In the May issue, we reported that Canadian lake traffic might be halted in early June because of an S.I.U. strike. A last-minute settlement was reached on May 29 between the S.I.U. and the Canadian Lake Carriers Association, and it subsequently was ratified by union members. Shippers dropped their original demands for wage rollbacks and crew reductions, while in return wages were frozen in the first year of the new three-year contract, with increases in the second and third years tagged to inflation to a maximum of 5% per annum. There were also adjustments to overtime and leave pay. Thus a strike was avoided during one of the busiest spring seasons in recent memory.
But if the grain trade roared during the spring, it died in the summer. It became evident early in July that the U.S.S.R. would not take delivery of any substantial amount of grain from St. Lawrence River ports during the summer, and that other shipments would be minimal. Accordingly, although there was Wheat Board grain to move, there was nowhere to put it, and vessels then downbound faced long waits at river elevators. Most Canadian fleets sent their ships to lay-up, and with massive inactivity and periodic reactivations the order of the season, it would be useless to attempt to document all of them here. Suffice it to say that, at various times, SEAWAY QUEEN, CANADIAN HUNTER, CANADIAN NAVIGATOR, CANADIAN PROSPECTOR, QUEBECOIS and ALGOMARINE were laid up here (in addition to Toronto's various permanent harbour denizens), although at the time of this writing, only SEAWAY QUEEN, CANADIAN HUNTER and ALGOMARINE remained. The former two periodically hold storage soya bean cargoes for Victory Mills. In fact, SEAWAY QUEEN, which reportedly suffered freezing damage to her ballast piping last winter at Midland, made two trips under her own power to Toronto with beans in May and June, when self-unloaders were not available to bring the beans to her, and two additional cargoes have been brought to her and the HUNTER by self-unloader in July and August.
Each summer in recent years, warships from various countries have visited the lakes, either to show the flag or to encourage recruitment, but this summer there has been a plethora of them in fresh water. The first to come were the British destroyer H.M.S. FIFE and frigate H.M.S. JUNO, which were upbound in the Seaway on May 11. They visited various ports and FIFE was at Toronto May 14-18. They left the lakes early in June; FIFE paid off on her return to Portsmouth on June 25, and has since been reported sold to the Pakistani navy. The U.S. Navy's lake-built, wooden-hulled Yard Patrol Training craft YP 676, 678, 680 and 682 were up in the Welland Canal on June 12 and were at Detroit on the 17th and at Toronto July 3-5. The venerable Canadian destroyer-escort H.M.C.S. SAGUENAY was up the Seaway on June 12 and was at Toronto's Harbourfront July 2 through 7. U.S.S. OLIVER HAZARD PERRY was upbound in the Welland on June 25 and stopped at Port Colborne. She was up at the Soo on July 24 and called at Toronto August 22-24. (We should note that another fast frigate of the PERRY class, U.S.S. STARK, which was on the lakes during the summer of 1985, was the victim of an Iraqi missile attack in the Persian Gulf on May 17, 37 of her crew being killed in the incident.) Observers need not worry if they feel that there is something very familiar about three salties they have seen in the lakes this year; they are not hallucinating'. The Yugoslav sisterships PETKA, OMISALJ and MALINSKA were built at Split and are very similar to the Govan-built Misener ocean-lakers, except for their bows and deck gear. PETKA was delivered in October 1986, OMISALJ in March 1987, and MALINSKA by May 1987. All three are operating into the lakes under charter to Fednav.
Fednav (U.S.A.) Inc., which has been operating FEDERAL LAKES and FEDERAL SEAWAY under the U.S. flag, has had trouble filling the ships on their return voyages from Europe, although eastbound cargoes have been good. With the service less than successful, the company has sold the two ships for $14.5 million each to the U.S. Navy for its "ready reserve" fleet. Fednav supposedly has been searching for more suitable (presumably smaller) boats for the route but it seems likely that the service simply will fold when the two existing ships make their last trips this autumn. Since Lykes Lines withdrew from the lakes in 1986, the Fednav operation has been the only U.S.-flag liner service running into the Great Lakes.
The vessels of the Huron Cement fleet are this year being operated by a new firm, Inland Lakes Transportation Inc., which has been formed for that purpose. In 1986, the ships had been re-registered in Philadelphia, but now their home port is Cleveland. They carry the same colours as before, except for the insignia on their bows, which now is a red square, edged in black, on which appear in white the letters 'ILT', a large 'I' in the centre with a smaller 'L' on the left and 'T' on the right. The Huron ships have made far more appearances on Lake Ontario this year than in other seasons.
