they’re open and not frozen over, you can get lake effect snow,” said Jon Hitchcock, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

In a typical winter, ice on the Great Lakes starts to form on the lakes in late fall and peaks in March. Erie’s average ice cover in early March at about 70%, but in cold years the shallow lake can freeze over completely. While moisture can still rise through cracks in the ice, a frozen lake in essence shuts down the lake effect machine.

Lake Ontario, with an average depth of about 800 feet, almost never freezes over completely. At its typical late winter peak, 60% of Ontario’s surface remains ice-free. Great Lakes have little ice so far this year

Only 5.3% of the Great Lakes is covered by ice as of Tuesday, about one-quarter of normal for mid-January.

Not surprisingly, the lakes are much warmer than average now. Both Erie and Ontario are 3 to 4 degrees above average for this time of year. That doesn’t make much difference in how much lake effect snow falls, Hitchcock said.

“It’s a misnomer that warm lakes lead to lake effect snow,” he said. “Just having the lakes warm doesn’t seem to be that much of a difference.”

Hitchcock noted that open water is just one ingredient in the lake effect snow recipe. The air also has to be cold enough and the winds have to come from the right direction. The heaviest lake effect snow falls when winds whip along the longest axis of the lake; for Lake Ontario, which lies west to east, the biggest snows are generated by winds from the west.

While the lakes are warm, it’s not unprecedented. Hitchcock said Lake Erie is at 33 degrees right now, and the record for this time of year is 42. “It’s warmer than normal but not in record territory,” he said.

The open lakes will have a chance to do their stuff this week and into next week as cold air and strong winds return to Upstate New York. Winter weather advisories are in place for Western New York and Tug Hill today for up to 6 inches of lake effect snow. A weekend storm will likely bring some snow from a system rumbling from the Pacific Northwest to the Northeast, and as that system departs Sunday, the cold air behind it is likely to generate more lake effect snow east and southeast of the lakes.

syracuse.com

 

Port Reports -  January 19

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
The tanker Algocanada was upbound in the river on Saturday. By late afternoon she was tied up at the Purvis dock in Soo harbor discharging petroleum products.

Northern Lake Huron
Saturday; 19:16 American Century passed through the Straits of Mackinac and was down bound on Lake Huron for lay up at Toledo. Sunday; 6:43 Samuel De Champlain weighed anchor and departed for Milwaukee. She passed through the Straits at 7:41

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator cleared 6.43 a.m. Saturday with salt for Chicago.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud has delivered her final cargo of the 2019-2020 season and is heading to Toledo for lay up and some well-deserved time at home for the crew.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 19

On 19 January 1824, the Welland Canal Company was incorporated to build the first Welland Canal.

DAVID M. WHITNEY (steel propeller freighter, 412 foot, 4,626 gross tons) was launched on 19 January 1901, by the Detroit Ship Building Company (Hull #138) in Wyandotte, Michigan, for the Gilchrist Transportation Company of Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) EDWIN L. BOOTH in 1914, c.) G.N. WILSON in 1921, d.) THOMAS BRITT in 1928, and e.) BUCKEYE in 1943. She lasted until 1969, when she was scrapped in Spain.

January 19, 1927 - The Grand Trunk carferry MADISON was christened with a bottle of Wisconsin milk. She entered service in March of 1927.

CLARENCE B. RANDALL, the a.) J.J. SULLIVAN of 1907, was towed to Windsor, Ontario, on January 19, 1987, for scrapping.

1967: The former ELMBAY ran aground near Barra Grande along the coast of northern Brazil as e) SIMANSUR and was abandoned as a total loss. The ship saw Great Lakes service from 1923 until 1942 for several firms including Canada Steamship Lines.

1998: The Cypriot freighter FLARE was south of Newfoundland when it broke in two while inbound in ballast for Montreal. The stern section sank quickly. The bow drifted for several days before it too went down. Four members of the crew clung to an overturned lifeboat and were saved. The ship had been a Seaway trader as a) DORIC FLAME in 1977 and returned as b) FLAME in 1987 and as c) FLARE in 1993.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Rising Great Lakes prompt calls for more icebreakers

1/18 - Detroit, MI – The shipping industry and Michigan businesses are urging Congress to increase the number of icebreaking ships in the Great Lakes as water levels have surged to record highs in most of the lakes and connecting waterways.

In the past few winters, higher water levels have created greater ice hazards for ships, hindering the movement of goods and last year costing an estimated 5,421 jobs and $1 billion to the U.S. economy, according to an industry-backed study. It also resulted in an estimated $172,000 in lost state and federal tax revenue.

The losses resulted from steel that wasn't made and power that wasn't generated by coal and iron ore that U.S.-flag ships couldn't move, according to a report by Martin Associates that used industry-provided numbers on lost hours and tonnage. The cargo moved on Great Lakes waterways include iron ore, coal, limestone, grain, salt, fuel and oil.

Freezing temperatures and winter storms in higher water create more opportunities for the formation of ice floes — large sheets of ice that can damage hulls — and ice jams, which clog waterways and cause flooding. They are creating a growing problem to keep the shipping channels and harbors open from December to as late as April, said Jim Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers Association, which represents shipping companies operating on the lakes.

"We've been complaining about this for years," Weakley said. "And now with the high water, we think the problems are going to be even worse, not just an economic loss to the laker fleet, but an economic loss to the steel companies that we provide support for."

Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, has been working for five years to get funding for a new heavy ice cutter, but the Coast Guard has not created a plan to do so. He recently got $2 million in the latest budget agreement to jump-start the process.

“The Great Lakes are in desperate need of a new heavy icebreaker because Michigan businesses must be able to rely on shipping to move their goods and materials year-round," Peters said in a statement. "Increasing our icebreaking capacity will not only help support maritime commerce but will also protect our Northern border.”

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/01/17/rising-great-lakes-prompt-calls-more-icebreakers/4410987002

 

Grand Haven shipping season by the numbers

1/18 - Grand Haven, MI – After kicking off in March 2019, the Ship’s Log Column has sailed until January 2020, and now it’s time to finally lay up for the winter as we received our last cargo of the season.

Port City’s articulated tug/barge Bradshaw McKee/Commander paid a visit to the St. Marys Cement terminal in Ferrysburg on January 7th to discharge a partial load of cement, departing early the next morning.

The shipping season began on March 28th, 2019 and ended on January 7th, 2020. Between these two dates, we saw visits by sixteen different vessels delivering a total of 94 cargoes to the three active docks on the Grand River.

This season’s total is a slight increase from last season’s total of 92. It’s worth mentioning that last season’s number has four coal cargoes counted into it, and we did not receive any coal cargoes this season, as the Sims plant on Harbor Island is slated to close soon. There will no longer be coal shipments into Grand Haven.

The most frequent visitor of the season was the steamship Wilfred Sykes of Central Marine Logistics, with 19 trips into port. This is the fifth season in a row that the Sykes has had the highest visit total.

We saw several new vessels visit our port this season, one of which was the Commander. It was in its first full season of operating as a cement barge after being converted from a dry cargo barge. The Commander ended up coming to Ferrysburg pretty frequently, finishing with 13 total visits.

Port City currently operates three barges and two tugs, an awkward setup which saw the tugs changing assignments several times this season. It’s possible you saw two of PC’s barges in port with the same tug this season. A third tug, the Caroline McKee, is expected on the lakes this spring to give PC an even three between tugs and barges.

We also saw Algoma Central Corporation’s river-class Algoma Innovator visit for the first time. The Innovator was built in 2017 and is part of Algoma’s fleet renewal program which has seen old vessels go to scrap and replaced by new, state-of-the-art carriers.

The barge Joseph H. Thompson, a common visitor in past seasons, paid a visit this season with a new tug, the Laura L. VanEnkevort. The Thompson was for years pushed by the tug Joseph H. Thompson Jr, but VanEnkevort Tug & Barge split the two up, with the new tug Laura L. being assigned to the Thompson barge, and the Thompson tug getting paired up with VTB’s new barge Michigan Trader, expected to sail in 2020. Expect both Thompsons to be sailing with new names in 2020.

It was very exciting to see visits from the Great Lakes Fleet vessels Great Republic and John G. Munson. We haven’t seen GLF vessels in port since the late ’90s, and we should expect to see more visits from them next season. Barring a surprise late season delivery, this will be my last article of the season and will wrap up my fourth full season of writing the Ship’s Log column.

Grand Haven Tribune, Sam Hankinson

 

Port Reports -  January 18

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
The Purvis tug Anglian Lady and her barge were upbound to the Purvis Dock in Sault, ON, on Friday evening, escorted by USCG Katmai Bay and Morro Bay. Wilfred M. Cohen assisted in the harbor.

Northern Lake Huron
Thursday; 17:05 Samuel De Champlain departed Alpena for Milwaukee. Friday; 6:37 the tug Nancy Anne departed for Cheboygan. Samuel De Champlain went to anchor at 8:35 off the south west coast of Bois Blanc Island. She is not due in Milwaukee until 12:00 Saturday. 14:45 Nancy Anne arrived in Cheboygan.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Leonard M and her barge Niagara Spirit unloaded steel coils at Nicholson's Detroit Terminal on Friday. The tug Kathy Lynn was inbound on the Rouge River.

Monroe, MI – Raymond H
Iver Bright arrived at the Michigan Paving and Materials dock Friday to unload.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
Indiana Harbor arrived for winter layup on Friday. Walter J. McCarthy also arrived to wait out the winter. American should be arriving at Toledo for winter layup very late Saturday or on Sunday.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud was delivering the final shuttle from the Bulk Terminal Friday and is scheduled to lay up afterwards.

Erie, PA – Gene P
Presque Isle arrived in Erie mid-morning Friday after spending the night at anchor about six miles out in the lake. She laid up port side to at the Montfort terminal. Winds were light out of the northwest with a temperature of 22F.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 18

NORTHERN VENTURE closed the Welland Canal for the season as she passed downbound for Hamilton with coal in 1975.

In 1978, the CLIFFS VICTORY, JOSEPH H. FRANTZ, WILLIAM G. MATHER, ROBERT C. NORTON, CRISPIN OGLEBAY and J. BURTON AYERS formed a convoy in the Detroit River bound for Cleveland.

PHILIP D. BLOCK (Hull#789) was launched at Lorain, Ohio, by the American Ship Building in 1925.

The tanker GREAT LAKES was launched in 1963, as the a.) SINCLAIR GREAT LAKES (Hull#1577) at Decatur, Alabama, by Ingalls Iron Works Co.

JOHN E. F. MISENER was float launched in 1951, as a.) SCOTT MISENER (Hull#11) at St. Catharines, Ontario, by Port Weller Drydocks, Ltd.

January 17, 1902 - PERE MARQUETTE 2 ran aground at Ludington.

PERE MARQUETTE 19 grounded in limited visibility on January 17, 1916, two miles south of Big Point Sable, Michigan, 600 feet off shore. The captain made three unsuccessful attempts to find the Ludington Harbor entrance and on the turn around for the fourth attempt she grounded.

On 17 January 1899, the GERMANIA (wooden propeller freighter, 136 foot, 237 gross tons, built in 1875, at Marine City, Michigan) caught fire and burned to the water's edge at Ecorse, Michigan. The previous day, Norman Reno of Ecorse did some painting inside the cabin and it was presumed that the stove used to heat the cabin may have caused the blaze. The vessel was in winter lay-up at the rear of the home of Mr. W. G. Smith, her owner.

2000: FEDERAL VIBEKE got stuck in the ice on the St. Lawrence and was almost carried into the bridge at Quebec City. The vessel was bound for Sorel with steel. It first came to the Great Lakes in 1993 after previous visits as a) NOSIRA LIN beginning in 1981, b) DAN BAUTA in 1989, and c) KRISTIANIAFJORD in 1991. It was back as e) KALISTI in 2000 and f) NOBILITY in 2004. This bulk carrier arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping as h) OPAL II and was beached on November 14, 2012.

Data from: Max Hanley, Brian Bernard, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Season 77 ends for busy steamer Alpena

1/17 - Alpena laid up in Cleveland Thursday with a storage cargo of cement onboard. The season started in April and ended in January, and in that time the Alpena made 64 trips.

 

Shipping industry fears impacts of water regulation on Lake Ontario

1/17 - A United States-Canadian agency that oversees Great Lakes water levels says it will continue to give a board flexibility in how it’s managing outflows on Lake Ontario. Officials there are hoping to lower lake levels to reduce the risk of flooding, but the shipping industry fears increased flows will effectively shut down shipping on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Politicians and residents have been pushing for higher flows to release more water from Lake Ontario as it’s seen record-breaking levels this year. The state of New York has set aside $300 million this year for communities impacted by shoreline flooding and sued the International Joint Commission, alleging it failed to act.

The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board has been able to increase flows as part of regulating water levels on Lake Ontario. Now, the commission is allowing it to continue to deviate from its water regulation plan even as water levels drop.

The board is trying "to get as much water off of Lake Ontario as possible," said Andrew Kornacki, the board’s communications officer. Even so, he said officials are planning to keep flows about 200 cubic meters per second more than rates considered safe for commercial navigation until the shipping season ends.

"Nothing is off the table at this point, but one of the things we always do is we communicate with all the stakeholders to understand exactly what those impacts are that are being felt," said Kornacki.

The shipping industry fears any increase in flows may make navigation unsafe and effectively shut down the season. The end of commercial navigation would halt the movement of goods and result in broken contracts, said Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

"Our own community has been affected by flooding and storm damage, so we do share those concerns about high water levels," said DeLuca. "However, if you’re affecting a very minor change in water levels and you’re already seeing the economic damage that’s done to the property owners, all you’re doing is exacerbating the economic damages by affecting the shipping industry by halting it."

About 75 percent of the grain that comes through the Twin Ports goes out for export through the seaway, DeLuca said. The Chamber of Marine Commerce said a shutdown could cost the U.S. and Canadian economies $193 million per week.

Members of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation also signed a Nov. 20 letter voicing opposition to increasing flows that result in the season’s early closure, including U.S. House Reps. Gwen Moore, Mike Gallagher, Jim Sensenbrenner and Glenn Grothman.

The commission’s Frank Bevacqua said the current outflow strategy has removed a tremendous amount of water from Lake Ontario, which is down about 3 feet from its peak in June.

"This year, we have seen record inflows to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Under those conditions, the best that any management plan for the outflows can do is to reduce the peak flows and the flooding impacts," Bevacqua said. "That was accomplished this year. The lake peaked 14 inches lower than it would’ve without regulation, and the impact downstream is a lot less than it would’ve been."

Yet, he acknowledged increased flows would provide a modest decrease in water levels of less than an inch to 2 inches, adding that no regulation plan can prevent flooding when inflows are high. "But, of course, every little bit helps," he said.

The board’s Kornacki noted officials are looking for potential opportunities to increase outflows from the lake between the shutdown of the shipping season and the formation of ice on the upper St. Lawrence River.

Wisconsin Public Radio

 

Viking announces new cruise ship will sail the lakes in 2022

1/17 - Viking Cruises announced Wednesday that the Viking Octantis, currently under construction, will offer 14 cruises on Lake Superior in 2022. The "Undiscovered Great Lakes" tour, starting at $6,695 per person, is scheduled to sail seven times in 2022. It will visit Duluth and the Apostle Islands before heading east to Houghton, the Soo Locks, and Mackinac Island.

Meanwhile, the "Great Lakes Explorer" tour, starting at $6,495 per person, will go from Milwaukee to Lake Huron and Georgian Bay before heading through the Soo Locks and across Lake Superior directly to Thunder Bay. The Octantis will also offer two other Great Lakes cruises that won't reach Lake Superior.

The ship will split its time between the Great Lakes and Antarctica, offering cruises in the polar region when it isn't in the Great Lakes. Viking says the Octantis was designed to be small enough to navigate the St. Lawrence River and polar regions but large enough to offer stability in rough waters.

A sister ship, the Viking Polaris, will also launch in 2022 to cruise the polar regions. The company says explorers Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft will be honored as "ceremonial godmothers" of the ships.

Each ship will also be a working research vessel with an onboard team of scientists. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will travel on Great Lakes expeditions to research changes in weather, climate, and ecosystems.

Guests will have supervised access to their laboratory, and scientists may offer lectures about the Great Lakes environment.

“Our guests are curious explorers,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking. They want to continue traveling with us to familiar and iconic destinations, but they would also like to travel further. We began as Viking River Cruises; then we evolved into Viking Cruises with the addition of ocean cruises; today we stand singularly as Viking, offering destination-focused voyages on more than 20 rivers, five oceans and five Great Lakes, visiting 403 ports in 95 countries and on all seven continents.”

See an image of the new vessel at this link: https://www.wdio.com/news/viking-cruises-octantis-lake-superior-duluth-summertime-vacation/5609236

 

Port Reports -  January 17

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner, Jacob Silvan
The 2019 shipping season came to a close in the Twin Ports on Thursday with the final two vessels arriving in Superior for winter layup. American Spirit was inbound at 10:42 and backed into the Lakehead Pipeline slip for the winter, while her fleetmate Burns Harbor followed at 11:28 and tied up for the season at Elevator M. These final arrivals bring the total number of vessels wintering in Duluth/Superior to six, with the other four being Paul R. Tregurtha at Midwest Energy and John J. Boland, Lee A. Tregurtha, and Hon. James L. Oberstar at Fraser Shipyards.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
Two more additions to Sturgeon Bay's winter layup fleet arrived on Thursday. Interlake sisters Mesabi Miner and James R. Barker anchored in the bay of Green Bay on Wednesday night and, with assistance from the USCG cutter Mackinaw and Sarter Marine tugs, the Miner made her arrival at Bay Shipbuilding late Thursday morning. She was followed in by the Barker a few hours later. There are now twelve vessels tied up around the shipyard for the winter; Edgar B. Speer, Wilfred Sykes, Joseph L. Block, American Integrity, American Mariner, Thunder Bay, John G. Munson, Roger Blough, and H. Lee White are already laid up, while the partially completed barge Michigan Trader is also moored at the yard. There are currently no more vessels expected to winter in Sturgeon Bay, however that may change due to late-season contracts or ice conditions.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
At Port Milwaukee Thursday (01/16): Canada Steamship Lines’ Frontenac arrived 03:14 with salt from the Morton mines in Windsor, ON. A classic laker built in 1968, Frontenac carries 25,600 metric tons at seaway draft (26’-06”). She departed about noon and headed back to Windsor. At 12:51, the Stewart J. Cort arrived from Burns Harbor. She will spend the winter in Milwaukee. Algoma Conveyor should be in Friday afternoon with salt from the Compass Minerals mine in Goderich, ON.

Southern Lake Michigan
Unload completed, American Century was upbound at the lower end of the lake Thursday night for Toledo, where she will lay up.

Alpena, MI
Thursday; 17:35 The tug Nancy Anne arrived from Cheboygan and docked at the US Coast Guard station in the Thunder Bay River. Thursday; Nancy Anne began ice operations at the Lafarge cement plant. 10:23 Samuel De Champlain and barge innovation arrived to load cement products. Nancy Anne returned to the US Coast Guard station.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor cleared 8.12 pm Wednesday, upbound with salt for Milwaukee. Algoma Innovator took her place at the salt dock

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Herbert C Jackson arrived at AK Steel to unload ore from Ashtabula on Thursday. After unloading, she tied up at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal for winter layup.

Toledo, OH
Laura L. VanEnkevort / Joseph H. Thompson were inbound at 10 p.m. Wednesday to unload pellets, after which they went into winter layup.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud is still on the shuttles from the Bulk Terminal. She loaded this morning but remains at the dock due to currents at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Alpena arrived on the 15th to lay up at LaFarge.

 

Lake Erie is usually 40% covered by ice this time of year; so far in 2020, there is none

1/17 - Cleveland, OH - Warmer-than-normal temperatures this winter have put the ice concentration levels on Lake Erie far below average for this time of the year. In fact, as of Jan. 15, 2020, the National Weather Service says there is no ice on Lake Erie.

The average ice concentration level at this point in the season, measured between 1973 and 2019, is approximately 40%. The National Weather Service’s Cleveland office says with colder temperatures forecast through the end of the week, ice could begin to develop on the western portion of Lake Erie.

WOIO

 

Officials seek donations to build seawall around USS Edson

1/17 - Bay City, MI – The Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum is working to preserve one of its prized possessions, the USS Edson. The Edson as a member of the US Pacific Fleet and earned the reputation of a top destroyer ship. The famed vessel is now at risk from erosion along the Saginaw River.

Community leaders are hoping to install a seawall to hold back water as it comes in. They are asking the public for assistance with finances to pay for the wall. Mike Kegly, president of the museum, wants to build the structure around the USS Edson in Bay County’s Bangor Township. It separates land from water ultimately preventing erosion.

Kegly said to build the seawall he needs to raise a total of $250,000 which costs more than the museum’s yearly operation.

“We have quite a bit of erosion because of the water coming in. It’s not bad enough that we get the flood waters but then boats go by at not the no-wake speed and that, of course, helps the erosion,” Kegly said. “In order for us to continue to do the business that we want to do, we’ve got to put something to stave the water.”

In addition to the cost of the seawall, he’ll also need a $2,000 permit.

If you would like to help, you can send all donations to the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum located at 1680 Martin St., Bay City, MI, 48706 or call 989-684-3946.

WNEM

 

Lay-up reports needed

1/17 - As the end of the shipping season approaches, please send reports of vessel lay-ups to news@boatnerd.net. This will help us compile our annual lay-up list. Include vessel name, date, port and lay-up dock name.
Click here to view the Lay-Up List

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 17

NORTHERN VENTURE closed the Welland Canal for the season as she passed downbound for Hamilton with coal in 1975.

In 1978, the CLIFFS VICTORY, JOSEPH H. FRANTZ, WILLIAM G. MATHER, ROBERT C. NORTON, CRISPIN OGLEBAY and J. BURTON AYERS formed a convoy in the Detroit River bound for Cleveland.

PHILIP D. BLOCK (Hull#789) was launched at Lorain, Ohio, by the American Ship Building in 1925.

The tanker GREAT LAKES was launched in 1963, as the a.) SINCLAIR GREAT LAKES (Hull#1577) at Decatur, Alabama, by Ingalls Iron Works Co.

JOHN E. F. MISENER was float launched in 1951, as a.) SCOTT MISENER (Hull#11) at St. Catharines, Ontario, by Port Weller Drydocks, Ltd.

January 17, 1902 - PERE MARQUETTE 2 ran aground at Ludington.

PERE MARQUETTE 19 grounded in limited visibility on January 17, 1916, two miles south of Big Point Sable, Michigan, 600 feet off shore. The captain made three unsuccessful attempts to find the Ludington Harbor entrance and on the turn around for the fourth attempt she grounded.

On 17 January 1899, the GERMANIA (wooden propeller freighter, 136 foot, 237 gross tons, built in 1875, at Marine City, Michigan) caught fire and burned to the water's edge at Ecorse, Michigan. The previous day, Norman Reno of Ecorse did some painting inside the cabin and it was presumed that the stove used to heat the cabin may have caused the blaze. The vessel was in winter lay-up at the rear of the home of Mr. W. G. Smith, her owner.

