Sunday, January 20, 2013

Photo of the Day - Monday, January 21st

This is one of only three photos I have of the tanker Saturn.  I took this photo in 2000 while she still sailed under the Cleveland Tankers flag.  She is seen here outbound at the Dow Chemical dock, just after turning off the Total Petroleum dock where the fleetmate, Jupiter, burned.

Tanker Saturn outbound at the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City

Photo of the Day - Sunday, January 20th

This photo shows the Joesph H. Frantz outbound on the Saginaw River, after unloading at the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City.  I took this photo on June 17, 2000 with my trusty old 35mm Minolta camera
Joesph H. Frantz outbound on the Saginaw River - June 17, 2000

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Photo of the Day - Saturday, January 19th

Myron C. Taylor inbound on the Saginaw River, sometime during the mid 1980's

I know, how can it be the photo of the day when there is not a photo for the past week.  
I guess I am a slacker like that.

This photo of the Myron C. Taylor was taken sometime around the mid to late '80's at 
the mouth of the Saginaw River.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Photo of the Day - Thursday, January 10th

The following photo of the Canadian Transfer was taken during the 2001 season on the Saginaw River.  She is seen here unloading Potash at the North Star dock in Essexville.
Canadian Transfer unloading at the North Star Dock - 2001

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Photo of the Day - Wednesday, January 9th

Here is CSL's classic steamer, HALIFAX, unloading clinker at the Essroc Cement dock in Essexville.  I took this photo during the 2001 season.
Halifax unloading at the Essroc dock in Essexville - 2001

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Photo of the Day - Tuesday. January 8th

Today's photo shows the Wilfred Sykes turning in the basin at the end of the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City.  I took this photo during the summer of 2002.
Wilred Sykes turning in the Wirt Turning Basin in Bay City - 2002

Monday, January 7, 2013

Classic Saginaw River Photos

Well, OK.  Maybe they are not "Classics" yet, but I thought it would be neat to go back in my old 35mm prints, scan some and start posting them here for something to do during the slow winter months.  I hope everyone will enjoy them.

Today's photo is of Oglebay-Norton's WOLVERINE.  She is now operating for Lower Lakes Towing as the ROBERT S. PIERSON.  This photo was taken during the summer of 2001:

Wolverine inbound on the Saginaw River at Smith Park in Essexville, during the 2001 season.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Alpena Photos

Here are a few more photos I took of the Alpena on January 4, 2013

Saginaw River Passage - January 4, 2013

On Friday, the USCG Cutter Hollyhock escorted the Alpena through the ice on the Saginaw Bay.  Once at the Front Range, Hollyhock stopped at Consumers Energy leaving Alpena to bust through the ice on the Saginaw River herself as she made her way to the Essroc dock in Essexville.  Alpena's visit is the first of 2013 for the Saginaw River.
Alpena at the Essroc dock in Essexville - January 4, 2013

This was an unusual trip for the Alpena as I haven't seen a ILM vessel unload on the Saginaw River anywhere other than Lafarge.  In 2012, the G.L. Ostrander - Integrity also unloaded at Essroc.  Something to keep an eye on for 2013.
Alpena busting ice while upbound on the Saginaw River - January 4, 2013

Saginaw River 2012 Year End Report

Saginaw River 2012 Shipping Season Wrap-Up

Once again, I began the 2012 shipping season with high hopes for a rebound from the declining number of vessel passages and cargoes that have been recorded over the past five years.  It was my gut feeling that this season would be the year to reverse that downward trend.  Sadly, this was once again not to be the case, as the following numbers will show you.  This is a look back at what happened along the banks of the Saginaw River during this past season.

Samuel de Champlain - Innovation inbound just above Independence Bridge on April 2, 2012
The 2012 shipping season officially started on April 2nd, with the arrival of the tug Samuel De Champlain and her cement barge, Innovation, who arrived to unload their cargo at the Lafarge Cement Terminal in Carrollton.  This was ten days earlier than their visit to open the 2011 season.  The 2012 season came to a close when the tug Olive L. Moore and her barge, Lewis J. Kuber, departed the Wirt Stone Dock in Saginaw on December 14th.  For the year, there were a total of 134 commercial vessel passages, by 22 different vessels, for a season lasting 258 days. These numbers are once again a decrease, though not by many, over the previous season. During the 2011 season, there were four more vessel passages, from four more boats, and the season was four days shorter.

