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Infrequent visitors visit Grand Haven port last week

Sam Hankinson • Oct 31, 2018 at 11:00 AM

The port of Grand Haven has been busy since my last article. This week, my good friend Jack Hurt wrote our Ship’s Log. Here is his report.

This past week, the port of Grand Haven saw five different vessels make an appearance in town. Some of these vessels were more rare than others.

On Thursday, Port City’s articulated tug/barge Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Challenger arrived during the day with a partial load of cement from Charlevoix. They headed up the Grand River to the St. Marys Cement terminal and unloaded their cargo. On Friday, they departed with a destination of Chicago, to unload the remainder. 

Pere Marquette Shipping’s Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 arrived Friday with a load of ag lime from Cedarville. They unloaded at the Verplank dock in Ferrysburg and departed after dusk. Three days after their departure, they called on Grand Haven to unload slag from Burns Harbor, Indiana. The pair returned to the port Monday night and unloaded at the Verplank dock. They departed early Tuesday morning bound for Holland. 

Two vessels closed in on Grand Haven on Saturday night. Central Marine Logistics’ self-unloading steamship Wilfred Sykes approached from the south, while Interlake Steamship Co.’s self-unloading motor vessel Herbert C. Jackson approached from the north. The Sykes arrived first and headed up the river to the Verplank dock. The Jackson checked down above Muskegon as the dock could not accommodate both vessels as the same time. 

The Sykes arrived with a load of slag from Burns Harbor. It traveled up the Grand River to the Verplank dock, unloaded and backed out of the port early Sunday morning. Shortly after the Sykes’ departure, the Jackson crossed the pier heads and went up the Grand River to the Verplank dock with a load of stone from Port Inland. After unloading, the ship departed that afternoon for Marquette. 

The next vessel to arrive in Grand Haven was a Canadian-flagged vessel. Lower Lakes Towing Ltd.’s self-unloading motor vessel Mississagi arrived with a load of trap rock from Bruce Mines, Ontario, for the Verplank dock. After unloading the cargo, they departed late Monday morning to head back to Bruce Mines.

The Herbert C. Jackson and Mississagi are infrequent visitors. This was the Jackson’s first visit since June 27, and its second overall this season. For the Mississagi, this was its first visit since June 1 and third overall this season. 

Launched in 1959 at Great Lakes Engineerings Works, River Rouge (Detroit), the Herbert C. Jackson has gone through changes internally and externally. In 1975, the Jackson was converted to a self-unloading vessel when it received a 250-foot discharging boom at DeFoe Shipbuilding, Bay City. In 2016, it underwent conversion from a steamship to a motor vessel when it received two MaK-6ME32 diesel engines at Fraser Shipyards in Superior, Wisconsin.

The Jackson is named after Herbert Cooper Jackson, former executive vice president and director of Pickands Mather & Co.

A part of the “Maritime Class” built in 1943, the 75-year-old Mississagi started off its trading days as the George A. Sloan for U.S. Steel, and later on for the Great Lakes fleet. During its time flying the United States flag, it was given a self-unloading boom in 1966, and was converted to a motor vessel in 1985. Both of these took place at Fraser Shipyards. 

In 2000, the Sloan laid up in Sarnia, Ontario. Later on, an announcement was made that the Sloan and fleetmates Myron C. Taylor and Calcite II were purchased by Lower Lakes Towing Ltd., of Port Dover, Ontario. After the purchase, the Sloan was flagged Canadian and became the Mississagi. The Myron C. Taylor was renamed the Calumet and the Calcite II became the Maumee. Both the Calumet and Maumee remained flagged United States and were both sent to scrap several years after the purchase. At the time of the Calumet’s scrapping, Lower Lakes Towing purchased the David Z., which later became the current day Calumet.  

As of now, the Wilfred Sykes is scheduled to come back next weekend.



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