2000: FEDERAL VIBEKE got stuck in the ice on the St. Lawrence and was almost carried into the bridge at Quebec City. The vessel was bound for Sorel with steel. It first came to the Great Lakes in 1993 after previous visits as a) NOSIRA LIN beginning in 1981, b) DAN BAUTA in 1989, and c) KRISTIANIAFJORD in 1991. It was back as e) KALISTI in 2000 and f) NOBILITY in 2004. This bulk carrier arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping as h) OPAL II and was beached on November 14, 2012.

Data from: Max Hanley, Brian Bernard, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Burns Harbor ends shipping season at the Soo Locks

1/16 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – The 1,00-footer Burns Harbor was the final cargo vessel of the 2019 navigation season through the Soo Locks. With two salutes, Capt. Terry Heyns brought the vessel through the Poe Lock Wednesday at 6:44 a.m. on her way to Superior, WI, for winter lay-up. Crews began the dewatering process immediately, kicking off a busy season of maintenance projects.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District

 

With Oberstar arrival, winter layup settles on Twin Ports

1/16 - Duluth, MN – The Soo Locks that connect Lake Superior with the other Great Lakes closed at midnight Wednesday, ushering in winter layup. The nearly 10-week layup lasts until late March. It's an offseason in one sense, as ships' crews head home and steel mills on the lower Great Lakes siphon taconite iron ore from their built-up stockpiles.

But it's also a time for itinerant boilermakers and iron workers to descend on the Twin Ports. They migrate from near and far, and some have said in the past that they enjoy repairing the ships and the respite they receive, largely from refinery construction. A lot of ore boats require steel work over the winter, as the steel armor that makes up the hulls can take a beating in the ice, causing plates to require replacement. Also, some lake freighters are required to undergo a five-year survey, or inspection, during layup.

"There is no real downtime on the waterfront," Jayson Hron, spokesperson for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said. "Hundreds of workers — engineers, welders, pipe-fitters, mechanics and electricians — will spend the next (several) weeks doing maintenance and repair work so these vessels are ready to sail when the Soo Locks reopen March 25.

"All of that effort, while less visible than vessels hauling cargo in and out of the port, contributes to equitable job growth and economic sustainability in the region."

Tonnage reports as the season comes to a close have indicated that ore shipments were stable, but slightly behind a solid 2018. It was a banner year for the Port Authority and its Duluth Cargo Connect, which broke a record for the tons of wind blades and towers hauled. The Coast Guard told the News Tribune in December that it was expecting below-normal ice conditions in 2020 based on forecasts. So for now, the 2020 spring breakout is on schedule.

On Tuesday, the Duluth shipping canal welcomed the Hon. James L. Oberstar into winter layup. Only two lake freighters remain to arrive among the six wintering in Duluth: the American Spirit expected Wednesday and the Burns Harbor, arriving Thursday to close out the winter roster.

Winter-layup roster for port of Duluth-Superior

At Fraser Shipyards (Superior)
John J. Boland
Honorable James L. Oberstar
Lee A. Tregurtha

At Midwest Energy Resources Co. (Superior)
Paul R. Tregurtha

At Hansen-Mueller Co.'s Elevator M (Superior)
Burns Harbor

At Enbridge Terminal (Superior)
American Spirit

View photos and video at this link: https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/business/transportation/4862108-Winter-layup-settles-on-Twin-Ports

 

Port Reports -  January 16

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
With the Duluth shipping season officially at an end and only two more arrivals scheduled in Superior, the 2019 season in the Twin Ports is just about over. American Spirit was passing between Thunder Bay and Isle Royale as of 20:00 Wednesday night on her way to Superior for winter layup at Lakehead Pipeline, and is currently due to arrive around 09:00 Thursday morning. Burns Harbor was not far behind, and is scheduled at 11:00 Thursday for layup at Elevator M. Already tied up in port for the winter are Paul R. Tregurtha, moored at SMET; John J. Boland, in drydock at Fraser Shipyards; and fleetmates Lee A. Tregurtha and Hon. James L. Oberstar, both tied up at Fraser.

Milwaukee, WI
Frontenac is due Thursday morning with salt.

Southern Lake Michigan
American Century, belt repairs completed, was unloading at Indiana Harbor Wednesday night. Stewart J. Cort departed Burns Harbor for lay up in Milwaukee.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor left Wednesday early evening with salt for Milwaukee. Algoma Innovator took her place at the loading dock.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Wednesday Arrivals: Joyce L VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to fuel. Kaye E Barker arrived at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal for winter lay up. She is loaded with a storage load of taconite. Calusa Coast and Delaware tied up at Nicholson's Detroit Terminal to wait for dock space at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal. On Wednesday night, Herbert C. Jackson was upbound in the Detroit River for Dearborn.

Toledo, OH
Laura L. VanEnkevort / Joseph H. Thompson were inbound at 10 p.m. Wednesday to unload pellets.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud was running the first of two shuttles for ArcelorMittal from the Bulk Terminal. Sharon M I arrived at 08:45 from Sault Ste. Marie, ON, with steel for the port. She departed at 13:31 for Nanticoke. Alpena arrived at 09:02 to lay up at LaFarge.

Conneaut, OH
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived to unload Wednesday evening, after which she is expected to head for Toledo to lay up.

 

Maintenance underway along length of Welland Canal

1/16 - St. Catharines, ON - It's a pretty normal year for the St. Lawrence Seaway as $22 million in maintenance is carried out along the 43-kilometre-long Welland Canal. "It's not a whole lot different from last year. We have several (lock) gates being rehabilitated," said St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. Niagara engineering manager Cassie Kelly.

Kelly said the lock gates — there are 48 along the canal weighing roughly 453,600 kilograms each — are worked on each year. The gates operate in pairs at the upper and lower ends of the locks, plus additional ones for safety.

Kelly said rehab work started in 2011-12, with eight gates already complete. The project will run until 2036, costing more than $120 million over that time. "The year we finish, we'll have to start over." Kelly said gate inspections are carried out frequently to check for wear and tear or other problems, such as a gate that may have been struck by a vessel.

Work on anchoring the floor of Lock 8 in Port Colborne that started last year has been put on hold due to a rock formation found under it that seaway staff were not expecting. She said more testing and information on the formation was needed before work could proceed. "We could get back to it (anchoring the floor) in a couple of years."

Work will be carried out on Bridge 19A, Mellanby Avenue Bridge, in Port Colborne, and see its closure for at least a month to both pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Bridge 21, Clarence Street Bridge. Bridge 5, Glendale Avenue Bridge, and Bridge 11, Allanburg Bridge, will undergo work as the seaway corporation replaces various components.

Kelly said Rankin Construction will continue to carry out work on the long reach of the canal — the area just north of Bridge 19 in Port Colborne to Lock 7 in Thorold. The company is stabilizing the banks of the canal, a project that's expected to take at least 20 years but could be done in less time.

In Thorold, sandblasting will be carried out inside a pair of gates as will some metal work. The gates will be partially painted this year as well. Valve work will take place at Locks 4, 5 and 6, the flight locks. The valves control the flow of water in and out of the locks when they are being filled and emptied for vessels.

The Standard

 

Marine simulator recreates the night the Edmund Fitzgerald sank

1/16 - Barrie, ON – On Nov. 10, 1975 – 40 years ago – the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior. The entire crew of 29 was lost. It’s still the largest ship to have sunk in the Great Lakes.

CTV commemorated the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald and its crew with this news cast featuring Georgian College’s marine simulator and its manager, Jason Davenport. The simulator recreated the conditions from the night of the storm, including the view from the ship’s bridge.

View the simulator at this link: https://barrie.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=747344&binId=1.1272429&playlistPageNum=1

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 16

In 1978, the upbound McKEE SONS, LEON FALK JR, WILLIAM P. SNYDER JR, A.H. FERBERT and CHAMPLAIN became stuck in heavy ice outside Cleveland Harbor. Eventually they were freed with the help of the U.S.C.G. icebreaker NORTHWIND and the U.S.C.G. MARIPOSA.

FORT YORK (Hull#160) was launched January 15, 1958, at Collingwood, Ontario, by Collingwood Shipyards, Ltd.

In 1917, the ANN ARBOR NO 6 left Ecorse for Frankfort on her maiden voyage.

On 15 January 1873, A. Muir began building a wooden 3-mast schooner ("full sized canaller") at his shipyard in Port Huron. Fourteen men were employed to work on her, including master builder James Perry. The schooner was to be the exact counterpart of the GROTON, the first vessel built at that yard. The vessel's dimensions were 138-foot keel, 145 foot overall, 26 foot 2 inches beam and 11 foot 6 inch depth.

On 15 January 1886, the tug KITTIE HAIGHT was sold to Mr. Fisken of Toronto for $3,900.

1986: The former Greek freighter PAULINA C., a Seaway trader beginning in 1976, ran aground off the Dutch coast near Rotterdam as c) RIO GRANDE. It was refloated January 23 and became d) NEPTUNIA later in 1986. It arrived at Bombay, India, for scrapping on December 3, 1986.

1990: The tanker MAYA FARBER came through the Seaway in 1981. It was anchored off Port Sudan as e) RAAD AL-BAKRY VIII when there was an explosion in a cargo tank. Fire broke out and the vessel was gutted. The hull later broke in two and the after end sank. The forebody was sold for scrap and arrived at Alang, India, for dismantling on March 28, 1990.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Brian Bernard, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Seaway tolls to increase by 2.0 percent in 2020

1/15 - The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) announced a toll rate increase of 2.0 percent for the 2020 navigation season.

The Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Seaway navigation system supports over 329,000 jobs and $59 billion in economic activity per year. The SLSMC remains dedicated to promoting the economic and environmental benefits of marine transportation, attracting new cargoes to the Seaway, and leveraging technology to enhance the system’s performance.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management

 

Port Reports -  January 15

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner, Isaac Pischer
Duluth's 2019 shipping season officially came to a close on Tuesday when Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived at 12:22 for winter layup at Fraser Shipyards. Her arrival brings the total number of vessels laid up in port so far to four, with the others being Paul R. Tregurtha at SMET and John J. Boland and Lee A. Tregurtha moored at Fraser. Two more 1,000-foot vessels are still expected in Superior for the winter, with American Spirit due on Wednesday evening and Burns Harbor due in the late morning or early afternoon on Thursday.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
Here are the destinations of three 1,000 footers that loaded in Two Harbors recently. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. is headed for Conneaut. Indiana Harbor is in Gary and the American Century is headed for Indiana Harbor after she departs Milwaukee.

St. Marys River
Kaye E. Barker was downbound at the locks around 2 p.m. Tuesday for Dearborn, MI, to unload and then go into winter layup. She was not the last downbound passage, however, as the tug Leonard M and barge Niagara Spirit departed Algoma Steel Tuesday around 10:30 p.m. for Detroit. American Spirit was upbound in the early evening, sounding a nice salute as she left the locks to become the only vessel moving on Lake Superior. USCG Mackinaw and Katmai Bay were doing track maintenance in the lower river Tuesday. They moored for the night at Lime Island. Burns Harbor, expected in the river in the early morning Wednesday, will be the last upbound passage.

Green Bay, WI
Tug Barbara Andrie and tug Albert / barge Margaret departed for Sarnia, ON, on Tuesday.

Milwaukee, WI – John N. Vogel
American Century remained at the Port of Milwaukee's heavy lift dock the evening of 13 January for repairs to its conveyor. It was reported that the ship should be underway again in perhaps two days. Once the Century leaves, the Stewart J. Cort is due in for winter lay-up.

Alpena MI
Monday: 23:19 The cement carrier Alpena departed for Detroit

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor was at the salt dock loading Tuesday night, with Algoma Innovator at the north dock waiting to load.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Tuesday: 11:15 am downbound Manitoulin; 2:30 pm upbound Frontenac. The river was still murky with much floating debris. Weather was overcast, light winds from west northwest, 42 degrees F.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Tuesday Arrivals: Alpena arrived at Lafarge to unload cement. James R Barker arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to fuel.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
On Tuesday night, Edwin H. Gott was on Lake Erie off Conneaut bound for Toledo for winter layup. She will be arriving Wednesday morning sometime. Clyde S. VanEnkevort with the barge Erie Trader was inbound the Toledo Ship channel in the evening for winter layup. She was at the Ironville Dock Monday to unload ore. I assume she will be going over to the Torco Dock complex for winter layup.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud arrived from Ashtabula at 13:03 Tuesday with a shuttle for ArcelorMittal.

 

New, interactive map highlights Michigan’s Great Lakes shipwrecks, their lore

1/15 - A new interactive map allows users to locate and learn about shipwrecks in the Great Lakes. The Michigan Shipwrecks App offers users a closer look at 1,500 shipwrecks submerged in Michigan waters by providing the difficulty level of diving to each wreck and identifying whether it’s accessible by kayak or canoe.

The app also serves as a sort of virtual history lesson, recounting the circumstances of each sinking. It also provides a description of the ship, with photos and drawings, if available.

“This new tool gives divers, kayakers, snorkelers and armchair explorers a chance to learn more about these underwater archaeological sites and the circumstances that led to the shipwrecks,” said Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan History Center. “It’s a wonderfully interactive way to help people connect with this part of Michigan’s maritime history.”

About one-quarter of the estimated 6,000 wrecks found throughout the Great Lakes are in Michigan waters, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Users can search for shipwrecks by name or location or customize and print their own PDF maps to explore famous and lesser-known wrecks.

Read more at this link: https://www.mlive.com/news/2020/01/new-interactive-map-highlights-michigans-great-lakes-shipwrecks-their-lore.html

 

Repairs begin on breakwater off Pere Marquette beach in Muskegon

1/15 - Muskegon, MI - Repair work has begun on the south breakwater structure off Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Park. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District, which covers all of Michigan and parts of Wisconsin and Indiana, announced on social media on Monday that workers had placed armor stone on the breakwater’s edge.

That stone placement began shortly after Christmas. Additional work is expected to begin this spring and continue through at least June, according to Christopher Schropp, who oversees construction for the Grand Haven area office of the Army Corps of Engineers.

That work includes demolishing the existing cap of the structure, replenishing missing stone underneath, and then capping the entire thing with new concrete, according to previous MLive reporting.

The breakwall, a popular walkway off Pere Marquette’s beach, was closed to the public in October due to safety concerns. A contract for the work, in the amount of $1.6 million, was awarded to Muskegon’s Great Lakes Dock & Materials, LLC in September, according to Schropp.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers put out a bid for the work in early 2019. This followed an attempt to patch the aging infrastructure in 2016. A project that autumn administered by Great Lakes Dock and Materials LCC cost about $100,000.

That work was intended to be a temporary fix while awaiting additional federal funding, said Schropp.

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/2020/01/repairs-begin-on-breakwater-off-pere-marquette-beach-in-muskegon.html

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 15

In 1978, the upbound McKEE SONS, LEON FALK JR, WILLIAM P. SNYDER JR, A.H. FERBERT and CHAMPLAIN became stuck in heavy ice outside Cleveland Harbor. Eventually they were freed with the help of the U.S.C.G. icebreaker NORTHWIND and the U.S.C.G. MARIPOSA.

FORT YORK (Hull#160) was launched January 15, 1958, at Collingwood, Ontario, by Collingwood Shipyards, Ltd.

In 1917, the ANN ARBOR NO 6 left Ecorse for Frankfort on her maiden voyage.

On 15 January 1873, A. Muir began building a wooden 3-mast schooner ("full sized canaller") at his shipyard in Port Huron. Fourteen men were employed to work on her, including master builder James Perry. The schooner was to be the exact counterpart of the GROTON, the first vessel built at that yard. The vessel's dimensions were 138-foot keel, 145 foot overall, 26 foot 2 inches beam and 11 foot 6 inch depth.

On 15 January 1886, the tug KITTIE HAIGHT was sold to Mr. Fisken of Toronto for $3,900.

1986: The former Greek freighter PAULINA C., a Seaway trader beginning in 1976, ran aground off the Dutch coast near Rotterdam as c) RIO GRANDE. It was refloated January 23 and became d) NEPTUNIA later in 1986. It arrived at Bombay, India, for scrapping on December 3, 1986.

1990: The tanker MAYA FARBER came through the Seaway in 1981. It was anchored off Port Sudan as e) RAAD AL-BAKRY VIII when there was an explosion in a cargo tank. Fire broke out and the vessel was gutted. The hull later broke in two and the after end sank. The forebody was sold for scrap and arrived at Alang, India, for dismantling on March 28, 1990.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Brian Bernard, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Port of Thunder Bay celebrates biggest year since 2014

1/14 - Thunder Bay, ON – Nearly eight million tons of grain from Western Canada helped the Port of Thunder Bay achieve one it’s most successful seasons in recent years.

“The grain in total was up by 500,000 by the end of the year,” said Thunder Bay Port Authority CEO, Tim Heney. “Certainly grain led the increase and coal and potash were other strong commodities this year.”

The Port’s 2019 season officially came to an end with the departure of the last cargo-laden vessel on Sunday. The Port’s last day is often determined by the closure of the Sioux Locks, which takes place on Jan. 15.

The total tonnage that passed through the Port in 2019 was approximately 9.3 million metric tons, with grain accounting for 7.9 million tons, coal at 779,893 tons, and potash at 399,557 tons.

This makes for the best year the Port of Thunder Bay has seen since 2014.

“To get that increase in tonnage, it’s a positive thing,” Heney said. “We are the second largest grain port in Western Canada and we are the most efficient grain port in terms of car cycle times. That is really making us still a significant player in the grain business. It shows the capacity of the port as well and it’s still here and available.”

In 2019, the Port of Thunder Bay saw a total of 429 vessels, with 316 domestic ships and 113 foreign. According to Heney, the tons per ship has also been increasing in recent years with new vessels that can hold 30,000 tons of grain as opposed to 25,000 tons on older vessels.

There are three vessels wintering in the Port of Thunder Bay, all from the Canada Steamship Lines. Being newer generation vessels, they will require less work, Heney said. “There used to be a lot of steel replaced on the old ships,” he said. “There was a lot of iron working type jobs, welding, that type of work. That’s not a thing on these new ones.”

Looking ahead to 2020, Heney is expecting another strong year, with project shipments expected to increase after having a soft year in 2019 due largely to fewer wind turbine projects in Western Canada. “We see the project cargo being bigger next year,” he said. “There are a lot of wind turbine projects coming on, so we are looking at a busy year at Keefer.”

In 2019, Keefer Terminal saw 16,671 tons of project cargo, down significantly compared to 2018 that saw 26,760 tons.

And with this winter being milder than last year, Heney said there is a good chance Lake Superior will remain open all season, but it is up to mother nature to determine when vessels will be able to return to port.

“We started off really cold then we had a warming spell,” Heney said. “It depends on winds and temperature of course. Any warm day is one less cold one. So it’s certainly not going to be a record ice year.”

TBNewswatch

 

Coast Guard to close three waterways on January 16

1/14 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Captain of the Port Sault Ste. Marie will close three regional waterways in conjunction with the scheduled closure of the Soo Locks and the expected development of ice. On Thursday, January 16, the West Neebish Channel and Pipe Island Channel (North and East of Pipe Island) of the St Marys River and Grays Reef Passage in the Straits of Mackinac will close to commercial shipping.

Per United States Code of Federal Regulation, these actions steer commercial shipping and Coast Guard ice breaking activity away from these waterways during the winter months. A similar announcement in the spring will precede any icebreaking plans to reopen these waterways.

USCG

 

Storm destroys Lion's Head lighthouse

LionsHead.jpg (302842 bytes)1/14 - Owen Sound, ON – The landmark lighthouse at Lion’s Head, Ont., was destroyed over the weekend during a storm that also caused hydro outages, downed trees and poor driving conditions in Grey-Bruce and prompted some municipalities to declare significant weather events.

Benjamin Madill said he stopped by the Lion’s Head harbor Sunday around 7:15 a.m. and was “blown away” to discover the lighthouse had been knocked down and ruined by the storm. “The sun was coming up when I drove in like I normally do and I always see the lighthouse there and I’m thinking to myself, something’s missing here. And then I drove up and realized it’s gone. It’s completely gone,” he said in an interview.

Madill lives in Oliphant, but was doing his rounds early Sunday as part of his work for a water treatment agency. His grandparents had a cottage at Lion’s Head, so he’s familiar with the lighthouse. His Facebook post, which included photographs of the destroyed lighthouse, was widely shared.

“You can see the bolts on the concrete slab where the lighthouse was bolted to and then it’s just in pieces floating in the water and on the dock,” he said.

The lighthouse, which is owned by Northern Bruce Peninsula, had been damaged by a pair of storms in October. The municipality had planned to close it in and secure the structure for winter and fix it up in the spring.

The lighthouse was built by high school students in 1983, based on the blueprints of the original 1903 structure. The federal government has maintained the navigation light in the lighthouse.

Pictures of the damage

Owen Sound Times

 

Port Reports -  January 14

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth/Superior – Daniel Lindner
There was no traffic through either the Duluth or Superior entries on Monday. Hon. James L. Oberstar will be the last arrival for the 2019 season in Duluth when she enters port for winter layup on Tuesday, while the HarborLookout schedule now has American Spirit and Burns Harbor due to arrive in Superior later in the week for layup at Lakehead Pipeline and Elevator M, respectively. Their arrivals will bring the Twin Ports' winter layup total to six, with John J. Boland, Paul R. Tregurtha, and Lee A. Tregurtha already tied up for the season.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departed Two Harbors on Jan. 12th at 20:17. As of 17:00 on Jan. 13th her AIS was still showing Two Harbors.

Presque-Isle-1-13-20rl.jpg (110192 bytes)St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on Monday: Michipicoten early, followed by Presque Isle, Manitoulin, CCGS Samuel Risley, and Joseph L. Thompson/Laura L. VanEnkevort in the afternoon. Kaye E Barker was upbound early (for Marquette to load) and Hon. James L. Oberstar (for Superior to lay up) followed around 1 p.m.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
A near record lake level coupled with strong northeast winds associated with a powerful winter storm triggered severe flooding at Port Milwaukee Saturday. Port tenants suspended operations and access to Jones Island was restricted. Port Milwaukee was back in business Monday (1/13). At 03:12 the tug Nathan S arrived from Calumet Harbor with three barges for loading at the COFCO grain elevator. Samuel de Champlain/Innovation arrived from Alpena at 05:41 with cement for the Lafarge terminal. At 06:28 the thousand-footer American Century arrived for repairs to her conveyor belt on her way down the lakes with iron ore pellets loaded at Two Harbors. Still in port was G.L. Ostrander/Integrity, which arrived January 1 and tied up near the south end of the municipal mooring basin.

McGregor Bay, ON
Monday; 3:00 Algoma Innovator departed for Goderich. CCGS Griffon departed and was downbound on Lake Huron.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator arrived 4.39 pm Wednesday, tied up North Pier. Algoma Conveyor arrived 8.19 pm Wednesday and was loading salt at Compass Minerals.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Leo A MacArthur/John J Carrick were loading at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal on Monday

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud arrived in Ashtabula at 15:50 Monday to load a shuttle for ArcelorMittal in Cleveland.

 

Warning: High waters drag debris into Great Lakes

1/14 - This weekend’s strong weather brought another round of punishing waves to communities along the Great Lakes. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now warning everyone to be aware of debris brought into the Great Lakes from high water levels and lakeshore erosion.