Dorothy Ann - Pathfinder inbound on the Saginaw Bay nearing the Front Range on July 7, 2012
Looking at some of the other statistics from the 2012 season, 16 different docks along the Saginaw River saw cargo deliveries. This has now been the same for past three years.  The dock that saw the most traffic was the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City, seeing 24 deliveries, up ten from 2011. Coming in second was the Bay Aggregates Dock in Bay City, with 23 cargo deliveries, which is down six from last years total of 29. The third place dock was the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville, with 15 deliveries. These three docks accounted for 39% of the cargo delivered to the Saginaw River in 2012.  The top three in 2011 were Bay Aggregates, Lafarge Stone in Saginaw, and Wirt Stone in Bay City.  In all, accounting for split cargos for some vessels that unloaded at two different docks, there were 161 deliveries to the various docks along the Saginaw River.
Calumet unloading Sugar Stone at the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City on August 15, 2012

The workhorse of the Saginaw River, without question, has to be the tug Olive L. Moore, paired with the self-unloading barge Lewis J. Kuber. This pair made 50 trips to the river, two fewer trips than they made in 2011, and 37 more than the next highest visitor, the Algorail, who had 13. Third place went to the Manitowoc, who logged 10 passages.  The American Century and Stephen B. Roman were next, tied with 8 passages each.  This is the sixth year in a row that the Olive L. Moore – Lewis J. Kuber have had the most passages.
Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber outbound at the Lake State Railway Bridge on December 13, 2012

There was no contest for the most represented fleet for 2012. Lower Lakes Towing/Grand River Navigation blew the other fleets out of the water, logging 71 vessel passages. This was the sixth year in a row for LLT/GRN in the #1 position. Even though they had four fewer deliveries than in 2011 they still accounted for 53% of the vessel passages on the Saginaw River in 2012. The next busiest fleet was Algoma Central Marine with 13 passages, and then in third was the American Steamship Company with 17. These three companies accounted for a whopping 79% of all deliveries on the Saginaw River in 2012.
American Century inbound near the Channel Island in the Saginaw Bay on August 26, 2012

There were a number of vessels seen on the Saginaw River in 2011, but not making a visit here in 2012. These boats were Alpena, Michipicoten, Saginaw, Tug Invincible-Barge McKee Sons, Tug Undaunted-Barge Pere Marquette 41, Tug Cleveland-Barge Cleveland Rocks, and the James Norris.  Sadly, we will never see again the James Norris, as she was scrapped at IMS in Port Colborne, ON.  The last visit by the Norris was November 14, 2011.  Vessels that we did not see in 2011, but made calls on the Saginaw River in 2012 were American Integrity, American Mariner, H. Lee White, Walter J. McCarthy, Jr., and the tug G.L. Ostrander-Barge Integrity.  A number of tugs: Kurt Luedtke, Karl Luedtke, Krista S, Manitou, Nickelena, Ohio, Colonel and Gregory J. Busch were active on the Saginaw River, and the research vessels Channel Cat, Mudpuppy II, and Chinook were also seen.  The USCG Cutter Hollyhock also made her traditional spring and fall visits to work aids to navigation in the Saginaw River Entrance Channel.
Alpena outbound at Lafayette Bridge.  I took this photo in August of 2011

Of the other stories of 2012, one of the biggest would be the long awaited arrival of the retired Navy Destroyer USS Edson, DD-946, on August 7th.  Under tow of the big Dann Marine tug, Colonel, and Malcolm Marine tug, Manitou, the “Grey Ghost of the Vietnam Coast” arrived to much fanfare and celebration.  The Edson is currently tied up at the Wirt Sand and Stone dock in Essexville awaiting the move to her permanent dock just below the Independence Bridge in Bangor Township.  Dredging of the Saginaw River took place again in 2012 with Luedtke Engineering working the upper river, from the Sixth Street turning basin in Saginaw, down to the Cheboyganing Creek, during the late fall. The SCS Greyfox made her usual appearance in July, giving tours and cruises during the week of the Forth of July.
Tug Colonel towing the USS Edson into Bay City on August 7, 2012

Hopefully 2013 will bring increased traffic and more product to the docks along the banks of the Saginaw River. In 2005 there were 347 passages. This number has decreased every year since, down to the 2012 total of 134. Will this year be the rebound year? Time will tell.
Tug Kurt Luedtke pushing a mud scow upbound at Cheboyganing Creek on  December 13, 2012

Here is wishing everyone a safe and prosperous shipping season in 2013!
Stephan B. Roman approaching the dock at Essroc in Essexville on July 28, 2012

The information contained in the report is as accurate and error free as possible, but is possible there may have been a vessel or dock delivery missed as tracking vessels for the entire season is not an easy or exact science.  Thank you for taking the time to read this year end report.  I will see everyone again in 2013 for my ninth season of logging commercial vessel movements on the Saginaw River.

Thanks for you support,

Todd A. Shorkey
Saginaw River Images

Algoway outbound at the old ADM/Countrymark dock in on July 21, 2012

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

End of the Season on the Saginaw River

Well, 2012 is in the books and that means it is time to crunch some numbers and put together the year end report for the Saginaw River.

Look for it here soon!!!!