Federal Biscay departs with wheat for England

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After launch in Japan on October 22, 2015, the Federal Biscay arrived Duluth on April 26, 2016 to load wheat. Above and below, she departed today (April 29, 2016) for England with wheat.
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Federal Biscay brings new ballast water treatment system to Duluth

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On October 22, 2015, Fednav Limited (of Montreal), took delivery from Oshima Shipbuilding (in Japan) of the brand new Federal Biscay. She arrived in Duluth this morning (April 26, 2016) to load wheat at CHS 2 that she will take to England and probably also to Ghent, Belgium. She is the first ship in the Great Lakes to be equipped with a new ballast water treatment system called  BallastAce. It will operate in both fresh and salt water environments using a sophisticated filter and sodium hypochlorite (bleach) injection mechanism in the ship’s ballast system. This will prevent the further intrusion of invasive species into the Great Lakes system.
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At the top, the local tug Kentucky assisted the Federal Biscay from the stern and the tug Arkansas worked the bow.  In the picture just above,  you can see the stern of the Arkansas moving behind the American Century that, arriving at 6:31 this morning, is getting fuel at the Calumet Fuel dock at the Port Terminal.

Cold, windy and rainy but still working

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After arriving Duluth on Sunday to load 66,000 tons of coal for the Detroit Edison power plant at St. Clair, Michigan, the Paul R. Tregurtha is seen above making her turn into the Duluth harbor, on her way out, officially going under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge at 11:45 this morning, April 25, 2016. She is passing by the Vancouverborg and Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. docked at the Port Terminal. The Vancouverborg came into port at 1:22 this morning and is waiting to load grain at CHS in Superior. The McCarthy is behind her fueling at the Calumet Fuel Dock. She will probably depart there for the BN terminal to load iron ore pellets.

Sad Days

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Federal Caribou, first of two new ships in Duluth

The Federal Caribou was launched earlier this year at Oshima Shipbuilding  in Japan where she was built. She left there to pick up steel products in South Korea and then started into the Pacific Ocean, through the Panama Canal and then north through the Atlantic Ocean along the US Coast to the St. Lawrence Seaway system, going between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and into the St. Lawrence River. She arrived in Sorel, Quebec to discharge some of her cargo, and then went to the port of Picton, Ontario to drop off more of her steel products.
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Her last discharge port was Windsor, Canada, across the river from Detroit. After that, she departed Windsor for Duluth, arriving here on April 23, 2016. She dropped anchor off the Duluth piers (above), ending her maiden voyage. She will probably come into port on Monday to take the place of the Wigeon at CHS in Superior. There, she will load wheat and then depart for Algeria to deliver the cargo.

New updates to Speer ship page

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McCarthy here for 2nd time this season

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The Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. arrived Duluth at 10:30 this morning (April 21, 2016). She is here to load coal for Presque Isle, Michigan. This in her second trip to the Twin Ports this season since she left her winter layup in Toledo. She was also here on April 10 to load coal for Presque Isle.

In, out, in

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The Polish ship Wigeon (left) entered the Duluth Harbor this morning (April 20, 2016) at 9:15, the American Century (center) departed at 1:15 in the afternoon and the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin finally came under Lift Bridge at 8:15 this evening. She was followed by the tug Arkansas for some reason. Click any of the images to see a larger version.

Heavy lift Fairlift returns to Duluth

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The heavy lift ship, Jumbo Shipping’s Fairlift, arrived under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge (above) on Thursday evening April 14, 2016. She brought with her 8 large pieces of gas/oil production equipment built in Italy. You can see 2 of the pieces on her weather deck in the picture above and below. She also brought large pieces of equipment here in 2007 and 2000. check
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She docked at the Port Terminal Thursday evening (above) and preparation began to move the large pieces from the ship to railcars sitting beside the ship.
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On Friday afternoon, two on-board cranes slowly lifted the first piece off the deck and out over the waiting railcars.
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Each piece will be carried by 2 rail cars lashed together to handle too large and extra long cargo.
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G3 Marquis first visit to Duluth

