Erik is here

Erik arrived in town on the 13th, and has been patiently waiting for the large tractor trailer combination coming from Lincoln, Nebraska to come down the hill to hand over her cargo, a very very large boiler, to Erik. I took this picture at 2 pm this afternoon (December 14, 2017).  As of 2:45, she had not yet made it but was expected to arrive sometime this afternoon.

Arctic winter brings the Desgagnés to Duluth to load grain

The Claude A. Desgagnés arrived this morning on her second trip to Duluth since she was built in 2011. Her first trip was in November, 2015. It is not a coincidence that she made both trips in the winter months. Then, she sails the earth as a normal salt water vessel and is here today in that role, loading grain at Riverland Ag (above and below). In the summer, she is reflagged by her Canadian owner,Transport Desgagnes in Quebec, as a Canadian vessel. Then she takes supplies up to communities within the Arctic Circle such as Nunavut and Nunavik that are not as accessible in the winter.  At least one other ship has been to Duluth while also serving those communities, the Umiavut .

Nunavut was formed from the eastern part of the Northwest Territories and is officially called Canada’s third territory.


BBC Vesuvius here to pick up cargo waiting here since 2008

The BBC Vesuvius arrived Duluth on November 29, 2017. She is here to pick up one large pressure vessel that has been waiting here since 2008. It was part of a shipment brought here and destined for the oil sands project in Alberta, but for some reason they changed their mind, so the owner kept it here until a new buyer was found. And yes, the Port picked up a storage charge. It may have come here as a part of a 93-piece shipment that was discharged here in August, 2008. Most of those pieces went from here to Alberta by truck; one piece, the largest went by rail. Click here to see that piece. That obviously is not today’s cargo since it never got out of Duluth but I added this link to show what one pressure vessel looks like. Today’s cargo will be loaded into the hold of the BBC Vesuvius and then she will take it to the new customer in Colombia.

Cops on horses may be no more in Duluth!

2007Sep16_2810PRODI read in the Duluth News Tribune that the Duluth Police Department is disbanding their mounted patrol because of budget problems. Since starting the Duluth Shipping News 22 years ago, I have taken 1,000’s of pictures of boats in Duluth. I have tried to make my specialty pictures of boats and people; the people on the boats, and the folks watching them from shore. One of my favorites is getting one with a boat coming in and a Dad holding his child on his shoulder while she waves to the boat.
20140619683As most people with a camera or a phone, I am always excited to see Duluth’s mounted police arrive in Canal Park. What a great picture on a nice sunny day. It took me a while to get my official Duluth Shipping News picture. I make this joke with myself that I can only take pictures that have boats as the main attraction or at least in the background. Some of my favorites have been with brides and grooms in the front with a boat moving behind them. Waving is always a plus.
2007Sep23_3118It took me a long time to get a picture with the Duluth mounted patrol in front with a boat in the background. One day, I looked out my window and saw 2 members of the patrol. I ran out, took some pictures and even asked them to stop for a moment while I got horses, riders and boat in the picture.
I like that picture but what I like even more was talking to the police as if they were people like me, citizens of Duluth each doing our thing. My habit when I saw police while driving was to tap the brakes hoping they would not see my brake lights, or worse, stop me for speeding, or for having a broken tail light or whatever. I have never had a normal conversation with a cop. I always figured they might get suspicious or that they were on a big case and would not appreciate being interrupted. But it always seemed like a cop on a horse was more approachable and I had several nice conversations with them over the years.
One day, I saw 4 horses pulling a stage-coach through Canal Park. Later that day, I approached a cop on a horse and asked him if he had seen it. He told me he had heard about it but had not seen them. I asked him if they got a call that someone had committed a crime and they were escaping on a stage coach, would they go after them on horse back. And when they caught up to them, would they pull up to the lead horse and jump onto it and pull the stage-coach to a stop. I had seen that happen in every cowboy movie I ever saw.
Now that I know the police because I see them close-up on horses, I always wave when they drive by or I say hello when I meet them on the skyway. I now feel much more comfortable calling them when I see something suspicious or have some kind of problem. Or to simply be friendly with a fellow citizen rather than shying away.
I read that the horses themselves are not so expensive, but Department needs the officers elsewhere. But they are a tourist attraction and much more than that, a good way for police and citizens to get to know each other better. I notice the Duluth police are doing a lot of community interaction and I assume that relations between the police and the community are getting better. I especially like it when they invite kids to get inside a police car to see what it is like in there. I would like to see that even at my advanced age.

