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GH received 101 cargoes in 2017-18

By Sam Hankinson/Ships Log • Jan 20, 2018 at 2:00 PM

With the Great Lakes quickly freezing over, most ships have laid up for the season.

Our port was expecting one more shipment of slag aboard the Joseph L. Block, but poor ice conditions at the loading dock prevented that, and the ship instead sailed for Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, for winter layup.

That means that when the St. Marys Challenger/Prentiss Brown visited Grand Haven on Jan. 9, it was our final cargo for the 2017-18 season. We finished with 101 cargoes.

This season’s number is a 31 percent increase when compared with data from the past five seasons. There isn’t a big difference when compared to last season, when we received 100 cargoes, but it’s our port’s third straight year of growth, and our second straight year of triple-digit cargoes.

Eighteen different vessels visited our port this season. Thirteen of them were American-flagged ships and five were Canadian. Those ships were the Algosteel, Ashtabula/Defiance, Calumet, Cuyahoga, Herbert C. Jackson, Joseph H. Thompson/Joseph H. Thompson Jr, Joseph L. Block, Kaye E. Barker, Manitoulin, Manitowoc, Menominee/Olive L. Moore, Michipicoten, Mississagi, Pathfinder/Dorothy Ann, Pere Marquette 41/Undaunted, St. Marys Challenger/Prentiss Brown, St. Marys Conquest/Bradshaw McKee and Wilfred Sykes.

Photo Gallery: See each of the 18 ships that visited port

There are a few interesting things to point out about our visitors this season. The Algosteel, built in 1966, may have visited our port for the final time. It could be sold for scrap next season.

The Joseph L. Block, which has been heavily covered in the last few Ships Log articles, visited Grand Haven for the first time since 2002, delivering several loads of slag.

The Manitoulin, a ship fairly new to the Great Lakes, visited for the first time ever in July 2017. It visited again in October. It’s a former tanker that had a new cargo section attached to it at a shipyard in China a few years ago.

The Menominee/Olive L. Moore visited once this season. The barge Menominee formerly visited our port as the Lewis J. Kuber.

The Wilfred Sykes was our most frequent visitor. It logged 19 trips into port this season. Close behind was the St. Marys Conquest/Bradshaw McKee, which came in 13 times. The Cuyahoga was our most frequent Canadian visitor, calling on Grand Haven four times.

This ends my second year of writing the Ships Log column for the Tribune. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without a lot of support from a lot of people.

First, I’d like to thank my mom and my dad. They have encouraged me to follow my passion and have supported me in everything that I do.

Thank you to my sister, Savannah, who occasionally let me borrow her camera this year.

I’d also like to thank Laney Decker for picking me up from the Verplank dock this summer at 2 a.m. when I got off the Kaye E. Barker.

Thank you to the fine people working at the docks in our port. I would not have been able to give updates on ships had it not been for constant updates from Adam at the BLP, Paul at D&M, Jeff at St. Mary’s Cement, as well as Jayme and Nate at Verplank.

To my good friend and mentor, Dick Fox, whom I am so grateful for this opportunity. Thank you for all that you have done for me.

And finally, thank you to my readers. It’s nice to be down at the pier watching a ship come in and have someone approach me and recognize my face.

Shipping usually starts back up in mid-March. Also, if you haven’t heard of the book “Know Your Ships,” you should check it out. The book will be available in March, but pre-orders will start soon. I don’t want to give anything away, but there’s something cool in this year’s edition.

See you in the spring!

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