American Integrity entering Duluth

Makinaw Entering Duluth Port

Edwin H. Gott

Photo by Diane Hilden

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Friday, November 7
Grandma’s Sports Garden
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Mark Gill, Director of Vessel Traffic Services ("Ice Ops") for the US Coast Guard at the Soo

TOPIC - "2014-The Great Lakes Epic Ice Season"  

Mr. Mark Gill assumed the duties as Director, Vessel Traffic Service St Marys River (aka Soo Traffic) in September of 2007.  He previously worked for Soo Traffic as a vessel traffic management specialist (2002 to 2005) and the VTS Supervisor (2005 to 2007).  Under Mr. Gill’s direction Soo Traffic manages Operation Taconite, the nation’s largest domestic ice breaking operation.


Mr. Gill began his career with the U.S. Coast Guard graduating from basic training at Cape May, New Jersey in April 1982.  He worked as a sonar electronics technician from 1983 to 1992, achieving the rank of Chief Petty Officer in 1989.  After graduating from University of Seattle, Washington in 1991, Mr. Gill attended Officer Candidate Training in Yorktown, Virginia and became a commissioned officer in July of 1992.  Mr. Gill retired from active military service in August 2002.  He was hired by the U.S. Coast Guard as a civil service employee in December 2002.


Mr. Gill’s shipboard assignments included enlisted tours of duty aboard USCGC GALLATIN (WHEC 721) and USCGC HAMILTON (WHEC 715).  He was the navigator and operations officer aboard USCGC MADRONA (WLB-302) and the Executive Officer of USCGC BRISTOL BAY (WLB-102) w/ Barge CG 12001.  His staff tours of duty included liaison assignments to U.S. Navy Fleet Training Groups Charleston, South Carolina, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and San Diego, California.  He was the finance manager for the Western Rivers aids to navigation program out of St. Louis, Missouri and served as operations officer of Group Charleston, South Carolina and Vessel Traffic Service Houston-Galveston, Texas. 


Mr. Gill and his wife Christina (Schultz) have a daughter, a son, and four grandsons.  They make their home in Brimley, Michigan.

Saturday, November 8
Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Dr. James P. Delgado, Director of Maritime Heritage in the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration 

Dr. Delgado has led or participated in shipwreck expeditions around the world. His undersea explorations include RMSTitanic, the discoveries of Carpathia, the ship that rescued Titanic's survivors, and the notorious "ghost ship" Mary Celeste, as well as surveys of USS Arizonaat Pearl Harbor, the sunken fleet of atomic-bombed warships at Bikini Atoll, the polar exploration shipMaud, wrecked in the Arctic, the 1846 wreck of the United States naval brig Somers, whose tragic story inspired Herman Melville's Billy Budd, and Sub Marine Explorer, a civil war-era find and the world's oldest known deep-diving submarine. His archaeological work has also included the excavation of ships and collapsed buildings along the now-buried waterfront of Gold Rush San Francisco 



Recent projects in the oceans and lakes have benefited from deep submergence technology - robots exploring hundreds if not thousands of feet deep, linked not only to human pilots but via satellites and the Internet to global audiences.  Thanks to these innovations, humanity now can truly begin to access, learn from and work to protect that which is important in the deep.  This is the advent of a new age of exploration, where, to paraphrase some famous words, humans can now boldly go, where no one has gone before, in search of new life, and past civilizations.  James Delgado has participated in some of the latest of these expeditions, from a detailed three-dimensional mapping of the Titanic wreck site to the online and interactive survey and excavation of early 19th century ships at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.  On the latest expedition, over 700,000 people watched over their computer screens, from around the world, to not only observe but to participate in this new and exciting approach to archaeology, marine biology, oceanography and exploration.  Dr. Delgado will share the lessons and the observations of these missions, and speak to what the future holds.


Caption:  A high-resolution camera deployed from the Hercules Remotely Operated Vehicle explores a 19th century wreck in 4300 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico in 2013.

Photo credit:  Ocean Exploration Trust/Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas State University.



Saturday, November 8

Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center


Dennis Hale - Author and Sole Survivor of the SS Daniel J. Morrell 

Ron Williams - National Weather Service

Bob Shutes - Retired Captain and Author


Chris Winters

Author, Photographer

Chris Winters is a lifelong student of Great Lakes maritime history. Currently the staff photographer at Discovery World museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin he has been for twenty years the official unofficial photographer of the world’s only replica of a three-masted Great Lakes cargo schooner, the S/V Denis Sullivan. Chris is a veteran shipwreck explorer, three-term board member of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society and an associate member of the International Shipmasters Association. His award-winning book of photographs Centennial: Steaming through the American Century, chronicling life aboard the century-old lake steamer St. Marys Challenger, was published in 2008.