Homes, piers, docks and really anything along the lakeshore has been falling into Lake Michigan the past couple of months. That has caused safety concerns for right now, and when warm weather returns.

The Army Corps says docks and piers may also be under water from the high water levels that you may not be able to see. When spring and summer comes, they say you should monitor for possible rip currents and electric shock that could also factor into you drowning.

9 & 10 News

 

Lake Erie experienced seiche on Sunday

1/14 - A major seiche occurred on Lake Erie on Sunday, January 12. The static level for this lake has been about 1.2 metres (47 inches) above chart datum for the last few weeks. On Saturday, January 11 the residual of a strong winter storm swept the lake with northwest winds, an event that usually pushes the water somewhat towards the east end of the lake increasing the level in the Port Colborne-Buffalo area. However this storm had intense winds with gusts in excess of 115kph (71mph) in the early morning hours of Sunday according to the Environment Canada weather station in Port Colborne. The Canadian Hydrographic instrumentation at that community registered a peak level of 2.44 metres (96 inches) above chart datum at 07:00, while at the west end of the lake at Bar Point, just south of Amherstburg a similar station showed dropping levels that reached a minimum of 0.86 metres (34 inches) around noon.

As the gale/storm force winds abated at the east end the water began to migrate back westwards to where the Bar Point gauge rose to over 1.8 metres (71 inches) by 16:00. Meanwhile the east end registered a drop to 0.95 metres (37 inches) at the same hour. For the next 16 hours, the levels were moving back and forth over the length of lake Erie like a wave in a bathtub.

Usually events with such extremes occur over a lengthy time frame of 24 hours, but due to climatic conditions near the entrance to the Welland Canal it caused the seiche to be more pronounced and noticeable in this few hours.

Also involved, probably due to a lesser extent, was a variation in the barometric pressure at the two sites where lower atmospheric pressure near Port Colborne also contributed with a storm surge similar to that found at the eye of a hurricane but nowhere near as severe.

Robert Spearing

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 14

On this day in 1970, IRVING S. OLDS entered winter layup at Lorain to close the longest season in Great Lakes shipping history.

On 14 January 1945, the W. Butler Shipyard built C1-M-AV1 ship LEBANON (Hull#40) was the last vessel through the Soo Locks. Ice was a serious problem. The newly-commissioned icebreaker U.S.C.G.C. MACKINAW escorted the LEBANON to Lake Huron. The locks had never before been open this late in January. They were kept open to allow newly-built cargo vessels to sail from Superior, Wisconsin, to the Atlantic Ocean where they were needed for the war effort.

Scrapping began on CHICAGO TRIBUNE in 1989, by International Marine Salvage in Port Colborne, Ontario. January 14, 1920 - The Grand Trunk carferry GRAND HAVEN was fast in the ice three miles out of Grand Haven.

In 1977, CANADIAN MARINER laid up at the Consol Fuel dock in Windsor after her attempt to reach Port Colborne was thwarted by heavy ice off Long Point.

On Jan 14, 1978, JAMES R. BARKER departed the Soo Line ore dock in Ashland, Wisconsin, where she had been laid-up since August 7, 1977, due to the iron ore miner’s strike.

1946: The BADGER STATE, a former Great Lakes canal ship as a) FORDONIAN, b) YUKONDOC and c) GEORGIAN, foundered off the mouth of the Grijalva River in the Gulf of Mexico.

1969: SAGAMO, retired former flagship of the Lake Muskoka passenger ships in Central Ontario, burned at the dock in Gravenhurst as a total loss.

1981: The former Lake Erie rail car ferry and later barge MAITLAND NO. 1 rolled over between Yarmouth, NS and Rockland, ME. An attempt to tow the vessel upside down failed and it sank. The ship was under tow of IRVING MAPLE and bound for Port Everglades, FL with a load of scrap. It may have been renamed b) TRIO TRADO at Quebec City on the way south.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Brian Bernard, Russ Plumb, Ahoy & Farewell II, Father Dowling Collection and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Final week of the BoatNerd Fundraiser

1/13 -   We are close to wrapping up our second annual fundraising drive. We are accepting donations of any amount through PayPal or by mail. https://paypal.me/Boatnerd (updated link) or to e-mail donate@boatnerd.net

We had hoped to have a new website online by now generating revenue through advertising. That project has been much slower than anticipated, so we are hosting this fundraising drive to help keep the web site and Gatherings operational for another year. Any amount is appreciated and will go a long way towards keeping the site active.

2019 was a good year and we made progress on the new web site and added new AIS stations. We also returned the Port Huron Webcam. Thank you for your continuing support. We hope to continue the same in 2020.

Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc.
Box 244
Troy, MI 48099

 

"Historic Flooding" forces closure of Port of Milwaukee, Jones Island

1/13 - Milwaukee, WI – Saturday's severe weather caused some significant flooding to The Port of Milwaukee and Jones Island. Both locations were evacuated as officials continue to monitor the storm. For now, there are no operations and no public access at either location.

“I would call this a once-in-a-generation weather event," Port of Milwaukee Director Adam Schlicht said. “From today’s winter weather event we’ve seen 60 to 70-percent flooding here on Jones Island, at The Port."

After evacuations, only security and emergency personnel were left behind to keep watch. “Our first major concern was for the protection of human life – all those people that work here on Jones Island,” he said.

Schlicht called the flooding "historic" and said brought several feet of water onto land, bringing concern to city and port-owned infrastructure. “The warehouses, the terminal facilities, all of the cargo that we’ve brought into The Port throughout the year, that is stored here during the winter months.”

Port officials are remaining cautious, but hope those facilities are not completely underwater. They have delayed some winter shipping, hope to reopen The Port as soon as it is safe to do so.

“One of the next steps that we’ll take as soon as the weather event is over, and the flooding recedes, is a careful examination of how much damage we’ve incurred here.”

The Sewage Treatment Plant is also located on Jones Island. But so far it is operating normally, at half its capacity, according to a Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District representative.

CBS 58

 

Port Reports -  January 13

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth/Superior – Daniel Lindner
Lee A. Tregurtha arrived Duluth at 18:52 Sunday night for winter layup at Fraser Shipyards, joining the John J. Boland and Paul R. Tregurtha that have already tied up for the season. Hon. James L. Oberstar is currently due mid-day Tuesday for the winter, and as of now there are no other ships scheduled to arrive after her even though Duluth's winter layup fleet is usually made up of five to seven vessels.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
As of 19:45 on Jan. 12th the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was still loading at South of #2. A partial update on the Indiana Harbor: Before she arrived Two Harbors and after she departed her AIS was showing Two Harbors. As of 19:45 on Jan. 12th she was approaching the Straits, then on to Lake Michigan. She will be going to either Gary or Indiana Harbor.

Thunder Bay, ON
Saturday; 18:41 Michipicoten arrived at the G3 elevator to load grain. 19:28 Saginaw departed for Toledo. 23:54 CSL Niagara arrived at Keefer Terminal for winter lay up. Sunday; 5:20 Michipicoten departed for Windsor. 14:49 CCGS Samuel Risley departed and is down bound on Lake Superior.16:24 Manitoulin departed for Windsor.

St. Marys River
Ojibway was downbound early Sunday. Indiana Harbor and Algocanada (from Purvis Dock) followed in the early afternoon. Saginaw left the locks downbound at 7 p.m. There was no upbound traffic. USCG Katmai Bay was working ice in the lower river. Leonard M and barge were at Algoma Steel.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner, Jim Conlon
H. Lee White arrived in Sturgeon Bay for winter layup mid-day Sunday with assistance from the tug William C. Gaynor, bringing the total number of vessels laid up so far to nine. Once arriving at Bay Shipbuilding, she was rafted to her fleetmate American Mariner. Already in layup at the shipyard are Edgar B. Speer, Wilfred Sykes, Joseph L. Block, American Integrity, American Mariner, Thunder Bay, John G. Munson, and Roger Blough. VanEnkevort's new barge Michigan Trader is also tied up in a slip.

Green Bay, WI
The tug Barbara Andrie arrived Sunday to assist the tug Albert barge Margaret to the U.S. Oil Venture Terminal.

Northern Lake Huron ports
McGregor Bay: Sunday; 12:49 CCGS Griffon resumed ice operations. 13:13 Frontenac departed and was down bound on Lake Huron. 19:18 Algoma Innovator arrived at Fisher Harbor to unload road salt. 20:15 CCGS Griffon went to anchor. Alpena: Sunday; 12:31 Sam Laud departed for Ashtabula. 15:44 The cement carrier Alpena arrived to load.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
After her fleetmate Mesabi Miner passed downbound at 10 am Sunday, Kaye E. Barker weighed anchor and continued her upbound journey under much improved conditions. The Jan. 11 storm has passed leaving river calm, mostly cloudy skies, and 30 degrees F.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Hon. James L Oberstar fueled at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal on Sunday.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Joyce L. VanEnkevort departed at 12:42 Sunday for Duluth/Superior.

 

Homeowners near the Great Lakes face high water challenges

1/13 - Les Cheneaux Islands – On a frigid morning in late fall, resort owner Mark Engle studied the mangled planks and dock posts scattered along an ice-glazed channel that feeds into Lake Huron. Les Cheneaux Landing Resort, tucked behind an archipelago of 36 islands off Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, once had a 175-foot dock with slips for a dozen boats, a boathouse and a bait shop.

In the past two years, Lake Huron rose through the floorboards of both buildings and overtopped the adjoining dock. Now, the weather-beaten boathouse sits stoically marooned, beset on all sides by crystal clear water.

All that Engle has left to carry him through the next tourist season is a small makeshift dock. “Man can’t seem to make anything big enough, strong enough to maintain an advantage over the lake,” Engle said. “I’ve been dealing with Lake Huron since 1982. And I’m afraid the lake is winning the battle.

Near-record high lake levels have astonished residents and business owners in the tiny hamlet of Cedarville, an unincorporated waterfront community built around boating. The consternation isn’t solely from the high water — in 1986, lake levels were slightly higher — it’s also from the pace of the rise. Less than seven years earlier, many docks and boat-houses were sitting on dry land.

In 2013, Lake Huron bottomed out, hitting its lowest mark in more than a century, as did Lake Michigan, which shares the same water levels, according to data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Around that time, the lake withdrew so far from the shore around Engle’s resort — then a collection of 12 rustic cabins and three docks — that mud was all that remained beneath his boathouse.

In just 3 ½ years, levels rose more than 4 feet and last summer peaked at nearly 6 feet above the record low. The swing in the water level of Lake Huron from January 2013 to July 2019 was nearly 6 feet, from historically low to historically high.

Read more, view images and graphs at this link: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/environment/great-lakes/ct-lake-huron-climate-change-water-levels-20200109-oiw7nunhonh3hm2vg5lrfiimou-story.html

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 13

13 January 2005 - GENESIS EXPLORER (steel propeller tanker, 435 foot, built in 1974, at Port Weller, Ontario, formerly a.) IMPERIAL ST. CLAIR & b.) ALGOSAR) sailed from Halifax for Quebec City. She was registered in the Comoros Islands. She was carrying a few members of her former crew for training purposes, but her new crew was African.

On 13 January 1918, the Goodrich Line’s ALABAMA and the Grand Trunk ferries MILWAUKEE and GRAND HAVEN all became stuck in the ice off Grand Haven, Michigan. The vessels remained imprisoned in the ice for the next two weeks. When the wind changed, they were freed but Grand Haven’s harbor was still inaccessible. The ALABAMA sailed for Muskegon and stalled in the 18-inch thick ice on Muskegon Lake.

After lightering 3,000 tons of coal, the a.) BENSON FORD was refloated in 1974 and proceeded to the Toledo Overseas Terminal to be reloaded.

In 1979, the U.S.C.G. tug ARUNDEL was beset by windrowed ice at Minneapolis Shoal in Green Bay. Strong winds piled the ice on her stern and soon she had a 25-degree list. The crew feared that she may sink and abandoned the tug, walking across the ice with the help of a spotlight onboard the ACACIA, which also became beset by the heavy ice. The MACKINAW, SUNDEW and a Coast Guard helicopter were dispatched to the scene, but northwest winds relieved the ice pressure and the crew was able to re-board the ARUNDEL. The ARUNDEL sails today as the tug c.) ERIKA KOBASIC.

On January 13, 1970, the lower engine room and holds of the SEWELL AVERY accidentally flooded, sinking her to the bottom of Duluth Harbor causing minimal damage, other than an immense cleanup effort.

January 13, 1909 - The PERE MARQUETTE 17 was freed after her grounding the previous December.

Data from: Joe Barr, Max Hanley, Brian Bernard, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

 

 

Seaway orders 60-foot harbor tug

1/12 - The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) has placed an order for a newbuild ASD (Z-drive) harbor tug to be delivered by Washburn & Doughty Associates, Inc. of East Boothbay, Maine. It will replace the existing tug Performance.

“This new vessel will be used to carry out a variety of construction and maintenance duties for the US portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway, including routine maintenance of lock gates, maintenance and positioning of aids to navigation, ice management and removal of accumulated ice from lock walls,” said Craig Middlebrook, Deputy Administrator of the SLSDC.

The HT-60, the smallest in the Harbor Tug series developed by Glosten, a US based naval architecture firm, is slated for delivery in 2021.

According to Glosten, the HT-60 is designed to capitalize on the operating advantages afforded by a broad bow form with a semi-raised foc’sle deck and full visibility and winch controls from a single operating station in the pilothouse. To perform its intended work functions in ice, the hull has been ice-strengthened to ABS Ice Class C0 standards.

The Z-drive units are powered by a pair of EPA Tier 3 diesel engines turning carbon fiber shafts for a combined 1,320 BHP at 1,800 RPM.

At 60 foot overall, the tug is right-sized for maneuvering inside lock chambers, with a wide 28 foot beam to improve performance in ice and enhance stability for deck crane operations, Glosten said.

Marine Link

 

US gives funds for ‘marine highway,’ but frustrates import/export efforts

1/12 - Monroe, MI – The U.S. Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) award of more than $1.1 million to the Port of Monroe, Michigan for a domestic “marine highway” project is welcome news for a port that says its efforts to increase international business has been stymied by the Detroit office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The port in 2016 had a route designated under MARAD’s marine highway program. The proposed “Lake Erie Shuttle” would be a domestic container service between Monroe and Cleveland, with the possible addition of other ports such as Detroit and Buffalo, and the crane would be used to load and discharge containers and breakbulk cargo.

Currently, if ships loading and discharging cargo in Monroe do not have their own gear, the port has to rent cranes, which LaMarre says can be prohibitively expensive. The port has been working with Green Shipping Line, on a proposed short sea service, Green Shipping Line was founded by Percy R. Pyne IV, a longtime advocate of short sea shipping and founder of the short-lived American Feeder Lines, which operated a service between Halifax, Portland, Maine and Boston in 2011-12. Pyne continues to look at starting up a domestic coastal service not only on the Great Lakes but on the East and Gulf Coast as well as building specialized vessels for the wind energy industry in the U.S.

The Port of Monroe is now looking at a number of opportunities to move cargo domestically or internationally, with a focus on the automobile industry, said LaMarre.

For example, he says the port could load containers with finished cars and other products and receive containers with automotive parts. In addition to the proposed Lake Erie Shuttle, the port and Green Shipping Line are looking at possibly transporting coils of aluminum made by Novelis in Oswego, New York, on Lake Ontario to Monroe and shipping aluminum scrap back to Oswego.

LaMarre said that the port also wanted to ship automobiles — specifically Ford Mustangs made at an assembly plant in nearby Flat Rock, Michigan — overseas but that effort was frustrated by decisions made by the Detroit office of Customs.

He said the port had done a demonstration for Ford of how the cars would be loaded in containers, but he said “ultimately the containers went back to Europe empty.”

“CBP compromised the entire project. Not only were they going to require inspection and putting their seal on outbound containers, they were going to require 100% scanning. They are still standing on that.”

In another instance, he says Monroe was denied the ability to discharge project cargo — construction material, machinery and supplies — bound for a $500 million fiberboard factory being built in Grayling, Michigan, by the North American subsidiary of the Chilean forest products company Arauco.

He said the project would have resulted in 14 breakbulk ships visiting the port.

“Overnight, in 2017 U.S. CBP decided a wood breakbulk crate is a container requiring scanning in Michigan and nowhere else in the country. That stands to this day,” said LaMarre. The first shipment of cargo was eventually taken to Cleveland, where it was not required to be opened, devanned or scanned by CBP according to an exhaustive 44-page report prepared by the University of Michigan’s Program in Practical Policy Engagement in May that detailed the Port of Monroe’s jousting with CBP.

The University of Michigan report found “CBP-Detroit imposes clearance requirements on Michigan ports that are not required elsewhere in the United States. This renders Michigan ports unable to handle crated or containerized cargo, putting them at a comparable disadvantage” and that “CBP-Detroit’s policy has damaged the reputation of the Port of Monroe and the state of Michigan, resulting in lost business and the potential loss of region-lifting economic developments like the Arauco project.”

CBP told Crain’s Detroit Business in December that because no two ports are exactly alike, it “must evaluate all requests for services individually.”

The Monroe News in August said a CBP officer in Detroit told it that facilities in Michigan lack the proper infrastructure and technology to inspect containerized cargo and that CBP’s limited resources are a factor in its decisions because working with the port requires pulling staff from their existing responsibilities.

LaMarre said while the initial shipment for the Arauco project was loaded on a barge and moved from Cleveland to the Port of Monroe, the subsequent shipments moved through Cleveland and Canadian ports and then trucked to Grayling.

However, he says Monroe has been highly successful in arranging the movement of project cargo moved by carriers such as Spliethoff and Big Lift, including wind energy towers made by Ventower Industries. The port also installed a $1 million rail spur on its dock to receive a 390-ton generator stator from Rotterdam for the DTE Energy’s Fermi 2 nuclear power plant in Newport, Michigan. It also handles coal for DTE’s coal-fired power station, which is located next to the Port of Monroe.

“I say we are the biggest little port on the Great Lakes,” says LaMarre. “When I started here in 2012, it was an overgrown, grassy field that used to be a landfill. We have gone from not even being able to see the water because the trees were so high to a bustling seaport. And we have done it with very few resources.”

American Shipper

 

Port Reports -  January 12

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth/Superior – Daniel Lindner
There was no traffic in Duluth on Saturday, and likely the only remaining vessels to arrive this season are the rest of Duluth's winter layup fleet. Currently laid up are John J. Boland and Paul R. Tregurtha, at Fraser Shipyards and SMET, respectively, with Lee A. Tregurtha and Hon. James L. Oberstar due in the next few days. At the Superior entry, Presque Isle departed at 11:21 Saturday with the last outbound cargo of iron ore pellets from Burlington Northern for the season.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
Indiana Harbor departed Two Harbors on Jan. 10th at 22:40. No updated AIS. The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived Two Harbors on Jan. 10th at 23:08 for South of #2. As of 19:30 on Jan. 11th she was still loading. The McCarthy Jr. will be the last boat to load iron ore in the Twin Ports and North Shore for the 2019-2020 shipping season. An update on the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader: When she departed Silver Bay on Jan. 6th she didn't have an updated AIS. She went to Cleveland.

Thunder Bay, ON
Friday; 18:08 Saginaw shifted to the Superior Elevator to finish loading grain. Saturday; 2:04 Ojibway departed for Windsor. 3:48 Manitoulin arrived at the Richard Current River Terminal to load grain.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on Saturday included CSL Niagara early, followed by Lee A. Tregurtha, and Algocanada (Purvis Dock, Soo Harbor). Mesabi Miner was downbound early. Edwin H. Gott and American Century were anchored for weather Saturday night above DeTour.

Northern Lake Michigan
Cheboygan MI: Friday; 3:26 USCG Mackinaw arrived at the Coast Guard Base. 15:38 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes arrived at the US Oil Co. dock to unload petroleum products.

Alpena MI: Friday; 16:22 Samuel De Champlain departed for Milwaukee. 17:25 Sam Laud arrived to unload slag.

McGregor Bay: Friday; 21:13 Frontenac went anchor off of Killarney to wait for an icebreaker to take her into MacGregor Bay. Saturday; 12:53 CCGS Griffon arrived and began ice operations. Frontenac weighed anchor and proceeded to Fisher Harbor to unload road salt. CCGS Griffon went to anchor to wait for Frontenac to finish unloading and escort her to Georgian Bay.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Overnight fog restricted visibility to less than a half mile. Three vessels were heard, but not seen in the late night and early morning hours, passing the St. Clair Power Plant sounding their horns fog. At 2:15 pm Kaye E. Barker was upbound, but anchored south of the power plant at 3:15 pm, most likely weather delayed.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Kaye E Barker and Herbert C Jackson arrived at AK Steel to unload ore on Saturday.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader arrived on 1/11 at 14:28 and is the last boat of the season to unload at the Bulk Terminal.

 

Great Lakes water levels are higher than last year at this time

1/12 - - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit district announced Friday that water levels on each of the Great Lakes started 2020 higher than they started 2019, a year where many record high water levels were set across the lakes.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urges those impacted by the high water levels of 2019 to prepare for similar levels again this year.

The most recent six-month forecast of Great Lakes water levels shows water levels continuing to be well above average over this period. Unlike last year, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are forecasted to reach record high levels in 2020.

“It is likely that water levels on lakes Michigan and Huron will set new monthly mean record high levels over the next couple of months,” said John Allis, chief of the Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office, Detroit District. “This sets the stage for coastal impacts and damages in 2020 similar to, or worse than, what was experienced last year.”

Brian Adam, meteorologist with the National Weather Service Gaylord office, noted when the region receives a lot of ice coverage on the lakes, it tends to diminish evaporation off the lakes through the winter months, which in turn leads to higher lake levels the following season.

“Typically the lake levels fluctuate and are seasonal, but if you have that ice coverage component through the winter you’re going to diminish evaporation and it leads to higher levels,” Adam said. “You add on top of that we had a pretty wet fall and the combination of rain and snow, that’s some pretty hefty precipitation levels.”

Adam noted the Great Lakes system as a whole currently is at 3.6 percent ice coverage. Last year at this time, ice coverage stood at 1.8 percent.

Petoskey News-Review

 

Demolitions reported by World Ship Society

1/12 - Vessels with Great Lakes / Seaway connections reported as a casualty or sold for demolition taken from January 2020 issue of Marine News - Journal of the World Ship Society.

Casualties: none reported

Demolitions:

DIAMOND SUN (8701923; Tanzania, (Zanzibar) (Kopalnia Rydultowy-12) - 1st trip into the Seaway 1996) - 8,897 / 1990 bulk carrier. By Aland Shipping Ltd, Marshall Islands, to United Ship Breaking Co., India and arrived Alang 3.03.2019 - commenced demolition 8.03.2019

WEST OCEAN I (7638492; Mongolia) (Lift I-10, Lift Off-03, Christodoulos-02, Alexandros III-00, Kift Off-87 - 1st trip into the Seaway 1984) 3,039 / 1977 General cargo ship. By West Ocean Lines & Transport Inc., Philippines, to Bangladesh breakers and arrived Chittagong 14.03.2019 - commenced demolition 22.03.2019

Report prepared by Barry Andersen and René Beauchamp

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 12

CHI-CHEEMAUN (Hull#205) was launched January 12, 1974, at Collingwood, Ontario, by Collingwood Shipyards, Ltd.