At long last, the Toledo museum project involving the former Cleveland-Cliffs steamer WILLIS B. BOYER, (a) COL. JAMES M. SCHOONMAKER (69), has taken shape. On June 25, the G-tugs UTAH and MONTANA towed her from her berth beside the Craig Bridge to International Park on the east bank of the Maumee River, downstream from the High Level Bridge. The BOYER was formally opened to the public on July 4th. Meanwhile, it would appear that the ill-conceived scheme to preserve part of the bow of Cliffs' WILLIAM G. MATHER at Cleveland has collapsed and we understand that the steamer will likely be scrapped by M & M at Windsor. We wholeheartedly support the preservation for posterity of historic ships but we would rather see the MATHER cut up for scrap than subject to the sort of butchering that was planned for her at Cleveland.
The proliferation of party boats on the Toronto waterfront continues unabated and all seem to be doing well as this summer's steamy weather draws denizens of the city to the water. The previous assortment of excursion vessels and "booze boats", both large and small, is still present but at least three new boats have been added. CORNICHE, a rebuilt wartime Fairmile, is operated by Baccarat Yacht Charters Ltd., while STE. MARIE I, which previously ran out of Midland, is also on the bay. Perhaps the most impressive recent arrival is ORIOLE, which was built by Duratug at Port Dover, launched on May 6, and made her maiden entrance to Toronto Harbour on June 27. Designed to look similar to the old wooden-hulled Muskoka Lakes steamer ORIOLE, the motorship sports a tall stack, big round-topped cabin windows, sweeping hull sheer, and a modern architect's rendition of a birdcage (octagonal) pilothouse. She is an interesting ship but would have been more successful aesthetically if she could have been designed from plans of the original instead of photographs! Nevertheless, from a distance, she puts one in mind of some of the old Island ferries such as JOHN HANLAN and CLARK BROS., to which Muskoka's ORIOLE bore a certain resemblance.
One Toronto excursion boat which had not run in several years was the glass-topped DAVID H. SIMPSON of the B.T.I. fleet, which had been lying on the wharf at Pier 51. Earlier this year, she was sold to Jacques Beauchamp, who took her to Windsor to be refitted as (d) LITTLE SISTER, a fleetmate for WAYWARD PRINCESS. The SIMPSON was built at Zaandam, Holland, as (a) WITTE-DE-WITH, and served in Algonquin Park as (b) MISS ALGONQUIN PARK after being brought to Canada and before taking up duties at Toronto.
The Columbia Transportation steamer RESERVE fitted out in May 1987, was drydocked by Fraser Shipyards at Superior, and entered service for the first time in four years. RESERVE was converted to a self-unloader in 1983, but had not run since December 26, 1983. Now for the first time since their self-unloader conversions, RESERVE, ARMCO, MIDDLETOWN and COURTNEY BURTON are all operating at the same time. Columbia will, however, be sending out of the lakes for scrapping this year its last three straight-deckers, ASHLAND, WILLIAM A. REISS and THOMAS WILSON, all of which have been idle at Toledo for many years.
Early on April 15, fire broke out in the cabins of the former Grand Trunk carferry GRAND RAPIDS, which was lying at the old carferry dock at Muskegon, Michigan. Damage was extensive in the blaze, which allegedly was started by sparks from a cutting torch being used by a thief to remove navigational equipment from the idle ferry's pilothouse. Her sistership MADISON, moored alongside, was not damaged. GRAND RAPIDS had been owned by Canonie Constructors of Muskegon, but about April 1st she had been sold to Randy Postma, the president of Grand Isle Marina at Grand Haven, Michigan.
Early in 1987, Shediac Bulk Shipping Ltd. of Moncton, New Brunswick, sold its motortanker SEAWAY TRADER, (a) IMPERIAL COLLINGWOOD (79), to foreign operators who renamed her (c) PATRICIA II. On April 20, she sailed from Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, bound for Progreso. Built in 1948 at Collingwood, lengthened in 1961 and again in 1969, and repowered but a few years ago, SEAWAY TRADER was one of the almost extinct breed of former canallers.