But Duluth citizens and visitors see the mounted police regularly.  They are a signal to us that the police are your friend. Anything that brings police and community together is simply always good. I would think that reduces crime and that is worth a lot to me and most other Duluth citizens The horses are already supported with some outside money.

We (Duluth) should find a way to keep them on the street so we can see the police up close, get to know them better and call them when we see a problem. That will reduce crime in Duluth. Enough said!

A sheave returns to Canal Park

Aerial-Bridge-Pre-1929-ViewDuring the winter of 1999-2000, the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge was given an extreme makeover, replacing some equipment used in 1929 to update the original Lift Bridge at right (1901-1905). That initial version used a gondola to carry people, horses and automobiles from the mainland to Park Point. In 1929, the gondola was replaced by a roadway that could be lifted to allow ships to go under it on their way to deliver and/or load cargo from the port. When the bridge went down, automobiles, people, bikes and anything needed by the people on Park Point were able to cross.
A sheave is a wheel with grooves in it. Four of them were installed in 1929 at the top of the new towers that were built inside the old bridge to support the roadway as it went up and down. Cables attached to the road way at one end and to a large counter weight at the other would run in the grooves of each sheave. When the bridge went up, the cables allowed the counter weight to go down.
In the 1999 update, all four sheaves were replaced, one of them seen above just being lowered on December 31, 1999. (That was just hours before the new millennium would be ushered in while the world waited to make sure it would still be there. Some experts predicted that computers would crash all over the world since they were not built to handle a date that did not start with 19.)
Three of the sheaves were sent to the scrap yard, as you see in the picture here. The other one was to be put on display in Canal Park as part of the 100th anniversary of the bridge. That was 17 years ago.
Finally, this morning (November 20, 2017), the Corps of Engineers brought that sheave over and deposited it close by the south tower on a concrete patio that was built to hold it. From there, you can look up to the top of the tower to see the new (now 17 years old) sheaves in action.
Above, a truck arrived on January 21, 2000 from Alabama with one of the 4 new sheaves.

Two large cargos of coal leaving Duluth

The Paul R. Trugurtha departed Duluth at 2:40 in the afternoon of November 10, 2017. She will take 38,000 tons of coal to Detroit Edison’s power plant at St. Clair and 30,000 tons to their Monroe plant. A little later, the American Integrity arrived to take her place loading coal at Midwest Energy. She will load 68,000 tons for the St. Clair plant.

Boland arrives for 4th trip this season

The John J. Boland arrived Duluth this morning (November 4, 2017) to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. This is her 4th trip to Duluth this season; she made 4 trips last season. She loaded coal at Midwest Energy on 2 of this year’s trips and iron ore pellets at BNSF on the other trip. She often brings limestone in before she loads a cargo to carry out; this year she only brought one limestone cargo in. That was on May 26 when she discharged limestone at the Graymont Superior dock before going to Midwest Energy for coal. (Click her ship page link just above for more information about her).

Star II to discharge cement from Turkey

In addition to the United States, Turkey exports cement to 85 countries, including Libya, Iraq, Russia, Israel and Syria. In 2016, two sister ships, the Pride and the Silda, also brought cement from Turkey to CRH.

McCarthy arrives behind Pier B

The Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. arrived this afternoon (October 19, 2017) around 3:00. She then moved over to Midwest Energy Resources to load coal for Detroit Edison. This is her 21st trip to Duluth. On 20 of those visits, she loaded coal as she is today. After discharging part of this load at the St. Clair power plant, she will go to Consumers Energy’s Karn-Weadock Generating Complex on Saginaw Bay near the mouth of the Saginaw River in Hampton Township, Michigan to discharge 30,000 tons of coal. On August 29, 2017, she was here to load iron ore pellets at BNSF.

COE Leni here under her new name

The COE Leni arrived Duluth this morning (Monday, October 16, 2017) at 6:10, coming here from Thunder Bay where she picked up a partial load of grain. She will finish at Riverland Ag (above) loading wheat. She started life in 2010 as a Wagenborg ship, the Marselisborg. She became the Clipper Anne in 2012 and was again named the Marselisborg in 2016. In June of that year, she brought wind turbine pieces to Duluth before leaving for Thunder Bay to load grain. She was purchased by C.O.E. Shipping in Buxtehude, Germany in 2016 where she received her current name.