Anthony J. Maffia

Lieutenant Commander Commanding Officer CGC ALDER (WLB 216)

Lieutenant Commander Anthony J. Maffia assumed command of Coast Cutter ALDER in June of 2013.  A graduate of the Officer Candidate School, he has served 14 of his 16 years as an officer in the Coast Guard.  His afloat tours also include the cutters BRAMBLE, WRANGELL and CYPRESS.  Additional tours include the Visual Navigation Division at US Coast Guard Headquarters and at the United States Naval Academy as a Nautical Science Instructor.  In 2003, as the Executive Officer on CGC WRANGELL, he completed a tour In the Northern Arabian Gulf in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.  

During his enlisted career, LCDR Maffia served aboard cutters GENTIAN and ELM, where he advanced to Boatswain Mate Third class.  He is a 1997 graduate of York College where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

LCDR Maffia’s personal awards include (2) CG Commendation Medals, Department of Transportation 9/11 Medal, CG Achievement Medal, CG Letter of Commendation, and both the Navy Commendation and Achievement Medals.

LCDR Maffia is a native of Wappingers Falls, NY.  He is married to the former Michelle Larmay of Marinette, WI.  LCDR Maffia and Mrs. Maffia have two children, Nathan and Kira Grace. 


Dan Fountain


Daniel R. Fountain is a historian with a deeply rooted appreciation for Michigan’s mining heritage and an avid interest in the rich and colorful history of the early settlers and miners.

Dan grew up in the Upper Peninsula mining town of Ishpeming, surrounded by the open pits and towering headframes of the area’s iron mines. Much of his understanding and curiosity about the region’s mining history – and his own interest in searching out old mining sites – stems from growing up in that atmosphere.

Three generations of his family were involved in the iron industry, so it was no surprise that Dan made his living in the mines. He worked more than 30 years at the Empire and Tilden mines as an electronic technician. He is a graduate of Northern Michigan University, holding a degree in electronics. For more than three decades, Dan has conducted extensive research on gold and silver mining in Michigan. He has used the modern tools afforded by digital libraries and online searching, but also has spent countless hours in museums and libraries seeking long-forgotten historical documentation.

To get a better feel for the stories, he has gone out and hiked many miles in the rugged forests of Upper Michigan in search of the numerous gold and silver mining prospects about which he writes. Dan has served on the board of directors and as president of the Negaunee Historical Society, and continues to be involved in on-going research concerning gold and silver mining, maritime history and other subjects of local historical significance.


“Michigan Gold & Silver: The Lake Superior Connection”

Dan Fountain presents tales of of pioneer explorers looking for silver and gold in the wilds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Set in the 19th Century, these explorations were largely influenced by Lake Superior.  In turn, the development of the mining industry of the entire Lake Superior region was shaped by some of these Michigan pioneers.  Learn about the prospectors, investors, Great Lakes captains, inventors and swindlers who were part of this colorful era.



Dr. Doug Ricketts

Senior Research Associate and Director of Marine Operations, R/V Blue Heron Large Lakes Observatory

Dr. Ricketts is the Director of Marine Operations for the University of Minnesota's research vessel, the Blue Heron, and has been overseeing operations of the vessel for the last 16 years.  He received his doctorate in Geology from Duke University and when he is not managing the Blue Heron, he studies sediment in lake basins to better understand past climate.  His field areas include the North American Great Lakes and also lakes in East Africa and on the Tibetan Plateau."



Tamara Thomsen 

Maritime Archaeologist, Wisconsin Historical Society

Tamara Thomsen is a Maritime Archaeologist with Wisconsin Historical Society's Maritime Preservation and Archaeology program. Her research has resulted in the addition of thirty-seven Great Lakes shipwrecks to the National Register of Historic Places.  In 2013 she was awarded the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History's Joyce S. Hayward Award for Historic Interpretation, and has received the C.P. Labadie Special Recognition Award from the Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society.  Outside of Wisconsin Historical Society work, she has participated as a photographer, researcher, and research diver on projects ranging from the USS Monitor with NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries to RMS Titanic with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She is a 2014 inductee into the Women Diver's Hall of Fame.

 “Underwater Archaeological Survey of the steamer Lakeland”

On 3 December, 1924, the steamer Lakeland sank in Lake Michigan under mysterious and suspicious circumstances.  At 380 feet long, she was a large and seaworthy vessel, capable of carrying massive cargoes, but she sank in the calmest of weather, while carrying only 22 automobiles, less than 10% of her cargo capacity.  In 1925, an investigation conducted under hazardous conditions by commercial divers found no incriminatory evidence, but it did little to dispel suspicions of fraud and foul play. In 2013 the first comprehensive archeological survey of the Lakeland was conducted by the Wisconsin Historical Society, in attempt to clear the shroud of mystery that still envelops her loss. Join Tamara Thomsen for an in depth look at the Lakeland’s loss and a tour of the wreck as she appears today.  See photos and video of places aboard the Lakeland never before accessed by divers.


