After a couple days getting some early season maintenance done at the Port Terminal, the Mesabi Miner pulled away on Sunday afternoon, March 29, 20125 from her berth there (above). After turning around, she made her way over to Midwest Energy where she would load 58,000 tons of coal for Minnesota Power’s plant at Taconite Harbor.


After the Mesabi Miner lost the race to be the first to depart the port, she settled for 2nd place, taking coal to Taconite Harbor. She turned around and headed back to Duluth, arriving at 8:51 (above) this morning (March 26, 2015) and easily winning the first to arrive trophy. But all was not so good; she will undergo a couple days of maintenance at the Port Terminal (below) before returning to Midwest Energy for more coal. She sits in loose ice here, but that is better than the John G. Munson. She is having lots of trouble with ice just this side of the Soo Locks. Both the Mackinaw and the Alder are working to clear a path through the ice for her to continue down bound to Gary and for the Edwin H. Gott and the Roger Blough to continue up bound.


After spending the winter at the Fraser Shipyards, the John G. Munson loaded iron ore pellets at the CN Dock in West Duluth. She is seen here departing with the first cargo of the new season, taking it down to Gary. She left at 5:29 pm on Monday, March 23rd, almost a week later than our usual first departure.


Above, the John G. Munson is backing out from Howard’s Pocket and her winter berth, while the Heritage Marine tug Nels J. moves ahead of her. They are both headed for the Calumet Fuel Dock. The Munson to fuel before going to CN Duluth to load iron ore pellets for Gary  and the Nels J. to make sure the ice did not cause any problems (and it did not). Just below, the Munson eases by the winter berth of the American Integrity.


Getting ready for this Spring, and next Spring

March 20, 2015

The above picture was taken on St. Patrick’s Day showing that, with the help of Mother Nature and her warm weather, and a bit of an assist from the Alder, the port is ready for ship traffic to begin. But … … work began earlier this week (above, on March 21st, 2015) on the new […]

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Great Lakes Ice Coverage slipping away

March 19, 2015

from Petoskeynews.com (Petoskey is a town on the north east shore of Lake Michigan) Posted: Monday, March 16, 2015 1:19 pm Mark Johnson (989) 732-1111mjohnson@gaylordheraldtimes.com NORTHERN MICHIGAN — It appears spring is finally here and with the end to another brutal winter comes the end of another year of extensive Great Lakes ice coverage. According […]

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3 Chiefs

March 12, 2015

Dave Campbell, Chief operator on the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, LCDR Anthony J. Maffia, Commanding officer Coast Guard cutter Alder and Vanta E. Coda II, Executive Director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority are just outside the bridge on the Alder enjoying the almost warm weather this morning (March 12, 2015). Listen as we salute […]

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We’re off

March 9, 2015

The US Coast Guard cutter Alder departed her dock right on time, 9 am, March 9, 2015. As always, she was the first vessel movement in the port since January.

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The good old days

March 6, 2015

While we wait for the Alder to open up the season, probably on Monday, March 9, here is a video I created during the beginning of the 2007 season.

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Duluth Layup, 2003-04

March 3, 2015

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Is that water out there??

March 2, 2015

Taken on March 2, 2015

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Seems like only yesterday

February 26, 2015

  The article above about the Duluth Shipping News, and its publisher custodian  and head writer, appeared in the Winter, 2014-15 edition of the Port Authority’s quarterly magazine, North Star Port. Click the pic for a larger, more readable version.

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Waiting and waiting

February 20, 2015

If UPS isn’t delivering that spare part you need for your refrigerator or the computer you ordered last month, it is probably in a container on one of these ships sitting at anchor off the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. I recently purchased an Apple IPhone to be delivered by UPS. They gave […]

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My Twitter feed, not so good

February 13, 2015

Some years ago, I thought Twitter was kind of stupid. Then I started to read what David Carr of the New York Times was writing about it. Then I started to read most everything that Carr wrote. He alerted me to check my Twitter feed each morning, if I was a reporter or if I […]

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Some ice, some water and two sharks

February 3, 2015

On Tuesday, February 3, 2015. No groundhogs here so we settled for some dancing sharks on the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. Here is a link to the full Katy Perry Super Bowl 12 minute show

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Munson last boat of the season

January 20, 2015

The John G. Munson closed the 2014 shipping season for the port of Duluth Superior when she arrived under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge at 9:28 on the morning of January 20, 2015. The tug Nels J. made a trip through the Duluth harbor just before she arrived. Below, the Munson is about ready to […]

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Mesabi Miner in for winter

January 19, 2015

The Mesabi Miner came in on Monday morning, January 19, 2015 after discharging her last cargo of coal at Presque Isle in Marquette. After stopping for fuel, she began to move over to Midwest Energy Resources to spend the winter. She had a tug assist from a Great Lakes Towing tug, seen here (just barely) […]

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Aird to Duluth 6 times this season

January 13, 2015

The John B. Aird departed Duluth at 11 am on Tuesday, January 13, 2015, with iron ore pellets loaded at the CN dock in West Duluth. This was her 6th and last trip to the Twin Ports this season. She loaded iron ore pellets on each of those visits; last year, she made only 3 […]

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Last trip for the Tregurtha this year

January 12, 2015

Sometimes in the winter, the hardest thing for a boat to do is make a dock; even if the course thru the ice is not much of a problem. A 1,000 footer weighs a lot and can brush aside a lot of loose ice as it goes thru the harbor. Moving all 1,013 feet up […]

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American Integrity in for winter layup

January 7, 2015

The American Integrity was the first of 6 vessels coming here for winter layup. She arrived this morning, January 7, 2015 around 11:30. Winter layup, Duluth Superior, January, 2015 Location Vessel Arrival Date Carrier Port Terminal Berth 1 Edwin H. Gott Canceled for Twin Ports GLF/ Key Lakes Port Terminal Berth 6 American Integrity 1/7/2015 […]

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Clear and cold

January 5, 2015

The Whitefish Bay arrived Duluth at noon on Monday, January 5, 2015 to get fuel at Calumet before moving over to the Burlington Northern to load iron ore pellets. The North Carolina was waiting at the bridge for the Whitefish Bay to arrived before she went out into the lake.

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Celebrate 2015 in Duluth

January 2, 2015

Above, the Lee A. Tregurtha started things off in the new year when she departed Duluth at 8:24 in the morning on January 1, 2015. The Paul R. Tregurtha, below, was the first boat to arrive in the Twin Ports this year at 3:17 in the afternoon. In between those two, the Mesabi Miner left […]

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Indiana Harbor here for more coal

December 29, 2014

The Indiana Harbor comes under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on December 29, 2014. I am waiting for the world’s largest Christmas ‘tree’ to come down but at least the leaves are off the trees that frame this shot in warmer weather. This is her 26th trip to the Twin Ports this season. After fueling […]

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Snow, rain, ice and the Lee A. Tregurtha

December 22, 2014

… arriving Duluth on December 22, 2014 for fuel and to discharge at Hallett #8

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Palmerton arrives

December 14, 2014

The Palmerton arrived under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on Sunday afternoon, December 14, 2014 with structural steel to discharge at the Port Terminal. Below, she gets an assist from the Heritage Marine tug Helen H.

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