GRAND HAVEN was gutted by fire on January 12, 1970, during scrapping operations at the United Steel & Refining Co. Ltd. dock at Hamilton, Ontario.

MENIHEK LAKE (Hull#163) was launched January 12, 1959, at Collingwood, Ontario, by Collingwood Shipyards, Ltd. She was used in a unique experiment with shunters in the Welland Canal in 1980. She was scrapped at Gijon, Spain in 1985.

On January 12, 1973, the VENUS had an engine room explosion shortly after unloading at Kipling, Michigan, near Gladstone on Little Bay De Noc, causing one loss of life.

On 12 January 1956, ANABEL II (probably a fish tug, 62 tons, built in 1928) was destroyed by fire at her winter lay-up at the Roen Steamship Co. dock at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

January 12, 1911 - ANN ARBOR NO 5 hit the rocks close to the south breakwater when entering Manistique harbor, tearing off her starboard shaft and wheel.

The wooden steam barge O.O. CARPENTER (127.5 foot, 364 gross tons) was sold by the Jenks Shipbuilding Company on 12 January 1892, to Mr. H. E. Runnels and Capt. Sinclair for $26,000. The vessel had been launched at Jenks yard on 13 May 1891.

The new EDWIN H GOTT departed Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, in 1979, for final fitout at Milwaukee. 1970: BARON BERWICK made one trip inland in 1959 and returned as b) FILTRIC in 1967. The latter was abandoned 5 miles south of Cape Finistere on the northwest coast of Spain after the cargo shifted. The vessel was enroute from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Alexandria, Egypt, and it drifted aground the next day as a total loss.

1971: The West German freighter BRANDENBURG sank in the Straits of Dover, 7 miles south of Folkestone, England, after apparently hitting the wreck of TEXACO CARIBBEAN which had gone down the previous day following a collision. The former had been through the Seaway in 1969.

1979: A propane explosion aboard the tug WESTERN ENGINEER at Thunder Bay resulted in extensive damage. Two were injured. The ship was never repaired and noted as broken up in 1980.

1985: ATLANTIC HOPE first came inland when it was fresh from the shipyard in 1965. It was gutted by a fire in the accommodation area in position 9.22 N / 60.37 W as b) ALIVERI HOPE. The ship was abandoned but towed to Barbados and eventually into Mamonal, Colombia, on October 14, 1985, for dismantling.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Brian Bernard, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.

 

Port Reports -  January 11

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth/Superior – Daniel Lindner
Manitoulin arrived Duluth at 06:39 Friday morning to unload salt at Hallett #8. Paul R. Tregurtha was inbound at 07:22, and tied up at Port Terminal for a few hours before shifting to her winter layup berth at Midwest Energy. Edwin H. Gott was outbound from Canadian National at 11:47 with an ore cargo, and Manitoulin finished unloading and departed at 13:03 light for Thunder Bay. In Superior on Friday, Presque Isle arrived at 18:05 to load iron ore at BN, and should be outbound by Saturday night. The Tregurtha is only the second vessel so far in Duluth's winter layup fleet, with the other being John J. Boland at Fraser Shipyards. Both Lee A. Tregurtha and Hon. James L. Oberstar are due early next week for layup. Other than that, the Twin Ports' cargo season is just about over with the closing date of the Soo Locks looming in just a few days.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
American Century departed Two Harbors on Jan. 10th at 00:09 for Milwaukee. The Indiana Harbor shifted from North of #2 to South of #2 between 00:26 and 01:10 on Jan. 10th. As of 19:40 on Jan. 10th she was still at the loading dock. The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. went to anchor off Duluth at approx. 20:15 on Jan. 9th to await Two Harbors. She will be the final boat of the season for Two Harbors. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay has completed its shipping season for 2019-20.

Thunder Bay, ON
Friday; 4:09 CCGS Samuel Risley resumed ice operations. 6:08 Ojibway arrived at the G3 elevator to load grain. 8:52 CCGS Samuel Risley returned to the coast guard base at Keefer Terminal. 10:11 Saginaw arrived at Thunder Bay Terminals to load.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on Friday included Lara L. VanEnkevort/Joseph H Thompson (went to anchor just below Ile Parisienne), Michipicoten, CSL Niagara and Lee A Tregurtha. Downbound traffic included American Spirit, James R. Barker, Mississagi and, late, Mesabin Miner. Algocanada and Stewart J. Cort, both downbound earlier in the day were at anchor above DeTour for weather.

St. Ignace, MI
Downbound Burns Harbor was anchored offshore for weather all day Friday.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator arrived 4.39 pm Wednesday and was loading salt at Compass Minerals. Algoma Conveyor arrived 8.19 pm Wednesday is tied up North Pier. She will load salt next.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 11

The steamer ROBERT S. McNAMARA, under tow, reached her intended destination of Santander, Spain on January 11, 1974, for scrapping.

In 1970, IRVING S. OLDS was the last ship of the season at the Soo Locks as she followed the PHILIP R. CLARKE downbound.

In 1973, ROGER BLOUGH collided with PHILIP R. CLARKE after the CLARKE encountered an ice pressure ridge and came to a stop in the Straits of Mackinac.

January 11, 1911 - ANN ARBOR NO 5 arrived in Frankfort, Michigan, on her maiden voyage.

On 11 January 1883, The Port Huron Times reported that a citizens' committee met to help Port Huron businesses. "A. N. Moffat decried the taxation of vessel property. High taxation of vessel property had driven much of it away from Port Huron. He cited the case of Capt. David Lester of Marine City who came to Port Huron a few years ago to live and would have brought here one of the largest fleets on the Great Lakes, but when he found what taxes would be, returned to Marine City."

1919: The laker CASTALIA left the lakes in two pieces and was rejoined at Lauzon, Quebec, for a new career on the Atlantic in 1918. The ship broke in two 65 miles off Sable Island, Nova Scotia, and the crew was rescued by the BERGENFJORD.

1962: The retired Interlake Steamship Company bulk carrier ARCTURUS, formerly JAMES B. WOOD, was under tow of the Portuguese tug PRAIA GRANDE on the way to Norway to be scrapped when she foundered off the Azores at position 46.10N x 8.50W.

1965: CELIA B. made 15 trips through the Seaway in 1959-1962 under Liberian registry. The vessel arrived at Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles, as f) SEA MAID with engine damage and having lost its propeller. The ship was ultimately deemed not worth repairing and arrived at Rotterdam, Netherlands, under tow for scrapping on June 22, 1966.

1974: The first FEDERAL HUDSON to visit the Great Lakes was sailing as d) GOLDEN KING when it struck the wreck of the THETIS off Chittagong, Bangladesh, while inbound from Singapore Roads. It was beached in sinking condition and sustained water damage at high tide. The vessel was refloated on February 13, 1974, and taken to Chittagong to unload and get repaired. It was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, as d) CHAR HSIUNG in 1980.

1981: ARNA began Seaway trading in 1965. It stranded off Shimonoseki, Japan, as b) IQBALBAKSH and was declared a total loss. The vessel was sold to South Korean shipbreakers and arrived at Busan, under tow on August 2, 1981.

1993: EUROJOY was anchored off Cadiz, Spain, when a spontaneous combustion fire broke out in the cargo of coal that had been bound for Turkey. The ship was listed as a total loss and sold for scrap but was repaired. It sailed additional years until scrapping at Alang, India, as g) LENA II in 1998. It first visited the Seaway as a) ATLANTIC CHALLENGE in 1971 and returned as b) ANGEBALTIC in 1981, c) ASTURIAS in 1986 and e) EUROJOY in 1990.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Brian Bernard, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Great Lakes water levels could be even higher in 2020

1/10 - Detroit, MI – With water levels in the Great Lakes breaking records in 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is predicting levels to reach similar heights in 2020, with a chance of new records being set again.

Projections that extend six months from the present-day estimate levels in every Great Lake, as well as Lake St. Clair will be well above the average levels, with Lakes Michigan and Huron appear the most likely to set record highs. Both came close to records in 2019.

“Great Lakes have a long memory and it takes a while for lakes to respond,” said Lauren Fry, the technical lead for Great Lakes hydrology at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Looking at where we are now going into the future, it will take an extended period of very dry conditions to bring us back to the average.”

While it’s unclear how long it will be before water levels do return to normal, the Army Corps is confident even if this year experiences its driest year ever measured, the Great Lakes will still be above the average.

While projections become less certain the further into the future people look, the outlook for the winter and spring will likely be wet, not dry. Layered on top of an already historic season of high lake levels in 2019 that measured new records in Lakes St. Clair, Erie, Ontario, and Superior, it’s likely Great Lakes residents will see more of the same in 2020.

The last time lake levels were this high was in 1986 when Fry said there was a “really big fall precipitation.”

Besides precipitation, evaporation on the lakes are the two primary factors that determine lake levels. Since the lakes recorded historic lows 10 years ago, the region has seen consistent ice cover matched with heavy rainfall and snowmelt.

“By my read, what’s changing are the extremes. The fact is it’s gone from more than a decade of at or around record lows in 2010, then jumping up to record highs so quickly - it’s unusual,” said Joel Brammeier, CEO of the Alliance for Great Lakes. “That volatility (shows) we’re seeing potentially global climate change coming to the Great Lakes.”

In 2019, water levels in Lakes Michigan and Huron came close to breaking records in June and July, when levels rose two feet above average recorded measurements. Lake St. Clair also reached its high in July, extending multiple inches above the 1986 record and more than two feet above the norm.

The past few years have been particularly wet for residents in the region. Just in 2019, every Great Lake beside Lake Superior received higher than average precipitation. Fry said 2015-19 has been the region’s wettest five-year-period in recorded history in the Great Lakes. Last May, 23 of the month’s 31 days saw rain, above the average measured by the National Weather Service.

When that volatility arrived in Michigan, it wreaked havoc on coastal communities around the state. The Detroit River, which connects Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie, spilled into the city and inundated neighborhoods like Jefferson Chalmers with high water levels. Parts of Harrison Township, which sits just west of Lake St. Clair, became impassable after its roads channeled water that spilled over from the basin.

Docks in St. Clair Shores became submerged and kept people from accessing their boats. Even the annual Jobbie Nooner was disrupted by the lake levels.

In response to the high lake levels, Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy sped up the time it takes for residents to acquire a seawall permit. Several communities have also requested Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to declare a state of emergency, in hopes of acquiring enough money to mitigate future-damage the levels might cause.

Ten state lawmakers mailed a letter to the governor in early December requesting the declaration. However, at the time Whitmer’s administration said the Michigan State Police, which works with emergency response teams, has yet to receive a request from county executives.

FOX 2 Detroit

 

Port Reports -  January 10

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth/Superior – Daniel Lindner
Edwin H. Gott arrived Duluth at 09:34 Thursday morning and backed into the Port Terminal slip to take a delay. She left the slip and shifted over to Canadian National at 18:00 to load iron ore. Manitoulin is expected on Friday morning with salt, and Paul R. Tregurtha is due shortly thereafter for winter layup at Midwest Energy. In Superior, Mesabi Miner spent Thursday loading ore at Burlington Northern, and currently has no posted departure time. Presque Isle is tentatively due on Friday afternoon.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
Indiana Harbor arrived Two Harbors on Jan. 9th at 01:25 for North of #2 lay-by. American Century arrived Two Harbors on Jan. 9th at 10:14 for South of #2 shiploader where she is still loading at 19:15 on Jan. 9th. Also due Two Harbors is the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. that was running checked down on the North Shore. This was as of 19:15. American Spirit departed Two Harbors on Jan. 8th at 19:58 for Gary. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the arrival of the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader on Jan. 9th at 07:29. As of 19:15 she is still at the dock. She is loading for Toledo.

Thunder Bay, ON
Wednesday; 16:46 CCGS Samuel Risley resumed ice operations. 17:58 Mississauga arrived at Viterra A to load wheat and departed Thursday at 14:03 for Windsor.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Thursday, 12:45 pm upbound tug & barge Victory/Maumee; 1:30 pm upbound Frontenac; weather overcast, strong steady winds from south southeast creating significant waves and whitecaps on the river, 31 degrees F.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Thursday Arrivals: Leonard M and barge Huron Spirit arrived at Nicholson's Detroit Terminal to unload steel coils. Robert S Pierson arrived at Motor City Materials to unload salt.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Samuel deChamplain/Innovation departed at 06:06 for Alpena. Sharon M1 departed at 21:30 on 1/8 for Sault Ste. Marie. Defiance/Ashtabula was loading another shuttle for ArcelorMittal.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages, Thursday January 9 - Barry Andersen

Nanticoke - arrivals - Jan 8 - Algoma Hansa at 1146 from the anchorage - departed - Jan 9 - Algosea at 1733 westbound for Sarnia

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored - Jan 7 - Algoma Hansa at 0753 - departed Jan 8 at 1146 for the dock

Buffalo - departed - Jan 9 - H Lee White - departed at 1916 for Sturgeon Bay

 

Port of Monroe to buy crane with $1.1 million grant

1/10 - Monroe, MI - Federal grant money has been awarded to fund equipment upgrades and training geared toward attracting more cargo to the Port of Monroe.

The U. S. Department of Transportation’s America’s Marine Highway Projects Program announced Tuesday the local port will receive $1.1 million. Paul LaMarre III, port director, said the funds will be used to buy a crawler crane, which will move cargo and heavy equipment.

“The grant is symbolic (of the fact) the Port of Monroe is here to stay and we are in the cargo business,” LaMarre said. “We will relentlessly continue to develop a prosperous seaport for the City of Monroe and beyond.”

The Marine Highway Projects Program, which is administered by the Maritime Administration, works to expand the use of the country’s water systems, including the Great Lakes, which are connected to the St. Lawrence Seaway System via Lake Erie.

Each year the program awards grants to projects that have been identified as Marine Highway Routes. The port and the Lake Erie Shuttle Project, an initiative to spur economic growth in the region, received a Marine Highway Route designation in 2016. Port officials pursued the grant because it presented an opportunity to help fund a project that makes the local entity more competitive in the shipping industry, according to LaMarre.

“There are very few grant programs that exist specifically for port- related projects and equipment,” he said. “We thought it was prudent to apply for funding for what has the potential to be most costly piece of equipment the port will utilize.”

The port will purchase a Manitowoc MLC165 crawler crane, which has a maximum boom length of 276 feet.

“The key to attracting cargo to your terminal is efficiency and economics,” he said. “A crane can single handedly provide both of those things.”

A crane is expensive to rent, which created a disadvantage for the local port, according to LaMarre. Last year, DRM Terminal Service, the port’s terminal operator, spent about $500,000 on crane rentals, he added.

The addition of the crane enables the port to handle different kinds of cargo, LaMarre said, adding the Manitowoc model can be customized with different attachments and other types of equipment.

The port submitted the grant proposal Sept. 20 to the DOT. Once port officials sign an agreement, the port will have 24 months to use the funds provided by DOT.

The grant was awarded on the contingency that the port also generate additional funds to purchase the crawler crane — the grant program requires a community match.

The total cost of the crane, its installation and associated training is approximately $1.7 million. LaMarre said the port will use a combination of its own money, funds from DRM Terminal Services and financing to cover the nearly $600,000 still needed.

“We have a reasonable amount of time to come up with the local match funding,” he said. The port worked with New Jersey-based grant writer Tiffany Torrey on the 10-page grant proposal. LaMarre said Torrey is respected within the maritime community.

“She is very familiar with the field in which we operate,” he said. “She has been highly successful with her applications for projects.”

Though the crane will be owned by the port, DRM Terminal Service will use it and handle its maintenance, which is a common industry practice, according to LaMarre.

In addition to the business the new equipment will help attract, LaMarre is looking forward to flying an American flag from the top of the crane. He also plans to fly a “Don’t Give Up the Ship” flag, a motto LaMarre has used as a rallying cry as the port remains embroiled in a regulatory dispute with U. S. Customs and Border Patrol. During the War of 1812, Cmdr. James Lawrence of the American frigate Chesapeake ordered his crew ′ Don’t give up the ship’ after he was fatally wounded during a battle near Boston Harbor in 1813. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry won his naval battle with the British on Lake Erie three months later while flying a blue battle flag inscribed with those words.

For several years CBP has imposed regulations that have limited the port’s ability to handle international cargo. LaMarre contends the regulations, which were handed down by CBP’s Detroit office, are inconsistent with expectations at other Great Lake ports. An independent study determined those regulations have cost the port several millions of dollars in revenue each year.

With the aid of U. S. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and U. S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, LaMarre has been seeking to operate more freely in the international shipping business as he works to comply with requirements set forth by CBP.

Last year Peters brokered a meeting with CBP officials to address the issue.

He supported the port’s recent grant application, highlighting the importance of the maritime highway and its economic impact on the area.

“I was proud to support the Port of Monroe’s application for the grant, which will allow it to upgrade equipment, make more investments to continue growing and delivering the products families and businesses across Michigan rely on every day,” Peters said.

LaMarre said there isn’t a set date for the installation of the crane. Given what the port has faced in recent years, it’s not going to rush the process, he added.

“With so much support for our continued prosperity for the American taxpayer, we would hope that (CBP) would recognize that the Port of Monroe deserves its resources and support,” LaMarre said. “All of our recent challenges have forced us to be patient. ... We will ensure the (crane) is installed when it makes the most sense.′

Monroe Evening News

 

Lay-up reports needed

1/10 - As the end of the shipping season approaches, please send reports of vessel lay-ups to news@boatnerd.net. This will help us compile our annual lay-up list. Include vessel name, date, port and lay-up dock name.
Click here to view the Lay-Up List

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 10

On this day in 1952, EDWARD B. GREENE was launched at the American Shipbuilding yard at Toledo, Ohio. The 647-foot vessel joined the Cleveland Cliffs fleet. After lengthening over the winter of 1975-1976 and conversion to a self-unloader in 1981, the GREENE sailed briefly as the b.) BENSON FORD for Rouge Steel. She sails today as the c.) KAYE E BARKER of the Interlake fleet.

ONTADOC (Hull#207) was launched January 10, 1975, at Collingwood, Ontario, by Collingwood Shipyards, Ltd. For N.M. Paterson & Sons. Renamed b.) MELISSA DESGAGNES in 1990.

On January 10, 1977, the CHESTER A. POLING, b.) MOBIL ALBANY) broke in two and sank off the coast of Massachusetts.

January 10, 1998 - Glen Bowden, former co-owner of the Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Company (MWT) died.

In 1974, the W.C. RICHARDSON was towed from her winter berth in Toledo to assist in lightering the grounded a.) BENSON FORD.

On Jan 10, 1978, the tanker JUPITER became stuck in 3 to 5-foot ridged ice off Erie, Pennsylvania. The U.S.C.G. tug OJIBWA was sent from Buffalo, New York, to free her, but she too became beset in the ice 3 miles from the JUPITER's position. The JUPITER was lost after an explosion at Bay City in 1990. The OJIBWA is now the tug GEN OGLETHORPE in Savannah, Georgia.

On 10 January 1898, Alexander Anderson of Marine City was awarded a contract to build a wooden steamer for A. F. Price of Freemont, Ohio, Isaac Lincoln of Dakota, and Capt. Peter Ekhert of Port Huron, Michigan. The vessel was to be named ISAAC LINCOLN and was to be 130 feet long and capable of carrying 400,000 feet of lumber. The contract price was $28,000. Her engine and boiler were to be built by Samuel F. Hodge of Detroit. The vessel was launched on 10 May 1898, and her cost had increased to $40,000. She lasted until 1931 when she was abandoned.

1967: PRINDOC (iii) was laid up for the winter at Cardinal, Ontario, when it broke its moorings in a storm and drifted down the St. Lawrence. The shipkeeper was able to get the anchor down and they held just above the Iroquois power dam, averting a major problem.

1970: IOANNA stranded near Sete, France, in a gale while inbound from Barcelona, Spain and had to be sold for scrap. The ship had been a Seaway trader as a) A.J. FALKLAND in 1959 and returned as b) PETER in 1960 and 1961.

1971: CATTARO came through the Seaway in 1959 for the Ellerman's Wilson Line. It caught fire in the engine room at Galatz, Romania, as b) VRACHOS and had to be beached. It was subsequently broken up for scrap.

1977: The tanker CHESTER A. POLING broke in two and sank off the coast of Massachusetts in a storm after an explosion in the forward pump room. Two members of the crew were lost. The ship had been a Great Lakes trader as a) PLATTSBURG SOCONY and as b) MOBIL ALBANY.

1981: SOL RIVER came to the Great Lakes in 1968. It ran aground as f) LIZA near Combi, Lemnos Island, Greece. The hull broke in two and sank January 15. The ship was carrying phosphate enroute from Sfax, Tunisia, to Kavalla, Greece, when it went down on the Aegean Sea with the loss of 5 lives.

2001: The Cypriot freighter ARETHUSA first came through the Seaway in 1987. Fire broke out in the engine room and spread to the bridge and accommodation area while the ship was in the northern Great Belt. The vessel, enroute from Casablanca, Morocco, to Gdansk, Poland, with phosphate, was towed to Gydnia, Poland, after the blaze was extinguished. Repairs to the 28-year-old vessel were not worthwhile and it arrived at the scrapyard at Aliaga, Turkey, for dismantling on March 26, 2001.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Brian Bernard, Russ Plumb, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

$1.1 million federal grant for Port of Monroe equipment upgrades

1/9 - Washington, DC – The Port of Monroe will receive a $1.1 million federal grant to expand its maritime commerce operations, according to U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI). The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)’s America’s Marine Highway Projects Program. The grant funding will allow the Port to purchase a crawler crane and train staff to use it, which will allow the Port to boost operations and meet the increasing demand for cargo service throughout the Great Lakes region.

“The announcement that the Port of Monroe will be receiving a Marine Highway Grant to purchase a key piece of cargo handling equipment comes with great pride and admiration for our Port team and community partners,” said Paul LaMarre, Director of the Port of Monroe.

“It represents a critical step for our continued growth but also as an acknowledgement of our recent success,” LaMarre added. “Senator Peters has been at the forefront of that success, and we’re grateful for all of his efforts including supporting our grant application. The unrelenting support of he and his team for the Port of Monroe and Great Lakes St Lawrence Seaway System is truly priceless to us and serves as further motivation to keep moving ‘full speed ahead’ as Michigan’s Gateway Port.”

Peters has led numerous efforts to support the Port of Monroe. This past August, through his role as Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters pressed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on an agency decision that has blocked the Port of Monroe from receiving certain types of international cargo. Peters also supported the application of Paul LaMarre to the U.S. Marine and Transportation System National Advisory Committee. Last year, LaMarre was appointed to the Advisory Committee for a term of two years.

 

Water outflows at ‘unprecedented’ rates, regulators say

1/9 - Massena, NY – Despite outflows that water-level regulators call unprecedented, it might not make a lot of difference on Lake Ontario.

Members of the International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board say mild temperatures and little ice formation have allowed them to release water from dams in Massena at rates as high as 377,900 cubic feet per second. They say that's the highest-ever rate they've released water during winter.

They also say they might not be able to do it for much longer, once temperatures drop and ice starts to form on the St. Lawrence River. And, they say, "even with unprecedented outflows from Lake Ontario, the relative impact on the lake level will be small."