Canadians here for fuel, iron ore pellets

Above, Holly caught the Algosteel coming under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge yesterday (October 10, 2017). She first went to Calumet for fuel and then to CN to load iron ore pellets. She left last night at 10:50. Below, the Whitefish Bay arrived last night at 7:25, got fuel at Calumet and then went down (up?) the Superior Channel to go out to the anchorage to wait for the Algoma Guardian to finish loading iron ore pellets at the BNSF dock.

New paint, new name

The America arrived Duluth this morning (October 9, 2017) after a short wait at the anchorage off the Duluth piers. She is now loading wheat at Riverland Ag (below). This ship was built in 2010 for the Flinter Shipping Group in The Netherlands with the name of Flinter A. It was soon changed to Flinter America but the Flinter Shipping Company went bankrupt in 2016 and Wagenborg Shipping, also in the Netherlands, purchased her. They of course had to get rid of the Flinter in her name and since they already had a ship called the Americaborg, they decided to rename her America. You can see the new Wagenborg paint job above, using their usual grey ship color to paint over the Flinter, leaving her new name to stand alone.

America in Duluth in October

People were out enjoying the weather on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Duluth (October 8, 2017) while America was just beyond the Duluth ship canal, waiting to come in on Monday morning to load wheat at Riverland Ag. This is her first trip to Duluth. Click the link just above to read some more information about her.

Two salties due here soon

The Ebroborg will be here around September 30, 2017 to load beet pulp pellets at Gavillon (formerly Peavey). This will be her 7th visit to Duluth since she was built in 2010.
20120714_4092 She was here 3 times in 1012, loading bentonite at Hallett #5 in May (above), grain at CHS in July (at right and below), and beet pulp pellets in November. She made 2 trips in 2013, loading more bentonite in August and beet pulp pellets in November. One trip in 2015, in October, found her loading grain at Peavey. (The Atlanticborg is seen in the anchorage in the picture above right. She is waiting to come in to load wind turbine blades for Brazil; before going out to the anchorage, she was at the Port Terminal discharging wind turbine blades loaded in Denmark.)
20101029_5757The Fivelborg will be here around October 1st to load grain at CHS. This will be her 6th trip here since she was built in 2009. She loaded beet pulp pellets at General Mills Duluth in October 2010 (right) and again in October, 2012 (below).
In October 2015 she loaded pellets at Peavey. She spent some time in the anchorage off the Duluth piers before coming on June 22, 2016 to load grain at CHS 1. A 2nd trip in 2016 found her loading beet pulp pellets at Peavey in November 2016.

Orsula here for her 2nd visit this year

The Orsula arrived under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge yesterday (September 10, 2017) to load grain at the CHS terminal in Superior. This is her second trip here this season; she was here in June, also loading grain at CHS. On an earlier trip, she loaded wheat, flax and soybeans for Ghent, Belgium.

She was built in China in 1996 as the Federal Calumet and became the Orsula in 1998. This is the 19th visit the Orsula has made to the Twin Ports since 1996. She was here once in 2010, once in 2009 and twice in 2008.

20101214_7631She is a Croatian ship with a Croatian crew and until recently flew the Croatian flag. She now flies the flag of the Marshall Islands but that is a technicality; she is a still very much a Croatian ship and is owned by Atlantska Plovidb in Dubrovnik, Croatia although she comes here under a charter to Fed Nav in Montreal. I visited the ship in 2010 and learned a lot about Croatia dubrovnikfrom a crew who were very proud of their city and anxious to share it with me. The owners of the ship are also proud of Dubrovnik; and have a company poster (above left) the crew showed to me with a very beautiful picture of the medieval city of Dubrovnik. Below right is an image I took with Google earth of the entire city.  The yellow arrow points to the same image the poster has; the red arrow points to Park Orsula. Either the ship is named for the park, or both are named for another Orsula. (Click any image to see a larger version.)

Above, tug Kentucky on her stern and the tug Arkansas on her bow assisted the ship yesterday and they guided her through the Duluth harbor to her dock at CHS.

Roerborg departs with wheat

The Roerborg came under the Lift Bridge at 5:20 pm on September 4, 2017. After loading wheat at CHS 2, she departed (above) at 4:35 this afternoon (September 6, 2017).
2017-0906-3745The Roerborg was built in Germany and launched on July 4, 2014. At 577 feet, she is the longest vessel Wagenborg has ever owned. She has two sister ships, the Reestborg and Reggeborg. All three ships belong to Wagenborg’s R-series and have unique bow shapes (see picture at left) called by Wagenborg, an eco bow. I assume it allows her to cut through ocean waves easier than other bow shapes would. That allows her to have a smaller engine capacity so they can be called Green. The R-series is unique in combining cargo capacity, hold dimensions and fuel consumption. Below, the photo, by Henk Zuur was taken during her launch.