One of the few active shipbuilders on the lakes, the Marinette Marine Corp., Marinette, Wisconsin, closed at 11:00 p.m. on July 16, 1987, primarily as a result of a labour dispute with Local 696 of the Boilermakers' Union. Citing recent job actions, poor productivity and the rejection of the company's final contract proposal, the yard suspended operations and, at last report, there was no indication whether it would ever reopen.
Meanwhile, R. J. Rotundo Inc. leased the Wedtech shipyard at Ontonagon, Michigan, from June 1 to August 29 in order to perform "certain design packages for Ontonagon Barge Inc." The latter firm was formed by Florida and California parties who have purchased, for $1.5 million, the tug and barge which are lying partially completed at the shipyard. These boats were originally intended for Lake Michigan carferry service (since abandoned), but have lain rusting since the early 1980s as the shipyard, a sinkhole for state funds, has been embroiled in scandal and controversy.
We earlier reported that the idle 60-year-old Inland Steel Company steamer L. E. BLOCK had been taken to Escanaba for inclusion in a harbour redevelopment project. There has been little if any progress in that respect and, on August 3rd, the BLOCK was towed from Escanaba by the tug CHIPPEWA, bound for South Chicago, where the steamer will serve as a cement storage barge on a two-year charter to the New England Cement Corporation.
On July 19. while EVA DESGAGNES was proceeding to Wallaceburg, assisted by the Sandrin tug GLENADA, she grounded at Johnson's Bend in the Chenal Ecarte, damaging her rudder. The rest of the trip was made with great difficulty and the ship lay at Hazzard's Marine Grain Terminal at Wallaceburg until July 23, when GLENADA and ANNIE M. DEAN towed her back to the St. Clair River and anchored her north of Port Lambton, where she was joined by her sister, STELLA DESGAGNES. On the 24th, GLENADA took STELLA up to Wallaceburg to load EVA's corn cargo, and on the 25th brought her back down and on her way. GLENADA and ANNIE M. DEAN then moved EVA DESGAGNES to the Government Wharf at Sarnia, where the necessary rudder repairs were put in hand.
The Imperial Oil Ltd. motortanker IMPERIAL QUEBEC, which was built at Collingwood in 1957, made a rare appearance on the lakes in April and May, operating out of Sarnia. The ship returned eastward in mid-May and has not been back since. It has been said that she may be sold out of the Imperial fleet at the close of the 1987 season, and that Imperial's needs on the lakes will thereafter be handled by other operators.
Meanwhile, the former IMPERIAL SARNIA, which was sold late in 1986 to Provmar Fuels Inc. of Hamilton, was renamed (b) PROVMAR TERMINAL II during May. She has been painted in Provmar's colours, with a black hull, white forecastle and cabins, and a turquoise stack with two narrow red bands and a wider white band. She was loaded with bunker fuel but so far has remained at Hamilton and has neither operated nor been taken to another port.
We now have what seems to be the final report in the saga of the protracted scrap trip of SAVIC, the former CLIFFS VICTORY. After having been resold by Hai International Inc., Panama, to South Korean breakers, and making her way slowly across the Pacific under her own steam, she arrived at Masan, South Korea, on December 22, 1986. SAVIC's last trip thus took some fourteen long months from fit-out at South Chicago to arrival in the Far East. It has been reported that the scrapping of DETROIT EDISON was begun during February by Goldwils Inc. at Brownsville, Texas. This firm had previously cut up SHARON, both self-unloaders having been towed from the lakes during 1986. It is now said that the same scrappers may have acquired the American Steamship Company's JOHN J. BOLAND which has been idle for several years.
In regard to lakers sent overseas for scrap earlier, we now confirm that PHILIP D. BLOCK and W. W. HOLLOWAY were resold by Marine Salvage Ltd. to Siderurgica Aco Norte S.A., who took delivery at Recife, Brazil. Work on the dismantling of HOLLOWAY began in October 1986, while cutting on the BLOCK started in November. The purchaser of the Hanna steamer PAUL H. CARNAHAN was Shiong Yek Steel Corporation, which began dismantling at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on December 18, 1986.
In our January issue, we reported that MAZAHUA, (a) CAPE BRETON MINER (68), (b) CONVEYOR (72), (c) CAPE BRETON MINER (83), built at Port Weller in 1964, had been sold for scrapping at Brownsville, Texas. It would, however, seem that she was resold to Kaohsiung breakers, for on April 18 she was anchored at Honolulu en route to Taiwan. Meanwhile, a near-sister of the steamer has been sold to the same breakers. KALLI, (a) ONTARIO POWER (83), (b) THORNHILL (II)(84), (c) AKALLI SERI (87), which was built at Port Weller in 1965, and which, like MAZAHUA, ran latterly under the Mexican flag, was Pacific-bound in the Panama Canal on March 13, also heading for Kaohsiung. It is a remarkable coincidence that the two former Upper Lakes Shipping self-unloaders, which went to salt water when they were superceded by more modern lake tonnage, should both wind up in the same scrapyard this year.