Frederick Stonehouse

Author and Historian

Frederick Stonehouse has authored over thirty books on maritime history. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and the Haunted Lakes series are regional best sellers. Wreck Ashore, the U.S. Life-Saving Service on the Great Lakes is the predominant work on the subject. He has also been an "on-air" expert for National Geographic, History Channel and Fox Family. He has been honored with the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History award for historic interpretation in recognition to his many contributions to the field and as the Marine Historian of the Year by the Detroit Marine Historical Society.

Most recently he was given the 2014 “Distinguished Alumni Award” by Northern Michigan University.

Fred teaches Great Lakes maritime history at Northern Michigan University and is an active consultant for numerous Great Lakes oriented projects and programs. 

“Sisters in the Storm”

The Great Storm of 1913 is unparalleled in the devastation of ships and sailors; 17 wrecked ships, nine of them big steel freighters lost with all hands and an estimated 250 sailors killed. Each loss had it’s own deadly saga of horror. But there is an extraordinary tale of two ships and crews, “sisters in the storm.” One would live and one would die and but for the twists of circumstance their fates might have been reversed. This is a story of government intransience, remarkable seamanship, an unlucky choice, poor ship design, tremendous courage in the face of near certain death and just plain good luck, all proving when it is said and done, “fate is indeed the hunter!”



Lee Radzak

Historic Site Manager Split Rock Lighthouse Minnesota Historical Society

Lee has worked for the Minnesota Historical Society since 1976.  He started his career as an archaeologist working on state park master plans and on the Minnesota Statewide Archaeological Survey.  He has been the resident site manager at Split Rock Lighthouse Historic Site since 1982.  His responsibilities include the preservation and interpretation of the National Historic Landmark.  



Timothy Cochrane

Superintendent Grand Portage National Monument

Tim Cochrane is currently the superintendent of Grand Portage National Monument.  He is also an ethnohistorical researcher and writer about Lake Superior topics.  In particular he has researched and written books on Isle Royale history, Lake Superior fishermen and their vernacular boats, and North Shore Ojibwe use of Isle Royale -- Minong-- The Good Place: Ojibwe and Isle Royale.  He is currently researching two topics: (1) the American Fur Company's post at Grand Marais (Minnesota) in the 1820s and (2) a biography of the John and Tchi-Ki-Wis Linklater.  John Linklater was a game warden in northern Minnesota and a guide/fisherman at Isle Royale and Tchi-Ki-Wis was a remarkable artisan of Ojibwe arts.


Jerry Eliason

Historian, Shipwreck Expert

Jerry Eliason started diving in the small lakes around Rice Lake Wisconsin in 1966. His first dive in Lake Superior was in 1968 with a wet suit but without hood, boots, or gloves. From 1976 to 1989 he logged over 700 wreck dives. After a case of the bends in 1989 he has focused his attention on locating previously undiscovered wrecks. In collorbation with Kraig Smith, Ken Merryman, Randy Beebe, his son Jarrod and wife Karen; Jerry has been part of 13 successful shipwreck hunts including the 'went missing' wrecks BENJAMIN NOBLE and HENRY B. SMITH. The most recent discovery Jerry participated in is the SCOTIADOC. Eight hundred seventy feet deep; the SCOTIADOC is the deepest shipwreck ever discovered in the Great Lakes. This past December he received the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award. Jerry plans to retire from shipwreck hunting once he finds the U-656; the first German U-Boat sunk by US Forces in World War II.


Ken Merryman

Historian, Shipwreck Expert

Ken Merryman is past president and founding member of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society. He is a veteran speaker at Gales of November and Ghost Ships and gives several shipwreck talks each year. Ken has been an avid Lake Superior shipwreck diver for over 40 years and has operated a scuba diving charter service for 40 years. Although his charter business operates mostly at Isle Royale National Park, he also frequents the Lake Superior North Shore, Apostle Islands, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron diving and searching for new shipwrecks. His underwater photos and video can be seen at museums and shipwreck displays around the lakes.  Ken is employed as a computer engineer at Micron Technology.


“The Scotiadoc, the Deepest Wreck Ever Found in the Great Lakes”

The 416 foot Scotiadoc sank in a collision with the Burlington  in 1953. Jerry Eliason, Ken Merryman, and Kraig Smith discovered the wreck site sixty years later in July, 2013.  It wasn't until September that they obtained video of the name, confirming it was the Scotiadoc.  The stern of the Scotiadoc rests in 870 feet of water making it the deepest discovered shipwreck in the Great Lakes.  Jerry will tell the story of the ship and how they found the wreck.  Ken will present the video highlights of how the wreck looks today, explaining what happened during the Scotiadoc's plunge to the bottom.




Gales of November is an annual fundraiser to support the mission of the LSMMA - preserve maritime heritage at the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center.  












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