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The G3 Marquis arrived Duluth at 8:01 this morning and stopped off at Calumet Fuel at the Port Terminal (above). She then moved up the Superior channel to the BN dock. The G3 web site notes that the G3 Marquis will carry grain eastward out of Thunder Bay, and bring iron ore from seaports on the St. Lawrence back into the Great Lakes. Despite that, on this trip she will load iron ore pellets at the BN dock in Superior. She is a new build from China, built for the Algoma Central Corporation, for use by the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).  During her winter layup in Hamilton, Ontario, she was renamed from CWB Marquis to G3 Marquis in order to reflect a change of ownership from the Canadian Wheat Board to G3 Canada Ltd. (Global Grain Group). This is her first stop under her new name.

Fairlift, Federal Rideau due here; check new page updates

For Fairlift updates, click here; and for Federal Rideau, click here
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New Whitefish Bay Pictures

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At the Soo Locks when it opened on March 25, 2016

Watch the Soo Locks open for the season on March 25, 2016.

Albanyborg is first salt water ship of the season

2016-0403-6077The Albanyborg arrived last night (Sunday, April 3, 2016) at 7:46 (at right). This is her first visit to the Twin Ports and she was the first salt water ship of the season. She also was the first foreign-flag vessel to enter the Seaway after it opened on March 23. She is listed as a Multipurpose Dry Cargo Carrier, meaning she was built to carry a wide variety of cargo. She started her journey in Germany where she loaded wind turbine components that she discharged in Port Colborne, Ontario before arriving here last night. She will be loading grain at CHS in Superior but is currently at the Port Terminal (below) reconfiguring her cargo holds. Officially, she has 2 cargo holds but they can both be sub divided, both horizontally and vertically. She arrived set up with several levels to hold the wind turbine pieces. They are taking them down since they will be loading a bulk cargo and will be using the full height of each cargo hold.
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Anderson arrives for first visit in new season

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The Arthur M. Anderson spent the winter layup in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. She left there on Sunday morning (March 27, 2016) and arrived in Duluth at 12:15 today (March 29, 2016) to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. She made 19 trips to Duluth Superior last season and has averaged about 20 trips a year since 2010. She was the 9th boat to arrive Duluth Superior this season; the 6th to come under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge (the other 3 arrived by way of the Superior entry).
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Anderson page updates

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Munson page updates

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Michipicoten, finally a boat we can see

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The Canadian flagged Michipicoten departed Duluth this afternoon (March 23, 2016)  at 5:30 with the first cargo to leave the port, iron ore pellets from the CN dock in West Duluth. She is the former US flagged Elton Hoyt 2nd. The Hoyt sat idle at the Fraser Shipyards for 3 years after a career on the Great Lakes that started when she was built in 1952. In April, 2003, she was sold to Lower Lakes Towing, reflagged Canadian and renamed. Parts of the boat were built in Sparrows Point, Maryland and shipped to Chicago by way of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers for final assembly. Listen above as she salutes the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge as she departed today.

Gott will be first boat to move in season 2016

After spending the winter layup in Duluth, the Edwin H. Gott is expected to open the Great Lakes shipping season for Duluth when she departs the port early on Tuesday morning, March 22, 2016, for Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. With no ice to battle this season, she should not need any assistance from an ice breaking tug or the Alder to leave her berth and go to Two Harbors. Not so last season. She was originally scheduled to arrive here last January, 2015 for winter layup but her plans were changed and she spent the winter in Milwaukee. She left Milwaukee last March to load her first cargo of the new season in Two Harbors but became one of many boats to be slowed to a stop by the ice in Whitefish Bay, at the other end of Lake Superior. With help from ice breakers Alder and Mackinaw, she finally arrived at this end of the lake, coming under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on Monday morning, March 30, 2015 for some repairs before leaving here (below) for Two Harbors the next day to load her first iron ore pellets of the year in Two Harbors.
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Click pic below to see new Clarke updates