We should note some interfleet charters involving the C.S.L. and ULS fleets during the summer of 1987. FRANKCLIFFE HALL, on charter to C.S.L. for the season, has been operating under sub-charter to ULS, while CANADIAN PIONEER has been running on the east coast under charter to C.S.L. The AMBASSADOR, (a) CANADIAN AMBASSADOR (86), has been running for both C.S.L. and ULS on the coast. Meanwhile, C.S.L.'s ATLANTIC SUPERIOR has been flagged-out to Portuguese registry for a six-month period, carrying coal to Portugal.
In June, C.S.L. announced that it had let two contracts to the Verolme do Brasil shipyard, located near Rio de Janeiro. The first is for the self-unloader conversion of the Panamax bulker ATLANTIC HURON, for delivery in February 1988. The larger contract is for the construction of a 68,000-ton d.w. self-unloader intended for the European and North American trades (off-lakes, of course) and for "developing Asian markets". Both ships will be equipped with the Nordstrom basket-gate system for greater cubic capacity.
SEA-LAND ANCHORAGE, the first of three large containerships built by the Bay Shipbuilding Corp. at Sturgeon Bay for the Alaska route of Sea-Land Service Inc., was downbound in the St. Clair River on July 11, stopping at Corunna for fuel. She was down the Welland on July 13. Her sisterships SEA-LAND TACOMA and SEA-LAND KODIAK will be delivered in September and November, respectively . The ships are costing Sea-Land $60 million each.
Detroit's famous BobLo Island steamers COLUMBIA and STE. CLAIRE are this year operating from a new dock at the foot of Clark Street, on the premises of Detroit Marine Terminals just below the Ambassador Bridge. This change has reduced the length of the steamer trip to the Island and has moved the boats away from the revitalized Detroit central waterfront area. COLUMBIA and STE. CLAIRE began their 1987 season of BobLo service on May 23. Meanwhile, the Michigan AAA, which owns the island park and the passenger vessels, has commissioned the three-deck motorship L. R. BEATTIE to increase capacity on the shorter island ferry route from Gibraltar, Michigan.
The former Desgagnes steamer MELDRUM BAY, which never ran for that firm but later was acquired by ULS International and resold to breakers, and which was towed from Toronto to Lauzon during July 1986, has finally gone overseas. She was towed out of Lauzon on June 6, 1987, by the Polish tug JANTAR, and arrived safely at Lisbon, Portugal, although we do not yet have the arrival date. By July 5, JANTAR was back at Lauzon, apparently to make the crossing to Europe with PETER A. B. WIDENER, which also had left the lakes in 1986.
The USS Great Lakes Fleet's historic turbine-powered self-unloader T. W. ROBINSON, which was built by AmShip at Lorain in 1925 and recently was sold to Marine Salvage Ltd. after lying idle since 1982, departed Rogers City in tow on May 2nd. Under the ministrations of TUSKER and GLENADA, she passed down at Detroit the next day and arrived at Ramey's Bend on May 5. She was not scrapped there, however, but was resold to overseas breakers and was taken down the Seaway on July 31st by the same tugs. It is believed that ROBINSON left Quebec on August 13 in tow of JANTAR.
Meanwhile, the Steel Trust had sold the ROBINSON'S near-sister ROGERS CITY, (a) B. H. TAYLOR (57), which was built by AmShip at Lorain in 1923, to New Orleans buyers for use as a barge to carry drilling mud to oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. However, on July 10, she was towed from Rogers City to Menominee, apparently at the request of Upper Lakes Towing Company Inc., Escanaba. It is possible that there may be plans to use her as a self-unloading barge on the lakes, but no further details are available at this time.