They say that's because of the amount of water flowing into Lake Ontario from Lake Erie and any precipitation that falls across the Lake Ontario basin. But board members say they'll continue to set outflows as high as they can based on conditions across the region.

Other factors include making sure the Moses-Saunders Dam continues to generate power safely, high water levels downriver, low water levels upriver, wind-driven water level changes.

 

Port Reports -  January 9

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth/Superior – Daniel Lindner
The only traffic in Duluth on Wednesday was James R. Barker, which departed at 14:12 for Toledo after loading iron ore pellets at Canadian National. Both Edwin H. Gott and Paul R. Tregurtha are due on Thursday, however their arrivals are weather dependent. In Superior, Stewart J. Cort continued loading ore at Burlington Northern on Wednesday with an unknown departure time. Mesabi Miner was anchored offshore waiting for her turn at the dock.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
American Spirit arrived Two Harbors on Jan. 8th at 07:56, and as I am filing this report at 19:41 on Jan. 8th she was backing away from the dock. Due Two Harbors on Jan. 9th are the Indiana Harbor, American Century, Edwin H. Gott, and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. Due Northshore Mining in Silver Bay on Jan. 9th is the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a brisk Wednesday included Saginaw for Algoma Steel around noon and Manitoulin late. Paul R. Tregurtha was in the lower river Wednesday evening and Ojibway was inbound at DeTour. Downbound traffic included Burns Harbor after dark, followed closely by Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader. USCG Katmai Bay was active in the lower river, returning to base around 4 p.m. Algonova continued to unload at the Purvis dock in the lower harbor. Corps of Engineers tug Billmaier was working in the locks area Wednesday afternoon.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Manitoulin cleared 2.07 am Wednesday with road salt for Superior, WI. Algoma Innovator arrived 4.39 pm Wednesday and was loading salt at Compass Minerals.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sharon M1 arrived at the Port, Dock 22E at 09:42 on 1/7. Defiance/Ashtabula continued on the shuttles from the Bulk Terminal. Samuel deChamplain/Innovation arrived at 20:00 for Lafarge. Frontenac arrived in Fairport Harbor on 1/7 at 07:41 to load at Morton Salt.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages - Wednesday January 8 - Barry Andersen

Nanticoke - arrival - Jan 8 - Algosea at 1521 - docked - Jan 7 - Algoma Hansa at 0718 Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored - Jan 7 - Algosea at 0531 - departed Jan 8 - Algosea at 1503 for the dock

Buffalo - arrival - Jan 7 - H Lee White - at 0523

Welland Canal upbound - Jan 5 - CSL Tadoussac at 2209 - last upbound commercial ship of 2019 - Jan 7 - CCGS Griffon at 0833 replacing summer navigation aids with winter markers - stopped wharf 18-1 West Street - departed wharf 18 at 1603 for Amherstburg

Welland Canal downbound - Jan 7 - G3 Marquis at 1054 - last vessel downbound for 2019 season

Hamilton - docked - Jan 5 - John D Leitch at 1239 - Jan 7 - Algoma Equinox at 0207 and G3 Marquis at 2201

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages - Tuesday January 7, Barry Andersen Nanticoke - arrival - Jan 7 - Algoma Hansa at 0718 from the anchorage - departed - Jan 7 - Algocanada at 0634 westbound

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored - Jan 7 - Algosea at 0531 - departed Jan 7 - Algoma Hansa at 0716 for the dock

Buffalo - arrival - Jan 7 - H Lee White - at 0523

Welland Canal upbound - Jan 7 - CCGS Griffon at 0833 replacing summer navigation aids with winter markers - stopped wharf 18-1 West Street

Welland Canal downbound - Jan 7 - G3 Marquis at 1054

Hamilton -arrival - Jan 7 - Algoma Equinox at 0207 and G3 Marquis at 2201 - docked - Jan 5 - John D Leitch at 1239 - departed - Jan 7 - CCGS Griffon at 1620 for the canal

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 9

On this day in 1973, the CHARLES M. BEEGHLY was the latest running Interlake vessel when she entered winter layup at Toledo, Ohio.

BAIE COMEAU II was laid up on January 9, 1983, at Sorel, Quebec, and was sold the following April to Progress Overseas Co. S.A., Panama renamed c.) AGIA TRIAS.

January 9, 1977 - The last survivor of the PERE MARQUETTE 18 disaster, Mike Bucholtz, died.

In 1974, a combination of wind and ice forced the beset BENSON FORD, of 1924, from the shipping channel in Western Lake Erie, running aground.

1974: MARDINA REEFER ran aground at the breakwall at Stephenville, Newfoundland, while inbound in stormy weather. The ship was scheduled to load pickled herring for Europe but became a total loss. Salvage efforts failed and the hull was pounded on the rocks and eventually split in two. The crew was rescued. The vessel had been through the Seaway in 1973.

1974: LUCIE SCHULTE had been a Pre-Seaway and Seaway visitor to the Great Lakes. It sank in bad weather as b) TEVEGA in the Bay of Biscay while enroute from Antwerp, Belgium, to Casablanca, Morocco, with a cargo of barley. Only one member of the crew survived.

1979: MARIGO M.F. had been a Seaway trader in 1973 and earlier as a) NEGO ANNE in 1971. The ship went aground off Alexandria, Egypt, and sustained hull and water damage. The bulk carrier was not worth repairing and sold to Brodospas of Split, Yugoslavia, for scrap. It arrived August 13, 1979, for dismantling.

1980: BILL CROSBIE was carrying steel when it got into trouble on the Atlantic on January 4, 1980. The vessel, a Seaway trader in 1974, was listing badly when it was brought into St. John's, Newfoundland, only to roll over and sink at the wharf on this date. The hull was towed out to sea, bottom up, on November 3, 1980, and scuttled 12 miles off shore.

1983: SANTONA stranded in the Red Sea off Sudan at North Jumna Shoal. The hull was refloated but sold for scrap. It arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, on April 4, 1983, for dismantling. It was a busy Seaway trader and had made 36 trips to the Great Lakes from 1959 to 1967.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Lake Superior near monthly high water record, again

1/8 - Duluth, MN – Lake Superior remains precariously close to record-high levels and spurring continued erosion problems along its shoreline. The lake’s level dropped a little more than 1.5 inches in December, only half its normal decline for the month. That was the report last week from the International Lake Superior Board of Control that warned lakeshore residents to “prepare for potentially severe coastal impacts, especially during periods of strong winds and high waves.”

Lake Superior is 13 inches above its normal Jan. 1 water level and a full 4 inches above the Jan. 1, 2019, level one year ago. The lake is less than an inch from its all-time record-high January level set in 1986 as an unprecedented six-year wet period continues.

Heavy rain and snow and continued free-flowing rivers still not locked in ice contributed to the big lake’s slower-than-usual decline.

“Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron remain near record-highs for this time of year, and although they are expected to continue their seasonal declines in January, levels are expected to remain high over the next several months and may again exceed record-highs if wet conditions continue in 2020,” the board said in its monthly report. “As a result, there will continue to be a significantly increased risk of shoreline erosion, lakeshore flooding and coastal damages through the winter.”

The news comes in the wake of two major gale-force storms that battered the western end of Lake Superior in recent weeks, one just after Thanksgiving and another days after Christmas, sending waves pummeling the shoreline and spurring major erosion. Park Point residents in Duluth continue to see their sand beach crumble into the lake as South Shore clay sloughs into the water and even North Shore gravels erode.

The current outflow for Lake Superior is set at 86,874 cubic feet per second, well above the average outflow for this time of year and above the long-term plan for the lake. Some Lake Superior shoreline residents have complained that not enough water is being let out of the big lake through control structures on the St. Marys River in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

But Charles Sidick, hydrologist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit who oversees Lake Superior water levels, said the outflow is near the maximum safe level for the man-made structures. The outflow also is within the plan set by agreement between the U.S. and Canada.

Moreover, releasing more water from Superior faster will only compound the problems downstream, such as on Lake Michigan where an entire Muskegon County, Mich., waterfront home fell into Lake Michigan on New Year’s Day due to high water erosion. Lakes Michigan-Huron are now above the previous January record by 1.7 inches and were 37 inches above average for Jan. 1 and 17 inches above the level on Jan. 1 one year ago.

“For every (resident) on Lake Superior complaining about not releasing enough water, there is another one on Lakes Michigan-Huron who wants us to release less,” Sidick said. “There’s also the issue with the control structure itself. We could maybe release another 120 centimeters or so safely, but more than that and we could cause much damage to the compensating works due to the ice. The hydropower plants are also passing as much as they can.”

Lake Superior generally declines from October through March and then rises from April to September. The all-time record high occurred in October 1985, although some monthly records have been set since then. The all-time record low occurred in April 1926.

Just a decade ago, several Great Lakes were near all-time low levels. Now, nearly six years of high water has been good news for shippers, with Great Lakes freighters able to carry full loads and not worry about bottoming out in some ports and channels. (As recently as 2013, some freighters were leaving ports less than full because of low water levels.) But the high water since 2014 has exacerbated erosion issues, with much less beach and other shoreline buffer against wind-whipped waves, allowing storms to cause millions of dollars in damage to the Duluth Lakewalk and other waterfront areas, damage that probably wouldn’t have been as bad in low-water conditions.

Pioneer Press

 

Neebish Island resident talks about life on the Great Lakes

1/8 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Sault Ste. Marie is a famous tourist spot for the Soo Locks, where freighters pass by the downtown area for all to see. However, what is it like for people on those boats? Neebish Island resident Hunter Tyner has been a deckhand for Interlake Steamship Company for about six years. He spends over nine months a year on the freighters for his job.

“Spending three-fourths of a year on the lakes each year after so long takes its toll on a person,” Tyner told the Sault News. “All the work is manual labor. Some people can go from fit-out to layup without breaks, but nowadays they offer good vacations for everyone. I enjoy it, especially when I have a good deck crew to work with. It makes everything go a lot smoother. It’s a good experience out here, especially for those who are going on their own for the first time or possibly their first actual job like it was for me.”

Tyner has been to infamous ports such as Duluth, Superior, Detroit, Cleveland, Marquette, Toledo, and Indiana. He went into detail about how the crews he works with depends on how well the work goes.

“Living on the boats for months at a time all depends on your crew. If everyone gets along, it’s enjoyable and fun. It’s the opposite if everyone hates each other. These are people you trust with your lives in dangerous situations and they trust you in return so at times tensions are high and things need to be talked out.”

When asked about the most interesting things he has seen while on the ships, he told the Sault News about the dangerous weather he’s been through and seen on the ship. Back in 2018 in Detroit on a ship called the Kaye E. Barker, the city was in a tornado warning which caused the warning siren to blare across the city. The crew huddled inside the vessel and waited for it to pass. Luckily, said Tyner, nothing ever happened around them.

“This job, in general, is dangerous. Everything on the boat can hurt you, so we always have to be looking out for each other. The scariest situation I saw and was part of was in January of 2016 on the Kaye Barker, which was our last trip of the season. We were hauling coal from Sandusky, OH, to Essar Steel in Algoma, Canada, by the International Bridge. We had a deckhand fall in between the boat and the dock. I was down there when he slipped in. Luckily, the boat was close enough for him to hold himself up. I went to help him and I slipped, falling in myself. I almost landed on top of him. I somehow got back up onto my feet and pulled him free. Afterward, we both sat on the dock for a few seconds just looking at each other, knowing we both almost lost our lives.”

Read more at this link: https://www.sooeveningnews.com/sports/20200107/life-on-great-lakes

 

2 new Romanian-built ferries coming in 2020

1/8 - The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has ordered two ferries, built in Romania. The Amherst Islander II and Wolfe Islander IV are entirely electric powered. Read about them at this link: https://www.damen.com/en/blog

 

Port Reports -  January 8

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
Neither Two Harbors nor Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had any traffic on Jan. 7th. No ETA for the American Spirit due Two Harbors. as of 18:30 on Jan. 7th she was running checked down hugging the SE side of Isle Royale. Due Two Harbors are the Indiana Harbor, anchored in Bete Grise Bay. These are all as of 18:30 on Jan. 7th. The Edwin H. Gott was anchored in Whitefish Bay and the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was anchored in the St. Marys River. All are due Two Harbors. Due Northshore Mining in Silver Bay is the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader, which was anchored in Whitefish Bay at 18:30 on Jan. 7th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Tuesday, 1:35 Joyce L Van Enkevort arrived and went to anchor to wait out weather. 13:57 CCGS Samuel Risley resumed ice operations.

Cheboygan, MI
Tuesday, 1:55 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes arrived at the US Oil Co. dock to unload petroleum products and departed at 13:11 for Sarnia. 15:27 USCG Mackinaw departed for Green Bay to conduct ice operations.

Alpena, MI
Monday at 12:16 Samuel De Champlain departed for Detroit.

Southern Lake Michigan ports
Presque Isle was unloading at Gary Tuesday night.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Tuesday: 1:45 pm upbound Algoma Innovator; 2 pm downbound Laura L. VanEnkevort/Joseph H. Thompson

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Tuesday Arrivals: Samuel De Champlain/Innovation-arrived at Lafarge to unload cement. Calusa Coast and Delaware-arrived at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal to load. CSL Tadoussac-arrived at St. Mary's Cement to unload clinker.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Paul R. Tregurtha departed the Bulk Terminal at 07:55 Tuesday to head to Superior for layup. Sam Laud departed Cleveland for Toledo; she will load for Alpena. Defiance/Ashtabula three 3 more shuttles to run for ArcelorMittal from the Bulk Terminal. The ferry Put-In-Bay left the Great Lakes Shipyard at 08:05.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 8

On 08 January 2004, McKeil Marine’s CAPT. RALPH TUCKER was the first vessel of 2004 to arrive at the port of Manistee, Michigan. Once docked at the General Chemical facilities, Captain Bill Sullivan and Chief Engineer Otto Cooper were each presented with hand-carved Hackberry canes. This was a notable way for the vessel to start her last year of operation. Later that year she was sold for scrap.

JOHN HULST (Hull#286) was launched in 1938, at River Rouge, Michigan, by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

On 8 January 1877, the tug KATE FELCHER burned at East Saginaw, Michigan. Her loss was valued at $3,000, but she was insured for only $2,000. She was named after the wife of her owner, the well-known Capt. James Felcher of East Saginaw.

In 1939, several tugs helped release the CHIEF WAWATAM, which had been aground since January 3. In 1974, BENSON FORD, of 1924, became beset by ice in Western Lake Erie.

January 8, 1976, LEON FALK JR. closed the season at Superior, Wisconsin, after she departed the Burlington-Northern ore docks.

1996: The research ship CALYPSO, a converted wooden minesweeper, served noted deep-sea diver Jacques Cousteau for many years. It came to the Great Lakes in 1980 and explored several wrecks including the EDMUND FITZGERALD and GUNILDA. It sank at Singapore following a collision on this date. The hull was refloated but never repaired. Subsequently, there were disputes over ownership, with a later report saying the vessel would be displayed at the Bahamas as a tourist attraction.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Brian Bernard, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Lake Erie ice cover predicted to cap at 80 percent

1/7 - Residents living along the Lake Erie shoreline can breathe a sigh of relief this winter.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a U.S. government scientific agency, is predicting that ice cover on Lake Erie this winter is expected to be a maximum of 80 percent, which is the highest projection for all of the five Great Lakes. The NOAA said maximum ice cover on the lower lakes, such as Lake Erie, normally occurs between mid-February and the end of February and Lake Erie has the highest ice cover because it is shallow.

Preliminary findings released in a January 2, 2020 report from the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory showed ice cover on Lake Huron should be up to 66 per cent this winter, Lake Superior 54 percent, Lake Michigan 41 percent, and Lake Ontario with the lowest level of ice cover at 32 percent because of its depth.

The ice will replace splashing waves along the shoreline caused by strong wind, meaning that properties along Lake Erie will get a break from erosion, damage, and flooding caused by pounding waves and record-high water levels in 2019.

The NOAA said as of January 1, 2020, the total Great Lakes ice cover is 1.3 per cent, which is about two thirds less than around this time last year, and barely anything compared to early 2018, when the ice covering the Great Lakes was already almost 20 percent overall. NOAA predicts the total maximum Great Lakes’ ice cover this winter to be around 47 per cent, well below the long-term average of 55.7 percent. The highest Great Lakes ice coverage on record is 94.7 percent in 1979 and the lowest is 9.5 percent in 2002.

Blackburn News

 

Grain shipments down 50% at Port of Toledo, but 2019 still a solid year

1/7 - Toledo, OH – While we've been below average when it comes to snowfall this winter, our rain totals were well above average during last year's growing season. That made for an extremely difficult year for a lot of farmers around the region. In fact, many of them couldn't even plant their crops, and that had a big effect on the grain numbers at the Port of Toledo.

The Port of Toledo has about 7,000 jobs tied to it, with a 1 billion dollar annual economic impact on the region. Every year 500-800 vessels come through Toledo. However, in 2019 those freighters were carrying a lot less grain.

Grain shipments through the port were down 50% in 2019, but a diversified portfolio of products helped offset the loss in grain numbers. In the end, it was another solid year for one of the busiest ports on the Great Lakes.

Port leaders say they will release the final numbers for 2019 in the coming weeks. The total will likely be over nine million tons of cargo moving in and out of Toledo.

Also, the new Cleveland Cliffs HBI facility being built in Toledo will mean more business here in 2020. It's expected to create new jobs and the need for at least 100 additional freighter shipments in and out of Toledo this year.

WTVG

 

Port Reports -  January 7

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
CN Two Harbors had no traffic on Jan. 6th. Due Two Harbors on Jan. 7th is the Indiana Harbor and the American Spirit. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the departure of the Lee A. Tregurtha on Jan. 5th at 20:20 for Toledo. The Joyce L.VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader arrived on Jan. 5th at 20:35 and departed Silver Bay on Jan. 6th at 13:27. As of 18:00 she has no updated AIS. Due Silver Bay on Jan. 7th is the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader.

Thunder Bay, ON
Sunday; 22:45 Michipicoten arrived at Viterra to load grain and departed Monday at 14:50 for Windsor.

St. Marys River
Vessels that had been stopped for weather – Mesabi Miner, Hon. James L. Oberstar and Herbert C. Jackson, all resumed their upbound trips Monday early evening as gales-force winds moderated. Other upbounders included Indiana Harbor, American Spirit, Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader (anchored off Paradie Monday night) and Mississagi (headed for Thunder Bay). At 10 p.m., Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Kaye E. Barker were upbound in the lower river.

Southern Lake Michigan ports
American Century was unloading on Monday night.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Tug Sharon M I and barge Huron Spirit unloaded steel coils at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal on Monday

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Defiance/Ashtabula and Sam Laud both ran shuttles to ArcelorMittal from the Bulk Terminal on Monday. Victory/Maumee were anchored off Lakewood waiting out currents. Paul R. Tregurtha arrived at the Bulk Terminal at 17:00.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages – Monday January 6 - Barry Andersen
Nanticoke - arrival Jan 7 - Algosea eta 0700 - docked Jan 3 - Algocanada at 0758

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored Jan 3 - Algoma Hansa at 2130

Buffalo - arrival Jan 7 - H Lee White - eta 0600 - Jan 6 - departed anchorage off Sandusky at 1503 after weather delay for Buffalo

Welland Canal upbound Jan 5 - CSL Tadoussac at 2209 stopped on east wall above lock 8

Welland Canal downbound Jan 6 - Algoma Equinox at 1054

Hamilton - arrival - Jan 7 - Algoma Equinox eta 0200 - docked - Jan 5 - John D Leitch at 1239 and CCGS Griffon at 1601 from Hamilton

 

Algoma Buffalo and Compass spending winter in Owen Sound

1/7 - Two Algoma Central Corporation lake freighters are spending this winter laid up in the Owen Sound Harbor. The 42-year-old Algoma Buffalo and 47-year-old Algoma Compass both arrived in the port last week, Peter Winkley, the company’s chief financial officer said Monday.

The two vessels joined in the harbor the MS Chi-Cheemaun, which docked for the winter on Oct. 21. Work is taking place on all three ships during this year’s layup.

“We will be doing regular winter maintenance on our two ships while they are there, similar to what we have done with other ships that have spent the winter,” Winkley said of the Algoma vessels.

Algoma Central Corporation purchased the Compass, formerly named the Adam C. Cornelius, and the Buffalo from the American Steamship Company at the end of 2017. The vessels have sailed for Algoma for the past two years, Winkley said.

Both ships are Great Lakes self-unloading bulk carriers. The Buffalo, which is tied up on the west side of the harbor north of the grain elevators, is 630 feet long, while the Compass, which is moored on the east side of the harbor, measures 680 feet. Both vessels tend to focus on the salt and construction materials shipping markets, Winkley said.

Chi-Cheemaun, meanwhile, is anchored south of the two freighters, near the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre. This winter, workers will be undertaking a project on the ferry to overhaul the below-deck crew quarters. Three-quarters of the work will take place this winter, with the remainder set for next winter, according to OSTC.

The final stage of the Chi-Cheemaun’s dining deck upgrade will also be completed this winter. The wall paneling and flooring are being extended through to the aft area of the dining deck and the two aft stairways are being completed as well. The ferry’s first crossing of 2020 between Tobermory and South Baymouth is set for May 1.

Owen Sound Sun Times

 

$50 million sediment cleanup on Rouge River Old Channel will become a model

1/7 - Detroit, MI - Not many people know the history of Zug Island at the confluence of the Rouge and Detroit rivers, nor the $50 million project currently underway there.

The island is named after Samuel Zug, who came to Detroit from Pennsylvania in 1836 as a 20-year-old. He went into the furniture-making business with a Detroit investor named Marcus Stevenson with money he had saved as a bookkeeper in Pittsburgh. The substantial forests and convenient access to East Coast markets by way of the Detroit River, Great Lakes and the Erie Canal made Detroit an ideal place for a young man seeking a fortune making furniture.

After 23 years in the furniture business, his partnership with Stevenson dissolved in 1859, leaving Zug a wealthy man. He purchased 325 acres of land at the confluence of the Rouge and Detroit rivers from Michigan’s second territorial governor, General Lewis B. Cass. It was a marshy peninsula that was three-quarters wetlands. Another attractive feature was that it had a natural sulfur spring that was providing, at that time, 1,200 barrels of mineral water per day.

Zug and his wife had hoped to build a mansion on the island, but after ten years they decided that the wetlands and the mosquitos breeding there were just too much to endure.

In 1888, Samuel Zug authorized the River Rouge Improvement Company to cut a small canal 60 feet wide and eight feet deep along the south end of his land, essentially converting his natural peninsula into a human-made island and making a new river mouth south of where the Rouge River used to empty into the Detroit River. This reversed the flow of the Old Channel. Detroit River water now flowed into the Old Channel, around the island, and then mixed with Rouge River water before emptying again into the Detroit River.

In 1889, Samuel Zug died, leaving this land to his wife, who died in 1891. The Zug heirs sold the island for $300,000 to George Brady and Charles Noble, who wanted to use it for industrial development. Today, it is called Zug Island and has a more-than-100-year history as part of the epicenter of the industrial revolution in Detroit. Several blast furnaces for steel production were built on the island beginning in 1902.

