Grand Haven received two cargoes this past week, both from frequent visitors.

On Sunday, Port City Marine’s articulated tug/barge Commander/Bradshaw McKee arrived in port with a partial load of cement for the St. Marys Cement terminal in Ferrysburg. The pair had already visited Chicago to discharge the first portion of their load.

Late Tuesday night, the steamship Wilfred Sykes of Central Marine Logistics called on the Verplank dock in Ferrysburg to deliver a load of slag. The Sykes was still in port Wednesday afternoon, likely waiting out weather.

It was the 10th visit of the season for the Commander/McKee. The Sykes is our most frequent visitor on the season with 16 visits.

The Wilfred Sykes has been sailing the Great Lakes since 1949. It was built by the American Ship Building Co. at Lorain, Ohio, for the Inland Steel Co. It has the distinction of being the first ship constructed on the Great Lakes after World War II. the Sykes has sailed its entire career under the same name, which honors a former president of Inland Steel who retired in 1949 and died in 1964.

The Sykes was converted to a self-unloader in 1975 at Fraser Shipyards Inc. in Superior, Wisconsin. Inland Steel was acquired by ArcelorMittal, one of the world’s largest international steel makers, during the steel industry consolidations of the late ‘90s. Measuring 678 feet long by 70 feet wide, with a depth of 37 feet, the Sykes has a cargo capacity of 21,500 tons. Additionally, it is equipped with a 250-foot unloading boom, and driven by a 3,500-horsepower Skinner Uniflow Engine. It also has a bow thruster, which is helpful in ports like Grand Haven.

The Wilfred Sykes mainly stays on Lake Michigan, delivering loads of stone from Port Inland and Cedarville, Michigan, to the bottom of Lake Michigan at docks in Burns Harbor and Indiana Harbor, Indiana. Following the discharge of these stone loads, the Sykes will occasionally shift over to a different dock in one of these two ports and load slag for Grand Haven.

We are expecting the Kaye E. Barker at the Verplank dock once or twice later this week, but that is weather dependent.

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