Marine Salvage's NO. 265808, the former BENSON FORD (II), lay last winter at Thorold, where she was loaded with a storage cargo of saltcake from the Ontario Paper plant. Come spring, the cargo was transferred to the salty 0RES-TIA, and NO. 265808 was sold to overseas breakers. She was moved from Wharf 6 at Thorold on June 12 by TUSKER and GLENADA, and was downbound in the Seaway on June 15. She arrived at Sorel on the 17th and was moored beside the former Coast Guard icebreaker N. B. McLEAN, presumably to await a tow overseas. In the meantime, Port Maitland shipbreakers began work this spring on the scrapping of NO. 266029. the former WILLIAM CLAY FORD (I), and at last report, her after cabins had been cut away.
It was earlier suggested that the Azcon Corp. would not scrap any more ships at its Duluth yard as a result of environmental concerns regarding pollution caused during the cutting of boats equipped with asbestos lagging on steam pipes. However, Azcon will dismantle the 70-year-old former tinstacker EUGENE W. PARGNY, which was converted to a motorship in 1951. Stripping of the PARGNY began in late June. On the other hand, it is said that Azcon's 64-year-old JOSHUA A. HATFIELD will not be scrapped at Duluth, but rather will be resold to Port Colborne Shipbreaking for dismantling.
Early in the 1987 season, the Star Line announced that its dinner/cruise vessel STAR OF CHARLEVOIX would be moved to Toronto for service as STAR OF TORONTO. Concurrently, York-Hannover Leisure Properties Ltd. applied to the Canadian Water Transport Committee for a waiver to allow the U.S.-flag boat to run at Toronto from May to October 1987. She left Charlevoix under her new name on June 2 and soon was at Toronto, although as far as we know, she did not operate here. Meanwhile, a furor arose at Charlevoix because Star Line's new STAR OF CHARLEVOIX, a stern-wheeler being built for the service, would not be completed this season. Accordingly, STAR OF TORONTO sailed uplakes again and on July 2 was up at the Huron Cut. She has since reverted to her old run and we do not know whether she will come to Toronto in 1988.
A novel aspect of the 1987 season has been the return of log rafting to Lake Superior for the first time since 1973. On May 10, the McLean tug WILFRED M. COHEN from the Soo towed a 9,000-cord raft of sawlogs from Buchanan Forest Products at Marathon, bound for Northern Wood Preservers Inc. at Thunder Bay. Unfortunately, when the raft arrived at Thunder Bay on May 13, it was considerably smaller because of the loss of many of the logs en route, and officials issued warnings to small boat operators about the hazard posed by logs loose on the lake. The parties involved in the raft tow are hoping that further such shipments can be made in the future.
The N. M. Paterson and Sons Ltd. motorship COMEAUDOC ran into trouble about 8:45 p.m. on June 1, when she grounded off Point Beaudette on the south side of the channel in Lake St. Francis, whilst bound from Thunder Bay to Quebec with grain. Tugs attempted to refloat her on June 2 but without success, and the McAllister lighter MAPLEHEATH was summoned from Valleyfield to remove part of the cargo. COMEAUDOC was eventually refloated without serious damage.
MAPLEHEATH finally was towed away from Kingston on May 2, 1987, by the tug DANIEL McALLISTER, thus ending many years of McAllister wrecking service at that port. MAPLEHEATH was taken to Valleyfield, Quebec, where she is now stationed. The last remaining denizen of the Kingston McAllister yard, the barge (and former steam tug) CAPT. M. B. DONNELLY, spent much of the spring at Toronto, where she assisted in raising a small plane which had crashed into the lake off Gibraltar Point during the previous winter.
A serious grounding occurred in the Seaway at 3:14 p.m. on July 28, when the salty ANDREW H. stranded on Henry Island while upbound with a cargo of steel for Hamilton. The tug LEONARD W. was called from Quebec, DANIEL McALLISTER, HELEN M. McALLISTER and SALVAGE MONARCH from Montreal. As well, the lighter P.S. BARGE NO. 1 and DERRICK SCOW 5 were at the scene. Much of the ship's cargo was removed to the wharf at Valleyfield, where it was reloaded after ANDREW H. was refloated on August 3rd.
At 11:15 a.m. on July 16, while attempting to secure on the centre pier below the Poe Lock at the Soo, the upbound (loaded) steamer SPARROWS POINT struck the wall heavily, causing fairly substantial damage to her starboard bow. She was detained by the Coast Guard and then allowed to continue her trip. Then, at 9:00 a.m. on July 20, RESERVE, which was downbound into the Poe Lock, and CANADIAN ENTERPRISE, entering the MacArthur Lock downbound, brushed sides, but little damage was reported. Meanwhile, back on April 27 at about 1:35 p.m., the P & H steamer WILLOWGLEN, whilst preparing to enter the MacArthur Lock downbound, veered into the centre pier, gashing plates on her port bow and damaging three pier timbers. The accident occurred during high winds, and water surge may also have been a factor. The ship was trimmed to prevent further water intake and went to the Carbide Dock at the Michigan Soo for temporary repairs. After delivering her grain cargo, she underwent permanent repairs at the Welland Dock, remaining idle there until mid-July, when she re-entered service.