Alpena here 4th time this season

The venerable cement carrier Alpena arrived 11:30 this morning (August 19, 2017), only her 4th trip to the Twin Ports this season. She has been here 286 times since I started doing this in 1996. As the Alpena entered the ship canal, you can see the Taagborg at anchor just beyond, waiting to load wheat at CHS in Superior.

Nice night for a boat ride

Above, the now privately owned and operated Sundew eases past the current US Coast Guard cutter Alder at her dock on Park Point on Monday evening, August 14, 2017.

Below, the tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort was pushing the barge Erie Trader through the Duluth harbor. Formerly the Lakes Contender, they are here to load iron ore pellets at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) dock in Superior.

Below, the Cason J. Callaway arrived last night with limestone to discharge at the C. Reiss Terminal in West Duluth. After that, she stopped for fuel at the Calumet Fuel dock before departing for Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets.

Back to work after …

… a day of rain. Above, the BBC Campana is still at Riverland Ag loading grain on this her first trip to the Twin Ports.  Below, the Algoma Mariner is still discharging salt at the North American Salt Dock, next door to Riverland Ag, above. The Algoma Mariner was officially built in 2011, but click here to see her unusual back story. She has only been here 7 times since she was built, handling a wide variety of cargos, including, loading coal at Midwest Energy for Nova Scotia, loading iron ore pellets at Burlington Northern and grain at CHS 1.

Salt water ships I have visited

Because of Homeland Security, I don’t get on board as many ships as I used to. I have compiled a slideshow of a variety of salt water ships that I visited from 1999 forward. And I added some commentary as well. This is the first of what I hope will be several such shows.

Block here for 9th trip this season

The Joseph L. Block arrived Duluth on Sunday, July 23, 2017 to load iron ore material at the Hallett #5 Dock in West Duluth. This is her 9th trip here this season. She was here 15 times last season. On most of her trips this year, she brought limestone to discharge at the CN Dock and the Hallett #5 dock next door and once to the Graymont Superior plant. She loaded iron ore pellets at the Burlington Northern Santé Fe (BNSF) dock in Superior on a trip here in April.

Blough met by large crowd on a beautiful summer day

The Roger Blough arrived under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge this afternoon (July 14, 2017) around 2pm. She is going to load iron ore pellets at the BN dock in Superior but came in the Duluth entry to get fuel at the Calumet fuel dock at the Port Terminal before going to BN.
This is only her 3rd trip to Duluth this season; she loaded iron ore pellets at BN both times. She made 7 trips here last year. She takes most of her pellets to Conneaut, Ohio but also discharges at Gary, Indiana. She usually loads pellets at the Two Harbors CN dock.   Holly likes nice days in Duluth; she took this picture.

Same ship: different names and cargos

2017-0706-3462The HR Constellation came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge this morning (July 6, 2017) about 11 o’clock and went over to the Hallett #5 dock (at right) to load bentonite. This is the first trip for this ship under this name; she was here twice in 2007 when she was the Beluga Constitution, once in July, 2007 when she discharged wind turbine base units from Spain and after that, loaded wind turbine blades built in the United States and took them to Spain.
The next month they were back to discharge wind turbine blades before loading peas for Dunkirk, England. All the pictures below were taken during her first visit
Above and below, she is tied up at the dock and was getting ready to discharge the base units.
Above, the first to be discharged were pieces on the weather deck (above). Below, the last to go were down on the lower portion of the hold.
The ship has an unusual covering over the bow, sometimes called a hurricane bow. Inside the cover, it looks like a normal bow. Portals on the side provided a nice look at downtown Duluth and the Aerial Lift Bridge below.
The Beluga Constitution comes with its own maritime school. located on the ‘X’ deck of the boat. That deck has 4 two person rooms and a classroom (below).
There ware 6 students, called cadets while on board. All from Germany, they are front row, from the left: Benjamin Zerhusen (21), Bremen, Henryk Tinius (24), Berlin, Marlene Eberl (21), Hannover and Jennifer Witt (20), Geesthacht. Back row, from left: Marius Thomas (30), Bad Bertrich, training officer (the teacher). Seated, Johannes Brydda (21), Stralsund and Ole Piehl (23), Brunsbüttel.
In the galley of the Beluga Constitution during the visit, first mate Marko Milicevic, from Croatia, on the right, was reviewing the day’s work with Captain Andrzej Kocmiel, from Poland. The first mate traditionally overseas the discharge of cargo from the ship. Here, he was preparing to depart for an evening in Duluth while the Captain watched over the discharge. Earlier in the day, the captain, some members of the crew and the 6 cadets took some time off and went sightseeing in Canal Park, Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock. Now it was the first mate’s turn.
Above, the Captain confers with lead stevedore Zoran Pedisic belore loading the wind turbine blades into the ship’s cargo holds. Loading the ship is much more complicated than discharging it and takes more cooperation between the ship and local stevedores.
Above, the first wind turbine blade is lowered into a cargo hold. Below, the below deck cargo holds were now filled with the blades; the last one were welded onto the weather deck when the ship was about ready to depart.
The blades were loading onto trucks, one to a truck, and taken to a lay down area a short distance away.