In the early 1900s, Henry Ford enlarged the canal to accommodate large freighters bringing raw materials into the Ford Rouge Plant. This shipping channel extends from the Detroit River at Zug Island upriver to a turning basin for freighters in Dearborn where the Rouge Plant is located. Construction of the Rouge Plant began in 1917 and was completed in 1928, making it the largest integrated factory in the world at that time.

Before strong environmental laws were enacted in the 1970s, pollutants were routinely discharged into the lower Rouge River. Dozens of industries operated in the area from the late 1800s, including iron and steel mills, coking plants, and tar and paper manufacturing. Today, there are strict controls on pollutant discharges, but the legacy of many decades of release of pollutants into the river can be found in contaminated sediments.

It should be no surprise that the Old Channel was identified as a contaminated sediment hot spot. The primary contaminants of concern in the Old Channel are polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons that are known to cause liver tumors in fish and oil and other petroleum products. An industrial chemical called polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs is also present.

Incidentally, the oil and other petroleum products in the sediments are undoubtedly the same kind of oil products that caused the infamous Rouge River fire 50 years ago.

In 2018, a voluntary contaminated sediment remediation project was started on a 0.75-mile stretch of the Old Channel under the Great Lakes Legacy Act. The Old Channel is part of the Rouge River Area of Concern. The first step was stabilizing the river bank along the Old Channel.

In 2019 and 2020, dredging and disposal of contaminated sediments and capping of contaminated sediments where dredging is not possible due to underwater utilities and other hazards are being carried out.

In total, 70,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment is being remediated at a cost of $50 million. The contaminated sediments are being transported by barge for disposal at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Pointe Mouillee Confined Disposal Facility in South Rockwood, Michigan. Silt curtains are deployed in the water around the dredging to minimize any suspended sediment from leaving the site.

Following the contaminated sediment remediation, spawning habitat will be enhanced for locally important fish species like walleye and lake sturgeon.

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/01/zug-island-history-sediment-cleanup-detroit-rouge-river

 

Saltie Gallery Update

1/7 - The Saltie Gallery has been updated with the following images: Acadia Desgagnes, Alina, Argentia Desgagnes, Caroline, Chembulk Yokohama, CLI Pride, Fairchem Steed, Fearless, Federal Montreal, Federal Weser, Hanse Gate, Heerengracht, Lake Erie, Miena Desgagnes, Mirella S, Onego Traveller, Palmerton, Rosaire A. Desgagnes, Timgad, Vectis Falcon and Vectis Pride.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 7

07 January 1974 - EDMUND FITZGERALD (steel propeller bulk freighter, 711 foot, 13,632 gross tons, built in 1958, at River Rouge, Michigan) lost her anchor in the Detroit River when it snagged on ice. It was raised in July 1992. The anchor weighs 12,000 pounds and now resides outside the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan.

On January 7, 1970, the e.) ONG, a.) REDHEAD of 1930, had her Canadian registry closed. The tanker had been sold for use as a water tender at Antigua in the Lesser Antilles and had departed Toronto on December 1, 1969.

1924: The rail car ferry ONTARIO NO. 1 had a rough overnight crossing of Lake Ontario. The ship was diverted to Toronto with three feet of ice on the deck and anchored off Port Credit. With no seagate, it had to sail into the wind and could not make its docking at Cobourg as scheduled.

1943: ORNEFJELL came to the Great Lakes beginning in 1933 and returned as b) AKABAHRA after being sold in 1937. It was torpedoed and sunk on the Mediterranean in position 37.07 N / 4.38 E.

1977: BARFONN had visited the Seaway beginning in 1959 and returned as b) ORIENT EXPLORER in 1967 and as c) AEGEAN in 1971. It caught fire at Colombo, Sri Lanka, as d) TONG THAY and became a total loss. The vessel was taken to Singapore Roads, laid up, sold for scrap and arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for dismantling on March 24, 1978.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Captain of the Exeborg docks first ship of 2020 at Port of Montreal

1/6 - Montreal, QC – Every Jan. 1, the first vessel to enter the Port of Montreal in the new year is treated to a special ceremony, complete with a champagne toast and the presentation of a gold-tipped cane to the ship's captain.

This year, that honor goes to the Exeborg, from the Netherlands, which arrived in Montreal after leaving the port of Sauda in Norway on Dec. 21. On Monday, the Exeborg's captain, Qin Xiao Fei, will receive the ceremonial gold-headed cane engraved with his name. Over the weekend, Qin said he's planning on going into the city to buy gifts for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

The custom of handing down the 14-carat-tipped cane began in 1840.

Read more and view a video at this link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/montreal-golden-cane-ceremony-1.5399170

 

Port Reports -  January 6

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Lake Superior
With gale warnings in effect, James R. Barker was on the hook in the shelter of the Keweenaw Peninsula Sunday night. AIS says she is bound for Duluth.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
The CN-Two Harbors docks had no traffic on Jan. 5th. Tentatively due Two Harbors on Jan. 6th are the James R. Barker and the Mesabi Miner. As of 19:40 on the 5th the Barker is anchored in Bete Grise Bay, where it has been most of the day, and the Miner has been anchored since late afternoon near Paradise, MI. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the arrival of the Lee A. Tregurtha on Jan. 5th at 05:15. She is still at the dock on Jan. 5th at 19:40. As of 19:40 on the 5th the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader is running checked down on the North Shore NE of Silver Bay. Her AIS is showing Duluth, but Harbor Lookout is showing her for Silver Bay. I'm inclined to agree with Harbor Lookout.

Thunder Bay, ON
Sunday; 7:19 CCGS Samuel Risley resumed ice operations. 9:44 CSL St Laurent arrived at Keefer Terminal for winter layup. 10:27 CCGS Samuel Risley returned to the coast guard base.

St. Marys River
Algoma Equinox was downbound in the late morning, followed by Presque Isle in the early evening. Laura VanEnkevort was in the locks in the late evening. Upbounders included Mesabi Miner in the afternoon (went to anchor for weather), followed by Herbert C. Jackson and Indiana Harbor in the late evening (went to anchor above DeTour). Gale warnings were in effect, with winds to 40 knots for the St. Marys River area.

Sturgeon Bay, WI
Roger Blough arrived for winter layup Sunday; John G. Munson arrived Saturday. The tug Cheyenne, formerly based in Detroit and now under new ownership, arrived and is docked at the Center Point Marina.

Green Bay, WI
Steamer Alpena unloaded cement on Sunday and was outbound Sunday night. Her AIS says she is going to Milwaukee.

Southern Lake Michigan ports
On Sunday night, Edwin H. Gott was unloading at Gary, with American Century doing the same at Indiana Harbor.

Calcite, MI: Saturday; 21:31 After unloading petroleum products the tug Albert and tanker barge Margaret departed for Sarnia.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault was loading salt Sunday. Manitoulin was at the north dock. Algoma Enterprise is laid up in the basin.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Sunday Arrivals: Calumet shifed to the Revere Dock to finish unloading slag. Kaye E Barker arrived at AK Steel to unload ore. Sarah Andrie and her tank barge arrived at the Buckeye Terminal. Iver Bright arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
Algoma Innovator went to anchor in northern western Lake Erie Sunday. Unknown when she will arrive at Toledo.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Defiance/Ashtabula arrived at 06:32 Sunday. Sam Laud was on a shuttle from the Bulk Terminal for ArcelorMittal.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages – Sunday January 5, Barry Andersen
Nanticoke - docked - Jan 3 - Algocanada at 0758 - Jan 4 - Algonova at 0024 departure - Algosea at 0024 westbound - Jan 5 - Algonova at 1242 westbound

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored - Jan 3 - Algoma Hansa at 2130

Buffalo - arrival - Jan 6 - none - Jan 7 - H Lee White - currently delayed, anchored off Sandusky for weather

Welland Canal upbound - Jan 4 - Robert S Pierson at 1608 and Tim S Dool at 2121 stopping at wharf 12 - Jan 5 - CSL Tadoussac eta 2210

Welland Canal downbound - Jan 4 - Frontenac at 0349 stopping wharf 16, CSL Laurentien at 1347 to wharf 16 (winter berth), Algoma Mariner at 1507 to wharf 16 (winter berth) and John D Leitch eta 2235

Welland Canal docks - Dec 19 - Rt Hon Paul J Martin into Heddle Marine dry dock Port Weller for winter work at 1151 - Dec 25 - Algoma Transport stopped wharf 17 - winter layup - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit arrived wharf 12 at 1955 approx for winter lay-up - Jan 3 - Kaministiqua from Heddle Marine lay-by berth into deep dock at 1005 approx. for winter work - Kaministiqua into Heddle Marine DD with tugs Wyatt M and Jarrett M assisting - light tug Wyatt M tied-up West Street Port Colborne at 1600 approx. overnight - Jan 4 - CSL Laurentien at 0432 (stopped wharf 16 (winter berth) and Algoma Mariner stopped wharf 16 at 1542

Hamilton - arrival - Jan 5 - John D Leitch at 1239 - listed as laid-up - Dec 20 - NACC Capri (Mlt) at 1228 - Dec 24 - tug Wilf Seymour & Alouette Spirit at 0854 - Dec 28 - tug Everlast & Norman McLeod at 0738 - Dec 29 - tug Sea Eagle II & St Marys Cement II at 0741 - miscellaneous vessels - Dec 4 - CCGS Ile St Ours at 1800 and CCGS Caribou Isle at 1800 - both at Heddle Drydock and Dec 22 - CCGS Limnos at 1048 moored at Centre for Inland Waters - Dec 31 - Algoma Guardian at 0058, Algoma Harvester at 1001 - Jan 2 - Manitoulin at 0707 - Jan 3 - Florence Spirit at 1559 and Tim S Dool at 2023 - Jan 4 - tug Ecosse at 1350 from Toronto - departure - Jan 4 - CCGS Griffon at 0829 for Toronto Toronto - arrival - Jan 4 - CCGS Griffon at 1156 - docked - Dec 26 - Oakglen at 1010 (laid-up) - Dec 27 - Salarium at 1957 (laid-up) - Dec 30 - McKeil Spirit at 1248 - Jan 1 - NACC Argonaut at 2216 - departed - Jan 4 - tug Ecosse at 1022 for Hamilton

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 6

While under tow heading for scrap, the HARRY R. JONES went aground at Androsan, Scotland, on January 6, 1961, and it wasn't until February 15 that she arrived at her final port of Troon, Scotland.

January 6, 1999 - The Dow Chemical plant in Ludington, Michigan, announced a plan to close its lime plant, eliminating the need for Great Lakes freighters to deliver limestone.

In 1973, the JOSEPH H. THOMPSON ran aground at Escanaba, Michigan, after departing that port.

1976: The former GLADYS BOWATER was sailing as c) AGINOR when it caught fire and had to be abandoned off southwest Sicily. The hull was towed to Palermo, Italy, with serious damage and then to Piraeus, Greece, where it was laid up unrepaired. But the ship was resold, rebuilt and returned to service as d) ALEXANDRA in 1977. It was scrapped at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, as e) LAMYAA in 1985.

1979: OTTO NUBEL first came to the Great Lakes in 1953 and returned regularly until the final four trips in 1959. The ship was sailing as b) MARIA III when there was an explosion in the engine room on January 6, 1979, near Tamomago Island, Spain. A fire followed and the vessel went aground where it was abandoned as a total loss.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Brian Bernard, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

New cruise ship Hanseatic Inspiration headed for lakes, Duluth this summer

1/5 - Duluth, MN – On June 3, the Hanseatic Inspiration, owned by a German cruise ship company, will set sail in Toronto and make its way to Chicago. Other stops along the Great Lakes will include Sault Ste Marie, Thunder Bay and Duluth, with 376 passengers and 240 crew.

Hanseatic inspiration was launched in October 2019. "Great Lakes cruising has really become much more organized in the last 5-years and now we're seeing those results," said Anna Tanski, President and CEO of Visit Duluth told KBJR. The cruise line has scheduled two visits to Duluth this year. The second is on June 17, from Chicago back to Toronto.

Explore the available cruises at this link: https://www.hl-cruises.com/cruisefinder/INS2011

 

 

Port Reports -  January 5

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Once again there was no harbor traffic in Duluth on Saturday, with none scheduled until Thursday when Paul R. Tregurtha is due. In Superior, G3 Marquis departed at 08:37 Saturday morning with iron ore pellets from Burlington Northern, and Burns Harbor arrived from anchor at 09:09 to load. She was still at the dock Saturday night with an estimated departure time of 23:30. Stewart J. Cort was anchored offshore waiting for her turn at the dock.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
Presque Isle departed Two Harbors at 14:13 on Jan. 4th. As of 19:30 on Jan. 4th she wasn’t showing a destination AIS. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Two Harbors on Jan. 5th. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had no traffic on Jan. 4th. Due Silver Bay on Jan. 5th in the morning is the Lee A. Tregurtha. Harbor Lookout is showing the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader also due on the 4th, but the Joyce L. is showing an AIS destination of Duluth.

Thunder Bay, ON
Friday; 9:06 CCGS Samuel Risley resumed ice operations. 13:16 Algoma Innovator departed for Toledo. 16:08 Ojibway departed for Windsor.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Sunday included CSL St. Laurent, Great Lakes Trader/Joyce L. VanEnkevort and, late, James R. Barker. Downbound traffic included Kaye E. Barker, Algoma Innovator, Paul R. Tregurtha, Ojibway and Algoma Equinox.

Green Bay, WI
The Tug Michigan/Barge Great Lakes arrived from Sarnia to the U.S Oil Venture Terminal Saturday morning.

Northern Lake Huron ports
Cheboygan: Friday; 11:09 The tug Albert and tanker barge Margaret departed for Calcite. 11:13 The tug Nancy Anne departed for Calcite. 20:03 Nancy Anne arrived.

Calcite: Friday; 15:16 The tug Nancy Anne arrived to assist the tug Albert and tanker barge Margaret to dock.

Alpena: Thursday; 23:48 The cement carrier Alpena departed for Green Bay. Friday; 7:20 Samuel De Champlain weighed anchor and proceeded to the Lafarge dock to load cement products.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault was loading salt Saturday. Algoma Enterprise is laid up in the basin.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Saturday Arrivals: Hon. James L Oberstar arrived at AK Steel to unload ore. Calumet arrived at St. Mary's Cement to unload slag.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
Cason J. Callaway is going to Erie, Pennsylvania for winter layup. You will not be able to see all three of these vessels (Anderson, Callaway, Clarke) in layup at Toledo this year. The Anderson is at the former C&O Ore Dock. While the Clarke is at the former Interlake Iron dock by the Shipyard.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud arrived at 01:28 Saturday from Ashtabula and is running shuttles. Saginaw arrived in Lorain at 15:51 for Amcor.

Erie, PA – Andrew Rogers
cason J. Callaway arrived in Erie for layup Saturday evening after unloading at Conneaut. She is at the old ore dock.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages – Saturday January 4, Barry Andersen

Nanticoke - arrivals - Jan 3 - Algocanada at 0758 - Dec 4 - Algonova at 0024 departure - Algosea at 0024 westbound

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored - Dec 29 - Algonova at 2115 - Jan 3 - Algoma Hansa at 2130

Buffalo - Jan 6 - H Lee White eta 0600

Welland Canal upbound - Jan 4 - Robert S Pierson at 1608

Welland Canal downbound - Jan 4 - Frontenac at 0349 stopping wharf 16, tug Petite Forte & St Marys Cement at 0542, CSL Laurentien at 1347 to wharf 16 (winter berth), Algoma Mariner at 1507 to wharf 16 (winter berth) and John D Leitch eta 2235 Welland Canal docks - Dec 19 - Rt Hon Paul J Martin into Heddle Marine dry dock Port Weller for winter work at 1151 - Dec 25 - Algoma Transport stopped wharf 17 - winter layup - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit arrived wharf 12 at 1955 approx for winter lay-up - Jan 3 - Kaministiqua from Heddle Marine lay-by berth into deep dock at 1005 approx. for winter work - Kaministiqua into Heddle Marine DD with tugs Wyatt M and Jarrett M assisting - light tug Wyatt M tied-up West Street Port Colborne at 1600 approx. overnight - Jan 4 - Frontenac stopped wharf 16 at 0424, and Algoma Mariner stopped wharf 16 at 1542 - departures- Jan 3 - CSL Laurentien backed away from 19-E at 0825 out to anchorage - Jan 4 - Frontenac at 1215 from wharf 16 out to Lake Erie westbound

Port Colborne anchorage - anchored - Jan 2 - Algoma Mariner at 2342 - Jan 4 - CSL Laurentien at 0432 - departed - Jan 3 - Algoma Mariner at 1356, and CSL Laurentien at 1240 - both for wharf 16 and winter lay-up

Hamilton - arrival - Jan 4 - tug Ecosse at 1350 from Toronto - listed as laid-up - Dec 20 - NACC Capri (Mlt) at 1228 - Dec 24 - tug Wilf Seymour & Alouette Spirit at 0854 - Dec 28 - tug Everlast & Norman McLeod at 0738 - Dec 29 - tug Sea Eagle II & St Marys Cement II at 0741 - miscellaneous vessels - Dec 4 - CCGS Ile St Ours at 1800 and CCGS Caribou Isle at 1800 - both at Heddle Drydock and Dec 22 - CCGS Limnos at 1048 moored at Centre for Inland Waters - Dec 31 - Algoma Guardian at 0058, CCGS Griffon at 0907 and Algoma Harvester at 1001 - Jan 2 - Manitoulin at 0707 - Jan 3 - Florence Spirit at 1559 and Tim S Dool at 2023 - departed Jan 2 - tug Leo A McArthur & John J Carrick at 1233 for the canal - Jan 4 - CCGS Griffon at 0829 for Toronto

Toronto - arrival - Jan 4 - CCGS Griffon at 1156 - docked - Dec 26 - Oakglen at 1010 (laid-up) - Dec 27 - Salarium at 1957 (laid-up) - Dec 30 - McKeil Spirit at 1248 - Jan 1 - NACC Argonaut at 2216 - departed - Jan 4 - tug Ecosse at 1022 for Hamilton

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 5

The keel was laid January 5, 1972, for ALGOWAY (Hull#200) at Collingwood, Ontario, by Collingwood Shipyards, Ltd.

The wooden tug A. J. WRIGHT caught fire on 5 January 1893, while laid up at Grand Haven, Michigan. She burned to the water's edge. Her loss was valued at $20,000. She was owned by C. D. Thompson.

In 1970, PETER REISS broke her tail shaft while backing in heavy ice at the mouth of the Detroit River.

On January 5, 1976, Halco's tanker CHEMICAL TRANSPORT cleared Thunder Bay, Ontario, closing that port for the season.

1976: A.S. GLOSSBRENNER struck bottom entering Port McNicoll and had to be unloaded immediately due to the extensive hull damage. The ship was repaired at Port Weller Dry Docks in the spring. The vessel became b) ALGOGULF (ii) in 1987 and c) ALGOSTEEL (ii) in 1990.

1982: The Norwegian freighter NORHOLT first came through the Seaway in 1962 and made a total of 15 inland voyages. It was renamed b) SALVADOR in 1966 and returned once in 1967. The ship went aground as c) SAN JUAN off Shadwan Island enroute to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on this date. It was refloated January 22, 1982, towed to Suez Bay and laid up. Fire broke out on August 26, 1982, and the ship was abandoned and later beached. It was taken over by the Suez Canal Authority in 1983 and scrapped.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Brian Bernard, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Outflows at Moses-Saunders Dam raised to help drain Lake Ontario

1/4 - The last cargo ship of the season passed through the St. Lawrence Seaway in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, and with that, the seaway closed for the season. Usually, by the time this happens, ice has started forming on the river, but not this year. A stretch of unusually warm weather has prevented any ice formation on the St. Lawrence so far this year.

And with the seaway now free of ships, the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board is taking the opportunity to flush as much water as possible out of Lake Ontario. The river board announced it plans to throw open the floodgates at the Moses-Saunders Dam, increasing the outflow from 8,850 cubic metres per second to over 10,000, flow rates not seen since near the end of the summer.

Releasing such an enormous amount of water downstream is only possible done when no ships are trying to navigate the seaway and no ice forming on the surface.

“If you increase outflows, you increase the velocity of the St. Lawrence River and, eventually, it becomes unsafe for navigation. But the outflows have been at record highs for several months despite this constraint. But with the closing of the seaway, that safety concern is gone,” explained Jacob Bruxer, the Canadian regulatory representative of the river board.

“Ice is another concern. If you increase outflows too much, it prevents the formation of a stable ice cover on the river, which can cause ice jams that we do not want. But with the mild weather we’ve had, and another week of mild temperatures being forecasted, we don’t have to worry about that either.”

Water levels in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River have been much higher than normal for several months, causing a lot of anger from residents living on both sides of the river. The issue has become so bad that New York state is suing the International Joint Commission (which delegates authority over water levels to the river board), seeking US$1 billion in damages for destruction of residents’ property.

There have also been calls from residents along the river in Ontario for the International Joint Commission to scrap or amend Plan 2014, which governs how water levels in the river can be adjusted and under what circumstances. The board’s weekly updates show it tossed Plan 2014’s rules out the window earlier this year, increasing flow rates through the dam beyond what Plan 2014 recommends in order to mitigate Lake Ontario water levels.

In the face of constant criticism from those dealing with a second summer of flooding in three years, the board struggled to keep flow rates to the highest levels that would continue to allow safe navigation along the seaway. Flow rates only dropped below 10,000 cubic metres per second the week of Sept. 12.

The increase began Tuesday and aims to remove as much water as possible, as quickly as possible, in order to make water levels next spring and summer more manageable.

“All the Great Lakes are still very high for this time of year, including Lake Ontario,” said Bruxer. “There is a lot of concern about high water occurring again in 2020, so the board is looking to take every opportunity to release water from Lake Ontario between now and then. So this is part of that strategy.”

By increasing the outflows at the Moses-Saunders Dam to over 10,000 cubic metres per second, it could reduce the water level in Lake Ontario by an additional three or four centimetres over the next week. Before the increase, the lake level was dropping by 28 centimetres a week.

As a result, water levels on the downstream side of the dam are expected to rise, which includes Cornwall and the Montreal area. But the water should quickly drain out to the ocean.

Standard Freeholder

 

Port Reports -  January 4

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
There was no traffic in Duluth on Friday, as H. Lee White ended up departing from General Mills late Thursday night. In Superior, Algoma Equinox was outbound from Burlington Northern at 11:51 with a load of ore for Hamilton, and her sister G3 Marquis arrived at 12:28 to load. She was due to depart just before midnight. Burns Harbor was anchored waiting to load next, and Stewart J. Cort was due to join her at 21:00 Friday evening.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
American Century departed Two Harbors on Jan. 3rd at 01:04 for Indiana Harbor. The Presque Isle shifted from North of #2 to South of #2 between 02:14 and 02:36 where she was still loading as of 19:00 on Jan. 3rd. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Two Harbors on Jan. 4th. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the departure of the Paul R. Tregurtha on Jan. 3rd at 10:10 for Cleveland. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Silver Bay on Jan. 4th.