A much more serious problem developed at about 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22nd, as the tour boat CHIEF SHINGWAUK was entering the Canadian Soo Lock, downbound. Without warning, a 200-foot section of the south lock wall bulged outward some four inches. The CHIEF was hurriedly backed from the chamber, and the lock was left full to allow water pressure to stabilize the wall pending engineering assessment of the situation. The accident is remarkably similar to what occurred at Lock 7 on the Welland Canal two years ago, but may be much more difficult to remedy in view of the fact that the 92-year-old Soo Lock is constructed with walls of hewn sandstone rather than solid concrete. The lock certainly will be out of service for the remainder of the year, and perhaps permanently. Meanwhile, the U.S. Corps of Engineers, plagued with numerous passages of tour boats and yachts through the American Canal, opened the third (Davis) lock to traffic on July 25, during daylight hours only, so as to avoid delays to commercial shipping.
The scrapping of the cement barge ROBERT KOCH resumed at Contrecoeur in June, with the former Gondel International scrapyard under new management. The ship was not moved into the scrapping berth but rather was being cut up where she lay, the scrap being dropped onto a barge moored alongside.
In our May issue, we reported that the barge D.D.S. SALVAGER had been purchased by A. B. McLean Ltd. and brought to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, on May 4th. The arrival date was correct but not the identity of the barge's new owner. In fact, her purchaser is J. W. Purvis Marine Ltd., which has been using the barge to offload coal cargoes from lakers loaded too deep for the docks of the Algoma Steel plant at the Soo. As well, D.D.S. SALVAGER has taken two trips to Windsor with steel products which were galvanized there and then returned to the Soo in the barge.
Over the past several issues, we have monitored the progress of the tow of FRANK A. SHERMAN and RED WING to overseas breakers. It will be recalled that both ships left Toronto in June 1986 and, during the winter, crossed the Pacific Ocean, bound for Taiwan in tow of the tug CANADIAN VIKING. Theo Davies Marine Agencies Inc., agents for the tug in Honolulu, where the tow stopped briefly, has confirmed that the boats arrived safely at Kaohsiung, but we do not yet know the date of arrival. In June, CANADIAN VIKING, owned by Viking Overseas Towing Ltd. (the principal of which is Capt. W. B. Church), of Surrey, British Columbia, was still in Taiwan undergoing repairs.
When the Litton Great Lakes Corporation's tug/barge combination PRESQUE ISLE cleared the Litton shipyard at Erie, Pennsylvania, early on May 20, it was probably the last time her old home port would see her. The area occupied by the shipyard is being redeveloped as Niagara Place, with the work starting this summer, and PRESQUE ISLE will have to spend future winters elsewhere.
An unusual trip took the American Steamship Company self-unloader AMERICAN REPUBLIC down the Seaway on July 31. The motorship sailed in ballast to Contrecoeur, where she loaded a cargo of ore for Cleveland, and she was upbound again in the St. Lawrence canals on August 2nd.
Another unusual Seaway passage took place in early August when the package freighter WOODLAND, which normally runs on the upper lakes, took a load of lumber to Ogdensburg and Montreal. Downbound in the Seaway on the 2nd, she then loaded supplies for a trip into the Arctic. She supposedly will return to the lakes later in the season.
The 141-year-old schooner ALVIN CLARK, which has been lying at Menominee since her raising from the waters of Green Bay in 1969, was sold on April 6 by Mystery Ship Preservation Society Inc. to The Group Investors Diversified for $92,500. Plans call for her to be restored and moved to a permanent berth ashore by Mystery Ship Seaport Marina.
A novel response to the summer idleness of its vessels has once again been shown by Navican Management, which opened BEAVERCLIFFE HALL to public inspection at Montreal at least through the end of August. During the summer of 1986, the firm did likewise with MAPLECLIFFE HALL at the same port.
