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Busy week for GH port

By Sam Hankinson/Ships Log • Sep 20, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Six ships called on Grand Haven in the past week.

On Sept. 13, Port City’s articulated tug/barge combination Bradshaw McKee/St. Marys Conquest came into port with a load of cement for the St. Marys Cement terminal in Ferrysburg. The pair unloaded in Milwaukee before Grand Haven.

Lower Lakes Towing Ltd.’s motor vessel Cuyahoga arrived early Friday morning with a load of stone for Verplank’s dock in Ferrysburg. The ‘Hog was gone by noon.

Early Sunday morning, Central Marine Logistics’ steamship Wilfred Sykes called on Meekoff’s D&M with a load of slag. The Sykes unloaded and was gone by late morning.

On Tuesday, VanEnkevort Tug and Barge’s articulated tug/barge combination Joseph H. Thompson Jr./Joseph H. Thompson delivered a load of stone to the D&M dock. Later that day, LLT’s motor vessel Mississagi arrived with a cargo of trap rock for Verplank’s.

Pere Marquette Shipping’s articulated tug/barge Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 was due to arrive at Verplank’s late tonight or early Thursday.

The Cuyahoga has made four visits to Grand Haven this week. It is our most frequent Canadian-flagged visitor this season. The Thompson and Mississagi both visited for the second time.

The Cuyahoga was constructed in 1943. Its namesake is the Cuyahoga River, located in Cleveland, Ohio. It is famous for being the river that caught fire when it was severely polluted many years ago. Cuyahoga is derived from an Indian name that means “crooked river.”

The Cuyahoga is 620 feet long, 60 feet wide and 35 feet deep. It has a cargo capacity of 15,675 tons. It originally had a steam engine, but was repowered with a Caterpillar 3608 diesel engine in 1999 that is rated at 3,000 horsepower and allows the ship to sail at speeds of up to 12.6 knots.

The Thompson pair’s last (and maybe only) visit to our port was June 1, 2002. The Thompson has been at the forefront of two distinctive movements on the Great Lakes. First, the trend of converting old ocean-going ships for service on the Great Lakes; and the second, conversion from a self-powered ship to a barge.

The Joseph H. Thompson was built in 1944. It was converted to a barge in the late 1980s. The tug was built in 1990.

The pair’s namesake, Joseph H. Thompson, was a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He worked at several financial institutions in the Cleveland area until joining the M.A. Hannah Co. in 1937, where he eventually became chairman of the board in 1960. He retired in 1966 and died two years later.

The barge is 706 feet, 6 inches long; 71 feet, 6 inches wide; and 38 feet, 6 inches deep. It has a carrying capacity of 21,200 tons and is equipped with a bow thruster.

Joe Jr. is 146 feet, 6 inches long; 38 feet wide; and 35 feet deep. It is powered by two Caterpillar diesel engines.

The Mississagi was built in 1943. The namesake comes from the Mississagi Strait located in Lake Huron. The Mississagi is 620 feet, 6 inches long; 60 feet wide; and 35 feet deep. It has a cargo capacity of 15,800 tons. It was repowered in 1985 with a Caterpillar 3612-TA diesel engine rated at 4,500 horsepower, which gives a service speed of 13.8 knots. It is also equipped with a bow thruster.

The St. Marys Conquest is due to return this weekend.

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