With the blades on board, it was time to leave. Agent Scott Hilleren (left) was on board to take care of all the paper work involved when shipping cargo from one side of the world to the other. Captain Andrzej Kocmiel (right) checks over last minute details, about 2 hours before they plan to depart.

Callaway in before fireworks

The Cason J. Callaway arrived Duluth shortly before the Aerial Bridge closed down for the fireworks, around 4:30 on July 4th. (The Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. followed her in about an hour later.) The Callaway brought a cargo of limestone to discharge here before leaving for Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. This was only her 4th trip to the Twin Ports this season; she was here 19 times last season.

Federal Agno gets new crew in Duluth

Go back in time and join the crew flown to Duluth to replace crew members on the soon to arrive Federal Agno. They look at some of my pictures, visit the Marine Museum and answer visitor questions, then go wave to their ship as it came in; later they submit to a Coast Guard inspection.

Prosna back for second time

The Polish operated Prosna arrived Duluth for her second trip yesterday (June 26, 2017) at 8pm, on her way over to CHS 2 to load grain. Built in 2012, like many foreign flagged vessels that come to Duluth, she was named for a river, the Prosna River in Poland. I posted some pictures of that river and a running race that runs through it here when she was here for the first time, on May 11, 2016. Below, she got help from the tug Kentucky last night as she made her way over to CHS 2.

Veterinarians say hello to Paul

About 100 members of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association were in town today (June 23, 2017) for a seminar at The Inn on Lake Superior. Lunch break happened at the same time the Paul R. Tregurtha came into port to load coal. They grabbed their picnic lunch boxes and headed down to the ship canal.




Mesabi Miner arrives Duluth for coal

The Mesabi Miner arrived Duluth today around 4pm to load 68,000 tons of coal at Midwest Energy for Detroit Energy power stations in St. Clair and Monroe, both cities in Michigan. This is her 4th trip to the Twin Ports this season; she was here 13 times last year and she made 40 trips to the Twin Ports in 2015.

India gets married on a foggy Friday by the bridge

Hazel India Butler is usually across the Duluth ship canal answering visitor questions at the information desk at the Marine Museum. This day, June 9, 2017, she decided to cross the canal and get married on the other side.
It was foggy and cool, but the wedding party outfits, designed for the occasion, added wonderful color to the foggy day. That’s Jarred Lee Phillips joining forces with India for the many days ahead.
India is the perfect bride; beautiful, expressive and happy.
Rings all around
Time to move on with their lives, now greatly improved, but first some pictures.
I of course, as the reporter/photographer for the Duluth Shipping News, needed something nautical in the picture. Lacking any boat traffic, I settled for the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge in the background.
Every wedding needs the Duluth mounted Police, a little late but still happy to be there.

Oakglen departs Duluth with pellets

The Oakglen departed Duluth at 1pm this afternoon, June 7, 2017, after loading iron ore pellets at the CN dock in Duluth. The Vista Star, with some new color on her hull, was just coming in. Check out the Oakglen ship page for a close-up look at the history of her name changes, embedded on her hull.

New tugs, old names

Two tugs, new to the Twin Ports, arrived this afternoon, Tuesday, June 6, 2017. They were recently purchased by Heritage Marine and will be given the names of two tugs they just sold. Here the tugs are moving down the Duluth harbor on their way to the Heritage Marine dock in Superior. At left, the Fort Point leads the way; she will soon be renamed to Edward H. Just behind her is the new Nels J., formerly the Taurus.