Two new passenger boats are this year running to Mackinac Island. Shepler's Inc., Mackinaw City, has commissioned the 78-foot, 265-passenger, aluminum-hulled CAPT. SHEPLER, built by Aluminum Boats Inc. of Crown Point, Louisiana. Meanwhile, the Arnold Transit Company has added the 82.5-foot, 365-passenger aluminum-hulled catamaran MACKINAW EXPRESS, which was constructed by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding at Somerset, Massachusetts.
The former Cleveland-Cliffs steamer FRONTENAC, which was scrapped by Fraser Shipyards at Superior after suffering grounding damage, will live on in the form of her pilothouse. To be used as a museum at Two Harbors by the Lake County Historical Society, it left Superior on June l6th aboard a barge towed by the tug REUBEN JOHNSON.
MEDUSA CONQUEST is the name given to the Medusa Cement Company's barge which Bay Shipbuilding has made from the hull of the old Amoco steam tanker AMOCO INDIANA, (a) RED CROWN (62). A large towing notch has been cut in her stern and she sports a rudder on each side of the notch. The cement unloading gear is fitted forward. The barge entered service during mid-July, motive power being supplied by the tug JAMES A. HANNAH.
The sinking of the former tinstacker SEWELL AVERY to form the new dock for A. B. McLean Ltd. at the Canadian Soo, began on June 26, the ship's holds being filled with slag from the Algoma Steel plant. Shortly thereafter, the AVERY was in place, although none of her cabins have yet been removed.
The tug GENERAL has been running on the lakes in 1987, recently acquired by the Durocher Dock and Dredge Company, Cheboygan, Michigan. Built in 1954 at Leavenworth, Kansas, as Hull 12 of Missouri Valley Steel Inc. as (a) ST 1999 for the U.S. Army, she was later (b) AU SABLE (85) for the Engineers Corps, and still later (c) CHALLENGER (87). She sports Durocher colours and was on drydock at the Michigan Soo in early May.
The Bahamas-flag salty HELENE, owned by Colonial Navigation Inc. of Georgia, arrived at Toronto with a sugar cargo on May 10. She anchored in the bay and moved to the Redpath dock on the 13th. Back at anchor on May 16 after unloading, she was arrested by the York County Sheriff over crew complaints fur unpaid wages, and the ship was featured prominently in the press. The litigation eventually was settled and the ship cleared Toronto on May 21. Another salty seized in the lakes this year was the Cuban PRESIDENTE ALLENDE, plastered at Montreal in mid-August after unloading sugar at Toronto, the problem concerning accounts allegedly owed to a Canadian firm.
Scrapping of the former Bethlehem Steel steamer ARTHUR B. HOMER has progressed quickly at the yard at the end of Port Colborne's east pier. Most of her hull has been cut up, despite suggestions that part of her bottom might be resold for use as a barge. On June 17, the former Cliffs steamer WILLIAM P. SNYDER JR., a veteran of 75 years, was towed to the same yard by THUNDER CAPE and ELMORE M. MISNER, and was moored ahead of the HOMER to await the end. The vessel, which was towed from Toledo on June 15, had most of the beautiful woodwork stripped out of her forward accommodations, and her after cabin apparently was vandalized during her years of idleness at Toledo. It appears that the next ship bound for the Port Colborne Shipbreaking yard may be (can it be possible?) the beautiful, 27-year-old, Inland Steel Company steamer EDWARD L. RYERSON, for whose sale MarAd approval has been requested.
The 79-year-old Inland motorship E. J. BLOCK, recently acquired by Marine Salvage, was down the Huron Cut on August 16 in tow of TUSKER and GLENADA. The BLOCK was tucked into Ramey's Bend, Port Colborne, on August 18.
The "Journal of Commerce" reported July 30 that U.S. MarAd approval had been asked for the sale of the former Cleveland-Cliffs and Seaway Lines steamers CADILLAC and CHAMPLAIN, via Jacq. Pierot Jr. & Sons, New York, to Corostel Trading Ltd., Montreal, for scrapping abroad. (The ships had been the subject of protracted litigation in the U.S. District Court.) Later, "Fairplay" commented that the Panamanian-flag steamers, owned by Pais Marine S.A., had been sold to Turkish breakers for $51.00 U.S. per light ton, with delivery as is at Quebec. We do not yet know how the two reports fit together, but the two Maritime-class steamers were towed away from their long-time Toledo lay-up berths and down the Welland Canal during late August. See Page Fourteen for further details.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.