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Alder Opens 2016 season

Join the Alder and 25 members of LSMMA as they open the 2016 shipping season in Duluth Minnesota

First sign of Spring on Monday

The first sign of spring in Duluth is usually our Coast Guard cutter Alder’s first venture into the Duluth harbor in early March. I go over there to get ‘dramatic’ pictures as she gets the new season started breaking away from the ice that surrounded her since arriving at her dock in late January 2004-12-14-14h27m17after assisting all the vessel traffic to their winter berths. She has always made it out; some years with a little more work than others. This year, she marks the first sign of Spring on Monday, March 7, 2016. Actually, on February 22, she took a quick trip stern first to the middle of the harbor, turned around and backed her way back to her moorings at her dock on Park Point. 240207-2--077February is too early to see a sign of spring. That short trip was taken to position her bow for her eventual appearance as the first sign of spring a week or more away. Her pointed bow, as most bows, is curved to a point (ok, a rounded point) to ease the vessel through the water, and especially ice. Her stern was built to be and look like a stern, never the best face to put forward when breaking into ice.Above, left the Alder bow on December 14, 2004 while at her dock; right her stern just before she was launched in February, 2004.

Click here to see 58 other posts we have made about the Alder

The temperature today (Saturday, March 5, 2016) and tomorrow will be above freezing. That will make that trip on Monday, the 7th not as challenging as other years. The high temperature on Monday will be in the 40’s; she might be able to leave sideways with no trouble.

She will however have important cargo on board: 25 members of LSMMA (Lake Superior Marine Museum Association) will be guests of Commander Tschirgi as he heads out for his first first-sign-of-spring trip since he came on board last July 10th. As if to warn the new Commander about his coming task, Coast Guard dignitaries told the new Commander, his crew and invited guests at the ceremony last July that the last two winters were the toughest in Great Lakes history.

This is Commander Tschirgi’s first tour on the Great Lakes but lest you think he is a rookie, he also served tours in Antarctica and the Arctic. And, it has not been a bad winter, to say the least.

Below is a Coast Guard release from last Friday:

COAST GUARD ICE BREAKING ACTIVITIES

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ALDER will commence spring break out operations in the Duluth-Superior area Monday March 07, 2016. These operations will continue periodically over the next few days and weeks to prepare regional waterways for the start of the Great Lakes commercial navigation season.

Initially, ice breaking operations will occur inside the Duluth and Superior Harbors. The ice breaking work will expand in coming weeks to prepare Two Harbors, MN, Taconite Harbor, MN, Silver Bay, MN, and Thunder Bay, Ontario for commercial ship movements.

Unlike the past two winters, this year was unseasonably warm. Regional ice cover is not as expansive nor did it reach traditional thicknesses. The forecast for the next seven to ten days calls for temperatures conducive to rapid deterioration of ice. All snowmobile, All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) operators, ice fishermen, and other recreational users of the ice should recognize the instability of the ice, plan their activities carefully, and use caution near the ice, especially in proximity to charted navigation areas.

Updates to James R. Barker page; click image below

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Duluth ice through the years

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The Duluth Shipping News has over 5,000 web pages in it and more than 5,000 pictures. Most pages are assigned a category; the list of categories can be seen in the left column. Ice is one of the categories and since there does not seem to be much ice around, I thought I would highlight all the pages through the years about ice. You can click on the category pull down and see all 93 (94 now with this page) pages with lots of ice on them or see the list by clicking here.

Alone for now, but not for long

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Our Coast Guard cutter Alder made a quick trip into the harbor this morning (February 22, 2016) to reposition the ship, bow pointing out, for her first ice breaking session this season, sometime in early March. In the pictures here, she is slowly backing into her mooring.
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