The cutter Mackinaw arrived last Wednesday morning, tying up outside the Government Basin. The vessel was in port for two days and offered free tours on Thursday. On Friday afternoon, the cutter departed, heading north for the Straits of Mackinac and its homeport of Cheboygan.
Early Thursday morning, Pere Marquette Shipping’s articulated tug/barge Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 came into port with a load of stone for the Verplank dock in Ferrysburg.
The pair was observed departing from Verplank’s shortly after the noon hour. The barge used its unloading equipment on deck to push off from the dock.
As the duo backed past the Mackinaw, the vessels exchanged salutes. Foggy conditions met the tug/barge as they approached Lake Michigan. Vessels are required to sound their horn (one long blast) roughly every two minutes when they are operating in restricted visibility, so the pair could be heard long after they disappeared from sight.
On Friday morning, Port City’s articulated tug/barge Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Conquest delivered a load of cement to the St. Marys Cement terminal in Ferrysburg. After spending the night in port, they were gone by Saturday afternoon.
Monday saw the arrival of two vessels into port. First was the Wilfred Sykes, calling on Meekhof’s D&M with a load of slag. The Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 followed a few hours behind, returning to the Verplank dock with another load of stone.
The Sykes was outbound around sunset and the Undaunted/PM41 were gone by Tuesday morning.
The Sykes and PM41 both logged their fifth visits of the season on Monday. The St. Marys Conquest was making its second visit of the season, but for the tug Prentiss Brown, it was the first time in our port for the season.
Port City has recently introduced a third vessel into its fleet, the barge Commander. At the start of the season, the Prentiss Brown was paired with the St. Marys Challenger and the Bradshaw McKee was paired with the St. Marys Conquest. The Commander was still getting work done at the start of the season, but recently it was put into service with the Bradshaw McKee pushing it. The St. Marys Conquest was picked up by the Prentiss Brown and the St. Marys Challenger was left in Chicago.
These rotations are somewhat strategic to allow crews to have time to work on each barge.