Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 35, no. 6 (March 2003), p. 2

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Editor's Logbook - cont'd. 2. The ticket price will be $34. 00 Canadian per person and, as usual, guests will be most welcome. Please send your early remittance to our Chief Purser and, when paying, kindly specify whether you would prefer a salmon or ten­ derloin steak dinner. Cheques should be payable to Toronto Marine Historical Society and sent to William R. Wilson, 173 Glenrose Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4T 1K7. Tickets will be held at the door for all those who have reserved. Please note that space is limited and this will be a popular programme. We must confirm to the restaurant the number of persons attending AND their dinner choices, so reservations, accompanied by payment, must be received by Tuesday, May 6th. We regret that there can be no refunds after that date. Please plan to attend and reserve early for you and your party. The dinner meeting always is a high point of our season, and an evening enjoyed by all who attend. Won't you please join us? And remember that the dinner price includes all taxes and gratuities. * * * * * * * MARINE NEWS Despite the heavy ice that has plagued the Great Lakes this winter due to extraordinarily prolonged cold weather conditions, some navigation has continued. Algoma Central has provided occasional tanker trips to the Soo with fuel oil. The McKeil tanker CAPT. RALPH TUCKER, having been prevented by ice conditions from entering port at Manistee to load brine for Amherst­ burg, laid up briefly at Windsor, and then began a shuttle service to carry brine, trucked to Sarnia, down to Amherstburg. The plan seems to have worked despite heavy ice in the Lower St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River. Trouble, however, was encountered late on the evening of February 22, when high winds and ice pressure pulled the TUCKER away from the Amherstburg wharf. The unloading operation was quickly stopped and the ship's anchors were dropped, which stopped the TUCKER south of the dock. Ice movement again pushed the tanker free on the morning of the 23rd, and she was pushed aground some 600 feet south of the dock. The tugs STORMONT, ROGER STAHL and CAROLYN HOEY were sent to the scene and managed to free the TUCKER which then, accompanied by the STAHL, proceeded down the Amherstburg Chan­ nel, turned by the Detroit River Light, and proceeded up the Livingstone Channel, bound for Windsor where the tanker was to be inspected for damage. Another interesting winter operation has involved the trial shipment of steel coils by barge from the Canadian Soo to the McLouth Steel plant at Trenton, Michigan. What was to be the first of four trial loads to assess the feasibility of such shipments in mid-winter, began on Tuesday, February 18, when the Purvis Marine tug RELIANCE and barge P. M. L. 9000 departed the Soo. Even with the assistance of the tug WILFRED M. COHEN and the icebreaker U. S. C. G. MACKINAW, it took some 36 hours for the tow to reach DeTour and open water on Lake Huron. Once in the lower St. Clair River, severe ice con­ ditions again were encountered and C. C. G. S. SAMUEL RISLEY assisted. It was not until the evening of Friday, the 21st, that RELIANCE and P. M. L. 9000 arrived at their destination. The tow was to have left McLouth Steel again on Saturday, but a major winter storm delayed their departure. It remains to be seen, with winter showing no sign of abating, whether the remaining three trial trips will be completed. In some years, such efforts might be made without difficulty, but such is not the case in a "real winter". Last issue, we reported on the fact that Great Lakes Associates Inc. will be taking a five-year charter of Oglebay Norton's seIf-unloader JOSEPH H. FRANTZ for the grain trade to the General Mills plant at Buffalo. On Febru­ ary 10th, the Buffalo grain scoopers went to work for the last time to complete the unloading of the storage cargo from KINSMAN INDEPENDENT (iii), the last operating U. S. -flag lake straight-deck bulk carrier. With the work finished that afternoon, the scoopers retired to a nearby Irish pub to drink to the end of a tradition. Nothing has yet been announced regarding the fu­ ture of the INDEPENDENT, but scrapping seems likely.

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