Barker and banner depart Duluth

The James R. Barker departed Duluth in the early evening of June 3, 2017, with her new banner in full view. For more on the banner see the two posts below or go here and here.

Mustang pellets on the way to Indiana

Above, on Friday evening, June 2, 2017, the Isolda was still loading grain at Riverland Ag, above lower center and the James R. Barker  had arrived, around 4 pm in the afternoon and was getting fuel at Calumet (top, right). When she completed that, she went over to CN Duluth (below) to load the first cargo of Mustang pellets to come down from the iron range on its way to ArcelorMittal’s blast furnace No. 7 in Indiana Harbor. See story below or here. To celebrate the occasion, Interlake hung a banner (below) on the Barker’s self unloader (one on each side) so every one could celebrate the big event as they make the trip from Duluth to Indiana Harbor. In the pictures below, they had not yet started to load the pellets but they soon did and she is expected to leave sometime Saturday afternoon.

Mustang pellets from the Iron Range


The James R. Barker arrived under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge about 4pm. She is here to pick up the first of many cargos of Mustang iron ore pellets created at Cliffs Natural Resources facilities on the Iron Range. The Barker will deliver the new pellets to Cliffs’ customer ArcelorMittal’s steel mill in Indiana Harbor (the largest blast furnace in North America). The iron ore is mined at UTAC’s “Thunderbird” mine in Eveleth and transported approximately 10 miles by rail to the “Fairlane” plant in Forbes where limestone and dolomite are added to the iron ore.

The pellets are created to maximize the efficiency of this particular blast furnace. Some of this processing was previously done at the blast furnace, thus saving ArcelorMittal time and money at their end. It has higher levels of limestone and dolomite than standard iron ore pellets that allow it to more easily flow through blast furnace No. 7. Cliffs started production of their new Mustang superflux pellet in mid-May. They built a storage facility, silos, a limestone crusher, conveyors and rail infrastructure to support the production of the pellets and their transfer to railcars for the short trip to the CN dock in Duluth.

The mine, located in Eveleth, was constructed in the mid-1960’s by Ford Motor Company. In honor of Ford, the pellets are called “Mustang” pellets, mined at UTAC’s “Thunderbird” mine in Eveleth and shipped to the “Fairlane” plant in Forbes, Minnesota for more processing before being loaded onto rail cars and shipped to Duluth.

Barker picture taken on July 15, 2015 as she was departing Duluth with coal. Picture just above, courtesy of Cliffs Natural Resources, shows some of the first Mustang pellets created at the new facility.

Isolda makes first visit to Riverland Ag

The Isolda arrived Duluth on May 31, 2017 and is now loading grain at Riverland Ag (above). This is her 27th visit here since she was built in 1999. She was last here on July 14, 2015. Since then she has had a significant paint job, dropping the very familiar blue color to black. See Denny Dushane’s comment on the Isolda ship page. She has loaded grain during all her visits, loading mostly at AGP and CHS during her earlier visits, then at Peavey for visits in 2014 and 2015.

Silda discharging cement at Holcim

The Silda has been discharging cement at the Holcim dock in Duluth. Holcim is operated by LafargeHolcim, founded in 2015 following the merger of Lafarge and Holcim. For many years, the location was operated by St. Lawrence Cement.

Busy morning in Duluth harbor

The Isolda came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge this morning at 7:10 and with the assistance of the tug Kentucky, went straight into the dock at Riverland Ag, directly across the Duluth harbor from the bridge. Twenty minutes later, the Herbert C. Jackson arrived, passing the Isolda on her way to discharge limestone. This is the first trip back to the Twin Ports since the Jackson left her winter layup at Fraser Shipyards on March 23, this year, on her way to load iron ore pellets at Silver Bay. The Isolda was last here in July, 2015.

Silda brings cement into the Duluth harbor

The Maltese flagged Silda arrived Duluth at 4:30 Monday afternoon, May 29, 2017 (Memorial Day). This is her first trip to the Twin Ports. I thought about going to some local bars to make some bets about her cargo while she sat at anchor off the Duluth piers. I would say cement, and everybody else would say no no, and I would win. Or least if they were as dumb as I was 22 years ago when someone told me a boat coming into port was filled with cement. No way
She was assisted by two Great Lakes Towing tugs, just above, the Arkansas on the left and the Kentucky on the right.