St. Marys River
Cason J. Callaway, Hon. James L Oberstar and Mississagi were downbound on Friday during the day. Edwin H. Gott was in the locks at 10 p.m. followed by H. Lee White with a load for Buffalo.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
Under mostly sunny skies, tug G.L. Ostrander with barge Integrity arrived Port Milwaukee 14:01 on January 1, 2020. She was the port’s first visitor of the new decade. Typically, the pair would deliver cement to Lafarge’s terminal. On this occasion, however, they tied up near the south end of the mooring basin.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor was loading salt at Compass Minerals Friday. Algoma Enterprise remains idle in basin and may have entered winter layup. Manitowoc is expected next.

Marine City, MI – Rick Larson
Friday: 12:45pm downbound Cason J. Callaway; 1:30 pm upbound tug Cheyenne. Weather overcast with calm winds; river calm, 42 degrees F.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Friday Arrivals: Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder arrived at the Motor City Materials dock to unload salt. Calusa Coast and Delaware arrived at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal to load.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
Algoma Innovator loaded a grain cargo at Thunder Bay and is due in Sunday morning. Unknown which dock she is bound for.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud departed Cleveland at 20:33 on 1/2, arriving in Ashtabula at 01:13 on 1/3. Also in Ashtabula was the Cuyahoga, arriving at 15:54 on the 3rd. Herbert C. Jackson arrived in Cleveland from Ashtabula at 20:58 on the 2nd. The American Spirit arrived at 18:00 for the Bulk Terminal.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages – Friday January 3, Barry Andersen
Nanticoke - arrivals - Jan 3 - Algosea at 0416, Mesabi Miner at 0418, and Algocanada at 0758 - departed - Jan 3 - Mesabi Miner at 1735 westbound

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored -Dec 29 - Algonova at 2115 - Jan 3 - Algoma Hansa eta 2050 - departed - Jan 3 - Algosea at 0408 from the anchorage and Algocanada at 0750 from the anchorage - both to the dock

Welland Canal upbound - Jan 2 - Algoma Mariner at 1254 and tug Leo A McArthur & John J Carrick at 1540 - Jan 3 - Manitouin at 0554, tugs Jarrett M at 0738 & Wyatt M at 0802 - to Heddle Marine lay-by berth to assist Kaministiqua into dry dock, tug Jarrett M departed shipyard at approx 1000 upbound

Welland Canal downbound - Jan 2 - CSL Laurentien at 0245 stopped at wharf 19-E - Jan 3 - Tim S Dool at 0737, tug Wyatt M departed shipyard at approx 1000 headed back to Toronto, Robert S Pierson at 1258

Welland Canal docks - Dec 19 - Rt Hon Paul J Martin into Heddle Marine dry dock Port Weller for winter work at 1151 - Dec 25 - Algoma Transport stopped wharf 17 - winter layup - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit arrived wharf 12 at 1955 approx for winter lay-up - Jan 2 - CSL Laurentien stopped at wharf 19-E at 0315 approx. - departed - Jan 3 - Kaministiqua from Heddle Marine lay-by berth into deep dock at 1005 approx. for winter work - tugs Wyatt M and Jarrett M assisted Kaministiqua into the dry dock, CSL Laurentien backed away from 19-E at 0825 westbound - light tug Wyatt M tiedup West Street Port Colborne at 1600 approx.

Port Weller anchorage - anchored - Jan 1 - Algoma Mariner at 0046 from Clarkson dock - weather - departed - Jan 2 at 1235 for the canal

Hamilton - arrival -Jan 3 - Florence Spirit at 1559 and Tim S Dool at 2023 - listed as laid-up - Dec 20 - NACC Capri (Mlt) at 1228 - Dec 24 - tug Wilf Seymour & Alouette Spirit at 0854 - Dec 28 - tug Everlast & Norman McLeod at 0738 - Dec 29 - tug Sea Eagle II & St Marys Cement II at 0741 - miscellaneous vessels - Dec 4 - CCGS Ile St Ours at 1800 and CCGS Caribou Isle at 1800 - both at Heddle Drydock and Dec 22 - CCGS Limnos at 1048 moored at Centre for Inland Waters - Dec 31 - Algoma Guardian at 0058, CCGS Griffon at 0907 and Algoma Harvester at 1001 - Jan 2 - Manitoulin at 0707 - departed Jan 2 - tug Leo A McArthur & John J Carrick at 1233 for the canal - Jan 2 - Florence Spirit at 2239 to go out on lake to clean holds before returning

Toronto - docked - Dec 26 - Oakglen at 1010 (laid-up) - Dec 27 - Salarium at 1957 (laid-up) - Dec 30 - McKeil Spirit at 1248 - Jan 1 - NACC Argonaut at 2216 - departed - Jan 2 - CSL Niagara at 1630 for the canal

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 4

On January 4, 1978, IRVING S. OLDS was involved in a collision with the steamer ARMCO while convoying in heavy ice in the Livingstone Channel of the lower Detroit River. The OLDS hit a floe of heavy ice, came to a complete stop and the ARMCO, unable to stop, hit the OLDS' stern.

In 1952, the car ferry SPARTAN (Hull#369) was launched at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Christy Corp.

1966: FARO, a Liberty ship that had visited the Seaway in 1965, ran aground in heavy weather off Nojima, Japan, enroute from Muroran, Japan, to Keelung, Taiwan, in ballast. It had to be abandoned as a total loss. It was sold to Japanese shipbreakers in 1967 and broken up.

2012: FEDERAL MIRAMICHI was disabled by a mechanical problem during stormy weather on the English Channel, 12.8 miles northwest of Guernsey enroute from St. Petersburg, Russia, to Paranagua, Brazil, with 22,900 tons of urea. French authorities, fearing the ship could blow ashore, dispatched a tug and the vessel was towed into Cherbourg for repairs. It has been a frequent Seaway trader since 2006.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Main engine failure led to Tecumseh engine room fire

1/3 - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is continuing to investigate an engine room fire that began on a Canadian cargo vessel along the Detroit River in December 2019.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded on Dec. 15, 2019 to an engine room fire that began on the Tecumseh. The fire took place around 2 p.m., while the freighter was near Zug Island on the American side of the Detroit River. Sixteen crew members were on board, with one sustaining minor injuries, according to the TSB. Additionally, the fire caused "extensive damage" to the vessel.

The vessel eventually drifted into Canadian waters, where a team of firefighters boarded and extinguished the blaze. The TSB deployed a team of investigators to the Tecumseh on Dec. 17 to "gather information and access the occurrence."

CBC

 

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay refurbished and ready for service in Sturgeon Bay

1/3 - Sturgeon Bay, WI – After about a year away from its home port of Sturgeon Bay, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay is back in Door County. The ice-breaking tug was getting an upgrade from top to bottom. From its signature black and white paint job to the attached aids to navigation barge, the 140 foot-long U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay is ready for service.

"We brought the cutter to Baltimore, Maryland, in the summer of 2018. And we returned this past summer, to bring her back home," said Lt. Cmdr. Steven Kingsley, U.S. Coast Guard. Kingsley serves as captain of the Mobile Bay. He says the ship was gutted from bow to stern, and then rebuilt. Kingsley says the ship's bridge features a new navigational system. The electronic charting table faces forward, and the steering console is redesigned.

"We're usually navigating in confined areas, alongside large vessels, so you want to have the best steering system you possibly can in those conditions," said Kingsley.

Just outside, part of the deck is now wider to accommodate the small-boat launch system. Below deck, there are more bunks for the 28 crew members to sleep, and the engineering control center is rewired too.

"New cameras for remote monitoring. So with a smaller crew, we don't get into every space, all the time. We're able to monitor spaces pretty frequently, just by looking up at a screen, instead of sending people down to spaces," said Chief Warrant Officer Brent Fike, U.S. Coast Guard.

And down in the engine room, a motorized pump system, once stored on deck, now operates below, away from the elements. Fike says after 40 years, the Mobile Bay needed the improvements. "It was just time for an upgrade. Time for making it much more comfortable than it was in the past," he said.

The U.S. Coast Guard hopes the improvements will add another 15 years of service to the Mobile Bay. The captain says, with winter approaching, the ice breaker could be put to use in the coming weeks.

Fox 11

 

Port Reports -  January 3

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
H. Lee White arrived Duluth at 05:48 Thursday morning and headed to General Mills to load wheat. There is currently no further traffic listed on Duluth's schedule for the next few days, so the timing of the harbor's next arrival is unknown. The Burlington Northern dock in Superior, however, is seeing plenty of traffic. Edwin H. Gott continued loading iron ore there on Thursday and was tentatively expected to depart Thursday evening. Algoma Equinox, G3 Marquis, and Burns Harbor were all anchored offshore waiting to load, with Stewart J. Cort due to join them on Friday.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
As of 19:30 on Jan. 2nd the American Century was still loading at South of #2. Presque Isle was still at North of #2 lay-by. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Two Harbors on Jan. 3rd. Paul R. Tregurtha arrived Northshore Mining in Silver Bay on Jan. 1st at 22:45. As of 19:30 on Jan. 2nd she was still at the loading dock. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Silver Bay on Jan. 3rd.

Thunder Bay, ON
Wednesday; Algoma Innovator is loading grain at Viterra B. 22:22 John D Leitch departed and is down bound on Lake Superior. 23:14 Mississagi arrived at the G3 elevator to load grain. Thursday; 5:40 Ojibway arrived and went to anchor south of the Welcome Islands. 16:39 Mississagi departed for Windsor. 16:44 Ojibway weighed anchor and proceeded to the G3 elevator to load grain.

Sturgeon Bay, WI
Tug Cheyenne was upbound from Detroit to Sturgeon Bay Thursday to assist in icebreaking this winter. She is under new, unspecified ownership.

Northern Lake Huron ports
Owen Sound: Thursday; 6:07 Algoma Buffalo arrived for winter layup.

Alpena: Thursday; 10:52 Samuel De Champlain arrived and went to anchor.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived at the elevators 6.42 am Wednesday. Algoma Enterprise arrived 4.06 pm Thursday and was in the basin.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Lee A Tregurtha was unloading ore at AK Steel on Thursday

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
Philip R. Clarke was bound for Toledo most likely for winter layup on Thursday. She should be arriving mid to late Thursday evening sometime.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Finished with shuttles, Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder went to Cargill to load salt for Detroit, departing Cleveland at 16:08. Sam Laud is running the shuttles for ArcelorMittal Steel.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages – Thursday January 2 - Barry Andersen

Nanticoke - arrivals - Jan 2 - none

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored - Dec 29 - Algosea at 0917 and Algonova at 2115 - Jan 2 - Algocanada at 0755

Welland Canal upbound - Jan 1 - Kaministiqua at 0800 - tied at lay-by berth Heddle Dry Dock - Jan 2 - Algoma Mariner at 1254 and tug Leo A McArthur & John J Carrick at 1540

Welland Canal downbound - Jan 1 - Manitoulin at 1944 - Jan 2 - CSL Laurentien at 0245 stopped at wharf 19-E

Welland Canal docks - Dec 19 - Rt Hon Paul J Martin into Heddle Marine dry dock Port Weller for winter work at 1151 - Dec 25 - Algoma Transport stopped wharf 17 - winter layup - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit arrived wharf 12 at 1955 approx for winter lay-up - Jan 1 - Kaministiqua tied at lay-by berth at Heddle Marine Port Weller until later in the week before entering dock for winter work - Jan 2 - CSL Laurentien stopped at 0315 approx.

Port Weller anchorage - anchored - Jan 1 - Algoma Mariner at 0046 from Clarkson dock - weather - departed - Jan 2 at 1235 for the canal

Hamilton - arrival - Jan 2 - Manitoulin at 0707 and Manitoulin at 0707 - listed as laid-up - Dec 20 - NACC Capri (Mlt) at 1228 - Dec 24 - tug Wilf Seymour & Alouette Spirit at 0854 - Dec 28 - tug Everlast & Norman McLeod at 0738 - Dec 29 - tug Sea Eagle II & St Marys Cement II at 0741 - miscellaneous vessels - Dec 4 - CCGS Ile St Ours at 1800 and CCGS Caribou Isle at 1800 - both at Heddle Drydock and Dec 22 - CCGS Limnos at 1048 moored at Centre for Inland Waters - Dec 31 - Algoma Guardian at 0058, CCGS Griffon at 0907 and Algoma Harvester at 1001 - Jan 1 - Florence Spirit at 1737 - departed Jan 2 - tug Leo A McArthur & John J Carrick at 1233 for the canal

Clarkson - docked - Jan 1 - Algoma Mariner at 0543 - departed Jan 1 at 2147 for Port Weller anchorage

Toronto - docked - Dec 26 - Oakglen at 1010 (laid-up) - Dec 27 - Salarium at 1957 (laid-up) - Dec 30 - McKeil Spirit at 1248 - Jan 1 - NACC Argonaut at 2216 - departed - Jan 2 - CSL Niagara at 1630 for the canal.

Seaway – Rene Beauchamp
The first ship of the year in Montreal will be the Exeborg tomorrow night (night of January 2 to 3) when she will cross port limits. She will be the winner of the famous gold-headed cane. She is a vessel that has transited the Seaway regularly since 2013, the year of her construction.

 

UW-Milwaukee receives $10M donation toward new Great Lakes research vessel

1/3 - Milwaukee, WI - Thanks to an anonymous donor, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences has half the funding it needs to get a new research vessel. The $10 million donation is from an unknown donor who is a part of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and it's the largest gift UW-Milwaukee has ever received, according to the university.

Researchers will be studying the water quality of the Great Lakes along with studying both environmental and human impacts on the lakes, with the hope of managing freshwater resources.

The new vessel will be named Maggi Sue and will replace the Neeskay, the current research vessel. The Neeskay was purchased by UW-Milwaukee nearly 50 years ago. The 71-foot converted Army T-boat is more than 65 years old.

"It’s probably one of the oldest research vessels operating in the Great Lakes today," Val Klump, dean of the School of Freshwater Sciences, said. "We’ve known we were going to have to replace her, so we’ve been working on this project for over a decade now."

The Maggi Sue will be 120 feet long, and have advanced onboard technology, numerous lab spac-es and sleeping accommodations that will allow scientist and crew to remain on the lakes longer than on the Neeskay. Researchers can only stay on the Neeskay for a day. The Maggie Sue allows them to be on the water for up to 10 days.

"It’ll be the first research vessel designed and built from the keel up as a multi-disciplinary research vessel in the great lakes," Klump explained.

On the new vessel, researchers will be able to collect real-time data and conduct experiments on the water, which are two things researchers aren’t able to do on the Neeskay.

MacLellan-Hurd said the Neeskay doesn’t allow the entire team to stay on the ship comfortably. A small group normally takes the Neeskay to Green Bay on the lake and the rest of the team drives up and gets on the ship there.

The total amount for the new vessel is $20 million, $15 million will go toward building Maggi Sue. The remaining $5 million will be used to maintain the vessel. UM-Milwaukee is raising the rest of the money with the hope of starting construction in the next few years.

Wisconsin Public Radio

 

Goderich moves to protect water treatment plant from rising lake levels

1/3 - Goderich, ON – A recent rise in water levels on Lake Huron has the town of Goderich, Ont., spending more than $1 million to protect its treatment plant for drinking water. The plant is located less about 30 metres from the water's edge. Mayor John Grace said municipal officials became concerned in August about increasing erosion and rising lake levels.

"That's a very significant piece of infrastructure for the community, that's our drinking water," he said. "If we did nothing, there could be damage to the plant and its chlorination equipment. We had no choice but to move as quickly as possible."

To keep rising water away from the plant, the town hired a contractor to truck in tonnes of armour stone from the Owen Sound area. The stone will be used to form a wall along the shore to protect the water plant and its surrounding area from flooding.

The original plan was to wait until spring 2020 to do the work, but Grace said the town had to step up that timetable to ensure the plant was protected. Work began in early December could continue until February, depending on weather. No small expense

It's an expensive project: Grace said the final bill will likely be between $1.5 million and $2 million, no small expense for a town with a population of less than 10,000. The town will have to dip into reserves built up by water user fees to pay for the work. "It's not small potatoes, but it needs to be done," said Grace.

In addition to protecting the water plant, the town also had to replace a lakeshore boardwalk battered by high waves during storms in the fall. High water levels have caused problems for property owners up and down the Lake Huron this year.

Throughout 2019, lake levels have approached the record set in 1986. The Maitland Valley Conservation Authority, which oversees much of the Lake Huron coastline, predicts the lake will continue to rise in early 2020 and will be about 30 centimetres higher in January and February than the same period of 2018.

Stephen Jackson is the flood and erosion safety service coordinator with the conservation authority. He said fluctuations in lake levels are part of a natural cycle, with the peaks and valleys separated by anywhere from eight to ten years.

The lake level is measured in metres above sea level. Over the past 50 years, it's ranged from a low of about 175 metres to a high of 177.5 metres set in 1986. The town of Goderich, Ont., is spending more than $1 million to protect its drinking water treatment plant from rising lake levels. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

"What's different this time is the speed of the rate of rise," he said. "So we hit a record low in 2013 and here we are in 2019 at record levels." Jackson said the level of precipitation and evaporation are the only significant factors that determine the lake's level. Also, it's not clear where the lake levels will go after an expected rise in early 2020.

"At then end of the day, it really comes down to what the weather is like in the coming months," he said.

CBC

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 3

For the second year in a row the tanker GEMINI (steel propeller tanker, 420 foot, 5,853 gross tons, built in 1978, at Orange, Texas) was the first vessel of the year in Manistee, Michigan. She headed to the General Chemical dock to load 8,000 tons of brine for Amherstburg, Ontario. The vessel arrived at Manistee in 2002, on January first, and Captain Riley Messer was presented a hackberry cane, crafted by local resident Ken Jilbert. A similar cane was presented to the vessel Saturday morning. Sold Canadian in 2005, renamed b.) ALGOSAR (i).

In 1939, the CHIEF WAWATAM ran aground on the shoals of the north shore near St. Ignace, Michigan.

On Jan 3, 1971, BEN W. CALVIN ran aground at the mouth of the Detroit River after becoming caught in a moving ice field.

In 1972, TADOUSSAC cleared Thunder Bay, Ontario, for Hamilton with 24,085 tons of iron ore, closing that port for the season.

1979: KOIKU MARU first visited the Seaway in 1967. It ran aground near Tartous, Syria, in stormy weather overnight and had to be abandoned as a total loss.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Brian Bernard , Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Mike Nicholls, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.

 

Liberty ship John W. Brown to find new home at former Bethlehem Steel shipyard

1/2 - Baltimore, MD – Just seven weeks after the owners of the WWII Liberty ship SS John W. Brown announced it was losing its berth at the Port of Baltimore, there’s a new plan to put the historic ship at the site of the former Bethlehem Steel Fairfield Shipyard.

On Monday, Project Liberty Ship Inc. and Baltimore shipbuilder Maritime Applied Physics Corp (MAPC) announced a $18 million plan to revitalize a portion of the Bethlehem Steel site. It would provide a home base for the ship’s education and cruise activities and give MAPC room to grow its shipbuilding and maritime technology operations. (The company is also responsible for Baltimore’s slick new water taxis.)

In 2000, John W. Brown visited the Great Lakes for drydocking and hull work at Toledo. She is one of two remaining operational World War II Liberty Ships out of 2,710 built in an emergency shipbuilding program to carry troops and cargo. More than 350 were mass-produced, to save on materials, at the Bethlehem-Fairfield shipyard– where the Brown’s new pier at MAPC will be.

The 440-foot John W. Brown has been docked (for free) for years at Pier C on Clinton Street in Southeast Baltimore. But when the pier was sold by the state of Maryland to a private company, the volunteer-run Project Liberty Ship Inc. couldn’t afford to stay. After a one-year extension given by the new owners, the ship’s lease is up.

Bay Bulletin and other news outlets reported on the ship’s plight back in November, and since then, MAPC has come through. The $18 million proposal would take federal and state funding, along with corporate and individual donations, to rebuild a historic WWII fitting-out pier for the Brown. The ship itself launched from the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard on Labor Day 1942, bringing the story full circle.

The proposal is still at the conceptual design stage, Project Liberty Ship’s Michael Barnes tells Bay Bulletin. Once a final design is chosen, permitting, demolition and construction must take place. The permitting process involves the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, the Maryland Port Administration, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Historical Trust, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Coast Guard, and others, but Barnes is optimistic that things will go smoothly because the project calls for replacing an existing pier, and because no dredging is required.

With an estimated completion goal of about two years, Project Liberty Ship is still working on a solution for interim docking. The ship will be in drydock in Norfolk for the next five weeks. After that, the Brown will need a place to stay that allows the public access to its floating museum, says Barnes, who is the chairman of Project Liberty Ship pier committee and a ship volunteer.

“We are still looking for short term places to keep the ship and would very much like those to be in Baltimore,” he says.

Chesapeake Bay Magazine

 

Port Reports -  January 2

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
The only harbor traffic in Duluth on New Year's Day was Ashtabula/tug Defiance, which departed from Canadian National at 18:40 carrying iron ore pellets for Toledo. In Superior, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was outbound at 10:46 after loading ore at Burlington Northern, and Edwin H. Gott arrived from anchor at 11:17 to load. She will likely depart during the latter half of the day Thursday. Algoma Equinox was on the hook waiting to load after the Gott, and her fleetmate G3 Marquis was expected to join her Wednesday night to wait for BN.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
John G. Munson departed Two Harbors from South of #2 on Dec. 31st at 21:50 for Gary. The Cason J. Callaway then shifted from South of #1 to South of #2 between 21:45 to 22:17. She departed Two Harbors on Jan. 1st at 10:50 for Conneaut. Arriving Two Harbors on Jan. 1st at 11:10 was the American Century that had been anchored off Duluth. She got underway at approx. 08:40 for Two Harbors. Also arriving Two Harbors on Jan. 1st was the Presque Isle at 17:25 for North of #2 lay-by. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Two Harbors on Jan. 2nd. As of 19:15 on Jan. 1st the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader was still loading at Northshore Mining in Silver Bay. She arrived at 20:48 on Dec. 31st. Due Silver Bay after the Clyde S. departs is the Paul R. Tregurtha, that as of 19:15 on the 1st, is running checked down on the North Shore. There is no inbound traffic due Silver Bay on Jan. 2nd.

Thunder Bay, ON
Wednesday; 16:44 Algoma Innovator arrived to load grain. 17:51 CSL Welland arrived at Keefer Terminal for winter layup.

St Marys River
Downbound traffic New Year’s Day included James R Barker (early), Mesabi Miner, Cuyahoga, Saginaw, Mississagi, Anglian Lady and barge, Joyce L/Clyde S. VanEnkevort, Indiana Harbor, Lee A Trugurtha and Roger Blough. American Spirit was downbound at Isle Parisienne at 9 p.m., with John G. Munson about to round Whitefish Point. Ojibway was upbound in the morning, followed in the afternoon by tug Sharon M l and barge in the late afternoon. Since the weather has been mild, there is no significant ice impeding vessel passage.

Indiana Harbor, IN
Calumet is due Wednesday night or early Thursday.

Burns Harbor, IN
Stewart J. Cort departed upbound around noon on Wednesday for Superior, WI.

