The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Many Big Carriers Wait For Weather
Cleveland Leader (Cleveland, OH), 11 Nov 1913, p. 9

Full Text
Many Big Carriers Wait For Weather
Fifty Freighters Are at Anchor Between the Soo and Whitefish Point.

By George V. Callahan.
Marine Editor of the Leader

Much time was lost by the fleet on account of the storm which has been sweeping the upper lakes for several days and which struck Lake Erie with full force Sunday. Two freighters that have been reported stranded are probably through for the season, as they will have to go to drydock for repairs after they are released. It is figured that the delay will set the trade back nearly a week, and the capacity of the fleet will be greatly reduced.

A large number of freighters have been held at the Soo since Sunday, due to the gale and low water. The water was very low yesterday and was down to 18 feet 3 inches. Many of the vessels that are waiting are drawing 18 feet 10 inches. The boats were not moving Monday afternoon according to a wireless message received from the steamer J. M. Schoonmaker, which reached the Soo Sunday noon. The steamer Arcturus with ore reached Fairport Sunday, but a large number of ore and and grain carriers that were due Sunday have not reported at Lake Erie ports.

The boats will be bunched and there will be quite a little delay after the storm is over. Most of the docks were idle yesterday and there will be a scarcity of cars in all lines, as the railroads are pretty well tried up.

The vessel men were too busy yesterday trying to locate their boats, and no effort was made to do any business. Aside from the wireless dispatches no reports were received. Nearly all the freighters are late, and a number of ships that were chartered to load this week will not get around on time. The delay will make quite a difference in the freight market unless the cold weather cuts off the movement of ore, and some of the shippers say that is not likely. The indications are that the loss of time will be the cause of a number of steamers losing a cargo.

The telegraph companies expect to be in shape to handle business today, and there will probably be something done to gain freights. All vessel reports including the passages, are a day late, and no reports were received for Monday. A dispatch from the Soo, filed Sunday night, said:

Lake Superior has been lashed by a fifty-mile gale for the past thirty-six hours. Steamers arriving at the Soo today from Lake Superior ports were all coated with ice. The Northern Navigation Company's steamer Saronic was sheathed with ice as she steamed into the canal approach on the Canadian side. The wind was blowing from the north and northeast, and waves and spray, driven by a terrific gale, froze hard on her port side.

We never had a let-up from the time we left Duluth," said Captain Storr, of the Maricopa, tonight. "The gale blew fifty miles an hour all the way down Superior. The ice gathered fast on our boat. It was necessary at times to saw it away from the front of our wheelhouse in order to see. The furious wind, coupled with the freezing temperature, made it one of the fiercest gales I have experienced in years."

Weather Observer Burns was kept busy giving information as to weather conditions, and many steamers needed[ ] warnings given out. Over fifty steamers are lying at anchor between the Soo and Whitefish Point awaiting abatement of the storm. Practically nothing that passed the Soo during the past thirty-six hours has gone past Whitefish Point.

The steamer Farrell, of the Pittsburg fleet, lost both of her anchores off Gross Cap Point last night and returned to the Soo today.

Passenger Boat Sails.

The passenger steamer Western States, which was held over Sunday night, sailed for Detroit last night and she was the only boat to leave the harbor.

Many of the bridges were put out of commission by the storm and vessels could not be shifted. The local tugs did not take a line yesterday aside from the passenger boats.

Callahan, George V.
Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Publication:
11 Nov 1913
Personal Name(s):
Storr, Captain
Corporate Name(s):
Northern Navigation Company
Language of Item:
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.4995 Longitude: -81.69541
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Many Big Carriers Wait For Weather