Goodbye to Wes Harkins

At the age of 96, Wes Harkins died peacefully last night (May 26, 2017), the last of the big three ‘old guys’ in Duluth. Dick Bibby and “Gil” Porter left Wes to us a few years ago).
Wes was a wonderful help to me as I tried to catch up to the shipping business in Duluth; Wes was always there for me. Above left, he was a frequent visitor to my office (left). In March, 2000 as the finishing touches were applied to the nearly rebuilt Aerial Lift Bridge, we held an informational meeting about the bridge. We had a raffle at the end of the meeting; Wes won the beautiful replica he had in his hands. We were happy for Wes but he should not have been allowed to participate in the raffle. In his house, he had many many pieces, some quite big, given to him by many people over the years. He didn’t need this.
Wes retired in the early 80’s, but 30 years later, he still knew people all over the Great Lakes. And he was listened to; people wanted to know what he thought about things. Above, he attended the rechristening of the Hon. James R. Oberstar in May, 2011 in Duluth. Many from Interlake were here; it was their party. Wes was sought out by many old friends including the two above. Paul C. LaMarre III,  now director of the Monroe (Mich) Port Authority, is on Wes’ right.
It was not hard for USS Freedom executive officer Commander Kris Doyle (at left above), to impress four Duluth old timers with her brand new ship after it arrived in Duluth in October, 2008. After answering their questions, she nicely updated the old hands with a tour of one of the Navy’s most advanced ships.

While winding up the tour on the deck of the ship (below), Wes Harkins, at left, retired, Fraser Shipyard, showed Doyle a picture of the USS Paducah, a ship Wes left Duluth on in 1940. To Doyle’s left, Dick Bibby, retired, M.A. Hanna Co. and World War 2 merchant marine, Commander “Gil” Porter, retired US Coast Guard and former Great Lakes pilot and at right, Davis Helberg, former Duluth Seaway Port Authority director all agreed it was a new Navy. I don’t want to go into detail but there was some concern about hearing about the ship from a ‘woman.’ Those concerns were quickly dashed as Commander Doyle gave them a seminar on ships in the new Navy. (Commander Doyle later took command of the ship.)

Late in 1999, Lower Lakes Towing purchased the John J. Boland, a boat that had been sitting in Fraser Shipyards for some years. In October, 2009, Captain John Wellington (above, center) was hired to bring the tug Roger Stahl to Duluth to tow the newly purchased boat, to be called the Saginaw, to Sarnia. Wellington arrived on October 24, 1999. Wellington has a long history with Duluth so it was no surprise that Wes Harkins (left) and Dick Bibby (right) were down to greet him in the Roger Stahl pilot house.  Below, Wes worked the lines as we pulled away from the Port Authority dock to go over to Fraser.
Authors Bill Beck and C. Patrick Labadie published  the Pride of the Inland Seas: An Illustrated History of the Port of Duluth-Superior in collaboration with the Duluth Seaway Port Authority in July 2004. Wes and Gil were a large part of that history; they were there (above) to get their copy. Just below, Fred Cummings is making sure everyone is behaving as they lined up to get their books signed,
from the Winter 2008-09 Duluth Seaway Port Authority magazine, North Star Port.
At 1:15 p.m. on May 3, 1959, a young marine writer/photographer from Skillings Mining Review magazine who was perched atop the Aerial Lift Bridge caught on film the arrival of the Ramon de Larrinaga, the first deep-draft ocean ship to sail the new St. Lawrence Seaway system to the Port of Duluth-Superior. When Wesley “Wes” Harkins shot that picture, he captured an image that would stand the test of time. Harkins snapped thousands of photos during his notable career at the magazine and as public and industrial relations director for Fraser Shipyards. This year’s Port Authority calendar features his photo of the Larrinaga in a tribute to the Seaway’s 50th anniversary.
FINAL-Proof-2009-Calendar-10032274sm FINAL-Proof-2009-Calendar-10032274justpic
More about Wes on Duluth Shipping News.
Wes took this shot of Cason J. Callaway and his family coming down from his boat in July, 1958
He took this shot during winter layup at Fraser Shipyards in 1964-65

Blacky and Trudy slowed by rain

The Blacky arrived Duluth on May 14, 2017 to load wheat at Riverside Ag (above). She departed 5 days later, on May 19, for the port of Cadiz in Spain. The Blacky is owned by Navarone Marine Enterprises on Cyprus and is on long term charter to Canadian Forest Navigation (Canfornav), headquartered in Montreal. They operate a fleet of over 40 ocean-going vessels that they use to connect Great Lakes ports to the rest of the world. Many of their ships are named for ducks, such as Bluebill, Chestnut, Maccoa, Mottler, Ruddy, and Tufty.  Most have been to Duluth on several occasions.

