Friday, January 30, 2009

Who Owns the Griffin Shipwreck?

Here's an interesting turn of events in the squabble over who owns the Griffin, the 17th century ship supposedly in northern Lake Michigan.

France Asserts Ownership of Griffin shipwreck

Now France is saying they own the shipwreck and joins the legal battle that has been going on between the State of Michigan and Great Lakes Exploration LLC who claim to have located the Griffin.

The Griffin was built by LaSalle and disappeared on its maiden voyage in 1679 loaded with furs when it departed Wisconsin near Green Bay.

It never ceases to amaze me that the waters of the St. Marys River are the same waters sailed by early explorers and must look somewhat the same.

I read a poem by Jane Johnston Schoolcraft that was written about 200 years ago. The thoughts remain true even today.

Fair land of the lakes! thou are blest to my sight,
With thy beaming bright waters, and landscapes of light;
The breeze and the murmur, the dash and the roar,
That summer and autumn cast over the shore,
They spring to my thoughts, like the lullaby tongue,
That soothed me to slumber when youthful and young.

Monday, January 26, 2009

January Shipping Numbers

I found the following post on a web site called SNAMeMarine News Daily. It is not good news.

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes in January plunged 80 percent compared to a year ago, totaling only 700,000 net tons. The last iron ore cargo was loaded on January 13. Even though the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, close on January 15, the iron ore trade, from Escanaba, Michigan, usually continues until the end of January, and often into February. Instead, that dock loaded its final cargo on January 9.

The 700,000 tons that did move in January do not even represent a full month’s shipments from any of the largest iron ore ports on the Lakes. The January ore float also only represents enough cargo to keep two and a half of the largest U.S.-Flag lakers busy for a month.
Lake Carriers’ Association represents 16 American corporations that operate 63 U.S.-Flag vessels on the Great Lakes. These vessels carry the raw materials that drive the nation’s economy: Iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, limestone and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation. Collectively, these vessels can transport more than 115 million tons of cargo a year when high water levels offset the lack of adequate dredging of Great Lakes ports and waterways.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Interesting Blog

I love to hear stories from others about life on the St. Marys River. I found an interesting blog today that describes a visit to the Locks. You can enjoy it too at Caracolina.

I am in Phoenix right now enjoying the sunny, warm desert. We drove here from Michigan. On the way we crossed the Red River in Shreveport Louisiana.

I read that the Red River had been navigable many years ago but in recent years is was not. However, the Corps of Engineers worked on the Red River and installed a series of dams and locks and since the 90's the Red River is once again navigable.

We have to love the Corp of Engineers.

Please send me any pictures you have of the St. Marys River from any season and I will be glad to post them. Thanks, Brenda

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Shipping Season Draws to a Close

The shipping season will close at midnight on Jan. 15. I see that it is -15 degrees in the Soo but I am sitting in Phoenix watching the sun come up over the mountains. Today's predicted high temperature in Phoenix is 77 degrees. But I am looking forward to the day in June where I'm sitting watching the sun come up over Sugar Island and reflecting onto the water of the St. Marys River.

Interesting reading in the Evening News. Shipping Season Close