Alpena, MI
Wednesday: 9:58 Algoma Buffalo arrived to unload road salt. At 15:52 she departed for Owen Sound for winter layup.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived 6.42 am Wednesday and she tied up at elevators. Algoma Sault arrived 7.20 am Wednesday and began loading salt at Compass Minerals, departing in the evening for Green Bay. Algoma Enterprise is expected next.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Philip R Clarke was unloading ore at Zug Island on Wednesday

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
Saginaw she should be arriving at Toledo early Thursday afternoon. She is supposed to be going upriver to the Kuhlman Dock to unload grain.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages – Wednesday January 1, Barry Andersen Nanticoke - arrivals - Dec 31 - none

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored - Dec 29 - Algosea at 0917 and Algonova at 2115 - Dec 31 - CSL St Laurent at 1418 for weather - departed Jan 1 - CSL St Laurent for Ashtabula

Welland Canal upbound - Dec 31 - Kaministiqua at 1400 to Port Weller anchorage - Jan 1 - Kaministiqua at 0800 - tied at lay-by berth Heddle Dry Dock

Welland Canal downbound - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit at 1825 headed to wharf 12 for winter lay-up - Jan 1 - Florence Spirit at 0756, CSL Tadoussac at 0845 and Manitoulin at 1944

Welland Canal docks - Dec 19 - Rt Hon Paul J Martin into Heddle Marine dry dock Port Weller for winter work at 1151 - Dec 25 - Algoma Transport stopped wharf 17 - winter layup - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit arrived wharf 12 at 1955 approx for winter lay-up - Jan 1 - Kaministiqua tied at lay-by berth at Heddle Marine Port Weller until later in the week before entering dock for winter work

Port Weller anchorage - anchored - Dec 31 - Kaministiqua at 1505 for weather - headed to Heddle Marine Dry Dck at Port Weller - departed - Jan 1 at 0735 for the canal

Hamilton - arrival - Jan 1 - Florence Spirit at 1737 - listed as laid-up - Dec 20 - NACC Capri (Mlt) at 1228 - Dec 21 - tug Leo A McArthur & John J Carrick at 0755 - Dec 24 - tug Wilf Seymour & Alouette Spirit at 0854 - Dec 28 - tug Everlast & Norman McLeod at 0738 - Dec 29 - tug Sea Eagle II & St Marys Cement II at 0741 - miscellaneous vessels - Dec 4 - CCGS Ile St Ours at 1800 and CCGS Caribou Isle at 1800 - both at Heddle Drydock and Dec 22 - CCGS Limnos at 1048 moored at Centre for Inland Waters - Dec 31 - Algoma Guardian at 0058, CCGS Griffon at 0907 and Algoma Harvester at 1001 -

Clarkson - arrival - Dec 31 - Algoma Mariner eta 1820 approx from the anchorage off Hamilton

Toronto - arrival - Jan 1 - NACC Argonaut eta 2200 - docked - Dec 26 - Oakglen at 1010 (laid-up) - Dec 27 - Salarium at 1957 (laid-up) - Dec 30 - CSL Niagara at 1230, McKeil Spirit at 1248 - departed - Dec 31 - NACC Argonaut at 0620 eastbound

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 2

While on the North Atlantic under tow for scrapping, ASHLAND parted her towline but was tracked by U.S. Coast Guard aircraft and was retrieved by her tug on January 2nd, 1988, some 300 miles off course.

The 3-masted wooden schooner M. J. CUMMINGS was launched at the shipyard of Goble & MacFarlane in Oswego, New York. Her owners were Mrs. Goble & MacFarlane, Daniel Lyons and E. Caulfield. Her dimensions were 142 foot 6 inches X 25 foot 2 inches X 11 foot 6 inches, 325 tons and she cost $28,000.

January 2, 1925 - The ANN ARBOR NO 7 (Hull#214) was launched at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Corp. She was sponsored by Jane Reynolds, daughter of R. H. Reynolds, marine superintendent of the railroad. Renamed b.) VIKING in 1983.

1967: The small Norwegian freighter RAAGAN dated from 1919 and had been a Pre-Seaway visitor to the Great Lakes as a) ERICH LINDOE, b) GRENLAND and c) HILDUR I. It sank in the North Sea about 60 miles north of the Dutch coast after developing leaks on a voyage from Egersund, Denmark, to Dordrecht, Netherlands, with a cargo of titanium. The crew was rescued.

1976: The XENY, which was towed into Cadiz Roads on January 1, capsized and sank on her side. The ship had caught fire on December 2 and was abandoned by the crew. It had first visited the Great Lakes as a) PRINS WILLEM II in 1955 and had been back as d) XENY in 1971.

1981: The heavy lift vessel MAMMOTH SCAN had heeled over while unloading at Abu Dhabi on October 15, 1980. The ship was righted and under tow when the towline parted off Algeria on December 28, 1980. The listing vessel was brought to Malaga Roads, Spain, on this date, healed over and sank as a total loss.

1987: A fire in the cargo hold of REMADA at Barcelona, Spain, resulted in heavy damage and the ship had to be sold for scrap. It had made one trip through the Seaway in November 1973 as b) ONTARIO.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Happy New Year from the BoatNerd News Page

1/1 - BoatNerd wishes all our readers a very happy and successful 2020. Thank you for your support.

A big three long and two short goes out to all who send news to this page or contribute to the Port Reports, among them Daniel Lindner, Gary A. Putney, Gordy Garris, Todd Shorkey, Rene Beauchamp, Ron Beaupre, Rod Burdick, Ned Goebricher, Bruce Douglas, Bill Kloss, Barry Andersen, Ron Walsh, Capt. Mike Nicholls, Gene Polaski, Jim Hoffman, Ken Cyrette, Marc Dease, Tom Brewer, Ned Goebricher, Paul Erspamer, Logan Vasicek, Sam Hankinson, Jeff Benson, Paul Martin, Matt Miner, Dave Wobser, Ben & Chanda McClain, Joy Fett, Denny Dushane, Ken Borg, Luke Johnson, Phil Nash, Bill Bird, Raymond H., Al Miller, Tom Hynes, Roger LeLievre and anyone else we’ve inadvertently left off this list, including those who wish to remain anonymous. It is the contributions of all these volunteers, and many others, that make BoatNerd possible.

We are always seeking contributions to this page from readers around the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. If you see news in your area or want to offer your observations of vessel arrivals and departures, please send to news@boatnerd.net. If you spot an interesting shipping-related story in your local news, please take a moment to forward a link so that we may share it with our audience.

Thank you!

 

Port Reports -  January 1

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
There was no traffic through the Duluth entry during the day Tuesday, however Ashtabula/tug Defiance were due at 20:30 to load iron ore pellets at CN. In Superior, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived at 02:12 to load iron ore pellets at BN. She should depart early Wednesday. Both Edwin H. Gott and Algoma Equinox were anchored outside the harbor waiting to load after the McCarthy. American Century, which had a Duluth destination for a short period of time on Monday evening, was anchored off Duluth on Tuesday waiting to load in Two Harbors.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay, MN – Gary A. Putney
Roger Blough departed Two Harbors on Dec. 31st at 13:10 from South of #2 for Gary. The John G. Munson shifted from North of #1 to South of #2 between 13:25 and 13:51 where at 19:45 she is still loading. Cason J. Callaway remains at lay-by at South of #1. The American Century went to anchor off Duluth on the 31st to await Two Harbors. Presque Isle is due Two Harbors on Jan. 1st. As of 19:45 on Dec. 31st the American Spirit was still at Northshore Mining in Silver Bay. The Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader passed by Silver Bay in the a.m. of the 1st and continued on to go to anchor between Two Harbors and Larsmont to the SW. She stopped at approx. 10:10 and got underway at approx. 12:25 on Dec. 31st. She ran checked down to Silver Bay where she is off Silver Bay at 19:45 to wait on the American Spirit to depart Due Silver Bay on Jan. 1st is the Paul R. Tregurtha.

Thunder Bay, ON
Monday; 17:46 Cuyahoga departed and went to anchor north of the main anchorage to wait out the weather. 20:39 John D Leitch arrived and went to anchor. Tuesday; 6:28 Cuyahoga weighed anchor and departed downbound. 6:36 John D Leitch weighed anchor and proceeded to Viterra A to load grain. 10:51 CCGS Samuel Risley resumed ice operations. 12:32 Saginaw departed for Toledo. 15:28 John D Leitch shifted to the G3 elevator to finish loading.

St Marys River
With the bad weather of the past few days moving out, the river was busy on Tuesday. Upbound traffic included Presque Isle, Paul R Tregurtha, Kaye E. Barker, CSL Welland, Algoma Innovator, Mississagi, G3 Marquis, H. Lee White and Burns Harbor. Downbounders included Algocanada. Algoma Conveyor and Philip R Clarke. New Year’s Day looks to be busy with downbounders as well, with AIS showing 10 vessels showing at or east of the Keweenaw Tuesday evening.

Indiana Harbor, IN
Calumet departed Tuesday evening northbound. No destination was listed.

Burns Harbor, IN
Stewart J. Cort was still in port New Year’s Eve.

Northern Lake Huron ports
St Marys River: Tuesday; 2:37 Laura L Van Enkevort weighed anchor and departed for Toledo. 9:42 CSL Laurentien weighed anchor and departed for Port Colborne.

Alpena: Tuesday; 7:17 G L Ostrander departed for Milwaukee. The cement carrier Alpena shifted to the loading dock.

Midland, ON
Canada Steamship Lines’ Frontenac departed Midland at approximately 11 a.m. on December 31, after unloading at the ADM elevator.

Welland Canal and vicinity vessel passages Tuesday December 31, Barry Andersen

Nanticoke - arrivals - Dec 31 - none

Long Point Bay anchorage - anchored - Dec 29 - Algosea at 0917 from the dock and Algonova at 2115 from the dock - Dec 31 - CSL St Laurent at 1418 for weather - bound Ashtabula

Welland Canal upbound - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit at 0919 - went out into Lake Erie to turn around heading back down to wharf 12 for winter lay-up and CSL St Laurent at 2158 - Dec 31 - Algoma Enterprise at 1046 and Kaministiqua at 1400 to Port Weller anchorage - Jan 2 - CSL Laurentien

Welland Canal downbound - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit at 1825 headed to wharf 12 for winter lay-up

Welland Canal docks - Dec 19 - Rt Hon Paul J Martin into Heddle Marine dry dock Port Weller for winter work at 1151 - Dec 25 - Algoma Transport stopped wharf 17 - winter layup - Dec 30 - Algoma Spirit arrived wharf 12 at 1955 approx for winter lay-up - Jan 1 - Kaministiqua to go into deep dock at Heddle Marine Port Weller for winter work

Port Weller anchorage - anchored - Dec 31 - Kaministiqua at 1505 for weather - headed to Heddle Marine Dry Dck at Port Weller - departed - Jan 1 for the dry dock

Anchorage off Hamilton - anchored - Dec 30 - Algoma Mariner at 1434 for weather - departed Dec 31 at 1650 approx. for Clarkson dock

Hamilton - arrivals - Dec 30 - Algoma Enterprise at 2133 - Dec 31 - Algoma Guardian at 0058, CCGS Griffon at 0907 and Algoma Harvester at 1001 - listed as laid-up - Dec 20 - NACC Capri (Mlt) at 1228 - Dec 21 - tug Leo A McArthur & John J Carrick at 0755 - Dec 24 - tug Wilf Seymour & Alouette Spirit at 0854 - Dec 28 - tug Everlast & Norman McLeod at 0738 - Dec 29 - tug Sea Eagle II & St Marys Cement II at 0741 - miscellaneous vessels - Dec 4 - CCGS Ile St Ours at 1800 and CCGS Caribou Isle at 1800 - both at Heddle Drydock and Dec 22 - CCGS Limnos at 1048 moored at Centre for Inland Waters - departure - Dec 31 - Algoma Enterprise at 0832 for the canal

Clarkson - arrival - Dec 31 - Algoma Mariner eta 1820 approx from the anchorage off Hamilton

Toronto - docked - Dec 26 - Oakglen at 1010 (laid-up) - Dec 27 - Salarium at 1957 (laid-up) - Dec 30 - CSL Niagara at 1230, McKeil Spirit at 1248 and NACC Argonaut at 1610

Seaway – Rene Beauchamp
The last ships of the 2019 season transited the St-Lambert lock overnight after midnight. The Spruceglen was bound for Côte Ste-Catherine to spend the winter there with fleetmate CSL Assiniboine. And, their work done, the tugs La Prairie and Ocean Serge Genois as well as the icebreaker Edward Cornwallis spent New Year’s Eve at the dock.

 

Ludington lighthouse fighting flooding, working with DNR on solution

1/1 - Ludington, MI – High water levels along Lake Michigan continue to impact beachfront property. This time, the Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Ludington is trying to fend off water that's seeped into the basement.

Preserving and protecting Big Sable from flooding has been an undertaking for as long as the lighthouse has been around, according to Peter Manting. He's the director of the Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association.

“If you look back in the logs, they built the lighthouse in 1868 and in 1870, they were saying they had water in the basement," he chuckled.

Over the years, Manting says measures have been taken like extending the seawall to keep the crashing waves of Lake Michigan at bay. But high water levels up top are only part of the problem. He says there’s a high water table. So the water is coming up from beneath the surface. “We’ve installed sump pump down there, automatic sump pump now. So that seems to be keeping our basement dry," Manting said.

He says the sump pump was installed in November. However, Manting says the last time water levels have been this much of a concern was in 1986.

“The place had been abandoned. So there was nobody out here to really monitor things... and that’s when the water got really close to the tower," he described.

In 1986, Manting says concerned citizens and Boy Scouts sandbagged the perimeter. Now that the lighthouse association is in place, he says they’re looking to the Department of Natural resources for a longer term fix.

“We’re working with the State of Michigan to come up with a good solution, and I think one of the solutions that their engineers have come up with is to throw some rip rock out in front of the seawall, about thirty feet out," Manting explained.

The desired outcome is for the rip rock to break up the waves before the waves get to the seawall, thus keeping water further away from the lighthouse.

Fox 17

 

From 'harbor' to 'wharf,' Great Lakes glossary defines shipping

1/1 - Duluth, MN – – For many folks, "Chandler" is a character on the hit television show “Friends,” and a "metric ton" is the amount of grief a teenager can impose on a parent. But for observers of Great Lakes shipping traffic, those terms mean very different things. A "metric ton" is 2,204 pounds of a given cargo, and a "chandler" is a person who sells and delivers supplies to the ore boats in harbor.

Thanks to the Chamber of Marine Commerce in Ottawa, observers have its Glossary of Terms to turn to in order to understand the wide array of shipping specific vocabulary.

“The reason we created the glossary is because a lot of the industry has its own specific terms, or jargon, developed over decades and even centuries of operation,” said Julia Fields, spokesperson for the Chamber. “It’s a fun tool to translate that language.”

The glossary debuted in 2011 and made the jump to the Chamber’s new website earlier this year. It’s a popular feature, Fields said, and has been promoted multiple times on the Chamber’s Facebook page.

Jayson Hron is the director of marketing for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority and is one of the folks who has benefited from the glossary. He’s been on board that organization for a year in January and was compelled to learn industry terms such as "stowage," "transship" and what it is a "vessel agent" does.

“The maritime world definitely speaks its own special dialect, with obscure-to-generalist terms like 'cabotage' and 'draft' and 'Plimsoll line,' which quickly become part of your everyday language when you’re immersed in it daily,” he said.

Learning the language means realizing that not all terms live in isolation, and that some of the terms take on a bigger life.

“Many marine words and phrases have drifted into general language,” Hron said. “Lefty pitchers are 'portsiders'; people are told to 'pipe down'; rummage sales are filled with 'flotsam and jetsam' — so it’s not an impossibly foreign language to learn. And learning it has been part of the fun. It’s a fascinating world.”

For the Chamber in Ottawa, the origin of the glossary was simple: They were meeting a demand.

“People who live in the communities around water and see great big majestic ships going by, they’re curious about who’s working on those ships,” she said. “There’s just a natural interest in what’s happening in marine shipping industry.”

So the next time you wonder what the difference is between a "stevedore" and a "longshoreman," you can look it up. (Hint: both are responsible for unloading vessels, but one supervises the other.)

Download the glossary at this link: https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/business/transportation/4838858-From-harbor-to-wharf-Great-Lakes-glossary-defines-shipping

 

Sarter Fund remembers lost tug captain

1/1 - Sturgeon Bay, WI - The Sarter family is making sure its patriarch’s presence continues to be felt throughout the county. The Don Sarter Marine Safety Memorial Fund was established shortly after his death on the Great Lakes back in September.

Sarter bought Selvick Marine Towing early in 2019.

In the wake of the tragedy, donations made in Sarter’s honor are now being used to fund safety-related projects like new life jackets for kayak and boat companies and a drone for the Door County Sheriff’s Department. His daughter, Tammy Sarter Zeigle, says her father would want to be remembered this way. Zeigle says the newly established foundation is in the process of writing for more grants to help fund additional safety-related projects. Donors can contribute to the Don Sarter Marine Safety Memorial Fund at any Nicolet Bank branch.

Door County Daily News

 

Lake Ontario outflow sets records in 2019, further increases expected in New Year

1/1 - Outflows will be increased substantially in the coming days as efforts to remove water from Lake Ontario continue.

Starting Wednesday, following the end of navigation season, outflows will be increased as much as possible until ice formation resumes on the St. Lawrence River. A flow increase from 8,850 m3/s (312,500 cfs) to over 10,000 m3/s (353,000 cfs) may be possible in the coming days, with the exact amount depending on ice and water level conditions in the St. Lawrence River. Water levels downstream of the Moses-Saunders Dam, including around the Montreal area, are expected to rise, but will be monitored closely to ensure they are maintained below flood levels.

Lake Ontario outflows were first set to record-rates in June as water levels of Lake Ontario reached a new daily record-high of 75.92 m (249.08 ft). This followed an unprecedented spring that saw record water levels and flows occurring across the Great Lakes and Ottawa River basins. High outflows from Lake Ontario continued through the summer, fall and early winter, resulting in more water released from Lake Ontario during the last seven months of 2019 than in any year since the start of records in 1900. The average outflow from June through December was 9,560 m3/s (337,600 cfs), the highest flow ever released over this period, and equivalent to removing nearly 9.1 m (30 ft) of water from Lake Ontario during this time.

However, with all of the Great Lakes seeing record or near-record water levels in 2019, inflows to Lake Ontario have also remained high during that time. Lake Ontario’s level was 75.00 m (246.06 ft) yesterday and remains well-above seasonal averages. High inflows are expected to continue into 2020.

The International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board, under authority granted to it by the International Joint Commission, will continue to deviate from Plan 2014 and will look for any and all opportunities to remove additional water from Lake Ontario prior to the spring.

The first of these opportunities is expected at the start of January. Over the past several weeks, outflows were set at 200 m3/s (7,100 cfs) above the Plan 2014 maximum L-limit, which is the highest outflow that can be released from Lake Ontario, while still ensuring safe navigation through the St. Lawrence River. However, with the St. Lawrence Seaway season set to end on December 31st, this constraint will no longer apply.

Ice conditions are also no longer a constraint. Flows were temporarily reduced on December 20th following a brief cold spell that resulted in temporary ice formation in the Beauharnois Canal. Mild temperatures followed, causing the ice cover to deteriorate and allowing outflows to again be rapidly increased. Ice formation will likely resume during the next cold spell, but the timing is uncertain.

IJC

 

Win a Great Lakes cruise aboard a working freighter

1/1 - Port Huron, MI – For vacation next summer, how about a leisurely Great Lakes cruise aboard a 1,000-foot freighter?Seriously – this is a real thing you can do. But you can’t buy a ticket; you have to win one in a charity raffle.

Each year, several fleets of U.S.-flagged freighters carry millions of tons of dry bulk goods between ports on the Great Lakes. They primarily transport iron ore for making steel, coal for power plants, limestone, cement, salt, sand and grain. Thirteen of these ships are more than three football fields in length and the largest can carry more than 70,000 tons in a single trip, according to the Lake Carriers Association.

There’s no law prohibiting these ships from also carrying a small number of fare-paying passengers, but none choose to offer this service due to various logistical and liability concerns. A few Great Lakes shipping companies do, however, occasionally provide free cruises to nonprofit organizations to use as a prize in a fundraiser raffle. And there’s another opportunity coming up.

Port Huron Lodge No. 2 of the International Ship Masters’ Association is selling freighter cruise raffle tickets for $10 each. The winner will get a roundtrip freighter cruise for four adults aboard an Interlake Steamship Company vessel during the 2020 sailing season.

It’s impossible to say this far in advance what the exact prize entails: logistical details like specific ship, route, travel dates, length of voyage and departure port are all things you’ll have to coordinate with the company. They aren’t making a special trip for you – cargo takes priority. You’re just coming along for the ride.

"The willingness to be flexible with the company on this is a precondition," said Chris Gillcrist, executive director of the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo. "They don't go by a passenger time schedule. The boat could be leaving the dock at 11 o'clock at night and you need to be on it by 7 that night."

To enter, visit www.freightertrip2020-ismalodge2.com to download the entry form and submit before the Jan. 31 drawing.

Find more information and read more at this link: https://www.cleveland.com/life-and-culture/g66l-2019/12/bcb41f1e764439/win-a-great-lakes-cruise-aboard-a-working-freighter.html

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  January 1

On this day in 1958, 76-year-old Rangvald Gunderson retired as wheelsman from the ELTON HOYT 2ND. Mr. Gunderson sailed on the lakes for 60 years.

On January 1, 1973, the PAUL H. CARNAHAN became the last vessel of the 1972 shipping season to load at the Burlington Northern (now Burlington Northern Santa Fe) ore docks in Superior, Wisconsin. Interestingly, the CARNAHAN also opened the Superior docks for the season in the spring of 1972.

On 1 January 1930, HELEN TAYLOR (wooden propeller steam barge, 56 foot, 43 gross tons, built in 1894, at Grand Haven, Michigan) foundered eight miles off Michigan City, Indiana. She was nicknamed "Pumpkin Seed," due to her odd shape.

January 1, 1900 - The Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad merged with the Chicago & West Michigan and the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western Railroads to form the Pere Marquette Railway Co.

On 1 January 1937, MAROLD II (steel propeller, 129 foot, 165 gross tons, built in 1911, at Camden, New Jersey, as a yacht) was siphoning gasoline off the stranded tanker J OSWALD BOYD (244 foot, 1,806 gross tons, built in 1913, in Scotland) which was loaded with 900,000 gallons of gasoline and was stranded on Simmons Reef on the north side of Beaver Island. A tremendous explosion occurred which totally destroyed MAROLD II and all five of her crew. Only pieces of MAROLD II were found. Her captain's body washed ashore in Green Bay the next year.

At time of loss, she was the local Beaver Island boat. The remains of the BOYD were removed to Sault Ste. Marie in June 1937.

1943: HAMILDOC (i) went south during World War Two to assist in the bauxite trade. The N.M. Paterson & Sons bulk canaller sank in the Caribbean after a three-day gale. The vessel, enroute from Georgetown, British Guiana, to Trinidad, was at anchor when the hull broke in two. All on board were saved.

2000: WISTERIA was built at Imabari, Japan, in 1976 and came through the Seaway that year. It was taking water in #1 hold as c) AIS MAMAS while enroute from West Africa to India with a cargo of logs. The crew was removed but the ship was taken in tow and reached Capetown, South Africa, on January 5. It was subsequently sold for scrap and arrived at Alang, India, for dismantling on April 23, 2000 and was beached the next day.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


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