Trudy arrived Duluth on May 12 to discharge kaolin clay at the Port Terminal. She also left 7 days later, on May 19 (below). Both were handling bulk cargo that is not usually moved when it is raining, as it was in Duluth this past week, delaying both ships.


Blacky blows into town

Blacky is back for her second visit to Duluth. When she was here in April, 2011, she loaded spring wheat for the Spanish port of Cadiz. She will be loading wheat at Riverland Ag on this trip.

Molly M1 back with more stuff

The tug Molly M1 arrived Duluth this morning at 5:19 with a barge loaded with 2 pressure container vessels that will be taken from Duluth to Alberta, Canada where they will be used in oil recovery operations. She was here once before, in July, 2015, with a cargo of machinery to discharge. In the picture, piece to the left is still on the barge; the other piece (right) has already been discharged

2 boats full of durum wheat please

The Federal Yukon arrived under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on May 4, 2017 and is now loading durum wheat from North Dakota at CHS. She should complete that this evening and depart soon thereafter. The Federal Kumano arrived off the Duluth ship canal last night and is at anchor (above) waiting for the Federal Yukon to complete. The world’s grain trade is very complicated but these two ships make it a little easier to comprehend. Thcouscousey are both here to load durum wheat from North Dakota for Algeria and they are both supplying wheat to fill one order made by a customer. After that, it gets complicated. A middleman, I am told that someone works in London, was tasked to arrange for the delivery of that amount of wheat to the Algerian customer. If the particular grade of wheat comes only from North Dakota, then this person’s job is simplified. Find ships that have the cargo space to carry that order; then find ships that can get to Duluth or perhaps ships that will be in Duluth, say to discharge wind turbine equipment and are looking for a cargo to pick up in Duluth. However it was arranged, these two ships here now are able to load the full order and deliver it to Algeria where it is used to make couscous, a dish made with semolina, created after the durum wheat is milled. The round white balls in the picture are the semolina. And as in the picture, the dish often includes a variety of other ingredients including lamb, beef and vegetables. It is a staple on tables throughout Northern Africa. I decided to stop here, rather than sharing the history of couscous and some great recipes using couscous.

American Integrity arrives for coal

No roses yet but I like to go over to the Rose Garden once in a while to get another angle on our ship traffic. This was the American Integrity arriving this morning (May 5, 2017) to load 68,000 tons of coal at Midwest Energy Resources. This is her 4th trip to Duluth this season; she made 31 trips here last season. She loaded coal on her 1st three trips this year; taking 2 cargos to Presque Isle, Michigan and one to Detroit Edison, as she will do today.

Blacky to be here for wheat on Monday

This will be her second trip to Duluth. She was here back in April, 2011 on her first trip. Click here to read about my rough ride to meet her at the anchorage on her first trip (above).

Cort arrives Duluth

The seldom seen (in Duluth) but always welcome Stewart J. Cort arrived Duluth early Wednesday afternoon on her way over to BNSF to load iron ore pellets.

Marine Tech lifts a fish tug from the bottom

Click each image to see a larger version; for more on this story, check the previous post.

New tug salvages a sunken tug in Houghton

marinetechfishtugsalvageapril2017Marine Tech, our local dredging company, brought their dredge home today (April 30, 2017) from a salvage operation in Houghton, Michigan. (Click here for 2 more images.) They were called out to bring a fish tug up from the bottom (right). Their own tug, the Jean C., is a new member of their fleet and is seen here pushing the dredge into the Duluth harbor. Earlier this year, they purchased the Edward H. from Heritage Marine and renamed her the Jean C. They will soon paint the tug with the company colors, royal blue, white and black. I have not updated the Edward H. page yet but you can see her in her former life here.jeancapril292017b

Reestborg waiting to come into port

The Reestborg is at anchor waiting to come into CHS to load spring wheat.

Oakglen here for iron ore pellets at CN

This version of the Oakglen started life as the Federal Danube in 1980. She became the Lake Ontario in 1995 and the Oakglen in 2009. More on the other Oakglen here. She was scrapped in 2003. The Oakglen arrived Duluth on Thursday afternoon to load iron ore pellets at the CN in Duluth after she loaded fuel at Calumet.